Supernatural Christianity with a purpose

Ephesians 1:7 redeemed through the blood of Jesus

What is in God’s heart? How did Jesus demonstrate this?

Mark 6:34, 36 – “When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He was moved with compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd [lacking guidance]; and He began to teach them many things.

God’s solution to sin, sickness, poverty, and death: The sacrifice of Christ through the shedding of His blood. Ephesians 1:7 – “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

Commandments given by Jesus to all believers: (Scripture quoted in New King James Version)

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Mark 16:15-20 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

Luke 24:46-48 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things.

Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

2 Corinthians 5:19 – “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

THIS is What Stirs the Heart of God:

Luke 15:7 – “I say to you that likewise, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance.”

For Evangelists: Psalm 2:8 – “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.”

Titus 2:14 – “God gave Himself for us, that he might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself.”

Examples of how the apostles and early churches/disciples applied what Jesus has commanded: How they prayed, the prayer’s effect, and how they applied:

Acts 4:29-31 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Acts 5:12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.

Acts 5:14-16 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

Acts 5:29-32 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit Whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Acts 6:7-8 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. 8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.

Acts 8:6-8 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.

Jesus’ teaching on what and how to watch

Luke 21:34

Today we learn what Jesus said about what and how to watch to be ready for dangerous times in answer to His disciples’ questions. We also read some historical accounts of what happened after Jesus prophesied. Note that they asked when the temple would be destroyed and the signs. Jesus answered more than that. But today we only read the part about the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem which came to pass in AD 70.

Because Jesus had given adequate warning about thirty-seven years ahead, those who heeded the prophecies survived, while most others perished. While the Jews suffered starvation, slaughter, and capture, Christians in Jerusalem escaped. Jesus foretold the terrible events that would follow his death. He warned his followers to immediately flee Jerusalem when the signs he predicted occurred. The Christian community carefully watched for the signs and followed the Savior’s warning. History reveals that His prophecies were realized. It also reveals the stunning fact that the believers obeyed the warnings, fled Jerusalem to a town called Pella, and thus saved themselves. 

I quote here some of the historical accounts of what happened. “The members of the Jerusalem church by means of an oracle, given by revelation to acceptable persons there, were ordered to leave the city before the war began and settle in a town in Peraea called Pella.” (Book III, 5:4,Eusebius, Historian, AD263-339). “For when the city was about to be captured and sacked by the Romans, all the disciples were warned beforehand by an angel to remove from the city, doomed as it was to utter destruction. On migrating from it they settled at Pella, the town already indicated, across the Jordan. It is said to belong to Decapolis (de Mens. et Pond., 15). “or on the approach of the Roman army, all the Christians in the province, warned, as ecclesiastical history tells us, miraculously from heaven, withdrew, and passing the Jordan, took refuge in the city of Pella; and under the protection of that King Agrippa, of whom we read in the Acts of the Apostles, they continued some time;” [Thomas Aquinas (1841)

Luke 21:5-7, 20-24, 34-37 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was [a]adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, “These things which you see—the days will come in which not onestone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?”

The Destruction of Jerusalem 20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Importance of Watching 34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with [f]carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may [g]be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 21:5 decorated
  2. Luke 21:34 dissipation
  3. Luke 21:36 NU have strength to

You may click this link to read more on the subject

harp and lyre delusion effect on Christian worship congregation

Some Christian groups have adopted a religious practice to use harps and/or lyres only for worship services some claiming that in heaven these are the only musical instruments. But reading the following Bible passages from Daniel 3 we can note that harps were commonly used by pagan kings and priests for idolatry practices too. In addition it is believed to have possibly body, senses and mind control effects on the worship congregation. We pray that the Spirit of Truth reveals to those who have been subject to this influence.  Ask why you choose to continue in it.  Knowing the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)

Bible Truth:
Daniel 3 (excerpts) Nebuchadnezzar the Babylonian king made an image of gold and set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. He required all his subjects to fall down and worship the idol when the music played.
“Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.” But the three friends of Daniel refused to follow this decree. They would rather die than to bow down to the golden image. They were then miraculously saved by our God.

Random information on the origins and ancient uses of harp and lyre quoted from various Internet Googled Sources:

According to ancient Greek mythology, the young god Hermes created the lyre from a large tortoise shell which he covered with animal hide and antelope horns. Lyres were associated with Apollonian virtues of moderation and equilibrium. Legend also tells the tale of Orpheus, the son of Apollo, whose “rich clear words and the silvery notes from his harp were so enchanting that they … had a magical effect on everything around him

The harp has occupied a place in myth, legend, and lore for as long as it has been around as an instrument. Perhaps because of its powerful effect upon the body and the senses, including it’s ability, when properly played, to transport the listener to an elevated state of consciousness. It is not surprising that the harp appears as an important symbol in several cultures. Because of its association with the “divine” and “ethereal”, many mythical creatures are often depicted playing harps, including angels, mermaids, sirens, gods, elves, and so on. On ancient Crete is where the harp or lyre was first invented and where you will find the first depictions and images of various Cretan Gods, Goddesses, priests, and priestesses, playing the harp.

For this “divine” reason, the harp would become one of the main symbols for these people who we know of by the names of the Cretans, Phoenicians, Ionians, Minoans, Arcadians, Atlanteans, Persians, Greek Hellenes, Hebrews, Scythians, Saxons, Angles, Irish, Picts, and Celts.

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1 John 4:1
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Daily Word: Matthew 2017

1-corinthians-212
picture with Bible verses: 1 Corinthians 2:12

Today we read what happened to Jesus. Because Jesus said that the same will happen to His followers (disciples). Matthew recorded many teachings of Jesus which depicted everyday lives. They are timeless. Human heart and nature have not changed. Matthew 20:1-17 tells us the scene in the marketplace (employment agency) on one ordinary day. An employer (God) employs workers at different intervals and pays each one the same wage he has committed. But those who think that they deserve more just because they have been in employment longer become angry and indignant. They try to incite a revolt against the employer. But the employer tells them off. He is honoring his part of the employment agreement. But these protestors/revolters are not. They have forgotten or conveniently ignored the agreement. Why?

Jesus gave the reason why in His life.
13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’

16 “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

Jesus Again Predicts His Death
17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him. 18 “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man[b] will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. 19 Then they will hand him over to the Romans[c] to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”

Jesus told the parable to show how jealousy and greed cannot be concealed and can ruin a person. His adversaries are driven by greed and are insanely jealous of Him. They (the religious and political leaders) have been there a long time. They have institutionalized themselves as the only authoritative governing voice for the nation (social, cultural, education, economic, religious and political). Jesus is not one of them. So how dare He now take the lead in all fields of the nation, with countless more followers from the grassroots than them (over their whole lifetime) in a mere short three years?

While Jesus is following God’s will, doing all the good deeds feeding the poor, genuinely caring loving those upon whom the society looks down, healing the sick, setting the captives/oppressed free, his adversaries are plotting to kill him.

Pilate the Roman Governor knows the motive of the adversaries of Jesus. Matthew 27:18 For Pilate knew that it was because of jealousy that the chief priests and elders had handed Jesus over to him.

The point for Christian intercessors of knowing or revising the above is to pray more effectively. Now we are reminded of the motive of the adversary of God, how shall we pray? I am led to read Mark chapter one and sixteen right now as I ask the Lord.
Here are the  verses that should spur us into the right course and action:

Mark 1:3 This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.[a] It began 2 just as the prophet Isaiah had written:

“Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
and he will prepare your way.
3 He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!’”

14 Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. 15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

16:15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. 17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”

19 When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 20 And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.

In summary: Press on in the supernatural journey and run faithfully and consistently as we are led by the Spirit of Christ as ordained by the Almighty and not be distracted by the petty ways of man (motivated by personal agenda and not aligned with God’s plan).
1 Corinthians 2:12  And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

a word of encouragement 2 Kings 6:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT)

16 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.

a word for those angry with God
Genesis 4:4-7New Living Translation (NLT)

4 Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, 5 but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.

6 “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? 7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

Daily Word: end time assignment-Revelation 111

matthew-281820The theme statement received today: “The Temple, altar, and worshippers are to be measured.” (Prophesied by Apostle John) This watchman has been led today to browse a number of more often used and quoted Bible references/commentaries showing what the churches had been taught in christian history.

“And there was given me a reed like to a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.” Revelation 11:1
“The measuring implies the protecting of, or the token of a resolve to protect, a portion of the sacred enclosure from desecration. The measuring, like the sealing of Revelation 7, is a sign of preservation during impending dangers.” “…the whole compass of the sacred enclosure, the house of God.” “The gist of the measurement is the preservation of the true, invisible Church, the Church within the Church; and everything necessary to the worship—Temple, altar, worshippers—all are reserved. (Excerpted from Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers)
“God will have a temple and an altar in the world, till the end of time. He looks strictly to his temple.” (Excerpted from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
“There were, therefore, three things, as indicated by this verse, which John was directed to do, so far as the use of the measuring-rod was concerned:
(a) to take a just estimate of what constitutes the true church, as distinguished from all other associations of people;
(b) to institute a careful examination into the opinions in the church on the subject of sacrifice or atonement – involving the whole question about the method of justification before God; and,
(c) to take a correct estimate of what constitutes true membership in the church; or to investigate with care the prevailing opinions about the qualifications for membership.” (Excerpted from Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary (Excerpts quoted)
CHAPTER 11 Re 11:1-19. Measurement of the Temple. The Two Witnesses’ Testimony: Their Death, Resurrection, and Ascension: The Earthquake: The Third Woe: The Seventh Trumpet Ushers in Christ’s Kingdom. Thanksgiving of the Twenty-four Elders.
This eleventh chapter is a compendious summary of, and introduction to, the more detailed prophecies of the same events to come in the twelfth through twentieth chapters. Hence we find anticipatory allusions to the subsequent prophecies; compare Re 11:7, “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit” (not mentioned before), with the detailed accounts, Re 13:1, 11; 17:8; also Re 11:8, “the great city,” with Re 14:8; 17:1, 5; 18:10.

“This temple was a type of the church under the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 3:17 2 Corinthians 6:16, and is so to be interpreted generally in this book: for the material temple at Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans more than twenty years before this prophecy, never to be built more; not one stone was left upon another; so that John here was bid to measure the church.

And the altar, and them that worship therein; yet not the whole church, but that part of it which the inner court typified; the altar, and those that worshipped within that space where that was, which of old were only the priests and Levites; and under the New Testament signified those who were to be a holy priesthood, a spiritual house, those that should offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 2:5, who could endure a measuring by God’s reed, the word of God.”

Excerpts from: Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod,…. A measuring reed, which with the Jews was six cubits long, Ezekiel 40:5; with the Greeks and Romans, ten feet long; the Ethiopic version here calls it a “golden reed”, as in Revelation 21:15. This was given unto John very likely by the same angel that gave him the little book, since he afterwards bids him arise and measure with it; and by it seems to be designed the holy Scripture, or the word of God, which is sometimes called a line, a rule, and rod, Psalm 19:4, and which is the rule and measure of doctrine and faith;”

What about my personal revelation?
1. The apostle John was given a specific authority and task.
2. He was given this revelation, prophesy and this personal letter from Jesus Himself.
3. What is the purpose of showing this Bible verse today to this watchman?
My personal observation is that this verse comes before great changes and events that will bring in another era of man’s history on earth. It is like another spiritual door is now being opened and the events thereafter through that door are what human cannot comprehend and expect. The summary I quoted above of Revelation chapter 11 tells us briefly what are happening after 11:1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary: Measurement of the Temple-The Two Witnesses’ Testimony: Their Death, Resurrection, and Ascension-The Earthquake-The Third Woe-The Seventh Trumpet Ushers in Christ’s Kingdom-Thanksgiving of the Twenty-four Elders. Watch this prophesy:”the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit”.

Coming back to John’s measuring (protective) assignment and authority over the Christian churches. Who has been given the same? We read what Jesus says to affirm my answer.

Matthew 28:18-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Footnotes:
28:19 Or all peoples.

God’s economics: today’s word from Matthew 23:23

matthew-2323I am led today (November 23) to give you a word from our Lord Jesus (as recorded in Matthew 23:23). The AMPC translation uses the word “FIDELITY” (FAITH) in addition to JUSTICE (FAIRNESS) and MERCY (COMPASSION, PITY) as THE MEASURE GOD USES TO WEIGH THE WORTH OF OUR OFFERING.

The religious leaders (authority) in Jesus’ days were rich and influential people who lived an elite lifestyle and in luxuries like many church leaders do today. HOW DO YOU WEIGH IN GOD’S SCALE? HOW DO YOU TREAT THE WEAKER (those less favorably endowed/less powerful, with less resources) in your FAMILY/the CHURCH/the SOCIETY today?

Matthew 23:23 JESUS SAYS:
AMPC
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you give a tenth of your mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected and omitted the weightier (more important) matters of the Law—right and justice and mercy and fidelity. These you ought [particularly] to have done, without neglecting the others.”

PHILLIPS
“Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you utter frauds! For you pay your tithe on mint and aniseed and cummin, and neglect the things which carry far more weight in the Law—justice, mercy and good faith. These are the things you should have observed—without neglecting the others. You call yourselves leaders, and yet you can’t see an inch before your noses, for you filter out the mosquito and swallow the camel.”

MSG
“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?”

NLV
“It is bad for you, teachers of the Law and proud religious law-keepers, you who pretend to be someone you are not! You give one-tenth part of your spices, and have not done the most important things of the Law, such as thinking what is right and wrong, and having pity and faith. These you should have done and still have done the other things also.”

VOICE
“So woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees. You hypocrites! You tithe from your luxuries and your spices, giving away a tenth of your mint, your dill, and your cumin. But you have ignored the essentials of the law: justice, mercy, faithfulness. It is practice of the latter that makes sense of the former.”

NOTES-definition of the word “hypocrisy”:
Hypocrisy is the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence in general sense, dissimulation, pretense, sham. It is the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another. In moral psychology, it is the failure to follow one’s own expressed moral rules and principles.

Paul’s letter to the sleeping dead

rise-up-o-sleeper Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. 7 Don’t participate in the things these people do. 8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible.

This is why it is said,
“Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”

Living by the Spirit’s Power
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine (alcoholic drinks), because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Bible verses are quoted from Holy Bible New Living Translation NLT Book of Ephesians 5:1-20)

HEED THIS CRY: “HOW LONG”?

HOW LONGToday’s cry is “HOW LONG?”
JESUS ASKS CHRISTIANS (HIS DISCIPLES): “HOW LONG?” Matthew 17:17
Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.”
PROPHET ASKS GOD: “HOW LONG?” Habakkuk 1:2 [ The Prophet’s Question ] O Lord, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” And You will not save.
GOD ASKS GOD’S PEOPLE: “HOW LONG?” Hosea 8:5 Your calf is rejected, O Samaria! My anger is aroused against them— How long until they attain to innocence?
WISE KING ASKS HIS SONS: “HOW LONG?” Proverbs 1:22 “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. Proverbs 6:9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep?
GODLY KING ASKS HIS SUBJECTS: Psalm 4:2 How long, O you sons of men, Will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness And seek falsehood? Selah
GOD ASKS THE PASTOR (MOSES)WHO REPRESENTED THE CONGREGATION: Exodus 16:28 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? Numbers 14:11 [ Moses Intercedes for the People ] Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? Numbers 14:27 “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me.
THE CHURCH WEARIED LEADER ASKS THE LETHARGIC CONGREGATION: Joshua 18:3 Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you? (i.e. How long are you going to stay in the old man of sin and not put on the new man of righteousness?)
THE ANSWER FOR A TRULY CBORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN IS “NO LONGER”: Romans 6:2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

FINALLY, THE PIERCING CRY OF THE MARTYRS:
Revelation 6:9-11New King James Version (NKJV)
Fifth Seal: The Cry of the Martyrs
9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

The Seed for the Kingdom of Heaven

good soil for seedChapter 13 in Matthew is today’s Bible reading. Jesus speaks in parables. He speaks of sowing the words of God like sowing seeds on various grounds (good and bad soil). He is speaking of the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven. In reading the two subjects together and the previous chapters in Matthew, we know that Jesus is sowing the seeds of the Kingdom of God while teaching the large crowd who follow Him to hear Him and to be healed. The message today is “The Kingdom of Heaven”. Jesus is speaking and teaching the same message to a large crowd of varying heart conditions like the soils He talks about. In this passage, Jesus differentiates those who are listening and to whom He will give more understanding, and those who are not listening. The difference is in the word “listening”. By listening to Jesus, they will see the truth and receive. Jesus has taught and done many miraculous signs, but not all listen or see with understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven message Jesus is preaching authoritatively and powerful demonstrating by His supernatural ministry on earth. Unless one understands how it operates one cannot receive the Kingdom of Heaven and become a part of it.

One alarming thing that Jesus has pointed out is that the audience has control over whether they hear or not hear. See or not see. He explains why they cannot hear or see. “For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes-so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to Me and let Me heal them.” (Matthew 13:15) This statement clearly places the responsibility on an audience because he can close his ears and eyes by hardening his own heart and thereby misses out the Kingdom of Heaven. Frightening. 

Bible verses are quoted from the Holy Bible NLT. (Boldness added)

Matthew 13:1-15 New Living Translation (NLT) Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed

Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

10 His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”

11 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets[a] of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I use these parables,

For they look, but they don’t really see.
    They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.

14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,

‘When you hear what I say,
    you will not understand.
When you see what I do,
    you will not comprehend.
15 For the hearts of these people are hardened,
    and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
    so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
    and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
    and let me heal them.[b]

Footnotes:

  1. 13:11 Greek the mysteries.
  2. 13:14-15 Isa 6:9-10 (Greek version).

family of God

The-Family-of-God

Often I see Christians forgetting that their family members are their brothers and sisters in Christ. But they are God’s children and co-heirs with Jesus who is sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven, interceding for Christians. When we next deal with our family members let us look up and see Jesus watching and interceding for that person, no matter how unlovable he or she may appear to you. She or he is not your enemy. The enemy is outside. You need to take care of your household first according to the Bible. I see open contempt and rude manners which Jesus and God see too. When I open the Bible this morning I read this:
“By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you——…for though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
Remember: even Jesus who is Christ, sitting at the right hand of God now is humble and gentle. The Bible says, “As He is, so we are in this world.” Are we? If we cannot be humble and gentle to one another as Jesus is to us, how can we claim to own all His riches and wealth and prosperity and success?

Who are your brothers and sisters in Christ? Parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins.

[ Obedience by Faith ] If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

1 John 4:20-21 NKJV

When family members cannot be united as one just as God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are One, the enemy can come in to steal, kill, and destroy. Why? Because where strife is there are all kinds of evil. Jesus has warned against the division that will cause downfall:

John 17:22  (NKJV) 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.

 

James 4:1-3 (NKJV) Pride Promotes Strife

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Footnotes:

  1. James 4:2 NU-Text and M-Text omit Yet.

Romans 13:12-14 (NKJV)

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Walk with Jesus: Matthew 28 – two spiritual kingdoms

jesus-white-horse
Jesus and end time war

Matthew 28 is a new beginning, a new war between two kingdoms has started. The kingdom of God versus the kingdom of darkness. There is no third path. Either you are in the kingdom of light or you are in the kingdom of darkness. Everyone on earth is given one choice. No in-between. Heed the warning from the resurrected Jesus through John in the book of Revelation to the seven churches (representing all churches through out the history since the first church was established during the apostles’ time. 

Matthew 28 (ESV)

The Resurrection Truth – the Truth will set you free!
28 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

More human deception and strategy (with Satan, the ruler of this world, directly in command) for those who choose to remain in blindness (due to unbelief and spiritual rebellion)  

11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place.12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. The Great Commission for Kingdom of God Citizens, sons of God led by the Holy Spirit, with the authority of Jesus, in His name, and His might, the power of the Holy Spirit!
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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 all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
________________________________________

A new war has started between two Kingdoms:
KINGDOM OF GOD is KINGDOM OF LIGHT
The believers of Jesus are under the Kingdom of God:

John 18:36 (NKJV)
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.
John 17:14-18 (NKJV)
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Mark 16:15-20 (NKJV)
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

The World is under the Kingdom of darkness
1 John 2:15-20 (NKJV)
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 (NKJV)
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

John 14:30 (NKJV) 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.
Luke 22:53 (NKJV) 53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.

1 John 3:8 (NKJV)
8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

What will happen at the end of time of this world?
Revelation 20:10 (NKJV)
10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.