12.31.2013

Sorry Been Gone - Got Married

Kerry Bjorn Wright
I haven't been posting much. I did sneak away mid-December to marry the girl of my dreams (well actually woman.) We have been very busy since  December 19th getting ready for the Christmas season and now onto the year 2014.

I have some articles brewing and cant wait to get started writing again in the New Year. I have also started a Facebook Page  for Truths In The Word where I will attempt to post a command from God every day and carry it out in my day to day life.

It has struck me lately how little we know about being Disciples and what it does mean to pick His cross up daily.

We need to start to walk our walk and talk our talk.

I look forward to getting more involved in my Community in the New Year but this year has been a whirlwind. We have settled on the lower mainland and are happy to meet new Christian Facebookers locally.

Say hello to my bride Kerry Bjorn Wright (although she has trouble with that last name still so I may have to change my surname)



12.23.2013

Greasy Grace

Watching some Christians the last few years as well as various ministers coming out and saying they wont preach on sin I have come to the conclusion that many Christians like the "free" grace as a license to sin which Paul warned us against.

Romans 6

6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Yet many of those claiming to be believers in Jesus and his atoning work keep going back to the same sin over and over. We are to REPENT of our sins. This means to turn away, abhor that which takes us away from God.

Too often I have been told "I can do what I want because we are under grace and God will forgive."

That is not what Scripture says. You either choose to be obedient to the person who you call your Lord and Master or you choose to be like the world. You can't have it both ways. Do we really serve Him or do we serve Him by lip service only?

Are we the same people in front of our friends and family at Church as we are in the privacy of our own home?

Jesus told us how we would truly know His servants and His Disciples!

Matthew 7:15-20


15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

What IS the Fruit of the Spirit (singular)

Galatians 5:22-26

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

If you are not showing these fruit in your life should you be thinking about where you are in your walk?

We, as a Body, need to be checking our walk daily

Luke 9:23

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

If you are in a sin - truly repent! Sin is missing the mark, repentance is walking away from the things you know are not honoring God.

Romans 12:2


2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

What does this mean? I believe it means we are not to be caught up in the pursuits the world would have you think is normal. No Compromise to our faith should be our motto as we grow in our faith.

Let's put away the child like faith and go on to maturity.  You come as a child BUT we do not have to stay there.

Back to greasy grace. Do not fall into the trap of believing that you can continue to sin....why....because your sins will lead you away from God. Slowly by slowly you will start to compromise in one area and then another until your faith will not be evident to anyone.

Of course this is just my opinion based on the evidence of my own life. I do thank God for grace and will never again take that for granted.

12.16.2013

Be Like Jesus - Really

Truth's In The Word - Beattitudes
As I read the red letters in my Bible (OK mine doesn't have red lettering but the Words of Jesus none the less) I started thinking how we SAY we want to be Christ Like and live like Yeshua (Jesus) yet in private, away from our friends at church, away from the spotlight are anything but a life that he describes it should be if we are a new person in Him.

For a Royal Priesthood many of us suck at it!


I was reading through the Be- Attitudes again this morning trying to see how I measure up.

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
  • Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  • Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
  • Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I started thinking. Am I a peacemaker or do I strive on conflict? Do I show mercy when I feel wronged or do I go for self justice just to make me feel better? Is my heart clean (are my motives pure) in all things? Do I seek righteousness or just my own way?

Is it possible to take these foundational truths and incorporate them into our lives in a real, living and functional way? I believe it is!

It is time to lay our selfishness aside and see the pain our actions may cause other people. It is time to think outside ourselves and put other people first. Let us go outside of our comfort zone not to always have to feel right but to be righteous in our thoughts and actions.

This faith is a journey. Paul does tell us their is a time to lay aside childish things and move on to the meat. 1 (Corinthians 13:11) Let all of OUR actions be done in love.

Let's strive this week to be more Christ like in everything we do and say.

12.10.2013

The Christian Ethos

Jonathan d. Payne
THE CHRISTIAN ETHOS - Jonathan D. Payne

(All passages in this post are KJV)


Love

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 13:34

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." 1 John 4:7

It is a command of God, and a holy connection not only with each other, but with our Lord and Savior, our God, and the Holy Spirit. It is to be the hallmark of who we are And whose we are (John 13:35).

We at times claim we to be the arbiters of truth, as you have often seen me write, and in this vein we seek to admonish, upbraid and correct each other. This is not the love you claim, but glorifies the flesh. To those who deliberately walk in apostasy or error, we do rebuke and make clear the spirit in which such things are done. For it is not God’s spirit.

But to the brethren there is to be love.

A love that covers a multitude of sins (and errors). A love that seeks for others to understand, not our words and the filtering of God’s truths through our own understandings, but of God’s own words in His book of Life called the Bible. Within it’s pages are the truths, principles and tenets of our faith that will lead us back home. If we will but let it do so.

And that path is a path of love.

Truth

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" Ephesians 1:13

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." James 1:18

There are those who say that truth is the MOST important aspect of our walk of faith. Jesus Christ has declared that He is the way, the truth and the life (and light) and as He is the cornerstone and foundation of our faith, the truth is definitely apart of that.

But whose truth do we declare?

Many will say “God’s truth” and this is how it should be. But we see within the Bible many passages that say we must know the truth in order to be set free. That we must rightly divide (understand through search and studying) the word of truth in order for us, the workers in God’s vineyard, not to be ashamed of our lack of knowledge of that selfsame truth.

We must believe the truth, trust the truth, and most importantly, live the truth. It is truly the gospel (God’s spell) of our salvation. It is the begetting of our lives in Christ. That begetting (or being born in the spirit) is from the living of that truth.

Many years ago, God gave me a saying and I use it often in life “truth is not relative; only our position to it”. We need to have the truth within us, a living, breathing testimony of God and His words of life etched within our hearts, souls and minds.

We must be the truth.

Unity

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Psalm 133:1

"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:3

"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" Ephesians 4:13

Unity is a bond of peace, and of faith, and the measure of our stature in Christ. It brings the promise of peace and harmony. It is an extension of love one towards another. It is the evidence of our faith made visible.

Being in a state of unity, or union, within the body of Christ, is a real and tangible power. Truly it says where two or more are gathered in His (God’s) name that whatsoever they touch (pray about, agree upon, or petition before the throne of God) will be bound in heaven and earth.

If righteous before God it will be done.

Why do you think Satan works hard to bring dissension and discord to the body of Christ? It nullifies or dilutes the power we bring in our unity. It holds back understanding and knowledge through the agency of bickering and fighting, and the need to be right at any cost.

There can be disagreement, even anger, but the Word of God warns us not to sin while angry and not let the sun go down upon it (extend for too long). When we are of one spirit, God’s spirit, there will be reconciliation and a desire to be in unity before God. This is a movement of the Holy Spirit within the heart to bring God’s kids back into His presence.

Unity is the definition of being of one mind, spirit and flesh before God. The body is made up of many parts, yet is one body still.

So is the body of Christ.

Peace

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

"Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back." Isaiah 38:17

There is a human peace, and then there is God’s peace. In the human sense when we seek peace at any cost, we may find ourselves wounded, hurt and bitter, because instead of standing firm upon the rock of Christ, we allow the waves of dissension engulf us and set us adrift. God’s peace, through Christ, does not do this.

It forgives, enfolds in love and brings a wholeness of spirit that is very real, to us and to others.

We can feel this peace in the bonds of our love and unity within the body of Christ. If we can not sense or find this peace, then we must examine the spirit we are dealing with, for it is not of God. When we have this gift of Christ we need not clamor for attention, fight for justice among our brothers and sisters in Christ, nor feel unworthy.

It is afterall, a peace that passes all understanding.

It is an assurance that we are with God, and following our Lord and Savior. It is an indicator that we have received of Him, and from Him. Why? Because even when challenged, when we walk with God, we are in an assurance of His truth, and of His words, nothing can take that from us.

That truly is peace.

Plus in that peace, we learn to give peace, and to not cause strife ourselves. If we do so, with intent or in response to some unkind word or deed, then we have taken on a spirit that is not of God, for God’s spirit is in peace.

Is there righteous indignation? Of course. But this is speaking to a state of being and not an isolated act or intent. This is a repose of the spirit, if you will, that means we are peaceful by nature, thought, intent and act. That our first response is a loving peaceful one that promotes God and not ourselves.

We must choose to reflect Christ.

Discipleship

"And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice." John 10:4

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

Discipleship is the meaning of our walk of faith. It is what we do after we have received Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives — we follow Him. And like any disciple the goal is to be like the Master. To live as He lives, to do as He does, and to go where He goes.

We are indeed children of God, and servants in His vineyard, but we are also disciples to Christ. We follow His path, as He is the ONLY way back to our heavenly home. He is the path and the blazer of that path. In Him we become complete and whole before God.

And we do the work He did.

We must be “instant in season” and examples of God in our lives. We must show the fruits of the spirit and walk in a trust that is so utterly centered upon Him, that it is evident to all who see us, know us, speak to us or simply even just pass us by.

Truly we are to be a Holy Nation, a Royal Priesthood and Peculiar (different) People. If we are not these things, then our faith is vain. If we are out in the world and none can see that we are different, different in speech, actions, what we wear and the things we do, then again, our faith is vain.

Our discipleship should be evident.

If we are to follow after Christ, then we must do all that He has set before us to do. We know that we will be an offense to the world, as Christ said “the world hates me because I show it that it is wrong”. We too, by our example, words and actions, will convict the world that it is truly “wrong” and there will be a response to that.

If we try to fit in, we lose our place in heaven.

No one can serve to master, slaves to sin, and son(daughter)ship in Christ to eternal life. The two are not compatible. We must choose whom we will serve and diligently walk that path. We must be willing to suffer at the hands of the world without a need to “fit in” or be “validated” by those in it. Christ said offenses will come and that there will be even those who will kill us in the synagogue (church) and think they are doing God’s work.

A sobering thought. Choose wisely.

Inheritance

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Romans 8:14-17

"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Galatians 4:6

So what does our walk of faith lead? Home. Back to the throne of God. All of us are Prodigal Sons and Daughters, wayward in our journeyings and needful to return home to our father. And there will be rejoicing and joy we enter into our father’s rest.

As the above verses truly say it all, as it were, there is not much more to share. We must remember who we are, as well as, whose we are. We must walk this path back home to gain our inheritance in Christ, with Christ.

And we can do all things in Christ, which strengthens us!

Be blessed, be loved and be at peace. May the light of God's glory and presence fire the brilliance of your souls. You are greatly loved.

****Jonathan D. Payne as well as being my best friend is a Christian writer, author and blogger based in Colorado USA.*****

12.08.2013

Social Anxiety Disorder - My Journey

Social Anxiety Disorder
I have decided to talk about my struggle with Social Anxiety Disorder. I don't usually public talk about such things but am now in a better place and can be completely open and honest.

I went through a period where I was almost 350 lbs overweight, sick (heart issues), edema, high blood pressure and all in all not feeling well. During this time I was working and could function very well at work but I would go home and hibernate in my apartment not socializing with anyone except online.

I was depressed. I was alone and when I would go out I would feel people were laughing at me and my weight, my clothes and everything else about me. Then......I had a severe angina attack. I felt like my life was over and the Dr. told me IF I didn't lose weight I would die.

I decided to take back my life. I went on a healthy food regimen which was mostly raw foods. I started walking, a block a day to start and then two and so on. When I first started I couldnt walk up a short grade without huffing and puffing.

Now finally down over 100 pounds I have regained my health and all of my levels are back to normal.

But still I deal with anxiety. It has changed. I am uncomfortable in crowds where I don't know people. I have stayed away from functions and Church for that very reason. I have had online fellowship because it is safe. People would invite me over and I would make excuses or reasons why I couldnt go.

I decided to take that back and have slowly started to venture outside my comfort zone. Today I went back to Church for the first time in years. Of course I didnt go to a small Church it had to be a big one.

The first thing on the agenda was a lady (and forgive me I didnt hear the name) who was fairly new to the Church (a year I believe) who talked about her struggle with SAD. I think God works in mysterious ways. I gave my fiance's hand a squeeze and smiled a bit.

I know now that I was in the right place at the right time to know I am not alone and that God knows what I am going through.

I will probably talk about this some more in upcoming articles but will leave it there for now.

Just because someone is hibernating at home DOES NOT mean they have problems necessarily. They may just have SAD and should be surrounded with love - ON THEIR TERMS!

Check out one teens journey with Social Anxiety Disorder:

11.29.2013

10.20.2013

What Would Jesus Do?

This afternoon I did something I rarely do! I sat down and watched a  Christian movie. I stopped watching many of them years ago because the acting was terrible, for the most part, and the plots just didn't hold my interest.

This afternoon I sat and watched "What Would Jesus Do?" and it was a good watch for a cloudy, cool Sunday afternoon.

This movie did, however, get me started thinking about what would He do in certain situations that we find ourselves in? What do we, as Christians, do when people need help whether we know them or not? What kind of ethics do we have?

As someone who has tested these waters more than a few times I have found that the "church" itself has been lacking in the helping department when strangers are needing their help.We would rather lead people away from the church to Government institutions than to help the downtrodden ourselves. We have become more comfortable with that scenario.

I love John Schneider's speech in this movie and it is one that I have said several times. If you have time please take the time to watch this movie and think whether you personally are making decisions for the right reasons.

Click on the picture and enjoy this full length Christian movie. Enjoy the message it gives and see how we as individuals can make change.

10.09.2013

I Am Just a "Nobody" and Proud of It

Sometimes I love the way The Message Paraphrase puts words into those we can understand. Yep I am one of those!

1 Corinthians 1:18-31


The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,

I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.
22-25 While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.”
26-31 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

10.07.2013

Do Not Conform - Do Not Be Like The World

Do Not conform
Attempting to wrap my head around these Scriptures today. This seems like a tricky proposition. How do we NOT get caught up in the ways the "world" has to offer? How are we partaking in worldly ways?

1 Corinthians 6:14-17


Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

John 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

1 John. 2: 2, 15-17

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides for ever.

Gossip - A Dangerous Thing

Gossip Hurts Everyone
At study group last night the topic came up about "Gossip" and how inappropriate and dangerous it was. There was some very good commentary about the subject and how we should be aware of and not partake in gossip at all. I decided to come home and find the Scriptures that talk about this sensitive subject.

Gossip does NOT build up or edify!

 Ephesians 4:29 ESV

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

 Proverbs 16:28 ESV

A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.

Warning not to associate with....


 Proverbs 20:19 ESV

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.

 James 1:26 ESV

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.

Just in case you think the person listening is without blame:

 Proverbs 17:4 ESV

An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.

And finally some wise words


 1 Thessalonians 4:11 ESV


And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,

I remembered this article I read from Last Days Ministries called simply "Gossip" by Melody Green in the 70's or 80's about this very subject and wanted to share it here. Here is a link to another article by Leonard Ravenhill called "The Taming of The Tongue."

Let's be careful not to be gossipers this week as we go through our day to day activities and remember to think before saying anything that might not be edifying.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHT - As I was putting this together I started thinking how easy it is to get involved with gossip on Social Media. If you are on Facebook, Twitter etc pay special attention to what people are saying and deem in your mind if they are gossipers.

You can, in most cases just hide any posts from them and not get caught up in the drama.

10.03.2013

Invite The Misfits - You Will Be Blessed

Misfits In Society
Luke 14:7-14

7
 When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honour, he told them a parable. 8‘When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honour, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; 9and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, “Give this person your place”, and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place.

10But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher”; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you.

11For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’
12 He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’

10.01.2013

Acts 23 My Thoughts

In Bible Study this week we were discussing the first part of Acts 23. Being that it is a group of people from various denominational backgrounds I chose to not cause division but as someone who is searching and looking for answers and has a foothold in the Messianic/Hebrew Roots movement somethings I read made me think......hmmmm. My commentary in RED!

Acts 23

Amplified Bible (AMP)
Then Paul, gazing earnestly at the council (Sanhedrin), said, Brethren, I have lived before God, doing my duty with a perfectly good conscience until this very day [as a citizen, a true and loyal Jew].

Paul called his accusers Brethren
At this the high priest Ananias ordered those who stood near him to strike him on the mouth.
Then Paul said to him, God is about to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit as a judge to try me in accordance with the Law, and yet in defiance of the Law you order me to be struck?
Those who stood near exclaimed, Do you rail at and insult the high priest of God?
And Paul said, I was not conscious, brethren, that he was a high priest; for the Scripture says, You shall not speak ill of a ruler of your people.
 
This is the part that confused me! IF the law was completely done away with on the cross why then is Paul quoting it as Scripture AND as a law to be observed?

Also does this apply to us when we talk about our leaders who we know are only in place because God allows it? Are we not to speak ill of them?

But Paul, when he perceived that one part of them were Sadducees and the other part Pharisees, cried out to the council (Sanhedrin), Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; it is with regard to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am indicted and being judged.
So when he had said this, an angry dispute arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the whole [crowded] assemblage was divided [into two factions].
For the Sadducees hold that there is no resurrection, nor angel nor spirit, but the Pharisees declare openly and speak out freely, acknowledging [their belief in] them both.
Then a great uproar ensued, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and thoroughly fought the case, [contending fiercely] and declaring, We find nothing evil or wrong in this man. But if a spirit or an angel [really] spoke to him—? Let us not fight against God!
10 And when the strife became more and more tense and violent, the commandant, fearing that Paul would be torn in pieces by them, ordered the troops to go down and take him forcibly from among them and conduct him back into the barracks.
11 And [that same] following night the Lord stood beside Paul and said, Take courage, Paul, for as you have borne faithful witness concerning Me at Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.
12 Now when daylight came, the Jews formed a plot and bound themselves by an oath and under a curse neither to eat nor drink till they had done away with Paul.
13 There were more than forty [men of them], who formed this conspiracy [swearing together this oath and curse].
14 And they went to the chief priests and elders, saying, We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath and under a curse not to taste any food until we have slain Paul.
15 So now you, along with the council (Sanhedrin), give notice to the commandant to bring [Paul] down to you, as if you were going to investigate his case more accurately. But we [ourselves] are ready to slay him before he comes near.
16 But the son of Paul’s sister heard of their intended attack, and he went and got into the barracks and told Paul.

Paul's nephew was the one who reported to the Centurion and the commandant. I had never noticed this before
17 Then Paul, calling in one of the centurions, said, Take this young man to the commandant, for he has something to report to him.
18 So he took him and conducted him to the commandant and said, Paul the prisoner called me to him and requested me to conduct this young man to you, for he has something to report to you.
19 The commandant took him by the hand, and going aside with him, asked privately, What is it that you have to report to me?
20 And he replied, The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council (Sanhedrin) tomorrow, as if [they were] intending to examine him more exactly.
21 But do not yield to their persuasion, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush waiting for him, having bound themselves by an oath and under a curse neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him; and even now they are all ready, [just] waiting for your promise.
22 So the commandant sent the youth away, charging him, Do not disclose to anyone that you have given me this information.
23 Then summoning two of the centurions, he said, Have two hundred footmen ready by the third hour of the night (about 9:00 p.m.) to go as far as Caesarea, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen.
24 Also provide beasts for mounts for Paul to ride, and bring him in safety to Felix the governor.

Coffman has some interesting things to say re: verse 3

Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: and sittest thou to judge me according to the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to law? And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest?
God shall smite thee ... This was doubtless a prophecy put in Paul's mouth by the Lord; for it is a fact that not many years later the reprobate Ananias was murdered by his own people at the time of the beginning of the Jewish war.

Contrary to law ... It was illegal to smite a man who had not been condemned; and, as yet, Paul had not even been tried; but such nice distinctions concerning the rights of defendants had long before ceased to exist in the reprobate court known as the Sanhedrin. The final years of that once sacred tribunal were marked by every kind of vice and venality.

Revilest thou God's high priest ... ? It WAS illegal to revile an authority such as the high priest; but the Sanhedrinists were much quicker to defend that law than they were to honor the law forbidding striking a man illegally.

and verse 5

And Paul said, I knew not, brethren, that he was high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of a ruler of thy people.
I knew not ... There is no reason whatever to accuse Paul of blindness (or near-sightedness), as some have done, or to insist that "Surely Paul would know the high priest,"[8] or that he spoke sarcastically, as if to say, "You cannot make a high priest out of contemptible material like that!"[9]

For reasons cited under Acts 23:4, the view here is that Paul simply spoke the truth and that he did not know the high priest by his personal appearance, although he might indeed have known his name. Milligan, however, thought that Paul simply regarded Ananias "as a usurper."[10] Paul's admission of wrong and the citing of the scripture in Exodus 22:28 which he had inadvertently violated does not seem to allow the view that Paul would have said what he did, if he had known he was addressing the high priest. True enough, the current holder of the office was vile; but the office itself had long been accounted sacred.

Paul's understandable outrage and impromptu protest, in all probability inspired, had two very important results: (1) it prophesied the destruction of Ananias, and (2) it led Paul to see at once that there was not any possibility of justice for himself in such a tribunal. "There was no prospect before this tribunal of a fair inquiry and a just decision."[11] This accounts for the strategy Paul immediately employed in his defense.

[8]
H. Leo Boles, Commentary on the Acts (Nashville: The Gospel Advocate Company, 1953), p. 363.
[9] W. R. Walker, op. cit., p. 72.
[10] Robert Milligan, Analysis of the New Testament (Cincinnati, Ohio: Bosworth, Chase and Hall, Publishers), p. 396.
[11] W. J. Conybeare, Life and Epistles of St. Paul (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans, Publishers, 1966), p. 591.

See the rest of Coffman's Commentary here


Study To Show YOURSELF Approved!!

Read The Bible
I am on a Spiritual journey which started very young in life.

I grew up in the Church and as many do walked away in my teens. I had somewhat of a Spiritual Awakening in my 20's but was pulled back into what I call my wilderness years until my 40's.

Now in my 50's I am still working on what I actually believe. After I stripped away all of the man made dogma which is not talked about in the Bible what am I left with. Primarily that my Christian Leaders as I grew up either:

a) were also following what they had been taught for years by their forefathers without actually doing the Bible Study for themselves

b) they had many lies they shared

I tend to go with option "A"


It is so easy to get caught up in what our Pastors, Teachers etc. teach us but without going home and studying or asking questions we become nothing but sheep who are easily led astray. We need to be doing our own study and research! WHY?

2 Timothy 2:14-16

14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit but to the subverting of the hearers.

15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

16 But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase unto more ungodliness,

I added a few extra verses to show context.

Arguing, fighting etc over Scripture whether online or off is of no consequence. Live your life and become light in the world.

By all means do the studying necessary but live your faith. Be prepared to answer questions about your faith when they come up but people will notice. I see Christians all of the time trying to argue over Scripture whether on Facebook or in Forums and the result is always the same - hurt feelings, people noticing the arguments and dropping out or worse yet non-Believers seeing the nonsense and saying I want no part in that Christian thing.

We need to stop it.

9.30.2013

Effectual Fervent Prayer

Effectual Fervent Prayer
As I was walking to town to do some banking this verse kept playing over and over in my mind. I am still coming to terms with why but it seems to be a word for today for someone.
 
James 5:13-16

13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

(should this be a daily thing, everytime we meet and there is a need)

And then James goes on to tell us about Elias and how he prayed and he prayed and didnt give up....

Then I noticed a curious verse:


19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; (did you notice that? If any of you BRETHREN err from the truth - he needs to be reconverted back to the right path)

20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

I was taught once saved always saved growing up but this seems to be saying the opposite.

I guess I need to pray more, consider verses when they pop into my head and  take note of the verses surrounding it.

This brought up some questions I need to explore:

1) What is fervent pryer?
2) How do we know if we are righteous enough?

9.29.2013

9.04.2013

Homeless Being Helped in Red Bluff California - Can You Help?

Homeless Under antelope Bridge - Red Bluff California
One of the people I am following on Twitter is attempting to set up a Transitional Ranch for homeless in his area. Like many areas of Canada and the USA every City is having issues keeping the homeless housed BUT many Cities are cracking down on not allowing the homeless to stay within their borders.

People who are homeless need a way to transition back into a productive member of Society and what Randy and his wife are attempting to do is commendable.

It is great to see someone reading the Word and actually stepping out to make a plan to make it work.

Right now they are in need of sleeping bags and small tents. You can see some of the cost on their page for these items and if you can donate or help that would be awesome.

Let's continue to give people a Hand Up Not a Hand Out!

http://supernaturallifetransitionranchforthehomelessinredbluff.weebly.com/

Some Scripture Regarding the Poor

Help The Poor - Hand Up Not hand Out

These are only a few Scriptures that deal with how we, as Believers, are supposed to treat the poor who are among us yet this has not been my experience except by a few.

Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Deuteronomy 15:11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

Matthew 5:42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Luke 12:33-34
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Proverbs 28:27 Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.

1 John 3:17-18 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

If you know someone doesn't have a job and is struggling and you can then give him/her some work around your home or Church and pay them. If they do a great job tell others.

Here is an example: Need your home cleaned? Hire a person you know is struggling to come clean your home. If they do a good job tell your friends and then get more jobs lined up for them. Help them to start their own business and be self sufficient.

This I believe is giving them a Hand Up NOT a Hand Out

9.03.2013

Hand Up Not a Hand Out

hand up not a hand out
I was talking with a friend a while ago who has been royally shafted by his former employer and is in a bad way financially right now.

We discussed how Believers will say "I will pray for you" but never offer a hand up. No one, who is able steps in to say here is some financial help. I know you dont have an abuse issue and are just having a hard time right now until this issue gets sorted out.

"faith without works is a dead faith"

I believe this is directly in violation of what is laid out in Scripture and what they early church taught about helping the poor among you.

Many "churches will say "If you come to my church for several weeks then we will help you." Arent we all part of the Body?People are sometimes in situations where they cant wait for weeks to jump through YOUR hoops and need immediate help.

If you know someone having a hard time give them work around your house and pay them for it. Dont be cheap either (another thing believers are known for) Give them a decent pay for a decent amount of work. You will be giving them a hand up NOT a hand out