“Knowing God” and “Obeying the Gospel” Pt. 2

Obeying the Gospel

2 Thessalonians 1:5-8 It is a clear evidence of God’s righteous judgment that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also are suffering, since it is righteous for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to reward with rest you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

GRACE is the unmerited favor of GOD! HIS GIFT to those who commit their lives to HIS WILL! The only way we can receive this gift is when we LOVE JESUS and Believe in Him. We can’t earn it! We can’t work for it! That includes our keeping of the 10 Commandments that was given to Moses by GOD…because IT’s IMPOSSIBLE for us to Keep THEM…we are sinful by nature Psalms 51:5 Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me. 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. If we didn’t require the blood of Jesus to cover us, HE wouldn’t have needed to die on the cross for us.

When we’ve been born again and the HOLY SPIRIT enters in and is alive in us we must stay in non-stop communication with God, asking HIS forgiveness and asking for HIS strength and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us and work within us. Keep in mind though that His 10 Commandments are our template for morality. We have to strive to give up everything that Heavenly Father requires of us to give up in order to model ourselves after HIS Son.

Romans 8:29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.

We need to recognize how we weak we are and that we NEED GOD and that without HIM, we are powerless! It’s at this moment that we, like Christ in prayer to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, should be sweating blood! Jesus begged God with every fiber of His being for God to take the cup from Him, but if it was HIS WILL, He needed the strength to face the battle ahead. What could ever make us think that we can face anything in this world without falling to our knees in prayer. Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit came to live in us, and because of the Spirit our hearts and mind have the Law of God written on our hearts and in our minds. Romans 2: 14-15 So, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, instinctively do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. Their competing thoughts will either accuse or excuse them 16 on the day when God judges what people have kept secret, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.

OKAY! Now that we’re on the same page, I’m going to talk to you about understanding and living by the 10 Commandments of GOD! Don’t think that I’m talking to you about works or earning God’s favor…once again…I reiterate…if that’s how anyone believes that we can receive His gift of eternal life then that’s a sad mistake.

1 John 3:4 Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law.

The Gospel is the Good News of what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us sinners. Without His sacrifice, we’d be lost. 1 John 3:21-24 Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight. 23 Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us.

Now you’re going to say: Oh My…doesn’t OBEY…sound like legalism? However, it isn’t legalism, Jesus (Yeshua) in John 14:15 tells us that if we love Him we will keep His commandments! I believe that the natural response to knowing God and loving God is our desire to obey and in doing so, we bring Glory to God in our obedience.

Obedience – In simple terms, obedience is compliance with an order, request, law or submission to another’s authority. Jesus respected God’s authority. Philippians 2:8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross. REMEMBER!!! Obedience will not gain you Salvation! The point is we are expected to obey. When the prophet Samuel admonished King Saul. 1 Samuel 15:22 Then Samuel said: Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice,to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.

I find it quite discomfiting when a Christian tells me that the “LAW” of God was nailed upon the cross, therefore it’s no longer applicable to us.  Don’t get me wrong…I totally comprehend that because Jesus died because of my sins and the sins of the world, that if we believe and have faith in him and “obey” him, we will be given the crown of eternal life at his 2nd coming.

I do know that according to the Old Testament, the “LAW” of God was written by the finger of God. This is not to be confused with the hundreds of ceremonial laws that were told to Moses for him to write down as well as the laws concerning unclean foods.  There is a distinct difference.  The “10 Commandments” were placed in God’s Holy Ark.  If you read Rev 11:19 (HCSB) God’s sanctuary in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His sanctuary. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings of thunder, an earthquake, and severe hail.

My question is…how does belief and faith in Jesus negate God’s law? If you study the New Testament, you’ll see that Jesus gave us the “LAW” all over again, but in most cases, more specific and easier to comprehend.  Jesus says in Matthew 5:17-19 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (my personal thought: I don’t believe He means to abolish the law ~ read the next verse carefully) 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. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

When Jesus was approached by the young rich man, when asked how He could get to Heaven and have eternal life? Jesus reiterated the law to him:

Mark 10:17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good but One—God. 19 You know the commandments:

Do not murder;
do not commit adultery;
do not steal;
do not bear false witness;
do not defraud;
honor your father and mother.

When Jesus told him to go and sell all of His possessions an give the money to the poor, He went away saddened…was this sadness because even though, he’d kept the other commandments mentioned, maybe this command dealt with Idolatry? That the young man cared more for his possessions than he cared for eternal life with God? Or was he going away saddened because it hadn’t occurred to him to sell his goods for the “love of his fellowman”?

When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment, He answered Matthew 22:36-39 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.

These two Great commandments encompass the entire LAW of God!

As Christians, don’t we believe that Jesus is God? He has all the same attributes as God (see part 1 of this article: https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/04/13/knowing-god-and-obeying-the-gospel-pt-1/).  He’s Immutable (unchanging), Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Love, Truth, Holiness, Eternal, Compassionate, Kind, I could go on and on…but I’ll continue His attributes in another post.  

Woefully, in today’s Christianity, we have been taught that the 10 commandments have been nailed to the cross. However, it’s “OUR SIN” that was nailed to the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. When we believe in HIM as the Son of God (fully God and fully man) and that God sent Him to us to be born of the Virgin Mary and that HE died on the cross for our sins, rose from the grave, ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God and that He’ll come again someday to judge us ALL! This is our Salvation!

As hard as I look, I can’t find anyplace in the Bible (the OLD Testament or the NEW Testament) that says God has changed His mind about sin. Before Man was created, because He’s omniscient (ALL KNOWING) He and His Son came up with a plan to save us from our sins, however, that doesn’t mean that sinning is okay with Him.

Romans 3:31 Do we then cancel the law through faith? Absolutely not! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Romans 6:1-2 What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Romans 6:15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not!

The Apostle Paul tells us of his struggle with sin so if sin is of no importance why would He have said anything at all? It would have been a mute subject. Romans 7:7-12 What should we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, Do not covet. And sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind. For apart from the law sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life 10 and I died. The commandment that was meant for life resulted in death for me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good. 13 Therefore, did what is good cause my death? Absolutely not! On the contrary, sin, in order to be recognized as sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment, sin might become sinful beyond measure.

Does this sound like the 10 Commandments have been nailed to the cross? I don’t see it that way…we NEED the 10 Commandments that God wrote with His own finger that tells us what is GOOD for us ~ in order for us to recognize what’s not Good for us. Why would we want them to be nailed to the cross? According to Paul, if we don’t know the 10 Commandments we don’t know sin.

This next example is of Jesus saving the woman who’s going to be stoned for being a prostitute:

John 8:5-11 In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. 10 When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”

I personally believe that Jesus meant exactly what He said: “Go and Sin NO MORE!”

James 1:14-15 But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. 15 Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. We need to recognize sin in our lives and be in a constant state of repenting (turning away from sin and towards God). We also need to be in a constant state of prayer so we can build a bridge between us and Heavenly Father through His Son. In previous posts, I’ve talked about taking up your cross…walking away from this world of sin! https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/03/23/take-up-your-cross/

Collosians 3: 2-7 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath comes on the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them.

When the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, we are guided away from sin and when we ask for it, the Holy spirit instills us with God’s wisdom and revelation of what the word is telling us! The WORD is telling us to leave the world! To turn to God in every aspect of our lives…

As children of God and brothers and sisters In Christ..sharing the Gospel isn’t a suggestion, it’s a command:

Matthew 28:19-20 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20:1-17 Then God spoke all these words:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
Do not have other gods besides Me.
Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.
Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: You are to labor six days and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. 11 For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
12 Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 Do not murder.
14 Do not commit adultery.
15 Do not steal.
16 Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Friday – Sunday Adds up to 3 days & 3 nights?

Jesus ~ Amazing Grace!

I remember when I was much younger… when I first attempted the math between Good Friday and Sunday morning and tried to make it add up to 3 days and 3 nights and no matter how I counted the minutes and hours it wouldn’t add up, I was sad that I couldn’t make the math work. It wasn’t a faith thing or a matter of Salvation…it was a “math thing” because I knew that God wouldn’t say anything that wasn’t “exactly” true and Scripture says in Matthew 12:40 (HCSB) For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish (whale) three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. God doesn’t make mistakes, however, you can depend on man to make mistakes. Believe me, I include myself in that statement…but I try hard to gather…

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“Knowing God” and “Obeying the Gospel” Pt. 1

KNOWING GOD

2 Thessalonians 1:5-8 It is a clear evidence of God’s righteous judgment that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also are suffering, since it is righteous for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to reward with rest you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

You may say…of course, I know God! Or do you? Do you know the definition of what it is to know someone? It means you’ve met them face-to-face at some point in your life. The number (and length, quality, variety) of times/places that you’ve met in person affects how “well” you know them. How “well” you know God depends on how much time you spend in prayer (face to face) How much time you spend reading HIS WORD (the Bible). How much time you spend with fellow Christians sharing your GOD moments and testimonies. You will soon realize that the more you get to know God, the more “awe and reverence” you have for Him. For me… this pilgrimage has led me to want to “obey” Him in every aspect of my life.

Now here’s a couple more questions: Who is God and what is He like? We’ll start by addressing the attributes of God which you will find when you study your Bible. This is my list so far with a little scripture to back up the attribute.

God is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY immediately comes to my mind. The Merriam-Webster dictionary: Definition of holy. 1 : exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness. I’m not sure that this definition actually encompasses “exactly” what Holy is, but for the sake of our limited human understanding, we’ll accept the definition. Here are some Scriptures that encompass “HOLY” Genesis 2:3 God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation. Revelations 4:8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is coming. Moses removed his sandals because He was on Holy Ground.

GOD IS RIGHTEOUS: Morally correct behavior. Ethical Conduct. Just and fair! Leviticus 19:36 You are to have honest balances, honest weights, an honest dry measure, and an honest liquid measure; I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Revelation 15:3 They sang the song of God’s servant Moses and the song of the Lamb: Great and awe-inspiring are Your works, Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the Nations.

God is Glorious: Brightness! Revelation 21:23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s glory illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. Respect, Honor and Majesty are the Definition of the Hebrew word kavod (Glory).

God is Gracious and Loving: Kind and Feeling! Psalm 86:15 But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth.

God is Faithful: True Blue! Loyal! Psalm 52:8 But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever.

GOD IS TRUSTWORTHY: He deserves our trust because He is reliable. Numbers 23:19 God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill? Psalm 9:10 Those who know Your name trust in You because You have not abandoned those who seek You, Lord.

God is Unchanging: He’s dependable! 2 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV) But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

God is Omnipotent: ALL Powerful! Jude 1:25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.

God is Omniscient: All-Knowing! Isaiah 66:18 “Knowing their works and their thoughts, I have come to gather all nations and languages; they will come and see My glory.

God is Omnipresent: He’s everywhere! Psalm 139 7-10 Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, 10 even there Your hand will lead me;

God is Infinite: The beginning and the end! Revelation 1:8 I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

God is Wise: Good Judgement! Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, observing the wicked and the good.

God is Just and Merciful: Morally Right and Fair! Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God. All who wait patiently for Him are happy.

I’m quite certain that these attributes are just the beginning of who God is…I pray that they’re the beginning of you wanting to get to know HIM better!

Thank You God for Resurrection Day!

John 3:16, 17, 18 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God. 19 “This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.

WOW!!! God must love us beyond anything that we can imagine! Jesus loved us enough to die for us and to give us the Holy Spirit to guide us!

When the Holy Spirit speaks to me I listen…and HE speaks louder and clearer everyday in my walk with Jesus. Every moment I spend with Him in Bible study and prayer makes me want to spend more time with Him…I want to please Him in every aspect of my life. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. When you get a message from Him, it’s the same message that He gave Moses when He went up to Mt. Sinai, and it was the same message given when He was leading the Israelites through the desert for 4o years. The same message when He told Joshua in reference to the heathen tribes in the promise land…wipe them from the land. The same message that we received through the prophets. NOTHING has changed, He sure hasn’t! So why would we think that as His followers, we can play games with his rules? Have we forgotten that part of being a follower of Jesus is not only to repent, but to obey? To bring Him GLORY!

What I’m addressing is our worldly human nature that desires for us to involve ourselves in pagan traditions in the name of Jesus, Yeshua, Immanuel, Beloved Son of God, Good Shepherd, Messiah, Lamb of God, Redeemer – so many beautiful names and titles for the one God Loved and gave to us. Why would we entangle Him with myths, pagan rituals and man made customs? Isn’t there enough to celebrate just in the fact that HE loved us enough to suffer and die for us on the cross; to take our filthy sins upon himself?

Okay…Here it comes!

I do my “very best” to stay away from saying Happy Easter (although until I was led by the Spirit, I will admit that I too was guilty)…now just writing it makes me cringe! Do you really know what this pagan ritual that we’ve tied to the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus is about?

1. The name Easter (Eostre -the Teutonic goddess of fertility and spring ) Babylonians: the rabbit was a symbol associated with Eostre, representing the beginning of Springtime. Then there’s Ostara and Ishtar… names of other goddesses celebrated in the same fashion as Eostre.

2. The eggs (“The egg as a symbol of fertility and of renewed life goes back to the ancient Egyptians (the egg represented the sun) and Persians), the egg represents the hatching of the Venus Ishtar, who fell from heaven to the Euphrates. Likewise, the egg has come to represent Spring, fertility and renewal.

3. The rabbit that lays eggs…that in itself is sickening! In Germanic mythology, it is said that Ostara healed a wounded bird she found in the woods by changing it into a hare. Still partially a bird, the hare showed its gratitude to the goddess by laying eggs as gifts.

We’ve actually taken these pagan rituals and beliefs and incorporated them into the Resurrection of Jesus. Think about it. Can you really justify any of it?

What have these things to do with Christ? What and why have we done this… to turn the most special gift God has given us – eternal life- into a celebration filled with pagan ritual that celebrated a variety of goddesses in different cultures? These cultures were in constant conflict with God all through the Old Testament and were constantly leading His people astray. Are they still leading us astray today? Do you really believe God doesn’t care? God doesn’t change! Deuteronomy 12:2-4 Destroy completely all the places where the nations that you are driving out worship their gods—on the high mountains, on the hills, and under every green tree. Tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, burn up their Asherah poles, cut down the carved images of their gods, and wipe out their names from every place. Don’t worship the Lord your God this way.

It wasn’t until 325 AD nearly 300 years after the crucifixion that Emperor Constantine convened a meeting of Christian leaders to resolve important disputes at the Council of Nicaea. Since the church believed that the resurrection took place on a Sunday, the Council determined that Easter should always fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the March equinox.

Deuteronomy 12:30 be careful not to be ensnared by their ways after they have been destroyed before you. Do not inquire about their gods, asking, ‘How did these nations worship their gods? I’ll also do the same.’

Don’t take my word for it…spend a little time and investigate this for yourself and then justify it for yourself. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 2:12 (KJV) Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Friday – Sunday Adds up to 3 days & 3 nights?

I remember when I was much younger… when I first attempted the math between Good Friday and Sunday morning and tried to make it add up to 3 days and 3 nights and no matter how I counted the minutes and hours it wouldn’t add up. I was discouraged that I couldn’t make the math work.  It wasn’t a faith thing or a matter of Salvation…it was a “math thing” because I knew that God wouldn’t say anything that wasn’t “exactly” true and Scripture says in Matthew 12:40 (HCSB) For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish (whale) three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.  God doesn’t make mistakes, however, you can depend on man to make mistakes. Believe me when I say that I include myself in that statement…but I try extra hard to gather the facts.  At any rate, time passed by and the question drifted to the back of my mind.

Not too long ago, I was reading a verse in the Bible that I’d read many times before and it had never jumped out at me like it did that day – I believe a question that I’d had for many years that the answer was revealed to me!  Now I don’t believe this answer has anything to do with my or anyone else’s Salvation, however, with the incorrect answer, others can decide that the scriptures aren’t truth, therefore saying that they don’t believe that God exists or that He’s a liar…both statements that actually make me physically sick when I hear them spoken.   Once again for me it was another confirmation that if we believe and study hard and long enough the whole while praying for the Holy Spirit to guide us, the answers will come to us when we’re ready. 

1 Corinthians 6:19 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, The Bible tells us that we are the Temple of God and until the spirit fills us, we are an empty vessel and as you learn scripture and spend time with God and drink of the Living Water (Jesus), you become filled with the Spirit.  Ephesians 1:17 The prayer of Paul: “The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him”.  There is no way of knowing God and His eternal will except through revelation. We also know that Wisdom is only from God, so when we listen, we are led to truths.  Colossians 1:9-10 For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.

The Scripture that got my attention is John 19:31  The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 

I had never given the words in parenthesis the attention that they needed, I’d actually dismissed is as a descriptive thought.  It suddenly registered with me, that this was not the usual 7th day Sabbath that I’d grown up learning about.  This was a high Sabbath (a Sabbath that was above the usual – special).   So I began a study of the Holy Day Feasts and learned that there are 7 High Sabbaths.  One after each Holy Day Feast and since Passover is one of these feasts, it only follows that the day after Passover is followed by the High Sabbath.  Now keep in mind too, that like all the other days and the Sabbaths of Israel, their day starts at Sunset and ends at Sunset. 

If you have never studied the Feasts that God ordained, it’s such an interesting study.  When I realized that Jesus kept all of the Feasts, including Hanukah, it made me want to learn more. Then when I realized the Feasts were a picture of what’s to come, the study became more interesting.

HE’S Alive! HIS Resurrection Celebration is Upon Us!

My personal questions: Isn’t it breathtaking that God rose Jesus from the grave in the springtime in Jerusalem; a time when the earth is also awakening from the dead of winter? Let me also ask you: Do you have the love and joy of Jesus welling up inside you like a spring of living water? Do you feel as if you’re going to burst with joy as you proclaim “Jesus Risen”? Do you wake up every morning saying “Thank YOU GOD for another day to share what Jesus did for me on the cross? Do You tell everyone you meet that Jesus is the ONLY way and that without Him, they’re dead in their sins? John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live.

John 6:40 For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” What an awesome promise! JESUS will raise us up! He knows His sheep and we recognize HIS voice! As His followers, we can hear His voice because we have studied the scriptures and we know Him and our Father in Heaven. The Holy Spirit that He sent to us lives within us and speaks to us concerning every tiny detail of our lives…we just need to learn to listen…

In the Gospels, Jesus foretells of His death and resurrection.

Matthew 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

Matthew 17:22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men,

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Each time Jesus spoke of His death and resurrection to His disciples, they didn’t seem to grasp what He was telling them, He even had to rebuke Peter, telling Satan to get behind Him. 2000 years later, we still face the incredulous disbelief of those who don’t understand God’s plan. The plan that was made before our creation – that Jesus would come to earth to die. That for a brief moment Jesus would be so covered by the sins of this world that the Father would leave Him because God can’t stand sin and He had to turn away from His own beloved Son. When we realize that God HATES Sin…how do we persist in it?

Eye Witnesses of Jesus Resurrected

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:5 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas (Aramaic for “Peter”), then to the Twelve. Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one abnormally born, He also appeared to me.

Promise of Eternal Life with Him

1 Corinthians 15:20 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-15 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep.

Ultimately Jesus gave us the “gift of eternal life” when He died on the cross taking our sins upon himself. I have such a difficult time understanding how anyone could turn down such a wonderful gift! Does anyone want to die and stay dead forever? I’ve heard so many say…is this ALL there is? OH MY GOODNESS! My heart breaks for them! Especially because God made it so easy for us…believe, repent obey.

Has anyone else died for YOU? Do YOU know anyone whom you believe would die for YOU? Is there anyone that YOU would lay your life down for?

Jesus’ Apostles and other followers laid down their lives rather than deny Jesus (Yeshua Hamaschiah) the Messiah. Why would they do such a thing? Why would they be willing to die for Him? Why did they keep the faith until death? Because they’d witnessed His miracles, they’d witnessed His Love, They’d witnessed His death and His Resurrection!

They didn’t just believe, they knew that they were going to receive eternal life!

Jesus said in John 10:27My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand.

A Cord of Three Strands: Heavenly Father ~ Husband ~ Wife

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (HCSB) And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken. In my eyes, this verse is one of the verses in the Bible that speak about union with our Father in Heaven, and especially that of a marriage: husband, wife and their relationship with God ~ YHWH the god of the Israelites, whose name was revealed to Moses as four Hebrew consonants (YHWH) called the tetragrammaton.

Ecclesiastes is authored by Solomon, it says so in the 1st verse of chapter 1, There has been some dispute about who is the author, but I’m going with what the Bible says. It’s no problem for me to believe that this book was written toward the end of Solomon’s life, because of the regrets he underwent in his realization of how far he had strayed from God. Along with so many other things, he finally came to the realization that he’d abused God’s plan of marriage (he had 700 wives) by using it as a diplomatic tool while he reigned as King over Israel. All throughout the Bible, God and Jesus talk about the sanctity of marriage and especially in the NT how marriage is a mirror of Jesus and the church when he refers to himself as the bridegroom and the church as the bride.

In the Hebrew language the number three (shelosh) means harmony, new life, and completeness. The number 3 is used 467 times in the Bible, but less than the number 7 which is used 860 times. Nevertheless, it’s a significant number in so many ways. If you have the interest and the time to study, you’ll see that the Bible has several numbers that have significance throughout scripture. Now I digress and will write more about the number 3 in another blog

…so back to marriage… I will qualify my thoughts by saying that both the husband and the wife need to want a great marriage and to also have a relationship with God…this can’t be done by husband or wife alone, however, you can pray that if it’s God’s will that your spouse will seek Salvation in Christ and to be born in them the desire to make your marriage the best it can be…

When we, as a couple, walk with Heavenly Father in Shelosh (harmony, new life and completeness), we add to the beauty of our marriage when we choose to make Him the center in our lives as individuals as well as a couple. Am I saying to you that once you do, that all will be perfect…I don’t know ~ it may take a little time, but it’s up to you both as to how much you and your spouse are willing to base your life around the truth of scripture.

If you decide that your goal is to bring God into your marriage, you need to make time together as a couple to include Heavenly Father in your life; pray to Him together, study your Bible together, go to church together. Ultimately make up your mind that everything you do includes God and that you’re doing it for HIS Glory! Become deliberate as a couple entwined with God (a 3 strand cord) in His place as the rightful head of your household. Eventually, this process of becoming deliberate will make everything you face less daunting and it will allow forgiveness, repentence, compassion and contentment to bloom and flourish. It will allow your faith and your walk with God to become the anchor of your marriage instead of you falling into the world of temptations and immorality.

Ephesians 5:22-25 Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, 23 for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.

Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

This all being said, I’m certain that there are many that are saying right now…”HOW do I make time for this”? How do I live in this world and still have time for myself? How do I go to my job? Take care of the kids? Do my share of the house upkeep and still have time for us to spend together, much less, make time to spend together with God? In case you haven’t noticed, that time is one of things that God has given equally to all his creation…it’s up to us to make the most of it.

Now comes the “TIME” when you make choices: how important is your marriage vs. social media, hobbies, entertainment (tv, books, etc), things, in-laws, yourself, and even your desire to serve the church can take away from your marriage, leaving the partner to feel guilty because they don’t have your zeal. If your marriage started out with true and abiding love then it’s possible to save it, but you can’t just sit still and let it flounder until there’s nothing left.

Do you decide to nurture your marriage or let it die? Do you forget about your vows, to LOVE, HONOR and CHERISH til death do you part? Or is it time to turn to God? Do you trod along until that big “D” word is an acceptable part of your vocabulary…and sadly it’s been preceded by the I don’t LOVE You! I Hate You! Why did I ever marry you? I feel trapped! You don’t do your share! So pain upon pain, as a couple, you keep building an insurmountable wall driving the nails of “D” into the coffin that has become your marriage.

All you have to do is take one another by the hand and decide to embrace God’s grace and love; decide to walk hand in hand with each other and with God. To take a deep breath and remember how blessed and happy you felt on your wedding day and that your spouse is a gift from God. I believe that the scriptures from 1 Corinthians 13 4-7 should be spoken and expounded upon during all marriage ceremonies… because when God is included in our relationships, there’s no doubt that it will be healed and restored…

Back to the book of Ecclesiastes, I believe that if Solomon had chosen the path of his father David and chose to be a “man after God’s heart”, that he wouldn’t have written a lot of this book…

A Person is a Person ~ No Matter How Small!

The ache in my heart that I feel in reaction to the relentless spilling of innocent blood in our country and around the world moved me to share this again…please reblog…it’s a message that needs to be shared again and again…thank you…In Christ

Jesus ~ Amazing Grace!

During this warranted time of concern that the people of the world are experiencing because of Covid-19, we hear their cries of frustration as they are afraid to go outside or to work and sick of the quarantine. Afraid of the numbers of the deaths as they mount up around the world. Afraid, afraid, afraid!!! It completely amazes me that people are so outraged and afraid…I thought as a society that we’d become numb to death…more often than not, there are times that it seems as if the world has little respect for life: the unborn, the sick, the aged…

Much to my dismay, people have even allowed politics to express death wishes to their fellowman if they disagree with their stand on an issue. Sadly, the world over-all, has gone crazy! For me personally, I’m sickened that the killing of innocent life has been transformed into politics instead…

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Choose God’s Wisdom… Not Satan’s Trap!

At this time of crisis because of Covid-19…I’m writing this for the churches of America; to all of those who are voicing fear of the government and conveying the idea that this is an ulterior motive for the closing of churches.  PLEASE think about this…if there’s an ulterior motive (it’s God’s will), we’ll address it when it happens, but in the meantime study Revelations, so you recognize the signs of the times. If there’s truly a virus that can wipe us out (it’s God’s will), but in the meantime, if it means practicing social distancing, we need to do that. Romans 13:10 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law. We don’t want to cause unnecessary suffering and death to family, friend or neighbor…do we?

For those who believe that the government is setting a trap for us…do you remember this example from the Bible? Jesus ingeniously and perceptively diverted the trap set for Him by the Jewish Pharisees disciples (which he referred to the Scribes and Pharisees as a generation of vipers). When Jesus was asked should the Jews pay tribute to Caesar, right out the gate, he let them know that He knew it was a trap and then before answering He asked if anyone had a coin.  Everyone was surprised by this, but they handed him a coin…when he asked whose picture was on the coin.  They answered Caesar and Jesus’s reply is found in Matthew 22:21 Then He said to them, “Therefore give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” So if we really believe that this is a trap to end our churches in America, let’s not fall into it! Let’s not give them fodder for their fire. Let’s ask for God’s help and exercise His wisdom.

If we are to respond like Jesus: Did Jesus ever break the law laid down by the Romans? NO   Did He talk about rebellion against Rome? NO   Did He even hint that He expected us to risk our lives? (Not Really! but he did warn us that we would be hated by all nations and that some of us will be handed over for persecution).  Did He say to risk our Health? NO! but He did say in Matthew 4:7 7 “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God.” 

How can we serve God if we are dead?  How can we share the Gospel if we are hiding out from the authorities?  All Christians know that God will take them when He’s ready and we’re not afraid to go…as a matter of fact, most welcome it…but at the time chosen by God. Jesus told Pontius Pilate John 19:11 11 “You would have no authority over Me at all,” Jesus answered him, “if it hadn’t been given you from above. This is why the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.”   

I, personally, don’t know a single Christian who’s afraid of death…why would we be?  We know and believe God’s promise, we’ve given our lives to Christ, but most of us don’t want to be unwise and seek out death or illness (once again refer to Matthew 4:7) Also in Matthew 10:28 2Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Most Christians live by this verse from Matthew… 

Why would anyone even suggest that following the law of the state (Caesar) would mean that a Christian is afraid to die?  What would be the point of stirring up a hornet’s nest? Why would we give them cause to make church meetings illegal, to arrest our pastors (our shepherds on this earth) or church hierarchy? Allowing them to justify our church buildings being bulldozed?  Why would anyone with any sense at all think that going against the quarantine orders of the state could do anything but cause detriment to the work of God?  Especially now, as time gets short (I’m certain that I’m not the only one who feels that Jesus will return soon). Until he does return, He needs all His soldiers boots on the ground sharing and defending the Gospel…not defending a meeting place or a meeting day. Every place and every day belongs to God Psalm 24:1 A Psalm of David. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein …where 2 or more gather in His name He’s there with them. Matthew 18:20 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”

Reminiscent of our empty streets in America and the world as we face this virus together!

If the powers of evil on this earth plan on doing whatever they can to affect the church and cause us to go underground, so be it, but in the meantime, why would we allow them to trap us into doing something so foolish as to break their order… we must stand in our faith and live to fight another day. Every life is a gift from God and what each man decides to do with his gift is between him and God. Let’s choose God’s Wisdom over rash response…

For HIS Glory!

When will YOU give God His Glory? Isn’t now the time to start? What are you waiting for? There’s a day that will come when it will be too late!

Ephesians 1:4-6 For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.

God created us for His Glory! Isaiah 43:6-7 I will say to the north: Give them up! and to the south: Do not hold them back! Bring My sons from far away, and My daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone called by My name and created for My glory. I have formed him; indeed, I have made him.”

When Jesus walked on this earth, everything He did was for the Glory of HIS FATHER in Heaven. He, the King, became a humble servant, He healed people, He prayed continually, He raised people from the dead, He sacrificed Himself to save us . When we accept Jesus as our Savior (Believe, Repent and Obey), God becomes our Father in Heaven too. We become brothers and sisters in Christ and the adopted children of God!

John 7:18 18 The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. This verse is in reference to Jesus, but it applies to ALL of us! When the Holy Spirit comes to reside in us, we are led to live our lives for God and to bring HIM glory in everything we touch, think, do, and experience. We give Him Glory by our Faith, when we Trust in Him, when we Pray to Him, when we Love others, when we Forgive others, when we Thank Him, when we make a Difference in the lives of those around us and share HIS WORD. Jesus tells us in John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples. “As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love.

We have to model our lives to the image of Jesus, otherwise God is too HOLY to recognize our existence…Revelation 4:8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is coming.

In Revelations, Jesus spews out the lukewarm church Revelation 3:14-16 14 “Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea: “The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation says: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. WE the people are the church! Not a building! When you realize that you’ve sinned against God…do you WEEP? Does your body rack from pain and make you shudder in the realization that you took Glory from God instead of giving HIM Glory? To think that when we sin, we actually cause God to gag and vomit us out! God demands us to give him our All and when we do this, we are giving Him Glory! This is why Jesus stands between us and God as our mediator…there’s nothing we can say or do to save ourselves from His Wrath! Only Jesus’s righteousness can protect us.

Satan despises God and us and seeks to destroy us because when we live our lives for the Glory of God, it only adds to God’s Glory. God is not only Satan’s adversary, man is also Satan’s adversary…it says in 1 Peter 5:8 Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Every time we allow ourselves to give in to sin, we are being devoured by Satan! Satan revels in this because when we sin, we’re withholding Glory from God. I believe that this is one of the reasons that GOD can’t look upon our sin and why the Angels are guarding HIS throne…to keep sin from HIS sight: sin subtracts from the glory that God desires and obedience to HIS Laws adds to HIS Glory. Revelation 5:11 11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, and also of the living creatures and of the elders. Their number was countless thousands, plus thousands of thousands.

1 John 3:8 The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works. When Jesus suffered and died for us on the cross, Matthew 27:46 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Every sin committed and every sin to ever be committed Jesus took upon Himself on the cross…He was too filthy for God to look upon, so for the first time ever Jesus felt the pain of what it’s like to not have the love and protection of His Father. During that moment, he was cloaked in the unrighteousness of the world.

Colosians 3:17 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.