CC Sermon 022814, Breaking Bread, Luke 24:35, Friday Evening Sabbath Worship

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During each Friday Evening Sabbath Worship service we begin with a reading of Genesis whereby we give honor and glory to God and to the greatness that He has placed on His creation. We reflect on the particular Holiness that He has placed on the seventh day of creation, “The Sabbath.” We will have a reading from the Gospel of John, Chapter 1, vs 1-14, where we will hear of another creation, which is the creation of a new spirit, a Holy Spirit, for fallen mankind. After a time of worship and praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus of Nazareth, we will be taught and encouraged through a preaching and teaching of God’s Holy Word. We will conclude our service by having a fellowship meal. During the meal, we will take time to remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We encourage all who receive this letter to join us for worship at 6:30 P.M., which will be the beginning of Sabbath.
Sermon: Breaking Of Bread
In this sermon, the use of repetition is used to reinforce topics that appear not to have been taught on a large and effective basis. Notice, also, that the sermon is conversational. It is not a five point sermon, or ten, or even three point sermon. The ideas that come to my mind are typed and placed in the sermon. As you read the scriptures that relate to “Communion, The Breaking Of Bread, The Lord’s Supper,” you will notice that they all relate to the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross, but they were not inventions of the apostles, or of the New Testament Church. The message, and the procedure, all relate back to the Last Supper of the Passover (Matthew 26:17-30), and also to the meal that took place at the end of the trip to Emmaus where Jesus “broke bread” before Cleopas and other believers (Luke 24:1-52). (The Ryrie Study Bible has a very good “day by day breakdown”, in Luke’s Gospel (Chapters 19-24), of the events that took place during the Passion Week.) Consider “The Day Of Preparation” that is recorded in John 19:31. Because it was the preparation for the Sabbath, and that Sabbath day, because it fell in the Passover week, was a “high day.” Bodies would not have been allowed to remain on the crosses on the Sabbath day, which was one of the days of Unleavened Bread. Every Sabbath day is a Holy day, and is a good day; but this particular Sabbath was a high day; it was a great day. Therefore Passover Sabbaths are High days, and are called High Sabbaths. Consider the significance of The Day Of Preparation. Consider that the Jews used that day to prepare for, “get ready for the Sabbath. It’s sort of like the “good ole days” when Christians would use Saturday to get ready for “Church on Sunday.”
Luke 24:35, “They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread”
In today’s church there is a lot of discussion, and disagreement, on issues that relate to The Lord’s Supper, The Communion, The Breaking Of Bread, The Eucharist. It will be the purpose of this writing to clarify some areas of confusion or misunderstanding that believers in Christ might have in this regard. Also, because the disciples of Jesus were Jews, we should consider their lives as they relate to the feasts that they celebrated before, and after, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The time line is important to our study, as is the comparison of the cities that will be discussed. As my method of study dictates, scripture will be used to interpret scripture. My personal comments will always be clearly marked as such. Hopefully we will have the mindset of the Bereans, in Acts 17:11. New International Version “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”This sermon covers a time frame from A.D. 33 to A.D. 59. The events that will be discussed range from Jerusalem to Corinth.
A.D. 33 (Passover)
Matthew 26:17-25
Jesus Celebrates Passover With His Disciples
17 Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”
18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’”
19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.
20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. 21 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”
22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”
23 He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it.”
Matthew 26:17-25, My thoughts
As is clearly seen, all of the disciples are present. There were no exclusions, and no exceptions. We can also see that Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was present. Notice, also, that the setting was that of a meal. Notice also (John 13:2-5, 11-12) that it was during the Passover Seder/Meal that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, including the feet of Judas. It should also be considered that a meal has an air of intimacy. With the exception of Judas, there was a great love among the disciples for each other. For us, consider what it would be like to have a meal with someone, or someones, where there would be adversity and conflict. The Passover meals were times of a uniting of minds of Jews, in a common purpose for remembering all that God had done for them in bringing them out of the bondage that they had suffered as slaves in Egypt. Again, consider the intimacy of the meal, and that there were no exclusions or exceptions. All of the Jews participated in the celebration and meal of Passover.
Matthew 26:26-30
Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said,“Take, eat; this is My body.”
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Matthew 26:26-30, My thoughts
It was during the Passover meal, when Jews reflect on their deliverance from bondage in Egypt, that Jesus took the opportunity to tell of his soon coming and imminent death. He used the bread and wine that were used during the meal to explain the state that would be of His body and blood, as a result of His dying on the cross the next day, which we call Good Friday. This event would occur before the beginning of Sabbath (Friday at sundown). It is important to know that Jesus didn’t use a small wafer of bread when He said, “Take, eat, this is My body.” Neither did He use a small sip of wine when He said, “Drink from it, all of you.” Jesus took bread and wine from the table where they were sharing the meal. The food on the table did not suddenly become the literal body and blood of Jesus. “Transubstantiation” is the suggested change whereby, according to Catholic doctrine, the bread and wine that are used in the sacrament of the Eucharist become the body and blood of Christ. Again, the bread and blood that Jesus used, as He instituted the Lord’s Supper, were taken from the table where all of the other Passover food items had been placed. Also, Jesus was not “holding Himself and eating of His own body,” and was not “drinking His own blood,” as he was telling of his impending death. A final item that should be emphasized is that Jesus did not separate the Passover meal from the moment that He began to tell of His death. The occasion was that of a meal, a continuous meal, where bread and wine were taken from the table. There were no rules for the meal, other than the normal procedures of the Passover Seder. There were no statements that had been made known about who would not be allowed to participate in the meal. Consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28: Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”(New Living Translation). Notice also, that the meal took place in the evening of Thursday, the day before His crucifixion. This day is also called Holy Thursday and Maunday Thursday, which is the day before Good Friday. It should also be noted that “The Day Of Preparation” (John 19:31), refers to Friday, the day before, or the ‘preparation’ day for, the Sabbath.
A.D. 33 (After The Resurrection)
Luke 24:13-27
The Road to Emmaus
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
19 And He said to them, “What things?”
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Luke 24:13-27, My Thoughts
Jesus comes upon two disciples who are walking to Emmaus; they are prevented by Jesus from recognizing Him. The three of them engage in conversation as they walk. The disciples discuss the events of the crucifixion of Jesus, the death, burial, and resurrection. At that point in the conversation, Jesus uses Old Testament scriptures to explain that those same scriptures identify Him as being the prophesied Messiah.
Luke 24:28-35
The Disciples’ Eyes Opened
28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
Luke 24:28-35, My Thoughts
As the journey ends in Emmaus, the disciples invite Jesus to stay with them. It was the evening of the day, on Sunday, the first day of the week, on the same day that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. An evening meal is set before Jesus and those who are with Him. As with the Passover Meal, Jesus took bread from the meal table, just as He did on Thursday evening, and blessed it and gave the bread to those who were present. Jesus didn’t use little pieces of bread wafers. Nothing was said about those who should not “come around the Lord’s table.” There was not a “set aside” moment, that was separate from the meal, when Jesus broke the bread. All of this was a part of a meal. It was during this “meal,” as Jesus blessed the bread from the table, and gave it to the other people, that He was made known to them. The term, “breaking of bread,” will become a common name for the fellowship meals that believers will begin to share. During such fellowship meals, remembrance will be made of the death of Jesus.
A.D. 33 (Day Of Pentecost Follow up)
Acts 2:40-47
A Vital Church Grows
40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Acts 2:40-47, My Thoughts
Three thousand Jews, who were present for the Feast Of Pentecost, had come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is important to identify them as “believing Jews.” Jews who had not come to that belief should be called “unbelieving Jews.” Still, religious Jews, whether they were “believing” or “unbelieving” Jews, had great respect for their Jewish heritage. The believing Jews continued to attend the temple worship services, but they also met as believers in Christ in their homes. They had meals in each others’ homes where they, “broke bread,” just as had taken place in Luke 24:28-35. Key words are seen in this passage. The believers had “all things in common.” “Common,” relates to communion. The bread and wine were not seen as being, “the communion.” The believers were “the communion.” In the 1960s and 70s, there were “communes” of people who lived together and had all of their things “in common.” The Episcopal Church has a group of believers who belong to the “Anglican Communion.” There were no rules as to who should not be allowed to participate in these fellowship meals. There was a daily sharing of the fellowship meals, but there was no “set aside” of a separate “wafer of bread” and “sip of wine” being identified as “the communion,” “the Lord’s Supper,” or “the Eucharist.” The bread of the meal that was placed on the tables did not become the literal “body of Christ.” The wine of the meal that was placed on the tables did not become the literal “blood of Christ.” There was no particular schedule that was stated for, “the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers,” other than that the believers were “steadfast” in those things. Also, notice in verse 46, “they ate their food.” That reiterates the fact that it was during fellowship meals that the death of Christ was remembered, and was not just the sharing of bread wafers and sips of wine. It is also important to understand that the believing Jews did not automatically build “The First Baptist Church Of Jerusalem,” or any other such named congregation, and place their membership in such places. Home churches were not a direct design for churches to follow; they were appropriate for the time. The difference that existed in the lives of the believing Jews was that they had come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Verse 42 has been cited to show that the early church had “the communion” as a regular part of their church services. That verse does not make that point. It is very clear in its meaning. Those who had come to saving faith in Jesus followed the teachings of the apostles. They maintained a fellowship with other believers. They “broke bread,” shared fellowship meals. They prayed. But, also remember that these Jews, who were new to belief in Jesus, were still Jews. They still went to the temple, but also met outside of the temple as believers in Christ. There is a problem that exists for Jewish believers today, who do not fellowship with other believers of Jesus; they don’t receive the blessings of the teachings of Jesus.
A.D. 54
Acts 18:18-21
Paul Travels To Keeps The Feast Of Pentecost At Jerusalem
18 So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow. 19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; but he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, 21 but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.
Acts 18:18-21, My Thoughts
The feast that is mentioned in verse 21 probably relates to the Feast Of Passover, which Paul was planning to attend. The apostles were religious Jews before they became believers in Jesus. They did not necessarily remove themselves from the keeping of the Jewish feast days. Of course, there was no reason to force such attendance on the Gentiles, who would come to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
A.D. 59
Acts 20:7
Ministering at Troas
7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.
Acts 20:7, My Thoughts
The breaking of bread accompanied the preaching by the Apostle Paul. This occurred on the first day of the week, which was Sunday. The meeting appears to have occurred in the evening of the day. There is nothing that is stated that indicates that the breaking of bread was any different than that which took place in Acts 2:42-46. There, the believers had a fellowship meal, during which time the death of Jesus was remembered. Neither were there any statements about anyone that should be excluded from the fellowship meal, which was the “breaking of bread.” The bread was part of the meal, as was the wine. This “breaking of bread” did not consist of small wafers of bread or and sips of wine, that were used outside of the fellowship meal to remember the Lord’s death.
A.D. 59
Paul Travels To Keep The Feast Of Pentecost At Jerusalem
Acts 20:16
16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.
Acts 20:16, My Thoughts
The Apostle Paul made the trip to Jerusalem to attend the Festival of Pentecost.
A.D. 59
1 Corinthians 5:1-8
Immorality Defiles the Church
5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
1 Corinthians 5:1-8, My Thoughts
The city of Corinth was one that was morally corrupt. It was widely known for its indulgences in sensual pleasures and scandalous activities that involved illicit sex and drunkenness. Some of these same sins were common among members of the church in Corinth, which included incest. There were many religious prostitutes who lived and worked there; they went into the city in the evening to offer “their services” each evening. The Corinthian church was full of worldliness and would not separate itself from the culture that surrounded it. The Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Corinthian church to instruct the faithful members of that church to break fellowship with those who were disobedient and unrepentant, and also to put them out of the church. Whenever a church becomes an embarrassment within any community, and begins to look like the sinful world, corrective actions must be taken by the church or there will be no clear difference between that apostate church and the world. In this passage, we can seen specific problems within that church. Sexual immorality, including incest (vs 1); selfish pride, and an unwillingness of the church to remove the incestuous man from the church (vs 2). Paul related the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the way that the Church at Corinth should live its daily life. Sinful lifestyles should be replaced with lifestyles of Holiness. It is important to notice that the problem that Paul is addressing is one that had taken root in the church as a corporate body. It was not just one person’s sinful lifestyle choices that had made the church repulsive, even to the Gentiles (unbelievers).
1 Corinthians 11:17-22
Conduct at the Fellowship Meal
17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.
1 Corinthians 11:17-22, My Thoughts
The Apostle Paul continues with his objections that relate to the Corinthian church. There was nothing good about that church’s coming together as a body; instead it was seen to be a bad thing (vs 17). There were severe divisions within the church, as opposed to a church that was unified in a common purpose to worship God (vs 18). The Corinthian church came together to “break bread,” which was a fellowship meal. That gathering was far from that which occurred in the example that is shown in Acts 2:42-47. There was no unity of purpose for the “communion of the saints.” (vs 20). Some people ate their meal before others arrived. Consequently, not all people who were hungry found enough, if any, food to eat. Notice that it was not a “set aside” of wafers of bread, but a meal which was served. And, as is shown, people were getting drunk because of their over indulgence in the drinking of the wine. The drunkenness did not come from “a sip of wine,” but from the beverage that was served during the meal (vs 21). If the Corinthians could not have a fellowship meal in manner that was respectful, to their fellow believers and to God, they should just have their meals at their own homes. There was nothing about the way the Corinthians had their fellowship meals, “the breaking of bread,” that Paul found to be worthy of his praise (vs 22).
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Paul Remembers the Last Supper/Passover/Lord’s Supper
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26, My Comments
As we see in the Last Supper, “The Passover Meal,” (Matthew 26:26-28), it was during that meal that Jesus took time to tell of His soon to be death on the cross. It was also during the “breaking of bread,” the fellowship meal, that there was also a time for the remembrance of the death of Jesus on the cross. Notice that the Corinthians did not have a “set aside” time, which was held outside of the fellowship meal, that small wafers of bread, and sips of wine, were used to remember the death of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 11:27-34
Examine Yourself
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.
1 Corinthians 11:27-34, My Thoughts
The question that should be raised as we read this passage is one that refers to verse 29, as it relates to “an unworthy manner.” Leading up to this point in scripture, there was nothing written that was relative to “who may, or may not” participate in a fellowship meal. The problems of the Corinthian church had nothing to do with sharing a meal, or remembering the death of Jesus. Notice, also, that the problems were corporate and not necessarily individual. The bread and wine of the fellowship meals were not “the ark of the covenant.” The context of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians does not change. In Matthew 11:28, we read, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” So, we’re told that we should come to Jesus when we have a problem, but many of us have been taught that if we have certain “unknown” problems, and if we come “around His table” that He will strike us dead. None of us are ever worthy of anything of God. It is in our weak times that we need the fellowship of the body of Christ, which is the true communion. But, let’s consider the word “unworthy.” If the context of Paul’s message had changed, has there ever been published, for all to read, a list of offenses for which we may have committed, which if we have committed them, will keep us from participating in a meal with other believers, and which will prevent us from remembering the Lord’s death among those same believers, with the penalty of death? (a long run-on sentence, but it is difficult to separate it). God has ways of dealing with those who are embarrassments to His church. Consider Acts 5:1-11. The deaths of Annanias and Sapphira had nothing to do with “the breaking of bread,” participation in a fellowship meal, or remembering the death of Jesus. Their penalty for lying to the Holy Spirit served a purpose that is written in Acts 5:11: “So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things. The punishments of sickness and death that happened to the Corinthian believers also created great fear among their congregation.
Thought to consider. Believers in Jesus can remember His death on the cross outside of a fellowship meal. Small wafers of bread and small sips of grape juice or wine can be used to focus on the broken body and shed blood of our Lord and Savior. There is no frequency that is scripturally stated for “a communion service,” or for a fellowship meal. It is important, though, for us not to put unscriptural requirements for participation in such times of “breaking bread.” Let us consider the words of the following song of breaking bread. The early church shared in a fellowship meal. During that meal they remembered the death of Jesus on the cross. They did it “together.” They “were” the communion. May we also be “the communion.”

Philippians 3:10,
New American Standard Bible
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

CC022114, Friday Sabbath Teaching, The Person Of The Holy Spirit, John 14:16

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When our church meets this Friday evening, at 6:30 P.M., we will consider the holiness that God has placed on the seventh day of creation, which is the Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3). No other day of the week is the seventh day, and no other day of the week is the Sabbath. As we have concluded in our studies, our worship of God is to be “in spirit and in truth,” (John 4:24). It is not dependent on “day, place, or time.” Worship that is true can be said to be “all of us for all of Him.” At the end of our service, we will participate in the teaching of Matthew 26:17-30. There, Jesus and His disciples are taking part in the Passover seder. During that meal, Jesus initiates the Lord’s Supper while having the meal. We will share in the breaking of bread also, as we share in a meal, and as we remember Our Lord’s death on the cross, and celebrate His resurrection. The breaking of bread, as a meal, was a common practice of the early church, as it was written in Acts 2:42-47; Acts 20:7, and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

Before one can correctly understand the work of the Holy Spirit, he must first of all know the Spirit Himself. That is the goal of this week’s teaching. Consider the song that follows. Its words reflect directly on the relationship that we, who are believers in Christ, have with God’s Holy Spirit.

The Presence Of The Trinity. Matthew 3:16-17. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Hebrews 13:8. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

1 Corinthians 2:9-11. 9 But as it is written:“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 12:11. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Romans 8:27. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 15:30. Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me,

John 14:16. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—

Ephesians 4:30. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10. 9 But as it is written:“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Revelation 2:7. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’

Galatians 4:6. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Romans 8:16. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Romans 8:26. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we
should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings
which cannot be uttered.

Hebrews 7:25. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

John 15:26. “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

John 14:26. 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 things that I said to you.

John 16:12-14. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

Romans 8:14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Acts 16:6-7. 6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.

Acts 13:2. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Acts 20:28. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (See Ephesians 4:11-12)

John 14:16-17. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

John 16:7. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

Acts 1:4. And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me;

Ephesians 4:30. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The following song was recorded in the early 1990s. Many of the singers have gone on to be with the Lord. May their legacy continue to bless believers in Christ for years to come.

Sweet Holy Spirit – Lead In
Doris Akers

Pastor/Equipping The Saints

ETS Memo 021814, Update, “About Equipping The Saints,” Philippians 3:10

The purpose of “Equipping The Saints” is to provide scriptural teachings to the body of Christ, so that it will be more effective in fulfilling the Great Commission that was given to the Church (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.) In order to achieve such an effectiveness, it is necessary for believers in Christ to be properly grounded in an intimate relationship with God the Father, through God the Son, by the empowerment of God The Holy Spirit. God will lay a path before us that we should follow. He will equip us for the completion of that trip and ministry. There are some key scriptures that will help us to prepare for the ministry that God has ordained for our lives. The following scriptures are key to our being prepared for the fulfillment of God’s call on our lives, and they revolve around the keys of: Knowing (John 17:3), Abiding (John 15:4), Being (Mark 3:14), and Going (Matthew 28:19). Please consider the scriptures of those four points of intimacy and ministry.

John 17:3 (Knowing)
New King James Version (NKJV)
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

In this verse we see a text book definition of “eternal life,” which is an intimate relationship with God the Father, through God the Son. To “know” is to be intimate. The intimacy of this verse is parallel to that of Genesis 4:1, where it is written that Adam “knew” Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare Cain. To know someone is to have the highest degree of intimacy with that person that is possible. For us to “know” God is to have the hightest degree of intimacy with Him that is possible.

In respect to knowing God, we also should consider the words of Philippians 3:10.

Philippians 3:10
New King James Version (NKJV)
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

The aspect of knowing God, is something that involves the ups and downs of having that holy relationship. Whether times are good or times are bad, we must understand that our response must be to always love God. If we win, we’ll praise Him. If we lose, we’ll praise Him. Whatever the case may be, we will always praise our Lord and Savior Jesus.

In respect to knowing God, we should also know the compassion of Christ, and the compassionate Christ.

Knowing God is also to know about the compassion of Christ, as it relates to the less-fortunate:

Matthew 25:40
New King James Version (NKJV)
40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

In order for us to know Jesus, we should also know the compassionate Christ:

Matthew 9:36
New King James Version (NKJV)
36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

In order for us to know Jesus, we should also know how the compassionate Christ responded to the needs of the needy:

Matthew 15:32
New King James Version (NKJV)
Feeding the Four Thousand

32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

John 15:4 (Abiding)
New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

The aspect of abiding in Christ is two-fold. First, we are to have no known sin that is unconfessed, and no interest in our life into which God is not brought into. It is for us to have no life in which God can not also share. Secondly, the believer in Christ, who is the abiding one, takes all of of their burdens to God, and gets all wisdom, life, and strength from God. It is not an unceasing consciousness of the things of the world. But it is a relationship with God in which nothing is allowed in the life which separates the believer from God.

Mark 3:14 (Being)
New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach,

The disciples were not only appointed/chosen by Jesus, they were appointed to “be with Jesus.” That relationship of “being” with Jesus prepared the disciples to be better able to go out and preach the Gospel of Jesus.

Matthew 28:19 (Going)
New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

The disciples of Jesus, who were soon to be apostles, were commissioned to “go,” teach,” “baptize,” and “teach” (vs 20), the things that they had been taught by Jesus (vs 18). The apostles died. Their commission has been passed onto others who were made disciples, who are to make disciples of others, and others, and others.

The highest point of our ministry is to lead people to a point where they will know, personally and intimately, the compassionate Christ, and when they come across a need in a person’s life, they will know the answer to the question:
“What would Jesus do?” (WWJD)

The following worship and praise video is one that can bless you beyond measure. May it also be used by God to draw you into a deeper and more intimate relationship with God the Father, through God the Son, Christ Jesus.
Feast Of Tabernacles, Jerusalem Arise, Paul Wilbur 57 minutes.

Philippians 3:10, “That I might know Him.”

CC Sermon, 021614, Friday Sabbath Worship Service, A Passover/Communion Discussion, Genesis 9:1

Note: In order for you to view the worship video, and see other blog posts and comments, please click onto the post.

Genesis 9:1, ” So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.”

During our most recent church service, we had a discussion on the relationship that exists between the Passover Seder and the Lord’s Supper, which was instituted by Jesus while He was observing Passover with His disciples. Our church is intentional in relating the teachings that are contained in the Old Testament to their fulfillment that is shown in the New Testament. We are placing a lot of emphasis on the holiness that is contained in the creation story that is found in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2. Much of those those two chapters are read from our pulpit each Friday evening when we meet as a church. There is also a lot of emphasis placed on the holiness that God placed on the seventh day, in the creation story, when God rested from His work and set that day, The Sabbath, apart from all of the other days. That is not to say that the Sabbath day is the only day for us to worship God, but it is to say that The Sabbath Day is the seventh day, and is no other day of the week. There is something that I have explained to our church, as it relates to each Friday, and I would like to share it in this writing. As Thursday night ends, and Friday morning is beginning, we experience the following cycle. Darkness turns to dawn. Dawn turns to daylight. Daylight turns to dusk, and dusk turns to darkness. As Friday afternoon becomes afternoon, and afternoon becomes evening and sundown approaches, Sabbath is beginning. That is at about the time that our worship service begins. We are beginning to experience a greater appreciation for that time of day, when we read, “and evening and morning were the seventh day, The Sabbath Day. From sundown on Friday evening until sundown on Saturday evening, we are experiencing God’s Holiness that He has so freely bestowed upon us, whether we realize it or not. At the end of each of our Friday Sabbath Worship Services, we reenact the account of the Passover (The Last Supper) where Jesus initiated the Lord’s Supper. We “experience communion.” We don’t “have communion.” We, the body of Christ, “are the communion.” We invite people from other churches to share in this experience with us. Such a participation in communion with us can be spiritually beneficial and should be shared with other believers in Christ.

Notes For Friday Sabbath Worship Service, February 14, 2014, 6:30 P.M.
CC Sermon 021414, A Passover/Communion Discussion, Genesis 9:1
Genesis 9:1
New King James Version (NKJV)
God’s Promise to Noah (The Beginning Of The Jews And The Gentiles)
9:1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.”
Genesis 9:18
New King James Version (NKJV)
Noah and His Sons (Shem, the father of the Jews; Ham and Japheth, the fathers of the Gentiles.)
“18 Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth,,,”

The world had been decimated. A family was chosen by God to repopulate the earth. One part of the family was also chosen by God to be the blood line that would lead to the Savior of mankind.
While God had love for all of the world (John 3:16), He had a special relationship with Shem and his descendants. It would be through Shem that Jesus, who is “the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world,” (John 1:29), and who is “God with us,” (Matthew 1:23), would enter the world through normal child birth through the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:25).

God’s Holy Spirit has always been present to the whole world with His influence (John 1:9, Romans 1:20). However, He chose the descendants of Shem to lead the world to salvation (John 4:22). However, please do not consider that God has provided a universal salvation, even as Jesus spoke that truth to the Jews in John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The solution to John 3:3 is John 3:16,
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The proof of the born again experience is a belief in
Jesus, which is a spiritual intimacy with God The Father, through God The Son, Jesus, per John 17:3,”And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

With the knowledge of the special relationship that God had with the descendants of Shem, which was shown through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it is important to hold firmly to the truth that God was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that it is also true that God did not have that same special and intimate relationship with Abraham’s descendants through Ishmael. Neither did God have that close relationship with Ham and Japheth and their descendants. Through feasts, God began preparing the Jews for their part in the fulfillment of God’s promise that He made in Genesis 3:15, when He said, “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”This verse is prophetic of the coming of Jesus, (God with us, Matthew 1:23). The feasts were given to Jews, and only to Jews (Exodus 12:3). They were not given to the descendants of Ham or Japheth. Those people had no need or reason to “keep the feasts” or to even know about the feasts. Any non-Jew came into this world as a Gentile. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, fulfilled all of the feasts; scriptures show that. Galatians 3:28/29 tells us: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” It was through the Jews, the descendants of Shem, that Gentiles learned of the savior Jesus. The Gentiles had no such knowledge of the Messiah ,or of God, the Father, who was to be worshipped, as Jesus explained to the Samaritan woman in John 4:22, “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.”

Christians, those of us who are believers in Christ Jesus, have a great need to have a thorough understanding of the feasts that God gave to the Jews. Participating in the feasts brings about a better understanding of the teachings that lead to a greater understanding of the prophesied Messiah, Jesus Christ. It should be noted that Christians are not to believe that the Apostles discontinued their observance of the feasts. (Acts 18:21, Acts 20:6, 1 Cor 5:8) They were Jews, religious Jews. Religious Jews would not have shown such a lack of respect to their heritage. The difference that occurred with the disciples/apostles is that their born-again experience changed them from Jews who did not believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, to Jews who “did” believe in Jesus as teir Lord and Savior. When we are reading God’s Word about “the Jews,” it is important for us to properly identify them as being “believing Jews” or “unbelieving Jews. Therefore, we will discuss the relationship that exists between the feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread, with Communion, The Lords Supper, and Breaking Of Bread.

Exodus 12:1-13
New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel,
The Passover Instituted
12 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.
12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. 13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
In verse 3 of this passage, we see that God is speaking to Jews, and not to Gentiles, about their responsibility for keeping the Feast of Passover.
Exodus 12:14-21(Feast Of Unleavened Bread)
New King James Version (NKJV)
14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. 15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat—that only may be prepared by you. 17 So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. 18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. 20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.’”
In verse 14 of this passage, we see that God is speaking to Jews, and not to Gentiles, about their responsibility for keeping the Feast Of Unleavened Bread. After the day of Passover ends, Unleavened Bread immediately follows it for a period of seven days.
Exodus 12:42-49 (Passover)
New King James Version (NKJV)
42 It is a night of solemn observance to the Lord for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the Lord, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.
In verse 42, we see that God is telling the Jews, and not Gentiles, to observe a solemn observance of Passover.

Passover Regulations
43 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it.44 But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. 45 A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it. 46 In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.48 And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. 49 One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.”
In 47, all Jews are directed to observe Passover. There are no exceptions and no exclusions for the Jews. Others who dwell among the Jews are also required to observe Passover, but they must be circumcised, which would exclude female Gentiles.
Exodus 23:14-17
New King James Version (NKJV)
Three Annual Feasts
14 “Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); 16 and the Feast of Harvest, the first fruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of In-gathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field. 17 “Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God.

In verse 14, God tells the Jews to keep three specific feasts. In verse 15, 16, and 17, God identifies the feasts as being: 1. Unleavened Bread; 2. Harvest/First Fruits/Weeks/Shavuot/Pentecost; 3. In-Gathering/Tabernacles. In verse 17, we see that all Jewish males were required to attend all three of the feasts. There were no exceptions, and no exclusions.

It should be noted that we are not to believe that the Apostles discontinued their observance of the feasts. (Acts 18:21, Acts 20:6, 1 Cor 5:8) We will now discuss the relationship that exists between the feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread, with Communion, The Lords Supper, and Breaking Of Bread.
Matthew 26:17-30
New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus Celebrates Passover with His Disciples
17 Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”
18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”
19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.
20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. 21 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

Just as any religious Jew would do, Jesus celebrated Passover. His 12 disciples celebrated it with Him, and ate a Passover seder (meal). They recalled the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt. There were no exclusions of any of the disciples, including Judas Iscariot.
Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said,“Take, eat; this is My body.”
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

It was during the Passover meal, that Jesus spoke of His imminent death on the cross. He used the bread and wine that were items for consumption in the seder that Jesus used to relate to his body, that would be crucified on a cross, and his blood that would be shed. Then, he looked to the time when, in the Kingdom of God, (The Millennium, the thousand year reign of Christ) that He would partake of the Passover again. There were no exclusions of any of the disciples, including Judas Iscariot.

Summary, and looking ahead:

Please note that the Passover Seder was a meal. At the point at which Jesus changed the focus from the past to the future, and initiated the Lord’s Supper, also known as the Last Supper, the bread that He broke did not become His body, neither did the wine that he poured for the disciples become His blood. The bread and wine were part of the seder items of food. The disciples continued eating the seder food and drink items. The meal of the Passover, the Passover Seder, which became part of the Lord’s Supper, would become a part of the times of remembrance of the death of Jesus for the Apostles and other future believers in Christ. We will see in other scriptures that it was during fellowship meals that congregations did the same thing that the disciples did when Jesus used bread and wine from the Passover meal to remember His death. Congregations would have fellowship meals and would use bread and wine from those meals to remember the death of Jesus. There was no such thing as “the Communion.” Believers are “the Communion.” What is now called as “The Lord’s Supper,” where a small wafer of bread, and a little sip of grape juice, or wine, is not what the early church did. The early church had a fellowship meal. During that meal, they would remember the death of the Lord Jesus. The bread did not become the body of Christ. The wine or juice did not become the blood of Christ. There were no exclusions from the meal. We will study this situation in depth, at the appropriate time. We will also determine if there is “a list” that specifies acts that may be concluded to be “in an unworthy manner, or unworthily.”

Immediately following is an explanation of the Passover Seder by Wikipedia. Following it will be a photograph of a table that contains the food items that can be found on a Jewish Passover table.
Passover Seder
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Seder” redirects here. For other uses, see Seder (disambiguation).
The Passover Seder (Hebrew: סֵדֶר‎ [ˈsedeʁ], “order, arrangement”; Yiddish: Seyder) is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday ofPassover. It is conducted on the evenings of the 14th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, and on the 15th by traditionally observant Jews living outside Israel. This corresponds to late March or April in the Gregorian calendar. Passover lasts for 7-8 weeks
The Seder is a ritual performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family, involving a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery inancient Egypt. This story is in the Book of Exodus (Shemot) in the Hebrew Bible. The Seder itself is based on the Biblical verse commanding Jews to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt: “You shall tell your child on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'” (Exodus 13:8) Traditionally, families and friends gather in the evening to read the text of the Haggadah, an ancient work derived from the Mishnah (Pesahim 10).[1][2] The Haggadah contains the narrative of the Israelite exodus from Egypt, special blessings and rituals, commentaries from the Talmud, and special Passover songs.
Seder customs include drinking four cups of wine, eating matza, partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate, and reclining in celebration of
File:Sedertable.jpg
Size of this preview: 449 × 599 pixels. Other resolutions: 180 × 240 pixels | 560 × 747 pixels.

The following worship and praise video is one that will bless you beyond measure.
It absolutely draws me to deep and close worship of God. I trust that it will do the
same for you.

Note: In order for you to view the worship video, and other posts and comments,
please click onto the post.

Feast Of Tabernacles, Jerusalem Arise, Paul Wilbur 57 minutes.

Philippians 3:10, “That I might know Him.”

CC Thought 021114, Stormy Day Thoughts, Song Of Solomon 4:9

Song Of Solomon 4:9, New American Standard Bible
“You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, With a single strand of your necklace.”

About a year ago a young man told me that he and his wife were unable to conceive a child. He asked for me to pray for their need. About nine months later – guess what happened! The man’s wife gave birth to a precious little baby daughter. Hey! What can I say!

Today is a stormy day for much of the USA. Many families are staying at home. Consider today’s scripture, Song Of Solomon 4:9. I like the words that are found in the New American Standard Translation for today’s devotional thought. It migtht be good for husbands and wives to read the complete Song Of Solomon together today. Please remember “to keep me posted.”

The song that I have chosen for today’s thought was sung at The Church Of The Apostles in Atlanta, Ga. The Pastor is Dr. Michael Youssef. (Hankees may be needed)

You will have to click onto the blog post to show the video and to read other posts and comments.

Pastor/Equipping The Saints
Philippians 3:10

CC Thought 021014, Does Jesus Care When We Hurt? John 11:31-36

John 11:31-36
New King James Version (NKJV)
31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”
32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?”
They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”
35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”

As I have put together the facts of this post, it has been a very difficult time for me. The truth of the pain that comes from death has drawn tears from my eyes, as I am relating it to a local situation.

This morning, during a ministers’ meeting, I learned that a local area pastor was performing a funeral. In his congregation there was a woman who was pregnant with twins. She had recently learned that she has cancer, so she was advised to have birth induced; the twins were about half way through the pregnancy. About a week ago, the twins were born. After a few hours of life one of the babies died. The pastor performed the funeral. A few days ago, the second twin was taken off life support. Today, the pastor was performing the second twin’s funeral. Oh, how severe the pain must be for the mother, the family, the church, and other friends. So, do we know if Jesus hurts, when we hurt?

In the account of John 11, Jesus agonized (vs 33) within Himself when He recognized the pain that the family and friends of Lazarus were feeling. When Jesus saw the body of Lazarus, scripture says, very simply, that “Jesus wept.” Yes! Jesus, who was the creator of the world, (Colossians 1:16-17), and who was also, “God with us,” (Matthew 1:23), was moved to tears when he encountered death and the affect that death had on “the living.”

What do we say to a grieving mother, as I have described in this writing? Some years ago, as I was serving as a volunteer hospital chaplain, a much wiser and older chaplain shared one day in a training session, “we don’t know why such horrible things as death happen.” Death was not a part of God’s plan for humanity. It is horrible to lose someone that we love. And, yes! It is a loss. We all know that we will see our saved loved ones in eternity, but between now and then, our life will be changed by that death, and may be totally turned upside down; and it will never, ever, be the same. Those of us who have experienced the loss that is due to death have had emotionally emptying questions, for which there seem to be no answer. We don’t know what to do, to remove the pain. We don’t know what to say, to rationalize the tragedy. We don’t know where to go, to hide from the pain. And, we don’t what to think, when nothing seems to make any sense. I have provided a video that addresses those issues. I trust that it will be of comfort to those of you who may be grieving as you read this account of death. Please know that I don’t have the answers to the question that you may have about your personal grief, but I “do hurt” for you, and I “do care.” So that you can see and hear the video, you will have to click onto the post. May our Lord Jesus provide the comfort that can come only from Him. And Yes! Jesus does care when we hurt.

Pastor/Equipping The Saints

CC Teaching 021514, Scriptures Leading To Worship, A Holy Communion, Psalm 29:2

Psalm 29:2

King James Version (KJV)

“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

Our day of corporate worship will soon arrive. As the time quickly approaches, let us begin preparing ourselves for that time when we, along with other brothers and sisters in Christ, will join together in the worship Jesus, who is God with us, and is our Lord and Savior. As you continue down the page of this writing, you will find two videos of worship and praise, with them providing spiritual enclosure of the inspired Words of God.

Chanda Pierce offers a very heart warming and soul stirring song of worship. She is a very annointed saint of Christ and will tug at your heart strings. I heard her speaking, one time, about her experience as a young girl in church. She recalled her memories of the place where her family used to sit in their church. She chose the words, “second row … piano side” to tell where they sat. We can probably look through the portals of our mind and see where our loved ones used to sit in church. Maybe they sat on the …. “fourth row .. piano side.” Maybe those loved ones are no longer with us, but are in “the presence of Jehovah.”

Sabbath Worship Service – A Holy Communion – Friday

GEN 1: Creation, Gen 1:1-31
“God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. “(Gen 1:5). “And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.”(Gen 1:8). “So the evening and the morning were the third day.”(Gen 1:13) “So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”(Gen 1:19). “So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”(Gen 1:23). “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”(Gen 1:31).
GEN 12: God’s Rest, A Sabbath Rest: Gen 2:1-3, 4004 B.C.Passover
2 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Gen 2:1-3).
EX 12: Passover, Spoken To Israel; Israel Delivered, Ex 12:1-11, 1491 B.C.
12 “Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.” (Exodus 12:1-11) (Also see Ex 12:12-51).
EX 16: Spoken To Israel, Ex 16:23-30, 1491 B.C.
23 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’” 24 So they laid it up till morning, as Moses commanded; and it did not stink, nor were there any worms in it. 25 Then Moses said, “Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.”
27 Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none.28 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? 29 See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day. (Exodus 16:23-30)
EX 20: Sabbath Rest, Spoken To Israel, Ex 20:1-2; Sabbath Rest, Ex 20: 3-11, 1491 B.C.
20 And God spoke all these words, saying:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
LEV 23: God’s Appointed Times, Feasts, Spoken To Israel, Lev 23:1-44, 1490 B.C. (1-2, Spoken To Israel; 3, Sabbath Rest To Israel; 4-5, Feast Of Passover Given To Israel; 6-8, Feast Of Unleavened Bread/Sabbath Given To Israel; 44, Feasts Spoken To Israel.)
23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.
3 ‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
4 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover.
6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. 8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.’”
44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.
NUM 28: God’s Appointed Times, Feasts, Spoken To Israel, Num 28:1-18, 1452 B.C. (1-2, Spoken To Israel; 16, Feast Of Passover Given To Israel; 17 Feast Of Unleavened Bread Given To Israel; 18, Israel Told To Have A Sacred Assembly, And To Do No Work.)
28 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time.’
16 ‘On the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the Lord.
17 And on the fifteenth day of this month is the feast; unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days.
18 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work.
DEU 16: God’s Appointed Times, Feasts, Spoken to Israel, Deu 16:1-17, 1451 B.C. (1-2, Feast Of Passover, Spoken To Israel; 3-8, Feast Of Unleavened Bread, Spoken To Israel; Israel Told To Hold A Solemn Assembly.)
16 “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to the Lord your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place where the Lord chooses to put His name.
3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. 4 And no leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the meat which you sacrifice the first day at twilight remain overnight until morning.
5 “You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which the Lord your God gives you; 6 but at the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt. 7 And you shall roast and eat it in the place which the Lord your God chooses, and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. 8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a sacred assembly to the Lord your God. You shall do no work on it.
LUKE 22-23; The Passion Passover, A Look To The Death Of Jesus: 33 A.D., (22:1-2, Jews prepare for Passover and Unleavened Bread (Wednesday); 22:7-13, Jesus And Disciples At Passover Meal; 14-20, Jesus institutes the Lord Supper (Thursday); 22:54-23:46, Death Of Jesus (Friday); 23:47-55, Burial Of Jesus Necessary Before Sabbath (Friday); 23:56, Women prepared spices and perfumes (Friday before sundown) and “Rested On The Sabbath” (Friday Sundown until Saturday Sundown).)
22 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people. (Luke 22:1-2)
Jesus and His Disciples Prepare the Passover
Luke 22:7-13 (Thursday)
7 Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. 8 And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.”
9 So they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare?”
10 And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. 11 Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ 12 Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.”
13 So they went and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.
Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper
Luke 22:14-20 (Thursday)
14 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve[a] apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
The Day Of Preparation/The Death Of Jesus
Luke 22:54-23:46, The Day Of Preparation, The Death of Jesus (Friday – Before Sundown/Sabbath)
Jesus Buried
Luke 23:47-55, Burial Of Jesus (Friday – Necessary Before Friday Sundown/Sabbath)
47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”
48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned. 49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. 51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting[a] for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. 54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.
55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.
Women Observe Sabbath
Luke 23:56, Women Prepare Spices Before Sabbath (Friday Sundown); Rest On Sabbath (Friday Sundown – Saturday Sundown).

56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
LUKE 24: The Breaking Of Bread/The Lord’s Supper/A Look Back At The Resurrection Of Jesus: 33 A.D. (1-4, The First Day Of The Week, The tomb is empty; angels present (Sunday); 13-16, Jesus appears to disciples, unknown by them; 25-35, Jesus with disciples, The Breaking Of Bread, The Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, Jesus known by disciples).
He Is Risen
Luke 24:1-4 The First Day Of The Week (After: Sabbath/Saturday Sundown/Sunday); The Tomb Is Empty.
24 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them,[a]came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly[b] perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.
The Road to Emmaus
Luke 24:13-16, Jesus appears to disciples
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles[a]from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
The Disciples’ Eyes Opened
Luke 24:25-35, The Breaking Of Bread, The Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
One In Christ
Galatians 3:28, Communion unites all who have been born again into one Spirit.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

John 14:20, Unity of spirits of believers in Christ, One indwelling all others.

20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

ConsiderThe Descendcants Of Ham and Japheth And The Feasts.
How do they fit into the feats, etc.?
Consider Jesus’s Words At Passover And At The Breaking Of Bread.
What words were omitted from His words, that people would include today?

Our second song of worship follows. May it also lead you to a personal and intimate worship of Jesus.

Worship In Song – Holy Are You Lord

In order to view the worship videos, it will be necessary for you to click onto the blog post notice. You can click onto the areas of “Comments, All Comments, Like,” and many other places on the notice. May our Lord Jesus richly bless you as you submit to a personal and intimate worship of Him.

Equipping The Saints

CC Thought 020314, Preparing For Friday Sabbath Worship With Communion, Zephaniah 2:3

Zephaniah 2:3

King James Version (KJV)

Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth …..; seek righteousness ….. seek meekness:

Our Sabbath Worship Services will be held at 6:30 P.M. each Friday. We strive to teach people about the compassion that they should show for the less fortunate (Matthew 25:40). We also want to make known the compassion of Jesus (Matthew 9:36/15:32). The highest point of our ministry is to lead people to a point in their minds where they will know, personally and intimately, the compassionate Christ (John 17:3). A key part of each Sabbath Worship service is Holy Communion. In the ordinance that believers in Christ also call the breaking of bread, the Eucharist, and the Lord’s Supper, there is a great opportunity to lead Christians to a greater intimacy of worship of our Lord. Communion is much more than just, “bread and juice.” It is truly a communion of the saints. It is worship; total worship; true worship. As is stated by Jesus in John 4:24, it is the worship of God “in spirit and in truth.” The desire of Jesus for our worship is plainly, “all of us, for all of Him.” Whenever a pastor looks over the communion elements and talks about “the broken body and shed blood of Christ,” that message is being spoken to the believers who are present, who are also the living “body of Christ.” Our church does not meet at the same time that any other congregation in our community meets. We encourage members of other fellowships to visit our church. We would be honored if some of our ideas of worship could be taken to other congregations for their consideration.

Consider the words of the following hymn of worship, “To Him Who Sits On The Throne, And Unto The Lamb” Click onto the blog and see comments and a better view of the blog and other posts.

Senior Pastor/Equipping The Saints

ETS Sermon 012614, Intimacy Through Worship, Luke 1:49

Please notice that a new scripture has been added at the bottom of the page, Revelation 4:1-11. Also notice the the worship video has been changed. The initial video had video clarity issues. In the new video, God appears in the very striking scene of worship as the King of heaven and earth.

Through our church’s weekly Friday evening Sabbath worship services, we have a desire to instill a mind of true worship in the minds of our members, and of believers in Christ throughout the world. We view true worship as that which is described by Jesus during His discussion with the woman at the well in John Chapter 4. The question that was raised by the woman dealt with the logistics of worship (place, day, time), as opposed to the necessity of intimacy of worship. The answer to the woman’s question was answered very directly, and understandably by Jesus. His answer to the woman is recorded in verses 23-24, ” 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” To worship God in spirit and truth can be stated as follows: “all of us for all of Him!” That form of worship can only come through an intimate relationship with God. It’s not a going or a doing. Again, it is “all of us for all of Him.” We are choosing a time for worship that has an intimacy of time that matches the intimacy of completion of God’s unmatched creative work of our world. Genesis 1:31-2:3, “31 God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. Evening came and then morning:the sixth day. 1 So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. 3 God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.” As we enter each service of Sabbath Worship, we will read from each creative day’s activity, “and the evening and the day were the … first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth day … and God saw that it was very good.” “And on the seventh day, God ended His work … and He rested.”

Intimacy is expressed during times of dining. It was during Passover, immediately prior to the passion of Jesus, that He chose that meal to explain to His disciples the reality of the events that would soon follow. After Passover, He would give His life, and would not have passover with them again until ….. when they would celebrate Passover again in the Kingdom of God (the Millennium). The Passover discourse, the bread and the cup, told the disciples of the death of Jesus, and is described as follows, in Luke 22:7-22:

7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” 9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked. 10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.” 13They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. 14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!”

Intimacy is also described by Jesus as being the text book definition of eternal life. In verse three, of John Chapter 17, eternal life is described as being the result of “knowing God.” The word “know” means to have an intimate relationship with someone. It is not only “Knowing God,” but also knowing God the Father through God the Son, who is Jesus. So, in order for us to have eternal life with God, we must have an intimate relationsnip with God the Father, through God the Son, Jesus. The passage of John 17:1-3 is as follows:

1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, He used Holy scripture, the influence of the Holy Spirit, and “the breaking of bread,” to make Himself known to the disciples. The passover meal told of the death of Jesus. This time, the bread and the cup, in the form of Holy Communion, lead to a belief in the resurrected Jesus. What is clearly obvious is there is no mention of “partaking in an unworthy manner. (another subject for another time).” The intimacy of relationship through Holy Communion is shown in Luke 24:25-35, as follows:

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Our church meets twice weekly, on Monday and Friday evenings. Such a schedule allows us to meet the needs of people who may not be able to attend traditional services. In all of our services we attempt to equip people to be better able to answer why they have such a belief in Jesus as being their Lord and Savior. Also, we try to provide the spiritual tools that are needed for effective evangelizing. We encourage members of other churches to join us, as we are very proactive in our approach to fulfilling the “Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)” Of course, without a true worship of God, all of this would be for nothing. Please consider the worship hymn after you read the two scripture passages.

Luke 1:49, “..His Name is Holy.”

Revelation 4:1-11, “The Throne Room In Heaven,” “1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”

9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”

ETS Thought 012214, Enter Into The Presence Of The Lord And “Be With Him,” Mark 3:14

Let us draw ourselves near to our Lord Jesus and prepare ourselves to serve Him.

Mark 3:13, “And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.”
Mark 3:14, “And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach,”
Mark 11:9, Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting:“Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.
Revelation 19:26, “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.”

As we are called to Jesus, let us go and “be with Him.” Then let us submit outselves to Him, so that we will be equipped to go out and preach God’s Holy Word. Let us lead the parade of worshippers as we shout, “Blessed is He would comes in the Name of the Lord.” Draw yourself into a prayerful humbling submission in the presence of Jesus, who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

Equipping The Saints – Eph 4:12
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ETS Thought 011514 – An Open Letter About The New Birth, To a Friend

My Friend,

Please forgive me for not responding to your last comment. There were a number of things that I had to do today, but I do want you to know that I have been in constant prayer for you ever since I received your last comment.

It is good that you have made reference to scriptures that are contained in the Holy Bible. I find no area of conflict with the passages that you have referenced. But, there is an area of scriptural teaching that you did not mention. I would like to discuss that area with you, which deals with the “new birth,” or being born again.

The Jews had looked forward to an event that would take place in the future, which was the coming of the Kingdom of God, as follows:

Psalms 47:7-8, “For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with a skillful psalm. God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne”

This time in eternity is also called the millennium, or the thousand year rule and reign of Christ, as follows:

Revelation 20:1-7″
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. 4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand ; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection ; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Jesus had a Jewish visitor who was named Nicodemus, who was also a member of the Sanhedrin, and was a Pharisee. In essence, Nicodemus was “an important Jew.” Jesus wasted no time in explaining that the only way that anyone could enter the Kingdom of God is to be born again, as follows:

John 3:3, “3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Jesus explained further that the new birth, the birth from above, is a spiritual happening, as follows:

John 3:8, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going ; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Jesus explained to His disciples that the Holy Spirit would indwell His believers and would be a helper for the believer, forever, as follows:

John 14:16, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever”

Jesus also explained to the disciples that there would be a common indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as follows

John 14:20, “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

The flawed spirit of man, after the new birth, was regenerated (born again) and became as pure as the spirit of God (God the Father) and Jesus (God the Son). The spirit that was in the “born again” man, was also in God the Father, and in God the Son.

The result of the new birth is as follows:

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature ; the old things passed away ; behold, new things have come.”

The new birth has caused the person, who was born again, to become a new creature. The new creature refers to the person’s new-born spirit.

Each of us has three parts of our being, (spirit, soul, body) as follows:

1 Thessalonians 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely ; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Even after a person is born again, that person can sin with his body by doing vicious acts. He can also sin with his soul, by being able to think bad thoughts. But, because his spirit has been regenerated, (born again) his spirit is as pure as the Spirit of Christ, and can not sin. The indwelling Holy Spirit prompts those who have been born again to live a lifestyle that strives to match the lifestyle that Jesus had, therefor a “new creature.”

Such a person is known to be, “in Christ,” which creates an expectant “hope of Glory.”

Colossians 1:27, “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

Consistent with being “in Christ” is having a lifestyle that matches the teachings of Jesus. In the church that was founded at Corinth, lifestyle issues appeared that were contrary to the desire that God has for His people.

Such ungodly lifestyles indicated that the new birth had not happened in everyone’s life. Those people, who had not been born again would not inherit the kingdom of God. Those people, through their lifestyle choices, showed that they did not have the indwelling and prompting Holy Spirit within them. The words in the following scriptures identify a number of lifestyle choices that show that a person had not been born again, and that he would not be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God ? Do not be deceived ; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”

But, we read that there were people who had been born again, and no longer had such ungodly lifestyles.
Therefore, they would be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:11, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

A person who used to be an adulterer, once he has been born again, “was” an adulterer. A person who was a homosexual, once he has been born again, “was” a homosexual. A person who lifestyle before his new birth was that of a thief, “was” a thief after his being born again. The absence of a lifestyle that matches what is expected of a born again believer in Christ, indicates that there was no new birth that took place. It can be said, “I was born that way.” But, in the respect of a homosexual, until a homosexual act has been committed, such a person is not a homosexual. If a person feels predisposed to having sex with a child, are we to say that since that person says that he was “born that way,” that he can have a lifestyle choice of pedophilia and say that he is saved and is going to heaven? Please let me be very honest with you – “I don’t think so!”

The Bible discusses many sinful acts of people, including those of marriages where a man would have more than one wife. Nowhere in God’s Word will we find the approval of God for such marriages. In fact such marriages resulted in conflict and dysfunction. Jesus identifies marriage as being between one man and one woman in Matthew 19:4-6, as follows:

4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ‘?6″So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

The desire of God for marriage has always been one man for one woman. I will not comment on the biological reasons for a man marrying a woman, but they are quite obvious.

Please know that, I could go “on and on” and expound on the subject of being born again, and on the eternity of those who have not been born again. Up to this point, time, I have spent a lot of time putting these thoughts together; I don’t have a prepared script. As I have said before, I have no ax to grind, but the ax of truth. I am receiving no pay for the time that I am spending preparing this letter, but I would gladly spend “hours on end” if that were necessary. We read in 1 Timothy 2:4, that “(God) desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Yes. That is the desire of God. But, also, the requirement of God is that “you must be born again.” (John 3:7).

Jesus has some very grave words that relate to our relationship with Him.

Matthew 7:20, “So then, you will know them by their fruits”

Matthew 7:21, “”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”

Matthew 7:23, “”And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

In the three above verses, Jesus said that a person’s lifestyle identifies whether a person has been born again, or not. He continues by saying that not everybody will go to heaven, only those who have a lifestyle that is in accordance with His will. Jesus concludes His discussion by saying, “I never knew you,” to those who did not have a godly relationship with Him (to those who had not been born again). When He said, “I never knew you,” Jesus is saying that for those who have not been born again, that He “never” had a personal saving relationship with them.

In my post on those who need to be born again, I was not being judgmental or disrespectful to anybody. It is my responsibility as a minister of the gospel to tell people what the Bible says, That is what I did by cautioning people of the lifestyle choices that show that they have not been born again, and therefore will spend an eternity in Hell. That is a very sobering thought. There are many pastors who do not teach on the existence of Hell; but I can not omit such an important reality of God’s Word. A pastor is doing a great disservice to those who have not been born again when the topic of hell is left out of his sermons. I have no malice for anyone; I have only love and compassion for those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is my prayer that anyone who hears my sermons or lessons will pay heed to them and submit their lives to Jesus; they will be born again.

It grieves me to say this, but if you are living a homosexual lifestyle, I can not say anything to you other than you have no fruit to show that you have been born again. You eternity is something that you can not take lightly. It is my most sincere prayer and desire that you give yourself over to a lifestyle which is pleasing to Jesus.

In The Love Of Christ

Pastor/Equipping The Saints

ETS Thought 011414 – 1 Peter 3:15 – Preparedness, Gentleness, Respect

1 Peter 3:15 provides the following instruction for believers in Christ. “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”

Those words of the Apostle Peter are becoming more clear to me each day. As I have mentioned to bloggers, and others, believers in Jesus Christ need to be voices of truth and reason. The following information is being posted so that we can pray for the person who made a comment on my prior post, as listed below. My response follows the other blogger’s comment. Without sermonizing, let me ask you to read my post (122813). Then read the comments that were made, as stated below. Pray for the woman. If you respond to her, please do so with kindness in your words, which I know will be your course of action.

Pastor/Equipping The Saints
Ephesians 4:11-12

7 thoughts on “ETS Sermon 122813 – People In Need Of Being Born Again – December 28, 2013”

You’d hate my life and no appology for it. But you are taking your view of morality and infusing it to others. Not all share this exact definition. Nice view point and props for being brave enough to state your opinion on the matter. It always takes guts to draw that line in the sand. The god I know is pure love and loves us regaurdless our flaws and sins. Once you accept him you are saved period no exceptions and no loopholes. He will change what he doesn’t like if you accept him.
As for nudity it means nothing you were born nude, adam and eve were nude. Only because of sin did they come to believe nudity was bad. /shrug still props for your bravery. There are my thoughts on it
Reply
Equipping The Saints says:
January 14, 2014 at 5:11 pm (Edit)
Please know that I do not hate you. To the contrary, I want the best for you in this life, and in an eternal life that can be made possible by your having an intimate relationship with Jesus, our Lord and Savior. I have no ax to grind, other than the ax of truth. Please consider the following comments that I made to an attacker of me.

Pastor, Dr. Jack Graham recently spoke on the solution to lifestyle choices that are in conflict with God’s Holy Word. The solution is found in 1 Corinthians 6:11, “Such were some of you, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” Until Jesus saved us, we were all who “will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” (1 Cor 6:10). Our place was that which is written in Revelation 21:8, “…their part will be in the lake of fire that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” As a minister of the Gospel Of Jesus Christ, I can not give anyone permission to live a lifestyle that leads to that which is written in Revelation 21:15, “And if anyone’s name was not written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” I was lost. I needed Jesus to save me from my sins. I pray for all who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus to repent of their sins and to ask Him to be their Lord and Savior. I now have the assurance of that which is written in Revelation 21:1-7: I pray for all to have that same assurance. “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.” 6Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. ” Please let me finish with this thought, and scripture. If you, who are reading this blog, do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please know that He is seeking a relationship with you. Carefully read Luke 19:10. It tells us what is being done to draw you to a saving relationship with Jesus. “10″For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” We were all lost until Jesus saved us. If you are not saved, Jesus is seeking you. Please accept His invitation,

For you, I will add the following verses of scripture. They are known to people who know Jesus as their Lord and Savior as “The Romans Road.” That is, they are verses of scripture that are written in the Book of Romans that show the way to salvation, an eternal life. Please read them carefully and pray for God’s Holy Spirit to lead you to a saving faith in Jesus.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord .(Romans 6:23)
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8)
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

As a minister of the Gospel of Christ, I can not give permission to anyone to live a lifestyle that is in conflict with the teachings of Jesus. As I have discovered from the bloggers that communicate with me, whether they are Christians or not, they have always been very kind. For the ones who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, I pray that they will respond to His call. Still, I will always treat everyone with proper respect. For Christian bloggers, we have a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus around the world, with the number of potential contacts being vastly unknown. As believers In Jesus, we need to be voices of reason, yet still sharing our belief that Jesus is the way of Salvation.

ETS Thought 010114/2 – Considering Contraception – Janaury 1, 2014

Equipping For Eternity Website

Consider contraception. For the purposes of this ETS thought, please only consider contraception. When we consider “an ax to grind,” let us only “grind an ax of truth.”

Jeremiah 1:5

New International Version
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

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

English Standard Version
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

New American Standard Bible
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the…

View original post 334 more words

ETS Thought 010114/3 – Considering The Embryo – January 1, 2014

Let us consider the embryo. When we consider the embryo, we should also consider God’s Holy Word.

I Thessalonians 5:23 speaks of the total person, as follows:

23 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The embryo is the beginning of every human life. Because it has life, it has the three components of life, as are stated in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, spirit, soul, and body. Because the embryo has a spirit, it also has an eternal destiny, and is in need of a savior. Refer to the following scriptures:

Romans 5:12: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—”

Romans 3:23: “23 for all [a]have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

Let us consider the Law Of Biogenesis from Wikipedia.

Biogenesis is the production of new living organisms or organelles. The law of biogenesis, attributed to Louis Pasteur, is the observation that living things come only from other living things, by reproduction (e.g. a spider lays eggs, which develop into spiders). That is, life does not arise from non-living material, which was the position held by spontaneous generation.[1][2] This is summarized in the phrase Omne vivum ex vivo, Latin for “all life [is] from life.” A related statement is Omnis cellula e cellula, “all cells [are] from cells;” this observation is one of the central statements of cell theory.

According to the discovery of Louis Pasteur, life can only come from other life. Such as in the case of Adam and Eve creating a child, through the union of their sperm and egg an embryo was created; life was created. After the union of the sperm and egg, life does not cease to exist. It does not die and, at some undefined time in the future, come back to life and form a fetus (as many in liberal media, academia, and politics would have us to believe). Of course, we know that a fetus is an unborn baby.

Refer to the following scriptures:

Jeremiah 1:5:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Galatians 1:15:

“But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased”

The article that was written on Biogenesis was about the generation of life from existing life. Without exception, everyone who reads this post entered this world as a living embryo. Should we not protect embryonic and fetal life?

Pastor – John 17:3
equippingthesaints@outlook.com
http://gravatar.com/cchurchchurchblog
https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/

ETS Thought 010114/2 – Considering Contraception – Janaury 1, 2014

Consider contraception. For the purposes of this ETS thought, please only consider contraception. When we consider “an ax to grind,” let us only “grind an ax of truth.”

Jeremiah 1:5

New International Version
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

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

English Standard Version
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

New American Standard Bible
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

King James Bible
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

International Standard Version
“I knew you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart for me before you were born; I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”

NET Bible
“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”

Galatians 1:15

New International Version
But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased

New Living Translation
But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him

English Standard Version
But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,

New American Standard Bible
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased

King James Bible
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But when God, who from my birth set me apart and called me by His grace, was pleased

International Standard Version
But when God, who set me apart before I was born and who called me by his grace, was pleased

NET Bible
But when the one who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace was pleased

After we have considered the subject of contraception, we will be led to also consider life.

John 17:3/Ephesians 4:12
Pastor/Equipping The Saints
equippingthesaints@outlook.com
http://gravatar.com/cchurchchurchblog
https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/

ETS Thought 010114 – Considering John 17:3 – January 1, 2014

Considering John 17:3.

It’s a text book definition. It’s a relationship.

New International Version
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

New Living Translation
And this is the way to have eternal life–to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.

English Standard Version
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

New American Standard Bible
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

King James Bible
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent–Jesus Christ.

International Standard Version
And this is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent—Jesus the Messiah.

NET Bible
Now this is eternal life–that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.

Ephesians 4:12
Equipping The Saints
equippingthesaints@outlook.com
http://gravatar.com/cchurchchurchblog
https://equippingblog.wordpress.com/

ETS 122613 – Attacks On Christmas – December 26, 2013

Christmas Day has come and gone.  However, the attacks on that day, and on the beliefs of believers in Christ, will continue to occur.  It has been said that most Christians are unable to communicate or defend the beliefs that they have in Jesus Christ as being their Lord and Savior.  Consider the following thoughts and scriptures as you face the attacks that might come your way.
1 Peter 3:15 (NET Bible).  But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.

 
2 Corinthians 5:20 states, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ..”
 
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word ambassador, as follows:  “one sent around, messenger, helper, 1. the highest ranking representative 
appointed by one country or government to represent it in another; helper, servant.  2. a special representative.”  an ambassador-at-large is one accredited to no particular country;  an ambassador extraordinary is one on a special diplomatic mission;  an ambassador plentipotentiary is one having the power to make treaties.  3.  an official messenger or agent with a special mission.
 
Philippians 3:20 states, “For our citizenship is in heaven,..”
 
As based on the above scriptures, and of a definition of Webster, I, as an Ambassador of Christ, and having my spiritual citizenship “not of this world,” hereby announce to this nonspiritual world that “Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God, God with us, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” was born in Bethlehem in Judea as the Savior of the world.  
 
In spite of the many attacks that been made on the words, “Christ,” and”Christmas,” much of the world pretty much comes to a halt on the day which is designated to proclaim the birth of Jesus, the Christ.  We don’t have to agree that Jesus was born on any particular day, but that He was born to take away the sin of the world.  We don’t have to buy gifts, trees, or anything else for a celebration of the birth of Christ. But, it seems to be hypocritical for us to spend our money at places of business that are either hostile, or indifferent, to the word “Christmas.”  There are many such businesses that want us to buy gifts, and such, for Christmas but don’t want to recognize the reason that we are spending “so much money” at this time of year for their store wares.  Many stores want us to spend our “Christmas money” at their location, yet will not allow their employees to simply say, “Merry Christmas” to the people who provide much needed year end profits for such “Anti-Christmas” establishments.  Hanukkah was celebrated on Thanksgiving, yet the word that is used by Christmas-negating corporations and smaller businesses for gift-buying-commercials is not “Christmas” but, “the Holiday,” or “the Holidays.” People are not spending such large sums of money for any “holiday,” other than for Christmas.  So, as for me and my family, “we will serve the Lord,” by not shopping at, or supporting, businesses that ignore the closely held beliefs of people who hold to the beliefs of Christmas and Jesus.  
 
“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve….; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”  (Joshua 24:15)
 
Ephesians 4:12
Equipping The Saints
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ETS Sermon 011014 – Reconsidering True Compassion – January 10, 2014

I.  Introduction.

A.  Much has been recently said about comments that were made by a private citizen of the United States Of America.  As usual, many of the adverse statements were made by liberal factions of academia and the media.  A few political pundits, of the same mindset, have offered their negative opinions too.  The topic of controversy hinges on a few words of God’s Holy Word, and will be discussed in this sermon, as well as other related words that have been conveniently ignored by the attackers. The “controversy,” or better described as being an “attack,” has been an assault on the closely held beliefs of Christians, Jews, and Muslims, as well as many others who may not even have religious beliefs.  Supposedly, those who have been affected by “such insensitive words” are “gays.”  Because a man discussed a “controversial” portion of God’s Word in a magazine interview, he is being portrayed by the “political left” as being a bigot.  Before we proceed, it is important to familiarize ourselves with the word, “Gay,” as to its correct meaning.  Webster’s New World Dictionary, College Edition, Copyright 1964, provides the following, and correct, definition of “Gay:”  (1) joyous and lively; merry; happy; lighthearted. (2) bright, brilliant: as, gay colors. (3) given to social life and pleasures: as a gay life; syn: see lively.  There is another word that needs to be properly defined, which is “homosexual.”  Its Webster’s definition is: of, or characterized by, sexual desire for those of the same sex.  a homosexual individual, as opposed to heterosexual.

B.  Now, that we have considered words that have been drawn from Webster’s New World Dictionary, we will continue our discussion by considering the words that are drawn from God’s Holy Word, The Holy Bible.

II.  Sermon Text.

A.  Let’s consider the authority and purpose of the Bible, as is given in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness ; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 

The context of this passage is that of Old Testament scriptures, because the New Testament had not yet been written.  But, since scripture is “inspired” (God-breathed) by God, it is not confined to either Testament.  And, because of the triune authority of God The Father/God The Son/God The Holy Spirit, the Providence of God can be found to be consistent with Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Briefly stated, the Old and New Testaments are both inspired writings of God.

B.  Let’s consider a question that could gain greater liberal acceptance: “Is John 3:3 Hate Speech?”  (Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he can not see the Kingdom of God.”)  Does it unfairly exclude from The Kingdom Of God, those who have lifestyles that show no evidence that they have been born again?

C.  Let’s consider scriptures that state the approval or disapproval of God, as related to certain lifestyle choices.

1.  Leviticus 18:22 – Acts Of Sexual Perversion.

22  ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female ; it is an abomination.  23  ‘Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. 

In this passage it is clear that God prohibits same sex acts between male and female humans, and acts of sex by humans with animals.  In verse 22, homosexuality is called an “abomination.”  In Revelation 21:8, those who have “abominable” lifestyles are included with others, who have chosen ungodly lifestyles, and “will have their eternity in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” This passage refers to those unsaved people who are alive during the millennium, which is also known as the “thousand year reign of Christ” (Rev 20:1-4).   The judgement upon the disobedient lifestyle choices that are shown in Revelation 21:8, is consistent with that of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.  The Corinthians account refers to people about whom the Apostle Paul discussed, who would have lived and died before the millennial reign of Christ (Revelation 20:1-4). 

2.  Leviticus 20:13 – Acts Of Homosexuality.

13  ‘If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act ;

In this passage, the word “detestable” has the same meaning as that of Leviticus 18:22, in the word, “abomination.”  The people who practice abominable lifestyle choices will have an eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone.  Those who have homosexual lifestyles are described in this scripture.

3.  Romans 1:26-27 – Acts Of Homosexuality.

26  For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions ; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural ,  27  and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Those people who demonstrate homosexual lifestyle choices are in danger of having God’s influencing Spirit to “pass over them.”  They are said to be:  reprobate, depraved, debased, and degraded.  In essence, when people repeatedly abandon God, He may abandon them; their hearts may be hardened as a result of this abandonment (Judges 10:13; Exodus 7:3).  God does this by removing His restraint and allowing their sin to run its inevitable course.  There may also be direct acts of Divine judgment and punishment.  Such people are described, as in 1 Corinthians 2:14, as being “natural men or women.”  They do not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to them, because they are spiritually appraised.  These people do not have spiritual understanding because they do not have the Spirit of God indwelling them.

4.  1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – Homosexuality And Other Lifestyle Choices Not Of Being Born Again.

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God ? Do not be deceived ; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,  10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

In this passage we are shown groups of people whose lifestyle choices show that they have not been born again.

5.  1 Timothy 1:8-10 – Homosexuality And Other Forbidden Life Styles.

8  But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,  9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,

We see, again, people whose lifestyle choices indicate that they have not been born again.

D.  Now, let’s take a closer look at the “born again” discussion.

1.  2 Corinthians 5:17 – The Components Of Being Born Again.

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature ; the old things passed away ; behold, new things have come.

Notice the words, “in Christ.”  We find those same words in Colossians 1:27, where we read, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  It is the literal presence in us, by the Spirit of Christ, that affords us the expectant “hope of glory.” It is an eternal presence that we will have with Christ, and with the presence of the Spirit of Christ indwelling our spirit.  When we are born again, our Spirit is as pure as is the Spirit of Christ.  But, our mind has not been born again.  Until our death, or our being raptured from this world (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), we are saddled with a mind that “is not” perfect, neither is as pure as is the mind of Christ.  The “new creature” that is described in this verse describes our spirit.  It is new, and through the influence of God’s Holy Spirit, our sinful nature will be changed due to the presence and influence of the Holy Spirit.  Our “pre-born again” sinful lifestyle will not be as desirable as before. In essence, if we are spiritually “in Christ,” we should live our lives accordingly.

2.  John 3:3 – The New Birth Requirement For Heaven.

3 esus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

The statement of this scripture is very simple;  we can not enter into the kingdom of God in a spirit that has not been born again.  The call and conviction of God’s Holy Spirit are upon us (John 1:9).  If we continue to live with a pattern of sinful lifestyle choices, we have to question if we have submitted to the Spirit’s call and have been born again. 

3.  John 3:18 – Sign Of The New Birth.

18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

To believe in Jesus is to have a trust and commitment to Christ as Lord and Savior.  Such will result in receiving a new nature, which brings about a change in heart and obedience to God.

4.  Romans 8:1 – Reward Of The New Birth.

1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 

This scripture is very simple to understand.  It means that if we have been born again we will not be condemned to having our part in the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev 21:8).

E.  1 John 4:7-8,20 – Signs Of Life Styles Of Being Born Again And Of Not Being Born Again.

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God ; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  8  The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, can not love God whom he has not seen.

The proof of “love for one another” is that of lifestyle choices.  It is inconceivable for us to think that a parent who has had a child to be kidnapped and murdered will not harbor “hateful thoughts” for the one who destroyed the life of the child.  God understands the horrible things of life that might happen to us.  He will help us to deal with such things.

F.  An Example Of God’s Judgement On A Sinful Lifestyle.

1.  Genesis 18:20-21 – God’s Displeasure With The Cities Of Sodom And Gomorrah.

20  And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.  21  “I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”

The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah was a result of the sin of homosexuality.  God dispatched angels to to deal with the situation.

2.  Genesis 19:1-29 – God’s Judgement On Sodom And Gomorrah’s Sin Of Homosexuality.

1  Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.  2  And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet ; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.”  3  Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house ; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.  4Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter ;  5 and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight ? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.”  6  But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him,  7  and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly.  8″Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man ; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like ; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.”  9  But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge ; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.  10  But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.  12  Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here ? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place ;  13  for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” 14Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the LORD will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting.  15When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.”  16  But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the LORD was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city.  17  When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape for your life ! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley ; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.”  18  But Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lords !  19″Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life ; but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die ;  20now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape there (is it not small ?) that my life may be saved.”  21  He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request also, not to overthrow the town of which you have spoken. 22″Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the town was called Zoar. 23  The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar.  24  Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven,  25  and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.  26  But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.  27  Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the LORD ;  28    and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a furnace.  29  Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.

The actions of God, his judgement on the sins of homosexuality, were swiftly enacted.  God has not changed His mind as to the “exceedingly grave” acts that caused Sodom and Gomorrah to be destroyed.

III.Conclusion.

A.  It is obvious that the word “gay” has been hijacked from its correct meaning, so that the politically correct crowd can avoid facing the truth about a sect of our society that has chosen to live a lifestyle that is contrary to God’s design.  Just as the pro abortion lobby uses the word “choice,” instead of “killing unborn babies,” the pro homosexual supporters use the term”gay” to soften the meaning of the words that describe “men having sex with men, ” and “women having sex with women.”  A largely accepted argument today deals with people being born with a homosexual gene.  Based on that assumption, men are supposed to be accepted in their lifestyle of having sexual intercourse with other men, and women having intimate relations with other women.  Such lifestyle choices are supposed to be accepted by the world, as being natural and normal for them, regardless of the clearly spoken words of God on that perversity.  But, what if a man, or woman, say that they have been born with a gene that draws them to have sexual relations with children?  Are we supposed to say that those perverse and un-Godly actions are also natural and normal?  Many leaders of our government, as well as those of academia and the media, have made many political statements about marriage not being denied to people based on, “who they love.”  That is not consistent with God’s Holy Word desiring marriage between men and women, and with no other scriptural permission or indifference for same sex marriage.  When the subject of compassion is interjected into the subject of homosexuality and sexual perversion, let’s consider whether it is true compassion for a society to provide blanket permission for certain lifestyle choices to be accepted by, or forced upon, that society.  Please allow this following discussion to be made without being held to statistics;  the obvious is very clear to people who follow news reports.  Homosexual men have lifestyles that include hundreds of sexual partners, with the result of the infection of the aids virus.  The life expectancies of homosexual men is much less than that of heterosexual men.  Is it true compassion for us to not speak the truth and allow so many men to die such early and painful deaths ….. and for the cause of political expediency? 

B.  Much more can be said about the subject of homosexuality and the words of truth that came under such liberal and un-Godly attacks.  The duck guy spoke the truth about the matter.  He was not using “hate speech” when he spoke about 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.  He discussed un-Godly life styles of many different sects of people. He was doing what all believers in Jesus Christ should be doing.  We must not roll over and play dead.  We must tell the truth of the Gospel; that is our commission of Matthew 28:18-20.  Souls need to be saved and lives need to be changed.

C.  During the past few years two key political figures have used the term, “freedom of worship,” which is far from the constitutional guarantee of “freedom of religion.”  Freedom of worship allows us to meet in a building.  Freedom of religion allows us to practice the things that we learn in those meetings, outside of those buildings.  If we are intimidated by anyone, and feel threatened to speak the truths of God’s Holy Word, we are in danger of losing our religious freedoms. When our religous freedom has been taken from us, other freedoms will soon follow.  Consider the guarantee of the constitution of the United States Of America as it relates to the freedom of religion.

1.  First Amendment, amendment (1791) to the Constitution of the United States, part of the Bill of Rights, which reads, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

2.  The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights.

IV.  A parting thought:  Until a person commits a homosexual act, that person is not a homosexual.

Ephesians 4:12

Equipping The Saints

This Day In Our Nation’s History

This is quite an important day in the history of our country. Let us never forget the sacrifices that have been made by our Americans of the armed forces who have served our nation, especially those who have given their all

John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

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December 18 : General Interest
1620: Mayflower docks at Plymouth Harbor

On December 18, 1620, the British ship Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony… read more

American Revolution
1777 : States give thanks
http://click.email-updates.history.com/?qs=f90c04741cd7b09f935b0f6bbc7c208ca9c1754d808b8f4a93a472db1b17a463

ETS Sermon 121613 – The Sin Of The World, Death Or Redemption – December 16, 2013

I.  Overview:  John 1:29:  The Sin Of The World A.  Scripture:  The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” B.  Consider the sin of the world, as opposed to the daily sins of the people of the world.
C.  Consider the consequences of the sin of the world, as they relate to all of God’s creation.
II.  The Creation Of Man:  Genesis 1:26 A.  Scripture:  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ; B.  Comments:  Man was made in a moral and natural similarity to God.  After man sinned, he lost the moral likeness, which was his sinlessness.  However, his natural likeness of emotions, will, and intellect were still retained by man. 
III.  The State Of Man:  Genesis 1:31 A.  Scripture:  God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. B.  Comments: 
1.  Consider the state of man (Body, Soul, Spirit, 1 Thessalonians 5:23).  It was perfect.
2.  Consider the state of the remainder of God’s creation.  It was perfect.
IV. God’s Instructions To The Man:  Genesis 2:15-17 A.  Scripture:  15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely ; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” B.  Comments:  Consider God’s conversation with his created man. 1.  “You can eat from from any tree in the garden, except the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” 2.  “If you eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you will die.” a.  Death indicated separation (spiritual, physical, eternal).  Immediately upon the sin of Adam and Eve, they experienced a spiritual death.  God was merciful however, in that they did not die physically, until much later (Genesis 5:5,  “So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.”) b.  Consider the aspects of the death that would come upon Adam and Eve (spiritual, physical, eternal).
c.  Consider the consequences of the remainder of God’s creation that resulted from the “sins” of Adam and Eve.
d.  Consider the result upon mankind of the “sin” of the world.
V.  The Yielding Of The Man and Woman To Sin:  Genesis 3:6 A.  Scripture:  When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. B.  Comment:  Consider the temptation, progression, and result of sin, as related to Adam and Eve and to us today.
C.  Comment:  Sin will take you to places that you did not want to go, and will keep you there longer than you wanted to stay.
VI.  The Attempt Of The Man And Woman To Cover Their Sin:  Genesis 3:7.  A.  Scripture:  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. B.  Comments:  The man and woman knew, “were intimate with the fact “that they had disobeyed God.  They didn’t know anything to do, but to do a “cover up.”  They were no longer of a righteous state.  1 Corinthians 2:14 makes a statement of their spiritual condition.  “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he can not understand them, because they are spiritually appraised;”  this is a result of their fall.  This condition exists with people who have not been born again.  They are people who have a flawed and fallen spirit within them.  They don’t have God’s Spirit indwelling them, so they don’t have the influences of the Holy Spirit.  These people don’t know that their sinful condition can be changed to a condition of righteousness by God.
VII.  The Expulsion Of The Man And Woman From The Garden (They had a need for someone to remove them from their flawed state and consequence of sin).  Genesis 3:22-24 A.  Scripture:  22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil ; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever “- 23 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. B.  Comments:  Consider man living forever in the garden;  God driving man out of the garden;  God preventing man from going back into the garden where he would ever be with his sin, where he would have to pay the debt for his sin:  (Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  This is an example of people who have been born again;  they can not be “unborn again.”  Once their state of “sin” has been changed to one of righteousness, they can not be “unborn again.”  (2 Corinthians 5:21) “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  The born again experience places a person in Christ, because of his having a new, unblemished, righteous spirit.  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.  It is important to understand the words, “in Christ.”  That is our spirit literally being “in Christ.”  John 10:28 provides comfort for those who have been born again, “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”  The born-again spirit is righteous and can not become one that is unrighteous. 
VII.  The Result Of The Fall:  Romans 5:12. A.  Scripture:  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned– B,  Comments:  After the fall of Adam and Eve, their total state of being became flawed.  That included their body, soul, and spirit.  In essence, Adam and Eve became “Sin.”  And, because they “had become sin,”  they began to sin.  Every person who was born of Adam and Eve was/is born with the same flawed body, soul, and spirit as was with Adam and Eve.  Immediately upon conception, death begins.(Romans 5:12).  Immediately upon conception, a spirit has been projected into eternity.  The situation with every person, or embryo, is that of Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  It is not the day to day wrongs that we do that cause us to “fall short of the glory of God.”  It is the state that all of us inherit, due to the flawed spirit, soul, and body that came from Adam and Eve.  Very directly, we can see that the flawed sperm and egg of Adam and Eve created children who inherited the same flawed state of life, body, soul, and spirit.  In each sperm and egg were life, more correctly stated, “flawed life,” life that is need of a Savior, who can redeem us from our eternal separation from God: Romans 3:24, “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”
VIII.  Conclusion.  A.  2 Corinthians 5:21 says that Jesus, “who knew no sin became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (Christ).” That identifies each created human being as “being sin.”  There is nothing righteous about our spirit.  We can not stand before a Holy God because of our state of “sin.”  When Jesus was on the cross, and He was taking on Himself the sin of the world, He felt the separation from God that we all will experience if we are not born again.  He felt the wrath of God coming on Him as He was taking the sin of the world on Him, so that He could pay sin’s debt.  (Matthew 27:46), “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”  Our situation before we were born again can best be described as follows: We “are sin” and know nothing of a savior (1 Corinthians 1:18), “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing …”  We were all perishing until we were born again.  B.  Upon conception every person needs a savior.  We can’t earn salvation, per Ephesians 2:8:  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” All who have that grace also believe.  Per John 3:18, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”  C.  What can we can about people who do not have the ability to believe in Jesus?  Consider 1 John 4:8, :…God is love.”  Consider Luke 19:10, ” “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  God desires all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).  God is not wishing for any to perish.. (2 Peter 3:9).  Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). D.  Not all people will be saved.  Revelation 20:15, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” E.  The way to avoid the condemnation of God can be found in Romans 8:1, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  This verse relates to John 3:18:  “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”  The requirement is for a person to be “in Christ.”
F.  The words of John 21:25 can easily relate to any study of God’s Holy Word.  “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”  In a study of sin and redemption, there are things that are written in the Bible that must be considered, and not ignored.  Consider:  John 1:9, the calling of the Holy Spirit;  Romans 1:28, reprobation;  Ephesians 1:4-5, election; Romans 8:28, God’s purpose; and 1 John 4:8, God’s love.  G.  Final Statement.  Believers in Christ have been commissioned by Him to evangelize the world (Matthew 28:18-20/Acts 1:8)  The Romans Road is a good route for us to follow.  Consider the following:  Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; Romans 5:8; Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” Ephesians 4:12,”Equipping The Saints.”

ETS Sermon 120913-Proper Worship Of God-December 9, 2013


I.  Introduction:  Consider the following scriptures that relate to Intimacy and The Kingdom Of God.  Let them help you to solidify your worship of God.

A.  Intimacy:

1.  Genesis 4:1 (ESV)
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.”

2.  Exodus 33:7-11 (NAS)
7 Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp. 8 And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. 9 Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and [a]the Lord would speak with Moses. 10 When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. 11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When [b]Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.

3.  John 17:3 (ESV)
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

4.  Philippians 3:10 (NAS)
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

B.  The Kingdom Of God:

1.  Matthew 6:10: (KJV)
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

2.  Mark 4:30: (NAS)
He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?

3.  john 10:10:  (NKJ)
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly

4.  John 3:3: (KJV)
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.

5.  Luke 17:20-21: (ESV)
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

6.  Luke 17:21: (KJV)
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

7.  Romans 14:17 (KJV)
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

C.  Worship:

1.  Scripture:  John 4:20-24: (NAS)

20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is [a]spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

a.  In verse 21, Jesus said to the woman, “the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.” (NKJ).  The Jews had their temple in Jerusalem;  Mount Zion was their place of worship.  The Samaritans, who had rejected all of Old Testament Holy Scripture, except the Pentateuch, had their central sanctuary at Mount Gerizim.  Jesus pronounced the end of Mount Gerizim as the place of worship for Samaria, and also for Jerusalem for the Jews, in anticipation of its destruction in just a few years. 

b.  In verse 22, Jesus said, “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.”  (NKJ).  Jesus was saying that the woman was an agnostic, which comes from the Greek word, “agnosis,” which means “without knowledge.”  Jesus was saying that the Samaritans were worshipping without knowledge, but that was not the case with the Jews.  Their (Jews) worship was based on the true knowledge of God, as was revealed of Him in scripture.  So, Jesus was not saying that it did not matter whether a person worshipped in the way of the Samaritans, of in the way of the Jews.  The Jews had the correct way of worshipping God.  Their way was ordained for them by God, because they were the chosen people of God, and He had personally instructed them on the way of worship. 

c.  In verses 23-24, Jesus said, “the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (NKJ).  Jews and Samaritans knew that God had commanded their ancestors to identify a special place for worshipping Him.  The Jews accepted all of the Old Testament as being God’s Holy Word.  They chose Jerusalem for their place of worship.  The Samaritans followed only the first five books of the Old Testament, the books of Moses.  The place of worship that was recognized by Samaritans was where Abraham had built an altar to God, at Shechem;  it was overlooked by Mount Gerizim.  Jesus discussed true, spiritual, worship, as opposed to physical considerations.  Consider the things that He did not include as He spoke to the Samaritan woman about worship. 

2.  Reflection:

a.  When Mary sang her song of praise to God, her Magnificat, she cried out, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”  (Luke 1:46b-47, NKJ).  Mary demonstrated true worship.  We are called to honor, exalt, and worship Jesus.  But, we also need to know that Christ came to reconcile us to the Father.  The major focus of our worship must be to the Father, which is why Jesus said that “true worshippers must worship the Father in spirit and truth.”  We worship the triune God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. But, we must have the greatness of the Father, in all of His majesty, in our minds when we worship. 

b.  In the matter of worshipping the Father “in spirit and truth,” we must seek the truth of Jesus.  What did He mean?  Jesus is not saying that we are to be Holy Spirit devotees, and are to worship God according to the Holy Spirit.  We’re supposed to do that, but Jesus was saying that we should see that our worship comes from the depths of our souls, from our inner spirits, and from the very core of our being. 

c.  We are to come to God with our hearts filled with a sense of awe, reverence, and adoration.  It should be the goal of our worship to be a sacrifice of praise to His name. 

d.  Jesus also said that our worship must be according to truth.  Worship should not be tailored to anything other than what God desires of our worship.  We should worship Him according to what “He” wants.    We must keep a close eye on what we do in worship.  We must ask ourselves simple questions that desire sincere answers.   We must ask:  “Is this the truth of God? Is this God’s teaching in His Word?”  We must base our worship on God’s self-revelation in Scripture.  God is truth; His Word is truth.

II.  Conclusion:

In John 4:9 we read, “…Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.”  (NKJ).  There were dealings among Jews and Samaritans, but they were not intimate in matters of friendship or of evangelism.  Jews were not allowed to share eating utensils with Samaritans.  That is because Jews considered Samaritans to be unclean.  Because of this verse we can see that the Jews were not evangelistic in spreading Judaism.  Instead, they were inclusive.  (In Ezra 10, Jewish men, who had married non-Jewish wives, were told to divorce them.)  In the teaching of Jesus to the Samaritan woman, it is important to see that the focus on worship is that of worshipping in spirit and truth.  Jesus clearly says that the place of worship is not the focus of importance.  He had the perfect setting for stating a day or time of worship, but He did not.  Jesus came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17.) When He commissioned His disciples to evangelize the world, he told them to teach “all that He had commanded them.”  Jesus taught intimacy of relationship and worship to the disciples, not time, place, or day of worship.  Not all people who would ultimately accept Christ as their Lord and Savior would have a way of going to Jerusalem to worship.  In AD 70, the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed.  As we lead unbelievers to have a personal relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior, we must also teach them the importance of having proper spiritual worship. Ephesians 4:12, “Equipping The Saints”

ETS Sermon 110413 – Considering Significance – Philippians 4:13 – November 4, 2013

Titus, An Insignificant Gentile (Non-Jew).

Very little is known about Titus.  Paul’s letter to him was written while Paul was in his fourth missionary journey, and probably was dated between A.D. 62 to A.D. 64.  Titus was a Gentile who had accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior through the teachings of Paul.  Titus is not mentioned in the Book of Acts, but he was taken to Jerusalem by Paul early in his missionary work.  It was there that Paul refused to have Titus circumcised.  It appears that Titus traveled with Paul on his second and third missionary journeys, and accompanied him during part of Paul’s fourth missionary journey.  Titus was trusted by Paul to deal with delicate situations that were taking place in the early church.

Consider Noah.

Genesis. Chapter 7:1, “Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.” 4, “For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” 7, So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. 10, And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth. 13, …Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark.  21And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. 23 So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. Chapter 8:14 And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried. 15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.”  Chapter 9: 18 Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.

Consider Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Shem was the father of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Ham was the father of such people groups as those who settled in Ninevah, Babylon, and Sodom and Gomorrah.  Japheth was the father of the people groups of Gomer, Magog, Tubal, and Meshech (Genesis Chapter 10).

Consider The Descendants Of Abraham.

From the twelfth chapter of Genesis we see that God led the descendants of Jacob, the semetic people, the Hebrews, the Jews. Consequently, the families of Ham and Japheth did not know, “intimately,” the teachings of the Jews, which included the law  that God gave to Moses, the feasts of the Jews, and the covenants.  It also included the prophetic scriptures that pointed to Jesus as being the Messiah.

Consider The Apostle Paul, A Descendant Of Abraham.

Romans 11:1 “I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.”

Titus 1:4, Titus, Led To Faith In Jesus By Paul 1Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, 3 but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior, 4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith : Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Galatians 2:1-3, The Council at Jerusalem – Titus, A Gentile, Prevented By Paul From Being Circumcised 1Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. 2It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private * to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain. 3 But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. (See Highlights Of The Council Of Jerusalem Below, Acts 15)

Acts 15:1, Judaizers False Teaching:  1Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless * you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot * be saved.”

Acts 15:9, 11, Peter’s Affirmation Of Salvation By Faith Through Grace:  (9),and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. (11) “But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”

Acts 15:19-20, Declaration Of James (Brother Of Jesus, Leader Of Jerusalem Church): 19″Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, 20 but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.

Acts 15:28-29, Letter Of Declaration To The Churches: 28 “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials : 29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication ; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”

Summation Of Council Of Jerusalem:  Salvation is by faith through grace.  Gentiles are not under the law, but should avoid giving offense to Godly Jews. Titus was a part of this test case.

Titus, Epistle:  Titus Became Paul’s Representative On The Island Of Crete, And In The Province Of Dalmatia:  To Appoint Elders And To Correct False Teaching.

Titus 1:5, Appoint Elders: For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,

Titus 1:10-14, Correct False Teaching 10For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. 12One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.

2 Timothy 4:10, Titus Sent To Dalmatia (Present Day Croatia):  10 for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica ; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.

Consider The Great Commission:

Matthew 28:18-20 – 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.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,20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always *, even to the end of the age.”

Consider: “even to the end of the age.”

Consider:  Titus, An Insignificant Gentile.

Consider You:  Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Consider The Holiness Of God.  Revelation 4:8-11

8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

ETS 110213 – TMT 3, A Proven Forumla For Success – November 2, 2013

TMT 3 ? “The Main Thing” is to keep “The Main Thing”, “The Main Thing.”

What is “The Main Thing?” The answer is simple. TMT 3 is the message of
“Jesus,” our Lord and Savior, God with us.
The choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church (Sr. Pastor, Dr. Jack Graham) is located in the metro area of Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX. (See the following video)
Consider the scriptures and the song, “Something Happens.”
Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Matthew 1:23-25; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 1:23; Philippians 2:9-11.
1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”
Remember the formula, “TMT 3.” That is the proven way for success in witnessing to Jews and Gentiles.
Something Happens
Something Happens written by Kurt Carr
 

Welcome To “Equipping The Saints” – ETS Note 110113 – Nov 11, 2013

The Great Commission of our Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to: “go, teach, baptize, and teach,” all of the things that He had taught them, to “all of the world” (Matthew 28:18-20).  His encouragement to them, immediately prior to His ascension to Heaven, was that He would empower them to be His witnesses, “when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,”  to go” to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).  The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, said of the Holy Spirit, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the works of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).  Those of us who have been blessed with the spititual gifts of leadership, within the body of Christ, have been given the same commission as that which was given to  the disciples/apostles, to “go, teach, baptize, and teach.”  The purpose of the posts, that will be found in this blog, is to provide information that will help others to be better able to understand the teachings of God’s Holy Word, and to encourage them to have the attitude that Luke attributed to the Jews who  were in Berea.  “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.  These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.  Therefore many of them believed…” (Acts 17:10-12).  The focal point of teaching should lead to the conclusion that was made by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, when he said, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2).  Jesus didn’t die of disease or old age; He died as a result of being crucified.  But, the good news is, “But now Christ is risen from the dead” (1 Cor 15:20), and because of his being resurrected from the dead:   “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet ….. the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised …..” (1 Cor 15:52).