Saturday, December 17, 2011

Love is Patient

When reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, the love chapter, the first thing we encounter about the nature of true love is that it is Patient. Funny if I were to write what love is, I would begin somewhere around: Love is good and nice, patient would not be my first thought. Since God chose to inspire Paul to write this portion of scripture and point out the true nature of love, let's consider what it means.

Patient as defined in the dictionary: “Capable of bearing affliction calmly; Understanding; tolerant; Persevering: constant; Capable of bearing delay; Capable of enduring inconveniences or hardships without complaint” (Webster's II New College Dictionary- Copyright©1995 Houghton-Mifflin Company USA). 

By nature, I am impatient. I want it and I want it now. Suffering; Enduring hardships; Persevering are not my idea of love, but punishment. Why is that such a hard concept to understand? Because of our sin nature and growing up in a fallen world, we haven't understood real love.

We think of love as that warm fuzzy, heart stopping phenomenon; giving pleasure and receiving pleasure from someone; and feeling good all the time. If those things don't happen, then we believe it's not love.

According our understanding of love, it falls under the category “Eros” passionate love and “Philia” friendly love, but God says the true nature of love is His kind; “Agape” selfless, sacrificial, unconditional, forever enduring through all circumstances. I think it's interesting that patience is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22).

From before eternity, Agape is the nature of God. We see it described in Genesis, through the Cross and to our changed lives. Living and growing in Jesus Christ how could we have missed it? We are still growing in God's love and only He can give us the understanding of Himself. I believe that God knows and sees the full extent of people's lives, from before they were born. He has a plan for each life and patiently waits for just the right time when they turn to Him. 

From the fall in the Garden to moment you accepted Jesus blood payment for your sins, God has waited patiently, enduring hardship, capable of bearing delay, enduring inconveniences, because He knows the plans he has for you. (Jeremiah 29:11) and waited for that day, when you came seeking him and found him, when you sought him with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:12-14).

When we endure hardships and set backs in our life, when we know that we are following, seeking and depending on the Lord. We sometimes forget about this aspect of love, being capable of enduring hardships and inconveniences without complaint. As we wait on the Lord, He will give new power to those who are tired and worn, He will renew our strength. (Isaiah 40:29-30). I can hear the Lord say, “Stand firm and do not doubt” can you?

“Looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the Joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12: 2-3 NKJV)

God has expressed His love for us through His patience with us. Let us strive to develop His perfect patience.

Copyright©2011 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Letter

Welcome to our December blog chain post. The theme is "Gifts of the Heart"  More than any other time of year we stop to reflect on those who are important to us with gifts of food, notes or special objects that show our affection, but none is as important as the gift that God gave us--His own son. That one gift from the heart of God should resonate in our hearts everyday for the rest of our lives! I hope you enjoy my contribution to the  Blog Chain and hope you visit the others listed on the side bar. 

 Over the past decades the Christmas letter has become a tradition with many families scattered all over the country or in many parts of the world. These special communications draw loved ones closer by sharing events that have shaped their lives over the past year, including pictures of events or even videos further bridging the miles.

As I sat down to write this year's letter, I am reminded of the eternal Christmas letter-- the one that still shapes our lives today. This letter was penned from the heart of God as a lasting communication of His love for us. The Bible, Old and New Testaments are comprised of many events including our separation, our need for His council, His standards for living and of course His power. Within those pages we see His heart, His love for humanity and His plan to restore us to right standing.

Although the specific day we celebrate the savior's birth is not the actual day of Jesus birth, we celebrate in spirit and in truth. He came as announced long ago by the prophets. Everything about His arrival was predicted thousands of years before. The challenge for us in not only to read the letter, but to believe it. So how can we believe if we weren't there? How can we know if these things are true? What kind of evidence do we have to support this letter?The truth never changes, it stands the test of time, through all scrutiny and ideals-- it remains solid.

We have the benefit of hindsight, the whole story is told to us through the pages of scripture. We didn't live through each of those days as the authors did. We didn't face the challenges and dangers as they did, but we know in our hearts that those things happened as told. How do we know? Though the presence of the Holy Spirit, the legacy of Jesus coming to earth. So what happened that first Christmas? 

“That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. “Don't be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The savior—yes the messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! And this is how you will recognize him: you will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God; Glory to God in the highest heaven and peace on earth to all whom God favors” Luke 2: 8-14 NLT

The Holy Spirit confirms to us the truth that Jesus came just as the scriptures detail. He convicts those who have not believed that Jesus is who He said He was and that they need to accept the gift of Christmas. Just like a picture of events or a video, we can see the love of God through the ages of history, His faithful love endures forever.

As you write your Christmas letters this year to those you love, don't forget to read the letter sent to you!

May the love of God and the Peace of His presence fill your homes and hearts with love!!

copyright©2011 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What is Salvation?

Salvation means-“Deliverance from slavery or from some great distress by the intervention of God”

The scriptures say we were all helpless and hopeless without God intervening on our behalf. 

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fallen short of God's standard” No one can live according to God's standard.

Romans 6:23“For the wages of sin is death” (separation from God's blessing) “but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Total restoration)

Romans 3:22 “We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sin. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done” There is only one way of to receive salvation.

God has intervened on our behalf by sending Jesus to pay the penalty of our sin

Romans 3:24-24 God sent Jesus to take away the punishment of our sins, to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe in what Jesus did.”

Romans 8:1 “Therefore there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” We will never face judgment or wrath from God once we trust in Jesus.

Hebrews 9:12 “Once and for all time he (Jesus) took blood into the most holy place, not the blood of goats and calves, He took his own blood and with it secured salvation forever” All our sins were placed on Jesus- His blood paid more than enough of the sins of all mankind.

Psalms 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west that's how far our sins are removed from us” Forgiveness is complete- 
sins never to be remembered.

What wonderful news! No longer is God holding any sin against us – but there is only 1 condition- we have to believe it and receive it by faith.

Romans 10:9 “If we believe in our hearts that Christ paid our debt and confess with our mouth Jesus was raised from the dead you will be saved”

Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is the confident assurance that what we hope for will come to pass.” Without hope faith can not blossom.
Hebrews 11:6 “so you see it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him”

Psalms 32:1-2 “Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty"

Hope is the seed that brings faith to life. Where does hope come from? Hope comes from the eternal voice of God. He spoke all things into being. He spoke from the heavens to declare his truth and he sent Jesus as a living example for all to see.

Have you hoped that you could be forgiven completely of the wrongs you’ve committed? Can you believe that God loved you enough to forgive all your many sins through Jesus payment with his own blood? Have you received Jesus as your savior? If not do it today.

Salvation package- What you receive when you trust Jesus.

Not only has all your sins been forgiven, but you are joint heir with Jesus. All the blessing that God spoke to his people, belong to us. Health, Wealth, and a Glorious future.

Matthew 28:18-19 “Jesus said to his disciples, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Teach the new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you” We have been given the authority of Jesus

Ephesians 1: 3 “How we praise God who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ.” We are blessed with the same blessing as Jesus.

Ephesians 1:14 “We have the Holy sprit as a down payment that all the promises of God will come to pass in our lives” We have assurance that the word of God is true-we are saved.

Galatians 3:9 all the blessings of Abraham are ours too! The irrevocable blessings God spoke to Abraham belongs to us.

1 Peter 2:14 “By his stripes we are healed” We have total healing in our bodies

Matthew 12:18 “We are fully pleasing to the father” We have the same standing with the Father that Jesus has.

Galatians 3:8 “Christ become poor so that he could make us rich in God's blessing and favor” We are blessed with financial prosperity. 
These blessings are eternal, not only here on earth, but forever. God doesn't make promises he can not keep. Our future and blessings are fully secure by the love and sacrifice of Jesus.

Copyright©2011 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

Friday, August 12, 2011

August Blog Chain

Our dedicated group of Christian Writers set out each month to decide on a topic which not only is a timely description of the month but also inspirational for the time or season at hand. As you can see we settled on August not only denoting the name of the month, but  according to the dictionary August is an adjective which describes a deeper meaning.

au·gust[aw-guhst] –adjective 1.inspiring reverence or admiration; of supreme dignity or grandeur; majestic: an august performance of a religious drama. 2. Venerable; eminent: an august personage. *

I am switching gears this month and focusing on the influence of our August creator. The first lines of the book of Genesis, we learn who we are and how we got here. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 1:1

We know in our hearts that this is so, there truly is no other logical explanation, because of what follows.  “And God said, “let us make man in our own image.  They will be masters of all life-- the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky and livestock, wild animals and small animals. So in the image of God they were created male and female” Genesis 1:26-27

Many debate what exactly the Bible means about “In our image” but one thing is for certain that He gave us His august qualities.

He gave us the ability to reproduce

To be masters over the animals he created

To explore

To imagine and design

To build

To help and heal

To become masters of the land

To use our hands to create

Our eyes to reproduce

 Communicate to others what we've discovered

Because of our August creator who lavishly gave us the ability to represent His glorious attributes this proves our value to Him and His love for us. 

Ever since the world began, man has seen his invisible qualities and majesty and did not give him credit. Instead they made up foolish ideas of what God was like and began to worship things they made instead of the glorious creator. Romans 1:18-23

Today let's give God the glory for all that He has made. For the ability to reflect His glory and design and for His love that knows no end. His august quality was revealed through Jesus Christ our Lord. Forever Praise Him!!

Copyright©2011 – tathorpe- All Rights Reserved


* Google. Com images

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Covenants

You may not realize it but our God is a covenant maker! One of the many names used to describe our infinite and glorious God is Elohim, which means; total power and might; complete sovereignty; complete creativity; actively engaged with his creation. Another interesting aspect of this name is its plural encompassing Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

A covenant is a contract agreed upon by two parties declaring the responsibilities of each of the parties involved. Since one makes an offer and the other responds it is valid and binding contract. Included with the contract are the terms agreed to, the party initiating the contract is superior and is responsible for the fulfilling of the agreement, even if the second party violates the terms.

We see this all through the scriptures from creation to the end of this physical world, Elohim spoke and it is done-He always initiates the covenant and it is guaranteed by his word which declares it complete.

God does not speak idle words nor does say things in ignorance. He planned and executed his covenant with all He has created with full knowledge of the outcome. Before anything was made Elohim knew the course of sin would play in his creation and he also knew the cure.

Something we take for granted is the fact that if God spoke one word and it failed to produce, all of creation would implode. He can not lie, He can not deceive in anyway, and He is completely free from any imperfection whatsoever. With that understanding we can faithfully trust every word that God speaks and has spoken as the absolute truth.

There are many covenants the Lord has entered in with his creation, but I want to focus on the three important covenants. First, the covenant with Abraham, second with Children of Israel, and the final covenant through Jesus Christ.

Since God initiates all covenants with his creation, I find it interesting that Elohim's criteria for selecting the person or group to enter in this covenant relationship is completely at his discretion. According to scriptures “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23- so he doesn't choose based on performance. 

Abraham was minding his own business when the Lord showed up one day and proposed a blessing; leave everything you know and follow me to a land I will show you.  I will make you the father of a great nation, become famous and be a blessing including divine favor. (Genesis 12:1-4). What a deal! Abraham did as the Lord instructed and everything happed as the Lord said it would.

In the middle of this blessed life, reaching the Promised Land, Abraham had only one question, he had no heir to leave all this wealth to. The Lord did something more than amazing, he promised Abraham and his wife Sarah would have a child that would receive the next generation of blessing. Not such a big promise if they had been young couple, but Abraham and Sarah were way past child bearing ages, Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90. Although they both thought it was impossible, the Lord blessed Abraham and Sarah with a child, his was named Isaac.

The covenant made with Abraham was a blessing based covenant which extended to all future generations, but the conditions were based strictly on faith. The Lord, when executing the covenant said, “I am God Almighty, serve me faithfully and live a blameless life” (Genesis 17:1-8). This was the terms and Abraham complied as so did Isaac his promised son and Jacob his grandson. 

This was the family line that Elohim established the eternal faith covenant with. These three generations are known as the Patriarchs. They lived by faith in the sworn covenant made to them. When they died, their descendants were issued a written covenant.

The Lord told Abraham that his descendants would be slaves in a foreign land for 400 years, but then he would bring them back to the Promised Land, that was their inheritance forever. (Genesis 15:13-16). That promise was made complete with Moses.He was the chosen leader to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt and into their land.

The Ten Commandments and the Levitical Laws were given to the Children of Israel (Jacob) to accomplish three purposes: First to remind them of the eternal covenant the Lord had made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; second the written law held them accountable to the covenant and third that they would know there is only One God. 

In prior generations, all people knew the laws of the Lord instinctively; the righteous obeyed the Lord out of respect, while others chose their own path worshiping false gods and demons. In order for the Lord to fully execute the plan of redemption, he started with this chosen group of people, fully knowing that they too would disobey, but those who chose righteousness would bring forth the Lamb of God.

The final and eternal covenant established with the people of the earth is the one the Lord initiated long ago. Through the vessels he chose, through the laws he ordained and through the faithfulness of righteous people who wanted a relationship with Elohim, later known as El Shaddai which means “The One who is more than enough- All Sufficient”, he brought forth the complete plan of redemption through Jesus Christ.

Our human thinking is clouded and sometimes we focus on the wrong details. The Lord did not only choose the blood descendants of Abraham to receive his full blessing, he chose all humanity. His ways and methods are different than we can imagine, but the end result is His wisdom. We are created in love for His enjoyment and to have a relationship with us. Through many long fought millennia He waited for the perfect time to reveal His purpose.

Jesus purchased eternal redemption for all humanity through his blood. All who have faith in Jesus, enter into the same covenant that El Shaddai initiated with Abraham, we become his descendants through faith, as well as heirs of his eternal covenant of blessing and prosperity, but it gets better. Through Jesus we become joint heirs as brothers and sisters, priests forever, and sons and daughters of the Father, indwelling by the Holy Spirit who seals us as new creations, something that has not been made before.

What a blessing we have received through God's love for us, eternal forgiveness of sins, a new spirit which is perfect and blameless before God, we have the same access to the Father as Jesus and we have an eternal inheritance of heaven- loving and fellowshipping with our God/Creator who is more awesome than anything we can imagine.

Have you come into the eternal covenant? There is only one way to enter this covenant and that is through faith in Jesus alone- all other covenants are invalid. For the blood of Christ established this final covenant. All those who want a relationship with the Father must accept the terms of this covenant, by accepting Jesus as savior.

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved” (Romans 10: 9-10)

If this story has stirred your heart today, please don't hesitate to accept Jesus as your savior. By accepting Jesus you are accepting the Father and the eternal covenant is given to you free of charge because of your faith.  Blessings

Copyright©2011 –tathorpe- All Rights Reserved-

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Job's Friends

Through the many discouraging events that come our way throughout life, none wounds us the deepest as discovering who our true friends are. Those who leave and those who remain when trouble strikes.

One of the many facets of God's character is fellowship and unity. While God was putting the finishing touches on creation, he saw Adam alone in the garden, the Lord God declared, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a suitable companion for him.” (Genesis 2:18). Relationship is the hallmark of God's love. 

We are created to love and support one another in the good times and bad. I remember part of the wedding vow goes something like this, “ for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health” It's a commitment to remain faithful in all circumstances-just like God remains faithful to us in our circumstances.

With the current global crisis we are all experiencing many people are searching the scriptures looking for answers. I've seen many teachings on the book of Job. He was a man who lived during the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). He was not a direct relative, but a man who honored the Lord.

Not many have been more afflicted by Satan than Job, but the strange thing is God allowed it ( Job 1:12). From the opening chapters we discover that Job was very blessed and a prosperous man. He was a respected leader of his community, generous to anyone in need, gave wise counsel, an all around good guy.

In one day we are told that he is totally wiped out. All his flocks were either stolen or destroyed, his children were also killed by a freak accident, and all that was left was a couple of servants and his wife. With all this disaster that had suddenly come upon him, we learn that his wife did not support him in honoring the Lord. Her counsel was to give up, “Why don't you just curse God and die” but Job refused. He accepted all this devastation with grace. (Job 2:9)

When all his friends learned what happened, they did the moral thing, come to mourn with him. By the time they had come, Job was covered with boils from head to toe, sitting in ashes. It was so bad that they didn't recognize the man they had once known. After a week of mourning with Job, the silence was broken.

Job had obviously thought long and hard about the events that had taken place. He really searched his heart and could not find a fault or any sin that would have brought this upon him. His first discussion with his friends states this, but it was kind of a pity party. His friends had obviously thought long and hard about his situation and decided to state their opinions.

Why do we immediately think that when something goes wrong in a person's life that it is because of some hidden fault? That is exactly what Job's friends accused him of, gently at first, but then with more zeal. Job declared his innocence, that he had done nothing wrong, was not holding on to sin or resisting God in any way. His friends did not believe him. Finally Job got upset and he wanted to know the charges against him. Why God had handed down this judgment on him?

Job finally received an answer, but not the one he was looking for. The Lord spoke to him, but not about sin or wrong doing, but about questioning His authority. The Lord asked him about unknowable details of creation that no one but God could know. The Lord challenged him to give an answer, which Job could not and he conceded to the Almighty's authority.

One thing that should be noted is the Lord never accused Job of sin and this was not punishment, but a further refinement of his character. The only condemnation the Lord had was against Job's friends. The friends needed to bring sacrifices for their sins and the Lord told Job to offer a prayer for them. The friends were ashamed and corrected by God, and then the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.(Job 42:7-17)

The beauty of this story is “Judge not lest you be judged” (Luke 6:36-38). The Lord is the only one who knows all hearts and minds. Our purpose is love one another, to be good, kind and faithful to our friends and family when trouble comes-which no one is immune.

My family has suffered a similar trial as Job. The poor economic situation has brought devastating loss to our home. I have put my faith in the Lord and have trusted him with every fiber of my being. I know this situation is not for any hidden fault or punishment for wrong doing, yet I have felt the searing eyes of judgment. I have felt the social snub from people we were close too. I have discovered those who I loved the most and treasured their friendship have abandoned me.

I have forgiven them and I keep them in prayer, knowing that the Lord is their only judge. I keep my heart focused on Jesus, knowing that his blessing will come upon us he will restore everything that we have lost. It’s the Lord that will cause those who have judged us to be ashamed, just like Job’s friends. Hopefully they will repent and we will be restored.

So, how are you doing these days? Are you judging others for the crisis they are in? Or are you loving and supporting them-sticking closer than a brother in their time of need? (Proverbs 18:24) I hope that you are—that is exactly what we are called to do in Christ.

Are you in a Job trial- have you lost everything and don't have an answer why? Don't give up—Keep believing, keep trusting—the Lord rewards everyone for their faithfulness, in this life and in eternity. (1 Samuel 26:23)

Copyright©2011 – tathorpe- All Rights Reserved-

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July Blog Chain

This month's Blog Chain topic is “Freedom.” I have decided to use an excerpt from my book “Am I Really Saved-Answering Questions of Christians” as my post.  The book is available on Amazon in book or ebook formats, also available through my author website. 

As a special offer-anyone who goes to my author website and signs my guest book will be sent a coupon for 25% off the purchase through my eStore. This offer is good through July 31, 2011.  See link below.

Be sure to visit my fellow bloggers websites listed on the CW Blog Chain. Enjoy!



Freedom is the desire of every human heart. We long to be free of suffering, living happily ever after. Webster's dictionary describes freedom as: 1) Not to be under another’s control; 2) Loose, clear unrestricted; 3) Liberty; 4) Independence; 5) Ease of movement; 6) State of being free. This is a clear depiction of freedom in the world. God’s defines freedom as Salvation: The deliverance from slavery; or from some great distress by the intervention of God.
Webster's definition is clear how the world chooses freedom “not to be under another's control.” Our sinful nature desires to be unrestricted, living life to our standards of happiness.
Have you ever found yourself trapped by your sin nature? No matter what you try it never comes together the way you imagined. We desire freedom, wanting it at all costs, we will even move outside of Christ's protection to get it. 
This desire has caused all the scars in our lives. When Jesus is in control our joy abounds and we are totally free. We are not controlled by our evil desires that feed our flesh.
 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you not to harm you. I have plans, to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah. 29:11).
 Our Almighty God has designed an individual blue print for our lives to give us “hope and a future” and not a hopeless existence.
The world’s kind of freedom wants the ability to choose whatever it wants based on what it believes will bring happiness, no matter what it takes to get it. That kind of freedom is pure slavery. When our judgment is clouded we instinctively choose wrong. We choose those self serving desires (Ephesians 5:13) by our lack of godly wisdom.
When we choose a life surrendering to God, living for Him and seeking Him in His Word, we are given the right information. By renewing our mind; we begin to see what truly matters. Our values change, our lifestyle’s change and resulting in changes in those around us.
God gave us a remarkable gift of free will. It’s the ability to choose to live our lives for Him or ourselves.  The path we choose either ends up in victory over the flesh or a path of feeding it. One way ends in life and the other ends in death.
Because of our sin nature, we instinctively follow the flesh into a feeding frenzy. The decision to fight our flesh is a difficult, but we are guaranteed victory through Christ. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).
Because of our sins, we could never experience true freedom, the one God designed. We may long for it, but can never know it outside of Christ. Some Christians hope things will get better in their lives, others accept the status quo, and never knowing there is true freedom available. They’ve stopped seeking, knocking and asking the Lord for more of Him.
The Bible says that we don’t automatically receive all things the Lord has for us, we must continually engage Him. In order to receive full measure of blessing, we must take steps forward then He will reveal the next, that’s called growing faith.
Because of this sin nature, we don’t know real love. We can’t give love until we are loved. That may sound odd, but it’s true. “It’s not that we loved Him, it’s that He first loved us and chose to give us right standing with himself.”(Ephesians 1:4).
When God created the heavens and the earth, He said it was good, but when God created man He said it was very good, excellent in every way,  pleased with all He had made (Genesis 1:31).
It gave Him great pleasure to make all these things, perfect in every way. I hear a deep sense of satisfaction, when He set things in motion by His command. “Go multiply and fill the earth” There was great joy, the angel’s sang and everything lived in balance. Evil lurked ready to cast its dim shadow of death and destruction.
Sin entered the world through bad information. Eve was deceived into believing a half truth, but Adam deliberately sinned, he was not deceived. I sometimes wonder if Adam thought God was holding out on him. Whatever Adam thought nothing on earth would ever be the same. “All creation groans to be set free from death.” (Romans 8:20-21).
Some believe at this point God washed His hands of us, walked away to leaving us to figure it out on our own. This is completely untrue, His love is too great. He had a plan, Operation Salvation in motion.
According to God’s standard, one stain of rebellion against is authority (sin) would disqualify anyone from the presence of His Holiness. The penalty of rebellion is forever separated from him. Hell is a special prison created by God for those who refuse to obey His authority. Mankind is the object of His affections; Hell was not created for us.
God designed a perfect plan to redeem mankind, but first there was work to do. It would take many years to complete. There was never a question of the success. God, in His mercy removed Adam and Eve from the garden. Not as punishment, as some might think, but it was protection. If they ate from the tree of life, they would live forever in their rebellious state. (Genesis 1:22).
The Bible tells us that within a few generations sin was rampant in all the earth. God saw Noah, a sinner, a man who desired to live for and honor God. So, God chose Noah and his family to be spared from destruction in the flood. Then God saw Abram, a sinner, who also desired a life to live for and honor God. So, God chose to make a covenant (promise) to Abram that he would have a son in his old age and through that son he would become the father of many nations. God saw David, a sinner, a man who loved God with all his heart. God made him King over his people and made a promise that one of his descendants would be the promised Savior, who would take away the sins of the world. That promise was made complete in Jesus.
God could have made a bunch of yes men, those who would have obeyed Him fully, but He never wanted that. He desires our love, devotion, honor, and for us to live in His freedom. 
The Lord God is greater than we can imagine, His love is deeper than we can fathom. We were born into slavery and rebellion against Him, but His great love made a way.  You'll never find or enjoy true freedom outside of Jesus Christ!

Excerpt taken from- Am I Really Saved-Answering Questions of Christians
copyright©2010 Terrie Thorpe –All rights reserved-

Saturday, July 2, 2011

End Times –Wrath of God

I don't believe in date setting, because the Lord has told us “only the Father knows.”  Throughout the scripture there are many things the Father has kept strictly for himself, one event comes to mind, the birthday of Jesus. I can accept the biblical description given “at the appointed time” as God has preordained these things at specific times. Once you are aware of the signs, we should be looking up for our redemption draws near (Luke 21:28).

The Bible describes the final days as a time of greater horror like no other time in all the history of man. The book of Revelation describes who is affected, but the promise of God when these days have passed, nothing like it will ever happen again. A similar promise was made to Noah, God promised never to destroy all living things with a flood.

When I read about the atrocities that evil people have done to the poor and outcasts, it sickens me. Those who use their power and position for personal gain at the expense of others lives, hopes and dreams, I get angry. When I think of all my brothers and sisters who are suffering persecution and oppression throughout the world, for the sake of the gospel, at the hands of evil people, it crushes my heart. But this time of wrath will make all those desecrations look like nothing. It will be a thousand times worse that any human can inflict on another these afflictions will come from a Holy Righteous God.

So who are these people who will be called into judgment? The bible is very clear who these people are (Hebrews 10:29). They are the ones who refused Jesus payment for sin, which restores all mankind to the time of the beginning, before rebellion entered creation. The Lord knows all hearts and is aware of those who truly want relationship and those who don’t. (Hebrews 10:39)

When the bride of Christ is removed from the earth all those who are left are those who have no relationship with Jesus. This includes the demonic forces that continually fight against the Word of God. Now those who are left behind won’t only be people are involved in occult activities or atheists, but those who practice self empowering religions. Those who believe they are their own gods and can earn a level of satisfaction by their own standards of denial. Those who do not worship God and give him glory are worshiping the devil (Ephesians 2:1-3).

The book of Revelation describes 21 judgments, seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls (vials), each more intense then the last. As each of these judgments begins to fall upon the people of the earth, the people will become more divided. Some will curse the Lamb of God, because they know it’s because of their unbelief. (Revelation 6:15-16), and many will turn to Jesus during this time only to be killed by the Antichrist.

Israel will ultimately be the victor of the end times. The Lord promised them so many things which were not fulfilled in the past that He will fulfill. God keeps his promises even when his promises are to those who are disloyal to him. He remains loyal to his word.

I've heard many people talk about the 144,000 in the book of Revelation. Some teach that only 144,000 of the earth will be saved from the wrath of God that is simply not true! Revelations 7:4 says these people will be 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. The resurrection of the tribes of Israel is an important fact, since ten of the tribes faded into the pages of history through the discipline of the Lord.

This will fulfill the prophet's words, that All of Israel will be saved. Jesus will rule and reign from Jerusalem. He will right the wrongs and establish an eternal covenant with the people of the earth. Paradise will be restored.

So what does this mean for you and me? It means that we need to stand firm in Jesus, knowing that we are not appointed to wrath (1 Thessalonian 5:9, Revelations 3:10) Jesus is our salvation! We need not to live in fear of judgment, because Jesus paid the price of all our judgment on the cross (Hebrews 9:12)

If you have submitted your life to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) Drawing closer to the know the heart of God, you can read scriptures through the eyes of love that the Lord has for all people, you will see that the wrath of God is only to destroy evil and all the works of the devil, so that he can once again live with the people he loves. (John 3:16).

My prayer is for those who are undecided about Jesus; they know of him but haven't made a choice to receive him. Fear and unbelief are deception from the devil who has come to kill, steal and destroy – But Jesus came to give you a full and joyous life (John 10:10).  Jesus said I am the only way, the only truth and the only life- no one come to the Father, except through me. (John 14:6). Don't wait another day!

Copyright©2011 –tathorpe- All Rights Reserved-

Sunday, June 26, 2011

End Times- Rapture- Part 2

            What do you think would happen if millions of people just disappeared? What kind of chaos do you perceive would follow the breakdown of government, communications, food supply, transportation, medical and emergency services, when all these born again people go missing?

Could this be what it would take to reveal the Anti-Christ? A political figure who will rise quickly, appear to have all the answers to everyone's problems and bring about world peace in a matter of months. This is what I believe will occur when the bride of Christ is removed.  For those of you who can not conceive this scenario, this is what the scriptures say.

            A time of judgment has been preordained for the evil one and all those who mock what Jesus purchased with his sinless blood. It can be considered the final call, a second chance for those who didn't take God at his word. The Bible says many will come to Christ during this period. For some, they will experience supernatural protection, while others joyfully giving their lives for Christ, as the Antichrist sets up his kingdom.

            There are those who don't have an opinion either way or don't know what the scriptures say. Here is the reader's digest version. The wrath of God was poured out on Jesus Christ while he died on the Cross. This current age is the time of God's Grace, His excellent favor toward all people. The wrath of God will come against the unregenerate people of the earth when the born-again believers [bride] are removed from the earth, all hell will literally break out. 

I think it's funny that some folks teach against a pre-tribulation rapture, when God has “raptured” in the past. Let's consider Enoch. He enjoyed a close relationship with God throughout his life. Then suddenly he disappeared because God took him. (Genesis 5:23-24). Next, Elijah carried off in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:10-12). So for the Lord to remove [rapture] his people, is nothing new.

Now let's consider the way the Lord has rescued his people before judgment. The first is Noah and his family. “But Noah found favor with the Lord. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on the earth. He consistently followed God will and enjoyed a close relationship with him”. (Genesis 6:8-9). Then there is Lot, who lived in Sodom. Judgment was pronounced on Sodom and Gomorrah.  When the death angels appeared, the angel said to Lot, “hurry! For I can do nothing until you are away.” (Genesis 19: 12-22)

Lest we forget the most famous of all, the Ten Plagues of Egypt, Crossing of the Red Sea, 40 years Desert Trek and the miracles preformed there! The Lord has an impeccable record for protecting and removing his people as he desires. That is the Glory and Goodness and Mercy of the Lord our God!! Praise His Name!!

I've read that some teach the Lord will remove his people mid way through the Great Tribulation, because of Revelation 7:1-14, 15:1-4. The scripture identifies the spirits under the alter as those killed by the Antichrist, they are called “tribulation saints.” These are the ones who accepted Jesus after the rapture and were martyred. Another teaching believes that rapture is when Jesus returns with his saints and the armies of heaven (Revelation 19: 14), kind of a u-turn thing. I believe there will be an instant translation for those saints who manage to survive the tribulation and see Jesus return.

Some scriptures are difficult to understand, but you can't read scripture like a novel. The Lord is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. What he has done in the past is a clue  for future events. The truth is revealed to those who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. Those who don't have the Holy Spirit can not understand what the Spirit is saying (1 Corinthians 2:14), it all is foolish.

Although it's hard to discern if the last church mentioned in Revelation 3:14-19, will enter the tribulation, simply because they have no real relationship with Jesus. It was the Laodicean church the Lord has pronounced severe discipline. In fact He told them to “buy” certain items. Perhaps this group will be purified by tribulation. One thing we can be sure that all the “fence sitters” will discover they have missed the boat, and will turn to Jesus. 

The rapture is another form of God's grace towards His Beloved. There is a criteria to remember. In the Old Testament, the Lord took those that “walked with God and had close relationship with Him.” There are plenty of people who claim they know Christ, but their lives tell a different story.

It is easy to know that the nation of Israel  will be front and center during the Great Tribulation. When the Antichrist comes into power, they will at first hale him as their long awaited Messiah. Of course he will show his true colors three and half years into his amazing peace agreement. The Lord will raise 144,000 from the nation of Israel, who has accepted Jesus as savior; they will preach the gospel with the same zeal as the apostle Paul.

If you have not made a commitment to Jesus – do it today. Don't take the “wait and see approach” that many have taken. They will be the ones who will mourn and wail when they realize they were sleeping when the Lord came, “like a thief in the night”. Don't be caught asleep. (Luke 21:34).There is a promise to those who are ready and watching that they will be removed before the terrible day of the Lord begins.

With the evidence presented, it's easy to see that I stand firmly in the doctrine of pre-tribulation rapture of the Church. For those who have totally committed their life to Jesus, we are looking for that blessed hope.

 "You also must be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected” (Matthew 24:44)

“And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's judgment” (Romans 5:9)

Copyright©2011 –tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

Thursday, June 23, 2011

End Times – Rapture – Part 1

Once again this is such a wondrous promise, I've gotten carried away. I will break this into a two-part article. I wanted to present this controversial topic in very clear and explicit terms. It's important that people get a proper prospective-

There is so much written about this event, many pros and many cons. This subject is close to my heart, there are not many days that pass when it hasn't crossed my mind. This is the “blessed hope” that Paul wrote about in many of his letters to the churches. The frequency that he wrote meant it was something on his mind and he didn’t want others to lose sight that it could happen any moment.

Before I begin to present my understanding of what scripture says about this event, let me make one point very clear-the rapture of the church is NOT the end of the world-it is NOT the judgment seat of Christ and it is NOT the end of all things. IT IS part of the redemption plan. Salvation Does Not end with the rapture.

With many prophecies in the word of God, mostly directed towards the nation of Israel, this event has no criteria-nothing to signal the time. Jesus spoke many times about this event, although he never said “rapture” but much of what he said alluded to this. The story of the field workers, one left, one taken (Matthew 24:40-42), another story two sleeping, one will be taken, one be left. (Luke 17:34-35).

 There are those who believe the rapture is a myth. I have found some who teach that the rapture is a lie from Satan. They believe that speaking of the rapture is imparting an escapism mentality. They've stated that any Christian who believes in the rapture is deceived. My response, to that obvious ignorance is they do not know the scriptures and do not know the Lord. 

The scripture says “The Son of Man will come when least expected” also “like a thief in the night” Now cross reference this with the “For as lightning lights up the entire sky, so it will be when the Son of  man comes" (Matthew 24:27) a world wide event, you can see these are entirely two different events.

The famous passages used in describing the rapture are found in:  1 Thessalonian 4:15-17, 2 Thessalonian 2:1, 1 Corinthians 16:51-52, Philippians 3:21 and others, but one of the lesser quoted passages is Jesus’ own words. “There are many rooms in my Father's house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14:2-3).

This is figurative of a groom preparing a home for his bride. During the engagement he builds the home, when its finished he fetches her. In a way he, ‘snatches’ her from her parents. The wedding feast is the celebration when everyone has arrived.

For anyone to believe that that the Lord will allow his bride to endure the Great Tribulation; known as the Wrath of God, Judgment Day- upon the earth, does not understand what Jesus purchased for us on the cross. They do not have any clue about salvation. Somehow they think salvation is “fire insurance” not “life insurance”.

To be continued…….

“But to all who believed in his name and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12)

Copyright©2011 – tathorpe - All Rights Reserved-

*further studies see Jewish Betrothal here

Sunday, June 19, 2011

End Times- Church Age –Part 2

            I've painted a picture of the first six churches warned in Revelation 2:1-3:13, very definite periods and events as revealed in light of history. The final church period warned is Laodicea. I was especially impressed with this period because I see the evidences clear in our own time.

The Church of Laodicea  represents the modern era (1658- Today). Since the reformation and the spiritual awakening, the church hasn't gained a sense of self or purpose. A surge of denominations and doctrines came into being, threatening once again the life of the Church. False prophets and false teachers have emerged in greater numbers. Not one denomination holds to the entire teaching of the New Testament, instead picks and chooses which doctrines they agree with. 

The Lord said plainly that he wished this church was either hot or cold, but they are neither. Because of this condition, he warned He would “spit them out of his mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).  This is the condition of the church today. They will not stand up for the truth of the gospel. Desiring a gospel that doesn’t offend anyone.

 The Word of God is supposed to offend! You can’t save yourself! If you're not convicted by something that is said, then you are in trouble. Your conscience is dead and you can't receive anything from God. The Lord is constantly speaking correction, encouragement and strength. We need to stay motivated. We're not perfect in all our ways-we need our Shepherd to have His way in us. (Proverbs 3:7-12)

The greatest tragedy of this time in church history is the ignorance of those who claim to be followers of Christ. We've built grand cathedrals, magnificent worship halls, and amazing worship music. Hallowed buildings filled every Sunday with weak servants. Money is flowing into all kinds of programs, but there is no heart for God. Very few believers search the scriptures or pursue the things of God. 

Many conflicting teachings have left many Christians confused, struggling to fulfill the mission of the church.  Jesus said, “The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done [heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, and advance the Kingdom], and even greater, because I go to be with the Father” (John 14:12 paraphrased). Further instructions are found in Mark 16:15-20, Luke 24:47-49. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the source of power through faith in what Jesus said.

If there were a way for the gates of hell to prevail against the church, it would be through ignorance of the power the Holy Spirit. That is exactly how Satan is destroying the body of Christ. Very few teachers acknowledge and instruct about the authority of the believer. The Holy Spirit has not been given proper respect as God, but revered more as an essence or a ghost.

People are afraid or ignorant of the gifts and speaking in tongues, because Satan has caused fear and unbelief to rise up, effectively stripping the believers of this powerful gift. People don’t believe in other gifts of healing, casting out demons or raising the dead and those that do, are treated as frauds and charlatans.

The power of the church [body of Christ] has always been through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The power is the evidence of the truth of God. Some teach the lie that all power from the Holy Spirit passed away with the Apostles, Satan would like for you to believe that.

For so many years, the church as a whole misunderstood this power, therefore has systematically devalued the importance. These are the very weapons the church needs to defeat Satan and his crew. As long as Satan can keep us in doubt and unbelief, he will continue effectively dismantle the church. 

Most Christians stand around hoping and praying for the Lord to intervene. He has already given us everything for success through the blessing of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:19-22) We need to pursue the Lord faithfully and start believing in our authority through the Holy Spirit!

In the centuries past, there may have been an excuse for false doctrines deceiving the body. Scriptures were not available to everyone, but today there are enough Bibles in print, that every house in the world could contain at least hundred copies! And very few open and read it. The church is filled with a bunch of “pew warmers” hoping that God is giving them a gold star for their attendance that day.

This is the last church Jesus mentioned.  The promise of during this period the Lord will signal the next event, known as the rapture [caught up, snatched away], this will usher in the Great Tribulation. I hope you agree- we're witnessing  the final wake up call--time is short. 

I will continue this series with the rapture, sharing what I have discovered the Bible says about this event. There are many schools of thought; three of the most popular views are a Pre-Tribulation, Mid-Tribulation and Post Tribulation rapture. I hope you will enjoy my take on this eminent event.

“Keep a constant watch. And pray that, if possible you may escape these horrors and stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36)

“If you want me to protect you, learn to believe what I say” (Isaiah 7:9).

Copyright©2011 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

* dates for church periods are from “The story of the Christian Church” by Jesse Lyman Hurlbur-Zondervan Publishing 1970

Thursday, June 16, 2011

End Times – Church Age –Part 1

            As I began writing this article there is so much to say, so I've broken it up into two parts. This is an amazing story and I know you will enjoy it.

It's no accident that the spread of Christianity was in full bloom at the time the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. It doesn't take a master's degree in theology to see the connection to the end of an age and the beginning of a new age. Jesus was the promised Passover lamb, the final sacrifice for the sins of the people of earth. 

The primary use of the temple was to worship the Lord (Deuteronomy 12:11-12).  The second purpose of the temple was to bring the sacrifices prescribed by God under the Law of Moses. The sacrifices represented first, cover for sin, which was an abomination in His sight. Sin cost life (Leviticus 17:11, Romans 6:23). Other sacrifices they were friendship offerings of bread and wine. The temple was a place where those who didn't know God could come see Him at work and obtain mercy.

After Jesus surrendered His life as a sacrifice for sin, the animal sacrifices became useless. Jesus had broken down the barrier that separated God from people, which opened the door for everyone to receive salvation. The new temple was not at a place built by human hands, but a temple of flesh and blood, which housed a new spirit [creation] which those who have been born again can worship God in spirit and in truth.(John 4:23-24)

Jesus prophetic words came to pass when Peter proclaimed, “You are the Christ [Savior] Son of the living God. Jesus replied, “No human told you that, but my Father in heaven. Now I say you are Peter [rock] and upon this rock I will build my church and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (Matthew 16:19 paraphrased).

The church became the new representatives, revealing truth of who Christ is – the foundation stone. The Grace Age or the “Time of God's favor” is the final piece of God's plan for the redemption of all people. Until that time, the sacrifices kept the Lord satisfied, but is was not what He wanted. The Lord wanted people’s heart to obey Him. No amount of animal sacrifices could cause that.(1 Samuel 15:22)

The church was born on the day of Pentecost, a Jewish celebration of the wheat harvest. A significant point to mention is that Christ called those seeking salvation as “great wheat harvest” (John 12:24, Matthew 9:37). Jesus also used the phrase “wheat and weeds” (Matthew 13:24-29) in a parable about the kingdom.

It has been approximately 1978 years since the birth of the church, using the accepted date of 33 A.D. The church has gone through many changes, yet it still has survived. In the book of Revelation, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to the Apostle John, describing those things that were yet to come. John was the last living Apostle who knew Jesus. In the year 95 A.D. Jesus clearly laid out Church history through the messages to the seven churches. (Revelation 2:1-3:22).

The Church of Ephesus and the Church of Smyrna represents the persecuted church (33-313 A.D.)  First the Christians were persecuted by the Jews and then the Romans. Everything Jesus warned the disciples about was happening. False doctrine was emerging; some were turning back to Judaism. The followers of Jesus were kicked out of the synagogues, driven off their land, and their businesses we confiscated. They were losing everything, remaining faithful to Jesus; they grew at an unprecedented rate. The epistles of Paul, Peter and John along with the book of Acts clearly state this period.

The Church of Pergamum and the Church of Thyatira represents the period of compromise (313- 1453 A.D.) This period could have destroyed the Church. For over one thousand years, the church was growing, even under persecution. The Gospel was reaching the world. When Constantine became emperor, he issued a rule of law authorizing Christianity as the only recognized religion of his empire. Thus, all people under his territories were Christians, without any profession of faith. Paganism infiltrated Christianity as a way of accepting everyone's beliefs and making it a unified body. The universal church was born, thus all people were under the authority of the Church.

The Church of Sardis and Philadelphia  represents the period of Reformation (1453- 1658 A.D.) The church was all but dead under the centuries of poor leadership and Antichrist behavior. False doctrines were being taught. The Word of God was kept from the people. The Holy Spirit began working in those who knew some truth, which began a spiritual awakening throughout Europe. The reformation ignited the industrial revolution. The Word of God spoke blessing into the lives of people, they in turn began walking in the promises of God.

To be continued…….

Copyright©2011 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

* dates for church periods are from “The story of the Christian Church” by Jesse Lyman Hurlbur-Zondervan Publishing 1970