Tag Archives: Online

WATCH Harvest America…

You can find a location near you that is hosting a Harvest America. You could turn on your radio and listen to it live. Maybe you would like to invite some friends or family over to your home to watch it from your computer, i-pad, tablet, i-phone, or other electronic device. (link for radio and online information) With the way technology is these days maybe you would like to invite someone in a cool way out to the Harvest Crusade, to your house, or a venue and just don’t know how. Well we have an E-vite you can send to them, just click here and it will be on it’s way providing them with all info that they may need to join!

A Short Message from Greg Laurie;

What if on One Day, churches from all over the nation brought in the Harvest Crusade and streamed it live right into their church? At last year’s Harvest, individuals watched the live stream broadcast from every state of the union and 32 countries around the world! Now, with HD-quality video available through Internet streaming and satellite, people could fill churches, theaters, coffee houses, and living rooms, linking together as One Church in thousands of locations.

For what purpose? One Message! The only message that can save a soul—the simple proclamation of the gospel, which will be given from a gifted evangelist, Greg Laurie.

And if this is repeated over the next three years, we could conservatively see more than five million people in live-stream events and effectively see some 500,000 professions of faith! That’s more than we’ve seen in our 22-year history of Harvest Crusades!

Will you consider joining hundreds of other churches across America on August 26 as we seek to bring hope to a nation? From promotions to the follow-up process, this website will provide churches and individuals with all the tools and resources needed to host a successful evangelistic event for your community, whether you host it at your church, a neutral venue, or in your living room.


“The Perfect Gift and The Perfect God”

Join along and hope you find it as fascinating and truly convicting as I did…

The fourth study is from James 1:17-21, Titles “The Perfect Gift and The Perfect God” which you can click here to follow along in reading. To open up and listen to the podcast click here, after clicking the link go to the box that says Filter By and you filter it by Speaker, in the drop down menu click to choose Josh Thompson, then click on the podcast link titled “The Perfect Gift and The Perfect God” posted on 6/10/2012. (should be 4th entry down).

Hot Pursuit of The 31 Woman (1 of 4)

Proverbs 31, ESV and KJV, The Wife of Noble Character. What women can learn, and apply to their lives, by following in the foot steps of this marvelous and noble woman of God. A fun fact about Proverbs 31:10-31 is that it’s an acrostic poem, meaning that each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Virtue is Beauty

V.10 – ‘Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.‘ In this text the word for virtuous is chayil meaning to display valor, strength, power, ability, might, or efficiency. So literally this statement reads “Who can find a woman of strength, valor, or ability…” meaning that this woman displayed a high level of firmness and strength in her abilities. We also find this same expression used of men in Exodus 18:21 – ‘Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place [such] over them, [to be] rulers of thousands, [and] rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens…‘ Moses was to find able men with these ‘virtuous’ attributes – but these men, as we see unfold, were not easy for Moses to find. When using this expression towards women it is found in 2 other places; (1) Ruth 3:11 ‘And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou [art] a virtuous woman.‘ and (2) Proverbs 12:4 ‘A virtuous woman [is] a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed [is] as rottenness in his bones.‘ Using these three references, we find out the importance and meaning of being virtuous  (1) Being able and virtuous means to fear God, be honest, love truth, and hate covetousness (which is Idolatry, which is Sin). (2) When you display such firm spiritual strength, and strength in character, people will notice because it’s abnormal to the culture around you. But like Ruth, do not let the world sway you – but instead keep firm and be bold. (3) A virtuous woman does not cause shame to her husband, or the family name on that matter, because she has these characteristics her price is above rubies, which are rare and expensive, she is a true daughter of our Lord and Savior and is hard to find. She has an inner beauty and a strength of character and a moral firmness that is lacking in the vast majority of women, even believing women, today.

V.11 – ‘The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.‘ In this text ‘trust’ is batach  meaning have confidence in, to be bold, to be secure, and to feel safe. The word ‘spoil’ is shalal  meaning plunder, gain, or spoil. No need in this context is the same found in Psalm 23:1 – ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want‘ – it means to ‘be in need’ or to ‘be lacking’. In both instances the word is used with a negative changing the meaning to ‘not be in need’ and to ‘not be lacking’. So if the Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need, because the Lord will provide that need for me. Get it? Let me help; what the text here is saying is that; if i have a godly wife I will not (1) be in need of spoil (money, equity, etc…) and/or (2) be lacking spoil. As stated above this word can also mean plunder or gain; which is usually used in the gain or plundering of valuable items from defeated enemies after obtaining a victory in battle. This doesn’t mean that if his wife is not virtuous that he would, in desperation, go into battle and gather up as much plunder as he could. But because his wife is such a benefit, even financially, he will have no need of soil. As we see in the next few verses; she keeps the home so well, is so industrious, and is so productive in all her efforts – that the result of it all is great gain and even profit. Sadly today some wives are so lazy and careless that they cause the family great financial loss, rather than the opposite.  They go on shopping sprees, incur immense credit card debt, or waste countless hours each week glued to habitual unproductive activities (television, gossip, etc).  How can her husband safely trust in her? After she has finished destroying the family it results in him having a great need of gain – considering all that she has lost. Here, it’s not only the women, but many men are at fault as well, though we’ll save that talk for the Proverbs 31 Man.

V.12 – ‘She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.‘ Verses 11 and 12 go hand in hand, he knows he can trust his wife because she does him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. Proverbs 18:22 says, ‘He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.’ This statement is only true when a man finds the ‘right wife’ – which would be a virtuous, noble, god fearing proverbs 31 woman. Some men will find a woman who will be a ‘crown of her husband…‘ and others will who is a ‘rottenness in his bones…‘ (Proverbs 12:4).  In verse 12 the word ‘will do’ literally translate to deal fully with or bountifully with, repay, or reward – because in Hebrew there was no actual word for ‘do’. In 1 Samuel 24:17 David had spared Saul’s life, and Saul’s response to Davids act of mercy was, ‘…You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil.‘ Also in Genesis 20:15-17 the term is used of when Josephs brothers remembered what they did to Joseph “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.” “Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him…‘ Here Joseph also had mercy on his brothers lives as well. They did not repay evil with evil, but they re-payed evil with godly conduct; goodness, mercy, forgiveness, and righteousness. The virtuous woman doesn’t serve her people/husband that which is good one day and that which is evil the next day.  Her husband can count on her to do him good and to be a blessing to him, and their family. He can count on her to do this today, five days from now, one year from now, ten years from now, and all the days of her life.  She is not up and down, hot and cold, because her godliness is marked with consistency.

Put Away Rivalries and Put Back Affection

V.13 – ‘She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.‘ The word for seek is ‘darash ‘ and it means to seek with care, require, enquire (consult), or search. The word for willingly is ‘chephets‘ which means to delight in, to desire to, or to purpose oneself. The word for works  is ‘`asah‘ which means to produce, to make, to deal, or to prepare. If you didn’t know wool is from a sheep’s coat – it spun and woven into yarn/string then knitted together to make a cloth. Even today we still wear wool sweaters and coats. Flax is from a plant, and in the same way as wool, was spun into yarn/thread which later became linen. Now flax is special, because the finest of them all was found, and grown, in Egypt under almost perfect conditions. From flax can be made a variety of materials including coarse canvas, rugged sails for ships, and even thin delicate scarves. As we see in the text she ‘seeks’ flax and wool, which are basic materials needed to make clothes and garments. However, by using the literal translation she is consulting, and seeking carefully, for these items. More than likely she is looking for ‘the best‘ buy or quality. The last part bums me out, because a lot of people forget about the importance of this last half, ‘willingly works with her hands’. WOW! That is such a beautiful statement. The virtuous woman’s hand is never a forced hand. The husband does not demand this from here, nor makes her feel obliged to do this. According to text she does these things willingly; meaning she delights, desires, and purposes herself to seek and find these materials to work with. This woman is looking to prepare, make, and produce an item for dealing (selling) out of them…. and she DELIGHTS in it. In our modern, computerized, electronic, entertainment-saturated society we have lost the art of working with our hands.  Most women don’t delight in making clothes with their hands. Instead they delight in shopping for clothes at the mall and thus adversely affecting the family budget. However the virtuous woman desires to work with her hands to productively (financially) benefit her home, her children, and her husband. This wise woman uses her time and individual resources in the best way she can.

V.14 – ‘She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.‘ Simply put; she does the grocery shopping! Who hasn’t traveled 10-20 minutes to the grocery store to get the best deal? Huh? Well this next virtue actually goes a little deeper than my first statement; the Bible teaches us that with food and clothing we can be content (1 Timothy 6:8) and the virtuous women plays a key role, as God’s instrument, in providing both. Interesting how the author of this Proverb compared the virtuous woman to being like a merchant’s ship. The word here used for merchant is ‘cachar‘ and it means to travel about in or go about in trade – to be a trader or trafficker. The buy, sell, and trade, commodities to make profit. Now she wasn’t being compared to a merchant, she was compared to the ship! The merchant ships then carried hundreds, maybe thousands, of rare, useful, and desirable items from far and distant lands/countries. in this verse it says that she is bringing ‘food from afar‘, the word for food here actually means ‘bread‘, which was a common item to eat in those days. For the sake of the lesson it’s food in general. But does this mean that she traveled to different countries and lands to bring food home? Probably not! The picture this verse paints is this; today the wife usually says, “Dear, I need some money because I’m going to town to do our weekly grocery shopping.”  Whereas, the virtuous woman said, “Dear, I’m going to town but I don’t need any money because I’m taking some of the fine linen which I have made and will trade it in for some items of food which you will really enjoy.” Now how can her husband complain about that? The virtuous woman produced a product (with the wool and flax) in which she could then trade to get a wide variety of foods form near and far.

Those are our tips on how to be a Proverbs 31 woman for today! Continue coming back and reading them as many times as you need! I personally have them posted on my  fridge so i never forget! Thank you for joining us in this study, next time we will be going through verses 15 to 20. God Bless and we’ll see you next week!

Hillsong United – A Beautiful Exchange

“…You were near, Though I was distant
Disillusioned I was lost and insecure

Still mercy fought, For my attention
You were waiting at the door, Then I let You in

Trading Your life, For my offenses
For my redemption, You carried all the blame

Breaking the curse, Of our condition
Perfection took our place

When only love
Could make a way
You gave Your life
In a beautiful exchange…” – Hillsong United ‘A Beautiful Exchange’ Lyrics

Tjis Finished the Study A Beautiful Exchange – Join us Soon for our Study in Proverbs called ‘Who can find?’

“The WAR of Temptation”

This study really hit home with me this week! I really enjoyed it and was most certainly convicted by it. Everyone deals with temptations LARGE and small – day in and day out – in this study you see that overcoming and recognizing trials and temptations leads to a blessed life, but falling for and longing after it leads to death of your spirit. Join along and hope you find it as fascinating and true to this day and age as I did…

The third study is from James 1:12-18, Titles “The WAR of Temptation” which you can click here to follow along in reading. To open up and listen to the podcast click here, after clicking the link go to the box that says Filter By and you filter it by Speaker, in the drop down menu click to choose Josh Thompson, then click on the podcast link titled “The WAR of Temptation” posted on 6/3/2012. (should be 4th entry down).

The Beautiful Exchange (2 of 2)

Let us now look at these two contrasting sacrifices in table form; an ‘a‘ in the center column indicates similarity, and a ‘r‘ indicates contrast; the comments in this are not made on the basis of a text from Hebrews, but express either a truth gained from the teaching of the Bible, or are expressions of the logical opposite. In some instances truths are listed here which were also listed in the table relating to the high priestly roles, because the high priest, and the sacrifices they offered, are intimately connected…

O.T. Sacrifices
Sacrifice of Jesus
5:3; 7:279:7 Had to be offered for the sins of the priest as well as the sins of the people r No sacrifice necessary for his own sins 7:27
7:11,18-1910:1-4 Could not make us perfect r Makes us perfect 10:14
7:27; 9:6,7,25; 10:1,11 Needed to be offered day after day, year after year r Once-for-all 7:27; 9:12; 9:25-28;10:10,12
8:1-69:1-109:11 Were offered in the earthly tabernacle which is a copy of the real presence of GodWere offered in a man-made tabernacle r Was offered in the real sanctuary – the very presence of God – not made by man.He entered heaven itself. 9:11, 24,
8:13 Belonged to an obsolete covenant r Belongs to the new covenant 8:8
9:7, 18-23 Blood offering required a Blood offering required
9:9; 10:2-4 Could not clear the conscience of the worshiper r Cleansed from a guilty conscience 10:22
9:13 Made the ceremonially unclean outwardly clean r Cleanses our consciences so that we may serve GodHe died as a ransom to set them free form the sins committed under the first covenant. 9:149:15
9:10;10:1-4,11 Were external, ceremonial regulations, pending the coming of the new order.Were temporary and repetitive pending the coming of the new order r Obtained eternal redemption Permanently effective – ‘for all time’ 9:1210:12
9:129:25 Blood of goats and calvesNot their own blood r Christ’s own blood He sacrificed himself 9:12,9:26
10:1 The law prescribing these sacrifices is a shadow r Is the reality itself 10:1
10:2,3 Continued guilt feelings for sin Annual reminder of sins r Does away with sinSins remembered no more 9:2610:17
10:4, 11 Impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins; can never take away sins. r We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ 10:10
10:9 Are set aside r Is established 10:9
10:11,12 Was never finished r Is finished and done 10:12,13
Many sacrifices r One sacrifice 10:12,14
10:1-4,11 Always more sacrifices needed r No longer any sacrifice for sin needed 10:18
No confidence r Produces confidence to enter ‘the Most Holy Place’, to enter the presence of God 10:19,22
Is an Old and dead way r Is a new and living way 10:20

The connotation of what the writer has taught us, and the reader – the Hebrews, about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ are innumerable and grandiose. He tells us of something that is complete, something that has happened once-for-all in the one act of Jesus Christ, something that never was and never could be done by the old sacrifices. Meditate again on the aftermath this one, once-for-all, never to be repeated, permanent in its denouement, sacrifice of Jesus Christ has on the readers then and us today; (Scriptures in order for section)

  1. The redemption it obtained is eternal (9:12).
  2. It cleanses our consciences/spirit (9:14).
  3. It liberates us to serve God wholly (9:14).
  4. It sets us free from past, present, and future sins [not an excuse to use Him as a visa card] (9:15).
  5. It does away with ALL sin (9:26).
  6. It is established by God (10:9).
  7. It makes us holy by the body of Christ (10:10).
  8. It is permanently effective, finished, and complete (10:12-14).
  9. It makes us perfect forevermore (10:14).
  10. God remembers our sins and lawless acts no more – cleaning us – making us white as snow (10:17).
  11. It makes any further sacrifice for sin redundant and unnecessary (10:18).
  12. It means that we have confidence to enter the very presence of God without fear of judgement or condemnation (10:19).
  13. It means we can draw near to God with the full assurance of faith (10:22).
  14. It means that our hearts are cleansed from a guilty conscience (10:22).

This must be the ultimate in salvation! Who would think of leaving this salvation for anything else – for anything else can only be less! Yet that is exactly what the original readers of this letter were on the brink of doing. Had they not really understood who Jesus actually was? Had they not really understood what Jesus actually did? But we could ask similar questions today as we look at the widespread lack of assurance of salvation,the focus of many Christians on their own religious performance, and the accompanying guilt in which they wallow and drown in. This salvation so powerfully described in this letter to the Hebrews leaves us with no doubts as to the permanence and completeness of the salvation obtained by the body and death of Jesus Christ – lavished as a sheer gift on everyone who believes in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is a good an perfect Gift from God; to me, to you, and to the whole World – just accept, understand, and believe.

I hope you enjoyed this study, A Beautiful Exchange, in the Book of Hebrews. Our next study Will be in the Book of Proverbs – specifically Proverbs 31 called Who Can Find? – we will be using this great chapter to apply being a Godly woman/wife and a Godly man/husband to our lives. It should only be about 3-4 posts at most, hope you will come join us! Thank you for this study and God Bless!

The Beautiful Exchange (1 of 2)

Just as the writer has presented us with a description of Jesus Christ as the ultimate high priest, whom is far superior to the old priesthood. The writer also presents us with a description of the one final sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which is far superior to the many sacrifices offered by the old priesthood. In this study we will look firstly at the sacrifices offered under the old covenant, then at the one final sacrifice of Jesus Christ. For the second part of the study we will, again, set these side by side in a table for an easier comparison. Then we will wrap up the main points for the completion of this study.

Sacrifices under the Old Testament Ritual Laws; (NKJV Scripture in order for section)

  • 5:3 the high priest had to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as the sins of the people, not just once but daily (day after day)
  • 7:11 they did not and could not provide ‘perfection
  • 7:18 the law made nothing ‘perfect
  • 7:27 sacrifices needed to be offered daily (day after day)
    and needed to be offered for the priest’s sins as well as the people’s sins
  • 8:13 old ritual law sacrifices under the first covenant were made ‘obsolete‘ by the implementation of the new covenant, by Jesus Christ
  • 9:6 priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry
  • 9:7 only high priests entered the inner room, annually, only with blood, making an offering for himself and for the sins the people that they had committed in ignorance
  • 9:9 these gifts and sacrifices were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper
  • 9:10 were temporary ‘external regulations
  • 9:11 were offered in a man-made tabernacle
  • 9:12 using the blood of goats and calves
  • 9:13 the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer could only ‘sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean‘, this did not and could not help the inwardly – your spirit/soul
  • 9:18 sacrifices were not put into effect without blood
  • 9:22 the law required that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness from God
  • 9:24 they were offered in a man-made sanctuary, which was only a copy, and shadow, of the true one to come
  • 9:25 high priests enter the Most Holy Place over and over again, year after year
    high priests enter with blood that is not his own, but of goat, bull, or calve
  • 10:1 the law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves in present
  • therefore… it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship God. (10:2 – If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all by doing so, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins If so there wouldn’t have been need for the sending and sacrifice of Jesus Christ)
  • 10:3 the sacrifices are an annual reminder of their sins
  • 10:4 it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins
  • 10:5-8 God did not desire sacrifice/offering, burnt offerings, or sin offerings, nor was he pleased with them
  • 10:9 they are set aside by God
  • 10:11 the daily repeated sacrifices can never take away sins of the people

In these statements about the sacrifices offered under the ritual and traditional Jewish law of the old covenant – There are two recurring themes (1) the repetitiveness of these sacrifices (2) their temporary and superficial capabilities. By way of extreme contrast, consider what is said about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ…

The Once and For ALL Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior; (NKJV Scripture in order for section)

  • 7:27a was not needed daily (day after day)
  • 7:27b was not for his own sins but ours (the worlds)
  • 7:27c the sacrifice for the worlds sins was once and for ALL when he offered himself up
  • 9:9 (by assumption) is able to clear the conscience of, and give rest/peace to, the worshiper
  • 9:12 he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption
  • 9:14 the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself unblemished and unspotted to God. This cleanses, and purifies, our consciences/hearts from acts that will evidently lead us to death, this way we may serve the living God wholly and holy
  • 9:15 he died as a ransom to set them and us free from the sins committed under the first covenant law
  • 9:25 he does not have to enter heaven to offer himself over and over again
  • 9:26 he appeared once for ALL at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself
  • 9:28 Christ was sacrificed once to take away ALL the sins of many people (the world)
  • 10:1 (by assumption) makes perfect those who draw near to him in worship
  • 10:2 (by assumption) worshipers are cleansed once for all, and no longer need to feel guilty for their sins committed past, present, and future
  • 10:10 we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ – once for ALL and forever more
  • 10:12 Jesus offered for ALL time one sacrifice for ALL sins, then sat down at the right hand of God the Father
  • 10:14 by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (us that believe in him)
  • 10:17 God no longer remembers our sins and lawless acts, we are continually cleaned and purified – white as snow – from the day we believe
  • 10:18 where we have been forgiven there is no longer any needed future sacrifice for sin – it is Final and Done
  • 10:19 we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus
  • 10:20 we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by a new and living way opened for us through… his body, no longer set apart from God
  • 10:22 therefore … let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water .
  • 10:23 therefore … let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he is faithful who promised

The two efficacious and dominant qualities of the sacrifice of Christ are (1) its once and for ALL-ness and related immutability (2) its all inclusive and radical implementation in our lives, then and now.

For our next study we will look at these two contrasting sacrifices in table form, then wrap up the study at the end. Thank you for joining us and God Bless!

Joshua 7 – Buzzkill

Awesome sermon by Levi Lusko about doing what God commands, and what God wills, rather than doing things your way or the highway. The video might take a moment to load because (1) It’s Vimeo (2) It’s a worthwhile one hour experience that must load first. This sermon and study will give you a good 1, 2, punch and self check, hope you enjoy as much as I did, and God Bless.

p.s.- if all else fails click here then go to Filter By, and you will filter by Speaker and in the drop down menu search for Levi Lusko (it’s alphabetized), click his name and the podcast is titled Buzzkill – Joshua 7 – it’s dated for Sunday 06/17/2012.

The Highest of the Highest – Hebrews 4:14-16 (part 1 of 2)

Ancient Corinth

In Hebrews 4:14-16 the writer links all that he has said in chapters 3 and 4, and all the way back in chapter 2, where he has identified Jesus Christ as a ‘merciful and faithful high priest‘ who, by his real and perfect humanity, is qualified to ‘make atonement for the sins of the people‘. Here he argues;

(1) ‘we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens‘. This statement anticipates a great truth that he expands on later which is; that Jesus has not gone into the symbolic presence of God – in the tabernacle or temple – as the earthly high priests did, but he has gone into the real spiritual and physical presence of God, not just through the curtain, but through the heavens themselves.

(2) ‘Jesus, the Son of God‘. This great high priest is, as we have seen, a real human being and he is ‘Jesus‘ – the human son of and from a human mother, who walked the earth, cried our tears, and bled our blood. Although He is also more than this for He is the ‘Son of God‘ as the writer has shown in 1:1-14 and 3:1-6.

(3) ‘let us hold fast our confession‘. Therefore, the writer exhorts, that since we have such a high priest; that is fully and perfectly qualified to represent us as ‘man‘ in the presence of God, and is at the same time the exalted divine Son of God who came down to earth specifically be the sacrifice, intercession, and propitiation for our sins, ‘let us hold firmly to the faith we profess‘. The sheer excellence of our great high priest and his qualifications should stir and motivate us to hold fast faith in Him, which is what we profess. Why? Because there is no one who could be more committed to our good, better qualified, more equipped to represent us in the presence of God, and absolutely no one more capable of obtaining eternal salvation for us than Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the Son of God. To scorn and reject Him, the high priest, is to reject or turn aside the provision of God, which would become the final and absolute rejection of God and eternal living with Him.

(4) ‘we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin‘. This expands on the qualifications of our great high priest; he ‘can sympathize with our weaknesses‘. Why? How come he understands our weaknesses so intimately that he sympathizes? Is he not perfect and without sin? How can a perfect sinless person feel what imperfect people feel? Well, because this perfect person was not perfect because of a unrealistic monastic removal from the world and its temptations – this perfect person was not secluded, confined, head in the sand, ascetic who was severed from the honky-dory way of human existence. Rather, this perfect person, this flesh-and-blood Jesus, lived among us (John 1:14) – as John recorded in 1 John 1:1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life… ‘ – this perfect person experienced our rejection, our treachery, and our hatred. He heard our scorn and accusations, He felt our whips, our mocking thorns, and our nails. All of this without sin, he was a sinless man, undeserving of the beatings that were meant for us…. you and me. Imagine YOU taking on all the sin and punishment of that sin for the people on the street you live on? How about you taking on the sin and punishment for your neighborhood? For your city? Your county? The whole country? How about the sin and punishment of the whole World? I wouldn’t do it, no, not me… because our great high perist took on the physical punishment but He also took on the spiritual punishment, His soul went to Hell and back for us, over and over and over and over and over and over, AND OVER again. Not only this, but this high priest, this perfect man, was pushed to the very limit of temptation’s power by the great deceiver, until the tempter gave in. From the beginning and the end of His ministry Jesus’ commitment to his Father’s will was tested by the devil, continually. The pressure to give up their faith, which the readers (Hebrews) of this letter were experiencing and facing, was nothing compared to the pressure the devil put on Jesus to deviate Him from the way of the cross, and the Mission, appointed to Him by His Father in Heaven. He knows the strength and the power of temptation and testing – because he endured them in their most ultimate intensity.

(5) ‘Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need…‘ With such a high priest only one response is appropriate, absolute confidence. Rather than being shaken by the pressure being laid on by the Jews for the Hebrews to give up their faith and go back to the ritualistic traditions  of the Old Testament. The writer encourages the readers to put on the confidence of their salvation, rather than to be tormented by the possibility of defection under the persecution conducted by the Romans. These Hebrew believers are encouraged to a bold confidence in their secure relationship with God based on the absolute integrity and supremacy of their great high priest, Jesus, the Son of God, and the absolute effectiveness of Him being the consistent propitiation and intercessor on their behalf. Let us note the significance of the writer’s choice of words:

(a) He describes God’s throne as ‘the throne of grace‘ – for those who believe in Jesus Christ it is no longer a throne of judgement, where a strict tit-for-tat justice will be meted out and sin receive the just and legal punishment it deserves. Because of the sin-bearing, interceding death, of Christ – God’s throne is, for those who have acknowledged Christ, ‘a throne of grace‘. As Paul has pointed out in Romans 5:21…so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord‘. Grace is the operating principle in the kingdom of Jesus Christ, of which every believer is a member.

(b) Not content with describing God’s throne as ‘the throne of grace‘ which in itself should be enough to instil confidence? The writer goes on to assure us that, rather than receiving judgement and condemnation, we will ‘receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need‘. Mercy refers to God’s acknowledgement of our weakness, our inability, and our need. He is doing whatever is necessary for our good and our survival, despite anything in us that might disqualify us from his favor. Grace refers to the act of God in which he chooses not to pay us out our justly due punishment, according to what we deserve, but to grant us absolute freedom from the deserved penalty, and then BLESSING us continually, and giving us eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. This is the unexpected and almost incredible confidence that all who trust in Jesus Christ can and should have, with no doubt or question. For it’;s and absolute truth. The ‘hold firmly‘ (found in verse 4:14) and ‘approach … with confidence‘ (found in verse 4:16) are expressions of the faith and rest to which the writer is calling us toward. Such faith and rest, such confidence, are the opposite of the sin and disobedience of unbelief against which we are being warned. The challenge confronts us – do we really trust Jesus Christ? Do we really believe God’s word about Christ? Do we really believe in the totality all that Christ did on the cross? For your own meditation re-read the previous paragraph and ask yourself the questions listed there. Identify whether or not you are experiencing the confidence and the rest that Jesus promised to give to those who come to him. If you do not have that confidence, if your soul does not have peace in the presence of God, then you need to re-learn the message of the gospel – in respect to both who Jesus is and what Jesus did. I suggest you start with the Gospel of John Here. Also Pray that God will open your mind and your heart to understand and embrace the massive, liberating, and convicting truths contained in this letter to the Hebrews, and indeed throughout the entire Scriptures and Gospel messages.

Thank you for joining today’s study and we will be seeing you so, finishing the second part of this section.

“For Richer or For Poorer”

Another amazing message by Pastor Josh Thompson in the Works series here at Harvest Christian Fellowship – really enjoying it and hope you are as well – here is the directions for the newest Podcast called “For Richer or For Poorer”…

The first study is from James 1:9-11, Titles “For Richer or For Poorer” which you can click here to follow along in reading. To open up and listen to the podcast click here, after clicking the link go to the box that says Filter By and you filter it by Speaker, in the drop down menu click to choose Josh Thompson, then click on the podcast link titled “For Richer or For Poorer” posted on 5/27/2012. (should be 4th entry down).

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