"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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Friday, November 19, 2021

PONDERING THE PARABLES – Part Two

~ by James Fire

INTRODUCTION: The parables teach us many spiritually valuable lessons, but they all center around a central theme, that being “the kingdom of heaven”. Note that this isn’t just the realm of heaven, where GOD and His holy angels reside – along with the many departed saints, but the kingdom of heaven. The King of course is the LORD Jesus Christ, and there is an abundance of prophecies that talk about the coming kingdom (of GOD, or Heaven, or as its stated elsewhere (like ACTS 1:6) the kingdom of Israel.
Collectively this is addressing the Millennial period, but also that time during the LORD’s earthly ministry. This is why the LORD Jesus stated,

MATTHEW 3:2
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (See also MATT 4:17) because the King Himself had arrived – and declared Himself as such during His triumphant entry into Jerusalem
:

MATTHEW 21:4-9
4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: 5 "Tell the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.'" 6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. 8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David
[a Messianic title]! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' Hosanna in the highest!

Even in His sermon on the mount, the LORD spoke about “the kingdom of heaven” repletely! So these parables are applicable from the day that the King began His ministry, throughout the church age, as well as the Millennial Reign of the Messiah. You will also note that in the Gospel of Matthew – which portrays the LORD Jesus as the King of Israel (just as the other Gospel accounts portray their own aspects of our LORD), the term “kingdom of heaven” is used.

What’s interesting to note is the Greek word for “of” can also mean “from” which puts a different perspective on this phrase: the kingdom from heaven. I think of DANIEL 2:34 when that “stone” arrives to destroy the polymetallic statue, that stone being Christ, the King coming from heaven!

In these kingdom parables we read all sorts of things regarding the devil, the children of the devil, fowls of the air (representing agents of evil) and other things that one wouldn’t ever associate with heaven! Because these parables are dealing with the kingdom from heaven – come to earth, but with the evil influences of Satan (not bound until the Millennium) still active – even growing in power!

With all that said, let’s begin our examination of the foundational parable, the parable of the Sower of the seed!

Read more!

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

PONDERING THE PARABLES – Introduction and Part One

~ By James Fire

INTRODUCTION: What does it mean to ‘ponder’? Think of ponder as reflecting on weighty thoughts. It’s from the Latin word ponderare which literally meant ‘to weigh’.
We will be reflecting the various parables of the Bible – which, as we will see, are not only contained in the teachings of the LORD Jesus but are found elsewhere in Scripture.
Parables are methods of speech utilized in the conveying of information by use of illustrations; there are various figures of speech in the Bible and linguistic vehicles used to convey truth.

What is the purpose of figures of speech in the Bible? 

To give special emphasis, to call attention to the point, to add force or power to an expression. Which sentence is more memorable? “A burglar snuck into my house.” OR “A burglar slipped into my house like a cat stalking prey.”

Why are figures of speech in the Bible?
Figures of speech are universal to human communication. Every language, including the biblical languages, has them. God used figures of speech to call attention to a point in the scriptures. It’s important to understand figures of speech in the Bible in order to get the correct interpretation of Scripture.

Serious misinterpretations of Scripture come from:

Calling something figurative that is literal. For example, the 6 days of creation in GENESIS 1 are literal 24-hour periods. But many who want to believe creation couldn’t have happened that quickly say they are figurative.

Calling something literal that is figurative. For example, people ridicule the Bible because they think it states that GOD literally has wings:

PSALM 17:8
Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings
,

It is not honest biblical interpretation to call something figurative simply because you don’t understand it or don’t want to believe it.
The words in God’s Word are perfect. God has a reason for everything He says – where He says it; when He says it; to whom He says it; and how He says it. Figures of speech in the Bible are precise and exact, not haphazard.

How do we know when the words should be taken literally or figuratively?

Read more!

Monday, November 1, 2021

LEVITICUS – A HOLY PEOPLE’s ACCESS to The HOLY GOD – Chapter TWENTYONE & TWENTYTWO

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

Complete Study of Leviticus by pastor Chuck Smith
 
LEVITICUS 21 & 22: “The Holiness of the High Priest and priests of Levi” – by James Fire, Facebook video may be seen here (soon!).

INTRODUCTION: The people of Israel were to be holy unto the LORD, set apart and distinct from the pagan nations around them that committed trespasses, pollutions, and abominations even before their Creator. Israel was to be a witness to the nations, revealing the holiness of GOD through their own lives. In as much as the people of Israel were to be holy and set apart from the nations around them, the priests were to be sanctified above and beyond the people of Israel, and among the priests, the high priest sanctified even more so.

Today the church has been compromised just as Israel was during the time of her own apostasy; sin is winked at, holiness is sneered at, obedience is considered legalistic, and few there are that desire to walk in the Spirit: but those that do, these are the faithful remnant who stand apart from the world, as well as from the compromised church and we are a witness before all, testifying that GOD has 
not changed; not only is He holy but He demands holiness from all souls that He has made.

But the only holiness that’s acceptable to our GOD is that of the holy high priest after the order of Melchizedek, the LORD Jesus Christ, and so we have the righteousness of Christ imputed to us (ROMANS 4), His church – and this righteousness works out into our daily lives as a witness to all.

Read more!
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