Saved From What?

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Saved From What? —  2-17-2018

   

We use the word ‘saved’ to mean Born Again and belonging to Jesus. In general usage, “saved” may mean rescued from something. Life guards saved him from drowning; the prince saved the fair maiden from the dragon. So, as Believers, we might ask the question, What am I saved FROM?
If the preaching of hundreds of years among evangelicals is to be believed, we are saved from HELL—(eternal damnation.) Years ago, my Mama would complain about the preachers who were constantly “dangling us over Hell’s fire.” I always laughed when she would go on and on, but I wonder if she was on to something with this. The whole idea of ‘saved from Hell’ seems to be a scare tactic and an incomplete “Gospel.”  You get saved, then hang around enduring earthly life waiting for heaven?    
And, it could be possible for someone to accept that weak, half truth salvation, buy themselves a 40 lb. Bible, get a big ol’ cross to hang around their neck, and think they are just fine, literally ‘good to go.’ We can believe that, and keep living just like we always have. Many people have done that over the years. The blood of Jesus was applied to protect us from hell, like our lucky coin we carry with us when we play golf.
But what about another aspect of salvation? Could it be the complete Gospel involves being saved FROM something? Yes! There is a Gospel in which Jesus says:  “Go, and sin no more.”  This doesn’t have the crowd appeal that missing Hell does. Giving up sin is hard work. Especially when it may be sins we like and really want to keep doing. Not too many preachers sermonize about sin these days. It’s a ‘Jesus loves you and wants you to be happy’ message most of the time. True enough. But a life of true salvation cannot keep going the way it always has. The saved one must hear the rest of the story! Real salvation involves a desire to embrace change in our way of living. The ‘proof’ of salvation is a changed life, not a ‘Get Outta Hell Free’ card!
Another advantage of being saved from sin, is that we are saved TO Eternal Life. Missing Hell isn’t even factored in for the redeemed of the Lord! There is no such thing as “fire insurance” in the Bible. Our insurance and assurance is in the shed blood of Jesus who has Saved Us From Sin To Righteousness.  By the power of His Spirit, Jesus has made us strong enough to resist and refuse sin.  This power evident, visible, by a life lived in righteousness. (The ‘magic’ word here is:  REPENT.  Which means ‘stop sinning— turn around and go the other way.’)
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.  1 John 1:8-10

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright  June 2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at
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Removed by God

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Removed by God —  11-25–2017
Giving thought to Bible stories, I was trying to think of so many ways God saved His people by ‘removing’ them from their currant situation to somewhere else. There are some stunning examples. Some were permanent but most were temporary. In at least one instance, God foretold the exact number of years the exile would be. Some removals were for saving the people and others were for punishment.
Examples: Adam and Eve removed from the Garden into a wilderness; the Noah family removed from Terra firma into the ark; Abraham removed from Babylon to The Promised Land; the Egyptian slave girl Hagar and her son Ismael were removed from the Abraham family to the dessert where she heard the voice of God regarding His plans for her son: his thousands of descendants are with us today and a major problem for the rest of us, because of the mistreatment of Hagar by the Abraham family); the Lot family removed from Sodom to safety in the mountains; Jacob removed from the Promised Land to safety from his very angry brother Esau; Joseph removed from Promised Land to Egypt when sold into slavery by his brothers; Jacob (Israel) family (70 people) removed from Promised Land to Egypt to reunite with Joseph;  Nation of Israel (now more than a family, numbering in the millions) removed from Egypt into the desert with Moses leading; Israel Nation removed from desert into Promised Land led by Joshua; Israel removed from Promised Land to captivity in Babylon by God’s helper King Nebuchadnezzar; after 70 years by decree of Cyrus the new king in Babylon, the captives were released and all who wanted to removed themselves back to Israel. (Quite a few stayed in Babylon); when Jesus was a baby, his family was removed from Israel into obscurity in Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Israel’s new baby king; in 70 A.D. due to an Israelite uprising against the Romans, the Israelites were removed from Israel and dispersed around the vast Roman Empire resulting in the spread of the Gospel all over the known world and the place once called “Israel” became known as Palestine; in WW2 the Jewish people of Europe were removed from their respective homelands to death camps where 6 million of them died; in 1948 God began to remove Jews from Europe and all over the world back to the Promised Land and this process continues today in the new, restored Nation of Israel.
In this time in which we live, God is also calling Believers to remove themselves from “a form of Christianity that denies the power thereof.”  He wants us to have a REAL relationship with Him in the power of Holy Spirit. We talk with Him and He talks with us. We pray, but some of us heard/felt Him answer, we would pass out from the shock!
And lastly, before The End turns into Eternity, there will be one more removal. The wise and worthy Believers will be called up by Jesus, removed from Earth. They will be safe from the Lord’s extreme wrath as it rains down upon the wicked. The final war with God’s enemies will be fought. It will end in victory for Jesus and His army. We will get a new heaven and a new Earth.
All that is NOT a timeline, and may not happen in that exact order. But it will happen. I leave the details to the Father (and the experts). I have learned truths in the past 15 years that I would not have understood 30 years ago. I will discuss matters such as this with others, but we must not argue or condemn one another’s point of view. We are still looking through a foggy window. Whatever God does or doesn’t do is His plan and it will be “good” for those of us who love and obey Him, those who are “The Called” according to His purpose. We must walk this out trusting Him with the simple faith of a child.
When Lord Jesus comes from heaven with his powerful warrior angels in flaming fire, He will bring vengeance to those who have opposed God, those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from His strength. This is the Judgment Day.  2 Thess. 1:7-10  (paraphrased)
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
copyright March 2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at

Keeping the Sabbath

Weekly Sabbath Survey

 Keeping The Sabbath —  7-28-2017

   

If you turn from doing your pleasure on my holy day, call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy day of Yahweh honorable, and shall honor it by not doing your own ways, you shall delight yourself in Yahweh God and I will make you to ride the high places of the Earth, and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your ancestor. For the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it. Isaiah 58:13-14
More people are thinking about doing something to “honor the Sabbath and keep it holy.”  Some make it their worship day. Others make the 7th day a special day of rest that pleases the Lord, but continue going to a church building on Sunday. Some with a heart conviction about Sabbath may have a spouse or other family who do not share our enthusiasm. It is wise to proceed with caution and prayer as you begin to follow your heart. We must follow our convictions, but not be in strife in our household. The Lord sees as we keep our Sabbath and honor His day of rest in the best way we can.
The Sabbath is for OUR benefit. [Mark 2:27] Our obedience in keeping the day holy will be rewarded in ways we don’t even know. Obeying God’s commandments is never wrong. It opens doors for us, giving blessings at His good pleasure.The following suggestions for “how to” may help. Once we understand the basic requirements of Sabbath keeping, we will find it is not a “burden.”
1)  The Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. [Ex. 20:8]. Observing this day must be a real commitment. As simple as that sounds, it is exceedingly difficult for Gentiles. (The verses from Isaiah indicate we aren’t the only ones who have found it difficult. Isaiah was writing to the Jewish people!) We have grown up in a culture that does not recognize the 7th day of the week as God’s day of rest. Our friends, and even family, may not like us doing it. If we want to go forward, we must do as Jesus told us, “count the cost” because doing this in the face of such opposition may make it difficult.
2)  The Sabbath is a day for REST. We should look forward to it, make plans for what we will do or not do. From sundown on Friday to sundown of Saturday, we are to rest. No work or job should be done for income or self-provision. God provides 6 days for us to make a living, but decrees that the 7th day we do not conduct business. No buying or selling on the Day of Rest. No housework such as laundry, cleaning, or a lot of cooking. We can do things around the home that we enjoy such as hobbies, caring for animals, and preparing simple meals. But ordinary non-essential chores should not be done. If there’s a big kitchen spill, clean it up. We can be practical and use common sense. If something can wait, then it should.
3)  The Bible tells us to have a holy gathering on Sabbath. The Sabbath is celebrated in families, beginning on Friday at sundown with a meal. A small home group of family or friends, no more than 8-10 people can be done. The fellowship should include a simple meal, and can include Jewish traditions. The two Sabbath candles are lit by a woman in the group as she gives thanks to Yahweh for the Sabbath Day, and for sending Jesus who is the Light of the World. A man in the group says a blessing as he breaks and passes the bread, then the wine in turn, at the beginning of the meal: “I bless this bread which is the Body of our Lord Jesus and I bless this wine which is His blood.”  This is “communion.”  Singing a simple worship song as the bread goes from one to the other would help to keep it from seeming too “ritual.” Let each person eat their portion immediately and start the wine around right after the bread with each one drinking immediately. Conversation is okay, too. It is a celebration and thanking God for sending Jesus and giving us a day of rest. The meal should close with a prayer of thanksgiving for the food that has been provided.

4) After supper, there might be worship with singing and/or a Bible lesson/discussion. Participation by all should be encouraged, including the children. Bring the lesson should rotate from one to another, not the same person all the time. Each evening can be its own event. Maybe someone wants to bring a song solo, or the kids have a skit to present. A night of board games would be fun. Don’t be too structured. Be creative and make this time fun. Keep a relaxed, happy atmosphere. The Sabbath is not meant to be a burden. It is a time for joy and laughter and family.

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
copyright November 2016
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at 

Spiritual Courage

Weekly Sabbath Survey
 Spiritual Courage—  2017

   

When we are saved (Born Again) our spiritual growth should begin immediately! It starts with discipleship [being taught by others]. Sermons are good for encouragement and correction. Teaching is for training and learning. Growing strong spiritually is very much like getting strong physically. We must exercise what we know so that it grows stronger, like the muscles of the body. One key to achieving spiritual courage is to cultivate three basic Biblical characteristics: Wisdom, Understanding and Discernment.

Wisdom gives us intelligence in thought, word and deed; helps us get to the heart of a matter quickly. Understanding makes us able to skillfully reason with another person or make intelligent debate concerning disagreements or problems with others. Both of these apply to arguments or differences in situations where there is more than one viewpoint to solving a problem or deciding what course of action to take. Discernment is similar to the other two, but does not always involve interaction with someone else. It is to scrutinize, perceive, hear intelligently, consider thoroughly. Then, decide and judge for yourself.

Wisdom and understanding are learned through teaching, trial and error, and if a person is really hard-headed, the School of Hard Knocks! But discernment is something acquired from God through prayer, private study and reflection. It is a gift He bestows on us.

I was at a woman’s retreat some years ago. In one session they began a worship exercise that I felt was not right. Worship team people moved among us in the aisles speaking to people, touching them, and saying “Praise the Lord” and “Peace to you” as the music and singing went on. This is nothing too weird for a Charismatic meeting, yet it was making me very uncomfortable. Like my “creep meter” was going off. I slipped out of my row and began to move toward the door. One of the performers intercepted me and said in a sweet, wheedling voice, “Please don’t leave. Please don’t leave” I got the willies then. She reached for my hand, but I drew back and said, “Don’t touch me, I need to leave.” I walked past her. No others touched me, they stared as I walked on, and I could see whatever that was in their eyes. Out in the lobby I walked up and down, crying and praying. I had a mourning feeling like grief.

After a while one of my friends came out looking for me. She said she was worried I might be sick. I told her what I felt and she said she felt it too, but thought it was just her being silly. I told her it was NOT her and NOT silly. We confirmed to each other what we felt. There was something not-of-God in there, we both discerned it. We prayed for all those who did not discern and were still inside.

Then the meeting broke for lunch. In the afternoon session everything was back to normal and I felt fine. There was no more strange mingling amongst us. We learned later that the women of that worship team had a service to do in another town. They left the retreat right after the weird incident. This thing is still very real to me. I had wisdom, understanding and discernment that day. The only word I got was quite plain and simple: “Get out of here.” It is so important to obey when we hear from the Lord. It takes real spiritual courage to obey even if nobody else gets it.

The three elements of hearing from God this way–wisdom, understanding, discernment–are not handed to us at salvation, and cannot be earned. But we keep going, praying for spiritual strength through obedience and perseverance. We exceed, excel and are winners every day! We serve a risen Savior and fight an already defeated enemy!

Finally, Believers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His strength. Put on the whole armor of God so you may be able to stand against the strategies of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against (demonic) principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies.  Ephesians 6:10-12
 
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
copyright  November 2016
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at 

Success in Life

Weekly Sabbath Survey

Success in Life —  4-15–2017

Have you ever wondered if you have been a success in life? I have. I think for many of us it depends on how we have lived up to our own definition and expectation of success. I wanted to be a good daughter, a good wife and mother, a faithful Believer. If I thought too hard now, I would be in a lot of trouble already! But our idea of success is different from God’s. The Bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. It also says our sins are forgiven if we embrace forgiveness by the Blood of Yeshua’s sacrifice.

We are not alone in this. We are not out there dangling around in life, left alone to figure out what the Big Scary Man in the Sky wants from us. A good place to look for answers is the Bible. It is full of what to do and what NOT to do. I wonder at times what determines my direction, my focus and my relative success in life. I think about who is to blame when I don’t measure up. Not God. It is never YHVH that makes us fail. Us? It could be, through bad choices, wrong reaction to circumstances beyond our control, or just plain old sinning. The Devil? Maybe not as often as we think. Other people? Maybe more often than we think. Jesus said, even the members of our own household would be a problem for us. I’m thinking of a great T-shirt saying, from the 70’s “Insanity Is Inherited. You Get It From Your Kids.” Ah, yes. And sometimes, sadly, it runs the other direction just as well. Have you ever seen flaws in your kids that you really HATE in yourself? Yeah, me, too.

To put it simply, we will ALL fall down. And, we MUST get back up. And it doesn’t matter how many times we fall down. The key is to get back up one more time than we fall, and as quickly as possible. He who falls and just lies there is in big trouble! Peril, even.

Another simple truth: We all must find the Lord God’s plan for ourselves. We cannot mimic others. We have our own particular destiny in the Lord. Before I was aware of this, I tried to do the ministry like I saw another person doing. It wasn’t that bad and there was a lot of blessing in it for me and other people too. We all have people we admire from a young age and on up. We want to be like them. But when Jesus becomes the ONLY real hero for us, then we can SEE what part of HIS destiny we are scheduled to fit into. It’s a good feeling when you finally know. But we have to be aware that our race may change from time to time. Some ‘assignments’ are for a season. So we must go with the changing, the next season. It’s one of life’s mysteries how quickly it can happen. One day you are doing this for the Lord and the next you are somewhere else doing something else. Other times, it’s a gradual phasing out and bringing in to make the transition.

The real key to success in life is Never Give Up. It’s living to the end of what the Lord God has given you to do. If we stay the course, we will never fail, no matter what it may seem like to us, or look like to others. Jesus ended up DEAD. But look what a success that turned out to be!! We must be found worthy of the trust Jesus put in us when He died for us. He trusted us that His death was NOT in vain.

Don’t quit ’til the whistle blows. Don’t leave the platform before the train pulls into the station. Don’t jump out of the plane until Yeshua yells Hoo–Rah!!! And don’t pull the rip cord too early or too late. Don’t make any big move or big change until much prayer has gone up. Don’t leave too soon, and don’t stay too long. Listen to the Voice of the One who loves us and gave Himself for us. Then, Success Is Guaranteed.

Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with endurance the particular race that is set before us. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.  Hebrews 12:1-2 

 

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright October 2016
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at 

 

Truth That Hurts

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Truth That Hurts  —  4-1-2017
    
We’ve all heard it said, ‘the truth hurts’. The Bible is all about the truth. And, there is such a thing as truth that hurts, but that doesn’t mean it’s always OK. I was reading Job chapter 20:  Those friends of his are saying some things that are right with truth, but it isn’t helping Job’s situation.” None of the friends and even Job, knew the devil was doing all this disaster and death and sickness. They all thought GOD was doing it! Of course, as enlightened 21st Century Believers, we know better than this. Or, do we?
Have you ever been in a fix and wondered what God was doing? You felt hung out to dry. Abandoned by Him. Have you ever wrapped your misery around you like a big quilt and sat down on the ash heap to cry like Job?  (I have!)  Most people don’t know how to help us, what to say. I think it’s because, like Job, we need to work it out between ourselves and the Lord God. People may hold us, pray for us, give less than helpful advice, but ultimately, it’s one on One with The Father. (Only a person truly anointed and sent by the Lord to speak to us can help, and that happens sometimes.)
The BIG problem is ones who ‘know’ exactly what’s wrong and (without anointing) try to tell you. Did you ever have friends drop by to question your faith, ask about secret sins, etc. etc.? They give Scriptures and tell you “The Truth.” God is this. God does that. Years ago when I had much more zeal than wisdom, my mentor told me, “Charlie, there’s such a thing as taking truth and pouring it into a bucket like cement, then hitting people over the head with it!!”  Whoa! I understood it, and began to lighten up on folks, but I didn’t fully understand until it happened to me! There is hardly a better teacher than a Holy Spirit experience. It was the shoe on the other foot when I was down and my friends were advising me.
Now, the watchword is “Beware of ones with ALL the answers, but no compassion.” It is a fact that Jesus took a gentle approach with people. He got angry with hypocrites, those who fleeced the poor, the devil and people who were influenced by him or his demons. The down and out and even the demon possessed got His gentle mercy and compassion.
I’ve come a long way since that time of sitting down with Job. I have been challenged again of course, on the ropes at times even in the past couple of years. But the trick I’ve found is this: even in the meltdown, DO NOT SIT DOWN. Keep standing before the Throne of Grace, even if you are physically flat on your back. In your heart of hearts, call on the Name above all Names and put your trust in Him. If you do sit down, stand up again as quickly as you can. The longer you are sitting down, the harder it is to STAND. Kindly thank the bringers of cookies, casseroles and common sense. You need them!
But always keep your eyes on Jesus. He said I am the way, THE TRUTH. and the life. Jesus is the truth that does not hurt. He is the truth that heals. But we must go to Him, or wait for Him to come to us. We must stand before Him and receive the help we need.
There are times when even the most faithful are so beset with exhaustion, or sorrow or sickness or even sin, that they just want to give up, to quit—to the point of wanting to die!  Pray this prayer:     
How long will you forget me, O Lord? Forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long do I talk to myself with sorrow in my heart every day? How does my (demonic) enemy get the best over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: give light to my eyes so I my (human) enemies won’t say I am beaten and I am defeated. I have trusted in your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing unto the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me.  Psalm 13
 

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright September 2016
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at 

 

Easter and Passover

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Easter & Passover —  4-8-2017

  

I want to compare the two holidays and explore the spiritual significance of each one. First, I must lay a foundation with: These two holidays are NOT and NEVER were, the same. Easter is a ancient pagan holiday on the Roman (Gregorian) Calendar, which predates the Roman Empire. Many of the holidays celebrated on this calendar are significant astrological events or to honor pagan gods. Biblical feasts, including Passover, are on the Jewish Calendar. Each one is significant because God instituted them. Passover goes back to Moses when the Hebrews were still in Egypt where the first Passover occurred. (The Second historically significant Passover took place in Jerusalem when Jesus (Yeshua) died for the sins of the world.)
In the Bible God told Moses when, why and how to celebrate the feasts. The pagan holidays were drunken orgies. Jewish feasts have food, wine and dancing, but decent, Godly behavior has always been at the heart of the celebration. Some Jewish feast days are very somber, with fasting and a lot of soul searching. The Levitical feasts are still celebrated annually by faithful Jews all over the world.
Easter: a pagan Spring festival honoring the fertility goddess Astarothe (aka, Diana). Her idols were depitcted with many pairs of breasts down the front of her torso. Worship of her insured good crops and fertility of animals and humans. “Worship” was having sex with pagan temple prostitutes in ways that cannot be discussed in this format. Eggs and rabbits are ancient fertility symbols.
Passover was also celebrated in Spring, not to insure good crops, but so the people could give thanks for them in advance. And to remember the first Passover in Egypt. It was the final, 10th plague God sent on Egypt. This was an indictment against the many breasted pagan fertility goddess: Death of The First Born. But the Hebrews would be protected by sacrificing lambs and smearing their blood on the doorposts of every home. There was a lot of death homes where Egyptians lived. God’s death angel passed by or “passed over” the houses where he saw blood. In the houses with no blood, the first born of father in the family and all first born animals belonging to that family, died. 
When Christians changed from Passover to Easter for celebrating the sacrifice of Jesus (this was a Roman Catholic decision), there were immediate differences between the two feasts. One example: at Passover there’s leg of lamb or a beef roast and Jewish tortillas (unleavened bread called Matzoh). At Easter there’s a big ol’ honkin’ ham, bread made with yeast (a symbol of sin), and of course, Easter eggs, and toy rabbits for the little kids. (If a stuffed lamb sneaks in, it’s a hold over from Passover!) Passover is a celebration of freedom from a place of sin (Egypt) into a new life (The Promised Land.)  Because of Jesus, all who believe  have freedom from a place of sin and a new life. Passover is about FREEDOM and Life. (Deep thinking  Christians today are calling Easter “Resurrection Day” making it more of a celebration like it should be.)  
Since Jesus is the Passover Lamb, in God’s eyes and memory, this holiday is forever connected to our faith, which we call “Christianity.” I am in constant dismay as to why we cannot see this. We have His blood over us, our sins are forgiven, so the Gentile death sentence of Egypt is not on us. That is something to celebrate! And, since Easter is a celebration connected to a pagan goddess, in God’s eyes and memory, this holiday is forever connected with the unholy practices of the pagans back in the day. I am also dismayed that we cannot see this either. Or we just think is doesn’t matter any more. If we could understand how the smallest details matter to YHVH, we might ‘see’ better on this issue. 
Read in Exodus what God promised Hagar for her son Ishmael. Connect that to today’s news about Muslims many thousands of years later. It will give you an idea of how God keeps a promise, how He means what He says. Did you ever wonder why those people have all that oil, that wealth? Why they are about to take over the world? The Lord God forgets NOTHING, not even a promise to an Egyptian slave girl. There is one exception: He forgets the sins of those who are washed in the blood of the PASSOVER LAMB.
This is the condemnation: that light came into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light.  John 3:19

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Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah

copyright   March 2017
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing at