"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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Saturday, December 31, 2022

DEUTERONOMY 5: A REHEARSAL ON HOLINESS, A CALL TO FAITHFULNESS

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

DEUTERONOMY 5: “HEAR, O PEOLE OF GOD AND DO” by Albert Lopez, check out the complete teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: Sobre aviso no hay engaño. There’s no deception if you have been warned. Don’t let it go in one ear and then out the other. Key: It’s to observe; not hear and do nothing. At the end of Deuteronomy 4 in verse 39-40 The Lord is preparing his people for the 10 commandments which we read about in Exodus, and we will review once again in this chapter.

Deuteronomy 4:39-40
“Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time
.

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Friday, December 30, 2022

WALKING The COVENANT WAY: PART 4 of 8: the ABRAHAMIC Covenant

~ by James Fire

This next covenant, like the Noahic covenant, is an unconditional covenant, with nothing for Abraham to perform or contribute, except that he simply believed GOD – which he did, and that brought about the reckoning of righteousness attributed to Abraham (ROM 4:2-3).

We see Abram’s name first in GENESIS 11:26; we learn there that he was the son of Terah, and the brother of Nahor and Haran. This man from the land of Ur of the Chaldees was obviously a Gentile (there were no Hebrews then; he becomes the first!), and more than that, a Babylonian.

Yet by grace, GOD called Abram out of his father’s house, out of his native land and directed him to a far distant land which he would eventually inherit. Abram at seventy five years of age heard GOD beckoning and responded to Him (GEN 12:1-4).

In those verses GOD promised to make of him a great nation, grant him a great name, and that he would be a blessing (vs. 2). He also promised to bless those who blessed him and curse him that cursed him; GOD reiterates that He would bless all the families of the Earth, through the life of Abram (vs. 3).

The LORD manifested Himself to Abram in Shechem and declared that He would give the land (he was now standing on) to his descendants; GEN 12:7.

There are two primary chapters that teaches us about the Abrahamic Covenant: GENESIS 15 and GENESIS 22.

So without any further delay, let’s dive into GENESIS 15 and see what this reveals to us!

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Thursday, December 22, 2022

DEUTERONOMY 4: A REHEARSAL ON HOLINESS, A CALL TO FAITHFULNESS

CHAPTER 4 - Parts ONE & TWO

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

DEUTERONOMY 4: “TRINITY of TRUTH, TRIUMPH and TERROR” by James Fire

To hear a teaching on DEUTERONOMY 4, listen to pastor Sonny of SHINE BRIGHT Church!

INTRODUCTION: The revelation that GOD has provided for us within the completed canon of Scripture brings to us a progressive understanding as we traverse from GENESIS to REVELATION.

We learn that the Creator is “GOD” in GENESIS 1, and then He is referred to as “LORD GOD” in GENESIS 2 (but take note that Satan doesn’t refer to Him as “LORD GOD” but only as “GOD”.
As we proceed, we learn of Him as the Holy Judge, and then as Redeemer, and the fullness of this revelation is brought before us in the Person of Jesus Christ. This is why the last book of the Bible is referred to as “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”: Observe:

REVELATION 1:1a
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants


In this fifth and last book of the Torah, the LORD reveals all the more about Himself, His intentions with Israel, their unfortunate response, and in spite of all this, the LORD’s faithfulness to them because of His promise (and oath HEB 6:13-18) to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the 12 patriarchs (GEN 15:18; 50:1-33; PSALM 105; DEUT 7:12; ACTS 7:8). We also get some insight into the very nature of GOD!

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Sunday, December 18, 2022

THESE THREE GIFTS FOR GOD, IMMANUEL, The HOLY CHRIST CHILD

THESE THREE GIFTS FOR GOD, IMMANUEL, The HOLY CHRIST CHILD

~ For a SHINE BRIGHT presentation, delivered by pastors Sonny, Albert and James, check this out!

1) GOLD

Of the three gifts the first is gold, which represents divinity and kingly wealth and dignity. Long before GOD the Son took on humanity, He was (and is) GOD eternal and King of Heaven. Yet He did indeed take on humanity (JOHN 1:1-3,14) and the wondrous mystery of Majestic GOD and sinless Man came to be – we beheld His glory, the glory as the Only Begotten of the Father!

As we know the Old Testament is full of foreshadowing and types of Christ from GENESIS to MALACHI. In the visions that Moses received on Mt. Sinai concerning the building of the Tabernacle and all the details revealed to him on how everything was to be built, the ark of the covenant (essentially a box that would hold the ten commandment tablets, Aaron’s rod that budded and a jar of manna) was to be made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold. The mercy seat, the lid that covered the ark was not made of wood covered with gold, but solid, pure gold!

The mercy seat, a picture of the throne of GOD with its accompanying cherubim, represents the pure deity of Christ, entirely GOD. The ark of the covenant represented the hypostatic union of His Deity and humanity in perfect unity and harmony because the gold still represents His Deity, but the wood, His humanity.

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Friday, December 16, 2022

A TTUF REVIEW of JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION – Conclusion To A Sensational Saga

~ By James Fire

I distinctly remember going to the school library in the 3rd grade and picking out a book about dragons; many of them looked nothing like your typical dragon, but as I continued to turn the pages, to my startled amazement, this wasn’t a fantasy book. It was a book on dinosaurs (which were referred to as “dragons” well into the late 19th and early 20th century. It was in 1842 that Sir Richard Owen, Britain’s leading paleontologist coined the word dinosaur meaning “terrible lizard”) – these were real creatures that once roamed the Earth (according to the book, over millions of years ago)!?

Thus began my love for these powerful beasts of mythic proportions who were a testament to the power of life!

Dinosaurs seem to always charm the hearts of children; I know they did mine! I would tune in to television shows and movies in the 60’s and 70’s that had dinosaurs in them, but they were rather cheesy looking. Puppets or Claymation models that moved stiffly and unrealistically – still, they were as much fun to watch as that man in a rubber suit that trashed the miniature city of Tokyo in the many iterations of the Japanese films of Godzilla.

It wasn’t until 1993 however that the novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton* hit the silver screen to enthrall and enchant us all. These animatronic beasties looked (and sounded!) very real indeed!
*Dr. Crichton was a medical doctor that decided not to go into practice, but turned his attention to writing, and wrote The Andromeda Strain. Timeline, Sphere, Pirate Latitudes, Congo – over two dozen novels in all including JURASSIC PARK (JP)).
The story line was genius: DNA from the blood of dinosaurs was harvested by scientists who procured it from amber-encased mosquitoes which feasted on their reptilian blood way back in the day. They mapped out the genome and filled in ‘the empty spaces’ where gene chains were broken with similar DNA from present day frogs and reptiles, and through the miracles of modern science – voila! A new age of dinosaurs was born!

But as Dr. Ian Malcolm (played by Jeff Goldblum) said with almost prophetic portent: “…your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should”.

That warning has been sounded in replete fashion, both in the films and in the real world regarding the use of technology, which can be either a benefit or a bane (we’ll touch on this later in this article)!

Let’s get a synopsis of this marvelous film of JURASSIC WORLD (JW): Dominion first and then go from there…

SPOILER ALERT!!! [Note: content in brackets are my own statements, and or editing]

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Friday, December 9, 2022

STUDY In The Book of NEHEMIAH - Part ONE: TRIUMPH by TRANSFORMATION

INTRODUCTION: I have always been fascinated as a child by stories of transformation, whether the person in question was Scrooge or the Wolfman. The idea that a person could be found in one particular state, only to come under some other influence and be irrevocably changed by it was captivating for me.

Truly, any good story will follow the life of the protagonist from the beginning and witness how they’ve changed by the end of the story

Here in the book of Nehemiah, we see the transformation not of a person, but a nation and a city: where once they were displaced from their homeland and lived as refugees, they were brought back to the land of their fathers, according to the promises of GOD.

Whereas the city of Jerusalem was in ruins by the judgment of GOD that was justifiably rendered upon His rebellious people who refused to repent, we see some fifty thousand of these Jews returning back to their “City of Peace” only to be confronted and discouraged by seemingly insurmountable circumstances and relentless enemies.
Nevertheless, GOD raised up His man, Nehemiah, and gifted him with such spiritual accoutrements that were effective in getting the job done, a restored Jerusalem!

I love this book because it’s a book about a restored conviction in the undeniable promises of GOD, a restored hope, a restored city!
These promises involve not just the Jewish people and their personal and national prosperity but include the panoramic view of the overall Kingdom of GOD wholly restored in this world, righteously supplanting the satanic rule in this “war of the ages”, and replacing it with that of the Messiah, Who shall reign over all nations from the world capital of Jerusalem!

Thus the TRIUMPH Of CHRIST will be fully realized when all the Earth is TRANSFORMED to the holy world that GOD envisioned to begin with!

Let’s delve into these pages and discover what GOD would speak to us regarding this book and the person of Nehemiah!

Read more!

Saturday, December 3, 2022

HOW TO “BIBLE STUDY” - T. A. McMahon - The BEREAN CALL

November 1, 2022

Watch the video here.

We are clearly in a day that majors in fulfilling the prophecy of 2 Timothy:4:3-4 
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 

Examples abound. Many churches that profess to be Bible-believing fellowships do not live up to their claims. They say they believe in the inerrancy, the authority, and the sufficiency of the Word of God. However, in practice they have mixed what God has said with the so-called wisdom of mankind. Here’s how that plays out, starting with the sufficiency of the Scriptures.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

DEUTERONOMY 2 & 3: A REHEARSAL ON HOLINESS, A CALL TO FAITHFULNESS

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

DEUTERONOMY 2: “REMEMBERING GOD’S GOOD HAND IN YOUR LIFE” by Sonny Islas, check out the complete teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: As a way of reminder: Deuteronomy means “Double Law” or “The Law repeated.” At this point in the journey, Israel is at the finish line of the 40 years of wilderness wanderings and is at the starting line of the Promised Land. They are at the door, at the very borders of Canaan/aka Israel, across from Jericho, but, before they go in, Moses has a big brotherly talk with them.

He repeats the laws, and the wondrous works, and ways of God to this new generation because the older generation was killed off by God in the wilderness (except for Joshua and Caleb) for their rebellious, unbelieving, constant complaining, ungrateful, stiff necked attitudes towards God’s goodness.

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

CROSSING The T’s STUDY in TITUS – Biblical Precepts and Principles for Pastoral ministry: CHAPTER 3 & Conclusion

INTRODUCTION: The following instructions were given from Paul to pastor Titus, who in turn was to give them to the saints and most especially the elders. Such being the case, these admonitions are all about Christian conduct in relation to government, people in general, and most of all to the LORD; what the life of a disciple should look like as a result of that relationship with the Savior.

The apostle then reminds Titus of what Christians should avoid: things that engender strife and division, that hurts the body of Christ and therefore Christ Himself.

In these succinct verses, the epistle is concluded with indispensable knowledge and wisdom. Thus, words we ought to pay particularly close attention to.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

REDEMPTION, DEMON POSSESSION and the CHRISTIAN

~ By James Fire

INTRODUCTION:
We share this reality created by GOD with other intelligent beings. Folklore and modern day tales of extraterrestrial and, or magical beings cause us to ask the age old question: “Are we really alone in the universe?” It’s been with us since time immemorial.

The fact of the matter is, we are most assuredly not alone. However, these extraterrestrial entities are not extraordinary in the sense that they are biological beings that inhabit other planets in our universe and have come to visit us in “nuts and bolts” space vehicles. Rather, these are noncorporeal entities of evil, malevolent towards man, and completely corrupt in their fallen nature.

I’m speaking of the “angels that sinned” in a rebellion that separated an entire third of the heavenly host (REV 12:4) along with their leader (Satan; see LUKE 10:18) and were cast out of heaven though Satan himself is permitted a visit now and then (JOB 1:6).

And if you’re imagining fallen angels as devils in skin-tight red suits, horns, cloven hooves, tails with pitchforks, this image has more to do with medieval folklore than the Bible. In today’s vernacular you can think of them as non-corporeal, highly intelligent super-beings.

They’re extremely powerful, intelligent, ever and always conscious, never tiring in their activities, and are exemplary in holiness or in evil in their respective kingdoms.

Many equate “demons” with “fallen angels” along with “wicked spirits, evil spirits, unclean spirits”. I think the latter three terms could be applicable to both, but I don’t think that fallen angels are equivalent or synonymous with demons (though this isn’t entirely conclusive, I think the preponderance of indications warrant such a view).

We know GOD created all the heavenly hosts (and a third of them fell), but if demons are not angels, what are they and where did they come from?

They most certainly are not an archaic phenomenon observed by uneducated man who mistook psychological conditions for evil spirits; Scripture makes distinction between demons and physiological and psychological maladies (MATT 8:16).

I am firmly convinced that the events that took place in GENESIS 6, where the “sons of GOD” (bene ha Elohim)” cohabitated with human females resulted in a hybrid species (half angelic/half human) that were called the nephilim. When these bizarre creatures died, their spirits roamed the Earth, and are today called “demons”. For more on this, see this video.

As a result of their disembodiment, having lost the pleasures of sensuality, these spirits crave possession of bodies in order to satisfy their lusts (as well as using their hosts to promote and expand the kingdom of darkness as well as to degrade, damage and destroy their hapless host who was made in the image of GOD – which is why they hate us so much!). Satan’s MO has always been to “deceive, use and trash” his victims, these agents of evil.

Demon possession has been very well documented for centuries. A modern day scholar that has ample documentation of this phenomenon is Kurt Koch. William Peter Blatty documented the demon possession of a handful of souls and wrote about them in the now infamous book The Exorcist (the basis of the film with Max Von Sydow and Linda Blair).

The question on whether or not a Christian can be possessed by demons is the subject of this article, and some superficial (certainly not exhaustive) treatment on these bizarre entities. Before we get to the question at hand, there are some necessary preliminaries that must be laid down as the foundation of this discussion.

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Sunday, November 20, 2022

DEUTERONOMY 1: A REHEARSAL ON RIGHTEOUSNESS, A CALL TO FAITHFULNESS

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

DEUTERONOMY 1: “FINDING OUT WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU ARE GOING” by Albert Lopez, check out the complete teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: Deuteronomy means “double law” or “repeated law” - This is where we will read about the next generation; we’ll get a history lesson on who they are, where are they going and most importantly Who’s taking them because that’s Whom they belong to.

How many of you remember doing current event articles while you were in school? In those articles you were told to include key things; such as answering The Who, What, Where, When, How and Why of the event being reported. This is important because we didn’t just have random facts but a paper that would make sense to any reader and most importantly to your teacher because our grades depended on it.

DEUTERONOMY 1:1-5
1 These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain opposite Suph, between Paran, Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. 2 It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea. 3 Now it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke to the children of Israel according to all that the LORD had given him as commandments to them, 4 after he had killed Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who dwelt at Ashtaroth in Edrei. 5 On this side of the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this law, saying…


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Friday, November 18, 2022

HE Is OUR PEACE In the MIDST of the STORMS - Updated

To listen to this message as it was given at The ETERNAL LIVING WORD Church, click on this link.

Our once beloved nation was so blessed by the very same God that most people today spurn, and Whose Word is utterly rejected.

I don’t need to tell you how this nation lives sinful, self-centered lives, thumbs its nose at the Almighty (Who so blesses America still). Proud Americans who are virtually untouched by adversity and woe – so far! Yet, since the COVID 19 Plandemic as it’s been called, we are beginning to see the shape of things to come (
AGENDA 2030).

And the day is coming when they shall most certainly reap what they’ve sown! This reminds me of apostate Israel, when they had forsaken GOD in favor of the pagan false gods, and what the LORD said in response through His prophet:

HOSEA 8:7a
For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind…

GALATIANS 6:7
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that he shall also reap.

Almost thirty years ago I and some friends began researching the now well-known phrase and phenomena, “The New World Order”. We had heard George Bush Senior’s speech that included this phrase when he spoke before the Congress at the beginning of our first war in Iraq (Operation Desert Storm/Shield).
“What is at stake is more than one small country; it is a big idea – a New World Order, where diverse nations are drawn together in a common cause to achieve universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom, and rule of law. Such is a world worthy of our struggle, and worthy of our children’s future” (Jan. 29th, 1991).
Adolph Hitler gave a similar speech about a New Order back on Jan. 30th, 1941. Fifty years before to the day, minus one!

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Friday, November 11, 2022

CROSSING The T’s STUDY in TITUS – Biblical Precepts and Principles for Pastoral ministry: CHAPTER 2


INTRODUCTION: Have you ever met a comedic combat soldier on the field of battle? Neither have I; such an attitude could prove fatal under such circumstances. The consequences are very sobering to think about.

Every soldier in the battle has the utmost of serious minds; they are wary, attentive, precautionary, defensive but not at the expense of effectively offensive measures.

The Christian warrior can’t afford to be any less; the consequences are eternal. Since Satan is still the (illegal) governor of this world (2 COR 4:4; JOHN 14:30), we are on the battle field of ‘planet Rhebyl’(pronounced “rebel”) We can’t afford to take our battle gear off, this spiritual armor afforded to us by GOD Himself.

So as we read about these issues for the church, let us understand that to walk uprightly – and soberly – is to walk in accordance with GOD’s will, walking in the Spirit, and having every piece of armor in place.

To not do so is to court danger and defeat.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 36 - Conclusion

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

NUMBERS 36: “KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY” by Sonny Islas, check out the complete teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: We are now at the very end of the Book of Numbers! Numbers 36. At this point in the narrative, The Twelve Tribes of Israel are at the threshold or doorway of Canaan (aka Israel) - the Land God Promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The following Book which is the Book of Deuteronomy – which means Double Law or The Law Repeated is just that – the Law repeated. Seeing that the parents of all these Israelites died in the wilderness, they were going to need a reminder of God’s Laws – The Ten Commandments and all the wonderful things that the LORD had done for them and their parents. A solid reminder of God’s faithfulness etc.

We can call this chapter LAWS CONCERNING WOMEN HEIRS

NUMBERS 36:1-13
1 Now the chief fathers of the families of the children of Gilead the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near and spoke before Moses and before the leaders, the chief fathers of the children of Israel. 2 And they said: "The LORD commanded my lord Moses to give the land as an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel, and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters. 3 "Now if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and it will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry; so it will be taken from the lot of our inheritance. 4 "And when the Jubilee of the children of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry; so their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers." 5 Then Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of the LORD, saying: "What the tribe of the sons of Joseph speaks is right. 6 "This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, 'Let them marry whom they think best, but they may marry only within the family of their father's tribe.' 7 "So the inheritance of the children of Israel shall not change hands from tribe to tribe, for every one of the children of Israel shall keep the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.

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Friday, November 4, 2022

WALKING The COVENANT WAY: PART 3 of 8: the NOAHIC Covenant

~ by James Fire

By way of review from the article, 1 of 8, we have the following:

The Noahic Covenant was an unconditional covenant between God and Noah (specifically; GEN 6:18) and humanity (generally; GEN 9:9-17). After the Flood, God promised humanity that He would never again destroy all life on earth with a Flood (see GEN 9).
God gave the rainbow as the sign of the covenant, a promise that the entire earth would never again be flooded on a global scale; it also served as a reminder that God can and will judge sin (2 PETER 2:5).

A Suzerainty (a sovereign ruler, overseer) covenant: When the parties are not equal
the b’rith may become a disposition (1 SAM 11:1; EZEK 17:13-14) or guaranteed (JOSH 9:6,15; HOS 12:1) by the superior party. Often in Scripture there is the presentation of this frequent lack of two-sidedness. On the one side there are words like “to establish, to command, a statute” associated with the initiator and for the other, that is the beneficiary “to obey or to transgress it” (JOSH 23:16; JER 34:10).

B’rith often describes the legal relationship between GOD the LORD and man the servant. This is a sovereignly imposed injunction from GOD, legally binding according to His pleasure. Divine suzerainty covenants also involve redemptive, promissory elements…

Two b’rith found in JER 33:20,25 wherein GOD’s ordering of “day and night” is established and ZECH 11:10 regarding GOD’s breaking His b’rith with the people [of Israel], suggesting that GOD used to order the world history in favor of Israel (DEUT 32:8), but has now freed all peoples from such covenant obligation.*
*The LORD has opened the door for all people to be saved from the coming Judgment of GOD (ACTS 15:30; 10:34-35), via the New Testament in Christ, however it is the express view of TTUF that GOD’s covenants with Israel are by no means abrogated or annulled as some might suspect that the above text is insinuating. The Abrahamic, Davidic and New Covenant are all based upon the promise of GOD, the recipients (Israel for the first two, and Israel and the Gentiles for the last) only need to believe GOD’s promise by faith and the LORD will honor His covenants!
Then there is the situation that concerns GOD’s pre-redemptive arrangement with Adam, a b’rith (HOS 6:7) and it’s not inaptly styled “the covenant of works”. For though Eden exhibits no partnership of equals, and no voluntary mutual agreement was reached prior to GOD’s sovereign disposition, there yet existed a certain balance of obligations and benefits that were equally binding upon the two parties concerned. Never again has history witnessed such a situation with the exception of the life of the man Christ Jesus who was [is] the representative “last Adam” and who fulfilled all righteousness (1 COR 15:45).

Read more!

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 35

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

NUMBERS 35: “The KINSMAN GOEL is YOUR REFUGE” by James Fire, check out the complete audio teaching here

INTRODUCTION: Moses’ time is almost finished, and yet there are challenges for Israel right around the corner – one such challenge is Jericho.

But that’s a challenge that Joshua will answer. Just as with the apostle Paul who could confidently declare: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”, Moses could say the same. And just as Paul passed the proverbial baton on to Timothy, Moses will pass his to Joshua.

Yet the Lawgiver isn’t quite yet finished; there are some things for him yet to do (we still have to address the entire book of DEUTERONOMY, the fifth and last book written by Moses – a rehearsal of righteous reminders to the next generation of Israel.

For now, we will deal with the inheritance of the Levites, and these peculiar edicts that revolve around what’s referred to as “the cities of refuge” and as well as those, “the avenger”, or “the avenger of blood”.

Read more!

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 35

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

NUMBERS 35: “The KINSMAN GOEL is YOUR REFUGE” by James Fire, check out the complete teaching here! 

INTRODUCTION: Moses’ time is almost finished, and yet there are challenges for Israel right around the corner – one such challenge is Jericho.

But that’s a challenge that Joshua will answer. Just as with the apostle Paul who could confidently declare: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”, Moses could say the same. And just as Paul passed the proverbial baton on to Timothy, Moses will pass his to Joshua.

Yet the Lawgiver isn’t quite yet finished; there are some things for him yet to do (we still have to address the entire book of DEUTERONOMY, the fifth and last book written by Moses – a rehearsal of righteous reminders to the next generation of Israel.

For now, we will deal with the inheritance of the Levites, and these peculiar edicts that revolve around what’s referred to as “the cities of refuge” and as well as those, “the avenger”, or “the avenger of blood”.

Read more!

Friday, October 28, 2022

CROSSING The T’s STUDY in TITUS – Biblical Precepts and Principles for Pastoral ministry: CHAPTER 1


INTRODUCTION
: The apostle Paul considered Titus to be a spiritual son of his (as he did Timothy; TITUS 1:4) as well as a brother whose company the aging apostle craved (2 COR 2:12-13), and also a co-laborer (2 COR 8:23) for the kingdom of GOD. He was likely older than Timothy, spiritually more mature, as he apparently was given more responsibilities than Timothy. The apostle Paul assigned him on missions to Corinth (2 COR 8:16-18), accompanied Paul to Jerusalem (GAL 2:1), was established as the pastor of the church at the island of Crete in the overseeing of multiple fellowships, as this epistle ably demonstrates. He served very much in the same sacrificial spirit as did Pau’s other spiritual son in the faith, Timothy – both mirroring the ministry of their mentor (2 COR 12:17-18). He was at one point one of only two companions with Paul during his imprisonment in Rome, but he eventually left for Dalmatia (probably by instruction from Paul; 2 TIM 4:10).

Ona side note: he was a full-blooded Greek (GAL 2:3), whereas Timothy’s father was Greek, his mother Jewish (ACTS 16:1).

He was instructed by Paul to establish pastoral elders in every city in Crete, so as to offset the self-appointed preachers who wanted a following for themselves, who didn’t truly serve Christ and His church.

Counsels and exhortations make up the majority of this epistle, duties, and doctrines, with an emphasis on “maintaining good works”.

Key verses are:

TITUS 1:5
For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you. And…

TITUS 3:8
This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.


So without further ado, let’s get into this three chapter epistle by Paul to his other son in the faith!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 34

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

NUMBERS 34: “DOES GOD HAVE MORE FOR ME?” by Sonny Islas, check out the complete audio teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: As we draw near to the end of the Book of Numbers, in chapter 34 we find God giving the command to appoint the borders of Canaan (a.k.a. Israel) and to appoint the leaders that will be in charge of dividing the land by lot to each tribe.

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Monday, October 17, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 33

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

NUMBERS 33: “NOTE TO SELF” by Albert Lopez, check out the complete audio teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: Do you own a Planner, Journal, or a Diary? Do you use them regularly? We often need reminders for important appointments and dates; reminders to get certain tasks going and completed. We need to send notes to self on our duties GOD has granted to us, His children, His laborers, His soldiers and ambassadors.

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Sunday, October 16, 2022

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THE BIBLE?

~ by James Fire

Check out the audio teaching here on SHINE BRIGHT Church YouTube Channel.

In making disciples, there are teachings given to new believers, called the Fundamentals of the Faith, some of which are as follows:

~ The objective, absolute truth as recorded in Scripture
~ The sinful nature of humanity
~ The Holiness of GOD
~ Salvation by grace alone according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
~ The Deity & Humanity of Christ/His virgin birth
~ The Trinity of GOD
~ The Second Coming of Christ & Judgment Day, and many other such teachings.

As disciples of Christ and of His Word, we all believe these things, don’t we?
As members of SHINE BRIGHT Church, where the Word of GOD is being taught, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book, from GENESIS to REVELATION (and when we finish REVELATION, it’s back to GENESIS), we are confident in what we believe, Amen?

So I could ask any one of you what you believe about the Bible, and to one degree or another, you could provide competent answers for me, couldn’t you? I’m sure you could!

So then the next question I would ask you is: Why do you believe the Bible?

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Saturday, October 8, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 32

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

NUMBERS 32: “FIGHT FOR YOUR BROTHER’S BLESSING” by Sonny Islas, check out the complete audio teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: At this point in the story, Israel is at the borders of Canaan (what will become Israel/The Promised Land). They are stationed on the East side of the Jordan River.

Numbers 32 focuses on three tribes that want to stay and live where they are stationed, in the land of Gilead (on the East side of the Jordan River) because they have lots of animals and Gilead is perfect for raising livestock (for grazing).

The three Tribes are Ruben (1st), Gad (7th) and half of Manasseh (11th/Joseph). These three Tribes are the first to settle in and possess their land or portion BUT as we’ll soon read, no one was to settle in and enjoy their God given property without fighting on behalf of all Twelve Tribes. Once we get to the Book of Joshua, we’ll read about every other tribe getting their lot and land from God - except for the Levites, because their portion is the LORD. The Levites lived among the other tribes.

It’s important for us as Christians to know the history of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel because in one sense their story is our story. Our Savior came from them, making their Savior our Savior. It’s good for us to know and understand how God dealt with Israel just as it’s good for us to understand how God deals with the New Testament Church.

We can’t divorce what God is doing today from what God has done yesterday. From what God did in the Old Testament from what God did in the New Testament – it’s all one big powerful storyline.

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Friday, September 30, 2022

CROSSING The T’s Study in 2 TIMOTHY – Biblical Precepts & Principles for Pastoral ministry: Ch. 4 – PART One & Two.

by James Fire

INTRODUCTION: In the epistles to the Thessalonians as well as here in these epistles to Timothy, mention of the LORD’s return and the impending JUDGMENT of all souls is clearly seen. In speaking of these last days, the trademark condition is that of an absolute intolerance for the truth (ISA 59:14), that is, biblical doctrine.

How ironic in this era where “tolerance” is supremely esteemed, that the most important thing in this world – the WORD of GOD – is vehemently refused and in no way tolerated. One could say that this is an INTOLERANCE born of INIQUITY!

After addressing these issues, the apostle catches Timothy up on the happenings in his most recent days and his responses to them.

So, we’ll continue now in this last epistle of apostle Paul, covering this last chapter – these words being the very last writings of the apostle Paul before [his body’s] execution, and deliverance from this evil world and into the welcoming presence of our LORD Jesus Christ Who Himself elected this religious zealot, this persecutor who martyred many in His church, and transformed him into an apostle, and inspired him to write an entire third of our New Testament!
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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

WALKING The COVENANT WAY: PART 2 of 8: the ADAMIC Covenant

~ by James Fire

INTRODUCTION: So with all the needful preliminaries established, we can now focus on these covenants found in Holy Scripture. We will find some similarities among them as well as some significant contrasts. Some require man’s obedience, others are based solely on the sovereignty of GOD, apart from any requirements from men.

The pattern of all the covenants of the Bible is that (1) GOD establishes His promises of blessings (2) man sins by breaking the covenant (3) GOD judges the sin (4) GOD then provides redemption based not on man’s performance but upon His own mercy and grace.

Throughout Scripture we understand that sin always bears bad fruit and destructive consequences from which man is helpless to redeem himself, so GOD in His grace steps in and makes provision!

All of these covenants were initiated by GOD, never by man; they are all binding, in the sense that none can be abrogated and nullified by the will or intent of man – he can certainly disobey a covenant, and thereby in a sense ‘break’ it (ISA 24:5), but not destroy it. And as with the case of the Mosaic Covenant, even disobedience didn’t destroy it; the disobedience simply resulted in the people of Israel being escorted off the land by the courtesy of Assyrian or Babylonian soldiers and their chains!

I think we may find that after examining all of these covenants, we’ll be able to realize that their ultimate fulfillment is found not in any tribes or people of men, but in the Son of man, the LORD Jesus Christ Himself.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

A TTUF Interview with RUSS MILLER of CreationMinistries.Org

INTRODUCTION: It's my delight and pleasure to present this interview with a real warrior for Christ and His Truth, Russ Miller! I've read many of his books, watched his DVDs and online videos, attended a few of his conferences (haven't yet done the Grand Canyon Tour with him - not yet!) and have found his information accurate, his assertions valid, his heart to be humble, sincere and valiant for the truth.

Russ by this time in life could be relaxing on easy street, with a financially comfortable and restful retirement. Instead, he serves the LORD across this nation, proclaiming the glory of GOD both in His creation and in His redemption!

It's an honor to present to you our TTUF readers, this 30 question interview with Russ Miller!

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Monday, September 19, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 31

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

NUMBERS 31: “VENGEANCE IS MINE, SAYS The LORD” James Fire; check out the video teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: In the minds of people the world over, and in the dogmas of various religions, the portrayal of GOD’s nature is fashioned, not in truth, but by the imaginations and, or the desires of mankind.
Some believe God to be vindictive, blood thirsty and vengeful; others see God as a loving grandfatherly sort.
Scripture tells us that GOD is love and seeks to save sinners (1 JN 4:8; EZ 33:11) and that He is also holy and will not leave sin unjudged or unpunished (1 PET 1:16; EZ 18:20). He freely offers His grace and truth, His peace, and tender mercies, to the meek and contrite, those who repent and turn to Him for salvation.
He will also render justice, judgment, and wrath upon the proud and the rebellious here on what I call “planet Rebel”, who refuse to obey the Gospel:
2 THESSALONIANS 1:7b-8
…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
GOD is both Judge and Savior. Yet this world thinks that it can thumb its nose at GOD, mock His Word, ridicule, and persecute His people, and they believe that they can commit all manner of atrocities with absolutely no accountability. This is why evolution is so popular: if that theory is true, and there is no GOD, then there’s no accountability to GOD and no judgment!
“Therefore I can do whatever I want”, they say boastfully.
They couldn’t be more wrong! As I’m often saying. “There is no such thing as eternal injustice!”

Vengeance belongs to GOD (DEUT 32:35; PS 94:1); He owns vengeance, It has GOD’s Name on it – and He isn’t interested in selling!

Balaam as you recall tried to curse Israel not once, not twice, but three times – but the Spirit of the LORD wouldn’t allow it; instead GOD put His words in Balaam’s mouth and this prophet for hire spoke blessings instead, not blasphemies over Israel. Once he, king Balak and all the other kings of the surrounding tribes realized they failed, they all went home.

But Balaam had a backup plan which we already read; we saw how it was carried out in
NUMBERS 25.
He persuaded king Balak to turn his loose Moabite women loose on the Hebrew men encamped around the Tabernacle, to seduce them, and while in sexual ecstasy, they brought out their idols and they all committed spiritual fornication as well as physical fornication.

Once that happens, Balaam realized, a curse on Israel wouldn’t be necessary, for GOD Himself would judge His people – the false prophet no doubt believed GOD would wipe them all out – but as always, GOD tempers His judgment: He targets only those who committed this atrocity and preserves the righteous (2 PET 2:9). And the LORD is going to judge Balaam, just as He is going to judge the Midianites!

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Monday, September 12, 2022

CROSSING The T’s STUDY in 2 TIMOTHY – Biblical Precepts and Principles for Pastoral ministry: CHAPTER THREE: Parts ONE & TWO

INTRODUCTION: In this and in the next (and last) chapter of 2 TIMOTHY Paul issues warnings of darker days, followed by exhortations to continue in “the faith” (vs.14; in order to counteract such darkness) and to be watchful (2 TIM 4:5; in such times of darkness).
Rebellion against and intolerance of the pure doctrine of the Word will be the modus operandi of these last and dark days – not just by the rebellious world, which is understandable, but even by the professing, visible church – which is truly dismaying (as distinct from the possessing (of the Spirit) church, invisible – as being present throughout various churches who represent a righteous remnant, and who will endure faithfully to the end, keeping “the faith”).

These things are representative of “the beginning of birth pangs” that the LORD spoke of (MATT 24:8) concerning “the last days” which will increase more and more as we draw nearer to the coming of the LORD.
An interesting note: “beginning” here can also mean “beginner” as the Greek word used is arche – also defined as a leader, ruler, magistrate, etc.
Egypt had its angel of death judging that nation for its rebellion against the LORD and unwarranted persecution of Israel. I can see where the LORD allows fallen angel overlords to unleash their chaos in this evil time.

We’ll examine the complexion of the last days; the descriptives used are alarmingly familiar to us in the 21st century. We’ll also examine the oppossers of GOD, who resist the truth.

Paul is nearing the end of his letter to Timothy, his beloved son in the faith; the words are all the more potent because he is also nearing the end of his earthly life. The last thing he expounds upon in this portion of the epistle is about the Scriptures, “all [of the] Scripture” and its authority.

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Sunday, September 4, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 30

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

NUMBERS 30: “KEEP YOUR PROMISES TO GOD” Sonny Islas; check out the video teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: NUMBERS 30 serves as a good reminder for us - that we ought to be men and women of our word. Especially when it comes to making any type of promise to the LORD. We ought to be marked by honesty, personal integrity, sincerity, credibility, and trustworthiness. In the Old Testament, to make a promise and keep it spoke of faithfulness and loyalty to God.

One thing to keep in mind is that vows were not commended by God. Promises made to God were optional as a way to dedicate oneself to God a little more. No one was under any obligation to make a promise to God. BUT - keeping vows freely made, was commanded by God.

NUMBERS 30 consist of the Law (or rules) concerning vows (oaths or promises).

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Saturday, September 3, 2022

WALKING The COVENANT WAY: INTRODUCTION: Part 1 of 8

~ by James Fire

Previously in DISCIPLESHIP 102, How To Study The Bible, we briefly examined the various dispensations and then the covenants found in the Scriptures. The dispensations aren’t explicit in their labeling as the covenants are (at least some of these are named as such); nevertheless we observe that every so often GOD issues new orders and responsibilities to man, which he eventually fails, which brings about new orders and responsibilities. These are various managements or economies (the Greek word for dispensation actually means, “economies”.

We will at some point review bible scholar Charles Ryrie’s incredible book entitled Dispensationalism (which he revised and expanded). I know many (not all) in the Calvinist camp disparage the idea of dispensational theology, but I think Dr. Ryrie answers the critics quite credibly – at least to my own satisfaction. I’m looking forward to doing a TTUF report on his work, using it as a basis to conduct my own articles.

We’ll begin with what we have already under the covenants section from that work, and then build on them in detail in subsequent articles (very likely to treat one covenant per article).

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Thursday, September 1, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 29

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

NUMBERS 29: “WORSHIP GOD ALWAYS (MAKE TIME FOR YOUR GOD)” Albert Lopez; check out the video teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: Last week we looked at how God instructed Moses to remind the new generation of Jews the sacrificial system. They were reminded and instructed on when and how to worship God. They were reminded of what was required of them and why it why. There were many sacrifices that we read about, and we will continue here in NUMBERS 29.
All of them pointed to the perfect sacrifice; our Lord Jesus. These sacrifices were to be without defect or blemish because they were offered to the One True God, Yahweh who owns a cattle on a thousand hills, owns the hill and the grass on the hill. This is from PSALM 50 and there is an interesting song that a Christian song writer JW. Peterson wrote the lyrics say:

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills

The wealth in every mine

He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills

The sun and stars that shine

Wonderful riches more than tongue can tell

He is my Father so they're mine as well

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills

I know that He will care for me


These lyrics should remind us that the Bible tells of the greatness of our God; this should bring about a sense of security because like the lyrics say, He is my Father, and so they’re also mine as well. That is if you are a child of God.

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Thursday, August 11, 2022

ARE YOU A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST?

~ James Fire

For the video teaching, go here!

THREE QUESTIONS:

1) How many of you want to live your life in such a way, that JESUS CHRIST uses you to touch the many lives surrounding you and make an impact in this world by the power of GOD, for the glory of GOD?

2)
How many want to see souls saved, redeemed by the blood of the LAMB, rescued from sin, death, judgment, and hellfire and to see the kingdom of GOD expanded.

3)
How many of you want to become more and more like our LORD Jesus Christ?

What needs to happen to bring all this about?

We need JESUS; without JESUS we can do nothing (
JOHN 15:5).

The disciples of Christ are the ones GOD will use to accomplish His purposes in this world. No religion can do it, no political organization can do it, no grass-roots movement can do it; no philosophy or psychology of man can do it.

The hope of this world can be found only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are the stewards of the Gospel. So, our purposes as Christ’s disciples are what?

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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 28

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

NUMBERS 28: WORSHIP GOD ALWAYS By Sonny Islas; check out the video teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: NUMBERS Ch. 28 serves as a reminder regarding the sacrificial system for the new generation of Israelites. Seeing that the older, unbelieving, ungrateful, and unfaithful generation has died off in the wilderness, the new generation needed a fresh reminder of The Sacrificial System – the worship of Yahweh. They needed both the reasons for the animal sacrifices and the times, dates, and ways in which they must be offered.

Seeing that this new generation of Yahweh worshippers were going to enter, conquer and inhabit the wicked land of Canaan (that became Israel), led by Joshua, they needed a fresh reminder of how the One true God wanted to be served, honored, obeyed, and worshipped – namely through animal sacrifices.

Christians have been doing the same thing since the death and resurrection of Jesus. Every generation starting with the Christians in the 1st Century, had a sacred duty to hand down the written Word of God, which contains the proper worship of the One true God, to their children – from one generation to the next.

Why? So that we don’t forget God! And so that Christ is preached, souls are saved, and Biblical Truth and worship is preserved.
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Sunday, August 7, 2022

CROSSING The T’s STUDY in 2 TIMOTHY – Biblical Precepts and Principles for Pastoral ministry: CHAPTER TWO – PART 2 of 2

INTRODUCTION: We pick up where we left off in PART 1 in this second chapter of Paul’s epistle to his protégé and son in the faith, Timothy, pastor of the church at Ephesus.
In this second half, we’ll venture into Paul’s admonition to Timothy regarding the elders and church leadership, that he will “Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.”

He encourages Timothy to be diligent in the study of the Word, to shun babblings that are born of and excite strife and contention among the church. The apostle addresses how the LORD will operate through those of His that are sanctified and usable and will refrain from those not sanctified.

He ends this section of his epistle with the manner and conduct of the servant of the LORD. So without any further delay, let’s get into these instructions and admonitions!

2 TIMOTHY 2:11-15
11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him*. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. 14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent in study to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth
.

* For an article on reigning with Christ, check this out: ARE YOU READY FOR: The RAPTURE, REWARD and REIGN with CHRIST?

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Wednesday, August 3, 2022

CONSIDERING THE VALIDITY OF “The LAST DAYS”

by James Fire

REPENT! For THE END is NEAR!
Doesn’t this spark an image in your mind of a long haired, bearded, barefoot prophet striding along the streets of New York or L.A., with a placard hanging from his neck and these words painted in bold letters?

Critics of a wide variety have disparaged this notion with no small amount of skepticism, even ridicule. Interestingly enough, the Bible says that this would be the prevailing view in the last days prior to the Second Coming of the LORD Jesus Christ:

2 PETER 3:3-4
3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying,
"Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation
."

They point out that Jesus said He would return quickly (REV 3:11; 22:7,12) and it’s been two thousand years already! What they fail to realize is that He was referring to the manner of His arrival, not a time duration.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2022

THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP - by Dave Hunt


Originally published on The Berean Call on 
November 1, 2000
Dave Hunt

Listen to the audio version of this article here.

When our Lord Jesus Christ was on earth He repeatedly said to those who would listen to His Word, Come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21; Luke 18:22, etc.). Large numbers of the Jews, because they or a relative or friend had been healed or fed by Christ, followed Him wherever He went: And there followed him great multitudes of people…and he healed them all…” (Matthew 5:1; 8:1; 12:15; 13:2, etc.). So large and eager were the crowds that He and His twelve disciples could not so much as eat bread. And…his friends…said, He is beside himself” (Mark 3:20-21).

Christ’s call to follow Him is extended to all mankind. No hint that Jesus was not sincere in saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37). What He still offers to all is the same “living water [of] everlasting life” which He offered to the woman at the well (John:4:10-14).

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