Then the righteous will shine like the sun

righteous shine like stars
the righteous will shine like the sun

Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
“The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
“‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.
“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
“‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”

Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.”
Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels.

“Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

(Above quoted from the Holy Bible, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

The Law is no more

Daniel praying
Daniel arrested for praying

Lamentations 2:9 Her gates have sunk into the ground; He has destroyed and broken her bars. Her king and her princes are among the nations; The Law is no more, And her prophets find no vision from the Lord.
Lamentations 5:12 Princes were hung up by their hands, And elders were not respected.

Isaiah 1:25-27 New King James Version (NKJV)
25 I will turn My hand against you,
And thoroughly purge away your dross,
And take away all your alloy.
26 I will restore your judges as at the first,
And your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.”
27 Zion shall be redeemed with justice,
And her penitents with righteousness.

Isaiah 49:7 Thus says the Lord, The Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, To Him whom man despises, To Him whom the nation abhors, To the Servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise, Princes also shall worship, Because of the Lord who is faithful, The Holy One of Israel; And He has chosen You.”

Micah 5:5 (KJV) And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.

Deuteronomy 17:18-19
18 When he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he must make himself a copy of the law I’m teaching you. He must write it on a scroll. He must copy it from the scroll of a priest, who is a Levite. 19 The king must keep the scroll close to him at all times. He must read it all the days of his life. Then he can learn to have respect for the Lord his God. He can carefully follow all of the words of that law and those rules.

Micah 5:4-6 The Message (MSG)
2-4 But you, Bethlehem, David’s country,
the runt of the litter—
From you will come the leader
who will shepherd-rule Israel.
He’ll be no upstart, no pretender.
His family tree is ancient and distinguished.
Meanwhile, Israel will be in foster homes
until the birth pangs are over and the child is born,
And the scattered brothers come back
home to the family of Israel.
He will stand tall in his shepherd-rule by God’s strength,
centered in the majesty of God-Revealed.
And the people will have a good and safe home,
for the whole world will hold him in respect—
Peacemaker of the world!
5-6 And if some bullying Assyrian shows up,
invades and violates our land, don’t worry.
We’ll put him in his place, send him packing,
and watch his every move.
Shepherd-rule will extend as far as needed,
to Assyria and all other Nimrod-bullies.
Our shepherd-ruler will save us from old or new enemies,
from anyone who invades or violates our land.

a tale of two cities: a choice

Daniel-12.3
make a wise choice like Daniel did

This is the time to mourn. The church must wake up and mourn. I am talking to the church as a whole on earth, not just America, China, Europe, Africa, Asia, Third world or first world. I am calling out to both the traditional evangelical and the Spirit-filled and Bible believing-all who believe the reality and truthfulness of the words of God both Old and New Testament, from Genesis to revelation. This is the time to wake up from narrowness and exclusiveness. Just look at Jesus. The example He set while on earth! Look at the apostles, Peter’s call to the Gentile’s home, Paul’s call to the world of demons (idolatry-infested world), and all the apostles and disciples of the first church who were scattered all over the world before Christianity. No, I am not talking about missionaries going now to the foreign worlds. I am talking about your own home ground your own nation wherever you are if you can read English and this blog. Wake up and stop one thing before you go out and evangelize. Stop your physical mind’s prejudices. Look at Jesus. What He did not do and what He did. Be led by the Holy Spirit as you read.

My spirit urged me to summarize what Jesus did not do:
1. He did not ask a man of other faith to kill anyone (regardless what they believed in or their lifestyle was)in the name of God.
2. He did not condemn anyone except the religious hypocrites who stopped people from coming to Jesus and believing in the Good News Jesus brought to all mankind.
3. Even so, Jesus did not kill or send anyone to kill the hypocrites.
4. He did not condone anyone judging another.
5. He did not agree to using physical force (violence) to resolve injustice within a nation.

A summary of what Jesus did:
1. Jesus came to save sinners and healed the sick.
2. Jesus put forgiveness as number one consideration, even for His enemies.
3. Jesus associated/socialized with sinners.
4. Jesus showed love and compassions.
5. Jesus gave life.

By agreeing with the thieves who came in to steal, kill and destroy lives, the church becomes accomplice to murder. Don’t you ever realize that in the spiritual realm the territorial spirits fight among themselves? Their number one ruler does his own harvest of souls by pitching his subordinates one against another.

You may ask, when the time is so bleak and you need to choose between two imperfect candidates for your national number one, whom should you choose? Didn’t the Bible show you the history of Israel, in the bleakest time when they were besieged by the strongest enemies and their own weakest kings ever? What did God ask prophet Jeremiah do? Jeremiah became the national number one traitor because he gave his countrymen an oracle that they were to choose the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar instead of choosing the Egyptian king Necho II. There was no other option. God told them to choose Nebuchadnezzar. Did Nebuchadnezzar do a good job in finishing off the other enemies of God? He did. On the other hand, Necho II failed in his many attempted negotiations and alliances.

The Israelites refused to listen to the divine oracle and thus suffered defeat and were still taken to Babylon for a season to be cleansed, healed, to recuperate and restore their spiritual strength just as prophesied. These deportations are dated to 597 BC for the first, with others dated at 587/586 BC, and 582/581 BC respectively. After the fall of Babylon to the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 539 BC, exiled Judeans were permitted to return to Jerusalem and Judah of Israel. The temple of Jerusalem and the walls were re-built. Worship of the true God resumed.

This is a record of the history of God. When Christians read God’s history and look at what Jesus did to demonstrate how things in this world are done, we will know what to choose and who to vote for. We shall always align with the plan of God even in the bleakest time in our own history. Look at Jesus and look at the two choices, which do you think is more like Nebuchadnezzar? Who do you think will bring your nation out of its weakling’s position? Who is the strong man? Who will be given the might to defeat the many foes inside and outside? Was Nebuchadnezzar a godly man? Not at the beginning. But in the book of Daniel he finally encountered the reality of the God of Israel, our God. And Nebuchadnezzar turned over a new leaf.

Jesus demonstrated this equally seemingly unusual choice by choosing the chief tax collector, the ungodly rich man Zacchaeus in the land of Israel as his host for a dinner party. The Son of God Himself gave this honor and privilege to a person disliked and even hated by many fellow Jews. In today’s term, a most un-Christian person. What happened after he encountered Jesus? He was transformed and saved. He did lots of good deeds to his fellow countrymen.

Summary: Look at the divine records.

how does God speak

zechariah 4:6
Zechariah 4:6

In November[a] of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the Lord gave this message to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah and grandson of Iddo: This is what God has spoken to a prophet. Note that some of the words have come true in history. But some are yet to come. When the prophet first received the prophecies they had not come to pass yet but he was asked to tell God’s people to shout and rejoice! They were asked to believe and rejoice for something that was in a remote future. This is the way of God. He wants faith from His prophet and His people who listen to the messages from His messenger (men and women raised by God to speak God’s words as revealed to them by the Holy Spirit).

Bible verses
2:6 The Lord says, “Come away! Flee from Babylon in the land of the north,
2:10 The Lord says, “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you. 11 Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day, and they, too, will be my people. I will live among you, and you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me to you. 12 The land of Judah will be the Lord’s special possession in the holy land, and he will once again choose Jerusalem to be his own city. 13 Be silent before the Lord, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling.”

3:6 Then the angel of the Lord spoke very solemnly to Jeshua and said, 7 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.8 “Listen to me, O Jeshua the high priest, and all you other priests. You are symbols of things to come. Soon I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9 Now look at the jewel I have set before Jeshua, a single stone with seven facets.[c] I will engrave an inscription on it, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and I will remove the sins of this land in a single day.
10 “And on that day, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, each of you will invite your neighbor to sit with you peacefully under your own grapevine and fig tree.”

4:6 Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 7 Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: ‘May God bless it! May God bless it!’[a]”8 Then another message came to me from the Lord: 9 “Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. 10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”

6:12 Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Here is the man called the Branch. He will branch out from where he is and build the Temple of the Lord. 13 Yes, he will build the Temple of the Lord. Then he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne,[e] and there will be perfect harmony between his two roles.’ 15 People will come from distant lands to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. And when this happens, you will know that my messages have been from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. All this will happen if you carefully obey what the Lord your God says.

(The above readings are taken from the book of Zechariah from the Holy Bible, NLT)

A New Direction from Andrew Wommack

CBC worshipA personal note to all my readers from AAA Jack Watchman: I am led to post this following letter of appeal and update as I believe many of you are like me, beneficiaries of many years of good free teachings from Andrew Wommack. I have listened to his teachings since the time when we used cassette tapes. I am thankful for his vision and the encourage to carry through the Charis Bible College through which many are being trained and equipped for good works. I pray that the Lord will lead you as you read the letter. Thank you for reading. Regards and God bless, Jack

A New Direction (from Andrew Wommack)

Construction Continues at the Sanctuary
As I’m sure you’re aware, we had to pause our construction at The Sanctuary at the end of December 2015 because of finances. I actually took out a line of credit on December 22 to meet our obligations with television and salaries, but the great news is that we paid that back in less than forty-five days. Thank You, Jesus! We are back on track to do everything debt free.

My original plan was to wait until we built up a $4 million buffer before restarting construction. This was to absorb any fluctuations in income or expenses so we wouldn’t run into this problem again. But something happened that has presented me with a new opportunity.

We are so cramped for space at The Barn that we are facing forced limitations on how many people can come to our conferences. We are dealing with this by possibly having students and staff go down to our facilities in Colorado Springs and watch the meetings via live stream. This only affects our major meetings, such as Summer Family Bible Conference, the Ministers’ Conference, Healing Is Here, and Charis Business Summit.

But the more pressing issue is office space and our Phone Center. As I told you months ago, I gave up my office space at The Sanctuary, and we’ve moved as many people as possible down to our offices in Colorado Springs, which already house over 250 employees. I went to talk to one of our IT people at The Barn, and they are actually occupying a storage space on the roof for their offices.

Our Phone Center is 90 percent staffed by Charis Bible College students. This makes for wonderful prayer ministers who do a great job, but it hinders us during Charis class hours. Right now, one of our largest volumes of calls comes from Daystar viewers, beginning at 6:50 a.m. and continuing for the next hour. Our Charis students have to leave around 7:00 a.m. to make it up to Woodland Park by the start of classes at 8:00 a.m.

This drop in people available to answer calls has dramatically limited our ability to respond during this time. We are losing hundreds of calls per day. Some of them may call back later, but we don’t know that for sure.

To solve these problems, my staff proposed looking at places in Woodland Park to rent for additional space. If we had our call center nearby in Woodland Park, the students would be able to take the vast majority of these dropped calls. As we began this process, the man who heads up our construction came to me with the idea of finishing off the part of Phase II that will house our new Phone Center and additional office space. I didn’t know this was an option, but it appears that this will work.

So, we’ve come up with a new plan to finish off the second floor of Phase II on the north and east side of the building. This will allow us to have 150 people answering the phones at one time and will give us around 100 new work spaces.

The changes to accommodate this partial build-out are very minor, and the benefit is enormous. This could be completed by August 2016, and that would be just perfect to accommodate the 1,000 students expected for the new school year beginning in September.

I feel so good about this that I instructed my staff today to go ahead and pursue this plan. Of course, we need the whole building finished as quickly as possible-and I am continuing to believe for that-but this is a bite-sized piece that will provide us with some quick relief.

Over the last eighteen months, we have received an average of $791,000 per month designated for our building projects. It would require just over $1 million per month to complete this partial build-out, or an increase of about $300,000 per month over what we are receiving now. This is one-tenth of the cost of having construction on the whole building going at full throttle. I believe this is very doable and would stop the need for us having to rent additional facilities in Woodland Park.

I’m sending this letter out to the 100,000 people who receive our monthly mailings, and it will also go out to 185,000 people on our email list. We will record some television spots announcing this, reaching millions more. Altogether, this is a piece of cake for Jesus.

I’m asking you to pray about this and participate if the Lord directs you to. As I’ve said many times before, it’s not about the buildings. These buildings are just tools that enable us to minister the true Gospel to people. But they are essential for accomplishing that goal.

Jamie and I and all the people being impacted by this ministry appreciate all you have done and will be doing to get this done. I am more convinced than ever that the Lord is doing something special at Charis. Not long ago, I was able to sit in on chapel at Charis when the students received a taste of our latest musical, God with Us. The writers of all the original music for this were telling us about how people want them on Broadway and in Hollywood and can’t understand why they are living in a small town in the mountains of Colorado. But they shared how the Lord brought them here. This is just one more example of what God is putting together.

No man has done this. No man could do this. Even if I were smart enough to figure this out, there is no way I could compete with all that the secular world has to offer these people. We have millionaires and business tycoons who have fallen in love with Charis and are pouring their lives into these students. David Barton and political figures are investing time and effort into raising up people to take our nation back.

Our media department is training people to communicate the Gospel using all the tools available to us today. Our missions program and ministry track are touching lives all over the world. Our evangelism courses are making a profound impact on our students, who, in turn, are touching the people in their worlds.

Altogether, Charis is doing things I’ve never been able to do. It’s like a tank being brought into battle. Satan’s kingdom is being hurt by what the Lord is doing here. Thanks for being a part of it. We couldn’t do it without you.

Thanks in advance,

Andrew and Jamie

Become a Partner

Make a Donation

http://www.awmi.net

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;” – Psalms 46:1-2
Get help where you need it most, and see what’s happening with AWM.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The memory of promises we have made

promise keeperToday we promise. Promises of the ancients. Promises of Christians and followers of Jesus. Let us be promise keepers.

The Vow of the People: four solemn promises to the Lord our God

  1. Honor the Lord in our body (the temple of the Lord-the Holy Spirit): not to be joined intimately to the body of another faith (spirit).
  2. Honor the Lord in our occupation: set aside a day out of seven days for Him only. Not to be distracted by matters of work or transact commercially.
  3. Honor the Lord in active ministry: offerings, serving, various ministries and physical upkeep of the Lord’s temple.
  4. Honor the Lord in our attitude and lifestyle: put worship and ministering to Him as our first priority. 

Bible verses are quoted from Nehemiah 10:28-39 NLT (boldness and italics added as highlight)

28 Then the rest of the people—the priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, Temple servants, and all who had separated themselves from the pagan people of the land in order to obey the Law of God, together with their wives, sons, daughters, and all who were old enough to understand— 29 joined their leaders and bound themselves with an oath. They swore a curse on themselves if they failed to obey the Law of God as issued by his servant Moses. They solemnly promised to carefully follow all the commands, regulations, and decrees of the Lord our Lord:

30 We promise not to let our daughters marry the pagan people of the land, and not to let our sons marry their daughters.

31 We also promise that if the people of the land should bring any merchandise or grain to be sold on the Sabbath or on any other holy day, we will refuse to buy it. Every seventh year we will let our land rest, and we will cancel all debts owed to us.

32 In addition, we promise to obey the command to pay the annual Temple tax of one-eighth of an ounce of silver[b] for the care of the Temple of our God. 33 This will provide for the Bread of the Presence; for the regular grain offerings and burnt offerings; for the offerings on the Sabbaths, the new moon celebrations, and the annual festivals; for the holy offerings; and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel. It will provide for everything necessary for the work of the Temple of our God.

34 “We have cast sacred lots to determine when—at regular times each year—the families of the priests, Levites, and the common people should bring wood to God’s Temple to be burned on the altar of the Lord our God, as is written in the Law.

35 We promise to bring the first part of every harvest to the Lord’s Temple year after year—whether it be a crop from the soil or from our fruit trees. 36 We agree to give God our oldest sons and the firstborn of all our herds and flocks, as prescribed in the Law. We will present them to the priests who minister in the Temple of our God. 37 We will store the produce in the storerooms of the Temple of our God. We will bring the best of our flour and other grain offerings, the best of our fruit, and the best of our new wine and olive oil. And we promise to bring to the Levites a tenth of everything our land produces, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all our rural towns.

38 “A priest—a descendant of Aaron—will be with the Levites as they receive these tithes. And a tenth of all that is collected as tithes will be delivered by the Levites to the Temple of our God and placed in the storerooms. 39 The people and the Levites must bring these offerings of grain, new wine, and olive oil to the storerooms and place them in the sacred containers near the ministering priests, the gatekeepers, and the singers.

We promise together not to neglect the Temple of our God.”

Footnotes:

  1. 10:1 Verses 10:1-39 are numbered 10:2-40 in Hebrew text.
  2. 10:32 Hebrew tax of 1⁄3 of a shekel [4 grams].

progress to be made in hearing God

living water .jpgThis is a pertinent issue for every Christian. Progress to be made to hear God. When I read through some of my old blogs I realize the length, breadth, height, and depth I have gone since then. My old blogs of walking by the Spirit reflected what I went through during a time of change, from not knowing God the Holy Spirit to discovering and encountering God in the Spirit. Those were days of wonders. When I read some of my blogs now I find that I have nothing much to say of my own experience except in the words of God. The words of God are my daily experience. My wonders. My signs. Do I still see visions? Do I still talk to God and receive His replies? Do I open the Bible and often see the exact words He uses to answer me? Do I still receive confirmations? Do I still see His words come to pass? Are my prayers still being answered and requests granted? Do I still pray in new tongues? Am I hearing God’s yes or no clearly? can I still have regular conversation with the Lord? Have I received more new light in understanding His words? The answer to all the aforementioned questions is “YES”. Then why am I not sharing them with my readers? Because now I know they are for me for a purpose. All I need to do is to listen and follow.

I would encourage you to ask the Lord too for His specific guidance. Read His words, pray in tongues, ask, and listen and/or read His words again for confirmation. Always wait for His replies. I have a sharing about speaking in tongues or praying in tongues. One recent day I was walking on the treadmill and broke out in tongues. I prayed for sometime and worshiped in the spirit, singing songs in tongues. Then I realized I was praying in a tongue which I had never heard or prayed or spoken before. It just appeared and came out from me. I knew it’s a new tongue. I continued to let it flow out like what Jesus said, “rivers of living water will flow from within them. ” (John 7:38-39) another occasion I was woken to pray in tongues for my nation. After I prayed I asked the Lord about my own near future direction and I asked for a vision. The vision came. I asked further what it meant and heard the Lord telling me what to do next and when it would take place. So I recorded for my future reference.

end times witnessing: a doctor’s attitude

20160130_074620 copy
Be Resilient: as Jesus is so are we in this world.

“We write so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” This is the writer’s attitude of Dr. Luke. He writes with a specific focused goal in his mind. He wants to communicate the facts he has personally observed and carefully researched and investigated, in an orderly manner, clearly and accurately. This is how we write too when we talk about the matters of God. I have observed and researched healthcare prevention and treatment and have worked with friends who are in the medical line and my perception of the dedicated ones is that they are serious and very cautious about what they have learned and practiced in their line of profession. A doctor has told me that it is because they have to deal with life and death issue. Life and death issue is the line where we cannot afford to be casual and/or untruthful. This is the issue that our Lord Jesus has dealt with while on earth and taught His disciples to do the same. Luke has followed closely the disciples of Jesus. This is the tenth year of my personal blogging, from an individual Christian viewpoint, learning to communicate what I have personally observed, encountered, researched and investigated. Last night I was led to read the introductions of Luke in Luke 1:1-4, and Acts 1:1-5. How relevant this guide and goal for me is. The Lord has spoken again to me and I know I still have a long way to go. I pray that I shall be faithful and focused.

Luke 1:1-4 New Living Translation (NLT)

Introduction
1 Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. 2 They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples.[a] 3 Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus, 4 so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.

Footnotes:

1:2 Greek from those who from the beginning were servants of the word.

Acts 1:1-3 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

In my first book[a] I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with[b] water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Footnotes:

1:1 The reference is to the Gospel of Luke.
1:5 Or in; also in 1:5b.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Biblical baby name Luke is Hebrew in origin and its meaning is bringer of light, morning.

Luke is pronounced loo-k.

Luke was a physician in Rome and an early convert to Christianity. He befriended Paul, and was his companion during his many evangelical journeys and even imprisonment. Luke wrote one of the four gospels describing the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Luke is also called Lucas in the Bible.

Biblical reference for the name Luke:
2 Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24; Book of Luke; Acts of Apostles
Strong’s Bible Concordance G3065

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

Receive from God: blessings so good

two builders
Matthew 7:24 build on a solid rock -the words of God 

Blessings or curses: you choose. God spoke to His people through Moses. The blessings are really all that a Christian can ever ask for or imagine-like the apostle Paul saying: My God shall supply all you need according to the riches of His glory. Yes, God has offered this to you today.

Deuteronomy 28 New International Version (NIV)

Blessings for Obedience
28 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Curses for Disobedience (quoted in parts; please read from 15-64 from your Bible.)
15 However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:

16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country….25 The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. …33 A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. 34 The sights you see will drive you mad. 35 The Lord will afflict…38 You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it…43 The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. 44 They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail. 45 All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. 46 They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.

49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. 51 They will devour…They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you…58 If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God— 59 the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. 60 He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you…64 Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other…an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 66 You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see. 68 The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.

Footnotes:

Deuteronomy 28:20 Hebrew me

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.

Watchman’s adventure: Zechariah 6 and Revelation 6

RevelationToday the watchman was led to read the following verses (both recorded in 6:1-8) on the visions seen by the Prophet Zechariah in Zechariah 6:1-8 and visions seen by the Apostle John in Revelation 6:1-8. The name Zechariah is derived from the Hebrew זְכַרְיָה, meaningThe Lord has remembered.” The meaning of the name John in Hebrew is: “Jehovah has been gracious; has shown favor.”  

Summarized watchman’s notes on the similarities and differences between the two authors (Zechariah and John):

1. Both passages are about specific prophetic visions of the spiritual realms.

2. The same Spirit of the Lord has shown a prophet and an apostle visions which have some similarities and some differences.

For example: The colors of the horses: red, white, black are similar in both visions.; the riders (on horses or chariots) are spirits (angels) who are carrying out their assigned works throughout the whole earth.The works may differ in the timing and /or scale, but similar in their theme: judgement and punishment of evil.

3. The experiences of these two men of God are illustrations of how God (through His Spirit)  reveals His plans and their executions (big and small) to individuals according to the concerns in their hearts at the time:

For example: God has revealed to a prophet-priest who was concerned with Israel (his country)’s immediate future in relation with the Gentile nations surrounding it. The two horses (black and white) were sent to deal with the two hostile northern kingdoms (Babylon and Persia). On the other hand, God has also revealed plans and their executions regarding the destiny of the whole mankind to an apostle who has concern for man’s future on earth and in heavens.

4. God calls different individuals in different stages of their lives for His different specific plans and assignments.

For example: Zechariah was a young priest called and sent by God to return to Jerusalem to give the remnants of Israel the messages from God and assured them of God’s good long ranged plan for their nation, so that they are encouraged to rebuild the temple. He faithfully received and passed on the prophecies concerning their religious, social and political predicaments at that time. The record of his visions showed a time span of about five months.

John was one of the twelve apostles Jesus chose. John had been Jesus the risen Savior and Lord, discipled and sent out by Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, carried out his assigned work to faithfully testify for Jesus, and endured the related persecutions. When Jesus chose him to see the visions which he later recorded in the book of Revelation, John had matured into an elderly and well seasoned apostle. His spiritual perspective and worldview were ready for the big revelation from the Lord.

5. In both cases, the two individuals have made themselves available to God. The key word I have noted from their testimonies is: “Faithful”. How did these two men’s lives demonstrate this virtue? Zechariah was martyred between the sanctuary and the altar. (Luke 11:51; Matthew 23:35). John too, went through perilous time under Romans’ persecution and wrote the book of Revelation during his exile on the island Patmos. He was known to have lived till grand old age ( circa AD 6 – c. 108) When John was aged, he trained Polycarp who later became Bishop of Smyrna. This was important because Polycarp was able to carry John’s message to future generations.

 

Zechariah 6:1-8 New King James Version (NKJV) (boldness added)

Vision of the Four Chariots

6 Then I turned and raised my eyes and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming from between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of bronze. With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot dappled horses—strong steeds. Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”

And the angel answered and said to me, “These are four spirits of heaven, who go out from their station before the Lord of all the earth. The one with the black horses is going to the north country, the white are going after them, and the dappled are going toward the south country.” Then the strong steeds went out, eager to go, that they might walk to and fro throughout the earth. And He said, “Go, walk to and fro throughout the earth.” So they walked to and fro throughout the earth. And He called to me, and spoke to me, saying, “See, those who go toward the north country have given rest to My Spirit in the north country.”

Revelation 6:1-8 New King James Version (NKJV) (boldness added)

First Seal: The Conqueror

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals;[a] and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

Second Seal: Conflict on Earth

When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.”[b] Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.

Third Seal: Scarcity on Earth

When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart[c] of wheat for a denarius,[d] and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

Fourth Seal: Widespread Death on Earth

When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 6:1 NU-Text and M-Text read seven seals.
  2. Revelation 6:3 NU-Text and M-Text omit and see.
  3. Revelation 6:6 Greek choinix; that is, approximately one quart
  4. Revelation 6:6 This was approximately one day’s wage for a worker.

*Quoted:” four spirits of the heavens–heavenly spirits who “stand before Jehovah” to receive God’s commands ( Zechariah 4:14 , 1 Kings 22:19 , Job 2:1 , Luke 1:19 ) in heaven (of which Zion is the counterpart on earth, chariot speed ( 2 Kings 6:17 , Psalms 68:17 ) to execute them on earth in its four various quarters ( Psalms 104:4 , Hebrews 1:7 Hebrews 1:14 )’ ( http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/jamieson-fausset-brown/zechariah/zechariah-6.html)*