For the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ

http://www.newcovenantchristianministries.org

‘The Young Messiah’ – the Movie


2016-03-12_21-37-18_284The movie, ‘The Young Messiah’ opened March 11, 2016 in most theaters.  The movie plot is about Jesus of Nazareth as a young boy and as the trailers depict, it opens our imaginations about what the young Jesus might have been like.  At the age of 7, Jesus is living in Alexandria, Egypt with his parents, Joseph and Mary, who fled Nazareth when the government edict was issued by Ki2016-03-12_19-56-59_210ng Herod, to slaughter all children under the age of 2. When they finally hear that Herod has died, the young couple set out with their 7 year old son to return to Nazareth.

The novel ‘Christ the Lord – Out of Egypt,’ was written by Ann Rice, who is not a newcomer to the writing industry.  She has published novels such as ‘The Vampire Chronicles,’ ‘Blood Canticle,’ and many others which can be found at http://annerice.com. She also made a splash several years ago in 2010 when she announced that she was quitting Christianity (read my article :http://www.examiner.com/article/quitting-christianity-the-ann-rice-way.)

The screenplay was written by Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh and Cyrus Nowrasteh.  Some of the major characters in the mo2016-03-12_19-58-17_967vie are:

Jesus – Adam Greaves-Neal

Mary – Sara Lazzaro

Joseph – Vincent Walsh

Herod – Jonathan Bailey

Cleopas – Chri2016-03-12_19-54-38_373stian McKay

James – Finn Ireland

the demon – Rory Keenan

The movie uses imagery garnered from stories from legends that cropped up about the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ; namely, bringing a bird back to life, etc. and that he was already engaged in performing miracles when he was still a boy.   Whether these things really happened or not, we will not know for sure until He returns as King of King and Lord of Lords, at which time, we can ask Him if these things really happened.  The movie definitely has2016-03-12_19-58-48_292 a Roman Catholic background, for instance Ann Rice writes about James, the half brother of Jesus, but states that James was adopted.  This being done in order to preserve the eternal virginity of Jesus’ mother, Mary.  Mary and Joseph went on after Jesus’ birth to have four more sons: James, Joseph, Judas and Simon, and at least two daughters.

However, the movie was well done and well directed despite those issues and this writer definitely recommends going to see this movie.  This is not like some of the other Hollywood movies that have recently come to the big screen that are simply unbelievable and quite clearly written by people who have no true knowledge about the Holy Scriptures.

2016-03-12_19-56-34_862This movie does have some violence but you really never see it graphically displayed.  There are some blood spatters when the slaying of the infants was ordered by Herod the Great in an attempt to kill the Messiah when he was still a very young child, after the Magi had inquired about where they could find the new-born King. This is why Herod ordered that males under the age of 2 were to be put to death.  The violence that is depicted is not the main point of the movie and is therefore nominal in nature, since this was not the focus.  It is a movie well worth the price and very enjoyable to see an attempt to open up a window on the life of Christ as a boy, even if it is all from the imagination of the author.

 

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Trudging through the terrible two’s and teens


-1Now that all of this is over for us it should be rather easy to just be contemplative about the whole matter.  But oh, how hard it was to believe that when the seven month old baby in arms was supposed to turn into a monster during the dreaded time of the terrible twos…well, it was just plain hard to conceive this in our minds.  Some of us older folks still remember reading Ann Landers’ advice column on a daily basis, and in one of her columns she had asked her readers to write in and let her know what their response would be to her question.  The question was this: “If you had to do the parenting job all over again, would you do it?”  There was an overwhelming majority of her readers that said quite frankly, “NO!”  Hard to believe isn’t it?  Of course, there were also those who said that they would do it over again, but with some major changes included.  This column was read in 1977 when this writer had such a wonderful backlog of experience with children (baby was seven months old) and how this writer thought it was so terrible that these people would actually write in and say that they would never do the parenting job again if they had to do it over.  Writer remembers the smell of baby powder in her nose and the sweet scents of a newly bathed baby nestling up against Mommy’s neck.th

Oh, yes, as the title in this article also states….”the terrible teens….” as well.  Yes, they were terrible.  But perhaps it was because my two year old didn’t really have those so-called ‘terrible twos’ season….though later on, the wish was prevalent that those terrible twos had been as terrible as everyone said that they would be, but somehow they were not.  Perhaps this is why her teen years were so terrible.  She was making up for the easy time we had during her second year.

So what does it take to be even a somewhat decent parent?  If you are an on-fire Christian in love with the Lord Yeshua, then you’ll probably come up to being a three-quarter way decent parent.  If you are only a lukewarm Christian and only go to church on Easter and Christmas, (those dreaded CEO’s [Christmas-Easter-only] Christians, you’ll be lucky if you make it to one-third-way decent parent.  However, if you’re fully living in the world….well….good luck.

So would this on-fire holiness preacher ever do the parenting thing again?  I would as long as I remained an on-fire Christian, and totally in love with the King….that is, King Yeshua.  Now, if only that had been the case the first time through.  It probably would have been a lot easier.  Not that children won’t probably still go through a time of rebellion….but that as parents…we have a source of comfort and wisdom that the world simply does not possess. So what do you say about the idea of doing the parenting trip again?  Would you do it over again?


International Day of Prayer for the persecuted Church, November 1st


Christian-Persecution-in-NigeriaComing soon to a prayer closet near you, this November 1st will be the International  Day of Prayer for the persecuted Church.  There are many countries around the world today that are outright hostile towards Christianity, most of them with a Muslim majority in the country. Other countries that target Christians in certain areas, is the predominant group of Hinduism. One group that this writer is in contact with is “Voice of the Martyrs” which publishes their magazines that highlight certain groups of people that are currently suffering persecution for their Christian faith.  America is still a blessed country and we have not experienced the type of persecution that many of our Christian brothers and sisters face on a daily basis.  They are hunted down like outlaws and treated accordingly; because they have a simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His salvation that they accepted.

Even as the Scriptures have commanded us to follow Matthew 5:44 – “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

Voice of the Martyrs is a worthy organization to include in your giving heart and hands funds.  If you would like to order special magazines that you can pass out to your church, you can go to http://www.vombooks.com/September2015.

Additional resources can also be purchased by going to www.persecution.com/IDOP.  If your church would like to add them to their list of mission oriented projects, then please inform your church about this group.  They provide medical help, clothing, shelter and many more services to those Christians that have been caught in the line of fire, and have been targeted for violent actions against them, simply because they have chosen to worship the One True God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 


Fourth and final blood moon tetrad coincides with super moon September 2015


Yahoo.comSeptember 27-28 will put on display for anyone watching the fourth and final blood moon tetrad that has coincided with the Jewish feasts of Passover and Tabernacles for the last two years.  Many have thought these occurrences to be spiritually significant, and truly only history will tell us of any significance in these matters.  Plus, tonight there will also be a super moon occurring as well, which will cause the moon to look excessively larger than normal.  This is also called the Harvest Moon.

If you live in the Northern hemisphere, the blood moon eclipse will begin at 1:07 UT, which translates to our time in the Central daylight time zone as:

Central Daylight Time (September 27, 2015)
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 8:07 p.m. CDT on September 27
Total eclipse begins: 9:11 p.m. CDT
Greatest eclipse: 9:47 p.m. CDT
Total eclipse ends: 10:23 p.m. CDT
Partial eclipse ends: 11:27 p.m. CDT Super blood moon central daylight times

However, if you live in central Illinois as of this writing, clouds have moved in with light rain and so unfortunately, unless it clears or there is a patch of open sky, the blood moon tetrad will not be as visible as hoped for tonight.  It might be worth driving to find an open portion of the sky.

Former dates of blood moon occurrences are according to Dates of blood moons

While it is fairly rare, a tetrad of lunar eclipses has occurred before and will occur again in the future. History and science tell us that tetrads or blood moons also came to pass in the following years:
•162-163 A.D.
•795-796 A.D.
•842-843 A.D.
•860-861 A.D.
•1493-1494 A.D.
•1949-1950
•1967-1968

That means that it’s been 46 years since this has happened, making it something that definitely gets the attention of the masses when it does occur.

So if you have the opportunity for a clear sky tonight, it is definitely worth going outside from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. CDT, which will conclude the super blood moon tonight.


The Ten Commandments: Are they still relevant? – Part 16


Since we have been looking closely at the various Scriptures that pertain to the laws of God and as we are finally going to wrap this series up, let us look at Galatians, which is a book that is consistently cited in that total grace-ites state that this book definitively declares that the laws of God have ended.  Really?  Did they?  Let’s see.  First of all, before we go into the book of Galatians, let’s establish our ground work first; of course, these articles have already covered these Scriptures, but we will list them again.

Matthew 5:17

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

John 14:15

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Now the diehard grace-ite will be the first to argue and say that this was written to Israel and not to the church.  Really?  Using that same logic, then Jesus Christ himself said that He had come to the lost sheep of Israel.  Oh-Oh!  Houston…we have a problem!  That doesn’t include the Gentiles if one has to be fair at this  point.  Now what?  Okay, one more Scripture so that we can all know that everyone can get a ticket and get on board the GodShip Gospel Line.

Romans 11:17-18

And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Paul writes that the Gentiles have been grafted into the root stock of Israel.  Why?  So that we can receive all of the promises and requirements and that they are made available to us as well.  This writer finds it very interesting that those who deny that we have to obey God’s commandments are more than willing to claim the goodness of the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants as well as the new covenant written with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, but those same people want nothing to do with the laws of God.  We offer our condolences to you at this point…simply because you cannot have your cake and eat it too, my friends.  You either take the whole Word of God or please don’t take any of it; we are not allowed to pick and choose which Scriptures we would like to have and throw out the ones that make us squirm.  But unfortunately, this is exactly what has happened.  Many pastors and teachers have taught the populace that the Scriptures should be viewed as something akin to a Smorgasbord or items on an À la carte menu.  All of the Scriptures make up a whole body of evidence and you simply cannot dissect the Word of God, no matter how badly you may wish to do so.

Let us now define some terms that often cause confusion.  These terms were not clear to this writer either growing spiritually mature in the church; this writer simply didn’t know what they meant.  If the question was asked of those who were supposed to be more learned, the answer generally given was doing the laws of God.  Exactly, what does that mean?  Who knew…probably no one understood it, nor could define it when asked to do so.  This is why this writer walked around in a fog for most of the years waiting to grow up.

What are they and what do they mean?

There are two terms that are the same thing, but they use two different words and they are:

works of the law…and…deeds of the law

simply pertain to the sacrificial portion of the law.  Every Israelite male was to continually offer up the Passover sacrifice; the Yom Kippur sacrifice; they were to make peace offerings, heave offerings, free-will offerings, etc. etc.  By doing so they  would attain to righteousness and have their sins, transgressions and iniquities covered up by the blood of the animal offered.  But too many people have been taught that this pertains to the entire Law of God and not to just one portion, thereby ‘ending’ the Law of God because we are told that we cannot be justified by the ‘deeds or the works of the Law.”  This is true if applied to the sacrificial portion of the Law.  These works or deeds were Israel “working out their own salvation” if you will in an attempt to make themselves righteous, even though it was available to be made righteous through faith, but they couldn’t receive it and so they focused on the works and therefore they were never justified.  Christians however, accept the “atoning works of the Lord Jesus Christ” and we accept by faith that His perfect blood has made us righteous through Him and therefore we are made justified.

This is going to shock a lot of people….but oh, well.  But hold on, this writer will explain.  The sacrificial portion of the law didn’t end either.  WHAT?  No, it did not.  It TRANSFERRED from the tribe of Levi to the Tribe of Judah, and the Ha Mashiach, Yeshua Adonai (or Christ Jesus) on the appointed Passover, at the time of sacrifice, did not offer up an animal but offered up Himself, and His own perfect blood seeing that He also became our High Priest.  He is also our eternal High Priest because the Scriptures plainly state Yeshua was after the priestly order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 3:1, 5:1, 5:6

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Now that that particular truth is established…here is one more for those that may not know these things: there were three parts of God’s laws.  First, there was the Ten Commandments (or the moral laws); Second, there were the food laws, which were established to teach Israel on how to choose between the holy and the unholy, or the clean and the unclean, plus, it was also in place to keep Israel healthy in their physical bodies; and the Third, there was the sacrificial laws pertaining to the forgiveness of the sins of Israel.  The Ten Commandments have never ended; the food laws have been modified, at least for the Gentiles coming into the church, but still having to keep some of them for the sake of their Jewish brothers and sisters, which we find in Acts 15.  The third portion did not end but merely transferred to Yeshua Adonai who became the High Priest and the sacrifice that year.  His office of High Priest has still not ended even to this day, for He acts on our behalf and when we humble ourselves and confess our sins, He goes before the Heavenly Father and presents His perfect blood on the altar so that we may obtain forgiveness.

There is still so much more to cover and we did not even get to the book of Galatians as hoped for and therefore this will have to be continued in Part 17.  God Bless.

 

 

o


David and Goliath movie release, in theatres this April 3, 2015


20150223211056-DavidAndGoliath_Poster_2764x4096-2

A new Christian movie is set for release in a limited amount of cities, coming this April 3, 2015.  The movie was rejected by Hollywood with the hard-to-believe excuse that it is too biblical.  Huh? After all, it is a CHRISTIAN movie, so exactly what does Hollywood expect?  Well apparently, the director, Tim Chey has put too much Christianity into his movie and this movie is expected to be far more biblical than either “Exodus” or “Noah.”  Both of these movies were approved and released by Hollywood and both of these movies were outlandishly far removed from their original Scripture-based accounts as recorded in the Holy Bible.  According to Carol Edwards, writing for Breaking Christian News, in an interview with Tim Chey:

Chey refers to the backlash of the film ‘Noah’ which many Christian pastors and leaders shunned. The film still was a box office hit at $120 million, but Christians stayed away in droves.

“There are no rock monsters helping David unfortunately,” Chey jokes to the laughter of the reporters. “But kidding aside, I wanted to make a film that will reinvigorate the kind of faith the future King of Israel had, namely fighting a giant with a zero percent chance of defeating hi20150219013402-D_G_Still_3m outside of God.”

The story of David and Goliath is an oft-told Bible story that is told to youngsters in Sunday school as young as 3 or 4 years of age and is also loved by all other ages in the Church.  So this movie will be refreshing since Tim Chey states that his ministry is one of an evangelist and therefore his movie will be Biblically accurate.  The following Scripture is the key statement made by David, the soon-to-be King of Israel, spoken to Goliath when the Philistine giant mocks him.

1 Samuel 17:45David and Goliath movie scene

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

Because this movie is being released independently, Tim Chey has been raising funds through Indiegogo.com, with the first campaign Chey has raised $19,673.  In order for this movie to be  able to play in any city, the production company must pay $1000.00 to the theatre.  The first campaign has closed, but they have opened up another campaign and if you would like to donate to this Christian cause, you can donate here.  So far, this second campaign has already raised $1,672.00, plus if you donate at least $15.00 you will receive a DVD copy of Tim Chey’s last movie, “Final.” If you donate $25.00 you will receive the DVD’s of Final and David and Goliath when it is released to DVD this July, 2015.  Plus there are other incentives depending on how much you donate.

The following is a current list of the cities that this movie will be playing in so far:

  • Atlanta, Anchorage, Austin, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Dallas, El Paso,
  • Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Houston, Honolulu, Knoxville, Orlando, Miami,
  • Phoenix, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, Tukwila, Vancouver.

If people want to see this movie come to their area, help these independent Christian producers get this film out to the public.  Tim Chey has stated that his movie is biblically accurate and so there shouldn’t be any backlash from this film.  So help support this Biblically accurate and family friendly film so that more movies of this caliber will hopefully be made in the future.

 


Celebrating Purim, the Feast of Esther, March 4-5, 2015


Feast of Esther by RembrandtEsther, the young Jewish girl who was chosen by Ahasuerus, King of Persia to become his new wife; since his other wife, Vashti, had been exiled and most likely executed when she refused to appear naked before the king’s guests, wearing only her crown.  This occurred at a drinking feast that the king had prepared that would last a full 180 days with a separate feast for the women held by the queen.  As the Book of Esther reveals that Esther was a young Jewish maiden being raised by her uncle, Mordecai, who instructed her that she was not to reveal her ethnic heritage when she appeared before the king.  Esther, along with all of the other young girls that had been chosen to compete for the king’s marriage announcement went through a long process of preparation of baths, oils, lotions, perfumes; all of this being done with the hope to ready themselves for the night that they would spend with the king.

As the story progresses, Mordecai uncovers a plot by two assassins plotting to kill Ahasuerus; so he reports this to Esther who in turn informs the king.  As the plot thickens, Haman who was of the lineage of Amalekites, and he therefore hated the Jews, had to honor Mordecai for his good deed.  At first, Haman thought he was the one to be honored, and so made the reward very rich, only to find out that the king was speaking about Mordecai.  Of course, because of his hatred for Jewish people, he sped up his plans to annihilate all of the Jews in Ahasuerus’ kingdom.  Haman had “cast lots”, or “purim” so that all of the Jews in the kingdom would be executed on the 13th day of Adar. Haman’s plot became known to Mordecai, and so he asked Esther to intercede for the Jewish people before the king.

Esther 4:14

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

According to Persian law, no one could approach the king without a direct invitation.  To do so was to risk imminent death, unless the king extended his scepter towards the uninvited; if the king did so, then the person could approach the king to make the request.  Esther knew that if she went into the throne room without the personal invitation, though she was the queen, she was risking her life.

So in preparation, Esther requested that all of the Jewish people should fast for three days, including her maidservants; which after it was completed, she said,

Esther 4:16

Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

Esther then invited her husband, the king, and her enemy, Haman to a feast.  She makes a request that they come again the next day.  It is at this second feast that she reveals that she is Jewish and it is revealed that it is this Haman who wants to kill her and her people through the decree that he wrote and had the king sign and seal it with his signet ring.  Of course, the king is angry and leaves the room.  Then Haman rises and leans over Esther’s couch where she is reclining to beg for his life; it is this scene that the king sees as he returns, and thinking that Haman is making inappropriate advances to his queen, the king issues Haman’s execution.  Haman had built these very gallows that he had fully intended to hang Mordecai upon, and instead he is hung on it along with his family.

A new decree is issued by Mordecai, who has now been promoted to second in command; that all of the Jews could now defend themselves against any attackers.  The first decree could not be rescinded, so the new one allowed for their self defense and subsequently the Jewish people won a great victory over their enemies.

The Feast of Purim will be celebrated this year on March 4-5, 2015 in commemoration of that great victory.  As the story of Esther, or the Megillah is read, each time the name of  Haman is spoken, which occurs 54 times, the people shake rattles, or stamp their feet to drown out the horrid name, so that his name is forever wiped out of history. There are many things that are done during this feast that today’s Jewish people do as part of the commemoration: they attend the public reading of the Megillah; they send gifts of food to friends; they give to charities for the poor; and the eat a festive meal.

It is always a good time to read the Book of Esther, because it reminds Jews and Christians that our God avenges us of anyone who has done us wrong and He makes it right.  Amen.