Friday, June 15, 2018

The Christ





Image result for Messiah


Daniel Interprets the Dream

Dan 2:31 “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, 38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. 39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage,but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”



Yes, the Scriptures promised Messiah would come during the time of the Roman kings. Augustus set the stage, and died when Jesus was about 18 years old, in 14 AD. Tiberias was Roman Emperor when Jesus was crucified, represented by Pontius Pilate.


The people of Jesus' time were expecting the Messiah. It was time. It should be a descendant of Judah. 

Gen 49:8 “Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father's sons shall bow down before you.

9 Judah is a lion's cub;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down; he crouched as a lion
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?

10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,

nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

11 Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey's colt to the choice vine,
he has washed his garments in wine
and his vesture in the blood of grapes.

12 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.



He should be born in Bethlehem.

Micah 5 English Standard Version (ESV)


The Ruler to Be Born in Bethlehem

5:1 Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops;
siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge of Israel
on the cheek.

2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.



And He should enter Jerusalem riding on the foal of a donkey.

The Coming King of Zion

Zech 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and he shall speak peace to the nations;
his rule shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

11 As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.




Yes, Jesus is the promised Messiah. He fits the picture. Psalms 22 and Isaiah 53. He fulfills the promises. He is the Lion of Judah. Luke recorded the genealogy through Mary, mother of Jesus,

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

Luk 3:23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.



The legal genealogy through Joseph is given by Matthew. This would have been the recorded lineage for Jesus in the legal records.


Matthew 1 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah,11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.


Since Jesus fulfills the promises about Messiah, why did so many of His own nation refuse to believe in Him? The problem is that they were expecting a warrior king like David who would lead them in physical battle against the oppressing Roman authority. The Prince of Peace did not fit their concept. Jesus explained to Pilate that His kingdom is different.


My Kingdom Is Not of This World

John 18:33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”




http://rgonce.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-truth.html

His kingdom is in the hearts of all those who believe in and follow Him.  He is our King. He is our High Priest. He is our Prophet.  He is the anointed of God. He is Messiah, the Lion of Judah.


Related image

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Good Shepherd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c743UCrREJs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQSNiHtCF5g

Related image 



https://www.bible-history.com/sketches/ancient/sheep-fold.html

Ancient Sheep Fold


John 10 English Standard Version (ESV)
I Am the Good Shepherd

10:1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.


The shepherd enters the sheepfold by the door, and is known by the gate keeper.  This speaks to the authority given by the Father to Jesus to enable Him to lead the sheep.  Jesus was qualified by His suffering.


Hebrews 5 English Standard Version (ESV)

5:1 For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. 3 Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

5 So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,

“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”;

6 as he says also in another place,

“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”

7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.


Jesus is the door to the place of safety.  Previous pretenders  were selfish, and interested in what they could gain, interested in what power they could wield. So the sheep did not follow them.  But Jesus is the way.  

John 10:7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 


Abundant life! Life is more than these temporary things that constrain our focus. Abundant life is life with Jesus, eternal life. As Paul says, the troubles of this life are not worth comparing with our eternal glory which we receive in the sheep fold.

Future Glory

Rom 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Yes, the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.  Such is His love, that He is not willing that any should perish, but all should have eternal life by faith in Him


Jn 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I knJoow my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

The Good Shepherd loves even the lost. He leaves the 99 who are safe and goes in search for the one who is lost. Such love gives encouragement when we find we have wandered away. Jesus is seeking the lost, and wants us back with the flock. We sheep need to share His love for the lost.

Luke 15 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

15:1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.













Rejoicing at finding the lost sheep



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxSpSOV0Ek4

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Light

https://www.youtube.com
/watch?v=vrw-k7bl3KE&index=7&list=PLPhb5GPf3Rfc944An2iDh_kTHkrKhoCED

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbAsH4a3T_g&list=PLPhb5GPf3Rfc944An2iDh_kTHkrKhoCED&index=11

Image result for jesus light of the world


Light gives us vision, while darkness is the absence of light.  Without light, we cannot see.  Jesus gives us Himself as a pattern for our walk, so that we can see where we are going.  He is the light of the world, and all who reject Jesus are in darkness. 

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.


Jesus here talks to us about our perception, our values judgment, what is important to us.  He shows that selfishness is darkness, and helping others is light.  He showed the way by giving Himself as a sacrificial offering to pay the price of sin, so that all who believe in Him may have life.

John 1 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.



His life is the light of mankind. That light shined in a Pagan world, full of darkness. Even many of His own people rejected Him, and they demanded His crucifixion. But the darkness could not overcome the light. The resurrection burst forth with a beam of light that spread from Jerusalem into all the world.
http://rgonce.blogspot.com/2013/02/ezekiels-river.html

Light has come into the world

Jn 3:12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
For God So Loved the World

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Whoever does what is true comes to Jesus. If you want to see clearly, things as they are, then you must come to Jesus.  He gives us clear sight. He gives us a clean heart.  

How do we come to Jesus?  First we must know who He is, He is the Messiah, the Son of God.  We learn about Him from those who wrote the four gospels.  We learn about Him from fulfilled prophecy in the ancient Jewish scriptures. We learn about Him from history.  And we learn about Him from being with those who follow Him. 

1 Corinthians 15 English Standard Version (ESV)
The Resurrection of Christ

15 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.


Yes, God chose things that mankind cannot see by our natural vision, things that make no sense to us from a worldly perspective, a man dying on a cross beside the road to Jericho, at Mt. Calvary, to save those who believe. 


Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

1 Cor 1:18  For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”


Yes, those in darkness cannot see. They say that all religion is equally good or bad, take your pick.  They say there is no truth based moral system, but each person should decide for themselves what is good or bad. They say that personal responsibility is not that important, and that personal needs should be supplied by the state, without regard to personal conduct. 

But the Bible teaches that we reap what we sow,  and we need light to be blessed.  Darkness whispers that we can establish ourselves by our own power.  Light says we are established by the Power of God when we come into the light.  Jesus is that light, that gives eternal life to all who believe.

Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

A community of believers in Jerusalem showed how we should live with regard to vision and light. They came to Jesus, and shared His light with each other daily..

Acts 2:29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”’

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

The Fellowship of the Believers

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Image result for 3000 baptized papua new guinea 




Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Life


Image result for empty tomb 
He lives, the Great I Am



Alive 
By Randolph Gonce 
May 29, 2018 


Just finished my morning coffee, 

I am alive. 

My shoulder and back ache, 

I am alive. 

Visiting with two of my grandsons, 

I am alive. 

Aware of my existence, 

I am alive. 

Thinking about eternity, 

I am alive. 

Knowing His love within me, 

I am alive. 

Filled with hope for eternity, 

I am alive. 



What is life? Physical life is evidenced by activity. Breath, heartbeat, and mental activity evidence the presence of life. 

There is another level of life, which involves our connection with our Creator. The death (end of life), pictured in the Garden of Eden story, is to be disconnected from the Creator. The Great I Am is life, and so long as we are connected with Him, we are alive, even if we have died physically. Our connection with Him must be evidenced by some activity, some spiritual heart beat, some evidence of His Spirit within us, some activity that demonstrates love.

Physical life is important, as it provides us the opportunity to be a blessing to others. But Eternal life is beyond comprehension in the blessing it provides of making us God’s glorious children in Eternity.

As Jesus faced death, He focused upon eternity as He prayed to the Father.



John 17 English Standard Version (ESV)
The High Priestly Prayer

17:1  When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.


Yes, Jesus wants us to share His eternal glory. Paul says that our present suffering is not worth comparing with the eternal glory we have in Jesus. 


Treasure in Jars of Clay

2 Cor 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.


So physical life is not the big deal, even though it is important, and gives us existence.  Without first having physical life, we would have no hope of eternal life. But we live our physical lives, and have the hope of eternal life by faith in the blood of Jesus. 

The Preeminence of Christ 

Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 


Jesus shows Himself alive to the disciples following His resurrection.  Seeing, they believe, even doubting Thomas.  Read this interesting story about Thomas in India.
http://rgonce.blogspot.com/2015/01/because-he-lives.html

Jn 20:26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

 Image result for Thomas examines Jesus wound 
Thomas sees and believes

The Purpose of This Book

Jn 20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.


Believing, have life in His name! 
I believe, I am alive.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB4KcleYiWM

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Truth

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u_NMSH3hR8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L8f43hTF2Q



Image result for jesus before pilate 


Jesus Before Pilate


My Kingdom Is Not of This World

John 18:33- So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 

34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 

35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 

36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 

37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” 

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 

38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

What is truth?

Truth is what is real. Truth is what exists. Truth is what is.

The modern world of the so called enlightenment laughs at the idea of inherent truth. Especially subject to ridicule is religious and Biblical truth.

The enlightened mind looks to science and the opinions of peers for that which to proclaim as truth. Except they are quick to admit that there is no coherent truth. There is my truth and your truth. Diversity is great, from the secular humanistic view. We need just to love and respect all cultural ideas, and get away from proclamations of established truth based on the Bible. 


But the proclamation that God is dead, and the proliferation of various atheistic humanist movements, brought with it the bloodiest century of history. The rejection of inherited values led to the reordering of governments, as the various socialist new world orders attempted to expand their rule of the world. 


https://islamthought.wordpress.com/2008/12/28/secularism-humanism-and-atheism-their-crime-against-humanity/

My truth and your truth, and a disregard for the evidence of history, leaves no platform for moral values. So everyone doing as they please within the context of secular law attempted to show the way forward. But disrespect for law and lack of respect for legal authority has eroded the historic Judaeo Christian foundations of society.

What does celebration of diversity actually mean? It means that there is no truth, and everyone should do as they please. It is what you feel and think that gives meaning to life; so eat, drink, and be merry. Life is just biology, and there are no eternal consequences.

But examination of history shows clearly that people who  have actually followed Jesus Christ by personal faith are tremendously blessed compared to all other societies that have ever existed.  There is truth that blesses in Jesus.

John 8:28 - So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

The Truth Will Set You Free

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 


33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.


Free!  The truth will set you free!!

Everyone longs for freedom. We want to be free from that which binds us. But the casting off of restraint, the casting off of God given moral values, produced the worst kind of bondage. Sin destroys. Sin produces shame. Sin brings death and destruction, as witnessed in the twentieth century.

Love is a word easily misused. Love as feeling has no great lasting value. Love as sacrifice, love as putting others first, love as loving God with all our mind, strength, and being, gives life. Love involves giving and discipline. Love requires responsibility.

How does truth set us free? It is Jesus who sets us free. He paid the bloody price for our mistakes by His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary.


Isaiah 53:4 -Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.



Image result for images of jesus on the cross at calvary  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly7ZhITWmm0&list=PL5dNRmExdE0D_IYvuXWiy70FhZg__i5CJ&index=52

http://rgonce.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-way.html


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Way

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcGF8syDAeA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AufoKyFT2e0&list=PL5dNRmExdE0D_IYvuXWiy70FhZg__i5CJ&index=68


Image result for the road less traveled

The Road Less Traveled


Proverbs 14:11-13 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
13 Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and the end of joy may be grief.


Proverbs 16:24-26 English Standard Version (ESV)

24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
26 A worker's appetite works for him;
his mouth urges him on.


No, all paths do not lead to the same place.  And mankind's perceptions do not establish reality.  Jesus came to the earth to reveal God, and to give us a path to salvation. Only the blood of Jesus can take away sins, so there is no other way to be right with God. All the good thoughts and positive energy in the world will not remove a single mistake.  The one who comes to Jesus and receives salvation will have eternal life.

Galatians 6:6-8 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

John 14 English Standard Version (ESV)
I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life

14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”


So take the path less traveled by the world that is seeking selfish pleasure.  Know Jesus and follow Him.  He is the way to Eternal Life.

How can you come to know Jesus?  First you must learn about Him; from family, friends, and from reading or hearing about His life and teaching from the Bible. But knowing about Jesus is not knowing Him.  You must be born again of water and the Spirit in order to enter the way to eternal life. 

Once you come to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He died for your sins, then you are called to repentance. Repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of path. You must get off the well traveled road to destruction and decide to follow Jesus.  

So repentance involves a decision that you make to follow Jesus.  When you make that decision, you must listen to the words of Jesus and Peter about baptism.  Baptism is God's work, not man's work.

The Great Commission

Matt 18:16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


Acts 2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.


So those who received his word were baptized.  They chose the road less traveled, the way to Eternal Life. And God added them to the number of His people. They became living stones in the house of God.

And this is how they lived.  

The Fellowship of the Believers

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

After forty years the temple at Jerusalem was destroyed and believers were scattered into other nations.  Believers were persecuted for their faith.  But all those who faithfully followed Jesus received eternal life. And they will be raised to eternal glory on resurrection day. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW74gxH5jUs&list=PLqk7PmhxKRBdjq3ZZ0MX5fqd2v6G3Ssbk&index=57

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Word



Image result
In the beginning was the Word

In the beginning, God created.  God spoke the universe into existence. The Word was a part of God’s being.  And the Spirit of God moved across the expanse of the creation.  God the eternal being with His Word and His Spirit, they are One God.



Genesis 1 English Standard Version (ESV)

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


                                                                           
The Word became flesh
The Birth of Jesus Christ

Matt 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 

24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Birth of Jesus Foretold

Luke 1 :26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.



The Word became flesh. A miraculous conception by the Power of the Holy Spirit took place in the womb of Mary. God’s power caused one of Mary’s eggs to begin growing, as Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary. Through Mary, Jesus is the son of David. Through the life giving Power of God, He is the Son of God.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul explains that the Word gave up equality with the Father to become a man, a servant, even to the point of death on a cross.


Phil 2: 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

When discussing that Jesus is fully God, we need to realize that from the time of his conception in the womb of Mary until His ascension into heaven, he was a man like us, subject to temptation and death. God cannot die. But Jesus for a time was a man who was tempted in all points like us, so that He can be our High Priest. He offered His own blood as a sacrifice for our sins. And by the Power of God He raised from the grave and ascended into heaven after forty days of witness following the resurrection. 
The writer of Hebrews informs us of the humanity of Jesus.   

Heb 2:5 For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere,

“What is man, that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that you care for him?
7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor,[a]
8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.”

Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying,

“I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”

13 And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”

And again,

“Behold, I and the children God has given me.”

14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

“You made him for a little while lower than the angels.” For a little while, Jesus gave up His divinity in order to suffer for us. But now Jesus has been given all power and authority, He is fully God, and will accomplish His purpose in overcoming sin. 

As Paul wrote:

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Image result for ascension of jesus  
Jesus ascends from the Mount of Olives