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Monday Morning Blues

Greetings:

 

            This interesting item appeared in U.S. News and World Report: “A recent long-term study of executive heart-attack victims show that 75 percent of those who died at work died on Monday,” reports the Blue Cross-Blue Shield magazine, Health Talk. “Of those who died at home, 50 percent also on Monday. A major factor in those deaths, says the magazine, was the `Monday Blues` associated with returning to work after an exhausting weekend.”

            I’m not a doctor nor do I pretend to be one, but my view on this is simply to avoid going to work on Mondays. Just kidding, but looking at this it makes one wonder why going to work is so depressing to some. Working at ones profession was once highly regarded and looked upon as ones duty to family and society.

            Has work become the next four letter word? With 50% of America on some kind of subsistence, it would seem too many there is a large percentage of Americans afraid of the Monday morning curse. The word work has morphed into a symbol much like the stake though the heart of Dracula.

            The word work didn’t begin its slide into oblivion in main-stream society; it began in religion. The curse took form in the constant rant form protestant pastors, “There are no Works required.”  If we become afraid of something God sees as good for us; and something needed for a beneficial life and healthy society, why would we ever want to dump that overboard? Working for God is the highest calling one can ever achieve, but to avoid the Monday morning blues, one must serve the right truth.

 

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Should Guns be in Churches?

Gun’s in Churches
By: Ron Harmon

In a little town outside San Antonio Texas called Sutherland Springs Twenty six people died and 20 were wounded in the First Baptist church. It was horrific news, much less comprehend how someone could do such a terrible act.
Most of God fearing people in the U.S. whether they are Sabbath observers or Sunday keepers would agree church is the one place where we should feel safe from the outside. The fact of the matter is, in recent years this has become more prevalent in our country.
Below is a list of shootings in the past eleven years.
Information gathered off the internet
February 14, 2010 – Richmond, California – Three hooded men
walk into Gethsemane Church of God in Christ and opened
fire and then fled the scene, as the singing of the choir
was replaced by frightened screams. The two victims, a 14-
year-old boy and a 19-year-old man, were hospitalized.

March 8, 2009 – Maryville, Illinois – Suspect Terry Joe
Sedlacek, 27, of Troy, walks into the First Baptist Church,
and shoots pastor Fred Winters dead, point blank. Several
church members are injured by a knife in the struggle to
capture Sedlacek during the attack. The suspect also stabbed himself, but survived, all this after his gun jammed.

July 27, 2008 – Knoxville, Tennessee – A gunman opens fire
in a church during a youth performance, killing two people
and injuring seven.

Dec. 9, 2007 – Colorado – Three people are killed and five
wounded in two shooting rampages, one at a missionary
school in suburban Denver and one at a church in Colorado
Springs. The gunman in the second incident is killed by a
guard.

May 20, 2007 – Moscow, Idaho – A standoff between police
and a suspect in the shootings of three people in a
Presbyterian Church ended with three dead, including one
police officer.

Aug. 12, 2007 – Neosho, Missouri – First Congregational
Church – 3 killed – Eiken Elam Saimon shot and killed the
pastor and two deacons and wounded five others.

May 21, 2006 – Baton Rouge, Louisiana – The Ministry of
Jesus Christ Church – 4 killed – The four at the church who
were shot were members of Erica Bell’s family; she was
abducted and murdered elsewhere; Bell’s mother, church
pastor Claudia Brown, was seriously wounded – Anthony Bell,
25, was the shooter.

Feb. 26, 2006 – Detroit, Michigan – Zion Hope Missionary
Baptist Church – 2 killed + shooter – Kevin L. Collins, who
reportedly went to the church looking for his girlfriend,
later killed himself.

April 9, 2005 – College Park, Georgia – A 27-year-old
airman died after being shot at a church, where he had once
worked as a security guard.

March 12, 2005 – Brookfield, Wisconsin – Living Church of
God – 7 killed + shooter – Terry Ratzmann opened fire on
the congregation, killing seven and wounding four before
taking his own life.

July 30, 2005 – College Park, Georgia – World Changers
Church International – shooter killed – Air Force Staff
Sgt. John Givens was shot five times by a police officer
after charging the officer, following violent behavior.

Dec. 17, 2004, Garden Grove, Calif.: A veteran musician at
the Crystal Cathedral shoots himself to death after a nine
-hour standoff.

Oct. 5, 2003 – Atlanta, Georgia – Turner Monumental AME
Church – 2 killed + shooter – Shelia Wilson walked into the
church while preparations are being made for service and
shot the pastor, her mother and then herself.

June 10, 2002 – Conception, Missouri – Benedictine
monastery – 2 killed + shooter – Lloyd Robert Jeffress shot
four monks in the monastery killing two and wounding two,
before killing himself.

March 12, 2002 – Lynbrook, New York – Our Lady of Peace
Catholic Church – 2 killed – Peter Troy, a former mental
patient, opens fire during Mass, killing the priest and a
parishioner. He later receives a life sentence.

May 18, 2001 – Hopkinsville, Kentucky – Greater Oak
Missionary Baptist Church – 2 killed – Frederick Radford
stood up in the middle of a revival service and began
shooting at his estranged wife, Nicole Radford, killing her
and a woman trying to help her.

Sept. 15, 1999 – Fort Worth, Texas – Wedgewood Baptist
Church – 7 killed + shooter – Larry Gene Ashbrook shot dead
seven people and injured a further seven at a concert by
Christian rock group Forty Days in Fort Worth, Texas before
killing himself.

April 15, 1999 – Salt Lake City, Utah – LDS Church Family
History Library – 2 killed + shooter – Sergei Babarin, 70,
with a history of mental illness, entered the library,
killed two people and wounded four others before he was
gunned down by police.

All of these shootings are beyond the imagination for most folks, but the truth is, Sabbath observing churches aren’t immune to this evil. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and pretend it won’t happen to us. The Living Church of God a Sabbath organization was one of the shootings listed above.
The question here in Texas and around the nation is, “what do we do to protect our congregations?”
I’ve heard on the media, both T.V. and talk radio about arming certain congregants for self security. Either as CHL owners or training certain men willing to stand guard during church services.
The first reaction to this for me and many others was, GUNS IN CHURCH?
I was equally surprised to learn, many large churches already do this. They have programs in place that put arm individuals at key locations during services.
As a pastor for almost 20 years, I too feel a certain desire to have some type of protection within our church.
I have to make a admonition at this point, I too have had a CHL (Conceal and Carry permit) for a side arm for the last ten years, but I’ve never carried it into the church. I rarely carry it at all, I earn my CHL for traveling back and forth to Colorado where my wife and I own property.
So now the question has become, should we allow side arms into church? Let’s break this down so we can get a better understanding of what we are truly asking ourselves.
What is a church?
One might feel the buildings Christians come together and worship in is holy somehow. But is it? The word for church is the Greek word “ecclesia” is correctly defined as: “The called-out (ones)”
It’s a body of believers coming together in homes, parks, motels, restaurants, wherever they can to worship God. It’s the people not the building that are holy.
What about the gun? Is it wrong to have a gun inside a church during worship? What is evil about a gun?
A gun is a tool in the truest sense, it can’t do a thing by its self. The good or evil associated with it depends on the person yielding it. The gun cannot take a life without someone pointing it and pulling the trigger. In fact, you can say the same thing about knives. One of the incidents listed above was with a knife. I carry a pocket knife and rarely given it much thought. What’s the difference, its just a tool.
In Luke 22:36-38 there is an interesting conversation between Jesus and His disciples.
“”36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”
38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.”
And He said to them, “It is enough.””
One could argue, this is part and parcel of a church, i.e. “called out ones.” Here Jesus has just told them to buy swords because they are going to be on the road traveling. What are the swords for? Protection, cutting wood, and a host of other uses during their times. But, protection was on the list of uses. Do you think they hid their swords when they went into a town to preach the gospel?
What’s the difference between a gun today or a sword then?
I know many will say, “we should have faith that God can take care of us.” Many feel we should leave our protection soley up to God’s holy will. There is merit to that thinking based upon scriptures.
God also told ancient Israel to have faith but to protect themselves at the same time. In the case of the Amalekites attacking Israel in the dessert. God sent Moses out with men and was with Moses as long as he held up his staff and the men of Israel eventually defeated the Amalekites.
So faith and self protection go hand-in-hand, they’re not mutually exclusive. I know in writing this and adding my voice to the discussion makes me a lighting rod for disagreement, but it’s a conversation worth having in light of recent events.
Let me be clear, I’m not advocating we return to the old west, all the men wearing six shooters in church. But after much thought, I do feel there is a place for well trained men, X-military, retired policemen or current policemen, or men with CHL’s to take turns being on guard for evil that could be lurking outside our doors.
They don’t need to be in visible site, not even talked about, but there for the defense of the people.
There isn’t a man I know who wants to take another mans life, but in these times we live in; there are those men out there.
Churches are soft targets in the eyes of evil men, a place where they believe the targets are unarmed.
That is the thinking that needs to change. Evil men with bad intentions should be the ones in fear. The uncertainty should be in their minds as to whether or not, there are guns inside the church they’ve targeted.
It is the elders of the congregations, not to mention the Pastors responsibility to watch over their flocks. Pastors shouldn’t be afraid to look hard at every tool at their disposal in order to help keep people safe.
This is solely my opinion, I don’t expect everyone to agree or disagree, but know this, faith isn’t always enough, especially in these times.

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The Only Jesus They ever Knew

The Only Jesus They ever Knew

Many of God’s holy people are trying the hardest to get this nation to repent of its sins. Many on social media platforms like, facebook twitter, you tube and others continue asking for prayers for this nation, there is nothing wrong with that, we need to support our nation and our government.
Just like them, want to see this nation return to ways guided by a holy law. It would be a wonderful thing to be able to leave my doors open at night without fear of someone breaking in, stealing me out of house and home.
In addition; it would be nice not to have to worry about losing my life when I leave home by someone driving drunk or by the hand of a madman engulfed in road rage. We shouldn’t have to fear going to the mall to buy a pair of shoes, or go out for a nice meal and worry about getting shot. Instead of all those worries, wouldn’t be great to see God’s churches to be busting at the seams with folks wanting to know about God. Not being indoctrinated into believing we somehow miraculously developed from green sludge over millions of years through a process called evolution.
There is nothing wrong with having a desire for our children to be safe from predatory people that prey on young children. We don’t care to have homosexuals and people in authority influencing our children in sick perverted ways. We shouldn’t be made to feel guilty not teaching our children to want to crave kinky sex, or desire others for a same sex partners.
We want our government to uphold the guarantees of the constitution, giving us freedoms of speech and religion, the right to bare arms.
Many aspire to God, not global warming, environmentalism, progressivism, popularism, or any other isms.
Most US citizens want these things, and we want our nation to repent from the evil it has embarked upon over the last decade.
Sadly, today has become a time of ignorance, not knowing who God is or what repentance truly means.
How does one repent of what they think is right? The thief may know he’s a thief but all the same, he believes he is justified. Many who steal think they’re right in doing so. Many who murder believe they’re right in doing so. It’s the same with every other commandment of God, they can make themselves believe they are in the right somehow. So, how does one repent when they think they’re right?
On satellite radio they have the oldies radio programs; the play Suspense theater, green hornet, Molly & McGee, Escape, The great Gildersleeve, Burns & Gracie, and on and on.
Recently they’ve been playing Christmas in July themes and on one of the old series called dragnet.
It was a program in 1953, with Jack Webb: titled, The Big little Jesus
The story goes:
It’s Christmas Eve when Father Rojas at the Old Mission Plaza Church in Los Angeles discovers that the statue of the Infant Jesus is stolen from the crib. The statue’s worth is only a few dollars, but it is of great sentimental value for the parish. Friday and Smith promise to try to get it back before mass on Christmas Day, but this means that they have less than 24 hours to catch the thief.
Sergeant Joe Friday asked why the statue was so important to the people, the priest reply, “it may be only a plaster statue, but its the only Jesus they ever knew.
Wouldn’t the real Jesus be more important than a two foot figure of someone’s imagination?
Is the real Jesus such a mystery people in this nation and around the world today, don’t they know who their savior is? Is believing in, going to their churches on Sunday mornings, keeping Easter, and Christmas, doing all their preacher tells them is somehow going to save them?
What folks don’t truly comprehend, Jesus would sweat on a hot day, get warm by a fire on a cold one. He could become incredibly hungry and exhausted, He laughed, cried and got annoyed same as us. He was also tested, on a daily basis, with the same kinds of temptations and trials common to all mankind. He was a real person, making a real living, feeding His family, buying and selling, earning wages.
Our Savior could sing a song if it struck His fancy, admired the beauty of a sunrise or a picturest scene with a mountain lake.
Jesus by all accounts wasn’t poor, instead grew up in an environment where his earthly father had his own business in construction. He learned His father’s trade carried on the family business after the death of Joseph.
The man who was the REAL Jesus was looked up to by Roman army officials but was eventually hated and despised by most religious leaders of his time to the point where they wanted him dead!
Not only was Jesus the Christ not born anywhere near Christmas he was actually born sometime in the fall of the year. He also most likely owned two homes and paid His fair share of taxes. Many times he stayed overnight in the houses of those who were rich. He was very friendly to those considered ‘sinners’ like fishermen, soldiers, thieves, politicians, religious folk, even prostitutes.
His death was not the result of his heart being broken nor was put on a cross on a day we label “Good Friday” – and that He was not resurrected from the dead on the morning of Easter Sunday. Jesus Christ is also ALIVE and well today!
Jesus was a Jew, he kept the Sabbath, the holy days listed in Leviticus23. He obeyed the food laws, the mosaic laws and statues listed in the Torah. The book He most quoted from was Isaiah, not any NT espistles.
The world at large doesn’t know even these few things that are facts, not suppositions.
Most Christians today go by the traditional description of Christ relying on a few verses that seem to give them the license to do evil, believing they’re bound for heaven all the while.
Their so-called repentance is doing and believing much of the same things that have landed us where we are today.
Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.
Christanity is in a loop of insanity. They continue to believe in traditions of men, believeing they’re doing God a favor, denying Him at the same instance, expecting to have things change.
This would normally be the time I would say, “WAKEUP!” but is the insanity too ingrained into our culture?
Is it even possible for most folks to to see another Jesus other than the one they’ve always known? They want the Jesus they know, no matter how flawed and incorrect he is.
The question is, where are you when it comes to Jesus? Do you continue wanting the one you grew up knowing, or do you desire to know the real Jesus?

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Insanity

Insanity

In a perfect world, in a reasonable time, no self respecting man would ever pervade the sacredness of women’s domain, ie: female restroom. Yet today is not that time and a minority of men will do exactly that with the blessings of our government.
You have to ask, “what mind altering substance is the president on? What moment in time was it when he began to believe this is a good idea?” Was he on the golf course and didn’t have a place to relieve himself? Was he stigmatized somehow because there was a woman’s facility available close by, but the mans room was farther away and couldn’t make it? Was it at that instance the light bulb went off in his head and said, “I know what I’ll do, I’ll make all restrooms gender neutral!” If only the golf course could speak, perhaps we would know the truth.
The problem is a whole lot larger than just the president; he has many backers in the congress with the same unholy PC insanity sickness. The entire government must have checked their inebriated brains filled with pornographic agendas, at the morality door to fill some kind of wholesale sick perverted agenda. Who are we electing to represent us? I certainly didn’t vote for someone to add their blessing in the form of law so grown men can use the same restroom as my wife and young women and children putting them in danger.
Perhaps this is just a ploy designed to help some in government fill a deeper sick voyeuristic element of their own lives that can’t be demonized in the traditional ways. Whatever the case, it’s sick and a really a bad idea on any level.
How many young men with hormones raging are already conniving a way to work this in their favor? The answer is, “a bunch,” don’t kid yourselves, sex is the number one thing on most fifteen year olds radar. It’s a way to erase taboos and borders for perverts looking at this as a smorgasbord for their choosing whatever target excites them. It’s deviation from every moral institution we hold dear as Christians.
I know I will be called a homophobe, bigot, and close-minded. All I can say to those claims is, Yep” when it comes to homosexuality and sharing restrooms with acting perverts, I’m all of those descriptions. Not only am I those names, I’m unrepentant for it and dam proud of it. I not part of this PC world, I come from America, land of the proud and FREE!!! Get it free, don’t tell me I have to take this garbage, because the founders of this nation said I didn’t have to. You give into this deviance and the next unholy, perverted, sick, idea coming our way will be unstoppable.
Our nation isn’t this way, this isn’t our morals, our founding. What is it going to take for those who are advocates of this to see the rotten, sticking, sick act this is? They said it was a good thing to take God out of our schools, here’s what going to fill the void. I hope our children don’t learn to love this as fast as we forgot God.

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Mystery of the Bride and Bridegroom

 

 

There are mysteries all around us in nature, astronomy, medicine and any other science you can imagine—mysteries which cannot be explained by man or any measuring apparatus in existence, but the greatest mysteries don’t always occur in science or medicine. They’re often found in religion and in our past; and nothing is more mysterious than the “Bride of Christ” mentioned in Scripture.

Most mainstream churches give little credence to scriptures containing the marriage of the church to Christ—passing them off as metaphor or analogies, spending very little time to consider the enormous implications involved and not understanding the gravity of their meaning and what they have to do with our individual relationship with Christ. The fog of misunderstanding coupled with man’s traditions bars the light of truth from reaching common church-going folks’ minds. Ministers in these same churches ignore certain scriptures with the utmost bias toward their institutional teachings, and dare not stray too far out into the weeds of individual thinking (or beliefs for that matter).

We’re then stuck with a conundrum, because scriptures within your Bible demonstrate the church of God in a marital relationship with Christ. It’s true…you cannot find the phrase “The bride of Christ” in your Bible. This phrase is stated in various other ways, which we will explore as we go along.

Ignoring the verses won’t make them disappear, or mean any less to God. So why build a theology absent this beautiful illustration of God’s love? Likely ‘because it threatens man’s hold on man’ is the simplest answer. Mainstream churches can’t afford to let their Christian congregations know the truth, because it would expose the lies they preach each and every week. It might open doors in the form of questions to mainstream ministers that can’t be arrogantly brushed away, nor twisted to fit some pagan-based theology. They would have to address the issue with ancient Israel and its culture in mind, and many ministers are ill-equipped with the knowledge to do that. Anything other than a short reference to Israel’s past is subject to connections that threaten their hold on man’s beliefs, so in fear, they don’t want to make those types of connections. It’s important that we do, though, because we only fear God, not men.

If we say, “We’re not afraid of what the scriptures teach, we have a place to begin and a chance to learn a beautiful teaching from our Creator, and a chance to open our minds to other teachings of Christ.” If you’re happy with what your minister teaches each week and you follow him without question, maybe this isn’t for you; however, before you leave, let me add one more thing. Men—even the greatest of them—are flawed. They make mistakes. The greater the man, the greater the mistakes that are made. Preachers and ministers make mistakes. It happens all the time, and we often see it exposed on television.  I know we don’t want to think that ministers could deceive us, but they are men, and there are none (including me) that aren’t flawed. With this in mind, why blindly follow men in pulpits without question? Why swallow their words and teachings hook, line and sinker without checking them out, when it’s so blatantly obvious that they are contradicting Scripture? Does man’s tradition make you feel so comfortable and secure that Scripture be hanged? Doesn’t the word of your Creator hold more weight than man’s words? You have to answer those questions for yourself. We’re going to proceed and discover this special relationship man has with God. Don’t come along if you wish, but remember, you’ll not hear this from your minister in Sunday morning worship, so here’s your chance to learn a beautiful lesson.

 

The Hebrew Wedding

 

            To begin to understand this relationship with Christ better, we must first understand how a Hebrew wedding was preformed in ancient Israel. Why is this important? It will become very clear as we go along. The act of marriage first begins with a betrothal between the bride and bridegroom. We are betrothed to Christ (His church). What was the process that took place to make that happen?

 Much of the following is an excerpt of the book, Weddings of Ancient IsraelA Picture of the Messiah When a young man desired to marry a young woman in ancient Israel, the Father would prepare a contract or covenant to present to the young woman’s father. The contract showed his willingness to provide for the young woman, and described the terms under which he would propose marriage. The most important part of the contract was the “bride price”—the price that the young man was willing to pay to marry the young woman. This payment was to be made to the young woman’s father in exchange for his permission for the couple to marry. The bride price was generally quite high. Sons were considered to be more valuable than daughters, since they were physically more able to share in the work of farming and other heavy labor. The bride price compensated the young woman’s family for the cost to raise a daughter, and also indicated the love that the young man had for his bride-to-be (she was very valuable to the young man)! The Father of the bridegroom would present the contract to the bride’s father to seal the deal. Now let’s see how Christ fulfilled that part of the institution.Jesus came to the home of His bride (earth) to present His marriage contract. The marriage contract provided by Jesus is the new covenant, which provides for the forgiveness of sin of God’s people. Jesus paid the bride price with His life. At the Last Supper, when breaking bread, He spoke of the price He was paying, “This is my body given for you.” (Luke 22:20). Hebrews 8:15 makes it clear that Jesus died as the price for the new covenant: “Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance— now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant (other Scripture references include 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 1 Peter 1:18-19, Acts 20:28 and John 3:29).The marriage contract—the new covenant—is described throughout Scripture: “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people…they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” Jeremiah 31:31-34 adds, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”  HEBREW WEDDING PRACTICE: THE CUPIf the bride price was agreeable to the young woman’s father, the young man would pour a glass of wine for the young woman. If she drank the wine, it would indicate her acceptance of the proposal. The couple would then be betrothed. Betrothal was legally binding, just like a marriage. The only difference was that the marriage was not yet consummated. A typical betrothal period was one to two years. During this time, the bride and bridegroom would each prepare for the marriage and wouldn’t see each other.Let’s see how Christ enacts the fulfillment of the cup.Just as the bridegroom would pour a cup of wine for his bride to drink to seal the marriage contract, so Jesus poured wine for His disciples. His words described the significance of the cup in representing the bride price for the marriage contract. He then took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matt. 26:28-29) The disciples drank from the cup, thus accepting the contract. HEBREW WEDDING PRACTICE: GIFTS FOR THE BRIDENext, the bridegroom would present the bride with special gifts, the purpose of which was to show the bridegroom’s appreciation of the bride. They were also intended to help her remember him during the long betrothal period.  JESUS’ FULFILLMENT: GIFTS FOR THE BRIDEThe gifts that Jesus gave us are the gifts of the Holy Spirit: “We know that we live in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” (1 John 4:13). Jesus described His gift by saying, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 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 14:26) HEBREWANCIENT WEDDING PRACTICE: MIKVEHThe bride would next partake of a “Mikveh,” or cleansing bath. Mikveh is the same word used for baptism. To this day in conservative Judaism, a bride cannot marry without a Mikveh.JESUS’ FULFILLMENT: MIKVEHThe Mikveh that Jesus provided for His bride was baptism in the Holy Spirit. On one occasion, while eating with them, He gave this command, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4). A complete baptism is required, with both the Holy Spirit and water, a complete emersion in each. Water baptism symbolizes death, a complete burial is required. Accepting the holy spirit right after the baptism is the best time because you emerge pure and sinless, if only for a brief time.  HEBREW WEDDING PRACTICE: PREPARING A PLACEDuring the betrothal period, the bridegroom would prepare a wedding chamber for the honeymoon— typically built in the bridegroom’s father’s house. The wedding chamber had to be built to the groom’s father’s specifications and had to be a beautiful place to bring the bride, as the bride and groom were to spend seven days there. The bridegroom could go for his bride only when his father approved. If the bridegroom was asked when the wedding was to be, he might well say, “It is not for me to know, only my father knows.” JESUS’ FULFILLMENT: PREPARING A PLACEJust as a bridegroom would have told his bride that he would prepare a place for her, so Jesus told His disciples, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 13:1-3) In ancient Israel, the bridegroom could get his bride only after his father approved. Similarly, Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” (Mark 13:32-33) HEBREW WEDDING PRACTICE: A WAITING BRIDE CONSECRATEDWhile the bridegroom was preparing the wedding chamber, the bride was considered to be consecrated—set apart or “bought with a price.” If she traveled outside her home, she would wear a veil so that others would know she was betrothed. During this time, she prepared herself for marriage. She likely had saved money all her life for this time. She would purchase expensive cosmetics and learn to apply them to make herself more beautiful for the bridegroom. She wouldn’t know when her groom would come for her, so she always had to be ready. Since bridegrooms typically came for their brides in the middle of the night to “steal them away,” the bride would need to have her lamp and belongings ready at all times. Her sisters or bridesmaids would also be waiting, keeping their lamps trimmed in anticipation of the late-night festivities.JESUS’ FULFILLMENT: A WAITING BRIDE CONSECRATEDWe as God’s people are now consecrated or set apart, waiting for the return of our bridegroom. We should be spending this time preparing ourselves for Jesus’ return. Jesus used a parable of 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom to describe the need to be alert for His return. “At that time, the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom…the foolish ones took their lamps, but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, our lamps are going out.’ They replied, ‘No. There may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ While on their way to buy oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready accompanied him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. Later, the others arrived. “Sir! Sir!” they said, “Open the door for us!” He replied, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.” Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.  Addendum: The oil in the lamps is the works we accomplish in the name of the bridegroom. “I know your works,” Christ says to the seven churches in the book of Revelations. Chapter 14:13 of Revelations reads: “Christ says our works follow us wherever we go, even into death.” Works are the clothing described in Revelations 19:8 as the clothing we wear in the presence of Christ. Of course we have to make ourselves ready, or we’ll stand before our creator naked and afraid. HEBREW WEDDING PRACTICE: BRIDEGROOM COMES FOR HIS BRIDEWhen the bridegroom’s father deemed the wedding chamber ready, he would tell the bridegroom that all was ready and instruct him to get His bride. The bridegroom would abduct his bride secretly, like a thief at night, and would take her to the wedding chamber. As the bridegroom approached the bride’s home, he would shout and blow the shofar (ram’s horn trumpet) so that she had a warning to gather her belongings to take with her. The bridegroom and his friends would come into the bride’s house to get her and the bridesmaids. JESUS’ FULFILLMENT: BRIDEGROOM COMES FOR HIS BRIDEJust as the bridegroom would come for his bride in the middle of the night with a shout and the sound of a shofar, so the Lord will come for us. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God…and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage each other with these words:”Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) HEBREW WEDDING PRACTICE: THE FATHER MUST BLESS THE MARRIAGE AT HIS HOUSE;The bride and groom would return to his father’s house for the wedding. Among some Jews today, it is customary for the wedding couple to fast on their wedding day—it is considered a day of forgiveness. As a couple prepares for a new life together, this practice may enhance the spirituality of the day. It may also serve as a marker of the change taking place in their new lives. This takes place at the father’s house, then the bride and groom enter into a huppah for seven days, which is called a chuppa today. It’s a canopy raised upon four post, which represents the temporary wedding tent of ancient times; a place where the bride and bridegroom spent seven days after their marriage.   JESUS’ FULFILLMENT: WEDDING DAY AND MARRIAGE SUPPERThe bride is whisked away into the Father’s house for the marriage in her gown of fine white linen of the saints (Revelations 19:6). In 1Corintians 15:50, we see the bride making a transformation for the purpose of the marriage, because God’s law states that ‘kind must marry kind.’ In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we began this process long before Christ’s return. It began with our baptism into the church of God. In Leviticus 16:1-34, we see the ancient atonement service for Israel—probably the most misunderstood chapter in the Bible. This is the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, and Christ taking his bride to the Father’s throne for acceptance of the marriage with Christ.  Let’s review a few things and use common reasoning. The first thing we see is a high priest. Who is the high priest? Jesus Christ, according to Hebrews chapter 10 “And all things are a shadow of things to come.” The two goats are both represented in each one of us. They are identical in every respect, you can’t tell them apart because they represent the same entity. Leviticus 16:16 reveals that the goats are for the people of Israel. When applied to us, we are one person before our baptism, another afterwards. Our sins go away ‘as far as the east is from the west’ the old you DIES, the new you begins a spiritual life with Christ. In Leviticus 17:11, it says that the life is in the blood. Where does the high priest take the blood of the goat that was sacrificed? To be sprinkled on the mercy seat? The high priest (Christ) takes the life (the new you) to the throne of the Father (the mercy seat). What a beautiful service to remind us year by year of this glorious time in the kingdom of heaven. HEBREW WEDDING PRACTICE: SEVEN DAYS IN WEDDING CHAMBERThe bridegroom would take his bride to the wedding chamber, where they would spend seven days, while the bridegroom’s friend would wait outside the door of the chamber. When the marriage was consummated, the bridegroom would tell his friend through the door, and the friend would announce it to the assembled guests. Guests would then celebrate for seven days, at which time the bride and bridegroom would emerge from the wedding chamber.  JESUS’ FULFILLMENT: SEVEN DAYS IN THE WEDDING CHAMBERSome believe in Ancient Jewish eschatology that taught of a seven year “Time of trouble” that would come upon the earth before the coming of the Messiah. During that time of trouble, the righteous would be resurrected and would enter the wedding chamber, where they would be protected from the time of trouble. Today, that seven year period is referred to as the tribulation. The more important lesson, though, is the time the bride and groom are in the wedding chamber together—a time of great learning—knowing what Christ knows about being part of God’s family, and learning how to use that new power to teach and guide the rest of the world. It’s important, because there will be children—billions and billions of them, a countless number. In Revelations 20:11, “The great white throne judgment” of those that didn’t become the bride (1st resurrection), 1,000 years later are resurrected and given a chance to become a part of the family as well, as the children of Christ and His bride. In Ezekiel 37:1 (the valley of dry bones), we see a physical resurrection taking place, and they say in verse 11, “Our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off.” Why would they say that if they had just been resurrected from the dead? Because they didn’t come up in the 1st resurrection as spirit, and they will know immediately that they missed a great opportunity to become part of the bride.Christ says in Revelations 3:21, “To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” You can’t sit on any King’s throne unless you are related. You become related to Christ through His church (bride), and that is the only route you can take. It’s a very narrow path. HEBREW WEDDING PRACTICE: UNVEILING OF THE BRIDEThe veil was worn from the betrothal all the way though the ceremonies, and even into the huppah. No one could see the face of the bride, and no one supposedly knows her identity. The church of God today is hidden to the world at large—veiled in a shroud of mystic ignorance from a world blinded by Christ himself. This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” (Matthew 13:13) After seven days in the wedding chamber, the bride and groom emerge on the eighth day, and the veil is lifted to the world for the first time. Not until then will Christ’s true church be known to the vast millions that were alive (and those that live). It is at that time that man will be able to go freely to Christ without the interference of Satan. Satan will be bound and put away out of the influence of man, (Revelations 20:1-3) In Revelations 22: 12-17, we see the bride extending the same gesture as Christ did on the Last Great Day. Man and wife say to the world, “Come to us, the light, the truth, the wisdom that comes from unfettered knowledge. Zechariah 14:16 tells of a time in the millennium, after the earth has made its transformation, that those who survived will be keeping the Feast of Tabernacles, a high holy day of God. If they don’t, they will surely suffer. Only the most trusted and the most loyal of all mankind will be part of the bride. In I John 14:15, Christ said “If you love me, keep my commandments,” but man says the commandments are no longer relevant. Is that a true statement? Some say, “Christ came and fulfilled the laws, so they are no longer necessary; they are stipulations in the betrothal contract, stipulations for the bride to follow. Christ could not do away with the laws without doing away with the marriage contract, and He wouldn’t do that. If these days are important to the bride and groom in the millennium after the tribulations, and they were important to God in the past, why wouldn’t they be important today? It says in Hebrews 13:8 that ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.’ What do these days represent to man, and why they are so important?Malachi 3:6 reads: “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Wow! God doesn’t change. Christ is the same in the past, present and future. Is there something we’ve missed in Sunday school? Is there something that was left out when it comes to the traditions we keep? Why does God say in Leviticus 23 that these days are His? Could it be that we can see His plan through these days? The word “convocations” can mean rehearsal, so what would we be rehearsing? A wedding, perhaps? Could these annual holy days listed in Leviticus be showing us what all this is about—the purpose for man’s creation, for the sacrifice of Christ and all that is in-between? Has the world missed this at its own peril?What do the following days represent?Weekly SabbathPassoverDays of Unleavened BreadThe Wave Sheath OfferingPentecostFeast of TrumpetsAtonementFeast of TabernaclesLast Great Day Let’s visit them one-by-one, with the Hebrew wedding as reference while it’s still fresh in our minds. WEEKLY SABBATH. It’s a time of rest and focusing on Christ, the Bridegroom) and His creation. It’s a time of fellowship, coming together, foreseeing a time in the future when all of God’s people will be together in His kingdom under Christ rule.  PASSOVERPassover teaches us that Jesus Christ is our Passover lamb—sinless and blameless, without spot or imperfection. Christ became human, divested Himself of all celestial glory, gave His life so that the sins of humanity could be forgiven and the death penalty removed. Passover is the time that we renew our covenant with Christ by eating bread and drinking wine that represents Christ’s body and blood, as well as following Christ’s example of washing the feet of others. This day also represents the marriage agreement between Christ and His bride (the church). 1Cor.5:7; 1Pt.1:18-20; Rom. 3:25;  Duet. 16:1; Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:12, 22-24; John 13:4-5, 14-15 UNLEAVENED BREADOn the 15th day of the month of Abib, we are to eat unleavened bread for seven days to represent getting the leaven (or sin) out of the body, cleansing us for our role as the Bride of Christ at his return. Examples in the New Testament are in Acts 12:3; Acts 20:6 and 1Cor. 5:8. WAVE SHEAF OFFERINGThis represents the resurrection of Christ our King (the bridegroom) going to be accepted by the Father as the new creature He became, and the dowry He offered in the form of His sacrifice and blood. He had to be untouched and clean of any contaminates of this earth…an unblemished sacrifice. The perfect bridegroom for His church (the bride), He was the first of His kind, a new creature. He was the first fruits of this plan. Lev. 23:9-14, I cor. 15:20, Col. 1:15-18, 2 Cor. 5:17PENTECOSTPentecost—or Feast of Weeks—is celebrated as the date of the formation of the church and making the Holy Spirit available to all mankind. It also is a reminder that we were once in the bondage of sin until Christ brought us out. It represents the cleansed saints and the body of Christ making herself ready for Christ’s return. It also identifies who Christ church is and who He is working with today. This feast was continually held by all the apostles and converted Christians well after Christ’s death, showing that these feasts were not done away and were continually observed throughout the generations. Examples: Acts 2:1; Acts 20:16; 1Cor. 16:8 TRUMPETSThe blowing of the trumpet is a signal or announcement of an event—a signal that something is coming, an alert. It pictures the day that Christ returns to earth to get His bride (the church). Example: Rev. 19:6; 1Cor. 15:49; 1Thess. 4:16-17 ATONEMENTThis holy day is illustrated by fasting (abstaining from both food and water from sundown to sundown). The Hebrew wedding represents the acceptance of the bride (the church) by the father in heaven. When Christ returns, it will represent the acceptance of the saints as the bride of Christ by the Holy Father in Heaven, and the joining together at the marriage supper. Examples: Acts 27:9; Matt.22:1; Rev. 19:8 FEAST OF TABERNACLESThis feast has been observed since Israel’s people were freed as slaves from Egypt. It is celebrated by staying seven days in a temporary dwelling (Chuppah), and is a rehearsal as newlyweds with Christ. It represents a time of great blessing for saints and the world. It is the rehearsal of Christ and the church for seven days, where the full word of Christ is revealed to the saints. It represents the consummation of the relationship between the church and Christ. Examples: John 7:8-10; Zech 14: 16-21; Rev 3:20-22; Rev. 22:12-17 LAST GREAT DAYThis day represents the groom and bride emerging from their temporary dwelling. The bride had been veiled to the entire world until this very moment. Once the church has been revealed when the veil is lifted, a great celebration will occur, unlike any other celebration up to this time. This is the first resurrection—the one the world awaits with great anticipation. Now the work begins for those who have become the priest and kings in the Kingdom of God. Examples: Rev. 1:6; Rev. 5:10; 1Pt 2:5You may ask yourself ‘Why would the Father and Christ go to such extremes?’ They are reproducing themselves, they are making a family. They don’t want to be alone any longer. They choose this as the way to make a family from their creation. Christ breathed life into His future bride, gave them rules to follow and guided them when possible. You also might ask ‘Why not just create them like they did the angels?’ Fair question, but they would be created beings, not born into the family. They wouldn’t be their flesh and blood, so-to-speak.Christ wants this to happen more than anything else. He gave up being God and took the form of a man to make this happen. He ended his eternal life and risked everything. He was born again as a new creature—the first of the kind—and the church (bride) will follow. There will be billions, if not trillions of children.

If this idea of us becoming part of the bride bothers you because it may offend your manly instincts, remember the words of Christ, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38) How do we know how spirit interacts with spirit? We are a form of beings in a certain dimension, separate from the world of spirit and God’s. In John 3:1-13 it says, “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’ ”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

It’s a world unlike the one we live in at this moment. It’s a time we look forward to, and it’s the family of God we want to be a part of. I’ve given you this look into the plan of God. Hopefully it will help you see much more, as this is the most important doctrine man can come to understand; however, it’s always up to you to go further than you thought you ever could.  For more interesting lessons, read The Sabbath Day by Ron Harmon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Churches locations

Austin Area

123 Wright Dr. Cedar Creek, TX.78612, Local contact: Mike Alewine. 512-789-6453, email:jmalewine@gmail.com

Waco Area

1015 Eagle Dr. Eddy TX. 76524 Local contact: Ron Harmon

254-493-4322, email:rcharmon@centurylink.net

San Angelo Area

t3berrie@gmail.com or call 325-653-7213

Houston Area

meekinhumble@comcast.net or call 254-493-4322

Saint Louis Area

soprano164@charter.net or call 314-378-1863

 

 

Request DVD’s booklets and information from the following sources.

www.hgwaco.com

254-493-432

houseofgod1015@gmail.com

 

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Faith Matters

If a person says, “Faith Matters”, what does that mean exactly? It means to me, God is real, and if God is real, then everything written in the Bible is true. If everything written in the bible is true, how can one say any part of it is irrelevant? We can’t, is the short answer. Men love to say, “God did this, or Christ came and did that” without fully considering the consequences of their words.
Today, we are witnessing those same consequences within or, so-called-Christian-nation. We’ve opened the borders of our minds to beliefs that exclude God making Him lesser in our lives, instead of a greater influence we need. Man wants to tell other men to look to them and not God, supposing they can do better in the form of government. The truth is, they can’t and never will, because they aren’t God.
Jesus created us and loves us, therefore understands us; He and He alone is able to rule us. When we allow His teaching, even just a little to influence our lives; we have a more functional society for ourselves and everyone else around us.
Yes, faith matters, but where do you place your faith? Is it in government, or God? Faith in God (Christ) is a matter of believing He can fill your spiritual needs as well as your physical needs. Our government can only do one of those, and unless you feel you don’t need spiritual blessings, then you need a God that can do both.
Learn about Christ and His works through scripture, through the stories and the words. Give Him the same effort you do getting your drivers licences and Christ can change your world.
http://www.hgwaco.com

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Over our Heads

Greetings:

Ever felt like you were over your head with all the things going on around you?
At work, the pressures are enormous and feelings of inadequacies are piling up. At home, you have projects you’ve set aside for months and new ones are constantly popping up.
You feel as though you’ve sunk neck deep into the preverbal rat race and there’s no way out.
The marginal good news in all this is, you’re not alone. We all feel this way from time to time; it’s called, being human. The really bad news is, we’re stuck here and as I said, it’s a part of being human. We can make a difference on how we experience being over whelmed. Instead of letting it control our lives, we can enact certain elements within our behavior that will naturally give us better control.
The first and foremost of these, give your problems to the Father in prayer. It seems so simple, yet, most folks would rather continue suffering the woes of this world than spend a little time each day in prayer. It’s spiritually therapeutic, and offers one a chance to see there is something bigger than ones self. Once we come to understand there is a higher power; we understand it’s not possible to be over our heads in problems any longer, because we’ve given them to Christ and the Father, and nothing is over their heads.

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Whittling

Greetings to all:

Before computers, Ipods, Notebooks, and even television, there was a simple way to entertain ones self. Men and women alike, old or young, didn’t matter, would sit on the front porch and whittle. They would use a small knife which was generally kept very sharp, to peel small slivers of wood off a large branch or board. This wasn’t to create anything for the most part, but a past time to whittle away the day.
Most young people today wouldn’t understand doing something so simple and seemingly unproductive. They would argue, time would be better spent in front of a TV or playing a computer game, something like that, but not whittling. But, it wasn’t just whittling that was the goal; it was also a time of reflection, spending time thinking what it meant to be human, something many of our folks could do a lot more of. It had a practical side as well; it produced shavings for the wood stove to help start a fire for warmth or cooking, or used in the garden as mulch.
For me, whittling has a spiritual element as well; while shaving small slivers from the branch many scriptures come to mind. How we are grafted into the family of God according to Romans eight, and as I remove another sliver, it reminds me we can be broken off as well. Each shaving reminds me of the stripes Christ received for my sins. How each sin is removed one stroke at a time, until a very clean, shinny stick sits where a rough, dirty, swollen branch once was.
You see whittling wasn’t replaced by something better; it was replaced by something that helped us forget about Christ and the Father in heaven. Maybe we all could learn more, if we spent more time whittling. Our minds would be open with hardly any interference at all, and with each stroke of the knife, God could speak to us.