Enter the Narrow Way

sycamore_200414A profound spiritual experience seems necessary for one to engage the pathway of truth. Yeshua described it as being born again, which is certainly a profound personal spiritual experience. It happened to Zacchaeus when Yeshua called him out and offered to eat at his house. Having the Son of God accept you, particularly when society has rejected you, is a profound personal spiritual experience. Cornelius experienced it via an angelic visitation that brought about the sharing of the good news of Yeshua, by Peter. Nathanael and all the apostles had profound personal spiritual encounters with Yeshua, but we don’t have anything recorded about Judas having any sort of profound encounter with Yeshua. He was a friend, but did he even believe that Yeshua was the Messiah. His judgment of the woman who anointed Yeshua’s feet with expensive oil, was overruled by Yeshua, whereas the woman clearly had a profound personal spiritual experience drying His feet with her hair, and hearing Him say she had done a noble thing.

The thing about Yeshua is that He never died and lives today. The Holy Spirit is one with Yeshua and Father God, and He is the Person with whom people today have a profound personal spiritual experience. Much happens thereafter, for example, affirmation of Truth, truth of God’s word – the Bible; release from worldly bondage, baptism – becoming a new person; joining with the family of God on earth – the Church, and more. Maturing in one’s faith by perseverance in difficulty, testing of our faith, and persecution in this fallen world are means by which we grow in likeness to Yeshua, who also endured these things and in greater magnitude.

I have heard different terms for this new spiritual birth, one very worldly psychologist used the phrase, “a significant emotional event”, which he observed in the life of true christians; that served as an explanation for the life changing transformation he could not deny nor explain. Because he was an unbeliever he had no concept of the spiritual life and therefore substituted emotional for spiritual. “But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.” (2 Peter 2:12).

This is no attempt to lay out a new theology or requirement, but simply observing what happened in scripture and what has been a common experience with other believers. We have Calvin’s Institutes and many other books and professionals who speak of requirements. I’m calling you to reflect back on your profound personal spiritual experience, to contemplate how far your pilgrimage with Yeshua has come. Recall His loving-kindness; the difficulties through which He delivered you; the discipline that taught you the way of humility; the times of refreshing beholding the beauty of the Lord, and to praise the Lord.

A Three Faceted Blessing

joyouly-giving-thanks-2-728What amazing grace and love believers have received, to be called Children of God. (1 John 3:1). It is a theme of our praise to God. I remember years ago someone came up with a bumper sticker that said, “Found it”, meaning that he found eternal Life in Yeshua Messiah, perhaps referring to Matt. 13:44-46 or Romans 10:20. It was popular in the Christian community but unbelievers ridiculed it because they could not understand. Believers can’t stop marveling in the grace and mercy of salvation.

“Father God, who has qualified us Read More »

Spiritual Israel and God’s Promise

gods-chosen-people.png“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus Read More »

Discerning God’s Will

f9a287f6f15c70bd6063af2081108ca9George Muller, the man of great faith, said he did not have a gift of faith as mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:9, his was the same faith of any other child of God.  The most convincing explanation of this was that he simply believed that if the work he was doing was God’s work, God would supply it.  This is further supported by the lengths to which he went to establish that a matter was in accordance with God will.  Once a woman offered to rent her house to him for an orphans house.  As he pondered, he observed Read More »

Legacy

imagesThere is an awful lot of legacy software in use by companies throughout many industries.  Legacy software is old software, outdated by current standards, that is still in use.  It may not be the most efficient, fastest, or look slick, but it works and gets the job done, which makes it worth keeping.  A person’s legacy is the gist and meaningfulness of one’s life work.  When I was in my early forties I had a mid-life crisis, I didn’t buy a sports car or Harley, but I longed for meaning, for virtue and significance.  Now some twenty years later I listened to a talk about significance and meaningfulness and I considered Read More »

The Dominion of Darkness

article-2242722-1657FE04000005DC-339_634x474.jpgI’ve been thinking of what could be done to quiet the liars who fill our airways today.  Darkness is the domain of evil, injustice, wickedness, lies, theft, murder, assault, immorality, avarice, malice, hate, tyranny, bondage, oppression, rage, lust and greed.  “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness…” (Rom. 1: 18-32).  “To crush underfoot all prisoners in the land, to deny people their rights before the Most High, to depriveRead More »

Muller’s Experience

refreshed_origAfter George Muller had been sick for a while he related an experience during that period when the Lord helped him in prayer.

“No sooner had I begun to pray than His Spirit shone into my soul and gave me such a spirit of prayer as I have not enjoyed for many weeks.  He graciously revived His work in my heart.  I enjoyed that nearness to God and fervency in prayer for more than an hour. My soul had been panting for many weeks for this sweet experience.”

I believe this is an experience many believers can relate with, in one fashion or another. Since I am an intercessor like Muller, I find God’s presence in fervent prayer, but I know Read More »

The Gospel of John

hqdefaultThere is a movie with this title by The Visual Bible International.  It is outstanding and I watch it again and again.  The words and events depicted are a faithful representation of the book of John in the bible.  The story of Yeshua talking with the Samaritan women at the well is superb, the visual depiction of this conversation is simply powerful in the Spirit.  It is the most direct admission made by Yeshua that He is the Messiah.  Yeshua gives a prophetic word to the woman, who clearly was looking with hope for the coming Read More »

Joseph and Yeshua Sons of Israel

7d34eae1368d5e58a21250b330f12956Joseph is one of my favorite Bible persons, not because I relate with him, but because he is an archetype of Yeshua.  Joseph was loved by his father and was given a multi-colored coat.  Joseph had communication with God and was able to interpret God’s messages to others – He heard and understood God.  Yeshua said He only did and said what Father God did and said. (John 5:19; 8:28).  Yeshua was loved and anointed by Father God with the Holy Spirit that descended as a dove. (Luke 3:22).  Joseph was misunderstood by his family, as was Yeshua.  Joseph suffered unjustly at the hands of his brothers, and by Potiphar as a consequence of his wife’s lies regarding Joseph’s propriety. (Gen. 39: 7-19). Yeshua was Read More »

Seeing People In Truth

old-protestant-cemeteryMy parents were each raised on the farm during the great depression.  Consequently, they shared many customs and perspectives. One was “Decoration Day”, where everyone went to the family grave yard and set out flowers by the ancestors headstones. It was how they observed Memorial Day.  So, this Memorial day weekend, we did the same thing although it was not planned, but sheer serendipity.

We roamed around looking at the graves, trying to make out Read More »

From Start To Finish

Tower-of-Babel3During man’s first thousand years or so mankind honed his wickedness, a turning point began when he decided to build a tower to heaven.  God saw this and out of His great mercy He confused the language of men and separated them across the face of the earth. Over the next  several thousand years kingdoms of men rose up and fought wars in an attempt to rule the entire world, these are enumerated in a vision given to Nebuchadnezzar and interpreted by Daniel, the Prophet of God.  The vision of a statue Read More »

Realizations of Truth

psalm_119_121___daily_bible_verse_by_bible_quote-d9dkxj5You are not good and you cannot be good in any significant and material degree or in
any way that actually matters at all.
You cannot do anything that is good, your good intentions and efforts to do good deeds are insignificant; you can however, forgive those who hurt you and mistreat you, and you can be kind to them or at least not strike back in word or deed.You can not supply for yourself in any complete sense, your immediate wants maybe temporarily mollified, but they can not be satisfied.  Your awareness of your need may be distracted, but the need remains.  For example, you need ample nutritious meals with all sorts of minerals, vitamins, protein, fat, calories, etc.  You can get some candy or ice cream, which will tide you over for a while, but without a continuous supply of food you will starve.

You can not

Read More »

What I Need and Need Not

psalms-51-10Sometimes we reach a point where a repurposing of all things not surrendered to God the Father, is necessary. (Rom.12:2). Yeshua described it…”If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:23).  If there is to be any encouragement, any love and peace, any satisfaction and rest; then it must come from God and flow to others. (Eph. 2:4,8; Rom. 5:12; Gal.5:13).  My destiny is not contingent on having friends, nor anything others seem to have or desire.  My destiny is dictated by the presence and work of God within my innermost Read More »

Things Hidden and Revealed

Matthew-6.1-4There are some things that are to be hidden and others that are to be shown to others. “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5: 15-16).  Yeshua said this in the context of saying that believers are the salt and light of the world.  Salt is a preserving agent and light illuminates all upon which it shines.  Our good deeds are to bring glory to the Father in heaven.  Read More »

Seek His Face

Jesus“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” (1 Chronicles: 16:11).

“For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.” (Ps 11:7).  “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us.” (Ps. 67:1).

The blessing and favor of God is His presence and attention.  Yet, in our fallen human nature and among the corruption, pain, injustice and suffering of this world, we can lose our focus, wander from the source of life, and be overcome by distraction.  Still, there is hope in the merciful compassionate Father God.  “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short Read More »

Yeshua’s Mission In A Few Words

 

dawn over calm atlantic ocean in floridaTo describe completely all that Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus Hebrew name) accomplished, did, was, and is would take more books than the whole world could contain. (John 21:25).  However, Isaiah offers a very encouraging description of it in a few verses;  “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise Read More »

Be Devoted To Prayer

 

f504353e9b7f7956d7689c63ccd0df5aBe devoted to prayer is the exhortation in Colossians 4:2.  You will find this a very simple thing do to as you walk and live in the leading of the Holy Spirit.  As with many things Spiritual, we have believed lies that it was either a concentrating strained effort or else a drudgery. On the contrary, praying in the Spirit is as natural to a born again Spirit filled believer as being joyful and awake.  In our own fleshly effort it would be a poor excuse for effective prayer.

Scripture encourages us to pray constantly, (Acts 1:4, Thess. 1:11).  This is done as we listen to the Spirit in our heart Read More »

True Confession

scan0021The Bible teaches and proves that nothing is impossible with God. (Mark 10:27). Evolutionists believe anything is possible with enough time and chance.  Flying enough flags for long enough will cause the threads of a flag to unravel and re-weave itself into a three-piece suit.  Given enough time a sunken ship will dissolve and rust down to produce  twenty-four lawn jockeys, three flying saucers, five golden rings, and a partridge in a pear tree.

I dreamed that my grand-daughter came up to my wife; she was about four years old and had curly dark auburn hair long and thick.  Since this does not describe any of my existing grand children we thought, maybe, this is a baby yet to be born.  How precious this child Read More »

One Caught in Adultery

790c1a45537771bbc69fc1c1b6552ffbIn John 8: 3-11, we read about the woman caught in adultery.

“The Pharisees  made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.  But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him….”

We are told that this was a trap for Yeshua, if he failed to condemn her, they could rightly accuse Him.  He did not Read More »

Spiritual Authority

3c7349b44406a5a7689433cfd0f69565This is an extremely important topic that touches on rebellion, reliance on faith, judgment, the work of God, blessing and more.  A proper understanding of Spiritual Authority is critical to submission thereto. Most important is an understanding of the sovereignty of God for without this one may experience confusion, restlessness, and openness to deception by the enemy.  Because we are discussing a spiritual matter a fundamental knowledge of who and how the Holy Spirit deals with His people is relevant to the entire topic, e.g. the Spirit is contrary to natural worldly reason. So, Spiritual Authority is not based on conjecture and rational analysis, but by God’s anointing, and those under authority.

The scripture has Read More »

God’s Word

6531c025b611c78865fbc1d66d0a0d30Every word of God proves true. (Prov. 30:5).  We may not understand His every word in its entirety, today.  However He is able to make Himself known and we have no excuse for failing to acknowledging Him, even though our understanding may be  shallow.  Relying on the truth of His Word will bring light to our understanding, as we open our hearts to receive it in faith.  So, we begin with the knowledge of the creator God and inherently understand our weakness, fallibility, and sinfulness.  Yes, we have the knowledge of good and evil within us, even a small child can understand Read More »

The Works of God

flat800x800070f-u2Good works have been prepared in advance for believers to do. (Eph. 2:10).  No amount of good works will save a man.  “If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God.  What does Scripture say?  ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’  Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation.  However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.” (Rom. 4:2-5).

How are the good works Read More »

The Prophetic Gift

agabusThe Old Testament Scriptures includes many prophets of God leading to John the Baptist.  The prophets of old spoke much of the Messiah and His coming, with amazing specificity. All prophecy was given by God, and it is to be tested to make certain.  There were and remain false prophecies and false prophets.  A message from the Holy Spirit will not contradict the scripture.  Prophecy is for the encouragement and strengthening of the Church.

Agabus was a New Testament prophet. (Acts 11:28; 21:10).  The New Testament contains much about the administration of the gift of prophecy and states that it is to be desired.  It is not only foretelling a future event, but Holy Spirit inspiredRead More »

Made In The Image Of God

id-picture-of-man1God is a three-part person, one God of three inseparable, yet distinct parts.  We are made in God’s image, we look like Him, and that image encompasses the trinity. (Gen. 1: 26-27; Gen 5:1; Gen. 9:6).  It might be that we are unique, as are other heavenly creatures and it may be that the human distinction is being a three-part being. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Ps. 139:13-16).

We do not always perceive ourselves either created in God’s image nor as having three inseparable parts.  The scripture says it was God’s idea and that He made us for fellowship with Him. (1 John 1:3; 1 Cor. 1:9).  God Read More »

Wrath and Fear

pilgrims-progress-18“John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?” (Luke 3:7)

Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan is the most read book besides the Bible.  It was published in 1678 and has never been out of print.  It is an allegory about Christian who lives in, and subsequently leaves, the City of Destruction. Christian learns that the city will soon be destroyed and he urges his friends, neighbors, and family to flee the coming wrath.  They refuse his warning, seeing no sign of imminent danger, but Christian leaves on his own, although burdened with a load of sin.

This kernel of truth that Bunyan illustrates Read More »