"But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
(Luke 1:13 KJV)
"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
(Isaiah 40:3 KJV)
John, the Baptist is a wonderful story that tells of his conception and birth and can be found in Luke 1:5-80. While details are sparse, the story is full of prayer, promise and fulfillment. Just like Samuel and Samson, he was a Nazarite (Numbers 6:1-4), and, therefore, he didn't drink wine or strong drink but was "filled with the Holy Spirit".
His relation to Jesus Christ and his divine origin were emphasized even before his birth when he leaped for joy in Elizabeth's womb. His name was JOHN and it was given to him by the angel Gabriel before his birth.
He was the son of a priest and could have worn the ephod and eaten of the portions allotted him, but he grew up in the wilderness (Luke 1:80) wearing a garment of coarse camel hair and a leather girdle. This was how Isaiah described him in Isaiah 40:3..."a voice crying in the wilderness."
John's preaching was also in the wilderness (Matthew 3:1) away from the Temple or Jerusalem with its religious and cultured people.
His message was, "repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2). John baptized his followers to show the burying of their old life and their arising from the water into a new life.
John, like Jesus later, ran into problems with the Pharisees and Sadducees with whom he had sharp words (Matthew 3:7-12). They asked him who he was and he told them He was not the Christ or Elijah, the prophet. He stated that he would be followed by one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit eternal fire (Matthew 3:11-12). When John saw Jesus, he proclaimed Him "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world".
John was better than a prophet, for he surpassed the others in greatness. John's generation did not accept him and called him possessed (Matthew 11:17-18). He was beheaded in 29 AD by Herod Antipas who had him imprisoned for John's saying he had an incestuous marriage with his brother's wife, Herodias. (Luke 3:19-20). But he told of the coming of Jesus Christ and pointed Him out to all who would listen!
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior? This was His first appearing but He will come again are you ready?
Join us Sunday at 9:30 AM for small group Bible Studies and at 10:30 AM Worship Service in the sanctuary. Sunday evening at 6:00 PM we have Bible Study. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Meeting and Bible Study with a Spanish Bible Study and Youth Chapel until 8:00 PM.
"And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?"
(1 Kings 19:12 -13 KJV)
When one slows down and listens after problems have happened, one may hear that "still small voice" telling one to stop. It might come as Elijah heard it or it might come in other forms, but Our Awesome God knows the best way to stop you when you are going the wrong way, doing the wrong thing or you just need to slow down. We often do not know or understand God because we do not listen for or heed His gentle calls to stop and consider what we are doing.
A whisper can barely be heard and is especially hard to hear as you rush to and fro, so sometimes it must be felt as a pressure on ones' heart and mind. It is like a warm gentle breeze blowing calmly across your soul. It warms and comforts you when you heed it and listen. This feeling and voice are well worth your wait. So listen and wait for Our Awesome God to whisper in that "still small voice" so He gets your attention.
When you are pursuing a path that clearly follows scriptural commandments but you sense that God wants you to do something else that is not on that path, stop and pray before going on. Consider the action and test It against scripture. Does it involve anything that might violate Our Awesome God's word? If not, do the action as best you can as soon as possible. Leave the results and consequences up to God.
Once the assignment is accomplished, God may give you another job. If not, you can return to your original path, but you might want to pursue it in a different direction. A good example is found in Paul’s journey described in Acts, chapters 16 and 17. Sometimes God closes doors (Acts16:6-7). Sometimes God tells us directly by voice or in a vision (Acts 16:9). Other times God uses circumstances (Acts 17:13-15). Paul never did get to Galatia or Bithynia but he preached the Gospel wherever he went.
Our Awesome God never explains His plan to us. He gives us commands in the Bible and lets us work out our own plans to obey them to the best of our ability. Then God blesses them with results that may not be what you expected. But you should always be listening for Him to tell you when He wants you to do something else. You will learn to listen and obey while developing a deep and abiding love for Him and His gentle stops.
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 is at 6:00 PM we have Bible Study along with AWANA for children until 7:30 PM. Our programs include a Wednesday Prayer Meeting and Bible Study but are varied as we teach and preach from Our Awesome God's Holy Bible. We love visitors!
"Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof."
(2 Kings 13:14 KJV)
Most of us know Elijah and his works better than Elisha but Elisha, the prophet, was dying of a terminal illness and King Joash (also called Jehoash), who did "evil in the sight of Lord" (2 Kings 13:11), came down to see him and cry over him. Notice that the Holy Bible never says that they ever met before this but the king was worshipping "other gods". So, was Joash crying over Elisha's coming death or was he crying because he would no longer have someone to get Israel out of trouble? Elisha had the king shoot arrows and strike them on the floor before he prophecied the future for King Joash (2 Kings 13:19). Then it says Elisha died and was buried.
Our Awesome God also says they were burying another man when a band of Moabites attacked. So the people in the funeral let the body of the dead man down onto the bones of Elisha where he revived "and stood up on his feet" (2 Kings 13:21). Can you imagine the shock of the funeral party when they saw the dead man run by. Even after he died Elisha performed one more miracle.
Elisha’s words to Joash may have been spoken in a weak and faltering voice. But the resurrection of that corpse spoke volumes to Joash and the people of Israel about the power of God through His prophet. It assures us that what Our Awesome God says, He will do.
If all that was true of Elisha and the unnamed corpse, how much more true is it of our Lord Himself, who died, was buried, and who was raised from the dead on the third day. How seriously would we take the words of our Lord if His body were still in the tomb? But His bones were not there the next morning after He died on the cross, for He conquered death. He is alive and willing to help us. Jesus Christ is our salvation! Our Awesome God will do what He says He will do! Read and learn God's Holy Bible so you know Him and the things to come in the Book of Revelation.
LWBC is a Bible believing church that tries to live Jesus Christ's commandment to "love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12 KJV). Join us this Sunday as we learn more about Our Awesome God and how to teach others from His Holy Bible. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets along with AWANA for children (September through May) who go until 7:30 PM There is more during the week, especially Wednesday at 7:00 PM. We love visitors!
"But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him."
(2 Kings 5:20 KJV)
While there is some similarity between Gehazi taking care of Elisha as Elisha took care of Elijah and then Elisha becoming the "chief prophet," these are different men. Gehazi had seen all the things Elisha had done and he still didn't realize that Elisha was doing it because his heart was right with Our Awesome God, that God was the important ingredient, not Elisha.
What was wrong with Gehazi?
1) Gehazi was a shepherd without the heart of a shepherd. We see this in the way he acted towards the Shunamite woman who was in pain following the death of her only son and ran to meet Elisha with the problem, expecting him to come and raise him back to life. He wanted to push the woman away when she caught the feet of Elisha but Elisha intervened and stopped him. Could this kind of attitude be the reason why Gehazi couldn’t raise the son when he was given the rod by Elisha to go and pray for him? (2 Kings 4: 24-31)
2) Gehazi had no fear of God. Do you have the fear of God? (Proverbs 1: 7, 9:10, Ecclesiastes 8:12). The Bible tells not to call, use or repeat the name of the Lord in vain. But to express his strong determination to pursue something evil, Gehazi said, "as the Lord lives." (2 Kings 5: 20) God chooses His man because He knows.
3). Gehazi was dishonest. Gehazi demonstrated a serious lack of honesty on one occasion, in the matter of Naaman, the Syrian, in which Gehazi received the leprosy that Naaman had been cured of. And while Elisha was able, by means of the Holy Spirit of God, to raise the dead as Elijah had done, in the matter of the raising of the Shunammite woman's son, Gehazi was unable to do it even when given the use of Elisha's staff by Elisha himself. Our Awesome God demands more from His children than Gehazi had (a true love of God) but he was given a chance, as we all are, to improve, though God knew he wouldn't. So he could never become "chief prophet" as he wanted to be. Praise the Lord!!
We invite you to our church services on Sunday morning (9:30 AM) and evening (6:00 PM), and Wednesday evening (7:00 PM). After Labor Day, there is also AWANA for children on Sunday evening at 6:00 PM. When you come, ask about the home Bible studies during the week and the Intercessory Prayer Team. We love visitors and would enjoy meeting you and telling you about Our Awesome God! On 8/30/15 this website will have #4 Elisha's Death.
"He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over."
(2 Kings 2:13 -14 KJV)
2 Kings 2: 12-14 describes the transition of power from Elijah to Elisha. While there were a number of prophets in Israel, it would seem that Elijah was Our Awesome God's “chief prophet" of this time. After his departure, it was necessary that his successor be designated in a way that would make it clear he was the one in whom the spirit of Elijah had come to abide. By parting the waters of the Jordan River while 50 prophets watched him do it, Elisha proved he was now the "chief prophet."
Elisha means "God is salvation." He was anointed by Elijah as Our Awesome God instructed while plowing in his father, Shaphat's field with 12 yoke of oxen. So Elisha knew he was to take Elijah's place as "chief prophet" in Israel. Elisha asked for and received a "double portion" of the spirit of Elijah before or as Elijah left with his "chariot of fire". Elisha served as a prophet of the northern kingdom for more than 50 years, through the reigns of kings Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, and into the reign of Joash.
The first thing Our Awesome God did through Elisha was to "cure" the bitter waters of the spring in Jericho. Elisha threw some salt into it when the men of the city asked to make the waters better (2 Kings 2:18-20). It sweetened the waters and the land was no longer barren. Yes, he had the double portion of Elijah's spirit. Would he always use it wisely? Or was he human enough to mess things up? We know that Elijah was depressed and afraid. Tomorrow, 8/28/15, read the #2 Wise Prophet?
Our Awesome God was in charge of this universe when Elisha was here and He still keeps charge, but His Son, Jesus Christ, will be the ultimate authority into eternity. So learn as much as possible about this God that loves and wants you in His kingdom forever to mature as you get older not just wait but be active in His kingdom. Read His Book, the Holy Bible, and pray to Him.
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 along with AWANA for children until 7:30 PM (September through May). Our programs include Home Bible Studies and a Wednesday Prayer Meeting but are varied as we teach and preach from Our Awesome God's Holy Bible. We love visitors and practice the "love one another" commandment to all.
"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."
(2 Kings 2:11 KJV)
Elisha, who was to replace Elijah as chief prophet for Our Awesome God, was staying very close to Elijah since he knew that Elijah was to be taken up that day to Heaven. When Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for him, Elisha said he wanted a double portion of Elijah's spirit. Elijah told him if he saw Elijah go up to heaven he would have his double portion. Now we don't know exactly what Elisha knew, but the "chariot of fire" was not mentioned in the Bible before Elijah ascended.
The chariot was a powerful religious symbol of Our Awesome God for ancient Israel: not the ordinary chariots used for war, but what the Bible calls "chariot of fire." The first mention of a chariot of fire is in 2 Kings 2:11, cited above. This is the story of Elijah being caught up into heaven. Although tradition imagines it was the chariot that carried Elijah away, the Bible says a fiery chariot and its horses separated Elijah from Elisha, his disciple, while a whirlwind snatched Elijah away and, some think, into the fiery chariot. If it was a fiery chariot that Elijah rode in, was it a symbol to Israel?
So Elijah didn't die, he went to up with or in, a "chariot of fire". His time on earth was over and his replacement on earth was Elisha. Our Awesome God had fulfilled his wishes to die by taking him up with a spectacular "chariot of fire" in full view of God's prophets. Did God plan it that way? Of course He did. Everything God does is with the purpose of having His children (Christians) know He will give them the best. Are we watching carefully as Elisha did? Elisha got his double portion of spirit and he used it spectacularly.
Are you a "child of the King"? God will give you what you have earned when you get to heaven. But for any awards, you must be a Christian. Our Awesome God wants anyone who realizes that they are sinning and is ready to stop sinning and do it God's way. Come just as you are and tell Him. Even Christians have to admit their sin because only our Lord can get rid of sin for you. Don't wait! Get to God and then to a church that preaches and teaches that Jesus Christ died for you, taking your sins upon Himself and arose the third day to sit by God, interceding for you when you sin. He was Elijah's God!
Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we pray and worship Him this Sunday at 9:30 AM for Bible Study and 10:30 AM for worship Service. Sunday evening at 6:00 PM for Bible Study along with a children's program called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM (September through May). On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests and prayer. There are more programs during the week. We love visitors!
"But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers."
(1 Kings 19:4 KJV)
Our Awesome God sent Elijah, the Prophet, to rescue the Israelites from their moral and spiritual decline into Baal worship. Elijah had confronted and defeated the prophets of Baal, but confronting wicked Queen Jezebel was too much because she threatened to kill him for killing her false prophets.
Elijah didn't keep in mind Our Awesome God's faithfulness to him but panicked, ran and hid himself (1 Kings 19:4). Elijah was depressed and felt a failure because the prophets of God were gone, the worship in temple of God suspended. He felt a failure and that God had left him. But Our Awesome God sent His angel to feed Elijah and then God asked him why he was there. God then sent him to anoint two kings and a new prophet named Elisha to take his place (1 Kings 19:15-16).
Before he left the cave he was hiding in, God reminded him with an earthquake and fire that God could and would do anything to protect him. Elijah remembered Our Awesome God's faithfulness, protection and provision of food. He would sustain Elijah because He could do anything. So he rested and returned to the missions God had for him, a wiser and more mature man of God ready to serve Him.
We, like Elijah after stress and depression, need to rest in Our Awesome God, remember His faithfulness and trust Him for the future. We need to turn to God and drop our doubting and depression. God is there in our lives all the time helping us, especially, in our times of stress and doubt. He knows all and sees all. He is in control. You need to follow His guidance. He brings victory when His advice is followed carefully.
Come join us at our church or join any church that preaches and teaches that Jesus Christ, died for you and took your sins upon Himself and arose the third day to sit by God, interceding for you when you sin. Tomorrow, 8/20/15, #4 Chariots of Fire will conclude the life of Elijah.
Our church is a loving church that wants to help others to a better understanding of Our Awesome God and His love, mercy and grace for all of mankind. Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we love others while preaching and teaching from our Holy Bible about God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Our church has a Bible Study at 9:30 AM on Sunday and Worship Service at 10:30 AM and then at 6:00 PM there is another Bible Study along with a children's program called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM along with AWANA for children (September through May). We love visitors!
Flo & Bill