The Disciples, Paul & Divisions

We said last time, The New Testament has 27 books and starts with the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. When we look at an overall picture of the four gospels, we see Jesus is a Jew from the genealogy line of David. The 39 Old Testament books told the Jews the Messiah was coming. Scripture explained how the Jews could confirm the real Messiah. So throughout the Old Testament we see clues God gives – he would be born in Bethlehem, he would come from David’s line (Isaiah 11) he would be crucified  (Isaiah 53) and many other verses.

Then the time comes for Jesus to come. And when Jesus, in the flesh, is about 30 years old, he starts his ministry. Another words, he starts revealing who he is and he performs miracles, raises people from the dead and explains things from scripture. He even tells people he is the long awaited Messiah.  Jesus presents himself as their long awaited Messiah that was to come. John 4:25-26 KJV
“The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
[26] Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.”

It is not surprising how some rejected Jesus. Remember when God called Moses to deliver Israel after 430 years in bondage? The people didn’t want Moses “ruling” over them. Do you think Jesus knew they were going to reject him and crucify him? John chapter 17 is Jesus’ prayer and Jesus tells us he knew what had to happen. And that is why Jesus said, It is finished in John 19:30.

But notice John 20:9 says, ” For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” Notice the word “scripture”.

Up until this point the Jews, including the disciples, were living under the law and Old Testament teachings. And what the disciples knew and understood up to this point was only Old Testament teachings. Jesus told his disciples many times he was going to be killed but he would raise the third day. Matthew 16:21 KJV  “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”

The religious crowd knew Jesus said he would rise from the dead the third day, Matthew 27:63 KJV  “Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.”

After the crucifixion the disciples knew Jesus said he would rise but  John 20:9 KJV  “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”

The disciples were going on what they knew Jesus told them. And one thing Jesus told them was after he left this earth, he would send the Holy Ghost / Holy Spirit to live inside all true believers. Now put yourself in the disciples shoes. What would you think of that? We look back at those times because we have “scripture”.

John 20:9 KJV  “For as yet they knew not the scripture…. .”

We can understand some of the words and teachings of Jesus  because we have the scriptures. And up until this time, there was no New Testament. And the four gospels show us the Messiah came to Israel. Israel’s religious leaders rejected the Messiah. Some from Israel believed, like Nicodemus. Jesus is crucified and then rises from the dead and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside believers. Jesus goes back to heaven and the Holy Spirit works with us and through us.

Everything is going along just fine and this religious guy named Saul gets saved. God changes his name to Paul and sends Paul to?  Acts 9:15-16 KJV
  “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
[16] For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

Now things were going to change. Why? Because God was telling Jews he was going to extend salvation to Gentiles. God prepared his apostles for this “new” thing when the Lord showed Peter in Acts 10.  Notice God called Saul / Paul first, then God deals with telling Peter?  God tells Peter in Acts 10 but Paul was called first in Acts 9.

Sometimes believers don’t see what God is doing. Peter and others knew of Saul and that Saul was killing and persecuting believers. But God called and saved Saul before Peter knew anything about it. There is a lesson in this for all of us.

God starts something “new”, extending salvation to Gentiles. Surely Jews who have Old Testament teachings embedded in them find it difficult to understand Gentiles believing on their God. But some accepted the Gentiles and tried to get Gentiles to keep their Old Testament laws. God had an answer for this and he uses Saul called Paul to explain to Gentiles and Jews. And God uses Peter to explain to Jews too. We will pick it up from here next time, Lord willing. Until next time.

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The Disciples & Paul

When Jesus physically walked on earth, he chose his disciples. So let us ask a few questions.

Question: Was Jesus and his disciples under the law?
Did they keep the Old Testament law?
Did Jesus receive the Holy Ghost during his physical ministry on earth? If yes, when?
Did the disciples of Jesus receive the Holy Ghost / Holy Spirit when they were walking with Jesus on earth?
When did the disciples receive the Holy Ghost?
How did the disciples receive the Holy Ghost?
When did the disciples of Jesus get “saved”?
What about Paul, when did Paul get saved?
When did Paul receive the Holy Ghost?
Was Paul baptized?

When you look at scripture you see all the disciples, Jesus and Paul were all Jews. Jesus and the disciples were teaching and preaching to Jews and basically,  they kept the Jewish laws. Paul, was a very religious Jew who claimed to keep the Old Testament law.

Why did these people keep the Old Testament law? Scholars say there are about 6000 laws in the Old Testament so why would people try to keep all these laws? Clearly at the end of the 6000 laws, God promises blessings for keeping the laws. But are the Old Testament people promised salvation, or heaven by keeping these laws? Or are they promised earthly blessings for keeping the 6000 or so laws?

Who gave these 6000 or so laws to the people? Where did the laws come from? Who were the laws given to? What was the purpose of giving these people all these laws? And what about Jesus, what did he have to say about all these laws? What about Paul, what did he say about all these laws?

When we look at scripture as a whole book made up of 66 different books, 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books, it makes perfect sense. Just looking at the words ” Old” and “New” we see God divided his word. The word old means one thing and the word new means something different or new.

It is not that the “old” is not worth reading or studying because God has put into the old, prophecy – the foretelling of future events. God has shown us his personality in the Old Testament. God shows us how he handles situations, people, sin, fear, joy, anger and that God has emotions.

And the word new means what? The New Testament is not called the revised old testament, it is called new. New means you did not have it before, it is new.

So picture this. You have 12 disciples who lived by the Old Testament. Then you have this guy named Jesus who says he is God in the flesh. John 10:30 KJV  “I and my Father are one.”

We see a shift in the New Testament. The New Testament has 27 books and starts with the four gospels, Marthew, Mark, Luke and John. When we look at an overall picture of the four gospels, we see Jesus is a Jew from the genealogy line of David. Jesus presents himself as their long awaited Messiah that was to come. John 4:25-26 KJV
“The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
[26] Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.”

So the New Testament starts with the long awaited Messiah comes. Everyone in the four gospels was under the law still, practicing the law. We know the religious leaders of the Jews, rejected Jesus as the Messiah and ordered he be crucified. We know the crucifixion of Jesus was all part of God’s plan from the Old Testament. There are many, many references to the crucifixion of Jesus in the Old Testament but two of the most popular are Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.

We see, even the Ethiopian eunuch was reading Isaiah/Esaias the Old Testament prophet’s writings when Philip was told, by God, to explain the writing to the eunuch in Acts 8:26-40.

So the first four books of the New Testament are presenting the Messiah, who is under the law, to Israel, Jews. There are 27 books in the New Testament, less the 4 gospels, means 23 books deal with the times after the resurrection of Jesus. We will pick it up from here next time, Lord willing. Until next time.

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Something New

Something To Watch

People are watching the world stage. Not only people in America, but people around the world are paying attention to world events. We have seen the rise of nuclear threats, Ishmael’s lineage decappitating believers in Yeshua / Jesus, and wars in Syria.

When the recent blood moons occurred, people were looking at scripture. Many wrote books on the blood moons and solar eclipses. When “nothing” happened after the blood moons, most people chalked up the events as “scare tactics “. But the blood moons always impact Israel and solar eclipses the  nations. We have a full solar eclipse August 2017.

And look at Syria. Scripture tells us from thousands of years ago, Damascus is the “head” or capital of Syria.
Isaiah 7:8-9 KJV  “For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.
[9] And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.”

Today, we see war in Syria among their own people. Believers know Damascus is going to be destroyed by God. Isaiah 17:1 KJV  “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.”

And we see people fleeing Syria, just as scripture says.

Isaiah 17:13 KJV  “The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.”

And Paul tells us in Galatians 1, when he was questioning why believers were believing false doctrines, that he went to the “heathen”. Where? Arabia and Damascus.

Galatians 1:15-18 KJV  “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
[16] To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
[17] Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
[18] Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.”

Believers know Damascus is going to be destroyed no matter how much money, relief efforts or help nations give to Damascus. Why mention this?

We are in Jubilee. And Jubilee is happening for Israel this year and next. There is a “year” of jubilee this year. But there is also a jubilee for events. You see, in May 1948 Israel was reborn as a nation. Add 50 years and 1998 would have been a jubilee year. But we also know scripture talks of 70 years for living and preadventure 80 years for man. And 1948 + 70 years = 2018. Is something going to happen with Israel that only God can save her? Eventually, yes.

Not only that, in 1967 there were four main countries fighting against Israel in the 6 Day War from 6/5/1967 through 6/10/1967. The four countries were Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq.

Israel was fighting for her city Jerusalem where King David reigned and where Abraham was. We know God gave Israel the victory and Israel recaptured Jerusalem. Israel would own the land where the temple mount is but let Jordan administer the mosque that was on Israel’s land. And June 10, 2017 is the Jubilee of Jerusalem – 50 years in Israel’s possession as a reborn nation.

Why mention this? There are many reasons including the tour of President Trump in the Middle East, current events to watch and compare them with scripture, and we are in the counting of the Omer. The counting of the Omer is part of the feasts of the Lord as laid out in Leviticus 23:15 – 17.

The world has their “holidays”  and God has his holy days aka holidays. Do you want the world’s or God’s? We have Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits the starting of the Counting the Omer which ends with the Feast of Weeks / Pentecost. Then we have the rest of the feasts. But the Counting of the Omer is 50 days. Omer is a grain of wheat. Believers are likened unto wheat in scripture. Jesus says he separates the wheat from the tares.

In scripture, the people would gather the wheat from the fields, bundle the wheat and tie them. Then grind two loaves of bread from the wheat. In Ephesians 2, Paul explains the two loaves represent Israel and Gentiles.
Ephesians 2:15 KJV  “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;”

The time of counting the Omer is a time to examine ourselves. It is a time to get “right” with God. Revelation 3 said Behold, Jesus was standing at the door and knocking. Jesus was not speaking to unbelievers here even though people use that verse for unbelievers. Jesus was speaking to the church, the last days church, the Laodiceans. Truly, the last days church is more concerned with money, wealth, numbers more so than the gospel of salvation, hell or sin.

Friends, the Counting of the Omer ends June 3rd and 4th with the Feast of Weeks, aka Pentecost. Why the 3rd and 4th? Because the day starts at sundown on God’s calendar. Remember the evening and the morning in Genesis?

Use the time of Counting the Omer to examine yourself, your relationship with the Lord and clean out any sin from your flesh. Bring your mind and body into subjection to the Lord God. And on June 3rd and 4th, celebrate Pentecost / the Feast of Weeks. Because now all true believers have the Holy Spirit inside them.

As we watch God line up events for the end, pray for Israel and America for repentance and protection. Pray for your country to repent and turn back to God. And most important, pray for yourself to be saved if you are not. If you want to be saved, select How To Get Saved from our menu above. Remember, it is not a prayer that saves you, it is a heart change and heart belief in Jesus / Yeshua and what he did on the cross for you and me. Until next time.

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W – O – R – D

W – what God says
O – what others say
R – what we read
D – what we do

When you say the word of God a lot of people tune you out. Even believers. Scripture tells us, God’s word is established in heaven forever.
Psalm 119:89 KJV  “For ever, O Lord , thy word is settled in heaven.”

God does not have 54 versions of his word in heaven. He has one and we know this because word is singular, not plural. But I digress.

To get a good understanding of the importance of God’s word without reading the whole book right away, one needs to read and study only one chapter as a starting point. Psalm 119 has a main focus on God’s word. Now stick with me on this. I will show you something that will open your eyes of understanding.

Believers know when God mentions something, more than once, God is emphasizing something. When we look at Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the scriptures, we notice the Psalm is broken up into 22 sections and each section is titled. It is no coincidence that the 22 titled sections make up the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

But we also discover that God repeats a few words in this one Psalm. I want to look at two of the words God repeats and then show you how this applies to you and me today. The first word I want to point out is the word, “word”. God mentions his word, 42 times in this one chapter. Notice word is singular, not plural. We also see 4 + 2 = 6, six is the number of man. But I am not going into Bible numbers today.

Psalm 119 has 176 verses. That means about 25% of that one chapter, tells us something about God’s word. Yes, all 176 verses are God’s word but, God is telling us about his word, the power of his word, what his word will do. Forty two times God tells us what his word will do, and do for you and to you. That means about 25% of that chapter, God is telling you and me what his word will do. That averages out to about 1 in 4 verses or 25%.

The second word I want to point out is the word heart. This refers to man’s heart. And the word heart appears 15 times in this chapter. So the best thing for me to do now is provide the chapter to you and have you search out these two words – word and heart. I want to see if you see some keys God is revealing to us. And in our next post, we will explore the keys.

I have broken Psalm 119 into groups of 50 verse sections to make this easier to study and find these two words, word and heart. The last section is verses 151 through 176.

Psalm 119:1-50 KJV
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord .
[2] Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
[3] They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
[4] Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
[5] O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
[6] Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
[7] I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
[8] I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
[9] Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
[10] With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
[11] Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
[12] Blessed art thou, O Lord : teach me thy statutes.
[13] With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.
[14] I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.
[15] I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
[16] I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
[17] Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.
[18] Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
[19] I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.
[20] My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.
[21] Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.
[22] Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.
[23] Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.
[24] Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.
[25] My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.
[26] I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.
[27] Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
[28] My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.
[29] Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.
[30] I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me .
[31] I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord , put me not to shame.
[32] I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
[33] Teach me, O Lord , the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
[34] Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
[35] Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
[36] Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
[37] Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.
[38] Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.
[39] Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.
[40] Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
[41] Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord , even thy salvation, according to thy word.
[42] So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.
[43] And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.
[44] So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.
[45] And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
[46] I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.
[47] And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.
[48] My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.
[49] Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
[50] This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

Psalm 119:51-100 KJV
The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.
[52] I remembered thy judgments of old, O Lord ; and have comforted myself.
[53] Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.
[54] Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
[55] I have remembered thy name, O Lord , in the night, and have kept thy law.
[56] This I had, because I kept thy precepts.
[57] Thou art my portion, O Lord : I have said that I would keep thy words.
[58] I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.
[59] I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
[60] I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.
[61] The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.
[62] At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.
[63] I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.
[64] The earth, O Lord , is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.
[65] Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord , according unto thy word.
[66] Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.
[67] Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
[68] Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
[69] The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.
[70] Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.
[71] It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
[72] The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
[73] Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
[74] They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.
[75] I know, O Lord , that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.
[76] Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.
[77] Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.
[78] Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.
[79] Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.
[80] Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.
[81] My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.
[82] Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
[83] For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.
[84] How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?
[85] The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.
[86] All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.
[87] They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.
[88] Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.
[89] For ever, O Lord , thy word is settled in heaven.
[90] Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.
[91] They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.
[92] Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
[93] I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.
[94] I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.
[95] The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.
[96] I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.
[97] O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
[98] Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
[99] I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
[100] I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

Psalm 119:101-150 KJV
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
[102] I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
[103] How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
[104] Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
[105] Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
[106] I have sworn, and I will perform it , that I will keep thy righteous judgments.
[107] I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord , according unto thy word.
[108] Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord , and teach me thy judgments.
[109] My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.
[110] The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.
[111] Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.
[112] I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.
[113] I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.
[114] Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
[115] Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.
[116] Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.
[117] Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.
[118] Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.
[119] Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.
[120] My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.
[121] I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors.
[122] Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.
[123] Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.
[124] Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes.
[125] I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.
[126] It is time for thee , Lord , to work: for they have made void thy law.
[127] Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.
[128] Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.
[129] Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.
[130] The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
[131] I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.
[132] Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.
[133] Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
[134] Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.
[135] Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.
[136] Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.
[137] Righteous art thou, O Lord , and upright are thy judgments.
[138] Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.
[139] My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.
[140] Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
[141] I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.
[142] Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
[143] Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.
[144] The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.
[145] I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord : I will keep thy statutes.
[146] I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.
[147] I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.
[148] Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.
[149] Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O Lord , quicken me according to thy judgment.
[150] They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.

Psalm 119:151-176 KJV
Thou art near, O Lord ; and all thy commandments are truth.
[152] Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.
[153] Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.
[154] Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.
[155] Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.
[156] Great are thy tender mercies, O Lord : quicken me according to thy judgments.
[157] Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.
[158] I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.
[159] Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O Lord , according to thy lovingkindness.
[160] Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
[161] Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.
[162] I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.
[163] I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.
[164] Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.
[165] Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
[166] Lord , I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.
[167] My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.
[168] I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.
[169] Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord : give me understanding according to thy word.
[170] Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.
[171] My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.
[172] My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.
[173] Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.
[174] I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord ; and thy law is my delight.
[175] Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.
[176] I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

Until next time.

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The Heart Is A Mirror

If you want to understand your heart, and how important what is in your heart is, there are about 807 verses in the scriptures about the heart. People though, look at the actions of others and try to determine what is in their heart. Why do people do the things they do? Usually, these questions are asked when mass murderers act, or terrorists try to cause terror. But people also look at the actions of professing believers and decide if the professing believer is “real”. Even believers judge other believers based on what they see or hear about other believers.

You can not judge what is in a person’s heart by their actions. People fool people all the time, it is called deception. And legalism set a standard of “fleshly actions” to determine if someone is saved. And this legalism has turned hundreds if not thousands away from God and away from the church because people realized they could not match up to expectations.

Paul taught us, as believers in Christ, we have liberty. Some call this the grace doctrine. But we see grace and mercy and longsuffering from God, to man, throughout scripture. Didn’t David go to the temple and steal the shewbread because he was hungry? Didn’t David kill Urriah? Scripture shows us drunks, prostitutes, murderers, thieves, extortioners, rebellious people (Jonah), fornicators, adulterers, and other examples of mankind that God called, saved and uses for his glory. Religion would have shunned and turned these people away, rejecting them. Most of these are actions in the flesh.

For years, 1 Corinthians 3:16 has been taught this means drinking alcohol, tattoos, smoking, getting fat, gluttony among other fleshly actions. And none of these actions are good, but to say God will not save or use people doing these fleshly actions is not scriptural.  1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV  “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
And notice the very next verse – 1 Corinthians 3:17 KJV  “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

Notice the word defile? What did Jesus tell us defiles man? Mark 7:18-23 KJV  “And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
[19] Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
[20] And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
[21] For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
[22] Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
[23] All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

The heart is a mirror of who the person really is.  Paul started 1 Corinthians 3 telling believers they were not spiritual but carnal, fleshly minded. How did Paul know they were not spiritual? By how long their hair was? No. By what they ate? No. By their clothes? No. Verse 3, Paul saw envy, strife and divisions. All three of these come from the heart. So their actions mirrored what was in their heart, strife, envy and divisions.

As we go through the chapter we see Paul explain to these carnal minded believers we all are labourers together with God. So there should be no strife, no envy and no divisions. The legalists will say, but we can not drop doctrine and all come together in brotherly love, that is ecumenticalism. We are not dropping doctrine but we are all labourers together with God so if you have strife with other believers over their doctrine, you are a carnal Christian. Because strife comes from within your heart.

You can not find two people who agree on everything in scripture, even in your own church. You can’t find a husband and wife who agree on everything. Does that mean the husband and wife speak against each other?

I, like you, have probably heard of Chrislam. Some “Christian” churches are blending in some of Islam’s teachings and calling it Chrislam. Well if you know anything about Islam and their teachings, you know their teachings do not line up with scripture. They do not recognize Jesus Christ as God manifest in the flesh. They teach Jesus was a prophet, like Mohammed. So why would a “Christian” church adopt some of Islam’s teachings and what about the pastors and members of those churches?

Paul tells us to purge out the leaven in 1 Corinthians chapter 5. Another words, if it does not line up with scripture, get rid of it. In the case of churches adopting unscriptural teachings, how do we handle that?

Matthew 18:15-17 KJV  “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
[16] But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
[17] And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

Believers are not suppose to sow discord. Discord is defined as having different opinions causing strife, arguments, contention which produces anger or angry passions. Actually, that is an abomination in God’s eyes as Proverbs tell us.  Proverbs 6:16-19 KJV
” These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
[17] A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
[18] An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
[19] A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

Five of these seven come from the heart and two are fleshy actions. But in order to do the fleshly actions, something had to happen in the heart.

Friends, it is not about the clothes, the make up, the ear piercing, the food someone eats, the having a glass of wine or smoking that defiles someone, it is what is in their heart. And the heart starts out deceitful and wicked. But through teaching, reading and studying God’s word, God creates a new heart within us. And that new heart works with our soul to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

Until next time.

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What’s In Your Heart Part 2

When we look at the make up of mankind we learn from scripture, man has a spirit ( the breath of life ), a soul ( one’s mind, will and emotions ) and a body ( one’s flesh ). When someone dies, their body is buried in the grave, their spirit goes back to the Lord who gave it ( Ecclesiastes 12:7 ) and their soul goes to heaven or hell. (Proverbs 23:14 and many other verses).  And the heart?

When someone gets “saved” truly born again as scripture defines, it is their spirit that is born again, made alive unto God, quickened (John 3:3 – 21; Ephesians chapters 1 & 2 ) and their soul is converted, (Psalm 19:7) and it is the soul that is saved 1 Peter 1:9 KJV
” Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

Those who do not get “born again” as Jesus explained to the Jewish Rabbi Nicodemus and Paul explained to everyone, their soul goes to hell as scripture makes very, very clear Matthew 10:28 KJV  “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Notice, not the spirit.

So people go about going to school, planning their future,  getting a job and working to acquire “things” in this world. I remember thinking and saying before I was saved, life seems useless because people are born to go to school to get an education so they can get a job so they can work all their life so they can retire and live on a fixed income that will not even take care of them. That is still true from a world’s point of view. But then I got saved and realized life was not about this world, but eternity and where and how we spend eternity.  People work so hard for things in this world. People are willing to sacrifice their children, their families and even any relationship with God, for things in this world. But I digress.

Matthew 10:28 tells us when a person dies in this world, not born again, even though we know their fleshly body is buried in the grave, God gives them a different body for their soul and that body with their soul goes to hell. The believer, those born again, also get a new body, a glorified body like Jesus had at his resurrection.

There is one key ingredient in determining if someone is lost or saved, their heart. The heart is the gateway to the soul. And it is the heart that God will try Psalm 17:3 KJV  “Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.”

Proverbs 17:3 KJV  “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the Lord trieth the hearts.”

There are a lot of people who have said a prayer, “the prayer of salvation” but their heart is in this world and the things of this world. How do I know? Matthew 12:34 KJV  “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”

What is in their heart is what they speak about. Something is wrong when a believer will not even tell their children how to be saved because “they” don’t want their child to get saved at a young age and make a false profession of faith. Problem is, if you wait until a child is older or in their teens, you have lost  credibility because they will wonder why you never told them before.

The heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked, God says – Jeremiah 17:9 KJV  “The heart is deceitful above all things , and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Man’s heart can be deceived and if man’s heart can be deceived, his soul is deceived because man’s heart is the gateway to his soul.

These people who have said a prayer but do not have Jesus in their heart, are deceived into thinking they are saved because they said some prayer. Even Paul explained this in Romans 10:9-10 KJV  “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
[10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Clearly, the key is your heart not some prayer you say.

How many believers have actually read God’s book? All of it? How can you say you love God with all your heart and never read his instruction manual?

And those who are saved and do not appear to have God in their heart are caught in a snare of the cares of this world. And that brings me to the focus of this series. What’s In Your Heart?

Often, believers look at the actions of people and determine if someone is saved or not saved. Scripture tells us we will know them (people) by their fruit. Scripture tells us things we should do and things we should not do, in our flesh. And yes, we all fall short. But believers have been taught if a man has long hair, he is in sin. Believers have been taught if a believer smokes or has a glass of wine or if a woman wears slacks, they are in sin. This is legalism. And Jesus was setting the record straight on legalism when he explained what defiles a man. Jesus mentions 13 things in   Mark 7:18-23 KJV  “And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
[19] Because it entereth not into his  heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
[20] And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
[21] For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
[22] Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
[23] All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

So how many of these thirteen things Jesus mentioned, come from within man’s heart? And how many of these thirteen things impact man’s soul?  We will look at how Paul explains this to the church, next time. Until next time.

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What’s In Your Heart?

The Lord has been helping me understand and shedding light on a topic that every believer faces. So I want to start this post a little differently.  Let me explain.

For years I have heard from preachers we need to be ye separate from the world’s ways. And this is true. But what comes from man after that teaching is usually judgment and either legalism or arguments. I made a decision years ago to not argue over scripture. There have even been some comments on this blog that appear to instigate an argument.

Friends, you have to know what you believe and why you believe what you believe so when someone asks you about your faith, you can explain and answer with conviction. But some, even believers, will not understand or agree with you. It is not a matter if people agree with you or not, it is what they do or say about you after they determine if they agree or not.

Satan has been very successful in causing strife and division amongst believers. Denominations have been fighting each other for years instead of winning souls and taking a stand for God and his word. Church splits are very common because people decide to break away. Whether the church split comes over doctrine or actions, splits happen. Many times, when some people leave a church they ” bad mouth ” some people from the church they left. So what is worse, the actions of the church you leave or how you respond to the church after you left?

I am going somewhere with this. Just laying a little ground work first. We see even in society and sadly, the church too where people want to beat people up over some of the stupidest things. My plan is to show you something God showed me and hope the light bulb will go on in your heart and mind like it did for me. So I want to give you two different scriptures to really look at and next time I will put this together, Lord willing.

God is very, very clear on the things he hates. And Jesus is very, very clear on the things that pollute or defile man. So the first scripture is what God hates and the second, what Jesus said defiles man.

Proverbs 6:16-19 KJV  “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
[17] A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
[18] An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
[19] A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

Mark 7:18-23 KJV  “And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
[19] Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
[20] And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
[21] For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
[22] Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
[23] All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

And let me add one more verse if I may –  Galatians 5:22-26 KJV  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
[23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
[24] And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
[25] If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
[26] Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

I do not post on Saturdays but I will post the answers to this post on Sunday the 14th Lord willing. I do want to throw you a curve though and ask you to take a look at 1 Corinthians 3: all of that chapter.

One other thing, I would truly like to thank each and every one of our subscribers for your support. Thank you for your comments, your “likes” and your faithfulness, it is appreciated. I hope you will pray for us at HeavensRecord and ask God to open doors of opportunity to reach the lost and help believers. As always, our content is free to use, we only ask for acknowledgment, God knows anyway.

Until next time.

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