Saturday, July 15, 2017


Holy Fire In The Fireplace
    “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”  Matt 24:12-14
    “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.”  Ex 13:21
    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.  “And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire.” Deut 4:12
    “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? Solomon said the ways of God are past finding out.  Campbell spoke of Jehovah the Father, Jehovah the Son, Jehovah the Holy Spirit – emphasizing the Godhead.  The Greeks had a word for it: perichoresis.  From eternity God has internally related, loved, communicated with Himself.  Remember: He is GOD.  This is certainly a mystery, which the Christian describes in terms of the Trinity - Father, Son, Holy Spirit.  Col. 2:9.
    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.  We have the Four Gospels.
    “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   

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


I Am The Church    [adapted from Dave Mason]
    I am the Church Triumphant - People redeemed by the Lamb of God.  [Col. 2:13-15.]  (“God made you alive with Christ.”)
    Jesus said: “I will build My church...I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.”  [Matt. 16:18-19.]
    “For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”  Col 1:13-14 (NLT)
    “And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”  Matt 8:11
    “After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.  And they were shouting with a mighty shout, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”  Rev 7:9-10 (NLT)
    I am the Stone which Daniel saw, cut out without hands, filling the whole world.  I am the Kingdom which can never be destroyed.  I was born in the streets of Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost spoken about in Acts 2.

    I am millions (and billions) of believers living and dying faithfully for the sake of Christ Jesus over the past 2,000 years.  I am also the men and women of faith who will live in the future before our Lord Comes Again.  [Rev. 7:9-17.]

    I am Peter, Barnabas, and Paul.  I am Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Phoebe, Lois and Eunice.  I was there in a room in Jerusalem as tongues of fire landed on the 120 disciples.  I spoke in languages never learned.  3,000 people “obeyed the gospel” that day, responding to the message of hope & salvation which Peter preached.  Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled.  God’s New Covenant is now in effect!

    I am the souls of those persecuted, crucified, burned at the stake, imprisoned, beaten, and tortured.  I am the souls of those under the altar who had been killed for the faith, shouting out to the Lord: “Almighty Lord, faithful and true!” [Rev. 6:9-11.]

    I met in the Temple at Jerusalem for a while, growing to be 100,000 or more.  Many beautiful buildings have housed me and my people.  I am a kingdom not made with hands.  I am a kingdom not of this world.  I am the first fruits of the glory to come in Eternity.

    I am a Bible study in a home in the remotest jungle of Africa.  I am a group meeting in a Chinese prison.  I am 10,000 people lifting up their voices to God in a rented football stadium.  I am Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, and I am a teacher helping a child to draw a picture of the prodigal son.  I am a preacher comforting a family at a graveside.  I am a helper delivering the Lord’s Supper to a homebound person.

    I am the women’s class, the senior citizens, and I am the family who learns a new language to go to a foreign country to preach Christ.  I am a group of teenagers helping a neighbor.  I am 50 people meeting in a steelworker’s building.  1 am 250 people constructing a new church-building.  I am 450 people stepping out in faith to buy land with the dream of reaching their community with the gospel of Christ Jesus.

    I am a clerk in a supermarket, a nurse in the ER, out on the highway directing traffic, a teacher in the public schools, a lawyer, a judge, a steelworker, many things.  But I am a pilgrim journeying on my way to Heaven.  [Hebrews 11:13.]

    I am the church - the Body of Christ founded upon the Rock which is Jesus The Truth.  I am being renewed every day even as my outward body is perishing.  My light and momentary troubles are achieving an eternal glory that outweighs them all.  I keep my eyes on the unseen, not on the visible.  This world is temporary, but our God is Eternal.  [Col. 3:10.]

    I am all those called together from the world.  I am Jew, Greek, man, woman, slave, freeman, from every nation in the world, and I speak a babble of languages.  Yet I am One in Christ.  I am all of us who have been baptized into the One Body by the same Holy Spirit.  [1 Cor. 12:13]

    I am a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a unique and distinct group of people faithfully following Jesus the Master.  I am blood-bought, baptized, Spirit-filled, cross-carrying, message-proclaiming, hope-giving, regenerated and renewed people-of-God.  [1 Peter 2:9-10.]

        May I remain faithful until He Comes Again.  Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess: Jesus Is Lord!  To Him be the honor and glory and power both now and forevermore!!! 
                I am the church.  [Rev. 19:1-10.]