"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
We are revealed by our actions, character and compassion to all those who surround us.... Read More
"Cut it down! Yep, that is what I am going to do! It has been three years--ever since we moved here. That peach tree just always makes a mess, not producing anything."
Dad and mom had purchased the lake house after dad's retirement. The love of the lake and the enjoyment of having nine acres, one on which they could grow a garden,
was a life long dream of theirs. Everything always had to be fresh and neat looking--reminded me of a Home and Garden magazine cover--with one exception,
the old straggly peach tree dad had nurtured every year since moving there...
- Author: Bill Lowery
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When Praying, Do Not Think You Are Offering Your Words To Him For Them To Be Graded,
And If You Should Pass By Any Measure, He May Answer For Your Good Pleasure...
All your words, no matter how well or poorly constructed, if uttered from the heart, will be heard by Him, and into His presence you will be
faithfully conducted. So, learn the language of your heart and speak it often; for in it lies the key to effective communication with Him.
THIS IS PRAYER!
As A Developing Child Mimics To Learn The Language Of Its Parent And Provider So As To Effectively Communicate Its Deepest Desires
And Innermost Thoughts Of The Heart, So Too Must You With Your Heavenly Father. As With Any Language, To Know That Language,
You Must Study His Manual And Speak It Often To Him.
AND SO PRAY:
"Father, teach me first the words of your Heavenly language whereby I may communicate to you the thoughts of my heart and
with it hear and understand your will to me. And then teach me not only how to pray and the words to say, but for what it is I am to pray."
- Author: Ken Livingston
Read entire In His Presence prayer guide.
"Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory."
The Psalmist felt his need of divine guidance. He had just been discovering the foolishness of his own heart, and lest he should be constantly led astray by it, he resolved that God's counsel should henceforth guide him....
A sense of our own folly is a great step towards being wise, when it leads us to rely on the wisdom of the Lord. The blind man leans on his friend's arm and reaches home in safety, and so would we give ourselves up implicitly to divine guidance, nothing doubting; assured that though we cannot see, it is always safe to trust the All-seeing God. 'Thou shalt
,' is a blessed expression of confidence. He was sure that the Lord would not decline the condescending task. There is a word for thee, O believer; rest thou in it. Be assured that thy God will be thy counsellor and friend; He shall guide thee; He will direct all thy ways. In His written Word thou hast this assurance in part fulfilled, for holy Scripture is His counsel to thee. Happy are we to have God's Word always to guide us! What were the mariner without his compass? And what were the Christian without the Bible? This is the unerring chart, the map in which every shoal is described, and all the channels from the quicksands of destruction to the haven of salvation mapped and marked by one who knows all the way. Blessed be Thou, O God, that we may trust Thee to guide us now, and guide us even to the end! After this guidance through life, the Psalmist anticipates a divine reception at last--'and afterward receive me to glory
What a thought for thee, believer! God Himself will receive thee to glory--thee! Wandering, erring, straying, yet He will bring thee safe at last to glory! This is thy portion; live on it this day, and if perplexities should surround thee, go in the strength of this text straight to the throne.
- Author: C.H. Spurgeon
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"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised
to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin,
when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
The question is asked: When tempted, where is the line
that distinguishes between sin and none sin? If one does not feel drawn
towards a temptation (have a desire towards), where then is the need for resistance?...
If two are faced with the identical wrong and the first easily, without thought (enticement), turns away and the second is
enticed but after some
internal conflict, whether great or small, renews his strength and then turns away, who has the victory? The first can boast of his own strength and say,
"Because I was strong, I was not tempted in the least!" But the second is thankful of heart in that his strength came not from within, else he knows he
would have given in; but it came from without—from a source other than himself. The first is proud, the second humble. For he knows God, not he himself,
was his strength and redeemer... (I Peter 5:5-6)
- Author: Ken Livingston
Read entire article and more.
The revealed will of God is not obviously seen in every event in history. Temporal setbacks of Christianity and the growth of Islam are
vivid examples of this. However, the growth of the kingdom of God predicted in the Holy Scriptures surely contains a message for us...
At the very dawn of the Soviet state, the Russian Communist leaders were too well aware of the fact that this country could not permanently exist
unless it received some foreign support. The only socialist island washed by the hostile waters of capitalist countries had little chance to survive.
And the 1917 socialist revolution in Russia was carried out with expectations of outside support...
- Author: Roman Medvid
Read entire article and more in our award-winning
Top Articles Feature.
Most people think or use Psalm 23
at a funeral. But what about all the dark valleys we experience other than the
grief and sadness we feel when someone close to us dies?...
As I was reading and studying Psalm 23
for my Bible class this morning, I was dwelling on the role our
Good Shepherd plays in our lives and just where I would be if He was not in my life. I just don't understand how people can make it
without God in their every day life. I know that without Him I would be lost and headed for Hell.
When I read Psalm 23, it tells me that God will calm my fears, fight my battles, and be with me through all my ups and downs in life.
PRAISE GOD! It also tells me that I am one of His sheep and that one day, when it's time for me to meet Him in a higher place,
He will be there waiting with open arms for me.
God is always with those who are his children and call out to Him for help...
- Author: Debbie Tindall
Read entire article
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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.
In this month's study, we will consider the Zealots from the book: Adam2.
I. MAJOR JEWISH GROUPS IN JESUS' DAY
Zealot in Hebrew is,
Cananaean, and in Greek,
both meaning, "to be jealous." Cananaean
(not to be confused with an entirely different word similarly pronounced for native geographical
Canaanite) is rooted in the Hebrew verb,
kana, or the common Aramaic form,
kanan, which means, in our case,
"jealous for the Law of Moses." It is used in our New Testament to distinguish between the two disciples named Simon:
Simon Peter and Simon Zelotes, or, Simon the Zealot, or, Simon the Cananaean (one who had been zealous for the Law and
likely a member of its namesake party, now to be discussed, before being called as a disciple. (See Appendix, "Simon," p. 25.)
Unlike the two previous parties, or sects, of the Jewish religion who differed religiously (in their beliefs and practices),
philosophically (in their ideas toward the future of man in general, but more specifically their nation), and politically
(what role they would assume within nations), the Zealots were not considered a religious sect or party. Though they held
to the basic precepts of the Pharisee, and thus can be seen resembling them more than the Sadducee, their uniform for
identification primarily was political.
To better understand the Zealot of Jesus' day, a quick look at the roots of their evolved historical persuasions
is here in order. But first it must be said in defense of those earlier examples of great zeal seen in the genesis
and zenith of their nation, that they in no way compare to the lower character of this evolved murderous first century Zealot
at the close of their national life. Briefly, then, Israel's Old Testament history can be divided into seven distinct periods:
a. The Period of the Patriarchs
- Gen.12:1 - Ex.1:7.
Includes Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph
b. The Period of the Exodus
- Ex.1:8 - Deu.34:12.
Under the leadership of Moses
c. The Period of the Settlement
- Jos.1:1 - 24:33.
Under the leadership of Joshua
d. The Period of the Judges
- Jud.1:1 - I Sam.10:25.
Under succeeding chosen individuals: final figure and counselor, Samuel
e. The Period of the Kings
- I Sam.10:26 - II Ki.25:21.
THE UNITED KINGDOM
f. The Period of Babylonian Exile
- I Sam.10:26 - I Ki.11:43
Under Saul, David, and Solomon: each ruling 40 years successively
Main prophets: Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, and Naaman
THE DIVIDED KINGDOM
- I Ki.12:1 - II Ki.25:21
Under 19 successive kings within each kingdom
MAIN PROPHETS TO ISRAEL: Jonah, Amos, and Hosea
MAIN PROPHETS TO JUDAH: Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Daniel, Ezekiel, and Obadiah
- Ez.1:1 - Dan.5:31.
Main figures and counselors: Ezekiel and Daniel
g. The Period of Post-Babylonian Resettlement
- Ezra 1:1 - Neh.13:31; Hag.1:1 - Mal.4:6
Main figures and counselors: Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi
Continuing reading Zealots and Work..►
Having been ceremonially (Passover) separated from Egypt as a host of people grown over centuries from the origins of the seventy
in Jacob's family, and brought through the Red Sea as a symbol of baptism under the leadership of Moses, the Hebrews
(later to be called Jews) were first called to covenant at Mt. Sinai. Prior to the time of Moses, God's covenant had
always been with individuals (except for the Rainbow Covenant with the entire human race -
including the choosing of Abraham to be the patriarch of this new nation
Now, His covenant would collectively be with Abraham's descendants.
Upon receiving God's laws and instructions as an emerging priestly nation to all nations, origins of zeal for national
identity and independence for this calling and mission can clearly be seen in its very early days in the lives of men like Moses
Joshua (Jos.1:1-9; 10:40-43; 24:14-28), Caleb
and the very young, Phinehas, who was promised an everlasting priesthood because of his jealousy for God and His laws evidenced in his executional act
This zeal and commitment would continue under Joshua's leadership in the Settlement Period within the promised land.
Adequately forewarned and given examples of the consequences for disobedience (Deu.26:16-30:20), lessons thus
learned through the examples of their faithfulness to God's laws and fulfillment of His instructions for settlement
and subsequent prosperity within the land of promise, would later lead to the cyclical Period of the Judges—a time
of increased prosperity that would be followed by a decrease in religious commitment and national blessings.
God would then allow other nations, Gentiles, or those to the Jews considered pagan, or, heathen—unclean
people—to visit punishment, or judgment, upon their national backslidden condition. Recognition for their
fallen condition would slowly evolve and a call or cry would go out for a deliverer, or judge—a savior who
would rally and lead them in throwing off the current yoke of foreign oppression. In those days, God was always
faithful to hear and answer their genuine plea, Himself engaging in their defense. Israel would once again experience
a time of both renewed independence and religious consciousness, only to soon forget and be repeated again and again,
usually with the very next generation, but sometimes within their own (Judges 2:6-3:4).
- Author: Ken Livingston
This is the fifth and intended final of five articles dealing with today's emerging church
. Because the information
is rather lengthy, it is broken down into two parts, Part I, laying the foundation for two fundamental questions,
and Part II, responding to those questions. Hopefully, in these five articles there is enough information, first,
to awaken those who haven't been stirred by the changes within their church, and second, to provide an adequate
beginning into the individual's own search in their personal education on this subject. There are too many names
and branches of this movement to list them all here but one should be able to discover them through the many
Don't mistake this movement of the changing or emerging church for a trend. It is here. It is powerful! It is
redefining to the world a new philosophy and breed of Christianity. We didn't ask for it. We weren't considered
before it stretched its tentacles to touch us in our worship on Sundays. We were not invited into the
debate before pastors who were began forcing it upon their congregations. It is not going away any
time soon. It is growing in strength and in universal numbers. It has power beyond anything most have
seen in our lifetimes. Deception comes in subtleties and many Christians who are not guarded will fall prey right
along with the ungodly to whom they appeal with their subtleties. I believe it to be, beyond the first duty of a
Christian in their witness, the single greatest issue, and threat, facing the church today...
Now that it is here, we must decide if we want to be identified with this new definition. We must also know beyond doubt
who we are in contrast to this new definition before we can express it in clarity and confident distinction to a lost world.
We need to be ready to give an answer not only with words but with our lives. As the citizens of Antioch labeled
followers of Christ Christian by their lives lived in witness of Him two thousand years ago, the world again will label all
whether agreed or not by the actions of the sweeping tide of disciples of this new movement that fail in resemblance one whit of previous
generations. Just when we thought we knew who we were, it is time to take a deep look within, not only ourselves, but our local
church we have so faithfully supported. Is it what it once was and if not what is it becoming? A legitimate question for all its
members. If one of those Antioch Christians could come forward today, would he or she call us Christians after seeing this
new breed of Christianity? I have stated in a previous article my thoughts on the form I see the genuine church emerging to be
apart from this new modernistic emerging church. This is being
echoed by others as well.
A couple of points need to be made at the outset. First, with few exceptions when I think their work needs to be supported,
I make it a practice not to recommend books for a reader to buy that would profit anyone by my recommendations.
There are some I wish not to put a dime into their pockets. Some preachers sum up their entire ministry by the numbers
and titles of books they've written, one I saw recently strewn out over a timeline of their 40 years in the pulpit.
To be popular and published seems to be the aim if you're going to leave your mark in history. Amazing!
Many make the argument that one has to read another's entire work to speak legitimately to it is a false one. One doesn't have to
experience climbing a mountain before being able to describe and define it to be a mountain. It isn't necessary to see
all the rocks and crevices in minute detail to know it is a part of the whole. It doesn't take microscopic examination
of an apple and orange to determine the difference when seeking to purchase one or the other at a grocery. Nor do I have
to consume all of both for that distinction. A taste sometimes is all that is necessary to discern the identity of its content.
Why would I want to consume the whole when I want to dispose of the first bite? Scripture teaches you will know them by their fruit.
Certainly, if one is new on the scene and untasted, it may take consuming several pieces of their work before learning from what
perspective they speak or write. I won't argue that point. But once that tree has been identified,
the fruit has been as well...
Read Entire Article...►
- Author: Ken Livingston
The following is taken from the Book of New Testament Summaries.
Jesus Christ, the Word from the beginning, who made and illuminates all things. John the Baptist came to give witness of Him.
The world rejected Jesus, but those who receive Him are born into the kingdom of God by the will of God. He left heaven, became flesh,
and lived a short time with us. This we know for His glory was seen by them. He is the only begotten son of God.
John the Baptist's witness to Jesus. John's answer of himself to the messengers of the Jews: he is not the Christ,
Elijah, nor another prophet, but the one Isaiah said was crying in the wilderness to make straight the way for Christ to come.
He explains his baptism and defers to Jesus, whom they do not recognize among them. In Bethabara, beyond Jordan,
John sees and declares again the Lamb. Two of his disciples follow Jesus: Andrew, who returns for his brother Peter;
and John (inferred). Jesus declares to Peter His prior knowledge of him and changes his name to Cephas (a stone).
The next day in Galilee, Jesus calls Philip, who seeks and returns with his friend Nathanael. After Jesus declares
knowledge of him also, Nathanael believes, following at Jesus' word. Observing their amazement,
Jesus declares that they shall see greater works than this.
Marriage in Cana of Galilee. Mary (mother), Jesus, and the (6) disciples are present. Water turned into wine: first
miracle revealing His glory. The disciples believe. All (mother, brothers, and disciples) leave for Capernaum for a few days.
In Jerusalem at Passover, He cleanses the Temple of money changers, causing the Jews
to ask for a sign of His authority. Jesus confounds them with His answer, referring to His death and resurrection
(Temple destroyed and rebuilt in three days. The disciples will remember this after His resurrection).
Jesus performs many miracles which produce many believers, but He does not commit Himself to them; He knows their
hearts (not as Nathanael's -
Acknowledging Jesus as Master (teacher), Nicodemus (a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews) comes to Jesus at night
for discussion of His power to perform those miracles. Nicodemus is unable to understand Jesus' discussion on the rebirth.
(The kingdom cannot be perceived by anyone unregenerated.) Because of God's great love for all His creation, the Son of
man is sent to be lifted up that all who will may be saved from their current self-imposed condemnation of death unto eternal life.
Evil doers love the cover of darkness, but truth lovers will come to the light when it appears to them. Jesus is the Light of the world,
therefore, those who love truth will come to Him; those who love evil will reject Him. Jesus and the disciples go to Judea (from Jerusalem baptizing).
John is in Aenon baptizing. John's disciples question with the Jews about purifying. Seeing Jesus and His disciples baptizing many also,
they question John. He speaks of God's diverse works and gifts: just to see and be a chosen part of God's work, no matter how great or small,
brings great joy. John defers again to Jesus' heavenly greatness. God has given His Son all things that the Son might give to all who believe eternal life (
Failing to do so leaves one, by their own choice, exposed to God's impending wrath.
Perceiving John's predicament and possible misconception of the Pharisees of conflicting ministries by His being in the same area,
Jesus departs Judea for Galilee, taking the detestable (by the Jew) route through Samaria. (Jesus did not personally baptize, only His disciples.)
At noon, with the disciples gone into the city of Sychar for food, Jesus encounters a woman at Jacob's well.
An incredible experience follows with Jesus, His disciples (being Jew), and the Samaritans (mixed blood).
Jesus declares Himself to be the source of all living water that gives eternal life. He does a tremendous work among them for two days.
Recognizing Him as the Christ, through both His and the woman's testimony, many believe. Bearing out the saying that a prophet has no
honor in His own country (
2:24-25), He journeys on to Galilee. Having witnessed His miracles in Jerusalem during the previous Passover, the Galileans greatly receive Him.
In Cana again, He performs a second miracle, the healing of a noble man's son in absentia, leading to belief by his entire household.
Going up to a feast in Jerusalem, Jesus confronts and heals an impotent man of 38 years by the pool of Bethesda.
The man is then confronted by the Jews concerning his breaking the Sabbath by carrying his bed. They ask who so instructed him.
Finding him later in the Temple, Jesus cautions him against further sin.
Accosted by the Jews concerning this violation of their Sabbath, Jesus defends His actions by simply stating He does
only that which He sees His Father do. A clear breach now occurs between them. Angered, the Jews desire to kill Him.
Jesus reveals Himself to be the life-giver sent from the Father, foretelling the resurrection and future day of judgment.
The Father has placed all judgment under His authority, and He does it in concert with the Father's will.
(There are many (7) witnesses to Christ; four are listed here, and three in other locations in John.) Because the self-righteous Jews
honor only each other and not God, not even Moses' words, they fail to recognize Jesus as prophesied. They reject Him to their own undoing.
Read Entire Summary...►
Jesus and His disciples cross Galilee in a ship. A crowd follows by land. Going up into a mountain, He sees the crowd.
The hour being late, He wishes to feed them. After testing Philip, He feeds 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes; 12 baskets are left over.
Perceiving the crowd would make Him king by force, He resists, sending them away. Putting the disciples to sea, He goes alone into
a mountain to pray. Later in the night, Jesus comes to them walking upon the water. He stills a storm. Many follow Jesus from their
personal worldly motives (seeking bread), not recognizing Him as the Christ and Eternal Bread of heaven. Jesus' discourse on
the Bread of Heaven and the eternal assurance of all who come to Him for eternal life. Without spiritual discernment and unable
to accept this teaching, some followers depart, causing Jesus to turn to question the loyalty of those who remain, knowing
one would later betray Him. Peter acknowledges for all there is no one else to turn to who has the words of eternal life.
Christ's brothers fail to believe Jesus is the Messiah. They try unsuccessfully to get Him to show His power to the world
at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. He sends them on ahead, and much to everyone's amazement, He secretly appears later
teaching in the Temple. Because of their fear of the Jewish rulers who are looking
to kill Jesus, no one speaks of Him. Jesus confronts them. They deceitfully deny their intent. He rebukes their inconsistency.
Some Jews believe, while others do not understand His teaching. Many have differing opinions concerning Christ. Amazed at His teaching,
the Court's (Sanhedrin) officers fail to arrest Him, duly disappointing their rulers. Everyone departs for their own home.
After spending the night in Mt. Olivet, Jesus is found teaching in the Temple
early the next morning by the Pharisees who bring to Him a woman caught in adultery. He is not fooled by their attempt to
discredit Him in Moses' law. (The guilty man is required to be brought also (
After silently slinking away, each convicted of his own sin, Jesus forgives and dismisses the woman. Later, the Pharisees object
to Jesus' witness to Himself being the Light of the world. He proceeds to instruct them concerning His relationship with the Father.
He condemns their sinful condition. Some believe, but many don't, and Jesus continues in discourse with those. After informing them
their father is Satan, they call Him a Samaritan with a devil. Still unbelieving, they stand in stark contrast to Abraham, who rejoiced to see His day.
They do not understand, leading Jesus to declare His Eternal existence. Enraged, they take up stones to kill Him. He slips away.
On the Sabbath, Jesus heals a man blind from birth, who then goes to wash in the Pool of Siloam. A great controversy
develops over Jesus' legitimacy. Knowing for certain the source of the power and sight he received, the blind man believes.
The Pharisees will not accept this miracle as a sufficient sign to His claims. They are spiritually blind, Jesus declares.
Using the parables of the Good Shepherd and the Door, Jesus continues His discourse for further insight for them
to His clear identity. He clearly reveals He has full authority and power over His own life. Again a division occurs
among them, some calling Him mad, while others defend Him. With the arrival of winter (December), Jesus is in Jerusalem
in Solomon's Porch at the Temple (rather than in the open courts) during the Feast of Dedication.
The Jews again question Him about His previous works, causing Him to declare His unity with the Father. Intending to stone Him,
they accuse Him of blasphemy, but Jesus refutes their charge with Scripture (
Ps.82). He escapes them, and with His disciples, goes beyond Jordan. He is warmly welcomed by the followers of the Baptist (now dead)
who are living in the region.
- 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.
What a wounderful site!!!
This is just what I've been looking for!