THE CENTURION’S GOSPEL – Epilogue – part 3

THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES – Caesarea

Then his vision cleared and the man was gone.

“Cestus!” he called.

“Are you feeling unwell, sir?”

“On the contrary, I am feeling much better. I want you to take two of our men and ride for Joppa. Go to the tanner’s house. There you will find an old friend of ours, Peter. Bring him back here.”

Some days later, Peter was at his door with some of the brethren from Joppa who accompanied him. Peter entered but not they. Cornelius was about to hug him but remembered that Peter was the holy leader of the church, so he bowed down to him in respect.

But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.”

Then Peter noticed the many people assembled. And he said to him, “You yourselves know, Cornelius, how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. That is why I came without even raising any objection when I was sent for. So I ask for what reason you have sent for me?”

So, Cornelius told him of his vision and how he acted on it by sending for him. He led Peter to the other room, and said, “Now then, we are all here present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.” [italics – Acts 10:27-33]

Peter took a short pause, then he began. “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ for He is Lord of all, you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed.

“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

“We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

While Peter was still speaking these words, Cornelius suddenly felt deep within him an incredible sense of peace and joy that he had never experienced before. There was also something else, he felt loved. He looked at his wife and the others and knew they were all gifted in similar ways. There was both tears and joyful laughter from everyone. Then, there was songs of worship in Hebrew.

Peter, who was so moved, commanded for the brethren from Joppa to enter, so that they may witness that the Holy Spirit also fell unto these Gentiles. He then declared, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” [Italics – Acts 10:34-48]

The whole household was then baptized in a pool at the garden. Peter stayed with them for few more days until Cornelius, his wife and his household boarded the ship bound for Rome. Peter and he embraced their farewells.

As the ship sailed off, Cornelius went to the prow and placed his hands on the railing and smiled to himself. He had first come to this country in search of meaning. Now, he leave with a greater sense of understanding, contentment and a determination to fulfill a mission. Then he was joined by his wife, Trax and Cestus.

Trax then asked, “Father, what awaits us next?”

“A new ADVENTURE!”

THE END… or Is it?


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Thank you

Johann Q

WORD Sent Forth #17

Who Pleases God? – The Poor in Spirit

Matthew 5:3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Who are the poor in spirit?

Isaiah 66:2
Has not My hand made all these things? And so they came into being, declares the LORD. This is the one I will esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at My word.

Jesus illustrated this in Luke 18…

Luke 18:9-14
9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

God made these promises…

Psalm 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

So, what is your part?

Matthew 23:12
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

What action can you do right now? You can pray for the right spirit.

Psalm 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

IS YOUR HEART CONTRITE?

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WORD Sent Forth #16

The Focal Point for Salvation

In a clandestined meeting with Jesus of Nazareth, Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader and lawyer was given a life-changing lesson on faith.

Jesus said this…

John 3:14-15
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

What is the story about the ‘serpent in the wilderness‘?

This story went way way back in the time of the ancient Israelites after God rescued them from 400 years of slavery from Egypt. They have been wandering in the wilderness for some years now.

One other thing, at this time God had just given the Israelites a victory against a harrassing tribe. Then…

Numbers 21:4-5
They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

By the way, the miserable food they were grumbling about was the “Manna” (heavenly bread) that God daily provided for them.

What happens nexts?

Numbers 21:6
Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.

This should serve as a lesson on why we should have a healthy fear of God.

Numbers 21:7
The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

The people wanted the snakes to go away, but God had something else in mind.

Numbers 21:8-9
The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

So, what was Jesus’ point by paralleling himself hanging on the cross to the bronze snake on a pole? What was the lesson?

First consider: How were those bitten by a deadly snake healed?

Numbers 21:9b
Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and LOOKED at the bronze snake, they LIVED.

Incredible! Was the bronze snake magical? It was not the snake! It did nothing!

What saved anyone bitten was the simple act of looking at the bronze snake? How could ‘looking’ heal a snake bite? By itself, it’s impossible. Unless, God commanded it so…

Numbers 21:8
The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

This is important! The very act of just looking so that they could be miraculously healed is an act of FAITH that God will keep His word. The fact that verse 9 showed that they did live is proof that…

Joshua 23:14
“Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.

Going back to Jesus’ point.

John 3:14-15
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

Just as the bronze snake was the focal point for salvation for anyone bitten, then Jesus being hung on the cross is the focal point for salvation for everyone doomed because of SIN.

Do you BELIEVE?


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WORD Sent Forth #15

How can you be sure if the Holy Spirit is in you? How can you be sure that you are truly born again? How can you really be sure that you are saved from eternal damnation?

The answer is the ‘fruit’ that you produce.

Matthew 7:16,17
By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

What are the bad fruits?

Mark 7:21-23
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

Romans 7:5
For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.

1 Corinthians 3:3
…for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

What is the good fruit?

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

John 14:26
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Romans 8:26
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Isaiah 11:2
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Romans 5:3-5
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

John 15:1-17
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. …

Ask yourself, what kind of fruit do you produce?


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WORD Sent Forth #14

WHEN YOU BELIEVE IN CHRIST, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Only God can create! So, what is created? In this case, WHO is created when belief in Christ is truly professed? What did God do to us who believed?

1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be BORN AGAIN to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

I know what is in your mind. The same question was in the lips of a man who visited Jesus in the night some 2000 years ago.

John 3:4
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”

Nicodemus saw that to be BORN AGAIN is impossible for any man to achieve. However…

Luke 18:27
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

So, how does one become BORN AGAIN?

John 3:5
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are BORN of water and the Spirit.

Say what???

John 3:6
Flesh gives birth to flesh (physical birth), but the (Holy) Spirit gives birth to spirit (spiritual life).

What exactly did God do?

Ephesians 1:13, 14
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

The placing of the Holy Spirit in us was always God’s plan for our salvation.

Galatians 3:14
He redeemed us in order that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Do you have the HOLY SPIRIT in you?


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WORD Sent Forth #13

JESUS DID THE HARD TASK. SO, WHAT IS OUR PART?

John 14:1
“Do not let your heart be troubled; BELIEVE in God, BELIEVE also in Me.”

Why believe?

Hebrews 11:6a
And without FAITH it is impossible to please Him…

What exactly are we suppose to believe?

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must BELIEVE that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.

Who else should we believe in?

John 6:28,29
Therefore they said to Jesus, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you BELIEVE in Him whom God has sent.”

What exactly should we believe?

1 Corinthians 15:3,4
…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…

Romans 10:9
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and BELIEVE in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

Do we need to do anything else to be saved besides just believing?

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through FAITH. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

What happens when we truly believe?

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever BELIEVES in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Do you BELIEVE?


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WORD Sent Forth #12

HOW MUCH DID JESUS CARE? ENOUGH THAT HE SUFFERED FOR YOU.

1 Peter 3:18a
For Christ also SUFFERED once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God…

He suffered EMOTIONALLY…

Matthew 26:36-39
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

Luke 22:44
And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

He suffered by being FALSELY ACCUSED…

Matthew 26:59
Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death.

He suffered SHAMEFULLY…

Matthew 26:67-68
Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?”

He suffered ABANDONMENT by friends…

Matthew 26:69-75
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” When he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.” Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

He suffered INJUSTICE…

Matthew 27:24-26
When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

He suffered TORTURE & MOCKERY…

Matthew 27:27-31
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. After they had mocked Him…

He suffered DEATH…

1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to DEATH in the body…

Psalm 22:14-18
I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.

But death was not the worst of Jesus’ SUFFERING…

Jesus suffered most when He was temporarily SEPARATED from GOD…

Matthew 27:46
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”

Psalm 22:1
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from saving me, so far from my words of groaning?

Isaiah 53:10
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Keep this in mind, He went through all this for YOU.


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WORD Sent Forth #11

KNOWING CHRIST

John 17:3
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

What important thing about Jesus that God would want us to perceive?

John 14:6
Jesus said… “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

The WAY…

John 10:9
“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

Matthew 7:13,14
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

The TRUTH…

John 1:17
For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 8:31,32
“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The LIFE…

John 1:4
In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.

Romans 5:21
so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness, to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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WORD Sent Forth #10

WHAT DID JESUS TEACH THEN? WHAT DOES HE TEACH US TODAY?

A LESSON TO HEED AN IMPORTANT FOREWARNING

The passage below are the conclusive words of Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Ask yourself…
What type of persons are they who easily say ‘Lord, Lord’ but yet God will deny them entry into His kingdom?

What type of persons who make claims that they ‘prophesy’ or ‘cast out demons’ or ‘perform many miracles’ all in God’s name but yet Jesus would say ‘I never knew you’?

Here is a clue…
Matthew 7:21-23 is a picture of Judgement Day. It is said that everyone who will stand before this ultimate judgement seat will truly know their guilt and will also truly know Who will stand before them as Judge.

Now, you are still living today. So, it is safe to say that Jesus desires you to be saved from Judgement Day. How?

The answer is in the passage above.

DOES HE KNOW YOU?


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WORD Sent Forth #9

WHAT DID JESUS TEACH THEN? WHAT DOES HE TEACH US TODAY?
A LESSON ABOUT BLESSEDNESS

Mark 6:34
When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.

What many things? – For one thing, He taught of whom God the Father truly blesses.

Matthew 5:3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Consider deeply, who are the ‘poor in spirit’? And how is it that God promised them the key into heaven. Now, putting pride aside, honestly ask yourself, what do I need to be ‘poor in spirit’?

Matthew 5:4
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Again, think with all seriousness on what in us that we should truly mourn for. And ask how will God comfort us?

Matthew 5:5-7
“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

Do you see the common denominator in verse 5-7? Most importantly, do you see yourself above?

Matthew 5:8
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Here in verse 8, do you see what God desires most?


There is more to come and to discuss. I hope we can have a conversation. Please contact me here at Facebook MESSENGER by audio from 3-5pm Monday to Friday. Scheduled small group chats can be organized as well. Or send me a message HERE.