It’s All In The Name

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“Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.’

“Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, ‘As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you will be the father of a multitude of nations.

“‘No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you.’” (Gen 17:1-6)




Every letter in the Hebrew language is full of meaning. Hebrew is a language of pictures and symbols. This especially carries over into names. For the Hebrew people a name was meant to convey the nature, essence, history, and reputation of the one named.

Consider the name Jesus. When the angel Gabriel appear to Joseph, he said,

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus [Yešhûa, or, Y’Shua], for He will save His people from their sins.” (Mat 1:20-21)


Jesus is Yeshua in Hebrew. The name Yeshua means Savior, or by extension, ‘Yahweh saves,’ or, ‘Yahweh is salvation.’ The Lord’s name is derived from the verb which means, ‘to save.’ Gabriel gives the meaning of the name Yeshua, by saying, “He will save His people from their sins.”

What makes it even more interesting is that when you see the word ‘salvation’ as an impersonal word in the Old Testament, it is the very name of Jesus, or, ‘Yeshua’. So, depending on its usage the Hebrew for salvation and the Hebrew for Jesus is the same.

If you mentally transpose where you see the term ‘salvation’ in the former testament to ‘Jesus’, you will see prophetic pictures of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now let’s talk about one of God’s revelation names in the Old Testament and see how it unfolds in Jesus. We’ll talk about God’s Name – El Shaddai.

But before we do that please take time to listen to Amy Grant as she sings El Shaddai:


The God of Abraham

God’s names are revelations of His person. The first time that God reveals Himself by name to Abraham, the Lord says,

“I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless [made full or complete].” (Gen17:1)

The term ‘God Almighty’ is El Shaddai. It is easy to miss what this name means because English does not convey the expressions of Hebrew. The word El is masculine and speaks of might, power, or strength. The term Shaddai is also masculine. It speaks of fullness, or, ‘more than enough.’

Shaddai is said to relate to the Hebrew ‘shadaim’ which speaks of ‘breasts.’ To cut it further, ‘sha’ means who, and ‘dai’ means enough. The imagery is of a mother and her infant where her full breasts are more than enough for her baby. It is in this sense that Shaddai relates to fullness.

We see an echo of shaddai (Almighty) and shadaim (breasts) when Jacob prophesies over his sons.

“Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; its branches run over a wall. The archers bitterly attacked him, and shot at him and harassed him; but his bow remained firm, and his arms were agile, From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), from the God of your father who helps you, and by the Almighty [Shaddai} who blesses you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts [shadaim] and of the womb.” (Gen 49:22-25)

Everything that Jacob speaks over this son has to do with fullness, with blessings, with protection and with an overflow of life. This is what Jesus came to give us. Amy Grant singing ‘El Shaddai’ relates to this very well.


Jesus came to give us fullness of God’s life

Listen with your heart to the following Scriptures. They all carry the idea of El Shaddai:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (John 10:10-11)

“For of His fullness (or, ‘out of His fullness) we have all received, and grace upon grace.” [Grace upon grace speaks of an overflow of ‘all that you need.’] (John 1:16)

“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Php 4:12-13)

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.” (Mat 23:37)


There is so much more to be said. This will give an idea of just our rich and wonderful our salvation is through the Lord Jesus. We are the children of God’s presence. He is with us in every circumstance and situation. Even in our sufferings, God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.”

Just some things to think about.

In Christ always,



The Year of the Jubilee

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“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD …

“ … and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. ” (Isa 61:1-3)



Some are not aware that there are two days of the Lord. The first day has come. It is the day of grace, or as Isaiah has it, ‘the favorable year of the Lord’. The term ‘favorable’ in Hebrew [rasôn] speaks of the divine favor that is extended to humanity. The time of favor came with Jesus Christ. It was placed in force at the resurrection and ascension of the Lord. We are now in that phase of God’s kingdom called, ‘the kingdom of His beloved Son.’ (Col1:13)

David speaks of two phases of the kingdom of the Son in Psalm 2:

Place your cursor over any Scripture reference and it will appear.

“But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain. I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. … [This relates to the day of Pentecost when Jesus received His kingdom in its present form; the covenant of grace. This is the gospel age where the cross is to be preached in all the world. Cf. Mat28:18,19; Acts1:9-11; Dan7:13,14; Acts2:32-36; 2Co5:18--21]

“… You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’ … [Speaks to the second phase of the kingdom of the Son where He comes in judgment. Cf. Acts17:30-32; Zech12:9,10; Rev19:11-16]

“… Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (Psa 2:6-12) [The warning is to the world not to ignore or disregard the gospel of the cross and of God's grace. This is the time of our refuge in Christ. Cf. John14:1-3; 1Th5:9-11; Col3:1-4]

When Jesus quoted from Isaiah 61, He quotes that part that speaks of God’s Jubilee. The Jubilee had to do with freedom. But He stopped His quote with this statement, ‘the favorable year of the Lord.’ Why did Jesus not quote the fuller passage? It is because there is a second day that Isaiah speaks of that has yet to come. It is not the day of Jubilee. It is, ‘the day of vengeance of our God’.


We are still in the day of Jubilee

The time that precedes the second coming of Jesus is a time of great struggle and a day of mixture. While the nations are perplexed, at the same time there are multiplied millions of the Muslim faith coming to Jesus. Not only are Muslims coming to the Lord, but Jewish responses are astonishing.

The following video is a bit lengthy but well worth viewing. It is about Muslims and Jews coming to the Lord.


Just a reminder …


35th Homecoming Jubilee

Be sure to mark your calendar. March 26th and 27th is our Christian Challenge International 35th Homecoming Jubilee. Our theme is, ‘The Anchor Holds’. (There are motels close at hand.)

Saturday evening is ‘Talent Share Night.’ (Not a talent context.) It will be a great time of sharing our love for the Lord through our gifts. Jubilee itself is Sunday, March 27th. Come expect the unexpected. (There will be a special DU meeting Sunday afternoon.)




In Christ always,


The Mysteries of the Ages

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There are a number of hidden mysteries in God’s Word. For example the Lord Jesus can be seen throughout the prophetic writings and yet He is declared to be a mystery. The Church is in the writings of the prophets, but is also declared to be a mystery. Then we have the unfolding mystery of redemption.

In this entry I will deal with the mystery of our redemption in Christ Jesus, and how that the believer’s salvation was set forth from the foundation of the world. The entry is a bit lengthy but well worth the reading. It will help my readers understand why Jesus tells us not to be troubled when we see the nations in an upheaval.

Place your cursor over a Scripture reference and it will appear.

Take time to meditate on the following Scriptures where you will see some of the wonder and mystery of redemption.

A Word from the Prophets

[Moses] “Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as the droplets on the fresh grass and as the showers on the herb. For I proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He. They have acted corruptly toward Him, They are not His children, because of their defect; but are a perverse and crooked generation.” (Deu 32:1-5)

“You neglected the Rock who begot you, and forgot the God who gave you birth. … Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; for they are a perverse generation, sons in whom is no faithfulness.’ … Would that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would discern their future!” (Deu 32:18-20)

[This is from the Song of Moses; 1400 years before Christ. Cf. Rev15:3. The Song of Moses is a prophetic outline of Israel, including her rejection of Jesus Christ. ‘The Rock’ is Christ. ‘His work is perfect’ speaks of the new creation. ‘They are a perverse and crooked generation’ speaks to the Christ rejecters. Peter quoted from this. Cf. Acts 2:40]

[Isaiah] “A voice says, ‘Call out.’ Then he answered, ‘What shall I call out?’ All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’” (Isa 40:6-9)

[Isaiah wrote this 700 years before Christ. Here we see John the Baptist’s call to the people, that God’s Word is true. The gospel message begins in Jerusalem with, ‘Do not fear, here is your God!’]

[Hosea] “I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” (Hos 5:15; John 6:62; 7:33,34; 8:21)

[Hosea the prophet also wrote about 700 years before Christ. He sets forth the rejection of Jesus until the time of the second coming. In Israel’s tribulation they will seek the Lord and find Jesus. Cf. Zech12:8-10. Hosea 6:1-3 includes the second coming

[Jesus] “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” (Luk 13:34-35)

[Daniel] “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” (Dan 12:3-4)

The book of Daniel sets forth both the first and the second coming of Jesus. Written 500+ years before Christ. The later rabbis placed a curse on anyone who attempted to calculate the time of Messiah by the use of Daniel.

All the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge

Paul said that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Christ Jesus Himself. This can only mean that these Christ-treasures were not to be hidden from us. They have been hidden for us. In writing the Colossian believers, Paul said…

“… that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col 2:2-3)

It is because of these hidden treasures that the apostle prayed for the Church …

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” (Cf. Eph1:15-23)

And this also is why we should learn to pray the prayer of David, when he said,

“Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.” (Ps119:18)

From the foundation of the world

When David ask the Lord to open his eyes so he could behold Wonderful things from His ‘law’, we need to understand that the Hebrew word for law does not simply mean the Law of Moses. The word ‘torah‘ in Hebrew is a feminine noun. It speaks of instruction and direction.

David is asking the Lord to open his eyes to divine instruction and to the divine things of God. He wants to see into the eternity of God. David also uses the word ‘Wonderful‘ in a unique way. It has to do with the Man called Wonderful. (Isa9:6)

This is a very personal request. It is the kind of prayer we should take to heart.

The Bible has much to say about the things of eternity. The term ‘from the foundation of the world’ is used several times in the new covenant writings to express the eternity of God. Let’s look at them: (Caps are for emphasis only.)

(1) Concerning Messiah, it says, “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” (Matt13:35)

This reflects back on Deu29:29; “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.”

When we stop to consider that the Torah of Moses, that is, the first five books of the Bible, are filled with the ‘secret’ treasures of Christ, it gives us pause to consider just how rich the revelation of Jesus Christ is in the Old Testament writings. The entire Bible wraps itself around Jesus as a cloak. He said, “In the scroll [volume] of the book it is written of Me.” (Psa40:7)

(2) As to one phase of the kingdom of God, the King says to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed of my Father, INHERIT THE KINGDOM PREPARED FOR YOU FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” (Matt25:34)

Did you catch it? The kingdom of the beloved Son was prepared long before the world was created. This would certainly mean that all of creation was planned for Christ and for the people of Christ.

(3) Of the Christ-rejecting leadership, the Lord said, “The blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged to this generation.” (Luke11:50)

The Greek term ‘generation’ [genea] can express more than a meaning of time. It includes the idea of a multitude of contemporaries. Hence it speaks to an affinity of communion, or a grouping of people who share the sameness of character. We need to understand that there has always been a wicked element in the earth that has set itself against the Lord and against His Christ.

Moses spoke of this group; “They have acted corrupted toward Him, they are not His children, because of their defect; but are a perverse and crooked generation.” (Deu32:5) — This is part of the song of Moses, which Revelation calls ‘the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” (Rev15:3)

(4) Jesus prayed, He said, “Father….YOU LOVED ME BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” (John17:24)

Jesus said that He experienced the Father before the world was.

(5) Paul says of all believers, “HE CHOSE US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love.” (Eph1:4)

What is left to be said on this one? God determined to gives us His own holiness. All the guilt of our sins would be placed upon Jesus.

(6) The book of Hebrews speaks of God’s rest in the Messiah, in saying that, “HIS WORKS WERE FINISHED FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.” (Heb4:3)

(7) Of Christ’s pre-existence in eternity, and with regard to our salvation, it says,

“He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Heb9:26)

(8) Peter says the Christ, “Was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you, who through Him are believers in God…” (1Pet1:20,21)

(9) Both Rev13:7 and Rev17:8 speak of the names of the saved written in the Lamb’s book of life, “from the foundation of the world.”

Wow — How did God know what your name was going to be? Have you ever considered just how deeply involved the Lord has been in your life from here to yon?

(10) The apostle said, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren, beloved by the Lord, BECAUSE GOD CHOSE YOU FROM THE BEGINNING for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” (2Th2:13)

The seal of sanctification

Every believer has a seal of sanctification upon his or her heart. Satan knows it. The angels know it. The seal belongs to God. The seal means,‘This child is Mine.’ It can only be broken by God and He promised that nothing would ever be able to separate us from His love.

Thus we hear God say of Jeremiah,

“Before I formed you in the womb I KNEW you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” (Jer.1:5)

The Hebrew word for ‘knew’ is quite interesting. Yada (yaw-dah’) means to know, to learn, to perceive, to discern, and to experience. It carries more thoughts, but this gives an idea of the strength of what God is saying. He ‘knew’ and even ‘experienced’ Jeremiah before the prophet was formed in his mother’s womb.

David talked about this very thing, and then confessed,

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it.” (Ps139:6)

How about you? Do you feel that such knowledge is too high for you? To say that God knew and experienced us before the foundation of the world is an awesome thing to say. This is God thing, a treasure hidden in Christ.

The issue in all this that all believers need to have their conscious life filled with assurances of their salvation. This is what moves our salvation out of the emotional realm, and even the intellectual realm, into the very heart of new covenant salvation.

Jesus Himself said that His sheep walked with Him in a ‘knowing’ relationship. This can only mean that the people of the Lamb have an intuitive knowing about God that is far beyond anything this present world can offer. We have come to ‘experience’ God Himself in the deep of our inward man. We found Him in Christ.

It was Jesus who said,

“I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.” (Matt11:25)

Paul said the new covenant experience is based upon a believer’s conscious relationship with the Father. This relationship is brought into reality by the Spirit of God. He said,

“The Spirit Himself testifies [bears witness] with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Rom8:16)

In another place Paul says,

“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’”

The Abba Father cry is not merely our cry, even though we feel it deep in our spirit life. It is actually the cry of Sonship. It is our birthing cry made by the Spirit of Jesus. This cry speaks of a joining of our life to the Father of eternity.

This cry of sonship speaks of God’s eternal redemption that was set in place from the foundation of the world. The prophet heard God say it this way;

“Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, ‘Ask Me the things to come concerning My sons, and you will commit to Me the work of My hands.” (Isa45:11)

The Children of Eternity

We are the children of eternity. We are the work of His hands. We carry in our hearts an eternal perspective. We long for eternal things. We have a grasp of eternal things even when we are unable to put them down on paper. That is just the way we are. Yes, we are sinners saved by grace, but saved we are. We are the children that God’s removes from the earth as part of our redemption in Jesus.

It is wonderful to think about.

Here is a song for your heart, – I’m Redeemed I Am Saved – (By Sounding Joy).

In Christ’s Love Always,


Egypt and the World of Islam #3

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“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” (Dan 12:1-4)


(1) The “time of distress” has to do with the great tribulation period. Cf. Dan8:17; Mat24:32-34 (the fig tree is a symbol of Israel); Rev4:1 may well speak to the rapture.

(2) “Those with insight” has regard to end time believers who are given spiritual understanding and prophetic insight into the end times and are thus able to turn many to the Lord. (Includes a great gospel movement into Islam.)

(3) Parts of Daniel would be sealed for the last generation. Not even Daniel understood some of what he was given as prophecy. (1Pet1:10-12) Paul was also given special insight into the end time but was not allowed to share what he heard and saw. Cf. 2Co12:2-4.

Keep in mind that the rabbis placed a curse on anyone who tried to calculate the times by using Daniel. Daniel not only set forth the timing for the first coming of Jesus, he also set forth the timing for the second coming.

(4) “Knowledge will increase” has to do with the flow of revelation and understanding given to God’s end time people from the prophetic writings. It likely allows for an increase of human knowledge on all levels including communication and technology. The revolution in Egypt can largely be traced to Tweeter and Facebook and other forms of communication.

*Place your cursor over a Scripture reference and it will appear.


I want to encourage my readers to preview the two preceding entries on ‘Egypt and the World of Islam.’ (#1 and #2)

The whole world is in wonderment at what is happening in Egypt now. Of course this is only the forefront for the continual unveiling of God’s end time program of redemption. Muslims have been in upheavals for a few years; war in Iraq, in Afghanistan, disturbances in Iran, in Pakistan, in fact all across the Isl?mic nations.

I shared in an earlier entry how Satan raised up Mohammed to create an antichrist religion that has held untold millions of souls in the bondage of darkness. What is happening in Egypt and the middle east is merely a precursor to prophetic events that are unfolding in the days ahead. The end time battle lines have long been drawn. The clock is ticking.

Keep in mind that God’s time clock of redemption did not begin with this revolution in Egypt. God’s time clock was set in motion on May 14, 1948, when Israel became once again a nation among nations. (Isa66:8) It is likely that God’s prophetic seventy year wrap for this age as we know it began on that date. (Go to the entry prior to this one for how the principle of seventy figures into prophecy.)

Here is a quote from my last entry:

The place to begin is to understand the role that Islam plays with regard to the second coming. Here is the scene – Satan has always known that God’s plan of redemption completes itself with the second coming of Jesus to Jerusalem. Therefore his major line of defense has been to create a false gospel that would get around the true gospel. This false gospel would honor Jesus as one of the great Messengers of God. However, it would disallow how the gospel of Jesus saves people. This false gospel would find its center in the nations surrounding Israel. Herein you have Islam.

Leave room for adjustments

With regard to end time events it is important not to nail things down too tightly. Leave room for adjustments. In some prophecies you will see both the first and the second coming of Jesus. Prophecy is not always laid out in an exact time sequence. The Holy Spirit is the One who helps us see how things are falling into place. However, we are seeing the end time prophetic picture unfold in a way never seen.

One thing I’ve tried to stress in these entries is how very important the Old Testaments prophets are with regard to God’s plan for the ages. They often prophesied far beyond their own experiences. As I shared earlier, the New Testament church was not some upstart religion. The Christian faith is literally a fulfilling of what had been spoken by God’s ancient servants.

Consider these Scriptures:

“I sent you [apostles] to reap that for which you have not labored; others [OT prophets] have labored and you have entered into their labor.” (Joh 4:38)

“And He said to them, ‘O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (Luk 24:25-27)

“ … that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.’” (2Pe 3:2-4)

There are two things I want to discuss more fully In this entry. One has to do with what is commonly called the ‘catching away of the church.’ The other has to do with how God’s people should view the events that are now taking place.

Let’s begin with…

The People of Christ

Believers who struggle the most over their salvation are generally those who come from a ‘works-righteousness’ background. What they don’t understand is that their salvation is wholly of the Lord. No person will ever be saved because they became good enough. We are saved by grace alone.

There isn’t much I can add to what this dear sister recently wrote. It took a revelation from the Lord to bring total peace to her life.

Tina is from a Pentecostal background.


From a sister in the Lord

I just thought I’d share something that happened a few days ago.  I was thinking about death and having to face Jesus.  I was feeling really scared and wondering if I’d done enough.  All of a sudden, I had an image come into my head of Jesus standing there with his arms open.  Every time I started to tally up my good vs bad deeds, the image would return.  I finally got the message….  He is WAITING for me to come home.

All the good, bad, and ugly will stay here on earth.  My Savior is standing there waiting for me to come home.  Jesus already completed his mission here on earth, now it’s my turn.  He is here in spirit (Holy Ghost) helping me through this journey.  And when it’s over, I’ll be with him…period, end of sentence.

My physical flesh acts like a prison.  It keeps me in the shadows where things sometimes become fuzzy and confused.  I am living in the domain of evil. The lures of the flesh are almost like being tortured.  Sometimes we do things that are wrong before we even catch ourselves or realize that it’s wrong.

The Father knew that, and he planned for that, and sent his Son to make a way for us to be made clean.  Jesus went back to heaven, but he left the Holy Spirit here to act as a guide through the many pitfalls in life.  The HS keeps us on the right track.  When life is over, I will shed this flesh and go be with HIM!

What a blessing when God puts peace in our hearts and lets us know that we are his!  I didn’t speak in tongues or become hysterical, it was just the sweet, presence of God’s spirit that spoke to my heart.  That’s what it’s about. That’s what Paul and the apostles tried to get across over and over and over again in the New Testament.  Men get tripped up over doctrine, and when they do, they completely miss God’s plan for Salvation and life with him.

TinaP~ – Your Truth Place:

The Catching Away

The removal of all who belong to Jesus Christ is well taught in the Scriptures. Regardless of the time element involved, and regardless of what a person believes about Pre-trib, Mid-trib, or Post-trib, this truth is well established.

I’ll share just a bit in brief. Note carefully:

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1Th 4:14-18)
The expression ‘caught up’ is the Greek word ‘harpazo[har-pad'-zo]. This word is used fourteen times in the New Testament, with the sense of sudden removal from one place to another. In this case it states that believers will be instantly caught up to meet the Lord in the clouds. Notice how Paul said that we are to comfort one another with these words. The second coming of Jesus and all that it entails is a time of glory for the Church. Our being caught up has to do with the marriage feast of the Lamb.
Jesus spoke of this in John 14. Many don’t realize that what Jesus shared with the apostles in this setting has the Jewish wedding as its motif. The Ancient Hebrew wedding had two parts. The first was the espousal and the second part was for the bridegroom to actually come for the bride. Here is the setting:
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (Joh 14:1-3)

Did you catch it? Look closely. Jesus ascended into heaven and thereby through the cross He has prepared a place for all believers. He is returning at the proper time to receive us to Himself. Because we are already espoused to the Lord, our placement in heaven has already been decreed. Positional we have already been seated with Jesus. Now we are waiting for our full glorification with Him.

There is so much more I would like to share but I’ll leave off for  now. Here is a wonderful song that will minister to your heart. It is titled, ‘There’s Something in the Air’, by the Lanny Wolfe Trio.

In Christ always,


Egypt and the World of Islam #2

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” … in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.” (Dan 9:2)

This is a follow-up entry on ‘Egypt and the World of Islam.’ In my last journal entry I called attention to certain prophecies about Egypt and the world of Islam and to world events that precede the second coming of Jesus Christ. I concluded that entry with a prophecy where the Lord makes His appearance with Israel. Part of the prophecy reads…

“And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zec 12:9-10)

I also shared a video that sets forth how the gospel is making powerful inroads into the world of Islam. The gospel penetrating into Islam is a crucial part of God’s redemption program that is to be played out before the second coming. In this entry I want to share more properties about the second coming of Jesus Christ that some may not be aware of.

The place to begin is to understand the role that Islam plays with regard to the second coming. Here is the scene – Satan has always known that God’s plan of redemption completes itself with the second coming of Jesus to Jerusalem. Therefore his major line of defense has been to create a false gospel that would avoid the true gospel. This false gospel would honor Jesus as one of the great Messengers of God. However, it would disallow how the gospel of Jesus saves people. This false gospel would find its center in the nations surrounding Israel. Herein you have Islam.

Here is a quote from my last entry:

“In the Golden Dome [on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem] there is written in Arabic, ‘God has no son.’ The world of Islam has labored under a false gospel about Jesus Christ ever since Muhammad began his religion of the sword. Muhammad perverted the gospel in saying that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, that His death on the cross had nothing to do with salvation, that Jesus was simply one of the great Messengers (prophets), that Jesus would return, would die, and would be buried.”

Did you catch it? Muhammad managed to undermine the saving power of the gospel in the world of Islam by removing the very heart of the gospel. Jesus said He would build His church upon this revelation: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’ Yet Muhammad said that God has no son. Muhammad literally created an antichrist religion. {Anti means in place of or over against.]

Listen to the apostle John:

“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” (1Jn 2:22-23)

God is Taking Out a People

God is taking out for Himself a people from all the nations. This final movement of redemption is moving swiftly through Islam and will end up at Jerusalem. The redemption movement will increase in the days ahead. Consider these Scriptures:

“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Mat 24:14)

“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.’” (Rev 5:9)

“And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken. And it will be said in that day, ‘Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.’” (Isa 25:7-9)

*Place your cursor over a Scripture reference and it will appear.


The Principle of Seventy

The number seventy often carries a prophetic emphasis in the Scriptures. Here is a short synopsis on how the number seventy can be seen prophetically. It is possible that we are in a seventy year redemption time frame. (Place your cursor over the Scripture references.)  …
(1) Jeremiah prophesies of Israel’s captivity into Babylon for seventy years. (Jer25:10-12)

(2) Daniel’s attention is brought to Jeremiah’s prophecy. The time was at hand. (Dan9:2,3)

(3) In seeking the Lord, the angel Gabriel gives Daniel a prophecy that reaches across redemption history and takes in both the first and the second coming of the Messiah Jesus. (Dan 9:23-26) This prophecy of seventy calculated into weeks of years and pinpointed the time of the Messiah. It foretold the cutting off of Messiah until the time of restoration. (Second coming.) The rabbis later placed a curse on anyone who tried to calculate the times of Daniel’s prophecy.

(4) Gabriel left the seventieth week to itself. The seventieth week is known as ‘the time of Jacob’s troubles’ or the period of tribulation. It is understood by many that the book of Revelation largely concerns itself with the seven years of tribulation. This seven-year tribulation is also called ‘the day of God’s wrath.’ (Just as the day of grace is a defined time, even so the day of God’s wrath can be traced through the Scriptures.)

(5) Then we have another interesting notation – The city of Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 a.d. Israel ceased to being a nation for nearly 2000 years. Then on May 14, 1948, Israel once again became a nation among nations. (Isa66:8) It may be that God’s time clock of redemption began clicking once again in 1948. And here once again we need to consider the number seventy. No one knows the day or the hour for the second coming but Jesus said that we could know the times of His coming. So, if the seventy year time frame began in 1948, it would then end up with 2018.

(6) The removal of the church.) There are three broad beliefs about what is commonly called ‘the rapture’, Pre-trib, Mid-trib, or Post-trib. If we subtract the seven years of tribulation from 2018, we end up with 2011. This is the Pre-tribulation position. Some take a mid-tribulation position. In this case the rapture would happen in 2014. For those who do not believe in a rapture, for them the time of the second coming would be in 2018.
(7) What is important is knowing that the coming of the Lord is near at hand. With this in mind God’s people are not to live in an attitude of fear. The second coming is a time of our completed salvation. But as for the times, there are many prophecies that describe the world as we know it today. As for the proper time itself, be it this year, in three years, seven years, or whatever time the Father has determined, keep in mind what Jesus said, “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luk21:28)
Here are some Scriptures to meditate upon

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” (Joh14:1-4)

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.” (Isa 12:2-3)

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.” (1Th 5:9-10)

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Col 3:1-4)

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev 21:1-2)


Let this song minister to your heart. ‘Morning Has Broken’ (This is a Christian hymn set to the music of a traditional Gaelic tune known as ‘Bunessan.’


In Christ always,





Egypt and the World of Islam

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“’The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; the idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them. So I will incite Egyptians against Egyptians; and they will each fight against his brother and each against his neighbor, city against city and kingdom against kingdom. Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; and I will confound their strategy, so that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead and to mediums and spiritists. … “ (Isa 19:1-4)

“Thus the LORD will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the LORD and perform it. The LORD will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the LORD, and He will respond to them and will heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Great World Religions: IslamEgyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, ‘Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.’ (Isa 19:21-25)

*Place your cursor over a Scripture reference and it will appear.


The upheaval is making its way through the Isl?mic world. This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are other elements that must come into play. Actually the world will enter into a time of fermentation and turmoil. The Bible speaks of the shaking of the nations. All this is necessary to the second coming of Jesus Christ. However, the Lord said that when we began to see the dismay among the nations we are to lift up our heads, because our redemption is drawing near. (Cf. Luke 21:25-28)

As for Islam, while the most recent government overturn began in Tunisia, it has spread swiftly to Egypt and is continuing with inroads into other Muslim nations. But we need not be caught off guard. We are told beforehand of the things that will take place at the closing of this age. For one thing the prophet Isaiah calls attention to the agitation that we are now seeing in Egypt. [Read the afore Scriptures carefully for a clear description of Egypt today.]

Many are little aware of how exact the story of redemption history is laid out by the Old Testament prophets. Isaiah lived 700 years before Christ, and yet he gives exact prophecies about both the first and the second coming of the Lord Jesus. Isaiah spoke of things in eternity passed. He spoke of the times that he lived in, and he set forth how God’s redemption plan would work its way through in the far distant future. His fulfilled prophecies are too far many to try to list in this entry.

Islam also treats Isaiah as a prophet. For instance it is of great interest to see the succession of Southern Sudan into an independent nation. They are basing their move to independence on Isaiah 18. Then according to Isaiah 19, Egypt, and Assyria, and Israel are going to be in league together. It will be a league based on these nation groups turning to the Lord Jesus. [Assyria during the time of Isaiah would include Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, and other regional Isl?mic nations.]

God gave these ancient servants of old the prophetic foundation for His plan of redemption. The apostles were instructed to do their work from what had already been written by the prophets. Every prophecy was to have its fulfillment.

Jesus to the apostles –

“Now He said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’” (Luk 24:44-47)

Notice Jesus said that every thing that had been written by the prophets must be fulfilled. Christianity did not begin as some upstart new religion. Our very foundation comes from what had been revealed to the prophets. The apostles were to take these ancient writings by way of instruction in laying the foundation for the new covenant people of Christ. The apostle said,

“… for through Him [Jesus Christ] we both [Jew and Gentile] have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (Eph 2:18-22)

The apostle also said that we are never to exceed “what is written.” (1Co4:6)

When Peter spoke to the crowd about the miracle healing of the blind man, he said,

“And now brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance [in crucifying Jesus], just as your rulers did also. But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.” (Acts3:18)

Muslims turning to Jesus

I won’t pretend to know how all this plays out. Some things are very clear while other things have to be seen in their time. One thing we do know is that God’s work of redemption began in Jerusalem. It will end in Jerusalem.
The Dome of the Rock (the Golden Dome) is built on the site of the first and the second temple in Jerusalem. It remains the holiest place in Judaism. Yet Israel has no access to the Temple Mount other than to the Western Wall. (Often referred to as the Wailing Wall.)
In the Golden Dome there is written in Arabic, ‘God has no son.’ The world of Islam has labored under a false gospel about Jesus Christ ever since Muhammad began his religion of the sword. Muhammad perverted the gospel in saying that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, that His death on the cross had nothing to do with salvation, that Jesus was simply one of the great Messengers (prophets), that Jesus would return, would die, and would be buried.
The greatest need in Islam today is for the Muslim people to hear the true gospel of Jesus. And that is exactly what is happening on a measure that is nothing less than astonishing. Not only are Muslims being exposed to the true testimony of Jesus, but the Lord is appearing to them in dreams and visions. Jesus is speaking into the very heart of Islam. The turmoil we are seeing in the Muslim world will be played out with the greatest movement of salvation that the world has ever seen.

The world of Islam has been preconditioned for the gospel. While the truth of Jesus Christ has been distorted in the Quran, yet Jesus is highly regarded in the Muslim faith. He is seen both as Messiah and as one of the five great Messengers of God. Of course their idea of Messiah is not that of God Himself revealed in human form. However, it is in this high regard that the gospel will make powerful inroads into their world. Keep in mind what the apostle said about the gospel of Jesus Christ –

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.’” (Rom 1:16-17)

The most powerful force on this planet today is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has the power to penetrate into the darkest of human hearts. Just as the Bamboo Curtain has fallen, and the Iron Curtain has fallen, even so the Isl?mic Curtain will also fall. Islam is the last vestige in the gospel’s final approach to Jerusalem. Oh yes, there is much more to take place, but everything is moving at a rapid pace. Jesus said that He was going to shorten the days for the sake of God’s people. Perhaps it is time to begin looking up.

As for Jerusalem, here is what the prophet Zechariah said –


“The burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel. Thus declares the LORD who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, ‘Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around …’” (Zec 12:1-3)


“And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zec 12:9-10)

Back to Islam. View this report on what is happening in the Muslim world with regard to Jesus. It is lengthy but well worth the viewing.


In Christ always,

The Old Time Preacher Man

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Question #1

Please help me with a question I have been trying very hard to understand. If a man is called into the ministry is his wife also called? If not, how can a man and his wife care for a congregation? Thank you very much.


A call to the ministry affects the entire family. In this sense it is a shared calling. To put it in its proper place, the wife is the man’s companion by covenant. So it makes good sense to say that when the Lord calls the man, surely he will help the wife to be in accord with her husband. If the calling is the truly of the Lord, He will see to it. God is not into breaking up homes.

Question #2

How do you know if you are called to the ministry?


A call to the ministry is not something that can be ignored. It will rest upon the heart continually. Plus, when a person is being called by God, the call invokes a response. This means that a call to the ministry will result in a person entering the ministry. This is why there is an old saying, which goes something like this; “If a person can resist a call to the ministry, there was no call to begin with.”

*Original questions modified for clarity

The afore questions are examples of the some of the kinds of questions that I receive on my ‘Ask the Pastor’ site. In this instance the questions have to do with a call to the ministry. For the sake of simplicity I’ll only deal with certain issues that are particular to the call to preach the gospel in the full-time ministry. These called stewardships come as a lifetime assignment from God. But a call to the ministry will always have its resting place of the heart of the person called.

In dealing with a call to the ministry, there are qualifiers that should be understood. First is this — All believers are called to a holy priesthood. It is part of our ‘born from above’ relationship with God the Father. Thus all believers are accorded the privilege of sharing the gospel wherever and with whomever the opportunity may present itself. This is the general calling.

However, there are certain callings that involve a stewardship of responsibility from the Lord. Two of the primary callings are that of a pastor and that of the evangelist. The apostle Paul gives a basic summary on the purpose of these stewardships:

“And *He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ…” (Eph 4:11-15)

“*He gave some” – Jesus had over 500 disciples. Some of these believers were assigned roles as apostles, some would serve as prophets, others as evangelists, etc. (Cf. 1Co15:3-6) Notice the purpose for these special servants: “For for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ…”

*Place your cursor over a Scripture reference and it will appear.

It is important to understand that no one takes these callings to themselves. These stewardships will have rested in the background of the ‘called’ minister’s life from the time of childhood. (Even before.) The apostle said that God had separated him from His mother’s womb. The proper time came and with it came a special grace anointing to fit the minister to his calling.

Sure its a mystery. And this is why it is said that if a person can avoid a call to the ministry it is because there was no call to begin with. Cf. Gal1:15-17; Jer1:5; Acts 9:15; 13:2; Rom1:1

Scriptural mandates

For the sake of time here are a few references that bring out what a stewardship of ministry from God entails:

“Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col 1:25-27)

“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.(1Co 9:16-17)

“Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.” (1Co 4:1-2)

Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. (1Co 9:13-14)

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.” (1Ti 1:12-14)


Personal Insights on the Call

Ever since childhood I’ve had this consciousness of a call of God on my life. There have even been times when I sought to bargain with God over my call. I remember as a teen when I was facing trouble, in a prayer to the Lord, I said, “Lord, if you will get me out of trouble I will preach your word.” Well, the trouble passed. But why would I even think to bargain with God about preaching the gospel?

I can’t tell you why except that in the deep of my heart was an imprint, ‘Called to preach’. What makes this even more odd is that I wasn’t raised in a church environment. Actually I had more than my share of troubles as a youth.

I joined the Navy at age eighteen. Spent considerable time in the Orient and aboard ship. I did all the things that sailors are noted for doing. Yet deep in my heart was this continuous ache. Nothing I did brought satisfaction. The ache became so pronounced that I even interviewed with a Catholic priest aboard my ship, hoping he could help me with this ache. He gave me a book to read. The book didn’t help. There was something deeper.

Let me skip a few months forward in time. Yes, I did surrender to a call to the ministry at age 24. But rather than continuing with this part of my story on the call, you can read my testimony at:

My purpose thus far has been to give my readers an idea how the call to the gospel ministry cannot be ignored. What I want to do now take it a step further and share about my wife. Betty had been raised in a ministers’ home. And here we come back to the question…

Does the Wife Share the Call of Her Husband

Let me keep this on a personal testimony level. You can fill in the blanks and make your own decision about the wife’s call to serve with her husband.

Your God Shall be My God

It was April, 1965. We were living in Montrose, Colorado, and had just brought our first-born son home from the hospital. As we placed Nathan between us in the bed, our talk went to the future, and to other children that we would have. I had already accepted my call to the ministry. That scene is forever set before me. I can’t explain the joy of having a son. And this joy comes with each child born to the family.

But for some reason I felt this need to take our new born son home to Louisiana, to be around my dad. I struggled with my own thoughts; ‘How can I ask my wife to move so far away from her parents?’ I came up with a plan. I got a map and drew a line between Montrose, Colorado, and my home in Louisiana. Then I would suggest to Betty and we find a place half way between the two points. That would be fair. And that was about as close to being fair as I knew to go.

When I shared my thoughts with Betty, she simply reached for her Bible. This is what she read to me:

“Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” (Rth 1:16-17)

She stunned me. At that moment I knew that my Betty was a special person and a special gift to me. Its been that way in our forty-seven years of marriage. Betty had been joined to me and to my call. She had been fashioned by God to have her place in the gospel ministry. Yes, I believe that the wife shares equally in her husband’s call to the gospel ministry.

God uses frail human vessels

Have I ever wondered about my call to the ministry? I’ve never wonder if I have a call, but I have often wondered why the Lord would choose me. I don’t see one thing in me that I would call a qualifier for the ministry. But that was God’s plan from the beginning. The Lord isn’t looking for those who seem to have achieved in life. He chooses those who can best testify to His grace and His glory.

Paul lays this out very well:

“For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the…

“… called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and

“…God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.(1Co 1:22-29)

The Old Time Preacher Man

Some of the best preachers in the world are not necessarily found on TV. They are often found simply tending their flocks in small country churches. With that in mind here is a song by my cousin Alwyn Willis, about the old-time preacher man. Let it speak to your heart….


Standing Still is Hard to Do

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“When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.” (Joshua 3:8)


One of the terms used to express the walk of early believers was simply ‘The Way.’ (Greek ‘o hodos.’) The term is rooted deeply in the prophetic writings. Because of its Messianic overtones it was taken up very early by the Jewish believers with regard to their walk with the Lord. (You find references to ‘the Way’ in Acts 9:2; 19:23; 24:22)

Note: Place your cursor over a Scripture reference and it will appear.

Jesus walked into our world to meet us, to take us by the hand, and to walk us into His world. This is where the footsteps of the Lord can be seen in the walking out of our Christian experience. This is the yoke experience that Jesus spoke of.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt11:29)

Notice that Jesus says that we will “learn from” Him. This can mean no less than Jesus walking with us through our lifetime journey of faith. Note His final promise to the disciples;

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt28:20)


Death to the old meaningless life

The footsteps of Jesus carried Him to the cross. He was taken down and placed in an empty tomb. He walked out of the grave. He departed from the earth and ascended to His heavenly throne of glory.

And God made His footsteps into a way. The way is a way to live by trusting in the Lord, by knowing that He is continually guiding us through life. The new life we are given in Christ is a life full or meaning and purpose.

Listen to David as he shares a prophetic picture of our salvation in Jesus:

“Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth [Jesus] springs from the earth, and righteousness [Heavenly Father] looks down from heaven. Indeed, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce. [The Father’s] Righteousness will go before Him [Jesus] and will make His footsteps into a way.” (Psa 85:9-13)


Jesus said,

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

In God’s work of salvation we pass through the cross and in due course on to our final destination and placement in His heavenly and eternal kingdom. Every child of God has imprinted in his or her soul, ‘the Way.’ It is this imprint that keeps us longing for our final destination.

The heavenly imprint also carries in it the very presence of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of the Lord seals us, sanctifies us, delivers us, guides us, preserves us, and presents us in due course before the throne of God. We are the eternal children of the cross.


What does Standing Still really mean?

Standing still means there will be many times in our Christian walk when we are to do nothing of ourselves. Our instructions are to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. [Salvation includes the thoughts of preservation and deliverance.]

Standing still is something that we learn to do. Some believers do not realize that the work of salvation is God’s work from alpha to omega. No one is accidentally born into the kingdom of God. The apostle said he was convinced the good work that God began in us, He would perfect until the day of Jesus Christ. God alone is the author and the finisher of our faith. He alone is the perfecter of His work. (Cf. Phil 1:6)

Standing still means that the Father has a plan for our life. Standing still means to learn to listen to the Lord, receive your instructions from Him, and then follow through with obedience to His directives. Many times our instructions are simply to ‘Stand still!’

Here is a personal story –

It was 1974 – I had resigned from my former church affiliation. The following morning a cloud of darkness settled over me. I felt an aloneness that I was not accustomed to. What will I do? Where do I go? When I fell to my knees I reached for my Bible. My eyes instantly fell upon Php 1:6, where the apostle said,

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

The ‘Sun of righteousness’ had risen over me. No more fear. No more uncertainty. I knew in my heart everything was alright. God had spoken. The cloud vanished. It was in a moment of ‘stillness’ that I received me instructions. (This is one of hundreds of times the Lord has granted me fresh instructions.)

The point is that some Christians see the strength of their walk in how strong their grip is on God. This is not what Jesus teaches us. The safety for a child of God does not depend on his or her grip on God. It rests entirely in the hands of the Lord. Jesus said,

“No one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John10:27-29)

Here is another example from my own walk:


Expect the Unexpected


It was August 6, 2007. I had been in cancer treatment for awhile. The findings were not good. Lymphoma had spread throughout my chest area and was now into my bone marrow. Our local hospital could do no more for me. They were sending me to M. D. Anderson in Houston. Everything pointed to a marrow transplant. (Pretty invasive procedure.)

Everything was alright between me and the Lord. I had told the church that it was a win-win situation. The only concern I had involved which kind of bone marrow transplant would I have to go through.

Back to the story – That day I am having my morning devotion on a hill behind the church. While reading In the book of Isaiah, the Lord speaks to my heart and says, ‘Expect the unexpected.’

When I looked up at the high wire directly over my head there sat a beautiful dove. I sat there just looking at her. The dove would look at me. She remained there until I stood up to walk home. Then she flew ahead of me towards the house.

It has always amazed me how of the Lord will speak to my heart while I am reading the Scriptures. That morning I was taking my devotion from the New Living Translation. Here is the portion where the Lord spoke to me:

“Oh, that You would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in Your presence! As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil,

“Your coming would make the nations tremble. Then Your enemies would learn the reason for Your fame!

“When You came down long ago, You did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked!”(Isa 64:1-3 NLT)

I shared with the church what the Lord had said. I did not know what ‘expect the unexpected’ meant. I thought perhaps I would receive the less of the two invasive stem cell transplant procedures. After all that was the purpose of sending me to Houston.

At M. D. Anderson I was put through a battery of tests. They gave me a thorough work through. Betty and Nathan were with me.

Here is what happened. When we met with my primary physician, he went down the line on each test that M.D. Anderson had made. With each test he said, ‘No cancer.’ (Something along that line.)

At some point between Pineville, Louisiana, and Houston, Texas, the Lord had granted me a sovereign miracle of grace. It’s been three years now. Every checkup I’ve gone to since shows me clear of cancer.

And that is the story of my healing from the Lord


I don’t share these stories to gain attention for myself. I share them as a way of encouragement. What did I do to gain a healing from the Lord? I did nothing. All I did was receive my instructions from the Lord.

I wish that all believers would come to this understanding. God doesn’t heal us or give us miracles because we deserve them, or because we have earned them, or because we worked some spiritual law, or because we became good enough. It’s all a matter of God’s love and of His sovereign grace.

The love of God is a Divine outflow of His own heart. It flows from God to His children. God then wants His love to flow out from His children to those who are without Christ, and also to other struggling believers. So He gives us testimonies of His grace and of His love.


Paul gave some insight into this area, when he said,

“We have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to [God's] purpose who [always] works all things after the counsel of His will.” (Eph1:11)

Notice that Paul said that it is God’s will that is at work. The apostle John agrees. He said that our birth from heaven was not a thing of our will. He says,

[We] were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13)


Sure, standing still can be hard at times. And yet this is one of the greatest secrets to a life of faith. Standing still does not mean do nothing. It means to get your instructions from the Lord. Jesus said that everyone who asks, receives. Every one who knocks, the door will be opened. Every one who seeks, will find.

Think about it. I hope this entry has ministered to your heart. Please take time to listen to this wonderful song about ‘Standing Still.’



Much love to be found in Jesus,


About the Gentle Man

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If you really want to know the kind of man Jesus was, read the gospels. The trait that describes Him most of all is found in the word ‘gentleness’. Jesus was gentle and compassionate and kind to all. About the only time you see Jesus at odds with anyone is with hardened hearts of religious leaders, or if He needed to make attitude adjustments in His disciples.

It’s all there. Jesus loved children. He would gather them in His arms. The Lord associated with the lowly. He allow lepers to touch Him. He responded to any who called out to Him. One thing that always stood out for me is how the Lord interposed so often in the lives of women who were being mistreated. Jesus cared for everyone with respect. The Lord expects no less from us.

My point is simple – Jesus came into our world to bring redemption and to undo the works of darkness. But He also came to provide example of life. The term Christian means to be Christ-like.

The apostle Paul said it this way:

Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, ‘THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME.’” (Rom 15:1-3)

The most beautiful picture of Christ and the footprints He leaves in our lives is found in this Psalm:

“Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. Indeed, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce. Righteousness will go before Him and will make His footsteps into a way. (Psa 85:9-13)

Did you catch it? Jesus left His footsteps with us as a way that we are to live.

This week I was privileged to read a letter sent to my son Nathan…

… from a dear lady in our congregation. She is a single mom raising children on her own. Her letter was so heart warming that I asked permission to share portions of her letter on my blog. It spoke highly of the men in our congregation. Actually Lynn has not been a member of Christian Challenge very long. But what she had to say about our ministry touched me deeply.

Here goes…

About the Manly Man

Snippets from a letter to Nathan by a single mom – Used by permission

… One of the things I really enjoy about Christian Challenge is that, per capita, we have more men in attendance and involved than any other denomination … or church that I have ever seen.

… What the world is missing today is it’s men. The family not only requires its physical needs to be met, but its spiritual needs.

There’s a lot to meeting those needs. The leader has to be a prayer warrior and receive and give instruction in God’s Word and His will; learning and teaching to hear His voice and live your life according to His ways.

… It was so refreshing to see men who want this for their own families. I know that the world doesn’t do this and it is a forgotten art for men as the leaders of their families. But, I see an active desire and pursuit of this at Christian Challenge.

… You and your father display that manly role as an example to the other men. I think the men in the church stay because they see God’s intention for a husband and father in you and your dad. They know that it’s right even though they may not exactly why they are drawn to you both.

It was encouraging for me as a mom, as I struggle to help my son be a man, to bring him to a place where he sees other men seeking God. He’s spent his younger years with mostly women who usually run Sunday school for the younger kids and VBS. Not so at CCI.

As a Christian woman, I see the role of the men and women much more clearly. I don’t see myself as that “independent, I rule the world” kinda woman any more. It’s much different now.

I am thankful for you and the other men in the church, especially my sweetheart.



Mistaken ideas of manliness

Thank you Lynn.

Some frame the idea of manliness in terms like, be tough, be in charge, let no one see you cry, be a man, be the head of your family, command respect, show no weakness, discipline with a firm hand, be a fighter, and so on. Those are terms that speak to the warrior side of our nature but in themselves they don’t truly set forth Biblical manliness.

It is without question that the man should be both the protector and the provider for his family. Yet protector and provider are not merely warrior terms. They speak of love and endearment.

For example the Biblical way of being head of the family means to love your wife and children the way that Jesus loves the church. It means to treat your wife as an equal heir of the grace of life. It means that the same way that Jesus provided love and grace for all around Him, we are to do likewise. Jesus showed us how the power of life is bound up in the word gentleness.

What many don’t realize is that gentleness is not a sign of weakness. In a Biblical sense it is a sign of strength. Gentleness reveals the ability to control power and to use strength in a proper manner.

Notice how David links salvation, victory, and manliness with God’s gentleness:

“The God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great.” (Psa 18:32-35)

Pay close attention to how Isaiah describes Jesus in His second coming:

“Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him and His recompense before Him. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” (Isa 40:10-11)

To appreciate more fully the idea of God’s men being gentle, we also need to understand…

God’s gift of maleness and femaleness

This brings us back to God’s original plan for the human family. The Bible says both Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. But Adam was created first and as such, had covenant responsibility for the family of man. In his relationship to Eve, Adam was not to be without Eve, and Eve was not to be without Adam. Each were given nature traits that belonged to them alone.

With this in mind there is a sense in which the woman can serve as a type of the Holy Spirit and the man as a type of God’s Word. Both are needed for life. The Word without the Spirit can produce legalism. The Spirit without the Word can produce instability.

Jesus said,

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63)

Finally, when it comes to covenant issues, there is no stronger spiritual working power on this planet than a man and his wife who are in spiritual union. All the promises that relate to ‘two’ people doing something, find their greatest impact in the godly marriage.

Consider this promise:

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 18:19)

Where would this promise work any better than in that of the godly married?


May I leave this with you. We all have room to grow. We have all failed in many things. If you are struggling with any that I have shared, please take time to listen to this special song – ‘I Believe, Help Thou My Unbelief.’   — I shared it in an early blog. It still rings true —

Love you more than much,


The Unpardonable Sin

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“Why, what evil has this man done?”Pilate

“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” (Mat 12:31-34)


An issue that believers sometimes find themselves grappling with has to do with what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit means, and if this ‘unpardonable’ sin has a bearing on a believer.

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is one of the least understood of all Biblical teachings. Because of this it has been a cause of pain for the uninstructed child of God. This is especially true when a child of God ‘senses’ that a thing being done in the name of Jesus, may not be of the Lord. But someone then warns him or her to be careful, ‘You might blaspheme the Holy Spirit.’

The short side of the story is that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not a believer’s sin. It has never been, not today, nor any other time. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. This sin comes from darkness. It comes from a continual Satanic warfare against God Himself. And this is what we need to determine from the Scriptures.

It is important to understand that the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was placed at the front door of a certain element of the Jewish leadership during the time of Christ. It was against that particular element that the charge was made and not at all against all the Jewish people at large. Keep in mind that the early church began fully as a Hebrew believing people. To help understand this element view these Scriptures: (Place cursor over any Scripture reference and it will appear.) Gen3:15; Mat3:7; Mat12:34; Mat23:33; John8:44; Rev2:9; Rev3:9.

This charge of blaspheming the Holy Spirit goes along with this statement made by the Lord,

“Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs. For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God’, yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.” (Luk 11:47-51)

The term ‘generation’ comes from two Greek words that suggest the idea of a multitude of contemporaries. It is also used as a special reference to the moral circumstances of a particular time or people. Jesus is addressing a class of people in Judaism who did the work of the devil. As a nation group Israel’s purpose was to bring forth the Messiah for all the nations. However, Satan had his place in Israel and especially in the leadership. This is why John the Baptist and Jesus spoke of this group as being of Satan. Whereas the gospel is for all people of all nations, Jews and otherwise, this particular element comes under a different banner. They are not simply non believers. They are active agents of Satan. It is one thing to be an active agent and another to be caught in the chords of ignorance such as was Paul. Cf. 1Tim1:12-15

Lets begin by examining a Scripture in its context. Jesus said,

“Everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God; but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.” (Luke 12:8-10)

Notice that the believer who confesses Jesus is placed out of the picture on the issue of blasphemy. The one doing the blasphemy is against Christ. The primary reason for the charge of ‘unforgivingness’ is because this sin is against God’s work of redemption in Christ. Thus we can readily guess who was the inspiration behind this sin.

A sin of defiance against God Himself

When you read the Scriptures where the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is noted, in nearly every case the leadership has openly defied Jesus before the people. It was the leadership that contributed the work of Jesus as being of the devil. So the sin was in reality a sin of defiance against God Himself. The Holy Spirit has always been reckoned as the Spirit of the Almighty God. It is without question that the testimony of God Himself rested upon Jesus.

We need additional background for this. In Isaiah 63, God brings a charge against those of Israel who turned from Him. Listen carefully;

“In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, and He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them.” (Verses 9,10)

Did the Jewish leadership in the day of Christ rebel and grieve the Holy Spirit? The point was that Jesus was doing things that only God Himself could do. He resurrected the dead. He opened blind eyes. He walked on water, multiplied loaves and fish, healed deformed bodies, healed lepers, and did all the things that the ancient sages said would be the signs of Messiah.

Carry this over to Acts 7:51,52, where Stephen makes his defense against the same Jewish element that had Jesus crucified. He says,

You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.”

I hope that this gives you an idea on what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is. It is an open defiance against God, and it is done with a degree of knowledge. The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the sin where Satan seeks to maintain his warfare against the Lord of glory.

What is it that makes this sin unpardonable

What makes the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit unpardonable is that it actually aligns itself with Satan. But it is very important to understand that this is a sin against knowledge. Paul was ignorant of his role. Not all are innocent in this regard. This level of blasphemy is a sin that blatantly denies and defies and defiles all the evidence of the work of the cross in Jesus Christ. It is a sin where one’s conscience can become seared. It is a sin against the Light of God. It is the sin of Antichrist. This is why Jesus said,

“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also.” (Joh 15:22-23)

Listen also to John:

“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” (1Jn 2:22-23)

The Lord very carefully lays this issue out. Listen carefully to the language:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (Joh 3:16-21)

Is the same spirit of antichrist at work today

There is no question that the antichrist spirit is in the world. It manifests in many forms. One of its most belligerent forms is found in Talmudic or Rabbinic Judaism. When the temple was destroyed in 70 a.d., the Pharisees took on the mantle of Judaism and set about to establish their authority over all Israel. In their Talmudic writings the Lord Jesus is treated as a sorcerer and a deceiver.

This is how Jesus is treated in the Talmuds:

1) He and his disciples practiced sorcery and black magic, led Jews astray into idolatry, and were sponsored by foreign, gentile powers for the purpose of subverting Jewish worship (Sanhedrin 43a).

2) He was sexually immoral, worshipped statues of stone (a brick is mentioned), was cut off from the Jewish people for his wickedness, and refused to repent (Sanhedrin 107b; Sotah 47a).

3) He learned witchcraft in Egypt and, to perform miracles, used procedures that involved cutting his flesh, which is also explicitly banned in the Bible (Shabbos 104b).


Now for the good news. Jews by the multiplied thousands are turning to Jesus Christ today. Why are they turning? Because of the power of the gospel. The apostle said that there was nothing that could be done against the truth. AntiChrist, you are on the way out. Enjoy hell!

Here are examples from the untold hundreds of Jewish people who have come to discover new life in Jesus…

In Christ always,