"Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes from the Father."
All I had wanted was a quiet lunch with my wife Shelia at one of our favorite restaurants downtown before going on my usual weekly three day business trip, but there he was...his filthy clothes... Read More
His face haunted me. I could see it everywhere I went, through the windshield as I drove, in the face of people I saw; I couldn't close my eyes to get away from it.
It had been three days since I last saw him. How could this man's face be so vivid in my mind? Why won't his presence leave me? I had only given him a glance when
I walked around him as he sat on the sun-parched sidewalk, leaning back against the hot brick of the building. He tapped a little tin can on the sidewalk as he sat
with his feet and legs folded up under him. His image was so real I could hear the chink of the coins in my ears as he moved the can up and down trying to draw
attention to what others had given... - Author: Bill Lowery
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A Great Perplexity: A Full Heart Which Yearns To Pour Forth Its Praise,
But Yet Fears When Emptied Must Again Leave His Presence.
It is not so much your praise that is the more important as it is His presence. But if it is your praise which brings His presence,
then continually praise Him, so per chance He will abide. How oft have we seen a child hold a parent's presence with their praise at
bedtime, only to exhaust their little minds and be reduced to a plea: "No, Daddy," or, "No, Mommy, please don't go."
The look in their face—desperate sincerity. The tug of their tiny hand—Bold Petitioning Love! A father or mother's heart melts for an
additional moment, at their pleading side. Is our Heavenly Father any less caring when we to Him are sincerely praying?
THIS IS PRAYER!
The Joy To Know He Is Always There, At Your Side, Watching You!
AND SO PRAY:
"Abide Heavenly Father, that I may bask in your presence. Please, Father, do not from my side go. Stay forever.
And should I sleep, run to play, or serve, do not from my side forsake, that I may do so with full assurance you
will be there all the while—In My Presence."
- Author: Ken Livingston
Read entire In His Presence prayer guide.
"Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord."
In Joshua the high priest we see a picture of each and every child of God, who has been made nigh by the blood of Christ, and has been taught to minister in holy things, and enter into that which is within the veil. Jesus has made us priests and kings unto God, and even here upon earth we exercise the priesthood of consecrated living and hallowed service...
But this high priest is said to be "standing before the angel of the Lord," that is, standing to minister. This should be the perpetual position of every true believer. Every place is now God's temple, and His people can as truly serve Him in their daily employments as in His house. They are to be always "ministering," offering the spiritual sacrifice of prayer and praise, and presenting themselves a "living sacrifice." But notice where it is that Joshua stands to minister, it is before the angel of Jehovah. It is only through a mediator that we poor defiled ones can ever become priests unto God. I present what I have before the messenger, the angel of the covenant, the Lord Jesus; and through Him my prayers find acceptance wrapped up in His prayers; my praises become sweet as they are bound up with bundles of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia from Christ's own garden. If I can bring Him nothing but my tears, He will put them with His own tears in His own bottle for He once wept; if I can bring Him nothing but my groans and sighs, He will accept these as an acceptable sacrifice, for He once was broken in heart, and sighed heavily in spirit. I myself, standing in Him, am accepted in the Beloved; and all my polluted works, though in themselves only objects of divine abhorrence, are so received, that God smelleth a sweet savour. He is content and I am blessed. See, then, the position of the Christian—"a priest— standing—before the angel of the Lord."
- Author: C.H. Spurgeon
to receive these devotions every day in your email.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove
what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Because of God's assurances given to us in His Word, as Christians, we should take Him at His Word and promise ourselves we will
do those things He has given us the power to overcome. These are just the beginning in a long list waiting to be
discovered as you read. Read them. Claim them. Practice daily walking in His Power in them. Write them out. Carry them with you.
Look at and repeat them to yourself often. Soon you will discover you will give no second thought of them as His Spirit transforms
you into His likeness...
For just one example. When someone asks you, "How's your day going?" and difficulties seem more than normal
for you, don't reply, "Terrible, just terrible. I'm really having a bad
day." Be genuine. Rise above your difficulties and
live in the Joy of His promises and assurances. "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it
." - Psalms 118:24;
"(For we walk by faith, not by sight
:)" - II Co.5:7. So, I will never again say: I'm having a bad day!
- Author: Ken Livingston
Read entire article and more.
he Nicene Creed is the most widely accepted and used brief
statements of the Christian Faith. In liturgical churches, it is said every Sunday as part of the Liturgy. It is Common Ground
to East Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Calvinists, and many other Christian groups. Many groups that do not
have a tradition of using it in their services nevertheless are committed to the doctrines it teaches....
(Someone may ask, "What about the Apostles' Creed?" Traditionally, in the West, the Apostles' Creed is used at Baptisms, and the Nicene Creed at the
Eucharist (aka the Mass, the Liturgy, the Lord's Supper, or the Holy Communion). The East uses only the Nicene Creed.)
I here present the Nicene Creed in two English translations, The first is the traditional one, in use with minor variations since 1549,
The second is a modern version, that of The Interdenominational Committee on Liturgical Texts. Notes and comment by me follow...
- Contributor: Media House International
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The following is taken from the Book, Adam2: A Guide For The Walk Home, written by our founder.
It is A Commentary On The Gospel Of John, complete with a background look at the contemporary Jewish groups active in Jesus' day.
It includes a summary of each chapter, a redacted study of each disciple, a brief study of Gnosticism of the time, pertinent timelines,
and much more. Each chapter of study includes extensive Biblical references to the notes on the chapter.
A chronological excerpt of each section will be posted here at the beginning of each month. You can access free of charge at any time
a complete online digital version
for your further study. In addition, a link will be provided to purchase the book on CD to install on
your own computer for convenience of study and print. All we ask is that you observe the stated copyrights as with any book you buy over
the counter, limiting your print to only one hard copy for your own personal use. If further hard copies are necessary,
please contact us for an additional nominal fee. Thank you for your interest in this study. Our hope and prayer is that
through the work of the Holy Spirit as you study you will be blessed by it, and if so, recommend it to a friend.
Now for the Conclusion to the background study of the 5 major Jewish groups in Jesus' time
for preparation of the textual study of the Gospel of John in the book: Adam2.
Having looked now at some possible origins, developments, beliefs, and comparisons of five major Jewish groups in Jesus' day,
the obvious question that remains to be asked is: what of their end? Since these groups all had their roots in Judaism
(which flourished within a free Jewish state, whether under independent rule or favorable foreign occupation),
it stands to reason that if those conditions were altered, then changes were inevitable. Hopefully,
it has become clear to the reader that the Jewish state did not end because Rome was hostile to their religion.
On the contrary, Rome's stated policy on the religion of other conquered nations was:
religio-lictus, which is
Latin for a lawful religion recognized as legitimate within that nation. However, due to the
seditious nature of a certain element that led to the fall of Jerusalem and the Jewish state in A.D.70,
life for the Jews would never be the same.
For the scribes whose role in Judaism was more function than political, as long as there remained a need for the
preservation and reproduction of God's revelation and the chronicles of Israel's history, they would always have
their place in Jewish society, no matter the state of it (even to modern times). From Genesis
to Malachi, God had inspired holy men made wise through the knowledge of His revelation to
record His continuing record. However, failing to recognize and embrace Jesus as their expected messiah, the first
century self-righteous scribes had abdicated their position as the truly wise of Israel, as once seen in their predecessors.
God would no longer use these "whited sepulchers" as vessels for His continuing revelation. He would choose a tax collector,
Galilean fishermen, a Gentile physician, a turncoat Pharisee, etc., men unlearned in the hierarchy of Jewish tradition and
wisdom (with the exception of one), to confound the wise of the day and complete the record of His revelation.
Since the Pharisees were mainly identified with the synagogue that had taken root in Jewish society, theirs would be the
remaining party to survive the demise of the Jewish state. Following the end of all other rivals, their name would no
longer be necessary and eventually all became known simply as, the Jews.
For the Sadducees, whose whole purpose and function revolved around Temple life, with the destruction of the Temple
and the dispersion of the Jews, their reason for being no longer existed. Hence, as a party, they ceased to exist.
As might be expected, one may be led to believe that with the severity in which Rome overcame the sedition of the Zealots,
they in turn were finished. And indeed they were for a time, but another resurgence would occur under the proclaimed messiah,
Bar Cochba, in A.D. 132, only to be thoroughly put down within three years by eight of Rome's best legions.The area's name
was then changed from Judea to Palestinia (after the Philistines). The region would remain in the hands of foreigners until
A.D. 1948 when David Ben Gurion would become Israel's first new national leader.
Read Entire Conclusion and Work..►
- Author: Ken Livingston
Most of us have either heard or heard of John Lennon's song: Imagine
(there's no heaven... lyrics).
On the surface it sounds wonderful: a utopia where everyone is one--no divisions, conflict, struggle or want—here, now.
There's just one problem with that: Sin. Read the
again. What do you see missing? Two things: the Redemption of man and most importantly, the Absence of God.
One does not have to look far nor into the too distant past to see evidence of
that in its most frightening horrific form. Lennon's own life ended tragically. Sin is inescapable no matter how much we may
imagine. Evil exists in the world and lies within the heart of the best of us whether we act on its impulse or not.
And what of that I wonder was Lennon's suggestion for us? How do you suppose He proposed to expiate sin and evil from the heart of man,
something that can not be seen nor touched by the most learned scientist, skilled surgeon or world philosopher?
Following Mr. Lennon's suggestion of imagining "no heaven, no hell, no religion", let me propose this:
Imagine There Is No Christ!
Sit for a moment and reflect. Close your eyes and look with the mind's eye. Imagine there is a world without Christ, without His church,
His Christians, without God, without the evidences in creation of His nature of order and purpose. In our arrogance and self-nurturing ego
many assume, as did Lennon, we possess of our own making all the desirable attributes of righteousness and good intentions toward others,
that it has no source outside ourselves, originating out of our own sense of goodness, special being and self-healing. There isn't anything
inherently wrong with any of us other than flawed thinking and a lack of acceptance, understanding and imagination. If we would all just come
together and agree to see the world and each other in the same single way there would be world harmony. Miraculously, we would all live
and sing in tune as "one." The problem with that is obvious on its surface. Who determines the "same single way" all are to agree
and live harmoniously? How do so many independent thinkers and individual lives, corrupted by sin and evil, come to that point—generation
after generation? And what if, let's say for argument purposes, just one doesn't comply?...
For centuries we have chosen this time of year to observe and celebrate the birth of Jesus to our world. He was called:
Immanuel—God with us. Based upon the teaching of Scripture, I am of the opinion that Jesus did not observe one single
birthday of his earthly existence. There is no where in the New Testament indicating so, unlike many of the other Jewish
festivals and feasts He did observe. But we are eternally grateful that He was born in our nature and gave us the record
of His purpose in coming. And what a life that was and a record it is! Believe He is God or not, none of His critics
through the centuries have denied His existence or exemplary life. But just suppose He did not come. Suppose there has
been no Christ. Suppose there is no Christian in the world. Suppose we live without that innate sense of a sovereign
and saving God, as Lennon suggests...
Read Entire Article...►
- Author: Ken Livingston
The following is taken from the Book of New Testament Summaries.
God, who once spoke through the prophets, has now spoken through His Son, the first-begotten of Him.
Jesus, being made in the image of God, higher than the angels, to be worshipped by them, made and sustains
all things. He is everlasting, sending forth His ministering angels to minister to all the heirs of His salvation.
His message, witnessed by man, therefore, is paramount, to be heard and obeyed by all, neglected by none, if we are
to escape this world alive. Man, being crowned with glory and honor, was given dominion over all things,
having all things placed under his feet (control). But yet he, because of his sin, lost and no longer holds
dominion over his own death, it seizing and enslaving him. Christ, then, being made as man, lower than the
angels by His choice for a season, and being made perfect through His suffering, became the Captain of our salvation.
He defeated Satan who was given the power over man's death by man himself (
returning death back under man's feet. Man is finally able through Christ to be free from the bondage and fear of death.
Because of His suffering and temptations while overcoming death for us, He is able to minister to us in our present
suffering under death's curse.
Partaking of this Heavenly calling, we now have a High Priest and Apostle who will be faithful
to the finish of this calling, with greater glory than Moses who was faithful to Israel. Therefore,
let us hold fast this confidence and hope, with a believing and obedient heart, to the end that
we may enter into His rest, unlike the unbelieving fathers in the first Earthly Exodus who died
out in the wilderness.
Let us put away all unbelief and labor (believe) with faith to enter into the rest that remains for
us even to this day. Be cautioned that His Word is able to lay open our hearts, even to the
minutest detail of our deepest thoughts and intentions. Because we have so great a High Priest
who once experienced all that we ever will, yet without sin, let us approach His throne with
bold confidence for grace and mercy in our needs. [See Jn.6. Jesus' teaching on labor (work).]
Read Entire Summary...►
Therefore, Christ, called of God to be a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, became
the author of our salvation after having been made perfect in His learning obedience through
much suffering, even unto His death. This is a hard teaching, unable to be understood by
immature believers whose spiritual senses are dull and unexercised, unable to discern the
deeper things of God. Meat, not milk, grows one to maturity in Christ, enabling them to teach others.
May God permit us, then, to go on beyond the basic principles (teachings) of Christ concerning
our salvation: baptism, laying on of hands, the resurrection, and eternal judgment. It is
impossible to begin again and again, for that requires His sacrifice anew and anew, thus putting
Him to open shame, in that His first was not sufficient. Know that God will not forget our work
and labor of love, and He Himself will remain faithful to His promise to us; this He swears by
Himself, and He is not a liar. This is our hope, the anchor of our soul beyond the veil, that is
the Lord Jesus our High Priest.
Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God who received tithes of Abraham from
his victory in Lot's rescue, is the Old Testament type of our high priest in Christ. (Without
father, mother, descent, beginning or end, abiding a priest continually forever.) He descended
not of the Levites, in fact, Levi, being in his father's loins, paid tithes unto him. Furthermore,
we are not even made perfect through Aaron's priesthood, or else there would have been no need for another.
Aaron's priesthood, being made after the carnal commandant without oath, is temporal, for they were sinners themselves,
who also needed a sacrifice, and who all died. Therefore, the priesthood was changed, and with it, the carnal Law disannuled,
and Christ, from the lineage of Judah, not Levi, who needed no sacrifice for Himself, with an oath, has become a new Priest.
Because He continues forever, needing not daily ministration for Himself, as Aaron's priesthood once did, offered Himself
once and for all as our full and final sacrifice, consecrated forevermore.
[A summary follows.] We now have a High Priest, a Minister of the true Tabernacle, who is
seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majestic in Heaven. His is the true priesthood of
the true Tabernacle, the old priesthood being only a foreshadow given to Moses pointing to
and preparing for the coming of the new in Christ. If we have a new Priest and Tabernacle,
then a new Covenant is needed. This He gives, and instead of writing it on stone as before, He
now writes into our hearts and minds His laws, with no need of a teacher but Him. As a result
of His new Covenant, the first, then, is made old and vanishes.
- Author: Ken Livingston
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Has church been getting you down lately? Do you have more questions than answers about the major
shift in your experiences in worship, in the objects, music, and even the sermons? We may be able to help.
Know first, you are not alone! More people are awaking to a deceptive practice that
began years ago. In addition, we have put together 5 articles to try and answer some
of those questions and help with your understanding. The first are more practical in nature as they
relate to your questions. However, the 5th is more specific in identifying a major factor behind the
changes you are experiencing. We hope this will not be the end of your exploration of this
growing cancer on the church. If you're fine with it, we wish you the best but some of us
have not nor will buy into it.
You may print and disseminate in whole or part but without modification and citing their original source.
I teach Old Testament to a group of young people who have committed their lives to Christ and are involved in a national
group called Master's Commission. I would like permission to share your tests with them during a 10 week Bible Course.