Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Faithfully And Exclusively His

  “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 

  It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 

 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions."

 Matthew 24:45-47.

  This passage is part of a parable about the Lord's coming; it emphasizes the necessity of faithfulness in those whom the Lord comes to meet.

There are those who have gone on to their reward, but some of us will be alive and remaining unto the the presence of the Lord.

The way we serve God now, in faithfulness, is of the utmost importance.

  In Matthew 25, the Scripture continues telling about the end time and the Lord's coming.

It begins with the parable of the ten virgins, telling how they made preparation.

Next, the parable of the ten talents deals with the way God committed certain things to His servants.

Matthew 25:21 tells about the one who was faithful.

"His master said to him, "Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.' "

  There is no other way by which the Lord can evaluate your life except to put you through the chastening and the disciplines, the fiery furnace that must try you, and then to put you on the anvil and beat you.

By subjecting you to these things, He can literally mold and shape a normally unchangeable nature into His own image.

Sometimes you wish that there were other ways, and you may wonder why God could not have thought of an easier way to bring you into sonship.

But it pleases the Lord that whom He loves, He chastens, and He scourges every son whom He receives ( Hebrews 12:6 ) .

  What causes a ministry t expand and grow?

It is not necessarily dependent on his ministering all the time.

There are men who have been building houses all their lives, yet have not improved the quality of their work at all, while others are diligently building better and better houses.

In any ministry it is not the capability or genius of the individual that matters; what counts is the way the individual responds to the testing fire of the Lord.

Only as you are found faithful under the dealings of the Lord does the ministry increase.

There is no other way.

The test of what you will receive in the Kingdom is based upon your faithfulness now.

When the Lord comes, He desires to find you faithful.

There is no other basis of judgment.

  It could be very unfair of the Lord to reward people according to their I.Q., making smarter ones receive more and the dumber ones less.

It does not work like that because the Lord says He will take the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.

Neither will He judge a man on the basis of his stamina or by how much work he can accomplish, because He will take the weak to confound the mighty ( I Corinthians 1:27 ) .

He has to judge us by our faithfulness.

If we are faithful before the Lord with a little, He promises to give us more.

As we are faithful to the Lord in a few things, He then makes us rulers over many.

  When the Lord returns, He will judge your faithfulness; but your concept of faithfulness has to be viewed in the right sense.

The word "faithfulness' has an impersonal quality to it unless you associate it with personal relationships.

When you use the word "unfaithful" in regard to a relationship of a man and wife, immediately a picture is projected to your mind.

When some people think about unfaithfulness in the work of the Lord, they think of things like staying home from the church services and reading the funny papers.

However, the Lord is thinking about your relationship more in terms of a love affair that is going on between you and Him.

As you view it in those terms, then you begin to put it on the basis that God puts it on.

He looks upon those who are faithful as the ones who have a love life and a communion with Him.

This is more important than anything else.

  A few Scriptures will convey God's idea of faithfulness.

II Corinthians 11:1-3:

I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness;but indeed you are bearing with me.

For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

  Satan is always trying to cloud your relationship with the Lord.

I do not think the devil is really concerned about how much work you accomplish.

When you get sick and cannot perform a task that you usually do, such as cleaning the church, that is not critical; someone else can clean the church.

Satan wants to stop you from serving the Lord in faithfulness.

  One might say the little details are insignificant.

Perhaps so, but when a husband brings his wife flowers, he is showing her something.

When he sees that she is tired, he may bring home a meal from a fast-food restaurant so that she will not have to cook.

He is showing his concern.

It is not really important what type of meal he brings home.

The details are not really the issue.

Whether the flowers are daisies or roses is not too important.

What is important is the constant expression of the man's devotion.

There is a faithfulness to that devotion.

He continually thinks about pleasing his wife.

  When you come to worship God, it does not matter whether you sing a complicated psalm or not.

This is the issue: What is in your spirit?

Is there a faithfulness to the Lord?

Is there love and devotion in your heart?

From the beginning God has been looking for a people who would walk in the commandment:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength...
Mark 12:30

Paul said, "I have been jealous for you with a godly jealousy, I want you to be like the pure virgin in her first love to the Lord Jesus Christ."

In James 4:4 this same thought is expressed:

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? 

Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

  When you deal with the faithfulness that God will reward, you cannot tell Him that you love Him and then two-time Him.

You cannot have some other devotion in your life, some other interest that appeals to you so strongly that you are torn to follow it.

The Lord wants you to love Him, and He wants no rivals in your loyalties and affections.

He wants you to be devoted to Him above everything else.

It is not how much service you give to the Lord that matters, but the faithfulness of the love in your heart.

  In the Old Testament it says that the Lord God is a God of knowledge and by Him actions are weighed ( I Samuel 2:3 ) .

He sees motivation.

He sees the depth of love that you have for the Lord.

Your eye has to be single.

You cannot have the duplicity that still loves the world.

When you love the world, it is spiritual fornication.

When you serve other things, even self, it displeases the Lord.


  The book of Hose a is a chronicle of great tragedy, yet a beautiful truth comes out of it for our hearts.

At the command of the Lord, Hosea married Gomer, a woman who was literally a harlot.

She went after other lovers, and before long she was in complete control of a combination of men we would call "pimps" today.

A pimp is a man who brings customers to a prostitute.

In return, he is supposed to give her certain income as a prostitute, while he receives the lion's share of her income as a prostitute.

The word came to the brokenhearted Hosea, "Go down and purchase her back."

Hosea went down and bought her back from those who had become her masters.

She had literally become a slave to those who controlled her.

He married her again, and then God gave him the word that Isreal had committed whoredom.

The spirit of harlotry had been upon them, but the Lord considered Himself married to them.

Consequently, He received them back into His love.


  Hosea was the prophet of love in the Old Testament, just as John was the apostle of love in the New Testament.

Some of the Old Testament books follow the same revelation and the same theme as certain New Testament books, and they should be read together.

Both the book of Hosea and the Gospel of John give us a tremendous picture of how much God loves us.

He is concerned that we be faithful as we come to serve Him.

When we receive a word from God, let there be a faithfulness and an integrity, that we count it as a bond and a contract that should never be violated by any unfaithful action or by anything in our spirits that would betray the Lord, as Israel did.

A spirit of harlotry has led them astray, and they have played the harlot, departing from their God.
Hosea 4:12.

The spirit of the harlot prostitutes a precious thing.

The most precious thing a woman can give the man she loves is her love and devotion, completely and perfectly.

A harlot wants to do something else; she sells her body for any man's lust and gratification.

In her heart there is not enough reward in just giving herself freely to her husband.

In her selfishness there are other things that she is more concerned about than belonging only to her husband.


  In Revelations 17,18 and 19, when God describes what will happen in the end time, He describes two women.

One is called the mother of harlots, and we see her riding upon a great beast, which is symbolic of the kingdoms of this world.

As she rides upon that beast, it eventually turns and devours her; she is consumed.

That is the picture of apostate Christianity.

For them it is not enough to strive to please the Lord and send the gospel out to the ends of the earth.

They have to buy up oil companies, chain stores, and businesses, even the ammunition business.


  The church of Laodicea says, "I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing."

But God says, "you know not that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, naked."

He counsels them to find that which is really precious: "Buy gold tried in the fire that you may be rich; white raiment that you may be clothed and the shame of your nakedness does not appear" ( Revelations 3:17,18 ) .

We are going to be a virtuous, holy people to the Lord.

We are not going to be a harlot pursuing everything else.


  The greatest witness against denominational Christianity is that they have decided loyalties.

They are Babylon; they are pursuing other interests.

Do they love the Lord?

Yes, as Israel did in the Old Testament.

It is written that Israel feared the Lord and served her own gods ( II Kings 17:33 ) .

There was a mixture of loyalties.

The  cry came in Hosea, "Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty.

Judgment will spring up like hemlock in the furrows of the field.

He shall break down their altars" ( Hosea 10:2,4 ) .

Why did God say that?

Did they not love the Lord?

Yes, but they also loved the world.

That is the mark of Babylon.

That is the mark of harlots.

A prostitute that is married may say that she loves her husband, but that does not alter the fact that she is still a harlot.

God sees mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots; but in one hour her judgments will come ( Revelation 18:17 ) .


  In the nineteenth chapter of Revelation is a picture of another woman, the Bride.

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him:for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted tat she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.
Revelation 19:7,8.

She is a beautiful virgin.

She comes up out of the wilderness of the tribulation unspotted, leaning on the arm of her beloved.


  Although you may have many interests and responsibilities, yet in the time of crisis you will want to be like the three Hebrew children.

They were told that they would have to bow down and worship the image ( Daniel 3:14,15 ) .

They worshiped the Lord Jehovah; would it have mattered if just for a second they had bowed down to the image?

Daniel was told, "For a few days, Daniel, do not pray to anyone but the king. Just stop praying to your God."

But with windows opened towards Jerusalem, he continued crying to God ( Daniel 6 ) .

Daniel had nothing but complete devotion in his heart to the Lord.

From the beginning that young seventeen-year-old boy, a captive in Babylon, determined not to defile himself with the king's meat ( Daniel 1:8 ) .

He set his spirit to walk with God.


  When our Master comes, He will be looking for faithfulness.

He may ask, "Were you faithful to the Word?

When you gave Me your heart, did you give Me all your heart?

Was there something else that caused you to fantasize and to yearn, to lust after the fleshpots of Egypt, after the things of this world?"


  "You adulteresses," wrote James, "do you not know that the friendship of this world is enmity against God?

Who ever would be a friend of the world is an enemy of God" ( James 4:4 ) .

The Lord is calling you for a purpose.

Do not let the spirit of harlotry get into your spirit.

Many people come to the Lord out of a life of sin only to have the Lord reveal that He has given them a heart of a virgin, for their hearts are wholly set upon the Lord.

When you are not false and unfaithful to the Lord, you cannot be false or unfaithful to anyone else either.

God brings forth the pure spirit in you.


  Do you love with all your heart?

Do not let the old nature betray you.

With an eye single to the glory of God, serve Him.

Desire to be a genuine believer and lover of the Lord.

In no way be a hypocrite or two-faced.

Be exactly what God called you to be.

Be faithful to Him.

  Psalm 31:23,24 gives us a beautiful promise:

O love the Lord, all you His godly ones! The Lord preserves the faithful, and fully recompenses the proud doer.

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.


  When the Lord comes, He will look for faithful servants.

He is the Bridegroom coming for the Bride.

He is not coming for the harlot, who loves the world and seeks after everything else.

He is coming for the virgin Bride whose heart is really set on Him.

Those who have this hope within them purify themselves, even as He is pure ( I John 3:3 ) .

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Entrust To Faithful Men

 Lately we have seen some leaders of large churches fall down.

They honestly had what it takes to build those large churches.

Even so they were lacking in the prime ingredient that God highly regards in all of us.

It is not how much we are anointed, it is not how well we can teach, it is not our personalities,and it certainly is not the greatness of the gifts that we walk in in the Lord.

There is currently a man of God under siege, who took over the pulpit of a pastor who recently went on to be with the Lord.

This man has the prime ingredient. 

So then what is this prime ingredient that is in us that so pleases the Lord?

Today's lesson will address these things; so read on if you want to know the answer...


 ***
  Several things happen when you move into a new realm in the spirit.

On the new level the battles will be much more bitter and more disrupting to principalities and powers.

The churches enter into a greater burden for prayer and intercession, and the intercession is more effective.

Another thing takes place with the coming of a new level; you find that your old level of dedication is inadequate.

  A new level demands a new level of love in order for the Body to function.

If you have greater revelation, you must have greater love.

If I do not know much about an individual and his needs, I am not being tested to judge him; but if I know a great deal about him, I have to be moved by greater love, or I will find myself becoming critical of him and judging him.

God does not give you revelation over a man in order for you to judge him.

The Spirit of the Lord shows you his need for a positive reason; you are to help the brother and have a greater love for him.

  The same thing is true of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

For some time we have been able to prophesy and sing psalms, but suddenly the prophecies are not adequate for the level we are on.

The gifts are not moving as efficiently as we need them to move on a new level.

So the question is often raised, "How do I go about getting a greater ministry? How can I see my ministry function in the level upon which I am walking now?"

We are always trying to catch up to the new open doors that the Lord lays before us.

  I find this is true in my own case.

I have never appropriated so much from the Lord as I have recently.

I understand something now that I have not previously seen.

When a new level of utterance begins to come, I find that I am assaulted harder than ever before.

Lately, I find that I am depending completely on the Lord for strength, for the ability to speak and to be able to function on the level that God sets before me.

  You will have to do the same thing.

Pastors will find that they need a greater anointing.

Brothers will find that to prophesy and minister will require a greater meeting with the Lord.

Therefore it is essential that the Lord remind us of the basic truths.

  How does a man come into a greater gift?

By the extreme faithfulness of his heart to walk in each level.

There is no short cut.

God will not give you a greater ministry or gift until you are faithful with what He has given you.

Four times in the New Testament a man named Tychicus is mentioned.

Tychicus was part of the early apostolic company.

Twice Paul referred to him as the beloved brother and faithful minister- in Ephesians 6:21 and Colossians 4:7.

  In the Old Testament also, we can trace the theme of faithfulness to God ( Daniel 6:10 ) .

Moses was a man faithful in all of his His house ( Hebrews 3:2 ) .

The prophecies about Samuel show how faithful he was.

Abraham was faithful before God.

In the New Testament, Epaphras, Onesimus, Paul, Sylvanus, Gaius, and Timothy are mentioned.

The principal quality that is mentioned is their faithfulness.

It does not say that they were great prophets.

Instead , when the Word of God wants to commend a man, the only reference we find about him states, "This man was faithful."

  If the man was not reputed to be faithful, then they speak about his ministry.

After John Mark caused the separation of Barnabas and Saul on the second missionary journey, Paul sent for him saying, "He is profitable to me for the ministry" ( II Timothy 4:11 ) .

He could use him to minister.

  As far as I can recall or discern, not very many men had any qualification mentioned except that they were faithful to it.

Paul wrote to Titus: "For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order what remains..." ( Titus 1:5 ) .

He was implying that because Titus was a faithful man, he would faithfully do what God set before him to do.

It is not the greatness of the gift you are walking in that matters.

God is looking to see if you are faithful.

After speaking about Apollos, Peter, and himself, Paul wrote  in I Corinthians 4:1,2: Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.

(King James reads "faithful," which is a synonym.)

  A steward of the mysteries of God should be found faithful to the Lord.

This is required.

I am giving my whole life to the word that God has given me, and I am very much in awe at the vast extent of it.

The revelation keeps coming on an ever-increasing depth.

In my own estimation, the ministry of the word that is coming now is the most important thing that God has committed since the days of the early Church.

And I say that very humbly.

  Other ministries may move in many things, but the foundation word of the Kingdom that has been coming for years is very important.

I feel that I am a steward of the mysteries of God.

God has made the word alive.

When people hear it or read it, they recognize that truths are being revealed to them that they have never seen before, God is bringing a new depth of revelation.

  I suppose there may be people who could surpass me when it comes to actual knowledge of the Scriptures, but I have been faithful.

I have been a faithful steward of the mysteries which God has committed to me.

This is what God requires.

He does not look for superior intelligence or superior gifts.

If you are faithful, God will bless you and bring you into what He has for you.

It will be exceedingly precious.

The gifts of God in their greatness and magnitude are not lavished upon those who have the greatest human ability.

  There is the constant pressure of the enemy to bring discouragement.

Does he try to tell you that you do not have a ministry?

No.

Does he try to tell you that you cannot prophesy and worship?

No.

Does he tell you that the walk with God is false?

Once in awhile he does, but usually the people do not accept that sort of thing.

He tries to put pressure on you for one reason: he wants you to become discouraged so you will be unfaithful to the Lord.

He knows that he can at least contain you, if not utterly defeat you, if you are not faithful to the Lord.

  We have heard much about the judgment seat of Christ ( and frankly, it is not just applicable to the time of Christ's coming; I think we are constantly before His judgment seat ) .

What does He judge us for?

Will we be judged for our sin?

On that final day, you will already have applied the blood of Jesus Christ to your heart for your sins.

The judgment for sin has been transferred to the cross of Jesus Christ.

He died in your stead and took care of all the past sins and even of the sin condition in your heart as you endeavor to walk by faith with the Lord.

His death also made possible an instant deliverance and forgiveness for every sin that you would commit in the process of seeking for His righteousness and perfection.

What then remains that you can be judged for?

If all your sins are transferred to the Lord and there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, then what will you be judged for?

  You must understand that your present existence is the occasion of testing and of judgment to determine your position in the Kingdom that is to come.

If you have been faithful, then He will make you a ruler over many cities ( Luke 19:17 ) .

It is the faithfulness of your heart that He looks upon.

In this hour, the ministry of authority can only be committed to faithful men.

  You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others.

Timothy was to commit the things he had learned to faithful men, because a faithful man will take what is committed to him and enlarge upon it.

God will increase it and that man will be able to teach others also.

  Paul goes on to speak about the by-products of a faithful heart.

 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

  And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 

 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 

No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 

Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 

 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
 
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 

 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 

10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
    we will also live with him;
 
12 if we endure,
    we will also reign with him...
II Timothy 2:1-12.

Whatever suffering comes, whatever God lays before you, you are going to endure it faithfully.

  I can look back upon years in which we had nothing at all, yet we were faithful even during some hard times.

I can remember , as a young evangelist in the middle of the depression, becoming very discouraged; we were barely able to keep body and soul together.

We always seemed to be poor and the objects of charity.

It was very difficult.

About the time things got a little better, the Lord would lead us to start a new church.

God prolonged the hardship and sacrifice year after year.

Now a life of sacrifice means nothing to us, and God blesses in an outstanding way.

  I believe God allowed these testings for a purpose.

Today He sees that I am a faithful steward.

Has He committed to me a lot of riches?

No- yet in a sense He has.

He has committed to me the administration and faithful stewardship of a great deal of money and property and equipment.

Much of what we have today in the way of facilities was given to us because God counted a lot of us faithful.

God gave us the faithfulness and wisdom to see that every dollar was administered with a faithful stewardship.

We have completely outgrown the Living Word Building; every inch is being used as efficiently as anyone could devise.

What are we doing there?

We are actually moving a world.

Before long, The First Principles will be printed in Japanese and in a second Philippine dialect.

  The Word is going out with anointing.

Yet we constantly feel the pressure to withdraw from the intensity of the battle.

To get the pressure off, all you have to do is walk away from a walk with God.

The pressure will lift and you will feel fine for a while, until it dawns on you how defeated you really are.

  You are a soldier on the front line.

You are to suffer hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, not entangled with the affairs of this life.

You want to please Him.

You want to be faithful.

There will be a time to build palaces and a time to sit under your fig tree.

There will be a time to beat your sword into a plowshare and your spear into a pruning hook, but right now is not the time.

Now is the time to get the sword and go out as a good soldier of Jesus Christ until this battle is ended.

Do not collect extra baggage and possessions that will not be important.

  What do we do next?

We are going to be faithful to the Lord.

We will walk in what God sets before us without murmuring or complaining.

We are going to do His will.

  I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service ( he means "ministry" ) , I Timothy 1:12.

The apostle Paul was not chosen by the Lord for his excellence of ability.

At no time did he ever lean upon what he had known or learned before.

He was able to forget those things which were behind ( Philippians 3:13 ) .

When he stood before a congregation such as the Corinthians, he said, "I was with you in much weakness and trembling.

I did not want your faith to stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" ( I Corinthians 2:3,4 ) .

He wanted to be faithful in ministering the anointing of the Lord.

He wanted to speak with the anointing of the Spirit in order to bring forth spiritual results that would stand.

He was very careful not to use the wisdom of man because the cunning of man could also bring deception to them.

He said, "The Lord strengthened me" ( II Timothy 4:17 ) .

  Paul was able to endure hardships and he encouraged young Timothy to do likewise.

As a soldier, Paul endured shipwrecks, beatings, imprisonments, hunger, nakedness, and great peril.

Men tried to assassinate him.

He was beaten unmercifully.

Where did Paul get the strength to endure all of that?

An ordinary man would have perished.

He said, "The Lord has strengthened me because He counted me faithful" ( I Timothy 1:12 ) .

A man is only required to be faithful to the Lord.

If you are faithful, you will never face anything that God will not give you grace to meet.

However, you will become the source of your own defeat if you are an unfaithful man.

When you draw back from the thing God sets before you, you cut off the life line of divine virtue and strength.

But if you are faithful and do not turn aside, God will bless you and strengthen you.

  Your position in the Kingdom that is to come will be based upon your faithfulness in this transition period now.

God is the One who is called Faithful and True, and as you set your heart to be faithful, you will appropriate His faithfulness.

  Are you now aware of your own vacillation and wavering?

As the word comes, telling us to be faithful, are you thinking of the ups and downs in your walk before the Lord?

Ask the Lord to cleanse you and minister that precious fruit of the Holy Spirit which is faithfulness.

Turn your heart away from the thing that would cause you to waver when the pressure is on.

If you would weary with the foot soldier, how will you contend with the horsemen ( Jeremiah 12:5 ) ?

If we stumble now in these days, what will we do when the pressures are increased a hundredfold?

Let us be faithful now so that we will have the strength to endure when that day comes.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday night check in

My wife in front of 740 East Park Avenue, one of the most expensive places to live in New York City
My wife and I just saw the movie "Fury" with Brad Pit.

It is a war movie about a American tank crew during the war years.

Really good dude flick, although my wife also enjoyed it, especially when Brad takes off his shirt.

***

Over are Michale's blog he put up a video of Paul Smith, pastor Chuck Smith's brother.

There is a rift in the Smith family that will take it apart and down if it continues.

The video is biased to undermine the current senior pastor over at CCCM.

***

Beats headphones actually suck in my humble opinion. I have tried them and in no way was impressed.

 I admit to having owned a set of battle worn Bose headphones for about 7 years. They fell apart, snapped in half, and the foam ear cushions gave up the ghost a long time ago.

But you know those headphones are incredible!

 Really.

 I love the quality of the sound that they produce when i use those old dogs. Held together with "mighty putty" and hot glued cushion repairs, they still beat a new set of Beats headphones hands down.

Beats are a successful marketing fallacy at best in my opinion. 

Once you get a chance to compare a set of Bose against a set of Beats you will know exactly what I mean.

Now Bose are not the best head phones at all; Sennheiser planar headphones are the ones to put on your bucket wish list.

Apple has long sold Bose headphones and speakers in its retail stores, including in the time since it acquired Bose-competitor Beats Audio, and despite the lawsuit filed by Bose against Apple alleging patent violations on the part of Beats.

 That's come to an end this week, though: Apple's dropped Bose merchandise both in its retail locations and online, despite recent news that the two companies have settled the patent suit.

***

 "Good artists copy, great artists steal," Steve Jobs used to say. Having launched a perfectly-timed attack against Samsung and phablets with its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Leonid Bershidsky suggests that the next big thing from Apple will be a tablet-laptop a la Microsoft's Surface Pro 3.
 

"Before yesterday's Apple [iPad] event," writes Bershidsky, "rumors were strong of an upcoming giant iPad, to be called iPad Pro or iPad Plus.

 There were even leaked pictures of a device with a 12.9-inch screen, bigger than the Surface Pro's 12-inch one. It didn't come this time, but it will.

 I've been expecting a touch-screen Apple laptop for a few years now, and keep being wrong.

***

If you ever rode a dirt bike or a trials bike you are going to like this race that we get to see the perspective of one of the riders from a gopro type eye view.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

An Extra Portion For The Sabbath

 Today's lesson is about the Sabbath of God. 

 Some denominations observe the sabbath as merely a ritual with no real meaning other than to observe a sabbath religiously.

Oh how boring!

There truly is deep meaning in the Sabbath of God for those of us who desire to walk with God. 

You are going to understand the Sabbath of God and how it shows us today the wisdom of God through His Words to us.

As a conclusion I have added Chuck Girad's Holy Spirit inspired song "Lay Your Burden Down."

It is my prayerful desire that you would study this lesson and then take some time to sit back and listen to this anointed man of God lead you into the presence chamber of God without your burdens, because you have laid them down; free to worship our Lord in Sabbath observance.

 ***

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
Genesis 1:26-2:4
  In the book of Genesis, there are basically two accounts of creation.
Throughout the first and second chapters, the word yowm is used for "day."
On the sixth day, God made man and created him in His own image.
That was a very important event.

He said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our Likeness."

Notice that God did not say, "In My image," but He said, "Let Us make man in Our image, " showing that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit were all involved in the creation of man.

There are, of course, many names of God which are plural and therefore use plural pronouns, as in this case.

Elohim is a name which must be used with a plural verb.

  How much time was involved in creation, we do not know.

If we trace the word yowm in a concordance, we find that many times it does not refer to a twenty-four-hour period, but to a longer span of time.

In the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and other prophets, the word yown is used for the day of the Lord, referring to a duration of time in which certain things are accomplished.

We know that the day of the Lord is not a twenty-four-hour period.

When the Word says that God made the heavens and the earth in six days, it does not necessarily mean that this was within the span of a week as we know it.

Yown could be an undetermined length of time.

  I believe that there were six periods of time in which creation came forth.

Strangely enough, archeology seems to indicate that life developed upon this planet in the same order as that described in the story of creation in the Bible.

You may be wondering if the earth is millions of years old.

Perhaps it is.

The Bible does not say when the world was created, but by certain scientific measurements of the radioactive carbon present, scientists are now able to determine the approximate age of the earth.

This probably has been one of the great breakthroughs of science in recent years- the ability to determine the age of things by the diminishing amount of activity in the element of carbon which is present in almost all things.

We may not be scientist, but very scientifically we do believe in creation.

  Although evolution is a theory which eliminates God, it is possible that God could have used evolution as a process in His creation.

At any time that He chose t bring one species out of another, He could have done it.

The only problem with this idea is that God put a limitation upon everything He made.

He established a law that everything would bring forth after its own kind.

This puts a cloud over the possibility that He used some evolutionary process in creation.

It is possible to develop creatures within a certain species and even cross them, but it is very difficult for them to reproduce themselves.

A horse crossed with an ass will produce a mule, but a mule cannot reproduce.

  On the seventh day, the seventh period, God rested ( Genesis 2:3 ) .

Creation took place in six ages and then when everything was in motion, God entered into an age of rest.

Laws had already been established and life was proceeding.

  The Sabbath in the Old Testament was based upon the fact that God rested on the seventh day after completing the creation.

In the Old Testament, the people looked back to the completion of what God had done in creation.

Today many Christians are keeping the Sabbath on an entirely different basis.

They are keeping the Sabbath in faith of what God is yet to accomplish and complete.

Man was created in the sixth day.

We are now living in the sixth day when the sons of God are being created.

The seventh day of the Kingdom is about to come.

Believers in Christ are not keeping the historical Sabbath; they are keeping the future Sabbath which relates to the things that God is going to bring forth upon the earth.

 And God spoke all these words:
 
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
 Exodus 20:1-4

This is the reason that not many sculptors and painters came from the Hebrew nation.

Other civilizations developed beautiful sculpture, but the Jews did not, because God had warned them from the beginning not to make any likeness whatsoever.

We should not make any likenesses or pictures of Jesus. 

In the first place, we do not know what Jesus looked like; second, we are to visualize Him as He is in the spirit, as dwelling in a glory that no man can approach.

Though we have known Him after the flesh, yet know we Him so no longer ( II Corinthians 5:16 ) .

We are to know Him after the Spirit.

We are to remember Him as He was in His days of humanity, for He now dwells in glory at the right hand of the Father and He should be visualized like that.

  "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the forth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy."

Now note:

"Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy."
Exodus 20:5-11

  The fact that God made the sabbath holy gives the commandment of the sabbath a moral basis.

The legalistic way of keeping the Sabbath disappeared when Christ abrogated the Law.

Sacrifices and other rituals came to an end with Christ, for He was the fulfillment of all of them.

He fulfilled all the law.

Every moral obligation of it was fulfilled, and He extends that righteousness to us.

A person who really loves Christ should be open for Him to be his Sabbath rest.

We should enter into the Kingdom Sabbath which Christ opened p for us.

  Keeping the Sabbath day is just as binding to believers now, in this day when the Kingdom is coming forth, as it was in the Old Testament.

Some of the most creative, blessed times many believers know are in Saturday morning services.

The flow of revelation teaching on the Sabbath often exceeds that which comes on Sunday.

This does not mean that we should downgrade Sunday.

We should continue to worship on Sunday, keeping it not as the first day of the week, but as an eight day, the day of life and creation that comes forth even as Christ came forth after the Sabbath in resurrection life.

  "You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
Exodus 20:13-17.

  The Sabbath has a special spiritual significance.

The Sabbath that was kept in the Old Testament had a historical significance of the great Sabbath rest that followed the completion of all creation.

From the chronologies after the fall of man we find that mankind was thrown into labor.

There were approximately four thousand years in the Old Testament history, and another two thousand years have passed since the birth of Christ, so that we are now close to the end of six thousand years.

We are in the sixth great period of change, often identified as dispensations.

Many of the early Church fathers believed this very implicitly.

In the writings of the Ante-Nicene fathers, Barnabas related that six thousand years were to pass and then the Kingdom of God would come forth upon the earth.

We are looking forward to the coming of the seventh thousand year period since the fall of man - a time in which God will accomplish the various stages of redemption and open up different realms just as He did in the creation of the physical world in ages past.

  The sixteen chapter of Exodus contains the story of the manna.

It may seem unrelated to the Sabbath, but if we read carefully, we will find that it is not, for it reveals a great symbolic truth.

Like many other happenings in the book of Moses, the manna has deep, prophetic significance.

When the layer of dew evaporated, behold, on the surface of the wilderness there was a fine flake-like thing, fine as hoarfrost on the ground.

When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?"

The margin gives the Hebrew word: man hu.

They did not know what it was, so they called it man hu, or manna.

For they did not know what it was.

 And Moses said to them, "It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat. 

This is what the Lord commanded 'Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece' (an omer is approximately one~tenth of a bushel ) 'according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent.' 

"And the sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little.

When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered as much as he could eat.

And Moses said to them, " Let no man leave any of it until the morning."

But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them.

And they gathered it morning by morning, every man as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt.

  Now it came about on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one.

When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, then he said to them, "This is what the Lord meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the Lord.

Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning."

So they put it aside till morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul, nor was there any worm in it.

And Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field.

Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none."

  And it came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none.

Then the Lord said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions? 

See, the Lord has given you the sabbath, therefore He gives you bread foe two days on the sixth day.

Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day."

So the people rested on the seventh day.
Exodus 16:14-30

 We must understand the significance of this.

We are in the sixth day, the day of the double portion.

The double portion will bring an adequate supply for the whole seventh Sabbath that is approaching.

The Kingdom will be rich in what God is giving.

In God's remnant of this day, there is a flow of revelation right now which exceeds anything that has ever come in the entire history of God's dealings with man.

It is important that you store up as much of this teaching as you can absorb, for there will be days when you will not have an opportunity to receive such teaching.

  Some people love the good old days, but if they are trying to live on yesterday's manna, they will have worms n their manna; it will become foul.

In each dispensation there has been a progressive unfolding of truth and life.

Everything that has come was alive only for the day in which it came.

But men could not rest on that day; they had to keep seeking the word that was to come in the next period and the next.

If you read some of the writings of the early fathers, you will realize that they had a portion, but we could not survive on what they had.

It was real for their day because it was manna for that day.

If we tried to quote and preach the truths of the reformers or the early Church fathers, we would find ourselves on a very unhealthy diet, and we would become spiritually sick.

  The seventh day is different.

The manna that was gathered on the sixth day did not spoil on the seventh.

And the bowl of manna that was placed in the ark of the covenant, where the presence of the Lord was manifested, was kept there for generations.

Manna that normally would have spoiled within a day became imperishable.

The Israelites carried it through the wilderness and took it wherever they went.

That bowlful of manna was alive!

In Revelation 2:17, God said, "To him that overcometh ( in the Church age ) I will give to eat of the hidden manna"- manna that was hidden away in the very presence of the Lord.

  The great Sabbath rest is coming.

The day of the double portion is upon us.

The word that you hear today will not be filled with worms tomorrow.

It will not be foul and out-of-date.

Every word that has come since the end-time move of God began is just as alive to us now as the day in which it came, if not more so.

The Bible is coming alive, more now than in the past.

read the Old Bible commentaries on some chapter and than compare them with the recent expositions of the same chapter.

You will wonder where the life came from.

We have not seen it before.

It is today's manna- the manna that is coming in the sixth day.

It is preparing us to walk with God in all of the days of the Kingdom ahead of us.

Do not draw back.

Open your heart to keep the Sabbath, not as they did in the Old Testament when they were commemorating creation.

We will keep it by commemorating the new creation, the sons of God who will loose all creation from futility and bring forth the will of God as His Kingdom is being established.

  We will enter His courts with praise and thanksgiving ( Psalm 100:4 ) .

We will come to the house of God to worship Him because that which He has begun, He will perform to a point of completion ( Philippians 1:6 ) .

Do Not Forget the Lord

 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 
  He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.Deuteronomy 8:1-3.

  God will teach you as you wander and as you are tested.

The manna then was a type of the living word today.

This is illustrated in John 6.

Jesus said, "Your fathers ate manna, but they perished.

But you will eat this bread that I give you, for My words are spirit and they are life and they shall never perish."

God is bringing forth a living manna today which will never spoil.

It will be a double portion, an adequate word that will govern the world for at least the next thousand years.

  I am not persuaded that the Kingdom will embrace only one thousand years.

The book of Revelation is symbolical when it speaks about ruling and reigning for a thousand years ( Revelation 20:4 ) .

It could possibly be seventy thousand years, as well as a thousand.

The word "day," as used in the Word, is not always a determined period of twenty-four hours.

This seventh thousand-year period could be extended.

It is the seventh day.

For six days the Israelites marched around Jericho, and on the seventh day they went around seven times.

This indicates that the seventh day could have embraced a longer period of time than each of the other six days.

  "Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you."
  Deuteronomy 8:4-5.

God leads you, but as you wander through the wilderness, He has to teach you that you are not going to make it into the Kingdom by your own devices.

This is the truth of the Sabbath.

You will not live by bread alone.

You will not live by deliverance's alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

Gods teaching that it is neither human effort nor organization that is bringing forth maturity in His people; it is the living word which comes to their hearts.

And it is coming in a double portion.

This is the key.

The clothes will not wear out; the shoes will not wear out.

You can enter into a place of immunity, a place of deliverance, a place where you can possess all that God has for you, because in this sixth day He is giving a double portion of the living word; and it is creative.

As you receive a double portion of the word, you must walk in the fullness  of it.

"The works that I do," Jesus said, "ye will do also, and greater works shall ye do' ( John 14:12 ) .

We must enter into this double portion.

  Ask the Lord to give you a new vision of the Sabbath, to make it live and burn in your heart so that you will want to come to the house of Gd on the Sabbath day.

Let God lay upon your heart the burden of the Sabbath day.

Let God lay upon your heart the burden of the Sabbath- not a dead, legalistic bondage to a Sabbath observance, but of the Sabbath which is to come.

Isaiah 66:23 tells us that from one new moon to another, from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come up to worship the Lord.

It will be a different kind of Sabbath than we have known.

  As a concluding Scripture we will read Exodus 31:12-18.

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign," It was merely a ritual; it was a sign.

It had a symbolical meaning, and that is what we are entering into- the fulfillment of the symbolical meaning for which they kept the Sabbath.

The Passover, too, has a symbolical meaning for us.
Christ our Passover was crucified for us.

We no longer kill a Passover lamb;we come humbly and appropriate Christ as our Passover Lamb.

The day of fulfillment through rituals, stringent laws, and punishment is passed.

The Sabbath as a sign can now be spiritually fulfilled in our lives.

We should love it even more now than they did in the Old Testament.

As the Scripture says, "Call the Sabbath a delight" ( Isaiah 58:13 ) .

Come and worship the Lord.

 "For this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.

Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you.

Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; fr whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among the people."

  There is no other way but the way of grace.

You cannot mix the grace of God with the old legalism and the works of the flesh.

You must cease to rely upon the human element, the human labor, and the human organization, and come into a purity of spirit, into a divine order.

"For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day will surely be put to death."

  We must cast off the human frustration and striving and come into the Sabbath rest of the Lord.

It must become a reality to those who desire a walk with God.

God's people are not destined forever to come to the house of God in a battle.

Stop bringing the burdens to church with you.

If the people of the Old Testament bore a burden on the Sabbath day, they could have been stoned.

Leave your burdens behind. Unload.

Enter into His rest.

"So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout the generations as a perpetual covenant.' It is a sign between Me ad the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the lord made the heaven and the earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed."

The last revelation that Moses received on the mountain was this revelation of the Sabbath.

And when He had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.

Monday, October 13, 2014

In Defense Of Obama

Paul Krugman has written an interesting article about Obama which is currently in Rollingstone Magazine.

"All Obama-bashing can be divided into three types. One, a constant of his time in office, is the onslaught from the right, which has never stopped portraying him as an Islamic atheist Marxist Kenyan. Nothing has changed on that front, and nothing will."

"Yes, Obama has a low approval rating compared with earlier presidents. But there are a number of reasons to believe that presidential approval doesn't mean the same thing that it used to: There is much more party-sorting (in which Republicans never, ever have a good word for a Democratic president, and vice versa), the public is negative on politicians in general, and so on."

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/in-defense-of-obama-20141008

Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

I am willing to bet you did not know this about John Lennon the famous 'Beatle' musician.

I had mentioned John Lennon once and a pastor here took umbrage that I would mention John on this blog.

So I did my research and came up with this as my response to the pastor.

This is fascinating reading for those of the Love generation of the 60's; the hippie generation.

***

John Lennon?


So you tell me that you are upset that I did a John Lennon tribute 27 years later on the day that he left this earth. My christian brother John Lennon. All depends how you look at it...

Here is something I bet you didn't know:

Two new books on John Lennon claim that the ex-Beatle experienced a brief period as a born-again Christian during the 1970s. While living the life of a virtual recluse in New York's Dakota Building, Lennon became an avid viewer of American TV evangelists and, at some point during 1977, declared that he had been saved. Robert Rosen in Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon (published in June by Soft Skull Press) cites Billy Graham as the main influence, whereas Geoffrey Giuliano in Lennon in America (published in June by Cooper Square Press) mentions both Graham and Pat Robertson.

Both writers have based their information on sources close to Lennon and on the singer's personal diaries, which circulated shortly after his death and were then retrieved by his widow, Yoko Ono. The existence of the diaries has been known for some time, but so far no writer has divulged their contents. Because of legal problems, neither Rosen nor Giuliano has been able to quote directly from the diaries, but both have drawn on the information.

"One day [Lennon] had an epiphany—he allowed himself to be touched by the love of Jesus Christ, and it drove him to tears of joy and ecstacy," writes Rosen, a New York journalist briefly employed by Ono. "He drew a picture of a crucifix; he was born again, and the experience was such a kick that he had to share it with Yoko."

Giuliano, who has written extensively about the Beatles, pinpoints the conversion to a Palm Sunday and says that Lennon was so moved by a series about Jesus broadcast on Robertson's CBN that he broke down in tears. In the following weeks, he attended church services and took his son, Sean, to a Christian theater performance. He even called The 700 Club help line to request prayer for his health and troubled marriage.

"He prayed for forgiveness when he stepped on insects or snapped at the maid," Giuliano writes. "He became convinced that Jesus was personally protecting Sean."Ono, whose first husband Anthony Cox became an evangelical Christian in the 1970s, was displeased with Lennon's changed outlook. Giuliano claims that Lennon began to challenge her interest in the occult and was disappointed that she wouldn't join him in watching Graham's telecasts."This dramatic conversion worried Yoko," Giuliano writes. "She feared that John's new faith would clash with her own ideas about spiritualism and threaten her iron hold over him."

John's song "You Saved My Soul," which recounts being prevented from attempting suicide while staying in a Tokyo hotel, is known only to Beatles bootleggers.

Unlike the other Beatles, Lennon was raised as a nominal Christian and attended Sunday school at St. Peter's Church in Woolton, Liverpool. This early exposure to Christianity may explain why he always seemed to regard Jesus as a figure who had to be dealt with, whether through comparison ("The Beatles are more popular than Jesus"), identification ("They're gonna crucify me," in "Ballad of John and Yoko"), or challenge ("I don't believe in Jesus," in "God").

Where his contemporaries ignored Jesus, Lennon had to continually take him on. In his final interviews, carried out just weeks before his death in December 1980, Lennon said his beliefs could be described as "Zen Christian, Zen pagan, Zen Marxist" or nothing at all. Speaking to Newsweek's Barbara Graustark, however, Lennon revealed that he still reads the Bible. "Some of [Christ's parables] are only making sense to me now, after a whole life of sitting in church or school," he told her.

"It was just moany, moany, moany for years, and then I hear it again and I think, God, that's what he means."

A television addict for many years (it was his way of looking at the world since he could no longer walk around anonymously), he enjoyed watching some of America's best-known evangelists—Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, Jim Bakker, and Oral Roberts. In 1972 he had written a desperate letter to Roberts confessing his dependence on drugs and his fear of facing up to "the problems of life." He expressed regret that he had said that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus and enclosed a gift for the Oral Roberts University. After quoting the line "money can't buy me love" from "Can't Buy Me Love" he said, "It's true. The point is this, I want happiness. I don't want to keep on with drugs. Paul told me once, 'You made fun of me for taking drugs, but you will regret it in the end.' Explain to me what Christianity can do for me. Is it phoney? Can He love me? I want out of hell."

Roberts sent him a copy of his book Miracle of Seed Faith and several letters explaining basic Christian beliefs. In the second of his letters Roberts said:John, we saw you and the Beatles on television when you first came to America. Your talent with music was almost awesome and your popularity touched millions. Your influence became so widespread and powerful that your statement-the Beatles are more popular than Jesus- might have had some truth in it at that moment. But you know, our Lord said, I am alive for ever more. People, the Bible says, are like sheep and are often fickle, following this one day and something else the next. However, there are millions who have received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and have been filled with the Holy Spirit. They love him. To them He is the most wonderful and popular man who ever lived because he is the Son of God and His name endures.

I thank God that you see this, John, and finally regret thinking any man or group could be more popular than Jesus. Jesus is the only reality. It is Jesus who said "I am the way, the truth, and the life." So, you see, your statement that because of your hard background you've never wanted to face reality is actually really saying you've never wanted to face our loving Lord. What I want to say, as I tried to say in my other letter, is that Jesus, the true reality, is not hard to face. He said, "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." You said, John, that you take drugs because reality frightens you. Remember as you open your life to Jesus, He will take all the fear away and give you peace. Peace that passes all understanding.

This correspondence and his exposure to TV evangelism didn't appear to have any effect until he suddenly announced to close friends in the spring of 1977 that he'd become a born-again Christian. He had been particularly moved by the U.S. television premiere of Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth, starring Robert Powell as Jesus, which NBC showed in two three-hour segments on Palm Sunday, April 3, 1977. A week later, on Easter day, he took Yoko and Sean to a local church service.

Over the following months he baffled those close to him by constantly praising "the Lord," writing Christian songs with titles like "Talking with Jesus" and "Amen" (the Lord's Prayer set to music), and trying to convert nonbelievers. He also called the prayer line of The 700 Club, Pat Robertson's program. The change in his life perturbed Yoko, who tried to talk him out of it. She reminded him of what he'd said about his vulnerability to strong religious leaders because of his emotionally deprived background. She knew that if the press found out about it they would have a field day with another John and Jesus story. John became antagonistic toward her, blaming her for practicing the dark arts and telling her that she couldn't see the truth because her eyes had been blinded by Satan.

Those close to the couple sensed that the real reason she was concerned was that it threatened her control over John's life. If he became a follower of Jesus he would no longer depend on her and the occultists. During long, passionate arguments she attacked the key points of his fledgling faith. They met with a couple of Norwegian missionaries whom Yoko questioned fiercely about the divinity of Christ, knowing that this was the teaching that John had always found the most difficult to accept.

And of course the age old argument of "can you loose your salvation" does come into play.

Their answers didn't satisfy her, and John began to waver in his commitment.In an unpublished song, "You Saved My Soul," he spoke about "nearly falling" for a TV preacher while feeling "lonely and scared" in a Tokyo hotel. This must have referred to a trip to Japan at the end of May when he stayed at the Okura Hotel for over two months while Yoko visited relatives. Feeling isolated because of the language barrier, he locked himself away in his room for long stretches of time. At night he suffered terrifying nightmares. According to John Green, who makes no mention of the born-again period in his book, John told him, "I'd lie in bed all day [in Tokyo], not talk, not eat, and just withdraw. And a funny thing happened. I began to see all these different parts of me. I felt like a hollow temple filled with many spirits, each one passing through me, each inhabiting me for a little time and then leaving to be replaced by another."

The image was remarkably like one suggested by Jesus and recorded in Luke 11. It's hard to imagine that John was unfamiliar with the passage. Jesus was warning of the danger of merely ridding oneself of evil spirits without taking in the good. He says that an unclean or evil spirit, finding nowhere to rest, will return. "And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first."

Whatever happened in Tokyo, it marked the end of his personal interest in Jesus. "You Saved My Soul" said that he "nearly" fell for the TV preacher, but that Yoko "saved me from that suicide." So the salvation of the title refers to being saved from God, not by God. Yoko had again become the captain of his soul, the mistress of his destiny. Yet his life didn't improve. He sank into a depression, concerned that his creativity had deserted him and that he had no real purpose in life. The only real joy he experienced came from spending time with his son, Sean.

His life was out of his control. He worried about his health and his eyesight, about making the right investments with his money, about his personal safety. The only way out, as far as he could see, was to pay for the services of people who claimed to see into the future. But then, which ones could he trust? If the advice of the tarot card reader contradicted that of the astrologer, which should he follow? Instead of the freedom he wanted when he broke away from the Beatles, he was now completely enslaved. He couldn't travel anywhere without advice from a directionalist, do deals with anyone without knowing their star sign, or make plans for the future without consulting the I Ching.

In January 1979 he and Yoko traveled to Cairo, having heard that there was a major illicit archeological dig taking place. Both of them believed that ancient Egyptian artifacts contained magical powers, and Yoko had dedicated one of the rooms in their apartment to Egyptian artifacts. "I love Egyptian art," she said. "I make sure I get all the Egyptian things, not for their value but for their magic power. Each piece has a certain magic power." They stayed at the Nile Hilton and toured the pyramids, but when word got out about their intentions they were prevented from visiting the dig.

By the time Frederic Seaman became John's personal assistant in February 1979, John's main interest was reading books on religion, psychic phenomena, the occult, death, history, archeology, and anthropology. Specific books Seaman can remember him asking for included Rebel in the Soul: An Ancient Egyptian Dialogue Between a Man and His Destiny, by Bika Reed; Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, by Margot Adler; and Practical Occultism, by (Madame) H. P Blavatsky. He also listened to a thousand dollars' worth of taped lectures by Alan Watts.

Vacationing in Florida in the spring, he again watched Jesus of Nazareth on its by now regular Easter showing, but his reaction was completely different from the one he had had two years before. He kept joking that they should just get on with it and fast-forward to the crucifixion. Seaman, who was present with John's sons, Sean and Julian, recalled, "John began working himself up into a tirade against Christianity, saying that it had virtually destroyed what was left of pagan culture and spirituality in Europe-a great loss to civilization." He then announced that he was now a "born again pagan."

Later in the year Bob Dylan recorded Slow Train Coming, a gospel album born out of personal experience. Dylan told Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times that he'd recently accepted that "Jesus was real … I had this feeling, this vision and feeling. I truly had a born-again experience, if you want to call it that. It's an over-used term. But it's something that people can relate to." Hilburn asked him what "born again" meant. "Born once," he answered, "is born from the spirit below, which is when you're born. It's the spirit you're born with. Born again is born with the Spirit from above, which is a little bit different."

Slow Train Coming was a direct and challenging album. Unlike most gospel recordings, it didn't simply praise Jesus but attacked opposition to him, whether that was religious syncretism, false saviors, or lack of commitment. It was addressed to people like John. In "Precious Angel," the first single, Dylan sang, "Ya either got faith or ya got unbelief and there ain't no neutral ground.' In the title track he sang of "Fools glorifying themselves, trying to manipulate Satan."

Dylan's transformation took John completely by surprise. After all, Dylan had been the Beatles' only peer and remained someone whom he deeply respected. What made it particularly galling was that everything Dylan sang about on the album was delivered with a confidence that had always seemed to elude John. Dylan seemed certain that his sins were forgiven, his eternal security was assured, and that God was actively involved in his life.

When asked in 1980 about his response to Dylan's conversion, John was less than honest. He said he was surprised that "old Bobby boy did go that way," but "if he needs it, let him do it." His only objection, he said, was that Dylan was presenting Christ as the only way. He disliked this because "There isn't one answer to anything." This is why he favored Buddhism. It didn't proselytize. In what can now be seen as an allusion to his own born-again period, which hadn't yet been made public, he said, "But I understand it. I understand him completely, how he got in there, because I've been frightened enough myself to want to latch onto something."

His private feelings about the conversion were expressed in his songwriting. He was particularly incensed by the track "Gotta Serve Somebody" because it opposed his view that there was no single truth. The song said, as bluntly as possible, that whatever your station in life, you were either serving God or the devil. This wasn't an avoidable choice. John wrote a riposte titled "Serve Yourself," arguing that no one can save you. The only person you have to serve is yourself. "He was kind of upset [about Dylan's song] and it was a dialogue," said Yoko in 1998. "He showed his anger but also … his sense of humour."

Excerpted from The Gospel According to the Beatles by Steve Turner, published by Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.

I believe that John did indeed get 'born~again,' 'saved.' I believe he had asked Christ into his life. And I also believe that he never had a chance to get good biblical teaching and discipling. His wife was a very bad influence and hinderance to him being able to grow in Christ. She polluted his thinking and controlled him. But...does that mean he never received Christ salvation?

Commenting on the uproar over the article in America, Maureen Cleave in London said, "John was certainly not comparing the Beatles with Christ. He was simply observing that so weak was the state of Christianity that the Beatles were, to many people, better known. He was deploring, rather than approving, this."

Only Jesus knows for sure...

I am inclined to believe that I shall one day see John Lennon in heaven. Because he did not get discipled, does it mean Christ atonement for John Lennon is invalidated? Only Jesus knows.

John Lennon (9 October 1940 - 8 December 1980) was a singer, songwriter, guitarist, political activist, humorist, painter and writer.

"You Saved My Soul" -
When I think about how you saved my soul
I'm compelled to praise you
Like a woman out of control
So I lift up holy hands
I take advantage of this chance to say thank you
When I think about what you brought me through
I'm reminded to praise you for all that you had to do
So I lift up holy hands
I take advantage of this chance to say thank you
So from the bottom of my heart I say
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you
When I think about were you brought me from
I gotta praise you like the victories already won
And I lift my hands
I take advantage of this chance to say thank you
When I think about oh Lord yes
Why you love me so
I'm compelled to praise you because
I really don't care whose looking and who knows that I love you
And I lift up my holy hands
I take advantage of this chance to say thank you
Oh, everyday of my life I just wanna say
Thank you, (Thank you Lord)
Thank you, (I gotta thank you)
Thank you, (Because of who you been to me)
Thank you, (You been a shealter in the storm)
Oh and I Thank you
You been a rock that I can stand on Thank you Lord
And I say Thank you
You been a bridge over any kind of water
I gotta say Lord I thank you
With all my heart with all my soul
Everything within me says thank you Lord
Thank you Lord
Lord I thank you, Lord I thank you, Lord I thank you
For all you done to me
Thank you Lord
Theres no words that I can say but you been good
I can't thank you enough no no no no no
Thank you Lord (I just wanna thank you)
I wanna thank, I wanna thank you
I gotta thank you, just wanna thank you
I thank you yes, I thank you yes, I thank you yes, I thank you yes
And I say.....I wanna thank you
Said Lord I thank you yes
Thank you
Artist: JOHN LENNON

David Sloane