Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Give Thanks To GOD For HIS Mercy In CHRIST JESUS

Blog Readers, 

I will resume blogging next week because I plan to have the Thanksgiving Day celebration at one of my children's home in Los Angeles, California, some 350 miles(560 km) away from my home.

BLESSING of THANKSGIVING  November 27, 2014 Anno Domini

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:16~18 NIV

16Rejoice always,  
17Pray continually,  
18Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is GOD’S WILL for you in CHRIST JESUS.

I read the following article and was blessed, so I want to share with you. (Some spellings are capitalized by the blogger)

Why is giving thanks to GOD important?

The Bible is filled with commands to give thanks to GOD (Psalm 106:1; 107:1; 118:1; 1 Chronicles 16:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Most verses go on to list reasons why we should thank Him, such as “His Love Endures Forever” (Psalm 136:3), “HE Is Good” (Psalm 118:29), and “His Mercy Is Everlasting” (Psalm 100:5). Thanksgiving and praise always go together. We cannot adequately praise and worship GOD without also being thankful.

Feeling and expressing appreciation is good for us. Like any wise father, GOD Wants us to learn to be thankful for all the gifts HE Has Given us (James 1:17). It is in our best interest to be reminded that everything we have is a gift from HIM. Without gratefulness, we become arrogant and self-centered. We begin to believe that we have achieved everything on our own. Thankfulness keeps our hearts in right relationship to the Giver of all good gifts.

Giving thanks also reminds us of how much we do have. Human beings are prone to covetousness. We tend to focus on what we don’t have. By giving thanks continually we are reminded of how much we do have. When we focus on blessings rather than wants, we are happier. When we start thanking GOD for the things we usually take for granted, our perspective changes. We realize that we could not even exist without the merciful blessings of GOD.

First Thessalonians 5:18 says, 

“In everything give thanks; for this is GOD’S Will for you in CHRIST JESUS.” 

We are to be thankful not only for the things we like, but for the circumstances we don’t like. When we purpose to thank GOD for everything that HE Allows To Come into our lives, we keep bitterness at bay. We cannot be both thankful and bitter at the same time. We do not thank HIM for evil, but that HE Is Sustaining us through it (James 1:12). We don’t thank HIM for harm HE Did Not Cause, but we thank HIM When HE Gives us the strength to endure it (2 Corinthians 12:9). We thank HIM for His Promise that “all things will work together for the good, to those who love GOD and are called according to His Purpose” (Romans 8:28).

We can have thankful hearts toward GOD even when we do not feel thankful for the circumstance. We can grieve and still be thankful. We can hurt and still be thankful. We can be angry at sin and still be thankful toward GOD. That is what the Bible calls a “sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15). Giving thanks to GOD keeps our hearts in right relationship with HIM and saves us from a host of harmful emotions and attitudes that will rob us of the peace GOD wants us to experience (Philippians 4:6–7).

Read more:

 Thank YOU for Saving us, LORD JESUS.  We Love YOU Forever!


Isaiah 59:1-21 NIV

Sin, Confession and Redemption

1 Surely The Arm of The LORD Is Not Too Short To Save,
nor HIS Ear Too Dull To Hear.

2But your iniquities have separated
you from your GOD;
your sins have hidden HIS Face from you,
so that HE Will Not Hear.

3For your hands are stained with blood,
your fingers with guilt.
Your lips have spoken falsely,
and your tongue mutters wicked things.
4No one calls for justice;
no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies;
they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
5They hatch the eggs of vipers
and spin a spider’s web.
Whoever eats their eggs will die,
and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
6Their cobwebs are useless for clothing;
they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
Their deeds are evil deeds,
and acts of violence are in their hands.
7Their feet rush into sin;
they are swift to shed innocent blood.
They pursue evil schemes;
acts of violence mark their ways.
8The way of peace they do not know;
there is no justice in their paths.
They have turned them into crooked roads;
no one who walks along them will know peace.
9So justice is far from us,
and righteousness does not reach us.
We look for light, but all is darkness;
for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
10Like the blind we grope along the wall,
feeling our way like people without eyes.
At midday we stumble as if it were twilight;
among the strong, we are like the dead.
11We all growl like bears;
we moan mournfully like doves.
We look for justice, but find none;
for deliverance, but it is far away.
12For our offenses are many in Your Sight,
and our sins testify against us.
Our offenses are ever with us,
and we acknowledge our iniquities:
13rebellion and treachery against The LORD,
turning our backs on our GOD,
inciting revolt and oppression,
uttering lies our hearts have conceived.
14So justice is driven back,
and righteousness stands at a distance;
truth has stumbled in the streets,
honesty cannot enter.
15Truth is nowhere to be found,
and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
The LORD Looked and Was Displeased
that there was no justice.

16 HE Saw that there was no one,
HE Was Appalled that there was no one to intervene;
So HIS OWN Arm Achieved Salvation for HIM,
and HIS OWN Righteousness Sustained HIM.
17 HE Put On Righteousness as HIS Breastplate,
and The Helmet of Salvation on HIS Head;
HE Put on the garments of vengeance
and Wrapped HIMSELF in zeal as in a cloak.

18According to what they have done,
so Will HE Repay
Wrath to His enemies
and Retribution to His foes;
HE Will Repay the islands their due.
19From the west, people will fear The Name of The LORD,
and from the rising of the sun, they will revere His Glory.
For HE Will Come like a pent-up flood
that The Breath of The LORD Drives along.a

20The REDEEMER Will Come To Zion,

                                                    ( Goel - Kinsman Redeemer)    

to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”

Declares The LORD.

21“As For ME, This Is MY Covenant With them,” Says The LORD

MY SPIRIT, WHO Is On you, Will Not Depart from you, and My WORDS that I Have Put in your mouth Will always Be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” Says The LORD.

The foregoing elegant chapter contained a severe reproof of the Jews, in particular for their hypocrisy in pretending to make them accepted with GOD by fasting and outward humiliation without true repentance; while they still continued to oppress the poor, and indulge their own passions and vices; with great promises however of GOD's Favor on condition of their reformation.

This chapter contains a more general reproof of their wickedness, bloodshed, violence, falsehood, injustice of the Jews, Isaiah 59:1-8.  After this they are represented confessing their sins, and deploring the unhappy consequences of them, Isaiah 59:9-15.

On this act of humiliation GOD, ever ready to pardon the penitent, Promises that HE Will Have Mercy on them; that The REDEEMER Will Come, Mighty To Save; and that HE Will Deliver HIS people, Subdue HIS enemies and Establish a New and Everlasting Covenant, Isaiah 59:16-21.



What Day Is The Sabbath, Saturday or Sunday?

What day is the Sabbath, Saturday or Sunday? Do Christians have to observe the Sabbath day?


It is often claimed that “GOD Instituted the Sabbath in Eden” because of the connection between the Sabbath and creation inExodus 20:11. Although GOD's Rest on the seventh day (Genesis 2:3) did foreshadow a future Sabbath Law, there is no biblical record of the Sabbath before the children of Israel left the land of Egypt. Nowhere in Scripture is there any hint that Sabbath-keeping was practiced from Adam to Moses.

The WORD of GOD Makes it quite clear that Sabbath observance was a special sign between GOD and Israel: 

“The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between ME and the Israelites forever, for in six days The LORD Made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day HE Abstained from work and Rested” (Exodus 31:16–17).

In Deuteronomy 5, Moses restates the Ten Commandments to the next generation of Israelites. Here, after commanding Sabbath observance in verses 12–14, Moses gives the reason the Sabbath was given to the nation Israel: 

“Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that The LORD your GOD brought you out of there with a Mighty Hand and an Outstretched Arm. Therefore The LORD your GOD Has Commanded you to observe the Sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15).

GOD's Intent for giving the Sabbath to Israel was not that they would remember creation, but that they would remember their Egyptian slavery and The LORD'S Deliverance. Note the requirements for Sabbath-keeping: A person placed under that Sabbath Law could not leave his home on the Sabbath (Exodus 16:29), he could not build a fire (Exodus 35:3), and he could not cause anyone else to work (Deuteronomy 5:14). A person breaking the Sabbath Law was to be put to death (Exodus 31:15;Numbers 15:32–35).

An examination of New Testament passages shows us four important points: 

1) Whenever CHRIST Appears in HIS Resurrected Form and the day is mentioned, it is always the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1,9,10;Mark 16:9;Luke 24:1,13,15;John 20:19,26). 

2) The only time the Sabbath is mentioned from Acts through Revelation it is for evangelistic purposes to the Jews and the setting is usually in a synagogue (Acts chapters 13–18). Paul wrote, “to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews” (1 Corinthians 9:20). Paul did not go to the synagogue to fellowship with and edify the saints, but to convict and save the lost. 

3) Once Paul states “from now on I will go to the Gentiles” (Acts 18:6), the Sabbath is never again mentioned. And 

4) instead of suggesting adherence to the Sabbath day, the remainder of the New Testament implies the opposite (including the one exception to point 3 above, found in Colossians 2:16).

Looking more closely at point 4 above will reveal that there is no obligation for the New Testament believer to keep the Sabbath, and will also show that the idea of a Sunday “Christian Sabbath” is also unscriptural. As discussed above, there is one time the Sabbath is mentioned after Paul began to focus on the Gentiles, 

“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in CHRIST.” (Colossians 2:16–17). 

The Jewish Sabbath was abolished at the cross where CHRIST “Canceled the written code, with its regulations” (Colossians 2:14).

This idea is repeated more than once in the New Testament: 

“One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to The LORD” (Romans 14:5–6a). 

“But now that you know GOD — or rather are known by GOD — how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years” (Galatians 4:9–10).

But some claim that a mandate by Constantine in A.D. 321 “changed” the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. On what day did the early church meet for worship? Scripture never mentions any Sabbath (Saturday) gatherings by believers for fellowship or worship. However, there are clear passages that mention the first day of the week. 

 For instance,Acts 20:7 states that “on the first day of the week we came together to break bread.” 

In 1 Corinthians 16:2 Paul urges the Corinthian believers “on the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income.” 

Since Paul designates this offering as “service” in 2 Corinthians 9:12, this collection must have been linked with the Sunday worship service of the Christian assembly. Historically Sunday, not Saturday, was the normal meeting day for Christians in the church, and its practice dates back to the first century.

The Sabbath was given to Israel, not the church. The Sabbath is still Saturday, not Sunday, and has never been changed. But the Sabbath is part of the Old Testament Law, and Christians are free from the bondage of the Law (Galatians 4:1-26;Romans 6:14). 

Sabbath keeping is not required of the Christian—be it Saturday or Sunday. The first day of the week, Sunday, The LORD'S Day (Revelation 1:10) celebrates the New Creation, with CHRIST as our Resurrected Head. We are not obligated to follow the Mosaic Sabbath—resting, but are now free to follow the risen CHRIST—serving. The Apostle Paul said that each individual Christian should decide whether to observe a Sabbath rest, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5). 

We are to worship GOD every day, not just on Saturday or Sunday.


Read more:

JESUS Is Our Eternal Sabbath Rest

Isaiah 58:1-14 NIV

True Fasting

1“Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to My people their rebellion
and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2For day after day they seek ME out;
they seem eager to know MY Ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the Commands of its GOD.
They ask ME for just decisions
and seem eager for GOD to come near them.
3‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
4Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5Is this the kind of fast I Have Chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to The LORD?

6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I Have Chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free

and break every yoke?

7Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8Then your Light Will Break Forth like the dawn,

and your healing will quickly appear;

then your Righteousness Will Go before you,
and The Glory of The LORD Will Be your rear guard.

9Then you will call, and The LORD Will Answer;
you will cry for help, and HE Will Say: Here AM I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your Light Will Rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11The LORD Will Guide you always;
HE Will Satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and Will Strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13“If you keep your feet from breaking The Sabbath
and from doing as you please on MY Holy Day,
if you call The Sabbath a delight
and The LORD'S Holy Day Honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14then you will find your joy in The LORDd,
and I Will Cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”

The Mouth of The LORD Has Spoken.

This elegant chapter contains a severe reproof of the Jews on account of their vices, particularly their hypocrisy in practicing and relying on outward ceremonies, such as fasting and bodily humiliation, without true repentance, Isaiah 58:1-5. It then lays down a clear and comprehensive summary of the duties they owed to their fellow creatures, Isaiah 58:6Isaiah 58:7. Large promises of happiness and prosperity are likewise annexed to the performance of these duties in a variety of the most beautiful and striking images, Isaiah 58:8-12. Great temporal and spiritual blessedness of those who keep holy the Sabbath Day, Isaiah 58:13Isaiah 58:14.

JESUS Is our Sabbath Rest

The key to understanding how JESUS Is our Sabbath Rest is the Hebrew word sabat”, which means “to rest or stop or cease from work.” The origin of the Sabbath goes back to Creation. After creating the heavens and the earth in six days, GOD “Rested on the seventh day from all HIS Work which HE Had Made” (Genesis 2:2). This doesn’t mean that GOD Was Tired and Needed a rest. We know that GOD Is Omnipotent, literally “all-powerful.” HE Has all the power in the universe, HE Never Tires, and HIS most arduous expenditure of energy does not diminish HIS Power one bit. So, what does it mean that GOD rested on the seventh day? Simply that HE Stopped what HE Was Doing. HE Ceased from HIS Labors. This is important in understanding the establishment of the Sabbath Day and the Role of CHRIST as our Sabbath Rest.

GOD Used the example of HIS Resting on the seventh day of Creation to establish the principle of The Sabbath Day rest for HIS people. In
Exodus 20:8-11and  Deuteronomy 5:12-15, GOD Gave the Israelites the fourth of HIS Ten Commandments. They were to “remember” the Sabbath day and “keep it holy.” One day out of every seven, they were to rest from their labors and give the same day of rest to their servants and animals. This was not just a physical rest, but a cessation of laboring. Whatever work they were engaged in was to stop for a full day each week. (Please read our other articles on the Sabbath day, Saturday vs. Sunday and Sabbath keeping to explore this issue further.) The Sabbath Day was established so the people would rest from their labors, only to begin again after a one-day rest.

The various elements of The Sabbath symbolized the Coming of The MESSIAH, WHO Would Provide a permanent rest for HIS people. Once again the example of resting from our labors comes into play. With the establishment of the Old Testament Law, the Jews were constantly “laboring” to make themselves acceptable to GOD. Their labors included trying to obey a myriad of do’s and don’ts of the ceremonial law, the Temple law, the civil law, etc. Of course they couldn’t possibly keep all those Laws, so GOD Provided an array of sin offerings and sacrifices so they could come to Him for forgiveness and restore fellowship with Him, but only temporarily. Just as they began their physical labors after a one-day rest, so, too, did they have to continue to offer sacrifices.  

Hebrews 10:1tells us that the Law “can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.” But these sacrifices were offered in anticipation of the ultimate sacrifice of CHRIST on the cross, Who ”after HE Had Offered one sacrifice for sins forever, Sat Down on The Right Hand of GOD” (Hebrews 10:12). Just as HE Rested after performing the ultimate sacrifice, HE Sat Down and Rested—Ceased from HIS Labor of atonement because there was nothing more to be done, ever. Because of What HE Did, we no longer have to “labor” in law-keeping in order to be justified in the Sight of GOD. JESUS Was Sent so that we might rest in GOD and in what HE Has Provided.

Another element of the Sabbath Day rest which God Instituted as a foreshadowing of our complete rest in CHRIST is that HE Blessed it, Sanctified it, and Made it holy. Here again we see the symbol of CHRIST as our Sabbath rest—the holy, perfect SON of GOD Who Sanctifies and Makes holy all who believe in Him. GOD Sanctified CHRIST, just as HE Sanctified the Sabbath Day, and Sent Him into the world (
John 10:36) to be our sacrifice for sin. In Him we find complete rest from the labors of our self-effort, because HE Alone Is holy and Righteous. “GOD Made Him Who Had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of GOD” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We can now cease from our spiritual labors and rest in Him, not just one day a week, but always.

JESUS Can Be our Sabbath rest in part because HE Is “LORD of the Sabbath” (
Matthew 12:8). As GOD Incarnate, HE Decides the true meaning of the Sabbath because HE Created it, and HE Is our Sabbath rest in the flesh. When the Pharisees criticized Him for healing on the Sabbath, JESUS Reminded them that even they, sinful as they were, would not hesitate to pull a sheep out of a pit on the Sabbath. Because HE Came To Seek and Save HIS sheep who would hear HIS Voice (John 10:3, 27) and enter into the Sabbath rest HE Provided by paying for their sins, HE Could Break the Sabbath rules. HE Told the Pharisees that people are more important than sheep and the salvation HE Provided Was More Important Than rules. By saying, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27), JESUS Was Restating the principle that the Sabbath rest was instituted to relieve man of his labors, Just As HE Came To Relieve us of our attempting to achieve salvation by our works. We no longer rest for only one day, but forever cease our laboring to attain GOD’s Favor. JESUS Is our Rest from works now, Just As HE Is the Door to Heaven, where we will rest in HIM forever.

Hebrews 4 is the definitive passage regarding JESUS as our Sabbath rest. The writer to the Hebrews exhorts his readers to “enter in” to the Sabbath rest provided by CHRIST. After three chapters of telling them that JESUS Is Superior To the angels and that HE Is our Apostle and High Priest, he pleads with them to not harden their hearts against Him, as their fathers hardened their hearts against JEHOVAH in the wilderness. Because of their unbelief, GOD Denied that generation access to the holy land, saying, “They shall not enter into My Rest” (
Hebrews 3:11). In the same way, the writer to the Hebrews begs them—and us—not to make the same mistake by rejecting GOD’S Sabbath rest in JESUS CHRIST.  

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of GOD; for anyone who enters GOD'S rest also rests from his own work, just as GOD did from HIS. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:9-11).


There is no other Sabbath rest besides JESUS. HE alone Satisfies the requirements of the Law, and HE alone Provides the sacrifice that atones for sin. HE Is GOD’S Plan for us to cease from the labor of our own works. We dare not reject this One-and-Only Way of Salvation (John 14:6). GOD’s reaction to those who choose to reject His Plan is seen in Numbers 15. A man was found gathering sticks on the Sabbath Day, in spite of GOD’s plain Commandment to cease from all labor on the Sabbath. This transgression was a known and willful sin, done with unblushing boldness in broad daylight, in open defiance of the Divine Authority. 

“And JEHOVAH Said to Moses, ‘The man shall surely be put to death’” (v. 35). So it will be to all who reject GOD’S Provision for our Sabbath rest in CHRIST. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).