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faith to push on,
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Thursday, January 16, 2014
Holy Spirit is God, also!
Holy Spirit is God, also!
Thu, January 16, 2014 | link
“... self-control is not control by oneself through one's own willpower but rather
control of oneself through the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Jerry Bridges
There is a misconception in some places that Holy
Spirit is part of God but not God.
This is simply not true! Holy Spirit is God!
When we think of Jesus, God as man, it is easier for us to understand because we all walk, talk, and do people type things. It’s not difficult to understand Jesus being
God because we can reason that there is something in us that makes us distinct from a corpse, and that is life, and that life
is us even if unseen. It is relatively easy to see that Jesus and God the Father can have a relationship similar in some (rather
simplistic) way to us and our life force.
this is confusing and not exactly right, but we do have some feeling for this, don’t we?
Holy Spirit is another aspect
and sometimes people who hear
the Christian understanding of Holy Spirit think we have simply gone crazy and lost it.
God within US?
That’s almost a crazy notion isn’t it?
Here’s how it works out…
John 14:16-18 (NIRV)
16 I will ask the Father. And he will give you another Friend to help
you and to be with you forever. 17 The Friend is the Spirit of truth. The world can’t accept him. That is
because the world does not see him or know him. But you know him. He lives with you, and he will be in you.
Jesus actually said people who don’t have
a relationship with God (the world) can’t accept Holy Spirit, mainly because he is not visible and provable.
That means Holy Spirit is with Christians every moment
of every day once we have accepted God in our life. Everything we do is experienced and known by Him.
God in every one of his believers in a special way!
Now the sin of blasphemy is one uniquely focused on God himself.
This means that when
the bible says …Luke 12:10 ““Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of
Man will be forgiven. But anyone who speaks evil things against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”…
that Holy Spirit has a direct link to being GOD.
We can review 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Holy Spirit. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, freedom is also there.”
…which says the Lord and Holy Spirit are one.
Holy Spirit IS God!
Now Holy Spirit is within us, but in some way this is Jesus in
us as well! Paul says
to Corinthians after Jesus had died and risen and gone to heaven…
2 Corinthians 13:5
Take a good look at yourselves to see if you are really
believers. Test yourselves. Don’t you realize that Christ Jesus is in you? Unless, of course, you fail the test!
Holy Spirit is in us and this means Jesus is in us,
because God is in us!
So we are never alone! Never! God is with us all the time, always.
Our problem is that we don’t allow God to function in our lives. We block him with deliberate and accidental
sin. We fail to use prayer to communicate and we almost never get quiet and listen to God’s Spirits gentle guidance
in our thoughts and feelings.
God the creator choses to live through us in this world! We so often chose to block him. Why? Sin? Incorrect beliefs? Rebellion?
By releasing Holy Spirit we
So I say, live by the Holy Spirit’s power. Then you will not do what your sinful nature wants you to do. Galatians
let God work in us today!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Entrapment, the Christian way
freely and of your own free will!” ~ Bram Stoker
Wed, January 15, 2014 | link
Reading the news on google related to the Christian community you would
think this is a group of crazy, cannibals.
Some people in Central Africa who have aligned themselves with the word
“Christian”, went on the rampage against Muslims and
apparently killed them. One man is reported to have eaten part of the person killed.
That this is labelled as Christian activity shows how little the
reporting world knows of true Christianity.
would never accept such a believer. That man has sinned and sinned badly. He has disobeyed the two greatest commands given
to Christians. That command of loving God first and loving our neighbour as our self, second.
This person has also not followed God’s way of forgiveness.
He should NOT be labeled as a Christian.
Yet our media loves to point fingers at what Christians do wrong.
The same media however never point to the millions upon millions
of dollars spent by Christians in supporting the children of the world with food and education. The time spent helping prostitutes out of the sex trade.
The time spent in orphanages or HIV clinics. This is conveniently forgotten isn’t it?
It’s hard for us as Christians to not
respond against these selected minor reporting attacks with anger.
Yet, we are asked to respond in truth and love, to warn these reporters that they are setting
up trouble for themselves.
Psalm 57 (NIRV) explains what happens to people who lay traps for Christians. (True Christians that is)
me your favor, God. Show me your favor.
I go to you for safety.
I will find safety in the shadow of your wings.
There I will stay until the danger is gone.
2 I cry out to God Most High.
I cry out to God, and he carries out his plan for me.
He answers from heaven and saves me.
He puts to shame those who chase me. Selah
He shows me his love and his
who are like lions are all around me.
I am lying down among hungry animals.
Their teeth are like spears and arrows.
Their tongues are like sharp swords.
5 God, may you be honored above the heavens.
Let your glory be over the whole earth.
6 My enemies spread a net to
catch me by the feet.
I felt helpless.
They dug a pit in my path.
But they fell into it themselves. Selah
heart feels secure.
My heart feels secure.
I will sing and make music to you.
8 My spirit, wake
Harp and lyre, wake up!
I want to sing and make music before the sun rises.
9 Lord, I will praise you among the nations.
sing about you among the people of the earth.
10 Great is your love. It reaches to the heavens.
truth reaches to the skies.
11 God, may you be honored above the heavens.
Let your glory be over the whole earth.
We are not to pull out machetes to protect ourselves. We are to sing praises to God.
are to focus on truth and love.
That is how the Christians protect themselves.
We are to be in among those who target Christians and would take us down. We need to trust God for our deliverance
and it will come. The tongues of these journalists who want get fame and fortune for themselves at the expense of putting
the truth in context will lead them into dark places.
After a while these Christ haters will find they are depressed and can
only see the negative of life.
Sleeping will become difficult.
The purpose for living will leave them in despair. They will fall into the pit of despair which they have attempted to dig
for the true Christian world.
This will happens, but those true Christians they persecute will still be singing praises in love.
No matter what people do, they cannot suppress the Spirit of God. That is what powers the true believer and sets them free
despite horrific circumstances.
To God be the Glory, His will be done!
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Did you know the Christians are the largest persecuted minority in the world?
Tue, January 14, 2014 | link
Did you know the Christians are the largest persecuted minority in the world?
“A steady recognition that the evils which
prevent the fullness of moral development are precisely the elements which are also the source of the power that gives existence
to whatever moral accomplishments we see about us may eventually lead us to a tolerance we grant to the internal-combustion
engine: it is noisy and smelly, and occasionally, it refuses to start, but it is what gets us to wherever we get.
must somehow learn to understand and so to tolerate- not destroy- the free society.” ~ Michael Polanyi
Freedom: Having the power to act, speak or think as one wants
without hindrance or constraint.
Persecution: hostility and ill-treatment, esp. because of race or political or religious beliefs.
Christians are persecuted today. Believe it!
Here is the statistics of the 10 worst countries in the world to be a Christian provided by http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/08/the-10-absolute-worst-places-in-the-world-to-be-a-christian/ and established by Open Doors USA.
Our governments by not speaking out about religious
freedom are allowing freedom in this world to decrease.
Today as Christians lets devote some time in prayer for those people in these countries
that need our prayer, support and love.
Let us also pray that our governments would stop the persecution of religious freedom.
It should be permissible to wear religious
clothing and not be something outlawed. In Canada that freedom is currently being undermined. Britain seems to have similar
problems as people are discriminated against in the workplace.
Let’s demand our freedom of religion worldwide.
Let’s pray it into existence.
Have a great day!
Monday, January 13, 2014
Did Jesus exist?
Mon, January 13, 2014 | link
“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.” ~ Christopher
University of Toronto makes the following comments on critical thinking…
WHAT IS CRITICAL THINKING?
Critical thinking is
a higher order of thinking: it is the practice of
using a number of different advanced thinking skills in a variety of complex ways.
Critical thinking focuses
on thought: it looks at how facts
are proven, arguments are formed, conclusions are reached, not just what the facts, argument or
conclusion may be.
• Critical thinking is self-reflexive: it involves reflecting on, questioning and testing your own thinking processes.
• Critical thinking is discipline-specific: it engages in particular forms of reasoning, such as mathematical reasoning, historical analysis or literary interpretation,
which are specific to a particular discipline.
So how do we deal with people who ask us “Did Jesus really exist?”
In many cases we as Christians often give inappropriate responses.
Many Christians have responses that include; Ignoring, switching the subject, feeling hurt or resentful, complaining, locking
down onto things told to them that they cannot defend, failing to answer the question.
Again the University of Toronto suggests
The Right Approach
Reason: We base our thinking
in logic, not feelings.
Self-Awareness: We pay attention to our own and others’ assumptions, biases and
Integrity: We care about doing our intellectual work honestly and accurately rather than about being right.
Discipline: We put effort into doing our work comprehensively and precisely.
We consider alternatives and other
points of view.
We need to consider is it logical to reason that Jesus existed and answer
the challenge that we as Christians only assume Jesus existed. We need to be honest and accurate in our review of the facts. We must be willing
to openly investigate arguments that perhaps go against our beliefs. We should live as if we believe Jesus exists, because
that is true proof of our confidence in the fact.
said we need to ask ourselves questions. Is the bible
the only evidence for Jesus’ existence? The answer to this is No, but how many know what the other evidence is and whether
it is as reliable as the bible. If we state there is and it has reliability, why would we say this? Would everyone agree?
Why should people agree?
Normally people who
ask us if Jesus existed tend to also be asking about non-biblical evidence for this.
Is it right to discount biblical evidence for Jesus if you are
not a Christian?
Let’s consider the facts. A web site http://www.freebeginning.com/new_testament_dates has a listing of the earliest, latest and most likely dates when the New Testament books were written. This
are good estimates and further investigation will show them to be approximately correct. I have reproduced the information
from that site below for you to review more easily.
|N.T. Book||Author||Earliest||Latest||Most Likely|
48||A.D. 50||A.D. 48|
|1 Thessalonians||Apostle Paul||A.D. 50||A.D. 52||A.D. 51|
|2 Thessalonians||Apostle Paul||A.D. 50||A.D. 52||A.D. 51|
Wenham / John A. T. Robinson
|1 Corinthians||Apostle Paul||A.D. 55||A.D. 55||A.D. 55|
|2 Corinthians||Apostle Paul||A.D. 56||A.D. 56||A.D. 56|
|Romans||Apostle Paul||A.D. 57||A.D. 57||A.D. 57|
(half-brother of Jesus)
|A.D. 38||A.D. 62||A.D. 50-60|
|Luke||Luke||A.D. 57-62||A.D. 57-62||A.D. 57-62|
|Ephesians||Apostle Paul||A.D. 60-62||A.D. 60-62||A.D. 60-62|
|Philippians||Apostle Paul||A.D. 60-62||A.D. 60-62||A.D. 60-62|
|Colossians||Apostle Paul||A.D. 60-62||A.D. 60-62||A.D. 60-62|
|Philemon||Apostle Paul||A.D. 60-62||A.D. 60-62||A.D. 60-62|
|Acts||Luke||A.D. 62-63||A.D. 62-63||A.D. 62-63|
|Titus||Apostle Paul||A.D. 62||A.D. 63||A.D. 63|
|1 Timothy||Apostle Paul||A.D. 62||A.D. 64||A.D. 63|
|2 Timothy||Apostle Paul||A.D. 64||A.D. 64||A.D. 64|
|1 Peter||Apostle Peter||A.D. 63||A.D. 68||A.D. 64-67|
|2 Peter||Apostle Peter||A.D. 64||A.D. 68||A.D. 65-68|
|Hebrews||Unknown||A.D. 40||A.D. 69||A.D. 50-68|
|Matthew||Apostle Matthew||A.D. 40|
John Wenham / John A. T. Robinson
(half-brother of Jesus)
|A.D. 60||A.D. 85||A.D. 65-80|
|John||Apostle John||A.D. 60's|
|1 John||Apostle John||Unknown||A.D. 98||A.D. 90's|
|2 John||Apostle John||Unknown||A.D. 98||A.D 90's|
|3 John||Apostle John||Unknown||A.D. 98||A.D. 90's|
|Revelation||Apostle John||A.D. 68||A.D. 97||A.D. 95-97|
Notice that based on Jesus dying around 30-33 A.D. the time since his
death to the last of these writings is
95A.D. – 33A.D = 62years.
Consider that World War 2
1945 A.D. – 2014A.D. = 69 years
Can we trust
our information about the world war from 69 years ago?
If so… why can we not trust biblical accounts written 62years after the event?
I think we can state, based on these facts,
that the New Testaments writings are valid for reviewing if Jesus existed.
But what about non-biblical information
Again I found a very useful site
that has information I am using and paraphrasing  to describe the non-biblical sources.
Roman Historian (A.D.56 to A.D 117)
Mentioned superstitious “Christians”
(from Christus, which is Latin for Christ), who suffered under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius.
Suetonius, chief secretary to Emperor Hadrian (A.D.69-A.D.122)
Wrote that there was a man named Chrestus (or Christ) who lived during the first century (Annals
Flavius Josephus – Jewish historian (A.D.36
In his Antiquities he refers to James, “the brother of
Jesus, who was called Christ.” There is a controversial verse (18:3) that says, “Now there was about this time
Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats....He was [the] Christ...he
appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things
One version reads, “At this time there was a
wise man named Jesus. His conduct was good and [he] was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the
other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who became his disciples did
not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was
alive; accordingly he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.”
Julius Africanus - celebrated orator in the reign
of Nero condemned by Tiberius in 32 AD
Quotes the historian Thallus in a discussion of the
darkness which followed the crucifixion of Christ (Extant Writings, 18).
Pliny the Younger – (A.D.61 to A.D.112)
in Letters 10:96, recorded
early Christian worship practices including the fact that Christians worshiped Jesus as God and were very ethical, and he
includes a reference to the love feast and Lord’s Supper.
Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a) A.D.200
confirms Jesus' crucifixion on the eve of Passover
and the accusations against Christ of practicing sorcery and encouraging Jewish apostasy.
Lucian of Samosata was a second-century Greek writer (A.D 125 –
Admits that Jesus was worshiped by Christians, introduced new teachings,
and was crucified for them. He said that Jesus' teachings included the brotherhood of believers, the importance of conversion,
and the importance of denying other gods. Christians lived according to Jesus’ laws, believed themselves to be immortal,
and were characterized by contempt for death, voluntary self-devotion, and renunciation of material goods.
Mara Bar-Serapion - Stoic philosopher in the Roman province of Syria-Letter A.D.73
Confirms that Jesus was thought to be a wise and virtuous man, was considered by many to be
the king of Israel, was put to death by the Jews, and lived on in the teachings of His followers.
Discovered at Nag Hammadi are generally dated to the 4th century
There is some debate regarding the original composition of the texts.
wide range and the majority of scholars date authorship of the Gnostic gospel of Nag Hammadi to the 2nd and 3rd century. Scholars
with a focus on Christianity tend to date the gospels mentioned by Irenaeus to the 2nd century, and the gospels mentioned
solely by Jerome to the 4th century
I think this is sufficient evidence to prove Jesus existed!
In fact using non-biblical sources we can
construct the following story about Jesus.
Jesus was called the Christ (Josephus), did “magic,” led Israel into new teachings,
and was hanged on Passover for them (Babylonian Talmud) in Judea (Tacitus), but claimed to be God and would return (Eliezar),
which his followers believed, worshipping Him as God (Pliny the Younger).
And using biblical sources the same story is
was called the Christ (Romans 1) did “miracles”(Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) led Israel into new teachings(Luke
11), and was hanged on Passover (John19, Matthew 27, Luke 23, Mark 15) for them in Judea.
Jesus claimed to be God (John1:1, John 10:33,Col 2:9) and would return (Rev 20) which his followers
believed, worshipping Him as God.
A very early writing Nicene Creed A.D.325 formally
adopted this truthful statement about Jesus. This was written and agreed by a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea
in Bithynia by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325. The known Christian world gathered to agree on this statement (of
which the below is one English translation)
in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten),
not made, being of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made, both which be in heaven and in earth. Who
for us men and for our salvation came down [from heaven] and was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and the third day
he rose again, and ascended into heaven. And he shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead. And [we believe] in
the Holy Ghost.
And whosoever shall say that there was a time when
the Son of God was not or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he
is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion—all
that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them. 
This is who Jesus is, but what did he want?
has an incident of people with Jesus which explains this in Mark 12….
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard the Sadducees arguing. He noticed that Jesus had given the Sadducees
a good answer. So he asked him, “Which is the most important of all the commandments?”
29 Jesus answered, “Here is the most important one.
Moses said, ‘Israel, listen to
me. The Lord is our God. The Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord
your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind and with all your strength.’
31 And here is the second one.
‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’
There is no commandment more important than these.”
32 “You have spoken well, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one.
There is no other God but him. 33 To love God with all your
heart and mind and strength is very important. So is loving your neighbor as you love yourself. These things are more important
than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
saw that the man had answered wisely. He said to him, “You are not far from God’s kingdom.”
From then on, no one dared to ask Jesus any more questions.
Jesus wanted us to love God, others and ourselves. This is a good message. But notice when you read the above that Jesus said “You are not
far from God’s kingdom.” Not that the man would be in it.
Well there was one other thing…the man had to see that Jesus was
God. Then he would have the complete set of facts.
you have the complete set of facts?
 http://ctl.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/sites/default/files/CriticalThinking.pdf http://www.gotquestions.org/did-Jesus-exist.html#ixzz2q8Scif4N http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed
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May you be blessed today!