A Humble Request (Re-Post)

A Humble Request Pt 1

“Ave Christus, morituri te salutamus!”

“…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14/NKJV)
 

   This is a re-post – the situation of where I live has become even worse, consequently I am asking again for all Christians to pray. I am also adding some more things to the list of things to pray for; 1. please pray that God would turn the hearts of the people to Christ and away from unGodly leadership. 2. that my country (or the country where I once lived) wholeheartedly repent and return to it’s foundations and reject those unGodly principles and lifestyles as well as wholeheartedly reject those leaders who endorse and promote them.
   M any blog sites have features for tracking traffic to your site.  They are very thorough and do an excellent job at informing bloggers of which posts are viewed and the page views by countries, browsers and operating systems.  They even list the referring URLs, however there is one thing they do not do (and for the most part cannot do) i.e. they cannot determine the motivation of those who come to someone’s blog.  I must confess, I cannot do that either.  Whether someone is visiting this blog because they simply stumble upon it by accident, or are looking for something else, or whether they are truly Christian and want to learn more about the Bible, I cannot say.  Determining whether they are someone seeking God, or whether their motivations for stopping by this blog are less then sterling is well beyond my capacity.  Yet I hope that at least one of the many visits that this blog receives is done for the purposes of finding God or deepening one’s relationship with Him.  If this is indeed your purpose then I would like to make a humble request of you.

“Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” (Romans 1:22,23/NKJV)
 

   M y request is simply that you pray.  Please allow me to explain; my country (or perhaps I should say the country I used to live in – I still live here, but it no longer is what it originally was) was founded on Godly Judeo/Christian principles, but as time has passed it has turned it’s back on God and on these Godly Judeo/Christian principles.  Now I live in a country which actively seeks to destroy families, and blatantly sanctions homosexuality/lesbianism.  A country which equates perversion with the sacred relationship of husband and wife as well as endeavors to force others to acquiesce into accepting this un-Godly lifestyle.  A country that murders babies and calls it a woman’s right to choose (for a brief Biblical view of abortion please see here) and where “leaders” curse Israel and support those who want to destroy them.  A country which requires children to be taught lies as truth in the name of “science” (evolution, etc.).  All of these things have consequences;

“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;…who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:24-32/NKJV)

“If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” (Exodus 21:22-25/NKJV)

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘You shall also say to the sons of Israel:Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones. I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and to profane My holy name. If the people of the land, however, should ever disregard that man when he gives any of his offspring to Molech, so as not to put him to death, then I Myself will set My face against that man and against his family, and I will cut off from among their people both him and all those who play the harlot after him, by playing the harlot after Molech.'” (Leviticus 20:1-5/NASB)

“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you…” (Genesis 12:3/NKJV)

“…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21/NKJV)


   U nfortunately, the list (of sins and un-Godly activities) above can be/is longer and therefore the list of consequences can be/is also longer.  So I humbly ask for Christians that visit this blog to pray.  Furthermore, I must be quite frank and say that part of the fault lies with the Christians in this country – hence the quotation of 2 Chronicles 7:14 above.  So, as you pray please pray for;

  1. Christians
  2. marriages
  3. families
  4. churches
  5. people
  6. communities
  7. leaders

“But we request of you, brethren,…pray without ceasing;…” (1 Thessalonians 5:12, 17)

“Simul iustus et peccator”*

*Martin Luther



scripture sources;
Bible Gateway

images sources;
praying man
praying hands

OCTOBER/2013 – GET OUT OF THE SHACKLES

 
GET OUT OF THE SHACKLES! (Why hopefully Onesimus?)

“Soli Deo Gloria!”
 

S o who or what are you a slave to?

“Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever’,…” (John 8:34, 35a/NKJV)
 

I hope to re-post this once a month so anyone reading will understand my blog title and my purposes for creating this blog. So why hopefully Onesimus? Why such an odd name for a blogspot? For an explanation please see my first post – GET OUT OF THE SHACKLES! – WHY HOPEFULLY ONESIMUS? In that post I said Onesimus’ situation is interesting and has a great deal of moral and ethical implications. I also said, “I can definitely identify with Onesimus…after all we are all slaves to something or someone…it’s simply a matter of who or what.” Those implications, the beauty of their parallels to Christianity, and why I can identify with Onesimus was discussed other posts. However, before I do any of these please allow me to explain the main purpose of this blog and particularly these posts, i.e. the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The bad news first –(In the Shackles of Sin)
A gain I ask; who or what are you a slave to?

“Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever’,…” (John 8:34, 35a/NKJV)
 

Y ou are not alone, the truth is we all have sinned and consequently will not get to be with God,

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…” (Romans 3:23/NASB)
 

W e are all are weighed down by those things which separate us from God, continually bring spiritual death in our lives, and inevitably destine us to hell;

“For the wages of sin is death,…” (Romans 6:23/NASB)
 

Now the good news – (Get Out of the Shackles It’s Time to G.O.)
G od freely provided a way for us to be with Him;

“…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23/NASB)
 

G od loves us so much He sent His son Jesus to pay the price;

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8/NASB)
 

G od provided Someone who can and will set you free. All you have to do is turn to Him, acknowledge your need and ask Him to forgive you;

“…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;…” (Romans 10:9/NASB)
 

O nce we have turned to Christ, confessed our sins, and need for forgiveness to Him we have peace with God;

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,…” (Romans 5:1/NASB)
 

O nce we have done so we have the ability (through Christ) to overcome sin in our lives

“For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14/NASB)
 

O nce we make the choice to follow Christ we are heirs with Him;

Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:7/NASB)
 

S o, again I ask; who or what are you a slave to?

“Simul iustus et peccator”*
*Martin Luther



image source;
Get Out of the Shackles – wallpaper

SEPTEMBER/2013 – GET OUT OF THE SHACKLES!

 
GET OUT OF THE SHACKLES! (Why hopefully Onesimus?)

“Soli Deo Gloria!”
 

S o who or what are you a slave to?

“Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever’,…” (John 8:34, 35a/NKJV)
 

I hope to re-post this once a month so anyone reading will understand my blog title and my purposes for creating this blog. So why hopefully Onesimus? Why such an odd name for a blogspot? For an explanation please see my first post – GET OUT OF THE SHACKLES! – WHY HOPEFULLY ONESIMUS? In that post I said Onesimus’ situation is interesting and has a great deal of moral and ethical implications. I also said, “I can definitely identify with Onesimus…after all we are all slaves to something or someone…it’s simply a matter of who or what.” Those implications, the beauty of their parallels to Christianity, and why I can identify with Onesimus was discussed other posts. However, before I do any of these please allow me to explain the main purpose of this blog and particularly these posts, i.e. the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The bad news first –(In the Shackles of Sin)
A gain I ask; who or what are you a slave to?

“Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever’,…” (John 8:34, 35a/NKJV)
 

Y ou are not alone, the truth is we all have sinned and consequently will not get to be with God,

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…” (Romans 3:23/NASB)
 

W e are all are weighed down by those things which separate us from God, continually bring spiritual death in our lives, and inevitably destine us to hell;

“For the wages of sin is death,…” (Romans 6:23/NASB)
 

Now the good news – (Get Out of the Shackles It’s Time to G.O.)
G od freely provided a way for us to be with Him;

“…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23/NASB)
 

G od loves us so much He sent His son Jesus to pay the price;

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8/NASB)
 

G od provided Someone who can and will set you free. All you have to do is turn to Him, acknowledge your need and ask Him to forgive you;

“…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;…” (Romans 10:9/NASB)
 

O nce we have turned to Christ, confessed our sins, and need for forgiveness to Him we have peace with God;

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,…” (Romans 5:1/NASB)
 

O nce we have done so we have the ability (through Christ) to overcome sin in our lives

“For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14/NASB)
 

O nce we make the choice to follow Christ we are heirs with Him;

Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:7/NASB)
 

S o, again I ask; who or what are you a slave to?

“Simul iustus et peccator”*
*Martin Luther



image source;
Get Out of the Shackles – wallpaper

More THOUGHTS ON THE PASSION AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST (The Passover)

passover_lamb
 

More Thoughts On The Passion & Resurrection of Christ (The Passover)

“Soli Deo gloria!”
 

   I n order to more fully understand The Passion and Resurrection of Christ it is necessary to look at the Passover and see how the three relate;

 

– Passover Origins –
The Passover was established on the night when Israel was preserved “from the last plague visited upon Egypt” (Unger’s Bible Dictionary p. 353a) and God used Moses to lead the children of Israel (Jews) out of Egyptian bondage. It was to be celebrated in perpetuity, i.e celebrated forever by them ;

” ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.’ “(Exodus 12:14/NKJV)

And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever. When you enter the land which the Lord will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite. (Exodus 12:24-25/NASB)

God was very specific about who, what, when, where, why and how the meal was to be eaten. A brief look at each of these will help introduce the subject;
– During Moses Time –

    First (Egyptian) Passover

    The first Passover (also known as the Egyptian Passover because it happened in Egypt) was instituted in Exodus 12 and celebrated on the night of the tenth plague upon Egypt. (see Exodus 11, 12)

  • WHO?
    Who was to eat the Passover? All of the people of Israel, with their families or groups if the family was not large enough. Furthermore this included foreigners/aliens.
“Speak to all the congregation of Israel,…” (Exodus 12:1/NKJV)

“And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb.”(Exodus 12:4/NKJV)

“…whether he is a stranger or a native of the land.” (Exodus 12:19c/NKJV)
  • WHAT?
    What was to be eaten on the Passover? There were three elements to the first Passover meal; First, was the spotless lamb or kid, second was unleavened bread or matzoh, and third, was bitter herbs. At this point there is no mention of wine in the meal.
“Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats…” (Exodus 12:5/NKJV)

“Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.” (Exodus 12:8/NKJV)
  • WHEN?
    When was the Passover to be eaten? As stated earlier the first Passover meal was eaten on the night of the tenth plague upon Egypt. The meal was to begin in the evening. The Passover meal i.e. the lamb, the matzoh and bitter herbs were eaten on the night of Passover. Furthermore, the lamb was to be totally consumed – none of the lamb was to be left over until morning. However, the unleavened bread was to be eaten after the Passover meal for six more days. Both of these not only have symbolic applications (to be discussed later), but also practical applications – obviously the children of Israel could not carry “prepared”meats with them on their exodus from Egypt neither would they have time to allow bread with leaven (yeast) to rise on their initial exit from Egypt.
“Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.” (Exodus 12:6b/NKJV)

“And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.” (Exodus 12:22,23/NKJV)

“You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.” (Exodus 12:10/NKJV)

“Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.”(Exodus 12:15/NKJV)

“So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.” (Exodus 12:17-20/NKJV)
  • WHERE?
    Where was it eaten? Obviously the first Passover meal took place while they were still in Egypt. Note the meal was to be eaten in their homes and none were allowed to leave the home once the meal had started. This is because only those who remained in a dwelling with the blood of the lamb upon the lintels and two doorposts were safe from the tenth plague.
Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and take for yourselves lambs according to your families, and slay the Passover lamb. You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. (Exodus 12:21-23/NASB)
  • WHY?
    Why was it eaten? The first Passover was eaten to begin a yearly feast that would be a memorial commemorating their preservation from the last plague visited upon Egypt and their deliverance from Egyptian bondage.
“‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.'” (Exodus12:14/NKJV)

” ‘And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. It will come to pass when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service. And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’ ” (Exodus 12:24-27/NKJV)
  • HOW?
    How was it to be eaten? The first Passover meal was to be eaten “in haste”. Those participating did not recline or sit, but stood while the meal was eaten. This is due to the fact that after the final plague happened the Egyptians would want the Israelites out and God knew they needed to be ready to leave immediately.
“And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.” (Exodus 12: 11/NKJV)

Also note the whole lamb was to be roasted;

“…roasted in fire,…Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails.” (Exodus 12:8b, 9/NKJV)

and note that something else is specifically mentioned, i.e. none of the lambs bones were to be broken;

” ‘In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones.‘ ” (Exodus 12:46/NKJV)

As stated before the lamb was to be totally consumed before the next day.

“You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.” (Exodus 12:10/NKJV)

Finally, note (as mentioned earlier) all leaven was to be removed from the home and none was to be eaten;

” ‘Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses…For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.’ “(Exodus 12:15,19-20a/NKJV)

“Simul iustus et peccator”*
*Martin Luther


bible passages source;
Bible Gateway
image source;
Passover lamb

THOUGHTS ON THE DEATH, BURIAL AND RESSURECTION pt. 5

stained glass women with angels
Thoughts On The Death, Burial And Resurrection (& Passover) Pt 2d

“Soli Deo gloria”
 
He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (Matthew 28:6/NKJV)

   T his is one of the key verses of this passage. It provides hope in many ways;

  • Jesus is now risen from the dead, meaning He has overcome two of the final enemies of man – Satan and death.
  • this shows that Jesus keeps His promises. His word is true;
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” (John 10:17,18/NKJV)

“So the Jews answered and said to Him, ‘What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ Then the Jews said, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?’ But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.” (John 2:18-22/NKJV)
  • Jesus is God
“On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”
(Matthew 27:62-64/NKJV)
 

   The motivations of the chief priests and the Pharisees is plainly seen in the above scripture, but they did not need to worry about Christ’s disciples “stealing Him away” as His disciples had all fled and were fearful that what happened to Christ would happen to them. Many have pointed out this very fact – Here was a group of eleven men (the disciples) in hiding, not only were they in mortal fear of being executed as Christ, but they were also demoralized. The furthest thing from there minds was to steal the body and then proclaim the resurrected Christ, and yet three days later they began to boldly proclaim that Christ rose from the dead. Furthermore, only one of the eleven did not die a martyrs death for Christ. I think that under such circumstances at least one of them would have “come clean” if they had stolen Christ’s body. So as a Christian I now have further reason to believe and trust in the truth of scripture.
   I also find comfort in the fact that my God seems to delight in something I also delight in, i.e. what a delicious piece of irony the whole situation of the praetorian guard at the tomb turned out to be; although the guards were posted to keep Christ’s followers out of the tomb they now have become part of a much larger narrative in which their very presence further glorifies God and adds to the veracity of Christ’s resurrection. It is amusing that the very thing that Satan (and man) meant to keep Christ’s followers (then and now) from further believing in Him has now been turned on it’s head.

“But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.” (Matthew 28:5/NKJV)
 


   The angel responds to what would come naturally to the women, after all if the hardened praetorian guard “faint” because of their presence then what would happened to these poor women? Undoubtedly angels are used to such response from mortals, e.g. Luke 1:30, 2:10.
   There are only five other times in which angels are mentioned in relation to Christ’s life. The first, His birth when they are messengers of God’s plan (Mary, Joseph and the shepherds). The second, when they warn Joseph to flee and also tell him to return. The third, they appear as ministering spirits to Christ Himself after He has passed the temptation in the wilderness. The fourth, when Christ heals a lame man at the pool of Bethesda. The fifth, when Christ is praying in Gethsemane one appears and ministers to Him. All instances are obviously supernatural, but I find the third particularly interesting when comparing it to the resurrection-in both cases the angels are servants and in both cases the angels come after Christ has accomplished God’s will. However, after the temptation their specific purpose was to minister to Christ, their ministry to Him is an affirmation of what God stated earlier;

“When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, ‘You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.’ ” (Luke 3:21,22/NKJV)
 

   At the resurrection their roles are not to minister to Christ, but to allow Christs followers into the tomb and deliver a message to them (as well as an affirmation of God’s presence – see my earlier post – ON THE RESURRECTION Pt 2b).

“Simul iustus et peccator”*
*Martin Luther

chinese calligraphy meaning blind man
images sources-
angel
women at the tomb

FIRST SUNDAY PASSAGE; MARCH 2013

 
FIRST SUNDAY PASSAGE MARCH 2013

“Soli Deo Gloria!”
 

Exodus 11 & 12 (NASB)
Chapter 11
The Last Plague

1 Now the Lord said to Moses, “One more plague I will bring on Pharaoh and on Egypt; after that he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out from here completely.
2 Speak now in the hearing of the people that each man ask from his neighbor and each woman from her neighbor for articles of silver and articles of gold.”
3 The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Furthermore, the man Moses himself was greatly esteemed in the land of Egypt, both in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants and in the sight of the people.
4 Moses said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘About midnight I am going out into the midst of Egypt,
5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well.
6 Moreover, there shall be a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been before and such as shall never be again.
7 But against any of the sons of Israel a dog will not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’
8 All these your servants will come down to me and bow themselves before me, saying, ‘Go out, you and all the people who follow you,’ and after that I will go out.” And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger.
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, so that My wonders will be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”
10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land.
 

Chapter 12
The Passover Lamb

1 Now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
2 “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.
3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.
4 Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb.
5 Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.
7 Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.
8 They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails.
10 And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire.
11 Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the Lord’s Passover.
12 For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the Lord.
13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
 

Feast of Unleavened Bread

14 ‘Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.
15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.
16 On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you.
17 You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance.
18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.
19 Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land.
20 You shall not eat anything leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.’”
21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and take for yourselves lambs according to your families, and slay the Passover lamb.
22 You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.
 

A Memorial of Redemption

23 For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.
24 And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever.
25 When you enter the land which the Lord will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite.
26 And when your children say to you, ‘What does this rite mean to you?’
27 you shall say, ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to the Lord who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.’” And the people bowed low and worshiped.
28 Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
29 Now it came about at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle. 30 Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead.
31 Then he called for Moses and Aaron at night and said, “Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the sons of Israel; and go, worship the Lord, as you have said.
32 Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and go, and bless me also.”
 

Exodus of Israel

33 The Egyptians urged the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, “We will all be dead.”
34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls bound up in the clothes on their shoulders.
35 Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing;
36 and the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
37 Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children.
38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock.
39 They baked the dough which they had brought out of Egypt into cakes of unleavened bread. For it had not become leavened, since they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.
40 Now the time that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.
41 And at the end of four hundred and thirty years, to the very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.
 

Ordinance of the Passover

42 It is a night [aj]to be observed for the Lord for having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for the Lord, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations.
43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat of it;
44 but every man’s slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat of it.
45 A sojourner or a hired servant shall not eat of it.
46 It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it.
47 All the congregation of Israel are to celebrate this.
48 But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 49 The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.”
50 Then all the sons of Israel did so; they did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.
51 And on that same day the Lord brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.
 
“Simul iustus et peccator.”*
*Martin Luther

Love What is it?

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Love, What is It?
 
“Soli Deo gloria”

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   February being the month in which many celebrate St. Valentine’s Day I thought it would be appropriate to briefly discuss the subject of love in light of scripture. One of the things that amazes me about Christ’s ministry after His resurrection is the incident in which Peter recognizes Him and proceeds to jump out of the boat and swim to shore. After Peter and the other disciples have arrived;

“Jesus said to them, ‘Come and eat breakfast.’…Jesus came and took the bread and likewise the fish…So when they had eaten breakfast…” (John 21:12, 13, 15-NKJV)

   Undoubtedly the disciples were tired, hungry and discouraged after fishing all night with no results. I had read that scripture many times but the significance of it never hit me until a friend of mine simply stated, “Just think about it, here is Jesus sitting by the fire cooking breakfast for His disciples.” (John 21:9-NKJV) It was the simplicity of her statement (and the Holy Spirit) that made me realize the true gentleness and humility of Christ and the magnitude of what was going on in this snippet of biblical history. Like most people my focus is on what happens later when Christ talks to Peter, but God prompted me to look at the whole scene.
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   Here is Jesus who had defeated Satan in life and in death, Jesus who turned water into wine, healed the sick, raised the dead (including Himself), commanded the wind, the waves and demons. Jesus who has authority over angels walked on water, and (after His resurrection) walked through walls. Here is the glorified and resurrected Christ, the Messiah who had overcome sin and death, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who had the keys to Hell and Death, the Lord God Almighty in the flesh. Here He is making breakfast, for a group of hungry, tired and discouraged men.
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   However He wasn’t making breakfast for any group of men, he was making breakfast for this particular group of men; all these men who abandoned Him when He needed them most, three of these men (whom He considered special friends) failed Him in the garden when He needed them to pray with Him, two of these men wanted to call fire down from heaven on others in judgment, and one who personally denied Him three times. Here he is making breakfast for this group of men who had argued over where they would be seated when He came into His kingdom, who did not even remember what He had said about His own death and resurrection.
   Here was the very One “who is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty”, the One who “will judge the living and the dead” (Apostles Creed, Hebrews 12:2, 2 Corinthians 5:10) attending to their needs, He was taking care of something so small and insignificant (in light of who He was/is and what He had just done) as breakfast (Luke16:10-NKJV). In essence Christ the King of everything was serving imperfect men and by so doing He was restoring them. By attending to their physical needs Christ begins to restore the relationship they had damaged. Is that not love?

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“Simul iustus et peccator. “*
*Martin Luther


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A Little Horticulture; The Bare Necessities Pt. 3


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A Little Horticulture Please; The Bare Necessities Pt. 3

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“Ave Christus, morituri te salutamus!”

   We continue discussing three practical things which form a solid foundation for a strong vibrant Christian.

  1. daily prayer,
  2. daily Bible reading and
  3. weekly church attendance

ionic_bases3   As stated in the last post; these three things will help us have a strong relationship with Christ, or as he has said in John 15, abide or remain in Him.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5/NKJV)

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The fact is we are not alone and that goes both ways. God is always with us however we must not forget there is someone who does not want you to follow Christ and he will do everything he can to get you to fail;

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (1 Timothy 5:8/NKJV)

   Notice that the above scripture not only mentions resisting Satan, but also speaks of “your brotherhood in the world.”  Again, scripture shows we are not alone as Christians and that we are part of something much larger.  However, just being part of the “world church” is not going to be of much benefit at a local level when having to deal with personal struggles.  The need for weekly attendance at a local Bible believing church is paramount for Christian survival as it provides the necessary support and accountability to help us through hard times.
             “No Man Is An Island” – (We are Not Alone)
If you have chosen to follow Christ then I would encourage you to;

  1. find a Bible believing church
  2. weekly attend that church

  A famous man wisely said. “…no man is an island…” (John Donne/Meditation XVII). Scripture also teaches this idea and states;

“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” (Romans 12:4-5/NKJV)

   One of the things Christianity is about is relationships.  God never intended for us to be alone (especially as Christians) but to be part of something much larger then ourselves.  Also, the Bible specifically warns against being a “lone wolf”;

“…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25/NKJV)

   God wants this so we can encourage each other and share the load.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12/NKJV)

   Again, I realize there are many countries where Christianity is illegal, and again I would urge Christians living in such countries to;

  • use caution – wisdom dictates caution in all you say and do
  • pray – continually pray for God’s covering, protection and will in your own life and in the lives of other Christians you know and ask the Holy spirit to open your mind and heart to God’s will
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Colossians 1:9-10/NASB)
“Simul iustus et peccator. “*
*Martin Luther

Images sources;
Grape Vine
Original image of Ionic Column Bases
Grape Arbor

February 2013; First Sunday Passage

 

FEBRUARY 2013 – FIRST SUNDAY PASSAGE

“Ave Christus, morituri te salutamus!”

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John 21
(NASB)
Jesus Appears at the Sea of Galilee
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1 After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way.
2 Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together.
3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.
4 But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
5 So Jesus said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.”
6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish.
7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea.
8 But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.
9 So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.”
11 Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.
 

Jesus Provides

12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples ventured to question Him, “Who are You?” knowing that it was the Lord.
13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and the fish likewise.
14 This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.
 

The Love Motivation

15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.”
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.
 

Our Times Are in His Hand

18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.”
19 Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He *said to him, “Follow Me!”
20 Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?”
21 So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?”
22 Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”
23 Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.
 

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“Simul iustus et peccator. “*
*Martin Luther


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A Little Horticulture Please; The Bare Necessities Pt. 2


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A Little Horticulture Please; The Bare Necessities Pt. 2

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“Ave Christus, morituri te salutamus!”

   We are discussing three practical things which form a solid foundation for a strong vibrant Christian.

  1. daily prayer,
  2. daily Bible reading and
  3. weekly church attendance

ionic_bases3   These three things will help us have a strong relationship with Christ, or as he has said in John 15, abide or remain in Him.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5/NKJV)

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   Again, I realize there are many countries where Bibles are not even allowed, and again I would urge Christians living in such countries to;

  • use caution – wisdom dictates caution in all you say and do
  • pray – continually pray for God’s covering, protection and will in your own life and in the lives of other Christians you know and ask the Holy spirit to open your mind and heart to God’s will

Now for personal and corporate reading;

  1. goals – set goals; how much will you read daily, weekly, monthly and yearly
  2. consistency – be consistent in your reading
  3. place – if possible pick a specific place (or places) to read everyday
  4. time – if possible pick the same time (or times) to read everyday
  5. personal – if possible eliminate any distractions so you can have some private reading time
  6. study – remember there is a difference, studying the Bible is not the same as reading it (you need both)
  7. corporate – also remember personal reading time is not the same as corporate (reading with others), again you need both
  8. pray – it is best to pray about what you read so the Holy Spirit can help you to remember, know, understand, and apply what you read
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Colossians 1:9-10/NASB

   As, we can see the list is similar to the list for prayer. Prayer and Bible reading go together.

“Simul iustus et peccator. “*
*Martin Luther

Images sources;
Grape Vine
Original image of Ionic Column Bases
Grape Arbor