An End Times Discussion – Earth Dwellers – Revelation 3:10 – Draft

Left Behind Movie

Please click onto the links so that you can see the video and post on the blog.

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One of the key verses that explains the identity of the people who will be on Earth during the tribulation is Rev 3:10. This verse, and other verses that relate to those who dwell on the earth will be discussed. The other verses are Rev 6:10, 8:13, 11:10; 13:8, 13:14; and 17:8, and will be discussed in following posts on the same subject. The video that is provided with this post gives a good picture of what things will be like immediately leading up to the rapture, and the conditions on Earth which follow. In the air liner scene, consider the empty seats where only clothing remains. Other scenes in the movie show what it will be like in a world where all of God’s “born again believers” suddenly are missing, are “nowhere to be found.” Please! Please! Please! Don’t be among the many people in the world who will be “left behind,” when the rapture takes place.

Revelation 3:10 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Parallel Verses Rev 3:10

New International Version
Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

New Living Translation
“Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.

English Standard Version
Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.

Berean Study Bible
Because you have kept My command to endure with patience, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Berean Literal Bible
Because you have kept the word of My patient endurance, I also will keep you out of the hour of the of trial being about to come upon the whole inhabited world, to try those dwelling upon the earth.

New American Standard Bible
Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

King James Bible
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Because you have kept My command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come over the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

Rev 3:10: “….. I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
1. This pouring out of God’s wrath is seen to be:
a. A trial
b. Upon the whole world
c. To test
d. those who dwell on the earth.
2. This trial will affect everyone who is alive on the earth. Its purpose is to test everyone who is alive on the earth. The key word is “dwell.”
3. As believers in Christ, we have been tried and tested, and have passed the test, upon our acceptance of Christ as our Lord and Savior. If the born again believers are put in with the group who “dwell on the earth,” it means that more testing is needed for believers. The testing of anyone, as it relates to salvation, is for them to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior; to be born again, with the Spirit of God dwelling within their spirit. The purpose of the tribulation is to put an end to sin, and to draw Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. (Dan 9:24). Once a person has been born again, and has the Spirit of Christ dwelling within their spirit, there has been an “end to sin” within their spirit (2 Cor 5:17, 21). That sinful state of spiritual being relates to Gentiles and Jews who will be alive during the tribulation.

Berean Literal Bible (John 14:17) The Spirit of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) dwells within believers.

“the Spirit of truth, whom the world is not able to receive, because it does not see Him nor know. But you know Him, for He abides with you and He will be in you.”

Berean Literal Bible (John 14:20) All who have been born again will have spirits who dwells within the spirits of all other believers, and the Spirit of Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

“In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

ESV (2 Cor 5:17). The old spirit has passed away; the new spirit now dwells within the one who has been born again.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

ESV (2 Cor 5:21). The result of being born again is that we will be as spiritually righteous as Jesus, within our spirits.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

There is no purpose for believers to go through a testing period that will be as severe as the one that will take place in the tribulation. We have been born again. Our spirits are indwelling Christ! Jesus will not leave His bride to suffer a horrible time, such as is indicated in Matt 24:21.

Berean Literal Bible (Matthew 24:21)
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, and never shall be.

Parallel Verses Daniel 9:24 (The tribulation takes place during the “last week of the 70 weeks of years,” i.e., the 70th week of the seventy weeks of years).

New International Version
“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

New Living Translation
“A period of seventy sets of seven has been decreed for your people and your holy city to finish their rebellion, to put an end to their sin, to atone for their guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

English Standard Version
“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

The putting an end to sin for believers, prior to the tribulation, takes place when they are born again. Those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, during the tribulation, will also put an end to sin within their spirits. Jesus fulfills the remaining requirements of this verse. The importance of being born again is found in the discussion that Jesus had with Nicodemus:

King James Bible John 3:3
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God

New American Standard Bible (Rom 14:17)
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Not only is the Kingdom, the 1,000 year reign of Christ which immediately follow the tribulation, it is also an immediate place of spiritual residence for the spirits of those when they are born again.

So, if a person finds himself in the tribulation, and if that person had been born again prior to the tribulation, it would appear that such a person still has work to do if he has to go through the “test of the whole world” along with those who had not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Those who dwell on the earth during the tribulation will be Gentiles and Jews who will not have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior; they have not been born again, so the Spirit of Christ will not be dwelling within their spirits, as was discussed in John 14:17, 20. Those who were born again prior to the tribulation, and were raptured prior to the tribulation, will return from heaven with Jesus (Rev 19:14) and enter the 1,000 year millennial kingdom, “to rule and reign for 1,000 years.” (Rev 20:6). Those, who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and were martyred during the tribulation, will be resurrected at the end of the tribulation Rev 20:4) and will also rule and reign for 1,000 years. Those tribulation saints, martyred or live, (those who accepted Christ during the tribulation) will also rule and reign during the millennium. The “redeemed” of all times will also be resurrected at the end of the tribulation, Daniel 12:1-2; they will also rule and reign with Christ for 1000 years. Those who suffer the fate of death at the battle of Armageddon will remain in a state of death until the end of the millennium (Rev 20:5); and will face the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15), and will be cast into the lake of fire, as will be the fate of all people who will not have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. Daniel 12:2 also addresses the same fate of those who are not redeemed at the time of their death.

Let’s consider those who are “the redeemed,” of all of the ages who died in a state of saving faith. They are in a state of awareness, and not soul sleep, until the end of the tribulation when they are resurrected. Consider Luke 16:19-31, Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man was dead, but he was aware of his painful surroundings. Lazarus, on the other hand, was dead and in the presence of Abraham and was aware of his surroundings of comfort. The presence of Abraham relates to being in the presence of God. Hades, in the NT, refers to the place of the wicked dead prior to final judgment in Hell. (Rev 20:11-15).

Let’s consider the words: dead, and dead in Christ.

1 Thes 4:16 – dead in Christ – believers.
Rev 20:12 – dead – unbelievers.

Let’s consider the Redeemed.

Revelation 5:8-10 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

8 And when He had taken the book, the four living beings and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and golden vials full of incense, which are the prayers of saints.
9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof; for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood, from every kindred and tongue, and people and nation,
10 and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth.”

Revelation 14:2-4 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

2 And I heard a voice from Heaven as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps.
3 And they sang, as it were, a new song before the throne, and before the four living beings and the elders; and no man could learn that song, except the hundred and forty and four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they that were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

Revelation 14:3-5 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

3 And they sang, as it were, a new song before the throne, and before the four living beings and the elders; and no man could learn that song, except the hundred and forty and four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they that were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God.

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An End Times Discussion – Draft

Step by Step Through The Book of Revelation
John Ankerberg And Jimmy De Young

The following is a combination of “off the cuff” thoughts, and a more designed study discussion of the end times. Questions are being asked and answered. The video is provided by two highly respected students of “eschatology,” which is a study of the end times. This discussion will continue.

QUESTION

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds , to meet the Lord in the air : and so shall we ever be with the Lord…. Is this the scriptures were man doctrine comes in @ ? Re: the RAPTURE?? Is there such a thing as the Rapture??

QUESTION

My thoughts are most ppl don’t want to deal with the Great Tribulation… If Christ went through his trial we all who follow Christ will go through Tribulation… There is no getting around that… If I’m wrong if you think God is going to take some and leave others pls share the scriptures with me .

QUESTION BY STATEMENT

I believe Gods people will definitely be raptured just as the Bible speaks, but not before judgement of the church, people ,and nations.

ANSWER

I will put a time line for you. Consider Eph 5:25, where husbands are told to love their wives, as Christ loved the Church (His Bride) and died for her. God is in control of the tribulation. He is not going to leave His bride, you and me, the church, to suffer the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments that will take place during the tribulation. Also, the rapture of the church, the catching away, occurs where Jesus comes to take His bride away. The second coming occurs when Christ returns with His bride at the Battle of Armageddon, and where He stands on the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:1-5). After He defeats the “nations of the world” to include Satan, the Beast and False prophet, the 1000 year reign of Christ (Millennium) will begin. Satan will be bound, but loosed again at the end of the 1000 years to deceive those who are unsaved and living during the millennium), at the Battle of Gog and Magog. That is enough for now. (Please excuse any typos). Remember “The Bride Of Christ!”

A passage that is key to understanding who will, or will not, be found in the time of tribulation is based on the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:21, when He describes it as being, “such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no and never will be.” The purpose for the tribulation is for the judgment of sin and bringing the Jews to accept Jesus (Daniel 9:24). The church has been born again, and the spirit of each believer has been born again to be as pure as the Spirit of Christ. When the Church has been taken out of the world it will be to not be present when the world comes under the seal, trumpet and bowl judgments that Jesus inflicts on those who remain because they did not accept Him as Lord and Savior. (Rev 6-19:11). The term “earth dwellers” relates to those who have not accepted Jesus (Rev 3:10). We who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior have been tested and found to be faithful and have passed the test. Those “who remain” are the people who did not accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, and are “left behind” to face the judgments that Jesus will cause to try those who “dwell on the earth.” Rev 6:1, “First Seal: false peace. Rev 6:3, Second Seal, conflict on earth; Rev 6:5,Third Seal, Scarcity on earth; Rev 6:7, Fourth Seal, Widespread death on earth; Rev 6:9, Fifth Seal, “martyrdom of those who accept Christ during the tribulation; Rev 6:11, Sixth Seal, Cosmic Disturbances, “earthquakes, stars falling from the sky, the final recognition of man that all that is happening is coming on the earth due to the wrath of the Lamb. Rev 8:7, First trumpet, vegetation struck; Rev 8:8, Second trumpet, the seas struck; Rev 8:10, Third trumpet, waters struck. Rev 8:12, fourth trumpet, the heavens struck. Rev 9:1, Fifth Trumpet, The locusts from the bottomless pit. Rev 9:13, The Sixth Trumpet,the angels from the Euphrates: Rev 16:2, First Bowl, Loathsome sores, Rev 16:3, Second Bowl,The sea turns to blood; Rev 16:4, Third Bowl, The Waters turn to blood; Rev 16:8, Fourth Bowl, Men are scorched; Rev 16:10; Fifth Bowl, Darkness and pain; Rev 16:11, Sixth Bowl, Euphrates Dried up; Rev 16:16 Forces of Anti-Christ gather together in Armageddon. Rev 16:17, Seventh Bowl, The Earth Utterly Shaken. (((((Remember that God is in charge of this assault on all of those who “dwell on the earth….believers in Christ, the bride of Christ, who have been born again, are not the objects of God’s wrath. Our Spirits are indwelling the Spirit of Father, Son, Holy spirit (John 14:20). The object of God’s wrath is sin; those who have not been born again still have spirits that have not been born again. They are the objects of God’s wrath.))))))) Rev 19:11-21, the Battle of Armageddon takes place, with the armies of heaven (we the believers who were raptured up) Rev 19:14. The battle is a spiritual one vs 15. This is the same as Zech 14:1-15, when the nations of the world come up against Jerusalem….that includes those who have been left behind from the rapture, those military forces, even of the USA. It will be a spiritual battle Zech 14:3,12; Jesus will stand on the Mt of Olives (Zech 14:4; Matt 24:29-31); the forces of heaven come with Jesus (we who were raptured up (Zech 14:5)… The forces of Satan are defeated. Rev 19:19-21, the beast, false prophet, and the worshippers of the anti-christ are thrown into the lake of fire. Rev 20:1-3, Satan is bound for 1,000 years, which is the millennium, 1000 year reign of Christ. The returning saints from the rapture, and those tribulation saints (those who accept Christ during the tribulation; those who survive the anti-Christ’s murders of those who accept Christ during the tribulation, will rule and reign with Jesus for 1000 years, Rev 20:4-6. Satan will be loosed at the end of the 1000 years (Rev 20:3) to deceive those who are present during the millennium but had not been tested of Satan. Children will be born during the 1000 years, of those who had not been born again but were present during the 1000 years. Rev 20:7-10. Satan is loosed and a final revolt is planned against God and His people. The Battle of God and Magog ensues, but it is a spiritual battle which is won by Christ (Rev 20:9); Satan is cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:11. The Great White Throne Judgment takes place (for unbelievers) Rev 20:11-15.. Those whose names had not been written in the Book of Life (Rev 20:15) Lamb’s Book of Live (Rev 13:8) Lamb’s Book of Life, were cast into the lake of fire. Rev 21:1-5, God makes all things new; new heaven, new earth, Rev 21:9-27, New Jerusalem. The redeemed of the earth will experience all good things from God (Rev 21:3-4). So, per Daniel 9:24, sin has been judged, and Israel has had the opportunity to accept Jesus as Messiah. And! No! The bride of Christ, the body of Christ,the Church, all of us who have been born again, will not be subject to the forces of God on the world during the tribulation. (Please excuse any typos)

There are two other key verses on the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. John 14:1-3 is a discussion where Jesus says that He is coming back to take believers away. 1 Cor 15:50-54 says the same thing. The discussion of Matt 24 relates to Jesus coming back. The apostle Paul was speaking to believers (1 Thes 4:13-18 and 1 Cor 15). He was addressing an issue that was about Jesus having already come back. Paul was comforting believers. Consider 1 Thes 4:13, “that you grieve not as those who have no hope.” I had a very special friend, a Christian lady who died in Nov a year ago, who held to that verse. Another special Christian lady put that verse on a ceramic tile square which was given to the family of the deceased woman. We lose family and friends to death, but we don’t grieve as those “who have no hope.” The Apostle Paul, Jesus, and the Apostle John, gave believers great hope in their writings about those who are saved. I wish that I would have had more time to put my writing together in a more viewable format, but I thought that it was more important to put the information out for you to read and understand it. There is a verse in Rev about those of us who read and understand its words:Rev 1:3, Blessed is he who reads and, those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein, for the time is at hand.” That means that there is nothing left in God’s timeline of prophecy that must happen before the events of Revelation happen. Jesus said that the gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come. (Matt 24:14.) Nothing is said like that of the catching up/rapture of the church. “The end” relates to the end if the tribulation, which ends the time of sin’s reign on earth, the end of the things that occur in Matt 24. (Zech 14; Rev 19) Battle of Armageddon. Ezek 36:24-29 relates to the gathering of Israel from all over the world, which began in 1948 when Israel became a nation, from where they had been dispersed from 722 BC, and 597 to 596 BC. The gathering of the elect of Matt 24:31,finalizes that gathering. The term “elect” also relates to people who God has chosen to receive the Word of Christ for salvation (Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:3-5). The non-elect will also have the opportunity to receive Christ (2 Pet 3:9). But, the term “elect” as it relates to Israel goes back to Deu 7:6. Those Gentiles who persecuted Israel during the tribulation will come under the judgment of Jesus after He returns (Mt 24:31), and the sheep and goat judgment takes place (judgment of the nations/gentiles) Matt 25:31-46. Matt 24:31 users in the Millennium, the 1000 year reign of Christ….You’ll be there ruling and reigning with Christ Rev 20:4(a). !!! One final word. The dead in Christ (1 Thes 4:16) are raptured up to heaven where they will come before the Judgment Seat of Christ..for rewards…not for punishment. The dead (Rev 20:5; 12, 13) come before the Great White Throne Judgment where they are judged “according to their deeds” vs 12, and will be thrown into the lake of fire…because their names were not written in the book of life/Lamb’s book of life… Jesus paid the penalty for the deeds of believers. Unbelievers will have to pay the penalty for their deeds.
Remember the words of Eph 5:25 about the treatment of the bride, which relates to the church, the bride of Christ. Husbands are directed to protect their wives. Jesus would not be protecting “His bride,” the church, if He were to leave her/us on earth to come under the punishment that He has reserved for those who are not “His bride.” The punishment is designed for those who have lived a life of sin. 2 Cor 5:21, Jesus became sin so that we could become His righteousness. When we have been born again, (John 3:3-8), our spirits indwell the Spirits of Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and every other believer who has ever lived. (John 14:20). Our Spirits are with God, while we are alive and while we are dead, and while we are raptured. 2 Cor 5:8 When we are absent from the body we are present with God. In 1 Thes 4:16-17, the order of events is the dead in Christ go up first; we who are alive go up next. Then, we go before the Judgment Seat of Christ for rewards (2 Cor 5:10; and the marriage of the Lamb Rev 19:6-7) prior to the raptured church coming back to earth to rule and reign with Christ. Here is a question: If we are not raptured up to Heaven, how do we come back from heaven. It is not a pogo stick effect where go up and down at the same moment. You and I are special; we are of the bride of Christ. We will be protected by Christ from the time of tribulation, which will be worse than anything that has ever happened. (I hope that I didn’t beat a dead horse; But let me know if I can answer any other questions. That is how we learn.

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Those Who Dwell On The Earth (Rev 3:10-11)

I will try to bring more light to Rev 3:10, which will lead to other scriptures that deal with “those who dwell on the earth,” and will distinguish them form those of us who have been born again and are not “earth dwellers.”

Revelation 3:10 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

New International Version
Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

New Living Translation
“Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.

English Standard Version
Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.

Berean Study Bible
Because you have kept My command to endure with patience, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Berean Literal Bible
Because you have kept the word of My patient endurance, I also will keep you out of the hour of the of trial being about to come upon the whole inhabited world, to try those dwelling upon the earth.

New American Standard Bible
Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

King James Bible
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

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Before we begin this area of study, let’s break down The Book Of Revelation, in periods of time.

Revelation 1:19 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.
New International Version
“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.

New Living Translation
“Write down what you have seen–both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen.

English Standard Version
Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.

Berean Study Bible
Therefore write down the things you have seen, and the things that are, and the things that will happen after this.

Berean Literal Bible
Therefore write the things that you have seen, and the things that are, and the things that are about to take place after these,

New American Standard Bible
“Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.

King James Bible
Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
1. ESV, Rev 1:19, “the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.”
1a. that you have seen, as recorded in Rev chap 1.
1b. that are, the present state of the churches, as recorded in Rev chap 2-3.
1c. those that are to take place after this, as recorded in Rev Chap 4:1 – Rev 22:21.
1d. in summary, “past, present, future.”
There is more to come.
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Rev 3:10 thoughts: ESV

“I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.”

1. The promise of deliverance from the hour of trial. Because of the faithfulness of the church at Philadelphia, they are promised that they will be kept from the hour of trial that will come upon the earth as a divine judgment. See that this deliverance is not only from trial, but from a period of time in which that trial exists, or, “the hour of trial.” If the scripture had only said, “deliverance from trial,” then it could have only meant a partial deliverance.”

2. The words above are very strong, as they are given to the Church at Philadelphia, to ensure them that they would be delivered from this period of trial, which will be the Great Tribulation. In Daniel 9:25-27, which is Daniel’s 70th week, we see the Great Tribulation. The purpose of the tribulation is to bring retribution on the world to punish sin. The purpose of the outpouring of God’s wrath is not the future that the Bible promises to the church, which is the born again body of believers as opposed to those who only “attend church.” Paul wrote to the believers in 1 Thes 5:9 that born again believers are not “destined for wrath.”

3. The word “from” (Greek, ek) is best understood as being “out of,” rather than just being “from.” As we see the horrible things that will happen during the tribulation, in the following chapters, it is clear that the promise to the church at Philadelphia is a promise of deliverance from the time of trouble that will take place during the tribulation.

4. The rapture of the church, the catching up of the church (1 Thes 4:16-17) is the event that will deliver the church (the true church, the born again body of believers) from the tribulation for this promise to have its full force. That which is said emphasizes deliverance “from,” rather than deliverance “through.” So, the pre-tribulational view of the rapture of the true church best fits with the biblical contextual teaching of Rev 3:10.

5. The Church at Philadelphia considered the subject of the rapture of the church to be an imminent hope. If the rapture had taken place during the first century A.D., they were assured of deliverance. But, those of Rev 7:4 , who are to be sealed out of the 12 tribes of Israel, most definitely “go through” the time of trouble, which will be the great tribulation. That promise of deliverance would have been impossible if the rapture would be delayed until the end of the tribulation prior to the second coming of Christ and the establishment of His millennial kingdom.

6. The words of this verse provides support for the hope that Jesus will come for His “born again” church prior to the time of “trial and trouble” that will be seen in Rev 6-19. The tribulation will overtake all of the world, as God inflicts His wrath upon unbelieving Gentiles, as well as upon Jews who reject Christ.

Rev 3:11 NKJV “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”
New International Version
I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

New Living Translation
I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.

English Standard Version
I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.

Berean Study Bible
I am coming soon. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

Berean Literal Bible
I am coming quickly. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one may take your crown.

New American Standard Bible
‘I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

King James Bible
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Rev 3:11 thoughts: ESV.

“I am coming soon.”

1.The coming of the Lord (1 Thes 4:16-17, the rapture of the church) is seen as being an imminent event. It will be sudden and without announcement.

2. The church at Philadelphia is told to hold fast to their testimony for Christ in order to receive their reward at His coming. (2 Cor 5:10). Salvation can not be lost, (2 Cor 5:17) a reward (crown) can be lost (2 John 8).

3. The word, “soon,” means something that is sudden and unexpected, not necessarily immediate.

Another Christmas Story – The Deity Of Jesus

“Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Psalm 29:2 NKJV

In The Presence Of Jehovah – Terry MacAlmon

Holy Are You Lord – Terry MacAlmon

When I Look Into Your Holiness – Terry MacAlmon

Another Christmas Story – The Deity Of Jesus – John 1:1-18

Scriptures are taken from BibleGateway.com

John 1:1-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Deity of Jesus Christ

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

The Witness John

6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Word Made Flesh

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

The following commentary is from Dr. R. C. Sproul, as it is shown in the Reformation Study Bible. Dr. Sproul is the editor.

Dr. R.C. Sproul is co-pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., and the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries. He is the author of more than ninety books, including The Promises of God and Scripture Alone.

The notes which follow provide a keeper of knowledge of God’s Word. Please consider purchasing The Reformation Study Bible.

1:1–18 This “Prologue” to the Gospel is a preface to the narrative beginning at v. 19.

1:1 the Word. The term “Word” (Greek logos) designates God the Son with respect to His deity; “Jesus” and “Christ” refer to His incarnation and saving work. During the first three centuries, doctrines of the Person of Christ focused intensely on His position as the Logos. In Greek philosophy, the Logos was “reason” or “logic” as an abstract force that brought order and harmony to the universe. But in John’s writings such qualities of the Logos are gathered in the Person of Christ. In Neo-Platonic philosophy and the Gnostic heresy (second and third centuries a.d.), the Logos was seen as one of many intermediate powers between God and the world. Such notions are far removed from the simplicity of John’s Gospel.

In this verse the Word is expressly affirmed to be God. The Word existed already “in the beginning” (a clear reference to the opening words of the Bible), which is a way of denoting the eternity that is unique to God. John states clearly, “the Word was God.” Some have observed that the word translated “God” here has no definite article, and argued on this basis that it means “a god” rather than “God.” This is a misunderstanding; the article is omitted because of the word order in the Greek sentence (the predicate “God” has been placed first for emphasis). The New Testament never endorses the idea of “a god,” an expression that implies polytheism and is in sharp conflict with the consistent monotheism of the Bible. In the New Testament, the Greek word for “God” occurs often without the definite article, depending on the requirements of Greek grammar.

That “the Word was with God,” indicates a distinction of Persons within the unity of the Godhead. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not successive forms of appearance of one Person, but are eternal Persons present from “the beginning” (v. 2). “With” suggests a relationship of close personal intimacy. See “One and Three: The Trinity” at Is. 44:6.

1:3 All things were made through him. This verse also emphasizes the deity of the Word, since creation belongs to God alone. See also v. 10; Col. 1:16–17; “God the Creator” at Ps. 148:5.

1:4 In him was life. Another affirmation of deity: the Son as well as the Father has “life in himself” (5:26).

1:5 has not overcome it. It is characteristic of the style of this Gospel to emphasize contrasting concepts (see Introduction). The plot of this Gospel could be seen in terms of a struggle between the forces of faith and unbelief.

1:7, 9 all . . . everyone. The universal relevance of the gospel is asserted (v. 7) as well as the enlightening activity of God’s common grace (v. 9). God’s saving activity is not restricted to any particular people.

1:9 The true light. In this Gospel, “truth” and “true” are often employed to signify what is everlasting or heavenly, as opposed to the merely temporal or earthly. See notes 4:24; 6:32; “Mankind’s Guilty Knowledge of God” at Rom. 1:19.

1:11 did not receive him. Jesus’ public ministry was one of rejection by “his own people” (see text notes).

1:12 Fallen human beings are not children of God by nature; this is the privilege only of those who have faith, a faith generated in them by the sovereign action of God (v. 13). See “Adoption” at Gal. 4:5.

1:13 who were born. Early Latin versions understood this to describe the virgin birth of Christ. However, the plural verb “were born” shows that this verse is about the new birth of Christian believers (cf. 3:3, 5, 7, 8). This new birth takes place by the action of the Spirit giving life to those who were “dead in . . . trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). The new birth, often called “regeneration,” is explained more fully in 3:1–21. Paul uses the metaphor of a resurrection from death in sin rather than the image of rebirth (Rom. 6:4–6; Eph. 2:5, 6; Col. 2:13; 3:1; cf. John 5:24). God’s work of salvation is wholly sovereign and gracious, but the reality of the human response in believing and receiving is never cancelled. See “Election and Reprobation” at Rom. 9:18.

1:14 the Word became flesh. This is the climactic assertion of the Prologue. To some of John’s contemporaries, spirit and the divine were utterly opposed to matter and flesh. To others, the gods were thought to visit the earth disguised as human beings (Acts 14:11). But here a chasm is bridged: the eternal Word of God did not merely appear to be a human being, but actually became flesh. He took to Himself a full and genuine human nature. See theological note “Jesus Christ, God and Man” on next page.

dwelt among us. “Dwelt” means “pitched His tent.” This not only indicates the temporary nature of Jesus’ earthly existence, but does so in a way that recalls ancient Israel’s tabernacle, where God could be found (Ex. 40:34, 35).

we have seen his glory. His “glory” is beheld, even as God’s was in the wilderness (Ex. 16:1–10; 33:18–23), in the tabernacle (Ex. 40:34–35), and later in the temple (1 Kin. 8:1–11). There may also be a reference to the Transfiguration, since John witnessed it (Matt. 17:1–5). “Glory” applies supremely to God, who is the Creator and Ruler of the universe, and before whom all knees must bow. The Son has the divine glory by right (17:5). The Reformers declared their faith with the motto, Soli Deo Gloria (“To God alone the glory”).

the only Son. This phrase translates a single Greek word and explicitly points to the eternal generation of the Son in the Trinity.

full of grace and truth. These words correspond to Old Testament terms describing God’s covenant mercy that are often translated “steadfast love and faithfulness” (Gen. 24:27; Ps. 25:10; Prov. 16:6; cf. Ex. 34:6; Ps. 26:3). The Word made flesh fully manifests the gracious covenant-making and covenant-keeping character of God

1:15 John the Baptist’s ministry preceded the public ministry of Jesus (Matt. 3), yet the Word, being eternal, existed before John (cf. 8:58).

1:16 grace. This word, frequent in Paul’s epistles, appears in John’s writings only in this passage and as a customary greeting in Rev. 1:4; 22:21. It emphasizes that salvation is a gift. The Reformation expressed this with the motto Sola Gratia (“by grace alone”).

1:17 Moses . . . Jesus Christ. There is both contrast and comparison. Grace and truth truly existed in Moses’ day, but they were fully revealed in the coming of Christ.

1:18 No one has ever seen God. It is fundamental that God is invisible and without form (1 Tim. 6:16). Yet Christ reveals God. He brings the invisible and the visible together in a way that has no parallel or analogy.

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/

Stille Nacht

Mannheim Steamroller
Stille Nacht

Luke 2:1-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

Christ Born of Mary

2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

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.

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
Peter Benenson, December 10th, 1961.

The Holiness Of God

Adoration – Mike Adkins

Consider the Holiness of God. May we never cease adoring Him and giving Him praise. May nations all around the world seek to have leaders who will follow the example of love, humility and praise for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that we see in this act of Solomon in 967 B.C., when he was the King of Israel.

2 Chronicles 6:12-14 New Living Translation (NLT)

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire community of Israel, and he lifted his hands in prayer. 13 Now Solomon had made a bronze platform 7 1⁄2 feet long, 7 1⁄2 feet wide, and 4 1⁄2 feet high and had placed it at the center of the Temple’s outer courtyard. He stood on the platform, and then he knelt in front of the entire community of Israel and lifted his hands toward heaven. 14 He prayed,

“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven and earth. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.

2 Chronicles 7:1-3 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Dedication of the Temple

7 When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. 2 The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying,
“He is good!
His faithful love endures forever!”

Open Door Ministries Objective – Ministry Support

Sweet Beulah Land – Squire Parsons

Please click onto the link to see the blog of Open Door Ministries
https://thechurchoftheopendoor.wordpress.com/

Consider the timeline.

A.D. 33. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus, commissioned His disciples, soon to be apostles, to be witnesses of Him to the whole world:

Matthew 28:19-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Acts 1:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.

A.D. 44. The Holy Spirit commissioned the Apostle Paul, and Barnabas, to preach the gospel to lands far away from Jerusalem. A companion, John (John Mark, the gospel writer), went with along on the missionary trip.

The Apostle Paul and Barnabas traveled on a mission of church planting. They also placed leaders in each of the congregations:

Acts 13:2-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John as their helper.

A.D. 46. Paul and Barnabas chose leaders for congregations that were being planted, and those that had previously been planted. The establishment of brick and mortar churches provided a place for believers in Christ to meet as congregations.

Acts 14:23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
The Message translation offers the following words that show a definite intention on the part of Paul and Barnabas to choose leaders of the congregations that they had planted…Paul and Barnabas “handpicked” leaders (Message, Acts 14:23).

A.D. 64. The building of brick and mortar churches provided a place for believers in Christ to meet as congregations. Paul and Barnabas chose leaders of those fellowships. There is also a group of leaders that was not necessarily chosen by mortals for that purpose. A structure of four walls and a roof is not necessarily the place where these leaders “lead.” They may, or may not, have been seminary educated. They may, or may not, have been voted by a congregation to take on a leadership role. They may be men or women. They may be young or old. The qualifying factor is that they were chosen by God for the roles of spiritual leadership.

Ephesians 4:11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
“He gave some.” Spiritual gifts. “Some” is non-gender specific. The Christian church was new. There was no New Testament.

Apostles were missionaries who had special gifting (such as the Apostle Paul, when he was bitten by a viper, and did not die). Prophets were given Words from God to be given to the church. Evangelists did the work of the church, outside of the church. (Philip is a good example, Acts 8). Pastors were leaders. Teachers were those who had special gifting in teaching. The only offices that were found relative to those five positions of spiritual leadership were apostle and pastor. It is important to remember that an Old Testament Prophet prophesied to Israel, largely relative to the end times. The New Testament Prophet spoke God’s Word to the New Testament Church, due to the fact that there was no New Testament written at that time. There was no expiration date given for any of those spiritual gifts of leadership.

John 4:24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
“God is spirit.”

John 14:10-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.
Father and Son indwell each other’s spirit.

John 14:16-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
The Helper, the Holy Spirit, can not be received by the world because the world is the body of unbelievers of the world. The Holy Spirit will also be “in you” if you are a born again believer in Christ.

John 14:26 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
The Holy Spirit is the spiritual teacher of all of those whom He indwells.

John 15:26-27 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,27 and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
The Holy Spirit is “from the Father,” and is the “Spirit of truth.” He gives testimony of Jesus.

Galatians 3:28 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
“In Christ.” This is a literal place of residence for the spirit of anyone who has been “born again.”

Colossians 1:27 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
“Christ in you.” This is the literal place of residence of the Spirit of Christ when a person has been born again.

Ephesians 4:12 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (KJV says “perfecting the saints.” The NASB is correct in “equipping.”)
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
The purpose for the “equipping of the saints” is for those who are doing the equipping to be agents of the Holy Spirit, with the end result being the “building up” of the “body of Christ.”

Colossians 1:17-18, 24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.

1 Corinthians 1:2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
Jesus is the head of the church, which is the “born again” body of believers, those who “are called,” as opposed to those who may just “place their membership” in a local church.

Acts 14:23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Getting back to the appointing (hand picking, “Message” translation) of leaders, those leaders were “commended to the Lord.” Those words show that there was no such “religious super structure.” Each congregation, each fellowship, each assembly of believers was lead by leaders who had “no boss but Jesus.”

Matthew 16:18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
The above words of Jesus were spoken when there was no “church.” The would become the born again body of believers in Christ, ” whose spirits indwell the Spirit of Christ.
1577 ekklēsía(from 1537 /ek, “out from and to” and 2564 /kaléō, “to call”) – properly, people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church (the mystical body of Christ) – i.e. the universal (total) body of believers whom God calls out from the world and into His eternal kingdom.

The born again body of believers, the true church,” can be found in many places. They may be found within the confines of traditional brick and mortar structures. They may also be found in small groups of believers who meet in homes, Christian associations, and para church ministries. Believers may also may be found in home and family settings. Regardless of their places of meeting, groups needs leaders.

Open Door Ministries has as one of its objectives the equipping and supporting leaders of small groups. Those may be cell groups, home fellowships, business and civic ministries, and wherever groups of believers may find places to meet. Open Door Ministries ordains, appoints and certifies believers as leaders of such groups. The focus of our ordinations is small groups. However, people whom we ordain as pastors are also qualified to be pastors of brick and mortar churches.

So that those who are equipped and ordained by Open Door Ministries are recognized as being credible within their communities, we also provide such leaders with a position of organizational membership with Open Door Ministries. Such pastors, leaders, etc, may also be appointed as Executive Directors, and have a direct line of communication and leadership with Open Door Ministries. However, nobody is anybody’s boss. The responsibility of Open Door Ministries is to support and help develop Pastors, other spiritual leaders, and Executive Directors, with the scriptural example of Acts 14:23.

An Executive Director may be appointed to lead and serve any ministry, regardless of the size or scope of the ministry. The purpose of such an appointment is to provide international ministry support and credibility for the ministry and for the leader of that ministry. An Executive Director coordinates directly with Open Door Ministries for issues of ministry support and success.

An Executive Director may also be ordained to serve as a minister or chaplain, and may be licensed to preach.

A believer in Christ may also be identified as being a member, with no particular office or ministry ordination, appointment, or licensing. Any believer in Christ, who is ordained, appointed, or licensed by Open Door Ministries, may choose to use any of the names of ministry that are authorized by Open Door Ministries, or they may choose to not use any of the names that are authorized by Open Door Ministries. By special request, any ministry name may be initiated, authorized, and sanctioned by Open Door Ministries.

The qualifications that are necessary for the ordination, licensing, or appointment of anyone by Open Door Ministries, are those that are found in Paul’s letters to Timothy Chapter 3, and Titus Chapter 1. There must also be an affirmation of all of the points of agreement as they relate to the following six keys of belief. The purpose of Open Door Ministries is to “equip the saints,” whether those saints are members of Open Door Ministries, or not.

1. Inerrancy of scripture.
2. The virgin birth of Jesus.
3. The deity of Christ.
4. The triune God (the trinity – three-in-one): God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
5. Sanctity of life/protection of life for unborn babies.
6. Marriage only between one man and one woman.

Celebrating Christ’s Coming

Terry James Prophecy Line

Christmas 2015, to me, seems strangely removed from Christmases of the past. By that I mean the culture has changed in America to the point that Jesus is now truly marginalized. He has been, it seems to me, moved by opposition forces to the periphery for the first time in the nation’s history of celebrating His birth. The ambience of the season feels different this time.

News reports tell almost daily of public schools that have changed the name of the season’s celebration to something other than Christmas. Calling it Christmas is forbidden within a growing number of corporate entities and organizations. We must now refer to the season as Happy Holidays rather than as Christmas. People are more and more offended by anything associated with the name of Jesus Christ, or so it seems according to the politically correct–the minority that has been allowed to rule American society over…

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A MARRIAGE CAROL DRAFT 12017-15

A Marriage Carol

This is the fourth year that I have published this post. Each time, I have listened to the videos without interruption, and each time they have pulled strong emotions from within me. This evening, as usual, my throat and jaw tightened. Tears would not stop finding their way onto my cheeks. The story of Jacob and Marlee is that, just a story. But, I know that their situation is one that many married couples, “are facing, have faced, or will face.”

Luke 2:1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)

Christ Born of Mary

1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Mary and Joseph were on their way to Bethlehem, where Mary would give birth to Jesus, the Savior of the world. Consider the story of Marlee and Jacob, and their “Christmas Eve” journey; it was being made for quite a different reason. The recording of Marlee and Jacob may be difficult for some of you. I moderate all comments to this blog, so if anybody comments on the post, I will not publish that comment without gaining permission to do so. Please trust me with your privacy.

Marlee and Jacob were married on Christmas Eve, “twenty years ago.” On this Christmas Eve, the couple are headed to an attorney’s office…to sign divorce papers. Think about Marlee, Jacob, and your marriage situation. Do you remember the words that you and your mate said to each other as you stood before God, the minister, family and friends, and the rest of the people who were watching and listening as you professed your love for one another? If you have forgotten those special words, I have written a traditional wedding vow for you to consider. Please read it now.

“To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish…’til death do us part.”

If you are also considering a Christmas Eve “divorce papers appointment;” please! Let me ask you to listen to the following audio recording of Marlee and Jacob, as they are on their way to sign their papers…on Christmas Eve. The time of the recording is fifty-four minutes. Let me ask you to set aside an uninterrupted period of time, “for fifty-four minutes.” Think about your wedding vows. Think about your marriage…please! Set aside fifty-four minutes and consider your marriage.

There are two links that will get you to the recording. I am providing both of them intact so that you will be able to activate at least one of them, in the event that the other may not work. The link that is at the top is the one that I have used; it will take you directly to the link. You can click onto the second link and scroll down and click onto the title “A Marriage Carol,” to begin the recording. You may even see an image of the Moody Link. After you have listened to the story of Marlee and Jacob (or, of you and your mate), please set aside another eight minutes and seventeen seconds to listen to the song and oratory that are provided by Bill and Gloria Gaither. It tells about the love and challenges that have encompassed their marriage. After you have read, listened to, and watched everything that is in this post, let me ask you a very personal question; you can answer to yourself. So, here it is. When you read a post on fb from a “friend” of the opposite sex, “do you get a spark?” If your answer is “yes,” maybe fb is not something that you should have as a part of your life.

http://www.moodyradio.org/Christmas/

We Have This Moment Today
Bill And Gloria Gaither

Praise, Worship, Intimacy Of Relationship With Jesus

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6, NASB)

Shalom Jerusalem – Paul Wilbur

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/
Click onto the above link to see the post, as it is shown on the blog, Equipping The Saints

Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai – Paul Wilbur

Praise Adonai – Paul Wilbur

Yeshua Ha Mashciach – Paul Wilbur

Let God Arise – Paul Wilbur

Days Of Elijah – Paul Wilbur

In Your Presence – Paul Wilbur

Sing Hallelujah- Paul Wilbuur

Let The Weight Of Your Glory Fall – Paul Wilbur

For Your Name Is Holy – Paul Wilbur

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10, ESV)

Open Door Ministries Objective – Small Groups

Sweet Beulah Land – Squire Parsons

https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/
Click onto the above link to see the post, as it is shown on the blog, Equipping The Saints

Please click onto the link to see the blog of Open Door Ministries
https://thechurchoftheopendoor.wordpress.com/

Father Along – Russ Taff

A.D. 33. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus, commissioned His disciples, soon to be apostles, to be witnesses of Him to the whole world:

Matthew 28:19-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Acts 1:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.

The Apostle Paul and Barnabas traveled on a mission of church planting. They also placed leaders in each of the congregations:
A.D. 44. The Holy Spirit commissioned the Apostle Paul, and Barnabas, to preach the gospel to lands far away from Jerusalem. A companion, John (John Mark, the gospel writer), went with along on the missionary trip.

When He Was On The Cross – The Florida Boys

Acts 13:2-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John as their helper.

A.D. 46. Paul and Barnabas chose leaders for congregations that were being planted, and those that had previously been planted. The establishment of brick and mortar churches provided a place for believers in Christ to meet as congregations.

The Message translation offers the following words that show a definite intention on the part of Paul and Barnabas to choose leaders of the congregations that they had planted.

Paul and Barnabas “handpicked” leaders (Message, Acts 14:23).

Acts 14:23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

A.D. 64. The building of brick and mortar churches provided a place for believers in Christ to meet as congregations. Paul and Barnabas chose leaders of those fellowships. There is also a group of leaders that was not necessarily chosen by mortals for that purpose. A structure of four walls and a roof is not necessarily the place where these leaders “lead.” They may, or may not, have been seminary educated. They may, or may not, have been voted by a congregation to take on a leadership role. They may be men or women. They may be young or old. The qualifying factor is that they were chosen by God for the roles of spiritual leadership.

He Is Here – The Talley Trio

Ephesians 4:11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

“He gave some.” Spiritual gifts. “Some” is non-gender specific. The Christian church was new. There was no New Testament.

Apostles were missionaries who had special gifting (such as the Apostle Paul, when he was bitten by a viper, and did not die). Prophets were given Words from God to be given to the church. Evangelists did the work of the church, outside of the church. (Philip is a good example, Acts 8). Pastors were leaders. Teachers were those who had special gifting in teaching. The only offices that were found relative to those five positions of spiritual leadership were apostle and pastor. It is important to remember that an Old Testament Prophet prophesied to Israel, largely relative to the end times. The New Testament Prophet spoke God’s Word to the New Testament Church, due to the fact that there was no New Testament written at that time. There was no expiration date given for any of those spiritual gifts of leadership.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus – Cynthia Clawson

John 4:24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

“God is spirit.”

John 14:10-11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

Father and Son indwell each other’s spirit.

John 14:16-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

The Helper, the Holy Spirit, can not be received by the world because the world is the body of unbelievers of the world. The Holy Spirit will also be “in you” if you are a born again believer in Christ.

John 14:26 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

The Holy Spirit is the spiritual teacher of all of those whom He indwells.

John 15:26-27 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,27 and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

The Holy Spirit is “from the Father,” and is the “Spirit of truth.” He gives testimony of Jesus.

Sweet Jesus – Doris Akers

Galatians 3:28 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

“In Christ.” This is a literal place of residence for the spirit of anyone who has been “born again.”

Colossians 1:27 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

“Christ in you.” This is the literal place of residence of the Spirit of Christ when a person has been born again.

Ephesians 4:12 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (KJV says “perfecting the saints.” The NASB is correct in “equipping.”)

12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

The purpose for the “equipping of the saints” is for those who are doing the equipping to be agents of the Holy Spirit, with the end result being the “building up” of the “body of Christ.”

Colossians 1:17-18, 24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.

1 Corinthians 1:2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:

Jesus is the head of the church, which is the “born again” body of believers, those who “are called,” as opposed to those who may just “place their membership” in a local church.

Acts 14:23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Getting back to the appointing (hand picking, “Message” translation) of leaders, those leaders were “commended to the Lord.” Those words show that there was no such “religious super structure.” Each congregation, each fellowship, each assembly of believers was lead by leaders who had “no boss but Jesus.”

Matthew 16:18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

The above words of Jesus were spoken when there was no “church.” The would become the born again body of believers in Christ, ” whose spirits indwell the Spirit of Christ.

1577 ekklēsía(from 1537 /ek, “out from and to” and 2564 /kaléō, “to call”) – properly, people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church (the mystical body of Christ) – i.e. the universal (total) body of believers whom God calls out from the world and into His eternal kingdom.

Sweet, Sweet Spirit – Doris Akers

The born again body of believers, the true church,” can be found in many places. They may be found within the confines of traditional brick and mortar structures. They may also be found in small groups of believers who meet in homes, Christian associations, and para church ministries. Believers may also may be found in home and family settings. Regardless of their places of meeting, groups needs leaders.

Open Door Ministries has as one of its objectives the equipping and supporting leaders of small groups. Those may be cell groups, home fellowships, business and civic ministries, and wherever groups of believers may find places to meet. Open Door Ministries ordains, appoints and certifies believers as leaders of such groups. The focus of our ordinations is small groups. However, people whom we ordain as pastors are also qualified to be pastors of brick and mortar churches.

So that those who are equipped and ordained by Open Door Ministries are recognized as being credible within their communities, we also provide such leaders with a position of organizational membership with Open Door Ministries. Such pastors, leaders, etc, are also appointed as Executive Directors, and have a direct line of communication and leadership with Open Door Ministries. However, nobody is anybody’s boss. The responsibility of Open Door Ministries is to support and help develop Pastors, other spiritual leaders, and Executive Directors, with the scriptural example of Acts 14:23.

The qualifications that are necessary for the ordination of a Pastor, and the appointment of an Executive Director, are those that are found in Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus, and the affirmation of the points of agreement as they relate to the following six keys of belief, which are also applicable to anyone who is appointed, certified, or ordained by Open Door Ministries.

1. Inerrancy of scripture.

2. The virgin birth of Jesus.

3. The deity of Christ.

4. The triune God (the trinity – three-in-one): God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

5. Sanctity of life/protection of life for unborn babies.

6. Marriage only between one man and one woman.

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow – Gaithers

Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai

Paul Wilbur – Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai

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Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD; We have blessed you from the house of the LORD. (Psalm 118:26, NASB)

38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Matthew 23:38-39, NASB)

Let this song be one that you carry with you, and that you sing it to yourself and to others that are in your presence.

Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai
(Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord)

Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Blessed is He who comes
Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Who comes in the name of the Lord

Now arise, oh Lord
Come to Your resting place
You and the ark of Your might

Then we will rejoice
As we’re clothed with Your righteousness
And celebrate the love

Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Blessed is He who comes
Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Who comes in the name of the Lord

Now arise, oh Lord
Come to Your resting place
You and the ark of Your might

Then we will rejoice
As we’re clothed with Your righteousness
And celebrate the love

Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Blessed is He who comes
Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Who comes in the name of the Lord
Of the Lord

Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Blessed is He who comes
Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Who comes in the name of the Lord

Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Blessed is He who comes
Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Who comes in the name of the Lord
Who comes in the name of the Lord
Come, come, come

For Your Name Is Holy – I Enter The Holy of Holies – Paul Wilbur

Consider your eternity.

Revelation 21:1-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The New Heaven and Earth

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

Worship And Praise: “Elohim – Yahweh,” The God Of Abraham, Isaac, And Jacob

Jehovah Jireh My Provider

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Worship And Praise: “Elohim – Yahweh,” The God Of Abraham, Isaac, And Jacob (Psalm 150)

1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.

In the following videos, consider the thousands of people who are joined together in corporate worship of “Elohim – Yahweh,” the God Of Abraham,Isaac And Jacob; join in with them.

You Are My Hiding Place

Holy Are You Lord

I Sing Praises To Your Name

Even So Lord

To Him Who Sits On The Throne

To The Shores Of Tripoli – I Read The Book; Jesus Wins!

To The Shores Of Tripoli was a movie that was made about World War II during that war. The Marines who are shown in the video are examples of those who train to fight for our nation. World War II was a very critical period of time in our nation’s history. The Axis Powers of Germany, Japan and Italy had plans to conquer the world for their cause of world domination. Without the entry of the United States military forces into World War II, the objectives of the Axis powers would have been achieved. Consider some of the related facts that are included as a part of this post.

The following link will lead you to an account of the Bataan death march where the Japanese army captured 76,000 Filipinos and Americans. Japanese butchery, disease, exposure to the blazing sun, lack of food, and lack of water took the lives of approximately 5,200 Americans

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/bataandeathmarch.htm

The following video has been respectfully produced to show the cemetery that contains the remains of more than 17,000 Americans who died as they served our nation during World War II. Written on the walls of The American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio, in Manila, The Republic Of The Philippines, are the names of more than 36,000 Americans who remain missing from World War II. This cemetery is the largest American cemetery from World War II. It was my honor to have personally walked through this cemetery when I was stationed in the Philippines in 1970-71. My father also was stationed in the Philippines, but during World War II, Of interest to me is that the graves are those of Christian and Jewish soldiers, but not of Muslims. During my tour of duty in the Philippines, an older Filipino man told me about some of the atrocities that took place against his friends at the hands of Japanese soldiers. The man said that he had seen a Japanese soldier putting a burning cigar against the neck of one of his friends.

The following link leads to an article that describes the American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manila_American_Cemetery_and_Memorial

No Muslims are mentioned of those who fought to protect the Philippine people from the Japanese military forces. Today, Muslims are actively trying to overthrow the Republic of the Philippines. Filipinos fought along side of American soldiers during World War II. Today, Filipino soldiers are fighting to keep militant Muslims from overthrowing their nation. The following link leads to a news report of such Muslim actions.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/26/43-philippine-commandos-killed-battle-muslim-insurgents

The war to protect believers in Christ from terrorists seems like it will never end. But, I’ve read “the Book.” It tells me that “our side wins,” which is the side of all believers in Christ. There are two battles that will mark the victory of Christ over the forces of Satan, of which Islam is one. As you read the scriptural account of the battles, you will notice the participants of the nations who join in the battle against the forces of God. The words “all the nations” (Zechariah 14:2) and “the nations” (Rev 19:15 and Rev 20:8) will include “all of the nations” of the world, which will include the United States of America; Americans who will not be caught up in the Rapture of the Church (1 Thes 4:16-17) before the tribulation begins. The two end-times battles are discussed in the following scriptures. The first battle will be the Battle of Armageddon. The second battle will be the Battle of God and Magog, which is not to be confused with the Ezekiel 38-39 “battles of Gog and Magog,” which will take place prior to the Tribulation, or during the first part of the Tribulation. (Matthew 24:4-10) The two battles are not really battles, because God brings about spiritual victories over the forces of Satan and his supporters in each of the battles.

Zechariah 14:1-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (First Battle)

God Will Battle Jerusalem’s Foes. Vs 12 shows that this is a spiritual battle.

1 Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. 5 You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!

6 In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. 7 For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.

8 And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.

God Will Be King over All

9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.

10 All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. 11 People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security.

12 Now this will be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth. 13 It will come about in that day that a great panic from the Lord will fall on them; and they will seize one another’s hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another. 14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance.

Revelation 19:11-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (First Battle)

The Coming of Christ. Verse 15 shows that it is a spiritual battle. (Context: Revelation 16:12-19:20)

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”

19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

Doom of the Beast and False Prophet

20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

Revelation 20:1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (First Battle)

Satan Bound

1. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

Revelation 20:7-10 New American Standard Bible (NASB) (The Second Battle) Satan will be freed to deceive the nations again. Vs 9 shows that this is a spiritual battle.

Satan Freed, Doomed

7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Remember: “the purpose of God” (Romans 8:28)

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Coming To America

Coming To America

Coming To America – Neil Diamond

The way that it used to be, before the present administration took office. Look at how illegal immigration is endangering the safety and security of our nation. The word is not “undocumented;” it’s “illegal!”

And, yes! “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

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Wedding Hallelujah

Wedding Song – Hallelujah
Chris And Leah O’Kane

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It was at a wedding that Jesus performed His first miracle (John 2:1-11)… The song that follows was sung at a Catholic wedding. The name of the priest is Ray Kelly. The location is Ireland. I have posted the video previously. I pray that you will receive a blessing from it.

Selected video of the wedding follows. It shows some very tender moments. The bride is beautiful. I will add that all brides are beautiful.

Wedding Highlights
Chris And Leah O’Kane

Coffee Shop Hallelujah

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8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men!” Luke 2:8-14 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

There are small restaurants and coffee shops in many cities and towns that present an unusual opportunity for witnessing. In my town there is a quaint and intimate coffee shop that has a piano that is situated near most of the tables where patrons drop in and spend an enjoyable time, consuming hot coffee and tasty muffins, and sharing intimate conversations. There have been times when I have been there enjoying the niceness of an evening when someone would make their way over to the piano and begin planing a series of songs that just “hit the needed spot.” The stresses of the day would seem to disappear from my mind and leave me desiring more of that soul-easing music. I can imagine that there are other similar places that have pianos that can also be played for the pleasure of the customers. Consider the setting that is shown in the following video. A young man sits down at a piano in a restaurant and begins to play a song that is pleasing to the mind of almost anybody, whether Christian, Jew, or indifferent. I am certain that there are readers of this post who are musically inclined and talented, and who would like to take such an opportunity to share the message of Jesus to people who are usually isolated, or insulated, from such a story of the gospel of Christ. Give it a listen; share the story. Consider adding a guitarist, or other musicians, and have a small combo. Always consider ways of creative witnessing (Acts 1:8).

Christmas Of Simpler Times

These thoughts of mine were posted last December. Even though a year has passed, the thoughts remain.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Andy Williams

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Matthew 1:18-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus, God With Us

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 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.”

The year was 1959. The month was September. I had just started sixth grade in Gretna, Louisiana. I would spend the next three years at the same “Grammar School.” My life was common to those of my school mates. I lived in a small house that was located only about three hundred feet from the school. At lunch time, I could go home, or go to a nearby grocery store and buy a “po boy” sandwich (French or Italian bread with ham, turkey, shrimp, or oysters, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato slices). I could also have my lunch at school where we would have tasty red beans and rice, with links of smoked sausage, every Monday. I would arrive at school every day early enough that I could play basketball or jacks. I might also shoot marbles or try to sharpen my yo-yo skills. When we started our school day, we would say the pledge to the flag and say a prayer. We had real Christmas holidays, and had real Christmas programs at school. We would sing Christmas carols, which included biblical songs. The school would give the children song sheets that showed the words to those biblical songs. Teachers were free to talk to their classes about their church lives. Most of my friends watched the same television programs. We didn’t have cable tv or dish types, so our selection was limited to traditional network programming. The programs were family oriented and were not restricted to “church and state” limitations. The Cleaver family went to church and Sunday School. Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea, Opie, and Gomer were shown in their church, even when Gomer might fall asleep and snore during the “Reverend’s” sermons. The Christmas programs that were produced and shown by ABC, NBC, and CBS did not hide the fact that “Jesus was the reason for the season.” Television hosts did not omit “Jesus” from their discussions when they were talking about Christmas. Jesus was truly “God with us” during those programs. Please take time to play the videos that I have selected to show that there was truly a much simpler time of Christmas in our nation’s not too distant history. You may gather that I am a fan of Bing Crosby’s songs. May God bless the USA!

The Christmas Waltz
Frank Sinatra

The Christmas Song
Nat King Cole

Christmas
Andy Williams

The Secret Of Christmas
Bing Crosby

Silver Bells
Bob Hope And Olivia Newton John

The Bells Of St. Mary’s
Bing Crosby

O Sanctissima
Bing Crosby

The Lord’s Prayer
Perry Como

Do You Hear What I Hear
Bing Crosby

Ave Maria
Perry Como

The Carpenters
On The Perry Como Show

Silent Night
Bing Crosby

O Holy Night
Andy Williams

White Christmas
Bing Crosby

If you have any memories that you would like to share, I would be honored to read them. Please have a Merry Christmas, in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen.

John 7 – Key Verses And Narration – Baruch Haba

Baruch Haba Blessed Is He Who Comes

Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai
(Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord)

Psalm 118:26 New King James Version (NKJV)

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

Matthew 21:9 New King James Version (NKJV)

9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David!‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’Hosanna in the highest!”

Mark 11:9 New King James Version (NKJV)

9 Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’

Lyrics By Paul Wilbur

http://www.songlyrics.com/paul-wilbur/baruch-haba-lyrics/

Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Blessed is He who comes
Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Who comes in the name of the Lord

Now arise, oh Lord
Come to Your resting place
You and the ark of Your might

Then we will rejoice
As we’re clothed with Your righteousness
And celebrate the love

Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Blessed is He who comes
Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Who comes in the name of the Lord

Now arise, oh Lord
Come to Your resting place
You and the ark of Your might

Then we will rejoice
As we’re clothed with Your righteousness
And celebrate the love

Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Blessed is He who comes
Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Who comes in the name of the Lord
Of the Lord

Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Blessed is He who comes
Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Who comes in the name of the Lord

Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Blessed is He who comes
Baruch haba b’shem Adonai
Who comes in the name of the Lord
Who comes in the name of the Lord
Come, come, come

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The following verses of scripture are taken from BibleGateway.com

John 7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Teaches at the Feast

1 After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. 2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. 3 Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.”5 For not even His brothers were believing in Him. 6 So Jesus *said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. 8 Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.” 9 Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee.

10 But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret. 11 So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, “Where is He?” 12 There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, “He is a good man”; others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.” 13 Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

14 But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach. 15 The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?” 16 So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

19 “Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one deed, and you all marvel.22 For this reason Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

25 So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? 26 Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they?27 However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.” 28 Then Jesus cried out in the temple,teaching and saying, “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.29 I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” 30 So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31 But many of the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, “When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?”

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about Him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him. 33 Therefore Jesus said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me.34 You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.”35 The Jews then said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He? 36 What is this statement that He said,‘You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come’?”

37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Division of People over Jesus

40 Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” 41 Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” Still others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He?42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. 44 Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?” 46 The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” 47 The Pharisees then answered them, “You have not also been led astray, have you? 48 No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he? 49 But this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus (he who came to Him before, being one of them) *said to them, 51 “Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?” 52 They answered him, “You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee.” 53 [Everyone went to his home.

Commentary on key verses is provided by Dr. R.C. Sproul, and is taken from the Reformation Study Bible which he edited, and contains the English Standard Version (ESV).

7:2 Feast of Booths. The longest festival of the Jewish year (lasting seven days), this feast followed the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur, Lev. 23; Deut. 16). It was a celebration of God’s gracious provision for the Israelites in the wilderness and the completion of the year’s harvest. There was a ceremonial water-drawing (commemorating the provision of water in the wilderness, Num. 20:2–13) and a lamp-lighting ritual. The first of these ceremonies provides the setting for Jesus’ proclamation in vv. 37, 38, the second for His statement in 8:12.

7:3, 5, 10 his brothers. Cf. 2:12; Matt. 12:46. Some of the brothers later believed in Jesus (Acts 1:14).

7:6 My time. See vv. 8, 30; 2:4; 8:20; 12:23; 13:1; 17:1; Matt. 26:18; Mark 14:41. Such passages show the concern of Jesus to conform to God’s schedule.

7:7 The world. Humanity in its opposition to God and His purpose….evil. Evildoers resent being unmasked by the good (3:19, 20).

7:8 I am not going up to this feast. Jesus does indeed later go to the Feast. His brothers have asked Him to present Himself openly to the crowds. But Jesus asserts that He is “not” yet ready to appear in such a public way.

7:13 for fear of the Jews. This is not a reference to all those who were natural descendants of Abraham. Rather, the term refers to Jewish leaders and officials who were hostile toward Jesus.

7:15 has never studied. Jesus was not known to have been taught by any rabbi, yet His knowledge and wisdom astounded those who heard Him (cf. 3:2; Matt. 7:28; Luke 2:47).

7:16 his who sent me. Jesus indicates the source of His teaching. His message is not original with Himself but comes from His Father.

7:17 will know. A true perception of the divine nature of Christ’s teaching is granted to those who earnestly desire to do God’s will (Ps. 25:14).

7:18 on his own authority. A contrast is established between self-seeking messengers and Jesus, whose guiding principle is to be true to His mission (12:49). See 1:14, 17; 14:6; 18:37; 2 Cor. 11:10; Rev. 3:7, 14; 19:11—passages where Christ and His message are identified with truth. This is also said of God the Father (7:28; 8:26; 17:3; Ps. 31:5; Is. 65:16; Rom. 3:4; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 John 5:20; Rev. 6:10; 15:3; 16:7) and of the Holy Spirit (14:17; 15:26; 16:13; 1 John 4:6; 5:6). The same applies to the Scripture and apostolic preaching (17:17; Ps. 119:30, 43, 138,142, 151, 160; Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:15; James 1:18). This is in sharp contrast with Satan who is “a liar” (8:44).

7:19 Moses . . . the law. The blessing of having received the law as the revelation of God’s will (cf. Ps. 103:7; Rom. 3:2; 9:4) becomes a bane through disobedience (Rom. 7:7–12).

7:20 have a demon. Compare 8:48–52; 10:19–20; Matt. 12:24.

7:21 I did one deed. Jesus refers to the one deed He had done in their region, the healing of the lame man (5:1–15).

7:22 circumcision. Circumcision was prescribed in the law of Moses (Lev. 12:3), but it was previously instituted by God in the days of Abraham (Gen. 17:10–14). The regulation that it had to be performed on the eighth day was commonly regarded as taking precedence over the law of rest on the Sabbath.

7:23 whole body well. Jesus calls attention to the inconsistency of His accusers. There were a number of activities permitted on the Sabbath, including circumcision. He compares these activities with the work of healing.

7:27 we know where this man comes from. The people knew that Jesus was from Galilee (vv. 41, 52), and this seemed to conflict with the prevailing view that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem (v. 42; Matt. 2:5, 6) or that His origin would be unknown. Jesus in response points to His divine origin rather than an earthly location. In failing to acknowledge His divine mission they showed their ignorance of God’s plan, in spite of the miracles, which were proof of God’s endorsement (v. 31).

7:30 they were seeking to arrest him. The plots against Christ’s life could not succeed until God’s own time had come.

7:34 You will seek me and you will not find me. This is not in contradiction with Matt. 7:7. There Jesus is speaking about a thirst for God (cf. v. 37) that only the Holy Spirit creates in someone; but here He is referring to an effort to find Him geographically, which would be futile since He would be in heaven. Note the contrast between unbelievers (v. 34) and believers (14:3).

7:35 Where does this man intend to go. The Jews were puzzled as to Christ’s origin and so could not understand His destination, which was heaven. They understood it merely in geographical terms and were not pleased at the thought that He would exercise His ministry among the Greeks, heathens that they despised.

7:37, 38 At the climax of the feast, Jesus repeated dramatically the message He had given to the Samaritan woman (4:10–14) making clear that coming to Him meant believing in Him.

7:38 as the Scripture has said. What follows is not an exact quotation from the Old Testament, but there are several Old Testament passages that connect water with the end-time gift of the Spirit (e.g., Is. 44:3; Ezek. 36:25–27) and the blessings of the present (messianic) age (e.g., Is. 12:3; 58:11). Jesus fulfills the meaning of the Feast of Booths (v. 2 note)….rivers. This implies great abundance, benefiting not only believers, but also those around them.

7:39 the Spirit had not been given. Jesus is referring to the blessing of Pentecost. Of course, the Holy Spirit was present in the Old Testament period, but at Pentecost He entered into a more intimate relationship with believers (14:17; 1 Cor. 6:19). This is the Messiah’s gift to His people: He baptizes with the Spirit (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16), but this blessing in its full measure and glory must await the ascension of Christ who will pour out the Spirit from heaven upon His people (16:7; cf. Eph. 4:8).

7:40 the Prophet. A reference to Deut. 18:15. It is interesting to observe the testimony of those outside the group of disciples who were not blinded by prejudice. They understood that Jesus could be “the Prophet” promised by Moses. They knew that His miracles were worthy of the Messiah they expected (v. 31). Some called him “the Christ” (v. 41), and they testified that no one ever spoke like Him (v. 46).

7:41–43 Dispute over the identity of Jesus continues to focus on His origin (cf. vv. 25–36 and notes). The people’s questioning remains trapped within the limits of this world (3:1–15; 4:1–26).

7:45–52 The strong prejudice of the chief priests and Pharisees is apparent in their condemnation of the temple guards (vv. 47,48), of the crowd (v. 49), and even of Nicodemus, one of their number (v. 52).

7:52 Galilee was held in contempt by the Sanhedrin as a mixed-race region where the law was not zealously observed.

John Chapter 7 – Narration