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marriage supper of the lamb

The beginning of Deuteronomy tells in the beginning of the twenty-eighth chapter about the blessings that God would place on his people, Israel, if they obey him. The second half of the chapter however is much darker because it tells about the curses that would incur if they didn’t obey God.
In Isaiah 30: It tells about how Israel obeyed God for a while, then when they found themselves in trouble went to Egypt (the world) for their comfort. Then when they found themselves in a corner and in even more trouble, they would finally cry out to God and God would open his arms to them again.
What they learned was is that they could not keep God’s laws on their own. Over and over again God gave them the chance to redeem themselves. Over and over again Israel as a country failed to be able to follow the plan that God for them. They kept going back to the world that not only hated them, but cheated them out of God’s blessings.

Help Only God Could Provide

They needed help and God already had a plan in place. It says in John 3:17, “the son of man did not come to condemn the Law but to fulfill it.” Jesus, God came to earth in the flesh,. He chose to come to earth as a baby, to live a holy life that was uncorrupted by the world system, and to give himself as the ultimate sacrifice fulfilled the law and offered his accomplishment back to us as the gift of salvation. He, in essence said, “I know you are unable to keep the law so I am keeping it for you. If you’ll agree that I am Lord of your life, I give my blessing back to you.”
He took the curses of Deuteronomy 28 to the cross with him. If we believe it, then we receive salvation not only from eternal damnation, but also from those curses.

But You Have to Ask

That’s not to say that we have automatic immunity. In Romans 3:23 it says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. In other words, we have all earned death if we sin. What exactly is sin, you ask? Sin is simply disobeying God’s instruction or preferring to follow the ways of the world rather than following those instructions.
Jesus came to fulfill the law. It says in Romans 6:23, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” It is in only in his offering of himself as our Savior that we can have right standing with God. In Romans 12:6 it says that he is our propitiation and, I John 2:1 says that he is our advocate with the father. As it says in John 3:18, all you have to do is believe. However, if you do not believe, it also says in the same verse that you are condemned already.
Are you ready to accept the gift? All you have to do is believe that he is who he says he is. Otherwise you remain at the whim of the world’s system.

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


The other day I was talking to a woman while we were in the Christmas section of Walmart. She was looking for Christmas cards to send to her friends. She said that she had a hard time knowing what to send and i told her that I always sent inspirational cards. She said that she had a number of friends who were not Christian and would be offended by the card. I told her that I also had friends who were not Christians, but I would give them inspirational Christmas cards too. Being a Christian is part of who I am. When I left her to continue searching for non-offensive Christmas cards, I left her as confused as ever.

nativity with angels
As I have been thinking about this and have been reading about others who are offended by the concept that God came to earth as an infant to save men’s souls from eternal torment, I have to wonder, “why the offense? Why can’t nonbelievers simply be tolerant of those of us who do believe that the creator of the Universe could love us that much? Can we just agree to disagree and agree that the idea of “peace on earth, good will is a good thing and it is something that we all want? Isn’t this a good place to start? No one wants war and death, right? Why the offense?

That SIN Issue

It is partly because of that SIN issue. No one wants to admit that they need a Savior to rescue them from their sins. The Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Acts 4:12 says that the only way to God is through his son Jesus.
Jesus was born Emanuel meaning “God dwelling with us”. He conducted a ministry of as was reported to John the Baptist in Luke 7: 22 “BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.” Jesus the Messiah completed his ministry here on earth when he took our sins with him to the cross that “whosoever believes in him (in his authority to free us from sin and the wages of that sin) should have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). He then left and left behind his spirit to live in anyone who accept that spirit and that spirit is the spirit of God’s Love for all mankind.

God Is Not Condemning Us

True Christian faith is love, not condemnation. This is why the angel of the Lord said in Luke 2:10-12 “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to ALL people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord.” and then all of the other angels joined Him by saying “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
The Christmas story is not a story of condemnation, but hope for the forever kind of peace that only he can give. God doesn’t want to fight you. He wants to teach you about his love for you! I pray that this holiday season, you will discover the truth that God wants to share with you

Putting Christ Back in Christmas Eve Celebration

Lately I have been thinking about how sad it is that people are going through the Christmas season and not even taking a moment to recognize why we celebrating in the first place. I am also thinking about all of the lonely people out there who have no one to share the holidays with. I wish that everyone had an opportunity to be with people they love. I want to do what I can to help, so I have opened my church on Christmas Eve for people to get together and celebrate the birth of our Savior and King. We are open to anyone during this time. We want to share Christ by singing traditional Christmas carols, reading of the Christmas story, and sharing this time together. We open the doors at 6 pm. We encourage everyone who attends to bring a plate of goodies to share.The festivities start at 6 pm.

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church one and a half miles south of  Brandsville, Missouri on hwy 63..  As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Old Testament Sacrifices Replaced With A Better Plan

high priest
In the Old Testament, the high priest used to go into the Holy of Holies once a year in order to cover the sins of the people for the next year. Before he could do that though, he went through an elaborate ritual where he had to first be cleansed. For us under the new covenant of Jesus Christ, it is different.

A Priesthood Not of Aaron

In Hebrews Chapter 7 we learn about Melchisedec who Abraham paid tithes to. His descendants because they were still “seed” in Abraham paid tithes as well, including the priestly line of Levi. Like Melchisedec, Jesus Christ was a high priest who did not come through the lineage of Aaron.
The writer then goes onto say that under the New covenant, or New Testament, we have a new high priest, Jesus Christ who became a high priest, not in the Levitical Law of the Old Testament In the Old Testament, sacrifices had to be made by the high priest continually for sins, but that Jesus because he was not a high priest in that sense because he was not of the tribe of Levi. The priesthood changed. As the high priest, Jesus didn’t have to continually give sacrifices he provided the ultimate sacrifice which lasts forever.

A Forever Sacrifice

The old Levitical Law was weak and didn’t go far enough. It made nothing perfect, but it did point to a better way which Christ in himself fulfilled. Jesus fulfilled this by becoming a priest after the order of Melchisedec who did not have the lineage of a priest. His sacrifice replaced the Old Covenant Sacrifice and was the better sacrifice in that it was did not atone from year to year, but was a permanent solution.

Water Baptism

In the temple there was a piece of furniture called the laver. The laver, or basin, was a large bowl filled with water located halfway between the brazen altar and the Holy Place and was made totally of bronze. The priests used it to was their hands and feet before entering into the Holy Place. It stood as a reminder to the people for the need of cleansing before approaching God. The priests aloned for their sins through sacrifice at the brazen altar, but htye cleansed themselves at the laver before serving in the Holy Place, so they would be pure and not die when approaching God.
Baptism in water is not a new concept that originated with John the Baptist. Baptism has been a part of Jewish tradition since God first gave the law to the Israelites. People are cleansed in full immersion in a number of religious ceremonies where there is a major change. When a woman is married, she is cleansed from her past. When a proselyte comes into the Jewish faith, they are cleansed. They stand before the congregation, denounce their old ways and their old gods, vowing to follow the one true and living God.
John the Baptist was born to be a priest, but he was a priest who was different from any other priest. John in his priesthood became Jesus first evangelist and was an evangelist to the Jewish people. He pointed the way to Christ Rather than living like the rest of the priests, God chose for him to go out to the people and become “the voice crying in the wilderness”. He took the laver out to the people. He went out to where the people were to prepare them for “the coming of the Lord” by physical and symbolic cleansing through the act of immersion baptism. He prepared the people so that their hearts and minds would be open to God’s word through Jesus Christ.
When Jesus came to John, John recognized that Jesus did not need to come to him for cleansing because he was already pure and holy. Jesus, however, knew that because he was the second Adam he had to go through everything that his future followers would have to go through, so he insisted that John baptize him in the river of living (moving) water.

In Ephesians 5:25-27 it says “…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

In Hebrews 10:22 the writer says, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled [with blood] to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Will you live forever with the one who died to save you?

Will you live forever with the one who died to save you?

The book of Hebrews opens with the writer telling us how God relates to people. He says that in times past, God related to us through the prophets, but now He relates to us through His Son who He has made heir of everything and through Him God made the world.

The writer then describes the Son. He looks just like God the Father. He has his glory and power. His power is in His Word. He is the one who purges us of our sins. He is now sitting at the right hand of The Father in Heaven. He is much higher in status than the angels (including Lucifer) and has a more excellent name than they have.

More than Just a Name

The word used for name in this passage and most passages in the New Testament is the Greek word onoma which is translated name, but is more than just ‘name’ the word includes the individual’s character and authority.

In old times, if someone were to go somewhere and say, “I have come in the name of the king”, this person means that they represent the character of the king and they have that kings authority.

More Than Just Believing In the Existence of God

It says in Acts 2:21 that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. This means more than believing in his existence. In James 2:19 it says that the devils believe that there is one God and tremble, but simply believing in his existence did not save them. The key word in Acts 2:21 is not in the believing, but in the word “name”.  In order to be saved from eternal death, we must believe Christ’s authority and power as the Son of God and through his perfect saving work upon the cross. Hebrews 11:6 says, “without this faith, it is impossible to please God. For he that comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” It is our faith in his saving power and our seeking to seek his will in our lives that we are able to please God.

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Is Tolerance Equal to Real Love?

BeliefBreedsIntolerance
Tolerance is related to Apathy and is selfish in nature. When we tolerate certain behaviors from others, we are saying that because it doesn’t relate to us personally, we let it go. An unbeliever will tell a Christian that it is his or her life and that it is none of their business what they do as long as they do not harm another person. However, what the person asking for tolerance is asking is that the Christian overlook sin and all sin is harmful not just to the individual, but to everyone around them, even if that harm is not obvious to anyone.

An Inclusive but Intolerant Creator

Our Creator is inclusive to a point. He desires that we all should be saved from the future judgement that the rebellious demons of hell will have to face. However, the salvation can only be on the terms that he created.
According to Romans 3:23,”all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Then in Romans 6:23 it goes on to say. “the wages of sin is (eternal) death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.”
God the Father sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us so that we can choose to live with him for eternity. Jesus Christ willfully gave his sinless life so that our sinful lives could spend eternity with our Creator. The catch is, we have to believe that what he did, he did for us. We have to come to the terms that he has given us eternal life. We have to recognize that He is right and we are wrong. We have to recognize that we have willfully gone against his plan for our lives. When we recognize that, we are finally able to go on and do what it is that he has not only called us to do in this lifetime, but also in our eternal life with him.
God is slow to anger, but he cannot tolerate sin for long and judgement does eventually come to everyone. In Revelation, it talks about a final white throne judgement where God judges the entire world system and those involved in that world’s system. Everyone at that judgement will be condemned to the lake of fire forever.

Not Tolerating Blind Tolerance

Eternal damnation is not something that I am willing to tolerate for anyone. Am I going to point out a specific sin and say that these people are going to Hell? No, I am not the judge. God is the judge. However God did say that everyone has sin and that’s what I say too. I John 1:8 it says, “if we say we have no sin, then we do not know the truth either.”
My message is not to condemn anyone for their sins, but to introduce them to the only one that can bring truth and salvation from our sins. In John 14:6-7 Jesus Christ said, “I am the way , the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me. If you have known me, you have known the Father, also: and henceforth, you have known him and seen him.”

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.


Fisherman in the Sea of Galilee

In Matthew 4:17 Jesus has started his ministry on earth telling everyone that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

He then walked along the Sea of Galilee. In other places in the Bible and in history Sea of Galilee are the Sea of Tiberias, Gennesaret, and Chinnereth. this sea was source of the Jordan River. The Jordan River flowed from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. We can take a lesson from this when we recognize that the Sea of Galilee is the source. It was alive and teaming with fish and supported the communities that surrounded it. The Dead Sea however only receives water and has no outlet. It is a dead lake where nothing grows. If you take and take and take, you will be as barren as the Dead Sea.

Jesus wasn’t walking along the Dead Sea. He was walking along the Sea of Galilee and as he was walking, he comes across Simon Peter and his brother Andrew and he invites them and then the sons of Zebedee James and John to be his disciples to become “fishers of men”. He took these men and gave them a higher calling. There is no record of them wondering if they should go, whether Zebedee tried to talk James and John out of going, if Peter’s wife was worried about where the money would come from. None of these are recorded. It just says Jesus invited them and they went.

painting of Jesus Christ healing the sick

Throughout Galilee, Jesus started his preaching ministry. He went from synagogue to synagogue preaching the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven. But he did something more, he made a difference in the lives of the people around him. He healed people. He healed all kinds of diseases, but he also healed all types of torments. The word torments here is the Greek word basanos which is thought to come from the root word basia which means to walk, a pace, foot. In other words, this word basanos has to do with anything that makes us feel as though we were going to the bottom or down to the foot.

What Jesus offered and gave to the people were The promise of the Kingdom and the gifts of salvation and healing.

“Well,” you say,” that was Jesus and that was then surely that’s not for us today. God works differently today than he did back then. He uses medicine and doctors today, right?”

I’m not going to answer the question for you of whether trusting in the medical system is God’s work. That’s between you and God. What I will challenge you concerning you  though is what Jesus told his disciples:

At the end of Jesus’ ministry, John records in John 14:12 Jesus spoke to his disciples and said, “Verily verily, I say unto you. He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works shall he do because I go unto my Father.”

What I am challenging myself (and you, if you’re up to the challenge) is this: If we believe the Bible as we say we do, why don’t we do the same works and even greater works than Jesus did? Why do we let the tormenter rule over our lives. Why are we ineffective in delivering others of their diseases and oppressions? Is it God who has changed or is it perhaps that we REALLY do not believe what he says? More importantly, what can we do about it?


John the Baptist

If we read our Bible in order, Matthew 3 is the first place that we meet John the Baptist, and here we see him preaching a warning at the Pharisees and Sadducees. In Luke1:5-25, however we learn about the unique circumstances of John the Baptist’s conception.

A priest named Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth (who was also of the priestly line because she was an descendant of Aaron’s line) were old and had no children. One day while Zacharias was fulfilling his duties as a priest by burning incense when he went into the temple, an angel of the Lord (Gabriel) appeared to him.

The angel told Zacharias that he and his wife Elizabeth would have a son and name him John. John would not drink alcohol and would be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he was born. Because of John, many of the children of Israel would turn to the Lord their God. Because Zacharias did not believe what Gabriel had told him, he could not speak.  Elizabeth conceived.

Mary (with child with the son of God) went to visit Elizabeth when Mary was newly pregnant and Elizabeth was five months pregnant and when Mary announced her arrival, both Elizabeth and the unborn John were both filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary, then, prophesied concerning John (Luke 1:39-56) . John is born and the family wants to name him after his father, but Elizabeth said that his name was John.

When the family asked Zacharias, (because he had the final say), because he was still mute wrote on a tablet that his name was John. Immediately, Zacharias could again speak and the first words out of his mouth was to prophecy. (Luke1:57-79. John grew up strong physically and spiritually and lived in the desert until he began his ministry.

John’s ministry was as a priest and a prophet. He was the one to make way for the coming of the Lord.  John’s ministry was all about repentance. His represented the best of what man could offer before the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The best that man could bring himself to under the law was to learn that he full of sin and that sin was detestable. John’s ministry pointed at the only one who could save us.  That’s where Jesus steps in. He takes us beyond ourselves and into something truly amazing, but first we have to be willing to accept John’s baptism of repentance. We must recognize that we are not able to save ourselves. There is something far more complete–the immersion into the name (authority) of Jesus Christ.

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