I have hit a very low point in my life recently… This psalm encouraged me alot… Here is some simple hebrew…
A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
1 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me!
many are they that rise up against me.
2 Many there be which say of my soul,
There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me;
my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
4 I cried unto the Lord with my voice,
and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
5 I laid me down and slept;
I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people,
that have set themselves against me round about.
7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God:
for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone;
thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongeth unto the Lord:
thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
The first thing we see is a man who was deeply loved by God running from a son who was trying to destroy his life and take over the kingdom. How can this be? A man of God running from his seed? As we can see not everything is a bed of roses when you are a child of God. David had is problems and his faults like we all do. What made him special his that he kept his heart soft and kept his wits about him even in the most desperate of times. He knew instinctively to turn toward God not away from him and thus he is blessed as seen in this psalm. We need to keep this in mind when reading this passage of text. Let us continue…
Lord, how are they increased that trouble me!
many are they that rise up against me.
Do you ever feel like this? Remember, David was facing an army set out to destroy his life! We only need to study this passage of scripture to see that all things work together for good that trust God and are called according to his purposes…
Let us continue…
Many there be which say of my soul,
There is no help for him in God. Selah.
Not only was David undoubtedly panic stricken but this terrible turn of events, for His son had violated all morals, manners and precepts; but he had his own people telling him all hope was lost. Satan often comes in forms of gossip, trying to ruin a life by the words that come against it. That is why Jesus said, If you cause even a little (perhaps new) believer to go astray, it would be better for you to hang yourself… Enough said! The Hebrew word for “many” is “rab” see below… (sorry… Im working from my smart phone)
|TWOT – 2099a,2099b|
|and means abundant in quantity, size, age, rank, etc… Thus we can see Davids troubles more clearly.
The Hebrew word for “help” is yshuw’ah (again see below)
which comes from the Hebrew word “yasha” and means deliverence, prosperity, victory, health, and salvation… In other words “David, your time has run out with God, you might as well give up now! David knew better, and thus salvation, and comfort and deliverence did come, all in God’s perfect timing. David, a man after God’s own heart was not left out to dry… Like a camel with out water… Amazing!
Note… Did you happen to catch the Hebrew word for help? His name is Jesus, in english, Yaysoos in Greek and yashu’aw in Hebrew… Jesus Christ!
May God bless you, my beloved…
Note: This is a condensed revised version of just one aspect of the Hebrew word hesed, perhaps the greatest word in all of the Hebrew Testament.
Psalms 89:1 “I will sing of the mercies (hesed) of the LORD forever: with my mouth will I make known your faithfulness to all generations.”
Since my last blog was disturbing… (even to me) I have decided to write something really nice. The Hebrew word hesed is to me one of the greatest words in all the Old Testament… so much so that for years I have been unable to publish even one iota of my research on this word as it is so important and valuable, even to me. It is a type of how Jesus treats his church. The word hesed is so beautiful, that even the demons tremble at the sound of it, as it is God’s covenant between heaven and earth… the whole Bible summed up in one word, it is the most beautiful word in all of Hebrew. This will just be an introduction to my favorite word in all the Bible as it is so important to me. Let us begin.
As we can see in the scripture above, the angels sing over God’s creation. The scripture says, I will sing. If we can sing and we are made in the image of God, than for sure the angels, who are more beautiful than anything God has ever created on this earth (besides women of course) also have a right to sing when they are pleased with faithful stewards of God’s creation, namely people both men and women. God gave Adam the right to choose between Good and Evil and he failed… it was eve the woman who had to pick him back up again after such a terrible fall, at least emotionally. Thus sex began again, this time outside the garden and man was told by God that it was his responsibility to work to provide for his offspring. Adam failed, Jesus shed his blood and now the story goes on and on about how much we love God. There is more to the story but for the sake of my readers, I will move on. (For more on this wonderful story please see note 1.)
As you can see from the drawing above, the Hebrew word Hesed is a beautiful word. You can see it branch out in the English language as all of the words in the above diagram. Can you spot the most important word? It is the one in purple! The color of majesty! God always keeps his covenant with his faithful… that is beyond question! So basically, you can replace the word Hesed with God’s love! Hesed is the deepest expression of God’s love and thus is the reason why the Lord asked me to wait to write this one. I needed to see something in real life to know that God does keep his covenant as I was saved at a very early age. Some Christians barely get in, others God says no. You can go to church all your life, be a good person and still miss what matters most – God’s heart. Thank you to that wonderful pastor in seminary school who sent me his email that thoroughly defined the word. His website will be listed at the bottom of this post. I highly recommend you read his work… it is delicious food to feed the hungry. We have been friends online for years now and he occasionally sends me some of his writings for me to review and expound on. He is truly a man of God and a man of holy communion and of course, prayer. Thank you pastor for making my life complete! He is a true friend.
Hesed in the reason why I became a true believer of the Jewish Bible. It is the only word that actually makes the Bible complete; for without God’s love, we would all be lost souls looking for a savior. Hesed can be seen in about every instance of the Bible for it is God’s mercy for mankind. God expects us to keep our covenant of love with Him, and in exchange He rewards us with unlimited mercy for our many sins. I am writing this way because God showed me at some point the very sins you consider minor become a major problem the longer we walk with God. For example, most Christians in America won’t steal, won’t lie, but they keep money in their fat wallets while hungry people suffer all around the globe. Not good for those false Christians! What is communion but a chance to start over again with God’s creation? God gave Adam the responsibility of taking care of the animals in the garden, watering the garden, etc. When he broke covenant with God, Satan took over and now look what we have here on earth. Terrible people do terrible things… you ever wonder why? Satan may come as an angel of light to some people but to others they call him a father too. What a terrible decision not to go all the way with God. The Bible tells us that all men have free choice to serve God, but eventually their time runs out and then Satan, laughing claims them for his own. Women can be this way too, but generally the men are the masters of their own home and thus pay a higher penalty for what they allow especially on television and in the private home computers, especially in front of other people… never mind God!
Please allow me, my faithful friends and defenders of all that is holy to continue this at a later time… rest in sweet eternal bliss… my dear friend and fellow lover of truth… Robert Chupick (1930-2015)
Note 1: This is just one interpretation… A far stretch albeit… but worth the read, I’m sure! I was thinking about the Garden of Eden while I was suffering a few years ago… the results are wonderful and I believe faithful to the scriptures that we have for us to learn about Jesus today. Adam was so in love with his soul mate that he intentionally ate the fruit… choosing his wife over Yahweh. Which of course Yahweh already knew about and was already prepared for. A lamb was already being prepared already to cover his sin… Perhaps Eve desired Adam in the Garden and until this point sex was something that was not yet invented… so to speak… Maybe not, but this is one view. Was it God’s plan at that particular moment in time to let them see each other naked… but without sex… as the angels covered their every move? This we do not know for sure. Once Adam made his decision to eat the fruit which I believe contained the only poison in the garden – (a type of fermented fruit perhaps) he got a little tipsy and wound tying the knot with his beautiful lover and soul mate. Know where in the Bible is it ever recorded that God married Eve to Adam (or vice versa) but God obviously planned it and thus their union was blessed. Even the serpent played into God’s hand by seducing eve to try the fruit… as sex was God’s idea in the first place (be fruitful and multiply) and something the angels never ever even think about doing… the fallen ones are a different story and are considered in this day and age haters of man and demons… or aliens… which ever you prefer.
Note 2. Now that you see a true Hebrew diagram… the donate button Jesus has never wanted on this blog till now… if anyone can afford me a new/used computer please feel free to contact me via email or whatever… thank you so much for your friendship in expanding the wonderful language of our Risen Savior… Sincerely, your faithful steward in the Lord, John Mark Butzu.
Folks, I have some bad news…
Many people have mocked me for praying for the President, Barack Hussein Obama. I too was afraid when he first came to office as he had a very human and liberal approach to solving peace among all those that call this country their home. Are we not a free nation? Is this not what all Christians really want but to live in peace with our neighbors.* Everyone these days knows at any moment the world could become madness, especially if more bombs went off. This was our presidents first priority as any elected official is obligated to under penalty of high treason. It is high treason to slander a man that has served this country and has thus far protected it to the best of his God given natural human ability. Are we not taught not to judge those that are outside of our own little groups or clans or buildings or whatever they are called. Folks, we are the church… not a building. Let the muslims (pronouced moos-lims for those that would try to slander) try to destroy us… Jesus loves those people so much and of course they are welcome to live in safety on this planet. Let the rebels exist… we got em…
Pastor John Mark Butzu…
P.S. Thank you Kristen!
Thank you for all your hard work in office… finally the church in America is once again praying.
You did the right thing by running for office a second time… the legalization of medical marijuana may just save this planet as the next cash crop just as tobacco did for our ancestors many years ago. May you retire with dignity and honor and live wherever Jesus may lead you. You have a beautiful family and thus are not “the Antichrist” as many people were silently hoping for, just because you choose to reach for a dream which many in America are still not ready to accept.
Please… never divorce this country from your prayers… you are needed down here to bring peace to many in other countries who are still silently suffering…
Personally, I would prefer you stay in office until you feel the need to retire… people need someone to idolize in this country for doing everything right…
As always, it is my prayers that you and your family remains safe and free from harm and can find rest in the days ahead in the gentle arms of our risen savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. It is no secret that unquestionably all prayers are safe, even for us common folk; as without question you have beautiful children, of which the world is truly blessed by their modesty and kind human approach to a world carved in darkness and utter human depravity. You set for this nation and around the world the most beautiful example of what a family should be like by just loving them each first individually and then as a family. How dare Christians laugh at you because of you personal beliefs… as our nation was founded with the ideas of peace, especially when it comes to our shared and most common Christian faiths.
Anybody would be a fool not to acknowledge that you were left with a mess after our last president chose to shed so much bloodshed and in turn wasted so many good human lives on foreign soil just for the sake of stupid greed and of course the love of money (or in this case oil).
Thank you for keeping this country safe to the best of your human ability. God bless you!
The Lord (blessed be his name) showed me the tremendous amount of pressure you have been under day and night just trying to protect the us the chosen faithful (in whatever religion they may be currently hiding in). Your efforts to bring peace are truly amazing as you are a truly gifted speaker and lover of world peace.
Personally, if more Christians were like me and actually prayed for you instead of bashing you in their quiet times with the Lord (never mind on the radio) they may see you are a man of many talents and interesting ideas… Blessed be!
We who study history are aware that America’s time has run out as bully on the block just to satisfy our carnal appetites, of which mainly is our love of money while the rest of the world is starving. We know our credit rating is not good, because we lied to all about how much this country is truly a “Christian” nation. Detroit is once again becoming a beautiful city thanks to your financial aid and by allowing free education to young people everywhere to realize their own dreams and ideologies.
Please allow me to apologize for the stupid ones who mock what they do not see. Personally, one of my dearest friends is currently back home in Syria (where it is hell on earth at the moment as you are well aware because of the rebellious religious sect Isis) where, after studying in a local University here in Detroit, he is now back home safe and sound with the freedom to choose between good versus evil, right versus wrong. He was a humble foreign exchange student who needed help learning the nuances of the English language and in return showed me mercy with my humble attempt of learning one of the hardest languages on earth, which obviously is Arabic! It’s still mostly Greek to me! lol.
Thank you for allowing this country to change for the better… thankfully us Christians are still “A” okay!
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read a humble pastor’s blog…
Your friend in Christ,
Pastor John Mark Butzu
Detroit, Michigan USA
P.S I would personally like to see Christians locked up that do not pray for this country. For that is our duty (as you my readers are well aware) to pray for whomever God chooses to bless while in the white house… good or bad, whatever the case may be.
Many Christians suffered for their faith under extreme persecution as it makes the weak break and the strong survive to live another day. In China, one out of four pastors are in prison at any given time and miracles happen there on a daily basis… It is our prayer that young believers grow strong in their faith if they knew what was best before time runs out and it is judgement day… what a terrible waste for some who choose to lie rich with full bellies and not care and hoard while others even in their own back years are literally starving for the knowledge of our precious savior Jesus Christ. God help the younger generation to see the need on the streets and in our now global society
Your comments are welcome and enjoyed… Have fun!
Grandma Holland Rose… May you forever rest in peace…
John Mark Butzu
You will be sorely missed… Enjoy the sunshine and the love you never had before, but especially with all of your great and precious ancestors… who obviously worship uninhibited and in the presence of the King… may you be blessed forever more with the souls which are rightfully yours… Detroit is once again a safe city because of your efforts to reach out to all those in need… May Jesus bless you for all of time…
With so much love my heart is breaking,
Your son in the faith,
Pastor John Mark Butzu
Thank you for everything… Even the demons must tremble now at the mention of your name… Just like Paul and Peter whom were with Jesus after the resurrection…
May you forever more rest in peace… now that you can finally rest in the presence of the one you hold dear…
Jesus loves you so much!
Amen and so be it!
Grandma Rose Holland… My Grandma! May she rest in peace…
All her life she lived as a martyr for her family and for all who needed a safe place to call home in the ghetto… which is really just outside of beautiful downtown detroit… may she forever rest in peace… no one can ever take your true Christian beauty away… brothers this woman suffered more than many in the early Christian movement… she is and always has been my role model… but especially when I was yet still a baby in my new found Christian faith!
She would take anybody in to give them her version of Jesus Christ… a black woman who lived and died in a prison of pain and suffering because of her poor health and lack of charity from others who said they believed… this woman is one of the best examples of Christ I have ever seen… it was her love for her family and friends and discipline when it came to matters in her own house strict (but especially her spirit) that won me over in a heartbeat…for she suffered so much when in this country… everyone was still hating her because of her inner beauty… this woman survived many battles… especially when it came to bringing a white boy into her home… after I too survived a very lengthy prison sentence just for being a fellow believer in Jesus…
It is my prayer that she will welcome me home to her new mansion which Jesus prepaid for her since before the beginning of time… one day in paradise everyone that knew her will be surprised at what her faith and love for her family bought her… it was her freedom to see others clearly that I most admire…
Then, and only then will I no longer be a slave… for I loved this woman as a friend in the Lord… and as always… my best friend spiritually…
May she find her rest amongst all her true Christian friends…
“They can cut me all they like… I’ll never sell my soul to the white man’s devils.”
This is Grandma Rose… the mother in part to a beautiful girl named Brittany whom I secretly admire.
This woman (Grandma Rose) is loved by God for her testimony not only to her family but to me as well and hopefully for everyone that reads this website. This woman has suffered so much and was admitted only recently to yet another hospital. She suffers from health issues and pain beyond measure, not only in her body but also in her spirit… for she aches for her children to turn out right. To be continued…
Rest in peace Grandma… you are so missed! Love always and forever… John
Grandma Rose died on the operating table last night… Good bye my fellow readers… she was the most Godly woman I know and the only Christian left who I admire for she suffered so much for her faith in Jesus… She will be missed by so many… but especially by her son Martin.
Love you guys so much…
Please pray for the Holland family…
And for me her son…
This is a once very unfortunate Christian Story…
A once Christian who turned aside after Satan to follow her own spiritual destiny once told me in secret that I would win many souls to Jesus Christ. Many people came to her for salvation, but in the end they relied on their own intellect to clearly see her physical beauty which was given to her by God but in fact hid secretly behind two sins, namely lust and pride. Not perhaps sexual lust, until many years later when at work she deceived me into seeing this woman naked… this woman of sin… who betrays children by her outward beauty and piety but is inwardly a servant of sin, a witch, liar and a master manipulator of children’s minds by telling them that her property is the only one place where children can find salvation. She lets them live in sin until they cry out for help… Satan always rewards his best female servants with supernatural beauty… and I can testify to this my brothers… for I have seen her many different animal forms. She preys upon the youth of the city with intent on breaking up Christian families, especially the children… as she wants each of them for her own glory. This woman also has a child out of wedlock and has told me on numerous of times that she sees me as being her child… a product of sin. This is a constant reality that even to this day I still have to endure. The battle is less now that she is older, but in her old age she has more powers… as she curses me daily as the Hebrews had to endure until David sliced the devil of his generations head off with a sharp two edged sword which for us as Christians is the word of our Lord… held preciously on our lips for all to see and believe. Now, having clearly been flipped by God (of this she is no longer unaware) she is clearly changed as the spirit has shown me that people’s spiritual tongues since the early church can change. Instead of being a blessing and reaching out to those who are less fortunate and in dire need, you can sit in the church all your life and never truly be saved… you can miss the rapture just by hearing the truth and walking away… This woman, who is now the devils creation and masterpiece… (as he is truly a gifted liar) is blatantly cursing this woman’s true form and secret identity throughout all of eternity… Amen and so be it. Blessed be! This woman has tried to put a curse on me from day one and now has cursed my daughter for the last time. That is all I want to express to my readers who live in Metro Detroit, but especially to my beautiful daughter Morgaine Elizabeth who is a wonderful and truly gifted young lady and the reason I first got saved from living a life apart from God in the first place.
This woman has cursed me time and time again… the latest of which was only yesterday, this time almost stalling my car on the freeway… believe me… this woman’s prayers (albeit now turned into curses) are still very powerful. Thankfully, I choose to bless and not to curse back and now my car is just fine. I even forgive her as the Bible says (not really) for she knows what she is doing. She now is under a clearly Satanic anointing, and she is deceived into thinking that one day Jesus is coming back for her and only her as the superstar of the Christian world, now that her dearest friend has finally passed away… a pastor who’s name is too Holy to utter in this same blog of this once spirit filled woman of another creation. People can change and reverse as Satan has special powers for people in the church world and who secretly hide in sheep’s clothing. Even at her own brother’s funeral which was only recently she was only concerned really with and let me quote “every red penny.”
Once, while living as a nun and Christian missionary, this woman of sin was clearly kicked out of our Church, Bethesda Christian church as the state of Michigan refused to allow this woman to work with any more kids. The place as been referred to by many in the church world as a cult (as some of her “special” children secretly now refer to this inwardly dark and secret abode of the devil although by day the place looks the same) as she refuses to to secretly submit to God’s power and now hides in a rich sect in the luxury section of the great city of Metro Detroit. She loves God, but secretly hides onto demons that are not bothered one bit my church music let alone the preaching of the Word of God (as some demons love to gossip)… in fact many in the church are under the impression that this woman is actually still saved. She secretly has two demons that do manifest at times… as demons are smarter than most pastors and can hide even in our Sunday schools. The older generation in our society is passing away and many will attend her funeral and mourn for her good deeds of which she has many. Her brother, which died as a saint will be remembered in heaven for keeping his virginity before all the powers of hell in a sin sick society and was a real brother to me in the Lord. I was shocked when after his death… the Lord showed me once again the truth about many that I once worked with and dealt with in the business of saving human souls for Jesus Christ the lamb of God and true King and Lord over all of the Father’s creation.
Note: We as Christians do not mess with the devil or his power as both are under his dominion. The real enemy Satan is always trying to trick people into thinking that he is equal with God. God laughs at this and his frequently, if not often, annoyed. Jesus came back from the dead to prove to his followers who had the sin of pride, jealousy and unbelief that the one they called Lord was master of all religions and was in deed their one true and most blessed Messiah (which means in Hebrew God’s anointed one). Even her family knows this woman is unsafe as many have poured out their own hearts to me in this secret matter of sin and though she does many terrible as well as charitable deeds the balance hangs in the air for this once beautiful woman of God… who is now so secretly hated by certain members of her family (especially her niece) as many can no longer compare to her physical beauty and who lives (the niece) among the poorest in all the city as has two children born of out wedlock and his so special to Jesus Christ that she is loved completely. I can remember Autumn when she was yet young and full of positive youthful energy and before her teeth fell out, as the evil woman (Dorothy) would not even care to help her financially while taking expensive vacations with somebody else’s motor home. She, satan’s new wife is quite literally the queen of the damned as many have fallen into this kind of terrible prophecy. People do not want this woman around their children, let alone their spiritual children… especially me!
We are living now in the last of days my friends… take care and rest well my beloved…
Your friend in the faithful… and beloved by our Father who is still and always has been God…
P.S. I clearly hope this woman has a change of heart but know inside that her sins have mounted to the heaven before the throne of Jesus… a place that I also have great resource and access to…
Take care my beloved!
This post is secretly (or not so secretly) dedicated to my own mother who now and again reads my blog and who has a mild form of the debilitating disease Multiple sclerosis… and who also has suffered so much for her Christian faith and someone I secretly admire… May God bless you!
P.S.S. A note to my readers… If any of you happen to see in error in the writing please let me know… I was in a hurry and am honestly scared to death to reread this one…
Here is today’s scripture… It is from Isaiah 54:4-16
I need to put this on my blog…
4 Fear not; for you shall not be ashamed: neither be you confounded; for you shall not be put to shame: for you shall forget the shame of your youth, and shall not remember the reproach of your widowhood any more. 5 For your Maker is your husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. 6 For the LORD has called you as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when you were refused, said your God. 7 For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you. 8 In a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on you, said the LORD your Redeemer. 9 For this is as the waters of Noah to me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with you, nor rebuke you. 10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, said the LORD that has mercy on you. 11 O you afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with fair colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires. 12 And I will make your windows of agates, and your gates of carbuncles, and all your borders of pleasant stones. 13 And all your children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of your children. 14 In righteousness shall you be established: you shall be far from oppression; for you shall not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near you. 15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whoever shall gather together against you shall fall for your sake.
Another great thought…lol. This man loves God!
And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God… Luke 9:2
“He” is Y’shua/Jesus and “them” is the twelve. Following the resurrection of the daughter of Ja’irus, Y’shua gives power and authority to the twelve. That alone is amazing but they are not given this power and authority the way groupies who surround a famous person have some kind of power or authority just for being close to the famous person. Y’shua has a purpose for giving this power to them. “Proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Kingdom of God: What does that mean? So far Luke has not been clear about what the kingdom of God is, even though he has mentioned it often. Maybe it is my 21st century mind-set that does not fully understand the concept of a kingdom. I tend to get tunnel vision and forget that the Gospel of Luke was not…
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A true gentleman, intercesor and man of God. His website rocks!
And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night; Exodus 13:21 RSV
If The Way is where God wants you to go, how do you know if you are going the right Way?
During that very unique time in history, The Way was known because God led his people from a (thunder) cloud that was like a pillar reaching to the ground. At night the cloud was as a flame of fire that gave light to them.
I am convinced that the leadership, perhaps even the people, had a basic knowledge of Torah from the days of Seth, Noah and Shem. They knew it well enough to know who was Righteous before God…
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A funny thing happened on the way to the house of Ja’irus. As the crowd pressed in on Y’shua, he felt power leave him and He wanted the recipient of the power to testify.
As he went, the people pressed round him. And a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years and could not be healed by any one, came up behind him, and touched the fringe of his garment; and immediately her flow of blood ceased. Luke 8:42-44 RSV
Questions spring to mind. What is the fringe of his garment? Why did the woman touch them? Why did that act give her healing and commend her as having faith?
The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, and bid them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put upon the tassel of each corner a cord of…
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Avinu Shebasha-mayim, Our Father in heaven
- Pleading mercy for the 17 Kurdish souls being displayed in Isis cages
- Acknowledging my sorrow for the 200 Nigerian churches destroyed by Boko-Haram and pleading for your protective hedge around the 200,000 Nigerians who have the name of Christ-now in danger of massacre.
- Pleading for the soul of Austin Tice with comfort for his family. (Journalist – missing for 2 years in Syria.)
- Pleading for a supernatural intervention for the brides of Isis – loosing their hands for the crime of using cell phones.
Thine is the power!
February 15th, edited to add…
- The city of Copenhagen. Pleading for YHVH’s grace to manifest itself.
- King’s Way boys high school basketball team: healing of bodies and minds after bus crash (Edmonds, WA)
Hey… they called Jesus crazy!
Some people just don’t belong on planet earth… sorry Mike… your a bad example and you had a public ministry,,, bad people don’t get in Mikey, you’ve been a bad priest!
Sorry Bob, know you know the truth,,, why I never liked that guy…
P.S. I had to write this one…
Sorry my beloved…
Rip… Bob Chupick… my best friend and fellow sufferer in the faith…
P.S. Hey Mike Hibbs.. now you know why I never liked you… I can’t believe what you must go through now just to stay alive… how could you do that to a kid is beyond me… you should have never become a pastor… bad move buddy…bye!
This is a beautiful creation!
Here is a little Jewish tidbit I hope you enjoy. It is a story about the first letter of the Hebrew “aleph-bet”* and it’s correlation to “water.” The teaching is taken taken from the first and second day of creation, Genesis 1:1-2, & 6-8.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
“Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. God called the space “sky.”
And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.”
Genesis 1: 1-2, 6-8 (NLT)
In rabbinic teaching, whenever God does something…
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This will be a stretch of the human faculties… but it is only my humble prayer to wet your taste to the vastness of the Hebrew Language. I trust that at the end we will all be happy with the result…lol And also, I ready your questions, concerns and/or criticisms… The first verse is easy… the second verse is not!
Here is Proverbs 1:1-2
“The proverbs (1) of Solomon(2), the son of David(3), King of Israel(4)… (verse one)
To know (yada 5) wisdom (chokmah 6) and instruction;(muwcar 7) to perceive (byin 8) the words (’emer 9) of understanding (biynah 10) … (verse two)
First, lets look at what the words in bold… what do they mean?
Note: I wish I had access to a good Hebrew font… I apologize my computer is so old that I’m afraid to download any more applications than the ones I absolutely need… Please pray for God’s perfect will to continue in my life so that I can afford the things he has set my heart upon to be able to continue to reach out to people in a very special way. For now… all I have is English fonts so a Hebrew lesson in English it will be.
Right off the bat your eye should have by now caught (for my advanced readers) the similarity of the two words… perceive and understanding… “byin” and “biynah” (pronounced beee-nah). If you caught that you are well are on your way!
Now lets digest this wonderful verse piece by piece!
1. “Proverbs” – (Hebrew word: mishal, pronounced mah-shawl) This is an interesting word. Its root word (always go back to the root) means to rule… Strong’s definition of the word we are studying is that of “superiority in mental action; properly a pithy maxim, usually of a metaphorical nature; hence a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse). So to rule our thoughts… to be superior to our enemies spiritually speaking my taking God’s word to heart… Also to rule our own hearts correctly… as one aught to do… That is the premise (goal) behind these sacred writings.
2. “Solomon” – Solomon’s name in the Bible means peace… from where we get the word shalom… peace be with you… Jeff Benner has an amazing article on shalom… I will put it in the link below… Also… it is funny because while Solomon did the right thing and sought God he had peace… but when his heart was led away by numerous women and song and drink he had trouble… ie wars. Not what God intended from the beginning… Oh the gift of freewill… how important that we take our lives down here on earth seriously!
3. “David” – The Hebrew word “David is a very interesting word. We have the dalet, a vav and then another dalet. Dalet in rabbinic teachings mean selflessness separated by a vav… a pillar. King David entire life, (albeit far from perfect) was declared to be one true act of worship or selfless abandonment to the pursuit, ways (halak) and knowledge of the one true God from beginning to end. The significance of the vav is wonderful too. This lets us know that in heaven where the vav is pointing, King David is remembered for his selfish devotion to the word of God that was declared to him throughout his life, and his courage to stand by what he knew to be true, even in great times of moral, spiritual and physical testing. This is our beloved King David in the BIble.
4. “Israel” – Another day… it’s lengthy… lol Thanks Jeff Benner!
End Of Part One…
Here is a little Jewish tidbit I hope you enjoy. It is a story about the first letter of the Hebrew “aleph-bet”* and it’s correlation to “water.” The teaching is taken taken from the first and second day of creation, Genesis 1:1-2, & 6-8.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
“Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. God called the space “sky.”
And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.”
Genesis 1: 1-2, 6-8 (NLT)
In rabbinic teaching, whenever God does something there is always more than meets the eye; a reason. Genesis states that when God separated the water from above the earth (think clouds, atmosphere) and the waters below the earth (ocean, lake of fire) there is deep spiritual significance. The waters are actually opposite to each other as we will see in the portion below.
The waters above the earth are said to be God’s joy, while the waters below the earth are said to represent man’s bitterness being separated from God. Thus we have salt in our water while the water above is fresh. But wait… there is more!
Here is a quote taken from the book (I highly recommend) The Alef-Beit… made available at this website… (See Note 3).
“In the service of the soul, as taught in Chassidut, the higher water is water of joy, the experience of being close to God, while the lower water is water of bitterness, the experience of being far from God.”
In Jewish philosophy, the two intrinsic properties of water are “wet” and “cold.” The higher water is “wet” with the feeling of
oneness with the “exaltation of God,” while the lower water is “cold” with the feeling of
separation, the frustration of experiencing the inherent “lowliness of man.” Divine
service, as taught by Chassidut, emphasizes that in fact the primary consciousness of
both waters is the sense of the Divine, each from its own perspective: from the
perspective of the higher water, the greater the “exaltation of God,” the greater oneness of all in His Absolute Being; from the perspective of the lower water, the
greater the “exaltation of God,” the greater the existential gap between the reality of God
and that of man, thus the inherent “lowliness of man.””
Another interesting feature about God’s first acts of creation is in he Hebrew letter “A,” (aleph). The aleph is made up of two yuds (think English “Y”) connected by a vav… (see last post). The yuds represent the upper and lower firmament separated by the vav… a pillar of truth! Our world was formed in truth and accuracy… a pillar to measure against all forms of science and technology that man can invent to try to disprove God… Thus, the higher waters (God’s wisdom) are separated by a pillar of truth from the bitterness of man’s refusal to acknowledge God as the creator of all living things… thus a life filled with bitterness.
To take this one step further, eternally there are waters of bitterness that floods man soul… the heavenly refreshment of God’s word mends the weary heart…
* Note 1… Hebrew enthusiasts use the phrase aleph-bet and this is correct for two reasons. One, the Hebrew aleph-bet came first (this honoring our languages origin) and two, the aleph and the bet are the first two letters of the Hebrew language and is where us English folk get our beloved phrase the alphabet. And yes, our English can clearly be seen in the Greek “alpha”…lol).
Note 2: Here is a good definition of the word Chassidut. It’s purpose (Chassidut) is to awaken the Jewish People to its own inner self through the inner dimension of the Torah, thus preparing the way for the advent of Mashiach (or messiah). http://www.inner.org/chassidut/chassidut.htm
I was researching this word because of my kid brother who thinks he knows more about God than me… to begin, he is half my age (first mistake)… and yes I do love him, albeit at this time from far away… He jumps in and out of Christianity yet wants to tell me how good Jesus is… Brother, if you know how good God is and brag about everyone one on Sunday and then want to have sex the next with a prostitute how good is God really? You don’t even love yourself kiddo… Anyway… here is my study on scorners in the Bible… and yes he probably forgot years ago about my website so not to offend my readers… Thanks, John
Scorner: Strongs# 3887 /
Interpret : AHLB# 1271
According to Strong’s dictionary, a scorner (one who scorns God’s most basic teachings) is someone that in the Hebrew makes mouths at. See… that is why you cannot rely on an English translation alone… what on planet earth does it mean to make mouths at? Let us continue…
In Hebrew, there are three letters that make up the word scorner… an L, a V, and a TZ, sound… which is pronounced with a pause between the two letters as in the Hebrew word Tsadeik, (Tsaw deek) almost like an s… (the t is almost silent it happens so fast). Let us examine each of these letters carefully.
The first letter, the L is the Hebrew letter Lamed. It means to teach or to learn.
The second letter is the Hebrew letter Vav (from where we get our letter V). This is an interesting letter in Hebrew. The letter Vav is shaped like a man whose head is reaching up at heaven… now for the bad news… it can be a sign of pure joy or mockery… for one can easily mock God’s creation. The letter also means Ray of light and a pillar …of truth! The opposite if that is a proud stubborn heart that refuses to yield to the teachings of the Torah (or Bible… whichever you prefer).
The third letter is the Hebrew word Tsadik. It can mean righteous or unrighteous one…
In Hebrew synagogues… you will hear taught that the Lamed (our letter “L”) as representing “the contemplation of the heart.” (By the way, in case you didn’t know even the shape of the ancient Hebrew letters had great significance). The Lamed is shaped like a shepherd’s staff (remember, in the Bible times and even today… shepherd’s are considered very important… one in the physical (old) and one in the new (spiritual). God showed me the mystery of the Bible… it is the sane idea… but that is another lesson… audio commentary coming soon!)… Anyway, a shepherd’s staff can either guide or protect (thanks to Jeff Benner for all your help!) or be used as an instrument of punishment… thus the reverse in Hebrew (in case you were wondering). Therefore, it can be used to guide or pull or punish the sheep… interesting, yes?
Going back to our word “scorn”… a scorner is one who makes mouths at (ie. to laugh at) God’s Word. They know the truth but refuse to act in a way that strips them of all privileges of being one of God’s chosen peoples. Thus, a scorner is one who understands (teach/ lamed) God’s holy word (Torah), but ultimately with time hardens his heart and rejects it (like Cain) and becomes proud in his or her own imagination. (Thus the letter V) He is altogether unrighteous!
Note: This post is about one thing – being rich in God.
Have you ever failed God or thought you did? Do you trust him completely? Many times one little mistake, one insecurity, one inconsistency can be the difference between success and failure; especially when it comes to people and their salvation. One inconsideration, one day of being tired and overwhelmed can in my line of work can lead to trouble. This can be true in construction as well as in real life. Many people are so overwhelmed by this life’s trials that they tend to forget the greatest testimony a person can have is being able to trust God completely and to always remember to thank him for everything that he allows to come into our lives. The good news is that Jesus really does care. Even in death, which is the final test for many God obviously has mercy. We do not know for instance, what a person in a coma is praying about – for many it could be their own salvation. Yet, we do know one thing for certain – not everyone loves God in real life. In Romans chapter 1:18-25 we read:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Christian in some parts of the world are persecuted (see here) just for being Christians. That in itself should get you to think. In America where I live we have a whole bunch of freedom. Freedom to choose between right and wrong, even for such choices as abortion. Yet we are taught never to condemn the sinner, who without the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ choose to live in a way foreign to God’s perfect desire at that given moment in their life. Haven’t we all messed up before – have we ever missed the mark – even as good Christians? Not that I ever condone murder, and never have but in my line of work you must believe that everyone has a right to be saved. It is God’s greatest desire.
As Christians, we must prepare for the future. Some take this matter to heart but only for their own earthly good. Thus, we now have some pastors running around telling their people to stockpile guns, ammo, food you name it – hoarding is what I call it. It is always wise to be prepared – but to what extent? Do you not remember what Jesus said about the man who hoarded his possessions in a barn instead of being concerned about others needs? Let’s review a passage in Luke 12 for those who are young in Christ as for well as for Christians who do not take their Bible’s seriously. We will start in verse 16. The scriptures say:
“And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
The bottom line is that we will all be judged for what we do in this life – not for what we become in the worlds eyes (thus living by its standards), but for what we become through the eyes of Christ Jesus. Have we learned to trust Christ daily, as laid out for us by holy women and men of God, who in the early church lost so much to follow the one they called Lord and Messiah? Let us stop and remember dear old Matthew in the Bible my brethren. What does our scriptures say happened when he found Christ? The Bible clearly says that he left his old life and found a new one. Repentance is say about Jesus called it. No matter how hard we try, there is always more that we could do for Christ.
Thank you to all my readers all over the world.., may Jesus bless and keep you in the coming days ahead… Rest in Christ… John
Note: I am not against any sin more than another – take abortion – what done is done… i can not condone abortion as a last option for struggling moms and other life threatening situations… but whole hardheartedly share in their sorrow for having to give up a child they love down deep inside… I am not against abortion – as much as I am wasted lives… I know this may sound bad but did Jesus condemn the woman at the well? No, he merely pointed out where she was wrong (her sins) and then gave her the wonderful opportunity to start again… never to bring up her past pain to harm or abuse her or make her feel left out. If more pastors led their flock by example i would have no need to write such terrible things…lol
Note: this is a rough draft that was saved on my computer for well over a year now… I hope the editing is okay… love John
It is a sin to hate your brother, but being kind to the needy brings happiness.” (New Century Version)
First off, I would like to apologize to my readers for the long delay in writing. My work and life itself this past year or so has made it almost impossible to sit down and put out Bible studies like I have in times past. Hopefully this will all soon change and I will be able to put out a verse or so a week with full in-depth analysis and commentary, etc. Recently I was in the hospital and the Lord graciously opened my eyes to a number of time honored and sacred scriptures. I hope they bless you as much as they did for me. I did not have my dictionaries and lexicons, etc to help me yet I know the Lord was with me as I studied these verses. Yet with my knowledge of the ancient languages I was still able to come up with some interesting takes on what I had read and yes fed upon. Saying that, I do not have a word by word breakdown (at this point) of the verses I studied, but what I do have is fresh insight which is what part of this website was created for – my interpenetration according to my knowledge of the Word and for the ancient Languages themselves. Enough said -now for the good part…lol!
“It is a sin to hate your brother…” A few years back I was studying the New Testament and one word that stuck with me especially was the Greek word “makarios.” The English translation is the word hate, but that is not at all what the Greek implies. Oh how I love the fact that I had taken to the time as a young missionary to teach myself the real and unadulterated Word of God! I do not have my books and dictionaries in front of me but one thing I do know for sure is that this word means so much more than what the English word implies. The Greek definition for this word literally means to love less (i.e. than something or someone else)… think about that for a moment – what a perfect description and what a sound moral lesson! What Jesus was saying in the beatitudes, etc was that anyone who loves his brother less than he loves himself – the same is a liar and that God’s word isn’t in him. Wow. Taking that for the premise of my interpretation of this proverb let us go back to the scripture at hand.
It is a sin to hate (makarios/love less than yourself) your brother. This makes all the difference in the world! What exactly is hate – what is love – the Bible clearly defines it for us. To love someone else less or to care about someone less than you would do for yourself is a sin – in fact the very sin upon which all other sins (between two people) are based. To love someone or something less than you would love yourself (our example being Christ and his unquenchable love for us) is in God’s sight a hate crime and a sin against humanity. Let us now proceed to the second part of this wonderful verse.
“… but being kind to the needy brings happiness.”
The Hebrew word for kind here means to bend… thus bending your will for the betterment of others. In other words, treating others like yourself (how you would want to be treated), i.e. the “Golden” Rule.
Therefore: “To love yourself more than your neighbor is in direct opposition to the will of God, but to help somebody brings happiness.”
Romans 1:1 “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle…”
These words touched me today as I have felt very low spiritually speaking due to an experience that happened while at work this past week. I will not go into the details, but basically I missed a golden opportunity to witness to someone due to some emotional stress that happened the day before. I felt so bad that I let Jesus down that seriously I wanted to die. Today, I read these words… “Paul, called to be an apostle.” What does that mean? It means that we are called to seek our place in our Father’s kingdom and that place and calling is irrevocable. Every saint and Christian that ever sought to please God has had to endure times of bitter testing and self sacrifice – feelings of disappointment and times of personal failure. Noah, Moses, David, Elijah (the list goes on and on) all had to face temptations, trials and times of personal testing and moments of weakness in their walk with God. Not that that is any excuse, but rather it should be a reminder to and for us of the tender mercies of our God. We are all human and need God desperately and should be eager to learn from our past mistakes and failures. We are called to do bring glory God the best we can, regardless of our present circumstances and situations. Paul could have said I am a great apostle, but rather he chose the words I am called to be an apostle. In other words, there is always room for improvement and looking toward the day when we shall meet our Master face to face. I may not be perfect in my walk with God right now, but I know I am called to be a blessing wherever God sends me. This was the attitude of the early church – and this should be our attitude today.
I have much more that I could write but after working all day in the heat I am tired and need to rest.
God bless you and I will promise to post more often – I have been so tired after work these past few weeks but am ashamed and know I am supposed to write more often. I apologize if this post had little to no impact on you but it did for me. Thank you for reading and may God bless you – John
This was the first post I ever wrote… Hope you enjoy it… John
Editors Note: This was copied from a previous blog entry at a different website dated April 13, 2008. Hope you enjoy it.
Today I was reading in the book of Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:“ I had recently done some traveling and have noticed one thing in particular: We need the Holy Ghost in our lives above everything else! We pray for more possessions, freedom from our responsibilities, etc, yet many of these blessings actually can become more of a snare than a real blessing so often of the time. What we really need today more than ever before is for men and women to rise up like Anna in the New Testament who, awaiting the coming of her savior, dedicated her life to prayer and intercession on behalf of her fellow countrymen. We need Christians who know how to pray and that love the practice of prayer, who study their Bible: not to gain some intellectual advantage over their peers, but who with a broken heart search out even the hardest sayings in the Bible, whose hearts cry out like the psalmist David, “Search me O God, and try me: see if there be any wicked way in me, anything that might hinder someone from finding and loving you.” (pp) We need believer’s who hunger for God to be seen flowing in and through them more than they yearn for financial success or the praise and adulation of men: men and women of all ages who possess within them a deep and burning desire to see lives changed; who have spent quality time in prayer, and who’s very lives testify against a society that has become absolutely barbaric and shocking in the sins of which it now openly practices, applauds, commits and accepts.
We have programs inside of our churches for everything that so much of the time replaces the original and true reason for Christian fellowship: empowerment. Every time members of the early church came together the results were always the same: the Holy Ghost filling their hearts with the love and empowerment to win souls, to be kind to their enemies, to pray for their nation’s rebellious leaders (instead of tearing them down), etc. Do you leave your church excited, bursting inside with the need to tell someone about the love of Jesus Christ? If you don’t chances are there may be something lacking either in your pastors’ personal prayer time or in your own walk with the Lord. While on a vacation (during which God allowed me graciously to have the time to create this website) I purchased at a fairly reasonable price a new Bible software program that I had been praying for for quite some time. Although I now have this software I know from experience that this in and of itself cannot magically make me a better Bible student. I must first ask the Holy Ghost to help me so that:
1) I will not waste time playing with parts of this program that I do not need and am certainly not ready to use.
2) So that He will lead me to share the Scriptures as accurately as I can and with great joy and enthusiasm.
3) To empower my study so that He will cause Himself to remain glorified through the work if my hands, and through all the day.
To much of our time as Christians is spent on performing tasks that we are not really yet ready to handle or do not need. I think of all the millions of dollars that are spent for things that steal our time away from Christ: especially for temporary entertainment and personal pleasure. I wonder where Christianity would be today if the first disciples instead of fasting and prayer gathered in that upper room for the sole purpose of playing video games on their desert Sony X boxes and Play Station 2’s and 3’s. Sit and think for a while on how much time we waste. Why don’t we a Christians put our idols away and pray for a generation of young people that have never known what it is to experience the love of Jesus Christ. We should compare our lives as the followers of Christ to the writings found in the gospels and other portions of New Testament scripture and not to those that just happen to live and work around us. How do our lives measure against the words of Jesus and not our western neighbors? After all, that is how we will be judged at the resurrection. Remember the words of Jesus “that those that have much, much will be required.” We in America have more wealth than any other nation on earth. How will we as Christians be judged who live in it, who consume so much of the resources that God give us on ourselves, in light of the affliction and poverty of those that we see all perhaps by television or the internet all around us. Have our hearts become that hardened that we are unwilling to even share our bread with those that so desperately need it, not to mention the true bread that we have inside of us; the living Word of God. Recall especially Matthew 25 where we find the parable of the talents, the wise and foolish virgins, and the parable of the sheep and the goats. It was not so much what these so called believers did but what they didn’t do that excluded them from them partaking in the marriage supper of the lamb.
Today is the day that the Lord has made. Let us all do our very, very best for Him.
Quote of the day: Tertullian, one of the early church fathers, wrote: “How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in home, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice . . . Nothing divides them either in flesh or in spirit . . . They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God’s church and partake God’s banquet, side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another; they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts . . . Seeing this Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present.”
Editors Note#2: I wrote this very quickly while on vacation and without a whole lot of editing. Apologize for any mistakes. John Butzu
Note: I have tried to incorporate a Hebrew font into my WordPress theme but at this time I cannot figure out how or know if it is even possible. I would like to try to make a pdf file for this post where I can use real Hebrew letters and thus expound more into the particulars of the Hebrew language but do not see that happening at this time. I apologize in advance for any errors.
Psalms 1:1 (Please see note 1)
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psalms 1:1 (Translation)
Happy [a] are those [b] who are boldly able to enter into God’s presence, who choose not to model their lives after those who are not walking on the right path! [c] They do not form close friendships with those who habitually sin, nor do they purposely spend their free time in the homes of those who make fun of God’s laws.
Psalms one is a wisdom Psalm (see note 2) teaching us what God expects of us if we are to enter fully into his divine and holy presence. “As Perowne has observed: in form (Psalms One) is little more than the expansion of a proverb” (see note 3). It is believed by some that King Solomon wrote this psalm as an introduction to his father’s writings as it was not uncommon for a son “to gather the writings of his father” (again see note 3).
Note: I have taken a great deal of time in going by word by word through each word in this Psalm… verse 1 is finally complete! Hope you enjoy it and may God richly bless you.
Verse 1: Blessed is the man (or woman)…
Blessed – The Hebrew word here for blessed is “esher” (eh-sher) which literally means “happy is the one who walks the straight path” (AHLB)(4). This can only be done by a rich study of God’s word and communion with the Holy Spirit. Many Christians feel that they can loosely take God’s precious word for granted, come into his presence on Sunday and there receive a rich blessing. Not so! Believers must walk a straight path before the Lord if they want their lives to be fruitful and truly blessed.(5)
Man – The word here for man is “iysh” (eesh) and can be translated as mankind or steward. God is not unjust and neither were the writers of the Psalms. He loves all of his creation equally, and each of us are assigned a special place in his eternal and glorious kingdom. Thus you should be able to put your mind to rest (for all you women out there) that this Psalm was meant only for men. I personally choose the translation “steward,” as each of us as believers are called to be stewards of God’s holy word.
That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…
Walketh – The Hebrew word for walk is halak (haw-lak) which basically means to walk a certain way along life’s journey (AHLB). A great example of halak in connection to this verse can be seen in Genesis 17:1 where God tells Abraham “I am the Almighty God; walk (halak) before me, and be thou perfect.” Obviously God is not telling Abraham to physically walk before him (that would be ridiculous) but to continue spiritually to direct his life in such a way so that he will receive all that God had promised to him. The Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary translates this word as ‘behave’. This is also good, but behave is an abstract term and we are talking ancient Biblical Hebrew here, not modern day English or even Greek! Thus we will stick with the first definition – to walk in a particular way along life’s journey. This is the basic meaning of halak.
Counsel – The Hebrew word for counsel is ‘etsah’ (ay-tsaw) and comes from the root word ya’ats (yaw-ats) which means to advise or to counsel, receive plans from or purpose.
Ungodly – Hebrew word here is rasha’ (raw-shaw) which means “one who has departed from the correct path (AHLB)… thus to be or to do wrong (hence morally wrong) (strong’s def).
Nor standeth in the way of sinners…
Standeth – Translators used many words to portray this one Hebrew word “amad” (aw-mad). The Hebrew word amad can be found in scripture in the KJV as stand, stay, stood, set, withstand, continue, endure, appoint, present, remain, endure… the list goes on and on. This word can be tricky. As you can see from the words given, ‘amad’ can take on many different meanings, but thanks once again to the AHLB (please see note 5) I have found a very simple answer to solidify this passage of scripture for me. The original concrete meaning of the word amad is that of a pillar. This is where we get the idea to stand, be strong with, endure, remain, etc. Thus, we get the picture from amad as God’s warning to the pious not to stand strong with or form pillars with someone who refuses to believe the truth. In 2 Corinthians 6:17 the Bible says: “Come out from among them, be separate and clean and I will receive you. Two verses before we find – “Do not be unequally yoked with those who resist the truth”(please see note 6). In other words, be strong and do not form pillars of friendship with the unsaved where you are not the stronger vessel. This is what I learned from amad!
Way – The Hebrew word for way is derek (deh-rek) and concretely means “a road” and by implication “a way of life”. It comes from the root word darak (daw-rak) which means to take a step (AHLB) and also “to tread.” This word implies a journey, manner, custom, conduct, etc and is used often in scripture.
Sinners – The Hebrew word chatta’ (khat-taw) basically means criminal or one who is found guilty and comes from the root word chata’ (khaw-taw) where we find the word the english word “sin” – or one who has missed the mark. A hardened criminal usually does not have remorse for the things he has done and that is what makes him all the more guilty in God’s eyes, thus once again missing the mark.
Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful…
Sitteth – This is why I study Hebrew! The word is yashab (yaw-shab) which means to dwell, to marry, etc. Translators used the english word “sit” but this word lacks so much as to the picture of what the psalmist is actually saying. God’s word is precious and thus every letter, every word must be examined for clarification, meaning, interpretation, etc. The overall picture of this word implies one of resting in a particular place for an extended period of time. Thus, it is not to merely “sit” but to dwell, abide, interact with… that is the beauty of knowing the Hebrew language!
Seat – The Hebrew word for seat is mowshab (mo-shawb) whose root has the concrete meaning of a dwelling place. Its root is the word yashab, the word right above.
Scornful – The word here is luwts (loots) and is made up of only two Hebrew letters. The first letter is lamed which is a picture of a staff and thus is a symbol of authority, namely God’s. It also is a representation of the human tongue. The second letter is tsadik and is a picture of a man laying on his side which represents trouble (AHLB). Thus, it is easy to draw the conclusion by combining these two letters that the word luwts describes a man who is fighting God’s authority. Another example of why I love Hebrew!
Happy [a] are those [b] who are boldly able to enter into God’s presence, who choose not to model their lives after those who are not walking on the right path! [c] They do not form close friendships with those who habitually sin, nor do they purposely spend their free time in the homes of those who make fun of God’s laws.
Notes on Word Study:
1) Psalms One is also a Torah Psalm (as is Psalms 19 and 119) as its emphasis is placed on the man who delights in the Torah or Law of the Adonai.
2) Taken from a Study By Bob Deffinbaugh entitled: A Psalm for All Seasons: Studies in the Book of Psalms
3) Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible by Jeff Benner
4) The Septuagint or LXX translates this word esher (blessed) as “makarios.” We find the word in the New Testament many times, most notably perhaps in the Beatitudes.
To learn more about Jeff Benner and his amazing research and studies please visit the Ancient Hebrew Research Center’s website. Jeff’s work and dedication to the Hebrew Text is an invaluable source of wisdom to me. You can find more about this man and his wonderful family by clicking here.
6) In the KJV the term is “unbelievers”
Commentary for Bible Translation:
a) or those who are truly able to enter into God’s presence
b) anyone who is called to be a steward of God’s word
c) they themselves being led astray
Have you ever prayed for something and nothing turned out the way you expected? Perhaps you failed God during a time of testing (or thought you did) or someone that you trusted and shared your soul with let you down and you feel like it is all your fault. Many Christians experience such pain that at times it is almost impossible to see God’s purposes or plans because of all the heartache that this world can bring; not to mention sin, negative thinking or other worldly passions and strongholds. Many cannot see themselves as anything but “losers” in God’s kingdom despite Jesus’ promises that He loves us and that He alone holds our future in the palm of his mighty hand. He alone is the one who will bring us through to greener pastures when the time is right – the only thing he asks of us is that we trust Him with everything that is within us – as this is our first duty as believers in the goodness and grace of Almighty God.
Many Christians struggle with feelings of guilt or betrayal from a spouse, loved one, or co-worker and you mistake these feelings as God’s punishment for a life half lived for his glory. You beat yourself up and thus negate the grace and love of the Father. God knew beforehand what you would do and knew before we were born all of our weaknesses and disappointments that we would encounter along life’s journey. Don’t you dare let the devil lie to you – telling you that you are worthless or a disappointment to God – he does this because he is afraid of you because you are a child of God and greatly loved! The devil knows how to get each one of us in our minds, telling us if only we had done this right or that then we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now in. I have had to on more than one occasion decide that our life down here is too short to live with constant feelings of sorrow, depression and regret – as each one of us are needed as believers to do our share to advance Jesus’ kingdom of peace and goodwill to all mankind. Don’t let the devil lie to you any longer – put down your idols and turn to God! He alone will help you succeed in all that you do, if only you will trust Him completely for He loves you!
As bad as things may be right now (and trust me America in particular is headed for a tough time in the days ahead) we still serve a God that loves to bless his children with his very best – despite sin, failure and misaligned feelings with his holy and sovereign will. Many saints throughout the ages have had to endure times of bitter testing – especially when praying for someone or something that is dear to their heart and mind. I have been praying in particular for someone I love very much for sometime that God would touch their heart and yet I see so little fruit that at times I feel frustrated, confused, disappointed, etc. Praying for someone can be discouraging especially when you know God has called you to be an intercessor – especially if we look at the circumstances and not at the Creator of our lives. If God has called you to pray – then don’t give up! We have a God that loves to make the miraculous happen – just look at Moses and the Red Sea (see note 1)! All it takes is for one person to stand in the gap and miracles can happen in and through our lives. This is what has been on my heart today.
May God Bless you.
Note 1: God did all of this (the parting of the Red Sea, etc) through one man even though he was a murderer when he was young. Don’t let the devil lie to you saying that you are no good and/or worthless to God – that is one of his best tricks. God loves you and needs you to be strong for His name’s sake. So go with God – he has given you the victory and every blessing that you need to live a life pleasing to Him!
Take care and God bless,
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
Over the past few days I have done a word study on the above verse. After looking in my collection of New Testament Greek Dictionaries I have come up with a more thorough translation of this verse. I hope this short study will bless someone. Let me know what you think.
A more thorough translation:
We are pressed as grapes but not restricted, we are perplexed (to be without resources, to be in straits, to be left wanting, to be embarrassed, to be in doubt, not to know which way to turn, to be at a loss with one’s self, be in doubt, not to know how to decide or what to do) but not in despair (to be utterly at loss, be utterly destitute of measures or resources, to renounce all hope); Persecuted, (to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away, to run after, to pursue in a hostile manner to harass, trouble, to be mistreated) but not forsaken (or deserted); cast down, (put in a lower place) but not ruined (or destroyed).
I hope this will help someone…
I have been working basically around the clock to get our church ready for the Day Care Inspection test for the Fire Marshall. We got an extension for the work that had to be done. Ceilings had to be painted and light fixtures installed, door handles changed, etc etc. The paint has finally dried! Thus I have been busy. Here is the latest from the late David Wilkerson. Hope you enjoy! I am so in love with Jesus I can hardly stand it!
Note- Hesed is still on my mind – I can’t wait to take a week off to rewrite what I had previously written – it will be great!
From David Wilkerson | April 5, 2013
“Some believers get discouraged over unanswered prayers and, finally, they simply give up. They think, “Prayer doesn’t work for me and why should I pray if it doesn’t work?”
The Israelites in Isaiah’s time had the same attitude. Isaiah wrote: “They seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness . . . they ask of me . . . they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge (notice)?” (Isaiah 58:2-3).
These people were saying, “I love God. I do right and avoid sin, and until recently, I’ve been faithful to seek Him in prayer. But, you know what? He’s never answered me. So why should I continue afflicting my soul before Him?”
James writes that God doesn’t answer the prayers of those who ask for things simply to satisfy themselves: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:3). In other words: “You’re not asking for God’s will. You’re not ready to submit to whatever He wants. Rather, you’re trying to dictate to Him those things that will satisfy your own heart.”
Our God is utterly faithful. Paul writes, “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). He is saying, “It doesn’t matter if you hear a million voices crying, ‘Prayer doesn’t work. God doesn’t hear me!’ Let every man be called a liar because God’s Word stands. He is faithful to hear us!”
Jesus said, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). Simply put, Christ is saying, “If you truly believe, you will be willing to wait and expect an answer from your heavenly Father. No matter how long it takes, you will hold on in faith, believing He will answer.”
“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” (Psalm 31:19). “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing” (34:10).”
Thank you and God bless.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have [instead] eternal life..” The part that jumped off the page to me this morning was this: “For God so loved the world that he gave…” Many people think of giving as isolated acts of showing kindness or pity that tends to be done on select occasions from time to time (such as holidays, birthdays etc,) or when a particular family need arises. Many seem to to think that they can justify or perhaps negate a lifetime of selfish living by one or two particular charitable deeds and everything will then be all right. In some ways they hope to balance the books by this sort of lifestyle. Yet this is not what the bible says we should do. If we are to become like our heavenly father than we are supposed to be changed from the inside out. That selfish person we once were (and we all are inherently born selfish in some respects – just look at two baby siblings who fight over the same toy) must be changed into a symphony of praise and blessing to all whom we meet. A friendly smile, a word of wisdom to those who are weak, a cup of cool water to those who are thirsty – these are all ways in which God expects us to behave – for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Here is an old message from David Wilkerson that I have decided to transfer to this blog that he sent out in one of his many newsletters before he died.* I hope you like it…
“Who told you that you are unworthy — no good, useless to God? Who keeps reminding you that you are weak, helpless, a total failure? That you’ll never measure up to God’s standard?
We all know this voice comes from the devil himself. He is the one who keeps you convinced God is angry with you. You hear his lies all day long and they come straight from the pit of hell.
Who tells choir members they are not worthy to sing praises in God’s house? Who tells musicians they are not worthy to play instruments of worship? Who tells elders, ushers, Sunday school teachers, volunteers, people in ministry, people in their pews they are unworthy? Who reminds them of every sin and failure and accuses them of having unclean hands and an impure heart? Who tells them they have no right to touch the holy things of God?
The hounding voice of the devil — the accuser of the brethren — tells you, “God can’t use you until you sit down and get this thing figured out. You can’t even come into His house until you’ve made yourself worthy.”
The devil has convinced many of you reading this message that you are unworthy ever to be used of God. Perhaps you feel unworthy even to be called a child of the Lord. When you look at your spiritual life all you see is inconsistency. And the enemy keeps lying, constantly reminding you of your failures, always harassing your spirit.
Let me stop here and confess something to you: I have never once, in all my years of ministry, felt worthy of my high calling as a preacher. Throughout my service to the Lord, I have been barraged by accusations that I am unworthy to speak for God — unworthy to preach, to teach others, to be a leader.
I am not worthy to write this message and you are not worthy to raise your hands in praise to God. Nobody is worthy — not in our own human strength and power. But Jesus has told us, “I have made you worthy.”
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).””
*More messages from David Wilkerson can be found here: CLICK ME!
Sermons and live video services via web for Times Square Church in New York City: Click HERE!
Here is a copy from an article out of esquire (links at bottom of the page) – hope you all enjoy!
What If Jesus Meant All That Stuff?
This radical Christian’s ministry for the poor, The Simple Way, has gotten him in some trouble with his fellow Evangelicals. We asked him to address those who don’t believe.
By Shane Claiborne
“To all my nonbelieving, sort-of-believing, and used-to-be-believing friends: I feel like I should begin with a confession. I am sorry that so often the biggest obstacle to God has been Christians. Christians who have had so much to say with our mouths and so little to show with our lives. I am sorry that so often we have forgotten the Christ of our Christianity.
Forgive us. Forgive us for the embarrassing things we have done in the name of God.
The other night I headed into downtown Philly for a stroll with some friends from out of town. We walked down to Penn’s Landing along the river, where there are street performers, artists, musicians. We passed a great magician who did some pretty sweet tricks like pour change out of his iPhone, and then there was a preacher. He wasn’t quite as captivating as the magician. He stood on a box, yelling into a microphone, and beside him was a coffin with a fake dead body inside. He talked about how we are all going to die and go to hell if we don’t know Jesus.
Some folks snickered. Some told him to shut the hell up. A couple of teenagers tried to steal the dead body in the coffin. All I could do was think to myself, I want to jump up on a box beside him and yell at the top of my lungs, “God is not a monster.” Maybe next time I will.
The more I have read the Bible and studied the life of Jesus, the more I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination. But over the past few decades our Christianity, at least here in the United States, has become less and less fascinating. We have given the atheists less and less to disbelieve. And the sort of Christianity many of us have seen on TV and heard on the radio looks less and less like Jesus.
At one point Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, “I sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ.” A recent study showed that the top three perceptions of Christians in the U. S. among young non-Christians are that Christians are 1) antigay, 2) judgmental, and 3) hypocritical. So what we have here is a bit of an image crisis, and much of that reputation is well deserved. That’s the ugly stuff. And that’s why I begin by saying that I’m sorry.
Now for the good news.
I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion, or politics, for that matter. (If there is anything I have learned from liberals and conservatives, it’s that you can have great answers and still be mean… and that just as important as being right is being nice.)
The Bible that I read says that God did not send Jesus to condemn the world but to save it… it was because “God so loved the world.” That is the God I know, and I long for others to know. I did not choose to devote my life to Jesus because I was scared to death of hell or because I wanted crowns in heaven… but because he is good. For those of you who are on a sincere spiritual journey, I hope that you do not reject Christ because of Christians. We have always been a messed-up bunch, and somehow God has survived the embarrassing things we do in His name. At the core of our “Gospel” is the message that Jesus came “not [for] the healthy… but the sick.” And if you choose Jesus, may it not be simply because of a fear of hell or hope for mansions in heaven.
Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in the afterlife, but too often all the church has done is promise the world that there is life after death and use it as a ticket to ignore the hells around us. I am convinced that the Christian Gospel has as much to do with this life as the next, and that the message of that Gospel is not just about going up when we die but about bringing God’s Kingdom down. It was Jesus who taught us to pray that God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” On earth.
One of Jesus’ most scandalous stories is the story of the Good Samaritan. As sentimental as we may have made it, the original story was about a man who gets beat up and left on the side of the road. A priest passes by. A Levite, the quintessential religious guy, also passes by on the other side (perhaps late for a meeting at church). And then comes the Samaritan… you can almost imagine a snicker in the Jewish crowd. Jews did not talk to Samaritans, or even walk through Samaria. But the Samaritan stops and takes care of the guy in the ditch and is lifted up as the hero of the story. I’m sure some of the listeners were ticked. According to the religious elite, Samaritans did not keep the right rules, and they did not have sound doctrine… but Jesus shows that true faith has to work itself out in a way that is Good News to the most bruised and broken person lying in the ditch.
It is so simple, but the pious forget this lesson constantly. God may indeed be evident in a priest, but God is just as likely to be at work through a Samaritan or a prostitute. In fact the Scripture is brimful of God using folks like a lying prostitute named Rahab, an adulterous king named David… at one point God even speaks to a guy named Balaam through his donkey. Some say God spoke to Balaam through his ass and has been speaking through asses ever since. So if God should choose to use us, then we should be grateful but not think too highly of ourselves. And if upon meeting someone we think God could never use, we should think again.
After all, Jesus says to the religious elite who looked down on everybody else: “The tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom ahead of you.” And we wonder what got him killed?
I have a friend in the UK who talks about “dirty theology” — that we have a God who is always using dirt to bring life and healing and redemption, a God who shows up in the most unlikely and scandalous ways. After all, the whole story begins with God reaching down from heaven, picking up some dirt, and breathing life into it. At one point, Jesus takes some mud, spits in it, and wipes it on a blind man’s eyes to heal him. (The priests and producers of anointing oil were not happy that day.)
In fact, the entire story of Jesus is about a God who did not just want to stay “out there” but who moves into the neighborhood, a neighborhood where folks said, “Nothing good could come.” It is this Jesus who was accused of being a glutton and drunkard and rabble-rouser for hanging out with all of society’s rejects, and who died on the imperial cross of Rome reserved for bandits and failed messiahs. This is why the triumph over the cross was a triumph over everything ugly we do to ourselves and to others. It is the final promise that love wins.
It is this Jesus who was born in a stank manger in the middle of a genocide. That is the God that we are just as likely to find in the streets as in the sanctuary, who can redeem revolutionaries and tax collectors, the oppressed and the oppressors… a God who is saving some of us from the ghettos of poverty, and some of us from the ghettos of wealth.
In closing, to those who have closed the door on religion — I was recently asked by a non-Christian friend if I thought he was going to hell. I said, “I hope not. It will be hard to enjoy heaven without you.” If those of us who believe in God do not believe God’s grace is big enough to save the whole world… well, we should at least pray that it is.
I couldn’t sleep last night and wound up finding this article on the internet that sums up perfectly so many things – but for one, why so many Christians are tracing their roots back to the Old Testament, Judaism and Ancient Hebrew. It is taken from an excerpt from a book that is supposed to come out sometime in 2013 written by J.K. Mckee (see note 1).
“It is indeed phenomenal that many Believers are coming to a revelation of the Hebraic Roots of our faith, are adopting a Torah obedient lifestyle, and are seeing themselves as a part of Israel. But as with any move of God, there are concerns that exist—concerns that sometimes wrench at the heart and soul of what we should be doing, as opposed to what we should not be doing. We should be proclaiming the gospel message of salvation and discipling others as they grow and mature in their faith, fulfilling Yeshua’s Great Commission, and aiming to see the restoration of God’s people and the Kingdom to Israel.
Of course, with this restoration comes many things, such as the realization that our Heavenly Father does not have two groups of elect as is commonly supposed, Israel and “the Church,” but rather one, the Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-13; Galatians 6:16). As all Believers, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, are a part of the community of Israel, such an Israel is called to obey God’s Torah, and via their obedience to Him be a light to the entire world (Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 4:5-8).
Many Believers who are seeing the eternal validity of the Torah think that it is important to learn the Hebrew language, the language of the Tanach or Old Testament. This is to be commended and encouraged, as these Scriptures make up the first two-thirds of our Bible that many Christians, sadly, ignore or feel are important only for Bible history. However, there is another portion of the Bible, the Apostolic Scriptures or Messianic Writings, commonly known as the New Testament, which is not written in Hebrew, and should not be cast by the wayside.”
1) Mckee is the editor of TNN Online (www.tnnonline.net) and is a Messianic apologist. He is a 2009 recipient of the Zondervan Biblical Languages Award for Greek. He is author of numerous books, dealing with a wide range of topics that are important for today’s Messianic Believers. He has also written many articles on theological issues, and is presently focusing his attention on Messianic commentaries of various books of the Bible. (Taken directly from author’s website).
Many pastors today preach what is known in Christian circles as a “non- offensive” gospel. They do not want to lose their nice churches and comfortable living situations. Thus, they preach a message that is easy on the ears, but in reality is damning the souls of those who sit under their watered down, lukewarm, self help messages. These pastors are afraid to offend! They intentionally leave out Jesus’ dire warnings of hell and everlasting torment; as at least 45 times in the Gospels Jesus warned specifically against the fire and punishments awaiting the sinner as well as the believer who falls away from the knowledge of the truth. It is as if they are ashamed of their own salvation! If we are truly saved, then just what are we saved from? If your pastor speaks about the wonders of heaven, does he mention the destruction that awaits the sinner in hell? This is the topic of my sermon-blog today.
Below are some excerpts from Mary Baxter’s testimony “A Divine Revelation of Hell” where she describes the condition of the lost in hell. During the mid seventies, the Lord took her to hell and told her to write down what she saw. She describes in detail the horrors that await the hard of heart and unrepentant sinner. You can also find her on youtube where she speaks. Her love for God is genuine without doubt. Before I was a Christian, I too had a brief encounter while on drugs and know what it is like to experience the awful reality of eternity apart from God. It was only for a few seconds, and I did not see anything, but I could hear blasphemous words in a language I had never heard that cursed the blood of Jesus. The feelings of regret were so painful that there are not words on earth to describe the sensations that I felt while I was there. Here are a few paragraphs from her book – hope you all enjoy – and yes I will provide links at the bottom of this post where you can find her story in full. Take care my beloved!
“Screams filled the air as we came near the base of the tunnel. Piercing cries came up the dark tunnel to meet us. Sounds of all sorts filled the air. I could feel fear, death and sin all around me.”
“The worst odor I have ever smelled filled the air. It was the smell of decaying flesh, and it seemed to be coming from every direction. Never on earth had I felt such evil or heard such cries of despair. Soon I would find that these were the cries of the dead and that hell was filled with their wails.”
“I felt a gust of evil wind and a small suction force ahead of us. Lights like lightening or strobe flashes penetrated the black darkness and threw gray shadows on the walls. I could barely make out the form of something in front of me. I recoiled in shock when I realized that it was a large snake moving along ahead of us. As I continued to look, I saw those ugly snakes were slithering about everywhere.”
“I heard a cry from the center of the first pit. I saw a soul in the form of a skeleton, crying, “Jesus, have mercy! O, Lord!” I said. It was the voice of a woman. I looked at her and wanted to pull her out of the fire. The sight of her broke my heart. The skeleton form of a woman with a dirty-grey mist inside was talking to Jesus. In shock, I listened to her. Decayed flesh hung by shreds from her bones, and, as it burned, it fell off into the bottom of the pit. Where her eyes had once been were now only empty sockets. She had no hair.”
“The fire started at her feet in small flames and grew as it climbed up and over her body. The woman seemed to be constantly burning, even when the flames were only embers. From deep down inside her came cries and groans of despair, “Lord, Lord, I want out of here! She kept reaching out to Jesus. I looked at Jesus, and there was great sorrow on His face. Jesus said to me, “My child, you are here with Me to let the world know that sin results in death, that hell is real. “God, have mercy!” I cried as the fire reached its peak and the horrible burning started all over again. Great cries and deep sobs shook the form of this woman-soul. She was lost. There was no way out. “Jesus, why is she here?” I said in a small voice, for I was very scared. Jesus said, “Come.”
“We stopped at the next pit. It was exactly like all the others. Inside it was the form of a woman, which I knew by her voice. She cried out to Jesus for deliverance from the flames.
Jesus looked on the woman with love and said, “While you were on earth, I called you to come to Me. I pleaded with you to get your heart right with I Me before it was too late. I visited you many times in the midnight hour to tell you of My love. I wooed! you, loved you and drew you to Me by My Spirit.
“Yes Lord,’ you said, ‘I will follow You,’ With your lips you said you loved Me, but your heart did not mean it. I knew where your heart was. I often sent my messengers to you to tell you to repent of your sins and come to Me, but you would not hear Me. I wanted to use you to minister to others, to help others to find Me. But you wanted the world and not Me. I called you, but you would not hear Me, nor would you repent of your sins.”
The woman said to Jesus, “You remember, Lord, how I went to church and was a good woman. I joined the church. I was a member of Your church. I knew Your call was on my life. I knew I had to obey that call at all costs, and I did.”
Jesus said, “Woman, you are still full of lies and sin. I called you, but you would not hear Me! True, you were a member of a church, but being a church member did not get you to heaven. Your sins were many, and you did not repent. You caused others to stumble at My Word. You would not forgive others when they hurt you. You pretended to love and serve Me when you were with Christians, but when you were away from Christians, you lied, cheated and stole. You gave heed to seducing spirits and enjoyed your double life. You knew the straight and narrow way.”
“And,” Jesus said, “you also had a double tongue. You talked about your brothers and sisters in Christ. You judged them and thought you were holier than they, when there was gross sin in your heart. This I know, you would not listen to My sweet Spirit of compassion. You judged the outside of a person, without regard to the fact that many were children in the faith. You were very hard.
“Yes, you said you loved Me with your lips, but your heart was far from Me. You knew the ways of the Lord and you understood. You played with God, and God knows all things. If you had sincerely served God, you would not be here today. You cannot serve Satan and God at the same time.”
Jesus turned to me and said, “Many in the last days will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and will serve sin. Come out from among them, and be separate. Walk not in the way with them.” As we walked away, the woman began to curse and swear at Jesus. She screamed and cried with rage. We walked on. I was so weak in body.”
The above were taken from Mary Baxter’s book as noted above. You can read the whole account of what she saw and heard and experienced here.
You can watch her here on Youtube:
More to come shortly!
This is what Jesus meant when he said, “He that loves his own [fleshly] life will lose it! Christians that choose not to respond to the Holy Spirit’s beckoning and prompting to lay down one’s life (i.e. their own carnal dreams, lusts, ambitions and desires) will lose much on the final day when the whole earth is judged. They will be ashamed as they will have so little fruit to bring to Christ! These Christians will suffer great loss as they will have to relive with horror every act – every intent of the heart – those things that they thought were “good deeds” before the eyes of a Holy God. Christ, with a broken heart will say “no that was not from me” while burning up many of their works before them. They may escape the judgments of hell, but will have little reward throughout eternity. They will have to live with the fact that they could have done so much more for Jesus while they were alive. Their deeds will be counted as filthy rags and will not stand the fire and purity of Jesus’ gaze. Oh what an awful day awaits Christians that play games with the Word of God!
If we wish to live like Jesus lived, then let us examine what he truly was like. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24: “If any man wants to follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” And again in 1st John 2:6: “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” That’s is what it truly means to be a Christian.
Going back to our original text (John 12) we read in verse 26-27: “Now is my soul troubled and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour? But for this cause I came into the world – Father, glorify your name!” This is the clearest example we have of what it means to live according to the Spirit and detached from our own carnal lusts and desires. Jesus had to make a decision, one that in so doing would change the course of history. Yet, as a man he felt terrible sorrow as he knew his decision to go to the cross would mean extreme amounts of mental and physical pain – more pain than anyone one us reading I believe ever had to or ever will endure.
It was not that Jesus had to die – he had done nothing worthy of a Roman death on the cross. But he knew what his purpose was, and as always, was obedient to the loving heavenly Father. We too, can and should know our purpose – why God put us on this earth – and thus be willing to follow that path until Jesus takes us home to be with him in glory.
The longer I am a Christian, the easier it becomes for me to, as Paul the apostle says – die daily. The reason, I believe for this is that I know the fruit that I produce for my heavenly Father when ever I choose to submit my will to his own. I am not yet perfected, and I know I can easily stumble – but not for too long. Proverbs 24:16 says, “For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.” I have become very sensitive to what the Spirit wants to do – and thus I know my heavenly Father is well pleased with me. This is not always easy, but I do know the joy that comes from being a follower of Jesus. That is what it means to be a disciple.
Note: This is a sermon that I intend to preach one day. For now it will have to suffice only on the internet. I wrote this while waiting for a bus after someone had stolen my truck. I will copy it word for word unless there is some profound reason not to. Take care and be blessed!
Sincerely – John
John 12:23-25: “And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
Some Christians choose not to die to their own dreams, ambitions and pride – thus they are left alone to reap the consequences of a bitter life apart from the one who suffered in their stead. The self in us must die completely before Christ can fully manifest his glory in our lives. Only then will we truly be able to minister effectively with others – leading the lost to salvation and spreading the good news with joy.
Of course, it is possible along the way to bear fruit to God each and every day – even as new Christians – but the longer we are saved the more the Holy Spirit will prod and probe the innermost thoughts and recesses of the human heart. This process of pruning (see note 1) is designed to bring about a deeper understanding of exactly how Jesus lived and what he wants each of us to do with our lives. This process is excruciatingly painful – as dying to one’s own fleshly desires is never easy. Yet, this is a mandatory process for the immature and carnally minded Christian to experience if they truly want to live a life that is pleasing to the God the Father, his blessed Son and the Holy Spirit.
John 12 verse 25 states: “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.“ Although there is a much deeper meaning in this verse, still I believe it is useful in explaining this wonderful yet altogether painful truth. Those Christians that love their natural lives down here (hence the American dream) without taking to heart the suffering and chaos all around them will themselves suffer great loss in the day of judgement – perhaps missing heaven altogether! Jesus said in Matthew 25 that he will separate on that day those that reached out to the needy and those who remained idle, standing by. There is no mention of sins such as adultery, fornication or covetousness, just the sin of doing nothing with the life God had given them (see note 2).
Just because you sit in a pew does not mean you are going to heaven! Jesus himself warned about this in Matthew 7:22-23 “Lord, have we not prophesied in your name and cast out devils in our name and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me you that are filled with impure motives and lawlessness!” In other words Jesus will say to them … “Who gave you the right to do the things you do – your heart was not once aligned with my will – depart from me – you who took my name and sacrifices that I made on the cross for granted!”
You see, some Christians try to escape the cross that Jesus has set before them by doing things that they are naturally good at doing – things that are easy for them to do. Donating money, running charity programs, playing Christian music and even public speaking or ministry may come naturally for many born again believers. Yet without the inner workings of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct the affairs of the heart – all that work amounts to nothing – having all been done without the expressed consent of God – thus they are works of the flesh for they are done without God’s approval.
Believers must seek a honest relationship with God born out of a holy awe and respect for Jesus before ever pushing out into any form of public ministry. This is not to put a damper on personal evangelism for the new believer, as many souls have been won this way – but after a season, just like the apostle Paul, a desert experience is altogether necessary to groom the heart for a more effective witness for the sake of the souls that are suffering alone and apart from God. Paul had to spend 13 years alone with God before he was truly ready to venture out into a Roman society that was cruel, wicked and abounding in sexual depravity, idol worshipers, pride and every other imaginable lust of the flesh. The reason God did this was to teach Paul the ways of the Holy Spirit – for it says in the book of Isaiah: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Thus, a great distinction will be made between those believers who allowed themselves to be trained to listen to the Holy Spirit and those that recklessly plunged ahead in what they thought was the will of God, being driven by their own lusts for personal success and larger than life egos. What a shock it will be when these “too busy to pray” secondary group of believers will have to stand before a holy God and try to explain why they refused to bend their will to the will of the one who created them and loved them. Mind you, those whom God has called he will train – unless the human heart cries out otherwise! Many are called to follow Christ – yes – but few are truly chosen. Jesus Christ himself said: “Strive to enter into the narrow gate for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many follow its path.”
1. Every branch in me not bearing fruit, God removes it. And every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it, so that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2
2 Here is the whole account of how Jesus will judge Christians in glory: (Matthew 25:31-46) “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Since moving into to a small yet wonderful little church in the Detroit Metropolitan area, I have had the privileged of reading two magnificent books in my spare time. One is entitled “The Day Christ Died” by Jim Bishop and explains the Jewish world in such a way that I am truly amazed and very grateful. The other book is one that I wish I would have had earlier; it is a commentary called “The Jewish New Testament Commentary” by David Stern. This book is of particular interest to me because it explains the many of the Hebrew idioms and phrases that we find in the New Testament along with giving the meaning behind the Hebrew names and characters, etc. The longer I am a Christian, the more I see the need to study such things as it bring the Bible to light in a whole new way. Below is one such case taken from Matthew 3:2. The word for today is repentance.
“And [John the Baptist] would say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!'” (Matthew 3:2)
The Greek word here for repent is metanoiete which is related to nous (which is New Testament Greek for “mind”). Metanioete in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon means to “change one’s mind” whereas the Jewish New Testament Commentary (JNTC) adds “to have a complete change of heart.” The JNTC goes on to say, “The underlying Hebrew concept [of the Greek word “metanioete” or “repent” (KJV)] is expressed in the [Hebrew] word “t’shuvah [which means] “turning” or “returning”… which is in the context of religious behavior means “turning” from one’s sins and “returning” to God. Note that there is not only a “from” but a “to;” for turning from one’s sins is impossible unless at the same time one turns to God – otherwise one only turns from one set of sins to another!”
A long time ago the Spirit of our Lord gave me a quick revelation into this passage of scripture. Allow me to present the full text first…
Matthew 2:1-12 “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And you Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, are not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of you shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, see, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented to him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.”
The first thing I would like to point out is that Herod (although we know now that his motive was an evil one) asked the wise men from the east to find the baby Jesus (the son of God) so that he could involve himself in the worship of the one they sought after. This is the behavior of so many Christians in the western world today! They rely solely on the love, labor and daily efforts of others in the church to instruct them in the ways and paths of righteousness. We have more Bible’s today in the world than ever before, yet many sincere believers find it hard to even comprehend how much Jesus wants to speak to them personally. This only happens by cultivating (or developing) a personal habit of daily prayer and thorough study of the Word of God. This alone is the only sure foundation or framework of all who desire to walk humbly and honestly before the Lord.
Now back to the scripture – King Herod (had his heart and intentions been pure) would not have waited for the wise men to return to him – for who would want to depend on others when they themselves have the resources and finances necessary to realize their own dreams and achieve their own goals? Had Herod been actually seeking the Messiah to worship him, he would have at once left his earthly palace and gone with those whose hearts were set on seeing God. This is what happens to any who God chooses to call by his own name (see note 1).
Thus we can see that Herod was lazy (had he actually been called to love the new born king rather than destroy him) in his approach to “worshiping” Jesus. He wanted the wise men to do all the work and then bring him the fruit of their efforts as he sat back eating figs and the best that Palestine during his lifetime had to offer. He was content to do nothing but to selfishly take from what others had come thousands of miles to see with their own eyes and enjoy. This is unfortunately the same in much of Christianity today! We sit back and wait for our poor pastors to “feed us” when we ourselves should come to church already full and eager to be a blessing rather than a curse and a spiritually drain on the man or woman of God that is ministering that particular day! What a blessing it would be if everyone would do their own study and prayer at home and come to church ready to give back to someone else (particularly new Christians); rather than lay the entire burden solely on one (often overworked and underpaid) individual. This is the method of Herod – this was his style of worship!
How it must grieve the Holy Spirit that so many believers can watch hours and hours of television (or whatever else consumes your daily lives) and never once give two hoots as to what the Spirit is so desperately trying to say, especially in this generation! We are living on the brink of a total financial holocaust (yes folks, it is coming) and there is so much that still needs to be done before the Lord will return! Jesus needs all believers to come back to the basic principals of our faith – prayer, communion and a rich study of God’s precious Word if we are ever to become truly empowered and see spiritual fruit in our lives. Often Christians become discouraged in their walk with the Lord – and often this is the reason why. They rely to much on others to do for them what God wants them to do for themselves. That is all I have to say, my dearly beloved in the Lord. Chow!
1) A beautiful example of this is found only a few chapters later (Matthew 4:20) and also in Matthew 9:9 where the disciples of Jesus (those whom Yeshua called) instantly left everything they had to follow the one they were so destined to love. In chapter 4, the disciples were Andrew and his brother Peter, in chapter 9 it was the man that wrote this beloved gospel, Matthew.
I was reading this passage of scripture before church today as the worship leaders were warming up. I was in another room praying for the service when the Holy Spirit graciously allowed my eyes to fall upon this passage. Let me share with you what I found! It may be short but I believe may bless your heart and increase your desire and method of praying for the lost – especially those who are living in a perpetual state of rebellion against what they know to be the truth.
Psalms 83:16 states “Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek thy name O Lord!”
What an amazing verse. What boldness! “Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek thy face?” Let me give you the Hebrew here. The Hebrew word from which we get the English word shame is qâlôn (pronounced kaw-lone) which literally implies “shame, disgrace, dishonor, and ignominy” (see note 1). This word can be traced back one step back to its root word qâlâh (pronounced kaw-law’) which gives us a much stronger understanding of this passage and justifies my interpretation of this verse (see below). Qâlâh, the root word is much stronger and hence the King James uses such words as “to disgrace, dishonour, be lightly esteemed, be dishonoured, and be despised!” (again see note 1).
Thus, what the Hebrew psalmist can actually be saying is “Lord, let your enemies (those that take lightly your wonderful blessings) be so disgraced and despised (reproached, dishonored, etc) that they will mournfully turn back and begin to once again (or perhaps for the first time) seek thy wonderful face!” Amazing passage from the Old Testament! And who said there was no grace in the Old!
Let’s now look at the verse right above (verse 15): We read: “So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.”
I do not have time to dig deeper for more rich nuggets in the Hebrew right now, but rest assured these verses are a wonderful way to justify your prayers for your unsaved loved ones that you know are in a declined spiritual state – slumber so to speak. “O Lord, let something happen to them that they might find your mercy and forgiveness before it is too late!” Let them be so disgraced by those whom they seek to find shelter with that with hopes of your wonderful mercy they turn towards you!
I think of the prodigal son in the New Testament who lost everything and was eating out of the pigs trough (dining with the pigs as I like to call it…lol). All his light-hearted and worldly friends left him when his resources ran dry, and was thus left to fend for himself without the aide or blessings of his heavenly Father. He was filled with qâlâh (shame, reproach and dishonor)! Only then, did his thoughts turn towards home and mercy was knocking on the door! What a wonderful and such loving Heavenly Father we have who allows us to wind up in as many pig pens as is necessary to gently restore to us the true meaning of life and of finding purpose in God’s magnificent and everlasting Kingdom. May his grace and mercy be with you and your loved ones today – and dare to ask God to put those you know are currently rejecting him in a pigs pen – only that they may find his mercy and love before it is too late and they are swept away with all that reject God.
May God’s peace and mercy be upon you today – and pray for this blog as I know it is affecting at least one life… mine (and hopefully yours as well)!
Shalom and peace be to you and yours.
1. Taken from the Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions Concordance
“Then drew near unto him (Jesus) all the publicans and sinners to listen to the words of Yahweh. And the pharisees and scribes (or religious teachers) murmured, saying, “This man loves (or receives) sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:1-2 (A Mixed Translation)
In these our modern times, not much has changed in the two thousand years its been since Jesus (or Yahweh – as that is his rightful name) lived among us. I have been in many churches that (as unbelievable as it is) wants absolutely nothing to do with sinners – or those outside the church. “Oh, they might mess up the carpet, or steal our sound equipment.” What terrible fools and betrayers of God’s holy words! Jesus himself said “love your enemies, pray for them which despitefully use you and yes even persecute you. I am in no way implying that we should allow an obvious threat to be among our children – but in this day and age (and especially in America) Christians value their love for entertainment, safety and pleasure more than they do the things of God!
Going back to the scripture at hand: Jesus hates the sin of self righteousness above all others, because Christians already have God’s approval and blessings and are commanded to love who are in our estimation – unlovable. The greatest sin for a true born again believer is the sin of pride and of selfishness – as we have so much to be grateful for! Those of us who live in a free and prosperous nation do not have to worry much about where our next meal is coming from, or where we will get the money to pay items such as basic health care. Jesus condemned (better yet damned -a very strong word – see note 1) the hypocrites of his day time and time again with a holy and violent passion. His whole life was that of reaching out to the undeserving and the less fortunate! He hated the fact that those that knew the Torah (or Old Testament) the most chose to keep what they thought believed was the “divine word” all to themselves. Thus, when Jesus (the Living Word) walked among them, they were afraid. Jesus himself said in so many words that he came “not to win the self righteous (those who in their own estimation deserved the blessings of the one true God) but those that knew in their heart that they needed and were drawn to gentle and loving Savior.”
What an awful place it will be on the judgement day when those who once enjoyed the blessings of our Christ are exposed as false teachers and haters of his most beloved creation – people. What wailing and weeping there will be for those that throughout their whole life chose to harshly and coldly condemn all of mankind (especially blatant sinners), rather that trying to extend themselves to help save.
Listen to what Rambam’s Mishneh-Torah (a Jewish Commentary written in 1178 by Moses Maimonides – a great Jewish philosopher and lover of the Torah) has to say about sinners who repent. This is in direct relation to our wonderful passage in Luke 15. Rambam’s Mishneh reads [concerning Jews who wish to repent] “Let not the Jew who repents/returns to [Orthodox] Judaism suppose that because of the iniquities and sins that he has committed he is kept at a distance from the level attained by righteous men. It isn’t so. He is loved as tenderly by the Creator as if he had never sinned. Not only that, his reward is great, since he experienced the taste of sin and nevertheless rid himself of it by conquering his yetzer (or evil impulse). The sages (or wise men) said, ‘Where the ba ‘al-t’ shuvah (or Jew who repents) stands, the completely righteous man cannot stand’ (B’ rakhot 34b). That is, the level attained by the ba ‘al-t’ shuvah [Jew who repents] is higher than that of someone who never sinned at all, because the former had to strive harder to subdue the yetzer than the latter.”
I love this commentary because it embraces what we as Christians know to be true and what Jesus Christ himself said earlier in Luke 7:47: “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little, loves little.” (NIV) This Jesus spoke of the former prostitute Mary Magdalene, of which he entirely forgave.
Summary: What a terrible day it will be for hypocritical, self righteous Christians who refused to lend a hand to those who are in need and who knew God’s word and thoughts on topics such as love and forgiveness when they stand before the judgment seat of Christ! Jesus paved the way for us by setting a wonderful example as recorded in Luke 15 by gladly welcoming sinners and even eating with them. How often do you as a Christian make a habit of eating a meal with a complete stranger, who you know is not on the right pathway to eternal salvation? In this day an age, many people outside the church relish in body art (tattoos), radical haircuts and body piercings. I myself to this day wear my hair different than anyone else I know in the church because to me it is not a sin. In fact, it is an evangelistic effort! This particular style of hair (a short, but readily identifiable mohawk) allows me easier access to those who are offended by typical western holy dress: -namely the three piece suit and ever so perfectly tied tie. Though the outward dress may offend you, we must be ever so loving toward people as Jesus so desperately wants our generation to know that they are loved -regardless of what they look like or no matter how many bad things they have done. He hung on a cross between two thieves, after being brutally beaten just to show his love for all of mankind. He was numbered with the transgressors and chose to touch during his earthly ministry the unlovely, the tax collector and the transgressor. God help us as Christians to be ever so careful with those whom the Lord allows us to come in contact with! You might never know when you might see Jesus staring right back at you smiling as you reach out to touch someone else in order to ease their pain. I try to find Christ in everyone I meet – regardless of their outward appearance or social status. Don’t even get me started on race!
1. (coming soon)
The Sermon on the Mount
A Note to the Reader...
It is highly advised to follow the notes and not to skip them as I have spent much time in preparing them. They in essence are the framework and contain many of the justifications from which these but rough points have been attained. This is just a preview of the work I have been working on for years and is finally coming to the surface. This study, in its entirety will be published as a “page” on the sidebar of this website when it is completed. Until then, every verse will receive its own post and new notes will be added keeping the current numbering system. Some places will be left blank (as can be seen in this first post) as often there is more that I would like to write but can’t (for some particular reason or another). This is unfortunate but necessary, mainly due to some taxing, yet irreversible time restrictions and other such limitations (often self-imposed), such as how much I can type at one time without getting sick and other weaknesses of the human experience. Thank you for your time, thoughtfulness and comments in advance, and may God richly bless you.
John Mark Butzu
“Now having seen the crowds, He went up into the mountain, and after He had sat down, His disciples came to Him.” (Analytical Literal Bible Translation)
This is a very interesting verse. The first part of this passage reads: “Now having seen the crowds…” (please see note 1). As a pastor, the first thing I would have wanted to do if I saw crowds would be to run to them and proclaim the good news. But Jesus had another thought in mind.
- “He went up into the mountain.”
Scripture indicates that Jesus often went up into a mountain to be alone. This was his customary experience since he was of age to be alone with the heavenly Father. It really didn’t matter where he went to pray, but for sure mountains were a very real and logical place for holy men and women of God to go and commune with the one that they loved and wanted to be around. Moses and Elijah are just two of the many wonderful examples of such people who the Bible actually records that chose to pray a safe distance away from the people they were destined to rule over (at least in the spirit) on the sides or tops of such places. What better way for a prophet or watchman to get alone with God than to sit on the beautiful mountainous landscapes of Palestine that overlooked the beauty of God’s wonderful creation and pray of his or her people. This interpretation /suggestion/nuance is often overlooked and skipped over when read but is in my estimation crucial to the text of Matthew 5-8, otherwise known as the Sermon on the Mount.
- Next: It was only after he was “ready” (or “set” KJV) that his disciples came to him. (please see note 2)
This also I found to be very interesting especially in light of the comment above. Let me quote from the Jewish New Testament Commentary of which I am a huge fan: “The English word “disciple” fails to convey the richness of a relationship between a rabbi and his “talmidim” (please see note 3). These followers, or talmidim “wholeheartedly gave themselves over to their teachers (though not in a mindless way, as happens today in some cults). The essence of the relationship was one of trust in every area of living, and its goal was to make the “talmid” (see note 4) like his rabbi [in this case Jesus] (please see note 5) in knowledge, wisdom and ethical behavior.” Sometime we just have to go back to the original language folks!
- All scripture has been carefully selected. Unless otherwise indicated, all Biblical quotations been taken from the Analytical Literal Translation Bible.
- The Greek word for “set” is “kathazo” and means much more than to just sit down. I believe that Jesus needed the space to be able to pray away from his disciples and to recharge his natural energies as well as his spirit before delivering one of the greatest sermons ever preached. Allthough Jesus was God, he became a man for our sakes, and thus needed to pray like anyone else.
- “Talmidim” is the Hebrew word for disciple.
- “Talmid” is the plural form of Talmidim, above.
- Brackets (hence [, ]) have been used to add my own thoughts within a direct quotation.
I changed the theme of this website after 5 years or so – I got sick of the red and white! If you do not like the new colors – or think that because the title of my website is now no longer capitilized (thanks wordpress) that my website is now irreverent then please feel free to tell me either my comment or email. Send me a quick comment and I will happily send you my current email address to chat.
Thanks and shalom!
Do you ever feel like at times you are so alone?
Do you ever feel like you cannot handle the things that God has set before you to accomplish for his name’s sake?
Do you ever worry about what the future may hold both for you and those whom you love?
Then take courage – you are not alone.
The holy spirit has brought to my mind two things that Jesus prayed that should help those who are afflicted at this time with worry and doubt about their own salvation, and with the problems of this quickly passing life.
Beloved, try to stay rest assured on the following prayers that Jesus our Lord himself prayed during his short life on earth:
1) Not my will but thine be done – this must happen in order for the next step to happen which is…
2). Father into your hands I commend my spirit. When this happens even the devil has no reason to test you any longer. Yes, the devil may from time release some rage against you for being an obedient follower of the cross of Jesus Christ but only because that is his nature. In the book of Job (after Job passed his test from God – having lost all that he loved and held dear to his heart) satan was commanded by our Christ to leave him alone. The devil is only allowed to test the children of God for so long. These past few months have been very difficult personally for me and my family but with God’s help we will make it through.
Just remember this when you think or know that you are being tested.
1) Suffering is fastest and most sure fire way to be close to Jesus.
2) Jesus’ whole life was filled with pain and suffering – for he came from God and was waiting to return to God to be with the Father in glory.
2) Without suffering, we are unable to become the kind of spiritual Christains God has destined us to be.
3) Jesus the lamb of God endured more opprression and evil affliction than us all – because he was sinless from his own natural birth.
4) He left us his holy spirit to be our best friend, companion and comforter in times of distress and suffering.
5) Those that do not suffer are not really His… Even Jesus learned obedience through the things by which he suffered (Hebrews 5:8). Hebrews 12:6 says: “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
My prayer is… Jesus take the pain from my heart that I may see others clearly.
O Lord I search for you – I long for you – my king and my God
You have kept me safe when I was in harm
You have provided shelter for me when I was in a dark place
You have kept me from all the enemy’s tactics to destroy my life
You have been the reason I wake up with a song in my heart
Each morning I am in you
I love you Yehovah – My King and my God
I love you more and more each day
Jesus, I love you
Thank you for your mercy for my life and for those whom you have blessed me with the opportunity to minister to –
I love you more than life itself
For you are the provider of my life and all that is good comes from you
You are my heart’s desire and my meditation
You are my source of strength and joy
All my blessings comes from you
Jesus stretched out his hands on a cross for you… not to mention being in sheer agony from the beatings he had previously received.
What are you doing to show you love him today?
Hebrews 13:15 “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
Let us look at this verse carefully.
First, it is through him that we offer up our praise – this is not something we can take credit for for we know that without him we are nothing.
Second, it is a sacrifice of praise – thanking the Father through his son Jesus Christ for our every blessing, wants and spiritual needs.
Thirdly, this should be done continuously throughout the day – as this is the only recipe for our spiritual success.
Fourthly, this verse states it must come from our mouth – although I am sure Jesus wants us to think about him within our own heads continually throughout the day and not get fired at work for babbling like an idiot – yet when we are alone there is nothing more that the heavenly father loves more than to hear our praise for it makes even the demons tremble at the sound of his name.
Fifthly and lastly, we must give God thanks to his name – for his name all encompasses why we love him so much – for it is his character.
Have a great day!
Just a little tidbit of Greek for you all that I hope you will enjoy.
In Revelation 3:21 the Bible states”to him who overcomes…”
That word overcomes is the Greek word “nikao” from which the company athletic shoe company “Nike” was founded on. It basically means to carry off victorious or “victory” for short (to overcome, to rule, etc.)
Thus, every time you see a nike show or a commercial we can remember the blood of Jesus as being victorious for our sins – thus making us Nike… overcomers.
Hi – I checked the view count – almost 5000 hits!
I guess someone is reading this stuff after all!
If you know anyone who you think would benefit from these pages please help me advertise by sharing my blog with others.
I lost a really good domain that I would so love to have back.
Take care and have a pleasant weekend.
Brothers and sisters: I just woke up from a terrible dream. Out Christ suffered so much – the Bible says beyond recognition (see the book of Isaiah). He was kicked, tortured and yes – probably pissed on. What are you doing for him?
P.S. I normally would hate to write words like that on my blog – Jesus wanted me to make this dream real to you the best way I know how without an offensive title. I gave you the children’s version of my dream – it was too painful to even write down.
Hebrews 13:3 states: “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them–those who are mistreated–since you yourselves are in the body also.”
When we take communion, we must identify with the whole body of Christ, not just those within our own walls and man made devices. Remember the Lord Jesus, how he was betrayed, and how Christian brothers and sisters all over the world our literally dying for their faith – especially in Muslim and Communist countries. We must be diligent to remember these dear brothers and sisters in the Lord and help them whenever and wherever we can – especially financially – as many do not even have enough to eat. One website I have found that is of particular interest to me is the Voice of The Martyrs. They have a magazine they send out free of charge (God bless them) that updates us as to the status of believers in persecuted countries all over the world. I highly suggest and reccomend that you order this magazine for yourself, neighbors and friends as the article I am sure will touch your heart. This is all I have to say for now, my beloved.
Jesus commands us to trust others – even when our natural minds say no!
1st Corinthians chapter 13 says love believes all things.
Not to be stupid about this – but we need to give people, especially those in the church our best ear and sympathy as they cry out to us, telling us of their hurts and pain.
Personally, I feel this is one of the greatest testaments to God’s grace – when we really learn to love and trust others despite of the chance to be wounded yet again.