Unabridged Christianity Tuesday, Jan 15 2019 

Heavenly Things

John 3:9-13 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. 12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.

We are continuing with this review of the key theme which is found at the beginning of this gospel in John 1:16
16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

We should all realize what a Christian is meant to be in this life.

We have been analyzing ourselves to determine if we do indeed have this life in us and if we have received of His fullness. We must guard against the problem of allowing our intellect to limit Scripture to our own human understanding.

Do you know that you have received of this fullness?

Because we are not sufficiently child-like, not sufficiently simple, our intellect creeps in and causes problems. Luke 18:15-17 15 And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. 16 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

The whole object of studying the bible is to know Him more and more and for us to realize our own position in Christ, that we might live this Christian life in His fullness.

There are many difficulties that lie in the way of us receiving of His fullness more and more.

Nicodemus was a different type from the others we have studied before because he is a part of the religious elite. He is a ruler, a leader of the Jews and yet he was wrong. Even though he was a master, a teacher in Israel. He was a very able man. He was a great man in many ways. He was free from prejudices. He didn’t come to Jesus asking for “signs” or questioning his “authority.” He came to learn of Him, to put forth questions he had about his religion.

Nicodemus knew that Jesus was sent from God. He saw the real meaning of the miracles Jesus did. He addresses Jesus as Rabbi even though Jesus is just a carpenter. He assents to His position. He knows that Jesus was sent from God. But He is feeling convicted by the fact that Jesus obviously has something that he lacks and he comes seeking to know what it is that makes Him different. He wasn’t self-satisfied like the other Pharisees.

Are you self-satisfied? Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness? Is there a longing to know Him more and more?

There is no hope in the Christian life if we are not aware of our need for Him. Are we always comparing ourselves to others in the world and thanking God we are not like them? Or are we humble like Nicodemus and come looking at the perfection of God and seeing our own unworthiness?

The truth is Nicodemus didn’t see Jesus as LORD. That was his great mistake. He saw Him more as an equal not as a Savior. He called Him Rabbi or teacher. He too was a teacher.

Matthew 5:3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Nicodemus is a very wise man and he acts on what he feels. Do we follow through seeking truth when we’ve been convicted? Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

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Unabridged Christianity Monday, Jan 14 2019 

The Example of Nicodemus

John 3:9-13

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. 12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.

For some time now, we have been studying the gospel of John to learn about the Christian life, eternal life.

John 1:16
16 For of His fullness [awe have all received, and grace upon grace.

This is what it means to be a Christian, that we receive of His fullness and nothing less. It isn’t just intellectual or just being forgiven. Christianity is about the life of God in the souls of men.

Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life and that more abundantly” There is a superabundance available when He acts.

We are now considering one of the greatest obstacles to receiving the gift of the new birth from God. We’ve been studying the manifestations of the new birth, the regeneration. Now we go further into the struggle of Nicodemus, “How can these things be?”

It appears to be the great obstacle for him, for Christ seekers, and even for some Christians to receive of His fullness, grace upon grace.

We are offered the exceeding riches of God’s grace, the unspeakable joy, the peace that passes understanding, and the unsearchable riches of Christ. We are told we can receive of the fullness of God. Do we?

The reason we don’t is because there is an enemy who is always trying to step between us and stop us from receiving of His fullness. The primary weapon he uses is pride of intellect and confidence in understanding. Galatians deals with this problem. There is always the problem of falling back on our own works, our won ability, our own understanding.

But the Psalmist says, “Lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” That is walking in the Spirit.

Jesus says that the new birth is essential. The problem is we all have a desire to “understand”. That was the original sin. The new seeker of Christ says he won’t believe unless he can understand. Their logic is flawed. Do they understand electricity? Most don’t, but they still use it.

They limit the measure of God to the limit of their understanding. That is what is happening in the church today. If a man can’t understand a particular scripture they leave it out. Men are no longer governed by the scriptures. Revelation is no longer the authority. Their understanding is the authority. Philosophy is their authority. They throw out the miraculous and supernatural. They want only a practical, neat, tidy, non-intrusive god that they can control. They want to go on with their lives the way they want to run them.

The limiting of God is fatal. They are afraid of the breaking in of the supernatural.

Matthew 11:25 25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.

1 Corinthians 2:14
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

1 Corinthians 2:15
15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.

The true Christian understands but he is an enigma to others.

What are these “heavenly things” mentioned in John 3:12 above? Salvation, the blessed Trinity; three persons yet one God, the glory of God, eternal life , communion with God, phenomena, miracles…

John 17:3
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

2 Corinthians 12:2-4
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.

Paul was “caught up”. He didn’t know, God only knows.

Revelation 4:2-4 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.

John also was “in the Spirit” and beheld “heavenly things”.

1 Peter 1:10-12 10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.

Ephesians 3:10  so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

Angels don’t understand either because it is incomprehensible.

The incarnation-God and man mixed, “great is the mystery of godliness”, and the Spiritual life are all “heavenly things”. What do you know about these “heavenly things”?


Unabridged Christianity Friday, Jan 11 2019 

A Spirit of Bondage

John 3:8
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

What makes a person a Christian is their miraculous rebirth. We must not forget they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

We have been studying the peculiar difficulties of understanding the differences between a religious man and a Christian.

One of the snares the devil employs so frequently is to make a religious man think he is a Christian when he has never been born again. In order to enter the kingdom of heaven there are two forms of worship required; in Spirit and in truth. A man who has never been born again cannot worship in Spirit because the Spirit is not in him. They may think they have worshiped Him because they’ve gone to church their entire lives, but God is a Spirit.

The enemy of our souls uses religion to delude people into thinking it is a particular building, certain rituals, robes and vestments that determine our condition with God. Religion is external with certain trappings.

A man who has been born of the Spirit has the life of God in his soul. It is an internal thing. He has communion with the Trinity. He knows Him. He knows His presence. He knows what it is to grieve Him. He knows what it feels to be dependent upon Him, to realize his own weakness and utter need for Him. He is aware of His activities within him, promptings, leading, corrections. He also knows the power He can give to do whatever he is called to do: preaching, teaching, service, prayer.

Another vital part of what the Holy Spirit does within those who are born again is assurance of salvation. There are two big things the Holy Spirit does in us; sanctification and assurance. Delivering us from sin gives us assurance, certainty. It is this assurance that gives us joy. The joy of the LORD is our strength.

A religious person can never know assurance.

There is a distinction that is very subtle between assurance and self-satisfaction. Paul explains it in Philippians 3:3-6

For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

A Christian who is born again and filled with the Spirit of the living God receives assurance. In spite of his unworthiness he has been given this free gift from God. John 3:15-17

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

It is entirely because of the work of the LORD Jesus Christ. It is dependent on God’s grace.

There is no higher test of the rebirth than this because it cannot be counterfeited.

Assurance shows itself in various ways:

  1. Deliverance from the spirit of bondage and fear. Romans 8:15
    15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
  2. Deliverance from the law. This is the bondage of religion. Romans 6:14
    14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 8:1-2  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
  3. Peace with God Romans 5:1
    5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Romans 8:7
    Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
  4. He has Faith. Romans 4:3b
    Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
  5. He has the Spirit of Adoption Galatians 4:6
    And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

How do you approach God? Is He your Abba? Your Daddy?

Unabridged Christianity Wednesday, Jan 9 2019 

O God, Thou Art My God (2)

When Jesus told Nicodemus you must be born again, he was explaining the difference between the Jewish religion which Nicodemus knew and understood and becoming a Christian. Christianity is different from all religions in this way, “you must be born again”.

Christianity isn’t an idea or a philosophy that someone believes but rather it is something that happens to you. Christians receive this new birth or new life from God.

We are continuing to ascend up to the pinnacle of truth in order to be absolutely certain that we have received this new life. So, the true Christian comes to realize that they have received a knowledge of God. It is internal.

Ephesians 3:16
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.

The unregenerate person is only one man. He is not aware of the “inner being”.

The Christian is aware that his body is just a tent. What becomes important to him is the “inner man”. He realizes that it will go on after the tent has turned to dust.

To the non-Christian there is only living in the flesh. That is what is important to him. His relationships are entirely made up of relationships with other men and women. He depends upon others for everything, his interests, his value, his needs. When nobody else is around there is no consolation or comfort. He is left bereft.

The man concerned about the knowledge of God however is aware of the new man within. 2 Corinthians 4:16
16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

There is an internal life. The Christian realizes that it is possible in this life to know God. You do not have to wait until you die to meet Him. God is nigh.

This intimate relationship with God becomes more and more important to the Christian. He enjoys Him. The Psalmist says, in Psalm 42:1 ”
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. “

Once a person experiences a relationship with God he desires it again and again.

Remember how Jacob in Genesis 32 would not let Him go. It is like that. The Christian is no longer wondering if there is a God, but “he knows that God is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”. It is a whole new paradigm. Once you’ve found Him, you won’t let Him go. Nothing matters but this. It becomes the center of your whole life; the heart of it.

Do not believe the lie the devil will tell you that this is only for special people. It only happened a few times in the bible. It happens to every person who has been born again. John 1:16
16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.

The absolute proof that you are born of the Spirit is this desire within you to know Him more and more. The life of God within you is known by you. You are concerned with the persons of the Trinity. Are you in interested in Jesus, in His person, His glory? The Holy Spirit was sent to “testify of Him”. Are you interested in the person of the Holy Spirit? Do you want to know Him, His gentleness, his meekness, so like a dove? Do you think about the Father also, each person of the Trinity? Do you meditate upon His Word? Does it humble you? Do you have a living interest in scripture? Do you glory in the cross? Are you awed by the resurrection? Romans 6:11
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord .

It has happened. Know that it is done. Look to Him. Realize that He is there and “It is finished!”

Do you find it impossible to express the joy over what Christ has done for you? Has He left you speechless? Does He satisfy you? Do you love Him? Is He “Your God”? Do you delight in singing His praise? Does “grace got you”?

My Trickle, My Ocean Thursday, Dec 13 2018 

The scripture for today may be found in the book of Ezekiel chapter 47 verses 1-4:

Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar. He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around [a]on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side.

When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins.

What do we find here in the scripture? Ezekiel is being shown a vision from the LORD. He is looking at the “front door” to the Temple of God.  When you want to meet with someone, you go to their house. You go first to their front door. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by me.  Jesus is the “front door” if you will and we must go “through Him” to get to the Father.

In the vision Ezekiel sees water flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east. Remember how Jesus told the woman at the well, “If you would have asked me, I would have given you living water.”

John 4:7-14 There *came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus *said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman *said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11 She *said to Him, “[a]Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

And remember at the great day of the feast when He said in John 7: 37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “[a]If anyone is thirsty, [b]let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From [c]his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Notice it says in Ezekiel 47:1 the water was flowing toward the east, for the house was facing east. What do we see when we face the east? The sun rises in the east. Jesus said in John 8:12 12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

And the water is flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar. If we begin in the east on a map and begin to make a circle counter clockwise toward the south the vision begins to unfold. In God’s house, i.e. heaven where is Jesus?

Acts 2:33
33 Therefore having been exalted [a]to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

Now in Ezekiel 47:2 “He brought me out by way of the north gate. So what comes out of the north? The farther north you go the more barren it becomes.


..and led me around [a]on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side.”

When a woman has a baby, sometimes when the water breaks it starts with a trickle from the “south” so to speak, “down there” or “down under”. God, Himself is able to give “eternal birth” through Christ Jesus. Remember Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again.”

Ezekiel 47:3
When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles.

The man here is Jesus leading him on through the Christian life.  He doesn’t start out in the deep water. No-no. He begins his long journey in water that is ankle deep. As new Christians Christ doesn’t start out by telling us all the secrets of the universe.  He understands that we are but flesh and will only be able to “wade” as it were in the beginning.

1 Corinthians 13:11
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I [a]became a man, I did away with childish things.

Ezekiel 47:4
Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins.

You see as you walk through your Christian life you go deeper and deeper with Christ leading. You become cleaner and cleaner. The Holy Spirit, whom Christ is dipping you into one step at a time is convicting you of more and more sin in your life. God said in 1 Peter 1:16 
16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

And in Leviticus 20:7 
You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.

Do we all start out knowing all about the doctrines of Christ? Do we know all about salvation, justification, sanctification, glorification? No!

Romans 8:29-30 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

1 Corinthians 13:12
12 For now we see in a mirror [a]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

John 14:12 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

My Fig Tree Tuesday, Dec 11 2018 

The scripture for today may be found in the book of John chapter 1 verses 45-49

45 Philip *found Nathanael and *said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip *said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and *said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael *said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.”

Notice how Jesus greets Nathaniel: “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”

Straight away, He announces his position, i.e. Israelite or one of God’s chosen people. And he also announces his character: “in whom there is no deceit!” The King James version says, “no guile!” We know from this record in scripture than Nathaniel was sincere.

Psalm 51:6
Behold, You desire truth in the [a]innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

Psalm 86:11
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.

There is no purpose in praying or seeking God or trying to receive blessing from Him if you hide in your heart some secret sin. If there is something you continue to do even after the conviction of the Holy Spirit comes to you.

Notice that Nathaniel is concerned about these things. Jesus told him, “I saw you under the fig tree.” What was he doing there? He went there to pray, to study his scriptures, to test himself, to seek God. It was the middle of the week, which was not a time when most men would be doing this. But Nathaniel wanted to “think” so he found a quiet place and alone, or at least he thought he was alone he pondered the deep things of life. This was a central part of his life. It wasn’t just something he did on the day of worship.

We can learn from Nathaniel to take time to be with God, to seek God, to fellowship with Him. Take time to be holy.

Notice how Nathaniel starts out questioning Philip when he is first told about Jesus, “Can anything “GOOD” come out of Nazareth?” Nathaniel knew his scriptures. He knew that the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem, not Nazareth. He straight away questioned Philip in order to test what he was saying against the scriptures.

And we should also test people who come to us and say, “Oh, I had this wonderful experience. Come and see.” You might be led into a cult or complete disaster. Remember we are called to “test the spirits whether they be of God.”

Nathaniel was using his critical thinking. He was not guilty of credulity. He was not gullible of a false teacher. But he was also not guilty of contempt against anything and everything thinking he already knew it all like the Pharisees were. He listened. He went to “see”. He was not governed by prejudice. But he knew that everything must be brought to the bar of the scripture.

Now look at Jesus’ response to Nathaniel, “I saw you under the fig tree.”

Imagine Nathaniel’s shock.

The lesson here is the our names were written in the Lamb’s book of life before the creation of the world. He knows all about you. He knows your seeking, He knows your heartbreak.

Jesus said to Paul, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me. It is hard to kick against the pricks.” He knew his heart. He knew his motives. He knew his destiny.

Jesus is like the father of the prodigal son. He runs to meet us. He will take you by the hand and lead you on.

What is your greatest desire above everything else? Do you have a fig tree? Do you know that you are known of Him?

1 Corinthians 8:3
but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.

1 Corinthians 13:12
12 For now we see in a mirror [a]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

Galatians 4:9
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless [a]elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

Do you know that He loves you? Do you know that He is dealing with you?

Philippians 1:6-11

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 [a]For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my [b]imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the [c]affection of Christ Jesus. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may [d]approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless [e]until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.


God’s Choice Monday, Dec 10 2018 

The scripture for today is John 1:40-42 40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first finds his own brother Simon, and says unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, You are Simon the son of Jona: you shall be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

Cephas means Peter which means stone or rock. There is a very great lesson to be learned about the story of these two brothers. Take first Andrew who introduces his brother, Peter to Jesus. He also introduced others to Jesus. He is not really very well known as a disciple. He introduced the boy with the 5 loaves and 2 fish to Jesus before the multiplying of the food that fed thousands. 

Peter on the other hand held a position of leadership among the apostles. Matthew 16: 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon [a]Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are [b]Peter, and upon this [c]rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Peter preached very powerfully in Acts even after he was told by the Pharisees to stop preaching in the name of Jesus.  In the spiritual realm there are laws which do not operate within the natural realm. It was the same power that gave Peter the power to preach as was given to Andrew to tell others about Christ.

Peter also “fed thousands” through his preaching.

The LORD gave the parable of the laborers in the vineyard who all received the same amount no matter what time of day they began working. You don’t keep ledgers or books in the spiritual realm. Being a retired accountant this was a very difficult lesson for me to grasp. God is sovereign and he can give grace to whomever He chooses.

The rock is not Peter but rather anyone God chooses.  He chose Moses. He chose David. He chose Abraham. He chose Mary. He chose Jacob. He chose you. John 15:16 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

God’s Actions Sunday, Dec 9 2018 

The scripture for today may be found in the gospel of John chapter 1 verse 16:
16 For of His fullness [a]we have all received, and [b]grace upon grace.

When Jesus baptizes us with His Holy Spirit at once He begins a work in us which includes many facets.

  1. Conviction of sin
  2. Understanding of scripture
  3. Quickening
  4. Regeneration
  5. Unction
  6. Anointing
  7. Sealing
  8. Sanctification

In addition to all of these the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. We abhor even the thought of sin. It becomes unthinkable. There is joy unspeakable. There is power to witness. This is that “unction” to tell others, to testify, for “we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” Remember the woman at the well who after speaking with the LORD, left her pot, went into the city and told everyone about her “experience” with Christ. When we become Christians we understand who Christ is and why He came to this earth. We know His purpose. We have assurance of our salvation. The Spirit of God within us bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. Our strength comes from God who made the mountains and the seas. There is no need to go on “searching” because we have found Christ. We know the reason for our hope. The Spirit teaches us “all things”.

Others see the fruit of our rebirth. The actions of God are evident. There are many ways God brings us to himself just like there are fingerprints or snowflakes. We are His workmanship. Each individual has his or her own unique experience. But we all “know” Him for it is God who saves us from our sin.

My God My Neighbor Sunday, Oct 28 2018 

Today’s scripture may be found in Exodus chapter 20 verses 1-17:

20 Then God spoke all these words, saying,

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of [a]slavery.

“You shall have no other gods [b]before Me.

“You shall not make for yourself [c]an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not [d]leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who [e]stays with you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

And also John 1:17 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth [a]were realized through Jesus Christ.

When God gave Moses the law it came on two tablets. The first tablet has all the commandments relating to God. The second tablet has all the commandments relating to ourselves and others.

And also Matthew 22:35-40

35 One of them, [n]a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and [o]foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

The problem is we put the second before the first. We love our neighbor and ourselves before we love God.

With the world there is dread, trials tribulations, frustrations, emptiness, crisis, and lawlessness.

What is the value of our beliefs? Why are we so robbed of our blessings? The light shines in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not. We can’t see what the problem is because we have our priorities all mixed up. The law shines the light on that. The law points out our need for Christ. That is the function of the law? God is Holy.

Why did God give Moses the law? Why did Moses come first then Jesus? Why didn’t Jesus just come right away and get us all out of this mess? That question focuses  on putting man’s way above God’s way. It puts us as the focus instead of God. God should be first and our fellowman second. The world puts the second table first. Without God we can do nothing.

How can we love our neighbor as ourselves with all the disunity? Do we love ourselves? The only way we can know the truth is when God’s law shines its’ light upon us.

The world wants to know how to get practical knowledge in order to cope in the world. How to get through the current crisis. They want to know how to get through with it all. Of course we need help. The nation needs help. But we can’t always start with ourselves and others and then call on God as a last resort in desperation.

We are all just like Adam. We point the finger and say it wasn’t me, it was the woman you gave me. We blame others for what we do. Look at the nations. Same story. There is nothing wrong with me or my country.

James 4:1-3

[a]What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? [b]Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask [c]with wrong motives, so that you may spend it [d]on your pleasures.

We need to start with God.

As Christians it is possible for us to stand in the presence of God before the throne of grace. Introduce ourselves to the ten commandments in the exact order they are given. He is the only God. He is Almighty. He is Sovereign. He is the Creator and Sustain-er of the whole universe. God is Spirit. God is Holy. He demands our total allegiance. We are to worship only Him.

In the world, people live for their children, their wives, their jobs, their possessions, their desires, their accomplishments and successes. They live entirely for themselves.

God is a jealous God, a righteous God, a just God. Jesus did not come to destroy the law but to “fulfill” it. Matthew 5:18 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

God is judging us all this present hour. We are reaping our own rewards.

There is only one test. What is your relationship with God? Do you worship Him, love Him, keep His commandments?

God has a purpose-to bring us out of bondage. God is preparing Christians for that purpose. His Kingdom shall reign and rule over all.

 

 

 


 

To Fear or Not to Fear? Tuesday, Oct 16 2018 

That is an important question and when taken directly from scripture the results may surprise you.

John 9:31 31 We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.

Acts 13:26 26 “Brethren, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Philippians 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

1 Peter 2:17 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the [b]king.

Revelation 14:7 and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

Now let’s take the “No Fear” verses.

Do not fear persecutors.

Matthew 10: “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.

1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you [b]are blessed. And do not fear their [c]intimidation, and do not be troubled,

Do not fear your value to God.

Deuteronomy 31: Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”

Luke 12: Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Romans 8:14 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery [a]leading to fear again, but you have received [b]a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear [a]involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

 

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