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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stars as seen from a place of total darkness

The Gospel Of John Part Two

John 1:3

All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.(KJV)

The Bible is it's own best commentary. So we will let the Bible unfold this topic of Christ making all things and being involved in making all things.

PS 33:66
By the Word of the LORD were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.(KJV)

PS 102:25
25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.(KJV)

Col 1:16-17
16 For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:17 And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.(KJV)


Heb 1:1-31
God...2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds;(KJV)

John 5:17
17 But Jesus answered them, MY Father worketh hitherto, and I work.(KJV)

John 5:18-19
18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, Verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.(KJV)

Jesus is the Lord. Jesus and God are one and the same. And thus the next verse is correct.

Isa 44:24
24 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things, I stretcheth forth the heavens alone, that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself;(KJV)

God is still on His throne and He is still in command.

1 Cor 8:66
But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him.(KJV)

Eph 3:99
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:(KJV)

Mystery hid in God, but we are made to see through Jesus Christ. The way the word " mystery" is being used here denotes something that has been revealed or opened up. "The cats out of the bag". It was not known but now it is through Jesus Christ. God knew it, but now we know it through Jesus.

Isa 45:18
18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I AM the LORD; and there is none else.(KJV)

God is talking to Christ and to the Holy Spirit here:

Gen 1:26
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.(KJV)

Isa 66:22
For all things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LOrd (Self existent, Eternal One): but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My Word.(KJV)

Heb 10:12
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.(KJV)

Heb 3:3-4
3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house.4 Foe every house is builded by some man; but He that built all things is God.(KJV)

Rev 4:10-11
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are were created.(KJV)

John is letting us know in 1:3 of his gospel that Jesus is none other than God the Creator. God created you and I for His good pleasure. He has and is doing everything possible to bring us into fellowship with Jesus Christ. The second part of verse three, "...and without Him was not anything made that was made", tells us that we are not an accident. We are told that without Him not even one thing that was created came to be. Christ was involved in our making. Christ was involved in every one's making. He wants us! His desire is for us to exist with Him for eternity in a love relationship that cannot be properly described with Words alone. We do know that we bring pleasure to God and that is why we are and were created. But on the flip side God brings pleasure to us. His presence brings fullness of joy.

Ps 16:11
11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.(KJV)

Why would anyone not want to believe in Christ and miss out on this fantastic love relationship for which all humankind were created?John 1:4In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.(KJV)

The life was in Him, and the life is the light of men. Within Him there was life, and the life was the light of the world. Creation would be like Ezekiel's bone yard (Ezekiel chapter 37) if it did not receive life from the Word. The Word is the source of life.

I can talk to non Christians about almost anything and they will usually participate. But when I start to talk about Christ they usually grow cold. That is because they are spiritually dead to God. They live in a universe that is spiritually dark. You and I as Christians are lights shining in the darkness, bringing life and light to a darkened world. We are the only lights that they will see in this world if we have Jesus in our hearts.

John 8:12
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, "I AM the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."(KJV)

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.(KJV)

John 4:14
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.(KJV)

John 5:21
21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.(KJV)

John 5:26
26 For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself;(KJV)

John 10:10
10 The theif cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I AM come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.(KJV)

John 10:28
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.(KJV)

John 11:25
25 Jesus said unto her, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:(KJV)

John 14:66
Jesus saith unto him, "I am the way , the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.(KJV)

John 17:22
As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.(KJV)

Jesus is the source of all life. The name of God given to the Israelites is Yahweh which is translated Jehovah or Lord in our bibles, which means literally "He who causes to be", He who gives life. We serve a God of life. The Jewish people have a saying, "To life".

The second part of verse four...and the life was the light of men. Have you ever looked at someone and seen the vitality of life in their eyes and looked at someone else and seen a dullness with no life expressed. One is spiritually dead towards God, and the other is alive towards God. Only God can ignite a heart on fire for Jesus Christ until light shines forth. Men are supposed to shine with the light of God. We were designed to glow with light. We are not to hide our light. We are to shine.

Phil 2:15-16
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world;16 Holding forth the Word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.(KJV)

Matthew 5:16
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.(KJV)

It has been my observation that when Christians back slide their light from God seems to dim. But when they get their hearts right with God they glow again. I have also observed those who glow the brightest are the ones who stay in fellowship with God and one another.

1 Jn 1:6-7
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.(KJV)

2 Cor 6:14-18
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God: as God hath said, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people."17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the LOrd, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.(KJV)

The Lord does make a distinction between light and darkness in people. You are a christian and you do not have anything in common with an unbeliever. If you are truly walking in the light then you will have fellowship with one another. We are in the world but we are not of the world.

1 Jn 1:6-7
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.(KJV)

You are a light holder. God places us around this spiritually dark world to illuminate the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. Is your light shining? There are basically three types of Christians in most of Christendom.

The first one comes to church and does not really care about the things of God. They are not really interested in learning about God. (They would not have read this far in this study.) It is enough that they have come to church. When God pours out His Spirit upon them their hearts are like an upside down cup. The Spirit flows over and past them. They are not even aware of the Holy Spirits presence or His moving in their midst. They do not contain anything to share with anyone else when they leave.

The second type believes in the things of God when they come to church. They believe in God's miracles. They believe that God's Word is true. But they are not expecting anything from God. There is no anticipation for what God might do. They are only interested in filling their heads with more knowledge as they worship at the alters of knowledge. When God pours out His Spirit upon them their hearts are like a cup laying on it's side. The Spirit flows over and past them. And they are aware of Him but do not respond. They have little to share with others when they leave.

The third type of christian is expecting God to move when they come to church. They have a hunger and a burning desire for God.They believe and are waiting to receive. They are anticipating miracles in their midst and know that they want to see God's hand in their lives. They are like King David:

Ps 42:1-2
1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God, My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?(KJV)

When God pours out His Spirit upon them their hearts are like a cup that is right side up. It gets filled to overflowing. They are the ones who are glowing and filled with the Spirit. When they leave they are overflowing with much to share with others.

Eph 5:18-19
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; be ye filled with the spirit;19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;(KJV)

Verse 19 of the above scripture tells us how to get filled and how to stay filled.

Which type of christian have you been lately...?

Well you read down this far so your doing great!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Gospel Of John

The Gospel According to John
Commentary by D.Sloane

Introduction

As I studied the first few verses of John's gospel, I became aware of the complexity of meaning hidden beneath the surface of it's word's. I felt like a miner digging deeper and finding rich gold veins. I was transported through time to it's incipient stage as I read verse one from a new perspective. I saw a fantastic love relationship buried in verse one between Jesus and God the Father.

So it made good sense to see if the richness of John's gospel could be brought to the surface.This is the results of digging through a lot of information and processing it with the help of the Holy Spirit. Questions such as, "What is John trying to say?", "What is John wanting us to know?", and, "What do we already know about the information that could enlighten our understanding of a particular passage of scripture?", were asked and addressed. This is not to say that this work is exhaustive in uncovering all that there is to be mined in the Gospel of John. But it should ignite a desire in any reader to want to go deeper into the wonderful Word of God.

A few words before we begin.

John is a fisherman who was called into the ministry by Jesus. A plain ordinary man with a strong temperament.

John the "Beloved" writes his gospel after the other apostles had written theirs. He had the benefit of hind site and could therefore fill in the gap in areas where the others may have been sketchy. John lived the longest of all the twelve apostles, almost to one hundred years some say. As a result his writing tends to be more spiritually oriented then the other gospels. (I say this because God had more time to mold and shape John into the man He wanted him to be. Remember Jesus called John a "Son of Thunder" in Mark 3:17. John would require some christian growth which takes time.)

His writing gives us a more mystical viewpoint of Jesus Christ. The opening prologue of this gospel is one of the deepest passages in all of the scriptures. It seems to be mysterious and flat planed, until we go beneath the surface where those who know Jesus will find large nuggets of enlightenment.John loved Jesus dearly and knew Him in a very close relationship. He is the only person in the Bible who leaned upon Jesus breast, reminiscent of a father son relationship which suggest to us a tight bond between John and Jesus. John 13:23 says, "Now there was leaning on Jesus bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. John 19:26; 20:2; 21:20, refer to john as the one whom Jesus loved.

John is an apostle of love. So we should pay close attention to John when he speaks of Jesus, for he knows whereof he speaks. He was in on the inner circle of disciples and spent much time with Jesus. If John opened up a church in this day and age, people would flock from miles around to hear first hand all about Jesus Christ. Keep this in mind as we study what John wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

May you be blessed and better informed as you bathe in the water of God's Word....Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.

That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.Eph. 5:25-26

I John 1:1-31 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us,)3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.(KJV)

John was present when Jesus performed miracles and taught. John was also present at the last supper, he was present at Gethsemane. He was the only apostle present at the cross. He saw the empty tomb, was in the upper room. John was on the beach when Jesus appeared and at Jesus ascension. I am sure that what John writes, Jesus discussed with him in depth. For us it is like inside information from someone close to the source when we read John's gospel. If John were alive today and was a pastor of a church, you can be sure many would seek him out to learn of Jesus. The primary point that predominates this gospel is that God loves us deeply and has done everything to convey this love to us. John explains the main reason why he wrote his gospel:

John 20:3131 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.(KJV)

That we might have life through His name.Will we respond to our redeemer? Will we receive His love? God's Word says:Jer. 31:3

3 The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.(KJV)

As we study together lets watch for the drawing power of God's love towards us. The love of God is very therapeutic. The Fathers love can heal us. If you need a touch from God, I am firmly convinced that as we study together God will meet you right where you are at. Just let God minister to you in the abundance of His love towards you. Daddy says, "Come into my arms, crawl up into my lap and let me make it all better. I have always loved you and will continue to draw you to myself. I would heal you for I am the Lord your God that healeth thee."

As we study, go ahead and lay your head upon the breast of Jesus. Develop a closeness with Him.Apostle Peter advises us:1 Peter 5:77 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.(KJV)
I believe Jesus would say to you at this point in time:

Matt 11:28-3028 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.(KJV)

So let's respond to Jesus and learn of Him, while He gives us rest from our hectic world. Take a moment just now and enter into the presence of God and relax. And when you have timed your self with His timing and feel yourself slowing down, we can begin our study of God's Word. Heb.4:11 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.(KJV)

Heb. 4:33 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said...(KJV)

Heb. 4:9-119 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Grk. Apistia = a lack of trust in God.)(KJV)So rest and trust God to take care of everything that concerns you as you study His Word.
The Good News According to John

John 1:1(En arche en ho logos) In the beginning was the Word...These words pervade the matrix of life like golden threads. John starts out in the location of Alpha beginning. This is a beginning before the creation of all. This is the central point of everything, the place where all that lives comes from. There is no way that anyone could completely describe what is at Alpha beginning. We know that glory is there by reading:PS 104:22 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain...(KJV)

John 17:55 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.(KJV)

Mark 9:2-32 And after six days Jesus taketh with Him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and He was transfigured before them.3 And His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.(KJV)

Notice that Mark is using natural examples to describe supernatural white light. It does not do justice to what Mark witnessed. He has not the ability to convey to us what he saw other than by things that are known. As a baby christian I saw a man's shirt glow white with light as he walked forward in response to an alter call given by Lonnie Frisbee of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. I have never seen light such as that and can not begin to describe what I actually saw. The God of light is the Father of lights:James 1:1717 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.(KJV)

Rev. 21:2323 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.(KJV)

I had a visitation from Jesus in the seventies once. I was worshiping Him while listening to christian music on my head phones at work. Suddenly I felt the Holy Spirit come upon me. Then Jesus appeared standing beside me. I did not see Him with my eyes, I saw Him in my spirit. He was radiating rays of light in all directions from His heart. I put down my paint brush and got into a corner where no one could see me, because tears were streaming down my face. I lifted my hands up and stood there as Jesus bathed me in His light for about ten minutes, then He left. I walked outside the home I was painting and stood there in the front yard in awe. My friend Mike drove up and we had a conversation which eventually started this "Desert Ministry".In this day of high technology movies with computer enhancement we have not even come close to depicting what is in the heavenly realms. Special effects are nothing compared to reality.

1 Cor. 2:9-109 But it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.(KJV)

Even if the Spirit of God reveals the heavenly realm to us, how can we use earthly language to describe heavenly things? The best we could do is equate what we see with something on earth. And we would still not be able to get across what we truly experienced. For example check out the way Ezekiel writes about heavenly things in his book, or the way John writes in the book of Revelations. There is so much at Alpha beginning that we currently can not comprehend in our present earthly bodies. God does not even try to let us know what Alpha beginning looks like. When we look to the beginning of everything in our minds eye, notice that God would have us to see Jesus. That is sufficient information from God's point of view. Our faith should rest in Jesus and not in spiritual experiences. Jesus says of Himself in the book of Revelations:Rev. 1:88 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning, and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was (the Word), and which is to come, the Almighty (Supreme Divinity).(KJV)

Note:Throughout this study, any underlining or bracketed words are added to scripture quotes by me for the sake of emphasis.)Jesus is in front of all things and behind all things all at once. Our limited minds have not the ability to grasp this fact of the infinite One. But by faith we do know and accept the fact that Jesus is everywhere at once. He is at the start of our lives and in the middle of our lives and at the end of our lives all at once.Eph. 1:22-2322 And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him (Jesus) to be the head over all things to the church.23 Which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.(KJV)

Jesus is the Creator and the sustainer of all.Paul the apostle says that we live our lives in Him and have existence in Him.Acts 17:2828 For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also His offspring.(KJV)

In the Greek, "In the beginning", could be translated, "Before times eternal", or, "First at the first".In eternity the Word existed...I prefer to say: At the border of the first place of time and position there existed the Divine Expression.In agreement the opening scripture of the Bible says:Gen. 1:11 ( In the beginning God) created the heaven and the earth.

Notice that in the beginning God already existed because He has no beginning. He is already there and has always been there.In the beginning was the Word.

"Was" is a durative imperfect, meaning continued action. He was before any beginning that we could imagine. God would always have us to see Jesus whenever our minds wander to the beginning of things. He is central to all. He is the true point of diminish and return. He is the pivotal point from where everything comes and to where everything is going.

2 Cor. 5:1010 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.(KJV)

In the beginning was THE WORD.ho logos-the Word.

We have a dual meaning here. John's usage of the Word can mean a person's thoughts or a person's speech.

A. Logos endiathetos- word conceived. Words are conceived and thought in the mind.B. Logos prophorikos- word uttered. Words are spoken or expressed.Intelligence and utterance- ho eso and ho ratio. We know someones mind by their speech as they express themselves. We have a word "dialogue" which comes from the Greek word dia-logos which means "flow of meaning or flow of expression". We know that Christ is the Word, for by Him God makes His mind known by acting and speaking through Him. Thus Jesus is God's expression. God the Father dialogues with us through Jesus. Jesus as the Logos reveals God's mind to us. In a dialogue all parties involved have conversation between themselves. They exchange ideas and opinions with a view to reaching agreement.

Heb. 1:22 (God) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds;He has directed us to hear Him:Matt 17:55 While He yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him,(KJV)

Heb. 1:1-31 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds;3 Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.Christ is the Divine expression of God. God expresses Himself through Christ the Word.

John 1:11 ...and the Word was with God,...(KJV)

Now this is where it gets interesting. There has been controversy and some tampering with the text by many translators at this portion of John 1:1. This portion of scripture does not say pros ton theon, "with God". It plainly says "going" towards God. Pros with the accusative case (theon) after the verb "to be" always means "to go towards." It would seem that the translators did not know how to deal with this from a doctrinal stand point. If you leave the original rendering than you have some issues of doctrinal correctness that arise. For example, how can there be motion, division, advancement within God as the creator of the universe? Instead of saying," and the Word was going towards God", like the original text, they chose to say, "and the Word was with God", which is not untrue in a technical sense. In keeping with this distortion of what the true text says, I will have to allow it for the sake of good doctrine, and resultant poor literary translating. Although I personally do not have a problem with, "the Word going towards God". Therefore let our rendering say:..and the Divine Expression was consistently with the Supreme Divinity...I read one translation of this verse that said the Word and God were face to face. I like it. John is basically saying the Father and the Son are having a close relationship in the beginning.John 1:1...and the Word was God. (Kai theos een o logos)or...and the Divine Expression was the Supreme Divinity.John 5:1818 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God,(KJV)

John does not say that the Word was a God. If he had then that would mean Jesus was a created being who worked his way into divinity. And that would mean everybody could become divine. He states that the Word was God.

Our complete text of verse one in plain everyday English says:"At the border of the first place of time and position there existed the unchanging Divine Expression, and the Divine Expression was consistently with the Supreme Divinity, and the Divine Expression was the Supreme Divinity."At the beginning of time before anything was made we find Christ the Word. The Word was from the beginning and the Word was in the beginning. The Word is eternal. The Word in regard to essence and substance was God. God was what the Word was. John wants us to see this greatest of all mysteries that cannot be adequately described. It is truly a Divine mystery beyond the grasp of intellect, we know and accept the information in our spirits by faith. But we can know the beauty of unity that we see in John 1:1 that exist between the Word and God.John 1:2The same was in the beginning with God.(KJV)

Christ the Son enjoyed eternity with God the Father and was Himself from eternity with God. The Word coexisted with the Father from the beginning, co eternal. Some cults teach that the Father created the Son, making Jesus not eternal. John refutes this notion by this verse. God paid for our salvation so that we might enter into eternity and be with Him in this same loving relationship. In reference to this relationship Jesus prayed:John 17:22-2422 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.24 Father, I will that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou hast lovedst me before the foundation of the world.(KJV)

The Father loved the Son before the foundation of the world.1 John 4:1616 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.(KJV)

It is an incredible love relationship that God desires to have with us for all eternity. For God is love. Scripture says:2 Peter 3:99 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

John 3:16For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.This we can and do understand with our minds. In loving response we invite Christ the Son of God into our lives and enter into this fantastic love relationship that has always existed and will always exist. This is a foundational fact of why we exist. It is to have fellowship and relationship with God the creator. And the only way to do that is through the living Word of God, Jesus Christ. He loves us desperately. He went through great agony to make the way for us to enter onto a loving relationship with Him. Jesus Christ died for you. He suffered all things He did for the joy that was set before Him. What was that joy? The joy was that He knew one day we would be able to come to God through Him, and come in the righteousness of Jesus Christ - not the righteousness of man, not the righteousness of the law, but righteousness of the Son of the living God risen from the dead. I can come and appear before the throne of grace, the throne of unmerited favor, and stand there because Jesus Christ has made me whole.

John 1:3All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.(KJV)

Will be continued...

God's Love Changes Hearts

This is something that actually happened to me about eleven years ago as I was sitting in a bible study at my church on a Wednesday evening. The class was pretty much freestyle, with people commenting on whatever the facilitator brought up at the time, and there was a lot of give and take. It was pretty enjoyable and informative, but on this one evening the Spirit of God did a real number on me- something I'll never forget, something permanent- but then, that's how God works His wonderful will in our lives, isn't it?.....

There was a woman in the class that I didn't particularly care for, and that's putting it mildly. I would usually 'endure' her comments, and wait for someone else to make their remarks before engaging in the discussion, but on this particular evening as this woman spoke, I began to pay attention to what she was saying. Just why, I didn't know- at the time...but looking back, I can see that God wanted to change my attitude towards people that I didn't like, especially other brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Well, she spoke of her young son and how he had to deal with certain issues in his life, and in the midst of her speaking, I suddenly felt a deep compassion for her. It got more intense as she continued to share her story. I could see how much she loved her son, and the Lord just poured upon me a supernatural love and empathy for her that I simply could not understand, but I went with it (I may be stubborn, but I'm not stupid, for goodness sakes!). I started to breathe deeply to avoid crying, but that only worked for a few minutes, as at the end of the class, I felt impressed of the Lord to pray for her and her son.

As I began to pray, the tears began flowing, and I could barely get through that most sincere prayer without completely breaking down. God had broken through this stony heart of mine and I felt nothing but compassion, love, and empathy for this woman, and only God could have done it, believe me! After the class, she came up to me and thanked me for having prayed for her, and yes- we became fast friends.

Now, I'll tell you the truth- all these years later, there are still other Christians whom I honestly don't care if I ever see again this side of Heaven, and God hasn't 'broken my heart' for them, and I don't expect Him to. I believe that he allowed me to experience His wonderful love for that particular woman just to show me how deeply He loves us all, and that He expects me to- by faith- voluntarily extend His unconditional love to others- even those that I don't particularly care for. God reminds me that He loved me while I was still His enemy (Romans 5:8- But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us), and He wants me to allow that precious love of His to pour out to others, just as He poured out His love upon me, and allowed it to flow from me to the sweet sister in the Lord whom I spoke about...

Even when I don't feel it or understand why, I now know by faith that He wants me to always extend His love to others, because He ALWAYS loves every one of us us that deeply- always!

Beloved, let us love one another...

En Agape,
Jim

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Counting the Cost.......

We know from scripture that anyone can come to Christ for eternal life (Romans 10:13- Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved), and the Gospel is indeed free, in that anybody from any position in life, in any place, any circumstances, may come to the Savior and miraculously move from death into life.

This is HIS wonderful work, and we can thank Him eternally for it. From the moment He apprehends us from the world though, there will be changes- wonderful changes, to be sure- make no mistake about it- things will not continue as before. Once we become His, we're His in absolute reality, and we're His forever. That is instantaneous, but the working out of all of this will continue throughout the earthly life of the believer. That's how much our Lord loves us- the change from death to life is a most serious one, and we should take it as an unmatched honor to be His child. He knows all who truly belong to Him, and He knows who doesn't- whatever the outward appearances may be.

John 6:64-66 says, "'There are some of you that believe not'. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray Him. And He said, 'therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of My Father. From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him."

He simply stated the truth to those who were not genuine, and they took off in a heartbeat. They were not really His at all. Oh, they hung out with Him and the twelve disciples and no doubt acted the part, but when Jesus simply brought them the truth, they were gone, just like that!

The next verse says, "Then said Jesus unto the twelve, 'Will ye also go away?'" He knew that they would not, but He desired- and got- Peter's response, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." Peter's life was a changed one, as were the lives of the rest of Jesus' genuine disciples.....

Dear reader, where do YOU stand with regards to the Savior and eternal life? Are you indeed His child, or are you merely a curious bystander? You may have noticed that it is easy to talk the talk and 'blend in' with Christians, and some believers may be fooled, but be assured that Jesus- the very Son of the Living God-is aware of who is truly His, and who is not. A genuine believer will pay whatever the cost- loss of friends, mental, emotional and physical abuse, ridicule, all manner of persecution, up to and including death- to be completely Christ's.

Do you belong to Him? It is as easy as believing that He died to take away your sins- not just some, but all of them- and that He rose from the dead to give you life- eternal life- and by faith, receiving Him s the Lord and Savior of your life. I've heard it said that that there is one thing in the world that only YOU, and none other, can willingly give to God, and that is YOUR life. No one else can do it. I pray that as God's Spirit draws you to Him, you'll respond by receiving Him, and moving from death to eternal life. He awaits your response to His incredible love!

God bless you,
Pastor Jim Ewing

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dependent on the Holy Spirit

I can remember Brant Baker stating on many occasions, "I can't do a thing- I'm completely dependent on the Holy Spirit..." It was usually with regard to the healing service and his desire that nobody misunderstand from whence the Glorious Presence and Power came, and he meant it when he said it.

What does it mean to us, to be dependent on the Holy Spirit? Do we even see the need, or do we feel that as long as we're doing a good job, God will bless our own efforts? To what extent do we feel that we depend on God's Spirit in our daily, moment-by-moment lives?

As believers, it's very important that we understand our utter helplessness, and that we recognize that we need the Lord's direction in every single thing that concerns us. This is difficult for some to believe, but, yes- the condition of sinful, lost man is such that, without the Lord draw ing us to Him and His ways, we have no hope of loving or following Him at all, and none of our own efforts can please Him one bit. He is not interested in fixing up, or in any way repairing the 'old man'...the sentence on that 'old man' is DEATH, and only by reckoning him dead, and looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), will we see our lives in the proper perspective.......

Brant Baker trusted that the Lord would show up at those services and move mightily. It wasn't a presumptuous faith, nor was it a 'rub the magic Genie and get what I want' kind of thing. Brant was called by Almighty God to his particular place in the Body of Christ, and he had to trust that God would do His part. Brant stated a number of times, in a number of ways, that it was like 'stepping out into the Red Sea and expecting that God would part the waters' every time he ministered. That takes a lot of trust, but Brant knew that his Lord was worthy of that trust.
Do we?

Even as Brant was called to his place in the Body, so were you. In whatever capacity that may be, do you trust that God will indeed do His part? Over and over and over again? I've heard it said that you cannot do God's part, and He WILL NOT do yours. Once you've assertained God's place and purpose for your life, and have allowed Him to work out the timing, then take what He has given you and run with it!

Use your gift(s) as they were meant to be used- to minister to the Body of Christ and to bring people into His eternal kingdom! God wants you to believe Him, and He desires your complete and constant trust. He is certainly worthy of it- Are you willing? God's richest blessings are upon you!

En Agape,
Jim Ewing

Friday, December 26, 2008

Jesus

Our thinking is not to be in alignment with the doubters around us. We are to be a people of faith. A people expectant of daily miracles. A people well acquainted with the miraculous manifestation of things beyond the natural realm.

Those of us who experienced the ministry of Shekinah Fellowship for a season tasted of the heavenly atmosphere of the Shekinah glory of God. We know...

Jesus is a greater doctor then any doctor on this earth!

Jesus proclaimed:

Luke 4:18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Jesus

Psalm 103:3Who forgives all your iniquities,Who heals all your diseases,

Jesus
1 Peter 2:24who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

Jesus said
Matthew 9:28And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.

Mark 5:36As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

Mark 9:23Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
A father said
Mark 9:24And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Jesus said
Mark 11:23For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Mark 11:24Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Mark 16:17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Luke 8:50But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

John said
John 1:12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

David

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You Figure It Out...

An Argument For The Spirit Of A Man

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,471386,00.html
A patient whose visual lobes in the brain were destroyed was able to navigate an obstacle course and recognize fearful faces subconsciously

Some People Have A Problem That God Loves Everyone. How About You?



Smashing Pumpkins
http://www.thepumpkins.net/content/view/427/36/

Good Samaritan>?

Never try to help a Californian in need - they can sue you for it

What Is Really Going On?

Apparently, the Associated Press decided to question 21 banks who received at least a billion each of the $350 billion in TARP money. Not a single bank would provide a specific answer.
Related:
The Rachel Maddow Bank Holding Company Wants Federal Help

For Pastor Jim And Others

http://thecollegedriver.com/posts/219-Prius-Used-as-an-Emergency-Generator
New Deadly Weapon Being used by Insurgents in Iraq [PIC]

Ancient Gold Treasure found in Jerusalem

Ancient Gold Treasure found in Jerusalem - Chanukah Miracle?
edition.cnn.com — Israeli archaeologists are having a particularly happy Hanukkah after discovering 264 ancient gold coins in a car park in the City of David, a Jerusalem National Park. One of the customs of the holiday is to give coins to children, and the archaeologists are referring to the 1,400 year-old coins as "Hanukkah money."

2 Timothy 3:1

2 Timothy 3:1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
Luke 21:11And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Jesus is coming soon...

There are ramifications to messing with the earth's magnetic atmosphere. All the metalic particles being introduced into the ionosphere and the microwaves being released are having side effects.

http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/

HAARP Boils the Upper Atmosphere HAARP and will zap the upper atmosphere with a focused and steerable electromagnetic beam. It is an advanced model of an "ionospheric heater." (The ionosphere is the electrically-charged sphere surrounding Earth's upper atmosphere. It ranges between 40 to 60 miles above the surface of the Earth.)
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Put simply, the apparatus for HAARP is a reversal of a radio telescope; antenna send out signals instead of receiving. HAARP is the test run for a super-powerful radiowave-beaming technology that lifts areas of the ionosphere by focusing a beam and heating those areas. Electromagnetic waves then bounce back onto earth and penetrate everything -- living and dead.

HAARP publicity gives the impression that the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program is mainly an academic project with the goal of changing the ionosphere to improve communications for our own good. However, other U.S. military documents put it more clearly -- HAARP aims to learn how to "exploit the ionosphere for Department of Defense purposes." Communicating with submarines is only one of those purposes.


Press releases and other information from the military on HAARP continually downplay what it could do. Publicity documents insist that the HAARP project is no different than other ionospheric heaters operating safely throughout the world in places such as Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Tromso, Norway, and the former Soviet Union. However, a 1990 government document indicates that the radio-frequency (RF) power zap will drive the ionosphere to unnatural activities.

" ... at the highest HF powers available in the West, the instabilities commonly studied are approaching their maximum RF energy dissipative capability, beyond which the plasma processes will 'runaway' until the next limiting factor is reached."

If the military, in cooperation with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, can show that this new ground-based "Star Wars" technology is sound, they both win. The military has a relatively-inexpensive defense shield and the University can brag about the most dramatic geophysical manipulation since atmospheric explosions of nuclear bombs. After successful testing, they would have the military megaprojects of the future and huge markets for Alaska's North Slope natural gas.

The military says the HAARP system could:
Give the military a tool to replace the electromagnetic pulse effect of atmospheric thermonuclear devices (still considered a viable option by the military through at least 1986)

Replace the huge Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) submarine communication system operating in Michigan and Wisconsin with a new and more compact technology

Be used to replace the over-the-horizon radar system that was once planned for the current location of HAARP, with a more flexible and accurate system

Provide a way to wipe out communications over an extremely large area, while keeping the military's own communications systems working

Provide a wide area earth-penetrating tomography which, if combined with the computing abilities of EMASS and Cray computers, would make it possible to verify many parts of nuclear nonproliferation and peace agreements

Be a tool for geophysical probing to find oil, gas and mineral deposits over a large area

Be used to detect incoming low-level planes and cruise missiles, making other technologies obsolete


The above abilities seem like a good idea to all who believe in sound national defense, and to those concerned about cost-cutting. However, the possible uses which the HAARP records do not explain, and which can only be found in Air Force, Army, Navy and other federal agency records, are alarming. Moreover, effects from the reckless use of these power levels in our natural shield -- the ionosphere -- could be cataclysmic according to some scientists.

Two Alaskans put it bluntly. A founder of the NO HAARP movement, Clare Zickuhr, says "The military is going to give the ionosphere a big kick and see what happens."The military failed to tell the public that they do not know what exactly will happen, but a Penn State science article brags about that uncertainty.

Macho science? The HAARP project uses the largest energy levels yet played with by what Begich and Manning call "the big boys with their new toys." HAARP is an experiment in the sky, and experiments are done to find out something not already known. Independent scientists told Begich and Manning that a HAARP-type "skybuster" with its unforeseen effects could be an act of global vandalism.


One of the most recent undesirable side effects made public can be seen in this excellent article:


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/12/081217-solar-breaches.html

Elizabeth Rauscher has a Ph.D., a long and impressive career in high-energy physics, and has been published in prestigious science journals and books. Rauscher commented on HAARP. "You're pumping tremendous energy into an extremely delicate molecular configuration that comprises these multi-layers we call the ionosphere.""The ionosphere is prone to catalytic reactions," she explained, "if a small part is changed, a major change in the ionosphere can happen."
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In describing the ionosphere as a delicately balanced system, Dr. Rauscher shared her mental picture of it -- a soap-bubble-like sphere surrounding Earth's atmosphere, with movements swirling over the surface of the bubble. If a big enough hole is punched through it, she predicts, it could pop.
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Slicing the Ionosphere.
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Physicist Daniel Winter, Ph.D., of Waynesville, North Carolina, says, "HAARP high-frequency emissions can couple with longwave (extremely-low-frequency, or ELF) pulses the Earth grid uses to distribute information as vibrations to synchronize dances of life in the biosphere." Dan terms this geomagnetic action 'Earth's information bloodstream,' and says it is likely that coupling of HAARP HF (high-frequency) with natural ELF can cause unplanned, unsuspected side effects.
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David Yarrow of Albany, New York, is a researcher with a background in electronics. He described possible interactions of HAARP radiation with the ionosphere and Earth's magnetic grid: "HAARP will not burn holes in the ionosphere. That is a dangerous understatement of what HAARP's giant gigawatt beam will do. Earth is spinning relative to thin electric shells of the multilayer membrane of ion-o-speres that absorb and shield Earth's surface from intense solar radiation, including charged particle storms in solar winds erupting from the sun. Earth's axial spin means that HAARP -- in a burst lasting more than a few minutes -- will slice through the ionosphere like a microwave knife. This produces not a hole but a long tear -- an incision."
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Among other researchers quoted is Paul Schaefer of Kansas City. His degree is in electrical engineering and he spent four years building nuclear weapons. "But most of the theories that we have been taught by scientists to believe in seem to be falling apart," he says. He talks about imbalances already caused by the industrial and atomic age, especially by radiation of large numbers of tiny, high-velocity particles "like very small spinning tops" into our environment. The unnatural level of motion of highly-energetic particles in the atmosphere and in radiation belts surrounding Earth is the villain in the weather disruptions, according to this model, which describes an Earth discharging its buildup of heat, relieving stress and regaining a balanced condition through earthquakes and volcanic action.
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Feverish Earth
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"One might compare the abnormal energetic state of the Earth and its atmosphere to a car battery which has become overcharged with the normal flow of energy jammed up, resulting in hot spots, electrical arcing, physical cracks and general turbulence as the pent-up energy tries to find some place to go."
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In a second analogy, Schaefer says "Unless we desire the death of our planet, we must end the production of unstable particles which are generating the earth's fever. A first priority to prevent this disaster would be to shut down all nuclear power plants and end the testing of atomic weapons, electronic warfare and 'Star Wars'." Meanwhile, the military builds its biggest ionospheric heater yet, to deliberately create more instabilities in a huge plasma layer -- the ionosphere -- and to rev up the energy level of charged particles.
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Could They Short-Circuit Earth?
Earth as a spherical electrical system is a fairly well-accepted model. However, those experimenters who want to make unnatural power connections between parts of this system might not be thinking of possible consequences. Electrical motors and generators can be caused to wobble when their circuits are affected. Could human activities cause a significant change in a planet's electrical circuit or electrical field?
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Only Time Will Tell...
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Not really related but in the same file:
.
"The upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere are much lower than expected, a US Air Force satellite has found. Currently, the ionosphere — a layer of charged particles that envelopes the planet — is at an altitude of about 420km, some 200km lower than expected. The behaviour of the ionosphere is important because disturbances in its structure can upset satellite communications and radar."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

4 Square Chruch Billy Adams 2416 11th Street




We Believe

1. We believe that there is one living and true GOD, eternally existing in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory; that this triune God created all, upholds all, and governs all things. (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 10:30; Hebrews 9:14)

2. We believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, fully inspired without error in the original manuscripts, and the infallible rule of faith and practice. The Word of God is the foundation upon which this church operates and is the basis for which this church is governed. We believe that the Word of God supercedes any earthly law that is contrary to the Holy Scriptures. (Isaiah 28:13; Nehemiah 8:8; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:21)

3. We believe in the person of God the Father, an Infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love; that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; and that He saves from sin and death all those who come to Him through Jesus Christ. (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalms 90:2; Psalms 102:27; John 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17; Titus 1:3)

4. We believe in the person of Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings, his substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people and personal, visible return to earth. (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:23; Mark 16:19; Luke 1:34-35; John 1:1-2; John 8:58; John 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 1:2; Revelation 1:8)

5. We believe in the person of the Holy Spirit, Who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify and empower for ministry all who believe in Christ; (Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 3:18; John 16:8-11; Romans 15:13,16; Hebrews 9:14)

6. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is an abiding helper, teacher, and guide. (John 14:16-17, 16:8-11)

7. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and in the exercise of all Biblical gifts of the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 14)

8. We believe that all people are sinners by nature and, therefore, are under condemnation; that God regenerates based upon faith by the Holy Spirit, those who repent of their sins and confess Jesus Christ as Lord. (Acts 8:15-17; Titus 3:5)

9. We believe in the universal church, the living spiritual body, of which Christ is the head and all who are born again are members. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 4:15-16)


10. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the church: (a) full immersion water baptism, and (b) the Lord's Supper. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

11. We believe also in the laying on of hands for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the ordination of pastors, elders, and deacons, and for the receiving of the perpetuity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 6:6, 8:17; 1 Timothy 4:14)

13. We believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ which is His personal, visible return to earth and the establishment of His millennial kingdom, in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment and eternal blessing of the righteous and endless suffering of the wicked. (Matthew 16:27; Acts 1:11; Revelation 19:11-16, 20: 11-15)

14. We believe in what is termed "the apostles' creed" as embodying the fundamental facts of the Christian faith.

15. We believe in a literal Heaven and a literal Hell and that all those who place their faith, hope and trust in Jesus Christ will spend eternity in Heaven with the Lord, while those who reject Jesus’ free gift of salvation will spend eternity separated from the Lord in Hell. (Matthew 5:3, 25:31-34; Hebrews 12:23; 1 Peter 1:4; Psalm 9:17; Matthew 5:22, 18:9; Luke 12:5)

16. We believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church where all believers will meet the Lord in the air and be taken out of this world prior to the Tribulation that will come upon the earth. (Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 21:36; Romans 1:18, 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Peter 2:7-9; Revelation 5:7-10, 7:13-14

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We Must Give Them Jesus

John 3: 16 & 17 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." We as believers have read this portion of scripture so many times that it can become old to us if we let it. I pray that as you read it here, God will make it fresh and new and powerful in your own heart- that is so important, because unless we see the true condition of the world, we will never really feel a passion for the lost the way God wants us to. Whosoever believeth in Him should not PERISH- We've always got to keep in mind that those without Christ are lost- forever lost. And there's simply no other way that they can have eternal life than the genuine gospel of Christ.

I'll get to the important word 'genuine' in just a moment, because that is actually what I'm writing about now, but I love the way that a young Billy Graham put it as I watched an old video of him a few years ago, concerning the gospel. "If God had to send His precious Son to a cross to die for your sins and mine, then you can take it to the bank- you're not getting to heaven by any other means than that cross!"

So powerful, yet so simple- or is it? Well, it was certainly meant to be, but I ask you- when was the last time you heard the simple gospel preached in the power of the Holy Spirit? When lost people hear preachers of today, do they understand that they are in fact eternally lost and without any hope at all, save for the cross of Christ? Do they hear that without Christ's resurrection, there is no hope of eternal life?

I am very, very concerned that those without Christ and yet searching for the truth, are sometimes hearing a weak, cheap counterfeit 'version' of God's Word. I've dealt w ith this in previous writings, but I have yet another concern- even when we hear the preaching of God's Word, it so often seems to have become more of an intellectual treatise than the impartation of life by the Holy Spirit. You can know Jesus like you know George Washington, in a historical sense- and many seem to know Him about as intimately. That kind of knowledge will not save anybody- it's simply a recollection of words and facts. Let me repeat the question, "When was the last time you heard the simple gospel, the GENUINE gospel preached in the power of the Holy Spirit?"

It is a life-changing experience, and once you've known it, you could never go back to the lifeless, 'textbook' stuff that so many preach today. To those who preach the Word on a regular basis, I plead with you- We've got to give them Jesus! We've got to give lost people the Bread of Life- as He is, not as we would have Him. Are we so dependent on the Holy Spirit that w e pray before preaching, "God, please, please be here! Please get ME out of the way, so that they may hear YOUR words, not mine! That they would receive from YOUR Spirit, not my clever ideas or my excellent exposition of Your Word- God, please! That is what God wants to hear, and He WILL answer that prayer with great delight! Are we giving them Jesus? They are eternally lost without Him. Real preparation begins on our knees, long before we ever open a book. Look to Him, lean on Him, and He will go with you as you share Him with others!

God bless you with His Presence!

En Agape,
pastor Jim

We Must

We Must Give Them Jesus

John 3: 16 & 17 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." We as believers have read this portion of scripture so many times that it can become old to us if we let it. I pray that as you read it here, God will make it fresh and new and powerful in your own heart- that is so important, because unless we see the true condition of the world, we will never really feel a passion for the lost the way God wants us to. Whosoever believeth in Him should not PERISH- We've always got to keep in mind that those without Christ are lost- forever lost. And there's simply no other way that they can have eternal life than the genuine gospel of Christ.

I'll get to the important word 'genuine' in just a moment, because that is actually what I'm writing about now, but I love the way that a young Billy Graham put it as I watched an old video of him a few years ago, concerning the gospel. "If God had to send His precious Son to a cross to die for your sins and mine, then you can take it to the bank- you're not getting to heaven by any other means than that cross!"

So powerful, yet so simple- or is it? Well, it was certainly meant to be, but I ask you- when was the last time you heard the simple gospel preached in the power of the Holy Spirit? When lost people hear preachers of today, do they understand that they are in fact eternally lost and without any hope at all, save for the cross of Christ? Do they hear that without Christ's resurrection, there is no hope of eternal life?

I am very, very concerned that those without Christ and yet searching for the truth, are sometimes hearing a weak, cheap counterfeit 'version' of God's Word. I've dealt w ith this in previous writings, but I have yet another concern- even when we hear the preaching of God's Word, it so often seems to have become more of an intellectual treatise than the impartation of life by the Holy Spirit. You can know Jesus like you know George Washington, in a historical sense- and many seem to know Him about as intimately. That kind of knowledge will not save anybody- it's simply a recollection of words and facts. Let me repeat the question, "When was the last time you heard the simple gospel, the GENUINE gospel preached in the power of the Holy Spirit?"

It is a life-changing experience, and once you've known it, you could never go back to the lifeless, 'textbook' stuff that so many preach today. To those who preach the Word on a regular basis, I plead with you- We've got to give them Jesus! We've got to give lost people the Bread of Life- as He is, not as we would have Him. Are we so dependent on the Holy Spirit that w e pray before preaching, "God, please, please be here! Please get ME out of the way, so that they may hear YOUR words, not mine! That they would receive from YOUR Spirit, not my clever ideas or my excellent exposition of Your Word- God, please! That is what God wants to hear, and He WILL answer that prayer with great delight! Are we giving them Jesus? They are eternally lost without Him. Real preparation begins on our knees, long before we ever open a book. Look to Him, lean on Him, and He will go with you as you share Him with others!

God bless you with His Presence!

En Agape,
pastor Jim

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Leadership From God's Perspective

John 3:16 - 18

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." I'd like to emphasize here and now that for the Christian, the issue of forgiveness is forever settled ...

Christ settled it on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead guarantees our own resurrection unto life eternal. Condemnation therefore is not an issue with the genuine believer. But what about the discipline of the Lord? I believe that there is some confusion nowadays concerning His rebuking of His own. There is something presently existing in the Church today concerning the chastisement of God that I believe flies in the face of His own intention. We must always remember that God LOVED His fallen creation, and didn't stop loving us when we fell. He gave us His Son to not only take away our sins, but also raised Him from the dead, so that we could have eternal life! Christ's resurrection guarantees our own...

The thing that is so missing in today's Church is the RESTORATIVE aspect of the Lord's rebuking of His children. There is always a divine purpose in Godly rebuke. It is never to bury us in our own guilt- just imagine how easy that would be for Him to do if He didn't love us with an everlasting love!- but rather, God's chastisement always has in mind the intention of bringing us OUT of our present defeated condition, and- here it is... restoring us in PRACTICE what is already POSITIONALLY ours! You might never know this from some who might want to use their 'authority' to CONTROL those whom God has placed under their care. This must be addressed and corrected immediately! Those whom God has placed in authority over us in a pastoral or leadership sense, have the God-given responsibility to lead us in the way of godliness and righteousness- never for their own ends, never to lord it over a person or group of people, or to further his own agenda, but always for encouraging the sheep entrusted under his care to follow the Savior with all of their hearts. Coertion and intimidation are never God's way, and anything or anybody that would steer you away from seeking the Lord FOR YOURSELF via prayer, reading His word, and worshipping Him and Him only, should be avoided.

Again- God does and will rebuke and chastise His own (Proverbs 3:11 & 12- "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction; For whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." and Hebrews 12: 7 & 8 "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards, and not sons." Do you see the restorative nature in God's discipline? It is always done in love, it is always for our highest good. Why? Because He loves us with an everlasting love! Beloved, do not ever let condemnation- regardless of the source- grab ahold of you- in any manner shape, or form... You, Christian, are His joy, and His shining pride- Never forget that!

En Agape, pastor Jim