Blogs

November to December

Oh the month of November, in Seattle the wind doth blow

The reapers have taken up the harvest, from those who brought forth the seed to sow;

And Thanksgiving is in the air for the bounty of the soil

From the grapes and olives we rejoice, for the wine and for the oil.

 

There is a seed that the Lord has sown, and the Lord he has blessed

I heard a man say, “Yet to come, is His very best!”

The harvest of the nations from the seed that has been sown

The Husbandman shall reap His land and call them all His own.

 

The land shall not be desolate, or given to a stranger

For Christ himself came to the earth, born within a manger.

For He shall gently feed His flock, His word shall be our bread,

And thorns shall not be on His brow, but a crown upon His head.

 

The Bridegroom cometh for the Bride, in righteousness adorned

For Jerusalem a praise in all the earth, this the Lord has sworn

And to the end of the world, and to the daughters of Zion

Behold from Judah does He come, the Lord, a roaring lion.

 

So looking to December, unto the Christmas season,

Unto the child that was born; This, Jesus, is the reason

That He should be born the Son of God, even the Prince of Peace

And of His government there is no end. His kingdom will never cease.

 

For He is the true light that is come into the world that men may see

To loose every chain and sin, and to set His people free

So with the Angels we rejoice, with the shepherds we do sing.

Unto this holy Emmanuel, the blessed one who was born to be King!

Keep on singing, 


Pastor John B. Branson


 

shofar

 

Proclamation!

There is a proclamation of the Lord’s favor going out to His “Bride the Church” and to His ‘first love’ Israel.

As the prophet cries out, “To proclaim the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all that mourn, to provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow on them the crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness and despair, that they might be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He might be glorified!” Isaiah 61:2-3

There is a working of our God that the human eye doesn’t often see. And yet the glory of God shall and is being revealed to His prophets in this day and age, to His people everywhere, and a praise in the hearts of those who love Jesus Christ and the wonder of His return.

We have been clothed upon with garments of salvation and arrayed in robes of righteousness and peace. A kinsman redeemer has taken us in as a bride, just as Boaz took in Ruth when she was forsaken. We have baskets full of grace and forgiveness able to cover all our sins and disobedience.

“Oh, let us sing unto the Lord!”

There is a voice from heaven, even from His throne, saying, “Praise God all you servants of the Lord; and you that fear His name, both small and great.”

There shall be a number in heaven that cannot be counted of every nation, kindred, and tongue and they all shall stand before the throne of God and before the Lamb. They shall have white robes and palm branches in their hands and shall shout with loud voices, “Salvation and honor and glory to our God and to the Lamb!”

There was talk of first fruits and the beginning of the year; well, let the fruit of our lips be full of praise as we open our eyes unto the morning of the day.

Let us be aware of the rumblings as all the nations around the Mediterranean, and the Muslim nations incite terrorism against God’s chosen people, Israel. They create martyrs through the beheading of Christians and bring upheaval to many nations.

“Behold He comes riding on the clouds, shining like the sun, at the trumpet call. Lift your voice, it’s a year of jubilee, for out of Zion’s hill salvation comes.”

Although all nations shall be gathered against Israel it shall be a terrible time of pillaging and rape and devastation, the day of the Lord’s coming will also be magnificent and the Lord fights against those nations and His feet will come to stand on the Mount of Olives. There will be a great earthquake and trembling as the Lord of all the earth shall come with a shout and there will be no doubt who is the King of all the Kings. There is one Lord, only one! Read Zechariah for yourselves and see its marvelous promises.

Zechariah 14: 1-20

Keep on singing,

Love

Pastor John B. Branson


FORGIVENESS ~ UNFORGIVENESS

forgive

Colossians 3:12-13

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. ( all passages are NKJV)

This passage affects us all from the least to the greatest, there are no exceptions. This is one of the great keys in unlocking of our freedom and liberty to the kingdom of Christ. 

Harboring unforgiveness can lock you up tighter than any padlock, it can close the doors to your freedom and keep you isolated even in a crowded room. 

Jesus declared when he was talking about having faith in God, “Mark 11 :24-26

24Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

There is nothing so powerful as the forgiving Cross of Jesus Christ, who Himself, in His own agony of beaten flesh and flowing blood, His soul and Spirit gave out the words “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” Sometimes it is one of the hardest things we have to do. is to go to another person, could be a family member, a workmate, could be your wife, or your closest friend; but we have to find the courage to forgive from our heart and give up any unforgiveness that might be lying in our heart. 

Oh the importance of keeping and using forgiveness on a daily base. It not only unlocks the door for you, but it unlocks the door for the one you are forgiving.

But how many times are we to forgive those that trespass against us? According to the words of Jesus; Seventy times seven. Oh my, what a great key we hold to the unlocking of many doors to walk in the liberty of Christ to minister forgiveness even to some who don’t realize they have offended us. 

Father forgive them for they know not what they do, this should be our continual cry out to our God, for even as Christ forgave you, so also you do. 

Keep on singing, 

Love 

Pastor John B. Branson

 


 

Be Encouraged!

Happy positive business group looking up with dreaming expression

We can always be encouraged in the Lord, as David did in the Psalms, we too can encourage ourselves in the Lord. Have you noticed that there are certain days when you are not feeling good, our your soul is feeling low, and you need a kind word, a lifting of your head, and encouragement from someone, God’s love to envelope  you.

Hebrews says it perfectly in chapter 10:22-25:

 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Notice how those words lift us up to the point that we forget about ourselves and the encouragement overflows from one to another. The word of God is always the lifter of our heads.

 

King David in Psalms 42 and 43 in a couple of places. “Why are you cast down O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise Him who is the health of my countenance and my God.”

Oh the word, oh the joy, oh the hope, oh the lifter of my head, oh the full assurance of faith, oh the health of our bodies and mind when we are enveloped in the saturation of God’s presence and power. There’s nothing so satisfying as to come in to the house of the Lord, so thirsty and dry; then to leave with the full assurance of faith. Oh, how gratifying and rewarding it is to let God’s Word and Spirit wash over us.

Let not your heart be troubled believe in God. Jesus spoke in John 16:33.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Keep on singing,

Love

Pastor John B. Branson

 


 

Isaiah 61

isaiah61lo

: 1-3

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn,
 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

We have a mandate to bring good tidings to the weary, to those who are bowed down in heaviness or depressed. To proclaim the oil of joy and gladness and the goodness of our God and Savior to all those who are weak and heavy laden.

With the salvation of the Lord Jesus upon our and heads, comes garments of joy, and a robe of righteousness, a shield to fend off all those fiery darts of the enemy, and a sword of the spirit which is the word of God to fight against the lies of the devil, and to bring justice and judgement. Truth can then be shown from our loins where we have been girded. If ever there was a day in which the truth of the gospel should be heard, then this is that day. The gospel needs to be heard as we wear the right shoes on our feet, not to kick the down and out ones, but it lift them out of their sinfulness.

Oh, this clothing with which we have been given is the marvelous clothing of grace, power and even a sound mind that we use to ward off our every enemy.

Be of good courage just a s Joshua encouraged all those that were with him to cross the Jordan, to defeat all their enemies and march on, we also are on a highway which is the way of holiness to the Lord.  All those ransomed of the Lord shall be there and shall come with songs of everlasting joy upon their lips and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Gladness will fill their hearts.

Look down that road for the day is coming and shouts of joy shall be ours.

Keep on singing

Love

Pastor John Branson


descrimimage

The Word of God Does Not Discriminate

The word of God is open and true to anyone that believes that Jesus came into the world as a light to the world, and that whosoever would believe in Him would not abide in darkness.

If any man hears His word and believes them not, Jesus does not judge you, for Jesus came not to judge the world but to save it.

He that rejects Jesus and receives not His words has one that will judge him, even the words that He has spoken, it will be those words that will judge him or her in the “Last Day.” For the commandment is that all would believe in Him to life everlasting, even as our Father in Heaven has commanded.

The world is crying out for justice saying, “Don’t discriminate against me.”

The words of Jesus do not discriminate against any, they are open to all mankind no matter what color you are, what orientation you have chosen to be, if you have decided to have purple hair or to be a pious individual.

Look, ALL men have sinned and come short of the glory of God, we all need that grace and forgiveness that comes through our Lord Jesus. Then we can be justified freely by His grace through the redeeming power that is in Christ Jesus.

As we watch the unrighteous scream and shout and want their own way, saying “Don’t discriminate!” just as they did in the days of Sodom, we want our own unrighteous ways, “Don’t tell us there are consequences for our actions, or for our lifestyle. Don’t tell us we are sinners and that God’s love can help and deliver us. Don’t say Jesus died for our sins and he loves the whole world no matter who we are.”

Then the word of God jumps up and says:

 “1 Corinthians 6:9-10 King James Version (KJV)
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 

At one time or another we were all on the same path, yet we have repented and turned from those wicked ways and run into the loving arms of our Savior Jesus Christ whose will is that we would repent.  

Again, I say, the word of God does not discriminate, the word of God is open to ‘whosoever would’ to believe. 

That list of all those who shall not receive the Kingdom of God from 1 Corinthians 6 contained my own self when I was living an ungodly life, in fact I fulfilled many of those characteristics on that list of the ungodly. 

Yet if we go on the in the same chapter in verse 11 it states:

“11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 

Oh it feels good to be cleansed, to be justified and to be sanctified in that loving name of Jesus Christ. 

So I appeal to all to come and be washed, come and be cleansed, come and be sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus! Today is the day of salvation, today is the day to be washed and cleansed and you will find that Jesus does not discriminate, but that he is the Savior of the world and the redeemer of mankind. 

Be blessed, and keep on singing.

Pastor John B. Branson


 

heartjourney

 

ACTS 16:31 “And they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved:”

Dr. A. W. Tozer, a beloved pastor and preacher in the mid twentieth century, had to stand fast in the midst of a complaint in his day that accused, “Tozer Preaches Experience”.

My own answer would be, “How can you NOT preach Christ as an experience?”

Tozer’s testimony was that God spoke to him through a street preacher who quoted the words of Jesus.               
Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

He said that he knew it was an invitation. It was Jesus calling to him to ‘come now’ so he went home and went up into the attic in and knelt in earnest prayer. He said, “I gave my heart and my life to Christ Jesus, my feet took me home and up into the attic, but my heart went to Jesus.” and ever since that day he was a Christian.

I, too, came to the knowledge of a loving Savior by the ‘foolishness of preaching’ as it is called in Corinthians. It is through an experience that takes place when preaching is heard that moves on the heart whereby men come to be saved.

How can they say that God is not a god of experiences that reach both men and with women? God is a personal god who chose a people for himself, and called individuals to be their leaders and shepherds.

From Adam, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and his sons, Joshua, Caleb, Deborah, Samuel, David and many more; there were men and women that had a profound experience with God.  In the New Testament Jesus relates to His disciples through personal encounters and calls them friends. They experience life together. There was Peter, James, John, Andrew, and Bartholomew; and who can forget Paul on the road to Damascus? Mary Magdalene had a personal touch from her master that cast out seven devils. I tell you for sure, that was an experience with Jesus.

After I repented and gave my heart to the Lord Jesus I experienced that there is nothing so pure and cleansing as the touch of Jesus. It is an experience that no one can take away. I hunger more and more for the next time that Jesus choses to come near to us as we call out to Him. He alone is the savior of our souls. Yes, Jesus is a personal God, He is our shepherd, our rock, our fortress, our divine protector, our victory, our spiritual food. He is the bread of life, living water, robe of righteousness, our healer, and more for only Jesus can make us whole.

He said, And he said, therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” John 6:65

That is experienced, it is God touching us, not us touching God. It is a heart that is changed by experience. It is the heart that is changed as we are transformed from the inside outwards.

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Romans 6:17

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Romans 6:22

Now that’s an EXPERIENCE!

Lord Bless,

Pastor John B. Branson

 

 


 

 

sparrows

I Know He Watches Over Me

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (KJV)

What a wonderful Lord we serve that He would place joy over us with His singing and we can rest in Ahis love and find that perfect peace that passes all understanding. There is nothing better than for our hearts to be filled and fulfilled with that joy and love.

Now I know I am not the Lord, but I know I’m filled with His Holy Spirit, who also sings over us. The other morning I was reading and pondering the Lord when the song “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” just popped into my heart. I prepared and called on Sharon Andrews and her sister Deborah Clingan and decided to sing it as a special for Sunday Morning Service. I knew that there were many hurting and suffering people and I knew that the Holy Spirit in us could sing and minister to the hurting sheep of our pasture.

1 Peter 4:11

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. (KJV)

This verse of scripture states that we can minister and do it in a manner according to the abilities that God gives us so that He is glorified in all things…

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

 
So I sing because I’m happy, So I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Remember Jesus can count the sparrows and not one is forgotten before God; likewise even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows…

Keep your eyes lifted to heaven, for His eye is on you.

Keep on singing,

Love,

Pastor John B. Branson

 


No Arguments, Just Faith in the Heart

Glasses on Open Bible

I must confess that I am no great expert on theology, nor am I one who can argue the points of Calvinism or Armenian-ism which can lead to endless debates, trying to prove this point or that point, whether you are right or I am right. These efforts prove nothing at all. 

I must confess though that I am a lover of the Lamb of God that takes away this sin of the world. That I am a lover, and in agreement with god, where it is written:
Isaiah 53:10-12

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You 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.
He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

Of course this is only a portion of Isaiah 53 where god speaks profoundly of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the one who found me at the side of the road a hopeless drunkard, lost in the filth of this world. 

I can say along with the Apostle Paul, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of which I am chief!”  And from Him I obtained mercy and grace that put me in right standing with the Lord.

Oh, what a great savior we have who laid down His life for a sinner such as me. I am so glad that God commanded His love towards us while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, and we are justified by His blood, and we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

When we accepted the Lord into our lives, and repented and said, “Jesus come into my heart, come and forgive me of all my sins that I have committed against God,” there was a seed sown in our hearts that is the incorruptible seed of the Word of God that lives and abides in us forever. It continues to grow and blossom and bring enlightenment to our souls as it drives away unbelief out of our heart. It causes us to say along with Thomas (who was a biblical example of unbelief) “My Lord, and my God!” The Jesus states, “Thomas, because you have see Me you have believed; Blessed are they who have not seen and have yet believed.”

Be Blessed today for although we have not see the holes in His hands or His side, yet we have believed in this great savior, Jesus Christ. 

Keep on singing, 

Love

Pastor John B. Branson

 


follow-jesus

 

What Are You Following After?

Oh how foolish have men become following after fables and false doctrines. As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ I am deeply disturbed oh hearing that many churches have turned from the truth of the gospel and have turned to great swelling words of vanity, and have been lured through the lusts of the flesh and undisciplined wantonness, and are teaching error and calling it ‘liberty’. They themselves have become the servants of corruption.

I am only repeating here what is found in 2 Peter 2. Here are the verses. This is the easy reading version of the KJV.

1In the past there were false prophets among God’s people. It is the same now. You will have some false teachers in your group. They will teach things that are wrong—ideas that will cause people to be lost. And they will teach in a way that will be hard for you to see that they are wrong. They will even refuse to follow the Master who bought their freedom. And so they will quickly destroy themselves. Many people will follow them in the morally wrong things they do. And because of them, others will say bad things about the way of truth we follow. These false teachers only want your money. So they will use you by telling you things that are not true. But the judgment against these false teachers has been ready for a long time. And they will not escape God who will destroy them.

When angels sinned, God did not let them go free without punishment. He sent them to hell. He put those angels in caves of darkness, where they are being held until the time when God will judge them.

And God punished the evil people who lived long ago. He brought a flood to the world that was full of people who were against God. But he saved Noah and seven other people with him. Noah was a man who told people about living right.

God also punished the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He burned them until there was nothing left but ashes. He used those cities as an example of what will happen to people who are against God. But he saved Lot, a good man who lived there. Lot was greatly troubled by the morally bad lives of those evil people. This good man lived with those evil people every day, and his good heart was hurt by the evil things he saw and heard.

So you see that the Lord God knows how to save those who are devoted to him. He will save them when troubles come. And the Lord will hold evil people to punish them on the Day of Judgment. 10 That punishment is for those who are always doing the evil that their sinful selves want to do. It is for those who hate the Lord’s authority.

These false teachers do whatever they want, and they are so proud of themselves. They are not afraid even to say bad things against the glorious ones.[a] 11 The angels are much stronger and more powerful than these beings. But even the angels don’t accuse them and say bad things about them to the Lord.

12 But these false teachers speak evil against what they don’t understand. They are like animals that do things without really thinking—like wild animals that are born to be caught and killed. And, like wild animals, they will be destroyed. 13 They have made many people suffer. So they themselves will suffer. That is their pay for what they have done.

They think it is fun to do evil where everyone can see them. They enjoy the evil things that please them. So they are like dirty spots and stains among you—they bring shame to you in the meals you eat together. 14 Every time they look at a woman, they want her. They are always sinning this way. And they lead weaker people into the trap of sin. They have taught themselves well to be greedy. They are under a curse.[b]

15 These false teachers left the right way and went the wrong way. They followed the same way that the prophet Balaam went. He was the son of Beor, who loved being paid for doing wrong. 16 But a donkey told him that he was doing wrong. A donkey cannot talk, of course, but that donkey spoke with a man’s voice and stopped the prophet from acting so crazy.

17 These false teachers are like springs that have no water. They are like clouds that are blown by a storm. A place in the deepest darkness has been kept for them. 18 They boast with words that mean nothing. They lead people into the trap of sin. They find people who have just escaped from a wrong way of life and lead them back into sin. They do this by using the evil things people want to do in their human weakness.19 These false teachers promise those people freedom, but they themselves are not free. They are slaves to a mind that has been ruined by sin. Yes, people are slaves to anything that controls them.

20 People can be made free from the evil in the world. They can be made free by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But if they go back into those evil things and are controlled by them, then it is worse for them than it was before. 21 Yes, it would be better for them to have never known the right way. That would be better than to know the right way and then to turn away from the holy teaching that was given to them.22What they did is like these true sayings: “A dog vomits and goes back to what it threw up.”[c] And, “After a pig is washed, it goes back and rolls in the mud again.”

Verse 20 acknowledges that, after having escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, they are again entangled there, and are overcome. The latter end is worse with them than at the beginning. Brothers and sisters in the Lord, this should not be happening. Let us not turn from the Holy commandment, or from the things we first believed.

I have heard of Bible study “beer parties”, biblical wine parties and other such nonsense. The Apostle Paul, Peter, Jude, and even Jesus himself warns of these things happening in our day. These are certainly the ‘latter days’ in which we are living. There a strong passage in Isaiah 28:7

Isaiah 28:7New King James Version (NKJV)

But they also have erred through wine,
And through intoxicating drink are out of the way;
The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink,
They are swallowed up by wine,
They are out of the way through intoxicating drink;
They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

I know what I speak of because I was once a hopeless alcoholic, lost in this corrupt world. Then the loving and saving grace of Jesus Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit came, and I found repentance, forgiveness, and grace in the Savior’s arms. I know first-hand about impaired judgment and an unclear mind and soul, filled with darkness.

Romans clearly states not to put a stumbling block in a brother’s path, or an occasion for them to fall. Let us not be as the dog that is turned back to his own vomit again or the pig wallowing in the mire. Let us not turn back to iniquity and sinfulness, but let us turn our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.

The throne room is still open, let us repent, that we may obtain mercy and grace in our time of need. I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back!

Keep on singing,

Pastor John B. Branson

  


 Build Upon The Rock

bibleflag

Proverbs 29:2 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

When our moral compass is on our Lord Jesus Christ, how much do we long for righteous leaders in our land and public places of government? In our schools and public places of learning, in our universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton; which were founded by Christian men who set them up according to biblical principles, we yearn for godly leaders again. Princeton’s Latin crest reads “Under God She Flourishes.”

Oh how our country has turned from those biblical divine words to a worldview of naturalistic philosophy. As the bible says in 2 Samuel, “See how the mighty have fallen.”

The Apostle Paul encourages us in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Oh let us p ray for leaders in these days that they would have a sure foundation in the Lord, for when the righteous triumph there is great elation, but when the wicked rise to power men go into hiding. Proverbs 28:1-2

Let us not draw back from the sure foundations that have been birthed in us when we were first saved. Let us learn from the scriptures. Let us learn from the Sermon on the Mount as Jesus taught with great authority as he said, “Whosoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man which built his house upon a rock. The rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon his house and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

Is our day the era that Paul wrote about when he declared in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Let us fall upon this rock, Christ Jesus, and make our calling sure upon this foundation. Let us pray for ministers in our day to stand in the truth of Jesus Christ our Lord!

Keep on Singing

Pastor John B. Branson

 

 


 

Communion image

Food for the soul!

Proverbs 14:2 “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Many of us have walked in that pathway until we were nearly dead, as a matter of fact we were dead in our sin and some of us were just about dead in our body as well. Now, the writer of Proverbs also wrote in another place that by mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil. Pleasant words are as a honeycomb; sweet tot eh soul and health to the bones. Oh, how I needed a sweet word to come by my soul when I was at the bottom of the barrel, literally, since I was an alcoholic, drinking to the bottom of the barrel. “Ha, Ha!” The sweet words I heard were, “You can come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus, for He cares for your soul.” At the time, I did not know this, but that was the sweet wine for my soul and pleasant words as honeycomb. That was the first time I had tasted of what the psalmist said, “Come, taste and see that the Lord is good.” That was the first time I had believed on Jesus and asked Him into my heart. This ‘new wine’ is good for your soul and it brings healing to the bones. My body was in real bad shape as I ate not many healthy foods or not much food at all. My diet was mainly booze. This gospel of grace I now live in and walk in has become what was written, health and sweetness. The fear of the Lord has become a fountain of life unto me and caused me to depart from the snares of death. This is a living word. If we consume it like food and drink it becomes a literal word to our bodies and soul and spiritual food and drink that brings everlasting life. Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life, He is our Passover, our Living Water, and our Holy Wine. Let us taste and see that the Lord He is good and the next time in communion as you take the bread and break it and take the cup and drink it, do it in remembrance of Him who has cleansed and washed you and made you whole. Glory be to God! Keep on singing Love Pastor John B. Branson

 


 

The Narrow Path

narrowPath

“It is far better for me to trust in the name of the Lord than to put my trust in man,” says the eighth verse of the 118th Psalm.

 

For 37 years I had trusted in the hand of man and walked my own path which was quickly leading to the path of destruction and the road to hell. If it were not for the loving hand of the Lord and His saving grace, who knows where I would be today.

 

There is a song lyric that says, “I will trust in the mercy of the Lord forever, I will sing, I will sing. I will sing of the mercy of the Lord forever, I will sing, I will sing. And with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness, thy faithfulness.” This is exactly what the faithful witnesses are doing as they go out door to door through the leadership of Pastor Jonathan and his team. They reach out to people who often don’t know or discern between their right hand and their left. As they hear the good news of the gospel, it can open their ears and soften their hearts.

 

Oh, what a merciful God we serve. There is nothing more satisfying than to see a heart converted and come to trust in the Lord. I was a lost sheep going astray for 37 long years, “But now in Christ Jesus we who were sometimes a far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our Peace.” Ephesians 2:3, 4a

 

What a great price He paid upon the cross for you and me that we might be totally forgiven and transformed to now walk a new path, though it is straight and narrow, it leads to eternal life. We are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens of the saints, and part of the household of God.

 

We are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. This cornerstone cannot be moved or shaken. We can fully trust in the Lord Jesus and the finished work of Calvary. “The Lord lives and blessed be my rock and let the God of my salvation be exalted!”

 

 

Keep on singing,

Pastor John B Branson


Relationship to Resurrection

In the letter of 1 John 5:20, John writes:

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God and Eternal Life. Little children keep yourselves from idols.”

 

Here is a live witness of a man who was a close to Jesus as any of the disciples. He watched Jesus very closely and was with him through all the miracles from the time of John the Baptist. He saw the miracle of water turned to wine in Caana, the crippled receive strength in his legs and walk, the blind received their sight, the lepers were made whole, the adulterous woman was completely forgiven her sins and went forward with no condemnation.

 

There was Lazarus who laid for four days dead in the tomb hearing Jesus shout with a loud voice, “Lazarus, Come Forth!” John had his feet washed by Jesus as he taught them how to be a servant, and then told them of the Holy Spirit who would come and be their comforter. He heard Jesus speak of the place he was leaving, this earth, to prepare for them as he foretold of his forthcoming suffering and death. Then actually seeing all the charges brought against Jesus, He was a living witness of the barbaric whipping and brutality against this one whom they put their faith, watching Him carrying the cross and then standing with the mother of Jesus as he hung and suffered there, hearing the words, “Woman behold your son”, and then turning to John, “Behold your mother.”

 

Then, a few days later, the excitement of the Resurrection as he heard the news from the angels, “He is not here, he is risen!” He was able to have new fellowship with the risen Christ as he prepared breakfast and ate baked fish with them by the sea. Oh what an account of a personal relationship with Jesus, let us draw near to God as the Easter season comes close.

 

1 John 5: 13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that you may know you have eternal live and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

 

Keep on singing,

 

Love

Pastor John B. Branson


AmazingLove

Charles Wesley, born in 1707, around London, was one of the bright lights of the Christian Faith. He first studied at Westminster and became a King’s Scholar. He then went to Oxford at the age of 19.

 

He and his brother John became interested in spiritual things and tried to live out the Christian life by method. This birthed the Methodists church, yet he and his brother had not received Jesus Christ as their Savior. After their studies were completed they volunteered to go to Georgia, a new colony at the time in what is now the United States of America.

 

It is said that as missionaries they totally failed, they said Charles was demanding and ruled with an iron fist, much like a monarch would. He insisted on baptizing infants by immersing them 3 times underwater. One angry mother  fired a gun at him to show her displeasure.

 

Charles left America depressed and ill, his brother John left sometime later in a similar state. They started attending some meeting by Peter Boeler, a Moravian preacher. Giving their hearts to Jesus Charles wrote, “At last I have found peace with God and am rejoicing in a loving Christ.” It is written that upon his conversion in 1738 he began to write poems and hymns. In his short lifetime, he wrote many hundreds of them. One of my favorites of his is:

“And can be that I should gain, An interest in my Savior’s blood? Died for me, who caused his pain? For me, who him to death pursued? Amazing love, how can it be That thou my God should die for me Amazing love, how can it be That thou my Lord shouldst die for me.”

 

Both Charles and John compiled their own hymn books. Another notable song was a Christmas Carol, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. Oh such joy when one lost soul is converted to Christ, how the angers of man and our stoic attitudes are relinquished in the loving arms of our Savior.

Another verse from the hymn Amazing Love reflects my own sentiments exactly: Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature’s night Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth and followed thee My chains fell off, my heart was free I rose, went forth and followed thee Amazing love, how can it be That thou my God should die for me Amazing love, how can it be That thou my Lord shouldst die for me.

Keep on singing,

Love

Pastor John B. Branson   Listen here to Lindell Cooley’s version on YouTube


Pay Attention

Pay Attention

Galatians 2:8 By grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.

I love this passage of scripture, for it tells us that it was not by any works that I had done, not out of my self-determination, not by my conjuring up my own faith, out of my own self-will, but by the loving hand of God reaching into my soul and pulling me out of the dregs of sin. Jesus states clearly in John 6:44, 65 that the Father does the calling, he does the drawing of our souls into the loving arms of Jesus so that we may receive his blood-bought salvation. It still amazes me that “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” I remember many years ago while I was lost in alcoholism and the lower parts of living in sin, that I told this person I was living with that I felt someone was pulling on my shirt sleeve and I thought it was God. Of course they thought I was crazy and I was hearing things. They thought it was the booze affecting me and bringing me into madness. They were wrong. I wasn’t sure at the time, but looking back on it now I know it was the gentleness of God’s Holy Spirit drawing me to the Savior. He was drawing me to the cross of Christ, not to condemnation, but that I might find forgiveness and repentance which is only found at the cross of Jesus. Oh how grace was there to meet me, God’s faith was there as a gift, I was there as an empty vessel not worth a damn to myself. I gave my heart to Jesus as a preacher called out through the TV, “Hey, you out there come and find forgiveness of your sins and be washed and be made whole. Now that was back in 1980 that I was saved by grace, and you know what? I still live and need that same grace and faith for today. Do you need that faith and grace today? Well I can tell you that Jesus Christ is standing with arms wide open to welcome you today. He is calling to your hearts right now, to come unto Him all you who are weary and are heavy laden and He will give you rest unto your souls. Let us bow our hearts before the Lord right now and ask for that grace and faith. Just open up and if God is tugging on your shirttail, He is offering you grace, and there is no condemnation in grace! He loves you and that is true! Keep on singing, Pastor John B. Branson


 

Joyful

Is There More to Life?


Have you ever asked yourself, “What is the meaning of life?” or “What is my purpose on earth?

I know in my own life I asked these questions, especially when I was at my lowest point. It seemed none of my personal achievements brought me the satisfaction people promised. I had a good job, but the money only brought short-term happiness. I had a girlfriend at the time, but something seemed missing. I had good friends, but they couldn’t fill the void that was inside me. I had good grades, received academic awards, and was a varsity football player; I was in high school and these things should have been plenty, but they weren’t. When I spiraled into depression, from the combination of my friend’s death and my parent’s divorce, the questions about life became front and center. Striving to achieve what other people called success became empty and hollow; because, they didn’t fill the void I had in my life—Jesus Christ finally did. I’ve been a Christian for 20 years, but recently I’ve gained a better understanding of the meaning of life. Oh, I would’ve given you the right answer if asked, but that didn’t mean I fully comprehended what that meant. It wasn’t due to lack of knowledge or zeal. I love the Lord with all my heart, and that’s been the case from the beginning of my Christian walk. It’s just that I had a striving mentality, and focused a lot of energy on my job and doing things for the Lord. Andrew Wommack said, “God created man because He wanted someone to fellowship with, to commune with, and to have pleasure in,” and it was through his teaching that I finally began to see that fellowship with God was to be a 24/7 mentality. When I truly understood that God loved me and simply wanted to spend time with me, I stopped striving for things and life became a lot simpler. I ceased striving for the perfect family, the best job, to be a good minister, etc. I finally understood the only thing to strive for was a stronger more intimate relationship with God the Father, and that as I grew in that relationship, the rest would naturally follow. As Andrew Wommack also said, “Our relationship with God has to be our foundation, the priority above anything and everything else.” Have you ever struggled with all the things you feel required to do as a Christian? Maybe you ask yourself, “Why do I have to do all the things the Bible, my Pastor, and others say I should do? How often should I read my Bible, pray, go witness, etc.” Do you feel like these are obligatory Christian duties? If so, you’re not alone, but that was never God’s intent. The Lord never intended Christianity to be a “Have to” but a “Want to.” It is all about choice and right motivation. But why do so many Christians struggle with the right motivation? Doing things out of obligation is not the right motivation and can turn into dead works rather quickly. So am I telling you not to read your Bible, pray to God, or witness? Of course I’m not. I personally read through the Bible yearly, and do my Bible readings every day on the day. I also have a consistent prayer life and regularly go out door-to-door sharing the gospel. I don’t say these things to prove my spirituality, but only to point out I’m not speaking against spiritual disciplines. So what’s the answer to why Christians struggle with their motivation? It all comes back to the meaning of life—relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Christianity is not about a destination (heaven or hell) but a relationship. Too much emphasis in modern Christianity is put on our destination, which has distracted us from the main purpose of Jesus dying on the Cross for us—to restore our relationship with God. Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3 NASB), and the Apostle Peter said, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” (1Peter 3:18 NASB). Eternal life is simply a relationship, and it begins as soon as we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is the depth of our relationship, after initial salvation, which determines how much of Christianity is a “Have to” vs. a “Want to.” This relationship needs to be cultivated until it produces the fruit of desiring to live a life pleasing to God. When we truly have an inner drive to please God in all we do obligation disappears. I’m not talking about beating up yourself to do the right thing. No, I’m talking about waking up in the morning excited to please God in every aspect of your life because of the depth of the relationship you have with Him. Is that even possible? Of course it is, if you follow the Psalmists advice, “Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually” (Psalm 105:4 NASB). God is a gentleman, and He will have as deep of a relationship with us as we choose to have with Him. The ball is in our court, but the reason why we exist remains the same—to have a deep relationship with God the Father (the meaning of life) and to live a life on earth pleasing to Him (our purpose on earth). In God’s Grace, Barron Barron Cato is an elder at Christ the Rock Fellowship and author of The Emancipated Voice blog http://theemancipatedvoice.com/


Cross

The Cross of Christ

Oh, the cross of Christ, the power and the wonder of its message. This gospel is the good news of the glorious victories we have found in the Cross of Christ. Men debate about their power of persuasion in their sanctuaries and universities where they teach young minds. Their converts leave full of mush, yet never gaining any heavenly knowledge. governments rise and fall through wars, famines, and natural disasters. Dictators come and go trying to possess the minds of their people and bring them into captivity and control. Prideful they push on to try and conquer the whole earth. Oh, the frailties of mankind. They think they can rule whole continents, yet they fail to rule in their own households. But, the power of the cross of Christ. Scripture clearly says that if evil had known they would have not killed the Lord of Glory. This wonderful Jesus, who is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. I am amazed that men still try to teach the letter of the law, but in doing that only create bondage leading to captivity. I know that Jesus said he came to fulfill both the Law and the Prophets, but he also said he did not come to condemn but to save. This is that Jesus who saved my own self from a pathway of destruction and eternal damnation. Now he has saved my soul for an eternal glory, and eternal life, seated with him in the heavenlies, part of his bride, the church, all because of this glorious cross. Jesus deserves all of our praise, all the glory that we can give, and all the honor to Him who sits on the Throne! To be a witness for Christ is the greatest glory we can have, so “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Keep on Singing, Love Pastor John B. Branson


Tea Time

Psalm 116

One of my most favorite psalms is Psalm 116 because it is so personal to my own life. The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Hell laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!” There were troubles that I knew were of my own choosing, I was constantly distressed, and life was filled with torment for me. Then Jesus came. Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord In the land of the living. I have learned to walk daily with the Lord in the land of the living and declare the great things the Lord has done for me. 12 What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? 13 I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the Lord. I take this cup of salvation like my afternoon tea. It daily sustains me and my heart is forever desiring to declare this gospel to whosoever would believe in the Son of God. Jesus Christ is our perfect sacrifice; our eternal redemption; our savior; the sinner’s friend; and our justification. When Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” in John 14:6, He was stating that He is the Almighty God, and there is no other way for the salvation of mankind. Jesus said if you have seen Him you have seen the Father. Oh this is great! This glorious savior has come to set us free from every torment known to man. Jesus is God, who came in the flesh, born of a virgin, declared the Kingdom of God, was crucified upon a cross, and arose from the dead on the third day. This is Jesus in His glory, the name above all names, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords that sits upon God’s throne! Keep on singing, Love Pastor John B. Branson


Deep Unto Deep

Posted 2/9/2014

The Psalmist wrote that deep calls unto deep and yet there’s the simple word of God that says ” Jesus came not into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved.”

This is the great call to humanity; to come and believe on Jesus Christ that you , too, can be saved, cleansed, and free from all guilt and condemnation. If we believe on this Son of God, we shall not perish but have everlasting life. What lovely promises to those who believe, to those who give their hearts to Jesus.

In my own poetic terms:

The deepness of God’s word calls to the very depths of our soul,

To come repent you sinners, His love can make us whole.

The greatness of  His mercy, His truth washes over me,

For here was the great love of God, as he hung upon that tree.

The Word of God is powerful, sharper than any two edged sword,

Piercing even dividing our souls, and the thoughts that are absurd

The Word of God is a discerner of the intentions of our heart,

It also conquers our unbelief, our doubts have to depart.

The writer of Hebrews 4:12 didn’t write this in poetic fashion,

But this is a gift God has given this gift to me to express my thoughts on a page, with Passion!

Oh the depths of the Love of God that calls to the depths of our heart and senses to ever recess of our minds. His tender voice lifts us out of hopelessness. His loving kindness makes our day brighter, and His song in the night season can cause us to sing like the birds who sing in the Spring.

Keep on singing

Pastor John B. Branson


Identity Theft

Identity Theft

Posted 2/3/2014 We have a problem in today’s society with identity theft, either credit cards or through other sources. Modern technology is revealing secrets about ourselves and some things should not be revealed. Facebook and Twitter accounts that maybe could be damaging later in life reveal and capture lapses in judgment and ill thought words but they remain even though we think they are “erased”. For unknown reasons people want their 15 minutes of fame and to be noticed through these new social media applications. There also seems toe be a similar identification problem in the Kingdom of God, where we see other ‘famous’ preachers, athletes, or famous singers and put them on a pedestal and set them up as idols. Then we try to copy them or identity theft them saying to ourselves, “Maybe I could be like him or her” and then we try to alter ourselves to fit that image. This should never be. We are all uniquely made by the Master Creator, as every snowflake is different, so are we! We are fearfully and wonderfully made, not like any other. Psalm 139:14 They tried to put the armor of Saul on David when he went out to slay the giant, Goliath. They gave him the helmet, the armored coat, the leggings and the sword of another man. As we read in the story in I Samuel 17 (Whole chapter) we see that the salvation and deliverance of the Lord came from David using his skills and what he knew. He refused another mans armor and did not use another mans identity even though many would have thought Saul’s appearance and stature more threatening. He drew five smooth stones out of the brook, and faced a giant with a shepherd’s sling. David fought the Giant with the gifting that God gave him and slayed the giant in the Name of the Lord. Get your identity in the Lord today; and what the Lord gives, no man can take away.   Keep on singing, Pastor John B. Branson


Ship drifting without a sail

Hebrews: 10:24, 25

Posted January 28, 2014 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another and so much more as your see the day approaching. The Apostle Paul is encouraging us here to be our brother’s keeper, and to let the love of God be our driving force to do so. Our coming together is to uplift each other and to encourage one another in the faith so that our victory is in the Lord Jesus through the power of His Holy Spirit. Together we look forward to that day, the day of His appearing, the Day of the Lord. David the King went into the house of the Lord to encourage himself before the Lord. Oh, how the Lord wants his people to walk in victory and the Power of His Spirit. “Without Him, I can do nothing – without Him, I’d surely fail, without Him, I would be drifting, like a ship without a sail.” I encourage you today to abide in the Lord, to abide in His word, abide in His love, and abide in His Holy Spirit that your joy may be made full. Keep on Singing, Pastor John B  Branson


 

Are You Ready for Your Next Transition? 

Transition is not a word that I could find in any of the twelve or fifteen English translations of the Bible that are on my computer.  Though the word is not in the Bible, transition is a Biblical concept and a present day reality.  The walk of faith begins with transition.  Get out of the land of your fathers and go to a land that I will show you1   For Abram this call of God would lead to every conceivable type of transition.  The first and greatest was religious transition from serving dead idols to serving a living God. He then faced a personal transition as he left his father’s house.  But there was also geographical change, cultural change and language changes.  Think about the transition of giving birth to a child when you and your wife are in your nineties.  The ministry of Jesus began with transition.  John the Baptist prophesied, He must increase, and I must decrease. 2 The Lord Jesus transitioned upward into the fulfillment of His calling.  John had the painful and difficult transition from being the best known prophet to being a confused prisoner.  Is he the one or should we look for another? 3  In a very short time Jesus began to prepare His disciples for their transition, Where I am going you cannot come…It is a good thing that I go to My Father…I have been with you but I will be in you…As the Father hath sent me, so send I you. 4  As believers, transition is inevitable.  If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.  Behold old things pass away, and all things become new.5 We are born again into a glorious life of supernatural takeover and upheaval.  Also as ministers of the Lord, we answer a call to go where we have never been before.  I have ministered for forty years; there has been very little repetition and constant transition.  Changes and being changed, our lives seldom fall into the realm of “normal”.  The one thing that doesn’t change is God’s love for us and His great faithfulness.  Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.6 The promise that carries us on is, He who has begun a good work in you shall complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who called you who will also do it. 7  We will transition from faith to faith and from glory to glory8, but our best Friend is in charge and in control, everything working for our good and His glory.  ~Dr. Jon Engstrom

  1. Gen. 12:1
  2. John 3:30
  3. Matt. 11:3
  4. John 14,15,16
  5. 2 Cor. 5:17
  6. Matt. 28:20
  7. Phil. 1:6
  8. Rom 1:17 and 2 Cor. 3:18
Disclaimer  – The views expressed in the posts and comments of this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of Christ the Rock Fellowship (CTRF) or its staff. They should be understood as the personal opinions of the author. No information on this blog will be understood as official. Comment Policy – All readers are encouraged to leave comments. While all points of view are welcome on CTRF’s blogs, only comments that are courteous and on-topic will be posted. All comments will be reviewed and responded to (as needed). Comments from readers under the age of 13 will not be posted, due to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). CTRF reserves the right to post comments at its discretion. Spam and comments endorsing commercial products or services will not be posted. Participants on this blog are fully responsible for everything that they submit in their comments, and all posted comments are in the public domain. Privacy Notice – This blog follows the CTRF’s Security and Privacy Notices. Any email addresses, names, or contact information received through this blog will not be shared or sold to anyone outside of the CTRF organization, unless required by law enforcement investigation. Linking Policy – This blog adheres to CTRF’s Web Site Policies. This blog may contain external links to other sites. CTRF does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information on external Web sites. Links to particular items in hypertext are not intended as endorsements of any views expressed, products or services offered on outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring those sites.
(425) 745-4535