WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THE END TIMES BIBLE PROPHECY – 70 WEEKS OF DANIEL

May 31, 2011

                “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

Daniel 9:24 KJV

    In Thessalonians we can see the early Christians were scared they were in the Tribulation so Paul speaks about the facts and tries to set them straight on the coming of the Lord and His return. In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 KJV, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” Paul knew his old testament and old testament prophecy.  You will find he refers to the end times with terms from the Old Testament in Thessalonians. It says, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 KJV  Notice how he repeats the thought of light and day and compares it with night and darkness.  He is making a point. In Joel 2:1-2, 10-11 KJV, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” In Amos 5:18-20 KJV, “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. hall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” It seems likely that Paul was reading Amos when you see the words he uses in 1 Thessalonians. 5:1-5.  The contrast is powerful go back and re-read it. He makes it pretty plain we are not of the night or darkness, it will not overtake us. In Zephaniah 1:14-15 KJV, “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,” The other very strong contrast Paul uses is what the next coming of the Lord means to Christians is in the Book of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 KJV, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” Compare that to what we just read in Joel 2:11 KJV, “And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?”  Doesn’t sound comforting at all, while Paul says the rapture is comforting. We must realize that Revelation is all based on Daniel, so to know Revelation, you must  know Daniel.  You will quickly notice how the metaphors are taken from Daniel over and over, but most importantly you will see Daniels 70 7’s have one 7 year period left, which is what Revelation is all about.  Daniel lays out the plan,  and John in Revelation expands on the same thing Daniel prophesied about just with more detail. The general facts about Daniel 9 are the it is about the Seventy Sevens. 1) There is a specific period of time marked out by God. 2) The prophecy is specifically related to the Jews and Jerusalem Daniel 9:24  “Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, and 3) The total scene lasts 70 periods of 7.  * 70 – 7’s What are they ? *  A one week period in the Bible often refers to a 7 Year period, not a 7 day week. In Genesis 29:18-27 KJV, “And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me. And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her. And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her. And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid. And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.” Also Daniel Writes, “At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:23-27 KJV  Notice how the 70 -7’s are divided into 3 segments. 7 – 62 – 1  or  49 yrs. – 434yrs. – 7yrs.  I did not divide them into 7, then 62 and then 1,  the Bible did.  Why, is the last 7 year period left hanging out there.  You need to very carefully look at this, why did God separate it? When did the 70 7’s start ? Daniel says, “From the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” The prophecy begins with the decree by Artaxerxes Longinimus in the 20th year of his reign. That was around 445 B.C. In Nehemiah 2:1-8 KJV. “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it. And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.” AFTER 69 WEEKS MESSIAH WILL BE CUT OFF. From the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to (NISAN (April) 10th A.D. 32 is 173,880 days) when Christ entered Jerusalem through the Golden Gate, 3 days later he was crucified…Remember the Jewish calendar is on lunar years or 360 day years. It comes out to exactly 483 years to the day. So, if the first 69 weeks are now Historical and they have been fulfilled to the day from Daniels prophecy the what should we expect next? If one week is still future, that one week still is to fulfill the same purpose. Ask your self, what does the Bible say the reason of all 70 7’s was for? This is very important, because until you understand why there are even 70 – 7’s you cannot possibly understand the purpose of the last 7 years. The Bible names 6 objectives of  70 – 7’s  1) To finish transgression of Israel. 2) To bring an end to sin. 3) To make atonement for iniquity  of Israel 4) To bring in everlasting righteousness. 5)  To seal up vision and prophecy. 6) To anoint the most Holy (place or One). This 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9 doesn’t end there though.  Something else was prophesied that would happen in Daniel 9:26 KJV,  “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” The Roman army in 70 AD, came and destroyed the city of Jerusalem: he city of Jerusalem was completely leveled by the Romans, which also was foretold by Christ in Mark 13:2 KJV,  “And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Sadly, the fulfillment of this prophecy also speaks of a tragic event in this verse, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:27 KJV  So this amazing 70 weeks of Daniel confirms Jesus Christ as the Messiah. So Focus on following Jesus and obeying and keeping God’s Commandments. We can learn important lessons from Daniel about how God answers our prayers. So why not focus on Jesus Christ and open your heart to Him today because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood for your sins so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen 


By: Jeff Ellinger

 




MEMORIAL DAY IS A TIME TO REMEMBER – MEMORIAL INSPIRATION

May 25, 2011

ABOUT THIS VIDEO

http://www.worshipvue.com/media/video/memorial_inspiration While we are grateful to all who’ve served in our Armed Forces, Memorial Day is that time set aside to specifically remember the soldiers who’ve paid the ultimate price with their very lives. This collection of quotes from Generals, Presidents and Soldiers is an emotional tribute to the fallen, and will inspire your congregation to honor their sacrifice.


WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT MEMORIAL DAY – HONOR JESUS AND LOVED ONES THIS HOLIDAY

May 25, 2011

               “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13 KJV

       Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories about its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead.”  While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 to ensure a three-day weekend for Federal holidays). Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans today have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country. To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.” The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country. Memorial day is a day to remember those who have fallen in the service of our country. This is something that we can and all should do, however we feel about the present politic and wars. We can and should recognize and honor the tremendous sacrifices made by those who volunteer to serve our country and especially by those who pay the ultimate price. Their families are impacted forever, and their sacrifice never ends. We acknowledge and honor their sacrifice. The Bible says, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16 KJV  And it is good that we have a holiday to help us remember. We are that kind of people. Without Memorial Day, we would soon forget to acknowledge their sacrifices. Without a special day, it is easy to let things sort of slide by. For many, even with a holiday, they have no idea why we celebrate. For them, it is just the three-day holiday that begins the Summer season and there are a lot of furniture sales. We take our freedom for granted. Here we sit today, praying, singing, fellowshipping, worshipping God together, reading His Word without fear of reprisal, intimidation, persecution, and with no restriction from the government, whatsoever. It is a blessing we very much take for granted. The Bible says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34 KJV  War is a regrettable thing, although necessary, no one in their right mind likes war, and nobody wants to go to war. War is not glamorous/romantic, though Hollywood often tries to portray it as such. War is a terrible thing, a regrettable thing. But there are some things that are worse than war. Obviously, some things are very important to remember, and some things are not. There are some things that God wants you to remember. God wants you to write them on your palm, and on your heart and on your mind. The right answers about war are found only in the Word of God. There are believers today who say that war is ALWAYS wrong. It is foolish and wicked to desire war, but it’s foolish and naïve to think that war is always avoidable. For there are wicked people in this world that will kill, steal, and destroy without blinking an eye, that’s the human nature, the sin nature, unleashed! Don’t get the idea that the more advanced man becomes technologically, that the more educated we become and the more civilized we become, that we become more mellow and kind, and not that things would get more and more peaceful, that is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible says, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” Matthew 24:6-7 KJV  Jesus is the One Who will end all wars.  He is the One Who will be able to proclaim, “World War Won!”  But there will be no peace on earth, until the Prince of Peace arrives! But until that day arrives, this is a fallen world, for we all have a fallen nature, and there will be war! In the Bible, righteousness and peace are linked together. When our nation is right with God, we’re standing on the Rock, but when we’re not right with God, we’re on sinking sand. God is our defender, and we’d better not forget that! The Bible says, “For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.” Deuteronomy 32:31 KJV  I thank God for freedom,  those who bought and paid for it with their lives in the past,  those who will protect it in the present and defend it in the future. America has remained silent too long! God-fearing people have remained silent too long! So, let us stand proud, and let us be the human shields of prayer, encouragement and support for our troops and their families and our country. Jesus said in, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 KJV  Then Jesus did just that, laid down His life, for you and me.  That war is already won, if you are on the winning side! It’s spiritual freedom that you need, and it was purchased for you at a very high price. We honor the memory of those who paid the ultimate price for freedom. Yet the words on that stone carry a far greater meaning. Jesus spoke them the night before He died on the cross for the sins of a needy world. His death was not for freedom from political tyranny but freedom from the penalty of sin. His death was not just to give us a better life, but to give us eternal life. It is important to remember those who have given their lives for their country, but may we never forget to praise and honor the Christ who died for a dying world. Truly, there is no greater love than this. So why not today open your heart to Jesus Christ, because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood for your sins so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger



THIS MEMORIAL DAY – OUR HEROES – THE SKIT DAYS

May 23, 2011

ABOUT THIS VIDEO

The Skit Guys bring you, yet again, another heart-warming and inspiring video illustration just in time for Memorial Day. A father reminisces a trip to Washington D.C. where his son learned the cost of freedom. Share this with someone you love to remind them to thank God for those that sacrifice so much for us. God bless our soldiers—past, present and future!


AS A CHRISTIAN, SATAN IS CONSTANTLY PERSUADING YOUR MIND TO USE “THE QUIT OPTION” LIKE THE NAVY SEALS

May 23, 2011

           “But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

2 Corinthians 11:12-15 KJV

  Navy Seal Hell Week is 5.5 days of continuous training without any sleep will probably make any man cry! But when “you gotta be a SEAL, you gotta go through Hell Week!” The training takes place at the Coronado Naval Amphibious Base in San Diego, California. The training is so tough that on the first day of the Hell Week, the instructor makes it a point to tell the recruits one thing: “If you quit now you could go get a room at one of those luxury hotels down the beach and do nothing but sleep for an entire day!” In fact, Navy SEAL instructors keep repeating the fact that recruits can use the “Drop-On-Request” (DOR) at any time during the training.According to a Navy SEALs instructor, the Hell Week in the BUD/S training is not about physical strength, but about mental strength. The training requires 90% mental and only 10% physical strength and capability to endure. There are times when recruits feel that their feet are too cold or sore or they are too wet or too tired to carry on and it is at these times when only their mind carries them forward. The Hell Week is 132 hours of continuous physical labor and mental fatigue. All hell breaks loose on the 3rd week of First Phase of BUD/S training, which includes less than 4 hours of sleep. Hell Week has been initiated to test the limits of a recruit’s mental toughness, physical endurance, tolerance towards cold and pain, attitude, teamwork, and ability to perform under high physical as well as mental stress under sleep deprived conditions. The Hell Week training is also a test of determination and desire, which questions their desire to be a Navy SEAL? According to statistics, only 25% of the SEAL recruits make it out of Hell Week, giving it the reputation of being one of the toughest training on the planet. The Hell Week training requires recruits to be constantly in motion, whether they are running, paddling, swimming, carrying their boats on their heads, logging PT’s, doing push-ups, slogging through mud, rolling in the sand, paddling their boats or conducting surf passage. The most common drills include recruits standing soaking wet on the beach, standing in freezing cold water up to their waist, completely covered in mud except the eyes and still be ready for their next challenge. Cuts, bruises, and burns are common, but the SEAL has to learn to think beyond the pain. In such situations they have to think, lead, and make sound decisions. When the recruits are the most tired, when they are suffering from sleep deprivation, when they are closer to hypothermia and hallucination – that is the time when they should also be able to operate functionally. This is what makes the Navy SEAL different from any of the other US Military or world force! Nothing is done at a walking pace while mud and sand will get everywhere causing severe chafing and open sores that together with the cold reduce athletic candidates to shambling men as they struggle to keep their body moving. Hell Week is about breaking the will of candidates by applying stress in the form of cold, fatigue, being wet, physical exhaustion, sleep deprivation, a lot of yelling coupled with offering incentives to quit. Allya gotta do is ring that bell and you can get a room in that hotel we just ran past and sleep all day! “The Quit Option.” The bell in question is located high up on a platform visible to the entire camp and all a candidate need do to stop the pain and torture is signify he wants a Drop On Request or DOR by simply stepping up and ringing the bell. As Christians we live in a culture where the option to quit is ever-present. If problems are piling up or things just don’t seem to be going the way you envisioned, don’t worry you can always just quit. If you aren’t doing as well as you would like in a difficult class, you can drop the class. If you don’t like the way things are going at work, quit. If you are putting on more weight than you would like, you can just stop worrying about what you eat and buy bigger pants. You may not work in a ‘Christian environment,’ but if you stick it out at your job, someone might just hear the gospel. And that is really what is constantly at stake in our lives as Christians isn’t it? We are constantly faced with the challenge of displaying the gospel in everything we do. Are you displaying the gospel at home, at school, at work, and at church? Probably not if you are quitting everything you start. Don’t let Satan break your mind. You will have to walk the spiritual walk and take everything that they throw at you. Don’t use “The Quit Option.”  Do as Paul did as he ministered throughout the cities. He was beaten, stoned, thrown in jail and much more. But he kept spreading God’s word and kept faithful to Him. It says in the Bible, “Serving the LORD with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:19,24 KJV  Paul never used “The Quit Option.” He went through so much as it is described here in the Bible, “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.” 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 KJV  You could almost say Paul was a Navy Seal ! Don’t let the pressure build on you and let Satan get the best of you. You just have to tell your spirit you’re not going to quit. Jesus didn’t quit on the cross. All He had to do was say He had enough and the Angels would have come down and got Him and saved Him from the pain. But Jesus endured all the pain for us and took it upon Himself to die on the cross and pay for our sins.  He didn’t use “The Quit Option.” The Bible says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:2-3 KJV  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we all can be victorious in our everyday lives. We can overcome the devil and our flesh. We can be ministers of peace and reconciliation on this earth, and walk in perfect communion with God. We can be free from pressure by learning to yield to the Lord and resisting the devil. The Bible says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 KJV  How do we resist the devil? By speaking the word of the Lord over our situation. For example, if we are being pressured with fearful thoughts, we should quote scriptures that speak of victory over fear. Just as the Bible says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV  What in your life are you constantly tempted to quit on? The option to quit is always there but what does that say about you? Don’t quit. Jesus didn’t. Some people who say they’ll serve Christ are quick to leave when trouble comes. In Jesus’ parable of the soils, He pictured the various responses that people have to the gospel. For example, a person may seem to accept God’s truth, but he stumbles in his faith when difficulties arise. The Bible says, “But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” Matthew 13:20-21 KJV  Such troubles test the sincerity of one’s faith and expose the weakness of one’s commitment to Christ. But someone may say, “Shouldn’t our Lord tell us up front what is involved in following Him?” He does. He appeals to us with one invitation: “Trust Me.” If we let trouble or disillusionment shake our faith, we are breaking the spirit of the trust that brought us to Christ in the first place. Father, when life brings us the unexpected and we feel like quitting, help us to be faithful to You. And don’t let me ring “The Quit Option” Bell. So why not today open up your heart to Jesus Christ because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood for your sins so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen

By: Jeff Ellinger



EACH MEMORIAL DAY, OUR NATION PAUSES TO CELEBRATE – “THE SACRIFICE OF ONE” – “MANSIONS OF THE LORD”

May 20, 2011

ABOUT THIS VIDEO

Each Memorial Day, our nation pauses to celebrate those who have died in service to our country. And behind each sacrifice, lies a person who gave up their special moments in life so that we could enjoy ours. (Also includes a text-free version.) “Mansions of the Lord” is performed by the United States Military Academy Glee Club and can be found on the album, “Stand Ye Steady: Songs of Inspiration and Courage.”


WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT HAVING A PURE HEART – BE AN ORGAN DONOR, GIVE YOUR HEART TO JESUS !!!

May 19, 2011

               “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:”

   1 Timothy 1:5 KJV

   There is a very serious heart disease we should all know about, it is called “the disease of hard-heartedness.” Many times in the Old Testament, we read that God accused the people of Israel of being hard-hearted.  In the New Testament, Jesus would sometimes tell the religious leaders, and even His own followers that their hearts were hard. Jesus told a parable of a farmer who went out and sowed seeds.  You don’t have a to have a green thumb to know that the object of sowing seed is to get it into fertile soil so it can take root and produce fruit.  Jesus pointed out that often when a farmer would throw seed, some would land on hard-packed soil.  That seed was wasted; it would never grow.  Jesus went on to explain what He meant by this agricultural story.  Some people’s hearts are impenetrable, hardened, unresponsive, and callous.  The Word of God just bounces off.  It doesn’t even take root. One biblical character who had an iron heart was the man who was crucified next to Jesus.  When Jesus was nailed to the cross, there was a criminal being executed on His right and another on His left.  One was a repentant thief.  In the last moments of his life, he softened his heart and said, “Oh Lord, would You remember me?”  Jesus said to him, “Today you’ll be with Me in paradise.”  But the other thief, who was being crucified for a life of crime and violence, had a hard heart.  He was minutes from death, inches from the Savior, but his heart was like stone.  He was busy hurling abuse and insults at Jesus. And this is what will happen ultimately to those people who spend their whole lives with an attitude of hard-heartedness. In the Bible, “hard-heartedness” refers to the unresponsive, stiff, angry, insensitive, rebellious, and independent attitude ruling our hearts.  This attitude is first directed toward God, but also toward other people.  People in Jesus’ time, like those in the time of Isaiah, would not believe despite the evidence. As a result, God hardened their hearts. Does that mean God intentionally prevented these people from believing in him? No, he simply confirmed their own choices. After a lifetime of resisting God, they had become so set in their ways that they wouldn’t even try to understand Jesus’ message. For such people, it is almost impossible to come to God, their hearts have been permanently hardened. Other instances of hardened hearts because of constant stubbornness are recorded in the Bible here, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was met. And even as they did not like to keep God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” Romans 1:24-28 KJV  The Bible tells us that sin is a root cause for hard-heartedness. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13 KJV  We learn to sin at a very young age.  We have a sin nature, and we make sinful choices.  Our sins can build up and harden our hearts. When our hearts become hard, Jesus is distressed or grieved.  He is hurt.  The result of an unrepentant heart is the eventual wrath of God.  Although God doesn’t always punish us immediately for our sins, his eventual judgment is certain. Our hearts are important to God.   What is the heart?  The heart is the soul or mind of man.  It is the foundation of our thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, and endeavors.God wants our hearts to be right with Him and not just our outward appearances and actions. In the Bible, “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 KJV  God told Samuel to go to the house of Jesse and anoint one of his sons to be the next king.  Samuel saw one of Jesses’ sons, Eliab, and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  It’s the heart that matters to God.In the New Testament, Jesus condemned the Pharisees and religious leaders for outwardly appearing saintly and holy but inwardly remaining far from God. In the Bible it says, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Matthew 23:27-28 KJV  Brethren, it’s what is on the inside that matters to God.  Since we are sinful people, we cannot create by ourselves the kind of heart that God wants us to have.  David recognized this when he wrote in Psalms, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10 KJV  We need to go to God in prayer and ask Him to change our hearts. As Saul was being made the King, “As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart.”  Regardless of how far a person’s heart is from God; God can change it. Sin separates us from God.  If sin reigns in our hearts and lives, then we are alienating ourselves from God.  We have a heart problem when there is sin reigning in our lives. The Bible says, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2 KJV  So what do we need to do to get our hearts back right with God?  We need to confess our sins to God. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 KJV  We can’t hide our sins from God, we must acknowledge them before God. When should we confess our sins?  Right when the sin is committed.  We must confess our sins immediately to guard our hearts from sin.  A Proverb writer once wrote, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23 KJV   We shouldn’t commit a sin and let that sin dwell in us all day.  No, we need to guard our hearts from any type of sin that is trying to invade it!  We need to turn away from our sins.  Stop doing what God does not want us to do. The Bible says, “But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” Ezekiel 18:21-23 KJV  This passage teaches that if we turn away from our sins, then God will forgive us and He will remember our sins no more.  Isn’t that wonderful!  That’s the kind of Loving God that we have.  If we stop the sinning, then our hearts can be brought back to God. The heart is very important to God.  It is the wellspring of life. We must guard our hearts against hardness and always have an open and healthy heart towards God.  When you have a new heart, you have a desire to be submissive to God.  Every morning you need to say, “I give You my life today, Lord.”  You can start your day singing, “Have Your own way, Lord.  Have Your own way.  You are the potter, I am the clay.”  You begin to pray, “Mold me, make me, do whatever you want with my life, it’s Yours.”  It’s a submission issue, a flexibility issue, a surrender issue.  Your life motto becomes: “Just say the word, Lord.”  Your soft heart says, “Whatever the Scriptures teach, that’s what I want to do.”  A responsive heart is one that always says yes to the Lord. Just be a donor and give your heart to Jesus ! We may fool others who see us only on the outside, but God sees the reality of our hearts, whether good or bad. It is wise, therefore, to humbly confess our faults to the Lord. He desires that we admit the truth. The only way to escape the sin and restore our fellowship with God is to acknowledge and confess it to Him. So why not today open up your heart to Jesus Christ, because He is the One that died on the cross and shed His blood and paid the penalty for your sins so you could have that free gift of eternal life. Amen


By: Jeff Ellinger


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