"FACING A NEW YEAR FILLED WITH UNCERTAINTY
WE MUST HAVE AN UNSHAKABLE FAITH!"
"OUR SOULS COULD HAVE NO RAINBOWS
IF OUR EYES NEVER HAD TEARS."
"THEN JOB FELL DOWN UPON THE GROUND AND WORSHIPPED,
NAKED I CAME FROM MY MOTHER'S WOMB
AND NAKED I WILL DEPART
THE LORD GAVE AND THE LORD HAS TAKEN AWAY
BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD."
In the unfolding drama of the Biblical story of the life of Job, God gives
permission to Satan to strip Job of his
FAMILY, WEALTH, AND HEALTH.
Have you ever had your back against the wall? Well, Job obviously did
as he faced the loss of all that he possessed. What does a man do when
he stands with "EMPTY HANDS" when they were "ONCE FULL?" How
does a man assess life?
How would you have reacted if you lost family, wealth, and your physical
health? In the face of trouble, Job showed himself to be the kind of man
EVIL AND TRIALS COULD NEVER DEFEAT!
Too often, when such trials touch our lives, we want to throw in the sponge!
We want to "CHARGE" GOD! We want to say to GOD, "How could you allow
this to happen to me." What was the reaction of Job upon losing everything?
"JOB FELL DOWN UPON THE GROUND AND WORSHIPPED
BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD !"
IN ALL THIS JOB DID NOT SIN
BY CHARGING GOD WITH WRONGDOING."
Listening to a young artist sing, an outstanding critic stated, "She has a
remarkable voice and the promise of a wonderful career, but she would
not attain her full power until she has experienced more of the sorrows
of life." When we are tried and tested like Job of old, may the Lord give
to us the same grace, strength and faith to say,
"THOUGH HE SLAY ME, YET WILL I TRUST HIM"
Suffering can be a source of strength for our lives few other experiences
can make possible. Well stated are the words
"OUR SOULS COULD HAVE NO RAINBOWS
IF OUR EYES NEVER HAD TEARS."
AN UNSHAKABLE FAITH DECLARES
"WE KNOW THAT "ALL" THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR "GOOD"
TO THEM THAT "LOVE" THE "LORD" WHO HAVE BEEN "CALLED"
ACCORDING TO "HIS" PURPOSE." Romans 8:28
NOW FOR THE REST OF THIS TRUE STORY!
"NOW THE LORD BLESSED THE "LATTER DAYS" OF JOB
MORE THAN THE BEGINNING." Job 42:12
What a glorious testimony! FRIEND, "NO TESTING HAS SEIZED YOU
EXCEPT WHAT IS "COMMON" TO MAN. BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL; HE
WILL NOT LET YOU BE TESTED BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN BEAR.
BUT WHEN YOU ARE TESTED, HE WILL ALSO PROVIDE A
WAY OF DELIVERANCE
SO THAT YOU CAN STAND UP UNDER IT."
I Corinthians 10:13
HOW FAITHFUL IS THE LORD OUR GOD!
NO MATTER WHICH WAY THE WIND BLOWS
TRUST HIM WITH ALL YOUR HEART!
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WHY IS THERE HATRED TOWARD ISRAEL?
"ISAAC & ISHMAEL"
I believe we are all aware of the ongoing statements made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and others, against the Nation of Israel. He has stated repeatedly that ISRAEL MUST BE ERADICATED. It was reported that President Ahmadinejad, in an interview on Lebanese television, said, “I believe that whoever is for humanity should also be for "ERADICATING" the Zionist regime as symbol of suppression and discrimination.”
Why is there such hatred towards the people of ISRAEL? Is there a basic reason why this has been a thorn in the side of Israel over the many years of history? The answer is “YES” and it all goes back to the time of ABRAHAM AND HIS WIFE SARAH.
Genesis 12 reveals the time when God called Abraham to leave his homeland and family. “NOW THE LORD HAD SAID UNTO ABRAM, GET OUT OF YOUR COUNTRY AND FROM YOUR KINDRED, AND FROM YOUR FATHER’S HOUSE, UNTO A LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU; AND I WILL BLESS THEM THAT BLESS YOU, AND CURSE THEM THAT CURSE YOU; AND IN YOU SHALL ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED.”
Wow! What a calling, and what a marvelous promise. In Abraham and his seed the nations of the world would be blessed. WELL, of course, for this promise to be fulfilled there had to be a Son! However, there was a huge PROBLEM! O yes, a very huge problem that is clearly stated in Genesis 16:1
“NOW SARAH, ABRAM’S WIFE BARE HIM NO CHILDREN.” If Abraham had no son, how could this promise be fulfilled? You can be sure they carried a heavy burden! Knowing that Sarah was fast approaching the time when she would no longer be able to conceive, instead of believing “WHAT GOD HAD PROMISED HE WAS ALSO ABLE TO FULFILL” the scripture states, “SARAH, ABRAM’S WIFE TOOK HAGAR, HER MAID, THE EGYPTIAN, AND GAVE HER UNTO HER HUSBAND, AND HE WENT IN UNTO HAGAR AND SHE CONCEIVED…. SO HAGAR BORE ABRAM A SON AND ABRAM GAVE THE NAME "ISHMAEL" TO THE SON SHE HAD BORNE.”
Can you believe what happened? After taking their own steps to solve the problem of having a son to be the heir to the promise God had given, the Lord said to Abram “SARAH YOUR WIFE WILL BARE A SON INDEED, AND YOU SHALL CALL HIS NAME ISAAC; AND I WILL ESTABLISH MY COVENANT WITH HIM FOR AN “EVERLASTING COVENANT” AND WITH HIS SEED AFTER HIM. As for ISHMAEL, I will bless him and I will make him a great nation, BUT, MY COVENANT WILL I ESTABLISH WITH ISAAC."
When Sarah heard the news, “She laughed within herself, saying, after I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, and Abraham being old also? And the Lord said unto Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, “IS THERE ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD?” Well, you know the result, Sarah gave birth to a son in her old age, and they called his name ISAAC.
When ISAAC was approximately three years old, Abraham made a feast for joy that ISAAC was safely weaned. ISHMAEL, now about fifteen years old, must have felt terrible seeing the attention now being given to ISAAC. After all, for all those years he had been the center of attention and now things drastically changed. He thought he was the son who would be heir to the promise given to Abraham, but now ISAAC was declared to be the heir, who with his seed would continue the plan that God had given to Abraham, a Divine Plan that would ultimately usher into the world the PROMISED MESSIAH JESUS THE CHRIST - THE MESSIAH, THE ANOINTED ONE.
It is important to note when Hagar had conceived “The Angel of the Lord spoke to Hagar and said, “YOU ARE NOW WITH CHILD AND YOU WILL HAVE A SON. YOU SHALL CALL HIM ISHMAEL FOR THE LORD HAS HEARD OF YOUR MISERY. HE WILL BE A WILD DONKEY OF A MAN; HIS HAND WILL BE AGAINST EVERYONE AND EVERYONE’S HAND AGAINST HIM; AND HE WILL LIVE IN HOSTILITY TOWARD ALL OF HIS BROTHERS.” Genesis 16:11
Now note what happened between Ishmael and Isaac. “AND SARAH SAW THE SON OF THE EGYPTIAN WHICH SHE HAD BORNE UNTO ABRAHAM “MOCKING.” O yes, ISHMAEL, being much older than ISAAC, filled with jealousy and bitterness, abused, mocked, and belittled Isaac, until Sarah said to Abraham “CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON, FOR THE SON OF THIS BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE HEIR WITH MY SON ISAAC."
Abraham knew only too well that ISHMAEL was born according to the FLESH, but ISAAC born according to the PROMISE that God had given. Finally, Abraham sent both Hagar and Ishmael out into the wilderness, but remember, they carried with them the promise that Ishmael would one day become a great nation. As time passed we read, "HAGAR TOOK ISHMAEL A WIFE OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT. Genesis 21:20
Friends, is there a reason why ISRAEL is hated so much? Is there a reason why President Ahamdinejad wants to eradicate the Jewish people now living in the Land of Israel? O YES, WHAT TOOK PLACE AS STATED ABOVE BETWEEN ISAAC AND ISHMAEL WAS THE BEGINNING OF A CONFLICT THAT CONTINUES TO THIS VERY DAY!
BOTH THE ARAB WORLD AND ISRAEL CAN SAY THEY GO BACK TO ABRAHAM, BUT ONLY TO ISRAEL THROUGH ISAAC AND HIS DESCENDANTS WAS THE PROMISE DEED TO THE LAND GIVEN. "AND THE SAME DAY THE LORD MADE A COVENANT WITH ABRAM SAYING, UNTO YOUR SEED HAVE I GIVEN THIS LAND FROM THE RIVER OF EGYPT, UNTO THE GREAT RIVER THE RIVER EUPHRATES." Genesis 15:18
"AND ABRAM FELL ON HIS FACE, AND GOD TALKED WITH HIM, SAYING, I WILL ESTABLISH MY COVENANT BETWEEN ME AND YOU AND YOUR SEED AFTER YOU IN THEIR GENERATIONS FOR AN “EVERLASTING COVENANT” TO BE A GOD UNTO YOU, AND TO YOUR SEED AFTER YOU. AND I WILL GIVE UNTO YOU AND TO YOUR SEED AFTER YOU, THE LAND WHEREIN YOU ARE A STRANGER, ALL THE LAND OF CANAAN, FOR AN “EVERLASTING POSSESSION” AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD." Genesis 17:3-8
So sad but true, the jealousy and resentment between ISAAC and ISHMAEL, the sons of Sarah and Hagar, has resulted in friction and wars for many years. It is all about the TITLE DEED TO THE LAND OF ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM, which God promised to ABRAHAM’S SEED OF PROMISE, ISAAC, and his descendants. We read about this problem every day in news papers and on every Television newscast.
HEAR AGAIN, THE WORD OF THE LORD CONCERNING ISRAEL - “I WILL BLESS THEM WHO BLESS YOU AND CURSE THEM WHO CURSE YOU, AND ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH WILL BE BLESSED THROUGH YOU! Genesis 12:3
TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT A MAP OF THE NEAR EAST. IT IS AMAZING! WHEN YOU SEE THAT LITTLE STRIP LABELED ISRAEL, SURROUNDED BY THE ARAB WORLD (IRAN, IRAQ, LEBANON, EGYPT, JORDAN, SYRIA, SAUDI ARABIA, LIBYA, ETC) HOW FOOLISH ARE THOSE WHO SAY THERE IS NO GOD. O YES FRIEND, THERE IS A GOD IN THE HEAVENS WHO RULES OVER THE AFFAIRS OF MEN AND HIS EYE WATCHES OVER THE NATION ISRAEL.
ONE DAY, THE MESSIAH, JESUS THE CHRIST, THE ANOINTED ONE, WHO DIED PAYING FOR OUR SINS, AND ROSE AGAIN DEFEATING THE STING OF DEATH, WILL COME AGAIN AND SIT UPON THE THRONE OF DAVID IN JERUSALEM, AND HE WILL REIGN AS KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. FROM ALL THE TRIBES AND NATIONS OF THE WORLD, WITH NO EXCEPTION, EVERY TRUE BELIEVER IN JESUS CHRIST, WILL REIGN WITH HIM FOREVER.
PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM, AND FOR ALL BELIEVERS IN EVERY COUNTRY WHO ARE STANDING FIRM IN CHRIST NO MATTER WHAT THE COST. MAY WE TOO, STAND STRONG AND STEADFAST IN CHRIST COST WHAT IT MAY.
HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR IS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
TRUST HIM FRIEND FOR HE ALONE HAS THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE.
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THE EVENT THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING
There is no question that the Bible is indeed the Eternal, Infallible Word of God. When we celebrate the wonderful Day we call "THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRANCE OF CHRIST INTO JERUSALEM" this Day is of supreme significance. You recall the crowd of people gathered as Jesus rode into the City on a Lowly Donkey waving their Palm Branches and shouting, "Blessed is the KING who comes in the Name of the LORD; Hosanna to the SON of David; Hosanna in the Highest."
As Jesus drew near, He saw the City, and "WEPT" over it saying, "If you had known, even you, "ESPECIALLY" in this "YOUR DAY" the things that make for your PEACE! BUT NOW THEY ARE HID FROM YOUR EYES." Luke 19:28-48 This is a direct fulfillment of the prophecy written "HUNDREDS" of years before by Zechariah who wrote: "Rejoice greatly, O Daughters of Zion! Shout, O Daughters of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you. He is Just and having Salvation, Lowly and riding on a Donkey, a Colt, the Foal of a Donkey." Zechariah 9:9
With this in mind, this Question arises! Should they have known the "TIME" and even the "DAY" when Messiah, the Christ, would be in their very presence as the Scripture Foretold? The answer is "YES!" Without a doubt, the "TIME" for sure, and I personally believe the "DAY" as well. It all centers on the account of the Prophecy found in the Book of Daniel, Chapter Nine, where Daniel writes, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy People and upon thy Holy City Jerusalem. Know therefore, and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto "MESSIAH the PRINCE, shall be SEVEN WEEKS and THREESCORE AND TWO WEEKS. (69 Weeks) The streets shall be built again, and the walls even in troublesome times. And after THREESCORE AND TWO WEEKS, SHALL MESSIAH BE "CUT OFF" BUT NOT FOR HIMSELF." Daniel 9:24-25
Now, two issues are very important to understand this Prophecy. FIRST: The Seventy Weeks are literally SEVENTY SEVENS OR 70 X 7 which means, the prophecy covers a period of 490 Years. A "WEEK" in this portion is not a Seven Day Week as we know it today, but, "ONE WEEK" equals SEVEN YEARS. You may ask how is this possible? Well, there are sufficient examples to show that this is not something NEW! Do you recall the account of JACOB, who had to work SEVEN YEARS for Laban, the Father of Rachael, the Love of his Heart. Laban said to Jacob, "Fulfill her "WEEK" and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another "SEVEN YEARS!" Then Jacob did so, and fulfilled her "WEEK!" The tough part for Jacob was being DECEIVED by Laban, and having to work 14 YEARS to finally have Rachael as his Wife. Yes "TWO WEEKS!" Here we see a "WEEK" is a SEVEN YEAR PERIOD.
Secondly, each year is "NOT" 365 days as we know it to be today, but, each year is 360 Days. Taking a quick look into the last SEVEN YEARS of this prophecy, the 70TH WEEK OF DANIEL, which is still FUTURE, when the Anti Christ, is in power, reference is made to the number of days in a YEAR, which clearly proves the 360 days in a Year. "And the Woman fled into the wilderness where she has a place prepared of God, that they would feed her there a THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND THREE SCORE DAYS!" Revelation 12:6 That is a total of 1,260 Days. Since this refers to the last half of the Seven Year Tribulation Period that is to come, when you divide 1,260 by three and one half Years, the answer is 360 days in a year. If the final week, the final seven years of this prophecy of Daniel is 360 days in a year, then the whole 70 weeks of this prophecy is based on 360 days in each year. NOW KEEP THIS FACT CLEARLY IN MIND.
Now, the Next Question? When did this 70 WEEKS OF YEARS BEGIN? Daniel wrote: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the Commandment to Restore and to build Jerusalem unto "MESSIAH" the PRINCE, shall be SEVEN WEEKS AND THREESCORE AND TWO WEEKS." Daniel 9:27 The beginning point of this prophecy is found in the concern of Nehemiah over the sad condition of his Beloved City, Jerusalem. Recorded in the Book of Nehemiah, Chapter two, this man of God asked King Artaxerxes to allow him to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the City. In a marvelous way, God moved upon the heart of this King and he issued a Decree allowing Nehemiah to go back SAFELY to rebuild the City. THIS DECREE WAS GIVEN IN THE TWENTIETH YEAR OF HIS REIGN IN THE MONTH OF NISAN, 445 BC.
The starting point of this Prophecy is the Month Nisan, in the year 445 BC. We have already determined that the first 69 WEEKS multiplied by 7 equals a period of 483 Years. Remember BC years (before Christ) have a declining pattern so that when you come to the beginning of AD (after Christ), 445 years of the 483 years have been completed, leaving only 38 more years left for the 483 years to be fulfilled which would bring us to approximately AD 38 when MESSIAH WOULD APPEAR.
NOW FOLKS, IF IT WERE NOT JESUS THE CHRIST
WHO APPEARED HERE ON EARTH - THEN WHO?
LET'S TAKE ONE STEP FURTHER ABOUT THE DATE. REMEMBER, DANIEL'S PROPHECY IS BASED ON A 360 Year calendar and not 365 as we noted yesterday. When you multiply 483 years by 360 it gives a total of 173,880 Days in this period of time which is 6.7 years less than when multiplying the 483 years by 365 days in each year. What does this mean? It means the date of Messiah's appearance, taking into consideration the transition from BC (before Christ) to AD (after Christ) is less than the approximate date of AD 38 and is closer to the approximate date around AD 32-33.
An astounding Scholar, Sir Robert Anderson, allowing for the transition from BC (BEFORE CHRIST) TO AD (AFTER CHRIST) calculated, that going from 445 BC, and working through the 173,880 Days involved with this calculation, it takes us right up to the PRESENCE OF CHRIST RIGHT HERE ON EARTH, AND TO THE "DAY" WE CELEBRATE AS "PALM SUNDAY" WHEN JESUS ENTERED INTO JERUSALEM, HAILED AS THE "SAVIOR" WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.
AMAZING? FRIEND, OUR GOD IS AWESOME! Is there any wonder why our LORD "WEPT" over Jerusalem, saying, "If you had known, even you, "ESPECIALLY" in this "YOUR DAY" the things that make for your PEACE! But now they are Hid from your Eyes. Yes, it was their "DAY" and they "MISSED" IT. But remember, the prophecy states, at the end of the first 69 weeks, "MESSIAH WOULD BE "CUT OFF" BUT "NOT" FOR HIMSELF!"
O Yes, this also was foretold by the Prophet Isaiah who wrote: "He was WOUNDED for "OUR" transgressions, "BRUISED" for OUR iniquities; the Chastisement for our "PEACE" was upon HIM, and with HIS Stripes we are HEALED. All we like Sheep have gone astray, we have Turned, "EVERYONE" to his Own Way, but the LORD laid on HIM, THE CHRIST, THE MESSIAH, the INIQUITY OF US ALL." Isaiah 53:5-6
Friend, "God made Him to be "SIN" for Us, HE WHO KNEW NO SIN, that We might be made the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM." II Corinthians 5:21 I have endeavored to set before you a few of the basic facts of this Prophecy, as it relates to the "TIMING" of the appearance of the Eternal Son of God, and His foretold Death on the CROSS when He paid the Supreme Price for our SINS as our SUBSTITUTE! I Pray, the Holy Spirit will give you clear understanding of this amazing Prophetic Word, for He promised to lead us into all TRUTH.
By the way, Friend, HAVE YOU ACCEPTED CHRIST'S PAYMENT FOR YOUR SINS? THE SAVIOR IS WAITING FOR YOU TO OPEN THE DOOR TO LET HIM INTO YOUR HEART. RECEIVE HIM, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AS YOUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR........TODAY............AND RECEIVE THE GIFT OF ETERNAL SALVATION!
MESSIAH, JESUS THE CHRIST HAS COME
AND SOON WILL COME AGAIN.
BE YOU ALSO READY!
PLACE YOUR FAITH IN "JESUS" FOR HE ALONE HAS
THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE
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"THERE WILL ALSO BE A SECOND ADVENT"
At "CHRISTMASTIME" we celebrate the "INCARNATION" when the Eternal Son of God entered into time, GOD, THE ETERNAL WORD MANIFESTED IN FLESH,JESUS CHRIST - TRUE GOD AND TRUE MAN!
The First Coming of Christ, the Messiah, was to provide a "BRIDGE" to God, through His Death on the Cross of Calvary as our Substitute, and His Victorious Resurrection from the Dead. At His Birth, the Angel declared to Humble Shepherds, "Behold I bring you Good Tidings of Great Joy which shall be for "ALL" the people. For unto you is born this day in the CITY OF DAVID, a "SAVIOR" who is CHRIST THE LORD!" Luke 2:10
The Apostle Paul later wrote concerning Jesus Christ, "Who being in very nature, GOD, did not consider EQUALITY with GOD something to be GRASPED, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a Servant, being made in Human Likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the Cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him to the Highest Place, and gave Him the Name that is ABOVE every name; that at the Name of JESUS every knee should bow in Heaven and on Earth, and under the Earth, and EVERY TONGUE CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS "LORD" TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER." Philippians 2:5-11
Now, the Bible has a Great Deal to say about "THE SECOND ADVENT -THE 2ND COMING OF CHRIST!!" In fact, those who have numbered the times the Word of God speaks about His Return, indicate that one in every four verses of Scripture deals with this very important future event. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is mentioned 10385 times. WOW! THAT IS TRULY AWESOME! Dates have been set by individuals and religious groups concerning His Coming, but when the date arrived, "CHRIST DID NOT APPEAR!" WHY? Simply because Jesus Himself stated, "BUT OF THAT DAY AND HOUR, NO MAN KNOWS; NO, NOT EVEN THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN, BUT MY FATHER ONLY!" Matthew 24:36
When Jesus returns, and I sincerely believe the day is fast approaching, you and I may be ALIVE, for the Scripture declares, "BEHOLD I SHOW YOU A MYSTERY; WE SHALL NOT ALL DIE, BUT, WE SHALL ALL BE CHANGED, IN A FLASH, IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE, AT THE LAST TRUMP!" I Corinthians 15:51-52 When Christ appears, "THE DEAD "IN CHRIST" WILL RISE FIRST, THEN WE WHO ARE "ALIVE" AND REMAIN, SHALL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR, AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD." I Thessalonians 4:17
Fellow Christian, when this Glorious Day arrives, the Apostle John writes, "BELOVED, NOW WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD, AND IT DOES NOT YET APPEAR WHAT WE SHALL BE, BUT WE "KNOW" THAT WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM WHEN WE SEE HIM AS HE IS!" I John 3:2
As you Celebrate the glorious message of the FIRST COMING OF CHRIST to bring us our Salvation, be sure to REMEMBER, "HE IS COMING AGAIN!" ARE YOU READY! RECEIVE HIM AS YOUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR, FOR. "WHOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED." Roman 6:23
JUST AS EVERY PROPHETIC SCRIPTURE WAS FULFILLED EXACTLY AS THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES STATED CONCERNING THE FIRST ADVENT OF CHRIST, IN THE SAME MANNER ALL SCRIPTURES DECLARING CHRIST SECOND ADVENT WILL BE FULFILLED EXACTLY AS STATED.
"LOOK UP FOR OUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH"
At this "THANKSGIVING SEASON" do you have a Reason to "THANK?" The amazing Apostle Paul wrote: "IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS!" I Thessalonians 5:18 In "EVERYTHING?" Did he really mean "EVERYTHING?" I ask this question because I am fully aware of the Tremendous Suffering this Dedicated Servant endured for the cause of Jesus Christ his Lord and Savior. Before you and I respond to this question, it will do us all much good to recall some of the "STEPS" and "STOPS" in his life.
Paul wrote: "In Labors more Abundant, in Stripes above Measure, in Prisons more Frequently, in Deaths Often. From my People Five Times I received Forty Stripes, Minus One. Three times I was Beaten with Rods, Once I was Stoned, three times I was Shipwrecked and spent a night and a day in the deep; In Journey's often, in Perils of Waters, in Perils of Robbers, in Perils of my own Countrymen, in Perils of the Gentiles, in Perils in the City, in Perils in the Wilderness, in Perils in the Sea, in Perils among False Brethren; in Weariness and Toil, in Sleeplessness often, in Hunger and Thirst, in Fasting often, in Cold and without Clothing. Besides the other things, what comes upon me daily, MY DEEP CONCERN FOR ALL THE CHURCHES." II Corinthians 11:23-28
The account of this Faithful Servant does not end at this point, for when he was finally imprisoned in Rome because of his Witness for Christ, as he awaited his execution by the decree of Caesar, he could still write: "FOR TO ME TO "LIVE" IS CHRIST, AND TO "DIE" IS GAIN!" Philippians 1:21 Earlier he wrote to the Thessalonian Believer's with these words of encouragement: "REJOICE ALWAYS! PRAY WITHOUT CEASING! IN "EVERYTHING" GIVE "THANKS" FOR THIS IS THE "WILL" OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS FOR YOU!" Say Christian Friend, "DO YOU HAVE REASON TO GIVE THANKS?
God help us to learn something from this Loyal Servants Heart before we Complain about some of the Hurts and Disappointments that have touched our Lives. May we gain new insight on the Whole Theme of "THANKSGIVING," the kind of "THANKSGIVING" that comes from the Heart and Declares that we have "LEARNED TO BE "CONTENT" WHATEVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES." That we have Learned "How to be Abased, and how to Abound; Everywhere and in "ALL" things, that we have Learned both to be Full and to be Hungry, both to Abound and to Suffer Need. FOR WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS US." Philippians 4:11-13
There are times when the Christian Life is a "BED OF ROSES!" O yes, that is absolutely true, "BUT" we Learn ever so Quickly, that even "ROSES" HAVE "THORNS" that can bring "PAIN" when they "PIERCE" us. We often sing the song "IT'S NOT AN EASY ROAD WE ARE TRAVELING TO HEAVEN," but we must never forget the wonderful truth that Jesus is Walking right beside us ALL THE WAY, "And He Will Never Leave Us Nor Forsake Us." Hebrews 13:5
Even when the Road is Rough, when you lay your head upon the pillow at night, instead of counting your many "PROBLEMS" start counting your many "BLESSINGS" for "God has Blessed us with "EVERY" SPIRITUAL BLESSING IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST....TO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE, BY WHICH HE MADE US ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED. IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION THROUGH HIS BLOOD, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, ACCORDING TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE." Ephesians 1:3-6
At this "THANKSGIVING SEASON" let's join Hearts together and say, "I will BLESS the LORD at "ALL" times. HIS PRAISE shall "CONTINUALLY" be in my Mouth. My Soul shall make its BOAST in the LORD; the Humble shall hear of it and be Glad. O MAGNIFY THE LORD WITH ME, AND LET US EXALT HIS NAME TOGETHER." Psalm 34:1-3 "BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL, AND ALL THAT IS WITHIN ME, BLESS HIS HOLY NAME. BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL, AND FORGET NOT "ALL" HIS BENEFITS." Psalm 103
"A BLESSED "THANKSGIVING" TO ALL!"
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"HE'S MORE THAN ENOUGH!"
It is a great day when we learn that we are totally inadequate for the
many battles we face in life, but, that the LORD is more than adequate.
When David, as a young lad faced the giant Goliath, he said,
“YOU COME TO ME WITH A SWORD, WITH A SPEAR AND WITH A
JAVELIN, BUT I COME TO YOU IN THE NAME OF THE LORD OF
HOSTS! ALL THE ASSEMBLY SHALL KNOW THAT THE LORD DOES
NOT SAVE WITH SWORD AND SPEAR, FOR THE BATTLE IS THE
LORD'S, AND HE WILL GIVE YOU INTO OUR HANDS.” I Samuel 17:47
There is another great event that should challenge our hearts as we face
these uncertain days. The king of Assyria, Sennacherib, was about to invade
Judah. Hezekiah, knowing the invasion would soon take place began to
prepare the defense of the city. He built up the broken wall, and raised up
another outside of it. He set military captains over the people, and made
an abundant supply of weapons and shields. However, Hezekiah knew
that it would require more than just man made weapons to save the city,
so he called the people together to gird them up and to give them much
encouragement. Think of what he said!
"THERE ARE MORE WITH US THAN WITH THEM!”
What in the world was he thinking? Had he lost his mind? They were
far outnumbered by the Assyrian army. How could he say such a thing?
How could he say, “THERE ARE MORE WITH US THAN WITH THEM.”
Well, he gives the startling answer that resulted in a glorious victory
over the enemy found in II Chronicles 32:8,
"With Sennacherib & the Assyrian army IS AN ARM OF THE FLESH, BUT
WITH US IT IS THE LORD OUR GOD TO HELP US AND TO FIGHT OUR
BATTLES." It has been well stated that
"ONE PLUS GOD IS A MAJORITY!”
The world system, the flesh and the devil are major enemies with whom
we contend. Don't try to battle these enemies
IN THE ARM OF THE FLESH,
for that will bring instant defeat. But, with solid steadfast faith in
JESUS CHRIST THE LORD
"I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME.”
“FOR OUR GOD CAN DO THE EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL WE
ASK OR THINK”
“FOR WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM WHO LOVES US.”
THE BATTLE IS THE LORD'S!
"BE STRONG IN THE LORD
AND IN HIS MIGHTY POWER."
IS THE NATION ISRAEL AN ALERTING SIGN?
When Jesus came the First Time, there were specific SIGNS given in the Word of God. Isaiah the Prophet recorded one of them when he wrote: "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a "SIGN." Behold a "VIRGIN" shall conceive and bear a SON, and shall call HIS NAME IMMANUEL!" Isaiah 7:14
"GOD WITH US!"
When JESUS comes the Second Time, although no one knows the Day nor the Hour of His Coming, He has given us specific SIGNS that He said would take place as the end of the Age of Grace draws near. The JEWISH PEOPLE, without question, are a very important SIGN concerning the Return of Christ.
When Jesus stood in the presence of those who were speaking about the Temple, and how it was adorned with beautiful stones, He said, "These things which you see, the days will come in which NOT ONE STONE shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down." "When you see Jerusalem Surrounded by Armies, then know that its Desolation is Near. And they will Fall by the Edge of the Sword, and BE LED AWAY CAPTIVE INTO ALL NATIONS. AND JERUSALEM WILL BE TRAMPLED BY GENTILES "UNTIL" THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES BE FULFILLED." Luke 21:5-24
In 70 A.D. the Roman Army led by Titus was the weapon that brought desolation to Jerusalem, and caused the Jews to be SCATTERED among the Nations of the World. For almost Two Thousand Years, they remained in this dispersed state of existence UNTIL the year 1948 when the Jewish People were given an open door to return to their Homeland, and once again they were restored as a
NATION AMONG NATIONS,
just as the Word of God predicted! Thousands of Jews from many different Nations have returned, and many more are on their Way. The Word of God foretold their SCATTERING, and it foretold their Restoration as a NATION, and that it would take place in the LAST DAYS!
In the Book of Ezekiel, written in the 6th Century B.C., the Prophet wrote about the Valley of Dry Bones, and was asked the question, "CAN THESE BONES LIVE?" Then the Lord said to the Prophet, "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live." Then the Lord made a clear statement of whom He was speaking when He said, "These Bones are the Whole House of Israel. They indeed say, "Our Bones are Dry, our Hope is Lost, and we Ourselves are Cut Off." Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, O My People, I will Open your Graves and cause you to Come Up from your Graves and BRING YOU INTO THE LAND OF ISRAEL. I will put MY Spirit in you and you shall Live!" Thus says the Lord God: "Surely I will take the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL FROM AMONG THE NATIONS, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and BRING THEM INTO THEIR OWN LAND, AND I WILL MAKE THEM "ONE NATION" IN THE LAND ON THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL. THE NATIONS ALSO WILL KNOW THAT I, THE LORD, SANCTIFY ISRAEL, WHEN MY SANCTUARY IS IN THEIR MIDST FOREVERMORE."
How Faithful and True is the Eternal, Infallible Word of God. The challenge for "ALL" is:
"BE "YOU" ALSO "READY"
FOR THE SON OF MAN IS COMING
AT AN HOUR THAT YOU DO NOT EXPECT."
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