Saturday, June 30, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 7 - Jesus at 12 years Old

Who is Jesus? chapter 7 - - Jesus at Twelve Years Old

Have you ever lost something but did not realize it was lost until several days later? 

Once a year there was a huge feast at Jerusalem to celebrate the "Passover." This celebration lasted several days, and many would congregate at the temple listening to the wise teachers recite the scriptures and explain the law. 
You will remember the Passover feast was to remind the Jewish people that the angel of Death had Passed Over their homes upon viewing the blood of the innocent lamb on the sides of the door and over the door post.  Their first born of man and beast were saved, but it was not so in the households of the Egyptians.

As was the custom of Mary and Joseph they took Jesus with them each year to attend this feast in Jerusalem.   Jesus was now twelve years old and soon he would complete the requirements at age thirteen to become a man.  Many relatives, and neighbors had traveled with them to attend this annual celebration.  In those days, each family looked out for the children so when it was time to leave, Mary and Joseph assumed that Jesus was with his cousins and friends as the group left for Nazareth. 

After traveling a day, (probably around 20 miles) and resting for the night, Mary became concerned to find Jesus.   None of the others had seen him, so Mary and Joseph were worried and realized they must return to Jerusalem to seek the young boy.

Early the next morning they traveled back to Jerusalem and at the temple they found Jesus listening and asking questions of the learned teachers.  The scholars were all amazed at the wisdom of this young child and the depth of understanding he seemed to have as he questioned them.

Mary as any mother would be, was upset at Jesus staying behind, and asked him "Why have you caused me and your father to worry so?"   As we have studied, we will remember that Joseph was not the blood father to Jesus, so the answer Jesus gave was not impudence, but in his mind he knew of greater things. 

Luke 2:48-50 And when they saw him, they were amazed; and his mother said unto him, Son, why have you thus dealt with us? Behold, your father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? Don't you know  that it behooves me to be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the word which he spoke unto them.

Jesus was referring to his Father God, because even at this early age, he was aware that there was a destiny on his life.

The scriptures in Luke tell us that Jesus returned with them to Nazareth, and was subject to them, as he grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man.  Mary pondered all these things in her heart, for she remembered the visit of the angel and the declaration that many things that would happen would tear her heart in little pieces.

Twelve years old is an age when many young people are making decisions that will affect their entire life.  Jesus was no different that other young boys, and his choice was to learn more about the scriptures of the Old Testament and the prophesies that told of the Messiah.  Even at a young age, Jesus loved God the Father and was willing to obey and do God's will concerning God's plans for his life. 

Each of us must make those decisions that will effect our lives and will be the deciding factor as to where we will spend eternity.  It is a wise person who will ask Jesus to become personal and real to them and grant them peace in their spirit and soul. 
We will continue to follow Jesus as he matures and begins his earthly ministry.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 6

Who is Jesus?  Chapter 6

In our previous chapters, we have taken into account where Jesus was in the beginning:  He was in Spirit form with his Father God as they created the heavens and the earth with sound.  (The spoken word.)

We also have viewed the examples given to the Children of Israel who ate manna the bread from heaven and that Jesus said He is the bread from Heaven.  God also gave the children of Israel water from a rock, and Jesus is the Rock of our Salvation, from which we drink the Living Water bringing us eternal life. 

We viewed the Blood Sacrifice that was necessary to take away sin.  The Pass Over Celebration was also brought to our attention as many lambs were slain prior to the Death Angel coming to take the first born of man and beast.  The children of Israel were protected from the Angel of death, as they followed the detailed instructions to sprinkle the blood of the Lamb over their door and on the two side posts.  It is the Blood of Jesus that protects us from the darkness and brings us light. 

We shall now momentarily leave the Old Testament and reflect on the time in history when Jesus came to earth in human form.  Every so often, we may insert Old Testament prophesies regarding Jesus. 

Because of the sin of Adam, all humans inherited the sin factor in their blood.  In God's plan for a "Once in for all Blood sacrifice," it was necessary for the sacrifice NOT to have the blood of Adam.  In order to accomplish this, since the babies blood comes from it's father, God planned for a Virgin birth, conceived as the Holy Spirit breathed life into the womb of Mary the chosen young woman.  This child would have a human mother, but the child's father was God. 

When Joseph the man whom Mary was engaged to, discovered that Mary was with child, he being a righteous man, decided to "put her away privately," but an angel appeared to Joseph telling him this was of God and to protect her.  Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth, and the Prophets had predicted that the Savior was to be born in Bethlehem.   

In those days Caesar Augustus called for the world to be taxed and every person was to do this in their home town.  This meant that Joseph and the now very pregnant Mary needed to travel to Bethlehem to pay their taxes.   

You can imagine how crowded the city was and the hotels and Inns were full.  A kind Inn keeper told Joseph, there is a place in the stable that is clean and you can use the hay to make yourselves a bed - - and so it was.   

On that night angels appeared in the heavens to some shepherds who were tending their flocks.  The angels sang Glory to God in the Highest and Peace on Earth to men, for a savior is born this night.  Yes, that night Mary gave birth to Jesus and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger for his bed. 
A Star led the shepherds to the stable where they found Mary, Joseph and the baby.  They bowed to worship the new born son.  
Wise men in the East had been studying the Scriptures and also were star gazers.  They were impressed to follow a new bright star to find the promised Messiah.  As they traveled to Jerusalem, they inquired of the King where they might find the new born King of the Jews.  We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

(Matthew 2) When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.  

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet,  And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.  And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.  When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

The King covered his jealousy by saying, "When you find the child come back and tell me so I also can worship him."  The King had murder on his mind not worship.   

The Wise men found Jesus and gave to him precious gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  As they prepared to leave, an angel warned them to not return to Jerusalem, but to travel by another way to their own country. 

As time passed, and the Wise men did not return, the King was very angry and made a declaration that all the male babies, two years and younger were to be killed.

Joseph was warned by an angel to take Mary and the young child and flee to Egypt staying there until it was safe to return to Israel.

When the wicked king died, Joseph was again told by an angel that they could depart from Egypt and return home and raise the young child in the city of Nazareth.
The Bible tells us nothing about the early childhood of Jesus, but we shall look on him at age 12 in the next chapter.


Friday, June 22, 2018

Washing of the Water

Washing of the Water  Sunday School Lesson   June 17, 2018 
(Lesson by Linda McHale;  Notes by Laurie Moulton)    John 13

This week, we continued our study of the Gospel of John, and reviewed John 13.
In this chapter, we read about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. We were posed with 2 questions:
1.  What was Jesus teaching when he washed the feet of the disciples?
2.  What is our direction from this?

We then discussed what types of descriptions were evoked from this chapter, and below are some of the examples that were given:

a.  Love –Love always and unconditionally -  Love like Jesus loved.
b.  The enemy—The enemy is always there, waiting. He is waiting for that one weak moment, where he can slip in and gain control.  Be watchful, alert and keep close to Jesus.

This was evidenced by Jesus’ betrayal by Judas, which Jesus was very much aware of at the Last Supper, when he said, “One of you will betray me;” therefore, the enemy was quite present during this last Passover with Jesus and his disciples.

Modeling—Jesus was modeling both a premise for life (leadership by example and humility—we are no better or superior than anyone else regardless of role or status) and the purpose of communion with God and each other.

Washing— How water relates to purification as well as how we receive Jesus
Pondering—Considering how Jesus has moved in our lives

Realignment—How have we realigned ourselves with Jesus and our faith in and through him?

Submission—Jesus submitted himself to his disciples through the act of washing their feet. So, must we submit ourselves in the service to others and him. This levels the playing field for us all.

Betrayal—Jesus knew that Judas would betray him and that Peter would deny him.

Sharing—Even with the non-believer (in this case, Judas), to demonstrate love for all, including those who have done us wrong.

We looked at other areas of the bible that also tied in with our focus on John 13:
Exodus 30:17-21-- states that a bronze basin for washing was to be placed between the tent of meeting and the altar, and that Aaron and his sons were to wash their hands and feet with water from it before approaching the altar, or they would die. So, we learn here, that we must be washed in the water of God before coming to God.

John 4:10—Jesus has come upon the Samaritan woman at the well, and tells her that if she knew who it was that asking for a drink, he would have given her living water, as he is the living water. Again, we learn the importance and significance of the water and being awash in the divine living water of Jesus, in coming to God.

Titus 3:5-7—states that Jesus saved us not because of the good or righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit--“So having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs of having the hope of eternal life.” So, again we learn that we are to be washed in the living water of Christ.

Matthew 3:11—refers to the statement of John the Baptist, telling the people that one who is greater than he will come to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire. This is another reference to coming through the water to be with Jesus, who will open us to the Holy Spirit as intercessor between us and God.

Therefore, in answer to the two, original questions posed at the beginning of this, Jesus was teaching his disciples, through the washing of their feet, that we are to come to him through the washing. Anyone who does not wash cannot have any part with him.

This does not necessarily mean the actual act of baptism, as that can be viewed as more of an act of our part, with receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior, but more of being fully immersed in the presence and teachings and guidance and love of Jesus, always. The robber who was hanging on the cross when Jesus was crucified was not baptized, yet he still called out to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation, and so it was done—"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He was awash in the mercy and love of Jesus as Lord and Savior of all. Jesus was also teaching his disciples humility, that they are to love always and serve always regardless of their own opinions, role, or stature.

Our direction from this is pretty much the same that Jesus was teaching his disciples—that we are to be washed by, in, and through Jesus’ presence, teachings, commandments, and his new covenant with us; that we are to practice humility with all of humankind regardless of our own or their role, stature, misgivings, or lifestyle; and that should we stray from this, then we have no part in him, for we have turned our own backs and have failed to allow ourselves to be washed by him.



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Who Is Jesus? Chapter 5

Who Is Jesus?  Chapter 5 - - Water from a Rock  (That Rock is Christ)

 The children of Israel were fed bread from heaven every morning, And we considered in the New Testament that Jesus said, "I am the bread from Heaven, and I am the bread of Life."  Now we turn to look at a need for water to quench thirst.
As the Children of Israel traveled to an area where there was no water; They complained with loud murmuring to Moses.  Both they and their herds were thirsty and they let Moses know it.  Moses cried onto God saying, "What shall I do, these people are ready to stone me?"  God gave Moses instructions to strike the rock at Horeb with his rod, and water gushed out like a river.
Exodus 17:6 "Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.triking RocksMiracles, Nature OfProvision From Rocks
Miracles Of Moses And AaronTypes Of ChristSplitting Rocks 
The prophet Nehemiah 9:15,20  reminds us of what God did for them in the wilderness. 

You provided bread from heaven for them for their hunger, You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst, And You told them to enter in order to possess The land which You swore to give them.  You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them,
Your Manna you did not withhold from their mouth, And You gave them water for their thirst.
itWaterThe Spirit TeachingGift Of The Holy SpiritGod, Goodness OfNames And Titles For The Holy SpiritGod, Revelation OfThe Spirit Of GodMannaThe Holy Spirit As Teacher

We now are to be aware that this recount of the Children of Israel receiving water from a rock is also a picture of Christ Jesus.

 Jesus spoke of Himself as being the Living Water to quench our thirsty spirits.

John 4:14 But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

John 7:38-39 Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Paul and Peter are reminding us that Jesus is the rock that we can trust to build our life on as a solid foundation. 

1 Corinthians 10:4  ginSpiritual FoodTypes Of Christ
Old Testament Events As TypesProvision From RocksAnd all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

Drawing Near To ChristGod, Suffering OfValuesAnd coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God.
Let us think about this fact;  when we invite Jesus to enter into our life,  He will give us Living Water that brings joy and peace.  This water is the Water of Life that also brings us eternal life in our spirit and causes us to be accepted by God our Father.
Allow Jesus to be real to you in your heart, and tell Him, "Lord, I believe, evermore give me this Living Water of Life."


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Who Is Jesus? Chapter 4


           Who Is Jesus?  Chapter 4

Much of the Old Testament stories were pictures of Christ.  Prior to Moses coming to deliver the Children of Israel from Egypt, he saw a bush that was burning but it did not burn up completely. 
As Moses drew closer a voice said, "Take off your shoes for you are standing on holy ground."  Moses was intrigued, and asked who are you and what do you want from me?  The voice told him he was to set the people free and take them to the promised land.  Moses asked, who shall I say is sending me?  What is your name?  God spoke to Moses and said, "I AM THAT I AM.”  And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name LORD I was not known to them. 

In the New Testament John's gospel, there are seven (7) times Jesus says he is "I AM." 

       1.  I AM The Bread Of Life. Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes                                     to me shall never  hunger spiritually.

      2  I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall                          have the light of life” (John 8:12).

      3. I AM The Door. I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved.

      4. I AM The Good Shepherd. The shepherd gives his life for his sheep.

      5. I AM the Resurrection and the Life.  Jesus offers us eternal life that begins when we                             invite Him into our life.

      6. I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life.  In John 6:44, He says, “No one can come to Me                        unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” This is how we come to God. The                               Holy Spirit will use an incident in your life to speak to you.

7. I AM the True Vine and you are the branches to bare fruit.


As the Children of Israel traveled in the desert towards the promised land, God gave them bread from heaven every morning.  The people called it Manna.  Upon rising, they were to find small kernels that fell with the dew.  The taste was like wafers and honey.  It could be ground to make bread and prepared other ways as their main diet.  There was NO manna on the Sabbath, so the day prior they were to gather twice as much.

Jesus referred to Himself as the bread from Heaven.

John 6:  Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…. This is the 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 forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 


Water Cover Up

In Genesis 26 we read there was a famine in the land of Canaan and so Isaac went to Gerar (in the land of a people called the Philistines). The Lord promised Isaac that if he stayed there instead of traveling to Egypt, God would bless him and his descendants. Isaac obeyed, and God blessed him indeed. Verse 12 states that "Isaac sowed seed in that land and received in the same year one hundred times as much as he planted and the Lord favored him with blessings."

Genesis 26:17-22 (New King James Version)

Then Isaac pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. Also Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there. But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.”
Isaac did not fight when they quarreled with him; he just moved on. Then his servents dug another well, and the Gerar herdsmen quarreled over that one also. So he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, “For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”  

It's the same with us. At times if we are not getting the breakthrough, it may be a signal that God wants us to make some kind of adjustment in order to triumph. It may not be a physical/geographical move as with Isaac, but it may be a change in thinking or attitude. From Isaac we can also learn that once we make up our minds not to give up, there comes a point when God steps in and gives us rest from troublemakers.

As we continue to pray over out city, it may seem at times, that there are hindrances.  Our hard work of digging to uncover water finds someone else claiming the territory.  Like Isaac, we must not be discouraged, but instead, we will claim a new well and make declarations.   
Oh no, Not again, we say, there is another hindrance.  Someone is taking credit for my work, others fuss with me, so shall I let it get me down?  No, it is time to settle for peace.  Fighting will only bring stress and upset to all.  It is good to bless those who persecute you, and to find ways to praise them for their efforts. 
Shall we stop praying over our city?  No it is time to keep Moving on and we shall not get discouraged, because discouragement is the enemies main weapon.  We shall make our declarations and prophesy over our city and claim water for all to drink. 

Jesus is the Living water that will satisfy the thirsty souls. 

Nothing really quenches thirst like a cool glass of fresh water.  Our citizens are in need of the Living water that Jesus offers.  Keep praying, working and never give up.

1.                             John 7:37-39 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Who is Jesus Chapter 3


Who is Jesus Chapter 3
Today, we will back up a bit and take another look at the Children of Israel while they were captives in Egypt.  Moses was sent by God to set them free, but the Pharaoh would not let the people go, because they were valuable slaves working hard for him.  Moses warned Pharaoh that if he did not allow the people to go, that terrible things would happen. 
Pharaoh was not impressed, and paid no attention to Moses, so in tandem there occurred ten plagues: The children of Israel who dwelled in the land of Goshen, were not effected and were kept safe:  (The plagues are listed for background - - the last one is the clinker.)
Each time of a plague, Pharaoh said okay, I will let the people go, but when the plague went away, he changed his mind and said, "NO - they stay here."
1. Water was turned into blood - Exodus 7:19 And the Lord spoke unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take your rod, and stretch out your hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.
2. FROGS everywhere: Exodus 8:3 And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into your house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into your ovens, and into thy kneading troughs:
3. Lice:  Exodus 8:16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out your rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
4. Flies: Exodus 8:21 Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
5.  Livestock diseased: Exodus 9:3 Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain.
6.  Boils on man and beast: Exodus 9:8, 9 And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.

7. Thunder and Hail: Exodus 9:18 The seventh plague brought torrential rains, thunder, and hail that killed people, animals, and crops. Despite the fact that Pharaoh admitted his sin, once the storm calmed he again refused freedom to the Hebrews.

8. Locust:  If Pharaoh thought frogs and lice were bad, the locusts of the eighth plague would prove to be the most devastating. These insects ate every green plant they could find. Afterwards, Pharaoh admitted to Moses that he had sinned - -

9. Darkness: Three days of complete darkness stretched over the lands of Egypt—not those of the Hebrews, who enjoyed light by day—in the ninth plague. It was so dark that the Egyptians could not see each other.  After this plague, the Pharaoh attempted to negotiate the freedom of the Hebrews. His bargain that they could leave if their flocks were left behind was not accepted.

The tenth and most terrible plague was now coming:  The Angel of Death was being charged to visit that night and slay all the first born son's in the homes of the Un-Protected. 

Exodus 11:4, 5  And Moses said, Thus says the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:  And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sits upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

God gave Moses detailed instructions for the Children of Israel; How to be protected and it involved a lasting ceremony that is still celebrated today:  "The Passover Feast."

The children of Israel had been in Egypt for 430 years, so you will realize they were now a large crowd of six hundred thousand men, (600,000) not counting children (or women.)  Each household was approximately 12 to 15 persons.  (A LOT of lambs were needed for this happening.)

They were being instructed to select a perfect lamb for each household and to prepare a meal where they were to eat the roasted lamb, and burn anything left over.  They were to be packed up and ready to leave in the morning.

They were to kill the lamb and collect the blood in a clean basin.  To protect each dwelling from the angel of death, they were to use hyssop and dip it into the blood and sprinkle the blood on each door post and on the lentil (top) of the door.  This was important, because when the "Death Angel passed by that night, and saw the blood on the doors, the angel would PASS OVER those homes and not slay the first born male child.

The blood was a picture of Christ Jesus' shed blood that is available to save us from our sins.  Today when we partake of "communion" as Jesus asked us; we remember his broken body and shed blood.

Luke 22:19, 20 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 2


Who is Jesus?  Chapter 2

God lives in eternity, so with God there is no "time" as we know it.  The Bible says, a thousand years is as a day with God.  From the moment Adam and Eve sinned, God was not in a rush to put His plan of redemption in place.  There was much to do first. 
God was setting His plan in motion, but it would take time to bring it to pass.  

Many of the things God caused to happen were for examples and pictures of a Savior who would become the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world.  The prophets often spoke of a Messiah who would become the savior of all mankind. 

From Adam onward there were faithful men who loved God and refused to worship idols and false gods.  One such man named Abraham was promised by God, to make of him a great nation.  As time went by, there was a great famine in the East, and Abraham's children - - Jacob's family went to Egypt to purchase food.  They settled down and raised grain and sheep plus their families quickly multiplied. Eventually a new King of Egypt feared their great number, so he cause them to become his slaves.   

Exodus chapter 32 tells us of Moses being raised up to deliver the people from their bondage and after a chain of events they left Egypt, and God destroyed their Egyptian enemies. 

At God's request Moses climbed up Mount Sinai, to meet God and to receive the 10 commandments and the law.  Most important was the first two commandments, to only worship God, and not make with their hands images or worship false gods, and not to take the Name of the Lord God in vain.   

Sorry to say, it did not take the people very long to break these commandments.  The people worried that Moses was gone too long, and they requested Aaron to fashion a gold calf similar to one of the Egyptian gods and they danced and worshipped it.   

This mutiny caused God to become furious and He told Moses he would destroy the people because they were so rebellious.  Moses plead with God not to do this for what would the other nations think, if God just delivered the people from bondage and then wiped them out?   God changed his mind, but (Exodus 32) The Lord  plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made. 

God gave Moses explicit and precise instructions for a tent tabernacle and details for  making the sacrifices for the sins of the people.  God demanded a blood sacrifice of an innocent and pure animal to atone for sin.
It was necessary for the people to bring a sacrifice many times, as they were habitually sinning. 

All this was again a picture of a future event when only ONE sacrifice would be necessary and that one selected person would voluntarily lay down His life to rescue all who would willingly come to Him and invite Him into their life. 

The prophet Isaiah records:- - 3-7: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

Friday, June 8, 2018

Who is Jesus? Chapter 1

In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was God, and by Him all things consist

Who is Jesus?  Chapter 1

Where was Jesus before He became a baby born in the city of Bethlehem to a young Virgin girl named Mary? 

Our Father God is a spirit not seen with visible eyes, and from the beginning, Jesus also was in spirit form.  

Jesus was Spirit not flesh until the Holy Spirit placed the seed containing Jesus into the womb of Mary.  At that precise moment Jesus because human flesh, however his blood was divine and of his Father God. 
Scientist tell us the baby's blood is not from the mother but from the father.  This fact reveals that the blood of Jesus was sinless, holy and pure and from God himself.  This fact alone is the reason that the blood that Jesus shed on the cross is able to wash away our sins. 

As we take a quick look at the gospel of John chapter 1 we see "In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God and the Word was God.  As we continue reading we discover that John was speaking of Jesus the WORD and also saying Jesus was God and was working in tandem with the Father creating the world. 

We take a look at the first book in the Bible; Genesis chapter 1, and we view that the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.  Our Father God spoke WORDS and each time a portion of earth was formed.  Light was split from darkness, Waters were divided from the sky, the sun, moon and stars came into being, trees and vegetation came, and creatures of all types of animals were created.  Jesus was there in the beginning with His Father God. 

On day six, God made man in His own image and placed him in a beautiful garden.  Soon God realizing the man was lonely, putting him to sleep and taking from his side a rib and making woman.  They were happy and each evening they walked and talked with God.
However, yes the woman was deceived and ate of the forbidden fruit causing them to be removed from the garden and now mankind must toil and work for a living.   God slew a lamb as a sacrifice and made garments to cover Adam and Eve's nakedness.  This was the first blood sacrifice. 

God gave them a promise that he would send a redeemer and many Prophets in the Old Testament told how a virgin would bring forth a savior, who would be born in Bethlehem.  Isaiah the prophet in chapter 53 revealed how the Savior would suffer and die for the world, and that by his stripes we would be healed. 

So for this chapter, we view Jesus as a Spirit with His Father God in heaven, waiting for the promise and prophesies to come to pass.  Let us think about this, and research the Scriptures mentioned as we wait for the next chapter.

Prophesy where Jesus was to be born - - and the fulfillment:
Micah 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
Matthew 2:1-6 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to w...orship him." 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: 6" 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'"

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A Tale of Two Seeds

A Tale of Two Seeds  (A true story by Laurie Moulton)

Around about the time that God was creating the all the plants and trees of the earth, he created two perfect seeds. One, was a grape seed, and the other, was a wheat seed (grain).

The grape seed grew into a twisty, leafy, vine, with many branches, and the wheat seed grew into a tall, golden, stalk, swaying gracefully in the wind. The two lived harmoniously for several seasons, yielding more perfect grape seeds and wheat seeds each year, and these seeds also growing and yielding the same.

God then gave humankind the ability to harvest the grapes and wheat. The grapes were turned into the most tastiest and perfect wine, and the wheat was ground into the fluffiest flour, which was then baked into the most delicious and perfect bread.

This perfect bread and wine were served at the most special of occasions: weddings, family gatherings, when welcoming new guests, etc. It became so prized that it was considered a luxury to have these things. The two joining together in a most divine meal — two becoming one, like a great marriage or the forming of a new life.
In the Egypt, when the Israelites were enslaved, they were unable to routinely partake of these precious foods.
On the night of the Passover, they were told by God to take the blood of a perfect, unblemished lamb and mark their doorways so the angel of death would pass by their homes. This blood of salvation was the same deep red color as the wine of those perfect grapes. The remainder, or body, of the lamb was then eaten, it’s white, fluffy wool, the same color of that most delicious bread. When the Israelites were finally free of Egypt, but now wandering in the barren desert, they cried out to God in hunger. What was God’s response?

Manna. Manna everywhere and enough to feed everyone—perfect bread from heaven.
Throughout the following centuries, humanity endured many uprisings, abuses of power, worshipping of false gods and idols, extravagant and selfish lifestyles with no regard for others or God Himself. The children of God were continuously persecuted.
God, laying witness to all of this, came to earth in the form of a most perfect, unblemished human via a humble, faithful peasant girl. The two, giving and carrying life in her womb to become one, like the perfect grape and wheat. Coursing through the veins of this most beautiful human, was blood as red as that most perfect wine, and his flesh as graceful and strong as that most perfect wheat that was turned into bread. His name was, is, and will forever be, Jesus. Like that perfect grape, he became the vine, and his followers, the branches.

Jesus brought the love of God to all. It didn’t matter whether Jew or Gentile, rich or poor. This was the beginning and the basis of the New Covenant. Love one another, including your enemies, and through this love, learn to honor and respect each other, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and learn how to forgive, for in forgiveness lies the freedom of the soul and spirit. Do this all in the name of Jesus, for no one reaches the Father, except through him.
For this simple, yet beautiful and prudent teaching to all and for doing the works of God through the Son of God, Jesus and his followers were persecuted and shunned. Jesus already knew the ultimate outcome that was yet to come.
On the night before that fateful day, Jesus was in Jerusalem, celebrating the feast of Passover with his disciples (as the Passover feast was to be remembered and celebrated every year since the very first Passover in Egypt, to commemorate the Israelites’ freedom—this was a commandment from God, during the feast of the first Passover). This Passover feast is more commonly known as the Last Supper.
During this festival dinner, there was a plate of that same, perfect, unleavened bread and a cup of that same, perfect, delicious wine. Jesus, again, already knowing what was to come, took a piece of bread and broke it, and said, “Take, eat, for this is my body, which has been broken for you. Whenever you eat of it, do so in remembrance of me.” Next, he took the cup of wine and held it up and said, “take, drink, for this is my blood of the New Covenant, shed for you, for the forgiveness of sin.” Again, the perfect marriage of two becoming one for the ultimate salvation of all.
The following morning, Jesus was tried by the Romans, and crucified on the cross. While awaiting death to come, Jesus looked out across the crowd that had gathered, then he looked to God, and said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”

Even in his final moments, Jesus, in the most unselfish of acts, took others before himself. With that most perfect blood flowing from the wounds in his hands and feet, and that most perfect flesh, pierced with the nails of crucifixion, he breathed his last and died. Died for the salvation and freedom of all.

So, when you take of your next communion bread and wine (or grape juice), remember, always remember the meaning behind it. Jesus was, is, and always will be the marriage and the planting of those two perfect seeds in us.
It is our God-given duty and right to go forth and bloom into the divine fruit of that vine and strength of that single grain with Him and in Him, and through Him, loving and forgiving others, as we ourselves, are loved and forgiven and saved by Him.
Let us never forget. Do this in the remembrance of Him.