Psalm 43:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Cross found on all donkeys' backs?

Some donkeys (often called Christian donkeys) have a narrow strip of dark hair that runs down their backs and each of their shoulders. These markings are in the shape of a cross. Like the color traits of other animals (such as zebras), we don’t know exactly why these donkeys have this cross. But, it does show the wonderful variety among God’s creatures.

There is legend that the crosses on these donkeys appeared after Jesus rode one into Jerusalem (read Matthew 21:1-11). There is no evidence that this is true. The dark stripe in the form of a cross was a trait in these donkeys long before Jesus lived. However, the fact that Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem is very important. It fulfilled a prophecy that was spoken 500 years before Jesus lived, and showed He was the Messiah (read Matthew 21:5 and Zechariah 9:9).

Dear Prayer Partners

Please remember the following needs and requests in prayer:

1} President Obama and his advisors

2} the men & women serving in our armed forces and their families

3} Bobby- a missionary in Haiti who was flown back to the states with a broken back

4} Holly- recently gave birth to a son

5} Hailey- has Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is unable to work due to it

6} Margo- recovering from a stroke

7} Dan- has Leukemia & an inoperable brain tumor, the tumors in his stomach and lung have been removed successfully

8} Christine- recently gave birth by an emergency C-section and her new son is in critical condition

9} Living Waters A/G looking for a youth pastor with a vision to reach the youth

10} Dennis- having problems breathing

11} The Holm Family- death of a loved one from cancer

12} The DeRien Family- death of a loved one

13} The Fraley family- death of a loved one

14} Eugene- is battling cancer

15} Schimmica- husband is having an affair

16} Kevin- has some serious dental problems and is recovering from emergency oral surgery

17} Faith- is hospitalized after a heart attack and partial amputation of right foot, has a serious infection in heart, lungs and kidneys and is back on dialysis

18} Chantella- is expecting her 1st baby in the spring

19} Julianne- having difficulty with her pregnancy

20} Marc- family problems

21} Tom- problems with weight control

22} Achan- has HIV, an infection in her lungs and gall bladder is shutting down

23} Rick- has bulging disc in his back

24} Noah- a toddler having complications from heart surgery, has a very high fever

25} Frank- fighting depression

26} Gloria- hospitalized after passing out at work

27} Chaplain Sam- recovering from eye surgery

28} Chaplain Jay- preparing for a missionary trip to Uganda next year

29} For all the unspoken and personal requests that people have

30} For us at Highway Mission Outreach that we will continue have the doors opened to share the gospel and the needed finances to carry out the ministry of the mission and as we plant The Cross-Roads Chapel

31} For Michael Frankland, Gill Ainsworth, Mark Ainsworth, Tracy Ainsworth, Tony Wood, Eileen Walsh, and Elaine - break down strongholds in their lives

"Hold Us Together" - Matt Maher

Opening Our Hearts to God

Psa. 19:14 - May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable before You, O Jehovah, my rock and my Redeemer.

Acts 13:22-23 - And when He had deposed him, He raised up David for them as king, to whom also He testified and said, I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man according to My heart, who will do all My will. (23) From this man's seed, God, according to promise, brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus.

~~~~~ Words of Ministry ~~~~~

Both of the above passages are related to David. Psalm 19:14
is a prayer of David, while Acts 13:22-23 is a description of
David. In David's prayer, there are the “words of my mouth”
and the “meditation of my heart,” or the thoughts of the
heart. He prayed that he would not only be kept in his words
outwardly, but also be acceptable to God in his thoughts
inwardly. The words of the mouth are an expression of the
thoughts of the heart. The heart is the root problem.

Whether or not one outwardly says the right words is not the basic problem. Whether or not one has an outward attitude in his speaking that is right is also not the basic problem. The
thoughts of the heart are the basic problem. The thoughts of
the heart constitute the root problem and cannot be overlooked. David did not merely pray, “God, may the words of my mouth be acceptable before You.” He added to the prayer, “May the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You.”

David's prayer was for the thoughts of his heart to be
acceptable before God. This is why Paul could later testify
that David was a man according to the Lord's heart. A person
who is according to God's heart allows God to touch his heart. If you will not allow God to touch your heart, it will be hard for you to be one who is according to His heart.

Many Christians ask, “Why is it wrong for me to do this? Why
is it wrong for me to say this? Why is it wrong for me to
express myself this way?” Brothers and sisters, whether or
not you are doing the right thing, saying the right thing, or
expressing yourself the right way is not the real problem.

Rather, is your heart right when you are doing such a thing,
saying such a word, or expressing yourself in such a way?
What is the condition of your heart? What is the condition of
the root? Even if you are right in every outward thing, it is
still possible for your heart to be wrong. God is touching the condition of your heart and asking about it. He allows many winds and waves to beat upon His children for this very reason.

He uses these things to touch your heart and to expose the condition of your heart.

Why was God harsher in O.T.? - by John Piper

Thy Redeemer

By C.H. Spurgeon

"For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called" (Isaiah 54:5).

JESUS, the Redeemer, is altogether ours and ours for ever. All the offices of Christ are held on our behalf. He is king for us, priest for us, and prophet for us. Whenever we read a new title of the Redeemer, let us appropriate Him as ours under that name as much as under any other. The shepherd's staff, the father's rod, the captain's sword, the priest's mitre, the prince's sceptre, the prophet's mantle, all are ours.

Jesus hath no dignity which He will not employ for our exaltation, and no prerogative which He will not exercise for our defence. His fulness of Godhead is our unfailing, inexhaustible treasure-house. His manhood also, which he took upon him for us, is ours in all its perfection. To us our gracious Lord communicates the spotless virtue of a stainless character; to us he gives the meritorious efficacy of a devoted life; on us he bestows the reward procured by obedient submission and incessant service. He makes the unsullied garment of his life our covering beauty; the glittering virtues of his character our ornaments and jewels; and the superhuman meekness of his death our boast and glory. He bequeaths us his manger, from which to learn how God came down to man; and his Cross to teach us how man may go up to God. All His thoughts, emotions, actions, utterances, miracles, and intercessions, were for us.

He trod the road of sorrow on our behalf, and hath made over to us as his heavenly legacy the full results of all the labours of his life. He is now as much ours as heretofore; and he blushes not to acknowledge himself "our Lord Jesus Christ," though he is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Christ everywhere and every way is our Christ, for ever and ever most richly to enjoy. O my soul, by the power of the Holy Spirit, call him this morning, "thy Redeemer."

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FREE Book: “Desiring God” by John Piper

Prison Ministry:

On Monday evenings, I have the unique priveledge of visiting the Greenville Detention Center. Scripture, bible lessons, tracts, bibles, Daily Breads, bible studies, testimonies, and prayers are shared. Please keep these men in your continued prayers as we continue studying Paul's letter to the Romans: Jonathan, Lenita, David Anderson, Luke Elmore, Eric Hall, Leslie Mashburn, Keith Rollins, Billy, Jared Rhines, Quinton Brown, Jeremiah Hendrix, Chris Osbourne, Jermain Cheech, Quincy Massey, and Leo Clarence.

Thank you for your support and continued prayers for these new believers and this ministry!

In His vineyard,

We Shall Worship the Lord!

By John Piper

Do you delight more and more in the majesty and glory of God? Does your heart incline to worship God more consistently and intelligently and earnestly and intensely today than it did five years ago?

Is your love for your brothers and sisters in Christ abounding more and more so that you use your gifts more and more effectively to strengthen their faith and stir them up to love and good works?

And do you feel a greater burden for the lost? Are your prayers for unbelieving relatives and friends more consistent and earnest? Are your efforts to give a reason for the hope that is in you more bold, less ashamed? Are you becoming a world Christian with a zeal for the final mission thrust of the church to reach the hidden peoples?

If you can answer yes, we are making progress as a church. If not, we are failing in those areas. But at least we have goal and a definite Biblical theology behind it.

But it is not new. Listen to the way another pastor and teacher describes the meaning of membership in the church:

Membership, therefore, involves a personal obligation to promote the objects of the body as expressed in the covenant.

These objects are three:

1. The social, united worship of God...
2. The perpetuation and diffusion of the gospel...
3. The sanctification of its own members...

The church, thus comprehensive in its scope, looks upward to God, outward upon the needs of a lost world, and inward to the processes of sanctification in the souls of its own members; the neglect of any one of these grand objects of its organization imperils its whole design.

This is our philosophy of ministry. The quote is from Hezekiah Harvey, who was born in England in 1821 (The Church, 1879, reprint 1982, pp.35-36.). There is nothing modern or trendy about the priorities of our church. They have been around for two thousand years. They are tried and true, and it shouldn't bother us at all that they are not new.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Does Revelation 3:10 Teach an "Any Moment" Rapture?

By Rev. Roger Best

"Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth." (Revelation 3:10)

This is a crucial verse for dispensationalists, and they repeat it often to prove their pretribulation rapture position. The majority of pretribulationalists will place their hope of an "any moment rapture" on this verse when, in fact, one of the leading proponents of the pretrib position, Dr. John Walvoord (former president of Dallas Theological Seminary) states in his book "The Rapture Question" on pages 70-71 that "it may be debatable to what extent this (verse, Rev. 3:10) constitutes absolute proof for pretribulationism." Obviously there is some confusion! In this brief study let us take a look at this verse of Scripture and examine it to see what it really is teaching.

Examine the Context

First, let us look at the context of this important passage. It is found within the sixth letter (of seven written to the churches) and is addressed to the church at Philadelphia. By examining the content of these letters, one can easily see that they fall into three major categories. First there is the dead church, Sardis, whose only word from the Lord is to "Wake up." Because of the influence of unbiblical doctrine five of the seven-Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, and Laodicea-are compromising churches; the major exhortation to these churches is to "Repent." When you realize that in the scheme of end-time events these seven church represent conditions as they will be at the time of the coming of Christ, one can readily see where the church is today. Finally there is a faithful church, Philadelphia, to which no negative warning is given, only praise and the promise of a reward. Notice it is because these dear believers "have kept the word of My perseverance." As a result, Christ will "keep them from the hour of testing."

Examine the Greek

The word "perseverance" in the Greek is HPOMONES which has the basic meaning of hiding under, of patient enduring and fortitude, or remaining behind. In the context of this passage you will notice that the "perseverance" is closely related to the "hour of testing," which is the translation of the Greek word, PEIRASMOS which means to examine or prove. Peirasmos is frequently translated, "to tempt" and that is important because the Bible teaches that it is Satan who tempts. "For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter (Satan) might have tempted you, and our labor should be in vain" (1 Thessalonians 3:5, emphasis added). James 1:2 and 12 tell us "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (peirasmois). Blessed is the man that perseveres (hpomenei) under trial (peirasmon)." James is quick to add in the next verse (1:13) that God "does not tempt anyone." From the endnote on page 469 of The Sign, Mr. Van Kampen adds this thought, "It is interesting to note how the 'hour of testing' that is referred to in Revelation 3:10 is also referred to by Peter, using the identical Greek word: 'The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. . . Beloved, do not be suprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing (peirasmos), as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you my rejoice with exultation' (1 Peter 4:7, 12, 13, emphasis added). And then again the second epistle of Peter states, 'then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation (peirasmos), and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment.' (2 Peter 2:9). In both cases the believer is present during the peirasmos, the great tribulation of Antichrist, rather than being protected away from it."

But now let us take a close look at the important words that the pretribulationist hang their hat on; "keep you from." In the English translations it would appear that we, the believers, are kept from entering the "hour of testing." But is that what it is really saying? There seems to be a volume of Scripture such as Matthew 24 and 2 Thessalonians 2 that would clearly indicate that believers are going to experience the testing during the Great Tribulation of Antichrist. In the Greek "will keep you from" is TEREO EK. TEREO means to "watch over protectively, guard" and with the preposition EK it carries the idea of being guarded or protected and rescued out from the midst of danger. If the idea of keeping one from entering were intended the preposition APO would have been used. So it is the idea of deliverance out from within rather than an external deliverance.

Other Resources

Let's take a look at what some others have to say:

Goodspeed translates 3:10- "Because you have kept in mind the message of what I endured. I will also keep you safe in the time of testing that is going to come upon the whole world, to test the inhabitants of the earth."

Moffatt- "Because you have kept the word of my patient endurance, I will keep you safe through the hour of trial which is coming upon the whole world to test the dwellers on earth."

Fausett- "so as to deliver thee out of, not to exempt from temptation."

Swete- "to the Philadelphia Church the promise was an assurance of safe keeping in any trial that might supervene."

Zahn- "Testimony is borne once more to the Bishop of Philadelphia's proved faithfulness up till now, and he is assured that Jesus will requite him for this, when He preserves him at the time of the great temptation that is to come and test the inhabitants of the earth, and will rescue him out of the danger that will exist even for Christians found in it."

Beckwith- "The Philadelphians and those who show the same Christian steadfastness are promised that they shall be carried in safety through the great trial, they shall not fall."

Trench- "The promise does not imply that the Philadelphia Church should be exempted from the persecutions which should come on all other portions of the Church; that by any special privilege they should be excused from fiery trials through which others should be called to pass. It is a better promise than this; and one which, of course, they share with all who are faithful as they are - to be kept in temptation, not to be exempted from temptation."

Alexander Reese- "The use of EK in Revelation 3:10 distinctly implies that the Overseer would be in the hour of tribulation; the promise refers, either to the removal out of the midst of it, or preservation through it."

Robert Gundry- "to keep or protect in a sphere of danger, and that because ek means emergence out from within, the combination of the two Greek words (TEREO EK) means to protect believers in a sphere of danger (the tribulation period), with a final emergence out from within this sphere."

The Meaning Is Clear

The clear and obvious meaning concerns protection within the sphere of danger and not protection from danger. Christ has promised the faithful believers that He will deliver them at the revelation of His Glory at His Coming. To make this verse of Scripture mean "deliverance before the testing begins" is manipulating the Scripture to support a false position rather than accepting what the Scripture really says.

Is the rapture seen in Revelation 3:10? Absolutely! Right where Christ says it will occur when He cuts the persecution of Antichrist short and comes in Glory to deliver the saints out of Great Tribulation.