Water of Life

Gal 6:12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God. 17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ 

Paul wrote this to the followers that were being told they must follow some of the old covenant rules and rituals in the Churches of Galatia. Paul said the same things in the letter circulated in the Churches of Phrygia 

Col 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised byChrist, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

If one reads the two letters and has prayerful focus on where Paul shows disdain and worthless value for the works of the Law, Jewish customs and even Abraham’s covenant! One comes away with these questions.

Why are we doing mixed covenants today? I would love to celebrate Hanukkah but I would only do so if Christ is exalted as Messiah. I would love to celebrate all the Hebrew Covenant rituals but only if Christ is the head and center of Worship.

To reach back and pull a practice up tells Jesus that the new covenant is not enough. If an angel told your prophet or the Holy Spirit spoke to you? Did what you heard or saw contradict the “Royal Law”, “The Law of Liberty”, the Elders you have a relationship with, the clear words of God in the new agreement? 

Why are traditions of men developed into a rule of faith or practice? Who does it serve? Power? Control? Money? Is the thing/practice/rule an added expedient? Does it obey Christ in all things? Does it continue the mission?  

Or does it divide and separate the very Church Jesus died for?

Does the practice or teaching focus the “Followers” to practice pure Religious Worship that Jesus’ brother reminds us that the balance of faith and works is based on Love for one another? 

In the first and only recorded Holy Spirit, Apostle and Elder decision in the book of Acts of the Apostles is the divorce letter to the Hebrew Nation of Israel on the rules and rituals, laws of a moral nature and Moses to the hard-headed Jews of that day. As James, the brother of the Lord says” The Law of Liberty”   is the Law of Love

If we keep the “Royal Law” do we need more or any other? To do so seems to me to be telling Jesus we don’t need Him or His Grace. If I must show up on a special “holy” time to meet God, cough up some cash, sign the guest list or be a member and watch the show. If I must keep a sabbath, tithe or some rule/ritual then I am a lawbreaker of the worst sort because I can’t keep up the act without hypocrisy and deceit to my conscience. 

More later………..

What do you give someone who has it all?

God’s Holy Creation, a fisherman’s Cathedral 

Christmas is a problem for followers of Jesus because it is a manmade holiday. We know that the early church started to take over some pagan holidays and move the pagans out or assimilate them into the new order of social-political- religious world of the late first century after the fall of Jerusalem in AD70. We followers don’t want to show disrespect but the world has taken over all these holidays. Nowhere does the Gospel record state any date or exactly what transpired. We know the “Magi” men who visited were almost two years after the event, but the “3 Wise Men” look good in our plays, displays, and cards we send. The Virgin birth is a Holy event and our good intentions during the season may fall short of adoration the brave Mary deserves, but we try to show our love for the Savior and give generously every day. We as followers are not commanded to celebrate the holidays. We have liberty  in Christ to enjoy each other and practice our “One Anothers” We do enjoy the days off, the family(?), and the gift-giving, feasting and fellowship of good friends, neighbors and family all around the Christmas table, fire, turkey dinner, misiletoe& holly (yes I know it is of pagan origin) and decorated tree. What we do for our savior is each day is lived for Jesus, not just special days or festivals. We are called to be followers, not fans that just show up for game days so God can count noses and nickels on special days we argue over. We are called to give every day to those that need what we have, “The least of These” not each other that are fed and happy off of the produce of God’s bounty. Is there a lonely widow/er in your community? Is your neighbor disabled? Any hungry? 

Celebrate the “Good News’ of the Gospel with them during this season.

Matt 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 
32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 
33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 
36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 
38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 
39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 
42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 
43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

 

Are you one of His sheep or just another goat? 

 

https://www.biblestudytools.com/matthew/25.html

He messed up and was fired.

How do you face failure? The young man like you failed and the contention was bitter. Acts tell us Paul refused to take John with him because JohnMark had deserted during the mission trip.  Paul later forgave and called Mark “Profitable for the Ministry” 2 Timothy 4:11  Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

Peter refers to his son “Markos” Was Mark forgiven? Are you forgiven by all your brothers and sisters? Your family? No one else? 

Painting from the romantic period with artist misconception of the dispute over John Mark. The dispute was bitter and John Mark could have quit for good. Where can we get hats to wear?

 https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/markos.html

I am forever grateful for forgiveness. More so the second chances God gives me like rain on a dry land. Jesus said “Poured out and overflowing “when He described forgiveness in the teaching of Luke 6: https://www.biblestudytools.com/luke/6-38-compare.html

You cannot out give God, you forgive and forgiveness pours over you in a downpour of Spiritual wealth that the World does not know. Peter describes this ” Knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers;  but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, [even the blood] of Christ:  who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the end of times for your sake,  who through him are believers in God, that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God. seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently: 

Note that Peter calls for “Obedience to the Truth”. Have you obeyed the Truth? What is Truth? Jesus said He is the Way the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except by Jesus   

Do you believe the statement Jesus makes? He claims to be the only way to God, the One God of Israel, The Ancient of Ages, The Alpha and the Omega. The Word of God. Does anyone find salvation in any other? 

Free and no hassle! 

Ted talk on “Unchurching” Read also Francis Chan, “Letters to the Church” and A. Stanley “Irresistible” for more views on what some are doing. 

We need more conversations on where we want our Church to be in the next few years and beyond. I don’t see the answer to our problems as yet but we must have new bottles for new wine. We can allow the world to see us so divided and so scattered in our divided camps and ask them to join us??? That is absurd! Quit doing that! Get out of your comfort zone and meet your neighbors, care for them, pray with them and for them. Feed the hungry, clothe and shelter the homeless, check on and care for widows and widowers in your community. Be the Salt that savors your neighbors life, shine the Light to the lost, wash feet of your brothers and sisters. 

Who was King James and what was his solution to a problem?

Take a leap of Faith and learn what God’s Word says for yourself. Find someone to read with and leave all your old stuff in the wake of your ship.

Take a leap of Faith and learn what God’s Word says for yourself. Find someone to read and study with. Learn God’s word from God. The tools we have online today are handy, fast and reflect in some cases the latest discoveries in history and science. 

James was King and he wanted England to have a church of its own so he had his minions create the KJVhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_James_Version  

This worked for the Church of England in the wars and fights with the Roman Catholics. Everyone called each other heretic and enslaved millions, killed more and said it was all in the bible.

When I am really thirsty I have been known to drink water from creeks, streams, and rivers, ponds, mud holes, and ditches. You have to be really dehydrated to want water that bad. Why not drink from the source of the only clean water? The Old Testament told of the Rock that Moses struck to provide water was the forerunner of Jesus as He declared that He was the Water of Life   

Click on the highlights and read what the Word says about the Water of Life! The link will take you to one of the many bible study sites for an in-depth look at the different translations and all kinds of study aids. Before you get lost in the weeds and rabbit holes on the net, take time to read God’s Word and speak to Him directly for wisdom

Read the Word in Greek of the original writings by using Strong’s Concordance

Revelation 22:17 NIVhttps://www.biblestudytools.com/revelation/22-17.html

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

I am out of my mind for my Savior, Jesus, my God and King.

Are you thirsty? Or full of the water found in the world? The original books or letters of the Church were written on fragile products that were around when Paul was a pup. None of the very first originals are extant or laying around somewhere like last weeks best seller. Most of what we have is dated after 150 AD for scraps and pieces of the pages that were laboriously hand copied by people in monasteries, public houses(library) or church buildings. After 70 AD the second temple is destroyed by Rome and

The Babylonians destroyed the temple Solomon built and may have taken the Ark or not depending on who you ask. That was where God met man in the form of the high priest. As a follower of the Way of Jesus, we are the dwelling place of the El Shekinah and God speaks through His Spirit to our spirit. After the destruction of the first temple and the second temple being crushed and destroyed along with the city of Jerusalem by the Romans, 

 

Siege of Jerusalem. This is an artist misconception from the 1500 era of church art and like most perception of that period the noble war was fighting the pagan muslim and Arab hordes  for the city of Jerusalem as if God wanted it back or needed it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_(70_CE)

 there was no Jewish temple in Jerusalem and we won’t see the return of the Temple that God dwells until we see the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven. We are the Temple and the presence of God is within us. Learn the lesson of the “Woman at the Well”, “God is Spirit we must worship Him in Spirit and Truth” Jesus spoke to this outcast, a racially divided woman the powerful truths of God. He is Spirit! He is outside of our physical boxes where we try and place the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Wonderful Counselor. The discovery of the dead sea scrolls verified the accuracy of the Old Testament or what the devout Hebrew calls the Torah and Prophets. The books were gathered in several stages to come down to us as our many translations and copies. The most recognized translation is in Old English of Shakespeare and contains some prejudice towards the Roman and leans toward the protestant church somewhat. All that has led to a lot of division. The King James Version is one of the worst translations and yet will be OK to use if you know what to watch for.  I love the language of the KJV and love to read it out loud. The words are Old English and carry some peculiar meanings in some passages. The original books or letters of the Church were written on fragile products that were around when Paul was a pup. None of the very first originals are extant or laying around somewhere like last weeks best seller. Most of what we have is dated after 150 AD for scraps and pieces of the pages that were laboriously hand copied by people in monasteries, public houses(library) or church buildings. After 70 AD the second temple is destroyed by Rome  there was no Jewish temple in Jerusalem and we won’t see the return of the Temple that God dwells until we see the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven. We are the Temple and the presence of God is within us. Learn the lesson of the “Woman at the Well”, “God is Spirit we must worship Him in Spirit and Truth” Jesus spoke to this outcast, a racially divided woman the powerful truths of God. He is Spirit! He is outside of our physical boxes where we try and place the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Wonderful Counselor. The discovery of the dead sea scrolls verified the accuracy of the Old Testament or what the devout Hebrew calls the Torah and Prophets. The books were gathered in several stages to come down to us as our many translations and copies. The most recognized translation is in Old English of Shakespeare and contains some prejudice towards the Roman and leans toward the protestant church somewhat. All that has led to a lot of division. The King James Version is one of the worst translations and yet will be OK to use if you know what to watch for.  I love the language of the KJV and love to read it out loud. The words are Old English and carry some peculiar meanings in some passages.  Check out Hebrews 6:7 for an example. Would a person reading God’s Word in “Middle English” or “Early Modern English” be considered speaking in tounges if the Holy Spirit is leading them to read? We can use online tools to find the Greek meaning of the words of the bible. We can form our own opinion and come to our own understanding of the Truths of the New Covenant. Link here.

Woman at the well asking about which temple to worship at. Today the questions will be the same and the answers still the Truth! John 4: God is Spirit

Common Ground of Jesus Christ is that the Jewish Messiah is now Lord and God of all nations, people and tribes. 

Who is Who and Who said?

Synaxis_of_the_Twelve_Apostles_by_Constantinople_master_(early_14th_c.,_Pushkin_museum)The document Didache       https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5403864

is one of the oldest manuscripts of the early Church. Written somewhere between 100-150 AD or earlier or much later depending on who you ask. This document could predate some of the New Testament writing. The document outlines the doctrine of the early church. In no way do I see the document as more than a man’ ideas copied from God’s Word with a man doing the editing.  Does the document add to or take away something for or from the Gospel?  Do you know where all the rituals, rules and regulations came from in your Church history? How much of today’s divided Christianity can say when this (fill in your practice) practice or tradition started? Does the practice reflect what we see in the first-century church of Acts? Or a later addition that may or may not be inspired or blessed? Example: An old covenant tradition, a rule of the Torah or prophets example is used in our worship of Jesus as God enthroned in His Kingdom. Where is the follower of Christ to find our altar? our High Priest, our Reverend, our Father, our Saints? If I understand Galatians, especially 3:26-27 our women are not servants beneath men but equal with the men, If there is a rank or level of Holy that one and all can not achieve without prejudice or malice then that is not holy and is of Satan. The offices of elder and deacon are either in a proper place within the body or it is not. Is the humble servant missing from your meeting? Does your church follow the “church” traditions of the middle ages or the early Church of Acts?

Why do we mix covenants that say things we don’t need to say, do things we don’t need to do, require things we can’t do, or do things we should not?  Where do we find a need to pray to another mediator to cry “Abba” to our God? Is God not powerful enough that He needs anything? Has He not told us what He likes, and does not like? “Obedience is better than sacrifice” 1 Sam 15.

As Paul states,” Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the LORD ’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?   And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back?  For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” Romans 11:33 NLT

By using the tools online we can quickly read the original words and check the meaning.
The KJV with Strongs numbers to the Greek is here for your use to check what the original Greek said. This powerful tool gives the grease-stained hand of the mechanic the same access to God’s Holy Spirit as the Reverend Doctor of Theology.  Only with a child’s heart of love, you can come to know Jesus as Lord, Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and His Holy Love and Grace. Click on the link here”
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor?  Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:33-

I love the language of the King Jimmie version because I read Shakespeare when I was a child, I know most of the goofs and missing/added words by various powers since the ink dried on the Apostle John’s pen. “Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him*, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testifieth of these things and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.  And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 21:24-25

Sale on Gopher Wood

Imagine how the Noah and the Ark story would have worked in today’s “Church” Gen 6:22

Noah, “Shem, where is the invoice for those boards from Lowes?”
Shem, “Dad the sale was on and Ham said you would not mind if we saved a bundle over the top dollar Acacia Wood and they were all out of Gopher Wood, Yeah Japeth asked around the construction people that are experts in building stuff said it does not matter what wood you use besides all that data is old and out of date, Man! that gopher wood won’t float long anyway, nobody builds rafts out of it. “Look dad! The stuff is known to sink after a few months so that wood won’t save us!”

Would the boat the boys would build in my imaginary story Float! Or save anyone?

What did Noah do? Gen 6:22

You know the rest of the story, the real story is that Noah obeyed as did Moses when handed the plans for a tent of meeting, the dwelling place of God “El Shekhinah”. God did not need it. Men needed a place to say to the nations “Here is our God” God requires a Holy place to meet us, a set apart place. Men require physical objects in worship. God requires perfection in obedience. We require Grace. The very best of the people of the history of the Jews were as filthy rags, of the worst sort! From David to Judas all were failures in keeping the covenants. In the presence of God, we need all sorts of props and helps to look good. We think this helps, the show, the grand buildings, the crowds of fans,  the excitement, the feeling, the correct words in the ritual make the magic work while the Holy Spirit hides in shame over His creatures. We do the rituals with pomp and circumstance to rival courts of kings while our King washes our feet for the example that we ignore as we plan the program. “Our Righteousness” is still filthy rags  We say unity and do divisive things. We claim to do all Jesus commands. We fail and can never “Do” enough!

Our response to Jesus is?  1. Show love, 2. Believe  3. Obey

The early followers of Jesus followed this document for many years https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didache

Do you see how some teaching reflects what you know? What jumps out in the document?

Out of my mind!

Paul wrote the Church at Corinth about the ministry we each have been offered. This is 2 Corinthians 5:13

 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.  For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Original art from Silas Reeves private collection20180706_094633
To those of the world that choose to not believe in our God and deny the ressurection, I have little common ground to build on. I will keep loving them and pray the Spirit moves them in and out of my life so that I can be ready for the experience to explain why I am “Out of my mind” to my neighbor and the next person I meet in my journey to home. Our duty is to be the person God has gifted and equipped to be. We defeat His purpose when we serve ourselves first and hoard God’s bounty. We cheapen the message when we claim His name as a follower yet live the lifestyle of a fan. We confuse the seeker when we say ” Here is Jesus! He rose from the dead, and then tell kids “Here is Santa, he sees you when you are sleeping” “If you are not good you won’t get a reward” or “The devil will get you”  from various deities and sources, Example: Easter bunnies, tooth fairy, Halloween witch. Our children are raised on vapors of reality in a world where nothing is Holy or sacred. When you meet someone and tell them you are a radical follower of Jesus do you get the stare? The one where the person looks for snakes in a strange place.
No, I don’t handle snakes. Or do all those old testament rituals, rules and requirements under the old covenants of God with a man or a nation. My self-being an adopted child that assumes I am a Gentile obedient to the council of Acts 15 and no other, and “The Perfect Law of Liberty” as demonstrated by Jesus Christ on the Cross. James, the half-brother of Jesus, said “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”   Your neighbors are waiting to be loved. When I taught High school I discovered that no one especially teenagers care what you know until they know you care. The same with your neighbor.
Does your building and programs drive the mission or does the mission drive the buildings and programs? 20181014_192215