Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

The Bible Genesis Chapter 5 is primarily a timeline showcasing the first 1,656 years after Adam was created, and before the Great Flood on the Earth, providing a genealogy ancestry slice from Adam to Noah and his three sons Sham, Ham, and Japheth. Like any history with many dates and people, understanding and picturing this can be a challenge. The Time-Spans Timeline^2 Squared chart presented here shows the timeline in a novel way to how it is usually depicted. This one-page chart highlights the (1) birth years (2) father & sons, (3) longevities (ages), (4) relative years since Adam was created, and (5) overlapping lifespans visualizations.

Genesis 5 Timeline Squared One-Pager

Genesis 5 Timeline Squared One-Pager

You can use the above timespan chart to answer numerous timeline based trivia questions, like the following:

Genesis Chapter 5 Trivia: // Besides other sons & daughters
(1) Who was alive when Enoch was on Earth?
(2) Who could Jared not get to know?
(3) Who was Enosh’s Grandfather?
(4) Who lived a longer lifespan than Adam?
(5) Whose disclosed lifespan was the shortest?
(6) Who died 1,290 years after Adam was created?
(7) Who was Jared’s Great Grandfather?
(8) How long after Enosh was Jared Born?
(9) Who would have had no chance to know Noah?
(10) Who lived at right time to know all mentioned by name?

The Bible Genesis Chapter 5, while primarily a written recorded textual timeline, also contains a few special verses outside the timeline.

Genesis 5:1 (ESV): 1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.

God re-iterated that humankind was created in his image, which means in the context of scriptures that people with God’s divine intervention, have the ability to be holy, loving, kind, generous, forgiving, and merciful like God. Jesus Christ who came as the Savior of the World, as the Son of God, who lived a perfect life, died to bear the sins of many people who are repentant and come to a living & enduring & growing faith. Jesus Christ is the way we come to know the truth about this life of ours, and come to know God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 5:2 (ESV): 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.

Because God made humankind, starting with Adam and Eve, with the ability to reproduce, future generations of Adam and Eve are a result of the biological reproduction processes Our Creator established.

The Bible Genesis Chapter 5 lifespans illustrate an untapped scientific & behavioral opportunity to increase our lifespans to hundreds of years. At the time of this writing, many people considered to live a full life have lifespans ranging from 70 to 120 years. Whether humankind will find out the secret to longer life spans is presently unknown, yet God illustrated the potential exists. At this juncture, it is speculation on whether humankind in following God and searching the sciences will be granted access to this door to longevity.

Genesis 5:28-29 (ESV): 28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son 29 and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.”

The statement of Lamech who fathered Noah, foreshadows the the importance placed upon the birth of Noah. As history unfolded after hundreds of years, God sends a great flood upon the Earth. God spares Moses and his wife, and his sons, and their wives, and pointed to a brighter future for humankind.

Genesis 5:24 (ESV): 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

To better understand the mystery of how God took Enoch, please see the related presentation on the Bible Genesis Creation Account at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/bible-genesis-creation-account and the related post at https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/bible-genesis-creation-account-universe-tools-paradigm-comparison-literal-creator-days/, which covers Genesis Chapter 1 & 2 in the context of scriptures, and answers question about the time Our Creator used in designing, rending, and operating Our Universe. The key point is how Enoch walked with God can be thought of as similar to how digital application programs are ported from platform to platform. God is likewise able to port people to Eternal Life or Torment Forever, depending upon a righteous judgement based upon the life each person has lived. Like Elijah later, Enoch was taken & did not die. One wonders if all humankind, before our fall into sin with its’ death penalty, was originally to have this option to graduate from life on Earth to be taken by God to have a close relationship with God in Heaven.

You are welcome to download the Bible Genesis 5 Timeline Squared Presentation PDF, at https://bibleopia.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/bible-genesis-5-timeline-squared-pdf.pdf which also contains the answers to the trivia questions posed earlier.

Read Full Post »

God's Sovereignty Control Chance ChoiceAcross the world, people wonder how much is predetermined & predestined (see related Ephesians 1 Audience article). What must happen that we can do nothing about? What is fate? Where does our free will come in during this life? The answer to these questions significantly impacts one’s world view and even how God‘s own scriptures are understood. In the Christian community, people agree that God is Sovereign, yet what does that mean in terms of God’s control, our choices, and chance itself? While there are over-simplificiations out there, what does the Bible have to say?

Chance Under the Sun:

What does the Bible say about Chance? Does it exist? Even if it exists, is it marginal? Does chance impact people’s life?

The Wise King Solomon shares in our Biblical Scriptures that chance happens to people in many areas of life.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 (ESV): 11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

The scripture shares from our viewpoint, from observing how the world works, that chance does exist, chance is not marginal, and chance impacts people’s lives.

Chance impacts the outcomes of battles within a war, who wins competitions, the food you have to eat, how wealthy or poor you will be, and whether you’ll be treated favorably in this life.

Chance Under the Son of God:

What did the Son of God say about Chance?

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is one with God, who existed before Our Universe was created, who is greater than King Solomon, speaks to us about being a good neighbor, and about the presence of chance, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10:29-37 (ESV): 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

The Son of God revealed God the Father‘s divine message, and God’s divine message recognizes chance. Clearly Jesus could have revealed any other message, like that by the Divine Providence of God, the Priest was made to pass by there. Jesus clearly acknowledges chance was the reason. The Divine perspective by the co-creator of Our Universe is that chance is real, that chance definitely exists, and that chance influences who is in & out of our lives.

Chance under God’s Sovereignty:

Do you find the Wise Revelations of King Solomon and the Divine Revelation of Jesus Christ the Son of God concerning the presence of chance as disturbing? Even the highly respected scientist / theorist Albert Einstein found it unpalatable, saying:

“God does not play dice with the universe.” — Albert Einstein, The Born-Einstein Letters 1916-55, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/2669-god-does-not-play-dice-with-the-universe

Does chance undermine God’s Sovereignty?  How can God be Sovereign even in the midst of chance?

Let’s consider a thought experiment, which is a common tool scientists use to understand complexity. This thought experiment will illustrate how chance exists without undermining God’s Sovereignty.

Most everyone is familiar with the game of tic tac toe. Imagine you were playing a game with an opponent who is invincible. Even if you made random moves, you would still be unable to win. The game itself at best results in a tie when playing with an invincible player. Think about God’s Sovereignty in the same way. No randomness in the game play undermines God’s Sovereignty in any way by design.

Choice in Our Universe:

The Divine Word of God illustrates many choices people have, as already elaborated upon on the topic of “What Choice Do You Have?” .  To Summarize, People have Choices like the following:

God tells the truth and does not lie. God gives you legitimate choices. God wishes for you to pick blessings, but will let you pick curses. Pick Wisely!

Choice under God’s Sovereignty:

Does choice undermine God’s Sovereignty?  How can God be Sovereign even in the midst of choice?

Let’s consider the other side of that same thought experiment, except this time with choice rather than chance. A thought experiment is a common tool scientists use to understand complexity. This thought experiment will illustrate how choice exists without undermining God’s Sovereignty.

Most everyone is familiar with the game of tic tac toe. Imagine you were playing a game with an opponent who is invincible. Even if you use your intellect to makes the most intelligent move choices, you would still be unable to win. The game itself at best results in a tie when playing with an invincible player. Think about God’s Sovereignty in the same way. No deliberate choice in the game play undermines God’s Sovereignty in any way by design.

Control under God:

What are ways in which God institutes control in our world, to optimize the outcomes that result in the midst of chance, choice, and the fallen character & fallen culture of humankind?

The entire Bible’s testifies into the ways God has intervened with promises and with actions in the 66 Books of Bible. God promised to send his Son Jesus Christ into the world to bear our sins. Jesus Christ came and offers to bear the sins of all who become true believers & followers of his.

  • God intervened with the flood, saving Noah and his immediate family
  • God used Prophets to warn Kings
  • God intervened in battles & wars
  • God appointed & disciplined Kings
  • God sent Prophets who delivered God’s message and performed miracles to help people
  • God performed miracles to heal others, feed people in need, bring people back to life, and to teach deep theological lessons about forgiveness
  • God transforms the personal & eternal character of those who diligently seek him with all their heart, mind, body, soul, and strength
  • God reminds us of our choices & responsibilities
  • God determines the bounds of the length of our days & the locations of our journeys, though is open to change those bounds upon request, under the right circumstances
  • Jesus Christ came back to the Earth after his death to testify again to the Divine & Eternal Truth & Life found in The Way

Even though God rested from adding new physical rules governing Our Universe after the 6 days of creation (see Bible Genesis Creation Account), God still intervenes in Our Creation for the benefit of our souls.

The Wise King Solomon also acknowledges that although chance exists, God is able to intervene in chance.

Proverbs 16:33 (ESV): 33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

This verse does not preclude God from deciding that the outcome is to be determined by chance, yet rather asserts God’s ability & right to intervene in a way that looks like it was just chance.

This means that just as many people have seen God acting in the world through what seemed like chance fluke outcomes, that at least in some of those cases, it was God acting, even though it’d be difficult to prove at times.

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”, Albert Einstein, The World as I See It, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/14140-coincidence-is-god-s-way-of-remaining-anonymous

Even though much encouragement can be gained from observing these events, make sure your faith rests on the firm foundation of God’s Word. Likewise, looking back at the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus does not reveal whether the Samaritan was there by chance, or by God’s intervention.

Control under the Son of God:

The ultimate control over all is in the process of being handed over by God the Father to God the Son, Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (ESV): 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Because all people have sinned, except for Jesus, all deserve death for their wrongdoing. Jesus’ life & death provided a way for those who were enemies of God, to become God’s friends, and to obtain forgiveness of sins and everlasting life (reference Hebrews 2 (ESV) at BibleGateway.com and Romans 6 (ESV))

God is Sovereign in the Midst of Chance & Choice:

The analogy to use Tic Tac Toe provides a simple way for people to understand these very complex and robust concepts about God’s Sovereignty & Control in the midst of Chance & Choice in our life.

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d...

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am optimistic that many who are presently secular will be able to understand this mystery, since a very similar analogy is present in the 1983 science fiction movie War Games. The basic premise is that a self-aware computer gets the codes necessary to start nuclear war, and only by running several simulations of Nuclear War and Tic Tac Toe does the self-aware computer grasp finally that there is no guaranteed way to win.

In the context of religion, understand that there is no way to win against God, yet the way to win, is with God, through his Son Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 54:16-17 (ESV): 16 Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; 17 no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

God ran the necessary calculations & setup the appropriate controls & contingency plans ahead of time to ensure it, even though the calculations are more complex than Tic Tac Toe or Global Nuclear War scenarios. To understand more how creation & calculations are intertwined, refer to the Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm.

Games like Tic Tac Toe and even more advanced games like Chess are generally understood to lead to ties, if neither side made any mistakes. Satan the Devil will  will face final defeat, having already made a mistake by rebelling against God (Ezekiel 28 (ESV), and by tempting humankind to fall away from God (see Genesis 3 (ESV)). God is Sovereign, and worthy to receive all the honor, power, and glory (see Revelation 4 (ESV))

For those who find chance and choice distasteful, rest in this assurance, that God is Sovereign whether or not you accept the realities of chance and choice. You can also comfort yourself, knowing you are in well-respected company, as even the honored scientist Albert Einstein found that concept distasteful, despite investigations of Our Universe pointing to the conclusion that God does play dice with the Universe. The thought experiments introduced complement scriptural illustrations to show God plays dice with the Universe responsibly. 

Each person has the responsibility to seek God and his righteousness to live in faith, being faithful to God.

Romans 5:1-4 (ESV): 1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Seeking always to do what is right out of faith is expected of everyone, regardless of your viewpoints on God’s Sovereignty, Chance, Choice, Predestination, Election, and Calling. While people might want to debate these Paradigms, never miss your own personal responsibility, so you’ll accompany fellow believers in the New Heaven and New Earth for eternity.

The Wise King Solomon recognized that many aspects in life are subject to time & _________________.

Jesus, the Son of God, revealed that ______________ exists in life.

You have the responsibility to ___________ good or evil.

You have a ___________ to seek God’s righteousness.

God plays dice with the Universe _____________.

There is no way to ______ against God, yet the way to ________, is with God, through his Son _______ _______.

Credits:

Read Full Post »

Scan of a DVD 4.5 capacity disk

Scan of a DVD 4.5 capacity disk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People in God’s Image:

God created people in his image to be able to aspire to become increasingly like God as people increase in knowledge & experiences throughout their lives.

Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV): 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Computer Software Images:

Likewise when computers are setup physically or virtually, they are often setup from a software image containing Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) provided operation system (O/S) & applications, or tailored configurations & applications for specific audiences & purposes.

Original Human Image:

The original image God provided for people’s mind & soul was not corrupted by sin & evil, just like buyers typically expect software images purchased & acquired to be free of viruses, malware, and other harmful programs. Our human image was originally an uncorrupted version of the image of God, and in the image of the Son of God, who came later as Jesus the Savior, who is one in essential character with God the Father.

Character Choice for Good and Evil:

Just like God has the choice of whether to choose good versus evil, so also people faced that same choice. God’s character, being solid, and unchanging, always chooses to be good, while people’s character had yet to be fully formed through their life experiences. Operating system platforms with included applications are typically very flexible. Likewise, God is very capable. So too people had a very capable platform in their mind & soul, which even supports upgrades, whether good or not.

Originally Narrow Path to Sin:

In the Garden of Eden, God mercifully setup a narrow path for people to limit their opportunities to sin, even though they could rebelliously & distrustfully choose that path. God narrowed this opportunity around whether to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God clearly instructed Adam & Even not to eat it. God advised the adverse outcome to be their death if they chose to eat it.

With Humanity & Choice, Comes Temptation: 

When Jesus the Son of God came to the Earth, Jesus was tested & tempted by the Devil, who is also known as Satan. God never subjects anyone to testing & temptations beyond their ability. While being tempted is not sinful, succumbing to evil is sinful. It is reasonable to expect that Satan had to secure God’s permission to tempt Adam & Eve, or negotiate terms under which they could be tempted, since this was similarly Job’s circumstance.

Limits to Human Wisdom:

It’d be wonderful if with freedom of choice also came perfect decision-making. King Solomon, the wisest person on Earth, even made poor decisions, despite having a multitude of counselors available & knowing advisors are valuable. The net result is there are limits to human wisdom. The Universe Tools Paradigm perspective is that Our Universe is being driven behind the scenes by computations. This perspective makes it apparent that the computation power of just a few pounds of material in the human mind is limited compared to city, county, continent, planet, solar system, galaxy, and cosmos size computational power. The net result is a proper character must underlie decision-making. This human character must be informed by God’s advice & involvement through faith.

The Decision & It’s Propagation:

Just like parents want the best for their children, and yet can not make the choices for their children as they mature, so too God had to permit people to make choices as they matured. While God provided good advice, it was disregarded deliberately, as was further consultation with God on that decision bypassed. When Adam & Eve decided to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil in midst of the Garden of Eden, it was a decision that corrupted their image. By analogy, this is like computer software’s image being corrupted so badly it can not be trusted nor easily rectified. When that corrupted image is duplicated to additional physical or virtual machines, the corruption is propagated. When Adam & Eve had children, this propagated the corrupted image.

You Reap what You Sow:

As people are aware today, there are so many ways to sin, that it is very easy to sin in thought, word, and deed, with the way to eternal punishment being a wide path. The original sin sown by Adam & Eve to disregard God’s voice reaped our human tendency to pick from a world full of sinful choices baked into our character. People are brought to justice when they use software in sinful ways, and efforts are made to eliminate that software. What is your recourse as a person, when your “mind & heart & soul image” is sinful and guilty? Even if your image were fixed, you would still be guilty of past offenses, and deserve to reap eternal punishment.

Ten Commandments Reveal Vulnerabilities:

The God-given Ten Commandments provide instructions on what God expects. Because our character has been corrupted, the Ten Commandments also serve to show that people have this corrupted image. To a certain degree, this is like intrusion detection software / anti-virus software identifying the signature of infections and viruses. The Ten Commandments reveal where vulnerabilities are, just like penetration testers often do with software & hardware platforms. While the Ten Commandments are strong in identifying corrupted images, they are weak as they justly sentence the entire individual image to eternal quarantine away from what is good & right.

New Incorruptible Image:

What is needed is an incorruptible image that is fully human, yet is fully righteous as God is, so that the compromised & corrupted image can be replaced with an updated incorruptible image. Jesus, the Son of God, as the Savior of the World, entered into humanity. God implanted this perfect image in the virgin Mary, who later married Joseph. The Holy Spirit worked diligently, even in the womb, to ensure the Son of God’s image was fully imprinted to meet this challenge. This perfect image was different, in that it was a fully developed character, the character of Jesus the Son of God, in the person of Jesus Christ.

Fully Tested Incorruptible Image:

Unlike Adam & Eve, Jesus’ image was proven incorruptible. Jesus’ character stood up to temptation, hypocrisy, threats, punishment, and death, even a brutally painful death on the cross. Satan, the Devil, like the ultimate penetration tester and ultimate hacker, yet with ill intent, fully tested out this incorruptible image as unbreakable. Just like updated software, applications, networks, and services are tested in the real world, so Jesus the Son of God’s image was tested. This image proved secure.

Incorruptible Image Available to All People:

Through Faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God, this incorruptible image from Jesus the Savior is available to all people. Like a wise person building their house on a sure foundation is able to weather life’s storms, so too building our lives on this secure foundation of Jesus’ image by seeking & listening & following Jesus’ words is wise. This image upgrade process starts in this life, and finishes in the next life. To secure your future eternally, enroll for the upgrade to the only incorruptible image God is offering. It is the only human image ever proven secure! It is the secure image of Jesus Christ! People are inherently unable to make themselves & their image secure. Only with God’s intervention through Jesus Christ the Son of God are each individual persons’ image secured.

Secure Image Released from Eternal Punishment:

Even after starting an upgrade to the only secure image available, how would one become released from eternal punishment from past offenses committed previously by the corrupted image? The answer is the deserved punishment and quarantine was placed upon that secure image as well, as God temporarily forsook that secure image too, when death was wrongly inflicted upon the perfect uncorrupted image of Jesus Christ. This punishment could not justly remain on the secure image forever, being undeserved. Our goal is to have as much of the secure image of Jesus Christ in each of us, with as much of the older corrupted image eliminated as possible. This way, when judgement comes, God sees and rescues from eternal punishment that secure image in you, integrated with you, and you.

Read Full Post »

English: Square root of x formula. Symbol of m...

English: Square root of x formula. Symbol of mathematics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Christian theology, it is understood God is infinite. Jesus Christ as the Son of God came as a person as a Son of Man in bodily form.

Colossians 1:15-19 (ESV): 

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

In Jesus is the fullness of God, being one in character & nature with God. Since our brains weigh just a few pounds, a reasonable starting hypothesis is that people are finite. The question naturally arises as to whether the finite can embrace the infinite. The answer to this questions is found in mathematics and applied mathematics in the sciences. In mathematics reasoning, it is possible to represent the infinite with finite equations as is often done with Calculus, limits, and even simple algebraic equations. With proper reasoning and tools, the infinite is applied to decision processes. In science & engineering, while the answer can actually be finite, in cases where the answer  is infinite, for real world applications, the answers are approximated by the finite. This teaches us that at times there is an interplay between the finite and the infinite.

Colossians 1:24-29 (ESV): 

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ‘s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

This fullness of God is not meant to be limited to Christ alone, since God through his Son Jesus Christ is calling us to open the doors to our souls to welcome Christ within us. Embrace the Infinite! Embrace Jesus Christ!

Read Full Post »

A lens.

A lens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Viral Lens to Perceive Devil’s Work

Viewing the Devil’s influence via a “thought virus” lens adds insights into the Devil’s destructive nature. The effects of the Devil’s interference starting with Adam & Eve rippled throughout humanity, leading to massive waves of death, lying, steeling, infidelity, bribery, abuse, despair, bitterness, hostility, disease propagation, warfare, envy, and many more problematic behaviors, intents, and mindsets.

Electron micrograph of monkeypox virus.

Electron micrograph of monkeypox virus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Propagation of Viruses

Just like a virus can make a person sick, the Devil’s way of approaching the world harms peoples’ mental & spiritual health, and in several circumstances their physical health too via resulting unhealthy living. As a virus can spread from host to host, so the Devil’s influence spreads from person to person.

Virus Types

While only some viruses are harmful to healthy people, the D

evil’s influence is like a harmful virus type. The Devil’s ways destroy people’s lives, leading people to contribute to their own downfall, from the rich to middle class to poor. Partial impacts are often seen in this lifetime, where people’s behaviors lead to addictions, broken relationships, and mistreatment of others. Without intervention, this ultimately presents a bleak outlook for one’s eternal destination & rewards.

Brain scanning technology is quickly approachi...

Brain scanning technology is quickly approaching levels of detail that will have serious implications (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thought Virus Medicine

Ultimately, the Devil seeks to have people remain in rebellion to God’s ways to deprive them of the medicine God offers. God’s “thought virus medicine” comes through following Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus Christ’s message and life show us the way to live according to God’s wisdom & expectations. Jesus’ message enables people to confront their destructive “thought viruses” and seek God’s power to challenge and evict them.

Love Leads to Virus Intervention

Jesus is the Son of God, and is one with God, because Jesus’ character is the essence of God’s character. God loves and cares for others and sees their potential. Just like a parent cares for their children, God wishes all people to be adopted as children, and constructs good plans. People who rebel undermine those good plans, just like wicked children find themselves in trouble, even with parents wanting the best for their children. Because God is loving, God sent his son Jesus Christ to intervene, to pull the willing away from the Devil’s dominance.

Blaster Virus

Blaster Virus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anti-Virus Protection

Jesus Christ lived this love by willingly coming to Earth to tell everyday people the truth and expose the hypocrisy and injustice often found in people & political & religious institutions and alliances. Jesus did this, despite the cost to his life via a brutal death on the cross. The Devil tempted the human-bound Jesus, who is the essence of God’s character in our bodily form, and Jesus won. Jesus chose what was right, even though limited like us. Jesus’ character is like a powerful anti-virus able to defeat the Devil’s temptations. When Christians are born again, it’s like installing this powerful anti-virus protection.

Genesis 3:3-5 (ESV):

3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

Job 1:6-12 (ESV):

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord

Matthew 4:1-11 (ESV):

4  Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,  “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5  Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

1 Peter 5:8 (ESV):

8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

 

Read Full Post »

Orthodox Church of the Ascension of Jesus Christ

Image via Wikipedia

When observing the Christian Church in one region wisely & lovingly collecting to support another Church, recall this is a reflection of the character and pattern of care and concern that true faith in Jesus Christ generates. While many Christians today wish to help out others even more effectively than they do now, unfortunately several government leaders, rulers, and laws deliberately interfere with such support and help to their people. As the Gospel of Jesus Christ permeates globally, one wonders if in our own lifetime, whether many of these strongholds that resist God’s will, and subvert his blessings, will be opened up, for us to witness meaningful changes and blessings sooner rather than later.

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 (ESV):

1 Now concerning  the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 2 On  the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up,  as he may prosper,  so that there will be no collecting when I come. 3 And when I arrive, I will send  those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.

Read Full Post »

Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deuteronomy ...

Image via Wikipedia

What is best for us is not what God permits but rather what God desires. God permits our fall, but desires our salvation. God permits our sin, but desires our righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ. God permits our stubbornness, yet desires our repentance. God permits out hate, yet desires our love. God permits our foolishness, yet desires wise and loving decisions. God permits us to act in ways deserving judgment and justice, yet God prefers us to pick the path of mercy and forgiveness available through his resurrected Son.

Mark 10:2-9 (ESV):

2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” 5 And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Read Full Post »

Reapers Roadmap and Parable of the Sower

The Parable of the Sower directly maps to The Reapers Roadmap (The 9 R’s Roadmap) as the table below shows.  The seeds are God’s Word revealed in the Bible, which contains the Kingdom Message. The Sower (or farmer) is God, who is represented by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who by diverse means is revealing God’s Word. The ground types reflect people’s hearts, minds, and souls, and their receptiveness to God’s Word. The seed falling on the path where the evil one Snatches away the message that is not understood corresponds to an error recognizing and receiving the message on “Blinder’s Boulevard”. The seed that falls among the thorns and was unfruitful represents remaining and reaping errors due to life’s concerns and deceptions corresponds to “Rebel Road”, where resisting and rejecting occur. The seed that falls upon the rocky places corresponds to a person who joyfully receives the message, yet who quickly falls away due to the lack of deep roots, corresponding to rooting and remaining errors on “Rocky Road”.

Table: Parable of the Sower Mapped to The Reapers Roadmap
Symbol Symbolizes Related Roadways Roadmap
Sower / Farmer God Revealing Jesus Christ
Son of God
Seeds God’s Word
Kingdom Message
Revealing The Bible
God’s Word
Ground Types (Path, Rocky Places, Among Thorns, Good Soil) People’s Hearts, Minds, Souls Reasoning
Recognizing

Receiving

Rooting
Remaining
Reaping
Roadways
Path: Birds Ate Lacks Understanding in Heart
Evil One Snatches Away
Reasoning
Recognizing Error
Receiving Error
“Blinders Boulevard”
Recognizing Error
Among Thorns: Choked Plants Deceitfulness of Wealth
Worries of Life &
Concerns of Life Choke
Making Unfruitful
Reasoning
Recognizing

Receiving

Rooting

Remaining Error
Reaping Error
“Rebel Road”
Resisting & Rejecting
Rocky Places: No Roots: Scorched Hears
Receives Joyfully
No Root
Trouble / Persecution
Falls Away Quickly
Reasoning
Recognizing

Receiving
Rooting Error
Remaining Error
“Rocky Road”
No Rooting
Good Soil: Yields Crop Hears the Word
Understands Message

Produces Crop
Yields 100x, 60x, 30x
Reasoning Recognizing
Receiving
Rooting

Remaining

Reaping
Repentance Raceway
Narrow Path to Eternal Life

View the Parable of the Sower Slideshare Presentation.

You can also directly view the Parable of the Sower presentation at the Slideshare link http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/parable-of-the-sower-and-reapers-roadmap-slide-share

See related “Parable of the Sower Explained” post at https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/parable-of-the-sower-explained-mind-map/

You are invited to learn more about the Parable of the Sower and The Reapers Roadmap by following this link:

https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/invitation-to-delve-deeply-into-the-parable-of-the-sower/

Read Full Post »

The journey to follow Christ Jesus leads to becoming a new creation who desires to do what is right, motivated by faith working with love, challenging ingrained fallen nature tendencies.

Galatians 6:15-16

15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

Read Full Post »

God bestows the gift of the Holy Spirit along with repentance leading to eternal life to those in all nations, peoples, and races who believe in Jesus Christ sincerely.

Acts 11:16-18

16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

Read Full Post »

Modern psychology shows there are ways to reprogram the brain to establish new habits and ways. God’s new covenant through Jesus Christ already includes changing our hearts and minds in the covenant package, provided we seek God, believe in him, and continue in the covenant.

Hebrews 8:10

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Read Full Post »

How many teachers ask you to administer the test to yourself? God provides this courtesy so you can make corrections, saving face, while you work to pass the divine test.

2 Corinthians 13:5

5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Read Full Post »

God allowed Satan to tempt both Job and Jesus, who both remained faithful. These examples are for us to have encouragement and endure when we are faced with challenging circumstances.

Luke 4:12-13 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Read Full Post »

Parable of the Sower Hand Drawn

The Parable of the Sower visual in a hand drawn in black and white. This type of visual is based upon Mind Map’s (TM) techniques developed by Tony Buzan http://www.imindmap.com .

Matthew 13: 1-9 (NIV):

1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9He who has ears, let him hear.

Next Steps

View the Parable of the Sower Slideshare Presentation.

You can also directly view the Parable of the Sower presentation at the Slideshare link http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/parable-of-the-sower-and-reapers-roadmap-slide-share

Continue your studies on the Parable of the Sower:

Invitation to Delve Deeply into the Parable of the Sower

https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/invitation-to-delve-deeply-into-the-parable-of-the-sower

Read Full Post »

Reapers Roadmap Parables & Parallels Perspectives Visual

Parables & Parallels Perspectives

The Reapers Roadmap (The 9 R’s Roadmap) is based upon the Parable of the Sower, which this visual maps to several Parables & Parallels Perspectives.  Like the original Reapers Roadmap (The 9 R’s Roadmap) visual, this serves as a summary slide with a particular perspective.  To increase your understanding, please review the original Reapers Roadmap (The 9 R’s Roadmap) materials, and the successive materials that elaborate on the revealing, reasoning, recognizing, receiving, rooting, remaining, and reaping focus areas, and the resisting & rejecting focus areas too.

God reveals his word, and we use our reasoning to recognize the truth about God, and his Son Jesus Christ, being careful to have reasonable standards of evidence. As believers who received the word of God, we are responsible to dig deep roots in God’s word in knowledge, faith, and action. God creates in believers a new heart, spirit, and inner creature, causing us to be born again, this time with a new spirit that follows God inwardly, and as a consequence, outwardly too. We can only be born again with God’s intervention, so we must seek God while he is open to being found by us. Building our lives upon Jesus, the Rock, practicing what God preaches, is wise, and causes us to weather the storms of life, standing firm. God keeps the souls of believers safe in his hands, since as we remain with God, God will remain with us.

As stewards of God’s word, we are called to plant, nourish, and care for it in our souls, by reading and practicing it ourselves, and sharing it with others.  God prunes our fruitful branches, and cuts off unfruitful ones, so we can be more productive.  That is, God shows us what we need to improve, to be on righteous path, doing good, following the truth, and being loving, even though these lessons can be challenging to swallow and embrace at the time.  Doing this will cause us to be fruitful, yielding large harvests, thanks to God providing the increase.

You can learn more from a vast array of teachers and preachers at One Place http://www.oneplace.com , which also contains several Bible translations http://bible.oneplace.com/bibles to study.

Next Steps:

View the Parable of the Sower Slideshare Presentation.

You can also directly view the Parable of the Sower presentation at the Slideshare link http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/parable-of-the-sower-and-reapers-roadmap-slide-share

Continue your studies on the Parable of the Sower:

Invitation to Delve Deeply into the Parable of the Sower

https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/invitation-to-delve-deeply-into-the-parable-of-the-sower

 

Read Full Post »

Reapers Roadmap Focus on Recognizing and Reasoning Visual

Review and then Focus on Recognizing and Reasoning

The Reapers Roadmap materials previously presented summarized how The Bible’s Gospel of John 1:10-13 and the “Parable of the Sower” found in Matthew 13:1-9 shows the way redemption typically happens, or regretfully fails to happen. That is, it shows how people come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, or choose another course both for their life on earth and more importantly for eternity.

John 1:9-13 (NIV): 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

God reveals his word and ways so people have the chance to learn more and get to know God better by applying their reason and strength. God presents his message both to Jews and Gentiles. Today, God through his word and the Holy Spirit calls to those who attend Christian Services and who hear God’s word elsewhere along life’s paths. In the “Parable of the Sower” this is like dropping seeds of God’s word along the path, as illustrated in the Bible in Matthew 13:1-9.

Parable of the Sower: Matthew 13: 1-9 (NIV): 1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.  2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”

Focus on Recognizing & Reasoning

Recall that many people have difficulty recognizing God when God’s word is revealed. It’s possible people find it inconvenient to learn more when they have others things they’d prefer to be doing. It’s possible prior choices have moved people increasingly further away from the path of life. Their past decisions then make it more difficult to understand God’s word when it is revealed.

Parable of the Sower Explained: Matthew 13:18 & 19 (NIV): 18Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.

The Stumbling Block

The scriptures identify the pride of human wisdom as a stumbling block to recognizing God, where people too quickly dismiss the truth, thinking what they have learned already makes them wiser, seeking the world’s wisdom rather than God’s. Scripture also explains people reject and ignore it on their own because they find the righteousness of God a discomfort, a stumbling block, compared to their own ideas of how God must be.

1 Corinthians 1:22-24 (NIV): 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

There are tremendous consequences for individuals and groups of people when they fail to recognize God, being too quick to favor their own reasoning and ideas above God’s. Here Jesus laments over Jerusalem, because their failure to recognize God in the present had far-reaching consequences into the future.

Luke 19:41-44 (NIV): 41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

Because God works through individual people to share his word, the ability to recognize God for most people, involves the skill to discern their beliefs, doctrines and understanding of Jesus as the Christ, the Savior of the World.

1 John 4:1-3 (NIV): 1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Lazarus and Rich Man

To recognize Jesus Christ, it’s critical that one also believes what has been recorded in the Bible prior to his coming, by the prophets and teachers like Moses, Abraham, King David, Solomon, Isaiah, Micah, and likewise other witnesses of God, the Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  God explains that evidence provided over thousands of years as to what to look for in the Savior Jesus Christ is absolutely abundantly adequate for people who are open to believing.  For those who wish to use their reasoning to disbelieve, to follow their own ways, and ignore God, even more fantastic evidence would just be discarded.  That is, if after so much evidence and miracles and prophesies, they are too little for a person’s impossible standards, well, their standards, methods, approaches, and motives to reasoning need serious review.

Luke 16:19-31 (NIV): 19 There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 ” ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ “

Star and Birth in Bethlehem

How is it that Jesus is understood and recognized as the way to God, as the Savior of the World?  The promises of God to send a savior involved several specifics, such as the birthplace as Bethlehem in the land of Judah.

Matthew 2:1-7 (NIV): 1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”  3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.  8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

The quote the Jewish people offered to King Herod was from the Jewish book of Micah 5:2.  Further examining the prophesy in Micah 5:2 reveals clues to recognize the identity and origins of the savior as from ancient times.

Micah 5:2 (NIV): 2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

The wise from the east, likely from the territory we’d name as the middle east today, travelled a long distance to give gifts to the savior Jesus, while still just a baby under the protective hand of God the Father, because they reverently recognized his importance.

Matthew 2:9-12 (NIV): 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Crucifixion & Burial & Resurrection Prophesies

The ancient prophesies about Jesus started to be fulfilled before his birth, then as a baby, and later into adulthood, followed also by his death, burial, and resurrection.  If you are open to evidence to help you use your reason to recognize God, there are 300 different prophecies about Jesus, The Christ, covered at the website http://bibleprobe.com/300great.htm , and several prophecies about Jesus as the Son of God come as on of us available at http://www.100prophecies.org/evidence.htm , and a yet another list of prophesies at the website http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/messianic.htm .

Beyond prophesies, the disciples of Jesus performed miracles in his name after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascent to heaven.  To understand how miracles are consistent with the science of world’s, visit the CreationOpia website at http://CreationOpia.WordPress.com to learn about that paradigm, to overcome limitations narrow science often portrays, by ignoring a broader spectrum of fields like computer science.

In Acts 4:9-14 is just one account of the miracles performed by the disciple Peter and John after Jesus’s death and resurrection to help you recognize Jesus Christ’s divinity, his ancient heavenly origins.

Acts 4:9-14 (NIV): 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is ” ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” 13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

Sow & Seek & Learn

As you seek to recognize the righteousness of God as revealed through Jesus Christ, follow through.  Do your part to learn God’s word, to plant the seeds of eternal life by being disciples who learn God’s word in the Bible.  Be open to letting go of grudges, forgiving others, and caring for others.  Show God you wish to turn from doing evil and repent from hating others.  This is summarized eloquently by the prophet Hosea in Hosea 10:12.

Hosea 10:12 (NIV): 12 Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.

You of your own reasoning can never fully know God.  Yet, God calls you to seek him while he can be recognized and found by you.  God wishes to see you searching for him, as yet another avenue for God to elect you to know him intimately, which is impossible to do unless God’s votes to elect you into his private circle.

Matthew 6:33 (NIV): 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Isaiah 55:5-9 (NIV): 5 Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.” 6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

So, once you are ordained into God’s favor, make your calling and election sure, through these guidelines the apostle Peter instructs us to follow to properly build upon our faith in Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:3-11 (NIV): 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Before this happens, recognize that God looks to see who will search for him, and who will turn to the Lord.

Psalm 53:2 (NIV): 2 God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.

Unfortunately, without guidance from God or from those who know God, no one is wise to seek God on their own.

Psalm 53:3 (NIV): 3 Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

So, God choses to inform people we know about God and the wisdom of God.  This is so they can reflect that wisdom and knowledge to us.  The reflecting provides us a reasonable option, the choice, the chance to recognize and come to know God.  God sent prophets and other messengers to inform us of God’s will, wisdom, and ways.  The apostle Paul, whom God blinded, restored vision, and revealed his word, was chosen by God for this purpose from birth.

Galations 1:13-17 (NIV): 13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.

Righteousness by Faith

The apostle Paul sought to teach others to recognize the correct view of God, that can only be known through the redemptive faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  It is so important to have the correct view of God.  Those teaching a different gospel will be eternally condemned by God!  Wow!  So, search deeply the scriptures contained in The Bible, join a church that teaches that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, and watch out, be on guard for any false teachings that are contrary to the written revealed word of The Bible.

Galations 1:6-10 (NIV): 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

What is the message to which the apostle Paul speaks to have us recognize? It is the message that, although we are undeserving, God has promised grace to those who believe, whom Jesus Christ will justify by paying the penalty of death required of sinners. Jesus Christ is able to pay the penalty, because he bore the cost for us when he was unjustly crucified on the cross for our sins.

Galations 2:15-21 (NIV): 15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. 17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

True Faith Accompanied by Actions

Because we are justified by faith rather than works, does this mean that faith is without works? Quite the contrary, faith is perfected by works. Works are evidence of faith. Yet, works can never justify those who sinned already. True faith is accompanied by works. Faith without works is dead. Recognize that doing good never justifies any wrong we’ve done.

James 2:14-18 (NIV): 14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

There are many people who honestly believe there is one God, even acknowledge and recognize Jesus Christ as God.  Does that mean they are saved?  During Jesus’ life work, several demons recognized Jesus as the holy one, yet they were not saved.  So, what type of faith are we talking about?  Academic faith that acknowledges and recognizes who the one true God is only?  No, much more than an academic faith.  True faith is strong enough to manifest itself in action and in heartfelt obedience to God.  True faith loves and forgives and repents and obeys.  True faith envelops ones mind, heart, and figuratively, one’s hands.

James 2:19-26 (NIV): 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

True faith relies upon God’s promises to those who are sincere and faithful.

Romans 10:6-13 (NIV): 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Ask God to Increase Belief & Decrease Unbelief

In what category is your faith?  Ask God to help you to recognize him and have faith accompanied by works and to help you both to bolster your belief and to overcome your unbelief.

Matthew 9:24 (NIV): 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Recognizing & Reasoning: Further Study

To recognize God correctly, requires your reasoning, and recurring reading and reflection upon God’s Word found in The Bible at websites like The Bible Gateway http://www.biblegateway.com and an audio bible at http://www.audio-bible.com/nasb .  You can help your reasoning and recognizing skills by listening to preachers like Miles McPherson at the http://www.therocksandiego.org and Pastor Chris Rowney at http://www.tcfnet.org.au , who entertain, educate, and edify, and use multimedia  formats like Apple iTunes.  Finding a local church that follows Jesus and recognizes his divinity can also help you to better learn more about Jesus.

Key Points: Recognizing & Reasoning

  1. Without God reaching out to people, people would never __________ God and would instead pursue their own fallen ways. Even when God reaches out and _______ his word, many people experience difficulty recognizing it. The pride of human _______ can be a stumbling block to recognizing God’s wisdom. Failure to recognize God in the present has far-reaching ___________ into the future.
  2. The account of Lazarus and the rich man teaches us that the scriptural _________ over thousands of years are sufficient for the open-minded to recognize Jesus Christ, and even more evidence would be ________ by the close-minded.
  3. The _______ men recognized Jesus even as an infant, reasoning from scriptural prophesies. Hundreds of specific scriptural ________ testify that Jesus is the promised messiah by announcing beforehand Jesus’ life, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. The ________ by the Apostles in Jesus’ name further showcase God’s continued witness.
  4. God wishes to see people _______ for him, for him to show them _______.  The only way to reach God’s righteousness is through _______ in Jesus Christ rather than the _____ of the law.
  5. True _____ confesses Jesus is Lord. It loves, forgives, repents, and obeys. It is perfected and accompanied by ______ emanating from heartfelt obedience to God and a _______ that God raised Jesus from the dead.
  6. You are responsible to make your ______ and ______ sure” by making every effort to add in increasing measure to your faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love as scriptures prescribe. “If you do these things, you will never _____” and “you will receive a ______ welcome into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
  7. When you have doubts, recognize your current _______ level and pray to God to help you overcome your ________, to be most effective in recognizing and following God.

Discussion Questions: Recognizing & Reasoning

(1) When you learned about the religious leader (the Pharisee) and the tax collector, what does that tell you about the dangers of religiosity, and the importance to be humble before God and ask forgiveness for your sins?

(2) What in life do you believe in despite your doubts? How come you still believe? How does that relate to your beliefs & doubts about God?

(3) Were you surprised to learn that God expected you to responsibly tend to the quality of your soil? What can you do to make yourself to have “ground” receptive to God’s words which are designed to benefit you?

(4) Often time early impressions are difficult to overcome despite being inaccurate. Does your early impression about Jesus’ life offend you or those you know? How so? Are you or they able to suspend their offense long enough to learn more about God to overcome this early impression?

(5) What evidence standards do you apply for believing in past events? What are your evidence standards for identifying whether to believe in God and his Son Jesus based upon God’s historical interventions? What is reasonable?

(6) Does it make sense for an eternal God to prophesy thousands of years ahead of time about the sending a Savior? What is the benefit to using symbols in the sky to accompany prophesies? Would it surprise you to know scientific astronomy software showed the Star of Bethlehem occurred historically? (Learn more at the website http://www.bethlehemstar.net/ about the Star of Bethlehem DVD)

(7) How many Prophesies about Jesus our Savior are you aware of? What are the key Prophesies for you? Why?

(8) Is it more important who you are becoming, who you follow, or what you do? How would you expect who you are becoming and who you follow to result in what you do? What things can you learn about what a person is following by observing what they do? What are the limits of observation and how does hypocrisy manifest those limits?

Next Steps

Continue your studies on the Parable of the Sower:

Invitation to Delve Deeply into the Parable of the Sower

https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/invitation-to-delve-deeply-into-the-parable-of-the-sower

Hand Drawn Recognizing & Reasoning Roadmap

Reapers Roadmap 9 R's Focus on Recognizing and Reasoning Hand Drawn

Key Points: Recognizing & Reasoning: Answers

  1. Without God reaching out to people, people would never    recognize    God and would instead pursue their own fallen ways. Even when God reaches out and    reveals    his word, many people experience difficulty recognizing it. The pride of human    wisdom   can be a stumbling block to recognizing God’s wisdom. Failure to recognize God in the present has far-reaching    consequences    into the future.
  2. The account of Lazarus and the rich man teaches us that the scriptural    evidence    over thousands of years are sufficient for the open-minded to recognize Jesus Christ, and even more evidence would be    discarded / rejected    by the close-minded.
  3. The    wise    men recognized Jesus even as an infant, reasoning from scriptural prophesies. Hundreds of specific scriptural    prophesies    testify that Jesus is the promised messiah by announcing beforehand Jesus’ life, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. The    miracles    by the Apostles in Jesus’ name further showcase God’s continued witness.
  4. God wishes to see people    searching    for him, for him to show them    mercy   .  The only way to reach God’s righteousness is through    faith    in Jesus Christ rather than the    works    of the law.
  5. True    faith    confesses Jesus is Lord. It loves, forgives, repents, and obeys. It is perfected and accompanied by    actions / works / deeds    emanating from heartfelt obedience to God and a    belief    that God raised Jesus from the dead.
  6. You are responsible to make your     calling    and    election    sure” by making every effort to add in increasing measure to your faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love as scriptures prescribe. “If you do these things, you will never    fail   ” and “you will receive a    rich    welcome into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
  7. When you have doubts, recognize your current    belief    level and pray to God to help you overcome your    unbelief   , to be most effective in recognizing and following God.


Read Full Post »

Reapers Roadmap Focus on Resisting and Reasoning Visual

Reapers Roadmap Review (The 9 R’s Roadmap) and then Focus on Resisting & Reasoning

The Reapers Roadmap materials previously presented summarized how the Bible’s Gospel of John 1:10-13 and the “Parable of the Sower” found in Matthew 13:1-9 shows the way redemption typically happens, or regretfully fails to happen. That is, it shows how people come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, or choose another course both for their life on earth and more importantly for eternity.

John 1:9-13 (NIV): 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

God reveals his word and ways so people have the chance to learn more and get to know God better by applying their reason and strength. God presents his message both to Jews and Gentiles. Today, God through his word and the Holy Spirit calls to those who attend Christian Services and who hear God’s word elsewhere along life’s paths. In the “Parable of the Sower” this is like dropping seeds of God’s word along the path, as illustrated in the Bible in Matthew 13:1-9.

Parable of the Sower: Matthew 13: 1-9 (NIV): 1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.  2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.

Resisting & Reasoning Review

Many people know and have heard God’s word is good, yet resist and ignore it to their own present and eternal detriment. Some suspect obeying God will mean turning from their sinful ways and lifestyles that they want to continue. Some fear society will impart a cost like rejection and reduced influence in life. Some are worried their wealth outlook in life will be reduced by choosing what is right. Similarly, the parable of the sower presents the worries of life and deceitfulness of wealth as the reasons. These people use their reasoning capability to decide it’s better to focus on other things in life, so they’d rather ignore, resist, and reject God’s word, than to seek it out with their whole heart, mind, and body.

Parable of the Sower Explained: Matthew 13:22 (NIV): 22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.

We see God’s sorrow for Israel, as they resist God, and willingly forgo God’s generous grace and mercy, that God’s will prefers, and longs for them to embrace.

Matthew 23:37 (NIV): 37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.

The time each person has to search for and recognize God and God’s word is limited, while God can be found, as the scripture reveals in Isaiah 55:6, so it’s important to learn the truth when the opportunity presents itself.

Isaiah 55:6 (NASB): 6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.

Focus on Resisting & Reasoning

Jesus has authorized his followers to reveal to the world what he shared in secret, even though the world often resists and rejects it.

Matthew 10:27 (NIV): 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.

Those who resist God’s word have been known to resort to name calling, physical abuse, betrayal, hatred, and killing too.

Matthew 10:17-25 (NIV): 17 “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!

Those who resist and reject God’s good news of grace through belief are subjected to God’s law, which exposes their guilt, obligations, and condemnation.  It is much better to receive God’s word and sincerely seek to understand it, so as to receive God’s grace and mercy guaranteed by his promises, rather than judgement.

1 Timothy 1:8-11 (NIV): 8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

When opposed, Jesus the Son of God stressed the importance to believe in the miracles, to come to know the truth of his identity, even for those who were currently not of his flock.

John 14:11 (NIV): 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

Because of this, it’s important to learn more about Jesus’ miracles, and how those miracles mirror and match the work God performed prior to his coming.  The Bible shows several prophets who worked through God to perform miracles and also shows Jesus the Son of God performing similar miracles.  For those who are scientifically inclined, and wish to know how science is consistent with miracles, you can later read the CreationOpia blog at http://CreationOpia.WordPress.com to understand a paradigm that provides a scientific vantage point on God’s performing miracles.

Miracles: God and the Son of God

There are several miracles that God performed prior to sending the Son of God, Jesus Christ who performed similar miracles according to God’s will.  These miracles include resurrections, healings, controlling nature, and feeding people.

Resurrections

The prophet Elijah asked God and the boy was raised back to life by God.

1 Kings 17: 17-24 (NIV): 17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” 19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” 22 The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” 24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

Likewise, Jesus the Son of God raised Jairus’ daughter back to life.

Mark 5:35-43 (NIV): 35 While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?” 36 Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” 37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” ). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

A widow’s son was made alive again by Jesus the Son of God.

Luke 7:11-17 (NIV): 11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.14 Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

Jesus the Son of God also restored Lazarus’ life after he’d already been dead four days.

John 11:38-43 (NIV): 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.

Healings

Prior to Jesus, Elisha, a prophet and messenger from the Lord, healed Naaman, the commander of King Aram’s army, of a skin disease.

2 Kings 5:9-16 (NIV): 9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”  11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage. 13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. 15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant.” 16 The prophet answered, “As surely as the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

Likewise, Jesus the Son of God cured people of their skin disease too.

Luke 5:12-16 (NIV): 12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.

Luke 17:11-19 (NIV): 11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosymet him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.

Controlling Nature

Jonah was sent by God to preach to the great city Nineveh about their upcoming destruction because of their wickedness, in a place located in the middle east today.  The great city contained 120,000 people, plus many animals, and usually took 3 days to travel from end-to-end.  Jonah was disobedient and went the other way on a ship headed for Spain.  God sent a storm by Jonah was sleeping.  God calmed the storm after Jonah was thrown into the sea.

Jonah 1:11-17 (NIV): 11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”  12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” 13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried to the LORD, “O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him. 17 But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

At Jesus’ the Son of God’s word the storms calmed.

Luke 8: 22-25 (NIV): 22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. 24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

Feedings

God provided food called manna in the desert for Israel on their way to the promised land.

Exodus 16:4-5 (NIV): 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

Exodus 16:31-32 (NIV): 31 The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the desert when I brought you out of Egypt.’ “

Jesus fed 5,000 men plus women and children, starting with only 5 bread loaves and 2 fishes.

Luke 9:13-17 (NIV): 13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

More Miracles Ahead

Jesus performed many miracles.  Further miracles performed include healing a paralytic (see Luke 5:17-26), healing a shrivelled hand (see Luke 6:6-11), curing a centurion’s servant (see Luke 7:1-9), and more that you can learn about further in the Bible in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John at the Net Bible Online http://www.netbible.org , which also contains information on the original Greek words with translators notes.  For those who are scientifically inclined, and wish to know how science is consistent with miracles, you can later read the CreationOpia blog at http://CreationOpia.WordPress.com to understand a paradigm that provides a scientific vantage point on God’s performing miracles.

Keep Reasoning to Question Any Resisting Before It’s Too Late

Jesus, the Son of God, intercedes with the God the Father, on our behalf, to provide us the opportunity to learn more about God, so we can believe and repent from our wrongdoing.  Be happy that God has provided you an opportunity to learn more, consider your ways, learn about God’s ways, and to repent.

Luke 13:1-9 (NIV): 1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 ” ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’

Go and learn more, knowing the time each person has to search for and recognize God and God’s word is limited, while God can be found, as the scripture reveals in Isaiah 55:6.

Isaiah 55:6 (NASB): 6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.

The website http://www.biblica.com/bible/audio contains audio versions of the bible in the New International Version (NIV) and Today’s NIV (TNIV) translations, while the website http://www.biblegateway.com contains various textual translations, plus links to audio too.  As the bible can be difficult to understand clearly, recommend you listen to preachers at http://www.sermonaudio.com .  You can also reference sermon audio, books, and articles online at http://www.desiringgod.org too.

Key Points: Resisting & Reasoning

  1. Because God cares for how people turn out, God is ________ when people are unwilling to follow his wise council since God knows the disastrous eternal consequences.
  2. Excessively _______ about life and obsessively pursuing the deceitfulness of _______ causes many to _______ and _______ God’s life plans personally.
  3. People who ______ and ______ God’s will personally are often found oppressing God’s people collectively.
  4. Believe Jesus’ ______ directly or believe the evidence of the _________, to come to know the truth about Jesus’ identity.
  5. Recorded __________ miracles teach us God’s power over death, like when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter and the widow’s son and Lazarus, and Elijah raising the woman’s son.
  6. Amazing ________ miracles demonstrate God’s supremacy over our human body like when Elisha and Jesus cured skin diseases.
  7. Shocking miracles controlling ________ exhibit God’s dominance over creations’ physical elements, like the storm resting when Jonah was thrown overboard, and Jesus calming the fierce lake storm with his rebuke.
  8. God’s ________ miracles showcase the extremes God goes to provide, like when God provided _______ in the desert for Israel and Jesus provided for thousands, with only 5 bread loaves and 2 fishes.
  9. Jesus’ miracles ______ and ______ those performed by God previously, adding credibility to believing Jesus’ identity as the Son of God the Father.
  10. Use your _________ to question any resisting and rejecting before it is too late by _______ for God while he can be found and _________ so you will not perish.

Discussion Questions: Resisting & Reasoning

(1) Have you ever stubbornly ignored wise advice that you later regretted ignoring? When did you come to realize it? How could you have been more open minded to wise advice?

(2) Have you or a friend ever resisted or rejected Jesus? What insights do you have into why? What happened? Is God still tugging at the person’s heart? Is it too late for the person? In what ways is the person open or closed minded?

(3) What concerns and desires in this life distract from focusing on the eternal prize God offers?

(4) Why did Jesus perform miracles? Was that his primary mission? How are Jesus’ miracles like those God performed via earlier messengers?

(5) What witness do Jesus’ miracles show about his character, his origins, and his endorsement by God the Father?

(6) Do you have difficulty understanding miracles? Does your lack of understanding hinder your belief or strengthen your belief, knowing God is beyond us?

(7) What questions do you want God to grant you to find & share insights about as you investigate scriptures and learn from his people?

(8) If you could perform miracles like healings, feedings, controlling nature, and resurrections, what would you do? How would you aim to influence others’ belief’s when asking God to perform miracles through you? What can you accomplish in your lifetime to help others just by applying worldly tools like charity and medicine and influence? What will you do?

(9) What can you offer from your journey to know God that will be helpful to those with you who are struggling to know if God is, who God is, and whether to follow God?

Next Steps:

View the Parable of the Sower Slideshare Presentation.

You can also directly view the Parable of the Sower presentation at the Slideshare link http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/parable-of-the-sower-and-reapers-roadmap-slide-share

Continue your studies on the Parable of the Sower:

Invitation to Delve Deeply into the Parable of the Sower

https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/invitation-to-delve-deeply-into-the-parable-of-the-sower

 

Hand Drawn Resisting & Reasoning

Reapers Roadmap 9 R's Focus on Resisting and Reasoning Hand Drawn


Key Points: Resisting & Reasoning: Answers

  1. Because God cares for how people turn out, God is    sorrowful    when people are unwilling to follow his wise council since God knows the disastrous eternal consequences.
  2. Excessively    worrying    about life and obsessively pursuing the deceitfulness of    wealth    causes many to    resist    and    reject    God’s life plans personally.
  3. People who    resist    and    reject    God’s will personally are often found oppressing God’s people collectively.
  4. Believe Jesus’    words    directly or believe the evidence of the    miracles   , to come to know the truth about Jesus’ identity.
  5. Recorded    resurrection    miracles teach us God’s power over death, like when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter and the widow’s son and Lazarus, and Elijah raising the woman’s son.
  6. Amazing    healing    miracles demonstrate God’s supremacy over our human body like when Elisha and Jesus cured skin diseases.
  7. Shocking miracles controlling    nature    exhibit God’s dominance over creations’ physical elements, like the storm resting when Jonah was thrown overboard, and Jesus calming the fierce lake storm with his rebuke.
  8. God’s    feeding    miracles showcase the extremes God goes to provide, like when God provided    manna    in the desert for Israel and Jesus provided for thousands, with only 5 bread loaves and 2 fishes.
  9. Jesus’ miracles    match    and    mirror    those performed by God previously, adding credibility to believing Jesus’ identity as the Son of God the Father.
  10. Use your    reasoning    to question any resisting and rejecting before it is too late by    searching    for God while he can be found and    repenting    so you will not perish.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: