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Mid-week Manna

FATHER’S DAY MESSAGE

FATHER’S DAY MESSAGE FROM YOUR PASTOR’S DESK:
June 19, 2022

The God-given duties and responsibilities of father to his children are numerous. The most important ones are: to love them (Gen. 37: 1-4); command (Gen. 18: 19, 1-33); instruct (Prov. 1: 8, 9); guide and warn (1 Thess. 2: 11, 12): train up (Prov. 22:6); rebuke (Gen. 34: 30, etc); restrain (1 Sam. 3:13; 1 Sam. 2:12-17, 22-25); punish (Deut. 21:18-21); nourish (Isa. 1: 2,3); supply their needs (Matt. 7: 8-11); not to provoke his children to anger (Eph. 6: 1-4); and to chasten with God’s discipline as described below (emphasis mine):

“And you have forgotten the exhortation. which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the CHASTENING of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are REBUKED by Him: for WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE CHASTENS, and SCOURGES every son He receives [cf. Prov. 3: 11, 12]. If you ENDURE CHASTENING, God deals with you as with SONS, for what son is there whom a FATHER DOES NOT CHASTEN? But if you are WITHOUT chastening, of which all of you have become partakers, then you are ILLEGITIMATE (bastards, KJV), and NOT SONS. Furthermore, we have had HUMAN FATHERS who corrected us, and we paid them RESPECT, Shall we not MUCH MORE READILY BE IN SUBJECTION TO THE FATHER OF SPIRITS, AND LIVE? For they [our human fathers] for a FEW DAYS chastened us AS SEEMED BEST to them, but HE [our heavenly Father] for OUR PROFIT, that we may be PARTAKERS OF HIS HOLINESS!

Now no chastening seems to be JOYFUL FOR THE PRESENT BUT GRIEVOUS: nevertheless, AFTERWARD it yields the PEACEABLE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS to those who have been TRAINED by it [the chastening of the Father].” Heb. 12:5-11, NKJV.

Professed Christian fathers who presumptuously belittle or worse, rebelliously reject the heavenly Father’s work of chastening him in order to produce the “peaceable fruit” of Christ’s righteousness without a flaw, have disqualified themselves from chastening their own sons or “training them up” for God’s glory and eternity. Pure, fresh water cannot be obtained from corrupted wells. The source must first be purified.

Bless all fathers and grandfathers today! NMF

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Mid-week Manna

SATAN ACKNOWLEDGES CHRIST’S DIVINITY. HIS WORD AS LAW BOTH SPOKEN AND WRITTEN

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
June 15, 2022

SATAN ACKNOWLEDGES CHRIST’S DIVINITY. HIS WORD AS LAW BOTH SPOKEN AND WRITTEN

First things first, read for yourself what “is “written” in Matt. 4: 1-11; Luke 4:1-13; Mark 1: 12,13. Another apostle says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; THE DEVILS ALSO BELIEVE, AND TREMBLE.”’ James 2: 19, KJV.

Here is common ground shared between such “believers in one God,”regardless of what religion they believe, and whoever they believe is their “God”—-with the demons or evil spirits. But whether such “believers” likewise “tremble” as the demons do in that belief is quite another thing.

The only one that can answer that is the believer himself, and God in Christ, through the Holy Spirit, in the “Word of God that is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do [give an account of ourselves.].” Heb. 4: 12, 13.

To be sure, such “belief and trembling” never makes the eternally-doomed demons (Jude 6) one iota less demons, or the merely professed believers into true believers in Christ; the latter is definitively described in these last days in these words: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).

True to the nature of “the mystery of iniquity,” as “the father of lies and murderer from the beginning” (John 8: 44, the master deceiver, disguised as an angel of light come down from heaven, approached Jesus at the end of His forty day-and-night fasting from all food and water.

When He entered the wilderness in His incarnated flesh and blood human nature (Heb. 2: 9-18; Rom. 8: 3-10) to cope with Satan, the Son of man, of David, and of Mary,” was in much lesser advantage than was “the first Adam” (1 Cor. 15: 45-47) in his yet-sinless nature in pure Eden.

How and why? “For four thousand years the [human] race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral worth; and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. [For] only thus could He rescue [deliver, save] man from the lowest depths of degradation.” (White, Desire of Ages, 117). The three types of temptations that embody the “all points in which mankind has, is, and will be tempted till the close of time.

Jesus was “tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.” Embodied in the three great classes of temptations
that Satan, disguised as an “angel of light” (or a “wolf in sheep’s wool) attacked Jesus with, are embodied all the “points in which mankind” has, is, and will be tempted by” till the close of time.

In order that his first temptation upon appetite could sting hard, Satan had to first point out, thus acknowledging—-that the famished-from-40’days-of-fasting, recently baptized and anointed Messiah—was the Creator Himself, he cunningly suggested to create doubt, “IF thou be the SON OF GOD, COMMAND that these stones be made bread.”

The temptation of appetite/desire/lust on all things God forbids, is that which Eve and Adam yielded to, fell, and became sinners. All their progeny thus were born with sinful, not sinless nature.

Christ answered and SAID (spoke), “It is WRITTEN, ‘Man shall not live by bread [physical, literal food] alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4: 3, 4; cf. Deut. 8:3). God spoke through the patriarchs and prophets in ancient times, through His disciples and apostles in the New Testament, and through His chosen messenger-prophet in this closing phase of earth’s history in the advent movement, starting at the termination of the 2300-day prophecy of Dan. 8: 14.

That Satan yielded to the authority of the SPOKEN command and the WRITTEN word, accepting defeat with no question or quibbling, is testified by the written record that he quickly moved on to the next two classes of temptations.

To the temptation PRESUMPTION, Satan’s counterfeit of genuine faith, Christ again replied, IT IS WRITTEN, thou shalt not tempt the LORD THY GOD….” verses 5-7. To the third and last temptation of “love” (adoring; idolizing; worshipping) “the world and the things of the world,” and “the creature over the Creator,” Jesus, “the Word made flesh (John 1:1-3, 14), consistently and with certainty replied, “It is WRITTEN, Thou shalt WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE.”verses 8–10.

The record of Matthew says in conclusion, “Then the devil LEAVETH Him, and, behold, ANGELS [‘ministering spirits,’ Heb. 1:14; Ps. 103: 19, 20] came and ministered unto Him.” v 11. Luke’s account concludes with, “And when the devil had ENDED ALL THE TEMPTATIONS, he departed from Him FOR A SEASON (‘for a while’ only).” Luke 4: 13.

Satan continued to tempt, assail, vex, and harass Jesus till He was crucified—a Victor and Overcomer “over the world, the flesh, and the devil” by the power of IT IS WRITTEN.” Fallen, sinful mankind cannot succeed in any way other than what Jesus established in the flesh!

Until next MWM, God willing, NMF.

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Mid-week Manna

CHRIST—THE LAW IN LIVING FLESH—DEMONSTRATED ITS AUTHORITY OVER SATAN AND DEMONS

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
June 8, 2022

CHRIST—THE LAW IN LIVING FLESH—DEMONSTRATED ITS AUTHORITY OVER SATAN AND DEMONS (“in the mouth of two or three witnesses truth is established.”)

The awesome and reassuring truth stated in the above title that God in Christ exercises ultimate authority and power over Satan and his evil angel-demons, is witnessed to by these three “witnesses”:

Example No. 1.
The dramatic experience of the ancient patriarch who was “the richest man in the East” of his generation yet was “a perfect and upright man who escheweth evil.” Read the book of Job, written by Moses.

When God permitted Satan to afflict Job to prove his accusation that he was only faithful because of God’s blessing and protection, He defined the limits of how far Satan could employ all his most diabolical schemes and cruelty against the unsuspecting target. “Do all you want with him but kill him, God said. “Thus far and no further.” Satan immediately unleashed his scorched-earth attack upon all of Job’ s vast properties, herds, servants, then killing all his ten children of three daughters and ten sons, sparing only his wife.

Then Satan turned to his ultimate target: Job himself. Obeying God’s specified limitation of not taking away his life, Satan proceeded to torture Job, without touching him, by inflicting him with terrible boils from the crown of his head down to the soles of his feet. (Satan is the mastermind behind all manner of diseases and sicknesses that have vexed mankind since the fall). All that the disconsolate sufferer could manage to do was to “sit on ashes” and use pieces of broken pottery to scrape away the pus oozing out of the boils he could reach.

As if the imponderable loss of all his properties and ten children were not enough to break his indomitable will and patience of a saint, his wife, of all people, instead of of being his designated “helpmate and better half,” told him, adding insult to injury, “curse God and die.”

This is when and where the awe-inspiring, succinct, and concise declaration of pure faith and trust were spoken that have echoed down the stream of the ages to the very close of fine by all who have and will glorify God, pleasing Him by “doing His will in magnifying His law and making it honorable.”

Here they are as spoken by Job under extreme duress [emphasis mine[: “I have esteemed His WORDS more than my necessary food,” and “Though He slay me yet will I serve Him.” Unconditional and uncompromising fidelity, loyalty, trust, confidence and obedience to God’s word and His law! God regarded Job after by returning all that he had lost, tenfold!

Among all the astonishing takeaways from this Biblical record is that Satan, the adversary of God and man, the prince of the devils, of this world, of the power of the air, OBEYS God and His spoken command!

We will consider the next two examples in the following MWMs, God willing. Bless all, NMF

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Mid-week Manna

CHRIST THE LAW IN THE FLESH MANIFESTS POWER OVER INANIMATE CREATION

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
June 1, 2022

CHRIST THE LAW IN THE FLESH MANIFESTS POWER OVER INANIMATE CREATION

“What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matt. 8:27, KJV.

Christ commanded the inanimate, tempest-tossed waves in the Sea of Galilee, “Peace be still.” Instantly “The storm ceases. The billows sink to rest. The clouds roll away, and the stars shine forth. The [fishing] boat rests upon a quiet sea. Then turning to His [animate] disciples, Jesus asks sorrowfully, ‘Why are ye fearful? Have ye not faith?’ Mark 4: 40, R.V.

“A hush fell upon the disciples. . . The [other] boats that had set out to accompany Jesus had been in the SAME PERIL with that of the disciples. TERROR AND DESPAIR had seized their occupants; but the [mere spoken] COMMAND of Jesus brought QUIET to the scene of tumult. The fury of the storm had driven the boats into CLOSE PROXIMITY, and all on board beheld the MIRACLE. In the calm that followed, fear was forgotten. The people whispered among themselves, ‘What manner of MAN is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’

“When Jesus was awakened [by His terror-driven disciples] to meet the storm, He was in PERFECT PEACE. There was no trace of fear in WORD or LOOK, for no fear was in His HEART. [Words and looks are heart condition indicators].

“But Jesus ‘the Man’ rested NOT THE POSSESSION of almighty power. It was not as the ‘Master of earth and sea and sky’ that He reposed in quiet. That power He had LAID DOWN [in the incarnation], and He says, ‘I can of Mine own self do nothing.’ John 5:30.

Instead, “He TRUSTED in the Father’s might. It was IN FAITH—faith in God’s love and care that Jesus rested, and the POWER OF THAT WORD WHICH STILLED THE STORM WAS THE POWER OF GOD.

“As Jesus RESTED BY FAITH in the Father’s care, so WE are to rest on the care of our SAVIOR. If the DISCIPLES had trusted in Him, they would have been kept on PEACE. THEIR FEAR IN THE TIME OF DANGER REVEALED THEIR UNBELIEF. In their efforts to SAVE themselves, they FORGOT Jesus; and it was only WHEN, in despair of self-dependence, they TURNED to Him that He could give them HELP.

“How often the disciples’ experience is ours! When the TEMPESTS OF TEMPTATION gather, and the fierce lightnings flash, and the waves sweep over us, we battle with the the storm ALONE, FORGETTING that there is One who can help us. We trust to our OWN STRENGTH, till our hope is lost, and we are ready to perish.” (Excerpts from Desire of Ages by E. G. White, pp. 335, 336).

Are we like the inanimate waves or the animate disciples, as we battle the storms and tempests of life, particularly in these last days of earth’s probation?

Bless all. Till next week’s MWM, God willing. NMF

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Mid-week Manna

GOD’S LAW MANIFESTS HIS AUTHORITY OVER ALL CREATION, ANIMATE AND INANIMATE

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
May 25, 2022

GOD’S LAW MANIFESTS HIS AUTHORITY OVER ALL CREATION, ANIMATE AND INANIMATE

“Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” Ps. 33: 8, 9, KJV.

The King’s word is law, while the Creator’s verbal command, consistent with His authority  as the Source of light of life “original, unborrowed, and underived” is, in and of itself, instant creative power, in one word, FIAT. “For He spoke. and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast.”

Even as He “changeth not” is “the same yesterday, today and forever,” “the  and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Rev. 22:13).

His infinitely exclusive and eternally non-duplicatable fiat authority first went into full display before the angelic host and the unfallen “worlds” in His universe (Heb.1:1-3, 6-8, 19-12) in the creation of the “heavens and the earth and all that in them is.” (Gen. 1, 2; Exo. 20: 8-11; John 1:1-3; Col. 1: 16,17).

The prophet Samuel, founder of Israel’s first schools of the prophets and the seer of note who oversaw the inglorious, forced transition from the first and last divine theocracy to human monarchy, with Saul, the “landslide people’s choice” as its first king, replaced by David (because of the former’s unfaithfulness, presumptuous deeds and finally, apostasies)—-demonstrated, as a child trainee under Eli the high priest, that childlike, trusting, reverent and obedient attitude towards God and anointed servants. On that fateful night when the invisible God SPOKE, calling Samuel by name twice, Eli instructed the child to answer, “SPEAK Lord, for thy servant heareth.” On the third time God SPOKE, calling “Samuel, Samuel,” the child obediently replied, “Speak, for Thy servant HEARETH.” (1 Sam. 1:1-10).

Will we also hear with willing ears when God in Christ, through the Holy Spirit, speaks to our conscience and commands us to obey and keep His law? That creative power in His voice command, is the same as His redemptive power, calling us by name at this midnight of earth’s history, to “forsake the perishable things of this world that are fast fading away” before our very eyes, and by His empowering grace, “overcome even as He overcame,” i.e., “overcome the temptations of this world, the lust of the flesh and the eyes and the devil” himself, by faithfully and joyfully following Christ’s self-denying, self-sacrificing life example, who says to all, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

Will you “hear His  VOICE and harden not your hearts”(Heb.3:16; 4:7; Ps. 95:6-11)?

Bless all. Until next week’s MWM, God willing, NMF.

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The Battles of the Lord Where Champions Are Few

The Battles of the Lord Where Champions Are Few

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Jesus, The Bible, and You Part 2

Jesus, The Bible, and You Part 2 (May 14, 2022)

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Mid-week Manna

GOD’S LAW REVEALS THE EXCLUSIVELY ALL-ENCOMPASSING, INFINITELY INEXHAUSTIBLE AND UNEQUALLED POWER OF THE GODHEAD

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:

May 4, 2022

GOD’S LAW REVEALS THE EXCLUSIVELY ALL-ENCOMPASSING, INFINITELY INEXHAUSTIBLE AND UNEQUALLED POWER OF THE GODHEAD


What kind of power is this? The power of love, the power of wisdom, the power of creation, the power of redemption embodied in the comprehensive plan of redemption as taught in the sanctuary and its services, the power of His sacrificial atonement and His atoning blood shed for the remission and cleansing of sins repented of and confessed to Christ, the power of His enabling grace that is “greater than sin wherever it abounds;” the power to “overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil” in the same way Christ overcame in His incarnated human nature as “the second Adam;” the power to see the invisible by intelligent and living faith; the power to discern and understand the “deep mysteries of God” by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit in His holy Word; the power to “please God” in all that we think, say, and do while yet in the sinful fallen nature and mortal state, as Enoch (the seventh patriarch from Adam) did and was translated to heaven without tasting death; the power to “fight the battle of the Lord where champions are few; the power to “do all things” that God desires and expects of us “through Christ who strengthens us;” the power to become “living epistles seems and read by all men,” and “spectacles unto the world, men, and angels” as “new creatures” in Christ Jesus” having been amazingly “transformed by the renewing of the mind,” in the midst and in spite of overwhelming odds to the contrary; the power to think, speak, and act “in the image and likeness” of Christ’s life example through His amazing, empowering grace! 


Character is power and the Law is a Transcript of Christ’s Character.


“Apostle Paul did not represent either the moral [Ten Commandments] or the ceremonial law as MINISTERS [pastors, theologians, and Bible teachers in the Christian mainstream] in our day venture to do so. Some cherish such antipathy to the law of God that they will go out of their way to denounce and stigmatize it! Thus they despise and pour contempt on the MAJESTY AND GLORY OF GOD. 


“The moral law was NEVER a type of a shadow. If existed BEFORE man’s creation, and will endure as long as GOD’s THRONE REMAINS. God could NOT change or alter one precept of His law in order to save [fallen] man, for THE LAW IS THE FOUNDATION OF HIS GOVERNMENT. It is UNCHANGEABLE, UNALTERABLE, INFINITE, AND ETERNAL. 


“In order for man to be saved, and for the HONOR of the law to be maintained, it was necessary for the Son of God to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin. ‘He who knew NO sin BECAME sin for us.’ He died for us on Calvary. His death shows the wonderful LOVE of God for man, and the IMMUTABILITY of His law!


“We all, with open face beholding as in a glass (or mirror) the glory of the Lord, are CHANGED into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the [Holy] Spirit of the Lord’ (2 Cor. 3:18). Christ is the sinner’s advocate. Those who accept HIS GOSPEL ‘behold Him with open face.’ [Meaning] They see the RELATION of His mission [on earth] to the law, and they acknowledge God’s wisdom and glory as revealed by the Savior. 
THE GLORY OF CHRIST IS REVEALED IN THE LAW, which is the transcript of His character and His TRANSFORMING EFFICACY is felt upon the soul UNTIL man become changed to His likeness! They are made ‘PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE, and grow more and more like their Savior, ADVANCING step by step in CONFORMITY to the will of God till they reach PERFECTION [of moral character]. 


“The Law and the Gospel are in perfect harmony. Each upholds the other. In all its MAJESTY the law confronts the CONSCIENCE, causing the sinner to feel his NEED of Christ as the PROPITIATION [atonement] for his sin. The GOSPEL recognizes the POWER and immutability of the law. ‘I had not known sin, but by the law,’ Paul declares (Rom. 7:7). 


The SENSE OF SIN, URGED HOME [to the conscience] BY THE LAW, DRIVES THE SINNER TO THE SAVIOR.” (E. G. White, Vol. 1 Selected Messages, pp. 239-241. Emphasis mine).


Till next week’s MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF

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