He Was, He Is, and Forever Shall Be

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.  In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.  John 1:1-5

It is the week of Christmas. The day set aside for the remembrance of the birth of our Lord and Savior. How many of us really realize and know who He is. He is often spoken of in the past tense in ways like, “He was a good man” or “He was a good teacher”, and even some who profess Jesus and faith in Him say, “He was the Christ of God.” He was all those things, and He is all those things, and He forever shall be those things.

That Incarnation of God; God becoming Man; throws some people into a hissy theological fit, because they cannot grasp God becoming Man. That is exactly who Jesus is. When Jesus came as the God-Man it was as a Babe in the stable, laid in a manger for a crib. He cried like all babies, yet this baby grew and never sinned. At the age of 12 He was found in the temple teaching the Bible scholars, and growing in the wisdom and knowledge of God.

It is that same Boy who grew to be a Man, called disciples to follow Him and He taught them, and many others for three years. He performed many miracles, including raising dead people to life, touching and healing lepers and giving sight to a man born blind.

He came from His position in Glory with the Father to go to the cross to die, and in His death take all the sins of the world upon Himself, taking the wrath of God Himself for our sins. He died, was buried, and He rose from the grave and to never die again. He was our Lord and Savior, and He is our Lord and Savior, and He will forever be our God, Lord and Savior.

Do you know this One who was, who is, and forever shall be? You can make this Christmas a very Merry Christmas by calling on the name of Jesus Christ the Son of God who is God the Son.

On The Way

And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched His garment.
For she said, “If I may touch but His clothes, I shall be whole.” And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that virtue had gone out of Him, turned Him about in the press, and said,
“Who touched My clothes?”
And His disciples said unto him, “Thou seest the multitude thronging Thee, and sayest Thou, ‘Who touched me?’ ” And He looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before Him, and told Him all the truth. And He said unto her,
“Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”                  Mark 5:25-34

This is an event tied with the story of Jairus’s coming to Jesus to ask healing for his twelve year old daughter. Matthew gives little attention to Jairus in chapter 9 of that gospel account. Mark gives more detail of the event with Jairus, and Luke give account of it in chapter 8.

This woman is not named, neither her nationality, but either way she is “unclean” according to Leviticus 15:25. She has suffered not only from this disease like a scourging of continuing grief, weakness, and the physicians taking all that she had (v. 25). She had heard of Jesus and longed but to touch the hem of His garment. O that we would all long to touch Him in our sicknesses, weaknesses, pain, scourging sin, and longing from Him to receive cleansing and forgiveness.

Remember, Jesus is on the way to Jairus’s home. He is surrounded by a mass of people bumping into one another, some brushing up against Him, and here is this woman in pain who deliberately reaches Him, touches His garment, and she is immediately made whole. The bleeding stops, and she is now clean.

On the way to another place Jesus is touched by a woman who was afraid, timid, and may not have wanted Him to know that it was her who touched Him; but Jesus sensed that someone with faith in Him had touched Him. Jesus asked who it was that had touched Him. I think He already knew. He was calling the one out so that the miracle of her faith would be known, and would be an enabler for others too.

Are you on the way somewhere right now? If you have a need for hope, trust in Jesus. He is the only source of genuine hope and faith. On your way stop at Jesus, and in your pain, sin sickness, uncleanness and disease reach out and touch Him. He is waiting.

People and Jesus

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.  Psalm 55:22

But Jesus withdrew Himself with His disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judaea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things He did, came unto Him. And He spake to His disciples, that a small ship should wait on Him because of the multitude, lest they should throng Him.
For He had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, “Thou art the Son of God.”  And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known.  Mark 3:7-12

There were many people who had heard of Jesus, and His great works of ministry; healing the sick, lame walk, blind see, even raising some from the dead. Though they saw these mighty things, and some of those experienced them does not mean they believed Him, becoming His followers.

We of Adam’s race love excitement. If it is not for personal entertainment, it is for selfish reasons, such in the above case; personal healing. It is growing in the realm of Christianity that we are drawn to where “Things are happening” and it does not matter if the word of God is being proclaimed or not. If it is proclaimed it is too often ignored, not heard, and God is not glorified.

In this day and age we ought to live to point others to Jesus Christ. Living in this world and living this life is not about you or me. For the Believer, the follower of Christ, it is solely about Him.

We live in a “Me too” culture, which makes it all about “Me”. This life is about Him. He was sent by the Father to die on the cross for our sins, was buried carrying our sins away, and He rose bodily from the grave justifying forever those who believe Him.

I believe Him. How about you? If you have not done so, now is the time to call out to Him in repentance and faith. He will hear and He will save you.

Lord Of The Elements

And when even was now come, His disciples went down unto the sea, and entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But He saith unto them,
“It is I; be not afraid.”
Then they willingly received Him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.                                              John 6:16-21

Walking on water. Only one Man ever accomplished doing that with success. There is the gospel account where Jesus bids Peter to come to Him, Peter gets out of the boat and does for a moment, but when he sees the waves, the rough sea around him, he sinks calling for the Lord to help him (Matthew 14:26-31).

So who has the authority to take control over the elements, and to command others to even do so, but God? No one.

We must recognize who Jesus Christ is. He is in fact the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ, the Sent One by God. He is in fact the Son of God, the Son of Man, the God-Man who is fully God and fully Man. He is Man, yet without sin. He can walk on water. He can calm the storms.

He can also heal the sick, cause the cripple to walk and leap about, open the eyes of those born blind, open the ears of the deaf, and the mouth of the mute. He still went to the cross bearing the sins of the world, dying; and He was buried taking away all our sin, shame, guilt and condemnation; and He arose and came out of that grave, and forever lives seated by the Father’s right hand.

Repent of your sins, believe Him and be saved.

On a Holy Day

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. And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.                             Mark 3:1-6

“Is it right to do good or evil on a holy day?” That should be the question for the law monger of the Christian era.

If the legalists of Jesus’s day were okay with delivering a sheep from the ditch (Matthew 12:10-14) on this holy day ( the Sabbath), then surely it would be right to deliver a man whose labor was hindered by a “withered hand”, and his right hand (Luke 6:6), which was the strong hand for most laborers.

Hardened hearts which is said in the above text blinds eyes to truth, and loves to accuse those who labor for the truth, righteousness and healing. Like they were doing to the Most Righteous One.

You see, for those who are truly righteous through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ every day is a holy day; and it is always good to do the right thing; even laboring for the benefit of others. Especially deliverance.

 

Recognized Faith

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.” And Jesus saith unto him,
“I will come and heal him.”
The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, ‘Go,’ and he goeth; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he cometh; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he doeth it.” When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed,
“Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Matthew 8:5-10

The Roman centurion in the text had a recognized faith. He had came seeking Jesus for the healing of his ailing, suffering servant. His faith was a very evident faith and a working faith.

How would my faith in Jesus Christ be recognized? How about yours? Genuine faith searches for Jesus, then genuine faith believes what Jesus says and goes believing He has done what He said.

Could Jesus or will Jesus be able to say of us, “I have not found so great faith…”?

He Touches the Unclean

And it came to pass, when He was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought Him, saying, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” And He put forth His hand, and touched him, saying,
“I will: be thou clean.”
And immediately the leprosy departed from him. And He charged him to,
“Tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.”
But so much the more went there a fame abroad of Him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. Luke 5:12-15

For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee. Psalm 84:11-12

When people of His day ran from the “unclean” leper Jesus reached out and touched him or her.

By our sins, we are all unclean in the sight of holy God, yet He loves us so much that He gave His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins; our uncleanness; and whosoever believes in Him, calling on His name, shall have eternal life.

Jesus will touch your life, confess your sins to Him, repent and believe.

With Authority and Power

And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Jesus of Nazareth? Art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art; the Holy One of God.” And Jesus rebuked him, saying,
“Hold thy peace, and come out of him.”
And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, “What a word is this! For with authority and power He commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And the fame of Him went out into every place of the country round about. Luke 4:33-37

Let the sighing of the prisoner come before Thee; according to the greatness of Thy power preserve Thou those that are appointed to die; and render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached Thee, O Lord.
So we Thy people and sheep of Thy pasture will give Thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth Thy praise to all generations. Psalm 79:11-13

Many people of today reject any authority. They have problems, of their own making, with police and anyone in authority. They also have much problem with the life and words of God and His Son Jesus. Yet, the legions of hell yielded to Him.

Jesus still speaks with authority and power. The word of God is Living and powerful and sharper than a two edged sword, which is cutting any way it is slashed. Yet, Jesus does not force His way on us. He does address our hearts.

It was with authority and power that Jesus cast out demons. When He saw a human being crying out for help He heard them and He helped. He is still hearing, helping, healing and delivering the desperate and hurting.

With the authority of the death, burial, and resurrection; the power and authority of His word He will hear your cry for help and He will deliver You. Yield your heart to His authority and the power of His word.

Your Faith

Save me, O God, by Thy name, and judge me by Thy strength.
Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah. Psalm 54:1-3

But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before Him, and told Him all the truth. And He said unto her,
“Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” Mark 5:33-34

It is only by the faith God gives us through His Son Jesus Christ that our lives are made whole. Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried carrying away all the garbage of our sin  and guilt and He left it behind when He rose from the grave.

Believe Him, and be made whole.

The Praising, Thankful Stranger

“And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’  And when He saw them, He said unto them,
‘Go shew yourselves unto the priests.’
And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.  And Jesus answering said,
‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.’
And He said unto him,
‘Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.’ ” Luke 17:11-19

The Power and The Going

“Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. And He said unto them,
‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.”  Mark 16:14-19

Faith of an Outsider

“When Jesus heard, He marvelled, and said to them that followed, ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ”  Matthew 8:10-12

This Roman centurion was over a group of men that was about 100 in number. He knew authority when he saw it; and he saw Jesus as a Man with authority, so he knew he could trust Him with the healing of his servant.

Jesus in His words of the centurion’s faith was words of applause. It was a greater faith than He had seen among His own people; especially the Jewish leaders of their religion.

There is much the Christian needs to hear in the words of Jesus.

The first one I see is this; Just because you say your a Christian, yet do not believe the word of god, does not mean you are a Christian;

The second one that I see is, that judgment awaits all who claim to know Jesus, yet do not live according to His word, starting with believing what God says of His Son, and what the Son says of Himself; and

The third, just a thought; the judgment for a professor that does not possess the Spirit of Christ [God] is not His (Romans 8:9), and will be judged more severely.

It is better to be an outsider of the religious, yet believe the word of God, than to be a religious insider and miss God completely by not believing His word.

In closing these thoughts be sure you have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus shed on Calvary’s cross for the sins of the word, believe Jesus died, was buried, and that He rose again (Romans 10:9-10).

 

 

Wednesday Prayer January 13, 2021

Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” Proverbs 13:10
“But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.”  Matthew 26:32

Father in heaven, I can come to You only because You have made the way; and that is through the death, burial and resurrection of Your holy only begotten Son Jesus the Christ. There is no other way to You and glory,except through Him. Thank You Jesus for Your intercession for me and for all who have come to You. You are worthy of our adoration, praise and worship.

Thank You, Lord, for You multitude of blessings; for family – my Mom and Dad, though he is with You, brother and sisters and their spouses and children, my wife and children and spouses and grandchildren and spouse. God bless them all with Your abiding presence, power and authority of Your word and to live according to Your word. I ask for the salvation of all the children that are yet to be born into our family, and that they will grow up to honor and glorify Your Mighty name.

Lord God Almighty, I ask that You will supply all our need. I ask that You heal the virus that plagues our land and the rest of the world. You are God. You are holy and Wonderful in all Your ways. You are the Great Physician. The greatest healing we need, however, is the healing from sinful rebellion against You and Your Holy Word. May we fall on our faces before You, repent of our sin, and trust the outcome to Your loving mercy and grace,

May I be shed of any pride that hinders Your work in me, and we as a nation and people humble ourselves before You. Open our eyes to see the crucified, buried and risen Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Do Not Forget All His Benefits

“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”  Psalm 103:1-5  (KJB)

Mourning Into Dancing

“I will extol Thee, O LORD; for Thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried unto Thee, and Thou hast healed me.
O LORD, Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness. For His anger endureth but a moment; in His favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.  And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
LORD, by Thy favor Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: Thou didst hide Thy face, and I was troubled. I cried to Thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.
What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise Thee? shall it declare thy truth?
Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be Thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto Thee for ever.” Psalm 30:1-12 (KJB)

He Laid Hands On Her

“And when Jesus saw her, He called, and said unto her, ‘Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity’. And He laid hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” Luke 13:12-13 (KJB)

As Jesus was in the synagogue on the Sabbath day is not an oddity. It is in fact a normal part of His life. He sees this woman bent with a physical, even a weakening ailment that has afflicted her for eighteen years (v. 11).

She does not cry out to Him for help or healing; rather He calls her to Himself, lays His hands on her, after He says to her “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity”.

Jesus later in His “discussion” with the hypocrites says this affliction was from Satan who has bound her for eighteen years (v. 16). So she is not only healed of a physical ailment which has kept her in pain, weak, and unable to do many things for herself; but she is now also free from the spiritual torment caused by Satan.

The Lord Jesus saw her, called her, He healed her, and loosed her from her bondage.  He has done that for all who will come to Him through His death on the cross, His burial, and resurrection. He went all the way to fulfill all the Scripture concerning Himself; and to redeem unto Himself, all who would come to Him. Freeing us from our infirmities and all that binds us.

The Old Fox

“The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, ‘Get Thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill Thee.  And He said unto them,

‘Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third I shall be perfected.’” Luke 13:31-32  (KJB)

It seems to me from the history which Jesus has had with these Pharisees, that they are only, themselves doing the real tempter’s work (that is the devil’s); trying to get Jesus out of Jerusalem before He was to die, and run from the work He came to do.

Jesus’s response was to respond without evil intent but to really assure His tempter’s help that He was aware of Herod’s  and of their feeble attempts.

Jesus was going to continue His work of healing and ministry right on up to the time of His death on the cross.  He would continue to heal, to cast out demons; and when He died on the third day He would be  perfected – He would rise from the grave in His glory.

That is the response every man and woman of God should do.  Let us continue being faithful to God’s will and glory until our  time of death, then He will raise us up with perfect bodies.

Come to  Jesus.  He died for you.  He carried away the guilt and condemnation of your sin in His burial. He arose from the grave conquering death and the grave, and He will raise you up alive too.

Consider the Poor

“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and Thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: Thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. I said, ‘LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against Thee.’”  Psalm 41:1-4 (KJV)

In the United States of America we are richly blessed.  We are blessed with the grace of God.  We are blessed with riches.  Yet in the midst of the blessing of riches we are cursed with some levels of poverty; and some of which cannot be avoided.  People often find themselves without an income, due to loss of jobs; or sickness, and/or disease; which has robbed them of the strength to make a living.  These are the poor that the Christian must not neglect.

It is the light of Christ Jesus that shines in our hearts that causes us to see others as being better than ourselves; and that includes the poor.  Paul the apostle writing to the people of Philippi…

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”  Philippians 2:3 (KJV)

As Christians the love of Christ will reign supremely in our hearts; and others will be blessed by our lives and our conduct:  even though they may not always realize it.  John the apostle wrote the following…

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”  1 John 3:17 (KJV)

Be a blessing today.

This post is one written in July of 2013.

God Answers Prayer

“And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, ‘Lord, Thou God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: who by the mouth of Thy servant David hast said, ‘Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ.’ For of a truth against Thy holy Child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy word, by stretching forth Thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Thy holy Child Jesus.’
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”  Acts 4:23-31  (KJB)

In a Solitary Place; There He Prayed

“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after Him. And when they had found Him, they said unto Him, ‘All men seek for Thee.’ And He said unto them, ‘Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.’ And He preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.” Mark 1:35-39  (KJB)

O, how Jesus longed to fulfill His Father’s will.  Jesus knew it involved much committed time with Him in prayer.  My how I fall so short on committed time to prayer.  I do try to stay in touch with God through my day, but I lack power with Him; at least it seems so with me.  Lord help me with my praying.  I need You in my life in power and glory.  I am weak, but you are Mighty.

The following is from the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary on verse 35 of Mark 1…

And in the morning — that is, of the day after this remarkable sabbath; or, on the first day of the week. His choosing this day to inaugurate a new and glorious stage of His public work, should be noted by the reader.
rising up a great while before day — “while it was yet night,” or long before daybreak.
he went out — all unperceived from Peter’s house, where He slept.
and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed — or, “continued in prayer.” He was about to begin His first preaching and healing circuit; and as on similar solemn occasions (Luk_5:16; Luk_6:12; Luk_9:18, Luk_9:28, Luk_9:29; Mar_6:46), He spent some time in special prayer, doubtless with a view to it. What would one not give to have been, during the stillness of those grey morning hours, within hearing – not of His “strong crying and tears,” for He had scarce arrived at the stage for that – but of His calm, exalted anticipations of the work which lay immediately before Him, and the outpourings of His soul about it into the bosom of Him that sent Him! He had doubtless enjoyed some uninterrupted hours of such communings with His heavenly Father ere His friends from Capernaum arrived in search of Him. As for them, they doubtless expected, after such a day of miracles, that the next day would witness similar manifestations. When morning came, Peter, loath to break in upon the repose of his glorious Guest, would await His appearance beyond the usual hour; but at length, wondering at the stillness, and gently coming to see where the Lord lay, he finds it – like the sepulchre afterwards – empty! Speedily a party is made up to go in search of Him, Peter naturally leading the way.” JAMIESON, FAUSSET, AND BROWN COMMENTARY

The Alternative of the Rapture

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Revelation 13:11-18 (KJV)

The first beast (v. 1) is said to come “out of the sea”, cast out from heaven (chapter 12), and from the mass of humanity. “Sand of the sea” is often a reference to a great mass of humanity. This second beast is come “out of the earth”. This seems to imply that this one is simply a man, not possessed by Satan; because two men could not be possessed by Satan himself at the same time. Satan is not omnipresent. The “horns like a lamb” show that he is a man of religion. He will be the leader of the world religion leading people in the worship of the first beast. This one is truly a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”, for he speaks “as a dragon”.

He is given power as the first beast and deceives the people into worshiping the dragon. He deceives “with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9), with such intensity that, “if it were possible, they would deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24). We may even now be asking, “Why would God allow such things? The answer which is plausible is only to say, “To bring an end to sin”.

People always want to see the miraculous, but miracles, or at least what appears to be miracles, can only lead to deception, when not tested by faith in Jesus Christ and the Scriptures. The miracles of God point to Him. Some of what seems to be miracles today often point to something or someone other than God.

Some in Jesus’s day asked Him for a sign, and He told them no sign would be given, except the sign of the prophet of Jonah (Matthew 12:39-41), and they did not get it. The Word of God is sufficient enough for those who believe God. The sign of the prophet Jonah, was he came alive out of the belly of the fish, and Jesus was raised alive out of the belly of the earth. The resurrected Jesus is all the proof God needs to generate faith in His children (Romans 1:3-4).

Verse 14 says that every one should make an “Image to the beast” (probably similar to the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s of Daniel 3; of course, maybe a lot smaller). It almost sounds as though every home would have an image of the beast. It would only be speculation, but this could be some electronic device to keep track of his followers. It wold be a way of determining those who worshiped the image and put to death those who did not give him laud. Of course those who are God’s would not have the image in the first place.

These worshipers of the beast are identified by a mark, another counterfeit of God’s work. Here Satan, the dragon, counterfeits the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God seals those who are God’s to the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). The mark “in the right hand, or in their foreheads” would seal these people to eternal destruction. The Church today needs to hear this message and take the gospel of Jesus Christ out to the perishing, because what awaits the lost is doom. These with the “Mark of the beast” would be able to buy, sell, and trade. They would be able to obtain the things of earth, but be kept from the eternal blessings of God. “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

The number of man is six (6). It falls short of God’s perfection, “short of the glory of God”.

When man tries to obtain the glory that belongs solely to the Lord he will always come up short. So will the devil.

No one knows what this number means. There are numerical equations which figure into names. For example each Hebrew letter is also a Hebrew number. Since I do not know these things I can only share what I have read and studied. There has been a whole lot of numerical accusation and fraud, and I will not indulge in the hysterics, neither do I want to lead into conspiracies or suppositions.

As discerning Christians we can see an antichrist spirit; but let us be certain, first, that we have the Spirit of God concerning the matter. One thing we can be sure of, is that, the attempt by Satan through man will come up short. Sin will be eternally put away and Jesus Christ will reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords. Satan’s final attempt and fall is certain because of who Jesus is.

If you are outside the righteous/holy character of God, then you need to know Jesus Christ the Son of God who is God the Son who died on the cross for our sins, so that, we might have fellowship eternally with Him.  Trust the God/Man who died for you

Man of God – A Man of Prayer (1)

 “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes…” Daniel 9:1-3 (KJV)

Read Daniel 9:1-18

 Daniel was first and foremost, not a prophet who could look into the future, but a man of God. He is even referred to as the “a man greatly beloved” (v. 23; 10:11). Being a “Man of God” means more than just being able to understand, tell, and know God’s will and plan for the future. It is first knowing God and loving Him.

This prayer shows us why Daniel was ‘a man greatly beloved’ – why he was a ‘man of God’. Many a preacher and pastor could learn from Daniel. Looking at Daniel we could learn to pray and know God, and know His heart. Every preacher and pastor who is leading a church, or group of Christians should be ‘a man of God’ first. Too many are now becoming “Men of the people” or “Men of the congregation”, and rather than praying they are playing. Rather than preaching the Word of God, they preach the words and philosophies of men.

In this study we will see nine different points. Six are related to the prayer, and the final three are answer to the prayer.

The first thing that we see was what brought Daniel to prayer, and that was HIS DEVOTION TO THE WORD OF GOD (vv. 1-2). It is quite evident that Daniel was devoted to the study of God’s Word – as much of it as he had – because he was reading very devoutly the writing of Jeremiah the prophet. It must have encouraged his heart as he ready Jeremiah 25:1-12 and 29:10 that his Nation would be held captive for only 70 years. He knew the time was getting close, and this got him on his knees.

That is how it should affect Christians today when we read the Scriptures, and see the signs the Word speaks of concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus again. Remembering that the signs are only of the Lord’s second coming – the time when Jesus will literally come to earth to rule and reign as King – should make us mindful that the rapture of the Church is nearer. Knowing this we ought to be in earnest prayer. Getting ourselves ready by confession of sin. Confessing how we have brought shame to the name of Jesus, and pleading the mercy of God upon us. The Word of God is the “Sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17); and is the only weapon we hold in our hands. Of course, the only other weapon we have is PRAYER.

The second point we see is HIS CONFESSION OF SIN – HIS AND HIS NATION’S (vv. 3-5, 8-9,11,14,15). Note, how many times Daniel mentions, “We have sinned”. He does not say, “They have sinned”, but “We have sinned”, “We are a sinful nation”. Any time a preacher/prophet only points out “Their sins” he is failing to communicate the whole truth. “We have sinned” is the message of every prophet of God. If we are to get right with God it must be the confession of every prophet first of all. So many times we talk about the sins of the world, when in truth it is the sins of God’s people that hinders His work; if there is a lack confession, and not repented of.

Not meaning to jump ahead – take a look at verse 20. Daniel says, “And confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel”. We cannot blame others for our spiritual decay, and captivities. It is our sin that brought us to the place of captivity we are in.

Daniel confesses God’s righteousness. Without God’s righteousness He would not be God. In His righteousness He gave us His Son Jesus; He gave us the cross; that a holy, sinless person might die to pay the sin debt that was ours.

When we walk in disobedience to God we have “confusion of face” or “open shame”. In other words, “We have disgraced our God, our identity as the people of God, and have lost our power with God”. When that happens God will do whatever is necessary to get His people where He wants us to be.

Recognizing that our time is short here on earth. Recognizing there are many lost people who need Jesus we must dedicate ourselves to prayer, the study of God’s Word, that we might be equipped for service, and to witnessing of God our Savior to every one possible. We are going to glory. If we tell them of Jesus; they at least are warned of coming judgment, and possibly may come to faith in Jesus and be in glory also.

The third point we see is that DANIEL RECOGNIZES GOD’S JUDGMENTS (vv. 12-14). Daniel realized that the nation of Israel was being judged by God. That was the reason for their captivity.

The Christians of our day are not recognizing the judgments of God. “It’s the weather”, “It’s the way things are”, “It’s just a man-man leading mad men”, “It’s just the way of the day”. Why are Christians not recognizing the judgments of God on our nation today? They do not know God. It takes personal accountability away. After all, what can we do about what someone else is doing to us. We can do nothing about the weather.

What are some ways God is judging America – the good ole USA? Drought, flood, earthquake, tornado, storms that seem to be wreaking vengeance upon those it strikes, this would include Winter storms of excessive snow and ice. Power outages caused by these events. Terrorism from enemies. We were once protected from these things. Now, ie., in the past ten years we have had three noted terrorist attacks one of those was from a fellow citizen of our own country. One in 1993 on the World Trade Center that caused much damage, but not like the last attack on the WTC which completely destroyed it, and killed nearly 3000 people in conjunction with the attack on the Pentagon. According to some, “God is not judging our country”. These people who say such things very much need to WAKE UP from their sleep, and take a good look at God. We are also being judged by the influences of sodomy in our country.

Because we have gotten away from God we have become tolerant of all forms of evil. Because of the philosophies of men we have an excuse for every vile affection. We call ‘adultery’ an affair. We call an unborn child ‘a mass of tissue’. We call sodomy ‘an alternative lifestyle’. There are no drunks anymore they are all ‘alcohol dependent’. If a young man murders someone, it is due to their environment in which they were raised. Why can we not quit mealy mouthin’ around about sin, call it sin, and admit we have sinned, get right with God and get God’s people and His churches back in touch with the One who created us. When God’s people get right, then there will be a much better chance of reaching the rest of the Nation, and the world.

It will begin the healing, growing, and strengthening process with God when we get on our knees and pray fervently concerning our sin, seeking forgiveness, repenting, and seeking God’s power again.

In the fourth point we see DANIEL RECOGNIZES THE OFFENSES AGAINST GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS (vv. 16-19). When the people of God are disobedient to Him we become a reproach to Him and to the nations or people around us. The Israelites lost their witness to surrounding nations, because they were rebellious to God, His prophets, and His Word. They began living like the world around them, they built and worshiped idols, they practiced temple prostitution, and by doing these things they committed spiritual adultery against God. Notice what Daniel prays. First, that God’s face might shine upon His desolate sanctuary; second, to purpose His ear to hear this prayer; third, open His eyes to behold the people’s desolation; and fourth, that God answer them according to His own righteousness and mercy.

Prayer is for the purpose of the glory of God. It is not a wishing well, a genie in a bottle where you get three wishes. It is not akin to tea leaves, tarot cards, or palm reading. Knowing God’s will, then praying for it to come to pass is the prayer that glorifies God. Daniel knew God’s will. He prayed God’s will, then, what he prayed came to pass. This gets us in on God’s will; rather than expecting God to get in our will. David Jeremiah said…

“Our prayers really ought to be prompted out of our deep understanding of what the will of God is”.

From ‘THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL’ pg. 175. He also went on to say…

“The biggest waste of time in Christendom is praying about things that God already said we shouldn’t do.” IBID.

God will answer the prayers that are prayed to glorify Him. That is how Daniel prayed. NOTE; Daniel prayed, “For we do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousnesses, but for Thy great mercies…” We do not deserve it, O God, but remember Your promise. It was God’s integrity Daniel was concerned with. He knew Israel did not deserve to go back to Jerusalem; but God must keep His Word. Daniel simply knew God never broke a promise. He was demanding nothing. He was merely standing on God’s own integrity and power.

HAVING RECOGNIZED, FROM READING JEREMIAH THE PROPHET, OF THE SEVENTY YEAR CAPTIVITY; DANIEL PRAYS FOR GOD’S WILL TO BE DONE ACCORDING TO GOD’S MERCY (v. 18).

The Power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” Acts 3:6-8 (KJV)

Peter and John, the apostles of Jesus Christ were going into the temple at the time of prayer, and there was a lame; a crippled man, at the gate begging for money, in order that he might live.

Too many times emphasis is put on the miracle, rather than the Giver of the grace of the miracle.  In this case, as in the case of all true miracles the Giver is God in and through His Son Jesus; and in the above situation through the Holy Spirit in Peter and John.

The greatest miracle that has happened to me is the day Jesus became my Lord and Savior as He gave me grace to believe that His Son Jesus died on the cross for my sins, was buried, and arose bodily from that grave.  He lives today.

That is the message of this event in Acts.  Jesus is alive.  He is being preached to His own people, and some are receiving the gospel of Christ as the Spirit of God opens their blinded eyes, and heals their lame feet.

Note the words of Peter as he preaches…

Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Acts 3:25-26

See also Romans 1:16

Christmas Day Two Hundred Twenty and Six

What do I want for Christmas?

With today’s “Want” I am being a bit selfish.  I have a problem with my right knee which is in pain.

I want to ask those who read this, those who have a heart for God, His Word, and His Son, and prayer; to pray for healing.  In addition I want to ask God to heal your hurts and pains today as well.  God bless you, and Thank you.

Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.” Psalm 25:18 (KJV)

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

Day Two Hundred Eighty and Eight

What do I want for Christmas?

I want power with God in praying, and prayer; to pray for a soul to be saved, and they are; to pray for God to show Himself strong and He is; to pray for healing in marriages, and they are.

This is another LORD’S Day; let us pray now and when we are in our houses of worship.

Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25 (KJV)

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” James 5:15