HIS Son

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. (Mic 5:2)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isa 9:6-7)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (Joh 1:1-5)

Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. (Psa 102:25-27)

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.(Joh 14:27)

The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. (Psa 29:11)

There are many more verses in The Book which point to and describe how a 14 year old virgin gave birth to her first child, a son whose name was to be Immanuel. (God with us.)

The God who spoke the world into being…the second person of the Holy Trinity…(God the Son) who created you and me….became a man; following the will of His Father, our God. (God the Father.) The Holy Spirit was present in all of this as well. (God, the Holy Ghost.)

The baby Jesus was born…to die. A sacrificial Lamb. Born to the slaughter.
How appropriate that His first bed was a manger. (Probably in the same spot where countless other lambs were born and swaddled…close to the fields where the flocks lived..the sheep whose destiny it was to become a sacrifice before God in the Temple.)

And who were the first to know of this blessed event?
The shepherds in the fields. The men who best knew…their charges.
The Angel of the Lord came first to them. To announce that their Savior was born.

(That meek and mild Jesus. The Jesus whose life was foreshadowed by the life of Joseph, written for us to study in the Old Testament.)

The apostle Luke tells the story of Mary, Joseph and their first Child…

“And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”
Luke 2:1-21 KJV

We are His people. The people who have bowed the knee to the man-God whose birth we celebrate today; The One who was born in the City of David…per the prophets’ proclamations.

His spiritual people, in this Age of Grace.

How can mere words come close to describing the wonder of the gift given to us on this day ..this day that those who came before us have selected as His birth-day.

No matter when it was…the important thing is our faith in the fact that He WAS born. As the Son of God.
A gift that can never be duplicated, nor exceeded in any way.

Unto us a Son is given. Our eternity rests upon His mortal beginning. (As well as His again… immortal position, seated at the right Hand of God.)

Hallelujah. What a Savior!

Maranatha…
Louise Hudson

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The Storm

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In Acts 27:22 and after, the Apostle Paul tells the crew aboard the Alexandrian ship that is taking him ( and the Centurion to whom he is assigned as a prisoner) to Rome for his hearing before Caesar. (Note that the ship came not from Antioch, but Alexandria.)

They have been in the midst of a horrendous storm that has lasted 14 days, during which time the men on board have barely eaten if at all, due to the heavy seas as well as the cross-winds that make a ship with sails virtually rudderless in such a tumult.

Paul stands up in their midst and tells the men to “be of good cheer” for an angel of the Lord appeared to him during the night; telling him that he WILL arrive safely in Rome, and that furthermore, there will be no loss of life among those who are with him.

However, there was a caveat. Every one had to remain on board that vessel with Paul.
No matter what. (V. 31; he says to the centurion and the soldiers “except these abide in the ship, he cannot be saved” as the men are trying to launch a life boat in order to abandon ship and save themselves.)

He encouraged them to “eat meat” for they had been without food for fourteen days at that point, and every body needs meat in order to function properly.

Both body…and soul.

He then takes bread, blesses it, and eats it in front of the men. As the men observed him, they too became “of good cheer” as they also ate and nourished themselves. (They had rejected his words when they were at the beginning of this voyage…when they were confident and sure of their original decision to sail along with that luring “Southerly wind” that soon proved to be deceiving. But when at death’s very door…they listened to Paul.)

The ship founders and breaks up…but all aboard safely arrive at land…some even floating to safety upon the broken boards of that doomed vessel.

Are we trying to save ourselves, instead of relying on the words of our Apostle Paul, who tells us in almost every single Epistle of his..that he was appointed to that position by no One less than Christ Jesus Himself. With the additional title of being our Apostle in this age. Per the precise assignment given Him at the moment he accepted and submitted to his newly recognized Lord and Master. The same Lord whom we serve.

Are we following Paul, even as he follows Jesus Christ? Have we submitted to the plain directions given to us by Paul? (Since we are not under the Law, but under grace…we must look to Paul to be our guide…our map that tells us how to approach God Himself in this age….our example of how God directs that we approach Him; not how we blithely decide, outside of scripture… on our own “way” which often mixes Grace with Law. Because that is the way we had been taught in the past, when still babes in Christ and still held in captivity by our sectarian structures?)

Our works can be envisioned as oil….grace, as water. No matter how hard we stir they do not mix.

These verses tell us that those who do not stay with Paul, even as the ship goes down…will be losers in the end.

If we are truly part of the body of Christ, then we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit at the moment of our belief.

Sealed.

Can we lose our salvation? Is our foundation secure? Is our faith founded upon the risen Christ….or is it a shaky mis-aligned base composed of a mishmash of blenderized tenets which combine Grace with Law? Or Grace with works?

Grace…and Law….do not mix. “Else grace is not grace.”

Search the scriptures and be a Berean. Study to be “Rightfully dividing the word of God” as it is commanded of us.
Make certain that your faith is based upon your recognizing that Jesus Christ is the son of God; born of a virgin; that He walked the earth, was crucified, buried and rose again in the power of His resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

Time is growing short. Our ship is certainly in trouble, but we are implored to stay with Paul in the midst of the storm. We must eat meat..to stay nourished by daily reading the scriptures…those inspired words set down by His faithful scribes of old.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
The Word of God is Christ Jesus. The bible is His life line to us. He tells us to stand firm and trust in the truth that is revealed to us. The Word is IN the word.

Check your foundation lest it crumble and cause the infrastructure you are building…to fall and fail due to a mis-aligned understanding of the basis of our faith.
Our house should not resemble the leaning tower of Pisa.

Maranatha…
Louise

Sailing

In Acts 27, the Apostle Paul starts out on a perilous journey by sea.

He first warns the men surrounding him that the voyage will be beset with danger and “much damage” mainly because of the time of year that they are starting out. (Verse 10)

A soft Southerly wind lulls them into feeling safe; and so they set out, ignoring Paul’s admonition.

A tempest arises…the ship must be “lightened” by throwing their goods overboard. Hope is soon dashed as the storm worsens.

After two weeks of being thrown about by the wind and high seas, Paul addresses the crew and tells them to “be of good cheer” for “the Angel of The Lord” told him that no man would lose his life. That “God hath given thee (Paul) all them that sail with thee.” ***Notice the verb tense.***
All that sail with thee. Not all that **did** sail with thee, or all that **sailed** with thee..but all that SAIL with thee. ***Present tense.*** Now.

(There were 266 souls on board that ship. That number is equivalent to the number 5. ***2 + 6 = 8 + 6 = 14 = 1 + 4 = 5.*** The number 5 is the number of grace, as set forth in the scriptures.) Grace is given all who stay with Paul. Who do not jump ship. Paul tells the men who try to lower a life boat that if they DO leave that tempest tossed ship, that they will die. The men then cut the life boat ropes and stay with Paul.

He then advises them to “eat meat” for they have not eaten for two weeks at that point in time. And so, in the midst of the storm, the men receive meat and their strength is restored, as well as their hope of survival. (We, too are told that we need meat when struggling with the storms in our lives..that meat being provided to us as we read the Word of God and think upon it. Mull it over. Digest it. “Eat the book” as Daniel is told…it will be sweet on the tongue, and bitter in the stomach, as we begin to draw our sustenance from Him. As He gives us His strength while we face each trial and tribulation. As we apply those words to our very lives. The often…bitter truth.)

The crew rallies as their attitudes become changed and refreshed. They are “of good cheer” as they rid the ship of it’s baggage. After taking in this meat, their food…they “committed themselves to the sea” upping the sails and making for shore. They run aground. The fore- part of the ship is held fast. Stuck. The rear part is broken up. All who could swim are instructed to cast themselves into the sea and swim for it. The remaining grab boards, broken pieces of the ship…anything that would keep them afloat as they float towards land.

Paul tells them that no life will be lost of those who sail with him. All 266 aboard bear witness to his words; living to tell the tale. “They escaped all safe to land.”

Isn’t this Paul’s message even today, told us in his Epistles; when he says we will be judged by “his gospel” at the Bema Seat of Christ? That if we stay with him our lives will be saved?

Jesus Christ Himself told Paul “I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness BOTH of these things which thou hast seen and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee. Delivering thee from the people and from the Gentiles UNTO whom now I send thee.” Acts 20: 16-17 (Caps mine.)

His appointment was made after Christ arose. His instruction was different than that taught to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, who knew The Lord while He walked upon the earth. Only Paul teaches us who were once Gentiles, to follow him even as he follows Jesus Christ. Of course, this message also applies to the Jewish followers; as well as all believers in this age of grace. But Paul was sent specifically to the Gentiles, while Peter and his crew ministered to the believers in Jerusalem.

We can apply the lesson in Acts 27 to our situation in today’s world. Grace is given to those who believe and “stay” with Paul. Who follow Paul’s gospel. There are more than two or three witnesses found in scripture that attest to these words; this grace, this example which relates to the 266 saved and refers to the number 5 which pertains to grace.

There are 5 offerings in the Tabernacle in Leviticus. (These were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.)
5 women in Christ’s genealogy.
Romans 11: 5 and 6…grace is mentioned 5 times. Works…4 times. (4 is the number of the world.)
5 names of Jesus (Isaiah 9: 6)
5 “works of grace” (Romans )
5 senses in our bodies
5… Is also connected to death. There is no grace without a substitutionary death.

Oh…and those 14 days that the ship’s crew had fasted, until Paul told them to “be of good cheer” and to “eat meat”…equals 1+ 4 or….5.

It’s all about grace….and also…
Something for us…to “chew” upon, while He sets our faith-driven sails to follow the coordinates that will take us to the destination known only to Him.

Maranatha…
Louise Hudson

Genealogy; Hmmm.

Has it ever come to mind, as you read the Old Testament…that you/we are descendants of those folks who are described in the scriptures?
I often wonder just who is in that ancestral line of ours…those of us who are believers today.
Did we come from others who had faith? Or are we descended from those who fought so wholeheartedly against the God of our spiritual fathers and mothers?
The Pharisees are still with us today. The Judaizers as well.
Ultimately, the only thing that matters is our standing firm in The Word of God.
That our faith is true. That our love for our Savior…is ever deepening and growing daily.
Just a thought. Something to ponder, as we move along in our daily walk with The Lord.

Ecc 1:9    The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Maranatha…
Louise Hudson

Disparity

Scenario:
You are an athlete. Perhaps a runner. Every day, you must practice in some way in order to maintain your body for the rigors particular to your sport. Stretching. Running. Mental focusing…in order to reach the goal of earning a gold medal or blue ribbon.
Your friend…is a scientist. Every day, he must perform certain tasks in order to maintain his keenness, his edge…in the laboratory. (More likely mental challenges as opposed to physical tasks.) Yet…he also has a goal. Perhaps it is to become a Nobel prize winner. Or to find the cure for a specific disease. Maybe it is to be the very best that he can be in his chosen field.
Both have goals in sight. Goals that will be reached by taking vastly different paths, by very committed people who share a commitment …to growing in their fields as they continually stretch themselves…reaching beyond their present level of function.
Now…consider the Body of Christ. If you are a believer in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; have confessed this belief to God the Father, you are now a member of that August Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head.
(1Corinthians 15:1-4)
A body is made up of many working parts. At the moment of our belief…we are assigned a working part of His Body. One of us is a hand. One of us is a cell. One is a visible part of the Body. Another…an invisible yet equally vital part of the Body.
An arm….must be trained and prepared to take on the responsibilities of this position. The Holy Ghost steps in…the part of the Holy Triad that occupies us in His temple on earth, while we rest in the hope of His coming for us.
The Holy Spirit…who seals us and marks us as belonging to The Lord. He begins to teach that arm how to move. How to lift. How to carry out every task required of an arm…perfectly. This learning does not happen overnight. It is a process.
A kidney…has a less visible role in the Body. It filters. Perhaps discards poisons that would contaminate the Body. Not an overt role, but a hidden, vital part of His Body. Again, the Holy Spirit steps in and reveals what is necessary for a kidney to know. The revelations will of necessity be different from the knowledge that an arm would need in order to carry out its level of function.
Yet; they need to work together in the confines of that growing Body, so that it achieves the purpose intended by the Lord above. In order to fulfill His Plan. To carry out His goals.
And so…if you, as an arm…meet me, as a kidney…will we be able to consider this difference in our spiritual knowledge? That it will be…disparate?
But that even if we do not or cannot see the end result right now, we must work to get along with each other? To function together? To put aside the silly denominational differences of religion that have been taught to us throughout our lives…stepping back to realize the bigger picture that is before us…the picture set forth by the Lord, and not the picture set forth by a man…whose Adamic ideas of scripture have led us this far, if we are part of an earthly congregation?
Are we in fact worshipping our denominations instead of our God? Are we allowing these earthly divisions to separate us from one another in the name of “religion” ie: one says Appollo taught me, one says Paul taught me” loosely translated from ……

1Co 1:12    Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Is it that only after the rapture we can come together in truth, or can we grow enough in Him while living on earth (yet growing invisibly…spiritually…in the heavens…) to recognize and embrace our differences in Him…using the scripture as our base of adhesion instead of our “religion” as a separating force?
We are commanded to “come out of her, my people.”

Rev 18:4    And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Col 2:8    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

We do not have much time to reach the limits of our prescribed growth…to ingest the Holy Spirit’s revelations…to yield completely to Him….to honor Him by acknowledging the terrible price He paid for our salvation through grace…to allow the world to see His brand…His “mark” upon our very soul. Our “mark” is Him in us.

Eph 4:30    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Eph 1:13    In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

And by doing this, we can come together as a true congregation of believers…secure in Him….following in faith…becoming who we are in Him….achieving His goals for us…growing consistently as we grow closer and more intimate with Him every moment of every day.
He has not left us here on our own…blindly following our own interpretation of His will for us….He has given us an example to follow. He designated an Apostle specifically for us, in this age of grace, in these end times.
This Apostle is the man who was grown from a high horse as Jesus Christ Himself, AFTER He rose from the dead….told him..Paul…just what he would have to endure as he gave his life over to becoming a new creature in Christ.
We are commanded to follow Paul “even as he follows Christ!”

1Co 11:1    Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

The Epistles tell us how to put aside things that separate us from one another, even as we separate ourselves from the world while we grow in Him.
We are to be “in the world” and not “of the world” …seeking each other out so that we can support each other while first glorifying The Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 12:2    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I am convinced that the Holy Spirit brings people into our lives in order to test us. Some…believers. Some…not. How do we treat them? With love…with charity…like the Good Samaritan who truly loved his neighbor as himself?
Sometimes…this is the hardest part of faith. Loving those neighbors, despite how they present to us. Yet, beneath that outer crust…may just be lurking a “gland” who has not yet learned how to communicate with an “arm” in this time and space, in His Body.
Not every Christian has learned that his or her outward appearance should reflect his or her inward belief.
Remember. It is a process. This coming together. This humbling of our nature as we, who are new creatures in Him, learn how to see each other through the truth of His Word…through Him, who is…The Word!
Think about it. We were saved for a purpose. Pray that our diligent attention to scripture and to the “gentle as a dove” Spirit leading..will take us to the level of function demanded by the God who saved us. To our being part of that perfect Body which will mesh forever with it’s Perfect Head.
Maranatha …
Louise Hudson

Cornered

Are you boxed in and have nowhere to turn?
Is your human intelligence…your superb ability to solve problems…your self-sufficiency…failing you just when most needed?
Having had the same experience, please let this writer commiserate with you, while at the same time recognizing God’s hand in your life.
You see, we must reach the “end” of ourselves if we are to be disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ. HE tells us so.
Left to our own devices, we would NEVER give up those “qualities” that we believe have been so beneficial in our past experiences. Our pride…our vanity…would never stand still to accept those “blows” to our self sufficiency. Even though we think we have put all that behind us.
The Lord know us all too well, and so…HE puts us into a corner. Traps us. No obvious way out. Even paints that corner…black.
But, there IS a way out. All it involves is our recognizing our all-too-human condition. The admission of our self-failure. Finally KNOWING that we need Him to provide the exit from that blocked off space in which we find ourselves.
HE put us there. Why?
So that we would admit our need for Him in all things. Forcing us to rely totally on Him for release from that tight, choking place that holds us.
Let’s see what happens, the moment that we ask Him to take over…admitting our own failure.
Suddenly…a neon, bright path opens in front of us; outlined with airport-worthy landing lights edging each side of it. At the same time, HE firmly takes our hand, and leads us out of the corner where He had placed us…as He waited for just for this moment to occur.
He leads us to safety.
HIS safety. HIS way. Fulfilling HIS promise to us that HE will never leave us, nor forsake us. (By the way…walking in HIS will makes for many less cornering experiences in our lives.)
Remember the apostle Peter? When he walked on water…going toward Jesus? When did he begin to sink! When he took his eyes off of The Lord. When he began to “take in” the fury of the elements surrounding him.
Such a lesson for us…for we need to look at these scriptural examples and bring them forward into the year 2014, applying them with discernment to the circumstance causing our distress.
The entire Book of life (the Bible) is there for our learning and for teaching us about how The Lord wants to rule our lives.
Our souls are with Him even now….but our bodies still walk the earth as we pilgrims set an example to those around us…giving God the glory for each and every “corner escape” that He provides.
Stand firm. Be still. Let Him run the show. Let Him…lay out His awesome safety net all around us.
It is all encompassing. The holes are too small for us to ever slip through. He promised.
Maranatha…
Louise Hudson

References: Deuteronomy, Hebrews, Matthew, 2nd Timothy, Philippians.

The BOOK

We are commanded to worship one God only; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Where do we learn about this God of ours?

In the “chapters” of the Old Testament, where His relationship with His chosen people Israel is spelled out and delineated. Where we learn about the very beginnings of the world, and about His Son, Jesus Christ who is the One that holds all things together; for He is the “glue” of all created matter.

We learn that there are three Gods in the Godhead…the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

We come to understand that there is terrible punishment meted out to those who do not follow His rules. For those who are in unbelief.

We watch as Israel falls into and out of favor…grievous sins committed, yet ultimate forgiveness, from a merciful God.

And then we look at the New Testament. Full of grace and forgiveness. Most people develop a picture of an almost effeminate God who is circled by angels with flapping wings. (By the way..nowhere in the bible are we told that angels have wings. The Cherubim have them, but angels appear as men. They are male. No wings. If one passed you in the street today, you would not look twice. An example of just how human they look, is depicted when Lot is rescued from Sodom.)

But then..to learn this, one must read the chapters in the Old Testament that tell us this. Those chapters are for our learning.

Our bible is ONE book! With 66 chapters. If we do not understand what led up to the grace extended us in this age, how can we understand or know the God whom we worship? What is written in the OT is being repeated in the spiritual realm today. Those battles continue, but we cannot see them as they are being fought, for they are invisible to us. Those awful punishments meted out were from the very same God who loves us today.

When Jesus Christ gave up the Ghost, the temple curtain was split in half, vertically. It was “rent” in twain; this curtain that guarded the way to the sacred inner room; the Holy of Holies. The room that we, as believers in this age, have free access to without first having to slay an animal and have a priest sprinkle the blood of that animal on the Mercy seat for our purification. Only one priest was allowed into that sacred place, representing the Nation of Israel as He asked forgiveness for their sins.

But now, all of us who believe have free access individually…to the inner Holy place through the blood that is now on the Mercy Seat. The blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the one time sacrifice that puts to an end to the need for never-ending, temporary cleansing rites. The blood is now there permanently. Eternal cleanliness for us. We are washed and purified in that blood through our faith; belief that Jesus is the Son of God; that He died for All sinners (that would be us) and rose again three days after, now living and sitting at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.!.!

When we hear of our Lord today, from most preachers and teachers, we have half a picture of Him. Yes…He is love. Yes, He forgives us. But “woe” to the deceivers. “Woe” to the unbelievers. Read, in the chapters of the Old Testament what the word “woe” denotes.

We learn that our God is gentle, and loving. We learn that He is absolute in His authority, and when His patience wears thin, is capable of and will use the harshest of punishments against the guilty parties. Thus, He is All in All. The God of all the ages. The wrathful and the loving combined.

***When we have only a half picture of our Lord…are we worshipping an idol? A man-conceived version of the real thing?***

Why does Paul tell us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling? Why would we tremble in front of this gentle and caring God?

Because we need to recognize His Power. To bring together in our minds His true nature.

He spells it put for us. In His Book.

Israel was, and will be again His chosen earthly group. Read what happened to them, because of their unbelief. They are “Low-Ammi” right now. God has turned His Face from them, in order to look with grace upon us, who were once “far” from Him. When we were mere Gentiles. Dogs.

But. After the Rapture, after the “church, the body of Christ” is called up and taken from this earth…after we meet Christ in the clouds from where He will call us; His full attention will once more be upon the Nation Israel…those people, the Jews…who were, and will be once more “the Apple of His eye.”

There is yet to follow their payment of a seven year debt they owe God for their past disobedience; the coming Tribulation. It is written that it will be the most horrible of times, and we are promised that we will be spared because of our faith in His Son.

1 Thessalonians 1: 9-10

9For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

10And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”

How do we learn of these things?

By reading the Old Testament with discernment and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who teaches us all things.

When that curtain shielding the Holiest of Holies was “rent in twain”…so was the 400 year division between the Old and New Testament.

If the bible was esteemed as One Book with 66 chapters, it might be more difficult for the current wolves masquerading as sheep or even as “leaders” of the flock, to twist their words so as to gain a following for themselves.

It is up to each of us, with the Spirit’s lead to investigate each word we hear from the pulpit, or from a self proclaimed bible teacher, or a podcast, TV or radio show in order to determine if there is truth in their voices..or, are these people “empty clouds with no rain” who can provide no cleansing for their “followers” as we read in:

2 Peter 2: 1-3

1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

No one chapter or section of the Bible lives on it’s own. All are tied together with a blood-red ribbon.

We must remember this, that the Father who adopted us when we were yet sinners..firstly named the Jewish people as His chosen ones.

We are adopted men and women who can claim acceptance into that family of God.

Adopted, which means chosen. Just as the Jews were first chosen for His earthly family, we have been chosen for His spiritual family and are spiritually connected to Abraham and Sarah.

How do we learn of this?

We start reading on the first page of the Book. And then the second. And then on and on.

How else can we learn about how grace was bestowed upon us when His chosen people refused the Christ, their Messiah….how God temporarily turned His back on them, and we were granted the opportunity to come into that Royal family.

How can we know that because of their temporary God-given blindness to the gospel message, we who were not His became His!

How can we realize that a debt is owed to the Nation Israel. If they HAD accepted their Messiah, well: the Kingdom would have come; the Tribulation would have occurred, and we would have been cast into eternal hell without a chance for salvation.

There is only one way. Think about it. Open that ONE book. It all points to One. Jesus Christ.

My prayer is that we who believe will open our eyes and minds even further by asking that the Holy Spirit takes us through the Book; revealing the knowledge necessary for our continued growth in Him!

One Book. Just as we who follow Him are of one mind. Invisibly joined together for all of eternity.

Read.

We are His alone. We are One, in Christ. By Grace.

We must respect that Giver of Grace by accepting Him for Who He truly is. A Father who has demonstrated through His Word that He punishes severely those who go against Him. A merciful Father who loves us. We must recognize and humbly respect His power.

The Bible tells us so.

Maranatha….

Louise Hudson

“Thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree (Rom 11:17).”

“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; in whom [Christ] ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph 2:12-13, Eph 2:19, Eph 2:22).”

“Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise (Gal 4:26, Gal 4:28).”

Israel

IJohn 4:22 (KJV)

****22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.****

In light of the serious situation in Israel this day…..please….”pray for the peace of Jerusalem!”
Bible prophecy tells us that the worse is yet to come for God’s earthly people, not only now, but also after the soon-coming Rapture…followed by the 7 year Tribulation….the “time of Jacob’s trouble.”

We, who believe Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) that Jesus Christ is the Son of God….born of a virgin…dying on the cross for all sinners…descending into hell, and on the third day was resurrected by the Power of God…(That Jesus, now sitting at the right hand of God, interceding for us against the complaints of the adversary)… We, are indebted to the Jewish people. For right now their eyes of understanding are darkened: they, as a Nation do not know God… which allows us to be brought into the Lord’s heavenly family while they are lo-Ammi. Placed on the “back burner” during this Age of the “Church, the body of Christ.”
Never once forgetting that our Jesus Christ was a Jew in His earthly incarnation, we must remember that we have been adopted by His Father. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We have a kinship with believing Israel.
But soon…God will once again focus on His earthly people, and unleash His wrath upon them as they are purified by the fire that is just around the corner. Only a remnant will survive. The scriptures tell us what lies ahead for them, as well as for the rest of the world, after we are “taken up.”
In the meantime… We are told that The Lord will “bless those who bless” the Jews…and “curse those who curse” them.
Please keep them in your prayers now and forever more.
Our God….was and is…their God! They need our prayers more than ever right now, and every day moving forward.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

*****”Ps 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”*****

*****”Gen 12: 1Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”*****

Please pray also for those who are fellows in Christ…members of His Body…who are living through the terror in their land. We need to ask The Lord to comfort them, in their travail. And please ask that we soon will meet each other in the air.
Soon, Dear Lord. It is getting darker here.

Maranatha…

Louise Hudson

“For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” Romans 11:25

Questions

Are you caught in the despair of trying to, say….curb an over-active food-craving appetite that seems to grow more voracious, the more you “work” on the problem?
Well, take your eyes, and so your concentration off of the “problem!” Climb out of that downward spiraling vortex. Your own strength means nothing here. Take the Hand offered to you…climb into the Lap waiting for you….nestle yourself against the God holding you…and give yourself over to Him. He will provide. He will conquer…in His time. Not only is the rest of the world watching to see how we deal with the “hand dealt us”…but the scriptures tell us that the angels are watching as well!

*******1Pe 1:12    Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
“The angels didn’t know how God’s plan for our redemption would be accomplished but were intensely curious about it as well. In essence Peter said that they learn by watching how God works with us.” gracethrufaith.com)*******

Keep your eyes on only Him, and the rest will fall into place!

Does your mind tell you that you are worthless, and that not even God could love you?
Well…without Him…you/we are. But always remember that He looks upon those who are His and sees only His Son, for we are covered in the Blood of Christ.

*******Col 3:3    For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.*******

Whenever you meet with a fellow believer do you come home and berate yourself for having said all the wrong things…for maybe coming across in everything you said as a “scriptural know-it-all?” Or feeling that you portrayed yourself as being “holier than thou?”
Tell God about it! Put these thoughts into the non-stop, unceasing conversation that we have with Him every day. Let Him take the perceived guilt away.

*******Rom 5:1    Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:*******

*******Php 4:8    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.*******

Does your excitement at finding a “believer” overcome the evidence of Godly humility within you? Do you verge on actually jumping up and down in excitement as you face each other? Is your proverbial foot in your proverbial mouth at the most in-opportune times?
Forgiveness. Just as we receive forgiveness from Him…we must learn to forgive ourselves.
Take a deep breath. Allow the Spirit to bring the following verse to your mind, before you speak.

*******Php 4:5    Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.*******

Do your very prayers seem self serving…not knowing exactly just what you should be praying for?
Remember that the Holy Spirit knows what you need. And prays in words unintelligible to human ears the truth of our wants and our deepest needs.

*******Rom 8:26    Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27    And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.*******

Do we meet with a person who claims to be a believer and walk away with our spiritual teeth clenched; not being able to reach a point of agreement in our discussion about things spiritual?
How hard it is to remember that we are all at different stages of “knowing” and understanding His Word. As well as being placed we-don’t-know-where in the anatomy of His Body.

*******1Co 12:4    Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5    And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6    And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7    But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.*******

Are we cast down after offering God’s word to a person who blatantly rejects hearing the words from the scriptures? Perhaps a seed has been planted.
As Paul said…..

*******1Co 3:6    I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7    So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8    Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9    For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.*******

How about “loving our neighbors as ourselves?” (For in this act…are all the commandments met.)
We hear the same complaints over and over…hear unkind words…..see unkind acts….help in situations without ever receiving a word of thanks….just think how He is nurturing our patience, understanding, forbearance; while we are quelling our Adamic instincts and instead following Christ’s plan.
In all of these instances, you are not alone. We are not alone. And as such…must remember to reach out to each other in support…not as an “expert” in this invisible battle which is waged within us every day…but as an invisible brother/sister and compatriot who might live in a distant land…in a different country….in a differently toned skin….in a different educational strata….enduring different trials and pain…but placing first our Leader, for whom the battle is fought; our allegiance to Him…and then our unity with each other while we are still on earth.

This writer has faith that at least one person who needs to read these words of support will do so. Our faith is in our unseen Saviour and in His Father, who is our God. He tells us that there is an entire “body’s” worth of the faithful who are out there even now, unseen and not recognizable when trying to discern with our earthly eyes. He also tells us that each have different duties which cannot be understood by us as we try to “mesh” with each other; one who is a foot….might be trying to understand one who is, say….an endocrine gland. (!) Each person has revelation from the Holy Spirit that enhances his or her role in the Royal Scheme of Things.
Paul tells us that even with these differences, we are yet one body of Christ, of which Jesus is the Head.

*******Php 3:20    For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:*******

And so….as a member of that August Body…this writer prays that the Spirit of God is filling you with that deep peace only He can provide, as we go about our daily duties and attempt to live a life that is pleasing to our God while we grow in Him, and also grow….like Him. That God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The same God who appointed Paul of Tarsus to be our Apostle. This Paul, who tells us how we should live by emulating him, as he emulates Christ Jesus all throughout the Pauline Epistles: words inspired by the Holy Spirit; placed in the Holy Bible for our eyes to see and slowly understand as the Spirit sees fit.

*******Rom 8:1    There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.*******

Dear God…please save us from ourselves, and from our own self-condemnation. Help us to remember that the Holy Spirit is leading us…if we but let him. All revelation of your Word is through Him…in Jesus’ name…amen.

Peace….and Maranatha….
Louise Hudson

HodgePodge

Were you “raised” in the church?
Did you faithfully attend services each Sunday…perhaps several on that day, with an added bible study during the week?
If so, did you check out the facts of each sermon or lesson that you heard being expounded from the pulpit? Did your prayers go directly to God, by way of The Lord Jesus’ intermediary intervention? Whom were you worshipping? Was it Calvin….Luther….Manno….to name just a few, or were you truly bowing and praying to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
Or…were/are you like this writer was; enmeshed in a hodge-podge of mixed messages some of which are meant for Israel, some meant for the church, the Body of Christ…all jumbled and blenderized together? Truly…”mixed messages!?!” (And we know that God hates mixtures.)

***Lev 19:19    Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

Your foundational work is askew, if the above words apply to you.
There is one foundation. Jesus Christ. And the good news of His gospel is written in the Epistles of Paul. The gospel that applies to us, now. (For there is more than one gospel. Each one applicable to the time and people for which it is meant.)

***1Co 15:1    Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2    By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3    For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4    And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Now, this is not a plea to place Paul on a pedestal, nor a call to worship him…but a plea to honor the role given him by Jesus Himself…the role of being OUR role model!
Paul. Our apostle in this age. Our example of just how we are to walk in order to please God. If you are “working” in your own strength to please Him….you are failing to achieve your professed goal, for only in the strength of the Holy Spirit is anything possible. We are to follow Paul as he follows Christ.

***1Co 11:1    Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

This is a biblical command. Not a suggestion.
And to do that, we must rest in Him. Our own strength must be laid aside and taken to the cross and crucified. There is a constant spiritual warfare going on in our minds, for old Adam still lives in our bodies, even though we have been reborn spiritually and can now claim membership in the family of God. That warfare will continue as long as we draw breath.
Upon the revelation that the map for living our lives in Christ is revealed in the words of Paul…who tells us that we must imitate him even as he imitates Christ..this writer undertook the task of allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and teach and inspire.
That task…is to “rest” in Him. (Only achieved through prayer.) To control those impulses that tell us to “get out there and DO something for Him!” To not “get involved” with any current causes meant to “help” The Lord with His plans for the world, or…for us. A daily work. (This “work” is not for salvation, for we have that the moment we believe. A free gift.)
He needs no help. If He wished, He could step in and resolve all problems in the blink of an eye…just by speaking His intent. But that is not His way, for He gives us all a choice.
One of these choices is to read the scriptures with understanding: properly dividing the Word, and letting it sink in that not all of the bible is written to us…even as all is written and recorded for our edification and learning.

***2Ti 2:15    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Only Paul was given direct teachings from Jesus Himself. Only Paul says that we will be judged by “my gospel.” Only Paul says that anyone who teaches another gospel must be accursed. Damned. Which says what…about those who follow these people?

***Rom 16:25    Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

***Gal 1:8    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.

Said twice. For emphasis. We need to pay attention.

As we begin to study and learn in accordance with His will, we find so much that must be relearned…throwing away many things that were blithely accepted in the past. (It will be a new beginning for you, as it was for this writer. You will be amazed at the misinformation that has been fed you over the years…either through lack of knowledge on the part of the preacher/teacher, or by a willful act of leading you down the wrong path.) Or…by our own failures in verifying the truthfulness of what we have heard about the gospel message. How do we verify? By searching the scriptures as did those Bereans of old.
Make certain that you are worshipping God. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Our faith makes us adopted children of Abraham!) The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And not….the founder of the denomination of which you are, or were…a part.
Always ask for the Spirit to lead you in study. It is ONLY through Him that knowledge can increase. And only through His never ending filling of you every day…can you grow closer to Jesus Christ in an intimate and abiding relationship.

***Eph 4:22    That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23    And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24    And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

***2Pe 3:18    But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Test every message that you hear. Allow the Master Interpreter living in your very body to do His work…after all, He occupies His temple on earth (our bodies) during this soon-to-be ended age of the Church. Yield to Him.
Remove the blender from your spiritual kitchen. There is no need for it now; because you are ingesting only the purest of foods necessary for spiritual growth. Taken directly from His Word. The hodge-podge is..or should be…a thing of the past. Our foundation in Christ…successfully reformed and now we can move on to adding structurally sound additions to our firm and solid base.

May….”The peace of God, which passes all human understanding, keep your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.”

Maranatha…
Louise Hudson