“Temple”

white and brown house

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“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I have fed you with milk and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet are ye able.

For as ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you enving, strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? WHO then is Paul, and WHO is Apollos, but ministers BY whom ye believed even as the Lord gave to every man?  1 Corinthians 3:1-4

GOOD MORNING! and if it is not Morning for you, then may I wish you a wonderful evening and blessed night. We are actually going to finish up with that passage in just a bit, but I wanted to stop and relay a few points, First Paul was expounding to them that it was time for him to speak with those who listened with a little more depth, things that they should be getting on a spiritual level, but they were still not quite ready.

We also deal with those that we are to minister to, sometimes a little too softly, not wanting to “choke” them with truths that can be very hard to swallow. But Paul had to enlighten them to the truths that all the envy and jealousy and one upmanship was just not going to get as behaviours for those in the Kingdom of God.

And I love the fact that he is pointing out so clearly, asking who is Apollos, even asking who, he himself was, as much as we honor them and rightfully so, they were still ministers that God had sent to led his people home.

As the old timers say ” No little “I”s and big “U”‘s and that is one thing I do very much believe is going to come out of this pandemic. Restrictions placed about and that many can no longer attend church because the church is not there to attend (Some serious symbolism in that)

So there will be none of the envy, strife, and divisions spoke of and there will be no favorite pastor, minister, preacher, or singer that helped spark those divisional fires that have helped consume the church from her original state, you can’t have one mind and one accord if there are minds present that are full of discord.

But now, the churches, like most everything else are closed and some are having “Parking Lot” and “Drive by” church which is an awesome ideal, reminiscent of the old tent revivals that we need to get back to.

People are going to be there because they want to be there not out of some weird sense of duty or family commitment but because they want the Word of God.  And Paul is saying that God has many “ministers” that God sends his Word and His offer of salvation through many different workers.

And I want you to think about something, if you are saved, you ARE sent and if you are not saved the moment you repent, you WILL BE sent, your life, your light, and above all your decision to accept Christ and proclaim, especially in this world of unbelief, your faith in God and your belief that not only is His Word true but also the truths of the life after this can, does, and will absolutely change the course of the lives of  those around you.

Back to our verses, shall we? 1 Corinthians 3: 5-16

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but GOD gave the increase.

SO then neither is he that planteth any thing , neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward for his labour.

For we are labourers (workers) together with God: Ye are God’s Husbandry (field) ye are God’s builders.

According to the grace of God which is given me as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But every man take heed how he buildeth thereon.

For another foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is.

If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward.

If any man’s works shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by (through) fire.  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.”

Now Paul went on to set forth some warnings after that verse, but I want to use it to encourage you today.

You ARE the TEMPLE of God, your body is a CHURCH of God, when you have the Holy Spirit LIVING inside of you you become the church on this earth!

How exciting is that? I know we are faced with a dreadful, dreadful time but during that time if you remember that God has a plan and purpose for you in these days. God does not make mistakes and he does nothing out of “season”  He could have chosen you to have been born hundreds of years, or even thousands of years ago, or He could have chosen to never send your soul to this earth, but He chose this time, this season for you because ye have work to do and only God knows that work that He predestined for you to accomplish for his Kingdom, BEFORE He laid the foundations of this earth.

And I want to give you those scripture also quickly, because this is meant to be heard by someone today. 

In THESE times, in THIS hour and THIS season that God has chosen for you, as bad as it all appears at the moment.

Romans: 8:28-30: ” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that 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 first among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also CALLED, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” 

So maybe you can’t get to a church but remember that you are the church.

And remember that God uses it all, all the bad, all that we do not understand, He will use it for the Kingdom. Let your light shine, do whatever God puts on your heart, reach out by card, letter, or phone to whoever he is bidding you to reach out to. Use this season to know Him more and deepen your relationship with him and if he leads you to, share that “meat” of his Word with others around you, we often do not want to hear the rougher stuff but we are coming down to the wire and we have much work to do.

Among all the pain and uncertainty we still have a great promise, the outpouring of God’s Spirit “upon all flesh” this began at Pentecost, but we have the promise of a great outpouring in the last days, so plant that seed, the word of God shown in love and mercy, kindness, water if that is your job, water those seeds that someone has already planted because you are one in  those action and ask God blessing on your “hands” as you work in his field, He will, he never sends us unprepared and He never send us alone.

You are His Temple, and you are His church, be it and just watch what grace, blessings, and miracles unfold!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

Ninth Hour

“And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and the scribes and the whole council and bound Jesus and carried him away and delivered him to Pilate.

And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. 

And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest  thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.

But Jesus yet answered him nothing; so that Pilate marvelled. 

Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound (was also chained with) them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.

And the multitude crying aloud began to desire (ask) him to do as ever he had done (do as always) unto them,

But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priest had delivered him for envy (Pilate KNEW that the priests were just trying to get Jesus killed).

But the chief priest moved (stirred up) the people, that they should rather release Barabbas unto them.

And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?

And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.

And so Pilate, willing to content the people (wanting to gratify the crowd) released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, (flogged with a roman scourge) to be crucified.” Mark 15:1-15

A portion of the immense prophecies concerning the suffering of the Messiah, which was and is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, The spotless Holy Lamb of God can be found in the Book of Isaiah..

“WHO hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm (the power) of the Lord revealed?

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant (He was very gentle and kind),and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form or comeliness; and when ye shall see, there is no beauty that we should desire him (He came to earth quite ordinary in appearance). 

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we redeemed him not.  

SURELY he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten (struck down) of God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:1-4 

Now lets talk about the scourge, the Jews had a “law” that prisoners would receive forty stripes save one, which means instead of receiving forty lashes it would be thirty-nine (which really is not mercy) but it was not the Jews beating Jesus.

It was the Romans that were beating Jesus, the Romans did not do this to their own citizens, and he was in no way covered under any supposed “mercy” clause and this was all the forces of hell unleashed upon Him.

Remember He told the Disciples before His arrest this from John 14:30: “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince (ruler) of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” 

He said this in reference to what was going to happen, which can be backed up with His statement when they came to arrest Him. Luke 22:53: “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

Again, God has ALL power, power over the enemy BUT Jesus willingly laid down his life for us which is WHY darkness was ALLOWED this power so that He could take OUR place and suffer the punishment that belonged to us and through His death reconcile us back to Him.

Back to the beating, He was viciously beaten, striped by a whip that has multiple strings of leather often with bone or metal knotted at the ends, which cuts on contact and then pulls skin and flesh with it at its release and there was NO mercy shown in this beating.

Isaiah 53:5: “But he was wounded (pierced through) for OUR transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for OUR iniquities; the chastisement of OUR peace was upon him; and with his stripes (blows that cut into flesh) we are healed.”

On to Calvary, Mark 15:16-18: “And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium (a separate tent); and they call together the WHOLE band (cohort). 

And they clothed him with purple, and platted (twisted)  a crown of thorns, and put it about his head. And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews.”

These thorns were no tiny little briers which would still have been very painful, these were sharp, piercing barbs that torn intro his skin and sank into his flesh around his temples, and we all know how delicate and tender the brow area is and when they shoved this thing onto His head it  and caused excruciating pain and blood dripped from every pierce.

Here is His own description as He pleaded with the sleeping Church, His Bride to awake and open that door for Him. Song of Solomon 5:2: “I sleep, but my heart waketh:  it IS the VOICE of my Beloved that knocketh, saying

Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled (perfect one)FOR MY HEAD IS FILLED WITH DEW, AND MY LOCKS WITH THE DROPS OF THE NIGHT.”

He suffered that crown of thorns so that we could have His peace for our troubled minds and if you want a little more about that wake up.

Onward- Mark 15-32: “And they smote (struck) him on the head with a reed, and did spit on him, and bowing their knees worshipped him  (in MOCK worship). 

And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and out his OWN clothes on him, and LED HIM OUT to crucify him. 

And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, (he was just passing through) the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear (carry) his cross. { by this point they had beaten Jesus SO severely that He was physically unable to carry it any farther} 

And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of the skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

And when they had crucified him, they parted  his garments (divided his clothes), casting lots upon them, what every man should take (gambled for them)

And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

And the scripture WAS fulfilled, which saith, AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS. 

And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,

Save thyself, and come down from the cross.

Likewise, also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others: himself he cannot save.

Let the King of Israel now descend from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.”

Here Jesus was, beaten to the point of being almost unrecognizable, privately humiliated and tortured by the soldiers, spit on, his beard ripped out, those who passed by making fun of him, pointing at Him, the priests STILL attempting to demand proof of who He IS, chiding Him to “come down”, and even those with him mocking Him, (which one did repent me and was saved) 

It all just as written in Isaiah 52:14:  “As MANY were astonised at thee:(could not believe His condition) HIS VISAGE (appearance) WAS SO MARRED (disfigured) MORE THAN ANY OTHER MAN, AND HIS FORM MORE THAN THE SONS OF MEN; (beaten far worse than any other); 

His beaten, tortured, bloody body taken and His hands stretched out and driven through by spikes, His feet placed one atop the other again driven completely through, telling you there is to tell about the size of these spikes. How bad does it hurt to just “stump” our toe, or “crack” our ankle or hand pain from just overdoing chores, imagine what He suffered, we can’t imagine it.

Mark 15:33: “And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the WHOLE land until the ninth hour.” 

The entire land overshadowed in complete blackness because the very one who created light, the one who IS light, who created the Sun, the moon, and all the stars, the one who spoke all of earth and existence into creation was now crucified by the very ones that he had created. 

The sins of ALL mankind on Him and the hour of darkness He had spoken of  thought they had won.

And He hung there, He could have destroyed every single thing on this earth, with one WORD, as He IS also THE WORD, He could have started over with a new creation rather than to save those whom had already been created, even those whose time had not yet come to dwell on earth, those who were souls, still with Him as we were created BEFORE the foundations of the earth.

Ecclesiastes 12:11: “The words of the wise are as goads, and as NAILS fastened by the masters of assemblies, WHICH ARE GIVEN FROM ONE SHEPHERD.” 

That ONE Shepherd, The Word and The WORD of the WORD concerning all these things.

John 12:31-33: “NOW is the judgment of this world: NOW shall the prince (ruler) of this world be cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth (crucified) WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME.” This he said, signifying what death he should (would) die.” 

We’ll make our way through those three hours with Matthew 27:45-54: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?

Some of them that stood by there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

The REST said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain (split in two) from the top to the bottom: and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent (split); 

And the graves were opened: and many of the bodies of the saints that slept (were dead) arose.

And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went out into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Now when the centurion and they that were with him, watching (guarding) Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things which were done, they FEARED greatly, saying, TRULY, THIS WAS THE SON OF GOD.”

Thankfully we know this was NOT the ending of the story of Christ. We know that on that third day He rose!

He rose in victory everlasting and He rose to give us victory and life eternal and life everlasting in the everlasting arms.

And we also know the darkness that covers this earth now, and great is that darkness and it will only get darker.

Don’t be as those who mocked, waiting for a “sign” and when the earth quaked and rocks shook, they feared, we know that an earthquake is one day coming, a quake so great that earth itself will rock in space and we know that in that great and faithful day Christ will return to this earth and we know that those who are dead will resurrect and those who are alive and REMAIN in HIS WORD will take our heavenly flight. 

And don’t let this Holy Season pass without stopping for a moment and thanking Him and rejoicing in Him for the gift He gave us when He gave Himself!

God Bless you! Blessed Good Friday and I hope that you have a joyous Easter and the renewing grace that Christ gave.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019