Communion devotional on Mother’s Day from 1 Samuel chapter 1.
building up and equipping the body of Christ
Communion devotional on Mother’s Day from 1 Samuel chapter 1.
Palm Sunday communion devotional on the lamb of God.
He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1)
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, justified you through the death of His only begotten Son Jesus the Messiah. (Acts 13:38-39, Romans 3)
God also sanctifies you by sealing you with His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ in you. (Ephesians 1)
God will also glorify you by raising you from the dead by His same Spirit and making you into the likeness of Messiah Jesus the LORD. (Romans 8:11)
He does all of this because He alone os faithful to keep the New Covenant He made. It is by faith through grace, the gift of God, not of any human works so that no human can boast in any accomplishment.
What must we do to do the works of God?Believe on the LORD Jesus the Messiah. (John 6:28-29)
“Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God. Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.”
I Corinthians 11:2-16 NKJV https://bible.com/bible/114/1co.11.2-16.NKJV
In the Corinthian culture, women were categorized as married, temple prostitutes, or adultresses. Married women were seen as chaste and faithful to their husbands and identified in public as wearing a veil over their head/face (similar to what is still seen in middle eastern countries today). Temple prostitutes were the priestesses of the pagan temple rituals to the Greek/Roman goddesses, primarily Diana in Ephesus and Aphrodite in Corinth. The temple prostitutes were identified in public as not wearing a veil over their heads/faces and by their attire. Adultresses were married women that had been caught in adultery and found unfaithful to their husbands. Adultresses were identified in public by their shaven heads, which was part of the punishment forced on them to publicly shame them.
Paul uses this cultural identification to address a problem within the Corinthian church of believers. He begins by setting the focus on God’s designated order; God the Father is the head of Christ in position within the trinity of the Godhead, Christ Jesus is the head of man, and man is the head of his wife. All of these are positional in authority, accountability, and responsibility (but not in reference to equality which has been badly distorted to this day both inside and outside of the Church). All have a position and an order of accountability and responsibility set by God without affecting equality. Christ is accountable to God the Father, through the trinity is a tri-unity and community of a single being in three persons. Man is accountable to Christ Jesus, as Christ has been made the head of mankind through His redeeming work and atoning sacrifice through his death and resurrection. The wife is accountable to her husband (or unmarried women to their fathers until they are married) as his fitting helper and colaborer in serving God, each with their God-designated responsibilities.
Paul then uses the understanding of this God-given order of authority, accountability, and responsibility to address the abuse of liberty among the married women in the Corinthian church that is bringing undue public controversy that is hindering the gospel among the unbelievers in Corinth, and causing undue division inside the body of Christ among the Corinthian believers.
The married women believers in Corinth were using their liberty in Christ to justify rebelling against the culture by going out in public without the customary veiled head/face. And worse, they were openly praying and prophesying by the Holy Spirit in public without veiled head/face. The unbelieving Corinthians would have identified these women as temple prostitutes and priestesses of Aphrodite, rather than servants of Christ Jesus. In their ‘liberty’, they were actually bringing shame to their own husbands and families, to the church in Corinth, to Christ Jesus himself, and ultimately to God the Father.
Paul’s entire address on this issue is parallel in principle to his address of the others issues in Corinth, and the other churches as well based on the Law of Liberty and the Law of Love in Christ Jesus that he taught to all the churches. Namely, as believers we are to use our liberty in Christ for the furtherance of the gospel within the culture we find ourselves, guided and directed by the Holy Spirit under the authority, accountability, and responsibility that God has placed us within our families, our communities, and the culture itself. We are not to use our liberty in Christ to flaunt our freedoms or justify rebellion against cultural norms that are not sinful, which brings confusion and a hindrance to the work of the gospel and shames the name of Christ Jesus.
For a deeper understanding of the Law of Liberty and the Law of Love that is now ours under the New Covenant instituted by Jesus Christ, see Romans 14:1-23, and Ephesians 5:1-33.
Peter equally addresses this principle of submission to authority, accountability, and responsibility in 1 Peter 2:11-16
NKJV Study Bible: New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2014.
Robertson, A. T., and Wesley J. Perschbacher. Word Pictures of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2004.
“Smith, Chuck – through the Bible Commentary C2000 Series (Updated).” Bible Support. Accessed September 8, 2022. http://www.biblesupport.com/e-sword-downloads/file/828-smith-chuck-through-the-bible-commentary-c2000-series-updated/.
Walvoord, John F. The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2018.
Even though the following words were written nearly 50 years ago by Corrie Ten Boom, I believe they are more prevalent today than when she first penned them in 1974 during the height of the “Jesus Movement”. At that time, many evangelical churches kindly dismissed her as being a mid-post trib heretic because she dared to challenge the pre-trib rapture doctrine that had been sweeping the globe. So here we are, in the pandemic upheavals and uncertainties of 2021. And perhaps NOW it is finally time for us to listen to someone who DID endure the 7 year tribulation of the Nazi’s, and to reconsider our eschatology of rapture escapism and begin to prepare for Matthew 24 just as Yeshua warned us?!? – Bradley at For Zion’s Sake Ministry
“The world is deathly ill. It is dying. The Great Physician has already signed the death certificate. Yet there is still a great work for Christians to do. They are to be streams of living water, channels of mercy to those who are still in the world. It is possible for them to do this because they are overcomers.
My sister, Betsy, and I were in the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck because we committed the crime of loving Jews. Seven hundred of us from Holland, France, Russia, Poland and Belgium were herded into a room built for two hundred. As far as I knew, Betsy and I were the only two representatives of Heaven in that room.
We may have been the Lord’s only representatives in that place of hatred, yet because of our presence there, things changed. Jesus said, “In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” We too, are to be overcomers – bringing the light of Jesus into a world filled with darkness and hate.
Betsy and I, in the concentration camp, prayed that God would heal Betsy who was so weak and sick. “Yes, the Lord will heal me,”, Betsy said with confidence. She died the next day and I could not understand it. They laid her thin body on the concrete floor along with all the other corpses of the women who died that day.
It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all that. Yet because of Betsy’s death, today I am traveling all over the world telling people about Jesus.
There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution. In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be raptured.” Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death.
Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly, “We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when the tribulation comes – to stand and not faint.”
I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it. We are next.
When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, “Nothing could be any worse than today.” But we would find the next day was even worse. During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave me great hope and joy. “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you; on their part evil is spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.” (I Peter 3:14) I found myself saying, “Hallelujah! Because I am suffering, Jesus is glorified!”.
“When I was a little girl,” I said, “I went to my father and said, “Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.” “Tell me,” said Father, “When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before” “No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.” “That is right,” my father said, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. He will supply all you need – just in time…”
How can we get ready for the persecution? First we need to feed on the word of God, digest it, make it a part of our being. This will mean disciplined Bible study each day as we not only memorize long passages of scripture, but put the principles to work in our lives.
Next we need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not just the Jesus of yesterday, the Jesus of History, but the life-changing Jesus of today who is still alive and sitting at the right hand of God.
We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is no optional command of the Bible, it is absolutely necessary. Those earthly disciples could never have stood up under the persecution of the Jews and Romans had they not waited for Pentecost. Each of us needs our own personal Pentecost, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We will never be able to stand in the tribulation without it.
In the coming persecution we must be ready to help each other and encourage each other. But we must not wait until the tribulation comes before starting. The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every Christian’s life.
Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run. I, too, am a little bit afraid when I think that after all my eighty years, including the horrible nazi concentration camp, that I might have to go through the tribulation also. But then I read the Bible and I am glad.
When I am weak, then I shall be strong, the Bible says. Betsy and I were prisoners for the Lord, we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy Spirit was on us. That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit helped us through. No, you will not be strong in yourself when the tribulation comes. Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will not forsake you. For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not once has He ever left me, or let me down. Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him, for I know that to all who overcome, He shall give the crown of life. Hallelujah!” – Corrie ten Boom
Indeed according to the law almost everything was purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews)
Tell the whole community of Israel, ‘in the tenth day of this month they each must take a lamb for themselves according to their families – a lamb for each household. If any household is too small for a lamb, the man and his next-door neighbor are to take a lamb according to the number of people – you will make your count for the lamb according to how much each one can eat. Your lamb must be perfect, a male, one year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You must care for it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then the whole community of Israel will kill it around sundown.
They will take some of the blood and put it on the two side posts and top of the doorframe of the houses where they will eat it. They will eat the meat the same night; they will eat it roasted over the fire with bread made without yeast and with bitter herbs. Do not eat it raw or boiled in water, but roast it over the fire with its head, its legs, and its entrails. You must leave nothing until morning, but you must burn with fire whatever remains of it until morning. This is how you are to eat it – dressed to travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. (Exodus)
On the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Gazing at Jesus as he walked by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” (Matthew)
He was treated harshly and afflicted, but he did not even open his mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block, like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not even open his mouth. (Isaiah)
Before this I had been like a docile lamb ready to be led to the slaughter. I did not know they were making plans to kill me. (Jeremiah)
So when they came to the place that is called “The Skull,” they crucified him there, along with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [But Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”] Then they threw dice to divide his clothes. The people also stood there watching, but the rulers ridiculed him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the king of the Jews.” (Luke)
Read all of Psalm 22
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, because the sun’s light failed. The temple curtain was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And after he said this he breathed his last. (Luke)
Then I saw standing in the middle of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the middle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been killed. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. They were singing a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals because you were killed, and at the cost of your own blood you have purchased for God persons from every tribe, language, people, and nation. (Revelation)
For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us, (Hebrews)
Wash! Cleanse yourselves! Remove your sinful deeds from my sight. Stop sinning! (Isaiah)
But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. (1 John)
In the Bible, Satan takes two forms: the Serpent, and the Great Red Dragon. The Serpent represents deception. Wherever he is mentioned in the form of the Serpent, he is being deceptive. The Dragon represents the fulness of his true nature, fiery hatred and angry wrath (war) toward God, Christ Jesus & all who represent Him. Wherever he is mentioned as the Dragon, his full nature is on display in his actions to attack, kill and destroy by rage.
Both of these teach us about Satan & his slaves’ methods…. first: deception & subversion through questioning God’s Word, denying God’s Word, deleting God’s Word (and all principles based on God’s Word)…. then outright attack on God’s Word (and anything that represents Him) by rage, war and annihilation.
Once you understand the pattern, many things become clear…. especially the 4 horsemen of Revelation…. false peace (deception & subversion) by the Antichrist & his system, the the fiery rage of war against God & His people (Jews & the Church & anyone who holds to any truth of Scripture), and then the results of that rage: famine, pestilence and death.
I was asked by a brother in Christ:
“Why does God allow evil?”
These were my initial thoughts and how I responded to Him based on what I have learned from our Father in Heaven & our LORD Jesus Christ:
Because He knows things we can’t know. Because He loves His enemies and is patiently trying to save the ones that can be saved (humans), even if it means being persecuted by them (and the powers controlling them) until they repent or die. Remember what Jesus said to Saul when He appeared to him: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting ME.”
It’s the kindness of the all-powerful God that leads us to repentance.
Ultimately, because He has chosen to do it that way. He is God and we are not. He has endured all of the violence in heaven (beginning with Lucifer’s rebellion) and the violence on earth to demonstrate His love, patience, kindness, mercy, in order to make His glory known among His creation.
“I send you out as sheep among wolves. Be wise as serpents and as harmless as doves (meekness – strength self-restrained). “
The LORD has set aside a specific time when He will retaliate as the Great King, and Commander of the Armies of Heaven. Until then, we are not to retaliate but be the priestly representatives of Him, our great High Priest; enduring the mocking, persecution, betrayal, and even being martyred EXACTLY like He was. Because, it is the kindness of the Almighty God that leads his enemies to repentance.
Not by power, nor by might (that time is coming when the wrath of the Lamb & the wrath of God is unleashed)… But right now (temporarily) it is “by my (Holy) Spirit”, who is represented as a harmless dove.
Saul was David’s enemy because of his sin & jealousy. But David was not Saul’s enemy, because of David’s righteousness & faith to God.
Though people make themselves your enemy, do not make them your enemies in return. Rather, love your enemies, do good to them and pray for them.
Do not return their evil with evil. Return their evil with your good that they may see your kindness and change their minds and ways.
It’s the kindness of the LORD that leads us to change our ways.
This is statement by Jesus is a jewish idiom indicating World War, rather than local wars and rumors of wars in the previous statement. World War 1 and it’s continuation in World War 2 which brought about the re-establishment of Israel as the jewish homeland signifies the beginning of the birth pangs (labor pains) according to Jesus.
These birth pangs will increase in severity and frequency until the culmination of the rescue of the Church, the deliverance of the remnant of Israel, the destruction of the Antichrist, False Prophet and the kingdoms of this world, the imprisonment of Satan, the return of Christ Jesus from heaven with His bride and His establishment of tHis kingdom on earth for 1000 years.