Let the Holy Spirit Move You Out of Your Comfort Zone

If living the Christian life seems a bit too easy, you might be following your own agenda and not God’s.  The Apostle Paul understood the cost of discipleship as the following passage in I Corinthians illustrates:

For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena.  We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.  We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ!  We are weak, but you are strong!  You are honored we are dishonored!  To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.  We work hard with our own hands.  When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly.  Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world. 

I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children.  Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.  Therefore I urge you to imitate me.  For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love who is faithful in the Lord.  He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you.  But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have.  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power (I Corinthians 4: 9-20 NIV).

Messianic Sabbath Service Prior to Ressurection Sunday

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I encourage believers to watch the above service before or after you read my “commentary” below.  The sermon begins about one hour and nine minutes into the broadcast.

THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD

“‘These are the appointed times of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them.  Passover is followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which lasts seven days.  Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.  On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.  But for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.  On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.  But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD.  On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work’” (Leviticus 23: 4-9 NASB).

Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened.  For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.  Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Corinthians 5: 7-8 NASB).

FIRSTFRUITS

The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest.  He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath’” (Leviticus 23: 10-11 NIV).

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him” (I Corinthians 15: 20-23 NIV).

FIRSTFRUITS (Resurrection Day), not EASTER

Firstfruits falls on the *Sunday after the weekly Sabbath during the week of Passover.  In addition, to the weekly Sabbath, two special sabbaths occur: one on the first and one on the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  The late Zola Levitt explains this well in his article at http://www.levitt.com/essays/first-fruits.

Easter is often confused with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  How you ever wondered what egg-laying bunnies have to do with the Resurrection of our Lord?  Nothing.  But they have everything to do with Easter.  Easter is another name for Eostre, the goddess related to spring, according to the OXFORD ENCYCLOPEDIC ENGLISH DICTIONARY (Oxford University Press 1991, 1995, 1996).

For an extended explanation of Easter versus Resurrection Sunday and how the timing of each is calculated see my post “Easter, Eostre, Resurrection Sunday.”

*On the Biblical calendar, Sunday begins after sundown Saturday.  In the same way, the Biblical Sabbath begins Friday after sundown through Saturday at sundown.

 

The Book of John: Reading Between the Lines

I love the Book of John.  It’s the first book I read when I became a follower of Christ.  It paints a picture of Jesus in living color.  John was not only an eyewitness, he was also part of the inner circle.  Jesus regarded John so highly that when He was on the cross, He asked him to take care of his mother.  The Book of John also contains a mystery in the following verses:

Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples [after the Resurrection], which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20: 30-31 NASB).

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written (John 21: 25 NASB).

Luke, the only Gentile writer in the New Testament, wrote the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts.  (The latter is a continuation of the former.)  Luke begins Acts with a passage that illuminates the “mystery” in the Book of John.

The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom he had chosen.  To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.  And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1: 1-5 NASB).

Over forty days!  Jesus performed many convincing proofs over a forty day period between His Resurrection and Pentecost.  I would love to know what the other “signs” and “convincing proofs” were.  But in this season of miracles, I have no doubt that Jesus rose from the dead and offers eternal life to those who repent and accept Him as Lord and Savior.

 

 

Jesus the Healer

Sheryl Wright Stinchcum:

Marty’s story is a must-read for every Christian, and the timing is perfect. as this is the season of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior.

Originally posted on Walking in Faith:

Jesus the Healer

Today I am working in the store and the Holy Spirit is working overtime! Our God is so amazing!

As you all know my daughter has been diagnosed with Perthes Disease and I have been praying for healing for her. Although, I shared in a past blog that I allowed doubt to creep in. I believe God is strengthening my faith in healing. It has been on my mind more than ever.

So this afternoon this man walks into the store, with a cane. A man that comes into the store on occasion with his girlfriend. I believe he is 30 some. He usually walks with crutches after some type of foot injury. I asked immediately where his crutches were and expressed to him that I was just thinking of him and how he has had the crutches for so long. I was thinking I wonder if he has something…

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Mark Blitz Speaks on Jewish Voice Re: the 4 Blood Moons and the Biblical Calendar

 

About 7 minutes and 50 seconds into the video, Rabbi Jonathan Bernis (Jewish Voice) interviews Mark Blitz about the four blood moons, which occur consecutively on Passover and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) in 2014 and 2015.  This is the most comprehensive interview on the subject I have seen yet.

March 5, 2014

Sheryl Wright Stinchcum:

Excellent post differentiating between God’s commandments and man-made regulations.

Originally posted on Virtual Vitamins:

Deuteronomy 4:1-2 Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.

It strikes me strongly that it didn’t take the Israelites long to violate what Moses says here, because they added a great deal to what he said to them from the Lord. It was all couched as “interpretation,” but it effectively amounted to a mountain of regulations that, as Peter said much later, “neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear.” (Acts 15:10) The purpose of God’s rules and regulations is always our good, to keep us from…

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Shabbat Shalom!

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Worship and learn more about the four blood moons falling on the feast days beginning with Passover 2014.