Thursday, September 28, 2017

Jesus Is Laid In The Tomb

John 19:38-42, "Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, Joseph came and took Jesus' body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. He had brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about 75 pounds. Taking Jesus' body the two of them wrapped it with the spices in strips of linen. This was in accordance with the Jewish customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden and in the garden a new tomb, in which no body had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was near by, they laid Jesus there."
Jesus paid the penalty for all mankind's sins. He took each one upon His own body to pay the penalty that man should have paid for. Salvation in Jesus is the only Way to eternal life with Him and escape the eternal punishment for all who don't accept His paying your penalty. If you have accepted Him with humbled heart, you too will spend eternity with Him. If you have not accepted Him as your Savior, you will forever pay for your own penalty in the Lake of Fire that burns with brimstone forever and ever. Our present fallen world's law of thermodynamics does not apply there.

Revelation 20:11-15, "Then I saw a great white throne and Him Who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and the books were opened. Another Book was opened, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done (sins). Then death and Hades were cast into the Lake of Fire. The Lake of Fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire." 

This "death" is not the meaning of going out of existence (just as the "dead" were raised and judged as told above.) "Death" is a departure from this known existence to an eternal existence. You will live forever, but you have the decision as to where you will spend this eternity; either with Almighty GOD through your redemption in Jesus Christ or in the Lake of Fire separated from GOD in torment for all eternity. "Choose this day Whom you will serve." (Joshua 24:15) 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

GOD Commands the Ravens To Feed Elijah

I Kings 17:1-6, "Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead said to Ahab (King of Israel), 'As the LORD, the GOD of Israel lives, Whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.' 

"Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah, 'Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of Jordan. You will drink from the brook...

" '...and I (GOD) have ordered the RAVENS to feed you there.'

"So, Elijah did what the LORD told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook."

Birds followed Almighty GOD's command to feed a human, Elijah. GOD communicated to the ravens where to feed him and what to feed him! This tells me that GOD speaks to His animal kingdom. Who knows, but GOD, the communication that takes place between Him and His animal kingdom, not just then, but even now! We've already seen (in last Sunday's post) how GOD allowed Balaam to carry on a conversation with his donkey verbally speaking to him! Again in Psalm 145:21, "All creatures will praise His Holy Name forever and ever!" Animals in eternity will verbally praise GOD FOREVER! I pray you know the salvation Jesus offers to you and that you accept His free gift of forgiveness of your sin and you too will witness the miracle of His animal Kingdom in Eternity praising Him as we too will do!  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Jesus' Death On The Cross

John 19:28-37, "Knowing all was now complete and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, 'I Am thirsty.' Soaking a sponge in a jar of wine vinegar, it was put on a stalk of the hyssop plant and lifted to Jesus' lips. When He received it, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit.

"Because the Jews didn't want the bodies still alive on the crosses on the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken of those still alive, then take them down (upon their deaths). The Roman soldiers did so, but when they came to Jesus, they found He was already dead. One pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow blood and water.

"This happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: 'Not one of His bones will be broken' (Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, Psalm 34:20) and another Scripture, 'They will look on the One they have pierced' (Zechariah 12:10)."

Christ came to be the One and Only sacrifice for mankind. The world went dark when He took upon Him every single sin of every human being He has or will create, from Adam and Eve to the last human being He will create in the future. It's been done for you whether you believe in Him or not! The results are if you have accepted His free gift of salvation for you, you will spend eternity in His New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem. If you refuse His free gift of salvation for you, you will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire paying for you own sin for an eternity! 1 Thessalonians 5:9 tells us, "GOD did not appoint us to suffer (His) wrath but to receive salvation through our LORD Jesus Christ." Let your name be in His Book of Life! For those who refuse Jesus Christ will find as Revelation 20:15, "If anyone's name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire." If you have not, choose Jesus to be your Savior now and forever! "Jesus Loves you this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Giant Fish Follows GOD's Command

Jonah 1:17 - 2:10, "The LORD provided a giant fish to swallow Jonah and Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights."

It is not known whether the people of Jonah's day knew the difference of labeling fish, mammals (such as whales) or just called everything in the ocean fish. But, Jonah was indeed inside a large ocean creature that GOD commanded to swallow Jonah. 

"From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the LORD his GOD. He said, 'In my distress I called to the LORD and He answered me...You hurled me into the deep, in the very heart of the seas and the currents swirled about me and I said I have been banished from Your sight. Yet, I look to Your Holy Temple. The water threatened and engulfed me. Seaweed was wrapped around my head. But you brought my life up from the pit, O GOD my LORD. You remembered me, LORD.  My prayer rose to Your Holy Temple...What I have vowed (to You), I make good. Salvation comes from the LORD.

"The LORD commanded the fish and it vomited Jonah onto dry land."

I don't know about you, but I think it is much easier and more blessed to do what GOD wants you to do than to chance an experience that goes beyond our comprehension!

The GOD of Creation uses another one of His creatures from the animal kingdom to do His will. This animal was the cause for Jonah's preaching to the city of Nineveh which brought the city to turn from their evil ways. GOD had compassion on them and did not destroy them. (Jonah 3:10)

Have you felt in your heart when you do something that you know you shouldn't be doing? The Holy Spirit moves our spirit to realize right from wrong. When one dismisses GOD's Spiritual leading, it may cause Him to do something drastic that will cause us to realize His bidding. As did Jonah, He refused to preach the Word of GOD to Nineveh and the consequences were Jonah's experience with the giant fish! If the LORD will be this direct with one of His called out people, what will he do to those who reject Him. If not here in the now, it will be before His Great White Throne Judgment for those refusing His free gift of salvation. (Revelation 20:11-12) For those who belong to Him it will be before The Judgment Seat of Christ where believers and followers of Christ are rewarded for their faithfulness or lose rewards for their disobedience.  (Romans 14:10-12, I Corinthians 3:13-15) Choose your salvation in Christ, for this life is but the blink of an eye compared to all eternity which is forever! Choose this day Whom you will serve.  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Jesus Placed On The Cross

John 19:17-27, "Carrying His Own Cross, He went out to the place of the Skull."

Even to this day the Hill of Golgotha still portrays  the Skull within the rock.  Off to the right middle you can see the eye sockets and the nose bone coming down from between the eyes.

"Here they crucified Him with two others, one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

"Pilate had a sign fastened to the Cross that read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. The chief priests and scribes protested, 'Do not write King of the Jews, write He claimed to be King of the Jews.' Pilate answered them, 'What I have written, I have written.'

"When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they drew lots for His clothes which fulfilled a prophecy (in Psalm 22:18), 'They divided My garments among them and cast lots for My clothing.' 

"Near the Cross of Jesus stood His mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother there and the disciple whom He loved standing near by, He said to His mother, 'Dear woman, here is your son,' and to the disciple, 'Here is your mother.' From that time on, the disciple took her into his home."

This should not only be emotionally agonizing for Jesus, His family, and friends, but should also be for us today. Not only did Jesus go through this, but when the world around went black, Jesus took upon Him every sin every single human being had, was, and will commit!

He did it all for you and me. Come to His salvation if you have not already. Simply humble you heart and admit you are a sinner and ask Christ to forgive you and come into your heart by His Holy Spirit. You will be saved. Acts 16:31 says, "Believe in the LORD Jesus and you will be saved - you and your household!" Amen!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Balaam's Donkey Sees the Angel of the LORD

Numbers 22:21-34, Tells of Balaam's donkey, "seeing the angel of the LORD blocking the road and Balaam did not see the angel of the LORD's threat of death. When the donkey turned off the road into a field to avoid the angel of the LORD, Balaam began to beat her (the donkey).

The angel of the LORD moved further to block their way down a path that led between two vineyards with walls. When the donkey again saw the angel of the LORD (which Balaam couldn't see), she pressed against the wall, crushing Balaam's foot. So he beat her again!

The angel of the LORD moved to a narrow place where there was no room to turn around. When the donkey again saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam. He was so angry he began to beat her with his staff.

Then the LORD opened the donkey's mouth (to talk). She said, 'What have I done for you to beat me these three times?' (I don't know about you, but I would have been shocked to have a donkey talking yo me!) 

But, in his anger, Balaam answered, 'You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword, I would kill you right now!' Then the angel of the LORD shows himself to Balaam!

The LORD opened the eyes of Balaam to see the angel of the LORD! Balaam went face down on the ground! The angel of the LORD said, 'Do you know I would have killed you if your donkey had not turned you away from me these three times, yet I would have spared her.' Balaam admitted to the angel of the LORD that he had sinned (against the animal by beating her). For she had indeed saved his life three times!"

Matthew Henry's Commentary further shares, "GOD's holy angels are at war with those whom GOD is angry, they (angels) are the ministers of His justice. After the third beating, the LORD opened the donkey's mouth to speak. That was a miracle quite above the power of nature and wrought by the power of GOD! II Peter 2:16 shares, 'Christ has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.' By a 'dumb' donkey GOD rebukes the madness of Balaam. (Of course we shouldn't be surprised, for Psalm 145:21 shares that "All creatures will praise His, GOD's, Holy Name forever and ever!" I believe that will be by vocal words from them!) 

If GOD would not suffer the donkey to be wronged (by Balaam) how much more if one commits wrongs against another human! Our Righteous GOD will not accept the abuse of the meanest upon the weak, whether animal or man. Balaam's brutish, head-strong passion so blinded him, he didn't consider the strangeness of the donkey talking to him, even more so his answering the donkey's question!!

The dominion GOD has given to man over the creatures of the earth is the reason we should not abuse them. They are inferior to us and we should be thankful to GOD and care for them, not abuse them. When animals depart from obedience to us, we should immediately inquire of ourselves of what have we done to have them act in disobedience. When our eyes are opened (as was Balaam's) we shall see the danger we are in when we sin."

If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus' salvation for you, you won't have the prompting of the Holy Spirit. If you have His salvation, follow His Holy Spirit's prompting your life to become more like Christ and less like fallen man. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Jesus' Innocence Condemned

We saw last Thursday how the Jews chose the barbarian, Barabbas to be freed instead of Jesus. Now comes the horrific abuse of an innocent Man, the GOD Man, Jesus Christ.

John 19:1-16, "Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head."

"Once again Pilate came out and said to the Jews, 'Look, I am bringing Him out to you to let you know I find no basis for a charge against Him.' When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and purple robe, Pilate said, 'Here is the Man!' As soon as the chief priests and scribes saw Him, they shouted, 'Crucify crucify!' But Pilate answered, 'YOU take Him and crucify Him. As for me, I find no fault for a charge against Him.'  The Jews insisted, 'We have a law that He must die because He claimed to be the Son of GOD!' Pilate went back into Jesus. 'Do you refuse to speak to me? Don't you realize I have the power to free you or release you?' Jesus answered, 'You would have no power over Me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed Me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.' From that point on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, 'If you let this man go you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king is an enemy of Caesar.' Pilate asked, 'Shall I crucify your king?' The chief priests answered, 'We have no king but Caesar!' Pilate handed Him over to them to be crucified."

The commentary mentions, "The Jewish leaders were so desperate to get rid of Jesus that, despite their intense hatred for Rome, they shouted, 'We have no king but Caesar.' How ironic that their false allegiance would be to Rome while rejecting their own Messiah! Their own words condemned them, for GOD was to be their only true King, and they had abandoned ever trace of loyalty to Him. Instead of turning people to GOD, they claimed allegiance to Rome in order to kill their Messiah."

Jesus is the Savior of the world. "Believe in the LORD Jesus and you will be saved - you and your household." Acts 16:31 A true Friend indeed!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Substitutionary Sacrifice of Baby Animals

The Book of Leviticus is about the priestly duties for the sacrifices of animals. The Life Application Bible explains, "There are five kinds of offerings that fulfill two main purposes:  one to show praise, thankfulness, and devotion; the other for atonement, the covering and removal of guilt and sin. Animal offerings demonstrated that the person was giving his or her life to GOD by means of the life of the animal. Through the sacrifices we learn about the cost of sin. The animals lives were only a temporary measure until Jesus' death paid the penalty of the sins of all mankind forever. "

The first thought of seeing these baby animals, knowing they will be sacrificed for the sins of those bringing them is heart breaking. How much more the heartbreaking was to our Almighty Creator when man chose to sin. These innocent lambs, goats, calves, and doves were a substitute, temporary covering for when Christ's innocent blood would be shed for man's fallen existence. "For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of GOD." (Romans 3:23)

This was a strict covenant GOD established which looked to the future time when He in the Flesh of Jesus Christ would be the ultimate sacrifice for all mankind; from Adam and Eve to the last human being He will create. Jesus is the Lamb of GOD. "John saw Jesus and said, 'Behold , the Lamb of GOD Who takes away the sins of the world.' " (John 1:29)

GOD is all-knowing. He knows the end from the beginning before He ever created the universe. The past, present, and future are one in the same to Him. It is man who is on the time-line, not GOD.

One day in mankind's future, all the animals and chosen man will be as it was in the Garden of Eden. "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down beside the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together ; and a child shall lead them.

continued, "The child will play with the cobra and neither will be harmed.' (Isaiah 11:6-9)

GOD's glory will liberate! "The creation itself will be liberated from (this present) bondage of decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of GOD!" (Romans 8:21) GOD will redeem! And, His animal kingdom is part of that creation!

We will then be apart of the New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem spoken of in Revelation 21:1-3, "I saw a New Heaven and New Earth for the first heaven and earth had passed away... The New Jerusalem came down from the dwelling place of GOD is with men."

Imagine the size of the New Earth!!! The  New Jerusalem is 1500 miles wide, 1500 miles long, and 1500 miles high!!! The space station is only 220 miles high above the earth.

The New Jerusalem is 1,280 miles higher than the space station in this picture of the present earth!!!

"All creation will be liberated..." (Romans 8:21) ALL includes the animal kingdom! The only ones who will not take part in this glorious eternity with GOD will be those who have rejected salvation in Jesus Christ. Instead, their's will be an eternity of punishment (beyond present comprehension) with no second chance. You either choose Jesus paying your penalty of sin upon His Cross or you pay for it yourself forever in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:15) This fallen Universe's Laws of Thermal Dynamics doesn't apply there! You will burn and not be consumed. You will be in total  darkness though the flames of fire and brimstone will inflict you to your very bones. The only things your eyes will see is when you look up into heaven and see the joy you could have had. Be sure your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life and not in The Books of your recorded sins of every sin you have thought, said, and done in the flesh!

Jesus' salvation is so simple, a child can understand. No matter how "simple" or severe your sin is, humble yourself to accept you are a sinner. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of GOD" (Romans 3:23) Confess your sin to Jesus and ask Him to save you and He will! "Everyone who calls on the Name of the LORD (Jesus) will be saved!" (Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13) Instantly you will know by the filling of the Holy Spirit of GOD, a joy that only Almighty Father GOD through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, can give to you about Eternity with Him and all of His creation, including the animal kingdom, "ALL creatures will praise His Holy Name forever and ever!" (Psalm 145:21) Hallelujah to His Holy Name!