I am sure we have all heard the term “Doubting Thomas”. Some of us have maybe even been called that when we do not believe in something our families, and/or friends think is true. However Thomas, who was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, made the statement that unless he could see the holes in Jesus’ hands and thrust his hand into his side, he would not believe. Over the years I have heard many messages from pastors and other believers who have belittled, put down, and criticized Thomas for wanting proof that Jesus was alive. I believed what I heard and for the longest while I thought there was something wrong with Thomas for being reluctant to go along with the other disciples were saying. However, I have learned a couple of things over the years. The first thing is man can say whatever he/she wants but we should never blindly go along and not do our own research. The second thing is before we form an opinion on anything we need to go to the Word and see what is written and not take it out of context. I am going to try to show Thomas from a different angle.

First thing I wanted to bring up is 1 Thessalonians 5:21 where it says to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”  The Greek word for prove is “dokimazo” which means to discern and examine. In other words, Paul is saying we need to investigate things thoroughly and inspect them in detail. How do we do that today? We use God’s Word. If it cannot be proven in the Word, then we should not give any more thought to it. If something is good Paul says we should hold fast to it because obviously it is from God and He believes it is important so we should to.

What I found next is really interesting. In 1 John 4:1 it says “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” When I looked up the Greek word for try, I found it was the exact same word for prove! So not only does Paul stress the importance of using discernment and examine things, but John does too. In fact, the Greek word for believe is “pisteuo” which means to make a commitment to or put one’s trust in.

So when looking at the meaning of these Greek words, we can see the importance of making sure we do our due diligence in getting to the bottom of things. The best part is Jesus said in John 14:26 that he would leave us the Comforter or the Holy Spirit who shall teach us all things. The Holy Spirit will show us when things are not right and are not of God because that is His job. How do I know this? Well in John 16:13 Jesus said when the Holy Spirit comes, He will guide us into all truth. What a great promise that is!

Paul also said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15 is that we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God and rightly dividing the word of truth. The Greek word for dividing is “orthotomeo”. This means to dissect correctly. In other words, we are to not only investigate, but to really go over the facts of what we find. The Greek word for study is “spoudazo” which means to to make an effort, be diligent, and to labour or work. Thankfully we are not alone and have help. The Holy Spirit is standing by to reveal and guide us into all truth.

Another piece of great news is we have a loving Father in Heaven who just loves to give us good gifts. When we are studying and investigating, we need wisdom. In James 1:5 it says that when we want wisdom, just ask God as He gives to all men liberally. In other words, it is His good pleasure to freely give us wisdom because He wants us to succeed and to always have the truth. After all, Jesus said in John 8:32 is that we shall know that truth and the truth will set us free. Isn’t that an awesome promise?

In 1 John 4:1, John made the reference that many false prophets had gone into the world, which was not good. Jesus knows that the devil is a liar and a deceiver. In Matthew 24 the disciples were asking Jesus about his return to the earth and the sign of his coming. Notice in verse 4 Jesus did not answer their question immediately. He said to take heed that no man deceives you. Obviously for Jesus to say that first He knew it was of the utmost importance  to get the message across that deception will be running rampant until He comes back.

What I saw next I totally missed every other time I read the scripture. In John 20:19-29 it talks about how Jesus appeared to His disciples right up until Thomas wanted his proof. In verse 19 Jesus appeared to the disciples  and after He said “Peace to you” the bible says  He showed them His hands and His side. Did you catch that? He showed them and they all saw His wounds for themselves. Unfortunately for Thomas, verse 24 says he was not with them on that occasion so he did not get to see Jesus then. Perhaps he thought the others were playing a cruel trick on him or perhaps he thought that since they got to see for themselves, he wanted to as well.

Now 8 days after that, all the disciples were together and Jesus appeared to them again. He said to Thomas in verse 27 to reach out with his finger and touch his hands and thrust his hand into his side so he would believe. Thomas didn’t even have to do that as he said in the next verse “My Lord and my God.”  Now in verse 29 Jesus said to Thomas that since Thomas saw him, he believed and blessed are those who do not see him and believe. Now before you start thinking I have shot myself in the foot because Jesus said that blessed are those who do not see him and believe I will say this: Jesus did not go back to Heaven yet. As soon as the ascension was complete then and only then could people be blessed for having faith even though they have never seen him. How can we say Thomas was a doubter when the other disciples saw Jesus’ wounds for themselves? All Thomas wanted was equal treatment.

In closing, the lesson I have learned throughout writing this is to carefully read the scriptures and not to take what I hear necessarily as the truth. One cannot assume that what they hear is always from God as we all are human and thus we err. At the end of the day, man can say all he or she wants, but what does God say in His Word? That is what truly matters and when we study the scriptures this way, God will give us that answers we need and we will be able to pass on our knowledge to others.

God bless you all!

 

Caesarea Philippi

Posted: June 8, 2014 in Uncategorized
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We are all familiar with the passage in Matthew 16:13-18 when Jesus asked the disciples who men thought He was. The disciples went through the list saying John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the other prophets. We remember when Jesus told Simon he was blessed because the answer he gave about Jesus being The Christ was revealed to him by God and had his name changed to Peter. Jesus then made the ultimate declaration by saying that He was going to build His church on that rock and the gates of Hell would not prevail against it.

Most of us have probably read this passage multiple times and have possibly listened to this passage in a sermon on a Sunday morning. My question is, do we REALLY UNDERSTAND what just happened there, WHERE this took place, and most importantly, WHY Jesus made the ultimate declaration about the victory of  His church there.

When buying a house, any good realtor will say one word three times as advice for their client to consider which is “Location, Location, Location!” Well, location was certainly key that day. Has anyone ever wondered why Jesus chose Caesarea Philippi to make this declaration? There was alot more to this than meets the eye and I am going to attempt to explain why.

Caesara Philippi was an ancient city located in a part of Israel commonly known as The Golan Heights. as a matter of fact, it is an archaeological site today and also a tourist attraction.  The city was located 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee at the base of Mount Hermon. It was also the location of one of the largest springs feeding into the Jordan River. The area’s land was extremely fertile and was perfect for agriculture, and a centre was built for worship. Unfortunately, this was not to worship God.  (Source: http://www.bibleplaces.com)

The spring emerged from a large cave which was known as The Grotto of Pan. Pagan worship to the god Pan began in 300 BC and sacrifices were thrown into the cave as offerings to Pan. Pan was a half man, half goat god of fright. (Do you think that this could be where the word panic comes from?) He was often seen playing the pan flute and was known as the god of sexuality. If one sees images of Pan, his goatish image is eerily a depiction of Satan.  (Source: Wikipedia, Pan (god) )

The other place I want to touch on is Mount Hermon.  If one reads Genesis 6:1-4, we learn how the fallen angels lusted after earthly women and took them as wives, thus corrupting mankind’s DNA. This was a deliberated attempt by Satan to ruin the most precious creation God made which was man. Now, I am going out on a limb here because this book is not found in the bible. In the book of Enoch chapter 6 it clearly states that the fallen angels (known as The Watchers) descended on the summit of Mount Hermon and swore an oath to take human women as their wives and have children with them.  In the next chapter it talks about  giants being born and they turned on mankind devouring them and even sinning and defiling animals, birds, fish and reptiles. When writing this I understand that Enoch’s book is not included in the scriptures of the bible and one could say it is pure speculation what I just said. That is true. But one thing I do know from the scriptures is Satan was kicked out of Heaven and a third of the angels were kicked out too.  One can read this in Revelation 12:4, 7-9. In verse 9 it says Satan was cast into the earth along with his angels. Well obviously they had to land somewhere, and I think Mount Hermon was the spot and that is where the gates of Hell are.  (Source: Wikipedia, Mount Hermon)

Jesus knew what He was doing when He took His disciples there that day. He knew all the schemes and atrocities that were committed there and He put Hell on notice. Back in Genesis 3:15 God told Satan that there would be enmity between Satan’s seed and Eve’s seed and that Eve’s seed would crush his head. How many know that is a lethal, deadly blow? It is so clear to me now that God was referring to Jesus taking our place on the cross as the perfect sacrifice. That sacrifice was the death blow that God was referring to. Best part is, when we believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have driven our feet into Satan’s head too!!

As stated in the previous paragraph, Jesus put Hell on notice that day that the death blow was coming. I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Revelation 12:10-11. In verse 10, Satan was kicked out of his domain in Heaven where he could accuse us day and night and in verse 11, it says that we overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony; and we did not love our lives unto death. When we accepted and believed in the finished work of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection, we immediately overcome Satan right on the spot by the blood of the Lamb. When we share the Good News with others, that is the word of our testimony! It is all because of Jesus.

God bless you all!

Joseph vs Jonah

Posted: May 25, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Now I know what you are probably thinking: “Brett, are you nuts? Joseph and Jonah did not even live at the same time!” Well, there is a method to my madness here. Both men have something in common besides their names starting with the letter J. When one reads about both men in the scriptures, it is abundantly clear that God commissioned both men to do something that would change the course of history. However, both men had entirely different experiences. Why? It just might come down to attitude.

God was with Joseph from an early age. It was evident that God spoke to Joseph through dreams. Unfortunately for Joseph, he had ten brothers who hated him and when he told them the dream, they hated him all the more in Genesis 37:5-8. Joseph made a mistake that is common. He did not practice discernment. It was probably early on in his faith and he didn’t realize that some things are meant to be shared with others, others are to be shared with others at an appointed time, and the rest is to be kept between God and himself. Joseph didn’t realize this and he paid an awful price. Genesis 37 goes on to say that he was sold to the Midianites for twenty pieces of silver. Imagine being sold out by your own family? Not only was he sold, but an Egyptian, Potiphar, bought him. How awful! He was not only sold once, but twice! Remember in the first paragraph I mentioned about attitude? The scriptures do not say, but I am willing to bet that Joseph had a very good, godly attitiude. In Genesis 39:2-3 it said that the Lord was with Joseph and He caused everything Joseph did to prosper. This got the attention of Potiphar in a real hurry. So much so, in verse 5 it says Potiphar made Joseph the overseer of his house and all he had. Wow! Talk about favour. Now here is the interesting question: If Joseph became bitter over what happened to him do we really think the Lord would be with him like that? I would say probably not. I really believe Jacob taught him how to have a godly attitude in all circumstances and lived by example.

Unfortunately for Joseph, it did not end well at Potiphar’s house. We all know the story of how Potiphar’s wife tried to get Joseph to sleep with her. Joseph resisted, the wife lied about him, and in verse 20 was thrown into prison. Joseph had every right to be upset. He made a stand for God and did what was right and he got screwed over. How many of us would be bitter in this situation? Not Joseph! In verses 21-23 it said The Lord was with Joseph. So much so, it caught the attention of the chief guard and he put Joseph in charge of the whole prison and whatever he set his hand to, God made it prosper. Favour again! I do not know about you, but I am starting to see a pattern here.

In chapter 40, Joseph interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s chief butler and baker. Both dreams came to fruition. I have heard some in the past put Joseph down for asking the butler to remember him in verse 14 when he got his job back. Do you blame him? I sure don’t! I know two hundred percent I would have done the same thing. Who wants to be in jail when one knows they are innocent? Unfortunately, the butler, in verse 23, forgot about Joseph. Once again, Joseph was probably tempted to reach the end of his rope and become bitter. I firmly believe that he trusted God with his whole heart and knew in God’s time he would get out. After two years, he finally did when Pharaoh had no one to interpret his dreams. Joseph gave the interpretation, in verse 16, he made it clear that it is God who will give him the answer. He honoured God and God replied in kind by having Joseph find favour with Pharaoh and was put in charge of the whole country. Only Pharaoh was above him. Now think about that…..Joseph was a Hebrew…..A HEBREW… who was put in charge of Egypt. Egyptians and Hebrews did not get along so it had to be the favour of God. As a matter of fact, they still do not get along today.

This was Joseph’s finest hour. Talk about the ultimate rags to riches story!! He brought the country of Egypt through the famine and had plenty stored up to sell to other nations as stated in Genesis 41:57. His biggest test came when his brothers went to Egypt to buy grain. You all know the story. Eventually, the whole family, excluding Jacob was in Egypt under orders from Joseph. In Genesis 45:3 it said how his brothers trembled in fear at his presence when Joseph revealed who he was. He could have been bitter to all of them but he understood what God’s plan was. In verses 5-7 he explained how God sent him ahead of the brothers to preserve life for them all. He understood the covenant promises God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and his father Jacob. He knew a mighty nation was to be formed through them and God used him to make sure the promises were kept. Joseph had many instances where he could have become bitter and walked away from God. Thank God he didn’t and all ended well.

Jonah’s account was very interesting in itself. God told him to go to the city of Ninevah to preach repentance or else judgment was going to follow. Poor Jonah has been bashed in the church for centuries I am sure at the fact that he did not go to Ninevah but fled towards Tarshish instead.

You know what? I do not blame Jonah at all for being scared and fleeing the other way. I am willing to bet most people in the church today have NO idea of the history of Ninevah or the area it was in at all. Ninevah, during Jonah’s time, was the capital city of Assyria. If anyone reading this knows anything about history, the Assyrians were the most bloody, war-like people around. They struck terror in the hearts of all the neighbouring peoples around them. As a matter of fact, Assyria was the country that God used to come in and take away the 11 tribes of Israel into exile. 2 Kings 17: 5-6 state this. Not only that , because Israel did not obey God keep his commandments, and committed the same sins as the nations around them, verse 18 says Israel was moved from his sight and only Judah remained. Can you imagine being removed from God’s sight? I sure cannot!!  Ninevah itself was a huge city. It had 15 different gates of entry and very high walls surrounding it. I am willing to bet there were watch towers with the most expert archers above all 15 gates waiting to pick off any intruders. Not only this, on the walls one would see carvings of battle scenes, impalings, and King Sennacherib’s men showing off the spoils and plunderings of war.  Inside the city walls lived 100,000 people making it one of the largest cities in the world at that time. (en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninevah) Not only that, but Jonah was a Hebrew himself. Can you imaging being called to go to the main city in the nation that took away 11 tribes of Israel into exile? After knowing some of these facts, I think we all can appreciate the fact of why he was afraid and ran.

Sure Jonah made the mistake of running away from God, but he sure repented when he was in the belly of the great fish. Jonah 1:17 says he was there for 3 days and 3 nights before God caused the fish to vomit him onto dry land. Did you know that Jonah being in the belly fish for 3 days and 3 nights is a foreshadow of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection? Jesus himself even said in Matthew 16:4 that the only sign given to that generation was of the prophet Jonah. Quite an honour I think to be mentioned by Jesus like that. I don’t know about you, but when I read Jonah 3:3, I was reminded how kind, merciful, and faithful God is even when we aren’t. He demonstrated that in verses 1-2. He could have let Jonah die in the fish’s belly and sent someone else. Jonah entered the city in verse 4 and he immediately cried to the people to repent or God would overthrow them in 40 days. He learned his lesson in the fish’s belly and wasted no time whatsoever. The people believed God and from the king right down to the last person as well as the animals did not eat or drink. In verse 8 the king said to cry mightily unto God and to turn away from their evil ways and the violence that is in their hands. Once again, that stuck out to me as to how rough, tough, mean and nasty the Assyrians were. But, I give them credit! To this day, they are the only city that has ever heeded a warning from God and repented. How exciting for Jonah that he was the prophet God chose to lead this great city into repentance. Happy ending right?

Wrong! Jonah went downhill fast in chapter 4. And it was a steep, slippery slope too! Jonah was displeased and very angry that Ninevah had repented. In fact, in verse 3, he beseeched God to take his life and thought it would be better for him to die than to live.  Jonah had what we all have from time to time: a bad attitude and an ungrateful heart. In verse 6 God provided a gourd for Jonah to relieve him from the sun and when the worm ate it the next day and the east wind came, Jonah once again said it was better that he died than live. In fact, I did not notice this until I studied Jonah in preparing for this post. In verse 9 God asked Jonah for the second time if he really thought being angry would do him being angry and Jonah said it did him well to be angry, even unto death. I will say one thing, I have been angry many times in life but not to the point where I just wanted to die!

Unfortunately, we do not know what the final fate of Jonah was. In versed 10-11 God showed Jonah how he had pity on a gourd that he did not even care for and asked why He should not have pity on Ninevah. I hate to have the thought of Jonah dying there on that day but who knows? Unfortunately, it was pretty clear that Jonah wanted God to destroy Ninevah. The one thing that crossed my mind is Jonah wanted God to destroy the city as revenge for Assyria coming and exiling the Israelites. As a fellow Hebrew, there would have been no love loss for the Assyrians at all. In fact, if one reads verse 2 of chapter 4, one can see Jonah knew that the city would survive if it repented.

I feel very convicted as I put the finishing touches on this post. It is easy to cast stones at Jonah and say he blew it but how many times have I let God down by having a bad attitude and thus miss out on potential victories and blessings. My desire is to stay faithful to God in good and bad times like Joseph did. He could have thrown in he towel many times and he didn’t. Instead he kept a positive attitude, trusted God, and let Him sort everything out. By staying faithful to God, he not only saved his family but the whole nation of Israel. Therefore, the promises God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all came to pass. Today we have NO IDEA what hangs in the balance and what could be affected by us staying faithful to God or not. If we draw near to God, rest in His grace, and let Him direct our paths, we cannot help but have victory!

God bless you all!!

 

 

 

The Real Super Hero

Posted: April 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

As I write this, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has made over $95 million dollars on it’s opening weekend. This weekend, it is safe to assume it will make multiplied millions more. Over the years, Hollywood has made billions of dollars at the box office on super hero movies. There is something about a character that possesses powers we do not have, and the ability to defeat evil every time that draws excitement and intrigue from people young and old. The fascination and spending at the box office will continue next month with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on May 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on May 16, X-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23, and Transformers: Age of Extinction on June 27. As the world marvels and revels in these and other super heroes such as Batman, Superman, The Hulk, etc there is only one true super hero…..and His name is Jesus. In His short time on this earth, Jesus accomplished things and possessed certain things that the Marvel and DC Comic super heroes can only dream about. Here they are:

1) In John 15:15-16 Jesus made it clear that we are His friends. How many of the super heroes struggled with relational issues and secrecy? Not only does He call us His friends, He also equips us to do the same things He has done by giving us The Holy Spirit. I do not know of one super hero who would do that.

2) Jesus had one thing the other super heroes did not: ultimate authority. While the others had authority to fight evil and bring criminals to justice, they had to scheme, plan, and battle to make it happen. Many of the heroes depend on equipment to aid them such as The Green Lantern’s ring, Captain America’s shield, Thor’s hammer, and Batman’s utility belt. Not Jesus! All He had to do was speak the word. In Matthew 8 Jesus performed three miracles. When a leper came to him in verse 2 asking if Jesus was willing to make him clean, Jesus said in verse 3 “Be Clean” and instantly the leper was cleansed. In verse 13 He declared to the centurion that his servant would be healed because of his great faith. In verse 15, He simply touched Peter’s mother and her fever left her. In verse 26 He rebuked the storm and it became calm. And finally in verse 32 Jesus cast out a multitude of demons from 2 men by simply saying “Go” and they went into a heard of pigs instead. Sure Superman could put out fires with his icy breath, but that pales in comparison to Jesus.

3) Spider-Man can brag about his spider sense and how it tingles when he senses danger, but even he could not read people’s minds and know their thoughts the way Jesus did. A perfect illustration of this is in Luke 5 when the Pharisees thought in their minds that Jesus was speaking blasphemy when he told one man his sins were forgiven. In verses 22-23 Jesus asked them why they were entertaining such thoughts and asked if it would be easier if He told the man to pick up his bed and walk instead. In Mark 12:15 Jesus asked the Pharisees again why they were tempting him with the question about being lawful to pay taxes or not. Jesus knew what they were thinking and answered the question by telling everyone to pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Can the super heroes do that? I do not think so. 

4) Jesus always has been, and always will be the same. Over time, super heroes change. They get older, they get bitter, they develop relational issues. Not Jesus! In Hebrews 13:8 it says Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hallelujah!! Jesus is also our advocate where He will defend us against the accuser of the brethren, Satan. In John 10:10 it is clear that Satan comes to only kill, steal, and destroy. But Jesus came that we may have life and abundant life. No super hero can guarantee and provide that. Proof that Jesus is our advocate is in 1 John 2:1-2 where The Word clearly states Jesus is our advocate for our sins, and for the sins of the whole world. No super hero could even think of taking on a task like that because they could not do it.

5) As I write this, it is Palm Sunday and my mind immediately remembered how The Word said He rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on a donkey. As we enter the Easter season, let us remember not just then, but daily the ultimate sacrifice Jesus did for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21 said that while Jesus knew no sin, He became sin for us so we can be righteous before God. No super hero could pull off this. Isaiah 53:4-5 states he bore our griefs, carried our sorrows, bruised for our iniquities, but by his stripes we are healed!! I encourage everyone, including myself to frequently read Ephesians chapter 1. It explains our right standing with God through Jesus in great detail and what benefits we have since Jesus took our place on the cross. Not only did He take our place on the cross, He rose from the dead and defeated death and Hell once and for all. Show me a super hero that can do that.

Now am I saying that we should despise super heroes? Absolutely not. What I am saying we all must do (myself included) is in Hebrews 12:2 where it says to keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He endured the cross, conquered death, and is now sitting at God’s right hand. And thanks to Him, all who receive God’s free gift of salvation can do the same thing. Peter found how imperative it is to keep our eyes on Jesus in Matthew 14:29 when he climbed out of the boat and began to walk on the water to Jesus. He instantly began to sink when he looked at the wind and became afraid. As we enter this Easter season, and in the months and years ahead, let us always remember that Jesus is the real super hero.

God bless you all and Happy Easter!! 

HE HAS RISEN!!!

I was driving home from work on Thursday when God told me that when David was kind to Mephibosheth, it was a preview of how God’s favour and grace are with us today. This story is not something I have read for at least a year so I was excited to search His Word and read this story once again. 

I must admit, the further along I read the story, the more excited I became at what God was revealing. In verse 1 David asked if there was anyone left from the house of Saul that he might show kindness to for Jonathan’s sake. Saul was no fan of David. In fact, he tried to kill him so he would not get the throne. David could have killed Saul a couple of times but did not because he had respect for the king and would not touch the Lord’s Anointed. Unfortunately, Saul had fallen out of favour with God and the kingdom was eventually taken from him.. When Adam sinned, he gave dominion of the world over to Satan and took on the sinful nature. We, like Saul, were born with a sinful nature and are in desperate need of grace and mercy because of it. Enter Jesus! When He took our place on the cross he paid the penalty of all of our sins past, present, and future. Since Jesus took our sins upon Himself and paid the price, God now is wanting to show us kindness for Jesus’ sake too.

In verse 3, after Ziba was found and stood before David, he made it known about Mephibosheth’s disability of two lame feet. The lame feet represents our sin. Mephibosheth was dropped by a nurse when they were fleeing Gibeah. In other words, he had no control over his condition at all. We also do not have any choice but to be born into sin because of Adam’s mistake. However, since Jesus paid the price, God wants to shower us with his kindness and it does not matter who we are or where we live. In verses 4 and 5, David asked where Mephibosheth was and when he found out he resided in Lodebar, he sent for him immediately. God sends the Holy Spirit to draw us to Him. 

In verse 6, Mephibosheth’s reaction of bowing before David in reverence is the same as our reaction is to God. We bow before him too because he is worthy of honour, and praise. Verse 7 is where things really get interesting. It was in this verse that David said he will show Mephibosheth kindness for Jonathan’s sake, restore to him the land of Saul his grandfather, and the promise of eating at his table continually. Wow! Can you imagine what must have been going through Mephibosheth’s mind? I am absolutely positive he was thinking “I am not worthy or deserve any of this” because in verse 8 he bowed and asked David why he should look upon a dead dog as himself. Wow! he sure didn’t think much of himself did he? But before we all start saying he had self esteem and insecurity issues, we must realize that we react the same way to God ourselves. I know I have many times. Satan lies to us and tells us we are not worthy of His love or His presence in our lives. Grace and mercy are right in there too. And the unfortunate part is, most of the time we choose to believe Satan and not God. We all tend to forget what John 10:10 says. It says Satan (or the thief) comes only to kill, steal, and destroy. But Jesus came that we would have life and more abundantly. Satan has stolen many things from us but God wants to restore it all back!

 

Like David showing Mephibosheth kindness for the sake of Jonathan, God shows it to us for the sake of Jesus. God wants restore to us all the enemy has stolen and to eat bread at his table continually. Did you catch David saying about eating bread continually? Jesus said he is The Bread of Life in John 6:35. He made it abundantly clear that whoever comes to him will not hunger anymore and believes in him will no longer thirst. The key word is “come”. The invitation is there and we must accept it and go. In verse 11 David made it clear that Mephibosheth will eat at his table as one of his sons. Paul made it pretty clear in Ephesians 1:3 that God has blessed us with ALL spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. He also said in verse 5 that we are adopted as children by Jesus to Himself according to the GOOD PLEASURE of His will. If the church really believed and had a revelation of what Ephesians 1 said, our lives would be so radically different. 

Not only did Mephibosheth gain unlimited access to the king’s table, he also had Ziba, who was a servant from Saul’s house as well as Ziba’s 15 sons and 20 servants at his disposal. Isn’t that cool? David made it clear to Ziba that he and his household were to till the land and bring in the fruits for Mephibosheth. 

Verse 12 says that Mephibosheth had a young son named Micha. Not only was Micha’s dad getting blessed, he was too! When God blesses us today, his desire is for it to overflow to our entire household. Thankfully verse 13 said that Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem and did eat continually at David’s table. The good news is, the invitation was accepted. God wants us to accept His invitation also. 

I thought it was real interesting that at the end of verse 13 it stated that Mephibosheth was lame on both his feet. I really believe God is trying to drive the point home here that it is not about us and what we do but about Him and His kindness. I looked up Mephibosheth in Strong’s Concordance and the Hebrew meaning of that name is “dispeller of shame”. Wow! What a great meaning! When we allow God to be kind to us, our shame will be dispelled. And the meaning of dispel is to “drive off in various directions” and to “cause to vanish”. When we stay in God’s presence and allow the Holy Spirit to continually lead us, the shame will be driven off in every direction imaginable! God says in Hebrew 8:12 and Isaiah 43:25 that He remembers our sins no more. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. My prayer for the church is that we will grab onto this objective truth about God’s love for us and how He longs for us to be in His presence and allows Him to show us kindness for the sake of Jesus.

God Bless you all!

Revelation 6:8 says “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” KJV

Any time I have read a prophecy book, watched a short film or documentary on Revelation, or heard spiritual leaders talking on the subject of the 4 horsemen, the pale horse was always viewed as a very dark yellow, even a sulphuric type yellow. Well, what if I told you that the pale horse is not pale after all and the translators of the bible made an error?

I had heard on a broadcast recently that the pale horse is not pale but green. Did you catch that? GREEN! I immediately thought ” There is no way John saw a green horse as there is no such thing as one!” However, I did what we humans like to do from time to time. We like to put God in a box and try to interpret the bible according to our thinking, reasoning, and even inaccurate teachings we have been taught and assume are truth. Thankfully, the broadcast I was listening to was a podcast version of the show so I decided to look this up for myself immediately and got out my Strong’s Concordance. To my astonishment, the host of the broadcast was right. The Greek word for pale is “chloros” which means green. Once I saw this, the host had my undivided attention. He went on to say that the green horse represents Islam and green is their official colour. Once the show concluded I decided to do a bit of research on this.

In Revelation 6:8 John wrote how the green horse was given power over a fourth of the earth. I found out that green is the official colour of Islam and 23.2% or 1.6 bilion people in the world are Muslim. That figure was 2012 statistics so it could be more by now. Not only that, but the Arabic word for “greenness” is used several times in the Quran describing the state of the inhabitants paradise. Here are two examples:
“Reclining on green cushions and rich beautiful mattresses”. Surah 55 verse 76
“Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink.” Surah 76 verse 21. I found this at http://www.noblequran.com/translation/. It gets better. In Medina, Saudi Arabia, there is a building called The Green Dome. The Green Dome is a green-coloured dome built above the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s tomb. The flags of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are almost pure green with a bit of white shapes on them.

Once I proved that the pale horse is green and the official colour of Islam, I went back and read Revelation 6:8 again and it made perfect sense. The rider on the horse was Death, and Hell followed with him. If anyone out there thinks Islam is a religion of peace and love, the bible says otherwise and is from the pit of hell itself. The verse went on to say how Islam was given power to kill with the sword, hunger, death and the beasts of the earth. I do not need to go into detail here. We have all seen images on the news and read about brutal, barbaric killings of people in the name of Allah.

This proves how awesome God’s Word is and how accurate bible prophecy is. If anyone wants to go to the spots I did my research go to Wikipedia and type in “List of Religious Populations” “Green In Islam” and “The Green Dome.”

God Bless you all!!

Lately I have been reading the book of Hebrews and have a new revelation and deeper love and respect for what Jesus did. What really stood out to me was in Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.” I have read this many times before but this time it hit me like a ton of bricks. As I pondered this verse I was taken back to when Gabriel visited Mary and told her how she had been chosen as the mother of Jesus. It then struck me that Jesus was not only fully God, but fully human too……just like us. Since he was fully human, he felt how we feel, had temptations and impulses like us, and had choices to make, just like we do. 

Living a life of obedience I am sure was not easy for Jesus as he had tough choices to make. However, he knew total obedience to His Father was the only way to go no matter what. It made me remember that His own family did not always agree,approve, or understand what he was doing. An example is in Luke 2:41-52 where Mary and Joseph could not find Jesus anywhere. As a parent, I could imagine the fear, sadness, and stress of what they were going through, especially not knowing where he was for 3 whole days!! My response would have been the same as theirs in verse 48 asking how he could do that to Melinda and myself and how we would have been crying our eyes out looking for Him. His response for a twelve year old must have absolutely floored them when he asked in verse 49 how could they not know he was going about His Father’s business? In verse 50-51 it says they did not understand what he was saying and they took him home and he was subject to them but Mary kept the sayings in her heart. He obeyed his parents and went home with them, but because he obeyed God, he not only left an astonishing and favourable impression on everyone in the temple in verse 47, but in verse 52 God was faithful to His Son’s obedience and increased His wisdom and favour with himself and man.

Another example of how Jesus understood he must obey His Father even if His family did not approve is in Matthew 12:46-50. I am sure that earlier in the passage they did not approve of Jesus saying how He was greater than Jonah, was going to be in the earth for 3 days and nights like Jonah in the fish, and how Ninevah will be a judge over Israel because they repented for their sins. Since he was fully God, He knew they would not want to talk to Him but He spoke the truth anyway. And isn’t it awesome that in verse 50 He said that if we do the will of His Father we are His mother, brother, and sister. 

If we back up even further in Matthew to chapter 4, Jesus not only was tempted like we were, He made right choices, overcame Satan, and gave us the blueprint to do the same. In verse 2 it is written that Jesus was hungry. After 40 days I would be too! Isn’t it interesting that Satan tried to make Jesus sin at a very weak point? He does the same with us! However, in verses 4, 7, and 10 Jesus nailed Satan with The Word every time and caused him to leave. I think those days he spent in the temple hanging out with the leaders, asking them questions, and listening to God’s Word taught, paid dividends here. Obeying God always pays off in the present and helps us in the future too. Jesus proved that to us. 

When I read verse 16 in Hebrews I then understood why Paul wrote for us to come boldly before the throne of grace so we can get mercy and grace to help us. Jesus made that possible by living a sinless life, taking our place on the cross, and when the earthquake happened and the veil was torn in half, it was God’s way of telling us we can go before Him any time we want. How awesome is that?

Now if anyone out there is thinking that since Jesus was fully God He had it in the bag the whole time and did not have to choose to be obedient, Hebrews 5:8 drives the point home. It says “Though He were a Son, yet He LEARNED obedience by the things which He suffered;” In verse 9 it goes on to say “And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY Him;” Did you catch that? Jesus was the ultimate example for all of us and now He demands our obedience too.

Jesus made it quite clear that if we love him, we are to keep His commandments in John 14:15. However, He did not leave us hanging. In verse 16 he promised us the Comforter, (The Holy Spirit) who will be with us always. I just want to encourage everyone (including myself) to always obey God. When we do, He will bless us and always look after us. Even though we might not think so at the time, He ALWAYS has our best interests at heart. After all, He created us in HIS image, so He knows us better than we know ourselves.

I am so thankful that God opened my eyes to this truth. Once again, it just proves how God’s Word always proves itself accurate and powerful. I will end this post with Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” 

God Bless You All!