Being Rich in Mercy

In many of the Epistles, the Apostles began with the wonderful phrase: “Grace and mercy.” (1 Timothy 1:2)  If God began writing many of His holy Letters to us in this manner, then we should do also in our own correspondence with others in the body of Christ. In the beginning of the Book of Jude we read, “Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” (Jude 1:2) Do we find it easy to wish mercy on others in abundance or are we quick to condemn? One that finds it easy to judge others has lost the perspective that he was shown much mercy from God. For it is by grace and mercy we have been saved by the blood of God’s Son.
James 2:13

In the Book of Titus it says: “Not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.” (Titus 3:5) When we start to look at another’s problems more than our own, we are in a dangerous place in our walk with the Lord. Our Lord Jesus taught a wonderful parable on mercy in Matthew 18. Sadly, it ends with the judging of the wicked servant who did not show mercy but rather had a ministry of choking others: “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?" (Matthew 18:33) Do we demand of others what we do not accomplish ourselves?

As Jesus told the Pharisees, God considered justice, mercy and faithfulness much more important than tithing, sacrificing and being right before others. We need to get a revelation from the Lord on how important and crucial mercy is to Him. Thus, we will see it as a precious gift to share with others: “You have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Matthew 23:23) When we are seeking to be closer to God we must covet His wisdom and the fruit of His Spirit. Yet even these very attributes are full of mercy, bathed in mercy. Jesus taught us to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:44) We should seek to ensure there is no division by first showing great mercy to others. May our testimony be that we are as full of mercy as is our God.  (James 3:17)

We should constantly remind ourselves that we were forgiven much and therefore should show mercy to all other believers. If we do not and begin to judge and accuse others the Lord will allow us to be in a prison on this earth in our hearts: “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.” (Matthew 18:32-34)

“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement.” ( James 2:12-13)

May God fill His body with a powerful unity as we look to Christ our chief Shepherd and emulate His love, care and mercy toward others. Though we can be radical, fervent and know the Bible better than anyone near us, let us not deceive ourselves but prove our Christianity in action by exhibiting great love and mercy for all sinners and the body of Christ, our sisters and brothers.
God bless you!


"Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:15-22 KJV)

"These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Proverbs 6:16-19 KJV)

"He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends." (Proverbs 17:9 KJV)

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." (Matthew 10:34-42 KJV)

"Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause." (John 15:20-25 KJV)

"Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." (Luke 6:26-38 KJV)

God bless you in the MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS CHRIST!


Strife and condemnation (James 3:16, John 3:17)
You've gone and done it again
Worthy so unworthy (Jesus=Psalm 145:3, Man=Romans 3:23)
You've failed and let them in

Might as well just wrap it up
Time to call it quits
Worthy so unworthy
It's the lie that causes you fits (2 Thessalonians 2:1-17)

Believe the truth (John 14:6)
Above all else (Philippians 2:8-10, Ephesians 1:21)
God's Word exceeds (Psalm 138:2)
Those thoughts of yourself (Isaiah 55:8, 1 Corinthians 3:20)

What does it say
About who you are
From death to life (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 5:17)
You've come thus far (John 5:24)

Consider the past
From whence you came (Romans 13:10-14)
Look into the reflection (Proverbs 27:19)
Do you see the same thing (James 1:23-25)

Child of God (Romans 8:16)
By faith in Christ (Hebrews 11:1-40)
Through grace and mercy (Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:5)
He's paid your price (1 Corinthians 6:20, Galatians 3:13-15)

You are doing your best (Colossians 3:23-25)
For He can see (Proverbs 15:3)
You don't want those evil things (2 Timothy 2:22, 1 Peter 4:1-19)
Because Jesus has set you free (1 Peter 2:15-17)


What if there was a person
With no desire to take
Who never asked of others
With nothing at all to fake

What if there was a creature
With only desire to give
Able every seal to open (Revelation Chapter 5)

What if there was a group
Fully honest one to another
Fulfilled in being together
Always loving as a brother

What if there were a people
Preferring each other as best
Loving God, loving neighbors
Even helping while at rest

There is this place
This thing, this tribe
This person, this group
Which owns no pride

As well as those inside
House of living stones (1 Peter 2:4-6)
Called where the light abide (Ephesians 5:7-14)

Christ Jesus - Rejected One
Now made Head of The Corner (Psalm 118:22, Matthew 21:42 KJV, Acts 4:11, Ephesians 2:20)
The example left for all
Even scorner, mourner, and foreigner

Crucified is He
Christ died the criminal's death
All wrong did we - not He
Yet through Him we find breath

How can it be
Look and see
66 books, 40 writers, 1,500 years
And all agree

Through all the pages
Each time is read fresh
With eyes of Holy Spirit
The Word is made flesh (John 1:14)

Holy Spirit and Word
Completely agree
Tree of life eternal
Consume it and be (John 6:56, John 14:4)

Yet how is it so
A man He dies
Three days buried
And then He rise

The virgin birth
God is with us
It's His story we tell

Only begotten
Risen Christ
Far above all others
His life so highly priced

Without blemish without spot
Without sin in every way
Always perfect in deed and thought
No grave can cause His decay

His multitude made great
Here we stand in Him (Revelation 7:9)
One race, one creed, one nation
Kingdom of God entered in

We live to tell the tale
The way the truth the life
The gates of hell shall not prevail (Matthew 16:18)

Ekklesia she stands (Revelation 7:9)
Awaiting the promised groom (Rev. 19:5-9)
House of many mansions (John 14:2 KJV)
For each is plenty of room

All is made by Him (John 1:3)
The one called faithful and true (Rev. 19:11)
Gone to be with our Father (John 16, Matthew 6:9)
To prepare the place for you (John 14:3)

Christ Jesus The Word of God (Revelation 19:13)
He is the risen one (Luke 24)
The one who came in flesh (John 1, 1 John 4)
Who was and is and is to come (Revelation 1:8)

By grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10)
We run the race
Though glimpse of Him may now seem dim
Soon we'll see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Poem by Matthew Foutch
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Notes for further study:

"Ekklesia is a Greek word defined as 'a called-out assembly or congregation.' Ekklesia is commonly translated as 'church' in the New Testament."  
          Source: "What is the definition of ekklesia?"

"The phrase 'the Body of Christ' is a common New Testament metaphor for the Church (all those who are truly saved). The Church is called 'one body in Christ' in Romans 12:5, 'one body' in 1 Corinthians 10:17, 'the body of Christ' in 1 Corinthians 12:27 and Ephesians 4:12, and 'the body' in Hebrews 13:3. The Church is clearly equated with 'the body' of Christ in Ephesians 5:23 and Colossians 1:24."  


According to The Apostle Paul: Speaking in unknown tongues is good.

"For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries... He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself... I would that ye all spake with tongues..."
- 1 Corinthians 14:2-5 KJV

Not all in the Corinthian Church spoke with tongues.  Because, if they did, Paul wouldn't have said: "I would that ye all spoke with tongues." Notice that, even though some didn't speak with tongues, Paul still included them in the Corinthian Church. Some fellowships today could learn a lot from The Apostle Paul.

Additionally, according to The Apostle Paul: Prophecy is good. Interpretation of tongues is good. And, both of these are even better than simply speaking in tongues.

"...But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort... He that prophesieth edifieth the church.  I would... rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying."
- 1 Corinthians 14:2-5 KJV
1 Corinthians 14:39

Like with tongues, not all in the Corinthian church prophesied. Because, if they did, Paul wouldn't have said: "I would... rather that ye prophesied."  Notice again that, even though some didn't speak prophecy or interpret tongues, Paul still included them and encouraged them in the Corinthian church.  

Likewise, The Apostle Paul included and even more so encouraged those speaking in tongues, those speaking prophecy, and those interpreting unknown tongues in the church.  In this way also, some fellowships today could learn a lot from The Apostle Paul.

Of course: "Let all things be done decently and in order."
- 1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV

So, in conclusion: Prophecy is good. Speaking in unknown tongues is good.  Interpretation of tongues is good.  Not everyone is expected to do these things to be a part of the church.  However, these acts (the acts of speaking in unknown tongues, prophecy, and interpretation of tongues) should not be forbidden, but rather encouraged.

Encourage these things. Why?

It's not the act that matters, it's the edification.  It's not the work, but the result, that is needed.  The need is met through the act.  The act need be encouraged.

"...He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself... 

He that prophesieth edifieth the church..."
- 1 Corinthians 14:2-5 KJV

The body of the church needs to be edified!

The Apostle Paul gave everything he had into this single purpose:  The edification of the living body of Christ Jesus - the edification of the church!

"Follow after charity [love], and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy... Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church." 
-1 Corinthians 14:1,12 KJV

EDIFYING definition:
"(the act of) building, building up"

EDIFICATION definition:
"the act of one who promotes another's growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, holiness"

CHURCH:  Be encouraged to EDIFY one another.  Imitate Paul The Apostle as he imitates Christ Jesus (ref. 1 Cor. 11:1) Christ is our perfect example.  Be like Christ.  

God bless you!

John Ankerberg Revelation Study

This is an outstanding study of The Holy Bible.  God bless you!


PART 1 OF 3 The Glorified Jesus Reveals the Future
Revelation Chapters 1 thru 6


In this opening segment:  "The important information from Revelation 1 as well as the opening letters to the seven churches of Revelation in Chapter 2."



In this segment:  "Revelation 2-3 are the letters to the seven churches. Jesus proclaims a message to seven different churches in Asia Minor that all existed in the first century. He says to them 'Here’s what you’re doing right, keep it up; but here’s what you’re doing wrong, you need to repent and correct it.' His words to these churches offer much application for our lives today."


THE THRONE ROOM OF GOD  (Part 1, Segment 3 of 3)

In this segment:  "Imagine the scene the apostle John must have experienced as he witnessed the throne room of God in Revelation 4-5. The sights and sounds exceeded anything he could have fully explained in human words. Yet in faithfulness to Christ, John penned his vision for us to read and consider. What truths did the Lord share that He wants us to know and apply today?


PART 2 OF 3:  The Judgments and Main Players of the Tribulation
Revelation Chapters 7 thru 13


In this segment:  "The book of Revelation unfolds a series of three sets of seven judgments. These include the seven seal judgments, the seven trumpet judgments, and the seven bowl judgments. We began looking at the seal judgments in the last session. In this session, we continue with both the seal and trumpet judgments God will one day unleash upon the earth.



In this segment:  "We’ll start in Revelation 10 with the little scroll and continue toward the middle of Revelation to discuss the two witnesses. We’ll also discuss chapters 12 and 13 where many of these key players are identified and introduced. We’ll discover both an acceleration of evil as well as God’s ongoing plan of redemption during earth’s darkest days."


THE ROLE OF THE ANTICHRIST  (Part 2, Segment 3 of 3)

In this segment:  "You’ve probably heard about the Antichrist in films or novels. Perhaps you’ve talked about him in a Bible study or sermon at church. Yet few know the biblical details regarding the future world leader called the Antichrist. Revelation 13 offers clear information regarding who he is, what he will do, and the great power he will have during the tribulation period."


Part 3 of 3:  Armageddon, the Second Coming and Eternity Future
Revelation Chapters 14 thru 22


In this segment:  "From Revelation 14-19 the final events of the endtimes unfold rapidly. By the end of chapter 19 Jesus returns as king with His people to defeat His enemies at Armageddon. The dire physical and spiritual situation on earth will come to an end at the Lord’s second coming. The final chapters of Revelation contrast the evil of the end times with the coming of Jesus to restore justice and make all things new."


THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM  (Part 3, Segment 2 of 3)

In this segment:  "After the second coming of Jesus, Revelation 20 speaks of a millennial kingdom on earth where Jesus will reign with His people for a 1,000-year period. What is the importance of this kingdom? Why is Satan again unleashed at the end of this time period? What judgments will take place during this time?"


GOD'S PLAN FOR ETERNITY FUTURE  (Part 3, Segment 3 of 3)

In this segment:  "Heaven. The very word brings to mind a glorious final resting place for the people of God. However, many believers know very little about the biblical details regarding our eternal home. In Revelation 21 and 22, we find two chapters devoted to the new heavens and new earth Jesus will create where His people will dwell with Him forever."



Source:  John Ankerberg Show YouTube Channel
Host:  John Ankerberg    Host Web Site:  The John Ankerberg Show
Dr. Ed Hindson:  Dean - Liberty University School of Religion
Dr. Mark Hitchcock:  Associate Professor, Bible Exposition - Dallas Theological Seminary
Dr. Ron Rhodes:  President, Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries

This program has been made available from The John Ankerberg Show as a DVD and Study Guide set.  The set is currently available HERE.

God bless you!


Recently, I have heard some wild (fear based) doctrines and theories centered about the following passage of scripture:

"Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure." (1 Timothy 5:22 KJV)

After much research, the clearest understanding of this passage that I have been able to find [the translation of the passage that best lines up with the context of the scripture and makes the most sense] is from The Complete Jewish Bible. Here it is:

"Do not be hasty in granting s’mikhah to anyone, and do not share in other people’s sins — keep yourself pure." (1 Timothy 5:22 CJB)

Okay, what is s’mikhah?

According to The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, 1917, page 552: The Hebrew word "s’mikhah" means "ordination."

According to Webster's Dictionary: "Ordain" means "to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority."

So, in other words, Paul is simply instructing Timothy not to be in a hurry to ordain people into an office of the Church.

This makes perfect sense yesterday, today, and forever. Without controversy, these are simple and plain instructions that anyone of faith can and should put into practice.

In context, here is the larger section of scripture in the Complete Jewish Bible which deals with the handling and appointing of leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ [text in brackets added by me]:

"Never listen to any accusation against a leader unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. Rebuke before the whole assembly those leaders who continue sinning, as a warning to the others. Before God, the Messiah Yeshua [Christ Jesus] and the chosen angels, I solemnly charge you to observe these instructions, not pre-judging and not doing anything out of favoritism. Do not be hasty in granting s’mikhah [ordination] to anyone, and do not share in other people’s sins — keep yourself pure." (1 Timothy 5:19-22 CJB)

REMEMBER: "...the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated [easy to put into practice], full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:17-18 KJV)

God bless you!

Image source:  Art For Jesus