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A few years ago, God made it very clear to me that I was to get into fellowship with other believers. He led me to my present church (the only church I have actually officially become a member of in my adult life). God showed me from the first visit to this church that it would be a place/group of people that would show me love beyond anything I could ever predict and would help me to step out in my faith in ways that I would never have on my own. God is most definitely growing this church.

I pray that when God puts a call on anyone's life to enter into a fellowship of believers that they believe HIM and ask for the direction from HIM about where to find this treasure.

I grew up going to church every Sunday and Wednesday night. My family was very, very strict, even more so than the other church members I knew. Because of this over strictness, and is a young adult, I stopped attending church. Mike, you asked if times of not attending church were good times or bad times in our lives? I cannot emphasize my answer enough -- they were BAD TIMES!!! And the bad times culminated in bringing me back into a relationship with Jesus and back to the church again.

About church--a local assembly of believers---
Whenever someone moves, I hear them say they are looking for the right neighborhood, or the right house. But I think people should find the right church first, then the house, school, etc will fall into place.

As to Exodus, one thing I love about his passage is that it starts with women taking risks to protect babies. Think of Shiprah and Puah as midwives refusing to follow Pharoahs orders to murder the baby boys.

And what if Moses's mother had not made the basket? What if his sister had been too afraid to approach Pharoah's daughter? What if Pharoah's daughter had not acted like a woman and fallen in love with that precious little baby? It is amazing to think how God used all these women--doing what women do best--giving life and nurturing--to begin his great work of leading His people out Egypt.

Matthew 16:13-17:9
15Then Jesus asked them, "But who do you say I am?"
Like Simon Peter I would say Jesus is the ". . . Messiah, the Son of the living God."
I also found a website that has many other different names for Jesus
http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/jesustitles.htm

Yes I go to church. I love it. I have many supportive friends there.
I have been going to different churches (both in Christchurch, Auckland and here in the Bay) for the last 14 years. There have been periods in my life when I have not gone to church regularly but I find I miss it. So those periods havent been long ones.

Go to church its good and we arent called to be lone Christians. God knew we needed others in our Christian walk.

Joseph

Gen 50:17
"'This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father." When their message came to him, Joseph wept." NIV

The picture is now complete. Joseph had wanted to be reconciled to his brothers, but this is the first time it is recorded that they wanted to be reconciled to him. A picture of salvation. God wants us to be saved, but we must come humbled, acknowledging our sin, and ask forgiveness. Just like Joseph promises to provide for his brothers, Jesus will provide for us.
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God has and will foreshadow Christ throughout the Old Testament.

Other Jesus/Joseph comparisons

We saw how both men were loved by their father (see Genesis 37:3; Matthew 3:17).

They were both shepherds of their father's sheep (see Genesis 37:2; John 10:11-16).

Both men were sent by their fathers to their brothers, but Joseph's brothers hated him and sought to kill him and Jesus blood brothers rejected him and his spiritual brothers sought to kill him (see Genesis 37:13ff; John 7:3; Luke 20:47).

Both men had a personal robe that was taken from them (Genesis 37:23-24; John 19:24).

Both men spent time in Egypt (see Genesis 37:25-28; Matthew 2:14-15).

They were both sold for the price of a slave (see Genesis 37:28; Matthew 26:15).

They were both bound in chains (see Psalm 105:18; Genesis 39:20; Matthew 27:2).

They were both tempted (see Genesis 39;7-10; Matthew 4:1-11).

They were both falsely accused (see Genesis 39:16-17; Matthew 26:59).

They were both placed with two other prisoners, one of whom was saved and the other lost (see Genesis 40:2-22; Luke 23:32-43).

They both began their ministries at the age of thirty (see Genesis 41:46; Luke 3:23).

Both men were exalted by God after a season of suffering (see Genesis 41:41-43; Philippians 2:9-11).

They both forgave those who harmed them (see Genesis 45:1-15; Luke 23:34).

Both men were sent by God to save many (Genesis 45:7; Matthew 1:21; Mark 10:45).

And finally, they both understood that God turned evil into good (see Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28). - Steve Ritchie
http://www.pbc.org/library/files/html/4423.html

Genesis 50:20 really stood out to me today. How Joseph told his brothers that they intended him harm but God meant it for good. That was a powerful revelation for me. It taught me that no matter what situation I am in I need to totally trust God. It may be bad but I still need to trust Him because he turns all situations for good ONLY to those who COMPLETELY trust Him. We just need to be patient and trust Him to bring good out of a bad situation. That is what I struggle with 'patience' I want things to change when I want them to change. I really need to learn to just be at peace and wait on the lord. I now know that God can overrule people's evil intentions to bring about HIS intended results. WOW!!!!!!

Praise: Made it through the whole book of Genesis from front to back. So proud!

Prayer: That God gives me patience and to totally be able to trust Him in all situations whether good or bad. And to be able to praise Him in all situations and not just when things are going good. Any body can praise Him when on the mountain top. I want to be able to praise Him when I am down in the gutter as well.

Humm... the "F" word. Forgiveness.

today - do we truly forgive other people like Joseph forgave his brothers? Or, do we maybe hold some piece of unforgiveness within us? Maybe we keep bringing up the wrong that somebody did to us? Maybe we do this to make them feel a bit guilty from time to time? Will we instead fully forgive and fully move forward?

I am in prayer about this right now. I honestly say that I struggle with forgiveness. I do not forgive completely and I when I do so call forgive I tend to constantly bring up the situation. Like with my husband for instance. I do know that I need to work on this and I am trying my best. It is just that when people have hurt or harmed you so badly it is really hard to forgive them like our Father forgives us every day of our lives. I guess as I mature in Him it will become easier. But right now it is really hard.

I am struggling with church attendance. My husband and I went to a wonderful church for several years. We were very active there, donating time and treasure and making friendships that we thought would last for quite a long time.

Unfortunately, some people at the church who we thought were our friends ... well, they weren't. And they proved how fallible people can be. We decided to leave, with heavy hearts.

Since then, we've sporadically attended a large church near our neighborhood. My husband goes more often than I, and he takes our little one to Sunday school. But I'm having such a hard time making a commitment. When it comes down to it, I'm afraid of being hurt. And I don't ever want to feel that level of disappointment in a church and her people again. I'm praying that I will overcome these feelings and get to church this - and every - Sunday.

I know that's the right thing to do. And I know that attending church would give me some of the peace, comfort and friendships I need. I wish it weren't so hard to just do the right thing!

Sissysue

Exodus 1:8
Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.

That is the answer as to why the Jews became slaves in Egypt.

The records are horrible from that time, as their seems to be a transition in dynasties. Theories abound:

1) Two Egyptian dynasties who did not get along, and all previous records and deeds to land were nullified.
2) Hyksos (foreigners) ruled during Joseph, and Egyptians took over doing same as in number 1.

or it may be as simple as "Keil and Delitzch" say, that the translation may be the "new king" cared not to know about Joseph. The issue was the large growth.

Jews were settled in the north of Egypt and that is where the foreign attacks would come through in this period. The fear was that this large mass of people would join up with foreigners and help invade Egypt.

There are a few more theories that seem absurd, and the problem is - no one knows because of the lack of data. Apparently no two Egyptologists can agree on anything in this period of time.

I love to read the story from Moses! I loved that story from when I was a little girl! I'm so excited to read it now again! It's such a wonderful story! So powerful! If I had time enough, I'd read further now! I can't wait!

Matthew was powerful as well! I was floored when I read it! I think I read it 4 times in a row!
"Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
~ I'm defenitly putting my sellfish ambition aside and live for Jesus Christ. I want to follow Him and do everything what He wants me to do. I want to find my true life and live my true life!

I go to church regularly; Sunday 9.45 biblestudy in church, followed by 11am service, I'm home around 1.30pm and then I go back to church around 5.30 pm for the prayermeeting followed by the 6pm service, on Wednesday the midweekservice and Saturday 8pm till 10pm 'coffeehouse'. And then there's several other reasons why I'm in church, but the services are regular. I love going to church! I really need to be in God's house, I love meeting my brothers and sisters in church, we do meet outside church a lot to. I do encourage people to go to church, I love to hear God's word, it's so true! It's the truth! God's word can lead you through your life. It's words that comfort you, gives you encouragements, give you strength!!! I LOVE church! I know a lot of people think that church is boring ... but try to listen with your heart and your heart will open up! Church is not 'just church', it's God's house! He wants you there! I wants you to listen with your heart! It's His words, He wants you to know things, He wants you to be saved! Believe me ... : it will change your life immensly!

Forgiveness...."and forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us"We need to forgive and I too pray for this in many aspects of my life,if we ask to forgive us as we forgive others....we'd better forgive others.
Church...the word church brings up happy memories for some,sad ones for others.Early christians and Jews were persecuted by the "church"if they didn't follow it's man made rules....people have left church because the shepherd who was to tend to the flock only was there to feed of the sheep,some left because they were facing persecution/judgement from fellow brothers....For a long time now,the prayer of Jesus in the garden before he was arrested was that we(the body of Christ)be one as He and the Father are one....a house divided against itself can't stand...if all the parts of my body decided to go their different ways because my mouth hated what my hand was feeding it for example,I'd not be me anymore....We may not get along but we need each other.I do attend a gathering of belivers,and we don't meet just on service days....we have a prayer group,a bible study group....we have activities for the youth as well but I don't participate....
God bless you all

Matt 16:28
"I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." NIV

A lot of people have trouble with this verse and it revolves around the phrase "coming in his kingdom". Today people think of "kingdom" as the territory, but to the Greeks "kingdom" was thought of as reflecting the person (ruler). The Greek word for kingdom "basileia" can also be correctly translated "royal power".

The proper interpretation may be:

"...will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his royal power (glory)."

This would make sense because in the previous verse Jesus talks about coming in His glory at the Second Coming.

Also in Mark and Luke, there are no chapter breaks, so I believe the prophecy was fulfilled in the next verses at the transfiguration.

The disciples Peter, James and John were three of the closest to Christ (always listed in the first group when apostles are named). They saw Jesus in His Royal Power (glory). If everyone saw this, the mania would arise to make Jesus king and kick out the Romans.

Moses and Elijah seem symbolic of the Law and Prophets. Peter's request would not be so odd, if the timing of this "transfiguration" occured during the feast of Tabernacles (Where all jews built booths to live in to simulate time in wilderness).

A furhter comment by John:
John 1:14
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." NIV

I believe John saw this (literal) glory at the transfiguration.

Jesus told them not to mention this till He was raised from the dead. Again to avoid the mania of making Jesus an earthly king.
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TRANSFIGURATION a Picture of the Second Coming????

Perhaps. Christ was talking about Second Coming in Matt 16:27.

The Picture?
Jesus is the central figure in His Glory.

It happened on a mountain, just as Jesus' feet will rest on the mount of (Olives or Zion?) when he returns.

The Apostles represented those who will be alive at the Second Coming.

Moses represents the saints who have died that will be with Christ. We don't know his burial spot, but Moses did die.

Elijah represents the saints coming with the Lord who were raptured. Elijah did not die, but was carried up to Heaven on a chariot.

Elijah is most interesting. No explanation is given about why he was carried alive into heaven. Perhaps our God is such a God of details and providing clues and pictures of His plan, that the simple reason Elijah was carried up was so he could be a symbol of the rapture here at the transfiguration. If true, our God is a God of amazing details and we should have full confidence of His plan.

Of course if you do not believe in the "rapture" than this "picture" makes no sense.


I get the "Brio" magizine monthly and i was reading through my February issue and at the end I found this schedule for reading the bible. My dad, Carl, was telling me about what he was doing through the internet. Reading the whole Bible with in only a year. Later I found out that the thing in "Brio" was from the one year Bible. It sounded pretty cool so I "googled" it.
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I brought my magizine and my Bible to school today hoping I would read it. I brought them to Study Hall, since I have nothing to do in there, but I felt like I just couldn't bring myself to read the Bible at school in front of at least 19 other kids and a teacher. So i was reading a book called "Wait for Me". Eventually I got the strength and courage to read The Word.
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As time was slowly running out I could hear a little voice saying, "Come on, you don't have to do this!" I started putting my Bible away but I got it back out and read. Just as I got to the end of Exodus 2:10 the bell rang....I was so happy to go to lunch!!
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As I sat there eating, I thought about what happened last period. "Why are all these changes going on??" I'm reading the Bible more, which is good, and I no longer feel like God is calling me to be a healer. I asked Him about what he's clling me to be. I haven't got an answer yet. So maybe I am more then a healer. Maybe He was just preparing me for the real calling.
If something similar to this has hapened to you I'd love to "hear" your thoughts! =]
have a great day,
Burgandy Rae

Church: I've been part of mega churches, small village churches, traditional litergical churches, very informal churches and I love them all! In each one the Lord had something to teach me, or some new area of spiritual growth to impart. The members in each church are truly my brothers and sisters - even when we have different perspectives or prefer different forms of worship. I can't wait to see the world-wide church all worshipping Jesus Christ together in heaven. All our differences will melt away. Won't that be glorious?!

Currently I am in transition between churches. I have become faithful in participating in a house church, and though it's a new concept to me, I find it enriching. We meet in a different home each week. We enjoy a meal together (everyone brings something) and we always share bread and wine (or juice if you prefer) to remember Jesus' body broken for our wholeness and his blood shed for the forgiveness of our sins. After the meal we share together in songs, prayer, testimonies, exhortations from the Word of God, and discussion of Biblical topics; and again everyone is encouraged to participate in some way.

I still fellowship in traditional churches, attending Bible Studies and other events as well as Sunday services. I think it's marvelous that the body of Christ is so broad and would encourage anyone who is not part of a local body of believers, to get hooked in. We really need each other and I think it's part of God's design. Check out Heb. 10:24-25.

Matt 16:18

"And I tell you that you are Peter,and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." NIV

Peter is "Petros" in Gk. and means stone. rock is "petra" in Gk. and means large rock, crag, etc. I realize in the Aramaic there is no difference, but the NT was written in Greek for a reason. Everyone understood it and there is a vast richness to the many words for one English word.

Petros is masculine, and rock is feminine. The rock is a characteristic and describes something - but what? I defer to John MacArthur here, and let each of you pursue it on your own if you desire.

"I believe, however, that the best interpretation of "upon this rock I will build my church" is to see the apostles as the foundation of the church. Ephesians 2 says the household of God (the church) is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone" (v. 20). It's important to remember that Peter made his confession about Christ (Matt. 16:16) on behalf of all the disciples. So it's no problem to see Peter representing all the disciples here in verse 18...

...The church is built, not on the office or rank of the apostles, but on their teaching. The apostles laid the foundation for the church in proclaiming the Word of God and in many ways were inseparable from their own message. Acts 2 says the early church "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship" (v. 42). The church's foundation is God's revelation, as given to us through the apostles." - John MacArthur
http://www.biblebb.com/files/mac/gc2319.htm
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"... and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." NIV

There are many different interpretation of these words. But what was the context? Christ is talking about building His church on a foundation. Following these words in the next section Christ is talking about His death and ressurection.

With that in mind? "gates" can be thought of as holding something in (like a prisoner").

"of Hades" Hdes is not hell (gehenna), it is well, "Hades". The word in Hebrew is "sheol". It means the "grave" or the place where souls go - with a good and bad side - but it is not heaven either.

Heb2:14
"Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—"

Satan has the power of death. People feared death, there was nothing good to be presumed about death.

But Christ conquered death by Ressurection.
Acts2:24
"But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."

And so these words seem a promise of ressurection, not a mandate for spiritual warfare. The gates (holding you in) of the grave (hades) will not prevail over it (the church).

Christ said it like this: "Because I live, ye shall live also" (John 14:19).

For the church Christ is building on the foundation of the apostles and prophets - death no longer holds a sting, there is no power in death. The grave no longer contains us, as it did not Christ. Because He lives, so shall we - eternally with Him.


"you really can find a great church if you search prayerfully"

I totally agree. It took me 11 LONG months to find the right Church. I found it and I absolutely love it. In fact, I do no think that I would be where I am right now if it were not for the Church.

In those 11 months I had some really bad experiences and I am glad that I had a friend who kept encouraging me not to give up. There were so many disappointments during those 11 months that I was just ready to give up. I see now that there is no perfect church (people OR pastors) I am so thankful that I did not give up on the Church. Searching for the right Church can be discouraging at times. If you are in search of a Church do not give up. The Lord will lead you to where you are supposed to be.

One verse Peter is going good then the next moment, he is NOT. Isn't that just like all of us? The Israelite people being under the cruelty of the Egyptians - it brought about God's plan anyway - they grew in numbers and in strength. Just like later on Peter became just what Jesus said, the rock of the church. Under all the persecution of the early church, Peter became strong and grew the first century church, following God's plannot his own inclination.

I see a great gap between: what people complain about in the church, about their pastors, leaders, programs, etc and what they are actually willing to DO to serve God. It is a sin also to know the right thing to do and not do it. I came from a prayer meeting today - which was well announced in the church. Three people showed up. However, last week, the board meeting was greatly attended, numerous folks came, complained, criticized the youth, demanded change, expected more from the already over-loaded leadership, to serve them (the congregation), make things more enjoyable for them (the congregation), etc... ad nausem.

I have found that those who love God go to prayer meetings, those who love themselves, only go to the board meetings. I want to see folks who claim to be Christian, love each other like the Christians did in the first century church, study the Word, pray together and prefer each other.

Get involved, read the Bible (I know that is what goes on here), love your brothers and sisters, encourage eachother, and really serve eachother.

(Steps off soap box, bows head, and prays)

God bless you all. Love ya!

gosh, this is all making sense now, little bits and pieces of my Bible knowledge are coming together and connecting. I'm just speaking outloud here, so the Isralites are decendents of Israel, aka Jacob and thats what the country was named for. I always knew the children fled from Egypt but i didnt realize how they got there, ok cause after Joseph was sold and his brothers all moved there all the descendants lived there but then the Egyptians hated them so it forced the Israelites to take an exodus out of there. A Hebrew man was born and he was the one who'd lead the way out, Moses. ok I seeing things now. Wow and if we look at those countries today, Egypt and Israel, we will see God'shand of blessing on Israel, they are a very prosperous nation whereas Egypt aint doing so well, they arent any kind of economic, military or any power are they. Excuse my lack of knowledge on Egypt, but I believe they are pretty bad off today. I dont hear much about that counrty aside from their former wealth. WE see God had told them they wouldnt prosper and they'd be poor...and thousands of years later, we see God has kept His word regarding Egypt and Isarel. awesome.

Matthew is awesome stuff. So Jesus asked Peter who He was and Peter answered correct, so Peter was kinda puffed up in his pride a bit, so when Jesus started talking about HIs death Peter thought he was being wise when he rebuked the notion. But Peter was in the flesh and the flesh is of satan and Jesus right away rebuked that. Right on. How many times does God have to remind me I have things on my mind that arent of God, even if i think they are innocent, my thoughts and daydreams get carried away and take my eyes off Jesus and the kingdom and on to "things of men". Its our flesh, our fallen nature that pulls us that way.

Very cool how the discples recognized Elijah and Moses (who i believe will be the two witnesses during the Great Trib, but who knows). But, obviously the disciples had never seen pictures of the men, how did the dicsiples know who they were? I heard some pastors talking about this, like what will heaven be like, how will we recognize others and they brought up this example. We just will know, we'll have a new vision, mind and we'll enter heaven with a recognition of everyone, woohoo!! How cool...I mean all the peeps, I cant wait to meet them all, Joseph, Peter, Elijah, Jeremiah, everyone, all our deceased beleiving relatives/friends (and we will not remember our deceased nonbelieving relatives...this is a much deeper discussion i better not get into). But we will have a recognition and knowledge not of this world.
Of course for about the first 500000 yrs I will be flat on my face b4 Jesus. He's really the only one I'm desperate to meet of course!!

So, what were Elijah, Moses and Jesus discussing? The view I hear most is that the two were comforting Jesus concerning His upcoming death, or strengthening Him. Wouldnt you like to hear that discussion?

Oh yes, and I do attend my church as much as I can, I loooove it there! I thank GOD I live so close, Calvary chapel costa mesa, woohoo! that I can go hear my pastor, Chuck Smith, who I think is awesome along with Brian Broderson, awesome. I really thank God cause He justs uses these men to speak to me and others. Before that I went to CCPacific Coast with awesome Pastor Ron Wilkons. The ppl who attend there are like me, a bunch of sinners who love the Lord and seek a new heart, new mind, a closer walk with the Lord. If we seek perfection, we will not find it. But we are very warned about false prophets. ok, gotta go.

Matthew 16: In 6 yrs I have attended 3 different churches. For different reasons I asked to be excused/released from my previous church homes. Now I am at a church that I feel is in tune with the bible and does not try to find what is NOT in the bible to make themselves comfortable. Church burnt is a horible thing however the balm in Gilead can certainly make it all right. Just like Mike said PRAY!!

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