Do You Know Him? Do You Really Know Him?

Posted by: Reverend Mama  /  Category: Faith, Forgiveness, Grace

It is December, 2015, and I have the desire to share Jesus with all of you. I have adapted the following essay from part of a teaching video by Dr. Chuck Missler. At this season when His Birth is traditionally celebrated by believers, I hope you enjoy this account of who Jesus really is. Sadly, there is far less celebration of His birth now than in years gone by.  I see so many changes if faith and attitude surrounding Christmas just since my childhood and youth. But for all of you who know Him and for the few of you who don’t know Him personally, but may be curious, here is Our Christmas Gift revealed to us. Keeping in mind that mere words cannot describe Him adequately.

“As a Man, Jesus made this statement: ‘No man (as in mankind) comes to The Father but by Me.’

So who is He?

“He is: The ultimate monarch.

The King of the Jews – (a radical king)

The King of Israel – (a national king)

The King of All Ages – (the world’s unrecognized king)

The King of Heaven – (the universal king)

The King of Glory

King of All Kings and Lord of All Lords

Do you know Him? Do you really know Him? (Or do you know only what others have said about HIm?)

He is: A Prophet before Moses

A Priest before Melchizedek

A Champion like Joshua

An Offering in the place of Isaac

A King in the line of David

A Wiseman above Solomon

Loved, Exalted and Rejected like Joseph.

But He is far more…

He Who is, Who was and will always be:

The heavens declare HIs Glory

The firmament shows HIs Handiwork.

He is: The First and The Last, The Alpha and Omega, The Aleph and The Tau, The A and The Z.

He is: The Firstfruits of them that sleep.

The I AM that I AM.

The Voice of the burning bush.

The Captain of the Lord’s Host

The Conqueror of Jericho

He is: Enduringly Strong

Entirely Sincere

Eternally Steadfast

Immortally Graceful

Imperially Powerful

Impartially Merciful

In Him dwells the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

The Very God of The Very God.

He is: Our Kinsman Redeemer and Our Avenger of Blood.

Our City of Refuge

Our Performing High Priest

Our Personal Prophet

Our Reigning King

He is: The Loftiest of Literature

The HIghest Personality in Philosophy

The Fundamental Doctrine of Theology

He is: The Supreme Problem in Higher Criticism.

He is The Miracle of the Ages

The Superlative of Everything Good

We are the beneficiaries of a love letter. Written in Blood on a wooden cross that was erected in Judea, nearly 2000 years ago.

He was crucified on a cross of wood.

Yet He created the hill on which it stood.

By Him were all things made.

All things are held together by HIm. (The mystery of the atom solved.)

What held Him to that cross? It wasn’t the nails. (He could have called 10,000 angels and more,)

It was His Love for you and me.

It was His Amazing Love.

He was born of a woman so we could be born of God.

He humbled Himself so we could be lifted up.

He became a servant so we could be made joint heirs with Him.

He suffered rejection so that we could be called His friends.

He denied Himself so that we could freely receive all things.

He gave HImself so that He could bless us in every way.

He is: Available to the tempted and tried.

He blesses the young

He cleanses the lepers

He heals the sick

He defends the feeble

He delivers the captives

He discharges the debtors

He forgives the sinners

He franchises the meek

He guards the besieged

He gives strength to the weak

He regards the aged

He rewards the diligent

He serves the unfortunate

He sympathizes and He saves!

His offices are manifold

His reign is righteous

His promises are sure

His goodness is limitless

His light is matchless

His grace is sufficient

His Love never changes

His Mercy is everlasting (And new every morning)

His Word is enough

His yoke is easy and His burden is light

I wish I could describe Him to you!

He is indescribable

He is incomprehensible

He is irresistible

He is invincible

The Heaven of Heavens cannot contain HIm

Man cannot explain Him

The Pharisees couldn’t stone HIm. And found out they couldn’t stop HIm.

Wise men worship Him

He has always been and always will be.

He had no predecessor, and will have no successor.

You can not impeach Him and He will never resign.

His Name is above every name. (Yeshua)

At the Name of Yeshua, (Jesus) every knee shall bow and every tongue confess,

That Jesus the Christ (Messiah) is Lord! (You can do it now or when you stand before HIm.)

His is The Kingdom, The power and The glory, forever and ever, amen.”

He said:“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” John 14:2-3

In this statement, the ‘you’ referred to is YOU! Do YOU know HIM?

You must decide in the privacy of your inner being, in your heart-of-hearts.

Is He coming back for you?

We will all stand before HIm at some point. Will you bow your knee and make HIm your Lord now, or will you wait until it is too late and you are bowed before HIs Throne. Your sins will not condemn you then as He died for the sins of the world. What will condemn you then will be your refusal to take His offer of forgiveness now. No greater love has any man that the love that lays down his physical life for his friends. He did and you are His friend. If you know Him. Do YOU? Do YOU really know HIm?

How to Live so You don’t take the Lord’s Name in vain

Posted by: Reverend Mama  /  Category: Faith, Spiritual Growth, The Word of God, Uncategorized

 

If you just know the New Testament, you have faulty concepts on how to interpret what God is saying in His Word.
During Jesus’ time on the earth, and until the letters written by the disciples and compiled, the only scripture the Believer’s had was the Law and the Prophets. Yes, the religious folks had added a bunch of man-made rules to it, but Jesus took them to task for adding the traditions of their father to His Father’s Word. Unfortunately, the Church, in many instances has done the same thing.
Some broad Biblical concepts are first mentioned in Genesis. These first mentions are good clues as to how the scriptures need to be interpreted. We need to have a complete understanding of how over 40 people wrote the Bible over nearly 2500 years and it is one cohesive book. That is because men were the pens, but the author is Holy Spirit. Even more importantly, Jesus was call “The Word of God Made Flesh and dwelt among us.”
As an aside:
God’s Word is not just a book, it is the Supernatural and Living Word from God, for mankind. It is the only book that is prophetic and with such large number fulfilled (with astronomically high number of odds on it happening exactly as written for those already fulfilled) that its Supernatural origin cannot be denied by any serious researcher.
For instance, the Septuagint, a Greek version of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament), including the Apocrypha, made for Greek-speaking Jews in Egypt in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC and adopted by the early Christian Churches, was written before the event foretold in the Book of Daniel. These events that forsaw the rise and fall of Babylon, Persia, and the Romans, among other events, transpired after the translation from Hebrew to Greek. Seventy Hebrew scholars completed it. (The name Septuagint, means seventy in Greek.)

The Bible says that, the Spirit of Prophesy is the Testimony of Jesus. And Jesus fulfilled exactly, more than 250 predictions in the Old Testament at His first coming. Why do people think that the other prophesies won’t be fulfilled with the same accuracy?

Back to our topic:
Paul admonished Timothy to study to show himself approved, a workman who need not be ashamed.
2 Timothy 2:15 Amp. Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.
Faith preceded the giving of the Law to Moses. Abraham and his faith are recorded in Genesis. Faith has always been required to please God. He is included in Hebrews as a hero of faith.
Romans 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Galatians 3:6 … just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
James 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

I think at one time or another most of us have heard someone swear and someone else, piously, tell them not to take the Lord’s Name in vain. That is a good thought, but not what the scripture is referring to. Yes, I believe if we take the Name of the Lord correctly, we will not be so inclined to use His Precious Name as a curse, but I believe this scripture has a more meaningful purpose that every Christian who is serious about their faith needs to understand.
Exodus 20:7 (NKJV)
7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
In the New Testament, there are several references to the Bride of Christ.
Revelation 21:9 (NKJV)
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”
Revelation 22:17
And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
If we, as Christians, are called the Bride, when do we take the groom’s name? Doesn’t it happen after we have made our commitment? We are born-again and baptized into “the Name” of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We become Christians, part of the Bride of Christ.
Acts 11:26… So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Christian literally means “little Christ.” We have taken His Name. Don’t desert your First Love. Don’t take His Name in vain!
Now lets read Exodus 20: 1-17 It will make more sense now. The commandments were given as instructions on how to live as God’s People and not dishonour His Name.
Exodus 20 And God spoke all these words, saying:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
12 “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.”

And by applying these Words of God to our lives, that is how we keep the Lord’s Name. I do not believe that these commandments were given as rules to follow to receive salvation, but as how we demonstrate our love and commitment to God. We please God by believing that He is and that He rewards those who seek Him. We are not those who keep a list of rules. Jesus says, His sheep know His Voice and follow Him.
Always be aware when we apply Old Covenant scripture to our lives, that we do not live by this covenant. We live in the New Covenant, on the other side of the finished work of the Cross of Jesus.
He fulfilled all the requirements of the Law of Moses on our behalf. So now when we “keep the Sabbath,” we are placing all of our hopes (or faith) on what He did for us and then He gave us His Righteousness. We “Abide in Him.” This abiding is how we keep the sabbath.
John 15:1-5 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
God wants us to live a from-the-heart lifestyle. What do you treasure? Are your dreams and desires more important than the ones God has for your life? How do you spend your free time? Do the things you say and do, the places you go and the people you spend your time with reflect well on His Name?
Jesus spent time eating, talking and teaching “sinners” but He spent much more time with His disciples and in alone time with His Heavenly Father. In fact, every other activity flowed out from His time with Abba.
John 5:19 (NKJV) Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
Matthew 6:6 (NKJV) But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Matthew 6:18 (NKJV) … so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

We need to understand that even “good works” that God did not require of us are not the proper use of our time. People get turned off and burnt out “working for the Lord.” All Jesus told us to do was to abide in Him! Yes, He will give us assignments, but they will be a joy for us to do. And the joy of the Lord is our strength! We will not burn out if we spend time abiding in Him and doing only what He asks of us.
Matthew 25 tells us about some folks who thought they were doing what God wanted, but apparently they never took the time to get to know Him!

25 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
The oil represents the Holy Spirit in scripture. They did not have a relationship with Him and were not in relationship with God. They had just taken it upon themselves to do good works and thought it was enough to guarantee them an eternal place in heaven. They were not part of the bride that the bridegroom returned for and they thought He was mistaken, when actually it was their error.
Be sure you are in relationship with God! Invite Him into your life. Prayer is simply another way to say, talk to Him. Kneeling is not required. I don’t kneel when I talk to my other friends and God is to be our friend, constant companion and first love in our life. Everything should revolve around Him. Not our spouse, kids, job or other commitments. Including whatever church you attend.
Here is how Jesus put it:
Matthew 7:22-24 (NKJV) Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:”
Works do not get you into the Kingdom of God. Faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross and being in relationship with Him does.
For those in right relationship with Him, our salvation is assured. Rewards for our lives after we are born-again will be based on, did you hear His Voice and Obey?
John 10:7-18 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (to the full, until it overflows).
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
John13:1-17 (NKJV) Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”
7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”
12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
Washing ourselves in His Word and helping others to wash off the grime that sticks to us as we walk through this world, is what Jesus is referring to. Peter only needed the dust of the world washed off his feet as he was already clean, according to Jesus. He was already bathed in the Word of God. Peter was a disciple. And we are also called to be Jesus disciples. Learning and then teaching others what God shows us.
For us to be cleaned by the Word, we need to know it! Jesus was the Word made flesh and dwelt among us.
John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John 1:10-14 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became 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.”
We need to spend time with Him and get to know Him who is our Groom and Soon-Coming King. God speaks all the time. We don’t hear Him, because we don’t quiet ourselves and practise listening. Jesus got alone with The Father so He could fellowship and hear His Voice. We are to be like Him in this world.
Beloved, do not take His Name in vain. Be a real Christian. A real Little Christ.
Amen!

Training Our Mind, Will and Emotions

Posted by: Reverend Mama  /  Category: Peace, Spiritual Growth

We need to train ourselves to follow God and not our flesh.
I will (will) praise and give thanks to You with uprightness of heart (emotions) when I learn (mind) [by sanctified experiences] Your righteous judgments [Your decisions against and punishments for particular lines of thought and conduct]. Psalm 119:7 AMP
God tried to teach Cain where his emotions would lead him, IF Cain gave them free rein. God warned Cain that sin was waiting to snare him through unchecked emotions.
Genesis 4:6-8 6 And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected?
7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.
8 And Cain said to his brother, Let us go out to the field. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
God is holding His people accountable for the use of their mind, will & emotions:
Deuteronomy 11:13-14 13 And if you will (will) diligently heed (mind) My commandments which I command you this day—to love {emotion}the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being—
14 I {God} will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain (harvest), your new wine (blessings), and your oil (Holy Spirit).
We are to be actively engaged in renewing our minds. God made it very clear, right from the beginning of the Bible, what are His expectations for us. We are without excuse if we don’t engage our will to use our mind to train our emotions.
Blessings, or lack of them, are directly related to our engaging with Holy Spirit in this project called “Our Renewal in the Image of Jesus.”
Deuteronomy 11:16-18 (OUR RESPONSIBILITY)16 Take heed (means to engage your will) to yourselves, lest your [minds and] hearts (emotions) be deceived and you (by an act of your will) turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, (Provoking GOD’S RESPONSE TO OUR CHOICES) 17 And the Lord’s anger be kindled against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the land will not yield its fruit, and you perish quickly off the good land which the Lord gives you.
18 Therefore you shall lay up these My words in your [minds and] hearts and in your [entire] being, and bind them for a sign upon your hands and as forehead bands between your eyes.
I would call binding them to our hands, our works and actions; and binding them on our forehead, between our eyes taking responsibility for our thoughts and emotions, as our emotional life is formulated by our thoughts.
We are told to take every thought captive, aren’t we?
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 3 For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
5 [Inasmuch as we] refute ‘arguments and theories and reasonings’ (mind – wrong thinking) and every ‘proud and lofty thing’ that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
God, through Paul, says there that strongholds in our lives can be overcome when we know enough of the Word of God so that we can refute wrong thinking (that creates wrong emotions) AND WE Lead (by actively) guiding our thoughts and the emotions they trigger into obeying God’s Word. Just as God told Cain to do. Otherwise our thoughts will lead us into sin…
Think about people who respond to their emotions in the flesh by using “comfort” food, or have medicated emotional problems or use street-drugs to self-medicate, and other types of people who are gamblers or shopaholics, or have other types of addictions… the list is endless. But God told us to take these thoughts that generate wrong actions, and take them captive to Jesus (The One Who is our Saviour).
Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, “ Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]”

1 Peter 5:6-8 Peter tells us: 6 Therefore humble yourselves (will) [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] {mind} under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you,
7 Casting the whole of your care (emotions) [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
8 Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
Sounds a lot like what God told Cain in Genesis, doesn’t it?

Let’s look at how Satan got into the mess he is in…
9 Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead) below is stirred up to meet you at your coming [O tyrant Babylonian rulers]; it stirs up the shades of the dead to greet you—even all the chief ones of the earth; it raises from their thrones [in astonishment at your humbled condition] all the kings of the nations.
10 All of them will [tauntingly] say to you, Have you also become weak as we are? Have you become like us?
11 Your pomp and magnificence are brought down to Sheol (the underworld), along with the sound of your harps; the maggots [which prey upon dead bodies] are spread out under you and worms cover you [O Babylonian rulers].
12 How have you fallen from heaven, O light-bringer and daystar, son of the morning! How you have been cut down to the ground, you who weakened and laid low the nations [O blasphemous, satanic king of Babylon!]
13 And you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north.
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol (Hades), to the innermost recesses of the pit (the region of the dead).
16 Those who see you will gaze at you and consider you, saying, Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms?—
17 Who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who would not permit his prisoners to return home?

  • What do we do instead of coming to Jesus with our woes?
  • Self-help falls into the ‘I will’ category.
  • Blaming others, or God, for our life situation or current circumstance.
  • Hiding in addictions.
  • Running away either physically, or mentally, or both. (Jonah tried that and ended up in the belly of a big fish. He eventually did as he was told by God, but had to be corrected again concerning his attitude.)

Can you think of other ways? The Apostle Paul gave us a key.
Philippians 4:1-9
4 Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and yearn to see, my delight and crown (wreath of victory), thus stand firm in the Lord, my beloved…
2 I entreat and advise (You) to agree and to work in harmony in the Lord.
3 And I exhort you too,… my fellow workers whose names are in the Book of Life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!
5 Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon].
6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state (of mind) of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] (emotion) which transcends all understanding {mind} shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honourable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and loveable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
9 Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.

Finally, the result of training ourselves is expressed in Psalm 1…  Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.
2 But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.
3 And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].
4 Not so the wicked [those disobedient and living without God are not so]. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked [those disobedient and living without God] shall not stand [justified] in the judgment, nor[b]sinners in the congregation of the righteous [those who are upright and in right standing with God].
6 For the Lord knows and is fully acquainted with the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly [those living outside God’s will] shall perish (end in ruin and come to nought).
James 4 What leads to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members?
2 You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask.
3 [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.
4 You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God.
5 Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love?
6 But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it).
7 So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.
8 Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].
9 [As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins].
10 Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].
11 [My] brethren, do not speak evil about or accuse one another. He that maligns a brother or judges his brother is maligning and criticizing the Law and judging the Law. But if you judge the Law, you are not a practicer of the Law but a censor and judge [of it].
12 One only is the Lawgiver and Judge Who is able to save and to destroy [the One Who has the absolute power of life and death]. [But you] who are you that [you presume to] pass judgment on your neighbour?
13 Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money.
14 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].
15 You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing].
16 But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong.
17 So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.

5 Come now, you rich [people], weep aloud and lament over the miseries (the woes) that are surely coming upon you.
2 Your abundant wealth has rotted and is ruined, and your [many] garments have become moth-eaten.
3 Your gold and silver are completely rusted through, and their rust will be testimony against you and it will devour your flesh as if it were fire. You have heaped together treasure for the last days.
4 [But] look! [Here are] the wages that you have withheld by fraud from the labourers who have reaped your fields, crying out [for vengeance]; and the cries of the harvesters have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts.
5 [Here] on earth you have abandoned yourselves to soft (prodigal) living and to [the pleasures of] self-indulgence and self-gratification. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
6 You have condemned and have murdered the righteous (innocent man), [while] he offers no resistance to you.
7 So be patient, brethren, [as you wait] till the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits expectantly for the precious harvest from the land. [See how] he keeps up his patient [vigil] over it until it receives the early and late rains.
8 So you also must be patient. Establish your hearts [strengthen and confirm them in the final certainty], for the coming of the Lord is very near.
9 Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you [yourselves] may not be judged. Look! The Judge is [already] standing at the very door.
10 [As] an example of suffering and ill-treatment together with patience, brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord [as His messengers].
11 You know how we call those blessed (happy) who were steadfast [who endured]. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the Lord’s [purpose and how He richly blessed him in the] end, inasmuch as the Lord is full of pity and compassion and tenderness and mercy.
12 But above all [things], my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath; but let your yes be [a simple] yes, and your no be [a simple] no, so that you may not sin and fall under condemnation.
13 Is anyone among you afflicted (ill-treated, suffering evil)? He should pray. Is anyone glad at heart? He should sing praise [to God].
14 Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the church elders (the spiritual guides). And they should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name.
15 And the prayer [that is] of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16 Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
17 Elijah was a human being with a nature such as we have [with feelings, affections, and a constitution like ours]; and he prayed earnestly for it not to rain, and no rain fell on the earth for three years and six months.
18 And [then] he prayed again and the heavens supplied rain and the land produced its crops [as usual].
19 [My] brethren, if anyone among you strays from the Truth and falls into error and another [person] brings him back [to God],
20 Let the [latter] one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save [that one’s] soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins [procure the pardon of the many sins committed by the convert].

  • God has warned us from the beginning that we are responsible for our all thoughts and emotions, BUT we are to be aware that Satan and his demons, principalities and powers are lying in wait for us so that they use us for their purposes.
  • Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live

    20 And may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days…

Eunuchs, A Study of Perfection

Posted by: Reverend Mama  /  Category: Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, Spiritual Growth

In Isaiah 56:3-5, Eunuchs received a direct promise from God through the prophet Isaiah. I have quoted it fully in the list of scripture below.
In the biblical context, the eunuchs noted were important personages. One office held by this class was being placed in charge of the harems of eastern kings, while others served the kings in varying capacities. For instance, the Prince of Eunuchs was given charge over Daniel and the other captives living arrangements, education and preparation to serve in the presence of the King of Babylon. Scripture tells us that they had authority over the armies of kings, had access to the royal treasury and served in the queens private rooms.
The title of eunuch became synonymous with the title Chamberlain. This designation made no reference to physical attributes. The meaning of which is:
1.an official charged with the management of the living quarters of a sovereign or member of the nobility.
2.an official who receives rents and revenues, as of a municipal corporation; treasurer.
3.the high steward or factor of a member of the nobility.
4.a high official of a royal court.
Regardless, the definition of the term “eunuch” in scripture appears to be of a more precise usage than the term “chamberlain.”
Now we are going to look at scripture in the Old Testament (O.T.), which hold the governing principles of the Law of God given to the Isrealites. This is not the covenant that we live under. Jesus fulfilled ALL the requirement of the Law of God on our behalf. We live under the New Testament (N.T.) (or Covenant) which is the Law of Love. Mark 12:29-31 29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The O.T. show us the requirements for coming into God’s Presence, which was in one place only, The Holy of Holies. The first Holy of Holies was housed in a tent in the wilderness as the Israelites traversed the desert for forty years. Eventually, Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem, and the Presence of God filled the Holy of Holies in that place. Only perfection could enter His Presence, that is, until Jesus died on the cross redeeming all mankind from their sins. The curtain that hung over the entrance to the Holy Place was six inches thick and many layered. When Jesus said, “It is finished.” and died, that curtain tore in two from the top to the bottom on its own. Now all were free (and still are) to enter into God’s Presence when we acknowledge Jesus’ sacrifice for us and the power of His Blood to erase our sin. Not cover it, as did the blood atonement made by priest with animal blood, but erased it, never to be brought up again. We are now seen by our Heavenly Father as sinless and perfect in Jesus. (This is a good place to stop and give Him Praise and Thanks.)
Deuteronomy 23:1 Eunuchs were not allowed, by God’s Law, to enter the House of God.
1 Chronicles 28:1 They were present at the King’s Court. In this verse most translations read “palace officers.” If you have a marginal column in your Bible, you will see that an alternate translation of the original word used in the text was eunuch.
The N.T. reading in Acts 8, shows us that now our perfection is in the perfect sacrifice that Jesus was on the cross. Here we are shown that God made a special and significant effort to bring the gospel to a eunuch, who was considered imperfect by the Law. Not only was he of a caste that would not have been permitted to enter the Temple, but he was also a foreigner and of a different ethnic origin. What qualified him? He was a man who left his home country to come to Jerusalem to worship God. Even knowing he would not be permitted to enter the Temple by Law. He was the kind of worshipper that John wrote that God is looking for. Someone who would worship Him in spirit and in truth. John 4:23 & 24 “23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (Jesus speaking)… It is worth noting that this second half of chapter eight follows the report of Simon the sorcerer. A man who was not of good heart and who wanted the infilling of Holy Spirit after he saw the signs performed by Phillip and the other apostles. I believe that God controlled the sequence and reporting of these events to make a point. The point being, those whom God accepts are worshippers from their heart and come to Him in humility. An obvious characteristic found in this Eunuch of High Rank in Queen Candice’s Ethiopian Court. (See verses 31, 34 & 36.) God took note of this man and sent Philip, by revelation knowledge, to meet with him and explain Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross and what it meant to the eunuch’s life from that day onward. He was not refused entry into the Family of God, known as the Church. Instead, God made the effort to send His messenger so this man would be included in the Body of Christ. Philip baptized him because he received and believed, just as a child would. This is the key to entering the Kingdom of God. This also fulfills the promise given by Isaiah in chapter 56.
This was a message to the Church as well. To this point and for years after, no other non-Jew became a Christian. Apparently the Church didn’t get the message.
The lesson had to be repeated when an Angel appeared to a worshipper who was a Roman soldier and told him to send for Peter. The account in Acts 10 is in the list of scriptures below.
The Torah, or written Law of God, only allowed perfection of physical and mental form to enter the Presence of God. That meant that anyone with any type of abnormality could not enter house of God, whether in the tent of meeting, or later, the temple in Jerusalem. Acts 3:1-10 regales us with the telling of a cripple’s healing outside the temple gate and the stir it caused when he enter with Peter and John.
The Name of Jesus and faith in His Name healed the cripple and that man entered the temple amazing all who saw and either knew or recognized him.
So we see a new start or the once excluded by God’s Law are now accepted because Jesus fulfilled the Law on behalf of all mankind. And our exemption from perfection in our flesh comes to us when we believe and put our trust in Jesus’ perfection and ability to substitute His perfect for our imperfect lives.
Ephesians 2 explains that God has perfected us all through Jesus. This act takes away any boast that we have earned anything from God, or, that we are better than our neighbour. We are all saved by Grace.
I believe that God included Philip’s encounter with Queen Candice’s treasurer, in Acts 8, so the Church would have an example of how inclusive God’s Church family is and how we are to behave towards those who appear or a mentally different than what we want to accept as our cultural norm.
All sinners are welcome as we are/ were all sinners. And in all our sinful condition , Jesus died for everyone of us. Romans 5:6-8, which I will quote right here, and not on the list, says: 6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Of course, once we come to Him and receive our salvation, we are all required to learn not to sin. That is another teaching and one we are all required to learn and practice. But even when we learn not to sin, mistakes will be made and God has given us more than enough grace to cover our failures. This is such good news! Romans 5:19-21(Amp), 19 For just as by one man’s disobedience [Adam] (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man’s [Jesus’] obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him). 20 But then Law came in, only to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and super abounded, 21 So that, just as sin has reigned in death, so grace (His unearned and undeserved favor) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
May the Lord Bless you.

Reading List for this teaching.
2 Kings 9:31-33 They had access to the queen personal chambers.
2 Kings 20:17-19; Isaiah 39:7 & Daniel 1:1-5 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. 3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; 4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king… They often came from vanquished royal families and had been raised in palaces and knew protocol. (Made eunuchs by men)
Isaiah 56:3-5 3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. 4 For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
Jeremiah 29:2 (After that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;)… In this list, the eunuch are of greater importance than the princes of Judah and Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 34:18 & 19 18 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof, 19 The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf… They are listed between princes and priests in responsibility for spiritual life.
Jeremiah 38:7-11 7 Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin; 8 Ebedmelech went forth out of the king’s house, and spake to the king saying, 9 My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is like to die for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city. 10 Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die. 11 So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah… The eunuch knew what was happening in the palace in the king’s absence. He had the ability to approach the king with the details. He had authority to order soldiers to do his bidding at the king’s direction. He had free access to the king’s storehouse, or treasury.
Jeremiah 52:24-26 24 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door: 25 He took also out of the city a eunuch, which had the charge of the men of war; and seven men of them that were near the king’s person, which were found in the city; and the principal scribe of the host, who mustered the people of the land; and threescore men of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city. 26 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah.
Daniel 1:9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs… They had royal title.
Matthew 19:11-12 11 But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: 12 For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.” (NKJ)
Acts 8:26-40 26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.
Acts 10:All 1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” 4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.” 7 And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually. 8 So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa. 9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance 11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” 15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” 16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again. 17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate. 18 And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. 19 While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you. 20 Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.” 21 Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, “Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?” 22 And they said, “Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.” 23 Then he invited them in and lodged them. On the next day Peter went away with them, and some brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?” 30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.’ 33 So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.” 34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom the killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
Acts 3:1-10 1 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Ephesians 2:All 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. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. 11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Learning that Leads to Fulness of Life

Posted by: Reverend Mama  /  Category: Spiritual Growth

 

I have three passages of scripture written here, that I want to expound on today. I have taken liberty, in 2 Peter 1, and rearranged some of the verses. I believe, that for my purpose in this teaching, it helps to clarify the point that Peter is making. I have left the verse numbering as is, so you can easily spot the change in arrangement. All scripture, presented here, is from the Amplified Bible.

2 Peter 1:1-19 (rearranged)

“1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle (special messenger) of Jesus Christ, to those who have received (obtained an equal privilege of) like precious faith with ourselves in and through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ:

2 May grace (God’s favour) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal,precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

12 So I intend always to remind you about these things, although indeed you know them and are firm in the truth that [you] now [hold].

13 I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle (tent, body), to stir you up by way of remembrance,

14 Since I know that the laying aside of this body of mine will come speedily, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me.

15 Moreover, I will diligently endeavour [to see to it] that [even] after my departure (decease) you may be able at all times to call these things to mind.

16 For we were not following cleverly devised stories when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty (grandeur, authority of sovereign power).

17 For when He was invested with honour and glory from God the Father and a voice was borne to Him by the [splendid] Majestic Glory [in the bright cloud that overshadowed Him, saying], This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased and delight,

18 We [actually] heard this voice borne out of heaven, for we were together with Him on the holy mountain.

19 And we have the prophetic word [made] firmer still. You will do well to pay close attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dismal (squalid and dark) place, until the day breaks through [the gloom] and the Morning Star rises (comes into being) in your hearts.

3 For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).

4 By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.

5 For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),

6 And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety),

7 And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.

8 For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

9 For whoever lacks these qualities is blind, [spiritually] shortsighted, seeing only what is near to him, and has become oblivious [to the fact] that he was cleansed from his old sins.

10 Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall.

11 Thus there will be richly and abundantly provided for you entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:1-21

1 Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to [enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

2 Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favour) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.

3 Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.

4 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.

5 Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.

6 While we were yet in weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly.

7 Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and loveable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die.

8 But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.

9 Therefore, since we are now justified (acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God.

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His [resurrection] life.

11 Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation.

12 Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because all men sinned.

13 [To be sure] sin was in the world before ever the Law was given, but sin is not charged to men’s account where there is no law [to transgress].

14 Yet death held sway from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over those who did not themselves transgress [a positive command] as Adam did. Adam was a type (prefigure) of the One Who was to come [in reverse, the former destructive, the Latter saving].

15 But God’s free gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass [His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of man]. For if many died through one man’s falling away (his lapse, his offence), much more profusely did God’s grace and the free gift [that comes] through the undeserved favour of the one Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to and for [the benefit of] many.

16 Nor is the free gift at all to be compared to the effect of that one [man’s] sin. For the sentence [following the trespass] of one [man] brought condemnation, whereas the free gift [following] many transgressions brings justification (an act of righteousness).

17 For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offence) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favour) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

18 Well then, as one man’s trespass [one man’s false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man’s act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men.

19 For just as by one man’s disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man’s obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him).

20 But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favour) has surpassed it and increased the more and super abounded,

21 So that, [just] as sin has reigned in death, [so] grace (His unearned and undeserved favour) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) our Lord.

 Philippians 4:8

8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honourable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and loveable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].”

        I know the scriptures take some time to read through, but God’s Word is never unfruitful when we take it in and meditate on it. I hope after reading what I am about to say, you will meditate on these verses and take them into your heart.

The single verse, above, from Philippians, is the first use of the word “virtue” in the context of it’s meaning in the Greek language, in which it was originally written. The passage here, from 2 Peter, is the only other place in the New Testament where this same Greek word is used and interpreted, virtue. Both passages come from another root word in Greek and I will give you their numbers in the Strong’s Concordance and their meaning.

Virtue is #703 and it’s meaning is “to take on excellence” either intrinsically or attributed. The root is #730, and is the Greek word whose meaning is: “stronger for lifting [from man or male].”

Romans 5: 15 and 17 say, 15:“God’s grace and the free gift [that comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ” and 17: “reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ.”

So the attributed strength that comes from “The Man,” Jesus, is the source of our ability to learn and walk in virtue, or excellence, as the fulness of the word means in the original Greek.

Both passages, from 2 Peter and Romans 5, reveal a process of how we can actually attain, in this life, the ability to love as God loves us and to produce maturity in our emotional and everyday life. Romans 5 uses action words to describe our life in Jesus, after we are saved. Read verses 3 & 4: 3 Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.

4 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.

Paul is talking to us about how to grow in grace and in our relationship with God and with others. We don’t need to develop godly character and unconditional love to relate to God, He sees us in Christ and as having those attributes already, in His Son. However, we need to develop these characteristics to walk among men and to proclaim the good news.

Here is a verse from 1 Peter 5, that once again shows us that progression to perfection in Christ is our goal. “10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.”

In the world, there are 12 steps to sobriety and those who follow them can attain some measure of deliverance from their addictions. These steps include self examination, effort to overcome, support from a sponsor, and asking forgiveness from those who were hurt by the individuals actions.

 Here in 2 Peter 1, we see that God has laid out an 8 step process for us to be free in Him and to develop Christian Love so we can walk as Jesus walked. Eight is also the number of new beginnings in the Bible. So these 8 steps to fulness in God will ensure a new beginning to your born-again life. They will help you to grow up in Him.

  1. Faith, which we know is a gift from God. Verse 5, ”For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue

  2. Virtue, we have defined as putting on His excellence, in His strength. Verse 3, “For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).”

  3. Knowledge, Verse 5, “ and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence).” Going to knowledge from faith, without knowing that our virtue comes from Jesus excellence and not our own, will bring us under the law and lead to judging one another by outward appearances and actions. Outward appearances then replaces God’s work in our hearts as the most important aspect of our faith. Measuring, for ourselves and others, is legalistic and the meaning of grace becomes moot. Without understanding the role of virtue, we become harsh and unloving towards one another in our assessments. This conflicts with the agenda God has created for our personal development as He works on us from the inside out. We must always keep in mind that our righteousness in given to us by Jesus’ actions on the cross and our acceptance of His act on our behalf. We will never be righteous in ourselves. That is the reason Jesus included His the act of washing the disciples feet before He went to the cross. The Word makes us clean, not the water, but we are required to cleanse each other with the washing of the Word. And speaking with all humility that foot washing implies. Not judging, but assisting one another towards His perfection, which is unconditional love towards our fellow man.

  4. Self Control, Verse 6, “And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control.” A knowledge of God’s Word will teach us that we need to not respond emotionally and to wait on God for results. Self indulged will not lead to patience or godliness. Responding as we know Jesus would respond will help us to practice self-control. If someone treats me badly, I am not responsible to that person for how I respond, I am responsible to My Heavenly Father for my response. Remember, every idle word we speak will be judged by fire when we appear before Him, and we will be rewarded for and according to our actions. That is a sobering thought that will help guide us to self control.

  5. Steadfastness, Verse 6, “[develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance).”  Our culture does not encourage us to be patient. We want patience and we want it right now! But God’s way is to send trials and tribulation into our lives so that we can learn to overcome by faith. Patience is understanding that God is in control of the outcome of every situation and that He is concerned about what concerns us. IF we are patient we will see God’s resolution of our situations. Our human condition and the world wants us to take matters into our own “capable” hands. “God helps those who help themselves,” is NOT in the Bible. Those who learn to wait upon the Lord are those who succeed God’s way. Isaiah says. “that those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.” And God’s way is our strength and our goal.

  6. Godliness, Verse 6, “[develop] godliness (piety).” Being aware of God’s holiness and how our culture can be an affront to His Holiness is an area where we all need to learn to excel. Piety, or godliness, is not an old fashioned idea, but something we should strive to live from our heart. Contrary to what some church denominations teach, heartfelt holiness is not an outward show that we need to adhere to, to be holy. When our hearts are thinking evil, no matter how others see us on the outside, we are not holy. The good news is, we do not have to think every thought that tries to get our attention. We can choose not to think ugly, unrighteous thoughts when they pop into our heads. It takes effort and asking God to make you aware of what you are thinking but you can replace those thoughts with what we are told by Paul to do in his letter to the Philippians. “Think on whatever is pure, right and just.”  Holy Spirit is faithful, and will help you clean-up your thought life. You only have to ask Him, but then you need to make the effort not to run with every thought that trapezes though your mind. What you put in front of your eyes will also influence your thoughts. When Holy Spirit answers your plea for help, it may include changing what you look at. Just sayin’…

  7. Affection, Verse 7, “And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection.” Not everyone is loveable, but God loves everyone and He wants us to be like him. If we hate, the Bible teaches, we have committed murder in our hearts. Only in Him can we ever hope to attain affection for others. This is a struggle in my own heart still and I have been on this path for two thirds of my life. That is twice as long as a christian, than I walked without being aware of the Lord. He is Faithful to help me and He will do the same for you. He does not have favourites. But know this, without brotherly affection, we will never attain our goal of unconditional love for others. The good news is, in all the areas mentioned in Peter’s writing, in this passage under discussion here, repentance still works.

  8. Unconditional Christian Love, Verse 7, “[develop] Christian love.” This is the goal of our life on planet earth. When we have attained, mature and consistent loving responses to all, we have succeeded in life. We will be better than we are, but our whole life is this journey. No matter where we are on this path, we will be shown, by Holy Spirit, where we need to improve. Do not be discouraged. Do not listen to the negative thoughts your mortal enemy, the Devil, will try to implant in your mind. You are not going to fail. You should never give up. You are valuable to Your Heavenly Father and He does have a plan for you success. He needs you to live as well and as joyfully as you are able, right where you are now. (Remember, not one sparrow falls to the ground that He is not aware of, and you are much more valuable than a sparrow. You are a son who will inherit the Kingdom of God.)

Matthew 10: 29 “Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave (consent) and notice.”

2 Peter 1:8 “For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is blind, [spiritually] shortsighted, seeing only what is near to him, and has become oblivious [to the fact] that he was cleansed from his old sins.”

I did not say it, Peter did. When Paul talked about our development to maturity, he concluded his very hard to do passage, in Romans 5, with one of my favourite verses in the New Testament, and here it is.

Romans 5: 20 “But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favour) has surpassed it and increased the more and super abounded”

Think of the words, super abounded. It reminds me of what Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” Or in other words, until it super abounds. No matter how high sin rises, grace always rises higher and covers it. God’s got you covered!

God wants us to develop His character so that we can experience, in this life, on planet earth, a life that super abounds, and overflows with His blessings. He wants us to enjoy our life here and now, and in the future when we receive the fulness of our inheritance as His children – our eternal life in glorified bodies, just like the one Jesus has now we will walk in joy continually.

The negative whispering of the world and its idols would have us believe that God is trying to take the “fun” out of our life now. Beloved, that is the furthest thing from the Truth. He came that we may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance, to the full, ‘til it overflows. Don’t let the enemies of God rob you! Remember Peter knew he was about to die and this, in his mind, was the most important information he had to share with us.

“For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honourable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and loveable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].” Philippians 4:8

My Citizenship

Posted by: Reverend Mama  /  Category: Uncategorized

July 31, 2014 is the official date on my new Irish passport. This makes me a citizen of a country I have never seen or visited. I am being accorded this privilege because my father was born in the Union Workhouse, Tipperary, Ireland. Since the 1990′s my son, Nate, and daughter, Niki, have been searching for his birth records and until recently they were unable to locate them. Recently the Workhouse put their records online and Nate searched plus or minus five years on the date of dad’s birth and struck gold. My children have invested time and money to gather all the necessary documents, and after the paperwork was done, I am the beneficiary of a new citizenship in the land of my father’s birth. I am receiving the gift of lawful belonging to a nation a continent and an ocean away from where I was born, raised and still living.

This was a journey we have taken together. Along the way we found facts that didn’t fit what I had been led to believe in the family stories. For instance, we were unsure if the birth record we found for dad would be accepted as his, because in Canada he had given his birth date as May 15, 1904, and the workhouse had recorded his birth as June 16, 1902. How could this be? And would the Irish government accept this as proof of his birth with this discrepancy?

Nate kept searching, even while we were moving ahead with the paperwork. He searched a document that Niki had found years earlier. It was dad’s immigration interview, when he landed in Halifax in 1930. In that document, under ‘date of birth’ there was a notation that said, “he thought he was born ‘about’ 1904.” A copy of this document was included in the package we submitted. This showed the Irish government that he was unsure of his own date of birth. Thankfully, they accepted this evidence and in record time they posted the date my passport would be issued on their website.

Just as an aside, here is another gem we discovered. Dad had always told me that his mother’s name was Kathleen McNamara and his father’s name was John. And, his eldest brother was named John after their father. On dad’s birth record, his father’s name is listed as Thomas (although they called him John); and on his mother’s birth certificate her name is listed as Kate.

Record keeping over 100 years ago, was not as it is today. And even those involved did not always keep an accurate memory of dates. After seven boys, Kate was not clear on the month and day of each child’s birth. Dad’s facts were half truths, but contained enough information for us to actually sort out reality from suppositions. Enough to be useful, but I in no way think I have all the information. What we found was enough to satisfy the legal requirements of the government of Ireland, and it has declared me an “off shore born” citizen of that country, and my passport will be issued today (July 31st).

As I meditated on the process, the information we found and the granting of my rights as a citizen of a country I have never seen, I couldn’t help but draw a parallel to my citizenship in the Kingdom of God, and about how many times the Church has made suppositions and half-truths that it thinks fit the Truths of Scripture, and how many of these conjectures create conflict within the Church and hold back others who would want a God who is defined as Unconditional Love and Full of Grace for sinners. A God who wants to grant all mankind citizenship in His Kingdom that they have never seen.

I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God and His Dear Son, Jesus. I have never visited or seen this Kingdom (in the natural sense). I know there is a Promised Land, but like Moses, I have only glimpsed it. He saw it in the distance from a mountain top in the natural, just before he died. I have only seen it through the descriptions of what I have in it now, and awaits me there, that I find in the Bible and I see that country by faith.

I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God because my Heavenly Father has declared me His Child by adoption. He provided the legal requirements in sending His Only Begotten Son, Jesus, to take my place and remove the roadblocks between me and my citizenship.

The Gospel written by John, chapter 1  (KJV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shone in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not… 9 That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 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: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 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.

This scripture is telling us about Jesus. The written Word of God, the Holy Bible, in the New Testament, provides the answers to the legal requirements. Our sins are paid for by His (Jesus) Righteous sacrifice for all mankind’s sins by His death on the cross. Not just for me, but the sins of the whole world were on that cross with that sinless Lamb of God, who at the appointed time, was atoning for all sin. Verse 12 in the passage above this paragraph, “but to as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons (by adoption) of God, even to them that believe on his name.” That name is Jesus.

If you have never received Him, the key is a simple, from-the-heart prayer of acceptance that will file your paperwork, and you become not only an off-shore birth (born-again) citizen of God’s Kingdom, but you become a son of God by adoption into His family. You become a son of the Most High God with all the rights and privileges that go with royalty. You are not just a sinner saved by His Grace, you become a King and a Priest of the Kingdom and the Creator of the Universe is now your Heavenly Dad who promised to love you unconditionally until you arrive at the home He has prepared just for you.

We all know that controversy has divided the church over two millennia. Different denominations dot the spiritual landscape and each has their particular slant on how the “facts” are presented. Some of these churches were born in the fire of revivals where certain Truths were being restored to the Body of Christ (another name for believers). These groups gathered around their new understanding and named the denominations after what was restored. Examples are the Presbyterian Church (restored understanding of the laying on of hands), the Baptist Church (which has numerous branches who are divided on their understanding of other basic doctrines but agree on baptism by emersion.), the Methodists (who learned that God requires us to live as purely as we are able) and the Pentecostals  (who received the restored understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s personal life and in the Church). There are others, but you get the idea. Each time Holy Spirit restored a truth that was lost to the Church in the Dark Ages, the groups declared themselves a separate religion. This is very sad as God wants all of us, everywhere to gather around the fullness of the good news (gospel) and not argue over individual doctrines with human understanding. Each of these restored Truths were for all of the Church. They were to be added to the understanding of fullness in God, picked up and added, not a reason for separation.

Unfortunately, some denominations are very dogmatic about their version of the “facts.” We need to consider each other in love and recognize that we have differences of opinions. But the only opinion that counts is God’s. IF we seek Truth, we will find it. But if what Holy Spirit is speaking seems to conflict with what tradition has taught us, too often we hold fast to mere suppositions and not Truth. We are all on a spiritual journey together and the Body of Christ is not meant to be chopped up and divided. The Bible says that a house divided against itself will not stand. It appears the devil was listening and not the Church. Love covers a multitude of sins and loved ones should cover each other during the growing into one mind and spirit that we are called to, in Christ.

This all comes back to half-truths and suppositions. If a Christian believes the Bible is the Word of God, reads it, acts the way we are instructed to in it, loves God and his fellow man, that person is walking towards home. A child learning to walk is not cast out or abandon by loving parents when they fail to walk perfectly the first time. Milestones are celebrated as victories! The missteps are strengthened by the outstretched hands of the adults. We are told to help the weak and to lift one another up in the Word of God.

So it is as God watches over us and the Holy Spirt abides with us to train us up as sons of God, and Jesus sits at the right hand of our Heavenly Father and intercedes for us constantly; NOTHING can separate us from our home and destiny in God’s Kingdom. IF we receive it all by a simple prayer of faith. File your papers, your passport will be issued even if you don’t know all the facts and only have some half-truths to start with and even if you have never glimpsed the homeland before. God is waiting for you to come home (not die, but to just become a citizen for now, the best and rest will come later). Holy Spirit will come to you and be your guide from the moment you ask Him to join you on your journey.

Ultimately, the only Truth we have is the Holy Bible. We have Jesus telling us in it, that He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to our Heavenly Father unless we come through Him (and believe that what He did on the cross was for us.). But He also promises that if we ask, Holy Spirit will teach us in all things.

Here is a sample prayer you can use, or just speak your words from your heart. He will hear and He will respond. Since the day you were born God has been waiting for you to call out to Him and be born-again into His Kingdom.

“Heavenly Father, I believe what I have just read about You and Your love for me. I want to come home to You and live in the Kingdom you have prepared for me. I ask you to forgive me my sins and I accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to pay for them. Thank you, Jesus. Holy Spirit, please come into my life and teach me how to be a Kingdom citizen and help me to understand Truth in all its fulness. Amen”

How to get started? Glad you asked.

1. Get a Bible. (Not a Mormon or a Jehovah’s Witnesses Version.) There are many good ones. Biblegateway.com even has Bible Apps or online ones you can read to decide what version you would like to read. Start in the New Testament. That is the Churches instruction manual. Try John, or Mark to start with.

2. Tell someone that you have prayed this prayer.

3. If you don’t know any Christians, find a church where you feel comfortable and accepted. One where they preach the Bible. It is your job to check the facts they give you against what the Bible says. If they tell you stuff that is not in the Bible, or opposed to what the Bible says. Run for the door as fast as you can. There are many good churches and God will lead you to one, IF you ask.

4. Talk to God. Pray without ceasing is what the Bible says to do. That means keep the conversation going with God. And don’t do all the talking, give Him time to respond.

5. Expect God to intervene in your life. The Bible says we miss out on blessings because we forget to ask. When I was young, I expected my father to provide for me. If I wanted something I asked. My Heavenly Father never lets me down either, and He will do the same for you.

The Curse Behind the Holocaust

Posted by: Reverend Mama  /  Category: Bio, Content Related To The Jewish People, Faith, Grace, Repost

I am posting this article because I value the content. I believe that these accounts should be recorded, lest we forget.

The Spiritual Roots of Anti-Semitism
by Mary Nahas
Throughout the ages, the Jewish people have been through the most horrendous and ongoing persecution in history. But, what’s it all about? Why the Jews? Did God care that millions suffered and died in the camps? An Israeli rabbi said that when you count the miracles that occur in your life during tragedy, a message from God will emerge. When my father counted the miracles of his life and realized his story contained the answers to those questions, he asked me to tell his story for the benefit of those who suffered in the camps.

Johnny grew up under the strong arm of an Italian immigrant who made him work so hard on the farm his fingers would bleed. One day it snowed, so he ran to the river to see if any of his childhood friends were ice-skating in their shoes. But, it was so cold that day not a soul had come out to play. “I knew better than to step out onto the ice alone,” he said, “but the voice of temptation kept saying, ‘Go ahead. Skate all the way out to the middle. It will be fun!’”

Johnny stepped out onto the ice and skated to almost the middle of the river when a soft spot gave way and he fell through the ice. “I started to panic because I had held my breath for quite a while and I needed to breathe. I needed air,” he said. “I remember thinking, ‘I’m going to die and my family will never know what happened to me. My mother still cries for her children who died. If I die here under the ice, she won’t even know what happened to me. It will kill her… my poor mother.’”

What he said next is astounding: “That was the last thing I remember thinking under the water, when I found myself laying on the ground beside the water. For the life of me, I don’t know how I got out of the water and onto the banks of the river! I looked to see if someone had left footprints so I could follow them and thank who rescued me, but there was only one set of footprints in the snow and they were mine.”

Johnny had no idea he was saved from the river for what he would accomplish twenty years later during World War II.

On April 4, 1945, Private John M. Galione of the 104th Infantry Division smelled an odor that plagued him with a gut feeling to search for prisoners: “Something kept telling me to follow the trains,” he said. After several hours of following the trains, he was about to turn around and abort the mission when a strong force pushed him: “I turned around to see who pushed me, but nobody was there. It was like somebody had shoved me, grabbed me at the elbows, and pushed me forward. I don’t even know where my energy was coming from. My legs were tired, but something was making me walk, telling me to keep following the trains; and somehow it gave me the strength to keep going.”

Following the trains for five days led Private Galione to the most secret and hidden camp in Germany. From August of 1943 to April of 1945, slave labourers from Buchenwald and other camps were forced to manufacture the world’s first ballistic missiles in underground caves. Under the hands of brutal Nazis, the prisoners were hung, beaten, starved, and tortured until they dropped by their machines. Fresh victims from Buchenwald replaced the dead. Those who learned of their impending transfer to Dora simply killed themselves before having to board the transfer wagons.

When my father radioed liberating troops to Camp Dora on April 11, he recognized God’s effort to expose the remaining camps and to save the dying first. The troops he called to Dora got lost and ended up at Nordhausen’s Boelcke Kaserne Death Camp, where the weakest from Camp Dora had been dumped and left to die. Then, Buchenwald was found because the prisoners of Dora were from Buchenwald. Moreover, before the discovery of Dora the military objective was to kill Germans and get to Hitler, not find camps. But when the Pentagon received word that slave labourers were making missiles in a concentration camp, the military objective changed to a diligent search for remaining camps and weapons.

As the American Army and its Allies saved the remnant of Jews from the camps, the United States received the technology that made her the most powerful nation in the world. Under the codename of Operation Paperclip, Pentagon officials ordered the confiscation of the missiles and the German scientists who had created them. They were transferred to America and became the nucleus of ABMA and NASA, where they developed the high-tech weapons and spaceships that gave us our satellites and took us to the moon.

Camp Dora was located in the Russian zone of occupation. In God’s wisdom, he sent Private Galione to beat the Russians to Camp Dora in order to prevent them from making an exclusive capture of German missile technology. However, having the two nations “share” the technology caused world peace through the threat of mutual destruction. Through satellite technology one nation couldn’t move without the other seeing. Through missile technology, one nation couldn’t strike without it resulting in their own national destruction.

Here is food for thought… Since the Russians are helping the terrorists today, one has to wonder whether Israel would have ever become a nation had the Russians discovered Camp Dora rather that the United States.

Although my father’s war effort changed world history, he grieved for many years over those who suffered and died making the first rockets. To add to their suffering, people said that God wanted Jews to suffer and die in the camps due to their rejection of Christ; others said He needed the ultimate sacrifice for sin. Over a lifetime of pondering the events, my father drew the conclusion that the Holocaust was born of evil:
“What I saw in Germany made a believer out of me that God has an adversary who hates the Jews. Even though there were many other people besides Jews who suffered in the war, the purpose of the war was all about eliminating the Jews. That’s how it all started. The hate the Nazis had for the Jews was not even a normal hate, like when you hate somebody. It was evil. They didn’t just want them dead; they wanted them to suffer in the most horrible ways. I could believe the Jews are God’s people after seeing how much hate there was for them, and the evil things done to them, and for no reason.”

In my quest to identify this “adversary” I searched the tanakh and a motive for premeditated murder emerged that reveals the mastermind behind anti-Semitism and the demise of countless Jews throughout the ages. While the Scriptures say Abraham was God’s friend and the Jews are the apple of His eye, it has gone unnoticed that Lucifer was the apple of God’s eye well before Abraham:

“Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering… Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so” (Ezekiel 28:12-15; Isaiah 41:8; Zec. 2:8). Then, Lucifer betrayed God: “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God… I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14). All Scripture is quoted from the King James Version

Incredibly, the motive behind Lucifer’s hatred for Abraham and the Jews is found in the comparison of God’s reaction to their sin: The Scriptures say the Lucifer (light-bearer) was stripped of his rank and referred to as “Adversary,” he was cast away, his seed destroyed, cursed to humiliation, brought to ashes, tormented, never to be anymore, brought down to hell to the sides of the pit, and cast in the lake of fire (Ezek. 28:16-19, Rev. 12:10; Gen. 6; Isaiah 14:15; Rev. 20:10).

However, God called Abraham “my friend,” renamed him “father of a multitude” and said “I have chosen thee and not cast thee away… make thy seed as the sand of the sea… make thy name great… they shall be My people and I will be their God… prosper… be a blessing… bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey… all families of the earth would be blessed through Abraham’s seed, the Messiah!” (Isaiah 41:8; Gen. 32:12; Gen. 12: 2; Gen. 17:8; Exodus 3:8; Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:8, 14-18).

In this light, one can see that the Adversary worked to place his curse onto the children of Israel. In the holocaust, Jews were “cast away, seed destroyed, brought to humiliation, brought to ashes, tormented, thrown in the fire, and never to be anymore.” He is furious that he was doomed to burn in the lake of fire and given no hope of redemption; yet, Abraham and the Jewish people were given the opportunity to reunite with God through burnt sacrifice, then later through the Messiah: “And when the dragon [Satan] saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman [Israel] which brought forth the male child” (Yeshua the Messiah; Rev. 12:13-14).

Lucifer was livid that God not only gave the Jewish people a way of redemption, but He referred to the burnt sacrifices of the children of Israel as “a sweet smelling savour.” That’s when I realized that the crematoriums, with their stacks smoking day and night toward the nostrils of God, were born of the spiteful mind of His jealous enemy to mock the sweet smelling savour of the burnt sacrifice and pierce the heart of God with an agonizing reminder that he was not offered redemption like the children of Israel!

When I asked my father “Who pushed you by the trains and led you to the camp?” he replied: “When the Force pushed me to keep me from turning around, I had not yet actually turned around. I was only thinking of turning around. That’s when I realized it had to be God Himself who was behind it, because only God could have known what I was thinking; only God knows our thoughts.”

After the war, my father was blessed with seven children and grandchildren who were born every twenty years on the anniversary date of the liberation of the people he saved. He believed that God spent a lifetime building a memorial through these births, because He wanted survivors and those who lost loved ones to know that He was behind their rescue and that He loved them and never wanted them to suffer and die in the camps.

Why I don’t celebrate halloween….( anymore) ;)

Posted by: Reverend Mama  /  Category: Faith, Halloween, Spiritual Growth, The Word of God, What is happening now...

31 October 2013 at 11:44

I tried to write this article a year ago, and for me, it did not come together. I obviously was not the one God wanted to write it. I have posted the essay, written by my daughter, Deneen Cook, because her passion for the subject is evident; her reasoning is well thought out and her commitment to walking with Jesus shines through. Please read and consider.

“Over the course of the last few years I have become more and more outspoken in my distaste and actual hatred of a very worldly day, Halloween.

I asked my mom ( a REAL Minister) to please write one of her blogs on the subject, a year ago, but she has yet to do it.

Like most things in life we are called to do, at first we think, “someone should really SAY something about this.” Then you wait. The battle within begins and eventually you realize, “Hey, maybe this is MY battle and one that God has set afire in me so that I will be “the one” to “say (or do) something.”

So, please forgive me, I am not a professional writer, I may not be eloquent, I may not be right, (in your opinion) but I DO have a burden in my heart for this particular matter that only burns deeper every single year.

I was raised in a home with Christian Values and beliefs but for most of my formative years, I was most definitely not raised in a Practicing-full-time Christian home environment.

We had the knowledge but rarely the whole follow through.

When I became a mom at the tender age of 19, my intention was to raise my daughter not taking part in anything that had to do with halloween. Her first halloween she was 7 months old. She was almost walking full time at that point and I had a cute little bunny rabbit Snowsuit fleece thingee. My sister and i thought, she was so cute in it, what’s the “harm?” So, we painted on some whiskers and took her trick or treating. I got all the obligatory ” ooo’s and aw’s, further boosting my parental pride in my gorgeous baby.

The next few years, we did not celebrate it in any way. I was doing what I said I would do. I was so happy, with myself. * pride cometh before the fall*

When she was about six, I had begun to ‘slide’ in other areas of my life, she wanted to dress up and by now I had a three year old at this point and he had told his Sunday school teacher one Sunday, “Jesus doesn’t want us to wear masks because it hides us from him.” There was a lot of wisdom in that child -like statement.

Anyway, suffice it to say, I caved eventually. I don’t remember EXACTLY when, but I caved.

“As long as the costumes are not evil, demonic or gory, what’s the harm?”

In my heart I KNEW I was not being the parent God called me to be. It was a battle within every single year.

I was married to someone that “believed in God” but like most “believers” didn’t see the harm.

I was “Christian,” had ALL the beliefs down pat. No, I was not going to church and not being fed on a weekly basis to keep my faith where it needed to be.

So, making compromises along the way became easier and easier and oh so much easier. At TIMES I could almost convince MYSELF the things I was thinking and doing were “acceptable” to God. “God knows my heart” is a notorious line we “off the rail Christians” use often amongst ourselves.

WE often speak of God’s grace, the blood of Jesus and the unconditional love of God, as ways to not deal with our ” issues” or see what we are REALLY doing is truly grieving the one that died a tortuous death FOR us to have those wonderful gifts.

So, the years passed. My kids grew up, they continued to celebrate halloween.

Over the course of the last 5 or 6 years, God began to teach me in lot’s of areas,( NOT just halloween) He began a process of revealing things to me that I needed His help to improve on.

I had a lot of bitterness and unforgiveness issues.

I had major anger issues.

I had a fear of man complex. ( basically caring too much what others think of me instead of what God thought of me)

I started a journey. A very personal journey. One to allow God to change in me the things He saw fit to change.

Some have been easy. Giving up certain TV shows, like Grey’s Anatomy. I do not feel ” permitted” to watch this anymore. Does this mean it is a sin to watch Grey’s anatomy? In a nutshell, yes… FOR ME.

Other things have not been so easy, some very personal things and some very interesting things. Like not having to have the last word. ( It’s genetic in my family, we ALL have to have the last word and when we don’t, we simply stop speaking to one another. easy to have the last word that way) =)

Why do I feel God doesn’t want His children ( ME ) to participate in what is inarguably a satanic day?

Some use the argument, it’s all about the harvest.

I celebrate Thanksgiving, to me ,that is all about the harvest. I don’t need to share the day with a bunch of demons and “dead” people and witches.

I once heard a Christian speaker who was raised in the church of satan. Yes, born a satanist. He said that satanists used to laugh at the witches because witches would deny that they were also worshipers of satan. The satanists would say, ” at least we KNOW who we are serving, and trust me witches, we are serving the same god but you just aren’t enlightened enough to know it “.

See? Even THOSE religions have their issues of contention. ;)

One thing that has helped me ” sacrifice” some things I enjoyed, or thought I enjoyed.

I played a little game with myself. I would ask myself, ” Deneen, If Jesus Christ was sitting here on the sofa beside you, right now, in person and you could see Him, speak with Him, hug him and visit with Him, would you STILL want to do what you are about to do right now?”

Invariably, the answer would be no.

If the answer is ” no”, then I ask myself ” why?”.

Is it because your time is better spent doing something else, or is it because this is quite simply , something you KNOW you should not do?”

If the answer is the former, then I would simply choose to do something else at that time, that would be time well spent. If it was the latter, I would KNOW, this is NOT something that God wants me doing, ever, period.

Lot’s of things were thrown away to the wayside and still ARE being thrown as I am a work in progress, on a journey.

A few years ago halloween was one of the the things God started REALLY dealing with me about.

Not difficult, I know, because now my kids are grown , right?

WRONG!

I find more people wanting to attack me, justify their actions and point out all that is WRONG with this opinion JUST because I choose to actually see this day for what it is. The worst part? Some are even my brothers and sister in the Lord.

Look, it’s wrong for ME, I hate it because I choose not to put on rose coloured glasses and play along anymore. I see it for the disgusting, death centred, demonic day it actually IS.

“The Christian is not to be involved with or support the occult, witchcraft, demonism, or any other thing that uplifts the occult. To do so is to contradict God’s word, dabble in the demonic, and invite judgment from God. Halloween celebration is centered on demons, devils, spirits, etc., I would say don’t have anything to do with it.”

“Many in our secular society believe Halloween is nothing more than a harmless festival that allows kids to collect candy. But is it? Its origins lie deeply rooted in the occult, and Christians should stay away.”

“October 31st has long been known as “The Festival of the Dead.” The Celtic tribes and their priests the Druids celebrated this day as a marker for the change from life to death.

Halloween today is performed usually by adherents of witchcraft who use the night for their rituals. Witches celebrate Halloween as the “Feast of Samhain,” the first feast of the witchcraft year. Being a festival of the dead, Halloween is a time when witches attempt to communicate with the dead through various forms of divination.

Christians should not be involved with occult practice or divination.

Note God’s command against divination in Deuteronomy 18.

Occultists believe Halloween is a time of transition between life and death. Some occult practitioners practiced divination and believed you could learn the secrets of life and wisdom by Iying on a grave and listening to the messages from the long-departed.

Occultists also taught that spirits and ghosts left the grave during this night and would seek out warmth in their previous homes. Villagers, fearful of the possibility of being visited by the ghosts of past occupants, would dress up in costumes to scare the spirits on their way. They would also leave food and other treats at their door to appease the spirits so they would not destroy their homes or crops but instead move on down the road. That is the real reason why kids dress up in costumes today and go door-to-door seeking treats.

Schools are removing any religious significance from Christmas (often called winter break) and Easter (spring break). Isn’t it ironic that most public schools still celebrate Halloween even though it has occult origins?. Participating in Halloween gives sanction to a holiday that promotes witches, divination, haunted houses, and other occult practices.” ~from an online source~

Scriptures I meditate on regarding this subject, and others:

Ephesians 5:7-12 Don’t participate in the things these people do. For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behaviour should show it! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 … Abstain from all appearance of evil.

This literally means that even if it APPEARS evil, stay away!
Romans 12:2
Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. *** re read that! “YOU WILL LEARN TO KNOW GOD’S WILL FOR YOU!”

One final thing I ask myself…
“Even if this isn’t a ” Big deal,” is it important enough for me to hang onto knowing that it’s probably grieving God?”

Others make think I am a fanatic. WHO CARES!?
Others may think me overly cautious. WHO CARES?!
Others may think me judgmental. WHO CARES?!

The world has taken one Scripture in particular and twisted it and made it to fit their liking, so they can continue in their own sin.

Matthew 7 … JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED.

They conveniently neglect to read the next verse. I will quote the verses in questions from the amplified translation:
Matthew 7:1-3 Amplified Bible

7 Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves.

2 For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.

This does NOT MEAN we shall not judge that which we see as wrong.

it DOES mean that those we judge, in whatever manner we judge them, we will be judged the exact same way.

If a presiding judge is making a judgement, he has certain guidelines he must follow

It means, that even though he IS the judge, he STILL has to abide by the same rules, laws etc that those that appear before him are. Should he break those laws, he is held to the EXACT same standard as those that stood before him.

Lastly, I want to say, those that attack Christmas just because they are feeling convicted about their celebration of halloween, bore me. It’s a classic case of deflection.

I know many of you will continue to celebrate as you always have. This is MY story, MY life and MY journey. I just wanted to set the recored straight on that.

Is it sin? It IS even if you THINK it is.

For me? It most definitely is.

I will not apologize for, or justify my opinion any further.

I will also not be moved.

From The Shepherd Press:
Via Kirk Cameron: “Think carefully about Halloween. Remember it is a two-sided coin The dark side is not pretty. You can hope that by just looking at the fun side that the darkness can be ignored. Is this really what you want to teach your children; just ignore the bad things and focus on the good? After all, Halloween is so much fun. How many other things are there that present a positive upside but when you turn the coin over you are greeted by the smiling face of the enemy? I am not attempting to insist on a particular course of action. I am just praying that you will remember that since the fall things are often not what they appear to be.”

Our Life is Eternal Right Now

Posted by: Reverend Mama  /  Category: Faith, Spiritual Growth, What is happening now...

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!

“And so I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!” Excerpts from the speech Martin Luther King Jr. made on the eve of his assassination.

Our christian walk is a journey to the mountaintop, as Moses did to meet the Lord, it is the purpose for which we live, IF we will let be. It helps us find our place in the scheme of things lest we become overly inflated in our view of ourselves and our role in God’s kingdom work. Or this perspective on life sets us free from the facts of this world. The world that tries to hold us down to the needs and desires of our souls. God’s Truth supplants the facts of the time and space in which we live our short span of time on earth.

Every person born since Adam is an eternal being. I am not being meta-physical about this, it is simply a fact. We are all made in God’s image, He is an eternal being and so are we. Sin brought physical imperfection into the earth and now what He created as an eternal body for us ages and dies. His promise is a new body that will live forever. Then Jesus came and gave us the choice as to whether we want to live in God’s eternal kingdom, with Him, or not.

Those who choose Him will return to this earth and enjoy the planet He created for us to live on. Those who do not choose Him will live eternally without Him.

Martin Luther King Jr. and others like minded believers have started to know Our Heavenly Father now, it has become the reason we live. The purpose for which we are born.

Focusing on the journey to know God more intimately, puts everything in perspective and it is the perspective we need. A prayer written in memory of Oscar Romero, archbishop of San Salvador who was martyred for his outspoken advocacy for the poor, articulates the power of this perspective:

“It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom [of God] is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of
liberation in realizing this.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace
to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.”

So this life and getting ahead, or appearing successful in the eys of men is not how we think should think. Our thinking should focus on, “to know Him, and the fellowship of His suffering,” and to understand that eternity is a very long time and we will need all of it to know Him as He now knows us.

The Gospel of Peace

Posted by: Reverend Mama  /  Category: Faith, Forgiveness, Peace

Found only at the Cross of Jesus

Why are Christians remaining sick and not healed?

I have listened for several years to persons who frequent the Saturday night Bible Study my husband and I attend. Some who have passed through complain about why the promises of the Bible don’t “work” for them in particular and our church culture in general. As a person who has been blessed to receive more healings that I can recall, I find it nearly impossible to understand what I am hearing. Those making the comments also find me hard to understand, or simply refuse to believe what I am saying. Often resentment is directed towards myself, or others, who can testify to God’s healing power in our lives.

For a long time I did not understand why believers struggle with healing, it was a conundrum for me. I knew their thinking was wrong and God’s Word does not lie, but the “evidence” of unanswered prayer seemed to dance before my eyes.

For the past several months I have been learning afresh the wonderful news of the “finished” work of the cross. In these months, the answer has been forming in my spirit. It started with a little show and tell that was God inspired and I presented it to the Saturday night group.

This Show and Tell is a visual of what Jesus provided

A glass of water with some red food colouring in it, a token with “believe in yourself” written on it (it was a gift), a piece of foam that would float on the water, and a penny to put into the glass of red tinted water. The token was placed beside the glass to represent those who had no trust in God for their salvation. They believe only in themselves and the world systems evident to the senses that surround us. The foam was placed on the surface of the water, where it would float. This represented a person who has acknowledged their need for a Saviour, and have somewhat trusted in God and His Word, but are still not convinced that they can depend on their Heavenly Father for all facets of their life; and have no idea how to allow God to work in the natural areas of their lives. Having begun in Christ, they’ve not stayed “in” and although they belong to Him they think they are required to help maintain their salvation. i.e. They need to earn the blessings and benefits God offers to those who believe. They want works-righteousness, rather than God’s faith-righteousness.

The coin is dropped into the red tinted water. When we look at that coin, we see it thought the water and glass. This penny reflects how God actually sees us, with the glass of water representing Jesus and His finished work at the cross. When God looks at us, He sees us through the finished work of the cross. The blood, represented by the coloured water, is the filter He looks though. Like the coin, we look the same to the natural eye, and have the flaws and markings that are written on us by the world, but the blood represents Jesus righteousness that He gave us when we were born again. God sees Jesus’ righteousness as ours.  No matter how often we fail in our walk on this planet, we are always seen as righteous because of Jesus.

When Jesus took ALL our sins away, He exchanged our self-righteousness (which the scripture refers to as the filthy rags we are dressed in when we come to the cross) for His perfection and purity. No matter how much we will try to be good, we will always fall short of perfection and purity. That is why God, Himself, created the solution for our acceptance. A forever exchange that was a contract between our Heavenly Father and Jesus, His Only Begotten Son. As this contract is between them and we are the benefactors of it, we cannot ever void the contract by our wrong behaviour or ideas. Once we have come in faith and are born again, we are seated as joint heirs with Jesus, in heavenly places, the Bible says. This is a statement of our legal position, which we will take when either Jesus returns at the end of the age, or when we die. Whichever comes first.

Do we really understand what it is to be a Child of God?

If we are born, we cannot become unborn. This works in the natural as well as the spirit realm. When Jesus told Nicademus, that he must be born again from above, he stated the obvious… there was no way he could re-enter his mother’s womb. (John, chapter 3 and it is worth reading all of it) Once we are born there is no returning to an unborn state. In the spirit, we may doubt or sin, but once born of God, we belong to Him and we cannot change it and God will never reject us. He will work with us and wait for us, always patient and always loving.

The chastisement for our peace with God was upon Jesus. In other words, Jesus took what each of us deserves as punishment, on the cross so we are free to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father without fear of reprisals for our failings. Past, present and future – He paid for it all.

What does it mean to blaspheme Holy Spirit?

You cannot sin enough to be cast out of the family of God. The Bible says that if we blaspheme Holy Spirit, we will be lost. To understand this, you must understand that the mission of Holy Spirit is to convict every one of their sin and need of a Saviour so that they can be reconciled to our Heavenly Father, His Way and not by any religious efforts or good works. So if Holy Spirit is dealing with a person and that person rebels or rejects the truth of their condition and refuses to come to Jesus and ask for reconciliation God’s way, they are lost. They have blasphemed the work of Holy Spirit in their life. They are not saved and will suffer the penalty of their own sin when they stand before God. There is no “doing it my way.” It is His way or not at all.

Now the really Good News!

Jesus said, “No man comes to the Father, but by Me.” Plain and simple? No, I’d say Glorious and Costly. How much our Heavenly Father loves us that He would send Jesus to die for us. And if we take Him up on the offer, we can never be cast out or forsaken. Now that is the Good News of the Gospel. No fear or shame can separate us from God. If any person (regardless of title or office held), or the Accuser of our souls, try to tell us otherwise, it is a lie and not the Truth. We cannot be unworthy if our Heavenly Father only sees us in the righteousness provided be His perfect, sinless Son, and not in our own filthy rags of self-righteousness.

The Bible says it best in John 3

16For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

17For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.

18He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation--he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ's name.]

These are some of the greatest words in the Bible and my personal favourites.

What about religious ideas and good works?

All religion that tries to reach God by good works and trying to live holy by man’s own efforts and rules is a rejection of the finished work Jesus provided at the cross. There is nothing we can do to be good enough for God and likewise there is nothing that man can do that is so bad that Jesus’ shed blood won’t atone for it.  ”It is finished.” The contract was signed in the blood at the cross and the door of Heaven was opened for mankind to sit down in Heaven with God. Jesus is our First Born Brother. We are brother’s to Him by adoption. We have the same rights and privileges as He. We are healed, blessed and made righteous by His sacrifice and our faith in it. “Having begun in the spirit, we cannot finish in the flesh.” This is what Paul fought against all the days of his life. As one who had been as perfect as possible in keeping the rules, he knew the rule keeping did not change his heart, only Jesus could do that.

When we look back to Eden and the fall that caused all this disruption in our relationship with God, we see two things. First, Satan’s lie said God was trying to keep mankind in the dark about life and if they ate the fruit, the would be like God knowing good and evil. Well how silly was that lie? Had they thought it through, the answer would have been, “I am made in His image. I am like God.”

Secondly, and this is where religion fails: If we ate the fruit of the wrong tree and the result of that sin was to know good and evil, trying to be good still has mankind partaking from the wrong tree! Understanding good is just as sinful as knowing evil because it all happens in the natural realm of our senses and has nothing to do with faith in the finished work of the cross of Jesus. The right fruit is found on the Tree of Life, which incidentally, shows up in the Book of Revelations.

Revelation 22:1, 2 & 14 Amplified Bible

1Then He showed me the river whose waters give life, sparkling like crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb

2Through the middle of the broadway of the city; also, on either side of the river was the tree of life with its twelve varieties of fruit, yielding each month its fresh crop; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing and the restoration of the nations.

14Blessed (happy and to be envied) are those who cleanse their garments, that they may have the authority and right to [approach] the tree of life and to enter through the gates into the city.

Symbolically, the Tree of Life represents Jesus. He told us to come and eat of His flesh and because many could not get their heads around the imagery He was giving, they quit following Him. Much the same as it is today. It is really hard for people to grasp that they cannot influence God by their behaviour. Well actually they did and it all falls short of His base requirements and so He solved the problem for us by providing a worthy substitute. And it cost our Heavenly Father dearly to send His son to take our place.  So I ask, what is religion thinking? Whatever the answer to that is, it is wrong.

Our Heavenly Father Loves Us

Any loving parent will correct their child when they make mistakes (and they will make them). It is part of parenting. If we are our Heavenly Father’s child, He will correct us so we can better grow to maturity. He is not looking to harm or kill us when we make a mistake. That domineering, mean attitude is NOT godly character. We are believing the liar who whispers in our spiritual ear if we think that Our Father in Heaven would treat us like that after giving His Precious Son for us. It would also make the cross of no value to us, or to Him.

Jesus gave us the parable of the Prodigal Son (us) to demonstrate the Heavenly response to even our most rebellious behaviour… Our Father is standing in the middle of the road watching for us to return to Him. When we do, we receive a ring and a robe. The ring is authority and the robe is the clean faith-righteousness Jesus prepared for us at the cross.

Luke 15:18-24 Amplified Bible

18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight.

19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] make me like one of your hired servants.

20So he got up and came to his [own] father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness [for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him [fervently].

21And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son [I no longer deserve to be recognized as a son of yours]!

22But the father said to his bond servants, Bring quickly the best robe (the festive robe of honor) and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet.

23And bring out that fattened calf and kill it; and let us revel and feast and be happy and make merry,

24Because this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to revel and feast and make merry.

The son wanted to come and serve in a religious sense and his father would have none of it. After all, they are family. As are we to God.

Why are most Christians not healed?

Back to the problem as stated at the beginning of this essay. Why are Christians not healed? I would like to offer you this explanation: It is because we do not understand our unshakable position and our entitlements as the children of God. We do not fully experience what is to live in the Peace of God. Most Christians are not settled, rooted and grounded in God’s Love and unchangeable promises. They are fearful and ashamed because of failure. Condemnation creates the idea that they could be, or are, disqualified from the promises of God. The Bible says that nothing will separate us from the love of God, but those who choose their own thoughts and feelings overrule God’s Word and its Good News. They can not, or will not believe Truth. Their flesh talks louder to them than God and His Word.

No bad news, no fear, no shame

When the angels announced the good news of Jesus’ birth, they said to the shepherds, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people. (Luke 2:10) No bad news, no fear (of rejection or failure), no shame (God sees all and forgave at the cross) and no consequences to dread when we see Him. It is possible that some will quit reading when they see that last statement.

Now, don’t hear what I’m not saying! Life has consequences for our actions. Our choices and other people will affect our lives, but that is not God’s doing. What I am saying is, no weapon formed against you will prosper and all those who rise up against you will not succeed, IF you are totally submersed in the finished work of the cross and trusting God for all your outcomes. He will heal you, set you free and prosper you WHEN you trust in Him. Not the doctor, the lawyer or the stock broker (or Mom & Dad’s bank account).

The Why-is-this-Happenings of Life

Jesus was perfect and yet others affected His life as He walked on this same planet we walk on. Before He went to the cross, He told us this:

John 16:32-33 Amplified Bible

32But take notice, the hour is coming, and it has arrived, when you will all be dispersed and scattered, every man to his own home, leaving Me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
33I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

God does allow us to go though situations in our lives. His reasoning is to change us, not hold us down. In the Bible, Job was a man who lost everything. His wealth, children, health and the support of his wife who counselled him, out of her own grief and loss to “curse God and die.” If we skip to the end of the story Job tells, it was when he stopped complaining and prayed for his friends who had accused him of wrong (some friends!), he was healed, his wealth was restored and increased, and he had twice as many children. And in the process of learning to trust, he lost his fear. In chapter one of Job, he had said, what he feared has come upon him.

So I ask you, what do you fear? What will it take for you to trust your Heavenly Father in the area of your fears?

In another place, the Bible tells us that when the Israelites came out of the wilderness and into the land God had promised to give them, that He allowed some of their enemies to remain in the land with them. The purpose stated was to allow the next generation to experience conflict and learn how they needed to stand and trust God for the out comes of life in their generation.

The message of these narratives is to teach us that we can overcome all the trials of life by standing “In Christ” and declaring that He and He alone will deliver us from all things. God allows struggles so that we will learn to walk this life in faith-righteousness. Asking why did this happen to me? Or, worse yet, blaming God for your troubles, will not get your problems solved.

Hebrews 4:16 Amplified Bible

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].

In faith ask Heavenly Father for resolution and say thank-you and wait and see what God will do for you… IF you just wait and be thankful in the waiting. Not whining and “sharing” your misery and spreading unbelief, even in the form of a “prayer request.” Sometimes the choice comes down to sympathy (poor you) or faith for resolution. (Stand before your enemy as Jesus did… silent.)

Having asked, believe and you will see the salvation of God on your behalf. The only faith seeds you want to sow with your mouth during this season are affirmations of God’s ability and praise for His loving care, no matter how “it” looks in the natural.

Even David told us that he would have been discouraged had he not believed to see the goodness of God in the land of the living. (David’s here and now.) And he encouraged himself by his words.

Psalm 27:13-14

13[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!

14Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.

Believe for Grace to wait in Faith for the Outcome

I think the problem believer’s experience lies in the time factor between when we think we have a need and God’s all knowing understanding of when we need His intervention. The waiting process can be a time of learning about His faithfulness and drawing on His unconditional love for us in any circumstance of life in which we find ourselves.
Our words, spoken against what God has said, is negative seed which will grow a crop of doubt and unbelief that we do not want. And our words that are thankful, trusting and expressing our faith in what the final outcome of our circumstance will be, seeds the blessing for us. After all, Jesus said, “It is finished” over 2000 years ago. I believe for grace to wait in faith for the outcome.
Jesus asked one question that until now has remained unanswered. “Will I find faith on the earth when I come?” Here it is in context.

Luke 18:7-9 Amplified Bible

7And will not [our just] God defend and protect and avenge His elect (His chosen ones), who cry to Him day and night? Will He defer them and delay help on their behalf?

8I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [persistence in] faith on the earth?

9He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and were confident that they were righteous [that they were upright and in right standing with God] and scorned and made nothing of all the rest of men:

Selah: which means pause and think about what you just read.

Do you scorn those who tell you they were healed and God will heal you too? Do you trust your doctor’s prescription pad more than the promises of the Bible? Do you discuss your problem with anyone who will give you a sympathetic pat on the back, before you will go boldly before the Throne (which is your right) and claim your answer? Do you declare the goodness of God on your behalf, or do recite the woes of your life? It is, after all, about your choices to believe or not to believe. Do you trust Him more than your circumstances?

There is a book I highly recommend: The Gospel of Peace, written by: Dr. James B. Richards. If you struggle in these areas, I believe this book will change you life and change your religious ideas to faith-filled belief.

It is available from:

Milestones International Publishers

P.O. Box 104

Newburg, PA 17240

Tel: 303.503.7257

Beloved, believe, trust, stand, praise, be joyful and fear not as Jesus overcame the world for you.

Amen