In this timely message, Matthew Robert Payne examines the words of Jesus to his disciples in Luke 9:23. “Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’” Each of these three key points stands as a section heading, and Matthew then expands upon each one with several subheadings.You will learn about the following and much more: •denying yourself of the world’s ways, including media•denying yourself of material comforts•the need to spend time reading the Bible and praying•living out your Christian faith•being an example to others and •walking in your purpose and destiny. While many have stumbled over the meaning of this important verse, Matthew brings clarity to the words of Jesus. This little gem includes practical ways to apply these points so that you can put them into practice in your life today.
When I told a Messianic rabbi that judgment was impending on the US because “judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Peter 4:17), he reminded me that God has two houses, and He will clean them both before He puts them together—a reference to the two sticks that become one kingdom in Ezekiel 37. He said 90% of Israel are genetic Jews who have no interest in their spiritual heritage, and nearly 9% are orthodox Jews who hate Christians. He had no problem seeing that Jerusalem’s destruction could be next as seen in Zechariah 14. Christ blended it with His forecast, not only in Matthew 24 and Luke 21, but in His wedding parable of Matthew 22. Using the Rule of 1st Use, the cry at midnight in Matthew 25:6 suggests a calamity as an echo from Exodus 12:29,30, and that cry wakes up the sleeping women with the wise going to the marriage. We are failing to see the parallel between the US and Egypt—how they killed babies and we’ve aborted 60 million. They enslaved Israel and the US has enslaved most people in alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, drugs—prescription drugs are a leading cause of illness and death, but we call it healthcare. People are in bondage to food, gambling, greed, sex, perversion, TV, movies, etc. God executed judgment on Egypt and took Israel to a covenant, later saying, “I am married to you,” Jeremiah 3:14. God is going to do the same for the US because Paul included the Exodus when he said, “All those things happened to them for examples…ends of the world.” 1Corinthians 10:1,11. But God got an ignorant bride at Sinai that worshiped a calf 40 days later. This must not happen this time, and the wedding parables have embedded a provision to prevent it, also seen in Christ’s saying that before He comes, “Elias shall first come and restore all things.” Matthew 17:11.This author has inquired of numerous pastors and a couple candidates for the role of Elijah, to ask, What are the ‘all things’ that need to be restored? The silence is deafening. Since Malachi 4:4,5 show the statutes and judgments as the context of Elijah’s coming, and since they have a 7-fold emphasis in Ezekiel 20:11-24, it suggests that topics with a 7-fold emphasis are a mark of end-time truth that needs to be restored, like the book of Revelation is a book of sevens, 7 churches, 7 seals, etc. The wedding parables all have Passover imagery and the invitation to the wedding feast in Matthew 22 is, therefore, the Feast of Unleavened Bread at Passover, but it’s not about crackers. Christ said, Beware the leaven of the Pharisees, speaking of the teachings. This helps us see the need for unleavened teachings from Scripture that focus on topics that need to be restored. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is seven days and Bible weddings were a week—the meanings superimpose as communion in Word is the same as a covenant based on Scripture. The reward for right understanding of this topic is “ruler over all that He has,” but beaten with many stripes if we shrug this off, Luke 12:44-48. Isn’t it time that we dug a little deeper?
Few societies on earth are as privileged as the Kurds and Persians. Unlike other nations and continents, the people living in Mesopotamia, the Zagros mountains, and Persia have witnessed some of the key historical events affecting all humanity which were recorded in the sacred writings of the Jews. These include the dispersion of Noah’s grandchildren, the building of the tower of Babel, the deportation of the Jews, the arrival of the prophet Daniel, the rise of Queen Esther, the commissioning of Ezra the high priest, and the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem. Four Medo-Persian kings – Darius, Cyrus, Xerxes, and Artaxerxes – are mentioned in these writings. Furthermore, the primeval events of history took place in Mesopotamia, including the creation of Adam and Eve, the garden of Eden, the fall of man, early human civilization, and the great flood. Sadly, today’s Kurds and Persians know little of their sacred history. This book is an attempt to re-introduce them to their rich inheritance, namely, the revelation of the Most High God, and to enlighten readers from other cultures who would also like an encounter with the central character of human history.
The message of the cross worked in first-century Corinth, and it works just as well today. Here’s a look at the first four chapters of 1 Corinthians, in which the apostle Paul described what this message looks like and how it works in the real world.
What does it take to succeed God’s way?A shepherd boy who no one knew became the King no one would ever forget.Through trial and temptation, David rose above all of Israel to lead them towards a new age of victory.But it was not all glorious wins. For years David ran from the false king to stay alive, and even once he succeeded into the throne he had to fight off uprising after uprising. David’s story is one of trust. It reveals to us the nature of one of God’s favorite warriors, and empowers us to live like he did.David’s victorious life is a model for our own. God has called you to greatness. He has given you the crown. This is your chance to walk alongside the greatest human king of Israel and learn how to succeed in God’s way.