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April 23, 2011

The Passion Story Through Twitter

Igniter Media has created another great video like they did for the birth of Jesus back in December that was titled, A Social Network Christmas

This video is similar, only that it tells the story of Jesus and how people followed Him, heard him teach, observed the miracles he performed, right up to the Last Supper, betrayal by Judas, His arrest, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection.

This is another incredible product that Igniter Media has created, for the glory of  God.

This is what Jesus says, "Follow Me."  Are you?

April 19, 2011

We Were Like Judas Once - Matthew 27:1-10

Just prior to Jesus’ last meal with His disciples, Judas had agreed to lead the chief priests to Jesus so they could arrest Him, for an amount of 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16).
The chief priests had corroborated a plan to finally catch Jesus, arrest Him and have him somehow done away with, so that He would no longer be a problem to them, or to the people in the city. 
Their mission in short time was a success and they did place Jesus under arrest. 
Judas however, returned to the priests realizing that he had made a huge mistake.  Jesus was innocent and his attempt to rid himself of the guilt and shame of his betrayal, he tried to return the money that had been given to him, by the chief priests. 
The chief priests would not accept money that they gave, for Jesus’ arrest because they said that it was unlawful to return it to the treasury because it had the price of blood on it.  This certainly was hypocritical of them to break the laws of justice and mercy and yet, firmly obey the ceremonial direction of the Law of Moses!
But we were like Judas at one time in our lives.
There are countless testimonies of people that once lived lives that were poisoned by prostitution, adultery, or drugs.  A price we once paid for the satisfaction of the flesh, instead of yielding to the cry of God to run to His arms and be rescued from the filth and darkness of sin.
We were like Judas in other ways too, where we have simply denied Him, as Peter did (Matthew 26:69-75).  How many people today, follow Jesus at a distance in their heart, yet they are known by friends and family as a church-going Christian?
No matter what it was, or what it may be now, we have all sold Jesus away at price that was far too great, whatever it was.
The guilt of Judas’ betrayal against his Lord is evident in his remorsefulness for what he had done.  Are you remorseful, as Judas was, concerning your sin against God?
Judas threw the money back at the chief priests, out of guilt and shame.  We may not be able to throw back what was used, to lure us away from Christ, but instead, have you cast yourself at the foot of the cross of Christ, humbly before the One who has atoned for your sin?
Judas is often remembered as a key figure in the story of the last days of Jesus’ life.  It is interesting to see that we were once, not too different from Judas, in the way we have treated Jesus. 
The weight of the guilt and shame of our sin is no longer upon us, but upon God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ.  And because of Him, it is my hope and prayer that you are striving to become more like Christ each day.
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During this season before Easter, First Assembly of God will be publishing devotional messages, in conjunction with the book 40 Days with Jesus, compiled by Randy Hurst.  Members of our team are contributing short devotionals based in the campaign daily readings. 

What IS 40 days with Jesus? Simply, a church-wide campaign to prepare our hearts and reach out to our friends at Easter 2011. From March 14th through Easter Sunday everyone at First Assembly is being challenged to read together through a series of daily Bible readings about the life of Jesus and the prophecies about Him from the Old Testament.  Then a couple of weeks before Easter we're asking everyone to give away a second book, "The Risen Savior", to a friend or family member with a personal invitation for them to come to church on Easter Sunday morning.

April 17, 2011

Behold, your King is coming to you!

“ Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.
       (Zechariah 9:9, NKJV)

That here begins a prophecy of the Messiah and his kingdom is plain from the literal accomplishment of the ninth verse in, and its express application to, Christ's riding in triumph into Jerusalem, Matthew 21:5; John 12:15.

I. Here is notice given of the approach of the Messiah promised, as matter of great joy to the Old Testament church: Behold, thy king cometh unto thee. Christ is a king, invested with regal powers and prerogatives, a sovereign prince, an absolute monarch, having all power both in heaven and on earth. He is Zion's king. God has set him upon his holy hill of Zion, Psalm 2:6. In Zion his glory as a king shines; thence his law went forth, even the word of the Lord. In the gospel-church his spiritual kingdom is administered; it is by him that the ordinances of the church are instituted, and its officers commissioned; and it is taken under his protection; he fights the church's battles and secures its interests, as its king. “This King has been long in coming, but now, behold, he cometh; he is at the door. There are but a few ages more to run out, and he that shall come will come. He cometh unto thee; the Word will shortly be made flesh, and dwell within thy borders; he will come to his own. And therefore rejoice, rejoice greatly, and shout for joy; look upon it as good news, and be assured it is true; please thyself to think that he is coming, that he is on his way towards thee; and be ready to go forth to meet him with acclamations of joy, as one not able to conceal it, it is so great, nor ashamed to own it, it is so just; cry Hosanna to him.” Christ's approaches ought to be the church's applauses.

II. Here is such a description of him as renders him very amiable in the eyes of all his loving subjects, and his coming to them very acceptable. 1. He is a righteous ruler; all his acts of government will be exactly according to the rules of equity, for he is just. 2. He is a powerful protector to all those that bear faith and true allegiance to him, for he has salvation; he has it in his power; he has it to bestow upon all his subjects. He is the God of salvation; treasures of salvation are in him. He is servatus - saving himself (so some read it), rising out of the grave by his own power and so qualifying himself to be our Saviour. (3.) He is a meek, humble, tender Father to all his subjects as his children; he is lowly; he is poor and afflicted (so the word signifies), so it denotes the meanness of his condition; having emptied himself, he was despised and rejected of men. But the evangelist translates it so as to express the temper of his spirit: he is meek, not taking state upon him, nor resenting injuries, but humbling himself from first to last, condescending to the mean, compassionate to the miserable; this was a bright and excellent character of him as a prophet (Matthew 11:29, Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart), and no less so as a king. It was a proof of this that, when he made his public entry into his own city (and it was the only passage of his life that had any thing in it magnificent in the eye of the world), he chose to ride, not upon a stately horse, or in a chariot, as great men used to ride, but upon an ass, a beast of service indeed, but a poor silly and contemptible one, low and slow, and in those days ridden only by the meaner sort of people; nor was it an ass fitted for use, but an ass's colt, a little foolish unmanageable thing, that would be more likely to disgrace his rider than be any credit to him; and that not his own neither, nor helped off, as sometimes a sorry horse is, by good furniture, for he had no saddle, no housings, no trappings, no equipage, but his disciples' clothes thrown upon the colt;' for he made himself of no reputation when he visited us in great humility

From Matthew Henry's Commentary, Zechariah 9:9.

Reference
Meyers, R. (2006). e-Sword. The sword of the Lord with an electronic edge (Verson 7.8) [Computer software].
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

April 15, 2011

Fruitfulness to the Glory of God

 1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:1-5, New King James Version)

The scene takes place right after the Last Supper.  Judas has gone off to do his wicked deed, and Jesus has just washed the feet of the disciples, teaching them a lesson about servant leadership.  Jesus and His disciples left the Upper Room and walked toward the Garden of Gethsemane.  Passing the temple, they could not help but notice that one of the chief ornaments on the gate was a golden vine with a cluster of grapes as large as a man, which, to the Apostles, represented the nation of Israel.  Jesus is about to change the direction of their focus.  He told them that they were the branches, that Jesus was the true vine, and the Father was the vinedresser.

I read of a man visiting a greenhouse where luscious clusters of grapes were hanging on every side.  When he asked the owner how they came to be so healthy and full, he replied; “When my new gardener came, he said he would have nothing to do with these vines at all unless he could prune them right down to the stalks.  He did just that, and we had no grapes for two years.  The fullness you see here before you is the result of that pruning.”

As believers, we are nourished by being attached to the true vine, Jesus.  To keep us healthy and fruitful, the Father, the vinedresser must prune us, which is not pleasant but is very often painful.  Many of the richest blessings that have come down to us are the result of past pruning, skillfully and lovingly applied by the tender hand of the Vinedresser.  All believers who are truly branches that are receiving their nourishment from the true vine will be pruned.  It must be so.  It cannot be otherwise.  The intention of the vinedresser, as the parable goes on to describe later, is to produce, “fruit”, “more fruit”, and “much fruit”. 

At the time of sharp pruning, when the knife of the Lord is cutting deep, and the pain is sore, and you are burdened with the load, it is a comfort to read and understand; “My Father is the vinedresser”.  Take heart precious believer.  If you are being pruned, you are being prepared.  If you are being prepared, you will produce fruit to the Glory of God.  Oh the depth and breadth of the Grace of God to His own!


Pastor Al and his wife Louise are long time residents of Southbury, CT.  They are blessed with their adult sons Aaron and Joshua and daughter in-law Natasha.  Al trusted in Christ for salvation in 1981.  He worked at Southbury Training School as the Power Plant Chief Engineer for 34 years.  He served as a Deacon in his former AG church for 22 years.  During this time he took courses at the Berean School of the Bible.  He became a Certified Minister in 1987, and became a Licensed Minister with the Assemblies of God in January 2005.  Pastor Al became First Assembly's Minister of Pastoral Care in February 2009.  His passion is preaching, teaching, reading, evangelism, and serving God's people.

Louise has been a RN at Danbury Hospital for the past 10 years and takes every opportunity to minister to the sick and their families.

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During this season before Easter, First Assembly of God will be publishing devotional messages, in conjunction with the book 40 Days with Jesus, compiled by Randy Hurst.  Members of our team are contributing short devotionals based in the campaign daily readings.
What IS 40 days with Jesus? Simply, a church-wide campaign to prepare our hearts and reach out to our friends at Easter 2011. From March 14th through Easter Sunday everyone at First Assembly is being challenged to read together through a series of daily Bible readings about the life of Jesus and the prophecies about Him from the Old Testament.  Then a couple of weeks before Easter we're asking everyone to give away a second book, "The Risen Savior", to a friend or family member with a personal invitation for them to come to church on Easter Sunday morning.

April 14, 2011

Eternity is what we're talking about.

Do you remember Nick Charles?  He was a sports journalist with CNN for 20 years.

I read an article about him tonight on the Christianpost.com website and it said that Nick is dying from a terminal form of bladder cancer.

The following is a short excerpt of the article, but it's good to read that Nick has come to faith in Christ and he is not afraid of leaving this life, to enter the next.

He is 60 years old and has a 5 year old daughter and his words here are beautiful.

Every day he tells his daughter and his wife that he is going to prepare a place for them. Excited to watch his daughter grow up, whether on Earth or in heaven, Charles has full confidence in God and in his faith.

“If I’m wrong I have lived a better life since 1992. I’m a better person,” Charles told CNN. 

“When they cremate you or throw dirt on you and there’s nothing after that, what have I lost?”

Faith is fastening on to what is unseen, Charles disclosed to CNN.

Reciting 2 Corinthians 4:16 (“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day”) the inspiring sportscaster declared that though ultimately cancer will take his life – “barring a miracle from the Lord” – his faith has taught him to fear nothing.

“Eternity is what we’re talking about.”

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Psalm 23:4 seems so appropriate for this battle his is going through.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

To read the full article, click here.

To watch a video of him on CNN, click here.

April 13, 2011

Christ Our Glorious King - Matthew 25:31-46


With great certainty Jesus spoke of a coming Day of Glory, for Himself and all true believers. He did not say, “IF,” but “WHEN the Son of Man shall come…” This is Messianic language, the day when He returns to earth to be manifested in all His glory. John saw this in rapturous vision – Revelation 19. And nothing more inspires an ardent pursuit of God, His Son, and His will, than the Book in which we perceive our Lord’s own fore-showing to His people as to how and wherein all their faith and expectations in Him will reach their ultimate goal.

In incredible strokes of prophetic description, God pronounces His own “AMEN” to close the sordid account of tragic human history, and opens to the eyes of faith vistas of eternal glories to be enjoyed only by those who are His by faith in His Son. In Revelation 19 the rapture of believers has already taken place (v.1). The Judgment Seat of Christ has been convened; saints exult in God’s judgment of the great whore (ch.18); and Christ’s pure Bride who has “made herself ready” is called to “the marriage supper of the Lamb” (v.7-9). A victorious celebration!

Then Christ in regal splendour as “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (v.16) straddles His white horse and comes to the earth in unassailable power “to judge and make war” (v.11-12). Armies of angels and tens of thousands of saints are in His procession (v.14). Jude 1:14. While saints had celebrated the Supper of the Lamb, there will be another supper as scavenging birds are summoned to a judgment “supper of the great God” (v.17-18). Fearful beyond description!

Christ Jesus will overthrow Antichrist. One angel will bind Satan and cast him into the abyss (20:1-3), no longer reigning as the god of this world, for Christ sets up His kingdom of peace and righteousness. Daniel 7:13-14. HE sits upon “the throne of His glory” in indescribable splendour, radiant with a Divine glory uniquely His. Every knee must bow to Him. Philippians 2:10-11.

How important to understand this, for it is the setting of Matthew 25 where Jesus affirms His Kingship over all the earth. All Gentile nations will be literally ‘herded’ before Him to whom all judgment has been committed. John 5:22. A standard part of Jewish expectation for the future is God judging the nations (Isaiah 2:4), distinguishing among the sheep (Ezekiel 34:17). The role of Messiah as Judge is a designation without parallel in the perceptions of Judaism.

Of course, this judgment of the nations must be distinguished from the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the Millennium. Rev.20:11-15. Yes, fearful judgments await the godless, Christ’s verdicts addressing individuals in the nations, not nations as a whole (Matt.25:46). But what blessedness is in prospect for those pronounced righteous in Christ; “inheriting the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world … going into eternal life” (vs.34,46.)

Who are these people in this passage? Jesus evidently refers to three groups: the sheep, the goats, and “my brethren”, the latter possibly being believing Jews from the time of Great Tribulation. The sheep were those who manifested compassion for those Jews and ministered to them in their adversity, while the goats were those who despised them and denied those help. While the goats go away into everlasting punishment, the sheep are ushered into the kingdom according to God’s grace. We cannot read salvation by works into this passage, which would be a denial of the New Testament Gospel. The deeds of the righteous are a manifestation of God’s grace in their lives.

While Israel will at last enjoy with uninhibited blessing the fullness of what God has covenanted, the glorified Church will reign with Christ on the earth, as He sits on HIS throne reigning forever! Luke 1:30-33. Revelation 5:9-10. HOW GLORIOUS IS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

AND HOW WONDROUS IS HIS SALVATION, for significantly in Matthew 26 Jesus immediately draws attention to HIS CROSS (v.1-2) where He would atone for the sins of the world (vs.26-29). The way into His Kingdom for all is through His Cross!


















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During this season before Easter, First Assembly of God will be publishing devotional messages, in conjunction with the book 40 Days with Jesus, compiled by Randy Hurst.  Members of our team are contributing short devotionals based in the campaign daily readings. 

What IS 40 days with Jesus? Simply, a church-wide campaign to prepare our hearts and reach out to our friends at Easter 2011. From March 14th through Easter Sunday everyone at First Assembly is being challenged to read together through a series of daily Bible readings about the life of Jesus and the prophecies about Him from the Old Testament.  Then a couple of weeks before Easter we're asking everyone to give away a second book, "The Risen Savior", to a friend or family member with a personal invitation for them to come to church on Easter Sunday morning.

April 10, 2011

Love & Respect Marriage Conference at First Assembly of God

I am pleased to announce that the First Assembly of God church, in Brookfield, CT will be hosting a Love and Respect Video Conference with Dr. Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs!  




Whether married, divorced, separated, dating or single you don't want to miss this important event!

The conference will be held on Friday, May 20th, from 6:45 p.m. - 10:15 p.m., and Saturday, May 21st, from 8:45 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.

The powerful truth about Love and Respect is that the conflicts couples experience are not the root problem. Successful couples know that harmony and happiness in marriage are not primarily achieved by solving daily problems.

Love and Respect is divided into three main sections:
  • The Crazy Cycle, which explains the simple reason why two good-willed people negatively react to each other;
  • The Energizing Cycle, which explains how two people can positively motivate one another by doing one simple thing; and,
  • The Rewarded Cycle, which unveils the rewards of a godly marriage and explains what a person can do if personal expectations are unmet by a spouse.
There will be five video sessions at the conference:
  • Session 1 - The Crazy Cycle
  • Session 2 - The Energizing Cycle - Part 1: How to Spell LOVE to a Woman
  • Session 3 - The Energizing Cycle - Part 2: How to Spell RESPECT to a Man
  • Session 4 - Practical Applications - Sarah Eggerichs
  • Session 5 - The Rewarded Cycle

Check out the promotional video about the Love and Respect conference by clicking 'PLAY VIDEO' underneath 'OUR NEW VIDEO CONFERENCE' on the main website - http://loveandrespect.com/

The cost to attend the conference:
  • $15.00 per person "Early Bird" discount through May 16 
  • $20.00 per person after May 16
To register for the event, click here.

Remember, you will benefit from attending this event and applying what will be taught whether you are married, divorced, separated, dating or single.  So please consider registering and joining us, learning how apply the principles of Love & Respect.

About Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is an internationally known expert on male-female relationships. Also a dynamic speaker, he was recently invited to speak to the NFL owners and coaches, the PGA players and spouses at The Player’s Championship, and the New York Giants at their new stadium in NJ. But most honoring to him was being invited by the military brass to speak to the troops in Iraq this year.

Dr. Eggerichs is also the author of several books, including the national bestseller Love and Respect, which has sold over a million copies. Based on over three decades of scientific and biblical research, Dr. Eggerichs developed the Love and Respect Conference which he and his wife Sarah present to live audiences around the country. This dynamic and life-changing conference is resulting in the healing and restoration of countless relationships.

Emerson has graduate degrees from Wheaton College and Dubuque Seminary and a PhD in Child and Family Ecology from Michigan State University. Prior to launching the Love and Respect Conferences, he was the senior pastor of Trinity Church in Lansing, MI for nearly 20 years. Married in 1973, Emerson and Sarah live in Grand Rapids, MI and have three adult children. He is the Founder and President of Love and Respect Ministries.

Sunday Psalm: Baruch Adonai Elohai Yisrael

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting!  Amen and Amen. Psalm 41:13
ברוך יהוה אלהי ישׂראל מהעולם ועד העולם אמן ואמן׃

“Blessed be the Lord,” i.e., let him be glorified. The blessing at the beginning from the mouth of God is returned from the mouth of his servant. We cannot add to the Lord's blessedness, but we can pour out our grateful wishes, and these he accepts, as we receive little presents of flowers from children who love us. Jehovah is the personal name of our God.

“God of Israel” is his covenant title, and shows his special relation to his elect people.

“From everlasting and to everlasting.” The strongest way of expressing endless duration. We die, but the glory of God goes on and on without pause. “Amen and amen.” So let it surely, firmly, and eternally be. Thus the people joined in the Psalm by a double shout of holy affirmation; let us unite in it with all our hearts. This last verse may serve for the prayer of the universal church in all ages, but none can sing it so sweetly as those who have experienced as David did the faithfulness of God in times of extremity.

Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David










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Blessed be the Lord God of Israel - That is, Let the Lord God of Israel be praised, honored, adored. The language is an expression of desire that all honor, all happiness, might be His. It is a recognition of God as the source of the mercies referred to, and an expression of the feeling that he is entitled to universal praise. The word Israel here refers to the people of God as descended from Jacob or Israel.

מהעולם ועד העולם - meh-ha'olam veh-ahd ha'olam, From everlasting, and to everlasting

From everlasting, and to everlasting - Through eternity, or eternal ages, - from all past duration to all future duration. The expression “from everlasting to everlasting,” would embrace eternity; and the idea is that God is deserving of eternal praise.

Amen, and amen - The word “amen” means properly surely, certainly, truly, and is a word expressive of solemn affirmation, or of the desire of the mind that this should be so. Its repetition is emphatic, expressing strong assent to what is said as certainly true, or as eminently the wish of the mind. This benediction marks the close of one of the five books into which the Psalms are commonly divided.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Reference 
Meyers, R. (2006). e-Sword. The sword of the Lord with an electronic edge (Verson 7.8) [Computer software].
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

April 5, 2011

Ransomed From the Power of the Grave


The greatest ransom ever reported in modern times was $60 million dollars for the release of the brothers Jorge and Juan Born, paid to the left-wing urban guerrilla group Montoneros, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on June 20, 1975.

The greatest ransom ever was paid in full by the precious shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  He has ransomed us, not from Satan, but from the death penalty for sin, decreed by the righteous decree of the Father.  It is to Him alone that the ransom was owed, and to Him that it was paid. 

In Hosea’s prophecy, Israel is represented as dead and buried, which is an exact picture of the unredeemed of all time.  They have already been sentenced as eternally lost, described by the Lord as “condemned already” (John 3:18).  They have missed the purpose for which they were made, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. 

The prophet decreed that the Lord would ransom Israel from their captivity.  He will ransom each one of us from our captivity to the law of sin and death, if we will first recognize our own personal and colossal guilt at the willful violation of God’s Moral Law, the Ten Commandments.  In the midst of admitting our guilt, if we will confess and repent of our sin and place our complete faith and trust in the fact that the ransom has already been paid on the cross, God will ransom us from the power of the grave, just as He delivered Israel from their captivity.

We are all guilty and undone!  Who is able to save us from the wrath to come?  “It is finished”, sounded the final cry from the cross.  God has already done it!  The prophet joyfully exclaims, "O death, I will be thy plagues".  In other words, “I, Jesus, will destroy the very issue of death itself!”  The Savior has willfully surrendered to the power of death.  He has suffered the penalty for our sin in His own death, and on the third day has risen, ransoming us from the power of the grave.

The ransom has been paid, the enemy has been vanquished, and the borrowed tomb is forever empty.  Jesus has triumphed!  Go proclaim the news!



Pastor Al and his wife Louise are long time residents of Southbury, CT.  They are blessed with their adult sons Aaron and Joshua and daughter in-law Natasha.  Al trusted in Christ for salvation in 1981.  He worked at Southbury Training School as the Power Plant Chief Engineer for 34 years.  He served as a Deacon in his former AG church for 22 years.  During this time he took courses at the Berean School of the Bible.  He became a Certified Minister in 1987, and became a Licensed Minister with the Assemblies of God in January 2005.  Pastor Al became First Assembly's Minister of Pastoral Care in February 2009.  His passion is preaching, teaching, reading, evangelism, and serving God's people.

Louise has been a RN at Danbury Hospital for the past 10 years and takes every opportunity to minister to the sick and their families.

****************************

During this season before Easter, First Assembly of God will be publishing devotional messages, in conjunction with the book 40 Days with Jesus, compiled by Randy Hurst.  Members of our team are contributing short devotionals based in the campaign daily readings.
 
What IS 40 days with Jesus? Simply, a church-wide campaign to prepare our hearts and reach out to our friends at Easter 2011. From March 14th through Easter Sunday everyone at First Assembly is being challenged to read together through a series of daily Bible readings about the life of Jesus and the prophecies about Him from the Old Testament.  Then a couple of weeks before Easter we're asking everyone to give away a second book, "The Risen Savior", to a friend or family member with a personal invitation for them to come to church on Easter Sunday morning.

April 2, 2011

What should we do when the Doctrine of Scripture is taught incorrectly?

What are we supposed to do, when we hear things such as this, from the video below, which are clearly in error from the pulpit?

If what is taught in this video is true, then the biggest problem the church has doctrinally speaking, is that God is not Omniscient (all-knowing).

Should someone then be identified as a false teacher, as noted in 2 Peter 2?

This came from the blog, Slaughtering the Sheep

Is this doctrinally correct regarding what Jesse has taught? 

Read the text from the post and watch the video. I'm interested to read the comments that follow.


I hope that people may be wise to see and discerning to hear that this is blatantly false teaching and that it encourages greater discernment regarding those that teach similarly to this, especially if they endorse Jesse Duplantis' ministry to their congregation.

Pastors are shepherds and are to protect their congregation from falling victim to this type of false teaching, for they are wolves disguised as sheep (Matthew 7:25) and will suffer the consequences of their deceitful doctrine.

I am hopeful that those who may comment regarding the content of the video, will keep their comments directly related to what Jesse has said in the video and not boast about what Jesse has done, or how big his ministry is.

What should be done?  Should one continue to listen to him?  Should he be endorsed by pastors as one who is doctrinally sound regarding teaching the Bible?

Yes, this is one isolated video of Jesse Duplantis teaching something that is completely and doctrinally false.  There are other examples that could be included too that would further display his erroneous teaching of Scripture.

I look forward to reading your comments regarding the matter.

April 1, 2011

Phew! I'm Glad That's a Story for Someone Else!

Read Luke 14:15-24

We Christians have heard many sermons about the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, and usually they are caricatured as evil men with frozen sneers and crooked noses, peering around corners, always trying to trap Jesus. This is all built on a kernel of truth, of course, because they certainly did oppose Jesus, and He certainly did denounce them many times for their religious hypocrisy.

The problem is that it’s too easy to make a caricature of someone like that, so that we can easily dismiss them as being far different than ourselves.

In Luke chapter 14, Jesus was sitting eating in the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees (verse 1).  Hmmph! Now why did Jesus do that? Didn’t He know what we all would think of the Pharisees? What was He doing having dinner with such scoundrels?

Well, at least we can console ourselves with the knowledge that Jesus used the occasion to challenge them. Yes, that’s what this is all about. That’s obviously why He went there; just to give them another serve.

First of all, He challenged them about their ideas of Sabbath-keeping (the usual bone of contention). He confounded them into silence (verses 1-6).

Then He noticed how they were “working the room”, positioning themselves in the best seats for being noticed and getting ahead. So He told a story about wedding feasts that made them rethink how their behavior was sure to backfire on them sooner or later (verses 7-14).

This prompted someone to make an enthusiastic comment about the great final feast in Heaven! [Tip: when things are getting a little hot under the collar because some preacher is making too much sense about a sinful pattern in our lives, you can always change the subject to “the hereafter” and how wonderful it will be when we’re all perfect.]

So, in response, Jesus told one more story for the evening (verses 15-24). A story about a wealthy man giving a great feast, and he invited lots of people that you’d expect him to invite. When the time came for the feast, however, his guests starting giving excuses for why they couldn’t come.  One had bought a field and he had to go look at it (like it was going to do something interesting); another had bought 5 new teams of oxen and had to go test them (like that couldn’t wait); and yet another had recently got married (like he couldn’t drag himself away for one evening). Pathetic excuses, huh?  Too preoccupied with a possession, an ambition, and a relation.

Well, when the host heard it he was furious. So he said go invite the poor, the crippled, the blind off the street instead. They’ll be my guests. In fact, open it up to all and sundry from everywhere – fill the house!

Great story. And of course, we know what it’s all about, right? Those Pharisees.  Hehe … Jesus got ‘em good, didn’t He?  They thought they’d always be the A-list crowd; they’d always be on top of the guest list.  But God has turned away from them because of their attitude, and He’s given the rest of us poor schmucks a chance. Religious bigots left outside, the doors opened to the rest of us.

ONLY ONE PROBLEM.  A little bell is ringing in the back of my head somewhere, and an uneasy feeling sits in the pit of my stomach.  Why?  Should I dwell on it, or shake it off, close my Bible and get on with my day?

I take a moment and think about it, and there it is. You see, I have my own versions of a piece of land, some new oxen and a new marriage that have me pretty occupied too.  Possessions … ambitions … relations … and all of a sudden the invitation to the great feast with God is not my top priority.  And all of a sudden I am not “loving the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength”.

So maybe – just maybe – it’s not only a story for pharisees?

Pastor Phil Morgan

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During this season before Easter, First Assembly of God will be publishing devotional messages, in conjunction with the book 40 Days with Jesus, compiled by Randy Hurst.  Members of our team are contributing short devotionals based in the campaign daily readings. 
 
What IS 40 days with Jesus? Simply, a church-wide campaign to prepare our hearts and reach out to our friends at Easter 2011. From March 14th through Easter Sunday everyone at First Assembly is being challenged to read together through a series of daily Bible readings about the life of Jesus and the prophecies about Him from the Old Testament.  Then a couple of weeks before Easter we're asking everyone to give away a second book, "The Risen Savior", to a friend or family member with a personal invitation for them to come to church on Easter Sunday morning.