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Real Christian Blog

at GoodReads 2017-2018

by C. Read

 

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Beware of False Prophets!

It is Time to Wake Up!

We Have an Enemy

Is Your Name Written in Heaven?

Feast of Dedication

For the Love of God

Jesus Christ is the Son of God

Be Ye Thankful

God's Holy Word

Proclamation of Faith

 

January 5, 2018

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Beware of False Prophets!

Devotional for Friday ~ 5-6 January 2018 / 19-20 Tevet 5778

1 Timothy 4:1 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"

Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

I don’t think there is any doubt among those who are watching that we are living in the “latter times.” Jesus even warned His disciples in His day, "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." Matthew 24:4b-5

I used to believe, in my youthful ignorance, that if someone claimed to be a Christian, I would not even question their profession, but according to God’s word, as Real Christians, we must test all things by the word of God, as we are led by the Spirit of God.

1 John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

I was once deceived in a major way many years ago, and the only reason why I am still standing is because I truly loved God back then, and I still do today! I know that I am not beyond being deceived should I allow the sin of pride and self-righteousness to creep back into my life, and I earnestly pray that I won’t ever allow that to happen again!

1 Corinthians 10:12 "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."

The Scriptures reveal that the "final days" will be marked by great deception, even among the "elect" or chosen of God. This is why we, as Christians, must remain vigilant and keep a check on our hearts and our true intentions. And realize that only the incorruptible Word of God can expose "the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Sadly, there are those who hate God, and love their sin and unrighteousness; and for those who have totally rejected God and His truth, He will allow them to believe the lies and live out their wickedness unto their own damnation.

2 Thessalonians 2:10 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

For those who truly love God, and desire to walk in His truth, God will do whatever it takes to get through to us if we are innocently believing the lies and deceptions of the Devil. I am just so thankful for God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, and long-suffering until we get there!

Soon before Jesus was crucified, Peter begged Him not to go to Jerusalem because he knew it would be the death of Him. But had Peter known, and understood the TRUTH, that he was actually listening to the Devil at that moment, he would not have tried to stop Jesus from fulfilling prophecy.

Mark 8:31-33 “And He [Jesus] began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He spake that saying openly.

And Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned about and looked on His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind Me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.”

Peter was no match against the Devil, and neither are we! But Peter was still trusting in himself, rather than fully trusting His Saviour, and because Peter did not understand how weak he was without Christ, he was able to deny the LORD, just like Jesus said he would. Undoubtedly, Peter was very deceived in his thinking, but there is no denying his great love for Jesus!

If you are of the opinion that a person can't be deceived unless they want to be, as some people claim, then I say YOU are deceived. But I won’t say your love for God is not true, as a man once said to me. To be deceived is not the sin, but it is if you hold onto the lie after you know the truth in your heart.

For those of us who truly love God, and His Truth, God WILL expose the lies and deceptions that Satan and his evil workers try to lead God’s people into believing. And for those who are in Satan's web of deception, please realize that only the truth of God's Word, not men's opinions, will set them free!

Only those men and women who have God’s Holy Spirit residing within them will know God’s wisdom, and have accurate judgement. And true faith in Jesus Christ is vital in order to be able to “discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.”

Christians can be susceptible to an evil influence, if they have a divided heart, or if they value the words of men over the word of God. And what is even worse is if a Christian falls under the evil influence of those who serve the Devil, but claim to be of God. That is a very dangerous place indeed, but I see that many well meaning Christians are in the very place that I used to be!

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."

I was a target of the Devil, mainly because of my genuine love for the LORD, and my desire to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. And because I fully trusted those who falsely claimed to be "Christians," I was adversely affected and greatly misled by their false teachings. That is, until God rescued me!

Even when I was walking with the Enemy, my love for God was growing stronger every day because my love for Him was true from the very beginning. And when I look back on that time, and see what God did for me, in spite of what the Devil intended, I have such an overwhelming love and gratitude in my heart for God. And I believe I always will!

The more I know God through His word, by prayer, and by His Spirit, the more I love Him. The more I love God, the more I want to please Him. And as I continue to experience God's love and grace in my life, my love for God, His dear Son, and His people grows stronger. I pray that is your testimony too!

1 John 4:19 "We love Him, because He first loved us."

One last passage that I hope you will ponder:

1 Peter 1:17-25 "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."

I pray that you will earnestly seek God and ask Him to show you any area in your life that is contrary to God's word and is not pleasing to Him. And may you be willing to repent of any sin that He brings to your attention, and forsake anything that is not of Him! God bless and keep you and your loved ones as you walk with the LORD God in the True Light of His word!

With the love of Christ,
C. Read

 

 

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December 30, 2017

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It Is Time to Wake Up!

Devotional for Friday ~ 29-31 December 2017 / 12-13 Tevet 5778

I believe that the reason why the “Light” of Christ is absent in so many of the churches of our day is due to ineffectual apathetic prayers, or lack thereof, of sinful men who claim to be right with God. I wonder how many Christians earnestly and faithfully pray to the God of Heaven for themselves and their loved ones, especially for their children for those who have them? Moreover, I wonder how many even bother to read and study the Holy Scriptures so they can truly know God, and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth as He so deserves and desires of His people?

I am greatly concerned about God’s people and the state of the churches, and the following letter I wrote to an Editor of a local newspaper over twenty-three years ago will illuminate some of my concerns. I truly hope these words will sound a major warning and cause those who hear them, and those who have a genuine love for God, to examine themselves, in the Light of God's word, and seriously think about their relationship with Almighty God and His beloved Son, the LORD Jesus Christ.

 “To The Editor…,

I just couldn’t stop thinking about the man who had lost his three children because he had fallen asleep. I can almost imagine the horror he must have experienced when he found their lifeless little bodies in that old refrigerator. It must have been his darkest hour!

My heart goes out to him and his family, and I just pray that they will turn all this over to the Lord, if they haven’t already. The unbearable shame, guilt, anger, and resentment will just destroy their lives completely if it’s allowed to continue.

It may be extremely hard to understand how God could even possibly use this tragic situation and turn it around [“for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28], but He can and He will if we would only look at it from His perspective. [God does not turn bad into good, but He uses all things, even mistakes and heartaches, to bring about good for those who love Him.]

As I read the front-page article...describing what happened, the Lord brought to my attention that the condition of most fathers in this country is that they are spiritually asleep, thus they are unable to see the imminent danger their children are in.

If they don’t wake up while there’s still time they will ultimately be responsible for the eternal death of their families; and if they find themselves and their children in outer Darkness separated from God forever, there will be no turning back then.

My hope and prayer is that the pain and sorrow of this family can be eased if they know their situation has sounded an alarm to all of us for the need to humbly submit our whole heart, soul, and body to Almighty God and His Word before it’s too late.

It’s so important for the men and fathers of this country to stand up and be the spiritual leaders that God has ordained that they must be! Should they refuse, they will be held accountable for that decision! And in so doing they will ultimately help contribute to the demise of the United States of America as a Nation that stands for Truth, Justice, and Freedom for All.

Sincerely,
A servant of the Most High God,
C. Read”

It is interesting to note that even though Eve is the one who initially ate from “the tree of knowledge of good and evil,” the tree God had forbidden Adam to eat from, God ultimately held the man accountable for their disobedience, because it was his responsibility to make sure God's commands were obeyed . Thus, sin and death came through the man, and not the woman.

Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

Romans 5:17 “For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)”

1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

God says in His word that only those who are truly born again of His Spirit, will enter into the Kingdom of heaven. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3) Please prayerfully consider these words of the LORD Jesus Christ.

John 3:5 “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

You cannot love the world and its ways, and love God with all your heart, at the same time. You cannot mix the holy with the profane and be acceptable with Almighty God. Light and darkness do NOT go together! Please consider this foundational passage from one of Jesus’ closest disciples.

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3 All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:4 In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

John 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

John 1:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.

John 1:11 He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:

John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:14 “And the Word was made 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.”

God's truth is really all that matters. If you are believing lies, and you love your sin and unrighteousness more than you love God, that is a very dangerous place to be. If you chose to go the way of sin, God will let you go, but that is not His desire for you.

In fact, God would love for all men to be saved, that’s why He sent His dearly beloved Son to be the Saviour of the world. But the very sad reality is that not all men will be saved from eternal death. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, there will be more souls that go to Hell, than those who go to Heaven!

 Matthew 7:13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Matthew 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Matthew 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.”

Evil men and seducers are proliferating in these final days, just as God has warned us about in the Holy Scriptures. But if you are one who believes that “all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:4), then I say to you, IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP! Your life and the lives of those you are able to influence "for good or evil" are at stake! And realize, that only through Christ working in us can we truly be the godly, holy people that God requires. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.” (Haggai 1:7) [I encourage you to read the whole book of Haggai. It only has two chapters, and it is extremely relevant for God's people today.]

Another Scripture passage that I hope you will prayerfully consider:

 Matthew 13:24 "Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

Matthew 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

Matthew 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

Matthew 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

Matthew 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

Matthew 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn."

God is going to gather Satan and his evil workers together and cast them into the lake of fire one day, along with all those who follow him unto death. As I have told my children all their lives, "There will not be another rebellion in heaven! Only those who delight completely in the word of God, and are born again by God's Spirit, will have access to the tree of life and the Holy City."

Satan has been very busy these days because he knows his time is short! He has led men to be lenient toward sin, but the longer a man walks in sin, the darker it gets. And only Christ can set us free from the bondage of sin and Satan! And remember, God WILL forgive any sin, no matter how wicked, except blaspheme against His Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

Matthew 12:31 "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."

May all Real Christians be ready for that glorious day! God be with you and your loved ones in the New Year of 2018, and beyond! And God's love, grace, and mercy be with you as you walk with Him in the True Light!

With the love of Christ,
C. Read

 

 

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December 22, 2017

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We Have an Enemy!

Please prayerfully consider this passage, that has so many important lessons, and may God give you the understanding...

Matthew 13:1 “The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.

Matthew 13:2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto Him, so that He went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

Matthew 13:3 And He spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

Matthew 13:4 And when He sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

Matthew 13:5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

Matthew 13:6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

Matthew 13:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

Matthew 13:8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

Matthew 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why speakest Thou unto them in parables?

Matthew 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Matthew 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

Matthew 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Matthew 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

Matthew 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Matthew 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Matthew 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

Matthew 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

Matthew 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Matthew 13:24 Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

Matthew 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

Matthew 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

Matthew 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

Matthew 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

Matthew 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Another important word to think about:

James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

May God be with you as you love and serve Him in truth by His Holy Spirit!

With the love of Christ,
C. Read

 

 

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December 16, 2017

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Is Your Name Written in Heaven?

Devotional for Friday ~ 15-16 December 2017 / 28 Kislev 5778
Feast of Dedication ~ Festival of Lights

[It was late when I posted this devotional last night, and I have polished it up a bit. May God bless, C. Read]

Just as Pastor Arnie said, for those who are walking with God, by the power of His Holy Spirit, we are definitely a target of the Enemy--the great dragon who “was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:” (Revelation 12:9). And it is my sincere prayer that this message will be an encouragement to God’s people who truly love Him!

Luke 10:17 “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name.

Luke 10:18 And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”

For Christians, Jesus Christ is our strength, our hope, our comfort, our protection, our help, our wisdom and so much more! Most important of all, Jesus the Messiah of Israel, is the giver of eternal life for those whom God has chosen...

Satan has no power over those who are led by God's Spirit, and are fully trusting in Him. Not that the enemy of our soul won’t try to trip us up, or lead us astray, and away from where God wants us to be, which is why as Real Christians, we must remain diligent, watchful, and prayerful!

We must remain diligent to read and study God's Holy word so that we can grow in our love and knowledge of the LORD God Almighty. The more you know God, the more you love Him! The more you love God, the more you will want to please Him. And the more you please God, the more you bring pleasure to Him, and displeasure to the devil!

We must remain watchful in order to see where God wants to lead us by His Holy Spirit, so that we can be true and faithful in our service to Almighty God, and to others.

We must remain prayerful, so that we can have an attentive ear, ready to hear what God is saying to us through the Holy Bible, circumstances, believers in the church, and the “still small voice” of His Holy Spirit. (1 Kings 19:12-13)

Moreover, we must always keep in mind that Satan despises Almighty God, and the devil hates it when we love and worship our Creator and His beloved Son, the LORD Jesus Christ, in Spirit and in Truth!

Sadly, as I look at the condition of the churches in the world today, there are so many people who are not walking in the truth. However, for those who are deceived, but truly love God, He will show them the truth. Then they will have a major decision to make. For those who have chosen to believe the truth and reject the lies, they will be set free from the deceptions of the Devil, and will be able to freely worship God as He deserves and greatly desires of His people!

 3 John 1:2 "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

3 John 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."

By the Spirit of the living God, who resides within me, I truly believe that my name is written in heaven, not because of anything I have done, but because of Jesus Christ and everything He has done! I hope that you, too, have that blessed assurance! And if you don’t, I pray that you will call upon the name of the LORD God from a sincere and repentant heart, and may He grant you the great privilege of becoming one of His sons or daughters.

To my dear family in Christ, may God strength our hearts through our trials and tribulations in this life, and protect us from those who would love to lead us astray in an evil way, and who actually hate our LORD Jesus Christ! And this is my sincere prayer...

1 Corinthians 16:22-24 “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

Sincerely,
C. Read

 

 

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December 12, 2017

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Feast of Dedication

12 December 2017 / 25 Kislev 5778 / Festival of Lights

Tonight is the first day of the Feast of Dedication, also known as Hanukkah, and was once called the "Feast of the Maccabees." This Jewish festival is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which can occur from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.

This holy day, also known as the Festival of Lights / Feast of Dedication, was instituted in the year 165 BC by Judas Maccabeus, his brothers, and the elders of the congregation of Israel in commemoration of the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire under Antiochus Epiphanes (168 BC).


The book of Maccabees is from the Apocrypha, which was once included in the King James Version, but was not consider to be “inspired” writings. However, some of the books included in the apocryphal writings have great historical value, and have been deemed to be “useful and good to read.”

Here’s an excerpt from 1 Maccabees 4:36-61 (Note, the spelling is a bit different.)
[36] Then said Judas and his brethren, Behold, our enemies are discomfited: let us go up to cleanse and dedicate the sanctuary.

[37] Upon this all the host assembled themselves together, and went up into mount Sion.

[38] And when they saw the sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burned up, and shrubs growing in the courts as in a forest, or in one of the mountains, yea, and the priests' chambers pulled down;

[39] They rent their clothes, and made great lamentation, and cast ashes upon their heads,

[40] And fell down flat to the ground upon their faces, and blew an alarm with the trumpets, and cried toward heaven.

[41] Then Judas appointed certain men to fight against those that were in the fortress, until he had cleansed the sanctuary.

[42] So he chose priests of blameless conversation, such as had pleasure in the law:

[43] Who cleansed the sanctuary, and bare out the defiled stones into an unclean place.

[44] And when as they consulted what to do with the altar of burnt offerings, which was profaned;

[45] They thought it best to pull it down, lest it should be a reproach to them, because the heathen had defiled it: wherefore they pulled it down,

[46] And laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet to shew what should be done with them.

[47] Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to the former;

[48] And made up the sanctuary, and the things that were within the temple, and hallowed the courts.

[49] They made also new holy vessels, and into the temple they brought the candlestick, and the altar of burnt offerings, and of incense, and the table.

[50] And upon the altar they burned incense, and the lamps that were upon the candlestick they lighted, that they might give light in the temple.

[51] Furthermore they set the loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, and finished all the works which they had begun to make.

[52] Now on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which is called the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and eighth year, they rose up betimes in the morning,

[53] And offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burnt offerings, which they had made.

[54] Look, at what time and what day the heathen had profaned it, even in that was it dedicated with songs, and citherns, and harps, and cymbals.

[55] Then all the people fell upon their faces, worshipping and praising the God of heaven, who had given them good success.

[56] And so they kept the dedication of the altar eight days and offered burnt offerings with gladness, and sacrificed the sacrifice of deliverance and praise.

[57] They decked also the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold, and with shields; and the gates and the chambers they renewed, and hanged doors upon them.

[58] Thus was there very great gladness among the people, for that the reproach of the heathen was put away.

[59] Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness.

[60] At that time also they builded up the mount Sion with high walls and strong towers round about, lest the Gentiles should come and tread it down as they had done before.

[61] And they set there a garrison to keep it, and fortified Bethsura to preserve it; that the people might have a defence against Idumea.

The Feast of Dedication is also mentioned in the book of John, and according to the Scriptures, Jesus commemorated this special season. Today it is typically consider a Jewish holiday, but given that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah of Israel, it is understandable that His followers would also remember this holy season.

John 10:22 “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

John 10:23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

John 10:24 Then came the Jews round about Him, and said unto Him, How long dost Thou make us to doubt? If Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

John 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me.

John 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me:

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:29 My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand.

John 10:30 I and My Father are one.”

I believe it is so important for Christians to know about and understand the history of God’s chosen people. I hope to share more of what I have learned about this holy season in the future!

And may God be with you and your loved ones in these very difficult and trying times in which we live!

With the love of Christ,
C. Read

 

 

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December 8, 2017

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For the Love of God

Devotional for Friday ~ 8 December 2017 / 21 Kislev 5778

Jesus had just finished the Passover meal with His disciples, and Judas had already left to join up with the religious leaders who had been consulting with one another as to “how they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill Him.”

May these beautiful words that Christ Jesus prayed soon before our LORD was to be crucified, encourage you to faithfully keep the word of God!

John 17:1 “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee:

John 17:2 As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.

John 17:4 I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.

John 17:6 I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word.

John 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee.

John 17:8 For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me.

John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine.

John 17:10 And all mine are Thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as we are.

John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

John 17:13 And now come I to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.

John 17:14 I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

John 17:15 I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.

John 17:18 As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word;

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.

John 17:22 And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one:

John 17:23 I in them, and Thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.

John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.

John 17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me.

John 17:26 And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

2 Corinthians 13:14 “The grace of the LORD Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

And may God be with you and those you love, and those who love Him!

With the love of Christ,
C. Read

 

 

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December 3, 2017

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Jesus Christ is the Son of God!

Devotional for Friday ~ 1 December 2017 / 13 Kislev 5778
(Posted 4 December 2017 / 16 Kislev 5778)

The Acts of the Apostles and the amazing demonstrations of God’s love and power as recorded in that great book of the Bible are so fascinating to read and study. There are many wonderful truths to glean from the writings of the Disciples of Christ, and I hope others will be blessed by this testimony.

Acts 8:26 “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

Acts 8:27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

Acts 8:28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

Acts 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

Acts 8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

Acts 8:32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

Acts 8:33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

Acts 8:34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Acts 8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Acts 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”

The Ethiopian was reading from Isaiah 53, and he did not understand who the prophet was referring to, but God's Spirit sent Philip to be there at just the right time to explain this passage to him. Not only did the Ethiopian man readily received the truth, but he greatly desired to be baptized.

Please consider this important passage that many Jewish Rabbi’s discourage their students from reading, as it describes Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who fulfilled all that is written about the Messiah of Israel.

Isaiah 53:1 “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Isaiah 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Consider what God revealed is the prerequisite or precondition to being baptized into the body of Christ, when this man from Ethiopia asked the apostle, “What doth hinder me to be baptized?”

Acts 8:37 “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

Just as Jewish Rabbis would like to diminish the importance of Isaiah 53, because it proves that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, many translators of the modern versions of the Bible have either added a footnote to Acts 8:37 or they just delete it altogether without any explanation. And it’s all because the Devil wants to remove, or try to hide, the “condition” to becoming a Real Christian.

May God rise up faithful men and women of God who will proclaim the Truth, without compromise, to a lost and dying world that desperately needs the Messiah of Israel! And then, I believe, that’s when God’s people who truly love Him will “be endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49), just as when the Holy Spirit was given to the church some 2000 years ago!

Ephesians 6:24 “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.”

With the love of Christ,
C. Read

 

 

 

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November 26, 2017

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Be Ye Thankful

Friday Devotional ~ 24 November 2017 / 6 Kislev 5778
(Posted Sunday 26 November 2017 / 9 Kislev 5778)

With the disappointments, difficulties, and trials of this life, it can be hard to have the proper attitude, but it is so important to keep our eyes on the LORD and His word, especially when we think about what Christ has done for us. Please consider this wonderful passage that puts things in perspective.

Colossians 3:1 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Colossians 3:6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

Colossians 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

Colossians 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."

It is my sincere desire to keep my focus on the LORD Jesus Christ, and do what He requires of me. There is much to distract us in this world, but Jesus is our life, and without Him, we are nothing! May God be with you and your loved ones. And may all of us seek to have a grateful heart before God.

With the love of Christ,
C. Read

 

 

 

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November 17, 2017

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GOD’S HOLY WORD

Devotional for Friday ~ 17 November 2017 / 28 Cheshvan 5778

I have posted this message before, but it goes well with our topic of the importance of God’s Holy Word! This wonderful testimonial is normally placed at the beginning of most Gideon Bibles, and I loved it so much that I made a bookmark out of it years ago.

May God bless and keep you all! And may you and your families, and loved ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

With the love of Christ,
C. Read

“THE BIBLE contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.

Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy.

It contains Light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.

It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter.

Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.

CHRIST is its grand subject, our good the design, and the glory of God its end.

It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.

Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.

It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure.

It is given you in life, will be opened at the Judgment, and be remembered forever.

It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.”...


—Author Unknown

 

 

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February 11, 2017

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Proclamation of Faith

By C. Read
Dated 8 May 1993

"At this Time I would like to clarify who My LORD and My God is,

to whom I serve. He is the LORD God Almighty!

Maker of heaven and earth and everything that is made.

He is All-Powerful! He is the Most High God! He has all authority!

And He loved the world so much

that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us

so that we might live to serve

and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

And to prove to Satan, that only the LORD God Jehovah

is All-Powerful; He raised Jesus from the dead.

And death had no more power over Him.

To all that believe in their heart that God was able

by His Mighty Power to do that, and confess Him as LORD,

will be saved from the wrath that is to come

on all the children of disobedience.

Jesus Christ won the Victory!

And He is my Master! And He is my LORD!

And because I have been obedient to Him

and to the Testimony of Jesus Christ,

He has anointed me with His Holy Spirit.

Praise the Holy Name of Jesus!


I would also like to clarify who my God’s adversary is:

He’s that old Serpent, who is the Devil, and Satan

who hates my God and His saints.

He is a very powerful foe!

He is the second highest power!

And he has much authority here on earth.

He can kill! He can steal! He can destroy people’s lives!

And that is his primary objective. And his target is God’s people!

You may not be able to see him,

but he works in the children of disobedience.

So don’t under-estimate his abilities.

And don’t think for a minute that he won’t try any way

he can to get to you.

He is very sly, wily, crafty, and cunning.

And he uses underhanded and calculated methods

to secretly introduce his lies and deceptions.

And he can only operate in Darkness!

For the most part people do not give Satan credit

for many of the things that he does.

And he prefers it that way.

He masquerades as a Christian.

He pretends he loves the Lord Jesus.

He pretends he serves the Lord Jesus.

He claims he would die for the Lord Jesus.

And he uses unholy men to make these proclamations

through the spirit of anti-Christ!

He has deceived many people.

And he is working very hard these days

because he knows his time is coming to a close very soon.

You will know that is true

because the world will get more and more wicked

as you see the Day approaching.


Most people don’t acknowledge God or give Him credit

for what He does either.

You may not be able to see Him,

but He works in the children of obedience.

So don’t under-estimate His Power and abilities either.

And don’t think for a minute that He won’t save those

that truly love and belong to Him.

He is very loving, kind, gentle, compassionate, merciful,

and so forgiving. He is truly an awesome God!

He uses honesty, sincerity, and Truth to present Himself to us.

And there is only One Way that He can come into your life.

That Doorway is Yeshua HaMashiach! Jesus, The Christ!

And He Can Only Operate In the Light!"


Copyright © 1993

 

 

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