Saturday, April 24, 2010

Jews & Gentiles, One In Christ

Genesis 17:1-8

“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

Question: Did God make Abraham a father of one nation or many nations?

Question: Where is the land of canaan? Who has always lived there?

Thought: God made a covenant with Abraham and promised to bless him and his descendants. He gave him and his descendants all the land of Canaan, this land is the traditional home of the Hebrews (Jews) and the people who lived there were called the children of Israel or the nation of Israel. The name Israel comes from God who changed Jacob’s name to Israel after Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord all night. (Genesis 35:9-12)

Genesis 22:17-18

“That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”

Thought: Jesus Christ is a direct descendant of Abraham, and through Him all the nations of the earth are blessed. Because of Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross, every nation of people on this earth is able to have a relationship with the One True God who created all man-kind.

Matthew 1: 1

“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:”

Isaiah 7:14

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

Footnotes: Isaiah 7:14 (Immanuel) Literally God-With-Us

Galatians 3:26-29

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Colossians 3:1-11

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”

(Read Revelation 21:1-8 and 22-27)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

You Are The Church (The Ekklesia Of God)

Ephesians 5:25-27

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

Contrary to popular belief, the church is not a building that believer’s worship God in. The church is every individual believer that God put’s His Spirit in, and where ever this believer put’s his or her feet, there is the church.

Buildings can be demolished; buildings can be burned down with fire; the body can be killed, but the soul that’s inside of the body cannot be harmed by any physical act. When Jesus told Peter that He would build His church “on this rock and the gates of hell would not prevail against her”, He wasn’t talking about a physical building. He was talking about the chosen vessel that would carry His Spirit and His testimony to the ends of the earth, and nothing that Satan did would stop the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even the physical death of the body could not do anything to the soul that was sanctified, purified, and set apart by God for His use.


“Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”


“And Jesus answering said to him, `Happy art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood did not reveal [it] to thee, but my Father who is in the heavens. `And I also say to thee, that thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build my assembly, and gates of Hades shall not prevail against it;”

John 1:40-42

“One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah.You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).


“Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard from John, and followed him; this one doth first find his own brother Simon, and saith to him, `We have found the Messiah,' (which is, being interpreted, The Anointed,) and he brought him unto Jesus: and having looked upon him, Jesus saith, `Thou art Simon, the son of Jonas, thou shalt be called Cephas,' (which is interpreted, A rock.)”

Strong’s Greek Lexicon:

2786. Kephas kay-fas' of Chaldee origin (compare 3710); the Rock; Cephas (i.e. Kepha), a surname of Peter:--Cephas

4074. Petros pet'-ros apparently a primary word; a (piece of) rock (larger than 3037); as a name, Petrus, an apostle:--Peter, rock.

1577. ekklesia ek-klay-see'-ah from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):--assembly, church.

Jesus told Simon Peter that through Him, He would call out many people from the world to become members of His body and members of one another. He didn’t tell Peter to go out and build buildings so His people could meet in them, He told him and the rest of the apostles to go and preach the gospel to every creature under heaven.

God is not concerned about where we assemble; He is not concerned about how much we attend a Sunday service. He is concerned about our souls being conformed into the image of His Son. Inside of our bodies is an immortal soul that can be filled with the fruits of darkness from a life of sin and unbelief, or it can be washed by the blood of Jesus, the word, and filled with the fruits of righteousness by the indwelling of the Spirit of God. We don’t need to go inside of a building to receive what we need to cleanse the soul, and purify our hearts.

When the first body of believer’s were persecuted and scattered abroad in the first century it didn’t stop the gospel from being preached. In fact it helped to spread the word of God! The first ekklesia was not worried about any physical building or meeting place because they understood that THEY were the church. There were also many saints who gathered together every single day in each other’s houses to break bread, fellowship, and share the word of God with each other.

Acts 2:40-47

And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine (teaching) and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

Acts 4:31-35

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.”

This is the church of Jesus Christ! Every believer filled with the Holy Spirit; all things in common; meeting together every day; praying together, eating together, one heart and one mind, one teaching, and giving to every saint in need.

2nd Corinthians 6:14-18

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”

1st Corinthians 3:16-17

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”

Ephesians 2:19-22

"Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."

1st Peter 2:4-6

"Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

I pray to the God of heaven and earth that we will see the multitude of believers made one in heart and mind again in the body of Christ. I believe that we will see it again in our lifetime, because the scripture says that Jesus will present to Himself a spotless and unblemished church. He is the Head of the church and there is no one more concerned about His body than He is, and His word will be accomplished regardless of what has to take place in order for that to happen.

May God's Grace Be Shed Upon You,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Through The Fire

1st Peter 4:12-19

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.”

Question: Do we as professing Christians really know what it means to be tried by fire? To be purified? To be sanctified? And partake in the sufferings of Christ? Do we understand what it means to be judged by God?

Thought: When we are tried by fire the one thing we all need to realize is that fire burns, fire hurts, and the process of purifying the inner man is not always pleasant. But it is a necessary work of God through the Holy Spirit that He places within the vessel of His choice. Scripture tells us that Jesus is returning for a bride (church) that is spotless, without blemish or wrinkle. This means that every individual believer with the Holy Spirit indwelling them will undergo trials, tests of faith, scourging, chastening, cleansing, refining, and purification. If we are not experiencing any of these spiritual works within us we should examine ourselves to see if we are really in the faith.

Hebrews 12:3-11

“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

These scriptures in Hebrews tell us plainly that those whom the Lord loves He chastens, rebukes, and scourges. This is an ongoing process, because we do not receive an all new spirit, mind, soul, or heart when we are born again, but we do receive the Spirit of God who comes to live inside our bodies. What He finds inside of us is years of stains from sin and strongholds from our service to Satan and the gratification of the flesh. Our vessels are unclean and we all need to go through a purification process and it’s different for each saint of God. The scripture tells us that if we don’t go through this chastening and purifying process then we are not sons of God. Even the twelve disciples had to go through it, when Jesus called them they were not chastened, and cleansed, but through the discipleship training and the acceptance of the word of God their vessels were made clean.

John 15:1-3

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”

Revelation 3:19

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

The trials and tests of our faith that we all must go through are for our profit that will make us able to partake of the Lord’s Holiness. Our bodies are the temple of God in which He lives by the Holy Spirit, and it must be cleansed so that the Spirit will be able to fill the whole temple. Have we ever gone inside of a physical temple and saw garbage on the floor, dirt, and stains on the wall? I haven’t! The physical temples are swept clean and beautiful on the inside, and it should be the same for our temple (body).

1st Peter 1:3-7

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,”

James 1:2-3,12

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

The Lord told Daniel the prophet that in the last days many would go through the fire to be purified and made white.

Daniel 12:10

“Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.”

1st Corinthians 6:9-11

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Ephesians 5:25-27

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish”

To God be the glory,
Tyrone, a servant and apostle of Jesus