Category Archives: Now Let The Bible Speak

What does the Bible say on a subject

THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS

One of the most prolific and well-accepted teachings of the traditional Christian world is that Jesus was crucified and died on the afternoon of “Good Friday,” and was resurrected just as the sun was rising on Sunday morning.

That is a total of less than 48 hours.  Actually, depending on how one counts it, it may be as few as 36 hours.

Does this make any sense at all?  How can that teaching be true when we know that Jesus predicted His death and burial to last for 3 nights and 3 days?

Scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus and demanded a sign to prove that He was God’s anointed, the Messiah.  Jesus told the Pharisees that only one sign would be given to them.

That sign was the sign of Jonas the prophet, who was in the “fish belly” for three days and three nights.

That sign of three days and three nights was applied to the Son of man being in the heart of the earth for the same, specific period of time.

Matthew 12:38-40 (38) Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. (39) But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: (40) For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

What happened to Jesus’ body after His death provides clear and convincing evidence that Jesus was God’s Anointed.

If that sign had failed, His enemies would have reason to claim He was a fake!  An imposter!

Philippians 3:18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.

Jesus, Who was dead in the grave, had to be resurrected by none other than the Father.    Do we think the Almighty God has a problem counting three days and three nights?  Absolutely not!

The Father raised His Anointed from death to eternal life at the end of three nights and three days!  God had devised a clever sign to validate the life and work of His Anointed One.

And, it was a well known sign, that of the prophet Jonah.

Luke 11:30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.

God’s reputation for these scribes and Pharisees hinged upon His doing exactly what He promised them He would do.

Mark 8:31 tells us: And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Do you think Jesus mean what He said?  Was He really in the earth for a full 72 hours?

The Jews remembered this sign when He was crucified.  Do you think that the Jews who so violently hated Jesus would have allowed for only a partial fulfillment of the prophetic sign?

If Jesus had been in the grave for only a portion of 3 nights and 3 days, God’s enemies would have announced it as widely as they possible could have!

As it was, they claimed that His disciples had stolen the Body.

Matthew 27:62-64 (62) Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, (63) Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. (64) Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

The Jewish leaders had done all they could to obscure the truth of His resurrection!

They obtained official soldiers to make sure the Body was not stolen.  They wanted to take no chances that anyone would validate the ONLY sign of Jesus’ Messiahship.

They made the sepulcher sure, and sealed the stone.  They carefully watched the gravesite in order that the Body would remain in the ground far past the stated time.

Jesus is neither the liar, nor the poor judge of timing that many modern preachers would have us believe.

The teaching that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, buried about sundown the same day, and arising the following Sunday at sunrise, is in contradiction to the Scriptures!

Jesus WAS in the grave for 3 nights and 3 days!  He DID rise after the elapsed time!

God brought Him from the heart of the earth, timing it exactly as God had done when He caused the great fish to spew Jonah onto the land!

Jesus was NOT crucified on Friday!  Neither was He resurrected as the sun arose on Sunday morning!

Men have attempted to explain the Friday to Sunday theory using a strange reasoning.

What if some people do count a part of a day as a whole day, that certainly is a stretch to label part of one day (Friday), all of one day (Saturday), and two nights as equal to 3 nights and 3 days.  The Jews of Jesus’ day would have found such an irrational reasoning completely irresistible!

What if some of the Jews did count a part of the day for a whole day, can it be proven that this is what Jesus meant?  Can it be proven that the Jews counted a part of a day as a whole day and a whole night?

Where is the proof in the inspired Word?

Actually, some say the Greek language allows for this part of the day theory.  But, the sign of Jonah was from the book of Jonah, written in Hebrew.

In the Bible, the word day is basically the time between dawn, or daylight, and darkness.  “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night . . . “ Genesis 1:5   (Compare Genesis 1:14-18; 8:22.)

Jesus Himself made a statement, defining a day as having twelve hours of light.

John 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.

If we reason according to the words of Jesus, then a day has 12 hours of light, and the night then would take up the remaining 12 hours.  Do we really need any more validation than this?  There is no higher authority than the words of our Father God and His Christ!

Actually, Jesus was crucified in the middle of the week.

Briefly, let me say that in the year of our Savior’s crucifixion, the Jewish Passover lambs were killed at the temple on Wednesday afternoon, just prior to the First Day of Unleavened Bread.  That day was an annual Sabbath.  It was NOT the weekly Sabbath.

Traditional Christianity has lost sight of much of the meaning of Scripture, because they have forsaken the teachings that God delivered to Israel by Moses.

If Christians had been observing the annual Feasts of the LORD found in many places in Scripture, the confusion about the “Sabbath” day would have been far less likely.

When we put all the Scriptures together, we find that the Bible makes it plain when Jesus was crucified and buried!

Mark 15:42  ” . . . the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath.

John also writes about this time.

John 19:14 “And it was the preparation of the Passover.

When we have the correct chronology for the week of Jesus’ crucifixion, we can further validate the fact that He was in the grave for a full 3 nights and 3 full days.  But, initially, how can we require more than the simple truth that God gives His Word, and keeps His Word?

God does not make mistakes.  He does not require the machinations, maneuverings, and inventive rationalizations of any man to MAKE His Word come out right!

God provided THE SIGN that Jesus Christ is HIS ANOINTED ONE!

This particular teaching is so important for Believers.  We need to get it right.

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A Word of Encouragement

You are never alone!  To show this is a true statement, take a look at these Bible passage of encouragement.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.                James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who  love Him.                                                                                                                                           Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.   John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.                                   John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  Psalm 46:1-3 (1) God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (2) Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; (3) Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.                                          Psalm 118:14-16 (14) The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. (15) The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. (16) The right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.             

When we cry out to God for help (for any reason), in the beginning, there must be specific personal effort.  Here’s an analogy that fits to some degree: It’s like sailing a boat.

The sailor must prepare and do many things to get the sailboat from the dock and out to sea.  Much effort!  Specific effort for the task!  It is only when the sailboat is out into the water and has caught the wind that the sailor can ease up on personal effort.  At that point, the sailing seems automatic (even though God’s hand is in the wind, the boat, the sailor’s strength, etc), but it took a lot to get there.

God saves the overcomers.  Hang in there!                                                                          Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Two powerful examples of men of God who wrestled, who endured, and stuck it out to the end.

Jacob wrestled with God.  An analogy!                                                                                   Genesis 32:25-28 (25) And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. (26) And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. (27) And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. (28) And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

Paul stuck it out!   He wrestled his flesh, and GOD WON!                                                Romans 7:22-25 (22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

These two powerful men of God stuck it out to the end, because they knew they were not alone!  And, neither are you!

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Youth and Young Adults

Have MATURE PEOPLE of God really been watching what’s going on currently with our youth and young adults?

Does the Bible have anything to say about such things as “Occupy Wall Street” and other such movements?

The Book of Proverbs is a book of parables and “dark” sayings (meaning “not immediately obvious” or possibly, “difficult to understand”). There is much wisdom in this book.  And, there is a special passage that thinking people can benefit from studying with regards to our youth and young adults.  Consider the possibility that these verses are describing our CURRENT set of circumstances.

Proverbs 30:11-14 (11) There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.  (12) There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.  (13) There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.  (14) There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.  

Regarding verse 11: Instead of honoring fathers and blessing mothers, have you noticed fathers are being despised and mothers are being greatly criticized?  (And, of course, SOME of the “blame” can rest on the parents, but certainly not all, and certainly not in all situations).

Regarding verse12: This phrase refers to self-righteousness.  The generation being described may be able to see the faults of others, but not of itself.

Regarding verse 13: Clearly, this verse describes a pride.  This generation has lofty goals, many of which may not be feasible.  Perhaps, there is even a sense of forcing these goals on others.  The generation in this verse may believe that anything they set out to do can be accomplished…it’s just a matter of how much they would be willing to pay, or what kinds of things they may be willing to do.

Regarding verse 14: The generation described in this verse has an active greed without the benefit of a conscience.  It is a dangerous and violent generation.

Current events involving our youth and young adults are alarming!  Let us watch and pray!  We need God’s ways to be the standard for our conduct and that of our youth and young adults!

 

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Knowing God!

Many people know THERE IS A GOD, but not as many people KNOW GOD.  And, there is a big difference between those two concepts.

Then there are also people who doubt God is real.  The question of whether or not there is a true God is frequently debated by the foolish.  Clearly, they do not KNOW GOD.  And, then there are people who believe that mankind cannot ever really know God because He is unknowable.

But, that’s not what the Bible says.  In fact, there are many things that can be known about God, and God has called many people to actually KNOW Him now.

In the first chapter of Romans we learn that the creation itself reveals many things about God.  There are those who have come to understand that God really does exist by looking at the intricate, lawful, beautiful world around them. That same chapter also shows how many have refused to examine the creation with an open mind.  Instead, in their foolishness, they have rejected WHAT CAN BE KNOWN ABOUT GOD.

Romans 1:19-25 (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (24) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: (25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Then, on the other hand, there are those who want to KNOW ABOUT God, and even to KNOW HIM in a close relationship.  YES!  Both of these are possible.

In time, there will be so much knowledge about God on this earth, that the knowledge will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11:9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea

But, what about now?  How does one come to know God now?

Through the special work of Jesus Christ and God the Father, there is a way to know about God and to know Him intimately.  It is a relationship worth pursuing, because there are so many blessings available for you now and even more in the future.

Matthew 11:28-29 (28) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Would You Like to Know ABOUT God?

Would You Like to KNOW GOD?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW GOD BETTER?

We welcome your interest and your questions.  Contact with GOD is open and available to you now.  Learn how.

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What Are We to Do When Others Have Truly Disappointed Us?

The BIBLE SPEAKS to us and gives us clear answers to this dilemma.  The examples God provides to us are astounding.

Recall how at Mount Horeb, Aaron disappointed both God and his brother, Moses, by making a golden idol for the Israelites to worship.  The people sinned grievously, pressing Aaron to create this idol.  Then they threw themselves into an evil worship, forsaking the true God Who had just delivered them from the horrors of Egyptian slavery.

Exodus 32:8-9 (8) They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.  (9) And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people:

Of course, this was a terrible departure from God’s clear instructions.  And, God was extremely disappointed and angry.  In fact, He was so angry, He announced that He was going to destroy the people.

Exodus 32:10 10Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

One of the most marvelous lessons from this account of Israel’s sin is how Moses reacted to the matter.

Of course, God inspired and guided Moses.  God made him to be a wise, persevering, and loving leader for Israel.

What did Moses do?  Moses prayed!  He prayed for Aaron even though he realized Aaron knew better than to make the golden calf.  And, he prayed for the ancient Israelites, even though Israel’s behavior was extremely disloyal and wicked.

It takes a special kind of heart to pray for people who disappoint us.  It’s the same kind of heart that Jesus had when He prayed on the last day of His human life.  He prayed in the midst of his suffering.  He prayed for those causing His pain.

Luke 23:34 (a) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do….

This kind of heart comes only from God.  When we disappoint God, we can access God’s heart toward us through our prayers.  And, God wants us to have the same kind of heart toward others, even those who have greatly disappointed us.  Pray for them!  It’s God’s answer from the Bible.

 

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Are You Talking to Yourself?

Many of us find ourselves talking to ourselves during the day.  Don’t worry!  It’s common!  It’s typical!  And, it’s considered to be normal (whatever normal is these days).  The key is knowing what to talk to yourself about.

The Apostle Paul actually told the Brethren in Ephesus to talk to themselves, and he also told them what to say.

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

There are other Scriptures that give us insight about what is to be on our minds when we are speaking to ourselves as well as when we are speaking to others.

Basically, the Bible shows us that there are “words” or “thoughts” for every occasion.  We find a good example of this in the book of James.

James tells us what we are to be doing when we are “afflicted.”  We are told to pray…talk to God.  Of course, this makes sense.  When we are feeling afflicted, God has all the answers.  He provides the comfort, the deliverance, the salvation, the forgiveness, the healing, and whatever else we may need.

James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted: let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms.

Notice, that God also tells us what we can do when we feel merry.  God says to sing psalms.  And, this makes perfect spiritual sense, because singing is a wonderful way to strengthen a good mood or an attitude.  Singing is a beautiful way to interact with our heavenly Father and rejoice in His presence.

God wants His Word in us…richly and with all wisdom so we can teach and admonish one another and sing to our Lord with grace in our hearts.

No matter how diligent and careful we try to be with our words, what we keep in our hearts will eventually find its way out of our mouths.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Matthew 12:34(b) for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. 

So, if we talk to ourselves about the things of God, in due time we will be speaking about the things of God to others so they can also be blessed.  It’s all part of God’s plan for us!

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Let’s keep talking to ourselves!  About the things of God!

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Beating Depression and Anxiety

Is there an instant pill or a quick fix for depression or anxiety?  Probably not, but there is help, and improvement can occur in a short period of time in many cases.

When people are sad, depressed, or anxious, they often feel something is wrong with them.  In actual fact, the focus does not need to be on what could be wrong with the person, but rather on the person’s thought patterns.  Where there is depression and anxiety, we can be fairly sure, there are some very negative and self-defeating thinking patterns going on.

The mind is a powerful thing.  Yes, there is power in the mind.

A depressed or anxious person often has POWERFUL thoughts, but they are thoughts that weaken, and can even bring about poor health and poor relationships.  So thoughts need a right direction.

What most likely needs to be “fixed” is a person’s way or habits or patterns of thinking.  Today this “fixing” is called cognitive restructuring.

People who are truly depressed, or are often depressed, or are frequently anxious, are generally people who have failed to find out how to effectively use the power of the mind.  Why is this so?

Many people have never been taught that they can actually control many of their thoughts.  Even thought patterns that a person has had for many years, maybe even from early childhood, can be restructured into positive and more effective thought patterns.

True believers have access to the real answer to depression and anxiety, as they now let the BIBLE SPEAK.

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things

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Think On These Things!

We all have so many thoughts in a day.  Our minds are very active…so active in fact, that we more often than not, take our thoughts for granted.

Actually, we can be (and need to be) in control of our minds.  Often, without realizing it, we are actually “choosing” what to think about.

Even when we ALLOW our minds to be in neutral and we just coast along, we are still CHOOSING.  And, what we think about tells God a lot about us.  What we think about also shapes our feelings and behaviors.

Our Creator, Who made our minds and knows precisely how each mind works, tells us exactly what to think about.   The Apostle Paul wrote about it to the Philippians.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

A wonderful promise goes with Philippians 4:8.  We find the promise in verse 9.  Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

GOD’S PEACE will be with those of us who choose to think about positive things (true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue, praise).

Try it!  It really does work!

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The “A” Book

Amazing

Astounding

Awe-inspiring

Awesome

Astonishing

Amazing

A book that could foretell the future would certainly be an amazing book, wouldn’t it?  And, that’s exactly what the Bible does.

 Astounding

Although the book was penned by many different human scribes who wrote what God inspired them to write in their own style, the book has an astounding wholeness and continuity of thought in it.

Awe-inspiring

Through the thousands of years of mankind’s existence, the words of this book have continued to be awe-inspiring to people in all nations and of all cultures.

Awesome

God’s awesome Master Plan of salvation is revealed through the words of this book, especially as they describe God’s great love and the wonderful work of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Astonishing

It is astonishing to realize this book has survived many, many desperate and wicked attempts to destroy it.

Actually, this book (the Bible) is an A+ book.  Why not take a fresh look?  Enjoy all of its accounts, action, advice, agreements, authority and much, much more.

Let the BIBLE SPEAK to you.

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A Spiritual Assignment for Women

Many women have asked about what they can do for God’s Church.  They want to be more involved.  They want to be useful and to feel useful.  Frequently, they invest time and energy in doing a wonderful and generous physical service.  However, they would especially like to do something that is spiritual, also.  They wonder if they can ever have a real spiritual part.  And, the answer is YES!  Here is one way.  Let’s now let the BIBLE SPEAK!

In the Church of God at Corinth, there were Brethren who were very concerned (“zealous” KJV) about spiritual gifts.  So, God inspired the Apostle Paul to focus attention on a very important concept relevant to spiritual gifts.  Paul wrote about edifying or building up the Brethren God had called into His Church in several New Testament books.

Building up the Church of God is most certainly needed in this end-time generation, maybe even more so today than in the early New Testament Church.  So, what can we glean from Paul’s writings?

Notice the emphasis God places on each one of us having a part in edifying or building up God’s Church spiritually.  In numerous Scriptures we find exhortations to edify each other.  God tells us (men and women) to “excel” at it.

1 Corinthians 14:12 
Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

Romans 14:19 
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

 1 Corinthians 14:26(b) Let all things be done unto edifying.

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Romans 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Notice that the edifying is to affect the whole body and, it is to be done in love.

Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Clearly, edifying one another is part of our calling.  God has given us both the opportunity as well as the responsibility to be a part of this edification.

Edifying one another in love is truly an important spiritual assignment!

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