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A recent interview on GLC television, with Host Amy Cooper on the “Light of the Southwest,” led to a discussion (as often happens with TRI) of “Did Jesus come to give us the answers?” It is my contention that He did not – He came to teach us to think. The secrets we’ve been missing are in “the red ink.” (Red Letter Edition Bibles record the words of Jesus in red ink.)
The first book I read as a child was the Bible. Although I don’t hold a reckless view of infallibility of inerrancy of the Bible – I feel that it is a valuable record of the exemplars of faith. One can ascertain my appreciation of the Bible, not as demonstrated by the liturgical adjectives that I use to describe it, but by the fact that I live by it.
Jesus said about His words what can be said by no other, “My words are Spirit and they are Life.” I believe Him. Some of the authors who inspire me – Abraham, Jeremiah, David, Job, John and Paul; but when you get the red letters (the words of Jesus) right, it ALL makes sense.
I am a former pastor, an insider who was privy to many of the escapades and shenanigans employed to build congregations calling it church; to build hope and call it faith. I quit. However, instead of tossing the whole package, I committed to an objective read of the Scriptures.
One day when I was demanding answers of God the tables turned; God became the inquisitor and I the examined one. As I answered His questions I came to a startling conclusion, “The Bible is ruining my religion.”
Then, my education began . . .
My life journey, searching for a logical and honest faith, has given me an objective view of the Scriptures. I learned years ago, to have a mind that is not hemmed in by prejudice, stifled by tradition, fenced by preconception is to have all knowledge at least within reach. It is a daily fight to keep these encroachers at bay, but is well worth the struggle. To see something that is so familiar to you a little differently because the God of the universe took time to illuminate you, will change you forever.
Don Harris of Think Red Ink Ministries is a preacher who offers solid, practical advice to men and families. Don is an accomplished author and the weekly host of “The Red Letter Edition – LIVE!” radio program which features a call-in segment for listener questions.
You are invited to “give a listen” at www.ThinkRedInk.tv. We broadcast 24/7/365.
I think that’s an interesting question. I discuss this topic in my book, “The Questions of Jesus,” Question 25 – “How much then is a man better than a sheep?”
“…The lamb is the epitome of servitude; it has no other purpose than to give. No reason but to serve, the lamb always provides food and clothing and neither offers resistance to the one who shears it, nor to the one who slaughters it…” You are invited to listen to the audio of this question from “The Questions of Jesus” by clicking on the picture of the lamb.
Recently, God’s Learning Channel of Midland/Odessa, Texas (GLC) requested that Think Red Ink Ministries (TRI) record a series of programs to air in March on “How to Keep a Christian Passover”. This work was accomplished in February. It was a joy for TRI to have this opportunity to share the message of what Jesus Christ accomplished (and changed) in the Passover.
Though it is still 6 weeks to Passover, recording these programs has me thinking about Passover, more perfectly, “The Pesach”. The Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world, to cover us, to redeem us, to reconcile us … in His words…
“For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them….
Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are…
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. …”
Let’s look at the first time the incorruptible seed of God conceived life. …The story of the birth of Christ is not given to us to make a celebration or a day of giving gifts. It is given as a glimpse of the marvelous work of God as He joins us, in this life. It is a picture of the birth that is to occur in all of us.
When the angel appeared and made his salutation to Mary, his greeting contained a declaration of favor: “…Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” The awareness of being favored accorded to those who are visited by the Holy Spirit, is nearly absent today.
Somewhere among the dialogue of “whosoever will” and indiscriminate “Jesus Loves You” bumper stickers, we have laid aside the glorious doctrine of election and adulterated the sovereignty of our God.
We have come to expect our God to promptly answer when we call, but when the Creator of the universe visits you, it is a wonderful day, and you are highly favored “…for thou hast found favour with God.” (Luke 1) “[We] were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13)
“Christmas” Has Hidden the Story of the New Birth
Then the angel explained to Mary what was about to happen: “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
We see here that the “holy thing” is Christ. After questioning the impossibility of such a proposal and being assured that it would be as God said, Mary submitted to the will of God and surrendered herself totally to Him. “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38)
In this story we can begin to see a parallel to the experience we call being born again. We see the overshadowing or visitation, the expectation of an impossibility, the questioning within, and finally the submission to the higher One. When we reach this point of submission we have the seed of God implanted in us.
This seed has within it the DNA structure of a new you in Christ. As Mary was to carry Christ within her for the next nine months and then give birth, it is our responsibility to care for and nurture that seed to birth and finally, maturity.
Paul spoke of this mystery. “To whom God would make known … this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you…” (Colossians 1:27) In Ephesians 4:15, Paul spoke also of our growing up into Christ, “But speaking the truth in love, [we] may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”
As you submit to God in this process of the new birth, He places His seed within you. The new birth is not an instantaneous one that takes place the second you pray a “sinner’s prayer” as is commonly taught today. First, there is a visitation, a yielding, and then a pregnancy, which you are expected to nurture and care for, till it comes to the time of birth. If you do not cherish the new Seed of Christ you could miscarry, and lose this “holy thing” within.
There are scores of people still struggling with sin and trying to reconcile their present wretched lives with their past experience of being “born again.” When, in reality, their visitation only planted a seed that they must bring to the birth by responsible and caring behavior.
Remember that the Scripture says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” (John 1:12) We have been given the “power to become” just as a woman impregnated has been given the potential to bring forth life.
The care and nurture necessary to bring about this new birth successfully is to be guided by Christ, to be a disciple, and carrying ones own “cross” – to do the will of the Father. In fact, being a disciple is living under the discipline that creates the proper environment for the new birth. No one can successfully bring new life into an environment hostile to the nature of the life conceived in them. You cannot force the lips of Christ in us, to tell lies, nor force His hands to strike, His mouth to curse or His heart to worship idols and yet expect this holy Seed to thrive.
You must first learn to obey His Commandments and do His will to successfully bring about a live birth of the Seed within. Luke 14:27, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” You must DO the will of God to care for, and not miscarry, the seed within. After you have been “mother” to this holy life within you, it is then that you are born into the family of Christ, and have become brothers and sisters of His.
Second, after prenatal development, comes the birth, and “mothering” of this new “Christ in you” and is a matter of feeding, protecting and maturing. As Peter says, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby…” (1 Peter 2:2) Being born again consists of the Spirit and Life of Christ being born in you. “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7) “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Peter 1:23)
On this particular day when Jesus was teaching and ministering to His followers, His mother Mary and His brothers were standing outside the place and were calling to Him. For what cause He was ignoring them, is unknown. Whether it was for this lesson alone or for other reasons, we don’t know. The crowd told him that His mother and brothers were outside and wanted to see Him, and Jesus asked a profound thing. “Who is my mother?”
As you consider the holy child that you are carrying and birthing as raising the seed of God, “Christ in you,” you may now see new depth to the question of Christ, “Who is my Mother?”
This is a question you need not answer, as the answer is given quickly afterward,
“And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples said, “Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God my Father the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.”
Do your utmost, dear friends, to achieve this worthy life “Christ in you.”
*Excerpt “Who is my mother?” taken from “The Questions of Jesus” by Don C Harris
The Truth Will Set You Free – JESUS IS IN THE RED
Hosted by Linda Wattley
It is not every day you encounter a true man of God who does not use worldly techniques to spread the Gospel. Don C. Harris is indeed a humble man who at the same time is empowered to manifest the truths outlined in Jesus’ plan to empower us to be children of God to the max. When he speaks about the Word of God he does it with great conviction and certainty. Even if you are not looking to consider what he is saying, you will because truth is a power of its own.
Don is an author of several books and the Director of Think Red Ink Ministries International and he is host of daily broadcasts, TV and radio shows. Ever since he was a child, he had problems with the church institutions and how they portrayed God and the Bible. This unsettling dissatisfaction sent him on a journey to truth.
He stepped down out of the pulpit and for 23 years he traveled to all the states as well as to Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Nigeria and Israel looking for answers. Ultimately, he discovered: Jesus came to teach us to think!
This revelation brought THINK RED INK into existence which is his gift to the world to set people free from untruths about God and the Bible. It is believed that this revelation will go down in history as compared to the revelation of Martin Luther who sparked Great Reformation. His truths are so profound and a waste of time to challenge. Don is a man who keeps the commandments, yet refuses to be tied to the minutiae of legalism. He knows someone bigger than the book.
His disappointment, honesty, and a love of truth equipped him to decipher the mystery of the gospel. THINK RED INK is a game-changer, to say the least. It is the foundation of his books, ministries and his TV/Radio Shows where he daily shares truth from this amazing awakening.
I suppose we should be thankful that we live in a country that still acknowledges God in some respect. The holiday of Thanksgiving is exclusively an American one. No matter its origins, no matter whatever foolishness Madison Avenue seems to have attached to it, we should thank God for the blessings in our life.
Some people who have eliminated pagan holidays from their lives have some concerns about Thanksgiving. I don’t think it’s a legitimate concern. As a matter fact, I think perhaps we should consider it one of the last vestiges of godly American life. And for that reason alone, we should keep it with honor.
I encourage you to enjoy your family this year with a sincere heart of thankfulness.
I do not think that there is any future or benefit in contemplating any disgrace in the slaughter of innocent turkeys, the theology of the pilgrims, or the pagan symbology hidden in the cornucopia, or enter into conversations complaining of the degradation of Christian principles in our country,
All of which inevitably leads to a sour disposition, lack of participation, and in short, a poor Christian testimony.
It is, always has been, and will continue to be a fact that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Get some joy and spread it around.
It is always sad for me to read the words of our Lord Jesus as he held the newly cleansed leper in his arms and looked back over the shoulder of this thankful man for “the other nine” and said, “… is none but you returned to give thanks?”
I wonder sometimes what the other nine men who were cleansed we’re doing at that point in the story.
Do you think they were smiling?
Do you think they were happy?
Do you think they were planning for their new futures?
Do you think they ran to reconcile with their families that had previously rejected them?
Do you think that they were filled with hope?
… finally …
After years of rejection, loneliness, pain, and poverty…filled with hope?
Perhaps they now had hope.
Perhaps they again had a future.
Maybe happiness once again filled their lives.
It may be that their new lease on life had indeed restored to them what they had lost. But it did not seem to give them the one characteristic that the One who had healed them so longed to see…
Of all the characteristics of Christianity, faith, hope, love, charity, kindness, long-suffering, etc, etc., the singular characteristic that invariably contains an element of sublime worship is … gratitude.
Let’s be grateful.
“Thank you Lord Jesus.”
Don C Harris
“The Questions of Jesus” by Don C Harris – Question #92:
“The Bestest Feast Ever!”
…That’s the way it was described by me and everyone there. What a wonderful time we had. As you know, I try to have a teaching theme for the Feast and this year it was, Time-lyin’. This was to be a look at false prophecies of the end-times that have affected our day and also recent history. The study for the series was so depressing that I decided to combine them one by one into an uncomfortably long sermon and then attach the over-arching message.
We live in a time when prophecies about the end of the world, the coming of Christ, the coming of the antichrist, the destruction of the planet… Oh my goodness, I just realized this list will be nearly endless if I don’t just quit now. The fact is that since the Internet, every idiot with a concordance and an over-active imagination can say and publish anything they want to excite and incite what would normally be very intelligent people to believe the most ridiculous things. As a matter fact, I have been fascinated with the fact that it seems to be the intelligentsia that were so taken in by the tomfoolery of blood moons, planet X, solar eclipses, comets … oh my goodness, I just realized I am involved in another very long list.
I suppose everyone knows that the world did not end when it was expected on September 23, 2017 and every other prophesied time as well. For those of you who do not watch the news, the world did not end – it didn’t even hiccup.
It is really not my intention to point out all the stupidity of the purveyors of these ridiculous applications of so-called scientific facts, nor is it my intention to lampoon those who believed it. In reality, I feel sorry for both.
Our Lord Jesus went to a lot of trouble to tell us how to handle end-time events. None of which, by the way, involves the following:
- scouring your Bible
- matching Scriptures with historical events / dates / times
- playing with equidistant letter sequences or
- interpreting rare, scientifically predictable events into “signs of the heavens”
In reality, our preparation for the end of the age, the end of our lives, and the end of our society as we know it, all culminate in one solid piece of advice.
Horrible events happen to all persons but there is no need for us to perish by them. Even the writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that good and bad things happen to good and bad people. We should not be surprised by this. But as Jesus tried to tell us when he spoke of the Galileans who were slain at the altar, and the persons upon which the tower at Siloam fell, He offered His advice, “Except you change, you will all likewise perish.”
Oh, yeah? Change what?
Well, it’s simple. Change the way you process information. Change the way you trust those who are intent on scaring you, motivating you, merchandising you, and perhaps even using your fear as their entertainment.
I think a little piece of advice, perhaps some new information, perhaps even old information may be able to settle you if you are one who believes that God uses rare (but not scientifically inexplicable) portents and signs to try to tell us what Jesus spent his entire ministry stating and restating,
“The end is near.”
My friend the end is near. Your end is near. The chances are very good, even if the end of the age is 15-20 years away, you will never see it. Wouldn’t it be a shame to find yourself 20 years from now in the same condition you are today having only added fear and dread and cowardice to your list of characteristics?
So, here’s the kicker.
If you need to change – do it now!
There is not one bit of difference between the way we should be – the way we should act – where we should spend our money – how we should provide for our family – how we should worship our God – or any any other characteristic of Christianity whatsoever – and the way we should live in the severest tribulation.
There is no difference at all in the way we should live if the end of the world is tonight, tomorrow, 20 years from now or 200 years from now – IF you are Christian!
IF you are not a Christian – become one! “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Eph. 4:15)
- Keep the commandments.
- Never, ever violate your conscience.
- Take time every day to hear the voice of God (guidance).
We cannot prepare for those days without guidance. Concerning preparation for tribulation the Prophet Amos said, “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.”
In reality, there is no effective preparation, other than the preparation of ourselves. We should pray, we should live, we should minister to our neighbor, and we should worship our God, now as in the day of our end (with a pure heart intent upon being the people He wants us to be). If that is the case, it makes no odds pertaining to tribulation distractions, wicked politicians, planets crashing into the earth, plagues, wars and rumors of wars.
Our mission is still the same, “To simply be God’s people full of His spirit and wisdom and knowledge.”
Don’t get sidetracked.
Don C Harris
Perhaps we Americans have let independence overshadow dependence. We may be free from England, but we are not free from our Master. Let’s discuss and seek revelation on our responsibilities as Americans and our duties as Christians.
You are invited to the TRI Ministries International Headquarters in Pie Town, New Mexico (6-30 to 7-4)! This four day camping trip is your chance to experience life on top of Mt. Concho.
Space is limited! Don’t delay.
*not a typo.
|However elusive unprompted gratitude may be, it is the point that our unworthiness occurs to us that becomes the point of our salvation and wholeness – not the time of our cleansing. The return to show gratitude is the visible indicator that a man has been adopted into the family of God – and that point is out of our control.|
Luke 17:17,”And Jesus answering said, “Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?”
… Ten lepers got together one day and finding their opportunity, called out to Him, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” One of them was not an Israelite but, hiding among the nine he calculated that he would get in on the deal. The Jewish Master would not notice, he schemed, or ask for pedigrees and he would blend in and get a blessing just these Jews. Much to their surprise and amazement, the Teacher granted their request. Jesus, knowing the Law, said to them to go to the priest for pronouncement of cleanliness and as they went, the record says, they were cleansed. The Samaritan watched wide-eyed as the white scales fell from under his robe and out of his sleeves and his arms were clean and beautiful for the first time in years. This one returned running. He thanked Jesus for cleansing him. Jesus looked at him and saw that it was not one of the Israelites to whom He was sent, but a man of a bastard culture, a land that worshiped a god named Yahweh, but whose worship was far from true, and whose understanding was far from pure. He had but a vague idea what Jesus wanted him to do when he was asked to go to the priest. He was not allowed to even approach a priest. He just did as he was told. Now, overwhelmed with gratitude, he returned and thanked Jesus.
Jesus looked at his disciples and asked, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” (Luke 17:17-19)
Here is a question for us, what made the others whole? Were they made whole, or were they merely healed?
It is when we return and give thanks, it is when we realize our before and after condition, that our faith makes us whole. There are many who have bowed at an altar, many who have made professions of faith, prayed a prayer, even repented of sin, but few have fully realized our wonderful blessing and returned in humility to give thanks.
This quality of gratitude is a missing ingredient in the salvaging process. We cannot teach thankfulness, we cannot put it into a tract as a step to salvation.
We cannot demand appreciation, as it would become an act of compliance instead of a spontaneous act of love. However elusive unprompted gratitude may be, it is the point that our unworthiness occurs to us that becomes the point of our salvation and wholeness – not the time of our cleansing. The return to show gratitude is the visible indicator that a man has been adopted into the family of God – and that point is out of our control.
Many have been touched by Christ, many have been forgiven of Him, but few have been made whole. When it comes down to words on paper, it cannot be better said than, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”
There is a special message here to we who are Gentiles in the flesh. Do we fully realize that we have received cleansing by “hiding” among ungrateful Jews? Paul’s comments on this matter are worthy of note.
“I say then, Have they [the Jews] stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles… For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in… ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their [the Jews] unbelief:” (Romans 11:11-30)
We have been called now to the feast that we did not, and yet do not deserve only because those who were called spurned their opportunity. If we have been called we must seek to be worthy of acceptance – at the very least we can be grateful. “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Jesus used this phrase again when describing a man, invited to a wedding feast, who, when given a garment to wear, refused it for his own clothes. Here was a man invited in the place of ingrates, though unworthy, a man called, a man who answered the call, but he accepted the favor on his own terms. He wanted to participate in the festivities and food and wine at the expense of the wedding family, but he did not want to do it if cost him his identity to do so. In short, he was very ungrateful. “And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.” He was promptly thrown out. For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22)
Another example was the story of the greedy workers who, after they worked all day wanted more than what they were hired to receive only because they saw others being paid the same for less work. Complaining to the husbandmen, they accused him of being unfair, though they received exactly what they agreed. They showed themselves ungrateful. Their wages were paid, but the last came before them. “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” (Matthew 20:16)
We need not only be called; we need to be chosen for our gratitude and our lack of complaint. We need to be faithful and thankful. Do we ever consider the sacrifice made for us, the invitation we have been given, or the miracle that has been bestowed on our behalf? Have we counted the price paid by Christ for us as dear, precious and undeserved? Do we wear, without complaint, the beautiful garment we have been given, to appear to the world as one of His own? Do we try to hold to our own way, or withhold faithful service until benefits equal our idea of fairness? If we want to be counted with Him, there is only one way. The verse in Revelation lists the attributes of those who are with Christ, “… for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, AND chosen, AND faithful.” (Revelation 17:14)
If as many who were cleansed, were grateful enough to serve, our efforts of evangelism may reveal better statistics. Many people have professed faith in Christ because He once touched them. Most of our country, as well as a large portion of the world, has been to Christ and asked for cleansing, but only one in, perchance, ten have returned to thank Him, to serve Him, to honor Him… but… where are the nine?”