Saturday, July 23, 2016

The early church

1Co 16:2  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. 
1Co 16:3  And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. 
1Co 16:4  And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me. 

The earliest church met on the Lord's day, which is Sunday, the day that Christ arose from the grave. Paul is giving instructions to the Corinthian church that collections for the persecuted church in Jerusalem be taken on the first day of the week. Historians of the time say that the offering was taken after the worship time, which is the custom of our church today. This giving to help the church in Jerusalem was a special offering, for offerings were given for the support of the local church as well. There are guidelines for giving to the needy. If there are widows who are old and with no family they are to be supported. The family is the first source of help. 

1Ti 5:3  Honour widows that are widows indeed. 

If a person can work and there is work  available, then they are to support themselves and give to others in need. Persecution of the church in Jerusalem had made it difficult to make a living. The church meeting together had a better chance of survival, as they had all things in common. Other churches gave support in finances and in prayer.

Php 2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 
Php 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 
Php 2:4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 

Our obedience is required if we are the disciples of Christ. Some obey God by keeping the Saturday Sabbath. Let every person decide in their heart about when to gather, but remember that we are to care for the Church and those in need by our giving.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Many books, little truth

Ecc 12:12  And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Ecc 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecc 12:14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
The truth shall make you free. Education is supposed to be about acquiring truth and yet year to year new books are  made, but little truth is found in them. A friend after completing a college degree remarked, "I did not find truth."  When I finished college I too felt empty as though something was lacking in my life. I found what was missing from a faithful preacher of God's word who said that the Bible is truth. There is a good God and an evil devil, there is good and there is evil. God's word is truth. That was what I was lacking in my life and it opened up the desire in me to learn more truth from the Bible.  Jesus is truth.
John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Education, much study, many books, does not mean you are in truth. Education used to be about learning the Bible to be informed preachers. Now the word of God is not allowed in schools and there is little truth.
The preacher, who was Solomon a most wise man, sums up his enquiry concerning truth by saying we are to fear God, keeping his commandments for God will judge us and every secret thing, as to whether it be good or evil.  We are to use godly judgement as to whether a thing is good or bad.
Php 1:9  And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 
Php 1:10  That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
We are to have spiritual discernment, knowing right from wrong. We are to know those who speak truth and not be led astray by a false teacher.

2Ti 3:6  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 
2Ti 3:7  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

As the preacher repeatedly said in the book of Ecclesiastes; all is vanity, emptiness apart from God. As a child of God we are connected to truth with eyes to see and ears to hear with all spiritual discernment. We are to speak the truth of God.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


Mar 13:31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Mar 13:32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Mar 13:33  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
Mar 13:34  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mar 13:35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Mar 13:36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mar 13:37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
Jesus, the Son of God spoke and his words will not pass away. The day and hour of his return no man knows, not the angels, nor the Son, but the Father. God the Father has absolute authority, he knows the time, but we do not. We are to watch and pray for his coming and we are given responsibilities to give an account of. We are to be faithful over his house, the church with his authority to give life to the lost in the name of Jesus. Everyone has their work to do and we are to be awake spiritually. The porter is the Holy Spirit, he opens the gate for the master to his sheep.
Joh 10:1  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Joh 10:2  But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3  To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
Jesus is our master and Shepherd who will come for his sheep. The sheep are to be kept by the power of the Holy Spirit and they are to be busy while waiting on his return. We are not to be away from God wandering around in the world, but we are to be faithful to Jesus who saved us out of the world and will come to bring us with him to glory. This is a great hope and we are to be eagerly awaiting his return, which could be  at any moment of time. Watch from the Greek word gregoruo, the name Gregory comes from this name meaning watch. I know a Greg who is a trumpet player in a Christian brass instrument group. We are to watch and listen for the trump of God. We are all Gregories, in that we are called to watch.

Mat 26:40  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
Mat 26:41  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

When Testings Come

Job 7:20  If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind? Why have you made me your mark? Why have I become a burden to you?
Job 7:21  Why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; you will seek me, but I shall not be."
Job 8:1  Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
Job 8:2  "How long will you say these things, and the words of your mouth be a great wind?
Job 8:3  Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
Job 8:4  If your children have sinned against him, he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression.
Job 8:5  If you will seek God and plead with the Almighty for mercy,
Job 8:6  if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and restore your rightful habitation.
Job 8:7  And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great.

We have all encountered someone like Bildad when we undergo a trial or test, they take the place of God explaining why you are so unfortunate. "If only you had more faith, you must have some unconfessed sin?" Do not rush in to explain someone else's misfortune. Be with them to comfort, even with few words, but do not be their judge.
Job was called a righteous man by the LORD. The devil wanted to prove that Job would not be so righteous if his blessings were taken away from him. (Job 1:8-12) The LORD allowed satan to destroy Job's children. He left his wife to speak discouragement to him "curse God and die." God was not mad at Job and he is not mad at you. Hard times come, sometimes our faith is tested. Bildad in verse 6 said if you were pure and upright then God would bless and restore your rightful habitation. In fact God would do this in the end of the testing of Job. How does this apply to us? If we love God and serve him and if we are forgiven by Jesus Christ by our faith in him, then we are accounted as righteous and testing's will come. 

Rom 4:5  And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,

 We pray and expect God to answer right away, but at times we must wait as Job had to wait. Wait on the LORD and he will bless you abundantly, he loves us. The things that happen are common to all people, but in Christ, God is faithful.

1Co 10:13  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Visions and Revelations

2Co 12:1  It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 
2Co 12:2  I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 
2Co 12:3  And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 
2Co 12:4  How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 
2Co 12:5  Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. 
2Co 12:6  For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 
2Co 12:7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 
2Co 12:8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 
2Co 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

I would like to comment on a few things here. Paul knew a man who had a vision, being caught up into the third heaven, paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which are not lawful to utter. There are many people now who have had out of body experiences, some had died and seen a vision of heaven and have testified of what they saw and heard. We are to be careful how we process what we hear from these extra Biblical experiences. We are not to exalt these people and their experiences, but to make note of them. Many people now seem to want to hear and see the "supernatural". Paul had a vision and a new calling from Jesus on the road to Damascus at the beginning of his Christian walk. He had personal revelation knowledge from the Lord. 

Gal 1:11  For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. 

Gal 1:12  For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 

Paul in verse 7 says that he had an abundance of revelations and with them came a messenger from satan, a thorn in the flesh, so that in his flesh he would not be  glorified. All glory belongs to God.  The thorn in the flesh may have been a physical ailment, poor eyesight, or even the enemies of Christ that opposed him wherever he preached. Do not expect an easy road in your ministry; be humble, be obedient and Christ is your strength and healer; his grace is enough. A revelation probably is for you personally, a prophecy is to be shared. All that is heard must be aligned with God's word, the Bible. Paul was concerned that there were false teachers who were leading them away. 

2Co 11:13  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 
2Co 11:14  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

We are to be careful of what we hear and believe. Do not glory in appearances, appearances can be deceiving, glory in the LORD who reveals himself to us. We serve Him with joyful hearts overcoming all hindrances by his grace.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Strength from God

Isa 40:28  Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 
Isa 40:29  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 
Isa 40:30  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 
Isa 40:31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 

Our thoughts can make us weary and weak, so we are to look to God, wait on him and he will give us strength. The events of the world do not have him worried. He sets up leaders and he takes them down. Perhaps some are for our testing? Will we follow evil for our daily bread or will we trust the Lord to make a way for us. We are not as animals, but we are created to be in the image of God. He is God, not us, we do not make him in our image as some say, but we are to change our thoughts and behavior to be like our Lord Jesus Christ. He has given us grace for salvation and grace for strength and the ability to do his will in our lives.

2Co 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 
2Co 12:10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 

We are not to focus on our lack but rather on his abundance. He will give us grace to do his will so that in our weakness we are strong through him. Giving all glory to God in all things. Seeking his will we may ask and receive of him that which will give life to souls for His glory.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Be strong people of faith

1Co 16:13  Be careful. Hold firmly to your faith. Have courage and be strong.
1Co 16:14  Do everything in love. (ESV)

Our business is to be saving souls by the power of Jesus Christ and his finished work. We are not to be careless with our lives because God is watching, others depend on us and the world is watching us. The devil is looking to take us down, so be watchful, be careful, be aware of things around you and of the spiritual world. Hold firmly to the faith of Jesus Christ. Know the Bible and know what you believe. Beware of false teachers and beware of your own thoughts. Conform your minds to the word of truth. Be strong in faith, be courageous to speak and to write what is good and edifying. Do everything by the power of God's word and Spirit with his love being seen in you.
The flesh is weak and as we get older the body begins to wear out. We are not to be worn out in our faith. Revival begins in each heart wherein Jesus dwells.
2Ti 1:10  And now it has been shown to us in the coming of our Savior Christ Jesus. He destroyed death and showed us the way to have life. Yes, through the Good News Jesus showed us the way to have life that cannot be destroyed.
2Ti 1:11  I was chosen to tell people that message as an apostle and teacher.
2Ti 1:12  And I suffer now because of that work. But I am not ashamed. I know the one I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to protect what he has trusted me with until that Day.
2Ti 1:13  What you heard me teach is an example of what you should teach. Follow that model of right teaching with the faith and love we have in Christ Jesus.

Keep going, there are many who need to be saved from sin and death.Your life matters as a light to a sin darkened world. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Son of God

Mar 12:28  And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 
Mar 12:29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 
Mar 12:30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 
Mar 12:31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 
Mar 12:32  And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 
Mar 12:33  And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 
Mar 12:34  And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question. 
Mar 12:35  And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? 
Mar 12:36  For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. 
Mar 12:37  David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly. 

There is one God and he has a Son. Jesus was trying to show the people this truth. The son of David, the son of man is also the Son of God from heaven. The scribe did not yet see that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus responded that he was not far from the kingdom of God. Jesus is the king of the kingdom. A lot of religious people say that God is one and do not see Jesus as his son. God the father and Jesus his son are one. They are one God, they do not act separately. They are one in one accord. Jesus wants us to be in one accord as well. To be born again of His Spirit is the start and to be conformed to the image of Jesus, obeying him and loving God and one another will make us one church in unity. Peter was given a revelation of Jesus being the Son of God.

Mat 16:15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 
Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 
Mat 16:17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 

God is a spirit and spirits know the spirits. The Spirit of God is greatest of all.

Luk 4:33  And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 
Luk 4:34  Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. 
Luk 4:35  And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. 
Luk 4:36  And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. 

Jesus as a man was tested to prove that he was the Son of God.

Luk 4:3  And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 
Luk 4:4  And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. 

He passed the testing of the devil and overcame him on the cross by shedding his righteous blood to pay the price of our redemption. His blood washes away our sins when we believe in him as the Son of God who came to seek and to save the lost. Jesus, the son of man, the Son of the Living God is the Christ, the Messiah, our Savior.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


1Co 15:35  But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 

1Co 15:42  ... It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 
1Co 15:43  It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 
1Co 15:44  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 
1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 
1Co 15:53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 
1Co 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. 

1Pe 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 
1Pe 1:4  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 
1Pe 1:5  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 

1Pe 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 
1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 
1Pe 1:24  For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 
1Pe 1:25  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.