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2018 Archived Blogs
1st Quarter Blogs
Week of 1/1-5 (B1;18)
God's TRUE & POWERFUL Epistemic Source: His Holy Word
Psalm 1 (NKJV)
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
"Alleluia" YHVH God! We praise Thee, oh God Most High. Your Word is glorious, a miracle for those who would be wise and humble enough to take it in. As You know, Lord, my wife and I recently read various passages in Your Word and my (!) how Your Word continues to be light unto our path which nurtures like nothing else can. We, today, through Your generous mercy and grace, are trees with robust leaves and luscious fruit. Thank You for Psalm 88 (WOW! ... WOE!), Jeremiah 32:17-19 and Matthew 18! You are SO generous in extending Your divine encouragement in these dark days. Shine Jesus shine! Even so, please come quickly dear Lord. Amen
Week of 1/8-12 (B2;18)
God's Insightful LIGHT Regarding The End Of Days
II Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV - bold emphases ours)
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.
Lord God, some take Your mandate here to be harsh. Some actually go on to reject Your protective Counsel: " ... from such people turn away." Lord, help us to understand You have not asked us to sink with the worldly ship! In fact, Lord, You direct us to the contrary - You call us to endure and to do so in the context of holy overcoming as we abide in Your holy Son. THANK YOU for loving us so. And thank You for the other side of this coin : You, in Your loving kindness toward the lost, continue to direct us to be in the world - as Your lights - but not of the world. Lord, help us better balance these two aspects of life in Christ Jesus, Your beloved Son. Allow us, please, Your discernment as we seek to balance our deeds of Good News proclamation in light of some of Your other clear Counsel ... like separating from the world. And help us avoid judging other Family members wrongly when they balance differently than we do but who are listening to Your voice as to how You want them to act upon Your precious Counsel. For the protection of Your sheep we ask ... unto Your glory and praise. In Jesus Christ's holy name we pray. Amen
Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." He answered and said to them, "Why do you also trans- gress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother' ; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God" - 'then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made the commandments of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they wor- ship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" (Also see Mt. 16:5-12 where our Lord continues making this emphasis of God's sound doctrine VS. the doctrine of men.)
Father God, my how Your beloved Son modeled Your ways! Help us, we pray, follow His example as we press on as Your Ambassadors in Christ Jesus. Help us to better discern the leaven of today's faulty religious leaders. May Your Word continue to be our Truth foundation through which we are able to rightly expose today's faulty doctrines of contemporary spiritual teachers. And as we know Your Truth, we praise You that You have indeed, and continue, indeed, to set us free - THANK YOU oh Lord God Most High! In the blessed name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
Week of 1/22-26 (B4;18)
The End-Time THEME Of Deception
God WARNS about the plethora of deception during the End of Days. Here's only some of His protective Counsel on this pertinent matter ...
I Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons ...
II Timothy 4:3, 4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Matthew 24:4, 5
And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many."
[Jesus continues to teach on end-times saying] Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
[Our Lord continues to speak to the days of the end following the cutting short of the great tribulation by teaching] Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it . For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it.
NB: The 3 rounds of deceptive false teachings of Mt. 24 (above) take place at different times during the end of days given the data of the chapter! Thank You Lord Jesus, for warning us about these eternally significant matters!
The above passages are taken from the New King James Version, emphases ours.
Dear Shepherd of our eternal souls, THANK YOU. Thank You for forewarning us about the end-time wolves in sheep's clothing. Your Word is a lamp to our feet indeed! We PRAISE You, kind Father God. In the name above all names we pray. Amen
For an address (article) on deception via censorship, CLICK HERE.
Week of 1/29 - 2/2 (B5;18)
The SIN Of Blaming God
Job 1:20-22 (NLT ; emphasis ours)
Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground before God. He said, "I came naked from my mother's womb, and I will be stripped of everything when I die. The LORD gave me everything I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!" In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
Father, help us to follow Job's example in praise even when difficult days are upon us. And LORD, help us avoid the temptation to blame You during this time when Your righteous judgments are being poured out upon the earth due to the rebellion of our day. Father, we dare NOT follow in the footsteps of the earth dwellers who will, one day, as they incur the awful fury of Your Bowls of Wrath, shake their fists in rebellious response to Your just judgment. [see Rev. 16 for literal details as to just how they will respond] Lord, help us to PRAISE You in all things, even during the days when we are persecuted for righteousness' sake. Yes, Lord, thank You once again for Psalm 88 and other places in Your Word which speak to Your actions (Psalm 109, included!) - even wrathful ones - through which Your will is accomplished unto Your glory and praise. Please have mercy oh God Most High. In Christ Jesus' holy and precious name we pray, amen.
Week of 2/5-9 (B6;18)
God's Call: ENDURANCE
But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13 ; NKJV ; emphasis ours)
While we could simply quote this one passage as sufficient grounds for persevering in Christ Jesus our Lord, we discern the NEED to further encourage. Please read on as to what His Word clearly states regarding this important end-time quality. CLICK HERE for further Counsel.
Father YHVH God, You've been very clear about apostasy, falling away, luke-warmness, departure from the faith, etc. during the days of the end. THANK YOU! Help us, we pray, to accept and honor the full Counsel of Your Word concerning this matter. Help us balance whereby we avoid the many deceptions of half truths. Thank You for, in Your mercy and grace, providing us the means to overcome. May we abide in Your Vine; may we walk in Your Spirit. Unto Your glory and praise we pray, amen.
Week of 2/12-16 (B7;18)
On End-Time Righteousness
Romans 12:9-21 & 13:11-14 ; NKJV
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ... And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
II Peter 3:11, 14 (NKJV)
Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness ... Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless ...
Precious, HOLY Father, thank You for the MANY passages which speak to separation from the world and the carnal things of the world. God Most High, please help imbalanced churches who think they can be friends with the world. Help them understand that they cannot - even in Your eyes - be (friends). Please remind them that friendship with the world is enmity against You and that You, as You did with Your compromised Old Covenant people Israel, will judge the lukewarm. Dear Savior, guide us as we continue to be Your Ambassadors who press on in loving proclamation - to the world - the message of salvation from sin and death through Jesus Christ Your beloved Son. Help us, dear Lord, who seek to obey You in separating from the world, to be ongoing lights to the world and to carnal churches, lights which point to You and Your kind mercy and grace if we would but humble ourselves and repent. Thank You, Father, for Luke 18:9-14. Help us to walk, in mind and action, therein; help us to love as Your Son, Jesus Christ, loved. Unto Your glory and praise we pray, in Christ Jesus' holy name, amen.
A "P.S." based on James 1:21-25 ...
IF our response to this call (to walk in righteousness) is flesh based, actions therefrom are fruitless, for it's the LORD Who needs to build (even) this house. IF, on the other hand, our active responses to His Word on this matter of righteous livingare based on His moving in our lives - through our abiding in the Vine (John 15) and walking in His Spirit (Galatians 5) - then there's precious justification for the ongoing celebration of Philippians 1:6. What GRACE! Praise to His dear name.
Week of 2/19-23 (B8;18)
God's Call: "WATCH!"
Mark 13:37 (NKJV)
( Our Lord Jesus speaking ... ) "And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"
Selected verses from Luke 21 (NKJV) - Jesus Christ continuing to speak, especially to those listening:
" ... And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
Dear Father of our soon-coming King, Jesus Christ, thank You for Your caring Counsel to us, Counsel of warning about the end-time dangers currently raging. Help us, please, to endure in love (see Mt. 24:12) by pressing on in Your King- dom work of Gospel proclamation and Discipleship activity. Thank You for reminding us NOT to grow weary in well doing. Thank You for Your Counsel which calls us to very specific end-time perspective during these days of the end. THANK YOU for the insights You have so graciously provided - wisdom as to just how to walk victoriously in Christ Jesus Your Son before His initial appearing. May we be Your lights during this dark hour, unto Your glory and praise. In the holy name of Jesus Christ our Lord - Your beloved Son in Whom You were and continue to be well pleased - we pray. Amen
Week of 2/26 - 3/2 (B9;18)
God's End-Time Forewarning: APOSTASY
Matthew 24:9-11 (ESV ; emphasis ours)
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
II Thessalonians 2:1-3 (NKJV ; emphasis ours)
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means, for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition. ...
I Timothy 4:1 (NKJV ; emphasis ours)
Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons ...
We would include this encouragement: Please also include (in your Bible reading on this theme of "apostasy") our Lord's letters to His churches, for these words of Counsel paint the perspective God wants His end-time Church to embrace as we walk through these end of days.
Dear Savior and soon-coming King, THANK YOU for kindly instructing us through Your Word as You have. We PRAISE You for being faithful to us in what You say. You have predicted falling away in these days of the end and that's exactly what we are discerning/seeing. Help us understand that apostasy includes the possibility of eternal separation from You - that certain con- cessions to the world will keep some out of eternal existence in Your awesome presence. As we bow to the full Counsel of Your revelation to us, impress upon our minds, please, that You are ever faithful to Your promises - ALL of them, including the ones which speak to this grave issue of falling away from the faith. In light of Your Counsel concerning endurance, help us better understand Your statement: "Those who endure to the end will be saved." Help us grow in further discernment regarding the full scope of Your revelation about SALVATION. Unto Your glory and praise, for our best interests and for the interests of the lost, we pray, in Your holy name, amen.
Week of 3/5-9 (B10;18)
Matthew 24:9-14 (ESV)
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.
... We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.
(The above 2 passages are taken from the NKJV Bible.)
Glorious Father, thank You so for Your forewarning concerning this matter of end-time persecution. Help us embrace Your perspective which was so perfectly modeled by Your Son - praise to Your holy name. Help us view the ongoing sufferings of Christ of Your true people as a blessing. Help us to remain faithful and respond to dark opposition with the mind of Christ, in part, as expressed in Mt. 5:10-12. Yes Lord, help us rejoice as we incur the sufferings of Your Son unto Your glory and praise.
P.S. The DVD, Polycarp, is still available to those who ask - those residing in the continental USA. Simply email us using the "Contact Us" link at the top of this page.
Week of 3/12-16 (B11;18)
FLEE Personal Idolatry
I John 5:21 (NKJV)
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen
Dear Darling of Heaven, help us better discern our own personal idols which might, if held in esteem above You, keep some out of heaven. Lord, protect us from our own manifestations of the carnal self. Yes, Lord, please embolden us to say NO to those idols which will keep people out of everlasting life with You if they bow to con- cessions of eternally consequential degree. Lord, may no one compromise the doctrine of Your Son (II John 7-11). Lord, may no one who names Your name bow to the mark of the beast whereby their names are omitted from the Lamb's Book of Life. And, caring Shepherd, help us to further discern the other contemporary idols which potentially direct us to spiritual adultery leading to eternal damnation. In Jesus Christ's holy name I pray, amen.
Week of 3/19-23 (B12;18)
God's Call: Be READY!
In light of where we are (on the prophetic calendar), we strongly encourage readiness in the context of both material and spiritual preparedness.
Material (e.g., means to have food in the lean days ahead) preparedness includes application of this passage:
Matthew 24:44-47 (NKJV ; emphasis ours)
Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.
Spiritual readiness, given the growing hostility against God's people in Jesus Christ, includes the application of the per- spectives which are articulated in this passage:
Matthew 5:10-16 (NKJV)
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Lord God, we praise You for gracing us with discernment through Your Word and Your Holy Spirit. May we "abound more and more" in this perspective of readiness/preparedness. May we trust You through the process, including the expressing of trust by acting upon Your mandates which speak to things YOU want Your people to be about (doing) before the 3rd Seal of Revelation 6 is opened. Help us to be doers of Your Word and not hearers only. In the sweet and holy name of Your beloved Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
A SPECIAL Easter Blog
Think On These Things
Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise-worthy - meditate on these things.
The news channels sure neglect the promotion of the above in what they choose to report on day by day. Today we're encouraging the application of the verse above. Yes, let's do just that regarding the GREATEST of all events in human history. Let's ponder, through the devotional reading of God's Word, the closing days of our Lord Jesus Christ before His loving passion on our behalf. Here's a suggested reading schedule through April 1st ...
And we'll assume all readers won't necessarily view this on Friday, March 23rd. Note: The numbers below are CHAPTERS of the book (to read for that day.)
Dear Lord, please pour out Your Holy Spirit on those who take the time to seek Your face through this devotional reading in preparation for our Resurrection Sunday celebrations! Thank You for loving us so. Thank You for calling us to think on things that are significantly bright in these days of great darkness. We praise Your holy name. In the name above all names - in the name of Jesus Christ Your beloved Son our Savior we pray. Amen
April 1 Daniel 1 April 2 Daniel 2 ... etc. ... April 11 Daniel 11 April 12 Daniel 12 April 13 John 13 April 14 John 14 April 15 John 15 April 16 John 16 April 17 I Tim. 4 April 18 II Tim. 3 April 19 II Tim. 4 April 20 II Thes. 2 April 21 I Thes. 4 April 22 I Thes. 5 April 23 I Cor. 15 April 24 Mt. 24 April 25 Mt. 25 April 26 I John 1 April 27 I John 2 April 28 I John 3 April 29 I John 4 April 30 I John 5
May 1 Revelation 1 May 2 Rev. 2 ... etc. ... May 21 Rev. 21 May 22 Rev. 22 May 23 Hebrews 5 May 24 Heb. 6 May 25 Heb. 7 May 26 Heb. 8 May 27 Heb. 9 May 28 Heb. 10 May 29 Heb. 11 May 30 Heb. 12 May 31 Heb. 13
June 1 Psalm 131 June 2 Psalm 132 June 3 Psalm 133 ... etc. ... June 18 Psalm 148 June 19 Psalm 149 June 20 Psalm 150 June 21 John 14 June 22 John 16 June 23 Mark 13 June 24 Matthew 24 June 25 Matthew 25 June 26 Luke 12 June 27 Luke 17 June 28 Luke 21 June 29 Revelation 2 June 30 Revelation 3
Precious Creator God, thank You for Your kind and generous revelation to us concerning the end of days. Thank You so for making man in Your image - man and woman! We bow our knees in worship to You, the One True God. Help us, Father. Help us apply Your "to do" mandates whereby we continue as salt and light in this dark world. Open our eyes to this reality: To love You is to honor and obey Your loving Counsel to us. In the sweet name of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen
A special end-of-quarter blog ...
A Message of HOPE & RESURRECTION Praise
Dear global inhabitants,
God has clearly communicated HIS most basic message to us:
Humanity has a problem: SIN & the consequence of SIN is both physical & spiritual (eternal) DEATH.
God loves His special creation made in His image (man) such that He is willing to SAVE us from that which all of humanity has not been able to save us from: SIN and DEATH.
God has come - Immanuel - as the Son of God, Jesus Christ to:
1. Pay for the SIN of all of mankind through His blood by dying on the cross - Good Friday's celebration!
2. Erase the consequence of SIN - death - by His victory over death through His resurrection - Resurrection Sunday's celebration!
One CONDITION is required to apply God's provision over sin and death: One MUST receive God's gift in the person and work of Jesus Christ in order to activate, personally, this gift of forgive- ness of sin and eternal life which the one true and glorious Creator YHVH God has made available to all ... to whosoever will.
In HIM - in Christ alone - we find our solutions to sin and death; In HIM - in Christ alone - we are offered salvation unto life eternal.
One must personally acknowledge and repent of his/her sin AND accept by faith, God's mercy and grace in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you IN CHRIST today? If NOT, please CLICK HERE for directions to enter into Life in Him.
If you are IN CHRIST today, please consider this message from Him:
"But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. BUT he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great." (Luke 6:46-49 ; NJKV ; emphases ours ; also see Mt. 7:13-29)
Dear Savior God, thank You for dying for the sins of man. Thank You for Your glorious victory over death through Your resurrection. Father, thank You for creating all things through Your eternal Word - God with us - Who came to seek and to save the lost. Thank You for Your Son, our Savior - Christ Jesus our Lord. And thank You, Lord Jesus, for sending Your Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God. We praise You for the glorious heavenly blessings in Christ Jesus as we walk in Your Spirit unto Your glory and praise. Blessed be! You, oh Most High YHVH God. Even so, please come quickly Lord Jesus! Amen
2nd Quarter Blogs
Week of 4/2-6 (B14;18)
God's Holy Word: FOREVER Powerful & True
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.
Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.
Psalm 119:89, 160
[ Jesus Christ speaking ] Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Matthew 5:17, 18
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
II Timothy 3:16, 17
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
( passages quoted from the NKJ version of the Bible )
Father God, thank You for Your revelation to us concerning You being Truth. And thank You for caring so for us that You have revealed crucial Truths to us concerning You and our upcoming eternal existence. Help, please, the unbelieving to know their eternal state is only bright in You. Move them to better discern the truths which Your Son proclaimed concerning the awful state of the one sent to the Lake of Fire. And help Your people in Christ Jesus Your Son heed Your Counsel regarding the importance of enduring to the end. Yes precious God of glory, God of grace, thank You for Your love letter to us in Your Word. In Jesus Christ's holy name we pray. Amen
Week of 4/9-13 (B15;18)
The 10 Kings
You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs or iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king [ King Nebuchadnezzar ], are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all - you are this head of gold. But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold - the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.
Daniel 2:31-35, 36-45
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication." ... I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. But the angel said to me, "Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. ... The ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."
Revelation 17:1, 2, 6, 7, 12-14
The passages above are taken from the NKJV ; emphases ours.
Lord, may we follow the correct and most appropriate example of King Nebuchadnezzar and fall on our faces in worshipful awe of You. Thank You for Daniel 2:46, 47. May we, Your Church, be wise enough to say, "NO!" to the antichrist who will depose three of the soon-to-appear kings of the days of the end and, together with the other beast, set up another image of great darkness [ cf. Daniel 3 ]. In Your kind mercy and grace, let the reader, Lord, understand. In Jesus Christ's precious name, amen.
A question to seriously ponder:
Could MBS be a possible candidate for the antichrist?
Please use explicit Bible data when you research this question.
Week of 4/16-20 (B16;18)
The THREE Kings Of Daniel 7
Daniel spoke, saying, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other." ... "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was con- sidering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words." ... "I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame." ... "Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Thus he said: The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.
Daniel 7:2, 3, 7, 8; 11; 19-25* ...
(the quotation above is taken from the NKJV)
Lord God omniscient and omnipotent, please help Your Saints in Your Son, Jesus Christ, maintain/persevere in the Daniel 7:26, 27 perspective whereby we are strongly encouraged to heed Your Counsel to endure to the end. Thank You for Your mandate to do so - so clearly given by Your Son [as recorded in Mark 13:13]. We PRAISE You most kind and protective Shepherd of our souls. Amen
* Amazing predictions indeed, yet, in the unfolding of it all, another one of those "but God" chapters opens - see verse 26! :-)
Week of 4/23-27 (B17;18)
How GREAT Is Our God
King David enjoyed a bigger-picture perspective. Here's a small part of his song of praise to the LORD:
Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Each day proclaim the good news that He saves. Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be revered above all gods. The gods of other nations are merely idols, but the LORD made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround Him; strength and beauty are in His dwelling.
I Chronicles 16:23-27 ; NLT ; emphases ours
And in this context, please recall this:
(Jesus Christ speaking) " ... I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (see John 14:6 ; NKJV)
Holy Triune God, we praise You. We thank You for Your mercy and grace. Your mercies are new every morning; Your grace is sufficient and sweet. We bow our knees in humble adoration oh everlasting Father. Please come quickly Lord Jesus. Amen
Week of 4/30 - 5/4 (B18;18)
The 3rd Seal Of Revelation 6
When He [the Lamb] opened the third seal, I [John] heard the third living creature say, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and the wine.
(Revelation 6:5, 6 ; NKJV)
Priceless Protective Shepherd: There is NONE like Thee! We praise You concerning how You have walked with Your covenant peoples over the past six millennia. You are, indeed, merciful and holy. Blessed be. Thank You that we - the final generation of Your eternal New Covenant people in Jesus Christ Your Son - are SAFE in Your loving hands ... even through martyrdom if that be our lot. Help us Father. Help us rightly prepare - in mind, material provision and spirit - whereby we heed Your Counsel toward being properly watchful so that we avoid the failure of the Sardis Church [see Rev. 3:1-6]. We don't want to be those who find ourselves unpre- pared for the theif-in-the-night appearing of our Savior. Instead, Lord God, we desire to be Your Ambassadors during the early part of the Day of the Lord before our final trumpet rapture gathering whereby we miss Your wrath when it is poured out during the Bowls of Wrath. All-knowing Father, thank You for Your Counsel in I Thes. 5! May we be doers of Your Word unto Your glory and praise. In the name of the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world ... in the name of Your dear Son in Whom You are well pleased, amen.
Week of 5/7-11 (B19;18)
The Debut Of The Antichrist, The Man Of Lawlessness
After this I [Daniel] saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots.
And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. ... I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them ... The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, and shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means. And the vision of the evenings and mornings which was told is true; therefore seal up the vision, for it refers to many days in the future.
There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom; but within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or in battle. And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue. With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant. And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time.
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken, in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts him- self above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so untill He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Daniel 7:8, 21, 24-27 ; Daniel 8:23-26 ; Daniel 11:20, 21-24 and II Thessalonians 2:1-12 (NKJV)
Also see page 185 - titled "Future Events to Ponder" - in our book, The Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering: An Introduction for further contemporary cultural affairs most important to our well being. Note the left column.
Omniscient Father God, we once again offer sincere and deeply humble praise to You for graciously revealing to us Your Counsel regarding the end of days - our days. Open our eyes, please, that we may behold awesome things which Your Word speaks to con- cerning the days around the public emergence of the little horn, the antichrist. In the name of Jesus Christ Your Son we pray, amen.
Week of 5/14-18 (B20;18)
Our OMNISCIENT Informant
Do you know how the clouds are balanced, those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
I John 3:20
I am the LORD, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them. ... Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure' ...
Isaiah 42:8, 9 ; 46:9, 10
(The passages above are taken from the NKJV ; emphases ours)
YHVH God knows perfectly, encompassing everything, even the future.
Lord God, as You well know in Your omniscience, one message high- lighted in the Contact movie was such an example of self deception! Please open the eyes of the defiant and show them their blatant dis- regard for Truth. Yes Lord, expose the fallacy they hold, especially in light of Your Word which speaks to Your foreknowledge of end- time events. THANK YOU for the powerful analogy of Isaiah 55:8, 9 and the revelation that You've created the vastness of our universe to, in part, illustrate the degree of Your omniscience. And help us Your people, Lord! Help us heed Your Counsel concerning our new lives in Your Son during these end of days. Help us to shine for You in these days of great darkness. We PRAISE You loving Creator and Savior. It's in Christ Jesus' holy name we pray, amen.
P.S. God's knowledge of each man (male and female) is MOST intimate! Jesus' insights as recorded in Matthew 6:8 and 10:30 speak to His knowledge of each and every one of us. Psalm 139 (e.g., see vv. 1, 2, 4, 16) testifies to the reality of God's omniscience. Will we respond realistically like David the psalmist did? - see verse 6
God also knows our greatest need: to be in His Son, the Lord Jesus. Have YOU placed your trust in Him (by receiving Him by faith) whereby you are eternally saved from your sin - sin which brings death and separation from God IF one rejects His gift of Life in God's only Savior, Jesus Christ?
Week of 5/21-25 (B21;18)
The TAX Imposer Of Daniel 11
There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom; but within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or in battle. Daniel 11:20 ; NKJV
Many believe, in light of the content of the rest of this eleventh chapter, the antichrist is described in Daniel 11:21ff. Because this vile person rises after the one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom, it is reasonable to include this tax imposer as one of the signs which come prior to the activity of the vile person.
Father God, as the book of Daniel manifests itself to be Your written book (written through Daniel) due to the accuracy of the specific forecast of the global kingdoms which followed the Babylonian empire, so too does this book speak to very specific details concerning things which take place before the little horn fulfills Your prophetic details concerning the covenant, the taking away of the daily sacrifices and who then goes on to set up the abomination of desolation. THANK YOU for informing us as to events which come before the war this one brings against Your saints. Help us, Father, rightly prepare to be Your lights during these days, too - for those who remain on the earth during this fantastic time.
Week of 5/28 - 6/1 (B22;18)
Seals 4 & 5 And The War Against The Saints
When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come and see." So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. Revelation 6:7, 8 ; NKJV
When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. Revelation 6:9-11 ; NKJV
(Also see Daniel 7 & Rev. 13 concerning details about the three-and-a-half year war against God's Sheep in Christ.)
Holy Father, how much clearer could You have been regarding the Truth which Your Son declared concerning Your people in Him: In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world. May we follow in the footsteps of Your Son and overcome. And for those who would be ever so hesitant to receive Your Son's Counsel to us, Your Church, may You open their eyes to the Truths of Revelation 2 & 3 as we continue in this final period of global persecution. Yes, LORD, may we obey Your Son and over- come, for as He has stated, those who endure to the end will be saved. In Jesus Christ's victorious name we pray, amen.
Week of 6/4-8 (B23;18)
The Daniel 9:27 Covenant
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week ["and for half of the week" ; ESV] He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate. Daniel 9:27 ; NKJV / ESV
Dear Shepherd over our souls, THANK YOU for kindly making known to us some of the important and most specific events which will take place before Your Son's initial appearing. At His appearing - which will serve to begin the day of Christ / the Day of the Lord - may we watch and be ready in light of Your instructions to the Sardis church. And Lord, THANK YOU for Your en- couraging Counsel in I Thes. 5. Please help us, through Your Spirit's moving in our lives, to be ready such that we are not caught off guard (that is, unprepared). THANK YOU, heavenly Father, for warning us as You have. In the precious name of Your Son, Christ Jesus, we pray, amen.
Week of 6/11-15 (B24;18)
The Setting Up Of The Abomination Of Desolation
[ Jesus Christ speaking: ] "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one an- other. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Therefore, when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened." Matthew 24:9-22 ; NKJV
Lord God, Your Son taught us SO many things in this passage. Help us to discern the man of lawlessness when he is revealed. Please shine through us whereby we serve as Your Ambassadors during this time of war against Your Saints. May we endure to the end as You have so clearly instructed. With praise to YOU, Oh God Most High. Amen
Father God, the entirety of Thy Word is Truth! Oh Lord, please bring on, as You promise, Isaiah 55:10, 11.
July 1 Daniel 1 July 2 Daniel 2 ... etc. ... July 11 Daniel 11 July 12 Daniel 12 July 13 Mark 13 July 14 John 14 July 15 I Cor. 15 July 16 I Thes. 4 July 17 Revelation 11 July 18 Revelation 14 July 19 II Thes. 2 July 20 I Thes. 5 July 21 I Tim. 4 July 22 II Tim. 3 July 23 II Tim. 4 July 24 Titus 3 July 25 James 5 July 26 I John 1 July 27 I John 2 July 28 I John 3 July 29 I John 4 July 30 I John 5 July 31 II & III John
August 1 Rev. 1 August 2 Rev. 2 ... etc. ... August 21 Rev. 21 August 22 Rev. 22 August 23 Psalm 53 August 24 Psalm 54 August 25 Psalm 55 August 26 Psalm 56 August 27 Psalm 57 August 28 Psalm 58 August 29 Psalm 59 August 30 Psalm 60 August 31 Psalm 61
September 1 Daniel 1 September 2 Daniel 2 (repetition for the sake of emphasis: Please note how applicable these chapters are to our present culture!) ... etc. ... September 11 Daniel 11 September 12 Daniel 12 September 13 Matthew 24 September 14 Matthew 25 September 15 Luke 17 September 16 Luke 21 September 17 John 10 September 18 John 11 ... etc. ... September 27 John 20 September 28 John 21 September 29 Rev. 2 September 30 Rev. 3
Lord, may You, by Your Spirit, bring fruitful blessing as we seek Your face through the reading of Your holy, precious Word. In Jesus Christ's name we pray, amen.
Week of 6/25-29 (B26;18)
5 Loaves & 2 Fish - A Mid-Year Assessment
And the day began to decline, and the twelve came and said to Him, "Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place." But He [Jesus Christ] said to them, "You give them something to eat!" And they said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people." (For there were about five thousand men). And He said to His disciples, "Have them recline to eat in groups of about fifty each." And they did so, and had them all recline. And He took the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they all ate and were satisfied; and that which was left over to them of the broken pieces was picked up, twelve baskets full. (Luke 9:12-17 ; NASV)
Our Father of lights is the Provider of every good and perfect gift!
While some ministries have many thousands of dollars with which to work, our actual annual budgets (here at Endurance Ministries) have always been, since our incorporation in 2000, under $10,000. Given this ministry is not burdened with salary compensation or typical personal ministry reimbursements, it's been a blessing to keep ministry costs at a minimum.
But what about ministry fruit ?
God has been very good to us in many respects. Here's one provision along the lines of His confirmed blessing under the category of ministry fruit:
He has multiplied our small amount - 5 loaves and 2 fish - into a vast provision feeding thousands ... like His Son did almost 2,000 years ago during His teaching and preaching ministries.
But unlike multiplying the small financial amount we (in His precious mercy and grace) have, He has provided through the multiplication of the messages He has commissioned us to bring.
Although it's unlike what our Savior accomplished - multiplying loaves into a great number of loaves and a couple fish into a great number of fish - God has blessed us by allowing us to con- tribute toward the accomplishment of a different miracle - one His Son also performed: Multiplying a small message (with a very limited budget) into a great and beneficial message reaching many.
Oh Lord God, may You be glorified in all our Kingdom efforts, especially unto Your people's improved preparedness through discipleship, unto the salvation of the lost through Gospel proclamation AND ultimately, unto Your glory and praise! In Jesus Christ's name we ask these things, amen.
3rd Quarter Blogs
Week of 7/2-6 (B27;18)
God's Directive To Us: "Walk In MY Wisdom"
Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:97-100; 105 ; NKJV)
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God - and righteousness and sanctifi- cation and redemption - that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD." (I Corinthians 1:26-31 ; NKJV ; bold emphasis ours)
Dear holy, Creator YHVH God, through Your Word You created all things. Praise be to Your glorious name. Move us to walk in Your wisdom. Help us better understand we have, in Your Word, more wisdom than our enemies! Help us walk - in our actions - in this perspective: We have more understanding than all our teachers who do not honor Your testimonies! Help us to live consistently as we take our daily steps, in alignment with Your Truth - that we understand more than the ancients! And THANK YOU, Lord, that it's Your Truth - not ours - which allows us to live in humble confidence and that this confident demeanor is available to anyone who is willing to submit to Your worldview perspective. Lord, free us from the bondages of darkness by illumining our minds to Your high ways! Please do so for YOUR glory and praise. In the name of Your beloved Son we pray, amen.
Week of 7/9-13 (B28;18)
Communication Is Good !
And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles, and they caused great joy to all the brethren. And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they re- ported all things that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses." Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.
[ Then, a letter (that is, further COMMUNICATION) went out ... ]
Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren. They wrote this letter by them:
The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, "You must be circumcised and keep the law" - to whom we gave no such commandment - it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden that these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.
So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. (Acts 15:1-6 ; our commentary ; 22-31 ; NKJV)
Also see blog CB7B;18 - our commentary blog further highlighting a great opportunity on this topic. You'll find this blog on our 2018 commentary blog page.
Father God, my how Your revelation has kept us on track! Thank You for communication in general. Help us, Lord, to be willing to further communicate (even in the setting of debate) whereby Your Truths are highlighted in such a way which promotes our listening to Your Word - a light unto our path and a lamp unto our feet. And Lord, if this debate should take place, please open the eyes of our hearts, too! Do so in such a way that fosters obedience to You concerning our being prepared and ready to meet the challenges ahead. In the name of Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Week of 7/16-20 (B29;18)
God's Precious MERCY In Times Of Trouble
Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, until He has mercy on us. Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt. Psalm 123:1-3 (NKJV)
Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22, 23 (NKJV)
LORD, during these days and the soon-coming hellish days of the war against Your Saints in Jesus Christ, have mercy upon us. Give us resolve to walk in Your Spirit and abide in Your Vine. May we be faithful Ambassadors to the end. In Jesus Christ's holy name, amen.
Week of 7/23-27 (B30;18)
Sincere Expressions Of Faith
But Lord, be merciful to us, for we have waited for you. Be our strength each day and our salvation in times of trouble. The enemy runs at the sound of your voice. When you stand up, the nations flee! Isaiah 33:2, 3 (NLT)
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. Matthew 24:9-13 (NKJV)
Precious Shepherd, please guide Your needy sheep during these most challenging times. Supernaturally empower Your Saints in Christ Jesus to continue loving to the end. Help us, LORD, we pray. Blessed be Your holy name. Amen
Week of 7/30 - 8/3 (B31;18)
PRAISE From Those You Have Touched
For I know that the LORD is great, and our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places. ... Your name, O LORD, endures forever, Your fame, O LORD, throughout all generations. For the LORD will judge His people, and He will have compassion on His servants. Psalm 135:5, 6, 13, 14 (NKJV)
You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created. ... And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!" Revelation 4:11 ; 5:13 (NKJV)
Glorious Father God, You alone are God. Thank You for expressing Yourself so perfectly through Your Savior - Everlasting Father! We praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ the LORD. Thank You, too, for the JOY and PEACE You so graciously and abundantly impart to Your adopted children in Your Son. Grace us, please, with lives which shine Your light as we keep in mind we will, one day, give account to You. It's through the dear name of Christ Jesus Your Son that we bring our prayers before You. AlleluJah
Week of 8/6-10 (B32;18)
Responding As God Would Have Us Respond
And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper. So Aaron said to Moses, "Oh, my Lord! Please do not lay this sin on us, in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned. Please do not let her be as one dead, whose flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother' womb!" So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, Please heal her, O God, I pray!" Numbers 12:10-13 ; NKJV
[ Jesus Christ speaking ... ] "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others ? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 ; NKJV
Lord God, we pray for our foes who rise up against us. Open their eyes we pray. May we abide in loving, compassionate mercy toward our dark enemies and may we continue praying for their change of heart before it's too late. Thank You for the moving of Your Spirit which softens hearts as far as You can given Your perfect expression of love which allows man to choose. Balancing Your eternal Truths (in our affirming the full Counsel of Your revelation to us) is so crucial today. May we yield to Your Spirit within us to live in balance as You define it. Unto Your glory and praise we pray, amen.
Week of 8/13-17 (B33;18)
A Crucial Mindset - Even During The End Of Days ...
Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the floodwater over- flow me, nor let the deep swallow me up; and let not the pit shut its mouth on me. Psalm 69:14, 15 ; NKJV
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. I Corinthians 10:13 ; NKJV
THANK YOU, Lord, that You do not allow anything to come our way that we cannot handle as we abide in You. May we endure as we partake in the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ - Son of God, Savior. In His name we pray. Amen
Week of 8/20-24 (B34;18)
JOY In Patient Endurance
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4 ; NKJV)
Father of lights, we so appreciate Your Counsel. Thank You for fore- warning us about trials, including both the general ones and the ones especially pressing during the end of days. Allow us, we pray, in Your mercy and grace, to walk in YOUR perspective prior to the initial appearing of Your glorious Son. In Jesus Christ's name we pray, amen.
Week of 8/27-31 (B35;18)
Oh Come Let Us ADORE Him ...
Give to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. The world also is firmly established, it shall not be moved. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; and let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." Let the sea roar; and all its fullness; let the field rejoice, and all that is in it. Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth. I Chronicles 16:29-33 ; NKJV
He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star. And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:11-17 ; NKJV
Father God, what can we say but You reign! Thank You, oh LORD MOST HIGH, for all that You have revealed to us in Your Word. We are grateful dear God Most High. Please receive our thankgivings and praises through Jesus Christ our Lord, for it's in His name we come into Your glorious presence expressing these cries of our hearts. Thank You Abba, for everything. Amen
Week of 9/3-7 (B36;18)
Continuing In Prayer
Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: "O Lord Almighty, if you will look down upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut." I Samuel 1:10, 11 ; NLT
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. I Thes. 5:16-22 ; NKJV (also see Luke 18:1-8)
Father, as Lord God, we are humbled that You would even be willing to listen to our cries. Yet, in Your loving kindness, You do. Thank You precious God Most High. Thank You for loving your people in Jesus Christ as You do. We are grateful. Please keep us on Your straight and narrow whereby our sins do not cause You to close Your ear to our expressions of adoration, our confessions, our sincere thanksgivings and our words of supplication. In Christ Jesus we pray, amen.
Week of 9/10-14 (B37;18)
YHVH God, There Is None Like THEE!
Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord; nor are there any works like Your works. All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name. For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God. Psalm 86:8-10 ; NKJV
Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure ...' Isaiah 46:9, 10 ; NKJV ; emphasis ours
Please pray your prayer of response to these precious Truths, recalling God will indeed bring all of His prophetic declarations to fruition ... unto His glory and praise.
Week of 9/17-21 (B38;18)
Even So, Please COME Lord Jesus
The earth is the LORD's, and all its fullness; the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters. ... Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah Psalm 24:1, 2, 9, 10 ; NKJV
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Matthew 25:31-33 ; NKJV
Father of glory, thank You for the double rainbow* recently! You alone are glorious Creator. We praise You for Your trustworthy Word. Help us understand we need to walk with You after our initial regeneration so as to be the sheep You've called us to be. Please make a short work of the earth; come quickly Lord Jesus.
* CLICK HERE for information about another double rainbow.
Week of 9/24-28 (B39;18)
From Everlasting To Everlasting, Thou Art GOD
"Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? You stretched out Your right hand; the earth swallowed them. You in Your mercy have led forth the people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation. Exodus 15:11-13 ; NKJV
They [ those who have the victory over the beast ] sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested." Revelation 15:3, 4 ; NKJV
LORD God Most High, we honor You as God alone. May You be blessed in and through our lives as we live as Your living sacrifices unto Your glory and praise. May we be faithful Ambassadors of Jesus Christ Your glorious Son, in whose name we pray, amen.
By God's precious grace, he has given us His Counsel of light and life in order to navigate the worst storm in the history of mankind. We SO encourage you to seek His instruction during these days prior to Jesus Christ's glorious rapture gathering of His Church.
October 1 Revelation 1 October 2 Revelation 2 ... etc. ... October 21 Revelation 21 October 22 Revelation 22 October 23 Psalm 23 October 24 Matthew 24 October 25 Matthew 25 October 26 Mark 13 October 27 Luke 12 October 28 Luke 17 October 29 Luke 21 October 30 I Timothy 4 October 31 II Timothy 3, 4
November 1 Psalm 51 November 2 Psalm 52 ... etc. ... November 29 Psalm 79 November 30 Psalm 80
December 1 Daniel 1 December 2 Daniel 2 ... etc. .. December 11 Daniel 11 December 12 Daniel 12 December 13 I Thes. 4 December 14 John 14 December 15 I Cor. 15 December 16 Rev. 11, 14 December 17 I Thes. 5 December 18 II Thes. 2 December 19 Joel 2, Acts 2 December 20 Isaiah 40 December 21 Isaiah 55 December 22 Psalms 1, 19 December 23 Psalm 119 December 24 Luke 3 December 25 Matthew 1 December 26 John 1 December 27 John 2 December 28 John 3 December 29 II Peter 1 December 30 II Peter 2 December 31 II Peter 3
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 ; NKJV)
Oh glorious One, may Your Word which goes forth from Your mouth bring ministry to our weary bones during the dark days which will soon fall upon mankind. May we Your people in Jesus Christ Your Son be Your faithful Ambassadors to a world in great need. Shine Jesus shine. We praise You holy Father and rejoice in being able to do so as a result of the cleansing blood of Your Lamb - Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord and through Your Holy Spirit's moving in our lives. Thank You precious Father.
Week of 10/8-12 (B41;18)
God's WORD To His Church Today - Part 1
To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake, and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place - unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. (Revelation 2:1-7 ; NKJV)
Oh LORD our God, we exalt Thee. You alone are God Most High and there is no other. Father, thank You for loving us as You do. Thank You for loving us to the extent You graciously bring (to Your people in Christ Jesus Your Son) warning. We are so reminded of the book of Jude which also lovingly extends warning to those whom You have called, sanctified and preserved. Lord, may You work the good works in us which return us to our first love. We confess wayward moments, Lord. We confess these times, claim Your generous forgiveness - I John 1:8-10 - and go on to cry out to You for Your help to live our lives in Your Son in ways that please Your great name. Yes, Holy Father God, we want to be like Your Son in whom You are well pleased. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit's enabling to those who are baptized in You. We are sincerely grateful for this, Your gift to us! In Jesus Christ's name we pray, amen.
Week of 10/15-19 (B42;18)
God's WORD To His Church Today - Part 2
To the angel of the church of Smyrna write, These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death. (Revelation 2:8-11 ; NKJV)
Father God, Your Word is amazing. In the spirit of thanksgiving, we express sincere thanks and praise for Your grace in being so willing to lead us through Your precious Word. Help us, Lord, to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone on before us. Help us, Lord, to endure to the end. And help us to do so with a grateful heart knowing the sufferings of the days ahead will not even be able to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us IF we but endure. Help us, Lord, to follow Your Counsel to the end, knowing it is those who overcome - even faithful unto death - who will not be hurt by the second death. Loving Father, we gladly serve You as living sacrifices - whatever that may bring. And thank You for enabling us to live in victory through the sufferings of Christ Your holy Son as we abide in Your Vine and walk in Your Spirit. Lord, we PRAISE Your great name. In Jesus Christ we pray, amen.
Week of 10/22-26 (B43;18)
God's WORD To His Church Today - Part 3
To the angel of the church of Pergamos write, These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mounth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it. (Revelation 2:12-17 ; NKJV)
Precious Father, some Christians act as if Your book of Revelation is not applicable to Your Church today. Lord, how far from the Truth that perspective is! Your Word is a powerful two-edged sword. Thank You for the pertinent Counsel in this book which closed Your canonical written revelation to us. Thank You for calling us to hold fast! Thank You for loving us perfectly, even to the extent of disclosing areas in our lives which still need correction. Thank You for - even two thousand years after Your Son's similar appeals - calling us to repent. May we humble ourselves, confess our sins and take the next step of repentance: change ... may we stop sinning. Lord, all of Your Word is Truth - Psalm 119:160 - and is forever settled in heaven. Help us embrace Your perspective as to the truthfulness of Your entire Word, including Your warnings of eternal consequences tied to the practice of sin, for these warnings in Your Word are many! Thank You for Your Spirit's help toward overcoming. May we walk in Your Spirit during these days of tremendous opportunity. Unto Your glory and praise we pray, in Jesus Christ's name, amen.
The following blog is a brief interruption of our current series on the 7 Revelation churches.
Week of 10/29 - 11/2 (B44;18)
God's Commands To Each And Every One
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And what- ever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His command- ments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son, Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us command- ment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. I John 3:18-24 ; NKJV
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14 ; NKJV
Father, thank You for being ever so clear. You say, even through Your Son, that we demonstrate our love for You through obedience. Thank You that this lifestyle is not a salvation-by-works effort but simply a loving response to You in our newborn state. Thank You for including in Your Word an essential command: I John 3:23. We love You by obeying Your command to believe on the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us affirm the full Counsel of Your Word and live as You have so called Your people to live. Thank You for Your Son's summary of Your commands by giving us the two great commandments. We love You by obeying You. We also love You by obeying Your command to love one another. Oh precious God of love, we praise You. Thank You for equipping us with the means to love You as we should. And thank You for forgiving us when we fall short. Even so, please come quickly Lord Jesus. Amen
Week of 11/5-9 (B45;18)
God's WORD To His Church Today - Part 4
To the angel of the church of Thyatira write, These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations - 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 2:18-29 ; NKJV)
Oh glorious Father in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. ... For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever, amen. In Jesus Christ's holy name we pray.
Because these passages are SO pertinent for God's Church in Jesus Christ today, we encourage you to offer prayers tied to the content in these Revelation 2 & 3 chapters. For example:
Holy Father, You are so clear regarding sexual sins. You have called us to separate from this world and we bow to the fact that this includes, among other things, our abstaining from sexual immorality - of all types. Lord, help us understand You are true to Your FULL Counsel, Counsel which includes the promise that those who practice sins of various types will NOT inherit Your Kingdom. Lord, through Your Holy Spirit's moving in our lives, help us walk in purity in these days of great unrighteousness. May we look up, for our salvation draws near. Until that day, may we abide in Your precious resources in order to walk fruitfully in You. Lord, may we RUN from sexual sin since it so pollutes the temples You desire to victoriously indwell. Thank You, Lord, for Romans 6 and I Corinthians 6! And Lord, by way of confession, when we fail, thank You for I John 1:9. What ongoing victory in Christ Jesus Your Lamb Who takes away the sin of the world, especially (effectually) the sins of those who, by faith, say "yes" to you and receive His sweet sin-forgiving provision. In His name - the name of Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
Week of 11/12-16 (B46;18)
God's WORD To His Church Today - Part 5
To the angel of the church of Sardis write, These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3:1-6 ; NKJV)
Father God, help us to watch as You, through Your Son, have so commanded Your people. Help us to honor Your Word and accept Your Son's warning as to consequences of failing to watch. And Lord, help us better balance Your Truths forever settled in heaven and simply affirm the obvious: You call Your people to walk in holiness and warn against hypocritical Christianity. Thank You Lord, for Your stern revelation in this church letter, especially in verses four and five but correction found throughout. These expressions of Fatherly love are received as such - oh how You love us Lord God. Thank You for demonstrating that love by being willing to correct us when we wander off Your straight and narrow. Allow us, please, we pray, to hear what Your Spirit says to Your Church today. In Jesus Christ's holy name we humbly pray, amen.
Week of 11/19-23 (B47;18)
God's WORD To His Church Today - Part 6
To the angel of the church of Philadelphia write, these things says He who is holy, He who is true, 'He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens ' : I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie - indeed, I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3:7-13 ; NKJV)
Blessed be Father God! Oh glorious One, please continue helping us follow in Your Son's footsteps of faithfulness. Help us to be those who keep Your Word, who are overcomers, who are unwilling to deny Your great and holy name. Lord God, we wish to honor You by enduring to the end. As we press forward in endurance, keep us, we pray, from the hour of trial. Yes Lord, help us hold fast in You during these most wicked days which are upon us today. May we redeem the Gospel opportunities unto Your glory and praise we pray. Amen
P.S. BLESSED [ in Christ Jesus ] THANKSGIVING celebrations to each and every one!
Week of 11/26-30 (B48;18)
God's WORD To His Church Today - Part 7
To the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, these things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' - and do not know that you are wretched, miser- able, poor, blind and naked - I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3:14-22 ; NKJV)
Holy Father, we contiue expressing our praise and thanks- givings to You for Your Son, Jesus Christ the Lord of lords and King of kings. Help us be zealous for You and Your eternal Kingdom things. Forgive us and move us forward in a fresh way. We even ask You to help us repent of the lukewarm state so many have fallen into over the course of time. Thank You for loving us enough to rebuke and chasten us. And once again, help us to be the overcomers You have called us to be. Unto Your glory and praise we ask these things, in Jesus Christ's holy name we pray, amen
Week of 12/3-7 (B49;18)
Thanksgiving Past ... Thanksgiving Ongoing
(The following is taken from The One Year Book of Bible Prayers - November 27th's read titled, "Drinking From the Fountain of Salvation")
With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation! In that wonderful day you will sing:
"Thank the Lord! Praise His name! Tell the world what he has done. Oh, how mighty he is! Sing to the Lord, for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world."
This excerpt is a pause of joyful praise in an otherwise frightful prediction from God's prophet Isaiah concerning Israel's disobedience. It is the prayer the Israelites will offer to God after he saves them from their sins. Isaiah compared their change of heart to quenching one's parched throat at a fountain. Isn't it amazing how experiencing the dreadful results of sin brings a new appreciation of the joys of obeying God? [ if we maintain a contrite heart and are willing to confess and repent when we foolishly choose to go astray ] The hearts of these newfound believers overflow with thanksgiving to God for all he has done. In prayer, thank God for saving you. Ask him to satisfy your parched soul and renew your spirit.
Dear Lord, I thank you and praise your name. You have done wonderful things ...
Scripture taken from Isaiah 12:3-5 ; NLT [ comment in bracket ours ]
Week of 12/10-14 (B50;18)
Christmas Cheer For All Of Next Year
The following history is taken from Luke 2 ...
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. ( And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one, into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:1-14 ; KJV)
Lord God Most High, we can't help but praise Your holy name. You are so good to us. Even more importantly, You are true to Yourself - Your fully perfect character and whole Being. We confess we are nothing and would be nothing without You, Father God. What a glorious difference You've made in our lives. Thank You for Your eternally significant Christmas Gift - Your Son. We break down in awe as we further ponder who we are in Him. Help us, Lord, in response, to love You through action - through our thoughts, words and deeds - as we abide in Your Vine, our Savior. Help us redeem the time - be it ever so short - as we walk in Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus Christ's name we pray, amen.
The Bible comes from One who is transcendent to us - as high as the heavens are above the earth. For those wise enough to discern and steer clear of the dark has God said ? influences and horrific bondages, be enriched by the following devotional reads:
1 John 1 2 John 2 ... etc. ... 20 John 20 21 John 21 22 I John 1 23 I John 2 24 I John 3 25 I John 4 26 I John 5 27 II John 28 III John 29 Matthew 24 30 Matthew 25 31 Mark 13
1 Luke 1 2 Luke 2 ... etc. ... 23 Luke 23 24 Luke 24 25 I Thes. 4 26 I Thes. 5 27 I Cor. 15 28 II Thes. 2
1 Matthew 1 2 Matthew 2 ... etc. ... 27 Matthew 27 28 Matthew 28 29 I Timothy 4 30 II Timothy 3 31 II Timothy 4
Father, may the milk and meat of Your Word nurture us such that we are prepared, each and every day - equipped to be Your fruitful Ambassadors in Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. May You be honored and praised as we are about Your Kingdom work of Gospel proclamation and Discipleship. THANK YOU for the honor and privilege to be graciously extended a part of this significant service opportunity! May we do it motivated by what motivated You to secure it - salvation - in the first place: LOVE for needy mankind! In Christ Jesus we pray. Amen
Week of 12/24-28 (B52;18)
As this past year has unfolded, we've seen the following:
~ the further increase in global unrest and rebellion ;
~ the mushrooming of wicked selfishness (for example, murders - NB: abortion is selfish murder of the most innocent of all human life; growing hatred toward the righteous; rejection of personal freedoms graciously extended to man by YHVH God - e.g., freedoms to live out our personal convictions before God and man without state persecution ;
~ the Gospel has gone out to all the world ;
~ while we haven't been able to conduct the Great Debate, many are better discerning the weaknesses of some of the more popular end-time viewpoints. (Although this is true, a discipleship event of this type - like a great debate - would be most helpful toward promoting a more Bible- centered eschatological perspective.) ;
~ the moving ahead with the Temple Project plans ;
~ the further setting up of social entrapments (e.g., high tech tools) which will be used by the one-world system for censorship and other dark acts tied to persecution ;
~ unusual hatred and animosity toward the One true God.
In all this, Psalm 2 seems like an appropriate close:
Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: "Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possission. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'" Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. (NKJV)