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Matthew 13: Jesus and the False Positives


The Invisible WarThe Invested Life

I was teaching group of teenagers last year and I asked them to send in some questions before I came. Here is one of them and an answer that I gave right out of Matthew 13:

Question: If you accepted Jesus into your heart, but then go out and do really bad things and stop following God’s Word, will you still go to Heaven?

Answer: It depends! There are four types of people who hear the gospel but only one type is truly a Christian. If you were never a Christian in the first place then the behavior makes sense because continuous willful disobedience with no guilt is to be expected. If you are truly a Christian then you are a SAVED SINNER who will still sin but will experience a war within between the sin nature and your new nature. More importantly you will experience guilt or remorse once confronted by God’s Holy Spirit inside directly or indirectly if you are confronted by a loving brother or sister in Christ. Furthermore, if you are a true Christian know than you cannot ever ever ever lose your salvation for God does not want you to be in an insecure relationship with Him. The question is do you have salvation in the first place!

Below are the four types of people who hear the gospel. In this parable people labeled #1, #2, and #3 are not Christians but the ones labeled #4 are truly Christians. You will find 1 – 4 in Christian churches!

Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23 – Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop — a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

… “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When #1anyone 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 #2 one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The #3 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. But the #4 one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

So let’s break down the four people who hear the gospel and “say the prayer”:

#1 The Hearer – The word of God never penetrates the soul of this person so Satan snatches the word from the surface.

#2 The Stoner – A person who makes merely an emotional commitment to Christ as shown by their lack of commitment.

#3 The Thorny – A person who again makes a superficial commitment to Christ without repentance so he or she easily chokes on the love of money and worldly pleasures.

#4 The Christian – Truly makes a transaction with God! He or she moves from a creation of God to an adopted child of God who becomes a disciple and makes disciples.

If you are truly #4 the Christian then you must remain secure in your relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This security and acceptance is what enables you to grow as a child of God. You work from your salvation not for your salvation!

John 6:28-29 – Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

There is a class that I teach at McLean Bible Church called “Christianity 101” that ends with the assurance of Heaven. The below information is taken from the course book:

(OF COURSE, THESE APPLY TO #4 ONLY)

In order to lose your salvation someone (including you) you have to be able to accomplish the following:

1. Someone would have to ___SNATCH_____ you out of God’s hand.

John 10:28-30 – I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

2. Someone would have to break the ___SEAL_____ of God’s ownership.

Ephesians 1:13-14 – And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession — to the praise of his glory.

3. Someone would have to remove the ____SPIRIT_______ of God in you.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 – Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

4. Someone would have to ___SEPARATE_____ you from the _____LOVE____ of Christ.

Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

5. Someone would have to erase your ___NAME____ from the ____BOOK______ of Life.

Philippians 4:3 – And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.

6. Someone would have to burn your ______ADOPTION______ papers!

Ephesians 1:4-7 – In love He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

RED-DAWN-WOLVERINES

Now you will experience a real war in your body between obeying God and disobeying God by following your sin nature. As you grow the war will increase, and you will win some battles! But the war is not over because our commander has not returned–yet! The goal in the teenage years as young men and women is to give your body God’s temple no territory so that you avoid a lifelong war! As adults your job is to fight and take back the territory that the enemy once accessed from the inside and now has to get to you from the outside!

Below is a very encouraging section of the Bible as the Apostle Paul describes this war that he experienced some 20 years after coming to Christ:

Romans 7:18 – 8:13

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members….Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did…For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

I did a deep dive into this war within earlier this year. You can find that post here

Maybe you are loosing because you don’t know how to fight. Take a look at the book that I recommend above called “The Invisible War”.

Get someone to disciple you and invest on how to fight, or invest in someone else! Some of you have reached your spiritual peak because you spend your time with others when God wants you to invest it.

Come Lord Jesus Come!

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

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“So That” The Ministry We Never Prayed For


Changes That HealCelebrate Recovery

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 – “3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

The belief that God is a “God of all comfort” is an essential truth that every believer must embrace when life’s journey leads us through the valley.  In our scripture today God calls us to do two things with this essential truth.  First, God wants us to apply this truth in our own lives by letting Him into the deepest parts of our being to be comforted personally by Him.  Second, God wants us to serve others with the same “comfort we ourselves have received from God”.  Notice the so that in verse four.  God is comforting us not merely to benefit us, although that is certainly true, but with the intention that we will serve His people with the same comfort that we have received from the Father of compassion.  In essence we are called to give it away!  Notice that there is a correlation between the areas of your life that you allow God in to comfort and the type of comfort that you can give away.  Is there an area in your life that needs comfort that you have not allowed God into?

Every Sunday my Senior Pastor Lon Solomon makes theology both personal and practical by asking his famous question “So What”?  Throughout the Washington D.C. area, our Mclean Bible Church brothers and sisters are making this theology of comfort personal and practical as they serve the Lord in their own “So That” ministry.  Their ministry is an outgrowth of the comfort that they have personally received from God while in the midst of the valley experiences of their own lives.  For instance, we have couples who have experienced hope and healing in their marriage whom now have chosen marriage mentoring as their “so that” ministry.  We have other couples who have experienced the comfort of God through the touch of a community of saints who now serve as small group or community group leaders.  What is your “So That” ministry?

When are you going to start?  If not now, when?

Our “So That” ministry is our most personal ministry and one that can have the greatest impact for the Kingdom.   I call it the ministry that we never prayed for because I do not know anyone who prayed for addiction, prayed for abuse, prayed for a husband, wife, or child to leave this earth before we were ready.  What you allow God to do with these areas of pain and how far you let Him into the pain will determine if you are a space taker or a difference maker in this world.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus thank you so much for sending me the Comforter when you went to be with the Father; for you knew in this life that is exactly what I would need.  Father, I ask your forgiveness for and seek your comfort in ____________________.  Give me the strength to serve your people with the same comfort that I have received from you.

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in Suffering, Uncategorized

 

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It Is 4th and Leviticus: Should I punt or Go For It?


Forth Down

Let’s be honest, most of us were doing well reading the Bible in a year until Leviticus. Some of you as you get this post your book mark is sitting between chapters 4 – 6. Leviticus, can be painful but why? I call this the 4th down Book because most people “punt” reading when they get into this book of the Bible. They feel bad because it is God’s word, but the thought of “why does this matter” takes over as the pain of every detail of moral, communal, and ceremonial life under the newly formed theocratic system unfolds before us. If we no longer live under this system then why does this book matter? This is a really valid question and I hope that this post will at least help you appreciate this important book of the Bible and its place in the history of God’s redemptive plan for mankind.

Remember the Bible is the most unique book in the world in that it is a library of 66 books, covering ~1,500 year span as God progressively reveals His plan of redemption as I detail here. Leviticus is literally the 3rd book of the Bible so imagine the time the people of God are in. This is the third book of only three books that God has revealed thus far. These newly redeemed former slaves have before them Moses, and a newly formed priesthood. There is Genesis where God reveals the creation then ruin of man, Exodus that plays out the miraculous redemption of the children of Israel (some of them remember fresh), and Leviticus is the picture of God’s expectations of a redeemed people. Remember these people have been slaves for over 400 years and have no idea how to govern themselves.

Although we do not live under the Old Testament theocratic system that the Jews lived under before Christ there are some principled “nuggets” in the levitical law that carry over to today, especially as we get focused on some of the moral laws that still apply.

There are three types of laws in Leviticus that can be broken down the following way:

1. CeremonialFulfilled by Christ [does not apply today]

2. MoralCarried by Christ [does apply today]

2. CommunalAbolished by Christ [does not apply today]

Let’s take advantage of the fact that we have the complete canon in our possession today and allow the New Testament explain why this book is so important. First, as far as the Ceremonial laws why was God so specific not only with the details of the ceremonies that the Levitical priests were responsible for. but the pages and pages of details regarding the tabernacle? The book of Hebrews helps us here:

“They [Levitical priests] serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” – Hebrews 8:5-6

Ground hog dayBut why did it seem like the Levitical priests were stuck in the movie “Ground Hog Day” doing sacrifices over and over and over again? Again the book of Hebrews in the New Testament helps:

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming — not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, 4 because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” – Hebrews 10:1-4

Here again we have the word “shadow”, these all were a shadow of the reality of the future Messiah whom would fulfill and thus do away with this old system. Jesus died once for all and as God in human flesh He literally joined God and man together on the cross. This is why He alone is the only bridge to cross to gain access to heaven and why all other bridges are literally a bridge to nowhere. Ask yourself what bridge are you on? Who built it God or man?

Second, we have the moral laws that were carried by Christ on the cross and still apply today for these reveal the heart of fallen man and woman and the very reason that Jesus Christ came to personally redeem us. The ceremonial laws that were fulfilled by Christ that were part of the sacrificial system of priests are early forms of God’s grace because God knew then what we know now that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” – Romans 3:23. We need forgiveness! But we need to be aware of what God considers sin so that we can seek forgiveness and repent (turn around 180). Again the New Testament the we have in our possession elucidates this:

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” – Romans 3:20

Third, we have the communal laws that were abolished by Christ. These are the punishments for sin that were carried out by the community for the sake of the community of God’s people. Some of these punishments are harsh to us today and the punishment for especially the sexual sins listed in Leviticus 18-19 of death seem over the top to us. Well for us today these punishments are! (I will address this in a future post) But, although the communal punishments are not applicable, the natural results or natural consequences for these sins follow as night follows day. You cannot break moral laws without moral consequences. Get this message: There is a difference between the sin and the punishment for the sin. The punishments for the sins under the theocratic system do not apply today and were abolished by Christ, but the moral sins that brought the punishment do apply today and is why they were carried by Christ on the cross. Jesus took the punishment for us and paid the penalty for us.

Jesus on the cross

In conclusion, today we have moral sin, natural consequences (ex: disease), but not theocratic punishment. Christians are not, never have been, and never will be under, or demand to be under, a theocratic system of government until the return of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you can see with clarity the next time a person confuses the punishment for moral law and the reality of it. Most know the reality of it because of the natural consequences that follow. In our supposedly “sexually free” society where we are slaves to sexual sin have over fifty sexually transmitted diseases when before the sexual freedom movement in the 1960’s there were only two. We have become a culture of empty selves living for the pleasure of the moment all while chasing the ever elusive “happiness”. The ancients and the founders of our country considered “the pursuit of happiness” the movement toward a moral and virtuous life. Happiness is never found when it is a goal, it is only found as a result–the result of a virtuous life. We are slaves to our feelings today, but feelings are wonderful servants but terrible masters.

We live as god and then blame God for the results:

“A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord” – Proverbs 19:3

Think about it! We have everything but we have nothing. We try and medicate the results of living for pleasure that leave us as empty selves. A pill will never fill that void. We have psychotic drugs galore trying to make our empty selves “feel better”. What will make you feel better is if you actually get better. You cannot medicate guilt, you have to allow God to place Himself in that void and live according to His purposes. He is an amazing Father because He loves on you as you continue to get it wrong as you move toward Him. Guilt belongs on the cross and it is an important internal alarm warning that something is terribly wrong. What is the remedy:

“Repent then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” – Acts 3:19

I am a slave that was freed by Jesus Christ!

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.
Founder
http://www.MansUltimateChallenge.com

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Jesus Christ, Uncategorized

 

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Seeing Jesus Christ in the Passover & Holy Communion-Final


Please forgive me for the accidental post that was incomplete!!!!!

This is a really important post:

Did you know that the Last Supper was a Passover meal? I like Leonardo Da Vinci, but as a Jew Jesus certainly would not have had a loaf of Italian bread on the Passover table as depicted in his famous painting. The Last Supper by Da Vinci

The Passover or “Sedar” meal is critical to understanding the powerful symbolism of the ordinance of Holy Communion that Christians around the world celebrate.  In order to understand the richness of these symbols of “bread” and “wine” we need to understand what they first symbolized in the Passover meal itself. Now Jews that do not accept Jesus as the Messiah celebrate a Passover meal as described below. Wait until you see how the Sedar meal points to the Jesus the Messiah. Jesus clearly re-pointed two key symbols in the Passover meal from its types and shadows to Himself.  Personally I believe that the first and second coming of Jesus are represented in the Passover meal.

I am going to focus on the key pieces and not the entire meal.  If you would like to see a nice presentation of the entire “Christ in the Passover” presentation watch this video from my friends at Jews for Jesus:

www.jews-for-jesus.org.   Christ In The Passover

So lets take a look at this important meal in the life of the Jews today and its power for both the Jew and the Gentile who accepted Jesus Christ as his or her personal Messiah.  The “Leader” of the Seder will take the first cup and say a prayer to begin the Seder. There are 4 cups of wine that are part of the meal but I will focus on the first and the third cup since they are specifically mentioned at the Last Supper.  Just wait until you see the powerful symbolism with the Matzah.  I promise you that you will never take communion for granted again!

Wine-Matzah-Scripture

First Cup, the Cup of Sanctification:

Let’s take a look at this part of the Last Supper.

Jesus was the Leader of the Passover feast “The Last Supper”

Jesus:  Luke 22:17-18 “After taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you.  For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom comes”

The 3rd Cup “The Cup of Redemption”

Say: This cup is “The Cup of Redemption” and is filled following the partaking of the Afikomen (bread explained next)  

The Hallel are the songs of Praise sung

Luke 22:19-23

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.”  23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

Jesus also said that the cup of wine—The cup of redemption—represented the cup of the New Covenant (cf. Jer. 31:31ff) in His blood.  Jesus raised this cup with the disciples and drank it. This my brothers and sisters is the communion wine.

Now, to the bread the most important piece of the Passover Meal:

Matzah Tosh

The Matzoh Tosh or Matzah bag

Note that THREE pieces of Matzah are placed into the Matzah Tosh.  The Matzah Tosh represents a Unity of 3 in one.

–       There are a few ideas on what this Unity actually is:

  • Some Rabbis say:  A unity of the 3 Patriarchs:  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
  • Some Rabbis say: A unity of Worship in Israel: Priests, Levites, and people of Israel.
  • Messianic Jews and Christians say that you are missing it for this clearly represents God:
    • 3 in 1 (There is 1 Matzah bag and 3 compartments)
    • This is one God but three persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not convinced? Wait there’s more!

–       The 2nd piece of bread is called the “Bread of Affliction”.  Like ALL unleavened bread.  The dough is rolled out and pierced before it is cooked on a rack.

Matzah-2

Notice that:

  • It is unleavened
  • Striped
  • Pierced

–       During a particular part of the Passover near the very beginning, the 2nd or middle piece “The Bread of Affliction” is taken out of the Matzah Bag, broken, wrapped in linen and buried somewhere in the house. The half that is not broken is placed back into the middle pocket (more on that later).

  • This piece of bread is called the Afikomen which means “it comes later”
    • This is so important to the meal that the Passover cannot be complete until the Afiikomen is found.
    • The children try and find the Afikomen and the one who finds it is given a reward.

–       The Leader (Jesus in this case) takes this piece that is broken, buried and brought back with a reward for the one who finds it:

  • He breaks off pieces and passes it out to everyone at the meal
  • No food may be eaten during the evening after partaking of the Afikomen
  • Does this remind you of anything?
    • Jesus said take and eat and do this in “Remembrance of ME”

Breaking MatzahJesus said that this bread symbolized His body. How?

  1. The bread was without leaven which in the Bible represents sin—Jesus was without sin (2 Cor. 5:21).
  2. Jesus was the Bread of Life (John 6:48).
  3. His body was to receive stripes and to be pierced (Isa. 53:5, Zech. 12:10).
    1. 700 years before Jesus’ birth the prophet Isaiah wrote “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities…and by His stripes we are healed”—Isa 53:5
    2. Jesus was wrapped in linen, buried, and then raised to life.

To me there is something interesting about the piece of Matzah that is placed back into the middle pocket. Now I have never heard anyone teach this so this is my opinion that I though that I would share with you.  Jesus already demonstrated that this second Matzah piece Afikomen represents Him and his first coming to be pierced, striped, wrapped in linen and raised again. Therefore, I believe that the second piece represents His second coming that remains hidden in God. In addition, the temple and Jerusalem are key to the Passover meal just as they are when He returns.  Just something to think about.

Until HE Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Jesus Christ, Uncategorized

 

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Romans 1 & 2: Dim the Light of Creation & Darkness Follows


Romans 1 Photo

This is a picture that I took of my Bible of a few verses from Romans 1. There are a few key words and phrases in this chapter that I have highlighted in blue, and I recommend that you highlight them as well.  The key words and phrases are:

gospel, faith, grace, exchanged the, natural relations, God gave them over

All of these keywords highlight what happens when we “surpress the truth” of the obvious fingerprints of God in creation “that have been clearly seen & understood”.  God’s fingerprints are external to us and visible in creation as Romans 1 declares and internal to us via a moral law on our hearts as Romans 2 declares. Ecclesiastes 3:11 adds another internal fingerprint of God “…He has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” This sense of eternity really comes forward when we or one of our loved ones nears the end of life here on earth.

My contention is that the problem in our culture today is that we have attempted to explain away these fingerprints via the philosophy of materialism/naturalism in what is known as Scientism. Like a game from my childhood called simon, after the game “Simon says”, we no longer think for ourselves but follow “science says”, even in areas that science cannot possibly speak such as morals, ethics, meaning, purpose, and destiny. Since you are part of culture, ask yourself who do you believe God or man? Do you live by God says or science says? Science does not say a whole lot, but some scientists say a lot and claim too much.

simon says

Prominent Christian and the founder of the modern scientific method Sir Francis Bacon wrote that “there are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of Scriptures, which express the will of God; then the volume of the creatures, which express his power.” Though this is true, I would note that Romans 1 is stating that without properly reading the Book of Creation you will not properly read the book of the Scriptures! Think about it. How can a person embrace the truth that the Bible is the word of God if he or she denies that there is a God who exists to have a word? How can one embrace that Jesus is the Son of God if he or she denies that there is a God who exists to have a Son? How can a person embrace the moral law without a moral law giver?

I would go as far as to say that this last denial is why we are trying to medicate our bad feelings away. Guilt is our friend for it properly informs us that we are doing something wrong; guilt comes because we are guilty of breaking God’s moral law. Freud the father of psychoanalysis considered guilt bad so we must rid ourselves of these rigid rules. How is that working out for us?  The problem is that a person or a government can remove any moral law outside of themselves, but never inside of themselves. We can certainly make our hearts callous, but remove the callous and then tenderness of the law on the heart once concealed is again revealed.  Moreover, we want to not only surpress the truth but medicate it and try to remove the consequences. Guilt is an internal alarm shouting “warning warning Will Robinson” there is a problem! It is our friend and forgiveness from God in Christ is its companion.

Lost in Space Robot

Now back to the key words and phrases that highlight the key point of Romans 1. First, Romans 1:18 tells us something very interesting about the relationship between immoral behavior and our ability to embrace truth. Living immoral lives actually causes the suppression of truth. So there appears to be an epistemological link between our behavior and properly discerning truth. It seems as if bad behavior done over and over again makes our hearts callous toward knowledge of God in creation and His love for us as His creation. Second, we see an exchange being made in verses 21-23 where we then begin to worship Mother Earth over Father God. Third, we get really scary now where God actually let’s go and “gives us over” to what we want. He actually allows us to exercise our free will. As a word picture it is like my son running away from me and I grab his shirt at the last minute. As the shirt begins to pull and stretch I let go, and he falls. The more individuals fall the more the culture in the aggregate falls.  Rome became so self indulgent in fleeting pleasures that the empire fell and died of suicide.

What is dangerous about this death by suicide in the past is that it is looking like our future. The only way to stop it is to awaken people to the truth by restoring our own love of God’s two books: Creation and Scripture. When this happens, when those whom we love have the callous removed by the pain of suffering from the natural consequences of their sin against God we can boldly proclaim that God exists and loves them! We can look at them lovingly and proclaim that this God who created all that they see loves them so much that He stepped from eternity into time to suffer Himself on the cross in order to pay the penalty of their sin. The life of sin running away from God is what has produced the guilt that you are trying to surpress and ignore. As you were running from God he was running after you! Now my friend whom God loves dearly “repent then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” – Acts 3:19. Do you feel it? Now your guilt is gone not by suppression of the truth when you were lost, but by the expression of the truth on the cross!!!!!!

eh em, but first, we have to believe all of this ourselves…..

If you made it this far through this post may I ask you a question? Are you still reading the book of the Scriptures this year? If the answer is no, then spend some time reflecting today and see if it is because you no longer believe in the Book of Creation. If intellectually you do not believe in God the Creator then you will never embrace God the Savior in the fullness of what it means.

Reflection:  Have you lost the sense of awe and wonder as you look at creation? Is it then any wonder that you lost your sense of awe and wonder as you look at the cross.

Jesus on the cross

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Jesus Christ, Origins, Uncategorized

 

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Jesus in the Old Testament


Jesus in the Old Testament

Here are some great resources about Jesus in the Old Testament, the Passover, and other feasts from my friends at Jews For Jesus :  www.jewsforjesus.org

How is the study going my brothers and sisters in Christ?  In today’s reading you will find the preincarnate Jesus Christ make His first appearance.  As mentioned in a previous postJesus Christ did not come into existence 2,000 years ago but He always existed as the 2nd person of the Trinity, true God in the Old Testament concealed but in the New Testament revealed when He came down from heaven to live a sinless life and die on the cross for us.

Let me do a short review of Jesus as God concealed in the Old Testament (OT) and revealed in the New Testament (NT).  As the Bible teaches in the OT: “Then God said, Let Us make man in Our own image, in our own likeness…So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Notice the plural references and then the singular.  God is telling us something about His nature, He is a Tri-Unity, a plurality of Oneness as He is only One God, yet 3 in person.  Mathematically speaking God in His nature is not 1+1+1 for that equals 3; He is 1x1x1 which equals 1.  Now we see the Lord Jesus in the NT revealed:  “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was GodHe was with God in the beginning.  Through Him all things were made and without Him nothing was made that has been made….The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”[1] This is significant because this is who Jesus Christ is the Lord God all mighty Maker of heaven and earth, the beginning and the end, the uncaused first cause of ALL things.

As I mentioned earlier this is important because we have the first appearance of the preincarnate Christ; i.e., before He appeared in Mary’s womb.  I want you to write in the margin of your Bible “The Angel of the LORD” and mark every reference to Him as you read through the Bible this year.  The term angel simply means “heavenly being”, but mark the divine qualities of this being.

The Angel of the LORD is thought to be the pre-incarnate Christ because He does things that only God can do and never acts like a created being but the Creator Himself.  For example, in today’s passage we have the first appearance of The Angel of the Lord in Genesis 16:7-11[2].  In verse 13 the Scripture states “So Hagar gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said ‘I have now seen the One who sees me’”.  Hagar knew that God appeared before her and the Angel of the LORD accepted her designation for there is no follow on verse that states a rejection as we find in other Scripture when merely an angel is treated as God.[3] Elsewhere we find that it was the Angel of the LORD that appeared to Moses in the burning bush[4], He took credit for bringing the Jews up out of Egypt and making a covenant with them[5] and more.

Enjoy watching Jesus show Himself throughout the Old Testament.

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.


[1] John 1:1-3, 14 NIV.

[2] Genesis 16:7-11 – The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.” The angel of the Lord also said to her…NIV.

[3] Revelation 19:9-10 – Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! NIV

[4] Exodus 3:2-4 – There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.  So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight — why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” NIV.

[5] Judges 2:1-2 – The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, NIV.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Jesus Christ, Uncategorized

 

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A Theistic Context For The Miraculous


In Defense of MiraclesThe Risen Jesus and FutureopeThe Resurrection of The Son of God

Since we began reading through the Bible this year it has become obvious that we find many miracles recorded.  A question immediately surfaces: Are miracles possible?

Below is a link to a paper that I did for my seminary class on the Resurrection. I feel very blessed that God provided me the opportunity to sit under the teaching of an internationally recognized expert on the Resurrection and the Shroud of Turin. The goal of this paper is establishing, in short, that if it is true that a theistic God exists then miracles are be definition not only possible but actual. A God whom exists and brought the world into being ex nihilo (out of nothing) can certainly create something out of  something, like turing water into wine, that appears to us as miraculous. Above are links to the books that I read during the class that you will enjoy! A lot of reading but amazing for my faith and yours!!!

Please take the time to read this paper for it will do wonders for your faith!!!

A Theistic Context For The Miraculous 2-1.pdf

If you enjoy the paper above please do share it via Facebook, e-mail, Pinterest, etc.

Until His Glorious Return,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 

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