Thursday, September 13, 2012

Holy Fire in the Fireplace

Holy Fire In The Fireplace

The One Spiritual Church is the FIREPLACE in which the Holy Fire of The Holy Spirit burns. Compare the Burning Bush. Exodus 3:2-6; Mount Horeb, Deuteronomy 4:15.

"We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat." Heb 13:10

"And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?" Luke 24:32

1. God must be in some sense like man if the two are to relate. In biblical language, man is made in the image of God.

"For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying:

"What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor,

And set him over the works of Your hands." Hebrews 2:5-7

a) Of course, that image has been distorted by sin, but we should be able to understand something of God from our knowledge of man. The characteristics of man necessary for relationship include abilities to love and hate, moral consciousness, emotion and language, and all of these are seen as reflections of corresponding characteristics of God. The Christian God is a personal God.

2. The essence of God includes relationship. How can this be, if God is one, and yet existed before He had created anyone to relate to? The answer is that from eternity God has related to Himself, loved Himself, communicated with Himself. Remember: He is GOD. This is certainly a mystery, which the Christian describes in terms of the Trinity.

The Bible speaks of Jesus Christ as one with God, as existing from eternity, and as active in creation; and it speaks of the Holy Spirit as existing with and being of one nature with the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. To say that the three are one accurately summarizes the biblical material, but brings problems in itself. Other writers have discussed these: here, we note only the insight it gives to the eternal love, communication and relationship in God. Note 2 Cor. 13:14.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen."

3. God is the One who is revealed in history. Thus we can see what God is like from what He has done. He is more often described as the God of Israel or the Father of Jesus Christ than in terms of His characteristics, so we can expect to understand Him best through accounts of His actions and through personal experience of His actions towards us. Thus it will often be more appropriate to describe God as One who
DOES something rather than One who IS something. Supremely, God is a God who Creates, who Loves, and who Saves. He is also a God who judges and destroys wickedness.

a) The supreme revelation of God in history is in Jesus Christ. ‘No man has ever seen God; the Only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has made Him known’ (Jn. 1: 18).

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." John 1:16-17

b) The question, ‘What is God like?’ is ultimately to be answered through a study of the person of Jesus Christ in the New Testament records.

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him." Col 1:15-16

"...who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," Heb 1:3

"Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor 3:17-18

"The victory is ours, and the battle is the Lord’
s. He packs a stronger punch then you ever could. One of my favorite expressions is, "The victory is ours, and the battle is the Lord’s." There have been many trials in my life, as there are in all of our lives. Jesus said that in the world we would have tribulation, but His exhortation was to be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world. James tells us to count it all joy when we have trials because these trials will form patience and other character traits of God in us." Linda Sommer

Change your heart and life

Repent Means To Change Your Heart And Life

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me." Psalms 51:10-11

1. It is OK to fail IF you repent and return to God.

"Here is the deal, sometimes in order to find the right path you have to start down the wrong one. What I mean by that is often our first step is a failure and it is through that failure that we get the perspective we need to find the right direction. Sometimes the first step has to be the "wrong" one because it isn’t until we try it that we get our eyes opened up to what God wants us to see and that would not have happened had our decision making frozen up and we had taken no steps at all. The path to success frequently passes through times of failure. That is a liberating idea because it helps us realize that success is not defined by a series of 100% correct decisions. If we think success requires that it will always elude us." Matt Dabbs

a) Godly sorrow renews our trust in God.

"For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter." 2 Cor 7:10-11

b) Faith is continually tested, purified, and refined.

"And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." But he said to Him, "Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death." Then He said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me." Luke 22:31-34

Jesus sees Simon Peter's denial as a violent attack by Satan. Jesus prays for Peter to endure. After his repentance and the Resurrection, Peter returned to Christ and was able to strengthen the early church.

2. Peter, A Man Of Faith.

"Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Matt 16:16-19

As first in confessing Christ, Peter got this commission before the rest; and with these "keys," on the day of Pentecost, he first "opened the door of faith" to the Jews, and then, in the person of Cornelius, he was honored to do the same to the Gentiles. —Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. Peter Restored And Confirmed.

"So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep." John 21:15-17

Some see this as an "official reinstatement" of Peter as an apostle; that he denied three times, therefore must confess three
times. But there is no proof Peter ever ceased to be an apostle, and his guilt is not greatly different from the others who also abandoned Jesus (compare John 16:32).

Take care
of My lambs. Three times Jesus repeats this [in different forms], showing He places His trust in this man [who certainly had a deep sense of guilt]. Peter was never the same after these things had happened to him.

Tend my sheep. The Christ again commissions him to work, "Tend my sheep." Not only the lambs, but he may look after the sheep of the fold, watch over the disciples of the Lord, young and old. Three times Peter had denied the Master; three times the Master questions his love; three times He gives him charge concerning his work. The questioning was painful, Peter was grieved, but the grief was wholesome, and Peter's whole life that followed bore proof of this discipline. His rashness was forever gone. He was the Voice of God at Pentecost.

God's Light Shines

God's Light Shines In The Darkness

"That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world." John 1:9

"Then Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness." John 12:44-46 (NKJV)

Columbus, OH, now has a Sri Sabab Hindu Temple close to the Alum Creek Church of Christ. A Jain Center of Central Ohio is not far away. (W.Va. has a Hare Krishna Temple near Moundsville.) But we should rejoice that HE who lives in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

1. A Gospel of words & power.

"Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus." And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:29-31 (NKJV)

2. Faith of our fathers, living still.

a) You have heard of the patience of Job. (James 5:11)

"Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock With an iron pen and lead, forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives,

And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another.  How my heart yearns within me!" Job 19:23-27

b) David was delivered by God.

"To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said: I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. The pangs of death surrounded me, And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears." Psalms 18:1-6 (NKJV)

3. We shine the Light of Christ into the world.

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." 1 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV)

"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." 1 John 1:5-7 (NKJV)

But If we. This is the other side of the test of fellowship. "If our lives are filled with the light of purity and holiness, this shows the truthfulness of our claims to fellowship with the Father and the Son." Fellowship with one another. John is not speaking about the fellowship of Christians with each other, but with the Father and His Son. The blood of Jesus. The blood symbolizes God’s act in Christ to set men free. Compare Rev. 7:14; 12:11; Heb. 9:12-14. Cleanses us. John uses the present continuous verb form to emphasize that living in the light keeps us in the fellowship where the blood of Jesus continuously makes us clean from sin. But if we walk in darkness, we lose this fellowship! [BSNT]

"Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" 1 Cor 10:14-16 (NKJV)

"When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? "  1 Cor 10:16 (NLT)

The Jerusalem Church


J. W. McGarvey, respected scholar of the church of Christ, believed the Jerusalem Church to be our model, since the Apostles themselves were the teachers and leaders. Jews from all over the world (2M) had come to Jerusalem for Passover and Pentecost. They had left homes and jobs behind and could devote their entire time to worship and study. With 3000 baptisms that first day (Pentecost) and many baptisms taking place every day, the Jerusalem Church probably grew to at least 100,000 members, before persecution scattered them. Somewhat like a "School of Preaching," both men and women were being prepared to go to all the world with the Gospel - Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, Crucified, Risen, Coming Again!

1. Who were these people?

Those in Jerusalem that Pentecost Sunday were committed people, men and women, believers in Jehovah. They had come to Jerusalem to worship God in the Passover and Pentecost. They knew the Bible - the Prophets, the Psalms, and the Law of Moses. They were expecting the Lord to do great things, but could not know what God would do.

a) Jesus had promised God would act.

"And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." Acts 1:4-5

b) Joel’s prophecy. Acts 2:16-21. "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel . And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My [Holy] Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and daughters shall prophesy... And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

c) Sins forgiven and life bestowed.

Hebrews 8:7-13. "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

Romans 4:6-8. "Just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works."

Romans 8:1-4. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the [Holy] Spirit."

2. From Pentecost to persecution.

"And that day about 3000 souls [people] were added to them." Acts 2:41.

"The number of men grew to about 5000." Acts 4:4.

"And the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith." Acts 6:7.

Perhaps to at least 100,000 members before persecution struck. "Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word." Acts 8:4

a) They all met together as a united group.

"So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:46-47

They met in rented facilities: The Jewish Temple. [Church-buildings did not begin until the 3rd century.]

They met every day. Great excitement, holy joy, praise and glory! Acts 2:46.

They ate the Lord’s Supper. From house to house. Acts 2:46.

They prayed and sang the Psalms. Acts 2:42.

They were personally united to Jesus Christ.

"To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Col 1:27

b) In matters of faith and practice, they learned and obeyed the word of God as the Holy Spirit spoke through the Apostles. "And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all." Acts 4:33

Willingness of God to Save

The Willingness of God to Save

The Bible records the history of real people doing real things. And God blesses those who believe in Him.

"By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace." Hebrews 11:31

"Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:25-26

1. Who was Rahab?

Rahab was the Great-grandmother of King David. She was a Canaanite. Josephus said she was an innkeeper. Certainly God directed the spies to her house. She acted on her faith. She risked her life by protecting the Jewish spies. Think what would have happened if the spies had been found hiding in her house. She and her family became part of the Jewish Nation.

"Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king." Matt 1:5-6

a) God ordered the destruction of Jericho.

"Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, "Go, view the land, especially Jericho." So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there." Josh 2:1

"And the men of Reuben, the men of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses had spoken to them. About forty thousand prepared for war crossed over before the Lord for battle, to the plains of Jericho." Josh 4:12-13

b) Rahab protected the spies.

"Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men: "I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath."

Joshua 2:8-11

c) God saved Rahab and all her family.

"But Joshua had said to the two men who had spied out the country, "Go into the harlot's house, and from there bring out the woman and all that she has, as you swore to her." And the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. So they brought out all her relatives and left them outside the camp of Israel." Josh 6:22-23

2. God uses tribulation in ways we cannot understand.

"But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows."

Mark 13:7-8

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33

"Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick." 2 Tim 4:20

"It makes no sense to claim that God could have created life without suffering if suffering of some form or another, to some degree or another, is built-in to life itself. Think, for example, of aging--all of us are aging, we are in a process that ultimately leads to a total physical and maybe even breakdown of our mind. Thus, the dimension of suffering is present throughout our lives." Sobrino

"We too must look at each trial by itself, instead of taking it in connection with the whole plan of our salvation, as if a traveller were to complain of the steepness and roughness of one turn in the path, without considering that it led him into green pastures, on the direct road to the city of habitation." —Jamieson- Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

The Church's One Foundation

The Church's One Foundation      song #623


The Church's One Foundation

Is Jesus Christ her Lord.

She is His New Creation

By Water and the Word.

From Heaven He came and sought her

To be His holy Bride

With His own blood He bought her,

And for her life He died.


Elect from every nation

Yet one o'er all the earth;

Her charter of salvation,

One Lord, one Faith, one Birth;

One holy Name she blesses,

Partakes one holy Food,

And to one Hope she presses,

With every grace endued.


     1. The Church is what God says She is.

    If you want to worship with a Spirit-filled church, be a Spirit- filled person (Romans 8:8-11).  Christ changed how human beings relate to God, not how God relates to human beings. The Church, visible and invisible, is God's mystery now revealed.  She - the Church - has the task of showing JESUS to the world.  She is given life by the Holy Spirit, clothed with His power and blessed with His promise of faithfulness: "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).

    "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."  Daniel 2:44

    "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins."

Col 1:13-14

    "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit."  1 Cor 12:12-13

    "Unity, not unvarying uniformity, is the law of God in the world of grace, as in that of nature. As the many members of the body compose an organic whole and none can be dispensed with as needless, so those variously gifted by the Spirit, compose a spiritual organic whole, the body of Christ, into which all are baptized by the one Spirit.—Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

    > Everyone has at least one spiritual gift. <

    2. Elect from every nation.

    "...praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."  Acts 2:47

    "And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,"  Acts 5:14

    "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"  Rev 7:9-10

    And there was a great crowd. This time John sees the Church Triumphant [God’s people in Eternity] as they live forever in the presence of God and his Throne. Notice that the Redeemed in Eternity are a Great Crowd, so many of them that they cannot be counted! THE WORK OF CHRIST IS NOT A FAILURE!

They are from EVERY race, tribe, nation, and language (see Col. 1:23). All those Jews who accepted Christ are included in this number (compare Acts 21:20). White robes. Symbolic of being free from guilt, of being holy, and of great happiness. Palm branches. Symbolic of happiness after a victory.  Our salvation. They shout their praise to God and to the Lamb. Note they look to GOD AND CHRIST as the source of their salvation.  All the angels. The chorus of heaven and Creation joins in the song of the Redeemed, as they praise God and the Lamb (compare Rev. 5:11).

                "I beheld -- the angels: who form the outer circle, while the Church, the object of redemption, forms the inner circle nearest the throne. The heavenly hosts ranged around gaze with intense love and adoration at this crowning manifestation of God's love, wisdom, and power." —Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary


Confessing Jesus the Christ as Lord

"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Tim 6:12

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you


He is the Human One! Son of God!

God is using JESUS to judge the World.

God raised JESUS from the dead as proof.

Satan works to distract us from God’s Act in Christ to put the world right with Himself. It is right to oppose sin - but if we shove Christ aside in the process - WHAT HAVE WE LOST! The very heart of the Gospel is THE MAN! THE HUMAN ONE! There could be no Kingdom without Jesus The King!

John the Apostle wrestled with deceivers who hated the doctrine that God the Eternal Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Books of 1,2,3 John, the Gospel of John, and Revelation bear witness to this. Anyone who will not confess the Incarnation is antichrist and heretic. The gnostics were doing this (2 John 7). And some in the church today say Jesus wore a disguise and was not flesh & blood at all. They also deny Jesus was tempted in every way that we are yet without sin. But this destroys the Atonement. The Lamb of God purged sin by His sacrificial death and resurrection. (Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:15-16)

Should there be a Confessing Movement in the church? YES! This is the ancient shout of the church. JESUS IS LORD! Crucified! Risen! Coming Again! Every knee shall bow! Every tongue confess! HE is Bridegroom. The Church is the Lamb’s Bride. In 1 Cor 15 Paul the Apostle shows Christ as the second Adam, federal head of the redeemed race of humans. He is Risen! We shall rise! New bodies, incorruptible, eternal. As we bore the image of the first Adam, flesh & blood, skin & bones - so shall we bear the image of the Risen Christ.

The Revelation: A vision. Christ Jesus. Dressed as a High Priest and a King. Voice like a wild-water river. The basic message of Revelation is the same as the rest of the NT. The Lamb opens the sealed scroll and puts into effect God’s Great Plan for the human race. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega. The Originator and Finisher. Was dead - now Alive forever!

But wait, we see all these dodgy lives. Has the church lost her way? Hear what the Spirit says to the churches. "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." Rev 3:5 Revive Your church, O God!

Revelation shows churches with many problems. It is in the context of struggle that God is working His Plan. Christians have hope in a world filled with despair. We struggle, but Jesus has overcome the world! If we could see as He sees, we would be amazed! And encouraged!

Jesus came as a male person. But His mission is for both male and female. Women of faith followed Him as well as men of faith. Perhaps the church has not always recognized this. In the upper room in Acts 1, both men and women were among the 120 there for the prayer meeting. And both women and men participated in choosing the replacement for Judas. On Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out on both sons and daughters. Philip had unmarried daughters who prophesied. Phoebe was a servant of the church. In Acts 5, both men & women became Christians. Paul wrote: "Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God."

(1 Cor 11:11-12) The man and the woman together (for both are essential) attain the pattern of redeemed humanity represented by the bride, the Church.

In the creation account, a rib is taken from Adam to produce Eve. Not a separate creation, but a companion counterpart for Adam. A prophecy is given that the Seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent. In the Childbearing, Mary by divine intervention becomes the Theotokos, the God-bearer. This is what some mean when they call Mary the mother of God. God Himself (Eternal Word) was coming into our World of Time to save the world (John 3:16-17). He - Eternal Word - took flesh & blood, skin & bones - while still remaining God. He became the Author & Finisher of Faith - to Save the world and bring LIFE! God’s great Plan was made before the creation of the world. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, " Eph 1:3-4

Gospel In The Lord's Supper

The Gospel in the Lord's Supper

"For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes." 1 Cor 11:23-26

1. The Lord's Supper for today's church.

"For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us." 1 Cor 5:7

In Christ's time, the daily meal in its simplest form consisted in eating bread and drinking a cup of wine. Into this one simple act, Christ gathered all the meaning of the ancient sacrifices and all the prophecies of His coming eternal kingdom. How appropriate that Jesus instituted this Holy Meal at the time of the feast of the Passover. Our Lord, with sovereign authority, brushed aside the old Passover in order to make room for the new.

As He broke the bread, so would our precious Lord be broken; and as the grape is crushed so that the juice may be poured forth, so would our precious Savior be crushed that His blood might be poured forth for our redemption. The cup speaks of the blood of Christ, which was shed for the remission of our sins; and the broken bread speaks of the broken body of our Lord, "by whose stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:4-5

2. Let's Examine the Meaning of the Lord's Supper

"For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes." 1 Cor 11:26

Not His life—though it was spotless. "Tempted as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15-16

Not His teaching—though never a man spake as He did. "God has spoken through the Son." Hebrews 1:1-3

Not His miracles—though He brought the healing balm of Gilead to lost mankind. Acts 2:22.

But His death! "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men (people) unto Me." John 3:14-15

His body—not glorious, but broken on the Cross. "but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." 1 Cor 1:23-24

His blood—not coursing through the veins of a king on a throne, but poured out for lost mankind. "how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Heb 9:14

3. The Lord's Supper confirms two things —His Death and His Second Coming.

God Himself paid the debt we could not pay. The Supper links the humiliation of the Cross with the royalty of the coming eternal Kingdom—the fact of the accomplished past and the promise of the assured future. It is the uniting of the believer's memory, which yet lingers around the Cross, and the believer's hope, which already rejoices in the coming eternal Kingdom. It is a sign as to the past, and is a seal as to the future.

4. Let's Examine the Sacredness of the Lord's Supper

It is the highest act of worship in the church, for with its observance we come nearest to the work and worship of heaven itself, where the Church worships God in the presence of the Lamb "slain from the world's foundation." Rev 13:8

"Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup." 1 Cor 11:27-28

"When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ?" 1 Cor 10:16 (NLT)

"All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen." Rev 1:5-6 (NLT)

We, the Church, join with all who worship in spirit (Spirit) and truth, of every tribe and tongue and nation. We lift Him up and we approach God our Father. When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim His death, Jesus our Lord, until He Comes in Glory! [1 Thess 4:14-18]




Your words have incredible power!


We get so caught up in our problems that we forget to come boldly to God’s throne of grace.  James does emphasize the negative.  “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.”  James 3:6 (NKJV) These words are true.  But Satan will try to use them to discourage you.


Scripture also emphasizes: Speak Life!  “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12-13 (NKJV)  And: “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  2 Cor 4:6 (NKJV)


 With your words, you set into motion the direction your life will go.


That’s why it is so important for us to get in agreement with God and speak the goodness, favor and blessing of God over our lives.  We say: “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.”  Jesus said: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” Matt 12:35 (NKJV)  When you speak words of faith and promise into your life (and into the life of others), you are actually calling out the potential which God has placed inside you.  

Your words have the power to propel you into your destiny.

So many times, people focus only on the negative things in life. They don’t realize that they have incredible gifts, potential and talents lying dormant, just waiting to be called into action. Speaking negative words is like dropping an anchor right where you are.  But when you begin to declare the blessings and favor of Almighty God, you’re pulling up that anchor and hoisting your sails. You’re positioning yourself to catch the winds of God’s favor.

Today, it’s time to declare, “I am a strong, equipped, empowered, anointed child of the Most High God. I’m not second-class. I’m not ordinary. I’ve been handpicked by the Creator of the universe. I have great things in my future!”  [compare:
“To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”  Rev 1:5-6 (NKJV)

When you speak life-changing words, the winds begin to shift in your direction. God fills those sails of faith and sets you on a greater course than you could have ever imagined.  [Do you think your faith is weak?  One father spoke to Jesus.  “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”  Mark 9:24   Even when we have doubts, this does not mean we have no faith.  God can and will increase our faith – if we but ask.]

Sometimes, it only takes one word — one encouragement — to ignite the greatness on the inside of you.

It’s time to put your shoulders back and begin to declare what God says about you is true.

Today is your day to get in agreement with God and declare that you are who Almighty God says you are.

Tap into the power of God’s promises. Declare His goodness! Speak life into your situation today. When you do, you’ll be amazed at where God takes you.  And where you will be five years from now can be seen in what you are saying today.


Trials - The Bridge to Your Breakthrough

There are some reasons to think Peter wrote 2 Peter just after Paul was executed at Rome (2 Peter 1:14), probably 67AD.

INTRODUCTION: Not until a Christian understands the purpose and value of trials will he attain to the life of an overcomer. Christians through the ages have asked, "Why do Christians have to bear afflictions and face trials?" This is especially true of young Christians. Some have despaired because they did not know the answer and could not understand.

1. Sources of Trials

A. One's own faults and failures

"For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:" 1 Peter 2:20-21

B. From Satan by permissive will of God (Job 2:3-6)

C. Directly from God


"But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear." Phil 1:12-14

Appointment of God

"...that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know." 1 Thess 3:3-4

2. Reasons for Trials (Those whom God uses most are usually tried the most.)

To test our faith (Genesis 22:1) Abraham & Isaac.

To work patience (Romans 5:3, 4; James 1:2, 3)

"Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole." Job 5:17-18

Yields fruit of righteousness

"Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Heb 12:11

Glorifies God

"Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?" 1 Peter 4:16-17

Produces praise, honor, glory

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love." 1 Peter 1:6-8

3. CONCLUSION: When the Christian comes to the realization that this world is not his portion and that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in Him, then he is in position to have the right outlook on life. Christ did not say that Christians would not have afflictions, but He did teach that "our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17).

"But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" Acts 7:55-56

"And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." Rev 22:12-14