Willingly :: By Dennis Huebshman

John 10:17-18 “This is why the Father loves Me; because I lay down My life, so that I may take it back again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own free will. I have authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This commandment I received from My Father.” (NET – emphasis mine)

A song released by Damaras Carbaugh, “Willingly,” follows these two verses with a very inspirational message. It was released in 1996 on her album, Giving My Life Away, and was written by Phil and Marie Armenia. It is available to listen to on YouTube.

The lyrics are:

“No one takes My Life; I give it willingly. Holy Lamb, beaten and abused; His disciples, fearful and confused. Never understanding, things were meant to end this way; so in His pain and suffering, He turned with love to say,

(Chorus) No one takes My life; I give it willingly. For I can see the glory past the cross. So dry your eyes, My friends, and please don’t weep for me. No one takes My life; I give it willingly.

His Holy life shines in my heart; and its brilliance sets my life apart. Friends who live in darkness say they weep for me. They say my dreams have changed since Jesus took my life from me.

(Chorus) No one takes my life, I give it willingly. For I can see the glory in the cross. So dry your eyes, My friends, and please don’t weep for me. No one takes my life; I give it willingly.

No one takes my life; Jesus gives me life. Lord Jesus, use my life; I give it willingly, willingly, willingly.”

For anyone who has never seen or heard Miss Damaras sing, it would be well worth the effort to go to YouTube. I remember years ago, she was with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, and I could hear her distinct voice on the radio over and above the whole group. She performed with the choir in the 80’s and 90’s, and was a soloist on many songs. She grew up in a Christian environment, and says she was named after a person who became a believer through the teaching of Paul the Apostle, in Acts 17:34.

Miss Damaras is not only a great gospel singer; she ministers for the Lord, and churches around the country have asked her to speak for their women’s conferences and retreats. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and she strives to minister wherever needed. She is happily married and has a grown son and grown daughter.

There is never any question of her love and devotion for the Lord. Listening to her recording of “Willingly,” and then reading the verses associated with it, gives an insight to our Redeemer that is often overlooked.

While most people have heard about Jesus being crucified, many times it’s portrayed that He was betrayed, arrested, beaten and put to death. Gospel accounts tell us Jesus died and was resurrected three days later. It’s a toss-up as to how many people actually believe all this to be true; but Jesus Himself said there would be “few” who would find the “straight and narrow path” (Matthew 7:13-14).

What the verses in John and the song “Willingly” point out is that Jesus was not taken by “force” but orchestrated His own crucifixion. In numerous verses in the New Testament, Jesus spoke of His being “lifted up” or crucified by the religious leaders of His day. He also told them that, as with the sign of Jonah, He would rise up after 3 days in the grave.

The prophet Isaiah spoke of the sacrifice of Jesus in Chapter 53; and Psalm 22 gives one of the things He said on the cross. “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?”

There are many other prophecies in the Psalms, Isaiah, Daniel, Zechariah and others about the coming Messiah. Zechariah 11:12 tells us the price of His betrayal would be 30 pieces of silver. Isaiah 53:7 says He would be like a lamb led to slaughter, and would not defend Himself. Psalm 22:17-18 tells of lots being cast for His clothing. It goes on and on.

When our Savior came to this earth, it was not with all the power, glory and majesty that people believed would take place. That is being reserved for His second coming to put down the Tribulation, and rule from the Temple in Jerusalem for 1,000 years. He understood from the beginning of time, there would have to be a way for mortal, sinful men and women to be able to enter the presence of the most Holy God. Our Father can tolerate no sin, large or small. The sacrifice of animals could never be pure enough to “wash away” our sins forever, and Old Testament sacrifices were to show the Father the willingness to obey His instructions – or not.

When Jesus said that no one would “take” His life, He never gave up the authority to stop the procedure at any time. He even told Peter not to fight those who were arresting Him, as He could call out, and more than 12 legions of angels would rescue Him (Matthew 26:53).

Though Jesus knew the “physical” pain He would have to suffer, He did not hesitate to fulfill His mission. He did not do the sacrifice only for one group of people, but for “everyone” who would accept Him. John 10:16 says He lays down His life for the sheep (Jews), but also for others who will listen to His voice (Gentiles – everyone). They would all become one flock with one Shepherd.

Jesus was looking for the glory “past” the cross. He knew He would rise again, but the one part that He dreaded most was, for the first time ever, the Trinity would suffer separation. When Jesus took on all the sins of the world, the Father would have to look away briefly. In just that short time, Jesus experienced what the separation from God would be like for all the lost that would not accept Him. It’s believed that is when He cried out, “My God! My God!”

Very shortly thereafter, Jesus said, “It is Finished.” Then the human Jesus died. He wasn’t saying the crucifixion was finished, but the work He came to do was completed. By accepting the shed-blood gift of our Savior, our sins can now be forgiven forever. Sin and death conquered once and for all. Without accepting this free gift, one is held accountable for each and every sin they ever commit in this lifetime, and will be judged at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15).

For true believers, we are granted an eternal home, and gladly proclaim to our Father, “No one takes my life; Jesus gave me life. Lord Jesus, use my life – I give it willingly.” There is nothing more satisfying on this earth than to know we are part of His flock.

Knowing the pain and suffering our Savior went through for what should have been our punishment, we reap the benefits of that sacrifice. If you haven’t done so, call out to Him to accept His sacrifice and to save you from the Lake of Fire. All who call on Him will be saved (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13). There is no other way to the Father than through Jesus (John 14:6).

He will be coming back before the tribulation to take all believers Home with Him to avoid the wrath that the Father will be taking out on this earth. The only way to escape this is to become one of His sheep, and be safely led by the Greatest Shepherd of all (Romans 10:9-13).

We do not know exactly when He will return, so to delay may put your soul in serious jeopardy. It’s a free gift that we cannot buy or earn, and certainly don’t deserve; but He gives it to us – “Willingly.” Call today.

Maranatha!

bdhuebshman@sbcglobal.net

 

The Separation of the Saints? :: By Jim Towers

Although there are two distinct separations of the redeemed in Ezekiel 9:4 of the Old Testament and Revelation 7:3 in the final book of the New Testament, I’m inclined to believe that the angels of God are going about fulfilling their job of the sealing of the saints today – just prior to the rapture – even as we speak.

Yes, there are references of that happening in the Old Testament; nevertheless, it appears that this scenario may be playing out again in these dark days in world history – history appears to repeat itself especially where biblical prophecy is concerned.

Not going into detail, I will only relate what current headlines reveal. Israel, being the main focus of prophetic scripture, we will start with it.

While some factions are eager to rebuild the Temple and have everything in place, the Israelis are fighting attacks on several fronts while they are systematically bombing Iranian-controlled Syria, thus fulfilling the prophecy by the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah that Damascus would be utterly destroyed in the end times.

Even as we speak, coalitions are being formed against Israel (the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity) to wipe it off the map once and for all; and the amazing thing is that the very countries mentioned in scripture are the ones who hope to destroy them.

Satanic worship is growing at an alarming rate, and the followers would like nothing better than to wipe out the last vestiges of Judaism and Christianity – or if you will – the worship of Almighty God. This they do to not have to be held accountable for their many sins. Sin is a dirty word to such as these.

Each day now we are seeing and hearing of people who are selling out to the devil in ever larger numbers. Satan worship is springing up in our country like never before. Successful people are even giving credit to Satan for giving them the success they’ve had in life. These are people who have had their God consciousness seared from their mind and have no qualms about bragging about it. They are literally going out of their minds.

Already, a third of sea life appears to be diminishing. The fishermen at my mission station are beginning to fade away. The abundant fish that were once caught off the Naples pier have all but dried up. Even rivers and canals aren’t producing fish like before. This is to say nothing of the enormous damage caused by leaking radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan which is destroying fish and sea life all along the coastal rim of the Pacific Ocean.

Politicians worldwide seem to be in it for what they can get, and public be damned. They go into politics dead broke or in debt and come out millionaires after a few years of doing nothing constructive for their constituents. Many only show up to collect their inflated ill-gotten paychecks.

Lawyers, a once highly esteemed profession, are being ridiculed for being money hungry thugs as well. Judges are not immune. Criminals are getting away with crime, even murder, especially if they are wealthy. It seems that money can get you anything.

Some doctors who are supposed to be healers of humanity are committing murder indiscriminately for monetary gain. In New York, a bill was passed with Governor Cuomo’s blessing that a woman can have her child killed right up to the time of delivery. Cuomo’s action in signing the bill even caused consternation with the pope, but who is he to talk? Cuomo called him out on the defending and harboring of known pedophiles. The ungodly are now even fighting amongst themselves. This can only help to weaken our nation.

As a matter of fact, children in Tanzania are being murdered and dismembered for their body parts – to be used as talismans to, of all things – ward off evil.

Many of our football “heroes” have proven to be posers; and being fueled by drugs, they batter their wives and kill their “friends.” Our supposed “heroes” are falling left and right from off their pedestals. We are warned not to worship men in scripture. They, being human, are almost always sure to let us down. People without God are nothing more than pawns for the Devil.

Even so, President Trump is pushing a bill to have Bible courses taught in public schools, but this may be too little too late. There will be great opposition to this plan by nonbelievers, and Muslims will want their Qur’an to be taught as well.

These in-your-face atrocities and disasters speak of End-Time prophecies. There is no going back now to the things that once were. The “good ol’ days” are over; we’ve traveled too far in the wrong direction.

Could it be that the angels of God are sealing Christians in preparation for the soon-coming rapture and leaving God-denying evildoers to their fate in these ungodly times?

Beware; neither our goodness (“All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.”), church, synagogue, mother Mary, the saints, the pope, degrees, doctorates, charisma, celebrity, notoriety, acumen, friends, intelligence nor money can save us… Jesus alone saves.

Will you be sealed for destruction or redemption when that day comes – and it will? You can’t have it both ways. You either receive Christ’s forgiveness or you don’t.

The Bible says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36, KJV).

Good Bible teaching can be had on www.fbcn.org live streaming on Sunday morning at 9:30 EST by Pastor Hayes Wicker.

YBIC

Jim Towers

Write me at jt.filmmaker@yahoo.com   www.thepropheciesmovieandbook.com and visit www.dropzonedelta.com for previous articles pertaining to the faith.