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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday - God's Love Manifest - John 15:1-17 - 3/19/17

The grapevine is a profilic plant: a single vine bears many grapes. In the Old Testament grapes symbolized Israel's fruitfulness in doing God's work on the earth. In the Passover meal, the fruit of the vine symbolized, God's goodness to His people.


Christ is the vine, & God is the husbandman who cares for the branches to make them fruitful. The branches are all who claim to be followers of Christ. The fruitful branches are true believers who by their living union with followers are as good as dead & will be cut off & cast aside.


Jesus makes a distinction between two kinds of pruning (1) separating & (2) cutting back branches. Fruitful branches are cut back to promote growth. God must sometimes discipline us to strength our character & faith. But branches that don't bear fruit are cut off at the trunk, because not only are they worthless, they often infect the rest of the tree.


Prayer, joy, & soul-winning are also fruit.


Abiding in Christ means (1) believing he is God's Son (2) receiving Him as Saviour (3) doing what God says (4) continuing in faith (5) & relating to the community of believers. Christ's body Jesus says to only live a truly good life is to stay close to him, like a branch attached to the vine. Apart from him our efforts are unfruitful.


When a vine bears "much fruit," God is glorified, for daily He sent the sunshine & rain to make the crops grow, & constantly be nurtured each tiny plant & prepared to blossomed. What a moment of glory for the Lord of the harvest when the harvest is brought into the barns, safe & ready for use! This farming picture shows how God is glorified when people come into a right relationship with him & begin to "bear much fruit" in their lives.


Joy comes from a consistent relationship with Jesus Christ. The joy of living with Jesus Christ daily keeps us levelheaded no matter how high or low our circumstances.


We are to love one another as Jesus loved us, & He loved us enough to give His life for us. Give all the love you can, & then try to give a little more.


Jesus made the first choice --- to love & to die for us; to offer us eternal life. We make the next choice --- to accept or reject His offer. Without His choice, we would have no choice.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale Publishing House, Inc., Wheaton, IL

2 of 2 ... The Beginning: Prelude To The Apocalypse: Book Review

The Corinthian church was so free in the grace of God that they begin to sin with some very real consequences. The truth is that we cannot exclude either the law or faith. It is faith that frees us from the law of sin & death (Romans 8:2). The eternal or second death is what we have been set free from. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).


It is understood that God is the ultimate power in the universe. In heaven all the angels obey the will of God. The fact that Satan had to go to God to get permission to sift Peter is further evidence of God's complete authority. God sits on the throne & listen daily to the adversary. If the adversary brings an accusation against us, God may allow him to chasten us. This has no effect on our eternal life. This will affect the quality of our life on planet Earth.


It is through the law that all sin was made known in the universe. Until the law came, sin was not understood or known (Romans 7:7-8). In other words we all must die in the flesh to fulfill the law. So we fulfill the law by dying & we fulfill the law of grace by living. Both laws are in effect & neither has been disregarded.


We can conclude that the flesh remains under the law of death & our spirit is under the law of grace. The Corinthians began to die & became sick due to sin. Paul admonished the congregation to walk in a worthy manner when involved with holy things such as the Lord's Supper (I Corinthians 11:26-30).


Christians need to understand that the law of grace is the eternal law & affects the spirit of man in eternity.


One of the most penetrating questions about life is this: "If God is good, why does He allow evil to exist?" As we know from Jesus, Satan is the father of all evil, (John 8:44). Job calls the angelic host "the sons of God" (Job 1:6-7). We find an interesting perspective in Job.


Satan, or Lucifer, was a covering cherub (Ezekiel 28:13-15). It's apparent that Lucifer wanted to be like God (Isaiah 14:12-15).


Satan believed & preached his doctrine of equality with God through knowledge of evil. If you knew God's secret knowledge of evil you would be like God (Genesis 3:4-5). As much as God loved His family, He must give them the freedom to choose their destiny.


The knowledge of evil caught the attention of one third of the angelic hosts (Revelation 12).


God knew that all creation could only live in harmony with love if it was voluntary. Anything else is not love. God only wants those who worship Him to do so in truth & spirit (John 4:23-24).


It is important to believe every Word of God.


Man & angels had to choose by faith whether to trust God or trust Satan.


God placed two trees in the garden. The tree of life was free & it yielded its fruit for food & life. The tree of knowledge of good & evil was beautiful to behold but contained only death. It was only the knowledge of evil that could bring death. Satan believed that if Adam & Eve would eat of it they would be as gods knowing good & evil (Genesis 3:5).


Satan does not have the power to take anything. Each time you see him in heavenly scenes he is asking permission to do what he wants. He asked permission to harm Job in Job chapter one. He asked to sift Peter as wheat in Luke 22:31. In Revelation chapter twelve, Satan stands before God day & night accusing the brethren.


We are faced with the choice of trusting God by faith or living according to the way of sin (Galatians 3:11).


Enoch & Elijah was taken by God without dying. And Enoch walked with God; & he was not for God took him (Genesis 5:24). By faith Enoch was was taken away so that he did not see death (Hebrews 11:5). Then it happened, as they continued on & talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, & separated the two of them; & Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven (2 Kings 2:11).


Christ was not a sinner & yet He was put to death. It was the will of God that He should be put to death. Jesus must also be recompensed for the wrong done to Him. His blood redeemed us from death & we are given to Him as His bride. Not only did Christ receive all who believe in Him, but He was given the keys of death & became Lord of all (Revelation 1:17-18).


We are given enough to make a choice of faith - to accept the Bible. The Bible does not seek to answer the questions of science.

Bruce Campbell is the author of The Beginning Prelude to the Apocalypse Companion Study Guide. He has been a pastor, evangelist and a successful business man. He currently runs The Secret Place, an international ministry to ministers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Divinity degree. He, along with his wife and daughter live in Picayune, MS

Saturday, March 18, 2017

1 of 2 The Begining ... Book Review

Prelude To The Apocalypse: Companion Study Guide


Paradox: A statement, doctrine, or expression seemingly absurd or contradiction to the received belief or to what would naturally be believing, but perhaps really true.

Gnotics: Of, pertaining to, or possessing knowledge;

Apocalypse: The book of Revelation ... The revelation made to the Apostle John


(John 16:12-13) I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; & He will tell you things to come.


The Scriptures clearly teach that knowledge is surpassed by the love of God in Christ (Ephesians 3:19). Knowledge is not the ultimate reality in the universe.


First, the author would like to explain to his readers the oneness of God (1 John). The most important reality about God is that He is love. John tells us that God is love. God the Father, God the Son, & God the Holy Spirit & that Spirit is love.


Here is why we need to understand the nature of love & how it can manifest in differing ways. When most people think about love they often think of love in one way only. The love that does not fail & always accepts us even when we don't deserve it. This kind of love is explained in I Corinthians 13.


God the Father represents a different manifestation of love. Protective love is rooted in righteousness.


The first paradox that was formed was found in the nature of love. God brought us life into existence & He loved His creation with an everlasting love. When sin came into existence it threatened life itself. God loved his angels but they were turning away from love to evil. God must be able to judge His own children & removed evil from existence. The love that cannot fail, by nature, cannot fail even Lucifer. God, in a sense, had to sacrifice His own heart in order to throw the diseased sons of God into the place of eternal quarantine prepared for them.


The Godhead is manisfected in differing ways even though the three manifestations are love.


Simply put, Jesus taught us that there is no giving or taking in marriage in heaven & that we will all be like angels (Matthew 22:29-30). There is no feminine in the Godhead & we know from the book of Job that angels are called the sons of God.


The Hebrew word for Spirit ("ruach") is feminine in Genesis 1:2. In the New Testament the Holy Spirit is presented in the masculine gender. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit "the Comforter" (John 16:7).


The church takes on the role of the feminine in the relation to Christ. The Greek word for church (ecclesia) is feminine in gender. The church is called the bride of the lamb (Revelation 19:7; 21:9). The church receives the Spirit (seed) & produces life (John 7:38,39).


Jesus submitted to His Father's will. Even though He was one with the Father in Spirit, He took on the role of submission. The church, in the same way, must learn to submit to the will of Christ.


The maternal side of love cries out for forgiving (Luke 23:34). Many people have asked, as did Jesus, "Why did God forsake Christ when he was on the cross (Mark 15:34).


Jesus is directly referenced to as the lamb that was sacrificed for sin. Christ was begotten of God & not created. He is the same essence, substance, or Spirit as the Father (John 16:27-28; John 10:30).


The lamb (Christ) was slain from the freedom of the world (Revelation 13:8). When the knowledge of good & evil came into existence through the law, the perfect Love (Holy Spirit) in a real sense had to be sacrificed, lest it should forgive Satan. Pure love can never turn away from the children.


The Passover lamb, in contrast to the sin offering, had to be a male lamb (Exodus 12:5-8). The Passover lamb represented represents the reality of eternal death passing over all who take Christ (the lamb) into their life. These are picture types that teach us about God's plan for redemption of all who receive Christ. It also shows us the protective side of love in that we are protected from death through Christ.


God's ways make sense & everything God made reflects something about the Godhead.


Angels were not begotten but rather created. Adam was first & Eve was begotten out of Adam. Planets & moons are one matter & are drawn together by the unknown force called gravity. Adam & Eve are one flesh & drawn together by love. The Father & Son are drawn together by the Holy Spirit of love.


Let us be glad & rejoice & give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, & His wife has made herself ready (Revelation 19:7). We should not think of these pictures types in fleshly terms but rather spiritual.


As the bride of Christ we are to yield (submit) to His will. Remember that in the Spirit there is no giving or taking in marriage but we shall all be as angels. We as His bride, must learn submission to His will & then we shall be exalted. The will of Christ is found in the Sermon on the Mount & Beatitudes. He told us to learn the ways of love.


In chapter eight of Proverbs wisdom speaks to us declaring she was brought forth from God.


Comparison between Christ & Wisdom:

Through Wisdom all things created: Psalm 104:24; Jeremiah 10:12; Proverbs 3:19

Through Christ all things created: John 1:1,9; Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:16

Find wisdom find life: Proverbs 8:35; Ecclesiastes 7:12; Proverbs 4:20-22

Find Christ find life: 1 John 1:12; John 14:6; John 10:10

Wisdom established from everlasting: Proverbs 8:23

Christ established from everlasting: John 8:58

Wisdom invites to eat her Bread & drink her wine: Proverbs 9:5

Jesus is the bread of life. Wine is life: John 6:33-48; Matthew 26:28


Satan will try to turn the picture of the Godhead in creation upside down. Evil will grow if left unchecked by power & strength. Evil masquerades as good & takes advantages of innocence.


Imagine a time before evil existed. There was no need for law or protective because there was no knowledge of evil. Because creation was innocence, God had to create a way of understanding what sin was. He spoke into existence or permissive side of love is perfectly explained in I Corinthians 13.


Mankind will attempt to become as god & reinterpret all things through selfish ambition carnal desire & call it freedom.


The world is attempting to cast off God in order to pursue carnal lust & selfish desire. The law of God is hated by those who proclaim freedom. Anyone who stands in the way of this "freedom" will be hated & reviled, even as God is reviled.

Revile: To address scandalous language; abuse; be abusive in speech or act.


When there is no longer anything to stop sin, it will run rampant.


Evil must be resisted. God the Father must turn away from His own children (fallen angels, sons of God) & eventually separate them from the family. The disease called sin must be put away into a quarantine zone forever. That zone is known as hell.


There is a concerted effort in this day to make boys more like girls in their emotions. When men become emotionally driven instead of righteously driven there will be an eroding of strength in society.


Bruce Campbell is the author of The Beginning Prelude to the Apocalypse Companion Study Guide. He has been a pastor, evangelist and a successful business man. He currently runs The Secret Place, an international ministry to ministers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Divinity degree. He, along with his wife and daughter live in Picayune, MS


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saturday - Thankful for God's Steadfast Love - Psalm 40:1-10 - 3/4/17

Waiting for God to help us is not easy, but David received four benefits from waiting: God (1) lifted him out of his despair, (2) set his feet on firm ground, (3) established his goings (steadied him as he walked), & (4) gave him a new song.


The religious ritual of David's day involved sacrificing animals in the Tabernacle. Today we often make rituals of going to church, taking communion, or paying tithe. Make sure you give God the obedience & life-long service he desires from you.


Jesus portrayed this attitude of obeying & serving God (John 4:34;5:30).


God shows his righteousness & faithfulness to his people in his offer of salvation. David boldly proclaimed this to those around him. We want to tell other people what God has done for us. Since it is natural to share a good bargain with others or recommend a skillful doctor, then we should also feel natural sharing what God has done for us.


People who are faithful to us accept & love us, even when we are unloveable. Faithful people keep their promises whether promises of support or marriage vows. He loves us in spite of our constant bent toward sin, & he keeps all his promises he has made to us, even when we break our promises to him.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Friday - Loving God & Brothers & Sisters - I John 4:20-5:5 - 3/3/17

It is easy to say we love God when it doesn't cost us anything more than weekly attendance at religious services. But the real test of our love for God is how we treat the people right in front of us - our family members & fellow believers. We cannot truly love God while neglecting to love those who are created in his image.


When we become Christians we become part of God's family, with fellow believers as our brothers & sisters. We are simply called to accept & love them. How well do you treat your fellow family members?


Jesus never promised that obeying him would be easy. The hard work & self-discipline of serving Christ is no burden to those who love him. And if our load starts to feel heavy, we can always trust Christ to help us bear it (see Matthew 11:28-30).

Reference summary is used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Friday, March 3, 2017

Monday - Christ Died for Us - I John 3:11-17 - 2/27/17

We must love other Christians.

Cain destroyed his brother Abel when God accepted Abel's offering & not Cain's (Genesis 4:1-16). People who are morally upright expose & shame those who aren't. If we live for God, the world will often hate us because we make them painfully aware of their immoral way of living.


John echoes Jesus' words that one who hates another person is a destroyer at heart (Matthew 5:21,22). Christianity is a religion of the heart; outward compliance alone is not you is an evil cancer within you & will eventually destroy you. Don't let a "root of bitterness" (Hebrews 12:15) grow in you or your church.


Real love is an action, not a feeling. Sometimes it is easier to say we'll die for others than to truly live for them, which involves putting others' desires first.


Christians must show their love, & one way to do that is to provide money or material possession to help others' needs. How clearly do your actions say you really love others?

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Stand - Book Review

Staying Balanced with Answers for Real Teen Life

The advice offered herein does not constitute a substitute for professional treatment, therapy, or other types of professional advice & intervention. The author nor publisher does not assume any responsibility for use of these materials & information.


Stand:

a. An attitude toward a particular issue, a position taken in an argument

b. Have or maintain an upright position, supported by one's feet

c. Withstand an experience or test without being damaged


When a guy is controlling, checks your phone, manipulative or a cheater, he is not Christ-like & he is not for you. We are reminded in 2 Corinthians 6:14 that we are not to be "yoked together" with unbelievers. In biblical times, a yoke was used to keep oxen together when they would plow the fields.


Cute guys don't always have cute character. Proverbs 27:19 says, "As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart." We know a person's heart by the way they live. You may be dating a cute guy, but does he treat you one way in private & another way in public?


When a guy truly cares about you, he will treat you with the same respect & adoration in public that he does in private.


Don't "sugar coat" how you feel & state upfront that you are only interested in being friends.


When your friends motives are pure, he can see things in other guys that you may not see & help protect you from making a mistake.


It is okay to say, "NO!"


Taking Out the Trash: "A woman is not written in braille. You don't have to touch her to know her." - Unknown


Why is it so important that we keep our morals? Our study group would like to assure you EVERYONE IS DOING IT. The girls in our study group have made a commitment to save themselves for their husbands.


You must be the one that is worthy of the chase.


In case you're still tempted to experiment with sex outside of marriage, knowing that approximately 750,000 teenagers get pregnant every year may help yu reconsider ("Teen Pregnancy Facts"). If you fantasize about quitting EVERYTHING in your life to take care of someone else for the next 18 years, you are definitely in the minority. I have never spoken to an unmarried teen who said, "I'm so glad I got pregnant." Their friends eventually went off to college & they were left alone. Contrary to what "Hollywood" promotes, most guys do NOT stay with or marry the teen mother of their child.


God loves you & you will never find a love greater than His.


Compromising your morals & your values is going too far.


So what if we've already messed up. I've got good news! Jesus Christ gave His life so that we can be healed from past mistakes. He can forgive you & give you a new start TODAY when you ask HIM for one. This is what His grace is all about. We've all messed up, & we all need forgiveness. Don't allow shame to tell you it's too late to start over. THAT IS A LIE. God wants to walk with you into every situation in your life. I John 1:9 say's, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful & just to forgive us & PURIFY us." He can restore the purity you have lost & make you a new creation in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). He loves you & has great plans just for you when you turn away from making your own decisions & allow Him to help you make the right ones.


Proverbs 17:17 says, "A friend loves at all times." Friendship is an "equal opportunity" relationship, & both friends must take responsibility for the friendship to work.


Communication is crucial in friendship because when we stop talking, problems arise.


Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8


Trust is a key characteristic in friendship.


God NEVER Changes!


ask God to till the hole that is there with the "high" only He can give.


Choices are life-changing.


It's our job to share the truth. It's God job to do the changing.


Beating the Bullies: Your values doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth. Idiot. Ugly. Fat. Loser. For most of us, nothing is more painful than rejection. Bullies feed on their victims reactions such as hurt, fear, insecurity, & weakness. God did not design us to be mistreated or bullied. Bullies do not get to defines us, GOD does.


The most important thing you must DO is to notify your parents & health officials immediately after the rape occurs, whether it is by a boyfriend, family member or a stranger.

Shannon Perry is an author, conference speaker, recording artist & TV host. She worked in the public school system for over fourteen years as a school teacher & counselor before entering full-time ministry. She helped create an Anti-bullying program which is still used by one of the largest school systems in America. She has one son who is a Captain in the U.S. Air Force.

She is the creator of the "In Her Shoes" Conference written especially for Moms & their teen daughters.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Sunday - The Source of All Love - I John 4:7-19 - 3/5/17

In reality, love is a choice & an action. God is the source of our love: he loved is enough to sacrifice his son for us. Jesus is our example of what it means to love; everything he did in life & death was supremely loving. The Holy Spirit gives us power to love; he lives in our hearts & makes more & more like Jesus. God's love always involves a choice & an action, & our love should be like his.


The world thinks love is what make you feel good, & it is willing to sacrifice moral principles & others' rights in order to obtain such "love." Our definition of love must come from God who is holy, just, & perfect. At the same time, if we truly know God, we must learn to love as he does.


"Only begotten" means God's unique Son.


Love explains (1) why God creates; (2) why God cares; (3) whey we are free to choose; (4) why Christ died; & (5) why we receive eternal life.


Nothing sinful or evil can exist in God's presence. He cannot overlook, condone, or excuse sin as if it never happened. We can be acquitted (Romans 5:18) by his atoning sacrifice ("propitiation").


Jesus is the complete expression of God in human form & he has revealed God to us. When we love one another, the invisible God reveals himself to others through us, & his love is made complete ("perfect").


John isn't telling us how many people to love, but how much to love the people we already know. Our job is to faithfully love the people God has given us to love, whether there are two or two hundred of them. If God sees we are ready to love others, he will bring them to us. God provides us the strength to do what he asks.


When we become Christians, we receive the Holy Spirit. God's presence in our lives is a proof that we really belong to him & gives us the power to love. If you lack assurance of your salvation, listen to the Holy Spirit within you (Romans 8:16).


The day of judgment is that final day when we will appear before Christ & be held accountable for our actions. We can look forward to the judgment, because it will mean the end of sin & the beginning of a face-to-face relationship with Jesus Christ.


If we ever begin to dear eternity, heaven, or God's judgment, we can remind ourselves of God's love. We can be confident of what lies ahead if in this life we have determined to be more like Jesus.


God's love is the source of all human love, & it spreads like fire. In turn, they love others, who are warmed by God's love through them.

Reference summary used from Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois