Archive | December 2016

Expectations Of 2017

I wrote my son a letter and emailed it in a pdf document. I’m in Florida and he is in Colorado. A few days ago he sounded a little down and discouraged so I was reflecting on his growing up. So the letter I wrote him was pretty much a recap of his youth and our experiences together. I wanted to remind him of his successes, determination, excitement of life and how extraordinary he is and his achievements. And yes, I wanted to remind him that God loves him very much and so do I. He was telling me how glad he was that 2016 was coming to an end and how this year had so many challenges for him.

Not once in my letter did I say anything negative to him. Not that I intended it that way, I have no negative thoughts about him or his growing up. And after he read the letter he called me and wanted to talk for 2 hours. I realized his expectations for 2016 were not met. And now, he was looking for 2016 to be gone, expecting things to improve for 2017.

Expectations are a way of giving us hope. After all, when you get in your car to go somewhere, you expect it to work. When you turn on heat or air conditioning, you expect it to work. But when it comes to people there are variables and our expectations should be tempered.

After all, God does not always answer our prayers the way we expected. People get married and things don’t always turn out as expected. And most often the women are looking at personal relationships and the men on things. And if we were honest we would agree that many of our expectations are dashed but we still have hope.

Expectations are great but we have to learn to be flexible. Only expectations from God’s promises are solid. People have flaws in the flesh because of the sin nature. And expectations from God’s word, his promises, are rock solid so we can expect what God says is 100 per cent true and accurate.

Paul knew and expected that once he died in his body, he would be present with the Lord.

Philippians 1:20-24 KJV  “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
[21] For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
[22] But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
[23] For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
[24] Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

We see from verse 20 that expectation is tied to hope. So as we go into 2017 with great expectations, be flexible. Make a list of your expectations for 2017 and then take that list to God in prayer. As the year goes by, make notes under each expectation and if it is fulfilled, write the date and time it was fulfilled and how God fulfilled that expectation. You will see how God answers your prayers or if God says not yet, trust me.

And my sincere hope and expectation to you my readers and followers is first, for the salvation of your souls. I expect to meet each of you in heaven one day. If you are not saved, please look at our Menu and select How To Be Saved remembering it is not a prayer that saves, but a heart and mind conversion.

I wish each and every one of you wisdom, understanding and knowledge in Christ and God’s word. Peace, prosperity and good health and may your expectations be fulfilled for 2017.

Until next time – 2017.

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Spiritual Guides

We are going to lay some ground work. My hope and prayer is we all keep an open mind so God can teach us truth from his word. Yes, there are some difficult things to understand but by keeping an open mind we are willing then to let God teach us truth.

Over the past few posts I have hinted of a topic that has great confusion and discussion. From the outset let me ask, what was Jesus Christ’s ministry? What did Jesus do when he was on earth? What did Jesus preach and teach on?

Then we see Paul get saved and start his ministry? What did Paul preach? What was different about Paul’s preaching compared to Jesus’ preaching?

When we are born into this earthly world and start to grow up, we are taught by Spiritual Guides known as pastors, teachers and “religious” people, about God. We as individuals decide what we will believe and what we will not believe. Many people sit under teachings of denominations and believe everything that denomination teaches. Why? Because we are under the assumption they know the truth and therefore teach the truth. And that is where religious “sects” come from. Sects like the scribes, the Sadducees, the Pharisees and so forth.

But sometimes we learn that our spiritual guides, our pastors and teachers, sprinkle their teachings with tradtions, not sound doctrine. And my experience with God has taught me if people are steeped in traditions and denominational teachings, their heart and mind is closed to God. And that is why Jesus said Luke 18:16-17 KJV
” But Jesus called them unto him , and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
[17] Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”

You see, children believe everything you tell them. Children do not need proof. Children are not looking for anything, they just believe you. Children are inquisitive, curious, open minded and adventurous. So when you set your mind on what someone taught you and you will not even look at what God’s word teaches, you have shut God out and decided to believe and follow spiritual guides and not God.

Then you have to ask yourself, how do these spiritual guides ( pastors and teachers ) keep their flock?  They write and publish books with their point of view and sell their books to, mainly, their flock. I am not saying books aren’t good. I am a book worm so to say. But I truly believe with all my heart, soul and mind that only God’s book, the scriptures, has 100% truth.

Sure, I may not understand things in God’s word, but neither did Daniel so God sent Gabriel to help Daniel understand. God sent us the Holy Spirit. As I have mentioned before, you can not go wrong if you use a King James Bible, 1828 Webster Dictionary, a Strong’s Concordance and The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge ( a book that indexes scriptures). And every tradition, teaching, doctrine and denominational teaching can be proven to be true or a false teaching from one book, a King James Bible.  Proverbs 2:6 KJV  “For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

What comes out of God’s mouth? Words. So God’s word gives knowledge and understanding. Every teaching and doctrine needs to be filtered through God’s word. And what about the teachings our denomination does not agree with? That comes back to Jesus saying you must be like a child and believe God and his word. Romans 3:4 KJV  “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”

It is a hard thing when God’s word teaches something contrary to what our spiritual teachers have taught. It takes real courage to say you will ditch the denominational teaching and stand on God’s word. And often times when you decide to believe God and his word, you pay a price. Family, friends and “religious” acquaintances reject you. They speak against you. They abandon you. Why? Because you are not following their doctrine / teachings.

Many a time, in my studies, I have said to God, if I am wrong or I do not understand this correctly, then please show me the truth and I will follow and believe you Lord.

So as we prepare for 2017, let me encourage you to set aside any preconceived ideas of truth. Start afresh with God and his word and ask him to teach you truth, his truth. Let me suggest you make a list of questions or doubts you have on spiritual topics. Then pray over the list and ask God to help you understand the truth of each issue. And you will not find your answers, the truth, in any book except the scriptures, God’s word.

If there is some way we at HeavensRecord can help, please let us know. If you need a Bible or Concordance or anything, please let us know and we will help if we can.

Until next time.

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What’s Your Focus – Time is Not Linear

We have a tendency to look at things linear. We look for the beginning and the end of things. Examples would be – WW 1 and WW 2 had a beginning and an end. We look at life having a beginning and an end. So and so lived from one date to another and we inscribe tombstones Born —— Died ——. We look at people from history as living linear. King David, Moses, Noah, George Washington, Abe Lincoln, your grandparents, parents and you.

For us to think of eternity, it is difficult to comprehend because we look at time as linear. So when God says he has no beginning or end, he is eternal, it is difficult to understand. I saw a great illustration of this concept of time and how we can try to understand. Let me explain.

If you draw a vertical line on a piece of paper, then a horizontal line and finish with another vertical line it might look something like this: 
|—————–|

You could put your date of birth at the first vertical line and your date of death at the last vertical line. You fill in information about your life for the horizontal line. Hopefully, you can mark the year you got saved on the line.

And that is how most people look at time. But not God. God knows the end from the beginning. How can we understand that? Your two vertical lines and horizontal line? Draw a big circle around all of them. A circle has no beginning or end.

We have a tendency to look at the time and things in our life’s timeline. We focus on peddy things like kitchen makeovers, what our clothes look like, if a homework project was done completely the way we think. But God looks at the big picture. Did you give a helping hand to someone? Did you comfort those who lost loved ones?

God created heaven and earth. God dwells in heaven and mankind dwells on earth. God, from heaven, can see everything going on on earth. But we can not see what is going on in heaven. But most people believe in heaven. If you ask people what happens after they die, most people will say they go to heaven. But most who say that, don’t know why they think and believe that.

And if you ask people why they think they will go to heaven, most will say because they have been a good person. Even though being a good person is never mentioned as a prerequisite for going to heaven. After all, Abraham was a liar, Noah a drunk, David a murderer, and Paul slaughtered Christians.

You see, most people focus on things in this world. They focus on their timeline of life. They believe things they were told but can not back up their beliefs by the authority of God’s word. Their world is limited to their timeline.

But true believers are different. Their world should be framed by the word of God and not their life’s timeline. 2 Corinthians 4:18 KJV  “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

True believers know there is a spirit world going on around us. We know we do not fight in the flesh but in the spirit. We know there is spiritual wickedness and warfare. And we know we fight back with the word of God.

So let me suggest something that might help you keep things in perspective. If you have ever flown in an airplane, you have seen how small everything looks on earth. If you have seen NASA’s images of earth, you see about 7 billion people. So go to Google Earth and enter your address and select Enter. You will see something like this –

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Imagine how God sees everything and you quickly realize the color of the cabinets is not worth an argument.

I have tried in 2016, to draw my readers and those following this blog to realize the importance of understanding your spirit man. To distinguish between your spirit man and your soul and body because it is key to understanding salvation, God’s word and living in this present world. My prayer is if I have helped you in finding true salvation or taught you one thing that has helped in your spiritual walk, then it has been a successful year for this blog.

Until next time.

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Appetites And Passions

As many are preparing to welcome 2017 as a new year many people make resolutions. Most resolutions involve a physical change in behaviour. Often these behaviour changes involve the physical body. We hear of people making resolutions to loose weight, quit smoking, quit drinking, quit something their body is doing. Rarely do we hear of people making resolutions that affect their spirit man.

Even when people make resolutions to read through the Bible or spend more time with their children or family these are behaviors of the body, the flesh. You have to make the time and set the time aside to read through the Bible or spend time with your family. Your body, your flesh may not want to do any of these actions. So people determine they will make a resolution to do certain things and they get discouraged when they fail.

Failure in your resolution means, for that specific battle, your flesh won. Some people give up and quit and others try, try again. You see, when you realize your flesh wants to do things of this world, things that are seen by others, you understand the struggle Paul was talking about in Romans 7:22-25 KJV  “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
[23] But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
[24] O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
[25] I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Our body, that is our flesh, has appetites and passions that have been cultivated through things of this world. Things that are seen. Often through advertising or things we see we acquire an appetite to acquire “things”. We engage our passions whether family, food, music, business but very few have a real passion for spiritual matters. People sacrifice their relationship with their family, with God and with friends to fill their appetite for things that are seen, things in this world.

Earthly appetites and passions are temporal. That is why children tire of new toys after a short period of time. And when you look at the money spent on toys and a year later the toy is broken or stuffed in a box you begin to see the folly of advertising. I am not saying toys are bad but toys should generate original thinking and inspire creative thinking. Spending thirty dollars on a toy where you push a button to watch a gadget spin in circles or do flips and that is all it can do is not being a good stewart of resources. But giving a guitar or keyboard allows for creativity.

If you provide a variety of different creative gifts you can learn what someone’s God given gifts or talents are and then help them cultivate those talents to use for God’s glory.

I was speaking with someone the other day who is trying to help an eleven year old boy. The boy has been in and out of several foster homes over the years. I explained, this guy must help the 11 year old boy find his God given talents and then steer him to develop those “natural” abilities. And don’t be surprised if his talents are nothing like your own. Teach as far as you can and then hire professionals to take him to the next level. Sometimes it takes several years to discover their God given talents but pray and ask God to manifest it to you so you can help him.

Friends, as we look to a new year with new excitement and hope, let us understand there will be advances and set backs, it is a part of life. But let us first focus on strengthening our spirit man for spiritual battles because what happens in the spirit realm impacts our earthly realm.

2 Corinthians 4:18 KJV  “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Until next time.

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Graves Opened

People often ask about what happens after death. The only place to find truthful answers is in the scriptures where God, our Creator, tells us answers to our questions.

There are several occasions where we are told by God, graves opened. And God doesn’t say the graves opened and stop there but God tells us bodies came out of the graves. I am not talking about Lazarus being raised from the dead or Samuel being called up from the grave. I am talking about people who have died and their body buried, their grave opening.

The New Testament mentions graves opening several times. When you study these verses you discover when a person dies and is buried, at some point, they come out of their grave.  When you filter people into groups of the unbelievers and the believers, you find their graves open at different times.

Believers are called “saints” in the scriptures. Unbelievers are called “dead”, “lost”, and unbelievers among other names.

There appears to be three times where graves are opened in scripture. What is significant about this is:

~ the number 3 is a divine number
~ means after people die, there is life
~ we have more than our earthly body

Looking at the times the graves opened helps us understand after death, what then. But looking at the graves opening also helps us understand doctrine, “teaching” of Scripture.

You see, when Jesus was crucified, some people standing there thought Jesus was calling for Elijah / Elias. Jesus was not. And why would these people think that? These people knew the scriptures. They knew the Old Testament says Elijah would come (again).

Malachi 4:5-6 KJV  “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord :
[6] And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

This is why many believers say Elijah is one of the two prophets who come during the Great Tribulation. But Jesus was not calling for Elijah on the cross. And notice what happens when Jesus dies on the cross.

Matthew 27:46-54 KJV  “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
[47] Some of them that stood there, when they heard that , said, This man calleth for Elias.
[48] And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
[49] The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
[50] Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
[51] And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
[52] And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
[53] And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
[54] Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

Notice graves were opened. Imagine standing there witnessing graves opening? Notice what graves opened? All graves did not open, just certain graves opened.

You can understand why the centurion and others “feared greatly”. Then we read about the resurrection of Jesus.

Matthew 28:1-8 KJV  “In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
[2] And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
[3] His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
[4] And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men .
[5] And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
[6] He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
[7] And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
[8] And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.”

And we will pick this up from here next time. Until next time.

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Mystery of Days Challenge

I have a challenge for you. There are several specific days mentioned in scripture. The challenge?  What’s the difference. Let me explain.

When you read and study God’s word you notice a clear distinction between days. Starting in Genesis we read, and the evening and the morning were the first day, and the evening and the morning were the second day and so forth. You find these references in Genesis 1. God made each day specific to a part of his creation. And God identified what day, the first, second, third and so forth. Throughout scripture God identifies specific days.

We see God mentions a day of rest. God mentions “the Lord’s day” and “that day”. We also see “the day of the Lord” is mentioned. And there are other days mentioned. These different days do not mean the same thing. Each of these days have a specific significance. These days have specific meanings.

When you group the meanings together to mean the same thing you loose the “doctrine” (teaching) of the verse. The result? People get confused or they interpret scripture instead of the Holy Spirit teaching scripture. 

So the Mystery of Days Challenge is for you to find what certain days are and what they mean. Let me explain. The phrase, “the day of the Lord” – what is the day of the Lord and what does that phrase mean. I will give you three phrases, but there are more. I want to focus your attention on three.

~ the day of the Lord
~ the Lord’s day
~ that day

You can use a concordance. Jot down the phrase and look up scriptures in the concordance that have the phrase. Then pray for God to help you understand and then look up the references you wrote down for that phrase. When you are done with these three, you should have a good idea what each phrase means.

Then when you are reading and studying different topics and you come across that phrase, you will be reminded of what the phrase means. And that is how you learn sound doctrine. You let God interpret his own word.

Let me get personal here. I was someone who did not even know God. I didn’t know Jesus until I was 27 years old. I knew nothing of God. The only thing I knew was the Bible was the word of God. I didn’t know what Bible version or anything about all the different versions. All I knew was the Bible is the word of God. I believed that.

I also knew denominations had different teachings. I didn’t know why there were so many different denominations. I use to think, if the Bible is the word of God and everyone reads the Bible, why are there so many different religions? Why are there different denominations if they all read the same book? The Lord showed me why, from his word.

I use to argue with people about Bible versions and teachings until the Lord showed me it was not my job to argue with people. I was to season my speech with salt and try to calmly and patiently reason with people. Isaiah 1:18 KJV
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord : though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

My job is to share the good news of the gospel, period. People will decide to believe and receive Jesus Christ into their heart or not. Their eternity is based on their decision, my eternity is settled and my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

I say all this because denominations have a tendency to teach their denominational doctrine. Real truth comes from God’s word. And although I might not understand some things, I know I will let God be true and every man a liar. Romans 3:4 KJV  “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”

Just like the Pharisees, people get stuck in their denominational teachings and refuse to let God teach them. Especially if it goes against their denominational teaching. I made my mind up I was going to listen to God. And if I don’t understand something, I pray and pray for the Holy Spirit to help me understand and let God’s word explain itself. You can loose friends that way. But you have to decide who you will believe.

So this study on the Mystery of Days may or may not line up with your denominational teaching. You decide how you will handle it.

Until next time.

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The Confusion Mystery

If you believe the word of God is inspired, and I do. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
[17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

And even ever jot and tittle is important, and I do as Jesus explained in Matthew 5. Then it stands to reason that every word God chose to be recorded in his word matters.  Need an example? The word day.

Scripture mentions several different days. When you start tracking the different days mentioned you discover there is a diffence. Example:

The Lord’s day – do you know what the Lord’s day is? The Lord’s day is not the same as the day of the Lord. Then we have “that day”. When we read “that day” in scripture we have to identify what “that day” means. What day is God talking about?

Then look at the word trump (not Donald). In 1 Corinthians 15 God uses the word trump and trumpet in the same verse. Why? Why didn’t God use trumpet both times?  1 Corinthians 15:52 KJV  “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

The best that I can see, the word trump is used twice in the scriptures. Both times in Paul’s letters. Both times are directed at believers Paul was addressing, the church. Strongs Concordance list 4 times for the word trump but when you look up Jeremiah 4:19 and Hosea 5:8 you see it is not the word “trump” in those verses, but trumpet. The two times the word “trump” is used, is Paul’s epistles, 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

But in 1 Corinthians 15:52, both words, trump and trumpet are used. Why? And why is Paul the only one using the word trump? We know what a trumpet is and the sound a trumpet makes. But what does trump mean? If you look the word trump up in the 1828 Webster Dictionary you see several references to the word trumpet. When you read through all the definitions of the word trump and get towards the end of the definition, one stands out. The definition?  To seek and collect from every quarter.

That would explain a few things. If one of the definitions of the word trump means to seek and collect from every quarter, that would explain why God used both words, trump and trumpet in 1 Corinthians 15:52. It would also explain why only Paul uses the word trump. And it would explain why only Paul uses the word trump with the church.

Regardless of your point of view, God chose to use both words, trump and trumpet, in that one verse. “Newer” translations of God’s word most likely leave that distinction out and use the same word ( trumpet ) twice which would change the meaning of the verse all together.

And isn’t it interesting that the president elect for America is a Trump? And if you believe Proverbs 8: 15, then God is the one who put Trump in a position of president. And let me make this very clear, I am not saying God has Trump in position for seeking and collecting believers. It is interesting however, that Trump wants to gather Americans to promote America. He wants to gather companies to stay in America and some other points. That is not my focus but I thought in light of the definition of the word trump, it was interesting.

The phrases like – the Lord’s day, the day of the Lord, that day all have specific meanings laid out in scripture. When you understand what each phrase means, then when you are reading and studying scripture and come across that phrase, you have a clearer understanding of what scripture is saying.

So if you put the meaning of – the day of the Lord,  into a verse about the Lord’s day, you do not have “sound doctrine” , sound teaching. Just as God chose to use the words trump and trumpet in the same verse for a reason, God uses the day of the Lord and  “that day”  for specific reasons. And we will pick it up next time.

Until next time.

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