Newsletter #267 - January 2001 - By Shepherds Chapel -

Our English word "rejoice" is translated from the Greek word "agalliao" (ag-al-lee-ah'-o) only 4 times in the KJV Bible. The Greek word is actually a combination of two words that mean "much" and "jumping". The Greek word is always utilized in connection with the appearance of Jesus Christ. We could thing of this meaning as the heart jumps, or leaps, for joy. We are going to begin our study With Jesus having told the Kenites that they were of their father the devil (John 8:44). Jesus continues His address to the Kenites.

John 8:47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." 48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto Him, "Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?"

When Jesus told them they were of their father the devil, He made them mad. They were Kenites residing in Judea

John 8:49 Jesus answered, "I have not a devil; but I honour My Father, and ye do dishonour Me. 50 And I seek not Mine own glory: there is One that seeketh and judgeth.

There is only One that deserves glory, and He is the Judge. Of course, that One is our Father.

John 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep My saying, he shall never see death."

That is a fact. Eternal life is available to all. Though your flesh may die, you soul returns to the Father from which it came (Ecc 12:6-7). Those that belief the words of our Father have eternal life. They never taste of death.

John 8:52 Then said the Jews unto Him, "Now we know that Thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and Thou sayest, 'If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.'

Our Father lives, and He is the Father of the living. As long as you are in Him, you also live. Abraham had enough faith that he was willing to obey God and slay his son Isaac. The very son though which the seed line of Messiah had been promised.

John 8:53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest Thou Thyself?" 54 Jesus answered, If I honour Myself, My honour is nothing: it is My Father that honoureth Me; of whom ye say, that He is your God:

Jesus had performed miracles as a witness that He was the true Messiah that had been promised Throughout the Old Testament. They still did not believe Him.

John 8:55 Yet ye have not known Him; but I know Him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know Him, and keep His saying.

Beware, all that say that they know God don't. You must use discernment to know who knows God and who doesn't. A person's works should tell you whether they keep God's sayings, or not. Jesus just called them liars.

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad."

Here, Jesus allows them to call Abraham their father as Abraham means "father of many nations", that is to say "ethnos". When Abraham's flesh body saw Messiah, his heart lept foe joy. I can just hear the critics now saying, "When did Abraham meat Messiah? He lived thousands of years before Christ." I would simply tell them that they don't have the slightest idea Who Melchizedek that met Abraham in the valley of Shaveh was.

John 8:57 Then said the Jews unto Him, "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said unto them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."

What did the nice religious community do?

John 8:59 Then took they up stones to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Rejoice! What a wonderful word, when we understand the full meaning. Messiah was long before the babe born in Bethlehem. You that believe on Him can also rejoice in the fact that Messiah will be with us in the eternity as King of kings, and Lord of lord. It is written. Have you read? I hope you are a student of God's Word, not the traditions of men. Let's continue our study in 1 Peter. We are going to take a look at a special message to the elect.

1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

A great deal is said in this one verse. God knew the elect before the 2nd earth age. He sanctified them because the stood against Satan at his rebellion. And even now, the elect have blood of Jesus Christ that wipes our sins away. Does that mean the elect are special? No, we have a lot of responsibility in this generation.

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Death was defeated for one and all time through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Remember, this message is directed especially to the elect. Again, that doesn't make the elect special. We are here for those who are lost in sin. Even the angels in heaven rejoice when one of our lost brothers or sisters is found.

1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Don't read over this verse. That is quite a promise from your Father. Your inheritance is locked in. That is something to rejoice about friends. But, there is work to be done here, and God chose you because you have proven to Him that you are able to "cut it".

1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

Does your heart leap for joy knowing that God has a place reserved for you? It should. Beware, God's elect will face temptations. That is our opportunity to show Satan and his what a real man, woman, or child of God looks like. We don't find Satan at all tempting.

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

The elect do not get a free ride. We will be tested. That is what the gospel armor is for. Satan loves to mess with God's elect. Stay focused and don't give him a chance. Use the power of the name Jesus Christ. Again, we see the word "rejoice" connected with the appearance of Jesus Christ; however, you can feel the power of God and rejoice in that power even today.

1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Though you may have felt His touch, you haven't even seen Him. That is faith. It is difficult to find words to describe how we feel when we rejoice in Him. Let's turn to Chapter 4 as we continue our study.

1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

We should all strive to put the will of God at the top of the list of our priorities in life.

1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

God's Word changes lives. Don't find it strange that your old friends begin to think your strange. When this happens, set a good example for your old friends and say, "there but by the grace of God go I".

1 Peter 4:5 Who shall give account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

The word "quick in this verse means "living". Soon after Christ was crucified, He went to all that died in sin and preached the gospel to them. It would not have been fair to judge those that died before Christ paid the price on the cross with those that died after. God is fair.

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

Charity is love. Your love for your brothers and sisters in bringing them the gospel will cover a multitude of your own sins.

1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Don't complain about helping someone or advertise the fact that you did. It is good to be able to help someone that is lost, and God expects a return on gifts.

1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

If any man speak, let it be in harmony with God's Word. If any man preach, let it be according to his gift.

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

The fiery trial is going to happen. It is written. Be prepared to stand up for the true Messiah. Christ suffered a great deal on the cross. Your heart should leap for joy that you have the opportunity to do something in return for Him. You will experience exceeding joy, if you wait for the true Messiah to be revealed. Others will be ashamed and pray for mountain to fall down on them.

1 Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.

If you are reproached for the name of Christ you should be happy. It means that you are stirring up Satan's nest. It means that you are doing some good for God and your lost brothers and sisters. What evil can do you any harm, if the Spirit of God is resting on you. When you feel the Spirit of God resting on you, let your heart leap for joy. Rejoice!

In His service,
Arnold Murray