“And Yet….” Part 2, being a wee witchy

*Original post 09/04/2016′ revisited as reminder of what the word of God foretells *

“And the rest of the men (humans) which were not killed by these plagues  yet repented not  of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood, which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:  Neither repented they  of their murders, nor of their sorceries,……” REVELATION 9:20

Hence therefore, subject two, I just love Old English! Well anyway a frightening number have fallen in love with something else.. the need to attempt to understand things that were never meant to be understood and the chasing after “mediums” and the pursuit of FALSE knowledge of how passed on loved one are faring in the afterlife are opening many up to the occult and demonic forces.

Remember a little something, it is NOT just the one who is playing with demonic spirits in order to project that they have some secret knowledge that is affected it is also the ones who SEEK after these people to inquire for that knowledge.

The full realm of “sorceries” can cover a staggering list of human possibilities, tea reading, card reading, and everyone’s favorite, horoscopes, think it is funny?

You won’t when it becomes a HORROR SCOPE, illusionist, magicians, and of course, seances, and ouija boards, funny thing I web searched a spell check (ironic term there) the word, who really using that word often?

Anyway, the first thing pulled up was a link to, YES, get a demon to communicate with you! Wow, how you know you are barking up the right tree! The devil always makes things look pretty and his favorite hook, is grief and the promise of these people to give you special knowledge and that will be our main focus, because if you do not see a problem with wanting to talk to demons than you’re gonna need much more help than a blog post can offer you!

Onward! First you have to reiterate the fundamental Gospel that NEVER changes. God NEVER changes, HIS WORD NEVER changes. His commandments that you are to stay AWAY from these things NEVER changes. The reason He commands us to STAY AWAY from it will NEVER CHANGE.

Lucifer was thrown out of heaven, he is one of the most powerful beings in the universe, his desire is to DESTROY all that God has created, ESPECIALLY humans. He is running the same game he used on Eve and the sermon has been preached from end of the earth to the other through eons of time and YET… we are more entangled with sorceries and  the occult than ever before in the history of the world.

Why? Because like Eve, EVERYONE wants what they think is SECRET knowledge that WILL MAKE THEM WISE and make them THINK that they are as smart as God!  Read it, that was one point of the seduction, she wanted to “know” good and evil, as God knew and the this is the same reason He STILL commands it to be shunned, HUMANS can not handle Satan, never have, never will.

God wants us to be safe and not destroy our own souls through our own lusts for whatever purpose we may be seeking after. My main goal with this is to hit the point of grief, I have heard it, people who wish that they had money to visit a certain televised physic to know that a deceased loved one is well, that is scary.

The people claim to have “gift” but it is a possession that the use for the same purpose it has always been used to make money. How do you know? Well, you can read in Numbers 22-24, that a false prophet had been commissioned to CURSE Israel and God intervened and FORCED blessings to be spoken from his mouth in the presence of the one who wished them harm. ACTS 16  deals with a girl who WAS POSSESSED WITH A SPIRIT OF DIVINATION, I have used this story before but for anyone who is not familiar with it:

ACTS 16: 16: And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel POSSESSED with the SPIRIT of DIVINATION met us, which BROUGHT HER MASTERS MUCH GAIN (lots of money) BY SOOTH SAYING (fortune-telling)

Now the story goes those this girl FOLLOWED them and KEPT saying that THEY WERE MEN OF GOD that others should hear them. So what was so wrong with her proclaiming that they were indeed the servants of God and that others should hear them? Sounds like that would be a good thing, right?

NO, IT WAS NOT! Because it was NOT GOD who TOLD HER TO PROCLAIM THESE THINGS! And when good is present evil is often there also! If those there that heard her proclaim theses things and then SAW the miracles and wonders of God come down and people saved THEN the demons could use that to their advantage, by mingling her “message” with the work of the Apostles and thereby VALIDATING this girl even farther.

Imagine the money they would have made from her then! Remember when the other demon spoke to the Jewish exorcists in ACTS 19:14-16, and told them “Jesus I know, Paul I know” and I asked WHO where they?

Evil always TRIES to weave itself in with good and you HAVE to see it for what it is. To farther prove this out, back to ACTS 16:17,18:

“The same (girl) FOLLOWED Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew us the way of salvation. And this she did MANY DAYS but Paul BEING GRIEVED, (greatly annoyed), turned, and said TO THE SPIRIT, I COMMAND THEE IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST TO COME OUT OF HER, AND HE CAME OUT THE SAME HOUR.”

Now, if it was a demon then that came through her, IT IS STILL demons today that use the bodies of these supposed physics, and again you can see by that story, they may seem nice, they can say things that really seem not so bad, BUT it is still a demon.

People have mingled the word of God and the teachings of the Bible and watered down the truth to the point that we are unwilling to shun anything and often people are not even taught that these things are STILL wrong.

Satan is and always has been and always will be a liar and to listen to those lies and seek after those lies in the name of comfort is just absurd. They can tell you anything and they can say that see this one or see that one but it will never change the fact that if those who passed on have not repented, if the psychics don’t repent and those who use them do not repent, they are not going to be in heaven and where ever the tell you they are is just another one of the lies to trap you and turn your mind against the truth of God’s word. But at no time can you have God and devils. God is Holy and you want answers you seek him. He WANTS you to seek HIM and HIS ways, ISAIAH: 18,19:

” BEHOLD, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me ARE for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

 And WHEN THEY SHALL SAY UNTO YOU, SEEK UNTO THEM THAT HAVE FAMILIAR SPIRITS (ARE MEDIUMS) AND UNTO WIZARDS THAT PEEP (WHISPER) AND THAT MUTTER: SHOULD NOT A PEOPLE SEEK UNTO THEIR GOD? FOR THE LIVING TO THE DEAD?

So, when THEY  TELL you to go ask a physic, you are NOT to go. You are to SEEK GOD. Why ask the dead questions pertaining to life, when all the issues of life belong to a very living God??? God HAS sent His Son, He has sent signs, He has sent wonders and all they can offer you is a cheap intimation of the things He wants to give you.

 It would take DAYS to discuss the warnings and thoughts the Bible gives on the subject, but the most classic, most horrifying, and most you better believe this can happen to anyone, example is the story of King Saul, remember that was once upon a time King of Israel, who CHOOSE the curse of disobedience over the blessing of obedience to the commands of God.

King Saul had a little habit of thinking because he was King that God’s commands did not apply to him, he had a little problem with that, the Lord had Israel FOREWARNED that Saul would NOT be a good king, but much like us THEY WANTED HIM ANYWAY.

So he had been commanded to rid the land of any who practiced magic, witchcraft, and any pagan “art”. A command he did not quite fulfill, once God had left him and the SPIRIT of jealousy had overtaken him, insanity began to set in. He still refused to conceded to the fact that God was not going to answer him and instead of repenting, this is that path he choose. 1 SAMUEL 28:7-10: 

“Then Saul SAID unto his servants, Seek ME a woman that hath a familiar spirit (is a medium), that I may go to her, and ENQUIRE of her, and his servants said unto him, Behold there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

And Saul DISGUISED himself, and put on other raiment (clothing) and he went and two other men with him, and they came to the woman BY NIGHT; and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me BY thy familiar spirit, (conduct a séance for me) and bring him up, whom I shall name unto thee.

And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off ( put to death) those that hath familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: Wherefore then layest thou a trap for my life? (why are you setting a trap) And Saul SWARE to her by the Lord, saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee in this thing.” 

Brief interjection time.. Okay, he is sneaking off disguised in the middle of the night, thinking GOD or no one else will ever know or see him, God ALWAYS knows and then he drags two other people into this sin with him and finally, even the witch knows that this is death penalty business and Saul has then unthinkable audacity to promise HER by THE LORD that she will not be punished!! That is why God TELLS us when they tell us that it is okay to partake in these abomination, DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM!

Onward! Same Chapter, picking up at verse 11-19: “Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said Bring me up Samuel. And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake unto Saul, saying Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul (you are Saul).

And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods (a spirit) ascending out of the earth. And he said unto her, What form is he of? (what does he look like?) And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. 

And Samuel said unto Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?  And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams, therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I should do. 

THEN said SAMUEL, WHEREFORE THEN DOST THOU ASK OF ME, (why are you asking me) SEEING THAT GOD IS DEPARTED FROM THEE, AND IS BECOME THINE ENEMY?

And the Lord hath done to him (David), as he spake by me: for the Lord hath rent (tore) the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbor, even to David: BECAUSE THOU OBEYEST NOT THE VOICE OF THE LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, THEREFORE THE LORD HATH DONE THIS THING UNTO THEE THIS DAY.

Moreover, (Also)  the Lord will deliver Israel WITH THEE INTO THE HANDS OF THE PHILISTINES, AND TOMORROW SHALT THOU AND THY SONS BE WITH ME:..”

That story SHOULD be enough to make anyone think twice, even when you feel like you need answers, wait upon the Lord and live life and be saved so HE will answer, we HAVE to be His to partake in His promises and there will always be things we don’t understand.

This DOES NOT allude to a display of physic power either, NOTICE the LORD ALLOWED this to happen. And in his sin SAUL DESTROYED HIS OWN SONS. HE DIED AND THEY DIED. Sin HURTS everyone you love.

Now for the bad news and the good news.

The bad news, back to our starting scripture they repented not… WHO can stand in the presence or against God? This is HIS words concerning the forces of darkness PROTECTING themselves against Him, just as Saul thought he could hide and he thought he could promise the witch protection. ISAIAH 47:12,13: “STAND NOW, with thine enchantments, and with the MULTITUDE of thy SORCERIES, wherein thy hast laboured since thy youth (practiced all your life to prefect), IF SO BE THOU ABLE TO PROFIT, IF SO BE THOU MAYEST PREVAIL.

THOU ART WEARIED (WORN OUT) IN THE MULTITUDE OF THY COUNSELS, LET NOW THE ASTROLOGERS, THE STARGAZERS, THE MONTHLY PROGNOSTICATORS, STAND UP, AND SAVE THEE FROM THESE THINGS THAT SHALL COME UPON THEE.”

 He is telling them to go ahead, stand, stand in their witchery and see how far they get and let all the demons they have trusted in to STAND AND SEE IF THEY CAN SAVE THEM FROM HIS WRATH.

Now for the good news.. THIS IS AND YET… they REPENTED NOT. So that means ALL the things that were listed CAN be REPENTED OF! God really does want people saved. That is why the Bible was written and why these verse exist. If King Saul was not spared, why would we be? If God hated it before why would He suddenly say oh, well twenty first centurions , have at it? He won’t! That is why we have and yet…..  

Back to ACTS 19, the story of the demon who defeated  the exorcists who KNEW NOT  Jesus, they were NOT saved, they DID NOT have the Holy Ghost with them to drive out those demons, so they were overthrown. The people who witnessed this were horrified and THEY REPENTED!

ACTS 19:17-19:” And this was known to ALL the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and THE NAME OF THE LORD WAS MAGNIFIED. and many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.

MANY OF THEM WHICH USED CURIOUS ARTS (PRACTICED MAGIC) BROUGHT THEIR BOOKS TOGETHER, AND BURNED THEM BEFORE ALL MEN: AND THEY COUNTED THE PRICE OF THEM, AND FOUND IT TO BE FIFTY PIECES OF SILVER.

So mightily grew the word of God and PREVAILED.” 

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

For the rest of this series please check out these posts; And Yet… Part 1 “paganism”

And Yet part 3 “Still sin”

and DEMONS, THE DEVIL AND THE DECEIVED/ PART 1 FALLEN  

“And Yet… ” PART 1, Playing with paganism

*Original Post 08/27/2016 Revisited to bring to remembrance scriptures as we lead in our last post for our last days*

“And the rest of the men (generic term for ALL humans) which were not killed by these plagues YET THEY REPENTED NOT  of the works of their hands, that they SHOULD NOT worship devils (demons), and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see nor hear, nor walk;

NEITHER REPENTED THEY of their MURDERS, nor of their SORCERIES, nor of their FORNICATION, NOR of their THEFTS.” REVELATION 9:20,21

To me that IS the most horrifying verse in the entire Bible. This IS stated AFTER the Lord starts pouring down vials of wrath on earth.

They KNOW that Jesus IS REAL, they ARE falling dead under His wrath and yet they still refuse to repent and turn away from the forces of darkness. There is quite a list there and I want to tackle first things first. works of their hands, worshiping devils, pagan deities that people believe to be gods, when they are made of wood, and some crafted from silver, pottery, and covered in gold.

It is still an idol, made with human hands or more so machinery in modern times, nevertheless, WORTHLESS creations thought from human minds inspired by demonic beings and they fall down and WORSHIP these idols.

THERE IS NO GOD except JEHOVAH GOD, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB, THE I AM THAT I AM, THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, AND THE ONLY SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. Period, everything else is a cheap demonic attempt to sway unstable minds who WANT a god that can be “served” amidst their own desires.

ISAIAH 40:18-25: ” To whom then will you liken God? (who can be compared to Him) or what likeness will you compare unto him? The workman melteth (moulds) an IMAGE, and the goldsmith spreadeth over it gold, and casteth silver chains ( silversmith casts it). He that is so impoverished (SO POOR) that he hath no oblation (can not afford to purchase idol) choosest a tree that will not rot; he seeketh a cunning workman (skilled craftsman) TO PREPARE A GRAVEN IMAGE, that shall not be moved (totter). 

Have ye NOT known? have ye NOT heard? hath it not been TOLD you from the beginning? have ye NOT understood FROM THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH? 

It IS HE that sitteth upon (above) the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that strectcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth the out as a tent to dwell in:

That bringeth (reduces) the princes to nothing: he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity (useless). Yea, they shall not (scarcely) be planted; yea, they shall not (scarcely) be sown: yea, their stock shall not (scarcely) take root in the earth: and he SHALL BLOW UPON THEM, and they SHALL WITHER, and THE WHIRLWIND SHALL TAKE THEM AWAY AS STUBBLE.

TO WHOM THEN WILL YE LIKEN ME, OR SHALL I BE EQUAL? SAITH THE HOLY ONE.”

I love how He dead nails how they create those things that they will worship, many old timers believed this was against the tradition of having a Christmas tree, but it is clearly  against their hewing idols out of every imaginable material.

I also love the fact that he starts with WHO? Who may anyone DARE to compare with Him?

And the added THEN, THEN after all these things come to pass, WHO will they dare compare to be His equal in might, strength, or power?

Certainly not dead tree trunks that have been dressed in even the finest of gold and silver. They will still be exactly as they are.. DEAD.

Having not eyes, ears, or speech. They cannot see man, They can not hear cries, and certainly they shall never speak even an utterance of deliverance.

The Lord who SAW what He had SPOKEN into creation as good.

He came down and SPOKE and WALKED with Adam and Eve in the garden, He SAW that they were naked.

He SPOKE with ABRAHAM, He and His angels met with him there because the Lord HEARD the cries of Sodom.

The Lord who SAW Hagar crying in the wilderness, and she named that place Lahairoi, The well of “HE WHO LIVES, sees and hears ME.”

He SAW what Moses held in his hand upon his commission, He HEARD the cries of the Hebrews against their oppression. He heard all the cries of Israel during their many times of obedience mingled with disobedience and each time they were about to be swallowed up by their enemies, he HEARD those cries. He heard the futile arguments of every prophet He sent forth and SPOKE encouragement to them.

He SAW the abominations the wicked priests committed in HIS temple and he SPOKE forth the orders of their executions. He Spoke to the disciples and all the crowds that followed as he WALKED upon earth, and upon sea.

He SPOKE to the demons that they would flee. He SPOKE to disease that it should be no more. He HEARD as the crowds screamed for His death and He SPOKE of forgiveness.

 The entire Bible is comprised about a LIVING,SEEING, HEARING, SPEAKING GOD!

 He STILL sees all earth, including you and me. He STILL speaks to those who will listen. He STILL WALKS upon the circle of the earth and in heaven and one day soon, upon His earthly return will stand upon Mount Olives and will Walk His city of New Jerusalem.

So, WHO will you compare Him to? His IS the only true, LIVING GOD, and as HE said “there IS no other”. Idols can not save, pagan beliefs will never deliver. and all the devil wants is to take you to hell with him because he KNOWS he is already condemned for all of eternity to burn there and he will be suffering eternally with all he deceived, he will be NO king in hell, and as scripture states, those he has deceived will ask him if he has become as weak as they. It is no fairy tale and all of earth declares His glory, but HE WILL NOT give that glory to another. It is not about tolerance or keeping peace, it is about souls and eternity and you HAVE a choice NOW, a choice you will not have when all these things come to pass. Today IS the day of salvation, CHOOSE whom you will serve and choose wisely.

COMMANDMENT #1 “THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME.”  Jesus NEVER changes, His word does NOT change, COMMANDMENTS DO NOT CHANGE. No matter what you have been taught or thought NOTHING will change the events in the book of Revelation, not believing WILL NOT change it because God DOES NOT NEED US TO BELIEVE IN HIM TO EXIST.

If you have been lured into these pagans thoughts and pagan religions, don’t by the tolerance line as a reason for not speaking against false beliefs either, just remember that Eve thought that eating the fruit would make her wise! The enemy lures us with the promise of knowledge when it is reality deception and we become wise only in our own eyes!

The pagan idols is but a drop in the bucket to the real idolatry that this verse speaks of. Especially in our modern culture, I always loved the term “teen idol” the name alone should strike a nerve of what this star worship really implies.

Our world has idols of money, houses, vehicles or social status and prestige. Idols of sex,  did all the crazed men really worship Monroe or Betty Page because they thought they would make fine mothers for future children? How about women flocking to see male “exotic” dancers? Is the attraction there because those huge muscles  would come in handy doing yard work at their future love nest?

Even denominations, and “spiritual” movements can become idols, Anyone wanna question whether Jim Jones “congregation” was following him and WORSHIPING HIM or were they really following the true God?

When the denomination is worshipped rather than the creator, and the cult mentality and pounding music of a certain new “spiritual” movement taking over peoples mind and completely brainwashing them to the truth and it never speaks a word of wisdom only the lull of “listen to the music and fall into worship”.

SCARY, SCARY business right there, and what scares me the most is seeing it go on right under  Pastor’s noses and they never even notice that something is not quite right.

We can WORSHIP anything and ANYTHING that has a higher ranking than God does in our lives IS an IDOL, and it is not always sex, drugs, alcohol, and gambling and with most idolatry, we seem to think God would approve because it makes us happy and makes us feel good! And yet.. another thing in the list of many that just does not quite get it with God.

Maybe you have even never heard the true word of God, whatever the case may be. If you serve and worship ANY other than Jesus Christ, I am pleading with you to please, please take time to rethink your position, ask why you believe what you believe and the what is the evidence for that belief and THEN discover the TRUTH for yourself before it is too late.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016   REVISITED 01/16/2021

As I felt impressed to “revisit” this post, I am also reminded of a scripture, used in a newer one, please consider this today, “For the time WILL come when they will not ENDURE sound doctrine”, that day was to come, and that day has been coming as the lines of what is and is not acceptable according to the true Word of God have become more and more blurred as so many have chosen to believe doctrines and teachings that are in complete contrast to true Biblical teaching, and that day has come.

If you know Jesus Christ hold on to your faith and never let anyway persuade you that there is any other way to Heaven, there isn’t, that is why Jesus said No man cometh to the Father except by Him. And if you have never made that decision, I plead with you today, if you feel that conviction, that tugging on your hear to accept Jesus, accept him before it’s too late, we are never promised another day.

Please join me next time for part 2

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

And Yet… #2                         And Yet… Part 3

Daniel Saw….

*From 2017 archive as lead in to upcoming post*

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12 

As all know, on November 5, the state of Texas suffered the worst mass shooting in the state’s history. When a gunman who had a history of violence, having been charged with assaulting his wife and stepson, and discharged from the military for “bad conduct”, according to news reports, actually having fractured the stepson skull, had ESCAPED from a mental health facility in 2012, been cited for animal abuse in 2014, managing to not only to avoid jail time, but allowed to harass his mother in law through text messages and show up unwanted at church gatherings.

You really have to wonder WHO was supposed to be “watching” this guy?

According to news stories from CNN, NBC, and FOX, the story played out like this, the gunman whose prime target was his former in-laws, stormed the First Baptist Church, in Sutherland Springs, Texas on that fateful morning, and left in is wake twenty-six people dead ranging in age from eighteen months to seventy-seven years, and also taking the life of an unborn baby by shooting the mother.

Three generations of one family died, a couple who for the first time were visiting the church, and the pastor’s own adopted daughter. Reports also that a five year old child had been shot five times.

Twenty-six dead and twenty more injured. How could anyone ever recover from the horror of that? The arguments have resurfaced again about gun control and YET it was another man with a gun that led to putting  a final stop to this nightmare.

There are always going to be weapons, criminals and the dangerously insane will ALWAYS find something that can be used as a weapon, and that is virtually anything, because it is not the object it is the intent to destroy and no one can stop that intent.

I have yet to understand that if the politicians who keep screaming “gun-control” REALLY believe their own rhetoric, shouldn’t they be the FIRST to dismiss their OWN ARMED SECURITY? Seriously, if you want to preach it to everyone else, maybe try living it yourself!

But evidently only “special” people should be allowed weapons and protection and the rest of us… well.. I probably am beginning to advocate “armed” deacons, and I really questioned if weapons in church would be appropriate by any standard.. BUT Nehemiah was forced to work with one hand while rebuilding because he had to stay armed with a sword in the other, so I don’t know and I am not a pastor so it is not my job to know.

That is another very scary aspect to all of this, the gunman had been to church and made others feel uncomfortable, the article did not go into specific, but the question was posed as to how exactly do you ask someone to leave or not attend a church? And better yet how would you determine who and when this would apply? So many questions but one absolute.. we are starting to see attacks on our churches just as our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world are persecuted for their beliefs.

Different way of doing but still the same demonic agenda, make people too afraid to worship and too worried about who might come through the door to be fully involved in the work of God.

Just as Jesus said, and you have to think about when he said this, almost two thousand years ago. There have always been evil people, God destroyed the earth with the flood BECAUSE of violence.

Violence breeds and sin breeds and when you have a society that allows ANYTHING and has a whatever rocks your world mentality about every morale issue in the book.

There is no more restraint, no one needs me to tell them just how bad the world is and all the tortures, rapes, murders, and human trafficking, not to mention cruelty to the animals that God gave us dominion over and that dominion does require caring for them. There is group after group dedicated to issue upon issue TRYING to save just a few because the level of iniquity, lawlessness, and sin has reached proportions that would make Noah’s day and Sodom cringe.

Being exposed to this, living in this and being constantly bombarded with the news of this DESTROYS that love, it destroys the “faith” in our fellow humans and just as rescue workers and military personnel run risks of “gallows’ humor” and PTSD BECAUSE of the horrors of WHAT they see, we too can become NUMB.

It is NOT that we want to be but just as Jesus said, IT IS THE SIN that deadens the love. I have often pondered Daniel, and as a young Christian, I was completely overwhelmed by a feeling of sorrow when reading certain of his words, words such as:

Daniel 8:26,27: “And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up  (seal) the vision, for it shall be for many days (the future). And I Daniel fainted, and WAS SICK CERTAIN DAY…..” and as he often fasted, prayed, and sat in sack cloth (mourning and repentance) and after another vision of the future:

Daniel 10:2,3: “In those days, I Daniel WAS mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh (meat) nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till the three weeks were fulfilled.”

This is the vision in which Daniel had sought the answer to and when the answer came, he had been told that the devil had withstood that answer for three weeks and the forces of hell had to be fought through before that answer could even arrive.  Think now how sedate we have become in our battles?

But back to my point, this is the verse that cut through to my soul, this was when Daniel SAW the Lord who had brought his answer. 

Daniel 10:7,8: “And I Daniel ALONE saw the vision; for the men that were with me saw NOT the vision, but a great quaking (fear) fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained NO strength in me: for my comeliness(vigor) was turned in me into corruption (frailty), and I RETAINED NO STRENGTH.

The presence of the Lord overwhelmed him but Daniel also SAW the future. He SAW what would come, he SAW the horrors, the abuse, the nudity, the depravity, he SAW the paganism, he SAW the outright worship of satan.

He SAW even worse.. he SAW mass media, not fathomed in his time, promoting the hatred of God, he SAW God’s name and the Name of His son blasphemed and ridiculed.

He SAW those paraded in mocking crucifixions and laughing and spewing hate into their own damnation. He SAW babies murdered inside the womb of their mother’s because they were not convenient.

He SAW these tiny bodies dismembered and sold to the highest bidder. He SAW children bloody, beaten, starved, abandoned, and sold to the highest bidder.

He SAW those so enslaved to drugs, and alcohol that they barely function much less worry about their souls.

Daniel SAW and it was not seeing the final destruction sin would bring upon man that brought him to a state of overwhelming sorrow…Daniel SAW what we would become.

We are beginning to see it to, there are things now I would have never dreamt WOULD ever come to pass as I began my walk with the Lord, and I know many of you feel the same way.

But the secret is that love, love has to go on. But God help us for what we have already saw and what yet remains to be seen.

And there IS no understanding of the things and how our brothers and sisters will ever go on and recover from these horrors, but LOVE untimely wins and LOVE truly conquers all.

Please don’t let the hate and anger of this world ever take that, remember the words of Jesus as we all await the final vindication and justice and redemption, the day we WILL be delivered from the evils of this world, wait and wait patiently for Him. 

Luke 21:19: “In your patience possess ye your souls.” 

Just keep holding on and holding on to each other! God Bless you, until next time…

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017 Original post: 11/09/2017 Revisited 06/20/2022 as lead to new post.

“ATTRIBUTES: His Grace”

” I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king: and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).

One generation shall praise thy works to another. and shall declare thy mighty acts.

I will speak of the glorious honour (splendor) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible (awesome) acts: and I will declare thy greatness.

They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger; and of great mercy.

The Lord is good to all; and his tender mercies are over all his works.

All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord: and thy saints shall bless thee.

They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power.

To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.

Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.

The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that are bowed down.

The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season.

Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest every living thing.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works.

The Lord is nigh (near) unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry and will save them.

The Lord preserveth (faithfully keeps) all them that love him: but all the wicked  he will destroy.

My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord; and let all flesh (people) bless his holy name for ever and ever.” Psalm 145:1-21

His  Grace, as the King of Kings, His Grace is the most fitting of all the royal titles.

Because it so perfectly describes him in his interactions with us and all his creations 

His kindness towards and his bending down to come close to us, right where we are and he patiently listens to all our petitions and graciously lets us voice concerns that he already knows that we have, but he lets us tell him why we are so worried, upset, or hurt anyway, such as the story of Abraham and his fear that his nephew Lot would be destroyed with Sodom, God patiently listened as he kept asking him if he found a certain number of righteous would he spare it, each time Abraham asking yet again, with a lower number.

The woman caught in adultery, as they all wanted her dead, but Jesus suggested that those among them without sin cast the first stone, convicting them in their own hearts and once they had all left, he asked her where were her accusers, and told her that neither did he condemn her, to go and sin no more

In everything, in every bible account his grace and graciousness toward us I so clearly evident. And the truest beauty of all is that by our logic, we should be so small and so insignificant in the grand realm of the universe, he literally cast the stars into the universe and has carved us in the palm of his hand and yet he will send his presence to us, to visit us in our affliction, in our sickness, and in our distress.

Never showing us anything other than his gentleness, mercy, and absolute goodness.

No wonder we are told to praise him, exalt him, and let others know about him, how could we not?

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/Rev. N Brown Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

“Simply Blessed”

“BLESS the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, Bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases;

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Who satiisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment (justice) for those who are oppressed.

He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

The Lord is merciful, and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever.

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; neither rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as heaven is high above earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

For he knoweth our frame (human condition);he remebereth that we are dust.

As for man, his days are as grass: as the flower of the field, so se flourisheth.

For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know (remember) it no more.

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness upon children’s children.

To such as keep his covenant, and those that remember his commandments to do them.” Psalm 103:1-19

We often think of blessing as asking the Lord to bless us, or bless those we care for, or have a need, and he does truly bless us and those we seek him on behalf of.

But what about when we bless him? When we give praise and honor to him and his Holy Name.

When we worship in his presence in that secret place of our prayer closet bringing all of our gratitude, not only for what he has done but for who he is.

When we begin to bless him, we then are blessed in him and in his presence, his mercy and grace, forgiveness, and healing, even renewing us, repairing the damages caused by the years of toil and strife of years of life lived without him.

He will repair all that has been broken, he will restore the years the cankerworm has eaten away, he will give the oil of joy for mourning, and he will renew not only your strength as the eagle’s but renew your youth.

“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings as eagles;

they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31

As you bless him you will be the one who is truly blessed!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

“Give it a Run for The Money and Keep on Truckin”

Guess I gotta give the low down ’bout that title, I am seriously missing my Sissy today, I actually miss her everyday but today has been exceptionally hard.

Probably because it’ my niece’s birthday, which was such a wonderful event for us all, she is an awesome person and like my own kid to me and her mother adored her, she adored both of her daughters, and the last words she spoke on this earth was for her to take care of her sister and that she loved her.

She was the voice of prayer and encouragement to accept my calling despite the odds against me, and it seems fitting to give nods to those who help us find our way, giving of themselves beyond any reasonable expectation, and she did, from praying for me constantly, to listening to my sermons, encouraging me not to be nervous and being the first reader of every post.

She would have dug this title.

We had our own language, she was a flower child, and she was star of my childhood, and my closet confidant for the remainder of her life.

But she was especially magical to me as a child, she was always so beautiful and so hip, in her jeans with peace sign patches and her super cool music that we would sing together and of course I was fascinated with her love life and spied out the window whenever she came home from a date,

Which usually followed with an “Ewww, you kissed him!”  when she came in, but she was wonderful and put up with me and loved me and grew up to be one of the greatest women of God anyone could have ever known, her last years marred by circumstance beyond her control, but she finished strong.

And even while she was dying, she was laughing and joking, much of it filmed by my daughter, which I don’t think I could ever bear to watch, but it was joy during heartache and for brief moments made us forget that these were our last moments.

We were using our age-old funk jive language that we spoke often, much to the disdain of others at times, who hadn’t a clue what on earth we were saying, but our whole family was like that, including my late brother, but when your family comes from mixed heritages with so many old sayings, and siblings whose formative years span multiple decades, you are bound to end up with some bodacious lingo.

“Run for the Money” means to give your actions everything you have to give and put and fight with everything you have inside of you against whatever stands in your way, basically “Don’t lay down and die”, another oldie but goodie, Keep on Truckin” means to just go on and keep going on and never stop.

So now that intro is out of the way and you can dig my groove with it, we’ll get deadly serious and flip this baby into Old English and go forth!

Galatians 6:9: ” And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if faint not.”

Our key words in that verse being if we faint not. Letting us know beyond a shadow of doubt that there are times that we feel so tired either physically or mentally or are so truly exhausted that we feel that we cannot go on and it is in those times that others will need you the most.

When you are tired and worn that is when someone else will need your strength to stand with them.

When you are grieving that is when someone else will need your comfort to bear their own storm.

When you feel your loneliest that is when someone else will need a friend.

When you are your sickest that is the moment someone else will need the prayer of faith for a miraculous healing.

We could go on and on with afflictions, but you can surmise it like this, whatever you’re struggling with, someone else needs the positive to your negative.

That is why it is written as “Let us not be weary”, when we feel like giving up the most is when we need to fight the hardest and then we reap what we have sown at a later time, when we need it the most.

Think of it as showing love, patience, and mercy to someone who never seems to show the same to you, if you continue to sow goodness, even when you feel least capable of it, you will then reap all of that beauty back to yourself, God’s goodness and mercy coming back home to you in the moment you need it most.

I have used this story in post past, but I am going to again, as we go through these thirty teachings to remember to help ward off the apostasy we hear today.

The Bible is full of wonderful accounts of this concept in action, but in my opinion, it is the greatest story of this teaching.

Acts 16: 16-34:“And it came to pass, as We went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met with us, which brought her masters much gain (lots of money) by soothsaying (fortune telling).

The same (she) followed Paul and Silas, and cried, saying, These men are servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 

And this did she many days but Paul being grieved (greatly annoyed), turned and said to the spirit, I command thee, in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

And when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone (they could no longer make money from her), they caught (seized) Paul and Silas, and drew (dragged) them into the marketplace unto the rulers.

And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city. 

And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

And the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates rent (tore) off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.

And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging(ordering) the jailor to keep them safety(securely).

Who, having received such a charge (order), thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast (fastened their feet) in stocks.

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God; and the prisoners heard them.

And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed (chains feel off).

And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had fled. 

But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

Then he called for a light, and sprang (ran) in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas.

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (family also)

And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripesand was baptized, he and all of his straightway.

And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat (food) before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with his whole house (family).”

So much there, I am so glad we got that story into one of our thirty.

This is a great lesson on dealing with people who want to argue you with you about psychics, and all that jazz, this clearly states that she could foretell things because she was possessed by a demonic spirit that was responsible for that.

But the true beauty of the story is that Paul and Silas, after being beaten, literally striped for doing something good, praying to the Lord to release this girl from the demonic grip and being chained down with their feet even in stocks. I can’t imagine what pain they endured. When we think how painful a cut or scratch can be as they burn if anything touches and you can imagine how dark, damp, and nasty the prison would have been and confined, unable to move in that pain.

But they prayed and the praised and God, who inhabits the praises of his people, sent an earthquake in response, that not only were they heard, but everyone also who heard them, would be freed.

There is so much symbolism in that, as to the light we can shine to others, they were all prisoners there, but Paul and Silas were spiritually free and that freedom brought the light of God to them all.

Paul’s compassion from the Lord being so great in him, that he did not wish to see the jailor commit suicide, and this love is not human, this love was not because Paul was a great guy, or the master of forgiveness, No, this love came because Jesus lived in Paul.

And with that love and compassion shown through their own pain, the jailor was saved and all of his family, in one moment, in one fateful night.

So how important is it to keep on doing what we are supposed to do, to keep on loving in the face of hate, to keep on forbearing in faith? I think the answer is already there.

We will never know how a single word, or a single action can affect eternity, but we know that it does, even the actions that may seem the smallest can have the most influential eternal impact and give the fight all you have to give and once you have given that, look inside and give a little more!

God will give us everything we need to accomplish everything he has purposed to be achieved in our lives and when you feel like you got it the least is when you have it the most.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

            Ruby Faye Brown

“Don’t Go Back for it”

As the disciples left all behind them, all that they knew and even whom they had been in to follow Jesus, becoming new creatures, new people, completely new identities, their true identities, that could only be found in him, we must also follow that same teaching.

“We then, as workers together with him, beseech (implore) you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain>

(For he saith, I HAVE HEARD THEE IN A TIME ACCEPTED, AND IN THE DAY OF SALVATION HAVE I SUCCOURED (helped) THEE; behold, now is the day of salvation)

Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry not be blamed.

But in all things approving (commending) ourselves as ministers of God. in much patience, in afflictions, in necessitates, in distresses,

In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings (sleeplessness) in fastings;

In pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned (without hypocrisy) ,

By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.

By honour and dishounor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers,, and yet true;

As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;

As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open (has spoken freely) unto you, our heart is enlarged (wide open)

Ye are not straightened (restricted) in us, but ye are straightened in your own bowels (restricted by own affections);

Now for a recompense (return) in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged (open).

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship (in common)  hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion (fellowship) hath light with darkness?

And what concord (accord) hath Christ with Belial (the Devil) or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel (unbeliever)?

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I WILL DWELL IN THEM; AND WALK IN THEM; AND I SHALL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 

WHEREFORE COME OUT NOW FROM AMONG THEM, AND BE YE SEPERATE, saith the Lord, AND TOUCH NO UNCLEAN THING; AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.

AND WILL BE A FATHER UNTO YOU, AND YE SHALL BE MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS, saith the Lord Almighty.” 1 Corinthians 6:1-18

The insidious indoctrination known as “tolerance”, which is falsely named is the biggest snare that taken the church of today.

The movement started with what would be considered a very noble thought, to come together and understand and even celebrate other religions. When God tells us to be completely separate, even though we have gathering buildings, churches, through the power of God living inside of us, we are temples of God and we are to honor him and him alone.

We are asked what common place can be found between Christ and the devil and those who worship Christ and those who do not, it is a question that we know the answer too, and we are to stay away from the things and thoughts, and teachings of this world.

It only serves to cause confusion, as all doctrines is taught with an edge of logic to make it sound attractive but in the end it will only lead the listeners away from the truth of the Gospel, which is why we were commanded to have no part of it.

Joshua 24:14,15: Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood (Euphrates),or the gods of the Ammonites, in whose land ye dwell; but as foe me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

We can’t have both, we can’t serve the Lord and have the indwelling of His Holy Presence and be commanded to be lights and witnesses to him while at the same time absorbing ourselves in pagan teachings and customs.

it does not serve God, it only serves us as being what society deems “tolerant” and “inclusive” when the true Gospel is both, God makes distinction between no one, which is way it says:

Romans 10:13: ” FOR WHATSOEVER SHALL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.”

Revelation 22:17 (b) ” …And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”

Galatians 3:26-28: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs to the promise.”

Looks pretty inclusive and tolerant to me. People only want to argue it because they want to stay in sin and want to stroke self- righteous egos by trying to blame God for their choices, as Joshua said, serve him or not, but none of us can have both, and in doing so we don’t have him.

  • Please note that capitalized scripture is capitalized in the Bible to denote reference to another scripture where it had been stated, I am not shouting 😊 and the reference to him speaking to them as his children in parenthesis is also are written.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N Brown Johnson

“Leaving it all Behind”

“And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed (crowded) upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

And he saw two ships standing by the lake, but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would (asked him to) thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

Now when he left (finished) speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught (catch)

And Simon answering, said unto him, Master (Teacher), we have toiled all night, and have taken nothing (caught nothing): nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

And when they had this done, they inclosed (caught) a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake (was breaking).

And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled their ships, so that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me: for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught (catch) of the fishes which they had taken.

And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook (left behind) all, and followed him.” Luke 5:1-11

Peter caught on pretty quickly, not only did he get the catch of a lifetime, but he caught on to who exactly it was that he was dealing with, and he knew by this absolute miracle that this was the work of the divine,

At the very moment he realized that Jesus was not your ordinary teacher, he fell to his knees, and he was convicted in his heart by Jesus’ presence, Jesus did not have to say a word about Peter’s life or anything he needed to change, his holiness itself stirring that need to repent in Peter.

Some of saddest reasons we ever hear from those who know they need salvation but never actually take steps to make that commitment, are “I want to wait until I can live it.” and behaviors in their lifestyles that they feel that they are unable to “give up”, never realizing that their next breath could be the last and that they could quite possibly miss eternal salvation.

Jesus referred to this state in the parable of the Sower, they hear and they know that God is real and his word is true,

Mark 4:18,19: “And these are they which are sown among thorns, such as hear the word,

And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” 

We have discussed in great detail the watering down and outright misrepresentation of the Gospel running rampant in these last days, and this is why, they refuse to give up the things of this world, such as in our passage above, after they had encountered Jesus, they left behind all that they had known before and followed in trust, and faith, and obedience.

Once we truly seek him and he makes his presence known we are absolutely unable to do the things we had once done, the sin we once enjoyed becomes a frightful charge that we need exonerated.

Which is exactly why Christ shed his blood for us.

We need not worry about changing ourselves or being “able to live it”, we can do neither, that is the work that God does in us through his Holy Spirit.

” And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence.

And I will give them one heart to, and I will put a new spirit within you (them) and I will take stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh:

That they may walk in my statues, and keep mine ordinances (judgments), and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way (repay) their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God.” Ezekiel 11:18-21

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/Rev. N Brown Johnson

 

 

“To Conquer Condemnation”

“And he shewed (showed) me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist (oppose) him. 

And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord doth rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this the branch which was plucked out of the fire?  

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.

And he answered and spake (spoke) unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with a change of raiment (rich robes).” Zechariah 3:1-4

Notice how the enemy, the adversary is standing right there to oppose this change that the Lord was making.  Even though his clothing was filthy, God was in the process of changing it all.

Often when we commit to Christ, the enemy, others, and often our own minds have a way of trying to convince that we have not really been changed, that we just thought we were saved, and then comes the list of past sins, failures, or mistakes since salvation flooding to our minds and it is such a lie form the enemy, just as in our verse above, he opposes God’s children at that point of salvation.

The Book of Revelation spells it out with crystal clarity.

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.

And prevailed not; neither was there place found any more in heaven.

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:7-10

That pretty much tells all their is to tell about the severity and persistence of the enemies constant accusations against God’s people.

I know this often quite a stumbling block for many Christians, especially new ones.

So let’s look at where we all have been.

“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe: for there is no difference. 

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:22,23

Isaiah 64:6: ” But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags: and we do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

We have all sinned, we all make mistakes and that is the supreme beauty of Jesus, he forgives us, not only for what we did in the past, or even yesterday, but also has grace and forgiveness for today.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

Once we are committed to him, nothing can ever separate us, except us.

It is vital to fight against the feeling of condemnation that tries to hinder you, because it does not belong to you!

“For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

Once we have accepted Christ, everything is washed completely away, we are made new and the past, in God’s view, no longer even exists and if God is so gracious to us, why can we not be gracious to ourselves and accept his wonderful gift of forgiveness?

Finally, I want to leave you with the verse to use to combat the enemy, and even others who may be trying to bring your salvation into question, it does not matter what you did yesterday or even today, if you repented and ask Jesus to forgive you that transgression is now under the blood and does no longer exists, so believe that and have comfort in that and when mistakes happen, get it under the blood and never look back at it again, and use this verse as your standing ground.

Romans 8:1: “THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

We are all works in progress, and even those who have been with the Lord fifty years, I am sure still have their moments of struggle and growth, we will never be perfect. He never asked us to be, He is perfect and he is the only one who will ever be.

Don’t let the joy and peace he wants you to have in him be stolen away by the trick of the enemy, just take it day by day.

Philippians 1:6; “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath began a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Christ.”

Bless you and have a great night!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

“To Cover It All”

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of the disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

And he said unto them When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth.

Give us day by day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation: but deliver us from evil.” Luke 11:1-4

I love the Lord’s prayer, I use the one from the Book of Matthew, it has just a tad different wording, exact same meaning. 

Before I was saved, I had bought a Bible, I was trying, and many of the words were like a foreign language until God opened it up to me after I was saved, but anyway, this particular Bible had a “helps” section, and one title was listed as, “Jesus’ ideal prayer” and it listed the one from Matthew.

And it has always had such a place in my heart, as I was seeking back then, I was terrified to pray aloud and had no idea what I was doing, and I would call my late sister and ask her to pray with me, and the first time I told her I was “trying to learn how to pray”, and of course she told me she’d love to pray together, she asked me what I wanted to pray, and I told her that this Bible suggested this prayer and she said that would be great, so we would pray the Lord’s prayer evening single evening for probably around a month and a half, and after I was filled with the Holy Ghost, she was my constant prayer partner and we always started out with that prayer.

I was one of those people that had prayed the sinner prayer countless of times but never felt saved, until I received the Holy Ghost, some of us have so much damage that He has to truly come to where we are and pick us up from it all before we quit believing the lies of the devil, and finally know that we are his.

And I had major damage and put the “heth” in heathen!

So, I want to give both, and if you don’t pray either one of these regularly, please memorize the one you feel more comfortable with and make it part of your daily prayer time, of course he hears us always and there is no “special” prayer but this is great to pray to just cover your day, because it literally covers all we need each day.

Matthew 6: 5-15: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 

Be ye not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

After this manner therefore ye pray ye:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one):

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

The Lord  revealed to me over time that as we pray this, we are starting our prayer, first by acknowledging him, as our Father. we are then showing respect and reverence to his name.

Then we are asking his will be done in earth, as it already is in heaven, which I believe of course, is Earth, our world, but also, the earth that is us, as we made of the earth, as Adam was fashioned from the dust of the ground.

Then we ask for our daily provisions, all that we would need for our daily life, but I also believe this has the added meaning of the spiritual bread, the word of God that we need every single day to have peace, strength, and hope in Him.

Then of course we ask for forgiveness and commit in advance to forgiving others for trespasses that may be inflicted toward us that day.

And we ask to not enter into temptation, and remember this is what Jesus told the disciples to pray when he was about to be arrested, he told them to pray that they not enter into temptation, a time of testing, and then we pray to be delivered from the evil one, protection from the devil and his demonic forces and the evil human forces that he often works through.

Then we end it the way we started, with an acknowledgment of the sovereignty and omnipotence of God, and that his kingdom alone is the kingdom, and has all power and glory.

Thank you for joining me, I do hope this hasn’t been too much of things you already knew, but not everyone has heard these teachings and I know the difference in my life.

God bless you, love & peace till we meet again!

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2022/ Rev. Nina  Brown Johnson

 

“Never So Lost”

“Then drew (came) near unto him all the publicans (tax collectors) and sinners to hear him. 

And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth (welcomes) sinners and eateth with them. 

And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 

And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me: for I have found my sheep which was lost.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just (upright) persons which need no repentance.

Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it?

And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which was lost.

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:1-10

There is no comfort even close to the comfort in knowing that Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and he will leave his flock and search the world over for that one little lamb.

And it does not matter to him, where that lamb has been, what that lamb has done, he doesn’t question the little, harshly berating it and asking, “What is wrong with you!? as we sometimes fear because of human reactions we have endured.

No, He just puts the little lamb on his shoulders, not even willing to further weary it through having to walk back over treacherous terrain, and carries on his own shoulders back to safety among his flock.

Rejoicing with his friends, in our case, truly with the angels of Heaven, themselves who are rejoicing because they know the truth, they know all about the devil and they see all the evil of this earth, they see the little lambs run away, often not because of something they themselves did, but more often what had been done to them, running always because they have been  deceived into falsely believing that God does not love them and God will not forgive them or that if God were real these things would not happen, not understanding that God does not cause these things and only God can undo the damage, giving beauty for ashes healing every hurt, making all things new.

If you are that little lamb today or if you are a little lamb that is struggling with doubts or troubles that are keeping you dangling on a spiritual ledge, please, talk to him, and just whisper his name, he knows where you are and he wants nothing more than to rescue you and I promise, he will never leave you and you will never be the same.

You are never so lost that you can’t be found by the one who created you!

Blessings & Love to you today!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

 

 

“Enough for Today”

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought (Do not worry) for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body more than raiment (clothing)?

Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are you not much better than they? 

Which of you, by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? And why take ye thought (worry about) for raiment?

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed (clothed) as one of these.

Wherefore if God so clothed the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought (do not worry) , saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.” Matthew 6:25-34

I love birds, all birds, it fascinates me to no end how God used the dove to bring back the olive branch to Noah to let him know it was now safe to resume life on earth, and that he used the ravens to feed Elijah during the famine. and the Holy Spirit in the bodily form as a dove resting on Jesus, and now forever the world’s symbol of peace, and even the super scary bird supper that takes place as the book of Revelation is fulfilled.

They are simply beautiful and to just listen to their songs in the morning and some even sing at night. 

Today I looked outside and noticed on my steps a darling little brown bird, I have no idea what kind, maybe a sparrow, I know some of them super well but others, not so much 🙂 and this little bird had hanging dried weeds out on both side of its beak, just bouncing on the step, looking around, making sure no predators were watching, quite obviously in the process of making a nest, planning for its future family.

I on the other hand, like most of us, had been pondering the craziness of our government (as I do often) and after reading that it had been recommended to start stockpiling food, I started seriously questioning whether or not people should start buying in bulk and stockpiling food and other items for their families and to have it to share if the worst case scenario should occur.

And then I thought about the literal starvation the world over much thanks to Putin who is determined to go down in history, but he is sure not going to go as he thinks, h evil be remember not, as the Great Czar he so wished to be but as a diabolic monster that destroyed millions, maybe billions of lives by the time all is said and done.

The constant threat of nuclear weapons over our heads, food will be a moot point.

How can we worry about all these things? Jesus said it best, as Gentiles, this is our logic.

We all are worried and concerned, gas prices, food prices, sickness, babies not even having formula in what is supposed as the richest country on earth, and looming threats of biological, chemical, and possible nuclear assaults is trying enough to make the most optimistic person think twice.

Then the scripture hit, “consider the ravens” which is how it is written in Luke 12:24, we worry and we worry, and often as my Mom always said, over things that never even happen.

As Jesus said, tomorrow will take care of itself.

We often buy trouble worrying about tomorrow and worrying about tomorrow causes us to lose the joy, and peace of mind that we could have today.

We can do very little in the natural world to change these things, we can give, and we can try to be an encouragement.

But ultimately, we have to pray and trust God, just like Jesus told us too and remember what he has already done  and be like that little bird and get on with life and get on with making future plans and setting goals and having hope. 

And even though the world may be saying that it would be wise, the moment we start to give in to those voices, and stockpile unnecessary food and supplies, gas, we are setting ourselves up for the worst form of worry and anxiety,

Will it be enough? How much would ever be enough?

What happens will it is all used up? It would eventually be all used up. 

Doesn’t take long to realize why Jesus told us not to fall into this trap. Even if we worried ourselves into having it all, we would then be worried about keeping it!

Because He knows what we all have need of and He will take care of every need, but He commanded us also to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” and that is exactly what he meant!

And of course, I am not talking about if God is leading you to do it, or you are buying up for food banks or anything like that or buying a few extras at a good price and I am talking about the anxiety that tries to sneak into all our minds from time to time.

One of my favorite old sayings is this. “If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it.”

We will all know when it breaks and believe me, God will take care of it all then.

ENJOY your day! 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

“Intercession of Christ”

“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth (does) he yet hope for it?

But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Likewise the Spirit helpeth with our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which can not be uttered.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is in the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 

And we know that all things work together  for the good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Moreover whom he did predestinate , them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified, them he also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also give us freely all things? Who can lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifeth.

Who is he that condemeth?  it is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again. who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 

Who shall separate from love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness,  or peril, or sword? As it is written, FOR THY SAKE WE ARE KILLED ALL THE DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR SLAUGHTER.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquers through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:24-39

This is one of the most beautiful and comforting passage of scripture in the entire Bible, and so perfect for the time we find ourselves sin.

In our world our brothers and sister are being martyred the world over, with Nigeria being targeted yet again with fifty saints including children being killed at a Pentecost service, and that is only one of the recent, common occurrences  and tragedy upon tragedy is in our streets with senseless murders having become an everyday thing,

Events that we will never understand this side of heaven, evil and hate laying waste, not only in homes plagued with domestic violence but now in our schools, theaters, workplaces, and churches.

Our society has left God and people who have no belief in anything higher than themselves and believe that death is only a dark hole to sleep forever, have no recourse when satan troubles them and in that evil they themselves become evil and the innocent is who suffers for that.

Only God can give us hope through the blackness of this world, and as the scripture above tells us, that when we get so discouraged, wounded, and overwrought by living in this war-zone, we call earth, that the Spirit himself makes intercession for us, knowing what we need because we can’t even determine what we should pray.

Jesus Himself also makes intercession for us, praying for us, comforting us and all who trust in him.

While we are not  promised that we will never go through these things, we are promised that none of it, not trials, troubles, hunger, persecution, violence, not even the angels nor the devil himself, life, and certainly not even death can ever separate you from Him and his love.

“…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20 (b)

If you ever find yourself feeling, down, discouraged, and in doubt, remember  this verse.

Isaiah: 46:4: ” And even to your old age I am he; and even to your hoar (gray) hairs will I carry you; I have made and I will bear: even I will carry and deliver you.”

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

“Holy Ghost and Fire, Promise Fulfilled”

“Let your heart not be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, i would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and ye know the way. 

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest (where you are going); and how can we know the way?

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth (now on) ye have known him, and have seen him.

Philip saith unto him, Lord shew (show) us the Father, and it sufficeth (will satisfy) us.

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but of the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

Believe me that I am in the father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also: and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

And whatsoever ye ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

If ye ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I willl pray the father, and he shall give you another Comforter (helper) that he may abide with you for ever. 

Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him notneither knoweth him: But ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 

At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and will manifest (reveal) myself to him. 

Judas saith unto, not Iscariot (not Judas the betrayer), Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him,  and we will come unto him, and make our abode (home) with him. 

He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 

These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things back to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:1-27

The baptism of fire that John proclaimed, As scripture tells us God is a consuming fire.

That fire being sent and consuming the sacrifices of old, now accepting our souls given in obedience to his Son and the eternal kingdom.

God’s holy fire purging us that all impurities be burned away to refine us as gold is refined,

Jesus is explaining to us the greatest mystery of all, how he through his death and resurrection reconciled us not only back to God, but as believers we have the Father and the Son dwelling is us.

And the Holy Ghost, the manifestation of himself to us, teaching us, leading us, and comforting us and best of all actually living inside of us.

Now these, my friends are those things that the world can’t handle. They don’t understand it, they don’t believe it, and they want no part of hearing the truth of it.

Just as Jesus told us, they can’t receive him because they do not know him.

Acts 2:1-39: “And the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (one purpose of mind) in one place.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues (languages) as the Spirit gave utterance.

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised aboard (sound occurred), the multitude came together; and were confounded (confused) because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?

And how hear we every man in his own tongue, wherein we were born?

Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome (visitors in Rome) Jews, and Proselytes,

Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues (languages) the wonderful works of God. 

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt (perplexed), saying one to another, What meaneth this? 

Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, let this be known unto you, and hearken (pay attention) to my words.

For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing as it is but the third hour of the day. 

 But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel; AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, SAITH GOD, I WILL POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH: AND YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS;

AND ON MY SERVANTS AND MY HANDMAIDENS I WILL POUR OUT IN THOSE DAYS OF MY SPIRIT; AND THE SHALL PROPHESY.

AND I WILL SHEW WONDERS IN HEAVEN ABOVE, AND SIGNS IN THE EARTH BENEATH; BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOUR OF SMOKE: 

THE SUN SHALL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS, AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THAT GREAT AND NOTABLE DAY OF THE LORD COME:

AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL ON TEH NAME OF TEH LORD SHALL BE SAVED.

Ye men of Israel. hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God di by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden to (held by) it. 

For David speaketh concerning him, I FORESAW THE LORD ALWAYS BEFORE MY FACE, FOR HE IS ON MY RIGHT HAND, THAT I SHOULD NOT BE MOVED (shaken)

THEREFORE DID MY HEART REJOICE, AND MY TONGUE WAS GLAD: MOREOVER ALSO MY FLESH SHALL REST IN HOPE;

BECAUSE THOU WILT NOT LEAVE MY SOUL IN HELL, NEITHER WILT THOU SUFFER THINE HOLY ONE TO SEE CORRUPTION. THOU HAST MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; THOU SHALT MAKE ME FULL OF JOY WITH THY COUNTENANCE (in thy presence).

Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre (tomb) is with us unto this day.

Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that Go had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruits of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.  he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption (decay).

This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses.

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 

For David is not ascended into the heavens; but he saith himself, THE LORD SAID UNTO MY LORD, SIT THOU ON MY RIGHT HAND. 

UNTIL I MAKE THY FOES THY FOOTSTOOL.

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ.

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

“Consecrated and Commissioned”

“That thou mightest know the  certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea a certain priest named Zacharias, of the house of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

And they had no child, because Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years (old).

And it came to pass, that while he executed (served) the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

And the whole multitude of the people were praying without (outside) at the time (hour) of incense.

And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth.

For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall neither drink wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 

And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby (How) shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is well stricken in years.

And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew (show) these  glad  tidings,

And behold, thou shalt be dumb (mute), and not be able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall  be fulfilled in their season.”  Luke 1:4-20

I wanted to stop for just a sec, and tell you something, this is a great example of why we shouldn’t always be so quick to beat ourselves up when we sometimes struggle with our own faith.

Dude here, had Gabriel, the angel Gabriel himself standing there, coming on divine assignment from God himself and still he questioned the good news that he had been given, but in his mind, he just struggled with he and Elisabeth’s age, but again gives us yet another wonderful example that age is nothing to God, and impossible is a strictly human word, a word that is not in God’s vocabulary.

As we read, because of his doubt, because he doubted an angel himself, he would be speechless until John was born.

Luke 18:27: “And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

As it had been on my heart to do thirty days of the basics, the fundamental teachings and stories of Christ, because to be honest there are so many jacked up twisted versions of what they want to call the Gopsel being taught and spread that it horrifies me.

2 Peter 3:16: ” As also in all his epistles speaking in them these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned (untaught) and unstable wrest (twist) as they do also the other scriptures unto their own destruction.”

Two vital words there unlearned, which means untaught, and unstable. This is referencing those whom we have spoken of in posts past, that whether they even realize or even take it seriously, that by engaging the word of God and using his name and holding “services” completely unrepentant and in complete abomination to him is one of the most dangerous things any human being can do and if they go to far over that line, through their not even understanding his holiness, they could endanger their souls to the point of no forgiveness.

Who teaches us? God. God teaches us through his word and we now have access to even listen to the word being read, completely free online. it is so important to have a personal relationship with God so that he can  use that time to teach us what he would have us to know.

That is why we are taking a good look a John, the one God chose and consecrated  to come first to announce the arrival of the King.

A King must always have an introduction and a people must always know how to behave in the presence of a King.

John was given the Holy Ghost before he was born of his mother, think about that and think about all these abortions, John had already been given his very name, and sanctified and consecrated of the Lord, in the highest form before even leaving his mother’s womb.

I want to now share with you the rest of the story.

Luke 1:57_80: “Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.

And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.

And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.

And his mother answered and said, Not so: but he shall be called John.

And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.

And he asked for a writing table (tablet) and wrote his name is John. And they marvelled all. 

And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. 

And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad (word spread) throughout all the hill country of Judea.

And all that heard them laid (kept) them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: for he hath visited and redeemed his people.

And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.

As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began.  

That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us.

To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant.

The oath which he sware to our father Abraham.

That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear. 

In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.

To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission(forgiveness) of their sins. 

Through the tender mercy of our God: whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us. 

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.  

And the child grew, and waxed (became) strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing to Israel.” 

We can see so clearly through this account the seriousness and holiness of God’s commissions.

His name, the command that he could not consume alcohol, the details of his commission all given to his father before he was even conceived! Now that is powerful and that is God!

We will look at the arrest and execution of John in a later one of our thirty posts.

But for now, I want to leave you with Jesus word’s concerning John, and the job he did and the hope for all who truly love him and keep his word in truth and integrity.

Luke 7:28: “For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he is that is least in the kingdom of God is  greater than he.”

Thanks for reading, Love & peace till tomorrow!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

 

“Witness to the Light”

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God,

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not. 

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light. that all men through him might believe.

He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 

He came unto his own and his own received him not

But as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the sons (children) of God, even to them that believe on his name;

Which were born not of blood, nor the will of man, but of God. 

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake (spoke), He that cometh after me is preferred before me (ranks higher than I):for he was before me.

And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias?  And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give answer to them that sent us, What sayest thou of thyself? 

He said, I AM THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD, as said the prophet Esaias (Isaiah).

And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? 

John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not: 

He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me (ranks higher than I) whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan where John was baptizing.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. 

This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 

And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth  with the Holy Ghost. 

And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again, the next day John after stood, and two of his disciples; 

And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!  And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” John 1:1-37

Safe to say, John rocked their world!!They had never seen anyone, anything quite like John.

He was the complete opposite to everything the religious crew of the day could comprehend.

John had been sent here on his mission, equipped with everything he needed to do the job, already inside of him.

We will take a closer look at the prophecy and birth of John in our next post, so that we can see the requirements that are so often conveniently over-looked today.

He did not look like them, as being described wearing camel’s hair and a leather belt, while they had their priestly robes.

He certainly did not feast as they, with the best, most prestigious seat at the tables of the wealthy, No, his meals were of locust and wild honey.

And he certainly did not preach like them, he did not white-wash over actions and attitudes that kept the money flowing while producing hearts black as coal, even if it meant taking on Herod and letting him know that he was in sin, this leading to his arrest.

Can you imagine? He was doing something no one had ever done, or had ever heard of doing!

He was proclaiming the King of the universe, and he was proclaiming him to “common” people, he was not condemning those who came to him, he was not putting himself on a religious pedestal as the Pharisees.

He constantly humbled himself, letting all know that he was not even worthy to touch even the sandal of the one he exalted.

He warned them that the road must be prepared for the arrival of the true King and that all the exalted places must be lowered, and all the rough places made smooth, and warned that even though he preached, and he baptized them with water, that the King would also himself, baptize those who believed, and that his baptism would be unlike anything they had ever known or understand.

This baptism would be of fire and the Holy Ghost, and that as the king came into the world, his great light would manifest to all.

All that was or would ever be created, created by him and for him, and he came to redeem us all.

Isaiah 60:1-3: “ARISE, shine for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and the kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

Let’s go back to one of our earlier verses.

John 1:11: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

As they of the day rejected him, we, the Gentiles, all other peoples of the earth then had access to his salvation.

Never let anyone try to harden you against the Jews, the are his chosen people, we are just adopted in, but in the end we will all be one in his kingdom.

Here is the expatiation.

Romans 11:1-28: “I SAY then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid (certainly not). For I am also an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot (Know) ye not what the scripture saith of Elisas (Elijah)? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,

LORD, TEHY HAVE KILLED THE PROPHETS, AND DIGGED (torn) DOWN THINE ALTARS; AND I AM LEFT ALONE, AND THEY SEEK MY LIFE.

But what saith the answer of God unto him? I HAVE RESERVED TO MYSELF SEVEN THOUSAND MEN , WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO THE IMAGE OF BAAL.

Even then so at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election (elect of God) hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (hardened)

(According as it is written, GOD HATH GIVEN THEM THE SPIRIT OF SLUMBER {stupor} EYES THAT THEY SHOULD NOT SEE, AND EARS THAT THEY SHOULD NOT HEAR;) UNTO THIS DAY.

And David saith, LET TEHIR TABLE BE MADE A SNARE, AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLINGBLOCK, AND A RECOMPENSE UPON THEM. LET THEIR EYES BE DARKEND THAT THEYMAY NOT SEE, AND BOW DOWN THEIR BACK ALWAY.

I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid (Certainly not); but rather through their fall (trespass) salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Now if the fall (trespass) of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing (failure) of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office (my ministry).

If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead.

For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump also is holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 

And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert (were) graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and the fatness of the olive tree;

Boast not against the branches, But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee (remember you do not support the root, it supports you)

Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 

Well: because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear:

For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed, lest he also not spare thee.

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 

For if thou wert (were) cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

For I would not, (do not want) brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits (opinion); that blindness (hardening) in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

AND SO ALL OF ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED: as it is written: THERE SHALL COME UP OUT OF SION THE DELIVERER, AND SHALL TURN AWAY UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB;

FOR THIS IS MY COVENANT UNTO THEM, WHEN I SHALL TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.

As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching (concerning) the election (elect’s), they are beloved for the fathers’ sake.”

We can understand by Paul’s comparison that in the end we will all be one, all the families of God, and we should be grateful that we were adopted into the Lord’s first family.

And this is why it is so important to remember what God said i the Old Testament, he will curse anyone who curses Israel and he will bless those who bless them. We are to pray for their peace and help them in anyway that we can.

That light has shone, As this world grows ever darker, our Lord wonderous light will shine even brighter!

John 8:12: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

*Also, I am not shouting! Some scripture is capitalized as it is the Bible to denote it being recited from another passage.

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2022/Rev. N. Brown Johnson

“Introduction to the King”

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophets, BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER BEFORE THY FACE, WHICH SHALL PREPARE THE WAY BEFORE THEE. 

THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT. 

John did baptize in the wilderness and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him.

And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of skin (leather belt) about his loins; and he did eat locust and wild honey.

And preached saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. 

I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.

And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:1-15

As we begin our adventure into refreshing ourselves through some of the teaching of Jesus, I want to point something out.

One of the main issues today, that has led up to the false teachings that are rampant today leading millions, possibly billions down the wrong path as they have trusted the salvation of their souls to these “teachers” that are either intentionally, for gain, misleading them or having put themselves into a field that they are not qualified for.

To be qualified, you must have a true relationship with Christ, included having repented of sins and accepted his salvation.

If they themselves have never repented, how on earth can they lead others to repentance?

Of course, they teach that anything goes because they do not know the truth of the Gospel, nor do they know the danger that they put not only themselves but those who follow them in.

God is Holy, He changes that for no one.

So I want to give a little of John’s story from multiple Gospel accounts, this I believe is one of the major issues going on, no one can truly understand the word of God unless God reveals it to them by His Spirit, this is why Jesus, when asked by the disciples why he spoke in parables, answered this.

Mark 4:11-12:”And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.

And he said unto, Unto you it is given to know the mystery (secret, hidden truths) of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without (outside) all these things are done in parables.

THAT SEEING THEY MAY SEE, AND NOT PERECEIVE; AND HEARING THEY MAY HEAR. AND NOT UNDERSTAND; LEST AT ANY TIME THEY SHOULD BE CONVERTED, AND THEIR SINS SHOULD BE FORGIVEN THEM.” 

That is why so many will twist scripture and try to argue points when they do not have the complete understanding of what they are miscommunicating to others.

God had the Bible written in such a way, that we can read part of an account in one book and then need to read the rest of the story in one or several other books of the Bible, and some things from the Old Testament are revisited and further explained in the New Testament and vice versa.

That is why we are told to “righty divide the word of Truth”, it is not so easy that they can just pick a book (which they do) and then twist it into their own personal interruption. God has to give us that understanding and in order to have that understanding we have to be in him.

And as they would rather trust in their own “knowledge” and their own “understanding”, he lets them have it their way.

They have the praise of themselves, and of others who are being misled, but they have nothing of God.

Now that we got that out of the way!

I want to give a more detailed account of John, it is good to know these things for ourselves, and it gives us true insight concerning the beginning of Christ’s ministry and the purpose of it.

Luke 3:1-9: “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene.

Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto john the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

And he came into all the country about (around) Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance from the remission of sins.  

As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.

EVERY VALLEY SHALL BE FILLED, AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL SHALL BE BROUGHT LOW; AND THE CROOKED SHALL BE MADE STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH WAYS SHALL BE MADE SMOOTH.

AND ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD.

Then said he to the multitudes that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation (offspring) of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father (as an ancestor) for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.”

I want to take an injection moment, before we continue, please notice that John was essentially dealing with the problem we have today.

They were arrogantly saying in their hearts that they did not need this salvation, because they were of the lineage of Abraham, trying to use lineage as an excuse for not having to take personal responsibility for the need of repentance.

And he literally called them the offspring of Vipers, snakes, serpents, taught in all things reprobate, never being warned by those who came before, that there was a wrath to be escaped.

He let them know that this was not about having worshippers or servants of the Lord, that God could create heirs for Abraham out of the very rocks if he so chose, that the need for salvation was not needed of God, but needed by them themselves, as that wrath would come and all not producing fruit of the spirit would be sawn down.

This got their attention! Most people want salvation, that is why it is up to us to let them know the truth.

Luke 3:10-22:”And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?

He answered and saith unto them, He that hath two coats (tunics), let him impart (give) to him that hath none: and he that hath meat (food), let him do likewise.

Then came also the publicans (tax collectors) to be baptized, and said unto him, Master (Teacher), what shall we do?

And he said unto them, Exact (Collect) no more than that which is appointed you.

And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, (Do not intimidate or shake down) neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. 

And the people were in expectation, and all men mused (reasoned) in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ or not.

John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water: but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner (barn);but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. 

And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. 

But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved (rebuked) by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils he had done.

Added this yet above all, that he shut John up in the prison.

Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened.

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said Thou art my beloved Son: in thee I am well pleased.”

We’ll get a little more into what went on with John and Herod in another post, but as you see John clearly taught what was acceptable to God. These things were not optional, neither are they optional today.

Lastly, we can see the importance of doing as God requires, as John preached and baptized, warning, and exhorting those who came to him and we see, even, Jesus, in obedience to God, doing the same,

Matthew 3: 13-15: “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and thou comest to me?  

And Jesus answering said to him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered (allowed) Him.”

John did not want to baptize Jesus, because he knew who Jesus was, (and is), he knew he needed Jesus to baptize him, but Jesus told him to do it, to allow it, because it was fitting, Jesus was an example for us and to us, that all righteous must be fulfilled.

If the Word himself kept Word, how do you suppose so many teach that it is negotiable and open to interpretation?  It’s not.

Love & Peace till tomorrow! Thanks for reading!

*Also, I am not shouting! Some scripture is capitalized as it is the Bible to denote it being recited from another passage.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

“Epitome of Unassuming Grace”

“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre (tomb), and seeth the stone rolled taken away from the sepulchre. 

Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple (John), and came to the sepulchre.

So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the lines clothes lying, yet went him not in.

Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

And the napkin (face cloth), that was about 9around) his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together (folded) in a place by itself.

Then went in also, that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

For as yet, they knew (understood) not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 

Then the disciples went away again unto their own homes. 

But Mary stood without (outside) at the sepulchre weeping; and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre.

And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been.

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

And when she had thus said, she turned herself back (around), and saw Jesus standing there, and knew not that it was Jesus.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seeketh thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto to him, Sir, if thou hast borne him hence (carried him away), tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

Jesus saith unto her, Mary, She turned herself, and saith unto him Rabboni, which is to say, Master (Teacher).

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the first day of the week, when the doors were shut, where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

And when he had so said, he shewed (showed) unto them his hands, and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 

Then Jesus said to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 

And he when he had said this, He breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit (forgive) they are remitted (forgiven) unto them: and whose soever sins  ye retain, they are retained.

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

The other disciple therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except (Unless) I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 

And after eight days again his disciples were within (inside), and Thomas was with themthen came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet they believe. 

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciple, which are not written in this book.

But these are written, that ye might (will) believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might (will) have life through his name.” John 20:1-31

Even with the millions, billions of words in our human language that could be used to describe Jesus, there are still none that would ever completely describe His grace.

The grace that He extends to us as we try to find our way, as our human thinking tries so unsuccessfully to understand the absolute miraculous

I love so much about the accounts above, they all suffered the same doubts, as all humans would, when faced with his death, a death that most witnessed with their own eyes, and as we are told, they had not at this time, understood, exactly what had been foretold to them.

It has often been asked why He revealed himself to Mary first, and I love what I believe to be the answer, and I love it because it is just such a perfect example of who He is.

Mary needed him the most,

Jesus sees us from day one, our entire life, all the pain, sorrow, and sufferings that many go through, and often some more so than others.

And some do seem to be stronger, while others carry wounds that in order to be healed require a touch so gentle, that it can only come from the Master’s hand.

I also love the verse taht tells us Jesus wept, he wept because Mary and Marth were crying, they were crying because there brother Lazarus died, but Jesus knew that He was going to resurrect Lazarus from the dead, He was crying because it broke his heart to see his daughter weep.

He wanted to comfort Mary and dry all those tears by letting her know that He indeed lived.

Notice also when He appeared to the disciples, he knew that they would be confused and afraid, the first word he says is peace, and while they did not ask for “proof”, He invited them to feel his hands and side.

He wanted them to be reassured in his peace.

And even though we quite often hassle Thomas in our day by calling him “Doubting Thomas”, many would have felt the same, again, knowing that Jesus had been crucified.

But Jesus knew what Thomas had said, and even more so He knew what Thomas needed in order to believe.

And at no time are we told in scripture that Jesus questioned them as to How could they not believe what they had been told, or that he in any way chastised them or belittled them for being human, and having doubt.

Quite the opposite, as scripture says this: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men (humans) liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach)and it shall be given him.” James 1:5

That means wisdom and understanding of anything, any are, any question.

And that is with the promise that God will in no way make us feel silly, or chided for our need to understand or the need to have our faith strengthened.

Jesus is beautiful and Holy  and there are so many stories in the Bible about just that, His grace toward us, so many examples of letting humans speak their minds, asking for something, while he all the while knows the desire of their heart that they are getting around to asking.

Because for some reason as humans we feel like we have to convince him of the reasoning why we are asking for whatever it is we are asking, but this is not what he asks of us, he just asks us to ask him and believe,

He is so gracious, just as the verses above that He will give us whatever it is that we need to believe, and to strengthen our faith or any other obstacle that need eliminated so that we are not hindered in our walk with him.

Have faith in that today and whatever you need, He has more than enough grace to give it.

Thank you for reading. Love & peace to you till next time! Mention of which, please join me over the next thirty days, as it was on my heart to do a short post, each day, on His teachings.

Starting with this one, so we’ll take a refresher on the Word, straight from The Word’s words!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/Rev. N. Brown Johnson