Suggestions FOR Resurrection Sunday

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   Therefore live each day as he wills, not just on Sunday.

   Hi, dear friends. Hope you’re having a great day and looking forward to Easter? I’ve been receiving information that it’s toward March 27 this year or some time before or later (Not Sure!) but whatever the date, it’s good to plan what we would be doing that Easter.
     Here in the country, both believers and unbelievers do celebrate this moment as if it were some kind of secular celebration. We also know that this moment of the year is for celebrating the Lord’s resurrection. Though the origin of this celebration is the pagan celebration as written in history:

 A festival held in honour of the goddess Eostre or Ostara and celebrated at the spring equinox or within the month of April. Also known as Eostre.

History also records:

Christian feast commemorating the resurrection of Christ; the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or next after the vernal equinox, neither earlier than March 22 nor later than April 25.

     Pagans celebrates Easter within April and the Christians also celebrate it  every first Sunday following the full moon but between March 22 and April 25. Therefore, this makes it so similar to a pagan celebration.

              We Don’t Need To Argue

     The fact that Easter, Christmas and other celebrations may evolve from paganism has caused a lot of division in Christ’s body these days. We discriminate those who celebrate and join those who don’t. It’s all silly! What’s the difference between the Easter celebrated by Pagans and that celebrated by Christians? Pagans use it to worship the goddess, Eostre or Ostara while the Christians celebrate Easter to mark the resurrection of Christ. Even so, I guess we shouldn’t be using the word, Easter. It’s origin is from the word, Eostre (a goddess) which means that celebrating this after her name is still kind-ah subjecting us to something akin to celebrating her.

  Why Not Call It Resurrection Sunday?

     Since Easter originated from the name of the goddess, Eostre, we sure should not be celebrating Eostre: we aren’t followers of Eostre. We are followers of Christ and if we call it Resurrection Sunday, I’m sure it will make more meaning especially identifying what we are celebrating.
     Easter is all about Christ’s celebration (in the Christian way) but anyone who listens to that name recognizes it originated from Eostre, perhaps, they don’t know our motive isn’t to celebrate Eostre but Christ. I believe if we call it Resurrection Sunday there will be more life in our celebrations of his Resurrection and more difference between Christians and the world.

                   Our Best Stupidity

     You know what, we are just so stupid after discovering that Easter is originated from Eostre that we conclude to shut ourselves off from those who celebrate the moment. Don’t be so stupid! Celebrate it with them! They (those Christians who call it Easter) have it inside their hearts that the day is for remembering the Lord’s resurrection and we also have it in ours too, even if we mayn’t call it Easter.
     Let’s look beyond what we call it to whom we follow. Why do we celebrate it? Who’re we honoring? When we don’t get past the word we call it, we’ll spend much time criticizing others who call it one name or the other. It’s akin to quiet time. My dad believes it’s different from what he calls covenant time or agreed or set time but it’s not. This sometimes put criticism in his tone. It’s that way! We could have the same focus, aim or motive but we may call it different things.
    I once was told that we who don’t attend church are different from those who do and those who do are unbelievers but when I read Paul’s words in Romans 14:5-16, I could see things differently.

One man esteems one day as better than another, while another man esteems all days alike [sacred]. Let everyone be fully convinced (satisfied) in his own mind.

6He who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. He also who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while he who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

7None of us lives to himself [but to the Lord], and none of us dies to himself [but to the Lord, for]

8If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord.

9For Christ died and lived again for this very purpose, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

10Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.

11For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God [acknowledge Him to His honor and to His praise].(A)

12And so each of us shall give an account of himself [give an answer in reference to judgment] to God.

13Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.

14I know and am convinced (persuaded) as one in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is [forbidden as] essentially unclean (defiled and unholy in itself). But [none the less] it is unclean (defiled and unholy) to anyone who thinks it is unclean.

15But if your brother is being pained or his feelings hurt or if he is being injured by what you eat, [then] you are no longer walking in love. [You have ceased to be living and conducting yourself by the standard of love toward him.] Do not let what you eat hurt or cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died!

16Do not therefore let what seems good to you be considered an evil thing [by someone else]. [In other words, do not give occasion for others to criticize that which is justifiable for you.]

   My dad and I have got much differences in christian views but never once do I let that have me hate him or criticize him. Never once except out of ignorance have I intentionally written or spoken against attendees. I usually expose the shamefulness of organized religion holding people from seeing Father’s love but I love the people and I know many who are in organized system but aren’t caught in the religious game. They love God and others and don’t play religion. What’s the secret? They don’t demand people do things their way and it would be better if others don’t demand they do it their way. There would be no criticism if we don’t demand people do things our way and if they don’t demand we do things their way. Let’s be however God puts us.

      Celebrating Resurrection Sunday

     Sometimes we usually assume this moment to be for secular partying but would there be anyway of celebrating the Lord’s resurrection other than meeting each other to encourage others on the importance of his Resurrection? What if we spent some time that Sunday growing our young ones and new believers on the power of the Lord’s resurrection? If we had meals together with other believers as a family, spend time reading scripture, meet in each other’s homes, wouldn’t it look more blessed to discover that we could live his life sharing with each other all he did that day as he resurrected and the purpose of his resurrection? Of course. That’d help more in many ways than we can ever fathom. Just having the Resurrection Sunday as a moment to party and eat with friends with no opening of the importance of celebrating that day is just lifeless.
    If you care or are free to, you could call over few folks or dozen of them, not necessarily the same institution you attend, and you could share the life of the Resurrection together, have meals more like a family. What if we took this Easter to be beyond our normal Sunday church programmes and celebrate it more like a family rather than a production, party or meeting?

       
          There Is Something, Though

    I took my time talking about sharing the life of Christ’s resurrection on that Sunday but I guess I’ll be so stupid talking about only Sunday. Think about it! What if we had sometime spending each day as our Resurrection Sunday? It’s not stupid! What do you think? With all I’ve written above, most people will feel glad to only share Christ’s life and the power of his resurrection on Sunday but other days will be left empty as they spend their time living for the world. Let’s sort to live each day sharing the testimony of Christ’s victory over death as he resurrected, not only on Sunday but everyday. Christ resurrected, perhaps, on Sunday but he didn’t resurrect for us to have life only on Sundays. He died that we will have life and have it abundantly. No shortage of life. The life isn’t limited to days of the week. It’s a life that flows into us each day.
     Since we are offered a resurrection life to live, that means we are to live everyday as resurrection Sunday, Monday, etc.
    Therefore, after the Sunday of the celebration, live everyday as if it were the Resurrection Sunday. Then you’ll discover that all day is the Lord’s and must be lived unto the Lord.

If you feel anything more should be added to this post as your suggestions for that day, kindly add it at the comment box, then I will quickly attach it to the post (indicating its ‘said by’).

God bless.

Have a blessed week.

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Daniel’s Prophecy Of The World Powers

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Hello everyone. Hope you are having a great weekend? I found this on the net and it’s surprising to me that the Christians are those who crown most world powers.  Note this is very lengthy and reading it requires much time but if you are sincere to know what Daniel’s prophecy means through history, you will know it’s worth the time spent on reading. Note also that none of these was written by me.

God has revealed, in the books of
Daniel and Revelation , the world-
ruling Gentile (non-Israelite) empires
(kingdoms) that would exist from the
time of Babylon’s empire to the
Second Coming of Jesus – a span of
more than 2,600 years! Biblical
prophecy predicts no less than fifteen
empires and the most influential false
religious system the devil would
create.
The symbolic Bible prophecies that
proclaim such events BEFORE they
happen are the large image of a man
dreamed by King Nebuchadnezzar of
Babylon (Daniel 2) and Daniel’s
dream of four great beasts : A lion,
bear, leopard and one strong beast
with iron teeth and ten horns (Daniel
7). Daniel’s vision of a ram and a
male goat (Daniel 8) and the apostle
John’s vision of a woman riding a
beast with seven heads and ten horns
(Revelation 17) along with an end
time beast that will rule the world just
before the Second Coming of Jesus
(Revelation 13:1-8) are also symbolic
of end time events .
One simple but profound question
generated from Bible prophecy
concerns ancient Israel. Why would
God allow Gentile nations to dominate
the world instead of his chosen
people – the Israelites? The Bible
records God making a very special
promise to the people of Israel just
before they crossed the Jordan River
to receive their inheritance in the land
of milk and honey. He promised to
make them HIGH ABOVE all the
nations IF they keep his
commandments (Deuteronomy
26:18-19).
God promised to make the Israelite
nation preeminent in the world IF they
obeyed his voice. Over time, however,
they increasingly rejected God’s way
to the point where they refused to
have him as their King and instead
requested a human king be put over
them (1Samuel 8:5-7). Eventually,
because of their ongoing disregard for
God’s laws, ten of Israel’s tribes were
conquered and taken out of the land
by the Assyrian empire (723 B.C.).
The remaining tribes (Judah,
Benjamin and Levi) lived in Palestine
until they too, because of
disobedience, were conquered and
taken from their inheritance. Because
Israel rejected God, he rejected them
and gave their promised leadership
role in the world to others – the
Gentile empires which are listed
below.

Babylonian Empire – 612 B.C.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Head of Gold (Daniel 2:32, 38)
First Beast like a Lion (Daniel 7:4)

Explanation

Babylon was the kingdom that ruled
the earth at the time when
Nebuchadnezzar dreamed an image of
a man.

Notes
In 612 B.C. King Nabopolassar of
Babylon defeated the Assyrian Empire
and sacked its capital city of Nineveh.
It was this victory that began
Babylon’s period as a world empire.
The empire’s greatest King was
Nebuchadnezzar (reigned 605 – 562
B.C.), who conquered the Kingdom of
Judah, took the inhabitants as
captives to Babylon and, in 586 B.C.,
burned Jerusalem and destroyed its
temple. Babylon’s world supremacy
lasted for only 73 years.

Persian Empire (Medo-Persian Empire)
– 549 B.C.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Chest and Arms of Silver (Daniel 2:32,
39)
Second Beast like a Bear (Daniel 7:5)
Ram with two horns (Daniel 8:3-4, 20)

Explanation
Persia is the second beast (prophetic
kingdom) to rule the earth. This
kingdom actually represents two kings
(“ram with two horns”) – the king of
Media and king of Persia.

Notes
Astyages became king of Media in
585 B.C. Cyrus the Great became king
of Persia, though not an independent
ruler, in 559 B.C. Like his
predecessors, Cyrus had to recognize
Median dominance over his kingdom
(“one was higher than the other, and
the higher one came up last”). In 549
Cyrus overthrew the Medes and King
Astyages (who was a family member,
possibly Cyrus’ grandfather).
The Persian empire is considered the
most powerful kingdom of the ancient
world. At its height it ruled more than
2.9 million square miles (7.5 million
square kilometers) of land that
spanned three continents: Asia, Africa
and Europe. The Persians were the
largest empire in ancient history in
terms of total land controlled. It is
estimated that in 480 B.C. Persia had
50 million people living under its
authority – or roughly 44% of the
entire world’s population. It was
during the reign of Cyrus the Great
that captive Jews were allowed to
return to Jerusalem.

Macedonian (Greek) Empire of
Alexander the Great – 336 B.C.
and
Division of kingdom into four pieces –
323 B.C.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Belly and Thighs of Bronze (brass)
(Daniel 2:32, 39)
Beast (Leopard) with four Heads
(Daniel 7:6)
Male Goat with large horn and four
smaller horns (Daniel 8:5-8, 21-22,
11:3-4)

Explanation
After Alexander’s death (the “broken
horn”) the “four that stood up in its
place” to rule in his stead were his
four generals. This means the empire
that Alexander built and its
subsequent division into four pieces
are counted as the third , fourth , fifth
and sixth prophetic kingdoms to rule
the earth.

Notes
Alexander the Great, born in 356 B.C.,
was an ancient Greek king whose
father was King Philip II of Macedon.
Soon after ascending to the throne in
336 B.C. due to his father’s
assassination Alexander began a
military campaign to realize his
father’s expansion plans. His
conquests included the Persian
Empire, Syria, Phoenicia, Judea, Egypt
and Mesopotamia. The empire’s
boundaries stretched as far west as
the Ionian sea and as far east as the
Himalayas and India. Alexander never
lost a battle (though many times he
was outnumbered) and is considered
one of the most successful military
commanders in history.

The Greek kingdom, after Alexander’s
death in 323 B.C., was NOT passed to
either of his two sons (“but not
among his posterity”). Instead, as the
prophecies indicated, it was divided
up into four separate kingdoms by his
generals Ptolemy, Antipater, Seleucus
and Antigonus.

Roman Empire – 27 B.C.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Two Legs of Iron (Daniel 2:33, 40-43)
Fourth Beast with teeth of iron and
ten horns (Daniel 7:7, 23-24)

Notes
The transition of the Roman Republic
into the Roman Empire highly likely
occurred in 27 B.C., when the Senate
granted extraordinary powers to
Augustus – who many consider to be
the first true Roman Emperor.
The greatest extent of the empire
occurred with Trajan’s conquest of
Dacia in 117 A.D., which gave the
kingdom control of 2.5 million square
miles of territory (6.5 million square
kilometers). Rome is considered the
third largest and most powerful of the
ancient empires (behind the empires
of Persia and the Han dynasty). At
the time of Jesus it is believed Rome
controlled a total population of 60
million people.
In 395 A.D. the united kingdom split
into two separate pieces: The Eastern
(Byzantine) Empire, which lasted until
1453 A.D. and the Western Empire,
which lasted until 476 A.D.

The Great False Religious System
Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Little horn among ten horns that
causes the first three to be removed
(Daniel 7:8, 20, 24-27)
Mystery, Babylon the Great, a whore
riding a beast who is the mother of
harlots (Revelation 17:1-6, 18)

Explanation
Prophecies represent the Roman
Catholic Church and the Papacy .
Rome is the “great city” that rules
over the kings (kingdoms) of the
earth.

Notes
The great whore of Revelation 17 did
not ride any of the seven prophetic
heads (empires) mentioned in Daniel
2 (Babylon, Persia, Greece (four
heads) and Rome before its split ) nor
the first three horns of the fourth
beast of Daniel 7. It did, however,
mount and ride the fourth beast’s last
seven horns. These last seven horns
of Daniel 7 are the same as the seven
heads ridden by the great whore in
Revelation 17.
The title “Supreme Pontiff” (Pontifex
Maximus or “highest office”) was first
used around 220 A.D. by Tertullian to
refer to the head of the Roman
church. It wasn’t until the 590’s A.D.
that this title was used in an formal
sense to refer to the Pope.

The Vandals – 439 A.D.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
First of ten horns / kings / kingdoms
related to Rome’s classical empire
(Daniel 7:24)
First of three horns “plucked up” due
to a little horn (Daniel 7:8, 20)

Explanation
The kingdom was overthrown at the
behest of the Papacy.

Notes
The Vandals migrated to live in
Roman territory around 400 A.D. King
Geiseric led the tribe to North Africa
in 429. In 439 they created their own
kingdom which included parts of
Africa that were controlled by Rome
plus islands such as Sardinia, Malta
and Corsica. They sacked Rome in the
year 455. The Vandals defeated the
fleets sent against them from both
the Western (460 A.D.) and Eastern
(468 A.D.) Roman empires. Their
empire collapsed, however, in 534
A.D. when Belisarius (commander of
Byzantine Emperor Justinian’s army)
defeated them at the battle of Hippo.

The Heruli – 476 A.D.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Second of ten horns / kingdoms
(Daniel 7:24)
Second of three horns “plucked up”
due to a little horn (Daniel 7:8, 20)

Explanation
The kingdom was overthrown at the
behest of the Papacy.

Notes
Under Odoacer (who became the first
barbarian King of Italy) the Heruli
deposed the last Emperor of the
Western Roman Empire in 476 A.D. In
508 their short-lived empire came to
an end when they were destroyed by
the Lombards.

The Ostrogoths – 493 A.D.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Third of ten horns / kingdoms (Daniel
7:24)
Third of three horns “plucked up” due
to a little horn (Daniel 7:8, 20)

Explanation
The kingdom was overthrown at the
behest of the Papacy.

Notes
In 493 A.D. Theodoric the Great
became the first king of the
Ostrogothic kingdom and replaced
Odoacer as ruler of Italy. The
Ostrogoths considered themselves
upholders of the direct line of Roman
traditions. In 535 A.D. the Byzantine
emperor Justinian attacked the
Ostrogoths and started what would
become the nineteen year long Gothic
War. In 554 the Ostrogothic empire
finally fell.

Partial Restoration of the Roman
Empire – 527 A.D.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Fourth of ten horns related to Rome’s
classical empire (Daniel 7:24)
First of seven heads of scarlet Beast
rode by the great religious whore
(Revelation 17:1-6)

Explanation
Under Byzantine emperor Justinian I
the Eastern empire conquered many of
the lands lost by the Western Empire
when it collapsed in 476.

Notes
Justinian, who reigned 527 to 565
B.C., was the first Eastern Roman
(Byzantine) king who sought to
reclaim the glory of Rome through
conquering lands lost by the Western
Empire. As a “Christian” emperor he
considered it his divine duty to restore
Rome’s kingdom to its ancient
boundaries. During his reign he
fought many wars (Iberian, Vandalic,
Gothic, Moorish, etc.) and did conquer
many territories formerly controlled by
the West (Italy, Africa, southern
Hispania, etc.).
Although he considered himself “priest
and king” over the Empire, Justinian
officially recognized the Roman See
(office of the pope) as the highest
ecclesiastical authority.

Charlemagne (Charles the Great) – 800
A.D.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Fifth of ten horns related to Rome’s
empire (Daniel 7:24)
Second of seven heads of Beast rode
by the great whore (Revelation
17:1-6)

Explanation
Charlemagne, crowned by the Pope,
was the first Roman Emperor in
Western Europe since the fall of the
empire in 476 A.D.

Notes
Charlemagne was king of the Franks
(starting in 768 A.D.) and the
Lombards (starting in 774 A.D.)
before becoming Emperor. In 799 A.D.
Pope Leo III was mistreated by the
Romans who tried to put out his eyes
and tear out his tongue. After
escaping and fleeing to Charlemagne
the Pope requested his position be
restored. Charlemagne traveled to
Rome, then entered it with the Pope in
November 800 A.D. A synod was held
December 1 and the charges against
Leo pronounced false.
On Christmas Day in 800, during
Mass, the Pope crowned Charlemagne
as Emperor of the Romans. This was
the first time in history a Pope
crowned a Roman Emperor.
Charlemagne became the papacy’s
chief protector. He would ultimately
unite most of Christian Europe under
his rule.

Otto the Great – 962 A.D.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Sixth of ten horns related to Rome’s
empire (Daniel 7:24)
Third of seven heads of Beast rode by
the great whore (Revelation 17:1-6)

Explanation
In 962 A.D. Otto the Great, in Rome,
was crowned the first “Holy” Roman
Emperor by the Pope.

Notes
Otto the Great was king of Germany
and Duke of Saxony (starting in 936)
and king of Italy (starting in 961)
before becoming Emperor. He is
considered the founder of the Holy
Roman Empire.
Otto considered himself the protector
of the Church in part due to his belief
he had the “divine right” to rule. He
strengthen ecclesiastical authorities
such as bishops and abbots at the
expense of the secular nobility.

Charles V – 1530 A.D.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Seventh of ten horns related to
Rome’s empire (Daniel 7:24)
Fourth of seven heads of Beast rode
by the great whore (Revelation
17:1-6)

Explanation
In 1530 Charles was the last Holy
Roman Emperor to be crowned by the
Pope .

Notes
Charles was also Lord of the
Netherlands (starting in 1506) and
the first king of Spain (starting in
1516). He was of the house of
Hapsburg, who produced all the
formally elected Holy Roman
Emperors from 1438 to 1740 A.D.
Charles became king of the Romans /
Italy in 1519. He ruled as Emperor
from 1530 to 1556. It was during his
reign that the Hapsburg Dynasty, for
the first and only time, achieved the
status of a true world empire.
Charles is best known for his role in
opposing the Protestant Reformation.
The Society of Jesus (Jesuits), formed
initially to peacefully combat
Protestantism, was started during his
reign.

Napoleon I (Bonaparte) – 1805 A.D.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Eighth of ten horns related to Rome’s
empire (Daniel 7:24)
Fifth of seven heads of Beast rode by
the great whore (Revelation 17:1-6)

Explanation
Napoleon was crowned King of Italy
by the Pope in 1805, a title which he
held until 1814 A.D.

Notes
In 1806 the Holy Roman Empire
formally dissolved when the last
Emperor abdicated following his
defeat at the hands of Napoleon and
the French. Napoleon reorganized
most of the empire into the
Confederation of the Rhine, which
eventually was composed of 9 kings
and 28 princes. The confederation
collapsed in 1813 after Napoleon’s
failed attempt to conquer Russia.

Otto von Bismarck – 1871 A.D.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Ninth of ten horns related to Rome’s
empire (Daniel 7:24)
Sixth of seven heads of Beast rode by
the great whore (Revelation 17:1-6)
The ‘one is’ king that will come after
five have fallen (Revelation 17:10)

Explanation
The five kings / kingdoms that fell
before Bismarck’s rule were Justinian,
Charlemagne, Otto the Great, Charles
V and Napoleon. After a series of
short wars, Otto was able in 1871 to
unify numerous German states into a
powerful Empire. He was the first
Imperial Chancellor of the Empire
from 1871 to 1890.

Notes
Otto created a “balance of power” in
Europe that preserved the peace in the
region from 1871 until 1914 (World
War I).

Benito Mussolini – Adolf Hitler – 1929
A.D.

Represented in Bible prophecy as:
Tenth of ten horns related to Rome’s
empire (Daniel 7:24)
Seventh of seven heads of Beast rode
by the great whore (Revelation
17:1-6)
The ‘other that has not yet come’ king
(Revelation 17:10)

Explanation
Represents the European empire
(kingdom) created by Hitler and
Mussolini. In 1938 it became one of
the wealthiest empires (by size of
GDP) in modern times.

Notes
Mussolini was Prime Minister of Italy
from 1922 to 1943. Hitler was
Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to
1945. Supporters of Mussolini’s
attempt to create an Italian empire
called it the New Roman Empire.
Interestingly, in 1917 the British
Security Service (MI5) paid Mussolini
£100 a week to help him get started
in politics.
In 1929 the Lateran treaties were
signed by Mussolini and the Vatican.
The treaties established the
independence of Vatican City within
Italy and granted Roman Catholicism
special status in Italy. The treaties
also included a legal provision
whereby the Italian government would
protect the honor and dignity of the
Pope by prosecuting offenders.
The term “Third Reich,” meaning the
third German empire, is often used to
refer to Germany during its years
under Nazi control. The Nazis
considered the first Reich to be the
Holy Roman Empire from 962 to 1806
A.D., and the second Reich to be the
German Empire from 1871 to 1918
A.D.

Final World Empire / Government
Represented in Bible prophecy as:

Ten Toes of Iron and Clay ultimately
destroyed by God’s kingdom (Daniel
2:41-44)
King that will kill Christians and fight
the return of Jesus (Daniel 8:23-25)
Beast with seven heads and ten horns
who will rule earth 42 months
(Revelation 13:1-8)
Beast with two horns like lamb but
spoke like a dragon (Revelation
13:11)
Eighth head that is Beast “that was,
and is not, is himself also the
eighth” (Revelation 17:11)
Ten horns (kings) that will give their
power to fight against the Lamb
(Revelation 17:12-14)
Explanation
The full meaning of these prophecies
has yet to occur.

Originally posted by: The Bible Study Site
http://www.biblestudy.org/prophecy/bible-prophecies-of-empires.html

I LOVE YOU: A Compassionate Father

   

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    We usually term this amazing parable to be, The Prodigal Son but one close look at it unveils that the story is meant to be The Compassionate Father or The Wonderful Nature Of God In Dealing With His Rebellious Children. Having the title as a picture of the prodigal son hides the most important part of Jesus’ parable and how he changes or deals with men.
  When the youngest son approached him, he heard his request and shared all he had with both sons. The younger son took it all, walked out the beautiful gate into a strange world where most things were done outside the Laws of God. He partied, drank and ate until all he had was gone. He decided to be a hired man, ate pigs’ meal and rested on the bare floor. The requirements was too high that he finally saw his father’s love.
  With all sincerity, he finally returned to his dad confessing how sorry he was and he readily was already forgiven.
  The younger wasn’t the only rebellious son, for the elder also was. So why call it, The Prodigal Son? The older brother had jealousy in his heart and couldn’t also see his father’s love. All he could see was his brother being robed with a beautiful garment. He was in real hunger for the riches his dad had, rather than knowing the love of his father.
  Therefore, The Compassionate Father or The Wonderful Nature Of God In Dealing With His Rebellious Children should be the appropriate title for this parable.
  As we move on, we will look at the following:
1. They didn’t lose the relationship
2. The sin of the older son
3. The sin of the younger son
4. Who is safer among both sons?
5. His compassionate heart

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    They Didn’t Lose The Relationship

  Certainly, the younger son losed so many things he would have gotten had he remained with his father but he never losed his relationship with him. He left for a distant land but the relationship which his dad had with him was constant. He’s still father’s son, still had his love, still related to his father by blood. So how could he lose it?
  If anything else seemed to not grow the moment he left, it was his fellowship with his dad. They hardly get to meet to talk with each other. That didn’t end the father’s hunger for fellowship with his son; for he was still longing to talk with him, just as David was longing to talk with Absalom. However, his father’s reaction wasn’t akin to the king’s; for the king never wanted to see Absalom once he returned but while he was away, he still longed to fellowship with him.
  Just the opposite, the younger son’s father didn’t wait for his son to get to the gate. He rushed out to embrace him, expressing that love once more. That moment, the fellowship he had longed desired to have with his son was restored and ready to grow.
  The bible had it this way, in Luke 15:20; So he got up and came to his [own] father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness [for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him [fervently]. With this expression which his father shew toward him, it’s clear that the son never lost his relationship with his father. What he had lost was their close fellowship.

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  On the other hand, even though the elder son was just so jealous, that doesn’t mean he losed his relationship with his father. He also had the fellowship and was able to tell his father his feeling toward everything which had just occurred. He couldn’t believe his eyes but the words of his father still pointed out that they still had fellowship: And the father said to him, Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But it was fitting to make merry, to revel and feast and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and is alive again! He was lost and is found! (vs 31-32).

  Imagine God’s words to us who are caught in selfish motives; self-righteousness, and self-glorification: Son, you are always with Me, and all that is Mine is yours. That shows the presence of fellowship with God.

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  We never lose our relationship with God. Each of us are caught in either the self-righteous attitude of the elder son or the prodigal life of the youngest son. Both do affect our fellowship with him, and have our eyes clouded from seeing his love. Though, we’re not of those who abandon the Father, when we see our fellowship with him weakening and we discover we are caught in any of the two, all we have to do is RUN TO HIM. When we do, we will begin to see how much he loves us even more.

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            The Error Of The Older Son

  The elder brother’s error was nothing else but Religion. He was upgrading himself; outlining all he had been doing for his father, expecting a reward. He wasn’t doing all that because he loved his father but he was expecting a gift. In that case, he was doing all that as a servant, rather than a SON.
  A servant work for wages but how is it with a son? He works each day, doing all he can because he loves his father. A servant mayn’t recognize the love his master has for him but a son first see that love, then begin to love his father more and more.
   Walking with Jesus in this relationship is that way! Playing the religious game with him is just too harmful for us. Yet, he’s right beside us, feeling our pain and freeing us from it. Some of us have experienced the stage where we try doing all the works for him but with a wrong motive: working so as to earn his favor. In that case, we aren’t different from the elder son as we look for every means to use as a tool to getting something from him.
  We work for God, not because we believe that if we do so, he will supply all our needs, but we do his will because we love him. Religion omits the desire to love God and others more than ourselves. It blinds us from recognizing his unchangeable love toward us. Just like the elder son, our view of God become blackened with untrue descriptions of who God is and how he works in our lives. We won’t be able to see beyond our activities; our selfish priorities into the glorious and compassionate heart of God.

  Religion doesn’t distinguish us from self-righteousness. It opens our heart to become self-righteous (righteous in our own eyes), not minding the way Father sees us, even if we are that good or bad. However, as far as we’re concerned, none of us is good. We’re not just qualified to be robed with the cloak of  righteousness because there’s always a level of imperfection in each of us. However, when Christ died, he became our righteousness. Thus, in following Jesus in this relationship a day at a time, he begins to humble us and help us live away from the strings of self-righteousness.
    Father opens our eyes to see beyond our own position, priority and even selfish ambition. Even in our relationship with him, we ignorantly strive to earn a place in Father’s heart but have we paused a day to hear him say this again: “Son, you are always with Me, and all that is Mine is yours”? You’re already a son, so why play religious games? There’s nothing you can do to earn a place in his heart. He’s included you already without a working on your part. A place in his heart can never be earned.
     Like the elder brother, struggling to have position will always lead to jealousy; pride; unnecessary comparison between ourselves and others. When we do that, we’re trying to criticize others because of their failures, instead of looking at them as wonderful children whom Father is drawing so near to himself. If you find yourself in the shoes of the elder son, understand that it’s more beneficial to know how much your heavenly father loves you rather than seeking to gain all his blessings.

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         The Error Of The Younger Son

  All the younger son had done toward his father was Rebellion. He had simply wandered off his father’s presence, seeking the perishable things of this world above the wonderful fellowship which he treasured with him. Though the elder brother had a selfish reason for fellowshipping with his father, the younger never had a respect for; selfish reason towards; or even desire for that fellowship. The last time he could fellowship with his father, it was for personal gain, rather than growing closer to his father. He neither respected nor valued it.

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     He was truly a rebellious son but no different from the elder son in the early parts of his life before he came to his father’s feet to repent.
    Both religion and rebellion corrupt our view of God’s compassion toward us. While the elder was being self-righteous, the younger was being rebellious, but both attitudes lead to one poison: unable to recognize the Father’s affection toward them.
     Being rebellious doesn’t shove God away from us. Rather, it shoves us away from him. God is never scared to see our imperfection. He’s with us, ready to help but most times, he mayn’t offer a helping hand but just the protection we need. He would let us go, until we get to the end of ourselves. Getting to the end of ourselves means humility. Humility gives us more room to see his love for us and embrace that love. It was after he had been broken, before he was fully convinced about his Father’s love toward him.
     Again, he was unable to love his father and remain with him because he wasn’t convinced that his father always had loved him. It’s the same with us! In our relationship with him, we mayn’t be convinced that he loves us but the moment we get convinced, we find ourselves beginning to love him too. John made it clear that God first loved us before we were able to love him. As we grow in fellowship with him, we will find him opening our heart to see and embrace that love; for the more we don’t realize it, the further we become rebels.

       Who’s Safer Among Both Sons?

    If I was asked this question in an interview, Yeah, get to think of it, Bob. Which among the King’s sons is safe? I would reply the following, First, we know that his two sons had errors each. The first was self-righteous and the other rebellious. However, speaking in view of the past life of the younger, none of his sons is safe. Both were just rebellious. The younger had his rebellion expressed before his father’s presence, which makes him quite free from the one who hid rebellion in his heart. Rebellion was also present in the older son’s heart. Therefore both are rebellious and unsafe. Rebellion isn’t safety. It eats up our fellowship with God, beclouding our heart from fully realizing his love toward us. Before you can recognize if someone loves you or not, fellowship is necessary; and when you discover it, fellowship becomes even more necessary. The elder isn’t safe in the sense that he had fellowship for a wrong reason and the younger isn’t safe because he abandoned the fellowship.
  Thus, none is safe!

              A Compassionate Father

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     The end of the story reveals how God deals with us, lovingly embracing us, and welcoming us home after our long wandering away. I used to think that when we come to Jesus, he would stay some distance away to have us clean, before he takes us close to himself. Those teachings just fell off some months after my own experience of wandering away from him. I was thinking I would still be kept waiting distance away until I’m clean. It was all lies! God doesn’t distance himself from us but we distance ourselves from him. I still can have a couple of pictures in my mind: First, the Lord withdrawing from me as I realize my sin and begin running closer in my torn clothes. Next, the Lord seeing the prodigal son who wandered away and immediately ran to him, gave a hug and more kisses. The son had a rag on, rather than a sparkling cloth. The father ran to him inspite of the rag his son was wearing. I still wondered why!

  Therefore, the question is “Why did the father not command the guards to stop his son at the gate, change his clothes before taking him in; before giving a hug and multi-kiss?”
  He wasn’t after anything else but his son’s return. Look the joy Jesus has when we return to him to renew our fellowship with him. He runs to us even before we get to the gate and gives us a hug and more kisses, assuring us of his love again. He isn’t after our torn clothes but our changed hearts and the return which he had hoped for, since the moment we left. He throws a party with his angels and many other believers who had long prayed for our return to him. He has more to offer us even if we had ignorantly wasted many.
    The picture that the Lord oft will withdraw whenever we return with dirty clothes is all lies! Jesus never shy away from his own. It’s them who shy away! Now that they have returned, would he also shy away? Is that the compassionate Father we are talking about? Or someone who loves pleasure for himself as to get his people lost in the lie that they can change themselves? That’s what we mean when we picture him that way. We’re simply pointing out that he believes we can change ourselves.

     How was the son fully convinced of his father’s love? It was when he saw his father run toward him. Isn’t that what encourages us too? The further we get to approach him, his light, his love is enough to convince us of how much he loves us. We begin to see the heart of a compassionate father who treasures our relationship and fellowship with him more than our works. The prodigal son didn’t hide his pain and sorrow; for he used the clothe which he had on him since his days of suffering, to approach his father. It’s like saying, Father, look at my clothes! I have been suffering from my own rebellion. Now, I realize I can’t change myself. Take me as your servant and I will be satisfied with that.
  Then, we’ll realize that all we need is to return to him the way we are, without any attempt to change ourselves or hide our pain.

This blog post was written in his yet-to-be-published book: THE FATHER’S HEART CRY which is presently on Editting process @ Harvesters Online Publishers, New York, United States Of America.

Bob Hernandez: Lovestream Of Life Blog

Other blog posts by Bob:

Venus-Christians: Science And The Bible II

The Breach

The Ministry Of Encouragement: Encouraging Others To Walk With Jesus

THE MINISTRY OF ENCOURAGEMENT: Encouraging Others To Walk With Jesus

 

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We are all in his hands and has given us each other for our good.

  Truthfully, before we can obviously encourage others to begin this amazing journey with Jesus, we must know ourselves. By knowing ourselves, I mean we should find out if we also are having a growing walk with him, if not we can’t encourage anyone to. The greatest gift we can ever offer a person after they become saved is the encouragement to join Jesus in having that fellowship grow.
     The moment we believed, it was the beginning of our relationship with God. However, it’s not we who need to maintain that relationship, for we most times overestimate our capability thinking we can build it. We can’t! It’s God who do. Ours is to maintain the fellowship with him. His is to maintain the relationship with us. Even so, we have full confidence that his part in maintaining this is 100% perfect.

    In what ways can I encourage fellow believers? You may ask. . . I will say there are several ways which God provided for this Encouragement Ministry, though the enemy is also using these ways to corrupt the hearts and lives of men.
    As Christians, the King’s children, we can use this to also change lives and encourage them to keep moving.

      The Ministry Of Encouragement

    We can joyfully encourage our fellow believers through these ways (if you haven’t been practicing these, am sure you could find this a great moment):

(a) Encouragement through face-to-face meetings/conversations: On this journey, Father has opened ways to encourage others to walk very closely with him. One of these is the direct conversations we may tend to have with others. This may be in discipleship programmes, local groups, through having meals together as we conversate, moments of group prayer time, etc. Just name them as God puts it in your heart. When this is done frequently, we will be having more and more of our brothers and sisters grow into him and live encouraged each day, no matter what they face.

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(b) Encouragement through phone-calls: I haven’t got that perfect chance to use this part so well but I can admit I use it sometimes. I receive phone calls from friends whom I encourage on their journey and also encourage me on my journey. However, that’s rare with me! I don’t do that often. Are there people whom Father wants you to encourage through this way? Of course! We can use our money and time to save each other from falling into the enemy’s snare. If we can spend some time watching T.V., then we can also spend more time encouraging others. We can buy as much airtime to find out how they are doing and when we do, we surely will find God guiding us to encourage them in whatever areas they find themselves so close to “given up”. Gracefully, we will be able to encourage as many as a dozen people in a week.
(Don’t get me wrong! I don’t mean you should spend all the day on phone calls. The ministry of encouragement is a ministry requiring guidance.)

(c) Encouragement Through emails, phone messaging and the net.: This has been my major way of encouraging believers. I have been blessed to encourage people from Alabama and also be encouraged by them to move on. I have talked with believers from California, Ghana, India, etc who have been a blessing to me as I have been to them. Meeting the Indians has always been my desire but I can say I rarely meet them these days. However, on the net, even if we don’t get to talk, we can use our posts to encourage each other. Rather than spend much time talking about this friend did this or that to me, look at my problems or blaming some people or throwing unnecessary insults, am sure we can use that moment or even more to encourage people. Don’t get if wrong! I don’t mean you shouldn’t share your burdens with others but each of these have got limits. You won’t know when you begin receiving words like, You don’t know how much I needed this. No. It’s not you! It’s God who deserves the thanks, so don’t forget to give it all to him when you hear those you encourage saying all of that.

                Don’t Forget Yourself!

    Just as amazing as encouraging others is, there’s something so much important that it’s possible that we might overlook its necessity. Let’s not forget ourselves! This doesn’t mean that we should rate ourselves above others or consider our needs above the needs of others. When encouraging others, we should remember to have the condition of our lives in good order not beaten or defeated. We can’t give what we don’t have. In order to encourage others who are in need of the encouragement, we who need to encourage them should have been encouraged and also staying strong in that part of life.

    Encouragement comes from knowing that you’ve learnt what I haven’t and I have learnt what you haven’t. Therefore, I’m glad to help you understand what you haven’t and stay strong in it, just as am glad as you’re also glad to help me in that part I don’t understand and help me stay strong in it.
     Once a certain moment when I was lost in pornography and didn’t know how to get out, God used a friend to get me out through wonderful encouraging words of God’s affection and love and power which is available to get me out of that sin. Till this day, I know I’m safe and saved because I see Christ’s finished work. Only knowing that he loves me was enough to get me out. With that, I felt his light inside of me and my friend that moment was also in need of encouragement. Therefore, she was also encouraged in that part of life where I was free and I was encouraged in that part of life where she was free.
    Therefore, don’t forget yourself! You’re not all+knowing nor are you mega-sufficient in yourself. You need encouragement too no matter who you are. God has provided you for this others and this others for you. In them, you’ve found him. Receive the encouragements he sends you through them. Don’t forget you also need it!

          You Can’t If You Never Love

    Certainly, anyone who really want to encourage others on their journey is someone who must be filled with love and affection for others. He must embrace their success and pain, failures and also share the burdens which is necessary. Though there are burdens which we must not partake, we require Father’s help in doing that.
    Love cares for others. Encouragement comes from a loving heart, humble and filled with the King’s light and life.

    Finally, don’t assume you must encourage others to gain a place in their hearts, for you never will. The job is God’s not yours, so let him do the encouraging through you. Encourage them with a “God bless you”, “God loves you”, “trust him, my brother, he’s got the best plan”, and many more. All these depends on the situation of the brother or sister in need of the encouragement.

God bless you as you practice this knowing that Jesus would have done more if he were here.

Also share this post with others. God bless. Amen.

In his Iove,

Bob.
(Pseudonym).

Venus-Christians: Science And The Bible II

   

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Mercury do release the heat but Venus doesn’t.

     I finally discovered there was something more to life, especially Christianity when it comes to living. Some weeks ago, I walked over to the bathroom after my younger brother, Jerry had lectured us on the solar system, took a fine diagram of the Sun, earth’s moon and all the planets in the solar system. Such a meeting was so interesting that my mind got into it.
 “What if there were Venus-christians?” And “What if there were Christians like Mercury?” I was joyful because I understood what the Spirit was saying.

   Scientifically, the planet Venus is said to be so close to Mercury and second planet after the Sun which likely makes this planet gold-like. While mercury receives the heat from the Sun and thereafter, release it to the next planet which is Venus, it (Venus) receives the heat from both the Sun and Mercury. Instead of releasing the heat like Mercury, Venus retains it and then seems to be the hottest planet in the Solar System.

Is this any different from believers who retains hurt caused by those around them especially those best friends? If Mercury each moment hurt Venus, it retains the pain, hurt and anger inside of her but the Sun do hurt Mercury too. Instead of retain the hurt, pain and anger, it releases it.

We are sometimes imitating this attitude of retaining the pain, anger and hurt which we receive from others. Yes it’s true that releasing the heat of the pain and anger is quite hard but let’s remember that not one of us can release our pain, hurt and hatred except by God’s grace and mercy toward us.

   To whom should we release our pain and hatred? Not to the offender. Let’s release our heart to Jesus and he will take away our hurt and pain and  transform us from the inside. He will fill us with joy and happiness.

Let’s not forget: all these is all about forgiveness. Let’s keep forgiving even while they do the offending. The further we learn to forgive, the freer we become and it opens way for us to be Christ-like. Certainly, storing all the pain and hurt can get us explode from the inside but if we release it as Mercury does, we will find our lives becoming freer and freer from getting blackened inside. Instead of living a life of anger and pain, we will radiate the priceless mercy and grace of God.

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       His Glorious Light Will Arise In Us.

                    An External Gold

     From the outside, Venus looks like gold, kind-ah beautiful but inside it’s hot and man is bound enough to FRY if he came any closer. It’s no different when we imitate such lifestyle. We may dress so well, have all the make-ups done, wear beautiful shoes and still miss everything that’s called Beautiful Inside. 
    Since our inside is filled piled hurt, guilt, frustration, insecurity, etc, we are sure to not forgive and love others and we would be the best at breaking friendships, Godly relationships, etc.

God says, “Deal first with the inside.”

     Forgiveness Gets Easy After Three

   Becoming a Venus-believer will have us peace-less. We will rarely have peace. Being a mercury-believer in this aspect of releasing requires that we also forgive. However, in this process, forgiveness gets simple after three processes. How sad we rarely recognize these ways that makes forgiveness simple. That’s the reason why we sometimes forgive and still try pamper the hurt, pain and frustration caused by our brother. Forgiveness is more than uttering words of “I FORGIVE YOU” just as love is more than saying “I LOVE YOU”.
     First, we are hurt by our brother but as the King’s children, we don’t need to let that hurt and frustration get rooted inside of us. No doubt, we first will feel the hurt but we should immediately let go.
     It was said of the Begum Bilquis Sheikh, once Muslim but converted to Christian, that when the Lord guided her to forgive her husband, she found it hard and again and again she felt separated from God. Then she took these steps which we’ve been discussing: (1) she knew she felt hurt and was hurt by someone. There’s no one to forgive if there’s no one who hurts. We must first realize we are hurt and recognize our inability to forgive. (2) she released her heart to God. What a primary part of knowing his mercy! She released it to him so he could take away her pain and fill it with his glorious, priceless love. (3) finally, she gave what she received from God. She released loving forgiveness to her offender (totally forgave him). She never felt like she was ever hurt. It was totally gone! When asked what she would do if her husband walked to her, she replied she would treat him like a king, serve him tea. She didn’t feel the hurt anymore.

    Therefore, this helps prevent us from harboring pain inside of us that leads to hatred, unforgiveness:
1. Receive the hurt and hand our heart to God.
2. He takes our hurt away and fills it with his love.
3. We release that loving forgiveness to our offender.

   May God bless us as we refuse the enemy’s plans of piling hurt in our hearts. Amen.

In his love,

Bob.

We ARE Becoming Even Worse Than Isis: Isis Bomb/Kill But We Do The same!

 

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    I’ve been at church in the early years of my life and never loved what I saw or heard in there. The teachings, prayers and even relationships seemed like it was so dreary, always having a hook in it tying each person toward commitment to the rules and obligations. Yes, I hated it! And I bet, I was surprise to find out I was right. Christians have become so committed to false doctrines and opinions, causing divisions in the body. To me, these are WORSE than Isis.
    Isis bomb and destroy nations, show no mercy nor do they exhibit any feeling of compassion toward their victim. Are these different from what we find in today’s church? Is there any difference between what Isis are doing and what we are doing? Of course not! Isis hate and criticize any thing different from their religion (mainly Christianity) and what do we do as Christians? We do the same. We criticize each other and deal unjustly with anyone else all because there’s a different view, denomination, belief existing between us. We let the gap get wider, rather than prevent and deal with it.

     Isis are sure physical men with physical weapons used for destroying humanity. They themselves are weapons in the devil’s hands for terminating the lives of men. The devil believes he gets stronger by terminating men and keeping them in fear.
   
     What about the Christian?

Christians are to be the lights of the world but you know what? We’re living like Isis. We use our physical body to produce strong, deadly spiritual weapons which deepens enmity into men’s lives and by that, their hatred toward God gets deepened. They are unable to see his life in us. These days, we also live like weapons in the devil’s hands to intimidate and oppress others.
Our love lacks commitment to each other. The words (negative words) that evolve from our mouths are stronger and deadly than ISIS weapons. There’s a power that comes with each word, a very strong one.

Finally, in revolutionizing all these negative lifestyles, it must begin with us. Let’s be the people whom God is willing to use to reach out to this lost world. Gracefully, even ISIS members may come to know he loves them also. Let’s quit being ISIS-PARTNERS. Let’s join Jesus gather his people.

In his love,

Bob.