Archive for the ‘A.D. The Revolution That Changed the World’ Category

Good Samaritan’s Random Act of Kindness

June 6, 2015

There was a story on Fox and Friends this morning where  a stranger buys a struggling mother a car.

Watch the video at the link above for the complete story.

The stranger wanted to remain anonymous. Apparently, he had the money and was able to share it with someone who was in desperate need. The Fox website labeled this as “Good Samaritan’s random act of kindness.”

The video reveals that the woman is a Christian and that she had been praying to God for an answer to her dilemma.

I think that it was wise for the man who bought the car for her to remain anonymous. Perhaps he, himself, is also a Christian and was heeding what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount:

Mat 6:1

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Mat 6:2

“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

Mat 6:3

“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

Mat 6:4

“that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly

David Guzik writes:

A. Doing good to please God.

1. (1) Jesus’ warning against doing good to be seen by others.

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

a. Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men: Charitable deeds is actually the word righteousness. Jesus tells us to not do righteous things for the sake of display or image (to be seen by them).

i. Jesus has just clearly shown God’s righteous standard; perhaps He anticipated the thought “Wouldn’t everybody be impressed if I was like that?” So here Jesus addressed the danger of cultivating an image of righteousness. It is almost impossible to do spiritual things in front of others without thinking what their opinion is of us as we do those things, and how they are thinking better or worse of us as we do what we do.

ii. This does not contradict His previous command to let your light so shine before men (Matthew 5:16). Although the followers of Jesus are to be seen doing good works, they must not do good works simply to be seen.

b. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven: The idea is when we do righteous deeds for the attention and applause of men, their attention and applause is our reward. It is much better to receive a reward from your Father in heaven.

I have been reading Dr. David Jeremiah’s book “A.D. The Bible Continues: The Revolution That Changed The World.” In chapter 3, (which describes and expands upon the Day of Pentecost and the spectacular birth of the Christian church) we read about the church opening its hands to those in need.

In the early church, “all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need” (Acts 2:44-45). The fledgling church experienced severe persecution, leaving members displaced and destitute. They formed a close-knit community to take care of one another, sharing their food, clothing, and money to meet people’s needs.

Over the years, some people have pointed to this passage to make the claim that the early church practiced Communism or socialism, but such was not the case. Communism is a compulsory sharing of goods because no one is thought to have the right to own anything. Socialism acknowledges the right of private property, but it requires individuals to give a certain percentage of what they earn to others in order to narrow the gap between socioeconomic classes.

The early church, however, shared their goods because they were generous and committed to one another. Scripture doesn’t say that the entire church sold all they had and gave everything up for the community’s welfare. It simply says that people voluntarily sold their possessions as financial concerns arose and gave the proceeds to those in need.

Today, almost every church takes care to meet the needs of members lacking food, shelter, help, or clothing. Some churches have food banks or centers offering furniture and clothing. The authentic church is a caring and generous community.

Notice that serving those in need was done by the early church without the “help” (more accurately, the interference) of the Roman government which was hell-bent on destroying these “annoying” followers of Jesus.   Both the Roman Empire and the Sanhedrin Jewish leaders thought that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary would stop the “rabble-rousers” and finally put an end to this religious movement once and for all.

However, when Jesus rose from the dead, walked the earth (again) in his resurrected body for 40 days and appeared to over 400 people over that time span, the Jesus Christ revolution had only just begun!

In the TV series of the same name, we are seeing that there was an enormous political and religious upheaval that led to the formation of the early church. Despite the brutality being done against the people of The Way (what it was called back then), the depiction of the Day of Pentecost was quite riveting!

Dr. Jeremiah shares extra information regarding the Old Testament history of that day and what it meant to believers in the New Testament.

The Feast of Pentecost
The word Pentecost is the Greek name for the Jewish festival Shavuot. Pentecost celebrated two coinciding events, one ancient and the other ongoing. The first marked the occasion of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, which had occurred seven weeks after the original Passover in Egypt.

The second event was the culmination of the Feast of Weeks. This feast derived its name from the seven-seek harvest of wheat and barley, which began at Passover. The day after this seven-week harvest was designated as a time of celebration and thanks to God, which the Jews expressed by bringing an offering of the first crops from their harvests to the Temple.

Since that was the fiftieth day after Passover, it was called Pentecost, meaning “fifty days.”

Recall that the risen Jesus remained on earth for forty days, and then he ascended into heaven ten days before the Jewish observance of Pentecost (Shavuot). On the morning of Pentecost, 120 disciples and the 12 apostles (Judas had been replaced by Matthias) were in the upper room, still waiting for the arrival of the promised Holy Spirit.

Then it happened!

There was a deafening roar that startled everyone and it was like the sound of a rushing wind. It filled not only the house they were in but people heading to the Temple to celebrate Shavuot were shocked by it too! Scripture describes what the disciples experienced. There were bright streaks of light resembling flaming tongues that flashed above them as the Holy Spirit entered into them! At that moment, the power that Jesus promised them had arrived, and they were able to speak in tongues so that the hearers could hear their own languages! This was a miracle! (see Acts 2:1-6).

These men were changed forever! And Peter gave the sermon that birthed the church (Acts 2). The disciples and apostles were no longer confused about their mission. They finally realized that the kind of Kingdom Jesus was establishing was not merely to save Israel from the Romans, but to save the world from Satan.

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

He (Jesus) was not merely the Messiah to the Jews; he was the Messiah to people in all nations around the globe. He was the rightful King not of just the Jews but of the whole world, which since the time of Adam and Eve had been “enemy-occupied territory.” The task of these disciples was to lead people out from under the tyranny of a demonic usurper and rally them around the flag of a resistance movement led by Jesus Christ, their true King.

The power Jesus had promised was infinitely better than anything they could have anticipated. It filled them with more joy and love and courage than they had ever imagined possible.

In today’s world, the persecution of Christians has increased exponentially. The Bible tells us that the closer we get to the end times, this will be the case. Therefore, we need to speak out boldly, as we should, and share the gospel of Christ!

As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world – now.

Hat tips:
Fox News

Dr. Jeremiah.org

 

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Any Readers Watching the Series, “A.D. – The Bible Continues?”

April 21, 2015

I have watched all three episodes of the epic series, ” A.D. The Bible Continues” which have been broadcast over the last three Sunday nights on NBC.  The stats for viewership are good and the series is getting a high rating from faith driven consumers for biblical accuracy.

Contrary to what secular leftists might claim, the Bible is still very important and being sought out and read by millions across the U.S. as well as around the world!

If you didn’t see Sunday’s episode, you can view it at the link above.

A.D. The Revolution that Changed the World

In addition to this great series, Dr. David Jeremiah of Turning Point Ministries is doing sermons each Sunday morning which shares the Scripture behind the story of the NBC 12 week series!

You can view all sermons presented so far at the new website, A.D. – The Revolution that Changed the World.

Please feel free to share your opinions and thoughts on both the NBC series and Dr. Jeremiah’s sermons on the Scripture behind the story in the comment section.

Thanks and God bless!

~ Christine

“A Better Weight Than Wisdom a Traveler Cannot Carry.” – Viking Proverb

April 17, 2015

I saw that “Viking Proverb” statement written out across the Direct TV screen in front of me as I was flying back home on an airplane.  I had been visiting with family in Virginia for 10 days.

It is a great statement to ponder; and I wondered which type of “wisdom” the Vikings were referring to?

 

For me, the ultimate wisdom comes from God through His Written Word – the Bible, and His Living Word – Jesus Christ.

 

Evidence abounds these days that many are ignorant about God’s Word.  The sad part is, many who call themselves Christian fall into this unfortunate category.  I think it is really a terrible state of affairs to realize that even Christian college students (e.g. BIOLA U.) are being found to be biblically illiterate!  There should be no excuse for them, in particular, to be guilty of such a flaw.

Recently, I received an email link to Muddy Streams blog that mentioned an interesting article that compared, contrasted, and explained the differences between religion and spirituality. The entire article can be read at Got Questions.

Excerpt:

Question: “What is Christian spirituality?”

Answer: When we are born again, we receive the Holy Spirit who seals us for the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us “into all truth” (John 16:13). Part of that truth is taking the things of God and applying them to our lives. When that application is made, the believer then makes a choice to allow the Holy Spirit to control him/her. True Christian spirituality is based upon the extent to which a born-again believer allows the Holy Spirit to lead and control his or her life.

Read it all at the link above. The details and Scripture references are all important regarding the type of “spirituality” that a Christian should follow and adhere to.

The new NBC TV series – A.D. The Bible Continues – had its second episode broadcasted this past Sunday evening (4/12/15). The disciples are now only starting to grasp the true meaning and significance of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. They see Him, in the physical sense, as He appears various times to them (i.e. in the Upper Room, in front of Mary who was weeping inside the tomb wondering “where have they taken my Lord). In the case of Mary, she asked such a question of someone whom she perceived as a “stranger” that appeared to her outside the tomb. It was only when He said her name, “Mary” that she recognized Jesus – her Risen Lord and Savior!

Jesus also appeared on the shore of Galilee where the disciples were fishing, but experiencing another bad day because they were not netting any fish. Jesus called out to them and said, “throw the nets on the right side of the boat.” When they listened and obeyed His directive, their catch was abundant!

Jesus also had a discussion with Peter where he asked his wayward and denying disciple if he loved Him. The Lord asked three times, and Peter replied affirmatively three times. This was a way of restoration for Peter’s previous denials as Jesus was being led to the cross.

Love is sacrifice.
Love is mercy and grace.
Love is forgiveness of sins.
Love is listening and obeying.

Love is worship.

But it ultimately matters in whom one worships!  Does the Messiah have worth-ship in order to lead us towards truth?

For our part, we need to believe in Jesus and repent of our sins, allowing the Holy Spirit to enter into our hearts in order to guide us into all truth.

All of this has been gained by Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross!

During my Virginia visit, I made what is likely construed by most as a typical observation regarding all of the violence, hatred, evil, sin and death going on in the world today. Jesus did tell us in Scripture that the “signs of the times” pointing towards His return would be “as in the days of Noah and Lot.”

In the case of Noah, there was so much violence, evil, sin and death that it grieved the Lord God immensely. The only “righteous ones” found were within Noah’s own family! All the others mocked, scorned, laughed at and ignored Noah for his “eccentric behavior” for building an Ark on dry land. The people went on to continue in their sinful lifestyles and evil, deadly ways.

In the case of Lot, the whole place (Sodom and Gomorrah) would have been spared if 50, then 20, then just 10  righteous people could be found in the cities.  We know that only Lot, his wife and children made it out (practically dragged out by the angels!); but even then, Lot’s wife looked back longingly (ignoring the angels warnings not to!) and she turned into a pillar of salt.

I always thought that it was interesting that we never knew her name, but Jesus’ admonition to “remember Lot’s wife” was a New Testament and as well as modern-day warning not to go back to our former lives of sin.

Back to my observation.

I mentioned to my brother that the ways of man without the wisdom of God being followed result in all forms of evil…and eventually lead to death.  Why wouldn’t God, knowing this then allow a brutal beating, scourging, crucifixion and death of His “Holy One” in order to get through to all that need to be re-born and saved?  Doesn’t it make sense to counter what the sinful mindsets of men do throughout the centuries in order to get our attention with the goal of discovering THE WAY out of our predicament?

In the economy of the Godhead – from eternity passed to eternity future – this agreement was made between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so that mankind could be reconciled back unto a Holy and Righteous God!  While we were yet sinners…Christ died for us!

The Bible tells us that there is no greater love than for a Man to lay His life down for His friends.  But the God-Man Jesus Christ followed through to prove who he is and for this reason he was born to save his people from their sins.

So, what are we to do?  Accept it…and believe!

Thomas wanted proof that Jesus was actually resurrected from the dead.  He stated that he would not believe until he saw Jesus alive again.  What’s more, he needed to put his finger into the nail scars in Jesus’ hands and His side.

Jesus said, “Thomas, you believe because you have seen me.  Blessed are those who have not seen me yet believe.”

That is FAITH!

Faith is the evidence of things not seen.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for.

Heb 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The next episode of “A.D. The Bible Continues” will show what happens to the disciples when they receive the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Can’t wait for that! These men will be transformed forever – and will carry on through the Book of Acts in the Bible spreading The Way of salvation through Jesus Christ and reiterating man’s need to be born again through the Holy Spirit.

Another excerpt from Got Questions:

Therefore, Christian spirituality involves a choice we make to “know and grow” in our daily relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ by submitting to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This means that, as believers, we make a choice to keep our communication with the Spirit clear through confession (1 John 1:9). When we grieve the Spirit by sin (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 1:5-8), we erect a barrier between ourselves and God. When we submit to the Spirit’s ministry, our relationship is not interrupted (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Christian spirituality is a consciousness of fellowship with the Spirit of Christ, uninterrupted by carnality and sin. Christian spirituality develops when a born-again believer makes a consistent and ongoing choice to surrender to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

It matters greatly which kind of “spirit” one follows. You don’t want to be trapped under the influence of deceiving spirits! So, how do you know whether or not you are being deceived?

1. Read and study God’s Word – the Bible.
2. Follow God’s Living Word – Jesus Christ

That’s it!

We are told both in the beginning and the end of the book of Revelation that those of us who read and study it – will be blessed!

Yet, many churches and pastors these days ignore that book. Why? Why would they want their congregations to miss out on such blessings?

It must have something to do with knowing (or ignoring) the truth.

In Zechariah’s prophecy where he describes the King “riding on a donkey,” he also states:

Zec 9:11

“As for you also,
Because of the blood of your covenant,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.

 

No one likes the term “slave.” But the meaning here is a positive one.

Rom 6:18

And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Rom 6:22

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

Being set free from sin is the greatest achievement of all time! Jesus Christ accomplished this for us on the cross because without the shedding of blood, there is no remission from sin.

Jhn 8:32

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Three things that matter within our trust in Jesus and in our desire to be with God:

Jhn 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

P.S. The Vikings Proverb was included in a very long Land Rover commercial via Direct TV.   In addition to that saying, the following quote appeared:

“Fifty percent of people in Iceland believe in elves.”

Wow. What does believing in elves get you in this lifetime or in eternity?

Nothing.

I think that staking my life on the historical, spiritual, and biblical proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is light-years more sensible!

~ Christine

Hat tips to all links.

A.D. The Revolution That Changed the World

February 20, 2015

I really love the fact that being a viewer and supporter of Dr. David Jeremiah’s Turning Point Ministry enables me to get information on upcoming events via mail, even before it appears on the website!

Since there is no description about this new upcoming series (which will begin on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015)  I would like to share a few portions of the letter that I received from Dr. Jeremiah’s ministry:

Dear Christine,

[Many] times, over the years, we have found ourselves in the position of criticizing Hollywood for its immoral and spiritually destructive television content. So when a faith-based production comes to us and requests our help to present the biblical foundation to their programming, I believe it to be a door opened by God. this is a rare exception that was presented to us. A.D. will dramatize the amazing story of the Book of Acts on prime time Sunday evenings –after Turning Point teaches “The Scripture behind the story” each Sunday morning! My teaching series will be A.D. The Revolution That Changed the World.

God has positioned us for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14) through your faithful prayers and great generosity.  With the broad radio and television coverage that your support has made possible, we have become a trusted source for biblical truth.  Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the producers of the NBC series — the same team that produced the acclaimed documentary The Bible — actually came to us with this coordination strategy in mind.  I said “yes” by faith, because I recognized immediately the tremendous potential for reaching far more souls than ever before through this unusual partnership.  I thank God for the privilege of ministering in this unique new way, and I thank you for having helped to set the stage for it.

This is a groundbreaking opportunity:  In more than three decades of ministry we have never had the opportunity to release a 12-week television teaching series concurrently with a major television network Bible series!  Each Sunday we will share the life-changing power of God’s Word with millions of people who will view the same portion from the Book of Acts dramatized that evening on NBC.  The potential ministry impact is enormous.

This A.D. series is ideal for inviting the lost or gathering a small group or class to watch the programs together and make use of the study resources.  It is also a great time for you to share Turning Point with your friends.

[Thank] you so much for being my friend and my fellow laborer in the work of the Lord.

God bless you,

David Jeremiah

I would like to prayerfully request that readers here consider a donation [ANY AMOUNT WOULD HELP!] to the Turning Point Ministry which will help fund this effort. The general website is David Jeremiah.org. Please check out the site and watch the current broadcasts. I think that you will find this particular television and radio ministry as authentic, biblically based and accurate in its teachings of the Bible and genuine Christian faith.

With so many charlatans and heretical/apostate ministries (as well as false and dangerous religions!) creeping up here in the United States (as well as around the world), it is vitally important to be able to discern truth from error during this time of great upheaval, spewing of lies, acts of evil, and great deception being presented as “truth.”

Reading and studying the Bible, learning about Jesus Christ and how his apostles spread the Gospel in the Book of Acts will be essential in your walk with the Lord!

Yesterday,  I  found the Tyndale publishing website that describes Dr. David Jeremiah’s upcoming book on this series, which will be released in April, 2015.

Description from Tyndale:

When Pontius Pilate ordered the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, he thought he was putting an end to the Jewish uprising that had been threatening the authority of the Roman Empire. What Pilate didn’t realize, however, was that real revolution was just getting started.

Based on the epic NBC television series, The Revolution that Changed the World is a sweeping Biblical narrative that brings the political intrigue, religious persecution, and emotional turmoil of the Book of Acts to life in stunning, vibrant detail. Beginning with the crucifixion, NYT best-selling author and Bible teacher Dr. David Jeremiah chronicles the tumultuous struggles of Christ’s disciples following the Resurrection. From the brutal stoning of Stephen and Saul’s radical conversion, through the unyielding persecution of Peter and the relentless wrath of Pilate, Jeremiah paints a magnificent portrait of the political and religious upheaval that led to the formation of the early Church.

Complete with helpful background information about the characters, culture, and traditions included in the television series, A.D. The Revolution That Changed the World is not only a riveting, action-packed read, it is also an illuminating exploration of one of the most significant chapters in world history.

Get ready to watch history unfold. The Revolution That Changed the World has begun!

I can’t wait!

My plan is to write a blog post about this series each Monday morning, starting with April 5, 2015!

Yours in Christ,

Christine

 

Hat tips to all links.


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Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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