Above the Clouds

Clouds? Ever wonder where they come from, or, who made them? Then think about GOD, the Creator of Heaven and earth!  Questions?  Yes, me too.  Where do they go?  How do they hold water and then release it?    How beautiful their billowy colors, the white and gray and blue.  How awesome when they reflect the glorious sunlight, or make patterns and shapes that seem to tell a story.  If you would look up and see their glory and just imagine a little, why something good, something delightful will come to mind.

Clouds weren’t always in the sky you know.  As a matter of fact, clouds first appeared in the time of Noah’s Flood when the LORD GOD gathered together darkness over the  whole earth, and it rained forty days and forty nights until all the mountain tops were cover with water. From that point forward, some 1500 years after Creation, clouds have always been with us.

At our Lord Jesus’ ascension following the resurrection, at the Mount of Olives with His disciples looking on, He was lifted up into the clouds and above the clouds and received up in to Heaven to be with His Father.

I believe the Lord Jesus is speeding up time as we near the next greatest event to come in all the history of the world: the Rapture of the Church, true believers in Jesus Christ, our  Lord and Savior, the Son of the Living, Eternal GOD…Jesus will come out of Heaven above the clouds on Earth…and the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be translated-changed into immortal, glorious bodies in the blink of an eye…and we shall rise with the resurrected dead in Christs, and together we shall meet the Lord Jesus in the air, above the clouds, and follow Him up to Heaven.  And so shall we ever be with the LORD.  So comfort one another with these precious words!

Clouds.  Aren’t they now more dear to you?  Now you know the truth.  Look up.  For we shall see the Lord Jesus face to face…above the clouds, one day…perhaps soon?

Blessed be the name of Almighty GOD, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit…blessed Holy Trinity…One GOD…as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Time

Orlando, Florida, Sunday, June 12, 2016…in the early hours of this day, a Muslim gunman entered a night club and gunned down 103 innocent people, many of them Christian…many of a different life style, many of them “the Sunday People”…

What? No!  Not again! When will this madness stop, Brother Monk?

Only when Christ returns after the Rapture of the Church, and then after the Seven Years of the Tribulation upon the unbelievers of the whole earth, and destroys the wicked and unjust, judges the peoples and the nations, and sets up His Kingdom on the earth…and He shall reign a thousand years.  This is what the Holy Bible tells us, Brother Duncan.

Isn’t this the “troubleous times” Peter spoke if?  And the beginning of sorrows and “birth pangs just prior to the “last days”  spoken of by our Lord Jesus in Matthew 24?

Yes, Brother Duncan…blessed are you for the understanding which God has given you.

But, who else knows these times we live in? Who shall sound the alarm to those in America and Europe? Who knows this is a war of Muslims against Christians and Jews?

And it shall get worse and continue to escalate in intensity…

I have found Psalms 94 and 95 that also speak of our time.

And I pray our brothers and sisters of the faith in Jesus Christ will be in the know of what’s going on and be prepared…even more so, to be ready for the coming of our Lord Jesus…perhaps soon?

Perhaps today?

Let us also pray for all those persecuted in our countries, and especially pray for the souls of those conceived but never born.

In the name of the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Almighty and Ever living GOD, the One and only GOD, for there is no other, blessed and holy Trinity…now and forever and ever…

Amen.

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Eternal Thanks

Brother Monk, what troubles you now?

No, I just labor with my soul to know we live in a “thankless world,”that’s all.

What do you mean, Brother Monk?  Do we not give our continued thanks and praise to the Lord, our God, for all the rich blessings and mercy and grace He has showered upon us these many years we have been her on Holy Island?

Yes, Brother Stephon, yes, of course…but what about the rest of the world?

Well, as I see it, it isn’t out job to make the world believe, nor to be happy nor thankful, is it?

Yet, my brother, I can shout today with joy and thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus for the birthday of His Church, after He ascended up to heaven on Pentecost in 33 A.D., and the coming of the Holy Spirit.  What about the rest of the world?

But don’t people realize everything comes from GOD, every good and decent thing? Don’t they realize He created all things, that He sustains all things, that everything, the Earth, the sky, the sun and moon, the planets and the stars of the endless universe all work in harmony by Him?

Don’t they realize that GOD has planned all things to happen when they happen, when they come on the scene in history? That all the ideas that man every dreamed to do things and make things is from GOD?

That we were created in His own image, in His likeness, and that He created Man and Woman that could produce children to continue the family line?

Or the warm sun and rain to water the earth and that all things may be sustained, and man would have food.

The wheel, farming tools, tents from animal skins, trees, plants flowers, insects, animals, fish and birds, all from God, EVEN MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND MUSIC!.

The breath of life, living a healthy life or of attaining old age, all from God.

Why the heavens and earth declare the glory of God.  Look at the clouds and the wonderful colors and patterns, all the work of God- even the thunder and lighting, that too is from GOD!  The mighty oceans or the still, gentle breeze, the four seasons, all the handiwork of GOD.

And water to sustain life, this too is from GOD.

Knowing this, and the things one sees and experiences every day of his life, or experiencing the precious miracle of the birth of a baby, or recovery from an illness or operation, knowing this and more, cannot one at least give thanks to the Lord?

Or the most glorious and greatest event in human history, when God the Father gave up to die for the sins of the world His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth…so that all who believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

And to proclaim the mystery of faith: Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ will come again.

And one day, perhaps soon, He shall come again to reign on earth as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, on the throne of David in Jerusalem for a thousand years, and then, eternity.

Family, children and grandchildren and friends…being a servant of the Lord…doing…helping…praying….

Therefore, let us give our eternal thanks and praise and glorify His name for all the good He has done for us, and for all the wonderful things yet planned for us, for those who believe in Him, and love Him, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit…our forever and eternal thanks.

Thank you, O LORD, our GOD.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What About Thomas, Part III

The third illustration about the disciple, Thomas, takes place after the resurrection.

You remember the story in John, how in chapter 20, the risen Jesus appears  to the disciples in the Upper Room, but Thomas was not there?

And when they told Thomas they had seen the Lord,

“He said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hand the print of the nails, and put my fingers into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.'”

Such an exclamation could only have come from God for such detail, for this was another way of citing proof of the risen Lord Jesus!

Scoffers beware!

And it was again Thomas who helped solidify the faith of many!

“And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them.  Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you.'”

“Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side.  Do not be unbelieving, but believing.'”

“And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!”

You can imagine the scene, because Thomas loved the Lord!

“Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed.  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'”

You see, Jesus needed the unbelief of Thomas to cement the resurrection story in generations to come in his adoring gratitude that the resurrection of Jesus was real and meant life after death in Him.

And here is the faith of Christianity: Blessed are they who have not seen Me, but believe.

After His time on earth, Jesus gathered His eleven disciples to the Mount of Olives, just outside Jerusalem, in Acts 1:9…

“While they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”

And that’s why we ought to always be looking upward to the clouds and beyond the stars, up to Heaven.  And we ought to look for a sign of the Cross in the clouds that the Lord might give us?  For one day we shall meet the Lord Jesus in the air, above the clouds!

“And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, Behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?'”

These two men were God’s angels!

“This same Jesus who was taken up from you into Heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into Heaven.”

There is is.

How the thoughts of Thomas must have returned to that day in the Upper Room during the Last Supper, when now he finally understood what Jesus meant when He said, “I will come again and receive you unto Myself”…so that where I am (now in Heaven), there you will be also with Me…forever!

Why, one day He shall come for me, thought Thomas, and for us unto future generations, and we shall be with our Lord forevermore.

Now Thomas knew the Way…Jesus…and he knew where Jesus went!  This was the blessed truth of salvation, our blessed hope of life eternal with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!

What else about Thomas, you ask?

Well, he put his faith into action and thus fulfilled the Great Commission Jesus commanded them after the resurrection, as found in Matthew 28:16-20…

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me, in Heaven and on earth.'”

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe the things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

He shall be with us until the end of this Age, the Church Age, the Age of Grace, now in 2016…1983 since the mighty Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and His glorious Ascension up to Heaven to the Father.  Can you imagine that awesome, unforgettable, glorious sight the disciples saw?  One day we shall see Him as He is, and be with Him in all His glory, power and might!   Can you imagine?

Thomas spent the following years traveling and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in what is today, Iran, and then, India, where he remained until his death.

Saint Thomas died a martyr on December 21, 72 A,D., in Mylapore, India, two years after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the city by the Romans!

Thomas taught so people might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing they would have life in His name.

One day, when we shall arise from the grave, and the living shall be changed-translated, in an instant, and we shall all have new, glorified bodies just like His, and we shall see Him as He is, and we shall see Him face to face where we shall meet Him is the air, above the clouds…one day.

Why, when we see Him on that day, I can imagine we all shall exclaim with adoration those immortal words Thomas spoke so many years ago when he saw the risen Christ:

“MY LORD AND MY GOD!”

Even so, come Lord Jesus, come.

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

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What About Thomas, Part II

The second story about Thomas takes place at the Last Supper of our Lord, in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, on the night He was betrayed.

In chapter 13, Jesus said that one of you will betray Me, and one of you will deny Me.  This caused a great commotion among the disciples gathered around the table!

Despite the uproar, Peter still wanted to know where Jesus was going, and why he couldn’t follow Him?

He would even lay down his life for Him!

But Jesus said to Peter, that before the cock crow, he would deny Him three times!

And so the uproar continued in questioning, doubts, disbelief!  Could this be true, they asked?  Is it I?  Who is it, Lord?

They were upset, for Jesus had just set off a verbal bombshell right in their midst!

Knowing their thoughts, and instead of chastising them, Jesus proclaimed for the first time in all the history of the world, the very first mention of a future resurrection of believers,the 1st Resurrection, also known as the ‘Rapture of the Church’!

He comforted them with these words, for He told them that one day He would come back for them…and us, from Heaven, for He said in chapter 14:

“Let not your hearts be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”

“In My Father’s house are many mansions;if it were not so, I would have told you.”

“I go to prepare a place for you.”

“And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

And He followed with these words:

“And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

“Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

A question, no doubt, that was on the lips of the disciples, but Thomas verbalized it to the Lord, and forever set in motion our destiny in Christ in life after death.

For, “Jesus said to him, ‘I AM…the Way…the Truth…and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”

It is set forever!  And the Scriptures cannot be changed!

We got the answer about our future as believers because “Doubting Thomas,” Brave Thomas, the Questioning Thomas, wanting to know, asked this famous question to the Lord!

We shall indeed follow Jesus to Heaven, one day, because He is GOD, the Son of God, who will do what He said, and will raise us up from the dead, and change the living…and He shall lead the Way to Heaven to the Father…for His word is Truth…and He is eternal Life!

 

 

 

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What About Thomas? Part I

And Now, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be alway acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

What a precious day the LORD, out God has given us today in His awesome Creation of His spoken word, “Let there be,” when He created all things out of nothing, than, something!

Did you notice last night the high winds and the lightning and thunder, the glorious display of God’s might?  Wasn’t that God speaking from Heaven?  He is angry with this nation, and the world, and the slaughter of the innocent!  Blessed be the souls of those conceived, but never born!  You abortionists are abortions, demonic, blood thirsty, of the ‘blood culture’ of Satan, never being able to appease your thirst!  You go into a frenzy, just the the terrorists, when confronted  Are you not one yourself?  O curse you and hate to you because you are an enemy of the True and Living God, who hates what you are doing and will judge you for it!

Nevertheless, and back to my subject, what a glorious day as we remember and celebrate the first Sunday after Easter when our Lord Jesus arose from the dead.

As we look back on those titanic events that changed the world forever, we can fully realize that almost 2,000 years have passed since His crucifixion, death and burial, His mighty resurrection, and His glorious ascension from the Mount of Olives up to Heaven to be with His Father.

And just as He called the twelve disciples to Himself, so He is calling people to Him in this Age of Grace.

And so our hearts our hearts swell with the joy and love and thankfulness for what gas done for us; we know our future destiny is eternal life in Him, for He is the Light of Eternity that leads the Way.

Therefore there is no need to doubt, none whatsoever!

We know the story about the twelve disciples of Christ, but today we will take a closer look as one of the twelve, called, “Doubting Thomas.”

What About, Thomas?

Well, we know from the Gospels that he was a Galilean, possibly a fishermen, and he was a twin, hence the Greek name, “Didymus.  He was the seventh disciple chosen by Jesus.

He had a quick temper-and said what was on his mind.  He was impulsive.  Perhaps, too, he was of a ‘twin-mindedness,’ bordering on unbelief and faith?

It seems he was always on the lookout and gathering information and clues in which to make up his mind…to frame his beliefs!

Just as he was a doubting pessimist, he was also a realist in seeing the dangers Jesus was about to face.

All the disciples doubted at one time or another as to who Jesus claimed he was, or even the resurrection itself!

And many who followed Jesus in the beginning, turned back and followed Him no more! Their doubt turned to unbelief!

Jesus asked those who were left, the twelve, if they also wanted to go away?

And, “Peter said, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.'”

And then came Peter’s great confession for the whole group as to who they believed Jesus was:

“We have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

And so, this is the background Thomas was part of.

In the Gospel According to John, we find three notable events involving Thomas, the so-called “Doubter.”

The first event deals with the death of Lazarus.

In chapter 11, news came that Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, had died.

And despite the threats on His life by the Jews of Judea and Jerusalem, and the warnings of His disciples not to return there,  Jesus goes anyway to Lazarus to the village of Bethany, about two miles from Jerusalem!

It is there Jesus will raise Lazarus from the dead, telling them that Lazarus “sleeps,” but he is really dead…the first hint to His disciples that at death, believers “sleep” in Christ.

Notice the order of events not to be missed by the disciples: first, death-Lazarus “sleeps” in Christ; second, the resurrection to life of his dead body in the tomb. third, a new life in Christ Jesus.

And it seems here that Thomas seems to have faith about some kind of assurance of a future life with Christ after death!

For, in verse 16, we read:

“Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go that we may die with Him.'”

Thomas was ready to die with Jesus, and in Jesus, without fear!

 

 

 

 

 

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Lenten Thoughts

March, In the Year of our Lord, 2016…the holy church season of Lent…in remembrance of what our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God in the flesh, did on the Cross for all the world! It has now been 1,983 years ago since the crucifixion of God, Yeshua, Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ on a hillside in Jerusalem of Judea, when, after His death and burial in a rock tomb, He rose from the dead in a new, glorified body on the third day! And that’s not all. His disciples saw Him and held Him; they talked with Him, and ate and drank together. Hundreds of other people saw Him, too. And then, after 40 days, while He was with His disciples on the Mount of Olives, He ascended up beyond the clouds, to Heaven while they looked up in awe.

To Heaven He went to be with His Father, Almighty God, and sat on His right hand, our great High Priest. From there He will come to judge the living an the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.

Can you hear the cry of Heaven? Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come…heaven and earth are full of thy glory…blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest.

Have mercy on me, and us who believe, my Rock, my Strength, my Stronghold, my Savior…I will not be afraid…I will not be alone…for in You, O, Lord comes my salvation…in You is life eternal.

Amen.

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