Saturday, April 30, 2011


We are all witnesses to God. Each of us beholds the glory of God as only we can. We may tell others, but so much is beyond words and understanding. For now, His Spirit leads us. The time will come when we will know even as we are known.

But Under Grace

Romans 6:14 ESV
14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

The law lays the burden of sin on our backs. It brings knowledge and judgement of our plight, and it is heavy.  It is the only way for us to understand grace and to seek it.  With knowledge we become aware of our chains.  With grace we are able to lay them aside.

We were under grace in the Garden before the fall. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil became the law which opened our eyes. Trying to cover our nakedness with our own works is about as effective as hiding behind a tree with a fig leaf. Perhaps it was a fig tree that held the forbidden fruit. Jesus cursed the fig tree because it bore no fruit. It was cut down and we were grafted in, but the stump yet lives. So we will all be formed into the tree of life, which is fruitful and brings forth leaves of healing and peace.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Satan Also Came

Job 2:1-2 ESV

1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”

The sons of God came before God, and Satan came as well. God asks Satan where has he been? Satan had been out of God's presence, on earth. 
When God gave the land to Abraham, He told Abraham to walk in the land. This implies the promise of ownership and dominion. 
In the promise to Abraham we have a picture of God re-establishing the Garden. His work of a new creation and the restoration of the earth continues. 
Satan brought the world down to his level, fallen, when he successfully deceived Adam and Eve.
Satan still works against God, but he has been defeated. 
There will come a day when the Lord will place His feet on the mountains of the earth and Satan will no longer slither in the land. 

Were Hardened

Mark 6:51-52 ESV
51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

Like Pharaoh's long ago, their hearts could not perceive, understand and accept what they saw and heard. God did not hardened their hearts. This is how He found them. The giving of the Holy Spirit would allow the hardness of heart to give way, allowing the word of God to be written on their hearts and in their minds. 
The bread of Christ given is fresh, soft, full of the mercy of love every day. It does not grow stale, nor hardens, but is renewed with each rising of the morning sun. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

In The World

Romans 5:13-14 ESV
13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

Sin and death were present, but were not counted against the people without the law. The law was given, and it made the people sin all the more. The law was good, but it only was able to expose our weakness. 

Life comes from faith. Receiving the law was a fearsome thing, but it was a necessary step for faith and the law of liberty. Receiving Jesus is an awesome thing and is a necessary step for entrance into the kingdom of God. Without being clothed in His righteousness, we remain exposed in the nakedness of our sin. It was in this state that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden. The law can be likened to the animal skins which, God in His mercy, clothed them in the world. They were temporary garments until heavenly clothing could be acquired.

To Be In Need

Luke 15:14 ESV
14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need.

It is when begin to be in need that we can sense God.  It is only then we can make sense of our true need.  Seeing our own limitations opens our eyes to the difference between heaven and earth.
That is why it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. It's hard to see past self sufficiency if one is blessed with material things. 
But with God, all things are possible.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

While We Were Yet

Romans 5:7-8 ESV
7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Interesting that Paul distinguishes between a good man and a righteous man. 
God did not require us to be either one to sacrifice Himself on our behalf.
I, for one, am grateful. I meet that requirement.

Implored Earnestly

Mark 5:22-23 ESV
22   One of the synagogue officials named Jairus *came up, and on seeing Him, *fell at His feet 23 and *implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.”

The same Greek words are used to describe the requests of the demon and Jarius. Both were seeking something and recognized the authority and power of Christ. Both inplored earnestly, but with different requests. Jesus granted both. 

παρακαλέω * parakaleō * par-ak-al-eh'-o * From G3844 and G2564; to call near, that is, invite, invoke (by imploration, hortation or consolation): - beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort (-ation), intreat, pray.

πολύς, πολλός * polus polos * pol-oos' * Including the forms from the alternate "pollos"; (singular) much (in any respect) or (plural) many; neuter (singular) as adverb largely; neuter (plural) as adverb or noun often, mostly, largely: - abundant, + altogether, common, + far (passed, spent), (+ be of a) great (age, deal, -ly, while), long, many, much, oft (-en [-times]), plenteous, sore, straitly.

Let Us Enter Them

Mark 5:11-13 ESV
11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12 and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the pigs, and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and were drowned in the sea.

God has given Satan permission to enter creation, and it is here he finds home in the unclean. The only way to be clean is to be washed by Jesus. The unclean continue to race toward their destruction. 
It is also written not to cast pearls before swine. 
This is a reminder not to wallow in the mud and mire of the earth. 
Demons that are thrown out of one house will be looking for another. 

He Ran And Fell Down

Mark 5:6-7 ESV
6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.”

The man did not see him and run toward Jesus, but it was the demon inside. 
Contrast this with the prodigal son. He came to his senses. It was the father who saw him from far off and ran. 

Here the man falls down before him, not in a posture of worship, but submission. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess.

In Your Power

Job 1:9-12 ESV
9 Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10   Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11   But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.

Jesus emptied Himself to take on the form of man, placing  Himself in the dominion of Satan. The book of Job speaks to us of what Jesus encountered and our condition. 
God has placed us here, and Jesus told us to bear our cross as we follow Him. The Son learned obedience and shows us the way.

For Twelve Years

Mark 5:25-29 ESV

25 A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse— 27 after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 28 For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” 29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

"12 is a perfect number", 
E.W. Bullinger, Number in Scripture

The number connects the woman and girl, the fullness of time, and the perfection of God's plan. 

The woman healed as Jesus was on the way to heal the daughter of the synagogue ruler symbolizes Israel. Her hemorrhaging represents the flow of sacrificial blood that was spilled, but could not relieve sin. Jesus would heal her. Notice He was on His way elsewhere and she reached out in faith as He passed. 

We are told the daughter was healed and was twelve years old, again representing Israel. She is the age for accountability. 
The law was the teacher and guardian until the child became of age. 

Mark 5:36
36 But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, *said to the synagogue official, “ Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.”

As a child I thought as a child. It's time to put away foolish things and embrace the foolishness of God.  Only believe.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Then We Wake

We are asleep when when we fail to rise above the whirl and twirl of self, that foggy, comfortable place of dreaming. This place is sometimes called the world. It is the raw earth of which we are made. Like Adam, we do not come to life until God breathes on us. Then we wake. 


Let your conscience be your guide. That is the medium of discussion and connection between your spirit and the Holy Spirit. 
It is possible for conscience to be asleep,  and to be awakened. 
It is also possible for it to be so habitually overridden that it becomes "hardened" and callused, unable to hear any longer the voice for so long ignored.  
It is in this manner truth is exchanged for a lie and a lie becomes one 's truth. 
Whatever is the state of our conscience, we stand and will stand before our risen Savior.  

Nothing Is Hidden

Mark 4:22 ESV
22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light.

We either will be the light, or be revealed by the light. 

They Stand Together

Isaiah 48:13 ESV

13 “Surely My hand founded the earth,

And My right hand spread out the heavens;

When I call to them, they stand together.

There are those who walk on the earth   There are those who walk on earth, yet have entered the kingdom of God. He has separated the waters, and given boundaries to the land and seas. 

In the fullness of time, heaven and earth will be one. In faith we know this to be so. 

With Their Lips

Matthew 15:8-9 ESV

8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips,

but their heart is far from me;

9 in vain do they worship me,

teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

There is a difference in saying one believes and receiving Jesus as Lord, between saying and doing. 
This is taking the Lord's name in vain. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Knows Not How

Mark 4:26-29 ESV
26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

God works within us, the mystery of His indwelling and our transformation in His presence is as the seed that takes root in the earth and reaches to the heavens. 

Pay Attention

Mark 4:24 ESV
24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.

When we pay attention we are more likely to hear. When we are still we are more likely to see God and know. 

Parable Of Life

Mark 4:2 ESV
2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them. 

The Greek word for teach evolved into the word didactic in English. 
It might be said life is a parable. Jesus used parables to teach spiritual truths, using common and known things to speak of the things of God, things that are beyond the common, using the natural to portray the supernatural. Elsewhere we are told the heavens and earth declare his glory and attributes. In Romans, Paul says that man is without excuse because what could be known about God is there before us in creation. 
Teaching implies learning. We are here for the learning. Life is for the teaching. Jesus learned obedience to the word even as He is the word. He is looking for that in us.

διδάσκω * didaskō * did-as'-ko * A prolonged (causative) form of a primary verb δάω daō (to learn); to teach (in the same broad application): - teach.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

An Eternal Sin

Mark 3:27-30 ESV
27 But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

The binding seems to be the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is that restraint that is placed upon Satan, and the seal that marks us as Christ's own. 
Those opposing Jesus were saying that his power did not come from God, but from Satan. This is blasphemy against God Himself. The Holy Spirit gives witness.


Romans 3:21-24 ESV
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Paul tells that everything in the OT gave witness and pointed to Jesus. Righteousness of God comes to those who believe. This is the distinction, not who but how.
This is the narrow path.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Judge

Romans 2:1esv
1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.

Seeking after God, discerning His will, and walking led by the Spirit- yes. 

Condemning another - no. 

Living and speaking the truth - yes. 

We must follow the one whose words are true. He alone will judge the world. He alone is able and has been given the authority. The only one we can condemn is ourself.

By Nature

Romans 2:14-16 ESV
14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

The use of the word nature in verse 14 is explained in verse 15. It is not by nature that we have the law, for it has to be written on our hearts. Our nature comes into play through our conscience. Conscience is part of the "image of God" in which we are made. Conflict arises in the difference between our spirit and the Holy Spirit. The secrets of the heart are exposed in this interplay. It is here that God works, as mysteriously as a seed grows once planted in the soil. 

Competing Sounds

The blaring of the world can drown out the trumpet of God if one turns their face away from God and looks toward the world. 


God abides in our Sabbath.  When we seek Him we find our rest.

In the middle of our Sabbath we find God the Father - Abba.
It is His Spirit that allows us to cry out to Him and find the comfort of His answer.

Lord Even Of The Sabbath

Mark 2:27-28 ESV
27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

Creation was made for man. Jesus tells us here that even the seventh day of creation, when God rested from His labor, was done for man. Man is the fulfillment of creation and the Lord is the fulfillment of man. 

An Old Garment

Mark 2:21-22 ESV
21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”

The old cloth of the first covenant is worn and ragged. It is torn in many places, snagged by thorns and rent in despair. It no longer covered the body as intended. It had been disregarded and flung aside on many occasions. It was soiled and shrunken, though the wearers could not see it as they took pride in their finery. 

They are likened to old wineskins incapable of receiving new wine. They were proved to be so time and time again. 

Pride and arrogance would drive them to kill the Son of God in the name of God. The same spirit is in the world today.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Was Declared

Romans 1:4 ESV
4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

The resurrection is the sign from God which proclaims and gives witness to the Son of God. He entered creation and overcame the world with its temptations. Jesus did this giving  witness to the Father. 

God raised Him, and the Spirit reveals Him. 
Jesus is God with us who sent the Spirit to be with us in His place. 
Having the Spirit, we await our resurrection. It has been declared and we shall be revealed. 

Who Are Called

Romans 1:5-6 ESV
5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

Those are called are the ones who answer. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rachel Was Beautiful

Genesis 29:17 ESV
17 Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance.

This story may foreshadow the union of God and His people as pictured in the marriage metaphor. Leah was born first but her eyes were weak, symbolizing Israel's hardening of heart and thus trouble seeing.
Jacob worked for Rachel, symbolizing the Bride of Christ. Jacob works for and marries both of them. 
Here again is a repetition of the theme of the younger chosen over the older. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. 

The Golden Scepter

Esther 5:2 ESV
2 And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.

Ester is spared from death for she found favor in the eyes of the king. He extended his scepter and she came into His presence. 
Christ has assumed David's scepter. He extends it to all who come to Him accepting the rule of His kingdom. 

He Would Not Drink It

Matthew 27:34-36 ESV
34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there.

The cup His Father had given Him He drank willingly, with no trace of bitterness. 
The the offer from the world is wine laced with gall, a bitter, but numbing drink. Jesus may have been tempted even here at the last to feel bitter. He had good reason.  He had been rejected, mocked, and nailed to a cross, but He was faithful to the end.
The cup the world offers is different than the one lifted in Jesus' hand when He said "drink". He offers the wine of the new covenant. It is the perfect cup, containing grace offered in love. The sweetness of forgiveness remains on the tongue long after we drink. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Blood Of The Covenant

Matthew 26:26-29 ESV
26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and   after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 
27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

He had broken bread before, blessing it, then feeding many. The manna from heaven. This time the cup of wine is added. In it is the wine of the new covenant. 

Who Dipped His Hand

Matthew 26:21-25 ESV
21 As they were eating, He said, “ Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” 22 Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 And He answered, “ He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” 25 And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus *said to him, “ You have said it yourself.”

Reclining at the table, John was probably on one side, with Judas on the other. Not everyone was close enough to dip their bread in the same bowl. This foreshadows Jesus on the cross between two others. One would accept Him, and one would reject Him. The one that accepted Him was chosen. Jesus said to the thief, "this day you will be with Me...".

Will All Fall Away

Matthew 26:31 ESV

31 Then Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘ I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’

The word here translated here as fall includes the idea that Jesus is the stone of stumbling, that will either cause one to be broken or crushed. We all will fall one way or the other.
He is the rock that became the cornerstone. 
Blessed are those that are not offended by Him. 

σκανδαλίζω * skandalizō * skan-dal-id'-zo * To "scandalize"; from G4625; to entrap, that is, trip up (figuratively stumble [transitively] or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure): - (make to) offend.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cursed Is The Ground

Genesis 3:17 NASB
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
 Cursed is the ground because of you;

 In toil you will eat of it

All the days of your life.

I saw this verse and thought of the question we often hear, or ask ourselves, questioning a God that allows bad things to happen, such as natural disasters, or sickness, and things we don't understand.  
We may forget that we are formed from the earth, and to its dust we will return. 
We might ask how a good and loving God could let this happen?
Scripture tells us it wasn't always going to be this way. God gave us choice a long time ago and this was the result of that choice. 
He has given us another choice. We'll see what happens. 

As You Say

Matthew 27:11 NASB
11   Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And Jesus said to him, “ It is as you say.”

The word is near, even in your mouth. 

Matthew 26:25
25 And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus *said to him, “ You have said it yourself.”

Our words will either condemn us or save us. We choose. 


Matthew 27:3 NASB

3 Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. 

The word translated as remorse here is translated as repent in other translations. This is not the word used for repentence that leads to forgiveness. This word expresses the idea of regret and worry for self, but does not reflect a change in direction, of a turning to God. 

μεταμέλλομαι * metamellomai * met-am-el'-lom-ahee * From G3326 and the middle of G3199; to care afterwards, that is, regret: - repent (self).


Matthew 27:31 NASB
31   After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.

Leviticus 14:51-53
51 He will take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn, and the live bird, dip them in the blood of the slaughtered bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 52 He will purify the house with the blood of the bird, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the scarlet yarn. 53 Then he is to release the live bird into the open countryside outside the city. In this way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.

The scarlet thread is woven in the story of God's redemption of man. It is present in the tabernacle, tied to Rahab's window, and in a robe placed on Jesus just before being led away for crucifixion. 
It is through His blood we are saved. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Matter Of The Heart

Romans 2:28-29 NASB
28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. 

The Spirit is the sword of truth. It is with this edge that true circumcision takes place, in the heart. It is the living word of God at work in our lives. 


Luke 22:31-32 NASB

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Our trials serve to strengthen faith. Our walk is about turning to God again and again. Sometimes I get dizzy.

Vine Out Of Egypt

Psalms 80:8-11 ESV

8 You brought a vine out of Egypt;

you drove out the nations and planted it.

9 You cleared the ground for it;

it took deep root and filled the land.

10 The mountains were covered with its shade,

the mighty cedars with its branches.

11 It sent out its branches to the sea

and its shoots to the River.

Jesus said He was the vine and we are the branches. He is the root of Jesse, and the promised seed of Abraham. 
Our branches grow toward Him and wither if turned away. Our roots reach toward the river of life. We find our rest in the shade of His Sabbath.  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Furiously Enraged

Acts 26:11-15 NASB
11 And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.
12 “ While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, 13 at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the   Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.

So why is it the nations rage? It is because they do not know Jesus. 

Delivering You

Acts 26:17-18 ESV
17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles— to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

Paul is rescued from the darkness when he saw the light of the Lord. His zeal was unquestioned, but was on the wrong path. The Lord turned Paul around so that Paul might turn us to God. 

I Ate

Genesis 3:12-13 ESV
12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Both gave the blame to someone else, but admitted they did, in fact, eat the fruit. 
We may have taken different paths, but disobedience is in the end the same thing. 
Having the wrong fruit in your hands, however it got there, is not to our advantage. 

Out Of Mind

Acts 26:25 HCSB
25 But Paul replied, “I’m not out of my mind, most excellent Festus. On the contrary, I’m speaking words of truth and good judgment.

Previously he lived in his mind, in the thinking of this world. 
Now he is led by the Spirit and is indeed out of his mind. Such is the freedom of Christ. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

To Betray Him

Matthew 26:14-16 ESV
14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

Jesus later thanked His Father for those the Father had given Him, saying He had not lost one. 
Judas was one of the twelve. He had the opportunity to be with Jesus, but in the end rejected the Son of Man. Jesus knew from the beginning who would accept Him. He chose Judas anyway. Some would say that Judas didn't have a chance, he was destined for the betrayal. I'm not so sure of that, but God knows. 
John tells us Jesus died for all the world, even as He knew a large part of that world would reject Him. 
God's love is stronger than those who reject Him and stronger than the death that tried to claim Him. It is His love thato makes it possible for us to come, only leaving His loving hand if we choose. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The Apocalypse is coming!

Nuggets in the Biblical Greek and Word for Life in Love (Stephen Brown) have joined forces to bring you a comprehensive study on The Revelation of John.  
The study will include: 
  • A new translation from the original Greek
  • Insight into Greek phrases, words, and sentences
  • Allusions to the Old Testament (The key to understanding the Book)
  • Understanding the different views of the imagery
  • Variant readings
  • 1st century culture and influence
  • How all of the above helps in interpreting the text
The study (blogs) will begin on May 2nd.   Until then, there will be several blogs released on topics on the book.  They will include an introduction, outlines, different views of interpretation, themes, places, written date, consulted works, and authorship.


Acts 8:16-17 NASB
16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10:44-48 ESV

44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

The giving of the Holy Spirit is described as falling on the believers. We see examples of this happening before and after baptism with water, with or without laying on of hands. It is an inner realty that will manifest itself in some way. It may happen in different ways in different people, but it is the same Spirit in all. The falling of the Spirit enables the rising of our own. 

It is the rain from heaven that falls upon this parched earth.

ἐπιπίπτω * epipiptō * ep-ee-pip'-to * From G1909 and G4098; to embrace (with affection) or seize (with more or less violence; literally or figuratively): - fall into (on, upon), lie on, press upon.

From the Oxford Dict:
pl. ‑ies
the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12).
the festival commemorating this on January 6.
a manifestation of a divine or supernatural being.
a moment of sudden revelation or insight.
ep·i·phan·ic ˌepəˈfænikadjective
Middle English: from Greek epiphainein reveal.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Distinction

A distinction between the OT and NT could be expressed in the difference between the Law of Moses and the Law of Liberty. "You shall not" is replaced with "You shall love". One is written on stone and sets boundaries. The other is written on our hearts and has no end. 

Wedding Clothes

Matthew 22:8-14 NASB
8 Then he *said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ 10 Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.
11 “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he *said to him, ‘ Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are   called, but few are chosen.”

The call goes out to all, to evil and good, the tares and wheat. No matter that we fool others or ourselves, we will not be able to fool Jesus. The wedding clothes is the righteousness we acquire when we put on Christ. It has little to do with the latest fashion. 

You Shall Love

Matthew 22:36-40 NASB
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “ ‘ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘ You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.

The two great commandments given by Jesus both start with, "You shall love".
Any conversations about God and others should issue forth from this bedrock of truth for the disciple of Jesus. It is His love that answers the question, "why?".

Being Great

Matthew 23:11-12 NASB
11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

There are two words that are often translated as servant. 
We are all called to serve others and to obey His commands.

Those who serve at a feast are doúloi, but those who execute the king’s sentence are diákonoi

diakonos * dee-ak'-on-os * Probably from διάκω diakō (obsolete, to run on errands; compare G1377) 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Becoming One

In marriage, two become one immediately, but the becoming has just begun. Time, growth, commitment, and shared experience are some of the main elements of this continued becoming. The relationship can mature and be beautiful in all its stages, even though it can be ugly at times. 
There are times of bliss and heartache, of love and hate, of giving and selfishness, of loneliness and fulfillment,  and of confusion and peace. Through the seasons that come, the roots grow deeper and the branches of this tree continue to reach into heaven. 
This has much to teach us about becoming one in Christ. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shall Be Blessed

Genesis 22:18 ESV
18   In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Likewise we are blessed and bless others when we give heed to the word of God. 

In The Name Of The Lord Jesus

Acts 19:3-7 ESV
3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “ Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “ John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7 There were in all about twelve men.

John's baptism was not enough, though repentance is a necessary prerequisite to receiving Jesus. These were earnest men, but not complete in the Spirit. 
They heard the word of the gospel. The Spirit enabled the proclaiming and the hearing. The Spirit accomplishes this through man, made possible by the incarnation of God and sacrifice of the one who called Himself "Son of Man".
There are two baptisms here. They represent the water and blood necessary to be cleansed before God.  
There about twelve men, the same number as Jesus chose to start the church. 
They began to proclaim the word, in the words needed and their meaning.  Tongues of fire are lit by coal from heaven's alter placed on their lips. And so it is. 

Friday, April 8, 2011


Romans 1:1 ESV
1 Paul,

I find it interesting that Paul's new name has in its roots the idea of an ending or ceasing. After his encounter with the Lord he no longer persecuted the church, but became the apostle to the Gentiles. His old life ceased and a new one began. He was known in a different way, a new creature in Christ.

We are told in Revelation that we will receive a new name.

Παῦλος * Paulos * pow'-los * Of Latin origin; (little; but remotely from a derivative of G3973[G3973 παύω * pauō * pow'-o * A primn. verb ("pause"); to stop (transitive or intransitive), that is, restrain, quit, desist, come to an end: - cease, leave, refrain

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Must I Do?

Matthew 19:16 ESV
16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”

This man asked the question about himself, not what we must do, but what must I do. Jesus answered him. It is not so much about what earthly things we give up for God, but that we give ourselves to Him. Sometimes earthly measures reveal whether a heart is given to the Lord, though often not. The heart of the matter rests in the heart. 

He Withdrew

Acts 19:8-10 ESV
8 And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some became stubborn and continued in unbelief, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

Paul again withdrew when he encountered unbelief of the gospel. Jesus marveled at the unbelief He encountered in His hometown. They both went on to proclaim the gospel, taking disciples with them. 

Believed Through Grace

Acts 18:27-28 ESV
27 And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

Apollos is contrasted with the people who were less knowledgeable about Scripture, but believed God anyway, by His grace. All knowledge except the knowledge of God is useless for abundant and eternal life. Anything we think we know is incomplete apart from God. The Spirit leads us into truth. Jesus came full of grace and truth. He sent the Spirit that we would be filled. 

Many In This City

Acts 18:8-11 ESV
8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. 9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Despite the resistance Paul faced, he was encouraged by the Lord. Many in the city were His people, not taking His name in vain, but believing the Lord. 

All The People Gathered

Nehemiah 8:1-3 ESV
1 And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.

They gathered as one, for one they were, giving ear to the Word of God. Understanding doesn't begin until we listen and are attentive. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Whoever Humbles Himself

Matthew 18:4 ESV
4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

The extent we overcome ourselves determines our position in the kingdom. We can never match Jesus who emptied himself on our behalf, giving up his place in heaven so we could join him. He gave everything he had for us and he had everything. 

He Pressed Them Strongly

Genesis 19:1-3 ESV
1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2 and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant's house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

Two angels continue on to Sodom instead of three. The mission has changed from blessing to judgement. Two is the number of difference. Lot sits at the city's gate as they come. Abraham was in the hills in front of his own tent. Abraham serves his guests cakes of fine flower and a calf. They eat under a tree. Lot prepares unleavened bread, which implies a wilderness journey. They eat in his house. I hope he made plenty because he would soon be making a hurried exit. He will end up finding refuge in the darkness of a cave, a place of his own choosing. Isn't that what he did in the first place?

Groping For The Door

Genesis 19:11 ESV
11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

So it is, the wicked will wear themselves out looking for the door in their blindness. They were blind already by sin. God merely gave them over to it. 

Anyone Else Here?

Genesis 19:12-13 ESV
12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”

The question remains with us. Is there anyone else we can gather to leave this place? Who needs to know? Who do we need to tell that will listen?

In Revelation, the saints under the alter cry out before God, "how long?".

He Lingered

Genesis 19:16-17 ESV
16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.”

Turn neither to left or right but keep on the path to the hills. 
Mercy pulled Lot in and took him by the hand. Lot was slow to listen to the angels and preferred his own way. Though he was a good man, he didn't always make good decisions. His sons by his daughters were trouble for Abraham's descendants, then and now. 
Despite the warning and help, he lingered. 

We Are And Are Going To Be

God tells us to be holy, to be perfect as He is. While we cannot boast of this ourselves, we can boast of what God has done. If we have received Christ, we have become holy and perfect in Him. 
He sees the end from the beginning. That is how He sees us. 
So we are and are going to be, for He has begun a good work. He will do it, even as He has done it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

They Did Not Recognize Him

Matthew 17:9-13 ESV

9   As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “ Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.” 10 And His disciples asked Him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.

They had just seen Elijah talking with Jesus. Jesus tells them that Elijah did come as John the Baptist. No one recognized him then, but the these disciples saw him with Jesus. 
Interesting to note that the three men transfigured left earth with no body to be found. 
Satan looked for the bones of Moses. 
Elijah was taken by chariot into heaven. 
Jesus rose from the tomb. 

Reasoned With Them

Acts 17:2-3 ESV
2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”

He reasoned with them using Scripture. Scripture has that purpose, that we might know God and what He has done and what He's doing. Reason is a necessary element and ingredient to perceive God. He asked us somewhere else to come reason together with Him.  Reason leads to faith as we begin to understand our situation. 
 That is reason He came and why He is the Word. 

διαλέγομαι * dialegomai * dee-al-eg'-om-ahee * Middle voice from G1223 and G3004; to say thoroughly, that is, discuss (in argument or exhortation): - dispute, preach (unto), reason (with), speak.

The Jews Were Jealous

Acts 17:5 ESV
5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd.

Remember the older brother of the prodigal son? He was jealous as well. He represents Israel, and Gentiles are pictured by the errant son. Both are sons of the Father. 

Upside Down

Acts 17:6 AMP
6 But when they failed to find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brethren before the city authorities, crying, These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also,

The last will be first, and the first shall be last. 
The gospel is truly said to be upside down, for it is contrary to the world. 


Being religious has nothing to do righteousness. 
Righteousness has nothing to do with self-righteousness. 
By His grace and in His grace only are we righteous in God's eyes. 


Acts 17:19 ESV
19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?

Areopagus or Mars Hill is not far from the Acropolis. The people there were into the latest thing. Maybe that is the spiritual home of Madison Avenue, the advertising energy behind our consumer frenzy. 

Pagen worship was commonly done in the hills, or high places.  It was there idols were erected. We are more subtle these days for the most part, or maybe we just don't take them to the hills anymore. 

Ἄρειος Πάγος * Areios Pagos * ar'-i-os pag'-os * From Ἄρης Arēs (the name of the Greek deity of war) and a derivative of G4078[G4078 πήγνυμι * pēgnumi * payg'-noo-mee * A prolonged form of a primary verb (which in its simpler form occurs only as an alternate in certain tenses); to fix ("peg"), that is, (specifically) to set up (a tent): - pitch.

Times Of Ignorance

Acts 17:30 ESV
30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,

The choice is ever before us. Ignorance is no excuse. In ignorance, Adam and Eve disobeyed God even as they reached for their own knowledge. 
In doing so, they forfeited intimate knowledge of God. Don't make that same mistake. 
He has made a way back. 

Did Not Recognize Him

Matthew 17:9-13 ESV

9   As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “ Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.” 10 And His disciples asked Him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.

They had just seen Elijah talking with Jesus. Jesus tells them that Elijah did come as John the Baptist. No one recognized him then, but the these disciples saw him with Jesus. 
Interesting to note that the three men transfigured left earth with no body to be found. 
Satan looked for the bones of Moses. 
Elijah was taken by chariot into heaven. 
Jesus rose from the tomb. 

Healed Instantly

Matthew 17:16-20 ESV
16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

The word translated here as heal could be used to speak of worship. The disciples could not heal the boy because they lacked faith. They could not heal because they were not fully healed themselves. This happened when the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost. They then became true worshippers of God, for it is in spirit that worship takes place.  

θεραπεύω * therapeuō * ther-ap-yoo'-o * From the same as G2324; to wait upon menially, that is, (figuratively) to adore (God), or (specifically) to relieve (of disease): - cure, heal, worship.


Matthew 17:3-6 ESV
3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “ This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified.

This word translated as overshadow was used when the Holy Spirit came to Mary and Christ was born. It might be said He was transfigured at that time from His heavenly state to earthly form. 
The light of heaven descends to earth and the word of God is spoken. And God saw that it was good. 

ἐπισκιάζω * episkiazō * ep-ee-skee-ad'-zo * From G1909 and a derivative of G4639; to cast a shade upon, that is, (by analogy) to envelop in a haze of brilliancy; figuratively to invest with preternatural influence: - overshadow.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bear The Marks

Galatians 6:17 ESV
17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

Paul is transformed by the touch of Jesus in such a way as to be visible. When you observed him there was no doubt he had been with Jesus, that he was with Jesus. Just as the face of Moses glowed after he left the glory of the Lord on that mountain, so does the presence of the Holy Spirit affect the countenance and character of the believer. 

By His stripes we are healed. When we put on Christ we take on His wounds. As we renew our minds and change our lives, we grow in the body of Christ. It is a marked difference. 

A Worshiper Of God

Acts 16:13-15 ESV
13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

This does not mean the Lord singled her out to be saved. The same words were heard by others, but Lydia's heart is singled out as responding to the word. It does not exclude the possibility that others responded in some way. The rain from heaven falls on the just and unjust. The seed planted grows as God sees and we do not. 
We do know it is an opened heart that seeks and finds. She was a worshipper of God who then finds Jesus. 

Did Not Permit Them

Acts 16:6-7 ESV

6 They passed through the   Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in   Asia; 7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;

The Holy One of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit speak of the One God, and the words of God. There is no "so says the Lord".

A Suitable Companion

Just as God has one Spirit, we become one with God when we receive His Spirit. In His image we are made. Into His body we are added, taken from creation like the rib from Adam's side, a suitable companion is formed. Two become one. 

We Can Walk In

The veil leading into the Holy of Holies covers the heart of each person. God has torn that veil that opens the door by the giving  of His Spirit. We are no longer separated from Him if we accept and receive this gift. We can walk in. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

And Went Away

Matthew 16:4 NASB
4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.

Jesus spoke these words to a people of a particular time and place, but there is a timelessness and universal application here as well. God has raised His Son that we might believe. 
Jesus went back to the Father, giving us time to think about it. 
Don't take too long. 

Is Anything Too Difficult?

Genesis 18:13-14 ESV
13 And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ 14   Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

Both Abraham and Sarah laughed in their hearts. They questioned what God said He would do, but He heard that silent laughter of doubt. 
God is not bound by our reasoning. For Him nothing is impossible, even raising someone from the dead. 

Multiply You Exceedingly

Genesis 17:1-2 ESV
1 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him,
“I am God Almighty;

Walk before Me, and be   blameless.

2 “I will establish My covenant between Me and you,

And I will multiply you exceedingly.”

To walk with the Lord is to never be alone. To be blameless carries the meaning of being whole and complete, without defect. This only comes by walking with Him. 
Like Abraham, if we walk with God He will multiply us greatly. We will see Jesus and we will be like Him.

Friday, April 1, 2011

There Am I

Matthew 18:20 ESV
20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

This doesn't mean He is not with us individually, but He is also there when we gather in His name. We each bring His Spirit, and in the one Spirit we come together.
As He said in Revelation, He walks between the lampstands, which is the Church. 
He is with us.