"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

LEVITICUS – A HOLY PEOPLE’s ACCESS to The HOLY GOD – Chapter SEVENTEEN & EIGHTEEN

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire
Complete Study of Leviticus by pastor Chuck Smith 

LEVITICUS 17 & 18: “Regarding the World’s Two Religions” – by James Fire, Facebook video

INTRODUCTION: John MacArthur did a phenomenal job, teaching about how there really aren’t countless numbers of religions in the world. There are really only two religions. The true religion as established by GOD upon the righteous sacrifice of Christ by grace, shedding His blood on the cross for our sins; that’s one. The other is the religion of self, that by our own deeds, and being ‘a good boy’ and following the rules, ‘God will accept me’. This second religion glories in the works of the flesh; the first religion glories in the Cross of our LORD Jesus Christ (GAL 6:13-14). Every religion in the world demands that we perform for our salvation; not biblical Christianity. Biblical Christianity saves by grace and then by the Spirit, empowers us to perform – not for salvation, but because of salvation!

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Monday, October 18, 2021

CROSSING The ‘T’s TTUF STUDY 1st THESSALONIANS Ch. Five & Conclusion

~ by James Fire

1st THESSALONIANS Chapter Five & Conclusion

INTRODUCTION: What is a King without a kingdom? What is a Captain without a ship’s crew? Conversely what would that kingdom or ship be like without their king or Captain? Both are needful and necessary.
The pastorate is not a one man show. The church is only a one man show if by that Man, you are referring to the LORD Jesus Christ. He is the head of the body, the LORD of the church, the blessed Bridegroom of the bride.
Thus with these GOD-ordained ministers, who lead and guide the church in accordance with the will of GOD as expressed through the Scriptures and directed through prayer have an authority as overseers, to lead by example (2 THESS 3:9), and the saints are to follow the pastors as these leaders follow Christ (1 COR 11:1).

In a day and age in which we live, where authority is not just questioned, but challenged and even denied, anarchy can infest the church with this ‘fever’ of society. What is needed, both from pastor as well as congregation, is humility. Humbleness to lead the flock and humbleness from the flock to follow.

Paul gets into all of this and more in this last section in closing out this 1st of 2nd epistles to the church of the Thessalonians!

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Thursday, October 7, 2021

LEVITICUS – A HOLY PEOPLE’s ACCESS to The HOLY GOD – Chapter 15 & 16: “Cleansing By Blood and Water – A Distinctive of Calvary”

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Leviticus by pastor Chuck Smith 

LEVITICUS 15 & 16: “Cleansing By Blood and Water – A Distinctive of Calvary” – by James Fire, Facebook video

INTRODUCTION: Where we are now in our study of LEVITICUS deals with cleansing and sanitation, customs, morals, etc., and the all-encompassing purity of life as a condition for divine favor. (LEV 12-20). We in the New Testament, because of Christ and His Spirit of grace, we have GOD’s favor already (we don’t have to work to earn GOD’s approval as they did under the Law), but in response to this grace, this ‘unmerited favor’, we love and serve the LORD, willingly surrendering our all to Him, which as it says in ROM 12:1, is our “reasonable service”.

We have yet to see the specifics about the purity of priests and offerings (LEV 21 & 22). Then the Five Annual Feasts will be examined in: LEV 23.
The Feast of the Passover is addressed (April 14), commemorating the Exodus (LEV 23:5). The Feast of Pentecost (June 6) commemorates the giving of the Law (LEV 23:15). The Feast of Trumpets (Shofars), aka Rosh Hashanah (October 1), commemorating the end of harvest time, also preparation time for the Day of Atonement or Yom Kipur; (which we will touch on briefly here; LEV 23:23-25). The Day of Atonement (Oct 10), the High priest enters the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of the people (LEV 16 & 23:27-32). The Feast of Tabernacles (Oct 15), commemorating life in the wilderness, and thanksgiving for the harvest (LEV 23:39-43).
Then there are General Enactments and Instructions, which will be examined in the last three chapters: (LEV 25-27).
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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

LEVITICUS – Chapter THIRTEEN & FOURTEEN: “LEPROSY: A SEVERE SKIN & SIN PROBLEM”

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire
Complete Study of Leviticus by pastor Chuck Smith 

LEVITICUS 13 & 14: “LEPROSY: A SEVERE SKIN & SIN PROBLEM” – by Sonny Islas, Facebook video

INTRODUCTION: In order for us to understand and appreciate the Old Testament, especially books like Leviticus, we need to understand that God, that is, Yahweh was the King over this people group: Israel. This type of government is known as a Theocracy. Here’s a basic definition of a Theocracy: A Theocracy is a form of government in which a deity of some type (in this case it’s the One true God) is recognized as the supreme ruling authority, giving divine guidance to human intermediaries (in this case, Moses and the priests of Israel) that manage the day-to-day affairs of the government. – Wikipedia’s Definition

Another thing to keep in mind is that Leviticus means: The Duties of the Levites or Priestly Duties. One of their main duties was to upkeep the Tabernacle (the tent of meeting/worship), to pray and to perform animal sacrifices. But here in Leviticus 13 and 14 we find that they had the responsibility of examining bodies that may be infected with Leprosy or other severe skin conditions. They were in a sense – public health officers, like our modern CDC: Center for Disease Control (Only they didn’t have to deal with Dr. Fauci! … if you know what I mean).

It was their job to prevent an outbreak of leprosy in the camp – very much like it is a pastor’s job to not allow flagrant sin to spread in the church. And the main way in which the pastor does that is to pray against it, to preach against it and to carefully counsel those who are infected by it (to the point of being overcome by it).
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Monday, September 20, 2021

AT TWILIGHT’s LAST GLEAMING – The Former Then The Greater Beacon of Hope

~ By James Fire

LOOKING AT THE TOUGH TRUTH

Patrick Henry (whose famous quotes are well known by American patriots, “Give me liberty or give me death” and “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country”) when addressing the President of Colonial America said the following regarding the seriously grave situation concerning the British forces that assailed the barefoot American soldiers,

For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.” (For an article FROM The MIND of FIRE, that speaks about Patrick Henry and liberty, go here.) 

In other words, he was willing to look the facts squarely in the eye, no matter how painful or unpleasant they were. It could be the most reprehensible, offensive list of facts that we really don’t want to hear but need to hear!
This is what we need to do in this late, dark hour in our American history.

I’ve been listening to the teachings of the late pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (these were recorded back in 1979); I’m currently in the book of Jeremiah, who was known as ‘the weeping prophet’ – because it was his lot to witness the demise of his beloved nation of Israel.

He witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem, the abject ruin of its streets and venues; I can well imagine he looked down the street where he once lived and saw nothing but ashes and wreckage. He had warned and warned the king, the government, the nobles and all the people, but to no avail. He told the king countless numbers of times:
This is the judgment of GOD! Babylon is coming because we have refused to repent of our sin and turn to the LORD! Don’t resist Nebuchadnezzar’s armies, don’t fight! Submit to this and at least you will survive. But if you rise up and wage war, you’ll be fighting against the LORD GOD Himself and you’ll be destroyed!
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Friday, September 17, 2021

CROSSING The ‘T’s TTUF STUDY 1st THESSALONIANS Ch. Four Cont’d & Five

~ by James Fire

For another great teaching in 1 Thessalonians, check out pastor Pat Lazovich from Calvary Chapel Sierra Vista! 

1st THESSALONIANS Chapter Four Cont’d & Five

INTRODUCTION: We don’t see miracles every day; they are by definition uncommon. That is their nature. If they happened all the time they would be considered mundane, not miraculous!
Yet the Bible is full of miracles and every time they happen, people react with utter astonishment.

Miracles are of two sorts: the first sort is the suspension of the laws of physics, and the direct intervention of GOD Who performs an act that would be considered by modern day science as ‘impossible’. Enoch’s translation from this planet and into the domain of GOD is such an example. The raising of Lazarus from the dead is another. The LORD Jesus walking on water.
And there’s the other sort where GOD will sovereignly use natural law to accomplish His purposes, such as the Flood with rain falling (an unprecedented event at that time) and tectonic-pressured geysers issuing millions upon millions of tons of water that covered the Earth.

Rain falling from the skies was rather a weird notion in Noah’s day.
The weird notion of today is the rapture of the church: the catching away of both the living and the dead “in Christ” who will be instantaneously transported from this world and “caught up” to meet the LORD “in the air” and from there, on to our Father’s house where JESUS has prepared for us mansions (JOHN 14:2; that He has conceivably been working on for perhaps the entire 2,000 years since He left the Mount of Olives at the ascension?)!

It's truly a bizarre idea that this world looks upon with incredulity, even mockery and derision, and yet even in the realm of today’s science, quantum physicists have been able to teleport electrons from one point to the other without traversing the distance between them. Granted, those are mere electrons, teleported only a few inches apart, a tiny brick wall separating those two points; but conceptually, that would represent a kind of ‘rapture in miniature’.

And if GENESIS 1:1 is taken literally – that GOD created all things from absolutely nothing [the Hebrew word barah means exactly that] other than His spoken Word – then transporting people from one dimensional reality to another isn’t so far-fetched at all!
With a little use of some imagination we can even accept such a thing as theoretically possible, every time Captain Kirk asked Scotty to “beam me up!”.

We’ll be getting into this controversial subject of the rapture and related issues in this study!

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