Friday, August 22, 2014


2077- TAKING THE LAND

Today we move along in our overview of the bible- and we get to the fulfillment of one of the promises God made to Abraham.
The taking of the promised land- Canaan.
We see the story in the book of Joshua- the people have spent 40 years in the wilderness- and they arrive at the river Jordan- getting ready to pass over into the land.

An interesting ‘door’ opens- God once gain does a miracle- like the parting of the Red sea.

The priests who were carrying the Ark of the covenant [This in itself deserves an entire post- the Ark and the meaning of the Tabernacle of Moses- but I have covered it lots in the past so I decided to skip it] step into the Jordan river- the water stops flowing- and the people pass over.

After the people pass thru- the priests come up out of the river- and the water flows again.

Now- the first city they take is Jericho- they send 2 spies into the city- a prostitute named Rahab hides the spies- and they make a deal with her.

When they come back later to take the city- she and those in her house will be spared.

In Hebrews 11 Rahab is considered a ‘hero’ of the faith- she is part of the genealogy of Christ himself- and yet was a harlot.

God’s mercy is great.

The Israelites march around the city for seven days- on the 7th day they march around the city 7 times- blow the trumpets and shout- the walls fall and they take the city with ease.

The next city is small- Ai- so they send about 3 thousand troops to take it- they fail miserably.

Joshua faces his first real test- he falls to the ground and says ‘why did you let this happen- we should have stayed on the other side of Jordan’ [sounds like the Israelites when they said ‘we should have stayed in Egypt’].

God tells Joshua that they failed to take Ai because there was ‘sin in the camp’.

Huh?

When they took Jericho- they had to ‘dedicate’ the booty to God- they were not supposed to take any treasure for themselves.

But Achan- one of the men- broke the rule and hid some stuff in his tent.
So- they ‘stone’ Achan- and the take Ai.
Eventually they take city by city- I like the imagery of the Ark preceding the territorial taking of the land.

When the children of Israel were in the wilderness 40 years- the Tabernacle of Moses and the Ark were the central part of the mobile community.

The tribes camped around the Ark- when God said ‘time to move’ they ‘un-pitched’ the tent- and off they went.

This is a type of Christ [he is the Word of God- the Ark was a box that held the Word of God- the 10 commandments- it was a type of Gods glory in the midst of the camp].

So- as the people take the Promise Land- this Ark plays a vital role- they are taking the land for the glory of God.

Jesus was the living Ark- and the 12 disciples- like the 12 tribes ‘gathered around the Ark’- see?

The name Joshua means ‘The Lord saves- gives victory’.
The Greek translation is Jesus.

Joshua was a type/symbol of Christ- who brings us into the Promised Land- presence of God.

He is the leader of the Lords army.
Right when Joshua was entering the land- he saw a commander with a sword.
He asks ‘who are you- are you for us or for our enemies’.

The angel answers ‘neither- but as commander of the Lords army I have now come’.
What message did he tell Joshua?
‘Take off your shoes- for the place where you are now standing is Holy Ground’.
In chapter 20 we read about the cities of refuge- these were cities dedicated for the safety of those who killed a person unintentionally.

The person who committed the murder would flee to the city- he would take refuge from the avenger of blood [the relative of the one killed] and he would abide in the city- until the death of the high priest.
Then he would be allowed to go back to his own city- and live as a free man.

I like this- it is a type of Christ and how we find refuge in him.

We are all guilty [whether we know it or not- unintentionally] of the death of Christ.

He died for the sins of the whole world.
But- because of God’s grace- he has made provision for us- the church [people of God- community of God] is like a city of refuge.

We can ‘flee’ to this city- and find safety.
Jesus is called our high priest in the New Testament.

Because of the death of our high priest- we can now go out from the city of refuge [the church is a pace of safety but we are ambassadors of Christ- there comes a time when we are to move out of the safety- confines- of the city of refuge] and enter into the true inheritance we have in God.

In chapter 24 Joshua gives a good overview of what we have been teaching on these last few weeks.

He recounts the promise of God to Abraham- that he would multiply his seed [kids] and give him a land.
Joshua reminds the people that God did indeed fulfill this promise.

Thru out the book the most repeated exhortation to Joshua [and the people] is to be brave- don’t fear- have courage.

They are told- time and again- to obey the word/law of God.

If they are to finish the mission that God has given them- they must put away their false idols.

I hesitate to add his last part- but I think I will.

These last few months [year?] I have had good friends- good people- who though they have overcome substance abuse [like me] yet- they have mentioned that thru the working of the 12 step program- the part that deals with- well- sex.
That they were taught that when you do the sex inventory [if that’s what it’s called?] that God has given us a conscience [true] and that therefore whatever your conscience leads you to do- is permitted.

Sort of along the lines of ‘whatever is not of faith is sin’- Romans.

Now- this is not the first time this has come up and when my friends share this with me [one- who is living in what the bible refers to as adultery] I tell them that in this area- you need to obey what God says [not what ‘your conscience’ has told you!]
This is one aspect of the 12 step program- that frankly- can kill you [or send a person to hell- if I may be so open].
Now- scripture teaches that adultery [any sex outside of the God ordained plan- marriage] is right under the sin of murder.

That is- it is not a small thing.

Most of the friends I know- who are free from a substance yet have lots of problems in life- they simply don’t see this act- sleeping- sex- etc. as wrong.

Ok- my purpose is not to preach to everyone who is in AA/NA- but this has come up more than once-

One time I was with a friend- whose life is in disarray- in my view- because of this very thing.

He has asked my advice- I even copied one of the posts I did for him- called AA and the sex issue.
As I sat in his living room- as he was struggling with what to do [many relationship problems with the person he is living with- someone who struggles herself with drug abuse- a nice girl- but relapses a lot].

I noticed he had one of the AA books open- and he had the page underlined that said something to the effect of what I mentioned above- that you develop your own view on sex- and what your conscience says- because it is God given- that’s what’s ok.

Look- as someone who has made many mistakes [sins] yes- I’m not judging here- but I will say that this is simply not correct.

I have had more than one occasion- this last year- where I said to girls I’m working with ‘I don’t cheat- I don’t sleep around’.
And I haven’t.

Why?

A big part of ‘taking the land’ is walking in obedience to God.

In the book of Joshua God gave them the land- but they were warned- time and again- to walk in the laws of God.

And this issue- sex- adultery- is at the top of the list.

So- I got side tracked to tell you this- but I think it’s a major problem.

Ok- Jesus is our Joshua- he leads us into the Promised Land- and he is the Captain of our Salvation- who was made perfect thru suffering [Hebrews].
If we- in our own lives- want to fulfill the will of God- we need to remember what the commander of the Lords army told Joshua when he met him

‘Take off your shoes- for the place where you stand is Holy ground’.

None of us is perfect- God has declared us righteous- holy- because of the death and resurrection of Christ.

Over time- this becomes lived out in our lives- we do indeed ‘sin less’- this is a big part of fulfilling the will of God in our lives.

I’ll end with a verse from chapter 1 of Joshua ‘this law of the Lord shall not depart out of your mouth- but you shall mediate on it day and night- that you may be careful to do all that is written in it- that you may be prosperous and have good success’.

Note- in Deuteronomy 7:22 we read an interesting thing- as a matter of fact read the whole chapter- these are instructions from Moses to the people about the taking of the Promised Land.

But Moses tells them ‘when you do take the land- God will not let you take it all at once- because then the wild beasts will overrun the land- but you will take a little at a time’.

I like this- in our lives God works progressively- I don’t intend to put a guilt trip on you [especially about the sex thing!]

But- over time- this issue is a big one- and I don’t think we can get around it.
Let God work in you – a little at a time- don’t expect to ‘take all the land’ at once.

It’s progressive- but over time- as you overcome- you will see that obeying God- in all areas- is the real key to success.

Joshua 1:1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,

Joshua 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
Joshua 1:6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
Joshua 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Joshua 2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.
Joshua 3:1 And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.
Joshua 3:2 And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host;
Joshua 3:3 And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
Joshua 3:4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.
Joshua 3:5 And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.
Joshua 3:6 And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.
Joshua 3:11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the LORD of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.
Joshua 3:12 Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.
Joshua 3:13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the LORD of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.
Joshua 5:10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.
Joshua 5:Joshua 11: And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.
Joshua 5:12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
Joshua 5:13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
Joshua 5:14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?
Joshua 5:15 And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
Joshua 6:2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
Joshua 6:3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
Joshua 6:4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
Joshua 6:5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
Joshua 6:6 And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.
Joshua 6:7 And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.
Joshua 6:17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
Joshua 20:1 The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying,
Joshua 20:2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:
Joshua 20:3 That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.
Joshua 20:4 And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.
Joshua 20:5 And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.
Joshua 20:6 And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.
Joshua 21:43 And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.
Joshua 21:44 And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.
Joshua 21:45 There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.
Joshua 23:9 For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day.
Joshua 24:2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
Joshua 24:3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.
Joshua 24:4 And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.
Joshua 24:5 I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.
Joshua 24:6 And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.
Joshua 24:7 And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.
Joshua 24:8 And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.
Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Deuteronomy 7:22 And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.








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Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook#] - I have posted lots. visit- ccoutreach87.wordpress.com- my radio shows.









Friday, August 15, 2014

2076- BREAD FROM HEAVEN [Radio Shows coming soon]
This week I’m filling in some of the gaps of my overview of the bible series.

I’m covering some of the key stories found in the Old Testament- and teaching how they relate to Christ.
In Exodus 16 we read the account of God feeding the people with Manna- from heaven.

What’s Manna?

Good question.

The word actually means ‘what is it’.

When the Jewish people were on their journey out of Egypt- they were destined for the Promised Land.
The trip only took 3 days by foot- yet it took them 40 years to get there.

Why?
Because they complained- griped- rebelled the whole way- so- they wandered in circles for 40 years.

One of their complaints was they said to Moses ‘why did you get us out of Egypt- so we could all die of hunger in this wilderness’?

They missed the meals they had when back in Egypt- even though they were slaves!

So- God gave them food from heaven- God ‘rained down’ a type of wafer thing every morning- when the people got up- the bread was there.

God told them to take just enough for EACH DAY- some took too much- and the bible says it ‘bred worms’- yeah- maggots.
On the 6th day they could take enough for 2 days- so they would not have to gather any on the Sabbath day.

Now- in the gospel of John chapter 6- Jesus gets in a debate with the religious leaders of his day.

They said ‘Moses gave us bread from heaven [the Manna] what sign will you show us that we might believe’?
Jesus said he was the true bread which came down from heaven- he said those who ate the bread back in Moses day- they are now dead.

But he who eats the bread from heaven- he will live forever.

Jesus said he was the true Manna- the account from Moses was just a symbol of him.

What we learn from the story is that God gives us Daily Bread- he will speak to us on a daily basis- give us direction for life- and we need to be attentive to these ‘words’ from God.

He might bring to your memory a bible passage- or maybe a prophetic dream- vision- God can direct us in many ways.

If we discern that it is from God- then we walk in that word/direction- for the day.

When Jesus was tempted by the devil [Matthew 4] he responded ‘man shall not live by bread alone- but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’.

In the Lord’s Prayer [Our Father] Jesus says to pray ‘give us this day our daily bread’.

In Revelation 2:17 we read ‘to him who overcomes I will give to eat of the Hidden Manna’.

God gives us this bread- direction- as we overcome.
The bible says ‘blessed are they that do his commandments- that they might have right to the tree of life and may enter in thru the gates into the city’.

These images from the bible show us that as we walk in the will of God- then we have access to this daily spiritual guidance.

But if we are in sin- open rebellion- then we don’t get the Hidden Manna- we can’t eat from this Tree of Life.
These past few months I have seen many examples of this- both in my own life and in the people I am working with.

Last month I helped a friend move to a new place- it’s in a bad area of town- but we prayed that God would open up doors anyway.

Sure enough the day I helped him move I met 2 guys next door- both alcoholics.
I talked with them for about 2 hours- told them my story- and that was it.

My friend had a substandard apartment- and he had to move again.
So- one of the guys I met that day showed up on my side of town last week- Flour Bluff.
He was hesitant to come to my area- because even though I live in a nice subdivision- our area is known as a Meth haven.

The first day he was in the Buff I ran into him.

He told me a story- he was on North Beach [the area where I do our baptisms] and he was suicidal- he was going to take his own life.

He was making these roses that the street guys [and gals] make out of the palm leaves in our area.
He had the last one- and he decided to give it away- before he would take his life.

He saw a couple walking down the beach- and he gave it to them.

The guy told him ‘I’m a pastor for a church in the Bluff- Rock City- come to church Wednesday and God will bless you’.

Now- I just started going to this church- some of the local guys I work with meet up there- and it works out well.

He told me at first when the pastor told him who he was- he thought it might have been me [we both have long hair].

He went to the church- and yeah- God blessed him.

He hooked up with me and the local street crew- got in a meeting or 2- and kept telling me how amazed he was that God started doing stuff in his life.

Now- here’s the tough part- and here’s why I won’t share his name.

He told me he feels like he’s in a battle for his life- and has lost all hope- yet God seems to be pulling him out.

What battle?
I share this carefully- he told me that when he was in his 20’s he did a drug deal with a girl- his age.

She didn’t pay him for the stuff- so he ‘had sex with her’ instead-

He was charged- and convicted- on a rape charge.

About 4 years ago Texas and a few states made anyone convicted of a rape to now register as a sex offender.

He has applied for jobs- housing- etc.

As soon as they see he is a sex offender- they turn him down.

This is the battle that he faces.

The day he told me this- I shared with him some stuff from the bible- and let him know that I’m still his friend- and he’s welcome in our group.

I was busy later in the day- and have lots of friends who call/text- some nonstop.

So- I just don’t look at the phone- or carry it with me- all the time.

But- I saw a missed call from my friend- and I realized if he didn’t hear from me- he might have felt like I too cut him off.

I called him back- he’s back on North Beach- and I told him I will pick him up for my meetings- and we will still get together.

God started working with him- ‘speaking’ to him- showing him what to do- and he followed the leading.

There's more to this- but the point is- he was in a way getting ‘daily Manna’- God was giving him directions- just for that day- and he had to follow them.
Over the years I painted bible verses on tiles and placed them in my yard- many are gone- some buried [long story].

This past year while working in the yard- every so often I find one [some are small].

Yesterday when I started this post- On Manna- I went in the yard and pulled a few weeds.

Sure enough- I saw a buried tile sticking out of the ground.

I pulled it out- Yeah- the verse was from the teaching I’m doing right now- it was the Manna verse.

Now- we can get carried away with ‘signs’ but God does use them- he does speak to us on a daily basis.

It’s important to hear him- to engage with him- to draw near to him.

In some cases- it can even save your life.

 THE TESTIMONY OF THE LORD IS SURE- NONE OF YOUR WORDS WILL FALL TO THE GROUND.

I spoke at our meeting last night- and will do one in Alice today.
I shared a real time example of Manna [hearing God daily] that most of the guys at last night’s meeting would be able to relate to- because these are street guys who know the local scene.

3 years ago I ‘left’ Texas- thinking I was moving back to North Bergen- N.J.
Before I left [now- it was a tough year] I told my wife ‘I’m moving back North- you get the house- I’ll live on my retirement check’.

She said ‘take what you want- the rest is going to get dumped’.
So- I got rid of lots of stuff- sold my vehicles [van and classic 66 Mustang] - and headed north.

After 3 months back in the NYC area- I knew it was time to head back.

God did open up ministry doors while I was in N.J. - and now I go back every year.

Ok- I got a call from my wife one day when I was in North Bergen- she said ‘Huey [one of my street friends- homeless] came by- he saw the dumpster/trailer in front of the house [with my stuff in it!] and he wants to know if he can go thru it before it gets hauled off to the dump’.

Sure- why not- it’s getting dumped anyway.

So- when I got back to Texas- yeah- my yard was ‘cleared out’ and sure enough- my office/study was empty.

I told my wife ‘you dumped the safes!’

Yup.

I had 2 safes in my office- which held my 20 years of radio tapes.
They weren’t of value- unless you wanted to do radio ministry- which I did for about 20-25 years.
The reason I kept them in the safes was for protection- in case we had a fire or something.

Lots of years of study and teaching went into these.

So- that was a big loss for me.
I still had about 50 programs that were on my computer drive- but I made about 700 15 minutes shows- they were gone.

One day Huey said ‘John- I need to tell you something’.

He felt guilty- he said they broke into the safes- he took them- which was fine- I told him he could have the stuff in the dumpster.
He asked me ‘do you want your tapes back’?

This was over a year ago- at the time I said ‘no- I’m done with the radio shows’.

I didn’t realize there would come a day where I would put them on-line [by the way- I just realized the ones I had on-line- on the blog- were deleted by my very unreliable host site- Kiwwi. Don’t use unreliable sites. I just started a reliable host site for voice- WordPress- it will take time- but eventually my shows will be on there].

So- the past few weeks- working on the new site- I really was upset about the loss.

This week- one of the verses that came to mind [remember- daily bread- Manna- hearing God] was ‘The testimony of the Lord is sure’.

So- yesterday I thought ‘Lord- could it be possible that I might get the tapes back? - If it’s ‘your testimony’ then let me get them back’.

I saw Huey at the mission- at about 9- he rarely is there at this time.

Now- these are street guys—who use [Meth].

‘Hey Huey- you want to make 50 bucks’?

Wow!

Get me those tapes back- and I’ll give you 50!
He said he knew where they were- I was surprised- if I were a Meth addict- and went thru the trouble of breaking into these safes- thinking there was something of value in them- and then found Christian tapes- I would have dumped them.

But- he did tell me- last year- he thought there would come a day when I might want them.

Now- he told me I didn’t have to pay him- he would track them down.

I told him ‘no- I’ll give you 50’.
I wanted them soon- and the 50 was an incentive [I must have spent 30 thousand dollars paying for airtime over the years- out of pocket- I never took an offering- so paying 50 was nothing].

I asked him ‘did you use a torch to break into the safes- because then they will be ruined’.

He said no.

I had no idea if they would still be good- if they were left in some alley- then it would be all over.

Sure enough- I had a full day- as all my days are now.

And at 5pm- I got a call- it was ‘my connection’.

Now- I can’t tell the rest [though I would like to!] but I went some place- and my tapes were in mint condition- in the racks I had them in.

So- if Huey never took them from the dumpster- they would have been dumped.

It would have cost me 50 bucks to have some locksmith open the safes- I lost my passwords during my ‘move’ to North Bergen.

Plus- I didn’t even have to pay a storage fee!

In the end- I got my tapes- because I know the ‘connections’ and I heard God- ‘the testimony is sure’- ‘none of your words will fall to the ground’.

Yeah- there back- Thanks.

Exodus 16:1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.

Exodus 16:2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:
Exodus 16:3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
Exodus 16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
Exodus 16:5 And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.
Exodus 16:6 And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt:
Exodus 16:7 And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?
Exodus 16:8 And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.
Exodus 16:9 And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings.
Exodus 16:10 And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
Exodus 16:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Exodus 16:12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.
Exodus 16:13 And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.
Exodus 16:14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.
Exodus 16:15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.
Exodus 16:16 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.
Exodus 16:17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.
Exodus 16:18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
Exodus 16:19 And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.
Exodus 16:20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.
Exodus 16:21 And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.
Exodus 16:22 And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
Exodus 16:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
Exodus 16:24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
Exodus 16:25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
Exodus 16:26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
Exodus 16:27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
Exodus 16:28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
Exodus 16:29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
Exodus 16:30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
Exodus 16:31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
Exodus 16:32 And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.
Exodus 16:33 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.
Exodus 16:34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.
Exodus 16:35 And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.
Exodus 16:36 Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.


Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God
Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
John 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
John 6:48 I am that bread of life.
John 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.







Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook#] - I have posted lots. visit- ccoutreach87.wordpress.com- my radio shows.










Friday, August 01, 2014

2075

DON’T PULL THE WEEDS- YET

 

  This week we are talking about the parables of Jesus found in Matthew 13.

There are some common threads that run thru most of them.

Jesus taught about planting seeds- some make it- some don’t.

 

Yet- the sower [planter] starts the process with this in mind- that yes- some will fail.

 

But that’s part of life- chalk it up- mistakes will be made- learn from them- and move on.

Last week I was teaching the wisdom literature- it said ‘plant in the morning- cast your bread upon the water- give out many portions- who knows- maybe one or the other will make it’.

 

If you never try- then for sure nothing will make it!

 

Jesus said the kingdom was like a fisherman who cast a wide net- it caught all types of fish- when you pull the net to shore- separate the bad from the good- there does come a time of ‘separation’ when the cup [net] is full.

 

A man planted a crop- but at night when he was asleep- an enemy came and planted weeds- bad seeds.

 

When the field started producing- they saw the weeds too.

 

The servants said ‘do you want us to pull out the bad stuff now’?

 

He said no- because if you try and get the bad seed out now- it will harm the good.

 

But wait until the harvest- at that time you can pull out the bad- and then the good wheat will get harvested.

 

Jesus explains that these parables are about the end of the age [world] and at the judgment time God sends forth his angles [also can mean messengers- preachers- etc.] and they will discern between good and bad.

 

A common theme in these teachings is there comes a time of judgment- there comes a time when the bad stuff gets removed.

 

But it’s not our job to try and ‘remove’ it before the time.

 

The church is in the word to be a light for all nations- to preach the good news about Gods love and forgiveness.

 

Too often we try to pull out the bad- spend a lot of time focusing on what we perceive to be the bad stuff in others.

Now- that time will come someday- but it’s really not our job to go and pull out the bad weeds before the time- because we can harm the good stuff in the process.

 

In one of the meetings I did this past week- one of the guys brought up Islam- he asked ‘are they right- or wrong- that’s a yes or no answer’.

 

Now- like Colin Powell said once ‘you can ask the question- but I’ll decide how to answer’.

 

I told my friend that it’s not a ‘yes or no answer’.

 

I explained that there are good parts found in the Islamic religion- that the teaching about giving to one’s neighbor is practiced- many times it is done more in line with the teachings of Jesus then what many Christians practice.

 

I got into the history of Islam- told my friend I taught it in the past- and yes- I did say that in the area of Jesus as God’s Son- they have it wrong [according to Christian belief].

But- I prefer to have a dialogue with all people- all religions- all back grounds- that I might have some positive influence in the end.

 

If we simply bash the other guy- then they will never stick around long enough to hear the good stuff.

 

In these parables there is a process to things- we plant- we water- we wait.

 

We do it in love- with patience- we warn people that there is coming a judgment day- but for those who believe in Christ- that day has already happened.

 

He took the judgment of God for sin- nailed sin/law to the Cross- and wiped away the ‘handwriting of ordinances that was against us’ [Ephesians].

 

In the teaching of Jesus we see a simple understanding of the End Times- the resurrection of the just and unjust- and a final judgment- and reward/penalty for those who have done good- and those who have done evil.

 

The End Times teaching of Jesus is not as convoluted as the many scenarios we see in the modern day prophecy teachings.

 

Recently I have had people say ‘John- some of the guys you are trying to help- they have burned you [true] they have done you wrong [true] yet- I know you believe that Jesus wants you to forgive them- but they take advantage of you’.

 

I see stuff- I realize that I have in some ways bent over backwards with some of these guys- yet- I believe that some will change, some will make it.

I try and cast a net that does not discriminate- I try not to pull out the weeds before the time- because I don’t always know for sure who are the good seed- and who are the bad.

 

In the time of harvest- when the crop is full- yes- God will indeed make a separation- but for now- I’m letting both grow together.

In the parables about the kingdom – we see in ‘seed’ form Jesus himself.

One of the early church fathers used to say that ‘Jesus is the kingdom’ in a way I agree.

 

He is the treasure hidden in a field- he is the pearl of great price- he is the mustard seed- the ‘smallest’ [least] of all seeds- but when it is planted [dies and buried] it becomes this huge tree- the birds of the air nest in it.

 

Jesus was talking about John the Baptist one day- he said ‘no one born of a woman is greater than John- yet he that is least [small seed] in the kingdom is greater than he’.

 

Many years ago I had a friend involved in the occult- he studied it- told me ‘John- these things do work’.

He struggled with being a Christian- and then ‘backsliding’ back into the occult.

 

He told me one time that there was a technique he used- he said ‘you make yourself small’.

 

Meaning you become less- then the person you are targeting sees you as small- then he said you later come on BIG- it was an intimidation tactic.

 

Jesus obviously did not use occult methods- but he became small- he took the least place- he was the ‘least in the kingdom’ who was greater than John the Baptist.

 

Jesus said ‘except a seed fall into the ground- and die- it remains alone [one seed] but- if it die- it will bring forth much fruit’.

 

The sacrifice of Christ for the world has produced a huge crop- a big tree- the church- the people of God fill the world today.

When we preach- and exemplify the love of God- we are casting the net- we are sowing the seed- we are infiltrating the world.

 

Not for self interest- for some conservative agenda- no- that’s a big mistake in my mind.

 

We are preaching the Good News- that God loves us- he gave his Son to be the seed that would become the tree- see?

 

In these parables of Jesus we see that there is a process to things- there are times when the ‘cup is full’ so to speak- the harvest is ready.

 

That’s when the good and the bad get separated.

I haven’t commented on geopolitical events in a while.

But there has been lots going on in the world- more than usual.

 

I believe we are in a sense in one of these time periods- where things are come to a crisis point.

 

You might say ‘John- haven't these things been going on for years’?

 

Yes- but if you watch closely- there worse this time around.

 

Nations have used language [Russia- China] and done deeds- that are reminiscent of the cold war- things that we haven’t seen in quite some time.

 

The instability in the world is bad- worse than in a very long time.

 

In the beginning of this year I said I believe that something will happen this year- in the area of judgment- and it will hit in our country.

I still believe this- the cup is full- lots of stuff that is playing out on the world stage right now are signs- things are going to happen.

 

I am not in any way an ‘end times’ type of guy- getting into all the scenarios of which country will invade the other- many of these ‘prophecies’ are misguided in my view.

 

They are ancient prophecies we read about- yes- in the bible- but I am not into reading these prophecies as current events.

 

Most of these prophecies were referring to events- and world issues- at the time they were written [this would take a while to teach- and right now I don’t have the time].

 

But- having said that- just a cursory view of the news shows us that stuff is getting bad- and there is indeed a timetable to things.

 

Our job [the church] is to show the love and compassion God has for all ‘sides’- yes- he loves the Palestinian- as much as the Jew.

 

He loves the Syrians- the Iraqis- yes- those in these nations who are at war with each another- he loves them all.

 

This is not to say that we condone the actions of violence- aggression- on any side.

 

No- all killing is wrong- Isaiah says there should be ‘war no more’.

 

This is not some liberal positon- it’s God’s will.

 

I’m not na├»ve- I know we live in a world where stuff happens- but we need to reject the settling of our differences by killing people- that never works.

 

It just releases a wave of more killing- violence begets violence.

 

I could write much about all the reasons the world is on fire right now- try and give the viewpoint of ‘the other’.

 

But- if we can get closer to the biblical mandate- that killing is indeed wrong- for the Christian- for the Muslim- for the Jew- for all the various groups that do profess belief in Gd.

If we can understand that God himself rejects the taking of human life- then we can work from there.

 

The kingdom that we are talking about this week is headed by Jesus Christ- called the Prince of Peace.

 

When he was unjustly accused- brought before the courts- sentenced to death- his men would have fought for him- but he already taught them that his kingdom was not about violent action.

 

One of his disciples was a Zealot- they were guerilla fighters of the first century who wanted to mount a violent overthrow of Rome [Simon was a Zealot- not Peter- he was a disciple of Jesus].

 

Jesus taught them another way ‘those that live by the sword will die by it’.

 

I believe that Jesus Christ is the way- not just a mental ascent to belief in him- but following the pattern that he gave us.

 

Love never fails, love covers a multitude of sins- love does not keep a record of the wrongs that others have done to us.

 

Love rejects violence- vengeance- choosing the way of the gun/sword in order to accomplish some goal.

 

Jesus let the authorities kill him- unjustly- and thru this act he redeemed the world.

 

He was nailed to a tree- Cross- and thru this act became the ‘tree that fills the whole earth’.

 

Yeah- we see the kingdom in this man- the Son of God.

 

Matthew 13:1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.

Matthew 13:2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
Matthew 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
Matthew 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
Matthew 13:5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
Matthew 13:6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
Matthew 13:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
Matthew 13:8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
Matthew 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Matthew 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Matthew 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
Matthew 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
Matthew 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
Matthew 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Matthew 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Matthew 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Matthew 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Matthew 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
Matthew 13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
Matthew 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
Matthew 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Micah 4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Matthew 26:50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.
Matthew 26:51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.
Matthew 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
John 12:24 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.
John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.






Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook#] - I have posted lots.









Thursday, July 24, 2014

2074- WISDOM- WEALTH AND LOVE.
The past few weeks I have been reading what we refer to as the Wisdom literature- these books of the bible include Proverbs- Ecclesiastes- Job- James in the N.T. - and a couple more.

At the bottom I’ll just post some highlights from Solomon- from the book of Ecclesiastes [thought of posting all that I highlighted from James- Proverbs- but that would be too much for one post].

We read common themes in all these books-

‘Humble yourselves in the eyes of the Lord and he will lift you up’

‘Don’t make vows- promises- about the future- you do not know what will happen from day to day- let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ no’

‘Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall’

‘Judge not- lest you be judged’

‘A fool speaks all his words-a wise man holds them back’

‘He that does not offend in word is a perfect man and able also to control the whole body’

‘Life is like a vapor- it appears for a little time and is gone’.

‘Be doers of the word and not hearers only’

‘Faith without works is dead’
Last week I covered the Sermon on the Mount- even though it is not normally seen as wisdom literature- I think you could include it too.

In the writings of Solomon [Proverbs- Ecclesiastes- Song of Solomon] we see The Preacher talk about life- in Ecclesiastes he takes a look at man- his turmoil- his relentless seeking of wealth- working daily without ever examining his own life- and the futility of it all.

Solomon dealt with depression during this period- he says things like ‘the day of a man’s death is better than the day he was born’ and ‘he who has never even been born is better than both’ [those who live- those who die].

Solomon talks about how he ‘captured the world’ so to speak.

He attained great wealth- had huge building projects- learned more wisdom and knowledge than anyone else.
He gave himself to ‘strong drink’ had many women [we will get to this at the end].

In the eyes of the world’s standards- he did it all.

Yet- he saw life as a vanity- an endless pursuit that leads to nowhere.

He considered the plight of the oppressed- those who lived under rulers who treated their people wrong- this too was vanity.

He looked at the unexamined life [remember Plato?] he said there was a man that had no relatives- yet he worked every day- built up a fortune- and when he dies he has no power over who will get the inheritance- it might wind up in the hands of a fool- who will waste it.

Solomon looked for meaning in it all- and apart from God- he saw futility.
There's a quote that does not fit the modern day preaching- ‘give me neither poverty or riches- if I have too much- I might forget God- too little- I might curse him’.
We read ‘you came into the world without anything- when you die you can’t take anything with you- so be content with just enough’.

The apostle Paul says the same thing in 1st Timothy 6.

It’s funny- but in today’s church world these would be called ‘negative confessions’ yet the wisest of them all said this.

The frailty of human life runs thru out this literature- life is something that is very temporary.

James says ‘all flesh is like grass- it will be gone soon- but the word of the Lord endures forever’.

In a sense- we can make an impact in life- if we document stuff for the following generations.

That’s why we can read this literature today- because Solomon and others wrote it down- and it was passed off to following generations.

In John 17 Jesus says ‘I pray not for these alone [his men] but for those also who will believe on me thru THEIR WORD’.

The gospel spread because the early believers spoke- and wrote- of their experiences.

To leave a legacy behind- something of value for the next generation- is a biblical idea.

But to live for pleasure- wealth- human achievement is seen as a vanity- because all of these things- including our lives- are but for a moment in time.

Jesus spoke much about eternal riches- living with noble goals- helping your fellow man- showing love and compassion.

Experiencing true love- the highest form of it- which does not seek self gratitude- but wants the benefit of others.

Out of all the wisdom literature- Solomon wrote the most.
He gave himself to pleasure- drink- women- he tried the philosophy of Hedonism- this too was vanity.

He said something interesting- even in all these experiences in life- yet his wisdom remained- and he taught still.

His own experiences- failures- were meant for following generations to see- to enter into.

One of the wisdom books in the bible was written about his ultimate experience- it’s called the Song of Solomon.

Solomon had many wives and concubines [side women].
Yet at one point in life- he found the love of his life.

She is written about in this book.

What did he learn from this experience?

He found that love was beyond all of his other experiences- he said that true love was as ‘strong as death- as cruel as the grave’.

‘Many waters cannot quench it- if a man would give all that he has- yet it can’t be bought- or escaped from’.

‘The coals are like fire, a most vehement flame’.

His encounter with true love shows us that the greatest thing [1st Corinthians 13] is love.

God has chosen to create us- why?

God has all wisdom- all power- he does not ‘need’ anything.

When he made Adam- Adam was perfect before the fall.

Yet- he was incomplete until he found Eve- ‘bone of his bone- flesh of his flesh’.

He was connected to her in a way that nothing else could compare to.

God made man- so he too could have an object of his love.
The greatest description of God is found in the writing of the apostle John.

In John’s gospel he refers to himself as the one who Jesus loved.

He saw himself thru this lens- an object of unconditional love.

Solomon gave us many gifts- he attained all that a man could ever want- I think the greatest gift he gave us is found in the Song of Solomon.

Love is the supreme thing- it fulfills all the law.

A new commandant I give you- love one another as I have loved you- in this you fulfil all the law and the prophets.

Yes- the wisest man that ever lived had no power over it- God himself gave all he could- he loved the world so much that he gave us his Son.

Jesus said ‘greater love has no man than this- that he would lay down his life for his friends’.

In this the love of God was manifested- in that while we were yet sinners- Christ died for us.

Yeah- we do not deserve the love of God- people may wonder ‘how can God love me’.

Love goes beyond all other things- it is not a rational thing- God did this because he loved us- that’s why.

NOTE- Solomon in a way pictures God.

How?

God’s attributes- his character- what theologians describe are Omniscience [knows everything] Omnipresent [everywhere] and Omnipotent [all power].
God has ‘need’ of nothing- he is self-sustaining- people do not possess these attributes- we are dependent- contingent- have need of many things- the greatest being love.

Yet God- in himself- has no object to pour his love into [this is somewhat of a debate- God- being Trinity- does in a way have love- an expression of it- within the Trinity, Jesus says ‘you love them like you love me’ but for this discussion- that’s too much to get into].

So- God made Adam- he was perfect before he sinned. God put him in a perfect environment- the garden.
He gave him purpose [till the garden] created animals- he had it all.

Yet- something was lacking- he had nothing to love with all his heart.

So God made a deep sleep fall upon him- and he created Eve.

He now had a co-equal that was a part of himself.

The apostle Paul tells us that this is a great mystery- man and woman- in love.  He says it is simply a picture- on a small scale- of Christ and the Church.

In us- who believe- God now has a bride- a love- that he pours himself into.
The bible says the angels are looking into this great romance- they see the interaction and in a way are jealous.

God reveals himself thru the church- thru the bride he loves.

It is this love of God for us that forms us into his image- in a way we are a type of the incarnation- God in man.

There is nothing we do to earn love- to deserve love.
When humans fall in love- they often don’t see the faults in their partner [though they are there on both sides] we use an expression ‘love is blind’.
Sometimes we think ‘how can that person love me’- because we see in the other the same thing- that they are ‘too good for me’.

These things are not rational- the love of a man for a woman- like Solomon learned- went beyond the wisdom and knowledge he had- he experienced this with the one love of his life that we read about in the Song of Solomon. [I quoted the last chapter at the bottom for those who want to read it].

God created us- we are the love of his life- this relationship between man and God far exceeds human love- the bible says it is beyond our understanding.
Yes- God is in love with us- that’s why he keeps coming after us- in a way- he can’t ‘help it’.

Ecclesiastes 1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Ecclesiastes 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 1:3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 1:4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
Ecclesiastes 2:1 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 2:2 I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?
Ecclesiastes 2:3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.
Ecclesiastes 2:4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:
Ecclesiastes 2:5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:
Ecclesiastes 2:6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:
Ecclesiastes 2:7 I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:
Ecclesiastes 2:8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
Ecclesiastes 2:9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
Ecclesiastes 2:10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
Ecclesiastes 2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 2:15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 2:16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.
Ecclesiastes 2:17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Ecclesiastes 2:18 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
Ecclesiastes 2:19 And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.
Ecclesiastes 2:20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 2:21 For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.
Ecclesiastes 2:26 For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Ecclesiastes 3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Ecclesiastes 3:5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
Ecclesiastes 3:6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
Ecclesiastes 3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.
Ecclesiastes 3:17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
Ecclesiastes 4:1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
Ecclesiastes 4:2 Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.
Ecclesiastes 4:3 Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 4:4 Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
Ecclesiastes 5:6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?
Ecclesiastes 5:7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.
Ecclesiastes 5:8 If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.
Ecclesiastes 5:13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.
Ecclesiastes 5:14 But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.
Ecclesiastes 5:15 As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
Ecclesiastes 7:19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.
Ecclesiastes 7:21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:
Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
Ecclesiastes 9:8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
Ecclesiastes 9:17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.
Ecclesiastes 9:18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.
Ecclesiastes 10:12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself.
Ecclesiastes 10:13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.
Ecclesiastes 10:14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?
Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
Ecclesiastes 11:2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.
Ecclesiastes 11:6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.
Ecclesiastes 11:7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:
Ecclesiastes 11:8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.
Ecclesiastes 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
Ecclesiastes 11:10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
Ecclesiastes 12:9 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.
Ecclesiastes 12:10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.
Ecclesiastes 12:11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
Ecclesiastes 12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.


Song Of Solomon 8:1 O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.
Song Of Solomon 8:2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.
Song Of Solomon 8:3 His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.
Song Of Solomon 8:4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.
Song Of Solomon 8:5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree there thy mother brought thee forth there she brought thee forth that bare thee.
Song Of Solomon 8:6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
Song Of Solomon 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
Song Of Solomon 8:8 We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?
Song Of Solomon 8:9 If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.
Song Of Solomon 8:10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.
Song Of Solomon 8:11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.
Song Of Solomon 8:12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before me thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.
Song Of Solomon 8:13 Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice cause me to hear it.
Song Of Solomon 8:14 Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.







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