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John’s Use of Genesis

If you enjoy word search, crosswords, sudoku, and scavenger hunts, you would love seeking out hidden treasures in scripture.

 John’s Use of Genesis  —-

And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”” (Matthew 13:52, ESV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (John 1:1–18, ESV)

The “Word” in Greek is Logos, and it means more than just a word; it means the reason for being, the meaning of things, the purpose of life, when it is ascribed to Jesus. The Hebrew scholars, when translating the First Testament into Greek, used the word Logos for the word “Dabar” in Genesis. We see that when God said (debar) “Let there be light,” the word for God’s spoken, creative word, is the same word used to describe the Son of God, through whom the hole universe was created and in whom the whole universe holds together. (Colossians 1: 16-17)

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:1–10, ESV)

That 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 (logos of life)— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1:1–4, ESV)

The 3 Temptations

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” (Genesis 3:1–7, ESV)

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’ ” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’ ” And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.” (Luke 4:1–15, ESV)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15–17, ESV)

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Breaking Bread in Our Homes… Passover 2020


We are in a season where we are separated and have to have communion with our families in our homes, which is like the time the Hebrews were hiding in their homes during Passover, as the last plague in Eqypt took the first born children of the Egyptians. Their covenant with God was made by the blood of a lamb placed upon their doorposts. We too have a Lamb that was slain whose blood is placed upon the doorposts of our hearts. 

Acts 2: 42-47. 1 Corinthians 11: 17-26. Communion is a Covenant Between you and God, not a Temple Sacrifice. It was celebrated in each family home, just as Passover had been. Our Communion with Jesus should extend to care for our neighbors… those hungry and without.

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The Gospel of Suffering

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8, ESV)

reprinted from The Scholars Corner

There is a Gospel of Prosperity going around that is true in part but which the “unstable twist to their own destruction.” The problem with the emphasis on prosperity is that it is unbalanced when there is no recognition of the role of suffering in God’s plan for our lives. We see that even Jesus, though having never sinned, was made perfect through suffering. If he was perfected by suffering, can we expect any less for ourselves?Christ Crucified

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 5:7–10, ESV)

Now it is true that God wants us to prosper:

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3 John 2, KJV 1900)

But we may want to ask first, what does it mean to have your soul prosper? My definition of material prosperity is “having everything you need to do what God has called you to do.” That is not about money, it is about the means to accomplish God’s calling on your life. Do you think God wants you to fulfill your destiny? Then, Yes, he wants you to prosper. So, if material prosperity is the means or the tools by which you offer service to God, that is one thing. But the prosperity of your soul is an entirely different matter. And this scripture implies that material prosperity and health are tied to the prosperity of your soul.

So, how does God prosper your soul? You may not want to hear this, but he often prospers your soul through suffering. In fact, he may cause suffering to perfect you in love like he did Jesus! Now, I am not talking about physical illness. Jesus never gave someone a disease and said “this is so God can teach you something.” Rather he healed everyone who came to him, and since Jesus is the perfect image of the Father, he represents the Father’s perfect will for his children. Jesus proclaimed healing as a sign of the kingdom (dominion/rulership) of God (Luke 10:9). If healing is a sign of God’s will being done on earth, then sickness is part of the devil’s will to “kill, steal, and destroy.” It happens where God’s dominion is not fully established, but it is not God’s will.

No, the suffering I am talking about is persecution, rejection, perhaps even physical pain at the hands of others, and death:

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it” (2 Timothy 3:12–14, ESV)

Why would God use persecution and suffering? Suffering can make us more like Jesus. How does that work? When Jesus was faced with the crucifixion, he prayed to God to get out of it.

“…saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.’” (Luke 22:42, ESV). Jesus was able to surrender his own will, wants and desires to follow the will of the Father. It was not easy, but he learned through sacrifice and in that perfect submission, he was “made perfect.”

We also struggle to do God’s will and not our own. We too must learn to sacrifice our self-will.

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:16–17, ESV)

We all deal with the problem of self-interest and the desire to protect ourselves. But how is love perfected in you if you always get your own way? It is only when your will is crossed and you don’t get your way that you learn to love beyond yourself. And how will you learn to love your enemies unless you run into them?

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also… And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.” (Luke 6:27–33, ESV)

For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:46–48, ESV)

Can your soul prosper from persecution? Yes. Think of those being put in prison in China for their faith, or those being murdered in Islamic countries for their faith… Are they not prospering in their souls for their faithfulness to Jesus? So, it says in Revelation of the martyrs:

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Revelation 12:11–12, ESV)

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11–12, ESV)

What I am saying is that God uses suffering to conform our character to the likeness of Jesus. By learning to love those who hate you, and by learning to not respond in kind, our rough edges of selfishness are chipped away.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:28–29, ESV)

I was a pastor of a rural church in Pennsylvania. I tried to keep everyone happy and if people were unhappy, I thought there was something I was doing wrong. I had some insecurities and felt I had to defend myself from rumors and gossip. What I did not realize is that I had a “man-pleasing spirit.” One day, the Lord asked me “Wouldn’t you lay down your life for my children?” I resolved to participate in a non-violent sit in at an abortion clinic. The church, upon hearing of my participation, promptly asked me to resign. I knew I had done what the Lord had asked, so the people were not upset with just me, but with the Lord as well. From that time on, I no longer cared what others thought of me. I knew I had done with what God had asked, so they had a problem with God, not me. Before, I would say, what’s wrong with me, but after that I would say, what’s wrong with you? That man-pleasing spirit was broken. God used the rejection of an entire church to heal me of my need for man’s approval. Don’t get me wrong, I still like approval, but I don’t need it. Also, through this process, the Lord taught me how to forgive a lot of people.

We are being conformed to the image of Jesus by God’s plan for our lives, even when that includes rejection by, or suffering for, others. Jesus loved those who hated him and if we are to become like Jesus, we are to learn to do the same.

Just as Jesus suffered to redeem us all, God might also use your suffering to reach others by your example with the love of Christ. Suffering for innocence’s sake may cause the conscience of the abuser to be pricked, or it may cause those standing by to have sympathy for you for the injustice. If you respond with the love of Jesus towards the oppressors, it may work to their salvation. Isn’t it worth it to lay down your life so that another may not face eternal judgement? How great is your love? If you can love like Jesus loved, is not your soul prospering even while you suffer?

Another way God uses suffering, distress, and difficulties in our lives is to teach us to turn to Him and learn to trust him in all circumstances as the Sovereign God over our lives. This happened to Paul. You would think an apostle did not have to learn that, but not only was he persecuted, he also despaired of life itself:

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” (2 Corinthians 1:8–10, ESV)

When we cannot control our circumstances and when things get out of our hands, we have no choice but to turn to God and cast our cares upon Him, because nothing else is working. This can be a loss of a job, divorce, children turning away, or the death of loved ones. We are not masters of the universe, and despite our best efforts, we are not in control. At such times we recognize our mortality and dependence upon God as Sovereign of the universe, and if things are out of our control, they are not out of his. That is not to say that everything that happens is God’s will, because people are evil and do things that God does not will, but it is God’s will for us to respond with forgiveness towards others and to turn to Him in times of turmoil.

Most of the examples of suffering in Scripture say that we will share in the fellowship of Jesus’ suffering when we endure rejection and persecution for the sake of His Name. The question for us is: are we willing to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow him? Jesus said unless we are willing to do that for him, we cannot be his disciples.

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34–38, ESV)

Suffering causes the character of Christ to be formed in us. By it we learn obedience and to sacrifice our selfish ways, we learn to love others, even those who hate us, and we learn to trust God in all circumstances. By it, our souls prosper as we reflect and magnify Jesus through our lives. Such prosperity may lead to material wealth, or it may lead us to prison. But in any case, it will lead us to great rewards in heaven, including the gratitude of many souls saved through our labors, if we remain faithful. And that is a prosperity that will never end.

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Transgenderism is a Religion and its Enforcement Violates the First Amendment.

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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. – The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

The attempt to force a transgender ideology upon schools and governments is a violation of the First Amendment in three ways.  

First, it is an attempt to establish a religion. Transgenderism is a belief that is not upheld by science. A person claims to be transgender by identification, which is an mental or emotional attachment to an idea. The person who claims to be a female, but is in fact a male, is denying the scientific fact of biology, genetics and DNA. Whatever they may “feel,” it does not make it a fact or true.  I may feel like a 6-foot Chinese woman who is excellent at basketball. I may identify myself as that, but it does not make it true. It is a belief system, an ideology, and mental/emotional feeling.  Since it is not based in the fact of biology, it is a belief system, and hence a religion.  In addition, mutilating the body and taking hormones does not change the DNA or genes of biology; any more than cutting off one’s leg makes one a donkey.

Therefore, for the public school system or the state to impose such a belief system on the community, it is a violation of the establishment clause, and creates a religious test for employment.

Second, the attempt to force others to conform to some complex forms of “politically correct” speech, is a violation of the second clause by prohibiting the free exercise of religion, as well as third, suppressing the freedom of speech by refusing to allow people to speak correctly of scientific facts, but forces them to verbally uphold an ideology or religion.  

The move to control people’s speech to fit an ideology is more than just an attempt to create respect; it is an attempt to enforce endorsement of a belief system. Therefore, it is a violation of the religious freedom of teachers, state workers, and the public at large; and it is not acceptable under the terms of the First Amendment.

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Chinese Persecution of Christians

“The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers”

The Chinese government has become increasingly totalitarian, demanding that the Christians put loyalty to the state above loyalty to God. What is going on with Xi and the communist party is starting to remind me more and more of the Empire and him as Darth Vader in Star Wars.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/china-orders-churches-to-promote-the-chinese-communist-party-or-else_3197447.html

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Being Made Righteous by God

from The Scholars Corner

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17–21, ESV)

Since, therefore, we have now been made righteous by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5:9)

A little exercise of confession:  you are God’s righteousness.

Confession of Sin: Father, I have sinned against you in thought word and deed, _(confess silently whatever your conscience bothers you about now)  __  Father please forgive me.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, ESV)

If you have been cleansed from unrighteousness, what does that make you??

REPEAT AFTER ME:  I have been made Righteous by the Blood of Jesus. I have become the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. Therefore,  I AM Righteous.

How do you FEEL??? Do you feel righteous? Or like a sinner?

If He says you are righteous, you are! For whatever God says is: He said light be and it was. His Word cannot come back to him void. It doesn’t matter how you FEEL. You many not feel righteous, that doesn’t matter. You are his righteousness in Jesus Christ.

Who Lives in You?

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11, ESV)

Did God give you a dirty Holy Spirit? Or did he breath into you His HOLY Spirit. Who lives in you? Is God righteous? If he who is righteous lives in you, what does that make you? Not in your flesh but in your spirit? Your new nature; your new man?

The Battle is in the Mind and for the Mind.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2, ESV)

The Devil constantly lies to you and tells you that you are not righteous, that Jesus’ work on the Cross and his blood had no effect on you. He reminds you of your past. He wants to rob you of your relationship with Jesus so that you will be ineffective.

And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”” (Hebrews 8:11–12, ESV)

If God doesn’t remember your sins, for those of you in Christ (born again), they don’t exist. Jesus became your sin on the cross. In God’s eyes, your sins never happened. They were placed upon Jesus AS IF He had done them!  You have nothing to be ashamed of before God. You are declared innocent of all charges. You are HIS righteousness for His Glory! He has made you the Emblem of His Name; His signet ring impressed upon the earth!

Background: Courtroom vs. Father and Children  EO vs RC

In Greek, the word we translate as justified, also means be made righteous and found innocent. It means to be in right relationship with God. Latin Rome tended to look upon these passages in a juridical (legal) context, but the Greek Orthodox church sees justification as a relationship with God without the hindrance of sin. We are no longer enemies; we are friends on good terms. We have fellowship with each other.

For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to righteousness and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:17–19)

Jesus died to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Through confession of sin and rebirth by the Holy Spirit, we are given the gift of unmerited favor and given the righteousness of God so that all our sins are washed away and in God’s eyes, it is as though we have never committed any sin. Jesus took the blame as if he had committed our sins and not us.

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Boomer Replies to #OkBoomer

I hear “Ok Boomer” is a dismissive insult to ideas or views that a younger generation does not want to hear, address, respect or debate. The old term for that was “whateverrrrr” So, I thought, what could a baby boomer (hence the term “boomer”) say to someone of that mindset. And I thought of a few. Please feel free to add your own.

#OkTriggerBait

#OkSafeSpace

#OkHappyPlace

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