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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Through faith

Hello again!

I think this is the conclusion of Hebrews eleven, so, I think some of the effects of faith, are required to be shared:

who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

 

 

They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated– of whom the world was not worthy–wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

(Heb 11: 33-34/37-38)

It starts out with all the good qualities. Don’t you think that’s interesting? Most people, start out with the bad qualities, and cover it up with the good, or even leave out the bad all together, but, the author of Hebrews, starts out with the good, and ends with the bad. Why is that? You ask. Because, if you want to have faith and believe in Jesus, you need to know the possible penalties, namely:

Stoning, being sawn in two, living in caves {because they didn’t have homes, or money to buy them}. Of course, today, that would be more like:

Ridicule for being a Christian, being “torn down” by unBelievers, losing jobs, because your (former) employer strongly believes against Christianity. Of course, in come countries, they may still happen to Christians.

There are, of course, benefits of being a Christian, such as:

conquering kingdoms, enforcing justice, obtaining promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, and putting foreign armies to flight.

Which, today, would be:

Winning hearts to Christ, helping others with their struggles (successfully), literary, obtaining promises, from God’s word. Overcoming temptation, Letting Jesus work through you, to quench the flaming arrows of the Devil, Having Jesus strengthen your weakness (the areas were you are tempted most), it becomes easier for you to overcome temptation, and beating the Devil plain out (through Jesus, of course).

 

Following Jesus and risking everything, or continuing in a “easy” life-style?In the end, it still comes down to the same thing, will you follow Jesus and accept him into your life, or not?

                                                                   You are loved!

                                                                 Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

God the builder

Hello again!

Today, when you read these verses, I suggest that you try to apply them to yourself;

Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had thought of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.

(Heb 11:12-15)

Let’s pick out a few key verses here.

Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

If they had thought of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.

Through one man, near death, Jesus, we were “reborn” as God’s children, now that we are God’s children (christians), we are exiled from the rest of the earth. And so, we search for a “homeland” (heaven). We have the opportunity to go back into sin, and that’s a choice we all have to make, daily, will we return to sin? Or will we continue on, searching for our homeland?

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Sacrifice = commendation. Nothing = eternal life, and rewards

Hello again!

I would like to compare these two people in your mind real quick: Abel, and Enoch. Abel is famous for offering a better sacrifice than Cain. Enoch is famous, for never-dying.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

(Heb 11:4-6)

The main thing that sticks out to me, is that, Abel is remembered for offering a better sacrifice than Cain, and then Cain killing him. Where as Enoch, is not famous for offering any sacrifices, but he never died.

The question, is of course, how is that fair? How is that even possible? First, it’s possible because God is the creator of everything, and secondly, it’s fair because:

No animal sacrifice can fully atone for our sin, that’s why Abel died, And Enoch didn’t, because, even though Jesus had not died and rose again yet, Enoch still pleased God, how did he please God? By believing in him, by believing in God, you believe in Jesus (and the Holy Spirit aswell, for that matter).

All that to say, faith is better than works.

Some people say that, you have done all you can, and then, Jesus died for all the rest. Here’s my analogy on the subject:

Yeah, you have to row as far as you can, before you can turn on your engine.

That seems ridiculous right? Well, that’s exactly what it is! Jesus died for us, because he knew it was impossible for us to do what was demanded of us, not because he thought it would be a good idea (which, it was, of course) !

It’s like gravity, “It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law”. Believing in Jesus isn’t just a good idea, you have to if you want to live (forever). 

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

By faith

Hello again!

I’d say the main point of this passage (and of the entire chapter) is faith, just to give you a heads up. I think you’ll see what I mean when you read the passage:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

(Heb 11:1-3)
 
I hope, Mr. evolutionist, that explains any questions you may have about how we know the world was created. What is faith: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for. I like it, whenever evolutionists want facts instead of faith. Fact or faith? It’s an interesting question. People evolving from radio-active gunk, or that we were created by a creator (God)
Faith, is knowing something without having to see it. Faith is just knowing something without having all the pieces fit together. In all honesty, I’m impressed by evolutionists, they have way more faith than I do.
 
Christian: What do you believe in?
Evolutionist: I believe we evolved from a common ancestor… obviously.

Christian: Who did the “common ancestor” evolve from then?

Evolutionist: Well, duh, “itdidn’t evolve. Everyone knows this!

Christian: So where did it come from?

Evolutionist: It was created when absolutely nothing exploded.

Christian: Oooooooh

How reliable do you think that sounds?

That’s why I love it when evolutionists want facts. Because, if you went and asked an evolutionist to give you 10 absolute, proven, facts of evolution. I almost promise you that they won’t be able to do it, this varies on how much a person believes in evolution. But, when ever I ask that question, they either leave the conversation, or dodge the question.

                                                      You are loved!

                                                    Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

We will die without mercy… Won’t we?

Hello again!

I always love how perfectly passages in scripture can picture Jesus, and how they show us the future, though the passage, is still in the past:

Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

(Heb 10 28-31)

I think this shows us several major points:

 1. There is punishment for sin.

2. I don’t want to be an atheist on my deathbed (or ever, for that matter).

3. We should not spurn aka, purposefully ignore, God’s son, and what he did for us.

Let me just show you the gospel in this passage real quick. We have broken every law of the ten commandments. We have spurned God’s son at least once in our life (At our birth). And we are deserving, of a merciless death. Then, came Jesus. He died a merciless death for us. He fell into the hands of God. So that, we could fall into the embrace of God. He died for us, so that we could live for him. God was going to have vengeance on humankind, so he had it. On Jesus, 100% man and 100% God.

So, it is no longer a scary thing to come to God. His hands are helpful not hurtful. And, if you still have not come to God. Please, do so now.

I know I’ve mentioned this site before, but I still highly recommend it: http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Continual sanctification.

Hello again:

Today I actually found the verses God had for me in different places, for example, one was is in verse 14, and the other two are in 24 and 25:

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Heb 10:14)

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb 10:24-25)

What are these verses telling us? Firstly, that only one sacrifice was required, where as continual sanctification is required. And, secondly, that we are supposed to find ways to bless each other and encourage each other, and that we are supposed to meet together, that in fact, could be one way to bless others, just by going to their house and fellowshipping around God’s word.

So, first, lets look at sanctification. What does it actually mean?

This is the Wikipedia definition:

Sanctification is the act or process of acquiring sanctity, of being made or becoming holy. To sanctify is literally “to set apart for special use or purpose,” figuratively “to make holy or sacred,” and etymologically from the Latin verb sanctificare which in turn is from sanctus “holy” and facere “to make.”

So, we are being continually being set apart for special use or purposes. As Christians, we are, in fact, set apart, or, special. That doesn’t mean that we’re better than everyone else, it means that we are set apart, not part of the world and there practices, also set apart to preach the gospel to non-Christians.

We are also set apart to help each other, and find ways to bless each other (this is harder than it sounds!). If someone is bothering you, find ways to bless their life (now you know what I mean about “harder than it sounds”). Believe it or not, this is the job of a Christian, to bless everyone he can.

There’s a story (that’s true) about a women, she home-schooled and home-churched. She murdered all five of her children.  “not neglecting to meet together”. My family home-schools (we don’t home-church), it’s important to get together with other believers, essential even. If we don’t, it can become dangerous. We need to be reassured and we need to reassure others. Otherwise, we might get an idea into our head, that is 100% crazy, and believe it to be truth, we need others to rebuke those ideas, and, more importantly, give us correct ones.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Ritaul duties, and uncommon sacrificies

Hello again!

I really like how these verses so perfectly represent the Gospel:

These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing  (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper,

(Heb 9:6-9)

I know it sort of tells you what I’m going to be getting at in the last part there, in verse 9, but I’ll still explain it as best I can.

(which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper,

The first part of this tent, is the place were all the ritual sacrifices go on… In the bible, a tent can be representative of the tent we live in today (our bodies). We can try to be good, we can routinely read our bibles, we can pray, we can go to church, that doesn’t make us Christians. What makes us Christians, is the fact that we know Jesus as our friend and saviour, we have a personal relationship with him and believe and have faith that he did die and rise again for us! And that’s where the second part of the tent comes in, as long as this present age in ourselves, this present age of sin that we have, is destroyed, we can’t enter the second part of the tent, the part were the priest gives an offering for us, or, where Jesus lays down his life for us.

So, in summary; there are two parts, one, the second part, cannot be accessed until we destroy the first part, our flesh, our sin. And the only way that is possible, is by accepting Jesus as your personal friend and savour.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

 
 
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