Posted by: Tom Graves | April 15, 2014

BLOOD MOON AFTER-WORD

BLOOD MOON AFTER-WORD!!!

What is a BLOOD MOON? Why is it important? Read on and you will find out! God declared in Psalm 104:19a that: “He appointed the moon for seasons…” We read the word seasons and have a tendency to think of the four seasons, spring summer, fall and winter. But that is not what God is talking about![2] The Hebrew word translated seasons, both here and in Genesis 1:14 is Strong’s H4150:

H4150 מועדה   מעד   מועד

mô‛êd mô‛êd mô‛âdâh

mo-ade’, mo-ade’, mo-aw-daw’

From H3259; properly an appointment, that is, a fixed time or season; specifically a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand): – appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed). (emphasis mine)

Notice that first of all it is an appointment with God. And those appointments are God’s feast days. Leviticus 23:2 says: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” Both times the word feasts is used in this verse it is the same Hebrew word, H4150, used in both Genesis 1:14 and Psalm104:19!

So then, what is a BLOOD MOON and what does it have to do with God’s feast days? Have you ever had the privilege to observe a total eclipse of the moon? It can take a couple of hours from the time the shadow of the earth first falls on the moon until the shadow completely leaves the moon. Once the moon is totally in the earth’s shadow, something remarkable happens, the moon turns blood red, hence the term BLOOD MOON. I have had the privilege of seeing this happen once. If you have never seen it happen, there is a YouTube video from a 2010 eclipse of the moon condensed into a little more than two minutes. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcRp1jKJmJU Take the time to watch it if you have never seen one.

According to NASA there are four total lunar eclipses that will occur in 2014 and 2015. Here is the amazing part! Two will occur on the Jewish Passovers on April 15, 2014, and April 4, 2015, and two will occur on the Feasts of Tabernacles on Oct. 8, 2014, and Sept. 28, 2015. Is this just a coincidence or is God trying to tell us something? Remember, the moon is for signs on feast days, of which Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles are major feast days.

Joel 2:31 states: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” This is quoted by Peter in Acts 2, on the day of Pentecost, another of God’s Feast days. Here, God talks about the moon and the sun. So when does the sun go dark in 2014 or 2015? Pastor Mark Biltz talked with WND about the issue:

“Not only are there four blood moons on 4/15/14, 10/8/14, 4/4/15, and 9/28/15, but the added significance is that the total solar eclipse on 3/20/15 is on the biblical calendar of Nisan 1. Nisan 1 begins the religious New Year according to the scriptures,” Biltz explained. “This date was the grand opening of Moses tabernacle in the wilderness. This is the day a great sign came and fire fell to light the burnt offering. So here we have a total solar eclipse beginning the religious year followed two weeks later by a total lunar eclipse/blood moon on Passover followed by the next solar eclipse (partial) on Sept 13th which just so happens to be Rosh Hashanah!” [1]

Pastor Mark Blitz discovered the connection of all these dates when he compared NASA’s information with the Jewish calendar. “Biltz’s message centers on the fact that the messianic prophecies that Jesus fulfilled 2,000 years ago, when He came the first time, happened to the very day. Biltz explains how His second coming events will also happen to the very day of the Fall Feasts. Yeshua died for our sins on Passover, Biltz says, was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was resurrected from death on First Fruits, and then sent the Holy Spirit to indwell believers on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot). If He fulfilled the Spring Feasts to the very day on His first coming, Biltz argues, He will fulfill the Fall Feasts to the very day on His second coming.” [2]

That sounds like a reasonable argument to me. Not to say that we can pinpoint exact dates, because Jesus specifically said in Mark 13:32: But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels who are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” That is amazing! Jesus Himself doesn’t know! (I guess He chooses not to know!) Why doesn’t Jesus know? Because if He knew the date He would certainly tell us (see John 17: 7&8). Jesus does however put these events that precede His second coming after the great tribulation in Mark 13:24: “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.”

This is not the first time in history that this grouping of BLOOD MOON events has taken place. “Such events have occurred only three other times in recent centuries, and each time they were linked to significant events for the Jewish nation…For example, when it happened in 1493 and 1494 Jews were expelled from Spain. The blood moons in 1949 and 1950 came right after the nation of Israel was assembled, giving the Jews a homeland for the first time in thousands of years. And in 1967 and 1968 it was linked to the Six-Day War.” [1] Look for some miraculous events concerning Israel during these times.

BLOOD MOON AFTER-WORD!!!

As I noted in my last BLOOD MOON UPDATE, the forecast for St. Augustine was cloudy with a 10% chance of rain. I had asked you to agree with me in prayer that it would not be raining or cloudy at the time of the eclipse so I could witness the event. On Sunday at work, I had mentioned the eclipse to an individual who told me that I may as well forget trying to see the eclipse because it was going to be raining! It seems the devil always sends someone to try and tear down your faith when you are believing for God to act in your behalf. At 7PM last evening, it was totally overcast and raining in St. Augustine. It did not look good for being able to see the lunar eclipse. But as Christians, we should not be moved by what we see, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (II Corin. 5:7). I thanked the Father for a clear sky! I went out again about 9PM and it was still drizzling rain very lightly, but the full moon was very visible in the eastern sky. I knew then, God had answered our prayers for a clear sky and good visibility of the lunar eclipse.

The whole eclipse cycle is a very long process, lasting about five and one-half hours from beginning to end. The part I especially wanted to see was the last few minutes of the earth’s shadow covering the moon and then the full eclipse. As long as the sun is lighting a part of the moon, the rest of the moon is not visible. It is only in the last few minutes as the crescent grows smaller and smaller until it disappears does the whole moon become visible and then with a very copper/reddish color. The total eclipse was to begin at 3:08AM, so I set my clock for 2:45AM. I actually woke up, or maybe God awakened me a little after 2:30AM. I got up, got dressed and went outside. The clouds were gone from the area of the moon even though they were close by because at least once, the sky was brightened by a flash of lightning from a thunderstorm. I heard no thunder, so it was a good ways away at the time.

I beheld an awesome sight. The stars were shining and Mars was very bright just to the right of the moon. The moon was a little better that 2/3 covered by the earth’s shadow, but at that time, you could only see the crescent that was still catching the suns light. The whole moon was not yet visible. At that point, I wished for the time that I lived in the country, when the nights were quiet except for the sounds of nature and viewing the night sky was not hindered by street lights. Here there is only one point in our yard, on the north end of our house where I could escape the light from three street lights, one in front, one on the street behind us and one on the street to our south. As I stood at this point, I was under a small tree and as the light wind was blowing, it was shaking water off the leaves of the tree onto my bare head, and once into my upturned eyes. It was as if the Lord was reminding me that except for prayers, I would not be able to see this event!

I went insideA to get my binoculars and when I came back out, the crescent was getting very small. The moon was very dark and I could actually see stars very near the moon that had been invisible to the eye earlier because of the brightness of the crescent. Finally, just before the crescent completely disappeared, the rest of the moon began to glow with a red glow. In the next moment, the crescent was completely gone and I was beholding a “Blood Moon!” It was a truly awesome sight!

If you have kept up with any of the articles about the BLOOD MOON, no doubt you are aware that there are those who say it has nothing to do with Israel, after all, it was not even visible in Israel. I have two friends that have posted such articles, but as far as I am concerned, we are still friends. I just happen to believe a little different from them. I believe it is a sign for Israel and not only Israel, but also for the Church, especially in the United States. In that regard, I am encouraged, because all the talk about a “Blood Moon” has stirred an interest in the people of America and in turn stirred an interest in the things of God. That is not a bad thing! My last post, BLOOD MOON UPDATE has received over ten times more hits than any post I have ever made. If nothing else, a number of them may have for the first time learned about the feasts of the Lord and the connection to the Sun and Moon in regard to signs of His coming. That is a good thing!

“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM: THEY SHALL PROSPER THAT LOVE THEE. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.” (Psalm 122:1-9).

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

For further study check out the works cited:

[1] Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/10/blood-moons-expert-watch-2014-and-2015/#mlwyaz7hQz8cT1KH.99

 

[2] Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/10/blood-moons-christians-on-wrong-calendar/#8YE7Zlr6HUQ93iis.99

Posted by: Tom Graves | April 9, 2014

BLOOD MOON UPDATE!!!

BLOOD MOON UPDATE!!!

What is a BLOOD MOON? Why is it important? Read on and you will find out! God declared in Psalm 104:19a that: “He appointed the moon for seasons…” We read the word seasons and have a tendency to think of the four seasons, spring summer, fall and winter. But that is not what God is talking about![2] The Hebrew word translated seasons, both here and in Genesis 1:14 is Strong’s H4150:

H4150 מועדה   מעד   מועד

mô‛êd mô‛êd mô‛âdâh

mo-ade’, mo-ade’, mo-aw-daw’

From H3259; properly an appointment, that is, a fixed time or season; specifically a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand): – appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed). (emphasis mine)

Notice that first of all it is an appointment with God. And those appointments are God’s feast days. Leviticus 23:2 says: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.” Both times the word feasts is used in this verse it is the same Hebrew word, H4150, used in both Genesis 1:14 and Psalm104:19!

So then, what is a BLOOD MOON and what does it have to do with God’s feast days? Have you ever had the privilege to observe a total eclipse of the moon? It can take a couple of hours from the time the shadow of the earth first falls on the moon until the shadow completely leaves the moon. Once the moon is totally in the earth’s shadow, something remarkable happens, the moon turns blood red, hence the term BLOOD MOON. I have had the privilege of seeing this happen once. If you have never seen it happen, there is a YouTube video from a 2010 eclipse of the moon condensed into a little more than two minutes. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcRp1jKJmJU Take the time to watch it if you have never seen one.

According to NASA there are four total lunar eclipses that will occur in 2014 and 2015. Here is the amazing part! Two will occur on the Jewish Passovers on April 15, 2014, and April 4, 2015, and two will occur on the Feasts of Tabernacles on Oct. 8, 2014, and Sept. 28, 2015. Is this just a coincidence or is God trying to tell us something? Remember, the moon is for signs on feast days, of which Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles are major feast days.

 

Joel 2:31 states: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” This is quoted by Peter in Acts 2, on the day of Pentecost, another of God’s Feast days. Here, God talks about the moon and the sun. So when does the sun go dark in 2014 or 2015? Pastor Mark Biltz talked with WND about the issue:

“Not only are there four blood moons on 4/15/14, 10/8/14, 4/4/15, and 9/28/15, but the added significance is that the total solar eclipse on 3/20/15 is on the biblical calendar of Nisan 1. Nisan 1 begins the religious New Year according to the scriptures,” Biltz explained. “This date was the grand opening of Moses tabernacle in the wilderness. This is the day a great sign came and fire fell to light the burnt offering. So here we have a total solar eclipse beginning the religious year followed two weeks later by a total lunar eclipse/blood moon on Passover followed by the next solar eclipse (partial) on Sept 13th which just so happens to be Rosh Hashanah!” [1]

 

Pastor Mark Blitz discovered the connection of all these dates when he compared NASA’s information with the Jewish calendar. “Biltz’s message centers on the fact that the messianic prophecies that Jesus fulfilled 2,000 years ago, when He came the first time, happened to the very day. Biltz explains how His second coming events will also happen to the very day of the Fall Feasts. Yeshua died for our sins on Passover, Biltz says, was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was resurrected from death on First Fruits, and then sent the Holy Spirit to indwell believers on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot). If He fulfilled the Spring Feasts to the very day on His first coming, Biltz argues, He will fulfill the Fall Feasts to the very day on His second coming.” [2]

That sounds like a reasonable argument to me. Not to say that we can pinpoint exact dates, because Jesus specifically said in Mark 13:32: But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels who are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” That is amazing! Jesus Himself doesn’t know! (I guess He chooses not to know!) Why doesn’t Jesus know? Because if He knew the date He would certainly tell us (see John 17: 7&8). Jesus does however put these events that precede His second coming after the great tribulation in Mark 13:24: “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.”

This is not the first time in history that this grouping of BLOOD MOON events has taken place. “Such events have occurred only three other times in recent centuries, and each time they were linked to significant events for the Jewish nation…For example, when it happened in 1493 and 1494 Jews were expelled from Spain. The blood moons in 1949 and 1950 came right after the nation of Israel was assembled, giving the Jews a homeland for the first time in thousands of years. And in 1967 and 1968 it was linked to the Six-Day War.” [1] Look for some miraculous events concerning Israel during these times.

Update!

Even though the lunar eclipse, or blood moon, is on April 15th which falls on a Tuesday this year, if you wait until Tuesday night to look for it you will have missed it. The lunar eclipse actually occurs on what we think of as Monday night, but in reality, the full moon occurs Tuesday morning at 3:46 AM Eastern daylight time in the Eastern Time zone. Below is a chart of the actual times of the start, full eclipse and finish for my area.

Local times for eclipse in St. Augustine on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Event Time in St. Augustine Direction Altitude Looks like  
Penumbral eclipse begins Apr 15 at 12:55 AM 171° 49.5° The Earth’s penumbra start touching the Moon’s face.
Partial eclipse begins Apr 15 at 1:59 AM 195° 48.6° Partial moon eclipse starts – moon is getting red.
Total Eclipse begins Apr 15 at 3:08 AM 217° 42.0° Total moon eclipse starts – completely red moon.
Maximum Eclipse Apr 15 at 3:46 AM 226° 36.7° Moon is closest to the center of the shadow.
Total Eclipse ends Apr 15 at 4:23 AM 234° 30.5° Total moon eclipse ends.
Partial Eclipse ends Apr 15 at 5:32 AM 246° 17.8° Partial moon eclipse ends.
Penumbral Eclipse ends Apr 15 at 6:36 AM 254° 5.2° The Earth’s penumbra ends. Moon close to horizon, so make sure you have free sight to West-southwest.

Times are local for St. Augustine (EDT – Eastern Daylight Time). [3]

To find the times for your area, you can go to http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/total-lunar-eclipse.html and click on NEW: Eclipse calculator>

Right now, the ten day forecast calls for clouds and a 10% chance of rain in St. Augustine during the eclipse time. Agree with me for clear viewing for my area and your area, in the Mighty Name of Jesus!!! Good viewing. Watch the news concerning Israel. It could be significant.

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

For further study check out the works cited:

[1] Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/10/blood-moons-expert-watch-2014-and-2015/#mlwyaz7hQz8cT1KH.99

 

[2] Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/10/blood-moons-christians-on-wrong-calendar/#8YE7Zlr6HUQ93iis.99

 

[3] http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/st-augustine

Posted by: Tom Graves | April 1, 2014

SCRIPTURAL ANECDOTES 24 – THROWN TO THE TORMENTORS!

SCRIPTURAL ANECDOTES 24 – THROWN TO THE TORMENTORS!

As I pondered my life experience in ministry, in regard to writing SCRIPTURAL ANECDOTES, I realized that my life experience encompassed much more than my ministry experience. In fact, as I thought through my life, I realized that those experiences that had the most impact in my life were personal experiences with God teaching me to trust Him, to rely on Him and to look to Him alone to meet our family’s needs. I have not always remembered the lessons I have learned and I have been prone to worry at times and then try to do it myself. It has been a great help to me to recount all that God has done for me; thus as I write, I may become a little wordy in remembering what may seem to some as inconsequential details. May God use my experiences to encourage you as you read about our journey with the Lord. Proverbs 3:13, Amplified Bible, “Happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) is the man who finds skillful and Godly Wisdom, and the man who gets understanding [DRAWING IT FORTH FROM GOD’S WORD AND LIFE’S EXPERIENCES].” i.e. SCRIPTURAL ANECDOTES

THROWN TO THE TORMENTORS!

About three years after Jeanie and I were married, I drew the plans for our first new house. We had been living in a 10X50 single wide trailer in my parent’s back yard and greatly desired to get out on our own. I was working two jobs at the time, full time as a draftsman for an Architectural firm and part time, evenings and weekends as a draftsman for a professional engineer who also ran a commercial construction company. Jeanie was working as a bookkeeper for a furniture company.

I knew a man in the church that Mom and Dad attended who had some land and was selling a few lots and building a few houses. I picked out a very secluded, fully wooded lot of about three-quarters of an acre and got this man to give us a bid for house and lot, based on my house plan. We felt like we could afford his proposal and applied for a loan and we were approved.

Construction started and in about six months, we moved into our new home. We had bought a nice couch for our den, and Jeanie got a deal on some nice tables to go with it. We had a bed and an old chest of drawers for our bedroom. Thomas was our only child at the time, and we bought a set of bunk beds and a chest for his room. That was the extent of our furniture. I made a round dining table out of a sheet of plywood and we scrounged up a few chairs from our folks and we were set.

Then the problems began. We had been in the house about a year or so, when we came home from work and found the front door standing open. We had been robbed! All of a sudden, I didn’t think so much for wanting to live in a secluded area. The thieves took our TV and other electronic items. Wigs were in fashion back then, Jeanie had a couple and they even took them. Thomas’ prize possession was a Mickey Mouse watch, and they even took that. My prize possession was a double barrel Fox Sterlingworth shotgun that my Grandfather had given me. They got that also. About six months later, the Sherriff’s department broke up a ring of thieves that had been operating in the area and I actually recovered my shotgun, but that was all we got back.

I put deadbolts on the doors, took the precaution of breaking my shotgun down and hiding it in a secret place. And sure enough, just a few months later, we were hit a second time. This time they jimmied a window on the back of the house. They must have been in a hurry this time, or maybe something spooked them, because all they took was our TV. Our insurance company was unhappy and talked of putting restrictions on our policy if this continued. We decided to have bars put on the windows, and decided to have a five foot chain link fence installed around the entire perimeter of the property. The fence company came out and set all the posts for the fence and left the rolls of wire laying in the front yard, to be installed the next day. You guessed it, the next day; the rolls of wire were gone. Someone had gotten them overnight as we slept. I was beginning to get a little paranoid.

Why was all of this happening to us? I was running from the Lord at the time and concluded that God was doing this to me as punishment. Jeanie was now pregnant with Linda, and quit her job to stay home. I was so paranoid I did not want her to even leave the house. We quit going out except when it was absolutely necessary. I was literally living in fear of another break-in. I found out later, “What a man fears will come upon him!” Job 3:25, 26: “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.” And this time it hurt me where it really hurt! Those of you, who know me, know that my favorite past-time is fishing. This time the thieves did not get in the house, but they came over the fence and stole the motor off my boat. I remember pulling into the driveway, coming home from work. The drive went straight behind the house to the shed I had built for my boat. It was like my eyes had a “zoom lens” when I saw that the motor was gone off my boat. I had had it locked and chained with a logging chain, but they came prepared with a set of heavy duty bolt cutters. That was the day I decided to put the house up for sale and move! For almost two years I had been literally tormented by the fear of being robbed.

It would be several more years before I discovered the truth of what was behind this torment. We finally sold that house and moved into North Augusta, SC and rented a house. I began to work on plans for our second house and to look for a lot, this time in a subdivision that would offer a little more protection. In the process, I met a Christian businessman who began to talk to me about the Lord. To make a long story short, we bought a lot on a twelve acre lake from him and built our second home. The influence of this Christian businessman eventually stirred a hunger in us for God and we began to attend church again on a regular basis. It had been almost ten years that I had been running from the Lord.

It was not long before God reminded me of the call He had on my life. I was now spending more time reading God’s Word than watching television. One evening, I was reading in the Living Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes and I read these words: Ecclesiastes 5:4, 5: “So when you talk to God and vow to Him that you will do something, don’t delay in doing it, for God has no pleasure in fools. Keep your promise to Him. It is far better not to say you’ll do something than to say you will and then not do it.” When I read those words, I suppose I had a vision. It was like I was watching a video of myself when I was sixteen years old and during a revival service, I had gone forward to rededicate my life, but I heard myself saying “I want to dedicate my life to full time Christian service!” My response to God was, “You know that was a mistake, I didn’t mean to say that!” I looked back down at the Bible I was reading and read these words in verse 6: “…Don’t try to defend yourself by telling the messenger from God that it was all a mistake…” That experience turned my life upside down and resulted in my entering Seminary and the ministry.

That summer, the church Jeanie and I were attending was taking a group of folk to a week-long seminar in Atlanta. Jeanie and I decided to go. It was at this seminar that I heard a message on the power of a clear conscience. (See my blog “HAVE YOU SHIPWRECKED YOUR FAITH?” for a summary of what I heard). When I asked God to bring to mind people that I had offended and with whom I needed to make things right, the man who came to mind was the man who had built our first house. I was disappointed in the quality of some of the work that went into the house, especially with the wood trim details. It became a real chore to get in touch with my builder. He was never in when I called or when I stopped by his office. I became very angry at him and withheld several hundred dollars on the final payment on the contract. I literally developed a grudge against the man. In reality, I must admit I came to hate him. And then I was hearing God saying to me that I must forgive him, ask for his forgiveness and make restitution to him!

It took a few weeks for me to swallow my pride, admit that I was wrong too! Generally, we tend to think it’s all the other person’s fault or if not all their fault, we might take 10% of the blame. I had to acknowledge that I had a bad attitude in the whole matter and make amends. I decided I would go to his office, reasoning that I had never been able to catch him there before and I could tell God, “I tried!” God was setting me up! The man was there. I didn’t know what to say, nor did I have the funds to make restitution. I trusted God to give me the words. When I mentioned the money I owed him, he quoted the amount to the cent, without having to look it up! I thought, “This is not good.” I explained that God had convicted me that I was in the wrong and I had come to ask his forgiveness. He replied by telling me he had heard that I was going into the ministry and he had wondered if I had changed. He got up from his chair, walked around his desk and hugged me and said, “You’re forgiven and so is the debt!” God is good!

Sometime later, as I was studying the 18th chapter of Matthew on forgiveness, where Jesus tells the story of the servant who was forgiven a great debt (that represents my sin against the Father) but who refused to forgive a fellow servant a very small debt (that represents the grudge I held against the builder) and I read these words: Matthew 18:32-34: “Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”

My actions and attitude in the whole situation brought about the entire episode of problems. My failure to forgive caused me to literally be thrown to the tormentors. It was not that God was being mean to me or punishing me, it was simply a “reproof of life.” Proverbs 6:23: “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:” If you touch a bare electrical wire, you get a shock. That is like a reproof of life. If you break God’s law, you pay the consequence until you repent and receive forgiveness.

It is true that God used those circumstances to draw me back unto Himself. But He was not the cause of the circumstances, I was because I chose not to forgive!

Matthew 6:9-15: “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Choose to forgive! It is for your benefit!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | March 25, 2014

SCRIPTURAL ANECDOTES 23 – GOD’S BLESSING

SCRIPTURAL ANECDOTES 23 – GOD’S BLESSING

As I pondered my life experience in ministry, in regard to writing SCRIPTURAL ANECDOTES, I realized that my life experience encompassed much more than my ministry experience. In fact, as I thought through my life, I realized that those experiences that had the most impact in my life were personal experiences with God teaching me to trust Him, to rely on Him and to look to Him alone to meet our family’s needs. I have not always remembered the lessons I have learned and I have been prone to worry at times and then try to do it myself. It has been a great help to me to recount all that God has done for me; thus as I write, I may become a little wordy in remembering what may seem to some as inconsequential details. May God use my experiences to encourage you as you read about our journey with the Lord. Proverbs 3:13, Amplified Bible, “Happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) is the man who finds skillful and Godly Wisdom, and the man who gets understanding [DRAWING IT FORTH FROM GOD’S WORD AND LIFE’S EXPERIENCES].” i.e. SCRIPTURAL ANECDOTES

GOD’S BLESSING

Deuteronomy 28:1-3: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.”

When I was four years old, Mom and Dad bought their “dream house” in a little rural town by the name of Beech Island, South Carolina. It wasn’t even near the beach and I didn’t find the island until I was a teenager. Turns out it was an island in the Savannah River which got its name from the beech trees on it.

A few years before I was born, Dad had bought 64 acres of land near Augusta, Georgia with a “run-down” cabin on it. They fixed it up, added indoor plumbing and made it livable. My earliest memories are of this place. I remember the two china-berry trees out front with a swing between them. I remember the oil heater that sat in the middle of the “living room.” I remember our cow getting sick and dying and a strange looking truck that came to haul it off. I remember being scared by a bumble bee that was always at the gate to the field whenever I wanted to go through the gate. Strange what we remember from our childhood.

Augusta was beginning to grow at the time and a real estate investor thought that Dad’s 64 acres would make a perfect site for a small subdivision. Dad sold the place and the profit made it possible for Mom to get her “dream house” just across the Savannah river in the little town of Beech Island. The year was 1949 and our house was the classiest house in town! A real brick house, not brick veneer. It had maple floors and plaster walls, three large bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast room and enclosed garage (later made into a den). God was surely blessing our family. But it would be almost twenty-five years later that I literally saw God’s blessing with my eyes.

Eight acres came with the house. The “yard” consisted of about 2 acres which I would later get to cut with a push mower. The other 6 acres became a garden. Dad bought a one-row John Deere M tractor, which I learned to drive by the time I was eight years old. Grandma and Grand –Daddy lived with us and between them and Mom and Dad, they raised a complete range of vegetables, to eat, to can, to freeze to give away and to sell. The biggest crop was silver queen corn, probably three to four acres worth. I can remember folks coming from all over to get corn. I remember that Dad sold it for 15 cents a dozen ears when he first started selling it. By the time I left to go off to school, the cost was up to about 35 cents a dozen. You can’t even buy one ear for that today.

I knew that Dad prayed over his land and asked the Lord’s blessing on his field, but I was not able to appreciate the reality of God’s blessing on that field until I was about 35 years old. I had graduated from seminary and was now pastoring a church in Virginia. Dad had retired and had decided to give up his oversize garden and do some traveling. He asked the farmer who lived just down the road from us and farmed the forty acres next door to Dad’s place, if he would be interested in renting the four acres that had been the “corn field.” He agreed to rent it and took down the fence and cleaned up the hedge row and prepared it along with his forty acres to plant soybeans that year.

We took a week of vacation in the middle of that summer; sometime in the early 1980’s to visit both sets of parents. Jeanie’s folks lived on Lake Wateree in South Carolina and I always looked forward to going there and fishing for a few days. We would stay with Jeanie’s folks, and make a day trip down to see my Mom and Dad. We had been in Beech Island for a couple of hours when “T” (that’s what everyone called him) said, “Come with me, I have something I want to show you!” We went out the back door and into the yard and then into the soybean field. The plants were about waist high and I was wondering, “What is he going to show me?” We walked about a hundred yards across the field to the place where the fence had been and Dad stopped. Dad asked, “Do you notice any difference?” What I saw was amazing! In a straight line, exactly where the fence had been and the property line was located, the soybeans changed noticeably in size! The soybean plants on Dad’s property were from six to eight inches taller than the soybeans on the farmer’s property. Dad asked me, “Do you know why?” and then answered his own question before I had a chance to respond. “That’s God’s Blessing on my land, because I pray over it.”

A couple of years later, Dad was honored as Deacon Emeritus at the Church that they were charter members of and I was asked to bring the message at that service. I preached on the Blessing of the Lord and shared the story about the soybeans with the congregation. I saw the reality of the last three verses of Psalm 91 in my Dad’s life: Psalm 91:14-16: “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”

Dad lived to be 88 years old and I had the privilege of being in the hospital room with him the night that Jesus came to take him home. The family had been taking turns staying with Dad through the night and it was my turn. About midnight, I noticed that he had become very restless. He finally asked me to come and pray for him that he would be able to get some sleep. I walked over to his bedside, laid my hand on his forehead and simply said, “Jesus, come and bless “T” with some sleep. I went back and sat down in the chair to try to catch a nap myself. A moment or two later, “T” spoke again said something that kind of surprised me and I didn’t understand what it meant until a few moments later. “T” said: “Jesus is here, but he says I can’t go to sleep!” While I was thinking about his words, he simply stopped breathing.Jesus had indeed been there, He had come to take “T” home!

Are you ready for Jesus to come and take you home when you die? You can be if you will receive Jesus by faith to be born again. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and make Him your Lord. Romans 10:9&10 says: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

You need to believe something in your heart, That Jesus died for your sins and that He rose again that you might have life and have it abundantly.

You need to say something with your mouth. You need to repent of your sins and ask Jesus to come into your heart and be the Lord of your life.

Do these two things and you will be born again. Christ will come to live inside of you, you will enter the Kingdom of God, your name will be written down in the Lambs Book of Life and you will spend eternity with Jesus when He comes to take you home!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | March 19, 2014

SOME THOUGHTS AND BLESSINGS FOR YOU!

SOME THOUGHTS AND BLESSINGS FOR YOU

Here are God’s thoughts for you and your family!

Jeremiah 29:111-14a, Amplified Bible: “11 For I know the thoughts and  plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and  PLANS FOR WELFARE AND  PEACE AND NOT FOR EVIL, TO GIVE YOU HOPE IN YOUR FINAL OUTCOME. 12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and  heed you. 13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and  require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. [Deut. 4:29-30.] 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will release you from captivity…”

God will never leave you or forsake you!

Hebrews 13b-14, Amplified Bible: “…for He [God] Himself has said, I WILL NOT IN ANY WAY FAIL YOU NOR  GIVE YOU UP NOR  LEAVE YOU WITHOUT SUPPORT. [I WILL] NOT, [I WILL] NOT, [I WILL] NOT IN ANY DEGREE LEAVE YOU HELPLESS NOR  FORSAKE NOR  LET [YOU] DOWN (RELAX MY HOLD ON YOU)! [Assuredly not!] [Josh. 1:5.] 6 So we take comfort and  are encouraged and  confidently and  boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me? [Ps. 27:1;118:6.]

Sickness and disease are from the devil. Everybody that Jesus healed was made sick by the devil. Jesus never told anybody that He could not or would not heal them because God had put that sickness on them to make them a better person!

Acts 10:38, Amplified Bible: “How God anointed and  consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the [Holy] Spirit and with strength and  ability and  power; how He went about doing good and, IN PARTICULAR, CURING ALL WHO WERE HARASSED AND  OPPRESSED BY [THE POWER OF] THE DEVIL, for God was with Him.”

God wants you and your family to be well and prosperous!

III John verse 2, KJV: “Beloved, I WISH ABOVE ALL THINGS THAT THOU MAYEST PROSPER AND BE IN HEALTH, even as thy soul prospereth.”

Healing is one of God’s benefits!

Psalm 103:2-5, KJV: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; WHO HEALETH ALL THY DISEASES;  Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; SO THAT THY YOUTH IS RENEWED like the eagle’s.”

These are just a few of God’s thoughts toward you and your family. All negative thoughts that contradict God’s thoughts for you are from the enemy and you must reject them, take them captive and cast them down by saying, “I will not receive (whatever the negative thought is) and I cast it down in the Name and through the power of the Blood of Jesus”

II Corinthians 10:3-5, KJV: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, AND EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTETH ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST;”

Change the way you think! Think on these things!

Philippians 4:8, KJV: FINALLY, BRETHREN, WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE TRUE, WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE HONEST, WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE JUST, WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE PURE, WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY, WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE OF GOOD REPORT; IF THERE BE ANY VIRTUE, AND IF THERE BE ANY PRAISE, THINK ON THESE THINGS.”

Romans 12:2, Amplified Bible: “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but BE TRANSFORMED (CHANGED) BY THE [ENTIRE] RENEWAL OF YOUR MIND [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even  the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

Engraft the Word of God into your heart to guard and protect it!

Proverbs 4:20-23, Amplified Bible: “20 My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. 22 For THEY ARE LIFE TO THOSE WHO FIND THEM, HEALING AND  HEALTH TO ALL THEIR FLESH. 23 Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”

We agree together with you for total healing and restoration for you and your family in the Mighty Name of Jesus of Nazareth! AMEN!

Your friend and Christian Brother and Sister, Tom and Jeanie Graves

Posted by: Tom Graves | March 18, 2014

HAVE YOU SHIPWRECKED YOUR FAITH?

HAVE YOU SHIPWRECKED YOUR FAITH?

Do you have problems believing God? Does it seem impossible for you to stand in faith and get your prayers answered? The problem may lie in the fact that you have some hidden sins, from the past or the present, that you have been unable to acknowledge and repent and receive forgiveness. Pride may be blocking you, or you may feel you are “so bad” that God cannot forgive you. God wants to forgive you! God wants you to be able to stand in faith! God wants you to be able to come into the Holy of Holies and stand in His very presence and worship Him. Why? Because He loves you and wants the very best for you!

Jesus came for that very purpose. John 10:10b-11: “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” Jesus died so that your sins could be forgiven and so you could stand in the very presence of God without guilt or a consciousness of sin. Hebrews 10:2b: “…because that THE WORSHIPPERS ONCE PURGED SHOULD HAVE HAD NO MORE CONSCIENCE OF SINS.” Have we been purged of our sin? Did Jesus accomplish that on the cross? Yes He did! His resurrection from the dead is our proof that we have been purged of our sin, if we put our trust in Him and confess and repent of our sins! Hebrews 1:3: “Who (Jesus) being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, WHEN HE (JESUS) HAD BY HIMSELF PURGED OUR SINS, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

We have been purged and cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth! Therefore we should have a boldness about ourselves to enter into the very presence of God! Hebrews 10:19-23: “Having therefore, brethren, BOLDNESS TO ENTER INTO THE HOLIEST BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS,  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, HAVING OUR HEARTS SPRINKLED FROM AN EVIL CONSCIENCE, and our bodies washed with pure water. LET US HOLD FAST THE PROFESSION OF OUR FAITH WITHOUT WAVERING; (for he is faithful that promised;)

A clear conscience is one of our most essential weapons when it comes to standing in faith. I Timothy 1:18-19 Amp. Bible: “18 This charge and  admonition I commit in trust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with prophetic intimations which I formerly received concerning you, so that inspired and  aided by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 Holding fast to faith (that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence) and having a good (clear) conscience. By rejecting and  thrusting from them [their conscience], some individuals have made shipwreck of their faith.”

God wants us to have a clear conscience! He has made all the provision for us to obtain a clear conscience and walk in continuous fellowship with Him! But it requires action on our part. I John 1:5-10: “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS, AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

Paul understood what it meant to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus! Even though he participated in the murder of Stephen (Acts 8:1) he could later say to the Corinthians, II Corinthians 7:2: “Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.” How could Paul say that? Because he had been cleansed by the blood of Jesus!

Paul did not consider himself perfect, just forgiven! He pressed into God on a daily basis. He did not let his mistakes of the past weigh him down. He received God’s forgiveness and kept pressing on desiring to know God better and better with each passing day! Philippians 3:10-14: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: BUT THIS ONE THING I DO, FORGETTING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEHIND, AND REACHING FORTH UNTO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEFORE, I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK FOR THE PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS.”

Press on brother and sister in Christ! Confess and repent of all your sin and let the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanse you of all sin so that your faith might float high in the water and your prayers get answered!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

Posted by: Tom Graves | March 12, 2014

GUILTY, WHO ME?

GUILTY! WHO ME?

I have some good news and some bad news! Let’s go with the bad news first. YES, you are guilty. Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” That’s the verse we hear about a lot of the time. The problem is that we rarely hear it in its context. Romans 3:19-23: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD WHICH IS BY FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (emphasis mine). Do you hear what that is saying? Since Jesus has come, there is a new way to obtain righteousness and it is not by keeping the law.

Now, the good news! YES, you are guilty. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” That means you qualify for this new righteousness “…Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ (emphasis mine).

Admitting our guilt, however, is a hard thing because of our pride! We usually place the blame on someone else if that is possible. We may accept 10 or 20% of the blame but the other 80 or 90% belongs to someone else. At least that is what our minds tell us. You see, blame balances guilt for a while. The problem comes because guilt is a function of our conscience which is connected with our spirit, whereas, blame is a function of our mind which is connected to our soul. So blame does not really solve the guilt problem.

There is only one solution for our guilt problem and that is the Blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I John 1:7-10: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

To make matters worse, we have an adversary who is our accuser and he never rests! He is busy accusing us before God and in our minds. Revelation 12:10-11: “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And THEY OVERCAME HIM BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

We try all sorts of things to deal with our guilt. We are like the little boy who played in the street after his mother forbid it. He was hit by a car and received a broken leg. Then he said to his mom, “I am so sorry I broke my leg!” He was sorry about the consequence, but not the sin itself. That is incomplete repentance. We try religious compensation, i.e. putting in an appearance at “Church” every time the doors are open and doing all kinds of “ministry” for God.  But that only works for a while. We experience frustration over the things to drive us to sin, “…the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…” (I John 2:16) and we try to justify what we have done, all to no avail. Guilt weighs us down and we don’t seem to be able to get any relief.

What is the solution? Jesus tells us exactly what to do in Matthew 5:25a: “Agree with thine adversary quickly.” Do what? Simply put, agree with the accuser and confess your sin before God, fully and completely. I love Psalm 32 in this regard. Psalm 32:1-5: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” Verse 5 in the Amplified Bible reads, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told] – then you [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!”

There is a beautiful picture of exactly how this works in Zechariah 3:1-5: “And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist (accuse) him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.”

It doesn’t matter what our sin is, God can and will forgive it. We may think our sin is small but God says, James 2:10: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” We may think that we are good and righteous in and of ourselves, but God has said, Isaiah 64:6: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

You see, the fact is, we are sinners, not because we sin, rather, we sin because we were made sinners by Adam’s sin. That is why a person must be “born again.” I saw a bumper sticker the other day. It said, “I DON’T NEED TO BE BORN AGAIN, I WAS BORN OK THE FIRST TIME!” If only that were true, but it is not. When we were born the first time, we were born with a spirit that is cut off from God because of Adam’s sin, and our spirit must be “born again” so we can have eternal life.

I love the way Paul described the whole picture of the results of our first being born and afterward being “born again” in I Corinthians 15:45-49: “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam (this was Jesus on the cross) was made a quickening (life giving) spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man (Adam) is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven (this is Jesus after the resurrection). As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy (we were born sinners because of Adam’s sin), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly (we are made righteous by what Jesus did on the cross, when we are ‘born again’) (emphasis mine).

II Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (he is ‘born again’): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” This is made possible because of what happened on the cross, II Corinthians 5:21: “For he (God) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM” (emphasis mine).

The practical outworking of all this is Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I LIVE BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Romans 13:11-14: “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. BUT PUT YE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Be Blessed! Tom and Jeanie Graves

Posted by: Tom Graves | March 5, 2014

VICTORY FOR HOMESCHOOLERS

 

VICTORY FOR HOMESCHOOLERS!

Thanks for your continued prayers for this family! God is good!

Tags: homeschool | germany | family | asylum

Victory for Homeschool Family Facing Deportation

Uwe Romeike, Hannelore Romeike

Uwe Romeike, top left, and his wife Hannelore, second from right, teach their children at their home in Morristown, Tenn.

Tuesday, 04 Mar 2014 08:35 PM

By Jason Devaney

  • A homeschooling German family that was granted asylum six years ago and was on the verge of being deported after the Supreme Court rejected its final appeal on Monday will be allowed to remain in the country after all. The Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday the Romeike family could remain in the U.S. — without receiving citizenship. “This is an incredible victory that I can only credit to Almighty God. I also want to thank those who spoke up on this issue — including that long ago White House petition,” Home School Legal Defense Association Chairman Michael Farris said in a press release. “We believe that the public outcry made a huge impact. What an amazing turnaround — in just 24 hours.” The case stems from the family’s belief that its children should be home schooled. Germany would not allow that practice, and Uwe and Hannelore Romeike — who have raised their children as devout Christians and began home schooling three of them in 2006 — feared they would lose custody of them after German authorities visited the family’s home and began issuing fines. Attending state-approved schools is mandatory in Germany. The Romeikes knew another German family in Morristown, Tenn., so they moved there with their five children in 2008. Since then, the couple has had another child and is now expecting its seventh. The family was granted asylum in 2010, marking the first time home schooling was successfully used as a reason for earning asylum in this country, according to a World Magazine article. The family then lost its asylum status at every level of court it faced after the Obama administration balked at the decision. A White House petition was submitted; the White House declined to comment on the specifics of the case, saying only that “homeschooling is a popular option for many parents pursuing high academic standards for their children.” The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has been working with the family to keep it from getting deported. “When we lost at the Sixth Circuit [in 2013], I told Uwe that he would go back to Germany over my dead body,” Farris said in the HSLDA release. “I’m glad that wasn’t necessary! This is a courageous family and one that deserves to stay here. They are modern day Pilgrims.” Monday’s Supreme Court ruling all but sealed the family’s fate before Homeland Security stepped in. “Our entire family is deeply grateful for all the support of our friends and fellow homeschoolers and especially HSLDA,” Uwe Romeike said in the HSLDA release. “I thank God for his hand of blessing and protection over our family. We thank the American government for allowing us to stay here and to peacefully homeschool our children — it’s all we ever wanted.” The HSLDA says the Romeikes were granted “indefinite deferred action status” and can stay in the U.S. for the foreseeable future. Monday’s Supreme Court ruling showed that the U.S. government does not consider home schooling a fundamental human right; the Department of Homeland Security’s decision goes against that. Still, the family will not be U.S. citizens. The Romeikes will remain in the U.S. as, essentially, refugees. “As long as we can live at peace here, we are happy,” Uwe Romeike told the HSLDA. “We have always been ready to go wherever the Lord would lead us — and I know my citizenship isn’t really on Earth. This has always been about our children. I wouldn’t have minded staying in Germany if the mistreatment targeted only me — but our whole family was targeted when German authorities would not tolerate our decision to teach our children — that is what brought us here.”
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  • Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves
Posted by: Tom Graves | March 4, 2014

PRAY FOR THIS FAMILY!!!

 PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS FAMILY!!! This is an all out assault on our religious freedom!

 Christian school family

 

 

Team Obama wins fight to have Christian home-school family deported

By Todd Starnes

Todd’s American Dispatch

Published March 03, 2014

FoxNews.com

Courtesy: Home School Legal Defense Association (Courtesy Romeike family)

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike came to the United States in 2008 seeking political asylum. They fled their German homeland in the face of religious persecution for homeschooling their children.

They wanted to live in a country where they could raise their children in accordance with their Christian beliefs.

The Romeikes were initially given asylum, but the Obama administration objected – claiming that German laws that outlaw homeschooling do not constitute persecution.

Please, Mr. President, have mercy on this Christian family. They came to our shores longing to be free.

“The goal in Germany is for an open, pluralistic society,” the Justice Department wrote in a legal brief last year. “Teaching tolerance to children of all backgrounds helps to develop the ability to interact as a fully functioning citizen in Germany.”

On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear the Romeike’s appeal – paving the way for the Christian family of eight to be deported.

“I think this is a part of the Obama administration’s overall campaign to crush religious freedom in this country,” said Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. His organization is representing family.

“The Obama administration’s attitude toward religious freedom, particularly religious freedom for Christians is shocking,” he told me in an exclusive telephone interview. “I have little doubt that if this family had been of some other faith that the decision would have never been appealed in the first place. They would have let this family stay.”

Had the family stayed in Germany, where homeschooling is illegal, they would have faced the prospect of losing their children. Like the Pilgrims, they fled their homeland yearning for a place where they could be free.

Farris said the religious bias perpetrated by the Obama administration is “palpable.”

“It’s a denial of the essence of America,” he said. “The Pilgrims left England to go to Holland to seek religious freedom. They came here to seek religious freedom and parental rights for their children. Had this administration been waiting at Plymouth Rock, they would’ve told the Pilgrims to go back home.”

There are nearly 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. You’d think the Obama administration could find a place eight immigrants who want to live here legally.

Farris said the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case sends a chilling message to Americans who currently home school their children.

“This administration thinks it’s a privilege to home school – not a right,” he told me. “We’d better buckle down and be ready to fight them every step of the way.”

As for now, the Romeike family will be able to stay at their four-acre farm in the eastern Tennessee. But it’s only a matter of time before the Obama administration begins formal deportation proceedings.

Last year, I interviewed 15-year-old Daniel Romeike, a soft-spoken boy with aspirations of one day becoming a mechanical engineer. He told me he was afraid of what might happen if the family was deported. He feared being taken from his parents and placed in government custody.

“If I had a chance to talk to President Obama, I would ask him to let us stay in this great country of freedom and opportunity,” Daniel told me.

So on behalf of the Romeike family, I would like personally appeal to President Obama.

Please, Mr. President, have mercy on this Christian family. They came to our shores longing to be free. They left their homeland to escape religious persecution. Please, sir. Welcome them to our land with open arms. Bestow upon them a small measure of grace so they might be able to raise their children in the land of the free, the home of the brave.

Please spare these dear souls.

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is “God Less America”.

THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS!!!!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | February 26, 2014

THE TRINITY AND THE NEW BIRTH

THE TRINITY AND THE NEW BIRTH! 

Is Jesus really God Himself? Why then is He called the Son of God? Is there not a difference? Scripture says He was begotten of God. What does that mean? To help answer these questions we need to have a grasp on the fact that God has revealed Himself to man as a trinity. 

The Trinity is a term used to describe something that is really indescribable, the belief that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One God, yet they manifest themselves in three individual persons. This is something that is outside of the realm of possibility for some people because it does not fit in with human experience. Because it cannot be completely understood and explained by the human mind, it is rejected as truth because to the mind, it seems impossible. Those who reject the reality of The Trinity are quick to point out that the word trinity is not found in the Bible, and they are right. However, the concept is in the Bible and it is very clear for those who wish to find the truth. After all, “God is not a man, that He should lie…” (Numbers 23:19a). God is God, and “…with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27b). The main issue revolves around the fact that Jesus is called “The Son of God.” If Jesus is God’s Son, then how can He also be God Himself? Settle it in your mind that all things are possible with God; therefore, The Trinity is a possibility. Now, let us look and see what the Scriptures have to say about The Trinity. 

First of all, we need to be clear that we worship one God, not three. God was very specific that He is “One God” in Deuteronomy 6: 4&5. These verses are known as the “Shema” and were to be recited by the Israelites twice daily “…when thy liest down and when thy risest up.” (vs. 7b). When Jesus was asked by the scribes to name the greatest commandment, He repeated the “Shema” in Mark 12: 29-30: “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is: Hear O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Make no mistake about it; God is one God, but He reveals Himself to us as three persons, I John 5:7: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” Those who reject the truth of The Trinity are quick to point out that this verse is not found in some of the earliest manuscripts of I John, but apparently God chose to have it in the final edition and that is good enough for me! 

One of the clearest pictures of The Trinity is found, not in the New Testament, but in the Old Testament, in the book of Isaiah, Chapter 48: 12-18. The God of Israel is speaking to Israel. Listen to what He has to say about Himself! 12. Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called: I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. 13. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spread out the heavens; when I call unto them, they stand up together.14. All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear. Who among them hath declared these things? The Lord hath loved him; he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans. 15. I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him; I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. 16. Come near unto me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was there am I; and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me. 17. Thus sayeth the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy one of Israel: I am the Lord thy God, who teacheth thee to profit, who leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. 18. Oh, that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! Then had thy peace been like a river, and thy righteousness like the waves of the sea… (emphasis mine). This is the God of Israel speaking. He is Almighty God, the one who created the heavens and the earth (vs. 13). He is the one who gave Israel the Ten Commandments when He met with Moses on Mount Sinai (vs. 18). He is the Great I Am (vs. 12). There is no mistaking that this is who we would call God the Father, yet He calls Himself “thy Redeemer” (vs. 17) a title we reserve for Jesus. He also calls Himself the first and the last, titles that Jesus applies to Himself several times in the book of Revelation. Revelation 1:11 “…I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last…” (See also Rev. 1:17 & 22:13). 

When Jesus says “…I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last…” He is referring to the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Several years ago, Garry Skutt, a fellow student in the Master’s program at Covenant Bible Institute pointed out a very interesting fact. The first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet are ALEPH and TAV, respectively. In Genesis 1:1, they occur immediately following the Hebrew word for God, yet they are not translated. A note in The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament explains: “(ALEPH TAV), the definite direct object indicator is never translated. When standing independently, it is rendered with three asterisks (***, e.g. Gen.1:1)” (pg xxvii). I am not a Hebrew scholar, so I do not know why it is never translated. However, since ALEPH  TAV appear in the Hebrew manuscript, I think it safe to read Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God, the first and the last, created the heaven and the earth.” This is exactly what Colossians 1:16-19 says when speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ: “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers – all things were created by Him and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in all things He might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell…” Jesus is the God of creation, the first and the last. As Dr. S. M. Lockridge put it, “There’s nobody before Him and there’ll be nobody after Him. You can’t impeach Him and He’s not gonna resign.”  

Listen again to Isaiah 48:16b for it give us all three members of The Trinity: “…and now the Lord God (that’s the Father), and His Spirit (that’s the Holy Spirit), hath sent me(that’s Jesus, identified as ‘Thy Redeemer’ in vs. 17).” God says I’m sending myself to be your redeemer. This was prophesied by Abraham when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Genesis 22:7&8: “And Isaac spoke to Abraham, his father, and said, My father: and he said, here am I, my son. And he said, behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8. And Abraham said, My son, God will provide Himself a lamb…” Abraham probably did not know that he was prophesying, even as Caiaphas the High Priest did not know he was prophesying about the Lamb of God in John 11: 49-52: “And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50. Nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51, And this spoke he not of himself; but, being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation…” 

We sing the words of the old hymn “And Can it Be” by Charles Wesley and never really realize what it is saying:                             

And can it be that I should gain – An interest in my Savior’s blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain – For me, who Him to death pursued?

Chorus: Amazing love how can it be – That thou my God should die for me? Amazing love how can it be – That thou my God should die for me? 

Wesley understood that God Himself died for our sins and it literally overwhelmed his mind. How can it be possible? And yet it is possible, God Himself died for us. God knew it was going to be so hard to believe that he had Isaiah begin the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, with a question: “Who hath believed our report?” In other words, God was saying, What I am about to tell you is going to be so amazing that it is going to be hard to believe. He then goes on to describe His suffering and death as The Lord Jesus Christ. Read it for yourself and let it touch your heart. 

Now let’s look at what Jesus said about who He was. Jesus declared to the Pharisees that he was indeed the God of Israel, The Great I Am who spoke with Moses at the burning bush. It so infuriated the Pharisees that they took up stones to stone Him for blasphemy in claiming that He was God; John 8:56-59: “Your father, Abraham rejoiced to see my day (with the sacrifice of Isaac); and he saw it and was glad. 57. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I Am. 59. Then took they up stones to cast at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. 

Here, Jesus emphatically declared that He was God Himself by declaring that He was indeed The Great I Am who met with Moses at the burning bush, Exodus 3:13-14: “And Moses said unto God, behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his Name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”   

Later when teaching His disciples about the Holy Spirit, He declared that he and the Holy Spirit were one. John 14:15-18: “If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; 17. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you. 18. I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” 

Jesus, the Son, prays to the Father who sends the Holy Spirit, and yet Jesus is able to say “I will come to you.” The Trinity is the only reasonable answer to this paradox. The Father is God; Jesus is God and The Holy Spirit is God; and yet they are different individuals. I can not say that I fully understand it, but I receive it by faith and believe it. 

Hebrews chapter one gives further insight into the relationship between the Father and the Son. Hebrews 1:1-3: “God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spoke in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, who He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” 

Notice that Jesus is “the express image of his person.” This explains why Jesus could say to Phillip in John 14: 9b: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Then Jesus affirms that He and the Father are one God, John 14:10: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” To try and get us to understand the relationship of the Godhead, Jesus puts it into language that we can understand, “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.”           

If Jesus is God Himself, why is He called “…the only begotten of the Father?” (John 1:14). Jesus became “…the only begotten of the Father” when He was “made Flesh.” It had nothing to do with, as some say, God creating Jesus. Jesus is not a created being as some would have us believe, neither is he a man who lived a perfect life and became a god as some teach. Paul warned us in II Corinthians 11:4 that there would be those who preached “another Jesus,” a Jesus who was not Almighty God Himself. Settle it in your heart once and for all; Jesus is God Himself come in the flesh to redeem mankind from his sins.  

Now let us deal with what on the surface seems to be a contradiction. John 1:14 says Jesus was “… the only begotten of the Father,”  but Luke 1:35 tells us that Jesus was begotten by the Holy Spirit: Luke 1:35: “And the angel answered, and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Since the Bible does not contradict itself, the Father and the Holy Spirit must be one God. That agrees with Peter calling the Holy Spirit “God” in Acts 5:3-4: “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 

So far we have seen that the Father is God, The Holy Spirit is God, but you may still be asking yourself; Is Jesus really God Himself? Is The Trinity a reality? I would hope by this time you would have come to that conclusion, but if not, let’s look at the testimony of the Father Himself for a final answer to the question; Is Jesus really God Himself? Hebrews 1:5-8: “For unto which of the angels said He (The Father) at any time, Thou art my Son, this day I have begotten thee? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son? And again when He bringeth the first-begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him. And of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne O God is forever and ever, a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Here, God the Father calls Jesus, The Son, God. That only makes sense when you believe the reality of The Trinity. 

When Jesus died on the cross, He descended into hades to pay the penalty for our sins. (see Acts 2:22-36) He was there until he was resurrected from death on the third day (Luke 24:7). Yet He, Jesus, told the repentant thief on the cross, Luke 23:43: “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Was Jesus lying? I heard one pastor try to explain this by saying that what Jesus meant was, “I am speaking this to you today-that you will eventually be with me in paradise.” This allows for the three days that Jesus would be in hades. The truth is, you do not need to rephrase it. Jesus was not lying; in fact, He was confirming the reality of The Trinity. He was saying, today you will be with me as God in heaven, while I, as Jesus go to hades to pay the penalty for your sin so you can be there. I don’t pretend to understand it, but I believe it. 

God was the Word, and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us as the Lord Jesus Christ, and we beheld His Glory. It was the Glory of the Father, full of grace and truth (see John 1:1&14). Jesus made Himself of no reputation, that is, He laid aside His visible Glory and became a man. He humbled Himself, lived a sinless life and became obedient to death and as a man He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (see Philippians 2:5-8). He descended into hades, but after three days He was resurrected from the dead (see Acts 2:30-33). None of the other “way show-ers” died in our place. None of them were resurrected from the dead. Jesus alone provides salvation for man. There is no other name under heaven by which man may be saved. Jesus is the only way to heaven. John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I AM THE WAY (not simply the “way show-er”), the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” 

There is also another reason God had to become a man and die for man’s sin. Not only was God keeping His own law, there was another problem that needed to be solved and it involved the ruler ship of this earth. When God created Adam, God gave Adam authority to rule the earth, Gen. 1:28: “And God blessed them (Adam & Eve), and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the foul of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”. 

When Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, not only did he disobey God, but he also obeyed Satan. This is a very important fact. Listen to Romans 6:16 and you will understand what happened that day. “Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” It is interesting that Paul put this into the form of a question: Don’t you know that you become a servant of the one you obey. If you obey God you are his servant. If you obey Satan, you are his servant. Whose servant are you? 

You need to be aware that the Bible teaches that there are two spiritual beings at work in our world, and both dedicated to something extreme. One seeks our destruction through lies, theft and murder. He hates us with a malignant hatred. Jesus described him in John 10:10: “The thief cometh not but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy….” The other spiritual being is God, who has come to earth as Jesus, and He seeks to give us a life so lavish, so exuberant, so plentiful and overflowing that the destroyer can not touch us. Listen to the second part of John 10:10: “…I (Jesus) am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” 

We, as Christians, seem to know very little about this abundant life and experience it even less. Yet it is real and it is available to those who are abiding in Jesus, moment by moment, day by day. John 15:7: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” That is a powerful promise, but there are very few who live there. 

Are you aware that every person Jesus healed in His earthly ministry was made sick by the devil? Acts 10:38: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and HEALING ALL THAT WERE OPPRESSED OF THE DEVIL; for God was with Him.” Let that verse renew your mind about who is the author of sickness. God wants His people well! Listen to III John vs. 2: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 

How then did satan become such a powerful being in this world? Why doesn’t God just wipe him out? Again, it is because satan has obtained a legal right to be here and God will not violate law to destroy satan. Here is how it happened. 

God had given dominion of the earth to Adam, but when Adam obeyed Satan, Satan not only became Adam’s ruler, he also became god of the world. II Corinthians 4: 3&4: “But if our Gospel be hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine upon them.”  

Jesus came as a man to get dominion of the world back. A man lost it; it required a man to get it back. Satan understood that fact, thus it was one of the temptations that he posed to Jesus. Luke 4:5-7: “And the devil, taking Him up into a high mountain, showed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, all this power (or authority) will I give Thee, and the glory of them; for that is delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will, I give it. If thou, therefore, wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” Notice, Jesus didn’t say: You are a liar satan, it’s not yours to give. Jesus, who is God, had been there in the garden that day when Adam obeyed satan and He saw what had happened. He saw Adam obey satan. He saw Adam’s spirit die, i.e. be cut off from God. He saw satan become the god of this world. How do I know that Jesus saw Adam’s spirit be cut off from God? 

When Jesus was talking to Nicodemus in John 3:3 He said, “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus knew that man must be born again because man’s spirit was cut off from God by Adam’s sin. Romans 5:12 &19: “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men (you and me), for that all have sinned…For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous.” Notice that we do not become sinners when we sin! It’s the other way round; we sin because we were made sinners when Adam sinned. I saw a bumper sticker the other day. It said, “I DON’T NEED TO BE BORN AGAIN, I WAS BORN OK THE FIRST TIME!” If only that were true, but it is not. When we were born the first time, we were born with a spirit that is cut off from God and that spirit must be born again so we can have eternal life. 

Nicodemus basically asked Jesus, “How do you know this?” in verse 9. Jesus responded in John 3:11-12: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” Notice how Jesus abruptly changed pronouns, from I to We. Who is this We? It is none other than the Trinity who was present in the Garden of Eden when Adam sinned and fell! Jesus said we have seen things that happened on earth, i.e. earthly things. The Trinity saw Adam sin and fall, they saw Adam’s spirit die, i.e. be cut off from God, thus, they know the necessity of being born again! 

WHAT THEN MUST I DO TO BE BORN AGAIN? 

Hebrews 11:6; says: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”  

Two things you must believe: (1) That God is, i.e. that God exists and He is Lord of the universe and one day everything and everybody, including satan will bow their knee before Him. We are getting close to that day. (2) That God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. You have got to believe that God is a good God and that He wants the best for you and your family. We have a tendency to believe that God sits in the heavens with a fly swatter waiting to swat us when we do something wrong. The truth is, God sits in the heavens waiting to bless us when we repent of what we’ve done wrong. It is satan who swats us when we fail to repent. 

Romans 10:17 says: “So, then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” 

Your faith should be built up by this point; you have read the word of God and you hear it in your spirit. Act on that faith and please God today. Today is the day of salvation! Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and make Him your Lord. Romans 10:9&10 says: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” 

You need to believe something in your heart, That Jesus died for your sins and that He rose again that you might have life and have it abundantly.

You need to say something with your mouth. You need to repent of your sins and ask Him to come into your heart and be the Lord of your life.

Do these two things and you will be born again. Christ will come to live inside of you, your name will be written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life and you will spend eternity with Jesus. 

Stay like you are and you are giving satan permission to continue to wreak havoc in your life and family. The choice is yours. What is God’s will in the matter?God says to you from Deuteronomy 30:19: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” Choose life today and begin to live for Jesus. 

God loves you and wants you to choose Him and life. You can do it right now by saying this simple prayer from your heart: 

Jesus, I need you. I confess that I have sinned against you. I repent of my sin. I believe that you are God’s Son and that you died for me. I receive your forgiveness. Come into my heart, save me, change me and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I confess with my mouth that you are now my Lord and I believe with my heart that God raised you from the dead. Thank you Jesus. 

Now! Go and tell someone what you have done. Give God’s love away to someone else. 

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves 

Works cited: 

Kohlenberger, John R. III. The Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987.

Lockridge, Dr. S. M., CD, “Powerful Praise” (That’s My King, 6.5 min.) available, IBLP.com on line store. Abbreviated version at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzqTFNfeDnE

 

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