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I SWEAR IT!

Have you ever heard the idiom, “cross my heart and hope to die”?

Simply put, it is sort of a vow that someone is being truthful.  For example, I did lock the door-cross my heart and hope to die!  This phrase most likely originated as a religious oath based on the sign of the cross; it is generally accompanied by hand gestures such as crossing one’s hands over one’s breast and then pointing the right-hand skyward.  Sadly, there may be more truth to this idiom than one may realize.
 

MATTHEW 5:33-37 – “I  VOW”

v33 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.’ 34 But I say to you, take no oath at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, nor by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. 36 Nor shall you take an oath by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. 37 But make sure your statement is, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil origin.”

WHAT DOES IT SAY

The Torah taught that if you made any vow or promise or told others you would do something, it was the same as telling God you would do it.  In contemporary terms, “your word became your bond”.

Jews were notoriously guilty of common swearing especially when making vow, for which our Lord particularly reprehends them, and warns his disciples against.  They swore by heaven, by earth, by Jerusalem, by their head, their own writings, adding a false sense of importance or weight to their vow and avoiding using the name of God in the vow in order to avoid profaning the Name of the Lord.

Jews would also swear by the prophets, the books of Scripture, the Temple, the altar, the lamb, the Temple’s chambers, the Temple’s dishes, the sacrifices on fire, the moon, stars, the sun, their hair, their beard, and on and on.  

The use of all these names gave the Jew an excuse to avoid filling their vow.  And, with so much swearing it was impossible not to profane God.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN

The word “Vow” here, literally translates to perjure oneself or to swear an oath falsely which is closely related to the 9th Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” which means to “give false testimony” against a neighbor;  It is also tantamount to taking the Name of God in vain.  Either way, it was a very serious matter.

What is crystal clear, however, is that whether you are lying or taking the Name of God in vain, you are sinning and the consequences of being separated from God, as we have already discussed, can be dire. – Isaiah 59:2.But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU

There is a distinction you must make between sinning, (in this case by making “false vows”) versus your sins being covered (forgiven) by the “sacrificial Blood of Jesus” – that is, being saved by God’s Grace through faith in Jesus.  

You can be certain that surrendering your life to Jesus, repenting of your sins and by confessing Jesus as Lord, that you will be saved and are forgiven, and you are “washed clean”.

The Bible teaches, however, that there is a difference  between repenting of those sins and continuing to practice those sins (without restraint or remorse).

Galatians 5:19-21  “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 You can read https://whitestone2020.com/2020/07/17/sin-no-more/ for more on this, but for now, just know that God is not mocked.  He understands your heart, which is “more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick; who can understand it?  The Lord searches our heart and tests our mind and will deal with each person according to his or her own intentions, your ways and the results of your deeds.”  (Paraphrase of Jeremiah 17:9-10)

Jesus finishes His teaching with the admonition with, Just make sure your statement is, Yes or No’ because anything beyond that is has questionable and evil intentions.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

This important teaching of vows, honesty and honoring God, is just one more reminder that “unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

You and I can find real peace, security, genuine power and can live forever in the Presence of God, if we will 

“Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the Law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may achieve success wherever you go.   This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will ]achieve success.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:7-9

We tend to remember:

  • 10% of what they read.
    • 20% of what they only hear.
    • 30% of what they only see.
    • 50% of what they see and hear.
    • 70% of what they say and write down.
    • 90% of what they DO

You have seen it, you have read it, you have heard it, NOW, LET’S GO DO IT!

Your Brother and Friend, 

Mike Young

DID GOD REALLY SAY THAT?

MATTHEW 5:31,32 –  SAY, WHAT?

v31 “Now it was said, ‘WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY IS TO GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE’; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery

WHAT DOES IT SAY

The language in these verses is so plain that very little more need be said, except perhaps to comment that we should not be lulled into complacency by the brevity of this verse.  This may be THE VERSE that will save a marriage and leads to a lifetime of peace and security – for some of those who read it and/or share it.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN

(The following explanation in quotes is an excerpt from the got questions.org website.). 

First, in order for a divorce to be granted, there had to be a problem related to “indecency.” Verse 1 reads, “If then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her . . .” (ESV). The Hebrew phrase used here was generally a reference to sexual indecency such as adultery (Leviticus 18:6–18) or indecent exposure (Deuteronomy 23:14). Jewish leaders would long debate what was considered “indecent,” but the original wording clearly referred to indecent sexual behavior.

“Second, a formal divorce certificate was required: “He writes her a certificate of divorce [and] gives it to her” (verse 1). A husband could not simply express his desire to be divorced and move on with his life. He was required to provide a written legal certificate, which would have required witnesses to the event.

Third, the divorced couple was no longer to live together: the husband “sends her from his house” (verse 1). Living together as an unmarried couple was not acceptable, and a divorced couple was considered unmarried.

Fourth, the divorced woman could remarry another man: “After she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man” (verse 2). The text does not explicitly teach the woman must remarry, but neither does it prohibit a divorced woman from doing so. In that society, a single woman would have had few other options than to seek another husband or to return to her father’s household.

“Fifth, the divorced spouse could not later remarry the first partner, if that partner had remarried: “Her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again” (verse 4).

The New Testament teachings regarding divorce offer additional insight into this topic. Jesus reminded the religious leaders that God never intended divorce: “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning” (Matthew 19:8). The “beginning” refers to Adam and Eve as one man and one woman in lifelong marriage—God’s original design.

Jesus also taught that sexual immorality was one legitimate reason for divorce: “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery” (Matthew 5:31). The apostle Paul added, “A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:10–11). Another instruction is also provided for Christians with an unbelieving spouse: “If the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances” (1 Corinthians 7:15).

Though divorce was not part of God’s original plan for marriage, sinful humanity demanded it, and the Mosaic Law addressed occasions when it was permissible. Jesus and the New Testament teachings affirm the original intent of marriage as being a lifelong relationship between a man and woman while specifying limited occasions when divorce is acceptable. “  (End of excerpt)

Although there may be times when divorce is acceptable, according to the Bible, (1) the results of divorce are still the acts of selfish and sinful men and women who are in rebellion against God and His plan for their lives (2) and, it is destructive.  The pain and damage to the family, can go on for generations

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU

I can remember a day, as a young boy, when divorce was socially unacceptable, it was at best, a social embarrassment, and at worst, a divorced person was somewhat of a social  outcast.  What I didn’t understand, at the time, was why a young child of a divorced mother would be shunned.  The hurt and resentment that was being planted in my psyche which would plague me for decades.

Society at large and Christians in particular have discarded God’s Word as their Guiding Principal, and as the divorce rate in America has climbed to 50%, the damage being done to future generations in incalculable.

(NOTE:  The following are excerpts are from “https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/how-could-divorce-affect-my-kids/  website)

  • Life expectancies for divorced men and women are significantly lower than for married people (who have the longest life expectancies). 
  • One study found that those who were unhappy but stayed married were more likely to be happy five years later than those who divorced.
  • The health consequences of divorce are so severe that a Yale researcher concluded that “being divorced and a nonsmoker is slightly less dangerous than smoking a pack a day and staying married.”
  • After a diagnosis of cancer, married people are most likely to recover, while the divorced are least likely to recover, indicating that the emotional trauma of divorce has a long-term impact on the physical health of the body.
  • Men and women both suffer a decline in mental health following divorce, but researchers have found that women are more greatly affected. 
  • Some of the mental health indicators impacted by divorce include depression, hostility, self-acceptance, personal growth and positive relations with others.

While virtually every child suffers the lost relationship and lost security described above, for many, the emotional scars have additional, more visible consequences. More than 30 years of research continues to reveal the negative effects of divorce on children. Most of these measurable effects are calculated in increased risks. In other words, while divorce does not mean these effects will definitely occur in your child, it does greatly increase the risks. The odds are simply against your kids if you divorce.

Research comparing children of divorced parents to children with married parents shows:

  • Children from divorced homes suffer academically. They experience high levels of behavioral problems. Their grades suffer, and they are less likely to graduate from high school. 
  • Kids whose parents divorce are substantially more likely to be incarcerated for committing a crime as a juvenile.
  • Because the custodial parent’s income drops substantially after a divorce, children in divorced homes are almost five times more likely to live in poverty than are children with married parents.
  • Teens from divorced homes are much more likely to engage in drug and alcohol use, as well as sexual intercourse, than are those from intact families. 
  • Children from divorced homes experience illness more frequently and recover from sickness more slowly. 
  • They are also more likely to suffer child abuse. 
  • Children of divorced parents suffer more frequently from symptoms of psychological distress. 
  • And the emotional scars of divorce last into adulthood.

(End of excerpt)

Additionally, statistics show that once divorced:

  • Second Marriages: 60 percent will terminate with a divorce as the result.
  • Third Marriages: 73 percent will terminate with a divorce as the result.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

(These are 2 real-life examples of people who made decisions about marriage and divorce)

I.  My wife and I were on a cruise ship in one of their specialty restaurants waiting for our meal to be served, when the restaurant manager, a lady, came by our table to greet us.  She asked if we were celebrating any occasion.  We told here we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary.  The lady smiled broadly, congratulated us and asked “How did you do it?  How did you stay married for 50 years?” And laughed, as if she was communicating humor.  I assumed she laughed because so many people get divorced.

My wife, Betty, look at this lady and answered, very matter-of-factly, “Just never get a divorce.”  The lady laughed out loud.  But, when she saw my wife was not laughing, she turned serious and asked, “Really?  What do you mean?”

My wife proceed to briefly explain what the Bible says about marriage and divorce and why ‘sticking with it is worth it’.

The lady responded with, “I don’t know if I could do that.  You see, I have been in a relationship for 10 years and things aren’t working out, so we are thinking about splitting up.”

My wife asked, “You’ve been married for 10 years?

The lady answered, “Well, no, noT married.  But, we have been living together.”

My wife answer with, “Well, when you start wrong you won’t finish right.  A commitment of Marriage is an agreement, that can help you get past the tough times.  God wants you to be happy and happy in a marriage.  I’m sorry you are having a hard time.  God can help you through this, if you would like.”

The lady appeared nervous at this point, thanked my wife and said she need to attend to the other diners, and excused herself.  It seemed as if this lady had made her choice.

II.  I was out for a walk around the deck of this cruise ship one morning when I notice a couple sitting, drinking coffee and talking at one of the deck tables.  I recognized them as a couple I had seen at breakfast before we boarded the cruise ship.  They appeared to be in their early thirties.  The man had been loudly and publicly berating the woman for eating too slowly at breakfast, telling her that she would make them late boarding the ship.

I stopped and greeted them with a ‘good morning’ and they smiled and responded.  I initiated some light conversation by asking them where they were from and other small talk.  I discovered they were on their honeymoon.

I congratulated them and told them that we were celebrating our 50th anniversary.  The man remarked, “I hope we can make it that long.  What is your secret?”, he asked.

“Do you really want to know?”, I asked.  They both said yes, enthusiastically.

I sat down with them and said, “My wife and I were married in our teens.  Sometimes we would argue over small things – like you guys did at breakfast this morning.”  They both looked surprise and embarrassed.

“It’s normal to argue from time to time.  But, our marriage wasn’t going well after a few years.  We argued more and more, to the point we were drifting apart.  Then, through circumstances, we turned to God for help and we found the direction we needed.  It gave us a security and a sense of peace that got us through tough times.  Now, here we are 50 years later!

This couple agreed that what they wanted was a way to find peace and security.  I told them how to come to Jesus.  They were obviously grateful and thanked me.  I left the table, honestly feeling humbled.

It seemed, like the lady in the restaurant, they too, had made their choice.

So, what about you?  What will you do when faced with similar circumstances?  What is your choice?

I pray for us all that we have the courage and the conviction to decide to follow Jesus and find our peace and security in Him.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

PS:  If you have been through a divorce, just remember, there is hope for healing and restoring.  Although it is not always easy, it is always worth it.  What is done is done, and the future can be bright with opportunities and hope of peace, secuity and prosperity for your soul, in Christ!  Please, make the right decision.

SAYS WHO?

MATTHEW 5:27-30 / YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID

Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; v28  but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 Now if your right eye is causing you to sin, tear it out and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand is causing you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Jesus continues to contrast and compare the Old Covenant Law (Torah) with His New Covenant Truth. And, again, He is using the Mosaic Covenant and the Ten Commandments, specifically the “Second Five” which deal with personal relationships. Specifically, in these verses, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY”.

Jesus is warning against lusting after a woman even in your heart. There is much more that could be said, but, Jesus go straight to the point: “If you think it, you’ve done it!”  

He warns of the consequences of being ‘swept or dragged away and imprisoned’ by your sin (from the Greek language used in the Bible) and offers a radical and unthinkable remedy as opposed to spending an eternity in hell.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

What this means must be framed by the “Why” of the matter. Why did God warn against adultery (and murder), besides the obvious penalties stated, such as “Your whole body will go to hell” – and why that?
God is warning against a much greater threat. He is warning against separation from His Presence.

  Isiah 59:2. “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,  And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”

The willful lust of adultery (or murder), is Sin against God, and it separates you from the presence of God.  It is the litmus test of self-centeredness. It shows a deliberate rebellion against and a disregard for God and others. And, being absent from the presence of God opens the door to every sort of destructive harm and damage to the human condition, now in this life, and later, eternal separation from God, “

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

We, who call ourselves Christians, should experience God in the ways described in the Bible. Yet, we suffer needlessly because of our failures, blaming the ‘weaknesses of our flesh’.

Look at the example of Job:

Job 1:5 tells us that “When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send word to them and consecrate them, getting up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Job did so continually.”

Consider that Job was obsessed with the sins of his sons. So much so, that he was gripped with doubt and fear. Suddenly …

Job 1:6 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 8 The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job?

Now the ‘spiritual door’ was opened and Satan came among them, and, God allows Job to suffer at the hands of Satan. Now read …

Job 3:25. “For what I fear comes upon me, And what I dread encounters me. 26 “I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.”

We call on the Name of God and beg for mercy, yet we fail to repent of our own rebellious ways, and a ‘spiritual door is opened’ and Satan comes among us, and we can no longer obey God and His Word. So, we say “All of these things you are asking are too difficult for me. This is a far-off thing you are asking of me. I won’t be able to do these things until I get to heaven!”

But, God says, in Deuteronomy 30:11

“For this commandment which I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it far away. 12 It is not in heaven, that you could say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us and get it for us, and proclaim it to us, so that we may follow it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you could say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us and get it for us and proclaim it to us, so that we may follow it?’ 14 On the contrary, the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may follow it.”

And again in Romans 10:6

“But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8 But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13f or “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

The contemporary postmodern Church in America, and most parts of the world, will tell you, if you are a Christian, that God is your loving “Daddy” (Abba), and that is true.  They will tell you that He understands your frailty to sin, and that you should “do your best and forget the rest” because “He loves you so much, He can never love you any less”. But, these are lies of a religion fallen into apostasy.  They neglect to tell you about the consequences of sin, rebellion against God and that continued deliberate sin separates you from Him.

NOW – WHAT WILL YOU DO?

The Bible tells us that “we don’t have to sin”, but when we do, we have an advocate in Jesus Christ, Who is before the Father on our behalf, Who is the atonement (payment) for our sins. But, that we must turn to Him, confess our sins to Him and repent (acknowledge sin is wrong and turn away from sin).

1 John 2:3  “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5but whoever follows His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6the one who says that he remains in Him ought, himself also, walk just as He walked.”

You can be assured that …

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.“

I pray that, as we who confess the Name of Jesus, will overcome by the word of our testimony and by the Blood of the Lamb.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

THE WORD OF GOD – Believe it or not!

The Word of God 2.jpg

DON’T JUST “KNOW ABOUT IT” – “KNOW IT”

The Bible is the Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Inerrant, Infallible, Living Word and Breath of God.  Once the Word lives in you, it will tell the Truth to you and through you, and nothing will ever be the same!

John 15:7  “If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”

THE BIBLE IS

A ‘fence’. It gives you boundaries to keep you safe.

A ‘map’. It gives you directions on the way to travel through life.

A ‘compass’. It points you in the right direction.

A ‘mirror’. It gives you a reflection of yourself.

A ‘painting’. It gives you a picture of God.

A ‘lion’. It is able to defend itself and you.

An ‘instruction book’. Giving instructions for any matter.

THE BIBLE SAYS

“There is nothing else like it”.

It is “Alive”.  It will live in you and through you.

It is sharper than any “Two-edged sword”. Piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

It is a “Lamp”.  It is a lamp unto my feet and keeps me from stumbling.

It is a “Light”.  It is a light unto my path and lets me see each step of where I am going.

It is a “Door”.  Anyone who enters by Him will be saved and can go in and out and find rest.

It is a “Fire”. It cleanses and purifies and burns up chaff, wood, hay and stubble.

It is a “Hammer”. It breaks rocks of obstruction.

It is a “Seed”. Imperishable, growing, giving life.

It is a “Vine”. A vine through which we find nourishment, and we bear righteous fruit.

It is The WORD of GOD.

It is With GOD.

It is GOD.

It is LIFE.

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”

You must know and believe that the Word of God (The Bible) IS the breathed Word of God.

Knowing the Bible, alone, stands above every other thing, gives it Supremacy.

The Bible is a collection of stories, parables, similes, anecdotes ONLY TO THE UNTRAINED HUMAN MIND which is not filled by the Holy Spirit of God.

THE BIBLE IS THE PROPHETIC, BREATHED (PNEUMA), WORD OF GOD.

Breathe it in and let the Breath of God breathe through you. Consume it and let It consume you.

John 6:53 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.

58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

DON’T JUST “KNOW ABOUT IT” – “KNOW IT”

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Mike and Betty on the Beach.jpg

HAVE YOU HEARD?

MATTHEW 5:21-26 – YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID

v21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ v22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell”

v23  “Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, v24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”

v25  “Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. v26 “Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.”

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

This section of Matthew is usually referred to as “The Sermon on The Mount”.  In it, Jesus is teaching and instructing His disciples in Kingdom principles and practices.

He teaches and contrasts the edicts of the Torah (the Law of the Old Testament) against the teaching, the fulfillment and the application of the New Covenant brought about by Jesus.

It is fitting that He starts His teaching with the words, “You have heard that the ancients were told” (verse 21), referring to the Old Covenants; and then begins this teaching with the 6th Commandment from the Mosaic Covenant, which deals with our relationships with one another.

It is worthwhile to highlight the main points:

1.  The Old Covenant Law says, “You shall not commit murder and whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court”.

 (a)  But. Jesus says, “everyone who is angry with his brother is guilty before the court”

(b)  And, Jesus goes on to explain, “Whoever call his brother ‘raca’ or him ‘you good-for-nothing’, shall be guilty before the Supreme Court”

 (c)  And, “Anyone who call his brother a “fool” shall be guilty enough to go to the fires of hell.”

2.  Verse 23 clarifies the matter by saying “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you…”

(b) You are to “leave your offering at the altar and go;

(i) first be reconciled to your brother
(ii) and then, come and present your offering

 3.  Jesus, then goes beyond simple reconciliation and says, “Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way,

 (a)  so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge,
 (b)  and, the judge to the officer,
 (c)  and, you be thrown into prison.

 4.  Jesus completes His instruction, with emphasis, by saying, “Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

 1.  Jesus is fulfilling the Old Testament law, which was written on tablets of stone which are an external standard for observance and practice and is bringing the new Covenant of His Grace and forgiveness and is writing it on the hearts of His people, so they will want to obey Him. (Ezekiel 11:19, 20 “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”)

 2.  Jesus is also telling us that continuing to think evil thoughts has the same effect as doing the act. Additionally, He is showing us that dwelling on an evil or sinful thought takes a person progressively deeper into evil thinking which will culminate in an evil act.  Finally, He is telling us the punishment that follows sin is self-inflicted and deadly.

 3.  Jesus then moves (literally) to the heart of the matter when He turns our attention to our offerings to God which originate in the attitude of our heart.

Proverb 3:9 admonishes us to “Honor the LORD from your wealth, And from the first, your produce; 10 Then your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

 1.  Jesus has extrapolated the meaning of “murder” to include anger, hatred, loathing or dismissing a person as worthless.

 (a)  If you treat someone as such, it means you are in jeopardy of being tried by God, found guilty and sentenced to a “prison” separated from God.

 (i)  Matthew 6:14-15. “If you forgive other people for their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive other people, then your Father will not forgive your offenses.”

 (ii)  Matthew 13:41,42 “ The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 2.  “Presenting an offering before the altar” is not a reference, strictly to money and belongings.  God is referring to the entire value of our being, which springs from the heart.

When our heart is right, God says, our “vats will overflow with new wine”. The vats are symbols of our natural being – our body, soul and spirit – and the new wine is the fruit of The Holy Spirit.

This means you cannot be right with God and at variance with your brother or sister and expect to prosper physically, emotionally or mentally.

3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”

 3.  Finally, Jesus is saying you should make friends quickly with your opponent on your way to the “court” or you may be judged, convicted and imprisoned. And you will remain imprisoned until you repay the offended person, in full.

There is no judgment as harsh, no prison cell as secure and sentence as long as one handed down by an offended person with whom you cannot make amends. Never let the offense go that far, or you may suffer a life sentence of misery and regret.

This means that you must always seek forgiveness quickly and forgive even more quickly. Initiate reconciliation and seek a lasting bond of friendship. This is what brings true peace, prosperity and freedom for your soul.

(There is a lot of preaching and teaching about God’s Grace without the corresponding teaching of His Holiness and requirements that we also be Holy, just as He is Holy.  God will discipline the one He loves, but, if you knowingly sin without conscience and never experience God’s discipline in your life, then, something is amiss.)

1 John 2:9  “The one who says that he is in the Light and yet hates his brother or sister is in the darkness until now. 10The one who loves his brother and sister remains in the Light, and there is nothing in him to cause stumbling. 11But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

Jesus uses similes of courts, judges, judgments and prisons to explain the Spiritual consequences of anger, hatred and murder.  He is reminding us that whatever we bind on earth is bound in heave; in other words, once a matter is bound in heaven, then it is manifest on earth.

Romans 8:5 Is the perfect translation and explanation –

For those who are in accord with the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are in accord with the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

The word “flesh” in these verses comes from two root, Greek words:

 1.  “Saróō” – to sweep, clean by sweeping (to be swept away by)

 2.  “Sýrō” – to draw, drag, of one before the judge, to prison, to punishment\

The words “life” and “peace” in these verses translate as:

 1.  LIFE:  “Zōḗ” –  life, every living soul

 (a)  The state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate

 (b)  Of the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God.

 (c)  Life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever.

 2.  PEACE:  “Eirḗnē” – Peace; a state of national tranquility; exemption from the rage and havoc of war.

 (a)  Peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord

 (b)  Security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)

 (c)  Of the Messiah’s peace; the way that leads to peace (salvation)

 (d)  Of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is

 (e)  The blessed state of devout and upright men after death

This means we have the power to choose.  Let’s begin today by setting our minds the things of the Spirit and find Life and Peace, and all that it brings. 

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

WHAT ARE YOU GETTING for what you are doing?

You probably already know the perceived condition of America in January 2021, as well as the state of the world. Some are saying we are in a state of political and social chaos. New diseases, wars, political intrigue and poverty, to name a few things that are holding our attention and draining our treasury.  Many people are turning to religion, God or the Church for answers.

Millions of people (approximately 52 million) “attend church” in one of the 300,000+ churches in America, at least once a week each month. However, when people were asked the topic of the “sermon” they heard after 24 hours, only about 10 percent could tell you. When asked to cite the most important lesson they received, most just shrugged.

An estimated 1.2 million hours each week(1) are spent in sermon preparations; it takes about another 300,000 hours in delivery of these sermons (2) at a staggering potential cost of over $750 millions dollars nationally, each week(3). Yet, only 5% of those hearing these sermons, remember anything about them after 72 hours.

If you are normal, you have the potential of remembering 10% of what you hear, and that is only the potential. Pastor and Bible teacher, Rick Warren, says we forget 95% of what we hear after 72 hours.

So, what are you getting for $750,000,000 in offerings? And, if you are a preacher or a pastor, what are you giving? Are you preaching, sermonizing, teaching, discipling, lecturing, giving a religious address or discourse which improve peoples’s lives or that they can even remember?

Review these methods used by churches, and determine which of these your are getting on Sunday mornings – and decide if it is worth the time and money:

      • Religious Lectures
      • Religious Addresses
      • Religious Discourses
      • Gospel Preaching
      • Bible Sermons
      • Religious Teaching
      • Christian Discipleship training

Studies show that most people don’t remember sermons, lectures, address or speeches—they don’t even remember paragraphs. What people remember are simple statements, slogans, and phrases. I don’t remember any speech John F. Kennedy gave, but most of us of a certain age remember his statements,

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” and, “I am a Berliner!”

I don’t remember any sermon preached by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but I do remember his famous phrase,

“I have a dream!”

People tend to remember:

      • 10% of what they read.
      • 20% of what they only hear.
      • 30% of what they only see.
      • 50% of what they see and hear.
      • 70% of what they say and write down.
      • 90% of what they DO

People will more frequently remember simple repeated statements, slogans, and phrases.

Jesus ministry was modeled on:

  • Jesus personally and actively setting the example for making, teaching and sending disciples. (I can find no example that Jesus wrote anything.)
  • Jesus speaking and teaching and showing His disciples by His own example (50% retention rate).
  • Jesus teaching His disciples to repeat His Words as He went with them to do His Works (90% retention rate).

So, Christian, how about you? How effective is your ministry?

  • Is your church primarily using reading materials to disciple? (10% retention)
  • Is your church primarily giving you sermons to disciple? (20% retention)
  • Are you seeing videos and overhead projections and bulletins with outlines?
  • When was the last time you went out with your pastor and preached, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 (attempted to) Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9 Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, 10 or a bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is deserving of his support. 11And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. 12 As you enter the house, give it your greeting. 13 If the house is worthy, see that your blessing of peace comes upon it. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. 14 And whoever does not receive you nor listen to your words, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment, than for that city. (90% retention)

And, Preacher / Pastor, how about you? How effective is your ministry?

  • Do you have a blog? (10% retention)
  • Do you give a weekly sermon or lecture? (20% retention)
  • Do you use overheads projectors, videos or bulletin outlines? (50% retention)
  • Do you take others and go and make disciples? 7 “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9 Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, 10 or a bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is deserving of his support. 11And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. 12 As you enter the house, give it your greeting. 13 If the house is worthy, see that your blessing of peace comes upon it. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. 14 And whoever does not receive you nor listen to your words, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment, than for that city. (90% retention)

The current way of “doing church” seems to be changing monthly.  This has been going on for the last 40 years and it is causing the church to falter in influence and to lose its “savor”, as the Bible puts it.

The church, it seems, is becoming little more than a religious institution delivering “drive-in” or “drive-up fast food style” preaching, sermons, religious lectures, addresses, discourses and entertainment in competition with NFL Sunday, Youtube TV, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Now I have said it and you have read it, will it make any difference or will you just shrug your shoulders and trundle back to “doing your church thing” this Sunday?

Or will you, do like Peter, Andrew, James, Zebedee and John, who dropped everything about the current ways they were living, and followed Jesus, step by step?

The Answer?  Follow the pattern and method established by Jesus. Nothing more, nothing less.

I can hear (because I have heard) people and pastors saying, “But, all the things we are doing are necessary and part of our ministry.”

And I say, “Yes? But, Jesus did not say to do it your way and He did not do it your way. Everything else you might say about Jesus, and those things which flow from Him, may be “Necessary, but they are Secondary”.  Jesus is the MAIN THING! (And, by the way, if you say all the ‘extras’ are necessary, who are you trying to convice?”)

Audio by Pastor Alistair Begg at Truth for Life

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

 

Footnotes and references:

  1.   300,000 churches (x) 4 hours preparation time = 1.2 million hours for sermon preparation.
  2.   300,000 churches (x) 1 hour sermon deliver time = approximately 300,000 hours
  3.   1.2 millions hours in sermon preparation + 300,000 hours is sermon delivery time = 1.5 millions hours (x) $500 one day operating costs for building, utilities, salaries, etc., = $750,000,000,

Explanation of NOTES:

Take a look at these definitions, and determine which of these your are getting and if it is worth the time and money:

Religious Lectures
: noun
a speech read or delivered before an audience or class, especially for instruction or to set forth some subject: a lecture on Picasso’s paintings.
a speech of warning or reproof as to conduct; a long, tedious reprimand.
to give a lecture or series of lectures: He spent the year lecturing to various student groups.

verb (used with object), lec·tured, lec·tur·ing.
to deliver a lecture to or before; instruct by lectures.
to rebuke or reprimand at some length: He lectured the child regularly but with little effect.

Religious / Church Addresses
[ noun uh-dres, ad-res; verb uh-dres ]

a speech or written statement, usually formal, directed to a particular group of persons: the president’s address on the state of the economy.
a direction as to the intended recipient, written on or attached to a piece of mail.

verb (used with object), ad·dressed, ad·dress·ing.
to direct a speech or written statement to: to address an assembly.
to use a specified form or title in speaking or writing to:Address the president as “Mr. President.”

verb (used without object), ad·dressed or ad·drest, ad·dress·ing.Obsolete.
to make an appeal.
to make preparations.

Religious Discourses
[ noun dis-kawrs, -kohrs, dis-kawrs, -kohrs; verb dis-kawrs, -kohrs ]
noun
communication of thought by words; talk; conversation: earnest and intelligent discourse.
a formal discussion of a subject in speech or writing, as a dissertation, treatise, sermon, etc.
Linguistics. any unit of connected speech or writing longer than a sentence.
verb (used without object), dis·coursed, dis·cours·ing.
to communicate thoughts orally; talk; converse.
to treat of a subject formally in speech or writing.
verb (used with object), dis·coursed, dis·cours·ing.
to utter or give forth (musical sounds).

Gospel Preaching
[ preech ]
verb (used with object)
to proclaim or make known by sermon (the gospel, good tidings, etc.).
to deliver (a sermon).
to advocate or inculcate (religious or moral truth, right conduct, etc.) in speech or writing.
verb (used without object)
to deliver a sermon.
to give earnest advice, as on religious or moral subjects or the like.
to do this in an obtrusive or tedious way.

Synonbym for Preach: advocate, profess, pronounce, expound.

Bible Sermons
[ sur-muhn ]
noun
a discourse for the purpose of religious instruction or exhortation, especially one based on a text of Scripture and delivered by a member of the clergy as part of a religious service.
any serious speech, discourse, or exhortation, especially on a moral issue.
a long, tedious speech.

Religious Teaching
[ teech ]

verb (used with object), taught, teach·ing.
to impart knowledge of or skill in; give instruction in: She teaches mathematics.
to impart knowledge or skill to; give instruction to: He teaches a large class.
verb (used without object), taught, teach·ing.
to impart knowledge or skill; give instruction.
noun
Informal. teacher.

Synonms for teach: coach. inform, enlighten, discipline, drill, school, indoctrinate; coach.

Discipleship Training
[ dih-sahy-puhl ]
noun
Religion.
one of the 12 personal followers of Christ.
one of the 70 followers sent forth by Christ. Luke 10:1.
any other professed follower of Christ in His lifetime.
any follower of Christ.
(initial capital letter) a member of the Disciples of Christ.
a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower: a disciple of Freud.
verb (used with object), dis·ci·pled, dis·ci·pling.
Archaic. to convert into a disciple.
Obsolete. to teach; train.

THE END

IMAGINE – II

Imagine with me, if you will, that you have obtained reliable information contained in classified documents that a series of asteroids are going to hit earth, perhaps similar to what happened on Jupiter in 1994.

These classified documents don’t give the exact day or hour, but they do predict it will be soon.

 You have learned that these impacts will most likely create devastating worldwide earthquakes and that the force of these impacts could destabilize the earth mantle causing upheaval of the earth’s crust; the geography of the earth will likely become unrecognizable, as mountains and oceans would be displaced. Debris from these collisions will be blown into the atmosphere, with the potential darkening the sun and causing the moon to appear a reddish color. (Reference Index)

These reports estimate that as many as one in three inhabitants of earth could die from the resulting effects of these collisions.

The information you have obtained says the only chance of surviving the initial impact is to take refuge in deep underground bunkers.

Here are some of the predicted after affects:

There could be what appears to be “hail and fire mixed with blood” raining back down on earth from these impacts, as the polar icecaps, magma from the subterranean earth and human and animal remains fall back to earth; as much as a third of the earth would be burned up, destroying possibly as much as a third of all the earth’s vegetation. (Reference index)

Volcanic activity will most likely erupt across the globe.  Some of the most devastating effects would come from pyroclastic flows, a mixture of ash, volcanic gas, rocks, and lava that generally reaches temperatures of 300 to 1,300 degrees which can move at speeds greater than 50 miles per hour and can travel for miles. These pyroclastic flows will destroy almost everything in their paths, causing fires and floods, and would bury everything under a mixture of rock, ash, and accumulated debris. They would be hurled into the sea; and it is estimated that as much as a third of the sea would appear blood-like and that a third of the creatures in the sea will die-off and a most of the world’s seaborne ships could be destroyed. (Reference index)

It is predicted that the surviving inhabitants on earth would suffer radiation exposure causing painful sores and even death.

The oceans and all the fresh waters on earth would be contaminated and become virtually dead; much of the earth’s atmosphere would be compromised and the sun would scorch people with intense heat; the planet, at this point, would look more like an alien world of molten lava, flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and great earthquakes, such as there had not been since mankind came to be upon the earth. (Reference index)

If this were true, what would you do to get ready?

Whom would you tell?

How would you explain this to others?

ALERT:  This scenario is not imaginary.  This is recorded as a coming event, and now, you have been informed. 

For those who doubt the veracity or accuracy of this report, please read here: “What are the Odds?

There is a means of escape, but time could be very short. You need to decide.

NOTE: If you have knowledge of this event, and you have been largely silent, it is time to inform yourself and to speak out and warn others.

If you are a Christian, especially if have been trained and have knowledge of Bible eschatology, and you have been silent, you could be held complicit in the deaths of billions. It is past the time for you to inform yourself and others.

If you are a pastor, preacher, evangelist or a Bible teacher, please consider that the Main Bible Subject is “Jesus” and His Gospel.  Jesus warns of these coming events and provides a way of escape.  Everything else you might say about Jesus, those things which flow from Him, may be “Necessary, but they are Secondary”.  Jesus is the MAIN THING!

Every sermon or teaching should start and end with the subject of Jesus.  All of His teachings and anything else you might have to say may be “Necessary, but they are Secondary”.  Jesus, alone, is the MAIN THING.

Every Church program should start with and end with Jesus as the Subject and Object.  Everything else may be “Necessary, but it is Secondary”.

Audio by Pastor Alistair Begg at Truth for Life, on our need as disciples to stay focused on doing the Will of God and being about His Work.  Please – this is a MUST-LISTEN.

The Gifts of the Spirit are given to you but they are build up, to edify and serve the Church, but they are NOT the main thing.  They are “Necessary, but they are Secondary” to Jesus.

YOU and I and every Christian are frontline soldiers of the Cross.  Our mission is to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to follow all that Jesus commanded.”  Everything else may be “Necessary, but it is Secondary”.

Please stop talking “about it” and LET’S GO & GET THIS DONE!

Your Brother and Concerned Friend,

Mike Young

https://whitestone2020.com/2020/07/27/is-another-type-of-flood-coming/

https://whitestone2020.com/2020/11/08/am-i-really-seeing-what-i-think-i-am-seeing/

https://whitestone2020.com/when-does-the-7-years-begin/

https://whitestone2020.com/2020/08/27/get-ready-stay-ready/

https://whitestone2020.com/the-pre-wrath-rapture/

https://whitestone2020.com/2020/11/15/the-last-days/

https://whitestone2014908134937.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/rapture-revealed-2020.pdf

TAKING THE LEAP

“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ”
Romans 10:17

“Well, well, well. Whadda’ ya’ know”
IT’S A DEEP SUBJECT

I hear many Christians and conservative say that some political figure or that political party is going to save us. “It isn’t over yet”, they say.  “Keep praying that “so-and-so” prevails”, they say.

Well. You tried. But, politics and government haven’t worked to make our world a better or safer place in which to live.  And, no one is saved by a person nor a political system.

And, well, we have tried social engineering. That may have improved the standard of living for some, but it hasn’t improved the morality of people toward one another.

Education has been the pathway to knowledge and advances in technology, but, well, education alone isn’t enough to make our world a safer and better place to live.

Advances in medicine and science have done nothing to reign in the evil emanating from the heart of mankind. They have not stemmed the violence, the evil and wickedness of men and women. We are dying from new diseases and killing each other at an alarming rate. It seems America and the entire world is spiraling out of control.

WELL, NOW, WE ARE AT THE PRECIPICE. HERE IS WHAT IS AT HAND: THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD IS BEING SWALLOWED UP BY THE ONE-WORLD GLOBALIST MOVEMENT. GOD HAD GIVEN US A SMALL RESPITE OF TIME. BUT, WE SQUANDERED THAT GIFT. NOW WE MUST PREPARE FOR WHAT IS UPON US.

God has given us the solution we need, through His Word and by His Son – and it is NOT in a religion.

I mentioned to a friend, recently, that I believe Jesus was trying to tell us something. My friend looked at me with a quizzical look, almost as if to say, “What? Of course He was trying to tell us a lot of things!” But, before my friend could say anything, I went on to say, “But, I don’t think we have understood what He is trying to tell us”. My friend was speechless.

I read something recently that goes like this:

“Strange as it may seem, there exists a Power that is able to transform your life so thoroughly, so radically, so completely, that when the process is completed your own friends would hardly recognize you, and, in fact, you would scarcely be able to recognize yourself.

“You might even have to ask yourself, “Can I really be that man or that woman who went about under my name before?”

“You are, in one sense the same person, but in another sense, you will have become someone utterly different.

“This intensely real Power, can pick you up today – right now – from the midst of loneliness, failure, ruin, misery, despair or any difficulty, and begin to solve your problems, smooth out your difficulties, cut you free from entanglements and place you clear, safe and happy upon the highroad of freedom and opportunity.

“It has the ability to lift you out of an invalid’s bed and make you sound and well.

“It can free you to go and shape your life as it should be.

“It can throw open the prison door and liberate the captive.

“It has a healing balm for the bruised and broken heart.

“This Power can teach you all things you need to know, if only you are receptive and teachable.

“It can inspire you with new thoughts and ideas, so that your life’s work may be truly original, meaningful and lasting.

“It can impart new and wonderful kinds of knowledge, as soon as you really want such knowledge – glorious knowledge – strange things not taught in schools or written in books.

“It can find your true place in life, and put you into it, too.

“It can find the right friends for you, kindred spirits who are interested in the same ideas and want the same things that you do.

This Power, as it is rightly called, is the Gospel of Jesus implanted in the heart and mind of a fully surrendered, completely devoted disciple of Jesus.

To our credit, we, as Christians, have tried, and we continue to try. We may have become accustomed to, or committed to, (or even in some cases, addicted to), reading the Bible and praying to God. But, the things we read about in the Bible, seem to elude us in our daily lives. This has to change, and it has to change quickly! Time is short as it has always been. And we can make the change, IF WE CHANGE HOW WE THINK – REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM IS AT HAND! (We better change because it appears we may be ‘at the end of our rope’, as the saying goes.)

I am studying and practicing, for myself.  Sharing this with you, helps me (the teacher learns most) and I hope and pray it might help you along your way also.  I am working through the Gospel of Matthew with an emphasis on the application of The Spiritual.

Reading and studying are only the first steps. The “DOING” of a Spiritual application is what brings change. Please pray first and ask that the eyes of your heart be opened to the Spirit of God; then, study and ask the Holy Spirit (Whose groaning are too deep for words), enlighten your mind and heart; then, GO and DO, first in the Spiritual and then stand firm in the natural. You will overcome and endure to the end – Victorious in Him!

Matthew 3:1,2,3
https://whitestone2020.com/2020/10/05/a-prophecy-for-today/

Matthew 3:4
https://whitestone2020.com/2020/10/06/poverty-the-kingdom-of-heaven/

Matthew 3:7
https://whitestone2020.com/2020/10/07/a-brood-of-vipers/

Matthew 3:8
https://whitestone2020.com/2020/10/09/escape-the-coming-wrath/

Matthew 3:10
https://whitestone2020.com/2020/10/02/the-axe-is-laid-a-prophetic-word/

Matthew 3:11
https://whitestone2020.com/2020/10/11/the-holy-spirit-and-fire/

Matthew 3:12
https://whitestone2020.com/2020/10/11/his-winnowing-fork/

Matthew 4:2
https://whitestone2020.com/2020/10/20/yours-is-the-kingdom-of-heaven/

Matthew 4:3
https://whitestone2020.com/2020/10/29/if-you-are-who-you-say-you-are/

Matthew 4:4
https://whitestone2020.com/2020/10/30/it-is-written/

Matthew 4:5,6,7
https://whitestone2020.com/2020/11/06/when-you-reach-the-pinnacle/

Matthew 4:8
https://whitestone2020.com/2020/11/07/all-of-this-can-be-yours/

Matthew 5:13
https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/04/being-jesus-disciple/

Matthew 5:14
https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/07/the-law-of-being/

Matthew 5:15,16
https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/08/the-light-shines/

Matthew 5:17,18
https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/08/satisfaction/

May God Bless us all on this final journey.  May we Overcome by the word of our testimony and by the Blood of the Lamb.  Amen & amen.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

SATISFACTION

MATTHEW 5:17,18 – FULFILLMENT and SATISFACTION

v17  “Do not presume that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.

v18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter shall pass from the Law, until all is accomplished!

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Although Jesus’ coming has fulfilled and satisfied all the requirement of the Torah, the Law, and it would appear that the ‘old covenant has passed away’,

Jesus is clearly saying the Law of the Torah for the has not been abolished but the requirements of the Law are now met or satisfied through Him.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Jesus is once again describing the connection between heaven (The Spiritual) and earth (the natural) and saying it is not finished until the natural laws have completely demonstrated or manifested the Spiritual. Once again, teaching about the “Law of Higher to lesser”.

This is critically important. Jesus is telling His present and future disciples about “secret of knowing” if you are truly His disciple. This will, of course, determine whether you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

Jesus says two things, in Matthew 5:19 and 5:20

(1)  v19 “Therefore, whoever nullifies one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Being “least in the kingdom of heaven” versus being “great in the kingdom of heaven” is, again, the law of “Great to lesser”. He is saying you cannot manifest the Greater Works of the Kingdom from the “lesser position”, i.e., in the natural man. But, when standing on the Spiritual basis, you will do the works Jesus does and GREATER works!

(2) v20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

The scribes and Pharisees were working through the natural mind (the lesser).
“Surpassing righteousness” means to super abound (in quantity or quality), to be in excess, be superfluous; also (transitively) to cause to super abound. This can only be accomplished through the Spiritual.

NOTE: Unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

The fact that not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter shall pass from the Law, until all is accomplished, and this tells us that “It Is Written” and it will come to pass. 

Our choice is either to join God in what He has already accomplished or to be left behind.  Choose wisely.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

An excellent explanation and video of “The Law”:  https://bibleproject.com/learn/the-law/

So, what are you doing in the Kingdom from God’s point of view (not from man’s inventions or visions)?  If you are ready, contact me, please, and let’s do this!

(Previous Post from Matthew chapter 5https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/08/the-light-shines/)

THE LIGHT SHINES

MATTHEW 5:15,16 – LIGHT SHINES

v15  “Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Jesus is using an extreme example and a simile to explain a profound Truth.  No sensible person will light a lamp only to hide it under a basket. So, naturally, you put a lamp on a lamp stand, so it is useful and effective. Similarly, your “light” (your goodness, truth and justice), in order to be useful and effective, must shine or be seen in such a way to glorify God, Who is in heaven. (give God all the credit).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

What comes next is critically important. Jesus describes the realty of the relationships between the Spiritual and the Natural realms. They are spoken of in parable, but, they are real.

There are both separation and connection between the Spiritual realm (the Kingdom of Heaven) and the natural realm of the world.  This is important for the Christian disciple to understand because any effort to “do the works of Jesus” are based on understanding these principles.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

Hebrews 11;1,2  “reveals to us that that FAITH is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  It is by faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

It is impossible to permanently affect or change the natural world from evil into good with just human effort or by our natural understanding.  We must begin on the Spiritual basis and the natural will follow – the natural must obey the Spiritual.  This is God’s Spiritual law of creation.  It is how He made the worlds.  It is known as “the order of Higher to the lesser”.  The natural must obey the Spiritual, or another way of saying is the Spiritual is always manifest into the natural and never the other way around.


NOTE: Scriptures warn us that this does not come easily.  It is “the fervent prayers of a righteous man which accomplishes much.

Jesus teaches this often and just as often it is overlooked and therefore misapplied or not applied in our Kingdom practices, at all.

In this particular teaching, Jesus says that “people do not light a lamp and put it under a basket, but they put it on a lamp stand, so it will give light to all who are in the house.”

It is important to recognize that (1) the “people” Jesus is referring to, at this point, are Israelites or Jews who are becoming His disciples; and the (2) “the house” is the House of Israel. So, those who are hearing His words immediately recognize the significance of His Words and their inclusion in this teaching.

This is also true for any and all future Christians. In other words, Jesus is talking directly to you and me and all of His disciples, that is, those who follow and wish to obey Him.

Jesus, next, moves from the Spiritual basis in verse 14 to the natural in verses 15 and 16. He is stating a Spiritual Truth in verse 14 and then describing what the looks like or how it behaves in the natural world, by way of metaphor. This give the natural mind a way to understand a Spiritual Truth and, hopefully, a way to grasp this teaching so to apply it.

I.e., WHAT IS SEEN (natural realm) = COMES FROM WHAT IS NOT VISIBLE (Spiritual realm). It has been spoken into being by God.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

It is not your light but the Eternal Light of God dwelling within you.  Will you step out of the shadows and Let His “Light” illuminate the entire house?

This is our calling!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Previous Post from Matthew https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/07/the-law-of-being/

Next Post from Matthew https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/08/satisfaction/

PS:  An acquaintance recently told me that I should not pray in public because it might offend some people and that it made me look like a phony; she said that I was just showing off and that I should let people “see Jesus” by how I live.  I tried that and all anyone ever said was “he is a nice guy”.  IT’S NOT ABOUT ME OR YOU – IT’S ABOUT JESUS.  GO, TELL, SHOW AND SHARE JESUS by how you live and by what you say.  LIVE JESUS as you go!  (By the way, this person who criticizes public ministry is a Catholic and that seems pretty common there.  Please tell me I am wrong.)

THE LAW OF “BEING”

 

MATTHEW 5:14 – YOU ARE

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Jesus is speaking in the language of a metaphor. He is saying that His disciples are to be like light which is meant to illuminate goodness, truth and justice and to dispel the darkness of evil, error and fear. His disciples are to be like a city set on a mountaintop, visible to all, radiating the light of God’s character, His goodness, mercy and justice.

Jesus is stating a Spiritual Truth and a fact. He is not suggesting what you should be. He is stating what you are as a follower of Christ Jesus – if you are His disciple at all.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

An important word here is the small word “ARE” found in the statement “You are the light of the world…”. This is the Greek word “Eimi”, which is a basic Greek verb expressing the state of BEING, i.e. “to be” – am, is. Strong’s #1510 (eimí), defines this word and its counterparts, as properly conveying existence, without explicit limits. It translates “to exist, to live, to stay, remain in place”.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

When you have become “poor in spirit” through God’s process of sanctification and thereby become an heir of the Kingdom of Heaven (see Matthew 5:3), God fashions you into His image (poieo). He now resides in you and He is seen, and He does His Works through your mortal body as “The Light of the World”.

People may say they see your good deeds, but what they are seeing is God through you – literally.  The importance of this cannot be overstated.  If you are His disciple at all, you are to be seen in His Image.

Jesus says, that if you are to enter into a covenant agreement and to follow Him, that is, to be His disciple, you must know that the standards are impossibly high, the disciplines are impossibly strict and the commitment is for life.  And, He warns, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”, and that “MY RIGHTEOUS ONES WILL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF THEY SHRINK BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN THEM”.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

Will you be made Into His Image and be His Witness (martus) or will you shrink back?

These are urgent times which call for urgent measures.  Please, let’s measure up!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

The next post from Matthew 5 https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/08/the-light-shines/

The previous post from Matthew 5 https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/04/being-jesus-disciple/

BEING JESUS’ DISCIPLE

Matthew 5:13 – Jesus’ Disciples

Jesus was direct in His speech and teaching especially when talking to and teaching His disciples. Read Matthew 5:13 as He tells His disciples,

v13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by people.”

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

Imagine with me that you, as a disciple of Jesus, are sitting with Him as He talks to you and others.  He has just finished describing the difficulties of becoming His disciple and entering the Kingdom of God.

Now, He calls you “salt of the earth”.

The most common and important seasoning in Israel was salt (Job 6:6), demonstrated by how it is referenced throughout the Bible, and by how its use was mandated with most sacrifices (Leviticus 2:13). You would have been referred to as a person who, like salt was precious. In Jesus’ day, salt was a valued commodity. Roman soldiers were sometimes paid with salt, giving rise to the phrase “worth his salt.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Jesus is saying that, like salt, His disciples would have a preserving influence. Salt was used to preserve and to slow decay. Likewise, Christians should have a preserving influence on their culture.

Disciples, like salt, should add flavor to their community, making the earth a purer and more palatable place to live.

Then, without pausing, He looks directly at you and says, “But, if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again?”

The word “tasteless” was a familiar word to the Jewish audience of that day as to mean “to be foolish, to turn to foolishness, tainted, and thus: tasteless, made useless.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

So, the question with which you are faced is

“If you, as a disciple of Jesus, who should be a preserving influence and a purifying influence on those around you, have lost those qualities and thus, have become useless as a disciple of Jesus, how you can be made useful again?”

This borders on shocking, almost an indictment. The question Jesus is asking is a direct interrogatory. In other words, “if you know of a way, tell me, because there is no way.”

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Then, as if to hammer the point home, Jesus bluntly says, ”It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by people.”  Staying with the metaphor of salt, at that time, garbage would have been disposed by throwing it out, into the street. This explains why once the salt is cast out it will be trodden under the foot of men as useless garbage. A stark warning to the disciples as to the commitment required to follow Jesus as His disciple and the consequence of failure.

He is saying that if you are going to enter into a covenant agreement to follow Jesus as His disciple, the standards are impossibly high, the disciplines are impossibly strict and the commitment is for life.

We should be reminded of another time Jesus was talking to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?”

And looking at them, Jesus said, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

The Disciples’ Reward

Somehow, you would expect it would be Peter to respond to Jesus and boldly ask, “We have left everything and followed You; what is in this for us?”

Jesus answered Peter and said, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, now in this life, and in the age to come, will inherit eternal life.”

The good news is that God is eternally faithful to finish the work He has begun in you. He is rich in grace and abounding in mercy and loving kindness. Jesus reminds you that His burden is light and His yoke is easy and that all who come to Him will find rest for their soul, and He will in no way cast you out.

Now that you know a little more, will you follow Him?  He is calling.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

The next post from Matthew 5 https://whitestone2020.com/2021/01/07/the-law-of-being/

The previous post from Matthew 5 https://whitestone2020.com/2020/12/18/blessed-blessed-blessed/

A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE WARFARE

“Do not fear! Stand by
and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you
today

The Sea Is Divided

      

Exodus 14:13  “But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. 14“The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.”

      15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. 16“As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. 17“As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18“Then the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen.”

      19 The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. 20So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night.
      

      21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. 22The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. 24At the morning watch, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. 25He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, for the LORD is fighting for them against the Egyptians.”

      26 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.”

Elijah’s Prayer

     1 Kings 18:36. “At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. 37“Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.” 38Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God.” 40Then Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape.” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

The Triumphs of Faith

  Hebrews 11;1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. “ 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.

    3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

     23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 

       32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33who by faith

  • conquered kingdoms,
  • performed acts of righteousness,
  • obtained promises,
  • shut the mouths of lions,
  • v34 quenched the power of fire,
  • escaped the edge of the sword,
  • from weakness were made strong,
  • became mighty in war,
  • put foreign armies to flight.
  • v35 Women received back their dead by resurrection;
  • and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection;
  • v 36 others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38(men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

      39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.

FINALLY

Ephesians 6:10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore,”

Study these words, gain understanding and get wisdom:

FINALLY – Strong’s Greek 3064: From now on, henceforth, finally. remaining time.

BE STRONG – ἐνδυναμοῦσθε (endynamousthe)
Verb – Strong’s Greek 1743: To fill with power, strengthen, make strong. From en and dunamoo; to empower.

LORD – Κυρίῳ (Kyriō),
Noun, Strong’s Greek 2962: Lord, master, sir; the Lord. From kuros; supreme in authority, i.e. controller; by implication, Master.

MIGHTY – κράτει (kratei)
Noun – Strong’s Greek 2904: Dominion, strength, power; a mighty deed. Perhaps a primary word; vigor.
Strong’s Concordance
kratos: strength, might
Original Word: κράτος, ους, τό
Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter
Transliteration: kratos
Phonetic Spelling: (krat’-os)
Definition: strength, might
Usage: dominion, strength, power; a mighty deed.

POWER – ἰσχύος (ischyos)
Noun – Strong’s Greek 2479: Strength (absolutely), power, might, force, ability. From a derivative of is; forcefulness.
ischus: strength, might
Original Word: ἰσχύς, ύος, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: ischus
Phonetic Spelling: (is-khoos’)
Definition: strength, might
Usage: strength (absolutely), power, might, force, ability.
HELPS Word-studies
2479 isxýs (from the Gk root is, “force” and 2192/exō, “have”) – properly, force to overcoming immediate resistance.

MAKE YOR STAND – στῆναι (stēnai)
Verb – Aorist Infinitive Active
Strong’s Greek 2476: A prolonged form of a primary stao stah’-o; to stand, used in various applications.

STAND YOUR GROUND – ἀντιστῆναι (antistēnai)
Verb – Aorist Infinitive Active
Strong’s Greek 436: To set against; I withstand, resist, oppose. From anti and histemi; to stand against, i.e. Oppose.
histémi: to make to stand, to stand
Original Word: ἵστημι
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: histémi
Phonetic Spelling: (his’-tay-mee)
Definition: to make to stand, to stand
Usage: trans: (a) I make to stand, place, set up, establish, appoint; mid: I place myself, stand, (b) I set in balance, weigh; intrans: (c) I stand, stand by, stand still; met: I stand ready, stand firm, am steadfast.

STAND – στῆναι (stēnai)
Verb – Aorist Infinitive Active
Strong’s Greek 2476: A prolonged form of a primary stao stah’-o; to stand, used in various applications.

Psalm 24:7-8
Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in!  Who is the King of glory?  The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.

(These “ancient gates” are the mind of mankind, and God says, “Lift up your heads, O gates, O ancient doors, that the King of Glory may come in”)

This is written for those of us who would rather fight than pray, use our muscle instead of His Spirit which resides within us, fight our own battles rather than letting God win our victories –

SURRENDER TO GOD AND OVERCOME BY THE WORD OF OUR TESTIMONY AND BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, AND HE WILL FIGHT AND WIN OUR BATTLES – IT IS WRITTEN.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

AND THEN THERE WAS ONE

  1. As in the Days of Noah

“For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away”. (Matthew 24:38–39).

There are some “educated guesses” about the possible population of earth just before the Great Deluge or Noah’s Flood ranging from 3 billion people to possible 750 billion. But, the best guess seems to be around 30 billion.

It took Noah between 80 and 120 years to build the Ark. So, the people anywhere nearby had plenty of time to hear all about the coming “flood” although it seems no one knew anything about floods. And, one can imagine that rumors about the crazy man building a structure which loomed above the surrounding landscape, visible for miles, were spread across the known globe.

Still, only Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives were the only people saved from the estimated 3 to 30 Billion people on earth.

Only eight people saved out of 30 billion!

So, is it possible you could get just one?

  1. Jesus Ministry – Only 11. Only 120.

It is estimated that Jesus was about 30 years old when He started His ministry. He was about 33 years old when He was crucified. So, for three years Jesus performs public miracles such as:



  • Turns Water into Wine at the Wedding in Cana
  • Jesus Heals an Official’s Son at Capernaum in Galilee
  • Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit From a Man in Capernaum
  • Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law Sick With Fever
  • Jesus Heals Many Sick and Oppressed at Evening
  • First Miraculous Catch of Fish on the Lake of Gennesaret
  • Jesus Cleanses a Man With Leprosy
  • Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Paralyzed Servant in Capernaum
  • Jesus Heals a Paralytic Who Was Let Down From the Roof
  • Jesus Heals a Man’s Withered Hand on the Sabbath
  • Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son From the Dead in Nain
  • Jesus Calms a Storm on the Sea
  • Jesus Casts Demons into a Herd of Pigs
  • Jesus Heals a Woman in the Crowd With an Issue of Blood
  • Jesus Raises Jairus’ Daughter Back to life
  • Jesus Heals Two Blind Men
  • Jesus Heals a Man Who Was Unable to Speak
  • Jesus Heals an Invalid at Bethesda
  • Jesus Feeds 5,000Plus Women and Children
  • Jesus Walks on Water1
  • Jesus Heals Many Sick in Gennesaret as They Touch His Garment
  • Jesus Heals a Gentile Woman’s Demon-Possessed Daughter
  • Jesus Heals a Deaf and Dumb Man
  • Jesus Feeds 4,000 Plus Women and Children
  • Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida
  • Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind by Spitting in His Eyes9
  • Jesus Heals a Boy With an Unclean Spirit
  • Miraculous Temple Tax in a Fish’s Mouth
  • Jesus Heals a Blind, Mute Demoniac
  • Jesus Heals a Woman Who Had Been Crippled for 18 Years
  • Jesus Heals a Man With Dropsy on the Sabbath
  • Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers on the Way to Jerusalem
  • Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead in Bethany
  • Jesus Restores Sight to Bartimaeus in Jericho
  • Jesus Withers the Fig Tree on the Road From Bethany
  • Jesus Heals a Servant’s Severed Ear While He Is Being Arrested
  • he Second Miraculous Catch of Fish at the Sea of Tiberias

It is estimated that, after and 3 years of intense ministry and all of these miracles and Jesus even being raised from the dead, only eleven men could be counted as His disciples. And only 120 people could be counted as His Followers.

So, could you get just one?

  1. After the Crowds – Only One.

THE CROWDS followed Him everywhere…

Matthew 4:25

“Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.”

Matthew 5:1

“When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.”

Matthew 7:28

“When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching;”

Matthew 8:1

“When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him.”

Matthew 9:8

“But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.”

Matthew 9:33

“After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowdswere amazed, and were saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”

Matthew 11:7

As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?”

Matthew 12:23

“All the crowdswere amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?”

Matthew 12:46

“While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him.”

Matthew 13:2

“And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.

Matthew 13:36

“Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”

Matthew 14:15
Matthew 14:19
Matthew 14:22
Matthew 14:23
Matthew 15:30
Matthew 15:39
Matthew 19:2
Matthew 21:9

After all the crowds of people saw Jesus and saw the miracles, only ONE believed enough to take the risk and get out of the boat:

Matthew 14:29 “And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”

ONLY ONE.

The Great Commission – Matthew 28:16. “But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Don’t be discouraged if very few hear and receive His Gospel from you.  Let’s just BE the ONE and let’s DO His bidding.  Let’s turn this world BACK upside down in Jesus Name!  BE THE ONE to rescue just ONE.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

MORE?  Go here: 

BUT, REALIZE THIS…

A WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING is an idiom of Biblical origin used to describe those playing a role contrary to their real character with whom contact is dangerous, particularly overly ambitious preachers/pastors, church leaders and false teachers.

These men and women are very good – very good – at appearing righteous, but inwardly, are driven by selfish ambitions. One reason they are so dangerous and deceptive is that they didn’t start off as wolves, and they don’t see themselves as wolves. But, over time, they sharpen their skills, thinking it is all “In the Name of Jesus”, and so they justify their selfish ambition and become ravenous WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING.

The most insidious of these call themselves ‘pastor’, ‘teacher’ or ‘church leader’.

The phrase originates in a sermon by Jesus recorded in the Christian New Testament: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Gospel of Matthew 7:15, King James Version) The sermon then suggests that their true nature will be revealed by their actions (by their fruits shall ye know them, verse 16)

But realize this, that

“in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power;” (2 Timothy 3:1-4)

Know this:  THE LAST DAYS began in or around A,D, 1

1 Peter 1:20 “For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.”

Acts 2:16-17. “but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says,
 ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND;
  AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY,
 AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS,
 AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS.

Hebrews 1:1-2. “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, v2 in these last days has spoken to us [b]in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

Hebrews 9:26, “Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

2 Peter 3:3, “Know this, first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?”

WHAT SHOULD WE DO ABOUT THESE FALSE TEACHERS AND PASTORS?

Avoid such men as these. 6For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, v7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

“v8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. 9But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.
    

“v 10Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!

“v12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

“v14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

“v16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

How Should We Live in These Last Days?

Should we hunker down? Dig in? Hide away? Run to a mountain retreat with stockpile of food, water and weapons?


1 Peter 4:7-9 “The end of all things is near; therefore,
be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of [b]prayer.
v8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.  Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
v10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
v11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God;
whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
 
What should we expect in these Last Days?

1 Peter 4:12 “ Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled or the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

“v15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.

“v17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God;”

The LAST DAYS began with the birth of Christ. The 5th Seal is being broken / has been broken. The final Seal before The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord (The 6th Seal) will happen next, and only the revealing of the ‘man of perdition’, the Antichrist, is left to be done before that Seal is broken.

In order to ‘be saved’, you and I must “endure to the end” and we shall overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony!

So, fear not! It is written in His Blood and by His Breath and cannot be amended. Now, let’s get this thing finished and be ready to meet Him in the air!

HE WHO ENDURES TO THE END AND OVERCOMES

        1. Revelation 2:7. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.
        2. Revelation 2:11. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.
        3. Revelation 2:17. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.
        4. Revelation 2:26. He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations;
        5. Revelation 3:5. He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
        6. Revelation 3:12. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
        7. Revelation 3:21. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
        8. Revelation 21:7. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)