9/6/20 – Follow Me! But How Jesus?

Hi everyone! I pray you are all well and loving your walk with Jesus. I am overjoyed with the hope and promises I find through pray and study. I am especially blessed to read your comments. In our current environment, it is becoming more and more difficult to find others that share our passion for God and His plan. It can be discouraging, but just when I even think of being discouraged, God comes to me with a burst of hope, an answered prayer, or an encouraging word. I thank God for each and every one of you! Amen!

Today, I would like to discuss the Gospel Commission given to us by Jesus. Let us pray together first. Dear Heavenly Father, Your will be done on this earth. We want to give You praise and glory for Your saving grace, Your great love, and Your Son Jesus. There is so much to be thankful for and our hearts sing with joy as You, through Your Holy Spirit, reveal Truth to us. Forgive us our sins and guide us in lovingly forgiving others, in caring with a heart like Jesus’ for the souls lost in confusion and purpose. Show us the ministry of Jesus through His eyes, and His example. For we know there is only one way to You and that is through the blood of Jesus, in His holy name we pray, Amen!

So, just how did Jesus minister to others? Praise God, we are able to read His living example found in the 4 Gospel – the first 4 books of the New Testament. Jesus visually demonstrates a very straight forward method of ministry, one in which we can find a consistent pattern of steps.

Jesus was 30 years old when He officially started His ministry. He launched His ministry through baptism, in the River Jordan, by John the Baptist. The accounting of His baptism, the message from God speaking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit descending on Him, can be read in Matthew 3:13-17 and is found in all 4 Gospels.

Note: preface to my next paragraph. I know the Gospels talk of 12 disciples, but Jesus did not call Judas personally. Jesus allowed Judas to ease his way into the group of men Jesus called personally. Jesus knew, from the start, that Judas would betray Him, but He allowed it as a fulfillment of prophecy. (Matthew 8:19, Psalm 41:9)

Jesus called 11 men to follow Him (later Judas joined the 11), and He had many other followers. Mark 1:16-20 describes how Jesus called His disciples to follow. Jesus chose to make these men “fishers of men.” He chose to teach them, through example, how to bring souls to Jesus – Jesus showed them the Heavenly method of saving souls for His Kingdom. Through the study of the Gospels, I have developed an acronym for which I believe is Jesus ministry pattern. I prayerfully use this acronym so that I stay true to Jesus’ method and not wander off with something of my own creation. My sister has been given the gifts of caring and helps, so she is a great helper in this area of ministry. (Partners in ministry are great!) These are my personal steps to ministry – CARING!

  1. Care about your neighbor’s well being – meet them where they are in life – live Jesus for them.
  2. Ask genuine questions about their life and share your salvation story – get to know them as more than passing acquaintances
  3. Respond to their needs and concerns – help them with physical, emotional, and mental needs – gain their trust by being trustworthy and dependable – live Jesus!
  4. Introduce Jesus – once you develop a friendship, have conversations, sharing the love of Jesus and His sacrifice
  5. Nurture their relationship with Jesus – lead them to the cross again and again
  6. Guide them – as a close friend, help them acknowledge their need for Jesus and the Holy Spirit, pray with them often, and study scripture together. Be a true friend like Jesus!

Your ministry doesn’t stop when a person accepts Jesus as their personal Savior. They are often new to the lifestyle, many of the Biblical truths, and the actual act of being a Christian – just to name a few of the hurdles ahead of them. This is where our journey along side them becomes exceedingly important. This is when Satan starts to attack them in earnest. Continue CARING for them, guiding them, and being their true friend.

When I was a young wife and mother, I had a person in my life that I like being around because I thought she represented Jesus and I could enrich my walk through her witness. We were both stay at home moms and spent time together, letting our babies play. Several months into this routine, I overhead this “friend,” tell another person, “We aren’t really friends, I’m just trying to teach her about Jesus.” That was crushing to my soul and I walked away from what I thought was a real friendship and I walked away from Jesus. So, I caution you to be sincere, be a true friend, and pray your way through any ministry for which you are called. Before we can reach out to other, we must believe, must cherish, and cling to hope in Jesus. We must daily, hourly, and in every situation, ask for Jesus to abide in us and for the Holy Spirit to guide every aspect of our being. True ministry and friendship are gifts from God and when we ask, He is faithful to hear us and give us these gifts.

All 4 Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, portray Jesus’ ministry the same way. According to them, Jesus always started His introduction to new people by meeting the pressing concerns in their lives. This often involved physical acts of healing, casting out demons, manifesting food to feed the crowds, and story telling. I used to think Jesus had an advantage over our ministry in His power to heal and perform miracles because He is God. But, as I shared in my last blog, I no longer believe the same. While on earth, Jesus set His God powers aside and received all His power from God the Father – this was for our benefit. He was demonstrating what all devout followers can do when truly connected and surrendered to the Godhead. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, he told His disciples and devoted followers to wait for the Holy Spirit to come. Upon the Holy Spirit’s arrival (Acts 2:1-47) the followers of Jesus were able to perform many miracles by calling on Jesus’ name. Here is a short list of some of Jesus miracle, given to us as an example of what we will be called to do when following in His footsteps. (https://www.thehopeproject.com)

This list is by no measure complete. “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:25) Jesus left no doubt in the studious hearts of His followers, as to how we should minister the Gospel Commission to our neighbors – to the world.

The Gospel Commission, often called the Great Commission, is clearly set forth by Jesus – after His resurrection. “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ ” (Matthew 28:16-20) Jesus had set a perfect example for them, for us, as visual instruction on how to carry out the Gospel Commission. Through His victorious sacrifice and resurrection Jesus cemented the ministry pattern for all to follow.

Once Jesus had met the peoples’ physical, emotional, and mental needs, their minds were cleared of cluttering concerns, set free to listen and understand His life saving stories and teachings. Because of Jesus pre-teaching choice to heal them, they trusted themselves with His teachings – realized, by the power of His miracles, that it was a natural next step to accepting the Bible truths He taught them. “As we read about the teaching of Jesus in the Bible, it is characterized by authority (Matthew 7:29Mark 1:22Luke 4:32) and wisdom (Matthew 13:54Mark 6:2). Amazed (Matthew 7:28Mark 1:22Luke 4:32) and astonished (Matthew 13:54Matthew 22:33Mark 6:2Mark 11:18) are the words used most to describe the reactions of those who heard Jesus teach.”  https://www.thehopeproject.com Soon and very soon, we will receive His teachings at the feet of Jesus as we live with Him forever.

Many years ago, I was approached by an Elder in my church. He knew that I was a close friend of a newly baptized church member. He asked me to talk to her about a few church doctrines she didn’t seem to understand or follow. He was not happy when I responded that I could not and would not do as he wished. His response was, “But you are her friend, don’t you want her saved.” I quickly answered, “Of course I do, and I am being led by the Holy Spirit in following my part in the Gospel Commission. My responsibility as a loving friend and a Christian is to continually introduce her and others to Jesus. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict them of truth and salvation.” We do not know how a person’s walk with Jesus will begin and end, therefore we can only lead them to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. We can pray and study with them, but leave the convicting to the Holy Spirit.

By His stripes we are healed, set free from sin, and saved for eternity. “But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 ) What a worthy Messiah to follow, what a wonderful example of ministry that has been set before us. As we pray and grow in our relationship with Jesus, we can’t help but proclaim to the world – to all that will hear – Jesus is our salvation. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” We have a commission to fulfill, but we are not alone, we have not been abandoned. Jesus abides in us each step of our journey, He carries us when we are weary, He lives out His ministry pattern through us, He pleads before His Father for our salvation. What is more valuable, more precious than that?

Until we meet again, may God, Who began a good work in you, carry it to completion. (Philippians 1:6)

9/2/20 – The King of Salvation

Welcome back. I am so glad to be able to share what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me through the study of God’s Word, the Bible. My blog topic for today has brought me to tears many times and I am not one to cry easily. But the message is profoundly overwhelming in its scope and perfection. I want to share just what Jesus’ sacrifice upon the Cross of Calvary means to me and what it cost Him. Please share this blog with others if it impacts you in the same way.

Let us come together in prayer before we begin. Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your perfect plan to set us free from the wages of sin, for Your Son’s sacrifice, and Your saving grace. We come before You, seeking forgiveness for our sins and asking for the guidance of Your Spirit as we ponder just what salvation cost You and what it brings to our lives. We claim Your promise in John 3:16-17. Thank you for Your life giving gift and hearing our prayer today, in Jesus name we pray, Amen!

The plan of salvation came before creation ( 2 Timothy 1:9) – it was not a last minute fix or an after thought. When the plan of salvation was set forth before creation week, Jesus accepted the call to die in our stead even knowing that He could possible fail and He could be gone forever. But He is a perfect being so He was willing to take the risk in order to save us. Being sinners, there is no way we could save ourselves from the penalty of sin – “for the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) Praise God, Jesus did not fail, but He suffered greatly. Scripture tells us the just how Jesus suffered and why it was necessary. Scripture tells us the purpose of His sacrifice, the significance of His resurrection, and His victory over Satan and sin. The scripture is where we find our truth, our salvation, and eternal life.

In the last paragraph, I made the statement that Jesus agreed to be the Sacrificial Lamb in order to save us from sin, even though He could have failed. You might be thinking, as I once did, how could this happen? Jesus is a perfect Being – sinless. How could he possibly fail? I turned to the scripture because I began to comprehend that His sacrifice was not a walk in the park – but rather a journey fraught with danger and unbearable pain. As I delved into the Gospel scriptures, I figured out how He could possibly fail. Let’s take a look at what Jesus said about His time on Earth.

Jesus said, “I have not come here on My own; God sent Me.” (John 8:42) In John 13:3 scriptures said, “God put all things under His (Jesus) power and that He (Jesus) had come from God.” Many scripture in the Gospels testify that Jesus spent much time in prayer, at times praying through the night, for the will of His Father to be manifested in Him. The greatest testimony I found is in John 8:28. Jesus said. ” When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing on My own but speak just what the Father has taught Me.” You see, in order for the salvation plan to work, Jesus had to come to earth and live as a human. He had to rely on God our Father for everything – every victory over sin, every calm reaction to mean/hateful word or deed, every humble acceptance of pain and heartache. He had to live this way as an example of what is possible for each of us, and go to the cross sinless in order to pay the sin debt – to die in our place so that we can have eternal life with Him. While on this Earth, Jesus suffered every temptation that is know to man and He overcame by the power of God. (Hebrews 4:15) He left the perfection of Heaven and His divinity behind for you, for me, and walked this Valley of the Shadow of Death for 32 years. All for the purpose of giving us an example of a God filled life and to set us free. If He had fallen prey to the smallest of temptations, all would have been lost. Praise God that Jesus was victorious.

In Luke 22:42 Jesus is praying and asking God to take the cup (Cross of Calvary) from Him if God willed it, but He still prayed that God’s will be done. In verse 44 Jesus prays more fervently, and the Bible tells us “His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Jesus was in tremendous anguish over what He had to suffer – on top of what He had already suffered. Jesus did not live a privileged life of ease. He was rejected, misunderstood, reviled, falsely accused, spat upon, and so many other undeserved acts of violence. The Creator and Savior of our world was hated and mistreated by so many of His children, but had to selflessly bear the overwhelming pain it brought Him.

Jesus has had many followers that have suffered hard lives with a willing and obedient spirit, often met violence, and some even faced martyrdom for God. And this will continue to the end of time. But no one has suffered like Jesus. He was falsely accused, tortured, blasphemed, and sentence to a death He did not earn. Jesus went to that awful death with a spirit of acceptance, when He could have called on the angels of Heaven to take Him out of this world. He loves us so much that, in spite of the anguish to His soul, to went willingly for our sake.

It was Love not the nails that kept Jesus on the Cross

While on the cross, the sins of the world bore down heavily on Jesus – sins of lust, greed, self-worship, self-indulgence, hate… the list goes on and on. The weight of sin, from Eve to the end of time, overwhelmingly bore down on our Lord and Savior – crushing His tender, sinless heart with its relentless atrocities. Jesus persevered through this tremendous, crushing burden for our sake, for His great unconditional love for us. Had He not, all would be lost for us and there would be no hope. There has not been and never will be a greater sacrifice, a greater challenge, or a more painful death than what our Savior bore on our behalf – for the wages of sin is death. (the 2nd eternal death) (Romans 6:23)

I say Jesus died the 2nd death or eternal death because that is the death that pays the debt of sin. “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, … they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8) God’s followers may suffer the 1st death which is not eternal, but those that suffer the 2nd death will be gone forever. While on this Earth, Jesus referred to the 1st death as a sleep – not permanent, as told in the story of Lazarus. (John 11:11-14) Those that hear the Holy Spirit but refuse to listen, to repent, and turn their hearts to God will suffer the 2nd death. What is totally amazing is that our Lord and Savior’s sacrifice was so pure and perfect that He was resurrected after suffering the 2nd death. Because of Him, we do not need to face this termination, but can rejoice in Jesus!

I did a little math and…. If a single person sinned once per day, everyday (an extremely conservative amount) and lived to the age of 50, (a moderately average age over time) they would have sinned 1,900,000,000 times in their lifetime. If you count the number of generations since Adam and Eve, there have been approximately 86 generations. If we total up the sins of one person per generation, we end up with 163,400,000,000 sins. Now we know this is literally a drop in the bucket for the number of sins committed. I think the angels in Heaven would throw a party if we could restrict our sinning to once per day. My calculations are for the purpose of providing a visual and not in any way representative of the actual number of sins committed since Eve.

The point I am trying to make is this: if each sin were a pound, the sins from just one person per generation would literally crush to strongest person, a truck, a house. If we look at our world population right now, it is 7,800,000,000. Just this moment in time would put a minimum of 148.200,000,000 sins on Jesus’ sinless soul. He was crushed with such a tremendous amount of sins that He was engulfed in the darkest darkness ever known to humankind. It was so dark that He could no longer feel God and cried out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) Losing the close connection with God His Father was His greater anguish on top of the crushing weight of sin.

Just writing this blog mixes deep sadness with my greatfulness over the plan of salvation. Jesus paid a price beyond our comprehension, a price that momentarily separated Him from God, and I believe He would do it all again just to give us an opportunity to choose forever with Him.

For this gift, Jesus will be forever altered. He will maintain his human form and carry the scars of Calvary forever more. All we will have to do is look at the scars and our hearts will swell with thanksgiving and a fervent decision to never sin again. Let that desire kindle in our hearts and minds now and forever. Amen!

I wish I had the worshipful words to help you completely understand how this topic fills my heart with yearning and keeps me committed to a complete surrender to the saving power of Jesus. Please share your thoughts, bless us with your God given expressions of the gift of salvation. Inspiration comes in many forms and we are so blessed to hear the life saving words of others that experience Jesus’ gifts.

Until next blog, May God fill your heart and mind with true understanding. John 16:13

8/30/20 – From Whence Comes My Salvation?

Hi everyone! My next 3 blogs hold special meaning in my heart and the heart of us that love our Lord and Savior. My topic will be on the ever present gift of salvation, what it means to so many of us, and the impact it is having on our lives. Glad to have you back!

It is impossible to completely describe what the gift of salvation means in each of our lives, but the impact is so spectacular we can’t help but try. The extent and risk of God’s plan is unfathomable to our mere mortal minds. Yet, as we look back on our walk with Jesus, we can see just how miraculously He has led us, how perfectly His plan has been conceived on our behalf. We begin to comprehend, in small measure, the tremendous cost to our Lord and Savior – a cost He would give again, and rejoices daily in its continual outcome.

Let’s pray! Our Everlasting Father, we humble ourselves before You, pleading for the covering blood of Jesus, so that we can come before Your throne this day. We thank You for the sacrifice of You Son for the remission of our sins and the gift of eternal life. Be with us, guide us with Your Spirit, deeply touch our hearts with Your great compassion. We pray Holy Spirit, that you will translate our praise and thanksgiving for salvation and send it to God as a sweet essence that will glorify Him. In Jesus saving name, Amen!

At the very beginning our Earth’s history, Eve was deceived by the great deceiver, Satan. She fell for his life shattering ploy and Adam chose to side with her rather than lose her. Thus sin began its cancerous journey in the lives of God’s creation. Not only did humankind suffer the results of sin, but all living and nonliving gifts of creation have suffered as well. God knew, when He created man in His image, with the power of choice, His creation was open to the ploys and evil plots of Satan. Yet, He knew He had to be true to His character – if He truly was the Living God of love and compassion, He had to give humankind the right to choose whom they would serve. It is because of God’s great love that He took the risk He did. We can understand because we want the same thing in our relationships – a willingness to be together, to love each other, to accept each others differences and preferences. Without choice we would all be the same, like the same things, say the same things, and think the same, etc. Boring!

Before God even created our world, He had a plan in place to save us if His creation decided to choose sin. “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight, In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will” Ephesians 1:4-5 God is a preventative God and prepared ahead of time to set forth a plan to save us from our wrong choices. The plan of salvation wasn’t an afterthought or a quick fix, but rather a safeguard – a preventive measure. God leaves no stone unturned and thus the birth of God’s plan of salvation.

After the fall of Adam and Eve, God shared His plan of salvation with them. Saying to the serpent, God stated: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he (Jesus) will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.” Genesis 3:15 Adam and Eve’s greatest hope was that they would be gifted with the birth of our Lord and Savior. But it was many generations and centuries later that the most significant event in history took place.

Down through the ages, God presented his plan of salvation to His believers. In Genesis 22, God tells the story of Abraham taking his son Isaac to be sacrificed. As Abraham follows God’s commands and prepares to sacrifice his only son, God provides a sacrifice in Isaac’s stead. Here, God is sharing the plan of salvation with Abraham and his descendants. In Exodus 3:7-12, God reveals His saving plan to Moses and the Israel, in their journey to the promise land. in 2 Samuel 7:4-17, David is told of the great plan God has predestined for His people. These are just a few of the many followers that God has directly and deliberately shared His glorious plan to save us from our sinful natures.

After His birth, youth, and baptism, Jesus revealed the purpose and promise of His sacrifice to His disciples and followers – to the many groups that sought Him out daily. Jesus’ disciples continued spreading the good news of salvation after Jesus was resurrection and ascended to Heaven. AND that same good news is still the core of our ministry today. Pre-planned prior to creation, the plan of salvation has been a constant theme throughout the Bible and history.

What a blessing our God is in our lives. What hope and promise He gives us throughout the Scriptures. You see, God loves us unconditionally, in spite of our sinful natures, and determines to save us through sacrificing His Son. A perfect being was needed to save the imperfect creation and God was willing that we not be lost. Because of this great sacrifice, “As for me and my house, we will serve” this Awesome God of unconditional love and great plans! Joshua 24:15

Prayerfully research this topic so that the Holy Spirit can enrich your walk with Jesus. As you are compelled by the Spirit, share the great news with others – share the Gospel so that none may remain in darkness that desire a better way.

Next blog, I will be discussing the circumstances and consequences of Jesus’ sacrifice. Thanks for following my blogs. If you have not subscribed, please prayerfully consider subscribing and sharing with those you wish to introduce to Jesus.

Until then, May God, through His Holy Spirit convict your hearts of Biblical Truth. Titus 1:9

kingdomnomics.com

8/27/20 Let Us Sit Down and Reason Together! Isaiah 1:18

I am glad to be able to communicate with all of you again. As I have mentioned before, blogging about a saving relationship with Jesus and taking a critical look at our current world condition has been a game changer for me and brought me much closer to our Lord. I hope and pray that reading my blogs has done the same for you. Please share my blog site with others if it has been beneficial for you. Unity-4-God.com Thanks! Also, I would love to hear from you so please consider leaving a comment.

After we pray together, I would like to discuss Luke 23:43 concerning one of the most misunderstood scriptures in the Bible. First, let’s pray: Almighty Heavenly Father we come before You in prayer, asking that You forgive us of our sins and set us upon the path of righteousness. We ask that You send Your Holy Spirit to guild us into the truth of the scriptures I am about to discuss, so that I represent Your will and not that of my own. Thank You for receiving our prayer and granting us the privilege of Your intercession. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

Luke 23:38-43 speaks about Jesus as He hung upon the Cross of Calvary and the conversation He had with two criminals crucified with Him – one on each side. One of them “hurled insults at Him: ‘Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us.” (verse 39) The criminal on His other side “rebuked him, (the other criminal) ‘Don’t you fear God, he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence?” (verse 40) This same criminal goes on to say, “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man (Jesus) has done nothing wrong.” (verse 41)

Both criminals were given heavenly insight to know that they were being crucified next to the Messiah, the Son of God. But this reality hardened the heart of the one rebuking Jesus, while softening the heart of the other. The next texts convey the conversation between Jesus and the softened criminal. And these texts are the ones I believe have been misrepresented in the many translations of the Bible. Let’s look at them. Luke 23:42-43 reads, “Then he said, Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in paradise.” In the last days of this criminals life he was saved by Jesus – what astounding joy!

At this point, you may be asking yourself what I find wrong with these texts. Let’s reason this out using the Bible and historical documentation.

First, let’s take a look at the historical documentation. Ancient Greek and Hebrew writers did not use punctuation. “The ancient Greeks did not have any equivalent to our modern device of punctuation. Sentence punctuation was invented several centuries after the time of Christ.” (www.greeklanguage.blog) “The oldest copies of both the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew Old Testament are written with no punctuation. In addition, the ancient Greeks used no spaces between words or paragraphs.” (www.quora.com) Many scholars believe this was done because paper/parchment was scarce. ” The punctuation of English versions of the Bible is dependent in part on the punctuation indicated by the Hebrew accent system and on the punctuation of the Greek text. However punctuation in English is different and more extensive than punctuation in either Hebrew or Greek. Thus, the punctuation of English versions is determined by the translators and editors of the particular version. (theaquilareport.com) Since ancient Greek and Hebrew had no punctuation or used a system of accent marks unfamiliar to us, translators were often required to make the best educated guess they could, which was open to the general bias and beliefs of their day.

So, where does that leave us? In placing the punctuation, we would probably be just as hard pressed as the translators of old. Where does the punctuation belong and how important is it? In many Bible passages, it doesn’t really change the message, but there are a few where it makes a very critical difference. I believe one of those critical differences is found in Luke 23:43, when Jesus tells the criminal that he would be with Him in paradise.

Now, let’s look to the Bible for answers. The way the text in Luke 23:43 reads, Jesus is saying: “Surely I tell you, (pause) today (this very day) you will be with Me in paradise.” In order for this translation to be correct, the Bible as a whole must support it. However, the Bible doesn’t – just within the 4 Gospels – God clearly speaks against this interpretation. How? The completion of the Calvary message gives us our answer. Luke 23:46 reads, “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit. When He had said this, He breathed his last.” In Luke 23:50 we read, “Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the council, a good and upright man…. (skipping to verse 52) Going to Pilate, he ask for Jesus’ body.” Joseph took Jesus’ body and placed Him in a tomb never before used. (verse 53) Verse 54 tells us that it was preparation day (Friday) and the Sabbath was about to start. “Resting on the Sabbath in obedience to the Commandment”, (Luke 23:56) none of Jesus’ followers went to the tomb until Sunday morning and found the tomb empty. (Luke 24:1) At the tomb, the followers of Jesus were reminded that, “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and the third day be raised again.” (Luke 24:7)

Jesus was in the tomb from late Friday until Sunday morning. If Jesus was in the tomb and didn’t rise until Sunday morning, He couldn’t possibly be in paradise with the criminal. Therefore, we must conclude that the punctuation is in the wrong place. There is no other possibility because we know Jesus does not lie. Let’s take a look at placing the comma in a different place and see if this matches what God tells us in His Word. “Surely I tell you today, (pause) you will be with Me in paradise.” This interpretation allows for Jesus’ time in the tomb and it doesn’t set any specific time as to when the repentant criminal would be with Jesus.

Using the comma after the word “today” speaks according to the Word of God. Isaiah 8:28 reads, “To the law and to the testimony; (the Bible) if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” All understanding must be tested according to the Word of God. God’s truth runs throughout the Bible in golden threads of light. By the power of the Spirit, prayer, and studying, the Bible will support itself – bear witness to itself.

By changing the position of the comma, we are able to clear away any confusion related to the popular interpretations of today. I believe I have been led by the Holy Spirit with regards to Luke 23:43, and believe this is another false truth we have been led to believe from generation to generation. God speaks to us using repetition, prophecy, Biblical history, and parables. We place ourselves on dangerous ground when we do not study scripture in context with surrounding scripture and the Bible as a whole unit. In Matthew 24, we are told not to be caught unaware so that we are not deceived by Satan’s lies and false truths. I pray the Holy Spirit will guild your understanding and your personal research.

Until next time, May God lead you by the light of His law and testimony. Isaiah 8:28

GotQuestions.org

8/24/20 – No One Knows But God review & update

Welcome back! We are just about done with blogs concerning Jesus’ words in the book of Matthew. Today, we will review and wrap it up. There are several updates to report concerning the topics we have already covered. I haven’t quite decided where we will go next, but if you have a specific topic you would like to cover please put your suggestions in the comment box below. I love research so I would be glad to help you search the Bible for God’s answers to your topic.

As before, I would like to pray together and ask God to bless our discussion, the Holy Spirit to direct our understanding, and that our discussion will bring us closer to Jesus. Let’s pray, Father in Heaven we praise Your perfect, forever presence in our lives and Your saving grace. Thank You for leading us in the past, the gift of Jesus to save us from our sins and accept our sincere repentance of wrong doing. We come to You, asking that You bless this discussion today and complete our understanding through the influence of Your Holy Spirit. We ask that the interpretation of the Holy Spirit will bring us into a deeper relationship with You. Bless us with Your care and keeping and we thank You for hearing and answering this prayer, in Jesus holy name we pray, Amen.

At the time of researching and writing this blog, a significant number of world events have taken place, in the areas of explosions, fires, and natural disasters. The events were major enough to make world news. Below, I will list many events that have happened between the end of June, 2020 and August 10, 2020.

  1. 6/25 Three Gorges Dam, China – with record breaking rains in almost 70 years. the dam is showing stress due to the rain. Flooding has already taken many lives and homes. There is great concern that the dam will break. Pray for the hundreds in danger of this happening.
  2. 7/8 Iran, near the capital building – Explosion
  3. 7/12 USA – Naval ship fire
  4. 7/15 Iran – ship fire
  5. 7/27 Melbourne, Aus. – car wreckage factory fire
  6. 7/28 San Francisco, USA – 6 building fire
  7. 8/3 Hyesan, N Korea – gas company explosion
  8. 8/3 Schenectady, NY, USA – test lab explosion
  9. 8/4 Tehran, Iran – warehouse fire
  10. 8/4 St Paul, MN, USA – Mariot (new construction) fire
  11. 8/4 Beruit – port explosion
  12. 8/4 China – lightening storm causing 2 fires, 2 typhoons
  13. 8/6 Brussels – World Trade Center fire
  14. 8/6 UAE – Amjan Market fire
  15. 8/7 Saudi Arabia – train station fire
  16. 8/7 Congo – UNICEF warehouse fire
  17. 8/8 Indonesia – volcanic eruption
  18. 8/8 New Haven, Eng. – industrial building fire
  19. 8/9 India – temporary COVID hospital fire
  20. 8/9 North Carolina, USA – earthquake 5.1
  21. 8/10 California, USA – earthquake 4.6
  22. 8/10 Birmingham, UK – plastics factory fire
  23. 8/10 England – row of shops on fire
  24. 8/10 Russia – petroleum station explosion
  25. 8/10 Melbourne, Aus, – lockdown, curfew, after curfew fire and explosions
  26. 8/10 New York, NY, USA – JFK airport fire
  27. Seasonal Atlantic Ocean – above normal hurricane season for 2020
  28. Earthquakes world wide – holding to the average 20,000 per year, 55 per day.

Other major events in the last several months:

  1. Australia – bush fire of 2019-2020 – one of its biggest natural disasters
  2. Jakarta, India – natural disaster of 2020, massive 5 ft flood waters, damaging rains
  3. Wuhan to whole world – 2020 COVID 19 pandemic
  4. Luzon, Philippines – Taal Volcano eruption beginning on January 12, 2020
  5. 45 earthquakes with magnitude of 6 or higher in 2020- Turkey, Caribbean, China, Iran, Russia, Philippines, India were the hardest hit
  6. So Africa, India, Asia – record numbers of desert locust, swarms are migratory and expected to cause extensive damage to crops, voracious eaters, worst pest attack in 26 years, 2020
  7. India, Bangladesh – cyclone amphon, extremely severe cyclonic storms. May, 2020
  8. Uttarakhand, India – 46 wildfire incidents calling 2020 a cruel year
  9. Assam, India – massive flooding affecting 5 or the 33 districts, July 2020
  10. Antarctica – snow turns green, microscopic algae due to global warming, May 2020
  11. Michigan, USA –  failure of the Edenville Dam and the Sanford Dam has brought record-setting flooding, May 2020
  12. A quote from weforum.org – “More than 160 million people a year are threatened by floods, hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters. And the situation will likely get worse. Already, natural disasters occur four times as often as they did in 1970. According to estimates, such events could grow in frequency and ferocity with the effects of climate change.”

None of these events and the events spoken of in Matthew 24 are remarkable in and of themselves. They have been happening since early world history. What Jesus was telling us, in Matthew 24, was that they would happen more often and in many places around the world. So, after comparing Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24, to our current history, what we want to focus on is the number of events during a given amount of time. “All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Matthew 24:8 Just as with the birthing process, the events Jesus speaks of will come randomly and occasionally. But, as time goes on the events will happen more regularly , more often and become more intense.

Another increase I have notice, since publishing the former blogs, is that rioting and peaceful demonstrations have increased around the world. Another significant sign is the increased violence and deaths in major cities around the world. Matthew 24:12 The rioting has gone on much longer than most of us would have expected. At this point, it looks as though it may continue up to and past the elections in November.

Two of the major areas of contention and division in America, – besides racism and bigotry – are the breakdown of the family unit and the freedom of worship. Both of these are institutions created by God and are gradually becoming part of the past, along with many of our country’s founding values. In Matthew and the other Gospels, (Mark, Luke, and John) Jesus prophesied about the cultural climate of our day. He did this so that we would not be caught unaware and unprepared. As I have endeavored to share, Jesus gave many characteristics of the last days just prior to His 2nd Coming.

However, Jesus did not give us an exact time He would return. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus told us: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” As we watch Jesus’ last day events unfold, we will know that the 2nd Coming is soon – even at the door.

God bless you and yours as you prepare to meet your Lord and Savior.

christianbook.com

8/21/20 – Got it Jesus, But What Else?

Hi! Glad to be back with you all again. Please consider leaving a comment or two. If you have specific topics your would like to study, enter your requests in the comment box below and we can research in the Bible to find God’s answers.

Today, I would like to talk about Matthew 24:15-22. In these verses, Jesus talks about a major event that will take place right before His coming. Before we get started, let’s pray: Heavenly Father, we praise Your holy name and bow before You giving You our allegiance. We have evidence of Your past leading and know that You will continue to guide our walk with You. We come to you now, asking that Your Spirit guides us in Your truth concerning our topic of the day. Grant us the promise of growing in You and soon being with You in Your kingdom. We thank You for hearing and answering our prayer, in Jesus precious name, Amen.

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand – then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” (Matthew 24:15, 16) It’s important we understand that Jesus is talking to His disciples and our end time generations. (Matthew 24:34) He is talking directly to His disciples and us because He says, “let the reader understand” and “this generations will certainly not pass away until all things have happened.” (Matthew 24:15 and 24:34) God’s Word is very repetitive across both the old and new testaments. His wants to leave no doubt of His purpose and plans for those who believe and call upon His name. (Psalms 99:6) But, what does Jesus mean when He talks of the “abomination” and what “holy place” is He talking about?

Jesus is telling us about something or someone very significant that will attempt to destroy something God has put into place involving His people. In order to be that significant, it must have something to do with guidelines or direction God has given us so that we can know Him and have eternal life – something that sets us apart from the sinful, corrupt world led by Satan. In Daniel 11:31, (Jesus referred to Daniel in Matthew 24:15,16) Daniel prophesied that the temple would be desecrated and the abomination that causes desolation would be set up. He is clearly telling us that minions of Satan will set something up that is contrary to God’s will – informing us that the abomination is a thing and not a person.

Daniel 11:32 goes on to say the he (Satan and his evil minions) will further “corrupt those who have broken the covenant.” What covenant is Jesus talking about? On Mount Sinai, Moses received the tablets of stone upon which God had written His Ten Commandments. (Exodus 34:28) These were significant beginnings for God’s chosen people – at that time and for His chosen in the end of times.

I want to give special notice to Exodus 34:29 which says: “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.” The word covenant is used interchangeably with the word commandment. So when Daniel was speaking about those who had broken the covenant, he was speaking about the 10 Commandments. In Exodus 34:28 Daniel says, “and He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant – the Ten Commandments.” Both words are used in relation to Moses receiving the covenant or Ten Commandments of God. Therefore we can conclude that Jesus is speaking of the Ten Commandments when He quotes from Daniel 11:32.

So, let’s summarize. We have established that the abomination is a things and the covenant referred to the Ten Commandment of God. This means, that at the very end, Satan and his followers will desecrate the Ten Commandments with something, in an attempt to destroy a part of God’s covenant law. At this point we need to take a critical look at the Ten Commandments and call upon the Holy Spirit to direct us to what would be considered the holy place. The first 4 commandments speak to our relationship with God and the last 6 speak to our relationship with humankind. It seems logical that the holy place would be found in the first 4.

Daniel says, “He will speak against the Most High and oppress His holy people and try to change the set times and the laws.” (Daniel 7:25) Well, let’s see which of the Ten Commandments or covenant laws talks about set times. The 4th commandment tells us “Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8) According to God, the 7th Day Sabbath is a set time and is a holy day consecrated to His creation week. God made the earth and all things in it and called it good. “In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth… but He rested on the 7th day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:11) The Sabbath was instituted at the end of the creation week – long before Abraham’s descendants became a chosen nation, thus the reason why the 4th commandments starts with the word remember. It was not a new period of time set aside just for the Jews, but was established in God’s covenant law for all of us. (I will go more in-depth with this topic at a later date) I know it might be tough to swallow because of what most of us have been taught, but I am convinced we should be looking for an event that tries to change one of God’s Ten Commandments. A change that will be forced on everyone in the world.

To wrap it up, Jesus tells us the end is at the door when we see the abomination in the holy place. (Matthew 24:33) At that time, He tells us to flee to the mountains. In others words, the end has come and there is no more work for us to do. We must leave everything behind and flee to a safe place where Jesus will protect us from everything evil people can devise to find us. In Matthew 24:22 Jesus tells us, “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” After a shortened time, Jesus will appear in the clouds of glory and every eye shall see Him.” (Matthew 24:30) My prayer is that we are all ready to be received and lifted up in the clouds to meet Jesus, Amen!

Until next time, may our God of the covenant law place His truth upon our hearts. 2 Corinthians 3:3

goopher.com

8/18/20 – Hey Noah, Is History Repeating Itself?

Hi everyone! I am glad to have you back and I pray that this blog will pull all the blogs together and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be convinced that we are in the final days of this Earth’s history. I am convinced that Jesus’ return is just around the corner. Today, I want to talk about Matthew 24:37-48. In verse 37, Jesus says, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Are we living through an experience equal to that of humankind just before the flood water came?

Before we get started I would like to pray with all of you again. It is vitally important to invite the Holy Spirit to interpret the Bible for us. Let’s pray – Father, we come before You, asking forgiveness for our sins. We ask that You clear our minds of all the chaos around us and help us focus on what You need us to know. We ask for the abiding presence of Jesus in our lives and invite the indwelling of the Holy Spirit so that we have Your truth concerning the topic I am about to cover. Thank you for hearing our prayer and giving us what we need at this time so that we can honor You. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

So far, we have talked about wars, famines, earthquakes, lawlessness, rioting in America’s streets, worldwide rioting, our witness, and the way in which Jesus will return. The historical records definitely demonstrate significant increase, in all of these area, over the last 100 or so years. If you go back and review what has already been posted, you might notice a pattern – Much of the last day disasters seemed to drop off from around 1980 – 2013. Records show that the more dramatic increase began again around 2014, with 2020 increasing off the charts. But is this what Jesus is speaking about in Matthew 24:37-42?

I believe all these things were happening back in Noah’s time but I think Jesus is saying something very specific – something we need to understand. Before I get to that, I want to cover the obvious correlation between Noah’s time and ours. I would like to share a few points by Ted NC Wilson in his article “Welcome to the ‘Days of Noah.’ “

  1. Social and cultural norms disappearing fast
  2. Immoral sexuality widely accepted
  3. Economic and political instability
  4. Christians surrounded by popular contempt and ridicule
  5. Violent self-centeredness
  6. Majority of people’s thoughts were evil continually
  7. Scoffers tried to discourage Noah, disbelieving his message – know any scoffers?
  8. Majority of people wander after the beast of Revelation 13

These were the major “politically acceptable” activities of the people during Noah’s time. Sound familiar, can you see why Jesus said what he said, “as it was in the days of Noah…”? Notice that Jesus didn’t review last days events this time. Instead, He focuses on what the people were doing, how they were responding to Noah’s preaching for 110 years. Why?

In Matthew 24:38 Jesus says. “For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark.” Then, in Matthew 24:39 He says, “and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.” They heard Noah, they just didn’t listen and lost out on Jesus saving grace. 1 Corinthians 2:14 reads. “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” Jesus goes on to say that the same will happen in our day. Many people read our Christ centered tweets and post, they hear us witnessing, but they don’t listen, they don’t call on Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help them discern the truth.

I want to jump back up to the Matthew 24:39 because there are a couple important bits of information in the last part of this text. First, we know that the people did not listen to Noah’s message. Second, Jesus wants us to see the correlation between the two events. So this leads to a couple important questions.

  1. The flood took them away – where/how? Only Noah’s family of 8 went into the ark with the animals.
  2. Matthew 24:40 Jesus tells us it will be the same at His 2nd Coming. “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.” Left where/how?

My prayerful search to find the answers to these questions led me to a different understanding and purpose for Jesus words. Ask yourself, what did happen to the people that didn’t enter the ark? I think we can all conclude that they all drowned. The flood came and they were all sweep away to their deaths. So if Jesus is comparing Noah’s time with our, should we be looking at Matthew 24:40 with the same understanding? Two men – one is taken the other left, two women – one is taken the other left will also play out at the time of the 2nd Coming. Like Noah’s family of 8, Jesus’ people will be the only ones taken up into the clouds of glory to meet Jesus. So, if we apply the same understanding of Noah’s time to our time, it stand to reason they are left in our time in the same fashion they were left in Noah’s time. They all died, and yes they were left in the field, at the mill, in their home, etc. Traditionally, we have accepted that they go on living. But that doesn’t fit into the message Jesus has given us in these few texts.

This is contrary to what we have been told for so many years. The false truth has been put in play to deceive us into thinking that we all have a second chance if we blow it and Jesus first “2nd Coming” leaves us behind. God’s word does not support this idea. God is talking in literal terms when He tells us about Jesus’ two comings. The Bible Gospels describe His first coming and Revelation describes His second coming. There are only two comings talked about in the Bible. If there was a secret coming when only select saints are taken, God would have told us. This may be hard for some to accept after years of thinking differently, so I ask that you earnestly pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into all understanding concerning this message. We should always do our own research and trust what God shares with us.

Until my next blog, may God lead us into all truth and may the Holy Spirit guide our understanding. John 16:13

biologos.org

8/15/20 – Yes God, Send Me!

It’s great to be back with you again. I praise God for this blog because it has helped me draw closer to Him and has me super excited about sharing His gospel with my neighbors. If you are joining us for the first time or been here before, I want to welcome you, neighbors. If you are enjoying, learning, renewing, or curious about the topics I have been discussing – with special emphasis on an abiding relationship to Jesus – then please share my blog site with others. And, please leave comments, I would love to hear what you have to say. You probably have insights the rest of us haven’t thought of before.

Let’s start with prayer. Jesus tells us that when two or three are gathered in His name He is with us (Matthew 18:20) and we definitely what to invite Him. Through the power of His Spirit, we are lead into all truth. (John 16:13) Father, we come before Your throne, to ask that you be with us as we look at the topic of being a witness for your. Please teach us what this means and how we are to witness to our neighbors. We continue to ask for Your comfort and peace as we still have civil unrest and COVID 19. Thank You for hearing our prayer and Your continual watch care over us, in Jesus glorious name, Amen.

My sister and I share an apartment and are both disabled. We are both retired and have limited mobility so we aren’t able to go as much as we used to. The idea of fulfilling our gospel commission to spread the gospel to the four corners of the earth, for us, was a daunting prospect. (Matthew 24:14) In this text, Jesus tells His disciples that the gospel would go out to the whole world by His witnesses and then the end would come with Jesus in the clouds of glory. So… we had some praying to do. We needed a miracle healing or we needed God to provide us with a mission that would not take us out of our home. Through prayer and worship, God gave us our answer. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are reading, studying and practicing what it means to be prayer warriors and I have created this blog. We also witness to family and people we come into contact with in stores, etc. Kindness goes a long way and opens many doors for Jesus to make a difference in a persons life.

Some of you may have full time jobs, small children, a plethora of legitimate reasons you can’t travel all over to fulfill God’s commission. Pray, as we did, and God will show you the way. I’m sure, if we brainstormed, we could come up with many avenues of witness. What amazes me is that God will come up with the perfect method of witnessing that fits into your lifestyle, talents, and interests. The key is not to limit God – if He is gently pushing you in a direction you don’t think you are capable of going, trust Him because He promises He will open the way, (Ephesians 3:20) and never gives you anything He isn’t able accomplish through you. He is there every step of the way. He just asks that you believe in Him and be a willing vessel in which He can work.

You might be asking yourself – why is this so important? All of us have asked similar questions and there are a few reasons. Let me list them:

  1. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus specifically tells us it is our duty.
  2. We witness so that the whole world, all people have a chance to follow Jesus
  3. As we grow more like Jesus, witnessing just naturally happens.
  4. Witnessing is critical key to our salvation.
  5. Our love and compassion for our neighbor will compel us to witness.
  6. Witnessing greatly enriches our walk with Jesus.

Let’s take a deeper look at each one the these points and see what scripture has to say. When looking at Matthew 24:14, we discover that Jesus told His disciples “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world, as a testimony to all nations, and then the end shall come.” First, I want to clarify that Jesus is the gospel testimony spoken of in this scripture. So He told his disciples what would happen, but who was supposed to do this work. Let’s look at Matthew 28:19-20. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” In these texts Jesus is telling all of his follower, his disciples that this is their job. It also clarifies that this command is to be carried out until the end. So that includes those of us that are following Jesus today.

Second, witnessing to the whole world is a very important aspect of the gospel commission. As I have share before, Jesus died the death we deserve so that we could have eternal life. John 3;16-17 tells us that God loved all of us so much that He gave His Son to die in our stead so that all should not parish. Wait a minute! Yep, I am saying that Jesus died for each and every person that has been born since the morning of the 6th day of creation. This was the ultimate, all inclusive gift from God. Through Jesus sacrifice, we are all predestined to be saved. However, God gave us the power of choice, which means we can accept Jesus sacrifice or we can reject it. I pray we accept it and that’s why I want to have a part in spreading the gospel to the whole world.

Thirdly, as we grow closer and surrender to the will of God more completely, we become more like Jesus. (Ephesians 4:22-24) 1 John 3:2 tells us that at Jesus 2nd Coming, we will be like Him. We will have the fruits of the Spirit spoken of in Galatians 5:22-23. Day by day, as we study the scriptures and learn at the feet of Jesus, as we are guided by the Holy Spirit, we will let go of self and surrender to Jesus so that He may do His good work in us. We will want to serve God with gladness. (Psalms 100:2) We will be joyfully compel to share with others, the good news of Jesus’ power to save.

This is not my favorite topic to share, but I feel it must be said. If we are made into the likeness of Jesus as we grow closer to Him, then we need to being willing to share the whole truth for the sake of salvation. Matthew 24:45-51 is just such scripture. This is one of many parables that Jesus shared during His 3 1/2 year ministry. In the parable, Jesus talks about a master (Himself) that is going away for a while and leaves a servant (us) in charge of the day to day feeding of His servants (lost sheep.) (verse 46) He councils His servant to be doing his job when the Master returns and goes away for an indefinite amount of time. (verse 47-48) Instead, the servant, being wicked, begins beating the others and runs around with drunkards. (verses 49-50) His servant does not know the exact date He will return. When the Master returns and see what his servant has been doing, He condemns him to eternal death. (verse 51) You see, unlike many believe, there are only 2 choices – we are either for God or we are against Him. “Choose you this day whom you will serve.” (Joshua 24:15)

When upon the Earth, Jesus spent all of His time praying, preaching, healing, and teaching – in other words, He was about His Father’s business. He was compelled to reach as many people as He could. When asked what the commandments were, Jesus summed the 10 Commandments into just 2 – “‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” ( Matthew 22:34-40) You see, when looking at the first 4 commandments given to Moses, they tell about our relationship with God the Creator. The last 6 commandments tell us how to love and care for our neighbors. As our abiding relationship with Jesus grows, our desire to care for our neighbors will align with His desire – and that is to save His lost sheep.

One of the greatest things, about being a teacher, is the natural high one gets when leading another to something awesome, a great discovery, a once in a lifetime realization. Master teachers teach for these moments of epiphany – when the light goes on and the eyes light up with understanding. I get goosebumps just thinking about past experiences. When witnessing, to others, it’s so fulfilling as their countenance brightens when the love of Jesus blossoms in their heart. At moments like these, we find ourselves rushing back to “the Source” to discover more to share. We want our relationship with Jesus to grow so that we have more to share. It is a cyclic experience – the more we grow in Jesus the more we want to share with others, the more we share with others the more we want to grow in Jesus. A win win situation, Amen!

Witnessing means we put ourselves in Jesus keeping, He leads us by His Spirit to those that are hungering for a better way, and He gives us the words to say that have meaning in the life of that person. Jesus doesn’t need us to witness, He calls us to be involved so that we can experience life to its fullest. Jesus does it all! We just surrender our body (the vessel) to be used by Him. What an honor He has bestowed on us. What great love He has given us. Jesus stands at the door and knocks. Let’s invite Him in daily and experience the change of a lifetime. (Revelation 3:20):-

Until next time, may Jesus call you according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28-30)

8/12/20 – Jesus! Where? Not There

Hi and welcome back for my 11th blog. NOTE – I received a question on the last blog – Lawlessness… you can go back and read the question and my response if you would like. My response to the question on the last blog will help to explain the difference between the first and second deaths.

I am glad you are here because I believe this is one of the most important Biblical truths of our time – end of time events. Jesus made a solemn promise before His death and resurrection. Jesus promised his followers that He would come again and take them to be with Him. (John 14:3) Most of us know and look forward to the Second Coming. But what details does the Bible give us concerning the method of His coming? This is what I want to focus on today.

Again, before we start, I would like us to join in prayer, praising God and asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds concerning the Scripture and give us a visual understanding of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I pray that God will fill us with a yearning to be ready when Jesus comes and that we would hunger and thirst after righteousness. (Matthew 5:6) In Jesus name we thank You for hearing our prayer, Amen!

Let’s back up a bit to the very beginning. I want us to have a broad picture of Jesus’ involvement with humankind. (John 1:1-5) tells us that “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” This verse clarifies Jesus’ divinity and His power to enact great change. Jesus was with God and was God of the creation week which took place approximately 6000 years ago. He created humankind, on the 6th day, and made them in His image. And He said it was good. (Genesis 1:26-31)

Then approximately 4,000 years later, Jesus came to the Earth as a babe. He came to save us and give us the hope of eternal life. (John 3:17) After 3 1/2 years of ministry, Jesus was crucified upon a cross on Friday, which is the preparation day. (Luke 23:33-43 and John 19:31) Joseph of Arimathea, asked Pilate for Jesus’ body and placed His body in a tomb. Jesus rested over the Sabbath day and rose on the 3rd day as prophecy foretold. (Luke 9:32) Jesus + resurrection = Victory! But what does His victory give us.

Well, you see, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection – which He did not deserve – we are given the gift of eternal life – which we do not deserve. The war of good vs evil, God vs Satan, was won on the Cross of Calvary. Jesus paid the penalty for sin by dying the second death (Romans 6:23) and Satan, as the scapegoat, will pay the debt for the sins of all God’s children who are ready to go with Jesus at the time of the 2nd Coming. Jesus secured eternal victory for all who will believe and follow Him and Satan is going about like a “roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy” (1 Peter 5:8) before his final and eternal destruction – the second death, eternal death.

I have taken us on a journey so that we can understand how important the 2nd Coming is to God and why it is critical for us to understand in exact detail. We need to understand the events and circumstances surrounding the 2nd Coming of Jesus. Satan is seeking to destroy us with lies, partial truths, false goodness, deceptive false hope – to deceive, if possible, even the elect (us/believers). (Matthew 24:24) He knows the scriptures and is twisting them in such a way that his lies sound reasonable and he has used this ploy for centuries. The false truths have been around so long that most of us just accept them as truth because, in our minds, that’s how these false truths have always been presented to us – as truth. But, many times in Matthew 24, Jesus warns us not to be deceived. Are we being deceive about the real truth concerning the 2nd Coming, and if so, how can it impact our salvation?

I believe Satan’s false truth has the potential to prevent us from receiving the gift of eternal life. Remember, he is the father of lies, he is very good at it or he wouldn’t be able to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24 and verses 5, 11, 23, 24, 26 all speak to the appearance of false messiahs and false prophets in the last days. Jesus councils us not to be deceived, not to go out to find these false messiahs, not to believe the lies. These same warnings can be found in Mark, Luke, John and many other books of the Bible. So if Jesus can’t be found in the wilderness or the inner room, where can He be found? What does scripture say?

In Matthew 24:27, Jesus tells us we don’t need to run anywhere to see His coming. “For as lightening that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man.” Wow that will be an awe inspiring sight for those of us that long to see Him.

In 1st Thessalonians 4:16-18, we are told that Jesus will come in the clouds of glory and the dead in Christ will rise up to meet him first and then the living in Christ will join them in the clouds. Did you catch that? We are taken up in the air to meet Him, Jesus does not come down. Jesus’ feet never touch the Earth at His 2nd Coming. We, the saved, are caught up together to join Him. Quite different from the false truths Jesus warns us not to believe. All His glorious pomp and circumstance happens in the air, not on the ground. Please prayerfully consider what God is telling us through His word. He is giving us the opportunity to have no doubt concerning the way in which His 2nd Coming will happen.

This is a very important last day truth so, as the Holy Spirit convicts you, please share with your loved ones. It is crucial to know how Jesus will return so we will not be drawn into false worship.

Please ask questions if I didn’t make something clear. If what you read prompts more thoughts and questions, please share.

Until we meet again, may our Victorious Lord give you the discernment of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

biblHe icalproof.wordpress.com

8/9/20 -Lawlessness -No Longer a Crime?

Hi and welcome back. I have a few more glitches to work out but I think I now have a pretty good understanding of how to run a website and blog. The learning curve is much more manageable. I am taking the “like” option off my site because WordPress does not have the option to like without giving an email address and I’m not comfortable with making email a requirement. So, while I continue to learn the ropes, feel free to subscribe, share, leave comments, questions, prayer requests, and answered prayer stories. I would love to hear from you even if you choose not to subscribe.

I invite all of you to join me in continual prayer – giving God praise, for our personal walk with Christ, the pandemic, the violent uprising in the USA/world, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is coming soon and God is still in control, Amen!

Through continual fervent prayer, I believe we are able to keep our focus on what really counts – sharing the gospel and being ready for Jesus when He does come in the clouds of glory. (Luke 21:27) In Matthew 24:14, we are told “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. You see, amidst all this confusion, crime and corruption, we have a higher calling to share the saving grace of Jesus Christ with the many lost sheep of which Jesus puts in our path. There are many in the world looking for something better, for hope, and peace. Jesus is all these things in our life and so much more.

Which leads me into my topic for today’s blog – rampant lawlessness. I love the Lord and my greatest joy is in Him and because of Him, but it is very hard to not be drawn into current events and their impact on my own life, freedom, and Christian pursuits. It take considerable prayer and Bible study to trust in God and not give into fear or anger – not to lash out at other. But that is not God’s way. In Matthew 24:10, Jesus tells His disciples that “many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.” He goes on to describe, in verse 12, “Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” I would say this pretty much describes our current condition.

God’s word tells us that all have sinned (Romans 3:23) and that sin is the transgression of the Law – God’s 10 Commandments. (1 John 3:4) Each and everyone of us are sinners, so how is today’s lawlessness different from what usually goes on. Let’s see what the current historical records show us:

  • Pastor Bradshaw, It is Written shares the following USA statistics:
  • NOTE: prior to current rioting.
    • 2.3 million in jail
    • 1 in every 100 adults is in jail
    • 25% of the jailed Americans are women
    • 1 in every 31 adults, are in jail or on probation
    • average of 17,000 murders per year
  • Bradshaw goes on to say:
    • 87 countries in the world have a higher murder rate than the USA
    • Ecuador is 12 times higher than the USA
  • scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu: NOTE: per million
    • 1880 prison population/1 million was 30,659
    • 1890 prison population/1 million was 45,233
    • 1904 prision population/1 million was 59,306
  • brennancenter.org:
    • violent crime increase of 126% between 1960-1970
    • violent crime increase of 64% between 1970-1980
    • murder and homicide decreased from 232/100,000 in 1990 to 67/100,000 in 2013 but began rising again since 2014 NOTE: per 100,000
  • nytimes.com: Mid 2019 pre-COVID compared to post-COVID to date
  • First % is mid 2019 to pre-COVID Second % is Mid January 2020 to 7/28/20
  • The second % is an increase/decrease of the first %.
    • Chicago – up 16% to up 34%
    • Philadelphia – up 11% to up 23%
    • Oakland, CA – down 41% to down 8%
    • Los Angeles – down 3% to up 5%
    • Atlanta – down 17% to up 4%
    • Nashville – up 92% to up 43%
    • New York – down 13% to up 23%
    • New Orleans – up 14% to up 36%
    • Indianapolis – up 75% to up 38%
    • Jacksonville, FL – down 3% to up 13%
  • foxnews.com shares different local police station statistics: (Stats taken 7/28/20)
  • Stats are for the first 28 days of July 2020.
    • Chicago – 116 homicides 28 days of July 2020, 41 same time 2019; 1/2 way through 2020 show 48% increase over 2019
    • Philadelphia – 55% increase in shooting incidents 1/2 way through this year compared to 2019; 31% increase in homicides compared to 2019
    • Los Angeles – 19 homicides June 21-July 5, 9 same time 2019; 1/2 way through 2020 524 homicides compared to 549 of 2019
    • New York City – 318 homicides 28 days of July 2020, 77 same time 2019; 38 more homicides 1/2 through this year than 1/2 through 2019
    • Portland, OR – an average of 32-42 shooting incidents per month 2020; 1 less homicide this year compared 17 for all of 2019
    • Seattle – 358 violent crimes in 2020 compared to first half of 2019 with 371; 17 homicides in first half of 2020 compared to 28 in 2019
    • Houston – 37% increase from 140 in 2019 to 178 so far this year;

Our historical records go from counting prison population out of 1 million in 1880 to counting out of 100,000 by mid 1900s. History indicates a decline in violent crimes from 1990 to 2013 but has been increasing since then. So far, 2020 is proving to be a very violent year. Also, our historical records show that this is a world wide crisis with significantly higher rates in many other countries. I want to note that the statistics I have shared do not include property related crimes. The percentages of property damage and theft have significantly increased as well.

I have barely touched on the copious amounts of data available, but I think I have given you enough to think about. I believe we are witnessing lawlessness at an all time high as spoken of in Matthew 23:10-12. Is our world heading toward something big? I think it is. Jesus wants us to thoroughly understand that His gift of eternal life is obviously the better choice. All we have to do is surrender to His will and His work in us. Being an adult can be a very heavy burden – especially today with so much uncertainty. Wouldn’t it be nice to relax in Him and let Jesus take the wheel?

Until next time, may the Lord our God guide you along the right paths. Psalms 23:3

Marsha Horn on Twitter
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