Sunday, December 29, 2013

Five Most Common Regrets in Life, 5

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

It is that time again folks. Happy New Years. This means that the old year is passing away, and the New Year is born. This is the time when many start to look into the future. They remember the past. They want to change things in their lives, so that this coming New Year will be better than the last. New Year Resolutions abound.

"I will quit Smoking." "I will give up junk food." "I will lose weight." "I will stop [this or that] type of destructive behavior." "I will let myself be happier." Wait, what was that last one? "I will let myself be happier."???? What?

Yes, with most NYRs, they last on the average about 30 days. One study shows that less than 20 percent actually stick. So why do people bother? Regrets. They regret the past year's behavior and want to change. What if we stopped talking about the New Year? What if instead of talking about the end of the past year, we were talking about end of life?

Someone sent this article to me. It's by Bronnie Ware. Bonnie is a Nurse. She has spend a lot of time talking with people that were on their "Death Bed." Talking with them, she found that, no matter the Race, Standings, Faith, or any other differences, there were five most common regrets. While thinking about your "New Year Resolutions," perhaps instead of giving up Chocolate, you may want to think about these.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Did you know that Happiness is a Choice? It is. So is being miserable. So is being arrogant. So is being sad. Your "mood" totally depends on you. Your choice. "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he." {Proverbs 16}

The Psalmist wrote "Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."

Also in,,

Psalm 37:

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
Paul tells us, if you really want to be happy? We should be "Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;" {Romans 12} Being happy is a choice. Some say, that we just do not understand what they are going through. We can't possible know. They have no reason to be happy. Their Wife left them, pickup truck feel apart, and their dog died... Sorry, slipped into a Country Song there for a second. But you get the point.

Sad truth is, most people live in little Bubbles. They look around at their circumstances and allow this to determine their moods. "How am I going to pay the bills. I just lost my Job. What now? Jesus tells us we should have no fear. We should have no worries. We merely need to remember who we are as Child of God. Jesus tells us, our Father knows what we have need of before we do. He tells us if we want full assurance, that all will be OK, and that our needs shall be met, we need not worry "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." {Matthew 6:33}

Will you lose your House? Maybe. Will your Car be repoed? Maybe. Will you lose your Job? Maybe. Does it really matter? If you come to a place where you realize, fully realize, that God is your Daddy, and you are His Child, and this same God is the one who created all things, you can be reassured that getting you transportation or a place to live is not beyond His powers.

Try thinking a Child of God way. Car breaks down, "Great, God is going to get me another one. This one has been nothing but a headache to me." Home in foreclosure? "Well, OK. God is going to get me a place I can actually afford. I may even meet some new people that God wants in my life. All the Praise and Glory be to Him." "I can't pay the TV and the Electric." Do you really need 150 channels when you only watch 4? Do you really need Cable at all? "I have a $200.00 monthly Phone Bill." Do you really need that?

Stop putting the conditions on your happiness on stuff. Stop allowing stuff to control you. Paul wrote.....

Philippians 4:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Ever have a negative experience, and find yourself playing it over and over again in your head? Like a Movie on the screen, you keep reliving the experience. Thinking, what if. What if I did this, or I should have done that. Would the outcome have been different???? WHO CARES!?!? It's over. It's past. It's a new day. Time to move on. Time to praise God. Thank Him for all the Blessings you do have. Time to thank Jesus for coming and suffering all He did for YOU. Time to thank the Holy Spirit for setting you free of this bondage of the Mind.

When Jesus gave the famous Sermon on the Mount, most translations use the word Blessed, or Blessed of God. Did you know you can actually translate the same word as Happy? Seriously. Jesus said...

Matthew 5:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Did you know you can actually interchange the word Blessed here with the word Happy? Try it.

Happy are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Happy are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Happy are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Happy are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Happy are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Happy are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Happy are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Happy is a choice. Sad is a choice. Why should we be happy? Because we ARE Blessed. "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." {Romans 8:15} God is our Daddy. We are His Children. Stop worrying about what is outside, and just start thinking about what is inside, and what it all means to be a Child of God.

Do not let not being Happy, be an end of life regret. Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

The article by Bronnie Ware, first appeared on inspirationandchai.com via @ Real Farmacy

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Jesus

Thank you Lord.




Luke 2:

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Rainbows and Promises, Three

Sometimes the Rainbows appear before the Storm.

To bring you up to speed, we have been discussing Rainbows. What is a Rainbow? It is a sign. A tangible, physical, visible, sign, of the Promise God made to Noah following the Flood. It is a sign to all Mankind, that no matter how bad the Storms of life might be, God is in charge, and God can,,,,

Assure you that He is with you.
Protect you and keep you safe. Even if that means He will take over.
Restore anything lost.

There were three men that saw Rainbows in The Word of God. First, of course, was Noah. When God created the first Rainbow. Ezekiel, who saw the Rainbow in the midst of the Storm. And John, who we will be discussing today, who saw the Rainbow BEFORE the Storm even came.

Let's go to,,,,

Revelation 4:
1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
Now here was John. Minding his own business. Going about his day. Nothing really important going on. All of a sudden, he sees this Vision. He hears the voice of an Angel and the Angel takes him up to Heaven. There He sees God Himself, sitting on the Throne. "And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald."

So what is the importance of the Rainbow? The same as it was when God first formed it. The same as it is every time we see it. It is a symbol of God's Promise to us that all will be OK. That He will never again destroy the whole Earth. That He will never again, wipe out His entire Creation.

So the first thing that John sees, is a Rainbow. It is encompassing God Himself. he also saw the same "creatures" that Ezekiel saw.
6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
Then he even saw Jesus. In,,

Revelation 5:
1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
John the Apostle who wrote the Gospel and the Epistles of John, was said by some to be exiled on Patmos in the Aegean Archipelago during the reign of Domitian. John, refers to Jesus as "The Word of God," throughout Revelations, As he did in {John 1"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." Later John writes "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

So think about this. If indeed "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." It makes sense, that in the end, all things would be destroyed by Him. Yet, remember, not all things will be wiped out as with the Flood. Hence the Rainbow.

God shows John the things that are to come. Talk about an oncoming Storm. God shows John that all this will happen....

The first Seal introduces the Antichrist. The second Seal causes great Warfare. The third Seal causes Famine. The fourth Seal causes the Sun and Moon to be darkened and brings about Plague, further Famine, and further Warfare. The fifth Seal sends a plague of demonic locusts that attack and torture humanity and tells us of those who will be martyred for their Faith in Christ during the end times. When the sixth Seal is broken, a devastating Earthquake occurs, causing massive upheaval and terrible devastation. It also releases a Demonic Army that kills a third of humanity.

Then there is the seventh and last Seal. This is called the Seven Bowls of Judgement. The first bowl causes painful sores to break out on humanity. The second bowl results in the death of every living thing in the sea. The third bowl causes the rivers to turn into blood. The fourth results in the Sun’s heat being intensified and causing great pain. The fifth causes great darkness and an intensification of the sores from the first bowl. The sixth results in the Euphrates River being dried up and the Armies of the Antichrist being gathered together to wage the battle of Armageddon. The seventh bowl results in a devastating Earthquake followed by giant Hailstones.

This is not a happy sunny day. This will be the end of Life as we know it. Think about that, nearly all of Mankind will be wiped out in a devastating manor. Yet at the end of Armageddon, the devil and his armies will be defeated and Jesus will return to reign for a Thousand years.

So what happens following the Thousand years? First Jesus Himself told us "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." {Matthew 5:5} What Earth? The New Earth. The one that comes following Armageddon.

We read this in {2 Peter 3:10-13} "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

Then in {Revelation 21:1}, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." The new Earth will actually be the home of God. We will be there with Him. Heaven itself will be on Earth.

We are Children of God. "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." {Romans 8: 17} We will be those that live with God, in the New Earth, when the time comes.

To recap. After the worst Storm Mankind ever Saw, God showed Noah a Rainbow. All will be OK. Then during a Storm, in the midst of a horrible Storm in the lives of God's Chosen People, God showed Ezekiel a Rainbow. All will be OK. God is in charge. He will take care of it. Then in a Storm even greater than that of Noah, the end of time as we know it, God showed John a Rainbow, before the Storm came. All will be OK. God is in charge. He will take care of all things.

All you have to do as a Child of God, no matter what the Storm may be in your life, look for the Rainbow. Why? Because all will be OK. God is in charge. He will take care of it. We merely need to do one thing, trust in Him. Eat the Word. Make it part of us. Be obedient. Trust in Him. Let the World look for the "Silver Lining." You? You look for the Rainbow.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rainbows and Promises, Two

Sometimes in the Midst of the Storm.

Last time we discussed what a Rainbow is. It is a sign. A tangible, physical, visible, sign of the Promise God made to Noah following the Flood. It is a sign to all mankind, that no matter how bad the Storms of life might be, God is in charge, and God can,,,,

Assure you that He is with you.
Protect you and keep you safe.
Restore anything lost.

There were three men that saw Rainbows in The Word of God. First, of course was Noah, When God created the first Rainbow. Ezekiel, who saw the Rainbow in the midst of the Storm. And John, who we will discussed soon, who saw the Rainbow BEFORE the Storm even came.

Today, we will discuss being in the midst of a Storm, and why we should not be surprised at seeing the Rainbow at the same time. Let's go to,,,,

Ezekiel 1:
1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity,

3 The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.
So here is Ezekiel, in the middle of living in captivity, some would call a major Storm in life. In the fourth year of Jehoiakim, Father of Jehoiachin, the first carrying away of Jewish captives to Babylon took place. Among them was Daniel. The second was under Jehoiachin, when Ezekiel was carried away. Ezekiel was to be the Ministering Priest to all the people Captive under King Jehoiachin.

The Word declare that all though they were held Captive, he remained Faithful to God. So there comes a day when Ezekiel sees a vision...
27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.

28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
Now the Sound of the voice of the Lord is described in The Word as the sound of Thunder ( Psalms 29:3 Psalms 29:4 ). Also as the "sound of tumult," as in Jeremiah 11:16 . From an Arabic root, meaning the "impetuous rush of heavy rain." Jump ahead to,,,

Ezekiel 2:
1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.

2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.
So here, God Appoints Ezekiel to become the "Son of Man." Now of course, we know this phrase better as what Jesus called Himself. Notice this as well "And the spirit entered into me." It was not until Jesus came that we received the ability to accept the Spirit and become adopted into the Family of God. So, this is a rather unique event. This means that God chose Ezekiel in a very special way, for a very specific reason.
5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.

8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.

9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
God tells Ezekiel, it does not matter if they accept what you say, or not. It is simply his job to tell them the truth. What is it that God gave Ezekiel to eat? His Word. The Bible. He told Ezekiel to fully digest His Word. Make it apart of him. He did not say read it. He did not say highlight it. He did not say it is good to know what it is. He told Ezekiel to eat it. Digest it. Make it apart of his very being. This is what God tells us to do as well, as His Children.

The Bible is not a History Book. It is not something written by Man. It is the Living Word of God. Having it become a Part of you, means that when the Storms come, even in the midst of the Storm, you will be comforted and you will not be deceived. You will KNOW what God says about this or that. You will KNOW, what God wants you to do, in any situation.

Now really pay attention to this next part. It is important.

Ezekiel 3:

4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.

5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;

6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.

7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.

8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.

9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
Did you catch it? "For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee."

What God just told Ezekiel is that He is sending him to His Chosen People. The Jews. He was not sending Ezekiel to the Gentiles. However, if He did, "they would have hearkened unto thee." So why is God sending Ezekiel to people that will not hear him? And not to those that would. Because of His love for His chosen People. Because of yet another Promise. One made to Moses. Then God tells Ezekiel this Spiritual Truth..
17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
For he to know to do good, and chose it not, to him it is Sin. Without warning, Sin can and still will, kill you. But if you are aware of your Sin, you may turn away and Live. If not, you condemn yourself. God wants everyone to know the Truth. This way, you have a chance to repent and live. Later we see God telling Ezekiel that HE, God, was coming to collect his scattered Sheep. In...

Ezekiel 34:
10 Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

11 For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.

12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.

16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.
In the middle of the Storm, God appears before Ezekiel. First he tells him to eat The Word. Get to understand God's Will. His plan and purpose. Then He tells him to go forth and Preach His Word to His people. Then, He tells him that it does not matter their response, but rather Ezekiel's obedience to follow God's Will. Then, He finally tells Ezekiel, that even though they may not hear him, even though the Storm may seem unbearable, God is in charge, and He will take over. He tells Ezekiel that He, God, will fire those in charge of leading His Children, and HE will take over the situation. Sound familiar? Think Jesus.

In some Storms that may come, they may seem overwhelming and unbearable, yet God tells us, not to fear. Just be obedient to Him, and He will take charge. Even in the midst of the Storm, look for the Rainbow. God is always with us, and will always be with us. If we are obedient to Him, even if He has to take charge, He will always be faithful to us.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Rainbows and Promises

God is always present, and always faithful.

Ever look up to the sky, following a rainstorm, and see the Rainbow? They can be quite the sight. Beautiful in the calmness after the storm. But what does it mean? Are Rainbows nothing more than what Science would tell us. Light reflecting from the mist left over. Like a crystal hanging in your window, bending light into fractions that then appear as rainbowed colored light dancing on the wall? Or is there more to Rainbows than this.

Truth is, a Rainbow was created by the same that created all things. God. Rainbows were also created for a very specific reason. Rainbows are more than a simple play of light. They are a tangible, physical, visible, sign created by God, and a promise to Noah, that all will be OK, It is a sign of the Covenant between God and Man. Well, we say between God and Man, however, it is more accurately stated, a sign of God's promise to Man. We had little to do with it.

A Covenant is a binding agreement or Contract. You and I enter into a Covenant. I say I will do this if you do that. It's a Contract. If you do not do this or that, or I fail to do this or that, then the Covenant is broken and a Suit can take place legally.

However, the Rainbow is a sign of what God calls His Covenant with us. He promised to never totally destroy His Creation again. As long as we??? God will do this, IF????? The Covenant is broken IF??? There is no IF. There is no "If you {Meaning us} fail."

A little history. God Created all things, and Man, and place Man in charge of all things. Man, in turn gave this authority over to the "Lord of the air." Lucifer, Satan, The devil. Man was cast out of the Garden and Sin entered the World. Mankind's heart turned evil continuously and the inventions thereof. So God repented that He made man and had every intention of destroying ALL His Creation, presumably to start over, but He found one faithful. Noah.

God tells Noah He will destroy all of Creation, but will spare Noah, his Wife, three Sons and their Wives, and all that Noah brings into the Ark that God gives the plans for Noah to build. Noah does. God destroys all life outside the Ark, and now we come to the Waters subsiding and Noah and those in the Ark emerging.

Genesis 9:
1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.

6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

8 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,

9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

11 And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
Now notice God did not tell Noah, as long as you,,,I will honor this Covenant. No. God said "And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the Covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth."

It is because of this Covenant that caused God to, create the Races, and then to send Prophets, and ultimately force Him to come as Jesus, to pay for our Sins. Even after all this, "Mankind's heart was still evil continuously and the inventions thereof." Yet, because of God's Covenant with Noah, God could and will never totally destroy His Creation again, as He did before. This is the meaning of the Rainbow.

There will be Storms in your life. The World tells you, you should look for the "Silver Lining." As a Child of God, you need not look for a "Silver Lining," rather, look for the sign of the Covenant. A tangible, physical, visible, sign created by God, that all will be OK.

Just like the Storms in nature, the Storms in our personal life come in three ways. First, here we are, running around and playing under blue skies. Birds are singing, we got sunglasses on. And all of a sudden it turns dark and scary. All of a sudden, water starts dropping down on us, the wind picks up, and thunder strikes. We are in the midst of a Storm that we never saw coming.

Then, there are certain times, certain season, where we expect Storms to come. In Spring, rain. In Summer, thunder, in in Winder Snow. Etc. Here in Sunny South Florida, we know that there are certain times when we expect the possibility of Hurricanes. In the Middle of the Country, Tornadoes. ETC. Sometimes in your life, you know that you are entering into a situation or circumstance, where there may be Storms. This allows you to get ready for them.

The last is you see the Storm coming. You know beyond a doubt the the Storm is very real, formed, and heading directly at you. Did you know that sometimes, God will warn you in advance, that it's coming and you need not worry?

You see, in the Bible there were three men that saw Rainbows. Noah, of course, at the creation of Rainbows. Ezekiel, who saw the rainbow in the midst of the Storm. Then you have John, who saw the rainbow before the Storm. We will be talking abut Ezekiel, and John, next time.

Make no mistake about it. A Rainbow is more than light refracting through water vapors, or dancing through crystals. Rainbows are a sign to YOU, Child of God, that no matter the Storm, all will be OK. God is in charge. Trust in Him. Although a Storm may come and destroy things in you life, the same God that restored the World after the Flood, can restore the things in your life, whatever they may be, after the Storm.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen
. {2 Corinthians 13}

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Discipline In Church???

Church just got real. 

Back on December 4th, 2013, we were talking about how to "Have Church." Out of everything we discussed, one thing has caused some questions. I said this...
"We are to encourage each other. Comfort each other. Strengthen each other. We are to morn together. Laugh together. Celebrate together. And yes, even to keep each other in check. There is a real reason for discipline in our Church. It is for our own good. To help keep each other from falling." 
"Wait a second Pete. Are you saying that the Pastor has the RIGHT to DISCIPLINE me if I do something he doesn't like? Seriously? What are you talking about?" Yes, and so does the rest of the Congregation. 

Well, I guess Church just got real. So with help of a Special Guest, Stephen McQuoid of  Liberty Community Church U.K., we are going to discuss this topic in more detail today. 

This is what happens when you make Church REAL. Meaning, Church is more than just going, dropping a Twenty in the bucket and saying Praise Jesus. Church is more than an hour and a half a week, if you can make it, then going home to Football and BBQs. 

Jesus said If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” {Matthew 18:15-20}

John also talked about this. "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
 {2 John 1:9-11}

In his letter to Titus from Nicopolis in Epirus, Paul wrote "As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him," {Titus 3:10

So what is the real reason for Church Discipline? Please welcome Special Guest, Stephen McQuoid of  Liberty Community Church U.K.


Discipline With Care: Why Should We Use Discipline in the Church?

Church discipline is tough. Maintaining any form of discipline in the church will take both courage and determination. Church leaders will truly have their work cut out for them if they decide that, in some way, church members must be held accountable for their actions. Given this, questions must surely be asked as to why we should bother with church discipline at all.

The honour of God

The first reason why maintaining church discipline is so important is that we need to have a concern for the honour of God. In 1 Samuel 17, the young shepherd boy David was sent by his father to check on the welfare of his brothers, who were recruits in the Israelite army. As he arrived at the battlefield, he was stunned by what he saw. The Israelites and the Philistines were lined up on either side of the battlefield. The giant Goliath was challenging any individual in the Israelite army to fight him in a representative battle, but none was willing. His huge stature and warlike appearance were more than their courage could confront. Saul had raised the stakes by offering the reward of tax exemption as well as his daughter’s hand in marriage, but there were still no takers.

Despite his youth, David was not intimidated by Goliath. But what did concern him was the cowardice of God’s people. He described the situation as a ‘disgrace’: ‘What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?’ (v. 26). For David, however, the issue was not that this situation made the men of Israel appear cowardly, but that it reflected badly on God. For Goliath to impose himself as he did was a direct challenge to the ‘living God’ whose armies he threatened. David was concerned for God’s honour, which was being compromised by the behaviour of his people.

This concept can also be seen in the New Testament, where Paul urges believers to ‘conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ’ (Phil. 1:27). The sacrifice of Christ compels us to live in such a way as to demonstrate the power and glory of the gospel. Ultimately, our lives will have a bearing on the credibility of the Christian faith. As Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, ‘let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven’; we are to live in such a way that people recognize God’s hand in our lives and praise him for what he is doing in us.

Our concern for God’s honour should be the primary motivation for having a disciplined church. The church belongs to God, not to any individual or group of individuals. We are the bride of Christ (2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19:7; 21:2), and when we live lives that are unholy and inappropriate, we dishonour God. The church is a billboard declaring the glory of God. If the message being communicated does not reflect something of the glory and majesty of God, his honour is at stake.

The reputation of the church

Closely linked to the honour of God is the reputation of the actual church. The church needs to have credibility for its own sake. If it has no credibility, it will not be an attractive witness to a needy world. No one will be persuaded by the church’s proclamation of the gospel if those who comprise its membership do not demonstrate the power of the gospel in their own lives. The church is also a voice in society, providing a conscience and correcting injustice. But if the church loses its moral authority because of the behaviour of some of its members, its voice will be muffled and its impact minimized.

I recently attended a conference in one of the oldest and most Catholic cities in North America. As I walked around the city, I was impressed by the sheer number of Catholic churches, monasteries, convents, schools, colleges and even a Catholic university. I said to my guide, ‘The Catholic church must be one of the must potent forces for good in the city.’ She responded rather melancholically by saying that the impact of the church had been greatly reduced in recent years because of allegations of priests involved in child abuse. These were not dealt with properly and consequently the church lost any credibility in the eyes of the community. A church with no credibility cannot function properly; its potential and attractiveness are simply lost.


The health of the body

Another reason for good discipline in the church is the health of the body. One of the most powerful images in the New Testament is that of the church as a body (1 Cor. 12). We are not just a collection of individuals thrown together for some kind of religious experience; rather, we are an organic unity. Through the blood of Christ and the unifying power of the Holy Spirit we find oneness. We are able to feed off one another, to benefit from the mutual encouragement that being together brings.

Of course, the opposite is also true. Although we can have a beneficial effect on one another, if one member of the body is spiritually sick, he or she can also cause great damage to the rest of the body. In 1 Corinthians 12:26 Paul says, ‘If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.’ This can be applied in a number of ways. Certainly, there should be such a quality of relationships within the church that, if one member is suffering in some way, the other members should have such empathy that they feel the pain of their fellow brother or sister. But, equally, we are so closely knit together that we actually have an impact on one another, whether for good or ill. For the sake of the wider church, therefore, discipline must at times be applied so that the ‘body life’ of the church remains healthy.

In a church near where I live, the elders had to ban a young woman from the services because her actions and influence were so pernicious that she was having a hugely detrimental impact on all with whom she came into contact. Though rare, sometimes such strong measures are required to keep the body healthy.

The unity of the Spirit

Another reason that necessitates the application of discipline is the unity of the Spirit. Paul is clear in Ephesians that we are joined by the Spirit, who makes us one: ‘Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph. 4:3–5). In any family, however, there can be issues that bring stress to relationships. In my experience, few things cause more disunity than when one member of the church is living a lifestyle that is obviously wrong. The divisiveness comes from various angles. To begin with, the individual concerned will be spiritually hampered by the sin and will therefore not be enjoying a close walk with Jesus Christ. This makes that person less able to engage meaningfully and lovingly with fellow Christians. Secondly, that person’s lifestyle will inevitably lead to gossip within the church which is, by its very nature, destructive. Thirdly, once the devil gets a foothold in the door of the church, he will exploit this gap to the maximum by doing as much damage to the individual and the church as possible. He will drive a wedge between the fallen church member and the rest of the body, thus causing feelings of isolation and rejection. Clearly, any sense of unity which the church members feel will be under threat if the situation continues.

The spiritual life of the individual

While thinking of the damage that can be caused to a church if discipline is not applied, we also need to think about the damage that is done to the individual. At the heart of any sinful situation is an individual who is struggling in his or her walk with Christ. Those of us who are parents can understand the situation well. When our children do wrong, we recognize the need to discipline them. We do not punish them to cause harm; rather, it is because we love them and we want the best for them. We want them to live fruitful and successful lives. Likewise, we need to apply discipline in the life of the church because the sin of any individual affects that individual first of all. The application of discipline is to enable him or her to come back to a close relationship with Christ and to continue in the Christian life. It is, therefore, a real act of love.

Check out  Discipline with Care: Applying Biblical Correction in Your Church by Stephen McQuoid, published by Day One Ministries as part of their Ministering the Master's Way series.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Cover Of The Book

Do you know what's in it? 


How often do you find yourself going through your day at the speed of life? You are so focused on you, you, and you. Your schedule, your plans, your concepts, that you get to the end of the day and ask, "What was that?" "Where did the time go?" Do you know how much you actually missed? You would be surprised.

Along your travel through the space and time of your day, you see and even meet people from all walks of life, in all kinds of situations. That weird guy in school / work. That strange person in the coffee shop / grocery store. That person standing on the corner. Most of the time, we fly right by them and never even give them a first, let alone, a second thought.

You may even have a few of these "odd people" in your Church. People that you look at, and judge, unworthy of your time. I know I have been guilty of this sort of thing in the past. Are you honest enough to tell the truth about you?

What are we doing when we do these types of things? Yup. We are "Judging a Book by the Cover." What about that drunk over there? What about the dude that sits at his desk and daydreams all day? What about that liar? I know this guy who was abused and seems broken. I know this other who was suicidal. What about that weird guy that was Preaching Naked? How about that guy who not only committed adultery, but actually committed murder as well?

So often we find ourselves making judgments on these people. We cast them aside as unworthy of our attention or time. Pastors do this as well. Oh, so and so fell asleep in church today, so I will never use them for anything. So and so worries too much about everything. They are just not strong enough to be an active and productive member of the church.

Be careful. Remember that list we just talked about? Well????? They are all in the Bible..

Noah was a drunk, Isaac was a daydreamer, Jacob was a liar, Joseph was abused, Moses had a stuttering problem, Gideon feared, Samson had long hair and was a womanizer, Rahab was a prostitute, Jeremiah and Timothy were too young, David had an affair and was a murderer, Elijah was suicidal, Isaiah preached naked, Jonah ran from God, Peter was a hot head, and denied Christ three times, Matthew was a Tax Collector, The Disciples fell asleep while praying, Martha worried about everything, Paul was too religious and committed murder, just to name a few.

If we were to see these people today, we would most likely deem them unworthy to serve in our church. We would most likely find them completely unworthy of even the message. We would not bother trying to share the Word with the Prostitute on the corner. That guy who stutters? Well, we could never have him give the Message on Sunday. It would take all week...Imagine if you see this naked guy preaching Gods Word. What would you think?

Point is, God did not cast them aside. He USED them for His Purpose and Plans. He saw their Spirit, and not there Flesh. He saw their Heart. Can you?

2 Corinthians 5:16
16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
This is a pledge that we, as Children of God, should all claim. From this day forward, "know we no man after the flesh." We may only see the outside. But God sees the Heart. We may only see the product of the Sinner, and yet, the Fruit that they will produce once converted, may be far greater than the Fruit that even we produce. Look at Paul. A guy equal to Hitler. Hunting down, abusing enslaving, and murdering God's Chosen people. Then Jesus came before him and changed his heart. He became Paul who wrote a lot of the New Testament that we read today.

Peter was also zealous, and was also one who would never dare to even share the Word with anyone who was not a Jew. To him, Gentiles were nothing more than pigs and dogs. Yet God corrected him on this view. Here is the event that change Peter, again, forever.

Acts 10:
22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.

23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.

24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends.

25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?

30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.

32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.

33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
Peter would have never dreamed of going unto someone who was not Jewish, to Preach the Gospel. It was not until God showed Peter, that it was not for him to decide who or what was unclean, but God alone. I guess we should go back a little to this occurrence. Peter even argued a bit with God over this. So here is Peter, on a Rooftop, Praying....

Acts 10:
10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
Then it declares that even though Peter had seen this, he "doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean," It was then that the men that Cornelius sent arrived. He then understood the vision was talking about people. The Gentiles in particular.

Paul wrote to the Churches in Roman, that it is not who people are, but rather, what they chose to do. How they chose to live. It is God who will be the Judge. Not Man.

Romans 2:
6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
It is really easy to judge. Really easy. It may even be in our human nature. Remember the parable Jesus had given about the two men in the Temple Praying?

Luke 18:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Who are we to judge others unworthy of God's Grace? Who are we to judge others for their Sin? "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." {Romans 8:34}

James put it this way..

James 2:
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
Think about that. "But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin." Why? Because the one you are judging, may very well be the one God has chosen to use to bring forth something extremely important to His Purpose and Plan. Who are you to judge God?

All that aside, ask yourself this. What have you done in your Past, or yes, even in the Present, that you know beyond doubt, you are worthy of Judgement. If you say nothing? You are lying to yourself. If God is not respecter of persons, than neither shall we be. Remember, "know we no man after the flesh." But rather allow God to be the one who Judges.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How To "Have Church"

Religion is not Salvation. A Building is not a Church.

You have heard it Preached here that Religion is not Salvation. You have heard it said, a Building is not a Church. That God desires for a personal, one on one relationship, with you. We just discussed that you already HAVE all the answers you will ever ask, right there in the Book, in your hands. So is there a need to actually go to Church? What is a Church? Is it important?

The word "Church" as written in the New Testament comes from the Greek term "ekklesia." "Ekklesia" is formed from two Greek words meaning "an assembly" and or "called out ones." The word Church is another way of saying, "Family of God." "Children of God." "Adopted ones." "Anointed ones." A Church is the People. Not the Brick and Mortar building with a steeple and stained glass windows. But simply, the people.

Ephesians 1:
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
"And gave him" Who is Him? Jesus. "To be the head over all things to the church," What is "The Church?" "Which is his body." Simply put, the Church is a group of believers, but more importantly, Saved Ones, or, Those God has called out. Those that He sent the Holy Spirit to for Adoption, and those that have accepted the Adoption and have become Children of God.

Now many interpret Jesus's Statement to Peter "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." {Matthew 16:18) as Jesus appointing Peter as the First Pope. We know this not to be true as Peter brought the message of the Resurrection to the Jews, and it was Paul, of whom Jesus commissioned to be the one to bring the message of the Resurrection to the Gentiles. So what was Jesus really talking about? Here is the exchange...

Matthew 16:
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
What did Peter, declare? "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said, "thou art Peter." However, read the next very carefully. Jesus said "and upon this rock." Was Jesus calling Peter the Rock? Or was Jesus calling Peter's deceleration that Jesus is the Christ, and the only way to Salvation? Notice Jesus did NOT say, Peter, you are THE Rock I will build my Church on. He said "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." So what is the Rock? The Only way to Salvation. Jesus, the Resurrection. The Adoption. The deceleration that Jesus IS Lord. Just like Peter, ANYONE who shall confess, Jesus is Lord, is part of the Church.

You see, without that corner stone. Without that foundation. All you have is Man-Made Traditions. You cannot be adopted into the Family of God, without first believing in the Rock. The Way, The Truth, and then you get The Life.

Jesus also told us "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." {Matthew 18:20}So if we take this as fact, then we must understand that two or more are more powerful and are more Holy, than just one.

In,,,,,

Hebrews 10:
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
In simple terms, we are to come together as a family. We are to encourage each other. Comfort each other. Strengthen each other. We are to morn together. Laugh together. Celebrate together. And yes, even to keep each other in check. There is a real reason for discipline in our Church. It is for our own good. To help keep each other from falling. The area's you may be strong in, I may be weak. The areas you are weak, I may be strong. We are to gather together to lift each other up.

In,,,,

Colossians 3:
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

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

4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
You are the Church. You are the Body. When you come together, you are to CELEBRATE The Resurrection and The Life. CELEBRATE God. It is not suppose to be a choir. It is not meant to be something you are forced to do. God couldn't care less about your following of Man-Made Traditions.

If you are attending a Church that seems to you to be run more as a corporation than and celebration, then I pretty much just have one word for ya. Run. Never go back there. If your Pastor is not teaching you the Word of God, run. If your Pastor is more interested in what you are putting in the offering, and if you are eating meat on Fridays, than he is about the condition of your sole? RUN.

We are to come together and learn the Truth according to God. Not Man. We are to "Provoke one another unto love", and "let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." If your "Church" is not doing this, you are in the wrong place.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

Sunday, December 1, 2013

You Have The Answers

You need not seek out man.

I've told you this story before. It's about my quest to find the Truth. For those who may not know the story, let me be brief. I was young. I knew God. I did not fully understand the whole Salvation thing though. Then two men entered my life. Both claiming to be "Born Again." Both claiming to be "Christians." Yet, both, telling be two ENTIRELY different things. I attended both their Churches and found two totally different worship styles.

I then started my quest. I attended Catholic Mass. I spoke with Priests and became really good friends with a Bishop. I spoke with and became really good friends with two Hasidic Rabbis. I studied Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. I even found that following "The Force" from the Star Wars Movies has become a Religion in of itself. Not kidding.

Then one day, I heard a Voice as clear as you would if I said to you "If you want to know God, ask HIM. Ask the Creator. Stop asking the Creation." You see, when you ask Man about the things of God, Man will answer about the things of Man. Paul warned us of this in,,,,

Romans 1:
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Most Religious today, have little to do with God. they are filled with man-made traditions. Jesus Himself told us this when He said this. "Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye doFull well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye." {Mark 7:6-13}

This means that when you go to Man, and ask "Does God say we really need to Honour our Father and Mother?" You may get an answer like this. "Well, it is in the Bible. However, we feel that if you set them up, give them funds so the have no need of anything, you can go on with your life and forget them." That is not what God says, but what Man says. You will find many things like this. So why waste so much time going to Man? "If you want to know God, ask HIM. Ask the Creator. Stop asking the Creation."

You have all the answers you will, or could, ever ask. They are right there in your hand. It's called The Word of the Living God. It's called The Bible. You also have direct access to the Author of the Book. God. As a Child of God, He is your Father and is eager to Teach you. He sent His Spirit to "teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." You need not seek the answers from Man. They may not be correct to begin with.

When Paul wrote to Timothy, he wrote this.

2 Timothy 3:
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's also was.

10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
There is nothing more than The Word. Nothing else can justify. Nothing else can glorify. Nothing else is pure and Holy. In Matthew 24:35, Luke 21:33, Mark 13:31, it is recorded that Jesus said this "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." It is only by God's own Words that you can fully grow in Truth and Righteousness. There is no other way. In one of His recorded Prayers, Jesus said this. "For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me." {John 17:8}

Peter even wrote this."But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. {1 Peter 1:25} As declared in Hebrews 13:8-9 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein."

Man has a tendency to "evolve" in his thinking and understanding of God and His Will and His Way. Some attempt to change the Word of God to fit their views and justify their actions. They say, "Well, this was only for a time. Times change. Jesus would accept this or that, if He we walking the earth today." Or "The Word is an outline and not to be taken literately. We feel that it's now OK to accept this or that." Or "The Word is nothing more than a book written a long time ago by old men that wanted to control everyone's lives and keep them in line with the way they thought you should live. It does not apply anymore." These are all lies straight from the evil one to justify Sin. Truth is, what WAS Sin, IS Sin, and some will kill you quicker at that.

Ever ask a question you already know the answer to? You do so for one of two reasons. One, to justify your understanding, or, in the hope of getting a different answer, even thought you already know the answer. You have a test coming up and you must pass it to Graduate, get the Job, or whatever. "Do I really need to take this test?" You have to have an operation or you are going to die. "Do I need this operation?" Jesus going to the Cross. "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."

Point is, even if the answer is something you may not like nor chose to accept, doesn't mean that the answer is wrong. Every answer, to every question, that will ever be asked, can be found in God's Word, in the Spirit, or given to you by God Himself. All you need to do is ask Him. Seek it out in Faith. Read the instruction manual for Life itself. The Word of God. The Bible. You already have the answers.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

Psalm 61

Psalm 61 1 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:...