Posts tagged ‘God’

WHEN LIFE CHANGE

 

YOUR LIFE IS ALWAYS A WORK IN PROGRESS

PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES

PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES

Life is an evolutionary process and how you process the flow comes through strength and obedience to endure events in time as they unfold. You may find that your way of dealing with and processing information is not necessarily a need to impress others, but to be pleasing in the sight of God. You may at some moment in time find yourself wounded by the very “things” or “people” you placed your hope in and then experience disappointment. Be sure of one thing, it is God’s hand that catches the falling soul; he casts it to the wind and commands it to fly again (that’s complete control).

You need to know about the masterful plan of God, how he has planned your life; after all, it is he who birthed you into existence, He gave you all you will ever need to maneuver the straights of life’s ever unfolding events. He is able to lift you above life’s circumstances, he is strong and mighty, “no weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17; NKJV), because you are his creation the devil has no say. “For weapons of warfare are not carnal but mighty in God pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (1 Corinthians: 10: 4-6).”

Jesus is our rest, hope and peace, for we are saved by grace through faith not by our works, the good things we do (Ephesians: 2: 8, 9; NKJV). He has paid the price of redemption for all who choose to accept him as their life giving spirit, a spirit no mortal man can give. Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans: 5:1).

So when you come face to face with life change; remember that “when life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself, enter the silence; bow in prayer, don’t ask questions wait for hope to appear (Lamentation: 3: 28-30; MGS).”

A VOICE IN TIME OF STILLNESS

A VOICE IN TIME OF STILLNESS

SETTLE YOURSELF FOR GOD LIVES IN YOU:

PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES

PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES:

It is high time to realize that as the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed from almost any corner of the globe, that God’s Word has enduring power and is there to strengthen the weakest of the weakest. Centered in Christ the Holy Spirit moves in stillness and you are therefore assured of a helper in your darkest hours.

There may be times that you realize (if you haven’t already) circumstances will challenge the deepest part of your inner being; it is then you SETTLE YOURSELF FOR GOD LIVES IN YOU. God is the source of your connection; therefore, finding time to quite your thoughts and calm your inner spirit allows for moments of refreshing and reassurance that nothing or no one can hinder the process once it is set in motion.

Understanding the difference between carnal and spirit helps one to gain a greater appreciation of who God is and how he has molded and shaped each of you for his purpose. For scripture reminds us this way, “Oh, yes, you shaped me in my mother’s womb…you know me inside and out, every bone in my body. You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculptured from nothing to something. You watched me grow from conception to birth, all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day (Psalm 139:13-18: MGS).”

So, SETTLE YOURSELF FOR GOD LIVES IN YOU, because you are his unique creation. Once and for all your freedom has been purchased and paid in full through the sacrificial blood of Jesus; therefore, you are free beings with opportunity to approach the throne of grace in time of need. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1; NKJV). You are a blessed people in which God’s grace and love centers you as you are while allowing room for expansion and growth in glorious living, you are “royalty,” a child of the King.

SETTLE YOURSELF FOR GOD LIVES IN YOU, for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1: 18); but as it is written “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard; nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2: 9).” Settle yourself in the Lord, for he is enduring strength.

JESUS IS RISEN

JESUS IS RISEN

The Stone was rolled away (Photo by Pastor Davis/Master Teacher)

For He was [engaged for the time being in] teaching His disciples. He said to them, The Son of Man is being delivered into the hands of men, and they will put Him to death; and when He has been killed, after three days He will rise from death.  (Mark 9:31 AMP)

When the Women arrived at the Tomb, they discovered it was Empty:

He is Risen (Photo by Pastor Davis/Master Teacher)

Jesus said to her, I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live;

And whoever continues to live and believes in (has faith in, cleaves to, and relies on) Me shall never [actually] die at all. Do you believe this?  (John 11:25-26 AMP)

And Jesus answered them, The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and exalted.

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.  (John 12:23-24 AMP)

HE IS RISEN:  Now more than ever, you must stay focus, stay strong, keep your eyes on Jesus, never give up, never give in.  The time has come for you to finish the race.  There is strength in weakness, Power is Knowledge.  Now listen carefully to the words of Jesus, He says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.  (John 14:15 NKJV)

 

EASTER RESURRECTION SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 68 I BELIEVE

EASTER RESURRECTION SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 68 I BELIEVE

JESUS IS ALIVE THIS MORNING…

THE TOMB WAS EMPTY

HE IS RISEN JESUS IS ALIVE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

HE IS RISEN JESUS IS ALIVE (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Good Morning to all of you my dear Brothers and Sisters, and a happy and joyful Easter Resurrection Sunday Morning, Jesus is alive and well this Easter Sunday this “I BELIEVE,” my question is, “WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?  For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son, that whosoever believe in him shall not die, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)  Do you believe?  What an awesome gift of love that one person sacrificed his own life for the good of all our lives, took on the burden of all our sins that we may enjoy the fruits of this life and live on through eternity.  You ought to be lifting up your holy hands in high praise and thanksgiving to have this opportunity to say, “I thank you Lord, I love you Lord, I honor you Lord, I praise your Holy Name, because you are worthy to be praised.  Glory, glory hallelujah for the Lord is truly good.

NOW ENTER INTO THE LORD’S HOUSE OF PRAYER AND TOGETHER LET US PRAY FOR EACH OTHER:

LET US PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER AND SHOUT FOR JOY JESUS IS RISEN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

LET US PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER AND SHOUT FOR JOY JESUS IS RISEN (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

LET US PRAY:

Most Holy and all wise God, our Heavenly Father, In the name of Jesus, the name that stands high above all other names, I lift you up in praise and honor this day for your mighty works and awesome power of love, giving freely of yourself that a dying world living in sin and dishonoring all that you have provided for us through the gift of Jesus Christ may live on through all eternity.  Father, how many ways can I say thank you, how many ways can I teach your children how to say thank you?  Sometimes in my spirit I feel lost for words when I think of all the suffering that your son Jesus had to endure for my sins and the sins of this world. I thank you Heavenly Father for allowing each of us to experience the reality of being a part of the resurrection this Easter Sunday Morning. My heart, and I am sure so many of your children’s hearts are heavy this morning, but as we come into the full knowledge and power of the truth of the wonderful teaching of Jesus Christ when he told us, that if you tear this house down, he would rebuild it in three days, this is the third day and he was truthful to his word when he rose up out of that tomb and this day, we as believers can truly say, Jesus is alive and He lives in us.  Thank you Father, for your marvelous gift of love to the world, for you are worthy to be praised, in Jesus name, Amen!

TODAY’ SCRIPTURE:  (John 20:24-25 MSG)

But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.”

But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.”

TODAY’ MESSAGE:  What do you believe?

Prepare your hearts and minds to receive the word.  Just click on the video and together lift up your holy hands and get your praises on.

 

TODAY’S ALTER CALL: 

If you are a person studying this lesson with us today and have not received the saving grace of the Lord and would like to join the Lord’s family of BELIEVERS and receive ETERNAL LIFE, we simply ask you to, “BELIEVE!”

Now repeat this short prayer with me:  “Lord I am a sinner, I have sinned against you, I BELIEVE that Jesus died for my sins, and on the third day you raised him from the grave and today He lives.  I ask you to forgive me of my sins, and come into my heart and cleanse me of my sins.  If you have prayed this prayer with me, you now are saved and have ETERNAL LIFE  in glory.”

We encourage you to find a local Bible Teaching Church and begin to study and fellowship with other believers.  You can also return back here daily and study God’s word with us.  We share the truth of the scriptures daily, and you will find over 1000 topics for study and discussions.  May the saving grace of our Lord and Savior be with you now and forever, in Jesus name, AMEN!

 

 

IN THE RESURRECTION MARY MAGDALENE WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO SEE JESUS

IN THE RESURRECTION MARY MAGDALENE WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO SEE JESUS

Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene

Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus was born of a woman, and in the resurrection it was a woman who Jesus first showed himself too.  This woman was one who loved Jesus very much.  Her name was Mary MagdaleneWe see Jesus humility in his resurrection, as well as in his crucifixionJesus did not rise and then march into the Temple to confront the religious leaders or Caiaphas; he did not dash to the Praetorium to say to Pilate, “I told you so!”; he did not go stand in the center of Jerusalem to impress the crowd.  Instead, Jesus revealed himself only to believers.  The first person to see him was a woman who had been healed and forgiven and who tearfully stayed at the cross and followed his body to the tomb.  As Jesus demonstrated throughout his life, he responded to those who waited attentively and faithfully.  Jesus dissolved the perplexities of the disciples.  He dried their tears.  He dispelled their doubts.  Jesus knows how similar we are to his original disciples, and he does not overpower us either.  Even though our faithfulness wavers, Jesus faithfully stays with us.

How did Mary become the first person to see Jesus?  Mary apparently followed Peter and John back to the tomb.  When the two disciples left, she was there alone, still crying, still hoping that somehow she could discover where Jesus’ body had been taken, but fearing the worst.  Then she saw two white-robed angels.  The angels actually looked like humans-not beings with halos and wings.  The angels had appeared to the women and then sent them to spread the good news that Jesus was alive, but apparently they were not in the tomb when Peter and John arrived.  Yet they are here again to speak to Mary.

They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”  Under normal circumstances this would seem to be an odd question.  People might be expected to be crying beside the tomb of a loved one.  However, the angels knew why the tomb was empty.  They also knew that if these people had listened to Jesus words about his resurrection while he was alive, they would not be sad and confused; instead, they would be leaping for joy.  So the angels question was not odd, but obvious.  It was not meant as a rebuke, but as a reminder of heaven’s perspective.  Mary simply answered the angels question with her fears, “They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.

Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”

She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”

Jesus said, “Mary.” Suddenly, to her amazement, she stood face to face with her living Lord.  Jesus spoke her name, and immediately she recognized him.  Imagine the love that flooded Mary’s heart when she heard her Savior saying her name!

Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”  Mary’s immediate response was to touch Jesus and cling to him.  But Jesus stopped her.

Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.  “John 20:11-18 The Message (MSG)

Jesus sent Mary Magdalene to them with the first post-resurrection testimony.  Though it may be that Mary was formerly a woman of ill-repute, this did not keep Jesus from commissioning her to bring the gospel message to the apostles.  Mary was well qualified to be the messenger that Jesus chose to do the work of the Kingdom.  Today, women are in leading roles that have been chosen for them by our resurrected Lord.  It is time that all of us recognize their roles and let the work that Mary Magdalene was doing be an example of how the women of the world have been called by Jesus.

We have ministered this EASTER MESSAGE to you today from the THRONE of GRACE.  I leave you with My Hope that you have had the opportunity to experience the abundance of Jesus love, strength and patience that He shared with all of us this EASTER WEEKEND.  In JESUS CHRIST, I remain your brother PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

May each one of you receive a special blessing that is filled with an abundance of peace, love and joy this weekend.  Come back for our Easter Resurrection Praise and Worship Service which I will be preaching beginning at 0400.  The subject of our Resurrection message will be, “I BELIEVE!”

 

GOOD FRIDAY IS OUR HOLY DAY FOR REFLECTION

GOOD FRIDAY OUR HOLY DAY FOR REFLECTION

Today, we as Christians celebrate this day as Good Friday; It is truly OUR HOLY DAY FOR REFLECTION.  For many farmers it is the day for planting their seeds for fruit bearing.  It is truly a very unusual day when you think deeply upon it.  And of course yes, we will ask the question, what is Good Friday?  Good Friday is observed on the Friday before Easter Sunday. On this day Christians commemorate the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Pastor Davis is spending theses moments before God in prayer, meditation and deep reflections on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ

Pastor Davis is spending theses moments before God in prayer, meditation and deep reflections on the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

How will you spend your GOOD FRIDAY?

We at VINE AND BRANCH WORLD MINISTRIES along with millions of BELIEVERS from all around the world will observe this day as a day of REFLECTION.  Reflecting on the life, death and resurrection of JESUS CHRIST as well as our own individual lives.  Let us pause and meditate on the life and death of Jesus as we experience the pain and anguish that Jesus felt as He hung on the Cross and bore our sins and the sins of the World.   Now let us watch this short Video Clip and reflect upon what this day really means to us.

As Jesus hung there on the cross, nails in his hands, feet and side.  Thrones on his head, bleeding from head to toe, he was teaching us the lessons of LOVE, COURAGE, PATIENCE, UNDERSTANDING, FAITH, and FORGIVENESS.  He showed us that Strength is made perfect in weakness.  This next video clip is a short version of all that Jesus did for us.  Now reflect upon this.

In closing, let me make this one thing very clear, and that is this, “we are citizens of a city of God which we did not build and can never destroy, and that city stands on this day taller than anything that we can ever image in our small minds.”   Before His death, Jesus told us that if this temple was ever destroyed, he would rise up and rebuild it within three days.  No one at the time could imagine what He was talking about, because of the resurrection of CHRIST, we now live in that city of God that no man can destroy.  On this GOOD FRIDAY, let us reflect upon what Jesus did for us, and now what we can do for others.  This video clip will help take you to that special place that allows your heart to be filled with peace, joy, and love. Now watch and pray.

This is our day of PRAYER, MEDITATION AND REFLECTION, let us pray for each other, then reach out and express our love for each other.  I pray for you and you pray for me.  I remain your brother in JESUS CHRIST, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

WHO PREPARED THE PASSOVER MEAL IN THE UPPER ROOM?

WHO PREPARED THE PASSOVER MEAL IN THE UPPER ROOM?

 (Mark 14:12-17 Amplified Bible

Today is Maundy Thursday and it commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.  It is the day before Good Friday, and it is the lesser known days of the Christian calendar.  On this day, Christians remember the Last Supper. During the meal Jesus took bread and wine and shared them with his disciples.

DINNER IN THE UPPER ROOM (Photo by PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER)

However, In order for the Passover meal, [THE LAST SUPPER] to be ready when Jesus and HIS DISCIPLES arrived and ready to be served and eaten, someone had to have knowledge of the this moment and gotten things ready for an event that not one of the disciples knew of.  Who was that someone and how did they get the word to get things ready for this historical event?  Here is an opportunity for each of you as Bible Scholars to put on your thinking hats, dig deep into the scriptures and come up with some concrete answers.  We encourage each of you to share your thoughts and research with all of us here on this WORLD STAGE.

Now listen to how Jesus set the stage for this historical moment to unfold in a moment and time that the world will never forget.  It begins, 12On the first day [of the Feast] of Unleavened Bread, when [as was customary] they killed the Passover lamb, [Jesus'] disciples said to Him, Where do You wish us to go [and] prepare the Passover [supper] for You to eat?  13And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, Go into the city, and a man carrying an [earthen] jar or pitcher of water will meet you; follow him.  In this case Jesus sent Peter and John (Luke 22:8).   14And whatever [house] he enters, say to the master of the house, The Teacher says: Where is My guest room, where I may eat the Passover [supper] with My disciples?  15And he will [himself] show you a large upper room, furnished [with carpets and with dining couches properly spread] and ready; there prepare for us.  In this case we do not know whether Jesus had supernatural knowledge in this instance or if he had made arrangements in advance is unclear (as in the incident with his Triumphal Entry.  It seems that in this instance this room had been reserved previously and kept secret, none of the disciples knew where they would eat this meal.

However, Jesus already knew that Judas would be looking for an opportunity to betray him without crowds around, so Jesus may have made these arrangements and kept them secret.

16Then the disciples set out and came to the city and found [everything] just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.  The house where the Passover meal was to be eaten probably was one of Jesus followers, because he knew exactly who the Teacher was and probably knew the disciples by sight.  Tradition says this may have been Mark’s home so this would have been Mark’s father.  Many homes had upstairs rooms large enough to accommodate Jesus and his twelve disciples.  As before, when two disciples went to get the donkey for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem, these two disciples found everything just as Jesus had said.  The preparations for the Passover would have included setting the table, buying and roasting the Passover lamb, making the unleavened bread, sauces, and other ceremonial food and drink that were a traditional part of every Passover meal.

Now that all the special ingredients have been gather into one place, the killing and roasting of the lamb is complete, who do you think it was that prepared this historical meal, and how would they know the time in which to have everything ready?  Now click on this video clip and let us pray together!

We encourage you to think deeply upon this matter and share your thoughts in our comment section.  We minister to you on this MAUNDY THURSDAY from a position of PEACE, POWER, PURPOSE and PROSPERITY.  I remain your brother in JESUS CHRIST, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

HIS DESTINY WAS KNOWN

JESUS THE MESSIAH WHOS’ DESTINY WAS FORETOLD:

A LOVING SAVIOUR:

PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES

PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES:

As the Easter Holiday approaches many will see it as a time of joy and celebration of a tradition, one that is set aside every year. Really it has far more meaning than celebration of new attire and the Easter egg hunt. It is about honoring a savior who came to redeem mankind through freedom from sin, and the most important thing to remember is that he gave his life for all. Take a moment to reflect on his final days and hours before he said, “It is finished.”

Six days before the feast of Passover Jesus made a trip to Bethany (John 12:1; NKJV); he knew then that his hour had come to depart this world (earthly realm) to return to his Father with his purpose and commitment completed. He already knew that the devil would attempt his final act through one of his close companions for the scripture says, Jesus was troubled in his spirit and said, “I say to you, one of you will betray me (John 13: 21).”

His greatest desire was to spend the final days with those he had chosen through Holy Communion. He had final instructions before departing, instructions vital for carrying the message to the world, to continue to follow his designed pattern. During fellowship with them he said, “I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you (John 13:15).” He went on to emphasize the most important part of fellowship, when he said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another…all will know that you are my disciples (John 13:34). If you love me, keep my commandments, these things I have spoken to you, that in me you will have peace; in the world you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer I have overcome the world (John 16: 33).

Remember, Jesus is about to face turbulent moments in the days ahead, yet, he show concern for mankind even in the darkest hours. When he faced death, his prayer to the Father was a deep cry for intervention, yet he said, your will not my will be done.

Isaiah prophesized about the “The Sin-Bearing-Servant”

He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows…he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities and by his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53: 3-5).

Allow this Easter Holiday to become a time you seriously consider getting to know more about the one who came and died so that you can know how wonderful it is to be free, free indeed.

A BETRAYER AT THE DINNER TABLE

A BETRAYER AT THE DINNER TABLE (MARK 14:17-20 AMP)

THE PLACE OF THE LAST SUPPER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE PLACE OF THE LAST SUPPER (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

My brothers and sisters, this week allows us to go deep within ourselves and reflect upon that awesome moment in history that Jesus took upon His shoulders the agony of being beaten, humiliated in every way possible, suffering while being nailed and hanged upon a cross for all of our sins in order that we may have the opportunity to enjoy eternal life that God the father promised and sent His Son Jesus to die for.

Now use your imagination and image yourselves sitting down at the dinner table with family and friends and eating a well prepared meal as you discuss the family problems and current events which are suppose to be a very enjoyable moment.  Then image yourself not having the benefit of spiritual insight to know that one of your family members have been plotting behind your back to kill the head of your family, what would be your immediate reaction?  In the case of Jesus and His twelve disciples this is exactly what happen.

On that evening (Wednesday or Thursday), Jesus arrived in Jerusalem with the twelve disciples.  The meal was not to be eaten until after sunset and was supposed to be finished by midnight.

However, as Jesus and His Disciples were eating, Jesus spoke the stunning words, that quickly got the attention of everyone sitting around the dinner table that evening.  Jesus said, “One of you will betray me.”  The betrayer was one of his own chosen twelve disciples, a member of his own family, one with whom the meal was being shared.  Jesus words caused quite a stir among the disciples.  They had heard Jesus tell them three different times that he would soon die, but that one of them would actually betray Jesus saddened them greatly.

Although the other disciples were confused by Jesus words, Judas knew what he meant.  Apparently, Judas was not the obvious betrayer.  After all, he was the one the disciples trusted to keep the money.  Therefore, the disciples asked Jesus who the betrayer was; “I’m not the one, am I?” each one asked in turn.  Matthew records that even Judas asked the same question (Matthew 26:25).  Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him, and he also knew that Judas would not repent.

In our studies we find that Luke wrote this about Satan, he said Satan entered into Judas Iscariot before he went to the religious leaders.  However, Satan’s part in the betrayal of Jesus does not remove any of the responsibility from Judas.  In God’s sovereign will and according  to his timetable, he uses sinful men.  But that doesn’t excuse their sin.  All people will be held accountable for their choices and actions.  Whatever Judas thought, Satan assumed that Jesus death would end Jesus mission and thwart God’s plan.  Like Judas, Satan did not know that Jesus death and resurrection were the most important parts of God’s plan all along.

All I can say in conclusion, is that this had to be one hellish feeling in the gut of each family member sitting around the dinner table that night knowing that one of them would betray the head of their family in such an evil way.

THE JOURNEY OF THE RESURRECTION DID NOT END ON EASTER SUNDAY

THE JOURNEY OF THE RESURRECTION DID NOT END ON EASTER SUNDAY

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES 

English: Resurrection of Christ

English: Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to scripture Jesus fellowship and gave his chosen followers final instructions as he promised. Remember, he said in three days he would return, keeping his promise.  Easter day is a time of celebration, but do we continue the celebration according to the pattern of Jesus, do we strive to follow in his foot-steps by observing how he shared final acts of love until he returns.

Jesus didn’t leave the same day he resurrected; after his death, he presented himself alive to his disciples in many different settings over a period of forty days. He talked to them face-to-face about things concerning the kingdom of God. So, the journey is not ended with Easter Sunday,we are given hope and encouragement to continue the same mission required of his disciples and other followers.

As they sat and talked he told them to “wait” for the promise, the Holy Spirit and when it comes they would be filled with power to accomplish even greater things. These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in the clouds. Standing there gazing into the sky two men appeared–in white robes, they asked “why do you stand there looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly–and mysterious –as he left.” (Acts 1:1-14)

Christians every-where who’ve taken time to study, learn and listen, are quiet familiar with what occurred following Jesus’ ascent to the Father. The point is that as we study we come to the knowledge and understanding that Jesus didn’t leave the same day he resurrected. There was a promise to fulfill and that promise would come to be known as the “Upper Room Experience.” The disciples and women who had been close followers of Jesus agreed that they were in this for good, completely in prayer, united, all on one accord.

The “Upper Room Experience” occurred while every-one had gathered in prayer in one place. Scripture describes it as such; without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, a gale force–no one could tell where it came from. Stop and think for a moment, when-ever you experience presence of wind, I’ll say on a windy day, look around, feel the breeze of the wind as it moves from one point to another, you’re not able to distinguish it’s pattern.  In the “upper room experience, as the force surrounded those gathered, it filled the whole building , then like a wild fire, the Holy Spirit touched each person there and they were so filled (the energy force) that they started speaking in many different languages as the Spirit prompted them.

The promise had arrived with joy, anointing and high praise just as Jesus had promised.

Jesus didn’t leave the same day he resurrected because there were finishing touches to be added and reaffirmation of love to be shared that would seal the final moments of his earthly journey. We continue on in that journey with assurance that he watches over us and has given the Holy Spirit to strengthen and encourage our hearts as we continue to blend his pattern by following his instructions in living. Our journey continues until he comes back to claim his own. Let us all consider the “upper room experience” and we will soon understand that “power” surrounds us at all times.

THE PEOPLE CHOOSES A MURDER OVER A POPULAR TEACHER

THE PEOPLE CHOOSES A MURDER OVER A POPULAR TEACHER

PILATE WASHED HIS HANDS OF THE SITUATION (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Today as we  think on all the good things Jesus has done for each one of us, and if you were one of those people in the crowd more than 2000 years ago would you make the same choice as they did.  How can you be certain that you would or would not?  On what basics are you making your decision?

Now let us look at how scripture records that event.  We know from our studies that the Jewish leaders clamored for Jesus’ death, while a Gentile woman believed that Jesus was truly innocent.

People of these times placed a great deal of importance on dreams.  God was sending a warning to Pilate through his wife, but he did not heed it.  Pilate’ fear of losing his very prestige job made him not listen to his wife with the warning God had given to her to give to her husband.  Listen to the message she sent to her husband, 19Also, while he was seated on the judgment bench, his wife sent him a message, saying, Have nothing to do with that just and upright Man, for I have had a painful experience today in a dream because of Him.”  (Matthew 27:19 AMP).

Now Pilate is caught up in a situation is regardless to how he truly feels about it and the fact that his wife is pressing upon him not to go through with it, if he wants to keep his job and prevent a riot from taking place, he must complete the task.  All the religious leaders went among the crowd, persuading the people to call for Barabbas to be released.  This is how the Bible describes the situation; 20But the chief priests and the elders prevailed on the people to ask for Barabbas, and put Jesus to death.  21Again the governor said to them, which of the two do you wish me to release for you? And they said, Barabbas!  Matthew 27:20-21)

The people knew that Barabbas was a revolutionary and a murderer, yet they still chose him over the Son of God, one who had done so much for them.  Faced with the same choice today, people are still choosing “Barabbas.”  They would rather have the tangible force of human power than the salvation offered by the Son of God.  Now think on this for a moment and look at your own life.

The crowd has really been wiped into frenzy and Pilate is caught in one big mess, so he says this to the crowd, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?  23They all replied, Let Him be crucified! And he said, Why? What has He done that is evil? But they shouted all the louder, Let Him be crucified!” 

24So when Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but rather that a riot was about to break out, he took water and washed his hands in the presence of the crowd, saying, I am not guilty of nor responsible for this righteous Man’s blood; see to it yourselves. (Matthew 27:22-23 AMP)

This hand washing was performed as a gesture of innocence to show that one had nothing to do with a murder, was a Jewish custom, not a Roman one (Deuteronomy 21:6-9).  In trying to excuse himself and place the responsibility for an innocent man’s death on them, he followed the path already taken by the religious leaders as they dealt with Judas in 27:4, saying, “The responsibility is yours!”  In making no decision, Pilate made the decision to let the crowds crucify Jesus.  Although he washed his hands, the guilt remained.  How do you feel after you physically wash your hands, of a situation that you have been heavily involved in that you know was wrong?

 

JESUS PERMITTED HIMSELF TO BE CRUCIFIED

JESUS PERMITTED HIMSELF TO BE CRUCIFIED

JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Man, in his lack of knowledge, his vague understanding of the justice of a loving Father, has made the grave a darkened sepulcher, a thing to be dreaded, and an end to all his aspirations and his ambitions. For ages he has feared this ending of physical existence and has made of it a time of intense mourning, a period filled with tears. BUT, this Great Spirit who had power over life and death permitted Himself to be crucified; He came to this Earth for that great purpose.

However, the question may be raised: If we claim that Jesus the Christ had power over His life, then why did he permit the great indignities and cruelties which were perpetrated upon Him and why did He not save Himself from this undignified and cruel death?

Now listen to what Jesus tells us about another man taking his life away from him.  Jesus tells us in John 10 these words, He says, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again?  No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” We find another statement given by the Christ after the crucifixion, after He had suffered death on the cross–when He had come back from the spiritual world to commune with His disciples. In the twenty-eighth chapter of Matthew, the eighteenth verse, He again claims the same power. “And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in Earth.”

Jesus’ Victory over Death

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

We encourage you to stop in and visit with us daily, because from now until Easter Sunday Morning we will be presenting you with the story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I remain your brother in Jesus, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

 

PALM SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 67

TODAY WE ARE CELEBRATING PALM SUNDAY AS ONE PEOPLE HONORING OUR LORD AND SAVIOR

We encourage you to begin the worship service this morning by clicking on each video as it delivers a special message for the order of the service for your enjoyment.  Please enter into our virtual church, take a seat and enjoy the service…

It is now prayer time, click on this next video as Pastor Davis lifts us up with his prayer of praise and thanksgiving.

JESUS ENTERS JERUSALEM RIDING UPON A DONKEY

Jesus Riding on a Donkey into Jerusalem (photo by photobucket.com)

As you begin to study this lesson and the many lessons you will study on this subject, be assured that all four gospels were in agreement on this great celebration and spoke clearly about the event.  Here are the chapters and verses you can find what each had to say:  (Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19).

Now let us understand that Believers as well as non believers from around the world will begin this Sunday Morning CELEBRATING PALM SUNDAY, and we encourage you, where ever you may be to join us here as well as your local church community and together we will lift up the one who said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.”  It is a day of remembrance of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem by Jesus as he sit upon a DONKEY.  This was the first day of the week that Jesus would be crucified, and the great Passover festival was about to begin.  Jews would come to Jerusalem from all over the Roman world during this week-long celebration to remember the great Exodus from Egypt.

The symbolism of the donkey may refer to the Eastern tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war.  Therefore, a king came riding upon a horse when he was bent on war and rode upon a donkey when he wanted to point out he was coming in peace. Therefore, Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem symbolized his entry as the Prince of Peace, not as a war-waging king.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt, he affirmed his messianic royalty, as well as his humility.  The people recognized that he was fulfilling prophecy.  The colt, never having been ridden, did not have a saddle, so the disciples threw their garments over the colt so that Jesus could sit on it.  The action of placing the cloaks on the donkey and Jesus riding it connotes majesty.  Crowds of people had already gathered on this stretch of road a mile outside of Jerusalem, going to the city for the festival.  “The crowd’s spontaneous celebration honored Jesus as they spread their coats on the road ahead of Jesus and cut

PALM BRANCHES

PALM BRANCHES

branches from the trees.  Some were spread along Jesus path; others were probably waved in the air.  The branches were from palm, olive and fig trees, and they were used to welcome a national liberator and symbolized victory.

Palm branches are a token of rest and peace after sorrow (Revelation 7:9).  The word “Hosanna” means “Save now, we pray you.”  Putting these thoughts together, it would seem as if the people were acknowledging Jesus to be the One sent from God to save them from Roman cruelty and to give them rest and peace after the sorrow of their long years of Gentile oppression.

The disciples did not realize that what was happening was in exact fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy, that Jesus was actually entering Jerusalem as the rightful King of Israel.  But after the Lord had gone back to heaven to be glorified at the right hand of the Father, it dawned on the disciples that these events were in fulfillment of the Scriptures.

TODAY’S ALTER CALL: 

If you are a person studying this lesson with us today and have not received the saving grace of the Lord and would like to join the Lord’s family of BELIEVERS and receive ETERNAL LIFE, we simply ask you to, “BELIEVE!”

Now repeat this short prayer with me:  “Lord I am a sinner, I have sinned against you, I BELIEVE that Jesus died for my sins, and on the third day you raised him from the grave and today He lives.  I ask you to forgive me of my sins, and come into my heart and cleanse me of my sins.  If you have prayed this prayer with me, you now are saved and have ETERNAL LIFE  in glory.”

We encourage you to find a local Bible Teaching Church and begin to study and fellowship with other believers.  You can also return back here daily and study God’s word with us.  We share the truth of the scriptures daily, and you will find over 1000 topics for study and discussions.  May the saving grace of our Lord and Savior be with you now and forever, in Jesus name, AMEN!

WE ARE OUR BROTHERS’ KEEPER

We are the stewards of what God placed in our hands.  He gave us his only begotten son as a symbol of love, peace and justice.  In CELEBRATING this PALM SUNDAY, let us remember that we all are our brothers’ keeper, therefore, when we look upon the life and death and resurrection of Jesus, he showed us in so many wonderful ways how we too should live out our lives filled with love, peace and justice and never allow our FAITH to ever wavier on the fact “we are our brothers’ keeper.”  Now let us go out and serve as we have been called to do.  I remain your brother in JESUS CHRIST, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

THE CROSS WAS THE WAY BACK TO THE KINGDOM

THE CROSS WAS THE WAY BACK TO THE KINGDOM (MARK 15:25-27)

The King of the Jews Crucifixion (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

And it was the third hour (about nine o’clock in the morning) when they crucified Him.  And the inscription of the accusation against Him was written above,

The King of the Jews.

And with Him they crucified two robbers, one on [His] right hand and one on His left.  And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, He was counted among the transgressors.

Jesus was placed on the cross at nine o’clock in the morning.  A signboard stating as a warning.  Because Jesus was never found guilty, the only accusation placed on his sign was the “crime” of calling himself King of the Jews.  This sign was meant to be ironic.  A king, stripped and executed in public view, had obviously lost his kingdom forever.  But Jesus, who turns the world’s wisdom upside down, was just coming into his kingdom.  His death and resurrection would strike the deathblow to Satan’s rule and would establish Christ’s eternal authority over the earth.  Few people reading the sign that bleak day understood its real meaning but the sign was absolutely true.  Jesus is king of the Jews, and the Gentiles, and the whole universe.

When James and John had asked Jesus for the places of honor next to him in his kingdom, Jesus had told them that they did not know what they were asking (Mark 10:35-39).  Here, as Jesus was preparing to inaugurate his kingdom through his death, the places on his right and on his left were taken by two criminals.

A person who wants to be close to Jesus must be prepared to suffer and die as he himself was doing.  The way to the kingdom is the way of the cross.  If we want the glory of the kingdom, we must be willing to be united with the crucified Christ.

IS GOD REALLY WHITE?

IS GOD REALLY WHITE? This is a question that one of our readers asked me this morning in response to our lesson yesterday title: “SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP CARRY THE CROSS.” You can read his questions and my answers to his questions under the comment section at the bottom of this lesson.  Click this link and stroll down to the bottom of the page:  http://wp.me/pf75v-33x

THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS IN ALL THINGS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS IN ALL THINGS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

My friend, your question that you asked this morning, “Is God really White is in truth a really simple to answer.  However, I will not just give you a simplicity answer.  I will begin by answering it this way.  God is neither White nor Black; God is spirit.  We worship God in truth and in Spirit, because God is all there is.  God is everything and everything is God.  Before the world was created, God existed and He created everything out of Himself.  There is nothing are no where God is not.  Therefore, the beautiful colors that we all are, God created them all to represent himself in his beautiful natural self.  The bible says in Genesis 1:27 that God created us in His own image and likeness.   Therefore, what color are we?  Did God not create the rainbow?  Does not the rainbow have many different colors?  Since we all are Gods’ children, do we not represent the rainbow of the Universe?

 

 

Your next question would probably be, what about Jesus, is  Jesus himself God, was He not a white man with long stringy hair and blue eyes?  Well that is the image that the white man in America has created to represent Jesus.  That is not the real Jesus who is the son of God and who is our Lord and Savior.  There is nowhere in the New Testament that includes a physical description of Jesus before His death.  That being the case, how can we come up with a picture of Jesus being a white man with blue eyes?  I am a black man and I have blue eyes.   Various theories about the race of Jesus has been advanced and debated for centuries, but there is no clear evidence of what color is Jesus.  The one thing that we can say for certain is that Jesus is God and He has said so Himself and God is neither white nor Black.

The Prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus some 700 years before Jesus came to earth.  This is what he said, “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God.”  (Isaiah 44:6 AMP)

In the book of John the bible says this, “In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (John 1:1 AMP)  Then in verse 14, John further says, “And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.” When we move to the book of Revelations the bible says this:  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord God, He Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty (the Ruler of all).  (Revelation 1:8 AMP) During His time here on this earth Jesus said many things about Himself here are a few:

  1. I am Divine
  2. I am the son of man
  3. I am Alpha and Omega
  4. I am the light of the world

Wow, think about that last one, “I am the light of the world!”  What color is light?  Nobody knows the race are color of Jesus, but what we do know is that his message is about God and love, that makes his race and the color of his skin irrelevant. Our calling is to love God with all our being and be conformed to the image of Christ.  He came here to teach us how to live, love and be obedient to the word of God and offer us eternal life.  He was beaten and suffered a horrific death on the cross for our sins that is all the people of the world, not just white people, or black people nor any other race of people.  He did this for all of us and in this day and time, we should be living as one people, being of the same mind as Jesus had, when he said let this mind that is in me be also in you. (Philippians 2:5). Let us celebrate this Easter with the love of Christ in our hearts, and think not of his color or even our own skin color, but love each other, because God first loved us and he has commanded that we love each other.

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JESUS TURNS HIS DEFEAT AT THE CROSS INTO A GLORIOUS VICTORY

JESUS TURNS HIS DEFEAT AT THE CROSS INTO A GLORIOUS VICTORY

HOW JESUS TURNED HIS DEFEAT AT THE CROSS INTO THE MOST GLORIOUS VICTORY THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN (Luke 23:26-35MSG)

Greetings to all My Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as we enter into the final week of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, (which we call Easter), allow me to paint the picture of Jesus’ crucifixion in words and pictures for you. The story is a little longer than we normally present, but because of time constraints I did not want to break it up into two are three parts, just remember, this is not a normal story.

Therefore, I encourage you to listen up and read carefully what I am about to tell you: As they led him off,

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! And Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?”

Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution. When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, and the other on his left.

Jesus prayed while on the cross with the two thieves (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Jesus prayed while on the cross with the two thieves (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of GOD—ha! The Chosen—ha!”

At the time of Jesus death, crucifixion was considered the most painful and degrading form of capital punishment in the ROMAN EMPIRE. It was considered so horrible that it was used by the Romans only for slaves, those from the provinces under their control, and the lowest types of criminals. It was not to be used for a ROMAN CITIZEN. This is in accord with the biblical account of CHRIST’S death and with church tradition, which asserts that Peter was also crucified, but Paul, a Roman citizen, was beheaded.

Crucifixion as a means of execution probably grew out of the practice of displaying the heads of captured enemies or criminals on a wooden stake, like those used to build a wall or erect fortifications. Later, entire bodies were impaled. By Jesus time, crucifixion was a common sight.

Although methods of crucifixion seem to have varied throughout the Roman Empire, through biblical and historical accounts the basic pattern is known. The condemned person was first scourged with a flagellum, a whip of leather thongs with bits of metal or bone attached. This whipping greatly weakened the victim, who then had to carry the crossbeam to the place of execution. A sign specifying the crime was often placed around the criminal’s neck or on the cross. The person was stripped naked, laid on the ground with the crossbeam under his shoulders, and tied or nailed to it. Nailing made the victim die quicker, as it did Jesus,

The Agony of being nailed to the cross (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The Agony of being nailed to the cross (Photo by Pastor Davis)

whom the Jewish officials wanted dead before the Sabbath. The crossbeam was lifted and secured to a post so that the person’s feet were hanging just off the ground. Some archaeologists think a pin or wooden block was placed halfway up the post to provide a seat for the body so that the nails would not tear open the wounds, causing the body to fall. The feet also could be nailed or tied to the post.

Although the pain was excruciating, some victims survived on the cross for days. As in the case of the two criminals crucified with Jesus, the legs of a crucified person were sometimes broken to make the sufferer die. This caused massive shock, followed by loss of circulation and heart failure.

Although completely innocent of all sin, Jesus suffered the most horrible, disgraceful punishment known. But His agonizing death was not an ordinary death, for it was not the final chapter. Jesus turned this apparent defeat into the most glorious victory the world has ever known. At the Cross, He suffered for the sins of the world. Then after His resurrection from the dead three days later, Jesus empowered His disciples with a new message, the Good News that He had finally defeated the power of sin and death. Through the Cross, Jesus offers salvation to all who will believe in Him.

The Resurrection of Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection)

The Resurrection of Christ (Kinnaird Resurrection) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now listen to the words Jesus spoke to his disciples, He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And ye are witnesses of these things.  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49 KJV)

As this story clearly shows, there is power in the word for those who believe. God never makes a promise that he cannot fulfilled. It is up to you to always stand on God’s promise, believe it and watch God work in your life.

When the light seems to be the dimmest and the enemy is attacking you on all fronts it is time to stand still and watch God work. With God there is nothing that is impossible. God is truth, he is also the light, when you know the truth, not what you perceive is the truth, but what God has spoken of as truth, you can rest assured that you will have peace in your life, and your soul will be free to experience the manifestation of that truth and the light that God has promised. No weapon that the enemy may train its sights on you with, can penetrate the armor that God places around you. You are a child of God, and God will never allow any harm to come to those who keep his word, stand on faith, and not be swayed like the motions of the ocean, always going back and forth.

Now know this, God wants you to experience victory over all aspects of your life. He allowed himself to experience a horrible death on the cross in order that you might enjoy the fruits of life. He defeated sin and death in order that you may have eternal life. What more can anyone ask for, to know that if you believe in the word, except the word as ruler of your life, you can experience the joy and satisfaction of knowing that you can have victory over the world.

Now in closing, let me state that believers today should always look to the cross in understanding GOD’S

The Cross is the Symbol of God's amazing grace (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The Cross is the Symbol of God’s amazing grace (Photo by Pastor Davis)

PLAN and purpose for their lives. The cross is no joke; it is the reality of Christ’s death for your victory over the world. You can continue to live in this world, partying and having fun, proclaiming that you are a Christian, but remember, your actions speak louder than your words. Jesus was not pretending when he allowed himself to be executed for our sins. We should obey the Lord in every detail as we seek to live a Christian life as we help those that are lost in Christ, find their way and understanding of THE HEART OF THE CROSS and what salvation truly means in their lives. If we truly want to know how to live a perfect life and experience victory over the enemy attacks on our well being, then I say to you right here in now, turn away from the world and look to Jesus as the perfect example.

May this lesson today be a blessing to your life and the people that God has placed in your life as a blessing to your soul.  Now we encourage you to use it, to bless others that we all may receive and experience God’s amazing grace.  I minister to you today from a position of peace, purpose, power and prosperity. I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.

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SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

And when they had [finished] making sport of Him, they took the purple [robe] off Him and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out [of the city] to crucify Him.

And they forced a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the field (country), to carry His cross.

And they led Him to Golgotha [in Latin: Calvary], meaning The Place of a Skull.  (Mark 15:20-22 AMP).

In verse 21, Mark tells us that Simon of Cyrene, was coming into the city from the countryside into the city of Jerusalem, but the Lord was traveling out of the city.  These two men were traveling in opposite directions.  Simon was coming in and the Lord was going out being led by the Roman Soldiers and a large crowd of haters.  Simon suddenly found himself turned around at the instructions of the Centurion and finds his life walking in exactly the opposite direction from where he was first headed.  Meeting Christ at this point and being forced to place his hands on the cross and carry it would be a life changing experience for him.

Now some of you might ask, “why would he ever mention Simon of Cyrene as the Black Hands on the cross, and how would he even know that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man?  For those of you who are truth seekers, these would be legitimate questions to ask.  For me as a Minister of the Gospel, called and ordained to come boldly before the throne of grace, and speak truth to power, convince, rebuke, exhort and teach, it is my job to empower you with knowledge in order that you may know the truth and the truth will truly set you free.  (John 8:32)

For me to state here with absolute certain that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man is impossible.  This is a question that has been debated by Scholars worldwide for hundreds of years.  However, I should start by pointing out it is difficult to determine with accuracy black men and women in the Bible because the Bible is color-neutral. There is never any reference to race or racial features. The main distinction throughout the Bible is between those that serve God and those that do not, whether as individuals or as nations. It is not definite that everyone from Ethiopia or Cyrene was black, but certainly you could reasonably assume that it was a good possibility. So this study will have to be considered reasonable speculation.

We know very little about Simon. We see from this Mark’s writing that he had come from the country to Jerusalem on this occasion, perhaps on business. He must have been a strong man. I don’t think the soldiers would have picked a weakling. God had appointed him to be there, not to help Jesus with the cross, but to encounter the one who was to be crucified for his sins. Except for Mark’s obscure reference to Rufus and Alexander we would have no more information about Simon.

What we do know about Simon called Niger is his name.  Simon is a Jewish name and Niger comes from the Latin word for “black”.  It’s safe to say he was Jewish and may have been called “Black” simply because of his looks.

Research shows that Simon of Cyrene was from a country in ancient northern Africa (bordering Egypt) called Libya. According to Spirit of English Magazine Vol. 10, pg. 286; in ancient times Libya contained two countries Cyrenaica and Marmarica.  Wikipedia [the on line encyclopedia], shares that Libya was until recent times, the home of one the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back to at least 300 BC. In the 1st century, the Jewish historian for the Roman Empire, Josephus Flavius, noted 500,000 Jews lived in Libya. By today’s standards, people from North Africa may or may not be classified as Black. The New Testament, let’s us in on the fact that Joseph, Mary and Jesus spent time in Egypt, This raises an equally intriguing question as to whether or not Simon’s friend, Joseph of Marmarica (a.k.a. Joseph of Marmore, Joseph of Arimathea, brother of Jesus’ grandmother) from the neighboring district of Marmonica/Marmarica, should also be classified as African or Black. –Satchell Intell.

We find here in (Matthew 27:32 NKJV).  Simon of Cyrene was from Ethiopia, and this text and the identity of this man clearly reminds us all of us today that all cultures were represented at Calvary and in the church.  This further reminds us that wise men of all ages would be honored to be allowed to perform the task that was conferred upon Simon of Cyrene, the Ethiopia from northwestern Africa.  Whether it was voluntary or by force, in any case, black hands were extended to help the Savior bear His cross.  The Ethiopian eunuch from Africa (Acts 8:26) was the first Gentile convert mentioned by name in the Book of Acts.  History reports that he returned to Ethiopia to found the Abyssinian Christian Church, which exists until this day.

May God’s saving grace, be with each one of you whose hands, regardless of their color, feel obligated to pick-up your cross and carry it this day be blessed with love, peace and power.  Only because Jesus loved all of us and died for our sins so we may  have the opportunity to celebrate his life, death and resurrection on this EASTER.

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NICODEMUS QUESTION JESUS ON HOW A PERSON CAN BE BORN AGAIN

Jesus and Nicodemus, Crijn Hendricksz, 1616–1645.

Jesus and Nicodemus, Crijn Hendricksz, 1616–1645. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NICODEMUS QUESTION JESUS ON HOW A PERSON CAN BE BORN AGAIN

Good Morning my brothers and sisters, today we continue our teaching on Nicodemus visit with Jesus in the cover of dark and as a teacher finds himself being taught by the Master Teacher. I love this story and I hope you do also.  Now listen up as the truth speaks to your soul.

Nicodemus as a teacher in his own right found himself in an odd position of being taught when he asked Jesus this question: “How can anyone,” said Nicodemus, “Be born who has already been born and grown up? You can’t re-enter your mother’s womb and be born again. What are you saying with this ‘born-from-above’ talk?”  By his own lack of knowledge, Nicodemus was now in for a rude awaken, and Jesus was about to teach him and all of us a lesson in how to be born again that neither he nor we would ever soon forget.

Now as we have studied the scriptures and heard many sermons preached that Jesus was known for his skills as a Master Teacher, and of course Nicodemus was a respected teacher of IsraelNicodemus was part of a group whose prestige had suffered the most because of Jesus popularity.  The Pharisees were the conservatives in Israel.  They held all the Scriptures in high regard.  They believed in eternal life.  They were the ones most people thought would be able to identify the long-awaited Messiah and announce Him to the people.

Unfortunately, the Pharisees had begun to think of the coming Messiah as one who would elevate and honor them when He came.  But Jesus showed no inclination to do this.  Instead, He called all to repentance, even the Pharisees.  He made it painfully clear to the Pharisees that their devotion to Scripture was undermined by their tendency to apply it wrongly and to exalt themselves over others.  Although they had diligently studied the Scriptures, they had not learned the central truths of Scripture: Justice, mercy, and faith (Matt. 23:23).

In this lesson, we understand that Jesus and Nicodemus had a private conversation late one night.  We do not know whether Nicodemus had an appointment.  We do not know what he wanted to say.  Nicodemus came to Jesus, but Jesus guided the conversation from the start.  In effect, Nicodemus took a step in the right direction, and Jesus met him more than halfway.

Nicodemus said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we all know you’re a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren’t in on it.”

Jesus said, “You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.”  If Nicodemus purpose was to find out for himself whether Jesus was really a teacher from God, he did not have to wait long.  Instead of defending His own credentials, Jesus offered Nicodemus an eternal lesson.

How can anyone,” said Nicodemus, “be born who has already been born and grown up? You can’t re-enter your mother’s womb and be born again. What are you saying with this ‘born-from-above’ talk?”

Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. “But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.”

Jesus take no prisoner’s way of teaching had to one of the toughest teachers Nicodemus had ever had to encounter. He allowed Jesus to challenge his understanding.  He did not shrink from revealing his ignorance about the second birth.  He listened.  In spite of the fact that he was a teacher, he was willing to be taught.  Jesus did not disappoint.

Now I ask of you, to join Nicodemus here this night and listen to how a Master Teacher teaches the lesson of our New Birth.  He says, “So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”

Nicodemus asked, “What do you mean by this? How does this happen?”

Jesus said, “You’re a respected teacher of Israel and you don’t know these basics? Listen carefully. I’m speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don’t believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can’t see, the things of God?

“No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.

When we know the truth, the truth will set us free, and here we can see clearly that Jesus provided Nicodemus with the gospel truth, and Nicodemus was able to see the light that night and experience God’s love from the Master Teacher because Nicodemus character was changed that very night.  What about you, have you seen the light and excepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

NICODEMUS VISITS JESUS UNDER THE COVER OF DARK

 NICODEMUS VISITS JESUS UNDER THE COVER OF DARK 

THE MOON SHINES BRIGHT IN THE BLACK TIMELESS NIGHT (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE MOON SHINES BRIGHT IN THE BLACK TIMELESS NIGHT (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Why did Nicodemus wait until the cover of dark to visit with Jesus?  This is a question that has been debated by scholars for centuries, and unfortunately the scriptures do not give us a crystal clear and compelling answer.  However, what we do know is this, “Nicodemus is a Pharisee at the top of his field. Not only is he a member of the Sanhedrin, he is the most renowned Bible teacher of his day.  We also know that the Jewish religious leaders were divided into several groups.  Two of the most prominent groups were the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  The Pharisees separated themselves from anything non-Jewish and carefully followed both the Old Testament laws and the oral traditions handed down through the centuries.  As a “leader,” he was a member of the Jewish ruling council.  Although the Romans controlled Israel politically, the Jews were given some authority over religious and minor civil disputes.  The Jewish ruling body was the council made up of seventy-one of Israel’s religious leaders.

The question before us is still, “why did Nicodemus wait until the cover of dark to visit Jesus and

Jesus and Nicodemus, Crijn Hendricksz, 1616–1645.

Jesus and Nicodemus, Crijn Hendricksz, 1616–1645. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

what motivated him to come in the first place?”  Under the cover of darkness, this well respected and influential religious man, this prominent national leader of noble decent and inherited wealth, this intellectual man who wielded great religious authority, this designated secret spokesman who represented some of his colleagues from the Jewish ruling council, waits until the cover of darkness to sneak in for a visit with Jesus.  This remains me of the way some of us prefer to do things [under the cover of darkness].

However, this question still rattles our brain, but from what we understand from scripture, we can try and fill in some of the blanks.  First, we know that Nicodemus was both impressed and curious about Jesus and chose to form his opinions about him from firsthand conversation.  Second, it is possible that he did not want to be seen with Jesus in broad daylight because he feared reproach from his fellow Pharisees (who did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah).  Finally, it might not have been fear that brought Nicodemus in the cover of dark; but it is possible that he chose a time when he could talk alone and at length with the popular teacher who was often surrounded by people.

Living in the Darkness of the Night (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Living in the Darkness of the Night (Photo by Pastor Davis)

No matter how we look at this question, how we think about it as it might relate to us, it still remains that Nicodemus chose the cover of dark to visit with Jesus.  However, what Nicodemus did not know are understand was that his own night was blacker than he knew.  He was living in complete darkness and he did not know that truth, was about to be revealed to him.

Now as he sit before the Master Teacher, this is what Jesus tells him, “So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”

Nicodemus asked, “What do you mean by this? How does this happen?”

Jesus said, “You’re a respected teacher of Israel and you don’t know these basics? Listen carefully. I’m speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don’t believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can’t see, the things of God?

“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”

What a tragedy that people have turned away from God’s offer, embracing instead the darkness in hopes of covering up evil actions.  There is probably no more painful moment than when we honestly confront our tendency to love darkness, to twist or withhold the truth.  The Son did not come to judge, but in the light of his character the sharp shadows of our sinfulness stand out.  The people who hate the light are those who want to sin in the darkness.  Evil deeds are revealed by the light, so people who want to do evil must do it in the dark so they cannot be exposed and caught in the act.

According to the context, to do what is right is to come to Christ, the light; the result of coming to the light and living in the light will be clearly seen in believer’s lives.  Christ’s life in us will make our lives able to stand exposure to bright light, for our deeds will be honest, pure, and truthful.  Now we can truly see that Nicodemus was able to see the light that night and experience God love from the Master Teacher because Nicodemus character was changed that very night under the cover of darkness with a meeting with the Master Teacher.

In closing, I leave you with this question, “Are you a modern day Nicodemus, living in the darkness, and seeking answers?”  Know that it is time to open yourself up and be exposed to God’s shining light.  Know the truth and the truth will set you FREE.

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SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 66 MANIFESTING YOUR DREAMS INTO REALITY

SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE 66 MANIFESTING YOUR DREAMS INTO REALITY

Our featured church this week is the Airline Baptist Church in Gainesville, Ga. (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Our featured church this week is the Airline Baptist Church in Gainesville, Ga. (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Good Morning Children of God, welcome back to our SUNDAY PRAYER PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE. It is once again we are privileged to share the good news of the gospel with all of you this morning. Take a moment to focus on the message of thought for today and open your hearts to receive a blessing. We have come into the presence of the Lord in high spirit with praise and worship in our hearts, just to say thank you. Embrace the fullness of the message, ponder the words carefully in your hearts and grow in grace and knowledge. All praise is to our God, for he is worthy to be praised!

LET US PRAY:

Heavenly Father, it is with sincere hearts we approach your throne of grace this day. We pause for a moment to honor you for all that you have allowed us to share in honor of your glory and who you are. As we come, we ask that you forgive us for our sins and shortcomings as we strive to walk in reverence to your name. Oh Lord, the days are often filled with uncertainty, chaos and confusion in many parts of the world, as well as our own lives. We ask that you teach us how to humble ourselves and learn to rely on you for our needs and guidance. It is at this time we come asking you to bless the sick, the poor and those in need, strengthen them and help them to understand that you will always provide there for them. We pray for the brave and courageous souls who are willing to stand in faith and share the gospel with those seeking to know more about you and your love. This day, this moment, we honor and praise you for you are worthy.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

OUR PRAISE SERVICE:

Because of the many different time zones that are taking in the service from all over the world, which includes over 175 different countries, we are now presenting our praise service a day earlier to meet the needs of those that are in time zones that are more than eight hours ahead of us here.  This portion of our service will now be listed as: “SATURDAY/SUNDAY DEVOTIONAL PRAISE SERVICE!”  You can get it simply by clicking on this link:

http://wp.me/pf75v-33i  We encourage you to take advantage of a great devotional service.

OUR PRAISE AND WORSHIP MESSAGE IS TITLE:

MANIFESTING YOUR DREAMS INTO REALITY FROM THE BOOK OF            (1 KING 3:5-15)  Now think on the goodness of the Lord, what He has done for you and more importantly what he is going to do for you as you listen and comprehend the message that he has blessed his servant, our messenger for this day with:

TODAY’S ALTER CALL: 

If you are a person studying this lesson with us today and have not received the saving grace of the Lord and would like to join the Lord’s family of BELIEVERS and receive ETERNAL LIFE, we simply ask you to, “BELIEVE!”

Now repeat this short prayer with me:  “Lord I am a sinner, I have sinned against you, I BELIEVE that Jesus died for my sins, and on the third day you raised him from the grave and today He lives.  I ask you to forgive me of my sins, and come into my heart and cleanse me of my sins.  If you have prayed this prayer with me, you now are saved and have ETERNAL LIFE  in glory.”

We encourage you to find a local Bible Teaching Church and begin to study and fellowship with other believers.  You can also return back here daily and study God’s word with us.  We share the truth of the scriptures daily, and you will find over 1000 topics for study and discussions.  May the saving grace of our Lord and Savior be with you now and forever, in Jesus name, AMEN!

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