The First of Our Second Chances

Romans 3:10-18

Our loving Father is the God of second chances. His grace is so extensive that He offers countless opportunities to hear the gospel and receive His Son Jesus Christ as Savior. What’s more, He reaches into the muck of mankind’s sinful nature, rebellious spirit, perversity, and unclean language in order to save His beloved creation.

If you think that the Lord takes second chances lightly, read today’s passage carefully—it is a look at humanity through divine eyes. On our own, no matter how much we try to be good, we are foolish, useless, and evil. Thankfully, God’s grace is immeasurably greater than our sin.

Of course, the heavenly Father is a righteous judge who cannot ignore transgressions. If He did, He would not be the holy and just deity described in the Scriptures. While humanity might count passivity as kindness, the Lord considers grace an action word. As a result, He implemented a simple rescue plan for each person on earth: Whoever believes in Jesus Christ as Savior is forgiven. We are justified by faith and at peace with God (Rom. 5:1). The rebellious war we carried out against Him is over. Sins are washed off our heart. In fact, from God’s perspective, His children look as if they have never done wrong.

Jesus is our second chance. Apart from Him, there is no salvation, no justification, and no grace. Look again at the passage from Romans 3. It’s not possible to clean up one’s own heart—each man or woman must take advantage of the purity Christ purchased with His sacrifice on the cross.

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:

Now the time I spent to read that nonsensical attempt to explain why Jesus cursed a fig tree is forever lost. It was no more than a bunch of hullabooloo. Plain and simple, Jesus was hungry and he saw a fig tree which he went running for the fig. He didn't find any fig and as they say "a hungry man is an angry man" Jesus acted as he did many times during those three years when he hang out with his compadres, lash out at anyone and anything that seem to benefit more than he did.

Answer: ksazma are you an agnostic or an atheist? Just need to know who I am chatting with here.

Irrelevant condition.
      Answer: Not to me it isn't, I have my reason for asking.

1. Just because men chose to off a sacrifice to God to connect with him doesn't mean that God has to follow the same silliness in offering his son so that he can connect with men. If God was smart, he should just say, those fools doing stupidness. I am too great to do stupidness like them. What is so wrong with God that out of his infinite mercy, he couldn't just forgive his creation for their shortcomings especially since he is supposed to know that he created them with flaws. God's Holiness my ass. If God is so great and holy and can't be amongst sinful people, he should have done a better job of creating sinless people.

Answer: You missed the point, without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin. Is it that hard to comprehend.

Who said that blood sacrifice is necessary for the remission of sin? Not because the people of old made that mistake thinking it was, that means God should also make that mistake.

Answer: God Said it. God required animal sacrifices to provide a temporary covering of sins and to foreshadow the perfect and complete sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Leviticus 4:35, 5:10). Animal sacrifice is an important theme found throughout Scripture because “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). When Adam and Eve sinned, animals were killed by God to provide clothing for them (Genesis 3:21). Cain and Abel brought sacrifices to the Lord. Cain's was unacceptable because he brought fruit, while Abel's was acceptable because it was the “firstborn of his flock” (Genesis 4:4-5). After the flood receded, Noah sacrificed animals to God (Genesis 8:20-21).

What was God teaching them through those sacrifices? For one thing, He was teaching them the seriousness of sin. Sin isn’t insignificant or easily excused; blood must be shed to atone for it. God also was teaching them that He is holy and pure, and sin must be judged. But God was also teaching them about His grace and mercy, because instead of being put to death for their own sins, He was willing to accept a substitute.

But those sacrifices are no longer needed, because by His death on the cross Jesus made the final sacrifice for sin! The Bible says, “But now he has appeared once for all… to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26).

Then God is confused. Looks like he cannot make up his mind what is necessary of not. In Guyana we used to overuse the "a straight line is the shortest distance between two points" rule. Looks like God didn't know about that if he has people chasing their tails as he struggles to make up his mind on what is necessary and what is not.


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2. That is good because they only preach about a sinless Jesus. Somehow Christians don't see anything wrong with calling others pigs, dogs, swine, etc. just because they weren't Jewish.

Answer:
I don't know who you been talking too but we are all created in God's image therefore to call someone a despicable name as you mention is disrespectful. I think it's wrong, we are here to help and uplift each other and not the tear each other apart with words that hurt.

You been talking to the wrong Christians buddy.

If it is wrong for someone to call others despicable names, then you must have a real problem with Jesus because he called people all sorts of despicable names during those three years when he pranced around with his compadres.

Answer: Christians should not name call others because it comes from unrighteous anger. For example, someone accidentally steps on your shoes and you say fool. Do you know if that person is a fool? No, but are you angry he stepped on your shoes? Yes, that’s why you name called him.

Names that Jesus called people in the Bible:

  • hypocrites” – Matt 23:15
  • child of hell” – Matt 23:15
  • blind guides” – Matt 23:16
  • fools” – Matt 23:17
  • whited sepulchers” – Matt 23:27
  • full of… iniquity” – Matt 23:28
  • serpents” & “generation of vipers” – Matt 23:33
  • murderers” – Matt 23:34 

Jesus said the word fool and other name calling words, but they were from righteous anger. He was speaking the truth. God is all-knowing. He knows your heart and intentions and if He calls you a liar then you’re a liar.

If He calls you a fool then you’re a fool and you better change your ways immediately. If you deliberately take away and add words to the Bible to teach others you are a fool? Is that insulting you?

No because it’s the truth. All the ways of Jesus are righteous and He always has a just cause for calling someone a fool or a hypocrite. Refrain from unrighteous anger, be angry and do not sin.

The conclusion I draw is that in calling these religious leaders all these names, the Jesus did not react in anger or malice toward those who opposed Him. Instead, He declared their true character in hopes that they would come face-to-face with the truth about themselves and repent.

So, the big question a person needs to ask of themselves when they use name-calling as a tool, is this: Are you responding out of anger or malice, or compassion? Is your intent to shine a mirror and expose a person’s true character, or to make yourself feel better with "one-upmanship"? Are you hopeful that the person will repent as a result of your use of the name-calling technique, or could you care less? And do you suppose that you have the same ability to know a person’s heart as Jesus did to even attempt name-calling?

So Jesus do the same shit like others and his shit is righteous while others' is not? That is some really warped thinking. What makes him more righteous than others. There are more people who came into the world, worked their asses off for the benefit of others and left legacies and products that others can actually use to better themselves than Jesus did. All he did for 3 years is waltz around with his compadres criticizing others and never raising his hands to do anything for anyone, especially if that person was not Jewish. Talk about being a racist.

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3.  I have read more than enough. The reality was that Jesus even though he was supposed to be God and know everything didn't even know that one of his compadres was wicked and he recklessly stated that that wicked compadre was going to sit with him on the right hand of God as if God has hands, feet, eyes, etc. Makes me wonder is God also has a penis since he is a male God.

Answer: Alright....find where in the bible stated what you mention above then I will address it.....Then again if you find it I will mail you a check for $100. Agreed?

The second part of your question is not worth address, you let me know when you see Him.

Just proved that you gloss over the test because it is there in black and white. Actually it is in red in the Red Letter Bible. Like you have an issue of thinking if God has a penis too.

Answer: Have you notice that my answer to your questions reference the scriptures in the bible so to make clear I am not making anything up?

Now I am challenging you still! to find what you are referencing above in the bible and if you do my offer still stands.

I didn't say that you made anything up. You didn't write the Bible. I said that you gloss over things when you claimed that Jesus didn't call people names. Now I read that you see those name calling as righteous anger. Imagine anger coming from gentle Jesus. That is why I say it is al make believe pie in the sky nonsense.

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4. Sure you cannot answer for their downfall now that their mischief is public. But what happened to this amazing Holy Spirit that was supposed to be a seal to keep them from these mischiefs. That only goes to show that no Holy Spirit does anything. It is individual people who act out of their own humanity to do good or bad and they will be rewarded here or there if they there is a there.

I still see you don't understand anything about the holy spirit. Right now I need the holy spirit to help me exercise patience. I will leave it at that. I don't have the time to explain more if you are not willing to read and understand what's being stated.

I am sure you have hear about Guyana so call pope, you can add him to your list. The folks on your list have their own agenda their hearts are far from God, there only mission is to get rich or fulfill the lust of the flesh. Hey, I am not here to judge them, they will be a day when we will either here, well done my good and faithful servant" or "depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you".

They too thought/professed that they had the Holy Spirit in them.

In conclusion, it is all pie in the sky. All make believe hullabooloo that require going around in circles to explain the unexplainable.

Answer: I am sure you hear of the term wolf in sheep clothing, right?

Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

Romans: Chapter 16 verses 17-20: 17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.

18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil.

20 And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

And this is the final downfall of all. Because they profess to things that never happened and they can only do so for so long before that pretense wears off. They all talked to God. That is what preachers do. They claim to the public that they talk to God and then you find out that while they were supposed to be talking to God, they were actually talking to their hookers.

Now take that last passage you posted. How cam this God of peace hasn't crushed Satan under his feet as yet. Two thousand years later, the mightiest preachers and representatives of that God of peace are smelling that wonderful scent of their women than the scent of holy incense.

 

Oh witless KSAZMA! Who has bewitched you? Is it so hard to comprehend the above, even a child can understand. I am calling you 'witless' out of righteous anger base on your display here in this forum

How long am I going to saying without a blood sacrifice there is remission of Sin. I am not going to go back and for with you when what you are uttering here is so baseless, not substantial evidence to back up what you are saying.

I am still waiting for you to show where in the bible is the following:

"I have read more than enough. The reality was that Jesus even though he was supposed to be God and know everything didn't even know that one of his compadres was wicked and he recklessly stated that that wicked compadre was going to sit with him on the right hand of God"

When you find it then we can have a conversation.

Imran posted:

Question For Disciple Keith

1. Who is the father of Jesus

Imran I do my best to address your questions with references from both the Bible and Qur'an to support the answers.

Answer: Throughout history, no one has made a greater impact on this world than Jesus Christ, yet many people simply don’t understand who He is. Some believe His life began in a manger in the ancient town of Bethlehem, but in reality, He existed long before that (John 8:58). As a member of the Trinity, Jesus is the eternal Son of God,  the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob which means He has no beginning or end (John 1:1). His birth in Bethlehem was merely His physical entrance into the world He created.

Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, who came to earth to carry out the mission given to Him by His Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. At one point, He asked His disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" (Matt. 16:15). This is the question each of us must answer. There is no middle ground when it comes to deciding who Jesus is, because He claimed that He was the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Either He is the Son of God, or He’s a fraud.

In Matthew 16:16, when Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," Jesus told Him that the Father had revealed this truth to him (Matt. 16:17). We, too, need the Lord’s help to comprehend who Jesus is. The best way to understand Him is to examine His birth, life, and ministry as recorded in Scripture.

2.Was Jesus was born out of wedlock

Answer: It is surely not necessary to press this point further. The language of the Qur'an is unambiguous about the virgin-birth of Christ and further support for it is found in Surah 4.156. In that verse Mary is cleared from the base charge of the Jews that she had illegitimately conceived Jesus out of wedlock. Again Surah 21:91 explains the conception of Jesus as the direct action of God within an unmarried woman who was completely free of any unchastity.

Surely this is even more abundantly proved by the title Jesus is given more often than any other in the Qur'an - the son of Mary. It is common in Semitic communities to name a man as the son of his father, for example, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, Muhammad ibn Ishaq, Zaid ibn Sabet, etc., but we do not find men named as the sons of their mothers. Why then is Jesus so often called the son of Mary (Isa ibn Maryam) in the Qur'an? Surely the striking repetition of this name as well as its exceptional character demand that Jesus was born of his mother alone. Is not the frequency of this title evidence of the unique manner of the birth of Jesus? In the Qur'an the names of women are conspicuous by their absence. Surely the mother of Jesus is mentioned by name so regularly because of her significant place in human history as the only woman to bear a son while still a virgin. This alone can explain the prominence Mary receives in the Qur'an. It is safe to conclude that the Qur'an teaches the virgin-birth of Jesus Christ.

No right-thinking man will deny that the Bible also teaches the virgin-birth of Jesus Christ. Throughout its history the Christian Church has held to this belief and we need only quote this passage to prove that the doctrine is soundly based on the Bible:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus". Luke 1:26-31.

Twice the mother of Jesus is plainly described as a virgin in that passage. When she replied to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" (Luke 1.34), the angel then explained that the conception would not be by human means but by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. We are particularly privileged to have a second, independent account of the virgin-birth in the Bible and it is set forth in this passage:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins". Matthew 1:18-21.

Once again the conception of Jesus is described as being the result of he work of the Holy Spirit and once again, as in the Qur'an, it is found that an angel appears to explain the phenomenon, in this case to Joseph. Why should there be these instances of angelic manifestations to explain the birth of Jesus if his mother had conceived him through some other man? The texts speak plainly for themselves and there can be no question about the birth of Christ. The angel appeared to Joseph and Mary to explain to them both that the conception of Jesus was by the special intervention of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore Christians and Muslims have, in the birth of Jesus, something in which the Qur'an and the Bible are agreed. These two books both teach as a fact that he was born of a virgin-woman by the will of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

3. Why did Mary remain a virgin until Jesus birth.

Answer: Does it really matter whether or not Jesus was born of a virgin? Without the virgin birth, there would have been no acceptable sacrifice for sin and no hope of salvation.

Keith posted:

Oh witless KSAZMA! Who has bewitched you? Is it so hard to comprehend the above, even a child can understand. I am calling you 'witless' out of righteous anger base on your display here in this forum

How long am I going to saying without a blood sacrifice there is remission of Sin. I am not going to go back and for with you when what you are uttering here is so baseless, not substantial evidence to back up what you are saying.

I am still waiting for you to show where in the bible is the following:

"I have read more than enough. The reality was that Jesus even though he was supposed to be God and know everything didn't even know that one of his compadres was wicked and he recklessly stated that that wicked compadre was going to sit with him on the right hand of God"

When you find it then we can have a conversation.

Dude, I don't need to show you anything that you do not care to see. It is there in black and white. Who picks twelve people and tell them that they will be his compadres in heaven only to later learn that one of them betrayed him. If these mishaps are part of God's plan, the God must be one confused dude.

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:

Oh witless KSAZMA! Who has bewitched you? Is it so hard to comprehend the above, even a child can understand. I am calling you 'witless' out of righteous anger base on your display here in this forum

How long am I going to saying without a blood sacrifice there is remission of Sin. I am not going to go back and for with you when what you are uttering here is so baseless, not substantial evidence to back up what you are saying.

I am still waiting for you to show where in the bible is the following:

"I have read more than enough. The reality was that Jesus even though he was supposed to be God and know everything didn't even know that one of his compadres was wicked and he recklessly stated that that wicked compadre was going to sit with him on the right hand of God"

When you find it then we can have a conversation.

Dude, I don't need to show you anything that you do not care to see. It is there in black and white. Who picks twelve people and tell them that they will be his compadres in heaven only to later learn that one of them betrayed him. If these mishaps are part of God's plan, the God must be one confused dude.

I care to see where you are getting your misleading information from and there you go again with more misleading statement above that are highlighted in bold.

All I am asking of you is to show me where in the Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth the statement you made is located. I am sure others would love to see it if you assume I don't. You either have proof of what you are saying and just don't say anything at all.

A Lifetime of Second Chance

Romans 5:1-6

Paul used a beautiful phrase to describe the believer’s position in Christ: “We have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand ... ” (Rom. 5:2, emphasis added). This is no puddle of mercy that barely wets the toes, but rather a mighty ocean. The Lord’s kindness wraps around us without regard for our past mistakes and failures.

God’s grace is an essential concept for believers to understand. He freely offers His favor to mankind because Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross purchased forgiveness and salvation for anyone who believes. However, many people think they are enjoying God’s kindness when what they are really trying to do is earn it. If we have to purchase, merit, or work for grace, then it is not a gift (Eph. 2:8-9). The Lord is very clear that works cannot save us—in fact, He compares our good deeds to filthy rags (Isa. 64:6).

On the other hand, God’s grace is not license to be lazy; Christians are called upon to serve the Lord every day. From the outside, it is usually impossible to distinguish between works and service in someone else’s life. But God knows the motivation of every heart. He is pleased by the things we do to show Him our love and to express appreciation for His countless blessings. Such actions bring glory to His name.

Keep in mind that serving God in order to earn His favor or ensure that He continues blessing you amounts to thwarting grace. You can do nothing to deserve the Lord’s kindness! He pours it upon believers freely, so the only thing you can “do” is receive it.

Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:

Oh witless KSAZMA! Who has bewitched you? Is it so hard to comprehend the above, even a child can understand. I am calling you 'witless' out of righteous anger base on your display here in this forum

How long am I going to saying without a blood sacrifice there is remission of Sin. I am not going to go back and for with you when what you are uttering here is so baseless, not substantial evidence to back up what you are saying.

I am still waiting for you to show where in the bible is the following:

"I have read more than enough. The reality was that Jesus even though he was supposed to be God and know everything didn't even know that one of his compadres was wicked and he recklessly stated that that wicked compadre was going to sit with him on the right hand of God"

When you find it then we can have a conversation.

Dude, I don't need to show you anything that you do not care to see. It is there in black and white. Who picks twelve people and tell them that they will be his compadres in heaven only to later learn that one of them betrayed him. If these mishaps are part of God's plan, the God must be one confused dude.

I care to see where you are getting your misleading information from and there you go again with more misleading statement above that are highlighted in bold.

All I am asking of you is to show me where in the Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth the statement you made is located. I am sure others would love to see it if you assume I don't. You either have proof of what you are saying and just don't say anything at all.

Who was Judas to Jesus before the crucifixion? What role did he play amongst the disciples of Jesus? How long was he one of the twelve disciples and at what point was he no more one of those twelve disciples?

When It’s Wise to Wait

Psalm 130:1-8

Timing is critical in business, science, and sports. It’s also essential in a believer’s life. In order to keep in step with the Lord, we need to carry out His instructions in accordance with His timetable.

In God’s kingdom, waiting means seeking further direction from Him while remaining in our present circumstances. It encompasses both an attitude of expectancy—“God, what would You like me to do?”—and one of readiness—“God, I am willing to do as You direct.” It is our wisest course of action because we will ...

Receive direction. Too often, we make decisions based on the influence of our friends or culture. But God is the only source of true wisdom. He knows all things and answers us on the basis of His complete understanding. He is willing to give us clear direction for any decisions we are trying to make, large or small. He wants the very best for us in our personal life, whether the issue is marriage, school, business, or friendships (Psalm 32:8).

Get onto His timetable. God will also use the waiting period to bring us in line with His perfect timing. To others, it may appear as if we are delaying unnecessarily. However, knowing we are walking in concert with God will bring His divine peace to our hearts.

Be prepared for His answer and course of action. God may use a season of waiting to help us recognize ungodly motives and sin, and to strengthen our faith. Acting wisely begins with hearing from the Lord. When was the last time you waited to receive direction from Him?

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:

Oh witless KSAZMA! Who has bewitched you? Is it so hard to comprehend the above, even a child can understand. I am calling you 'witless' out of righteous anger base on your display here in this forum

How long am I going to saying without a blood sacrifice there is remission of Sin. I am not going to go back and for with you when what you are uttering here is so baseless, not substantial evidence to back up what you are saying.

I am still waiting for you to show where in the bible is the following:

"I have read more than enough. The reality was that Jesus even though he was supposed to be God and know everything didn't even know that one of his compadres was wicked and he recklessly stated that that wicked compadre was going to sit with him on the right hand of God"

When you find it then we can have a conversation.

Dude, I don't need to show you anything that you do not care to see. It is there in black and white. Who picks twelve people and tell them that they will be his compadres in heaven only to later learn that one of them betrayed him. If these mishaps are part of God's plan, the God must be one confused dude.

I care to see where you are getting your misleading information from and there you go again with more misleading statement above that are highlighted in bold.

All I am asking of you is to show me where in the Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth the statement you made is located. I am sure others would love to see it if you assume I don't. You either have proof of what you are saying and just don't say anything at all.

Who was Judas to Jesus before the crucifixion? What role did he play amongst the disciples of Jesus? How long was he one of the twelve disciples and at what point was he no more one of those twelve disciples?

Answer:  Judas Iscariot is typically remembered for one thing: his betrayal of Jesus. He was one of the twelve disciples who lived with and followed Jesus for three years. He witnessed Jesus’ ministry, His teaching, and His many miracles. He was the treasurer for the group and used this trusted position to steal from their resources (John 12:6).

Judas was a common name in that era, and there are several other Judases mentioned in the New Testament. One of the other disciples was named Judas (John 14:22), and so was one of Jesus’ own half-brothers (Mark 6:3). To differentiate, John 6:71 and John 13:36 refer to Christ’s betrayer as “Judas, son of Simon Iscariot.”

Scholars have several ideas about the derivation of the surname. One is that Iscariot refers to Kerioth, a region or town in Judea. Another idea is that it refers to the Sicarii, a cadre of assassins among the Jewish rebels.

The possible association with the Sicarii allows for interesting speculation about Judas’ motives for his betrayal, but the fact that he made a conscious choice to betray Jesus (Luke 22:48) remains the same. The surname Iscariot is useful, if for no other reason, in that it leaves no doubt about which Judas is being referred to.

Here are some of the facts we glean from key verses about Judas and his betrayal:

Money was important to Judas. As already mentioned, he was a thief, and, according to Matthew 26:13–15, the chief priests paid him “thirty silver coins” to betray the Lord.

Jesus knew from the very beginning what Judas Iscariot would do. Jesus told His disciples, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (John 6:70). And at the Last Supper, Jesus predicted His betrayal and identified the betrayer: “Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon” (John 13:26).

Jesus said that Judas Iscariot was not “clean”; i.e., he had not been born again and was not forgiven of his sins (John 13:10–11). In fact, Judas was empowered to do what he did by the devil himself: “As soon as Judas took the bread [that Jesus had given him], Satan entered into him” (John 13:27).

The other disciples had no clue that Judas Iscariot harbored treacherous thoughts. When Jesus mentioned a betrayer in their midst, the other disciples worried that it was they who would prove disloyal (John 13:22). No one suspected Judas. He was a trusted member of the Twelve. Even when Jesus told Judas, “What you are about to do, do quickly,” (John 13:27), and Judas left the Last Supper, the others at the table simply thought Judas had been sent to buy more food or to give something to charity (verses 28–29).

Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord with a kiss, perfectly in keeping with his brazen duplicity (Luke 22:47–48). After committing his atrocious act, Judas “was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders” (Matthew 27:3). But we learn that remorse does not equal repentance—rather than make amends or seek forgiveness, “he went away and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:5).

Judas Iscariot fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 41:9, “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me” (John 13:18). Yet Judas was fully responsible for his actions. Jesus said, “The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born” (Matthew 26:24).

Matthew 27:6–8 reports that the chief priests took the “blood money” from Judas and bought a potter’s field as a place for burying foreigners (thus fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 11:12–13). Acts 1:16–18 continues the story of what happened after Judas’ death and gives some additional information. Luke reports, “With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.” The additional detail we learn from Luke is that, after Judas hanged himself, his dead body fell into the very field purchased with his ill-gotten gains.

Given the fact of Judas’ close proximity to Jesus during three years of ministry, it is hard to imagine how he could follow through on such a dastardly betrayal. Judas’ story teaches us to guard against small, gradual failings that gain strength and power in our lives and that could open the door to more deadly influences. His story is also a great reminder that appearances can be deceiving. Jesus taught, "Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" (Matthew 7:22–23).

Refusing to Wait on God

Psalm 27:7-14

It’s always best to follow God’s timing. But if we run ahead of God or lag behind Him, that decision will often be costly.

Self-sufficiency moves us outside of the Lord’s will. The right thing done at the wrong time may leave us vulnerable to Satan’s schemes and can delay or even derail blessings God has planned for us. Acting on our own timetable can also bring confusion to us and others, as situations are likely to turn out differently from how we envisioned them. Then we may be facing not only unanticipated results but also problems.

By refusing to wait on God, we often cause ourselves unnecessary grief. For example, if we use credit cards to purchase unneeded clothes, electronic devices, and other indulgences, debt could pile up beyond our ability to pay. Then our credit rating would plummet, with little financial relief in sight. But when we manage money in accordance with biblical principles, our lifestyle will be less lavish, but we’ll have freedom and peace of mind.

And here’s another example: Quitting a job before the Lord has released us from it can short-circuit what He planned to teach us through it. We might subsequently discover that, had we held on a while longer, God might have changed either our circumstances or our attitude about the situation.

Certain character qualities are necessary if we are to develop a lifestyle of waiting on the Lord. We need patience to endure our present situation, steadfastness to carry out current responsibilities, and courage to trust the Lord as we await His solution in the midst of our discomfort. How good are you at waiting?

Correction: On Post dated: 1/3/17    @ 8:13 AM 

.......How long am I going to keep saying without a blood sacrifice there is no remission of Sin. I am not going to go back and for with you when what you are uttering here is so baseless, not substantial evidence to back up what you are saying............

Keith, you need to understand that god did not write the bible or any religious book. It was man himself. Religion was created by rich men to divide and conquer. Exploit the poor for material gains. How can one god write 4-5 different religious books? Wasn't this a recipe for disaster? If we are all god's children, how come a father can stand there watching his children suffering and killing each other?

How to Walk With

Genesis 5:21-24

Enoch had such a close walk with the Lord that Scripture says, “and he was not, for God took him” (Gen. 5:24). This means that Enoch did not die, but was taken directly into the presence of the Lord. What a wonderful testimony!

As we seek to follow God with passion like Enoch’s, let’s learn some specific steps that will help us grow in our walk with the Lord.

Reconciliation. This term essentially means “God moving toward us.” The joy of this step is that we bear no responsibility; it’s all up to Him. Through the cross of Jesus Christ, God has already made His move in our direction. (See2 Cor. 5:18.) When we place faith in the Savior, we immediately take part in that reconciliation.

Trusting God. Our heavenly Father wants us to know He is concerned with our spiritual growth. He also wants us to trust that He has, through Christ, provided the means by which we can walk intimately with Him.

Agreement. To appreciate the closeness God wants to have with us, we must agree with what His Word teaches about His Son, the church, and our problem with sin.

Fellowship. Just as our human relationships fall apart without regular contact, our intimacy with the Father weakens when we do not spend time with Him.

Walking with God is not an impossible mission, but it does require careful attention to the details of our Christian life. When we set our course for God, He will always be there to direct our path (Prov. 16:9).

skeldon_man posted:

Keith, you need to understand that god did not write the bible or any religious book. It was man himself. Religion was created by rich men to divide and conquer. Exploit the poor for material gains. How can one god write 4-5 different religious books? Wasn't this a recipe for disaster? If we are all god's children, how come a father can stand there watching his children suffering and killing each other?

Answer: skeldon_man my brother, it is accurate to say that God wrote the Bible. According to 2 Timothy 3:16, Scripture is “breathed out” by God. Throughout the Bible, it is obvious that God is being quoted: over 400 times in the Bible, we find the words “thus says the Lord” (NKJV). The Bible refers to itself as the Word of God dozens of times (e.g., Psalm 119; Proverbs 30:5; Isaiah 40:8; 55:11; Jeremiah 23:29; John 17:17; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is said to proceed from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4).

 However, saying that God wrote the Bible does not mean He took pen in hand, grabbed some parchment, and physically wrote the text of Scripture. His “writing” of Scripture was not a physical action on His part. Rather, God’s authorship was accomplished through the process of inspiration, as human writers wrote God’s message.

 So, it is also accurate to say that inspired men of God wrote the Bible. The doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture essentially teaches that God “superintended” the human authors of the Bible so that their individual styles were preserved but the end result was precisely what God wanted. When Matthew, for example, sat down to write an account of Jesus’ ministry, he relied on his memory (he was an eyewitness to the events he recorded) with help from the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), keeping his intended readership in mind (Matthew wrote for a Jewish audience). The result was the Gospel of Matthew—a narrative full of Matthew’s vocabulary, Matthew’s grammar, Matthew’s syntax, and Matthew’s style. Yet it was God’s Word. The Spirit had so guided Matthew’s writing that everything God wanted to say was said, and nothing was included that God did not intend to say.

 Peter described the process of inspiration this way: “Prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). The prophet Jeremiah spoke of inspiration almost as a compulsion to write God’s message: “His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” (Jeremiah 20:9). There was no escaping it; God wanted to communicate, and so Jeremiah had to write.

 Not every book of the Bible specifies who wrote it. For example, the author of the book of Hebrews is unknown. For many books of the Bible, there is simply no way to be certain who the human author is. But that doesn’t change what we are certain about, namely, who the Divine Author is.

 Famous writers through history have used amanuenses, or secretaries, to produce their literature. The poet John Milton was blind by the age of 44. His entire Paradise Lost was dictated to friends and relatives—anyone who would write for him—and that’s how the entire epic was recorded (a total of 10,550 lines of poetry). Even though Milton himself did not put pen to paper, no one questions that Paradise Lost is his work. We understand the function of an amanuensis. While God did not “dictate” His Word to the human authors, the principle is similar. God, the Ultimate Author of the Bible, used human agents as His “amanuenses,” and the result was the divinely inspired Word of God.

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:

Oh witless KSAZMA! Who has bewitched you? Is it so hard to comprehend the above, even a child can understand. I am calling you 'witless' out of righteous anger base on your display here in this forum

How long am I going to saying without a blood sacrifice there is remission of Sin. I am not going to go back and for with you when what you are uttering here is so baseless, not substantial evidence to back up what you are saying.

I am still waiting for you to show where in the bible is the following:

"I have read more than enough. The reality was that Jesus even though he was supposed to be God and know everything didn't even know that one of his compadres was wicked and he recklessly stated that that wicked compadre was going to sit with him on the right hand of God"

When you find it then we can have a conversation.

Dude, I don't need to show you anything that you do not care to see. It is there in black and white. Who picks twelve people and tell them that they will be his compadres in heaven only to later learn that one of them betrayed him. If these mishaps are part of God's plan, the God must be one confused dude.

I care to see where you are getting your misleading information from and there you go again with more misleading statement above that are highlighted in bold.

All I am asking of you is to show me where in the Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth the statement you made is located. I am sure others would love to see it if you assume I don't. You either have proof of what you are saying and just don't say anything at all.

Who was Judas to Jesus before the crucifixion? What role did he play amongst the disciples of Jesus? How long was he one of the twelve disciples and at what point was he no more one of those twelve disciples?

Answer: "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28). 

Judas forfeited his position when he betrayed Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:48). Judas later committed suicide (27:5).

Jesus gave Judas opportunity to repent before the deed by calling Judas "friend". "Friend, do what you are here to do". Judas was given this last chance. Notice that Jesus knew what Judas was contemplating, yet still called him "friend".

Notice the words, "that ye which have followed me". Judas did follow Jesus for a while, but in the end he did not follow Jesus. That is why he forfeited his position. According to Acts (1:24-26), Matthias was added to the eleven apostles.

Read Acts chapter 1 to support what was mention above in the last paragraph.

“[Acts chapter 1:15] And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

[Acts chapter 1:16] Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

[Acts chapter 1:17] For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

[Acts chapter 1:18] Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

[Acts chapter 1:19] And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

[Acts chapter 1:20] For it is written in the book of Psalms [Psalm 69:25], Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and [Psalm 109:8] his bishoprick let another take."

Note: Have you notice the old books of the bible, knows as the "old testament", even reference this and vise versa.

"[Acts chapter 1:21] Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

[Acts chapter 1:22] Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

[Acts chapter 1:23] And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

[Acts chapter 1:24] And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,

[25] That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

[Acts chapter 1:26] And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”

Keith posted:
skeldon_man posted:

Keith, you need to understand that god did not write the bible or any religious book. It was man himself. Religion was created by rich men to divide and conquer. Exploit the poor for material gains. How can one god write 4-5 different religious books? Wasn't this a recipe for disaster? If we are all god's children, how come a father can stand there watching his children suffering and killing each other?

Answer: skeldon_man my brother, it is accurate to say that God wrote the Bible. According to 2 Timothy 3:16, Scripture is “breathed out” by God. Throughout the Bible, it is obvious that God is being quoted: over 400 times in the Bible, we find the words “thus says the Lord” (NKJV). The Bible refers to itself as the Word of God dozens of times (e.g., Psalm 119; Proverbs 30:5; Isaiah 40:8; 55:11; Jeremiah 23:29; John 17:17; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is said to proceed from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4).

 However, saying that God wrote the Bible does not mean He took pen in hand, grabbed some parchment, and physically wrote the text of Scripture. His “writing” of Scripture was not a physical action on His part. Rather, God’s authorship was accomplished through the process of inspiration, as human writers wrote God’s message.

 So, it is also accurate to say that inspired men of God wrote the Bible. The doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture essentially teaches that God “superintended” the human authors of the Bible so that their individual styles were preserved but the end result was precisely what God wanted. When Matthew, for example, sat down to write an account of Jesus’ ministry, he relied on his memory (he was an eyewitness to the events he recorded) with help from the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), keeping his intended readership in mind (Matthew wrote for a Jewish audience). The result was the Gospel of Matthew—a narrative full of Matthew’s vocabulary, Matthew’s grammar, Matthew’s syntax, and Matthew’s style. Yet it was God’s Word. The Spirit had so guided Matthew’s writing that everything God wanted to say was said, and nothing was included that God did not intend to say.

 Peter described the process of inspiration this way: “Prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). The prophet Jeremiah spoke of inspiration almost as a compulsion to write God’s message: “His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” (Jeremiah 20:9). There was no escaping it; God wanted to communicate, and so Jeremiah had to write.

 Not every book of the Bible specifies who wrote it. For example, the author of the book of Hebrews is unknown. For many books of the Bible, there is simply no way to be certain who the human author is. But that doesn’t change what we are certain about, namely, who the Divine Author is.

 Famous writers through history have used amanuenses, or secretaries, to produce their literature. The poet John Milton was blind by the age of 44. His entire Paradise Lost was dictated to friends and relatives—anyone who would write for him—and that’s how the entire epic was recorded (a total of 10,550 lines of poetry). Even though Milton himself did not put pen to paper, no one questions that Paradise Lost is his work. We understand the function of an amanuensis. While God did not “dictate” His Word to the human authors, the principle is similar. God, the Ultimate Author of the Bible, used human agents as His “amanuenses,” and the result was the divinely inspired Word of God.

Keith, how do you account for Ezekiel seeing an alien vehicle with flashing multicolored lights and round wheel? Was that god in that vehicle visiting him? God gives all of us thinking power, some people use this this thinking power to exploit the poor in the form of religious beliefs. Paradise Lost is a myth. Can we safely say then that god gave Charles Darwin the thinking power to prove evolution?
From all you wrote, I did not see where you answered some of my questions.

Question:  Keith, how do you account for Ezekiel seeing an alien vehicle with flashing multicolored lights and round wheel? Was that god in that vehicle visiting him? God gives all of us thinking power, some people use this this thinking power to exploit the poor in the form of religious beliefs. Paradise Lost is a myth. Can we safely say then that god gave Charles Darwin the thinking power to prove evolution?
From all you wrote, I did not see where you answered some of my questions.

======================================
Answer: When time permits please read the entire chapter of Ezekiel 1:1-28 please. The interpretation by some including you that Ezekiel's vision was a UFO is absurd for at the end of the vision he identifies "the unidentified flying object" as having the likeness of the "glory of the LORD" and he "heard a voice speaking".

Ok, lets try to understand what is being said here in this chapter of Ezekiel, try not to get lost or fall asleep, it's important that we ready the entire chapter. Notice scriptures within the bible being mention to support the answer to your questions and nothing is made up.....ready...here goes.

The following is by Matthew Henry.

Verses 1-3

Ezekiel's First Vision by the River Chebar.B. C. 595.
 

1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. 2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity, 3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.

The circumstances of the vision which Ezekiel saw, and in which he received his commission and instructions, are here very particularly set down, that the narrative may appear to be authentic and not romantic. It may be of use to keep an account when and where God has been pleased to manifest himself to our souls in a peculiar manner, that the return of the day, and our return to the place of the altar (Genesis 13:4), may revive the pleasing grateful remembrance of God's favour to us. "Remember, O my soul! and never forget what communications of divine love thou didst receive at such a time, at such a place tell others what God did for thee."

I. The time when Ezekiel had this vision is here recorded. It was in the thirtieth year, Ezekiel 1:1. Some make it the thirtieth year of the prophet's age being a priest, he was at that age to enter upon the full execution of the priestly office, but being debarred from that by the iniquity and calamity of the times, now that they had neither temple nor altar, God at that age called him to the dignity of a prophet. Others make it to be the thirtieth year from the beginning of the reign of Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, from which the Chaldeans began a new computation of time, as they had done from Nabonassar 123 years before. Nabopolassar reigned nineteen years, and this was the eleventh of his son, which makes the thirty. And it was proper enough for Ezekiel, when he was in Babylon, to use the computation they there used, as we in foreign countries date by the new style and he afterwards uses the melancholy computation of his own country, observing (Ezekiel 1:2) that it was the fifth year of Jehoiachin's captivity. But the Chaldee paraphrase fixes upon another era, and says that this was the thirtieth year after Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law in the house of the sanctuary, at midnight, after the setting of the moon, in the days of Josiah the king. And it is true that this was just thirty years from that time and that was an event so remarkable (as it put the Jewish state upon a new trial) that it was proper enough to date form it and perhaps therefore the prophet speaks indefinitely of thirty years, as having an eye both to that event and to the Chaldean computation, which were coincident. It was in the fourth month, answering to our June, and in the fifth day of the month, that Ezekiel had this vision, Ezekiel 1:2. It is probably that it was on the sabbath day, because we read (Ezekiel 3:16) that at the end of seven days, which we may well suppose to be the next sabbath, the word of the Lord came to him again. Thus John was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, when he saw the visions of the Almighty, Revelation 1:10. God would hereby put an honour upon his sabbaths, when the enemies mocked at them, Lamentations 1:7. And he would thus encourage his people to keep up their attendance on the ministry of his prophets every sabbath day, by the extraordinary manifestations of himself on some sabbath days.

II. The melancholy circumstances he was in when God honoured him, and thereby favoured his people, with this vision. He was in the land of the Chaldeans, among the captives, by the river of Chebar, and it was in the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity. Observe,

1. The people of God were now, some of them, captives in the land of the Chaldeans. The body of the Jewish nation yet remained in their own land, but these were the first-fruits of the captivity, and they were some of the best for in Jeremiah's vision these were the good figs, whom God had sent into the land of the Chaldeans for their good (Jeremiah 24:5) and, that it might be for their good, God raised up a prophet among them, to teach them out of the law, then when he chastened them, Psalm 94:12. Note, It is a great mercy to have the word of God brought to us, and a great duty to attend to it diligently, when we are in affliction. The word of instruction and the rod of correction may be of great service to us, in concert and concurrence with each other, the word to explain the rod and the rod to enforce the word: both together give wisdom. It is happy for a man, when he is sick and in pain, to have a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, if he have but his ear open to discipline, Job 23:23. One of the quarrels God had with the Jews, when he sent them into captivity, we for mocking his messengers and misusing his prophets and yet, when they were suffering for this sin, he favoured them with this forfeited mercy. It were ill with us if God did not sometimes graciously thrust upon us those means of grace and salvation which we have foolishly thrust from us. In their captivity they were destitute of ordinary helps for their souls, and therefore God raised them up these extraordinary ones for God's children, if they be hindered in their education one way, shall have it made up another way. But observe, It was in the fifth year of the captivity that Ezekiel was raised up amongst them, and not before. So long God left them without any prophet, till they began to lament after the Lord and to complain that they saw not their signs and there was none to tell them how long (Psalm 74:9), and then they would know how to value a prophet, and God's discoveries of himself to them by him would be the more acceptable and comfortable. The Jews that remained in their own land had Jeremiah with them, those that had gone into captivity had Ezekiel with them for wherever the children of God are scattered abroad he will find out tutors for them.

2. The prophet was himself among the captives, those of them that were posted by the river Chebar for it was by the rivers of Babylon that they sat down, and on the willow-trees by the river's side that they hanged their harps, Psalm 137:1,2. The planters in America keep along by the sides of the rivers, and perhaps those captives were employed by their masters in improving some parts of the country by the rivers' sides that were uncultivated, the natives being generally employed in war or they employed them in manufactures, and therefore chose to fix them by the sides of rivers, that the good they made might the more easily be conveyed by water-carriage. Interpreters agree not what river this of Chebar was, but among the captives by that river Ezekiel was, and himself a captive. Observe here, (1.) The best men, and those that are dearest to God, often share, not only in the common calamities of this life, but in the public and national judgments that are inflicted for sin those feel the smart who contributed nothing to the guilt, by which it appears that the difference between good and bad arises not from the events that befal them, but from the temper and disposition of their spirits under them. And since not only righteous men, but prophets, share with the worst in present punishments, we may infer thence, with the greatest assurance, that there are rewards reserved for them in the future state. (2.) Words of conviction, counsel, and comfort, come best to those who are in affliction from their fellow sufferers. The captives will be best instructed by one who is a captive among them and experimentally knows their sorrows. (3.) The spirit of prophecy was not confined to the land of Israel, but some of the brightest of divine revelations were revealed in the land of the Chaldeans, which was a happy presage of the carrying of the church, with that divine revelation upon which it is built, into the Gentile world and, as now, so afterwards, when the gospel kingdom was to be set up, the dispersion of the Jews contributed to the spreading of the knowledge of God. (4.) Wherever we are we may keep up our communion with God. Undique ad c&oelig los tantundem est viæ --From the remotest corners of the earth we may find a way open heavenward. (5.) When God's ministers are bound the word of the Lord is not bound, 2 Timothy 2:9. When St. Paul was a prisoner the gospel had a free course. When St. John was banished into the Isle of Patmos Christ visited him there. Nay, God's suffering servants have generally been treated as favourites, and their consolations have much more abounded when affliction has abounded, 2 Corinthians 1:5.

III. The discovery which God was pleased to make of himself to the prophet when he was in these circumstances, to be by him communicated to his people. He here tells us what he saw, what he heard, and what he felt. 1. He saw visions of God, Ezekiel 1:1. No man can see God and live but many have seen visions of God, such displays of the divine glory as have both instructed and affected them and commonly, when God first revealed himself to any prophet, he did it by an extraordinary vision, as to Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-13), to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:1-19), to Abraham (Acts 7:2), to settle a correspondence and a satisfactory way of intercourse, so that there needed not afterwards a vision upon ever revelation. Ezekiel was employed in turning the hearts of the people to the Lord their God, and therefore he must himself see the visions of God. Note, It concerns those to be well acquainted with God themselves, and much affected with what they know of him, whose business it is to bring others to the knowledge and love of him. That he might see the visions of God the heavens were opened the darkness and distance which hindered his visions were conquered, and he was let into the light of the glories of the upper world, as near and clear as if heaven had been opened to him. 2. He heard the voice of God (Ezekiel 1:3): The word of the Lord came expressly to him, and what he saw was designed to prepare him for what he was to hear. The expression is emphatic. Essendo fuit verbum Dei--The word of the Lord was a really it was to him. There was no mistake in it it came to him in the fulness of its light and power, in the evidence and demonstration of the Spirit it came close to him, nay, it came into him, took possession of him and dwelt in him richly. It came expressly, or accurately, to him he did himself clearly understand what he said and was abundantly satisfied f the truth of it. The essential Word (so we may take it), the Word who is, who is what he is, came to Ezekiel, to send him on his errand. 3. He felt the power of God opening his eyes to see the visions, opening his ear to hear the voice, and opening his heart to receive both: The hand of the Lord was there upon him. Note, The hand of the Lord goes along with the word f the Lord, and so it becomes effectual those only understand and believe the report to whom the arm of the Lord is revealed. The hand of God was upon him, as upon Moses, to cover him, that he should not be overcome by the dazzling light and lustre of the visions he saw, Exodus 33:22. It was upon him (as upon St. John, Revelation 1:17), to revive and support him, that he might bear up, and not faint, under these discoveries, that he might neither be lifted up nor cast down with the abundance of the revelations. God's grace is sufficient for him, and, in token of that, his hand is upon him.

Verses 4-14

Vision of the Four Living Creatures. 
 

4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. 5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance they had the likeness of a man. 6 And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. 7 And their feet were straight feet and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. 8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides and they four had their faces and their wings. 9 Their wings were joined one to another they turned not when they went they went every one straight forward. 10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side they four also had the face of an eagle. 11 Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. 12 And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went and they turned not when they went. 13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.

The visions of God which Ezekiel here saw were very glorious, and had more particulars than those which other prophets saw. It is the scope and intention of these vision, 1. To possess the prophet's mind with very great, and high, and honourable thoughts of that God by whom he was commissioned and for whom he was employed. It is the likeness of the glory of the Lord that he sees (Ezekiel 1:28), and hence he may infer that it is his honour to serve him, for he is one whom angels serve. He may serve him with safety, for he has power sufficient to bear him out in his work. It is at his peril to draw back from his service, for he has power to pursue him, as he did Jonah. So great a God as this must be served with reverence and godly fear and with assurance may Ezekiel foretel what this God will do, for he is able to make his words good. 2. To strike a terror upon the sinners who remained in Zion, and those who had already come to Babylon, who were secure, and bade defiance to the threatenings of Jerusalem's ruin, as we have found in Jeremiah's prophecy, and shall find in this, many did. "Let those who said, We shall have peace though we go on, know that our God is a consuming fire, whom they cannot stand before." That this vision had a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem seems plain from Ezekiel 43:3, where he says that it was the vision which he saw when he came to destroy the city, that is, to prophesy the destruction of it. 3. To speak comfort to those that feared God, and trembled at his word, and humbled themselves under his mighty hand. "Let them know that, though they are captives in Babylon, yet they have God nigh unto them though they have not the place of the sanctuary to be their glorious high throne, they have the God of the sanctuary." Dr. Lightfoot observes, "Now that the church is to be planted for a long time in another country, the Lord shows a glory in the midst of them, as he had done at their first constituting into a church in the wilderness and out of a cloud and fire, as he had done there, he showed himself and from between living creatures, as from between the cherubim, he gives his oracles." This put an honour upon them, by which they might value themselves when the Chaldeans insulted over them, and this might encourage their hopes of deliverance in due time.

Now, to answer these ends, we have in Ezekiel 1:4-14 the first part of the vision, which represents God as attended and served by an innumerable company of angels, who are all his messengers, his ministers, doing his commandments and hearkening to the voice of his word. This denotes his grandeur, as it magnifies an earthly prince to have a splendid retinue and numerous armies at his command, which engages his allies to trust him and his enemies to fear him.

I. The introduction to this vision of the angels is very magnificent and awakening, Ezekiel 1:4. The prophet, observing the heavens to open, looked, looked up (as it was time), to see what discoveries God would make to him. Note, When the heavens are opened it concerns us to have our eyes open. To clear the way, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, which would drive away the interposing mists of this lower region. Fair weather comes out of the north, and thence the wind comes that drives away rain. God can by a whirlwind clear the sky and air, and produce that serenity of mind which is necessary to our communion with Heaven. Yet this whirlwind was attended with a great cloud. When we think that the clouds which arise from this earth are dispelled and we can see beyond them, yet still there is a cloud which heavenly things are wrapped in, a cloud from above, so that we cannot order our speech concerning them by reason of darkness. Christ here descended, as he ascended, in a cloud. Some by this whirlwind and cloud understand the Chaldean army coming out of the north against the land of Judah, bearing down all before them as a tempest and so it agrees with that which was signified by one of the first of Jeremiah's visions (Jeremiah 1:14, Out of the north an evil shall break forth) but I take it here as an introduction rather to the vision than to the sermons. This whirlwind came to Ezekiel (as that to Elijah, 1 Kings 19:11), to prepare the way of the Lord, and to demand attention. He that has eyes, that has ears, let him see, let him hear.

II. The vision itself. A great cloud was the vehicle of this vision, in which it was conveyed to the prophet for God's pavilion in which he rests, his chariot in which he rides, is darkness and thick clouds, Psalm 18:11,104:3. Thus he holds back the face of his throne, lest its dazzling light and lustre should overpower us, by spreading a cloud upon it. Now,

1. The cloud is accompanied with a fire, as upon Mount Sinai, where God resided in a thick cloud but the sight of his glory was like a devouring fire (Exodus 24:16,17), and his first appearance to Moses was in a flame of fire in the bush for our God is a consuming fire. This was a fire enfolding itself, a globe, or orb, or wheel of fire. God being his own cause, his own rule, and his own end, if he be as a fire, he is as a fire enfolding itself, or (as some read it) kindled by itself. The fire of God's glory shines forth, but it quickly enfolds itself for he lets us know but part of his ways the fire of God's wrath breaks forth, but it also quickly enfolds itself, for the divine patience suffers not all his wrath to be stirred up. If it were not a fire thus enfolding itself, O Lord! who shall stand?

2. The fire is surrounded with a glory: A brightness was about it, in which it enfolded itself, yet it made some discovery of itself. Though we cannot see into the fire, cannot by searching find out God to perfection, yet we see the brightness that is round about it, the reflection of this fire from the thick cloud. Moses might see God's back parts, but not his face. We have some light concerning the nature of God, from the brightness which encompasses it, though we have not an insight into it, by reason of the cloud spread upon it. Nothing is more easy than to determine that God is, nothing more difficult than to describe what he is. When God displays his wrath as fire, yet there is a brightness about it for his holiness and justice appear very illustrious in the punishment of sin and sinners: even about the devouring fire there is a brightness, which glorified saints will for ever admire.

3. Out of this fire there shines the colour of amber. We are not told who or what it was that had this colour of amber, and therefore I take it to be the whole frame of the following vision, which came into Ezekiel's view out of the midst of the fire and brightness and the first thing he took notice of before he viewed the particulars was that it was of the colour of amber, or the eye of amber that is, it looked as amber does to the eye, of a bright flaming fiery colour, the colour of a burning coal so some think it should be read. The living creatures which he saw coming out of the midst of the fire were seraphim--burners for he maketh his angels spirits, his ministers a flaming fire.

4. That which comes out of the fire, of a fiery amber colour, when it comes to be distinctly viewed, is the likeness of four living creatures not the living creatures themselves (angels are spirits, and cannot be seen), but the likeness of them, such a hieroglyphic, or representation, as God saw fit to make use of for the leading of the prophet, and us with him, into some acquaintance with the world of angels (a matter purely of divine revelation), so far as is requisite to possess us with an awful sense of the greatness of that God who has angels for his attendants, and the goodness of that God who has appointed them to be attendants on his people. The likeness of these living creatures came out of the midst of the fire for angels derive their being and power from God they are in themselves, and to us, what he is pleased to make them their glory is a ray of his. The prophet himself explains this vision (Ezekiel 10:20): I knew that the living creatures were the cherubim, which is one of the names by which the angels are known in scripture. To Daniel was made known their number, ten thousand times ten thousand, Daniel 7:10. But, though they are many, yet they are one, and that is made known to Ezekiel here they are one in nature and operation, as an army, consisting of thousands, is yet called a body of men. We have here an account of,

(1.) Their nature. They are living creatures they are the creatures of God, the work of his hands their being is derived they have not life in and of themselves, but receive it from him who is the fountain of life. As much as the living creatures of this lower world excel the vegetables that are the ornaments of earth, so much do the angels, the living creatures of the upper world, excel the sun, moon, and stars, the ornaments of the heavens. The sun (say some) is a flame of fire enfolding itself, but it is not a living creature, as angels, those flames of fire, are. Angels are living creatures, living beings, emphatically so. Men on earth are dying creatures, dying daily (in the midst of life we are in death), but angels in heaven are living creatures they live indeed, live to good purpose and, when saints come to be equal unto the angels, they shall not die any more, Luke 20:36.

(2.) Their number. They are four so they appear here, though they are innumerable not as if these were four particular angels set up above the rest, as some have fondly imagined, Michael and Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel, but for the sake of the four faces they put on, and to intimate their being sent forth towards the four winds of heaven, Matthew 24:31. Zechariah saw them as four chariots going forth east, west, north, and south, Zechariah 6:1. God has messengers to send every way for his kingdom is universal, and reaches to all parts of the world.

(3.) Their qualifications, by which they are fitted for the service of their Maker and Master. These are set forth figuratively and by similitude, as is proper in visions, which are parables to the eye. Their description here is such, and so expressed, that I think it is not possible by it to form an exact idea of them in our fancies, or with the pencil, for that would be a temptation to worship them but the several instances of their fitness for the work they are employed in are intended in the several parts of this description. Note, It is the greatest honour of God's creatures to be in a capacity of answering the end of their creation and the more ready we are to every good work the nearer we approach to the dignity of angels. These living creatures are described here, [1.] By their general appearance: They had the likeness of a man they appeared, for the main, in a human shape, First, To signify that these living creatures are reasonable creatures, intelligent beings, who have the spirit of a man which is the candle of the Lord. Secondly, To put an honour upon the nature of man, who is made lower, yet but a little lower, than the angels, in the very next rank of beings below them. When the invisible intelligences of the upper world would make themselves visible, it is in the likeness of man. Thirdly, To intimate that their delights are with the sons of men, as their Master's are (Proverbs 8:31), that they do service to men, and men may have spiritual communion with them by faith, hope, and holy love. Fourthly, The angels of God appear in the likeness of man because in the fulness of time the Son of God was not only to appear in that likeness, but to assume that nature they therefore show this love to it. [2.] By their faces: Every one had four faces, looking four several ways. In St. John's vision, which has a near affinity with this, each of the four living creatures has one of these faces here mentioned (Revelation 4:7) here each of them has all four, to intimate that they have all the same qualifications for service though, perhaps, among the angels of heaven, as among the angels of the churches, some excel in one gift and others in another, but all for the common service. Let us contemplate their faces till we be in some measure changed into the same image, that we may do the will of God as the angels do it in heaven. They all four had the face of a man (for in that likeness they appeared, Ezekiel 1:5), but, besides that, they had the face of a lion, an ox, and an eagle, each masterly in its kind, the lion among wild beasts, the ox among tame ones, and the eagle among fowls, Ezekiel 1:10. Does God make use of them for the executing of judgments upon his enemies? They are fierce and strong as the lion and the eagle in tearing their prey. Does he make use of them for the good of his people? They are as oxen strong for labour and inclined to serve. And in both they have the understanding of a man. The scattered perfections of the living creatures on earth meet in the angels of heaven. They have the likeness of man but, because there are some things in which man is excelled even by the inferior creatures, they are therefore compared to some of them. They have the understanding of a man, and such as far exceeds it they also resemble man in tenderness and humanity. But, First, A lion excels man in strength and boldness, and is much more formidable therefore the angels, who in this resemble them, put on the face of a lion. Secondly, An ox excels man in diligence, and patience, and painstaking, and an unwearied discharge of the work he has to do therefore the angels, who are constantly employed in the service of God and the church, put on the face of an ox. Thirdly, An eagle excels man in quickness and piercingness of sight, and in soaring high and therefore the angels, who seek things above, and see far into divine mysteries, put on the face of a flying eagle. [3.] By their wings: Every one had four wings, Ezekiel 1:6. In the vision Isaiah had of them they appeared with six, now with four for they appeared above the throne, and had occasion for two to cover their faces with. The angels are fitted with wings to fly swiftly on God's errands whatever business God sends them upon they lose no time. Faith and hope are the soul's wings, upon which it soars upward pious and devout affections are its wings on which it is carried forward with vigour and alacrity. The prophet observes here, concerning their wings, First, That they were joined one to another, Ezekiel 1:9 and again Ezekiel 1:11. They did not make use of their wings for fighting, as some birds do there is no contest among the angels. God makes peace, perfect peace, in his high places. But their wings were joined, in token of their perfect unity and unanimity and the universal agreement there is among them. Secondly, That they were stretched upward, extended, and ready for use, not folded up, or flagging. Let an angel receive the least intimation of the divine will, and he has nothing to seek, but is upon the wings immediately while our poor dull souls are like the ostrich, that with much difficulty lifts up herself on high. Thirdly, That two of their wings were made use of in covering their bodies, the spiritual bodies they assumed. The clothes that cover us are our hindrance in work angels need no other covering than their own wings, which are their furtherance. They cover their bodies from us, so forbidding us needless enquiries concerning them. Ask not after them, for they are wonderful, Judges 13:18. They cover them before God, so directing us, when we approach to God, to see to it that we be so clothed with Christ's righteousness that the shame of our nakedness may not appear. [4.] By their feet, including their legs and thighs: They were straight feet (Ezekiel 1:7) they stood straight, and firm, and steady no burden of service could make their legs to bend under them. The spouse makes this part of the description of her beloved, that his legs were as pillars of marble set upon sockets of fine gold (Song of Song of Solomon 5:15) such are the angels' legs. The sole of their feet was like that of a calf's foot, which divides the hoof and is therefore clean: as it were the sole of a round foot (as the Chaldee words it) they were ready for motion any way. Their feet were winged (so the LXX.) they went so swiftly that it was as if they flew. And their very feet sparkled like the colour of burnished brass not only the faces, but the very feet, of those are beautiful whom God sends on his errands (Isaiah 52:7) every step the angels take is glorious. In the vision John had of Christ it is said, His feet were like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace, Revelation 1:15. [5.] By their hands (Ezekiel 1:8): They had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides, an arm and a hand under every wing. They had not only wings for motion, but hands for action. Many are quick who are not active they hurry about a great deal, but do nothing to purpose, bring nothing to pass they have wings, but no hands: whereas God's servants, the angels, not only go when he sends them and come when he calls them, but do what he bids them. They are the hands of a man, which are wonderfully made and fitted for service, which are guided by reason and understanding for what angles do they do intelligently and with judgment. They have calves' feet this denotes the swiftness of their motion (the cedars of Lebanon are said to skip like a calf, Psalm 29:6) but they have a man's hand, which denotes the niceness and exactness of their performances, as the heavens are said to be the work of God's fingers. Their hands were under their wings, which concealed them, as they did the rest of their bodies. Note, The agency of angels is a secret thing and their work is carried on in an invisible way. In working for God, though we must not, with the sluggard, hide our hand in our bosom, yet we must, with the humble, not let our left hand know what our right hand doeth. We may observe that where these wings were their hands were under their wings wherever their wings carried them they carried hands along with them, to be still doing something suitable something that the duty of the place requires.

(4.) Their motions. The living creatures are moving. Angels are active beings it is not their happiness to sit still and do nothing, but to be always well employed and we must reckon ourselves then best when we are doing good, doing it as the angels do it, or whom it is here observed, [1.] That whatever service they went about they went every one straight forward (Ezekiel 1:9,12), which intimates, First, That they sincerely aimed at the glory of God, and had a single eye to that, in all they did. Their going straight forward supposes that they looked straight forward, and never had any sinister intentions in what they did. And, if thus our eye be single, our whole body will be full of light. The singleness of the eye is the sincerity of the heart. Secondly, That they were intent upon the service they were employed in, and did it with a close application of mind. They went forward with their work for what their hand found to do they did with all their might and did not loiter in it. Thirdly, That they were unanimous in it: They went straight forward, every one about his own work they did not thwart or jostle one another, did not stand in one another's light, in one another's way. Fourthly, That they perfectly understood their business, and were thoroughly apprised of it, so that they needed not to stand still, to pause of hesitate, but pursue their work with readiness, as those that knew what they had to do and how to do it. Fifthly, They were steady and constant in their work. They did not fluctuate, did not tire, did not vary, but were of a piece with themselves. They moved in a direct line, and so went the nearest way to work in all they did and lost no time. When we go straight we go forward when we serve God with one heart we rid ground, we rid work. [2.] They turned not when they went, Ezekiel 1:9,12. First, They made no blunders or mistakes, which would give them occasion to turn back to rectify them their work needed no correction, and therefore needed not to be gone over again. Secondly, They minded no diversions as they turned not back, so they turned not aside, to trifle with any thing that was foreign to their business. [3.] They went whither the Spirit was to go (Ezekiel 1:12), either, First, Whither their own spirit was disposed to go thither they went, having no bodies, as we have, to clog or hinder them. It is our infelicity and daily burden that, when the spirit if willing, yet the flesh is weak and cannot keep pace with it, so that the good which we would do we do it not but angels and glorified saints labour under no such impotency whatever they incline or intend to do they do it, and never come short of it. Or, rather, Secondly, Whithersoever the Spirit of God would have them go, thither they went. Though they had so much wisdom of their own, yet in all their motions and actions they subjected themselves to the guidance and government of the divine will. Whithersoever the divine Providence was to go they went, to serve its purposes and to execute its orders. The Spirit of God (says Mr. Greenhill) is the great agent that sets angels to work, and it is their honour that they are led, they are easily led, by the Spirit. See how tractable and obsequious these noble creatures are. Whithersoever the Spirit is to go they go immediately, with all possible alacrity. Note, Those that walk after the Spirit do the will of God as the angels do it. [4.] They ran and returned like a flash of lightning, Ezekiel 1:14. This intimates, First, That they made haste they were quick in their motions, as quick as lightning. Whatever business they went about they despatched it immediately, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Happy they that have no bodies to retard their motion in holy exercises. And happy shall we be when we come to have spiritual bodies for spiritual work. Satan falls like lightning into his own ruin, Luke 10:18. Angels fly like lightning in their Master's work. The angel Gabriel flew swiftly. Secondly, That they made haste back: They ran and returned ran to do their work and execute their orders, and then returned to give an account of what they had done and receive new instructions, that they might be always doing. They ran into the lower world, to do what was to be done there but, when they had done it, they returned like flash of lightning to the upper world again, to the beatific vision of their God, which they could not with any patience be longer from than their service did require. Thus we should be in the affairs of this world as out of our element. Though we run into them, we must not repose in them, but our souls must quickly return like lightning to God their rest and centre.

5. We have an account of the light by which the prophet saw these living creatures, or the looking-glass in which he saw them, Ezekiel 1:13. (1.) He saw them by their own light, for their appearance was like burning coals of fire they are seraphim-burners, denoting the ardour of their love to God, their fervent zeal in his service, their splendour and brightness, and their terror against God's enemies. When God employs them to fight his battles they are as coals of fire (Psalm 18:12) to devour the adversaries, as lightnings shot out to discomfit them. (2.) He saw them by the light of some lamps, which went up and down among them, the shining whereof was very bright. Satan's works are works of darkness he is the ruler of the darkness of this world. But the angels of light are in the light, and, though they conceal their working, they show their work, for it will bear the light. But we see them and their works only by candle-light, but the dim light of lamps that go up and down among them when the day breaks, and the shadows flee away, we shall see them clearly. Some make the appearance of these burning coals, and of the lightning that issues out of the fire, to signify the wrath of God, and his judgments, that were now to be executed upon Judah and Jerusalem for their sins, in which angels were to be employed and accordingly we find afterwards coals of fire scattered upon the city to consume it, which were fetched from between the cherubim, Ezekiel 10:2. But by the appearance of the lamps then we may understand the light of comfort which shone forth to the people of God in the darkness of this present trouble. If the ministry of the angels is as a consuming fire to God's enemies, it is as a rejoicing light to his own children. To the one this fire is bright, it is very reviving and refreshing to the other, out of the fire comes fresh lightning to destroy them. Note, Good angels are our friends, or enemies, according as God is.

Verses 15-25

The Vision of the Wheels. 
 

15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. 17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went. 18 As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful and their rings were full of eyes round about them four. 19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. 20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. 21 When those went, these went and when those stood, these stood and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 22 And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above. 23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies. 24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of a host: when they stood, they let down their wings. 25 And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.

The prophet is very exact in making and recording his observations concerning this vision. And here we have,

I. The notice he took of the wheels, Ezekiel 1:15-21. The glory of God appears not only in the splendour of his retinue in the upper world, but in the steadiness of his government here in this lower world. Having seen how God does according to his will in the armies of heaven, let us now see how he does according to it among the inhabitants of the earth for there, on the earth, the prophet saw the wheels, Ezekiel 1:15. As he beheld the living creatures, and was contemplating the glory of that vision and receiving instruction from it, this other vision presented itself to his view. Note, Those who make a good use of the discoveries God has favoured them with may expect further discoveries for to him that hath shall be given. We are sometimes tempted to think there is nothing glorious but what is in the upper world, whereas, could we with an eye of faith discern the beauty of Providence and the wisdom, power, and goodness, which shine in the administration of that kingdom, we should see, and say, Verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth and acts like himself. There are many things in this vision which give us some light concerning the divine Providence. 1. The dispensations of Providence are compared to wheels, either the wheels of a chariot, in which the conqueror rides in triumph, or rather the wheels of a clock or watch, which all contribute to the regular motion of the machine. We read of the course or wheel of nature (James 3:6), which is here set before us as under the direction of the God of nature. Wheels, though they move not of themselves, as the living creatures do, are yet made movable and are almost continually kept in action. Providence, represented by these wheels, produces changes sometimes one spoke of the wheel is uppermost and sometimes another but the motion of the wheel on its own axletree, like that of the orbs above, is very regular and steady. The motion of the wheels is circular by the revolutions of Providence things are brought to the same posture and pass which they were in formerly for the thing that is is that which has been, and there is no new thing under the sun, Ecclesiastes 1:9,10. 2. The wheel is said to be by the living creatures, who attended it to direct its motion for the angels are employed as the ministers of God's providence, and have a greater hand in directing the motions of second causes to serve the divine purpose than we think they have. Such a close connexion is there between the living creatures and the wheels that they moved and rested together. Were angels busily employed? Men were busily employed as instruments in their hand, whether of mercy or judgment, though they themselves were not aware of it. Or, Are men active to compass their designs? Angels at the same time are acting to control and overrule them. This is much insisted on here (Ezekiel 1:19): When the living creatures went, to bring about any business, the wheels went by them when God has work to do by the ministry of angels second causes are all found, or made, ready to concur in it and (Ezekiel 1:21) when those stood these stood when the angels had done their work the second causes had done theirs. If the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, were elevated to any service above the common course of nature and out of the ordinary road (as suppose in the working of miracles, the dividing of the water, the standing still of the sun), the wheels, contrary to their own natural tendency, which is towards the earth, move in concert with them, and are lifted up over against them this is thrice mentioned, Ezekiel 1:19-21. Note, All inferior creatures are, and move, and act, as the Creator, by the ministration of angels, directs and influences them. Visible effects are managed and governed by invisible causes. The reason given of this is because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels the same wisdom, power, and holiness of God, the same will and counsel of his, that guides and governs the angels and all their performances, does, by them, order and dispose of all the motions of the creatures in this lower world and the events and issues of them. God is the soul of the world, and animates the whole, both that above and that beneath, so that they move in perfect harmony, as the upper and lower parts of the natural body do, so that whithersoever the Spirit is to go (whatever God wills and purposes to be done and brought to pass) thither their spirit is to go that is, the angels, knowingly and designedly, set themselves to bring it about. And their spirit is in the wheels, which are therefore lifted up over against them that is, both the powers of nature and the wills of men are all made to serve the intention, which they infallibly and irresistibly effect, though perhaps they mean not so, neither doth their heart think so, Isaiah 10:7; Micah 4:11,12. Thus, though the will of God's precept be not done on earth as it is done in heaven, yet the will of his purpose and counsel is, and shall be. 3. The wheel is said to have four faces, looking four several ways (Ezekiel 1:15), denoting that the providence of God exerts itself in all parts of the world, east, west, north, and south, and extends itself to the remotest corners of it. Look which way you will upon the wheel of Providence, and it has a face towards you, a beautiful one, which you may admire the features and complexion of it looks upon you as ready to speak to you, if you be but ready to hear the voice of it like a well-drawn picture, it has an eye upon all that have an eye upon it. The wheel had so four faces that it had in it four wheels, which went upon their four sides, Ezekiel 1:17. At first Ezekiel saw it as one wheel (Ezekiel 1:15), one sphere but afterwards he saw it was four, but they four had one likeness (Ezekiel 1:16) not only they were like one another, but they were as if they had been one. This intimates, (1.) That one event of providence is like another what happens to us is that which is common to men and what we are not to think strange. (2.) That various events have a tendency to the same issue and concur to answer the same intention. 4. Their appearance and their work are said to be like the colour of a beryl (Ezekiel 1:16), the colour of Tarshish (so the word is), that is, of the sea the beryl is of that colour, sea-green blue Neptune we call it. The nature of things in this world is like that of the sea, which is in a continual flux and yet there is a constant coherence and succession of its parts. There is a chain of events which is always drawing one way or other. The sea ebbs and flows, so does Providence in its disposals, but always in the stated appointed times and measures. The sea looks blue, as the air does, because of the shortness and feebleness of our sight, which can see but a little way of either to that colour therefore are the appearance and work of Providence fitly compared, because we cannot find out that which God does from the beginning to the end, Ecclesiastes 3:11. We see but parts of his ways (Job 26:14), and all beyond looks blue, which gives us to understand no more concerning it but that in truth we know it not it is far above out of our sight. 5. Their appearance and their work are likewise said to be as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. Observe here again, Their appearance to the prophet is designed to set forth what their work really is. Men's appearance and their work often differ, but the appearance of God's providence and its work agree if they seem to differ, it is through our ignorance and mistake. Now both were as a wheel in a wheel, a less wheel moved by a greater. We pretend not to give a mathematical description of it. The meaning is that the disposals of Providence seem to us intricate, perplexed, and unaccountable, and yet that they will appear in the issue to have been all wisely ordered for the best so that though what God does we know not now, yet we shall know hereafter, John 13:7. 6. The motion of these wheels, like that of the living creatures, was steady, regular, and constant: They returned not when they went (Ezekiel 1:17), because they never went amiss, nor otherwise than they should do. God, in his providence, takes his work before him, and he will have it forward and it is going on even when it seems to us to be going backward. They went as the Spirit directed them, and therefore returned not. We should not have occasion to return back as we have, and to undo that by repentance which we have done amiss, and to do it over again, if we were but led by the Spirit and followed his direction. The Spirit of life (so some read it) was in the wheels, which carried them on with ease and evenness, and then they returned not when they went. 7. The rings, or rims, of the wheels were so high that they were dreadful, Ezekiel 1:18. They were of a vast circumference, so that when they were reared, and put in motion, the prophet was even afraid to look upon them. Note, The vast compass of God's thought, and the vast reach of his design, are really astonishing when we go about to describe the circle of Providence we are struck with amazement and are even swallowed up. O the height and depth of God's councils! The consideration of them should strike an awe upon us. 8. They were full of eyes round about. This circumstance of the vision is most surprising of all, and yet most significant, plainly denoting that the motions of Providence are all directed by infinite wisdom. The issues of things are not determined by a blind fortune, but by those eyes of the Lord which run to and fro through the earth, and are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Note, It is a great satisfaction to us, and ought to be so, that, though we cannot account for the springs and tendencies of events, yet they are all under the cognizance and direction of an all-wise all-seeing God.

II. The notice he took of the firmament above over the heads of the living creatures. When he saw the living creatures moving, and the wheels by them, he looked up, as it is proper for us to do when we observe the various motions of providence in this lower world looking up, he saw the firmament stretched forth over the heads of the living creatures, Ezekiel 1:22. What is done on earth is done under the heaven (as the scripture often speaks), under its inspection and influence. Observe, 1. What he saw: The firmament was as the colour of the terrible crystal, truly glorious, but terribly so the vastness and brightness of it put the prophet into an amazement and struck him with an awful reverence. The terrible ice, or frost (so it may be read), the colour of snow congealed, or as mountains of ice in the northern seas, which are very frightful. Daring sinners ask, Can God judge through the dark cloud? Job 22:13. But that which we take to be a dark cloud is to him transparent as crystal, through which, from the place of his habitation, he looks upon all the inhabitants of the earth, Psalm 33:14. Under the firmament he saw the wings of the living creatures erect, Ezekiel 1:23. When they pleased they used them either for flight or for covering. God is on high, above the firmament the angels are under the firmament, which denotes their subjection to God's dominion and their readiness to fly on his errands in the open firmament of heaven, and to serve him unanimously. 2. What he heard. (1.) He heard the noise of the angels' wings, Ezekiel 1:24. Bees and other insects make a great noise with the vibration of their wings here the angels do so, to awaken the attention of the prophet to that which God was about to say to him from the firmament, Ezekiel 1:25. Angels, by the providences they are employed in, sound God's alarms to the children of men and stir them up to hear his voice for that is it that cries in the city and is heard and understood by the men of wisdom. The noise of their wings was loud and terrible, as the noise of great waters (like the rout or roaring of the sea), and as the noise of a host, the noise of war but it was articulate and intelligible, and did not give an uncertain sound for it was the voice of speech nay, it was as the voice of the Almighty, for God, by his providences, speaks once, yea, twice, if we could by perceive it, Job 33:14. The Lord's voice cries, Micah 6:9. (2.) He heard a voice from the firmament, from him that sits upon the throne there, Ezekiel 1:25. When the angels moved they made a noise with their wings but, when with that they had roused a careless world, they stood still, and let down their wings, that there might be a profound silence, and so God's voice might be the better heard. The voice of Providence is designed to open men's ears to the voice of the word, to do the office of the crier, who with a loud voice charges silence while the judge passes sentence. He that has ears to hear, let him hear. Note, Noises on earth should awaken our attention to the voice from the firmament for how shall we escape if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven!

Verses 26-28

The Vision of the Divine Throne. 
 

26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. 27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. 28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

All the other parts of this vision were but a preface and introduction to this. God in them had made himself known as Lord of angels and supreme director of all the affairs of this lower world, whence it is easy to infer that whatever God by his prophets either promises or threatens to do he is able to effect it. Angels are his servants men are his tools. But now that a divine revelation is to be given to a prophet, and by him to the church, we must look higher than the living creatures or the wheels, and must expect that from the eternal Word, of whom we have an account in these verses. Ezekiel, hearing a voice from the firmament, looked up, as John did, to see the voice that spoke with him, and he saw one like unto the Son of man, Revelation 1:12,13. The second person sometimes tried the fashion of a man occasionally before he clothed himself with it for good and all and the Spirit of prophecy is called the Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:11) and the testimony of Jesus, Revelation 19:10. 1. This glory of Christ that the prophet saw was above the firmament that was over the heads of the living creatures, Ezekiel 1:26. Note, The heads of angels themselves are under the feet of the Lord Jesus for the firmament that is over their heads is under his feet. Angels, principalities, and powers are made subject to him, 1 Peter 3:22. This dignity and dominion of the Redeemer before his incarnation magnify his condescension in his incarnation, when he was made a little lower than the angels, Hebrews 2:9. 2. The first thing he observed was a throne for divine revelation comes backed and supported with a royal authority. We must have an eye of faith to God and Christ as upon a throne. The first thing that John discovered in his visions was a throne set in heaven (Revelation 4:2), which commands reverence and subjection. It is a throne of glory, a throne of grace, a throne of triumph, a throne of government, a throne of judgment. The Lord has prepared his throne in the heavens, has prepared it for his Son, whom he has set King on his holy hill of Zion. 3. On the throne he saw the appearance of a man. This is good new to the children of men, that the throne above the firmament is filled with one that is not ashamed to appear, even there, in the likeness of man. Daniel, in vision, saw the kingdom and dominion given to one like the Son of man, who therefore has authority given him to execute judgment because he is the Son of man (John 5:27), so appearing in these visions. 4. He saw him as a prince and judge upon this throne. Though he appeared in fashion as a man, yet he appeared in more than human glory, Ezekiel 1:27. (1.) Is God a shining light? So is he: when the prophet saw him he saw as the colour of amber, that is, a brightness round about for God dwells in light, and covers himself with light as with a garment. How low did the Redeemer stoop for us when, to bring about our salvation, he suffered his glory to be eclipsed by the veil of his humanity! (2.) Is God a consuming fire? So is he: from his loins, both upward and downward, there was the appearance of fire. The fire above the loins was round about within the amber it was inward and involved. That below the loins was more outward and open, and yet that also had brightness round about. Some make the former to signify Christ's divine nature, the glory and virtue of which are hidden within the colour of amber it is what no man has seen nor can see. The latter they suppose to be his human nature, the glory of which there were those who saw the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, John 1:14. He had rays coming out of his hand, and yet there was the hiding of his power, Habakkuk 3:4. The fire in which the Son of man appeared here might be intended to signify the judgments that were ready to be executed upon Judah and Jerusalem, coming form that fiery indignation of the Almighty which devours the adversaries. Nothing is more dreadful to the most daring sinners than the wrath of him that sits upon the throne, and of the Lamb, Revelation 6:16. The day is coming when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed in flaming fire, 2 Thessalonians 1:7,8. It concerns us therefore to kiss the Son lest he be angry. 5. The throne is surrounded with a rainbow, Ezekiel 1:28. It is so in St. John's vision, Revelation 4:3. The brightness about it was of divers colours, as the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, which, as it is a display of majesty, and looks very great, so it is a pledge of mercy, and looks very kind for it is a confirmation of that gracious promise God has made that he will not drown the world again, and he has said, I will look upon the bow and remember the covenant, Genesis 9:16. This intimates that he who sits upon the throne is the Mediator of the covenant, that his dominion is for our protection, not our destruction, that he interposes between us and the judgments our sins have deserved, and that all the promises of God are in him yea and amen. Now that the fire of God's wrath was breaking out against Jerusalem bounds should be set to it, and he would not make an utter destruction of it, for he would look upon the bow and remember the covenant, as he promised in such a case, Leviticus 26:42.

Lastly, We have the conclusion of this vision. Observe, 1. What notion the prophet himself had of it: This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. Here, as all along, he is careful to guard against all gross corporeal thoughts of God, which might derogate from the transcendent purity of his nature. he does not say, This was the Lord (for he is invisible), but, This was the glory of the Lord, in which he was pleased to manifest himself a glorious being yet it is not the glory of the Lord, but the likeness of that glory, some faint resemblance of it nor is it any adequate likeness of that glory, but only the appearance of that likeness, a shadow of it, and not the very image of the thing, Hebrews 10:1. 2. What impressions it made upon him: When I saw it, I fell upon my face. (1.) He was overpowered by it the dazzling lustre of it conquered him and threw him upon his face for who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? Or, rather, (2.) He prostrated himself in a humble sense of his own unworthiness of the honour now done him, and of the infinite distance which he now, more than ever, perceived to be between him and God he fell upon his face in token of that holy awe and reverence of God with which his mind was possessed and filled. Note, The more God is pleased to make known of himself to us the more low we should be before him. He fell upon his face to adore the majesty of God, to implore his mercy and to deprecate the wrath he saw ready to break out against the children of his people. 3. What instructions he had from it. All he saw was only to prepare him for that which he was to hear for faith comes by hearing. He therefore heard a voice of one that spoke for we are taught by words, not merely by hieroglyphics. When he fell on his face, ready to received the word, then he heard the voice of one that spoke for God delights to teach the humble.

skeldon_man posted:

Keith, you need to understand that god did not write the bible or any religious book. It was man himself. Religion was created by rich men to divide and conquer. Exploit the poor for material gains. How can one god write 4-5 different religious books? Wasn't this a recipe for disaster? If we are all god's children, how come a father can stand there watching his children suffering and killing each other?

I often wonder the same Skelly  !!!

in USA worshippers went to church Christmas Day ( last month) and Christmas night the church was burn - authorities cannot find the cause- it makes you wonder when these things happen 

Imran posted:
skeldon_man posted:

Keith, you need to understand that god did not write the bible or any religious book. It was man himself. Religion was created by rich men to divide and conquer. Exploit the poor for material gains. How can one god write 4-5 different religious books? Wasn't this a recipe for disaster? If we are all god's children, how come a father can stand there watching his children suffering and killing each other?

I often wonder the same Skelly  !!!

Stop wondering and read previous post you will get your answer

in USA worshippers went to church Christmas Day ( last month) and Christmas night the church was burn - authorities cannot find the cause- it makes you wonder when these things happen 

What's your point, what relevance your statement about have to do with anything here being discuss? Enlighten us.

Keith, I have no patience to read your cut and paste from the bible. I have heard all of these before. Let me tell you something you do not know. I use to work for Billy Graham from 1973-1976 at their bulk mailing facilities in Minneapolis. I use to run labeling and inserting machines that prepared the mails to be sent out. I use to process 1.5 million Decision magazines a month. I use to work with students from a nearby college. I still did not convert to Christianity or believed all that I heard.

Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
 

Who was Judas to Jesus before the crucifixion? What role did he play amongst the disciples of Jesus? How long was he one of the twelve disciples and at what point was he no more one of those twelve disciples?

Did Jesus tell his twelve disciples (including Judas) that they will sit on thrones with him in heaven and judge the twelve tribes of Israel? Yes or No.

Answer: "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28). 

Judas forfeited his position when he betrayed Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:48). Judas later committed suicide (27:5). 

Did Jesus tell his twelve disciples which included Judas at the time that they will sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel before Judas forfeited his position? Yes or No?

Note how short my question is. No need to respond with a whole book. Just a simple yes or no. Thank you.

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
 

Who was Judas to Jesus before the crucifixion? What role did he play amongst the disciples of Jesus? How long was he one of the twelve disciples and at what point was he no more one of those twelve disciples?

Did Jesus tell his twelve disciples (including Judas) that they will sit on thrones with him in heaven and judge the twelve tribes of Israel? Yes or No.

Answer: "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28). 

Judas forfeited his position when he betrayed Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:48). Judas later committed suicide (27:5). 

Did Jesus tell his twelve disciples which included Judas at the time that they will sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel before Judas forfeited his position? Yes or No?

Note how short my question is. No need to respond with a whole book. Just a simple yes or no. Thank you.

Answer: Have you not read what I wrote in previous post concerning Matthew 19:28.

 

Why We Fall

Judges 16

Unless weaknesses are addressed, they have potential to cause destruction. Vulnerabilities can either drive us closer to God or blind us to His love, as two Old Testament stories demonstrate. Joseph and Samson faced similar temptations but responded very differently. Day after day, Potiphar’s wife tried to entice Joseph, yet he rejected her advances (Gen. 39:7-9). Samson, on the other hand, willingly gave in to Delilah (Judg. 16:15-17).

Samson had been consecrated to God, and the Holy Spirit was moving in his life (Judg. 13:24-25). Nevertheless, he chose the path of self-indulgence. Too proud to admit weakness, he lived in denial, which led to a lack of discipline and left the door open for Satan. Because Samson rationalized his weakness, it soon began to dominate his life. Listening to the lies of the devil and wicked people, he exchanged God’s blessing and supernatural strength for irresponsible sexual involvement. And in the end, what did he have? Absolutely nothing.

Given the slightest chance, sin will infiltrate your life and affect every aspect, including your faith, job, and relationships. Nothing is off limits. If you’re thinking, I don’t have any weaknesses with the potential to destroy my life, then Satan has already blinded you to a spiritual reality in your midst.

You have the choice to face temptation as Joseph did—or as Samson did. In times of weakness, do you depend on God, obey Him, and seek strength to overcome? Or do you make excuses and turn from His leading? How different Samson’s life would have been if he’d chosen a better response.

skeldon_man posted:

Keith, I have no patience to read your cut and paste from the bible. I have heard all of these before. Let me tell you something you do not know. I use to work for Billy Graham from 1973-1976 at their bulk mailing facilities in Minneapolis. I use to run labeling and inserting machines that prepared the mails to be sent out. I use to process 1.5 million Decision magazines a month. I use to work with students from a nearby college. I still did not convert to Christianity or believed all that I heard.

Good for you, at least you can never say you never heard of Him when your time comes to an end and you stand before Him to give account of your life.

Keith posted:
skeldon_man posted:

Keith, I have no patience to read your cut and paste from the bible. I have heard all of these before. Let me tell you something you do not know. I use to work for Billy Graham from 1973-1976 at their bulk mailing facilities in Minneapolis. I use to run labeling and inserting machines that prepared the mails to be sent out. I use to process 1.5 million Decision magazines a month. I use to work with students from a nearby college. I still did not convert to Christianity or believed all that I heard.

Good for you, at least you can never say you never heard of Him when your time comes to an end and you stand before Him to give account of your life.

Like I told my Christian wife, "If only Christians go to heaven, then I do not want to go there, I would not know any one". When people preach the bible to me, I tell them to keep their breath for their old age to blow their coffee.

Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
 

Who was Judas to Jesus before the crucifixion? What role did he play amongst the disciples of Jesus? How long was he one of the twelve disciples and at what point was he no more one of those twelve disciples?

Did Jesus tell his twelve disciples (including Judas) that they will sit on thrones with him in heaven and judge the twelve tribes of Israel? Yes or No.

Answer: "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28). 

Judas forfeited his position when he betrayed Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:48). Judas later committed suicide (27:5). 

Did Jesus tell his twelve disciples which included Judas at the time that they will sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel before Judas forfeited his position? Yes or No?

Note how short my question is. No need to respond with a whole book. Just a simple yes or no. Thank you.

Answer: Have you not read what I wrote in previous post concerning Matthew 19:28.

 

Was Judas amongst the disciples when Jesus made the promise in Matthew 19:28? Yes or no?

By the way, you shifted some words in your Matthew 19:28 quote above but nonetheless it still includes Judas amongst the 12 disciples who will sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Are you now willing to admit that Judas was also included in Jesus promise in Matthew 19:28 or are you still going to stubbornly pretend that he wasn't included.

Help for Our Healing

James 5:13-20

God cares about our physical well-being. After all, He made our bodies as a temple for His Spirit. And while He is able to heal sickness, His original intention was not for His perfect creation to experience disease.

But in this sinful world, ungodly choices at times lead to illness (John 5:14). So when we’re afflicted, it’s wise to ask God to search our heart and reveal anything He wants us to address (Psalm 139:23-24). Since sin can act like a blockage to prayer (Psalm 66:18), confessing any known wrongdoing is also a good idea.

Most of the time, though, health problems are just part of our human condition—a symptom of mankind’s fallen state rather than evidence of personal sin. The truth is, disease affects just about everyone at some point. So how does God want us to respond?

Certain situations, of course, require prompt medical attention, but even in a crisis, our Father wants us to be aware of His presence and to stay in communication with Him (1 Thess. 5:17). Developing a pattern of prayerfulness before an emergency occurs is the best way to prepare for the unexpected.

The Bible’s instructions also include praying for one another and calling the elders of the church to come and pray, anointing the afflicted person with oil in Jesus’ name. (See James 5:14.)

Our Father is able to heal even the most deadly disease, but He sometimes chooses to allow the condition to remain. When requesting restored health, we should ask with faith and trust—faith in God’s ability but trust in His perfect will, whether that means healing or suffering-induced growth.

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
 

Who was Judas to Jesus before the crucifixion? What role did he play amongst the disciples of Jesus? How long was he one of the twelve disciples and at what point was he no more one of those twelve disciples?

Did Jesus tell his twelve disciples (including Judas) that they will sit on thrones with him in heaven and judge the twelve tribes of Israel? Yes or No.

Answer: "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28). 

Judas forfeited his position when he betrayed Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:48). Judas later committed suicide (27:5). 

Did Jesus tell his twelve disciples which included Judas at the time that they will sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel before Judas forfeited his position? Yes or No?

Note how short my question is. No need to respond with a whole book. Just a simple yes or no. Thank you.

Answer: Have you not read what I wrote in previous post concerning Matthew 19:28.

 

Was Judas amongst the disciples when Jesus made the promise in Matthew 19:28? Yes or no?

Answer: Have you not read what I wrote in previous post concerning Matthew 19:28. Draw your own conclusion from that.

================================================

By the way, you shifted some words in your Matthew 19:28 quote above but nonetheless it still includes Judas amongst the 12 disciples who will sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Are you now willing to admit that Judas was also included in Jesus promise in Matthew 19:28 or are you still going to stubbornly pretend that he wasn't included.

Answer: First of all I did not add nor shift words pertaining to the Matthew 19:28. Just for you I will post the different translations below. Secondly, read, read and read what I have posted in previous post and draw your own conclusion. Judas is no where in heaven waiting to judge anyone.

Matthew 19:28King James Version (KJV)
28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Matthew 19:28New International Version (NIV)
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Where is the shift?

Judas forfeited his position when he betrayed Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew what Judas was contemplating, yet still called him "friend".

Notice the words, "that ye which have followed me". Judas did follow Jesus for a while, but in the end he did not follow Jesus. That is why he forfeited his position. According to Acts (1:24-26), Matthias was added to the eleven apostles.

Acts 1:24-26
24 And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen 25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” 26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

At the time Jesus promised Judas that he will be one of the twelve disciples sitting on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, he had no idea that Judas would end up betraying him. That clearly proves that Jesus had no idea that Judas would betray him. It just proves that Jesus was not aware of the unknown so he couldn't be God knowing everything from the beginning. Jesus was a con man. The dudes who followed him pretty much satisfy his craving for attention so he made promises to them so they feel special. One of those that he made empty promises to was Judas. Jesus was an empty vessel who never accomplished anything in life because he chose to just goof off with his compadres.

ksazma posted:

At the time Jesus promised Judas that he will be one of the twelve disciples sitting on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, he had no idea that Judas would end up betraying him. That clearly proves that Jesus had no idea that Judas would betray him. It just proves that Jesus was not aware of the unknown so he couldn't be God knowing everything from the beginning. Jesus was a con man. The dudes who followed him pretty much satisfy his craving for attention so he made promises to them so they feel special. One of those that he made empty promises to was Judas. Jesus was an empty vessel who never accomplished anything in life because he chose to just goof off with his compadres.

It was also said that Jesus told Judas to do what he had to do. Judas was Jesus' best friend. Jesus might have set up his own death to prove that he was the son of god or god. If Jesus was god, who took care of the world during the 3 days from the day of his death to his ascension?

ksazma posted:

You rearranged the words in your KJV citation above.

Ksaz bhai, I am not a religious guy, I get a lot out of watching the documentaries on American Heroes Channel. I don't even know which hindu god is which. The versions of the bible is Greek to me. I know both Judas and Mary Magdalene had gospels. It was also said that Mary was the wife of Jesus who had 2 sons.

skeldon_man posted:
ksazma posted:

You rearranged the words in your KJV citation above.

Ksaz bhai, I am not a religious guy, I get a lot out of watching the documentaries on American Heroes Channel. I don't even know which hindu god is which. The versions of the bible is Greek to me. I know both Judas and Mary Magdalene had gospels. It was also said that Mary was the wife of Jesus who had 2 sons.

Bai Skeldon_man, I am not religious either. However, I try to read up on things before I comment on them and it is through these research that I learn about the things that I comment on. The stories about Mary Magdalene being Jesus' wife is not supported by mainstream scholarship. However, what is undisputed are the discrepancies between the various versions of the Bible as well as between the various books of the same version of the Bible.

Keith mentioned above that "However, saying that God wrote the Bible does not mean He took pen in hand, grabbed some parchment, and physically wrote the text of Scripture. His “writing” of Scripture was not a physical action on His part. Rather, God’s authorship was accomplished through the process of inspiration, as human writers wrote God’s message." If what Keith says here is true, then there are three reasonable conclusions to the current state of the Bible with all of its inaccuracies and contradictions.

1.  If God inspired the writers of the Bible, then He must have a terrible memory.

2.  If it was not God's memory that is responsible, then the writers must not have been inspired at all but wrote of their own free will.

3.  If it was not God or the writers who screwed up royally, then it must be those who produced the current versions Bible.

So Keith can continue parading his sermon as not really a sermon but these facts he will not respond to without another long sermon. While nothing is wrong with someone conducting a sermon, one should be honest and not disguise it as not.

When God Does Not Heal

Proverbs 3:3-6

If God is all-powerful, why do we witness so few miraculous healings? There are many reasons for this. Sometimes we do not ask Him. Other times, we might ask but with wrong motives or a lack of faith. And then there is the reason that we do not like to hear: God may choose not to heal.

Beware of theology that promises healing to anyone who asks. This is not biblical. The problem is not inability; God is able to heal anyone and anything. And be careful if someone claims the lingering illness is the result of sin. This may be true, but often our heavenly Father, in His great love and unfathomable wisdom, allows our ailments to persist.

Consider Paul, who asked the Lord three times to remove his “thorn.” (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-8.) Yet it remained. We can learn from his response—he did not question God’s authority, nor did he complain. Instead, recognizing that divine strength would show through his weakness, Paul trusted God.

We, too, can believe that God will work all things for good in His children’s lives (Romans 8:28). In fact, character growth usually occurs in times of suffering, loss, or hurt. While adversity is uncomfortable, we can feel hope and joy in what our Father is accomplishing through painful times.

Ultimately, God brings glory to Himself and good to His children. There are instances when this involves miraculous healing, but He often refines us by allowing the hardship. As with silver and gold, impurities are usually removed from hearts in the fiery furnace of life’s struggles. Trust God’s plan and rest in His love.

ksazma posted:

At the time Jesus promised Judas that he will be one of the twelve disciples sitting on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, he had no idea that Judas would end up betraying him. That clearly proves that Jesus had no idea that Judas would betray him. It just proves that Jesus was not aware of the unknown so he couldn't be God knowing everything from the beginning. Jesus was a con man. The dudes who followed him pretty much satisfy his craving for attention so he made promises to them so they feel special. One of those that he made empty promises to was Judas. Jesus was an empty vessel who never accomplished anything in life because he chose to just goof off with his compadres.


Answer: My friend do you take time to read at all? I assume if you did you would've find the answer but if you have missed it let me explain it for you more in details and answer the obvious questions you failed to ask.

Note: My answers are backup by the scripture in the bible and not just what I or anyone else think....Take note of that, the answer to all your questions are found in the BIBLE.

The answer is that Jesus selected him because this was part of God’s plan. Jesus drops the first hint that He would be betrayed while He is speaking to a large crowd of disciples,

John 6:64 :: 
But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

John 6:66 says that many of His "disciples" left Him after this. Why did so many leave Jesus? The answer is many did not really believe in Jesus. Is it not interesting that Jesus called them betrayers. Those who are real Christians will not turn traitor and desert Jesus. This passage also tells us that this was no surprise to Jesus. He knew who the traitors would be.

Jesus Chose Judas. Yet, Jesus chose Judas Iscariot as a disciple anyway,

John 6:71
:: He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

And John 12:4 tells us again that Judas was intending to betray Jesus. Why did Jesus choose Judas? There are probably many reasons. One reason could be that Jesus wanted to show us how to love even our enemies. Another reason could be that God wanted to leave an example for us that even those we trust may not be real. John 13:22tells us that even after Jesus told His disciples that one them would betray Him, they did not know who that was.

Why Jesus Chose Judas. The main reason Jesus chose Judas is given to us in John 13:18-22.

John 13:18-22 :: 18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.

It was done so that the prophecies of old would be fulfilled. The prophecy quoted here is Psalm 41:9. Judas was such an evil man that John 17:12 tells us that Judas is the son of perdition.

John 17:12 ::  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

Here is another instance of fulfilled prophecy. Judas did not lose his spiritual life; he never had it. This has been clear since John 6:64. This is not a picture of a swan becoming dirty, but of a pig that never left the mud. The next passage is hard to understand for one who had been so close to Jesus, but it shows how sinful a person can be, even people in the church.

Luke 22:3 :: Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

So we should not be surprised that churches have problems.

Acts 1:16-17 :: 16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

This is our final reference to fulfilled prophecy regarding Judas.

Conclusion: Why did Jesus choose Judas? The major reason is to fulfill prophecy. Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him. God knew it long ago. Jesus could have chosen someone else, but scripture had to be fulfilled. This is an important lesson for Christians. Just because someone says they are a Christian does not make them a Christian. 1 John 2:19 explains why some do not remain.

1 John 2:19 :: They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

ksazma posted:
skeldon_man posted:
ksazma posted:

You rearranged the words in your KJV citation above.

Ksaz bhai, I am not a religious guy, I get a lot out of watching the documentaries on American Heroes Channel. I don't even know which hindu god is which. The versions of the bible is Greek to me. I know both Judas and Mary Magdalene had gospels. It was also said that Mary was the wife of Jesus who had 2 sons.

Bai Skeldon_man, I am not religious either. However, I try to read up on things before I comment on them and it is through these research that I learn about the things that I comment on. The stories about Mary Magdalene being Jesus' wife is not supported by mainstream scholarship. However, what is undisputed are the discrepancies between the various versions of the Bible as well as between the various books of the same version of the Bible.

Keith mentioned above that "However, saying that God wrote the Bible does not mean He took pen in hand, grabbed some parchment, and physically wrote the text of Scripture. His “writing” of Scripture was not a physical action on His part. Rather, God’s authorship was accomplished through the process of inspiration, as human writers wrote God’s message." If what Keith says here is true, then there are three reasonable conclusions to the current state of the Bible with all of its inaccuracies and contradictions.

1.  If God inspired the writers of the Bible, then He must have a terrible memory.

2.  If it was not God's memory that is responsible, then the writers must not have been inspired at all but wrote of their own free will.

3.  If it was not God or the writers who screwed up royally, then it must be those who produced the current versions Bible.

So Keith can continue parading his sermon as not really a sermon but these facts he will not respond to without another long sermon. While nothing is wrong with someone conducting a sermon, one should be honest and not disguise it as not.

Answer: 40 authors wrote the Bible over a period of 1,500 years. These Bible writers wrote as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit (READ: 2 Timothy 3:16-17).  Moses was the first person to write portions of Scripture while John the disciple of Jesus was the last. Other famous people who wrote the Bible include: David, Daniel, Peter, Paul, Jonah, Isaiah, Solomon and David.

The Scripture says in II Peter 1:20-21, "You must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

The Holy Spirit revealed to the prophets the messages of Scripture. The writers of the Bible wrote not according to their own will or whim, but only as they were moved, or controlled, by the Spirit of God. The Bible is God's own book!

II Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." The Holy Bible affects human beings so profoundly because "all" the Bible is "God-breathed." It's more than a nice collection of moral principles; it's more than a great book; it's an inspired document, God's book. The prophets who wrote the Bible related what they saw and heard in human language, but their message came directly from God.

I 'm awaiting your questions concerning the Hold Spirit.

This God is one strange dude. He does silly things just to fulfill silly prophesy. Jesus tell Judas that he will judge people in heaven even though he is supposed to know that Judas isn't going to just because it is God's silly plan.

Then we have a Holy Spirit who must have the worst memory in the world because all those writers contradict each other.

Now when the preacher gets cornered he resorts to "God works in mysterious ways". 

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