“Endued from On High”

“In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 For this is he, that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias (Isaiah),saying, THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING (PROCLAIMING) IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT. 

And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins (belt around his waist); and his meat (food) was locusts and wild honey.

Then went out to him, Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan. And were baptized of him in the Jordan.confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees, and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet (worthy of) repentance:

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

And now also the ax laid unto the root of the trees; therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance BUT he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; 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 gather his wheat into the graner (barn); but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

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 comest thou to me? (you should be baptizing me, not me baptizing you)

And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer (allow) it to be so now: for thus it becometh us (is fitting for us)  to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered (allowed) him. 

And Jesus, when he was baptized went up straightway out of the water; and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:1-17

You know, without a doubt, most would have thought John was a sight to behold, he had to have been, dressed in a camel hair tunic, wearing a leather belt, living in the wild, eating from the land, while the priests and Pharisees wanted the best of the best and to be treated as royalty, while John on the other hand had royalty living inside of him.

So there he was preaching, rather fervently, I would think, especially since we were told this concerning John, “For he shall be great (favored) in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink NEITHER wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb.” Luke 1:15

So as the births of Jesus and John had been foretold by the angel, he was filled with the Holy Ghost before even being born.

And as Mary witnessed to John’s mother, Elisabeth, sharing her own miraculous news to her cousin, we are told that the babe leaped for joy in her womb.

And by adulthood, he was unlike anyone that had ever encountered, He was very different from the priests, the people,and most of the Pharisees and all that claimed to have the only tickets to heaven at that time.

God created us to be different and different is what we need right now, as the world is playing footsies with the devil himself and that clock is inching closer to striking Midnight with each threat and act carried against Israel, as we have witnessed this past week, as the media cries on behalf of those who hope to destroy her, but oh my, if they only knew that God himself will come and fight for Jerusalem and that it is only a matter of time and no amount of money, politics, earthly power, or prestige will in any way have influence over those things which are to come.

The only hope is the only hope that has ever truly been, and that hope is Jesus, and we have to get on fire sharing the Gospel, our talents, and whatever God is bidding us to do, as time draws near, praying they will listen but you have to have God grant the favor so taht they will.

People could not help but to listen to John, as the calling of God on him drew people for that very reason, maybe in their carnal flesh, they came out of curiosity, to see and to hear, as Jesus even asked, but in coming, they heard and they were changed, they believed and they repented, and they were baptized.

John was sent here for a very specific purpose,and we all are, whether we ever realize that or , God to fulfil that destiny, nevertheless,we are all born for a divine purpose on this earth.

Fast forward a bit, through the arrest and crucifixion and resurrectionJesus gives them these words ashe appears supernaturally again to his disciples as the time draws nigh for him to ascend back into heaven.

“And as they thus spoke, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified  and affrighted (frightened), and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts (doubts) arise in your heart? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself, handle (touch) me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 

And when he had thus spoken , he shewed them his hands and his feet. and while they yet believed no ( for joy, and wondered (marvelled),he said unto them, Have ye here any meat (food)

And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and he said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved (was necessary) Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead on the third day; And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And ye are witnesses of these things.

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye (wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with the power from on high.”  Luke 24:36-49

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (purpose) in one placeAnd SUDDENLY there came a sound FROM heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto then 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 them utterance.

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

Now when this was noised abroad (sound occurred),the multitude came together, and was confounded (confused), because 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 (language), wherein he was born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and dwellers of Mesopotamia, and Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia. Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers (visitors) of Rome, Jews and Proselytes. Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. 

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt (were 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 ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken unto my words. For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the the third hour of the day.

But this is that which was spoken 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 YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS:

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

AND I WILL SHEW WONDERS IN HEAVEN ABOVE, AND SIGNS IN THE EARTH BENEATH, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOUR OF SMOKE: AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.” Acts 2:1-21 

That blessed promise is still for us today, we just having to be a willing vessel and pray and seek God with our whole heart, as we seek, remember that this  happened to the disciples, suddenly.

To be endued, which literally means: “endow or provide with a quality or ability”

We can do nothing in ourselves but once we are indwelt with the presence of God, all things are possible, because it is no longer us.

God does what he wants, when he wants, and all things are in his time.and keep John in mind, people are never going to understand what they can not possibly understand until they experience it for themselves, and to experience it for themselves their hearts must be surrendered to God,

Many have mocked, especially those in the entertainment industry,not having a clue as to just how real God is, nor a clue as to just how serious an offense that is. Much like the Pharisees of the day always wanting something proven to them, God is not in the business of having to prove anything to anyone, because one day there will be no question of his existence or his power.

The Holy Ghost is a precious, precious gift, that can only be given from God.

And as we see all the turmoil of this world grow worse each day and all the things Jesus warned us of coming to pass, we need more than ever to be mindful of this precious promise and seek God and all of his fullness and allow that indwelling to guide us to be a light to those in darkness.

And to allow his presence to work through our mortal bodies as he sees fit, so they, as the men at the day of Pentecost can hear witness that they can understand and that the signs and wonders, healing and miracles, deliverances from drugs, alcohol, and bondage can come to those enslaved.

Have a blessed Pentecost, not just on the calendar day but pentecost, EVERYDAY!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Among the dead”

“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre (tomb), bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout (very confused about this), behold, two men stood by them in shining garments;

And the were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen:  remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee? 

Saying,  The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.  And they remembered his words.” Luke 24:1-8

Can you imagine?

All they had witnessed, all the horror they had just experienced, imagine one you so dearly love, that you have followed and in His case worshiped, watching Him day after day as He healed those who were sick, freed minds and souls from the demonic forces of satan, even witnessing Him command death itself to release those that He had chosen to live to the glory of His Father.

Sitting at His feet as He taught seemingly new and even socially strange thoughts of mercy and compassion. Thoughts so foreign in stark comparison to the laws of harsh retaliation and punishment that had been for so long the law of the day.

He taught the pure and yet simple truths of life and of the love that God has for us and the love that he desires us to have one for another. And giving us all these things with the commandments He had written and sent by Moses, we still, just did not get it.

So He came and lived it for us, teaching us, showing us, and dying for us because no human could ever live up to that level of “perfection”. Only the Son of God, the Holy One, The perfect spotless Lamb, who for us all, and for the love of us all came to this earth and taught us these things, things we could never know in ourselves and love so great and unconditional that we can’t even attain to His level.

And can you imagine, being someone like the man who had been possessed by Legion, can you imagine your mind so disturbed and your soul so taken over that a literal graveyard becomes your home and the demons desiring to destroy the image of God in which He created you, prompts you to constantly cut your flesh with sharp stones and being so fierce, that even those who would want to try to minister help is prevented because the demons are so strong that even the strongest chains cannot hold you and are broken effortlessly.

And can you imagine, the moment when Jesus came and sent those demons out and as the Bible said of this man, you are left, “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind.” 

Can you imagine being the blind man whose eyes Jesus anointed with clay He himself had formed and instead of others rejoicing with him that his sight had been restored, he and his parents were met with accusations, inquisitions, and finally expulsion from the temple. That is how the devil works and often what should be cause for rejoicing is instead used to wage war.

But Jesus in His mercy and grace did not leave this man to even be subjected to second guessing the words of the enemies and came to him yet again, John 9:35-36: “Jesus heard that they had cast him out (threw him out of the supposed house of God); and when he found him ,he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?  He answered and said, Who is he Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.  And he said, Lord, I believe, and he worshipped him.”

Jesus, as always beautiful and kind beyond comparison, always seeking those that are His and never leaving us when we need him, finding us in those places that the enemy has driven us, comforting us and securing us in the knowledge that were are His and that we are those who will never be plucked form His hands.

Imagine being the one who sins had washed away as her tears washed His feet all the while The voice of Simon screaming through her mind trying to keep her away from the one place she so desperately needed to be.

And imagine the relief of not being reprimanded and ran away but instead being accepted and even defended by the Lord Himself.

Then imagine the sorrow and disbelief when that Protector was beaten, tortured, and died nailed to a cross made from a tree. For all seen purpose and intent now left completely alone, the one whose gentleness and love brought peace and purpose to a delicate state of mind and that purpose for all it seemed had now been lost.

Imagine His mother Mary, who was in effect a jewel in the crown of a King imagine Her sorrow.

For all of these and all the disciples, imagine all the hundreds and I would dare say thousands of thousands He had touched, healed, and blessed.

Imagine how they could not imagine that this one, who had created heaven and earth, could be truly gone.

All the preparation in the world, just like those prepared spices, even our spiritual preparations, could ever prepare for that loss.

Ever feel like that in your life? I know I sure have.

We all at one time or another go through those “blind spots” when it does seem that all we have striven for, worked for, suddenly means nothing.

And seeds we have planted seem to have sprung up only for a second as a tender new plant and then just as quickly droop and wither away and no matter what we do or how hard we try the little plant can not be revived. 

We too, sometimes get so bombarded by the overwhelming feelings of loss and discouragement that we “prepare” those spices, we prepare to accept the “death”, which can translate to defeat, of something that may in fact be quite alive. 

Sometimes we just need to be reminded of what Jesus has taught us and need to remember something else that  He said,  John 12:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” 

Of course He was referring to His own death, and nothing would ever be the same for those who shared His earthly life with Him and in truth, the life that they had known had died with Him, and for the disciples there would be no ever going back to those days of walking dusty roads, singing hymns, and watching the Master work and now they would have to develop that faith He had given them and BELIEVE through His name and His power to do those greater works that He promised they would do.

And that is our thought for this Resurrection season, Jesus was not there and He would never be in that tomb again!

He had risen!

And in our own lives we have to sometimes allow thoughts, hopes, and dreams to “die”, no longer continue to seek those places that no longer exist.

But instead look for new growth, new leaves springing up in places we may have never noticed before because we will never truly see the living as long as our “eyes’ are focused on what is dead.

Blessings to you and your this Resurrection season! And above all, Blessings, and  honor, and praise, and glory to the Lord Jesus! Thank Him for loving us and coming into this world, dying for us and most of all RAISING FROM THE DEAD for us.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019 Original post 04/2019 REVISTED 03/10/2021

Majesty

He, who created the heavens and the earth.

He who created the stars and flung them out into the universe calling each by name.
One special star destined to one day lead the wise travelers to the manger in which he was laid.

He visited the earth, which he had held in his hand, walking the dust-covered roads as a mortal man.
Shining his marvelous light into even the darkest night. 

His very name, being as an ointment poured forth caused mountains to fall, waves to roar and demons to flee.

When  soldiers came to arrest him, he answered, “I AM HE”   

His spoken identity so powerful that it sent them falling to the ground.
Nations destroyed by his hand, kings brought to their knees, the mighty of the earth brought to absolute nothingness.
He, who sent plagues, hail, blackness, and death upon all of Egypt for the sake of his chosen.

Yet the maidens and virgins, love struck forever follow to proclaim him in all his glory as the majestic King.
His garments perfumed with aloes, cassia, and myrrh symbolic of his purity, healing, and humility and a beautiful heart of servitude.

Hannah and Mary exalting him with almost identical prayers, because in his mercy and grace he had made them to rejoice and he who is Holy had done unto them mighty things.

The voice that spoke into existence the universe, the heavens, the earth and seas and all that was, is or ever will be.

The voice that thunders in the heavens and sounds of many waters, that same voice in a still small way gave courage to the discouraged prophet, that same voice reassured a distraught father that his daughter was not dead but only asleep.

The voice that cried out to his father in the garden that the cup might pass from him, the voice that cried out from the cross it is finished, will one day proclaim that it is done.

Job 9:4-8  “He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him and hath prospered?

Which removeth the mountains, and they know it not; which overturned them in his anger.

Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.

Which commandeth the sun and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars. Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the seas.”

Commanding the waters and rivers to not overpass boundaries which he has set.

Commanding the wind and waves that they should cease, walking upon the sea he had created, stretching forth his hand to Peter  his frightened  friend, reaching out so that  he could lift him up yet again.

Those hands, that fashioned Adam from clay, that forms us in our mother’s womb, those hands forever reaching out as they as they touched and healed, opened blinded eyes, gave hearing to deaf ears, made the lame leap for joy and freed the prisoners of demonic forces on earth.

Then those beautiful outstretched hands were bound and brutally nailed to a cross.

The Feet that graced his gardens in Heaven and walked his palace floor, the feet Mary had washed with her tears and dried with her hair.
Those feet were then placed one atop the other and nailed completely through.

Those feet will soon one day stand atop Mt Olives, the mountains unable to bear the presence of their creator, will split helplessly into.

The breath, so powerful that at the creation of Adam, it held the ability to bring even dust to life.

That breath gave itself over unto death on the cross because it was the price to be paid, that he might save us.

The angels of heaven proclaim his praise, the beasts around the throne never cease to cry “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and yet, he chose to call us friends.

John announced that he baptized with water but that a greater would come and baptize with fire and the Holy Ghost. Jesus himself, stating he had a baptism to be baptized with.

All the power of the universe manifesting at his resurrection, re-entering his dead body with enough force and heat to burn his image into the highly controversial shroud, which also bore the proof over one hundred lash wounds that had torn his flesh to shreds.

An image that no process  or technology  known to man, even to this day can reproduce.

John, trying to convey all the works he did after his resurrection before his ascension, finally conceded to this, as recorded in John 21:25   “And there are also many things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books which should be written. Amen.” 

As so beautifully written in Solomon, This is our beloved.

Maybe that is why the angels keep it simple,  proclaiming only, “Praise Ye, Jehovah!”

The Lord himself stating in  Isaiah chapter 43 verses 10-12,  “Ye are my witnesses saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he;

before me there was no God formed; neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior.

I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses saith the Lord, that I am God.” 

And again in Isaiah  chapter 40 verse 25 “To whom then will ye liken me or to whom shall I be equal? saith the Holy One” 
 
Also Isaiah chapter 46 verse 5″To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me that we may be like.”

So I, like all of those that came before me, am at a loss for words, there are truly not enough words in any language, or enough books in the entire world that could ever fully describe his beauty, his complexity, his mercy or his grace.

If I may echo his words, who could be compared? Bar none in his perfection, splendor, and majesty he truly stands absolutely alone.

 

“Listen… don’t listen”

selective photography of white lamb on hay

Photo by Paul Seling on Pexels.com

“VERILY, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is but a thief and a robber.

But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

To him the porter  (doorkeeper) openeth and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name and leadeth them out.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him for they know his voice.

And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of the stranger.  

This parable spake Jesus unto them; but they understood not what things they were that he spake unto them.

Then said Jesus unto them again,  Verily, verily, I say unto you, I AM the door of the sheep,  

All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy; I am come that ye might have life, and that ye might have it more abundantly.

I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.   

But he that is an hireling (hired hand) and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them and scattereth the sheep.

The hireling fleeth. because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

As the Father knoweth me even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and there shall be one fold (flock) and one shepherd.” 

John 10:1-16

I love when Jesus reinterites to us, so fulfilling the message of Psalm 62:11: God hath spoken once, twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.” 

Have you ever noticed that often if you are going through something unusual or you are praying praying for an answer or for guidance, nine times out ten you will hear the “same” message or same passage of scripture twice, it can even be a sermon and a friend both relying the same word or thought. The Good Shepherd is a parable that many are very familiar with, even if you may not have been “churched”, it is just one of Jesus most famous titles and rightfully so. 

He wanted to warn us against those who would promise “spiritual enlightenment”,  those who promise “another way” those who argue that there are many ways, not true, Jesus is the ONLY way. 

As he pointed out to us, the thief, satan and his workers are thieves, there are those who want to give you some false religion for their own vanity as having some mystical insight into things that can not be seen.

I truly believe people fall snare to this often due to the false belief that God could not possibly speak to them or that they somehow need a “mediator”, Listen to me, JESUS CHRIST IS THAT MEDIATOR, you can approach him with ANY question you have, He died for us, why on earth would he forbid us to come to him? Especially when he himself said, “Come unto me, ALL that labour and are heavy laden, and I WILL give you rest.”

He did not say to go ask others the “way”, HE IS THE WAY. Physics, mediums, and all other forms of “spiritualism” are demonic and that is why we are giving this warning and these are but a few of those voices that will whisper to you falsely that there is some other way, Listen to this description.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15: “For such ARE  false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

And no marvel (not surprisingly); for Satan himself is transformed (transforms himself) into an angel of light. 

Therefore it is no great thing if HIS MINSTERS also be transformed AS ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.”  address your questions, and thought to Jesus and to him only and he will answer you through his word or by sending ou a word but that word will come through a sermon or even an anointed song at the right moment, or a true child of God with a word of knowledge for you, but either way know this, that no true answer will be found in any voice other than that of the true shepherd and the instruction he sends as he says FOLLOW.

So please LISTEN to Jesus, listen to that “still small voice” Listen as He leads but do NOT listen to all the other voices that claim to know a better or another way!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Among the dead”

“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre (tomb), bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout (very confused about this), behold, two men stood by them in shining garments;

And the were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen:  remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee? 

Saying,  The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.  And they remembered his words.” Luke 24:1-8

Can you imagine?

All they had witnessed, all the horror they had just experienced, imagine one you so dearly love, that you have followed and in His case worshiped, watching Him day after day as He healed those who were sick, freed minds and souls from the demonic forces of satan, even witnessing Him command death itself to release those that He had chosen to live to the glory of His Father.

Sitting at His feet as He taught seemingly new and even socially strange thoughts of mercy and compassion. Thoughts so foreign in stark comparison to the laws of harsh retaliation and punishment that had been for so long the law of the day.

He taught the pure and yet simple truths of life and of the love that God has for us and the love that he desires us to have one for another. And giving us all these things with the commandments He had written and sent by Moses, we still, just did not get it.

So He came and lived it for us, teaching us, showing us, and dying for us because no human could ever live up to that level of “perfection”. Only the Son of God, the Holy One, The perfect spotless Lamb, who for us all, and for the love of us all came to this earth and taught us these things, things we could never know in ourselves and love so great and unconditional that we can’t even attain to His level.

And can you imagine, being someone like the man who had been possessed by Legion, can you imagine your mind so disturbed and your soul so taken over that a literal graveyard becomes your home and the demons desiring to destroy the image of God in which He created you, prompts you to constantly cut your flesh with sharp stones and being so fierce, that even those who would want to try to minister help is prevented because the demons are so strong that even the strongest chains cannot hold you and are broken effortlessly.

And can you imagine, the moment when Jesus came and sent those demons out and as the Bible said of this man, you are left, “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind.” 

Can you imagine being the blind man whose eyes Jesus anointed with clay He himself had formed and instead of others rejoicing with him that his sight had been restored, he and his parents were met with accusations, inquisitions, and finally expulsion from the temple. That is how the devil works and often what should be cause for rejoicing is instead used to wage war.

But Jesus in His mercy and grace did not leave this man to even be subjected to second guessing the words of the enemies and came to him yet again, John 9:35-36: “Jesus heard that they had cast him out (threw him out of the supposed house of God); and when he found him ,he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?  He answered and said, Who is he Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.  And he said, Lord, I believe, and he worshipped him.”

Jesus, as always beautiful and kind beyond comparison, always seeking those that are His and never leaving us when we need him, finding us in those places that the enemy has driven us, comforting us and securing us in the knowledge that were are His and that we are those who will never be plucked form His hands.

Imagine being the one who sins had washed away as her tears washed His feet all the while The voice of Simon screaming through her mind trying to keep her away from the one place she so desperately needed to be.

And imagine the relief of not being reprimanded and ran away but instead being accepted and even defended by the Lord Himself.

Then imagine the sorrow and disbelief when that Protector was beaten, tortured, and died nailed to a cross made from a tree. For all seen purpose and intent now left completely alone, the one whose gentleness and love brought peace and purpose to a delicate state of mind and that purpose for all it seemed had now been lost.

Imagine His mother Mary, who was in effect a jewel in the crown of a King imagine Her sorrow.

For all of these and all the disciples, imagine all the hundreds and I would dare say thousands of thousands He had touched, healed, and blessed.

Imagine how they could not imagine that this one, who had created heaven and earth, could be truly gone.

All the preparation in the world, just like those prepared spices, even our spiritual preparations, could ever prepare for that loss.

Ever feel like that in your life? I know I sure have.

We all at one time or another go through those “blind spots” when it does seem that all we have striven for, worked for, suddenly means nothing.

And seeds we have planted seem to have sprung up only for a second as a tender new plant and then just as quickly droop and wither away and no matter what we do or how hard we try the little plant can not be revived. 

We too, sometimes get so bombarded by the overwhelming feelings of loss and discouragement that we “prepare” those spices, we prepare to accept the “death”, which can translate to defeat, of something that may in fact be quite alive. 

Sometimes we just need to be reminded of what Jesus has taught us and need to remember something else that  He said,  John 12:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” 

Of course He was referring to His own death, and nothing would ever be the same for those who shared His earthly life with Him and in truth, the life that they had known had died with Him, and for the disciples there would be no ever going back to those days of walking dusty roads, singing hymns, and watching the Master work and now they would have to develop that faith He had given them and BELIEVE through His name and His power to do those greater works that He promised they would do.

And that is our thought for this Resurrection season, Jesus was not there and He would never be in that tomb again!

He had risen!

And in our own lives we have to sometimes allow thoughts, hopes, and dreams to “die”, no longer continue to seek those places that no longer exist.

But instead look for new growth, new leaves springing up in places we may have never noticed before because we will never truly see the living as long as our “eyes’ are focused on what is dead.

Blessings to you and your this Resurrection season! And above all, Blessings, and  honor, and praise, and glory to the Lord Jesus! Thank Him for loving us and coming into this world, dying for us and most of all RAISING FROM THE DEAD for us.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019 Original post 04/2019 REVISTED 03/10/2021

Letting grace reign…

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation (stewardship) of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward;

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery (hidden truth); (as I wrote afore time (before) in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 

That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel;

Whereof I was made a minister, according to the grace of God given unto me by the effectual (effective) working of HIS power. 

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ. 

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ; 

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold (many-sided) wisdom of God. 

According to the eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we boldness and access with confidence by the faith in him.

Wherefore I desire that you faint not (do not lose heart) at my tribulations for you, which is for your glory.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of whom the whole family of earth is named.

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. 

That Christ might dwell in your hearts BY faith; that ye being ROOTED and GROUNDED in love

May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth (surpasses) knowledge that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above ALL that we ask OR think, according to the POWER that WORKETH IN US,

Unto him be the glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3

You know so many words and thoughts can come to mind when we think the word “grace” and one that always comes to my mind is the title, “His Grace” and as our King eternal, Jesus is the very essence of grace.

I would even dare go so far as to say, He IS grace, as HE IS love, HE IS mercy, HE IS humility, beauty, and gentleness and rightfully so because HE IS divine. Which is why He is capable of showering us with a love that goes beyond our realm of human understanding.

A love that we do not even possess the knowledge to fathom, BUT we can certainly rest in that love and He invites us to do so.

The title “His Grace” alludes to goodwill, compassion, elegance, and the display of mercy to all that will approach His throne and ask for that mercy.

Our human understanding of grace versus the reality of grace is what often becomes the problem for us.

For many it is so hard to simply accept the salvation and forgiveness of sin that mercy and grace offers FREELY, because we with human thoughts think there must be some “kind of catch” something to MAKE US WORTHY.

When truly we are NEVER worthy, never will be worthy, it is simply HE IS WORTHY and His mercy provides that blood covering for us.

Romans 5 speaks of the fall of man, you know, the basics, the serpent tempted Eve, Eve tempted Adam, and all three were punished and ALL of mankind from that point forward was BORN into sin.

Now, I know it is often asked, why did the actions of those three fall on us all, or why didn’t God just make a new earth, think about this, ALL who are and were, and will be were created BEFORE the foundations of the earth.

We were already set in motion, to be in existence and as far as the new earth, it will be, when it comes down in the fulfillment of the prophecy of John.  

And these things must be taken on faith and he could have destroyed ALL of them in the garden, but nothing would exist as we know and I personally believe that also includes us.

I want to give a few verses that explain that mystery of that through the fall of Adam, humans were condemned but by the grace through Jesus, all who will, can be forgiven through the acceptance of that grace.

Romans 5:17-21: ” For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one,Jesus Christ. 

Therefore as by the offense of one (false step)  judgment came upon ALL to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (one righteous act) the free gift came upon all men justified into life.

Moreover the law entered that the offence (sin) might abound, But WHERE sinned abounded, GRACE did much more abound.

That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might GRACE reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

There is also your proof of that “legal mentality” that either through others, or the devil, or even our own minds, tries so hard to discourage us from excepting His Grace.

But grace always goes above and beyond all level that sin has attained.

Just as in all things God goes above and beyond all we could ever even think, His mercy and grace to forgive our sins is absolutely no exception to His rule. And the flip side to the thoughts of grace is this, as we need to always be mindful of that grace, accept that grace, and don’t be telling the Lord “Oh, I don’t deserve forgiveness”, or “I haven’t been that bad.”

It is NEVER about deserving anything and it is also NEVER about being good enough, it is all about His free gift and the truth of this, by not accepting His free gift, we are essentially telling Him that we are our own salvation and there is no such thing, we can not save ourselves and all our refusal and rejection of Him really says is that we are so prideful and self-willed  that we would rather chance being lost eternally and forever condemned because of those sins, as to humble ourselves into the hands of God.

More good advice from Galatians 2:21: ” I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (died for nothing).”

And that is what we are saying when refuse that grace. 

Now equally as big a problem, those who take that grace and then use it as a “pass” to do whatever they wish. James 4:17: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it IS sin.” When we “know better”, when we know that actions are wrong, we will be guilty of that wrong. One of the most disturbing things I have heard people say, that they would do something in anger, that they knew was wrong, “And ask God to forgive” them “for it later.”

HE does NOT work that way, if we sin, we must ask forgiveness but we can’t willfully sin and then expect Him to forgive us.

These attitudes jump, one says it another says and then it sounds like a good ideal and we have so many false teachings in our world today,  the Groovy Gurus, and the Old Goat & candy coats  spreading so much false doctrine of  Gumdrops, Lollipops, & Candy-Coated Christianity that we now have a major case of Sugar Decay to try to repair.

Think about it today, think about what grace means to you and remember these words from Ephesians 2:8: “For BY grace, are ye saved through faith…”

It is not my grace. It is not your grace. It is His grace and for that we should always be mindful, thankful, and most of all, GRATEFUL.

Peace& Love till next time!Thanks for reading & God bless you!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

Majesty

He, who created the heavens and the earth. He who created the stars and flung them out into the universe calling each by name.
One special star destined to one day lead the wise travelers to the manger in which he was laid.
He visited the earth, which he had held in his hand, walking the dust-covered roads as a mortal man.
Shining his marvelous light into even the darkest night.  His very name, being as an ointment poured forth caused mountains to fall, waves to roar and demons to flee.
When  soldiers came to arrest him, he answered, “I AM HE” his spoken identity so powerful that it sent them falling to the ground.
Nations destroyed by his hand, kings brought to their knees, the mighty of the earth brought to absolute nothingness.
He, who sent plagues, hail, blackness, and death upon all of Egypt for the sake of his chosen. Yet the maidens and virgins, love struck forever follow to proclaim him in all his glory as the majestic King.
His garment perfumed with aloes, cassia, and myrrh symbolic of his purity, healing, and humility and a beautiful heart of servitude.
Hannah and Mary exalting him with almost identical prayers, because in his mercy and grace he had made them to rejoice and he who is Holy had done unto them mighty things.
The voice that spoke into existence the universe, the heavens, the earth and seas and all that was, is or ever will be.
The voice that thunders in the heavens and sounds of many waters, that same voice in a still small way gave courage to the discouraged prophet, that same voice reassured a distraught father that his daughter was not dead but only asleep.
The voice that cried out to his father in the garden that the cup might pass from him, the voice that cried out from the cross it is finished, will one day proclaim that it is done.
“He (God) is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him and hath prospered? Which removeth the mountains, and they know it not; which overturned them in his anger. Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble. Which commandeth the sun and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.
Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the seas.” Job 9:4-8
Commanding the waters and rivers to not overpass boundaries which he has set.
Commanding the wind and waves that they should cease, walking upon the sea he had created, stretching forth his hand to a frightened Peter, so he could lift him up yet again.
Those hands, that fashioned Adam from clay, that forms us in our mother’s womb, those hands forever reaching out as they as they touched and healed, opened blinded eyes, gave hearing to deaf ears, made the lame leap for joy and freed the prisoners of demonic forces on earth.
Then those beautiful outstretched hands were bound and brutally nailed to a cross.
The Feet that graced his gardens in Heaven and walked his palace floor, the feet Mary had washed with her tears and dried with her hair.
Those feet were then placed one atop the other and nailed completely through.
Those feet will soon one day stand atop Mt Olives, the mountains unable to bear the presence of their creator, will split helplessly into.
The breath, so powerful that at the creation of Adam, it held the ability to bring even dust to life. That breath gave itself over unto death on the cross because it was the price to be paid, that he might save us.
The angels of heaven proclaim his praise, the beasts around the throne never cease to cry “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and yet, he chose to call us friends.
John announced that he baptized with water but that a greater would come and baptize with fire and the Holy Ghost. Jesus himself, stating he had a baptism to be baptized with.
All the power of the universe manifesting at his resurrection, re-entering his dead body with enough force and heat to burn his image into the highly controversial shroud, which also bore the proof over one hundred lash wounds that had torn his flesh to shreds.
An image that no process  or technology  known to man, even to this day can reproduce.
John, trying to convey all the works he did after his resurrection before his ascension, finally conceded to this “And there are also many things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books which should be written. Amen.” John 21:25
As so beautifully written in Solomon, This is our beloved. Maybe that is why the angels keep it simple, “Praise Ye, Jehovah!”
The Lord himself stating “Ye are my witnesses saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he; before me there was no God formed; neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses saith the Lord, that I am God.” Isaiah 43:10-12
“To whom then will ye liken me or to whom shall I be equal? saith the Holy One” 
 Isaiah 40:25
“To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me that we may be like.”
Isaiah 46:5
So I, like all of those that came before me, am at a loss for words, there are truly not enough words in any language, or enough books in the entire world that could ever fully describe his beauty, his complexity, his mercy or his grace.
If I may echo his words, who could be compared? Bar none in his perfection, splendor, and majesty he truly stands absolutely alone.

 Φλογίζω  Original Post Date : May 03, 2014 FOWC/Avenue .All Rights Reserved N. Brown Johnson / Baresoulphlogizo 2015

REVISITED 02/17/2021 as we begin the Holy Days, May you be blessed in Him!