“Nothing to prove”

“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone 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 the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

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

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 linen clothes lying: yet went he not in.

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

And the napkin, that was about his head (the face cloth that had been over Jesus’ face), 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 from the dead. 

Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

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 lain.

And they said 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, and saw Jesus standing there, but she knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto 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 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 said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you; as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith 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 with Jesus come. 

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and out 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 with them; then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 

Then said 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 (unbelieving) 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 who have not seen, and yet have believed. 

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

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

I love that last verse! “But” these are written… so we can have the choice to believe the Bible accounts and that we can have that choice to accept eternal life, simply by choosing to believe for ourselves, that Jesus was indeed born as a man on this earth to a virgin mother, led a completely sinless life, while subjected to all the traps and snares of this world, even more so than us, and yet without committing one sin.

Something no human can do, and Jesus was constantly bombarded by those demanding that he “prove” himself to them, even as he was suffering, dying, on the cross, they still demanded, “IF you are the Son of God, come down” and so many today have quite the same attitude when they chose to not accept salvation, it is often said, “Well, when God calls I will get saved,”

Bad idea, because God already called, the very first time any of heard the name of Jesus and the message of salvation, we were called and every single say he allows us on this earth that we are aware of the teachings of Christ, we are still being extended that invitation to eternal life.

And when we give all the excuses and somehow think he should chase us down and beg us to serve him, we are not interested in serving God out of love and worship of him, we are in reality acting just like the Pharisees and Jews when they demanded proof of who he was and is, and God answers to no one.

Thomas, poor Thomas, even today, his name is still associated with disbelief, as we refer to perpetually skeptical people as “Doubting Thomases” and doubt often comes from the enemy because he does not want you to believe, and mix that up with human rebellion, people often spend their whole life in misery, looking for happiness, peace, and the meaning of life, searching for “something” while refusing to accept the very thing they seek because they want it on their terms.

Jesus also enlightening us to our blessed state, as he told Thomas, we are blessed because even though we have never saw the Lord, was not present at his crucifixion, never walked Jerusalem with him, did not watch him cast out devils, heal the sick, give sight to the blind, or raise the dead, we still believe, we have chosen to believe and  in that we are blessed.

Once we chose to believe, even when we have not seen him or touched his nail scarred hands or saw the marks from the crown of thorns, we know he is there and we know he lives and we know because he lives, that he lives forever and because he lives, as the Bible tells us, so shall we.

Even though we did not see firsthand all his miracles while he walked earth, we can see the miracles he sends today and we can one day see the resurrection, the resurrection of all who have died in him, as those who are “asleep” in God will be gathered together with him in that glorious day.

This scripture was not originally part of this post, but as I write, it is on my heart, to share this, one more time, 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18:

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

Then they which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to MEET the Lord in the air; and so we shall ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

This is the hope, this is one of those many blessings that we are given, the promise that living on this earth, remaining faithful to the Lord, or dying, being buried, cremated, or even, heaven forbid, something so cataphoric that there isn’t anything even left of our earthly bodies, still God will repair and raise those bodies back up.

And you notice in the accounts of Pharisees’ and those of that day, constantly demanding that “proof” of Jesus, and Jesus had nothing to prove to them, but yet when Mary wept, so distraught that she just answered the angels when they asked why she cried, even though they sat positioned as those that adorned the mercy seat, as this was a complete mirror, and yet, she never questioned any of it, she was so distraught and devastated and someone once asked why did he come to her first, and in my mind, like a kid at school, raising their hand, shouting, “I know! I know!”, I do know and many of you do too, and the person asking knew, they just, I believe, wanted people to really, really think about this, she needed him the most.

They were all traumatized, devastated, and their lives turned upside down, going from walking with the one who walked on water to being in total horror, hiding as they knew those who killed Jesus could come at any moment to take their lives also.

And such a dependence on him, and rightfully so, but where would they turn when the one that they had turned to was, in their grief stricken minds, now gone forever.

And while the others hid, Mary sought, she thought nothing of the soldiers, or nothing of the Priests, or the impending doom and death that could have very easily beset her, all that was going on in her mind is that his body was gone and she loved him, adored him, and was determined to find him.

And he came to her.

As we are promised, we will find him, when we seek him with our whole heart.

But this world, and especially the Great Babylon, that demands “proof” of his existence and “proof” of his return, do not seek him, they only use the need of “proof” to excuse their disbelief, thereby in their thoughts, excusing them from adhering to his commands that were given to all mankind, but as we know, there will be no excuses, either we believe or we don’t.

He will bless belief by revealing himself but he will never “prove” himself to appease unbelief.

He has nothing to prove, he is God and he does as he chooses and if we refuse to accept his death and resurrection as the sacrifice for our sins, then we can certainly not blame anyone other than ourselves.

Believe or not, as the old saying goes, one day he will make “believers” of us all, even those whos refuse to repent will still know and see him with their own eyes, and for many, that day will be too late.

So today, if you love him, seek him all the more, as the world grows colder and more belligerent, let your love and devotion to him grow that much stronger, the greater their denial let your proclamation sound louder, be like Mary, she didn’t care that the disciples thought she was insane and refused to believe her report, she didn’t care who was at the tomb, she didn’t care how far she had to go or how she would get there, all she knew is that she had to find her Lord, and that is all we need to remember in these last days, it wasn’t about him and the disciples, or him and the Pharisees, or what the Priests, Pilate, or anyone else thought, said or did, it was all about her and her relationship with him and she was beyond blessed for that.

Love & Peace till next time, thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

 

“Assurance…Guaranteed”

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID, HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN  SHUTTETH; AND SHUTTETH, AND NO MAN OPENETH;

I know thy works; behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; for thou hast little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience (my command to PERSEVERE) , I also will keep the from the hour of temptation (trial), which shall come upon ALL THE WORLD, to try (test) them that dwell upon the earth.

Behold, I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Revelation 3:8-11

Jesus gave us these words as comfort and assurance, Jesus as he taught us in the Gospel Luke 21;19: “In your patience possess ye your souls.” And what is patience? It means perseverance, it means to hold on and to look not at this world or what is around you.

But to look ahead, forward, so much so in fact that you are looking toward heaven and the life that ONLY begins when this earthly life ends.

For those who have been with loved ones who were afflicted with terminal illness, you may understand this well, often those in Christ are prepared for their journey to meet Jesus, while us the family are distraught and heart broken,never desiring to be separated form those we love, but God in his blessed compassion gives them peace, peace that allows them to look ahead and not see it as the death of this life but as the rebirth of an eternal life with no sorrow, no pain, no suffering, no want, no lack, no hunger, and no thirst.

But a life that will be FOREVER in the presence of Jehovah God, Jesus, the host of heavenly angels and loved ones that have already arrived in that heavenly location.

He gives peace to make that crossing as he himself prayed from the cross, Luke 23:46: “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, INTO THY HANDS I COMMEND MY SPIRIT; and having said this, he gave up the ghost (he breathed his last).

Stephen, the martyr, echoed those words as he was stoned because the truth he proclaimed convicted and angered the evil crowd, they felt is easier to kill him that to admit their own evil trespasses.

Acts 7:54-69: ” When they heard these things, they were cut (furious) to the heart, and they gnashed on (at) him with their teeth. 

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and SAW the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

And he said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man, standing at the right hand of God. And they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord (attacked him as one mob). 

And cast him out of the city, and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.

And they stoned Stephen, calling (as Stephen called on God), and saying, LORD JESUS, RECEIVE MY SPIRIT. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge (please don’t hold this them).

And when he had said this, he fell asleep (died). 

As Jesus referenced the church in Philadelphia, it is noteworthy to mention to key facts, this church would have been at Turkey during Bible times but the name literally means “brotherly love” and in my belief, it can be even as with denominations, we can belong to a”church” meaning that sheepfold, and not necessarily be in that exact geological location, just as we are brothers and sisters in Christ the world over, even though we may NEVER meet each other in this life, we will in the next, because the Kingdom of God is comprised of his children from “all nations, and kindreds (tribes), and people, and tongues, (languages)”

Jesus also gave us that blessed hope in knowing that perseverance is the key, and perseverance means “do not give up, no matter what, do not give up” and as he also warned to let anyone take your “crown’, just as he also promised to keep you from all the terrible,terrible things that are coming to this world, he did not at any time say how he would keep you. It could be through the rapture, of the saints, or it could be as with Stephen, and so many others, who have died in Christ and for the Word of Christ.

His promise is all that even matters, and his promise is that you will be protected and preserved, and what I feel is one of the most awesome promises,a promise that will be fulfilled not only to those who have already suffered persecution and death through the ages, but for a blessed promise to those who are suffering now for the word of Christ and their choice to serve the one true God, the maker of heaven and earth, who will NEVER leave you or forsake you, I want to remind you of this, what will one day happen as Christ is REINTRODUCED to this earth. 

Revelation 6:9-17: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain (murdered) for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and AVENGE our blood on them that dwell on earth?

And white robes were given unto every one of them, and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season (while), UNTIL their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be (will be) killed as they were, should be fulfilled (happens).

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo,  there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs (drops it’s late fruit) when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

And THE HEAVEN DEPARTED AS A SCROLL WHEN IT IS ROLLED TOGETHER (the sky split apart); and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens (caves) and in the rocks of the mountains;

And said to the mountains and rocks, FALL ON US, AND HIDE US FROM THE FACE OF HIM THAT SITTETH ON THE THRONE, AND FROM THE WRATH OF THE LAMB. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to abide (stand) in it?” 

This is what Jesus referenced when he said this in Luke 21:27: “And then shall THEY see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” 

This is not just those who believe or just a wake up call for those who don’t, this will be the entire earth beholding their creator, and those who rejoice at his return, his children who know him as he is, lovely, beautiful, holy, and kind, gentle, and forgiving and mercy divine.

Those who have prayed for deliverance shouting for joy that that deliverance has come, mirrored to those who have hated him, hated the good, and fought and martyred the faithful, hated his chosen Israel and tried to take and destroy his chosen city of Jerusalem, either way we shall all see him and see him in his glory.

Revelation 1:7: “Behold, he cometh with clouds,  and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and ALL the kindreds of the earth shall wail (mourn) because of him. Even so, Amen.”

Which fulfills the promise in Philippians that even those who pierced him will see him, this is because ALL, those in heaven, those in erath, and those under earth.

ALL from ALL time will see him.

And all who have hated him, his word, and all who have hated you because you are his child and you bear his word, will suddenly be faced with him and his return, and the beauty is this, they can hate us, they can kill us but they will NEVER kill Jesus again, they will NEVER stop the Gospel, and once they are faced with the horrifying realization that He is indeed real, as they watch the sky itself LITERALLY open up to reveal Jesus and the host of heaven that none of us can even begin to fathom and I believe many will repent at that moment but those who have hated and made their threats and their claims and tormented and killed his people will know assuredly one thing, there is nothing, absolutely nothing in their power that will stop Him or His will and all those with their great threats of annihilation will now be begging to die rather than face Almighty God.

It’s easy to oppress other humans but not quite going to get it when trying to oppress the one WHO CREATED HUMANS including them.

As God had promised by his word that this will take place, Romans 14:11: For it IS written, AS I LIVE, SAITH THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS TO GOD.” 

I don’t even propose to know what you face today but I do believe that God wants you to rest in him and just hold on, hold on to the PROMISE that he has given you and that the God who will strike terror in their hearts at his return is the same God who will also hold you close comfort you, and dry every tear and he will, in that day, make your enemies to know that you are loved by him, the very beloved of him.

Finally keep your mind on this and this hope, REMEMBERING in your own mind the hope Jesus kept in his, as this passage encourages us to think as Jesus thought as his Father’s promises allowed him to keep focused on the joy ahead.

Philippians 2:5-11: “Let THIS MIND be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.

But made himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men;

And being found in fashion (appearance), he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 

THAT AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW, OF THINGS (those) IN HEAVEN, AND THINGS (those) IN EARTH, AND THINGS (those) UNDER THE EARTH;

AND THAT EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS (admit and acknowledge)THAT JESUS CHRIST IS  LORD, TO THE GLORY OF THE FATHER.”  

God bless you today and just keeping looking up, help is on His way.

Also please take a moment to listen to this song posted below,  I believe it will bless you today.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson