The Passover: History And Prophecy –Jack Kelley


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The Passover: History And Prophecy

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

The Feasts of Israel have both a historical and a prophetic fulfillment. In this study we’ll review the account of Passover, the world’s oldest continuously celebrated Holy Day from these two perspectives.

First, here’s the background. God had promised the land of Canaan to Abraham. But before Abraham could actually take possession, the Canaanite people still had 400 years to decide if they were going to repent of their pagan ways and return to God. He already knew they weren’t going to decide in His favor and He would have to evict them, but He was committed to giving them the 400 years first. So it would actually be Abraham’s descendants who would take possession of the land. In the interim, God said, they would migrate to Egypt and eventually become enslaved there.  When the 400 years were up, God would bring them back to give them the land and would also give them the wealth of Egypt, as compensation for their time of slavery. (Genesis 15:13-21)

To make sure there was no confusion about this, God repeated His promise to both Isaac (Genesis 26:2-3) and Jacob (Genesis 28:10-15), Abraham’s son and grandson.

When the time came, God called Moses to be the deliverer of the Jewish people (Exodus 3) and appointed his brother Aaron to help him bring Abraham’s descendants back to the Promised Land (Exodus 4:14-17).  But when they approached Pharaoh, he flatly refused to let the people go (Exodus 5:1-3).  After nine judgments that nearly destroyed Egypt (Exodus 7:14-10:29), God told Moses and Aaron how to prepare the people so they could protect themselves from the 10th and final judgment, the death of the firstborn.

The Historical Fulfillment

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. (Exod. 12:1-5)

From the dawn of the Age of Man until that time, the month of which the Lord spoke had been the 7th month, called Nisan. In the announcement above He ordered a 6 month shift in their calendar. The 7th month was now the 1st. Because of their dependence on agricultural cycles, the Israelites retained their original calendar, with it’s Fall beginning, and super-imposed this new calendar over it. From then on they had a religious calendar, beginning in the Spring, and an agricultural calendar, beginning in the Fall. (That’s why Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, comes in the Fall.)

Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire-head, legs and inner parts. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover. (Exod. 12:6-11)

Until the 14th means through the end of the 13th, just like a present marked “do not open until Christmas” can’t be opened until the 24th is over. Jewish days begin at sunset in line with the Biblical account of Creation, “There was evening and there was morning…” As the sun was setting on the 13th, the Lambs were to be slaughtered and roasted. Some of the lamb’s blood was to be painted on the lintel and post of the door to each family’s house. Then, when the lambs were cooked, they were to be eaten in haste, along with some unleavened bread and bitter herbs (horseradish). Thus, the Passover meal was the first meal of the 14th, eaten after the sunset that marked the beginning of the day. It was a quick meal, more like a sandwich really, bearing no resemblance at all to the leisurely and sumptuous festival meals of today.

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn-both men and animals-and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. (Exod. 12:12-13)

After their hasty meal, around midnight, the destroying angel passed through Egypt and the firstborn of man and animal perished. The angel passed over homes where the doorposts had been painted with lamb’s blood, sparing the people huddled trembling within. They weren’t spared because they were Jewish, or because they had eaten lamb for dinner. They were spared because they had the faith to paint their doorposts with blood. They were saved by faith through the blood of the lamb.

Many years later, when the Passover Seder had become a traditional celebration, it became common for the participants to dip a finger into their wine glass to collect a drop of wine which they then let fall onto their plate.  They do this for each of the 10 plagues of Egypt, each time saying, “We are saved by the blood of the lamb.”

“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD -a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat-that is all you may do.

“Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born. Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread.” (Exod. 12:14-20)

The Feast of Unleavened Bread began on the 15th and lasted through the 21st. No yeast could be used in any food preparation, nor could any be present in the house during that time. When they settled in Israel, since the 15th was a major feast day and special sabbath, after the ceremonial “lamb sandwich” was consumed the rest of the 14th was spent in preparation because no work could be done after sundown. Any yeast found in the house was discarded, and the bulk of the food purchasing and preparation was done. It became known as Preparation Day.

From that day till this, the Lord’s Passover has been celebrated, one of the most dramatic displays of His power ever seen. During the meal they drink four special cups of wine, one each for the four promises God made to Moses from the burning bush.

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD , and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.(1. Sanctification) I will free you from being slaves to them (2. Deliverance), and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment (3. Redemption). I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.”(4. Acceptance) (Exod. 6:6-7)

He freed His people from the bonds of slavery, defeating the world’s most powerful country without an army, without a single casualty among His own, by the power of His outstretched arm. Over a million former slaves walked out of Egypt the next morning carrying the wealth of their former captives, back wages for their hard labor. The sick were healed, the lame walked, and the weak were made strong. Not a single one was left behind.  Overshadowed by other events of the day, it was most likely the greatest healing miracle of all time.

Prophetic Fulfillment

In the first chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus was introduced as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Throughout His ministry people proclaimed Him as Israel’s Messiah, but only on one day did He encourage it. On the Jewish calendar, it was the 10th day of the first month. We know it as Palm Sunday. Through out Jerusalem Passover lambs were being selected, but on the Mount of Olives The Passover Lamb was being welcomed into the city with shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Matt. 21:9)

From then until the end of the 13th He received the most aggressively intense questioning of His ministry.  He was being carefully scrutinized for some defect in His teaching until finally “no one dared ask Him any more questions.” (Matt 23:46)

After sundown brought the Passover, called Preparation Day in His time, and He ate an abbreviated Passover meal with His disciples, stopping at the 3rd cup, the Cup of Redemption. It was a Thursday, the 14th of the month, and before the day was over He had been arrested, tried, convicted and executed by crucifixion. The Passover Lamb had been put to death on Passover. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed,Paul would later say (1 Cor. 5:7).

Just before He died, knowing that all had been completed and so the Scriptures would be fulfilled, He asked for a drink. (John 19:28-29) In taking the wine they offered, He drank the 4th Cup of the Passover, the Cup of Acceptance. “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.” From that day forward, anyone who accepted His death as payment for their sins would in turn be accepted into the family of God and receive eternal life. They are saved by faith through the Blood of the Lamb.

Earlier a group of Jewish officials had asked Jesus for a miraculous sign to prove that He was who He claimed to be. He said, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matt. 12:39-40). They would get their sign but only after they had put Him to death.  And it would be unmistakable.  No one had ever come out of the grave in a resurrection body before. 

The day following the crucifixion would be Friday the 15th, the first Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a special Sabbath where no work could be done (John 19:31). Knowing this, the chief priests asked Pilate to hasten the deaths of the condemned men so they could get them off their crosses before sundown. But Jesus was already dead. He had died at three o’clock and though His body was still on the cross, His spirit was already in Sheol, the abode of the dead. Day one.

At sundown the Feast of Unleavened Bread bagan, and with it Night One, followed in the morning by Day Two. Saturday the 16th was the regular weekly Sabbath and again no work could be done. It began with Night Two and in the morning became Day Three. Then at sundown it was Sunday the 17th, Night Three.  Three days and three nights, just as He had prophesied.

At sunrise Sunday morning the 17th, the Feast of First Fruits was being observed at the Temple when the women came to the tomb where He’d been laid to rest (Matt. 28:1). It was their first chance to anoint the body for burial since both Friday and Saturday had been Sabbaths. But the tomb was empty. He had risen, the First Fruits of the First Resurrection.

The two disciples who met the Lord on the road to Emmaus that Sunday (Resurrection Day) help us to confirm this sequence (Luke 24:13-35).  At first they thought the Lord must have been a very recent visitor to the area when He asked them to explain why they were so sad.  In the course of the discussion they indicated it was the third day since the crucifixion.  It being Sunday, the previous day, Saturday, would have been the 2nd day since it happened, and Friday would have been the first day since, making Thursday the day it happened.

By His death, He freed His people from their slavery to sin, defeating Heaven’s most powerful adversary without an army, without a single casualty among His own, by the power of His sacrificial life. Billions of former slaves will walk out of this world one day soon, receiving wealth beyond measure. The sick will be healed, the lame will walk, and the weak will be made strong. Not a single one will be left behind. It’s the ultimate fulfillment of the Passover Prophecy.

Shabbat Shalom. May the peace of the Sabbath rest upon you, and may the Grace of our Lord Jesus abide within you, both now and forever more. 04-16-11

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“Come to the End of Yourself”–Rick Warren

Mar 26

TRASH TALK: Take a walk.

2-22-2013 9-09-48 AM

TRASH TALK: Take a walk.

I mean it. Take a walk, literally.

 

Go somewhere nice and isolated; then YELL AT GOD and leave the world and us alone.

(I am not telling you something I have not done; I used to do it a lot!!)

 

TRASH TALK has never told me anything I did not know or could not invent on my own.

TRASH TALK has never changed anyone’s mind about anything;

but Trash talk does convince the person doing it the are “right”

 

TRASH TALK just by the Words themselves should tell you;

As far as God is concerned when you trash talk your in dumpster talking to the trash.

YOU STINK.

(and frankly God said it in His Word)

 

Whether you are indulging in it to satisfy your flesh;

or spewing vile just to look like a drunk vomiting from too much of the world

Spiritual Christians feel sorry for you.

 

Like most drunks who get it all over themselves;

TRASH TALK ONLY STICKS TO THE ONES DOING IT

 

And it stinks; Don’t do it.

THERE IS ALWAYS MORE TO DO

Good Morning

THERE IS ALWAYS MORE TO DO

So relax. You won’t get it done, but you will add something to it.

 

Life is like that. You don’t finish life; you live it.

One day at a time; Day by day.

YOU EXPERIENCE LIFE.

 

Life goes on with or without you so it is best to experience it while you can.

What type of experience you make out of life is entirely up to you.

 

YOU CAN ENJOY IT

Or not if you really don’t want to.

 

You may find the older you get, the less you need to hurry.

MAYBE

There will always be things that will exceed your ability to do.

 

That’s what God is for.

He put them there to get your attention.

 

NOW THAT HE HAS YOUR ATTENTION

Maybe you should ask the Author of Life what living is really all about

You may be surprised…..

IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.

The Offensive Cross


 

 

 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Wendy Wippel

The Offensive Cross



Remember that hymn, the Old Rugged Cross?  Millions of Christians have sung that song since it was written in 1913, and when we sang ''I love that old cross, I’ll cherish the cross, I cling to the cross'', we meant it.  But that was then.  And, unfortunately, this is now.

In between, Christianity has been marginalized by modern culture and dismissed as obsolete, judgmental and arrogant by the world.  And those of us who believe that something relevant to all of history happened on that hill far away?  That the cross is something to cherish?  We’re, at best, narrow-minded.

At worst?  Ignorant, superstitious, uneducated fools.

So I guess you’d have to cut Huffington Post commentator Chris Cocca a little slack for his angst about Good Friday.  Mr. Cocca said that he, for one, won’t be sad on good Friday.

“I can't feel pathos in the part of the narrative that stresses how hard it was for God to give up God's son…Is it because I expect a God worth having to leave things like wrath to us?  Is it because if there's one thing I've learned from Jesus, it's to want more from God than retribution?  Is it because I suspect that if God is all the "alls" we say God is, the calculus of Atonement doesn't work?  That God could, indeed, forgive us, even in our default, lazy sin, without blood sacrifice?"

Mr. Cocca says,

“The Crucifixion also must mean more.  That if any sublime thought or experience I've ever had means anything, there must be something cosmic about this Jesus, something eternally profound about his life and death.”

He’s starting to get it, right?

Wrong.  He goes on:

“If Jesus on the cross actually is God on the cross… if God comes to the cross to feel what it's like to be us at our most human, then what if the cross is also God'smea culpa?  What if the cross is God's apology for our suffering, what if it's God's self-imposed sentence for allowing entropy, sickness, disease, moth and rust and flame when God, in God's omnipotence, could have set the rules our universe is bound by very differently? … What if the cross isn't our absolution but God's?”

“I can't believe God requires blood oblation for the remission of sins. I expect more from God… I can believe God wants us to live better than we do. I can believe God wants us to give a damn about real justice and real change… I want to believe that God is on the cross, in the tomb, in the rubble of Haiti in ways that matter.  But I can't hold those hopes without believing that an all-loving, all-powerful God could achieve God's ends without brutality, entropy, evil, or bloody payback justice.  Give me all-loving over all-powerful, always. … … give me the poetry of God's most human moment, of God's great apology, and give me, in Easter, hope that this redeemable God repents, believes, lives so that we might."

Mr.Cocca describes himself as a Christian-ish skeptic.  A seminary pastor who doesn’t like church.  An agnostic that thinks that if there is a God there, we’ll know Him through experience rather than revelation.  And this guy has a Masters in Divinity!

And he’s not alone.

Harry Emerson Fosdick, A Presbyterian Pastor and early liberal voice, said that the doctrine of the blood atonement made Christianity “a slaughterhouse religion.”

Alan Jones, an Episcopal priest and well-known author, said that,

"The Church's fixation on the death of Jesus as the universal saving act must end, and the place of the cross must be reimagined in Christian faith. Why? Because of the cult of suffering and the vindictive God behind it. That Jesus’s sacrifice was an act meant to appease an angry God.  That the cross as a means of atonement was a “vile doctrine”.

Steve Chalk, a British minister and author, said,

"people inside and outside of the church have found this twisted version of events morally dubious and a huge barrier to faith. Deeper than that, however, is that such a construct stands in total contradiction to the statement “God is love.” If the cross is a personal act of violence perpetrated by God towards humankind but borne by his son, then it makes a mockery of Jesus’ own teaching to love your enemies and refuse to repay evil with evil.  The truth is the cross is a symbol of love. It is a demonstration of just how far God as Father and Jesus as his son are prepared to go to prove that love.  The cross is a vivid statement of the powerlessness of love”

(Huh?)

And untold numbers of churches across the land have just stopped talking about atonement.  They just talk about love and social justice instead.

The cross is offensive.

The problem this bunch has is that the Scriptures say otherwise.

Jesus said that He came to give His life as a ransom for many.

Brian McLaren, father of the emergent church said,

"The church has been preoccupied with the question, "What happens to your soul after you die?" As if the reason for Jesus coming can be summed up in, "Jesus is trying to help get more souls into heaven, as opposed to hell, after they die." ... I don't think that the entire message ... can be boiled down to that bottom line."

Jesus said that He came for one hour—the cross.  (And if you claim to worship Him, you should at least give some credibility to what He says. Right?)

The Scriptures say that,

“without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22) ESV

And there’s the rub.  Jesus Himself, as sinless as He was, without blood, would not have saved us.

Our own repentance, though we flood the earth with our tears?  No effect.

Our own good works?  Ditto.  Filthy rags.

“Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”

Funny.  These kind of “Christians” (using the term loosely) don’t seem to have taken God by surprise.

Paul seems to anticipate this development:

"This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." (I Timothy 1:15) NKJV

Why, exactly, does the remission of sins require blood?  I’m not sure.  Paul points out that the covenants required blood—and the covenants involved the shedding of blood to bring home the gravity of the covenant commitments.  But I agree with Mr. Cocca in that I think there is much more to it than that.

I think it is one of those things that we’ll see clearly when we are face to face, and probably spend eternity contemplating.

And I also agree with Mr. Cocca that the cross is offensive.

But when I say it’s offensive, I mean as in “a means of attack”.  God created the world, and called it very good.

And then it was corrupted.and at the very moment that sin entered, God promised a redeemer that would win it back.

Christ’s death on that cross was the victory.

Revelation 5 paints a future moment in which that victory is finally complete:

“Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.  But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”… Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.  And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll,And to open its seals For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood.”

The people of the earth were enslaved to sin, and God declared war.  And the cross was His definitive offensive play.

The Lamb of God was slain, and took away my sin.  And yours.

The cross is foolishness to the world.

"Because the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom." (I Corinthians 1:25) NKJV

I won’t be sad Friday either.  But I will sing The Old Rugged Cross:

“that old rugged cross/  so despised by the world/  has a wondrous attraction for me/  In that old rugged cross/ stained with blood so divine/ a wondrous beauty I see.."

Call me a fool.

I’m not sure what to call the man who thinks God needs to apologize…

About Wendy Wippel

Last week: Jack of Hearts

“Let Your Light Shine” –Billy Graham

MAR 26

"Religion"

 

 

 

The Spirit and the Bride

 


The Spirit and the Bride



 
The Spirit and the Bride
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Pete Garcia

For all the horrible things that this world can throw at me, I have a hope that shines brighter than a thousand suns.  The world may bludgeon this old body and can even batter my soul, but my spirit soars at the thought of the glorious future that awaits.

It’s not just blind faith, but a faith grounded in design, pattern, and personal revelation.  The facts on the ground that validate the Bible over and over only reinforce what my spirit already knew the moment I was delivered from the icy grips of death into everlasting life.

I was like that rose who climbed up the wall to the hole only to discover what lies on the other side; I know death isn’t the end, but only the beginning.  We start to die the moment we are born, but it is only when we are born again that our true nature awakens from its materialistic coma and we see life for what it really is...a temporary habitation set up to test and shape us.  This life is not all that is or was, nor will it be the end of all things.  Our life goes on, because we were made in the image of God, which means we were created foreternity.

Of Heaven

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV)

I’ve never seen heaven, but I know in my core, that it will be more beautiful and breathtaking than anything I could have ever imagined. I know that at some point known only to the Father, that those of us in Christ, will be caught up to be with Him forever. It is spelled out in a simple chronological process found in Romans 8:28-30, in that:

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."

I simply do not possess the words to express, or the mental facilities to conceive of what grandeurs await those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ. This writing here will not do the reality of heaven and our glorification in that place, any justice.

The colors will be brighter and purer than anything here on earth.  The sights and sounds that seemed incomprehensible here on earth, will simply exist as they are in their natural, impossible state of existence there in heaven.  It will defy our sense of logic andcomprehending, yet it will exist there in perfect harmony with the rest of heaven.

Human ears could not survive the overwhelming praise that springs forth like an Acapella tidal wave of sounds crashing onto the rocks made of cymbals and glass.  The innumerablesounds of the hosts of heaven worshipping will dip from stone rattling lows, to a crescendo of chords and choruses unheard of on earth. The sound of many rushing waters mixed with the rumbling of thunder echoes throughout the throne room. The Seraphim above the throne encircle it day and night endlessly chanting to the perfect, Tri-une nature of God with “Holy Holy Holy” in that ancient perfect language known only to Heaven.

The Father’s very brightness of being is shrouded in unapproachable light. His Holiness alone humbles us to our very core, causing us to fall on our knees and utter praise after praise declaring His Triumphal victory over sin and death as we hail His glorious majesty.  Yet, emanating from Him comes forth a love for those who call Him ‘Abba Father’.  So completely satisfying is this love, that every hurt, every tear, every pain and every injustice we had ever felt, simply melts away in irrelevance being unable to compete with the unimaginable love that flows from Him.

Yet, at the center of it all, where everything in the universe hinges, is He who sits high upon a throne of light filled with awesome wonder.  His Shekinah glory fills the heavenly temple.  Before Him, stands the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who appears as the Lamb as though He had been slain bearing the only man-made things in heaven, that being the scars He still bears.  All power and authority was granted to Him.

Individually, we kneel before the Son as our lives are laid bare at this Bema Judgment, we watch as the fire in His eyes consumes our intents, thoughts, deeds, and words in a moment, and see watch as what is consumed by the flame, and what is refined into our eternal reward for our momentary lives back there on earth.  Truly our momentary afflictions do not compare to the eternal weight of glory that will one day behold us.

We wonder with sheer amazement as we watch the things that seemed so important to us here on earth, go up in flames of irrelevance.  Yet the things that seemed so unimportant, and miniscule, and forgettable there...withstand the flame which refined and purified them.  In comparison, the people we impacted and shared with in our triumphs and failures, in our joy and our pain will be our rewards as well as the crowns that are given for our own personal sacrifices and faithfulness.  If we could but only truly grasp that now, how much more could we do?

The sheer immensity of heaven will overwhelm you and comfort you simultaneously as the thought of finally being at home forever sinks in. The grandeur of it all would overwhelm us if we were not in our glorified state.  The most wonderful idea though, will be in the knowledge that we will never again suffer or want for anything anymore...forever.

Of Hell

"And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:15)

For those who do not know the Lord, death is the great unknown.  At the very moment one breathes their last breath in this life; they awake in the next to a dark and hopeless reality, eternally separated from their Creator.  Never again will they ever see light or experience pleasure.  Never again will they ever feel love or have hope.  The eternal blackness of darkness forever awaits those who die in their sins.

Jesus Christ is God who put on the robe of flesh so that He could bridge the gap between a sinful man and a righteous God.  Jesus said that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no man could come to the Father but through Him.  That is how it has to be, because no amount of good deeds, charitable giving or moral religious living could ever be good enough to meet God’s standard of perfect righteousness.

The lake of fire is a place of unbelievable suffering and pain which was built not for human habitation, but for the fallen angels who willingly rebelled against a God they resided with.  But if we are made in God’s image, and that means we are eternal, our eternity will either be spent in one of two places.  If your eternal destination is not heaven, then the only other place it could be is in hell.

The Choice

But if you’re reading this, then your future does not have to be fearful or bleak.  You can KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt where your eternal home will be.  Christ will turn noneaway; will accept you where you are, and will never lose any that the Father has given Him.  Christ did not come to make bad people good, but to give dead people life. And to those He gave life, to give them life more abundantly.

Jesus came not for the healthy, but the sick.  He came not for the proud, but the poor in spirit.  He came to those who were cast out and looked down upon.  Christ came and met us where we were, not where a church or denomination said we had to be first.  Christ didn’t come down and tell those who inquired of salvation that they must first keep the Law, nor did He tell them that they must keep the Law to stay saved.  It was never even about our righteousness at all, but about His.

When Christ came to earth, He came as a Prophet performing signs and miracles and speaking truth to power.  Today, He serves as Priest at the right hand of the Father interceding for our sinfulness.  One day will reign as King forever and those of His bride will reign with Him. But it’s more than just some far off distant time when Christ ‘might’ return.  He is returning, and it will come at a time when no one expects Him too. Either way, each and every one of us has a personal rendezvous with Jesus Christ, whether it’s in the air or at our deathbed.

This world is corrupt and dying, and is even at this very moment, in its last death throes as we see creation all around us in travail.  How do we keep our focus on Jesus, and not on the lunacy of the world that invades our lives?  We pray, stay in the Word, and we give our hearts in the service to each other.  Granted, it is much easier to say this than to stay faithful doing it, but we must not rely on our own strength, because we will only fail over and over.  We are strong in the Lord, because He strengthens us, and in our weakness, He is made strong.

And to those who do believe, and who do know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior like the faithful believers in Philadelphia, hold fast.  Christ is returning soon and His reward is with Him.  Do not give up hope, but remain firmly planted in the truth and the grace that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Come and See

We in the Bride of Christ bid you to come and join our eternal family. Death is not the end, but only the beginning. Your eternity can begin right here and right now.

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:16-17)

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Good Friend Called Home - Jack Kinsella

 

 

 

Good Friend Called Home - Jack Kinsella

ray-jack-410-200Earlier this week I  learned that an old dear friend of mine was rushed to the hospital. Many of you know him and probably love his work as much as I have.

I just learned that my good friend, John “Jack” Michael Kinsella went home to be with the Lord March 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm.

So I am sitting here with tears in my eye trying to write this, paying honor to a good man, husband, father and friend.

Thinking back, I am so glad that I was able to see Jack one last time at the Future Congress Conference in Dallas this past January 2013.

jack kinsella twibpHe looked like his same old Jack, he dropped a few pound and  maybe added a few more grey hairs.  Over all he looked great and the time spent together was good.

I have known Jack now for close to 25 years. I remember when he was writing for the LaLonde Brothers' show "This Week In Bible Prophecy."

From time to time he would also be one of their reporters reporting on some sort of event taking place or some sort of story.

Back in the early 1990's I got together with Ron Graff of http://www.bible-prophecy.comand we decided to put together a bible prophecy conference. We had Tim LaHaye, Berit Kjos, Gary Kah, and also Jack Kinsella. I had some other folks speaking as well and it was a lot of fun. It was the first time I got to meet Jack face to face and we hit it off great.

Time passed and things changed. I stepped away from Prophezine for a few years and then God was gracious and brought it back full circle.

In 2005 the person who was running Prophezine asked if I wanted it back. I talked to Tracye about it and what it would entail and we both agreed.

In 2006 Jack was taking trips in his RV around the country, that was when gas was cheap. One of those stops was here at our house and we held our "PZ - OL Weekend."

We had folks show up from all over the US and in fact one year it became an international event when some folk from Canada planned on attending.

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It was a wonderful time, great fellowship, Jack and I took turns teaching. We had great food and BBQ, just a wonderful time.

We looked back on those time fondly.

Jack and I talked about our PZ -OL Weekends in Dallas this past January and relived some of the finer and funnier moments.

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Folks, Jack is now with the Lord, that is His promise...

1 Coronthians 5:3  For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

Please Pray also for his wife Gayle and all the kids and grand kids. Pray for daughter Kari and husband Mike who helps run Omega Letter.

I know that Jack touched a lot of people's lives. He touched mine for sure.

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I am going to miss Jack a lot. His down to earth wisdom when it came to scripture, and his dry wit that always put a smile on my face.

The world has lost another outstanding watchman on the wall, but he has been called to bigger and better duties in heaven.

Jack, I am going to miss you man. The wall is emptying out of good men like you. I look forward to the day that we can all get together again and talk about the good old days.

You were a mentor to me in many ways and a fellow Soldier for the Lord that I will never forget. You have run the race well, and now you are hearing " Enter my kingdom my good and faithful servant.

It has been such a blessing in knowing you and calling you friend and co-watchman.

Till we meet again -- Maranatha!

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Here is the announcement that I just got from the family only a few minutes ago...

Below is the obituary we are sending out today to the local newspapers.  Many have asked what they can do for us as we get through this.  Like my Dad's final note to you, please don't leave us yet and we covet your continued prayers for strength, healing and HIS guidance.  Please accept our deepest condolences for your loss.  The world is a lesser place without Jack Kinsella.

John “Jack” Michael Kinsella was born October 7, 1952 in Fort Erie Ontario and went home to be with the Lord March 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm at the age of 60.

Son of the late, Jack Kinsella and Doris Kinsella (Winn).

John lived his life as a hero beginning at age 10 when he received the Carnegie award for heroism.  In 1969, John signed up to the US Marines at the tender age of 16 where he served until 1975 receiving an honorable discharge. During his service for the Marines, John also had a battle with cancer and won.   He then began his career in law enforcement in North Texas reaching the rank of Captain before the age of 30.   He then headed back to his hometown of Fort Erie where he dedicated his life to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ preaching, teaching and mentoring until the Lord took him from this world to grant him his heavenly rewards.

John is survived by his wife, partner and best friend Gayle Kinsella (Snyder).  His brothers, Roy, Walter and Tony Kinsella, his sisters Jacqueline Anderson, Barbara Dumelie and Georgina Wisbey and all of their children, who greatly admired their Uncle “Johnny”.

He leaves behind six children, Karen Velemirovich (Mike), John Kinsella, Charlyn Fischer, Richard Kinsella (Nikki), Michael Fischer (Kerilyn) and Jessica Cook to whom he freely shared all his accumulated wisdom.   John loved and enjoyed all of his 9 grandchildren, Hannah, Jacob, Michael, Taya, Bailey, Sarah, Tristan, Lorilai and Natasha.

John was also a loving cousin and nephew to the Opatovsky, Pooler, Spear and James Families.

John lived his life to the absolute fullest and made every moment count.  Being ready at all times to give an answer for the hope that was in him.

Friends may visit at The Williams Funeral Home, 722 Ridge Road North, Ridgeway, Sunday March 17th, 2013, from 5-9PM EST.  A Funeral Service to celebrate John's life will be held in the Williams Chapel, Monday afternoon at 1PM EST.  Interment will follow at Ridgeway Memorial Cemetary.

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