Friday, December 23, 2011


Romans 1:2 NIV
2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures

The promise, the good news of grace, the gospel of Jesus Christ has been fulfilled.  The words of the prophets, spoken and written, were given to pave the way for the coming Son, to explain what God was doing, and to make people ready to understand what is taking place.

In Titus 1:2 we are told this promise was made before the beginning of time.  We will only be able to understand what this means when at last we are free of time and earth, when we receive our immortal bodies and enter into the fullness of eternal life.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

To Fulfill Them

Matthew 5:17-20 NIV

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

The word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ are the same as is the Old Testament and the New. They are of one God and tell of the same story

Christ fulfills the law in two ways. He reveals the true meaning and is the Christ, the Son of God that the OT points to and is revealed in the NT.

Do not neglect this time of your visitation.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


A fallen world reflects human nature. In that sense, nature has become unnatural. We are used to the unnatural and think it natural.  What we know is familiar and it becomes our norm for understanding, our frame of reference, as it takes root through our habits and time. 

God is beyond nature because of sin.  God cannot abide sin, and for that reason Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, the presence of God.  In the beginning they walked with God,  heaven and earth were one.  Disobedience brought death into the Garden, which was incompatible with life and could not be tolerated by a Holy and Pure God.

Now the "natural" man cannot understand the things of God because our nature has been distorted by sin.   The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not perceive it.  The light of the world has been given and continues to shine forth, stronger with each believer added to the body of Christ.  In the end darkness will be removed and God will be our light, and of that light there will be no end.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In The East

Genesis 2:8 NIV
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed

εφυτευσεν  -LXX Greek word used for planted.
BDB -plant or establish (figuratively)

The word Eden is possibly derived from a Hebrew word for delight or pleasure
(Reformed study notes), and surely this would have been true as God would be present with the man.

There is an impression that the man was created apart from the garden, then placed there.  This is true of us who are reborn in this world and are able to walk in the kingdom of God.

The Hebrew word for "formed" implies moulding, squeezing into shape- as a potter.  (TWOS)  We are later described in Scripture as vessels of clay, made by the hand and will of the potter for his purpose.

When God left the temple He stood on the mountain to the east of Jerusalem.  When Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden, it was to the east.  It is to the east we look for the Lord to return, as the sun rising in the morning to burn away the darkness of night.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Became A Living Being

Genesis 2:5-7 NIV
5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.
7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

The first man is in view. Earth is not fully done, or created for there was no one to work the ground.  Nor was there anything to work for nothing green yet appeared. The Garden is not established.  Heaven and earth have been created, but here we are given a closer look into the work of God and insight as to His purpose.

Rain from heaven is a metaphor for a spiritual provision, of connection with God. The NIV uses the word "streams" from the earth that water the "surface" of the ground.  The words could be translated as "mist" and "face" respectively.

The Creator draws close and breathes onto the face of the man.  Life is given to this creature of earth, life that is much more than merely breathing.  Spirit and earth intersect in this man.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Children Of Promise

Galatians 4:28-30 NIV
28 Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now.
30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”

Abraham is the father of both sons, but only one will receive the inheritance.
It is the child of promise based on faith that is free.
From Abraham through Isaac comes Jesus Christ, the seed that blesses all nations. Through faith the promise is given and through faith the promise is received.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Entire Law Is Fulfilled

Galatians 5:14 NIV
14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The law leads us to love. It enables us to see the need for grace. If we reject the grace and truth of Jesus, then we stand condemned already as slaves born of the flesh, subject to the law.

We are born into the freedom of the Jerusalem above by the power of the Spirit. We are no longer slaves or children of Hagar, but God's servants and children of God. It is a choice made willingly and freely.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Last Stone

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

We have a foretaste of the kingdom of God for the Holy Spirit is present in the heart of every believer. Heaven is often defined as being in God's presence.

In a sense, we are a foreshadow of the New Jerusalem much like the tabernacle in the desert of old was a shadow of heaven.

The temple is being rebuilt. What a day it will be when the last stone is in place!


Romans 1:1 NIV
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God

Here the word servant takes on a whole new meaning.  Jesus redefined that word, just as He redefined what it is to be a man, a new creature in the life of God. In the kingdom of God the term becomes a most honored title.

Jesus was the servant of all: of God and man.  He who would be the greatest would be servant to all.  We are all called and set apart, from the world into the body of Christ.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Made To Order

Some take verses out of the Bible and seem to embrace them as God inspired, finding comfort there. They do this while ignoring or rejecting other verses from the same source.

It's as if once something is found that works for them, or suits their tastes, there is no need to explore the word any further. 

Many seem to take the view that the word of God can be served in a made to order fashion. No pickles or onions please. 

Reducing the word of God to a couple of verses is not the best way to interpret or understand the gospel.  It is possible for someone to be saved without reading the Bible, just as it is possible to live without being able to read, but I'm not sure anyone would or could say that being illiterate is the most desirous choice.

I wonder if a company could make money offering to print a bible-made-to-order, that would print the good parts (based on personal beliefs or preferences) only.
   Less trees would be used.
   A smaller book would be easier to carry or display.
   The chances of being exposed to anything that one may distasteful, hard to understand, disagreeable, or bothersome are decreased.
    Unnecessary parts are eliminated.

I wonder if I could get fries with that?

In a world where truth is relative, wouldn't it be better for someone who believes in relative truth to carry a book that reflects that view? It might be less confusing for anyone wondering what Christianity is about.

He Will Be Called

Isaiah 9:6 NIV
6 For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

At the center of this Christmas season is the one from whom its name is derived: Christ.  A son is given and he is the very son of God!

Notice the names he is given in this passage from Isaiah.

Wonderful Counselor        A designation often used to refer to the Holy Spirit
Mighty God                        A common Old Testament title
Everlasting Father            A New Testament Title
Prince of Peace                  Jesus Christ

Here we see not only a prophesy of the the coming Son, but a revelation of the Triune God.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Death Will Have Its Way

if hell is being out of God's presence, might we not have some idea of what that would be like?  The fallen world is distant from the presence of God and cursed with death as a result of disobedience.  The Holy Spirit is present today as a gift of mercy and inhabits believers, but will be removed and death will no longer be restrained.  Death will have its way.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Am The Gate

John 10:7-10 NIV
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

A full and abundant life begins when we accept Christ and includes the riches that are ours to come as and when we receive our inheritance as children of God.  We will be like Him and will take place when He comes back.  It is both a present and future state.

Again we are faced with Scripture that repeats the unpopular idea of the enlightened among men of the teaching that Jesus is the only way to be saved.  In another place, He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the light".

I'm gonna have to go with Jesus on this one.  It is His word I hear and trust.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Thinking it through

John 1:1-3 ESV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Believing in God implies believing in the Creator who is outside and above creation creation, beyond nature, therefore supernatural.
If you don't believe in the supernatural, your belief is in something within nature, which is not much different from saying you worship an idol, something other than God.
One or the other is true, but not both.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Want More

To see Your face
To experience your grace
More of You
Less of me
I want more

To see Your glory
And be part of that story
More of You
Less of me
I want more

With tears on my face
In this very place
More of You
Less of me
I want more

Reveal everything to me
That I am fully free
More of You
Less of me
I want more

In my secret heart
Cleanse every part
More of You
Less of me
I want more

Let nothing lie between us
Until it is finally just
All of You
None of me
I want more

Has Crossed Over

John 5:24-25 NIV
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

It is possible to walk upright, to be alive in the mortal sense and be dead to God in the spiritual sense.
Those who have never seen the light do not know of light. For them darkness is the norm and is familiar. They know their way around and are comfortable. Light is foreign to them, and the word without meaning.

How does one cross over from death to life? Hearing the word which is the light of the world, for it is life. Seeing the light and then living in the light. It is the cross that enables us to cross over. God has freed us and enables through the sacrifice of Jesus on a cross long ago.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Word Became

John 1:14 NASB
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

He wrapped Himself in our flesh to offer to all grace and truth. We accept that offer fully when we wrap ourselves with His word. We are then hidden in Christ and appropriate His righteousness. We are becoming as He became.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Your Visitation

Luke 19:44 NASB
44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

While this took place in the past, it takes place now and the days to come. This is the time of our visitation, yours and mine, here and now. We pass this way but once. The question is one of recognition and response.
This earth shall be removed and a new creation will be revealed. The word that brought forth creation has spoken it, and so it is.

Death Overcome

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 AMP
55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
56 Now sin is the sting of death, and sin exercises its power [upon the soul] through [the abuse of] the Law.
57 But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God. He is light. The dead sleep, but we shall not all sleep. Some of us will be changed. We are wakened from our slumber when our spirits are quickened by the Spirit of God. We are reborn, never to die, our names being written in the Book of Life.

Did Abraham not serve the living God? Through the seed of Abraham we are blessed with life and have it more abundantly.

On judgment day the earth shall give up the dead and so shall the sea. The living are before the throne, raised with Christ, whether they have yet to leave their mortal bodies or have gone before us to be with the Lord.

Though we walk in the valley of the shadow of death, the Lord has provided a table in the midst of our enemies. He has set the captives free and leads them out of the darkness to the light. He is that light, the light of the world, the word of God.

Death, where is your sting?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Death As A Result

We are captive and a prisoner of sin before we draw the first breath for we are born with a sinful nature. Before our first physical act, we stand condemned. It is our nature and heritage from God's perspective according to His word.

We descend from the first Adam into a place far from God, into death.

The second Adam descended from heaven and brings God near, to bring us into life.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And Not Know

Luke 24:18 NIV
18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered Him, Do you alone dwell as a stranger in Jerusalem and not know the things that have occurred there in these days?

It's ironic that these two disciples on their way to Emmaus would be amazed and ask Jesus if he was unaware of what had taken place.  They will be amazed even more as the day goes on, but this will be due to their realization of their own blindness to the very presence of the Lord standing before them.
Been there, haven't you?

ouk(not) γινωσκω(know)  not know, perceive or understand

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Necessity Of Blood

Hebrews 9:22-24 NIV
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.

Christ entered and resides in the true sanctuary, the presence of God.  He brought with Him perfected humanity.  He brings to us the choice that was before the first Adam, that of choosing life or death.  Adam's choice resulted in the fall of man.  Until Jesus shed His blood, we were held captive by death, chained by that decision.  Now the choice is ours to choose life and break free.  His choice affected everyone, but ours affects us alone.  Blood has been spilled and the ransom paid.  We can remain where we are or follow Him into the presence of God.

Monday, November 28, 2011

One Way

There was one way out of the Garden and that was disobedience. Adam took it. There is one way back- obedience. Jesus came and obeyed the Father so we can get back in.
There has always been one way to and from God.
It's the cool of the evening and God is calling out.
Will we be able to answer or will we have to hide? There is the one way that we can answer and call back - Father!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Keep Awake

Mark 13:33 ESV
33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.

Many missed His first visitation, but all will be aware of His second coming.  Do not sleep!  Be quickened, stay that way, and live in that way.
Being ready requires a present state of being in the life of Christ.  He comes and is present everyday.  Don't miss your time of visitation.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Home

John 14:23-24 ESV
23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.

Jesus told his disciples that He was returning to the Father to prepare a place for them. There were many rooms in His Father's house. That is because that house is the body of Christ. We each are the many rooms. When the Father and Son come to dwell in the heart of the believer, that house grows. There is room for each and everyone for we are the place of abiding, if we abide with Him.
He is the cornerstone and we are the stones of that new temple, the dwelling place of God. Our home.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Beyond Their Grasp

John 10:37-39 NIV
37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

They did not believe His words, nor the miracles He performed. They did not know or understand God. They reached out to seize Jesus, but He was beyond their grasp, just as God is beyond their reach. God is only near because of Jesus.

Friday, November 18, 2011

To Be Human

What is it like to be truly human?
We reflect broken humanity. 
Jesus came that we can be truly human as God intended. 
Thats how we start.

Poker Preaches

Gospel in poker terms:

A royal flush trumps everything.
The blood of Jesus washes everyone clean, trumping sin and death.

The odds of receiving a royal flush are rather remote. The probability of receiving the salvation of God is 100% if you truly ask.

What game are you playing? What's in your hand?

Grace and Peace be with you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Colossians 3:1-4 NIV
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Being raised with Christ, we are lifted into new life. A new perspective is now available to us. We live on earth, but our understanding has opened as our spirit is made new in the life of Christ. Just as we are receiving eternal life in spirit through the Holy Spirit, our bodies will receive eternal life when Jesus returns. That is when we will become fully human as God intended.
Being "hidden" with or in Christ speaks to our inclusion in the body of Christ. Through His grace and mercy, we have been washed in His blood.  We have been given white robes of His righteousness when we accept and put on Christ, and our sins remembered no more. When God looks our way, He sees us through the eyes of His loving Son. The old is hidden and the new is being revealed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Listen To Him

Matthew 17:5 ESV
5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

God the Father speaks of his Son. To say you believe God you imply that he said is true. To say that you believe in God, but not Jesus as the Son of God, is to reject God. Worshipping something other than God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son is idol worship. Hold to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Listen to him.

Moving In Place

Being still can make one more sensitive to the movement of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, November 14, 2011


The story can tell us many things.
The unfolding of God's plan.
The gradual progress of creation and of revelation of man, and in the individual within God' plan is part of this story.
A new creation lies ahead, beginning here and now in the heart, through the grace and mercy of God. All this by the Word of God, spoken and made possible by Jesus Christ. It is between the Alpha and Omega that we move, breathe, and find life.
He spoke in the beginning and will have last word.
So it is.

Walking Together

Jesus said He is the way. There is no other way to God.
Jesus said He is the truth. That is the truth of God.
Jesus said He is the life. Other paths lead to death.

To say anything else reveals a heart that disagrees with Christ, and does not walk with Him. How can two walk together unless they agree?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What Would You Say?

Is Jesus the only way to salvation?
Is He sufficient?

What does Scripture say?
Does it matter?

What did He say?

What would you say?

Friday, November 11, 2011

We Are Perfected

Where we lack, He fulfills.
What we are not, He is.
We are imperfect, He is perfect.
If He is in us, we are perfected in God's love. It is done even as it is happening, for He has spoken, His words endure, and His love is everlasting.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Colossians 1:5-7 NASB
5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel 6 which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond- servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf,

More than wishful thinking, this hope is an expectation confirmed by the resurrection. In verse 5 we see that the thing hoped for is in fact done and awaits us in heaven.
Further, the fruit of the Spirit bears witness to His presence and sealing in the kingdom of God which results.
The gospel is the grace in truth of God Who is true.
Its work continues in us and through us, reclaiming and renewing, and it continues to grow until He comes again.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Living From The Dead

And He will come to judge the living from the dead...
    from the Apostle's Creed
There are many who are alive in mortal flesh, yet are spiritually dead. There are many who whose flesh is long gone, but are alive in Christ.  Incredibly, we get to decide how it will be with us.  The offer is for the world.
Even more incredibly, and all the more sadly, many do not and will not choose life.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Colossians 2:9-10 NASB
9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

πληρόω   -Complete, filled to the max.

Is it possible to be perfect?

If we are in Christ, the answer is yes, for in Him is the fullness of God.

We are complete in Him, perfected in the love of God.

Monday, October 31, 2011

What We Ask

2 Chronicles 1:10-12 ESV
10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?” 11 God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked long life, but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.”

Both what is asked for and not asked for reflect the heart.
May we grow in wisdom and love this day that is the gift of God.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Join Him There

Psalms 103:11-12 ESV
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

We can't jump high enough or run far enough to reach God, but His love is big enough to reach us wherever we are. Join Him there.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Name

John 17:11 NASB
11 I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.

Revelation 19:12
12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.

No one knows the mind of another, except his spirit. We share the truth of God because He has given us His Holy Spirit. It is this name, of God Himself, that we are saved, all who call on His name. Through this Spirit we cry "Father!". Through this Spirit He answers. Jesus and the Father are one. There is one way to God and it is He Himself.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You Will Live

Romans 8:12-14 ESV
12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — 13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

The body is destined to die, but we can change what that means, how it is to be done. By placing our trust in Jesus, death is longer an end to our life, but the beginning. We come to His cross that becomes our own, and through it we participate in His life.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Do It

Luke 8:21 ESV
21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
What is it that binds us?  It's not just the hearing, but doing it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Matthew 25:14-15 EVS
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
The Greek word for “talents” (τάλαντον )implies the weight or value of something.  We each are given something very valuable by the Lord - life itself.  We are a unique mix of characteristics and abilities, but the grace of opportunity is the same for all.  The outcomes may differ, but each will be rewarded with “well done my faithful servant” when we give what we have to Him.
How we use this gift is left to us.  One day we will meet with Him and give an account. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Seed

Luke 8:11 EVS
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
The seed has been cast and falls to the surface, whether stoney or fertile.  The rain from heaven causes the seed which finds soil to quicken, putting forth roots as it begins to reach for the sun. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Myself

Isaiah 54:16

16 Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals

And brings out a weapon for its work;

And I have created the destroyer to ruin.

The refining fire of the Lord is just, burning away all sin and corruption. He disciplines those He loves. He loves those who seek Him. We love Him with obedience and worship. His word is the sword of truth and its edge pierces into the secret heart.
It is the heart the accuser covets. The Father seeks the heart given to His Son. It is the word that reveals each heart.


We each travel that Damascus road in life, though it's name differs according to our circumstance. We are given breath that we might find the breath of life. We encounter Him along the way, if we but look. If we do, He will meet us. If we don't, we will most likely pass by, breathless in the end.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stripped For Work

John 21:7 ESV
7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, It is the Lord! When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.

Peter was a different man than when Jesus first called him.  He was still Simon Peter, with his enthusiasm and action, but made wiser in his time with Jesus and confrontations of his own failings.  He was now stripped for the work Jesus had called him, for he had seen his own weakness with painful clarity. Pretensions were exposed and torn away, self serving ambitions had dissolved. He was now ready to answer "Yes" when Jesus would ask, "Do you love me?".
The Greek word εβαλεν, translated here as "threw", implies a disregard for the outcome.  Peter once again leaves the boat and plunges into the sea. This time he swims to the Lord who waits on the shore, and he does not become afraid of the water.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Acts 19:1-5 ESV

1 And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? And they said, No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit. 3 And he said, Into what then were you baptized? They said, Into John's baptism. 4 And Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus. 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

The Thayer definition below for the Greek word translated here as "heard" implies a hearing that is beyond the natural understanding of our English meaning.  These disciples had responded to the word spoken by Apollos and were washed in the water of repentance, but words not united with the presence of the Holy Spirit can only bring us near to the life of God.  That water had not been turned to wine as happens when the Holy Spirit descends on the believer.

Like the blind man partially receiving his sight, they could dimly see into the kingdom of God, but vision was not totally restored.  They had not received life which only comes with the baptism into the very life of God.  

It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to see as best we can into the kingdom of God, and to experience the grace, peace, and power given to all who call on the name of Jesus with a humble heart.  Baptism in the Spirit brings the wine that fills the cup to overflowing.  We are able to experience the peace, power, and truth which comes from God.

     And it came to pass,that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coastscame to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have yereceived the Holy Ghostsince ye believed? Andthey said unto him, We have not so much as[+]heard whether there be anyHoly Ghost.  And he said unto them, Unto what thenwere ye baptized? Andthey said, Unto John’s baptism.  Then said Paul,John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance,saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  When they heard[apta G191 ἀκούω * akouō * ak-oo'-o * A primary verb; to hear (in various senses): - give (in the) audience (of), come (to the ears), ([shall]) hear (-er, -ken), be noised, be reported, understand. [LEX][TGDἀκούω
Thayer Definition:
1) to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf
2) to hear
2b) to attend to, consider what is or has been said
2c) to understand, perceive the sense of what is said
3) to hear something

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wisdom And Knowledge

Ecclesiastes 1:18 ESV
18 For in much wisdom is much vexation,
and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Vexation includes includes the meanings of frustration, anger, and grief. Sorrow is the distress from loss or disappointment. These are the fruit of wisdom and knowledge apart from God. This is the fruit that became appealing by the deception of the serpent in the Garden.
Peace and joy are only found in the wisdom and knowledge of God.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

For A Sign

Luke 11:29 ESV
29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.

Does it make sense or is it logical to accept the resurrection of Christ by the Holy Spirit, but deny that same power of God in his birth?
Is this compatible with belief in a risen Son of the living God, confirmed by many miracles and signs?
Are there some parts of gospel which are too hard to believe? Our acceptance or denial of God has no bearing on the truth of God.
Jesus said one sign would be given to unbelievers, the sign of Jonah.
What would be the sign for believers?

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Sea Was No More

Genesis 1:9-10 ESV
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear. And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

Revelation 21:1
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

We pass through the sea of mankind when reborn into a new creation. Through that water, we are lifted by the grace of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, and our feet placed on the solid ground of the kingdom of God.
The same word that separated earth from the waters at creation imparts the righteousness of God to those who accept it from those who do not.
The end is foreshadowed from the beginning.

Monday, August 29, 2011

In Secret

Matthew 6:17-18 ESV
17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Fasting is a pulling away from the world, an attempt to disengage our senses from creation in order to be more sensitive to the Creator.  We have the ability to perceive Him because we are created in His image.  His presence in our heart allows us to transform rather than conform to the world.  As we are drawn by His light, His image becomes clearer, to us and to others around us.  The opposite is true as well.

God judges on what is inside.  A good deed done is not good in the eyes of God unless it is done from a heart that reflects the life of God.  It is not the deed itself which is the glory of God.  It's bigger and more wonderful than that.  It is the expression of love made possible by love.
The secret place is the love of God found in the heart of the believer.  It is real and it is personal.  This is the temple of the New Jerusalem. The sons and daughters of God are new creatures that will be revealed when Christ returns, for the heart will be clearly seen. He is the First and King in the kingdom of God.  He is the Word of God and through this Word, a new creation is underway.

Revelation 21:9-27 The New Jerusalem

And one ofthe seven angels, the ones who have the seven bowls which are filledwith the last seven plagues, came and spoke with me saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the spiritonto a hugeand high mountain5. And he showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God611 Sheheldthe glory of God. Her brilliancewas similar to a precious stone like a jasper stone, clear as crystal10 12 She had a huge11 and high wall, having twelve gates and at the gates were twelve angels12. And there were names written on13 them which are [the names] 14of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had15 twelve foundations16 and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the lamb17.
     15 And the one speaking with me had a golden measuring rod so that he may measure the city, her gates, and her wall. 16 Now the city is laid out in a square and her length is as long as18 the width. And he measured the city with the rod and it was over twelve thousand stadia19; her length, and the width, and the height the same2017 And he measured the wall and it was one hundred forty-four cubits21 (a measurement used by humans, which is also used by angels)2218 And the construction material of her wall was jasper and the city was pure23 gold similar to clear24 glass. 19 The foundations of the city’s wall were adorned25 with every precious stone. The first foundation jasper, the second one sapphire, the third one agate, the fourth one emerald, 20 the fifth one sardonyx, the sixth one carnelian, the seventh one chrysolite, the eighth one beryl, the ninth one topaz, the tenth one chrysoprase, the eleventh one jacinth, and the twelfth one amethyst2621 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each one of the gates was from one pearl27 . And the main street of the city was pure gold like transparent glass.
     22 And I didn’t see a temple in her, for the Lord God, the Almighty and the lamb are her temple2823 And the city has no need of the sun, nor the moon, that they may shine on her, for the glory of God gave light to her, and the lamb is her lamp2924 And the nations will walk in30 her light31, and the kings of the earth will carry their glory into her. 25 And her gates will never be shut in the daytime, for there will be no night there3226 And they will carry the glory and the honor of the nations into her3327 And every unclean34 thing and the ones who do detestable things and lie may never go into her. Only35 the ones written in the lamb’s book of life will go in.36

ἐκ (of) 

Greek: “from”.

τῶν γεμόντων (filled with) 

Greek: “full of”.

The passage parallels 17:1-3. There, an angel introduces the great prostitute riding a beast. The city there was Babylon/Rome. The vision here stands in contrast to Babylon as it describes the New Jerusalem. Therefore, the words of this passage are set forth to remind readers and hearers of Babylon in Chapter 17. Instead of a prostitute (Babylon) we see Jesus’ wife (New Jerusalem). Beale* (Pgs. 1063-1064).

μέγα (huge)

Greek: “great”. Parallels with Exodus 19 and Ezekiel 40:1-2.

John was told that he would be shone the bride of the lamb, but he is shone the New Jerusalem! The language is figurative as it depicts the bride of Christ as a beautiful city.

     The bride of the lamb is also the wife of the lamb. The church has been joined to Christ. The New Jerusalem, purified and transformed reflecting the new creation that began and built with each believer.

Both “city” and “Jerusalem” are feminine words in Greek. So, the pronouns are also feminine. I decided to translate the pronouns in the feminine which is not unusual in English.

ἔχουσαν (she held)

Greek: “holding” or “having”. or “radiance” or “ brightness”. In other words, the city was shining.

10 The first part of the verse echoes Ezekiel 43:2. It is the glory of God that is making the City to shine. In 4:3-4, it is God whose appearance is like a Jasper stone. It is difficult to see how jasper can be transparent while being an opaque stone. It may be meant that the stone was shining. Osborne*** (Pg. 749). Mounce** says that the stone may actually be a diamond and that it is transparent. (Pg. 378).

     The brilliance can signify the light of God that fills that city. It is clear as crystal for there is no impurity or imperfection in this place.

11 μέγα (huge) 

Greek: “great”.

12 Twelve gates are an allusion to Ezekiel 48:30-37. There, the gates are on the temple. Where as in Ezekiel the gates opened for tribes of Israel, here they are open to all. The angels may represent the watchmen in Isaiah 62:6, but not as guards since there is no more evil. They may be linked to the angels of the seven churches in Chapters 2-3. Osborne*** (Pg. 750).

13 ἐπιγεγραμμένα (written on)

Greek: “having been written on”.

14 “Names” may not be original to the text, thus it is shown is brackets.

15 ἔχων (had)

Greek: “having”.

16 The foundations would have been large stones that would have been chosen for their beauty and strength. Osborne*** (Pg. 751).

17 It is interesting that the twelve apostles stand as the foundation of the City’s walls and not the tribes of Israel. Walls were necessary in the ancient world because they provided protection for the city and the city’s people. Maybe the meaning here is that the New Covenant which is based on Jesus’ teaching as well as the Apostles’ teaching provides the foundation for the protection for believers. With that said, there is no longer any need of protection as all of the evil is not destroyed. In Ephesians 2:20, the foundation of the church (God’s household) is the apostles and the prophets.

Osborne*** says it signifies that both the church and Israel are the entry point into the city. (Pgs. 751-752).

     There seems to be a mixture of symbols that refer to the wall between the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles. The gates have the tribe names, but each gate was a single pearl echoing the kingdom of heaven as a pearl of great price, a New Testament symbol. The twelve foundations of that wall have the name of an apostle, just each gate has a name of one of the tribes.

     Each stone on the breastplate of the high priest represented a tribe of Israel and served as a "signet", associated with each name, of that tribe. These stones appear in this wall. These jewels adorned the foundations of the wall.

     We see the number 144 here, The last time we saw this number was in reference to the 144,000 sealed from the tribes of Israel earlier in this book.

Beale* points out that the names of the sons of Israel and the names of the apostles add up to 24 which has already been used with the 24 elders who are around God’s throne who are introduced in Chapter 4. (Pg. 1069). He goes on to say that the apostles are the foundation as in Christ, all of Israel’s promises have been fulfilled. The apostles are the foundation of the new Israel which is the Church. (Pg. 1070).

18 ὅσον (as long as) 

Greek: “as great as”.

     We see here the final measurement for the actual city done with a rod of gold. The rod of iron is no longer needed. This rod is used to measure the city of perfection.

19 As found in 14:20, a stadia was around 600 feet. That would make the city 1364 miles long, 1364 miles wide, and 1364 miles high. The number is figurative as we have a “super complete” or a “super perfection” measurement of the city: 12x10x10x10 to the third power (3)!

20 The City is laid out in a cube. Osborne*** points out that he Holy of Holies was also laid out in a cube. (Pg. 753).

21 Whether the wall is 144 cubits (216 feet) thick or 144 cubits (216 feet) high makes no difference as the wall is eclipsed by the size of the city. The 144 is also figurative for “complete” or “perfect” (12x12).

22 The actual Greek is crude: μέτρον ἀνθρώπου, ὅ ἐστιν ἀγγέλου (a measure of man, which is of an angel). It basically means that the measurement was based on a standard measuring unit used by humans. In this case, the angels use the same measuring unit as well. It can also be seen as a reminder that what John sees here is figurative in nature.

23 καθαρὸν (pure) 

or “clean”. In this case, the gold had no impurities.

24 καθαρῷ (clear) 

or “clean”. This is the same Greek word that was used in describing the “pure gold”.

25 κεκοσμημένοι (were adorned) 

Greek: “having been adorned”.

26 There is debate over what the jewels stand for. Are they signs of the Zodiac or the jewels on the priest garment (So Beale* Pgs. 1080-1081). Perhaps the best way to see this is as Isaiah 54:11-13 portrays the restored Jerusalem; as a city built in splendor.

27 In other words, the pearls were so large that one gate could be made or carved from one pearl.

28 Osborne*** states that the city is the Holy of Holies itself. (Pg. 760). Also, see John 2:19.

     This is supported by the idea of no temple being present. The Holy of Holies is where God dwells.

29 An allusion to Isaiah 60:19.

30 διὰ (in)

Greek: “through”.

     Those that walk in the light are of the the light. The light of the world is fully revealed.

31 The TR adds τῶν σωζομένων (the ones who are saved) after “the nations”.

32 In ancient times, city gates were shut at night.

33 These two verses are allusions to Isaiah 60:3, 5, 11. The Kings of the earth will not bring riches into the city, they will bring themselves into the city to praise and worship God. Beale* (Pg. 1095). There is basically a dual picture here as the bride is the city as well as the people (being represented here as the nations). It is meant to be taken figuratively.

It is also possible that the New Jerusalem is alive and well today and that the bride has made herself ready for the bride-groom through out the church age. Since the New Jerusalem is Jesus’ bride, it is the light of the witness of the of believers (the church) who light the way for all of those who don’t believe, for it is the light of the city in which the nations walk by. In Chapter one, we see the image of lambstands and we see in 2:1-7 that Ephesus’ lampstand (witness) would be removed from its place if they didn’t fix their compromising attitude.

     The new creation is underway. God will dwell in the New Jerusalem. Today, He dwells in the heart of each believer prior to the revealing that is to come. It is the light of the Holy Spirit that binds us into the body of Christ. It is this light which shines in our hearts and lights the way. Jesus walked among the lampstands and supplied the light they gave forth. No other light is necessary, nor will be.

     We are new creatures in Christ, born from above, made spiritually alive. We await in Spirit for the One Who was raised in a perfected body. We will see Him and we will be like Him. Heaven and earth are combined. This is the promise of life and where we place our faith. It is His Spirit that confirms this and He will do it.

34 κοινὸν (unclean) 

or “common”. The represents a shift in John’s vocabulary. Up unto now, John has used ἀκάθαρτος to portray unclean things.

35 εἰ μὴ (only) 

Greek: “except”.

36 The final verse of this passage is a reminder to those who this book was written to as well as us that unbelievers can not enter the Holy City of God, nor can they be the Lamb’s bride.

NT = New Testament 
OT = Old Testament 
ESV = English Standard Version 
NASB = New American Standard Bible
NIV = New International Version
KJV = King James Version 
TR = Textus Receptus (A late Byzantine Greek text of the NT. A 
predecessor of the TR was used in the translation of the KJV) 
LXX = Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT)
The Greek New Testament with Greek-English Dictionary B. Aland (Editor), K. Aland (Editor), J. Karavidopoulos (Editor), B. M. Metzger (Editor), C. M. Martini (Editor)
(BDAG) A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition Walter Bauer (Author), Frederick William Danker (Editor)
A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament Bruce M. Metzger
(Kittel) Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (VOLUMES 1-10) Gerhard Kittel (Editor), Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Translator)
*The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich.).) G. K. Beale
**The Book of Revelation (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) Robert H. Mounce
***Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) Grant R. Osborne
+Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics Daniel B. Wallace
++An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek C. F. D. Moule
+++Biblical Greek (Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblici) Maximilian Zerwick
A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament Max Zerwick (Author), Mary Grosvenor (Author)

Posted By Russell Beatty to Nuggets in the Biblical Greek at 8/29/2011 06:10:00 AM