Look to the Lord!

For every need in scriptures, the answer that is given is, look to the LORD.

Even when Jesus prayed, he looked up to heaven.

Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. Matthew 14:19

What does it mean to look up to the LORD?

“Look up” in the Hebrew language is tsâphâh which means to peer into the distance, to observe, await, to keep watch.

Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at “look up” in context.

Psalms 5:3 tells us that looking up is connected to prayer.

I will direct my prayer unto thee and look up.

I will watch and observe in prayer what the Lord says to me. I will wait for his direction, I will wait for his word.

Isaiah 8:17 tells us that the prophet says, he will wait and look to the lord for an answer to his prayer.

Isaiah 45:22 says that when we look with respect to the Lord, he brings salvation. God alone can save us from our sin, and save us out of all trouble.

Zechariah 12:10 tells us that when the Spirit of grace and supplications are poured out from the Lord, it causes the nation of Israel to look up to the Lord.

We can see a spiritual principle here. Putting this together we find that when God’s mercy is released through the spirit of prayer, it brings revelation knowledge of Jesus Christ.

An important point to remember when praying for Israel but also for the lost of all nations.

The book of John reiterates. Using the Greek word optanomai.
To look or gaze with awe and wonder.

 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. John 1:36-40

So we can see that this “looking” phenomena is more than simply taking a look. It’s looking with respect, awe, wonder. Like gazing into the eyes of the one you love!

Keeping this in mind let’s examine this “looking up” in the context of prayer.

Hebrews 12:2
Says looking unto Jesus. The Savior pierced for our sins who is the author and finisher of our faith.

Looking with awe and wonder with respect to the Lord, the author of our faith who is also the completer of our faith.

We must look to the Lord for our salvation which encompasses all the things we need to be saved from.

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:4
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5
 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:22

But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7


IS IGNORANCE A SIN?

According to the Bible there are 2 kinds of ignorance. The first being innocent ignorance and the second being willful ignorance.

Innocent ignorance is still considered to be a sin, according to Jesus. In Luke 12:47,48, the Lord tells this story.

And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

In our common law which is based on Biblical law, citizens are expected to know what the law says, in general terms even if they do not know particulars.

Ignorantia juris non excusat is latin for ignorance of the law is no excuse. This is a legal principle which means that a person who is unaware of a law, may not escape liability for violating that law, just because they were uninformed concerning that law.

Ignorantia Legis Neminem Excusat“, Manitoba Law Journal, Vol. 2, Issue 10 (October 1885), pp. 145–157

The Bible makes this principle clear in Numbers 15:22-30. Innocent ignorance is still considered a sin. Not as bad as willful disobedience but never the less, a sin.

But suppose you unintentionally fail to carry out all these commands that the LORD has given you through Moses. And suppose your descendants in the future fail to do everything the LORD has commanded through Moses. If the mistake was made unintentionally, and the community was unaware of it, the whole community must present a young bull for a burnt offering as a pleasing aroma to the LORD. It must be offered along with its prescribed grain offering and liquid offering and with one male goat for a sin offering. With it the priest will purify the whole community of Israel, making them right with the LORD, and they will be forgiven. For it was an unintentional sin, and they have corrected it with their offerings to the LORD—the special gift and the sin offering. The whole community of Israel will be forgiven, including the foreigners living among you, for all the people were involved in the sin.

If one individual commits an unintentional sin, the guilty person must bring a one-year-old female goat for a sin offering. The priest will sacrifice it to purify the guilty person before the LORD, and that person will be forgiven. These same instructions apply both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you.

But those who brazenly violate the LORD’s will, whether native-born Israelites or foreigners, have blasphemed the LORD, and they must be cut off from the community. Since they have treated the LORD’s word with contempt and deliberately disobeyed his command, they must be completely cut off and suffer the punishment for their guilt. TLB

Innocent sin is lesser in comparison to presumptuous sin, which is knowing something is wrong but in pride rejecting doing what is right or what the word says, due to weakness of the flesh.

Innocent sin is a lack of deep understanding of the seriousness of the sin involved. For example, the unbelief of the lost may in some cases be due to innocent ignorance, but is still considered to be sin according to God. This is because as Paul points out in Romans chapter 1, nature itself is a witness to the Creator plus nature teaches what is right and what is wrong. To defy God’s natural laws by rejecting them as untruth can be innocent ignorance but also may be willful ignorance, depending on the situation.

Willful ignorance is a graver sin. It is not as bad as presumptuous sin or deliberate sin, but it is sin never the less. Willfully ignorant is a legal term which means one who lacks the information or facts because they refuse to acknowledge them.

In criminal cases, willful ignorance is meant to substitute for actual knowledge: When the defendant does not actually know , but was willfully ignorant of it, courts may treat her as if she actually knew. Global-Tech, 131 S. Ct. 2060 at 2070.

Its the same principle in the Bible. The anti Christ spirit may be changing God’s laws today in order to excuse sin, but God’s law always trumps over the devil’s lies.

For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law. Romans 2:12

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:7,

And Balaam said to the Angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back. Numbers 22:34,

God calls unbelief a sin. Thomas had innocent unbelief. He was not there when Jesus appeared to the other disciples, and was not going to take their word for his resurrection. When Jesus showed up he proved himself to Thomas, then Thomas believed. Jesus however, spoke into his unbelief. “Do not doubt but believe.” (John 20)

Scriptures tell us that without faith, that is trust in God’s word, the scriptures, it is impossible to please Him. Many say they “believe in Jesus” but they willfully reject his word. They deny his power, his deity, his laws.

To reject scriptures because one is told they are not relevant for today, or God doesn’t do that any more, or God approves of me anyway, or they put man’s word above God’s word, can be depending on the situation, innocent ignorance or willful ignorance. Either way, it is still sin.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. James 12:32

However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. 2 Kings 17:4

Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. John 8:24

So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:19

In order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 2 Thessalonians 2:13

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Revelation 21:8

The spirit of pride is behind taking offense to God’s word. Many today in churches out right reject the Bible. Some reject portions of the Bible. They even persecute those who have faith in God’s word.

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 1 Peter 2: 7,8

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. Matthew 24: 9,10

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Mathew 5:10-12

The Bible tells us to be innocent of evil but to wise concerning what is good. Romans 16:19

We are called to pray for our understanding to be enlightened, so that we can know what is the hope of our calling, what is the riches of God’s inheritance that he has provided for us and to know what is the exceeding greatness of his power towards us who BELIEVE. Ephesians 1:18

We are called to walk, not in willful ignorance and unbelief, but by faith in Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us!

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Ephesians 4:18

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Remedy For A Broken Heart

In Exodus 6:1-9 we read that the Israelites could not hear God’s word that he wanted to deliver them because they had a broken spirit.

Many times because we have been hurt or abused by someone emotionally or spiritually our ears become closed to the truth. Even if the truth is right there in the Bible staring us in the face! We will ignore it or simply outright deny it.

There are two ways to go when one has been abused. We can hold on to the grudge and allow a bitter root of judgment to set in or we can forgive and go to the Lord for healing.

Choosing to hold on to unforgiveness, resentment and unbelief can have effects on us physically. It can cause mental illness like depression, arthritis or rottenness of the bones as scriptures call it, as well as all manner of sickness.

By sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. Proverbs 15:13

https://theconversation.com/you-really-can-die-of-a-broken-heart-heres-the-science-57442

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324090

https://marquemedical.com/damaging-effects-of-negativity/

God cannot heal us if we refuse to let go of hate, anger and revenge.

The Bible gives us a remedy for a broken heart and a crushed spirit.

Psalms 51:17 tells us that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.

Broken in the Hebrew is shâbar. It means to be broken in pieces, to burst, break down, bring to the birth, (trauma,) crush, destroy, hurt, quench, tear apart.

A broken spirit “dries the bones”

A broken spirit causes shame, confusion, disappointment, depression, withering or pining away.

Ruach, is the inner spirit person or heart.

The meaning of sacrifice is to “offer up.”

When we offer up to the Lord our broken heart he will bring healing. The first stage of healing is to see if there is any part we may have played in the offense or abuse. If we provoked in any way we need to repent and stop the behavior.

Then we must forgive. To forgive is to let go of the offense. Don’t hold anything against that person. If we take matters into our own hands by revenge, like slandering, cursing, or putting our hand to the person we will only add more trouble to our grief. The Lord asks us to forgive others so he can forgive us.

We should allow the Lord to revenge or bring correction into the situation instead of playing God by taking matters into our own hands.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 5:32

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Matthew 11:25

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14

The next stage to healing is to draw near to the Lord. As we draw near to him, he will draw near to us.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you... James 4:8-10, 

The Lord draws near to one with a broken heart and a contrite or crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
He does not despise them or look down on them.

After the Lord ministers grace, healing, deliverance to each of us as he sees fit because we are all different, then its time to build up the walls around our heart.

Proverbs 15:13 tells us that without control of our spirit, that is without being able to influence or manage our heart, it is like a city with no walls. The heart is not protected from danger.

How is this done? By renewing our mind with God’s thoughts. Whatever scriptures are needed to counter act those negative thoughts and emotion we apply to our lives.

We do this by praying the word of God into our heart, meditating on the word, (thinking on those scriptures) and by praying for those who have hurt us! When we know deep in our heart the truth, the truth will set us free indeed!

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Grace Through Faith

The Bible tells us that we are saved by grace THROUGH faith.

Grace (charis) is defined as the divine influence upon the heart. A benefit of favour.

Paul uses the Greek word charis to define God’s favor bestowed by his Son Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Paul is preaching to ancient Greeks who were idol worshippers.

Characteristics in ancient Greece were often personalized as gods in Greek culture.

In ancient Greek mythology Charis is a representation of several Greek goddesses known as the Charities whose characters are charm, beauty, goodwill, human creativity and fertility.

Paul was pointing out to the Gentiles (non Jews) that the benevolence of God acquired for us salvation through the death and resurrection of his Son Jesus Christ.

Grace or unmerited favor extended by God according to the scriptures must be accompanied by Faith in order for salvation to occur.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

Some people preach that God’s grace saves in and of itself. This is not true.
While God’s grace poured out by his divine love is extended to all it is not realized by any until grace is received by faith.

What is faith? In ancient Greek mythology Pistis or Faith was the personification or god of good faith, trust and reliability.

It is the same in our common law. Faith or “good faith,” is having an honest and sincere intention.

Many believe faith to simply mean belief. Again this is not true. To intellectually believe something to be true does not mean one receives that truth for themselves.

I may believe that red peppers have a very high amount of vitamin C and are good for me but I may not want to eat them because I don’t like them or because I am not in the mood for them or I’m indecisive about other aspects concerning them. Maybe I think I may get heart burn if I eat them.

Believing something to be true does not mean adhering to that something personally.

Pistis in the Greek is faith which sincerely believes and trusts in something which in turn leads to conversion or changing from one particular thing into another. 

Pistis according to the ancient Greeks was faith or belief which came about by the act of persuasion.

To be fully persuaded is induced by evidence or proof which is given.

And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Romans 4:21

Blind belief is not Biblical faith. God has given much evidence for his existence and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Examples of this are;

Jesus rising from the dead seen by many witnesses.

Witness testimony of the disciples.

The power of the Holy Spirit confirming the word through signs following.

Jesus mentioned by Jewish and Roman historians in their historical texts.

The testimonial of Christians throughout history.

The history of the Bible.

Nature itself.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/14/what-is-the-historical-evidence-that-jesus-christ-lived-and-died

In the Old Testament we can see an example of faith in action.

Abraham heard God’s voice telling him to follow him.

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. Genesis 12:1-4

Abraham heard God’s voice speaking to him. What Abraham did not know is where he was going. Abraham trusted God because he was a friend of God. You don’t become someone’s friend without a bona-fide relationship.

According to the Bible, faith comes by hearing God’s word or voice. (rhema)

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

Evidences of faith are built by having a relationship with God.

This relationship requires obedience to his voice.

Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness.

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:3-5

Believing or Faith (pistis) in God requires trust. This trust is developed by having a relationship.

Paul used the word pistis to describe trust in God for his grace.

How is grace through faith received? The Bible tells us it is by repentance or metatoia.

Metatoia in ancient Greek meant changing one’s mind about something or some one. Metatoia was depicted by the ancient Greeks as a sorrowful goddess filled with regret for having failed or missed the moment.

In early Christian literature (See Tertillian) metanoia is expressed as a change in one’s thinking that leads to a fundamental change in behavior or way of living. This change is a key ingredient for receiving salvation.

Jesus made it very clear in scripture that without repentance there is no salvation.

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:3

In conclusion, God’s grace extended through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Savior is received by faith which is trusting in God through obedience to the truth.

Since you have purified your souls by obedience to the truth so that you have a genuine love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from a pure heart. 1Peter 1:22

This faith is realized by repentance or a turning away from one’s own ways to walk in obedience to the voice of God through his eternal word. 

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 1 Peter 1 :22

When this is done, God through his grace by faith imputes or accredits to the recipient his righteousness.

That is the convert now is in perfect standing with God. 

Life Everlasting

God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or they would die. That is they would experience physical death (which eventually they did) as well as spiritual death, separation from God or YHWY.

Death or maveth‘  in the Hebrew is the giving up of the spirit from the body. For the Christian death means to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8 )

For the unsaved death is to be separated from God, cast into torments or hell which is a holding place for lost spirits. (Luke 16:19-31)

The “second death” is the everlasting perdition of the wicked in the lake of fire. (Revelations 2:11, Revelations 21:8)

Why would partaking of the tree of the “knowledge” of good and evil cause death?

According to Gnosticism (mystery Babylon ideology) da‛ath (Hebrew for knowledge) is the gateway to having “knowledge” or having mystery understanding of spiritual realities.

This concept of “knowledge” is known in all mystery Babylon religions. By that I mean all religious systems outside the gospel of Jesus Christ. These systems have one thing in common. Belief or “knowledge” that is contrary to the gospel.

In other words, this partaking of the knowledge of Satan’s religion causes both physical and spiritual death to occur. 

It is interesting to note, that the word for good, or the knowledge of mystery Babylon “good” is the word ţôb in Hebrew which means to prosper, be wealthy, having everything associated with temporal earthly pleasure.

Satan offers worldly pleasures to those who partake of his kingdom. He even tried to bribe the Lord with worldly gain. (Matthew 4:9)

Jesus on the other hand offers life abundantly. The same life YHWY offered to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

Scriptures tell us that whoever has the Son has life but whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life but the wrath of God abides on him. (1 John 5:12)

This abundant life which Jesus wants to give is not the same as what Satan has to offer. It is not worldly pleasure and sensual gratification.

God’s life is chay in the Hebrew language. To be alive, renewed, revived, spiritual life in YHWY. Eternal life.

Jesus says he is THE LIFE.

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. John 11:25

This is the purpose that Jesus came to earth as God incarnate. To give life.

Jesus is the tree of life. He is the life offered to mankind.

Whoever partakes of Jesus Christ by being born again or revived with renewed life has eternal life. Life forever and always.

No death can keep the born again child of God in the grave. 

The thief or Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. Satan offers worldly pleasures that in the end cause spiritual death.

Jesus offers life or eternal chay with him. Everlasting life. Life that never ends.

This abundant life that Jesus gives flows from the Kingdom of God. It is not of this world. It is not material temporal earthly pleasures. (John 18:36)

God’s life flows from his Son. It is a life expressed from a heavenly point of view. A life operating in God’s realm or through God’s Holy Spirit.

 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25

The tree of knowledge is not just an evil or dark and sinister knowledge but a knowledge of earthy sensual wisdom which gratifies the carnal nature. Satan’s “good” is really a death trap for all who partake of it.

God’s life is in his Son. It is eternal life. Life with YHWY forever.

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 1 John 5:12

Do you want to have God’s life? Eternal life that flows from his kingdom?

Jesus is the tree of life. Come to him Jesus Christ and be saved.

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.​

2 Timothy 1:9

Father God is waiting for your Return!

In Luke chapter 15 Jesus is ministering to people with backgrounds contrary to the social norm of the society in which he lived. The religious people were upset about it. They could not understand why Jesus would spend his time speaking to outcasts.

Jesus explains through three different parables how important a lost soul is to God. He likens the lost person to sheep having gone astray from the fold.

In shepherding societies the animals tended are very important. They represent a family’s whole livelihood.

Shepherds bond to their animals. They are very protective against predators. In fact when a shepherd is successful in defending his herd they are highly esteemed by the village. It takes great courage to defend the fold against a predator. Sometimes at the cost of the shepherd’s life.

A valiant shepherd will gain prestige among his people by being a faithful and brave shepherd.

The people of Jesus’ day understood shepherding concepts. To find a lost sheep was a very rewarding experience.

Pastoral societies value their animals so much that they will defend them with their very lives.

When Jesus likened sinners to lost sheep this placed a value upon them that the religious people did not share.

The next story that Jesus tells reveal again his love for sinners. This is the story of a woman who having ten pieces of silver lost one of them. The woman discovering her loss lights a candle in order to see clearly. Then she sweeps the house looking diligently for the lost silver coin.

Silver was a currency commonly used in Jesus’ day. It was an international currency. A silver coin could be a day’s wages to some people back then and because silver was extracted using human labor, that made it even more valuable. To lose a days wages was to experience a grave hardship.

Jesus reveals to the religious people of his day that a lost soul was like a lost silver coin. In God’s kingdom a lost soul being found and restored to Father God has such value that it causes all heaven to rejoice.

I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don’t need repentance. Luke 15:7

In order to hit home with his point Jesus gives to the religious people a third story. The number 3 according to Biblical application is the number of completion. In the Hebrew language the number 3 is shelos which means harmony, new life, and completeness.

His next story ties every thing together. Not only does Jesus love the individual lost sinner but Jesus reveals in this last story his love for all lost sinners of every nation.

Jesus talks about a man who had 2 sons. The elder son was the heir to his father’s estate and the younger while having no legitimate inheritance was provided for by means of the Father’s kindness.

The younger son not only represents a rebellious sinner wanting his own way instead of staying in his Father’s house but also represents the Gentiles who the Lord sees as being lost, in need of his salvation. Jesus called them his sheep of another fold.

And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd. John 10:16

Eating with sinners was a repulse thing to the religious people of Jesus’ day. Not only because they were participating in unlawful activities but because many of these outcasts were working for the Roman empire (Gentiles) and considered by the religious people to be unclean by association.

Jesus’ parable insulted the Pharisees’ concept of righteousness. To have contact with Gentiles was a taboo thing in their laws. To add insult to injury the religious people were told by Jesus that the elder son whom they knew represented the heir or Abrahamic covenant was not the only one loved by God.

The younger son represented the Gentile nations. He was loved so much that after his return the Father rejoiced by putting on a celebration. 

The prodigal story is really a twofold story about God’s love for individual sinners but also his desire to restore Gentiles to Father God.

The far country represents nations in lands far away who lived lifestyles in which the elder son would find offensive. That is why Jesus refers to the prodigal son as living among swine or those who are unclean.

Jesus made known to those religious elders that love for the sinner was extended by God to the Gentile nations. This is why they were so angry. To offer the Gentiles an inheritance in God’s kingdom was to oust the religious people out of their prestigious position. The religious leaders did not like that one bit.

To give a Gentile swine a robe was to give him a place of distinction along with the elder son or heir.
Only a man of honor was given a robe. A common man wore only simple clothing.

A ring was also a sign of honor or prestige. Servants or slaves never wore a ring. Neither did a common man.

The fact that the Father gave the prodigal swine dweller a robe and a ring meant that he was valued by the Father.

Then the 3rd thing the Father did in completion of his celebration was to kill the fatted calf. This was another indication that Jesus was referring to the Gentile nations. A calf represents idolatry. The repentant idolater was being received by Father God. Also, to feast on a fatted calf was a delicacy in Jesus’ day. In effect Jesus was saying that God would celebrate the return of the one who was once a sinner idol worshiper.

The religious people were totally insulted over these parables that Jesus told. Jesus referred to them as being angry like the elder son because God loves prodigal sinners and desires them to repent and become a part of his family.

Are you a prodigal far away from the Father’s house? Are you tired of your wayward life? Feeling desperate in your famine? Jesus wants you to come to him and be saved. He wants to restore you to Father God today!

Father God loves you so much that he is searching for you. Shining his light on your heart. Revealing to you your need for his love.

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18 

Departing From The Faith

What does it mean to depart from the faith?
To ‘depart’ in the Greek is aphistēmi which means to revolt against, remove from, desert, depart or draw away from.

You can’t depart or leave something unless you once were in something. Now its debatable whether the one who departs was once really saved or not but they had some understanding. They were enlightened. Scriptures tell us that if one has been enlightened and tasted of heavenly things and falls away it is impossible for them to repent.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Hebrews 6:4,6

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. 1 Timothy 4:1

This “departing” is departing from the faith or pistis. That is the conviction of reliance upon Jesus Christ for salvation. Instead those who depart give heed to demonic doctrines which do not rely on Jesus Christ for salvation.

Some departing doctrines are obvious to most Christians but others are very subtle. That devil is a wily one.

The main theme to look for is if the teacher or preacher, prophet or apostle, pastor or evangelist moves away from trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation. Even a teeny weeny bit.

There is no specific day of the week, no ritual or rite, no performance, no other way, no other man made book, no self help principle, no personal preference, no successful endeavor, no  jot or tittle, no other name, no addition, no subtraction. NOTHING.

There is nothing that can give you salvation with eternal life but complete trust and reliance on Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

It is written.

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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9,10

A Greater Authority

In Luke chapter 7 of the Bible, Jesus goes to Capernaum and finds a centurion’s servant is dying.

The centurion had sent elders of the synagogue to ask Jesus to come heal his servant.

These elders told Jesus that this man, the centurion was “worthy” to be healed because of the good deeds he had done for their people. He had even built a synagogue for them.

Jesus went with these religious leaders and when he was almost there the centurion sent a message. He said, “Don’t trouble yourself to come because I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. I know that you have authority in your kingdom to make a command just as I have authority in my kingdom and it will be done. Just say the word and I know what you command will be done. ” (My paraphrase)

Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith. Now it is true that the centurion did not have to see Jesus in person to know the command of healing would be done ( which it was ) but the faith Jesus marveled at was that the centurion recognized a greater authority than the Roman world authority.

The centurion recognized this because he considered himself to be unworthy for Jesus to enter his house. The centurion recognized that the kingdom of God is greater than the authority of Rome or the world system.

The centurion saw himself as a man of worldly authority who submitted to the greater authority of the kingdom of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

The centurion recognized that even though he was put in a position of prestige having worldly authority in the land, that he was considered unworthy in the kingdom of God. His position he held in the world held no weight in the kingdom of God.

This recognition of the human sin nature (being unworthy) allowed the centurion to humble himself as an
unworthy person or in other words he put himself in a subservient position to a greater authority than the authority of Rome.

In other words the centurion recognized that Jesus was other worldly or from a kingdom not of this world. Therefore being familiar with athourity he knew that Jesus just had to say a word and the healing would occur.

This is the gospel message. Recognition of one’s sinful or unworthy nature, recognizing the need to be in subjection to Jesus Christ and his authority and trusting in Jesus Christ as the head of the kingdom of God with the power to save and to heal.

Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith because he knew the steps to salvation. Recognizing one’s unworthiness and inability to save one’s self and being in submission to the authority of Jesus Christ for salvation.

What about you? Are you trusting in your “worthiness” because of all the good works you have done like those religious leaders did?

Jesus marvels at the faith of the person who recognizes their unworthiness and looks to his authority to be saved and healed.

Call on Jesus Christ to save and heal you.  All the authority and prestige of the world system will never get you into heaven.

Simple recognition of your inability to save yourself is the first step to salvation. Once you recognize that then you can call on Jesus Christ the King of all kings to save you from your sin.

If you do that then you can be saved, forgiven. healed and given eternal life. You will become a member of the kingdom of God!

Whoever calls on the Lord shall be saved. Roman’s 10:13

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The Gift of God!

When someone offers a free gift automatically we ask, “What’s in it for you?”

Human nature is not so trusting. Most of us have not fallen off the turnip truck yesterday! Something free usually has a benefit for the giver in there some where.

I would like to point out that God’s free gift has no benefit for the giver at all. In fact quite the opposite. All the benefits go to the recipient!

What could one possibly give to the God who made everything and owns everything? Ever try to buy a rich friend a gift? Quite impossible actually. Even if you gave a home made card all you have given is sentiment. Nice to know they are thought about but still you can’t measure up. They can get anything they want for themselves!

God has given a gift to the world in the person of Jesus Christ. Everyone who puts their trust in him for salvation will be given eternal life. They will pass from death to life.

This free gift of God’s salvation is motivated by his love and is an expression of his mercy. This free gift of salvation is God’s undeserved unmerited gift.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, but it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)

The gift of God is not earned! We can’t work for it! We don’t need to do penitence or any kind of work or ritual to get it. A gift is simply received! That’s it!

The great thing about receiving God’s free gift is that not only are we saved by grace or undeserved mercy BUT a part of the gift is the empowerment to live a life that pleases God! He gives us the ability by his power to endure all trials and tribulations in this world because we have the assurance of an eternity spent with him.

He provides all our needs because he is our all in all! God gives us his free gift of salvation and he takes care of us while we are in this world as well!

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” 2 Corinthians 12:9

 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

God’s grace saves us and also empowers us to live a life that pleases him! As we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit we are blessed with God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

Saved by grace is different than being saved by faith as some in error preach. They put the cart before the horse!

This difference is very important. If we are saved by faith we make the salvation experience about our own effort, our own ability, but God has chosen grace because it involves no effort on our part at all.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

If we had anything at all to do with our salvation we might have reason to boast but God has made salvation a free gift to those who receive (through faith) this gift of his mercy.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 15:16

Not only does God give us grace to be saved but he also gives us grace to stay saved!

Are you trusting in God’s grace through Jesus Christ for his salvation? All you have to do is ask! Turn to Jesus with all your heart for he is mighty to save!

Consider The Lilies

In Matthew 6:28 Jesus tells his disciples to consider the lilies of the field.

The most probable flower that Jesus was referring to is considered by plant specialists to be an Anemone coronaria, a common field flower which can be red, purple or pink with black centers.

The Anemone coronaria incidentally is Israel’s national flower. They are usually found in meadows and grassy hillsides. In Jerusalem the red ones are more frequently found while in the basalt slopes north of the sea of Galilee blue and white are found growing on the hillsides.

The Hebrew name for this flower is Kalanit from the word kala which means beautiful like a bride.

Consider the lilies of the field. The Kalanit arrayed like a bride which Jesus says are more beautiful than all of Solomon’s glory.

Jesus likened these field lilies to be more beautifully arrayed than Solomon’s kingdom. 

Considering that Solomon’s glory was a magnificent kingdom full of pomp and splendor this is a fantastic statement.

Why would the Lord say that field flowers were more beautiful than Solomon’s glory?

The fact that their name means bride may give us a clue.

Was Jesus looking to his future bride? His bride so beautiful that she is more beautiful than all of Solomon’s glory?

These field lilies are not only beautiful but Jesus told us that they do not toil or spin. That is they do not do any work!

To toil in Hebrew is kopiaō which means to work hard or labor until one is fatigued.

To spin is nēthō which means to spin yarn.

Spinning yarn was a laborious work in Jesus’ time. Spinning was twisting fibers together by hand in order to make material for clothing.

In Solomon’s kingdom all the pomp and splendor was achieved by hard work. Also the temple Solomon build was constructed by slaves. These slaves did hard labor. Probably from sunup to sun down.

The lilies of the field do not labor or spin. They just naturally grow and become beautiful without any labor at all. With rain and sunshine provided by their Creator the lilies of the field become beautifully arrayed in their glory.

It seems that Jesus is pointing out that under the law like Solomon’s Kingdom, the slave must work to build a temple or building for God to take up residence.

Those under the law are servants of sin who must labor under a ruler or the law, sacrificing animals to atone for their sin in a temple made by men.

Jesus is using a metaphor to tell us that the splendor of the dispensation of the law is not as glorious as the dispensation of grace where the beauty of the Lord resides in his bride.

The bride has no need to labor for the Savior has purchased her with his own blood. The bride has no need to spin or be clothed with the temporary intermedatories of animals because she is clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

The bride is altogether beautiful. Altogether lovely in her pure white garment! Altogether more splendid than the glory of the former dispensation!

Consider the liles of the field for they neither toil nor spin. They take no thought to toil laboriously to achieve right standing with God.

All the work has been done by Jesus Christ the Messiah ! (Yeshua Mashiach) It is finished!