Archive for August, 2008

BIBLICAL MARTYRS

August 25, 2008

Abel – Slain by his older brother Cain (Gen. 4:8).

Andrew (Peter’s brother) – was crucified, suspended on an olive tree, at Patrae, a town of Achaia [Greece];

Bartholomew (aka Nathanael) – was beaten then crucified with his head downward, and was buried in Allanum, a town of the great Armenia (modern day southern Georgia).

Isaiah – tradition says he was encased in a tree and ‘sawed asunder’.

James (The Lesser), Son of Alphaeus – stoned to death in Jerusalem.

James (The Greater), Son of Zebedee – when preaching in Judea, was beheaded with the sword by Herod the tetrarch, and was buried there.

John (the disciple “that Jesus loved) brother of James and son of Zebedee – was banished by Domitian to the Isle of Patmos, and later died of “old age” in Ephesus.

Judas Iscariot – suicide by hanging.

Matthew/Levi – Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, and published it at Jerusalem, and fell asleep at Hierees, a town of Parthia, near modern day Tehran. OR speared to death!

Matthias replaced Judas (Acts 1:26).

Paul – was beheaded in Rome by Nero (Paul as a Roman citizen could not be crucified but got an “easier” death sentence).

Philip – preached in Phrygia, and was crucified in Hierapolis with his head downward in the time of Domitian, and was buried there.

Simon Peter – crucified upside down under Nero in Rome, and was buried there.

Simon the Zealot – the son of Clopas, who is also called Jude, became bishop (or 2nd Patriarch) of Jerusalem after James the Just, and fell asleep and was buried there at the age of 120 years OR crucified.

Thaddaeus/Judas son of James, Jude, who is also called Lebbaeus – preached to the people of Edessa, and to all Mesopotamia, and fell asleep at Berytus; was stoned to death and buried there. He is somtimes identified as Thomas in eastern Syrian tradition. 

Thomas – preached to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, and Margians, and was thrust through in the four members of his body with a pine spear at Calamene, the city of India, and was buried there.

ZechariahMat. 23:35.

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“Prejudicial Election!”

August 16, 2008

 

KEY SCRIPTURE

Rom. 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above🙂 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Rom. 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

We are living in an age where the Presidential Election of the United States feature the campaigns of a female, and a African-American male! While this is certainly exciting, it is not the first time that members of these two demographics ran for this office. Take a look at past presidential hopefuls of these two segments of society, ladies first:

Victoria Claflin Woodhull – 1870, Belva Lockwood – 1884, Margaret Chase Smith – 1964, Patsy Takemoto Mink – 1972, Shirley Chisholm – 1972, Ellen McCormack – 1976 & 1980, Sonia Johnson – 1984, Patricia Schroeder – 1988, Lenora Fulani 1988 & 1992, Elizabeth Dole – 2000, Carol Moseley Braun – 2004 (withdrew), Hillary Clinton – 2008;

Jesse Jackson – 1984 & 1988, Alan Keyes – 1996, 2000, & 2008, Al Sharpton – 2000, Barack Obama – 2008 (beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination).

A prevalent thought that most assuredly must be on the collective minds of Americans, and indeed the world, is if an African-American can be President. What a phenomenal accomplishment that would be, possibly more momentous than Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals! That would be true whether it’s this election or not; not just for the election itself, but also for outgrowing our prejudicial attitudes!

However, another type of election involves the race of faith in Christ vs. non-believers. Among the latter group are those who believe “the righteousness which is of the law, that the man which doeth those things shall live by them; …as concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes (KEY SCRIPTURE).” These “enemies”, who equate righteousness with national preeminence, are prejudiced against God’s elect being saved by His grace, which stresses the universality of His love through the sacrifice of Jesus (Rom. 8:5). Nevertheless, in this heavenly election, victory belongs to those who elect to follow the campaign strategy in Rom. 10:9 above!

“Making The Cut!”

August 16, 2008

 KEY SCRIPTURE

Rom. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Rom. 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, : 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. 30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

As a freshman in high school, I remember trying out for the jr. varsity basketball team with a pal of mine. The coach had us display our dribbling skills, however we were all so nervous that initially we looked tight. Coach then told us to show him a lil’ something something which we did. Tryouts continue for the next few days, and it included the usual regiment of laps, scrimmages, etc. My friend and I survive every cut until the final day. Earlier in one of the scrimmage game, my friend injured his thumb, and on that final day he was competing with a guy whose brother was on the varsity squad. Though I made the team it was difficult to handle the departure of my buddy.

However, it was also difficult to overlook the good news of my making the team, and keeping my NBA dream alive! To imagine the odds, let’s assume there’s 25 NBA teams with 12 players each. If there were only two major colleges for each of the 50 states in America, that would amount to 100 players. It would take an average of at least four NBA players per team to retire from their dream occupation and lavish lifestyle to open up slots for all the aspiring college players to be accommodated. If an NBA career is just five years, would that affect a 4-year college grad? To add to that improbability, today the league has seen an influx of international players, further decreasing the odds of achieving this dream. Furthermore, there are other factors including small colleges, walk-ons, NBA returnees, etc. The NBA was not my destiny.

In the ‘Sower Parable’ Jesus said that only 1 out of 4 seekers who received the Word was “good ground”, and that it produced some 30, 60, and 100 fold (Mat. 13:1-23). Some “good ground” are church goers (fruit), some are church leaders (more fruit), and then there are those disciples of Christ who make God’s team of Soul Winners (much fruit – Jhn. 15:1-6)!

How does one qualify to be a part of the Soul Winners? One must be willing to “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (KEY SCRIPTURE).” As “branches” we are all part of God’s tryout, and the “Coach” is looking for us to show Him a lil’ something something! This is not just the opportunity of a lifetime, it’s the opportunity of ALL TIME! Jhn. 15:13 states “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” As hard as it was to see my friend not make a basketball team, it can’t compare to how I would feel if you, my friend, miss out on the Kingdom! Please pay heed to these words “though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved…(KEY SCRIPTURE)” For those who have already accepted Jesus as their Savior understand that your spiritual walk has only just begun. As fruit we must become more fruit (Gal. 5:22-23), and then much fruit (Php. 1:11-30)! Amen!

“Why I No Longer Believe!”

August 15, 2008

  

KEY SCRIPTURE

Rom. 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Rom. 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. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Certainly this title has surely inundated the mind of many us in the world, so let me clarify that it is not my personal sentiment – it’s just a premise I’ve chosen to work on! The Lord has brought me too far for me to turn around. Now, please observe the following scriptures.

II Tim. 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

II Ths. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Throngs of people take the position to denounce God in order to be the first to say “You’re useless!” When Adam blamed Eve for his “discretion”, he denounced God for creating a helpmate. When Cain killed Abel, he denounced God for establishing the righteous sacrifice. When Noah got drunk, he denounced God for being the healthiest source of joy and strength. When Abram used Sarai for deceiving Pharaoh and then for her plan to father an heir, he denounced God for His method of fulfilling His promise. When the humble servant Moses struck the rock, he denounced God for the steadfastness God bestows on even the rebellious! Though all these great men fell because of a moment of weakness which is universal, we can overcome the “…sin that dwelleth in…” to be “raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father” (KEY SCRIPTURE) by obeying the One whose most excellent name makes demons tremble, and is the only name that saves!

“What’s In Your Wallet?”

August 15, 2008
  
KEY SCRIPTURE 
 
Rom. 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 
Rom. 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

“Master Of The Universe!”

August 14, 2008
   KEY SCRIPTURE

Rom. 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Rom. 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Why did Jesus sayye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews (Jhn. 4:22).” Let’s begin with God’s prophecy – Gen. 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Some interpret this passage to suggest that Eve is carrying two seeds, Cain for the Serpent and Abel for Adam, by a process called heteropaternal superfecundation! Well, let’s examine Gen. 4:1, where it reads “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”

So, what do the “seeds” represent? Seeds are produced by the “trees”, the one of life (Jesus – Php. 1:11; Prv. 11:30) and the one of knowledge of good and evil (Serpent – Rev. 12:9; Jhn. 8:44), and represents the “Christ (Gal. 3:16)” vs. the “viper’s brood (Mat. 3:7)”. Tts. 1:15 reads “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”

Next, let’s go to Noah’s prophecy – Gen. 9:26-27: “And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servantGod shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” That blessing is the salvation that Jesus is speaking of in (Jhn. 4:22)! History (Gen. 10) has shown that the Canaanite civilization “served” as the forerunner/template for the Shemites’ (Gen. 12:1-4), which was enlarged by Japheth (Isa. 45; King James Bible). Imagine the talents of African-Americans being “discovered” by Jewish agents, who then delivers the talent to Gentile managers. Obviously this scenario is NOT the only one imaginable; it’s only used to illuminate the prophecy!

The greater point to be made is that each of the three sons of Noah still play a seminal role in The Master’s promise to insure “all families of the earth be blessed (Gen. 12:4).” In the KEY SCRIPTURE, Paul details how “there is no respect of persons with God”, and that “a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” The Apostle also stated that “it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.” Peter adds, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9).” Since the Flood of Noah, we all are to: “seek the Kingdom(Mat. 6:33); “be saved(Rom. 10:9); “study(II Tim. 2:15); “baptize(Mat. 28:19); and “enter the gates(Rev. 22:14) where the Master of the Universe resides!

“Misconceptions Of A Reprobate Mind!”

August 13, 2008

 KEY SCRIPTURE

 

Rom. 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

 

 

 

 

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
In the 1979 movie Penitentiary” Leon Isaac Kennedy starred as a jailed boxer (a.k.a. Too Sweet) granted release, eventually, along with his trainer Floyd ‘Wildcat’ Chatman (a.k.a. Seldom Seen Jackson). Seldom Seen tries to explain his reluctance for this grant to Too Sweet, basing it on his fear of the loss of respect he believes he will encounter outside the prison walls. The student ,who was wrongly incarcerated, took this opportunity to respond with a message to impart hope in his teacher. How poignant is that?

The blaxploitation movies of the ’70’s caused a phenomenal uproar across our nation, ranging from ecstatically positive to vehemently negative. Those who sided with the latter proved to have a greater influence on Hollywood, however the unfortunate consequence of that fact was the dearth of Black movies for the next couple of decades! The moral here is watch who you side with or you may end up like the dog on the log who saw his reflection in the pond, but thinking it was another dog he tried to take his steak and…

Throughout history Man has been plagued with misconceptions which offered an exciting alternative to the Truth, however in the end they produced more darkness. Unfortunately, when a person is “blinded” by these “alternatives”, it’s very difficult sometimes for them to find the “light”. A primary reason for that may be due to what may be dubbed the “Seldom Seen Syndrome”, which produces “big fish in a little pond”. Of course a more obvious reason misconceptions thrive is because they’re used to justify the misbehavior we either enjoy, or refuse to discipline ourselves to overcome! Even more to the point – no God, no discipline!

To ignite the process to “dethrone” God, He must be seen as a liar, and if that could be the case who could we trust? God says He created Heaven and Earth, Man says things just exploded in an orderly, precise manner that allows life on this planet (huh?). There is even a faction who believes in two Creations, thinking there were other people formed with Adam and Eve! Let’s think about that. If that were true, then the Fall” of Adam would not, could not be universal, and thus there would be no need for Jesus to die for the sins of the world, but only for the progeny of Adam! In fact, God could have just used blood from one of these other people since they would still be “good”. This is just a misconception to detract from Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

My friend, please don’t think these attacks are new – they’re not! They’re simply presented in a way to make it seem as if you’ve “discovered” a heretofore unknown truth (Gal. 3). All have sinned! The Creation in Gen. 2 is just a reiteration of Gen. 1. Strangely, the hardest thing for us to do is to simply follow Truth! 

 

 

“ Rewards Of Pathology!”

August 13, 2008

KEY SCRIPTURE    
Rom. 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 

 According to Paul, the gospel of Christ is the most pure revelation of God’s righteousness, which leads to life by faith for the just (or believers). Conversely, those who refute the existence of God incur His wrath which certainly leads to damnation! Furthermore, Paul correlates the “proof” of the existence of God with the relative reality of the existence of Man (“that which may be known of God is manifest in them…” see KEY SCRIPTURE). However, in lieu of acknowledging the Creator as the Source of his being, Man became overwhelmed by creation to the point of being pathological.

What caused the world to become compulsive, obsessive, neurotic, extreme, unreasonable, unreasoning, and uncontrolled? Paul opines that it was a lack of glory (magnificence or credit?) and thankfulness for God which led Mankind to deviance, irreverence, and decadence. The world wants to strip God of His magnificence to glorify “Man, birds, beasts, and creeping things (KEY SCRIPTURE)”. Man started to put more trust in the empirical evidence of finite creation, than to accept the possibility of a Supreme Being who resides in the infinite realm of eternity. He believes in the reality of finite death – not infinite life!

The paradigm shift which caused the focus of Man to metamorphosize to a less than spiritual stance, was precipitated by a desire for tangible rewards. This yearning then initiated Man vs. God, and Man vs. Man conflicts (Gen. 3:1-7; Gen. 4:1-9). Unfortunately, such wantonness has even found a place throughout the history of the church (Php. 3:18-19), which has inexplicably found itself pitted against science. Both require “the measure of faith (Rom. 12:3)”; however, we should remember that II Pet. 1:5-7 says to “…add to your faith…knowledge”. The fear of the Lord in the Old Testament is equated with faith in the New Testament (reference: Scoffield Bible, Prv. 1:7), and is the only solution to inadequacy (Psa. 24:1)!
We must realize that Satan’s goal is to deter us from The Great Commandments found in Mat. 22:36-40. Note how the Serpent motivated the mind of Eve, making her feel incredibly ridiculous for believing God. Now with just a stroke of her ego, she was manipulated to countermand God’s order, which is designed to promote vitality (Prv. 7:2), to instead seek a “false” reward (Prv. 16:25)! These are classic examples of the Ridicule and Manipulative styles of leadership that overcame the First Adam. Thanks to the Inspirational leadership of the Last Adam, we shed pathologies to find life (Mat. 20:28; Rom. 10:9; I Cor. 15:20-31)

“Paul’s Prayer!”

August 13, 2008
   KEY SCRIPTURE

Rom. 1:8 (NLT) Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in Him is being talked about all over the world. 9 God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about His Son. 10 One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you. 11 For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. 12 When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. 13 I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to visit you, but I was prevented until now. I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit, just as I have seen among other Gentiles. 14 For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world to the educated and uneducated alike. 15 So I am eager to come to you in Rome, too, to preach the Good News. 16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.
 
The first point to notice in this passage is that in all actuality, it is reminiscent of a prayer! Prayer is how we talk to God, while meditation requires us to “hear” from Him. They both require us to get in God’s presence, and to do that we must “enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name (Psa. 100).” However, note how Paul gives praise to the Romans. Is it wrong to praise them? Of course not!So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Gen. 1:27).”
 
Being created in God’s image we also like praise, and that’s what it usually take to bring out our best. So, it is apropos for Paul to let the Romans know of their positive effect on the world. Yet, only God deserve worship which is adoration, love, reverence, respect, devotion – all requiring dedication, perseverance, and focus. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Mat. 4:10; compare Gen. 2:16-17; Psa. 119:113 NKJV).” (All verses KJV unless noted otherwise). 

 

 

 

 

 

Fittingly, Paul admonishes all of us on several occasions to pray, and to do that we must get into God’s presence, which requires us to give thanks and praise! As Paul desired to, we should also want to heartily give our best service by spreading the Good News (KEY SCRIPTURE)” which is life-giving, and reflects God’s will(Jhn. 6:40). He also wants to bring the Romans some “spiritual gifts” to help them “grow strong in the Lord” (mature). Note how he wanted to encourage them and to be encouraged by them, which is akin to how God first expects us all to be righteous (or to follow Him – Psa. 85:13), and then to walk before Me, and be thou perfect.” God later renames him to Abraham, and after giving him that instruction God is “encouraged” to make a covenant with him (Gen. 17, Gen. 18:19; Jam. 2:23)!

The point we are to extrapolate from all of this is that God gives us an example, and then examines us in preparation of gaining spiritual fruit (converts)! Who was Abraham’s example? Heb. 7:1 states, “… Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him…” This king is believed to be a pre-incarnation of Christ (theophany Gen. 14, 15:1-16, 18:1).

Finally, like Paul we can’t be humiliated, deterred, or “ashamed” about the gospel of Christ, and we must also be exemplary (I Pet. 5:1-4), by following the example of He (Mrk. 8:34) who said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work (Jhn. 5:17).” Continue to “pray without ceasing (I Ths. 5:17)” like Paul, who prayed for the Romans day and night (KEY SCRIPTURE)! Amen. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Greetings from Paul”

August 13, 2008
KEY SCRIPTURE 

Rom. 1:1 (NLT) This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News. 2 God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. 3 The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, 4 and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit He is Jesus Christ our Lord.

5 Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name. 6 And you are included among those Gentiles who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7 I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 

 

Before we talk about Paul, “a slave of Christ Jesus”, let’s discuss I Jhn. 4:2 which reads, “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” Incredibly, there are still some people who do not believe in the reality of Jesus, Paul, nor the disciples! Check out the excerpts below.

(1) Flavius Josephus (37 a.d.-100) is a highly respected and much-quoted Romano-Jewish historian. The early Christians were zealous readers of his work.  
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/josephus-etal.html
(2) Josephus was a Jew, a devout believer in the Jewish faith — the last man in the world to acknowledge the divinity of Christ.
(3) A Catholicised sainthood was the ultimate fate of our hero Paul but from where did the super-apostle arise? If, as seems likely, Marcion created what would become the New Testament Paul as a messenger for his own ideas, he almost certainly used biographical material from his own life, particularly the power struggle he waged with the collective in Rome.

He may have chosen the name Paul (meaning “small” or “humble”) as reflective of his own position.

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/saul-paul.htm

Once again we are faced with a mentality that denies the reality of God, Jesus, Paul, etc. Firstly, the tangible reality of nature is finite and could not possibly produce the infinite realm of eternity – that requires a Supernatural Being! Secondly Jesus, whose mission didn’t include making secular history, emphatically stated, “that they should tell no man(Mat. 8:4, 16:20, 17:9; + 15:8-9, 24). A fictitious Paul/disciples? This subterfuge explained in Isa. 14:12; Gen. 4:1-24. What do people intend to replace God with? He is the same God who said, “for I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jer. 29:11).” 

Surely there have been some misguided souls who polluted God’s intent and purposes! “Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart (Jer. 14:14).” However, let’s not overlook how Lucifer and Cain (Gen. 5) ended up, by attempting to overlook their Source! In the final analysis, we must recognize that the Entity that shall cultivate the world to its ultimate destiny, is unequivocally the same loving Entity gave it life (Jhn. 15:1-12)