See The Avenue Of Prayer As Being Littered With Defeated Discarded Distractions And How They Diminish In The Progress Of Your Heavenly Ascent...
In the beginning, your physical senses will be stronger, giving greater access to unwanted distractions, but as you ascend,
your flesh will diminish in its hold on the spirit, and God's heavenly pull will draw you into His Presence. All thoughts of
earthly cares will have vanished, to remain behind, as the spirit is propelled to escape all earth's attractions. Spirit to Spirit,
yours and His, in Holy Communion, as intended from the Beginning! But in time
, the body will rise from its slumber, beckon,
and the spirit will return as the senses stir to regain control, bringing you back to the reality of your present earthly state of
being—like returning to your vocation after a well-enjoyed vacation. But there will come another time!
THIS IS PRAYER!
To Steal Away On A Heavenly Holiday! If Only For A Moment, Before The Body Detects You Are Away And Calls You Back Under The Power Of Its Sway.
AND SO PRAY:
"Father, catch me up quickly, as I steal away secretly, before I have to return sadly to wait again for another time."
- Author: Ken Livingston
Read entire In His Presence prayer guide.
"Looking unto Jesus."
It is ever the Holy Spirit's work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan's work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ...
He insinuates, 'Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus.' All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that 'Christ is all in all.' Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee--it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee--it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument--it is Christ's blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.
If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by 'looking unto Jesus.' Keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to Him; when thou liest down at night look to Him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail thee.
'My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesu's blood and righteousness:
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesu's name.'
- Author: C.H. Spurgeon
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"What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the Lord? or, lo, they are gone because of destruction:
Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them: the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall possess them:
thorns shall be in their tabernacles."
(See also: Proverbs 24:31; Isaiah 34:13
Nettles of neglect and thorns of forgetfullness grow where the heart fails to tend the important people and
places of our lives as our days pass... Read More
Haven't we all at some time or other stood overlooking a scene that at one time was so fresh and vital to someone's life,
maybe our own, but now lies in shambles, with nature all but obscuring it?... - Author: Ken Livingston
Read entire article
and more. Its FREE!
he twentieth century has brought forth unparalleled challenges to
the historic Christian faith. During this century, Christianity's relevance and ultimate validity have been questioned as never before.
This assault on the central truth claims of Christianity has come from two distinct fronts: atheistic secular humanism and the growing
climate of religious pluralism...
While secularism constitutes a significant threat, the issue of religious pluralism poses an even greater challenge. The technological advances of our
century have resulted in a truly global society. America in particular is a nation of diverse ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. Our nation is
founded upon the principle of toleration, particularly in the area of religion. We are guaranteed the right of free exercise of religion. This principle
of equal toleration of religion is so strong, in fact, that the worst name one can be called today is an "intolerant religionist." What has happened,
however, is that our idea of democracy has been applied to ultimate truth. Equal toleration of religion has been taken to mean that each religion is
equally valid (i.e., all religions lead to God). This is a fatal non sequitur
- Author: Kenneth R. Samples
Read entire article and more in our award-winning
Top Articles Feature.
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. It is also available on CD. 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.
Turning this month to the background study of the 5 major Jewish groups in Jesus' day: the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots and Essenes,
we look first at the Scribes from the book: Adam2.
I. MAJOR JEWISH GROUPS IN JESUS' DAY
Of the five groups we have chosen to study, only one fails to appear by name in our Bible—the Essenes—which
we will consider last. Of the remaining four, the scribe is the only one appearing by name in both the Old and New Testament records.
Although the remaining three, Pharisees, Sadducees and Zealots, do not appear by name in the Old Testament, traces of each's origin can be seen there,
and in the New Testament even the leader of the first Zealot uprising in A.D. 6 is identified in
Acts 5:37 and corroborated by Josephus in his record (Antiq.8.1.1; Wars 2.8.1 - pp. 376, 476).
However, since the scribes are the first to appear in the early days of Jewish national life, we have chosen to examine them first.
Unlike the remaining four groups to be studied, the scribes are not identified as a political or religious party, or sect,
within the Jewish state. This is not to say that they were not individually involved in matters of Jewish affairs,
for indeed they were quite active, as we shall see in our study. However, according to a well respected contemporary Jewish historian,
the scribes as a group merely "represented a function rather than a sect" (Simon, p. 86). Indeed, it is precisely the evolution of this
function that gave rise to this large group in Jesus' day and was arguably His greatest antagonist. But numbers alone do not constitute a sect.
Without exploring the difficulties and technicalities of a literal definition, suffice it to say then for our purposes that a sect in that
period was a viable current within the mainstream of Judaism as seen in the Pharisee, Sadducee, and Essene. Though not a sect, the scribes'
function had a significant influence upon the Jewish people and played a direct role in the death of Christ. For this reason we have chosen
the term "group" rather than "sect" to refer to these five bodies that we might include the scribes in our study. Let us look now at their name.
In the Old Testament, Young makes no distinction in Hebrew for the scribe, or saphar, meaning "to cypher, number, or write."
However, he does separate the scribe more commonly of the former kind, seen in the pre-exilic era, to that of the latter in Ezra's
Ezr.4:8,9,17,23; 7:12), with the exceptions of
Ezr.7:6 & 11
and all those designated in Nehemiah and Esther.
Continuing reading Scribes and Work..►
In the New Testament, we find only one Greek designation, grammateus, meaning "scribe, writer, or clerk," or more precisely,
nomikoi, meaning "lawyer," and nomodidaskaloi, meaning "teacher of the law," referring in the main to those scribes
of the law of Moses (cf.,
Jn.3:2,10). Only in
do we see in the term an inference to a universal meaning, since the implication there seems to include all world systems,
or knowledge, be it government, religion, or otherwise.
A scribe by name clearly had his origin in pre-Hebrew cultures, as evidenced in the many archaeological findings among earlier peoples.
Two can be seen in those early times. In the beginning, a scribe was mainly designated as an officer of a government whose function
was that of a clerk, or secretary of government affairs and records. Another was called an amanuensis, that is a public writer,
or one who takes dictation, as in personal, business, commerce, etc. Characteristics of these two types of scribes would later be seen
in the pre-exilic scribe that would eventually produce the Mosaic scribe of the post-exilic era. Both of these examples can be seen
within our Old Testament record (for the former, cf.,
52:25; and the latter,
When the Hebrew people appeared on the scene with their religion concomitant with secular life, the lines that were once distinctly
drawn between government and religious affairs were no longer applicable. In addition to recording the affairs of state, as did his
predecessor, the Hebrew scribe would quite naturally become involved in the responsibilities of recording and preserving the religious
annals and archives of his greater community, since these were the laws and practices given by God to be implemented in daily ceremonial life.
Even before the early Hebrew scribe appeared, if we use the third, final, and literal definition of a scribe as it applied to his
unique post-Babylonian function—a copier of the Mosaic Law—then Moses himself would be the first
And it was Moses who first read this law to this newly forming Jewish nation (Ex.24:3-8). After it had been completely transcribed by him,
he then committed it to the future care of the Levites
from whom was evolving the priesthood and would the latter day Mosaic scribe (Ezr.8:15-21; Neh.8:1-9; 9:4-38).
(It must be remembered that Moses himself was also from this Levite tribe -
- Author: Ken Livingston
Walking With God
The following is the second article to date addressing the changes being seen with alarming detail in modern churches.
It is more practical in nature in response to this common dilemma occurring in more and more churches today. The members
of these churches are being forced to choose whether to submit to obvious changes over which they have no control or say or
look for another path that will be consistent with their beliefs and practices in their Christian walk and worship. The article's
focus will sometimes shift from speaking to the opening question being asked to addressing those causing it to be
asked—namely, their church leaders. I trust the reader's own wisdom to discern those pivot points for their
intended purpose. Thank you for understanding. Please know these thoughts were not written without much prayer and consideration.
I, too, am alarmed by these questions being asked about the fundamental changes occurring on a broad scale that spans denominational ties.
There is a clear redefinition of church in today's modern world by a different class and generation of preachers
stepping forward in church leadership. What is witnessed in most megachurches within large populations is rapidly
being duplicated in smaller churches and communities as well. The meteoric rise of this model and movement whose origins
can be traced and identified is catching up young impressionable ministers who are not yet grounded in sound Biblical doctrine
and New Testament practice, and deficient in Godly wisdom. It is appealing. It is glamorous, almost in the same vein as the
temptation of Jesus in the wilderness by satan for power. It is dangerous! Buying into this new model, they are pushing their
people into compliance in extraordinary unBiblical ways. The sad thing is there are many older and much wiser pastors and leaders
who are succumbing to this pressure or temptation and going along to get along. They know, or believe, if they too don't assimilate
into this new church culture and way of doing things, their people will be drawn away by others who do. Their numbers
will decrease, their budgets will decline and the status they once held in the church world will vanish. They
excuse themselves by asking: What are we to do? Rather than grounding their people in sound Biblical doctrine that
will root them firmly in their faith and place of service, the appeal begins for more money to fund the
architecture of this new church model. Yet others see it as a way to raise their level of standing among
their peers once thought not possible. No matter which angle this new movement is viewed, once you look
past its facade you see the imprint of man all over it. That alone should be a clue for anyone still wondering
whether they should step within its path and walk in that direction causing others to follow. True Christianity is
not a cult with a following. What we are seeing more and more has many traits of being just that, with each
church having its own adored charismatic superstar.
His Word clearly teaches we are not to turn to the wisdom of men in matters of faith and service in His name
When leaders come to the point they think God is not capable without their human wisdom and that gleaned from worldly
construct they have moved away from walking within the footsteps of Jesus as He walked within the will of the Father
and power of the Holy Spirit. When the Bible is used to find, pick and prove some idea the leader has devised and
arrived at for imposing their view of success the church stands in danger. It has already been down this road
before. Success is not nor should ever be the goal of any church! In the eyes of the world, Christ was an utter failure.
They crucified Him at age 33 because He would neither court it or compromise with it. Why, then, are these Johnny-come-lately
so-called Christian leaders courting it today? I would suggest more time is required on bended knee than in book stores and seeking
ways to make themselves more profitable and popular by appealing to the world. I will say at the outset, this new
structure will eventually collapse. It cannot be indefinitely sustained on the foundation of mammon and the wisdom of men
upon which it is built. Always true to His Word, He will destroy the wisdom of men. Look at the tower of Babel if
you question His veracity in such a serious matter (Gen.11:1-9). When this destruction comes, possibly when
the coming tide of economic collapse sweeps across the lands where it stands, it will crumble, as did the house of which Jesus
spoke built upon a sandy soil. JumboTrons will be out of place in the basements and closets of homes where
genuine Christians will be forced to retreat as in the beginning. With their place of worldly assembly decimated,
a tide of unregenerated people caught up in this meteoric fancy will be abandoned with no where to seek for shelter
and swept away as rubble in the wake of so great a collapse, comparable possibly to the flood in the days of Noah...
I am often asked about today's Christian or church culture of worship. Many who are rooted in sound Biblical
doctrine and have achieved spiritual growth far beyond their early days of salvation are questioning what is happening within
their church today. With increasing dismay, they are walking out the doors of their church on Sunday questioning their own
spiritual condition as, apparent to them, there is a change occurring within them of their sense of having worshiped, or,
whether what they experienced was worship at all. Husband and wife walk together with their heads drooped in silence,
each reflecting on the events of the morning. As they walk or drive away, they begin a discussion of their thoughts
and are unable to point to anything they have seen or heard as being at odds with their core beliefs. But their hearts
tell them there is really something amiss—something serious. I am even asked whether they should participate in
singing what they are now required to sing, or chant. Astonishing that I would be asked such a question! The music has
changed as well as its presentation from what they have been accustomed. Some tell me they refuse to participate.
They stand when required but hold to the back of the pew in front of them in silence. Others, for various
reasons given, accept it to some degree with the modern changes they see in every other area of their daily life.
No, there's more to it than that. But what, they ask themselves. Revisiting in discussion the sermon heard from the pulpit,
they find no fault with their pastor's words. All seem to be true. But the sermons are different. The subjects, style and
tone have changed. There seems to be something missing they can't quite put their finger on. They believe him to
still be a Godly man. With no answers to these troubling questions, they plod along, Sunday after Sunday, falling into
deeper desondency over their worship life and the life of their church. They are affected both spiritually and emotionally
throughout the week. Their joy is not as prevalent as before. Their hunger is no longer being fed with that Authentic Bread.
Where is the Rock from which they once drank?, they ask. Should they leave? But so many friends, they say!
So much of their lives invested! And where would they go that is any different? Many have already left. These are serious matters!
When I hear those accounts I am deeply saddened. I am also reminded of the accounts in olden times when God's
people similarly thirsted and experienced an emptiness for various reasons, some due to their own disobedience,
but others because there was no true shepherd. Without casting any aspersion on any one report of this phenomenon,
think of those times yourself as you reflect on the record of the Old Testament. The Psalmist spoke often about
being in a dry land where there was no water for his soul. At others, the people went without rain for years and
thirsted because their leaders had led them astray. The Hebrews complained often of thirst in the wilderness during
their exodus from Egypt. Twice they were led to a rock where Moses smote it and there gushed from it a stream
sufficient enough for all to take their fill (Sinai and Kadesh; Ex.17:6; Nu.20:8). Not one went away without
being refreshed when God gave the increase—when God gave the increase.
Imagine their joy, a scene in stark contrast with their worship before the golden calf constructed by Aaron!
When God divided Solomon's kingdom after 40 years reign, the ten tribes in the northern kingdom split were
banned by its new king, Jeroboam, from visiting and worshiping at the Temple in Jerusalem for fear of their
lack of loyalty to him (I Kings 12). Consequently, he built two places of worship at his kingdom's southern
and northern borders, Bethel and Dan, erecting symbols forbidden by God in worship. What followed in the next
200 years was a bloody succession of nineteen kings with little or no peace for the people. God's judgment
was finally brought upon that kingdom by a Gentile nation and the people were led away in captivity and
dispersed throughout other vassal kingdoms it had conquered. You likely know them as the "lost ten tribes of Israel",
all because they turned from His way to their own ideas and ways of worship. One only has to read Romans 1 to see
the dangers and warnings of forsaking God's way...
Read Entire Article...►
- Author: Ken Livingston
The following is taken from the Book of Old Testament Summaries.
Job, a man from Uz, perfect and upright, who feared God and hated evil, who had seven sons and three daughters,
with many possessions, was the greatest man of the east. He offered sacrifices continually for his children after
their merrymaking for fear they had sinned. Satan presents himself before God with the host in heaven, challenging
God to test Job. God agrees, but Job himself is not to be touched. Four separate messengers come to Job with the sad
news of the loss of his possessions, servants, flocks, and children by four separate calamities (2 by sword, 1 by fire,
and 1 by wind). Upon receiving the devastating news of the loss of his children, he arises, rents his clothes, prepares himself,
and falls to the ground in worship, accepting the judgment of God without sin.
Again Satan goes before God and this time is allowed to smite Job but cannot take his life.
Job is smitten by Satan with boils from head to foot (complete), scrapes himself with a potsherd
and sits in ashes. He rebukes his wife's attempt to get him to curse God and die, escaping his misery.
Job's integrity remains. Three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, come together to mourn with and comfort Job.
Because of the greatness of Job's grief, they sit in silence with Job seven days and nights.
Finally Job speaks, cursing the day he was born: better he had gone from the womb to the grave not seeing the light of day,
and be at rest than endure his present suffering. What he expected all his life has finally happened;
and he was not surprised in the least when this trouble came.
Eliphaz speaks to encourage him. That which befell others whom Job had encouraged and strengthened has now come to him.
He reminds Job that the innocent nor righteous is cast away or cut off by God, only the wicked. None is greater than God!
All are made of clay, from the dust, and many die even without wisdom.
Eliphaz continues his speech. There is none righteous for Job to turn to for help. God's correction will bring a happy end,
therefore, his chastening should not be despised by Job. God will deliver man from every kind of trouble known to him,
even from the touch of evil; and his days will be prolonged with his house much blessed.
Read Entire Summary...►
Job answers. His grief is too much for his soul to bear. His sorrow is complete. God's arrows have found their mark.
He wishes to die! Job accuses his friends of dealing deceitfully with him, reminding them he did not seek their
help in counseling him for his deliverance. He challenges them to examine his words and actions (his life)
and to look upon him and tell him what his sin is, if their words be true, then he won't oppose them.
(They had yet to tell him of his sin.) Job declares he has no knowledge of any sin responsible for bringing
on this great calamity.
Job is reminded of the brevity and frailty of life. He finds no rest for his soul, not even in sleep.
He will not keep quiet! Even in his dreams and visions he is terrified. He wonders who man is to God
that He would desire him and then turn from him in such a way, delaying His pardon. He reminds God of
his few days on earth, and some morning He will seek him and he will not be there, having departed
keeping his appointment with the grave.
Bildad, his second friend, rebukes Job's strong words of denial of wrongdoing. Surely God would have pardoned
by now if Job was upright, having sought Him after His punishment upon his children who may have sinned bringing
His judgment upon them; he would be restored manifold over. He instructs Job to remember the teachings of the lives
of the fathers. God will not cast away the perfect man nor will He help evil doers.
Job answers Bildad, agreeing with the truth of his words and the justice of God, but he knows
God destroys both the perfect and the wicked and that he is afflicted without cause. Again he
acknowledges the brevity and frailty of life and that there is no one just enough to mediate his
case with God. He appeals directly for God to remove His rod of correction.
Job, weary of life, seeks to know why God is dealing with him so. Certainly God is not as man, made of flesh,
unable to see his sin, having to search first to know it before pardoning him! God knows he is not wicked and
has no other deliverer than He. He reminds God that he is as He made him, from the dust, short of days.
Job is confused. Why did He give him life, visit him in such a way, and then hide Himself from him?
Job declares his state would have been better if carried from the womb to the tomb. He pleads with God,
because of his few days on earth, to cease and desist that he may finish his days in rest before going
to the grave forever.
- 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.
Thank you for such a wonderful and info filled site.
Love the summaries