"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.
"The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet."
(Nahum 1:3 KJV)
Nahum, an obscure minor prophet of Our Awesome God from Elkosh, about 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem, rose up about 2600 years ago and preached about the coming destruction of the city of Nineveh by a coalition of Babylonians, Scythians and Medes. He wrote a short and concise Book in the Bible that that told of the total destruction of Nineveh around 600 BC, which was about 2 years before it happened.
Nineveh at that time was the capital of the Assyrian Empire, which was one of the most powerful empires of the ancient world. The Assyrians conquered the kingdom of Israel in about 722 BC, about 2700 years ago, as Our Awesome God's prophets had foretold. The conquests of Israel and Nineveh were as ruthless and cruel as it was devastating. When reading this Book of Nahum, you realize the cruelty, the superstition, the idolatry, the injustice and the treachery that these people prided themselves for having.
This was a nation whose capital, Nineveh, had turned from their wicked ways when Our Awesome God had made Jonah preach to them. They knew about God and His creation and His standards but they ignored Nahum's prophecy. But Nahum was right. Nineveh would never again be a world power and today, it is little more than an archaeological site. In contrast, Israel is again a nation, and a relatively prosperous one at that.
Our Awesome God's holiness, justice and power are the foundation of Nahum's prophetic book. God rules over all the earth, even over those who do not acknowledge Him. Along with Nahum's writings about the destruction of Nineveh, there is also a message of hope that shines through. God is slow to anger (Nahum 1:3) and good (Nahum 1:7) and offers good tidings to those who want His blessings (Nahum 1:15). God remains the same always: slow to anger, blessing us, good to all and loving while giving us justice. We must remember that justice will occur for all, the consequences can be devastating.
Come join us 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 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 along with a program for children called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM.. We have a Prayer Meeting and Bible Study that meets at 7:00 PM on Wednesday.
"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? "
(Micah 6:8 KJV)
"The author, Micah, was of the town called Moresheth which may be the same town mentioned in 1:14, Moresheth-gath. If so, Micah came from a little town not far from Jerusalem (25 miles SW of Jerusalem near the Philistine city of Gath)." This was written by David Malik for bible.Org on the internet (http://bible,org/article/introduction-book-micah) and seems to agree with the thinking of most Bible scholars.
Micah, at Our Awesome God's request, came from a country setting to tell the rich and powerful that they needed to be less abusive to the poor of Israel. He prophesied concerning the upcoming captivity and that a Ruler would come out of Bethlehem. He prophesied during the reigns of Kings Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah or from 750 to 686 B.C.
He was a contemporary of Isaiah, the prophet. His main theme was that Our Awesome God insists that His people must reflect His holy character in the way they live; if they refuse, judgment is the inevitable result. Yet God will never abandon His covenant people and He sent Jesus Christ, the Messiah to save us from our sins if we will accept Him as our savior.
Micah says Our Awesome God gives us warnings so that we will not have to suffer His wrath if we obey. But judgment is certain to happen if His warnings are not obeyed and Jesus Christ's salvation is rejected. Though God may need to chastise us, it will be in love if we have accepted Christ's salvation. Our Awesome God has had a plan to redeem us since before the foundation of the world. He knew we would sin and still He created us. He loves us!
Micah was Our Awesome God's Prophet giving warning about what needed to be done. Just like His covenant people, we, His adopted children, need to reflect His holy character in the way we live, what we say and do. Do you? You need to know Him well. So read His Word in His Holy Bible, pray to Him and listen to His pastors. His Bible and His pastors have already told us about the coming judgment but we must believe them, repent of our sins and accept His salvation by grace through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
LWBC is a loving church who tries to live by Biblical principles while encouraging all its members. Join us for church this coming Sunday at 9:30 AM for Bible Study. We have Worship Service in the Sanctuary at 10:30 AM and Sunday evening Bible Study from 6:00 to 7:00 PM along with AWANA for children lasting until 7:30 PM. Our programs are varied but we teach and preach from Our Awesome God's Holy Bible 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. We love visitors!
"The word of the Lord which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah (Hezekiah), in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah"
(Zephaniah 1:1 KJV)
Zephaniah was a minor prophet of our God only because he didn't write 50 chapters like the Major Prophets did. There are 12 Minor Prophets in the Old Testament of our Bibles, but there’s nothing minor about Zephaniah or what he has to say. This man, used by Our Awesome God, helped reform and a revival to sweep the nation of Israel at the time of King Josiah's reign (640-609 BC). Zephaniah was a great grandson of Hezekiah, making him part of the royal family and a third cousin to King Josiah.
Everyone was sure that, with a good king such as Josiah on the throne, Our Awesome God would forgive them. But Zephaniah stood up and said, "NO, judgment will happen and cannot be stopped. God's judgment is coming, it will be swift, it will be complete, it will be for all. And there is nothing that can be done to prevent it." He preached this before Judah was taken into captivity, so very few paid any attention to him!
Verse 2 of Zephaniah 1 says, "I will utterly consume everything from the face of the land" says the Lord."' You cannot get more complete than that. All will be judged everything and all will be consumed. Read all of the Book of Zephaniah. The judgment is on God's chosen people, on the kings, rulers, the religions, the indifferent, the lazy, the complacent, EVERYTHING!
Zephaniah’s message was to the Jews in the kingdom of Judah and was fulfilled in the Babylonian captivity. Their hope was in God’s promise of repatriation in the next generation. Likewise, some day the people of this world will be judged by Jesus Christ, Our Awesome God's chosen judge. But hope for our people today is found in Jesus Christ and our belief and obedience to His commandments. Hope for our world is not in stopping judgment, judgment is coming. What we need to do is seek refuge in Our Awesome God's Son, Jesus Christ. Read Zephaniah 1:7-8, 14-15. Our Awesome God has decided to take all things through judgment to salvation. Seek refuge and shelter in Jesus Christ, for He will be pleased to hide another. Repent!
Who do you know who needs to know Jesus Christ and Him crucified? Tell them about our Lord and bring them to our church or attend 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.
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 teach others from His Holy Bible. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and Praise/Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets along with AWANA for children until 7:30 PM. And there is more during the week. We love visitors!
"And he went up from thence unto Beth–el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them."
(2 Kings 2:23, 24 KJV)
This sounds horrible when we read what happened to these teenage to 25-year-old men. The term used by the author to refer to these young men is one that is quite flexible. It is used for a young child, but it can also refer to what we would call a “young man.” It is apparent that these are not “little boys” who accost Elisha, but “young men.” They were mocking God's chosen one - they were mocking Our Awesome God. What did Elisha "see" when he "turned back and looked on them?" Did he "see" all the sins they (God's people) had committed against God?
Scripture doesn't say that Elisha called up those bears. Our Awesome God called the bears. If God did it, He did it for a definite purpose or reason. So let's look at this for a moment and see what the reason could have been. This was a time that God's people were worshipping those "gods" made by the hands of man. Was Our Awesome God warning His people of the upcoming destruction of all Canaan by the Babylonians under King Nebuchnezzar? They needed to turn from their wicked ways and return to Yahweh. God always warns us! We just don't listen. And neither did they listen. They just kept insulting God!
Is Our Awesome God warning us of the coming Tribulation? Or maybe He is telling us with this long ago story that we, as a nation, are following false "gods" as the nation of Israel did. Are you following the true God? Or are you following a "world god?"
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, arising the third day to sit by God, interceding for you when you sin. Read the Book in the Bible called Revelation which talks about the time coming called Tribulation. Read the website tomorrow, 8/29/15, for #3 Elisha's Servant, Gehazi.
If you are a Christian who has strayed away from Our Awesome God or someone who has never been a Christian or a person who needs to help minister to others, join us at Living Word Baptist Church on Sunday at 10:30 AM for praise and worship, Sunday at 6:00 PM is Bible Study along with AWANA for children until 7:30 PM (September through May). On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests, and a Bible Study. We welcome all people and love them!
"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 Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word."
(1 Kings 17:1 KJV)
Elijah stood up boldly for Our Awesome God in a time when idolatry had swept his Israel. In fact, his name means "My God is Yah(weh)." The false god he opposed was Baal, the favorite deity of Jezebel, wife of King Ahab of Israel (869-850 BC). To please Jezebel, Ahab had altars erected to Baal, and allowed the queen to murder God's prophets.
The Scripture above is the first mention of Elijah in the Bible and he was telling King Ahab of a coming drought because of the prophets that were killed and the altars to Baal he had built. Elijah is told by Our Awesome God to run to the Brook, Cherith to escape Queen Jezebel's wrath and where God has told the ravens feed him (1 Kings 17:6-7). When the Brook, Cherith dried up, God sent him to a widow in Sidon whom he helped and stayed with. He brought the widow's son back to life with God's help (1 Kings 17:22). God was using Elijah even as he was in hiding from Queen Jezebel and King Ahab. Elijah was slowly being taught to depend completely on God for all his needs and wants.
After three years of drought, Our Awesome God sent Elijah to King Ahab in Samaria where there was a famine. Elijah spoke with King Ahab of Israel, telling him to gather 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah and send them to Mount Carmel with all Israel (1 Kings 18:19). The Bible doesn't say whether Ahab knew God was going to challenge Baal or even lift the drought or not.
Notice that King Ahab didn't argue about gathering the people Elijah asked him to bring to Mount Carmel. He did everything Elijah asked because nothing else had stopped the drought and famine. Had he learned that Our Awesome God is Supreme? Read our website tomorrow, 8/18/15, when the conclusion of this incident with Elijah will be told in "#2 Heavenly Fire" or you might just read 1 Kings, chapter 18. Reading the Bible and praying are very important to Our Awesome God and God's children.
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) which goes until 7:30 PM. There is more during the week. We love visitors!
Flo & Bill