Leading Captivity, Captive and setting prisoners free!


What actually happened during this Holy time that we now call Easter? It was called “Passover” when the Jews celebrated it during the 1st century. Many were in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover when Jesus was arrested and crucified. What those Jews and the Roman soldiers did not see or know was the spiritual war being won that dark week-end. Even His disciples did not understand as Jesus was led away, bruised and beaten by Roman soldiers. As He died and said, “It is finished!”, they could not see the 20,000 chariots of God. They did not realize that Jesus Christ had died in order to lead “captivity captive.” Praise the Lord – prisoners were set free from the penalty of death and Satan lost his power.

Psalm 68:17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. 18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive : thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. 19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. 20 He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death. KJV

When was “captivity taken captive”?

Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” 9 (Now this, “He ascended”–what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

And who was the Person who could do such a wondrous thing?

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. John 3:13  Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.” Matthew 17:9

 This Person was the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible could not be clearer. During the season we call ‘Easter’ we celebrate this wonderful event. I am not sure that our minds are even capable of understanding what a marvelous thing it was, this leading ‘captivity’ captive.

The Bible says that in Christ we have redemption through His blood, according to ‘the fullness of time.” We may not understand the times and the seasons of the spiritual battles, but we do know that Christ has been victorious:

Ephesians 1:7  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, 8 which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of His will,  according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory.

Posted in Bible, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Freedom, Grace of God, Heaven, Jesus, Our World Today, Religion, Resurrection, Sharing Christ | Leave a comment

The Purpose of the Bible Is To Reveal Christ Jesus to the World


Did you know that Jesus said,

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!   John  5:39

39 You make search in the holy Writings, in the belief that through them you get eternal life; and it is those Writings which give witness about me. John 5:39 Bible in Basic English

Once we understand God’s purpose for revealing Himself and His plan for our salvation through the Holy Bible, it makes the Bible a much more exciting book to read and when we read it, we begin to have a better understanding of why God chose the facts and stories which are included.

When we learn facts about the Hebrew language; facts such as the following, we are less likely to be duped by those who pick verses out of context to make their own theology and to use the Bible for false and misleading purposes. For example, did you know this concerning the original Hebrew and Isaiah 9:6?

‘For a child is born unto us, a son is given unto us; and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting  Father, Prince of Peace.  The names Mighty God and Everlasting Father in Hebrew are Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom;’

This child which is born is called El-Gibbor, which means  ‘Mighty God’. El-Gibbor  is never used of a man. Avi-Ad is literally ‘Father of Eternity’ and could never describe a mere man. This is found in Arnold Fruchtembaum‘s book Messianic Christology. Arnold Fruchtembaum is a Jew whose father was orthodox and trained him in the tradition of all orthodox Jewish families. Arnold was saved after meeting a Lutheran minister and was disowned by his family after  converting to Christianity. Would he know the language well enough to know what this passage means? I would think so. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Hebrew and Greek in 1966 and then a master’s degree in theology from Dallas University. Next he earned a Ph.D at New York University in 1989. He also studied Hebrew at the American Institute of Holy Land Studies and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

4 Now those things which were put down in writing before our time were for our learning, so that through quiet waiting and through the comfort of the holy Writings we might have hope.  Romans 15:4

At least 15 times in the New Testament, we are told that our hope is to be in Christ. Outside of Christ, there is no hope for mankind.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who through his great mercy has given us a new birth and a living hope by the coming again of Jesus Christ from the dead…1 Peter 1:3

  Jesus said it this way:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”  John 14:1

If we take time to study the books and themes of the Bible we see that God’s purpose in coming to earth and taking the form of a man was to defeat Satan and provide a way for mankind to be ransomed from death and destruction. All sixty-six books are designed to focus our attention on God’s plan for mankind’s salvation and to point us to Jesus. Jesus told us this as we just read in John 5:39, but it becomes even more clear when we look at each book in the Bible:

In Genesis 49:10 we are first taught of the coming King who will be of the tribe of Judah:

10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the One to whom it belongs, the One whom all nations will honor. (Jesus is called the King of Kings in The Revelation of Jesus Christ)

 In Exodus we are introduced to Yahweh, the Great I AM. Here God teaches us that He is a provider and a Redeemer. He teaches us of the need for a Passover Lamb and the absolute necessity of cleansing, which is finally accomplished once and for all by the Lamb of  God: (Jesus not only dies at Passover, He is called the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world in The Revelation of Jesus Christ.)

John 1:29  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

The Bible continues to teach mankind that our God, Yahweh, the Great I AM, is a Creator and Redeemer God who manifest Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  In the Old Testament, God uses the law to teach us of our need for a Savior. He uses the historical books to allow us to learn how He deals with His own people because all who are willing to receive Christ as Lord and Savior become His own. He used Poetical books to teach us the Wisdom of God which Christ exemplifies. He uses the prophets along with other passages from every book to prepare us to recognize Him when He appears incarnate in human form to bear our sin. Jesus can be found in all the books of the Bible.   Not only is He found there, the Hebrew language, when translated properly by experts leave no doubt that the Messiah will be God, Yahweh, in the flesh. See “Jesus Plus Nothing” by Iain Gordon and Brett Wilton.

After centuries of preparing creation to receive the One true Messiah, Jesus Christ is born into the world. His birth perfectly fulfilled every prophecy concerning His coming and there were numerous prophecies.

Finally we have the New Testament of Jesus Christ. In these 27 books, we have recorded the birth, ministry, circumstances surrounding the arrest, the crucifixion, the resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. We have the coming of the Person of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ along with doctrine to keep our churches functioning. We have the ministry of the apostles and lastly, The Revelation of Jesus Christ recorded so that we know what will happen at the end of the ages.

The end of the story tells us that He who came is coming again:

Revelation 21:12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”  14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” 17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

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Resurrection Power That Satan Could Not and Cannot Control!


Originally posted on Jlue's Weblog:

And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33

Prior to the crucifixion, Satan spent his time attempting to keep the Lord Jesus Christ from going to the cross and from becoming our Passover Lamb. Once Christ said, “It is finished” and after Christ arose from the grave, Satan knew the battle was lost. Now he attempts to keep people from telling others. Satan doesn’t object to anyone being religious. What he spends his time doing now is finding ways to keep people from sharing the gospel. 

Not only was Christ resurrected, other graves were opened and saints raised to give us a foretaste of God’s resurrection power.

Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves…

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Shelter from Storms


April 27, 2011 we got a call no one wants to ever receive. A tornado had touched down in Ringgold, Ga where my daughter and two grandsons live.

Thankfully, they were spared. There were others, however, who lost loved ones that day. An entire family was killed. Businesses were destroyed and the schools my grandsons attended were hit.

Growing up in AL, I can remember when many people had storm cellars. Our family did not, but my parents had a healthy respect for tornadoes or twisters as they were often called. There was a path, which barely missed us, that was named tornado alley because of the number of times the twisting winds seemed to follow that particular path through the region.

Scripture speaks often of storms at sea. We know that Jesus could calm the raging seas by ordering the wind to “be still.”

When storms rage and men and women look for shelter, there is only one place of true safety.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.  Proverbs 18:10

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. Psalm 61:2-3 

Our literature and songs reflect how men for ages have taken shelter in our Creator/Redeemer God:

The story of Augustus Toplady and how he came to write the hymn Rock of Ages is very interesting. I hope you will visit the site:  Official Rock of Ages

A Shelter In the Time of Storm is a very old hymn written by Vernon J. Charlesworth and set to music by Ira D. Sankey. The story is found at Hymnpod.

Wherever we live on the planet, there will some type of climatic storm that frequents our area.  For whatever reasons, God sends storms into our lives. Nahum the prophet wrote:

The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. Nahum 1:3

 

 

 

Posted in Bible, Christ, Christianity, Jesus, Our World Today, Pray for the USA, Religion | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Story Behind the Song – “It Is Well With My Soul”


Most Christians already know the story behind Horatio G. Spafford and the writing of the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”, just as we know the story of the suffering of Job.

Most of us, thankfully, cannot comprehend the sufferings of either, so we do not know with certainty how we would react in the situations in which either Job or Horatio G. Spafford found themselves.

Mercifully God has required few people to endure such suffering, yet these men showed an amazing faith as they walked through their trials. Job lamented:

Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! ” Job 19:23

God honored that request and Job’s suffering, faith, and lessons learned have been used to teach and help millions. Also, God’s faithfulness to Job is recorded, as well.

When Horatio G. Spafford lost his son to scarlet fever in 1870, most of his estate to the Chicago fire,  and one year later he and his wife, Anna, lost their four daughters in a drowning accident, he penned the words to the song, “It Is Well With My Soul.”

If you do not know the story, you may want to read the story at Hubpages,  It Is Well With My Soul; Story Behind the Hymn and/or listen to the moving words that Spafford wrote.

 

Posted in Bible, Christ, Christianity, Grace of God, Jesus, Our World Today, Resurrection

The Church Triumphant


In a  very small, concrete-block church building, in Yucatan, Mexico, I was privileged to hear a beautiful, young Mexican-American girl sing “The Church Triumphant.” She had a trained voice due to her musical degree she had earned while living in the States. This was one of the most worshipful and beautiful renditions I have experienced of this song. It doesn’t exist on You-tube or the internet. It was sung especially for a small group of members of Christ’s true church who meet there to worship, thanks to a family of missionaries who spent their lives sharing the gospel in that place.

There was no sound system in the place, I do believe angels were present just to listen.

Bill and Gloria Gaither are credited with the lyrics and their band does a beautiful job singing it as well.

Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God  which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:28

Posted in Bible, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Grace of God, Jesus, Our World Today, Religion, Sharing Christ

Enemies of the State


Have you heard someone say that the President and his administration are attempting to take down this country and thought, “Oh, no! Another radical extremist?”

Most of us prefer to believe that our president just has different priorities than most of us and that his lack of experience causes him to make mistakes most experienced people would never make. I have had those same thoughts. After watching, ‘Enemies of the State’, I cannot honestly say that these are just the mistakes of a misguided ‘community organizer’. 

Unable to place the complete program here, I hope you will watch the trailer.

A more fitting title would have been, “Successful Americans Are Enemies of the State.” If  there is another showing and you are able to view this documentary, I think every American needs to do so.

Posted in Constitutional Rights, Education, Election 2008, Election 2012, Election 2016, First Amendment Rights, Fox News, government control over daily life, Obama, Our World Today, Politics