Stay in the Ship

Stay in the Ship
Acts 27:30 And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, 31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.

I. Get in the ship—How do I get in the ship? John 14:6
a. The first thing you need to do to get into the boat is to [accept Christ] as your Savior! Jesus said with utmost confidence, “I am the way, the truth, and the life….no man comes to the Father except through me.”

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So…the first step, in getting into the ship is believing Jesus Christ. Jesus has already instructed us in what we need to do. Repent! Be born again of the water and the Spirit. Sometimes that first step can be a little shaky as far as we are concerned. We want to do it our way instead of the way Christ has told us.
[Tell story about getting into the little 8 foot flat bottom boat..]
b. The second thing you need to do is to [trust Christ] to do the work of salvation.
Ill- There is a story about a Kindergarten class that went to the fire station for a tour and some instruction in fire safety. The fireman was explaining what to do in case of a fire. He said, “First, go to the door and feel the door to see if it’s hot. Do you know why we feel the door?” A little boy raised his hand and said “To see if there is fire on the other side”. Then the firemen said, “Next fall to your knees. Does anyone know why you ought to fall to your knees?” One of the little girls said, “Oh yes , you get on your knees so you can start praying to ask God to get you out of this mess!”
TRUST? You mean we have to trust Christ to do the work? YES…and we have a verse of Scripture to assure us that if we do our part God will do HIS! I John 1:9.…“If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Here is the promise…If we confess, our confession will be responded to in two ways…
1. He will forgive us of all our sin! Hallelujah!
2. He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness…any thing that is not like Christ will be dealt with when we get into the boat! Go ahead…get in the boat!

II. Stay in the ship…How do I stay in the boat?
In I Timothy, Paul, the apostle writes to the young Pastor, Timothy, who is facing a heavy burden of responsibility in the church at Ephesus.
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Ephesus was a city famous for its Temple and worship of the Goddess Diana. Its Temple employed prostitute priestess’s and priests who offered sacrifice for money. In I Timothy Paul urges Timothy to stay true in the midst of all this paganism. You know, I do not need to tell you this but if you take a close look at society today…we are becoming more and more pagan by the minute. Not only that it is trying to get into the church! We may have standards but do we have the right scruples? Sin is Adultery, fornication, unnatural desires, lying, cheating, stealing, worship of other Gods.

Paul makes several “charges” (instructions) to young Timothy in this epistle.
1. The First Charge Is Found In Chap. 1: 3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
NEXT WE NEED TO STAY TRUE TO THE FAITH
Christians today need “staying power” – especially in our increasingly pagan society.

2. The Second Charge Is Found In Chap. 1:18,19 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
THEN STAY TRUE TO THE FIGHT
1. War a good warfare
2. Don’t shipwreck your faith.
a.) Remember what God has done for you.
b.) Remember the examples of those who have shipwrecked their faith.
3. The Third Charge Is Found In Chap. 6:20-21 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

WE MUST ALSO STAY TRUE TO THE FACTS
1. Don’t be distracted by strange doctrines and beliefs
We live in a day filled with “strange doctrines”. We have “political correctness” without “biblical correctness!”

III. Love the ship—How do I love the ship? Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
Love the fact that you are truly born again baptized in Jesus Name filled with his Spirit! Love the fact that it is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses you from all sin!
Moses in His song to the Lord pointed out several things and verse 2 has enough information for a sermon in itself!
What is the Lord doing for Moses?
1. The Lord provided strength to Moses. Sometimes, we need to be replenished in our spiritual journey…Moses was singing a song to God and thanking Him for the strength that God had provided. I have needed the very breath of God to strengthen us over the last year!
2. The Lord provided a song…sometimes God has drilled a truth home to me at different times with a song.
On the CD Greater Vision, there is a familiar song “He loves me” some of the words are:
When I’m sad, He loves me,
Even when I’m bad, He still loves me. (In that while we were yet sinner)
When it seems no one cares for me,
I talk to Jesus, He loves me.
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So…the Lord was a strength and a song to Moses!
3. The Lord was Salvation to Moses.
What had Moses been saved from?
Well for 1, Pharaoh. Two…bondage in Egypt. Three…The wilderness….Four…the Red Sea …. Five …. Plagues … Six… Moses was saved from the scrap heap of insufficiency. He told God that he was a nobody, “Who am I that I should go?” He told God that he was an ambassador but had no idea who it was that was sending him, He told God that He was slow of speech, “Lord, I have a thick tongue…I can’t deliver the message properly!”
Moses was saved from several things even himself. What have you been saved from? My friends, if you are here this morning and you are saved you need to thank God for the boat. Stay in the ship. Stop rocking the ship! Make the ship more Christ like! Love the ship! How Pastor Duke???
Love one another as Christ loved. Start by loving your Pastor, His wife, his family, each other and most of all love Jesus Christ.

Charles Swindoll, in his book “Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back,” tells the story of a farmer who wanted to impress his hunting buddies. So, he bought the smartest, most expensive hunting dog he could find and he trained his dog to do things no other dog on earth could do—impossible things that would surely amaze everyone. Then he invited his buddies to go duck hunting with him. After a while a flock of ducks flew over and the hunters were able to make a few hits. Several ducks fell in the water and the proud owner shouted to his magnificent dog, “Sally, Go get ‘em!” The dog leapt out of the boat, walked on the water, picked up a bird and returned to the boat. As soon as he dropped the duck in the boat he trotted off across the water again and grabbed another duck and brought it back to the boat. The owner beamed with pride as his wonderful hunting dog walked across the water and retrieved each of the birds one by one. Unable to resist the opportunity to brag a little he asked his buddies, “Do you notice anything unusual about my dog?” One of them rubbed his chin and said, “Yow… Come to think of it, I do notice something different! That silly dog doesn’t know how to swim!”

YOU HAVE COME TO PENIEL

YOU HAVE COME TO PENIEL
You have come to Peniel. Today will be your Peniel. The bible says that Jacob wrestled until he was blessed. But the blessing that he received left him with a limp the rest of his life. I would rather limp with Jesus than walk tall with world. Struggling is a part of the true child of Gods walk.

So many people in this life want everything without any effort.
We see the doctors home and say (I’d sure like to have a home like that) but we don’t want to go to school for 15 years so we can make that kind of money so we can buy a home like that.

We see that young man walking through the mall, it looks like his muscles are about to bust out of his shirt, and we say (man I’d like to have muscles like that) you can if you go to the gym 5 times a week and pump iron till it feels like your arms and legs are going to fall off.

You attend church and see someone that is really used of God. You think I wish God would use me like that. Are you willing to fast, pray, be faithful, seek God, study his word, obey him when it doesn’t make sense, be persecuted and publicly criticized and humiliated? Many believers have the attitude that just because they are saved and in the family of God, that now God is supposed to give them everything they ever dreamed of without any effort, work or discipline on their part. The fact is, it costs what it costs and it never goes on sale.
YES God wants to prosper you and bless you, but you’re going to have to go through something.
Sometimes you have to struggle, Sometimes you have to fight.
There is something in the struggle that is necessary to becoming what God has ordained us to be.
The children of Israel found that out. God left giants in the promised land on purpose

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1- Because they needed to learn how to fight
#2 Because giants distinguish the difference between professors and possessors.
#3 Giants expose the grasshoppers.
In the struggle You get to know your God, you realize that God is your only help. You get stronger, you put down roots, You become aware of the necessary and unnecessary things in your life. Struggling produces thankfulness (example ) someone survives a tornado, their house is gone their car is gone but they are so thankful that they are still alive, the family is together.
When you know you had to fight for what you got:
a. You appreciate it more
b. You won’t let anyone take it from you
The struggle qualifies you for rest Listen to what Jesus says in
Mt 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. The Paul says in
Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Last but not least The struggle qualifies you us for the reward:

The struggle, the fight, the warfare, the praying, the waiting , the enduring, is as important as the blessing or reward
While we are looking at the reward, God is looking at the development that is taking place through the struggle.
Faith is forged in the furnace of adversity.

The first generation children of Israel forfeited their inheritance because they would not fight
Many of Gods people have forfeited their destiny their promises, just because they refused to fight.
When the heat was on they bailed out, backed down, laid down their swords and conceded to the enemy.

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As long as everything was going smooth they were right there shouting with the army, enjoying the blessings, but when the struggle came they caved in and gave in to discouragement and fear and doubt. They left looking for the R&R somewhere else.

If you will be truthful today: what has made you what you are in God is the struggle
What you had to fight for,
What you had to fight against
What you had to overcome
The caterpillar goes through a process of metamorphosis through which it changes from an earthbound crawly worm, into a beautiful butterfly.
This process involves struggle
To cut the struggle short would rob the butterfly of it’s destiny.

The baby chick in the egg goes through a process of growth inside of the egg until it begins to outgrow the egg, then it must peck it’s way out of the egg. This struggle strengthens the baby chick and prepares it for life outside the egg.
One of the best thing about your struggle:
It qualifies you to help others.
When you been through something you can help somebody else
When you’ve stood your ground and fought your battles and conquered your giants you are qualified to help someone else through their battles. Jesus did this at Calvary. In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus struggled with his flesh. He knew what he would have to do in order for you and I to have eternal life. His flesh cried out but he conquered it and willingly went to the cross. On the cross he cried out in the struggle he was going through, his body in pain stretched to the limit, crying out Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

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After defeating the giant of self he cried out and said Father forgive them they know not what they do and then he gave his life for us. Satan thought he had won the victory but Jesus’s death brought the victory. Let me say that in a different way his death paid for the victory. Three days later he raised himself from the grave and hell was defeated and your sins were paid for in full. He took your place..
In the last 2 years I have struggled more that at anytime in my spiritual walk with God. I always stated that you never give in during the struggle. I found myself in a struggle like none other and found my self wanting to give in telling God that people were not worth what I was having to go through. I told my wife and family I am ready to chuck it all in then one day in prayer after feeling that every one had forsaken me God spoke to me and said remember what I said in the flesh while I was on the cross Father forgive them they know not what they do. If they were worth my sweat blood and tears then they are worth yours.
The devil wants to make it all about you, give you tunnel vision (he wants you to focus all your attention on the struggle).
But God wants you to realize that even though the devil sent it to take you out, God is going to use it to take you up, and when you get up you will be able to help somebody else get up.
2Co 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, (that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God)

Remember these when you are about to give up
Yes I may be going through a struggle but I am growing through my struggle, developing some spiritual muscles, developing some compassion, some patience, some endurance.
Some long suffering.
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Yeah I may be struggling right now but don’t feel sorry for me, There’s something in the struggle I need to become what God has ordained for me.
Pray for me, not to get out but to go through.
God did not deliver Daniel from the lions den ( he delivered him through it).
God did not deliver the three Hebrew children from the fiery furnace he delivered them through it).

David needed Goliath
The children of Israel needed the giants
The 3 Hebrew children needed the fiery furnace
Sampson needed the philistines
And we need the struggle
There is no testimony without a test and no victory without a battle.
A victorious life is not a problem free life, it is a life in which we overcome our enemies by virtue of struggle and fight.

Finally let me say: The struggles don’t last forever
Weeping may endure for the night but joy cometh in the morning
If you want your healing you must sometimes struggle for it
If you want the Baptism of the Holy Ghost fight for it
If you want truth you have to hunger, thirst, and seek for it
I know one thing Satan does not want you to have it
But its yours for the taking just like the promised land was for Gods people Israel.
Who’s ready to take it?

GOD KNOWS

There are many cases in the bible that catch my attention in regards to the great knowledge of God. What amazes me at times is his way of sometimes disguising his knowing. In the garden of Eden God asks Adam and Eve “Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? ” God knew all the time what they had done. Then why is it that he hides his knowledge? Is it because he wants to know how long we will keep up our pretense for our sins? Then there is Judas that walked with Jesus for 3 years, was his Secretary/treasurer, entrusted with power from God and we find after all this time of being in fellowship with Christ Jesus at his last supper states Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me . Jesus knew all the time what Judas was and yet he allowed him to walk with him till that day that Judas would decide where his loyalty really was. Many people have been filled with his wonderful Spirit but after awhile fail to continue in living for him and fall away. We may ask why did God fill them with his Spirit if he knew they would not continue with him? I believe the answer is that he wanted to allow them to reveal their real self. Today I would like to speak on the subject:
God Knows
Psalm 139:1-4 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
If there is anything that we need to know to day is the fact that God knows all there is about each one of us. Not only does God know but he also understands you.
A. It is not self-knowledge, but God’s complete knowledge that is chiefly important

“Here To Eternity”

“Here To Eternity”

There is a known fact that says “Man has an insatiable fascination with the hereafter and the afterlife”
People get caught up with Channeling –A desire to communicate with the dead – This occurred all through ancient times and is spoken of in the O.T. yet it was forbidden by God according to Deut 18:10-12, 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD:
Then there is the belief in Reincarnation where many believe that we live more than one life some even believing that we come back in other forms such as animals or insects. Someone coined this phrase don’t step on an ant, it might be your aunt.

There was a story about a frog that consulted a fortuneteller. The fortuneteller was gazing into a crystal ball, and he says to the frog: You are going to meet a beautiful young woman. From the moment she sets eyes on you she will have an insatiable desire to know all about you. She will be compelled to get close to you—you will totally fascinate her.” The Frog: replies “Where am I, at a singles club?” No No the Fortuneteller says you are in her : “Biology class.”
One minute he thinks he’s in heaven the next he’s headed for hell. In today’s world there appears to be a religion for every persons idea, ideal, fancy, or fascination. Just believe something and there is a religion to fill the bill. No thoughts as to whether it totally violates the word of God.
Christian Science, founded by spiritist Mary Baker Eddy, teaches that “there is no death.” “Heaven and hell are states of thought, not places. People experience their own heaven or hell right here on earth.”
Edgar Cayce, a spiritist and New Age prophet, said that “the destiny of the soul, is to become One with the Creator” and that no soul is ever lost.
Mormonism, founded by occultist Joseph Smith, argues, “The false doctrine that the punishment to be visited upon erring souls is endless…is but a dogma of unauthorized and erring sectarians, unscriptural, unreasonable, and revolting.”
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Jehovah’s Witnesses, founded by Charles T. Russell maintains that the wicked are forever annihilated because “the teaching about a fiery hell can rightly be designated as a ‘teaching of demons.’”
Unitarian Universalism confesses the following: “No Unitarian Universalist believes in a resurrection of the body, a literal heaven or hell, or any kind of eternal punishment.”
But in spite of all these religions and philosophies, In 1991 a Gallup poll showed that 78 percent of Americans expect to go to heaven when they die. The problem is, many of them hardly ever pray, read the Bible, or attend church. They freely admit that they live to please themselves instead of God. The fact is no one thinks they are going to Hell even though they live for themselves rather than God. My thoughts are why would these people even want to go to heaven.
We must understand that God has placed us here for a reason. That reason is to choose eternal life or eternal death. The word Eternal means – Having no beginning or end, existing outside of time, forever, perpetual, a unlimited duration, everlasting.
The Truth of God’s Word teaches us… that God is Eternal
1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Not only that but God is The Great “I AM” – The forever Present Self-existent One, The One who Is (Ex 3:14; John 8:58) and the word says that God is Light (1Jn 1:5) Einstein’s E=MC2 formula says essentially reach the speed of light and time stands still…
In the beginning God-before time God, In matter & space God- You must understand that God existed long before anyone can imagine… He is a Transcendent God.
Not only is God eternal but written within the Truth of God’s word we are taught that God Created Man as a Eternal Being
Genesis 1: says So God created man in his own image…
Genesis 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul. Since Man was created in the natural likeness of God with intellect, emotions and a will… man was also created in God’s moral likeness but this was lost when he chose to sin by disobeying God/s command.

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Adam became a living soul/being… distinct from all other creatures – because of God’s image & God’s breath of life
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Listen to this This is an amazing discovery, Dr. Wernher von Braun, says he has “scientific” reasons for believing in life after death. He explained: “Science has found that nothing can disappear without a trace. Nature does not know extinction. All it knows is transformation. If God applies the fundamental principle to the most minute and insignificant parts of the universe, doesn’t it make sense to assume that He applies it to the masterpiece of His creation—the human soul? ”
A Swedish doctor says he discovered the human soul weighs 21 grams. He placed beds of terminal patients on sensitive scales and saw the numbers drop when the patients died.
Jesus tells of two men who have crossed over into eternity… in Luke 16: One is named as Lazarus and the other is described as a rich man. Both of these men’s destiny was determined by what they had done in this life. One went to the bosom of Abraham and the other to hell. Both crossed over and ended up either in Hell or paradise.
According to this story every unsaved person goes directly to hell (hades, sheol) a holdng prison awaiting his court appearance before the judge at the Great White Throne Judgment. There the unsaved will be found guilty and sentenced to eternal death in the Lake of Fire forever. Which was Prepared for the Devil & his demons. Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Remember the movie “Ghost”… an evil man died & demons came and dragged him off? In the bible, God uses phrases like: fire is not quenched, where the worm dies not, everlasting destruction, flames of fire, torment, outer darkness, weeping, gnashing of teeth where the real you is still alive (your body had dropped dead but you continue to live)… at the blink of the eye, you’re there… same personality, same cravings, same addictions, same lust, same emotions of fear, same memories of sitting in church… But now it’s Too late .

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In the 18th century, Archibald Boyle was the leading member of an association of wild and wicked men known as “The Hell Club” in Glasgow, Scotland. After one night of carousing at the Club’s notorious annual meeting, Boyle deemed he was riding home on his black horse. In the darkness, someone seized the reins, shouting, “You must go with me!” As Boyle desperately tried to force the reins from the hands of the unknown guide, the horse reared. Boyle fell down, down, down with increasing speed. “Where are you taking me?” The cold voice replied, “To hell!” The echoes of the groans and yells of frantic revelry assaulted their ears. At the entrance to hell, Boyle saw the inmates chasing the same pleasures they had pursued in life. There was a lady he’d known playing her favorite vulgar game. Boyle relaxed, thinking hell must be a pleasurable place after all. When he asked her to rest a moment and show him through the pleasures of hell, she shrieked. “There is no rest in hell!”
There was seen on a bumper sticker in Spokane, WA the following words Eternity—Your Choice: Smoking or Non-smoking!
The facts are that there is no truth in the false teachings of : Universalism, Annihilation , or Limbo / Purgatory – which allows a second chance to merit heaven – Remember you only have one chance to choose.
There was an old Scottish mountaineer who had lived a full but not exactly saintly one and now was on his deathbed. He summoned his weeping wife. “Sara,” and he said, “go to the fireplace and take out the third stone from the top.” She did as instructed. “Reach in there,” said her husband, “and bring out what you find.”
Her fingers touched a large Mason jar, and with some effort she pulled it up. The jar was full of cash.
“Sara,” said the old man, “when I go, I’m going to take all that money with me. I want you to put that jar up in the attic by the window. I’ll get it as I go by on my way to heaven.”
His wife followed his instructions. That night the old mountaineer died. After the funeral his wife remembered the Mason jar and went to the attic. There was the jar still full of money and by the window.
“Oh,” the widow sighed. “I knew I should have put it in the basement.”
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Revelation 21:1-4 1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
A week ago there was a new discovery. What was it? A new planet with the ability to allow life to live on it. Could it be ? Will it be ? Is it? I know only one thing for sure Scientists says its so far away man could never reach it in this lifetime. What about the next life? Well I know this that if it is and we are to go we will need a passport. You see even Crossing into Heaven Requires a Passport
Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,. We must understand that we can only enter heaven with the correct credentials… proving our citizenship is there.
We must be Spiritually Born into God’s Family in order to receive ~ Our Passport!
In John 3:3 Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Romans 8:17a Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ… we may also share in his glory.
Death is not extinguishing the light from the Christian; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.
On his deathbed, British preacher Charles Simeon smiled brightly and asked the people gathered in his room, “What do you think especially gives me comfort at this time?” When they all remained silent, he exclaimed, “The creation! I ask myself, ‘Did Jehovah create the world or did I?’ He did! Now if He made the world and all the rolling spheres of the universe, He certainly can take care of me. Into Jesus’ hands I can safely commit my spirit!”

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Former Senator Dwight W. Morrow searched in vain to find his railroad ticket as he was on a train leaving New York City. “I must find that ticket,” he muttered. The conductor, who stood waiting beside him, said, “Don’t worry about it, Mr. Morrow. We know you had a ticket. Just mail it to the railroad when you find it.” “That’s not what’s troubling me,” replied Morrow, “I need to find it to know where I’m going.”

In Alice in Wonderland, when Alice comes to a junction in the road that leads in different directions, she asks the Cheshire Cat, “Cheshire-Puss…would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to go to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where,” replied Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
But I hope today it matters to you where you are going. Today you need to choose because tomorrow may be too late.
Mark Twain Said Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Lets make the undertaker sorry this morning. You are here today but tomorrow eternity.

 

There is a Balm in Gilead

There is a Balm in Gilead

A balm is a healing ointment. Jeremiah is asking about the famous healing lotion made from the commiphora tree of Palestine, the resinous gum we know as Myrrh. (you know the Christmas story – Gold, Frankenstein and Myrrh…er…..Frankincense and myrrh…). Jeremiah is making a spiritual reference to the healing power of God. In the New Testament, baby Jesus will be given this balm to show healing does exist with him. That’s the good news.

Before 1865, African-American spirituals and slave-songs were sung throughout the south. These songs told the gospel and conveyed scripture to people who couldn’t read, and were used for everything from teaching English and counting to new arrivals, to keeping time in a threshing house, to communicating news about the underground railroad (“This Train is Bound for Glory”, and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” were both underground railroad songs). One of the great old hymns to come out of that era was “There is a Balm in Gilead”. An oppressed people who, like Israel, had been captured, enslaved, and ill-used were answering Jeremiah’s question with the New Testament assurance that healing was here to stay. How can we find that assurance today? Let’s look at the song:
Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

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First – we have to look to the Holy Spirit for revitalization and renewal. When we feel like the plans for peace we have offered bounced right off the clouds of heaven, or the life work we have given our talent toward has produced mediocre results at best – we need to pray for ourselves and the revival of our mission and our call. Every Christian is called of God. Whether you are called to be a witness as a mechanic, a teacher, or a listening friend working on an assembly line – you are called to be there. Don’t let the joy be leeched from you by those around you with bad attitudes or the determination to be self-absorbed pessimists. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to work in you and make the life you are living a worthy pursuit of hope and healing.

If you cannot preach like Peter, if you cannot pray like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus and say, “He died for all.”
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

Second – People of faith need to stop relying on the messengers and start living the message. The ministry have specific roles we fulfill, but it s not our call to be the community. That’s your job. We need to stop letting other people (leaders, theologians, popular authors) read for us, think for us, determine our beliefs and be the witness for us. We need to take responsibility in our relationship with God and learn to use resources as guides, not crutches. Why do you need a doctorate to live as Christ taught? Jesus called a bunch of fishermen, peasants and tax collectors? Christ didn’t come to make us a collection of sheep led by the educated elite. Christ came to make us a community, lead by a vibrant, personal relationship with our Creator. You don’t have to be Peter, or Dr. Paul (or even Dr. Phil – thank goodness!) – Be you, use your brain and the resources God places around you, and share the gospel where you are.
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Don’t ever feel discouraged, for Jesus is your friend; And if you lack for knowledge, He’ll never refuse to lend.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

Third – seek God’s wisdom and will. Our trust should not be in our own intelligence, experiences or credentials. Our trust should be in God’s wisdom, and God has placed that wisdom all over creation. Stop discounting the steady stream of God in the world around you and start listening and learning all that God can have you know. But Remember this, Kneeology can be better spiritually than Theology.
Fourth- Remember this God is not dead he’s alive.
It appears today that many have forgot that God even exists. In their minds there is no God or he has died. I have news for you he is alive. Jesus is alive and just waiting for you to come to him in faith and ask. The enemy will try to convince us he is not real, he is dead, or he is to far above us to hear us, but I am here to let you know he is alive he is well and he’s just waiting for you to approach him in faith.
If we need healing for:
Our body — Our Spirit —– Our mind he is here
We need not to succumb to the gloom and doom of Jeremiah, because we know that healing of God is here. We need not reflect the cultural despair of T.S. Eliot because we know how to be near God. We can be people of Gilead with a life witness worth shining for the entire world to see. Today is the day for you to receive. What will it be? Will you continue to live in your little dark world or come out into the son shine of Jesus Christ.

 

Ezekiel 47:9 Fulfilled?

Dead Sea Coming to Life as Foretold in Ezekiel 47:9
The Dead Sea (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

Almost ten times saltier than the ocean, nothing can live in the Dead Sea’s hypersaline environment – Or so scientists thought until recently. Scientific research has proved the existence of life at the bottom of the sea, but due to a unique set of circumstances, signs of life have begun appearing on its very shores, precisely as it is written in the Book of Prophets.

A young woman on a nature hike was shocked recently when she discovered freshwater ponds with fish on the shores of the Dead Sea. Samantha Siegel, a Jewish woman living in Jerusalem, often takes trips to the desert and the ancient body of water. On a recent visit, she encountered an incongruous sight with powerful implications: a prophecy appearing before her eyes that seemed to contradict the laws of nature.

The Dead Sea is, as its name implies, dead. More than 400 meters below sea level, it is the lowest point on dry land. No life can exist in its ultra-salty waters and its shores are coated with a thick layer of salt that kills any plant.

Its inhospitality has been documented for centuries. A mosaic on the floor of a church in Medeba, Jordan, showing a map for Byzantine pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land, illustrates this. It features a picture of fish swimming down the Jordan River and then turning around once they arrive at the waters of the Dead Sea.

The Bible, however, describes a very different picture of the region. Lot looked out on the valley where the Dead Sea is now and saw an incredibly fertile and well-watered region.

And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before Hashem destroyed Sdom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Hashem. Genesis 13:10

The Bible relates that the landscape changed when the fire and brimstone destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah turned the valley into a wasteland. Indeed, people who visit the Dead Sea today would find it difficult to envision a garden in the arid region.

Even more perplexing are the Messianic prophecies that water will flow east from Jerusalem into the Dead Sea, and these bitter waters will fill up with fish and the surrounding desert will be teeming with life.

Then said he unto me: ‘These waters issue forth toward the eastern region and shall go down into the Arabah; and when they shall enter into the sea into the sea of the putrid waters the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass that every living creature wherewith it swarmeth whithersoever the rivers shall come shall live; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish; for these waters are come thither that all things be healed and may live whithersoever the river cometh. Ezekiel 47:8-9

The water level at the Dead Sea has been receding at the fantastic rate of up to one meter every year. This is due to water being diverted from the Jordan River for agricultural purposes and evaporation caused by the Dead Sea mineral works. The dropping water level has led to sinkholes appearing on the shores of the Dead Sea. On a visit to the arid region, Siegel discovered that many of these pools have been filling up with sweet fresh water, and even more incredibly, fish.

The proof is undeniable. Siegel produced a video in which fish are clearly seen swimming on the shores of the Dead Sea, and she films herself swimming in a large pool surrounded by green plants.

Fresh water at the Dead Sea is a clear example of how the prophets were able to see things that remained hidden from scientists for thousands of years. In 2011, a team of researchers from Ben Gurion University in the Negev sent divers to the floor of the Dead Sea. This endeavor posed serious technical difficulties as the super-saline environment renders regular scuba gear inoperable. It was the first time such a dive had ever been made, and what they discovered was astounding.
Read more at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/72711/fulfillment-dead-sea-prophecy-begun/#KLQpeUUTvCcE80D6.99

INTO HIS WONDERFUL PATH

INTO HIS WONDERFUL PATH

4 Divisions of the New Testament

INTO HIS PATH IS A BIBLE STUDY BY GEORGE DUKE
PART ONE OF 3 PARTS
HOW TO RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE NEW TESTAMENT
There are two paths that people walk in this life. Both are eternal . One leads to eternal death and the other leads to eternal life . Let it be realized at this point that death in the bible never was defined as ceasing to exist. The Greek word for death was “Thanatos”. It always meant separation. Natural death is separation of the Body and Spirit. Spiritual death is separation of man and God. Eternal spiritual death means the eternal separation of man and God. Life ( Greek word “zoe” ) as defined in the bible means union. Spiritual eternal life then means a eternal union between man and God. This is only brought about by careful selection of the path that you travel.
This bible study is designed to help you to get onto the right path by
1-Righly dividing the word of God, 2-Revealing the importance of believing the apostles doctrine for Christians today. 3-and revealing what the apostles taught about a: Salvation b: Jesus Christ.
Read 2 Timothy 2:15
Paul writing to Timothy says that we must rightly divide the word of God.
Read Hebrews 9:16-17
What must occur before a testament is in effect? (Death of the Testator) Testament is the same as a will so the writer of the will must die for it to be placed in effect.

In rightly dividing the word of God we find there are four divisions ofthe New Testament.
1-The first division is THE GOSPELS which covers the birth, life, death of John the Baptist, birth and the life, words, and works of Jesus Christ as well as his death, burial,and resurrection. Since the testator dies at the end of these books there is no New Testament church established in the gospels. Read the opening of the book of Acts.
Why are there 4 different books in the Gospel? The answer is that the gospels were written for people of different cultures to be able to understand them. The Gospels were Written to the following cultures:
The book of Matthew who was the Jewish tax collector an Apostle was written to the Jews
The book of Mark which is his Roman name was written to the Romans
The book of Luke a physician was written to the Gentiles
The book of John was written to the church that we might know that Jesus Christ was the son of God.

2-The second division is the book of THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES which covers the actions, teaching and preaching of the Apostles. Jesus Christ had personally trained these men to establish the New Testament church and this is a record of them fulfilling the task. This book could be called the book for salvation.

3-The third division is called THE EPISTLES and covers the letters written by the Apostles to either Churches or Christian Individuals. Since these people were already saved they were not for the purpose of salvation. They were written to teach
Christians how to: 1-Live for God 2- How to Worship 3-Church Discipline 4-How to develop the fruit of the spirit. 5-To encourage and to strengthen them and their faith.

4-The fourth division is the book of PROPHECY which is the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ This book contains prophetical writings that Jesus Christ revealed to John.

Part 2
STUDY THE IMPORTANCE OF BELIEVING THE APOSTLES DOCTRINE
PLEASE READ SCRIPTURES AND FILL IN THE BLANKS
NOTICE THE IMPORTANCE OF WORD
MATT 18:16
How many witness’s are required for every word to be established? _____ or ______. Other references 2 Co. 13:1 Deut 19:15
M’t:18:16: But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
2 Timothy 3:15-16
How much scripture is given by inspiration of God? ____
Paul said it is profitable for __________,for__________ for _________for_____________in righteousness.
2Tm:3:15: And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
John 17:17
What is Truth?______________________________________.
Joh:17:17: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
John 1:1,14
Who is the living word________________________________
John:1:1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Joh:1:14: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 4:23-24
John says true worshiper must worship in ______&______.
John:4:23: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
John:4:24: God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
WHAT DID JESUS TEACH ABOUT SALVATION??
John 3:16-21
Jesus said that whosoever________ in him _______ not perish but have eternal life. Is there a difference between would and should? ____________
John:3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 7:38-39
If we believe on him according to ___ __________ We will receive the _________________. Notice Spirit and Holy Ghost are the same.
John:7:38: He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39: (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
John 3:1-8
Lord told Nicodemus that a man must be born again of the _________ and the _________ to see or enter the Kingdom of God.
Jooh:3:1: There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
Joh:3:2: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3: Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4: Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6: That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7: Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8: The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Matt 7:13-24
Enter ye in at the _______ gate. Beware of false _______ which come to you in ________ clothing.
M’t:7:13: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24: Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Who builds upon the rock? He who hears the sayings of Jesus and _____ them. Notice the word strait which refers to a narrow waterway.

NOTICE IMPORTANCE OF THE APOSTLES DOCTRINE TODAY
Luke 24:45-49
What did Jesus open? ____________that they might understand the ________________. What would be preached in his name? _________________ and ______________ of sins. What is his name?__________
Lu:24:45: Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
Lu:24:46: And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: :47: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48: And ye are witnesses of these things. 49: And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
GAL. 1:6-12
Must obey what the Apostles preached or we are accursed. Word we includes all the Apostles. Some will pervert it ( Change it ). They are the ones to fear. That’s how you can tell a false prophet.
Ga:1:6: I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ 8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9: As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10: For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11: But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12: For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
ACTS 2:42
Who’s doctrine did they continue in? ___________.
Ac:2:42: And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

2 EPHESIANS 2:18-22
The Church is built upon the foundation of the __________ and the ___________.
Why them?
Eph:2:18: For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20: And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21: In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Timothy 4:1-4
Paul says to preach the time will come when men will not endure sound ____________. They will turn their ears from hearing the truth. What truth? The one taught by the Apostles.
2Tm:4:1: I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2: Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4: And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
1 Timothy 1:3
Teach no other doctrine. What doctrine? The One taught by the Apostles. The Apostle Paul is doing the writing.
1Tm:1:3: As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
1 Timothy 4:13-16
Giving heed to __________ will save both thyself and them that heareth thee.
1Tm:4:13: Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14: Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15: Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16: Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
1 JOHN 4:6
Apostles are of God, he that is of God heareth them. This is how we know truth from error.
1Jo:4:6: We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
WERE THE APOSTLES BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS??
Acts 2:1-4
This is a description of how the Apostles received the Holy Ghost. How many were filled with the Holy Ghost? ____. What did they speak? In ______ ______as the Spirit gave them________.
Ac:2:1: And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3: And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Part 3

WHAT DID THE APOSTLES TEACH ABOUT SALVATION
JUDE 3
They preached a common plan of salvation-all had the same message- One once delivered to Saints.
Jude:1:3: Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Acts 1:4-5
As we enter the book of Acts we discover almost immediately that the promise of the Father is the __________ of the _______ ________.
Ac:1:4: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5: For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Acts 2:36-39
When the people felt sorry for their sins and asked Peter and the Apostles what they should do, what was Peters reply? ____________ and be _____________ every one of you in the _______of _________ _______ for the _____________ of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the __________ ___________. Does this fulfill Luke 24:45-49
Ac:2:36: Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Does these scriptures fulfill the requirement of John 3:5.
Joh:3:5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

STUDY THESE OTHER EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE BEING BORN AGAIN BY THE TEACHING OF THE APOSTLES AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS

PHILIP PREACHING TO THE SAMARITANS IN ACTS 8—
Some people say when they experienced joy, or when they believed in Jesus, or when they were baptized, they were automatically filled with the Holy Ghost. What does the word say?
Acts 8:5-8
Did they have great joy? yes__no___ vs.12 Did they believe in Jesus Christ? yes__no___ vs 14-17 Were they baptized in his name? yes__no___ Did they receive the Holy Ghost as a separate and distinct experience? yes__no___

PETER PREACHING TO THE GENTILES IN ACTS 10
Some people say they are religious enough or that the Spirit-baptism evidenced by tongues was only for the Day of Pentecost. If the word says this then it is true but if the Word through Cornelius’experience reveals that this is not true -then it is not.
10:vs 1-2 -Was Cornelius a religious man? yes__no__
vs. 5-6 -Did God have more for him to do? yes__no__
vs.44-46 -Did they receive the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues after the day of Pentecost? yes__no__
vs. 47-48 -Did they still have to be baptized in the name of Jesus? yes__no__

PAUL PREACHING TO JOHN’S DISCIPLES IN ACTS 19—
Some say you do not have to be baptized or rebaptized. Many people who are believers have not heard of the Holy Ghost that is promised to them. Others say it does not matter what was spoken over them. What does the bible show us about this?

Acts 19:1-2 -They were believers, but had they heard of, or received the Holy Ghost? yes__no__
vs.3-5 -Did those baptized by John the Baptist have to be rebaptized in Jesus Name? yes__no__

HERE ARE SOME REFERENCES TO HELP YOU IN THIS BIBLE STUDY

CANNEY ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION ,page 53 -The early church baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus until the second century.

HASTINGS ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION ,vol 2-christian baptism was administered using the words,”in the name of Jesus.” page 377. Baptism was always in the name of Jesus until time of Justin Martyr.Page 389

SCHAFF-HERZOG RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA. Vol. 1 pg. 435- The new testament knows only the baptism in the name of Jesus.

CATHOLIC ENCYLOPEDIA . Vol 2 page 263 -Here the authors acknowledge that the baptismal formula was changed by their church.

DOES THE ABOVE CONTRADICT MATTHEW 28:19?
____! The word name in this scripture is in the singular denoting
one name. That name was Jesus.

WHAT DID THE APOSTLES TEACH ABOUT WHO JESUS WAS?
EPHESIANS 4:5
Apostle Paul says there is only one Lord.
ACT 2:36
Luke says he has been made both Lord and Christ
JOHN 1:1,14
John says he was the god (word) made flesh.
WHO DID THE PROPHETS SAY JESUS WOULD BE??
ISAIAH 9:6
He would be called ______________, _____________, ______
_________ ________, _____ _____________ __________ The Prince of
peace.
ZECHARIAH 14:9
In that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.
JOB 13:6-10
How many Persons should we accept? _______
From the above scriptures we conclude that we must, Believe in Jesus Christ, believe the word of God, follow the teaching of the Apostles, and be born again of the water and the Spirit.