Sunday, March 31, 2013

Witnesses to Jesus Christ

~ Consider Five Witnesses ~ 

The Father’s Divine Testimony  ~  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17). 

The Scripture’s Inspired Testimony  ~  [Jesus said] “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me”  (John 5:39).

The Believer’s Experiential Testimony  ~  “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:8-12).

The World’s Human Testimony  ~  “Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, ‘Why have you not brought Him?’ The officers answered, ‘No man ever spoke like this Man!’” (John 7:45-46).

The Demon’s Infernal Testimony  ~  “Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, ‘What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!’ For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.  Jesus asked him, saying, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Legion,’ because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss. Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.  When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned. Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.’ And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:26-39).

Can you witness to whom Jesus Christ is? Do you witness about Jesus Christ to others?

the key question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). This is the most important question you will ever answer. If you do not answer it, or answer it incorrectly, you have made the biggest mistake anyone can make!

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Messiah, 90

~ Judgment Would Fall On Messiah’s Betrayer ~

“Search the Scriptures—they testify of Me.”
— Jesus Christ (John 5:39)

The Scripture
“Let their table become a snare before them, and their well-being a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see; and make their loins shake continually. Pour out Your indignation upon them, and let Your wrathful anger take hold of them. Let their dwelling place be desolate; let no one live in their tents. For they persecute the ones You have struck, and talk of the grief of those You have wounded. Add iniquity to their iniquity, and let them not come into Your righteousness. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous” (Psalm 69:22-28). 

The Messiah  
“And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, ‘Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.’ (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.) ‘For it is written in the Book of Psalms:Let his dwelling place be desolate, and let no one live in it;” and, “Let another take his office”’” (Acts 1:15-20).

(1)  Each Saturday ALN posts an example of a Hebrew Scriptures prophecy (or foreshadowing) related to the coming Messiah which was fulfilled in the birth, life, death, or resurrection of Jesus Christ.
(2)  While extensive it will not be a complete list—there are hundreds of prophecies of the coming Messiah which have been fulfilled by one man—Jesus Christ at His First Coming.
(3)  It is important that there are many more prophecies of the Messiah, yet unfulfilled, which Christians believe will be fulfilled at the time of His Second Coming.  A particularly relevant Scripture verse in this regard is: “Do not despise prophesies” (1 Thessalonians 5:20).
(4)  These posts will typically consist only of Scripture—which speaks for itself.  Sometimes italicized or bold font will be used by ALN for emphasis.
(5)  The numbering of these fulfilled prophecies of the Messiah is used to differentiate individual posts. It is not chronological (either by time of the prophecy or by sequence in the life of the Messiah).  The posting sequence will, for the most part, be in the order that the prophecies appear in Scripture.
(6)  Because of the chosen methodology (#5 above) we will find many specific prophecies repeated multiple times throughout the Scriptures.
(7)  These serial posts are in addition to our regular Tuesday ALN postings on random topics.
(8)  Subscription to ABUNDANT LIFE NOW blog is simple—just use the link on the left sidebar.  Once subscribed you will not miss future posts.

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Too Many Hypocrites!

~ Hypocritical Christians ~ 

note:  This is one in a series of Biblical answers to objections some individuals raise when presented with the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. 

“I will not bother to personally conduct a serious investigation of Jesus Christ because there are so many hypocrites in the church.” 

This is like saying, “I will not get my car fixed since there are some bad auto mechanics out there.” Such a response doesn’t stand up to the test of logic. But logic is not the main issue. What does God say?

You Are Responsible For Yourself  ~  “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). 

Hypocrites Will Get Their Due  ~  “So are the paths of all who forget God; and the hope of the hypocrite shall perish” (Job 8:13).

It Is Not Your Role to Judge Hypocrites  ~  Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).

You Are to Become More Christ-Like  ~  And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins’” (Peter 4:8).

summary:The basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of His divine being.
So nobody has a good excuse.
What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life” (Romans 1:19-22, The Message).

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

God Light – 3rd Award

~ First Place in “Religion (Eastern/Western)” ~  
Christian author Robert Lloyd Russell recently received notification of a third award for his latest book – GOD LIGHT: Sunlight Sonlight.   It is the third book in the “Christian Concepts Series.”  Reader Views book awards chose it as the best 2012 book in Religion. 

Initial judging was done by reviewers from Reader Views.  They are experts in their fields as well as avid readers.  Criteria for judging was content/originality, presentation/design, innovation, social relevance, production quality, enjoyment/impact, plot/story line, and resourcefulness (depending on category.)   Three finalists in each category were determined by a point system.  Final judging was determined by a jury of judges.

GOD LIGHT: Sunlight Sonlight is unique in that it identifies Biblical truth regarding the source of all energy on earth—light from our sun.  Thirty years in development, GOD LIGHT (paperback, 978-0-7414-7553-4; e-book, 0-7414-7554-1) provides a new look at the Son of God.

Scientists have known for decades that sunlight is essential to all life on earth.  In Part One GOD LIGHT shows clear parallels between the attributes of God and the attributes of light.  Part Two provides an overview of the “Light of the World” in Scripture.  Part Three compares the interaction of physical objects with natural light and human beings with spiritual light.  All three parts are full of practical ramifications and applications.

GOD LIGHT is part of the “Christian Concepts Series” (Timeless Truths * Contemporary Perspectives). It is available now from Infinity Publishing, Amazon, and other sources.  Retailers may order GOD LIGHT through Ingram Book Company and/or Spring Arbor Book Distributors.  The most recent prior release in this series, ONE PRECIOUS PEARL, won five national and international literary awards.

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW