Where is the Kingdom of GOD?

Jesus Christ told the Pharisees long ago that the Kingdom of GOD comes not by observation, but that it is within you (Luke 17:20-21). What this does NOT mean is that the Kingdom of GOD is literally inside of you. What this DOES mean is that the Kingdom of GOD starts inside of you. Flesh and bone cannot inherit the Kingdom of GOD, because His Kingdom is incompatible with sin. However, His Spirit, which if you are elect, was placed within us before the world even came to be. We were all predestined by His Power.

Since the physical body cannot accept the Kingdom of GOD, then it is reasonable to say that: Our spirit is the receiver of the Kingdom of GOD – as in, it is a gift of GOD – and that gift is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ (No one comes to GOD, but by Jesus Christ). When His Spirit works with our spirit, our soul experiences miraculous things. When the physical body fails to operate, our soul and spirit ascend to Heaven where GOD appoints the elect spirit/soul to a new body (physically immortal).

We are made in the image of GOD, and became a son of GOD when we were elected to be with Him eternally (John 1:12-13).

7 Lessons we can draw from the Christmas Story | Holiday special 4

From what we have observed, Christmas is one of the best times in our lives that we celebrate. There are numerous reasons why we celebrate the Christmas story, knowing first and foremost Christmas is about Jesus Christ!

What we can glean from the Bible are important truths that help us take shape an even greater story. It is hoped that these guide you into this holiday season!

1. God’s Forgiveness is available to all

We see in Isaiah 11:1-2, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”

We hear in the song, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” that “God and sinners reconciled.” This is the amazing truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He provides Salvation and eternal life, and this comes from the benefit of forgiveness of sins. We see the ministry of reconciliation that God came in the form of man, Jesus Christ, to “Save His People from sin.” What an awesome thing we have in Christ!

2. God is in control of leadership of the world

Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

Our God, who has made the earth, stars, universe, heavens, and more is our commanding leader overall! Peace is within the Prince of Peace, and He alone provides rest for our souls. God regards our lowliness as well, and provides us forgiveness. He is our Great Shepherd (Psalm 23).

3. Christ Jesus is our Shepherd

Psalm 23 describes Our Lord is Our Shepherd. Ezekiel 34:15, “I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.”

Christ Jesus came to impute upon us peace, and lead and guide us through Life more abundantly. The hope of eternal life can be for all people, and we do hope we can spread it evermore to so many people.

He provides us our daily provisions, He gives us rest for our souls (as we noted above), He helps us by delivering us from evil and death, and gives us goodness and mercy forevermore.

4. God grants peace as we wait upon Him

Just as prophesied in Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Then, we see powerful truth in Romans 16:20, “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” Also note 2 Thessalonians 3:16, “Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.”

When we reflect upon God, we allow His Spirit to speak to us. We reflect on the wonder of God, our Creator, and all the beautiful things He has created! It’s truly amazing.

5. God can powerfully perform the impossible

Matthew 19:26 says, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

God really can do the impossible, for with Him, all things are possible. He can help in almost any situation, save us from trouble, and help improve our lives. This is something we must truly believe, for He can truly help us. Since He can help us, we know we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

6. God is our utmost provider

God provided the Passover lamb for us, who was born in to this world, the redeemer, Jesus Christ: “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together” (Genesis 22:8).

This is proven in Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

7. Heaven is going to be so awesome

Knowing we had this great and merciful Savior from Heaven come, we better believe so many great things are awaiting us for our eternal destiny in Heaven!

John 14:1-3 tells us the first magnificent truth, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told* you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 then tells us that we cannot imagine the awesomeness, but must know that it is so overwhelmingly awesome… “But as it is written*, Eye hath not seen, nor* ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

Now, we discover one of the most awesome things in Revelation 21:3-4, “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

We will have new bodies eventually… 1 Corinthians 15:40 says, “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.” Then also in 1 Corinthians 15:54, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

What will it look like (kind of)… Revelation 21:18-23, “And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

Overall, Salvation, eternal life, Christ Jesus coming, and all great things that pertain to life and godliness – How Awesome!

What are some good songs to sing for the Christmas season for Christians? | Holiday special 3

As you can see, we’re nearly knee deep in this Holiday season. Right now, finding Christmas music is easy, but not as much for Christians. So, what songs should you target, especially if you want to praise and worship the King, Jesus Christ, this Christmas season?

Let’s explore that:

  • Away in a Manger
  • The First Noel
  • Mary’s Boy Child
  • It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  • Angels We Have Heard on High
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Ave Maria
  • O Come, O Come Emmanuel
  • Hallelujah
  • The Little Drummer Boy
  • Silent Night
  • Do you Hear What I Hear?
  • Joy to the World
  • What Child Is This?
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • He Shall Reign Forevermore
  • O Holy Night
  • Mary, Did You Know?
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain
  • All My Heart Rejoices
  • The Beautiful Body and Blood
  • A Cradle Prayer
  • When Hope Came Down
  • Now Behold the Lamb
  • A Christmas to Remember
  • Christ is Come
  • The Last Christmas Without You
  • Rose of Bethlehem
  • A Prayer For Every Year
  • Born in Bethlehem
  • A Strange Way to Save the World
  • Glory in the Highest
  • Come Now Our King
  • Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
  • I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day
  • I Celebrate the Day
  • Immanuel
  • We Are the Reason
  • Glory to God Forever 
  • What A Beautiful Name 
  • It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
  • Winter Snow
  • He Has Come for Us
  • Adore Him
  • How Many Kings
  • Born That We May Have Life
  • The Night Before Christmas
  • He Made A Way In A Manger
  • Go Tell It On The Mountain

Are presents, a tree, lights, tinsel, and more something the Bible teaches? | Holiday special 2

There are many discussions floating around the internet and YouTube about Christmas being a pagan holiday. However, this is found to be far from the truth. There are many components of Christmas that have been placed higher than Jesus Christ, which is sad, because we should be worshiping Christ at Christmas. It is all about Him!

What do presents, lights, a tree, tinsel, ribbon, etc. have to do with Christ then? Does the Bible actually support these things? We think it does. Let’s go through each segment of Christmas generally and review them according to the Bible.

Tree

So the old Douglas/Balsam/Fraser/Canaan/Grand/Noble/Concolor Fir, or the White/Scotch/Virginia Pine, how about the Blue/Norway/White Spruce, or how about the Arizona/Leyland Cypress, or even the Red Cedar? That’s about 16 types of Christmas trees. But what does the Bible say about them?

We learn about the Cedars of Lebanon, found in Isaiah 35:2; 60:13. It is a symbol of Lebanon. This is a good reference that means that the Bible acknowledges trees and loves them. It is a sign of life!

Lights

Very simply the Christmas lights mean the Light of the World that we acknowledge and love: Jesus Christ! (John 8:12). Any lights that are lit must remind us of Jesus being the Light of the World.

Tinsel

Jeremiah 10:3-4, “3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.”

Although it says these customs are vanity, if someone feels better to do them, then do them as unto the Lord!

Ribbons, bows, and other decor

Incidentally, this is not found in the Bible. Therefore, it is up to the person to decide if they can glorify God with ribbons and bows.

Presents and gifts

Gift giving is encouraged in the Bible. Look in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

But God gifted the most perfect gift: Jesus Christ, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17; see also John 3:16).

Singing songs

This can be found in many Scriptures: the Psalms, Isaiah 44:23; 49:13; Acts 16:25.

Concluding

As you can see, many of these things point to Jesus Christ and we can feel glad that they do, for it is important to worship Jesus Christ at Christmas and enjoy the manifestation of His Presence at all times!

Is Santa Claus someone to acknowledge? | Holiday special 1

As we have taken off for the 2020 Holiday season, it is my pleasure to discuss a commonly questioned topic. This is involved in many different things about Christmas, and that is Santa Claus. We first compare the Santa Claus in fiction right now with Jesus Christ, and then we discuss who the real Santa Claus is supposed to be.

Santa ClausJesus Christ
Lives at the north poleHe is found everywhere
Rides in a sleighRides the wind and walks on water
Comes once a yearHe is an ever-present help
Fills stockings with goodiesSupplies all our needs
Comes down the chimney uninvitedStands at the door of your heart and knocks, and will come in if invited.
You wait in line to see himHe is as close as the mention of His Name
Lets you sit on his lapLets you rest in His Arms
He does not know your nameJesus knew about us before the world was created
Has a belly full of jellyHas a heart full of love
Says Ho Ho HoJesus offers help, hope, and full health
Says you better not cryHe says, “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you!”
His elves make toysGives new life, mends broken hearts and homes
Might make you laughGives us unspeakable joy
Puts gifts under your treeJesus became our gift and died on the tree.

The real Saint Nicholas

Nicholas of Myra or Bari was a Christian bishop. He lived around 270-343 AD, which was during the time of the Roman Empire. He was especially known for his generosity and nice things he did for many people. He reigned as a Christian bishop during the time of the rule of Constantine the Great in the Roman Empire.

If we are going to celebrate Christmas, we celebrate Jesus Christ at all times. It is fine to acknowledge Santa Claus, but keep in mind that it should point to the Christian bishop of old, not the novelty one as illustrated in the chart above. It is hoped this is a help to guide you in the right direction, not to take away your fun, but to make your morals better!

Apostle John’s relationship with Jesus Christ

  • John had a unique relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • John referred to Jesus as the Word of God.
  • He was known as one of the “sons of thunder.”
  • He was known as “John the Elder and Pastor.”
  • He was ordained in his youth, wherein he learned from Jesus.
  • John was part of “The Inner Circle” (which was Peter, James, and John with Jesus).
  • John refers to himself as the “one whom Jesus loves.”
  • Commissioned to write about many topics, including “The Divinity of Love,” “Real Christianity,” “God’s Will,” etc.
  • He lived through the time of Jesus’ teachings, Transfiguration, Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension.
  • He also lived through the forming of the first Church, as well as the persecution of the Christians.
  • He witnessed his brother James’ martyrdom.
  • He pastored the great Church at Ephesus.
  • He was eventually banished to the Isle of Patmos, wherein he received the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
  • He had a flashing temper, which was why he was called one of the “sons of thunder.”
  • He became known as the “Apostle of Love.”

John’s declaration of Jesus was that “He is full of Truth and Glory, He is the Only Begotten of the Father.” This was found in John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

John had knowledge of foundational truths of Jesus and the Gospel; therefore, he was entrusted to such writings. John bore record of the Word of God, and had a testimony of Jesus Christ and the things, in which, he had seen. John was singled out by God to deliver to us the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

John the Beloved has a unique relationship with Jesus Christ, which was similar to the other Johns. But, what distinguished John the Beloved was that he was filled with the love of Christ. Mark 3:14-19: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

The Inner Circle means to me that it was a small group of people who held a more intimate connection with each other. Although Jesus worked with all His Disciples, He liked also to work with individual things, so having a small group was what He had done. The Inner Circle seemed to be Peter, James, and John, because these three were the most common to be seen with Jesus in a more intimate setting. Some of the examples include being with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37-41), when Jesus raised a ruler’s daughter from the dead (Mark 5:35-38), at the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28-29), and during a private consultation about the end times and false christs (Mark 13:3-7). James and John are also noted as being partnered with Simon (Peter) in Luke 5:10, and they followed Christ (Luke 5:10-11).

1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

The first Truth that we see in this lesson is “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous” (1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”). We confess our sins and He only has the power to forgive and cleanse from sin!

Then, in 1 John 2:3-5, we see evidence that He dwells in us and this is how we know Him. It is a way He perfects us. The Word accompanied by the Holy Ghost gives life. So, if He is perfecting us, it’s because of the Word in us working, which is evidence we’re in Him. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”

In 1 John 2:6, we see that we shall abide in Him, walk with Him, and Trust Him in every circumstance in our life – if done, is evidence that He abides in us and that we’re in fellowship with Him. Also, abiding in His Word gives us endurance for every season of our lives. We must portray His footsteps in our life, and that as Jesus is obedience to the Father, we shall be also! “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

Next, we see in 1 John 2:7-11 the evidence of knowing Him is found in our love. When we try to witness or evangelize, the world can sense the true spirit of Love inside us. “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”

In 1 John 2:12-14, we see that Jesus Christ has overcome satan, which is evidence that we’re in a relationship with the Lord. We, then, are overcomers also, being children of God. “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

For 1 John 2:15-17, we see another evidence that we know God, for our relationship is better for lacking love for the things of the world. We are not to love anything of the world, for the result of such is that the love of the Father isn’t in us. We see issues to avoid that are in the world, which involve the lust of the flesh and of the eyes, and the pride of life. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

More truths we see in 1 John 2:18-23, as this is a Prophetical Word regarding the End-Time. Unity of the Spirit will be the evidence that we know God, and that we’ll not be led astray by the antichrist. We need to let His love surpass our self-will that we can all walk together in the faith of Jesus Christ. “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”

Christ in us is apparent when the fragrance of His presence is in our lives. Exodus 29:7 says, “Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.” Exodus 30:23-25 says, “Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.” David writes that Jesus is the Anointed One as we see in Psalm 45:7, “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

John confirms such truths that he writes and warns us against deception, as we see in 1 John 2:26, “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.” Even more truths are revealed to us in 1 John 2:24-29, as we see that we will remain in the Father and the Son as long as we walk in the light, be honest with ourselves, confess our troubles & deal with sin, speak the truth, walk in integrity, and being an example overall of Jesus Christ. We fulfil such desire for relationship with the Lord if we hide His Word in our heart. “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”

In 1 John 2:25, we see a promise that occurs when we abide in Him: “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” Then, we see in 1 John 2:26-27 that John has told us that he writes such things concerning them that seduce you or try to lead one into error – but, we have an anointing that abides in us, that is Jesus the Anointed One, who will teach us – so that we don’t have to worry of new doctrines or false teachers. “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

As we finish out the chapter in the last two verses, 1 John 2:28-29, we see the result of abiding in Him: that we may have confidence and be unashamed before Him at His coming. If we know He’s righteous, then those that do righteousness are born of Him! Abide in Him through everything, because He will bring to us peace and confidence. “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”

1 John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” The anointing that we’ve received from the Lord abides in us, therefore, no one else needs to teach us of the anointing but the Anointed One, who is Jesus that lives in us. The anointing, I will say, teaches us to abide in Christ. It also keeps us drawn in to Him!

It’s also to note that many false teachers have a “special anointing” as claimed, so we’re admonished here that God anoints us, and that with Jesus being within us, He teaches us of the anointing so that we don’t have to worry about false teachers coming along and telling us of some “special” ungodly anointing they have (and how we can obtain it). All believers already have the true and correct anointing when they trust and abide in the Anointed One. Last thing to note: we receive this anointing as a gift, which is a graceful gift from the Lord. We don’t squander this gift, because it is part of our salvation. Therefore, we must also realize that we don’t need to “get God” in our lives, for we already have Him. We don’t need to try to get His anointing…we already have it!

We know God by His Word, because His Word is Jesus Christ. 1 John 5:20 says, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” The Son has revealed the Father unto us by helping us understand Him!

The proof of Divine Life as we see in this study is love. God bestowed His love upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. Now we are the sons of God, and when He appears, we shall be like Him and see Him as He is! (1 John 3:1-2)

The Manner of Love that the Father bestowed upon us is that we should be called the sons of God. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

Those who abide in Him will not sin, for them that have sin has not seen Him or known Him. In addition, that no man should deceive you, for he that does righteousness is righteous. Therefore, whoever is born of God does not commit sin.

We have two natures; those are “spiritual” and “carnal.” These natures are at war within us. We who have an understanding of the law, spiritually, we know in our experience that the law is spiritual, but that our inner man is carnal. Being carnal, a man is fleshly and incapable of being obedient unto the law – for this is where spiritual and carnal war, because our spiritual man is leading us into things of the law, but the carnal man is leading us away (– because it is incapable of being obedient). We see in Romans 7:5, “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” Sadly, we cannot escape this carnal way while in our flesh, as we see in Romans 7:18, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” The flesh naturally does not know how to be obedient or perform good so it therefore wars against the spiritual. It’s a dilemma.

There will be many ways that a person accepts and applies the Word unto their life. Some are by the way side, which are those that hear – and then come the devil that takes it away from their hearts. Those that are on the rock hear and receive the Word with joy, but they have no root – so in the time of temptation, they fall away/sin. Those that are among thorns are they that hear and receive the Word, but go forth and are choked with the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life – to which they bear no fruit. However, those that are on good ground hear and receive the Word in an honest and good heart – keep it and bring forth fruit with patience. Overall, you have most people who are not on good ground, and need shepherded back to the Lord’s ways.

Jesus’ love was His laying down of His life for us, therefore, we should be the same way in our relationships with others. We should be willing to sacrifice. We don’t necessarily have to sacrifice our life, but general sacrifice is what brings love’s true nature. Therefore, if our brother has need, we need to sacrifice our time and help. If our friend calls on us, we should have patience and see to what he/she needs. For Jesus did the greatest sacrifice so that we would not have to deal with the sacrificial system anymore, therefore, we need to apply the principle of sacrifice unto our lives in our relationships with others. The example of family he gives us is that of Cain and Abel. His heart is burdensome for people not to repeat the sin of murder like in the situation of Cain and Abel.

Nonetheless, the Assurance of Jesus’ Love is found in 1 John 3:19-24, “And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, 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 commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”

God’s commandments are not grievous – this means burdensome in that His Commandments, rather, are an expression of His Love and protection for us. They are not burdensome, especially when they are kept. We receive the love of God when we keep His Commandments (1 John 5:3). The test of our love is loving as Jesus loved! He loved us first while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). When we walk in the love of Jesus, there is love for the saints!

What is required in the Prosperous Road is that we walk in the Truth overall. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 4:1-2, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;”

Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Colossians 1:10, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Colossians 2:6-7, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 2 John 1:6, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”

Important elections in the Bible | 2020 Edition

As people go and vote for who they want to win in America for over 7,000 races, we honor the elections for political and religious leaders in the Bible. It is a theme befitting Election Day 2020 on November 3, 2020.

“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men” (Titus 3:1-2).

The Most Important Election

God created this world and elected it to be the mastery of His Love (Genesis 1:1-3; John 1:1-10; 1 John 4:8). He also elected humans to have dominion over the earth, what a destiny! He has chosen specific people to have eternal destiny (John 15:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Romans 6:23). God expects His People to be a holy people that glorifies Him (Deuteronomy 7:6).

As His People, and to all people really, they are expected to be subject to governing authorities (what the Holy Bible calls “The Powers That Be”). God has ordained governing authorities to take care of people, including His People. They will keep His People safe, provide for them, and ensure they are well taken care of. This may be hard to believe about politicians, but the Bible is clear to be in submission! (Romans 13:1-14).

For people that would lead the Tribes of Israel back in Moses’ time, it was instructed that a leader be chosen for each of the Tribes (Deuteronomy 1:13). His People of that day valued when a good and righteous ruler ruled, but had severe anxiety when a wicked leader would rule (Proverb 29:2). Therefore, it was best to choose a noble leader, something that should not be undertaken lightly, because whoever has charge over people must be very demonstrative that he will rule well and righteously and take care of people well.

No matter the case, God has sovereignty (Psalm 22:28): “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Pray for your leaders!

Electing Abraham

Genesis 12:1-3, “1Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

Electing Moses and the Tribes’ rulers

“17 And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. 18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. 19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: 20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. 21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. 23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. 24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. 25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.

~From: Exodus 18:17-26

The election of Samuel

1 Samuel 3:1-18: “1And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. 2And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; 3And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. 8And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 9Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. 11And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 12In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 14And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

15And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision. 16Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 17And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee. 18And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.”

The election of Saul

1 Samuel 9:16-10:18 states… “16 To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me. 17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people. 18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer’s house is. 19 And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me to day, and to morrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart. 20 And as for thine asses that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them; for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on thee, and on all thy father’s house? 21 And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me? 22 And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the parlour, and made them sit in the chiefest place among them that were bidden, which were about thirty persons.

23 And Samuel said unto the cook, Bring the portion which I gave thee, of which I said unto thee, Set it by thee. 24 And the cook took up the shoulder, and that which was upon it, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, Behold that which is left! set it before thee, and eat: for unto this time hath it been kept for thee since I said, I have invited the people. So Saul did eat with Samuel that day. 25 And when they were come down from the high place into the city, Samuel communed with Saul upon the top of the house. 26 And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, Up, that I may send thee away. And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad. 27 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on), but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.

10:1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? 2 When thou art departed from me to day, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel’s sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee, The asses which thou wentest to seek are found: and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and sorroweth for you, saying, What shall I do for my son? 3 Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine: 4 And they will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hands.

5 After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: 6 And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. 7 And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee. 8 And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do. 9 And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. 10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.”

A reminder from Psalm 146:3-10

Remember: Submission is vital, but trust not so much…

“3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. 4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. 5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: 6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: 7 Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners: 8 The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous: 9 The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. 10 The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord.”

The election of David as King

First the demotion of Saul… 1 Samuel 13:13-14, “13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. 14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.”

David’s call in 1 Samuel 16:14-23, “14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15 And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. 16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. 17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. 18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him. 19 Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. 20 And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul. 21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. 22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. 23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”

The election of Solomon

1 Kings chapter 1: ” 1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. 2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. 3 So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not. 5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom. 7 And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. 8 But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah. 9 And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants: 10 But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not. 11 Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? 12 Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. 13 Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?

14 Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words. 15 And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. 16 And Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou? 17 And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the Lord thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. 18 And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not: 19 And he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon thy servant hath he not called. 20 And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders. 22 And, lo, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in.

23 And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. 24 And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? 25 For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah. 26 But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called. 27 Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not shewed it unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him? 28 Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. 29 And the king sware, and said, As the Lord liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, 30 Even as I sware unto thee by the Lord God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.

32 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. 33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. 35 Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. 36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the Lord God of my lord the king say so too. 37 As the Lord hath been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David. 38 So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon. 39 And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.

40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them. 41 And Adonijah and all the guests that were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Wherefore is this noise of the city being in an uproar? 42 And while he yet spake, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came; and Adonijah said unto him, Come in; for thou art a valiant man, and bringest good tidings. 43 And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hath made Solomon king. 44 And the king hath sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and they have caused him to ride upon the king’s mule: 45 And Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon: and they are come up from thence rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that ye have heard. 46 And also Solomon sitteth on the throne of the kingdom.

47 And moreover the king’s servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and make his throne greater than thy throne. And the king bowed himself upon the bed. 48 And also thus said the king, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which hath given one to sit on my throne this day, mine eyes even seeing it. 49 And all the guests that were with Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way. 50 And Adonijah feared because of Solomon, and arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar. 51 And it was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah feareth king Solomon: for, lo, he hath caught hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear unto me today that he will not slay his servant with the sword. 52 And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die. 53 So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. And he came and bowed himself to king Solomon: and Solomon said unto him, Go to thine house.”

Jesus Christ is Savior of the world

Isaiah 7:14, “14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Luke 2:22-39, “22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present [him] to the Lord;23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name [was] Simeon; and the same man [was] just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this [child] is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;37 And she [was] a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served [God] with fastings and prayers night and day.38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.”

John 2:13 – 3:36, “13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?21 But he spake of the temple of his body.22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast [day], many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all [men],25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.24 For John was not yet cast into prison.25 Then there arose a question between [some] of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all [men] come to him.27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.30 He must increase, but I [must] decrease.31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure [unto him].35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

The election of the Twelve Disciples

John 1:35-51, “35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.40 One of the two which heard John [speak], and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

The election of the Priesthood of all believers into the Kingdom of God

1 Peter 2:5–9, “5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

Hebrews 4:14-16, “14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Conclusion

It is hoped that your election day goes smooth as you await the election results. Hope you are blessed by this post and enjoy it, share it, and have a good time!

6 great Bible affirmations to brighten your mornings

We all have those days in which we struggle to do the Lord’s Will. However, we must continue our fight against evil and do the Lord’s Will anyway. There are different things you can draw from the Bible that will help you in this very thing. These are paraphrased.

  1. “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Colossians 1:27).
  2. “Even before I was born, you had written in Your book everything I would do” (Psalm 139:16).
  3. The Lord says, “You are precious to Me. You are honored and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4).
  4. “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
  5. “All that matters is your faith that makes you love others” (Galatians 5:6).
  6. “His Divine Power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

It is hoped that this has simply blessed you with joy today and filled your day with hope. Blessings to you with joy and peace in Christ Jesus!

The Crowns of Inheritance

Works are and always have been based on God’s Will. When a man does a good work, it is based on how he/she feels God led them to do. This is the operation of a spiritually mature Christian, according to Hebrews 13:21. But… in the same verse, the glory is given unto Jesus Christ. This is important, because it shows our good works are not for nothing. However, God does remember these things (Hebrews 6:10). Good works are good and profitable unto men (Titus 3:8). Jesus commanded good works to glorify God (Matthew 5:16). However, as Ephesians 2:8-10 tells us, we are saved by grace through faith, not from ourselves, but a gift given by God that has nothing to do with works to avoid men from boasting about their own works, such as “works helped me be saved” or “works gave me eternal life.” We are His Workmanship, meaning that our good works stems directly from Jesus Christ, because God foreordained us to walk in these good works. Yes, all believers have been foreordained to be ministers. Faith is expressed by our works, because works are faith in action (James 2:14-20; Hebrews 11).

Paul tells us that we are able to obtain an award/prize, an incorruptible crown. What is the key to this? Not works, according to 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, but temperance (self-control). Peter affirms this is true that an imperishable crown is available (1 Peter 1:4). We will also be able to have a crown of rejoicing that is tied to hope and joy, and will be given shortly before the arrival of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19). Some have equated that this would be the case of wiping away every tear, with no more death and sorrow and pain (Revelation 21:4), but this is a stretch. Although this is true that we will eventually have this, it is not related to the crown of rejoicing.

Next, is the crown of righteousness, which is given to those who loved His appearing, because they endured such a hard race and fought the good fight keeping the faith (2 Timothy 4:5). Then the crown of glory, which is given by the Chief Shepherd Jesus Christ to those who feed the flock willingly without constraint, and being an ensample/example unto the flock (1 Peter 5:2-4).

Lastly is the crown of life, which is tied in with not worrying about suffering, but being faithful unto God until death – which will allow the crown of life to be given to us. He promised us eternal life, and we shall have it (Revelation 2:10; John 2:25). The crown of life is for those who endure temptation, and loving the Lord (James 1:12). So then, what are works, if Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith? These are things that emerge from the Lord unto our heart that He desires us to do. When we do them, we glorify Him (Repeat from above information).

Believers are expected to abound in good works because of their Salvation, but works do not lead to Salvation and Salvation does not lead to works. Works reveal faith to be real, while dead works or no works denote faith as useless. (Romans 3:27; 4:2-6; Galatians 2:16; 3:2-10; 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:17; Hebrews 9:14; 10:24). Judgment is according to works, with evidence of new life (Matthew 16:27; Romans 2:6; 1 Peter 1:17). Faith and good works are never contrasted in the Bible enough, but justification is based on Salvation, not referencing works (repeat of above reference).

Since we know we will be receiving an inheritance, we should work for the Lord and serve Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:23-24). We are rendered inheritance rewards according to Salvation, which include eternal life (The crown of life can be presumed), glory and honor and peace to those who do good (the crown of glory can be presumed) (Romans 2:6-10). Where will this judgment be for believers? It will be at the judgment seat of Christ that we will be judged based on every good or evil work (2 Corinthians 5:10). Good works are separate from works of the Law, because no human is justified by works of the Law for Salvation reasons, because the Law comes knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20).

We can conclude that works evidence faith; therefore, a fellow Christian can determine that someone may or may not be of faith based on their works. However, since Salvation is not based on works, it is impossible to tell whether someone is saved or unsaved just by their works. This is why required baptism for Salvation fails to function, because it is requiring works to be completed for Salvation to be given.

Back on subject, the crown of righteousness is presumed to be part of the rewards that are bestowed upon us by the Holy Ghost, because we learn that righteousness, peace, and joy are part of the Kingdom of God. Since we are granted access to the Kingdom of God through Salvation, we receive these benefits (Romans 14:17). Joy, hope, and peace overflow in us as we believe in God (Romans 15:13). This also means we are not judged by what we eat or drink or by festivals we celebrate (Colossians 2:16), but we appear to be judged by being given certain portions of the Kingdom of God that we may safely assume without heresy are an inheritance – this is found deeply interwoven with the Fruit of the Spirit. But why no crown of love? Is love the incorruptible crown? The Scripture does not say (Galatians 5:22). But what we do know is that God is Love and since He gave His Spirit to be with us, His Love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost (Romans 5:1-5).

Where then does the incorruptible crown come in? It is the overall crown, we may assume, as we see in 1 Peter 1:4 that the inheritance we receive from God (any inheritance) is incorruptible. We become incorruptible in Salvation, and will resurrect in our new bodies as incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:52-54). Therefore, we put on, literally immortality (2 Timothy 1:10), because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – not because of works!

Do your good works grant you an inheritance? No. Does your Salvation grant you an inheritance? Yes. What is that inheritance? The Holy Ghost is given unto us as a mark, which allows us to put on immortality, and thereby receive each crown: glory, life, rejoicing, righteousness. God already planned for us to receive all of what He has for us. We are given grace by the measure of the gift of Christ, because we must reflect on the power of Oneness with God: One body, one Spirit, one hope of your calling, One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all – and God is above all, through all, and in all of His Believers (Ephesians 4:4-5).

Psalm 23: Our Beautiful Shepherd – The Lord

David was a shepherd, so he knew what the shepherd’s work and the sheep are like. Therefore, He was able to bridge that God is a Shepherd who cares for His Flock – His People. Let’s see the amazing imagery he gives us and how we can understand how he wrote this Psalm.

Psalm 23The Shepherd’s WorkApplication for life
The Lord is my shepherdSheep can recognize their shepherd. Care for them means ownership of them.We are like sheep under God’s care who belong to Him.
I shall not wantSome sheep wander off to greener lands, but this is dangerous.God meets my deepest needs.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:The shepherd has a crucial role to make sheep feel safe, and they will not rest until they feel safe from threats.God makes me free to rest, especially in Him.
he leadeth me beside the still waters.Sheep refuse rapid currents of waters, as they don’t swim well. Therefore, the shepherd needs to find calm water.We can drink of God’s Holy Spirit who is water to our thirsty souls.
He restoreth my soul:Some sheep struggle to get up quickly, as they may be dehydrated. The shepherd may have to prod the sheep or help it get up.God cares for and keeps the heart and mind of those who love Him and that He loves.
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.Sheep, like humans, are creatures of habit. By overgrazing, they can destroy their own pastures and must be led to a new land. But only shepherds know the best way to get there.God will always lead us on the right path according to His Promise.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with meValleys on the way to high pastures often have the best grasses, but there are many hidden dangers that may lurk for sheep.God knows and deals with the fears and deadly dangers of life for us.
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Sheep need to learn to trust their shepherd. The shepherd’s rod protects them, disciplines them, and saves them. It is meant as a tool to guide them.God’s discipline, guidance, and protection keeps His People safe.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemiesUsually shepherds must prepare the pasture to remove poisons, toxins, and other bad things to ensure clean eating. Predators can wait ready to pounce on unsuspecting sheep.God provides for our hunger, even when enemies surround us.
thou anointest my head with oilFlying insects can cause problems for sheep especially during the summer. Oil is a natural bug repellent that can also heal the skin.God takes care of our bodily needs.
my cup runneth over.The good shepherd is willing to take the sheep to better grazing areas and water sources.Our provision from God is abundant.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my lifeSheep can aid in the fertility of the land and can transform wilderness into fertile fields. The good shepherd makes blessing follow his sheep.God’s goodness and Magnificent grace will be with us our entire lives.
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.Sheep are taken back to the shepherd’s property during the fall and winter.We shall be with God for eternity.

The Old Testament’s view of the shepherd

  • God is the Shepherd (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 23; 80:1).
  • God’s appointed leaders are under-shepherds (Ezekiel 34).
  • Many people in the Old Testament were actually shepherds for their jobs: Abel, Moses, David, Abraham, Isaac, Rachel, etc.
  • Foreign leaders were occasionally called shepherds because of their leadership of God’s People (Isaiah 44:28).
  • The prophets used shepherd imagery pointing to the Messiah’s coming (Ezekiel 34:22-24; 37:24; Isaiah 40:11; Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31; Mark 14:27).

The New Testament’s view of the shepherd

  • Jesus is our Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:34), our Good Shepherd (John 10:1-30), and our Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20).
  • Jesus had compassion on the large crowds that came to see Him because they were as sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34).
  • Jesus used sheep and shepherds in His parables (Matthew 12:11-12; 18:12-14; 25:31-46).
  • Jesus commissioned His Disciples to care for His sheep (Matthew 10:6; 10:16; John 21:16-17).
  • Jesus is the lamb of sacrifice (John 1:29; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 5:6).
  • Elders are shepherds under Christ (1 Peter 5:2).

Jesus’ actions in response to normal shepherd duties

Duties of the ShepherdJesus’ Work
Lead the sheep to safe water and pastures.Calls His Disciples to follow wherever He leads (Matthew 4:18-22; John 10:4-9).
Protects the sheep from predators, pests, and other dangers.Warns, intercedes, and rescued His People (Mark 8:15; John 17:12-15; Matthew 20:28; John 10:15).
Feeds the sheep, which also involves removing poisons and toxins from the food.Feeds the crowds of people, for He Himself is the Bread of Life (Matthew 14:13-21; 15:32-39; John 6:22-71).
Cares for weak or sick lambs.Cares for the weak and sick (Matthew 14:14; 14:34-36).
Disciplines the wayward sheep and retrieves the lost.Rebukes His Disciples whenever needed, and fins those who have lost their way (Matthew 14:29-31; 16:23; Luke 22:31-34).
Protects the cultivated land and crops from the sheep.Guides His Disciples in the way of caring about others (Luke 6:27-36).
Prevents over-grazing.Teaching His Disciples to be wise and harmless (Matthew 10:16).