Monthly Archives: July 2014
The Parable of the Sower is one my favorite parables of Jesus. It shows how the same type of seed works on different types of ground. Jesus wasn’t talking about farming strategies here. The seed here is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the soil types are indicative of the various conditions of the hearts of the people. In other words it’s how people respond to the Gospel.
Many people do get to hear the Gospel. Yet only some truly bear the fruit they are called to bear out. It’s all because how they choose to respond to the will of God as manifest in the Gospel. By this parable think for yourself about which ‘soil’ type of faith are you living in your life. Make amends if something is not right and if you are on the right track then continue to bear good fruit.
Let’s read Matthew 13: 1-23 (NLT) in which Jesus our Lord not only gave us this parable but also the brilliant explanation of it. Take your time to read it all but most importantly benefit from it by being the ‘good soil’. Here we go:
1 Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. 2 A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. 3 He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
10 His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”
11 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I use these parables,
For they look, but they don’t really see.
They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.
14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,
‘When you hear what I say,
you will not understand.
When you see what I do,
you will not comprehend.
15 For the hearts of these people are hardened,
and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and let me heal them.’
16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.
18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Being alert is much useful than being sleepy. Not just during war times but also in your walk with Chirst. You need to be alert to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Don’t be asleep to the glory of the Lord God. Rise up and wait upon Jesus Christ. You will find your rest, peace and security in him. Value the presence of God’s love and favor in your. Don’t close your eyes to the Lord’s goodness but be awake to the awesomeness of God.
How would you describe your level of alertness?
Jesus told the disciples: watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation (Luke 22:39-53). At that time because of Jesus’ watchfulness, he said: “this is the hour and power of darkness,” but the disciples were busy sleeping.
Their sense of their spiritual environment was poor. While Jesus was sensing things in the spirit, which should spur them to pray so they can overcome the plan of the devil, they were yielding to the flesh. According to natural time they should be sleeping, but according to spiritual timing they should be awake, praying. Being alert is about knowing what time it is in the spirit. The sons…
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The Bible mentions about the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. This would be the third temple then. The rebuilding of the Temple is one of the signs of the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ. In fact the Anti Christ will enter the Temple and as an act of blasphemous portray himself as God. At the present moment the Temple of Jerusalem is in ruins. The Jews of today are very eager to rebuild it again so that the old manner of worship and sacrifice to the Living God (whom Christians know as Jesus’ Father and God) is restored to its former glorious state. It’s a known fact that the Jews hold their traditions with great respect and will go to any lengths to defend it. They believe that their Messiah will come to the Temple of Jerusalem and reveal himself as sent from God. Due to this they are desperate to complete the task of rebuilding it. With the way Israel has been advancing on the financial, technical and most importantly in the field of warfare the construction will surely happen. This is the will of God and no man, no nation nor the Devil can stop it. Isaiah 46:9-10 says that; Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
Do not believe anyone who says that the Temple won’t be rebuilt. Because the Bible itself teaches about it. For the rebuilding itself doesn’t mean the immediate end of the word. It’s just one of the signs of the end of the age and not an end in itself.
I’m totally aware that the Jews still lack certain things to rebuild the Temple. For instance they need a good number of Levitical priests, special oils, a steady supply of certain types of animals, many temple articles and most importantly the land and a time of peace to build the temple. However, all I can say is what is impossible to man is possible with God. So the hand of God is at work to stir up the hearts of the Jews so that they finally get their act together and finish the temple work.
Now someone might say that we don’t need a Third Temple, as Jesus has fulfilled the Law of Moses for us, so having a temple for the sake of sacrificing animals would not be needed for Christians. I agree with you that animal sacrifices are no longer needed and also say that Jesus indeed fulfilled the law and we can’t add anything to this. It’s just that the temple must be rebuilt as this is ordained by God towards the end times.
Lets us remember Acts 17:24 which says that “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands” and also a believer in Christ is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). So it is necessary for us Christians to continue to worship God in spirit and truth instead of trying to go any Jewish Temple unless Jesus himself is present physically over there, which I assure you won’t be the case this time. There is nothing in the Holy Scriptures which says that the glory of God will manifest in the next Jewish Temple. The original Jewish Temple had the presence of the Lord. So we must rather seek the presence of God by the Holy Spirit instead of depending on monuments made by human hands.
A solemn warning to all Christians from me; “Please avoid going to the next Jewish Temple as the Anti Christ and his forces will manifest over there and will surely work evil over there. You must not be on the receiving end of this evil. Going at that time to that place won’t give you any extra grace of God. You can’t earn the favor of God by doing this!”
Let me make it real to you, it’s not Christians but the Jews who will rebuild the Jewish Temple. Because they are still following the Law of Moses as they do not accept Jesus nor his finished work on the cross which gives true salvation. The Jews are NOT building this temple for Jesus to sit there as their Messiah. They need are doing it just to restore their original glory and worship of God. In context of the Gospel we know having a temple without Jesus as the only Lord in it will not result in a happy ending. We need to realize that Jews are a people who yearn for the Messiah to reveal himself but they are still unsaved as they continue to avoid the Gospel and its teachings on Jesus. So all Christians must pray for their safety and also for their eyes being opened to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God.
Here are a few Bible verses related to rebuilding of the Jewish Temple:
“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” (Daniel 9:24-27)
So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) (Matthew 24:15)
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 NKJV)
Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.(Revelation 11:1-2)
Now there are various teachings about the Anti Christ who will manifest in the Jewish Temple. Some say he will be a Jew, some say he will be an Arab, while others maintain he would be of the Nordic race. I say that it doesn’t matter which race or religion he is from. Because ultimately his aim will be to get all races and religions to worship him and honor the Devil who gives him power. When the Jews take him to the Temple of God they won’t actually think of him as a bad man until he will show himself as God and end up revealing his true sinful and evil nature. The Jews will then be outraged and refuse to worship him. But the Anti Christ will try get as many Jews killed as a result of their hate for his blasphemous nature. Remember this is one of the signs of the end of the world and God has revealed it to us in advance. So do no despair but rejoice for victory belongs to Jesus!
Here are a few video teachings about the rebuilding of the next Temple of Jerusalem:
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible has one recurring theme. This simply is to leave your sin’s and come back to God.
Forsaking your sinful ways is just one part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The next part is to get back to God. This involves a relationship with God where you are his child and the Lord is your Father.
Any gospel that excludes repentance from sins and being reconciled to God is a false gospel. Any gospel that focuses on material prosperity and efficiency of resources alone is a cheapened gospel. Any gospel that teaches a Jesus who doesn’t love you unless you follow a thousand rules is a legalistic gospel. Have nothing to do with any false gospel.
Obeying God by stopping drinking from the cup of sin is not an optional part of the true Gospel. We are called to be in a relationship with Jesus and his heavenly Father. This means that we do not let anything or any person come in between us and God. No sinful entertainment is to take that place. No obsessive passion should come in between. No worldly pursuit should replace this relationship. No man nor woman should be given the place of God in your life. People can be loved and valued without making them a replacement to the Lord himself.
We are called to hold on to Christ. We do this by believing in him. We do this by abiding in Christ’s teachings. We therefore must continue in our relationship with God always. Nothing else matters as much.
Give thanks to God for your salvation which comes from Christ Jesus. Amen.
While you pray to God confess aloud the Holy Scriptures. God already knows them, so this is not about reminding him about them. It’s about reminding ourselves of God’s faithfulness. When you confess his promises back to him you show that you trust his word. Praying the scriptures deepens your faith, purifies your motives, renews your spirit and connects you to God.
The Bible encourages to hold on to sound doctrine. Here is a much needed exhortation to hold on to sound doctrine.
Often we think of Jesus as merciful and rightfully so. Because he took upon himself the sins of the world. He is the Son of God who gives us real salvation.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10)
However there’s another side to this. Jesus is also the Lord of vengeance. Because where there is injustice there follow the judgements from God. For though God is merciful he is also holy. Due his holiness God won’t forever stay his sword of judgement. Jesus is not trigger happy. He does give time for people to repent but if they keep ignoring the call to holiness then he can and will execute justice.
Let’s read Nahum 1: 2-6 which says;
The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel wither; the bloom of Lebanon withers. The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
The above verses do show the strong vengeance of God. Notice this wrath is directed to the enemies of God. These verses also show God is slow to anger. Jesus will always do things as per God’s will. So when he is asked by God to judge the wicked you know well that he won’t refuse his Father in heaven.
Happy are those whom God lavishes his love on! The love of God and the wrath of God are both very intense in their workings. God’s love and mercy made Noah and his family escape the Lord’s judgement by flood on the rest of the world. The love which comes from Christ changed Saul the murderer of Christian’s into Paul the Apostle who then led many to Jesus. While the wrath of God brought down death and worms on Herod who tried to exalt himself a human to the level of being called a god. God’s anger cast down the rebellious angels including Satan from heaven to hell, who all have a limited time before the Final Judgement.
Don’t just limit this as a warning to the church as the warning is for the whole world. Jesus is coming again to judge the world because they have loved the darkness and despised the light. He will take account of every wicked thing that ungodly men and women have spoken against God and heaven.
Here’s what Revelation 19:11-21 says about Jesus;
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.
Here are a few verses on the Lord’s vengeance on sinners :
– For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the bloodshed on it, and will no more cover its slain. (Isaiah 26:21)
– For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs. (Psalm 75:8)
– For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” (Hebrews 10:30)
Now take heart if you have sinned but are willing to forsake your wicked ways. Because Jesus takes away the sins of those who repent and believe in the Gospel. For he came to take on himself the just wrath of God for our sins. Those with faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ have nothing to fear. It’s those who refuse to leave sin and unbelief who are to fear the Lord Jesus at the Final Judgment. Now a word of warning for all Christians; the Lord knows who really believes in Him and those who don’t trust but are hypocrites. So value the righteousness of Jesus and keep trusting in him and never waste your time in pleasing the world.
Remember that those who abide in Christ are safe from God’s judgment including the Final Judgment which is an eternal one. Those who believe in the Lord Jesus are not appointed for wrath from God.
Here are a few scriptures to reflect on:
– Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36)
– Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)
– If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. (John 15:6)
– For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
– By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (Hebrews 11:7)
I now end this reflection on Jesus our Lord, with the following verses:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3–5)
The Holy scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says; Quench not the Spirit.
Obviously we are not to put out the fire of Holy Spirit in any person or place. However we must also take care no one quenches our spirit when its glowing for Christ.
For example, Miss Jane is a devout believer of Christ. She attends church services and volunteers at an orphanage about 8 hours a week. Tim who is jealous of her, foolishly questions her motives saying, “are you doing all this to get noticed by your church community instead of serving God in private?” This seems a legit question except that this question was asked in front of most of the congregation to make her feel guilty. Miss Jane feels embarrassed and laughs it off saying she is doing it for God. However such a foolish question has secretly caused her to feel guilty every time she is at the orphanage. She wonders is she really a good person in the eyes of others. Slowly she has plans to give up on her good works for God.
Miss Jane decides to formalize her exit from volunteering at the orphanage. Here’s where Dr. Henry, the leader at the orphanage hears her whole case on this. He then requests her to not leave but go on a short break of a month to get her mind cleared on this. Now the doctor is not happy about this. So Dr. Henry traces Tim and tells him to stop being a hindrance to the will of God. Tim doesn’t reply politely but ends up using foul language. So then this gets reported all across Jane’s Christian community. It manifests Tim’s true nature of deceitfulness to all. This ends Jane’s guilt and she decides to continue in her good work of helping in the orphanage.
Though the above example, is just a made up example, we can all relate to this in some way. There may be a difference, you don’t always get a Dr Henry type of a guy to fight for you. This is where you must be willing to handle all spirit quenchers yourself before you lose your fire for God.
Spirit quenchers are of many types. Some doubt a new prophecy even before it can stand the test of the word of God. Then we have the naysayers, who deny that anything good will come to you even if others got good things from Jesus. There are sceptical people who behave like functional atheists and say that signs and wonders, healing, miracle’s, praying in tongues have ceased to exist. Also there are people who proclaim every Christian who does good work as a selfish person without even checking facts. These are judgmental hypocrites who themselves won’t help a suffering child in need.
So when faced with such spirit quenchers avoid them. If they keep going on then rebuke them. In the way they question your motives question them back. Don’t assume that your silence is going to always settle things.
If a spirit quencher is a Church goer, you can use the following scriptural principle mentioned in Matthew 18:15-17 which Jesus said, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and
a tax collector.
Now if you are dealing with a person who is not a Christian then there are different tactics to use. Don’t get taken up by their negative or deceitful opinions about your faith and the works that you are doing for Jesus. You need to concern yourself with the righteousness of Christ. By your confession unto the Lord Jesus you have received His righteousness. Don’t let anyone snub you out of it.
Keep away from them. If they still come to you then reject their lies right in front of them. These have foolish theories about the Christian faith and its principles. Leave them to their logic which in the end will bite them like a snake. They may have foolish questions to trap you and induce unbelief. So, tell them to refer to all Christian apologetics websites which are more than willing to take on their ‘rational’ questions. You may have to be assertive when dealing with them. There is no need for you to say sorry for ‘offending’ them by you just trusting in Jesus.
If they use vulgar language, just tell them to stop it. Don’t use crude language yourself. You must face them with courage. Tell them “this conversation is going nowhere so it’s not helping anyone if you continue to speak like this”. However if they don’t stop using bad language then report them with due evidence to the relevant authorities. Don’t bother to attempt to win them to Christ if they seem to blaspheme the Holy Spirit for by that sin there’s no chance for them to receive salvation.
With all this being said make sure you don’t get upset by their behavior. Instead thank the Lord Jesus for your salvation. Pray for such spirit quenchers in private before God especially for their conversion. However also pray that you don’t lose your hope in Christ. Always let the fire of Holy Spirit grow more stronger in your heart and mind.
God bless you and Christ be with you. Be guided by the Holy Spirit. Amen.