Friday, March 3, 2017

Humbling Words

Every time I have read Job chapters 38-41 I always think of how those words are so humbling and that it shows how magnificent, powerful and wise God truly is. We see God Himself actually speaking directly (audibly) to Job. Imagine you and your friends talking about God and saying He's not real or saying anything untrue about God then all of a sudden you hear these words spoken by God Himself, "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me" Job 38:2-3. I mean if I had heard that I might have fallen back straight to the ground like the soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane after Jesus said "I am He" in response to them saying they were looking for Jesus of Nazareth. (story found in John 18:1-12)
The very questions God asks in Job chapters 38-41 no know-it-all can answer. I love when God asks, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? " Job 38:4-7 and when He asked, “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place?" Job 38:12. Who can answer that? Which human being can stand before God and say they have or can point out who has done those things? Even as a Christian who actually believes in God, what God said in those chapters is so humbling.
Who would dare to challenge the living God? Well, many atheists and others who don't believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ attempt to do it daily. I just watched some testimonies with several atheists who came to believe the truth about God, but one interview in particular stood out to me with former atheist Peter Hitchens . Peter said , "One of my reasons for the change in my view of this is that I am scared, but then again the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Yes, "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" as written in Proverbs 9:10 and Proverbs 111:10.

God isn't speaking to us today with an audible voice out of a whirlwind like He did in Job chapters 38-41, but He does speak to us through His Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2) and that is done through His words in the Bible. If we reject the word of God we have also rejected Jesus His Son and if a person rejected the Son of God they have rejected God because the two are One as Jesus Himself has said in John 10:30, "I and the Father are one.” and what He explains in John 12:46-49 "I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.  There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.  For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.and John explains in 1 John 2:22-23. "Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also."

The counsel I would give anyone denying the existence of God or denying Jesus Christ as the Son of God is this, humble yourselves. God will give mercy and grace to you if you humble yourselves (James 4:6), believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and repent while you still have time (Acts 16:30-31).
You must be born again (John 3:1-21), meaning born of the Spirit of God after you have confess your sins (admit you are a sinner), Repented of your sins (turn away from your sins, meaning stop doing them, instead of doing evil, bad, wrong, choose to do what is good in the sight of God),  Believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is Good News. It is good news because of this: since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and we ALL are sinners  (Romans 3:23) we deserved death  BUT God in Christ Jesus paid that price for us with  His life so we wouldn't have to, He did that because He loves us. God came in the flesh (Jesus Christ ) meaning God actually became a human being and laid down His life for us so we could be reconciled to Him as mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:16. He was delivered to death for our sins, but He was resurrected for our justification (Romans 4:25). God not only does that but He also supplies believers with His Holy Spirit who teaches us the truth and comforts us and helps us to resist sin and He helps us to walk in God's ways if we obey God (John 14:25-27). God didn't give us all this time for people to go about denying His existence and blaspheming His name and living is sin. God has given us all this time for people to repent of their sins, (2 Peter 3:9). We ALL must believe the testimony He has given of His Son Jesus Christ which is that we have been given eternal life and that is through Jesus Christ the Lord, (Romans 6:23, 1 John 5:9-12).

"The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

"Although God overlooked the ignorance of earlier times, He now commands all men everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead" Acts 7:30-31

"Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near." Matthew 3:2.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Understanding What The Old Covenant Was And What The New Covenant Is

One of the main things that is causing so many to misunderstand what all we have gained in Jesus Christ is people really not understanding or even knowing what the Old Covenant is and what the New Covenant is. This is causing many disputes among brethren. Many don't even realize that this is something VERY important we ALL must know in order to not become deceived by various winds of false doctrine. I have sat and studied this carefully because I have noticed from about 3 or 4 years ago that not understanding this very thing is why people are pushing Sabbath, tithing, not eating pork, and telling people they ought to be keeping the 10 Commandments, and any legalistic man-made teachings that do not apply to us as believers TODAY (Acts chapter 15 confirms that these were not even commandments given to us as Gentiles)

The reason for so much dispute among Christians on this topic is because of many not knowing at all what is the Old Covenant. Many have placed themselves under the Old Covenant and not even realized it. Many have not actually sat and studied to show themselves approved (though they say they do, their responses show otherwise) because they are simply repeating textbook answers from what they have heard their Pastors say or a televangelist say or something they Googled instead of actually studying and asking God for wisdom in these things.

Many are saying the Spirit of God told them things that the Spirit of God could NEVER have told anyone because what they claim He said contradicts the very word of God inspired by who? The Spirit of God. (If you say the Spirit of God told you or led you to what is proven to be a false doctrine, basically a lie, then you have become a liar yourself lying on the very Spirit of God). 

What is the Old Covenant? The Old Covenant are the laws given to Moses on Mount Sinai, all of them (ESPECIALLY that which was written on stone) (Exodus 34:32). There are many scriptures in the Old Testament and New Testament that confirm what the Old Covenant is. These are just a few of those scriptures. Hebrews 9:18-20, Exodus 24:5-8,"This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the COVENANT, which God has commanded you to keep.”
We know Moses received two tablets on Mount Sinai with the 10 Commandments written on them, we learnt this from Sunday school time. Those who will say "But the 10 commandments weren't the Old Covenant". Through (studying the scriptures prayerfully) you will see that it shows that it very much was. In Hebrew 9:4 the very tablets Moses received are called the tablets of the Covenant. We know this is specifically the Old Covenant because it is referred to as the First covenant in Hebrews 9:1. It is written in Hebrews 8:13 that the first covenant (The Old Covenant) has been made obsolete (to be no longer used), if that isn't enough evidence that the 10 Commandments are the Old Covenant then in Exodus 34:28 we see where the 10 commandments are literally, directly, plainly called the covenant. "And He wrote on the tablets the word of the covenant, the Ten Commandments." That is as plain as it gets. Right there we see that the very words on the tablets, the ten commandments, are called the "words of the covenant".
And if that still isn't clear enough, carefully reading Hebrews 8:7-13 shows us that the Old Covenant is what was made with those (The Israelites) who came out of Egypt, it was never made with anybody else. Ask yourself what covenant was given to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt? The Commandments. There was no other covenant made with the Israelites when they came out of Egypt, no other one.

Christ came and established the New Covenant which is described in scripture as a better CovenantHebrews 8:6"The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First He says:“This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put My Laws in their hearts and inscribe them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:16.

Christ has wiped out the hand written requirements which were against us, Colossians 2:14. What requirements were handwritten and given to the Israelites? The Commandments written by the hands of God on stone. Somebody might quote the scripture that says God doesn't change "He's the same yesterday, today, and forever more", that is the 100% truth BUT changing laws doesn't mean that God has changed from being God, (and for anyone who thinks God has never changed his mind before, go and see all the times He has relented (changed His mind) from bringing judgement on a nation when they repented. Furthermore we have laws changed in our lands and still the President remains the President. Changing laws doesn't mean God has himself changed. 
The priesthood had changed so out of necessity so did the law was changed. Hebrews 7:11-12 explains this.
It is important to know that it was even prophesied in the Old Testament that God would actually make this change (Make a New covenant). He even spoke about how He will do a New thing and will the people even know it, He said through the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 43:18:19- "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth, shall you know it?" Then He said about Jesus through the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 42:6"I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, and will hold your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles.." This change that God made was a fulfillment of prophecy, isn't that what Christ said He came to do in Matthew 5:17. This New Covenant replacing the Old was also prophesied by the Prophet Jeremiah 31:31, ""Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD".
It's important to understand why it was God decided to made this change from the Old Covenant to the New covenant. Here are some of the reasons:

1) The Israelites broke them. (Their story of how they broke them and the consequences they faced are written at length throughout several of the first 39 chapters in the Old Testament even with reminders in the New Testemant)

2)The Former Commandment (The Law) was weak, unprofitable and made nothing perfect. Hebrews 7:18-19
3)It was not without it faults. Hebrews 8:7
4)The priesthood had changed so out of necessity so did the law have to be changed. Hebrews 7:11-12
5)The laws were only a shadow of what was to come. Hebrews 10:1-16
6)The law was added for our transgressions, till Christ came. Galatians 3:19
7)The Law was our tutor to bring us to Christ. Galatians 3:24 (so if Christ has come why are you continuing under the tutor, the law?) This is evidence of not understanding what Christ came to accomplish. The Galatians were not called obedient because they chose to keep the laws of Moses, they were called foolish because of this, Galatians 3.

8)The Law brings a curse. Galatians 3:10-14
9)The strength/power of sin is the law. "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law." 1 Corinthians 15:56.

10) If you chose to remain under the law you are debtor to keep the entire law (which you cannot do) so you have become estranged from Christ, you have fallen from Grace. Galatians 5:1-6 describes this using circumcision as one example of how one can get entangled in the law again. It only takes trying to keep one law and that person has made themselves indebted to keep ALL the laws of Moses, all 600+ not merely 10.

11. Those who are under the law are not heirs of the promise. Galatians 4:21-31
12. If you remain under the law (Old Covenant) you are like an adulteress wife, because we are dead to the law, the law now being made obsolete, we being dead to it have now been free to marry a new Husband, Christ who was raised from the dead who has freed us from that law that yoke of bondage. Romans 7:1-6

As brothers and sisters in Christ we are told to be like-minded, saying the same things. Paul teaches this in 1 Corinthians 1:10 also in Philippians 2:2. Some people treat topics like this like it's merely a matter of personal choice whether to keep or not, but this is not a scenario of I have my truth and you have your truth and we're  both fine, I love you k bye. This is not a non-essential issue we can simply agree to disagree on. This is a white or black situation, no in between, no gray area, no "but it's my personal conviction".  Though we do have certain liberties in Christ, one of them is not remaining under the Old Covenant laws which Christ Himself nailed to the cross, (Colossians 2:13-14). Nobody today can ever in truth say the Spirit of God personally convicted them to keep the laws of Moses (the old covenant which is 10 commandments). I will say now it is not the Spirit of God that led them to that, it is that person being wise in their own opinion or following what false teachers taught them. When the commandments were given to the Children of Israel it was not delivered individually to some people through personal conviction, we cannot abuse this personal conviction thing by claiming it's our personal conviction whenever we feel like doing something. Check and see if this conviction you are feeling lines up correctly with scripture divided rightly. Do we have convictions? Yes, but they would never contradict the instructions God has for His people TODAY.

Now it is MOST important to understand none of what was shared here is telling anybody to break God's commandments, and this isn't of any personal interpretation. God's commandments to love God with all our heart mind soul and strength (Mathew 23:36-40), and to love one another as He loves us, (John 13:34), still stands and all the laws and prophets hang on those things. If you do those things you will not be breaking His commands. Love is the fulfillment of the law, this is what Paul teaches in Romans 13:8-10

I have provided scriptures for those to go out and see if what I am saying is the truth. 

What was shared here is to show what we have gained in Christ Jesus the Lord, we have been liberated from The Laws of Moses. Paul says it perfectly here, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1 . Jesus already showed how through loving God with all our heart mind soul and strength and through loving others as ourselves (also loving one another the way God loves us) is how we keep God's commands. Not through carefully obeying specific laws of Moses like Sabbath, Tithes, not eating certain foods etc. Also, because we are no longer under the law, the old covenant of Moses, this doesn't mean we now are free to sin, the wages of sin is still death. This is not an invitation or allowance for licentiousness, lawlessness, or disobedience. This is to help us understand what all we have gained in Christ, our freedoms are not to be used as a cloak for vice but for us to humbly love one another as written in 1 Peter 2:16-17 and Galatians 5:13

I will conclude with the words of Jesus Christ, John, and Paul. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:1-4. 
"“If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32. 
"A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. " John 8:36

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Another Close Look At Jesus Christ Sermon On The Mount

Yes, Jesus said that He didn't come to destroy the law and the prophets BUT to (fulfill). Once something is fulfilled, it is finished. Anybody who understand prophecy knows that. Once prophecy is fulfilled you don't wait around waiting for it to be fulfilled again. It is finished.
People see that Matthew 5:17 scripture and say, "See, He didn't change anything". Many persons who support tithing love to say, "Jesus didn't change the laws". I wonder if they actually read His sermon on the mount, He was changing all kind of things, in specific (things that were once laws).
Jesus said, ""You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.'" Law. Jesus went on to say, ""But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell" Matthew 5:21-22
Jesus said, "“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.." Law. Jesus went on to say, "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:27-28. He even went on to say in Matthew 5:31-32 "“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery."
Jesus said, "“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’" Law. Jesus went on to say, "But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one." Matthew 5:33-37
Jesus said, "“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ Law. Jesus went on to say, "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." Matthew 5:38-39
Jesus said, "“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy." Law. Jesus went on to say, "But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." Matthew 5:43-48
When somebody referring to the law says that Jesus didn't change anything, remind them of this. These are only a few of the things. Jesus fulfilled the entire law. Now who does the Father say we are to listen to? "Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud said: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!"" Mark 9:7 Notice Jesus always said, "But I say to you". If we are going to call Him Lord we must do what He says. ""Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" Luke 6:46

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

An encouraging word on how to forgive and love like Jesus, especially in times when it's the MOST difficult.

I have never really shared another person's words as a blog post, but this message was so encouraging to me that I just felt compelled to share it in hopes that it will encourage many others  the same way it encourages me when it comes to loving and forgiving like Jesus Christ. This was written by someone on Facebook.

"Here is scriptures to give you to help you on anger and bitterness....

2nd Corinthians 2:10-11,

Apostle Paul said, to HIS ENEMIES!
"Do you think I forgive my ENEMIES in my OWNSELF, NO!!!!
I forgive my ENEMIES through the Son of God IN ME, least Satan gets advantage over me through unforgivness, anger etc. etc....
Apostle Paul forgave his ENEMIES, through JESUS CHRIST IN HIM.....!!!!!

So dear brother when your ENEMIES overcome you, and you fill the SPIRIT OF ANGER.....just say "I feel angry Lord please forgive me, and FORGIVE AND LOVE MY ENEMIES through me!!!!!
Jesus Christ forgave unto death... He said Father Forgive them for they know not what they do?
So brother the whole mystery of the Gospel, is JESUS CHRIST IN YOU, who works mightily in you, says (Colossians 1:27,29)...

You LOVE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, (1st John 4:9,13, and verse 17)....
For where the Spirit of the LORD is there is LIBERTY!!! As you are changed into the same image of the SON of God from glory to glory transformed IN HIM, (2nd Corinthians 3:18)...

God bless you
Minister Sudegayel Rogers "

Recently, I've been feeling angry often and sad, I think even bitter at times and it begun to really consume almost all of my thoughts and it eventually became overwhelming till I felt I couldn't bear. A message like this, had I remembered, really would have helped to encourage me during that time. I did however pray a lot for God to strengthen me,  and He did.
This message, when I first read it, made me go, "wow! How did I not realize this or remember it?" It's never through our own strength but through God the Father's strength and through His Son Jesus Christ, that we forgive, be loving, show compassion, be gentle, patient, godly, holy, kind, perfect and bear all the fruit of God's Holy Spirit.
Whenever faced with anger or having problems forgiving, please remember we can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens us, (Philippians 4:13). Let the enemy know that we, the Children of God,  shall keep the commands of the Lord our God.

Monday, December 14, 2015

How God Saved Us: The Gospel of Jesus Christ


Every single human being has been counted as a sinner, Romans 3:23 explains this. Sinners cannot and will not inherit the Kingdom of God, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:5, explains this. So, if we're all born sinners, and no sinners will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but there will be people who enter heaven, so how do we become one of those people who enter heaven? Firstly, because we're born sinners, we must be born again. How does a person become born again? That is done when we believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, confess our sins, repent of them (turning away from sin), and are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit.

Being born again gives us a clean slate so we can start over, this is also a gift from God. Whatever sins we ever committed are totally forgiven and as far as God is concerned it never happened. Think about that for a minute, really think about it. God is willing to forget ALL of the sins you have ever done in your life, no matter how bad it was, as long as you confess your sins, repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him. Isn't that amazing, plus He himself takes the punishment that we deserved for our past sins, so we don't even have to pay it. He redeems us. It is written in scripture that He is faithful to do this. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. His faithfulness is something we can count on because God keeps His word. All throughout scripture we see where God has kept all of His promises, especially the covenant He made with Abraham.

This is a huge part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of (all) of our sins. Not only that, but with this new clean slate that we have,(this new life that we have), God gives us a helper to help us to resist temptation to sin again and to help us to walk in God's Holy ways, that helper is His Holy Spirit. (Jesus explains this in John 14:16-26 and John 16:7). And if we did sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, which is Jesus Christ the righteous, Apostle John explains this in 1 John 2:1. Isn't God amazing? Not only does He pay the price for us, but He also gives us help in the form of His very own Holy Spirit in order to help us to walk in His ways. This is love.

God's love, grace, mercy, forgiveness of our sins, and Him redeeming us, are the reasons anybody will enter into Heaven at all. God loved us so very much that He made a way for us to be cleansed of our sins so we can be able to enter into heaven. There is a saying that, "God helps those who helps themselves", but that actually is the opposite of what the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches. The Gospel of Jesus Christ shows us that a loving God came in the form of a human being to help those who by no other way possible could help themselves. There was not a single perfect holy human being that could have done what God did, everyone was sold under sin.

How are sins washed away? By the shedding of blood, Hebrews 9:22 explains this. Blood had to be shed, this is one of the reason why God had to become like on one of us, a human being, in order to save us. Blood had to be shed, and it had to be a Holy sacrifice made unto a Holy God. 1 Timothy 3:16 explains how God was manifested in the flesh. He performed many miracles, as mentioned in all four of the accounts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-25), He was crucified (John 19:15-22, Mark 15:22-34), He died (John 19:28-30), He was buried (John 19:38-42),He was resurrected 3 days later by the power of God (John 20:1-18, 1 Corinthians 15:4), He was seen by many persons (1 Corinthians 15:5-7), He ascend to heaven,(Acts 1:9-11), and from that time He sits on the right hand of God the father until His enemies are made His footstool, as mentioned in Hebrews 10:12-18. All of this was prophesied by the Prophets, and Jesus Christ Himself explained all of this to the disciples as Luke wrote in his account of the Gospel in Luke 24:44.

I just want to take a second to really explain something so AMAZING. God the creator of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1), became a human being. The very same God that created our eyes and nose and hands, our entire bodies, the trees, birds and everything, became an actual human being and was walking right here on earth. Apostle John explains this in John chapter 1:1-14. This is why Jesus would say that the Father was in Him. God the Father was indeed in Jesus Christ, and it was God speaking through Christ, it was God the Father that was the power that was able to allow Jesus to do all that He did, the miracles, resurrecting from the dead, all done by the power of the Father in Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus said to the disciples that if you see Him, you have seen the Father also, as seen in John 14:9. This is why if you deny Christ you deny God the Father, because they are one, Jesus Himself said this very same thing, as seen in John 10:30, John 14:20. This is why the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing with the power unto salvation. This is why we (all) must believe in order to receive eternal life.

All of this is why Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to the Father, as He Himself explains, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me..." John 14:6. It is Christ Jesus that laid down His life for us , no other did, so no one who claims there is another way, is speaking the truth. Only the Son of God is the way to the Father and only through the Son of God can we receive eternal life and enter into the gates of Heaven. This is the testimony God our Father has given us of His Son, as Apostle John explained to us in 1 John 5:11. It is written that, "They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death." Revelation 12:11. This testimony of eternal life only through Jesus Christ, is the testimony by which we hold that will help us to triumph over the enemy. And Jesus Christ is the Lamb Whose blood was shed for us and provides us with power to triumph over the enemy.

Jesus did all of this for us, because of His love for us. All of this was done by the power and love of God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son. This is what we believe and preach and will continue to believe while we await the return of our our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is promised that He will return. I will close with the words of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
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." Revelation 22:12-17

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What was the was the purpose of the transfiguration on the Mountain in Matthew 17? And What did Jesus Mean in Matthew 5:17?

Matthew 17:1-13
In Matthew 17 when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain several very important things happened which we must take note of.
1) He took with Him Peter, James and John, (they were to serve as witnesses of what was about to take place).
2)Moses and Elijah appeared on the mountain. (Moses represents the law {the ten commandments which was given to him on Mount Sinai and the rest of the law which was given to him}. Elijah, being the most well known prophet, represents the prophets. Now to re-cap, now on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured we have the Law, Moses representing (The old covenant given on Mt. Sinai, the old Covenant was the Law), and then we have the Prophets, Elijah representing the Prophets. But who does Jesus represent in this picture? He represents the Son of God and the mediator of the New Covenant.
3)Now there is a voice that is heard from the cloud in verse 5 that says something very very important, the voice says "“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”" That voice is God the Father, But why did He say what He did, especially why did He say "Listen to Him" that is, listen to Jesus Christ? Why didn't He say listen to Moses or listen to Elijah?
Well, here we have the voice of God the Father from heaven saying in the presence of not 1, not 2, but 3 witnesses, REMEMBER (by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is established, Matthew 18:16), that we are to listen to Jesus Christ; and who does Jesus represent again in this scenario? The Son of God and the mediator of the New Covenant. So, what is happening here is the ushering in of the New Covenant, and the Old Covenant although it served a purpose of being our tutor to lead us to Christ. (Galatians 3:24), it is now being made obsolete, and growing old ready to vanish away, (Hebrews 8:13). Why? Because of it's weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect... Hebrews 7:18-19. So what happens now? Well, "there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God." But who is the mediator of that better hope which is the New Covenant? Jesus Christ, Hebrews 9:15.
Okay, back to the transfiguration. Who was on the Mountain again?Moses (Law), Elijah (Prophets,  and Jesus Christ. Again, who does Jesus represent in this very important event? As I just shared He is the mediator of this new Covenant. So what is happening here in Matthew 17? In short, God is letting us know we are now to listen to His Son Jesus Christ, who is greater than Moses and Elijah, we are to now live under the New Covenant and not the old. (For further study read the Book of Romans, Galatians and Hebrews especially).
Matthew 5:17
Another scripture many legalists and persons without understanding have misconceptions about is Matthew 5:17 when Jesus stated, "I did not come to destroy the law or the prophets but to fulfill them." Many take this to mean, "See, He didn't come to destroy it so it's still in effect." That misconception comes mostly because of erroneous teaching by the untaught and unstable who twist the scriptures (2 peter 3:16), and that understanding also comes from leaning on your own understanding. Many fail to see that in that scripture two options are presented. Below are the options along with the definitions of what these words mean:
Option (A): To Destroy
destroy (dɪˈstrɔɪ)
vb (mainly tr)
1. to ruin; spoil; render useless
2. to tear down or demolish; break up; raze
3. to put an end to; do away with; extinguish
4. to kill or annihilate
5. to crush, subdue, or defeat
6. (intr) to be destructive or cause destruction
Option (B:) To Fulfill
ful·fill also ful·fil (fl-fl)
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.
2. To carry out (an order, for example).
3. To measure up to; satisfy. See Synonyms at perform, satisfy.
4. To bring to an end; complete.
Adj. 1. fulfilled - completed to perfection
consummated - brought to completion; "a consummated transaction"
Now which option did Jesus choose? He Chose B. But the both of them have something very important in common, either way both bring whatever there may be to an end. When something is fulfilled it is carried out, it is brought to completion. If a prophecy has been fulfilled, what do you do, sit and wait for it to be fulfilled again? So, Jesus came and fulfilled (carried out) what was written of Him in the Law and the Prophets and in the Psalms, just as He said, "And, He said unto them, these are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms concerning me." Luke 24:44. A greater has come, but still many want to cling onto Moses (the Old Covenant, the Law).
All of this is only hard to understand when a person has gone dull of hearing. Hebrews 5:11.
The conclusion. Why did all of this have to happen? Because God loves us, so He made Jesus the propitiation (atonement) for our sins, through Him we are reconciled to God, through Him we have eternal life, 1 John 5:11-12. Eternal life does not come through the law, righteousness does not come through the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ, Romans 3:22. For those who still choose to remain under bondage by the law but say they have faith, they must know that it is written that the law is not of faith, Galatians 3:12, so either you have the law or you have faith, you can't have both, you can't be both free and in bondage. Also, the promise made by God to Abraham and his (Seed) does not come through the Law (The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ. Galatians 3:16), only through Jesus Christ can one obtain the promise. In fact Galatians 4 explains that to us by using Hagar and Sarah, both being symbolic representing both covenants, the Old and the New. Hagar (a bond woman/slave and mother of Ishmael) represented the law given to Moses on Mt. Sinai (which gave birth to bondage),Galatians 4:24; and Sarah ( a free woman and mother of Isaac) represented the New Covenant. All those who remain under the Law remain in bondage like Hagar and are not heirs to the promise. Why? Because "The Bond woman will not be heir with the son of the free woman." Galatians 4:30. But who are we who are under the New Covenant? We are children of the free woman, hence we are heirs. We are free because of Jesus Christ. It is important to understand all of this, because we do not want to fall from grace and be estranged from Christ (Galatians 5:4-6). The law of the New covenant is love, God's perfect and Holy love. We are repeatedly reminded in scripture that Love fulfills the Law. That once we Love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and also love one another the way God loves us, we have fulfilled the law. But yet many choose to remain under the old covenant when a greater and better has come in Jesus Christ. I hope this has helped many to understand the purpose of the new Covenant and I hope this cleared up some misunderstandings about a few other scriptures.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Encouragement for those facing various trials

Some scriptures for encouragement for those who have faced, are facing, and will face various trials. These are to help all of us to get a better understanding of why we who have chosen to deny ourselves take up our cross and follow Jesus are faced with these trials in our lives and why it's so important to endure with patience and faith in order to overcome this world.

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12-13

"..though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.." 1 Peter 1:6-7

"But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. (For to this you were called), because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
“Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth” 1 Peter 2:20-22

""Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you." 1 Peter 5:8-10"

Just wanted to share this to encourage those who have been facing various trials, even to encourage myself, we must all remember, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22
No suffering we experience in this race is in vain and without reward, trust in the Lord, He is faithful. Heaven and earth will pass away but His word endures forever.

Being Made Fruitful In The Knowledge of Jesus Christ

I noticed something when I was reading 2 Peter 1:1-11, kind of a formula I guess. I noticed God told us all that we would need in order to most definitely be fruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Being diligent, we are told to: Add to Faith---->Virtue To Virtue---->Knowledge To Knowledge---->Self Control To Self Control---->Perseverance To Perseverance---->Godliness To Godliness ---->Brotherly Kindness To Brotherly Kindness ---->Love. If we have all these things we will never stumble and an entrance will be supplied to us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:10-11.

This is what I noticed about that scripture from looking closer, it's the order in which we grow. God supplies us with faith and with that virtues are produced, then through God's Holy Spirit revealing truth to us through the Word we gain the next part which is knowledge. 

I have noticed that once we have gained knowledge on many things then we are tested on these things, and in our tests (trials) what is an important requirement in order to pass? Self-control. So we add to knowledge self-control, how? Through tests. Now once we have gained self control we have to endure (never giving up), and not giving up in a race requires perseverance. So, now we add to our self control perseverance, much needed qualities in trials; self-control and perseverance, stickability, a no quitting type of attitude. It may seem difficult at times but God is with us working in us and helping us to do what is right, we must obey Him.

Now once we have obtained those things then godliness is to be added. We must imitate Christ by being humble, gentle, merciful and forgiving. Then we add to godliness brotherly kindness, care towards the needs of the saints, the brethren. Then finally add to godliness the greatest gift, a more excellent way, Love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). 

We're all tested and tried in these things if we took a minute to think about the tests and trials we've been through, it's all God's work and He's working these things in us so that we can be neither barren or fruitless (2 Peter 1:8), basically perfected in Jesus Christ. And I noticed these things listed are the similar to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23 "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." 

Isn't it wonderful? God's producing these things in us daily through His Holy Spirit our helper. Let us rejoice and exalt His Holy name. To God belongs all the glory.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Whose standard should I live by?

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I have never really in the past mentioned too may Pastor's names, and even in this one I wont mention the name of the pastor/speaker who teaches the "Live your best life now" philosophy because I think most people know who I'm referring to, and if you don't, you can always go ahead and Google the phrase. This post isn't about the person who teaches this philosophy, but the philosophy itself. Mostly, this post is about the standards the world has set in place for people to live by and the standards provided in scripture for us to live by.

The problem with the "Live your best life now" philosophy is that it really conditions a person to place their heart here on earth instead of above. We are told in scripture to store up our treasures in heaven, why? Because that's where our best life will be. So it's odd hearing a man who says he is a minister of God, someone preaching the gospel, say that our best lives are to be lived now, here on earth. If one is to live their (best) life now, best being defined as (to the highest degree, top, foremost, unsurpassed, ultimate, optimum, etc etc) all that obviously indicates a person can basically go no higher. So if in this current life we are to reach the peak of a persons entire existence, then what is to be expected in the life to come? That could only mean that after this life things will descend from being at it's best to being horrid, is that what anybody should really want? No.

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The entire teaching of living ones best life now is really teaching that there is no eternal life, there is no heaven or hell, there is only now, there is only today, so live it up. All of that is taught under the guise of 'living your best life now' and people don't see it. And that's where living according to the standard set by this world comes in. The world has established a definition of what living your best life is, and being wealthy is at the top of that list, also being popular, a socialite, being trendy, being knowledgeable in the wisdom of the world, having friends in high places, even in some cases being a shark, cutting down whomever to reach to the apex of "success". For many, trying to obtain these things cultivates a heart of covetousness, greed and envy, sadly even in Christians, and that should not be so.

We are taught not to set our minds on high things, but to associate with the humble, Romans 12:6. This isn't to say being rich is evil or even knowing rich people is evil, but this is to establish a heart that is trusting in the Lord and content entirely in the provisions the Lord supplies as He has promised, whilst remaining humble. We are taught in Luke 12:15, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” But according to the world's standard that is exactly what a man's life consists of. But in scripture we are taught that not only the love of money is the root of all evil, but desiring to be rich is also a no-no, 1 Timothy 6:8-12. But everywhere, even in the church today, many have a heart desirous to have all it's lust's fulfilled, why? Because of teachings like live your best life now.

One of the main problems is that the Church is conforming to the pattern of the world instead of Christ's pattern, and that's most definitely one of the major problems in the churches today. No longer are the standards set in scripture regarded any more really as being worthwhile striving for. Because the standards set in scripture is to give us eternal rewards to store up in heaven, and to make us a holy people, while God is providing for us the bare necessities we need here on earth. But people don't care about that, humans care about tangible things, cars, yachts, big houses, huge salaries etc etc, to impress other materialistic people.

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 No longer do people care to seek after the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first any more. To the world a person is validated solely based on possessions, whether it be degrees or a persons income. If you don't have some type of degree, you're dropped at the bottom of the totem pole and considered to be a person who does not have a "bright future", because it is the world after all that determines what will occur in any individuals future, right? Nope. If you however have all the worldly credentials along with a few connections to get your foot in the door, because these days even the credentials aren't sufficient, then you are now on the path to "Success". People who have decided to take the Christian standard of living are usually people that many don't consider to be "Successful" or at least reaching their "full potential". Who determines ones full potential? To whom here on earth does a person have to give an account of their "full potential" when or if it is ever met? How is potential even measured, by what standard, God's or this world?

As Christians we aren't to live according to the dictates of the world which relentlessly through the media and whatever else, tries to beat into the poor it's definition of success and it's definition of a failure. The world sculpts this ridiculous spectrum and then tells us where we fit on it. The world is pretty much conditioning people to believe that if you haven't acquired a certain amount of degrees, and other material assets, then you're not successful. It boils down to this is I guess, who's definition of success are we trying to live up to, God's or the world's? As Christians this should be a no-brainer but it isn't for many of us, for me it certainly wasn't for a while.  But it is God's standard set in scripture worth labouring over not this worlds. And God's standard is sufficient, nobody needs to be burdened with extra laws about success created by man for us to live by, much of which is in direct contradiction to what the Bible teaches. There are great expectations the world has placed on us & there are things God expects of us, which is worth labouring over truly? It is the one that provides the eternal rewards.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Snip/Chuck: Abortion is Murder................but God Forgives.

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"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth." Psalm 127:3-4. 

There was a time when women rejoiced when they found out they were pregnant. These days, for many women, news of being pregnant is greeted with horror. They start thinking how there is so much they still want to do with their life so they can't have a baby. To a large part of the human population, if you can't afford to have a baby, pregnancy is an inconvenience, so abortion makes it a whole lot easier; you can have all the sex you want and not worry about having to take care of a baby if you got pregnant along the way. A salary cut may be considered an inconvenience, no ramps for wheelchair bound patrons outside of  businesses is an inconvenience, someone asking you for help when you're in the middle of something you can't really drop at that moment is an inconvenience,  a pregnancy should not be considered an inconvenience.

For many young girls/women it's the fear of disappointing their parents. Other reasons, "Oh, I just got this new job." "I just got done with my first week on the Insanity Workout and I'm seeing massive results", "Oh, no, I'll get stretch marks!" "Oh, this guy will leave me if I have this baby."  "I'm still in high school." "I'm still in college." "What will my friends think of me?" "What will the people at church think of me?" Really, there are many reasons that can be listed for why women choose to have abortions; but not one of the reasons are unselfish. Many men and women really only think of the outcome of their lives as being of any significance and also possibly ruined if they go through with the pregnancy, but the baby's life is very rarely ever taken into consideration. Why? Because many don't even see what's growing in them as a baby until the child is born,  they just see a fetus, so that makes it pretty much dispensable. The way some people carry on about pregnancies you would think they were talking about a few pounds on their body they wanna lose, so they take the necessary steps to get rid of it.

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Many people are divided over Pro-life and Pro-Choice. Pro-life supporters oppose the legalization of induced abortions, and believe that a fetus and embryos should be protected. As Christians where should we stand in regards, sadly to what many would consider,  an incendiary topic? Should we even have a stand at all or just let things play out? I don't think I'm the only one who wonders how God feels about abortion. The obvious answer is that He doesn't want us to kill our children. God does not support abortion. He doesn't support the unlawful murder of a child. He greatly disliked how the Moabites and many other groups of  people would sacrifice their children to their  false gods and idols. He even warned His people, the Israelites, not to practice the ways of those people.

The women who are pro-choice think they have full authority over their bodies, that nobody should be allowed to tell them what to do in regards to terminating a pregnancy . It is amazing how things like the rights to kill an unborn child is being argued as a person's civil rights, and anyone who opposses that is trying to obstruct someone from their rights. Many women resent being called murderers when they have an abortion because to them a fetus is not a child so it's not murder when a person aborts that pregnancy. What exactly determines whether your fetus is an actual living human? Is it at the very moment an egg becomes fertilized when it encounters a sperm? Is it  3 months into pregnancy, or six months into pregnancy? The answer is, God is the one who determines when a life begins, it's as simple as that. He's the one who gives life, and He's the one who takes it back when He pleases. When does life begin? According to scripture Leviticus 17:11-12 and Deuteronomy 12:23, the life is found in the blood, it is the life of all flesh, it's blood sustains it's life. A fetus of course contains blood, so biblically a fetus is alive, just as alive and valuable as the little children playing in the park.

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Do women really have the choice to decide what to do with their bodies in regards to pregnancies? Well, as humans we have the freedom to choose to do whatever we want, whenever we want; but with each choice we make their are consequences. Can women choose whether to abort their babies? Yes. Men and women can make whatever choices they want, but must be made aware of the consequences of their actions. God has stated that we will be rewarded according to our works. If one does bad works, his reward will not be very pleasant. If one does good works, he will be rewarded with eternal life.

There are persons, even some Christians, who are pro-life but have made certain exceptions when it comes to abortion; these exceptions are for  women who have been raped and high risk pregnancies. At one time I also agreed with that exception to the rule, I thought it was a justifiable reason to terminate a pregnancy; but after studying the Word of God, I had a change of heart. Yes, rape is very horrible, I hate it and I'm sure God hates it too; and for many women, delivering a baby who's father is the rapist that raped them is not a very pleasant thought; but if we think of the child  as no more than a link to a rapist, then we devalue an innocent child's life based on an occurrence that happened which really wasn't that child's fault. A part of that baby, the women who has been raped carries, is not only the rapist's but the victim as well. Her chromosomes and genes are in that baby too, or is that something to disregard because the baby cannot be seen as anything more than a product of rape? All abortions produce the same results; an unborn baby is killed. If you have a child and the father of your child abuses you, would you kill your child? No, you would not. I've heard this once before and I stand by this, you don't kill a child for the sins of the father. Aborting a baby cannot and really should not be justified no matter the circumstances surrounding conception. Terminating your pregnancy because you were raped, really if we look at it from a Christian standpoint, is a crime committed because of a crime.

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Women, just like men, were wonderfully and fearfully made in the image of God. For women, also just like men, our bodies are programmed a certain way to do certain things at a certain time in our lives. The best way I can describe it is that, the human body has a certain set of sealed instructions within, placed by God, that the body must obey in order to function correctly. Females produce eggs as well as estrogen and progesterone. Pretty much all women have a period, whether it's irregular or regular, it happens; even infertile women have their period. Eventually when a women  hits a certain age, usually between the ages of forty-five to fifty-five these things cease. Hormones begin to shift and the menstruation cycle ends, meaning ovulation comes to a halt. This is the females body way of telling her, no babies are going to be popping out of here any more, unless God wills of course. I say all that to help many come to understanding that, our bodies are designed to tell us when we shouldn't have babies anymore, we aren't to go out and take it upon ourselves to cancel a pregnancy, if that egg has been fertilized that is because God permitted it to happen. Christian women and men should stand against abortion because it is just another way people have decided to rebel against God's will, and it is is murder. We are told to imitate God as good little children, and we know that God doesn't take it lightly when an innocent life is taken, in fact, God hates it when innocent blood is shed, Proverbs 6:16-17, an unborn child is innocent.

When did we become a world where the life of an unborn child has no value, where our opinion takes precedence over Gods precepts. Many people believe a baby's life doesn't begin until after the baby is delivered, but there would be no baby to deliver if there was no life to begin with.

Because of indifference and a lack of knowledge about what happens during an abortion, issues like this aren't addressed the way they should be. Since (most) think the baby isn't even a legit living human, and during the abortion the baby is unaware of what's happening, it's no big deal. Many people must think it's simply the babies being gently put to sleep, then delicately removed from the womb and then are cleaned up and have a nice burial in a cemetery. No, that's not what happens. Sorry to be graphic, but they're either cut up, or the skull crushed, burnt, then tossed out; in short, they are snipped and chucked.  A great deal of indifference that many have towards matters like abortion, and scores of other things, is one of  the reasons behind many of the problems we see in the world today. People think, "Oh, let them do what they want, it doesn't affect me."  If people could be shown how even the seemingly insignificant decisions they make have an affect on a myriad of lives on planet earth; maybe the gross indifference towards these significant matters would be diminished. 

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As the heading says,  abortion is murder, but just like murder, and all other sins committed against God, it is not something that cannot be forgiven by our merciful and loving Heavenly Father. There is good news for those who have had abortions or considered having one. There is a loving, merciful, living God who prefers mercy rather than sacrifice. If you repent and ask God for His forgiveness, He is faithful and just and will forgive you. Yes, it's not easy for many women who have children, to raise on their own in today's society, and for economical reasons. This is why it's best to to trust in God's way, in His perfect order and to abstain from sexual intercourse until you're married. Yes, this is more easily said than done for many of us, but God not only provides an exit out of temptation, but He also provides us with His Holy Spirit once we are born again, so that we may prove what is His good, acceptable and perfect will. Pray for self-control if you have troubles with lust and avoiding sex. Trust in the Lord at all times. Wait on the Lord at all times. He will guide and strengthen you. :-)