The Authorities Are Ministers For Good

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Romans 13:1-5

Entertaining

Let brotherly love continue.  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
Hebrews 13:1-3

Instructions for Instructing Unbelievers

But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
2 Timothy 2:23-26

What Is The Purpose Of Your Sacrifices?

Prophet’s Possible Perspective

I really cannot begin to imagine how angered the Holy One is by all the sin and hypocrisy that is seen on the streets of our cities. Surely they are very similar to Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of their destruction. How much further will the Holy One let us go?

O rulers of Judah, religious and political; you must hear the Word of the LORD. You are in the same shape as Sodom, you are an odorous scent to the name of the LORD our God. How it grieves my heart to see such pretense in the sacrifices that are made. The blood of all those innocent animals; and for what, when it comes from an evil heart, which is given to rebellious, wicked, evil, idolatrous living.

For what purpose is a sacrifice if it is given in hypocrisy? A sacrifice is given to one you love, and at a cost to the giver, out of a deep devotion, trust, commitment, and for the glory of the One to whom it is given. Our people have become so extravagantly wealthy that they no longer know what sacrifice is. They continue to slay the lambs, bulls, goats and such, but they know nothing of God, His Word, or His way for their lives.

The Holy One is sick of these empty sacrifices which mean absolutely nothing to the giver of them. Offerings of sacrifice without a right heart with GOD is an abomination to Him. This is what is totally detestable to Him.

We have these feast days, and they have meaning and purpose only when the hearts of the one’s remembering them, are given completely to the HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL.

Our men who are supposed to pray to God for mercy on God’s people, and plead for the people to honor, obey, trust, depend, and look only to God; the priests; are no different than the political leaders. They take the peoples “Sacrifices”, and make a mockery of what it is, because of unrighteousness in their hearts and lives. When they offer praise God will hide His eyes, and when they offer a prayer, God will not hear. Their hands are bloody.

What does the Holy One want of those who are His? To be washed and made clean. To put away pretense, especially in their sacrifices. Cease your evil actions. Do good things for no other reason than to glorify the Holy One. Seek and do that which is just. Help those who are less fortunate than yourself – orphans, and widows; see that they are defended, protected, and cared for. This is right in the eyes of the LORD. The godly religion is the way – we must minister to the orphans and widows in their need, and keep ourselves from the evil practices of those around us.

“Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.  To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.  When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?  Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.  And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;  Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.“ Isaiah 1:10-17 (KJV)

From September 09, 2008.

Change Is Possible For All

I remember an episode of Bonanza from years ago. It seems there was a man who had been in prison, and Ben was giving the man a chance, after getting out, and someone made the comment, “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch” to which Ben replied, “We are dealing with a man, not apples”. What ever happened to shows like this, where change is possible.

In seeing episodes of “Law and Order” and hearing comments on news shows like Fox and Friends, and them making comments such as, “Child sexual abusers cannot change” it certainly gives no hope. I must agree that left to ourselves, there is no hope. We are a depraved people.

The answers to the following questions will show how big of grace you believe God has:
1. Can God save and change a murderer?
2. Can God save and change a rapist?
3. Can God save and change a kidnapper?
4. Can God save and change a sodomite/homosexual?
5. Can God save and change a child molester?
6. Can God save and change a parent killer? (This one could fit with the first.)
7. Can God save and change a God/Christ-hater? and

8. Can God save and change you?

Now how will you answer that?

Here is the Bible’s answer –
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.    1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Notice the “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!

All who come to Jesus are changed by the power of the Holy Spirit given to all who have called on Jesus as Lord and Savior.

The Righteous LORD

For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; His countenance doth behold the upright.  Psalm 11:7

It is plain for all to hear and see and understand from the above verse that the LORD (Jehovah/YaHWeH) is righteous. All of Scripture shows us that is true. I will let John Gill speak of this verse today.

For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness,…. The Lord is righteous in himself, and in all his ways and works; and therefore righteousness, as it lies both in punishing the wicked, and in maintaining the righteous cause of his people, must be loved by him, it being agreeable to his nature: he loves to exercise righteousness in the earth, to administer it to and among men; this he delights in. He is well pleased with the righteousness of his Son, it being satisfactory to his justice, and that by which his law is magnified and made honourable; and he is well pleased with his people, as they are clothed with it: and he approves of their righteous actions, as they are done in obedience to his righteous law, in faith, from a principle of love, and with a view to his glory; these are acceptable to him in Christ;
his countenance doth behold the upright; whom wicked men privily shoot at, Psa_11:2; God looks with pleasure upon them, and takes delight in them, and takes care of them, protects and defends them, and at last saves them; and which, with all that goes before, was an encouragement to David to trust in the Lord; see Psa_7:10; and moreover, the Lord lifts up the light of his countenance on such, and indulges them with his gracious presence, than which nothing is more comfortable and desirable. Some choose to render the word, “their countenance” (y), meaning the trinity of Persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, who all have a gracious regard to such: others render the clause thus, “the upright shall see his face”, the face of God; so the Chaldee paraphrase and the Arabic version; see Psa_17:15.

From John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible.

I pray that if you do not know Jesus Christ that you will in faith call on His name today.

 

The Blessed

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

The Blessed individual, man or woman is blessed negatively and positively. Blessed negatively in what he or she does not participate in; and blessed positively  in what he or she does to honor and glorify God.

I will share today what Charles H. Spurgeon wrote in the Treasury of David concerning these two verses of Psalm One.

Blessed” – see how this Book of Psalms opens with a benediction, even as did the famous Sermon of our Lord upon the Mount! The word translated “blessed” is a very expressive one. The original word is plural, and it is a controverted matter whether it is an adjective or a substantive. Hence we may learn the multiplicity of the blessings which shall rest upon the man whom God hath justified, and the perfection and greatness of the blessedness he shall enjoy. We might read it, “Oh, the blessedness!” and we may well regard it (as Ainsworth does)as a joyful acclamation of the gracious man’s felicity. May the like benediction rest on us!
Here the gracious man is described both negatively (Psa_1:1) and positively (Psa_1:2); He is a man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. He takes wiser counsel, and walks in the commandments of the Lord his God. To him the ways of piety are paths of peace and pleasantness. His footsteps are ordered by the Word of God, and not by the cunning and wicked devices of carnal men. It is a rich sign of inward grace when the outward walk is changed, and when ungodliness is put far from our actions. Note next, he standeth not in the way of sinners. His company is of a choicer sort than it was. Although a sinner himself, he is now a blood-washed sinner, quickened by the Holy Spirit, and renewed in heart. Standing by the rich grace of God in the congregation of the righteous, he dares not herd with the multitude that do evil. Again it is said, “nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” He finds no rest in the atheist’s scoffings. Let others make a mock of sin, of eternity, of hell and heaven, and of the Eternal God; this man has learned better philosophy than that of the infidel, and has too much sense of God’s presence to endure to hear his name blasphemed, The seat of the scorner may be very lofty, but it is very near to the gate of hell; let us flee from it, for it shall soon be empty, and destruction shall swallow up the man who sits therein.

When men are living in sin they go from bad to worse. At first they merely walk in the counsel of the careless and ungodly, who forget God – the evil is rather practical than habitual – but after that, they become habituated to evil, and they stand in the way of open sinners who wilfully violate God’s commandments; and if let alone, they go one step further, and become themselves pestilent teachers and tempters of others, and thus they sit in the seat of the scornful. They have taken their degree in vice, and as true Doctors of Damnation they are installed, and are looked up to by others as Masters in Belial. But the blessed man, the man to whom all the blessings of God belong, can hold no communion with such characters as these. He keeps himself pure from these lepers; he puts away evil things from him as garments spotted by the flesh; he comes out from among the wicked, and goes without the camp, bearing the reproach of Christ. O for grace to be thus separate from sinners.
And now mark his positive character. “His delight is in the law of the Lord.” He is not under the law as a curse and condemnation, but he is in it, and he delights to be in it as his rule of life; he delights, moreover, to meditate in it, to read it by day, and think upon it by night. He takes a text and carries it with him all day long; and in the night-watches, when sleep forsakes his eyelids, he museth upon the Word of God. In the day of his prosperity he sings psalms out of the Word of God, and in the night of his affliction he comforts himself with promises out of the same book. “The law of the Lord” is the daily bread of the true believer. And yet, in David’s day, how small was the volume of inspiration, for they had scarcely anything save the first five books of Moses! How much more, then, should we prize the whole written Word which it is our privilege to have in all our houses! But, alas, what ill-treatment is given to this angel from heaven! We are not all Berean searchers of the Scriptures. How few among us can lay claim to the benediction of the text! Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity, because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you – Is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God’s Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand – your best companion and hourly guide? If not, this blessing belongeth not to you.

Have a Blessed day walking with the One who loved you so much He gave His only Son Jesus for our salvation. He died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and He rose again. He will come again, as He said He would (John 14:1-4).

Do We Ever Really Know What Is Going On Behind The Scenes?

Oh that one would hear me! Behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.  Job 31:35

Job had no idea what had gone on in the throne room of Heaven (Job 1 and 2). He had been blessed by the Almighty, and now suddenly there was nothing but loss.

No one ever alive suffered as much as Job did, with the exception of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Job lost his family, all ten of his children, all his livestock, all his wealth, his health, and the respect of his wife, friends and others too.

He feels deserted by the Almighty. He feels that he is not heard when he prays, because there is no healing, no renewing; and his friends are telling him that he is an unrighteous man, and has treated the poor badly and widows too.

He even feels like the Almighty might even be his adversary, rather than his Advocate. No one was listening, he says, and that included the Almighty. Job’s conversation with his “friends” is coming to a close. He is longing for someone to listen to him not condemning him as these three men have  done. He especially desires that the Almighty would answer him.

We know with Job what was going on, but when hard times come to us do we ever stop and think of Job’s life? Sometimes bad things come to us because of some sin or unrighteous deed we have done, and sometimes it is a test, and the Teacher is silent. If it is due to a sin or sins then, as a follower of Jesus Christ we have His Spirit abiding in us, and He will show us the sins we have committed, and lead us to repentance. If it is a test He will be silent.

Christ Jesus gave up the glories of Heaven, became flesh, dwelt among us, died on the cross, was buried, and He rose again. We have an Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). His name is Jesus. We do not need to know what goes on behind the scenes of Heaven, because the Almighty has it under control, and does all that He does for our  good who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:28).

Faith In Praying

And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, ‘Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:’   I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which Thou hast shewed unto Thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.   Deliver me, I pray Thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.   And Thou saidst, ‘I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ ”             Genesis 32:9-12

Jacob was about to come in contact with Esau, his brother who had threatened to kill him twenty plus years before when Jacob had deceived their father Isaac out of the family blessing. Rebekah had urged Jacob to flee to her homeland of Haran to her brother Laban which he did.

After these years of working with Laban, raising cattle, sheep, and goats, the LORD tells Jacob to return to Canaan the land promised to Abraham and Isaac, and now promised to Jacob as well. He is still fearful of his brother, and after some time planning Jacob, Rachel, Leah, their handmaids, all of Jacob’s children, other servants, and all the livestock head for Canaan.

God has called Jacob to return, yet there is distress, fear of meeting Esau. “How will he receive me?”, must have been in his thinking, “Will he forgive me or kill me, and all that is mine?” He prays the prayer above and expresses his faith by reminding God of what He has said.

When the Christian is facing distress, fear or any other problem of anxiety, doubt, or trouble of any kind it is good for us to go to God with the fear and anxiety the trouble and express it to Him. If God has called us to do something that has caused this fear and distress, we must keep heading toward what He has called us to do while reminding Him of His calling, which most times on my part is a reminder to me that God has said, and God has promised, and He will do and accomplish all that He says.

When God told Jacob, “I will surely do you good, and make your seed as the sand of the sea,” then Jacob, and all who have came to Him can trust that He will do as He says.

Only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the grace through faith that saves us, and answers prayer.

Forgiving Forgiveness

Then came Peter to Him, and said, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?” Jesus saith unto him,
“I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’ Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me that thou owest.’ And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’ And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, ‘O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?’ And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
               Matthew 18:21-35

When I have been forgiven all my debts – my sin debt; how can I not forgive those who have wronged me? Even those I have the perception of doing wrong to me? I can, and will forgive, because I have been forgiven so much more than any debt owed to me.

The wonderful grace of God in His Son Jesus paying my sin debt, and yours, dying on the cross for our sins, in His burial, and in His resurrection. Receive His forgiveness and receive that forgiveness that forgives.

When the Whole City Came Out to Meet Jesus

And when He was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God? Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?”  And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.  So the devils besought Him, saying, “If Thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.”  And He said unto them,
“Go.”
And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.  And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.  And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw Him, they besought that He would depart out of their coasts.                                 Matthew 8:28-34

Peace

“These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, ‘I go away, and come again unto you.’ If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice, because I said, ‘I go unto the Father:’ for My Father is greater than I.”                          John 14:25-28

There is a peace that this world system knows nothing about. The god of this world (Satan) has deceived, and distracted the hearts and minds of the intelligent, highly educated, the wealthy, the middle income, and many a poor man and woman on the streets and poverty inflicted areas with lies. And they have no peace.

Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, and through Him all can be at peace with Him, with the Father, and be able to sleep at night no matter what this world may do. Peace is not always thee absence of conflict. It is also resting in the midst of conflict. This is the peace that God gives through His Son Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit residing, abiding in those who are His.

Paul the apostle wrote, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1. He also wrote, “…And the peace of God, which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7.

If you do not have this peace it is available to you by calling out to Him in repentance and faith. He will hear you and give you peace.

Bread of Life

And Jesus said unto them,
“I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen Me, and believe not.
All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.
     John 6:35-38

On this Thanksgiving Day, in the United States of America, let us first give thanks for the “Bread of Life” who is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. By Him all things were made (Genesis 1:1-3; John 1:1-5; Colossians 1:16-17). It is also by Him that all who believe Him have everlasting life (John 3:16).

He Himself said above, “I am the bread of life” and all who come to Him shall never be in want (Psalm 23:1). There is an endless supply of the bread of life. The thing about this bread is the more you eat the more you desire it. Or to put it another way, the more you get of Jesus, the closer you get to Him in fellowship and worship, the more you desire Him. You are never lacking, never wanting, and He is always present.

Another thing to thank Him for is that any one who comes to Him He will never cast out. That includes you. When you come to Him trusting in His finished work on the cross of death, burial, and resurrection, then You are His for all time and eternity.

Have a great and blessed Thanksgiving Day and let us be thankful every day of our lives.

How the Wicked Respond to Jesus Christ

And they that passed by railed on Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ah, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself, and come down from the cross.”
Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” And they that were crucified with Him reviled Him.                  Mark 15:29-32

We have three examples in the text above of how the wicked responded to the death of Jesus on the cross.

Number one, was those who passed by.

Number two, was those who were the priests and religious leaders in Israel.

Number three, was those other two men who were crucified with Him; one on His right, and the other on His left.

Will you just continue on your way passing by the One who was nailed to that cross for the forgiveness of your sin? Will you continue in your sin of rejection of your only hope for eternity?

Will you, O you who have great educational degrees; PHD’s and MDivs; or whatever degree you may have; thinking you are more intelligent than our Creator;  will continue to mock and blaspheme His name and then burn in Hell?

Will you who are condemned to die deride, continue in your blasphemy and ridicule of the name of the One who died for you? One of the men who died with Jesus on the cross, awhile later cried out to Jesus, “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Jesus responded and said, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  Luke 23:42-43

What is your response to the death of Jesus? Will you respond to His love and grace, or will you continue in your wicked, evil way?

An Already Condemned World, Loved By God

For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but He that believeth not is condemned already, because He hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.                   John 3:17-21

There are many who believe that God in the Old Testament, and God in the New Testament are two separate persons. That, however, comes from an ignorance of the Old Testament.

God in the Old Testament is a God of love too. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, it was God’s love that provided covering for their sin and nakedness. It was His love that saved Noah and his family to redeem Adam’s race.

Because of Adam’s sin in the garden we were all born into sin. Born with a sin nature, separated from God, condemned for eternity. This message is prevalent through out Scripture. It is also clearly seen that God loves the race of Adam – that is people from every tribe, tongue and nation.

In His love God sent His only begotten Son to be our Redeemer, so that through Him we might have everlasting life.

There are many who love their sin and darkness more that they do the light, glory and forgiveness of God. They love darkness rather than light. They love their own way rather than God’s way; therefore, they continue in their condemnation.

The answer for Adam’s race is hear the words of Jesus Christ, call on His name, repenting of your sin, believing Him and He will hear you and give you life eternal.

See Romans 8:1.

Getting Ready

And He said unto them,
“When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing?”
And they said, “Nothing.” Then said He unto them,
“But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in Me, ‘And He was reckoned among the transgressors:’ for the things concerning Me have an end.”
And they said, “Lord, behold, here are two swords.” And He said unto them,
“It is enough.” Luke 22:35-38

There are some who want to give this as being an aggressive word from Jesus. It is not. He is warning His disciples and all His people that there was coming a time when we might need to defend ourselves; so be ready.

We are not to attack, whether by word, or by sword; but we can defend.

An even greater thing to glean from the words of Jesus is that we need to be strong and faithful to Him in every situation this world throws at us.

I Say Unto You, Arise

…And He cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when He was come in, He saith unto them,
“Why make ye this ado, and weep? The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.”
And they laughed Him to scorn. But when He had put them all out, He taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with Him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And He took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her,
“Talitha cumi;”
which is, being interpreted, “Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.” And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And He charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat. Mark 5:38-43

Not Heard

“And He said unto them,
‘Ye will surely say unto Me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal Thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Thy country.’
And He said,
‘Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.’ ”   Luke 4:23-27

“I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.”   Psalm 77:1

Demons and Swine

“And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when He was come out of the ship, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped Him, and cried with a loud voice, and said, ‘What have I to do with thee, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure thee by God, that Thou torment me not.’ For He said unto him,
‘Come out of the man, unclean spirit.’
And He asked him,
‘What is thy name?’
And he answered, saying, ‘My name is Legion: for we are many.’ And he besought Him much that He would not send them away out of the country.
Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought Him, saying, ‘Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.’ And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray Him to depart out of their coasts. And when He was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed Him that he might be with Him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him,
‘Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.’
And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.”  Mark 5:1-20

I believe that Jesus Christ had the power to cast demons into swine; and that He has the power to do so today. As He has said many times,

“He that has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus, Anger, and the Sabbath

“And He entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched Him, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath day; that they might accuse Him. And He saith unto the man which had the withered hand,
‘Stand forth.’
And He saith unto them,
‘Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life, or to kill?’
But they held their peace. And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man,
‘Stretch forth thine hand.’
And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.”   Mark 3:1-5

The skill and wisdom of Jesus always amazes me. The way He challenges His challengers; the hostile challengers; of His words and life is truly awesome. Just because someone does not like what He says or does, does not deter Him from going ahead and doing what He was going to do in the first place; and He does it with authority and power.

I always take note of verses, also that tell of Jesus having anger, and of those where the word is not used, but also where He displays anger; for instance the two times He drives the money changers out of the Temple with a whip He made Himself. They had defiled His house.

Anger is not always a bad emotion. What makes you angry? That guy or gal that cut you off in traffic? That one in the check-out at Walmart that was rude and nasty to the associated checking them out? Is that really a good anger? Not at all. If it makes us angry to see someone rudely treated, then let’s compliment the one that was just treated that way.

Jesus had earlier in chapter 2 of Mark said the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. I suppose that is for all the laws of God. They are given to aid and to help us realize our evil plight in life, not to provide hindrances for good deeds.

When we come to Jesus, trusting Him as our Lord and Savior all the law is fulfilled in Him. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10). It was provided for us by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Call on the name of the Lord Jesus, believing that God has raised Him from the dead, and you shall be saved (Romans 10:9-10).

A Study from 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

From July 3, 2006

This will be the beginning of a study through the Thessalonian letters by Paul. The series is titled LIVING AS CHRISTIANS IN OUR MODERN WORLD. I pray these articles will help and encourage you in your walk with the Lord.

I will try to keep them fairly short. If they seem to get a little long I will split them into two parts.

CHANGE, BY THE POWER OF GOD

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

As the second coming of Jesus is drawing near, we as Christians must know how we are to live in the world. “In the world, but not of the world”.
In looking at the first Thessalonian letter it appears that some of the people in the church were being led to believe the return of Jesus being near, they should leave their jobs, sell their homes and lands, and just “Live by faith”. The Scripture, no where, encourages God’s people to be foolish, but wise concerning the times.
The two letters to the Thessalonians teach a complete opposite of the above practice. Jesus’s coming is definitely near. We are to keep on yielding our lives to Him, and going about the daily Christian life as though He might not come for another million years. We are to keep on trusting and believing that He is returning soon.
First Thessalonians mentions the second coming of Jesus at the end, or near the end of each chapter. Chapter four gives us an indepth look at the “Catching away” of the Saints which is commonly referred to as the ‘Rapture of the Church’.
In Thessalonica there was much heathen, pagan worship. The church was greatly persecuted because they were living their faith. They would probably be called radical by even many professing christians of this day.
We live in a society that is quite similar to theirs. People do not mind what god you worship, or if you worship anything, as long as you keep it to yourself. “Keep it in the church building. Don’t take it to your job. Don’t take it on vacation. Don’t take it to your friends”, because if you do you will be tagged as a trouble maker, a rabble rouser, and you will be shunned by your peers.
Our world, society is certainly unfamiliar with God and godliness, and godly things. As Christians we need to be what Christ called us to be, and that is the salt and light of our world.Looking at these first ten verses we see the church of Thessolonica commended for their faith, and the hope that is in their heart. They are challenged, as are we, to live exemplary lives to show forth the change that God has wrought in their [our] lives.
The study actually begins in Acts 17:1-10 which tells of Paul’s short ministry there. It was only about three weeks in duration, but three weeks there was an established church – a body of believers worshipping, praying, studying the Scriptures, and breaking bread together. The believers fearing for Paul’s and Silas’s safety sent them away (Acts 17:10).
Paul is man of God greatly concerned about this young church. He sends Timothy to them and Timothy sends word back to Paul of their growth and stedfastness of faith. Paul is thrilled, and fully knows that it is the work of God’s Spirit. He sends them a letter to assure them of his prayers, to encourage them, and to exhort them to continue strong in the Word and faith, no matter what comes their way.

“Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” v. 1

In looking at verse one Paul begins the letter in pretty much his normal way. Only he adds Silvanus [Silar] and Timothy. These are men the people at Thessalonica were familiar with. He also acknowledges that they are a church in God and the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what counts. It really does no matter if a board of men or a government recognizes a church; as long as it is in God and the Lord Jesus, it is a church.
Paul sends them a familiar greeting “Grace and peace”. True grace and peace can only come through God and His Son.

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;” vv. 2-3

There is thanksgiving in Paul’s heart for this church, and their faithfulness. He also assures them of his prayers for them.
Their faith that works; the love they show to others ministering to others and one another; their patience in God – knowing He always knows best in every situation; these were all known by Paul as their spiritual leader and he remembered them.

“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” v. 4

Paul knows these people as the “Elect of God” – chosen by God to be His representatives to others, and to live an exemplary life holy and pure. That is the life every child of God is to live. We have been chosen by God. We are the “Elect” of God. You have been chosen, and from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). That is one of the blessed things of the gifts of God, ie. knowing that God has chosen us, elected us as His own. As the “Elect of God” we are called to live lives which are holy and pure.

“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” v. 5

The gospel, when it is to be effective, is to be not only words, but there is also power [signs of change], and it is in the Holy Spirit – He who convicts of sin is also the One who comforts in Christ.
These messengers of the gospel lived exemplary lives. Paul, Silas, and Timothy kept themselves in the power of the Lord.
People who are messengers of God in the world today should live lives to glorify our Lord as well. There is no excuse for sin, and it should be especially so in the lives of the people of God, and the spiritual leaders whom God calls out. As Paul, Silas and Timothy were living lives that honored Christ and brought no shame on others who were serving Christ Jesus, so too should all God’s people in our modern world.

“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: 7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.” vv. 6-7

Everyone needs an example to follow. Everyone [Believers in particular] needs to be an example to others. As Paul, Silas and Timothy were following the Lord, so was the people of the Thessalonian church. Even in the midst of affliction [persecution], they were living int he joy of God’s Spirit, and it had reached Paul that these people were having an impact on others lives.
Many in our modern world like to follow others. The sad thing about that is, many of these people are not people to follow for righteousness and holy living. There are sports figures who many follow, taking drugs, steroids, and indulging in immoral behaviors that would cause shame to the child of God who is right with God.
We as God’s people need to be sure we do not exalt figures in sports, or movies, etc., or even the pulpits of the world who are not living exemplary lives which do not glorify Jesus Christ.

“For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.” v. 8

When people have a real faith in God it not only is spoken, but is acted on by others and themselves.
There was no rebuke needed here. Their faith had been heard about, even in other lands.
What have “other lands” heard of the faith of the Christians of the United States of America? It is my fear, that what others are hearing is not good. In looking it appears to me that there is a lack of dedication to Christ Jesus in living and more dedication to gaining the worlds things. There is a great lack of prayer in God’s people of the USA. There is a lack of burden for calling the condemned people of our nation to faith in Christ Jesus. There is more of a push for pleasure, leisure, for entertainment, than there is for the glory of the Lord.
O God, give us a heart for Jesus like those who are suffering for the cause of Christ in other parts of the world.

“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” vv. 9-10

Jesus had so impacted their lives, that the idols they had previously worshipped had been destroyed. They repented [turned from idols, and turned to God], and decided to worship the living God. The One wo could, would, has and does answer prayer. The One who has promised to deliver from “The wrath to come”.
To wait is to continue living the life until He returns with great expectancy. This “Living God” raised His Son from the dead, and has promised He will return.
Being ready means living by the power of the Spirit of the Lord which is in you who know Jesus as Savior. We must always be ready. We do not know the day or the hour when our Lord will come in the clouds and call us away.
BE READY!!!!

Let’s look at a comparison of verses 3 and 10 –
In verse three Paul refers to “Your work of faith”. Verse 10 says, “You turned to God from idols”
Verse three, “Your labor of love”. Verse 10 “To serve the living and true God”.
Verse three, “And patience of hope”. Verse 10 “To wait for His Son from Heaven”.

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 092020

“So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where He made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.  When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto Him, and besought Him that He would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.  Then said Jesus unto him,
‘Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.’
The nobleman saith unto Him, ‘Sir, come down ere my child die.’ Jesus saith unto him,
‘Go thy way; thy son liveth.’
And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.  And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, ‘Thy son liveth.  Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, ‘Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.’ So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him,
‘Thy son liveth:’
and himself believed, and his whole house.
This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when He was come out of Judaea into Galilee.”  John 4:46-54  (KJB)

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 091320

“And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And He said,
‘Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.’ ”  Luke 21:1-4  (KJB)

Words of Jesus; Son Of God, God The Son – 071420

“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.’ But He answered and said,
‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’
Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, ‘If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.’
Jesus said unto him,
‘It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’
Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, ‘All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.’
Then saith Jesus unto him,
‘Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’
Then the devil leaveth Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.” Matthew 4:1-11  (KJB)