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A New Thing

21 January 2023

18“Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
19Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.”
– Isaiah 43:18-19 nkjv

Dear Friend,

A potted cactus serves as a backdrop for the title image, 'Behold, I will do a new thing.'Things can get uncomfortable, but exciting, when God starts to do a “new thing”!1

Once is a happenstance. Twice is probably a coincidence. But three times? Hmm. Receiving a word three times may mean that the Lord is trying to get our attention. In less than two weeks, from three different people (none of whom knows the other two, but all three have track records of hearing God) we have received this word — “I will do a new thing.”

I’m well aware that “I will do a new thing” is a stock phrase in well-meant, but uninspired, man-conceived prophecies. I also know it’s a favorite text for New Year’s messages, from both pulpit and page. This is different; this resonates. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1b).

What does it mean for Denise and me here and now? I have [continue reading…]

Work, for the Night Is Coming!

Anna Coghill
(1836-1907)

“We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”

John 9:4-5 nasb

Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the morning hours;
Work while the dew is sparkling,
Work ’mid springing flowers;
Work when the day grows brighter,
Work in the glowing [continue reading…]

The Most High Ruleth

29 November 2022

What a Bible Study in Daniel Taught Me

Dear Friend,

Image of a round 'I voted' stickerWe research, we vote; perhaps we even campaign. But the results are in the hands of a sovereign God!

One of the most important things I’ve accepted about God’s sovereignty, I learned from teaching an extended Bible study on the book of Daniel forty-seven years ago. Nebuchadnezzar, a pagan, kingdom-swallowing dictator, a cruel, self-centered sovereign with terrible anger-management issues was at the pinnacle of success.

Then his lifestyle and world were overthrown. Three times in Daniel 4 he hears a heavenly refrain that shakes his soul. Initially, in a dream he hears heavenly beings speak an inescapable maxim to him (Daniel 4:17); next, in his throne room, he hears Daniel repeat it as he interprets the king’s dream (v. 25); and finally, in his heart, he hears those same heavenly beings carry out God’s divine judgment against him as they invoke this truth: [continue reading…]

Messiah’s Missing Months and the Magi

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series The Curious Corners of Christmas

Copyright © 2022

by
Jim Kerwin

Not Enough Christmas Time!

IMAGE-DESCRIPTIONAvailable soon as a Kindle e-booklet…

Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.”1 Most of us love the Christmas season, but few of us are happy about its relationship to time. Children feel like there’s too much time to wait until Christmas morning arrives. Time-starved adults, especially parents, feel there’s not enough time, like everything is “happening at once” — special church activities, seasonal school events, work-related parties to attend, family reunions to plan, decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking, and cooking. Stress, and finally, exhaustion, seem like unavoidable parts of our annual Christmas experience, mostly because too much activity gets crammed into too little time. There’s just too much “happening at once,” but it’s our tradition. It’s how we celebrate Christmas, and that may never change this side of Jesus’ return.

But coming from that frenetic mindset, without meaning to spoil things (most especially God’s truth!), it seems like we’ve also allowed our out-of-breath, out-of-time approach to Christmas to cloud and confuse our understanding of the Bible’s true “Christmas story.” We’ve tried to cram too many events into too little time, making it so the Bible narratives “happen at once.”

Because the integrity of the Scriptures and God’s truth is paramount [continue reading…]

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

James Montgomery
(1771-1854)

Psalm 72
(First sung during Christmas 1821)

Hail to the Lord’s anointed,
Great David’s greater Son!
Hail in the time appointed,
His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
To set the captive free,
To take away transgression,
And rule in equity.

He comes in succor speedy
To those who suffer wrong,
To help [continue reading…]

Highs & Lows Before the Most High

18 October 2022

Years Spent with John, Months Spent with Elijah

Dear Friend,

Title graphicWe experience lows and highs.
Nevertheless, we’re sustained by the Most High!1

Spending the last three full years of my life in the intimate company of John the Baptist while researching and writing The Exceptional Messenger has meant that I’ve also spent months in reflective fellowship with Elijah the Tishbite. (Some of you have commented on how much the book’s Squaring John with Elijah chapter has helped you.) One of the many things I’ve come to appreciate about Elijah is what James 5:17 says about him:

Elijah was a homoiopathēs man…

Homoio-who now? The King James probably comes the closest to the Greek here when it renders the word as a man subject to like passions. The homoi- prefix means like, similar, resembling. But once you know that the pathēs part of the adjective comes from the verb-cluster páthō / páschō / pénthō family which means suffer, feel, or vex, you pick up on James’ idea: Famous, powerful Elijah, the “super [continue reading…]

Logos y Rhema

Derechos de autor © 20221
por
Percy Gutteridge
transcrito del audio y traducido por
Inés María González Valdés
con
Jim Kerwin

A note to our English-speaking friends (Una nota para amigos que hablan inglés):
This article also appears on our website in English as Logos & Rhema. We offer it here for the first time in Spanish, a move we hope is another “baby step” in launching a Spanish-language Bible-study website: Lo Mejor del Trigo (The Finest of the Wheat).

Logos y Rhema title image

Lo que está siendo enseñado hoy en día sobre la Palabra de Dios me preocupa mucho. Hay muchos malentendidos sobre lo que es. El hecho de saber que hay dos vocablos griegos para “palabra” en el Nuevo Testamento, nos ayuda a entender mejor las cosas. Permítanme compartirlos aquí en un cuadro:

1 2
Palabra Griega λόγος ῥῆμα
Transliteración2 logos rhema
Pronunciación lo-gos re-mah

Como pueden ver en la columna 1, la primera palabra griega del Nuevo Testamento (λόγος) que a menudo se traduce como palabra, es logos, lo cual usted quizá conozca muy bien. Puede que también conozca la otra palabra griega en la columna 2 (ῥῆμα), pero quizá no tan bien: rhema.

La palabra “logos” y el Logos

Logos significa la expresión vocal de un pensamiento. Es bueno reflexionar sobre esa definición al recordar que [Sigue leyendo…]

Tis a Glorious Church

Ralph Hudson
(1843-1901)

25b…Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Ephesians 5:25b-27

Do you hear them coming, brother,
Thronging up the steeps of light,
Clad in glorious shining garments —
Bloodwashed garments pure and white?

Chorus:
’Tis a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle,
Washed in the blood of the Lamb! [continue reading…]

A “Moving” Testimony

29 July 2022

Dear Friend,

Map of a move across the United States3000 miles for new life in Christ…1

One of the first things I ask a new Christian acquaintance is this: “How did you come to Jesus?”

My 54th spiritual birthday comes around on the last day of this month, so let me share how the Lord brought me to Himself.

Not “Bad Enough” (but No Apologies for That!)

A dangle of Sunday school attendance pinsDoes anyone remember these “Cross & Crown” Sunday School attendance pins? I can’t recall, but I might have had as many as seven “shingles.”2

I don’t have a “lost in depraved sin” kind of testimony, but I make no apology for that. Those of us who didn’t have to “hit bottom” before giving ourselves to Jesus can consider our testimonies to include a blessèd dollop of the prevenient grace of God, which kept us from such traps and ensnarements. But we may have had the opposite problem: thinking we were “too good” to need Jesus. After all, weren’t we Christians just because we’ve been good church-go-ers?

I was taken to church every Sunday of my childhood life, from the day I was infant-baptized. As soon as I was old enough for Sunday school, that got added to the never-miss weekly list, as were the dangle of perfect-attendance pins. Junior high brought along the additional weekly attendance at youth group. When I was old enough, I earned my God & Country medal in Boy Scouts even before I earned my Eagle medal.

There was just one small problem. I had no way to know that [continue reading…]

“Give Me This Mountain!”

27 June 2022

Caleb: “Giants? So Much the Better!”

Title image for 'Give Me This Mountain!' showing a large fortress on a mountainYes, giants, fortresses and all!1
  • “As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”
  • Joshua 14:11-12 nkjv

Jim with Gladys de Chávez cutting his birthday cake at the ESUM Guatemala pastors' conferenceWe returned to our COVID-interrupted tradition of celebrating my birthday during the pastors' retreat in Guatemala.
Jim with one of the many pastors at ESUMIt seemed like nearly every pastor wanted a photo with me.2

Dear Friend,

I awoke the last day of ESUM in “Reu” (Retalhuleu), Guatemala at 5 AM. The teaching had been exceedingly well received so far for two straight days. This day, May 28th, was the last day of the conference and the last day of [continue reading…]

6: The Angel and the Speechless Priest Prophesy

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the series The John the Baptist Experience: Book 1

The John the Baptist Experience
Book 1: The Exceptional Messenger
Chapter 6: The Angel
and the Speechless Priest
Prophesy

Copyright © 20221

by
Jim Kerwin

Visiting Memories

Visitors were allowed to call on John in his cell at certain times. Through this “grapevine,” John had heard about how Jesus had associated him with the “Elijah prophecy” at the end of Malachi. John wondered how much of what Jesus declared about him had come through revelation, and how much of John’s own story Jesus had learned by other means.

John was just finishing his morning prayers when other visitors arrived. They were the ones to whom the guards and bars couldn’t deny admission, whenever they came. They were [continue reading…]

The Blood, the Blood Is All My Plea

Now I’m Kneeling at the Cross
[alternate title]

John Parker
(c. 1825–1911)

The blood, the blood is all my plea,
Nor should a sinner wonder;
For guilty stain and stinging pain
Hath torn my heart asunder!

Chorus:
But now I’m kneeling at the cross,
Washing in the crimson tide,
And cleansed, I tarry at the fountain
Opened at my Savior’s side.

I rest, I rest supremely blest, [continue reading…]

In God I Have Found a Retreat (Under His Wings)

James Ni­chol­son
(c. 1828–1876)

In God I have found a retreat
Where I can securely abide;
No refuge, nor rest so complete,
And here I intend to abide.1

Chorus:
Oh, what comfort it brings,
As my soul sweetly sings;
I am safe from all danger
While under His wings.

I dread not the terror by night;
No arrow can harm me by day; [continue reading…]

5: Squaring John with Elijah

This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series The John the Baptist Experience: Book 1

The John the Baptist Experience
Book 1: The Exceptional Messenger
Chapter 5: Squaring John with Elijah

Copyright © 20221

by
Jim Kerwin

A Question for You

Matthew 11 relates the story of the imprisoned John sending two of his disciples to Jesus with this question: “Are you the Expected One?” (Matthew 11:2-3) They see some of Jesus’ miracles, receive a prophecy-based word of encouragement for John, and they leave to report back (vv. 3-7a).

Jesus then turns to the crowds and launches into an unfolding of John’s ministry and its importance. Do you remember Jesus’ final statement regarding John in this passage?

  • 14“And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. 15He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
  • Matthew 11:14-15

In that phrase “Elijah who was to come,” Jesus is referring to [continue reading…]