JESUS, THE MESSIAH

"WHO IS JESUS?"  

    "This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon. Without science and learning He shed more light on things human and things divine than all philosophers and scholars combined. Without the eloquence of schools, He spoke such Words of Life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet. Without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times." Phillip Schaff, noted historian.

DO WE KNOW THAT JESUS ACTUALLY EXISTED AS A PERSON?

    1. Yes! To the unprejudiced historian, the historical facts regarding Jesus are as definite and evident as those of Julius Caesar. Not only do we find an accurate portrait of Him in the documents of the New Testament, but dozens of ancient non-Biblical manuscripts confirm that Jesus was a genuine historical figure who lived in Palestine in the early part of the first century.
    2. Concerning the testimony of the many ancient secular accounts of Jesus, the Encyclopedia Britannica states:
    "These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the OPPONENTS of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time--and on inadequate grounds by several authors during the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th centuries."

WHAT MAKES JESUS DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER GREAT RELIGIOUS TEACHERS, PROPHETS OR PHILOSOPHERS?

    3. If any adjective were to describe Jesus, it would be "UNIQUE"! His MESSAGE was unique. The CLAIMS He made regarding Himself were unique. His MIRACLES were unique. And the INFLUENCE He has had on the World is unsurpassed by any other.
    4. One very outstanding and undeniably unique aspect of Jesus' life is that literally hundreds of detailed PREDICTIONS and PROPHECIES were made by ancient prophets and seers, many centuries before He was born. Specific details regarding His birth, life and death, that no mere mortal man could possibly have fulfilled!
    5. In the first books of the Bible, known as the "Old Testament," over 300 such predictions about the "Messiah" or "Saviour" can be found. The discovery of hundreds of ancient Old Testament manuscripts by archaeologists during this century has proven without a doubt that these prophecies were indeed written CENTURIES BEFORE this man called Jesus was born.
    6. Here is a small sampling of the kind of specific predictions we're talking about: In 750 B.C., the prophet Isaiah made the astounding prediction that:

    "THE LORD HIMSELF SHALL GIVE YOU A SIGN; BEHOLD, A VIRGIN SHALL CONCEIVE AND BEAR A SON, AND SHALL CALL HIS NAME EMMANUEL." ISAIAH 7:14 .

    7. 7-1/2 centuries later, a young virgin girl in Israel named Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel, who announced to her that she would bear a Son Who would be called Emmanuel, which means "God with us." The books of the Bible which were written after Jesus came to Earth, the "New Testament," tell us that, "Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, seeing I have not LAIN with any man?' And the angel answered, 'The Spirit of GOD shall come upon you, and the power of the ALMIGHTY shall overshadow you! Therefore that Holy One which shall be born of you shall be called the SON OF GOD!'"  Luke 1:26-35 .
    8. So even the very BEGINNING of His life on Earth His conception and birth--were not only unique, but MIRACULOUS, in that the simple and humble young girl who became His mother had never slept with a man! In fact, the Bible tells us that the news of her pregnancy was so shocking to the young man to whom she was engaged to be married, Joseph, that when he learned about it he promptly decided to break off the engagement and call off the wedding! Until the angel of the Lord appeared to him also, and instructed him to stay with her and rear and protect the very special child that she was carrying.
    9. A full 800 YEARS before Jesus was born, the prophet Micah foretold the exact village where the Messiah would be born:

    "YOU, BETHLEHEM, THOUGH YOU ARE SMALL AMONG THE CLANS OF JUDAH, YET OUT OF YOU SHALL HE COME FORTH UNTO ME WHO IS TO BE RULER OVER ISRAEL; WHOSE GOINGS FORTH HAVE BEEN OF OLD, FROM DAYS OF ETERNITY." MICAH 5:2

    10. Although His earthly parents lived in the town of Nazareth, 100 miles to the north of Bethlehem, a decree from Rome demanded that all families return to their ancestral homes to register for a worldwide census. The decree came just as Mary's child was due to be born. Thus God used a Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, to help bring about the fulfillment of Micah's prophecy. Joseph and Mary journeyed to Bethlehem, and upon their arrival, Mary went into labour, and as the Gospels inform us, "Jesus was born in BETHLEHEM of Judea" ( Matthew 2:1 ), just as the prophet Micah predicted.
    11. Micah's prophecy also tells us that the Messiah "Has been of old, from days of ETERNITY." Jesus Himself said, "Before ABRAHAM was (around 2000 B.C.), I AM."  John 8:58 . Abraham was the forefather of the Jews and Arabs, who lived about 2,000 YEARS before Jesus was born to Mary. So Jesus was referring here to His pre-existence with God before His life on Earth in the form of a man.
    12. Though born in Bethlehem, Jesus grew up in Nazareth. In His first recorded public address there, He openly declared that He indeed WAS the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah. While attending the local house of worship, He stood up before the crowd and read a prophecy from the book of the prophet Isaiah. In the passage, Isaiah predicted that the Messiah would be anointed with the Spirit of God to "preach Good News to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to give freedom to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind and to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." Isaiah 61:1,2 . The New Testament tells us that after He read this prophecy aloud to the congregation, Jesus told them, "TODAY is this Scripture FULFILLED in your ears!" Luke 4:18-21 .
    13. Another outstanding prophecy regarding the Messiah was made by Israel's King David around the year 1000 B.C., or over 10 CENTURIES before Jesus was born. In his prophecy, David gave details of a cruel and agonising death which he himself never suffered:

    "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, it has melted within me...Like a pack of dogs, they have surrounded me; a company of evil doers has encircled me. They have pierced my hands and my feet. They divide my clothing among them and cast lots for my garment." Psalm 22:14-18 .

    14. King David died a peaceful, natural death, so we know he was not talking about himself in this passage of Scripture. But being a prophet, he predicted with unerring accuracy the circumstances surrounding the cruel death on the cross of the Messiah, the CHRIST that was to come. Let's examine some of the details outlined in the above prophecy:
    15. "I am poured out like water...my heart is melted within me." Jesus not only poured out His life for us spiritually, but the New Testament tells us that shortly after He died, while He was still hanging on the cross, "one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately BLOOD AND WATER FLOWED OUT." John 19:34 . Modern medical authorities have affirmed that in the case of heart rupture--when a human heart literally bursts open under extreme stress and trauma--the blood collects in the pericardium, the membranous sac that encloses the heart and the roots of the main blood vessels. This blood then separates into a sort of bloody clot and a watery serum, thus when the soldier pierced His side, His life was LITERALLY, "poured forth like WATER." (Unwittingly, this Roman soldier fulfilled another prophecy, "They will look upon Me whom they have PIERCED," a prophecy given by the Prophet Zechariah around 500 B.C. Zechariah 12:10 .)
    16. "All my bones are out of joint." This is one of the horrors of death by crucifixion; the weight of the victim's body literally pulls his arms out of their sockets.
    17. "Like a pack of dogs...a company of evil doers has encircled me." The New Testament tells us that Jesus' wicked and vengeful religious enemies, the Scribes and the Pharisees, gathered around Him as He was nailed on the cross, mocking and reviling Him.  Matthew 27:39-44 .
    18. "They have pierced my hands and my feet." This is probably the most astounding prediction within this prophecy. Crucifixion was not practiced by the Jews of David's time. Their religious laws demanded that criminals be executed by STONING. But God showed His Prophet, David, how the Messiah would die 10 CENTURIES LATER, executed at the hands of an empire that did not even exist in David's day, ROME, whose principal means of executing criminals was CRUCIFIXION!
    19. "They divide my clothing among them and cast lots for my garment." In the Gospels of the New Testament we find the almost incredible fulfillment of this prophecy: "When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took His clothes, and DIVIDED them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment (a long robe-like tunic) remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. So they said one to another, 'Let us not tear it, but let us CAST LOTS to decide whose it shall be.'" John 19:23,24 .
    20. In 487 B.C., the Prophet Zechariah predicted: "And I said unto them, if you think well, give me my PRICE; and if not, keep it. So they paid me 30 PIECES OF SILVER." Zechariah 11:12
    21. On the night that Jesus was arrested by His enemies, the New Testament tells us that, "One of the twelve Apostles, Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said to them, 'What will you give me if I deliver Him to you?', and they counted out for him 30 PIECES OF SILVER." Matthew 26:14,15 .
    22. Imagine! Over five hundred years before the event took place, God's Prophet, Zechariah, predicted the EXACT "PRICE" that Jesus' enemies would pay to His traitorous disciple, Judas! In the next verse of Zechariah's prophecy, he goes into even more astounding details:

    "And the Lord said, 'Cast it unto the POTTER--the handsome price at which they priced Me!' So the 30 pieces of silver were taken and CAST TO THE POTTER IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD." Zechariah 11:13 .

    23. The New Testament tells us that, "When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented, and RETURNED the 30 PIECES OF SILVER to the chief priests of the Jews, and he cast down the pieces of silver in the TEMPLE. Then the chief priests picked up the silver pieces and said, 'It is against our law to put it into our treasury because it is blood-money.' So they used the money to buy a POTTER'S FIELD, to bury foreigners in." Matthew 27:3-6 . The 30 pieces of silver were literally "CAST to the POTTER in the HOUSE of the LORD"! Just as Zechariah predicted 500 years earlier!
    24. In 712 B.C., the prophet Isaiah predicted that the Son of God would "be given a GRAVE WITH THE WICKED, and with the RICH in His DEATH." Isaiah 53:9 .
    25. Jesus' bitter religious enemies condemned Him as a CRIMINAL, as a WICKED man, thus as He died, the Bible tells us "there were two ROBBERS crucified with Him." Matthew 27:38 . After His body was removed from the cross, "a RICH MAN named Joseph of Arimathaea went to Pilate and pleaded for the body of Jesus, and when Joseph had taken the body, he laid it IN HIS OWN NEW TOMB." Matthew 27:57-60 . A "GRAVE WITH THE RICH!"
    26. 1,000 YEARS before Jesus was born, the Spirit of God prophesied through King David that the Saviour would be resurrected from the dead: "God will not leave His soul in the grave, neither will He suffer His Holy One to see corruption or decay." Psa.16:10 .
    27. King David died and was buried in a grave, and HIS flesh saw corruption and decay. But JESUS was raised from the grave three days after His death!--As the Angel said to the mourners who came to Jesus' tomb, "He is not here, but is RISEN! Why do you seek the living among the dead?" Lk.24:5,6 .
    28. What mere human can choose his own birthplace? Or what mortal man can or WOULD cause the officials of a foreign government to order his death by a terribly agonising execution? How could anyone manipulate their bitter enemies to pay a specific price for their betrayal, mock and revile them as they are dying, much less cause a band of soldiers to gamble for their clothing and pierce their side AFTER they've died, & cause a rich man to bury their body in his own personal tomb? Yet Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled not only these, but OVER 300 MORE specific predictions regarding His birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection! Truly He was and is "UNIQUE" in every sense of the word!
    29. Not one of the great recognised religious leaders not Moses, not Buddha, not Confucius, not Mohammed ever claimed to be God. True, some have been deified by their followers after they died, but none ever personally claimed to be Deity. That is, with the exception of Jesus Christ. In fact, He not only CLAIMED to be the Son of God, God manifest in human flesh, but He CONVINCED a great portion of the World that He in fact IS God's Son.
    30. This is probably THE greatest difference between Jesus and all of the other great philosophers, teachers, prophets and gurus throughout the ages. Although many of them spoke and taught ABOUT love and ABOUT God, Jesus claimed that He WAS Love, that He WAS God's Love for the World. Thus He really knew what He was talking about! Either He was RIGHT, or He was terribly WRONG. Either He was good, and spoke the truth, or He was evil, a deceiver and a liar!
    31. The famous intellectual and former professor of Cambridge University, C.S. Lewis, expressed it this way:
    "There is a really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is one thing that we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things that Jesus said would not be 'a great moral teacher'. He would either be a lunatic on a level with a man who claims he is a poached egg or else He would be the Devil of Hell! You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: Or else a mad man or something worse.
    32. "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronising nonsense about His being a 'great human teacher'. He has not left that option open to us, He did not intend to."
    33. Another unlikely authority on such matters, the emperor & conqueror of nations, Napoleon Bonaparte, also rightly recognised the absolute uniqueness of Jesus, & expressed it in these words:
    "I know men, and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the World there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon LOVE, and at this hour millions of men would die for Him."

BUT WHY WOULD GOD SEND HIS SON INTO THE WORLD?

    34. God LOVES us and wanted us to know His Love. But He knows that He--the great Creator of the Universe--is simply too great a concept for us to comprehend or even imagine! He says, "As high as the heavens are above the Earth, so high are MY ways above YOUR ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts!"  Isaiah 55:9 . He also tells us, "Even the Heaven of heavens cannot contain Me!"  1Kings 8:27 . None of us can really grasp just how great God is, how marvellous and wonderful He is, far beyond the minds of men and the wildest stretch of our imaginations!
    35. But because He loves us and wanted us to know His Love and Salvation, He sent His "only begotten SON"--Jesus--into the World to show us what He Himself is like.
    36. Although He was literally the Ruler & King of the Universe, He chose not to be born in a fine palace with the elite & powerful members of the governments of Man in attendance. Instead, He was born in the humblest & most lowly of circumstances, on the dirty floor of a barn amidst the cattle & the asses, wrapped in rags & laid to rest in the animals' feed trough.
    37. His earthly stepfather, Joseph, was a humble carpenter with whom He lived & laboured, conforming to our own human ways of life, custom, language & living. Thus He personally EXPERIENCED life as we know it, & learned to understand & love us better, to communicate with us on the lowly level of our own limited human understanding. He learned to LOVE Mankind. He saw our suffering & had great compassion on us, longing not only to heal our sick & broken bodies, but also to save our souls and broken hearts!
    38. When Jesus began His life's work, He went about everywhere doing good. Helping people, loving children, healing heartaches, strengthening tired bodies, and bringing God's Love to all whom He could. He not only preached His message, but He LIVED it among us as one of us. He not only ministered to Man's spiritual needs, but He spent a great deal of time ministering to their physical & material needs, miraculously healing them when they were sick, giving sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, cleansing lepers, raising the dead. He fed the crowds when they were hungry, & did all He could to share His life & His Love!

HOW COULD JESUS BE GOD, IF HE LIVED AND WALKED ON THE EARTH LIKE A MAN?

    39. Jesus said, "I and my Father are ONE."  John 10:30 . Before being born to Mary and living in a fleshly human body, He and His Heavenly Father were together in very close personal Heavenly fellowship, something He had to forsake while He was down here on Earth.
    40. The Bible tells us, "In the BEGINNING was the WORD (Jesus) and the Word was WITH God and the Word WAS God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made...And the Word (Jesus) was made FLESH and lived AMONG us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the one and only Son of the Father." John 1:1,2,14 .
    41. Just before He was arrested and crucified, knowing that He would soon be reunited with His Heavenly Father, Jesus prayed: "And now, Father, glorify Me along with Yourself and restore Me to such majesty and honour in Your presence as I had with You BEFORE THE WORLD WAS MADE...for You loved Me BEFORE the foundation of the World." John 17:5,24 .

WHY DOES JESUS FREQUENTLY REFER TO HIMSELF IN THE GOSPELS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AS "THE SON OF MAN"?

    42. He called Himself the Son of Man because He was HUMAN, He was born of a woman just like the rest of us. He had the same kind of body that we have, He had the same feelings that we have, the same human limitations we have, He felt the same kind of weariness and pain.
    43. The Creator of all things willingly stripped Himself of His unlimited power and became a tiny helpless infant. The Source of all wisdom and knowledge had to study and learn to read and write. He left His throne in Heaven where innumerable angels worshipped Him, where all the forces of the Universe were at His command, and He took the place of a servant scoffed at, ridiculed, persecuted and ultimately killed by the very ones He came to save.
    44. The Bible tells us that Jesus is "a High Priest Who is touched with the feeling of our weaknesses, for He was in all points tempted the same way WE are, yet without sin."  Hebrews 4:15 . Imagine! The Son of God literally became a citizen of this World, a member of humanity, a man of flesh, in order to reach us with His Love, prove to us His compassion and concern, and help us to understand His Truth in simple childlike terms that we could grasp.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE MEAN WHEN IT CALLS JESUS "THE WORD"?

    45. God has always spoken to people in many ways: Through the beauty and wonder of His Creation, through His prophets and messengers, and through His written Word. But the CLEAREST revelation of Himself--of His character, of His Love is found in His SON, Jesus, Whom He calls "the Word."
    46. Words are the means by which we EXPRESS ourselves, by which we reveal our thoughts, our feelings, our character. And JESUS is the means by which GOD expresses Himself to us. God's most outstanding means of communication with us, the way that He chose to communicate His Love to the World, was by His Own Son, Jesus.

SO JESUS CAME TO GIVE US GOD'S MESSAGE, TO TELL US ABOUT GOD'S LOVE?

    47. Yes. But He not only gave us God's message and God's teachings, God's Love, but He IS God's message, He IS God's Love to us.
    48. Jesus, the living Word, revealed God's feelings to us in a way that we could understand and relate to. For example,  Isaiah 53:3  tells us, "He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." He wept over the grief of His friends, over the suffering of humanity, and even over Jerusalem, a city that rejected its Saviour and was therefore doomed to destruction.
    49. Jesus was so merciful, so kind and kind-hearted. There were times when He was wearied, worn and virtually exhausted from constantly ministering to the crowds that thronged Him. On one occasion He tried to retire from the busy scene for a little rest and recuperation, but the Bible tells us that when He saw the multitudes who needed His help, He had COMPASSION upon them. He felt so SORRY for them that despite the weariness and pain He felt, He went out and healed ALL that came to Him, and taught them all the wonderful Words of God's Kingdom of Love. Matthew 9:36 ;  Mark 6:31-34 .
    50. There were also times when God's ANGER blazed through Jesus, the Living Word, against pretense and hypocrisy. He told the self-righteous leaders of the ruling religious hierarchy of His day, "If I had not come and spoken unto you, you would not be guilty of sin, but now I have come and EXPOSED you, so you have no covering for your sin!" John 15:22 .
    51. Actually, most of the time He had very little to do with the lofty, rich-robed, powerful and wealthy religious leaders, the Scribes and the Pharisees. Except when they insisted on annoying Him and raising critical questions, doubts and accusations among those He was teaching. Then He unleashed scathing rebukes against them, publicly exposing them as the "blind leaders of the blind" that they were ( Matthew 15:14 ), even telling them on occasion that they were like "whitewashed SEPULCHRES, tombs, which, although they appeared beautiful, clean and holy OUTWARDLY, were full of rottenness, corruption and stinking dead men's bones WITHIN!" Matthew 23:27,28 . These religious leaders considered themselves to be the most "righteous and holy" people in town, but Jesus exposed them for the hypocrites, liars, robbers and cheaters of the poor that they were, which of course infuriated them.
    52. But most of the time Jesus avoided the self-satisfied religionists, and spent His time helping and loving the poor, the common man, speaking to them, healing them, feeding them and most importantly, giving them the spiritual answers, Love, forgiveness and Truth that they longed for.
    53. The Bible says that He mingled with and preached to the fishermen, drunks, prostitutes, tax collectors and sinners, and "the COMMON people heard Him GLADLY." Mark 12:37 . But when He went into the temple and gave His message to the RELIGIOUS leaders, they mobbed Him, threw Him out and finally crucified Him!

WHY DID THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF HIS OWN PEOPLE REJECT HIM?

    54. Jesus' message that all that the people had to do was to simply "love God with all their heart, and love their neighbour as themselves" ( Matthew 22:37-39 ), LIBERATED them from the dictatorial stranglehold and control that their religious leaders held over them. His teachings snatched the people out from under the established religion's control, a development that filled the religious leaders with fear and envy. They reasoned, "If we let Him alone, ALL men will believe on Him, & the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our influence!" John 11:47,48 .
    55. These bitter religious foes finally had Jesus arrested and brought to trial on false charges of sedition and subversion. Although the Roman governor found Him innocent, he was pressured and persuaded by the influential High Priests to execute Him. When Jesus' enemies came to arrest Him, He assured His disciples, "They couldn't even TOUCH Me without My Father's permission! If I would but raise My little finger, He would send tens of thousands of angels to rescue Me!"-- Matthew 26:53 .--But instead, He CHOSE to die.--For you and me! Nobody TOOK His life from Him, He laid it down, He GAVE His life of His Own free will and accord. See  John 10:11, 17,18 .
    56. But even His death did not satisfy His bitter and vengeful enemies! To ensure that His followers couldn't steal His body and claim He had risen from the dead as He had said He would these false religious leaders had a huge stone placed over the entrance to His tomb, and posted a group of Roman soldiers there to guard it. A scheme that proved futile, as these same guards became eyewitnesses to the greatest miracle of all. Three days after His lifeless body was laid to rest in that cold tomb, He AROSE from the dead, victoriously conquering death and Hell and the grave!

IF ALL OF THIS AMAZING PAST HISTORY OF JESUS IS TRUE, WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHAT GOOD IS IT TO ME TODAY?

    57. In the same text of the Bible where we read the story of His life on Earth, we also find many specific, definite claims that Jesus made regarding Himself. Claims that you can take at face value and put to the TEST right now. Here are a few examples in Jesus' Own Words:
    58."I am the LIGHT of the World. He that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life."  John 8:12 . All of us have had the experience of being caught in the dark before and wishing we had a light so we could see, so we could make our way safely past any dangers, avoid any falls etc. Well, spiritually speaking, when we do not know God and are out of fellowship with Him, we are in SPIRITUAL darkness.
    59. Would you like to get RID of all the darkness in your life? Just like turning a light on immediately chases all of the darkness out of a blackened room, so Jesus will chase all of the SPIRITUAL darkness, oppression, fear and evil out of your life if you will just ask Him to come into your heart! Once you have received the "Light of the World"Jesus into your heart, all of the powers of evil and the dark experiences of life will never be able to quench it!

    "ALL power is given unto Me in Heaven and in Earth!" Matthew 28:18 .

    60. The Devil and all of his evil spirits TREMBLE at even the NAME of Jesus! All you need to do is ask Jesus to come into your heart, then you've got the greatest, most powerful spiritual Force of ALL with you. He is your FRIEND, He LOVES you and wants to HELP you and fill your soul with His Light!

    "I am the DOOR, by Me, if any man enter in, he shall be SAVED."  John 10:9 .

    61. He is not a closed or locked door that you must try to force open or work hard to enter. He's an OPEN door! All you have to do is walk through Him and thereby freely enter God's Heavenly Kingdom of Love and Light! If you come to Jesus, He will give you His FREE GIFT of ETERNAL LIFE, and you will KNOW that you belong to Him and are going to Heaven! There are MILLIONS of people alive today who can testify with certainty that this claim of His is TRUE!

    "I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE, HE THAT COMES TO ME SHALL NEVER HUNGER, AND HE THAT BELIEVES ON ME SHALL NEVER THIRST." JOHN 6:35 .

    62. Deep in their hearts, most people know that something is missing in their lives. Outwardly they may seem to have everything money, position, friends etc., all the things that are SUPPOSED to make them happy yet they still have an emptiness, a hunger that nothing really satisfies.
    63. Jesus said that He is the Bread of Life Who would completely FULFIL our heart's "hunger and thirst." You can find out if this claim is true by simply asking Him to come into your life. See how quickly His Love can SATISFY your hungry heart! The loneliness, emptiness and dissatisfaction you may have experienced will be replaced with lasting happiness, peace and joy such as you have never known before!

    "I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. No man comes unto the Father except by ME." John 14:6 .

    64. This is an extraordinary claim, and is in fact the heart and soul of the writings of the New Testament. That Jesus alone is the way to Eternal Life, Salvation and union with God.

BUT AREN'T SUCH BELIEFS RATHER BIGOTED AND NARROW- MINDED?

    65. Quite the contrary, Jesus and His life and teachings are absolutely UNIVERSAL, open to ALL men, and are anything BUT "narrow-minded" or "bigoted"! In fact, it was Jesus' proclamation that "WHOEVER believes in Me shall not perish!," that so infuriated the closed-minded and racially-prejudiced religious leaders and rabbis of His Own Jewish religion! Jesus frequently helped and mingled with so-called "pagan" Gentiles, those whom His Own Jewish people had been taught by their leaders to DESPISE and look down upon.
    66. The religious leaders and teachers of Jesus' day were narrow-minded in every sense of the word. They were sour, intolerant and legalistic, and felt that they alone had an absolute monopoly on God and His Kingdom. It was the fact that Jesus told them to their faces that the Kingdom of God would be taken FROM them and opened up to OTHERS to nations from the EAST and from the WEST, to ALL people throughout the entire World that infuriated them so much that they determined to destroy Him. Matthew 8:11,12 ;  21:42,43 .
    67. God sent us His Son to show ALL men, ALL nations, ALL people, what He Himself is like, to freely bring us His Own great Love! "For God so LOVED the WORLD (you and me) that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), so that WHOEVER believes in Him should not perish, but have EVERLASTING LIFE."  John 3:16 .

BUT CAN'T YOU JUST SAY "GOD" AND SPEAK OF "GOD'S LOVE"? WHY MUST YOU INSIST ON USING JESUS' NAME?

    68. If Jesus IS God's Son, and God chose Jesus to reveal Himself to the World, then God Himself has insisted on it! These are GOD'S conditions, not ours: "Love ME, love My SON!" The Bible says, "All men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son, does not honour the Father Who SENT Him." John 5:23 .
    69. God is our great, kind and loving Heavenly Father, and He LOVES each of us very much. And He wants us all to experience and know the wonderful Love, joy and satisfaction that comes from personally knowing and being close friends with Him.
    70. But sad to say, all of us have done wrong at one time or another, and have been selfish, unloving or unkind to others. Or even to HIM, our Heavenly Father! He tells us in His Word, "ALL have missed the mark and have fallen short of the perfection of God. Romans 3:23 .
    71. God knows that no matter HOW hard we try to be good, none of us can ever be good enough to come into His perfect presence through our OWN self-goodness. But Jesus IS perfect. And because He was willing to come to Earth and suffer and die on the cross FOR us, to take the punishment that we deserve for our wrong-doings, we can be FORGIVEN for all our failings and be reunited with our great and loving Heavenly Father if we will simply accept Jesus' pardon and Gift of Eternal Life!
    72. It doesn't matter HOW bad we are, no matter WHAT we've done, if we will simply ask Jesus to forgive us and receive Him into our heart, we will be forgiven and SAVED. Which means we will not only know God's wonderful Love and peace HERE and NOW, but when we DIE, we will inherit a never-ending life of Love and happiness in HEAVEN forever!
    73. No mere mortal MAN, be he prophet or teacher, sage or guru, could possibly do what JESUS did! Only God Himself in the person of His Own Son could pay the price for our failings, and take the punishment that WE deserve. Only GOD could have done that in the person of His Son Jesus. THIS is why Jesus alone could rightfully proclaim Himself to be "the Way, the Truth and the Life."
    74. There is simply no other way to make peace with God. He will not accept any other terms, any other deal. In Jesus, the one thing that NEEDED to happen for Mankind HAPPENED in such a way that it never needs to happen again! It is for this reason that we can claim with certainty that for the greatest ailment of humanity there is only one specific remedy. JESUS!
    75. If many different groups of pathologists were all earnestly seeking to discover the cause and cure of cancer, and one group--through no brilliance of their own were to discover the secret, would it be "narrow-mindedness" or "bigotry" for them to share what they had found with all the other groups, and indeed with the entire World? Of course not! In fact, it would be the utmost folly, selfishness, lack of love and dishonesty were they to keep the secret to themselves! This is why we who have personally found Jesus, do all we can to share Him with others.

HOW CAN A CONSCIENTIOUS PERSON BECOME A CHRISTIAN, WHEN THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IS SO DARKENED BY THE SIN, INTOLERANCE, WARS, EXCESSES AND DIVISIONS OF GENERATIONS OF ITS ADHERENTS?

    76. Millions of INDIVIDUALS through the ages have come to personally know and love Jesus, and have been empowered by Him to lead wonderful lives of love and service to their fellow man. But sad to say, generally speaking, Christianity as an INSTITUTION has FAILED MISERABLY in fulfilling the mission that Jesus gave His original Apostles and followers: To share God's LOVE with a needy World!
    77. Most so-called "Christian" organisations and denominations have become so preoccupied with their internal squabbles, selfish accumulation of wealth, construction of elaborate and wasteful church buildings etc. that they have in effect forgotten and lost sight of Jesus' original command to "LOVE thy neighbour as thyself!"
    78. Our objective is not to persuade you to become a member of a religious organisation. JESUS is not a religion! In fact, Jesus Himself never actually started any denominations or hierarchical organisations! He simply went about doing good, helping people and sharing the Love of God with all whom He could. He never had a synagogue, mosque, church or temple of any kind, nor did He have a congregation whom He met with on a certain "holy day" of the week.
    79. He never put up a sign or advertised, "Come to My church on Holy day!" He only said, "Come unto ME!" Matthew 11:28 . He absolutely refused to compromise with the powerful and corrupt religious system of His day, but rather worked totally OUTSIDE of it, reaching and sharing His Love and Truth with the poor and common folk who had long ago abandoned and been abandoned by organised religion.
    80. Once, while speaking to a woman who was arguing with Him over whether God should be worshipped in a certain "holy" mountain in Samaria, or in the Jews' temple in Jerusalem, He answered her, "The day is coming, and NOW IS, when you shall neither worship God here upon this mountain not yet at Jerusalem. For they that worship God must worship Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. For the Father seeks such to worship Him!" John 4:21-23 . Jesus made it clear that forms and ceremonies, rituals and religious buildings were in no way necessary to worship God, but that we could simply love and worship Him in SPIRIT, in our HEARTS and in TRUTH, by following the light of His Word.

HOW CAN I KNOW BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT WHETHER OR NOT JESUS CHRIST REALLY IS THE SON OF GOD, THE WAY OF SALVATION?

    81. We have touched on several features of Jesus' life that could perhaps assist or inspire your faith. As mentioned earlier, the historical facts regarding Jesus of Nazareth cannot be denied by anyone who seriously and open-mindedly examines the facts.
    82. The fulfillment of over 300 Old Testament prophecies given many centuries before He was born, describing in detail His birth, His life, His work, His death and His resurrection, also cannot be denied by any sincere seeker of truth.
    83. There is also no reason to doubt that after His death, something incredible happened which transformed His tiny band of dejected followers into a company of witnesses whom all the persecution of Imperial Rome could not stop. Downhearted and discouraged, their Lord cruelly crucified by His enemies, it looked to those disciples like their hopes had died and their dreams were shattered.
    84. But three days after Jesus' death, their faith was rekindled in such a dramatic manner that no force on Earth was ever able to quench it! And that lowly handful of His original followers went on to tell the entire WORLD the Good News! That God not only sent His Son into the World to teach us His Truth and show us His Love, but also that Jesus suffered death for OUR sake, and then ROSE from the GRAVE!--So that we who know and believe on Him never need to fear death again, for we are saved and on our way to HEAVEN, thanks to Jesus!
    85. The New Testament tells us that Jesus personally appeared to over 500 EYEWITNESSES after His resurrection. 1Corinthians 15:6 . This was the resounding message that His first disciples boldly proclaimed throughout the World, "God RAISED Him from the dead!" Acts 13:30 .
    86. A mere MENTAL, intellectual acceptance of these facts is not enough. For you to be absolutely CERTAIN that Jesus is Who He claimed to be, the Son of God, you simply need to personally TRY Him! Ask Him to come into your heart, forgive you for all the wrong you've done, and fill your life with His Love, peace and joy. And He WILL! He says in His Word, "Behold, I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock. If you hear My voice and open the door I WILL come into you." Revelation 3:20 . You don't have to try to figure Him out, just let Him IN!
    87. If you want His Love, light, life, joy, eternal happiness and Salvation, all you have to do is personally receive Him into your heart.--You can do it this very moment! He's made Salvation the EASIEST thing in the World, it requires absolutely no effort on your part whatsoever, no work, nothing, you simply have to RECEIVE it. And even if you don't understand it all, the Bible says that God's Love is "Love which PASSES your own understanding."  Ephesians 3:19 . You don't have to UNDERSTAND God in order to RECEIVE His Love!
    88. Will YOU receive Him?--If so, He will be the most precious One in your life!--Your closest Friend and Companion Who will be with you ALWAYS! Receive Him now by simply praying this little prayer:

    89. "Dear Jesus, I know that I need help and that I can't save myself. I have heard that You are the Son of God, and that through You I can personally find and know the God of Love. Jesus, I need Your Love to cleanse me from all fear and hate. I need Your Light to drive away all darkness. And I need Your Peace to fill and satisfy my heart. So I now open the door of my heart, and I ask You, Jesus, to please come in and give me Your free gift of Eternal Life! Thank You, Jesus, for suffering for all of the wrong I have done and for forgiving me and hearing my prayer! In Jesus' name, amen."

    90. If you would like to know MORE about Jesus and God's Plan and Will for you, please ask the one who gave you this booklet for a copy of the next booklet in this series, "THE WORD!"--A fascinating and enlightening explanation of what the Bible is, why it is the most unique book in the World, how God wrote it, how to understand its mysteries, etc.! We love you!

JESUS' SECOND COMING!

    91. The Bible not only contains hundreds of predictions about Jesus' FIRST coming, but it contains even MORE prophecies regarding His SECOND COMING, when He will return to Earth, not as a meek and mild baby in a manger, but as the Mighty KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS that He is!--Who will take over this World by force and put an END to Man's cruel and chaotic reign! He promised, "I will come AGAIN!--In the clouds of Heaven with POWER and great MAJESTY!"-- John 14:3 ;  Luke 21:27 .
    92. Jesus gave us many "Signs of the Times," SIGNS that we should be aware of, so that we will know when He is about to return. He predicted that just before His Coming, there will be a dramatic increase in "FAMINES, PESTILENCES and EARTHQUAKES in various places," and that the "GOSPEL would be preached in ALL the World for a witness to ALL nations."-- Matthew 24:7,14 .--Just as it is TODAY! He also said there would be a drastic increase in INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL, with "MANY running TO AND FRO, wandering from SEA TO SEA, as KNOWLEDGE is greatly INCREASED!"-- Amos 8:11,12 ;  Daniel 12:4 .
    93. He also said that there would be "a GREAT FALLING AWAY from the Lord as evil men and seducers grow WORSE AND WORSE, deceiving MANY, with the love of many growing cold," resulting in "DISTRESS of nations upon the Earth and MEN'S HEARTS FAILING them for FEAR!"  2Thessalonians 2:3 ;  2Timothy 3:13 ;  Matthew 24:12 ;  Luke 21:25,26 . Signs which are ALL obviously being FULFILLED TODAY more than ever before!
    94. Are YOU READY for the "End of the World" as we now know it, and for Jesus' soon return to establish His Kingdom of Love upon Earth?--If NOT, receive Him into your heart TODAY! TOMORROW may be TOO LATE!

If you would like to have SALVATION please go to the SALVATION LINK on my website: http://www.outofthebottomlesspit.co.uk/418605189

 

 

(Edited by S.N.Strutt 16/09/17 from original writings by D.B.Berg 1975)

 

So, I got a little busier over Christmas and the New Year. A few words to the wise:-

(More excerpts from my good friend Dave in Iceland:  justnews4m1)

It was to be expected I guess. I’ve even popped in on Facebook a few times? 😄 I don’t know if I am going to continue with this rate of reproduction however. I still feel the need to pull back a bit and concentrate more on my own needs, spiritual that is. I would highly recommend that we all do this, because this coming year is not going to get any easier or better for most, and the only way through and out is as I explained here:
https://davesnewsblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/30/happy-new-year/ and here:
https://davesnewsblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/01/greeting-2016/

I also continue to recommend that we all seek alternative information sources in order to understand what is going on in the world, avoiding the usual BS from the presstitutes of the mass media, the lies of the politicians, and the skullduggery of the banksters."

Also, personally I tend to start losing interest in anyone who uses the words “I think” too much, as well as those who seem to think it’s okay to interrupt or shout down someone else, regardless of who they are or what they are saying. (These types seem to be more interested in having us listen to THEM, rather than trying to arrive at a consensus. Perhaps they are trying to be some kind of “leader” themselves?) “The Truth Will Out” and arguing only proves that “two people (or more) were present”, nothing else. It never convinces anyone of anything other than to push them into becoming more entrenched in their stand."

We don’t always have to agree, but it is always wiser to listen. We can take whatever we believe is true from whoever or whatever and add it to our own understanding, strengthening us in our knowledge, enabling in us an ability to make better informed decisions.

 

It never has to get “personal”. Anyone who tends to get aggressive with others about issues is usually insecure in their own position, or lacking in facts to substantiate their view, or usually both. (I speak from experience sad to say). By the way, there is an incredible wealth of wisdom to be found in The Book of Proverbs in The Bible, especially on interactions between people.

There is plenty of truth available, if you are prepared and able to do some digging. It requires some discernment to find it amongst the fake and phoney of course, but I can share a little tip on this that always works for me…

If you have a source that IS “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” you can judge EVERYTHING that comes your way by that “touchstone” – a method by which they used to determine the validity or quality of gold.

Some may be quite shocked and surprised by just how much I believe, in so many areas and on so many subjects, though if you have been reading anything here you should get an idea (it is by no means the whole enchilada). I DO have a little advantage however, and it’s something anyone can avail themselves of, if they will…

First, IF you know “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” (John 14:6), THEN there is a promise that follows on after this…

Also from John 14…

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

And from chapter 16…

13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

THIS is the ultimate source of wisdom and provides us with the ability to discern between that which is true and that which is false. If we don’t know, we just have to ask. It’s as simple as that! This is actually necessary, for two reasons…

The Bible should be viewed as Basic Information Before Leaving Earth, but it is SO DEEP that there are “strange truths” that will be revealed to those who do NOT adopt a rigid, dogmatic, legalistic approach to it’s application, but who let Love (The Comforter) lead. (And Love is the OPPOSITE of fear!)

And secondly…

“Religion” is born out of man’s pathetic attempts to limit God to his OWN “understanding” (clearly he has already MISSED that boat, in his presumption!), and thus judging God by his OWN “standards” becomes dogmatic, which then causes him to think he has a right to judge his fellow man. This is what is called self-righteousness, the one thing God actually hates, because it is our pride, separating us from Him and each other, the OPPOSITE of what He is – LOVE. If someone is “righter” then he is “superior”, right? Not exactly “humility born out love” it is? As The Good Book tells us “ONLY by PRIDE comes contention”! So, anyone fighting and arguing over “who is right, who is wrong, or more right or wrong” than any other has already lost the argument!

There is only ONE “right”, and IT’S NOT US!

As someone I love dearly taught a long time ago, “everything must be judged from the standpoint of love”. Anything else will ultimately fail, or fall short is some way at least, even if it’s “good”. (I think we could all use some help in this area, eh? – We can get it though, from the Source of all Love Himself!)

Anyway… I think this will be all for now.

Love always, David.

Other recent posts from today…

https://davesnewsblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/a-dedication/

https://davesnewsblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/war-is-money/

 

Happy New Year!…written by my long-term friend David in Iceland

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

This sentiment is expressed in hope, but it can only be realized on an individual basis in reality. In this day’s world there is not much hope I’m afraid, not for the majority. The elites have that already planned to end, and the many millions, billions, of “ordinary people” all over the world are not expected to last much longer, one way or another.

Sorry to sound so gloomy and doomy, but this IS their plan, and they have been working on it, incrementally, for a very long time, bringing it all to a soon climactic conclusion.

Before I get to “the way out” I would just like to explain why it is so easy for the string-pullers to be able to keep pulling the strings, dangling us all on the ends. Part of the reason is the communal hope that they count on the populations to cling to, all their social structures – until those structures no longer serve their purpose, then all apparent hope will be removed, done away with, destroyed.

The reason why human nature is such that it wants to cling to this hope is because it believes it can be realized by some magic person or persons being able to pull off what the rest of us have all failed at ourselves all along (mostly because we are either too lazy, or are unwilling to take the responsibility), however this is a fallacy in itself, because there are no magic persons. Any that look like they are materializing successfully will not be allowed to continue, one way or another, and if not disposed of completely, their number will be kept minimal, again, one way or another, “proving how fruitless” their endeavors are, resulting in the efforts running out of steam and their followers becoming disillusioned.

Result? “Nothing really changes”, even though circumstances unrelentingly continue to worsen! As I said, this is planned.

If you rely on “information” to set you free you have to dedicate yourself to it, continually, regardless of whatever your source is, and let’s hope you are at least able to find a credible one, preferably several. Then you have to act on what you know, because “knowing” is not enough.

But the problem is? Very few people have an attention span that remembers even what has happened in recent history, what got us to where we are now, let alone over centuries and millennia, and certainly not in the proper context. Most people these days are only living for now, a quick-fix of material satisfaction. You have to be willing to have all your sacred “shibboleths” destroyed, because also most of what we say we “believe” is not even true, we are just parroting! This is no exaggeration I’m afraid.

So, how do you have a “Happy New Year”, even in spite of everything?

First, you have to know that this life (as you THINK you know it) is NOT “the be all and end all” of everything, FAR from it! It is but a vapor, a “drop in the ocean”, a MOMENT in “time” (which is but a temporary construct).

Second, IF this statement is the truth (which it is), THEN there must be something more, another meaning to life (which there is). If so, what is it?

We are SOULS, NOT just a random product of some chaotic evolutionary accident, born out of some primordial soup that started as a rock! (It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out folks! I mean, if there were any such things as “missing links” we would be swimming in them today, yet not one can be produced, anywhere! Er, DUH!) Anyway…

We are souls, primarily spiritual entities which are eternal, and THIS is where we must invest not only our present, but our future, IF we want to enjoy it as much as we are supposed to (the ORIGINAL plan for us all).

Everyone is free to believe whatever they want to (the majesty of choice that we are all given), and reap the results of such, good and/or bad, but I can tell you that the following has proven true in my life, continually since I first discovered these facts at age 17…

The Book of Proverbs (full of wisdom) in The Bible, from chapter 3…

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

From the Book of Psalms, chapter 118…

8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

9 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

Of course, we can only place our trust in something that we know is true, and we usually know when something is true when we have “tried and proven” it to be so, right? So…… TRY IT! SEE “if these things be so”.

I can testify that they are.

The path through this life is becoming more and more difficult and dangerous as each day passes, and it is not going to get better, only worse, but there IS a way through, a “way out”, for each and every one of us, personally!

It is a spiritual path, and when you consider that it is THE ONLY ONE THAT MATTERS or means anything then… why not take it? The rest is failing, and will ultimately cease at some point, sooner for some than for others, but we all pass on from this life here, no exceptions! It is just a matter of when, and how!

Wouldn’t it be more fulfilling and satisfying to know that your life counted for something, not just here and now, but later, “there” and “then”?

Doubtless you will have heard the following statements (from the same source as those quoted above), and I will state that these are as true as those already mentioned. They ARE “the answer”, the “way out”, the “door” through which anyone may freely pass if they choose to, and these are not dependent on time or space! Remember, we are SOULS, SPIRITUAL individuals, and we are each loved as if we were the only one (and we ARE)! So here we go…

John chapter 14…

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John chapter 10…

9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

John chapter 3…

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

And all because…

John chapter 14

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 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:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 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.

To conclude…

To have a truly “Happy New Year”, regardless of whatever happens in the world, we can each HAVE, personally, individually, “through it all” the PEACE that all the statements made above promise us! What could be better than this?

And folks… “there’s plenty more where that came from”, I kid you not! THESE are just the beginning!

 

CHRISTMAS "The Story of LOVE" 

(followed by STUNNER! SEE WHO TEARED UP OVER 'IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE' Added 29/12/15)

CHRISTMAS "The Story of LOVE" 

He came to earth as a tiny, weak and helpless baby, born to a simple, humble young girl who miraculously conceived the child, having never slept with any man! In fact, the news of her pregnancy was so shocking that when the man to whom she was engaged to be married learned about it, he promptly decided to break the engagement and call off the wedding.--Until a powerful celestial being intervened and instructed him to stay with her and protect and care for this very special child that she was carrying.

Although ordained and predestined to be a king, in fact the King of kings, He was not born in a palace with famous and glorious members of the court in attendance and the honor and praise of man's system. Instead, He was born on the dirty floor of a barn amidst the cattle and the donkeys, wrapped in rags and laid to rest in the animals' feed-trough.

And though His birth brought no great fanfare or recognition from the institutions and governments of men, that night on a nearby hillside, a humble band of poor shepherds were awestruck as a brilliant, almost blinding light burst upon them from the starry sky and a host of heavenly messengers filled the night with their joyful declaration and song: "Glory to God in the highest! Peace on Earth to men of good will! For unto you this day is born a Savior, Christ the Lord!"

Far away in the East, another herald appeared in the heavens, a bright star that caught the attention of certain wise men. They interpreted its meaning and followed it, crossing thousands of miles of desert, as it led them to the exact location of the young child in that little town of Bethlehem, where they honored Him with their precious gifts.

His earthly father was a carpenter, a humble hewer of wood with whom He lived and labored. He conformed to our human ways of life, custom, language and living that He might understand and love us better and communicate with us on the lowly level of our own limited human understanding!--He learned to love mankind. He saw their suffering and had great compassion on them, longing to not only heal their sick and broken bodies, but also to save their immortal spirits.

When the time came and He began His life's work, He went about everywhere doing good.--Helping people, loving children, healing heartaches, strengthening tired bodies, saving all who believed in Him. He not only preached His message, but He lived it amongst us. He not only ministered to their spiritual needs, but He also spent a great deal of time ministering to their physical and material needs, miraculously healing them when they were sick, feeding them when they were hungry, and sharing His life and His love.

His religion was so simple that He said you must become as a little child to receive it. He didn't preach temple worship; He didn't preach going to synagogue or going to church; He didn't preach any complicated ceremonies or difficult rules.--All He did was preach love and show love, as He strove to lead God's children into the true Kingdom of God, whose only laws are to "love the Lord with all thy heart" and "love thy neighbor as thyself."

He had very little to do with the pompous, rich-robed, churchy scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites--the religious leaders of that day--except when they insisted on annoying Him with their critical questions. Then He would let them have it, publicly exposing them as the "blind leaders of the blind" that they were, even telling them that they were like white-washed sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful, clean and holy on the outside, but within are full of rottenness, corruption and stinking dead men's bones!

He was not a mere religious reformer, He was a revolutionary! He refused to compromise with the false religious system, but rather worked totally outside of it, sharing His love with the poor and common folk who had long ago abandoned and been abandoned by organized religion. He never went into any bar with whip in hand, breaking up the bottles and throwing out the bartender. Nor did He ever enter any brothel, beating up the poor girls, overturning their beds and throwing the men out the window.--But He did make a whip, go into their big beautiful religious temple, overturn the tables, spill out the money and drive the money-mad moneychangers out of the sanctuary, condemning them for turning what was supposed to be a house of prayer into a den of thieves!

He made Himself of no reputation, and was a companion of drunks, prostitutes and sinners, the outcasts and downtrodden of society. He even told them that they would enter the Kingdom of Heaven before the so-called "good" people, the self-righteous and religious leaders who rejected Him and His simple message of love. The power of His love and of His appeal was so great and gave such great faith to the sincere truth-seekers that they didn't hesitate to drop everything they had and immediately forsake all to become His full-time followers!

Once, while crossing a lake in a small boat with His disciples, when a great storm arose and the boat was in danger of sinking, He commanded the winds and the waves to cease--and immediately there was a great calm! His disciples, astonished by such a demonstration of miraculous power, exclaimed to one another, "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!"

Throughout His ministry He gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, cleansed lepers and raised the dead! In fact, so marvelous were His works that they prompted a leading member of the religious establishment that most bitterly opposed and resented Him to exclaim, "We know that You are come from God.--For no man could do these miracles that You do unless God were with Him!"

As His message of love spread and His followers multiplied, the established religion and its jealous leaders realized what a threat He had become to them. His simple doctrine of love was liberating the people from the control of the hypocritical high priests, the big-shot religionists, and was therefore destroying their entire religious system, their religious authority, their power and control and hold on people.

These powerful religious enemies finally had Him arrested and brought to trial on false charges of sedition and subversion. Although the Roman governor found Him innocent, he was pressured and persuaded by these religionists to execute Him. Just prior to His arrest, He had said, "They couldn't even touch Me without My Father's permission. If I would but raise My little finger, He would send legions of angels to rescue Me!"--But instead, He chose to die, to save you and me. Nobody took His life from Him, He laid it down, He gave His life of His own free will and accord.

But even His death did not satisfy His jealous enemies. To ensure that His followers couldn't steal His body and claim He had come back to life, they placed a huge stone over the door of His tomb and posted a detachment of Roman soldiers there to guard it.--A scheme that proved futile, as these same guards became eyewitnesses to the greatest miracle of all.--Three days after His lifeless body was laid to rest in that cold tomb, He rose from the dead, the Victor over death and Hell forever!

Death itself could not stop His work nor His words! He rose to lead His tiny band of followers to overcome the Roman Empire with love and the power of the Gospel! And the love of God simply rolled right on over His jealous enemies like a giant tidal wave to cover the whole earth!--And they were left far behind--as dead and dry as He said they would be!

Since that miraculous day nearly 2,000 years ago, this same man, Jesus Christ, has done more to change history and the course of civilization and the condition of man than any other leader, group, government or empire before Him or since! He has saved billions from the fear and uncertainty of a hopeless tomb, and has given eternal life and the love of God to all who call upon His name.

This man, Jesus Christ, is not merely a philosopher or teacher or rabbi or guru, or even a prophet.--He is the Son of God! God, the great Creator, is a Spirit and is all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere and in everything--far beyond our limited human comprehension! So He sent Jesus, in the form of a man, to show us what He Himself is like and to bring us to Himself. And although many great teachers have spoken and taught about love and about God, He is love and He is God!--The only one who died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead! So He's in a class all by Himself, because He's the only Savior. He said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life!--No man comes to the Father but by Me!"

How can you find out and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ really is the Son of God, the way to salvation?--The answer is simple: Try Him! Simply humble yourself and sincerely ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Ask Him to come into your heart, forgive you for all your sins and fill your life with His love, peace and joy.

He's real and He loves you.--So much so that He died in your place and suffered for your sins, so that you would not have to, if you'll just receive Him and His free gift of eternal life. But He can't save you unless you want Him to. His love is all-powerful, but He won't force His way into your life. He gently knocks at the door of your heart.--He doesn't kick it in or break it down. He stands there meekly, in loving patience, waiting for you to open up and ask Him in.

Will you receive Him?--If so, He will be the most precious one in your life!--Your closest friend and companion who will be with you always!--For He alone is the lover of all lovers, who came for love and lived in love and died for love that we might live and love forever!

You can personally receive Jesus into your own heart right now by sincerely praying this simple prayer:

"Dear Jesus, please forgive me for all my sins. I believe You died for me. I believe You are the Son of God, and I now ask You to come into my life. I open the door and I invite You into my heart. Please come in, Jesus, and help me to confess You before others that they may find You too. In Your name I ask, amen."

(Story of Love!, The)

STUNNER! SEE WHO TEARED UP OVER 'IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE'

Classic movie a tradition at Christmas for many Americans

Published: December 24, 2015

BOB UNRUH

 

 

“It’s a Wonderful Life,” the Frank Capra/Jimmy Stewart Christmas story made in the aftermath of World War II that tells the story of an angel who hadn’t earned his wings and a small-town community leader who, it turns out, put his family and friends ahead of himself, probably has caused more than a few tears to be shed over the years.

And that includes the one person who was there in the make-believe world created in Hollywood for the work, the toil, the strain of putting the story together.

Jimmy Stewart.

His re-telling of the making of the Christmas classic came originally in Guideposts magazine, and was re-told this Christmas by James Dobson, of Family Talk radio, in his December 2015 newsletter to constituents.

Dobson reproduces a commentary from Stewart, who passed away about 20 years ago, about the making of “Wonderful Life.”

Stewart explained that the production set included 75 buildings on four acres, and for 1946, some startling developments that included production of something that looked like real snow, not just white corn flakes.

He said it was the story, which also featured Lionel Barrymore, Donna Reed, Henry Travers and more, itself that has kept the movie alive after all these decades – because it didn’t attract much attention when it first was released.

“Good as the script was,” Stewart wrote in the day, “There was still something else about the movie that made it different. It’s hard to explain. I, for one, had things happen to me during the filming that never happened in any other picture I’ve made.”

“In one scene, for example, George Bailey is faced with unjust criminal charges, and, not knowing where to turn, ends up in a little roadside restaurant. He is unaware that most of the people in town are arduously praying for him. In this scene, at the lowest point in George Bailey’s life, Frank Capra was shooting a long shot of me slumped in despair. In agony I raised my eyes and, following the script, and pled, ‘God … God … Dear Father in heaven, I’m not a praying man, but if You’re up there and You can hear me, show me the way. I’m at the end of my rope. Show me the way, God …’”

Stewart continued, “As I said those words, I felt the loneliness, the hopelessness of people who had nowhere to turn, and my eyes filled with tears. I broke down sobbing. This was not planned at all, but the power of that prayer, the realization that our Father in heaven is there to help the hopeless, had reduced me to tears.”

Not one to miss a moment, Capra, who “loved the spontaneity,” wanted a close-up, Stewart explained.

But he also “was sensitive enough to know that my breaking down was real and that repeating it in another take was unlikely.”

He got the close-up anyway, Stewart said, spending “long hours in the film laboratory, again and again enlarging the frames of that scene so that eventually it would appear as a close-up on screen. I believe nothing like this had ever been done before. It involved thousands of individual enlargements with extra time and money. But he felt it was worth it.”

Stewart called the film, released Dec. 25, 1946, “nothing phenomenal” … it was just “about an ordinary man who discovers that living each ordinary day honorably, with faith in God and a selfless concern for others, can make for a truly wonderful life.”

Dobson cited Stewart as “a man of deep Christian faith whose beliefs stood in sharp contrast to those of many of his contemporaries.”

“He put his burgeoning film career on hold to fight for his country … [he] commented that one of his greatest sources of encouragement in battle was a tattered copy of the 91st Psalm that had been given to him by his father,” he also was married to the same woman, Gloria, for more than 45 years and he “faithfully attended church until the day he died

*************************************************************************************************

 

‘Proof of Heaven’ documents existence of afterlife, multiverse, intelligent life beyond Earth, multidimensional realities.