Archive for December, 2017

The Cost of Following Jesus

Near the end of Jesus’ ministry, He explained to His disciples how the imminent culmination of His earthy mission was going to look like:

From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests, and be killed, and be raised up the third day. Mt. 16:21 NKJV

Christ had to suffer. Moreover, He tells us that anyone who would follow Him would be subject to suffering, and must be willing to do so:

“If anyone wishes to follow Me, [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests] and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living, and if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].” Lk. 9:23 AMP

“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man will also be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Mk. 8:38 NKJV

“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with the angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” Mt. 16:27 NKJV

In other words, obeying God’s will should always come first – regardless of what our personal interests or desires are. The God-walk is a ‘Road Less Traveled,’ because the path can be difficult and it generally stands in opposition to the ways of the world. However, God’s ways are the best ways, regardless of what our flesh is yearning for…

To follow Jesus, is to walk in the kingdom of God. Jesus had something to say about this as well, when He caught two of His apostles arguing over who would be the greater in the kingdom:

“If anyone desires to be first, he shall be the last of all and servant of all.” Mk. 9:35 NKJV

To bring even greater clarity to what Jesus is saying, He places a nearby child in the midst of the disciples and says:

“…unless you repent [that is, change your inner self – your old way of thinking, live changed lives], and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 18:3 AMP

“Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 18:4 NKJV

Thus, being ‘great’ in the kingdom of heaven requires child-like faith and humbleness…

Jesus continues to reveal the character requirements of those who may follow Him to the apostles while they were traveling through Samaria on their way to Jerusalem. The Samaritans had refused to lodge Jesus and His retinue. This upset John and James, who asked Jesus if they could call down heavenly fire to destroy them. He rebukes them:

“You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” Lk. 9:55, 56. NKJV

Jesus was telling them that their intent was in error, because the spirt of true Christ followers is one that readily offers peace and love, through the free sharing of the gospel – not to direct anger or punishment at those who refuse to receive it.

Shortly after, Jesus is approached by three would-be followers while He kept traveling towards Jerusalem. They said these things:

“Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” And another also said, “Lord I will follow You but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” Lk. 9:57 – 61. NKJV

But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.” Lk. 9:62 AMP

Jesus’ responses enable us to become very clear about the parameters for, and the consequences of, making the decision to follow Him. First, it will be challenging because we must give up the (supposed) security of all worldly things and place our absolute trust in Christ to provide for our needs.

Second, Jesus in not telling us to ignore our familial obligations, but rather to make our obedience to Him our highest priority, i.e. to place our task of spreading the gospel (expanding the kingdom) first.

Third, Jesus uses the farmer and the plow analogy to show that we must face forward and not look back, so that that we do not veer off course. We cannot keep one leg in the world and try to straddle the other in heaven. It’s an ‘all-or-nothing’ choice.

Jesus would not ask us to follow Him if we couldn’t (with His and His Father’s help):

“…the one who endures and bears up [under suffering] to the end will be saved.” Mt. 24:13 AMP

“And I give them eternal life, and they will never, ever [by any means] perish; and no one will ever snatch them out of My hand.” Jn. 10:28 AMP

You can do this…

Goodnight and God bless.

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December 29 2017 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

The True Christmas Story

 

In approximately 7 B.C. during the reign of King Herod (also referred to as ‘Herod the Great’) who ruled over Judea, Zacharias, (a priest – also translated as Zachariah or Zechariah) was visited by an angel by the name of ‘Gabriel.’

Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth (she happens to be a cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus) were very old and childless. Still, they were righteous and faithful, and never gave up hope that God would bring them a child.

Gabriel tells the priest that he and his wife’s prayers are answered, and that the child would be a son. He told Zacharias to name him ‘John.’ (The name means ‘God has shown favor.’)  And, John would be special:

“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord…He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.  And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Lk. 1:15 – 17. NKJV

Thus, John (to be known as ‘John the Baptist’ in adulthood) would be driven by the Spirit of God Himself, and he would preach powerfully in the manner of Elijah, the Old Testament prophet.

John the Baptist reconciled many people, turning them to pursue righteous behavior and positioned them to receive Christ – fulfilling yet another Messianic prophecy.

When Elizabeth reached her sixth month of pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, to reveal His will to Mary – a woman engaged to a man named Joseph. Gabriel speaks:

“Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Lk. 1:28 NKJV

Indeed, Mary was chosen to be the carrier of the Salvation of the Earth. What this scripture does not mean, is that she should be worshiped in any way. That would violate the first and the second of the Ten Commandments.

Mary was beside herself but Gabriel assuaged her fears; and then he makes a phenomenal earth-shaking declaration:

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Lk. 1:30 – 33. NKJV

The name ‘Jesus’ finds its roots in the Hebrew word Yhowshuwa, translated as Jehoshua or Joshua, and from the Greek word Iesous, meaning ‘The Lord is salvation.’

So, Jesus is revealed as the Son of God, who will reign over God’s children eternally.

Mary protests, thinking it impossible in her virgin state. She was thinking small:

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God.” Lk. 1:35 ESV

This is a one-time only event in all of history – a Holy Spirit-facilitated conception, whereby the Spirit of the Son of God is transferred into flesh.

(The Koran refutes this scripture, as it interprets this event to mean that God was involved in some carnal act, but it was nothing of the kind. It was a transformation.)

Gabriel went on to tell Mary that God had rendered her cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zacharias fertile so that they were now bearing a child. How did God do that, knowing that the couple was so advanced in age? Gabriel reminds us:

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Lk. 1:37 NKJV

After Mary’s encounter with Gabriel, she rushed over to Elizabeth’s house. As soon as she entered it, the unborn John the Baptist leaps in his mother’s womb and Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit – who reveals to her the miraculous transformation of her cousin. Elizabeth shouts:

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Lk. 1:42, 43. NKJV

The answer was that Elizabeth was being rewarded for her faith.

Mary stayed with Elizabeth until just before John was born. When he is born, Zacharias is filled with the Holy Spirit, and he bursts forth with prophecy concerning his son:

“And you child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; to give His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Lk. 1:76 – 79. NASB

At that time, Mary was three months’ pregnant. Joseph knows that the child isn’t his, so he is considering not marrying her. But in his dreams, God sent Him an angel who enlightened him:

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Mt. 1:20, 21. ESV

This is yet another fulfillment of Messianic prophecy – one where Isaiah told of the virgin birth of Christ 400 years before it happened.

Joseph married Mary, but he did not have marital relations with her until after the birth of Jesus.

Near the time of Jesus’ birth, Caesar Augustus was the emperor of Rome, and he ordered a census be taken so that everyone would be registered for the purpose of taxation.

Everyone had to register in the city where his or her ancestral records were kept. For Joseph and Mary, that meant a trip to Bethlehem. When they got there, there was no available lodging, so they had to stay in a manger (translated from the Greek word phatne, meaning ‘stall’).

And that’s where our Lord was born.

Simultaneously, an angel appeared to a group of shepherds who were tending their sheep at night in a nearby field, declaring:

“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Lk. 2:10, 11. NKJV

Immediately after this declaration, the angel was joined by a multitude of other angels, who burst into praise:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Lk. 2:14 NKJV

(The fact that the shepherds were in the fields at night would suggest a warmer time of year than that of winter. So, we don’t really know the correct date of Christ’s birth.

One of the earliest references to December 25th says that in 354 A.D. the Catholic Church picked that date, as both Christ’s birth, and for a ‘Christmas’ to celebrate it.

Christmas has a storied past. It has been denounced as a Catholic invention to give the pagans a ‘holy holiday’ to celebrate – instead of reveling at winter solstice festivals or at celebrations used to worship a god named Saturn; i.e. ‘Christmas was believed to be some form of ‘conversion tactic.’

The early American colonists were against it because the holiday was too ‘English’ for them.

Many of the early Protestants were in opposition to celebrating it as well, because some people used the holiday for drinking and cavorting. Some even went so far as to call ‘Christmas’ evil, because it wasn’t biblical and because the only two examples of ‘birthday celebrations’ in the Bible were associated with evil outcomes.

Yet to me, that’s like saying that if someone died of a poisoned apple in the Bible, that all people should stop eating apples.

I believe that if a true follower of Christ wants to proclaim Christmas for the purpose of exalting the Savior and to celebrate God’s gift to us through the earthly incarnation of Christ, then they should be able to follow their own heart.)

Returning to our biblical narrative:

The angels left and the shepherds went to see the baby Jesus; and word began to spread about this Christ child.

On the eighth day, Jesus was circumcised and formally named. After approximately 40 days, He was dedicated to God in the Temple. At that time, there was a man named Simeon, whom God had directed to the Temple by the Holy Spirit (to fulfill an earlier promise that He had made to Simeon – a promise that he would get to see the Messiah before he died). Simeon picked up baby Jesus and said:

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, for glory to your people Israel.” Lk. 2:29 – 32. ESV

Thus, Christ is the Savior for all of God’s children around the world – Jews and Gentiles alike.

Simeon (still filled with the Holy Spirit) turned to Mary and said:

“Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed – and a sword will pierce even your own soul – to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” Lk. 2:34, 35. NASB

So, Christ will be the eternal Savior of those who follow Him but He will be the harbinger of death to those who stand in opposition. And Mary’s heart will be pierced at the crucifixion of her Son, as the full impact of who He is and what He’s done, is acutely felt…

News of the birth of the Messiah traveled fast and far – even reaching the ‘East’ (a term generally used in the Bible to refer to Arab lands). And so it was, that ‘wise men’ (which can also be translated as philosophers or astrologers) from the East came to Jerusalem to find the Messiah. (The Bible never says that there were three of them by the way.)

The wise men inquired:

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” Mt. 2:2 AMP

King Herod got wind of this, and he began to worry about his rule being usurped. He gathered together his priests, who, in answer to his demand, tell him that the Old Testament says that the birthplace of the Messiah-King will be in Bethlehem.

Subsequently, the king gathered the wise men of the East to him and asked them to return to him after they find the Messiah, to tell him of His whereabouts so that he can worship him as well. (In reality, Herod wanted to kill this ‘Christ.’)

The wise men followed a star to where Jesus lay, and worshiped Him and presented Him with gifts. Afterwards, God sent the wise men a vision in their dreams – warning them against returning to Herod. Wisely, (pardon the pun) they returned to the East by another route.

Immediately after the wise men left, an angel came to Joseph in a dream and presented him with an urgent task:

“Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” Mt. 2:13 NKJV

Joseph obeyed.

After the wise men fail to return to King Herod, he figures out that he’s been duped. Using the approximate time of Jesus’ birth, (as was relayed to him by the wise men, before they found Jesus), Herod retaliated by having every male child in Bethlehem, aged two and under, slaughtered. His act is commonly referred to as the ‘Massacre of the Innocents.’

When Herod died, (approximately 4 B.C.) God sent another angel to Joseph – this time instructing him to bring his family back to Israel.

They returned to find Herod’s eldest son Archelaus ruling over Judea. Archelaus’ rule was oppressive, so Joseph takes his family to live in the region of Galilee (which was under the rule of Archelaus’ half-brother, Herod Antipas – who apparently ruled with a softer glove). Within that region, they settled in the city of Nazareth.

And the Bible tells us:

And the Child continued to grow and become strong [in spirit], filled with wisdom; and the grace (favor and spiritual blessing) of God was upon Him. Lk. 2:40 AMP

That’s the true Christmas story. Tell a friend…

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Lk. 1:5 – 14.

[2] Mal. 4:5, 6.

[3] Mic. 5:2

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December 21 2017 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

The Essence of Your God Connection

Jesus and His apostles had entered the city of Capernaum, where as usual, He drew a large crowd. Many of them were just looking for a free handout, after hearing about Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the 5000. Jesus perceives their motivation. Instead of performing a miracle, He begins to preach:

“Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Jn. 6:27 NKJV

What Jesus is saying is that God has placed His authority upon His Son. Thus, Jesus speaks with the authority of His Father, and that the content of His speech (the gospel) is the key to eternal life.

The crowd doesn’t get it. They’ve been brainwashed by the Pharisees, who taught them that they must earn their way to heaven. So, they ask Jesus to tell them of the nature of the works that they must perform. He responds:

“This is the work of God: that you believe [adhere to, trust in, rely on, and have faith] in the One whom He has sent.” Jn. 6:29 AMP

The stiff-necked crowd wants to see a miracle instead. But Jesus tries to steer them towards a greater spiritual understanding:

“Our fathers ate manna in the desert, as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’…”Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Jn. 6:31 – 33. NKJV

The crowd can’t stop thinking with their stomach. They ask Him to give them some of this ‘bread.’

Our Lord of infinite patience, love and mercy, continues:

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jn. 6:35 – 40. NKJV

Jesus could not be clearer. He is the ticket to eternity – the walking, talking plan and method of God’s redemption. But, Jesus is facing a tough crowd here. They still have doubts. Jesus persists:

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jn. 6:44 NKJV

“…he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever, and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” Jn. 6:47 – 51. NKJV

NOW, WE GET THE COMPLETE PICTURE OF THE ESSENCE OF OUR GOD CONNECTION!

When we seek God, He leads us to Christ. Jesus in turn, if we accept Him as our Savior, connects us to God, through Himself. Jesus willingly vacated His seat next to His Father in heaven, to inhabit flesh, so that we could relate to Him and to the redemption that God offers through His Son – which is accomplished through the sacrificial gift of Jesus’ flesh and blood. That’s it!

Unfortunately, this spiritually blind and hardened of hearts crowd cannot get past their literal take on Jesus’ teaching allegory. They become angry and horrified at the notion (as they understood it) of actually eating Jesus’ flesh.

Undeterred, Jesus is committed to bring His Father’s salvation to as many as possible. He pushes back:

“…unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life…He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.” Jn. 6:53, 54, 56, 57. NKJV

Jesus is trying to break through the Pharisaic conditioning that binds and blinds this crowd, so that they can comprehend the spiritual implications of His death and resurrection. He’s trying to plant seeds of faith – the faith required to hold onto the hope of salvation, when these events occur.

Christ is trying to get them to see that His flesh is in reality the ‘spiritual food’ found in the gospel, that they must ‘eat’ (bind to their hearts), in order to walk a godly path towards salvation. And He wants them to understand that the blood (the life) that He is going to shed for them, must be ‘drunk’ (believed in) to acquire His atonement for their sins, so that they can receive that same salvation.

The crowd doesn’t see it, so they scattered. Even many of Jesus’ followers abandoned Him after this teaching. Thank God that the Holy Spirit brought the Apostle John all of this recollection and revelation, so that we could make that God connection and help others do the same…

Goodnight and God bless.

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December 14 2017 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

Jesus and the Religiose

One of the meanings of ‘religion’ is, ‘a particular system of faith and worship.’ Religion is a man-made construct, to attempt to explain God and have a relationship with Him.’ ’Religiose’ is defined as being ‘excessively religious.’

When Jesus began His ministry in Judea, the temple in Jerusalem was a place of worship for Jehovah God, the God of the Old Testament Bible. The New Testament had yet to be written. (Still the same God.)

The religious focus in that temple was centered around the behaviors that one would live by, to satisfy God. These were primarily found in the Torah, i.e. the first five books of the Bible, which were written by a Holy Spirit-inspired Moses, referred to as the Mosaic Law.

Those doing the teaching of the Law were called Pharisees, widely believed to be the first ‘rabbis,’ or at least their forerunners. The problem, in Jesus’ time, was that many of the Pharisees added their own personal ‘interpretations’ to the Laws. Put bluntly, they twisted the scriptures to suit their own purposes, and became fervent taskmasters over their laity – punishing them if they did not live up to them. The Pharisees became religiose.

This did not set well with Jesus, because what they did ran against God’s word with regards to keeping His word pure:

“You shall not add to the word which I command you, not take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God…” Dt. 4:2 NKJV

The first time Jesus voiced His displeasure with the Pharisees was when He was dining with His latest convert, the apostle Matthew. He did so by speaking a parable to Pharisees that were present (they’d been following Him around, worrying that their control over the people was being usurped by Jesus’ teachings and miracles):

“No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old one is good.’ “ Lk. 5:36 – 39. ESV

Jesus was describing a process that was well known and understood by the people living at that time – saying that using a new piece of cloth to patch an older one will tear away from the old if it has not been previously ‘preshrunk’ with a combination of pressure, heat and moisture. He’s trying to get the Pharisees to see that the old forms of Judaism could not contain the New Covenant message He was bringing, because His message was not a patch for the old one.

Similarly, Jesus spoke of the fact that new fermenting wine must be put into new goatskins, because the outgassing of fermentation would cause the old skins to swell to the bursting point. It is metaphorical reference to the fact that the Pharisees can’t mix His message with theirs and that they are not spiritually able to receive His.

Finally, the last sentence in the parable alludes to the Pharisees’ stubborn preference for their old ways, which will ultimately deny them the kingdom.

Jesus has another confrontation with the Pharisees in the temple – they, being angry with Him for previously healing a cripple at the pool called Bethesda. He responds by pointing out their scriptural ignorance regarding the coming of the Messiah:

“…the very works that I do – bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me…You have neither heard His voice at any time, or seen His form. But you do not have His world abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” Jn. 5:36 – 40. NKJV

Even though Jesus is chiding them for their disbelief, you can see that He is offering them eternal life at the same time. They refused…

Jesus took issue with the Pharisees again, during His Sermon on the Mount:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For I truly say to you until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Mt. 5:17, 18. ESV

Jesus is refuting the Pharisees’ claim that He was trying to invalidate the Mosaic Law. Christ was sent from God to open the eyes of the ‘spiritually blind,’ in order to give them the full understanding of all Scriptures so they could walk their best with His Father.

He blasts the Pharisees again:

“Therefore whoever relaxes on of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 5:19, 20. ESV

He is telling the crowd listening to His sermon that the Pharisees have so distorted the laws of God that if they follow them, it will jeopardize their chance for salvation. Furthermore, He offers an example of a law that the Pharisees had twisted:

“You have heard it said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” Mt. 5:43 NKJV

The first part of that sentence, ‘You shall love your neighbor is a quote from Moses (Lv. 19:18). The ‘hate your enemy’ part was added by the Pharisees, and thus, not scriptural.

Jesus continued to have run-ins with the Pharisees throughout His ministry. He finally reveals their evil nature:

“Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.’ “ Mk. 7:6, 7. NKJV

“You leave the commandment of God and hold to the traditions of men. You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of of God in order to establish your tradition!” Mk. 7:8, 9. ESV

Ouch! That must of stung. Jesus is alluding to the worthlessness of their traditions – those ascribed by them to have the same authority as the Mosaic Law, even though the Pharisees made them up.

Jesus gathers a crowd around Him to crystalize the nature of the Pharisees and their meaningless rituals:

“…there is nothing outside a man [such as food] which by going into him can defile him [morally or spiritually]; but the things which come out of [the heart] of man are what defile and dishonor him.” Mk. 7:15 AMP

Later, Jesus tells them of their ultimate fate for their hardened hearts and their fake religiosity:

“You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.” Jn. 8:19 NKJV

“I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot go”…”You are from beneath; I am from above, You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die for your sins.” Jn. 8:21, 23, 24. NKJV

There are still religiose people today – pharisaical, re-writing scripture, judging portions to of it be false, seeking approval and status for their piety and denying the Christ-road to salvation. As you can see, without repentance, things will not go well for them.

That’s why it is so important to bring the message of salvation to as many as we can. What they do with it is up to them…

If we stick to God’s word and live by it, our salvation is assured.

Goodnight and God bless.

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December 10 2017 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »