Malachi Prophesied of God’s Wrath

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Ingratitued of Israel Malachi

Malachi wrote this oracle in 433 B.C., King Artaxerxes was King of Persia; Nehemiah was his servant.  Nehemiah later returns to Jerusalem to learn the Jews fell into sin once more. The Sabbath was broken, intermarriage with foreigners, priests were corrupt. Malachi condemns the Jews for their sins in his oracle; the last book of the Old Testament.

Malachi 1:8- “When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord.

vs-13- “When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the Lord. 14- Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great King,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.”

Malachi is condemning the Jews for the animals they are bringing before the altar for sacrifices. Moses was specific; the animals that were to be sacrificed to the Lord for offerings were to be without defect.

[2:1-3] 1- “And now this admonition is for you, O priest. 2- If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse upon you, and curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me. 3- Because of you I will rebuke your descendants; I will spread on your faces the offal from the festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it.

vs-8-“But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty. 9- “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”

Malachi rebukes the Jewish priests for their false teachings and for not honoring the Lord with their lives. God was sending curses upon them for leading their flocks astray with their teachings; also cursing their blessings.

[3:7] -“Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8- “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9- You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10- Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me on this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessings that you will not have room enough for it. 11- I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. 12- Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord God Almighty.

[13] “You have said harsh things against me,” says the Lord. “Yet you ask, What have we said against you?” 14- “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? 15- But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.’”

The Jews needed to return to the Lord as Malachi strongly counsels, to end the generational curses. The priests needed to honor the Lord with their lives and their teachings. The Jews needed to return to the practices taught by the laws of Moses; to bring food to the church and to bring proper animals to the priests to be sacrificed before the Lord. Malachi warns them to return to the Lord!

God's wrath on Israel Malachi

The Day of the Lord

Malachi 4:1-3- “Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or branch will be left to them. 2- But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. 3- Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things,” says the Lord Almighty.

Malachi warns; the day is coming when the Lord will say—no more. His wrath will burn against the wicked. But also, at the same time, the Lord will lift up those Jews who revere his name, who walk by righteousness.

This was how the Lord dealt with Jerusalem Jews and priests, 433 B.C.—during the Old Testament.

Malachi was the last prophet of the old testament. God was silent for four hundred years after Malachi wrote his oracle.

The next time God was heard from was when the Word became Flesh. Jesus, the Son of God, walked the earth and became the perfect lamb. Sacrificed on the cross for all mankind’s sins. Jesus was the final, perfect, sinless sacrifice for all our sins. There is no need for animal sacrifices for sins because of Jesus.

Hebrews 10:8-10- First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). 9- Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10- And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.

Have you accepted Jesus’ sacrificed body for your sins?  Jesus paid the ultimate price for you?  He made everything right between you and a righteous God? Jesus did this for you. But, you must accept the gift freely. Believe that he died on that cruel cross for your sins. Believe that he went to hell in your place. Believe that on the third day, God raised him up out of hell and the grave and now he sets at the right hand of the Father in heaven. Believe that Christ took your punishment for your sins; paid in full.

If you truly believe this, and you want eternal life in heaven rather than in hell with Satan, then pray this prayer. Lord God, I am truly sorry for my sins. I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins. I want to make Jesus my Lord and Savior. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. I declare Jesus, you are my Lord. In Jesus name  pray. A-men.

If you prayed this prayer, you are now a child of God. Born again. The scriptures tell us that all of heaven is celebrating you right now. There is shouting, cheering, yelling, all throughout heaven, all because of you. The joy is overflowing.

As a new believer, we are called to study the bible, pray, and attend church to learn about God and grow with other believers. We are also called to take communion regularly.

If you prayed this prayer to rededicate your life to Christ, praise the Lord! Pray for God to show you where He wants to use you in his kingdom, for his glory. Don’t be surprised if he requires you to grow and change as a person and in your faith. That is also part of the journey.

I pray that God will use you for His glory,

JA The Tested

 

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Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

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Jesus Feeds five Thousand

Matthew 14: 13-15-When he heard what had happened [to John the Baptist(that he had been beheaded and was buried)] he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14- When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15- As evening approach, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crows away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

vs- 16- Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” vs- 17-“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18- Jesus replied, “Bring them to me. 19- And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20- They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve baskets of broken pieces that were left over. 21- The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

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Mark writes, Mark 6:37-But Jesus answered, “You give them something to eat.” Then they said to him, “That would take eight months of a man’s wage’s! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”

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Luke writes, Luke 9:10- When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida.

Jesus spoke to the people about the Kingdom of God and healed many, according to Luke.

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John writes, John 6:1- Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee(that is, the Sea of Tiberias)

vs- 4- The Jewish Passover Feast was near.

vs 5- When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6- He asked this only to test, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7- Philip answered him, “Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” 8- Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9- Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

10- Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11- Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

12- When they all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13- So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. 14- After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the prophet who is to come into the World.” 15- Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

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All three disciples wrote very similar stories. Each added details. I have noted those details only in Mark, Luke, and John to avoid replicating.

Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand is one of only two of His miracles that are found in all four gospels. The other, his greatest miracle, his own resurrection, is the basis of our faith.

These two miracles, being included in all four gospels, boasts of their level of importance. For this article, we will concentrate on the feeding of the five thousand.

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John 6:14- After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the prophet who is to come into the world.” 15- Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

Why the conflict? The people were looking for a great human leader that would be king, like King David. They were not looking for a savior.

The people were looking for the messiah, as the religious leaders described him, as they interpreted how the scriptures prophesied about him. Jesus did not fit into their mold of the messiah. So they rejected him.

Mother Theresa Bread of Life

John 6:35-40- Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36- But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37- All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me, I will never drive away. 38- For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39- And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40- For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Even though Jesus was easily capable of filling five thousand plus, people’s empty stomachs, with only five small barley loaves and two small fish, that was not his purpose. As he said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” That was his message; not the fact that he could easily feed five thousand people with almost nothing. Jesus offers eternal life.

John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one gets to the Father except through the Son.”

Do you have a personal relationship with the Son? With Jesus? If he is calling you to salvation, do not wait.

Today might be the only day that God calls you. Pray this Salvation Prayer to receive the bread of life Jesus is offering. Eternal life in heaven with him and God for all eternity, that is what Jesus offers.

With true repentance, pray this prayer. Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I am sorry for all my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Thank you Lord Jesus. A-men.

If you prayed this prayer and really meant it, you are now a child of God. You are born again. Your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. As Jesus said, it can never be blotted out.

The scriptures tell us that when one person repents and comes to Jesus, all heaven celebrates. Right now, all heaven is rejoicing, cheering, applauding for You; Proclaiming Your Name.

I pray that you will grow in the faith, and the love, of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Gary The Tested

Born Into Eternity

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bible-and-cross-clip-art-96563

Psalm 139:13-16 For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother‘s womb. 14- I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15- My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16- your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.

Job 33:4 The spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

John 5: 24 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

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We were all formed by the Lord in our mother’s womb. God breathed life into us, bringing us into eternity. That means, from that moment, the person we are (our soul) lives throughout eternity.

As everyone knows, one of the grim facts of life is that everyone dies in the Lord’s good time. If we consider that we are all born into eternity, then only our body ceases to function. We are still alive for all eternity.

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Acts 7: 56 + 59 (The stoning of Stephen) “Look”, he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 59- Then he fell to his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

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For believers in Jesus Christ, heaven opens up and Jesus descends to escort us (soul) to the throne of God, at the moment of our bodies death.

For the unbeliever, Satan claims that person (soul) for all eternity.

Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Are you prepared for the next step in eternity? When we die. Are you going to spend eternity in heaven or hell? It’s your choice. The choice is very real.

Repent of your sins and ask Jesus into your heart and you will live for all eternity with the Father and Jesus, and every Christian.

There is a believer’s prayer above. Sincerely pray with a repentant heart and repent of your sins like a child before the Father in Heaven and experience Jesus’s forgiveness. Jesus will save you and become your Lord and Savior. This will insure your name is written in God’s book of life. You will have eternal life in heaven. You will be a Christian.

May God lead you to His salvation,

Gary The Tested

 

 

The Jesus Papers – Book Review

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Friends,

Recently I read, The Jesus Papers; by author Michael Baigent. This is a very provocative novel similar to Dan Brown’s; The Da Vinci Code. It’s written from a historian perspective rather than a novel format.

The story begins with the introduction; May 28, 1291, The Holy Land: Acre, the Crusader Kingdom’s last port city, lay in ruins. The Arab armies of Khalil al-Ashraf, the young Sultan of Egypt, had first besieged and then attacked the city. The last capitol of the Christian Kingdom was finished. This was a battle between The Marshal of the Templars and the Sultan.

The Jesus PapersMichael Baigent gives the Templars credit for introducing the power of money over the sword by means of checks and safe financial transfers from city to city and country to country. They helped open a space for the middle class, according to Michael.

He and Richard Leigh wrote Holy Blood, Holy Grail. They believe in an important bloodline, a dynasty; that of the Jewish royal lineage, the line of David. They believe the line of David lives in Southern France; a descendant from the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. The wedding at Cana was Jesus and Mary’s wedding. When Jesus turned the water into wine, they were Mr. and Mrs. Christs, according to Michael and Leigh.

In Chapter 1 Michael writes, during his twenty-year search, he believed when Jesus was crucified, he either had a child by his wife or she was pregnant.

He also writes, both kings and high priests were anointed and were thus a meshiha, a messiah.  In fact, he writes, from as early as the second century B.C. the term “messiah” was used to name a legitimate king of Israel, one of the royal line of David, who was expected to appear and to rule. According to the Gospels, through his Father, Jesus was of the Line of David; through his mother, he was of the line of Aaron the high priest.

Michael restates several times in this story; in his novel Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the wedding at Cana was Jesus and Mary’s wedding. He believes at the crucifixion, Mary already had Jesus’ baby or was pregnant with Jesus’ baby. He claims; if Jesus was unmarried and celibate, Paul would have told us. He admits there is no proof to support his allegation; only circumstantial evidence. He cites the 1977 publication, Nag Hammadi; the Gospel of Philip. Also The Gospel of Mary as his evidence.

His book centers around the concept; The Church is at pains to conceal secrets about Jesus. One incident he cites; Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. He believes Matthew’s account is filled with cover-ups. He explains his theories in detail in the story.

Michael Baigent also questions Jesus’ death on the cross. In this book, he analyses details in the bible and cross references them with his own understanding of history. He believes God’s Word is impregnated with cover-ups—thus the cover text; Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History.

He believes the Church is covering up Jesus’ life on Earth and offers no solid proof to support his claims.

To be fair, I reread John 2: 1-11-NIV; Jesus Changes Water to Wine. “On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, They have no more wine.”

“Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby stood six, stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

Many believe God’s Word is flawless and perfect—without cover-up; and to be followed as written—not manipulated or twisted.  Countless would disagree with Michael Baigent or anyone else’s theory that the wedding in Cana was a wedding between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. And that Mary was either pregnant or had Jesus’ child before the crucifixion.

Hosts would also disagree with Michael’s conclusion that if Jesus was unmarried and celibate, Paul would have told us. Because something isn’t stated, doesn’t presume it to be factual.

Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code, was entertaining fiction about the same  hypothesis. I read the book and watched the movie, enjoying both. I’m a big Tom Hanks fan.

Michael Baigent’s story, The Jesus Papers, is about the same topic while also fiction;  without Dan Brown’s writing skills.

My rating: 2 stars

May good fortune guide your path.

J.A. Ireland

SON of GOD – Movie Review

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Dear Friends,

Recently I had the pleasure of watching the movie, SON of GOD. This is John’s story, from his Gospel of John; he narrates his own story.

Inspiring Movie about Jesus' Life

Inspiring Movie about Jesus’ Life

The movie begins with John1:1. In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God. He was with God…In the beginning. He was there in paradise with Adam and Eve; the fall of man. He was there with Noah…In the great flood. He was there with Abraham when he was chosen. “Abraham,” God said. “I will make you a father of many nations.” He was there when Moses led our people out of Egypt. “I will be with you,” God said. He was the light shining in the darkness. Jesus is that light. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

John; Writer of The Gospel of John

John; Writer of The Gospel of John

John introduces himself. He is one of Jesus’ followers. “After what I saw, how could I not be?” John of the Gospel. John’s story; The Roman soldiers are collecting taxes. Occupied and oppressed—Jerusalem. Crucifixion is everyday and commonplace.  A new governor, Pontius Pilate is in power.

Jesus walked across the rock hills toward the Sea of Galilee as Peter fished below. Peter is frustrated due to another day of no fish. Jesus walks through the water, and with Peter’s help, climbs into his boat. After Jesus waved his almighty, loving hand in the water, fish from the sea gathered around Peter’s boat. He quickly filled the small, primitive schooner.  In bewilderment, Peter asked, “How did this happen?”

Peter- The Fisherman

Peter- The Fisherman

Jesus replies, “Come with me Peter. I will make you fishers of Men.” As Jesus continued his ministry, the numbers grew. All who heard his preaching were amazed at his wisdom and felt his power. Scores of people quickly became followers.

After healing the paralyzed man and forgiving his sins, a jealous Rabbi who witnessed the miracle confronts Jesus. “Jesus replies, “The Son of Man has authority to forgive sins.”  In turn, the Rabbi threatens Jesus with charges of blasphemy.

Matthew soon becomes a follower and Jesus feeds five thousand.  Afterward, Jesus performs one miracle after another.

Matthew- The Tax Collector

Matthew- The Tax Collector

After raising Lazarus from the dead, he declares himself the Messiah that Isaiah prophesied about. He tells his Mother, “It has begun.”

Jesus and his followers journey to Jerusalem for the festival of Passover. Jesus enters the city on a donkey. He goes to the temple and overturns the tables due to merchants selling goods.

The Roman Government plots against him. He declares, “To see the kingdom of God, you must be born again. You must be reborn. Not in the flesh, but in a spirit. The Holy Spirit.”

Soon, the arrest of Jesus is ordered. Jesus has visions of Judas betraying him and his death on the cross. He has the Last Supper  with his disciples. Communion/Eucharist is created.  He gives thanks and hands them bread then wine. “This is my body…This is my blood…Eat and drink…Remember me.”

The Last Supper- Communion Eucharist

The Last Supper- Communion Eucharist

Judas betrays Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane—with a kiss. He is captured. Later, the Supreme Court of Elders tried and convicted him. Their judgment; guilty of blasphemy and threatening to destroy the temple. Their sentence—death by crucifixion.

Caiaphas and the high priests talk to Pontius Pilate.  Barabbas goes free and Pilate orders the execution. As Jesus is whipped; Judas hangs himself.

During the crucifixion, Pilate says to his wife, “Jesus will be forgotten in a week.”

Pontius Pilate- Rome's Governor

Pontius Pilate- Rome’s Governor

Jesus was in agony while hanging on that brutal cross, in the blistering sun. Later as dark, thick clouds rolled overhead, he said, “It is finished.” After more time, Jesus said, “Father…into your hands I commend my spirit.”  While hanging on that terrible cross, Jesus Dies! Later, after being taken down from the cross, and the crown of thorns removed, Jesus’ lifeless body is prepared and sealed in a tomb. Jesus’ family and followers are devastated, heartbroken,  and lost. Their friend, family member, and Messiah is dead. What went wrong?

Three days later, Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty and Jesus’ body missing. Jesus is Alive!

Jesus before and crucifixion

Jesus’ crucifixion and before

Later Peter starts the first church. Jesus appears and shows them his nail scarred hands.

Forty Days Later; Jesus tells a crowd of believers about the Holy Spirit and ascends to Heaven. Peter said, “We have work to do.” He became their new leader. “On this rock, I will build my church,” Jesus said previously.

John continues his story while in exile. But in the light there was darkness. Persecuted for our preaching, all of the disciples died for our cause.  Except one. I must live out my days in exile. Alone. One day, I hope to see my friends again for they are with our Lord.

John reminisces about Jesus. The people today- they called you king. They think you are the Messiah. “Who do you think I am?” Jesus asked.

Jesus - The Eternal Savior

Jesus – The Eternal Savior

Peter replied, “You are the Son of God.”

Jesus says, “I am coming soon. May the grace of the Lord be with all God’s people.”

The movie ends. As the credits roll, and we see short videos from the movie, Ceelo Green performs “Mary, Did You Know?”

Speaking as someone who has studied God’s Word my entire life, I can say this movie was very accurate. A few things were left out and others moved around a bit, but that is to be expected.

This movie is perhaps the best telling of Jesus and his life that I’ve ever seen. I literally didn’t want it to end. My heart was full of joy as I watched Jesus on screen. I felt emptiness and despair when he died and later ascended. He was gone. I can’t imagine the heartache at the actual moment in time.

This is my review of the mega movie smash hit, Son of God. Watch the movie yourself. I promise you will be moved.

My rating: 5 stars

Thanks for stopping by.

J.A. Ireland

JESUS ETERNAL SAVIOR; Will You Serve Jesus Communion?

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Dear friends,

I am very proud of my  spiritual novel,  Jesus Eternal Savior; Will You Serve Jesus Communion? 

This is a provocative story I wrote in both fact and fiction. I challenge the practices of closed communion.

My inspiration for this thought-provoking novel is that I have attended churches my entire life. I have experienced the practices of numerous ministers and priests regarding communion as well as other teachings and have experienced questionable interpretations of God’s Word to say the least. I explain this in my novel.

 

My Amazon description; Is closed communion Bible based? In this provocative novel written in both fact and fiction, I make my case.

I invite you to read Jesus Eternal Savior; Will You Serve Jesus Communion?  Tell me what you think. Agree or disagree?

It is available free on Kindle Unlimited.

May good fortune guide your path.

J.A. Ireland.