CSN Sunday – Messages of Light – 1/3/2021
Dear CSN newsletter readers,
The Citizen Sentinels Network has maintained a project, originally deemed the David Project, since 2018. This is our second birthday in a hostile political environment! Especially, for those readers of faith, the Messages of Light originated as a genuine inspiration from our Heavenly Father. It was initiated to bring Light into the dark in this time. And especially at this time in our nation and in the world, there is clear and present danger that requires the faithful to hold boldly and securely onto the foundations that are rooted in faith.
If you consider the messages in our Sunday edition relevant or meaningful and know others who might value them as well, consider yourself a Light mail messenger and please pass this newsletter on to those whom you feel could welcome it. Or, simply please receive it yourselves.
“Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:1-12
One of the most dramatic reversals of intent for angry authorities, thirsty for “justice,” occurred when Jesus was challenged to explain what should happen to a certain woman who had been caught in the act of an adulterous excursion. The woman had been brought before him Jesus by Pharisees and teachers of religious law. Jesus’ response must have had a stunning effect upon the religious “leaders” as everyone who had had rocks did not throw them to kill the woman, but instead went quietly away. His response must have had a “double-edged” effect of providing an incredible “live” event for a teaching moment for the crowds of people who had been listening to him. His lesson also was two-fold: 1) none were without some form of sin — even if they were so-called leaders who taught the Law; and 2) sin can be forgiven. Sadly, because he forgave the woman, those very religious leaders he silenced would have only thought him less credible as a religious teacher.
These two lessons are relevant to everyone today. As citizens look around the nation today, it can be observed that religious leaders, and all leaders, everyone commits some sin. There may be a lot of skeletons in peoples’ closets, as there apparently were in Jesus’ day. It is a primary reason for the entry of the Messiah into such a time. (Mark 2:17) The second lesson is a bit more complex, since in those times, the Jewish leaders taught that only God could forgive such violation of God’s Law. So, here was this Jesus forgiving people’s sins — it was blasphemous to the religious authorities. However, we learn from Mark 2:27-28, Jesus had already taught that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” By extrapolation, the Messiah was Lord of the Ten Commandments. So, Christ could forgive sins as God’s son before the crucifixion.
Yet, these two lessons can be understood as two parts of the same experience: the reality and the hope of humankind. It is this event that is relevant to everyone today because all of us, like everyone present in the Temple courtyard, are not without sin; but, our sins can be forgiven. As Americans look with such clarity around the nation today, it can be observed that even religious leaders, all leaders, everyone commits sin. However, God’s son can forgive our sins, but it will depend upon asking to be forgiven. It is what repentance is about, and it is explained more fully as Jesus taught in the Lord’s Prayer that we needed to pray for Heavenly Father’s forgiveness of our trespasses against Him, and it was intimately linked to our forgiveness of those who trespass against us.
For those who are willing to receive it, we are much like the woman caught in our sin, and as we come before the son of God, we are without excuse in our own lives and lifestyles as we live in the Land of the Free because we are free to choose how we live our lives in relation to God’s Law. And, for those who would so easily sweep aside the Law as “Old Testament,” it must be remembered that Jesus said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” He came to shine light on the Law of God and to lead the way of obedience to the Heavenly Father.
It is clear that the act of disobedience in the Garden had to be reversed by the Second Adam. Thus, the illumination of the greatest of God’s Commandments was clarified by his son:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.“ Mark 12:29-31
As we begin the new year, following the season in which we celebrate the birth of the Christ child, one question that should be asked is whether one had a genuine encounter with Jesus in this season. It may be hard given the realities of COVID and domestic terrorists, and all, but in one’s own private place in the heart, was there a genuine encounter with Jesus?
Our first full message today is a new year’s message from Dr. Robert Owens. He posted his latest article, “A New You for a New Year” on December 28, and he attempts to keep the reality about a “new you” fairly simple, and it is not about dieting or new year’s resolutions. Today, his message is how simple it is to come to Christ. In case anyone missed it, we featured another one of Dr. Owen’s latest articles in the Christmas Eve edition of our CSN newsletter entitled, “What is Christmas Without Christ? It puts things in perspective and helps in realizing a deeper value in his message for today.
Last Sunday, I offered a message which linked the journey of faith of the Magi to our journey of faith, and I had mentioned at the time that often people today do not see the connection to our reality in this age. So, the second full message today picks up where that message left off. I am hoping to help make a connection between the Magi and this effort to Jesus’ command to the accused woman, caught in adultery. It could complicate one’s view of Christmas, and I know of no one who attempted to connect the journey of the Magi to the sin of an adulteress, so it is probably not considered “normal.” But, I attempt to see biblical events from the bigger perspective of God’s Providence, and how we are connected to that in our day.
Today we also have four articles in our “Recommended Reading” section. We are offering two of the articles we featured in the CSN New Year’s Eve newsletter, but all of them regard the government’s persecution of Christians and people of faith. It is much more widespread than one may realize, and while there have been favorable Supreme Court decisions in recent months, the danger in pursuing one’s faith still exists.
We also have five videos for today. The special one is a New Year’s Eve message from Pastor Kent Christmas about the unfolding of the new year. Dutch Sheet’s message also deals with the same point, and part of his message is from his brother, Tim Sheets. They are all special, so view them all! Please note in this first edition of 2021, we are switching the order of our “Recommended Reading” section and our Video Views sections to align more with an order in our regular CSN newsletter.
These words and images are being freely offered and are being sent to you as part of the David Project’s “Messages of Light.” Please receive today’s messages as a gift from those who care. They are only words that are being offered, freely, but some contain a deep message of faith, or a deeper expression of heart that readers can hopefully receive into their lives. As it was written: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18 – KJV
May we, who are called by His name, humble ourselves, which in these days should be much easier within such a turbulent and chaotic time as this; and to pray for the nation’s strength to recover from 2020 – it may depend on our exercise of faith and our freedoms; and to seek His face (His mercy and His Wisdom as never before), and sincerely repent (as in ‘fall on your knees” type of repentance), and turn from our wicked ways – because if we do turn, our land will not be healed, but consumed by the wickedness of everyone who failed in turning away from temptation and evil.
“A New You for a New Year”
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Have you reached the end of your rope only to find out that it’s much shorter than you imagined? Was last year as good as you hoped it would be? Was it as bad as you feared it would be? Does the uncertainty of the future leave you anxious? Has your own mortality entered like a crack in the ice in your youthful belief in personal indestructibility?
But wait there’s more…
Does the randomness of good happening to bad people and bad happening to good people leave you wondering if there’s any rhyme or reason to reality? Is looking for answers to these and many other questions like looking for needles in haystacks? Is the quest to find meaning in life like trying to nail fog to the wall?
If you’ve rejected Christ because of Christians, don’t mistake the messengers for the message. Christ told his followers to take His light to the world, and most have spent the last 2,018 years trying to build a lamp and pretending it was the light.
The message is as simple as receiving it: Confess Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved.
It’s not about joining the right club or following the right rules. We don’t need a seminary degree or someone with one to walk us through learning the secret handshake or the Abra Kadabra password. And there is no magic decoder ring. We don’t have to read the Bible from cover to cover. We don’t have to wear the right clothes, beard, or haircut. We don’t have to vote for the right candidates. We don’t have to take an oath to believe the same things that everyone else who confesses Christ as Lord does.
It isn’t about being good enough. That’s one of the great miracles of God’s economy. While we were yet sinners Jesus came and died so that we could live.
It isn’t about becoming a religious robot who says the right things at the right time to the right people in the right place. God is the One who created us with free choice, so we’re free to choose. It isn’t about conformity. God is the One who created us to be an individual, and He doesn’t make junk. We are who He created us to be. He has placed us in a certain time and place so that we can become all He designed us to be and do all that He has called us to do. And that means what He created, placed, and called you to be will be different than what He created, placed, and called me to be. You see it isn’t about cookie-cutter, repeat a formula, and follow the rule book club membership.
It’s about each of us individually confessing Jesus as Lord and each of us individually believing God raised Jesus from the dead and then learning to commune with God, to hear Him speak to us as individuals and then doing what He tells us to do.
If the questions at the beginning of this article float through our minds like storm clouds in a cloudless sky obscuring what should be clear, let’s give up the battle to do it on our own. Let’s surrender and find victory in allowing God to count the victory of Jesus over sin and death to our account.
It’s so easy we can do it right here right now. We don’t need to be in a meeting, at an altar, or in a special building. We don’t need anyone to hold our hand or even know what we’ve done. We will know. God will know. And once we’re in his hand no one can snatch us out.
I confess Jesus as Lord and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the Dead. That’s it. All done. The battle is over. The war between us and God is over and we are one with Him. Welcome to a new you for a new year.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2020 Contact Dr. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Parler, Facebook, or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens’ Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
“Once We Encounter Christ, Do We Honor and Practice His Word?”
The stories of the First Christmas are most dramatic as it seemed so many arrangements were made by our Heavenly Father to announce the birth of His Son, and to invite His people, and other people of faith to come and witness His only begotten Son. One of the most dramatic of these stories involves the Magi who were men of faith as well as men who were attuned to the prophecies concerning the Messiah. They were prepared to receive the Son of God, and there are many reasons for this, but we only see the Magi as Jesus enters into the world.
“Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.’
“After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. Matthew 2:9-12
We know that the Magi journeyed a great distance at great risk that took great faith. https://www.commdiginews.com/
There are several questions that the entire journey of faith raises, but that is for another day. Yet, when one is careful to stay within the context, it is still hard to believe they were simply glorified UPS delivery men. There are no known records of the Magi later, but if research is correct, they were wise men of great means and could have helped Jesus in his later mission in life. If one places this within the framework of what happened to Jesus as he grew to be a man and gave himself to his people. And, he did need help almost immediately as King Herod sent his troops to murder the children of Bethlehem that were two years of age and younger. From this alone, one can understand that Herod was not truly a religious leader of Judea, a leader who valued the religion of Judaism, nor one who followed the Ten Commandments.
A simple takeaway within the scope of my message is that when the Magi encountered Jesus, they bowed down and worshipped him. On the other hand, King Herod, who never personally wanted to worship the child of prophecy, sought to murder him. And while there may be many pseudo-intellectuals who want to claim that Matthew invented all of his stories regarding the birth of Christ, their proof is pitiful, and more an expression of faithlessness than real value.
The connecting point between this episode of God’s Providence and the moments recorded in Jesus’ ministry is all of the other encounters with Christ that are recorded. What did people do as they encountered Jesus within the texts of the New Testament? But, the deeper connecting point regarding the encounter with the Messiah, is what would a person like yourself do after meeting Jesus? It needs to get that personal in our greater lives of faith. Especially, as we begin this brand new year, right after the season in which we celebrate the birth of the Christ child, it is a serious question that should be asked.
Whether one had a genuine encounter with Jesus in this season can only be answered by each individual as it usually a very personal encounter. And, I have no idea of people’s answers, but if the answer was negative, why not? What was in the way? How far did one need to travel to connect in heart with God’s son? What great risk barred the way? Understandably, it could be said that it was hard given the realities of COVID and domestic terrorists, and all, but in one’s own private place in the heart, was there a genuine encounter with Jesus? And, if not, does it not matter? Now, let us turn together to the linkage between the encounter of the Magi with the child Jesus, and the encounter of an adultress, caught in sin, as she was forced to come into the presence of the Messiah.
This passage in John quoted at the beginning of this edition is one that many people of faith are familiar with regarding the crime of adultery in the time of the Old Testament. The crime today would not be considered punishable by death in the United States. And since the nation is primarily a Christian nation, this recorded event had a lot of significance for our nation’s laws regarding adultery. However, those old laws today are eroding. It may be more significant for Christians, Jews, and other people of faith that adultery is still to be considered a criminal activity in the eyes of God in accordance with the Ten Commandments. Yet, the ordinance regarding stoning women to death is not part of the Ten Commandments.
It is significant that the words that John uses regarding the punishment is according to “the Law of Moses” she should be stoned. A couple of questions that would immediately be asked today by many (especially feminists) is why was it only the women who were to be stoned to death? Does it not take two to tango? Did the male counterpart to the criminal act go unpunished? Despite the lingering questions about the legalities and fairness of the Hebrew system of justice in that time, the whole incident bears much information for us in our time that could help in our lives of faith.
The woman was caught in her sin and condemned by the leaders in Jerusalem. Her unfortunate predicament may be closer to our reality than we know. It may certainly be closer to our reality than the faith of the Magi, but that is for readers to determine — not me. However, it should be noted that we are all capable of sin, which essentially separates us from our Heavenly Father. If we can admit that we are not that much different than the woman caught in the crime of adultery and we can picture ourselves there in the courtyard before Jesus, what would be crashing into one’s mind at that point, on the threshold of death? What was in St. Stephen’s mind as he was stoned to death — for no good reason other than he was a follower of Christ?
Indeed, the encounters of the Magi and the sinful woman are completely different. Yet, both of the encounters hold invaluable lessons for all people of faith. Yet, the forced encounter of this sinful woman can help in many dimensions of our lives of faith. She was forcefully brought into Jesus’ presence; but likely by her preference, she would have chosen to run away to escape her accusers. But, the event turned out to be in her best interests. The sin was exposed before the Son of God, and he chose not to condemn her. But, his “command” or “guidance” to her was to “Go and sin no more.” This is the same message Jesus would likely give to us all. But, to the ones who would truly honor him, he would ask that one’s faith be expressed more fully, more proactively:
“Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me for anything in My name, I will do it.…” John 14:12-14
So, the questions are before us as we begin this new year in hope and great anticipation. Yet to me, one of the deepest questions is: “Once we encounter Christ, do we honor and practice his word?” And, do we do the works Jesus asked us to practice? Will we forgive and love our family, friends and neighbors? It is quite the challenge from our Heavenly Father, but such genuine and sincere efforts contain the elements and energy to build God’s Kingdom.
Video Views – Into the New Year – Onward and Upward!
From Libera – Angel (performed live at Universal Studios Japan) – 5/10/2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?
From BitChute: HALLELUJAH CHORUS – HANDEL MESSIAH (JOHANN STRAUSS ORCHESTRA WITH HARLEM GOSPEL CHOIR ’04 CLASSIC) https://www.bitchute.com/
From BitChute: The United States Army Field Band performs the famous Civil War-era piece, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” – Unknown original date https://www.bitchute.com/
From Pastor Kent Christmas: New Year’s Eve Prophetic Release – 12/31/20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?
From Dutch Sheets Ministries: God Will Use a Remnant Filled With His Brave Heart – Give Him 15 – Daily Prayer with Dutch Sheets – 1/2/21 https://www.youtube.com/watch?
From Let us Worship with Sean Feucht: Sean Feucht – Kim Walker-Smith – Meredith Mauldin – New Years Eve Eve – 12/30/20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?
From The United States Air Force Academy Band with the Colorado Springs Chorale “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” – 12/21/20 https://www.youtube.com/
Recommended Reading – follow the links…
From WND: Government orders ‘Jesus’ on T-shirt censored as ‘political – 12/3/20 speech’https://www.wnd.com/
From Breitbart: Governmental overreach causes growing alarm for religious groups – 12/21/20 https://www.breitbart.com/
From The Epoch Times: Attorney Sees 9th Circuit Decision as Landmark for Religious Liberty – 12/16/20 https://www.theepochtimes.com/
From UPI: Supreme Court sides with Colorado church, N.J. religious leaders on COVID-19 limits – 12/15/20 https://www.upi.com/Top_News/