Lesson 1: Many people are soul searching for truth concerning their salvation. This is the first of a series of lessons that Jesus taught to reveal the truth for man's salvation. In St. Luke 10:30-37 (KJV) Jesus answers the question, 'Who is my neighbor?' with the parable of the Good Samaritan.
It is a story about a traveler who is robbed, beaten and left for dead by the roadside. A priest passed by and ignored him. Then a Levite (a member of a priestly Hebrew tribe of Levi), came and looked at him and left without helping. Then a Samaritan (the Samaritans and Jews hated each other), came and cleaned up his wounds, took him to an inn and paid for his care.
Being religious in name only is not true salvation.
Actions speak louder than words. Amen
We continue with our inner man struggle with our sin nature in Romans 7-8: "But I saw another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"
"I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
"There is therefore now, no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Holy Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." continued tomorrow:
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Moses reminds Israel and all of us that God made Israel a great nation and gave them their land for all time in Deuteronomy 4:35-40:
"To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord Himself is God; there is none other beside Him. Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you on earth, He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire."
"And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power."
"Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the Lord Himself is God in heaven above, and on the earth beneath, there is none other. You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today.
That it may be well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time." Amen
We continue trying to understand the battle between the desires of our flesh and our desires to serve the Lord in Romans 8: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject (refuses to yield)...
So then they that are in the flesh (live only for self without God) cannot please God."
"But you are not in the flesh (without God), but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ Jesus, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness (the righteousness of Christ Jesus is ours through Him)." "But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you." continued tomorrow:
Do you know that Isaiah the prophet, 700 hundred years before the birth and ministry of Christ Jesus, wrote about Him as the Lamb of God who would be tortured and killed for our sins? Isaiah chapter 55:
"Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant...He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised
and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."
"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." Continued tomorrow:
Great things are coming soon for all God's people.
We continue in Revelation 7:13-17:
"And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes?
And whence came they?"
"And I said unto him, Sir thou knowest. And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."
"They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Amen
What in this world are we waiting for?
We find the answer in Revelation 7:9-10:
"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands."
"And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."
Hold fast to your Faith and your crown of eternal life,
this time is coming soon!
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Worry about the past and present is usually accompanied by fear and concern over tomorrow and what the future will bring. This robs us of the Security and Comfort we seek.
This often creates such a tangle in our physical, financial and soul welfare until we want to just give up and find a way to escape. Depending on others and the things of this world for our Security and Comfort often fails or offers relief that may not last.
Everlasting, never failing, Security and Comfort only comes from the Lord for those that seek and rely on Him first. Isaiah 40:31 tells us: "But they that wait
(trust, have Faith, patience) upon the Lord (Yahweh)
shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Amen
We continue with "find peace of mind and calm a troubled soul" in Romans 8:23-28:
"And we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of a future glory, groan to be released from pain and suffering. We wait anxiously for that day when God will give us full rights as His children; including the new bodies He has promised us- bodies that will never be sick and will never die."
"We are saved by trusting. And trusting means looking forward to getting something we don't yet have. For a man who already has something doesn't need to hope and trust that he will get it. But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn't happened yet,
it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently."
"And in the same way- by our Faith- the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying.
For we don't even (always) know what we should pray for, nor how to pray as we should. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feelings that it cannot be expressed in words."
"And the Father(God), who knows all hearts, knows of course what the Holy Spirit is saying, as He prays for us in harmony with God's will. And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good, if we love God and are fitting (obeying) into His plans."
Are you struggling with tangled thoughts and conflicting emotions? Is guilt being used against your inner man to provoke you into foolish actions?
"For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I." Romans 7:15:
We find the answer in the Lord's forgiveness in
Romans 8:1-2: "There is therefore now no condemnation (no guilt) to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the
Holy Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of Life in
Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."
Saints, keep on keeping on, for victory is ours saith the Lord! "Now thanks be to God which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place: For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ,
in them that are saved, and in them that perish."
"To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life."
"And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the Word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ." 2nd Corinthians 2:14-17.
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise a Righteous Branch and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth." Jeremiah 23:5-8: "In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby He shall be called,
The Lord Our Righteousness ( Jehovah-tsidkenu )..."
"But the Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land."
Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) and the Righteous Branch. Amen
CHRISTIAN COUNSELING & MENTAL HEALTH
Don't be afraid of the devil because he is going to get his due; and death & hell will burn with him.
The Lord tells us exactly what is going to happen in Revelation 20:10-15:
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."
"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.
This is the Second Death. And whosoever was not found in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Amen Amen Amen
"And He (Jesus Christ) spake a parable unto them
to this end (saying this), that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (don't give up)...And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them (His timing to answer) ? " Luke 18:1-8:
"I tell you He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh (when Jesus returns) shall He find Faith on the earth?"
The kingdom of God is within us and that is where the battle is to preserve it.
Lesson 6: The Truth for man's salvation:
Who or what is pulling the strings in your life today?
We own things and have loved ones & friends that we are tied to in some fashion. These cords of pride in ownership and cherished relationships we attach to them work both ways.
We stay connected in our efforts to control them, without realizing that they can influence and control us as well. Material things are subject to wear & tear and all too often become burdens instead of blessings.
The same is true in our relationships with others.
Sometimes our love and desire to please others, becomes stronger than our desire to love and please God. Then we lose self-control of our personal lives and the ability to guide & influence others.
When we fail to let God control us; then the things of this world will take control of us in His place. Amen
We learn about Abraham's Faith in Genesis 15:5-6:
"And He (The Lord) brought him (Abram, Abraham) forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and
He (The Lord) said unto him (Abram, Abraham), So shall thy seed be."
"And he (Abram, Abraham) believed in the Lord: and He (The Lord) counted it unto him (Abram, Abraham)
Even so, we who believe (have Faith) in the Lord; that is counted to us for righteousness. That is the
"Good News" of the best kind and why we celebrate the birth of Jesus as Christ.
The Lord bless you all in your celebration honoring our Lord. Amen
Encouraging words continued:
We must not blame ourselves or one another for these troubled times or make accusations of bad judgement. We continue in Romans 8:33-37:
"Who shall lay (blame,accuse) anything to the charge
(against) God's elect? It is God that justifieth."
"Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us."
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through Him that loves us." continued tomorrow:
The "gifts of the Holy Spirit" are given among us through God's love for us all. We continue in
1st Corinthians 12:29-31 and 13:1-5:
"Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet I show you a more excellent way."
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind, love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.
Does not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own way, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil."
Lesson 5: The Truth for man's salvation:
Most of us want peace of mind and a tranquil soul.
We usually blame others or circumstances when we
can't find them. All too often, we blame ourselves; but cannot find the answers we need.
Then we seek all kinds of escape solutions with alcohol, drugs and desperate measures trying to solve these inner problems. We have to face the truth in ourselves.
When we accept the salvation of Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit of Truth becomes part of our being. This Spirit guides and directs us from within. It tells us what is right and wrong in the eyes of God; and warns us when we go in the wrong direction.
When we obey this gentle voice, the Spirit of Peace & Tranquility floods our mind and soul. When we ignore the warnings and harden our hearts; our mind takes control and does what it wants anyway. Then comes the disruption & conflict within ourselves.
We are God's children and we pay a price for disobedience. Every child of God is different and each of us has our own personalized set of rules. Some of us have the inner liberty to do things that others don't have. Then others have the inner freedom to do things
that we ourselves are not allowed to do.
Peace of mind and tranquil soul comes by obeying the
inner, special rules of Truth the Lord designed for you.
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The gift of the Holy Spirit cannot be purchased with money we are told in Acts 8:14-22:
"Now when the apostles who were in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them."
"Who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He (the Holy Spirit) had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit."
"Now when Simon (a converted man of sorcery) saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him, your money perish with you, because you thought the gift of God could be purchased with money."
"You have neither part nor portion in this matter,
for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you." Amen
Lesson 7: The Truth for man's salvation:
All of us are born with a spiritual hole in our heart
where God wants to dwell. This void in our lives can only be filled and made whole by the Holy Spirit using the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Adam & Eve were made perfect and filled with the Spirit of God. Their rebellion and disobedience caused their spiritual death and all following them.
Jesus came as the second Adam to restore man with God in spiritual rebirth and all accepting him.
Nothing in and of this world can fill that void in our heart and make us whole; no matter what man tries.
The only true and pure source of spiritual life to make us complete is Jesus our Christ abiding in our heart. Without Him you are spiritually dead already. With Jesus we are reborn again for eternal life. Amen The end of this series of lessons.
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Lesson 4: The Truth for man's salvation:
Many people have secret doubts about their salvation because they were never formally water baptized or sprinkled. We know Jesus received water baptism and encouraged others to do so. This was in symbolic recognition of their sins being washed away.
The spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit is what removes our sins and births our heart for true salvation. In St. Luke 23:39-43 we read that Jesus saved the thief hanging on a cross next to him without ceremony the same day.
"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward for our deeds; but his man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Today thou shalt be with me in paradise." Amen
"And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying,This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
"Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the New Covenant in My blood,
which is shed for you." Luke 22:19-20:
"Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." Jeremiah 31:31-34:
"Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt...but this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:
I will put My Law in their minds, and write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." Amen
We continue to "find peace of mind and calm a troubled soul" in Romans 8:15-22:
"And we should not be like cringing, fearful slaves (outcasts). but we should behave like God's very own children, adopted into the bosom of His Family, and calling Him, "Father, Father". For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep within our hearts, and tells us that we really are God's children."
"And since we are His children, we shall share His treasures- for all God gives to His Son Jesus is now ours too. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later (that is coming to us)."
"For all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day., when God will resurrect (bring to life again) His children. For on that day thorns and thistles,
sin, death and decay...will all disappear, and the new world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin which God's children enjoy."
Lesson 2: The truth for man's salvation.
There is no justification for schisms (separations or divisions into factions) in the body of Christ.
1st Corinthians 12:12-13 and 25 (KJV):
"For as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have all been made to drink in one Spirit."
"That there shall be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another."
The only name tag for admission into heaven is
Jesus Christ. Amen
We continue to seek wisdom and understanding in the struggle between pleasing our flesh and pleasing the Lord in Romans 8: "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak in the flesh (were not strong enough to obey it), God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh (human body), and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh (fulfilled the law and paid the penalty for our sins)."
"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Holy Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh (yield to sinful desires): but they that are after (obey) the Holy Spirit, the things of the Holy Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be Holy Spiritually minded is life and peace.
Many people claim to be Christians and still hate Jews. Jesus Christ was born a Jew, with Jewish Mother Mary, descended from the tribe of Judah and the throne of King David.
He was sent as Christ, the Jewish Messiah, to Israel to establish a New Covenant by circumcision of the heart (spiritual awakening).
The Holy prophets spoke of His coming and prophesied that most of the Jews would reject Jesus as their "Messiah" so we Gentiles could also be saved. They also said that after a designated period of time, the Jews would also accept Jesus as Christ, their promised Messiah. That time is drawing near and we must be patient for it.
So, if you are against Jews, you are against
Jesus Christ, their high priest (Rabbi). That makes you anti-Christ in your thinking. Amen
When our will-power fails to break "bad habits" and resist temptations; this often leads to depression.
Then the dark clouds of our mind overshadows our soul and robs us of peace and hope. So we try to use the same mind to solve these problems.
We refuse to accept the truth; that our mind allowed the formation of these "bad habits" and sought these temptations to begin with.
We need the Spiritual Power of the Lord to intercede for us. Relying on the mind that got us into trouble to start with, to get us out of trouble, can certainly lead to failure and cause depression.
When depression comes and we are overcome, we don't know what to do. We try family, friends, others
or things in desperation.
These efforts often fail because we are trying to use their will-power or man-made solutions to control our minds and will. Bad habits are evil to our mind and body and usually end up causing far more harm than the pleasures they bring.
Worldly temptations are constantly increasing in power and appeal; all designed to lure & entice us and our money. The dark forces behind the temptations are smarter and stronger than our human efforts to resist.
We need to ask our Lord to stop the "bad habits" and overcome our temptations, by taking away the desire for them and giving us disgust for them.
Our Lord Jesus Christ will do for us what man cannot do. Amen
We are in a time of recall and second chances from the Lord. When we drive vehicles that are hazardous due to faulty parts; the auto makers send out warnings for return & repair.
During these days of restrictions limiting our activities and causing fear, worry, doubt and concerns; the Lord is urging us to return to Him for total renewing & repair.
This is a time of self-examination and finding out the true measure of our Faith & Trust in the Lord.
The Lord has given us this opportunity to make fresh decisions about who we really are and examine our
purpose for living. Let us return to our Maker and be renewed. Amen
We continue our lessons on "gifts of the Holy Spirit" in
1st Corinthians 12:8-13: "To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; someone else may be be especially good at studying and teaching, and this is his gift from the same Spirit. He (the Holy Spirit) gives special faith to another and to someone else the power to heal the sick. He gives power for doing miracles to some and to others power to prophesy and preach. He gives someone else the power to know
(spiritual discernment) whether evil spirits are speaking through those who claim to be giving God's messages- whether it is really the Spirit of God speaking. Still another may be speaking in languages he never learned; and others who do not know the language either, are given power to understand
(interpret) what he is saying. It is the same and only Holy Spirit who gives all these gifts and powers, deciding which, each of us should have."
Christ Jesus is the BRANCH that Isaiah the prophet said would come in 11:1-2: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might...".
Again in 61:1: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings to the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives...to preach the acceptable year of the Lord...to comfort all that mourn...to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning...".
In Luke 4:19-21, Jesus stood up in the synagogue on the sabbath and read 61.1 aloud. The He said, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."
Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) promised to Israel. Amen
Do you understand the struggle between your inner desires to please the Lord and your carnal desires to commit sin? Saint Paul gives us the understanding we seek in Romans 7 and 8:
"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which i would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."
"I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after
(with my) inner man." continued tomorrow:
Lesson 3: The Truth for man's salvation:
We are forbidden to worship the messengers of God,
the churches and their doctrines instead of God.
In Acts 14:14-15 (KJV) Paul and Barnabas stopped the people who wanted to worship them as gods:
"Then the priests of Jupiter ...brought oxen and garlands...and would have done sacrifice with the people; Which, when Barnabas and Paul heard of, they rent their clothes and ran in among the people,
crying out, Saying, sirs, why do ye do these things?
We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you, that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God. which made heaven and earth, and the sea and all things that are therein."
In Revelation 19:10 we see John about to worship a messenger angel and was forbidden to do so:
"And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, see thou do it not; I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus:
Worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy."
Leviticus 26:1 (KJV) is very clear to all: "Ye shall make ye no idols, nor graven images, neither rear you up
a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land to bow down unto it. For I am the Lord your God. " Amen