This information is found in History Books, found in some of the books not included in our Holy Bible and in Archeology. Just because there was no Word from Our Awesome God during this time period, it doesn’t mean God wasn't doing anything. This will try to briefly tell of a few important events that Our Awesome God was doing in the 400 silent years between the last prophet, Malachi, in the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. It should give us a better idea of what was happening just before our Savior, Jesus Christ was born.
One should know that a part of the original Nation of Israel at one time was paying tribute money to Egypt. Then the Romans took the land of Israel from the Greeks, among other nations that Alexander The Great had conquered. But the Greek language had become the language spoken, written and used in trade throughout the lands they had conquered. When Alexander died, his kingdom was divided three ways and then Rome came. The language remained a world language until long after Alexander's Greek Empire collapsed.
In 63 BC, the Roman general, Pompey, almost destroyed Jerusalem and Israel was made a client kingdom of the Roman Empire. Rome appointed Hycranus as High Priest and Antipater as king in Israel. These men were from different Jewish families who were in power politically and had been fighting each other for many years to control Israel. Antipater was a wise and careful politician who knew Julius Caesar and he made it possible for his son, Herod I, to become king of Judea (included most of Israel).
In 37 BC, Herod, with the help of the Roman Army, dethroned Antigonus, the hereditary king of Judah, and became king. At that time, all of the land and people that Rome defeated and governed were ruled by the Second Triumvirate. It was made up of three men: Marc Antony in Egypt, Gaius Octavian (who governed the original Rome) and Marcus Lepidus in Spain. These men had fought for their positions, married for more power and divorced to advance their kingdoms. Lepidus was slowly squeezed out and Antony and Octavian had begun to disagree with each other because of Antony's increasing allegiance with Cleopatra of Egypt. By the summer of 30 BC, both Cleopatra and Marc Antony had killed themselves. This left Octavian to become emperor of the Roman Empire and he left Herod as king of Judea.
Herod was paranoid, greedy, cruel and ambitious. He was a Jew and he was taught God's laws but he never kept Our Awesome God's laws. His reign was a time of civic construction and relative prosperity but, as a puppet of Rome, he was hated by the Jews.
We need to be aware that the Roman Army went further than any of the previous world kings. They brutally enforced peace, they built roads, they made the roads safe for travelers and they brought organization to governing people. God was preparing the world for His son to come.
Join us at LWBC every Sunday at 9:30 AM, we have small group Bible Studies and at 10:30 AM, we meet in the sanctuary for Worship Service. Sunday evening at 6:00 PM we have Bible Study. We have a busy Wednesday at 7:00 PM with something for everyone. We love visitors!
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
(Genesis 3:15 KJV)
Though Jesus Christ was there during creation, God, through His Holy Bible, revealed slowly the coming of Jesus Christ to save man from His sins and to allow man a way to obtain eternal life with God in heaven. Over thousands of years, Our Awesome God gave us the promises and prophecies concerning Jesus Christ and what He would do for man.
Here are a few of them: 1) The Seed of the Woman, found first in Genesis 3:15, predicted the virgin birth of our Savior. 2) The Seed of Abraham which is found in Genesis 12:1-13 kept God's people in the Abrahamic Covenant until it was fulfilled at the birth of Jesus Christ. 3) The Tribe of Judah narrowed the Savior to a certain tribe of Israel in Genesis 49:10. 4) The House of David was the family He was to be born into according to II Samuel 7:12,13. 5) The Son of a Virgin was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. 6) The City of His Birth is found in Micah 5:2. 7) His Name is Revealed in Isaiah 7:14. 8) His Worship by the Gentiles is told in Isaiah 60:6. Our Awesome God in His Holy Bible told us how, when, and where Jesus Christ would be born.
Can you imagine the excitement of those who had put all promises and prophecies together? Those that understood He would bring salvation to the Gentiles? The kings from the orient bearing three gifts travelled far to find Jesus Christ because they knew. Our Awesome God had controlled all the events so that each one happened as He planned it. God revealed why, what, when and how it should happen to provide us with the best of everything.
Our Awesome God keeps His promises and prophecies, even after thousands of years. Is He your God? If not, you need to be sure you want to lose your place in heaven. Because heaven is only for those who accept Christ as God's only begotten Son and believe in Him. Read your Bible!
Come join us at LWBC as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard, telling others about His Story, Jesus Christ's Salvation, and our eternal home with Him, trying to help them and ourselves to understand Our Creator better. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and a Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets for an hour. Wednesday there is Bible Study and Prayer Meeting at 7:00 PM along with a separate Spanish Bible Study and Youth Chapel until 8:00 PM. Come join us, we love visitors! May God bless you more this week!
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
(Jeremiah 29:11-13 KJV)
Discouragement refers to a state of mind that occurs when we don't lean on Our Awesome God but become overwhelmed with problems, when we feel frustrated and lose heart. Discouragement causes us to lose our courage, our motivation, and our hope.
We have all felt discouragement. Discouragement is a feeling that comes to many people at different times in their lives. Feeling discouragement is not a sin but it does mean you are not leaning on Our Awesome God enough. It is not even a sign that you are in a place of sin. But how we handle discouragement can affect our spiritual life and growth. So how should we handle it?
First, when we feel discouragement we should go to Our Awesome God in prayer. Tell God how you feel, why you feel discouragement (if you know) and ask God to help you overcome it. God knows the big picture and what road your life will take. Our Awesome God may be showing you something you need to know or realize. He may be setting you up for a big blessing.
Four things come to mind to remedy discouragement. Rest, because we often are exhausted physically and emotionally. Take a "time out" to rest away from the problems and pray. Reorganize your life by evaluating the time and energy you are expending on things. Resolve to trust God by believing He has the answers (Psalm 103:19). Then Resist discouragement by asking God to reveal to you the best response to a difficulty.
Our Awesome God has your best interests in mind and will help you if you ask. If you take the approach mentioned above, then God will provide for you in ways that far exceed human understanding.
Join us at LWBC every Sunday at 9:30 AM, we have small group Bible Studies and at 10:30 AM, we meet in the sanctuary for a Worship and Praise Service. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Meeting and Bible Study along with a separate Spanish Bible Study and Youth Chapel until 8:00 PM. We love visitors and practice the "love one another" commandment to all.
"For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments."
(Ezra 7:10 KJV)
The story in the Book of Ezra is one of redemption and deliverance. It emphasizes Our Awesome God's power and His keeping of a His promises. Ezra was a contemporary of Nehemiah and lived in about 457 B.C. Ezra led a group of Jews from captivity in Babylon back to Jerusalem. The purpose of his journey was to restore the worship of God in the temple at Jerusalem.
Ezra was a scribe (scholar) of Our Awesome God. He was one of the first of a class of scholars dedicated to the knowledge and preservation of all the written and oral traditions of the Israelites. Ezra and those like him became the scribes, lawyers, and rabbis of Jesus’ day. Ezra was also a descendent of Aaron in the tribe of Levi, so he was a priest. The theme of Ezra’s life and work could be summed up by the phrase, “...the hand of the Lord my God was upon me...” (Ezra 7:28 KJV) Ezra used this phrase to indicate that God was blessing his work and to give God the credit for his success.
Ezra travelled from Babylon to Jerusalem, leading a group of Jews with money to help set up the Temple of Our Awesome God and the guards that King Artaxerxes had provided for their protection. Truly the hand of the Lord was upon him, as Ezra had said, because he got what he needed as God had set it up for him. Ezra knew the first five books of God's Word by memory so he knew the Jews were God's people.
Our Awesome God had His man set up to bring His Word back to His people after their captivity in Babylon and other countries. Ezra was a man who sought God and His Word and then put his belief into action. Are we people who seek God and His Word? This is important to know because God says, "seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7 KJV). If we aren't seeking more about God, what are we doing? God has so much to show us and tell us if we but look and listen.
Our Awesome God uses people like Ezra who are teachable, who listen, who are softhearted and are obedient to put God's requests into action. So put on your best and listen to His best to find the job and purpose He has just for you. Yes, our God has a job for you to further His Kingdom.
Join us as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard, telling others and reminding ourselves about His story, Jesus Christ's Salvation, and our eternal home with Him, trying to help them to understand Our Creator better. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and a Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets for an hour. Prayer Meeting is on Wednesday at 7:00 PM with Youth Chapel and a Spanish Bible Study. We love visitors!
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."
(Galatians 6:2 KJV)
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
(Philippians 4:6 KJV)
"Prayer Burdens" are the feelings, the urge to pray, that Our Awesome God gives us. There are times when most of us feel the "Prayer Burden" to pray for someone, but many of us feel a daily need to pray for others because of this feeling. Those people who want to pray daily for others should be on our Prayer Team which prays every day for people on our Prayer List as well as their own list. These people do an awesome job with incredible results because Our Awesome God promises to answer our prayers. Praise His Name! He gives us that need to pray and glorify His Name!
Prayer Burdens should not be taken lightly. If followed up on, they will give you a deeper, richer love and knowledge of Our Awesome God and His Will. Just be sure your reason for praying is out of a genuine concern for the welfare of others, not just to hear your own voice or for the public admiration of your way of praying, but to talk to God. Remember when Jesus said, "You Hypocrites!", He was talking about the reasons the Pharisees prayed long and eloquent prayers in front of all the people they could find.
Our "Prayer Burdens" come from God, for He wants us to pray and tell Him what we want. But sometimes you may feel a burden and just don't know what to pray for. Don't ignore the burden, just pray that God will resolve the situation for which you received the burden and the Holy Spirit will present it to God in God's terms. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 KJV)
Our reason for praying should not be for our or man's admiration but to glorify and lift-up Our Awesome God. If you have that "Prayer Burden" (that deep heavy feeling when a need for prayer is mentioned) for others, come see us at LWBC and we'll discuss your need to pray, its reasons, and the wonderful benefit you get from using that "Prayer Burden" to pray for others daily. While a "Prayer Burden" is often for people, sometimes it is for a specific problem but ultimately it is for the benefit of people.
Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we pray and worship Him this Sunday at 10:30 AM and at 6:00 PM for Bible Study.. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Meeting and a Bible Study, a Spanish Bible Study and Youth Chapel until 8:00 PM. We love visitors!
"And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation."
(Isaiah 25:9 KJV)
"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil… And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit,"
(Ephesians 5:15-16, 18 KJV)
Your time here on earth is fleeting (life) and then gone. Store up those "Precious Memories" of life here on earth, because heaven with Our Awesome God will eclipse anything that happens on earth. Our life here on earth is just preparation for heaven and eternity.
As we wait here on earth for Jesus Christ's Second Coming (the Rapture of the His People) to happen, we need to remember the wise virgins and that they were prepared for the Bridegroom to come. Are we following Our Awesome God's commandments? Are we obedient? Are we loving all of God's people? Are we preparing ourselves for heaven and eternity as heirs to God's kingdom? Don't grow weary doing what Our Awesome God asks us to do. We are waiting for our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, to come. Keep alert and keep improving your skills by trying what God wants you to learn to do. Read the Book of Revelation in the Bible and try to imagine how you will feel as each scene described happens.
Don't get impatient for Jesus Christ to come. You should be adding more crowns and remembering why God is waiting for that perfect time for Jesus Christ to come. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 KJV). Yes, God is waiting until all have heard about Him and have had the chance to become Christians before sending Jesus Christ back.
Our Awesome God wants all to come to heaven but we each are choosing what we want... heaven or "the fiery pit". God wants each of us in a church that believes in Jesus Christ, a church that preaches and teaches from the Bible, focusing on God and Jesus. The church should be loving, living by Biblical principles, and encouraging to its members. Use your time on earth wisely for Our Awesome God. See you in heaven if not before!
Join us at LWBC every Sunday at 9:30 AM, we have small group Bible Studies and at 10:30 AM, we meet in the sanctuary for Worship Service. Sunday at 6:00 PM we have Bible Study. On Wednesday, we have Prayer Meeting, a Spanish Bible Study and Youth Chapel until 8:00 PM. We love visitors and practice the "love one another" commandment to all.
"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown (in heaven) of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
(2 Timothy 4:8 KJV)
We will know beyond any doubt when we reach heaven that we have accepted Jesus Christ. In heaven, there are four important things we will experience: 1) be judged for what we have or have not done on earth, 2) rewarded for what we did, 3) worship and praise Jesus for all He did and 4) then we will serve Our Awesome God through our beloved Jesus Christ for eternity. Joy! Joy! Joy!
First, we will be judged by none other than Jesus Christ, who died for us when we were sinners. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV) When we think of all we have done against God, we tremble but should remember 2 Timothy 4:8 (above). And then read more. "He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." (Psalms 103:10-12 KJV) Our Awesome God chose His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us by dying on a Roman cross for our sins. Love you, Jesus!
Second, we are rewarded with gold crowns for what we did to tell others about Jesus Christ and help others on earth that need help, while loving our Lord and all humans. (There are five incorruptible crowns mentioned in the Bible that Jesus will give to us who earned them while on earth.)
Third, we will praise and worship Our Awesome God in the person of Jesus Christ. Heaven will not be boring because it is so dynamic and more real than earth, which will pass away. Praise will fall from our lips as we behold Jesus, savor His purity, touch His truth and see Him clothed in righteousness that makes Him shine brighter than the sun. We will reflect that glory of Jesus!
Fourth, we will serve with Jesus in heaven, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (Romans 8:17 KJV) Our service will depend upon how faithful and obedient we are here on earth. But there will be plenty of jobs for all. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Revelation 3:21 KJV) Is heaven your home?
On 6/25/16 the website will have Part #4 Heaven Our Home for you to read. Meanwhile keep reading your Bible about, and praying to, Our Awesome God. Join us at LWBC for Sunday Worship Services at 10:30 AM next Sunday and for Bible Study at 7:00 PM Sunday. Wednesday, we have Bible Study, a Spanish Bible Study and Youth Chapel until 8:00 PM, We love visitors and friends!
Flo & Bill