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Archive for the ‘Simple Studies’ Category

Baptism Matthew Chapter 3

Posted by Ez1 Realty on May 6, 2013


Matthew 3:4 NLTse John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.

 

This shows what to expect when we follow Jesus. Not to use the attractions of the world to entice people, but to use what God has given us. Jesus never promised an easy life. Throughout history His prophets suffered along side the people they delivered messages to. Some were hated and persecuted for their message. God never changes, and the world that resists His message remains the same.

 

Matthew 3:5-6 NLTse People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. (6) And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.

 

What are the conditions of baptism? ” And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them.” When baptism was simple, people came from all around. The good news was spread the way it was intended, personal word of mouth. No fancy meetings. No lavish advertising schemes. John introduced the simple baptism and the ideal mothod of spreading the good news.

 

Matthew 3:8-9 NLTse Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. (9) Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.

 

The confession must be real. Baptism was never intended to be a sign of joining any organization. Don’t say, “we are descendants of Abraham.” That means nothing. This covers all the future intents of man to baptize into organizations. Guided by the Holy Spirit, John warned against such practices.

 

Matthew 3:10 NLTse Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.

 

John’s message clearly indicates a new understanding of God for the world at that particular time. The ways of men are gone. Jesus came to teach the old ways…. worship that never changed. Jesus came to restore worship found in Eden before the fruit on the tree of good and evil was eaten. That tree is gone, the tree of life remains …. Jesus came to show us the path to the tree of life.

 

Matthew 3:11-12 NLTse “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am–so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (12) He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”

 

The conditions of baptism are repeated, “repent of their sins and turn to God.” The simple process and conditions are repeated to draw attention to the important points the author is trying to point out. Its not by accident the Pharisees and Sadducees came to question John’s baptism and John warned them of the consequences they face if they do not accept the New Covenant worship he is introducing. The Pharisees and Sadducees can only see a threat to their sacrificial system, their income. They refused to see the Messiah has arrived. They thought their substitute would last forever.

 

John also points out Jesus’ role as judge. Why? Baptism should never be confused with the role of judge. God new some people would distort baptism to mean more than it was intended. This is why God put it in writing.

 

Matthew 3:13-15 NLTse Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. (14) But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” (15) But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.

 

Jesus came to teach a lesson by example. Jesus also came to introduce the New Covenant worship. John knows Jesus is the Messiah without sin and cannot understand why Jesus needed to be baptized. Jesus’ response was, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” This pointed John back to scripture. Once John understood, he baptized Jesus. What was Jesus referring to? “I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures:” Jesus not only pointed back to the scripture He quoted, but the message around that particular text.

 

Psalms 40:6-11 NLTse You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand– you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings. (7) Then I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: (8) I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” (9) I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O LORD, well know. (10) I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness. (11) LORD, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.

 

Jesus not only assured John he was preaching the correct message, He showed John the new ministry was about to begin and how it was going to be accomplished — through love.

 

Matthew 3:16-17 NLTse After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. (17) And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

 

The visual scene after Jesus’ baptism not only assured John of the presence of the Holy Spirit but shows everyone the results of baptism when completed with a sincere heart.

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2012 in review

Posted by Ez1 Realty on January 1, 2013


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 66,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Exodus 15:13-18 Crossing the Red Sea in Faith

Posted by Ez1 Realty on November 5, 2012


Study methods explained. Bible stories, studies with links between Old and New Testament texts.

Learning about prophecies fulfilled shows how to understand all scripture.

Exodus 15:13-18 NLTse “With your unfailing love you lead the people you have redeemed. In your might, you guide them to your sacred home. (14) The peoples hear and tremble; anguish grips those who live in Philistia. (15) The leaders of Edom are terrified; the nobles of Moab tremble. All who live in Canaan melt away; (16) terror and dread fall upon them. The power of your arm makes them lifeless as stone until your people pass by, O LORD, until the people you purchased pass by. (17) You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain– the place, O LORD, reserved for your own dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established. (18) The LORD will reign forever and ever!”

It would be difficult to write a short story showing all the parallels between the physical journey to the promised land and the spiritual journey to Heaven. Exodus 15:13-18 is a prophecy, or acted parable about that spiritual journey.

As a new believer I cannot help but notice how the prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament are arranged. Each teaches a fundamental rule of Bible study. Each entails a different method of study. It is as if God has placed these studies in a particular order so there could be not doubt, God is the author of His Book. Each study takes on more than its own form. It takes on its own life as God’s Word and the Spirit take over the chore of teaching the lessons. This study is one of the easiest forms to learn and use. It almost writes itself. As you will see, the context itself establishes the direction and lesson.

In this particular case we begin, like all studies, by looking at the context. What is the scene, who is speaking, who are they speaking to, and what is the main theme?

Exodus 15:19 NLTse When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers rushed into the sea, the LORD brought the water crashing down on them. But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground!

We find this particular text centers on the crossing of the Red Sea. Chapter 14 describes Israel crossing the Red Sea on dry ground while the Egyptian army was drowned. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul explains the significance.

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 NLTse (1) I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. (2) In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. (3) All of them ate the same spiritual food, (4) and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ.

The first lesson established by this study is the importance of locating and READING associated texts. In this case we are comparing an Old Testament texts to a New. Notice the details Paul adds to the subject? This opens up the mind, heart and soul to the SPIRIT’s guidance. It also establishes a direct Biblical connection between Israel’s travels across the wilderness and Jesus.

The subject text is clearly associated with the beginning of Israel’s journey into the promised land. Since that has been established, there may be a few details to observe. Notice how a series of similar and related words are repeated? Hear and tremble, terrified, melt away, terror and dread fall upon them, makes them lifeless as stone, are arranged to draw attention to the particular point God is making. The Israelites just left Egypt. They have no idea where they are going, but God has already assured them, He has prepared a path for them. He wants them to know He will not only be with them, but go before them. God will clear out the threats and trials before Israel appears on the scene.

God knows they need this assurance because of the doubts they exhibited when it appeared their backs were up against the wall so to speak. Has God blessed you with miracles in your life? Do you remember them when trials come up? Do you have faith enough to rely on God, that He has seen your trials long before they occur? Do you believe He would part the sea for you to get you to the other side?

God also makes specific promises on a spiritual tone. He leads the people He has purchased. This seems like a strange statement considering the circumstances. On the surface, getting His people out of Egypt did not include any physical payment. When we search the word, “purchase,” we find texts which explain the details of that purchase.

Ephesians 1:5-9 NLTse God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (6) So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. (7) He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. (8) He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. (9) God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure.

Not only do we find God was clearing the way to the physical promised land well in advance, we see God already had a plan for salvation and was clearing a path for our way into the spiritual promised land way before He parted the Red Sea.

God also makes a series of other spiritual promises. God will plant them on His Holy Mountain, where He dwells. God is not only promising, but inviting us to live with Him. It is described as a Sanctuary established with God’s own hands. In this case we find related texts by looking up a related word, “temple.”

1 Peter 2:4-5 NLTse You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. (5) And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.

We can easily see how detailed information is added by comparing one text containing a prophecy with other texts explaining how it is fulfilled.

In this particular case Paul used the journey to the promised land to illustrate a lesson he was teaching the new, growing church in Corinth.

1 Corinthians 10:5-10 NLTse (5) Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. (6) These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, (7) or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.” (8) And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day. (9) Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. (10) And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death.

1 Corinthians 10:11-13 NLTse (11) These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. (12) If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. (13) The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

Paul confirms the importance of faith, believing God sees our trials long before the occur, and will always show us a way out, just as He did for Israel when He made a path through the Red Sea. God always has a plan. He gave us his promise to take us through this spiritual wilderness into the promised land He formed with His own hands. God even provided a description of the land He promised us. He wants us to have the assurance we need to build total trust and faith in Him.

Revelation 21:21-27 NLTse (21) The twelve gates were made of pearls–each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass. (22) I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. (23) And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. (24) The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. (25) Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. (26) And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. (27) Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty–but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

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1 Corinthians 13: Love and Prophecy

Posted by Ez1 Realty on September 20, 2012


Why does Paul compare love to prophecy? He points out prophecy will become useless, but love will last forever!

1 Corinthians 13:7-10 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (8) Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! (9) Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! (10) But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless.

When I listen to modern day prophets I can hardly believe a word they say. They use techniques to try and establish themselves as experts in prophecy, which in fact takes glory away from God. I am not surprised to see most of what they claim cannot be proved by the Bible.

 

What Paul says makes perfect sense. “Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!” This is something we have to learn to accept. We will only know what God decides we need to know. Paul adds one more interesting statement. “But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless.” When I look at this statement I can see Jesus standing on one side of the temple court teaching His followers. On the other side of the court all the religious leaders gather to plot His death. For generations these religious factions remained divided, but joined forces to plot Jesus death. Priests, Pharisees, Sadducees, and those who supported Herod stood together against Jesus. Each had their own interpretations of the prophecies and they were all wrong. When Paul says, “when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless.” Is he telling us all the prophecies today are wrong? Or is Paul telling us, when we finally understand God’s love, prophecy will be little or no concern? What does God say about this?

 

Deuteronomy 5:10 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.

 

Interesting. God places His promise of love in His ten commandments. What is even more interesting is the commandment which follows.

 

Deuteronomy 5:11 “You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

 

Would misusing God’s name include falsely claiming the gift of prophecy? What did some of God’s prophets say about loving God?

 

Psalms 17:6-8 I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. (7) Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies. (8) Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.

Proverbs 8:17 “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me.

Daniel 9:2-4 During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the LORD, as revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years. (3) So I turned to the LORD God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes. (4) I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.

 

David knew God would always look over and protect him. He knew his safety depended on God. His son Solomon knew everyone searching for God would find what they needed. When Daniel was shown the meaning of Jeremiah’s seventy year prophecy, He prayed to God, thanking Him for His unfailing love. These prophets saw the connection between searching for and finding God’s love and prophecy.

 

It makes sense. Why would God reveal His most guarded secrets to self made prophets who have decided to skip the step of searching and finding God’s love? If they had, they would not be so obsessed with prophecy. There would be no doubt they were safe in God’s hands. They would also know that safety is available to everyone who comes to Jesus. They would know a personal relationship with Jesus is the answer to all prophecy, leading to eternal life.

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1 Corinthians 13: God’s Love

Posted by Ez1 Realty on September 20, 2012


How do we understand what Paul is writing here?  We can look at Paul’s personality revealed through his style of writing to see if it gives any clues.  Paul has a tendency of building up to a conclusion.  Like a defense attorney pleading for the life of his innocent client, Paul adds detail after detail in a successive chain of evidence, building up until he reaches the climax of his defense, the one piece of evidence which is undeniable and perfectly credible.  In this case, love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-5  If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  (2)  If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.  (3)  If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.  (4)  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud  (5)  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

This sends us right back to chapter 1, Paul’s introduction. In it Paul assures the early believers they have; “every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  If Jesus’ followers have every special gift, wouldn’t love be among them?

1 Corinthians 1:4-8  I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.  (5)  Through him, God has enriched your church in every way–with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge.  (6)  This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true.  (7)  Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (8)  He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.

Paul also tells us that if we, “understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.”   Look at how the scriptures already explain this:

1 Corinthians 1:20-21  So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.  (21)  Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.
1 Corinthians 1:27-31  Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.  (28)  God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.  (29)  As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.  (30)  God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.  (31)  Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”
1 Corinthians 2:8-10  But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord.  (9)  That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”  (10)  But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.

We gain perfect understanding of God’s Word through His word.  We gain perfect love through His love.  The world looks at God’s love as foolish, just as they look at His Word.  They cannot see, perfect understanding comes only from God, just like perfect love can come only from God.

As we follow through Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians we see him trying to get them to understand a message, how to reach others.  Paul knows there is a great temptation for them to act like the Jews, to want to be like them.  To set themselves apart from the world once they convince themselves they have some sort of special truth only revealed to them.  Paul tells them, “I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”  What is anything, everything, without an understanding, yet more, a desire to plead for God’s love?

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

Jesus came to teach God’s Love.  Nothing changed Jesus.  He lived and died without sin.  Just as nothing in this world can ever change God’s love.  Without God’s love, a mother will separate from her children, a wife from her husband, Jesus’ followers from one another.  Paul wrote this letter to bring unity back to the Corinthians.  Now he tells them, the only way is through God’s eternal unchanging love.

May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
(Ephesians 6:24, 2 Timothy 1:7, James 2:5, 1 John 2:5, 1 John 4:8)

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Matthew 23:24-28 Blind Pharisees

Posted by Ez1 Realty on July 14, 2012


Matthew 23:24-28 Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel! (25) “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy–full of greed and self-indulgence! (26) You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. (27) “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs–beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. (28) Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Jesus told His followers in the temple court to listen and obey the teachers of the religious laws, but not to follow their example. He wanted to show the respect He held for them. At the same time, Jesus knew He had to use specific examples to properly teach His disciples the lesson they had to learn. Jesus knew time was running short, and there was so much more they had to learn.

He had to make certain His disciples would remember the example He set for them, and they would never fall victim to the same temptations which trapped the religious leaders. Jesus pointed out the elaborate dress they relied upon. How they displayed God’s Word on their sleeves, but never let it grow in their heart. They thought respect came from outward appearance. They did not understand, respect comes from the inside expressed in actions of love, charity, honesty, justice, and equality. Jesus’ appearance, demeanor, actions, and faith stood in stark contrast to that of the religious leaders across the courtyard.

Jesus also pointed out their misguided doctrine which emphasized the sacrifice of others for their personal gain. He wanted His disciples to realize, worldly gain does not bring glory to God. He wanted them to understand the symbols God used in the temple, and how each related to a spiritual lesson which explained the prophecies about to be fulfilled. Jesus wanted His disciples to be prepared for the lessons they were to learn after He was gone.

Jesus continued His lesson by pointing out specific details in which the religious leaders emphasized strict obedience to the law with little or no regard to the practical or fundamental meaning. “Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel!”

Jesus was referring to a practical ordinance regarding an important health issue. “If such an animal dies and falls on something, that object will be unclean. This is true whether the object is made of wood, cloth, leather, or burlap. Whatever its use, you must dip it in water, and it will remain defiled until evening. After that, it will be ceremonially clean and may be used again. “If such an animal falls into a clay pot, everything in the pot will be defiled, and the pot must be smashed. If the water from such a container spills on any food, the food will be defiled. And any beverage in such a container will be defiled.” (Leviticus 11:32-34)

In their zeal to proclaim and expound on God’s law, the religious leaders turned a simple health issue into a ritual, leading people to believe this was a way of pleasing God. They had taken it to such an extreme, they believed their attention to detail would bring God’s blessing, earning them salvation. Jesus knew this was a tactic Satan would soon tempt His disciples with. Jesus continued to emphasize His point. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy–full of greed and self-indulgence!”

Jesus gained the full attention of His disciples. He seldom mixed symbols with the interpretation in the same sentence. They knew He did this so there would be no mistake, each of His disciples knew He was referring to the Pharisees, but the lesson was directed at them. This touched each of their hearts. The long pause in Jesus’ lesson gave them the chance to reflect on their own lives, particularly the past three years. Peter could see how he had been trying to draw attention to himself by answering Jesus’ questions before giving others a chance to speak. James and John began to see how asking for the highest positions in Jesus’ kingdom was not the quality Jesus was looking for. Judas could see how he thought his position in the group had made him think he had special privileges and insight to Jesus’ lessons. All of their heads were hanging low. Jesus looked out at each of them before He continued. “You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.”

As their heads sank even further, Jesus knew they were making silent petitions to God. Jesus wanted them to realize, following such examples comes with a high price to pay. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs–beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Jesus knew His disciples could see the connection between death and the wayward heart. Beauty does not come from the outside, but from the inside. For years Jesus had been teaching them to put away the world. He wanted them to realize the consequences of putting on the world, accepting its doctrines, traditions, and religion.

Many of their minds drifted back to the parable Jesus told a few hours ago. They began to see the spiritual connection between the man wearing his own garment at the wedding feast and Jesus’ reference to the outward appearance of the Pharisees, who would have been too proud to cover themselves with anything other then the garments they relied upon to pronounce their status and beliefs. The disciples finally realized the doctrines and traditions of the religious leaders would never satisfy the king. The also realized the king in the parable was a symbol for Jesus’ Father, God. The garment represented a gift from God. Some of them began to think, to question, what did the wedding represent?

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Matthew 12:31-32: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; An Inductive Study

Posted by Ez1 Realty on July 7, 2012


Matthew 12:31-32 “Every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven–except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. (32) Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.

 

There are a number of ways we can look at this text, a number of methods to study it. I think it is important to keep any text within context, the only way to do that is to look for the answer within the chapter. The Bible was written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit with a consistency throughout the Bible. One lesson builds upon another. Previous verses and chapters explain the text being studied. Until we see how the previous texts led into the text, we have no hope of understanding it. The first and most obvious reference is a prophesy relating to Jesus.

 

Matthew 12:17-21 This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him: (18) “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. (19) He will not fight or shout or raise his voice in public. (20) He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious. (21) And his name will be the hope of all the world.”

 

We see the connection based on the word SPIRIT used in both text. As always, when a NT text refers to an OT text, the original text provides additional information.

 

Isaiah 11:1-5 Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot– yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. (2) And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. (3) He will delight in obeying the LORD. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. (4) He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. (5) He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment.

 

We find a definition of the Spirit contained in Isaiah 11. The Spirit supplies WISDOM, UNDERSTANDING, COUNCIL, MIGHT, and KNOWLEDGE of the fear of the LORD.

 

We can see anyone denying the Spirit must also lack one or more of these qualities.

 

We may also want to study some of the qualities of the Spirit to learn what the role of the Spirit is.

 

John 16:13-15 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. (14) He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. (15) All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’

 

As we see, John 16 agrees with Isaiah 11.

 

To understand the context we need to locate and study words in the chapter that are the same, similar and related. This is know as a simple inductive study method. When we rely on the chapter to explain the text we can see the relationship of the subjects Jesus taught and how the Spirit relates each lesson. We have to understand, the Spirit teaches with a certain rhythm known as a rhyme. To see the inspired pattern we study each text using the same, similar, and related words. The first word we find used in previous texts is SON OF MAN.

 

Matthew 12:3 Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry?

 

Matthew 12:8 For the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”

Matthew 12:9 Then Jesus went over to their synagogue,

 

Matthew 12:10 where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.)

 

Matthew 12:14 Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.

 

Matthew 12:15 But Jesus knew what they were planning. So he left that area, and many people followed him. He healed all the sick among them,

 

Matthew 12:22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see.

 

Matthew 12:38 One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.”

Matthew 12:39 But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

 

Matthew 12:46 As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.

Matthew 12:47 Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, and they want to speak to you.”

Matthew 12:48 Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”

 

We can chart out the main thought from each text:

 

Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you read in the Scriptures

Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath

Jesus went over to their synagogue

The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?”

plot how to kill Jesus

Jesus knew what they were planning

Jesus. He healed the man

prove your authority

Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign;

Son of Man be in the heart of the earth

asking to speak to him.

they want to speak to you.”

Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”

 

We have already established the relationship between Jesus and the Spirit in Isaiah 11. Now we can look at the sequence leading up Jesus’ lesson about the Spirit.

 

The first point is a lack of knowledge about scripture. One point to consider. If the religious leaders had read the scriptures Jesus referred to throughout His ministry, they may have seen He is the Son of God, and would have never plotted to kill Him.

 

Jesus’ comment about the Sabbath illustrated the man made rules, laws, regulations, and doctrines the religious leaders used to control the masses. Instead of studying God’s love and pointing them to a Messiah sent to save the world, they clung to their desires of conquest, fame and glory.

 

Jesus reached out to those considering themselves His enemy. He went to them, meeting them where they felt comfortable, giving them every opportunity to listen and learn. He never forced anyone to follow Him. It was always an individual choice.

 

The Sabbath is a sign, a symbol of the connection, a personal relationship with God when the world is laid aside for a personal meeting with God. The religious leaders stood in the way of the personal relationship God sought with His people. Their status and control meant more to them than life to such a degree, they plotted to kill Jesus.

 

Jesus knew what they were plotting because He knew the prophecies about His life, ministry and sacrifice. He tried to point the religious leaders to these prophecies, but pride controlled them more than common sense or the Spirit.

 

Jesus has the power to heal and openly used the power from the Holy Spirit to show God’s love. The message should have been clear and easy to understand, but their hearts were so hard they asked for yet another sign.

 

The pull of the world was so strong, not even Jesus’ disciples could accept the plain simple truth concerning the prophecies about Jesus. It took His sacrifice to open their eyes, while those who killed Him wondered further away from God and His Spirit.

 

Jesus is available to those who seek Him. We are all heirs with Him to the Kingdom of God. He has chosen us to be His brothers and sisters. Jesus can do nothing more or less then share everything He receives from His Father with all His followers.

 

The word SPEAK is also repeated through out the chapter.

 

 

Matthew 12:22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see.

 

Matthew 12:32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.

 

Matthew 12:36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.

 

The main thoughts from these verses will also reveal a train of thought leading up to and explaining Jesus’ comment on the Holy Spirit.

He healed the man so that he could both speak and see.

anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven

you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.

 

Jesus is the only One to heal through His Spirit. Jesus healed the man to teach a spiritual lesson. Just like Jesus was able to give the man physical sight and speech, He is able to provide spiritual sight and speech.

 

Jesus also gives us freedom to choose. His death on the cross was an illustration of that. He did not open His mouth to defend Himself. His actions spoke louder than words. The religious leaders spoke against Jesus, using lies to condemn Him. One day they will answer for the choices they made.

 

There is one more word repeated in the chapter, SPIRIT. Once again we can study the texts it is used in to see the message within the context of the chapter.

 

 

Matthew 12:18 “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.

 

Matthew 12:28 But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.

 

Matthew 12:43 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none.

 

Matthew 12:45 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.”

 

Jesus walks with the Spirit of God. The Spirit guided Jesus every minute of every day to lead a perfect life, to offer the perfect sacrifice.

 

This world is a battle ground between God and the evil spirits confined to this world. Evil spirits never give up. If one is defeated he returns with seven others to torment that person to a point they feel they cannot bear or overcome. This is the reality of the world. When people seek Jesus, the devil will not easily give up. He will use every deception and lie to win a soul back to his control. Like the first deception in Eden, he will make it appear as if they are only trying to improve themselves. In reality they are seeking a source of power beyond God their creator.

 

As we can see, the scriptures are consistent in providing the role and answer to the question, what is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It also provides the contrast between following the Sprit, and relying upon the world and self, along with explaining how the devil works to lead people away from the Spirit.

 

In my own opinion I would say, anyone who places themselves between any person and a personal relationship with Jesus is denying the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had to face a number of religious factions placing themselves in the place of the Holy Spirit. The chapter tells us they do not know the scriptures, they never knew Jesus. This would include a number of popular practices in many churches today. Pastors who do not teach people to study on their own. They do not know the power of the Spirit. They are afraid members will misinterpret scripture and mislead others. Isn’t it the Sprit who guides us into all knowledge? Are we ever supposed to trust or rely on a human to guide us?

 

This also includes church boards placing control on and discouraging members from conducting personal ministries. Like the religious leaders Jesus faced, they are filled with pride. They feel they have to control every detail, like they are the only people being led by the Spirit. Which spirit is leading them?

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Genesis 2:23-25: Bone of My Bone

Posted by Ez1 Realty on June 6, 2012


Genesis 2:23-25 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (25) And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

 

God put Adam to sleep and removed a rib. He took the rib and formed it in His image, the image of God. When it was finished, God took His newest creation and present it to Adam as his helper. Once again God was fulfilling the part of the servant, by bring Adam one who would serve him. A lesson Adam would never take for granted.

 

When Adam woke from his sleep, his first words were, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Adam gave her a name so he would never forget, his wife was taken out of him. The connection was beyond emotional and spiritual, it was also physical. A bond which could never be broken.

 

Adam added, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” The only father and mother Adam knew was his Creator. He would not leave his commitment to God, but add to it by cleaving onto his wife forever. The first marriage in Eden was for all eternity. God had shown Adam some of the most important factors in a relationship. He taught Adam how to give, share, rule, and work together in service. Their Creator had given them everything. By giving Eve to Adam, God was showing, all He wanted was their deepest happiness and love in return.

 

In God’s perfect world there was no shame. They were created in God’s image, physically and spiritually. Their love was perfect, reflecting God and His character. There was nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of. No secrets, lies, or deceptions. They were both naked. This showed how God sees everything. Nothing is hidden from His eyes. When He looked at Adam and Eve in the newly created world, He saw His own image, love, dedication, and service.

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Genesis 2:7-8: God formed man of the dust

Posted by Ez1 Realty on May 11, 2012


Genesis 2:7-8 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (8) And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

 

We have seen how God created this world in perfect peace and harmony, an example of how man was to rule, and love his wife. Man and woman were created in God’s image, which carries with it a responsibility difficult to understand, unless we take the time to study His entire Word.

 

After God explains man’s responsibilities as ruler of this world, He reminds man of His origin, dust combined with God’s breath of life. Every other living creature was formed by God’s spoken word.And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. (Genesis 1:24)

 

God spoke everything into existence, light, the sun, moon, stars, grass, trees, fish, birds, and every living creature. Then He paused and said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” God still spoke words, but that was not enough. He got on His knees in the dust of His new creation, gathered it together with His own hands, shaping it into His own image, and brought life to the mass of dust by breathing into its nostrils. This showed the tender loving care God had for man, and the close personal relationship God wanted as life began its course in the newly formed, meticulously shaped image of dust.

 

As Adam opened his eyes, the first image he saw was His Creator kneeling over him. Behind God was the limitless blue sky. Adam could feel the warmth of the sun on his body, as well as the warmth from the hands of God, helping him to his feet for the first time. He looked around at the new world. There were so many creatures gathered around, watching God give life to the image He shaped with His own hands. Adam looked at the sun in the sky, then the green grass, and flowers of every size, shape, and color. Birds were seen flying through the air, landing in branches filled with an almost countless variety of fruit and nuts. Other birds landed near by on the ground for a closer look.

 

Everything looked perfect to Adam, but God was not yet satisfied. He once again began work with His own hands to plant a garden for His new creation, man.

 

It seems so strange for God to put so much time, effort and love into a collection of dust, but that was God’s plan. This was God’s will, to form man from the simplest, most abundant resource on the planet, dust.

 

What made man so special? Was it the time? The effort? The breath God breathed into him? In a way, everything was brought into creation through God’s breath as He spoke it into existence. Was it just God’s limitless love that made man, and all His creation so special?

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Genesis 1:26-27: Let us make man in our image

Posted by Ez1 Realty on May 10, 2012


Genesis 1:26-27 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 

God created Adam and gave him dominion over every living creature of the newly created world. This showed both the trust and wisdom God placed in Adam. It is a testimony revealing some of the details of what it means be created in God’s image. Notice both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image. What does it mean to be created in God’s image? Only a small portion of that question is answered in the first few chapters of Genesis. The complete answer God wanted to provided is scattered throughout His entire book, written over generations by His servants the prophets.

 

God created the earth in a six days. During these six days God provided everything the world needed. Before He created man, every need was met. God provided sunlight, warmth, food, and finally companionship. The earth was in perfect balance and harmony. Beauty surrounded every scene to captivate the eyes. The air was filled with fragrances and song. Water was clean and refreshing. Every detail of God’s creation was designed to attract attention, teach lessons, and provide a soothing reminder of God’s love.

 

The same is true for the relationship God created. Every entity of God’s wonderful creation was founded upon a relationship. Man and woman were special. They were the only creatures created in God’s image, physically, mentally, and spiritually. The most precious gift from God was reserved for Adam and his wife, the love God has for His creation from the greatest mammoth, to the smallest creature.

 

The words, “created man in his own image,” clearly indicate a leadership role based on the preceding verse in which God give Adam dominion over the fish, birds, cattle, and every creeping thing. Adam’s leadership role is based upon God’s image, and only God’s image. This is how and why man was created, to rule this world in God’s image. We are shown examples man’s original role in the gospels. He that is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Matthew 23:11)

 

It was not by mistake God summed up man’s role as leader by reminding us we owe everything to Him. In two small verses God placed a reminder of His creation, the responsibilities man has to the world, and his wife. Everything was do be done in the image of God.

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Matthew 18:12-14: Lost Sheep

Posted by Ez1 Realty on April 21, 2012


Matthew 18:12-14 MKJV What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays, does he not leave the ninety and nine and go into the mountains and seek the straying one? (13) And if it happens that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety and nine which did not stray. (14) Even so it is not the will of your Father in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

 

 

Javan counted each sheep as they passed through the gate. “97, 98, 99. I must have missed one.” With evening coming on it took some time to coax the sheep back out of the corral. They are creatures of habit, and leaving the corral in the evening was not their normal routine. “Ninety nine again. We will count them one more time when we herd them back in.” Day light was quickly fading as Javan counted the sheep for the third time. “Ninety nine again. We are missing one.” Elam offered, “do you want me to go with you to help find the sheep? It will be dark soon, and you never know what you may run into in the dark.” Javan hesitated for an moment and replied, “no, you go, spend the evening with your family, and let my wife know I will be back later. I will be all right.”

 

It had been some time since Javan ventured out in the evening. He went into the barn to grab an old heavy blanket hanging on the wall. He did not want to go into the house because he knew his wife would talk him into waiting until morning. They both knew lions and wolves roamed during the night.

 

Javan started down the road as the sun was setting behind him. The twilight colors lite up the mountain in front of him with soft hues of pink and orange. As the sun set on the horizon the color it cast gave the appearance of fire on the mountain.

 

Javan traveled what he thought was a familiar path, but the darkness made the journey more difficult than he had imagined. He never realized how he naturally avoided the obstacles along the path during the day. Walking seemed so natural in the light.

 

Night had one advantage. It was much quieter. As he walked along the path his ears were tuned to pick up any sound which may help lead him to the lost sheep. As he began to ascend the side of the mountain, his breathing became labored, making it more difficult to listen. Javan occasionally stopped to listen. He heard a rustling to his right, and turned to investigate. The sound seemed to be traveling away from him. He called out to the sheep and waited. After a while Javan figured it was some type of wild animal. He continued up the side of the mountain.

 

Stopping once again, Javan heard another sound. He called out to his sheep, and listened again. Nothing. He decided to head toward the sound, stopping every few feet to listen. Still nothing. As he traveled up the side of the mountain, he heard the sound again. As he straightened up, Javan saw a figure of a man. He stood and stared at the man for a minute, not knowing if he was a friend or a foe. Finally the man spoke. “You are seeking the sheep that wandered away earlier today?” Javan asked, “how do you know about my sheep? Do you know where he is now?” The figure held out his right arm to point, and answered, “travel south until you come to a ridge. Follow the ridge until you find an opening between the walls. Enter into the open, and there you will find what you are looking for.” Javan looked in the direction the figure was pointing. When he looked back to thank the man, the figure was gone.

 

Javan followed the ridge as directed. Finding the opening, he passed through the walls on either side. It opened up into a wide clearing. In the dark he could see the pasture was good. He could smell the clover and grasses. He had never seen this before. The narrow passage made the perfect place to quarter a flock for the evening. After viewing what he could through the dim light, Javan called out to his sheep. This time the call was answered by a faint bleating, followed by the sound of movement through the tall grass.

 

As soon as the figure was distinguishable in the dark, Javan bent down on one knee to receive his old friend into his waiting arms. He could tell the sheep was as happy to see him as he was to find the lost member of his flock. “You missed me didn’t you? How did you get separated? We were not even close to this place today.” This made Javan realize, he didn’t know exactly where he was. Making so many turns in the dark following sounds, he had lost track of the direction he had traveled. He said to the sheep sticking close around his feet, “it is a good thing I took a blanket. We can bed down here for the night and find our way home together in the light. I want to make certain we will be able to return to this place again.”

 

Javan spread his blanket on the ground, wrapped himself in it, and stared up at the stars. The sheep laid down at his feet. Looking up at the stars he began to pray his wife would not be worried or mad at him. The stars reminded him of the story of Jacob crossing the wilderness, seeing the ladder stretch between the earth and Heaven. The steep sides of the canyon also reminded him of that story. They also reminded him of the time God showed himself to Moses. God had Moses stand between two rocks as He passed by. He wondered if Moses stood in an opening much like the one leading to this place. A smile came to his face as he remembered the first time Moses traveled to God’s mountain and saw His glory in the form of a burning bush. Javan raised his head to look around. He wondered if he would ever see such a splendid sight from God. Returning to his prayers, he thanked God for leading him to his sheep.

 

As he closed his eyes, Javan remembered how the mountain looked with the light of the setting sun reflecting off the peak. He wondered what the top of the mountain looked like when God filled it with His glory, appearing like a fiery flame when He spoke His law to Israel. So many times God called his people back to the mountain when He had something important to say. As Javan was dozing off, he thought about the prophecy when God will once again call His people to His Holy mountain. So says the LORD: I have returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of Hosts, the Holy Mountain. (Zechariah 8:3 MKJV)

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Matthew 16:1-12: The Pharisees Ask for a Sign Again

Posted by Ez1 Realty on March 16, 2012


Pharisees ask for a signMatthew 16:1-12 MKJV The Pharisees and the Sadducees came to Him, tempting Him. And they asked Him that He would show them a sign from Heaven. (2) He answered and said to them, When it is evening, you say, Fair weather; for the sky is red. (3) And in the morning, Foul weather today; for the sky is red and gloomy. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky, but you cannot see the signs of the times! (4) A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. And there shall no sign be given to it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah. And He left them and went away. (5) And when His disciples had come to the other side, they forgot to take loaves. (6) And Jesus said to them, Take heed, and beware the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (7) And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no loaves. (8) And knowing Jesus said to them, Why do you reason among yourselves because you took no loaves, little-faiths? (9) Do you not yet understand, nor remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many hand baskets you took up; (10) nor the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many lunch baskets you took up? (11) How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you about loaves, but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? (12) Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

After Jesus repeated the sequence of healing and feeding thousands, the Pharisees once again approached Him, asking for a sign. John remembered hearing this same question before. He also remembered the answer Jesus provided. This time Jesus tried a different approach. He answered and said to them, “When it is evening, you say, Fair weather; for the sky is red. And in the morning, Foul weather today; for the sky is red and gloomy. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky, but you cannot see the signs of the times!”

John also remembered an encounter Jesus had with another Pharisee named Nicodemus. Jesus asked him, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12 MKJV).

Jesus told Nicodemus about the Holy Spirit, and being born again. Nicodemus did not understand either of the subjects at the time, but asked Jesus, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” He did not know Jesus was referring to a spiritual birth which involved forsaking the ways of the world in order to learn the truth concerning the spiritual connection God is longing for.

Jesus was taking a new approach with the Pharisees. He was trying to show them their beliefs were flawed. Their methods may be correct to a degree, but they are not infallible. Having grown up on the edge of the sea, John knew how quickly the weather changes without warning. Storms roll in from the mountains with little notice. Winds travel faster than anything known to men. It reminded John of a verse in Isaiah. “Can anyone tell the LORD what to do? Who can teach him or give him advice? With whom does God consult in order to know and understand and to learn how things should be done?” (Isaiah 40:13-14 GNB).

Just as John had expected, Jesus repeated the same answer He provided to the Pharisees some months ago. “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. And there shall no sign be given to it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” The disciples themselves still wondered what the answer meant. It reminded some of them, they wanted to review the scriptures to find the answer. Jesus looked at the Pharisees. Jesus could tell by the look on their faces, they had not consulted the scriptures for an answer.

Some times the answers can only come by a sincere and individual search for the truth. If Jesus had given them the answer at this time, they would have mocked Him. It was not the proper time. Their hearts were not open to the truth. The answer could have been found in the scriptures at any time. It was there for hundreds of years, ready to be revealed. All it needed was an open heart, praying to the Holy Spirit for guidance to understand the hidden meaning.

There was nothing more to Jesus to say. It was not the answer the Pharisees were looking for. In their minds they had gained a victory. As they congratulated one another, Jesus headed off along the shoreline, His disciples following close behind. The gentle splashing of waves helped ease the disciple’s tensions. After a short walk Jesus turned to His disciples and said, “beware the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” The rhythm of the waves relaxed the disciples more than expected. For some reason it seemed they had forgotten the prior events of the day. Their minds went back to the mountain where Jesus had fed the four thousand. They suddenly realized, no one had brought the leftover bread. Sensing their confusion, Jesus listened to the explanations each offered to one another. After observing their reaction Jesus asked, “Why do you reason among yourselves because you took no loaves, little-faiths? Do you not yet understand, nor remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many hand baskets you took up; nor the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many lunch baskets you took up? How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you about loaves, but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?”

As soon as Jesus repeated the phrase, “the Pharisees and Sadducees,” the disciples immediately remembered the encounter only a few minutes ago. Now they understood, Jesus was referring to the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They could see how their doctrine had only one answer. They used doctrine to explain everything. Some of the disciples felt ashamed they did not take the time to study the question. They knew it could not be explained by human efforts.

John considered the relationship between Jesus’ talk with Nicodemus and His answer to the Pharisees question. “Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5-6 MKJV). John was beginning to see, they could not understand Jesus’ lessons until they put away everything they had learned. Something was holding them back. It had something to do with the doctrines they have been taught and observed all their lives.

John began to wonder if there was any connection between the three days in the story of Jonah, and the three days Jesus healed before He fed the people who followed Him to the mountain.

John was also beginning to see how the Pharisees used doctrine as a weapon. He remembered the words of David, the beginning of the Psalms. “Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and has not stood in the way of sinners, and has not sat in the seat of the scornful.” (Psalms 1:1 MKJV).

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Matthew 13:1-23: Parable of the Sower

Posted by Ez1 Realty on January 1, 2012


Matthew 13:1-23 MKJV In that day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the seaside. (2) And great crowds were gathered to Him, so that He went into a boat and sat. And all the crowd stood on the shore. (3) And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, Behold, the sower went out to sow. (4) And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the birds came and devoured them. (5) Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth. And they sprang up immediately, because they had no deepness of earth. (6) And the sun rising, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away. (7) And some fell among thorns. And the thorns sprung up and choked them. (8) And some fell on the good ground and yielded fruit, indeed one a hundredfold, and one sixty, and one thirty. (9) He who has ears to hear, let him hear. (10) And the disciples said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables? (11) He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them. (12) For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance. But whoever does not have, from him shall be taken away even that which he has. (13) Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not; nor do they understand. (14) And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which said, “By hearing you shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see and shall not perceive; (15) for this people’s heart has become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes, lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (16) But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. (17) For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard them. (18) Therefore hear the parable of the sower. (19) When anyone hears the Word of the kingdom and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown by the wayside. (20) But that which was sown on the stony places is this: he who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy. (21) But he has no root in himself, and is temporary. For when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the Word, he immediately stumbles. (22) And that sown into the thorns is this: he who hears the Word; and the anxiety of this world, and the deceit of riches, choke the Word, and he becomes unfruitful. (23) But that sown on the good ground is this: he who hears the Word and understands; who also bears fruit and produces one truly a hundredfold; and one sixty; and one thirty.

 

Jesus sat watching the sun rise over the hills, reflecting shades of blue and red from the tiny waves upon the water. The sky was already a light blue. The contrast made Him think of the images in His mind of Heaven with the translucent pavement of blue like a sea of glass mingled with fire. He let out a deep sigh, as a sign of being a little homesick. As His thoughts and prayers focused on the people He had served the day before, and began turning toward the coming demands of the day, He could hear people beginning to gather behind Him. Jesus remained in meditation with the Holy Spirit as the people respectively waited. Jesus already knew, this was not a day centered on physical healing, but spiritual. As the water turned to shimmering blue and silver every word of His sermon flowed through His mind. The Spirit was working in Jesus to pull in bits and pieces from different parts of scripture to teach a lesson many had prayed for, but few had experienced.

His disciple made their way through the crowd to be at His side. Jesus’ mind was still focused on the Spirit, His heart pleading for the time when the Holy Spirit will one day cover the earth and be heard again. A deep feeling impressed Him to provide a visual image of the Spirit of God moving upon the waters. Jesus got into a boat and cast out a little way into the water as the people gathered upon the shore.

Jesus looked upon the faces of the people sitting on the shoreline, and those standing behind them. He could see His prayers had been answered as He gazed upon the hunger and wonder in their eyes. He knew the Spirit had prepared the hearts and minds of each individual called to hear Him speak that day.

Jesus began His parable, “Behold, the sower went out to sow.” As He spoke, He motioned with His arms the movements of a farmer sowing his seed in a field. Jesus hesitated a little while, while He shifted His weight from side to side in the boat, making it rock, creating tiny splashes of water, like rain. This helped the people to see beyond His words, and the physical scene.

Timing was everything for the farmer. If he planted too early, he may risk a late frost on the tiny plants. Plant too late the crop may not properly develop. The sower spread his seed and relied upon God to send the proper amount of sunlight and rain.

For as the rain comes down, and the snow from the heavens, and does not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring out and bud, and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall My Word be, which goes out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall certainly do what I sent it to do. Isaiah 55:10-11 MKJV.

Jesus continued His parable, “And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the birds came and devoured them.” As He spoke a little boy threw a few bread crumbs in the air, which landed in the water, and were instantly scooped up by a few nearby sea gulls. One of them flew near Jesus, who made a motion like trying to catch the bird in a net.

A little laughter was heard from those gathered. Once it was silent Jesus continued, “Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth. And they sprang up immediately, because they had no deepness of earth.” As Jesus spoke, He bent down to pick up a few small stones lying on the bottom of the boat, and tossed them into the calm water. One after another they formed tiny rings which quickly expanded in the water. The people watched as the ripples intersected and then disappeared. Pointing up at the sun, Jesus continued, “And the sun rising, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away.” The timing was perfect, as the sun reached an angle reflecting off the water into the eyes of those listening. They had to shade their eyes with their hands to see Jesus, His human image in contrast to the light of the sun shinning off the water. To God, the image of the symbols was as important as the words.

After the dramatic scene was accomplished, Jesus held up one corner of a fishing net as His next prop and said, “And some fell among thorns. And the thorns sprung up and choked them.” Some people remembered a field they have seen over grown with weeds. Some times in those fields, a flower will grow. The tiny flower will struggle to compete for sunlight, moisture and nutrients. The weeds will do all they can to smother the little plant. They will crowd around the plant to rob it of sunlight, while in the unseen struggle beneath the ground, roots will try to strangle the tiny plant from below. No one remembers what the weeds looked like, but most people will never forget the tiny plant with it vibrant color, and delicate pedals trying to survive in a world doing its best to gain complete domination.

Sitting down in the boat, Jesus finished His parable, “And some fell on the good ground and yielded fruit, indeed one a hundredfold, and one sixty, and one thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” He called out to John, who immediately began pulling Jesus and the boat in by the rope he had been holding. As Jesus neared the shore, He reached over and began splashing water onto those on the shore, each time sending hundreds of drops or water into the air, and onto those who came to hear Him preach.

Jesus sat down to a simple breakfast with His disciples with others sitting near and far along the shoreline. A cool breeze was blowing off the water, making for a comfortable setting when combined with the sunlight filtering in through the scattered clouds. As the clouds cleared away and the sun cast it rays, Jesus turned His face to capture the warmth, and the disciples said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus stood up, walked behind John, put His hands on his shoulders, and leaning over He answered and said to them, “Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them.” Jesus walked over towards Peter, picking up three cakes of bread on the way. Placing them on Peter’s plate He said, “for whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance. But whoever does not have, from him shall be taken away even that which he has.” Jesus positioned Himself in the middle of His disciples and continued, “therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not; nor do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which said, By hearing you shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see and shall not perceive; for this people’s heart has become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes, lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Walking among His disciples Jesus first touched Philip’s eyes, then Mark’s ears, “blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard them.”

Jesus gave the disciples a minute to think about what He had just told them, and discuss it in hushed tones. They could tell this was one of the most significant lessons Jesus would teach. Imagine, learning things from the Son of God the prophets yearned to hear, see, and understand. Their attention was now totally focused on their Great Teacher.

The disciples had been following Jesus for more than a year. They had seen Jesus speak, heal, and raise people from the dead, but never had they seen such an excited look in His face. The excitement on His face told them He was about to share something very important. They listened with joyful anticipation as Jesus began, “Therefore hear the parable of the sower. The sower sows the word.”

The disciples knew, Jesus is the one who sows the word. Jesus’ words and the Holy Spirit began to inspire John as he thought to himself, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:1-3 MKJV)

Jesus continued, “When anyone hears the Word of the kingdom and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown by the wayside.” As the disciples listened they remembered how quickly the birds had snatched the bread thrown by the boy on the shore. They knew the devil would work on people quickly to steal the Word from them before the seeds had a chance to sprout in their hearts. Knowing this they wondered to themselves, how does Satan steal the Word away? They remembered the words of Hosea, “The prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.” (Hosea 9:8 MKJV) Satan used false prophets to mislead people. They also remembered how David used birds to represent people. “Our soul has escaped like a bird out of the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped.” (Psalms 124:7 MKJV). The bird represented people who snatched God’s Word from their hearts. They also wondered why a bird sometimes represented a person facing a trap, and realized, a false prophet is one facing a trap laid by Satan.

The disciples also knew how David used a wayside, or road to represent life. “O Jehovah, keep me from the hands of the wicked; keep me from the violent man who purposed to trip up my steps. The proud have hidden cords and a trap for me; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set snares for me. Selah.” (Psalms 140:4-5 MKJV). The disciples began to understand they were never safe along life’s road. Using symbols which led to scripture, Jesus showed how quickly the Word can be stolen, how people used by Satan were stuck in a trap, and became a trap themselves for Satan to use. They began to understand how one error would lead to another. Realizing the road ahead of them will be filled by traps to steal the Word from their hearts, and their souls, they focused all their attention on Jesus’ words.

Jesus kicked at the stones upon the ground making a little pile in front of the disciples. He took a few seeds out from a plate, held them up over the stones, and let them drop one at a time as He explained, “that which was sown on the stony places is this: he who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy.”

This instantly brought one or two verses to everyone’s mind. “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will remove the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19 MKJV). There was no doubt Jesus was referring to seed falling on a heart that was not prepared to accept it. As the disciple’s minds compared Jesus’ words to scripture coming to their memory, Jesus said, “he has no root in himself, and is temporary. For when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the Word, he immediately stumbles.”

The disciples could remember the struggles they faced inside themselves when they first heard Jesus’ words. Peter remembered His response to Jesus’ invitation, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord.” (Luke 5:8 MKJV). These were words Peter wished he could have taken back. The memory of that day gave Peter the strength and determination to dedicate his life to Jesus.

The disciples knew the road they would travel will be full of temptations and trials. Logic told them they needed to concentrate on how to avoid and over come the trials and temptations. They knew worrying about them would do no good at all. With their minds focused on the word root, they knew it represented their dedication. Their minds were drawn to the words of Solomon. “A man shall not be established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.” (Proverbs 12:3 MKJV). They knew they had to be rooted in Jesus’ words and on the scriptures He taught.

Jesus walked to the edge of the clearing to a path of thorns growing just outside of the woods where He broke off a section of a thorn bush as long as His arm. Standing in front of the thorns and trees, He held up the crooked branch with long pointed thorns sticking out in all directions as He spoke, “that sown into the thorns is this: he who hears the Word; and the anxiety of this world, and the deceit of riches, choke the Word, and he becomes unfruitful.”

The thorns had one meaning to Jesus, and another for His disciples. The thorns reminded Jesus of what He knew He had to suffer. Some of the disciples were immediately drawn to the consequences of the first sin in the garden. “And to Adam He said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it! The ground is cursed for your sake. In pain shall you eat of it all the days of your life. It shall also bring forth thorns and thistles to you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.” (Genesis 3:17-18 MKJV). This instantly brought to mind a whole new light upon the curse in Eden. It not only applied to the ground, but everyone would face trials in whatever occupation the worked at.

Others thought of scripture that identified people as thorns. “I will not drive them out from before you, but they shall be thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you. (Judges 2:3 MKJV) They could see how people living outside of God’s will cause trials which bring anxiety to others. Each of the disciples had personally experienced people bringing trials into their lives. They considered those trials and how they had become such distractions, they could not work, it effected family life, and other aspects in their lives. They could see how these distractions made them unfruitful in the past, and how they could effect their future ministries.

Seeing the expressions on their faces, Jesus knew they were really thinking about everything they had just learned. After a few moments, Jesus answered the question he knew was on their mind, “that sown on the good ground is this: he who hears the Word and understands; who also bears fruit and produces one truly a hundredfold; and one sixty; and one thirty.”

They all knew the seed represented the Word, and the ground the heart. They began to realize the Word needed to go past the ears into the heart. If the heart would not open, Words could not have the proper effect. The Word only has an effect when it reaches the heart and is applied, shared. The seed when planted in a fertile heart produces more seed. The Word must be shared. One person tells another, and another, until thirty, sixty, and a hundred people share in the experience of the Word, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Isaiah 52:7-15: God’s Call to Service

Posted by Ez1 Realty on October 22, 2011


(Isaiah 52:7 KJV) How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

I stand upon God’s mountain, in His presence, seeing all His glory, understanding His ways, and the direction He has prepared for my life. The beauty of the feet represent service to others. Feet washed by Jesus, a demonstration of His love for me, an illustration of the service I owe to others placed in my path. To bring them good tidings, news of His peace through His love freely offered, and salvation through His sacrifice and blood. The battle is won. Death is defeated. Salvation is only a prayer away. My sins are forgiven, paid for by the blood of my Savior, my Friend, and Bother, Jesus Christ. My God that reigns in all the earth and Heaven.

 

 

(Isaiah 52:8 KJV) Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.

God sends forth His message with me, a common person. Nothing special, just the time to read His words and pray for understanding until I can see the simple message He has for a single person in my life. God sends the singers before His army. The enemy is confused because they do not know His ways, or His thoughts. They stand still while God’s message is delivered. Will they hear? Will they repent. Will they listen to God’s call and come back to His love, protection, and accept His salvation?

 

 

(Isaiah 52:9 KJV) Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.

The price has been paid, Jesus has defeated the enemy. His perfect love, life, and sacrifice is accepted by God, and all are redeemed to God and His grace. Sing out with joy. The earth has been wasted, but Jesus has built a better place in Heaven. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2 KJV)

 

 

(Isaiah 52:10 KJV) The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

We have the technology. God has placed a gift in my hands. I can use it for good, or follow Satan to use it for evil. One click and this message will go around the world. I know because I have seen it. God can send a butterfly over the ocean, guiding it on a safe journey from one continent to another to bring life to a new generation. God’s Spirit can reach across the waters. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2 KJV) The message of God’s salvation can be seen, can be sent around the world, faster and more effectively than anyone ever imagined when these verses were written. God has provided. God has lead. God has given His message. God has trusted me to be a small part in His plan of salvation. It is my choice to accept His salvation. It is my choice to serve the LORD.

 

 

 

(Isaiah 52:11 KJV) Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.

The Lord directs me to be out in the world to be among the needy, the poor in spirit, to meet His people looking for answers. So many are looking for God’s love and have no way of knowing how, or where to find it. God’s love is not found in the promises of this world. Love is not found in the latest version of a cell phone, computer, or big screen TV. God’s love is not found in the latest book of self help, fortune tellers, or financial experts. God’s love is not found in cheaper gasoline, lower taxes, or promises of a health care system. God’s love is found in prayer, His word, in serving others. God’s love is found in the simple acts of sacrifice. Encouraging others. Praising a child for their efforts. Loving my family. God’s love flows through me to others in everyday actions. It has to be a natural act of kindness. I am only a vessel for God’s love, His message to the world.

 

 

(Isaiah 52:12 KJV) For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your reward.

Too many people are sitting on the fence of spirituality waiting for a time of trouble before making a decision. I know, I have seen this, and I am praying…will they see? Will they make a decision before it is too late. Will Satan win by attracting them with promises of this world they can not refuse? God never intended for His message to be withheld until a moment before His return? The trials of Egypt were told to Abraham. God warned of Jerusalem’s fall long before the armies of Babylon appeared. Why would God withhold His message now, when there are people who need it today? God has gone ahead to prepare His people for His message. God has told the world of His plan of salvation, the life and sacrifice of Jesus long before He was born in this world. God announced Jesus’ arrival with angels singing in the heavens. God has prepared hearts for the message He has trusted me to deliver.

 

 

(Isaiah 52:13 KJV) Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways, says Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from the heavens, and does not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring out and bud, and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall My Word be, which goes out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall certainly do what I sent it to do. (1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV) (Isaiah 55:8-11 MKJV)

 

 

(Isaiah 52:14 KJV) As many were astounded at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

Jesus gave so much. Jesus gave all. He left the courts of Heaven with all the joy and love, more than I could ever imagine, to come here, live a life of poverty, trial, and disappointment, to die on a cross, whipped, beaten, spat upon, mocked, and forgotten. His disappointment was more than anyone could bear. His suffering more than I can imagine. Through it all, He never took His eyes off His Father, and the promise God will accept His sacrifice. The sacrifice that brings forgiveness of all sins.

 

 

(Isaiah 52:15 KJV) So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

God’s plan is beyond my imagination. I trust God has prepared His people for the message they have never heard, the salvation they have always considered in their hearts. Salvation that calls out from the heart of every person who has ever lived. No one can deny its calling. Consider the choice. Salvation and eternal life, or the world. If people understand eternal life, the choice will become clear. No more pain, no more sorrow. Eternal love, peace, and joy.

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces. And He shall take away from all the earth the rebuke of His people. For Jehovah has spoken. And one shall say in that day, Lo, this is our God. We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is Jehovah; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation. And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away. And He sitting on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said to me, Write, for these words are true and faithful. (Isaiah 25:8-9 MKJV) (Revelation 21:4-5 MKJV)

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Genesis 3:12: Satan’s Division of the Marriage

Posted by Ez1 Realty on October 2, 2011


Genesis 3:12 MKJV And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.

Satan had accomplished his goals. He had caused Eve, then Adam to sin. His plan was so subtle, so decisive, most people miss Satan’s greatest accomplishment, opening a door to their seed.

The first reaction after sin was a feeling of shame, which created a separation between Adam, Eve, and God. They hid from God among the trees. For the first time in their lives, Adam and Eve did not look forward to their time with God. Their relationship with God was compromised. Their relationship with one another was also effected. Adam blamed Eve for the sin he was responsible for. Satan uses the same tactic today. A husband sins, and blames it on the actions of the wife. In Adam’s case the influence was real, the decision was still his own. Only he was responsible for his actions.

This lack of responsibility has been handed down from generation to generation across every culture on this planet. Instead of looking at their own deteriorated condition, people play the blame game like it is an acceptable excuse to sin. Another defect handed down through generations over the past six thousand years is the division between husband and wife created in Eden. Not only does this create stress between husband and wife, it also effects the children.

Children can see every point their father and mother do not agree on. Some children use this to their advantage. At the very least, this confuses the child. The greater the conflict between the parents, the greater confusion in the children. The instability opens a door for Satan to introduce doubt. Children begin questioning rules in the home, and society. If the gulf is large enough between the parents, the children will begin questioning God’s law.

The only way to break this trend is for both parents to draw so close to God, the children can not see any disagreement between the mother and father. Once they stand together, partners in Christ, they become an influence on the children not easily over thrown by Satan.

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Genesis 3:6: Satan’s Temptation in Marriage

Posted by Ez1 Realty on October 1, 2011


Genesis 3:6 KJV And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

 

 

What happened to Eve? What went through her head? She had just finished a conversation with a serpent in which she told it, “God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.” Eve just finishes telling a serpent she is going to die if she touches it, and what does she do? Does she take God’s word? There is no evidence in the Bible showing God told Eve about the tree of knowledge. The Bible shows Adam was informed of the tree before Eve was created. (Gen 2:16, 17) If Adam had the responsibility of teaching this information to Eve, it is a sign of trust God had in Adam, and a sign of love Adam had for Eve. This also illustrates the responsibility of the husband, who is to share and discuss God’s law with his wife.

The serpent tells Eve, “You shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5 MKJV) After a few simple words from a serpent, Eve begins to look at the tree in a whole new light. We don’t know how many times Eve had passed by this tree before this meeting. Adam may have shared God’s simple commandment while standing in front of the tree. Eve was aware of the danger involved, but chose to ignore it. Instead she looked upon the tree as something to be desired. It is hard to imagine anything that carries the curse of death as pleasant, but that is how Eve saw it through her eyes.

The Bible tells us Eve looked at the tree as a source of wisdom. Instead of heeding the word of her husband, Eve was willing to risk her relationship with Adam for a forbidden desire. Did Eve know Adam would follow her into a life of sin? I’ve heard many people say, “Adam loved his wife so much, he decided it was better to join her by eating the fruit, than to be without her.” This is one speculation. Another may be, Adam fell to the same temptation Satan uses today. When one marriage partner breaks a commandment, the other feels justified. This is the cause of divorce in many marriages. One partner in the marriage is tempted by an earthly desire they look at as pleasing. She falls to a false promise of a new experience. Instead of heading for the arms of Christ is prayer, like Adam, the husband follows the example of wife, and both fall.

Like rust on a car, it begins on the inside. You don’t notice the change. It may eat away for years before any signs show on the outside. When the rust tears through it creates an unsightly hole. In marriage sin has the same result. Sin creates a hole in your heart, life, a gulf in your relationship with God, and a gap in your marriage.

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John 19:34-35: Blood and Water

Posted by Ez1 Realty on October 1, 2011


John 19:34-35 KJV But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. (35) And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

 

While Jesus hung on the cross, God hid the face of the sun, casting the land into darkness. Jesus gave His last breath and died. A soldier looked up and declared, “truely this man was the Son of God, ” As the Sabbath drew near a request was made by the priests to break the legs of the prisoners. The soldier came to Jesus, looked up again, and could not bring himself to carry out the gruesome task. He examined Jesus’ face, looked at His chest to see if there was any movement. There was no movement, no sign of life. He was afraid to touch Jesus, so he called over another solder to examine the body. The second soldier looked at Jesus, and a moment later thrust his spear into Jesus’ side aiming for his heart, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

Under the influence of the Holy Ghost John recorded the death of Jesus, adding details of the blood and water. John recorded this message from the Spirit, so others would believe. What does it mean to believe in the blood and water? What does the blood and water represent? Why did Jesus give blood and water as the last symbol of the cross, the first symbol of His death?

Both can represent a number of things. In relationship to Jesus and the cross, blood represents the forgiveness of sins, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:7. Jesus also tells us, “this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28.

Is a personal relationship with Jesus possible without understanding the meaning of the blood, His sacrifice? For the life of the flesh is in the blood. And I have given it to you on the altar to make an atonement for your souls. For it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul. Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. Whoever partakes of My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who partakes of My flesh and drinks My blood dwells in Me, and I in him. Leviticus 17:11, John 6:53-56.

When I think of Jesus’ blood, I think of it as the only blood ever shed that can forgive sins. The blood is a symbol of His death, His sacrifice, first offered on the alter of the cross, now before the judgment throne of God in the Heavenly Sanctuary as an atonement, the purchase price for our sins. Jesus’ blood is a symbol of His love, the suffering He endured for our sins, all He gave up when He left His throne in Heaven to live on earth as a man.

Water also came out of the wound in Jesus’ side. Water can represent a number of things. Water represents baptism, an outward washing, an inward renewal, the display of a commitment, and a new relationship with Jesus through the Holy Ghost. John the Baptist tells us, “I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” Mark 1:8. John the beloved of Jesus recognized the fact not everyone will understand the meaning of baptism, or Christ’s ministry, mission on earth, or see when Jesus is near. “I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;” John 1:26.

To understand the meaning of baptism, one must also be willing to accept the Holy Ghost. When He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive of Mine and will announce it to you. John 16:13-14.

Water is a symbol of a growing faith where you are ready to accept things the Holy Spirit will announce, teach to you. God is a spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. John 4:24. The Spirit has the power to guide me through God’s word, opening my mind and heart to His truth. To understand the Spirit I must first worship God in spirit and truth. I praise God as the Creator with more power and wisdom than I could ever imagine. God knows the beginning from the end. He has already planned my path. God knows what will happen before it occurs. Once I accept this, and worship God based on these facts, I am ready to accept God’s truth over my imagination, and what the world believes and teaches. Accepting God’s word and knowledge with an open mind is drinking deep from His wellspring of life. Ignoring, misinterpreting, or judging God’s word with my own imagination is like trying to survive without food and water. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: Amos 8:11 KJV.

The water from Jesus’ side also represents everlasting life. Jesus told this to the woman at the well. “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14. God’s word and everlasting life have a direct connection. I have to understand God’s word to know how to ask for forgiveness, “that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Ephesians 5:26. I have to know God’s word to know how to ask Jesus to change my life. God’s word and His Spirit also show me how to reach other people, to serve in a personal ministry for Jesus as His representative. Just like water, everlasting life is a multifaceted subject, it must be studied from many angles to gain the most basic understanding.

Searching the words blood and water in the Bible provides a verse to consider on quite a different level. The Bible also tells us about others who recognized Jesus as King, but did not really believe the evidence before their eyes.

Matthew 27:24 MKJV But when Pilate saw that it gained nothing, but rather that a tumult was made, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person. You see to it.

To learn why Pilate used water to symbolically wash the blood of Jesus from his hands, we have to look at some of the preceding texts.

Matthew 27:11 MKJV And Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, Are you the king of the Jews? And Jesus said to him, You say it.

Something made Pilate ask Jesus if he was the King of the Jews. Jesus’ simple answer some how left an impression on Pilate. As governor it was Pilate’s business to gather all the news he could about every possible threat. Since the priests viewed Jesus as a threat, they must have been Pilate’s greatest source of information. Some one as detailed and crafty as Pilate would not have put his trust in a single source. To investigate such an important matter, he most certainly would have dispatched his own spies to watch Jesus and report His every move.

Pilate most likely heard every word of Jesus’ sermons and parables from more than one source. He must have received reports of every person Jesus healed, and exact figures on the number of people who followed Him. Pilate must have had more information about Jesus than what is written in the four gospels. This illustrates an important point concerning those who have knowledge of Jesus, and question Him just as Pilate did, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

God does not hide His messages in His word, but clearly reveals them. The term, “King of the Jews is repeated three times in the book of Matthew, and five times by Mark. When we review these, we can clearly see a pattern develop.

Matthew 27:11 MKJV And Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, Are you the king of the Jews? And Jesus said to him, You say it.

Matthew 27:29 MKJV And plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

Matthew 27:37 MKJV And they put up over His head His accusation, written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

Mark 15:2 MKJV And Pilate asked Him, Are you the king of the Jews? And answering He said to him, You say it.

Mark 15:9 MKJV But Pilate answered them, saying, Do you desire that I release to you the King of the Jews?

Mark 15:12 MKJV And Pilate answered and said again to them, What then do you desire that I should do to him whom you call the King of the Jews?

Mark 15:18 MKJV And they began to salute Him, Hail, King of the Jews!

Mark 15:26 MKJV And the inscription of His accusation was written over Him, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

Pilate and his solders recognized Jesus as King, but they still crucified Him. They made Jesus suffer more than He deserved. They stood there and watched Him die on the cross. Pilate had all the facts, but let popularity, personal gain, self satisfaction, and the strangest fact, people he knew he should not agree with influence his decision. Jesus’ answer touched Pilate’s heart, which made him declare Jesus as King, but he found a way to harden his heart. Pilate condemned Jesus.

Pilate used his own water to wash the blood of Jesus which existed only in his own imagination off his hands. He didn’t accept the facts he knew. He didn’t accept Jesus’ words, pointing back to what he had been told by witnesses. As the scriptures show, Pilate repeated the process again and again, each time declaring, “Jesus the King of the Jews.” Saying Jesus is King was not enough to change Pilate. Repeating it was not enough to make him stop condemning Jesus. Instead of looking to Jesus, Pilate tried covering his sin by placing his guilt on the Jews.

Revelation 1:5-7 MKJV even from Jesus Christ the faithful Witness, the First-born from the dead and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, (6) and made us kings and priests to God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (7) Behold, He comes with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, and those who pierced Him will see Him, and all the kindreds of the earth will wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.

 

 

 

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God is Witness

Posted by Ez1 Realty on September 20, 2011


Deuteronomy 17:6 MKJV At the mouth of two witnesses or three witnesses shall he that is worthy of death be put to death. At the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

Exodus 23:1 MKJV You shall not raise a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

Numbers 5:12 MKJV Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, If any man’s wife goes astray, and has committed a trespass against him,

Numbers 5:13 MKJV and a man lie with her carnally, and if it is hidden from the eyes of her husband and is kept hidden, and she is defiled, and there is no witness against her, neither is she taken in the act;

Isaiah 3:9 MKJV The look of their faces witnesses against them; and they declare their sin like

Sodom. They do not hide it! Woe to their soul! For they have rewarded evil to themselves.

Song of Solomon 6:1 MKJV (1) Where has your Beloved gone, most beautiful among women? Where has your Beloved turned?

Colossians 1:9 MKJV For this cause we also, since the day we heard, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,

Amos 3:7 MKJV For the Lord Jehovah will do nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.

1 Samuel 12:3 MKJV Behold, here I am. Witness against me before Jehovah and before His anointed.

1 Samuel 12:5 MKJV And he said to them, Jehovah is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.

Isaiah 43:10 MKJV You are My witnesses, says Jehovah, and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me no God was formed, nor shall there be after Me.

Ezekiel 24:16 MKJV Son of man, behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes with a stroke. Yet neither shall you mourn nor weep, nor shall your tears run down.

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Give My Life to the Lord

Posted by Ez1 Realty on September 1, 2011


When I give my life to the Lord every morning, His Spirit gives me lives to touch everyday, with a message only God provides. If I give only half my life to God, do I only receive half the message? What half do I receive? What happens to the rest of the message?
    • If I only give half my life to God, do I only receive half of His blessings He has prepared for me? Which half would I choose if I knew all the blessings He has prepared for me for the day?

      If I only give half my life to God, do I only receive half His power to fight temptation? What half will over come me?

      If I only give half my life to God, do I only receive half the love to give to my wife, my family, my friends? Is only half the love enough?

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Ellen White on Marriage (part 3) The Secret of Family Unity

Posted by Ez1 Realty on August 8, 2011


Sanctity of the Family Circle.–There is a sacred circle around every family which should be preserved. No other one has any right in that sacred circle. The husband and wife should be all to each other. The wife should have no secrets to keep from her husband and let others know, and the husband should have no secrets to keep from his wife to relate to others. The heart of his wife should be the grave for the faults of the husband, and the heart of the husband the grave for his wife’s faults. Never should either party indulge in a joke at the expense of the other’s feelings. Never should either the husband or wife in sport or in any other manner complain of each other to others, for frequently indulging in this foolish and what may seem perfectly harmless joking will end in trial with each other and perhaps estrangement. I have been shown that there should be a sacred shield around every family. {AH 177.1}

The home circle should be regarded as a sacred place, a symbol of heaven, a mirror in which to reflect ourselves. Friends and acquaintances we may have, but in the home life they are not to meddle. A strong sense of proprietorship should be felt, giving a sense of ease, restfulness, trust. {AH 177.2}

The Secret of Family Unity.–The cause of division and discord in families and in the church is separation from Christ. To come near to Christ is to come near to one another. The secret of true unity in the church and in the family is not diplomacy, not management, not a superhuman effort to overcome difficulties–though there will be much of this to do–but union with Christ. {AH 179.1}

Picture a large circle, from the edge of which are many lines all running to the center. The nearer these lines approach the center, the nearer they are to one another. {AH 179.2}

Thus it is in the Christian life. The closer we come to Christ, the nearer we shall be to one another. God is glorified as His people unite in harmonious action. {AH 179.3}

A Fitting Resolve.–I must grow in grace at home and wherever I may be, in order to give moral power to all my actions. At home I must guard my spirit, my actions, my words. I must give time to personal culture, to training and educating myself in right principles. I must be an example to others. I must meditate upon the word of God night and day and bring it into my practical life. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is the only sword which I can safely use. {AH 180.2}

God’s Original Plan for Education.–The system of education established in Eden centered in the family. Adam was “the son of God” (Luke 3:38), and it was from their Father that the children of the Highest received instruction. Theirs, in the truest sense, was a family school. {AH 181.1}

In the divine plan of education as adapted to man’s condition after the fall, Christ stands as the representative of the Father, the connecting link between God and man; He is the great teacher of mankind. And He ordained that men and women should be His representatives. The family was the school, and the parents were the teachers. {AH 181.2}

Teach your children to love truth because it is truth, and because they are to be sanctified through the truth and fitted to stand in the grand review that shall erelong determine whether they are qualified to enter into higher work and become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. {AH 186.1}

How sad it is that many parents have cast off their God-given responsibility to their children, and are willing that strangers should bear it for them! They are willing that others should labor for their children and relieve them of all burden in the matter. {AH 187.3}

Many who are now bemoaning the waywardness of their children have only themselves to blame. Let these look to their Bibles and see what God enjoins upon them as parents and guardians. Let them take up their long-neglected duties. They need to humble themselves and to repent before God for their neglect to follow His directions in the training of their children. They need to change their own course of action and to follow the Bible strictly and carefully as their guide and counselor. {AH 187.4}

Parents to Become Acquainted With Children.– Some parents do not understand their children and are not really acquainted with them. There is often a great distance between parents and children. If the parents would enter more fully into the feelings of their children and draw out what is in their hearts, it would have a beneficial influence upon them. {AH 190.1}

The father and the mother should work together in full sympathy with each other. They should make themselves companions to their children. {AH 190.2}

Parents should study the best and most successful manner of winning the love and confidence of their children, that they may lead them in the right path. They should reflect the sunshine of love upon the household. {AH 190.3}

Parents to Be Child’s Confidants.–Parents should encourage their children to confide in them and unburden to them their heart griefs, their little daily annoyances and trials. {AH 190.5}

Kindly instruct them and bind them to your hearts. It is a critical time for children. Influences will be thrown around them to wean them from you which you must counteract. Teach them to make you their confidant. Let them whisper in your ear their trials and joys. {AH 191.1}

Children would be saved from many evils if they would be more familiar with their parents. Parents should encourage in their children a disposition to be open and frank with them, to come to them with their difficulties and, when they are perplexed as to what course is right, to lay the matter just as they view it before the parents and ask their advice. Who are so well calculated to see and point out their dangers as godly parents? Who can understand the peculiar temperaments of their own children as well as they? The mother who has watched every turn of the mind from infancy, and is thus acquainted with the natural disposition, is best prepared to counsel her children. Who can tell as well what traits of character to check and restrain as the mother, aided by the father? {AH 191.2}

Ask and Receive.–In their important work parents must ask and receive divine aid. Even if the character, habits, and practices of parents have been cast in an inferior mold, if the lessons given them in childhood and youth have led to an unhappy development of character, they need not despair. The converting power of God can transform inherited and cultivated tendencies; for the religion of Jesus is uplifting. “Born again” means a transformation, a new birth in Christ Jesus. {AH 206.1}

Let us instruct our children in the teachings of the word. If you will call, the Lord will answer you. He will say, Here I am; what would you have Me do for you? Heaven is linked with earth that every soul may be enabled to fulfill his mission. The Lord loves these children. He wants them brought up with an understanding of their high calling. {AH 206.2}

Divine Power Will Unite With Human Effort.— Without human effort divine effort is in vain. God will work with power when in trustful dependence upon Him parents will awake to the sacred responsibility resting upon them and seek to train their children aright. He will co-operate with those parents who carefully and prayerfully educate their children, working out their own and their children’s salvation. He will work in them to will and to do of His own good pleasure. {AH 206.5}

Human effort alone will not result in helping your children to perfect a character for heaven; but with divine help a grand and holy work may be accomplished. {AH 207.1}

When you take up your duties as a parent in the strength of God, with a firm determination never to relax your efforts nor to leave your post of duty in striving to make your children what God would have them, then God looks down upon you with approbation. He knows that you are doing the best you can, and He will increase your power. He will Himself do the part of the work that the mother or father cannot do; He will work with the wise, patient, well-directed efforts of the God-fearing mother. Parents, God does not propose to do the work that He has left for you to do in your home. You must not give up to indolence and be slothful servants, if you would have your children saved from the perils that surround them in the world. {AH 207.2}

Cling to Jesus When Trials Come.–Parents, gather the rays of divine light which are shining upon your pathway. Walk in the light as Christ is in the light. As you take up the work of saving your children and maintaining your position on the highway of holiness, the most provoking trials will come. But do not lose your hold. Cling to Jesus. He says, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” Difficulties will arise. You will meet with obstacles. Look constantly to Jesus. When an emergency arises, ask, Lord, what shall I do now? {AH 207.3}

The harder the battle, the greater their [parents] need of help from their heavenly Father, and the more marked will be the victory gained. {AH 208.1}

The Head of the Family Firm.–The husband and father is the head of the household. The wife looks to him for love and sympathy and for aid in the training of the children; and this is right. The children are his as well as hers, and he is equally interested in their welfare. The children look to the father for support and guidance; he needs to have a right conception of life and of the influences and associations that should surround his family; above all, he should be controlled by the love and fear of God and by the teaching of His word, that he may guide the feet of his children in the right way. . . . {AH 211.4}

The father should do his part toward making home happy. Whatever his cares and business perplexities, they should not be permitted to overshadow his family; he should enter his home with smiles and pleasant words. {AH 211.5}

The Lawmaker and Priest.–All members of the family center in the father. He is the lawmaker, illustrating in his own manly bearing the sterner virtues: energy, integrity, honesty, patience, courage, diligence, and practical usefulness. The father is in one sense the priest of the household, laying upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice. The wife and children should be encouraged to unite in this offering and also to engage in the song of praise. Morning and evening the father, as priest of the household, should confess to God the sins committed by himself and his children through the day. Those sins which have come to his knowledge and also those which are secret, of which God’s eye alone has taken cognizance, should be confessed. This rule of action, zealously carried out by the father when he is present or by the mother when he is absent, will result in blessings to the family. {AH 212.1}

To Walk With God.–The father . . . will bind his children to the throne of God by living faith. Distrusting his own strength, he hangs his helpless soul on Jesus and takes hold of the strength of the Most High. Brethren, pray at home, in your family, night and morning; pray earnestly in your closet; and while engaged in your daily labor, lift up the soul to God in prayer. It was thus that Enoch walked with God. The silent, fervent prayer of the soul will rise like holy incense to the throne of grace and will be as acceptable to God as if offered in the sanctuary. To all who thus seek Him, Christ becomes a present help in time of need. They will be strong in the day of trial. {AH 212.4}

Maturity of Experience Called For.–A father must not be as a child, moved merely by impulse. He is bound to his family by sacred, holy ties. {AH 213.1}

What his influence will be in the home will be determined by his knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. “When I was a child,” Paul says, “I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The father is to stand at the head of his family, not as an overgrown, undisciplined boy, but as a man with manly character and with his passions controlled. He is to obtain an education in correct morals. His conduct in his home life is to be directed and restrained by the pure principles of the word of God. Then he will grow up to the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus. {AH 213.2}

A Fitting Prayer for a Quick-tempered Husband.– Do not allow the vexations of your business to bring darkness into your home life. If, when little things occur that are not exactly as you think they should be, you fail to reveal patience, long forbearance, kindness, and love, you show that you have not chosen as a companion Him who so loved you that He gave His life for you, that you might be one with Him. {AH 214.1}

In the daily life you will meet with sudden surprises, disappointments, and temptations. What saith the word? “Resist the devil,” by firm reliance upon God, “and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” Look unto Jesus at all times and in all places, offering a silent prayer from a sincere heart that you may know how to do His will. Then when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard for you against the enemy. When you are almost ready to yield, to lose patience and self-control, to be hard and denunciatory, to find fault and accuse–this is the time for you to send to heaven the prayer, “Help me, O God, to resist temptation, to put all bitterness and wrath and evilspeaking out of my heart. Give me Thy meekness, Thy lowliness, Thy long-suffering, and Thy love. Leave me not to dishonor my Redeemer, to misinterpret the words and motives of my wife, my children, and my brethren and sisters in the faith. Help me that I may be kind, pitiful, tenderhearted, forgiving. Help me to be a real house-band in my home and to represent the character of Christ to others.” {AH 214.2}

A Dictatorial and Dominating Husband; Words of Counsel.–Your life would be much happier if you did not feel that absolute authority is vested in you because you are a husband and father. Your practice shows that you misinterpret your position–house-band. You are nervous and dictatorial and often manifest great lack of judgment, so that however you may regard your course at such times, it cannot be made to appear consistent to your wife and children. When once you have taken a position, you are seldom willing to withdraw from it. You are determined to carry out your plans, when many times you are not pursuing the right course and should see it. What you need is more, far more, of love, of forbearance, and less of a determination to have your way both in word and in deed. In the course you are now pursuing, instead of being a house-band, you will be as a vise to compress and distress others. . . . {AH 225.1}

In trying to force others to carry out your ideas in every particular, you often do greater harm than if you were to yield these points. This is true even when your ideas are right in themselves, but in many things they are not correct; they are overstrained as the result of the peculiarities of your organization; therefore you drive the wrong thing in a strong, unreasonable manner. {AH 225.2}

You have peculiar views in regard to managing your family. You exercise an independent, arbitrary power which permits no liberty of will around you. You think yourself sufficient to be head in your family and feel that your head is sufficient to move every member, as a machine is moved in the hands of the workmen. You dictate and assume authority. This displeases Heaven and grieves the pitying angels. You have conducted yourself in your family as though you alone were capable of self-government. It has offended you that your wife should venture to oppose your opinion or question your decisions. {AH 226.1}

Brother B should soften; he should cultivate refinement and courtesy. He should be very tender and gentle toward his wife, who is his equal in every respect; he should not utter a word that would cast a shadow upon her heart. He should begin the work of reformation at home; he should cultivate affection and overcome the coarse, harsh, unfeeling, and ungenerous traits of his disposition. {AH 227.1}

The husband and father who is morose, selfish, and overbearing is not only unhappy himself, but he casts gloom upon all the inmates of his home. He will reap the result in seeing his wife dispirited and sickly and his children marred with his own unlovely temper. {AH 227.2}

An Egotistical and Intolerant Husband.–You expect too much of your wife and children. You censure too much. If you would encourage a cheerful, happy temper yourself and speak kindly and tenderly to them, you would bring sunlight into your dwelling instead of clouds, sorrow, and unhappiness. You think too much of your opinion; you have taken extreme positions, and have not been willing that your wife’s judgment should have the weight it should in your family. You have not encouraged respect for your wife yourself nor educated your children to respect her judgment. You have not made her your equal, but have rather taken the reins of government and control into your own hands and held them with a firm grasp. You have not an affectionate, sympathetic disposition. These traits of character you need to cultivate if you want to be an overcomer and if you want the blessing of God in your family. {AH 227.3}

Husbands Should Merit Love and Affection.–If the husband is tyrannical, exacting, critical of the actions of his wife, he cannot hold her respect and affection, and the marriage relation will become odious to her. She will not love her husband, because he does not try to make himself lovable. Husbands should be careful, attentive, constant, faithful, and compassionate. They should manifest love and sympathy. . . . When the husband has the nobility of character, purity of heart, elevation of mind, that every true Christian must possess, it will be made manifest in the marriage relation. . . . He will seek to keep his wife in health and courage. He will strive to speak words of comfort, to create an atmosphere of peace in the home circle. {AH 228.2}

 Ellen White on Marriage (part 1)  Tender Ties That Bind

Ellen White on Marriage (part 2)  Love Is a Precious Gift From Jesus

Ellen White on Marriage (part 3)  The Secret of Family Unity

Ellen White on Marriage (part 4)  The Husband’s Equal

Ellen White on Marriage (part 5)  Hearts to Be Bound by the Silken Cord of Love

Ellen White on Marriage (part 6)  Give a Living Example of Self-control

Ellen White on Marriage (part 7)  How Satan Gains Entrance to the Soul

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Ellen White on Marriage (part 2) Love Is a Precious Gift From Jesus

Posted by Ez1 Realty on August 7, 2011


God Is Honored by a Christian Home.–Fathers and mothers who make God first in their households, who teach their children that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, glorify God before angels and before men by presenting to the world a well-ordered, well-disciplined family–a family that love and obey God instead of rebelling against Him. Christ is not a stranger in their homes; His name is a household name, revered and glorified. Angels delight in a home where God reigns supreme and the children are taught to reverence religion, the Bible, and their Creator. Such families can claim the promise, “Them that honour Me I will honour.” As from such a home the father goes forth to his daily duties, it is with a spirit softened and subdued by converse with God. {AH 27.3}

The presence of Christ alone can make men and women happy. All the common waters of life Christ can turn into the wine of heaven. The home then becomes as an Eden of bliss; the family, a beautiful symbol of the family in heaven. {AH 28.1}

From every Christian home a holy light should shine forth. Love should be revealed in action. It should flow out in all home intercourse, showing itself in thoughtful kindness, in gentle, unselfish courtesy. There are homes where this principle is carried out–homes where God is worshiped and truest love reigns. From these homes morning and evening prayer ascends to God as sweet incense, and His mercies and blessings descend upon the suppliants like the morning dew. {AH 37.3}

Avoid Mistakes That May Close Doors.–When religion is manifested in the home, its influence will be felt in the church and in the neighborhood. But some who profess to be Christians talk with their neighbors concerning their home difficulties. They relate their grievances in such a way as to call forth sympathy for themselves; but it is a great mistake to pour our trouble into the ears of others, especially when many of our grievances are manufactured and exist because of our irreligious life and defective character. Those who go forth to lay their private grievances before others might better remain at home to pray, to surrender their perverse will to God, to fall on the Rock and be broken, to die to self that Jesus may make them vessels unto honor. {AH 38.1}

A lack of courtesy, a moment of petulance, a single rough, thoughtless word, will mar your reputation, and may close the door to hearts so that you can never reach them. {AH 38.2}

Examine carefully to see if your married life would be happy or inharmonious and wretched. Let the questions be raised, Will this union help me heavenward? Will it increase my love for God? And will it enlarge my sphere of usefulness in this life? If these reflections present no drawback, then in the fear of God move forward. {AH 45.2}

Love Is a Precious Gift From Jesus.–Love is a precious gift, which we receive from Jesus. Pure and holy affection is not a feeling, but a principle. Those who are actuated by true love are neither unreasonable nor blind. {AH 50.1}

There is but little real, genuine, devoted, pure love. This precious article is very rare. Passion is termed love. {AH 50.2}

True love is a high and holy principle, altogether different in character from that love which is awakened by impulse, and which suddenly dies when severely tested. {AH 50.3}

Love is a plant of heavenly growth, and it must be fostered and nourished. Affectionate hearts, truthful, loving words, will make happy families and exert an elevating influence upon all who come within the sphere of their influence. {AH 50.4}

True Love Versus Passion.–Love . . . is not unreasonable; it is not blind. It is pure and holy. But the passion of the natural heart is another thing altogether. While pure love will take God into all its plans, and will be in perfect harmony with the Spirit of God, passion will be headstrong, rash, unreasonable, defiant of all restraint, and will make the object of its choice an idol. In all the deportment of one who possesses true love, the grace of God will be shown. Modesty, simplicity, sincerity, morality, and religion will characterize every step toward an alliance in marriage. Those who are thus controlled will not be absorbed in each other’s society, at a loss of interest in the prayer meeting and the  religious service. Their fervor for the truth will not die on account of the neglect of the opportunities and privileges that God has graciously given to them. {AH 50.5}

That love which has no better foundation than mere sensual gratification will be headstrong, blind, and uncontrollable. Honor, truth, and every noble, elevated power of the mind are brought under the slavery of passions. The man who is bound in the chains of this infatuation is too often deaf to the voice of reason and conscience; neither argument nor entreaty can lead him to see the folly of his course. {AH 51.1}

True love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion. On the contrary, it is calm and deep in its nature. It looks beyond mere externals, and is attracted by qualities alone. It is wise and discriminating, and its devotion is real and abiding. {AH 51.2}

Love, lifted out of the realm of passion and impulse, becomes spiritualized, and is revealed in words and acts. A Christian must have a sanctified tenderness and love in which there is no impatience of fretfulness; the rude, harsh manners must be softened by the grace of Christ. {AH 51.3}

Guard the Affections.–Gird up the loins of your mind, says the apostle; then control your thoughts, not allowing them to have full scope. The thoughts may be guarded and controlled by your own determined efforts. Think right thoughts, and you will perform right actions. You have, then, to guard the affections, not letting them go out and fasten upon improper objects. Jesus has purchased you with His own life; you belong to Him; therefore He is to be consulted in all things, as to how the powers of your mind and the affections of your heart shall be employed. {AH 54.2}

Unless you have an earnest desire to become children of God, you will not understand clearly how to help each other. To each other ever be tender and thoughtful, giving up your own wishes and purposes to make each other happy. Day by day you may make advancement in self-knowledge. Day by day you may learn better how to strengthen your weak points of character. The Lord Jesus will be your light, your strength, your crown of rejoicing, because you yield the will to His will. . . . {AH 95.3}

God’s Purpose for the Husband and Wife.–God made from the man a woman, to be a companion and helpmeet for him, to be one with him, to cheer, encourage, and bless him, he in his turn to be her strong helper. All who enter into matrimonial relations with a holy purpose–the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman’s heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband’s character and give it completeness–fulfill God’s purpose for them. {AH 99.1}

Christ came not to destroy this institution, but to restore it to its original sanctity and elevation. He came to restore the moral image of God in man, and He began His work by sanctioning the marriage relation. {AH 99.2}

A Pledge Before Heavenly Witnesses.–God has ordained that there should be perfect love and harmony between those who enter into the marriage relation. Let bride and bridegroom, in the presence of the heavenly universe, pledge themselves to love each other as God has ordained they should. . . . The wife is to respect and reverence her husband, and the husband is to love and cherish his wife. {AH 103.4}

Men and women, at the beginning of married life, should reconsecrate themselves to God.

{AH 103.5}

Be as true as steel to your marriage vows, refusing, in thought, word, or deed, to spoil your record as a man who fears God and obeys His commandments. {AH 104.1}

The Real Union Is a Lifelong Experience.–To gain a proper understanding of the marriage relation is the work of a lifetime. Those who marry enter a school from which they are never in this life to be graduated. {AH 105.1}

However carefully and wisely marriage may have been entered into, few couples are completely united when the marriage ceremony is performed. The real union of the two in wedlock is the work of the afteryears. {AH 105.2}

As life with its burden of perplexity and care meets the newly wedded pair, the romance with which imagination so often invests marriage disappears. Husband and wife learn each other’s character as it was impossible to learn it in their previous association. This is a most critical period in their experience. The happiness and usefulness of their whole future life depend upon their taking a right course now. Often they discern in each other unsuspected weaknesses and defects; but the hearts that love has united will discern excellencies also heretofore unknown. Let all seek to discover the excellencies rather than the defects. Often it is our own attitude, the atmosphere that surrounds ourselves, which determines what will be revealed to us in another. {AH 105.3}

Love Must Be Tested and Tried.–Affection may be as clear as crystal and beauteous in its purity, yet it may be shallow because it has not been tested and tried. Make Christ first and last and best in everything. Constantly behold Him, and your love for Him will daily become deeper and stronger as it is submitted to the test of trial. And as your love for Him increases, your love for each other will grow deeper and stronger. {AH 105.4}

Though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love. The warmth of true friendship, the love that binds heart to heart, is a foretaste of the joys of heaven. {AH 106.1}

All should cultivate patience by practicing patience. By being kind and forbearing, true love may be kept warm in the heart, and qualities will be developed that Heaven will approve. {AH 106.2}

The Enemy Will Seek to Alienate.–Satan is ever ready to take advantage when any matter of variance arises, and by moving upon the objectionable, hereditary traits of character in husband or wife, he will try to cause the alienation of those who have united their interests in a solemn covenant before God. In the marriage vows they have promised to be as one, the wife covenanting to love and obey her husband, the husband promising to love and cherish his wife. If the law of God is obeyed, the demon of strife will be kept out of the family, and no separation of interests will take place, no alienation of affection will be permitted. {AH 106.3}

Counsel to a Strong-willed Couple.–Neither husband nor wife is to make a plea for rulership. The Lord has laid down the principle that is to guide in this matter. The husband is to cherish his wife as Christ cherishes the church. And the wife is to respect and love her husband. Both are to cultivate the spirit of kindness, being determined never to grieve or injure the other. . . . {AH 106.4}

Do not try to compel each other to do as you wish. You cannot do this and retain each other’s love. Manifestations of self-will destroy the peace and happiness of the home. Let not your married life be one of contention. If you do, you will both be unhappy. Be kind in speech and gentle in action, giving up your own wishes. Watch well your words, for they have a powerful influence for good or for ill. Allow no sharpness to come into your voices. Bring into your united life the fragrance of Christlikeness. {AH 107.1}

The Little Attentions Count.–God tests and proves us by the common occurrences of life. It is the little things which reveal the chapters of the heart. It is the little attentions, the numerous small incidents and simple courtesies of life, that make up the sum of life’s happiness; and it is the neglect of kindly, encouraging, affectionate words, and the little courtesies of life, which helps compose the sum of life’s wretchedness. It will be found at last that the denial of self for the good and happiness of those around us constitutes a large share of the life record in heaven. And the fact will also be revealed that the care of self, irrespective of the good and happiness of others, is not beneath the notice of our heavenly Father. {AH 108.2}

Mutual Forbearance Is Needed.–We must have the Spirit of God, or we can never have harmony in the home. The wife, if she has the spirit of Christ, will be careful of her words; she will control her spirit, she will be submissive, and yet will not feel that she is a bondslave, but a companion to her husband. If the husband is a servant of God, he will not lord it over his wife; he will not be arbitrary and exacting. We cannot cherish home affection with too much care; for the home, if the Spirit of the Lord dwells there, is a type of heaven. . . . If one errs, the other will exercise Christlike forbearance and not draw coldly away. {AH 118.1}

Neither the husband nor the wife should attempt to exercise over the other an arbitrary control. Do not try to compel each other to yield to your wishes. You cannot do this and retain each other’s love. Be kind, patient, and forbearing, considerate, and courteous. By the grace of God you can succeed in making each other happy, as in your marriage vow you promised to do. {AH 118.2}

Counsel to Discordant Families.–Your spirit is wrong. When you take a position, you do not weigh the matter well and consider what must be the effect of your maintaining your views and in an independent manner weaving them into your prayers and conversation, when you know that your wife does not hold the same views that you do. Instead of respecting the feelings of your wife and kindly avoiding, as a gentleman would, those subjects upon which you know you differ, you have been forward to dwell upon objectionable points, and have manifested a persistency in expressing your views regardless of any around you. You have felt that others had no right to see matters differently from yourself. These fruits do not grow upon the Christian tree. {AH 119.2}

My brother, my sister, open the door of the heart to receive Jesus. Invite him into the soul-temple. Help each other to overcome the obstacles which enter the married life of all. You will have a fierce conflict to overcome your adversary the devil, and if you expect God to help you in this battle, you must both unite in deciding to overcome, to seal your lips against speaking any words of wrong, even if you have to fall upon your knees and cry aloud, “Lord, rebuke the adversary of my soul.” {AH 119.3}

Christ in Each Heart Will Bring Unity.–If the will of God is fulfilled, the husband and wife will respect each other and cultivate love and confidence. Anything that would mar the peace and unity of the family should be firmly repressed, and kindness and love should be cherished. He who manifests the spirit of tenderness, forbearance, and love will find that the same spirit will be reflected upon him. Where the Spirit of God reigns, there will be no talk of unsuitability in the marriage relation. If Christ indeed is formed within, the hope of glory, there will be union and love in the home. Christ abiding in the heart of the wife will be at agreement with Christ abiding in the heart of the husband. They will be striving together for the mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those who love Him. {AH 120.1}

 Ellen White on Marriage (part 1)  Tender Ties That Bind

Ellen White on Marriage (part 2)  Love Is a Precious Gift From Jesus

Ellen White on Marriage (part 3)  The Secret of Family Unity

Ellen White on Marriage (part 4)  The Husband’s Equal

Ellen White on Marriage (part 5)  Hearts to Be Bound by the Silken Cord of Love

Ellen White on Marriage (part 6)  Give a Living Example of Self-control

Ellen White on Marriage (part 7)  How Satan Gains Entrance to the Soul

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A portion of God’s Love

Posted by Ez1 Realty on July 18, 2011


I have been praying for the Lord to show me an illustration of His love I have never seen before. Here is His answer.

Matthew 12:39-41 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: (40) For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (41) The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

The answer is found in verse 41. Nineveh repented. This brings us to the very end of the book of Jonah.

Jonah 4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

This is the illustration of God’s love I had never seen before. There are two signs Jesus gave the priests. The first was His death, something they wanted, and understood. Jesus also included His resurrection, something they could not deny, but would not accept.

Jesus went on to explain, Nineveh repented. This was the second sign, which takes us from the middle of Jonah’s journey to the end of the lesson, which is God’s love. This is the same love Jesus lived. They asked for a sign while it was standing right in front of them, Jesus, His life, and love. The sign from God they should have understood.

This also teaches a second lesson very important to me. To find the answer I had to listen, and read the entire book, rather than jumping to conclusions, based on the beginning.

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The Tabernacle Design Given to Moses: Study of the Arc

Posted by Ez1 Realty on June 27, 2011


Tabernacle

Tabernacle

Would you consider buying this book online? It is a book about the Tabernacle built by Moses in the wilderness. It is an in depth study of items in the Tabernacle including, the arc, alter of sacrifice, table of shewbread, bases, pillars, curtains, and more.

Each chapter investigates the components, designs given by God, who made the objects, what they represent, and how the items were manufactured. The answers are provided by a collection of Bible texts explaining each question.

Let me know your opinion, along with your idea about an online price. If you would prefer a downloadable version, or book form. Your comments are appreciated.

Following is a sample chapter.

The Arc

What study on the Tabernacle would be complete without a detailed examination of the ark? This may be the one item people most often question, at the same time, assuming they know the answers.

The ark is the heart of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is designed around the ark, which contains the ten commandments, plus a number of other important items including a container of manna, and Aaron’s budding staff. A list of laws given to Moses were also added to the side of the ark.

Physical descriptions of the ark are recorded in Exodus 25:10-22, and Exodus 37:1-9. The ark is two and one half cubits long, one and one half cubits wide, and one and one half cubit high. Converting these dimensions shows us the ark is forty five inches long, twenty seven inches wide, and twenty seven inches high.

The ark is constructed of wood, overlaid with pure gold. It is interesting the Bible specifies pure gold. By definition, the word pure means morally and ceremonially clean. This may also indicate the thickness of the gold, and the manner in which it was applied.

The ark may have been covered in gold leaf, a very thin covering, much thinner than paper. To form thin sheets, gold must be free of impurities. Pure gold is very soft, and easy to form. Purifying the gold may have also served as a spiritual lesson to the Israelites.

Gold taken from Egypt may have come in many forms, shapes, and sizes. We are told, Aaron made his molten calf from earrings. Gold jewelry is formed from a much harder material than pure gold, to withstand normal wear and tear, resist scratching, and hold its shape. Metals such as silver, copper, or nickel are added to harden gold. These materials also alter the color.

The Bible tells us, Moses burned Aaron’s golden calf in a fire, which had a hardening effect. He then beat it into dust, cast it into water, and made the Israelites drink it. Based on the fact Moses was able to beat the golden calf into dust small enough to dissolve in water, we know that gold contained large amounts of impurities.

Gold used to cover the ark was pure, making it possible to form into very thin sheets. The gold from Egypt may have been in the form of jewelry, and maybe the idols worshipped at that time. In order to purify the gold, it had to be melted. In the molten state, the impurities separate from the gold. Once the impurities are removed, the pure gold can be formed into sheets.

The Bible uses the purification process to illustrate faith. The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1 Peter 1:7.

We can only imagine the spiritual lessons the Israelites must have learned as they watched the gods of Egypt melt away, the impurities float to the top where they were scooped away, and discarded, cast onto the ground, and mixed with the dust.

To the Israelites, the images of those gods cast into the melting pot represented a lifetime of oppression. The Egyptians believed the strength of their gods gave them dominance over the Israelites. They also gave the gods credit for light from the sun, rain, crops, and fertility. This may have been one reason Egyptians had a controversy with the Israelites. The Bible tells us they feared Israel, based on their ability to reproduce. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Exodus 1:9-10.

The ark contained four rings, one on each corner. These rings were also made of gold, but the Bible does not specify pure gold. The reason for this is logical. Pure gold would have been too soft to bear the weight of the ark, which was carried over long distances, supported by the four rings.

The rings were cast in gold. In this case, they would have undergone the same heating, and purification process as pure gold. Once purified, other metals in the proper proportions would be added to provide the required hardness. Silver and brass added to gold also have a spiritual meaning discussed in other chapters.

Two staves, or poles were fabricated from wood, and covered in gold. The poles were not covered with pure gold, but an alloy, or mixture, making the gold hard enough to endure the rigors of travel. The covering on the staves must have been much thicker than the covering on the ark. This also made the wooden poles much stronger. Wood possesed properties of strength, and light weight. A covering of gold alloy added strength, beauty and durability.

The ark contained the testimony given to Moses, which is covered by the mercy seat, made of pure gold. The mercy seat is the same size as the ark, two and one half cubits, by one and one half cubits. On top of the mercy seat stood two cherubims made of gold, formed of a single piece, formed by hammering.

The cherubims were placed at the ends of the mercy seat facing one another, with their wings spread out over the mercy seat. This is where God appeared, and met with Moses.

Before we can accurately study the spiritual meaning of the ark, we must first understand the physical aspects. The arc was made of wood covered in pure gold. The ark was designed and constructed to carry God’s law, the ten commandments. The mercy seat, made of pure gold, covered the law. This was a sign of God’s salvation, which covers sins. This salvation came through His son, Jesus. Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29.

The cherubims are a reminder of God’s kingdom in Heaven. All the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, and let all the angels of God worship him. Revelation 7:11, Hebrews 1:6.

Four rings attached to the four corners supported two staves, used by the Levites to carry the ark. The priests were an example of people. Not only were they to physically carry the law, they were to make the law a life study. The law was to become a part of their lives, a part of their being, both physically, and spiritually.

Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. (19) And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Deuteronomy 11:18-19.

And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine; Numbers 3:12. The life of the priest was a living example of the connection between man and God. The Levites did not receive an inheritance of land. This illustrated the fact, life as we know it, is temporary. Instead, priests were given a portion of the sacrifice. They also received the tithe. The best of the first fruits were given to support the Levites. A portion of the Tabernacle services was designed to meet the physical needs of the priests. In return, priests were to maintain the Tabernacle, its services, teach the law, and the testimony of God. They were instructed to, “gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:” Deuteronomy 31:12.

The ark was made up of only two elements, gold and wood. Understanding the spiritual meaning of these two elements may teach more about the ark than the physical details.

Pure gold completely covered the ark, inside and out. The mercy seat consisted of pure gold. Gold also represents God’s law, and His word.

The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Psalms 19:8-10, Psalms 119:72, Psalms 119:127.

To find the spiritual meaning for shittim wood, we have to use a little deductive thinking. The word shittim is used almost exclusively in association with the Tabernacle. When searching the word wood, a number of texts provide a definition outside the general contexts of the subject. Wood comes from trees, which is the most logical word to examine.

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. The LORD called thy name, A green olive tree. I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. Psalms 92:12, Psalms 1:3, Jeremiah 17:7-8, Jeremiah 11:16, Psalms 52:8.

Trees spiritually represent people. Since wood for the ark came from a tree, the wood used in the ark must spiritually represent people.

What a fitting spiritual symbolism for the ark, gold and wood, representing God’s law, and His people. The law is divided into two groups. The first four describe our relationship with God, the remaining six, our relationship with other people.

Gold lining the inside, and outside of the ark is pure, the perfect representation of the law. The rings are cast, made of a harder material. To achieve this, the gold must be mixed with other materials, such as silver, or brass. Laws in addition to the ten commandments were carried in the side of the ark. These included the sacrificial laws, and ceremonies pointing to Christ. Sacrificial and ceremonial laws were not required until after sin. The rings were designed to carry the ark. The earthly ark was carried through the wilderness by Levites for forty years. There was never any reason for the ark in Heaven to wander for forty years.

The ark was carried by two wooden staves, or poles, covered with gold. Here again we see the symbol of man, covered by the gold, which represents God’s law, and His word. The gold covering of course added strength to the wooden poles.

The fact the ark was carried shows how the law required an effort on man’s part. Because the ark was to be carried only by the Levites, portrays the responsibility they carried as priests, representing God, and teaching His law.

The entire design of the ark symbolizes the relationship between God and man. The law rests upon the gold, which never deteriorates. Wood, used to produce the shape and form of the ark, symbolizes the need for man to maintain the shape required to carry the law.

The covering, known as the mercy seat, is pure gold. Mercy comes only through the sacrifice of Jesus. Pure gold represents Jesus’ perfect life. The mercy seat covers the law, just as Jesus’ perfect life covers the law for us.

Cherubims of gold represent the angels in the Heavenly courts. They show the reverence we should have for the law, which represents God’s character. They also represent cooperation between the Heavenly host and man. Pure gold shows the aid provided by angles is perfect, because of their perfect obedience, and cooperation with God.

Overall, the ark symbolizes, cooperation between God, His angels, man, and the law which are at the center of understanding. Once we understand how to interpret the symbols of the ark, we can begin to understand the other details of the Tabernacle.

This chapter is based on the following texts:

Exodus 25:10-22 And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. (11) And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. (12) And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. (13) And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. (14) And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. (15) The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. (16) And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. (17) And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. (18) And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. (19) And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. (20) And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. (21) And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. (22) And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

Exodus 30:6 And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.

Exodus 37:1-9 And Bezaleel made the ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half was the length of it, and a cubit and a half the breadth of it, and a cubit and a half the height of it: (2) And he overlaid it with pure gold within and without, and made a crown of gold to it round about. (3) And he cast for it four rings of gold, to be set by the four corners of it; even two rings upon the one side of it, and two rings upon the other side of it. (4) And he made staves of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold. (5) And he put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, to bear the ark. (6) And he made the mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half was the length thereof, and one cubit and a half the breadth thereof. (7) And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat; (8) One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof. (9) And the cherubims spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces of the cherubims.

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The Commandment with a Prophecy

Posted by Ez1 Realty on May 28, 2011


Okay quick, tell me, what is the 10th commandment? Don’t look, just tell me. I’ll give you a hint. Out of all the commandments, this one seems to sound more like a prophecy of these days than any other.

 

Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his

Study Commandments

Moses and the 10 Commandments

maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

 

I just happen to be in Real Estate, and I have to tell you, I have heard many people over the past few months attest to the fact, this job is no longer any fun. Imagine working with people day in and out, in a market where coveting is the main theme. I don’t know where buyers get their attitudes from, but many of them have no second thoughts about asking a destitute seller to make additional concessions on a house they are already loosing money on.

 

I’ve sold dozens of homes in or near the inner city. It wasn’t long ago prices were meeting and exceeding $100,000 for a home in less than perfect condition. Today, those houses may sell for $30,000 or less. What happened to the dream of buying a home, making payments, and one day moving up? These people are now enslaved. They have no choice but to stay where they are, or let the lender foreclose and go back to renting. I don’t think you have the stomach to hear some of the stories about investors and how they take advantage of this economy.

 

No one thinks of the impact this economy has on a single mother with 2 kids, barely making ends meet. Giving concessions at work, facing ungodly degrees of inflation, increased taxes, and wage freezes. No one wants to know about her, or her family. The reality is too painful.

 

What about coveting the neighbor’s wife? Today we have a new name to make it more palatable, we call it freedom of speech. Not long ago our forefathers called it pornography, and there were laws against it. Ever wonder what those appeals would have accomplished in the court of Heaven?

 

Look at the texts which includes men and women. Just how far has this society degraded? No doubt, God saw it coming. He knew how far the imagination and desires of lust would take people.

 

What about the ass and oxen? We could search the Bible for a spiritual meaning, but there are two on the surface which should easily understood. The first is over priced, gas guzzling luxury automobiles, which in many cases represent a reference to freedom people feel they deserve. The second is a little less obvious, but more prophetic, jobs. Give it a bit of thought. What does it mean to covet one’s job? That’s what an ass and ox represent, the means of making a living.

 

The plans and actions of big business and government are prophesied here. Big business is putting the squeeze on the average worker. Efforts to increase profits has resulted in the layoff of millions of people. Those still employed are working longer hours for less pay, and benefits. While profits sore, benefits are cut.

 

Government is the leader in coveting. There is more money in this country than at any time in history, but government debt is at record levels. Think about that for a moment. Give it some real thought. Now does it make any sense at all? Companies are making record profits, while the government is taking in far less money. That’s because it was someone’s brilliant idea to cut taxes on the rich, and place the burden on the poor. The government has become a source of the root of all evil. Their main task has been to collect from the poor to distribute to the rich. While programs to help the poor are eliminated, new programs are introduced everyday to give billions to the rich.

 

Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour‘s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

 

Truly a prophecy showing us exactly why the earth will fall again.

 

It would not be much of a study without looking at a few of the key words to find out how the Bible, God’s word defines them.

 

Covet

 

What does it mean to covet? This is not a commonly used word today. Checking a dictionary may give you a definition, but the Bible will give us the spiritual interpretation.

 

H2530 cha^mad

A primitive root; to delight in: – beauty, greatly beloved, covet, delectable thing, ( X great) delight, desire, goodly, lust, (be) pleasant (thing), precious (thing).

 

Jeremiah 6:13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.

 

According to Jeremiah, everyone coverts, including priests and prophets. Is this a reference to Jeremiad’s time, or does it extent to our culture today? Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

 

Psalms 10:3-4 For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. (4) The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

 

Greed is the desire of the heart. To some it becomes a religion. It leads to the worship of riches, gold, silver, money, power, glory. It reaches a point where a person turns completely from God. It’s little wonder, God hates this sin, as He hates all sin.

 

Psalms 119:35-36 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.

 

Neighbor

 

Someone once asked Jesus, “who is my neighbor.” In answer to this question Jesus told them the parable of the Samaritan, recorded in Luke chapter 10. That answered the question, who is your neighbor, but what about how to treat them? To answer this question, Jesus also provided the following comments.

 

Matthew 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

 

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

 

The spiritual meaning of this commandment may be not be far from the simple, on the surface meaning. After all, in 10 easy to understand laws, God covered every detail, question, and circumstance. There are no gray areas. There is no condition suggesting majority rule, or variations allowed because everyone does it.

 

Take any one of the circumstances covered by this simple commandment. Prostitution and pornography has been called a victimless crime. What about child pornography, or the sex slave trade? Are these considered crimes without victims?

 

Slavery was the sin that brought about the final destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon. Study this subject. Babylon is later used to represent the sins of the world, and God used them to over throw the city which once represented His people. This example contains a great deal of lessons, moral, and spiritual.

 

 

 

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The Healing Power of the Virgins

Posted by Ez1 Realty on May 21, 2011


Here is a lesson in digging deep, far deeper into God’s word than anyone has gone before. Look at this text. See anything unusual? Ten Virgins ParableMatthew 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Why did only the wise have vessels and lamps? Everyone is usually wrapped up in the simple, easy to understand interpretation of the oil, they don’t bother to study the differences between the foolish and wise.

So what does the vessel spiritually represent? If you think you can answer that question at this point, forget it, you already disqualified yourself from learning a spiritual lesson. You see, you can only learn a spiritual lesson when you admit you do not have the answer. This opens the mind and the heart to the Holy Spirit. The first step is to pray.

This study requires a bit of inductive thinking. We have to find something similar, related, or the same as a vessel and a lamp in the Bible. What is the Spirit telling you? The most likely answer would be the candle stick in the Tabernacle.

As a whole, the candlestick was a lamp. What was the vessel portion of the candlestick? Now you have to read carefully to catch it. Remember, from the parable we already know the vessel holds the oil.

A basic oil lamp consists of a container for the oil, a section to hold a wick, and the wick. The candlestick contains seven lamps, each branch must contain each of the parts. Since Exodus 25:31-40 contains the detail which describes the body to hold oil. “A knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.” The bowl is the body of the candlestick made to hold oil.

See how easy that was? Now you learned something, the portion of the candlestick holding oil is called the bowl. But wait, where is the spiritual lesson? Has this taught us anything we didn’t know before?

What are the bowls shaped like? Almonds, which are going to tell us exactly what the vessels represent. What story does almonds remind you of? “Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.” Numbers 17:8.

There you have it, almonds represent God’s miracles. This is why God used almonds to hold oil for the candlestick. Using inductive thinking. The almond shaped bowls, or vessels on the candlestick represent God’s miracles. Only the wise virgins had both lamps and vessels. Only the wise, or true followers of Jesus will have both God’s word, and the gift of miracles. Jesus gave His disciples the gift to perform miracles when He sent them out. First the twelve, then the seventy.

Matthew 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

Matthew 10:7-8 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (8) Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

Luke 10:8-9 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: (9) And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

The gift of healing continued after the resurrection. Proof is recorded in the book of Acts.

Acts 3:6-7 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. (7) And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

Acts 5:14-16 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) (15) Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. (16) There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

Other books also record the gift of healing and miracles.

1 Corinthians 12:28-29  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  (29)  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

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