Dead Raised UP, Inheritance

How are the Dead Raised up?

But some man will say, how are the dead raised up?”

1 Corinthians 15:35

Have you ever asked this question, “how are the dead raised up?” It is the age-old question through the centuries that had many captivated as to the answer. Is there life after death is the other question that is related to the dead being raised up. During my lifetime as a Christian to date this topic may have only been preached a few times. One is so consumed about living and not dying, yet death is all around us. Even in my youth I have seen death. The death of a beloved animal, or family member and friends. When Job was going through his trial and complaining, God asked Job these questions.

Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?


If there is anyone acquainted with death is God and his son Jesus Christ. The word grieve means to inflict or afflict pain. It’s origin from the Hebrew word is “yagon” and it is associated with the word agony. We should remember that God was so grieved with the wickedness of man to do evil that the Lord God said in Genesis chapter six in verse six, “and it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Read the rest of the story in Genesis chapter six. I believe the hardest thing for a human to do is to die to their own self will, yet that is exactly what Christ did on the cross for each of us. He died that we might have life. We are so consumed with our own life that we forget that death is knocking at the door if we do not address it for whatever is not of faith is sin [see Romans 14:23]. There can be no doubt in your life for you to lose the power of God to act on your behalf. The life of the Christian is totally based upon faith, and that faith carries with it the power of God to perform miracles in our life.

The first man Adam was a living soul while the last Adam who is Christ is a life-giving spirit. Christ is the Fountian of life, and He gave that life to others. And here comes the rub that most people ignore, it is that one must die to their own self will in order to live for Christ. Our self-will is what gets us into trouble. We do not want to give it up. We do not want to surrender. Yet God is asking us to do just that. Paul states that the body is for the Lord and the Lord for the body [see 1 Corinthians 6:13]. Thus, when we read verse 36 of 1st Corinthians, we may begin to understand just a little about its meaning.

Thou fool, that which thou sow is not made alive, except it die;”

1 Corinthians 15:36

What did Jesus say about his own sacrifice? “Verily, I say unto you, except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bringeth forth much fruit,” [ see John 12:24]. What did Jesus mean by saying this? The answer is in the next verse of 25 in John chapter 12. If you love your life, you will lose it, for it is in your will to love your life more than anyone else. In otherwards your pride of life will bring you down like Lucifer who exclaimed, ” I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” Know that you can play right into the hand of Satan by doing the same and exalting yourself above the stars of God. Judgement is here and now. Jesus stated, “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out,” [John 12:31]. Walking in darkness means you do not know where you are going, but the Bible tells us this is death. The judgement that is spoken of is here now because that judgement was upon Jesus Christ who bore our sins upon the cross. Think about it, it was death for Christ but to those who believe it is justification.

Satan the prince of this world will be cast down. It is God who giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed its own body [see 1 Corinthians 15:38]. All flesh is not the same flesh Paul states in the next verse of 1st Corinthians 15:39, and so is the resurrection of the dead. The whole later chapter of 1st Corinthians 15 should be read. It is Jesus himself who restored death to life. There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body. The natural body was sown in corruption, and it is raised in incorruption. Look at verse 45 of 1st Corinthians 15.

And so, it is written, the first man, Adam, was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a life-giving spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:45

The natural becomes a life-giving spirit. We start in the natural but end up in the spiritual. This is our inheritance through Jesus Christ. Those in Christ will bear the image of the heavenly body. We shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [see 1 Corinthians 15:52]. What a day that will be. Death will be swallowed up in victory. Our inheritance at that point will be final, for we will have received a heavenly spiritual body. This is the earnest expectation we wait for, those who belong to Christ in faith. The fall of Adam has brought vanity to all creation. [see Romans 8:20]. Paul tells us in Romans 8 verse 21, that creation itself will also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. How marvelous is God to even consider all living creation? Paul states that the whole creation groaned and travail in pain waiting for the redemption of the body.

This is the hope we have as Christians, the deliverance of our natural body to a heavenly body. For Christ is the head of the body and all things has been put under His feet [see Ephesians 1:22]. We can now understand Paul better when he exclaims that “Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” We gain Christ provision of eternal life from death itself and a redemption of the body at a future date. But we must die to our own self-will and follow Christ on the road of love. With the Holy Spirit as our helper to point us in the right path, and to always pray with all supplication unto the Lord. We ask and receive to the fullness we have in Christ Jesus, for greater is He that is in us than He that is in this world, [ 1 John 4:4]. We can sing that wonderful hymn written by E. M. Bartlett, “Victory in Jesus.” Yes, He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood. His precious blood’s atoning gave humanity life over death.

I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood’s atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.

O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about His healing,
Of His cleansing pow’r revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, “Dear Jesus,
Come and heal my broken spirit,”
And somehow Jesus came and bro’t
To me the victory.

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Joy, Joyful Noise

Make a Joyful Noise

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.”

Psalms 100:1

When was the last time you made a joyful noise unto the Lord? Seriously! Has anyone ever asked this question of you? I have never had anyone ask me this question, so I think it may be a question that is overlooked. Our minds today are on other things and some things are negative and would take us down a different road of irritation and dissatisfaction. I live by an Elementary school and every recess I hear screams of joy when they first run out onto the playground. Remember the holy laughter movement of the Spirit? Have you read the definition from Wikipedia? Wiki states it is “a religious behavior in which individuals spontaneously laugh during church meetings.” I got a good laugh out of that definition, for I know that some churches would frown upon this definition. What about the quotes we see on plaques and fabric that say “Live, Laugh, Love?” Some use that as a reminder that our body needs some good medicine.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dried the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22

No one wants to have dried up bones, for it is the reference for dying. It is associated with deprivation and death like in the valley of dry bones in Ezekial chapter 37. God asked Ezekiel in chapter 37, verse three, “Can these dry bones live?” The answer is “Yes.” God told Ezekiel to prophesy upon these bones in verse 4 of Ezekiel 37. If you are feeling dry and parched, you may need a refreshing of the Holy Spirit. You can even ask God to give you the spirit of joy in laughter even though some may think you strange to even bother God with such a question.

“Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.”

Psalms 126:2

Let us remember what the Lord hath done. . . He hath done great things. We may need a miracle ourselves and desire to see the Lord work through our trials. If you find yourselves in this situation, then break out with singing and praise to God for He is good, and His mercy is everlasting to all generation. He has turned our captivity into joy. So, no matter what situation you are in, joy is just around the corner when we lift up our voices in praise to the Lord. Let our mouth be filled with laughter and our tongue filled with singing. When you are dry and parched, then it is time to go to the word of God and get revived in the Spirit, for the word is a living word of hope. This is what Peter said in 1st Peter chapter one, verse three.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

1 Peter 1:3

It is a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, hallelujah. This is something to shout about and get it down into our heart. Look at verse 5, “who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Just remember that your trial of faith is much more precious than gold to our Lord. Let us see with the eyes of faith forever, for it is a living hope and not a dead hope. That is why the word is nigh thee even in thy mouth. The word is a living word, and it is not dead. Being filled in the Spirit is a part of our inheritance that God has given us, and we are kept by it. May your soul be lifted up in the joy of the spirit of the Lord. You need not be ashamed of the joy of laughter. Even Smith Wigglesworth knew that people who were receiving the Holy Spirit for the first time would break out in laughter before speaking in tongues. God knows what each individual needs and He works it through us by His spirit.

Know ye that the Lord, he is God; it is he who hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”

Psalms 100:3

It is God who created us, and we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Therefore, we will enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. When you have your prayer time, have you ever tried to enter His courts with Praise? If you have not, then do so. . .for you will find your spirit in the presence of the Lord and you will find yourself standing on holy ground. Like the story of Moses in Acts chapter 7 and when you get down to verse 51 where it states, “do not resist the Holy Spirit as they did.” We too, are not to resist the Holy Spirit of God, for it was after we believed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. That promise is the down payment of our inheritance, which is the Holy Spirit. This is until the redemption of the purchase possession unto the praise of His glory [see Ephesians 1:14]. What did Jesus say in the Gospel of John in chapter 12?

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.

John 12:32

Oh! Let us make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye people of the Lands and He will draw us close to Him. Sing praises to the Holy one for He is our healer and salvation. For He has led us out of captivity from Satan’s hand into the ever-loving hand of God. “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; and God” [see Ephesians 2:14].

It is through the Holy Spirit that we can enter into His courts with praise. We start in the flesh and end up in the Spirit. I have witness this in many services and healing crusades. God will draw us close to us when we lift up our praise unto him. No matter what situation you are in right now this moment, lift up your voice in praise to God and be blessed by the Spirit of God. Don’t forget to ask and receive what you are asking for such as laughter and joy. Rejoice in the Lord!

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Armor of God

The Warrior’s Armor

Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Ephesians 6:11

The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light exclaims the apostle Paul in Romans 13:12. I have not heard anyone preach about putting on the armor of light, but I have heard preaching about the armor of God. A warrior is one who specializes in combat. The term warrior may bring back thoughts of the Middle Ages when the Roman Catholic Church brought an order of knights to a religious military order known as the Crusaders. What does it mean to be a Christian warrior? First of all, let us remember that a real soldier has had hours of basic training in combat warfare and have learned all about the enemy tactics. The Spirit-filled believer knows that their helper comes from the Lord God. They walk in the spirit and not in the personal desires of their own flesh. They have set themselves aside for the Lord’s service. A Christian knows what defiles a man.

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Mark 7:22

A Christian may battle their own demons when it comes to their own heart. These personal battles must be fought through personal prayers through the Spirit and released in order for the Holy Spirit to rule a believer’s life. The Christian warfare that he or she fights, is a battle against spiritual wickedness in high places as Paul tells us in Ephesians chapter 6 in verse 12.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ephesians 6:12

First of all, our battle is not against flesh and blood in the natural world. This means we do not fight in the physical against anyone. This can be a hard thing to do since we are driven by emotions to fight in the physical by what we feel emotionally. A Christian puts their life in God’s hand and does not walk alone. The Holy Spirit is with them every step of the way when their eyes are upon the Lord. The battleground is the world, for not everyone is a Christian and will go their own way by following their own will. Paul tells us the fight is in high places which means in the heavenlies. This means that it is a spiritual battle that is taking place for the souls of men in this world. This may include Christians who are not walking in the will of God.

For example, I can remember how accusations can take place among the body in the church where certain individuals went against an individual and wanted to take them down from all authority within the church. I can remember sitting in a meeting when those in leadership wanted me to not befriend this individual. Let me make it clear that our Lord stands on our behalf in any battle that is being fought. I sat at this meeting grieving in the Spirit and tears flowed down my face. I could not stop crying. But God knew the heart of these men and women. The accusations were diffused, and the subject changed. It was the Holy Spirit who worked on the minds and heart of the leadership. When you can witness this yourself, you begin to see with new eyes and understand what it means to be in a spiritual battle and what defiles a man.

A warrior must stand in the truth of God’s word and not in any other word. When Paul tells us to stand having our loins girded about with truth [Ephesians 6:14], this means to practice tucking up the longer skirt in order to not be hampered in the battle. In First Peter chapter one in verse 13, Peter states, “grid up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” It is the revelation of Jesus Christ that is the hope of our calling, and it is brought to us by the grace of God. Our minds are to be girded with the truth of Jesus Christ. This will prepare us for the difficult or challenging circumstances in life that we may face. This has been known as the belt of knighthood which symbolizes the purity and honor you have through Christ. Then we put on the breastplate of righteousness as we stand in Christ righteousness and not in our own righteousness.

That I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

Philippians 3:9

Our righteousness is through faith in Christ Jesus, and it is not our own righteousness. The apostle Paul said, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth,” [see Romans 10:4]. In verse three of Romans Chapter ten Paul explains that Israel was ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, for they have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. Let us make sure that we are not working for our own righteousness and become ignorant of God’s righteousness like Israel. It is through faith in Christ only that we received righteousness, and this becomes our breastplate before our feet is shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Are you ready to walk in the gospel of peace? Are you walking in the good news of Jesus Christ who came to bring salvation to all man? This is the everlasting gospel where Jesus died for our sins and was raised up from the dead for our justification. Christ is the object of our faith. Are we ready to preach the good news? Are we ready to testify what Christ has done for us?

What will quench the fiery darts of the wicked? Is it not our faith? Yes, it is the shield of faith in Christ Jesus that will quench the fiery darts of the wicked [see Ephesians 6:16]. Are we ready to walk in Christ in faith and preach the good news to our friend and neighbor? The word is neigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach, states Paul in Romans 10:8. As we take the helmet of our salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. It is Jesus who was perfect and who became the author of eternal salvation to all who would believe and obey [see Hebrews 5:9]. The word of God is the sword of the Spirit for it will discern our thoughts and what is in our hearts.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12

The word of God is our sword in every battle that we enter. This is the warrior’s weapon the word of God spoken in truth by the Spirit of God. We must gain revelation to its true meaning in our own life. The apostle Paul was a warrior for God and had the armor of God on and he knew where he stood in Christ. He was hindered from reaching the church at Thessalonians. Paul stated it was Satan that hindered him [see 1 Thessalonians 2:18]. Paul was bold in speaking the gospel of God and it was without deceit [see 1 Thessalonians 2:3]. We can also be hindered by Satan; therefore, we must pray with all prayers and supplication in the Spirit to be unhindered and watch with perseverance and supplication for all saints. Remember the word is neigh thee even in thy mouth. Put on the Lord Jesus, for Jesus is the armor of God. Christ must live inside us, for our victory is in Christ. Whatever battle you may be in, remember you are not alone when you put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Standfast in the Lord who is the victor in every battle. That means you are standing in victory through Christ. Give thanks to the Lord, and “be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s,” [2 Chronicles 20:15].”

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 15:56

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Things were written down that we might have hope . . .

For whatever things were written in earlier times were written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.”

Romans 15:4

Things were written down that we might have hope. Do you have hope? What do you place your hope in? Is your hope in man, Governments’, or in your own personal strength? Every day we see the frailty of humanity and wonder how we can make it in this world. Yet, with all our striving to get ahead, we fall short and use ways and means that are not righteous to get ahead. Our efforts to achieve or obtain something may fall upon dead ears. There is no satisfaction in getting ahead it is just a fleeting moment in time. Maybe we should consider Mick Jagger’s words to the song “I can’t Get No Satisfaction.”

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no

When I’m drivin’ in my car
And the man comes on the radio
He’s tellin’ me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination

I can’t get no, oh, no, no, no
Hey, hey, hey, that’s what I say

I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction

In 1965, the Rolling Stone recorded this song. Why I bring it up may be a profound statement as the statement “maybe I think too much.” In the late 60’s and early 70’s everyone was questioning what is their purpose in life? The counter political movement came on the scene to end war in Vietnam. Today, we are seeing a movement to end gun violence after the shootings of 19 children in Uvalde, Texas. There is no satisfaction in gun violence like there is no satisfaction in the war in Vietnam. Our future generation is in a quandary. Today, inflation rate in America is at an all-time high of 8.5%. Prices for housing and gas are at an all-time high. There is no satisfaction in the current economic conditions. Some say history is repeating itself. Let us remember that it was all written down in books for our learning, yet have we heed the warning signs.

Maybe we should remember Job who said that corruption was his father [see Job 17:14]. In the next verse Job exclaims, “And where is now my hope?” When you have dis-satisfaction, ask the question, “Where is my hope?” May our hope be in the Lord, and may we exclaim what King David said.

Deliver me in thy righteousness and cause me to escape; incline thine ear unto me and save me.  Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: Thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.

Psalms 71:2-5

The apostle Paul stated that whatever was written in the early time was written down for our learning. An example would be the ten commandments in Exodus 20. The fact that God brought the children of Israel out of the house of bondage was amazing. The fact that He bore them up on eagle’s wings and brought them unto himself [see Exodus 19:4] showed He cared for them. This also speaks to separation from things that would keep them in bondage to where they could not see the light of day. What was it that Paul said earlier in chapter 13 of Romans? “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” The apostle Paul stated this after he had stated in his own words the reference to the ten commandments.

Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.”

Exodus 20:13-17
Ten Commandments monument at Oklahoma Capital

How can we live a peaceable life if these laws are not in place? Some do not want to be reminded. Let us remember that the Ten Commandment monuments were removed from public places all over America. In June of 2015, the Oklahoma capital had to remove the Ten Commandment monument since the state Supreme Court decided that the religious display on public property violated the Constitution. The point being that man being influence by another interpretation of the law change its meaning. I was told that any law in place is a matter on how man interpreted its writing. The universal standards of good and evil, right and wrong are being removed from the eyes of man but let us remember it is not removed from the eyes of the Lord God. These things are a reminder for our learning. Let us not be deceived or mislead by anyone.

Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.”

Proverbs 12:20

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light,” states Paul in Romans 13:12. We believe in hope for we see the vanity of men’s life. We see the grace of God and the gift by grace which is in Jesus Christ. By one man’s offense death reigned, by one man came life and the gift of righteousness. From one came judgment, from the other came righteousness and justification. It was because of offenses that Christ died. Our justification came by Christ’s blood on the cross. Christ resurrection is the power of God to atone for our sins, and to create a new man. This is why Christ died for all men. We are reconciled to God by the death of Jesus Christ. Do you know the facts of Christ, have you reckoned with what Christ has done for you, have you yielded yourself to Him, and have you obeyed by walking in his will?

Remember as a Christian, you do not walk alone. You walk with God. Paul states that we are laborers together with God in 1 Corinthians 3:9. As a farmer attends to his field, God will attend to us. We must allow time to feed upon His words and allow it to work upon our mind and heart. We must allow time to fellowship in the Holy Spirit through prayer and intercession. Seek and you shall find the answers in the word. Ask for understanding and He will open up the meaning of his words. The renewed man is a man walking in the Spirit and does not fulfill the desires of the flesh. A renewed man gives thanks to God for all things. A renewed man will keep himself from all bondage of sin and walk in the light of God’s will. It is through patience and comfort of the scriptures that we are given sight/knowledge of what is good and evil.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.  O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.”

Psalms 84:11-12

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Judgement seat of Christ

We must all appear before Christ

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

2 Corinthians 5:10

The truth will eventually come out, but do not think that God does not witness what is happening around the world. He hears the cry of the 19 children that were shot along with two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. This dreadful act has gripped us all since it was broadcast around the world. Last year in Houston alone there was 473 homicides. I saw leaders say that the gun is not a problem. Yes, a gun by itself is not a problem, but humans are a problem when they lose control of their own body and turn towards violent acts. Having grown up just outside Los Angeles in my youth, I am aware of crimes. Having seen my mother carry a gun, but never talked about it, yet I saw the gun on the coffee table as a young child while she was sleeping on the couch. This is not supposed to be an everyday occurrence. I never touched it. The Los Angeles Times reported that in the last 12 months 783 homicide deaths were reported in L.A. County. I don’t have to say more but to say that while Russia is at war in the Ukraine, here in the U.S. we are fighting our own private war with guns.

According to Philip Bump from the Washington Post, he stated that “the United States has consistently higher death tolls from firearms across age groups and consistently higher rates of firearm deaths,” [see Washington Post Online Site]. Have we become America’s gun exceptionalism in the world today? This is a question that will pave the path of many Americans. The real shock is that while baby formula manufacturing has stopped, firearm manufacturing has increased in America. I have heard through the years from those who lived outside of America say, “Americans are obsessed with playing with guns and reenacting the cowboy and Indian playact.” I personally wondered about this but shrugged it off. Maybe too many Americans are shrugging it off, but now the bullet points at all of us. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Lord’s Table and the importance of self-judgement. This is especially important for everybody of Christ in the Church in America. If you are a Christian, you will be judged on your works as a believer before the judgement seat of Christ. There is no glory in having infants grow hungry while carrying a gun for violence.

Do we have the confidence in God to deliver us from all evil? As I listen to the stories about the shooting, I would say yes, for some did pray while the incident was taking place.

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.  The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

Psalms 34:14-17

We must labor for peace and do the good work of the Lord. We must labor for souls to be reconciled to the Lord. This is a great ministry that we as believer’s are a part of. The ministry of reconciliation is now available for all who mourn, for all who need peace, for all who are hurting about the injustice of it all. There is evil in the present world system where greed, selfishness, and ambition are working against peace and creating division on all levels of society. We must not be blinded but awaken to the truth of our walk as a Christian in this world. We must remember that there are those who walk in the vanity of their minds. Those who are “being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness,” [see Ephesians 4:19]. We have seen this with the price gouging of baby formula. May the body of Christ not be among those who work evil. May they know the difference and turn from all evil acts of malice, bitterness, and wrath. Let us all be renewed in the spirit of our minds. Let Christ be formed in our mind and heart.

A Christian’s life is for the service of the Lord. Let us take to heart what Paul said in Romans 12:1-2.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:1-2

Have you noticed verse 2, “and be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind?” We are to be separate and testify of the Lord as Paul states in Ephesians 4:17. We are to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit perfecting holiness in the fear of God [see 2 Corinthians 7:1]. Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 7:10 in the last part of the verse, “but sorrow of the world worketh death.” We do not have control over every living being, and that is why we are to pray for those who live around us. When we hear of such tragedies, we are to pray for those who are grieving. When there is not enough food to go around to feed infants we are to pray for the mothers and infants. If you know them then stand beside them and help them. Jesus said, if you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” [Matthew 25:40]. We must remember to pray for President Joe Biden, that the Lord would direct him to continue to bring peace here in America and abroad. The apostle Paul instructs us to pray for kings.

I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men, for kings, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

1 Timothy 2:1-2

If you have not prayed for your leaders and those in authority lately then now is the time to start to pray. Teach your children to pray as well, for their own wellbeing as well as those around them. The apostle Paul tells us not to be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good [see Romans 12:21]. Our life depends on our prayers and each day we must ask God to deliver us from evil. Let us love without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cling to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another, [Romans 12:9-10]. You need not worry because God will judge all things that has transpired upon the earth. Make sure your faith is in Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith [Hebrews 12:2], and not in man. That way we will have life working in us instead of death. In having that same spirit of faith in Jesus, we believe and therefore we speak knowing that he was raised up, and the Lord Jesus will also raise us up, [2 Corinthians 4:13-14]. Let us forever be changed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord. May you appear before the judgement seat of Christ with a clear conscience. May our walk and talk be that of Christ. Walking in love in the world we live in today.

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Love, Spiritual Gifts

Follow After Love

Follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.”

1 Corinthians 14:1

Follow after love and desire spiritual gifts. Love is the key to any kind of ministry one may have as a Christian. Love is the unselfish act of giving of oneself. If love does not reign in your heart, then there is nothing but following selfish pursuits. Instead of love there is coveting, a wanting and strong desire to have something, and usually it is what someone else has. Love in essence is sharing with one another.

Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

Romans 13:8

No matter what subject we may deal with concerning life in the Bible, the theme of love pops up among the issues of the heart of man. We try to teach our children the meaning of love and sometimes we fail as parents. We must believe in the love of God that He sent us His only son. We must have that love living in our heart by the spirit of God. The living breath of the Holy Spirit residing in our heart to remind us about love. We must know the fondness, warmth, and tenderness of our Lord’s love to sacrifice himself for all mankind. This is so we can be reconciled to God and to each other. This is God’s ministry, and it is always done through love. It is no wonder that the apostle Paul is reminding the church at Corinth that love never fails and is the key to whatever we do in life in general. Our actions will reveal at times that we are sometimes not walking in love. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12 through 14 the apostle Paul is speaking about the spiritual gifts and how those gifts are to be used through love.

Pure love within itself is a ministry of God within the body of Christ. I can remember attending a church where the people were zealous for the spiritual gifts. It was like being in a nursery where children were grabbing toys and showing off what they had. It is this attitude that the apostle Paul was dealing with at the church in Corinth. We do not lord our gifts over each other since this brings jealousy and discord in the body. The baptism of the Spirit is meant to bring the body of Christ together and God through the Holy Spirit gave man gifts to benefit the body. That is why Paul states, “for by one Spirit where we all baptized into one body,” whether we are jews or Greeks [1 Corinthians 12:13]. We must also remember that the gifts work through the same Spirit and it is the Spirit of God that gives the gifts as he will. Not as man wills. It is the Holy Spirit that bestows the gifts for service unto men.

In other word the gifts are not to be used for selfish reasons. For God hath set the members, everyone in the body, as it hath pleased him [ 1 Corinthians 12:18]. There are many members in the body of Christ so that the ministry of Love continues to edify all people within the body of Christ. If the gifts are given as it pleases God, no man can boast that it is exclusively his gift alone. We must remember that it is through God’s grace that we are given gifts for the service of those who need the knowledge of the Lord. Paul tells us we ought not to think ourselves more highly than another [see Romans 12:3]

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;”

Romans 12:6

It is by separate parts in relation to the body of Christ that through faith the gifts are ministered to each member within the body of Christ. So, what are the spiritual gifts within the body? Paul tells us about the diversities of operations of the gifts and how God works in all through the manifestation of the Spirit that is given to every man to profit. This is to profit the body of Christ within a congregation. The listing is given in chapter 12 of 1st Corinthians in verses 8 to 10.

For to one is given, by the Spirit, the word of wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another, faith by the same Spirit; to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, discerning of spirits; to another, various kinds of tongues; to another, the interpretation of tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10

The apostle Paul tells us no matter what gift is bestowed among us; it means nothing without love residing within our hearts. That is why He exclaims that we should follow after love. It is all right that we desire spiritual gifts, but Paul desires that we would all prophesy. Why is prophesy a better gift? Paul gives us the answer why, in verse 2 and 3 of 1st Corinthians chapter 14.

For he that speaketh in an unknown tonque speaketh not unto men, but unto God; for no man understandeth him; however, in the spirit he speaketh mysteries, But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

Notice the 3 key words that Paul states, edification, exhortation, and comfort. Revelation, teaching in instruction, and to bring comfort for those who are suffering that is the ministry in love. We should pray for the gifts of the spirit for edification of the body. Look at verse 12 of 1st Corinthians chapter 14, “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” Pray for understanding, for understanding is fruitful to the body, including yourself. We can all prophesy and sing in the spirit but pray for interpretation so everyone can benefit from what the message is that God wants us to hear. If it is done in love everyone will benefit from the message. There is no reason why the church cannot function in unity where gifts are concern.

Let us remember that in the early church there was liberty for the ministry of the gifts to function and more so for prophesy. All prophesies are to be judged and to be compared to the word of God. I have always known this to be true within the body of Christ. Prophesies given within the body was always a part of scripture or for someone who needed healing within the body. There is an anointing presence of the Spirit among the people when God’s spirit is allowed to move freely. There is a unity in faith to see God move within the congregation, when the focus is on the love of God to move. It is a marvelous thing to have witnessed, and I thank God that through my travels I have witnessed such love and blessings in certain congregations. Follow after love, and you cannot go wrong, for love is the fulfillment of the law of Christ.

“Give Thanks to the Lord, for His love is everlasting.”

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Conscience, The Lord's Table

The Lord’s Table

Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me.”

1 Corinthians 11:24

When was the last time you partook of the Lord’s Table? Is it important today? Through the years I have noticed that some denominations have abandon this ordinance, while others continue it on a weekly basis. There are two ordinances that the church had as important for believers. That of the Lord’s Table and water baptism. I have rarely heard why there is such a difference in the Lord’s Table within the church and it warrants some research as to why it has stopped in some congregations altogether. It seems to be a subject that is not being taught. I can remember how congregations argued about the wine and how it should not be a stumbling block for those who have issues with alcohol. Thus, grape juice was used instead of wine. Then, there was the case of spreading germs from the cup, so individual small glass cups came on the scene, then came the disposable plastic cups. Then came the argument of those who were not Christians partaking of the Lord’s Table. Maybe what the Apostle Paul had stated beforehand in chapter 11 should be of interest to all Christians as to why it is not a part of the church ordinances today.

The question is that of order in the church. The apostle Paul had stated, “Let all things be done decently and in order,” [see 1 Corinthians 14:40]. This is the biggest issue that the church has and that is to have things done decently and in order. But let us remember that Paul in verse 2 of chapter 11 of 1st Corinthians stated to “keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.” The early church was a Pentecostal church moving in the gifts of the Spirit and at times got disorderly in its function. Paul was correcting the church in regard to Christian conduct. Keeping that in mind, He exclaims who is the head of every man and woman. Women in the early church wore veils as a covering over their heads. This was a sign of submission as to the order or hierarchy. Call it a pecking order if you like. For a Christian the order of the head is God, then Christ, Man, Woman, and Child. It is acknowledging and adhering to the placement of authority. It was traditional for woman to wear hats and veils in the church, so they do not dishonor their head [see 1 Corinthians 11:5]. Notice that Paul did not say they could not pray or prophesy, only that they honor the headship of God by covering their head.

We must also remember that there were divisions within the church at Corinth. Paul even mentioned that there were different sects and that they were abusing the Lord’s Table. Paul mentions that some were hungry and or drunk and asked the question if they do not have houses to eat in. In otherwards, the Lord’s Table is not the place for eating and drinking like you do at home. The real issue became that of scorning the church of God by Lording it over those who have and those who have not. This is not the purpose of the Lord’s Table. The purpose was in remembrance of the Lord’s death and sacrifice. The other issue is unworthiness in the manner of partaking of the Lord’s Table. Those who partake unworthily are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord and this is serious. We must remember that Christ was the final sacrifice for our sins, and he has provided healing in the atonement. We cannot take this lightly, for it is the only way we can be reconciled back to God.

The apostle Paul gives us the answer to think twice about the Lord’s Table, for this speaks of judgement upon ourselves.

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

1 Corinthians 11:29

Self-judgment is important to avoid the chastisement of God, and Paul states that is why many are weak, sick, and sleep, [see 1 Corinthians 11:30]. If we do not judge ourselves, then the Lord will Judge us through chastisement.  The benefits of the new covenant through Christ are forgiveness of our sin, and healing from all diseases. Christ gave his body and blood for all mankind. Christ is the living bread that came down from heaven.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 

John 6:51

The cup is the blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins, [see Matthew 26:28]. We receive eternal life and remission of sins through the Lord’s Table. Paul states as often as we eat the bread and drink the cup of Christ, we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes back [see 1 Corinthians 11:26]. Let us always examine ourselves in prayer before our Lord and ask for forgiveness of our sins before we partake of the Lord’s Table. We are justified through His blood.

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”

Romans 3:24

This is good news for all mankind. Eternal life, redemption, and forgiveness of sins. Can we have the Lord’s Table at home. The answer is yes. Many seniors who are home bound take the Lord’s Table at home. A pastor, elder, or someone at home who is taught the basics of the ordinances can perform the Lord’s Table at home. Many Christian missionaries around the world take the Lord’s Table at home. I had a friend who was to become a priest share the Lord’s Table with me. He had a dedicated place in his home for the Lord’s Table. The importance is in the acknowledgement of what Christ did for us on the cross in that we no longer live onto ourselves, but unto the Lord.

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

2 Corinthians 5:15

We are consecrated to God, and the Lord’s Table confirms this because we believe in the death and resurrection of our Lord. This is Holy Communion with our precious Lord. This is connecting with our Lord because He loved us so much that He gave us His life. Christ in me is to live, to die is to gain Christ. We die to our self-will in order to live for Christ. Taking of the Lord’s Table is to draw close to God knowing that our conscience is cleansed, and our hearts are purified. We do this in remembrance of our Lord and to ever be consecrated for his purpose. Let us always remember our Lord by partaking of the Lord’s Table with a clean and pure heart.

You can buy grape juice and communion bread is available to buy on Amazon. Have a quiet time in prayer before the Lord and examine yourself before the Lord. Once you have prayed then read verses 24 and 25 of 1 Corinthians of chapter 11. Thank God for giving us His son for the remissions of our sins and eternal life through Jesus Christ. Take and eat the bread and drink the wine. Then thank Him for the blessings of the new covenant and that we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. Keep it simple and you will be blessed.

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; “

2 Corinthians 5:17

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Healing, Love, Mercy

Bless the Lord, O my Soul

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases, who redeemeth thy life from destruction, who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies.

Psalms 103:1-4

Bless the Lord, O My Soul, and do not forget all his benefits. Do not forget all his benefits! It seems fit that we should be reminded of all his benefits and in Psalms 103 David exclaims with praise on his lips the benefits of God in this Psalms. We are not to forget what good things the Lord has done for us. The benefits are then listed in verse 3 starting with forgiveness and healing for all diseases at the top of the list. We should hold onto the benefits of the Lord, and forgiveness and healing are in the atonement for each person to receive. In Matthew chapter 9, we read about the sick man of the palsy, lying on a bed, and Jesus seeing their faith told the man of the palsy, “Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee, [Matthew 9:2].” Later on in chapter 9 Jesus exclaims that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins and He told the man sick of the palsy to arise take up thy bed and go to thine house. He did so as it was spoken.

“And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with diver’s diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.”

Matthew 4:24

Jesus was famous for healing all diseases and he even gave his disciples power over all devils and to cure all diseases [ see Luke 9:1]. We know that our Lord was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed [see Isaish 53:5]. We must not forget that not only sin may be a part of sickness but oppression from the Devil can bind a person like the daughter of Abraham in Luke 13:16 whom Satan had bound for 18 years. Any kind of disease does not come from the Lord God. In verse 4, it states, who redeemed thy life from destruction, and crowns thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies. Only Christ has this power to redeem our life for He is the resurrection and the life. Our life belongs to the Lord, and he keeps his promises to those who believe. He will keep our life in the resurrection and His loving-kindness and tender mercies toward us will not fail. Do you believe this? Read on to verse 12. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Wow! This is His mercy towards us, and it is everlasting.

Is he satisfying your mouth with good things? So that your youth is renewed like the eagle? Are you waiting upon the Lord? In Isaiah 40:31, it states that “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” If you are feeling burned out and weary, it is time to wait upon the Lord to renew your strength. It is time to lean upon the Lord to bring you peace and to renew your soul and mind from the things of this world. It is time to commune with the Lord and ask him to bring the Holy Spirit refreshing so that you can mount up with wings like the eagle and soar. Have you ever watched an eagle soar in the sky? This last week I watched an eagle soar as it got lift under his wings and soared up higher to new heights up in the sky. This is what we should be able to do; to soar up to new heights above the oppression of the devil. We shall walk and not faint. O Bless the Lord. O my soul and all that is in me, bless His holy name.

It was midnight when Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God. An earthquake came suddenly that the foundations of the prison were shaken, and all the doors were open, and the bands were loosed from the prisoners. The keeper of the prison awoke and saw the doors open and drew up his sword to kill himself. Paul shouted to him “do not harm yourself” we are all here [see Acts 16:28]. The keeper of the prison was saved and baptized. He washed the stripes of Paul and Silas and fed them rejoicing and believing in God. This is satisfying your mouth with good things. Rejoicing and praising God for what He has done. God bringing Paul and Silas the victory to soar to new heights. Having their wounds of strips treated and receiving food for their hunger along with gaining a new friend into the fellowship of the Lord and then being released from jail. Such wonderous acts of God. As it is exclaimed in the very next verse of 6 in Psalms 103, “the Lord executes righteousness and judgment for all who are oppressed.”

Paul and Silas were being oppressed because they had rebuked a spirit of divination out of a maid [see Acts 16:18]. The maid’s master saw that their hope for money was gone and accused them. Paul and Silas were beaten and put in jail. Paul and Silas were abused, ill-treated, and persecuted for freeing a woman of divination. Sometimes for no reason at all we can be abused or ill-treated at work or at home. Sometimes it grates on our being about the injustice of having to endure the aggravation. Paul was grieved by the maid’s actions and exclaimed in the name of Jesus Christ come out of her. We do not think about being mournful of those under an oppressor such as a spirit or devil, yet Jesus himself freed them from the oppression. We must remember in the last days many will be oppressed and in need of healing and relieve from being oppressed. Pray not only for yourself but those around you.

Is this not what Paul and Silas did? And the Lord executes righteousness and judgment for all who are oppressed. Oh! Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all his benefits. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Let us remember thy loving kindness and mercy to heal our body of sickness and to execute righteousness and judgment for all who are oppressed. May you soar to new heights and be renewed like the eagle. He will heal all diseases and redeem your life from destruction and death. He will crown you with loving-kindness and tender mercies. Let us Bless the Lord forever and remember His benefits. May He always satisfy our mouth with good things. Share the goodness of the Lord with others and soar to new heights.

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Believe, Covenant, Faith

Let us Hold Fast our Faith

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for he is faithful that promised).

Hebrews 10:23

Let us hold fast our faith in the one who offered himself by which we are all sanctified. Our confession is in a person [the body of Christ]. In the book of Hebrews, we find the explanation for the new Covenant as being superior to the many sacrifices of the Old Testament. The sacrifices of the blood of bulls and of goats in reality could not take away humanities sins [see Hebrews 10:4]. It could not clear the conscience of man. Furthermore, the burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin, God did not take any pleasure in it {see Hebrews 10:6-8]. If we can understand that the Old Testament sacrifices was a shadow to what was yet to come. That in Christ all things are fulfilled, and this includes sin and healing for our bodies. How can man deal with their own personal sins? How can man alleviate the guilt and pain associated with sin? Only through Christ are we given relieve from the burden of sin. Today, no one has faith in the burnt offerings of a bull or goat. It simply is not done anymore.

We have the body of Jesus Christ who offered up one sacrifice for sins forever, and then sat down on the right hand of God [Hebrews 10:12]. One sacrifice for sins forever means for all eternity. Because of this one sacrifice everything hinges on being perfected through the body of Christ to sanctify those who believe and have faith in this sacrifice. It was the apostle Paul who stated, “we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish,” [see 2nd Corinthians 2:15]. God accepted Christ who is His son as the perfect sacrifice for all humanities sins.

 Ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour  unto the LORD: one bullock, one ram, seven lambs of the first year without blemish:

Numbers 29:36

Christ was that sweet savor unto the Father and the Holy Spirit was a witness to all who are in Christ in that it projected the power of God to witness and confirm the New Covenant. We have the partial promise of what is written in Ezekiel 11:19 and Jeremiah 31:33 about man having the law of the Lord written in their hearts and minds [see Hebrews 10:16]. And we also have God’s promise not to remember the sins of man. There is to be no more offering for sin since Christ is the fulfillment of the perfect lamb that was sacrificed. The purpose of Christ was to reconcile man unto God, but Christ sacrifice also destroyed the works of the devil. Thus in 1st John 3:8 it is written, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” In the next verse it goes on to say that whoever is born of God, does not commit sin. There is a clear separation from the works of sin in those who believe. A person who is born of God is separated unto God and this is sanctification.

The believer becomes aware of the work of devil who is also known as Satan. The root of sin is selfishness. The issue with Satan is following his own will and not the will of God. We know from John chapter 10 verse 8, Jesus exclaims that only “thieves and robbers” came before him. Then he stated what the thief’s purpose is and that was to steal, kill, and destroy. This is the opposite of what Jesus’ purpose is, and that is to give abundant life. We should think twice when it comes to being deceived by Satan. We should not be ignorant of his devices. We can learn from examples given in the Bible how Satan works in the following scriptures.

  1. Luke 22:31 – “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:”
  2. Luke 13:16 – “And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?”
  3. Acts 5:3 – “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?”
  4. Mark 4:15 – And these are they by the wayside, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.”
  5. 2 Corinthians 11:14 – “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

The conflict with Satan is in doing something wrong. Satan’s desire is to have us and put us under bondage. This is done through slandering another person’s character, lying to keep or get something from someone, taking away God’s word from someone and denying it, and deceiving someone by becoming an angel of light. These are the works of Satan. In Job 1:7, the Lord God asked Satan, “From where do you come from?” Satan replied, “from going to and from in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Simon Peter understood later after his own experience with his own self-confidence in denying the Lord the importance of being steadfast in faith in the person of Jesus in times of suffering no matter what happens.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

1 Peter 5:8

Peter is telling believers to cast all their cares upon the Lord before he makes the above statement about be vigilant. Peter then tells believers to resist the devil steadfast in the faith. In Hebrews, being steadfast in our faith is to hold onto our profession of our faith without wavering. Wavering between belief and unbelief is like having two minds that is being tossed back and forth. It is as James stated in 1:6, “let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavered is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” Are you being tossed back and forth on the wave of the sea? We should remember that being tossed upon the wave means we have no faith. There is no assurance of faith because one has indecision. The just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him, [see Hebrews 10:38]. I am always reminded of what Hebrews chapter 12 states in the latter part of verse 1 and in verse 2.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

Hebrews 12:1-2

So, if Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, then we have a living faith, and our faith is not in vain or dead. He is faithful in the promise he has given us. Our walk is in faith because we believe in who He is. When we know the will of God, we can stand with assurance that what we ask for we will receive. There is no indecision because it becomes a fact afterwards. Now faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. It is not evident now, but it will bring the substance and it will become a fact. This is especially true when praying for healing of any kind of sickness. Like the crippled woman who was bound for 18 years with a spirit of infirmity. Should she not be loosed from the infirmity that Satan had bound her with? Oh, yes Lord! Help our unbelief and cause us not to waver in our faith when it comes to healing. Let us hold fast our faith and confession in you. Let us keep our efficacy always in Christ the one and only sacrifice. Let us see the works of God in our own life so that we may rejoice in the glory of God’s promises. Let us give thanks that as believers we are now unto God a sweet savor of Christ. Hold fast your faith in Christ and don’t let go of it for any reason. He is our life for all eternity.

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Calling, Vessel

Let Every Man Abide in His Calling

Let every man abide in the same calling in which he was called.”

1 Corinthians 7:20

Praise God everyone is called, for our substance was not hid from thee, O Lord, when we were made in secret they were written down in your book [see Psalms 139:16]. We are all born with natural gifts and callings, and these are without repentance [Romans 11:29]. Without repentance is before we even knew about God or who He is. We were given gifts and callings. Calling in Hebrew is the word “qārā’ and its basic meaning is destiny, mission, vocation, trade, or occupation. It can also be the calling of the given name one is born with. This represents the individuals calling into service for God like the many prophets in the Old Testament in the Bible. Some callings are divine, and some are not.  God’s calling is the means by which He directs human beings, who often times are entirely unqualified in a particular position, yet those beings are used as instruments of His will and plan. We either see or not see His hand in our destiny.

Like the prophet Jeremiah who was called by God before he was born. God spoke to Jeremiah as a young child. We do not know the age of Jeremiah, but God told him, “Do not say to me you are a child, for I shall send thee and whatever I tell thee, you shall speak,” [see Jeremiah 1:5-7]. God put His words into Jeremiah’s mouth, and He put Jeremiah over the Kingdom of Judah. Take a look at verse 10 of chapter one of Jeremiah. “See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to throw down, to build and to plant.” Jeremiah was called, installed, and given instruction as to what He should do. Not everyone agreed to Jeremiah’s calling. His family turned against him, and the people also turned against him. Yet, he continued within the calling of God despite all the troubles he had endured. It was Jeremiah’s letter of hope to those in captivity in Babylon that was so encouraging for the promise of an expected end [see Jeremiah 29:11]. That joy would replace the sorrow in the remnant of Israel. God will sow both in the house of Israel and in the house of Judah [see Jeremiah 31:27]. We should give diligence to the calling that we have been given by God.

“Brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.”

2 Peter 1:10

Like Jeremiah, He made his calling and election sure by following God in his calling. This is Christian virtue at its finest that brings godliness, kindness, and love. No one should be jealous of another’s calling. Has not God given you a gift, vocation, trade that you can work in? Ask God what your calling is and take heed what He has called you to do. Whatever you put your hands to do the Lord shall bless. This blessing is to those who walk in His ways.

For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.”

Psalms 128:2

It is the Lord who will give the blessing of the reward for you labor. God will give the increase and this increase is to be a blessing to you, your family, and to share with others. Use it for the glory of God. Remember the warning of Proverbs 13:11, “wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.” Let the Lord establish the work of thy hands [see Psalms 90:7]. We are all called to be servants of the Lord to be free, but we remember that we were bought with a price. The apostle Paul stated to “let every man in whatever state he is called, there abide with God,” [ 1 Corinthians 7:24]. In whatever state you are in, whether married or not, we are to remain and abide with God. Know that God has chosen certain people for distinctive service for Him. Like Jeremiah, the apostle Paul was chosen, for It is written in Acts 9:15, “he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” Some did fear Paul because of what he did before he was called.

The apostle Paul told the church of Corinth that they were called to be saints through the sanctification in Christ Jesus and makes this statement, “for you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things with are mighty, and the base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are that no flesh should glory in his presence. ” [1 Corinthians 1:26-29]. Later the apostle Paul states that whatever you do, do all to the glory of God [see 1 Corinthians 10:31]. The calling of a Christian is important to God in how he lives out that calling to the glory of God. That is why Paul exclaims that as Christians, we are laborers together with God [ 1 Corinthians 3:9]. But as Christians we must also come to the same knowledge of Christ Jesus. We must understand that it is God who does the calling among the people and to those who are called to a specific service.

Whatever state we are in, all glory goes to God, for His will well go forth whether we follow it or not. We must remember that there are many vessels in the house. Vessels of gold, silver, clay, and wood. Some vessels are for honor and some or not.

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

2 Timothy 2:21

The Lord knows them that belong to him, and the apostle Paul states that we should purge ourselves from all iniquity through the blood of Christ. That we should be a vessel of honor sanctified through Christ for the master’s use. In whatever state you are in right now, are you a vessel of honor? Let us not defraud a brother in any matter but with a clear conscience abide in Christ. Stay in the place where he has called you to be until such a time comes when he tells you to go somewhere else. Cast all your cares upon Him whom you believe and seek out His wisdom and not the wisdom in this world. Even Peter conveys how that if you lack faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, kindness and love, then are you blind and cannot see ahead [see 2nd Peter 1:1-10].

Peter states, to give diligence to make your calling and election sure in order that you do not fail. This is how we walk as His vessel of honor in whatever calling or vocation, we are in. We need not worry about what we lack because He goes with us by His Spirit and as we pray and commune with our Lord, He will direct our paths. Your calling is a sure thing and like Jeremiah, Paul, and Peter, no one can take away from what God has given these men. We have obtained His mercy and grace, so walk in it knowing that you are in Christ, and He has placed you in a specific place for His glory. Continue to abide in His Calling and be a vessel of Honor for God. This wonderful song titled, “A Vessel of Honor for God,” was once sang in churches in the late 70’s as a worship song. We do not hear it anymore, so as you listen to the song, make it your prayer to be that vessel of honor.

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Covenant, Rest

Are your bones dry?

Have you lost Hope?

And I shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land; then shall ye know that I, the Lord, have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.”

Ezekiel 37:14

Ezekiel, who was a priest, was carried away into Babylon, but he stood strong in the Lord and prophesied. Ezekiel prophecy is to this day being debated as to its meaning and fulfillment. In essence it speaks to the glory of God and future events. Some of it has been fulfilled and some of it is still yet to come in the future. Many are asking if we have entered into the last days, and it may seem close, but not all prophecies have been fulfilled. This is the time to take up your Bible and dust it off and begin to read it with more fervor just to know about the prophecies it reveals. No matter what tribe you are from, you can be grafted into the vine again if you believe. The Apostle Paul spoke about the olive tree and how if God did not spare the natural branches so He will not spare those who live in unbelief. The Lord God is adamant about unbelief. The olive tree speaks to the promise of Abraham’s seed. Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness [see Galatians 3:6]. Paul also stated that He is an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham [see Romans 11:1].

The mystery is in the two houses that came from the 12 Tribes of Israel. The two nations known as the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Israel. The Jews are descended from Judah, who was the fourth son of Jacob. This is written down in Matthew chapter one in verse one through four and this genealogy is carried through to the time of Christ birth. Jerusalem was capital of Judah while the capital of Israel was Samaria. Today, this is still being debated as to its title that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The Six-Day War after 1967 was when Israel seized all of Jerusalem. In 1980, Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital even when many did not consider this valid. So, the debate continues. However, in Ezekiel there is the vision of the bones who are for the whole house of Israel and God does not leave anybody out. The prophecy to Ezekiel is the sign of the two sticks for, one for Judah and for the children of Israel. Take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel [Ezekiel 37:16].

Join them one to another into one stick, and they shall become one in thine hand.

Ezekiel 37:17,19

Just read on and you will read about the covenant of peace, and it shall be an everlasting covenant. There is a specific order for Ezekiel prophecies. There is restoration of the land, then of the people, judgement, and worship of the Lord. Just remember that the 12 Tribes of Israel became two nations, the house of Israel and the house of Judah. Also, remember that there are 8 covenants that was given throughout the history of the Bible. Most of us are familiar with the Mosaic covenant because we have heard of the ten commandments. Let us also remember that there are conditional and unconditional covenants. In Ezekiel chapter 36, a new covenant is mentioned about God giving a new heart and a new spirit and taking away the stony heart [see Ezekiel 36:26]. There will come a time when national Israel comes to believe that Jesus is the Saviour and the final sacrifice for the remission of sins. The Apostle Paul states that some were blinded and that they are in a period of slumber. Paul also spoke about Elijah who spoke against Israel for killing the prophets and ignoring God’s covenant. Thus, Israel is only partially blinded, for some have received the gospel of Jesus Christ. In any case, God is able to graft them back in again.

The vision is in the future where the nation of Israel will be restored to its original glory with those 12 lost tribes that were taken into other nations. The Lord God is doing this for His own Holy names sake to bear witness of the fact that His name was profane by the house of Israel [see Ezekiel36:22]. God will bring them back into their own land and He will cleanse them from their filthiness. God has not forgotten his covenant with His people in regard to being alienated from the land of their inheritance. The 12 tribes of Israel that has been taken into captivity are mentioned in Revelation chapter 7 verses 1 to 8. However, lets back up to the warning the Lord gives to the shepherds of Israel in chapter 34 of Ezekiel. This is a clear warning to anyone who leads a flock as a pastor where the pastor only feeds himself and not the flock [see Ezekiel 34:2-6]. Take care of the flock that God has given you. God will gather up the lost sheep of Israel and he will make a covenant of peace. Those whom God gathers will know about the new Covenant.

The new Covenant is mentioned in Hebrew 8:8 of the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. This Covenant is new and not of the old covenant when they were taken out of Egypt. God knew that they did not continue in his covenant. In Hebrews verses10 to 11, it states that the Lord will put his laws into their minds and write them into their hearts. Plus, they will not have to teach their neighbor or brother anymore. This is an amazing thing that will happen, and it has not yet happened. Everyone will know the Lord. The realities of the new Covenant should be realized by those who call themselves Christians who are Gentiles and not of the nation of Israel. That Christ came and gave his own blood to obtain eternal redemption for us. We can read of the importance of it in Hebrew 9:14.

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

No flesh can be justified by the works of the law [Galatians 2:16]. In fact, we should remember what the Apostle Paul was telling the churches at Galatia. Paul did not want to void the grace of God by going back into legalism of the written law. That is why Paul stated, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me,” Galatians 2:20. The law was added due to transgressions [wrongdoing, sin]. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for cursed is everyone that hanged on a tree [see Galatians 3:13]. This was so that the Gentiles could receive the blessing of Abraham and that the promise through Jesus Christ might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Remember the law was the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. But the law cannot justify a sinner or sanctify a believer. Only through Christ are we justified and sanctified. Justified by faith and sanctified by the Spirit through Christ Jesus.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Romans 8:2

This was so that the righteousness of the law would be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. If your bones are dry, then come to the Lord who will give you fresh water to drink and renew the spirit in your mind to that of Christ. Jesus said, “come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your soul,” [Matthew 11:28-29]. Let us all enter into His rest, and His peace. Let us remember how David exclaimed, “LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.” Yet, now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee, [Psalms 39:4,7]. Yes, my hope is in the Lord. There is hope in the Lord, let us place our life in the Lord’s hand and rest from our works and be cleansed and renewed in our mind and our spirit that we may see the glory of the Lord God where our hope is.

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Believe, The Lord is Risen

He is Risen

The Lord is risen indeed!

Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”

Luke 24:34,36

‘He is risen, said the angel of the Lord, and go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead [Matthew 28:6-7].” And what did the angel of the Lord look like? The angel of the Lord countenance was like lightning and his clothes was white as snow [Matthew 28:3]. Can you imagine Mary Magdalene and the other Mary going to the grave site and finding an angel at the tomb? Shock, fear, and astonishment was the reaction. However, the angel of the Lord spoke to them saying fear not, I know you came to seek Jesus who was crucified. Come and see where He was. He is not here. Go tell the disciples that He is risen said the angel of the Lord. Oh! What joy to have witnessed Christ return to the earth as He came upon them. Those who witnessed the reality of His Resurrection. That he was real with flesh and bones.

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”

Luke 24:39

Even after seeing Jesus, they had trouble believing that He was real. So, Jesus asked them if they had anything to eat. They gave him broiled fish and a honeycomb, and He did eat before them [see Luke 24:41-43]. Everything that Jesus said and taught His disciples came true. He was the real thing that He claimed to be. Had He not shown himself alive to assure those who witnessed it with their own eyes, it would have possibly sealed doubt instead of joy within their hearts. God had resurrected His Son to give us life. This is the power of God that we believe in His only Son. Jesus is the first to come back and tell us what we can expect in the other life. And He is still alive today as our high priest making intercession for us. There are skeptics who will always doubt, argue, and criticize what the truth is, but listen to what the Apostle Paul said, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” [Romans 8:34].

Everything was written down as to the truth of the reality of who Jesus is, and yet some still today would refute it as being fake. Today, we have evidence to dated material in archaeological finds that the information in the Bible is so accurate that it has actually assisted archaeologists in their work. If Christ had not risen, then Christianity is just another vain religion. All preaching would be in vain as the Apostle Paul stated.

“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”

1 Corinthians 15:14

If our preaching is in vain, then it would have no real value and its effectiveness is lost in human efforts trying to be somebody we are not. Because He is risen, we have atonement that gave us forgiveness of sins, a new life, and a future life. Because He is risen, He is the head of all creation and the head of all principality and power. God put all things under His feet in order that we may have the victory through the cross of Christ against all evil power that would destroy our life. Because He is risen, we have the Holy Spirit as a comforter in our weaknesses to overcome the flesh and the devil. We are never alone in our own trials. Our Lord is interceding for each one of us according to the will of God. The Spirit is working through us to produce the fruits of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, against such there is no law [see Galatians 5:22-23]. We have the Holy Spirit that will help us to become the image of Christ.

The Lord is risen to fulfill what was written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and in the Psalms [see Luke 24:44]. It was Jesus himself who spoke to the disciples, and it was Jesus who opened their understanding of the scriptures. Listen to the words of the risen Lord.

Thus, it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.”

Luke 24:46-48

Yes, the Lord is risen. . .and we have the power of His love living within our hearts if we believe in who He is. The son of God who died for us and arose to the glory of the Father God in that we may have communion with a living God. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself [2 Corinthians 5:19]. God has provided the way through Christ to change man’s heart of stone into a heart of flesh where love is the key to opening the door into the Kingdom of Heaven. Let us understand that we still have a future in Christ even when we see evil in this world. Surrender your life to Him in prayer and ask him to cleanse your heart and give you the fruits of the Spirit. Ask him to open your mind to the understanding of the scriptures. Believe it to be so and it will be done unto you as you believe. Oh! What joy there is in my heart to know that our Lord is risen. Because He is risen, we have the victory to overcome, for greater is He that is in us, then He that is in the world [1 John 4:4]. Do not be deceived, only believe and the battle is won in Jesus’ name. Believe and know within your heart that He is risen. “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow” is in the line of the chorus of a song that Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote, for God had reaffirmed it in their hearts that He was not dead but alive.

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

Yes, an empty grave was left to prove our Savior lives. May His love and peace be with you always, today, and forevermore.

The Garden Tomb

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