Friday

The Joy of Christ Coming to us Daily and Personally

This time of year most people are thinking of creative ways to keep their New Year resolutions. For me…my heart pulse is in the joy I embrace with the lessons I learned, soaking in the scriptures of the Bible.  This wonderful joy of clinging to Christ during Advent, for the whole month of December, has given me a freshness of reflection, hope and encouragement. 

I know Christ HAS come.  Praise to His holy Name! 

I know Christ WILL come. Praise to His holy Name! 

Yet in a world full of continual constant distractions from every direction imaginable, my ongoing travail is to keep my eyes fixed on Christ for He has come in my daily life circumstances.

Review:
As you remember, from my December Firm Foundations article, Advent One and Advent Two… we learned that Advent by definition is that arrival of a notable person = Christ.  And Christ’s first coming, as documented in scriptures declaring this truth of prophecies from Genesis to Malachi in the Old Testament. These give clear direction on how to look for and see Christ our coming Messiah foretold. Experts found over 350 Biblical fulfilled prophecies of the coming of Christ.  With a mathematical probability of 9 prophecies coming true, it is like these documentations of Advent one of Christ coming are 1/10 to 76th power. 1/10 to 76th power is like picking the same grain of sand four times in succession.  Likewise in the New Testament, during the time of His first coming, at the Last Supper, Christ along with His disciples shared His desire to eat and drink with them when He sees them again in heaven.  After his crucifixion, after his resurrection and after His current position of intercessor on the right hand side of God, His disciples with eat with Him again.  And be with Him for eternity. Praise to His holy Name!

Christ Comes to us Daily:

Not only does Christ come to me daily, He STAYS with me daily.  In His coming He is active and concerned about my everyday day life and circumstances…  In my tears as I seek Him early in the morning, in my spiritual grief as my heart aches for the rebellion of His bride.  In my disappointments as others let me down, in my sins as I wrestle in prayer that I stay unspotted from the world.  In my weariness as I crouch down in a metaphorical trench of spiritual warfare being plummeted by artillery.  In times of sorrow and joy. In times of fastings/ prayers.  In times of exhaustion due to pulling- all-nighters with deep prayers, studying/ preparing for Bible teachings/ speaking.  In times of emotional burdens of the spiritual realm. In times of spiritual disasters of others as I continue to model the servant quality of Christ offering myself 24/7 as a living drink offering sacrifice by serving others and the body of Christ. 

These daily times are times and moments where not only do I find Christ but He finds me.

And He STAYS with me as my biggest and highest Encourager, Supporter Strengthener and Friend.

My quest this 2016 year has been motivated and provoked by the lessons I learned in 2015 Advent, seeing a fresh new deeper way His active presence of coming in my life.  I am not satisfied at the level I was in 2015.  I strive and press on to a deep level of knowing Christ and to make Him known to others.  A wrestling if you will between my Adamic nature of sin and my successful victorious soul of a new creation in Christ completely transformed as His friend and heir of the Savior of the World.
As the Psalmist declares, “Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.  By day the Lord commands his steadfast love and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.” 

And Apostle Paul tells us “ But it is written, What no eye has seen, nor ear hear, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him, these things God has reveled to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” 

2016  New Year

So here’s to another year of:

PRAISE –Learning, memorizing and saturating myself with hymns and beautiful melodies lifting up my voice to the only Triune God, worthy of all praise!

REPENTANCE- Turning from sins that create splashes of tears that fall on my cheeks because of the pain I have caused my God, my family, my friends, strangers.

ASK- Hours of simple quietness and extreme aggressive thundering, wrestling on the throne in prayer on behalf of others and myself

YIELD- submitting in obedience to all God has for me including lack of faith by worry and
just giving all to Him, trusting in Him completely  


FOLLOW ME:

This quest and end game of mine is not far reaching for a heart that is 100% willing.  Let me ask you?  Are you willing?  God is not a respecter of persons.  In other words, there is not one ounce of prejudice, segregation, separation or favoritism in the heart of God. He is our creator, He loves us and if you study and read the life of Christ (God himself) on this earth, you will see that He LOVED the marginalized, those that were pushed aside from society, looked over, cheated against, hated because of skin color, bank account, handicapped, where they live or being poor. Or, those abused in every way imaginable, the widows, the orphans, the poor, the smelly, the mentally and emotionally unstable…and more and God loves everyone!  Why do I know this?  It is because He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for EVERYONE and to give them great hope in Him the famous star and Savior of our Advent! 

Oh dear friend, it does not get any better than this!  Follow me as I follow Christ!  Make your my quest equal to mine…together we will dive deep in the escalades of the mystery of Christ and His sustaining and mighty right hand.  Learning, practicing and applying Christ as a reality in our daily life, daily moments and circumstances of situations COME!

Resources/Scriptures:
ISWA:  International Women in Apologetics - womeninapologetics.com
John Piper:  The Dawning of Indestructible Joy-Daily Readings for Advent
Matt.  26:26-29
Psalm  42:7-8
I Corinthians 2: 9-10

NOTE:  Firm Foundations is published every first week of the month in the Rim Review and archived on simonelake.blogspot
 
Calendar:  www.simonelake.com
Prayer Class- starts Sunday Jan. 31st – 411 Chapel
Ephesians Study – 411 Chapel- January
Conversational Sign Language Course -411 Chapel- February
Apologetics Class-411 Chapel- February
Christian Apologetics – Northern Arizona Bible Institute February

About the Author:
Simone Lake is a Christ follower, bride of Pastor Dr. John Lake (of Church on Randall Place),
Bible teacher and a passionate pray-er. A graduate of Golden Gate Theological Seminary,
Simone holds a Master’s degree in Theology Studies, Apologetics Certificate from BIOLA University and active member of International Women in Apologetics. 
Visit her on: www.deeprootsinchrist.com,
www.simonelake.com,
 http://deeprootsinchrist.sermon.net,
 http://womeninapologetics.com
FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn

 

 

 

Sunday

Advent One and Advent Two

Advent One and Advent  Two
 
After our wonderful meals of Thanksgiving and blessed times with family and friends, November is the month that hopefully leaves us with hearts of gratitude, to an almighty God from whom all blessings flow.  Apostle Paul says it well to the church at Corinth…
"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
 
ADVENT
So Thanksgiving, is a great prelude to the next calendar event which is Advent.
For those who have not heard, Advent by definition is that arrival of a notable person – Christ-with the time frame beginning four Sundays prior to Christmas.  So starting this year, Sunday Nov. 29th will be the first day of Advent continuing for many days until Sunday December 20th. During this time, Christians around the world observe this sacred occasion as a season of remembrance, reflection, expectation, prayer and fasting, acknowledging the coming and second coming of Christ.
 
ADVENT ONE
The first coming of Christ we see many documented scriptures declaring the truth of His coming in the Old Testament.   We see the manifold prelude of prophecies broadcasted throughout a timeframe from Genesis to Malachi, giving clear direction on how to look for and see Christ the coming Messiah.  Some experts have suggested that there are over 350 Biblical fulfilled prophecies of the coming Messiah. The fact of prophecy is one of the strongest evidences that clearly confirm that the Bible is inspired by God.  There are a multitude of specific predictions that are evident of the fulfillments of Advent One or points to the future fulfillment of Advent Two. Scriptural accounts of prophecy are so precisely accurate that if you compared it from a mathematical probability, one would easily see that, the probability of 9 prophecies coming true of Christ is 1/10 to 76th power. 1/10 to 76th power is like picking the same grain of sand four times in succession. Each and every prophecy in the Old Testament of Christ came true.
 
In the New Testament we see one of the first accounts of the coming of Christ
“And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’ “ Mary and Elizabeth’s visit was filled with joy, excitement and blessings.
 
Elizabeth exclaims, “But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”  Mary would come to visit with Christ in her womb.
 
Likewise the shepherds were overjoyed that the angels…a multitude of heavenly hosts came to them…praising, singing and saying “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, good will toward men!” 
 
This compelled the shepherds to go and see…
 
“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.  
 
They CAME! 
 
“And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.”
 
In the gospel of John, this author echoes both Advent One and Advent Two.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. Solidifying the Deity and what some may call the Incarnation of Christ, John tells us that “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
 
Christ himself tells us His reason for coming…so save us sinners
“I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance”
 And  “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill”
ADVENT TWO
During the Last Supper, with Christ and His disciples, his desire was to eat this Passover meal them before He went to suffer on the cross.  He mentions drinking with them again when He sees them again  Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you.  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.’ ”
 
Jesus Christ promised them that He is coming again to receive them as His own
John publicizes loud and clear Advent Two “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so,  Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’   says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
 
This Advent season, my hope for you is to look and see that Christ has come to you in Advent One and come to you in Advent Two.  So while Christ has committed to come to you
I invite you to come to Christ
 
The response to COME is to GO
 
Go and know the risen Savior, currently sitting on the right hand side of God.
Go and know the Redeemer of the world
Go and know the God and Creator of the world that will call you His friend and heir to his kingdom
Come and Go!
 
RESOURCES
Luke - Chapter One
Luke - Chapter Two
Luke 5:32
John - Chapter One
Matthew 5:17
Revelation 1:7
 
 
Calendar:
Check calendar to attend a class or workshop:   www.simonelake.com
Check KMOG – Focus on Faith to hear Simone

About the Author:
Simone Lake is a Christ follower, bride of Pastor Dr. John Lake (of Church on Randall Place), passionate pray-er and Bible teacher.   A graduate of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Simone holds a Master’s degree in Theology and an Apologetics Certificate from BIOLA.  For over seven years, she writes Firm Foundations, published in the Rim Review, every first Wed. of the month.          Visit her:    www.deeprootsinchrist.com,  www.simonelake.com, FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 
Audios available at:  http://deeprootsinchrist.sermon.net
 

Saturday

The Reliability of the Bible

“The Bible contains truth found nowhere else. Human reason may discover certain truths about God. But the revealed truth of the Bible exceeds these so as to defy comparison. One may exhaust the meaning of the contents of other books, but not that of the Bible.”
- Herschel Hobbs
 
The question still lingering in the hearts of the unbeliever, doubter or the
 just-don’t-know-ers is…  ‘How do you know the Bible is true?’
 
The answer to that question is that we can trust the accuracy of the Bible, through research and study, we can hold up a variety of witnesses as evidence to confirm biblical content.
 
There are four major facts that we will look at that solidify and confirm that the Bible is true and reliable and applicable for today.
 
FACT #1 –Manuscripts  
There are more manuscripts, earlier manuscripts, and more accurately copied manuscripts of the New Testament than any other book from the ancient world!” Dr. Norman Geisler
 
This statement is valid for the Old Testament as well.
 
Great numbers of manuscripts enable scholars to have a more accurate reconstruction of the biblical text by cross-referencing.
- There are 5700+ Greek partial and complete manuscripts of the New Testament
-There are 10,000 Latin manuscripts
 -There are 19,000+ non-Greek manuscripts including Coptic, Syriac, and other Middle       eastern and European languages.
For comparison sake, we can look at a number of surviving copies of other ancient manuscripts
-Homer’s lliad=1, 757
-Writings of Herodtus (the father of history)=83
-Plato’s Tetralogies=210
-Tacitus (the greatest ancient Roman historian, also a contemporary of Jesus) Annals and            Histories =31
Based on all this historical and archaeology evidence, experts tell us that the entire New Testament, except for  11 verses, can be reconstructed just from the writings of the early church Fathers. 
 
 
FACT # 2 - Archaeology
Archaeology is considered one of the external tests for Biblical Reliability.  It is one of the strongest evidences that clearly confirm that the Bible is inspired by God and is predictive prophecy with multitude specific predictions that have been fulfilled or points to future fulfillment.  The New Testament has been cited by over 30 non Christian writers through historical documents and/or confirmed by archaeological research. There are over 60 confirmed historical details in the Gospel of John and over 80 confirmed historical details in the book of Acts.  Not to mention the historical resources of: Tel Gezer, Ebla Tablets, Ipuwer Papyrus, Jezebel Seal, Silver Bowl of Artaxerxes I .  And the historical and biblical accounts of Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown, Crucifixion Victim ,The Nazareth Decree
 Gallio and Plato’s Inscription
 
 
FACT #3-Prophecy
There are two types of prophecy found in the Bible
Specific Non-Messianic Prophecies that do not relate directly to Jesus but to
God’s overall nation and people and then specific Messianic prophecies that relate to Jesus Christ and His position as Savior of the world. The history of this Israel nation, was prophesied  throughout the authors of the Old Testament writings about the ancient Jewish nation.  One specific event was how they would be conquered twice and that God’s people would be carried off as slaves each time. This prophecy, to this day is completed to fulfillment over 3500 years of history.
 
The fact of prophecy is one of the strongest evidences that clearly confirms that the Bible is inspired by God with multitude specific predictions as evidence that have been fulfilled or points to the future fulfillment.
 
Specific Messianic Prophecies deal directly to Jesus Christ our Messiah and Savior and Lord.  They are many and I encourage you to do an extensive study on them all. But due to a limitation of space, here are a few prophecies of Jesus Christ;
Seed of the women (Genesis 3:15), Offspring of Abraham (Genesis 12:3) Tribe of Judah  (Genesis 49:10) From the house of David (Jeremiah 23:5-6) Son of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) Jesus Christ would be proclaimed as King (Zechariah 9:9) and Jesus Christ would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10)
 
For comparison sake let’s look at the Mathematical Probabilities of the prophecies of Christ The probability of 9 prophecies coming true of Christ is 1/10 to 76th power.
1/10 to 76th power is like picking the same grain of sand four times in succession.
According to the whole universe, there are only 10 to 60th power atoms  
 
 
FACT #4-Science and Scripture
Hailed as one worthy of many prizes in science, Herbert Spencer greatest achievement in his field was his discovery determining that everything exists into one of five categories.
Spencer said, “Everything fits into one of these categories, time, force, action, space, matter,” and was hailed by the scientific community.
In the Bible, the very first chapter and verse gives us all these five categories long before Herbert discovered them in 1903. 
Genesis 1:1 contains the five areas of Science.
Time: “In the beginning…”
Force: “God”
Motion: “created”
Space: “heavens”
Matter: “Earth”
 
We can see through the pages of the Bible both Old Testament and New Testament,
scripture after scripture as evidence of this science
 
1 Corinthians 15:41 - “There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.”
We can research and find that there are no two stars alike, not to mention the uniqueness of the sun and moon.
 
The list goes on and on:
Job 36:27-28 - explains the water cycle and rain
Amos 9:6 - explains oceanic evaporation.
Isaiah 40:22- describes the roundness and circle of the earth,
2 Samuel 22:16 - discusses the ocean floor called “oceanic trenches”.
Genesis 17:12 – gives the important number of days a newborn boy should be circumcised Based on vitamin K and the important blood clotting element.
 
 
Will you rely on the Reliable One?
It is vital to your eternal life for you to see that the Bible IS a reliable source.
It is a source that you can take and receive as truth.
So will you?  I hope and pray that you do.
 
Resources:
The International Society of Women in Apologetics
Nelson Glueck,
Dr. Joseph Holden
Dr. Norman Geisler
Herschel Hobbs
Answers in Genesis
Craig Blomberg
Colin Hemer
 
 
NOTE:  Firm Foundations article is published every first Wednesday of the month in Rim Review newspaper
 
 
About the Author:
Simone Lake is a Christ follower, bride of Pastor Dr. John Lake, Bible teacher and a passionate pray-er. A graduate of Golden Gate Theological Seminary, Simone holds a Master’s degree in Theology Studies and Apologetics Certificate from BIOLA University.
She is a well sought after speaker and teacher. Visit her on: www.deeprootsinchrist.com,  www.simonelake.com, http://deeprootsinchrist.sermon.net, FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn