In troubled times the answer is always Jesus! (all the time!)
I am so excited about this column I can hardly write. These last Words of Jesus were recorded in the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John who was at that very moment in prison on the Island of Patmos (part of present day Greece). These were troubled days for the early church. John was one of the original twelve disciples and very likely the only one left alive, as most had been killed for following Jesus and preaching the Good News. Believers were meeting at churches in homes and caves, etc. Persecution, beating and even death was poured out upon those following Jesus. Yet to His disciple John, Jesus sent a message of hope, good news and ultimate triumph for followers and for the church!
When you read the Words of Jesus in the first and last chapters of Revelation it sounds just like His Word in the Gospels and after His resurrection! (There are more Words of Jesus in the last two verses of chapter 1 and in the entire chapters of 2 and 3.) Words of Jesus from the first chapter of Revelation: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. “Do not be afraid. “I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Revelation 1:8, 11, 17,18 Many years after the Cross, Jesus was sending the message to His followers “Do not be afraid!” Same words He used in the Gospels. Nothing has changed with Him. Time has passed and His followers are suffering but Jesus sends the message “No Fear”! Just like in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus said, “All power is given to me.” Now Jesus says it in different ways: “I am the Alpha and the Omega…the Almighty! The First and the Last. The Living One! I was dead, and behold I am alive forever!” Now hear Him say, “I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
Two thousand years after the ascension of Jesus He still is the Almighty! Jesus Rules! His followers can rest in Him. Be at peace. Keep going and loving and sharing Jesus to all the world. These are His words for you and I today also.
Don’t get distracted by world events. Get attracted to Jesus! Words of Jesus from the last chapter of Revelation:
“Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.” “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” “Yes, I am coming soon.” Revelation 22:7, 12-13, 20 Wow, Glory! Glory! The last words in the last book of the Bible are Jesus saying He is coming soon! Just as He had spoken in the Gospels. Get ready! He is preparing to reward those who have followed Him. The call of Jesus is, ‘Come! Drink of the water of life!’ Jesus is coming soon! Let’s let the Words of Jesus fill our hearts and minds! Fear should be gone; our hearts should be filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit. Our lips should share Jesus, our lives should reflect Him and it’s all for the glory of God. Now is the time to step into your mission, call, and destiny!
Pilgrim Followers of Jesus, Arthur and Denise Blessitt, Luke 18:1
Tips for the Times (More)
Oh, I am excited about the time God has chosen for us to live in! In all of history this is your hour and mine to follow Jesus and be His witnesses on earth. For several weeks I have focused on the Words of Jesus after the resurrection. These final words are vital and important to us just like it was to this followers in that day. In this column we look at His words in the first chapter of Acts. Notice where the emphases is: Be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Don’t worry about the end times but focus on receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit now. This Power is for being a witness where you are and to all the world! Glory! As I have carried the cross in every nation and major inhabited island group, I have experienced that mighty power of the Holy Spirit to get us in with the cross into nations and the power to have us be His witness there.
This same baptism with the Holy Spirit is for you and me today. The same Power that sent the early followers of Jesus into all their known world is the same Power for us today! Do not let fear rule in your life or bind you from doing the will of God. In those days there was terror and killing, and lack of moral leadership. As a matter of fact the Roman emperors at that time and for years following were some of the most evil leaders the world has ever known. Yet the church grew and the believers multiplied, and the might and power of God was shown on earth. Let us focus on what Jesus told us in this final message. Our mission is souls! People being saved! Then taught and trained to reach others for Jesus. We need to pray, study the Word, obey the teaching of the Word and follow Jesus. Now read this scripture:
“After his suffering, he (Jesus) showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” “So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?””
“He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud received him out of their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Pilgrim Followers of Jesus, Arthur and Denise Blessitt, Luke 18:1
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I am more excited than at any time in my life about the move of the Holy Spirit and the eagerness of people to hear and know Jesus around the world. I was considered one of the leaders in what became known as the Jesus Movement in the late 60’s and early 70s. This was historic and changed a generation of young people. Many of the church and ministry leaders of today were saved or deeply involved in that Jesus Movement. It was a street movement and developed outside the church of the day. Then the influence went into the church. Today the move of the Spirit is exploding within the church and outreach ministries and small groups falling in love with Jesus in a fresh way and then moving out to reach their friends and community and world. This move has a solid base and those on fire are fearless and loving and committed. The Glory of God is moving in individual lives and in the community of followers of Jesus on a worldwide bases. There is fresh oil on the Fire and Love flowing from the Throne! People are rising up and stepping out to do the mission they have from God. The focus is Jesus and the Cross! In this there is Power and Salvation.
I am seeking to focus attention on the Words Jesus said ‘after’ His resurrection! Today we have reached the Gospel of John. In this Gospel you will be struck with the message of ‘Peace’ ‘Love’ and Commitment unto death in Following Jesus. Please note that I am trying to only use the words of Jesus. Please read the complete story in the last two chapters of John. John 20 and 21. She turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” Be of good cheer! You are on a mission from Jesus, now Go!
One thing you can do is to get your church, ministry or small group to show the movie The Cross! We are hearing awesome reports all across America. Many churches have played the film several time with growing response. You can get the film and show it at the senior citizens home, the homeless shelter, the battered women’s home, etc. You can become a one person radical witness for Jesus. The time is Now! I am praying for you. Keep up the witness. Like Elijah the prophet I see a small cloud. The first drops of a coming flood. In Jesus Name. God bless you and keep up the witness, Pilgrim followers of Jesus, Arthur and Denise Blessitt Luke 18:1
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I am excited and thrilled about the move of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in America and the world. These are the most fruitful times since Pentecost! All over the world the followers of Jesus are multiplying and the church is growing…even in the areas of persecution and oppression!
Jesus said… “I establish My church and the gates of hell ‘Shall Not’! Prevail Against It!”
(Will not overcome it) (Will not overpower it) (Will not triumph over it) Matthew 16:18
What can one be afraid of? Who is in control, God or man? Those are the Words of Jesus after the resurrection. At that moment of the horror of the cross, the followers of Jesus were being ruled over by a Rome almost totally given over to evil and false gods. Yet, in that time Jesus said those Words. Last week I shared the Words of Jesus from Matthew and Mark. Now here is Jesus again speaking His final Words before ascending unto the Father: The words of Jesus in Luke after the Resurrection! “Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at My Hands and My Feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them,
“Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what My Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, He lifted up His Hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.” Oh, fear not! May we be as those early believers and followers of Jesus. Worship Jesus! Be filled with Joy and Praise God! “In troubled time, the cross is the Solid Rock…Jesus! Let’s lift Him up to all the world and let Him draw the people unto Himself.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus, Arthur and Denise Blessitt Luke 18:1
Tips for the Times (more)
Let me state clearly that the cross and the message of Jesus is more relevant that any other idea advanced by human mind. During the darkest days in human history Jesus had words of life, hope, challenge, and yes, even joy. After Jesus had shed His Holy Blood on the cross for our sins and then was resurrected, we find Him speaking words of cheer and calling His followers to go out into all the world and share the message of salvation in Him. The following are His last words to His followers who were living in hostile times and most would either suffer or be killed in days and years to come. Many would be imprisoned and have family and friends die for Jesus. They would lose homes and wealth and suffer, yet with joy they received His Words and became mighty witnesses that experienced joy, power, miracles, and saw their known world presented with the message of Jesus! This all happened while their belief and witness was both opposed and illegal. All during a time when the government was totally evil with the leaders claiming to even be God Himself. In this climate totally opposed to following Jesus, the followers of Jesus multiplied and churches started and grew, and evangelism swept the known world. Today, no matter how tough the time, let us look to Jesus and go forward in power as Jesus is here with us just as He was with the early church. This is a time for rejoicing and being filled with the mighty power of the Holy Spirit. This is a glorious time to be alive. The world is ripe unto harvest. Only the labors are few!
The words of Jesus in Matthew after the Resurrection! “So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Rejoice,’ he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.'” “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority (power) in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'” The words of Jesus in Mark after the Resurrection! “And he said unto them, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.'” “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” Now go and share Jesus in Joy with someone this week!
Pilgrim Followers of Jesus, Arthur and Denise Blessitt, Luke 18:1