This Passover ~ Holy Week 7

And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.   Luke 22:15

Not “the” Passover but “this” Passover-the last Passover before the cross.  The Lord fully knew what awaited Him after the supper; “before I suffer”.  He knew all about the arrest, the unrighteous trial, the mockery, scourging, thorns, cross and death that loomed before Him.  Yet there would be resurrection and joy too.  But before all of that, He earnestly desired this last supper with His own.  What about us?  Our Lord is alive and today may we say to Him, “Lord, with desire have I desired to eat this supper, to remember you, thank you, and worship you.  -Carl Knott

Break ye the bread and pour the wine, as ye have seen your Master do; This body and this blood of Mine, is broken and shed for you.  -John Pierpont

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Because of God’s love, we are never truly alone.

INSIGHT: The circumstances that took place on the night of Jesus’s betrayal seemed to be confused, chaotic, and out of control. But our Lord’s measured words in facing His betrayer showed His understanding of the big picture of God’s sovereign plan. Without the cross we could not be redeemed.     Dennis Fisher

2015 Second Orlando Prophecy Summit, Part 48

Russ Breault    ~    Shroud Of Turin: Past, Present, Future

Russ Breault believes there is a 90% chance that the Shroud Of Turin is authentic.

RESURRECTION!  Apologetics

Apologetics is the branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

A field of Christian theology which aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith.

Why do you believe what you believe.

The Shroud falls within the field of apologetics.

The resurrection is the centerpiece of the Christian faith.  “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”  I Corinthians 15:14

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.”  I Corinthians 15:17

The resurrection is a settled historic fact:

  • The Shroud is not necessary for belief in the resurrection.
  • Not blind faith.
  • It is a matter of faith based on fact.
  • What are the proof points other than the Shroud?

The apostles referred to the resurrection as a factual event.  I Corinthians 15:3-6  There are about six post resurrection appearances.  The Jews never questioned the empty tomb!  They alleged the disciples stole the body.  How?  Pilate put soldiers to guard the tomb.  For what purpose?  All the apostles except John died as martyrs.  These apostles were all eye witnesses to these events.

Why Jerusalem?

  • Apostles were from Galilee.
  • Why didn’t they go home?
  • The Temple.
  • The Empty Tomb!
  • All the Romans or Jews needed to do was…
  • Produce the dead body of Jesus!
  • Resorted to persecution in AD 37.

Evidence of Transformation

  • Only 7 weeks after the resurrection, Peter with boldness stands in the Temple Court and challenges the very authorities who called for Christ’s crucifixion.
  • Not possible without complete assurance of the resurrection.  Acts 4:9-11

Martyrdom of the Apostles  –  All they had to do was deny the resurrection!

Are there non-biblical historical records that validate what the Scriptures claim?   There are over twenty non-Christian sources between 30 and 130 AD.  They all refer to Jesus as a historical figure.  Twelve mentioned his death by crucifixion.  Ten refer to His resurrection!

With or without the shroud, the resurrection is a historic fact.  The shroud can give us further insight.

Is the Shroud Proof?

  • No…not scientifically
  • The possibility is staggering
  • It could be the most important artifact on the planet!
  • The ultimate apologetic

The Shroud:  Past-Present-Future

Message through History

The image was rediscovered in Edessa, Turkey in the sixth century, described as the true likeness of Christ, not made with human hands.  The icon images all changed from this point on, imitating the shroud.  There are coins from this time with over 180 points of congruence with the shroud.

II Corinthians 4:4

Jesus is the image of the invisible God.  Hebrews 1:3

To see Jesus is to see God.

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Early Context

  • Roman Emperor Caligula who reigned from 37-41 A.D.  was the first to demand worship.  All other emperors who followed, demanded the same.
  • Thousands of Christians would die as martyrs refusing to worship the emperor or his image.

The Image as Theology

  • Early images based on the “True Likeness” were used to confront paganism.
  • Later use was to combat heresy and Gnosticism.  I John 4:1-3

Message to the Church today

  • Remember your first love.   Revelation 2:4
  • You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  I Corinthians 6:19-20
  • The church of God, which he purchased with his own blood.  Acts 20:28

The shroud is a relic, a symbol, a mystery and an artifact.

A Prophetic Message To The Church

The resurrection had no eye witnesses.

What happened in the tomb?  The key to the future is the past.  Matthew 28:3  The Transfiguration  Matthew 17:2

Conversion of Saul  Acts 9:3-8

Has God reserved the shroud for us in the twentieth  century as proof of the resurrection?

We are looking for the glorious appearing.  The blessed hope.  Titus 2:11-14   I John 3:2-3

The power of the resurrection is the power of the Holy Spirit within you!  The shroud represents a future event- the coming of the Lord.  Hebrews 9:28

The next event on the church calendar is the rapture of the saints.

The message of the shroud is BELIEVE!

 

 

The Band Anastazja

www.thebandanastazja.com/

 

The Von Trapp family of American Gospel, Bluegrass and Country –

This fascinating group of family musicians from New York will be playing at various locales in southwest Florida in the spring of 2017.  Check their schedule on their above website.   They will be at First Baptist Church of Charlotte Harbor, 4506 Church Street, Charlotte Harbor, Florida 33980 on February 26 at 6 PM.  (941)629-8101.  There is no charge.  A love offering will be taken.

The Band Anastazja Promotional Video 2013

 Francesca Valentina

“Frankie”

Born on July 5th 2015

Our family

    Music is no stranger to this family band that hails from the beautiful Upstate New York countryside, where makin’ music is a way of life. Armed with a banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, bass, the spoons, eight kids, Mom, Dad, and Gramma, The Band Anastazja travels here, there and everywhere to entertain folks with their unique style of music and their genuineness in the real life stories that they tell and the songs to accompany them. Mom, Stacey, says that, “We need to keep the old music alive, because if we don’t, it will be gone and forgotten.” It’s not uncommon for you to hear the band playing songs that Grandma played on the radio with a new sound…songs that paved the way in country music. You’ll hear songs from Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams and the Carter Family as well as some gospel and originals, including the band’s latest, “Hard Times We Never Had” telling of how good they have it today.
This family of eleven will knock your socks off with the children playing well beyond their years. From the oldest just turning eighteen, and the youngest, just a baby…they all have something to give. Lea, 18, says that “Music is my life. Well…God and music. Without those two things, I wouldn’t be who I am today.” Mom will charm you with her openness and real life stories of what it’s like in the trenches of raising a large family with humorous little stories of everyday life. “People often ask my husband and I if we’re “done” yet. We always say “no” because the look of shock and awe on their face is worth a million bucks. The funny thing is, is that they don’t even know what they’re missing. Someday I will write a song about it.”
The Band Anastazja is planning a winter tour down the lower East Coast and throughout Florida again in January and February, sharing their music with the world. “We play anywhere from churches, rv parks, festivals, and theaters and love every moment of it.” (Well…almost every moment.) Having small children brings character and challenge to the mix. “I’m still mom…even when I’m on stage. Every so often, I’ll see the little boys start to fight or Elizabeth will be trying to get away with something and I’ll have to handle it from the stage and bring them up front to sit. It’s hard at times, but it’s worth every ounce of effort. We’ve really been given so much.”

People often ask why we’ve chosen the name “Anastazja” (anna-sta-zha) as our mantra. The name comes from the Greek, meaning “Resurrection” or “Reborn.” We loved this because with so many young children and the fact that every day the Good Lord has given all of us the chance to start again, to start fresh, to leave our mistakes behind…the name just seemed captivating. We chose the Polish spelling because that is part of our heritage and we’re proud of it!

 

 

We Believe ~ The Newsboys

This song is full of more doctrine than can be imagined.  It reminds me of the Apostles Creed.  The Apostles Creed was written in order to stand for truth and to counter heresy.  Perhaps the Lord will use this powerful and beautiful song in the same manner.  Note the tribute to the preaching ministry of Billy Graham in the background throughout the song.

 

Blog Site Statement Of Faith

The following is a statement of faith from the author of this blog site.  I believe the Bible is the inerrant, immutable and perfect Word of God.  I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and God Himself, and the Second Person of the Triune Godhead.   Jesus Christ is also the sole Author of salvation.  Below is a more comprehensive statement of faith, which is taken from the South West Florida Bible Institute, since I whole heartily concur with the statement in its entirety:

Statement of Faith

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, and only inerrant, infallible, immutable, authoritative Word of God.

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration of the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.

We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

In His Service, Pastor Steve

Killing Jesus ~ Part 3

The Crucifixion

As mentioned, the raising of Lazarus was glossed over in the film, and this is the act that gave more people a desire to crucify Jesus Christ than any other event.  One week before Christ’s death, the Lord asked His disciples to retrieve a donkey.  You Bible scholars already know that He fulfilled Zechariah 9:9 by riding the donkey into Jerusalem.  The disciples who retrieved the donkey, suggested that He manipulated the event in order to appear that He was fulfilling prophecy.  Yes, a skeptical theme is evident throughout this movie.  Fast forwarding ahead to Jesus and the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane: when the officials came to arrest Him, as you may recall, zealous Peter cut off the ear of a soldier.  The Bible says that Jesus healed the ear.  Again, in consistent fashion, the movie omitted this miracle, one of His last performed on earth.  Prior to His crucifixion in the movie, one uttered that “He walked on water and fed the multitudes.”  In the background one could be heard asking:  “Did you see it happen?”  Again implying a lie was being told.

The following episode is classic of so called “Hollywood” poetic license.  We know how Judas Iscariot was given thirty pieces of silver for turning Jesus over to the authorities.  The Bible tells us that he brought it back to the priests and religious elders in the temple because he betrayed innocent blood.  Since it was “blood money,” the priests decided it could not be used for temple service, and reserved it for the Potter’s Field, which was a parcel of land used to bury strangers.  It became known as the field of blood.  The movie has Judas giving a boy thirty pieces of silver, to purchase a rope that the lad had around his goat!  This is the rope Judas hung himself with.  Furthermore, the movie has him hanging himself in a level area which could not have happened according to the scriptures.  One Gospel account says Judas hung himself.  Another says his bowels gushed out down a cliff.  Merging the true accounts together we find that Judas hung himself over a cliff, the rope/branch broke, and he fell down the cliff.

In the movie, the authorities gave Jesus a crimson colored robe for His mock trials, yet the Bible says it was purple.  The movie quoted it as purple even though it was not.  Have colors changed in the last two thousand years?  Inri was the only sign placed on the cross.  There were no miracles displayed at the cross.  The earth did not quake and the sky did not turn dark.  The veil in the temple between the holy place and the holy of holies was not shown to be split top to bottom.  Lepers were not cleansed, and people did not rise from the dead as the Bible tells us.  This could have been the crucifixion of Spartacus rather than Jesus.  The thief on the cross who became saved, was far from Christ and never heard from.  In the movie, Jesus was never heard saying:  “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  Bill O’Reilly claimed “that would never have been said.”  Then O’Reilly quipped  “No one being crucified would have made such a statement or have the strength to do so.”  O’Reilly’s audacity and foolish presumption is downright scary!  A very human Jesus was presented at the crucifixion.

Three days later, the movie displays an empty tomb, asserting no real evidence for the resurrection or suggestion of why His body was missing.  The women who came to the tomb, however, smiled as they noticed it was empty.  That was probably the largest inference to the resurrection in the entire movie.  No angels appeared, the ground did not quake, fearful Roman soldiers were not to be seen, and the resurrection of Jesus was glossed over.

Later, Peter is shown fishing once again, and he caught another huge, miraculous amount after he appeared to be in prayer.  The implication was that the Lord enabled the great catch, but Jesus is no where to be seen.  In fact, the movie shows no appearances of Jesus whatsoever after the crucifixion, nor is His ascension to heaven displayed either.

Here are a few mind boggling closing statements in the movie: 1)Peter took the “Christian tradition” to Rome, where he formalized the Mason Christian Church.”   [This is classic Catholicism.  There was no pope for three hundred years after Peter.  Christians do not call our faith “tradition,” we call it the Gospel.]  2)The movie claims once again that “according to tradition John was exiled to the island of Patmos.”  This is mentioned in the book of Revelation.  The authors again refuse to believe in the inspiration of the holy scriptures.  3) Furthermore, they said the Gospel account of John is open to debate in regards to its’ authenticity and authorship.  What more is there to say?

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Conclusion:  There are so many excellent Biblical movies on Jesus Christ that hold to the integrity of the scriptures.  For instance, watch the excellent sequel to “The Bible,” on Easter night- it is called “A.D., The Bible Continues…”  (9pm/8c, NBC).  There is also Jesus of Nazareth, King Of Kings, Ben Hur, The Passion Of The Christ and The Greatest Story Ever Told.   To me, watching the movie Killing Jesus was a consummate waste, except to expose it.  O’Reilly claims to believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ, but does he believe He is the only way?  (John 14:6)  Furthermore, what good is accomplished in this film?  Lost souls and inquirers to the faith will only become confused by watching it.  O’Reilly has a “buffet style” approach to the Bible, and believes in only part of the Bible and rejects the rest.  This is in direct conflict with the caption at the beginning of the movie that says it is based on the Bible.  O’Reilly arbitrarily decides what is to be taken literally, what is to be accepted as an allegory or hyperbole, and what is to be rejected.  He probably vacillates himself from day to day about what he accepts and rejects.  [I like Bill O’Reilly and a lot of what he does, such as standing up for the Christians’ right to celebrate Christmas.  As a reputable news anchor, he also helped secure the release of an American prisoner in Mexico, who was there on trumped up false charges.  Writing books on the King Of Kings however, is not his forte.  He needs to stick with writing about Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and George S. Patton].   Let me close with a simple question to you who know you are saved.  Would you write such a book, or direct this movie?  The scriptures are added to, taken away from, distorted, and tampered with.  It is indeed confusing, at least from my perspective.  The Gospel is 100% true and there are many movies on the life of Jesus Christ that better represent the true, infallible, inerrant, immutable Word of God.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.”   Isaiah 40:8  (NASB)

Have A Blessed Easter/Resurrection Day

Maranatha, Pastor Steve