A Physicians view of The Crucifixion

I spent my formative Born Again years under my mentor and spiritual father Pastor Robert A. Shelley.  I listened when he spoke and took notes when he taught or preached.  He always gave us a banquet to feed from and I always ate as much as I could.  One of the things he did was to give a vivid, detailed decryption of the Crucifixion that always brought me to tears and still does.  The thought of what was suffered for me on The Cross by Him breaks my heart.

Here is a physicians description of what the Lord suffered that day from a medical perspective.

Read it.

Consider it.

Respond to it….either in tears, as I did, or by claiming the work done on The Cross for your own salvation.  He did it so that you would reconciled to your Heavenly Father.

Jesus_On_Cross

Crucifixion

A medical explanation of what Jesus endured on the day He died By Dr. C. Truman Davis*

A Physician Analyzes the Crucifixion. From New Wine Magazine, April 1982. Originally published in Arizona Medicine, March 1965, Arizona Medical Association.

Several years ago I became interested in the physical aspects of the passion, or suffering, of Jesus Christ when I read an account of the crucifixion in Jim Bishop’s book, The Day Christ Died. I suddenly realized that I had taken the crucifixion more or less for granted all these years – that I had grown callous to its horror by a too-easy familiarity with the grim details. It finally occurred to me that, as a physician, I did not even know the actual immediate cause of Christ’s death. The gospel writers do not help much on this point. Since crucifixion and scourging were so common during their lifetimes, they undoubtedly considered a detailed description superfluous. For that reason we have only the concise words of the evangelists: “Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to them to be crucified … and they crucified Him.”

Despite the gospel accounts silence on the details of Christ’s crucifixion, many have looked into this subject in the past. In my personal study of the event from a medical viewpoint, I am indebted especially to Dr. Pierre Barbet, a French surgeon who did exhaustive historical and experimental research and wrote extensively on the topic.

An attempt to examine the infinite psychic and spiritual suffering of the Incarnate God in atonement for the sins of fallen man is beyond the scope of this article. However, the physiological and anatomical aspects of our Lord’s passion we can examine in some detail. What did the body of Jesus of Nazareth actually endure during those hours of torture?

Gethsemane

The physical passion of Christ began in Gethsemane. Of the many aspects of His initial suffering, the one which is of particular physiological interest is the bloody sweat. Interestingly enough, the physician, St. Luke, is the only evangelist to mention this occurrence. He says, “And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground” (Luke 22:44 KJV).

Every attempt imaginable has been used by modern scholars to explain away the phenomenon of bloody sweat, apparently under the mistaken impression that it simply does not occur. A great deal of effort could be saved by consulting the medical literature. Though very rare, the phenomenon of hematidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock.

Although Jesus’ betrayal and arrest are important portions of the passion story, the next event in the account which is significant from a medical perspective is His trial before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas, the High Priest. Here the first physical trauma was inflicted. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiaphas. The palace guards then blindfolded Him, mockingly taunted Him to identify them as each passed by, spat on Him, and struck Him in the face.

Before Pilate

In the early morning, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and worn out from a sleepless night, Jesus was taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia, the seat of government of the Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate. We are familiar with Pilate’s action in attempting to shift responsibility to Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Judea. Jesus apparently suffered no physical mistreatment at the hands of Herod and was returned to Pilate. It was then, in response to the outcry of the mob, that Pilate ordered Barabbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.

Preparations for Jesus’ scourging were carried out at Caesar’s orders. The prisoner was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. The Roman legionnaire stepped forward with the flagrum, or flagellum, in his hand. This was a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip was brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs. At first the weighted thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continued, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.

The small balls of lead first produced large deep bruises that were broken open by subsequent blows. Finally, the skin of the back was hanging in long ribbons, and the entire area was an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it was determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner was near death, the beating was finally stopped.

Mockery

The half-fainting Jesus was then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with his own blood. The Roman soldiers saw a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They threw a robe across His shoulders and placed a stick in His hand for a scepter. They still needed a crown to make their travesty complete. Small flexible branches covered with long thorns, commonly used for kindling fires in the charcoal braziers in the courtyard, were plaited into the shape of a crude crown. The crown was pressed into his scalp and again there was copious bleeding as the thorns pierced the very vascular tissue. After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers took the stick from His hand and struck Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tired of their sadistic sport and tore the robe from His back. The robe had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, caused excruciating pain. The wounds again began to bleed.

Golgotha

In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans apparently returned His garments. The heavy patibulum of the cross was tied across His shoulders. The procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves, and the execution detail of Roman soldiers headed by a centurion began its slow journey along the route which we know today as the Via Dolorosa.

In spite of Jesus’ efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious loss of blood, was too much. He stumbled and fell. The rough wood of the beam gouged into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tried to rise, but human muscles had been pushed beyond their endurance. The centurion, anxious to proceed with the crucifixion, selected a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross. Jesus followed, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock. The 650-yard journey from the Fortress Antonia to Golgotha was finally completed. The prisoner was again stripped of His clothing except for a loin cloth which was allowed the Jews.

The crucifixion began. Jesus was offered wine mixed with myrrh, a mild analgesic, pain-reliving mixture. He refused the drink. Simon was ordered to place the patibulum on the ground, and Jesus was quickly thrown backward, with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire felt for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drove a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moved to the other side and repeated the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The patibulum was then lifted into place at the top of the stipes, and the titulus reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” was nailed into place.

The left foot was pressed backward against the right foot. With both feet extended, toes down, a nail was driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The victim was now crucified.

On the Cross

As Jesus slowly sagged down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shot along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain. The nails in the wrists were putting pressure on the median nerve, large nerve trunks which traverse the mid-wrist and hand. As He pushed himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He placed His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there was searing agony as the nail tore through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of this feet.

At this point, another phenomenon occurred. As the arms fatigued, great waves of cramps swept over the muscles, knotting them in deep relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps came the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by the arm, the pectoral muscles, the large muscles of the chest, were paralyzed and the intercostal muscles, the small muscles between the ribs, were unable to act. Air could be drawn into the lungs, but could not be exhaled. Jesus fought to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, the carbon dioxide level increased in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subsided.

The Last Words

Spasmodically, He was able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen. It was undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences that are recorded.

The first – looking down at the Roman soldiers throwing dice6 for His seamless garment: “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.”

The second – to the penitent thief: “Today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise.”

The third – looking down at Mary His mother, He said: “Woman, behold your son.” Then turning to the terrified, grief-stricken adolescent John , the beloved apostle, He said: “Behold your mother.”

The fourth cry is from the beginning of Psalm 22: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

He suffered hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, and searing pain as tissue was torn from His lacerated back from His movement up and down against the rough timbers of the cross. Then another agony began: a deep crushing pain in the chest as the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart, slowly filled with serum and began to compress the heart.

The prophecy in Psalm 22:14 was being fulfilled: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint, my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”

The end was rapidly approaching. The loss of tissue fluids had reached a critical level; the compressed heart was struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood to the tissues, and the tortured lungs were making a frantic effort to inhale small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues sent their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasped His fifth cry: “I thirst.” Again we read in the prophetic psalm: “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou has brought me into the dust of death” (Psalm 22:15 KJV).

A sponge soaked in posca, the cheap, sour wine that was the staple drink of the Roman legionnaires, was lifted to Jesus’ lips. His body was now in extremis, and He could feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. This realization brought forth His sixth word, possibly little more than a tortured whisper: “It is finished.” His mission of atonement had been completed. Finally, He could allow His body to die. With one last surge of strength, He once again pressed His torn feet against the nail, straightened His legs, took a deeper breath, and uttered His seventh and last cry: “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”

Death

The common method of ending a crucifixion was by crurifracture, the breaking of the bones of the leg. This prevented the victim from pushing himself upward; the tension could not be relieved from the muscles of the chest, and rapid suffocation occurred. The legs of the two thieves were broken, but when the soldiers approached Jesus, they saw that this was unnecessary.

Apparently, to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. John 19:34 states, “And immediately there came out blood and water.” Thus there was an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and the blood of the interior of the heart. This is rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Jesus died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.

Resurrection

In these events, we have seen a glimpse of the epitome of evil that man can exhibit toward his fellow man and toward God. This is an ugly sight and is likely to leave us despondent and depressed.

But the crucifixion was not the end of the story. How grateful we can be that we have a sequel: a glimpse of the infinite mercy of God toward man–the gift of atonement, the miracle of the resurrection, and the expectation of Easter morning.

*Dr. C. Truman Davis is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He is a practicing ophthalmologist, a pastor, and author of a book about medicine and the Bible.

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Romans 10:9-13 (NKJV)

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 

13 For“whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Richard J Grund Author, The Supernatural Battle http://supernaturalresponse.net/the-supernatural-battle.html Director & Team Leader http://supernaturalresponse.net Host of The Porch & Reflections in the Dark http://blogtalkradio.com/firefall-talk-radio

Are You Running To or Running Away?

Our life in this World and our walk with the Lord in this World is like running a race. The minute we become Born Again and call Him Lord, the race begins. You are either running to something or running away from something but you are always on the run. God will do what He sets out to do with you. He is faithful to finish the good work He began in and with you. He will finish what He starts by seeing it through WITH you to the end. But know this – even if you try to run away He will pursue you and get you back in the race toward the finish line. He’s faithful even when we aren’t.

Are You Running To or Running Away?

February 4, 2010

Our life in this World and our walk with the Lord in this World is like running a race.  The minute we become Born Again and call Him Lord, the race begins.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV) 1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto 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 sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

You are either running to something or running away from something but you are always on the run.

And, the question is will you finish that race.  According to Hebrews 12:2 the Lord ran his race to the finish line (the throne of God) and, for our sakes, HE WON.

As it is with any race there are others running with you and also running against you.  We live in a world that is under the sway and power of the evil one (1 John 5:19).  When the Lord took back the keys of hell and death He restored spiritual authority on the Earth but the natural authority does not happen until the Second Coming and The End comes.  Therefore, we are running in a race where the odds are stacked against us and we are not expected by anyone else to win …anyone but the Lord.

Sometimes the opposition and jostling of the other runners can get so great we want to run away and get out of the race.  Don’t feel bad if you do.  One of the greatest prophet’s of all time did.

1 Kings Chapter 18 tells one of the greatest stories in the Bible about the Prophet Elijah confronting the false prophets of Baal and Asherah under King Ahab & Queen Jezebel on Mount Carmel.  We have heard the story many times about how he called down fire to consume the sacrifice, embarrassed the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who ate at Jezebel’s table and inspired the children of Israel to kill those 850 servants of hell.

What we don’t hear a lot about is that when Jezebel found out what Elijah had done she threatened his life and Elijah RAN AWAY.

1 Kings 19:1-3 (NKJV) 1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” 3 And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

It has always been my desire to seek Elijah out when I get to Heaven to ask him why he ran from Jezebel’s threats.  He should have been filled with confidence.  He had just called down fire to consume the sacrifice, the wood, rocks and water in front of thousands of people and had removed the false prophets from the Kingdom of Israel.  Instead he ran in fear and had to be encouraged  out of his depression and pushed back into ministry by Almighty God (1 Kings 19).  Had he not returned he would not have been able to leave a double portion of his anointing for Elisha who then anointed Jehu to destroy Jezebel and cleanse the Kingdom of Israel.

Be encouraged, even if you have run away or desire to run away, the Lord will seek you out and guide you back to where you were supposed to be in the first place.

However, what if you ran toward the calling instead of away from it?  What then?

If you ran toward that upward calling you would understand how young David felt in 1st Samuel Chapter 17.

David, at the time a young sheepherder serving his father Jesse, was sent to get news about his older brothers and to bring food supplies to them.  The brothers (Eliab the firstborn, next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah) were with King Saul and the others Israelites in the Valley of Elah confronting the Philistine army (1 Kings 17:17-19).  The army of Israel is on one mountain and the Philistine army is on the other and the valley was in the middle.  Out of the throng of Philistine soldiers comes their champion Goliath who according to the Bible is a giant, almost 10 feet tall and reportedly of the lineage of the Raphaim (Deut. 2:20) as suspected he would also have had 6-finger, 6-toes and been of fearsome features as a descendant of the end result of Genesis 6:1-4.  He was strong enough to be wearing approximately 183 lbs of brass armor and carrying a spear almost as tall as young David at 5 feet in length.  By time David arrives, Goliath has been mocking and belittling the men of Israel for 40-days .

I tell you this to give you a proper perspective of what challenge David faced.  Because of his faith in the Living God he believed he could kill the giant Goliath.  However, man (especially his own brothers) had a different opinion.  His brothers tell him to go home and in verse 33 King Saul says he’s too young to fight the battle tested giant.  However, David was not moved by man’s opinion or the facts.  He was moved by his faith.  When he is finally given permission to fight Goliath he does not hesitate.

1 Samuel 17:45-51 (NKJV) 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

David ran toward his challenge in total faith and expectancy that God would be with him.  It didn’t matter how strong Goliath was, His god was stronger.  It didn’t matter how strong Goliath was, His God was stronger.  His confidence was such that he had five smooth stones (one for Goliath and his four brothers) and he loaded the sling ON THE RUN.  David ran with confidence and his faith was rewarded.

There were others too.  Jonah ran away from his calling but God pursued him and sent back in the right direction to save Nineveh (Jonah 4).  Peter ran from his failure to publicly proclaim his relationship to the Lord after the Lord was captured (Matthew 26:69-75) but the Lord sought him out after the Resurrection and Peter went on to fulfill his calling.

Romans 11:29 (NKJV) 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Romans 11:29 (NLT) 29 For God’s gifts and His call can never be withdrawn.

God will do what He sets out to do with you.  He is faithful to finish the good work He began in and with you.  He will finish what He starts by seeing it through WITH you to the end.

But know this – even if you try to run away He will pursue you and get you back in the race toward the finish line.  He’s faithful even when we aren’t.

He is depending upon you.

The Kingdom of God is depending upon you.

The world is depending upon you.

Run.

Run your race.

Run toward that calling.

Have the faith to know He is in it with you.

Finish.

Win.

Richard J Grund

And through the hands of the apostles
many signs and wonders were done among the people.
And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.
(Acts 5:12 NKJV)
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Thought of the day – Conformity

“Character is always lost when a high ideal

is sacrificed on the altar of conformity and popularity.”

Charles Spurgeon

John 12:42 ( NKJV ) Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue;

In the above scripture we see that many rulers believed in Yeshua/Jesus but because of their fear of being put out of the synagogue they did not confess that they believed in Him.  Their fear of man and man’s reaction to their choice kept them from being open about the faith.  They were conforming to the expected norms of their society instead of being open about their beliefs.  Over the last month this has been a topic of study.

What is conformity?

Conformity – behavior or thought that is socially acceptable or expected; agreement, correspondence, or similarity in structure, manner, or character.

In the Spurgeon quote we see what happens when we sacrifice our ideals for acceptance.  We lose our character and integrity.

Psalms 29:5 tells us that fearing people is a dangerous trap.  In the KJV and the NKJV the word for trap is “snare” which is a hook or a noose.  Generally it means something that is elevated off of the ground so that once the target is hooked it cannot get any footing to escape.  So, when we give into the fear of man, of what people think about us we lose our footing and cannot get away.  We cannot take a stand for the things we should.  We become powerless.

One of the best examples of this other then the above scripture and the story of Nicodemus coming to speak to Yeshua/Jesus at night so that no one could see him is the Apostle Peter after the Lord has been arrested in Luke 22:54-62.

We see in this part of scripture that as the Lord is being led to the house of the high priest Peter follows at a distance (verse 54).  He wanted to be with the Lord but his fear kept him in the courtyard with the crowds that had gathered.  In verse 56 we read where a servant girl recognized him as a follower of Yeshua/Jesus.  Because of fear he has lost his integrity and commitment to the Lord and denies he knows Him (verse 57).  He tried to fit in among them but once you know the Lord you cannot fit in no matter how hard you try. I wonder what was going on inside of Peter at that moment.  In a split second he denied he even knew Him.  Did he duck his head and try to hide?  Probably.  But when the enemy sees you compromise he smells blood, your blood, and the demonic sharks begin to circle you.

In verse 58 another person notices him and says “You also are one of them.”  Instead of proudly saying “Yes I am!”  he says “Man, I am not!”  It most likely got easier the second time.  Compromise always does.  For an hour no one said anything to him except his guilty conscience speaking inside his heart and the voice of condemnation in his ear.  By now Peter is probably bound up by fear.  Fear for the Lord’s well being, fear about what would happen to them and fear that he would be found in the courtyard and punished as well.  I will bet it was the longest hour of his life and just like the enemy to back off just enough to catch you off guard.  And then comes the final slip of the knot.  The final wrap of the snare around Peter’s ankle.

Luke 22:59-62 ( NKJV ) Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.”
But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.
And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”
So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.

In a split second Peter’s heart was broken because he knew that not only had he let the Lord down but he knew the Lord saw it.  When their eyes met no words needed to be spoken.  What did he see when he looked into the Lord’s eyes.  Sadness?  Sorrow?  Disappointment?  It’s not like the Lord didn’t know he was going to do it.  He had told Peter so only hours before.

Luke 22:31-34 ( NKJV ) And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.
But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”
Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

By these words He we know He knew Peter would fail the test –  and when you have returned to Me.

Verse 62 tells us so much more then our English language can say.  In the original Greek that was translated into the KJV in 1611 it says that Peter didn’t just weep.  The words used for “wept bitterly” means he sobbed and wailed violently.    You know what that is.  Gut wrenching, violent chest heaving sobs.  The kind of sobbing where you cannot catch your breath and it hurts so bad that death would be pleasant.  Peter had looked into the eyes of the Man who for three years had not only been his Master and Teacher but also his best friend and knew he had let him down.  How would you feel if you knew He was watching you at your moment of conformity?

Adding to that pain was the knowledge that John was inside with Yeshua/Jesus.  In John Chapter 18 we read that John had gone in with the Lord while Peter waited fearfully outside.  He was supposed to be the leader and the strong one and he was outdone by the youngest of the disciples.  This would be a sad ending if we didn’t already know that when the Lord rose from the dead an angel told the women who had come to dress the Lord’s body in Mark 16:7 to tell the disciples and Peter (bold letters mine) to meet the Lord in Galilee.  How cool is that?  The Lord wanted to make sure Peter knew he was welcome.

You see the Lord knows your failures.  He’s seen the end from the beginning and He knows where and when you will fail Him but He’s already making a way for you to return to Him.  He didn’t stay to Peter “if you return to Me” He said “when you have returned to Me.” He’s already made a way for you when you fail that test.  An angel is waiting to be dispatched to remind you where to meet Him.

No matter what you’ve done He’s letting you know you are welcome to come back.

If you understand what happened to Peter you can understand why he never backed down again.  He was bold for the Lord and set his heart to never let the Lord down again.  We see that in his answers every time he was arrested and told to stop preaching about the Messiah.  We see it in his boldness after the Upper Room.  He stood up the a public square filled with thousands of people, maybe millions of people, and preached the first sermon of the New Church.  That boldness was born from brokenness and sealed by love.

Where are you right now in your walk with the Lord?  If push came to shove would you stand up for Him and His Word or would the fear of man ensnare you?  How easily do you compromise or conform when the risk is your livelihood or acceptance from people who you want to impress?  Is there anything in this World that can keep you from boldly and publicly saying ‘YES!” when they ask “are you one of them”?  Or, will you drop your head, hide your eyes and deny Him by your words or your actions?  Just sitting in a pew isn’t enough.  We are called to live it for everyone to see.

Matthew 5:14-16 ( NKJV ) “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

You might be saying “I want to be like this but I don’t know how!”  What is your fear?  What could it cost you to take a stance for the Lord?  Is that cost worth what it does to you inside?  Is it worth giving up your character for?  Is it worth losing your footing and being ensnared by that fear?  Only you can answer that question.  Personally, I don’t know any other way to live.  I have to live with that Light shining no matter what the cost.  I love Him so much for what He’s done for me and how much He has loved me that I believe I would have been like John.  I would have marched into Caiaphas’ house with Him and been standing at the foot of the Cross too.  He died for me.  Can I do any less then live for Him?!  But, even if I were like Peter I know that He will be waiting for me to return and embrace me with open arms as He did Peter in John Chapter 21.

Find out where your thoughts and decisions have led you to conform.  Ask the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit to change the way you think.  That’s what the Apostle Paul, who knew all to well the cost of following the Lord, meant in Romans 12:2.
Romans 12:2 ( NKJV ) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2 ( NLT ) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

When you do you will feel that rope slip off of your ankle and you will be set free from the snare of this World and what people think about you.

You will never be the same!

Shalom & Blessings,

Richard J Grund
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And through the hands of the apostles

many signs and wonders were done among the people.

And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.

(Acts 5:12 NKJV)

www.onsolomonsporch.org/theporch

P.O. Box 713 Windermere, FL 34786-0713

Thought for The Day – Integrity

A free Christian should act from within
with a total disregard for the opinions of others.
If a course is right, he should take it because it is right,
not because he is afraid not to take it.
And if it is wrong, he should avoid it
though he lose every earthly treasure
and even his very life as a consequence.
A. W. Tozer

Integrity – noun
1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.
In a day and age when anything goes and usually does, one of the first thing to go is personal integrity.  Doing what is right because it’s right at all cost is a lost aspect of personal character.  We are encouraged more to be a character then to have character.  I was raised in a day and age where you were taught to keep your word no matter what the cost. I’ve tried to inspire that in my sons.  However, what I’ve seen is a world that not only does not reciprocate it but resents it.

Your life may be the only Bible some people read.
~Author Unknown

In the Book of Acts there is a story about a married couple named Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11).  During this time in the Early Church they took care of one another (what a concept!) by sharing in their wealth and possessions.  Ananias and Sapphira had land that they sold and instead of giving the entire amount as they had promised they kept part of it for themselves.  When Peter confronted them he didn’t rebuke the fact that they had kept the amount they were chastised for lying about it.  The end result was that both Ananias and Sapphira dropped dead at Peter’s feet when he exposed this lack of integrity.  It would seem from the description on Acts 5 their hearts simply stopped beating at that moment.  There was no integrity in their hearts and therefore it gave out when confronted by the Holy Spirit through Peter.  I love what verse 11 says happened after that – So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.  What a Church we would have today if this were still happening as evidenced later on in the Book of Acts where it says that the churches were multiplied and grew from this respect and fear of a Living God (Acts 9:31).

Proverbs 29:25 ( NKJV )
The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

The Early Church had to rely on one another because of the persecution they experienced.  If someone did not keep their word and their promises, like Ananias and Sapphira, it would affect everyone.  Fear can be healthy.  If we weren’t afraid to put our hands in the fire because of being burned we would continually harm ourselves.  How much more so do we harm our souls and relationship with God because we do not have a healthy fear.

Proverbs 11:3 ( NKJV )
The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.

At the end of the movie Watchmen there is a voice-over narration where the narrator says that the whole world was acting right and getting along because of the fear that the all-powerful all-knowing omnipotent Dr. Manhattan might be watching them.  Just think if after a devastating act of God the entire world acted right and did what was right because of the fear someone greater than them was watching.  Taking the definition of the word integrity we would see an adherence to a moral code and ethical principles that would preserve our lives as being whole and undiminished in a sound, unimpaired, perfect condition.

Proverbs 10:9 ( NLT )
People with integrity walk safely,
but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.

But, we as Believers do know that Someone is watching us.  Unfortunately many no longer believe that there is a price for their actions.  It’s not taught from the pulpit anymore that there is a time coming when we will all stand before the Great White Throne and give an account for every word and action in our lives.  Over and over again The Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Later on the Lord teaches His disciples to be obedient out of love (John 14:15, 21, 15:10). If we love Him we will do what He says.  Such a simple concept is so difficult for so many to do.

Character is higher than intellect.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ask yourself this question – do you have integrity?  Is your word worth more than gold or is it worthless?  Would you keep your promise even if it hurt to do it? What do would you if thought one was watching?  And, then remind yourself that Someone is watching and making note of those choices and the answers to those questions.

2 Chronicles 16:9 ( NKJV )
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro
throughout the whole earth,
to show Himself strong
on behalf of those
whose heart is loyal to Him.

Shalom & Blessings,
Richard J Grund

And through the hands of the apostles
many signs and wonders were done among the people.
And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.
(Acts 5:12 NKJV)
P.O. Box 713 Windermere, FL 34786-0713

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