The Time is Coming

“The time is coming” does not mean it’s an appointment, but that you’re running out of time.

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John 8:28 – Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

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I cannot count the times I have heard the expression, “the time is coming,” or “the day is coming.”  There was a point in my life when I considered such a phrase to refer to an appointed time, such as an appointment or a scheduled event.  I have come to realize that is not the case.  In our Text for Today, Jesus used the word “then,” and in that case, He was certainly referring to an appointment with the destiny He and Father had already planned.  But as it relates to the people about Him, they did not relate to that, for they did not know the plan Father and Jesus had in place for redemption.  But for us, we who live in the age of redemption by grace through faith, we need to realize what it means to say of God’s plan, “the time is coming.”

We do not know the day or hour of the Lord’s return for His Church, but we who believe know “the time is coming.”  We know that there are works that need to be accomplished before that time is fulfilled.  One of  those works is that the Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness, that is, a message confirmed by undeniable proofs.  When that has happened, the end will come.  That is not planned for a moment in eternity, but as an action that must be completed BEFORE other prophesied events take pace.

Consider the birth of Jesus.  Except for Mary and Joseph, few people knew of the immediacy of the coming event.  The night of the birth, angels announced it, shepherds came and worshipped Him, and wise men from the east were studying the matter.  The actual moment of His birth is not so important as the event itself.  Jesus was walking before the wise men arrived.  They did not come to a stable as did the shepherds.  The wise men came to a house.  Herod did not call for the slaying of infants, but of boy babies up to two years of age, for he had inquired about how long it had been since the wise men had seen His star.

Well friend, Jesus is coming.  We don’t know the day or hour, but we can be, and I believe are rightfully aware that “the time is coming.”  In other words, the event is drawing ever nearer, and I believe, is much closer than we might think.  A quick work is in the making.  Godly men and women are recognizing “the time,” and “THAT time is coming.”  And when it does, among those who are left in the earth, all will know the “the time HAS come, and is gone.”  They will know they missed it.  I urge you today to be sure you are not one who misses it.  Awake, my friend, and know, “the time is coming.” 

Manna for Today – John 8:12-30; Ephesians 5:15-16; Psalm 90:12

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Heard of God

How much is spoken in Christ’s Name that has NOT been heard of God?  Just a thought.

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John 8:26 – I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

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Please seriously consider what I write to you today.  What are we hearing from the pulpits of Christian churches today around the world.  I have had the great privilege to travel to several nations in our world, and to hear a great number of men and women of God speak from pulpits in those nations.  I have heard many great messages that are firmly based upon and fixed within the Word of God.  These are messages that edify and minister grace, that offer accurate direction and instruction from God’s Word, that are confirmed by Holy Spirit with signs and wonders.  Such SHOULD BE that ONLY accepted standard in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Alas, and sadly, this is not always the case.

There are many voices speaking in church pulpits today that are espousing ANYTHING BUT the truth of God’s Word.  When we are told from the pulpit that the homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable alternate lifestyle that God understands and accepts, WE ARE HEARING LIES.  When we are told that Islam, Hinduism, and other non-Christian belief systems are simply an alternate means of knowing and serving God, WE ARE HEARING LIES.  When we are told that Jehovah God and Allah are the same, WE ARE HEARING LIES.  When we are told that all one must do is believe, and that obedience to the Word is really not necessary because grace covered it all, WE ARE HEARING LIES.  When we are told, or even have it implied to us, that our way has precedent over God’s way, regardless of the tradition or ministry style in question, WE ARE HEARING LIES.  When we are told that the Word of God is NOT inerrant, that it is in some way flawed, and that we can establish doctrines on anything other than the unmovable foundation of God’s Word, WE ARE HEARING LIES.  When we hear ANYTHING LESS THAN GOD’S WORD offered to us as spiritual truth, WE ARE HEARING LIES.

God’s Word is true; not every word of man is true.  Every Word in it is truly recorded; not every recorded word of man is truly recorded.  Faith comes by hearing the Word of God; faith does not come by hearing the word of men.  There is healing and deliverance in the Word of God; healing and deliverance are not inherently found in the word of men.  The entrance of God’s Word brings light to the human spirit; the entrance of man’s words may bring information, and even knowledge, but not true spiritual light.  What are you hearing?  Are you hearing truth?  Are you receiving healing and deliverance?  Is your spirit man ever increasing in light?  Examine what you hear, my friend, and weigh it in the balances.  Are you hearing that which is of God?  If not, guard yourself well. 

Manna for Today – John 8:12-30; John 5-8; Joshua 1:6-9; Isaiah 55:6-13; Luke 1:37; Psalm 119:89

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Know One, Know All

The respect to unity, one CANNOT separate Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  THEY ARE ONE!

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John 8:19 – Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

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Allow me to come directly to the point.  As the Scripture declares, “There are three that bear record in heaven; the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; these three are one.”  Also, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  While there is indeed the Trinity, as clearly indicated by the term “Elohim,” that being the plural form of the word “Eloi,” They are One.  While each member of the Trinity has His Own clearly distinct function as a member of the God-head, the Three are in complete agreement One with Another, and in no way is there any schism between or among Them.  They ARE One!

What you know to be the character and nature of One of the Trinity is, in fact, the character and nature of Each member of the Trinity.  They are One, and so shall They ever be.  Our God is One.  I find the following three observations so interesting in my study of God’s Word.  When Father speaks of the God-head, He in some way always directs our attention to the Son (the Word made flesh) and Holy Spirit.  When Jesus speaks of the God-head, He in some way always directs our attention to Father and Holy Spirit.  And when Holy Spirit speaks of the God-head, He in some way directs our attention to Father and Son.  Each One seems to always point us to the other member of the God-head, each One bearing witness of the other Members.  Could it be that the God-head is demonstrating to us a pattern of recognition we should use among ourselves, living in a manner that prefers our brothers above ourselves?

Still, there is great peace to the heart of every believer in knowing the truth of God’s Word.  Our God does not change.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  And not only is our God (the Trinity) unchanging, They ARE One.  Think of that.  We have the JehovahCreator God of the universe as our FatherJesus, the Word made flesh, the first begotten Son of God, the living Word Father used to create the universe as our SaviorLordElder Brother, and Joint-heir, and Holy Spirit, the agent of creation Who acted upon the spoken Word of Father to bring into manifestation all of creation as our ComforterHelperTeacherEmpowerer, and Guide 

Manna for Today – John 8:12-30; John 1:1 & 14; 1 John 5:1-9; John 14:9; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8

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Who Bears Witness of You?

Do you have the heavenly witness of the Father?  Truly, a question we must consider.

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John 8:18 – I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

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In our Text for Today, the term “witness” has its root in the word we know as “martyr.”  It means to give irrefutable proof.  If ever a time existed when men and women of God needed to be able to step forward with soundly confirming, irrefutable, undeniable truth, it is today.  Our world is filled with false proofs of lies and deceptions.  We are living in an age of distraction.  Politics, international intrigue, terrorism, advertising, and especially in social media.  Distraction and deception seems to be on overload at this hour.

If ever there was a time when we were in desperate need of a true witness, it is NOW!  Sadly, I personally know of only a few people I can trust explicitly.  President Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.”  That is an excellent piece of advice.  But I still enjoy the company of someone who has proven themselves so trustworthy that I don’t have to verify.  I thrill in the fellowship of someone I can depend on to do what they say they will do, when they said they would do it, where they said they would do it, the way they said they would do it, and in the final analysis, discover they have kept their word above all expectations.  Sadly, I know few people who live by that standard, and I know of only one being who lives up to that standard every time, and that is found in the person of our Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  God and His Word are One, and we know that He “hastens over His Word” to perform it.

We must shine the light of truth on ourselves.  Each of us must answer the following questions, and as believers, there are standards by which our answers are judged.  Am I a person of my word?  Do I live by absolute integrity?  Do I swear to my own hurt and change not?  Do I keep my word?  Can anyone to whom I give my word stake their own reputation, or even their life on the words I say?  Yes, these are rigidly high standards, but they are God’s standards, and they are the standards by which every child of God should live.  I realize one can be prevented by exigent circumstances from keeping one’s word, but this should NOT be the rule, but rather the rare exception.  When we determine in our hearts to live up to such standards, and our standard of truth is God’s Word, we can live will full expectance that our God will indeed bear witness of us.  Choose today; take your stand; Father is waiting to bear witness of you. 

Manna for Today – John 8:12-30; 1 John 5:1-9; Ephesians 3:20; John 1:1 & 14; Jeremiah 1:12;       Isaiah 55:11; Psalm 119:89; Romans 3:4; Psalm 15:4

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Do You Know Where You’re Going?

Two points in life are critical to victory; where you started, and where you are going.

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John 8:14 – Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.

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In our Text for Today, Jesus referred to two points; where He started, and where He was going.  In His case, both points have a single location, WITH HIS FATHER.  He was sent FROM His Father, and He was returning TO His Father.  Note the words of Jesus. “My record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go.”  Jesus knew where He started and where He would conclude His journey.  For that reason, He could speak with total confidence of what His ministry, purpose, and function was in the earth.  He came to seek and save the lost.  He came to redeem mankind from the curse of the law.  He became the Redeemer, breaking the curse of the law, and restoring right relationship with Father for all who would accept Him as Lord.  All He did was focused on that journey to reveal His will for mankind.  All He spoke was revelation of that journey and what He provided us through it.  And He accomplished all He was sent to do, paying the complete price that you and I might enjoy the full benefits of His purchase.

I will not ask where it is from which you came, for we all came from the same place.  We were born unto sin from our mother’s womb.  But I will ask you where you are going?  There are only two destina-tions, both of which are eternal.  One is with Jesus, ultimately to a new heaven and a new earth.  The other is with Satan, ultimately to the lake of fire into which death and hell, along with its occupants, shall be cast.  Do you know where you are going?  If you have made Jesus Lord in your life, having been born again of incorruptible seed, which is the Word of God, then your final destiny is with the Lord Jesus Christ.  If you have NOT made Jesus Lord in your life, then your final destination is eternity with Satan and without the Lord.  But that destination is not fixed in stone while you live and breathe.  For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.  There is a redemption waiting for any and all who will call on the Name of the Lord.  If you have NOT already done so, wait no longer; DO IT NOW!  If you HAVE, wait no longer to tell others.  Father has already reconciled the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses (sins) against them.  All one needs to do is confess Jesus Christ as Lord and believe in his/her heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead.  Changing one’s final destination from death to life is so easy.  Make it known to all who will listen.  And if you cannot go into all the world, help those who can. 

Manna for Today – John 8:12-30; John 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 10:6-17

The Light of the World – Part Three

Proper lighting requires being properly attached to the right power source.

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John 8:12 – Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

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Jesus declared it openly when He walked in the earth.  He said, “I am the light of the world.”  That was a declarative statement of truth.  And the words that follow that declarative statement are extremely interesting.  If you follow Jesus, you shall not walk in darkness, but shall rather have the light of life.  there are two more declarative statements that merit our investigation.  First, Jesus said if we follow Him, we shall not walk in darkness.  Yet, sadly, I often encounter Christians who are doing just that; they are walking in darkness.  I am not speaking about issues of living in sin, but of walking in arenas of deception that leave them sick or diseased in body, in poverty or lack that should not be, or under the bondage of oppression or depression.  My friend, these things ought not be.  And the only way a reasonably thinking individual would deliberately choose to walk in these areas of deceit is because they are not walking in the light.  I am convinced that too often we find ourselves wrongly judging people who are surviving in the darkness of deceit or lack of teaching when they should be living in the light of life that arises out of truth.

But Jesus went even further with His words.  Not only will the person who follows Him NOT WALK IN darkness, but that person SHALL HAVE (POSSESSTHE LIGHT OF LIFE.  What an awesome place of blessing in which we can live.  I am so deeply appreciative to my Lord for the light that He has brought into my life, but I am even more grateful to know that such light has been placed in my possession.  I not only walk IN it, but I HAVE it.  And while we should rejoice greatly in that wonderful truth, we must also be aware of the grave responsibility we bear because it has been given to us.  You see, Jesus is my Lord.  As my Lord, He is ultimately responsible for me, to see to my every need.  But what so many people do not realize is that He has given me, as His Joint-heir and son of God, the power to do so many things and receive so much in His Name.  And with that power to do and receive lies great responsibility that must be met.  At all those points, He stands ready to supply, but I must be active in preparing for and making myself available to that supply.  He has given me power to get wealth.  Am I using my power?  He gives to the man that is good in His sight wisdom and knowledge and joy.  Am I being “good” in His sight?  He has given me the means to soul prosperity.  Am I using those means to cause my soul to prosper? 

Manna for Today – John 8:12-30; Matthew 5:14; John 9:5; 1 John 1:7; Matthew 5:16; Matthew 12:37; Romans 3:4; 3 John 2; Deuteronomy 8:18; Ecclesiastes 2:26

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The Light of the World – Part Two

Understanding your true identity is critical to your victory in this life.

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John 8:12 – Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

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I become more grateful every day for who the Lord has made me to be IN Him.  At the same time, if I allowed myself to be moved by what I see, I could become more saddened daily by how Christians I encounter see themselves.  I am not referring to the outward appearance of how the world sees them, but of the inward self-perception of who the Lord has made them to be, the blessing He has already imparted to them, the fulfilled promises belonging to them of which they are unaware.  And the question seems to always arise in my thinking, “Why is it so?  Why don’t God’s people know what already belongs to them?”

Of course, the answer, sadly, is almost universally the same.  I realize that there are people who have heard the truth but will not receive it, or who have turned from it.  But on a larger scale, I am convinced that the answer lies in the fact that the church, in large proportion is UNTAUGHT.  They are preached to, preached at, and preached about, but largely untaught.  And it occurs too commonly that when someone anointed to teach truth speaks the truth he/she is anointed to teach, people don’t want to receive it because it doesn’t match the tradition with which their lives have become so loaded.  And this is not just true for the church members; it can be especially true with ministers of the Gospel.  But why?  If the minister hears a truth that is contrary to the message he has traditionally ministered, he is obligated by integrity to acknowledge the truth, turn from what he has traditionally said, and correct it from that point on to those to whom he ministers.  And that, my friend, is a major battle in overcoming pride.  Still, the oblig-tion is his.

The Word covers this well in John 1:5, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehen-ded it not.”  Darkness is not a matter against which the unbeliever alone fights.  Many believers fight against the same darkness because of their refusal to receive the truth, turn from their traditions, and walk and speak in an enlightened manner.  The words I write are not popular, but they are, nonetheless, TRUE.  Open your heart, my friend.  You are the light of the world.  Choose to live a live that dispels dark-ness, accepts and embraces truth, and puts Jesus first, not the opinions of how others feel about us.  Jesus is Lord; I am not.  Let God be true and every man a liar.

Manna for Today – John 8:12-30; Matthew 5:14; John 9:5; 1 John 1:7; Matthew 5:16; Matthew 12:37; Romans 3:4

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The Light of the World – Part One

In the absence of light, nothing is seen.

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John 8:12 – Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

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I know that there are those who would disagree with my premise statement in today’s writing.  They would cite the fact that animals can see in the dark better than humans, or possibly the use of light enhancing equipment used by the military and police.  The truth is that my premise statement is absolutely true. The phrase, “absence of light,” is an absolute statement.  It needs no magnifying adjectives.  The “absence of light” means precisely what it says; the “absence of light.”  That means NO LIGHT is present ATALL.  And the total absence of light, sight is impossible, even by light capturing or enhancing technical equipment.  There may be degrees of darkness, just as there are degrees of light.  But NO LIGHT is NO LIGHT.

In the words of Jesus in the Text for Today, Jesus is not referring to natural light of any kind; created, reflected, or technologically manufactured.  He is referring to spiritual light, and in that case, the words of Jesus are the end of the discussion.  It would do one well for the sake of Biblical accuracy to read the words of our Lord from John 9:5.  There Jesus said He would be the “light of the world” as “long as (He) I (was) am in the world.”  That statement should speak volumes to the heart of the believer as it relates to the Christian being a “new creation” in Christ Jesus.  You see, as long as Jesus was physically in the earth, no one could be born again.  To be born again, one must “confess with his mouth” that Jesus Christ is Lord, and “believe in his heart (kardis)” that God has raised Him from the dead.  Also, the presence of the life renewing Holy Spirit must be present to carry out that work.  Both those prerequisites were accomplished ONLY AFTER the ascension of the Lord Jesus to the right hand of the Father and the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost.  After that point, when the church as the body of born again believers in the earth came into existence, the church became the light of the world, that the church was fueled by the light creating Word in their hearts, the power of Holy Spirit as the “oil” of that light, and the open fellowship with Father that was created through God’s redemptive plan through Christ.

To this point, allow me to add the admonishment of Jesus that we should work while we have light.  Jesus is, I believe, coming soon.  When He does, He will remove His church from this earth.  At that moment in time, and until those left behind call on the name of the Lord, surrendering their lives to Jesus, the earth will be for a short time, in total spiritual darkness.  Child of God, you are utmost importance in the earth at this moment, so let your light so shine . . . 

Manna for Today – John 8:12-30; Matthew 5:14; John 9:5; 1 John 1:7; Matthew 5:16

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Watch Them Leave

The French have a saying, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”

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John 8:9 – And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

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There can be no doubt that we are living in the greatest technological and information age ever known to man.  Today there is more information about you on a magnetic chip in your credit card that was ever known about a person’s lifelong history prior to this age.  The computer in your lap has more power than all the computers used on the first space shuttle.  You have access to more information on your smart phone than exists in most public libraries, and likely even the Library of Congress.  This IS the age of information.  And it is technology that makes it possible.  More delicate surgeries and medical procedures are possible today than ever before through technology.  There was a time when measurements in use of tools for manufacture were thought to be extremely accurate because they measured to 1/1000th of an inch.  Today, measurements exceed that to the point that 1/1000th of an inch might be considered quite large.  This IS the age of technology.   But despite all that radical improvement, mankind has still remained, basically, the same.  “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

When Jesus stooped down and wrote in the earth, men, “being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one.”  Men still operate in the same manner today.  This is not a prophecy of negative content.  It is merely a statement of what the Scriptures declare in Ecclesiastes.  Through the Old Testament, we see men of God making strong statements of truth that reveal men’s hearts, and we watch the numbers diminish.  When Jesus mad strong statements of truth that openly revealed men’s hearts, the numbers diminished.  It will still happen today.  Sadly, most people we encounter have hearts darkened by deception and deceit.  They speak and reveal only that which they truly desire you to know.  But when the true content and intent of their hearts is revealed, it creates cause in them for sudden departure.  The pressure of having one’s inner thoughts and hidden actions openly is, to most people, a frightening and very undesirable thing.  What is so remarkable to me is the duplicity I see made so plain.  People will attend church on Sunday, sing, praise, weep, and even tremble under the presence of the Lord, perhaps thinking they are hiding their inner thoughts and actions.  Then in social media, they post pictures and statements that clearly reveal hidden agendas and motives.  Such duplicity is sad.  Still, when the man/woman of God releases stark truth, such folks will still leave; perhaps one-by-one, but they will still leave.  Don’t be shocked.  We are in a time for a great exodus from the church while we will surely see the church grow with new additions.  Remember, Jesus is still coming for a glorious church, not one with hidden agendas and secret motivations. 

Manna for Today – John 8:1-11; Ecclesiastes 1:9

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