"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 . . . . . Our Website is UNDER CONSTRUCTION, please be patient!

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: Ch. 16 – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire

We  have crossed the midway point in the Gospel of MATTHEW, and have completed chapter 15. We now have the privilege of examining the next chapter that includes a warning from the LORD Jesus to “beware of the leaven [doctrine] of Pharisees” who seek signs from God for their own gratification, but ignore those signs which the LORD has given! 

Believing themselves to be the spiritual authorities of Israel (and in a sense, they were), they expected a warrior Messiah Who would vanquish Israel's enemies, and raise up the nation to glorious heights; of course, with themselves prominently in power.
. . . Wrong! The Messiah came first as the LAMB of GOD and the kinsman goel to take away the sins of the world, and later return as the LION of the TRIBE of JUDAH and the kinsman redeemer as well as the avenger of blood.


In this chapter we also read about the awesome pronouncement of the church and her authority based on the Rock – mentioned for the first time by the LORD. Also the requirements of discipleship are mentioned here. It's going to be a great study!

Read more!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH - Part Five


By James Fire

ISAIAH 61:1-6
 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

Here we have before us one of the most well known verses and supreme declarations of prophecy regarding the Messiah. This is the very passage that the LORD Himself quoted during His earthly ministry (LUKE 4:18; The reader should note that He didn't quote the entire passage though, and for good reason! We will get into that a bit later...). 


Read more!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The CANON of SCRIPTURE: SECTION ONE, ARTICLE ONE

Article One: General Admissions, Observations, and Beginning the Journey

By James Fire

This is a very deep and involved subject; of course careful research must be done and it is my prayerful endeavor to do so. This series will be developed into two primary sections and in each section, a series of articles.

The first section is the one that I am researching, documenting, and writing even now; this will include general information, observations and inclusions or admissions of truth which is generally accepted by all Bible-believing Christians. In this section, we will begin looking into the Old Testament and New Testament writings.

Once complete, I will begin the second section and develop articles for it. This section will re-trace our steps in both Old and New Testaments and go through them with a finer toothed comb so as to excite greater details and evidences that reveals the true canon and why we can express complete confidence in it. 

The TRUTH THAT ENDURES – 

We have dealt with the subject of truth in an extensive series on TTUF before, using as one of the primary sources, John MacArthur's The TRUTH War; we entitled this series GOT TRUTH? comprised of five articles.     

We also provided some commentary on John MacArthur's book itself, The TRUTH War in a separate article Are YOU A FIDEI DEFENSOR For TRUTH?
Read more!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

ON THE ISSUE OF SALVATION: IMPUTATION – It's Doctrinal Validity and Spiritual Necessity

~ By James Fire

I have recently come across, via social media, some professing Christians who believe that the doctrine of imputation is unbiblical. Having never before encountered such bold assertions, I was both alarmed and curious as to what exactly they believed.

How were they then saved? What did Christ accomplish then on the cross?
If Christ's righteousness is not attributed to us, how then can our sins be attributed to Him in His vicarious office of Substitute and sacrificial Lamb?

The answers I received to these questions were wholly unsatisfactory, having not been given Scripture sufficient for convincing me of this aberrant teaching. In doing the research I have found one Professor Vincent Taylor, who likewise believed and taught this doctrine (profile):

““Imputation...can never be anything else than an ethical fiction....righteousness cannot be transferred from the account of one person to another. Righteousness can no more be imputed to a sinner than bravery to a coward or wisdom to a fool. If through faith a man is accounted righteous, it must be because, in a reputable sense of the term, he is righteous, and not because another is righteous in his stead” (Forgiveness and Reconciliation [1948], p. 57). 


Read more!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: Ch. 15 – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire

If you were to examine the professing church (and by professing, I refer to the entirety of Christendom and not the actual body of Christ which is composed of born again believers), including the evangelical division, what would be the two greatest blemishes in your view?

For me it would be religious externalism coupled with hypocrisy and greed or covetousness. Religious externalism without true biblical spirituality is rampant among the Protestant denominations (in the majority) as well as in the Roman Catholic church, and even among some of the long standing evangelical fellowships.

Also in too many evangelical circles, particularly the 'televangelists' we see rampant and flagrant greed as they shear the sheep of their money, even senior citizens whose livelihood depends on their Social Security and retirement funds! They even go so far as make claims that visions of 600 feet tall Jesus' order them to raise millions of dollars to build Christian hospitals, otherwise He will “take [them] home” or that God wants them to have a Lear Jet, a mansion and a yacht! Much of this can be pinned on the WORD-FAITH Movement advocates and followers.

In so many churches today, there is wholesale hypocrisy that's turned many sinners as well as children of church-going-parents away from the faith.
Here in MATTHEW Ch. 15 we will examine all of this and more as we listen  at the feet of The MESSIAH and learn of His KINGDOM MESSAGE!

Read more!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

SAY "NO, NO" To OUIJA


By James Fire

The word “Ouija” (pronounced 'WEE yah') is a contraction of two words, French and German (oui and ja), both meaning “yes” and no doubt referring to the planchette (the flat, heart-shaped device that's used to indicate letters and numbers on the Ouija board; see image to the left) providing answers by spelling them out or by indicating the 'yes' or 'no' printed on the board.

Certainly the producers of the upcoming film OUIJA, directed by Stiles White and starring Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, and Daren Kagasoff are hoping for some positive answers by way of ticket sales, when movie goers line up to see a story about “A group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board.”
OUIJA  movie synopsis.

According to Wikipedia, the Ouija board by name has been around since the late 19th century. Such devices were originally called spirit boards; a form of divination, like crystal balls, tarot cards and similar devices used to divine or foretell the future or any kind of unknown knowledge or information.
Read more!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH - Part Four


By James Fire

It has been said so very many times, that “It's always darkest before the dawn.” Today, we see the landscape of mankind, and witness to the darkening of this age, as more and more people are rejecting the Word of Truth and Light. Thus, a new Dark Ages is upon us . . . people are accepting a more palatable, shadowy lie in the guise of New Age and Emergent 'enlightenment'; preferring to see themselves as gods, rather than humbling their souls before the true and living God Who is soon to return.  These are they who think of the Gospel as a social help source empowered by people rather than a declaration of redemption through the blood of Christ.
On that blessed day of Christ's Return, there will be a dawn of true salvation – the beast and false prophet that were ruling tyrannically over the nations will be dispatched to the darkness of Gehenna as the LORD establishes His kingdom from Jerusalem over Israel and all the world, bringing in an era of blessed peace and righteousness.

Read more!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

BECOMING CHRIST-LIKE or CORRUPTED

By James Fire

It's become a foregone conclusion that the church of Jesus Christ is witnessing the apostasy in these days. Much of Christendom that had previously “[held] fast the form of sound words” (2 TIM. 1:13) are now “departing from the faith” (1 TIM. 4:1) by the droves. Society as a whole is becoming more and more degenerate as we behold one atrocity after another: grotesque abortion procedures, the exaltation of homosexual unions, the explosion of transgender promotions,especially among our children, the increased persecution of Christians in this once godly nation, the generous liberality that governments the world over are granting to Muslims who increasingly wreak heinous acts of terrorism on defenseless people and on and on . . . 

When I was a very young believer in Christ (over 35 years ago – where has the time gone??), the LORD pressed indelibly on my heart a vital pair of triplet imperatives of truth, namely:

WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT IN THIS WORLD?
1) GOD
2) His children
3) And their love one for another (GOD towards us, us towards GOD and we ourselves towards one another.

Also:

WHAT'S MOST NECESSARY FOR THE CHURCH?
1) The HOLY WORD of GOD 
2) Devoted and persistent PRAYER 
3) Godly FELLOWSHIP 

Read more!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: Ch. 14 – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire


For the study of this chapter we will borrow substantially from an article FROM the MIND of FIRE entitled A SERMON ON A DIFFERENT MOUNT where the incident of Jesus Christ's walking on the sea of Galilee took place. There are myriads of applications we may procure in this event, spiritual lessons that we may learn. In the article from my blog, there are a few; as well as this, we shall examine the feeding of the thousands before that incident, and the beheading of JOHN the BAPTIST before that. I invite you to come along with me as we explore the awesome and inspiring and sustaining Word of God! 


Read more!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH - Part Three


By James Fire

There are those professing believers of Christ who see the Millennium as a mere allegory; others believe that we are actually living in the Millennial period now. Both views fail to hold a strict and literal view of the Scriptures, and as a result assert a soft, even ambiguous interpretation of God's Word.

Up until now, we have examined many Scriptures on this subject, and we still have a ways to go before we complete this task. What we must ask ourselves in our examination of the many verses that deal with this subject is, Can we interpret this passage literally or not? Is it possible for the LORD God to fulfill these future events in actuality?

I have found that if we can believe GENESIS 1:1, then the rest of the Bible is entirely credible, for what can't God accomplish, Who created “the heavens and the earth”? And just as He created the heavens and the earth, there will come a time, at the conclusion of the Millennial period when the LORD will cause all of creation to vanish away with explosive effect of universal proportions (2 PET. 3:10; REV. 20:11) and make way for a new heavens and a new earth (REV. 21:1)! 
So let us continue in our examination of the Scriptures and see what else we may learn of this astounding age yet to come!


Read more!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The FOUR Primary Offices of The LORD GOD YHWH Fourth Office: REDEEMER


by James Fire

By the intent of God's holy will, He has revealed Himself intimately through His Word, the Holy Scriptures. It is the Holy Scriptures themselves, the Word of God that we turn to and learn of the four primary offices of the LORD GOD YHWH:

The offices of GOD as:
1) Creator God
2) LORD
3) Judge
4) Redeemer  

The fourth office of these four, that deals with God as the Redeemer, is the one that we'll now address to complete this series. We will consider this thought as we pore over Scripture and discover what they tell us about God Who is the Redeemer of Israel and of all the world.

To watch the video teaching based on this last of the four articles, go here.:


FOURTH OFFICE: REDEEMER



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Thursday, July 9, 2015

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: PART 2 (of 2) of Ch. 13 – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE:

By James Fire

The LORD Jesus in this chapter is in the process of delivering various parables to His disciples and to the general population as well; previously we looked at why the LORD suddenly began to teach in parables, when He had never done so before.
In brief, parables are good teaching aids for those who are in fact seeking spiritual truth, as these parables have to do with spiritual truth (and not things that pertain to the mundane); for those who reject the truth, or are ambivalent of the truth, parables are a form of judgment upon them, as the spiritual truth contained in them will not be evidential to them. They will remain blind and deaf spiritually speaking and what little truth that they may have, will be taken from them. Only those who seek after and are hungry for truth will understand these parables and will receive more truth as a result (MATT. 13:11-16).
So let us continue in looking at these parables and find the precious truth contained in them, as we glorify the name of the LORD Who alone grants such truth!

Read more!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH - Part Two

By James Fire

The title of Messiah as expressed in the Scriptures is a title of Kingship; it certainly stands to reason that if one is a King, then there must be a corresponding kingdom over which they rule. It's an interesting point of fact that the very word 'kingdom' is a contraction of the 'king's domain'.

The LORD Jesus, when in the presence of others, heard them speak of the Messiah, and His response was that He Himself claimed to be the One! See JOHN 4:25-26 and MATT. 16:15-16. The apostles looked to Jesus the Messiah to restore the Kingdom of Israel (ACTS 1:6), and His response was that the Father was keeping the time of that blessed event Himself.

Every where in the Old Testament canon, it speaks of the kingdom of Israel with prophetic authority as well as passages that ascribe the Messiah as the One worthy of ruling such. We shall endeavor to examine many of these passages and discover what this kingdom will entail. 
Read more!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

PROPHETIC and PERSONAL Perspectives from 2 THESSALONIANS - Ch. 3

 JUNE 18th and 19th 

Chapter 1 – James Fire 
Chapter 2 – Danny Islas
Chapter 3 – Josh Boubion

INTRODUCTION:

This epistle might be referred to as 3rd Thessalonians, but not really. There may have been a forgery supposedly from Paul but actually from an impostor, and that might have been why the Thessalonian church was confused on certain matters. This was alluded to in Ch. 2:2 (“not by letter as by us”).

This letter was written by Paul shortly after the first letter to the Thessalonian saints; both around A.D. 51.

Theme: The Day of the LORD (This phrase is also seen in JOEL 1:15; 2 PET. 3:10 and REV 19:19 and elsewhere). This phrase refers to that period of time when God actively and openly begins to deal with the people of the Earth in judgment, beginning with the Jew and then the Gentile as portrayed in REV 6–19.
It begins with (1) the translation of the church or rapture (“bride of Christ”) from Earth to Heaven and culminates at (2) the Great White Throne Judgment with the 70th week of Daniel (“time of Jacob's trouble” JER 30:7) in which the world will see the 7 year reign of anti-Christ or “the man of sin” (2 THESS 2:3) occurring between those two points.

The saints at Thessalonica were anxious because they thought that the Day of the LORD was upon them, but Paul corrects this misunderstanding in explaining that two crucial events must first happen before this occurs; we will see what those things are in 2 THESS 3.

Outline: Intro: 1:1-4; I – Comfort in persecution: 1:5-12; II – The Day of the LORD vs. the man of sin: 2:1-12; III – Exhortations and instructions: 2:13-3:15; Conclusion: 3:16-18.

STUDY # 3 – 2 Thess. 3:1-18: The Perspective of GOD's WORK ENABLED IN US:
Read more!

The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH - Part One

By James Fire


Christians have long been known to warn this weary, sin-laden planet of 'REPENT! The End of the World is Nigh!'* (sadly though, less and less it seems today) and usually those who proclaim such are seen as “doom and gloomers” who are stereo-typically seen with such slogans on placard boards hanging over their chests. 

Certainly the time ahead when the anti-Christ rules the One World System, empowered by the spirit of Satan, bringing all human souls into subjugation is quite grim to say the least! Scripture speaks abundantly of woes and tribulations such as pestilences, wars, famines as well as disasters like heavenly bodies crashing into the Earth, bizarre demonic creatures plaguing mankind with tormenting stings and unimaginably powerful earthquakes that will level entire cities. 

* The 'end of the world' in terms of the actual destruction of planet Earth is an event that won't be happening for some one thousand years plus seven at the very least. What is meant by this term in biblical language is not the literal end of the planet, but the end of an age. We are currently living in the age of mankind in secular terms, and the age of the church (or the age of grace) in spiritual terms. We are heading towards the age of the 70th week of Daniel (a period of only 7 years) and the Day of Christ (The age of God the Son), Who is coming to rule this world.

The argument has been made before that history is replete with wars, and disasters, famines and diseases – what's so remarkable about these prophecies in the Scriptures?
I always refer people who have asked such questions to MATTHEW 24:8 . . . 

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Sorrows as in birth pangs, or a “woman in travail” There are numerous Old Testament passages that use this phrase, or something similar; likewise there are a number of Scriptures found in the New Testament that use this expression:

JOHN 16:21 
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 

1 THESS. 5:3
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape

In the above two passages these same birth pangs are mentioned, but with two different results; in the latter case, we see “sudden destruction” upon those who are alive to see such days with the somber promise that they will not escape but face judgment for their sins. 

In the former passage, we see that after the sorrow has passed, there is joy for the repentant saints, because of a new born child that's come as a result of the birth pangs. But these global birth pangs mirror labor pains as witnessed in any delivery room: starting out relatively mild and far apart, then increasing in intensity and frequency. This is what all of these prophecies hinge upon, the 8th verse of MATTHEW 24.

We may fairly conclude then that for those who reject Christ Jesus, such 'doom and gloom' proclamations are just that – because they have no hope at all during that time which is fast approaching; nor can they have any hope once it's all over and Christ has returned if they stubbornly refuse salvation by the Lamb of God!

For those of us who are redeemed however, the Second Coming of Christ is called “the blessed hope” (TITUS 2:13), because it signifies the end of sinful man's reign over the Earth, and even more so, the abrupt halt of Satan's vindictive and cruel reign as “the god of this world” (2 COR. 4:4).

Once Christ returns He will set everything in order; bringing down the corrupt, satanically exalted and evil influences, powers, infrastructures and institutions of rebellious mankind and establishing His own reign of righteousness with all holiness, purity, justice, mercy and grace (ISAIAH 40:4; 44:23; LUKE 3:5)!  

Such sublime joy indeed which will cause the saints to forget all of the anguish, persecution and suffering they've had to endure during the wicked time of Daniel's Seventieth Week (a.k.a. The Time of Jacob's [Israel's] Trouble) lasting seven years or even the persecution that Christians are suffering today and throughout the church age - Christians are experiencing these things today in most of the world already, and we here in America may well see such times in our own land before the LORD Jesus Christ catches us at the rapture of the church (which may happen at any moment).Thus, it would be wise to  prepare for any potential outbreak of persecution, which is promised to those who will “live godly in Christ Jesus” (2 TIM. 3:12).

So then, what is this “Millennium” all about? What is its purpose – for Israel? and for the church? What will transpire during this time? Will it be 'heaven on earth' then without any trace of sin, corruption and rebellion? Will everyone be saved at that time? Will the church be in heaven or will we be here back on Earth? These questions and many, many more we will ponder and seek the LORD in His Word for answers, in this series, The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH!

Read more!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The FOUR Primary Offices of The LORD GOD YHWH - Third Office: JUDGE

by James Fire

By the intent of God's holy will, He has revealed Himself intimately through His Word, the Holy Scriptures; we turn to these and learn of the four primary offices of the LORD GOD YHWH:

The offices of GOD as:
1) Creator God
2) LORD
3) Judge
4) Redeemer  

The third office of these four, that deals with God as the JUDGE, is the one that we'll now continue with in this series. We will be addressing this thought as we pore over Scripture and discover what they tell us about God Who is “ . . . the JUDGE of the whole Earth . . .”

To watch the video teaching based on this article, go here:



THIRD OFFICE: JUDGE



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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

All For Gaia: Earth Day and Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World

The following article is by Carl Tiecrib and is published here unedited and exactly as it appears in the original article (with the exception of some additional web links) on FORCING CHANGE. This article has been re-published here by permission.

APRIL 19, 2011
This article is a few years old, but the information is as relevant today as it was when first penned.

Note: If you appreciate the research effort and ongoing work of Forcing Change, consider taking out a membership subscription to the Forcing Change monthly journal. Your partnership plays an integral role in keeping this endeavor moving forward. Also, if you wish to directly contribute, you can do so through the PayPal “Donate” button provided on the right side of the page (on the FORCING CHANGE web site, link provided above).


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Monday, April 20, 2015

The FOUR Primary Offices of The LORD GOD YHWH Second Office: LORD

by James Fire

By the intent of God's holy will, He has revealed Himself intimately through His Word, the Holy Scriptures. It is the Holy Scriptures themselves, the Word of God that we turn to and learn of the four primary offices of the LORD GOD YHWH:

The offices of GOD as:
1) Creator God
2) LORD
3) Judge
4) Redeemer  

The second office of these four, that deals with God as the LORD, is the one that we'll now continue in this series. We will be addressing this thought as we pore over Scripture and discover what they tell us about God Who is LORD.

To watch the video teaching based on this teaching, go here:


SECOND OFFICE: LORD



Read more!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: PART 1 (of 2) of Ch. 13 – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire

I am quite eager to begin this study as it opens up a new dimension in the ministry of the LORD Jesus Christ, the Messiah-King of Israel. We will reflect back to some previous chapters as they relate to what our LORD tells His disciples here in this chapter, and begin to explore the Kingdom and the parables that explain it, and LORD willing, come to a greater and deeper understanding as well as appreciation for what has been done by our Abba Father on our account!
Before we begin however, I would like you to read and ponder upon an article I wrote FROM the MIND of FIRE: A Scenario of Four Seeds 
Let us read the opening passage of our chapter for this study:

MATTHEW 13:1-9
The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Read more!

Friday, April 3, 2015

The FOUR Primary Offices of The LORD GOD YHWH - PART ONE

~ By James Fire

To know any individual, we may observe them and learn some things about them, but after such extensive observations, we would come to the limits of knowledge obtainable by this means. Any intimate knowledge of such an individual must necessarily come as revelation by that individual as an intent of their will.

Likewise there are things that we may know about God by observing His handiwork, the creation itself, and of ourselves, the members of humanity; yet, again we come to the limits of such knowledge even after a life time of observations, because of limits placed on creation and ourselves – those limitations being primarily the curse of sin which has tainted creation, and providing at best an incomplete, or even a warped portrayal of the Holy God (another such limitation is the incomplete knowledge we have at our disposal as a race of sentient beings).

By the intent of God's holy will, He has revealed Himself intimately through His Word, the Holy Scriptures. It is the Holy Scriptures themselves, the Word of God that we turn to and learn of the four primary offices of the LORD GOD YHWH:

The offices of GOD as:

1) Creator God
2) LORD
3) Judge
4) Redeemer  

The first office of these four, that deals with God as the Creator, will be addressed first.

You can also watch a video teaching based on these articles, beginning with the first of four, here.


FIRST OFFICE: Creator GOD



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Saturday, March 7, 2015

PROPHETIC and PERSONAL Perspectives from 2 THESSALONIANS – PART 2-B of 3

2 THESS. 2:8-17

Chapter 1 – James Fire

Chapter 2 – Danny Islas, supplemented by James Fire
Chapter 3 – Josh Boubion, supplemented by James Fire

Theme: The Day of the LORD (This phrase is also seen in JOEL 1:15; 2 PETER 3:10 and REV 19:19 and elsewhere). This phrase refers to that period of time when God actively and openly begins to deal with the people of the Earth in judgment, beginning with the Jew and then the Gentile as portrayed in REVELATION 6–19.

It begins with (1) the translation of the church or rapture (“bride of Christ”) from Earth to Heaven and culminates at (2) the Great White Throne Judgment with the 70th week of Daniel (“time of Jacob's trouble” JER 30:7) in which the world will see the 7 year reign of anti-Christ or “the man of sin” (2 THESS 2:3) occurring between those two points.

The saints at Thessalonica were anxious because they thought that the Day of the LORD was upon them, but Paul corrects this misunderstanding in explaining that two crucial events must first happen before this occurs; we will see what those things are in 2 Thess. Ch. 2.


Outline: Intro: 1:1-4

I – Comfort in persecution: 1:5-12
II – The Day of the LORD vs. the man of sin: 2:1-12
III – Exhortations and instructions: 2:13-3:15; 
Conclusion: 3:16-18

We now continue with our study in Chapter 2 of 2 THESSALONIANS, picking up in vs. 8, which in context deals with “the Day of the LORD vs. the man of sin” (2:1-12).



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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: PART Two of Ch. 12 – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE:

By James Fire

Here we begin the second half of this study, and we will witness this turning point alluded to previously, regarding the LORD Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel and how this notable event changed everything around for “the kingdom of heaven” that was “in [their] midst” but was summarily rejected by the religious rulers of Israel, the Sanhedren. 

MATTHEW 12:22-23
22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

WHERE ARE YOU? LAW or GRACE? PART - 2

By James Fire
Now we continue in this study of the LAW or GRACE, picking up where we left off in Galatians, the third chapter. Let us carefully examine precisely what the Word says about these two supremely important aspects of the Scripture and our spiritual relationship to them both:

GALATIANS 3:26-29
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

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WHERE ARE YOU? LAW or GRACE? PART - 1

By James Fire

We who have received salvation through the LORD Jesus Christ by faith, rejoice in the grace of God, that is, God's favor towards us that is wholly unmerited by anything we have done on our own account, but solely on the basis of the Gospel and the Lamb of God's finished work on the cross and His resurrection.
As Christians our desire is to walk pleasing to the LORD, growing in the grace and knowledge of the LORD Jesus Christ (2 PET 3:18) and in holiness (ROM 6:22; 2 COR 7:1). In that desire to please the LORD we can sometimes become so zealous as to adhere to Old Testament ways, specifically Mosaic Law (That is, the Law of God as given by Moses on Sinai) and all of the feasts, customs and edicts which the LORD specifically gave to the nation of Israel.

Some perceive Law as contrary to Grace, that they are opposed to one another. Others believe that Christians are obligated to follow the Law, even though salvation has always been according to God's grace (Old Testament as well as New); that there is no distinction between Old Testament saints of Israel and the saints of the New Testament church.

So what exactly do we believe? Should Christians follow the Law or not? Are we free to disregard the Law and simply ask for God's grace and forgiveness when we partake of sin? We shall consider these issues and more in this article of The TRUTH Under FIRE.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: Ch. 12, PART One – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE:


By James Fire

In Chapter 12 we have a profoundly significant incident that correlates with a similar event that took place in MATT. 9:32-34. When the witness of the Messiah is rejected by the official religious body of the Sanhedren, based on these specific miracles that He performed in these two chapters, it alters the LORD's ministry and relationship to Israel as a nation, which we shall see in this (and subsequent) chapters.

MATTHEW 12:1-8
At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.
2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

Here we see Jesus – Y'shua the son of Mary and Joseph, his step-father; He is an observant Jew and fulfilled all of the Law perfectly (MATT.5:17-18) as the spotless Lamb of God without blemish (1 PET. 1:19); and yet here we see Him and His disciples gleaning grain on the sabbath day and the Pharisees are quick to point this out.
The LORD replies by citing two examples of some others who did similar things and yet there is no blame laid against them for doing so by the witness of Scripture: David and his fighting men (1 SAM. 21:1-6), and even the priests themselves of the Temple. The LORD then directs the Pharisees to recognize that there is One in their midst Who is greater than the Temple: Himself: the Messiah of Israel, Who also happens to be the LORD of the sabbath, for it was He that instituted the Sabbath as the seventh day upon which Israel was to rest from all of their work, even as the LORD God rested (See EX. 20:8-11; not in recuperation of strength, for that would be pointless for the Almighty, but merely a cessation of work) in His creation (GEN. 1 and 2).

The LORD rightly points out the purpose of the sabbath in Mark's Gospel:
MARK 2:27
And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath

The Pharisees had elevated the sabbath to such a degree that they used the observance of such as a means of justification, when it was simply a means of providing the Jews a time of rest from their labors and reflection through prayer and meditation on the Word of the LORD Himself and all of the blessings and promises He had given to Israel. While adhering to the 'letter of the Law' they missed the 'spirit of the Law', that is, the heart of its intention – in this case, a blessing for Israel to rest, reflect and worship YHWH.

We cannot miss the LORD's desire for His people, that they would have hearts of mercy (and love their neighbors as themselves) in caring for the poor (who were allowed to glean the corners of crop fields as a method of social welfare) rather than mere sacrifice with coldness of heart – obedience without the motivation of love is useless to the LORD (see 1 COR. 13); religious externalism, formalism and hypocrisy are grevious offenses to the LORD and cannot affect the heart of man by drawing him to his Maker, but only affect it by encouraging pride and self-righteousness.

1 SAM. 15:22
And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams

ISAIAH 29:13
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men

When left unchecked such a heart condition of hypocrisy will seek to fulfill religious obligations without a heart for God, while placating the desires for the things of the world (in Israel's apostate condition – this meant a love for material possessions as well as for the adoration of pagan deities (See ISAIAH 1:10-17).

MATTHEW 12:9-14
9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

Yet the LORD isn't finished blowing the minds of the Pharisees quite yet! He proceeds then into their synagogue and sees a man with a withered (paralyzed) hand; the Pharisees pose the question, whether or not it was lawful to heal on the sabbath day. They assumed that if the LORD said, Yes then they would be able to accuse Him of sinning against the Law.

Yet when one considers that any one who would work a miracle (a supernatural act), cannot do such a thing by their own power – such must be accomplished by one with supernatural ability, that being God Himself Who is not bound at all to any Sabbath regulations. It would seem that the accusation by the Pharisees here is entirely baseless, wouldn't it? The LORD Jesus posits a question to these religious leaders, and they don't deny His assertion (that if they had a trapped sheep, they would seek to loose it even on the Sabbath day). He concludes then, that since a man is better than a sheep (How do you like that, evolutionists and New Agers?), it is right to bring healing on the Sabbath and He immediately does so.

The man with this paralyzed hand is healed: note that it doesn't happen until he stretches out his paralyzed hand! How could this happen? We may understand that any time any of us expresses a will to obey God, He will bring the grace necessary for us to do so! So this man expressed faith in Christ, and as a result was able to extend his hand, and thereby receive healing, a bone fide miracle! And yet even witnessing such a thing, the Pharisees are more about making plans to destroy Jesus, rather than acknowledge the work of God and His rightful claim as the Messiah! Absolutely incredible blindness, arrogance and pride on their part! 

MATTHEW 12:15-21
15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
16 And charged them that they should not make him known:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

When the LORD perceived that the Pharisees were desirous of destroying Him, He withdrew Himself, for “His hour has not come” that is – the time of His Passion, which according to prophecy must be on a certain date, as well as His triumphat entry into Jerusalem. When He left the religious leaders, the sickly multitudes followed Him and He healed them ALL! Amazing how when the LORD shows up, no one ever stays sick – or even dead! Time and time again He proved Himself as the Messiah of Israel by the miraculous signs that He performed! Yet He never sought for notoriety or fame, but remained quiet in His faithful service to God the Father. This was the Servant of YHWH Who always did those things that pleased His Father (JOHN 8:29). He will show the justice of God to the Gentile nations, and they will come to trust in the Messiah along with Israel. 

The Messiah Whom the Father has entrusted all judgment to (JOHN 5:22) will bring on that Day the most severe and wholly just judgment upon all unrepentant sinners, and there will be no vindication or dismissal of a single soul on that day. All will be condemned by the Holy Law of God and sentenced to an eternity of hell.

Yet the LORD Jesus Christ's mission during the time of His First Advent was not to judge or condemn the world but to offer salvation (JOHN 3:17) to all who will come to Him! In gentleness and meekness He approaches us – not breaking bruised reeds, that is, despising and trashing the broken and wounded of this world; not quenching smoking flax, that is, not being impatient with those who are slow in their response to the Gospel message; rather He has come to seek and to save the lost because now is the time of salvation, the era of redemption through the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world! 
See LUKE 19:10; 2 COR. 6:2; JOHN 1:29.

Unfortunately there are relatively few who will be saved (though these 'few' will actually amount to a number beyond count, see REV. 7:9) because the way is narrow and few will choose that way; the vast majority of humanity will go the broad way that finds no salvation through Christ, and so they remain in their state of condemnation and sin:

MATTHEW 7:13-14
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

JOHN 3:18
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God

There are those who espouse a belief in Universalism, saying that everyone will eventually be saved. We did a comprehensive study on TTUF on the Judgment Day of Christ, the eternal nature of heaven and hell and the soteriological factors that reveals the two different categories of human souls who are the saved and the unsaved, entitled  CHRIST's COURT - SOON in SESSION Pt. 1
Rob Bell of Emergent Church Movement fame wrote a book entitled LOVE WINS  in which adherence to Universalism is most prevelent. We have an article on The RED PILL Consortium called LOST LOVE which responds to this book and false doctrine.

The glorious truth is that our precious and beloved LORD Jesus Christ has succeeded in bringing “justice to victory”! But what does this mean exactly?
I believe a certain Psalm holds a clue for us:

PSALM 85:10-11
10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

God is immutable which means that His essential nature of holiness cannot change, diminish or be altered in any way. Thus where He is confronted by sin (sin could be perceived as 'high treason against the holy King of creation) He is compelled by His nature to judge the one who committed that criminal sin. This is why Satan and all of the fallen angels that followed him in rebellion are destined for judgment and condemnation (MATT. 25:49). 

Because of the fact that Adam likewise committed what is known as the original sin (the initial sin that infested the First Man and was passed on to his offspring in the form of a sin-nature) he also was destined for judgment and condemnation. God has no other choice but to judge sin. However, God promised that He would send a Savior who would be 'the seed of the woman' (GEN. 3:15).

Yet this holy Servant of YHWH, the LORD Jesus Christ sent justice unto victory; that is, He suffered Himself the sins of all humanity as the Lamb of God (the veritable scape goat; LEV. 16:5-26) and received the full judgment and punishment that the Holy God demanded as payment against the debt owed to Him by sinful humanity! In exchange, this Lamb of God has offered eternal life through His sacrifice and we receive such by receiving by faith the Person of Jesus Christ through His Spirit. Thus the truth of God's justice and His mercy towards us are “met together” (PS. 25:7); the righteousness of His Holy Law and the peace  offered to us by Jesus Christ (ROM 5:1) “have kissed each other”.

Truth indeed sprang out of the earth; Jesus Christ Who is Himself the Truth (JN. 14:6) rose out of the tomb in holy resurrection and the holy, righteous eyes of the Father looked down from heaven and was satisfied by this propitiation (ROM. 3:25; 1 JN. 2:2, 4:10) from His Son! There is victory in God's plan of salvation; He has been satisfied through His Lamb in both capacities of justice and mercy!

Here we shall end Part One of this study, as we still have twenty eight verses worth of exposition to examine! Until then, may the LORD Jesus keep us in His grace and truth! Amen!
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: Ch. 11 – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE:


By James Fire

The LORD Jesus Christ has just finished instructing His disciples on their mission for the Gospel, bringing the message of salvation to “the lost house of Israel” - but not yet the Gentiles . . . He also gave them warnings and admonitions regarding how they would be received by lost sinners and how they should respond to such dangers from those who are our persecutors. After having done all this, the LORD then proceeds to preach the Gospel and teach truth Himself among and throughout the cities of Israel. This is where we pick up in the beginning of Chapter 11:

MATTHEW 11:1-3
And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

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