"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, July 30, 2022

PONDERING THE PARABLES – Part Ten, Concluding this Series

~ by James Fire

INTRODUCTION:
In these last two parables, we see the LORD Jesus as the primary focus – as He and His kingdom are in all of the parables. In these He is portrayed as both a shepherd and a vine. Both of these provide for the needs of others – the shepherd for his sheep, the vine for its branches and subsequent fruit.

Both are required for prosperous life; sheep would be a constant on the menu of wolves and bears if not for shepherds to guard them; branches and fruit could not have life if not for the nutrient provisions of the vine.

There is much we can glean from these two as we close this series on the parables. Certainly this is not an exhaustive examination, and there are likely other parables that have escaped my notice; I’ll leave to the reader to discover these miniature spiritual stories used to convey biblical truth for themselves.

We have a parable here that speaks of the LORD as the Good Shepherd and characteristics both of this Shepherd, His sheep, and still other sheep:

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Sunday, July 24, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 27

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

NUMBERS 27: A NEW LEADER IS CHOSEN by Sonny Islas
For the full message, watch it on the Facebook video!

INTRODUCTION: Moses’ leadership is now winding down and a new leader will take his place – his faithful sidekick Joshua. But first, we will briefly read about, five faith filled sisters, who approach Moses with a special petition that pleased the LORD and therefore brought about a new law. Some have wrongfully and arrogantly called God a chauvinist (a sexist), but this couldn’t be further from the truth because here we’ll see God’s tender concern for women’s needs.

NUMBERS 27:1-11 (A NEW INHERITANCE LAW)
1 Then came the daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, from the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph; and these were the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 2 And they stood before Moses, before Eleazar the priest, and before the leaders and all the congregation, by the doorway of the tabernacle of meeting, saying: 3 "Our father died in the wilderness; but he was not in the company of those who gathered together against the LORD, in company with Korah, but he died in his own sin; and he had no sons. 4 "Why should the name of our father be removed from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father's brothers." 5 So Moses brought their case before the LORD. 6 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 7 "The daughters of Zelophehad speak what is right; you shall surely give them a possession of inheritance among their father's brothers, and cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them. 8 "And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If a man dies and has no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter. 9 'If he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 'If he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father's brothers. 11 'And if his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to the relative closest him in his family, and he shall possess it.'" And it shall be to the children of Israel a statute of judgment, just as the LORD commanded Moses.

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Friday, July 22, 2022

CROSSING The T’s STUDY: 2 TIMOTHY – Biblical Precepts & Principles for Pastoral ministry: CHAPTER TWO – PART 1 of 2

INTRODUCTION: The LORD seldom works quickly in spiritual matters unless it serves His purpose to do so. He prefers to use the slow, steady process in our spiritual development which requires patience on our part.
We’ll learn about this in this chapter.

We’ll also examine the supposed contrast between Christ’s Gospel and Paul’s – there are those who would argue that the apostle altered the Gospel from the original message as preached by the LORD Jesus, but as we shall see, this is not the case.

Among other topics we’ll address discipleship and our relationship with the Scriptures.

Let’s begin then with the study!

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Monday, July 18, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 26

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

NUMBERS 26: ARE YOU NUMBERED AMONG THE WARRIORS? by Sonny Islas

For the full message, watch it on the SHINE BRIGHT YouTube video!

INTRODUCTION: This will be the second time Moses is commanded by the LORD to “take a census” (to count or number) of those who are “able to go to war.” (Able to combat, able to do battle, able to fight).

The first time, it was Moses and Aaron who took a soldier’s roll call, back in NUMBERS ONE, (which was about 38 years ago, and that was more for the means of organization), now, it’s Moses and Eleazar who will count the warriors.

This serves as a reminder that although good, godly, and hard-working men and women of God (like Aaron and Miriam), these come and they go; but the LORD’s work continues, and the LORD’s army gains more ground as the battle wages on.

Aaron is gone, and Eleazar took his place and soon, Moses will be gone, and Joshua will take his place.

So, while we are here, let’s serve God with all our heart, and “fight the good fight of faith” unto the end! Because one day our time will be up and those that come after us, will pick up where we left off.

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Sunday, July 17, 2022

WAKING UP TO WHAT WOKE REALLY IS - An Interview by Cindy Hartline of LOVE For The TRUTH Radio



LOVE For The TRUTH Radio and The TRUTH Under FIRE presents:

Host: Cindy Hartline – loveforthetruthradio@gmail.com 
Engineer: Richard Hartline
Guest: James J Fire

Topic: Getting Ready - A 30 minute show on:
Corrupting minds by the world , or conforming minds to Christ. To listen to this podcast program, click on this link.

Cindy welcomes us to: Love for the Truth radio,
I’m Cindy Hartline your host. I’m excited about our new 30 minute long program replacing our former 60 min.
Our topics will still include prophecy, signs of the times, deception in the world, as well as the ever growing apostasy that is happening in the church and more.
We will have a stronger focus however, on how we as Christians can overcome the evil we are facing and allow our battles to mature us in Jesus, so we can be prepared when he returns as the “ready bride” he desires.

So “Getting Ready” is our focus, with pertinent topics to help us spiritually discern and overcome! It is evident that we are in a spiritual battle as we continue to wrestle with principalities and powers in high places that want to govern our lives with a strong arm, take away our freedoms and destroy the plan and purpose God has for the church, His beloved Bride! The Good news is... whom the Son has set free, they are free indeed. We need to know how to be “freed up”.

Our guest is James Joseph Fire. 

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NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 25

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

NUMBERS 25: “AN ENEMY WITHIN US” – by Albert Lopez
For the full message, watch it on the Facebook video!

INTRODUCTION: We just celebrated the 4th of July this week and in a nutshell as the name of the holiday states it is Independence Day! If you’re a little kid you might know it as Fireworks Day! If you’re a big kid you know it as Grilling Day!

This day has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

The children of Israel where no strangers to celebrations that were a result of God showing Himself mighty. He has shown them His powerful right hand; that delivered them from the bondage of Egypt not just once but many times. In this last chapter once again the God of Israel showed his sovereignty by using a pagan prophet to bless his people.

God showed his control and care for his people by intervening in the plans of King Balak and Balaam time after time. We continue to count the times because this hopeless duo has been trying to curse Israel for three chapters now, so they been at it for a while. You’d think that they would quit while they are ahead, right? Wrong; just like the other times they will now try a different strategy to make God’s people fall.

It’s like the old saying if at first you don’t succeed, then try and try again. So, Balaam has figured out that he can’t curse what God has blessed; however, he must have heard through the grape vines that Israel was prone to Idolatry and so he went that route with some help of the women of Moab. He was set on defiling or making God’s people unclean before the Lord!

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Saturday, July 16, 2022

PONDERING THE PARABLES – Part Nine

~ by James Fire

INTRODUCTION: Some of these parables have to do with our proper conduct as disciples, what to avoid and what to emulate.
Others of these parables speak of the LORD and Who He is as our Divine Guide, Savior, and Provider.

Parables are typically used to illustrate single points of truth, but seldom used as vehicles for doctrine in their entirety. Wherever one might draw a doctrinal truth from any parable, it must be verified by exposition of related Scripture.
The next article, Part Ten, will conclude this series on the parables of the New Testament.

The following parable speaks of humbleness and admonishes us against pride and self-exaltation:

LUKE 14:7-11
7 So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: 8 "When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; 9 "and he who invited you and him come and say to you, 'Give place to this man,' and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 "But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher.' Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted
.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 24

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

NUMBERS 24: “No Weapon Formed Against You Shall Prosper” – by James Fire
For the full message, watch it on the Facebook video!

INTRODUCTION: “Balaam laid aside the enchantments which he had previously depended on; he used no spells, nor charms, nor magic arts, finding that they did no good; it was fruitless to deal with the devil for a curse, when it was plain that God was determined resolutely to bless, NUM 24:1.

Sooner or later God will convince men of their folly in seeking after lying vanities, which cannot profit. To what purpose should Balaam seek for enchantment? He knew that God was untouchable.” ~ from Matthew Henry’s Commentary in NUMBERS 24

Not only did Balaam and his Canaanite company find occultic incantations useless, but this soothsayer discovered that GOD can even reveal His prophetic and blessed future for Israel to the likes of him and king Balak.

NUMBERS 24:1-4
1 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times, to seek to use sorcery, but he set his face toward the wilderness. 2 And Balaam raised his eyes, and saw Israel encamped according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him. 3 Then he took up his oracle and said: "The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor, The utterance of the man whose eyes are opened, 4 The utterance of him who hears the words of God, Who sees the vision of the Almighty, Who falls down, with eyes wide open
:

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Friday, July 8, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 23

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

NUMBERS 23: “The Saga of Sovereignty and Sorcery Continues” – James Fire

For the full message, watch it on the Facebook video.

INTRODUCTION:
“The Hebrew nation and its accomplishments under YHWH’s control had struck fear into the hearts of everyone in the path of their national advance [towards and into Canaan land]. The countries through which the incoming nation of Israel passed through faced not just the challenge of a new neighbor but also the progress of the Divine purpose in the world and history.

GOD said to Joshua, “No man shall be able to stand before you”.
No doubt word had spread from caravans on trade routes throughout the Middle East of a nation of Hebrew slaves, whose GOD defied and defeated the world power of their day, and their ten primary gods, Egypt. Then the Amalekites in the Sinai (EX 17), then the Amorites, and Moab and Midian; any hope and sense of security that the Hebrews would be stopped by the mighty city-state of Jericho was crushed to dust just like the hugely thick walls of that Canaanite capital! (From Zondervan’s Pictorial Encyclopedia).

In this section of NUMBERS 22 – 25 Balaam the mercenary soothsayer and sorcerer, along with the corruption of Israel is covered.
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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

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

INTRODUCTION
: From Barnes Notes we have the following:
In the epistles to the Philippians and to Philemon, written during his first imprisonment, Paul confidently looked forward to a release, and to a speedy departure from Rome. In this second epistle to Timothy, he had no such expectation. Thus he tells the Philippians, (PHIL 2:24) "I trust in the Lord, that I myself shall come shortly." See also PHIL 1:24. In the epistle to Philemon, PHILM 1:22, he says, "But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you."
In this epistle, however, the author had no such expectation.
2 TIMOTHY 4:6,
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness
.

After what some calculate to be about thirty five years in the ministry as an apostle of Jesus Christ, “Paul the aged” is nearing the end of his race. He must soon say goodbye to this world, and to those who he labored with, and most especially the one he referred to as “my true son in the faith”, Timothy. In this, Paul’s last epistle before his execution, he referred to the young man as “a beloved son”.

The tone of this last epistle has a somberness to it, of deep intimacy with this young man who learned much from the elder and apostle. There is a great deal of admonition here, a directness regarding Paul charge to Timothy and a reminder for faithful stewardship.
If first impressions are lasting impressions, then last words are most remembered words.

Can you imagine what it must have been like to have someone like Paul of Tarsus as your personal tutor? A vast intellect, a profound scholarship, a fiery passion, and a warrior’s heart was Paul the apostle.
In contrast, we had Timothy the timid, the sensitive, the thoughtful, devoted to his elders, an avid student and one that had a good reputation (ACTS 16:1-2) which Paul attested and agreed (with the assessment of others regarding this pastor).

The sorrow of this departure between mentor and disciple, and of father and son is but a momentary sorrow; our sorrow is not like that of the ungodly – for they have no hope after death, and we have every hope, placed solely upon the risen LORD of Glory Who defeated sin, death and hell, the LORD Jesus Christ (1 THESS 4:13)!

Like Paul, may we at the end of our own lives say,

2 TIMOTHY 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith
:

So let’s get into the first chapter of this last epistle of the apostle Paul:

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