If you were asked to use one word to describe the Christian life, which one would you choose? Many of us would pick faith because believing in Jesus is the foundation of Christianity. But did you know that the believer’s life should also be characterized by good works? While we aren’t saved by anything good we’ve done, genuine salvation always results in a changed life, complete with new thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. Every Christian should be a living, walking example of good deeds.

When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, he commended them for their “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 1:3). Everything we do should be motivated by faith, hope, and love, which are rooted in our relationship with Christ.

So now the question is, What qualifies as good work in the Christian life? Scripture is filled with examples: caring for others, meeting needs, giving our time and treasure, and engaging in activities like worship, prayer, and Bible reading. These are the activities that should characterize us as God’s children and Christ’s representatives in this world.

As we consider the topic of good works, we must remember four important truths. Otherwise we may assume that we are the ones who define what’s good, what needs to be done, and how it should be accomplished.

First of all, God determines what He wants each of us to do. According to Ephesians 2:10, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Since we belong to Christ, who purchased us with His blood, He has full authority over our life. There are specific tasks we are appointed to accomplish as we walk according to His will. If we think believing in Christ means attending church on Sundays but living as we please all week long, we’re wasting our life. Christians are the people through whom the Holy Spirit is carrying out the work of Christ here on earth. He redeemed us from sin and purified us for Himself so we could be people zealous for good deeds (Titus 2:14).

Second, God equips us for whatever He calls us to do. He “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Eph. 3:20).  In every opportunity God gives and every act of service He calls us to perform, He has already provided whatever we need to accomplish the task before us.

Just consider the many resources the Lord uses to empower us for good works. His indwelling Spirit gives us direction and strength to obey, as well as spiritual gifts that enable us to serve Him. He uses the Scripture to teach, reprove, correct, and train us in righteousness so we’ll be adequately equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). And He uses our brothers and sisters in Christ to motivate us toward love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24). Even our wealth becomes a tool in His hands when we use it as He desires—“to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share” (1 Tim. 6:18).

Third, our good works are to glorify God, and not ourselves. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus called His followers “the light of the world” and said they were to let their light shine so others would see their good works and glorify the Father (Matt. 5:14-16). But just one chapter later, He warned them: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them” (6:1).

The difference is motivation. Although we should never seek the approval and praise of other people for what we do, our life should stand out and be characterized by good deeds in the midst of a dark, self-centered world. If commendations come our way, we need to remember that apart from Christ, we are nothing. Then we can simply pass the praise on to Him in a silent prayer of recognition and gratitude.

Fourth, God will one day judge our good works. What we do in this life will have a tremendous impact on our eternity. As believers, we will be called before the judgment seat of Christ to account for our deeds (2 Cor. 5:10). Some of our works will be worthless and burned up like wood, hay, and straw in the judgment. But we will be rewarded for the good works done in obedience to God, according to His power, and for His glory (1 Cor. 3:10-15).

Although we don’t know exactly what these rewards will be, one thing is certain: They will signify a life of good deeds that glorified and pleased God. Nothing could be more valuable than receiving praise from our beloved Savior. So let’s each spend our life living for Him.

When it comes to good works, remember that these are not just religious activities. Christ takes into account whatever we do that flows from obedience to Him—at home, work, school, church, and beyond. Also, we must resist the temptation to compare our works with the achievements of others. We’re responsible only for the tasks God has prepared specifically for us.

Original Post

Understanding Your Call

Mark 8:34-35

I like to use the word believer when talking about God’s children, as it specifically refers to those who have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior. That is a much smaller population than those who label themselves “Christian.” But did you know that even fewer people could rightly be called “followers”? These are the people who passionately pursue the Lord’s will in all things.

Are you a believer or a follower? Trusting in Jesus Christ is fundamental, but doing so is the first step, not the culmination, of a person’s faith. Our primary purpose is to take a life-long journey following in the Lord’s footsteps, honoring Him with our actions and speech, and always increasing in biblical wisdom.

A follower’s life is summed up in the phrase complete obedience. In fact, Jesus defined true Christians as those who prove their love for Him by keeping His word (John 14:23). When it comes to obeying God, there are really only two responses—“I will” or “I won’t.” It’s tempting to say, “I will, but ...” as some of Jesus’ would-be disciples did, but that’s a roundabout way of saying no. Followers remain faithful to the Lord’s plan whether doing so is easy or hard. Not only that, but they proclaim Him in both blessing and calamity, and go even when they don’t like where He leads.

Followers pursue the Lord because they know that the reward is a deeper, more passionate relationship with Him. They are not just waiting to spend eternity with God in heaven. They realize that eternity begins now, as they accompany Him on the righteous path He has set before them.

Dressed for Battle

Ephesians 6:10-18

When you wake up in the morning and get ready for the day, you’re probably not thinking about stepping onto a battlefield. But the enemy is all around us, constantly assaulting our heart and mind with temptations, adversities, emotional attacks, and more. And some days, it feels as though we are standing on the front lines of combat with no protection whatsoever.

Therein lies our misunderstanding. You see, we do have protection. The Lord made provision for our nakedness in battle. He hasn’t sent us to war unprotected. Instead, He’s given us a suit of armor that the enemy can’t penetrate—the armor of God.

In today’s passage, the apostle Paul tells us step by step how to prepare for our daily warfare, and yet most Christians don’t pay much attention to the instruction. We may say, “Well, that’s a nice metaphor, but we shouldn’t take it literally. After all, the armor isn’t real.” Yes, it is. It is as real as the clothes on your back.

Do you want to see a dramatic change in your life? Do you want to stand strong in the face of adversity? Do you want to overcome temptation? Then you need to dress for battle.

I challenge you to intentionally put on your spiritual armor every day for the next seven days. Put on one piece at a time—the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the sandals of peace, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit. Just try it as you meditate daily on Ephesians 6:10-18, and watch what God will do.

Alone With God

Mark 1:35-39

Where does prayer fit in your daily schedule? I’m not talking about the times you pray on the way to work or while eating breakfast, but the occasions when you are alone with God and it’s just the two of you. Although prayer at any time is good, we also need to have a set time and place where we meet with the Lord each day—preferably in the morning.

Even though Jesus was the Son of God, He knew the importance of solitary prayer time. He didn’t do anything on His own initiative but instead lived in dependence upon the Father, acting only on the instructions God communicated to Him. In today’s reading, we don’t know exactly what Jesus prayed, but when the disciples interrupted His morning prayer time, He had obviously received His Father’s direction for that day—to “go somewhere else” so that He could preach.

Jesus was the perfect example of a Spirit-led life, and prayer played a vital role. Since we are to follow in His footsteps, wouldn’t it make sense for us to meet with God early each morning in preparation for the day? This is the time to lay our concerns at His feet, seek guidance for whatever the day holds, trust Him for provision and protection, and intercede for others.

Although many things demand our time and attention, we can’t afford to neglect prayer. The fruit of prayerlessness is spiritual weakness, unmet needs, anxiety, and ingratitude. But when we make prayer a priority, we’ll have a firm foundation for the day ahead, no matter what it brings. And in the evening, we can look back with a heart of gratitude for answered prayer.

For me, alone with God, is not so much a prayerful time. That is the time I am having a very deep conversation with Him. Questions, doubts, fears, anxiety and whatever else. I am just talking to Him. I stop many times in between the conversation and wait for an answer. I am quiet in His awesomeness. And He does speak. The Jews say, that when God speaks to an individual, that person hears the voice of God as the voice of his teacher(Enoch hears the call from God, him thinking he heard the voice of his grandfather, his teacher) or many times, God speaks to the individual in his own voice.

For those who walk with God because they believe in The Christ, the inner voice of the heart is the Holy Spirit.

It is awesome, after the conversation, the calm, the quietness and the wait for His acknowledgement. And then, the heart reveals. Such feelings makes the Believer proclaim, Hallelujah, Praise be to God, Father Praise be to Your Name, Blessed Be Your Name, Hallelujah.   

seignet posted:

For me, alone with God, is not so much a prayerful time. That is the time I am having a very deep conversation with Him. Questions, doubts, fears, anxiety and whatever else. I am just talking to Him. I stop many times in between the conversation and wait for an answer. I am quiet in His awesomeness. And He does speak. The Jews say, that when God speaks to an individual, that person hears the voice of God as the voice of his teacher(Enoch hears the call from God, him thinking he heard the voice of his grandfather, his teacher) or many times, God speaks to the individual in his own voice.

For those who walk with God because they believe in The Christ, the inner voice of the heart is the Holy Spirit.

It is awesome, after the conversation, the calm, the quietness and the wait for His acknowledgement. And then, the heart reveals. Such feelings makes the Believer proclaim, Hallelujah, Praise be to God, Father Praise be to Your Name, Blessed Be Your Name, Hallelujah.   

We know that the Lord spoke to people in the Bible, but He also wants to speak personally to each of His children today. This means we must be attentive because no one else can listen for us.
  1. God’s primary way of speaking to us is through His Word. The Bible is not just an old book, but the inerrant, authoritative Word of God and the only source of truth. When we read it, we’re hearing directly from the Lord. All other methods of listening to God must be checked and compared with Scripture to determine if we are accurately hearing Him.

  2. He also speaks to us through prayer. Prayer is our way of communicating with God by talking to Him, but it’s also a time to be still and listen for His guidance. Instead of simply running through our list of requests and moving on to the day’s duties and activities, we need to learn to be still for a while to see if He has anything to say to our hearts.

  3. The Lord may speak through our circumstances. When a situation is painful, we must remember that hearing from God is more important than our comfort and pleasure. He uses difficulties and suffering to grab our attention. In every event, God has something to teach us. Instead of focusing on why the situation has happened, our first question should be, “Lord, what do you want to say to me?”

  4. Sometimes God speaks to us through other people. It may come in the form of affirmation, confirmation, encouragement, or even reproof or warning. And the Lord may use anyone He chooses to deliver His message—even someone we may not like. No matter the source, we should thoughtfully and prayerfully consider whatever is said.

When we are seeking to hear from the Lord, we must make sure that it’s His voice we are hearing and not our own thoughts or someone else’s ideas. God’s voice is always consistent with His Word. Any message must agree with what the Lord has already said in Scripture. His voice is quiet. God speaks to our hearts through His Holy Spirit in an inaudible but compelling way. And if we’ll tune our hearts to Him by setting aside time to read His Word and listen for His Spirit to speak, He will give us clear guidance.

Credit goes to In Touch Ministries

Is that You, God? Sometimes when we’re waiting to hear from God, we might wonder if we’ve missed His answer. In those moments, we would do well to remind ourselves that God loves us. He doesn’t toy with us or give up if we’re not sure we heard Him the first time. He just keeps knocking (Rev. 3:20).

Of course, if we harden our hearts and refuse to listen to God, there is a price to pay. But if we are seeking Him, He promises we will find Him (Matt. 7:7-8).

Consider how the Lord continued to call young Samuel until Eli helped him understand he was hearing the voice of God (1 Sam. 3:1-9). Or how God confirmed His directions when Gideon tested Him (Judges 6:36-40). Jesus continues to reach out to us, too—He answered Thomas’ doubts (John 20:24-29) and stopped Paul in his tracks as he headed to Damascus to persecute Christians (Acts 9:1-19).

But sometimes, in our desperation to hear something, we run the risk of convincing ourselves we're hearing from God when we’re not. In his message “Listening to God,” Dr. Stanley says that when we are seeking to hear from the Lord, we must make sure that it’s His voice we are hearing rather than our own thoughts or someone else’s ideas. He says we can identify God’s voice because:

  • God’s voice is always consistent with His Word. Any message must agree with what the Lord has already said in the Scriptures.

  • His voice is quiet. God often speaks to our hearts through His Holy Spirit in an inaudible but compelling way.

  • The Lord speaks clearly. If we’ll tune our hearts to Him by setting aside time to read His Word and listen for His Spirit to speak, He will give us clear guidance.

When God speaks, we have two choices: accept and obey, or deny and retreat. People who have ignored the voice of God know it. Perhaps God called you into the mission field but you chose to pursue another vocation instead. Or maybe you simply made decisions you knew to be unwise and against God’s teachings.

While we can’t go back in time, God can redeem our mistakes. Whenever we turn to the Lord and listen, He blesses our devotion. Are you waiting to hear God’s voice? Keep reading His Word and be ready to listen today.

The Heart’s Desires

Psalms 145:17-21

If you could have anything in the world, what would it be? Your answer reveals a lot about you. The psalmist writes, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4). There is nothing wrong with desires—they motivate us to achieve great things. But not all of our yearnings come from God. Consider your aspirations and what they say about who you are:

Do you hope for a position of authority in order to be in control? Longing for personal advancement in order to manipulate others reveals a lack of integrity, whereas a godly person craves righteousness.

Do you dream about wealth and fame? Perhaps there’s a void in your spirit that you’re trying to fill. But only God can meet the insatiable needs of the human heart.

Are you afraid to ask the Lord for what you want? Maybe you think He won’t listen, but God tells us to approach His throne with boldness and confidence (Heb. 4:16).

If the Lord doesn’t respond affirmatively to your prayers, ask Him to make your desires conform to His will. Whatever you do, don’t take matters into your own hands and go after what you want. There is always a high price to pay for rebelling against God.

God cares for us bountifully, but that doesn’t mean we can expect Him to deliver whatever we want, whenever we want it. Only when our dreams align with His plan for our life will He fulfill them. The thoughts that preoccupy us are an accurate barometer of the state of our relationship with Christ.

When Facing Life’s Mountains

Zechariah 4:1-9

Wouldn’t it be great if it were easy to do God’s will? But sometimes it seems as if a mountain stands between us and what we’ve been called to do. When Zerubbabel felt this way, the Lord sent His prophet Zechariah with a message of encouragement.

Zerubbabel was given the task of rebuilding the temple. When King Solomon built the first temple, the kingdom was at peace, the treasuries were overflowing, and the workforce was huge. But the situation was quite different when the Jews returned after 70 years of Babylonian captivity. They were few in number, their enemies kept attacking them, Jerusalem was in ruins, and resources were very limited. Zechariah’s message to Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:1-9) contained two principles that strengthened him and will also help us when we face insurmountable obstacles.

We are to face our God-given tasks in the power of the Holy Spirit, not in our own strength and energy (Zech. 4:6). The Lord’s work can never be done with human strength. His indwelling Spirit must empower us with the wisdom and energy to accomplish His will in our lives.

When God calls us to a task, He assumes the responsibility for removing any hindrances (Zech. 4:7-9). What seems to us like Mount Kilimanjaro is a mere anthill for the Lord. When we’re tempted to give up, it’s time to look up, see the obstacle through His eyes, and trust Him.

Is the Lord asking you to do something that seems impossible? Dwelling on your own inadequacy leads to discouragement, but focusing on the Lord gives hope and the strength to persevere.

The Burden of Sin

Romans 5:12-21

The burdens we carry come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties. Many are weighty, but there’s one load that proves even heavier—and it can be traced back to the garden of Eden.

Because Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6), all people have been born with sinful hearts. Holiness and sin cannot mix. Therefore, in our natural state, none of us are able to fellowship with God.

What is worse, we continue to do wrong. The Bible says that every one of us has gone astray, like a sheep wandering from his shepherd (Isa. 53:6). So on our own, we have no access to God. And there is nothing that we—fallen humans—can do to rectify the situation. That’s why I see this as the heaviest burden of all.

But our Creator loved us so much that He sent His own Son to live a perfect life on earth. Jesus deserved fellowship with God, yet He took our sin and its punishment by dying on the cross in our place. And then He conquered death by rising to life again.

His atonement for our wrongs is a gift that is available to anyone who believes. The Savior longs for us to accept that He willingly paid the price to redeem us. He desires to relieve the burden of sin from our heart. Only then will we experience true life and freedom.

Have you received God’s free gift of salvation? Jesus loves you so much that He gave His life to have a relationship with you. If you believe in Him and accept His death as your undeserved atonement for sin, He will forgive you for all unrighteousness and welcome you onto the path of true life.

Genuine Repentance

2 Corinthians 7:8-10

Because we desire to be more like Jesus, we make resolutions, ask Him to help us, and try to behave differently. Yet despite our best efforts to do things God’s way, we slide back into old habits. Frustrated, we may ask Him, “Why can’t I change?”

Overcoming sinful attitudes and behaviors starts with genuine repentance.

Conviction. The Holy Spirit will reveal the areas in which we’ve sinned and convict us of wrongdoing. Through Scripture, He’ll show us God’s standard and what needs to change. Repentance begins with understanding where we have gone astray.

Contrition. The next step—grieving over our iniquity—is followed by confession to the Lord. It’s simply human nature to sense regret when we are caught in misbehavior, deal with the consequences of poor choices, or feel ashamed that people know about our sin. In contrast, genuine sorrow arises from the knowledge that we’ve sinned against God. True contrition will lead us to humble confession.

Commitment. Real repentance is complete when we wholeheartedly pledge to turn from our old ways and move toward righteousness. God knows we won’t live perfectly, but He looks for a surrendered heart that diligently seeks to obey Him.

Paul used strong language when telling us to turn from iniquity: “Put to death ... whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (Col. 3:5 NIV). What sin are you struggling to overcome? Have you genuinely repented, committing to turn from it permanently? Let the Holy Spirit empower you to change.

God’s Call to Repentance

Luke 15:11-24

In the parable of the prodigal son, the younger brother asked for his inheritance early so he might live as he chose. Once the father gave him his share, the young man made many unwise choices that led to hunger and destitution. What happened next illustrates the principles of godly repentance.

After squandering all of his money, the wayward son found work feeding pigs, a bottom-of-the-barrel kind of job. One day he came to his senses and recognized his terrible plight. His repentance began with an awareness of his wrong choices and the fact that his bad situation was due to them.

Knowing that his difficulties came from unrighteous behavior, the prodigal grieved over his mistakes and acknowledged his sin (Luke 15:18). He declared he was no longer worthy to be his father’s son. Godly sorrow and confession led the young man to leave that place and go home. His repentance was made complete when he turned away from his old ways and returned to his father. The Lord likewise calls us to repent and return to Him.

What a welcome the prodigal son received! Upon seeing him, the father was filled with compassion and ran to embrace him. Forgiveness and acceptance were extended to the son. Both are blessings that God freely offers to whoever asks Him.

The prodigal son did not clean himself up before returning home. He simply left his old life, turned toward home, and trusted in his father’s mercy. The heavenly Father calls us to repent and offers us forgiveness when we turn away from our self-centered ways and move toward godliness (1 John 1:9).

seignet posted:

Whenever, I read the Psalms, astonished at the very simple words that brings me to contemplation. Absolute truths.

Jeremiah is a Book I love as well. When God chooses a person He works with them. 

Totally agree with you my brother. The very first chapter of Psalm is so fitting as we go about life.

Psalm 1:1-3 (KJV)

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Do you want to know God?

Do you yearn to experience the Lord’s comforting presence, power, and wisdom? That’s good, because God loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you forever.

The problem is . . .
. . . one thing separates you from a relationship with God—sin. You and I sin whenever we fail to live by the Lord’s holy standard. In fact, Romans 3:23: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Furthermore, Romans 6:23 explains that the penalty for sin is death—separation from God in hell forever. No matter how hard we try, we cannot save ourselves or get rid of our sins. We can’t earn our way to heaven by being good, going to church, or being baptized (Eph. 2:8-9).

Understanding how helpless we are because of our sins, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to save us.

Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life, and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Rom. 5:8). Three days later, He rose from the dead—showing that He had triumphed over sin and death once and for all.

So how can you know God?

It all starts with accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ provides a relationship with the Father and eternal life through His death on the cross and resurrection (Rom. 5:10).

Romans 10:9 promises, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” If you have not yet begun your personal relationship with God, understand that the One who created you loves you no matter who you are or what you’ve done. He wants you to experience the profound depth of His care.

Therefore, tell God that you are willing to trust Him for salvation. You can tell Him in your own words or use this simple prayer:

Lord Jesus, I ask You to forgive my sins and save me from eternal separation from God. By faith, I accept Your work and death on the cross as sufficient payment for my sins. Thank You for providing the way for me to know You and to have a relationship with my heavenly Father. Through faith in You, I have eternal life. Thank You also for hearing my prayers and loving me unconditionally. Please give me the strength, wisdom, and determination to walk in the center of Your will. In Jesus’ name, amen.

If you have just prayed this prayer with all sincerity, congratulations!

You have received Christ as your Savior and have made the best decision you will ever make—one that will change your life forever! Please leave us a comment below to let us know so we can rejoice with you.

Our Generous Provider

Psalms 65:1-13

Generosity is usually a term we apply to people, but have you ever considered how generous the Lord is toward us? First of all, He created the earth and all it contains as a habitation for mankind. He made the sun to give light and cause vegetation to grow, and He sends rain to water the land and quench our thirst. The Lord has abundantly made provision for our physical needs.

This alone should cause us to stand in awe of His love and care for us, but His generosity doesn’t end with the physical necessities. He’s also provided for all our spiritual needs through His Son. As a result of Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, we who believe in Him are reconciled to God and given a wealth of spiritual blessings. We have His Word to guide us, His Spirit to empower and transform us into Christ’s image, and His church to encourage and support us. Yet His generosity doesn’t end there.

The Lord has also promised us an imperishable, undefiled, and unfading inheritance in heaven. (See 1 Pet. 1:4.) All that He has prepared for us is beyond our human understanding, but Revelation 21 and 22 describe the new heaven and earth as a place of abundance and blessing, untainted by sin and death.

In light of all that the Lord has so richly provided and promised, gratitude should be our first response. However, since we are His people, who are called to walk in His Spirit, we should also be characterized by generosity toward others. That means meeting not only physical needs but also spiritual ones by proclaiming the gospel and encouraging fellow believers.

Our Labor of Love

1 Thessalonians 1:1-5

The moment that we place our trust in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we become new creations. This is an act of love by the heavenly Father—He gives us new life and adopts us into His family. He also has a custom-designed plan for every believer, with specific work for each one to accomplish.

Once we are saved, the rest of our days are to be spent fulfilling God’s purposes for our life. We are called to be Jesus’ disciples—acting on His behalf and working zealously for God, as the Savior did. The world is hungry for the good news, which we are to deliver.

Redemption is God’s gift, offered to us free of charge (Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation is by grace, not by grace-plus-works. Once we are saved, however, works are God’s will for us—the Holy Spirit carries out Jesus’ agenda on earth through His followers.

God has committed Himself to guide and equip believers to act as His servants. No matter what He calls us to do, He will provide the necessary abilities and resources. His Holy Spirit will teach us whatever we need to know—such as effective ways to relate, to pour ourselves out on behalf of others, and to share our faith. He expects us to make serving Him a priority, and to surrender our time, talent, and treasure for His use. Age does not disqualify us from His service, and there is never a time for retirement.

While we are living on earth, our lifestyle is to be one of enthusiastic, committed service in the cause of Christ. Let your work for God be a genuine labor of love.

The Loss of Hope

Acts 27:13-26

Life doesn’t always meet our expectations. Even when making plans according to God’s lead, we may run into something that interrupts them. Frustration over the obstacle can lead to discouragement and loss of hope. Then, if the hindrance should persist, our spirits may plummet toward despair.

Oftentimes, what trips us up is the circumstance that seems impossible to overcome. Think about Paul’s voyage to Rome by sea. When a bad storm arose, the sailors worked hard to save the ship. But since they couldn’t control the weather, they gradually gave up all hope of being saved (Acts 27:20). There are times when we can’t change what has happened—whether it’s a job loss, a loved one’s death, or a devastating diagnosis. In such situations, feelings of hopelessness can overtake us.

Postponed plans can also be disheartening. Hannah is an example of someone who became dejected because of “hope deferred” (1 Sam. 1:10-11; see also Prov. 13:12). She saw other women bearing children, but her own maternal desires had not yet been fulfilled. When things do not go according to our schedule, we may experience emotions like hers.

Feeling abandoned by the Lord is another thing that can throw believers off track. I remember a season of life when I felt all alone. My mind said God was with me, but my feelings said otherwise. To counter those emotions, I pursued the Lord through prayer and meditation on Scripture.

In times of discouragement, you have a choice. Will you focus on your circumstances, or will you fix your gaze on our loving Father and trust Him?

The Source of Our Hope

Colossians 1:26-28

Hope is a desire for something, accompanied by the anticipation of receiving it. If our expectation of fulfillment diminishes, discouragement can set in. And prolonged disappointment can lead to despair. Perhaps that’s what led to the betrayal of Christ.

One possible explanation for Judas’s tragic decision is that he wanted to see Israel throw off Roman oppression and establish itself as the ruling power. Maybe he thought that having Jesus arrested would push God to force the hand of Israel’s religious and political rulers. If that was his thinking, then Judas failed to achieve his goal. We know for certain that his betrayal of Jesus cost him everything. Out of hope and overcome by guilt, he gave up his life.

We have an enemy who watches for our moments of weakness, when he tries to influence us away from the Lord. He wants to keep us focused on our circumstances and doubting God so we’ll complain, “This isn’t fair. If the Lord loves me, why would He allow such a thing to happen to me?” But we should never let the father of lies lure us toward hopelessness.

As children of the heavenly Father, we were birthed into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:3). Because of our Savior, we have been taken from condemnation to full acceptance, from spiritual death to eternal life in heaven with the Lord. We have His indwelling Spirit to provide comfort in tough times and to guide us through them.

Because we’re eternally secure in the Lord, we are never in a hopeless circumstance. We may feel desperate, but emotions are not reliable. Our Savior and friend, Jesus Christ, is our constant source of hope.

God is the provider of all things. Jesus is the way to His benevolence.

How do I grasp such goodness?

It is good to believe in Christ, because He is the answer to all of mankind's sorrows. Just the mention of His name bring comfort in seeking. To mention His redeeming blood gives protection. And, for His sacrifice, for those who believe in Him, He offers His charge of the ministering angels.

All of that is accepted by faith.

For me, I wanted to be absolutely sure. I wasn't really too keen in accepting just the formula. Then, I was reminded of my Prof. of Static and Dynamics class saying, "try not to memorize the formulas, but instead, pay more emphasis on the principles. Once the principles are grasp, then they can be applied to any situation."

For that seeking, The Book of Enoch was given a short time after. It explained the coming of the Elect One.

It is nicely stated, "He is in the bosom of the Ancient of Days."

I grasped His coming and why He came. 

A Burden or a Bridge

What word would you use to describe adversity in your life? To most people, it is a heavy, inescapable burden that wears them down, saps their joy, and hinders them from truly living. Christians, however, have the opportunity to see adversity as a bridge leading to a glorious eternal future.

The determining factor in how we view hardship is our perspective. If we focus only on the negative aspects of our earthly life, we’ll be drawn into despair and desperation. But if we look at problems from an eternal standpoint, our thinking and attitudes will be transformed in the following ways:

1. Instead of letting difficulties wear us down, we won’t lose heart, because we know we’re being renewed from within. As we respond in submission to whatever God allows in our life and trust in His good purposes, our character is shaped into Christlikeness and our hope is restored.

2. The despair of feeling that our adversity is inescapable and never-ending will be replaced with strength to endure. Paul said he was afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, struck down, and constantly threatened with death, yet he called it all “light and momentary” compared to eternity (2 Cor. 4:8-11,2 Cor. 4:17 NIV).

3. Rather than seeing adversity as a thief of all joy and a hindrance to a good life, we should look beyond the present to what the trial is producing for us in heaven— “an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17).

Viewing troubles through an eternal lens is an act of faith, which pleases God. It increases our trust in Him, gives us greater passion for our heavenly inheritance, and strengthens us to victoriously cross the bridge of adversity.

When Anxiety Strikes

Philippians 4:6-7

If you needed a consultant, would you hire just anyone? Of course not. You’d want to be sure your advisor had experience to back up his or her suggestions. The apostle Paul was certainly qualified to teach on the value of contentment—he wrote on the subject while under confinement by Roman authorities.

In today’s passage, Paul says that prayer safeguards the believer’s heart from anxiety. Praying appropriately will result in protection, so we are wise to follow the pattern Jesus gave us. The Lord’s Prayer underscores adoration of the Father and de-emphasizes focusing on oneself (Matt. 6:9-13). God does desire to hear our concerns (Phil. 4:6). But if problems are all that keep us on our knees, then we have missed the main point of our relationship with Him.

Why does the Lord expect us to honor Him when what we really want is immediate help for our problems? Because where the mind dwells, the heart follows. Focusing on His greatness puts our needs in perspective and encourages us to rest easy. He is in charge and at work (Rom. 8:28).

Consider Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36-46). Even as the Lord was crying out for relief, He nevertheless submitted to the Father’s greater will (Matt. 26:39). As a result, a supernatural peace fortified the Savior and enabled Him to face His executioners.

In today’s reading, Paul offered a radical peace plan: Praise the Lord while suffering persecution; thank Him when facing trials; pray about everything. Each prayer braces your heart against anxiety. That’s solid advice from a man who practiced what he preached.

Removing Worry From Our Life

Philippians 4:8-9

People fret over all kinds of issues, from safety and job security to election results. For many folks—and maybe you are one—anxiety is woven so tightly into the fabric of their day that they’ve learned to live with it.

We treat worry like a benign emotion when in fact it can be harmful. Anxiety clouds our thinking, divides our focus, and robs us of concentration. To complicate matters, the body can react to prolonged pressure on the psyche. Stress can manifest physically through tension headaches, elevated blood pressure, and even heart attacks.

Drifting through an exhausting life is not the Lord’s plan for us. Our challenge is to take anxious thoughts captive (2 Cor. 10:5) and replace them with God-pleasing ones by dwelling on that which is pure, good, and right.

The best way to remove stray threads of worry is to crowd them out with something positive. We do this by weaving Scripture into our mental grid instead. God has something to say about everything that concerns us. If we’re feeling weak or underqualified, Philippians 4:13 assures us we “can do all things through Him who strengthens [us].” If we fear the paycheck won’t cover this month’s expenses, Matthew 6:31-32 reminds us not to be anxious, “for [our] heavenly Father knows that [we] need all these things.”

Jesus said worry adds nothing to our life (Matt. 6:27). In fact, we actually waste time and energy dwelling on concerns instead of affirming our trust in the Lord. We must choose to set our minds upon Him before anxiety leaves us feeling frayed.

Carry the Light

John 1:1-9

In the Bible, light is equated with good. For instance, Jesus called Himself light—He said, “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness” (John 12:46).

In contrast, the world we live in is dark (John 3:19). However, once we trust Jesus as our Savior, He lives within us through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Therefore, when we’re saved, we have the light with us (John 8:12).

Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He instructed His followers to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19-20). This charge, known as the Great Commission, still applies. In other words, Christians must carry the light to a dark world. But how do we do this? Here are three ways.

• God will send some of us abroad to share the truth of Jesus Christ. There are people in other countries who have never heard how to receive salvation, and we can go as missionaries to tell them.

• The Father also calls Christians to spread the good news of the gospel right where they are—in their neighborhoods, families, and workplaces.

• The Lord asks His followers to give of the resources He’s provided—whether money, talents, or gifts—so His message of salvation can be shared with the world.

Are you willing to tell others about Jesus in whatever way the Lord has in mind? Ask God how He would like you to shine His light into the world. Then be available and obedient to carry out His plan.

God Knows Your Needs

Matthew 6:7-8

I remember once watching a mother and marveling at her mastery in handling several energetic young children. It was an amazing sight. In the midst of a whirlwind of activity, this seasoned pro intuitively met the needs of her kids. A meal was served, spills were averted, noses were wiped, shoelaces were tied, hugs were distributed—all at the same time! Clearly, such a parent knows the needs of her family, even when the children cannot express them.

Sometimes it is difficult for us to think of ourselves as children. When we see little ones running around, always needing something from us, we cannot imagine that we often look and act the same way, only in grown-up bodies. Fortunately, we also have a Parent who already knows our needs. And yet we frequently act as though we must explain every detail of our problems to the Lord so He can get a more accurate view of how to provide for us.

Isn’t it strange? If you asked most Christians whether they thought God was all-knowing, they would respond, “Of course!” However, if you could listen in when they pray, you would probably often discover long, complicated explanations of why they need His help.

God does want you to talk with Him about what is on your heart. But at the same time, remember that “your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matt. 6:8). Therefore, do not spend all of your prayer time repeating yourself or explaining everything in unnecessary detail to God. For a change, simply ask Him to speak to your listening heart. Remember, He’s already got the answer. Give Him the opportunity to share it with you.

Why Our Needs Remain Unmet

James 1:5-8

If our loving, omnipotent Father really does desire to meet His children’s needs, then why do some go unmet? Let’s look at a few key reasons why we may lack essentials.

We don’t ask. If this seems elementary, it is. And yet it’s astonishing how many people fail to bring their concerns to God. Some say, “Oh, He has too much to do to worry about my little problems.” Nonsense! Our Father is a very personal God, who cares deeply about everything that affects His children. In fact, Matthew 10:30 says He even knows the number of hairs on our head. So of course we should share with Him the details of our life.

We ask but doubt that God can or will do it. It’s a tragic mischaracterization to go before the omnipotent, sovereign God of the universe and essentially say, “You aren’t big enough to handle my needs.” James 1:8 describes such a person as “double-minded” and “unstable.” When you approach God, do so knowing that He can meet your needs.

We ask God to address the symptom, not the real need. At times we pray and pray about something—a particular emotional pain, perhaps—without seeing any change. The reason may be that we are focusing on the symptom rather than the actual need. As you continue talking to the Lord about the situation, you may discover the root need is something you have not even considered.

The heavenly Father wants to meet all of your needs. If you cannot see Him acting on your behalf, be sure to take a critical look at yourself from His perspective. Then ask yourself, Is it possible that I could be standing in the way of God’s intervention?

Praying With Faith

Mark 11:20-24

In today’s passage, Jesus connects two important concepts: prayer and faith. And we know from other scriptures that unless our prayers are united with faith, we shouldn’t expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6-7). But what is the basis for our faith? Are we to believe that God will give us whatever we ask?

Jesus began by saying, “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22). This is the foundation for prayer—trust in the Lord. If our requests are incompatible with His teachings, we have no reason to believe He’ll answer. Nor should we expect to receive if the motive is our own pleasure (James 4:3). As Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane demonstrates, ultimate trust in God says, “Yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

First John 5:14-15 tells us we can count on God answering requests prayed according to His will. Our prayers should, therefore, be anchored to Scripture because apart from the Bible, we don’t know His will. But as we fill our minds with God’s Word, our desires and requests begin to align with His. When that’s the case, we can confidently expect to receive whatever we ask. And in those instances when we’re not sure of His will, the Spirit intercedes for us (Rom. 8:27). Even the obstacles in our life are no problem for the Lord. Nothing in harmony with His purpose will be impossible for us.

God doesn’t turn a deaf ear to the supplication of His children. As a loving heavenly Father, He protects, provides, guides, and cares for us. He has proven His love by sending His Son. Surely we can trust Him with all our other concerns.

Living Above Circumstances

Philippians 1:12-18

While under house arrest, Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians. The apostle could receive visitors but couldn’t travel. Despite living in a home, Paul was more than likely chained to a Roman soldier 24 hours a day. Moreover, because he knew that a trial was years away, these were his living conditions for the foreseeable future—perhaps for the rest of his life.

Under such circumstances, Paul might have thought to ask the Lord to release him. After all, God had called him to preach, to disciple believers, and to reach the Gentiles. But he was stuck in Rome, unable to plant new churches or visit those whom he was nurturing by letter. Besides being unjust, the imprisonment was keeping him from important work. Surely, if anyone had a right to gripe, it was Paul, who had endured persecution, shipwreck, and beatings for the gospel. Yet he never once complained. His letter to the church at Philippi is filled with rejoicing, as focusing on God let him live above his circumstances (Phil. 4:8).

The more we talk and complain about a situation, the worse it looks, until the problem looms larger in our mind than our faith does. Conversely, carrying challenges straight to God keeps matters in perspective. The Lord is bigger than any hardship. On His strength, we rise above the difficulty.

Problems can look so big and unwieldy that they distort our perspective. God invites us to live above our circumstances by fastening our eyes on Him. The trials of this life shrink when compared to our loving, powerful Lord, who exercises His might in defense of His people.

Enjoying Life

Ecclesiastes 2:1-23

Not only was King Solomon the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 3:12); he was also blessed with wealth beyond imagination and the privilege of building God’s temple. So we might expect him to know deep contentment.

In searching for that profound fulfillment, Solomon devoted himself to exploring all kinds of things. Ecclesiastes tells us that he indulged in the pleasures of the world, even dabbling in pursuits he recognized as folly to see if there was anything worthwhile in them. But the satisfaction Solomon sought evaded him, and he concluded that self-indulgence was without value.

To feel content, the king tried another avenue: personal achievement. He undertook great projects, such as building houses for himself, improving the environment with gardens and parks, and carrying out an extensive irrigation project (Eccl. 2:4-6). The king had everything he could ever need to enjoy life, but in the end, he concluded it was all without meaning.

The story has a familiar ring, doesn’t it? Our world has many highly educated and successful people, but there is also much dissatisfaction. Our culture pursues pleasure and does not accept limits on its passions. Sadly, such lack of restraint has ruined countless lives.

Solomon possessed the wisdom and resources to accomplish whatever he decided to do. Yet the goals that he pursued brought no lasting contentment. He concluded that the best course was to obey God (Eccl. 12:13). True enjoyment comes only when we align ourselves with His will. Any other way is meaningless.

David’s Devotion

Psalms 3

Do you want to know who God is and what He cares about most in your life? You may have stored up lots of intellectual information about the Bible, and that is important, but it’s not the main issue. You may serve the Lord, which is also necessary. And you may give generously to the church—another significant aspect of Christian life. But what matters most is the depth of your personal relationship with the Lord. Knowledge, service, and tithes can never replace intimacy with God.

The psalmist-king understood this truth, and it strengthened him in times of trouble. When his son Absalom tried to take over the throne, David fled to the wilderness, where he wrote these words: “But You, O Lord, are a shield about me ... I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about” (Ps. 3:3, Ps. 3:6). He knew that even in raging adversity, he could count on God’s unfailing love and protection.

Throughout David’s psalms, we repeatedly see his unwavering dependence on the Lord. It was that passion—not his brute strength, charisma, or ability to command an army—that made him a great man. And even though he had a number of failures, the Bible describes him as a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22).

It’s not enough to read the Bible, volunteer your services, and give money to kingdom work. God wants to know you personally. While tangible expressions of our devotion are important, they should be the result of a mature relationship with God. When we seek Him first, the rest will follow.

The Cost of Discipleship

Matthew 10:24-42

Salvation is a free gift of God. It comes to us through faith in His Son Jesus, who did everything necessary to accomplish our forgiveness and reconciliation with the Father. We can add nothing to this transaction; our job is simply to believe.

But from that point on, each one of us must make a choice: Will we follow Jesus or just coast along, doing what we want? If we limit our Christianity to merely sitting in a pew on Sunday mornings, we’ll miss the greatest adventure of our life. Being a disciple of Christ requires that we be actively engaged in our relationship with Him and in service to others.

Jesus never painted a rosy picture when He called people to follow Him. He stated quite plainly that becoming His follower would require self-denial, sacrifice, and suffering. With this kind of job description, it’s no wonder so many believers have tried to make Christianity a spectator sport. Following Jesus means that He directs our life—that’s what dying to self is all about. We give up our rights to do what we want and instead submit to His will, even if it is difficult or doesn’t align with our preferences. If you don’t realize how good, loving, and wise our God is, walking in His will may seem scary or even foolish.

But those who deny themselves to follow Jesus discover they lose nothing and gain everything. Even when His disciples are in a season of pain and suffering, the Lord gives them inner peace and a joy that transcends circumstances. Are you following Jesus or yourself? Your lifestyle, words, and attitudes reveal who truly rules your life.

Consequences of Unforgiveness

Hebrews 12:14-15

Scripture stresses the importance of pardoning those who have offended us. While it may feel natural to pull away from hurtful people, refusing to forgive has consequences far worse than the pain of being wronged. Unforgiveness ...

Harms family interactions. Have you ever tried to maintain a growing relationship with an individual who’s rooted in bitterness? You can’t do it, because that person is fixated on unhealthy feelings about someone else. Moreover, it’s hard to spend time with anyone consumed by resentment, because such people simply cease being likable.

Hinders prayer life. Unforgiveness is sin, and unconfessed sin creates “static” in a believer’s relationship with God. So it’s important to forgive others before prayer or worship (Matt. 5:23-24).

Damages one’s personal witness. The highlight of your testimony is salvation, which centers around the truth that the Lord has forgiven all your sins. How can you stress the importance of this if your listener can’t see even a hint of forgiveness in your own life?

Thwarts spiritual growth. God will not bless sinful actions. And so, if you are living a life mired in unforgiveness, you cannot expect Him to shower you with His blessings. By persisting in disobedience, you disrupt intimate fellowship with the Lord and put yourself in a dangerous position.

Is there anyone you need to forgive today? Don’t let another day pass without granting that forgiveness. There is more at stake than you may have realized.

Equipped to Do His Will

Exodus 3:1-14

I’ve met people who know the Lord has called them to do something, but they are so focused on their perceived lack of ability that they keep telling Him, “I just can’t.” Did you realize this is a form of rebellion? It amounts to telling God that He isn’t powerful enough to equip you—and that His will being done on this earth depends upon your natural skills.

On being called to lead the Israelites out of slavery, Moses complained that he was the wrong person for the job and offered an excuse of not being a good speaker (Ex. 4:10). God’s response underscores that not only was He more than able to equip His chosen leader, but He also planned to accomplish His purposes with or without Moses.

The Lord is the one who gives us the ability to live within His will. It’s a divine promise: If we believe Him and move forward in obedience, He’ll show us what we’re to do and then will energize us to get it done. Philippians 2:13 says that God Himself “is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” There’s nothing to fear: You never have to take on His work in your own strength, and He won’t ask you to do anything that He will not enable you to carry out. The Father is committed to equipping His children to do whatever He asks.

As a follower of Christ, you have a personal responsibility—first, to say yes when God calls, and second, to allow Him to achieve His purposes through your life. He won’t let you down. Watching Him work through you will strengthen your faith and further the process of conforming you to His Son’s image.

The Pattern for Servanthood

Matthew 20:25-28

In the world’s thinking, great men are the ones with authority, prominence, and power. Though Jesus Christ had all that, He laid it aside to become a servant (Isa. 42:1).

Jesus gave Himself completely to fulfill the Father’s plan of redemption, even though the beneficiaries—namely, each of us—were undeserving. God, who is holy and righteous, has “eyes ... too pure to approve evil, and [He] can not look on wickedness with favor” (Hab. 1:13). But all of humanity is stained by wrongdoing (Rom. 3:23); everybody is born captive to the desires of the flesh (Rom. 6:16-18). When people claim to be living on their own terms, they are actually serving whatever their human nature craves. The penalty for that false sense of liberty is death (Rom. 6:23).

Jesus’ ultimate act of service was to give His life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). The word ransom describes the price paid to set a slave free—Christ voluntarily purchased our liberation. There was only one way our holy God could remove our guilt yet remain true to His own law: Someone sinless had to pay our sin debt for us.

Jesus’ sacrifice spared us the penalty we deserve. Instead, we receive the gift of grace and have been declared no longer guilty. Moreover, we are elevated from slaves to sons and daughters of the Almighty!

Jesus served the Father’s purpose faithfully. He gave up His righteousness to carry the weight of all our wickedness—and endured a crushing separation from His Father. To meet our needs, the Savior held nothing of Himself back and thereby set a powerful example of servanthood for us to follow.

Clean Feet, Clean Heart

John 13:3-15

Israel can be a dusty place, and sandaled feet get filthy walking to and fro. In ancient times, a person entering a home removed his sandals and cleaned his feet. Or if the homeowners were wealthy, servants would do the washing. This distasteful but necessary task fell to the worker of lowest position in the household.

Imagine the disciples’ surprise when the Son of God put Himself in the role of a lowly servant and knelt to wash their feet. The need for such a service was great, as they had been traveling for some time. But not one of them offered to do it.

Jesus did more than fill a need; He offered an object lesson. As He explained, “I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you” (John 13:15). Some churches have incorrectly interpreted this as a command to make foot washing an ordinance. But it’s possible to perform a ritual without contemplating the significance of Christ’s actions.

In fact, the washing isn’t the main point—it’s the attitude that counts, not the act. Jesus desires that we be willing to humble ourselves to serve others. He is looking for men and women who will ignore pride, position, and power in order to do whatever must be done, wherever it needs doing, and for whoever requires assistance.

Jesus performed His greatest and most humble acts of service within 24 hours of each other. He washed dirty feet by using hands that would then be pierced by nails. The message here is that every task God gives us is important to His kingdom.

Avoiding Hypocrisy in Prayer

Matthew 6:5-6

People who are uncomfortable praying in public tend to love Matthew 6:6 because Jesus advocates praying in secret. However, Christ’s point was not our location but our attitude. His admonition wasn’t to avoid public prayer; rather, it was a warning not to pray hypocritically by seeking the approval of others.

We may be quick to think we’d never do that, but in reality, corporate prayer can be intimidating to many believers. We wonder how we sound to others: Did I say the right things? What did they think when I stumbled on my words? Was my prayer too long? Too short?

Generally, our problem is less about trying to impress others with our eloquence and spirituality than it is about feeling self-conscious, tongue-tied, and inept. However, if our focus is on how we sound, we may still be praying like a hypocrite because all we can think about is ourselves and other people’s perception of us. Although we may not admit it, we want their approval.

But the Lord never calls us out for being inarticulate or using bad grammar. He’s listening to the motivation of our spirit. How well we speak doesn’t matter if we’re truly talking to Him and not other people. When our focus is on God, His Spirit unites with ours, and those who hear are drawn into that sweet communion.

The solution for hypocrisy is not abstinence from all public prayer. Whether we pray in a closet or in an auditorium filled with people, we must remember that we’re speaking to an audience of one, and He delights in hearing from His children.

An Introduction to Christ

Revelation 1:4-8

John gives us a compact description of the Lord. Verse 5 in today’s passage condenses the wondrous nature of Jesus Christ to the bare but beautiful essentials of who He is.

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness. Jesus came to earth to more fully reveal the character and ways of the Father (John 14:9). The miracles He performed validated His claim to be the Son of God.

Jesus Christ is the firstborn from the dead. The Savior bore our sins and died on the cross, was buried, and rose again on the third day. His resurrection proved that eternal life is possible for us, too, which is what Jesus taught when He said, “He who believes in Me will live even if he dies” (John 11:25).

Jesus Christ is ruler over the kings of the earth. The Lord raises men to power, just as it is He who removes them (John 19:11; see also Rom. 13:1). And believers have access to a higher authority than human leaders. In God’s throne room, we can beseech Him on behalf of our land and lay claim to His promises.

Jesus Christ loves us and, by His blood, released us from our sins. Note the change of tense in Revelation 1:5. The Lord’s love is ever-present, but He has freed believers from their past (NIV). Both the penalty and power of sin have been broken by His sacrifice.

When people ask you about Jesus, introduce Him by guiding them through this mini biography. In just a few sentences, John describes Christ’s character, divinity, and authority. The disciple was not timid about proclaiming the Lord to whomever he encountered. We shouldn’t be shy, either, when we serve so great a Savior.

Jesus Christ Is Lord

Romans 14:7-12

Followers of Jesus would agree that whether we live or die, we do so for Christ. But His sovereignty is not limited to those who claim Him as King. The entire world—the whole universe, in fact—is subject to His authority. At the final judgment, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess and praise God.

In the here and now, relatively few people recognize the Lord’s rule and seek to remain in His will. Most refuse to see that all of our human constructs—such as government, culture, and society—thrive or falter in the palm of God’s hand. Moreover, nonbelievers resist Christ’s sovereignty in their own lives. People who won’t surrender their will to the Lord’s great purpose assume control of their own destiny. However, the Lord’s supreme reign cannot be thwarted.

It’s common for men and women today to believe that there are no consequences for rejecting the lordship of Jesus Christ. You may have heard people say things like, “That Christian stuff works for you, but it’s not for me. I’ll live on my own terms.” Yet Jesus’ parable of houses built on either solid rock or sand offers a different perspective (Matt. 7:24-27). Only those who make their abode in the Lord can withstand the upheavals of this world.

Kneeling before Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life is the wisest decision you can make. The sovereign Ruler of the universe loves you and desires to bless all of your days. Make your eternal home in the safety of His kingdom, and forever delight in Him.

When God Closes a Door

Acts 16:1-15

Have you ever prayed about a situation, felt confident of God’s will, and made your plans, only to discover the door has suddenly slammed shut? Maybe it was relocation to another city, a relationship leading toward marriage, or a job opportunity that seemed so promising. Whatever the situation, the result was confusion, disappointment, and maybe even despair. What was God doing?

Paul and Silas had a similar experience on their second missionary journey. After originally intending to visit previous church plants, they instead decided to move into new territory with the gospel. But the Holy Spirit forbade them from going into Asia (modern-day Turkey). So they went north to Mysia with the intention of heading east to Bithynia. Yet once again the Holy Spirit closed the door.

At that point, they may have wondered why God would prevent them from preaching the gospel. After all, hadn’t Jesus given them the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20)? The answer came to Paul in a dream as the Lord redirected them to Greece—a nation with great metropolitan cities. From there, the gospel could spread more rapidly, and eventually Paul circled around to Ephesus, bringing the gospel to Asia. By the time John wrote Revelation, there were at least seven churches on that continent.

God often uses closed doors to redirect us into His perfect will and timing. Therefore, the wisest response is to rely on His infinite wisdom, wait for His clear direction, and follow the Holy Spirit’s promptings. God’s redirection brings blessing if we’ll simply trust and obey.

Keith posted:

Jesus Christ Is Lord

Romans 14:7-12

Followers of Jesus would agree that whether we live or die, we do so for Christ. But His sovereignty is not limited to those who claim Him as King. The entire world—the whole universe, in fact—is subject to His authority. At the final judgment, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess and praise God.

In the here and now, relatively few people recognize the Lord’s rule and seek to remain in His will. Most refuse to see that all of our human constructs—such as government, culture, and society—thrive or falter in the palm of God’s hand. Moreover, nonbelievers resist Christ’s sovereignty in their own lives. People who won’t surrender their will to the Lord’s great purpose assume control of their own destiny. However, the Lord’s supreme reign cannot be thwarted.

It’s common for men and women today to believe that there are no consequences for rejecting the lordship of Jesus Christ. You may have heard people say things like, “That Christian stuff works for you, but it’s not for me. I’ll live on my own terms.” Yet Jesus’ parable of houses built on either solid rock or sand offers a different perspective (Matt. 7:24-27). Only those who make their abode in the Lord can withstand the upheavals of this world.

Kneeling before Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life is the wisest decision you can make. The sovereign Ruler of the universe loves you and desires to bless all of your days. Make your eternal home in the safety of His kingdom, and forever delight in Him.

Suppose that all of this is just make believe? Suppose that what people say of Jesus and what he actually was are two completely different realities? No doubt believers of Jesus will point to what others wrote of Jesus to support their belief. However, if one realistically take the very limited events, words and actions of Jesus as documented in the New Testament free from blind faith, one will come to a different conclusion.

To begin with, Jesus was no king. He was born to an unmarried woman in a barn and does not even know his father. He grew up in the working class with barely any measurable accomplishments. He hanged out with a bunch of other guys who made him feel important but he was not even acknowledged as a leader of the church and had no meaningful role in the church of his peers.

But that was not all. He was also rude, obnoxious and prejudiced as shown in the manner of how he referred to people who were not Jewish of or his inner circle. Names like dogs, pigs, swine, wicked and adulterous people to name a few. He constantly whined about the comforts that others had while he had nothing of his own. If you weren't Jewish, you were not worthy of his acknowledgement. He was even rude and disrespectful to his own mother who bore him through pregnancy and childbirth regardless of her getting pregnant and not disclosing who got her pregnant.

Now this all may sound harsh but they will make sense once one is willing and able to remove the blinders of faith for no matter how much lipstick one put on a pig, it is still a pig. And if Jesus had no problem calling others pigs, none should be concerned that I use the pig reference here.

Jews have always had tremendous influence in the world. In the world today, that is easily observed in banking, business, politics, science, music, entertainment, fashion, news/print media and pornograhy like in blue movies and main stream cinema. They influence the heathens, gentiles and infidels.

All for the almighty DOLLLAR.

Jewish principles of doing business is similar to Jacob's method-conniving, deciet and outright thiefing of Esau's birthright. A Jew will tell you that all of that is acceptable. As long as they seek Forgiveness at Hanukah. And start a new year again, doing the same things.

Adolph Hitler had a problem with them and that. And again they have resorted to their old ways. Misery for the world masses in all form IN EVERY CONTINENT.

Christ came only to the Jews and the His Disciples took His message to them to the far reaches of the world. 

The way we read the New Testament, is like a person must ONLY ACCEPT. But, the Orthodox Jews have a much more thorough explanation of Elohim and Yesuwah. They waiting for Him to come. He already came, and the things he said about them is all true today.

Now, the Apostle Paul, I percieved tobe like the modern day Orthodox Jewis Rabbi. Listening to them opens up a whole understanding of the scriptures. Paul knew the Torah inside out. And he wrote and spoke of Yahweh and Yesuwah in simplistic terms considering the mulitudes of background of the gentiles.

Christ came  for the Jews for them to change their ways and give harmony to the world. And he knew they will not change. But because, they were the chosen ppl, the effort had to be and must be made. The Apostle Paul, gave us his wriiten thoughts how live in a world full of sufferings. Christ said the same things to the Jews, all from the ancient texts. Paul simple tells us how bear our chafe untill the Lords returns.

Learning From Adversity

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

What are we to do with our pain when, despite our pleading, God won’t remove it? He knows we’re hurting but does nothing. How can He be a God of love yet not come to our aid?

Today’s passage gives us intimate insight into a very painful event in Paul’s life. We don’t know exactly what the “thorn in the flesh” was, but his account of what he learned through that experience is an amazing example of what God wants to teach us through adversity.

First of all, God is sovereign over the situation. Ultimately, He is the one who allowed the thorn and the one with the power to remove it.

• Second, God prioritizes the spiritual. Paul wanted physical relief, but the Lord was working for his spiritual good. The thorn was a protection against pride, which would have seriously hindered Paul’s ministry and corrupted his character. Whatever God allows to afflict believers is designed to protect them from sin, produce holiness, and equip them for faithful service to Christ.

• Third, God’s grace is sufficient. The Lord didn’t remove the pain but gave Paul both the grace to endure it and strength in his weakness. If God doesn’t provide a way out, He will provide a way through.

Once we understand the Lord’s sovereignty, priorities, and sufficiency, we can respond to our afflictions as Paul did—with gladness. When Christ’s strength is perfected in us, we can be content in whatever difficulties God allows in our life. The Lord’s unwillingness to give us relief is not neglect. Rather, it is evidence of His surpassing love, which seeks our eternal good.

Even Christ didn't understand the Lord's sovereignty, priorities, and sufficiency. When the pain of the crucifixion began to hurt him, he exclaimed; "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me".

Looks like Paul's response was better than Christ's was to affliction.

ksazma posted:

Even Christ didn't understand the Lord's sovereignty, priorities, and sufficiency. When the pain of the crucifixion began to hurt him, he exclaimed; "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me".

Looks like Paul's response was better than Christ's was to affliction.

You have not read enough to fully grasp the uttering. And if you did, you will never be enlightened. Because, you are in denial of the Holy Spirit.

There are some things never understood by carnal minds. 

Who We Are in Christ

1 Peter 1:1-7

Peter wrote the first of his two epistles to encourage people who were undergoing persecution. And the disciple decided to begin the letter by reminding believers of who they are in the Lord.

Believers are chosen in Christ. It’s not that the Lord selects some people to enter heaven and others to go to hell. Rather, the good news of Jesus Christ is offered to all humanity (John 3:16; Rom. 1:20)—salvation is for everyone who receives the Savior through an act of free will. The bottom line is that God wants you (2 Pet. 3:9).

Believers are recipients of mercy. No one can claim that his or her righteous works earned a place in heaven. We are saved through the mercy of Christ alone (Titus 3:5). God loved us so much that He made a way for us to be in relationship with Him now and forever.

Believers are protected. Psalm 34:7 says, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him.” We are so well guarded that the only way our life can be touched by hardship is if God allows it. That doesn’t mean we won’t experience loss or upheaval. Sometimes the Father permits His children to walk through dark valleys, but always the protective shepherd, He remains by their side (Psalm 23:4).

The message of Peter’s letter is simple: Do not be afraid when you go through trying times. Focus on who you are in Jesus Christ. You have reason to be bold, assured, and triumphant, because you are a chosen, beloved, and well-protected child of God.

Our True Identity

Ephesians 1:3-8

When I hear a believer say, “I’m just a sinner,” I feel like responding, “That’s what you used to be.” A lot of folks cling to a view of themselves as a patched-up, slightly-better-than-before version of their old self. The Word of God contradicts that opinion: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17). In fact, according to Scripture, we’re dramatically different once we are complete in the Lord.

The question is, Will Christians trust in what they feel, or will they believe what God says about them? His Word calls us saints (Rom. 1:7), disciples (John 13:34-35), and fellow heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). If your opinion is that you are “just a sinner,” then you cannot fully experience and enjoy your identity as a follower of God.

Believing what the Lord says about our new self is a choice. Satan certainly schemes to convince believers that Scripture doesn’t apply to them. He knows that people held captive by spiritual poverty back away from opportunities to share the gospel and serve God’s kingdom. It’s much easier to spiritually bankrupt someone who already thinks of himself as “just a sinner” than it is to conquer a disciple who knows he is a child of the loving heavenly Father.

Our true identity is defined not by our past actions but by the Savior’s. Jesus purchased our lives with His blood and brought us into relationship with the Father, who adopted us as His beloved children. We have every reason to hold our heads high, stand firm, and courageously proclaim the gospel.

Free to Enjoy God

Psalm 37:3-5

The gospel writers spoke about children coming to Jesus, giving the impression that the young were very comfortable around Him (Matt. 18:2-3; Matt. 19:13-14). Some probably climbed onto His lap, while others perhaps sat at His feet. We can picture them asking Him lots of questions, begging to hear more parables, and whispering secrets in His ear. It isn’t surprising that they would gather around Jesus; children can usually sense when an adult loves them deeply.

Contrast this snapshot of the Savior’s welcoming, loving nature with the picture some Christians have of God—they see Him as a judgmental taskmaster who motivates by intimidation. While it’s true that we are to obey the Lord’s commands, we’re also to delight in Him, just as we would enjoy the company of a close friend.

Do you think of God as a stern overlord who weighs good actions against bad? If so, you’ll have trouble considering Him a friend. Christians who envision a harsh God devote much time and energy to proving their salvation is deserved. How much better to have a biblically accurate view—namely, that God, while sovereign over the universe, balances authority with love. He wants us to relax and enjoy spending time with Him.

Taking pleasure in the Lord requires that we understand His attitude toward us: Our Father loves us passionately. He sees past our faults and mistakes to the precious child He created. In fact, He loves us so much that He sent Jesus Christ to save us and enable us to be with Him in heaven eternally. We have no greater friend!

seignet posted:
ksazma posted:

Even Christ didn't understand the Lord's sovereignty, priorities, and sufficiency. When the pain of the crucifixion began to hurt him, he exclaimed; "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me".

Looks like Paul's response was better than Christ's was to affliction.

You have not read enough to fully grasp the uttering. And if you did, you will never be enlightened. Because, you are in denial of the Holy Spirit.

There are some things never understood by carnal minds. 

Seignet, I couldn't say it any better, I was going to reply in length but why bother when one cannot grasp the uttering.

Ksazma, who was responsible for Christ death? Answer me that and we will have an enlighten conversation.

Keith posted:
Ksazma, who was responsible for Christ death? Answer me that and we will have an enlighten conversation.

God. All births and deaths are by God's decree. Jesus is no different. His birth and death were also by God's decree.

btw, you started out as your topic claims that it is not a sermon, just a thought. How did a thought become a two page sermon? Why did you claim that your sermon is not a sermon?

Enoch never experienced death, so did Elijah. Life and death is the power of God. He has dominion over every minute aspects and events. As mortals, we are awed considering many to be miracles.

Yes, Christ died but He is not Dead. Resurrection was not an uncommon phenomenon back then, before and after. I have listened to many interpretations of what the Quran has to to say about Christ and Mary. And resurrection was not uncommon to the writer of the Quran. For the amount of written comments about Jesus in the Quran, the Quran itself establishes the reality of His divinity.  

Mark, the first gospel writer wrote of Christ as His teacher. And his accounts stopped at the scene of an empty tomb. A clear statement that Christ is alive.

seignet posted:

Enoch never experienced death, so did Elijah. Life and death is the power of God. He has dominion over every minute aspects and events. As mortals, we are awed considering many to be miracles.

Yes, Christ died but He is not Dead. Resurrection was not an uncommon phenomenon back then, before and after. I have listened to many interpretations of what the Quran has to to say about Christ and Mary. And resurrection was not uncommon to the writer of the Quran. For the amount of written comments about Jesus in the Quran, the Quran itself establishes the reality of His divinity.  

Mark, the first gospel writer wrote of Christ as His teacher. And his accounts stopped at the scene of an empty tomb. A clear statement that Christ is alive.

Yes, Christ died but He is not Dead - Now this is what I call crazy logic.

For the amount of written comments about Jesus in the Quran, the Quran itself establishes the reality of His divinity.   - Interesting that all the statements in the Qur'an clearly stated that Jesus is NOT divine. You don't have to assume what the statements mean as they are crystal clear. Nothing like how you have to find ways to fully grasp the utterings of the Bible. Jesus is no different from any other prophet. No better nor worse.

A clear statement that Christ is alive - If Jesus is alive, where is he and how you think he must look now given that he would be 2000+ years old.

 

ksazma posted:
seignet posted:

Enoch never experienced death, so did Elijah. Life and death is the power of God. He has dominion over every minute aspects and events. As mortals, we are awed considering many to be miracles.

Yes, Christ died but He is not Dead. Resurrection was not an uncommon phenomenon back then, before and after. I have listened to many interpretations of what the Quran has to to say about Christ and Mary. And resurrection was not uncommon to the writer of the Quran. For the amount of written comments about Jesus in the Quran, the Quran itself establishes the reality of His divinity.  

Mark, the first gospel writer wrote of Christ as His teacher. And his accounts stopped at the scene of an empty tomb. A clear statement that Christ is alive.

Yes, Christ died but He is not Dead - Now this is what I call crazy logic.

For the amount of written comments about Jesus in the Quran, the Quran itself establishes the reality of His divinity.   - Interesting that all the statements in the Qur'an clearly stated that Jesus is NOT divine. You don't have to assume what the statements mean as they are crystal clear. Nothing like how you have to find ways to fully grasp the utterings of the Bible. Jesus is no different from any other prophet. No better nor worse.

A clear statement that Christ is alive - If Jesus is alive, where is he and how you think he must look now given that he would be 2000+ years old.

 

For the rational minded person who reads the written words about Christ in the Quran they themselves would honor His Divinity. I expect a lot of muslims will see the light when enlightement comes to them. Maybe some has already, but the fear of death keeps Christ quietly, in their hearts. 

Celestial Beings doan age. Angels, Archangels and Ministering Angels are forever the same. 

The Middle-East, before Christ, was no diiferent than India, gods of all descriptions. Many of the nations in that region would adhere to the teachings of Christ through the Apostles and Paul. But there lies the nation state of Arabia, approximately 600 years after Christ, still worship mulitudes of gods.

It has been stated over and over, Mohammad was illiterate in a household with a vast library. And he was taught to read. From the beliefs of Mohammad concerning a monolithic God, one can conclude the library would have had the Gospels, the Torah(The Books of Moses) and most certain the Book of Enoch. He also was a man who had had business dealings with people of all faiths in the region.

Convinced of only one God, he would do what Moses did to the Hittites, the Amorites and all the others who worshipped idols. Declared war and killed the heathens. Which Mohammad did and began teaching Arabians about the One God.

Mohammad had enough written material to teach from.

When Christ came, he reasoned with his listeners about God. He came with a message that was not written anywhere. The Jews knew of their God-according to Moses Laws. There is this man who spoke of freedom for slaves when the world at that time were determined to be 75% slaves. He spoke of a new kingdom. He said a great many things. And He said, that He came from the realm of God and Him and the Father are one.

And the Deciples saw Him on a cross. His pain escruciating, And uttered, the words.  

It must have been devasting for the deciples. Jesus left no wriiten accounts or instructions. They expected a fullfilment of what He said in real time. 

And so, the deciples sought to undersatnd what had taken place. And they started with the utterance,"Father why has thou forsaken Me." They would find the reasoning for those words in the Psalms. From that point onward the Holy Spirit would guide them through the Torah for the prophecies related to His coming.

Some 50 yeras later after the resurrection, The Gospels are written and letters of Paul. All with aim of an explanation of what took place.

 

 

seignet posted:
 

Responses highlighted in yellow

For the rational minded person who reads the written words about Christ in the Quran they themselves would honor His Divinity. I expect a lot of muslims will see the light when enlightement comes to them. Maybe some has already, but the fear of death keeps Christ quietly, in their hearts.

Why would anyone who reads where the Qur'an stated crystal clear that Jesus was NOT divine still foolishly "honor his divine"? One would be foolish to use the Qur'an which clearly stated that Jesus was NOT divine to insist that he was.

Celestial Beings doan age. Angels, Archangels and Ministering Angels are forever the same. 

Jesus was no celestial being. He was a human being like all others.

The Middle-East, before Christ, was no diiferent than India, gods of all descriptions. Many of the nations in that region would adhere to the teachings of Christ through the Apostles and Paul. But there lies the nation state of Arabia, approximately 600 years after Christ, still worship mulitudes of gods.

Arabia was not a nation state in 600 C.E.

It has been stated over and over, Mohammad was illiterate in a household with a vast library. And he was taught to read. From the beliefs of Mohammad concerning a monolithic God, one can conclude the library would have had the Gospels, the Torah(The Books of Moses) and most certain the Book of Enoch. He also was a man who had had business dealings with people of all faiths in the region.

I don't know where you get your information from dude. Muhammad's household did not have any vast library. He was not taught to read nor did he ever read any written words throughout his life. The words of the Qur'an are what he claimed he heard from the archangel Gabriel. While the people mentioned in the Qur'an are also mentioned in the Bible, the accounts of their lives are vastly different so clearly Muhammad in dictating the words of the Qur'an chose to disregard the stories of the Bible. And while he did have contact with others as he travels as a merchant, he clearly did not relate their accounts of the Bible in his dictation of the Qur'an.

Convinced of only one God, he would do what Moses did to the Hittites, the Amorites and all the others who worshipped idols. Declared war and killed the heathens. Which Mohammad did and began teaching Arabians about the One God.

Mohammad had enough written material to teach from.

Muhammad did not declare war on the Meccans. They declared war on him. He even left Mecca in the middle of the night and escaped to Madinah because the Meccans were planning to kill him. Yes, he did began teaching the Arabians about the One God after he learned of that One God from the archangel Gabriel.

When Christ came, he reasoned with his listeners about God. He came with a message that was not written anywhere. The Jews knew of their God-according to Moses Laws. There is this man who spoke of freedom for slaves when the world at that time were determined to be 75% slaves. He spoke of a new kingdom. He said a great many things. And He said, that He came from the realm of God and Him and the Father are one.

Jesus did not reason with anyone. He had a tumultuous relationship with anyone he came into contact with except his 12 compadres and even then he had issues with them from time to time. He was very angry and selfish. He called people insulting names like swine, dogs, pigs, etc. He was even disrespectful to his mother who brought him into this world through the pain of childbirth. And he was constantly complaining about all the stuff that others had while he had nothing as not "even a place to rest his head". And all this in only a three year period. The rest of his life is not known to anyone. He never freed a single slave during his life. While he did say that he and God are one, he clearly stated that he is NOT God and rebuked a man for addressing him as good when only God is good.

And the Deciples saw Him on a cross. His pain escruciating, And uttered, the words.

The disciples did not see him on a cross or see his excruciating pain nor hear his uttered words. They all got afraid and fled the scene leaving Jesus alone to bear his chafe.

It must have been devasting for the deciples. Jesus left no wriiten accounts or instructions. They expected a fullfilment of what He said in real time. 

Jesus had no time to leave any instructions. He was too busy those three years enjoying the attention his 12 compadres were giving him.

And so, the deciples sought to undersatnd what had taken place. And they started with the utterance,"Father why has thou forsaken Me." They would find the reasoning for those words in the Psalms. From that point onward the Holy Spirit would guide them through the Torah for the prophecies related to His coming.

Regardless of what the disciples thought, Jesus demonstrated gross lack of faith, patience and devotion when he questioned God's decree. Job showed more devotion to God than Jesus did.

Some 50 yeras later after the resurrection, The Gospels are written and letters of Paul. All with aim of an explanation of what took place.

The Romans found a way to rewrite the story of Mithras replacing Mithras ' name with Jesus' and so began what we know as Christianity today. As Christians celebrate Christmas today, they are actually celebrating Mithras' birthday and not Jesus as Jesus was born in July. Jesus is not even his real name. It is Esau.

 

 

 

Eternally Secure in Christ

Colossians 2:13-14

As Christians, many of us know we’re saved yet still wonder about eternal security. Does our behavior play a role in keeping our salvation? Examining what happened when we trusted Jesus as Savior will bring reassurance of how secure we are in Him.

Prior to salvation, we had a spiritual problem. We were born with a nature inclined to rebel against God. Our inner self consistently rejected His rule and took charge. Because of our sinful state, we were spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1), under God’s judgment, and destined for eternal separation from Him. No amount of good works, repentance, or improved behavior could have changed our sinful condition. Our problem required a divine solution. Knowing this, God the Father provided what we needed through His Son Jesus (Heb. 9:11-14).

The day we trusted in Christ, our condition was changed from condemnation and death to forgiveness and life (Heb. 5:24). We received a new nature—one that wants to please God—and were adopted into His family (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 1:5). His gift of salvation delivered us from eternal death, made us spiritually alive, and gave us eternal life. We cannot return to our dead, unforgiven state. Our new status as God’s children is permanent because it is based on what Jesus has done.

While our behavior may not always reflect our new nature, any mistakes we make do not jeopardize our salvation. Remember, it’s not our actions but Christ’s work on the cross that changed everything. And nothing can undo a spiritual rebirth that came about through faith in Jesus (John 6:37).

Eternal Security: Can We Be Sure?

1 John 5:1-13

Our loving heavenly Father wants us to know with certainty that we have eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. What assurances do we have that we are permanently secure?

God’s love. One reason we can be sure of never-ending salvation is our heavenly Father’s unconditional love. At the cross, He demonstrated just how much we mean to Him: He sent His Son to die so that we might have eternal life (1 John 4:9-10).

Christ’s life and death. Because Jesus was without sin, He qualified to serve as our substitute and take our place on the cross. By dying for us, He paid for all our sins and finished the work necessary to secure our salvation (John 19:30).

Jesus’ promise. We have our Lord’s assurance that we will spend eternity with Him. He promised that we can never be separated from Him and that no one can snatch us from His hand (John 10:28). He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us and will return to bring us there (John 14:2-3).

The indwelling Holy Spirit. Another assurance of eternal security is the presence of God’s Spirit within each believer. The Holy Spirit acts as a seal, guaranteeing that we belong to the Lord and serving as a pledge of our future in heaven with Him (2 Cor. 1:21-22).

The Word of God is filled with His promises that those who have received Jesus Christ as Savior will spend eternity with Him. If you struggle with doubt, then meditate on Scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into a biblical understanding of your salvation.

1. Whenever I think of a father who love unconditionally, I think of one who will give his life for his children, not one who will ask one of his children to give their live instead.

2. I don't know how someone can be without sin when they display utmost disrespect for the majority of people around them. The bigotry, hatred, calling people names like dogs, pigs, swine. If those are not sinful acts, them what are?

3. Jesus also promised Judas that no one can snatch him from his (Jesus) hand also and he found out that his promise was not good enough to keep Judas from betraying him.

4. Looks like that Holy Spirit was not enough of a seal to keep folks like Jimmy Swaggart, Jimmy Bakker amongst others from falling off the cliff. If that Holy Spirit was able to guide these dudes who proclaimed frequently of speaking directly to God, why would that Holy Spirit have any better result with anyone else. These were dudes who spoke directly to God and still ended up screwing up in many ways than one.

All this Christian promise is pie in the sky. No one can pay for another person's actions. Everyone is responsibility for their own actions. If nothing people do is good enough to help them, that is their problem. If God is so powerful and loving, he doesn't need to send his only son to die so those people have salvation. All he has to do is lower the threshold instead of stubbornly setting unreasonable demands on people. There is nothing perfect about Jesus. If he is part of the Triune Godhead, one would expect him to know about things around him. If I were to ask a local for a certain fruit and that fruit was not in season, that local would know that it is not in season and tell me so. Jesus didn't even know that it was out of season for the fig tree. So he got pissed off when he found out that he was mistaken and how did he respond? He cursed the tree. That is one amazing display of love to curse a tree that did nothing just because he was wrong. Talk about being wrong and strong. One can put as much lipstick as they wish on a pig but it will still be a pig.

Now this is straight talk.

ksazma posted:

If God is so smart, he would have sent Christ earlier so that all those people who lived and sinned for thousands of years prior to the coming of Christ would have had a similar opportunity to accept salvation too. 

Your question is different to "If God knew that Adam and Eve would sin, why did He create them?" but have a similar answer.

The Bible says that God created all things—including us—for Himself. He is glorified in His creation. “From him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36).

God is omniscient (Psalm 139:1–6), and He knows the future (Isaiah 46:10). So He definitely knew that Adam and Eve would sin. But He created them anyway and gave them a free will with which they chose to sin.

Now to answer your Question
Oh before I begin, there was a man asking God some questions and he said "God what is a million years to you"? A million years to you would be 1 second to me! "God what is 1 million dollars to you"? A million dollars to you would be 1 penny to me! "God ",the man said, "can I have a penny"? God said, in a second!....That was a joke but think on it.
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I find it helpful to step back a little bit and get the big picture for this question.

The question is not just about why God didn't send Jesus earlier, but about all the seeming delays in the redemptive plan of God. That is, why does God “wait” to do anything?

I mean, if we pray for something, and God knows He is going to give us what we prayed for, why does He sometimes make us wait weeks, months, or even years before granting the request?

There are, of course, a thousand possible answers to this question. Maybe God’s apparent delay had something to do with God’s perfect timing. Maybe God did immediately answer our prayer request, but Satan temporarily stopped us from receiving God’s answer. Maybe God was waiting for us to be an answer to our own prayer, and we were the ones who slowed Him down.

There are other possibilities as well, but these go to show that when it comes to delays in God’s timetable, there is really almost no way to know why God does what He does when He does it.

Here is a basic timetable of God’s major redemptive works in history, counting from the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden.  Note that in between each major event, there are larger periods of relatively uneventful history. (The number of years listed below is based on the  most conservative estimates. Obviously, there are more liberal estimates which extend these periods of time out to tens of thousands of years.)

  • The Fall of Adam and Eve
  • Wait 2000 years
  • The Call of Abraham
  • Wait 500 years
  • Giving the Law to Moses at Mt. Sinai
  • Wait 1500 Years
  • Ministry of Jesus
  • Wait 2000+ Years
  • The Second Coming of Jesus (in the Future)
  • The New Heavens and New Earth

Obviously, God is not silent and is not inactive during these waiting periods, but this outline of events is simply to show that God’s plan of redemption does seem to occur in small steps spread out over long lengths of time.

Rather than that order of events, we often think it would have been nice for the order of events to follow this outline:

  • The Fall of Adam and Eve
  • Wait 20 minutes
  • The Death and Resurrection of Jesus
  • Eternal Bliss

Honestly, from a human perspective, this second order of evens would have saved a lot of horrible grief, bloodshed, death, sorrow, and sadness. Nobody would have ended up in hell. There never would have been wars, or famines, or diseases. Adam and Eve would have sinned, Jesus would have immediately shown up to fix it, and that would have been that.

So why indeed was there a delay in God’s redemptive plan? Why did He wait so long to choose Abraham? Why did He wait so long to give His law? Why did God wait so long to send Jesus? Why is He waiting so long to send Jesus back?

It only seems long to us
The first answer some provide is really a non-answer. It is one of those pat answers to difficult theological questions which really does nothing to answer the question. It is a Christian cliché: "God’s timing is not our timing."

2 Peter 3:8: But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

So in other words, though it seems like God took thousands of years to send Jesus, from His perspective, it only seemed like a couple days.

Peter’s point is valid in the context, but I don’t think we can say that just because God is not restricted by time, this means that God doesn’t comprehend time, or that God doesn’t care that we struggle with how long His plan takes. I know that this is not what people mean when they say this, but to many, that is how it comes across.

Here is how this answer sounds: "Oh, life is hard and you are wondering why God is taking so long to answer your prayers and set things right? Well, God’s timing is not our timing."

This is a Christian way of saying, "Life sucks; then you die. Deal with it." In other words, "Shut up. Nobody cares. Not even God."

God does care. He knows that although our lives are less than mere breaths before His infinite existence, the years of our life are often full of pain, hardship, trials, burdens, sickness, fear, and sorrow.

To teach humanity about the depth of our sin
If Jesus had shown up 20 minutes after Adam and Eve sinned, we never would have understood the depth and breadth of our sinfulness. Nor would we have understood how desperately we need God. It could be argued that one reason Adam and Eve sinned is because they didn’t fully comprehend how horrible it would be to live life disconnected from God.

Due to the long period of time in which we have wallowed in our sin, we now know — do we ever! — how wicked, evil, and brutal people can be.

One great benefit to this way of viewing God’s delay is that it seems to be supported by Scripture. Over and over again in Scripture we see this cycle:

1. Human development (the Law, Land, Judges, Kings, Prophets, etc.)
2. Great expectations for human utopia
3. Greater evil than ever before

I like this explanation, except that it seems like a bit of overkill. Pun intended. Do we really need thousands of years of bloodshed, rape, murder, torture, war, famine, pestilence, and disease to tell us that sin is bad? I don’t know… maybe we do. After all, human history reveals that every so often, people think that humanity has progressed to the point that worldwide peace and prosperity is just around the corner, that human utopia is almost assured. Usually, not long after these rosy predictions of our future are made, humanity enters into one of the most violent and bloody eras of its history.

In fact, you can almost predict future events based on how rosy of a picture is being painted about that future. The rosier the picture, the bloodier the future.

To teach the angels about God’s redemptive purpose
This idea comes from 1 Peter 1:12 and a few other verses which seem to indicate that one reason God created humanity and is carrying out His redemptive plan is to teach something to the angels. Nobody really knows what God might be trying to teach the angels that they don’t already know, but apparently, the angels are learning from watching how God deals with rebellious humanity.

If God is teaching the angels something, then apparently, it takes a long time to teach them.

To wait until the time when the Gospel could spread the quickest
Sometimes, and specifically in connection to why Jesus came when He did, some people say it had something to do with the Roman empire. The Roman empire built roads and had a common tongue which allowed the message of the Gospel to spread more quickly and with greater ease than it could have at other times.

I suppose in theory, this is somewhat true, but if God was waiting until there was a common language and good lines of communication before sending Jesus, He could have picked no better time than right before humans decided to build the Tower of Babel. There was only one language at the time, and it seems their communication was so good, there was nothing they could not accomplish. That is partly why the text says that God scrambled human communication (Genesis 11:6).

Furthermore, if God was really waiting for the quickest and most worldwide method of communication, He should have waited for Twitter/Facebook.

I’m kidding....Kind of …

Look, when we say that God waited to send Jesus until there was a common tongue and a good road system, what we are also saying is that the only part of the world that God really cared about was the part under Roman rule (Most of Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia). The rest of the world did not have access to the Roman road system, nor did they speak the common language of the Roman empire. So are we saying then that God didn’t care about most of Africa, most of Asia, and all of North and South America?

That was why I was kind-of only half-joking when I mentioned Twitter/Facebook. If God was waiting until the quickest form of communication was available to all the world, then He could have waited until a worldwide system of instantaneous communication was in place … a system much like Twitter/Facebook.

So anyway, while I do think the Roman road system and common language helped the spread of the Gospel, I don’t think we can say that this was why Jesus came at the time and place that He did.

To fulfill prophecy
Then there is the explanation that Jesus came when He did because He had to fulfill prophecy.

There is some truth to this, especially depending on how you understand the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 Weeks (Daniel 9:24-27). It may be that Jesus had to come when He did to complete the prophecy given 490 years earlier.

Also, in relation to this, Paul writes that Jesus came "at the appointed time" (Galatians 4:4). Other New Testament authors say similar things.

While there is truth with this answer, it really doesn’t answer the question. All it does it move the question back. If Jesus came at that time to fulfill prophesy, then why did God prophecy that Jesus would come at that time? Why didn’t God move prophets to predict that Jesus would come a two thousand years earlier … or later? Why then? Why there?

(My! This post is getting long … Let’s see if I can wrap it up.)

To wait until human theological development had evolved to the point where we could understand Jesus
One final view is that God waited for so long because mankind had  to develop socially and spiritually enough in order to understand and receive the revelation of Jesus Christ.

This idea is based on the concept of progressive revelation, that God has slowly explained Himself and unfolded His plan and purposes for the world over time. The reason is that we could not understand and grasp it all at once, and so He has had to teach us bit by bit, one step at a time.

God had to slowly teach humanity about Himself and His ways, so that over time, we would grow and develop into the people He wanted us to become.

Progressive revelation is a definite fact of Scripture, but I am a bit wary of this idea, for it seems to fall prey to what C. S. Lewis called "chronological snobbery." Lewis often criticized other scholars for thinking that just because they lived in 1960, they knew more about how the world worked and what God was like than people who lived in say, 60 AD. Just because we are further along in years, C. S. Lewis argued, does not mean we necessarily know more. We may, in fact, know less.

But, for the most part, I think this view has some merit, and does help explain what Jesus might have meant in John 16:12 where He said He had much more to teach, but could not do so because they were not ready to hear it. Verses like this are everywhere in Scripture (cf. Matt 13:10-13), which seems to indicate that God only provides further revelation after we have incorporated His previous revelation into our thinking and practice (for the most part).

What is my view about why God waited thousands of years to send Jesus? What is my view on all of this? I hold some strange mixture of all of the above.

Essentially, I believe that whatever we say about God’s timing in sending Jesus is similar to what we should say about God’s timing in doing anything. There are a variety of answers at any given time, and any action of God can have a variety of explanations.

While I believe that faith in God includes faith in God’s timing, I am not always sure we can understand God’s timing …

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
Ksazma, who was responsible for Christ death? Answer me that and we will have an enlighten conversation.

God. All births and deaths are by God's decree. Jesus is no different. His birth and death were also by God's decree.

btw, you started out as your topic claims that it is not a sermon, just a thought. How did a thought become a two page sermon? Why did you claim that your sermon is not a sermon?

it's not a sermon, It's a thought/discussion

Too many maybes but none adequately answers the question. Nothing new has been achieved by God's impeccable timing when he sent Jesus 2000 years ago except the make believe notion that somehow people have salvation now. There is even more sin now than there were before Jesus came. Him "being on the cross" was an "act of murder" which is also a sin. Those who betrayed him as well as others still continued to betray others. The lying, killing, cheating, stealing, etc. still continued to this day exponentially. No one can put this make believe salvation on a platter and say, here it is. This is no less a delusion than any other. There are ways to prove that all this make believe is non-existent but no rational way to prove that any of it is existent.

Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
Ksazma, who was responsible for Christ death? Answer me that and we will have an enlighten conversation.

God. All births and deaths are by God's decree. Jesus is no different. His birth and death were also by God's decree.

btw, you started out as your topic claims that it is not a sermon, just a thought. How did a thought become a two page sermon? Why did you claim that your sermon is not a sermon?

it's not a sermon, It's a thought/discussion

Don't fool yourself dude. It is a sermon.  A thought or a discussion goes like this; "what/how do you think/feel about this? and it moves from there. To just post one passage or another is nothing other than a sermon. Perhaps you are unable to differentiate one from the other.

p.s. Check other topics for clarification on what is a discussion.

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
Ksazma, who was responsible for Christ death? Answer me that and we will have an enlighten conversation.

God. All births and deaths are by God's decree. Jesus is no different. His birth and death were also by God's decree.

btw, you started out as your topic claims that it is not a sermon, just a thought. How did a thought become a two page sermon? Why did you claim that your sermon is not a sermon?

it's not a sermon, It's a thought/discussion

Don't fool yourself dude. It is a sermon.  A thought or a discussion goes like this; "what/how do you think/feel about this? and it moves from there. To just post one passage or another is nothing other than a sermon. Perhaps you are unable to differentiate one from the other.

p.s. Check other topics for clarification on what is a discussion.

Call it whatever you want, to me is clarity

ksazma posted:

1. Whenever I think of a father who love unconditionally, I think of one who will give his life for his children, not one who will ask one of his children to give their live instead.

Think on this: During the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacobs when there was a sinful act or the people in general had sin what was required of them to do? The were require to bring a unblemished Lamb/Goat/Calf to the alter and offer it up as a sacrifice, as a remission of sin. Are we still offer animals up to God to cleanse/forgive us of our sin?....I think not.

You see Christ was staring into a chalice of wrath and judgment that must have made His soul recoil (Isa. 51:17). Mankind had filled it with the most depraved deeds and thoughts that they could conceive. According to Scripture, Jesus Christ did not just die for our sin; He became our sin (2 Cor. 5:21). The holy, perfect Lamb of God took upon Himself all that was vile and dark

Furthermore, Jesus knew the consequences of taking on mankind’s evil. God’s holiness prevented Him from being in the presence of sin. Therefore, the heavenly Father would have to separate Himself from the Son. Jesus had always enjoyed perfect oneness with God. To contemplate a wrenching rejection must have been terrifying and heartbreaking.

There was no question that Jesus would obey the will of God. He would become sin and be separated from the Father, if that’s what was required to save mankind. So, yes, in the garden, He pleaded for another route to our redemption. However, when it was clear that the Father’s answer was, No, this is the only way, Jesus obediently sacrificed Himself for us.

Jesus Christ sacrificed more than His life. He exchanged perfection for wickedness and holy union for separation. The Savior did this so we could be transformed into righteous men and women with an eternal future. No wonder all of heaven exalts Him (Rev. 5:11-14).

 2. I don't know how someone can be without sin when they display utmost disrespect for the majority of people around them. The bigotry, hatred, calling people names like dogs, pigs, swine. If those are not sinful acts, them what are?

I wouldn't even bother to attempt to answer this ...I have no clue what you are talking about maybe someone else can take a shot at your question here.

3. Jesus also promised Judas that no one can snatch him from his (Jesus) hand also and he found out that his promise was not good enough to keep Judas from betraying him.

First of all you need to read the scripture/chapter in it entirety to avoid making  false statement such as you did but the fact that you pick a verse not understand what you read wind up with this false notion. Jesus was speaking to the Jews and you can now read below.

John 10:21-30: 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.a]">[a] 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

4. Looks like that Holy Spirit was not enough of a seal to keep folks like Jimmy Swaggart, Jimmy Bakker amongst others from falling off the cliff. If that Holy Spirit was able to guide these dudes who proclaimed frequently of speaking directly to God, why would that Holy Spirit have any better result with anyone else. These were dudes who spoke directly to God and still ended up screwing up in many ways than one.

I cannot answer for their down fault, those folks will face the same judgment you and I will face one day and each of us will have to be accountable for the deeds we did while we were alive.

Lets understand what you are talking about here which is the Holy Spirit

God’s Spirit possesses three defining characteristics of personhood: intelligence, will, and emotion. Let me prove these points by guiding you to some New Testament verses. First Corinthians 2:10-11 explains that the Spirit knows God’s thoughts and illuminates the truth for us. Later in the same book, He is identified as the One who determines the spiritual gift(s) of each believer (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Finally, the Holy Spirit’s feelings are revealed in verses like Romans 15:30, which tells of His love, and Ephesians 4:30, which warns against grieving Him.

Consider also that Jesus spoke of a Helper who would come after Him (John 14:16, 14:26). Aiding and assuring others are the acts of a person, as is teaching—these are some of the Holy Spirit’s primary tasks.

Perhaps you misunderstand the Spirit of God as I once did. He isn’t an “it” any more than God the Father or Jesus Christ is. The Spirit is a member of the Trinity, and if you’re a believer, He is with you now. God has given you His Spirit as a special Helper—one who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

All this Christian promise is pie in the sky. No one can pay for another person's actions. Everyone is responsibility for their own actions. If nothing people do is good enough to help them, that is their problem. If God is so powerful and loving, he doesn't need to send his only son to die so those people have salvation. All he has to do is lower the threshold instead of stubbornly setting unreasonable demands on people. There is nothing perfect about Jesus. If he is part of the Triune Godhead, one would expect him to know about things around him. If I were to ask a local for a certain fruit and that fruit was not in season, that local would know that it is not in season and tell me so. Jesus didn't even know that it was out of season for the fig tree. So he got pissed off when he found out that he was mistaken and how did he respond? He cursed the tree. That is one amazing display of love to curse a tree that did nothing just because he was wrong. Talk about being wrong and strong. One can put as much lipstick as they wish on a pig but it will still be a pig.

Read here:

https://www.gotquestions.org/curse-fig-tree.html

Now this is straight talk.
        Now those are answers to your straight talk...digest it.

 

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

btw, you started out as your topic claims that it is not a sermon, just a thought. How did a thought become a two page sermon? Why did you claim that your sermon is not a sermon?

it's not a sermon, It's a thought/discussion

Don't fool yourself dude. It is a sermon.  A thought or a discussion goes like this; "what/how do you think/feel about this? and it moves from there. To just post one passage or another is nothing other than a sermon. Perhaps you are unable to differentiate one from the other.

p.s. Check other topics for clarification on what is a discussion.

Call it whatever you want, to me is clarity

Now that is the right attitude. Everyone sees things differently. The only people who accept your premise are Christians. The rest of the world have their own beliefs. You are better served by stating that your sermons are what Christians believe instead of preaching that they are absolute truths for everyone else. 

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

btw, you started out as your topic claims that it is not a sermon, just a thought. How did a thought become a two page sermon? Why did you claim that your sermon is not a sermon?

it's not a sermon, It's a thought/discussion

Don't fool yourself dude. It is a sermon.  A thought or a discussion goes like this; "what/how do you think/feel about this? and it moves from there. To just post one passage or another is nothing other than a sermon. Perhaps you are unable to differentiate one from the other.

p.s. Check other topics for clarification on what is a discussion.

Call it whatever you want, to me is clarity

Now that is the right attitude. Everyone sees things differently. The only people who accept your premise are Christians. The rest of the world have their own beliefs. You are better served by stating that your sermons are what Christians believe instead of preaching that they are absolute truths for everyone else. 

The fact that you are here reading this is kind of disturbing is it? Something is bothering you on the inside and you need to lash out .....go ahead I can it. while you are wresting with whatever it is, may God have the glory in it all.

Keith posted:
ksazma posted:

1. Whenever I think of a father who love unconditionally, I think of one who will give his life for his children, not one who will ask one of his children to give their live instead.

Think on this: During the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacobs when there was a sinful act or the people in general had sin what was required of them to do? The were require to bring a unblemished Lamb/Goat/Calf to the alter and offer it up as a sacrifice, as a remission of sin. Are we still offer animals up to God to cleanse/forgive us of our sin?....I think not.

You see Christ was staring into a chalice of wrath and judgment that must have made His soul recoil (Isa. 51:17). Mankind had filled it with the most depraved deeds and thoughts that they could conceive. According to Scripture, Jesus Christ did not just die for our sin; He became our sin (2 Cor. 5:21). The holy, perfect Lamb of God took upon Himself all that was vile and dark

Furthermore, Jesus knew the consequences of taking on mankind’s evil. God’s holiness prevented Him from being in the presence of sin. Therefore, the heavenly Father would have to separate Himself from the Son. Jesus had always enjoyed perfect oneness with God. To contemplate a wrenching rejection must have been terrifying and heartbreaking.

There was no question that Jesus would obey the will of God. He would become sin and be separated from the Father, if that’s what was required to save mankind. So, yes, in the garden, He pleaded for another route to our redemption. However, when it was clear that the Father’s answer was, No, this is the only way, Jesus obediently sacrificed Himself for us.

Jesus Christ sacrificed more than His life. He exchanged perfection for wickedness and holy union for separation. The Savior did this so we could be transformed into righteous men and women with an eternal future. No wonder all of heaven exalts Him (Rev. 5:11-14).

 2. I don't know how someone can be without sin when they display utmost disrespect for the majority of people around them. The bigotry, hatred, calling people names like dogs, pigs, swine. If those are not sinful acts, them what are?

I wouldn't even bother to attempt to answer this ...I have no clue what you are talking about maybe someone else can take a shot at your question here.

3. Jesus also promised Judas that no one can snatch him from his (Jesus) hand also and he found out that his promise was not good enough to keep Judas from betraying him.

First of all you need to read the scripture/chapter in it entirety to avoid making  false statement such as you did but the fact that you pick a verse not understand what you read wind up with this false notion. Jesus was speaking to the Jews and you can now read below.

John 10:21-30: 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.a]">[a] 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

4. Looks like that Holy Spirit was not enough of a seal to keep folks like Jimmy Swaggart, Jimmy Bakker amongst others from falling off the cliff. If that Holy Spirit was able to guide these dudes who proclaimed frequently of speaking directly to God, why would that Holy Spirit have any better result with anyone else. These were dudes who spoke directly to God and still ended up screwing up in many ways than one.

I cannot answer for their down fault, those folks will face the same judgment you and I will face one day and each of us will have to be accountable for the deeds we did while we were alive.

Lets understand what you are talking about here which is the Holy Spirit

God’s Spirit possesses three defining characteristics of personhood: intelligence, will, and emotion. Let me prove these points by guiding you to some New Testament verses. First Corinthians 2:10-11 explains that the Spirit knows God’s thoughts and illuminates the truth for us. Later in the same book, He is identified as the One who determines the spiritual gift(s) of each believer (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Finally, the Holy Spirit’s feelings are revealed in verses like Romans 15:30, which tells of His love, and Ephesians 4:30, which warns against grieving Him.

Consider also that Jesus spoke of a Helper who would come after Him (John 14:16, 14:26). Aiding and assuring others are the acts of a person, as is teaching—these are some of the Holy Spirit’s primary tasks.

Perhaps you misunderstand the Spirit of God as I once did. He isn’t an “it” any more than God the Father or Jesus Christ is. The Spirit is a member of the Trinity, and if you’re a believer, He is with you now. God has given you His Spirit as a special Helper—one who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

All this Christian promise is pie in the sky. No one can pay for another person's actions. Everyone is responsibility for their own actions. If nothing people do is good enough to help them, that is their problem. If God is so powerful and loving, he doesn't need to send his only son to die so those people have salvation. All he has to do is lower the threshold instead of stubbornly setting unreasonable demands on people. There is nothing perfect about Jesus. If he is part of the Triune Godhead, one would expect him to know about things around him. If I were to ask a local for a certain fruit and that fruit was not in season, that local would know that it is not in season and tell me so. Jesus didn't even know that it was out of season for the fig tree. So he got pissed off when he found out that he was mistaken and how did he respond? He cursed the tree. That is one amazing display of love to curse a tree that did nothing just because he was wrong. Talk about being wrong and strong. One can put as much lipstick as they wish on a pig but it will still be a pig.

Read here:

https://www.gotquestions.org/curse-fig-tree.html

Now this is straight talk.
        Now those are answers to your straight talk...digest it.

 

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.

About above.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Keith posted:

The fact that you are here reading this is kind of disturbing is it? Something is bothering you on the inside and you need to lash out .....go ahead I can it. while you are wresting with whatever it is, may God have the glory in it all.

Don't flatter yourself dude. I have been having discussions since 1980 and over those 36 years, nothing in the Bible or any make believe glory has brought me any closer to it or its precepts. If anything, the more I read and learn about it, the more I conclude that it is a bunch of hullabooloo.

My only objection is you calling something a thought when it is really a sermon. Nothing with doing a sermon but be honest to call it one.

Now what does bother me is deceitful people and actions regardless of what religion they profess. Or even if they profess no religion.

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:

1. Whenever I think of a father who love unconditionally, I think of one who will give his life for his children, not one who will ask one of his children to give their live instead.

Think on this: During the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacobs when there was a sinful act or the people in general had sin what was required of them to do? The were require to bring a unblemished Lamb/Goat/Calf to the alter and offer it up as a sacrifice, as a remission of sin. Are we still offer animals up to God to cleanse/forgive us of our sin?....I think not.

You see Christ was staring into a chalice of wrath and judgment that must have made His soul recoil (Isa. 51:17). Mankind had filled it with the most depraved deeds and thoughts that they could conceive. According to Scripture, Jesus Christ did not just die for our sin; He became our sin (2 Cor. 5:21). The holy, perfect Lamb of God took upon Himself all that was vile and dark

Furthermore, Jesus knew the consequences of taking on mankind’s evil. God’s holiness prevented Him from being in the presence of sin. Therefore, the heavenly Father would have to separate Himself from the Son. Jesus had always enjoyed perfect oneness with God. To contemplate a wrenching rejection must have been terrifying and heartbreaking.

There was no question that Jesus would obey the will of God. He would become sin and be separated from the Father, if that’s what was required to save mankind. So, yes, in the garden, He pleaded for another route to our redemption. However, when it was clear that the Father’s answer was, No, this is the only way, Jesus obediently sacrificed Himself for us.

Jesus Christ sacrificed more than His life. He exchanged perfection for wickedness and holy union for separation. The Savior did this so we could be transformed into righteous men and women with an eternal future. No wonder all of heaven exalts Him (Rev. 5:11-14).

 2. I don't know how someone can be without sin when they display utmost disrespect for the majority of people around them. The bigotry, hatred, calling people names like dogs, pigs, swine. If those are not sinful acts, them what are?

I wouldn't even bother to attempt to answer this ...I have no clue what you are talking about maybe someone else can take a shot at your question here.

3. Jesus also promised Judas that no one can snatch him from his (Jesus) hand also and he found out that his promise was not good enough to keep Judas from betraying him.

First of all you need to read the scripture/chapter in it entirety to avoid making  false statement such as you did but the fact that you pick a verse not understand what you read wind up with this false notion. Jesus was speaking to the Jews and you can now read below.

John 10:21-30: 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.a]">[a] 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

4. Looks like that Holy Spirit was not enough of a seal to keep folks like Jimmy Swaggart, Jimmy Bakker amongst others from falling off the cliff. If that Holy Spirit was able to guide these dudes who proclaimed frequently of speaking directly to God, why would that Holy Spirit have any better result with anyone else. These were dudes who spoke directly to God and still ended up screwing up in many ways than one.

I cannot answer for their down fault, those folks will face the same judgment you and I will face one day and each of us will have to be accountable for the deeds we did while we were alive.

Lets understand what you are talking about here which is the Holy Spirit

God’s Spirit possesses three defining characteristics of personhood: intelligence, will, and emotion. Let me prove these points by guiding you to some New Testament verses. First Corinthians 2:10-11 explains that the Spirit knows God’s thoughts and illuminates the truth for us. Later in the same book, He is identified as the One who determines the spiritual gift(s) of each believer (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Finally, the Holy Spirit’s feelings are revealed in verses like Romans 15:30, which tells of His love, and Ephesians 4:30, which warns against grieving Him.

Consider also that Jesus spoke of a Helper who would come after Him (John 14:16, 14:26). Aiding and assuring others are the acts of a person, as is teaching—these are some of the Holy Spirit’s primary tasks.

Perhaps you misunderstand the Spirit of God as I once did. He isn’t an “it” any more than God the Father or Jesus Christ is. The Spirit is a member of the Trinity, and if you’re a believer, He is with you now. God has given you His Spirit as a special Helper—one who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

All this Christian promise is pie in the sky. No one can pay for another person's actions. Everyone is responsibility for their own actions. If nothing people do is good enough to help them, that is their problem. If God is so powerful and loving, he doesn't need to send his only son to die so those people have salvation. All he has to do is lower the threshold instead of stubbornly setting unreasonable demands on people. There is nothing perfect about Jesus. If he is part of the Triune Godhead, one would expect him to know about things around him. If I were to ask a local for a certain fruit and that fruit was not in season, that local would know that it is not in season and tell me so. Jesus didn't even know that it was out of season for the fig tree. So he got pissed off when he found out that he was mistaken and how did he respond? He cursed the tree. That is one amazing display of love to curse a tree that did nothing just because he was wrong. Talk about being wrong and strong. One can put as much lipstick as they wish on a pig but it will still be a pig.

Read here:

https://www.gotquestions.org/curse-fig-tree.html

Now this is straight talk.
Now those are answers to your straight talk...digest it.

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.

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

About above.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

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. I will leave it at that. I don't have the time to explain more if you are not will 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".

 

A Realistic View of Life

2 Timothy 4:6-8

Our culture desperately tries to postpone death. Vitamins, exercise, and diet are ways we attempt to live as long as possible. Not that these things are bad! Motive, however, is key.

For instance, since our bodies are God’s temple (1 Cor. 3:16), we should take care of His dwelling. And since He has good works for us to do (Eph. 2:10), we should stay fit to complete His tasks.

On the other hand, prolonging life for fear of dying isn’t of God. Because Jesus died in our place, those who have faith in Him as Lord and Savior need not fear death. Once saved, we have assurance of a real place where we will live eternally in His presence. And according to Scripture, fear itself isn’t from God (2 Tim. 1:7). In fact, the apostle Paul assures us that far from being a dreadful change, physical death actually leads believers home to be with the Lord forever (2 Cor. 5:8).

God already knows the duration of each person’s life. With this in mind, how can we best prepare for what’s next? The first step is to receive Jesus as Savior through faith. Next, we should live a surrendered life and strive to walk according to His will. Furthermore, it is vital that believers fight the tendency to view this world as home. If we become too comfortable here and look for security and worth in earthly success, we won’t be able to maintain an eternal perspective.

It is an inescapable fact that our time on earth is temporary. It would be foolish not to prepare for something inevitable. How can you best live so that you are ready when God decides your life span is complete? (Psalm 139:16).

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

1. Whenever I think of a father who love unconditionally, I think of one who will give his life for his children, not one who will ask one of his children to give their live instead.

Think on this: During the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacobs when there was a sinful act or the people in general had sin what was required of them to do? The were require to bring a unblemished Lamb/Goat/Calf to the alter and offer it up as a sacrifice, as a remission of sin. Are we still offer animals up to God to cleanse/forgive us of our sin?....I think not.

You see Christ was staring into a chalice of wrath and judgment that must have made His soul recoil (Isa. 51:17). Mankind had filled it with the most depraved deeds and thoughts that they could conceive. According to Scripture, Jesus Christ did not just die for our sin; He became our sin (2 Cor. 5:21). The holy, perfect Lamb of God took upon Himself all that was vile and dark

Furthermore, Jesus knew the consequences of taking on mankind’s evil. God’s holiness prevented Him from being in the presence of sin. Therefore, the heavenly Father would have to separate Himself from the Son. Jesus had always enjoyed perfect oneness with God. To contemplate a wrenching rejection must have been terrifying and heartbreaking.

There was no question that Jesus would obey the will of God. He would become sin and be separated from the Father, if that’s what was required to save mankind. So, yes, in the garden, He pleaded for another route to our redemption. However, when it was clear that the Father’s answer was, No, this is the only way, Jesus obediently sacrificed Himself for us.

Jesus Christ sacrificed more than His life. He exchanged perfection for wickedness and holy union for separation. The Savior did this so we could be transformed into righteous men and women with an eternal future. No wonder all of heaven exalts Him (Rev. 5:11-14).

 2. I don't know how someone can be without sin when they display utmost disrespect for the majority of people around them. The bigotry, hatred, calling people names like dogs, pigs, swine. If those are not sinful acts, them what are?

I wouldn't even bother to attempt to answer this ...I have no clue what you are talking about maybe someone else can take a shot at your question here.

3. Jesus also promised Judas that no one can snatch him from his (Jesus) hand also and he found out that his promise was not good enough to keep Judas from betraying him.

First of all you need to read the scripture/chapter in it entirety to avoid making  false statement such as you did but the fact that you pick a verse not understand what you read wind up with this false notion. Jesus was speaking to the Jews and you can now read below.

John 10:21-30: 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.a]">[a] 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

4. Looks like that Holy Spirit was not enough of a seal to keep folks like Jimmy Swaggart, Jimmy Bakker amongst others from falling off the cliff. If that Holy Spirit was able to guide these dudes who proclaimed frequently of speaking directly to God, why would that Holy Spirit have any better result with anyone else. These were dudes who spoke directly to God and still ended up screwing up in many ways than one.

I cannot answer for their down fault, those folks will face the same judgment you and I will face one day and each of us will have to be accountable for the deeds we did while we were alive.

Lets understand what you are talking about here which is the Holy Spirit

God’s Spirit possesses three defining characteristics of personhood: intelligence, will, and emotion. Let me prove these points by guiding you to some New Testament verses. First Corinthians 2:10-11 explains that the Spirit knows God’s thoughts and illuminates the truth for us. Later in the same book, He is identified as the One who determines the spiritual gift(s) of each believer (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Finally, the Holy Spirit’s feelings are revealed in verses like Romans 15:30, which tells of His love, and Ephesians 4:30, which warns against grieving Him.

Consider also that Jesus spoke of a Helper who would come after Him (John 14:16, 14:26). Aiding and assuring others are the acts of a person, as is teaching—these are some of the Holy Spirit’s primary tasks.

Perhaps you misunderstand the Spirit of God as I once did. He isn’t an “it” any more than God the Father or Jesus Christ is. The Spirit is a member of the Trinity, and if you’re a believer, He is with you now. God has given you His Spirit as a special Helper—one who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

All this Christian promise is pie in the sky. No one can pay for another person's actions. Everyone is responsibility for their own actions. If nothing people do is good enough to help them, that is their problem. If God is so powerful and loving, he doesn't need to send his only son to die so those people have salvation. All he has to do is lower the threshold instead of stubbornly setting unreasonable demands on people. There is nothing perfect about Jesus. If he is part of the Triune Godhead, one would expect him to know about things around him. If I were to ask a local for a certain fruit and that fruit was not in season, that local would know that it is not in season and tell me so. Jesus didn't even know that it was out of season for the fig tree. So he got pissed off when he found out that he was mistaken and how did he respond? He cursed the tree. That is one amazing display of love to curse a tree that did nothing just because he was wrong. Talk about being wrong and strong. One can put as much lipstick as they wish on a pig but it will still be a pig.

Read here:

https://www.gotquestions.org/curse-fig-tree.html

Now this is straight talk.
Now those are answers to your straight talk...digest it.

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.

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

About above.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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".

 

 

 

 

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.

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

Irrelevant condition.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

============================================
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?

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

 

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.

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

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.

 

Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:

ksazma, have you ever pick up the bible and read it from Genesis to Revelation?

 

Yes

Read it again, this time slowly, you may have missed a few things the first time....only a thought.

My advise to you also.

Perhaps you are willfully overlooking some of it. Like how you claimed that Jesus didn't call people gods, pigs, swine, etc. Unless you don't consider those people, people.

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.


============================================
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.

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

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.

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

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.

 

 

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.


============================================
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.

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

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.

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

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.

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