Just drawing aloud: passionate

1 John 1-3
1 John 1:3 New Living Translation (NLT)
3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

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Bible in Diagram: John 17:1-5

THE WAY TO ETERNAL LIFE, HONOR AND GLORY

John 17:1-5

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life —to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.   I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.”

John17-1-5

What Jesus did on earth glorified God. he knew what His assignment was, how and when to finish it. He was totally focused. He knew His original source and was confident of returning there. His journey on earth was not in vain. He accomplished. He also gave us a glimpse of what it’s like:
A place of honor and glory.
Awesome!
(TO BE CONTINUED)

how a talking donkey saved a prophet

Balaam and donkey
Balaam, donkey and angel with sword

How did a donkey save a prophet? Why was the donkey, an apparently dumb weight-bearing animal, able to see into the spiritual realm but his master the prophet remained blinded? The following account gives us the answer.

Food for thought: God can enable even an animal see, understand and talk sense. What did the animal gain? He had faithfully served his master since the day he was owned. How did the master treat the donkey? Was Balaam grateful that his donkey saved him from instant death? Did he repent and set the donkey free from bondage? There was no record of any kind acts on the part of Balaam. Instead he went on to his personal destruction in a subsequent war against Israel. If he made his donkey accompany him it could mean that the donkey was killed in the war too due to the personal greed for power and money of his master. Sad end for a gifted prophet and his faithful donkey. Take note that God spoke and warned Balaam repeatedly. He even used the donkey to prevent Balaam from self-destruction.

Meditate on this:
1 Corinthians 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

The account of a faithful talking donkey who saved his master’s life:

“Then the children of Israel moved, and camped in the plains of Moab on the side of the Jordan across from Jericho.
Now Balak (king of Moab)saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites (already defeated by the Israelites). And Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel. ..Then he sent messengers to Balaam (a prophet powerful in cursing) ..to call him, saying: “Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me! Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

So the elders …came to Balaam and spoke to him …So Balaam said to God, “Balak…king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, ‘….’”

And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”

…Then Balak again sent princes, more numerous and more honorable than they…“Thus says Balak..: ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me; for I will certainly honor you greatly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Therefore please come, curse this people for me.’”

…So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.

Interaction between Balaam, the Donkey, and the Angel:

Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. Now the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. Then the Angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again. Then the Angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff.

Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!”

So the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?”

And he said, “No.”

Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me. The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.”

And Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back.”

Then the Angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but only the word that I speak to you, that you shall speak.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

…And Balaam said to Balak, “Look, I have come to you! Now, have I any power at all to say anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak.”…

(The above account was recorded in Numbers 22.)

Does God have favoritism? Genesis 3-15 God’s beloved

Acts 10:34Does God have favoritism? Genesis 3-15 shows us who are God’s beloved. Sufferings come from man and not God. The first man reacted to an inbuilt conscience of guilt and shame and started the blame culture after eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The following verses sum up what happened after the fall of Adam: denial of own failures and responsibilities by blaming others. Adam blamed his wife Eve and God for giving him a wife. Eve blamed snake who successfully lied to her and cheated her. Their eldest son Cain blamed God and parents for imagined favoritism, rebelled against parents and God and murdered his own brother Abel and left the presence of God and parents. The rebellious mankind then tried to build a name for themselves and finally became “Babel”. As quoted from an online source: “Babel, the kingdom of earth, is hell-bent on de-throning the God of the universe. It is a kingdom of pride, self-sufficiency, and defiance to the Creator.”

As God warned Cain, beware that sin is a spiritual creature that lurks at the door of our soul and seizes opportunity given by human to conquer and control human. Cain failed to be alert and turn around back to God because he persisted in believing his own deceptive prideful imagination and the lies of the devil. He could have easily turned back to God because at that time God was speaking to him and he could hear and talk back! But he chose to be consumed by defiance, envy and hatred. I believe he was unspiritual and could not believe in a spiritual God. This is still the main problem with many today. Sin is the thief that Jesus has described with the purpose to steal, kill and destroy mankind. Sin seeks to destroy a person’s peace. (Genesis 4:6; John 10:10)

But human is not left helpless and defenseless. Jesus has brought victory over sin and broken the power of death. He has brought super-abundant life to mankind. Man is not destined to be eternal slaves to sin and the power of death. Every born again believer has a new beginning in life. A born again spirit that is joined to the Lord’s Spirit. The wisdom who is Christ in us. The authority of the name of Jesus. The power in us is the same power that raised Christ from the dead. This mighty power of the Holy Spirit now gives life to our mortal bodies. The children of God can rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us to live a victorious life. (Read Romans 5-8) We have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3) We can put on the whole armor of God and stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

When we read the Bible verses we can see God’s love and mercy everywhere. He is love. He gives warning to help us not to fall into the many snares set by the devil after the first man’s fall. In ancient days (as recorded in the Old Testament) people could even hear God talking directly to them. Today we can hear Him too through listening in our heart to the Holy Spirit and reading His words.

(All Scriptures are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise indicated)

Genesis 3:12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

Genesis 4:5-7 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

Genesis 4:16 The Family of Cain 16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden.

Genesis 6:5 5 Then the Lord[God] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 7:1 The Great Flood: Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.

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

Genesis 11:1,4,6,9 The Tower of Babel 11:1 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

GOOD NEWS TO ALL MANKIND: God does not have favoritism. You can be His beloved.

God seeks reconciliation and continuing relationship with human. He found a man who was faithful, not a nation, just one individual who could hear God and responded to God positively by faith. The good news is God intends Abraham to bless all mankind and not just his own biological descendants and tribe. The same blessings that God has given to him are to be given too to the rest of the world at all time. Who can qualify and how to receive? Read on.

Genesis 12:1-4 Promises to Abram (Abraham)1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”4 :1 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

Genesis 15:1,6 God’s Covenant with Abram1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Romans 4 on justification by faith: The Promise Granted Through Faith

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Galatians 3:5-9 You can have the faith of Jesus, the Son of God in you. You can have the Holy Spirit God gives to every believer as a guarantee of His blessings. Just believe and you will receive.

5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? —6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

Acts 10:34-36,42-44

Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name. ”Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message.

today’s message for a person named Christian: all about Joseph’s 7 years of prosperity

2 Co 10:5The watchman hears this: beware of “Lawlessness”/”locust” spirit. An urgency call is here for every Christian to claim the seven years of prosperity of Joseph and not allow locusts  to continue to swarm in to invade your territory. Please take heed because the locusts will not stop unless you take up the authority already given to you in boldness and stand now and stand your ground with the whole armor of God.

You need to ask the Lord how to take positive action and activate your gifts in your area of influence. You are a citizen. You are a member of a community. You are an employee. You are member of an organization. You already participate in many arenas of your local community/network, including political, social, business/commercial, cultural/sports/entertainment, economical/financial, educational, religious and government/administration. You have a vote in your hand. You know what the Lord wants right now for the crucial moment. Remember the prophesy of Joseph’s seven years of boom time! Joseph’s prosperity benefits those who are willing to do honest productive work for their living. 

No, Christian, this may not be for your own personal goal. No, not for your affiliation, not for your party, race, gender, colour, class, relationship, whatever your personal agenda. No. This is the time to think outside your paradigm. I pray you be filled by the Holy Spirit and the words of God to act. Jesus says, the words I speak to you are spirit and life. Follow the spirit and life. Be led by the Spirit of the Lord as the children of God. I pray in Jesus name that your eyes be unveiled (opened) and see the truth and your ears be unstopped and hear our Lord. Align with the Lord and His purpose for mankind. 

“We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5 AMP)

Christian, this is not about judgment. Jesus has warned about strongman and gates. Jesus also says all hidden will come into the Light. Who are the locusts? Where are the locusts from?  Locusts do not work. They are thieves. They come in swarms. 

This is a spiritual war over your territories. Look at how other long standing successful present and historical powers (nations/people) defend their territory. They shut their physical and spiritual entrances against evil.

Nahum 3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Nineveh’s Complete Ruin
3 Woe to the bloody city, completely full of lies and pillage;
Her prey never departs.
2 The noise of the whip,
The noise of the rattling of the wheel,
Galloping horses
And [a]bounding chariots!
3 Horsemen charging,
Swords flashing, spears gleaming,
Many slain, a mass of corpses,
And [b]countless dead bodies—
They stumble over [c]the dead bodies!
4 All because of the many harlotries of the harlot,
The charming one, the mistress of sorceries,
Who sells nations by her harlotries
And families by her sorceries.
5 “Behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord of hosts;
“And I will [d]lift up your skirts over your face,
And show to the nations your nakedness
And to the kingdoms your disgrace.
6 “I will throw [e]filth on you
And make you vile,
And set you up as a spectacle.
7 “And it will come about that all who see you
Will [f]shrink from you and say,
‘Nineveh is devastated!
Who will grieve for her?’
Where will I seek comforters for you?”

8 Are you better than [g]No-amon,
Which was situated by the waters of the Nile,
With water surrounding her,
Whose rampart was [h]the sea,
Whose wall consisted of [i]the sea?
9 Ethiopia was her might,
And Egypt too, without limits.
Put and Lubim were among [j]her helpers.
10 Yet she became an exile,
She went into captivity;
Also her small children were dashed to pieces
At the head of every street;
They cast lots for her honorable men,
And all her great men were bound with fetters.
11 You too will become drunk,
You will be hidden.
You too will search for a refuge from the enemy.
12 All your fortifications are fig trees with [k]ripe fruit—
When shaken, they fall into the eater’s mouth.
13 Behold, your people are women in your midst!
The gates of your land are opened wide to your enemies;
Fire consumes your gate bars.
14 Draw for yourself water for the siege!
Strengthen your fortifications!
Go into the clay and tread the mortar!
Take hold of the brick mold!
15 There fire will consume you,
The sword will cut you down;
It will consume you as the locust does.
Multiply yourself like the creeping locust,
Multiply yourself like the swarming locust.
16 You have increased your traders more than the stars of heaven—
The creeping locust [l]strips and flies away.
17 Your [m]guardsmen are like the swarming locust.
Your marshals are like hordes of grasshoppers
Settling in the stone walls on a cold day.
The sun rises and they flee,
And the place where they are is not known.
18 Your shepherds are sleeping, O king of Assyria;
Your nobles are lying down.
Your people are scattered on the mountains
And there is no one to regather them.
19 There is no relief for your breakdown,
Your wound is incurable.
All who hear [n]about you
Will clap their hands over you,
For on whom has not your evil passed continually?

Footnotes:
Nahum 3:2 Lit skipping
Nahum 3:3 Lit there is no end to
Nahum 3:3 Lit their
Nahum 3:5 Lit uncover your
Nahum 3:6 Lit detestable things
Nahum 3:7 Lit flee
Nahum 3:8 I.e. the city of Amon: Thebes
Nahum 3:8 I.e. the Nile
Nahum 3:8 I.e. the Nile
Nahum 3:9 Lit your
Nahum 3:12 Lit first fruits
Nahum 3:16 I.e. strips vegetation; or molts
Nahum 3:17 Or officials
Nahum 3:19 Lit your report

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but [b]divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.7 [c]You are looking at [d]things as they are outwardly…

2017 Daily Word: the true meaning of names: life or death matters. Be named.

name-of-jesusA NEW NAME FOR EVERY BELIEVER
I pray you who come to this place understands the meaning of names today. This is the first word for this year, 2017. There is a meaning for you personally, just as there is a deep meaning for me too. I am a believer of Jesus Christ. So you are, or shall be. There is no other name but His name that can save and transform you from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. Hear today His message for you. Why do I mingle His name with each believer’s new name recorded (or to be recorded) in heaven? Because without believing to His name, you cannot be a believer. When you become a believer you are given a new name in heaven by the Holy Spirit who gives you the new birth, just as a parent does at the birth of their child. Jesus has said it clearly, you need to be born of the Spirit in order to belong to His name (God’s name). Your new name is spiritual. Without this new spiritual name you cannot enter His Kingdom which is here on earth and/or later the eternal life with God in heaven for that matter. Names means life or death. It does matter, my friend. Be named. This is my New Year’s wish for you.

Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’

Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Revelation 3:12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

Revelation 21:12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

Revelation 21:14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Revelation 22:4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.

Revelation 19:12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.

Revelation 19:13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

Revelation 19:16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Matthew 12:21 And in His name Gentiles will trust.”

Matthew 18:5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Matthew 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

Luke 10:20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

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.

BELIEVER SHALL LIVE BY WHOSE NAME
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

Acts 3:16 And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

Acts 4:7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” Acts 4:10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

GOD KNOWS HIS OWN PEOPLE BY NAME
Exodus 33:17 So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”
Exodus 28:11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel. You shall set them in settings of gold. Exodus 28:21 And the stones shall have the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, each one with its own name; they shall be according to the twelve tribes. Exodus 28:29 “So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually.

All Scriptures are quoted from New King James Version (NKJV)

There was a man named Ezra.

amos-plumb-lineThere is this Christian teacher who is fully qualified in knowing and teaching the Bible and is filled with the Holy Spirit. At the right time he goes to see the President of the country and the President respects, honors and favors him. The President gives him everything he asks for regarding the matter of following God’s Law to govern the people. The reason? The President believes that by pleasing God he and his family will be blessed instead of cursed. The President is afraid of God’s wrath against “the realm of the President and his sons”.

The President gives this Christian man full authority to access the federal and state treasuries for all the resources he needs for the church, and blanket executive power to execute the following based on Biblical principles in the country selected by God for God’s people:

1.Conduct inquiries into all aspects of lives in the country, to ensure that they are based on Biblical plumb line.
2.Give generous offerings and donations to the church according to God’s will.
3.Provide whatever God requires for the upkeep of His church.
4.Appoint magistrates and judges who know the Bible to govern all the people.
5.Teach the Bible to anyone who does not know it.
6.Anyone who refuses to obey the Bible and the national Constitution will be punished and corrected immediately according to the Law.
7.Tax free status assured for the church and all the church workers. They are exempted from paying all taxes, rates, custom and excise of any kind.

(I have put the above historical record into today’s language, taken from the Bible book of Ezra, Chapter Seven)
The time was in the seventh year of Persian King Artaxerxes’ reign (465-424BC).
The Biblical man is called Ezra. He was a descendant of the chosen high priest Aaron. This Ezra was a scribe well versed in the Law of Moses, which the God of Israel had given to the people of Israel. He was the priest and scribe who studied and taught the commands and decrees of the Lord to Israel. The King of Persia described Ezra as the priest and teacher of the law of the God of heaven. About 47 years after the completion of the Temple of Jerusalem, Ezra went to ask the king for favor and the king gave him everything he asked for. The king gave him a teaching job in Israel that he was most qualified to do, to teach the Law of Moses, and with absolute authority to ensure the law is practiced and fully complied with. God’s favor was on him. This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel.

July 28th 2016

some words about the thief

20160127_121942Jesus speaks of the thief who came to steal, kill, and destroy. Who is that thief and what did he come to steal, kill, destroy? How shall we prevent or counter? I have recently encountered some cases which I am now led to share. First bear in mind what Jesus has actually said when he said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10)

Reading the whole passage below (John 10:1-18), we find a number of important words Jesus speaks of: sheepfold, thief and robber, gate, gatekeeper, sheep, Jesus, flock, saved, steal, kill, destroy, good shepherd, sacrifices life, hired hand, money, authority, commanded.

We know by now that Jesus is talking about His believers (followers). His disciples. They are His sheep and belong to His sheepfold. Note that they can recognize Jesus’ voice, come to Him, be led by Him, and follow Him. Why did Jesus come? Jesus came to this world to save His sheep, give them a rich and satisfying life.

On the other hand there is an enemy group who came to this world with the purpose to destroy life. Jesus called them thieves and robbers. They came to steal life, kill life and destroy life. Another group is called hired hand who works for money and does not care about the life and death of the sheep. They are not real shepherds. They abandon the congregation and run away when danger comes.  Note that in these two cases the two groups share one common goal: each has its own selfish and evil agenda. One openly opposes Jesus and His followers, aggressively attacks and destroys, whereas the other one pretends to be on the side of Jesus and His sheep but in fact passively deceives and destroys too. The thief (open enemy of God) hates God. The hired hand is indifferent to God. Both have no love for God.

Only God (The Father, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) can give life. Jesus can give hIs life and take it again. Jesus loves the Father and obeys His commands. “This command I have received from My Father.” Jesus refers to the command to lay down His life for the salvation of mankind.

John 10:1-18 New Living Translation (NLT) The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

10 “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me[a] were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.[b] They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. 18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

Footnotes:

  1. 10:8 Some manuscripts do not include before me.
  2. 10:9 Or will find safety.

Another significant point is there are people who are not of Jesus’ sheep. They do not believe in Jesus even when they see the many supernatural good works that Jesus did in God’s name and authority. They even tried to kill Jesus for claiming to be the Son of God. (John 10:25-32)

But those who believe belong to Jesus. What will be their rewards for believing? Jesus gives us eternal life, and we shall never perish and no one can snatch us out of God’s hand (or Jesus’ hand). (John 10:27-30)

Why are some people against Jesus? They feel offended that He claims to be the Son of God. They are jealous of Him. They want to have what He has but cannot have. This is  not new. The devil became devil because he wants to be God.

Application today: Read the Bible and believe. Hear the Holy Spirit and obey. Be assured of our salvation and position in Christ as the children of God. Know that we have eternal life, rich and satisfying abundant life. Be aware that there are two groups of oppositions to God’s salvation through Jesus. These enemies of Jesus will try to cause damages and losses (in varying degrees) to Christians. Know the assurance from Jesus that God (the Father) is greater than all. We can be safe in His hands. (John 10:29)

NB: A case: a family of four (excluding the dad who passed away) have been severely and bitterly divided. The two siblings hate each other. Being unable to forgive each other has robbed them and the family of peace and love. The youngest member, still a child, growing up in this environment is being conditioned and adversely affected in body, soul and spirit. The only way to return to the peace that Jesus as given is to come back to the passage and obey Jesus: forgive and reconciled truthfully. One essential key is to walk by the Spirit and not be flesh.

12TH WEEK 5TH DAY: WHAT HAD THE LAMB DONE ON THE WOODEN CROSS

trees and snow at shoreWHAT HAD THE LAMB OF GOD-JESUS DONE ON THE WOODEN CROSS? He shed His redemption blood. He had broken the curse. He had taken away the power of death. He had set free. 
(ALL SCRIPTURES ARE QUOTED IN New King James Version (NKJV) (Boldness and italics added)
Hebrews 2:14-15  14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 2:13 2 Samuel 22:3; Isaiah 8:17
  2. Hebrews 2:13 Isaiah 8:18
Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

 

Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemptionIn Context

Hebrews 9:14

how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? In Context

Hebrews 9:18

Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without bloodIn Context |

Hebrews 9:22

And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. In Context

Hebrews 10:4

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. In Context

[ Hold Fast Your Confession ] Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, In Context

Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? In Context

By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. In Context

to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. In Context

For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. In Context

Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. In Context

[ Benediction, Final Exhortation, Farewell ] Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, In Context

RESPONSE HYMN: JUST AS I AM
1

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

2

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

3

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

4

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

5

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

6

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Lyrics:

Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871)
Music:

Week 11 Day 5: This child is destined

John 8-12
John 8:12 Jesus the Light of the world

Today’s message: God is light. This child is destined as the Light of the world. He is destined. And His destination has come to pass. Bible reading is taken from Luke 2:25-35 (NLT). 

Note that there are two groups of people in this world: those who are attracted to the light and those who prefer darkness.

25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
    as you have promised.
30 I have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared for all people.
32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
    and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him.34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

Other related verses about Jesus the Light are from : Isaiah 4:6; Acts 10:45; 13:47; 28:28; John 9:1-41 (whole chapter); John 1:5,9; 3:19-21; 8:12; 12:35,46; John 1:4-14.

John 3:19-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. 3:21 Or can see God at work in what he is doing.

John 8:12 New Living Translation (NLT)


Jesus, the Light of the World

12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

week 11 day 5 Bible reading: Psalms 40:1-5; Numbers 24:1-25:18; Luke 2:1-35; Proverbs 11:14

end times witnessing: always humble, gentle, patient, love.

be transformed
be transformed by the renewal of our mind

How shall we love one another in the body of Christ? Today’s prayer is taken from the book of Ephesians chapter four. Paul is in prison for his preaching and witnessing for the risen Jesus Christ. And he is led by the Holy Spirit to write this letter to the churches to fortify them and equip them to face the continuing persecutions from the enemy’s agents-Paul was once an enemy agent too. He hated Jesus and killed Christians. But Jesus has revealed Himself to Paul and Paul was totally transformed from that reality encounter with the risen Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Key message: Be like Christ. Be joined to the Lord Jesus, one Spirit with Him.

Summary of Paul’s letter (prayer for churches/Christians who are called by God)

Live a life worthy of our calling:

Keep united: in the Holy Spirit.

Be Christ-centered 

Let the Hole Spirit transform us: our attitude, behavior, actions. 

Ephesians 4 New Living Translation (NLT) Unity in the Body

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.

However, he has given each one of us a special gift[a] through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say,

“When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.”[b]

Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world.[c] 10 And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Living as Children of Light

17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like Godtruly righteous and holy.

25 So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”[d] Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,[e] guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Footnotes:

  • 4:7 Greek a grace.
  • 4:8 Ps 68:18.
  • 4:9 Some manuscripts read to the lower parts of the earth.
  • 4:26 Ps 4:4.
  • 4:30 Or has put his seal on you.

end of footnotes