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Pictures from “AJEC Got Talent 2013”

These are the Pictures from “AJEC Got Talent 2013” that took placed in May 18 2013. Our youth competed in different categories such as Art, Singing , Pantomime& Instrumental. Other competition were bible trivia (based on 1st Samuel), youth of the Year ( had to preach with in a few minutes), poetry & photo Album. Even though this was a friendly competition, everything was done to glorify God. Enjoy the Pics!

(We give credit for the pictures to katherine, Damaris & Anderson)
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Pictures from AJEC Teen Revival 04/27/13

Here are some of the Pictures from the Teen Revival Event by AJEC ( for more info got to ajeconline.com ) were our life were touched by the word and presence of God. Enjoy guys! ( Thank you Damaris for the Images)

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Pictures” From Dust to Glory”

Our last event ” From Dust to Glory” on March 30th was wonderful event this time was composed of three churches ; Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal MI Monte Carmelo, Iglesia de Dios Pentecosgal MI “Communipaw” and Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal MI ” Second Street”. In this event the youth really out did themselves and its wonderful to see the youth to continue growing in the Lord. The youth of Communipaw sang a beautiful devotional as well as a pantomime. The youth of Second Street also did a powerful pantomine and their youth president Wilfredo Rosado expressed short meaningful thought about our life and pearls and Anderson Caraballo brought the message of the event. All for the Glory of God. Enjoy!

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Pics “Saved to Serve” Event 11/17/12

“Saved to Serve” was such a wonderful on November 17 2012 based on using what God has given us  to serve others. In this event the youth of Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal MI “Monte Carmelo” with Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal “Communipaw” prepared 100+ sandwiches with drinks and snacks for Hoboken Clergy Coalition Shelter in Hoboken, NJ  After a lunch break Damaris Guzman brought powerful study of when we work together we can accomplish anything. In her activity, two groups of six youth were tied up with each other and each one of them had to feed their friend the plate of mini doughnut with milk. Eventually, teaching the youth delegation and teamwork. Nancy Arriaza also brought an influential message based on John 13:1-38 were we are not greater that our students, therefore as Jesus did with his disciples with washed the youth feet teaching them humility, love and care for them. The youth leaders also involved were Diana Caraballo and Anderson Caraballo. We thanked David Paucar for his assistances with this event. We are also tremendously grateful with Erica Espinosa and her mom support and for playing a major role in this event, and to all who donated and helped in making this event a success. God has been wonderful. The people from the shelter in Hoboken were so grateful, and the youth are learning and becoming more and more ignited for Christ.

God Bless and Enjoy the Pictures. Videos will be posted soon…

Ps. Don’t miss our First Youth Ignited for Christ first Service on 12/28/12.

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Pics:Growth Event 10/27/2012

Our second meeting was based on Growth which is the acronym for the Pillar of our ministry.G (get to know God)- Get to know God by reading the Bible daily 2 Timothy 3:14-17  R ( respond) -Respond to God in prayer Philipians 4:6  O (Obey) – Obey God moment by Moment   Luke 6:46-49  W (Walk) – Walk in the power of the Holy Spirit    Ephesians 3:14-21  5:18  T (Tell Others) – Tell others about Jesus through our life and words    Matthew 28:18-20  H (have fellowship) – Have fellowship with other Christians     Hebrews 10:25

We had fun and really had a great time in Liberty State park . Damaris brought a great learning activity ; the youth had to create a structure with marshmallow and raw spaghetti , thus learning that our foundation on what we believed is essential to our christian life.  The youth were ministered on how to grow spiritually as an individual  christian & ministry. More pictures and Videos will be added soon…. God Bless and enjoy!

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Psalm 23

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“Only God can Judge me”

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Graduation

Graduation

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After a Glorious Weekend at Camp with the Lord

camp meme

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Funny Christian meme are coming to YI4C

Christian meme coming soon

Funny Christian pictures are coming to YI4C  for your enjoyment. We believe in dealing with serious spiritual topicss in YI4C.com but we also like to relax have fun and laugh, so we are going to be posting Funny christian pictures or Christian meme henceforth so you can smile once in a while and share it with your friends. Some meme might be created by us or we might share it from our online friends. You can find all the pictures under Multimedia> Christian Meme.  God Bless you and Enjoy.!

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Why does God hear and answer prayers for some and not others even though they live for Him?

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It seems that the question behind the question is “Why isn’t God answering my prayers even though I live for Him?”  This is a question that many Christians wrestle with.  It only seems fair that if we are living for God, He will be inclined to give us what we ask for.  That is what Job thought.  If you haven’t already, read the book of Job in the Old Testament.  Though Job was the most righteous man alive in terms of his observance of good moral behavior, God allowed him to suffer.  All of Job’s friends were convinced that he was suffering because of some sin he had committed.  They had God in a box, assuming that He must act according to a particular formula: If I do good things, good things will be given to me. If I do bad things, bad things will happen to me.

God does not operate that way.  We cannot think that God owes us anything for the good works that we do.  In fact, if we do any good thing at all, it is only because we ought to do it anyway.  Anything good that we have from God is by His grace, not because we can earn it.  Matthew 5:45 says “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”  God gives good gifts to all people, regardless of their righteous deeds.  Think about the “goods” you possess: life, sight, friendships, your relationship with God, water, food, etc.  Which of these things could you have possessed if God had not supplied them?  All good things are from God (James 1:17).  Nothing God gives us is earned.

Job had the same assumption as his friends, that God would supply circumstances to each person in direct correlation to their good or bad behaviors.  The only difference is, he knew he had not done anything wrong, so he assumed that God actually had wronged him!  We do the same thing when we get frustrated with God about circumstances while assuming that He ought to give us what we ask for since we are doing what is right.  In the end, God reminded Job who He is: God, the all-good, all-knowing, all-loving wise King of the universe.  He taught Job that He knows what is ultimately good for us better than we do.  The temporary suffering that Job endured produced greater character, love, and trust of God, and He gave Job more than he had ever asked, not because of Job’s obedience, but because of His grace. (Remember that Job’s response to his trouble was to accuse God of wrongdoing—he certainly did not earn God’s subsequent blessings!)

God loves you more than you love yourself, because He knows you better than you know yourself.  He knows exactly what you need.  Ultimately, He is the fulfillment of all your heart’s desires.  His actions toward you, though we may not understand, are geared toward drawing you to Him in total dependence, because this is your ultimate good.  We can easily get caught in temporary circumstances which will, in eternity, seem insignificant, and trade them for what is truly significant.  Romans 8:18 says “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  But sadly, people pass up eternal blessings because of their focus on the temporal.  Jesus compared this to the seed whose plant gets choked by thorns (see Matthew 13:722 for an explanation of this parable).  When we pray, God answers our prayers in the way that is best for us.  He loves us.  This means He wants our good, and He knows that our ultimate good is to be united with Him.  We may not understand how His answers accomplish this, just as He taught Job, but that is why He is God and we are not.  All we need to do is trust Him.

What is the point of doing good then, if not to gain God’s favor?  There is every reason in the world to do good!  We do get God’s favor, not because He owes it to us, but because when we do good, we are operating according to God’s design for us, and we benefit from this in more lasting ways.  We actually get more of God Himself when we follow Him.  He is the source of all good.  So, what could be better than being united with the source of the good things you seek, which are only shadows of His Goodness?  So, rather than trying to control our circumstances through “following the rules,” we find that by loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37), we gain a far more lasting reward: a deeper knowledge of God and a deeper relationship with Him.  This is our ultimate good, and He answers all of our prayers to achieve it.

Source: http://carm.org/answer-prayer

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When we are praying do we pray directly to God or through Jesus?

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The answer to the given question is “Yes” and “Yes” but allow me to elaborate on that a bit. When Jesus taught his disciples how they ought to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 he instructed them to pray to “Our Father in heaven.”

9Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread, 12and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

So it was Jesus Himself, God in flesh (John 1:1-14), who told us that we should raise our prayers directly to God, namely, God the Father. The Bible teaches that God has existed eternally as one being in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This doctrine is known as the Trinity. This is why Jesus can both be God and still pray to God (e.g. John 17) because while they share the same being they are different in person.

Each person of the Trinity plays different roles in how they interact in the lives of believers and unbelievers alike. When it comes to our given topic of prayer, the Bible teaches that it is God the Father whom we ought to direct our prayers to, but it also teaches that it is through Jesus that we have that kind of direct access to the Father. Consider the verse in Mark 15:38; “And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.”  This “curtain” is the one that separated people from the Holy of Holies (aka “The Most Holy Place”) in the temple, the place where God’s presence dwelled in a special sense. The Holy of Holies was the place where once a year a priest would enter after having carefully observed all of the purification rituals that were required before entering into God’s presence and make a sacrifice for the unintentional sins of the people of Israel (intentional or known sins were to be dealt with on a regular basis). The curtain was torn in two by God at the time of Jesus’ death on the cross. Hebrews 9:1-14 tells us how through Christ’s death we no longer are separated from God by the curtain.

1Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness. 2 For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, 4 having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. 5 Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail. 6 These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, 7 but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. 8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing 9 (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

This passage explains that in the Old Covenant, under the law, the priest had to continually offer sacrifices again and again for the people of Israel because the sacrifices were imperfect, they never actually fully appeased God’s wrath for sin, hence the need to repeat the sacrifice. Jesus, however, was the perfect lamb of God (John 1:2936), the sinless one, He was the perfect sacrifice that God was pleased with. When Christ died on the cross and the curtain was torn that separated the people from the Most Holy Place in the temple this indicated that man no longer needed to approach God through priests and through repetitive sacrifices. It is in Christ that we have a perfect sacrifice and it was paid once and in full! Just as it says in Hebrews 10:12-14 “12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”

Jesus became our high priest before God, always making intercession for us. It is because of this  Jesus’ sacrifice that the New Covenant was ushered in (Luke 22:20) and we now no longer depend on earthly priests to come before God for us, but through Christ we may directly and boldly approach God’s throne with our prayers. Again in Hebrews 7:23-27 it says:

23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.

So as to the original question, “When we are praying do we pray directly to God or through Jesus?” Again, the answer is yes, we pray directly to God the Father because that is what Jesus taught us to do, and yes we pray through Jesus because He is our high priest who has given us direct access to God the Father by His sacrifice and He is now interceding on our behalf before the Father. So when it comes to praying, Hebrews 4:14-15 says it best:

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

As Christians we pray to God our Father because he is the provider of all good things (James 1:17Matthew 7:7-11), and we pray in Jesus’ name because He is the one who makes it possible to approach God because His blood has covered our sins.

Source:http://carm.org/pray-directly-to-god-or-jesus   Author: by Jacob Allee

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What should I do if I suspect demonic oppression?

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If you suspect that you are being demonically oppressed, you must first pray and ask the Lord to protect you.  It is a spiritual issue so you must fight it spiritually.  Prayer is always the first step.

Second, you need to take a survey of your life to make sure that you do not have open doors for demonic activity.  Things like tarot cards, astrology, séances, drug abuse, pornography, Ouija Boards, demonic music (forms that exalt evil), etc., can invite demonic involvement.  You will need to renounce all of these things, confess them as sin, and seek the covering of Christ.

Third, remove all cult material and objects from your home.  Remove things like Watchtower Magazines, the Book of Mormon, pornography, illegal drug paraphernalia, false religious material, New Age crystals, etc.  If you must, block certain TV channels and/or shows that might be pagan in subject matter.  I’d like to note that studying cult material for the purpose of education so you can know the methods of the enemy is fine.  Just pray over the material, ask God to protect you from its false teaching, and study away.

Fourth, make sure that your family and friends are not into those things (listed above) that can bring spiritual oppression.  If they are and they won’t stop (maybe they aren’t Christian), then pray for protection, for God’s intervention, and for their salvation.

Fifth, if things don’t get better, get the elders of your church involved.  It might be necessary for them to come to your place and pray.  If they won’t do it, find someone who will.

As Christians, we are cleansed by the blood of Christ and are indwelt by the living God.  Sometimes it is necessary for us to review our past lives and openly confess, repent, and ask the Lord to cleanse us of various activities that could have opened the door to demonic oppression.  I suggest that people pray aloud to the Lord, confessing their specific past sin.  They must label it as sin, asking the Lord Jesus Christ to cleanse it, asking the Lord to bind any demonic forces that are attached to it, and then verbally proclaim that they’ve renounced it and are resting in and trusting in Christ alone.  It isn’t that this is a formula on what to do, but it is the public declaration before God that you belong to the Lord, you renounce sinful things, and are trusting in Christ.

Finally, consider anointing your home with oil (which biblically often represents the Holy Spirit) and praying over every room.  Anointing with oil is not a magic formula that produces a certain result if performed properly, but there is something about the ceremony of taking oil, placing it upon the fingertips, going through every room of your home, and praying aloud as you touch walls and objects.

Finally, remember that greater is He (God) that is in you, than he (the devil) that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

Source:http://carm.org/questions/about-demons/what-should-i-do-if-i-suspect-demonic-oppression   Author: by Matt Slick

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What kinds of things can open you up to demonic oppression?

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The Bible tells us that there are demons who war against God and his people (Eph. 6:12).  And if that weren’t bad enough, sometimes people open themselves up to demonic oppression without realizing it.  Now, if you’re a Christian you need to understand that you cannot be demon possessed.  Demonic oppression, on the other hand, does occur against Christians.  Demonic oppression is the attack by demonic forces that can result in illness, depression, financial difficulty, abnormal fear, etc. So, it is a good idea to be aware of things that can open up a person to spiritual oppression.  Let’s take a look.

  • Past involvement in occult activity – Occult activity includes such things as Ouija boards, tarot cards, astrology, séances, necromancy (contacting the dead), and divination.
  • Past involvement in false religion –  False religions are, ultimately, doctrines of demons (1 Tim. 4:1Matt. 24:24).  To dabble in them is to directly dabble in demonic activity.  Such false religions would beMormonismJehovah’s WitnessesIslamRoman Catholicism, etc.
  • Drug use – Drugs alter the state of the mind and can invite demonic activity since it promotes the loss of control of the mind as well as denying God’s intention for us to be soberminded.  The Greek word for sorcery is pharmakeia (Galatians 4:20Revelation 9:2118:23)
  • Pornography – This is a sin of lust that can easily open a person up to having demonic influences and control.
  • Occult meditation techniques – Emptying the mind, centering prayer, repeating a single word or phrase for long periods, etc., are all practices that can induce an altered state of consciousness and can promote the loss of personal control of your mind.
  • Curses from other people – Sometimes people involved in occult activity will curse you or your family.  It is not that you can actually be cursed as a Christian.  Rather, those who are against Christ and his people can focus demonic activity on you.

If you are aware of what can cause a problem, you can take steps to avoid it.  Likewise, if you’re aware of what might cause demonic oppression, you can take steps to avoid it.

 

Source: http://carm.org/questions/about-demons/what-kinds-things-can-open-you-demonic-oppression   Author:  by Matt Slick

 

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Superman vs. Jesus

Sky Pilot

Mark Sandlin

PC(USA) Minister & co-founder of The Christian Left

Posted: 06/14/2013  9:37 pm

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Superman is Jesus. More precisely, in the new movie, Superman: Man of Steel, we are meant to draw very distinct parallels between Superman and Jesus. Arguably, the movie goes a step further making Superman the modern-day, Americanized Jesus.

[If you have not seen the movie and do not want to be exposed to spoilers, bookmark this to read after you’ve seen the move. This article does make reference to some of the events in the movie.]

There should be little doubt that serious efforts were made to make connections between Superman and Jesus. In one scene, what is essentially a spirit form of Superman’s father, Jor-El, stands with his son looking over the Earth and tells him, “You can save her, son. You can save them all.” Then, Superman steps out into space…

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Is cursing or swearing a sin?

To determine whether cussing is a “sin,” we need to first discuss what sin is, and second define what cursing, swearing, or cussing is.

The Bible tells us that sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7Joshua 1:18).  It is furthermore described as imaginations of the unrenewed heart (Genesis 6:58:21), defiling (Proverbs 30:12Isaiah 59:3), disgraceful (Proverbs 14:34), and unrighteous (1 John 5:17), among other things.

Cursing is our way of describing words that are, for the most part, culturally or socially unacceptable.  It is a slippery slope, however, to define a curse word because words are always taking on new meanings.  Some curse words in the English language are actually authorized words to describe authentic things but have taken on a new meaning as time has progressed.  Because of this, it is nearly impossible to create a canonized list of words that are considered curses.  Nevertheless, it can be concluded that there are words that are purely crude or demeaning and are therefore unequivocally curse words.

It needs to be understood that cursing can also include any verbal expression of a word that may not necessarily be considered a traditional curse word.  This means that the understanding of cursing needs to be expanded to not only include culturally or socially unacceptable words, but any word that is used to demean another individual or express extreme dissatisfaction with a particular situation, especially when that dissatisfaction is directed toward God.  Christians are often guilty of substituting more culturally acceptable words in place of unacceptable words to describe their dissatisfaction with a situation, or even in reference to an individual.  These are called euphemisms and cannot be considered justified alternatives.

Scripture has much to say about how Christians ought to use their tongues.  Jesus specifically taught that what comes out of a man’s mouth is evidence of what is in his heart.  Luke 6:45 says, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”

Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”  John MacArthur has written of this verse, “The word for ‘corrupt’ refers to that which is foul or rotten, such as spoiled fruit or putrid meat.  Foul language of any sort should never pass a Christian’s lips, because it is totally out of character with his new life in Christ.”   The final portion of the verse offers a worthy use of our tongue—“what is good for edification.”

James gives us three illustrations from nature to demonstrate the sinfulness of cursing: “With [our tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.  Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?  Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh” (James 3:9-12).

Finally, 1 Peter 3:10 says, “For He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.”

We can conclude that from the biblical definition of sin, our overview of cursing, and Scripture’s many expressions on the use of our tongue that it is without question a sin to curse.  As Christians, we are expected to rest on the promises of God, “cleansing ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).  Cursing is contrary to resting on God’s promises for it is a failure to follow the Lord’s greatest commandments—to love God and to love people (Matthew 22:37-40).  When we curse an individual, we do not love people and when we curse God, we do not love Him.  Thankfully, God forgives us of our sins through the redemption found only in Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

Source: http://carm.org/cursing  Author:  by Jared Wellman 
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Is it okay to have sinners who are non-Christians as friends?

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Yes, it’s okay to have non-Christians as friends.  However, we don’t want our friendships with unbelievers to hinder our relationship with God.  If we have friends who encourage sinful behavior, then we need to be careful.  We need to be sure we don’t compromise our faith.  It might mean not being friends with them anymore, or simply talking to them about what you can and cannot do.  Of course, in this case you’d have to be polite and loving.  Also, we should want to have non-Christian friends so that we can tell them the gospel so they might be saved.

Our model should follow biblical revelation.  Let’s take a look at what Jesus did.  How was he towards unbelievers?

  • Matt. 11:19, “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
  • Luke 5:29-32, “And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of tax-gatherers and other people who were reclining at the table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with the tax-gatherers and sinners?’ 31 And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.’”
  • John 2:1-2, “And on the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; 2 and Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the wedding.”

As you can see in Matt. 11:19, Jesus was accused of being a “gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax gatherers and sinners.”  The simple fact is that Jesus was apparently keeping the company of unbelievers.  This doesn’t mean that Jesus was sinning or that he was being gluttonous or getting drunk.  The point is that he was in their company enough that he was accused of being like them.

In Luke 5:29-32, Jesus went to Levi’s house where there were tax gatherers and sinners.  A tax gatherer was a Jew who worked for the Roman government collecting taxes in Israel.  They were so hated by the Jews that they had their own category.  Think about it, there were “sinners” and there were “tax gatherers.”  These reviled and often hated people were, apparently, found in the acquaintance of Christ himself.  He didn’t mind being around them, but we have to understand something very important that Jesus said.  In Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”  The righteous were the self-righteous, who were too blind to recognize their own sinfulness.  Jesus was saying he was talking to the sinners, those who were in need of him, those who recognized their need to be delivered from sin.

Finally, in John 2:1-2 we see that Jesus went to a wedding.  There were a lot of people there, and we can be sure there were those present who were “less than sanctified.”  In fact, in the wedding of Cana Jesus performed his first miracle where he changeed water into wine.  Jesus was not so self-righteous that he would not drink, go to weddings where unbelievers were, or hang out with people who were labeled as sinners.

So, it is okay for Christians to have non-Christian friends.  But we must be careful not to compromise.  Jesus was, after all, God in flesh (John 1:1Colossians 2:9).  We are not.  We are fallen and sinful, and we need to be careful that we don’t use our freedom to have unbelieving friends as a means by which we compromise holiness before God.

Source:  http://carm.org/sinners-as-friends  Author: by Matt Slick
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Examine Yourselves (Part 2)

part 2

I believe as a continuation of further explaining this bible verse this video of Paul Washer will take us further into a personal level with this bible verse.

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Examine Yourselves ( Part 1)

examine-yourself part 1

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? – 2 Corinthians 13:5

Explanation of this verse:

Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith,…. These words are to be considered in connection with 2 Corinthians 13:3 for seeing they sought and demanded a proof the voice and power of Christ in the apostle, he directs them to self examination, to look within themselves, to try, prove, and recognise their own souls; where if things were right, they would find a proof of Christ’s speaking in him, to them: he advises them to examine the state of their own souls, and see whether they were in the faith; either in the doctrine of faith, having a spiritual and experimental knowledge of it, true love and affection for it, an hearty belief of it, having felt the power of it upon their souls, and abode in it; whether, as the Syriac version reads it, , “ye stand in the faith”, firm and stable; or in the grace of faith, either of miracles, or that which is connected with salvation; and which if they were in it, and had it, is attended with good works; operates by love to Christ and to his people; by which souls go out of themselves to Christ, live upon him, receive from him, and give him all the glory of salvation: and if this was their case, he desires to know how they came by their faith; and suggests, that their light in the doctrine of the Gospel, and their faith in Christ Jesus, as well as the miraculous gifts many of them were possessed of, were through his ministry as the means; and this was a full proof of Christ’s speaking in him:

prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you; by which he means, that if they took a survey of things in their own souls, it would appear that Christ was in them; not as he is in all the world, filling heaven and earth with his presence; or as he is in every rational creature, as the Creator and author of the light of nature; but in a special and spiritual manner, by his Spirit and grace; the Father reveals him in his people, as the foundation of their hope of glory; he himself enters and takes possession of their hearts in conversion, communicates his grace, and manifests himself, and is formed there by his Spirit; his graces are implanted, his image is stamped, his Spirit is put within them, and he himself dwells by faith: and this upon inquiry would be found to be the case of the Corinthians,except, says the apostle,ye are reprobates; meaning not that they were so, as such may stand opposed to the elect of God; for persons may as yet neither be in the faith, nor Christ in them, and yet both be hereafter, and so not be left of God, or consigned to destruction; but that if they were not in the doctrine of, faith, then they were reprobate concerning it, or void of judgment in it; and if they had not the grace of faith, and Christ was not in them, then they were not genuine, but nominal professors, like “reprobate silver”, counterfeit coin; which when detected, would be “disapproved”, not only by God, but man, as this word also signifies, and so stands opposed to them that are “approved”,2 Corinthians 13:7 or if they did not make such an examination, probation, and recognition of themselves, they would be without probation: or as the Arabic version, without experiment. The apostle hereby brings them into this dilemma, either that if upon examination they were found to be in the faith, and Christ in them, which blessings they enjoyed through his ministry, then they did not want a proof of Christ speaking in him; but if these things did not appear in them, then they were persons of no judgment in spiritual things, were not real Christians, but insignificant and useless persons.

–       By Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

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A comment worth posting…

A comment worth posting… from my recent article Easter, Ishtar or Resurrection Sunday?….please read and share.

PicMonkey Collage1

Comment by : Gmstar9 March 31, 2013 at 6:52 am

Andy, I am writing this because I recognize your fiery passion to please God, and that is awesome! you have taken a big step to even research the backgrounds of what so many Christians don’t even think about. So I’m writing this to encourage you to go a step further and draw closer to God’s Word considering this matter.

I loved everything you wrote until the end. If this holiday really is about us focusing God, then shouldn’t His opinion on pagan practices matter more than ours? We might say, “Yes these eggs used to worship a false god, but thats not what it means to me.” But we aren’t the ones being worshiped on this holiday. What do these things mean to HIM? Do we even think to search Scriptures to see what God wants for us to do in this regard? Is there evidence in Scripture of God even once “redeeming” something pagan to be used for Himself? Isn’t the very definition of Holy “kadosh” literally “set-apart”. If holiness means to be set apart, what are you set apart from? How about everything that is not pleasing to God? How do we know what is pleasing? God plainly told us in His Word, the entire Bible, that means the words of Moses too. What does God think of pagan practices? “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.” Duet 18:9
Deut. 12:29-32: “When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, “take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ “You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”

When the Israelites came out of Egypt and built the golden calf, they didnt see it as an idol or another God. They took something pagan, that they were familiar with, because it was the Egyptian culture they were raised in, and put the name of God (YHVH) on it.
Exodus 32:2-7
2 And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf.

Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”

5 So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.” 6 Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

7 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” 9 And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! 10 Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”

Notice Aaron proclaims that the calf is the one who brought us out of Egypt, and then proceeds to say they will proclIm a festival to the LORD. In the Hebrew text LORD is God’s name YHVH, a name exclusive to the God of Israel, a name never used for idols or other Gods. The people of Israel thought they were worshipping the true God! They even proclaimed a feast, a holy day (or holiday) to the true God! Their hearts were in the right place, right? They were focusing on God, right? It wasn’t something pagan to them, but a way to worship God. We could say, well God should accept that because their heart was to worship the true God. But what did God say of it? He said they were stiff necked. He recognized their holiday to Him as idolatry, no matter the good intentions behind it, and did not accept it. In fact, Everyone who did worship the calf was killed.

If we try to make the argument that God sees our hearts and knows that we are genuinely worshipping Him, even if it is through something that has pagan origins, then we are forgetting the story of Uzzah. David had a passionate heart for God. His genuine desire was to please Him and serve Him. David rejoiced to bring the Ark of the Lord to Jerusalem, he even built a new cart for it. He was singing and dancing and praising God. But what happened?
“They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals.

When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God.” (II Samuel 6:3-7)

David did not study to find out how God had instructed for the Ark to be carried. It was to be carried by Its poles on the shoulders of Levites and not a cart. David did not follow God’s instructions for how He wanted things done, and a man died because of it. David had the best intentions. His heart was in the right place. But God is set apart from ways of the world, He is perfect. If we try to worship Him with ways that are not His, Scripture shows that He will not accept it.

So is there harm in dying Ishtar eggs and teaching your children to be more excited about chocolate and bunnies than Messiah? Yes. I know that sounds harsh, but it is more harsh to realize that the God you love looks at your Easter celebration of Him and calls you stiff-necked and does not recognize what you are doing for Him. Learning the truth is hard and uncomfortable, but Isn’t it much better than being rejected by the one you love?

P.s. there is a way He asked us to remember His death and Resurrection  its called Passover and First fruits  Do THIS in remembrance of me. What was He doing? Passover, or at least an instruction in how to keep Passover from now on in remembrance of Him.
Luke 22:14-20
14 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you,[b] I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

Jesus never asked us to celebrate his birth, He never asked us to decorate eggs or give chocolates, but the one thing He did ask us to do to remember Him, churches don’t do. They have a form of it once a month or weekly with a “Lord’s Sipper” but Jesus very clearly said that what He and His disciples were doing was related to Passover. and if you have done any study on ancient covenants, you will recognize all the elements of establishing or renewing a blood covenant in their meal together.

Jesus spoke harshly against the doctrines of men that tried to replace the good Commands of His Father.

Matthew 15:3
“He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?”

Matthew 15:8-10
8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”

Yes, seek the truth, do no follow doctrines of men, no matter how long they have been passed down, or how much it is a part of your culture, or how good they make you feel. God is a jealous God, and He has every right to tell us exactly how He wants to be worshiped.

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Easter, Ishtar or Resurrection Sunday?

easter-bunny-2Does the following sound familiar?—Spring is in the air! Flowers and bunnies decorate the home. Father helps the children paint beautiful designs on eggs dyed in various colors. These eggs, which will later be hidden and searched for, are placed into lovely, seasonal baskets. The wonderful aroma of the hot cross buns mother is baking in the oven waft through the house. Forty days of abstaining from special foods will finally end the next day. The whole family picks out their Sunday best to wear to the next morning’s sunrise worship service to celebrate the savior’s resurrection and the renewal of life. Everyone looks forward to a succulent ham with all the trimmings. It will be a thrilling day. After all, it is one of the most important religious holidays of the year.

Easter, right? No! This is a description of an ancient Babylonian family—2,000 years before Christ—honoring the resurrection of their god, Tammuz, who was brought back from the underworld by his mother/wife, Ishtar (after whom the festival was named). As Ishtar was actually pronounced “Easter” in most Semitic dialects, it could be said that the event portrayed here is, in a sense, Easter. Of course, the occasion could easily have been a Phrygian family honoring Attis and Cybele, or perhaps a Phoenician family worshipping Adonis and Astarte. Also fitting the description well would be a heretic Israelite family honoring the Canaanite Baal and Ashtoreth. Or this depiction could just as easily represent any number of other immoral, pagan fertility celebrations of death and resurrection—including the modern Easter celebration as it has come to us through the Anglo-Saxon fertility rites of the goddess Eostre or Ostara. These are all the same festivals, separated only by time and culture.

If Easter is not found in the Bible, then where did it come from? The vast majority of ecclesiastical and secular historians agree that the name of Easter and the traditions surrounding it are deeply rooted in pagan religion.

Now notice the following powerful quotes that demonstrate more about the true origin of how the modern Easter celebration got its name:

“Since Bede the Venerable (De ratione temporum 1:5) the origin of the term for the feast of Christ’s Resurrection has been popularly considered to be from the Anglo-Saxon Eastre, a goddess of spring…the Old High German plural for dawn, eostarun; whence has come the German Ostern, and our English Easter” (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. 5, p. 6).

“The fact that vernal festivals were general among pagan peoples no doubt had much to do with the form assumed by the Eastern festival in the Christian churches. The English term Easter is of pagan origin” (Albert Henry Newman, D.D., LL.D., A Manual of Church History, p. 299).

“On this greatest of Christian festivals, several survivals occur of ancient heathen ceremonies. To begin with, the name itself is not Christian but pagan. Ostara was the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring” (Ethel L. Urlin, Festival, Holy Days, and Saints Days, p. 73).

“Easter—the name Easter comes to us from Ostera or Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, for whom a spring festival was held annually, as it is from this pagan festival that some of our Easter customs have come” (Hazeltine, p. 53).

ishtar_2“In Babylonia…the goddess of spring was called Ishtar. She was identified with the planet Venus, which, because…[it] rises before the Sun…or sets after it…appears to love the light [this means Venus loves the sun-god]…In Phoenecia, she became Astarte; in Greece, Eostre [related to the Greek word Eos: “dawn”], and in Germany, Ostara [this comes from the German wordOst: “east,” which is the direction of dawn]” (Englehart, p. 4).

As we have seen, many names are interchangeable for the more well-known Easter. Pagans typically used many different names for the same god or goddess. Nimrod, the Bible figure who built the city of Babylon (Gen. 10:8), is an example. He was worshipped as Saturn, Vulcan, Kronos, Baal, Tammuz, Molech and others, but he was always the same god—the fire or sun god universally worshipped in nearly every ancient culture.

The goddess Easter was no different. She was one goddess with many names—the goddess of fertility, worshipped in spring when all life was being renewed.

The widely-known historian, Will Durant, in his famous and respected work, Story of Civilization, pp. 235, 244-245, writes, “Ishtar [Astarte to the Greeks, Ashtoreth to the Jews], interests us not only as analogue of the Egyptian Isis and prototype of the Grecian Aphrodite and the Roman Venus, but as the formal beneficiary of one of the strangest of Babylonian customs…known to us chiefly from a famous page in Herodotus: Every native woman is obliged, once in her life, to sit in the temple of Venus [Easter], and have intercourse with some stranger.” Is it any wonder that the Bible speaks of the religious system that has descended from that ancient city as, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev. 17:5)?

easter4608In the Christian faith, Easter has come to mean the celebration of the resurrection of Christ three days after His crucifixion. It is the oldest Christian holiday and the most important day of the church year because of the significance of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the events upon which Christianity is based. Easter Sunday is preceded by the season of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting and repentance culminating in Holy Week and followed by a 50-day Easter season that stretches from Easter to Pentecost.

Because of the commercialization and pagan origins of Easter, many churches prefer to refer to it as “Resurrection Sunday.” The rationale is the more we focus on Christ and the less we focus on the pagan holiday, the better. As previously mentioned, the resurrection of Christ is the central theme of Christianity. Paul says that without this, our faith is futile (1 Corinthians 15:17). What more wonderful reason could we have to celebrate! What is important is the true reason behind our celebration, which is that Christ was resurrected from the dead, making it possible for us to have eternal life (Romans 6:4)!

Should we celebrate Easter or allow our children to go on Easter eggs hunts? This is a question both parents and church leaders struggle with. There is nothing essentially evil about painting and hiding eggs and having children search for them. What is important is our focus. If our focus is on Christ and not the eggs, our children will understand that the eggs are just a game. Children can participate in an Easter egg hunt as long as the true meaning of the day is explained and emphasized, but ultimately this must be left up to the discretion of parents.

Sources:

http://rcg.org/books/ttooe.html

http://www.gotquestions.org/easter-origins.html#ixzz2Oqiev63K

More info regarding this topic check out the related Articles below. 

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TOUGH AS SNAILS

A great article from John UpChurch at Answers in Genesis
 

abaWhen industry needs strong building materials, it often relies on metals because of their durability, or certain hard minerals. But God equipped one of the simplest — and slowest — of creatures with a surprisingly robust armor that combines two brittle ingredients. Scientists are only beginning to understand and replicate this new way to create “composite” materials that could lead to new and better products.

Even something as insignificant as the sea snail (or abalone) proves the claims of Scripture, that the Creator made all kinds of living things during Creation Week to display His magnificent handiwork. As Psalm 104:24–25 says, “O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions — this great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great.”

At first glance, an abalone shell doesn’t seem so impressive. The ear-shaped armor of this tasty gastropod consists mainly of calcium carbonate. That’s the same compound as Tums tablets, which hardly qualify as a hardy building material. But the secret of the sea snail is in what else God added—and how He put them together.

[Read the rest of the article at Answers in Genesis.

 

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5000+ ate with and because of Jesus

Matthew 14:14-21

 

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said.  And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.  The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

-Matthew 14:14-21 (NIV)

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Pictures from the YI4C Sleepover 12/29/12

Enjoy the Pictures from the YI4C Sleepover on 12/29/12. The sleepover was done right after our first service at one of our churches. We had fun, learned ,watched movies, meditated, cooked, ate 🙂  and overall was a moment closeness to God. The pictures below was one of the reflationary teachings from Damaris (YI4C leader) which ministered to the youth in a very powerful way.