022615- The Bridegroom And The Bride

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Consider the verses below.

Isaiah 62:5 New International Version (NIV)

… as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

Proverbs 18:22 New International Version (NIV)

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.

Ephesians 5:25 New International Version (NIV)

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Consider the words below.

The Bridegroom – The Christ

The Bride – The church Of Christ

The Judgement Seat Of Christ

The Tribulation

We have all developed thoughts on the relationships that exist between husbands and wives. Do you now find any inconsistencies in your understanding of how “the Bridegroom of all bridegrooms (Jesus)” will treat, or mistreat, His bride (we the church)?

The following video shows the specialness of “the bride,” as she relates to “her Father” and her “Bridegroom.” We’re touching on two spheres, one spiritual and one physical. Every bride is a beautiful bride. The new bride that we see in the video is no exception. But, let’s look at what God’s Word says about the beauty of “the Bride.”

Revelation 19:6-9 American Standard Version (ASV)

6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunders, saying, Hallelujah: for the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigneth.

7 Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

8 And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are true words of God.

Revelation 21:2 Amplified Bible (AMP)

2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, all arrayed like a bride beautified and adorned for her husband

Fathers, do you remember those “butterfly kisses?”

Bride’s Special Dance
Butterfly Kisses

022415 – Just Thinking, The Perfect Stranger

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The Perfect Stranger movie was released in April, 2005. I have seen it many times. Each viewing was as emotionally draining as was the first time that I saw the movie. There are tender scenes in the movie that never fail to draw tears; a tightening of my jaw and throat still happens. Two particular tender times of the movie deal with the discussions that Jesus has with Nikki about hell, and about the death of her father, at her age of thirteen. If you want to go back over a five-minute part of the movie, I want to recommend that you go to 59:30 in the time of the movie and watch it until one hour and five minutes. I’m not going to tell you anything more about that time of the movie, except that Jesus says to Nikki, “I’ve enjoyed our time together;” Nikki agreed. The following statement that I will make will probably be better understood by the ladies who follow my blog, than will the men. There were was a very important woman in my life at my age of eighteen. She was the mother of my best friend. He, two other boys, and I hung out all of the time. We ran track, lifted weights, camped, boated and water skied. We even double and quadruple dated together. God had his hands on us, and had placed the call of the ministry on each of us. I used to spend many weekend nights with my best friend. During those visits, his mother and I would talk throughout much of the night, into the early morning. She is now with the Lord, Jesus; I still miss her (tears are flowing now). I remember very vividly one late night discussion that I had with her. I told her that I could not understand how she knew so much about the Bible. She said something very telling of her person. She said, that what she knew was but a “drop in the bucket.” She then said that she didn’t know everything that was in the Bible, but she knew “what was not in it!” Helen then said that when she was coming to know Jesus as her savior that she read the gospels over and over until she fell in love with Jesus. That is a relationship that all of us should desire with our Lord. Larnelle Harris recorded a song in the 1980s, “I Miss My Time With You.” It was about the pain and emotion that Jesus feels when his people fail to spend time with Him. John 17:3 is very telling of the need for us to have a certain type of relationship with God. The words of that passage are, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” In the movie, Jesus speaks a number of times about the indwelling of His Spirit, The Spirit Of God The Father, and The Spirit Of The Holy Spirit, in the spirits of people in this world. The truth of John 17:3 is that it is a text book definition of eternal life, which is having an intimate relationship with God the Father through God the Son. To “know” someone is to have an intimate relationship with that person; it’s the same with our relationship with God. Consider Helen’s discussion about her falling in love with Jesus. That is a desire and outcome that all of God’s people should have within their being. Consider what it is like to not have intimate times together with God, or with members of our family, or maybe “no time at all.” We all know parents who are estranged from their adult children. It’s an agonizing and painful emptiness that never seems to go away. It’s the same in the relationship between God and His children. We can become too busy and too uncaring to spend time, quality or quantity, with God, and not have those personal and precious talks with our Lord. The grief that we feel due to the absence of a loved one in our life, may it be due to personal absence or death, is very real and very painful. Consider the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables. As time passes, and as loved ones leave us to be with the Lord, empty places begin to appear, very clearly and very painfully. .The grieving of the Spirit is true, and is painful also for our Lord (Ephesians 4:30). Let’s consider the words and pictures in the video that tell about such times of absence. May we say that we’ve enjoyed our time together with God, our family, and with our close friends too.

I Miss My Time With You
Larnelle Harris

022315 – The Perfect Stranger

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“THE PERFECT STRANGER” tells the story of Nikki, a troubled attorney who one day receives a mysterious dinner invitation from a man claiming to be Jesus of Nazareth. Throughout their evening of conversation, arguments and spirited debate, Nikki learns things she never knew about life, the universe, and most importantly, herself.
– Written by Pate Walters

Consider how you would react if you were to have an invitation to have dinner with Jesus. What if you had been having a bad day? What would you think about the invitation? What would you think about your first meeting with Jesus? Would you have any questions for Him? What would those questions be? The introduction to the movie, “The Perfect Stranger,” will prepare you for the complete movie that will follow. Follow the way that Jesus relates and reacts to the situation at hand. It is important for us to understand the words of scripture:

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28).

The Perfect Stranger – Introduction

As you watch “The Perfect Stranger” consider the way that Jesus approaches Nikki and presents Himself as God. If you were to have a similar encounter with Jesus, what would you expect it to be like? Consider that Jesus is “God with us,” and that God’s Holy Spirit is involved in every incident where an unbeliever is being drawn to make a decision as to whether they will accept or reject Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. The invitation is easily accepted:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16).

The link to the movie follows:

http://www.itbn.org/index/detail/lib/Networks/sublib/TBN/ec/M5bWUxMzqwrZvRU2mVCTq80dclW7XdNm

The Perfect Stranger – Full Length Movie – No Commercials – Courtesy Of Trinity Broadcasting Network

022115 – The Mighty One Of Israel

Isaiah 1:24 – 26 (New International Version)

24. Therefore the Lord, the LORD Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: “Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes and avenge myself on my enemies. 25. I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. 26. I will restore your leaders as in days of old, your rulers as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.”

Note from Ryrie Study Bible. These prophecies will be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom.

My Note. Consider the following song about “The Mighty One Of Israel.”

The Mighty One Of Israel

Gaithers

My note. The following scripture verses lead up to the fulfillment of Isaiah 1:24-26.

Revelation 19 New King James Version (NKJV)

Heaven Exults over Babylon

1 After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lordour God! 2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” 3 Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” 5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”
6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do notdo that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Christ on a White Horse

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

The Beast and His Armies Defeated

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”
19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

Revelation 20 New King James Version (NKJV)

Satan Bound 1,000 Years

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

The Saints Reign with Christ 1,000 Years

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

My note. The following verses tell of the final rebellion of Satan against God, and occurs at the end of the millennium.

Satanic Rebellion Crushed

7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number isas the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The Great White Throne Judgment

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

My note. More to come.

022015 – Gog’s Advance

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Ezekiel 38:14-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

14 “Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it? 15 You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; 16 and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.”

Gog will intend to eliminate Israel due to greed. But, God will use that desire as an opportunity to confront that act of evil. Gog will not be a mindless pawn of God, but one who will imagine personal glory in defeating God. But the judgment of Gog will be an act that God will turn to His Glory. Divine purposes will always override human motives. In Habakkuk 1:5-11, a similar message is stated about the Babylonian invasion.

Habakkuk 1:5-11 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

God’s First Answer

5 Look at the nations and observe—
be utterly astounded!
For something is taking place in your days
that you will not believe
when you hear about it.
6 Look! I am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter, impetuous nation
that marches across the earth’s open spaces
to seize territories not its own.
7 They are fierce and terrifying;
their views of justice and sovereignty
stem from themselves.
8 Their horses are swifter than leopards
and more fierce than wolves of the night.
Their horsemen charge ahead;
their horsemen come from distant lands.
They fly like an eagle, swooping to devour.
9 All of them come to do violence;
their faces are set in determination.
They gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings,
and rulers are a joke to them.
They laugh at every fortress
and build siege ramps to capture it.
11 Then they sweep by like the wind
and pass through.
They are guilty; their strength is their god.

Commentary: Ezekiel 38:14-16

14. Gog represents the force (Anti-Christ, or group) that will attack Israel during the seven-year tribulation. ( verses 1-2).

14 Israel is living safely in their land because of the peace treaty that was made between the Jews and Anti-Christ during the tribulation. (Daniel 9:27).

15. RIDING ON HORSES. These could be actual horses used in war, if tribulation judgements (seals, trumpets, bowls) in Rev 6-16 have dealt drastic blows to industries producing war vehicles and weaponry. Or, some sea horses and weapons here (39:3,9) being used symbolically to represent “meaning’ which would be easy to grasp in Ezekiel’s days, but which would be fulfilled in the future time with different war forms suitable to that time. (The peace treaty between the Anti-Christ and Israel is broken by the Anti-Christ).

16, THAT THE NATIONS MAY KNOW ME. The phrase, frequent in Ezekiel, is part of the theme to glorify God and show His sovereign power.

17. ARE YOU HE? This refers to the general references to this time and the participants (Joel 3:9-17; Amos 5:11-12; Zephaniah 3:8). Even Daniel (Dan 2:41-44) referred to this time at least three decades prior to Ezek 38. The nature of the question presupposes that the previous generalities are now being particularized in the person of Gog
.
Note: The Battle of Armageddon takes place at the end of the tribulation. The Battle of God and Magog takes place at the end of the Millennium after Satan has been released. Both of these battles are part of Ezekiel’s prophecy.

Note: Compare implements of war and implements of peace, as they relate to the times of Tribulation and Millennial peace.

Joel 2:1-2 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand—
2 a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains. A great people and a strong, there hath not been ever the like; neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

Joel 3:1-10 American Standard Version (ASV)

1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,

2 I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will execute judgment upon them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations: and they have parted my land,

3 and have cast lots for my people, and have given a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink.

4 Yea, and what are ye to me, O Tyre, and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? will ye render me a recompense? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head.

5 Forasmuch as ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly precious things,

6 and have sold the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem unto the sons of the Grecians, that ye may remove them far from their border;

7 behold, I will stir them up out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head;

8 and I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the men of Sheba, to a nation far off: for Jehovah hath spoken it.

9 Proclaim ye this among the nations; prepare war; stir up the mighty men; let all the men of war draw near, let them come up.

10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.

(vs 10: implements of war; tribulation; plowshares into swords)

Let’s consider the words of the Gaithers led song, “Blow The Trumpet In Zion,” as it relates to 2:1.

Blow The Trumpet In Zion

Gaithers

Isaiah 2:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Future House of God

1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
3 Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
And rebuke many people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.

(vs 4: implements of peace; millennium; swords into plowshares)

Let’s consider the Paul Wilbur led song, “Come Let Us Go Up,” as it relates to Isaiah 2:3.

Come Let Us Go Up

Paul Wilbur

021815 – Facing The Giants

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Psalm 18:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

God the Sovereign Savior

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said:

18 I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.

The movie, “Facing The Giants,” will be shown on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) on Monday, February 16, 2015 at 5PM, Eastern Standard Time. The movie is one that deals with many different relational situations. One of the key lines in the movie is spoken by Coach Grant Taylor when he says, “if we win, we praise Him (God); and if we lose we praise Him.” Another word to remember from the coach is, “give it your best, and leave the rest to God.” One of the best statements was made by Brooke, the coach’s wife, “nothing is impossible when God is on your side.” There are five key events that should be watched for. 1. Coach getting a new truck. 2. Coach getting a $6,000 a year pay raise. 3. Coach buying flowers for his wife. 4. Coach and his wife having a very romantic dinner. And, 5. The moon lit sky after the dinner. If you are unable to watch the movie on TBN, you can use the link that is posted at the bottom of the page to view it. The following two paragraphs contain a Wikipedia description of the movie.

In 2003, Grant Taylor (Alex Kendrick) is the head coach at Shiloh Christian Academy, and has yet to post a winning record in his six-year tenure. After his seventh season begins with a three-game losing streak, the players’ fathers start making noises about replacing him with defensive coordinator Brady Owens. This is not the only problem Grant is facing. His car is breaking down, and he discovers that he is the reason that his wife Brooke cannot become pregnant.

Grant Taylor creates a new coaching philosophy and decides to praise God, no matter what the result. At the same time he guides and urges each one of his players to give the maximum effort, and motivates them to believe they can win under God’s provision. From that point on, the Eagles lose only one more game for the rest of the season and advance all the way to the state championship game against the three-time defending champion Richland Giants. Even though the Eagles have only a third as many players as the Giants, the Eagles hold their own and ultimately win the game on a 51-yard field goal from a backup kicker who had never kicked more than a 35-yarder before. Grant’s prayers for children are also answered as Brooke conceives after four years.

The following link will give you an introduction to the movie. It will take you to one of the most emotional scenes in the movie. The setting deals with the giants of life that the Coach faces, including the inability of him and his wife to have children.

Facing The Giants

Prayer Scene

The full length is available for you to see by way of the iTBN link which follows.

http://www.itbn.org/index/detail/ec/EycWIwMzoCNbCFflnIcmW5xhGjFXNUIA

Full movie, compliments of iTBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network)

Mark 10:27 New International Version (NIV)

27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

021715 – The Strength And Value Of A Wife For Her Husband

(Only God’s Words follow, and a song)

Ephesians 5:25 New King James Version (NKJV)

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

Genesis 2:18-25 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
23 And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed

Proverbs 18:22 New King James Version (NKJV)

22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.

Josh Groban – You Raise Me Up

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021615 – When I Don’t Know What To Do

James 3:15-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

As the above verses say, there is confusion all around us. The source is very obviously demonic. The target is “we the believer in Christ Jesus.” The weaponry may be violent. Consider the following song, as Charles Billingsley tells us:

When I don;t know what to do -” I’ll lift up my hands.”
When I don’t know what to say – “I’ll speak your praise.”
When I don’t know where to go – “I’ll run to your throne.”
When I don’t know what to think – “I’ll stand on your truth.”

Let me add this thought. In such a time, “pray through it!”

1 Thessalonians 5:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 pray without ceasing,

When I Don’t Know What To Do
Charles Billingsley

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021515 – We Glorify The Lamb

We Glorify The Lamb – Terry MacAlmon

Isaiah 9:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 7:14 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:20-25 New King James Version (NKJV)

20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

Luke 2:8-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

John 1:29 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Lamb of God

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 1:35-36 New King James Version (NKJV)

35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”

Revelation 5:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

Revelation 7:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Revelation 21:22-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light

Revelation 22:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

The River of Life

1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

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021315 – There Is None Like You

2 Samuel 7:22 New King James Version (NKJV)

22 Therefore You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears

Red and yellow, black and white … (you know the rest)

There Is None Like You – Women Of Faith

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021215 – Shout To The Lord (Alabando a Dios en la canción en español)

Psalm 98:4 New King James Version (NKJV)

4 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.

Shout To The Lord – Women Of Faith

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021115 – Just Give Me Jesus

John 12:20-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”

Consider Philip. He is approached by some Greek converts to Judaism who present the following statement to him: “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Consider the video which follows, and the words of Anne Graham-Lotz and Jill Briscoe, the music of Fernando Ortega, and the interaction of the people who are in attendance. The message that is spoken, sung, and received is, “Just Give Me Jesus.” Is there anything else that we need, other than Jesus? What do you think?

Just Give Me Jesus

021015 – Frogs And “Simmering” Christians

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The simmering frog story describes a frog slowly being boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water, that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to significant changes that occur gradually.

Just as frogs don’t see the dangers of “doing nothing,” the same situation applies to many people who call themselves “Christians.” A recent news article discussed the fact that many believers in Christ can not explain the salvation process to unbelievers. These uneducated believers are “simmering to death,” in a spiritual sense. They can neither explain the salvation experience, nor can they explain the time ahead when all believers in Christ will be brought into the Lord’s presence in Heaven. The Bible is full of teaching (Eschatology) that relates to a future time, which we call the end times.

The following post from Facebook was provided by our congregation’s Executive Director Of Ministries.

From Facebook:,
“In all of the conversations I’ve had about the rapture and the Left Behind movie, one thing always puzzles me more than almost anything else, and that’s the fact that so many Christians .. real, Bible believing Christians, give absolutely no thought whatsoever to prophecy or the end times. That just doesn’t make sense to me.
Here you have people who believe that the Bible is true. That means they know that Bible prophecy is true. And that means that they have a Book in front of them that actually tells them THE FUTURE. It gives a clear picture of what is going to happen, IN THIS GENERATION. How can a believer know that, and then say, as someone said to me today in pretty much these exact words, “well, you know, i don’t worry too much about that stuff”. What? Really? Why not? God thought it was important enough to lay it all out for us. God told us to watch, and be ready. God told us not to be deceived and gave us all kinds of warning signs to watch for. Why is it that so many Christians are just not interested? Is it too much work? Is it too intimidating? Is it too controversial? Is it too dark and scary? I guess it’s a little of all those things. What do you think?
– Paul Lalonde”

The comments by Mr. Lalonde are very telling of the situation of the church today. Concerning the discussion of the end times, the teaching of the Bible is very clear. For a quick discussion of the “things to come,” consider the following verses. They spell out the things that await all people who have been born again, and know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

The Rapture Of The Church:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 New Living Translation (NLT)

This event takes place before the tribulation begins.

13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words..

1 Corinthians 15:50-55 New Living Translation (NLT)

50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

The Judgment Seat Of Christ.

This event takes place in heaven after the church is caught up to be with the Lord Jesus, who is her Bridegroom, in the air. Consider how a bridegroom looks upon his beautiful bride as she is brought before his presence and they wait for the wedding service to begin. He pursued her (Luke 17:10) and is eagerly waiting for their life together, which will be forever.

John 14:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

2 Corinthians 5:10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

10 For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.
5:10 Degrees of reward in heaven are taught in this verse. Though Christians have their sins forgiven and will never suffer the punishments of hell (Rom. 6:23; 8:1), they will all nonetheless stand before Christ at the Day of Judgment, to receive various degrees of reward for what they have done in this life (Matt. 6:20;Luke 19:11–27; 1 Cor. 3:12–15). (Note by Reformation Study Bible).

The Marriage Of The Lamb.

This event takes place in heaven, prior to the return of Christ with the raptured church to the earth, for the millennium, which is called “the 1,000 year reign of Christ.

Revelation 19:6-8 King James Version (KJV)

6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

The Marriage Supper Of The Lamb.

This event takes place after Christ and His bride, who is the the raptured church, return to earth.

Revelation 19:9-14 King James Version (KJV)

9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

The resurrection of the dead in Christ takes place.

This is a time when the raptured saints, and the saints of all times, will rule and reign with Christ for 1,000 years, which completes the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Revelation 20:4-6 King James Version (KJV)

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

This short outline of events of the things to come is only a glimpse of the end times. Greater detail will be provided as this study continues. Please stay throughout these posts.

Please consider the discussion by Dr. Ed Hindson, as he explains whether, or not, the church will go through the tribulation.

The Church Not In The Tribulation
Dr. Ed Hindson.

020915 – Necessary Pastoral Teaching

Consider the example of effective preaching and teaching by the Apostle Paul. The year was 53 A.D. The occasion was the second missionary journey of Paul

Acts 17:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.

The Apostle Paul and Silas entered the city of Thessalonica. They went into the Jewish synagogue and Paul preached the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Christ from the dead. He also taught that Jesus was the Christ. Paul’s teaching was “from the Scriptures,” which were the Old Testament verses that told of the coming Messiah. The New Testament canon had not yet been put together. The result was that many Jews and Gentiles accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Gentiles were allowed to go into the synagogue to hear Paul’s preaching

A corresponding scripture relates to the success of Philip the evangelist that is written in Acts 8:26-40. Philip came upon an unbelieving Ethiopian, and “preached unto him Jesus” (8:35), using the Old Testament scriptures. The result was that the Ethiopian made a confession of faith in Christ; “I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God” (vs 37). Immediately Philip and the Ethiopian “went down into the water,” where Philip baptized him the Ethiopian (vs 38). The key to Philip’s success is that “he preached unto him, Jesus.” The Ethiopian had been reading from Isaiah 53:7-8, but needed greater understanding of those scriptures. Philip was able to make those scriptures come alive for the Ethiopian, and helped him to understand that Jesus was the Messiah.

Acts 17:10-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 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. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.

Paul and Silas traveled from Thessalonica to Berea, where Paul also preached to the unbelieving Jews in the synagogue. The Jews searched “the scriptures” (the Old Testament) and found that Paul’s preaching and teaching were factual. As a result, many Jews and Gentiles came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The key is that Paul preached the message of Christ from the scriptures (Old Testament).

Consider the instruction of the Apostle Paul to leaders of the church. The time is 60-64 A.D. The words of Paul were written during his time in Jail in Rome. Consider his instruction to leaders of the church of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
In the above inspired of scripture, we can see that the purpose of pastors is, “to equip the saints.” What is the purpose of “the saints” being equipped? It is so they will also be able to equip other saints for the work of ministry.

Let’s remember the words of Jesus, shortly before His ascension into heaven.

Matthew 28:19-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

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.

We are commissioned by our Lord Jesus to, “go, teach, baptize, and teach,” so that unbelievers may be led to a saving relationship in Christ, and that they will also be able to equip others to do the same thing. The focal point of all teaching in the local congregation is the pastor. That teaching should be directed to believers, to equip them for the work of ministry. The pastor should also be aware that unbelievers may be present during any meetings of the church. Unbelievers should be given clear teaching on expectant and hope of salvation in Jesus, as Lord and Savior. Believers should be taught that, and why, they are secure in Christ. They should also have a good understanding of the events of the end times.

The following subjects are key for any believer in Christ to know, and to be able to discuss with others. Our congregation is involved in a study of all of the following areas of scripture. Visitors are always welcome to learn with us.

Biblical Covenants And Eschatology.

Prophecies Of The Present Age.
Prophecies Of The Tribulation Period.
Prophecies Of The Second Advent.
Prophecies Of The Millennium.
Prophecies Of The Eternal State.

Key topics that fall within the above subjects are:

The Rapture Of The Church.
The Judgment Seat Of Christ.
The Marriage Of The Lamb.
The Tribulation.
The Anti-Christ And The False Prophet.
The Judgments Of The Tribulation (Seal, Trumpet, Bowl).
The Battle Of Armageddon.
The Second Coming Of Christ, With His Raptured Saints From Heaven.
The Resurrection Of The Old Testament And Tribulation Saints.
The Marriage Supper.
The Millennium.
The Binding Of Satan For 1,000 Years.
The 1,000 Year Rule And Reign Of Christ, With The Saints.
The Loosing Of Satan.
The Battle Of Gog And Magog.
The Resurrection Of The Unrighteous.
The Great White Throne Judgment.
The New Heaven, New Earth, New Jerusalem.
“I Am Coming Quickly; Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

It is incumbent upon pastors to teach their congregations in a manner that produces fruit of scriptural knowledge. It is also incumbent upon congregations to ensure that they receive such teaching. Sermons that are mainly, “themes,” also need “detailed things” of scripture included in them. Time is of the essence; it needs to be used wisely.

If any local people are interested in obtaining a good foundation of God’s Holy Word, they are always welcome to join us. We meet on Saturdays at noon. Such a meeting time allows members of other congregations to visit with us and still be able to be present at their own places of worship.

Please consider the following video. It is produced by credible biblical scholars, whose names are familiar to many believers.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

The Rapture, Tribulation, and the Battle Of Armageddon

020815 – Slowly Fading Away

One of the most emotional songs of the movie “Fireproof” is “Slow Fade.” It is obvious from the movie, and from real life, that some marriages seem to “fade away” from the love and commitments that were made on the day when the husband and wife said, “I Do.” The words of the song are very telling of some of the reasons for the slippery slope of the “slow fade” that comes on many marriages, and erases the wedding day commitments. Listen carefully to the words of the song.

Fireproof – Slow Fade – Casting Crowns

Read the words of the song. The message is powerful, and tells the story of many people who are caught up in sin. The initial thoughts of infidelity are often conceived in the minds of the parties two or three months before the sin is actually committed.

Slow Fade

Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

Let’s look at what God’s Holy Word says, as it relates to the distractions that may send a marriage sliding into that fade that often times may appear to be unstoppable. Consider the following verse of scripture.

1 John 2:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

Consider lust. It is something that you deeply desire, but is not yours to have, and once you have it, it can cause a great deal of emotionally painful damage. This type of damage is something that is called “collateral damage,” because it causes extreme pain to many other people who are innocent of the sin, and who share no connection to it, with children receiving the greatest pain.

Consider pride. It is something that makes your desire for some perceived pleasure affect the real life emotions of some other person, or persons. “I want it! I deserve it! Nobody, or nothing will stop me from having it!”

A slow fade can lead a marriage to divorce and destruction. A reversal of the fade can restore a marriage that has been slowly fading away.

020715 – The Cross, “Foolishness Or Power?”

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1 Corinthians 1:18 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

In the following scene from the movie, Fireproof, Caleb’s father is very frank with him. Consider true love and the cross.

Do you show love by washing the car, changing the oil, doing the dishes, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, or even by, “buying her flowers?”

Fire Proof – The Cross

Someone might ask,” How am I supposed to show love to somebody over and over and over who constantly rejects me? Let me offer a thought.

Pray through it. Don’t give up. Remember what it was that drew the two of you together, and why you fell in love in the first place.  Consider the following verse of scripture, and the video that follows.

Psalm 27:14 King James Version (KJV)

14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Fire Proof – While I’m Waiting

The movie Fireproof will be shown on Monday, February 9 at 7:00 P.M., on The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). If you have not seen the movie, I encourage you to take the time to watch it in its entirety, without being distracted by other things that might draw your attention from a very important message.

020615 – Qualitative Love

It is amazing how the minds of kindred brothers and sisters in Christ work together. When I received a letter from a sister in Christ, I never imagined that God would lead me to add certain important personal thoughts to a special word that was a part of that letter That word is “qualitatively,” which means, “with respect to quality rather than quantity. But, as usual, God “blows me out of the water!” May I also say that being a believer in Christ, “is a gas; it’s blast; it’s a party that never ends; and we who are in the party always have extra party hats for those who want to join us.”

It is good for us to consider the value of the word “qualitatively,” as it relates to the relationship that exists between Christ and His Bride, the church of Christ. Also, let’s consider how it relates to the husband and wife relationship. I have included at the bottom of this article, a video that relates to the relationship that Christ has with the Church. It also points to how husbands should love their wives and wives should respect their husbands. In the video clip you will see an abbreviated story of a marriage that is failing, with “Catherine and Caleb” being very close to ending their marriage in divorce. The video clip is very short but it conveys a big message. Consider the words that are spoken in the video, especially, “never leave your partner behind.” Let me say this, “marriage illustrates God, and God illustrates marriage. Consider God’s Holy Word, as follows, as it relates to the proper biblical relationship that should exist between husbands and wives, and the degree that Christ loved the church

Hebrews 13:4-5 New International Version (NIV)

4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

Ephesians 5:22-32 New International Version (NIV)

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

1 Peter 3:1-8 New International Version (NIV)

3 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

It is my encouragement that all of you will honestly watch the full movie, “Fire Proof.” Also, just food for thought, in the movie, Kirk Cameron did not kiss the woman who played the part of Catherine. The wife of Kirk Cameron was brought onto the movie set to “kiss her husband.” I have added a link to a discussion of a book that relates to the movie. The name of the book is, “The Love Dare.” The discussion on the book is equally “moving,” as it relates to the saving of marriages. It is my encouragement that you purchase the book. I have found The Love Dare book to be very valuable to me. Now. let me ask you a simple question. Will you seek to have a greater, and more, “qualitative,” love for God, and for your spouse?

Fire Proof – Trailer

http://thelovedarebook.com/

The Love Dare

020415 – Israel, The Apple Of God’s Eye

The nation of Israel is under constant verbal, military, and terroristic militant Islamic attacks. Let’s consider what God thinks about the nation of Israel, and Jews everywhere. Let’s also consider an article that discusses the prejudice that exists against “God’s Chosen People.”

Psalm 33:12 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance

Note: Reformation Study Bible. 33:12 the people whom he has chosen. God is the One who initiated the relationship with Israel, the nation He chose (Deut. 7:7–11).

Deuteronomy 7:6 New American Standard Bible

“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

My note: Israel is the “apple of God’s eye.”

Psalm 17:7-9 English Standard Version (ESV)

7 Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;hide me in the shadow of your wings,
9 from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.

Note: Reformation Study Bible. 17:7 steadfast love. The Hebrew word denotes God’s love toward those with whom He is in covenant relationship.

Savior. The psalmist could look back over the history of Israel and see how many times God saved His people in distress. The Exodus from Egypt is the prime example of God’s saving love.

My note: God will protect “the apple of His eye.”

Zechariah 2:8-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

8 For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: 9 “Behold,I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me. 10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord.

Note: Reformation Study Bible. 2:6–13 In this section the prophet speaks to the Jews in Babylon (vv. 6–9) and in Jerusalem (vv. 10–13).

My Note: Consider the news reports of how horribly Israel is being treated by the world, and by the government of the USA. Consider the consequences that await those (people and nations) who treat God’s chosen people improperly. Consider the Words of Jesus, as he explains the end times Sheep and Goat Judgment. From Matthew 25:31-46, consider the severity of the punishment that awaits those who oppressed Israel, and the Jews, during the Tribulation. (Revelation 6-18).

Matthew 25:46 King James Version (KJV)

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Note: Reformation Study Bible. 25:46 eternal punishment. See “Hell” at Mark 9:43.

Consider the report of Maoz Israel Report, as it discusses the prejudice that exists in the world toward Israel. Our nation (USA) and our liberal church groups need to consider the punishment that awaits those who oppose Israel. The following link will take you to that report.

http://www.maozisrael.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=10456#1

Consider the following video that discusses Israel, and Jews everywhere. It is important to remember that Israel does not behead people or send homicide bombers into crowds of unsuspecting people. Neither do Jews hijack aircraft and hold passengers and crew members hostage for purposes of political or religious gains. Never has a Jew flown a hijacked aircraft into a world trade center or other building, or into a field in Pennsylvania.

The Land Of Israel

Genesis 12:1-3 King James Version (KJV)

1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

020315 – My One Desire

Ephesians 5:25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

Consider the note that comes from The Reformation Study Bible.

5:25 Husbands, love. The emphasis in the passage is not the husband’s authority to govern, but his responsibility to love.

as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.Nowhere in the New Testament is Christ’s self-sacrificing love applied more directly to a specific relationship as a pattern to be emulated.

Even with the sound commentary that is provided by The Reformation Study Bible, I will plainly say, “Husband, love your wives.”

Consider the words of the following song that was sung at The Church Of The Apostles in Atlanta, Ga. The Senior Pastor of the congregation is Dr. Michael Youssef.

Lenny And Sherry Le Blanc

My One Desire

020215 – Grace, Mercy… And “A Break”

The following discussion on Grace and Mercy comes from the website of FaithGateway.

Bible Verses about Grace

Any discussion of the word grace must begin and end with a clear search of Bible verses about grace to learn what God’s word reveals to us. As we search we discover that the word grace was used to describe Jesus but the word was never spoken by Jesus. Any search of Bible verses about grace, could also be called Bible verses about Jesus.

Grace was used in the early portions of the gospels to describe Jesus. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. — John 1:14 (NIV). Luke adds, “And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.” — Luke 2:40 (NIV). The word was also used as a descriptor of the two different covenants in John 1. Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. —John 1:16 (NIV).

As a concept, Grace became prominent, beginning in Acts 4, and was used continuously through the last verse in the book of Revelation. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen, Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. —Revelation 22:20-21 (NIV).

Bible Verses about Mercy

The Mercy Prayer in the Psalms

Their theologians first recognized our tendency to pray for God’s mercy. They were the ones to remark on how common it was for the people of God to cry out to Him for mercy in the Psalms:

Answer me when I call to You,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
– Psalm 4:1

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
– Psalm 6:2

O Lord, see how my enemies persecute me!
Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death.
– Psalm 9:13

Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to You for help,
as I lift up my hands toward Your Most Holy Place.
– Psalm 28:2

To You, O Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy.
– Psalm 30:8

The following discussion relates to another word that relates to something that is also intangible. We can’t see grace, and we can’t see mercy, but we can see the effects that relate to one’s giving each (grace and mercy) to someone else. Grace can be best described as receiving something that we don’t deserve to receive. Mercy can be said to be, not receiving something that “you do deserve” to receive. That can relate to a twenty-year jail sentence being shortened to ten years. In that example, a judge may have decided that even though you were sentenced to twenty years in jail, you were being given a ten-year reduction in sentencing. In essence,” you didn’t get all that you deserved.” God has given grace to people, all of us, who don’t deserve grace. It is due to this “unmerited favor” that all of mankind is offered to receive the gift of eternal life with God . God has also offered mercy to people, all of us, who don’t deserve mercy. It is due to the mercy of God, that we, who don’t deserve mercy, may be spared from the penalty of spending eternal life in hell, being forever separated from God.

Another word must be allowed to enter this arena of ideas. That word is “break,” or better said, “give’m a break.” Many people find themselves in life’s situations of which was the result of no right or wrong doing. They’re just there! I would like for you to think how you might “give a break” to the following women of the Bible. I’m not going to provide any Bible scriptures for a starting point; I’m going to leave that up to you. Please consider everything that entered into the situation of each example. Then, write me back with your thoughts on how you should, “give’m a break!”

Eve

Sarah

Mrs. Noah

Mrs. Job

All of the Israelite women

This last example consists of those who were fleeing the pursuing Egyptians, and found themselves up against a sea that seemed to be impassable. Consider that, among the many Israelites, there were infants, young children and elderly Israelites. Some of the Israelites may have been disabled, but not having the assistance of wheel chairs or Walmart store scooters, to make their travel easier. Remember, also, there was no paved roads for the Israelites to walk on, to make their flight from perceived death easier.

Consider the following video, as it relates to all Jews. They don’t behead their enemies, or other innocent people. They don’t send homicide bombers into a crowd of unsuspecting people. They are occupying the land that God promised them to inhabit. They are God’s chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6). So, please! “Give the Jews a break!”

Shalom Jerusalem
Paul Wilbur

020115 – Passover And Resurrection Sunday, 2015

The first day of Passover this year will begin at sunset on Friday, April 3, and will continue until sunset on Saturday, April 11.

The date for Resurrection Sunday is April 5.

The word, “Easter,” is used only in the King James Version, 21st Century King James Version, and American King James Version, and in no other translations that are known to this writer.

Acts 12:4 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

Acts 12:4 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to guard him, intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

Acts 12:4 American King James Version

4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people

For the purpose of speaking about the day that Jesus arose from death, this writer prefers to use the words “Resurrection Sunday.”

The word, “Passover,” is used instead of Easter in the New King James Version translation, and others that are known to this writer. Notice that the King James 2000 Bible also uses the word, “Passover.”

Acts 12:4 New King James Version (NKJV)

4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

Acts 12:4, Other Parallel Verses

New International Version
After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.

New Living Translation
Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover.

English Standard Version
And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.

New American Standard Bible
When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people..

Holman Christian Standard Bible
After the arrest, he put him in prison and assigned four squads of four soldiers each to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.

International Standard Version
When he arrested Peter, Herod put him in prison and turned him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, planning to bring him out to the people after Passover season.

NET Bible
When he had seized him, he put him in prison, handing him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him. Herod planned to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he arrested him and cast him into prison and delivered him unto sixteen Soldiers to guard him so that after Passover he would deliver him to the people of Judea,

GOD’S WORD® Translation
After capturing Peter, Herod had him thrown into prison with sixteen soldiers in squads of four to guard him. Herod wanted to bring Peter to trial in front of the people after Passover.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him, intending after the Passover to bring him forth to the people.

King James 2000 Bible
And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him; intending after the passover to bring him forth to the people.

See from the Barnes Notes On The Bible, the commentary note on the words, “Easter and Passover.”

Intending after Easter – There never was a more absurd or unhappy translation than this. The original is simply after the Passover (μετὰ τὸ πάσχα meta to pascha. The word “Easter” now denotes the festival observed by many Christian churches in honor of the resurrection of the Saviour. But the original has no reference to that, nor is there the slightest evidence that any such festival was observed at the time when this book was written. The translation is not only unhappy, as it does not convey at all the meaning of the original, but because it may contribute to foster an opinion that such a festival was observed in the time of the apostles. The word “Easter” is of Saxon origin, and is supposed to be derived from “Eostre,” the goddess of Love, or the Venus of the North, in honor of whom a festival was celebrated by our pagan ancestors in the month of April (Webster). Since this festival coincided with the Passover of the Jews, and with the feast observed by Christians in honor of the resurrection of Christ, the name came to be used to denote the latter. In the old Anglo-Saxon service-books the term “Easter” is used frequently to translate the word “Passover.” In the translation by Wycliffe, the word “paske,” that is, “Passover,” is used. But Tyndale and Coverdale used the word “Easter,” and hence, it has very improperly crept into our King James Version.

Consider the following verses of scripture as they relate to Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which is the Sunday which precedes Resurrection Sunday.

John 12:12-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Enters Jerusalem

12 On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.” 14 Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, 15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16 These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him. 17 So the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify about Him.

Note: Reformation Study Bible. 12:14, 15 The precise circumstances had been prophesied in Zech. 9:9. This prophecy is noted also in Matthew, and was understood in retrospect by the disciples.

Zechariah 9:9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey

Note: Reformation Study Bible. 9:9 This important Old Testament prophecy finds fulfillment both in Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:1–11;John 12:12–16) and in His messianic reign.

Psalm 118:26 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord; We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.

Note: Reformation Study Bible. 118:26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.Later, this cry is lifted up by the crowds as they welcome the true King, Christ Jesus, into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:9). In a way still beyond their understanding, Jesus was about to defeat sin and death on the cross.

Matthew 21:9 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried out, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

Note: Reformation Study Bible. 21:9 Hosanna. A Hebrew expression meaning, “Save, now.”

Mark 11:9 King James Version (KJV)

9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:

Note: Reformation Study Bible. 11:9 Hosanna. A Greek transliteration of the Aramaic words for “Save us . . . O Lord” (Ps. 118:25). The crowd is shouting phrases from that psalm

Psalm 118:25-26 King James Version (KJV)

25 Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.

The following information on Passover was taken from Chabad.org, which is a Jewish newsletter.

The holiday of Pesach, or Passover, falls on the Hebrew calendar dates of Nissan 15-22 (which is April 3-11; my parenthetical note).

Note: The Jewish calendar date begins at sundown of the night beforehand. Thus all holiday observances begin at sundown on the secular dates listed, with the following day being the first full day of the holiday. (Thus, the first Passover seder is held on the evening of the first date listed.) Jewish calendar dates conclude at nightfall.

Consider the creation account that is written in Genesis, Chapter 1, verses which follow.

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
5 And the evening and the morning were the first day.
8 And the evening and the morning were the second day.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Exodus 20:11 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (Recorded by Moses in 1491, B.C.)

11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 31:17 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (Recorded by Moses in 1491, B.C.)

17 It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”

Jesus believed the writings of Moses, as we see in the following account.

John 5:45-47 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

Notice the continuous and never-ending cycle of evening to morning. Each day of The Jewish Passover also begins in the evening.

Consider the following song of worship and praise that is led by Paul Wilbur. Consider the words, “Baruch Ha Ba B’Shem Adonai,” which is translated, “Blessed Is He Who Comes In The Name Of The Lord.” (see the related verses that are listed above).

Blessed Is He Who Comes In The Name Of The Lord.

012315 -Imagine “All” Worshiping God

“Blogger Betty” is a special friend of me, and of many others in the blog world. God has been very faithful to me by putting people, such as Betty in my life, to encourage me and to give me fresh ideas. Recently, Betty posted one of her “Verses Of The Day” that triggered additional scriptures and thoughts in my mind. A key word of the scripture passage that Betty chose was the word, “imagine,” as we see it written below:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. — Ephesians 3:20-21 (New International Version).

When we consider God in the word “imagine,” we can see that He is able to more than we can “ever” imagine. That includes all that we have imagined, do imagine, will imagine, may imagine, may not imagine, or may never “imagine to imagine.”

One of the scriptures that came to my mind is Psalm 103:19. The key word that came to me from that passage is the word, “all.” Consider the words of that Psalm, as it is shown below:

The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. – Psalm 103:19 (Holman Christian Standard Bible).

When we consider God in the word “all,” we can see that “all” is everything that is not God. As it relates to the five senses, “sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch,” God is sovereign over “all’ of them. Let’s consider the sense of “sight.” “All” is everything that we see, have seen, may see, will see, may never see, and will not see. “All” is everything that is physical, mental, and spiritual. It is “all” that is natural or made by human beings. “All” is everything that is thought, has been thought, may be thought, will be thought or may never be thought. “All” includes Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” God is sovereign over all trees, mountains, rivers, streams, oceans, hurricanes, tornadoes, tidal waves, snow storms and all of what some people call “Mother Nature.” Here is a hint: “There is no “Mother Nature!” God is sovereign over all of mankind’s total being which consists of “spirit, soul, and body,” as we read it in 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

Confusion can enter our minds when things happen in the world that don’t seem to make sense. We can cite things like hurricanes, etc, that fit into that category. But, whenever, we can’t figure out the “whys” of such types of disasters, and other things that defy logic, God’s Word provides understanding, as we find in the following scriptures.

1 John 4:8 (New American Standard Bible) “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Because God is sovereign over “all,” the love of God is present and active in “all,” as we see written in the following verse of scripture.

Romans 8:28 (New American Standard Bible) “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Note: The Reformation Study Bible. “according to his purpose.” The purpose of God guarantees “good” for His people. For them this is not necessarily ease and quiet, but being like Christ (vv. 17–23, 29). God’s providence rules in such a way as to ensure everything that happens to us is working for our ultimate good.

Let us consider the thoughts that are written by the psalmist, as they relate to the praise by “all” to God.

Psalm 145:3 (New American Standard Bible). “Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable.”

Note: The Reformation Study Bible. “unsearchable.” God’s power and might are so great that finite human minds are unable to comprehend them fully. This verse teaches the doctrine of the incomprehensibility of God. People can have a true understanding of God, but never a complete or exhaustive one.

Psalm 150:6 (King James Bible). “Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.”

Note: The Reformation Study Bible. “everything that has breath.” See Gen. 2:7. Life is represented in the breath. The breath is also the means of speech, for prayer, and for praise

Genesis 2:7 (New American Standard Bible). “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

Note: The Reformation Study Bible. “breathed.” This figure represents the Spirit’s creative activity (Ps. 104:30; Ezek. 37:1–10, 14).

Note: The Reformation Study Bible. “living creature.” The Hebrew here does not say “a living being became man”—man is not formed from preexistent life. Man is differentiated from the animals by bearing the image of God (1:26 and notes), and he shows his authority over the animals by naming them (vv. 19, 20).

Consider the following words that the psalmist uses to show that “all” praise the Lord.

Psalm 148:7-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
You great sea creatures and all the depths;
8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
9 Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars;
10 Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and flying fowl;
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
12 Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.

Let us enter into a time of worship as we are led by Paul Wilbur and his worship and praise team.

Let The Weight Of Your Glory Fall – Lord I Worship You

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