Sunday, April 27, 2014


The Ministry of Christ and Our Ministry.

    The Church throughout the world echoes the angel’s message to the women: “But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matt 28:5-6

    God the Father raised Jesus and made Him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death.  

    “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”  Heb 10:23-25


    1. Jesus’ first recorded sermon.

    “And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
Luke 4:17-19

    Context: “Luke’s audience doesn’t divide the world into sacred vs. secular or religious vs. political. For them, life is integrated. And for them, these “religious” words from Isaiah have a powerful and “political” meaning: because they see themselves as oppressed by the Roman occupation, Jesus’ words suggest that His “good news” describes a powerful change about to come—a change that will rescue the people from their oppression. His fellow Jews have long been waiting for a savior to free them from Roman oppression. Jesus tells them their hopes are about to be fulfilled. But then, just as people speak well of Jesus, He lets them know their expectations aren’t in line with God’s plans. He tells them not to expect God to fit into their boxes and suggests the unthinkable: that God cares for the Gentiles, the very people who are oppressing them! They aren’t too pleased by this.”  The Voice


    a) Preach Good News Gospel to the poor.  Poor: material, moral, spiritual (don’t know God’s purpose).  God has a purpose for your life. 

    “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”  John 6:37


    b) Comfort the brokenhearted.  Everybody has a hidden wound.  Life is often out of our hands.


    c) Proclaim freedom for those in prison.  “I feel trapped.  I am imprisoned by fear.”  Practice the presence of Christ.  God is with me.  The more you learn of God (and His Love), the less fear you have of life.  1 John 4:17-19


    d) Recovery of sight to the blind.  “I am fearful of tomorrow.”


    e) Liberty for the oppressed.  “Speak up for those who have no voice for themselves.” 


    2. God says “I will bless you when you bless others.”

    “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'  Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'   And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'” Matt 25:3 4-40


    3. God’s commission to Paul.

    “I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open the their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”
Acts 26:17-18

    “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Eph 2:10

    Good works are the result, not the cause, of salvation. God's Spirit, working through a transformed heart, produces a good life.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Jedsus Had To Die

Jesus had to die that I might live!

    “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”  Romans 5:6 (NKJV)

    1. In the Cross of Christ I glory.

    Christianity does not exist without the Cross and we are unable to free ourselves from our sins on our own.  The forgiveness that God gives us is not the same as cancelling a debt that we have with Him.  The forgiveness that God gives us are the wounds of His Son raised up on the Cross.  Throughout history the church has preached the Cross as a visible symbol of the Act of God in Christ to purge the sins of the world (Hebrews 1:3 “when He had by Himself purged our sins”).  “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

    And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Cor 2:1-2 (NKJV)


    2. “I live by faith.”

    “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  Gal 2:20 (NKJV)

    This is not human nature which is crucified, but the dodgy side of life.  I no longer live under the control of sinful passions, but I live a crucified life in union with Christ.

    “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.” Eph 1:7-8 (NKJV)


    3. A Living Hope!

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  1 Peter 1:3-5 (NKJV)

    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 (NKJV)


    4. Reconciled to God through Christ.

    “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight-- 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”  Col 1:19-23 (NKJV)

    “Jesus has forgiven me of my past sins and failures. Hanging onto them makes as much sense as sending in payments once your car is paid off. It's paid.  Done.  Gone.  Be thankful, face forward, and walk on.” Patrick Mead


    5. Open the door of your heart to Jesus!

    “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”  Rev 3:20-21 (NKJV)

    God does not force anyone to obey Him, but He keeps knocking to ask us to respond to His love for us.  We love Him because He first loved us.


Prayers From Tiberias


R. D. ICE 6/99

"'Chipova Dio...' All-powerful God, who permits us to join together our united voices in prayer, and who promises that when two or three are come together in Your Name, You will grant their prayers. Fulfill now the desires and requests of Your servants, in a way that will most bless them. In this world please give us wisdom concerning Your truth, and in the world to come eternal life in Your presence. Through Christ our Lord, Amen."


The third song will be the Communion Hymn: "Upon The First Day Of The Week." Christ raised from death on the day following the Sabbath - Sunday, the first day of the new week.

A word of explanation. The tradition of this Church is that every Sunday is Communion Sunday. We believe it was so in the early Church. Some of the names applied to this Communion are: Vespermangon; Lord's Supper; Holy Meal; Eucharist. This will be the high point of the worship service. HE has overcome the world! HE has won the victory! We worshipers believe that this Holy Meal ties each one of us to every other Christian in the Universe as each one shares in the bread and wine of the Communion.

We will see the tradition of simultaneous communion. Each communicant has already received an individually sealed portion of the bread and wine (an outgrowth of the AIDS epidemic of the past). The bread is unleavened. The wine is unprocessed grape juice with only enough fermentation to prevent spoilage."

Morris Evans has come to the symbolic table and is the Unifier of this Holy Meal.

Again we inject a note of explanation. This Church makes no sharp distinction between clergy and laity. Steve is an electrician; Morris is a paramedic. Both are church-elders, as is Rod, who is also a Preaching Minister. As brothers and sisters in the Family of God all work together for the common good of all. "He lets us rule as kings and serve God His Father as priests" (Revelation 1:6).

Morris lifts up his hands and speaks: "As we join together in this Holy Meal, we remember our Lord who died on Old Earth many centuries ago. Jesus died as God's Sacrificial Lamb, to expiate the sins of the world of humans and to put us right with God. We are here today to praise Him and to show Him our love! We honor Jesus for Who He Is and for What He Did! We take this bread - by faith, His body. We take this wine - by faith, His blood. As the Scripture says: 'For until the Lord comes, you proclaim His death whenever you eat this bread and drink the cup.' And now Stan Chenowitz will lead us in the prayer of thanks."

Stan comes from the right to stand at the podium. He lifts up his hands and speaks.

"We praise You, O Lord our God! While we were estranged from You because of our sins, You reached out to us by sending Jesus! We are so thankful for Your blessings! Touch this bread - to us the body of Christ by our faith. Touch this wine - to us the blood of Christ by our faith. Touch our lives, and make us one in Christ - we are the Body of Christ. We pray in the Name of Jesus, Amen."

Now attention shifts back to Morris Evans at the Table. The entire congregation waits in anticipation, holding in their hands the individual portions of bread and wine. Morris lifts his individual portions as high as he can reach, holding them for a moment. Then he lowers his arms and speaks.

"This is My body, which is for you. Do this in memory of Me."

As Morris puts the individual portion of bread in his mouth, simultaneously so do each of the communicants.

Again Morris speaks.

"The wine which is this cup is God's New Covenant, sealed with My blood. Whenever you drink it, do it in memory of Me."

Morris puts the individual portion of wine in his mouth and so do the communicants simultaneously."

We remind you that the bread and wine are encapsulated in individual portions. One pops the whole thing into the mouth, bites through the capsule, and swallows the contents. As we said, this began during the AIDS crisis on Earth. Actually, this works quite well in a crowd like this. There is nothing to dispose of. And, it permits us to follow the example of the early Church who celebrated the Holy Meal regularly. This Church emphasizes the memorial /commemorative /celebration purpose of the Lord's Supper.

Now Frank Miller, a church elder, comes to the podium to lead the closing prayer.

"Bless, O Father, these who have come to give their lives to You. Bless them and make them a blessing to others. And now, may the Lord Himself, who is our source of peace, give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all! In the Name of Jesus, Amen."

Friday, April 4, 2014

Jesus the Suffering Servant

Jesus the Suffering Servant of God.

    “And God said: “Let Hollywood produce movies about the Bible.  And let them include controversy which will cause people to look to Me and what the Bible says.  And it was so.”

    Noah believed God and built the Ark.  Noah warned people of God’s wrath for 100 years.  God put a Rainbow in the skies.


    1. JESUS is:

    1) The Great King.  John 18:37

    2) The Descendant of David.  Acts 2:29-31

    3) The Suffering Servant.  Isaiah 53

    “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 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 1:22-24 (NKJV)

     “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."  John 12:32 (NKJV)

    Christ on the Cross seems weak to the world.  Yet the FACT of the Cross & Resurrection is God’s way of saving people.  At the same time the Cross & Resurrection is God’s judgment on the unbelieving world of sin & evil.

    “Lifted high on Your Cross, O Lord, You have raised up Adam and the whole of fallen nature.  O You who love mankind whom You created, we ask You for Your strength from above to fill us with Life.”  (from an old prayer.)

    “Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.”  Romans 5:18 (NKJV)

    So the grace of Christ far exceeds our inheritance from Adam.  For by grace not only is Adam’s offence covered and our bondage to death overthrown, but the sins of the whole world as well.  But the saving gift of Jesus Christ must be received and grasped by a life of faith.  [note Hebrews 1:1-3.]


    2. Christ suffered.

    “As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek"; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”
Heb 5:6-8 (NKJV)

    “The place in the Scripture which he read was this: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth.  In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth."  So the eunuch answered Philip and said, "I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?"  Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.” Acts 8:32-35 (NKJV)


    3. We suffer.

    “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Heb 12:1-2 (NKJV)

    “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra--what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”  2 Tim 3:10-12 (NKJV)

Jesus was tempted as we are

Jesus was tempted as we are.

    “Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.” Mark 1:12-13 (NKJV)

    At once following His baptism, the Spirit made Jesus go into the desert to spend forty days being tempted by Satan.  This was no make believe, but a severe time of testing!  The wild animals and the angels imply complete isolation from human contact during this period, yet under the eyes of a watchful Father.  Even though Jesus did not sin, He experienced every kind of temptation which a human being may face (see Heb. 4:15).  Some may argue that Jesus could not have faced such temptations as we have today, but this is incorrect.  A little thought will show that there are no new temptations, but only the same old ones that the Devil has been using through the centuries.  Jesus experienced to the fullest the entire human existence, but without sin.  Further, He is our Pioneer who has already undergone both death and the resurrection from the dead!


    1. Jesus defeated the Devil.

    Even though Mark does not directly state that Jesus defeated the Devil, it is obvious that He did (compare Mark 3:27).  The way Mark mentions the temptation implies that this event was a preparation or probation for the work of public ministry.  Jesus battled the prince of evil personally, before beginning His war with sin, evil, and sickness in the world.  (Of course, Satan continued to tempt Jesus up to the point of actual death.  Compare Mark 8:11; 10:2; 12:15; etc.  All of this is part of God’s act in Christ to set us free, as Paul describes it in Rom. 8:1-4.)

    Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit had supernatural ability to do many things.  The Devil tempted Jesus to use His strength to defeat the Plan of God.  Jesus countered by quoting Scripture.


    a) Stones into bread.  “But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."  Matt 4:4 (NKJV)


    b) Angelic protection.  “Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God." Matt 4:7 (NKJV)


    c) World domination.  “Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve."  Matt 4:10 (NKJV)


    2. We are all tempted.

    “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matt 26:41 (NKJV)

     “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Heb 4:15-16 (NKJV)

    “Our High Priest understands our weaknesses, our human pull toward sin, because He faced all of the same testings we do. He was tempted with all the essential aspects of sin, such as lust, greed, unforgiveness, and dishonesty. This makes Him compassionate as our High Priest (Heb 5:2). • yet He did not sin: Jesus is unlike the earthly high priests, who had to make offerings for their own sins before they could make offerings for the people (Heb 5:3; 7:26-28; see also 1 Pet 2:22-23).  Heb 4:16 The verb translated let us come could be translated to indicate ongoing action: let us continually come. • As our compassionate High Priest, Jesus has opened the way for people to enter God's presence boldly (see Heb 6:19-20; 10:19-23), where we can obtain His mercy and grace to help us when we need it most” —NLT Study Bible

    “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7 (NKJV)

    “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”  1 Cor 10:12-13 (NLT)

    “It is the supreme discovery of life that we need not punish ourselves in a hopeless effort to earn God’s forgiveness.  It is freely offered to all. We must gladly accept His gift of love on the terms offered.  A grateful heart will make the best effort to please Him.  No longer do we as criminals seek by our own strength to escape our chains, rather as faithful children we do our best to please our loving Father.”  J.H.Waddey

The Baptism of Jesus

The Baptism of Jesus by John

    “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14 (NKJV)

    In John's drama, Jesus shares the same essence as God; the Son existed before time, and he was the agent of all creation. John anchors the divinity of Jesus in this ancient Jewish concept of Wisdom. The divine Wisdom that has existed from before time with God can now be known in Jesus Christ. In perhaps the most outrageous verse penned by an apostle, John writes that this Logos, this Wisdom, became flesh and lived among us as a human (John 1:14). What God is, the Logos (Word) is. The Logos is Jesus Christ.—NLT Study Bible


    1. The Baptism of Jesus.               

    “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?"  But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matt 3:13-17 (NKJV)


    a) The fullness of God = Trinity.

    Campbell spoke of GOD as Jehovah the Father, Jehovah the Son, Jehovah the Holy Spirit.  Here Jehovah the Son in flesh & blood is baptized by John.  Jehovah the Holy Spirit appears as a dove.  Jehovah the Father speaks from heaven. 

    John said: “And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God."  John 1:32-34 (NKJV)

    The Spirit of God hovered over the waters at Creation.  Now the Holy Spirit comes as a dove to anoint the Christ, the Son of God - the Human One - at the beginning of God’s new Vision of the Ages.  In His baptism the Eternal Son of God is revealed to all mankind.  Jesus did not need to be purified.  But Jesus came to make purification for the world, wash away sin, grant new birth, and reveal the Mystery of the Holy Trinity.


    b) Paul’s word of blessing.

    The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.” 2 Cor 13:14 (NKJV)

    Paul closes his letter with a prayer and blessing. He invokes the three persons of the Trinity, with the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ coming first. This is because we are always relying on Christ's sacrificial love, which reconciles us to God the Father and unites us through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit with all our fellow believers. • The love of God provides for our needs and graciously restores us to his family. • The fellowship of the Holy Spirit means our fellowship with the Spirit, who joins Christians together into a unity (Eph 4:3; Phil 2:1).—NLT Study Bible


    c) Living a new life.

    “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Eph 4:1-3 (NKJV)

    When people become believers in Christ, they are joined to Jesus Christ and begin to share in his experience and benefits, including his death and resurrection. Their old life dies with Christ, and they rise to new life by his power within them (see Rom 6:3-14).—NLT Study Bible

    “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind”  Phil 2:1-2 (NKJV)


    2. The Great Commission.

    “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.”  Matt 28:18-20 (NKJV)

    In the name of means entrance into a relationship and its benefits, which come to those who truly believe. • Father... Son... Holy Spirit: This is a formulaic expression for the nature of God as a trinity (see also 1 Cor 12:4-6; 2 Cor 13:14; Eph 4:4-6; 2 Thes 2:13-14; 1 Pet 1:2; Rev 1:4-6).—NLT Study Bible