Then Jesus Came

But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made (born) of a woman, made (born) under the law, to redeem the that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  Galatians 4:4-5

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.  Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher (perfector) of our faith.  who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2

The song “Then Jesus came” speaks as follows:

  • verse 1 – the blind man
  • verse 2 – the demonic man
  • verse 3 – the leper, the deaf, the dumb, the raging fever
  • verse 4 – men today

Romans 8: 37-39 tells us “we are more than conquerors.”

Much is said of the miracles in Jesus’ earthly ministry.  They got people’s attention and they followed Him.

They drew the crowds to Him and then He was able to teach them.  They pointed to other things in their lives, their spiritual walk with God.

This beginning of miracle (signs) did Jesus in Cana of Galilee and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed on Him.  John 2:11

Some people still are seeking a sign.   Some ask why there are not more miracles today.

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”

But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.  Matthew 12:38-42

There are still miracles today but the greatest miracle of all is when He saved you.

John 3:7 says, You must be born again.

  • THEN JESUS CAME

to the Philippian jailer – So they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household.  Acts 16:31

  • THEN JESUS CAME

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believer in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  Romans 10:9-10

  • THEN JESUS CAME

The Samaritan woman at the well (the entire Chapter 4 of John’s Gospel.                          John 4:28-29  The woman then left her water pot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, ‘Come see a Man who told me all things that I ever did.  Could this be the Christ?’ 

  •  THEN JESUS CAME

To the two disciples on their way to Emmaus following the resurrection.   This story is told in Luke 24:13-15.

Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.

  • THEN JESUS CAME

To the disciples fishing on the lake following the resurrection.

  • THEN JESUS CAME
  • TO THE TEN LEPERS
  • THEN JESUS CAME
  • TO THE FUNERAL PROCESSION OF NAIN
  • TO THE  BLIND
  • THEM JESUS CAM
  • TO ME, TO YOU WHEN WE NEEDED A SAVIOR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten-Finger Prayer

Philippians 4:13 (my wife’s favorite verse) says “I CAN (with God’s help!)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

The Amplified Version says

I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing….John 15:5

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you….James 4:7

CAN

Growing up, I learned in English classes the difference between the words CAN and MAY. Repeatedly, I heard “You can if you are able.” The next time you go through a drive through to order something, note how many people on the other end of the microphone ask, “Can I help you?” That obviously tells you they did not grasp the correct grammar in English class or the teacher did not teach them properly.

I can because I am able.

THROUGH CHRIST, I AM MORE THAN ABLE.

Not in my own strength, not in my own power, but through the power of Christ Jesus, my Lord, who dwells within.

“I May” gives the impression that you may not be able. There is a doubt in your mind that you may not be able because you are too weak, you will change your mind, you question your ability to follow through.

I WILL IS THE NEXT STEP AFTER WE KNOW WE CAN.

Over and over in the Psalms we see the statement I WILL.

It was I who determined that I WOULD do these things.
It was I who put the plan in motion.

Remember the statement about Daniel:

“He purposed in his heart.”

It was Daniel who made up his mind and determined within himself that he would be who God had called him to be.

Psalm 145:1 – I will extol You my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Psalm 145:5 – I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.
Psalm 138:1-2 – I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your loving kindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
Psalm 144:9 – I will sing a new song to You, O God; on a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You.

  • It is I who must go to God when I need help.
  • It is I who must praise God when I want to thank Him.

No one else can do it for me.

  • I must.
  • I CAN.
  • I AM ABLE.

ten fingers

THE TEN FINGER PRAYER

In difficult times, hold up your hands and look at your fingers…There are ten.

Then quote “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Ten words.

Ten very positive, practical, personal, powerful words.

I CAN DO

Action word – I can do…move, talk, look, walk, think, eat and breathe and much more…all these things you and I can do without thinking. How much more do we do with our strength that God has given to us naturally? These are gifts of God.  If we  look around us there are many who may not be able to talk or walk or even breathe on their own. We are truly blessed.

I CAN DO ALL

I can do whatever I want to if I put my mind, heart and energy and will power to the task that is before me. Nothing then, can stop me…there are no exceptions…with God’s help I can accomplish more than I can even imagine…but lest I get puffed up in my own strength, I must remember that it is “God who gives me the strength.

I CAN DO ALL THINGS

  • I can praise God if I want to.
  • I can get out of bed if I want to.
  • I can be a drunk if I want to.
  • I can be a drug addict if I want to.
  • I can help others if I want to.
  • I can live a Christian life if I want to.

I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH

  • It’s not me and me alone who is able to do all these things, but it is through the help of the Lord.
  • When my wife had cancer.
  • When you have financial difficulties.
  • When a loved one dies.
  • When you have surgery.
  • When you have problems in your marriage.
  • When you have problems with your kids.
  • In all areas of life…it is God who gives me (and you) strength.

THROUGH CHRIST (THE ANOINTED ONE)

It is He, Himself, He cares.

I Peter 5:7 – casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Jeremiah 33:3 – Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.

WOW

This great God that we serve promises to show us great and mighty things but He wants us to call on Him…He wants us to fellowship with Him. You stay in touch with Him; He will stay in touch with you. You ignore Him…He will not, will NOT ignore you…why? Because He loves you, He gave himself for you. It is through Him by His anointing power that we have our being, our life, or very existence, our breath, that our heart regularly beats.

I John 5:14-15 – Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

WHO STRENGTHENS ME

The same person as the “I” in the beginning of this verse.  I am the recipient of my actions. I am the one who steps out by the faith. God has instilled in my heart and helped me to exercise the faith.

I WIN.

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
John 15:5 – I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides (lives/dwells) in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

GO BEAR MUCH FRUIT!

A Thief in the Night – Part II

But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing….1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

What is meant by the phrase, “the second coming?’

And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven….Acts 1:10-11
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord….1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen….Rev 1:7

Some mistaken ideas for the meaning of Christ’s second coming include:

  • His coming at the death of a saint
  • The coming of the Holy Spirit
  • The destruction of Jerusalem.

There is a distinction of Christ’s coming FOR His saints (1 Thessalonians) and coming WITH His saints (2 Thessalonians).

These two books, if studied, will answer many questions.  He comes for His Church, the Bride of Christ, to remove us from this sinful world.  Following this event will be a time of great distress, in Scripture called the Great Tribulation after which He returns to bring judgment upon all the world.

Many efforts by saints and sinners alike have been put forth to set dates concerning His return. The best answer that I can give to you is simply, “Soon, be ready.”

Some of the signs we can readily see that point to His return are:

  • Great Apostasy and departure from the faith.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving….1 Timothy 4:1

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!…2 Timothy 3:1-5

  • A time of great heaping up of wealth and possessions.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you….James 5:1-9

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See howthe farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned.Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!

  • A time of great missionary activity.

And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations….Mark 13:10

  • The return of the Jews to Israel

Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you….Deuteronomy 30:1-3

Behold, the day of the Lord is coming,
And your spoil will be divided in your midst.
For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;
The city shall be taken,
The houses rifled,
And the women ravished.
Half of the city shall go into captivity,
But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Then the Lord will go forth
And fight against those nations,
As He fights in the day of battle.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south….Zechariah 14:1-4

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it….Zechariah 12:2-3

Be ready – He’s coming soon! Do not be caught unaware.

I Thessalonians speaks in detail of the coming of Christ for the saints:

  • Christ comes to claim His bride
  • He comes in the air
  • The Great Tribulation follows
  • Immediate departure of saints (caught up in the air)
  • Message of Comfort given
  • Our change is a mystery
  • Believers are judged
  • Israel’s covenants not yet fulfilled
  • Believers only will be involved
  • The Church received into the presence of the Lord

II Thessalonians speaks of the coming of Christ in judgment:

  • Christ returns with His bride
  • He comes to the earth
  • The millennial kingdom established
  • Multiple signs proceed
  • Message of judgment given
  • Change predicted throughout the bible
  • Gentiles and Israel are judged
  • Israel”s covenant is fulfilled
  • All people are involved
  • Israel brought into kingdom age.

If we are planning on being a part of the first return of Christ, His return for the Church, then we had better not ignore the admonition of I Thessalonians – Chapter 4.

Jesus is coming back.

A Thief in the Night! – Part I

coffee

Well, I am up early again today and already on my first cup of coffee – French Vanilla today.     Ummm, love it.

This week I have gone back to my files and retrieved some notes from a sermon I preached several times while I was a pastor.

There are a lot of scriptures accompanying this post and I hope you will read those as well in their entirety, otherwise, you will not get the full meaning of what I am trying to say. So, fasten your seat belts…off we go.

seatbelt

But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing….

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

  • Watch and pray
  • Watch, you do not know the day

If you are a farmer and

  • you want to reap corn, then plant corn
  • you want to reap soy beans, then plant soy beans
  • you want to reap wheat, then plant wheat

If you want to work in a factory, then work in a factory

BUT: If you want to be a witness, then be a witness whether you are a farmer, a factory worker, a housewife, a professional, a college student. No matter what, BE A WITNESS.

In other words:

  • be fruitful, bring in a great harvest to the kingdom.
  • be helpful.
  • lift others up, followers of Christ, and those who do not follow Christ.

No wonder Christ’s return is of importance to the Christian faith, as approximately one out of every thirty verses in the Bible mention this teaching. The coming of Christ, as told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are not the coming I am speaking of in this post.

Christ’s return is mentioned in 318 references in 216 separate chapters. Entire books, for example 1 and 2 Thessalonians are devoted to the subject.  Entire chapters, including Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, are given over to it.

Christ’s return is the theme of the Old Testament prophets. The careful reader will quickly note that they sometimes merge Christ’s two comings so that it is not at first apparent that there are two comings of Christ, yet the teaching is there.

Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow….1 Peter 1:10-11

Jesus bore constant testimony to His coming again.

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also….John 14:1-3

The angels bear testimony to His second coming in:

And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven….Acts 1:11

The apostles faithful proclaimed this truth:

Repent therefor and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before….Acts 3:19-20

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord….1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation….Hebrews 9:28

And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming….1 John 2:28

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

The church is told to look forward to this great hope that we have in His second coming.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ…Titus 2:11-13

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?…2 Peter 3:12

His second coming is a teaching from God’s Word that proves to be the greatest incentive to living a consistent Christian life.

Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect….Matthew 24:44

But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man….Luke 21:34-36

And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming….1 John 2:28

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure….1 John 3:3

One question we should ask ourselves in all areas of life, especially some”gray” areas, is:

“Would I like to have Christ find me doing this when He comes?”

His second coming is a great comfort to all believers.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words….1 Thessalonians 4:14-18

Some scoffers say it is not going to happen. Why would something so comforting and helpful to the believer be spoken against or seldom, or not at all preached in the pulpit of our churches across the land?

There are many reasons some have for believing that lie from Satan.

  • The unbelief of the individual and, in general, the church
  • Preconceived ideas
  • Extravagant or non-scriptural predictions as to time
  • Lack of knowledge of the Scriptures
  • Failure of the churches to teach on this subject.

WELL, THAT IS THE FIRST HALF OF THIS POST…MORE TOMORROW.

How About Putting Jesus in Our Homes?

We see a lot of posts about putting Jesus back in the classroom.

Jesus in school

It amuses me a little when Christians complain that “Jesus is not in our schools anymore.”  Have they not read the Word of God that says

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there….

Psalm 139:7-8

or how about

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good….

Proverbs 15:3

If our children are serving the Lord, then He is there in the classroom because His Word also says

I am with you always, even to the end of the age…Matthew 28:20

Bu while we complain about God not being in our schools, perhaps we should be more concerned that He is in our homes.

God’s people on their knees seeking God for

  • revival in their own lives
  • revival behind our pulpits and in our pews,
  • revival in Washington DC.

If we allow the Bible in the classroom, in this multi-religious society that we live in, we will also have to allow Allah, the Koran, Buddha, hundreds of Hindu deities and all their books, Satanist and the other many cults.

To be truthful, I and you neither one want that scenario.

We need to take responsibility to teach our children about God at home and know the truth they are receiving. Then we need to pray that God will instill in them the truth of His Word.  Finally, we need to trust in God to cause that truth to take root and grow in their lives.

The Biblical pattern has always been that the home, the family is to be the one responsible for teaching the children about God.

Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates….Deuteronomy 6:4-9

And it is not just in the Old Testament where we are told it is the parents’ role to teach their children about God.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Do you really think having a teacher – who may or may not believe in Christ – lead your children in a prayer is going to make them good followers of Christ.

Let’s put Jesus in our homes – then He will be with us everywhere we go – school, work, the mall.  He does not live in a classroom, He lives in the hearts of those who commit their lives to Him.  And NO ONE can keep Jesus out of the schools for those children in whose hearts He resides.

family

 

 

 

Thoughts on Truth vs. Untruth

Yesterday I was on here at 3 am…well for an almost 78-year-old that makes for a long day. I did manage to get a two-hour nap in the afternoon and then went to bed at 8 pm as I could not hold my eyes open any longer. Well, needless to say I was awake at 10 pm…then back in bed at midnight…to the recliner in the living room and tried to read but fell asleep… back to bed at about 1 am.  You get the picture.

sleeping

As I was thinking, my thoughts turned to the very short book of Jude in the Bible. It has only 25 verses and is a quick read. In verses 5-19 (most of the chapter/book) it deals with  people sharing false teaching and refers to them in some very unflattering terms.

In modern language we would call them apostates, cults, strange, not understanding and I think I am being not too unkind. When you look at a pig, how do you describe it…it looks like a pig. When you look at a cow, how do you describe it…it looks like a cow.

Verse 12 describes them as

“clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots.”

verse 13 says

“raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”

Verse 11 mentions three different individuals:

Cain – He was his own God
Balaam – He worshiped riches
Korah – He fomented rebellion

You do not need to be unkind to those who knock at your door…for the most part they are disillusioned but firmly believe what they believe. We need to show the love of Jesus to them. On a cold day we have invited them in our home and given them a hot cup of coffee and a friendly smile and let them warm up and they were ever so grateful.

But the best antidote to the false teaching is to know for yourself what the Bible says.  Paul wrote to Timothy

Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.

Truth

For interesting reading, go on Amazon and try finding a book called “Kingdom of the Cults” by Author Walter Martin, publisher Bethany House.

Martin says

” All cultic belief systems manifest a type of institutional dogmatism and a pronounced intolerance for any position but their own.”

This book is not an easy read but it sure is packed with the truth.

Healed by His stripes

At about 4 AM this morning…I rarely sleep for more than four or five hours nightly, I turned my attention to the Word of God.

Isaiah 53

Today I reread the familiar passage of Isaiah 53. I was particularly struck by a phrase in verse number five which says

“And by His stripes we are healed.”

In the work on the cross we all focus on

Salvation, Grace, Completion, Ultimate Love

But sometimes we let slip by some of the other things provided in the atoning work of Christ on the Cross. Another similar verse is in I Peter 2:24’s phrase

“by whose stripes you were healed.”

Isaiah is pointing forward to the cross and I Peter is pointing backward to the cross….the same work. It was accomplished. Each time we take communion we remember His death, His burial, and His resurrection but let us remember ALL that was accomplished there, on the cross, that terrible day but great day.

Let us never forget. As we partake of communion we can quietly also ask for the healing of our bodies, our wounded spirits, our suffering loved ones, our nation.

Oh wow!!!

Meditate on all that and give God the glory due his matchless Name.