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Archive for October, 2015

12189642_10207861272279269_1783680335148987763_nWe are blessed to announce that the book is finally published!  Here is today’s excerpt from the book:
“When you see the term “kingdom of heaven” in the Bible, it is a term used to describe where the kingdom is located.  When you see the term “kingdom of God,” it is used to describe who it belongs to.  It would be similar to asking a person where they live.  The person could say “I live at 1460 Tyler St.,” or the person could say “I live with my father in his house.”  The former describes where the house is located; the latter describes who owns the house.  It is important to note that the terms “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” are two different descriptions of the same kingdom – the former describes the location; the latter describes ownership.  God did not promise Israel more than one kingdom.  All who believe that Jesus is the Christ, or Messiah, and submit to His authority are citizens of the kingdom of God.”

Email us at info@fogocinti.org to place your order for either a paperback or hardback edition.  The price is 15.99 for paperback and 24.99 for hardback.  The price includes shipping and handling.  If you are seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, then this book is a must for your library!

Today, we read an excerpt from the upcoming book “A Glimpse of the Kingdom”:

“God, however, is not a God that desires to coerce anyone into loving and obeying him.  God wants the heart of a person; or in this case, the heart of a nation.  Think about that principle for a moment – what mother, who carried a child in her womb for nine months, and then fed and provided for the child, would not want the affection of that child?  What father would not want the love and admiration of his children?  What husband would not want to be revered by his wife?  Likewise, God desired to be loved and honored by the nation he chose out of all the other nations in this world.”

Just as God desired the affection and love of Israel, Christ desires the love and affection of the church.  How do we show that love and affection?  Through our obedience.  “If you love me, obey my commands.”  The true church should be striving to unite, not divide.  There is only one bride Christ Jesus is returning for – the unified church.  May the spiritual church endeavor to be one.

The Kingdom Marriage Retreat held this past Saturday was a truly transformational, life-changing event!  Couples had the opportunity to engage in activities that allowed them to assess where they are in their marriage, and what could be done immediately to cause their marriage to be more of a reflection of the kingdom of heaven.
KingMar01
In the first exercise, couples shared what their perceptions of marriage was before they were married, compared to what marriage actually is.  This was  powerful moment, as husbands and wives realized that a marriage is more than the wedding, and that problems are not solved like we see them portrayed on television, in a 30 or 60 minute episode.
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In the next exercise, the wives had to navigate through a minefield with their eyes closed, listening only to the voice of their husbands for direction.  If the wives hit one of the mines, they had to go back to the beginning and start all over again.  This was truly a prophetic teaching moment for many of the couples.
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Finally, couples were challenged to communicate with one another and to forgive one another quickly.  This exercise displayed to many couples the barriers that prevented them from expressing their true feelings to one another, and it also allowed each spouse to see graphically how their actions affected the other.

This dynamic event is not a conference, where participants sit and listen to speakers and are encouraged to buy books and CDs.  Participants are actively engaged throughout this retreat, and leave with practical tools to help them shape their marriage into one that more closely reflects the covenant God has with Israel in the Old Testament, and the relationship between Christ and the church in the New Testament.  If you or your fellowship would like to conduct a Kingdom Marriage Retreat, please contact us for more information.  It will be well worth the investment!

20 Vallotton Galatians 03 Carry one another s burden ...........Portez les fardeaux les uns des autres.......... Good news bible  Collins Fontana 1976 British and foreign bible societies 146 Queen Victoria Street London Annie Vallotton drawings

Romans 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
One of the distinguishing characteristics in true Christianity is longsuffering.  “Love suffers long.”  Indeed, did not Christ suffer long with His disciples?
Mark 9:17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
It is always easier in this life to point to the weaker one and say “I am glad I am not where there.”  We would like to think that we have graduated from that point.  We would like to think that we have gone on and reached higher pinnacles.  The truth is, we have not.  When I am not able to bear the failings of those in the faith who may not be where I am, I am showing that I am immature in the faith.  Perhaps God has placed this person in my life in order to show this person true love in demonstration, as opposed to merely hearing about it in a service:
1 Cor. 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?
The kingdom of God does not operate the way this imperfect world operates.  I cannot take an earthly principle, which is at best corrupt, and think that I can apply it in a kingdom situation.  That is contamination, the kind which God will not allow.  I am, rather, to take kingdom principles and apply them in earthly situations.  If I, then, see a brother or sister who is struggling, my kingdom duty is to bear with that brother or sister.  Do not be fooled: if you cannot bear with the failings of a weaker brother or sister, you don’t truly love.  Here is the litmus test of love toward your brother or sister: Can you truly bear with the failings of those who are weaker in the faith?  

Book coverThis is an exciting time!  The book “A Glimpse of the Kingdom” is in its production stage, and will be available for purchase soon.  This book is both very simple and very challenging.  It is very simple to read, as it is not an academic book, but it is challenging because much of the information contained in the book opposes what is traditionally taught in organized religion.  In short, you will have to renew your mind to the truth that neither the kingdom of God nor the Bible are religious.  They are both governmental.  If, however, you are willing to submit yourself to Christ’s imperative to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” then this book is an absolute must read for you.  In this book you will discover:
– What is this kingdom that Christ commands us to seek
– How Christ explained this kingdom in His parables
– How this kingdom is explained in the Old Testament
– What the true message of the gospel is
– How we are to live on this earth as citizens of the kingdom (no, we do NOT have dual citizenship!)
Be sure to reserve your copy now by sending your name and contact information (address and e-mail) to info@fogocinti.org.  Please include if you prefer a hardback or paperback edition.  The cost of the book is $24.99 for hardback, $15.99 for paperback, and $3.99 for ebook.  Many have asked for an autographed copy of the book.  Please indicate if you would like one in your email.

Thank you for all of your support in sharing the gospel of the kingdom to all of the world!

KingdomOfHeavenYesterday, I answered the question “Why do you focus on the Jews?”  Today, I would like to follow up with a practical example to show the significance of understanding the Jewish influence on the kingdom of God.
Mark 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Notice that Christ did not recite one of the commands that was given to the nation of Israel on Mount Sinai.  He said that the greatest command was one that came from the book of Deuteronomy:
Deut. 6:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one LordAnd thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
To one who is not Jewish, that may not have much significance.  To the Jews, however, this passage has tremendous significance, and is paramount to their faith.  I will quote from the website http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Torah/The_Shema/the_shema.html:
“The Shema is the central prayer in the Jewish prayerbook (Siddur) and is often the first section of Scripture that a Jewish child learns.  Orthodox Jews pronounce each word very carefully and cover their eyes with their right hand.  Many Jews recite the Shema at least twice daily: once in the morning and once in the evening.”
This passage is the affirmation of faith for the Jews.  It is the equivalent to the Pledge of Allegiance in the United States.  But even more important, to recite the Shema is to take upon one’s self the yoke of the kingdom.  From http://www.whyisrael.org/2011/03/26/what-is-the-shema/:
“The Yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven
The first paragraph of the Shema, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, speaks of the acceptance of the yoke of God’s Divine Kingdom and rule. The Shema has been described as a declaration of faith, a creed. It has often been called the watchword of Israel’s faith (Wilson, 1989, p. 123). When the Shema is read, it speaks of the absolute singularity of God, it affirms faith in the one and only God who created the universe, it affirms the promise that God alone rules the universe; He revealed the Torah to Israel and will one day redeem the world from injustice and strife by righting all the wrongs and ushering in a better age (Hoffman, 1997, p. 19). In this paragraph Moses addressed the individual Jew (Donin, 1980, 151) and the foreigner who sojourns with Israel (Ex. 12:38):”
This makes Christ’s imperative in Matthew 6:33 even more grave and urgent:
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
It is the kingdom of God which becomes the central influence in our lives.  So it is vital for us, followers of Christ, to do as He commanded and seek first the kingdom of God.  By doing so, we submit to His rule, thereby proving our heavenly citizenship.

judaismA reader and brother in the faith recently asked: “I notice you focus on the Jews more than most believers. Just curious as to why.”
The simple answer to this question is because the promise of the kingdom of God was given to the Jews.  Understanding this, however, becomes the foundation of our faith.  It is true that God is not a respecter of persons, and that the gospel is available to both the Jew and the Gentile; however, God is a God of order, and the order is that the gospel was revealed first to the Jews because the promise was given to the Jews only.  Paul explained this order when he spoke of the gospel in his letter to the Romans:
Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Paul’s comment can be proven in the gospel of Matthew, when Christ Jesus first gave instructions to His disciples to proclaim the gospel:
Matt. 10:These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Gentile believers, therefore, were not partakers of the promise, because the promise of the kingdom was part of the covenant God made with the Jews. God made this covenant with only one nation, the nation of Israel.  Again, Paul made this distinction clear in his letter to the Ephesians:
Eph. 2:
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Before the resurrection of Christ from the dead, the only hope a Gentile had of being a partaker of the kingdom inheritance was to convert to Judaism. After the resurrection, the gospel was presented to the entire world to anyone who received the good news of the kingdom and submitted to the rule of Christ Jesus.  This presentation of the gospel to the Gentiles was foretold by the prophet Isaiah:
Isa. 49: And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
While we must understand the origins of our faith, the blessing is that once the gospel was presented to all the world, God never required the Gentiles to convert to Judaism:
1 Cor. 7:
18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. 20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
In other words, Paul was saying if you responded to the gospel as a Jew, then remain a Jew.  If you responded to the gospel as a Gentile, then remain a Gentile.  The kingdom of God is not focused on the outward man, but is focused on the heart.  It is the heart that must be circumcised, and that for both Jew and Gentile.  It is the circumcised heart that determines our citizenship in the kingdom of God.

John the BaptistMatt. 11:But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
What powerful words!  What an honor to be spoken of this way by the Lord Jesus Himself!  Notice what our Lord said – that of any human being born of a woman that has ever walked this earth, there has not been one greater than John the Baptist.  Yet, if this is the case, why don’t we hear more about him?  Why isn’t he spoken of more often in our churches?  The Lord Jesus did more than just call John the Baptist a great man.  Our Lord also used John the Baptist as a line of demarcation:
Matt. 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
The Lord was even more explicit in the gospel of Luke:
Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
Why was John the Baptist so significant?  Because God gave him the charge of heralding the greatest message that this world has ever heard.  That message was simply this – what God promised through Moses and the Prophets is now in your midst and within your reach.  What was it that God promised?  God promised to the nation of Israel a kingdom, a Messiah.  John’s announcement that this kingdom was now at hand, or within reach, was and is the gospel.  Today, that message is not only still true, but we are closer to the realization of that great kingdom today than they were 2000 years ago.  Kenneth Wuest, in his Expanded Translation of the Gospel of Mark, wrote about John this way:
“There came upon the human scene, John the Baptizer, in the uninhabited region, making a public proclamation with that formality, gravity and authority which must be heeded and obeyed, of a baptism which had to do with a change of mind relative to the previous life an individual lived, this baptism being in view of the fact that sins are put away.”  John the Baptist was more than a forerunner.  He was the man whom God chose to herald the greatest message this world has ever heard – repent, or change your thinking, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  John the Baptist denotes the moment in the history of this world that we shifted from the promise to come to the promise fulfilled.  When you think of all of the great people that you have learned about in history, John the Baptist should be among the first.  

Train up a ChildYesterday, as Cindy and I were out to dinner celebrating our 31st anniversary, we had the occasion to eat at a particular restaurant.  As we were waiting for our meal, a waitress approached our table and said “You’re Mr. Mosby.  I never forget a face.”  She went on to tell me that I taught her chess when she was in elementary school and that she plays even to this day.  She also said that playing chess taught her a lot about life.  I was nearly in tears by the time she left our table.  I taught chess for only one year at Clovernook Elementary School, yet this young woman, who was busy about her business at work, took the time to come over to our table to share how learning the game of chess affected her life.  I immediately thought of a very important proverb:
Prov. 22:Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I was also reminded of some sound wisdom I received years earlier at a National Naval Officers Association conference.  A senior officer was complimenting me on how I presented myself at the conference, and when I expressed gratitude for his kind remarks, I shared with him that I had not seen him at all during the conference.  His response to me was succinct: “That just goes to show you, you never know who’s watching.”
As saints of God seeking the kingdom of God, we have no idea who is watching us on a daily basis.  We must remember that our kingdom citizenship should be reflected in our daily conduct.  We must also remember that little children learn from our conduct and actions, and that children really do live what they learn.  God placed us in this earth as evidence of his kingdom, grace, mercy and lovingkindness.  We should exhibit that influence in our daily lives, and endeavor to be an influence in the lives of others, whether it be by word or deed.

rings“Most interesting of all is the formulation Hosea gave to the covenant bond which bound Israel to her God.  It is a formulation which became classic, and which was taken up by many a subsequent prophet – particularly Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  The covenant is a wedlock; in it God ‘married’ Israel and made her his ‘wife.'” – John Bright, The Kingdom of God

I suppose it is no small coincidence that I am posting this devotional on the morning of my 31st wedding anniversary.  As I think back on the road which Cindy and I have traveled together, I realize that our marriage is much more than a contractual agreement or a partnership.  It is a covenant.  A covenant is much different than a contract or a partnership.  Partnerships can be dissolved.  All that is needed is for one person to leave, and the partnership no longer exists.  Contracts can be and are broken all the time, and in many cases the breaking of such arrangements is upheld in a court of law.  A covenant, however, is different.  A covenant is bound by vows.
Ecc. 5:When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.
When two people marry, they make a vow before God and before each other.  This is the same principle established when God made covenants with mankind in the Old Testament.  In making the vows to each other, a husband and wife enter into a covenant – a unique relationship to be experienced by the two of them alone.  That covenant creates a marriage that is greater than the sum of its parts.  Now, the husband and wife have entered into a union that is so sacred that it is to be shared with no one else.  The vows a man and a woman make aren’t mere words.  They represent admission into a sacred covenant – a wedlock – where the two now have become one.  In today’s world, it becomes more difficult to see this with clarity.  Worldly politics, societal changes and the like have clouded the vision of marriage.  Indeed, we have even merged the concepts of worldly marriage with Christian marriage.  Make no mistake, the two are not the same.  When Cindy and I became married, we did indeed fill out the proper paperwork in accordance with state law.  However, state law does not define our marriage.  God defined our marriage before we were even aware of what covenant truly meant.  In a covenant marriage, each person is so committed to keeping their own vows that there is no room for distrust.  Each person in a covenant marriage loses his or her individuality, and the two truly become one.  I have learned an invaluable principle over these past 31 years: when I hear my wife talking to me, I hear me talking to me.  This is because we aren’t two separate people anymore.  We are one in this covenant of marriage. Are there areas in our marriage where we are still working to become one?  Yes.  As we have learned, marriage takes a lifetime to learn how to completely become one.  Each day, however, we come one step closer to that complete union.  It is as Paul stated to the church at Philippi:
Phil. 3:16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
In a covenant marriage, two people spend a lifetime dying to self and living as one.  Happy anniversary, Cindy.  May we enjoy the remainder of our days loving and learning how to become one here on earth just as we are one in Christ Jesus.