Posts tagged ‘JERUSALEM’

How you can enjoy Eternal Life

HOW YOU CAN ENJOY ETERNAL LIFE

THE HEART OF THE CROSS IS KING JESUS HE DIED UPON THE CROSS THAT WE MAY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE (Photo by Pastor Davis)

THE HEART OF THE CROSS IS KING JESUS HE DIED UPON THE CROSS THAT WE MAY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE (Photo by Pastor Davis)

The word “eternal” means without beginning and without end, denoting a continual existence including past, present, and future. As applied to human existence, the Bible indicates that the spirit or soul is indestructible and eventually returns to God who gave it (Eccl. 12:7). This thought is expressed by Paul who attests to God’s overall plan whereby God is “all in all” (I Cor. 15:24-28). Thus, one might well say that eternal life includes the present, or “Today is the first day of the rest of your eternal life.”

Just as there are rewards for followers of Christ, there are judgments of the works of both believers and nonbelievers. Jesus said that all authority to judge the living and the dead is his (John 5:22;17:2; Acts 10:42;I Peter 4:5). In a sense, failure to receive blessings because of failure to ask, asking wrongly, or continued anxiety and fear by not heeding the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount are all indicative of a present judgment.

As the proverbs say, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Prov. 28:1) and “the way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble” (Prov. 4:16). As we have seen, Jesus assured his listeners that a follower of his and a doer of his words is assured of having his or her needs met and eternal life, including the glories of the resurrection-life (Mk. 10:28-30).

The New Testament sets out a concept of a gradation of regard for believers based upon their Christian good works (Matt. 16:27), their works being tested as by fire (I Cor. 3:13-15). In this respect, the epistles frequently warn believers against backsliding and the loss of reward.  [Note the six warnings in the book of Hebrews 3:7-13;4:1-11; 5:11-14; 6:1-9; 10:26-39; 12; also II Peter 2:20-22] A righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward (Matt. 10:41), and one who shows compassion in Jesus’name will not lose his or her reward (Matt. 10:42;Mk. 9:41).

Those who reject the Father and the Son will be judged, and punishment will be meted out for the wrongs which they have committed (Col. 3:25). They are as “cast into outer darkness where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 22:13;24:51; 25:30).   Those who seek after the plaudits of men have their reward (Matt. 6:2). One should enter in by the “narrow gate” to life, for “broad is the way which leads to destruction” (Matt. 7:13-14). Therefore, one should not lay up for himself or herself material treasures on earth, but should lay up treasures in heaven, for “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).

God is merciful, and Jesus stands at the door and knocks. If anyone hears his voice and opens the door, he will enter and they shall dine together. But there is a reckoning, and the son of man will separate the “sheep” from the “goats. “Those who have helped the less fortunate and have done it for Jesus shall inherit the kingdom. Those who have not helped others have failed Jesus and will receive punishment (Matt. 25:31-46). The meting out of judgment is portrayed in Revelation depicting God as sitting on a great white throne judging the dead according to their works.

The books are opened including the book of life. Anyone whose name is not found in the book of life is subject to punishment. It is decreed that the enemies of God and mankind be cast into the “lake of fire.” These include Satan, the false prophet, and the beast who has opposed God, death, Hades, and “whoever was not found written in the book of life” (Rev. 20:10-15).

There is also described a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem in which there reside only those who are over comers and those who are “athirst of the fountain.” These are given the water of life freely (Rev. 21:1-27). “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Rev. 22:12-13).

Thank you for studying with us today and may you receive all that you desire from the Lord as you walk into your divine destiny…

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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.

Thank you for studying with us today and may you receive all that you desire from the Lord as you walk into your divine destiny…

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The true Romantic Valentine’s Story of Love

A MAN AND WOMAN’S LOVE STORY FROM SONG OF SOLOMON

We are reflecting God’s Marvelous Light

My Dear Brothers and Sisters, since this is Valentine’s Day, we declare it for each of you a day of romance to be enjoyed with the ones you love.  The romantic physical love you share with each other as well as the spiritual love that you will share with all as the Lord has commanded you to do when He spoke these words of truth, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 ESV)

I’m just a wildflower picked from the plains of Sharon, a lotus blossom from the valley pools.

The Man

 A lotus blossoming in a swamp of weeds—
that’s my dear friend among the girls in the village.

The Woman

 As an apricot tree stands out in the forest,
my lover stands above the young men in town.
All I want is to sit in his shade,
to taste and savor his delicious love.
He took me home with him for a festive meal,
but his eyes feasted on me!

Oh! Give me something refreshing to eat—and quickly!
Apricots, raisins—anything. I’m about to faint with love!
His left hand cradles my head,
and his right arm encircles my waist!

Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem,
by the gazelles, yes, by all the wild deer:
Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up,
until the time is ripe—and you’re ready.

Look! Listen! There’s my lover!
Do you see him coming?
Vaulting the mountains,
leaping the hills.
My lover is like a gazelle, graceful;
like a young stag, virile.
Look at him there, on tiptoe at the gate,
all ears, all eyes—ready!
My lover has arrived
and he’s speaking to me!

The Man

 Get up, my dear friend,
fair and beautiful lover—come to me!
Look around you: Winter is over;
the winter rains are over, gone!
Spring flowers are in blossom all over.
The whole world’s a choir—and singing!
Spring warblers are filling the forest
with sweet arpeggios.
Lilacs are exuberantly purple and perfumed,
and cherry trees fragrant with blossoms.
Oh, get up, dear friend,
my fair and beautiful lover—come to me!
Come, my shy and modest dove—
leave your seclusion, come out in the open.
Let me see your face,
let me hear your voice.
For your voice is soothing
and your face is ravishing.

The Woman

 Then you must protect me from the foxes,
foxes on the prowl,
Foxes who would like nothing better
than to get into our flowering garden.

My lover is mine, and I am his.
Nightly he strolls in our garden,
Delighting in the flowers
until dawn breathes its light and night slips away.

Turn to me, dear lover.
Come like a gazelle.
Leap like a wild stag
on delectable mountains!

My lover is mine, and I am his.
Nightly he strolls in our garden,
Delighting in the flowers
until dawn breathes its light and night slips away.

Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you and may the joy and peace of our Lord filled each of your hearts with nothing less than pure everlasting love in Jesus name, Amen!

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HAPPY VALENTINE DAY TOO ALL OF YOU WITH LOVE

FLOWERS ARE THE TRUE EXPRESSION OF GOD’S LOVE AND BEAUTY

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHIRLEY RHODES

THE BLACK ORCHID

Flowers are known as the reproductive organ in plants and when combined into a bouquet there’s beauty and sweet aroma to enjoy.  So I set before you to enjoy the Essence and Beauty of My Flower Garden.

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The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:12

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Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.     1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34-35

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I will be like the dew to Israel;  he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon Hosea 14:5

My beloved has gone down to his garden to the beds of spices, to graze in the gardens and to gather lilies.  I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine; he grazes among the lilies. Song of Solomon 6:2-3

 

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Sunday Morning Prayer Praise and Worship Service 104 (God will provide)

Let us begin our brand new day by entering into His Temple and Worship Him in songs, prayer and praises because He is worthy to be praised.

Be thankful for the many Blessings that the Lord has set before you throughout this year.  For He has many more in store for the righteous who servants.

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Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonian 5:18 ESV)

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalms 107:1 ESV)

Prayer Time:

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“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. (Matthew 6:5-13 ESV)

Time for the Word:

 

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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Living the Post Christmas Blues (God will provide)

My Dear Brothers and Sisters, my post Christmas Message for each of you is to know that the Lord has your back, and what ever difficulties you may face, just remember, He is working it out for you.  He promised you that he would never put on you more than you can bare, nor would he leave you nor forsake you in moments of despair.  For nothing is to hard for God, just learn to trust him, and then lean and depend on Him, he will take you places that you can only begin to imagine.  Now allow the Lord’s peace to come upon you and his abundant love fill your heart with joy, now step aside and watch him work.

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There was no room at the Inn for the Savior of the World

It was the night before Christmas, and the Savior of the World was about to be born, but there was no room to be found for this important birth to take place, so his family share a place in the stable with the animals.  Now listen to the rest of the story…

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