Friday, May 30, 2014

The chapter for the week is 1st Peter 2.
Let’s focus in on verses 4-8 1Peter 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1Peter 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
1Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

In scripture- there are symbols of stuff- the Apostles often use images- types- symbols- to explain spiritual realities.

One of these images is that the church is a spiritual building- a temple- made up of people- called Living Stones.

Jesus is said to be the Chief Cornerstone- the Head- or Cap Stone.
In revelation 21 we see the Apostle John having a vision of a city coming down from God out of heaven- he says this city is ‘The Bride- the Lambs wife’.

It has both the 12 tribes of Israel as part of its make up- and the 12 Apostles of the Lamb are ‘written’ on the foundation.

In the letter to the Ephesians the Apostle Paul says we are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets- Jesus himself being the cornerstone.

One of the spiritual mysteries that the apostle talks about in Ephesians is the new reality that thru Christ- both Jew and Gentile are now part of the kingdom of God.

This was an amazing thing for the time- because most understood that the Jewish people had been given the promises of God thru the Old Testament prophets.
Yet- Paul shows us that God was inclusive- he brought in an entire new group- the Gentiles- and these would be ‘built together’ into this new temple- this spiritual house- and we would offer up spiritual sacrifices to God thru Christ.

In Galatians chapter 4- the apostle Paul uses an allegory- he says that father Abraham had 2 sons- one born from a slave- one from a free woman.
The son born from the slave woman [Hagar] was a symbol.

His name was Ishmael- and he represented those who were ‘slaves’ in Paul’s day.

Paul was speaking about the Judiazers- these were the Jewish law keepers- who were trying to bring the gentile believers back under the law.
Paul said these were like Ishmael- not being born of promise- but by natural means.

It’s important to see that Paul does not refer to Ishmael as the present day Muslim/Arab people- which is what most bible preachers mention when using this analogy.

No- Paul says that the symbol of Ishmael speaks about JEWS who are under the Old Covenant law- and refuse to move on in the Grace of Christ- the New Covenant- or Order [get to this In a moment].
Now- when Peter pens his letter- [1st Peter 2] he quotes an Old Testament Psalm- Psalm 118
 Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
Psalm 118:23 This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

This was a prophetic Psalm that Jesus himself quotes in Matthew 21:42
Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?

The parable that proceeds this quote is the parable of the Tenants.

A man had a vineyard- he leased it out to some people.

When it was time for the fruit- the landowner sent some servants to get the fruit- the renters didn’t want to pay- so they mistreated the servants.

Jesus is telling the story mind you.
So- the land owner says ‘I know what I’ll do- I will send my son- surely they will honor him’.
So- the guy sends his son- and they kill him.

Now- this is when Jesus quotes Psalm 118 ‘the stone that the builders rejected has become the head of the corner- this is THE LORDS DOING- and it is marvelous in our eyes’.

Jesus foretold of his impending death thru this scripture.

He knew he was to be rejected of men- and to be killed.

Yet- he was the main one- the chief cornerstone.

After his resurrection he would include both Jew and Gentile in this new spiritual temple- the church.

This was the great mystery that the Apostle Paul spoke about- that Jesus reconciled both [Jew/gentile] unto God.

In one of the home meetings I did recently- one of the guys asked ‘do you know the exact measurements of heaven’?

Now- I knew he was talking about Revelation 21- because it speaks about measuring the city.
Yet- I didn’t want to debate at this point- and someone else gave the measurements.
When we read these symbols/types- it’s important to understand that they are images.

In Revelation 21- when speaking about the city coming down from God out of heaven- the bible says this IS THE BRIDE- THE LAMBS WIFE.
She is referred to as the New Jerusalem- the mother of us all.

Paul said this in Galatians 4- that the Jerusalem which is above is ‘the mother of us all’.

He was contrasting ‘her’ with the Jerusalem that is below- who is still in bondage [to the law- they refused to believe that Jesus was the Messiah- so in Paul’s example- they were still in bondage under the law].

But- the Jerusalem which is from above- the church- the bride- the Lambs wife- us- this ‘Jerusalem’ is free.

She [we] are the city of God- God dwells in us.
In revelation 21 we read that there is no temple in this city [lots of Theological stuff here- in a nutshell- John was saying that this new spiritual community- was not under the Old Covenant system- so saying ‘there is no temple’ is basically saying ‘no more law/sacrificial system’].

Jesus is the central focus of this new city- Jesus is the ‘temple’ in Revelation 21-

There was no need for sunlight- because the Glory of God illuminates it.

Nothing impure can enter- see?

That’s why John the Baptist and Jesus were baptizing- telling people ‘repent- for the kingdom is here’!
If you want to enter the gates of this city- you must go thru a cleansing- you must repent and get clean- by God’s grace.

I’ll copy the verses at the end of this post-

But what I want you to see today is that Jesus was a rejected stone- a tested stone- one that was rejected by men- but chosen by God.

As Peter penned his letter- I’m sure he remembered his own failure- his denying of Jesus.

Peter said we too are stones in this building.
As a matter of fact- Jesus told Peter ‘upon this rock I will build my church’.

Jesus said this to Peter after Peter’s great confession that Jesus was the Christ.
Yet- we all know what happened to Peter- he let God down- bad.

Yeah- when Peter read the Psalm- that Jesus was the stone rejected by men- but chosen by God.

He knew what it felt like.

These tried stones- these rejected stones- these are what God uses to build his spiritual temple- Jesus being the main one.

Note- in the NIV version of the bible- in revelation 21 it says ‘The old order of things has passed away’.
The NIV says we are in a New Order- which is a better translation.

The New Order- or age- is speaking about the New Covenant- and the symbols we see are really focused around this reality- they are speaking about the New Order- age- that was indeed ushered in by the Cross.

In the gospels we read about the ‘end of the world’.
The actual translation is ‘the end of the age’.

Many of these verses are not talking about the ‘end of the world’ as many end time prophecy preachers say.

But they are speaking about the church- the New Covenant age- and all the symbols in today’s post are focused on that.
The book of Revelation is a great book- that has many spiritual realties in it- but if we don’t ‘see’ the symbols- images- for what they are- then we get into all sorts of trouble.

The great protestant Reformer- Martin Luther- had some doubts about the book of Revelation being in the Canon [in the books that make up the bible].
Some of the early Bishops had doubts as well.


Because many have read/taught the book- and if you don’t ‘see’ it right- you can get into trouble.
On the whole- if you read all the other bible passage [like I quoted] then you see what the images mean- and the book is really beneficial.

There is a verse in the book of Revelation itself- it says ‘the testimony of Jesus is the spirit [intent] of prophecy’.

If you keep this in mind- you will do well.

Galatians 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Ephesians 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Revelation 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
Revelation 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
Revelation 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Revelation 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
Revelation 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
Revelation 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Revelation 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Revelation 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
Revelation 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Revelation 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Revelation 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

As I close this post- let me say a few things about the book of Revelation-

John penned this prophecy on the Island of Patmos- where he was banned for the faith.

While on the island he had this vision- the Christian church was about to embark on a couple of centuries of great persecution.
In the end- Jesus- the conquering Lamb- would win.
The people of God- comprised both of Jew and Gentile [that’s why you see images of 24 elders- 12 tribes representing the Jew- and 12 apostles- representing the Gentile outreach we read about in Acts] would eventually overcome too- seated around the great Supper table of the Lamb- a true fulfillment of the victory of Christ.

He told his disciples he would not drink of this new wine again- until it’s fulfilled in the kingdom.

Yet today- Christians the word over- do indeed partake of this communion cup- both Catholics and Protestants partake of the Lords cup every week- with Christ himself being present in our midst.

We read images in Revelation of myriads of angels and people- numbers you can’t count- gathered around this heavenly banquet.

We read about the Bride- us- the church- being made clean and having intimate communion with the bridegroom.

All of these images are showing us the great realities of what Jesus has accomplished for us- his people- who are indeed called the Bride of Christ.

That is the city- the New Jerusalem- that John described as coming down out of heaven from God.

Jesus said we were born from above- not of the will of man or the flesh- but of God.

In the last 2 chapters of Revelation we read of a pure river of water of life- that proceeds from the throne- from God and the Lamb.

It flows thru this city- this new community of God- it reaches out to the nations.

Jesus said that those who believe- a river of water- the Holy Spirit- would spring from us- life giving water.

Revelation says ‘whoever wants to drink of the water- come- drink freely’.
These are pictures of the restored communion that we now have with God- because of the work of Christ.

It says that on the banks of the river there were these trees of life- bearing fruit- so all who are hungry can partake.

These images are also found in Genesis- I covered the meaning of these trees recently.

In Genesis we see the fall of man- his separation from God because of sin.

Man is banned from the garden- from the tree of life [a type of the Cross] but in the last book of the bible- man is restored once again to his original fellowship that he had with God from the start- like the old rock song says ‘we got to get back to the garden’.

Catholic scholar Scott Hahn wrote an entire book on Revelation- if I remember- its title is ‘the Supper of the Lamb’.

I like Scott’s view- he sees the book as representing the Mass- and the supper we have with God.

Now- I would extend his view- not only applying it to the Catholic expression of the Lords table- but seeing it as an overarching picture of all the Christian churches and our communion with God.

In revelation we read ‘blessed are they that do his commandments- that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in thru the gates into the city’.

But those who practice sexual sin- those who murder- those who practice magic arts- they can't partake- they can’t enter in thru the gates into the city.

John was showing us that we- today- can have true relationship with God.
We too are part of those whose names are written in the Lambs book of life- but that’s if we repent- we turn away for the things that ban us from this city- from the tree of life.

In Genesis God banned Adam and Eve- he put an angel with a flaming sword to keep those who sinned from the garden.

In revelation we see the angels as well- but they are part of this entire panoramic picture of the kingdom- they are revealing to mankind that he no longer has to be banned- from the river of life- from the tree of life.

In the last chapter there is an appeal made ‘let those who hear- come- let those who thirst- come- you can all drink from the river- from the Spirit of God freely’.

But those who practice their own way- those who engage in the things that hurt God- they can’t drink- because of their own choosing.

God offers mankind the choice- the great victory of the overcomer that we read about in revelation ‘he who overcomes- I will grant to sit with me in my throne- as I have overcome and am seated with my father in  his throne’.

I was with Lance- the kid I baptized last week.

I don’t know if these guys are ready for all that’s going on- but I felt I would take them as far as I can- and let God do the rest.

The day I baptized Lance in the bay- I stopped in the Cathedral church downtown- and found a confirmation paper in the pew.

I guess they confirmed some youth that week.

I gave the paper to Lance- it had some scripture and stuff on it- I figured it was fitting.

The next day he told me he woke up early- read it- and prayed.

Now- these kids are into bad stuff- really bad.

But- I was happy to see he read it.

He mentioned something- thru out the day- he even told others.

He said he read that we are also seated with Christ at Gods right hand- that we are in Christ and raised with him.
He read this from the paper I gave him when he was baptized.

I told him yes- the bible teaches it.

So- in the book of Revelation God is revealing spiritual realities to us- great things that we have for our benefit- right now.

Over and over again it says ‘these things are coming to pass soon- these things are happening quickly’.

John penned this book at the end of the first century- around 90 a.d.

2 centuries later- Constantine would declare Christianity the religion of the empire.

Yeah- the Lamb did prevail- and to those of us who are thirsty- we can partake too- and sit with Jesus in his throne- like he sat down with his Father.

NOTE- just a few last comments for this week.

I mentioned a few things while teaching this in Bishop yesterday- I spoke about us as individual stones in Gods church.
That we each play a vital role in the Kingdom.
In the Old Testament when they built the temple they used stones- these stones were prepared away from the actual spot where the temple was erected.

Then they were brought to the temple and placed in the spot they were designed for.

God often prepares us- at times in a wilderness place- then when we are ready he places us in the spot where we will have the most impact.

We- as individual stones have minimum impact- but when we are fit together with the other stones [other Christians] then we have a much greater impact.

A sort of synergy if you will.

Now- I didn’t mention this above- but Jesus is not only called the Chief Cornerstone- but also the Headstone- or Capstone.

In Zechariah chapter 4 we read of a vision- an encounter with an angel that the prophet has.

Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
Zechariah 4:7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

The vision is also seen in the book of Revelation.

In this vision- Jesus is seen as the headstone.

Which was the final stone placed at the top when the temple was completed.

So- Jesus is not only the Cornerstone- but the finishing stone as well.

Jesus is called ‘The Alpha and Omega- the Beginning and the End’.

The apostle Paul says the whole building [us- the church] are growing together into the fullness of Christ himself [Ephesians].
So- when we find our spot in the kingdom- we mature as a corporate entity- yes- we also have individual gifts- and we don’t lose our personal identity.

But- we use our particular gifts for the overall benefit of the people.

In the letter to the Corinthians the apostle says all the parts of the Body are important- and if someone has a gift that seems to be less prominent [like serving in a less public capacity] that God actually bestows more honor on that gift.

Jesus said to the religious leaders of his day ‘how can you please God- if you seek the honor of men’.

Our purpose in the Kingdom is not self fulfilment.

Now- when doing the will of God you will find it- but that’s not the purpose.

Jesus gave his men an example when he put on a servants grab and washed the disciple’s feet.

He told them that ‘I your master and Lord- if I wash your feet- serve- then how much more are you required to do it’.
He instilled a servant mindset in the leaders of the church.

He showed them that being part of Gods work was giving your lives in sacrifice for others.

As we close for the week- look for ways to serve others.

Look for opportunities to make sacrifice- give yourself away- your time- your money- don’t see ministry as a means to attain something.

No- it’s an opportunity to be part of a greater cause- something that will benefit the whole.

There are many images of the church in scripture- we are called God’s Garden- a Body- a Temple.
All of them show us that we are part of a greater thing- a purpose bigger than ourselves.

It requires us to carry our Cross- to lay down our lives- our goals- our desires- and to serve like Jesus taught.


Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook#] - I have posted lots.

Friday, May 23, 2014

2066- HERACLITUS- Ok- lets pick up on my philosophy stuff.
Heraclitus lived in the 6th/5th century BC. - He was from Ephesus and his key thought was Ever Present Change.

That is he saw everything as being in a state of continual flux- one of his famous sayings was ‘No man ever steps into the same river twice’.

He is called the Weeping Philosopher- sort of like the prophet Jeremiah in the bible- also called the Weeping Prophet.

Heraclitus is known for his concept of the Logos- the Word- or thought/reason.

Now- this aspect of his thought plays a role in the development of the Christian understanding of Christ himself- in our New Testaments [written in Greek] Jesus is indeed referred to as the Logos- or Word of God.

The Greek philosophers understanding of the Logos was not the same as the Christian view- mainly expressed thru the writings of John [The gospel- the 3 epistles- and Revelation].
But- some see the Greek view as a precursor to Christ.

In the work of one of the early church fathers- Hippolytus ‘The Refutation of all Heresies’ he attacks Heraclitus view of the Logos as an early form of heresy.

The apologist Justin Martyr is more gracious- he [Like Ulrich Zwingli- the great Swiss reformer of the 16th century] viewed the early Geek thinkers as ‘pre- Christian’ or ‘Christians before Christ’.

Though many reject this view- yet there is some scripture to back it up.
The apostle Paul said in his letter to the Romans that if the Gentiles [non-Jews] do by nature the things contained in the law- then they are justified in God’s sight.

Of course these things are debatable- but I add this to show you that some great Christian thinkers did indeed view the early Greek thinkers- who did live by a moral code- as being right in God’s eyes.

And the bible does teach a theme that we will be judged according to the amount of light [understanding] that we had at the time.

I should note that Plato [one of the 3 titans that arose after Heraclitus- from the city/state of Athens] disagreed with Heraclitus on all things being in a state of constant change.

When [if?] we get to Socrates- Plato and Aristotle- I’ll try and cover the ways they advanced- built upon- the thought of the pre Socratic thinkers.

As a side note- the most famous student of Aristotle- who was the most famous student of Plato- who was the most famous student of Socrates- was Alexander the Great.

This goes to show you how great an influence Greek philosophy had on the ancient world.

A few nuggets from Heraclitus- ‘all things come to pass in accordance with this Logos’ ‘follow the common’ ‘not having their own judgment’.

Recently I covered Acts chapter 2- and we see some of these ideas in the early Christian movement.
The first Christians did ‘follow the common’ they sold their goods- and had ‘all things common’ [communal lifestyle].

The apostle Paul teaches the early church to all ‘speak the same thing- that there be no divisions among you’.
And the New Testament also says the scripture should not be given to Private Interpretation- meaning- ‘not having your own personal judgment’.

All in all- we do indeed see a sort of pre Christian thought in the pre Socratic thinkers- they did indeed speak of the Divine- God- though there understanding of him was not the same as the Christian church.

In a sense- Heraclitus idea that in life- the only ‘constant’ is the fact that there is no constant- that life itself is made up of an ongoing journey- we live day by day- not ever knowing what ‘the next day will bring forth’- Jesus.

Yeah- the man had some good points- the later Stoics would consider Heraclitus as the father of their movement.
And in the study of Philosophy- the Stoics- who had a good run from a few years before the Common Era- were overtaken in the 4th century [as the main influential philosophy of the time] by some new and lasting philosophy- started by a man named Jesus Christ- who his followers claimed rose from the dead.
Yeah- this New Way was called Christianity- and this philosophy has endured now for over 2 thousand years.


Yesterday I spent the morning at the mission- had no meeting scheduled for the day- so I try and use this time to help the guys.

Lance- one of the young guys I see as a son- had to take care of some tax stuff- he never filed his taxes- so wanted to do it late.
I took him to the IRS building downtown- and he had an appointment for about an hour and a half later.
So- we drove down to the water front and hung out for an hour.

I realized I was right next to the American Bank Center- so I decided to buy the tickets for the Chicago concert coming next week.

As we sat next to the Lexington air craft carrier- I said ‘hey kid- why don’t I baptize you today’.

I have been meaning to start baptizing the boys again- it’s been around 24 years since I’ve done this.

Lance came with me to our new Kingsville meeting the other day- David Buentello hosts this one.
He was part of the original church I started in Kingsville back in 1987- David told the guys ‘yeah- many years ago John baptized us in the ocean- there were jelly fish all around- and John said ‘don’t worry- lets just do it’.

We did!

It was funny- these guys have long records- my original Kingsville crew did many years in prison- not like most of the Corpus guys.

I remember the faces of these ex-cons- when they realized we were swimming with jelly fish- they panicked- I laughed.

So- we went back to the IRS building- and took care of business.

Before we came back to the Bluff- I drove over the harbor bridge- and yeah- we jumped in the bay.

I’ll post the pics- this will be our designated spot for baptisms- North beach.

They just opened up a Philly Cheese steak spot about 6 months ago right here- I took my wife about a month ago.

I remember feeling uncomfortable that day- when we went in I talked to the girl at the counter ‘Hey- I’m from New Jersey- do I get a discount’?

Of course I was joking.
As I walked out with my wife- I heard ‘by John’.

Real loud.

I thought she was talking to some else- no- she was saying by.

I mean I don’t know the girl- but it was a little strange- my wife was right there!

Anyway- me and Lance waded into the surf- and I baptized him.

The water was nice- we swam for a bit- sure enough- I realized I was bumping into Jelly Fish.

I didn’t say anything at first- but after a few minutes I said ‘kid- you know we are swimming with Jelly Fish’.

The look on his face was just like the day I baptized the Kingsville guys here 20 years ago- I mean it was funny.

Lance- a kid with quite a bad rap sheet- panicked a bit- I’m sorry- I had to laugh.

I told him ‘don’t worry- I’m claiming that verse- no deadly thing will hurt you’.

Actually- I don’t feel any stings- I don’t think Lance did either.
He said ‘John- I was petting them’.

He said this after he realized we were in the water with them- he didn't know he was ‘petting them’ at first.

About a month ago I was driving the boys back from our Bishop meeting- had Whistler with me.

I took the Joe Fulton road- it’s a little out of the way- but you can see the deep water Port from this road- and all the big tanker ships from around the world.
We drove right past the area where I baptized Lance.

Whistler just got out of jail and told me he had some strange dreams in jail.

He said he had a dream that he was in the water- kind of preparing the way for others to follow- he said at one point he was in the middle of a bunch of jelly fish- they were stinging him- but he kept going.

Sort of like taking the stings for others.

I have not seen Whistler in over a month- Lance thinks he might be dead.

I hope not.

Whistler was the one who ‘gave the interpretation’ of his dream- he told me he felt like he was a fore runner in a way- and others will come after him.

Yeah- me and Lance did- and thanks Whistler- we felt no stings.

1Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
1Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Just a note before I do the teaching for this week.
Yesterday- right after I wrote the last post [you know- swimmin’ with the jelly fish] I took the boys to Bishop for our meeting.

I knocked on the door of Eli’s house- and Little Rudy opened- 
‘Wow- brother John!’
Rudy is the son [grandson] of the original group of guys I started the ministry with 25 years ago.

His dad has been in prison for a while- and the Kingsville meeting with David B- well he used to run with Rudy- not only friends- but Big Rudy [aka FuFu- don’t get this wrong- FuFu is not weak- or girly!] was also married to David’s sister Mary.
I know- it’s hard for me to keep track of all this.

So- I haven’t seen little Rudy in about 15 years.
As we did our meeting- Little Rudy tells the guys ‘Yeah- brother John baptized me in the ocean- and there were Jelly Fish stinging us’!

Funny- I told him I just wrote on this earlier in the day.

Ok- in the meetings this week [and tonight] I have been teaching the famous love chapter penned by the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth [1st Corinthians 13].
The Apostle tells us that Love is the principal thing.

He says Knowledge- though good to have- is only in part- meaning there will come a day when ‘we shall know- even as we are known’ and at that time- we will all be on the same level- perfect knowledge in the presence of God.

The same goes for Wisdom- the gift of Prophecy.

He says even if we have faith to move mountains- and have not love- it does not benefit.

If we sell all our stuff and give it to the poor- without love- it doesn’t mean anything.

If we give our bodies to be burned [see- once again dying for God- in the early church- was also seen as noble!].

All of these noble things- without love- don’t really count.

A friend of mine shared some bible chapters with me a while back- and this past year I have been trying to ‘hear God’ thru the things my friends share.

So one day David says ‘yeah- I went to the mission church the other night- and they talked about Hosea- the first 3 chapters’.

Being I do the halfway house with David- and these verses came from a sort of street preacher- I knew they would have significance.

As I read the chapters later that night- to be honest- I really wasn’t getting anything.

Then in chapter 3- God tells the prophet ‘go- love a woman loved of her friend- yet and adulteress- with the love of the Lord’ [I’ll try and post the exact verse at the end].

Hosea was given a hard task- he would marry a hooker- love her- and she would learn to be faithful to him.

God did this strange act as a sign- he said this was the way God’s people treated him.

They were unfaithful to God- they sought spirituality [which is in the heart of us all] thru other means [occult- false god’s- even Lucifer himself!].

Now- when people do this- they are convinced that ‘their god’ is just as legitimate as the Christian God.

Paul told the Corinthians that satan has blinded the minds of those that don’t believe [in the Christian God- as revealed thru Christ].

So- God’s people- well- were blinded.

They thought seeking after other god’s was ok- it wasn’t.

The letter of James says ‘the Spirit that dwells in us gets jealous- know ye not that to love the world is to reject God’.
So God gets jealous- he loves us- he made us- and then we go after other sources of spirituality- and it hurts him.

What Hosea did- in a way- was what Jesus did.
In the gospels we read about the great miracles of Jesus- actually all the things that are in the love chapter quoted above.

Jesus did miracles- spoke prophetic words- gave his body to ‘be burned’ [died on the Cross].
Yet- the thing that hooked people- was his love.

Mary Magdalene was one of his closest followers- she saw him every day- how he gave his life for others.

She saw how he gave voice to people- to the women who were ‘silenced’ by the culture of the time.

When a hooker cried- poured oil on his feet- wiped them with her tears.

The religious leaders saw this- they said ‘if he were a prophet he would know what type of person this is’.

He did Know!!

That’s the thing- he loved her anyway- he forgave- he accepted- he let their side of the story be told- for the first time.
These women- they saw all the miracles he did- the raising of the dead- opening up of the eyes of the blind.

I mean they were part of the crowd too.

But then he engaged with them- he went out of his way to talk to the Samaritan woman at the well [John’s gospel- chapter 4].

Even she was shocked that he gave her the time of day.

These past few weeks I have been posting some intellectual stuff- that’s ok.

I have been helping out the guys- giving my time [and spending my money] on this stuff.

But God spoke to me- most people can tell when I get irritable- or out and out mad.

Then I read the love chapter- love doesn’t respond like this.

It’s not irritable- or rude- it doesn’t seek its own welfare- but that of others.

Jesus showed us love- he gave his life for people- people who never felt like they had value.

People who couldn’t seem to find purpose in life.

Mary Magdalene is said to have a pretty bad past- like the woman Hosea loved- by God’s command!

After the death of Jesus- Mary was distraught.
She went to the grave- and even though she thought his body was still dead- she hoped to at least get it back.

When she realized Jesus was alive- and speaking to her- he said ‘don’t touch me- I have not yet ascended to my Father’.

She was wanting to hug him- hold him- show affection to him.

He was the first one who really loved her- that’s why.

Hosea 3:1 Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.
Hosea 3:2 So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley:
Hosea 3:3 And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee.
1Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
1Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
1Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Corinthians 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Corinthians 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
1Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
1Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. [note- charity is love- this is the old King James version].

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook#] - I have posted lots.

Friday, May 16, 2014


The Iliad and Odyssey [Homer]
 I want to cover some of the classics of Western Literature- when I do the philosophy and science stuff- the purpose is to show how God- and ‘religion’ are an inescapable thread that we see all thru out history- and in fact- the rise of what we call ‘intellectualism’ did indeed come from the Judaic/Christian tradition [for instance- the modern day university system did come from the Church].

Ok- lets start with what most believe to be the greatest work from antiquity- outside of the bible.

These are 2 poems by Homer- the Iliad and Odyssey.

These poems were written in the 8th century BCE- and cover the Trojan war- which most believe was a real war- that took place in the 12th-13th century BCE.

In Homers works we read about this epic battle.

The war starts with- once again- a ‘woman’ issue.

Prince Paris of Troy steals Helen of Greece- from her husband King Menelaus [king of Sparta].

The Greeks- led by Achilles- lay siege to Troy.

In Homers telling of the event- the Greeks are actually defending the honor of marriage- and are carrying out a just retribution against an unjust act.
Sort of the same themes we read in scripture- when the sons of Jacob defended the honor of their sister Dinah- when she was treated unjustly by the pagan nation that took her- forcefully- to be the wife of a kings son.

The brothers meted out justice- by tricking these pagans to get circumcised- then- while recovering ‘from surgery’- the sons went in and wiped out the city- to their fathers dismay!

In the story- Achilles is a warrior- who displays extreme violence- and also the human traits of a man who acts out of selfish motives.

At one point in the war- he removes himself from battle- because he feels his honor was betrayed.

The only thing that brings him back is the killing of his close friend Patroclus- by Hector.
Achilles leads the Greeks to victory- and reflects the struggle between living a long life- or dying young- yet dying for a just cause.
One of the more famous quotes form Homer’s Poems- attributed to Achilles- is ‘I carry 2 sorts of destiny to the day of my death. Either, if I stay here and fight beside the city of the Trojans, my return home is gone, but my glory shall be everlasting; but if I return home to the beloved land of my fathers, the excellence of my glory is gone, but there will be a long life- left for me, and my end in death will not come to me quickly.’

There has been some debate over the historicity of the war itself.

Some scholars believe it was Myth [I’ll get to this in a moment].
That is- they believe the war itself was not true- but a sort of Oral Tradition- that encompasses the reality of the human condition- and that Homers Poems are simply mythological ways to reveal the true condition of man.

Yet- much like the debate that took place in the 19th century German universities- over the ‘Myth’ of the bible- later on- the rise of what we now call Archaeology [because of the Industrial revolution- a new field arose- men started digging up the ground- for the primary purpose of extracting materials from the earth- and at this time we also discovered ‘lost worlds’- that is we could actually trace cities and lands that were once deemed fake].

So- as with Homers Troy- and bible lands- these archaeologists did indeed find Cities that matched the stories.

In 1870 the German Archaeologist Schliemann discovered remains that seemed to find the city of Troy- the area is known today as modern day Turkey.

This same thing happened with the bible- we did indeed find historical evidence that seemed to back up the historicity of the stories we find in the bible.

As a matter of fact- a famous doubter of the bible embarked on a search- to prove the bible was ‘myth’ yet- after researching carefully the historical names and places we read about in the book of Acts- he came to believe that the book of Acts- written by both an historian and doctor [Luke] was the most historically accurate writing that came from the first century [Acts has lots of names of political figures- court proceedings- stuff like that- and when doing research like this- it is quite easy to debunk the historical reality of a fake work- but- when these names and places were researched- from actual historical records dating back to the first century- it was amazing how the pieces fit].

The Trojan War is found in many works of Greek literature- and art.

But the most comprehensive account comes from Homer’s 2 poems.

Now- in Homer’s poems there are obvious references to Mythology- Goddesses- Golden apples- the Greek gods intervening in the affairs of men.

So yeah- we see that there are obvious mythological aspects to the work.
Yet- the ancient Geeks did indeed believe the war itself was a real war that took place at around the 12th century BCE.

Some believe that Homer never actually wrote the poems- but that he told the stories- like Oral Tradition- and they were later written down by others.

Sort of like the classic- Paradise Lost- by John Milton. Milton was blind- and told the story to his daughters [oral tradition] and the actual work was penned by those who heard it.

Jesus himself used this method- he never wrote a book- or letter in the New Testament- yet the gospels were compiled by his men after his death.

We read about this when Luke [who I mentioned above] gives the reason for his documenting stuff in the book of Acts [read Acts chapter one].

Luke also wrote his gospel a few years after the death and resurrection of Christ.

So- some believe the same thing happened with Homer- those who heard him tell the story multiple times- simply put it together later on.

Most scholars believe that Homer did indeed write the poems- and that the famous Trojan War was a real historical event.

Last year- when in North Bergen- my atheist friend Daniel said he watched a PBS show- and he said ‘even a priest said the bible was Myth’.

I explained to Daniel that when the more liberal scholars use this term [like in the writings of Bultman] that they do not mean ‘fake’- like Greek Mythology.

But they mean that some of the stories in the gospels might be a compilation of the many Oral teachings of Jesus- and they were put together as one story [some think the Sermon on the Mount was actually multiple teachings Jesus did- and they were compiled into one event].

Now- when I explained this to Daniel- he said ‘see- even you believe it was Myth’.

I told Daniel that no- I do not hold to this theory [not 100%] but that I was simply telling him that even those who use the term Myth- when talking about Theology- they do not mean Myth- as in fake.

So- I find it interesting that both the New testament- and Homers poems- got the same scrutiny.

In these poems we do indeed see the condition of man- which Homer depicts as one of constant war- not peace.

The letter of James in the New Testament says- James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
James 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Homers poems are considered by some to be the beginning of the great works of Western literature- of which there are many.

The great writer C.S. Lewis- who rejected Christianity for many years- later became a believer.

He attributed his conversion to the fact that he could not escape the reality of the Church- or Christian themes- found in all the fields of study.

Whether it was the classics- or history- philosophy.

He said every were he read- studied- he could not escape this scarlet thread that ran thru out all the fields of knowledge.

Yeah- in the end- his thirst for knowledge- his intellectual search- led him to the Cross.

Jesus- in a way- was a 1st century Achilles- he battled the forces of darkness- for the honor of a woman- the Bride- the church.

He- Like Achilles- chose a just death- for a just cause.

There’s a prophecy in the Old Testament- it speaks of Christ ‘the zeal of thine house has eaten me up’.

Jesus was a righteous warrior- a prophet, priest and king- and he had a zeal for the church- that far exceeded anything we find in Homers poems.


Sunday I visited Dirk in jail- he’s still waiting to see if they will indict him- on the stabbing of my other friend- Tennessee.

I had a good talk with him- he seems to be doing well.

He told me that some guy started a bible study in the county jail- and he has about 30 guys attending.

Dirk told me the guy’s good- knows what he’s talking about.

He said ‘he’s the Wedding Planner’.

I remember reading about his case in the local paper- he bilked some people out of around 100 thousand bucks- he ‘planned’ their weddings- took the cash- but never did the job.
If I remember- they gave him about 17 years in prison- I guess he's waiting to get transferred to TDC.

Dirk told me he doesn’t go- because the guys ‘BI’ [sexual].

Yeah- Dirk is a homophobe- I don’t say this kidding- over the years he has accused lots of people of being ‘undercover’ homo’s’ and he really fits the classic case of a homophobe.

I got some info from him- he wanted me to put some money into his trustee account- I did it legally on-line.

I do have his bank cards- and Drivers License.

He trusts me- that’s good actually- because he would not be able to get money- his other friends would rob him blind.

I asked about his dog Gunner- who I have at my house- my daughter needs to know if he had his shots- if not- she would take him to get his shots.

Dirk said ‘why do you want to know- are you gonna keep him’.


He was worried that I wanted his dog- now- Gunner does lay down with me- he sat with me in the yard the other day- In the rain!

Gunner remembers me from the streets- so he sees me as a surrogate dad.

I haven’t seen Dirk in a few weeks- being I was out of state and stuff.

He has called a few times- like some other friends from Texas- but being I am very busy- I decided to go back to the old habit of not answering the phone- unless I recognize the number [I don’t listen to messages either- too many].

So- he thought I was mad at him- he said he kept going thru his mind- trying to think of what he said to get me mad.

I told him ‘no Dirk- I’m not mad- I miss lots of calls- you’re not the only one’.

Dirk told me about his plans- when he gets out- get another van- camp at the beach- make trips to East Texas- all things he has talked about for many years [and has done].

We go back a long way.

I told the local crew that I saw Dirk- some said ‘why- he’s getting what he deserves’.

I told them he’s a friend- and I don’t excuse what he did- I mean he almost killed my other friend- but- God is about redemption.

He shows mercy- that of course does not mean we should get off Scott free- no- the law is God given.

The apostle Paul says ‘he beareth not the sword in vain’.

Talking about the law- yes- in the letter to the Romans Paul says ‘he is the minister of God to thee for good- if you do right- then the law will honor you- but if you do wrong- then fear- the law will come down on you’.

So yes- God is not against people paying a just price for their crimes.

God forgives us- if we are truly sorry.

Yet- society has mechanisms in place to punish sin- crime.

These laws are for all of our benefit- and yes- at times we might be the ones who are on the cutting edge of the sword- but that’s ok.

God will do a work in us- even if we are being punished for our crimes.

Dirk offered again to pay for the shots for his dog- or to pay for the dog food- I keep telling him ‘no- don’t worry- I’ll cover it’.

He got mad- for real [I’ve seen him mad before- and he has seen me mad too].

I just don’t want to use his money- for anything.

He gets his money from disability- but when you’re in jail the payments stop.
Often the guys keep getting paid- until Social Security figures it out.

Then when they get out- they cut their check.

I’m not sure what will happen to Dirk- I don’t know what evidence there is- I know the friend he stabbed wants no part of testifying- he said he was leaving the state- going back to Tennessee.

I heard he is already gone- but who really knows.

Either way- Dirk will be in jail for at least a few more months.

I don’t take sides- if he gets some prison time- that’s fine.
I’ll write him- like I did for many years with my other friends.

I have written my friends in prison- gave them advice- kept them informed about the ministry.
Guys in prison look forward to letters- and they are open to advice- being they are a captive audience.

You know- God does work in mysterious ways- who would have thought the Wedding Planner would start a church in jail- yeah- Jesus gave a parable about some guy who invited lots of guest to a wedding.

The high class folk turned down the invitation.

The master got mad- and said ‘go back out- invite all the low class- the dregs of society- the killers- the cheats- they will come’.

Sure enough- Jesus said they filled that banquet with the low life’s.

So- I guess the Wedding Planner is just doing his job.


This week I’m teaching Acts chapter 2 in our home groups.
In the chapter we see the promise that Jesus made to his men- that after he left them- he would send the promised Holy Spirit- and the Spirit would bring ‘all things to memory- the things I taught you’.

So- Jesus invested 3 and a half years into his men- he taught them- did miracles- and was laying the groundwork for the Kingdom.
Before he ascended into heaven he gave them the ‘Great commission’- ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone- teaching them to observe all that I commanded you- those who believe and are baptized will be saved’.

He told them to wait at Jerusalem for the promise of the Spirit.

So- the day the Spirit came- Pentecost- was a strategic day.

For hundreds of years the Jews observed various feasts that God gave them- There were 3 main ones.

These feasts represented major acts of deliverance/goodness that God did on their behalf.

Jesus was crucified during the Passover feast- which was the feast that marked God delivering the Jews from Egypt.

They sacrificed a spotless lamb- and put the blood on their door posts.

Ok- Jesus was called the Lamb of God- and he was the fulfillment of this feast- on the actual day they also sacrificed the lamb.

Now- 50 days later- in the Jewish calendar- they would celebrate another feast- Pentecost.

These feasts have various names- and meanings.

One for Pentecost was called First fruits- and this represented one of the harvests that the Jews had.

In the Jewish agricultural calendar- there were 2 main harvest times.

They got early rain- and latter rain.

They would offer the first harvest [or parts of it] to God- like a first fruit offering.

So- when this feast day came- in Acts chapter 2- there were Jews from all over that came to Jerusalem for this feast.

While they were there- the disciples and about 120 followers of Jesus were all together in one place and their came a sound from heaven- like a ‘rushing mighty wind’.

It filled the room- and they all spoke in other languages- languages they did not know.

All the people that were there were shocked- they said ‘are not all these from Galilee- then how do we hear them speak in our own dialects’.

Some said they were drunk- others said it was too early to be drunk.

Then Peter stood up with the other 11 disciples and said ‘no- these are not drunk- but this is the prophecy that Joel made years ago- that in the last days God will pour out his Spirit on all flesh’.
Peter explains that this strange event- was a promise God had made centuries before.

So- Peter then preaches Christ- that he was sent from God- did signs and miracles among them- and that God chose him to be the judge of all men.

Then Peter gets bold ‘and he is the one you killed’!

All the people witnessing this are in terror ‘what should we do?’

Peter says ‘repent- and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ- your sins will be forgiven- and you will too receive this Holy Spirit’.

This day there were about 3 thousand who believed- and this is what most see as the beginning of the church.

These first believers then sold their stuff- shared with each other- continued learning from the apostles and lived a communal life.

It is important to see that God strategically poured out the Spirit at a time- and place- that would have maximum impact.

Many of the people that came from all over for the feast- they then went back to their cities and the good news spread.

There were some that came as far away as Rome- these were probably those who started the church at Rome.

Paul the apostle wrote letters to the churches- most of them were churches he himself started- but when he penned the letter to the Romans- he was writing to a church that he did not plant.

The importance of this feast day- and how its true meaning [like the Passover] would be fulfilled thru Christ and his ministry- is that believers don’t just have a set of rules to live by.

Or simply try real hard to keep God's law [the Old covenant].

But no- we actually have the Spirit of God in us- and that’s the power for us to live the Christian life.

In his letter to the Romans Paul said that we have died with Christ in Baptism- and the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will also ‘quicken’ [make alive] our mortal bodies.

This verse- found in Romans 8- can apply not only to our future resurrection body- but also to our lives now.

Meaning that the Spirit in us enables us to live Holy.

The apostle Paul puts strong emphasis on God making us new creatures- thru the Spirit that dwells in us.

If you read the chapter- Peter’s message to his Jewish brothers was quite amazing.

Peter taps into the promise that God made to king David centuries ago- that God would place one of David’s sons upon his throne ‘forever’.

And Peter quotes a few of the Psalms that David wrote ‘you will not leave my soul in hell- or suffer your holy one to decay in the grave’.

Peter says ‘David was not speaking about himself- no- we have David’s grave with us till this day. But being a prophet- and knowing that God promised him that one of his sons would sit on his throne- David was talking about Jesus- and his resurrection’.

Peter ties in the former promises of God to King David- and says the resurrection- and ascension of Christ is God keeping these promises.

The last words of Jesus in the bible- found in the book of Revelation- are ‘I Jesus have sent my angel to testify about these things in the churches- I am the root and offspring of David- the bright and morning star’.

Yeah- the Jewish people were waiting for David’s son- a future Messiah- who would come and rescue them from their oppressors [like the story in Exodus- and the first Passover].

On this Pentecost day- Peter said the promise was fulfilled- that those seeing these things- these very strange events- they were in a way a first fruits harvest unto God.

They were just the beginning of a worldwide movement- harvest- that was destined to ‘take over the world’.

It did.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Acts 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Acts 2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
Acts 2:8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Acts 2:9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Acts 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Acts 2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
Acts 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Romans 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Romans 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Romans 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Romans 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Romans 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.

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Romans 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.


Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBook#] - I have posted lots.