The Living Word

“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.” (John 1:14)

This is the great verse of the Incarnation, declaring to us that the Creator of all things, the eternal Word of God (John 1:1-3) actually became a man, being “made flesh” (our text). Since this verse and the following verses unequivocally refer to “Jesus Christ” (v. 17), there is no legitimate escape (though many have tried) from the great truth that the man called Jesus of Nazareth was the great God and Creator, as well as perfect man and redeeming Savior. Furthermore, He has assumed human flesh forever, while still remaining fully God. He is Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

He is not part man and part God, or sometimes man and sometimes God, but is now the God-man, fully and eternally true God and perfect man—man as God created and intended man to be. See also Philippians 2:5-8 and 1 John 4:2-3.

When He first became man, He “dwelt among us” for a while. The word “dwelt,” however, is actually the Greek word for “tabernacled.” As in the tabernacle (or “tent”) prepared by Moses (Exodus 40:33) in the wilderness, the glory of God in Christ dwelled on Earth for a time in a “body” prepared by God (Hebrews 10:5). We also “beheld his glory,” says His beloved disciple, John. The Greek word for “tabernacle” (skene) is a cognate word to shakan (the Hebrew word for “dwell”), both being related to what has come to be known as the Shekinah glory cloud that filled the ancient tabernacle (Exodus 40:34).

Eventually, when the Holy City descends out of heaven to the new earth, then “the tabernacle of God” will forever be “with men,” and He will “dwell with them” and “be their God” eternally (Revelation 21:3). Thus, God’s “Living Word” is now and always our living Lord!

 

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Not This Man

Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.” (John 18:40)
Unfortunately, this is the attitude of every generation toward its Creator and Redeemer. Jesus Christ “was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:10-11).
“Not this man!” they cried, and still cry today. “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14). Even in a nation founded as a Christian nation, the name of Jesus Christ is banished from the schools, ignored in the halls of government, and blasphemed on the streets.
And whom did they choose instead of “this man”? They preferred Barabbas, who was not only a robber, but also a revolutionary and murderer (Luke 23:19). Today, they idolize the atheist Darwin, or the robber Lenin, or the revolutionary Mao, or the murderer Hitler, or any one of a thousand antichrists; but they will not have Christ.
What, then, will they do with Christ? “Away with him, away with him, crucify him” (John 19:15) was the cry even of the religious leaders during His life here on Earth, and it is little different today. “Ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you,” proclaimed Peter (Acts 3:14). “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ” (Acts 4:26).
The rejection of Christ today is often more subtle, but it is just as real. Rulers, industrialists, scientists, educators, and commentators all say in deed, if not in word, that “[they] will not have this man to reign over [them]” (Luke 19:14). “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).

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The Siloam Pool: Where Jesus Healed the Blind Man

The Siloam Pool has long been considered a sacred Christian site, even if the correct identification of the site itself was uncertain. According to the Gospel of John, it was at the Siloam Pool where Jesus healed the blind man (John 9:1–11).

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Traditionally, the Christian site of the Siloam Pool was the pool and church that were built by the Byzantine empress Eudocia (c. 400–460 A.D.) to commemorate the miracle recounted in the New Testament. However, the exact location of the original pool as it existed during the time of Jesus remained a mystery until June 2004.

During construction work to repair a large water pipe south of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, at the southern end of the ridge known as the City of David, archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron identified two ancient stone steps. Further excavation revealed that they were part of a monumental pool from the Second Temple period, the period in which Jesus lived. The structure Reich and Shukron discovered was 225 feet long, with corners that are slightly greater than 90 degrees, indicating a trapezoidal shape, with the widening end oriented toward Tyropoeon valley.

The Siloam Pool is adjacent to the area in the ancient City of David known as the King’s Garden and is just southeast of the remains of the fifth-century church and pool traditionally believed to be the sacred Christian site.

What was the function of the Siloam Pool during Jesus’ time? Because the pool is fed by waters from the Gihon Spring, located in the Kidron Valley,  the naturally flowing spring water would have qualified the pool for use as a mikveh for ritual bathing. However, it could also have been an important source of fresh water for the inhabitants on that part of the city. One scholar has even suggested that it was a Roman-style swimming pool. Whatever its original purpose, the Siloam Pool where Jesus healed the blind man is an important Christian site, and its discovery represents a watershed moment in the field of Biblical archaeology.

As with many sites in the Holy Land, the origins of the Siloam Pool reach back even further in history—at least seven centuries before the time of Jesus. Judah’s King Hezekiah (late eighth century B.C.) correctly anticipated a siege against Jerusalem by the Assyrian monarch Sennacherib.

To protect the city’s water supply during the siege, Hezekiah undertook a strategic engineering project that would be an impressive feat in any age: He ordered the digging of a 1,750-foot tunnel under the City of David to bring water from the Gihon Spring, which lay outside the city wall, inside the city to a pool on the opposite side of the ridge. In the years that followed, “Hezekiah’s Tunnel” continued to carry fresh water to this section of Jerusalem, and different pools were built here over the centuries, including the Second Temple pool that Jesus knew.

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Churches That Don’t Speak Against Abortion Are Like 19th Century Congregations That Stayed Silent on Slavery

By Samuel Smith

WASHINGTON — Christian ethicist Russell Moore has said that congregations too afraid of being political to speak out against acts of immorality, like abortion, are similar to churches in the 1800s that remained silent on the issue of slavery.

As the featured speaker at the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s fifth annual Diane Knippers memorial lecture, Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, criticized mainstream Christian congregations that have relaxed their teachings on key issues of sexual morality and other social issues in order to blend in with the “ambient culture” and appeal to today’s society.

Moore explained that religious conservatives need to “preserve” the biblical truth for future generations. Although secular society likes to claim that Christian conservatives are on the “wrong side of history,” Moore told the audience that Christian conservatives should not be afraid to have their biblical convictions conflict with mainstream society and that they should really embrace the distinctive Christian message.

“This is something that Diane Knippers saw Mainline denominations losing as they believed that the best way to connect with the generations around them was to assimilate into the sameness of the ambient culture. That is a recipe for death,” Moore argued.

 

Russell Moore(Photo: Russell Moore)

“It’s a recipe for death, precisely for the same reasons that Jesus is speaking to Pilate about a Kingdom that does not originate from the world. Christianity always thrives the best when we have a distinctive word and a distinctive word that is rooted in a specific view of authority. Jesus said, ‘I have come to bear witness for the truth.'”

“The arguments that we see happening right now over issues of human sexuality are not really about human sexuality,” Moore continued. “These are debates of apostolic authority.”

Despite the fact that religious conservative views on issues like gay marriage and abortion directly conflict with the views of a secular world, Moore assured that the historic Christian message has always conflicted with the world’s understanding.

Although many congregations in the last 50 years have altered their views and teachings to accommodate the modern worldviews, Moore warned that churches that have historically distanced themselves from the biblical truth eventually failed to exist.

“The miraculous was startling in the first century and in every other century, so the churches who discarded it no longer had anything distinctive to say and withered and died into obscurity,” Moore stated. “The churches who were willing to speak with a voice of authority about resurrection, the coming of Christ, supernatural regeneration by the Holy Spirit are the churches who had a witness to be able to bring forward.”

Moore further argued that secularism is not the world’s final “stopping point.”

“Secularism is just a stop along the path,” Moore said. “We must have a distinctive word in terms of claim to authority, and we must be willing to bear witness. We must be a conversionist people, which means that if we truly believe that the spirit of God is able to transform someone from sinner to saint, we will be the people who will not hesitate to speak the truth and to speak what often will be unpopular truths.”

Churches have long been responsible for speaking the unpopular truths on social issues, not just in today’s world where abortion and gay marriage are the hotly contested subjects, Moore said.

“The churches in 1845 Georgia that did not speak to slavery, were speaking to slavery,” Moore said. “If you stand in the pulpit and call people to repentance for drunkenness and sexual immorality, but you do not call them to repentance for man-stealing and kidnapping and pretending to own another human being, you have spoken to that issue by saying that it will not be something for which one must give an account at the judgement.”

“The churches in 1925 Mississippi that spoke about drunkenness and adultery, but did not speak about lynching, were speaking to lynching,” Moore continued. “They were baptizing the status quo by not calling people to repentance for a grave sin against God and against a neighbor.”

“The churches in 21st century America that do not speak to the personhood of the unborn are speaking to the personhood of the unborn by baptising the status quo and leaving consciences that are wounded and in need of Gospel liberation exactly where they are under accusation, rather than freeing them with a witness that is thought to be political.”
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May we suggest that not speaking against abortion is akin to not speaking against people like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot or Mao Zedong and letting them kill millions of innocent victims. We would hope that if given the opportunity, you the reader, would demand that they stop, and that you would take the necessary steps to shed light on the atrocity that was being committed.

Please take a moment to click here and watch a powerful video

 

Heaven Opened

by Henry Morris, Ph.D. | Mar. 23, 2015

“And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” (John 1:51)

In Jacob’s dream (Genesis 28:12), angels were ascending and descending on a great ladder between Earth and heaven. Christ promised a future reality in which He Himself would be the ladder to the opened heaven.

But that was to be “hereafter.” Until Christ came to die and rise again, heaven was closed, for nothing unclean could enter there and death had “passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). Even those who died in faith could only be “comforted” in “Abraham’s bosom” deep “in the heart of the earth” (Luke 16:22, 25; Matthew 12:40), because “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4).

Then Christ died and rose again “to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). In His spirit, “he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth,” and “when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive” (Ephesians 4:8-9), leading all pre-Calvary saints with Him into heaven. Then was fulfilled the wonderful scene predicted in Psalm 24:7: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.”

Since that wonderful day when Christ ascended back to heaven, “to be absent from the body” is “to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Heaven someday will even receive our resurrected bodies. John prophesied it this way: “I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice . . . said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Revelation 4:1). Heaven thenceforth will be open eternally to all the redeemed. “The gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there” (Revelation 21:25).

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Noah The Movie

I could not take my eyes away from the screen, and when it was over, I cried…
—Janet Parshall, “In the Marketplace” Moody Radio

In the time of Noah, people were going about their daily lives, not mindful of the impending destruction. Like them, are we ignoring warnings of God’s coming judgment?

The Bible gives us clear signs of the last days. But surely no educated person could believe that Noah and his ark ever really existed. Wouldn’t it be impossible to fit millions of species of animals into one boat? And what evidence is there (if any) for a worldwide catastrophic flood? However…what if it did all happen exactly as the Bible says? What would that mean? Who was Noah, and why is the amazing account of his life so relevant to you in the 21st century? Don’t be caught unaware. Time may be very short. Will you be ready?

Hell’s Best Kept Secret

Did you know that according to the Bible, you can know with 100% certainty that you can have everlasting life in heaven? Ray Comfort’s presentation of what I call “Connecting the Dots of the Incomplete God” is an eye opening, soul stirring, and freedom finding description of The One True God.

True & False Conversions

Have you struggled with any uncertainty about your faith? Do you know someone that claims to be a Christian, yet their actions could hardly be used as proof for what they proclaim? How do I know if I’m a real Christian? Can someone lose their salvation once they’ve been saved? Join Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron as they tackle a taboo question of our time…. Judge Not!