CC Sermon 030714, Events Leading To Breaking Bread, Friday Evening Sabbath Worship, Acts 2:42

Please be sure to click onto the post so that you can see the worship video, and other posts and comments.

Acts 2:42, “The believers continued to devote themselves to what the apostles were teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to times of prayer.”

AD. 33, Acts Chapter 2, The Communion Of The Saints

The Emmaus Road experience has come and gone. The disciples are told by Jesus in Luke 24:49, “”And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”

Then, Jesus gives a blessing to the disciples and ascends up into Heaven. After they worship Jesus, the disciples return to Jerusalem. They continue praising God in the temple. (Luke 24:50-53)
50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.

From Bethany, the disciples, after going to Jerusalem from Bethany, do as the Lord Jesus commanded them to do, “stay and wait.”
Acts 1:4,”On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.”

Jesus tells the disciples that, after they have received the power of the Holy Spirit, they are to be witnesses throughout the world.
Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus had previously given the disciples the same great commission. Matthew 28:19-20.

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

The disciples returned to Jerusalem, a Sabbath Day’s Journey, Acts 1:12.
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. A “Sabbath Day’s Journey” was the distance that a faithful Jew could travel on the Sabbath Day (about one half of a mile) in keeping with the teaching of Exodus 16:29. A Sabbath Day’s Journey was also the longest distance that anyone had to walk to the Tabernacle on the “Sabbath.” (Joshua 3:4, Numbers 35:5).

The disciples entered into an upper room, where they may have had the Passover meal with Jesus. Acts 1:13. Notice that all of the remaining 11 disciples/apostles are named.

When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James.

The disciples and apostles, one hundred twenty of them, in one common purpose began to pray. Acts 1:14-15. This unity of prayer continues for ten days. (Acts 1:3, Jesus was seen by many for 40 days after His resurrection, and then ascends to Heaven. The disciples pray until the Day of Pentecost, which was fifty days after the Sabbath of the Passover week. (Lev 23:4-7,15-16).
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. 15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), …

Matthias is chosen to replace Judas Iscariot as an Apostle. (Acts 1:16-26).

The Day of Pentecost arrives (the first day of the week). As was foretold by Jesus, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples. Its empowerment would soon follow. (Acts 2:1-13)

The restored Apostle Peter (Luke 24:32, John 21:15-17) stands before an amazed and perplexed (Acts 2:12) Jewish audience and preaches the first gospel message of the Christian dispensation, (Acts 2:14-36). His final statement was firm and stabbing.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah!”

The message of the Apostle Peter, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, had phenomenal results (Acts 2:41, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”

We can see that those who were baptized, were those who “gladly received his word. In addition to the 120 believers in the upper room, who continued for ten days in a common prayer effort, three thousand unbelieving Jews accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and therefore became, “believing Jews.”

So here we are with the aftermath of the events of Pentecost. We see in the report of these “believing Jews” (Acts 2:42-47)
The believers in Christ in Jerusalem maintained a fellowship that included a devotion to the teaching of the Apostles, the breaking of bread (as we have discussed was a meal, which included a remembrance of the death of Jesus on the cross), a fellowship with one another, and prayers (they couldn’t omit that which was so successful in the events which led to this point ‘Acts 1:14’). They had a common love for one another and shared with those who were in need. They continued to meet in the temple, but also met as believing Jews in their homes, where they also “broke bread,” and remembered the death of Jesus on the cross. Their praising of God continued, and these believing Jews began to have added favor with unbelieving Jews. As a result, the church, the body of Christ, grew. The growth was through the addition of those newly believing Jews, “who were being saved.” Now, let’s consider the math of this whole equation. One hundred twenty believing Jews prayed for ten days. Three thousand unbelieving Jews became believers in Christ on the tenth day. My question to you is this: “Is there anything that God can’t do?”

Now, let’s worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus, Immanuel, God With Us. (Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 1:18-25)

Holy Are You Lord

Our church meets each Friday at 6:30 PM. We have a time of prayer, worship and praise. Sermons of teaching and preaching follow. Each week we conclude our service by having a fellowship meal, in which we remember the death of Jesus on the cross, which is The Communion of the Saints. Please join us.

ETS Thought 030514, A Choice Or A Child, Jeremiah 1:5

Jeremiah 1:5 (New Living Translation)
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

The following stream of letters has been stored for three years. The message is unchanged. “It really is a child, and not a choice.” For privacy purposes, names and places are confidential.

(my commentary)

In the USA, and in other countries, elections will soon be taking place. Because the majority of my readers are born again Christians, I will not take the time to use other scriptures that discuss the sanctity of life. However, I will ask these same people the following question. Will you please find out if the person who will be receiving your vote supports the killing of innocent babies? These could be unborn babies, or babies that are in the process of being born, or babies that have been born and are placed in a room where they will not be given any nourishment or attention, for the sole purpose of allowing those infants to die. Many liberal politicians voted agains the bill that would have protected the lives of infants who have been born alive. If you don’t know your candidate’s position on those horrible procedures, please ask them. And then, ask yourself the following question. “As a child of God, how can I vote for someone who will vote to take the life of an innocent baby.” If both candidates that you must consider are in support of such death procedures, then I would say that you should consider the position of the parties who are endorsing those candidates, and vote for the candidate of the party that opposes the killing of unborn and newly born babies. The political parties publish whether or not they support abortion on demand. It is easy to research this data. If you are unable to do so, please let me know, and I will help you. If you are unable to find our your candidate’s view of abortion on demand, I will help you with that also. While we are on the subject of elections, let me add the following question. “How can a born again believer in Jesus vote for a candidate who supports same sex marriage?” That is a no-brainer. Again, I will not devote time in this post to show the scriptures that state God’s opposition to homosexuality and same-sex marriages. But, if you are uncertain about those passages, please let me know, and I will help you.

Pastor/Equipping The Saints

(a letter to me from Karen)

RE: An Abortion Survivor’s Letter To Me – 2-15-11
From Karen
To Me
Feb 16, 2011
Thank you for your letter and information. As a former Neonatal ICU nurse and a believer, the issue of abortion is very dear to my heart. I’ve spent part of my career trying to “save” babies who could have been aborted if circumstances were different.

Thanks for what you are doing!
karen

(my letter to Karen)

From: (me)
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 9:56 PM
To: ….. KAREN
Subject: An Abortion Survivor’s Letter To Me – 2-15-11

February 15, 2011

(from me)
(to) Karen
University of
My Sister Karen,
This information is being sent to you because of the close and personal contacts that you maintain with the students of your university. I am a pastor and have been led by God since 1999 to a calling of ministering the love of our Lord and Savior to those who are less fortunate. “Unto The Least Of These” (Mt 25:40) is the beat of my heart. I have ministered to prostitutes, homosexuals, drug addicts, alcoholics, and those who are homeless. God has impressed upon me that, also included in Mt 25:40, are parents and children of dysfunctional and struggling families. The children may be those who are the unintended consequences of divorce, or may be the victims of abortion. Recently, I received an email from a woman who had survived an abortion procedure. Her letter, as well as my comments, follow this letter that I am writing to you. It is my prayer that you, or your staff, will be able to use this information in a way that may cause a student to rethink her decision to end the life of an unborn child that she had not planned on being a part of her life. May the Lord Jesus richly bless you and use you.

In Christ

(my comments on a letter that came to me from an abortion survivor)

The following is a letter that was sent to me by a woman who survived an abortion attempt. The woman’s name and email address have been removed, so that her identity can remain confidential. Notice the fervor of the woman’s words as she describes the death of her twin brother, her survival of the attempted abortion, and her obedience to the call of God on
her life. I will add a few comments, as they relate to her life, after the end of her letter.

(the story of an abortion survivor; her letter to me)

I am a twin. My bio-mother did a back alley abortion. My twin brother died in that evil act. She was then put to total bed rest in her mother’s house ( my Pentecostal grandmother). Five weeks later she was told that she was still pregnant. My grandmother was determined that I would live, therefore she prayed over me every day, laid hands on me, and claimed me for G-d’s service. All the while, my bio-mom was cursing me. Gram pled “the blood” over me, and she had her women friends to do the same. I was very tiny and had a terrible beginning, but Gram stood on the Word and kept claiming me. My bio-mom never once said that she wanted me. BUT… at least I was not confused. I knew that I was my father’s child. My grandparents cherished me, and my aunt was the mother that I needed. She is responsible for my being the woman that I am today. She taught me to be real, and to love, and to allow myself to be loved. I had a remarkable father and grand father, so it was easy to trust G-d, my Abba Daddy. I am blessed. At age five I climbed over a row of grownups at a tent revival to answer the altar call. The preacher was preaching on Isaiah 6. When he asked, “who would be a servant of the Lord, who would take His Word into every corner,” I stood up and yelled, “I will! Send me!” Then I scrambled over everyone to get down front. The preacher called the people forward to lay hands on me, to commit to praying for me every day, and to provide anything that I would need to serve my Lord. They did. But mostly it was my aunt, uncle, and my daddy. Yes, I had the choice of denying my heritage all along, and there were days when I was a teen and a young adult, that it was really, really tempting. It just wasn’t worth it. So, yes, if I am wrong I have lost absolutely not one thing that I value. At the end of the day I can hear my Abba daddy saying, “come here you! Get over here and let me hold you on my lap and love you. Rest your head right here and listen to My heart beating just for you. ”

I’d trade that off for ……………………???????????? I don’t think so.

(my thoughts)

The woman who wrote this letter is not an actor or political spokesperson. She is the truth of the saying, “it’s not a choice, it’s a child.” Consider the loss that this world would have suffered, had the abortion taken the lives of the woman’s brother and the woman also. Consider the fact that you and I would not be discussing this woman’s life, if the abortion had been successful in destroying the tiny preborn body of the child, who would eventually share her life’s story with us. This woman made an interesting comment to me. She said, “what if there had been two of us,” in reference to her aborted brother and the positive affect that both of them could have had on our world. The woman is highly educated, and
teaches at a university. She is an ordained minister within her denomination. She is now fifty-eight years of age and has, for many years, been a voice for the under privileged and less fortunate elements of our society. She comes from a Jewish and Catholic family. She is not “right wing, conservative, or tea party.” Neither is she from the Bible belt.As I end my comments, I would like for you to do something. Look at your children, grandchildren, or at any child. Imagine what it would have been like for them to have had their bodies dismembered and mangled in the womb by an abortionist. Or, consider if they had ” almost made it into the world,” only to have become victims of the skull-collapsing partial birth abortion, which is performed by the delivering physician. In this procedure, the physician rotates the unborn baby to a footling breach position. The body of the unborn baby is then drawn out of the uterus with its feet first, until only its head remains inside of the uterus. Then, the physician uses an instrument to puncture the base of the of the skull, which collapses the head of the unborn baby. Typically, the contents of the baby’s head are then suctioned out, and reduces the size of the head enough to allow it to pass through the cervix. The dead, and otherwise intact baby, is then removed from its mother. We often hear of this procedure as being a “late term abortion.” This woman’s story should be a rallying cry for the truth of, “It’s not a choice, it’s a child.”

(a letter and video that came to me in response to the above letter)

To Me
Feb 13, 2011
After reading your last email from the abortion survivor, thought I’d share this video of Gianna Jessen, a survivor of a saline abortion. I came across this video several months ago when shared by a facebook friend. She has a powerful testimony, if you’ve never seen it, take a few minutes to watch. If the link doesn’t work, just go to youtube.com and type in Gianna Jessen.

Have a blessed day!

Kim
Ministry Assistant

Coram Deo

ETS Thought 030314, Support For U.S. Military Forces, John 15:13

John 15:13
King James Version (KJV)
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Even as our nation is planning to drastically cut our nation’s defenses, Russian troops invade Ukraine.

See the following two news stories.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to shrink the United States Army to its smallest force since before the World War II buildup and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets in a new spending proposal that officials describe as the first Pentagon budget to aggressively push the military off the war footing adopted after the terror attacks of 2001. (New York Times)
———————————————————————
(Fox News)
Russian troops moved into Crimea Friday, U.S. officials told Fox News, prompting Ukraine to accuse Russia of an “armed invasion.”
U.S. officials told Fox News they see “evidence of air and maritime movement into and out of Crimea by Russian forces” although the Pentagon declined to officially “characterize” the movement.
Agence France Press quoted a top Ukranian official as saying Russian aircraft carrying nearly 2,000 suspected troops have landed at a military air base near the regional capital of the restive Crimean peninsula.
“Thirteen Russian aircraft landed at the airport of Gvardeyskoye (near Simferopol) with 150 people in each one,” Sergiy Kunitsyn, the Ukrainian president’s special representative in Crimea, told the local ATR television channel, according to AFP. He accused Russia of an “armed invasion.”
The new developments prompted Ukraine to accuse Russia of a “military invasion and occupation” — a claim that brought an alarming new dimension to the crisis.
Russia kept silent on claims of military intervention, even as it maintained its hard-line stance on protecting ethnic Russians in Crimea, a peninsula of Ukraine on the northern coast of the Black Sea.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian border service said eight Russian transport planes have landed in Crimea with unknown cargo.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

May we never forget the needs of our military forces. Consider the bravery and heroism of our military members, of all of our armed forces. Let us keep our military forces in our prayers.

“Let the prayer be from you,” for the active duty, national guard, and reserve members of the
……….United States Coast Guard, United States Air Force, United States Army,
……….United States Marine Corps, United States Navy
May God bless America.

The following video is from the 1942 World War II movie, “To The Shores of Tripoli.” You will notice U.S. Marines marching in their dress uniforms. It is significant to note that the Marines are marching at about “24 abreast,” which is no small feat. (Author’s note: The beat of the drums may make you want to get up and march. Remember that your left foot marches to be beat of the drum. Randolph Scott plays the role of a great Marine NCO. John Payne, of the Miracle On 34th Street Christmas movie, is the Marine who is all the way on the left when marching and when receiving a decoration. Aside from the few actors in the movie, all of the rest of the Marines are real Marines. ‘Semper Fi:’ Semper Fidelis is a Latin phrase meaning “Always Faithful” or “Always Loyal.” Well known in the United States as the motto of the United States Marine Corps (and often shortened to Semper Fi in Marine contexts).

ETS Update, Mission And Ministry Of “Equipping The Saints (Ephesians 4:11-12)

Mission And Ministry Of “Equipping The Saints” (Ephesians 4:11-12)

The Great Commission of our Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to: “go, teach, baptize, and teach,” all of the things that He had taught them, to “all of the world” (Matthew 28:18-20). His encouragement to them, immediately prior to His ascension to Heaven, was that He would empower them to be His witnesses, “when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,” to go” to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, said of the Holy Spirit, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the works of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12). Those of us who have been blessed with the spiritual gifts of leadership, within the body of Christ, have been given the same commission as that which was given to the disciples/apostles, to “go, teach, baptize, and teach.” The purpose of the posts, that will be found in this blog, is to provide information that will help others to be better able to understand the teachings of God’s Holy Word, and to encourage them to have the attitude that Luke attributed to the Jews who were in Berea. ”Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed…” (Acts 17:10-12). The focal point of teaching should lead to the conclusion that was made by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, when he said, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2). Jesus didn’t die of disease or old age; He died as a result of being crucified. But, the good news is, “But now Christ is risen from the dead” (1 Cor 15:20), and because of his being resurrected from the dead: “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet ….. the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised …..” (1 Cor 15:52). In Rev 1:7, we read, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him.” The mission and ministry of “Equipping The Saints” is to help other believers in Christ, to help other believers in Christ, to know the desire that yearned within the Apostle John when he penned some of the last words of God’s Holy Word, “Come Lord Jesus,” (Rev 22:20c). May that yearning of believers in Christ prompt them for greater “works of service, to the building up of the body of Christ,” (Eph 4:12). May many unbelievers be led to the same realization of the Ethiopian, who was led by the Evangelist Phillip to know that, “Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” (Acts 8:37). If we have been forgiven and saved by Christ, based on grace through faith, should we not also extend that same grace to others? Should we not seriously take to heart the same ministry of reconciliation that Jesus used as He ministered to us, when we were far from Him? Please consider the verses of the scripture, 2 Corinthians 5:17-18. Then, consider the words of the worship video that is titled, “Then I Shall Live.” It is sung by the choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church (Southern Baptist Convention), in Fort Worth, Texas. The Senior Pastor is Dr. Jack Graham. The words of the song are powerful and can easily be followed. There is one phrase of the song that is very important to the ministry of Equipping The Saints. Its words are, “Then You may feed a hungry world through me.” Those words parallel the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25:31-40, which has A message of, “unto the least of these.” May this ministry, “Equipping The Saints,” help to reconcile and feed a world that is hungry for God’s Word, and is also hungry for its daily food. Now, may we read God’s Holy Word, and worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus of Nazareth, through song. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18:

“17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation”

“I Then Shall Live”

Prestonwood Baptist Church

Matthew 25:40, “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

CC Memo 030114-2, Consider The Movie, Consider The Scripture, Acts 17:11

New International Version ( Acts 17:11)
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Please consider the scripture, and consider the information that has been written on the movie that is discussed. An attempt to reblog the post failed. My apologies to the original blogger.

http://thelasthiker.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/the-son-of-god-movie-is-not-what-we-think-do-you-know-the-voice-of-your-master/

CC Memo, 030114, Help Protect Jews of Ukraine, Psalm 122:6

New American Standard Bible, Psalm 122:6
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.”

Help Protect Jews of Ukraine

The extreme civil unrest in Ukraine has led to a sharp increase in lawlessness and violence. Fearing for their safety and escalating anti-Semitic attacks, many orphanages, Jewish schools, and other institutions are on lockdown — and are in desperate need of added security.

Your emergency gift today will go to fund this much-needed security, as well as providing humanitarian assistance to tens of thousands of elderly people and poor families in this troubled region. Please give as generously as you can.

https://secure2.convio.net/ifcj/site/Donation2?df_id=10200&10200.donation=form1&s_src=FB&s_subsrc=NWX1400XXEXXX