Simply Glorious

And the light shineth in darkness; and darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:5 KJV

This verse is part of the description John gave us in his explanation of the marvelous mystery of Jesus Christ.

Let’s back this train up and check out the proceeding verses.

John 1:1-5 NKJV: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God. 

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

What exactly is that comprehension?

I always love to add a precise meaning, because every single word in the Bible is intentional and the choice of the usage of that particular word is often key in understanding what God would have us to glean from that scripture.

So even though we do often know the meaning of a word, it’s helpful to also check the other possibilities.

One meaning of comprehend is this: “To take in the meaning, nature, or importance of, or to grasp” that is according to our internet dictionary.

The light that shined so gloriously and the darkness did not even notice its arrival, much less that it was there.

You know, I can’t possibly do a Christmas post without the Shepherd story, I have many a Christmas post and I appreciate your tolerance of my Christmas “reruns”, to me, it’s like decorations, we only see them for a very short season, once a year and if someone new is seeing them for the first time, well, that justifies the rerun:).

Let’s get to the most glorious announcement ever to be heard by human ear, as an angel from heaven itself proclaimed the arrival of The King 

as the arrival of a King must be proclaimed, even if the King choses his arrival to be as a newborn baby boy in a stable lowly and sure.

Oh, I love this story! I could literally stand and quote verbatim with as much joy and excitement in my own soul as the first time I ever read it.

Luke 2:1-20: ” And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David.)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room from them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord appeared shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all that heard it wondered at those things told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying, and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

Oh, can you imagine! The shepherds ran, they went as fast as they could possibly go, to see the wonder of heaven touching earth, as proclaimed by angelic voices praising the eternal King and his glorious, glorious light that shone down, that glorious light that shone about the angel, that magnificent star that would later lead the wise men.

Jesus in his radiant light and He is that light, as He himself said.

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.”

Our world is so incredibly dark, as God sent Jesus into this world and his wonderous birth was unknown to those of high estate that night and was proclaimed to those whom God himself had chosen to be the messengers of the greatest news in human history.

Shepherds, shepherds, who were doing their jobs, being diligent, caring for those flocks, watching over them at night.

Those he chose, obedient, and diligent, and faithful as they went forth proclaiming the good news of the miraculous birth.

As in our time today, that wonderous, glorious news was and is sent to all, but now rejected by so many, as their darkened hearts cannot even comprehend the truth of the Gospel.

The wickedness of our present world would shame Sodom, we have gone beyond all rhyme or reason, we have entered into the realm of lunacy with our laws and actions, rejecting the Saviour, rejecting the light, fulfilling this verse.

John 3:19: ” And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil.”

But as those shepherds had that good news to proclaim, we today also still have some awesome news to be shared.

That light has not dimmed, that light has not lost one lumen, and that light shall never be extinguished, it is not man-made, nor will the actions of men ever have bearing upon its brilliancy.

We know that those who do not desire the light, those wish to destroy it, as they have longed to destroy Israel, and hate and persecute those who love the light, and shine themselves, as the lights Jesus left them to be on this earth, we know that they do not comprehend the eternal weight of that hatred and rejection, but we must also rejoice in the truth that their hatred and rejection will never prevent that glorious revelation of the true magnificent of his light yet to be shone,

As the wise men came from the east to behold the King, we have this proclamation concerning the day in which all will behold Him, in His glory,

Matthew 24:27: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

That glorious light will burn brighter than ever and that light will destroy once and for all the oppressive darkness.

2 Thessalonians 2:8: “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”

Revelation 21:23: “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

Now that is some good news and that is simply glorious, as it shall be!

Blessings to you and yours, have a blessed holiday season and may that glorious light shine upon you!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev N. Brown Johnson

 

 

 

 

“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

 

 

 

 

 

“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

“A Brief Intermission”

“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire is cometh, it is the tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

You gotta have hope! I love that verse because think about it, when we get discouraged and life throws everything at us, “but the kitchen sink”, as our Southern sayings go, we can lose hope and nothing is worse than feeling hopeless.

As that verse tells us it literally sickens our heart. It also destroys our health, peace, and withers away our very souls, but when the thing we had hoped for and almost given up hope on, finally comes to be, we have such joy, such newness, that brings a fresh breath not only to our life but to our very soul.

And you may be thinking,” Okay Lady, aren’t you supposed to be working on the judgements?’ To which I would surely answer, “Why yes, actually I am.  But the really really tricky part with dealing with the judgments is to attempt to deal with it without being overwhelming, it is heavy and it is doom. destruction, and peril, and if not dealt with correctly could lead to a feeling of hopelessness for anyone studying it.

Which is maybe why many ministers have a hard time embracing the very necessary teaching of it. I love a good sermon myself, but God gave us the entire Bible, including the books that make people uncomfortable, or more like terrified.

So bearing all that as I was working on a little something about “climate change”, I felt that we may need to have a little intermission to restore our hope and remember the end goal and the beauty that will come after all the pain.

As I pondered which way to go with the thought, I was out walking yesterday and it was so absolutely beautiful as autumn has come and the leaves were brilliant with the sun peeking through the trees some still quite green but now mingled with golden yellows, flaming orange, and gorgeous shades of burgundy, the sky perfectly blue scattered with a cloud or two, enough fallen leaves to crackle underfoot as I walked, and the air so crisp with the unmistakable scent of hickory nuts, many of which are now scattered about.

And I love it! And it always amazes me how something so beautiful can be the result of its actual death, it is loveliest just before it finally falls to the ground, surrendering to the cold, snow, and ice to come.

Much like the judgments, their impending doom and destruction does indeed mean the end of what was known or what will ever be again but just as those trees will restore completely renewed after winters assault, so will earth and those who have chosen to serve Jesus, restoration and beauty, peace and eternal joy, as never experienced before.

And like in our own lives when seasons change, all things change in order to produce greater things.

To be restored something had to be lost or damaged, and God restores to conditions even better than before.

To be renewed something has to have grown tired, and weary or have been weakened.

To be revived something has to be on the edge of death.

So before we move on to more judgments we’ll look at what we have to look forward too.

My favorite, I have used it in many a post, it is a picture of the resurrection of the dead and the rapture of the church at the return of Christ, and it is actually compared to the seasons of earth.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13:“My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my fair one, and come away. 

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the signing of the birds is come, and the voice of the turtle (turtledove) is heard in our land;

The fig tree putteth forth her green figs and the vines with the tender grape gives a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

Jesus is our beloved and his church is his love, his fair one and what a beautiful picture of the times of trouble, the winter of earth over and all the rain of sorrows, fire, brimstone from the heavens that will come with the judgments will also with his reign over earth, be gone.

I was reminded of this verse a few weeks back, as I walked by my father’s grapevine, the aroma was heavenly, and these verses are such as  blessed reassurance that one day, everything will be made new.

And you probably know these final verses well, but this is our hope and this is why we want to share not only the Gospel, but to share the judgments to come, because if they do not know what is coming and why, how can they possibly repent and be spared all those dreaded events that will come upon earth?

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow. nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new, And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of teh water of life freely.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; And I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 

But the fearful ( This usage means cowardly) and unbelieving, and abominable, and murders, and whoremongers (sexually immoral),and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is teh second death.

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the last seven plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.

Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.

On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

And the wall the city had twelve foundations, and in (on) them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 

And the city lieth foursquare (;aid out as a square), and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs (fifteen hundred miles) The length, the breadth, and the height of it are equal.

And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits 216 feet), according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

And the building (construction) of the wall of it was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

And the foundations of the wall city were garnished (adorned) with all manner of precious stones.

The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eight, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; and every several (individual) gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten(illuminate) it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it.

And the gates of it shall not be shit at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 

And they shall bring the glory and honour of nations into it.

And there shall in no wise (no way) enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh(causes) abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

And the shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

And there shall be no night there; no need no candle (lamp), neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign for ever and ever.

And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done (take place). 

Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Revelation 21:1-27 & Revelation 22:1-7

You have to have hope in these things to endure the knowledge of those things which are to come. I do pray that this has been a  pleasant intermission, please stay with as we go forward learning about the judgements from various books of the Bible and we will also talk about what life on the new earth and new Jerusalem will be like, and I promise you this, it will be beautiful beyond our wildest dreams!

Have a blessed week! Love & Peace to you and yours, thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson