Grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. John 1:15-17


No, I am not being lazy, just busy. If you must know we bought a house, got married and have other things to do, like maintain our sanity. Therefore I am reblogging a lot lately. Forgive me.

Tuesday Bible Bites

This next section of Scripture strikes me odd; odd because the Apostle Paul was the man who taught us about grace, and yet here is a witness to John the Baptist saying, “grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

Paul would have been the most unlikely character to teach us grace as he seemed to have no comprehension of what grace was, and, was willing to have those who showed an acceptance of this man Jesus put to death. So where did Paul learn of grace, a theme by-the-way that is integrated all throughout the Law and the Prophets? From Jesus himself, a process that began on the road to Damascus.

Now, here we are, in a sense, listening to the words of the Apostle John, as he defines John the Baptist. A man, for whom we are given no record of where he came to…

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To those that live by the letter of the law, that means nothing! John 1:14


Tuesday Bible Bites

Is was not that long ago that my fiancee’s mom died. Fortunately, she had a living trust put in place, and with only two siblings it was to be a clean 50/50 split. Being the novice that I am, I assumed that everything would go just peachy; it did not, and the brother quickly demanded the sale of the house so that he could get his half. I don’t know what motivated him; I can speculate but that rarely produces any positive outcome on my part, so I stay out of that realm as much as possible. I just know that with my fiancee as the “executor,” she had little power. The position primarily it forced her and me to work fast. We had to work quickly for two reasons:

  1. There are time frames you must work within. The time frames are liberal enough, but anything with stress added can…

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What scripture calls us to testify about. John 1:7-13


Tuesday Bible Bites

In my previous post, I introduced you to John the Baptist.

John 1:6 NASB There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.

In exploring the ramifications of who John was and was not, I opened the possibility that we too are the called designated witnesses sent by God. As we progress, forward we have to sort between the religious definition and what scripture calls us to testify of.

I grew up in church, but there was a time when my father decided that we needed to chase the charismatic movement around the valley and that removed us from the church I grew up in. I want to say that I do not regret that for a moment, but, it took me away from the kids I had grown up with. Our return to that same church was, at best, strained. I tried to fit in. There were…

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God sent a man. John 1:6


Tuesday Bible Bites

One of the problems we have is our Westernization of scripture. The attitudes and misconceptions associated with westernization builds in misunderstanding makes translating difficult and opens the door to arguments from outsiders and those who choose to let others tell them what they should believe the Bible is saying instead of finding out for themselves. I suppose God knew that would happen. When you consider how people say that the Bible is full of errors, it makes sense when you examine the fallacies built into our non-Jewish understanding. One of those fallacies is often revealed as pastors try to explain the Revelation, also written by John, by telling you that John wrote the Revelation in code so that the Romans would not understand and therefore not be able to prevent this letter from making to any of the churches John intended. Another pathetic aspect of writing in code would be…

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He was the source of life – John 1:4,5


This something I posted recently on my Tuesday Bible bites site.

Tuesday Bible Bites

He was the source of life – John 1:4,5

It’s really all in the translation, isn’t it. My title is derived from the ‘God’s Word’ translation. Whether it is true of the context or not, it is a true statement. But, how do you, the casual reader know that? Sadly, most do not.

John 1:4-5 NASB In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5) The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

  • In Him was life.” – Life is the Greek word zōē/ dzo-ay’. From G2198; life (literally or figuratively): – life (-time). Strong’s number G2198 is zaō / dzah’-o and means to live.

    Vines NT words1. zoe (G2222) (Eng., “zoo,” “zoology”) is used in the NT “of life as a principle, life in the absolute sense, life as God has it,

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The way that is blameless


I see far too much of me in this post.

The Kingdom

lessons1971A child that lives with criticism, learns to condemn. It’s from a poem “Lessons from life” by Ronald Russell and also in a poem called “Children learn what they live” .

Constant criticism and verbal abuse are devastating for a child.  It eats away with at their self worth and undermines their self confidence.   He or she will grow up under-valuing or even hating themselves.

When I grew up, I continued speaking to myself with my parent’s words.  I believed them, condemned myself for my mistakes, and “shoulded” on myself.

The Lord is a soul restorer.  He wanted my future to be better than my past.

He gave me the words to Psalm 101,

“I will walk in my house with blameless heart.”

What do you think a person who has grown up with criticism and verbal abuse will think when they read that?

I pulled back from Him saying…

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In the beginning, before all time. John 1:1


I don’t know about you, but I have had some odd conversations about this very thing. The conversations sound a lot like this:

  • So, when did time begin?

  • You mean, God was just hanging out in space and decided to create a universe?

  • Was God just bored?

  • What do you think He was doing before He had any light?

  • Wasn’t Jesus enough?

It would appear that this is the short explanation of when time began. Now as to the possibility that God was merely floating out in space, I frankly do not know the answer to that, and to spend any time on the idea just makes my head hurt, so we won’t. Sadly, there are many things I, nor you, do not know, but, like Dinosaurs, there is no denying that it/they happened, so we take what we know and understand and do the best we can with it.

While I do not think there is anyone that can legitimately answer most of these questions, they do open some interesting doors of thought about the magnificence of God if you are willing to let the Word speak to your heart.

Let’s dive in.wp-1477763727678.jpg

John 1:1 AMP “IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.” [Isaiah. 9:6.]

Before we go one step further, let’s see what Isaiah 9:6 adds to this.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

You would be right if your initial assumption were that Isaiah was talking about Jesus, the Son. But note that it says, “his name shall be called …, The mighty God, The everlasting Father.”

If we are going to grasp the depth of what John is attempting to say, then we need to try and grasp the idea that John is writing to a Jewish community of believers. In doing that John is trying to make a point about the Messiah and His supremacy; in saying, “the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself,” does just that.

Many will challenge the idea that the Apostles did anything besides preach to the Gentile world. Let’s see if I can alter your thinking. In the book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas are sent to Jerusalem, to address the apostles and elders about a teaching that emphasized the physical act of circumcision: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” (You find this reference in Acts chapter 15) Now I am sure that does not sound like much to many of you, but this an extremely Jewish concept, taught in the Torah. The primary purpose the Apostles and elders in Jerusalem forwarded such an idea was because of their belief that salvation through Jesus, a Jewish Messiah, was a strictly Jewish benefit. Sure, there was room for a few exceptions, and we see that with Peter and his interactions with the Roman Centurion and his family.

The  Apostle Peter eventually stood to say something to silence the discussion, agreeing that God had accepted the Gentiles through Peter. Sadly, we do not see Peter taking this good news any further that the Roman Centurion’s home. While Foxes Book of Martyrs may point out something historically different, we do not see the Apostles dealing with anyone else but Jews in scripture.

Mind you much time has passed, and John’s understanding of this God-man he walked beside has deepened. However, while Jesus was walking with them, they did not grasp who he was. Is it possible that John came to understand who Jesus was based upon what he might have read from the Prophet Isaiah’s writings? Anything is possible, and, we cannot exclude the idea just because we do not see it in scripture. We do not see dinosaurs in scripture, but there is no denying that they were here.

We just looked at Isaiah 9:6 where it says, “his name shall be called …, The mighty God, The everlasting Father.” Is it possible that the Holy Spirit saw fit to establish and validate the Son all at once by pointing out that they are one and the same, and yet individual, capable of being the “son” that is given? Absolutely!

The following is what the verse looks like with the Strong’s numbers integrated into the passage.

John 1:1 NASB In the beginningG746 was the WordG3056, and the WordG3056 was with GodG2316, and the WordG3056 was GodG2316.

I want to focus on the phrase, “In the beginning.” The variations on translating this are wide:

  • The ERV says, “Before the world began, the Word was there.”

If you were to use the Literal version it italicized the word “the” to indicate that it was added for clarity. “In the beginning was the Word,”

  • While the ERV implies a time frame, the LITV conveys the process.

When I read from one of the most used translations, the NIV, I get this, “In the beginning was the Word.” “In the beginning was the Word,” strikes me as little more than a statement of fact, but doesn’t that present a problem as the mind immediately wants proof.

Since our “Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge” reference of “in beginning” leads to other passages, let’s see what they say.

the beginning: Joh_1:2; Gen_1:1; Pro_8:22-31; Eph_3:9; Col_1:17; Heb_1:10, Heb_7:3, Heb_13:8; Rev_1:2, Rev_1:8, Rev_1:11, Rev_2:8, Rev_21:6, Rev_22:13

Genesis 1:1 NET. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

The statement is comparable to what John said, and every Jewish reader would have had the loud tone of their teaching Rabbi in their head, as their mind turned back to Genesis and the Torah. This was the beginning of history, their story, and their knowledge of the Holy begins here.

Here, though, the word is Hebrew: רֵאשִׁית / rê’shı̂yth / ray-sheeth’. From the same as H7218; the first, in place, time, order or rank (specifically a firstfruit): – beginning, chief (-est), first (-fruits, part, time), principal thing.

Strong’s points us to the origin or base word H7218 – רֹאשׁ / rô’sh / roshe. From an unused root apparently meaning to shake; the head (as most easily shaken), whether literally or figuratively.

Based upon the Hebrew I see that I could have also said,

  • The first thing –

  • The order of things –

  • The principal thing (this opens another line of thinking in me.)

  • And finally, I might have said, the chief thing.

    (There again, another line of thinking, which contains the idea that multiple things were to be done.) Since God knows the end of a matter before it ever starts, then He was aware that putting an end to mutiny such as Satan’s, had to come. I suppose He could have done all that without us mucking it up, but here we are, and, we are a part of the plan.

The phrase, in the beginning, indicates a process. That means creation could have been an aspect of the process.

I briefly touched upon the Hebrew word rê’shı̂yth, but what about the Greek word for beginning, the place where we started?

“In the beginning.”

In the Greek, the word is: ἀρχή / archē / ar-khay’. From G756; (properly abstract) a commencement, or (concrete) chief (in various applications of order, time, place or rank): – beginning, corner, (at the) first (estate), magistrate, power, principality, principle, rule.

Once again we have the idea of a process, which opens the door to other things.

The TSK references continue with:

Colossians 1:17 NASB He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Suggesting that Jesus was right there in the nothingness before creation.

Ephesians 3:9 NASB and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;

Since we have pointed out that the Word was God – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 MKJV) Then, when we look at Ephesians 3:9 we can understand that God and Jesus are considered one and the same.

I will finish this portion by adding verses two and three to the mix.

John 1:1-3 MKJV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2) He was in the beginning with God. 3) All things came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being.

Allow me to point something out, “and without Him, not even one thing came into being that has come into being.” That happens to include you. For a variety of reasons the question has come up lately, and asks, are you comfortable with your relationship with the Father? For me, the answer is an immediate yes, but then my mindset tends to look at this as speaking about His love for me. I know He loves me. This statement on my part is not a boast; this came out of times of stress and pain where I cried out to God. It developed the kind of trust that one builds when someone sticks by you, especially when you do not think you deserve it. It does not, however, always override the negativity in my head, a negativity which comes from a lifetime of abuse in which co-dependency was unwittingly taught – I hope that was the case.

For a variety of reasons a question has come up lately, and asks, are you comfortable with your relationship with the Father? For me, the answer is an immediate yes, but then my mindset tends to look at this as speaking about His love for me. I know He loves me. This statement on my part is not a boast; this came out of times of stress and pain where I cried out to God. It developed the kind of trust that one builds when someone sticks by you, especially when you do not think you deserve it. It does not, however, always override the negativity in my head, a negativity which comes from a lifetime of abuse in which co-dependency was unwittingly taught – I hope that was the case.

An acquaintance recently made a comment about perpetrators who were getting minuscule sentences, while the abuse they inflicted stays with the victims for their lifetime. Understanding what I am about to say requires you to think outside the box. Perpetrators may not be criminal in their actions because, in some cases, they are only using words as their weapon. However, the damage haunts you forever. I deal with effects of that very thing to this day, holding memories of abuses inflicted by others as far back as elementary school – we are talking about a time frame that extends beyond fifty years. My fiancee does not understand, but then, neither do I most times. Though I wish it could just go away, the only hope I have is in the peace I obtain through my relationship with Jesus Christ.

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A laymen’s overview of John’s gospel.


Having heard the theological breakdowns of John’s gospel, I am acknowledging that these portrayals are most assuredly there. However, all those word pictures seem to do little for me as I am always taken back by the power and depth of this introduction –

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Sadly, most of us do not grasp what is being said here; it is a point which goes on for several verses and magnifies the concept that “NOTHING” was made without Him.

My fiance recently had a run in with a lady who is an adamant defender of Replacement Theology. (I might add that I mentioned this to my men’s group, and in that group is a retired teacher. Immediately the teacher responded with, “this is what Hitler was advocating in Nazi Germany as he was rising to power.) The woman espousing Replacement Theology, threw her hand up in my fiance’s face on several occasions. It’s the kind of gesture people use when they refuse to allow for communication. How effective it is I am not sure, but they are telling you I am not listening. As my fiancee tried to enlighten her through simple, apologetic defenses, she included the fact that the Bible is a Jewish book, written to the early church, which primarily consisted of Jewish converts. My fiancee made me proud by asserting that we need to come into line with the concept if we want to understand so many of those things that we consistently miss – like the Book of Revelation. Thankfully, the Pastor came into view, and without full knowledge of what had been said, reiterated those same ideas to this lady. (It is nice to know you are on the right track, or at least in line with your pastor’s theological position, something we were not aware of previously.)

Why was any of that important?

Because reading for understanding will help to quell the false teachings, like Replacement Theology.

Reading for depth is exactly what I want to do with John’s gospel. Having done this once before in a group setting, I can tell you that it is long. Now, before you berate me for not being concise, I must inform you that I stumbled upon a commentary by Arthur Pink. This commentary is exclusively focused on the Gospel of John and is as thick as my 4 version comparative Bible, and I value the insights I find there.

Why did John write this Gospel?

First, let me comment on the timing.

We understand that John wrote this gospel about A.D. 90. As a comparison, John wrote the Revelation, on the Isle of Patmos, about A.D. 96.

  • Luke wrote his gospel about A.D. 56-63
  • Mark, it appears, was writing on behalf of Peter, and wrote between A.D. 57-63
  • Matthew, one of the disciples, and like John, a first-hand witness, wrote, according to tradition, A.D. 37.

It is possible that John, having read what the others had said, wanted to make a point, a point that the others seemed to have missed.

Secondly, as we come to understand by the reading of Paul’s missionary journeys, that John was ministering exclusively to the Jewish community.

It is possible that having heard Jesus say, “I have come for the lost sheep of Israel,” that John took this to heart as well.

John also witnessed the impact of the Holy Spirit, not only on the life of Peter on the Day of Pentecost but in the number of Jews (over 3000) that came to an understanding that Jesus was the Messiah that they longed for.

Suddenly, there was a great need for a Pastor. What would that need have looked like to the young disciple John, considering that all they knew about leading people came out of the synagogues, and, even though we do not see this in Scripture, is it possible that this is what Jesus might have been teaching them?

The third point I want to consider is that John wrote, almost exclusively, to a Jewish audience.

One piece of evidence for this comes from the Revelation, written some time later.

Revelation 1:11 KJV Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What you see, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Church. This is the Greek word ekklesia – a compound of G1537 and a derivative of G2564 – and means a calling out, that is, (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): – assembly, church.

We can also see from Vine’s Expository of New Testament Words that the word ekklēsia can be interpreted Assembly.

1. ekklesia (G1577), from ek, “out of,” and klesis, “a calling” (kaleo, “to call”), was used among the Greeks of a body of citizens “gathered” to discuss the affairs of state, Act_19:39. In the Sept. it is used to designate the “gathering” of Israel, summoned for any definite purpose, or a “gathering” regarded as representative of the whole nation. In Act_7:38 it is used of Israel; in Act_19:32, Act_19:41, of a riotous mob. It has two applications to companies of Christians, (a) to the whole company of the redeemed throughout the present era, the company of which Christ said, “I will build My Church,” Mat_16:18, and which is further described as “the Church which is His Body,” Eph_1:22; Eph_5:23, (b) in the singular number (e.g., Mat_18:17, RV marg., “congregation”), to a company consisting of professed believers, e.g., Act_20:28; 1Co_1:2;

I know that many will not buy into this idea of John writing to a Jewish community of believers based upon one scriptural witness, so, allow me to give you another.

Revelation 2:9 KJV I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

    • Things to make a note of here. Satan does not have a synagogue, but Jews do.

    • But John was not writing to Jews in general; he was specifically writing to Jewish converts, many of whom were still meeting in their synagogues.

    • Verse 9 above, says, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but of the synagogue of Satan.”

      This tells me that they did not have to give up their traditions – feasts of the Jews – holy days, nor abandon being a part of the life that is found in the synagogues.

      For those who wish to espouse the false teaching of Replacement Theology, it does not take much to see that God, even in this example, had not ordered them out of the synagogues but merely desired to become the center of their focus as the living Messiah, the primary person that they, as Jews, were looking for.

This word, synagogue comes up in several other NT books as well and is not exclusive to John’s writings.

Assuming then, that John biggest impact would be in the Jewish community that is now believers, why would he think he needed to emphasize, in the strongest way, that Jesus was God?

Perhaps the answer lies in Revelation 2:9 when it says,

and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.”

We Western thinking Christians are notorious for asking, how can I know if I committed the unpardonable sin of blasphemy? The mere fact that you are concerned demonstrates that you have not. So, the sole reason we ask this question is that we do not know what the word blasphemy means or what it, in its context, applies itself too.

Jesus answered this question in Matthew 12:32 when He said,

Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.”

Go back to Matthew 12 and see what the context is. The Pharisees, much like our modern day politicians, were attempting to repudiate, not only what Jesus had said but what He had done. In their attempts they had attributed the healing He had done to Satan/Beelzebub. The relevance, ties back into Revelation 2:9, as Jesus tells John to write this to the angel of the Church of Smyrna because this body, considered to be believers, had attributed God’s works to Satan.

If I had come to understand that this was your frailty, I would want to bring you back to center, and that might sound like this, “and the Word was God Himself.

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A short course in Isaiah, chapter 14 verse 3-23. A taunt against the king of Babylon.


If you recall, this all started with a video I reposted on Facebook. In that video, the Pope was portrayed as having used this passage about someone. I realize this is very vague, but so is my memory, and I don’t feel like looking up the video to be precise. I, as usual, had re-posted that video without fact checking. But, here is the clincher as far as I am concerned. A response came, from an acquaintance who has a Masters degree in Theology, and he attempted to excoriate me,by telling me that the Prophet Isaiah was quoting a mythological tale about a mythological Babylonian king, and therefore has no reference to Lucifer/Satan the enemy of God, Jesus, and the church.

So what did I do? I looked at the 45 commentaries I have collected to see what they say, and many agree with what the acquaintance said. However, they added something he failed to mention; there is no factual, or written evidence to validate their claims, and the boldest, like IVPBBC, will tell you that.

There is another problem with this twisted interpretation that the subject is someone other than Lucifer/Satan. In pitching your case, you are asking me to believe that the Prophet Isaiah would stoop so low as to quote mythology, effectively adapting the worship of the gods of the Gentiles, and pass it off as from the Lord. I don’t think so!

Maybe we would have more respect for Isaiah and his words if we knew a little more about him. Much of the following comes from the IVPBBC.

  • Isaiah, the son of Amoz, ministered in and around Jerusalem as a prophet to Judah during the reigns of four kings of Judah: Uzziah (called “Azariah” in 2 Kin.), Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (Isa_1:1), from c. 739-686 B.C.

  • He evidently came from a family of some rank, because he had easy access to the king (Isa_7:3)

  • His writing style has no rival in its versatility of expression, brilliance of imagery, and richness of vocabulary. The early church father Jerome likened him to Demosthenes, the legendary Greek orator. His writing features a range of 2,186 different words, compared to 1,535 in Ezekiel, 1,653 in Jeremiah, and 2,170 in the Psalms.

  • Second Chronicles 2Ch_32:32 records that he wrote a biography of King Hezekiah

  • The prophet lived until at least 681 B.C. when he penned the account of Sennacherib’s death (cf. Isa_37:38).

  • Tradition has it that he met his death under King Manasseh (c. 695-642 B.C.) by being cut in two with a wooden saw (cf. Heb_11:37).

  • Isaiah is quoted directly in the NT over sixty-five times, far more than any other OT prophet, and mentioned by name over twenty times.

  • According to Gill’s commentary, “it stands first of all the prophets; though the order of the prophets, according to the Jews (a), is, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve. But it is here placed first, not because Isaiah prophesied before the other prophets; for Joel, Jonah, Hosea, and Amos, begun before him, namely, in or before the days of Jeroboam the Second; but because of the excellency of the matter contained in it.”Last

That is quite the resume, and, it could have included much more. There isn’t a single thing here that promotes the idea that Isaiah would have pursued such a foolish idea, one that slaps God in the face by using an undefined mythological character.

So, that being said, let’s dissect this thoughtfully. Sorry if I repeat things previously covered in posts, but that was several months ago. I will try to be concise (like that is going to happen.)

Isaiah 14:3-23 MKJV

3) And it shall be in the day that Jehovah shall give you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear, and from the hard bondage which was pressed on you,

      • Jehovah shall give you rest from your sorrow, and from your fear, and from the hard bondage which was pressed on you,”

Has that day come? Some might say, looking at the narrow view and saying, sure, when Israel was released from Babylonian captivity. Sadly, that was not the end of it, and, as you know, Israel was not a nation again until when, “On May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years.”

Now, just because they became a nation, did all fear and sorrow end? Hardly. Even though Israel has only grown stronger since their inception, they have been in a continuous state of flux, violence, and threats. One of the most recent has come from Iran.

I am surprised, but I shouldn’t be, as Pastor John MacArthur succinctly states, The future earthly kingdom of Messiah is in view. Cf. Act_3:19-21.

and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus. For the time being, he must remain out of sight in heaven until everything is restored to order again just the way God, through the preaching of his holy prophets of old, said it would be.” Acts 3:20-21 MSG)

4) you shall take up this song against the king of Babylon and say, How the exacter, the gold gatherer has ceased!

If that day is the day that Jesus returns physically to earth, it will be at the end of horrendous tumult and death, not only at God’s hands but from the violence of man as well. When Jesus comes, he comes conquering. If we could assume that the enemy is Islam with ISIS as its front man, then it would easy to see Jesus slaughtering all of them, but that is not the case, as He only kills off those who choose to fight against him.

Anyone who watches the less than prime time news, knows that Islam happily trains children as young as age seven to handle an AK47. Fortunately for us, Jesus is the judge, and He judges in a perfect way.

All that being said, there will be peace and those established by God will be the peacekeepers. With the advent of the Messiah, judges set up to rule, and the end of wars for a thousand years, this would be the point at which Israel, at least the remnant thereof, will take up this song against the king of Babylon.

Apply a little logic here. Has there been a king of Babylon lately? NO, unless you want claim Saddam Hussein might have been held this title.

5) Jehovah has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers 6) who struck peoples in wrath, a blow without turning away, ruling the nations in anger, a persecution without restraint.

Jeremiah 25:33 “Those slain by the LORD on that day will be from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be lamented, gathered or buried; they will be like dung on the face of the ground.

Jeremiah 39:17 “But I will deliver you on that day,” declares the LORD, “and you will not be given into the hand of the men whom you dread.

7) All the earth is at rest and is quiet; they break out into singing.

There is only one point in time in which this can happen. We see an example of that in Revelation 19 where Jesus comes riding back to earth upon a white horse. The land will be ruled by judges that God sets up, and there will be peace for a thousand years.

Verse 8 is where is the passage gets personal.

8) Yea, the fir trees rejoice at you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since you have fallen, no woodcutter will come up against us.

  • “the fir trees rejoice at you,”

    To whom are the fir trees speaking? That will become apparent momentarily, and since we have no known written references to this mythological character we will have to go with what we can ascertain, perceive, and understand by letting scripture interpret scripture.

  • “Since you have fallen,”

    In Luke 10:18 Jesus told the disciples that He beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

    There is another, somewhat cryptic description, in Revelation 9:1, as it describes a star falling from heaven. “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.” Since we understand that Jesus stripped the keys to death, hell, and the grave, from Satan, then it is possible that Satan and this star are one in the same. Since a star gives light, and verse 12 of Isaiah 45 also speaks of the “shining star of the morning,” then we are probably on the right track.

9) Hell from below is moved for you, to meet you at your coming. It stirs up the dead for you, all the he-goats of the earth. It has raised from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

The statements I made concerning verse 8 can also apply here.

10) All of them shall speak and say to you, Are you also as weak as we? Are you like us?

  • “all the kings of the nations.”

    These are the ones doing the talking here. They do not make these comments until Jesus returns to earth as the Messiah and shows Satan for who he is. (As a side note; the angels are enormous and powerful, so I do not think we are talking about size here. Consider how we love to portray Satan as a red horned monster when he is probably just the opposite.)

  • “Are you also as weak as we? Are you like us?”

    Since they – “the kings of the the nations,” are allowed to see what happens to Satan and how he is taken captive and made a prisoner, then perhaps this speaks to their fate.

11) Your pride is brought down to the grave, and the noise of your harps. The maggot is spread under you, and the worms cover you.

  • Pride – runs the gamut of expression: exaltation: – arrogance (3), eminence (1), excellence (1), glory (1), majestic (1), majesty.

How could it be that Satan could be both arrogant and filled with an excellence and majesty? It can’t, unless at one time he held a position of supremacy once, but no longer.

12) How you are fallen from the heavens, O shining star, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!

We gained a little more clarity when we use another translation. Isaiah 14:12 KJV “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

      • O Lucifer, son of the morning!”

        Lucifer is from the Hebrew word helel and means a shining one: – star of the morning. Based on this alone I can understand verse 11 better. However, the word helel is a derivative of the word, hâlal / pronounced haw-lal’, meaning to be clear (originally of sound, but usually of color)

          • hâlal is where we get our word hallelujah.

          • So, Lucifer was not only the shining one but the angel of praise.

13) For you have said in your heart, I will go up to the heavens; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.

If you were to have doubts as to what caused Satan’s fall, here it is.

14) I will go up above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.

It was Satan’s intent to assert himself above God. How would you do that without first stripping God of his authority? You don’t, however, this is what you see in the fall of man, deception with the intent of stripping the man of his dominion over the earth, as well as the rights to the earth. If this sounds far-fetched, then consider the how and why of Satan offering Jesus all the power, riches, and kingdoms of the earth. Satan seized control of them all through deception, for God had given it all over to the man and told him so.

15 ) “Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the Pit.”

I believe we have established that this is Lucifer, thrown down from heaven, but we have some problems that may affect our understanding.

  • Does what Jesus said in Luke’s gospel, indicate that Satan was thrown into the pit, where he is incapable of moving about or causing us any trouble?

    At this point, NO! I believe that what Jesus expressed either represents Satan being removed from his place, or it is speaking of a time to come.

    Because Satan was trying to offer Jesus the kingdoms of this world, then it proves that Satan had control over them. Was there a time when Satan was stripped of his authority? YES, and that happened during the time Jesus body was in the tomb. We see God, in Hebrews chapter 1, restoring all power to the Son, and more. Since Jesus stripped Satan of the keys to death, hell, and the grave, then we can safely conclude that ALL power has been restored.

  • The other point of contention arises when we see Satan, before the seat of God, mixed in among the other sons of God.

    This is only a problem because we have improperly taught that Satan was exposed of immediately. His day will come soon, but not yet.

16) “Those who see you shall stare and closely watch you, saying, Is this the man who made the earth to tremble; who shook kingdoms; 17) who made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed its cities; who did not open the house for his prisoners?”

Again, tradition and expectation, cause us to think that Satan looks like this.our-idea-of-what-satan-looks-like

In reality, he stills retains his original form and quite probably his beauty. Considering that the damage (our propensity to miss the mark that we love to call sin,) seems to be built into us likes to center itself upon lustful, selfish desires. And, how the majority of those wants are extremely attractive, wouldn’t it make sense if Satan, formerly Lucifer, the bearer of light and the song leader of heaven, was beautiful also?

Another reason we might be surprised is the overwhelming destruction he has caused.

Isaiah 14:16-17 MSG People will stare and muse: “Can this be the one Who terrorized earth and its kingdoms, 17) turned earth to a moonscape, Wasted its cities, shut up his prisoners to a living death?”

  1. All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, everyone in his own house. 19) But you are cast out of your grave like a hateful branch, and like the clothing of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; like a dead body trampled under foot. 20) You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you ruined your land and killed your people; the seed of evildoers shall never be famous.

    Eugene Peterson’s, “The Message” translates this segment in this manner: “Other kings get a decent burial, honored with eulogies and placed in a tomb. But you’re dumped in a ditch unburied, like a stray dog or cat, Covered with rotting bodies, murdered and indigent corpses. Your dead body desecrated, mutilated– no state funeral for you! You’ve left your land in ruins, left a legacy of massacre. The progeny of your evil life will never be named. Oblivion!”

     

At this point it appears that Christ has forcefully taken Satan captive and apparently held him up for all to see.

21) Prepare slaughter for his sons, because of the iniquity of their fathers, so that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.

  • Prepare slaughter for his sons,”

    Why are we the children of God? Because we engrafted ourselves through acceptance of Jesus Christ, the Son. In contrast to our being accepted into the kingdom and life with the Father, Satan’s followers have a slaughter prepared for them. In a strange way, this can be equated to the Walking Dead, and these are the zombies that cannot die. Humans are all created/born with an eternal spirit. One can attach that spirit to God, or to Satan. God, on the one hand, says He will never leave you nor forsake, while Satan, it seems, could care less. I suppose some would choose not to believe that, but there is nothing he will do to save you or protect you from what is to come. Since you will not die, then you will spend eternity following the leader of your choosing.

     

22) For I will rise up against them, says Jehovah of Hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, and son, and grandson, says Jehovah. 23) I will also make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the broom of ruin, says Jehovah of Hosts.

  • “For I will rise up against them, says Jehovah of Hosts,”

    • Whom will Christ rise up against?

      The sons of iniquity, otherwise known as followers of Satan.

  • ” and cut off from Babylon the name and remnant, and son, and grandson, says Jehovah.”

    • What does that mean?

      Perhaps another translation will help.

Isaiah 14:22-23 MSG “I will confront them“–Decree of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies– “and strip Babylon of name and survivors, children and grandchildren. 23) ” GOD’s Decree. “I’ll make it a worthless swamp and give it as a prize to the hedgehog. And then I’ll bulldoze it out of existence.” Decree of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies.

  • I will also make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the broom of ruin, says Jehovah of Hosts.”

    Again, another translation and another passage bring clarity.

     

Jeremiah 51:37 NET. Babylon will become a heap of ruins. Jackals will make their home there. It will become an object of horror and of hissing scorn, a place where no one lives.

Let’s end this here. We are not talking about a mythological person who has no written evidence to validate using him as an argument, but a fallen angel who had his name changed. It is evident that Lucifer/Satan has had an adverse impact on the world. Something that caught my attention, and I have never heard a teaching that includes this detail, is that this descriptive of Satan transitions into Babylon. Isaiah 14:21 tells us that God considers the followers of Satan to be his sons and they will be punished along with Satan. While Babylon carries a number of meanings, the one that impacts us, the church, is the “spiritual” one that overshadows all the ruling bodies of the world. In the book of Daniel, it is referred to as a fourth kingdom, different from all the rest. See Daniel 7:23. As my girlfriend stated, there must be a shadow government that runs our government, that, and all the other governments of the world.

As my girlfriend stated, there must be a shadow government that runs our government, that, and all the other governments of the world. Theory/assumption was proven today 10/21/2016, as WikiLeaks published President Obama’s personal email, which talked about former President Bush speaking to now President Obama, establishing that he would become the current President. This has nothing to do with a single man, but an organized, upper echelon group of people who actually are trying to run the world. Scripture describes these people and their modes of operation as Babylon and the Harlot that rides the beast, in the book of Revelation. 

It is time to wake, but it may be to late for many.

Posted in bible study, End times, Prophetic, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gifts from God, meant to benefit the body.


Tuesdays are the day our afternoon Bible study meets. I was to be taking it over, so to speak, about a month ago, but that did not happen. The man that had been leading and was supposed to take a job in Texas is still here, and may not leave at all. We tried to tag team for a short time, alternating weeks, but our styles are drastically different and therefore incompatible. In other words, he is a sprinter, and I am more of a marathon runner. I do not care how fast I go; I just want to make sure I have covered all the ground possible without tedious boredom.

We finished Genesis, and because he lead us on short sprints through the remaining chapters, we missed a world of detail on which to focus. How did I handle that, you ask? Whether you asked or not, I am going to tell you. I made a verse by verse commentary on approximately the last ten chapters of Genesis. This commentary would have been my teaching notes. Should you be interested, they can be found at https://tuesdaybiblebites.wordpress.com/

Since we had finished Genesis the leader’s goal, and I am not sure why was to do a two-week teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When the subject of the Holy Spirit and the corresponding gifts would be brought up, questions would be asked that indicated many at the study had no clue, and several are simply afraid of it. These responses are nothing new; I find them everywhere I go. And, thanks to men like The Bible Answer Man, Hank Hannegraf, or Pastor, John MacArthur, many are convinced that the working of the Holy Spirit is out of completely out of control and not for today. If you feel that way, then I suggest you read the prophecy that comprises the book of Joel. The primary function of the book is to serve as a prophetic word about end times, yet, right in the middle of the horror and destruction comes this:

Joel 2:28-32 NASB “It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. 29) “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. 30) “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. 31) “The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. 32) “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

The Apostle Peter quoted this excerpt saying,

Acts 2:14-21 NASB But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15) “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16) but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17) ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; 18) EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy. 19) ‘AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE. 20) ‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME. 21) ‘AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’

The oddity of Peter’s oration is that he pulled a portion out of the whole and decreed it fulfilled that day. If this was wrong on Peter’s part then why include it in the Bible? But, it wasn’t wrong or ill conceived. Peter’s statement was appropriate and indicated God’s intent, plans, and character. What the Holy Spirit did in that moment of time was to kick open the door to an exciting way of living; a way of living filled with the emotion and life of God. Do we do that? Oh no, we preach against the incredible power of the Holy Spirit and fear it when it shows up. While every generation believed that the end was near for them, it is evident that the end was a long way off, like about two thousand years off from the day Peter declared this aspect of the prophecy fulfilled.

There is no denying that the end is not here yet. How would I know that?

  1. We know that the end will come with the signing of a “seven-year” peace treaty. This will be done by a significant world leader which scripture calls the Antichrist. Scripture does not say that the agreement will be exclusive to Israel, nor does it say that Israel will be a signatory to that treaty, but I believe Israel will be the target of all concerned.

    • 1 Thessalonians 5:3 NASB 3) While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.

    • Daniel 9:27 NASB “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

  1. There are signs associated with the end:

    • This was the question the Jewish disciples asked Jesus. Matthew 24 is His response. But we in the church have a problem because the answer Jesus gave was directed specifically at a Jewish audience; an audience whose idea of the end is entirely different from what we think about in the church. The church is looking for the Messiah to come in the clouds and snatch us away, but the Jew is looking for Him to come as the Kingdom ruling Messiah they longed for.

    • The church is snatched away from the earth; we call this the rapture.

      We find one of the references for this event in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 NASB “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8) Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;”

      The term rapture causes many people grief because you cannot find the word in  Bible versions like the King James. Do your homework though and you will find the idea of a great snatching away. This concept is drawn from the Greek word Harpazo and means a catching away. Look at these verses where they used the word caught.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NASB 16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17) Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

The Greek word for caught is Harpazo and implies a violent, quick removal.

The word rapture is derived from the Latin word rapio only found in the Latin Vulgate translation, and also means a catching away. Therefore it is a valid word to explain what is to come.

    • Other signs can be seen in Joel’s prophecy, as well as others, and they are described in multiple locations in scripture:

      • WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW

        • BLOOD

        • FIRE

        • VAPOR OF SMOKE.

        • THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND

        • THE MOON INTO BLOOD

Have we seen or heard of anything like this? Certainly, we have as Pastor Mark Biltz, and Messianic Rabbi Johnathon Cahn wrote rather convincing books describing events associated with the end of time. While the moon did not in actuality turn to blood, it was impressive on many levels and got our attention. We also found out that the rare astronomical event, called the blood moon, has amazingly been associated with terrible events tied to Israel. Rabbi Johnathon Cahn demonstrated that monetary patterns had been related to Israel and were an aspect of God’s punishment, as laid out in scripture. Even if these were not the specific markers we were looking for, there are others, some of which seem so commonplace and explainable, such as volcanic activity, or the waters being turned to blood. Perhaps some pictures may help.

China must broadcast videos of the sun because the smog is so bad

China must broadcast videos of the sun because the smog is so overwhelmingly bad.

Mother and child looking at the red beach

Mother and child looking at the red beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eclipse_total_espanek_10-27-2004-e1358526755212

An example of a blood moon.

 

Chemical trails filling the sky.

Chemical trails filling the sky.

 

 

 

 

And though many will disregard this last one, perhaps this meets God’s qualifications for vapor of smoke.


Well, so much for my introduction, let’s get on to the topic at hand, gifts from God, meant to benefit the body – the Church.

1 Corinthians 12:1 NASB 1) Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.

The Bible in Basic English says it this way, “But about the things of the spirit, my brothers, it is not right for you to be without teaching.”Some translations end this sentence by saying, I do not want you to be ignorant. That seems a little harsh, but then I have sat with people who have spent their entire lives inside religion, and they still do not understand, nor do they see the freedom or purpose in these “gifts.”

Let’s take this apart verse by verse. The first thing I notice is that the NASB wisely uses the word gifts in a faded italic. Presented in this manner, you are instructed to understand that the word is NOT found in original documentation and is added for the sake of clarity. Does the word “gifts” add clarity or confusion? When using the word gift, one expects to see items lying on the table. Supposing you only, as some presume, get to pick one (as though you would never have enough time or energy to have many or all of these attributes working in your life.) Let me just say that the following scripture 1 Corinthians 14:1 was not included in the “study” this day.

1 Corinthians 14:1 NASB 1) Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

1 Corinthians 14:1 tells us to “desire earnestly.” This is the Greek/Holy Spirits way of emphasizing something by the usage of the same word twice. The word used is zēloō, pronounced phonetically dzay-lo’-o. It means to have warmth of feeling for or against: – affect, covet (earnestly), (have) desire, (move with) envy, be jealous over, (be) zealous (-ly affect).

As you can see from the context of 1 Corinthians 14:1 that the thought conveyed is to have a strong desire for something. And yet, prophecy and the “gifts” of the Spirit, are the most feared and misunderstood aspects of this spiritual life we live.

In attempting to understand and therefore not evoke fear in you, let me try one more translation.

1 Corinthians 14:1 (From the Complete Jewish Bible)

Pursue love! However, keep on eagerly seeking the things of the Spirit; and especially seek to be able to prophesy.

So instead of selfishly pursuing some hidden item wrapped inside a gift box, I am pursuing the things of the Spirit – things that seem to be an aspect of my everyday life as a believer. Because I see that the Holy Spirit has put an emphasis on that scary word prophecy, then maybe I need to understand it and find out what it is to prophesy.

The Greek word for prophecy is prophēteuō, phonetically pronounced prof-ate-yoo’-o. From G4396; to foretell events, divine, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic office: – prophesy. Informed that the word prophēteuō is a derivative of a base word, what is that? G4396 is the word prophētēs, pronounced prof-ay’-tace and means a foreteller (“prophet”); by analogy an inspired speaker.

Well, that seems simple enough for an inspired speaker could easily be a preacher. But that is certainly not the only definition as it ranges from those who foretell events, speak under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and, those that exercise the prophetic office. To be perfectly honest, this last one scares me the most because there is the assumption that others, seeing this quality in them, have given them the green light to run around the country speaking into the lives of church leaders and the body and do so without challenge or question. Dear Lord, I hope not. Typically, when I see people like this they try to walk around as though they have some aura around them, and that is not the case (unless they have not bathed in quite a while.)

Being a person prone to anger and judgment (I was trained by the best,) I have to be especially careful because sometimes what I think I hear is merely my broken human nature wanting to reign down judgment upon someone. This problem is easy enough to sort out if I am willing to do so, and this is how:

  • I ask some questions of the thoughts or impressions I am getting.

    • Like, am I angry?

      That may easily be the case as virtually everywhere I go I hear false teaching. This is not the kind of stuff that sends people to hell; it’s subtle and often cloaked in so-called maturity, opinion, and tradition. Sadly, it is the same junk we have been nodding our agreement to for years.

      How can you tell if it is false teaching? The message or the messenger will not align themselves with God’s word. You ought to be able to ask yourself some questions about what is being said: Does it comply with God’s word? Is it opinion over God’s word? Who is getting the attention here? Does what they say to their audience convey the nature and character of God? This last one, means you need to understand the nature and character of God. I can tell you that contrary to the idea that only wants to kill people, He is more merciful and compassionate than you can imagine. But, you don’t just learn that from listening to mindless sermons, you have to experience it, like I did.

      One more thing under this category. You cannot remove the broken human from the equation, but there is good news, God knew that and the prophet Jonah is a prime example, for he wanted the Ninevehites dead. God’s plan, however, was to give them mercy and compassion once they repented.

    • If I can eliminate my human emotions then perhaps what I have left is some Godly form of message.

      The problem with that logic is that I will never be able to avoid who I am. I can, however, work wholeheartedly at focusing on God and what He wants to convey in hopes that I can keep the damage inside of me out of the picture.

      Having given messages to the body/church on several occasions, I heard myself often lamenting that life would be so much easier if the Holy Spirit gave something more than, “And the.” I was always reminded that my job was to trust Him. Having done that, and been told, sorry, but no more; the pastor who met me at the door said, I cannot find one fallible word in what you said. It was all very scriptural, but some members of the church complained and said that you made God sound angry.

      You see what happened there. I conveyed what I saw and felt in my spirit. I suppose that is what we do. To do otherwise would make us all sound and act like Fred Rogers, of the Mister Rogers show. While there is nothing wrong with Mr. Rogers it would be a very boring, bland world without color in it, and emotion tends to add color. Besides that, God made emotion and therefore it must be useful somehow. I know I love emotion when I worship. It makes me feel alive.

A person who foretells is one who predicts events that are to come. Here again having a solid background in end times events you could easily be telling people future events merely by integrating scripture in your conversation. What makes this work is Revelation 19:10 where it says that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The word, testimony is the Greek word marturia and means simply evidence given. Where do we find anything like that? The four gospels, for that, is precisely what they are, a testimony of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the act of sharing the life of Christ then becomes prophetic and falls under the category of an inspired speaker, to say the least.

If most of this has passed you by with no understanding on your part, that is because you are lacking a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is easily resolvable by asking Him to come into your life and make His home there. He will, and, He will never leave you or forsake you.

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