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I’m Tearing Two Pages Out Of My Bible

This one:

 

the-old-testament

 

And this one.

 

the-new-testament

It is one book, one Word of God, not two, and it doesn’t need any artificial separations to confuse matters.

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July 12, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Hebrew Roots Journal – Being a Berean

As I have started learning about Hebrew Roots, what it is and what it teaches, I have TheBereanswatched a lot of videos on YouTube. In the beginning, I was little more than binge-watching, drinking in all that I could of a refreshing view of Biblical truth. But, as I soon discovered, all was not well. Not all YouTube sources are reliable or trustworthy. Let me give an example.

One video I watched wanted to prioritize Biblical teachings, The words of God first, then the words of Jesus, then the apostles, and finally the words of the disciples. But then it went on to say that if any of those sources was in conflict with a source that had a higher priority, then that teaching had to be set aside. So, if a teaching of Paul conflicted with a teaching from the Old Testament, then the teaching of Paul has to be rejected.

But this is a HUGE problem in that it completely subverts the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy. It supposes that Man has a perfect understanding of the scriptures and that if two passages seem to conflict, then it must be the Bible that is in error rather than the understanding of the reader. The arrogance of that attitude is colossal and incredibly dangerous. This is heresy just waiting to happen.

No, either the Bible or to be more precise, the original manuscripts from which our Bible derives, are inerrant or the Bible cannot be trusted in anything that it teaches.

That error was easy to spot. No Berean style investigation was even necessary. But what about videos or sites where the error is more subtle?

And then I realized, this is why I need to test every teaching, look up their scripture references and make sure they are being used correctly. View the references in context, and see if the offered interpretation stands up in context. And then, look up similar verses and verify that the offered teaching does not conflict with those verses, in context, either.

This, of course, has slowed my watching considerably but at the same time, it has increased my level of conviction (of the truth) considerably as well.

July 12, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Hebrew Roots Journal – Baby Steps

For a while, not much changed. I continued with my daily readings baby-stepsfrom The Old and New Testaments and prayer with the one addition that I would now daily remember His calling and make myself available for whatever He would have me do.

This went on for a few weeks. I knew to just wait, that the Lord would speak again when His time was right.

One day, as I was watching a few Christian based YooTube videos from my favorite pastors, a recommendation for a video came up that attracted my attention. It was from a channel I had never heard of before, “James and Lea D Philia Ministries”. (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQRFecY0YwbXCFtTwNddXcw) So I clicked on the video and watched. I don’t remember the topic now, but I was definitely attracted by the subject matter. There are things in my experience with the institutional church that just leave me feeling empty at times, and I felt that this video helped to fill that emptiness. So I watched more. And over the next few days, a lot more.

I didn’t even know that this was a Hebrew Roots channel, I just knew they were saying a lot of things I needed to hear.

Now, I have had some contact in the past with Hebrew Roots people, and I always came away with a bad taste in my mouth, but these people were not like that at all. By this time I knew that James and Lea were Hebrew Roots, and I became very skeptical because of my past dealings with this crowd.

But James and Lea are always encouraging their listeners not to take their word for anything but to check everything they said in the scripture. And that is just what I have been doing.

July 10, 2018 Posted by | Discipleship, Follow Jesus, Hebrew Roots | , , | Leave a comment

My Hebrew Roots Journal – Beginnings

On May 4th of this year (2018) I had just begun reading the Gospel of John HebrewRootsfor perhaps the umpteenth time.  I have followed the Lord for over 38 years and I am very familiar with this Gospel account but this time was different.  I had no indication of anything about to happen until I came to chapter 1, verse 39:

“The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.”

It wasn’t as if I heard a voice exactly, but I knew in my heart that Jesus had directed those words directly at me.

“Follow Me”

I immediately stopped reading and knew beyond doubt that the Lord had just called me to follow Him.  I bowed my head and said out loud, “Yes Lord, what will you have me do?

Even though I did not know it at the time, that is how I started my journey to discover my Hebrew roots.

Note:  The events recorded here took place on May 9.  It is now July 10, so obviously, this took place two months in the past.  The first few entries of this journal will be catching up to the present, but I will make it known when my journal is up to date.

July 10, 2018 Posted by | Discipleship, Follow Jesus, Hebrew Roots | , , | Leave a comment

God’s Overwhelming Victory

I recently meditated on Psalm 18 and was shown how God’s victory completely overwhelms our foes.

Through much prayer and help from the Lord, I recently overcame a long-standing besetting sin.  A few days ago I meditated on Psalm 18 and was completely shocked and overjoyed to find how completely God helps us to overcome our enemies.

(All Bible quotes are taken from the King James Version)

Psalm 18 is a Psalm of David.  At the beginning of the Psalm David praises the Lord as…

“my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower”  v.2

Then David introduces the enemy.

” I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.  The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.  The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.”  vv.3-5

Later in the Psalm David says that his enemy is too strong for him.  I take that to mean, left to himself, he would be continually defeated, just as I was trying to fight my sin on my own.  But when David prayed, God responded to David because He loved him, just as He now loves me.

“He heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.  Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.  …  The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.  Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.”  vv.6,7 and 13,14

The Lord, Almighty God, was angry!  Not angry at David, but at David’s enemy!  God acted out of love for His servant, as the ultimate protector.  And the Lord is David’s rescuer as well.

“He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.”  v.16

And so, the Lord delivered David.

“He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.”  v.19

And now I see God as a warrior God, and how totally David is able to vanquish his enemy when god is fighting for him.

“He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.  Thou

victory

Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.  Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.  I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.  I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.  For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.  Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.  They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the Lord, but he answered them not.  Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.”  vv.34-42

I have always known that Jesus gives victory over sin, but until I read this I always had a slight fear that the sin could rise up again and put me right back where I started.  Now I understand the extent of the power I am given over my old sins.

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”  Jn 8:36

And Hallelujah, by the power given me by the Spirit of God, I am FREE!

June 8, 2018 Posted by | Repentance, Sanctification, Victory Over Sin | , , | Leave a comment

Called

I was born in 1953.  I was born again in 1980.  I am now 65 years old and have been a believer for 38 years, for nearly two-thirds of my life.

I have been a steady reader of the Bible ever since I first believed and have read the Gospel of John literally dozens of times.

A few days ago I began reading John again and in the very first chapter, I had a mostJohn1_43 remarkable experience.  As I read John 1:43 it was as if the text changed as I read it and the end of the verse actually read, “John, follow me”.  Now, I have read this passage many times as well as the ones about taking up one’s cross and following Jesus, but this was a truly unique experience.  As soon as I read it, I knew that God was speaking to me, and I knew that this was not an invitation or a suggestion, but a command.

Follow Me.

I don’t know what this all means, and I don’t know where it will lead.  But I do know one thing.  It is time to stop doing things that I think will make God happy and start doing what He said.  Follow.

May 11, 2018 Posted by | Christian, Follow Jesus, Jesus | , , | Leave a comment

Getting Back To Basics

And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.  —  Deuteronomy 8:3 (KJV)

 

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  —  Luke 9:23 (KJV)

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  —  Romans 12:1 (KJV)

 

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar   And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.  —  Isaiah 6:1-8 KJV)

 

These are a few of the verses or passages  I have read recently that convince me that I need to get back to basics.

Have you ever found yourself doing so much for The Lord that your relationship with Him suffers?  Like, your time is so full of godly activities that you miss God in all the hustle and bustle?

That is where I am finding myself now.  I should have seen the warnings, like picking up new activities without really being sure that the activities are really God ordained, or did I just decide to do them because I thought God would be impressed with my faithfulness.

I need to stop listening to the flesh, stop doing things for God that He may be impressed with my faithfulness, and begin again to make myself available to God, so that He can lead me in what He wants me doing.

Am I the only one?  Do others feel this as well?

July 14, 2016 Posted by | Follow Jesus, Godliness, Repentance | , , | 1 Comment

Are You Saved?

If you died tonight, are you sure you would go to heaven?

Eternity is too long to be wrong!

 

scale-0-10-full

February 29, 2016 Posted by | Christian, Heaven, Hell, Salvation, Saved | , , , , , | 5 Comments

In Loving Memory

2016-02-14 14.16.21 IN LOVING MEMORY

On July 8, 2000, Alice and I drove to Esparto CA, a small town near Sacramento, and purchased a white
miniature poodle named Cindy. Cindy was about 13 months old at the time and was originally bred as a show
dog.

 

When her owner brought Cindy out to us, we instantly fell in love with her and began a love affair that
lasted nearly 16 years. On the way home to our home in San Jose, we decided to change her name to Tiffany.

 

Yesterday, after a decline in health that lasted some time, Alice and I knew that it was time to say
goodbye to our loving little companion, February 25, 2016.

 

And today, we drove down to Royal Oaks, to the Loving Pet Cemetary of Monterey Bay and had her cremated.

 

Yesterday morning started like any other day with Tiffany and Suri playing while I made their breakfast,
and then, while I was eating mine, Tiffany jumped down from the couch she likes to sleep on. As she landed
on the floor, she seemed to stumble, and immediately her walking was hindered. I was very concerned and
asked Alice to keep an eye on her while I was at work.

 

2016-02-26 17.30.31But two hours later I got a call at work, “John, Tiffany can’t walk!”, Alice blurted out between sobs.

 

An hour later, Tiffany was at the vet, and barely an hour after that, we got the sad news that there was
nothing that he could do, and recommended that we put her out of her pain.

 

So, at about 3:30 yesterday afternoon, Tiffany received a large dose of a sedative drug and fell asleep in
Alice’s arms.

 

And today, less than 24 hours after we said goodbye to our baby, we began our drive home from Royal Oaks
with a little walnut box that contains all that remains of our sweet, sweet, loving Tiffany.  Tiffany always loved to ride in the car, so today, she rode home in her mommies lap, next to her heart, for one last time.

 

Neither one of us has yet to wrap our minds of the events that took place in a period of just 28 hours,
barely more than a day.

 

So, let me ask you a question. Is there someone in your life that you have been meaning to tell that you
love them, but somehow haven’t gotten around to it?

 

Tell them now! Just 24 hours can change everything you thought was the status quo. Even a brief instant,
a car crash, a heart attack, anything, can take that opportunity away forever.

 

Or maybe there is that someone who needs to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, but you keep putting it
off. Can you really afford to put it off any longer?

February 26, 2016 Posted by | In Memory, Mourning | , , | Leave a comment

I Can Make It On My Own

FreeFallWe all like to think that we have it all under control, that we can make it through life on our own, without help from others.  But can we really?

Let me tell you a story about two skydivers.  Both are in a plane flying at 12,000 feet.  One is wearing a parachute, and is ready for his jump.  The other has left his parachute hanging on its hook in the plane, confident that he can make the jump on his own.

The diver with the parachute jumps first, feeling the absolute freedom of free-fall, tumbling in somersaults and soaring through the air like the worlds fastest bird.  And then, at just the right moment, he pulls the rip-cord, his parachute deploys, and he floats safely to the ground.

And now it is the others jumper’s turn.  He watched the first person’s jump and noted how much fun he seemed to be having.  And with a smile on his face as he jumped from the plane, he vowed to do even better.  He soared and somersaulted, he dove head first, then spread his arms and legs and took up the perfect free-fall form.

As the ground neared, he decided to do another head first dive.  He put his arms by his sides and rolled his head slightly toward his chest until he was diving vertically toward the ground.  Hurling toward the ground at over 150 miles per hour, that is how he hit, head first, his skull and body shattered nearly instantly, and death was both instant and inevitable.

I would like to make a few observations about this second man’s performance.

  • First, his belief that he could make the jump without a parachute had absolutely no impact (no pun intended) on the outcome of the jump

  • Second, his ignorance of the laws and forces that come into play when one jumps out of a plane had no impact on the outcome of the jump

  • The consequences of the jumper’s actions were fixed and unchangeable.  The only way to avoid the consequences would be to change course while there was still time.

  • Finally, both jumpers had an inevitable appointment with the ground, and the outcome of that appointment was dependent on the choice they made about the necessity of wearing a parachute.

In just the same way as both jumpers had an inevitable appointment with the ground, we all have an inevitable appointment with God.  We will all meet Him on Judgment day.  The Bible teaches:

 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment, Hebrews 9:27

Both skydivers had ultimate control over their ultimate fate, just as we have control over the outcome of our meeting with God on Judgment Day.  But, you may ask, on what will we be judged on that day?  Will it be on our good works?  On all the good we did during our lives?  Or will it be according to something else?

We must understand that God is a Judge, and a Just One.  And we will be judged according to our obedience to God’s Moral Law, The Ten commandments.  So, let’s assume that this judgment will be today.  How would we measure up?  Let’s see.

First, have you ever told a lie, even a little one?  Then you are a liar, and guilty of breaking the ninth commandment.

Have you ever stolen anything, even if the value was small?  Then you are a thief, and guilty of breaking the eight commandment.

Jesus said that if we look at another person with lust, then we have committed adultery in our heart.  Have you ever done that?  Then you are an adulterer, and guilty of breaking the seventh commandment.

Ever used the name of God or of Jesus as a cuss word?  If so, that makes you a blasphemer, and guilty of the third commandment.

So, I have assesd my position before God along with you, and I find that I am a lying, thieving blasphemer and adulterer, and we have looked at only four of the ten commandments.  And the Bible teaches:

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.  James 2:10

So, if you are guilty of even one of the commandments that we discussed, in God’s eyes, you are guilty of all, I am guilty of all.  So, is there a need to go on?

The question is, what is the consequence of breaking these commandments?  The answer lies in a particular verse in the book of Revelation, and elsewhere:

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.  Revelation 2:18

Just as the foolish jumper did not understand the seriousness of jumping from a plane without a parachute, many times, we do not understand the seriousness of our sin, nor the terrible consequences of our sin.  But God, being a just Judge will punish all sinners in just the was the Bible describes.

But John, the Bible teaches that God is a God of love, surely He will not punish me for the sins I have committed,  or perhaps you will hold up all of the good things that you have done as expiating circumstances.  Have you ever tried that in an earthly court of law?  If you had robbed a bank, how likely do you think the judge would be to let you off if you showed him that you frequently feed the poor and help the orphans of your city?  True, the judge may commend you for your goodness, but he will still sentence you to a just sentence for robbing a bank.  And so it is with God.  If you have committed sins, then there must be a punishment.  That is a principle in earthly courts, and it holds true in the heavenly court as well.

BUT…

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

God does love you!  In fact He loves you enough that He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect, sinless life, and then to die on the cross as punishment for YOUR sins.  Jesus committed no sin of His own, making Him eligible to die in your place, taking the punishment that is justly yours, allowing you go go free.

If you will admit to God that you are a sinner, that you can’t make it on your own, and then repent, that is, turn away from your sins, and turn toward God, trusting in Jesus as the complete payment for your sins, then, just as Jesus was raised from the dead three days after His crucifixion, never to die again, , you also will be given the gift of eternal life as a free gift.

But, how do we trust in Jesus?  In just the same way that the wise skydiver trusted in his parachute.  He didn’t just look at it and say, “Yep, I trust this parachute”, he put it on!  The Bible says it this way:

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.  Romans 13:14

For more information, please visit:  AfterLifeCatalog.com/GoodPerson

 

February 14, 2016 Posted by | Christian, Follow Jesus, Knowing Jesus | , , , , | Leave a comment