bible, evangelism, Faith, grace, Holiness, hope, prayer, salvation, Spiritual Warfare, Walking in the Spirit

Good From Nazareth?

Luke Chapter 4, tells us that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil. ” If you are really the Son of God then prove it,” (my paraphrase)

Jesus does not comply. He had nothing to prove. Jesus knows who he is!

Considering the source, Jesus rejects the temptation. He tells the devil to take a hike.

Then after that temptation trial Jesus returns in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.

There Jesus becomes well known throughout all of that region. Jesus teaches in the synagogues, heals the sick, casts out devils. All the people are blessed!

After that Jesus comes to the city of Nazareth where he grew up and where every one knows him as Jesus the carpenter.

It was in a synagogue in Nazareth (where he probably went every Sabbath as a kid) that Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah, announcing that he is the fulfillment of that Messianic prophecy.

The 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, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Isaiah 61:1,2

After closing the Torah Jesus sits down. Everyone’s eyes are on him.

Then Jesus gives notice to all the people that he had grown up with that he is the promised Messiah.

This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:21

Only Messiah could fulfill that scripture. He knew that. They knew that.

The people of Nazareth were blown away by that announcement. Is this not Joseph’s son?

Whaaattt? Is he saying what we think he’s saying?

Then Jesus tells these people who he knows on a personal basis.  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. Luke 4:23

Seems quite fantastic that Jesus knowing full well he would be rejected in Nazareth would make the announcement of his being the promised Messiah there. To all his friends and family.

Is there a bigger picture happening here?

Nazareth was a small town. Populated mostly with farmers, shepherds and labourers. It basically was a place with low social status.

That is why Nathanael said to Jesus “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46

Jesus goes to his own home town, small and insignificant, tells them he is their promised Messiah and they out right reject him!

Who saw that coming?

After Jesus tells them that a prophet is never honored in his own home town the people in the synagogue get so riled up that they literally grab Jesus and haul him to a cliff in order to toss him off. They were intent on harming Jesus. Maybe even kill him.

The guy had the audacity to call himself a prophet! That’s it! He’s out of here!

But passing through their midst…what? How could that happen? They had him by the scruff of the neck and he passed through them?

Well Jesus transported or something because he got away.

Then Jesus goes to the next town and preaches in their synagogue. The people in that place were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

That place loved him! At least they loved the miracles.

I think Jesus was making a point or a prophetic act if you will when he announced who he was in Nazareth.

Nazareth was a foretaste of what was going to happen to Jesus in the future. The whole nation of Israel would reject him but this time instead of throwing him off a cliff they would crucify him.

Interesting but it goes even further than that today. Now it seems the world is rejecting Jesus’ Christ’s claim to be Messiah or Savior of the world with the same old unbelief.

Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Where is the promise of his coming? Who made that guy a ruler over us?

Jesus gives the same answer today as he always does to the doubters. 

One day you will say to me …if you really are the Son of God ….prove yourself…make these stones turn to bread….fix all these problems we ourselves have created. You are only an historical figure. We don’t want you! Give us Barabbas. You know that rebel! We want him not you!

History really does repeat itself doesnt it?

There is a good ending to this story however. Remember what the angels said after Jesus rose from the dead and was taken up in the clouds in front of over 100 of his disciples?

Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” Acts 1:11

And don’t forget this time, “Every eye will see him!” Revelation 1:7

Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

Maranatha! 

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Joint Heirs

According to Romans 8:16,17
As children of God we are now heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

A joint heir is a legal term. It means a person who inherits jointly with another heir of an estate.

Another way of saying it is co-heir which is one of several persons among whom an inheritance is divided.

In other words as children of God we inherit a portion of the Father’s estate.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15

According to Hebrews 1:2 Jesus is the heir of all things. Jesus being the exact representation of God is above all things. His authority is our authority because we are in him who is above all things.

Through the name of Jesus those born of God have access into the holy of holies. All we need to fulfill our call in this life is available to us when we present our requests before the throne of God.

Scriptures tell us that we are more than conquers. That means as children of God we can do more than conquer a problem, we can completely subdue it and annihilate it in the name of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:29 tells us that if we belong to Jesus Christ then we are Abraham’s seed according to the promise.

Since Christians are considered to be Abraham’s seed through faith in Jesus Christ then the promises of Abraham apply also to the Christian.

These promises include justification, fruitfulness, multiplication, provision and favor.
Genesis 12: 2,3

Though Jesus Christ we have become the children of God who inherit the promises of God.

That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:12

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen (The non Jews) through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Galatians 3:7-9

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29

Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. Acts 3:25

Being a joint heir with Jesus Christ means all the blessings the Lord gave to Abraham is our inheritance as well.

Some of these promises include:

Hebrews 1:4
Ministering of the angelic realm
Titus 3: 7
Heirs of eternal life

James 2:5
Heirs of the kingdom of God

1 Peter 3:7
Heirs of lifetime grace

In many wills or inheritances there are conditions for inheriting the promises or benefits. The gifts are subject to a condition. It is the same in God’s inheritance.

One condition made clear in scripture is, “IF we suffer with him so that we will be glorified together.”

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8: 17

The word suffer in this verse is sumpaschō in the Greek. It means persecution or experiencing the same kind of pain.

In other words if we partake in similar sufferings as Jesus did then we will inherit the same promises as he did.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. John 15:18

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Luke 6:22

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 1 John 3:13

Persecutions come with being a Christian. They are allowed to demonstrate we belong to Jesus Christ. If we live godly in Jesus Christ we are blessed but nevertheless we will be persecuted for belonging to him.

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4

Living godly in Jesus Christ brings persecution but living godly also brings blessings because we are made joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

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Forgiveness

The scriptures tell us that according to the law of Moses without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness or remission of sins.

The KJV uses the word remission which is more than just forgiveness. It means to be set free from sin and its consequence.

Remission in the Greek, is aphesis, which means forgiveness, deliverance and liberty. To not only be forgiven (letting go as if they had never been committed), but to be released from the bondage or imprisonment of the penalty for sin.

Sin has consequence. Under the law, a life must be given up for a life. The soul that sins shall die. Romans 6:23

Jesus, who was without sin, gave his life up for the sinner who repents and forsakes their sin. Repentance is a big factor in the remission process. Without repentance there is no forgiveness of sin. In order to receive this remission of sin, one must repent.

Without repentance, there is no remission of sins. Acts 2:38

 Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Acts 3:19

Repentance Metanoeo in the Greek is to have a change of mind for the better. To turn from sin or breaking God’s laws. To be converted to God’s word. That is to receive the gospel’s truth.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. Isaiah 52:9

Sin has consequence. It produces death. Not just eternal death but death as in no life of God. It separates us from God. He does not hear prayer, we lose our joy, and we can become fearful, sick and weak.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Galatians 6:7

The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction. Galatians 6:8

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Revelation 3:19

Scriptures tell us that it is FAITH IN THE BLOOD that saves from the penalty of sin. When we repent and turn to the truth of the gospel we must have faith in the blood of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin.

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; Romans 3:25

We cannot save ourselves by good works or good deeds.

Romans Chapter 3 tells us that under the law we all are condemned to die eternally because of sin. Unless we turn to Jesus Christ for the remission of our sin.

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. Romans 3:25

Once we are forgiven by repentance and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ then we are made righteous before God as if we have never sinned.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Romans 5:21

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Philippians 3:9

If we confess our sin to God, repent of our sin and have faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ we can be forgiven and made righteous by God as if we have never sinned.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. John 1:9

  


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DO YOU NEED A MIRACLE?

Jesus performed many mighty miracles in certain cities in Israel but they still refused to repent.

Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not. Matthew 11: 20

What did these cities not repent of?

We have to read the whole Chapter of Matthew 11 to find out.

Jesus was preaching and teaching the people. He explained to them that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet of the OT because he came proclaiming Christ the Messiah. John was the messenger preparing people to receive Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah. The people as a whole did not believe John’s message.

Then Jesus goes on to say that people criticized John for his prayer and fasting or for being set apart. (Being a fanatic basically) and then they turned around and criticized Jesus for ministering and eating with sinners. They accused him of being a drunkard and a glutton.

Obviously the people did not believe or receive John as the Elias which was prophesied to come or Jesus as the Messiah prophesied to come.

Jesus then tells the cities he did the most miracles in that they were going to be in big trouble on judgment day because they were not repentant.

Their sin was that they did not believe.

Jesus performed many miracles in their midst and yet they remained unrepentant.

The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Matthew 11:5

Lots of people came to see the miracles Jesus performed! Yet they still did not believe.

“But what went ye out for to see? ” Jesus asked the people concerning John.

The people it seemed went out to see a show.

They watched all the miracles being performed by Jesus and yet they did not believe that he was the Messiah. That is why Jesus pronounced future judgment on them!

Isn’t that kind of like today? How many people flock to miracle meetings to see the show yet fail to surrender their hearts to Jesus Christ?

No where in the Bible does it say that miracles produce faith. Some people think that. They even think that if they just had a sign from heaven then all their problems would go away.

Jesus says in his word that to seek a sign other than the one important one he has given is to be in unbelief.

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. Matthew 16:4

What did Jesus say to John when he wanted confirmation that Jesus was the Messiah to come?

After Jesus gave his testimony he said, “blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. ” Matthew 11:6

In other words Jesus said believe that he is the Messiah and don’t be offended because Jesus says that he is the Messiah.

Lastly Jesus tells us that the Father reveals through his word Jesus is the Messiah and the Son reveals the Father to those who receive the Son.

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Matthew 11: 27

It is not miracles as wonderful as they are that produce faith! According to the Bible, it is revelation of the Holy Spirit through the word of God that produces faith.

And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 16:14-17

The Bible makes it clear that people who did receive miracles from Jesus actually believed before they got the miracle. It takes faith in Jesus Christ to get a miracle but watching miracles being performed does not produce faith.

And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. Matthew 8:17

And 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.” Matthew 9:28

The Bible teaches that Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word of God!

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

When God’s word is revealed to our heart then we will get a miracle!

A miracle specific to our need, for God knows what we have need of even before we ask him! (Matthew 6:8)

“Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.” Psalm 119:114

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Born of God

What does it mean to be born of God?

First of all let me tell you what it does not mean. It does not mean a natural physical descent in the same way as a natural birth.

To be born of God or gennaō ek theos in the Greek is to be born again or regenerated by God. (palingenesia in the Greek)

To regenerate is to regrow or replace something that was missing. To be formed again. To produce anew.

To be born again from a spiritual perspective is to be recreated.

The term palingenesia is actually a Greek Hellenistic word used to describe a process or recreating. To be born again. Restore to the original.

Jesus uses this same word to describe the regeneration of his Kingdom that is to come. The new earth which will be recreated. Restored to it’s original.

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

Keeping this context in mind we can see what is meant by being born again or born of God.

It is actually a recreation process of the Holy Spirit.

In fact the word used for the conception and birth of Jesus Christ. To be born of God. gennaō ek theos.

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. Colossians 1:15

Jesus was born of God. His human form was created by the Holy Spirit.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:18

Those born of God are recreated or restored to the original. palingenesia

Regenerated from the old man whose spirit was separated from God and dead in sin to the new man made alive in Christ. The new man created in righteous and holiness.

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 1 Corinthians 15:21-23

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Titus 3:5

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:24

To be born of God is to be recreated by the Holy Spirit. A spiritual re birth. Restored to the original. United with God’s Holy Spirit.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6

Jesus said you must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

It is this requirement that makes one a child of God.

All the intellectual ideology about God or all the theological principles of the Bible does not make one a child of God.

Nor does going to church, participating in catechism, saying hail Mary’s, or Bible reading. You MUST be born again.

You MUST be regenerated. You must be restored to the original spiritual creation.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

That being said what then can one do to acquire this regeneration process?

The Bible makes it clear that we must first of all believe that Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

Then we must receive him as both Savior and Lord.

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11

That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

That means we receive his salvation gift and his Lordship.

for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

It is not enough to simply believe in God. Even Satan believes in God.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19

Many believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour but they do not receive him as Lord.

If you confess Jesus as Lord you shall be saved.

Why is this an important factor in the regeneration process?

Because to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord means to confess him as one’s head, having authority over, one’s master and ruler.

Lord kurios in the Greek. “Master,” or “Owner.”

You are not your own but are bought with a price the Bible clearly tells us.

know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20

In other words you are redeemed. That is you are the possession of another who has purchased you with a price.

Redeem is to gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.

Jesus Christ purchased you with his blood. He gave his life up for you in exchange for your life belonging to him.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,  but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1 Peter 1: 18,19

This means one repents of living a self serving life and surrenders to live a life determined by God in his word.

Repent Metanoeo To change ones mind. To have a a transformative change of heart.

God requires repentance as a part of salvation. Repentance is turning away from what is wrong to what is right.

I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:32

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3″19

For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him. 2 Chronicles 30:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Repentance is the fruit which proves one has being born again.

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. Matthew 3:8

While confession of sin is important it does not save in and of itself. Many confess their sin but keep going back to it.

True repentance stops the sin. In other words one must turn to God in surrender rather than continuing to live a life of sin. Repentance is accompanied with godly sorrow.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10–11

Repentance requires sorrow for sin. Not a sorry I got caught but a sorrow to the point of laying down the sin at the cross and not picking it up again.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelations 3:9

When one reaches a complete surrender of self to God through faith in Jesus Christ and repentance toward him the Holy Spirit will bring regeneration.

Without repentance there is no true salvation.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4

Jesus said you shall know who belong to him by their fruit.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1John 4:7

Those born of God do not continue in sin.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1 Corinthians 6:9

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21-23

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John3:9

Those born of God overcome the world. Their faith in Jesus Christ is the victory that overcomes the world.

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

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4

Now that does not mean there is not a battle and a real devil who tempts but what it does mean is that a true born of God person will not continue to live a lifestyle of sin.

 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

To be born of God is to be born of the Spirit and born of the word. These two agree in one. The word of God is the seed. The logos which is made alive by the Spirit.

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:23

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 John 5:4-12

If you are born of God or become born of God scriptures tell us to grow up in the Lord by feeding on his word the Bible. Then you will mature and become the person God has created you to be!

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. 1 Peter 2:2

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17

So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10

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Valuable Sparrows!

In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus is instructing his disciples on how they would minister in his name after he was not with them anymore in physical form .

Jesus told them that they would have power over devils and be able to heal the sick but they would face great persecution for it.

Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid because God will provide for them.

You are more valuable than sparrows.” Jesus tells them.

This is a significant metaphor because not only are sparrows very tiny but they are the most common bird in the world. Their value on a monetary scale is less than a penny. You can buy two for one.

This metaphor reminds us that even though we may not consider ourselves to be very important in the grand scheme of things, Jesus puts great value on us. He says that if God cares about even a sparrow that falls to the ground, and makes sure that their needs are supplied then why wouldn’t he care for us? Our value to him is so much more!

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

Not only are sparrows common birds but they live in any small area they can find. Sparrows particularly like to live near human populations.

The sparrow metaphor is used by the Lord because the sparrow signifies humanity. There are masses of people on the earth just like the common sparrow.

One has only to look at the parallel of the sparrow to realize that humanity is in a decline situation. The environment for sparrows is being effected by sin in the same way as it is for humans.

As humanity turns away from the living God they decline in every way in the natural realm. This in turn affects the sparrow who lives along side of humans.

The decline in sparrow populations today is significant. It is reflective of the human population turning away from God. This is a prophetic sign that we are indeed in the end times.

Sparrows feed predominantly on seeds. They do eat insects when they can find them but their mainstay is seed. Without seed sparrows perish. This is another reason for the metaphor.

Jesus said that the word of God is like seed that a sower sows. The receptivity of the heart determines the outcome of the seed. Whether the seed goes on to produce a good crop or whether it does not. All is dependent on the soil of one’s heart.

God’s word is like seed. Planted in good soil the seed will grow into the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. Planted in not so good soil the seed will die. Matthew 13

Just like sparrows need seed to survive so does humanity need the seed of God’s word to survive. Without God’s word humanity will die both physically and spiritually.

Article on decline of sparrow populations.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/10/05/sparrows-dying/2923241/

God cares about the sparrow and he cares about humanity. Jesus cares about you!

It is only by turning back to Jesus Christ and his word that we can be taken care of in the natural as well as in the spiritual. Both now and for eternity. 

 

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The Girdle of Truth

The Girdle of Truth
The Roman belt or the balteus was a part of the Roman soldier’s amour.

It was the belt that held the scabbard which in turn carried the soldier’s sword.

Scriptures tell us to be girded in our minds with the truth. Just like the scabbard our mind is called to carry God’s word so that at anytime we can pull it out and do battle against the enemy.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Psalm 119:11

Our mind is the carrier of God’s truth.

When God’s word is in our mind then we can have the mind of Christ.

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16

A transformed mind by the scriptures becomes a heavenly mind that thinks on those things that are above and not on the things of this world. A heavenly mind is a girded mind.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

God has promised to bring all things to our remembrance when we need it.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26

A Holy Spirit controlled mind that is filled with God’s word is able to cast down imaginations and every thing that exalts itself against the word of God.

All contrary ideas and mindsets which conflict with scriptures are to be cast down. We reject them as lies.

We are then able by the sword of the Spirit to bring captive all thoughts in the mind or the balteus to obey Christ.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:5

Be girded in the mind today and always with God’s truth as set out in scriptures. When the devil comes with his lies and deception you can defeat him. Standing on God’s word that is above every other word will bring the victory! Satan hates the truth and cannot stand up to it.

That is what Jesus always spoke to the devil’s lies with IT IS WRITTEN!

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 1 Peter 1:13

A mind filled with God’s word cannot be shaken regardless of the group think of this world system which is inspired by the evil one!

Be girded today in your mind!



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The Sword of The Spirit

Roman soldier legionary with sword

THE Latin word for sword is Gladius. This sword was used by Roman foot soldiers when in close proximity to the enemy. It was used to thrust at unprotected parts of the body while the shield was held up moving forward in battle.

Enemy exposed areas such as the throat, armpit, groin and main arteries were able to be thrust at with short stabs.

The Gladius was also used for blocking an opponent. A Roman soldier could block the enemy’s sword thereby leaving another Roman soldier adjacent to him to thrust the final blow.

The Gladius was also two edged. This gave it multi purpose. Not only could the Gladius be used for thrusting and blocking but the Gladius could also be used for slashing, or cutting. A Roman soldier was able to take opportune moments to slash at an exposed knee below the opponent’s shield or slash at an arm or neck which could end the fight in a moment’s time.

The Bible likens God’s word to a Gladius. This is because in the same way that the Gladius was used in direct confrontation with the enemy so is God’s word a weapon to be used against the onslaughts of the devil.

In battle the Christian moves forward by faith to engage in spiritual warfare. The shield is held in place. Not only to protect the soldier but to thwart off any opposition attacks. Then the Gladius or sword of the Spirit is to be thrust at the enemy.

With a trained Roman soldier the sword could enter the abdomen and kill the opposition. The abdomen was a prime area to attack. The Bible relays many incidents where a sword was used through the belly in war. The belly symbolizes life flow. Jesus said out of your belly or spirit will flow rivers of living water.

The sword thrust through the stomach could cause death within minutes or cause a prolonged death. Depending on the precise area of the wound. This is the same in spiritual warfare. Death to the enemy plan may take a short time or a prolonged time. This is why continued prayer and ministry of the word of God is important until the victory is won.

GOD’S word is two edged like the Gladius because it not only thrusts to kill but it divides. In other words it can rightly divide truth from error. When used by a trained soldier in Jesus Christ the sword of the Spirit is a powerful weapon. It destroys strongholds, casts down high things exalting themselves against God’s truth, rightly divides the word of God, cuts up deception, chops corruption into spam and is able to be thrust right into the flow of the enemy. Death will most certainly occur. The enemy will be defeated! It’s just a matter of time.

Hebrews 4:12 , For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Take up your Gladius today and go forth into battle in the power of our Lord’s might and strength! Wage war against the powers of darkness and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus name!

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

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THE GOSPEL BOOTS

Part of our spiritual warfare armor is the gospel boots. Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say concerning this part of our armor.

Ephesians Chapter 6 vs 15

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

The KJV uses the Greek word hetoimasia which means preparation.

To be in a constant state of readiness or make ready for use.

In other words we must always be prepared to minister the gospel at all times.

How do we prepare? Scriptures tell us it is by studying the Bible.

2 Timothy 2 : 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We need to know the Bible in order to answer people who ask us questions about our faith. Now we don’t have to go to theological school in order to do this. In fact, many times people just end up being indoctrinated with denominational interpretations that omit or add their own take or lean on scriptures anyway.

It is best according to any lawyer, good journalist, writer or historian to research all angles of interpretation in order to get a balanced view. Bias always resides in the mindsets of men.

Even God says that out of two or three witnesses is truth established. (1 Corinthians 13:1)

Our doctrinal lean should always line up with the Bible and not any man made versions of a scriptural doctrine.

We must know the truth in order to share the truth. How can we minister to an unsaved person Bible truth if we don’t know Bible truth?

The Bible tells us to be prepared at all times in order to present the gospel of peace to others. What is this peace? Peace with God through Jesus Christ the Savior.

The Gospel boots not only prepare us to present the gospel message but they are also used to wage war against the devil.

During Roman times the soldier wore a sandal called a Caligae. This sandal actually had nail like studs embedded in the sole. These boots or sandals were deigned to march for long periods of time but they were also used as deadly weapons. A solder could take off his shoe and club the enemy to death with it.

That is what the gospel boots do too. They take us into all the world to preach the gospel of peace and they are also used to clobber the devil with. Every time we minister the word of God to someone we are beating the day lights out of that old devil.

Put on those gospel boots today! Be prepared and ready to preach the good news! At all times, in all places and every where you go!

ROMANS 15: 29

And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.


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Confession unto Salvation

Why it important to confess our sins in order to receive forgiveness?

In order to answer that question we must understand exactly what it means to confess.

According to the Greek translation to confess or homologeō means to acknowledge but it also means to profess.

To make a confession is to admit to one’s faults but it also means to admit to one’s belief.

To make a profession is to declare or admit openly. This means to state audibly using words.

Now these words have slightly different meanings in English but in the Greek language it literally means “to say it and to speak the same.”

This scripture translated in English says:
‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1 :9

With the Greek word homologeō it is translated in effect as this:
“If we say or speak the same thing that God says about our sins we can be forgiven from our sin and purified from all unrighteousness. “

This is very significant because there are many today who claim to know Jesus as their Savior but they deny him by rejecting what his word has to say about sin.

If one does not confess their sin by admitting that their lifestyle is not lining up with what God says is sin in the Bible then according to the Bible these people are liars and deceivers.

1John 3:9-18
1 John 2:15
Romans 6
John 8:44
1 Timothy 4:1
Revelation 21 :8
2 John 1:10,12
Mathew 7:13,14

In fact some today even reject the absolute authority of scriptures as the infallible word of the living God. They deny God’s word because they are not born again of his word and of his Spirit.

Again scriptures tell us that “if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord you shall be saved.” Roman’s 10:9

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:10

Jesus must be confessed as Lord of our lives in order to be considered by his standards a child of God. Not just Savior.

Today we have many who want Jesus to be their Savior but not their Lord but it does not work that way.

If we do not confess what God calls sin as sin in our lives and if we do not receive Jesus Christ as Lord as well as Savior then no salvation will occur.

It does not matter if we go to church, sing worship songs, raise our hands, jump up and down or shout hallelujah. If we do not confess our sins and confess Jesus as both Savior and Lord we can not be saved.

Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Luke 15:21

I acknowledged my sin to you [God], and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Psalm 32:5

To make a confession is to declare and profess openly and audibly. Why is it important to speak our confession out loud?

First of all what is in the open is in the light. Second of all speaking with the mouth solidifies a confession like an oral contract. Making admission is declaring allegiance. Both to God and before the angels and so the powers of darkness know where you stand.

We in effect come into contract or have declared our lives as belonging to Jesus Christ the Lord.

If you have not confessed your sin to the Lord Jesus Christ or received him as your Lord today then today is the day!

If you hear his voice speaking to your heart then confess your sin before him out loud and turn from the sin, receiving Jesus Christ as both your Savior and Lord.

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