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20. Apr, 2018

In the words of the late John F Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country?” The more I listen to our Christian teachers on the TV the more I hear the truth of this statement. We hear time and again of what God can do for us, like giving us a good life, giving us the best jobs, make us rich and put us at the top of all things. But if He does not do these things should we love Him any the less? [Hosea 12:6]

The Gospel message is about repentance, forgiveness and salvation [Luke 24:47] but what comes next? There is no checklist of what we will receive from the Lord but there are many things we should do for Him. [1 Peter 5:2] After all, this journey we are on is about Him and the sacrifice of what He gave up for us. [2 Corinthians 5:15] As I have said many times, He has done His part now we have to do our part. To do our part would be very difficult if we had nothing or no one to help us in our walk and that is why the Lord said: “Unless I go the Holy Spirit the helper could not come.” [John 16:7] We need the Power from High for every breath and action we do; we need Him in times of trials and in times of plenty. We need Him when we get up in the morning and when we sleep at night [Acts 17:25] because without the One who came to reveal all things to us we are like sheep without a shepherd. [Isaiah 13:14]

Therefore as we prepare once more to celebrate the coming of the mighty wind that has swept across the world ever since that day when the disciples stood on the Temple Mount. Let us wait upon the Lord for the instructions, His instructions on how we can serve not only Him but also the Kingdom of God. The Word tells us to seek His Kingdom not our own. [Matthew 6:32-34] There is a song that says, “I wish I could love you more.” We have to look past our situation, past our sickness, our wants and needs and the things of this world and into the eyes of our Lord.” What is to come is worth every sacrifice He made if we will look past the now and look to the when.

The term “Love the Lord our God” appears up to twenty times in the Bible and to fear the Lord appears nearly thirty times. It is clear from scripture that the Lord God is in control of all things [Deuteronomy 29:29] and to appear before Him is a privilege not an automatic right. We are to put God first in all things and at all times and then His righteousness will come to all who call on His name. [Zephaniah 3:9]

When I was young I was in the New Zealand Army, if I went against the rules I could have put some ones life in danger and if I had done something bad I could have been dismissed. When I went to work my loyalty was to the management of the firm, if I did something against the rules I would be given a warning, if I did it again then I could have been fired. Why did they command my loyalty? They paid my wages. The question is why do we think God works to a lower standard then the world? After all He paid my wages in full, the wages that were taking me on a downward spiral to everlasting death. [Romans 6:23] But He gave me life as he paid my wages then as He continues to do so today. [1 Peter 3:18]

For this reason the Lord has a right to our total obedience, He is above time and space and loves like no human being can ever hope to love. There is no fault in His love and He loves those who would call on His name with total obedience to His Word. [Psalm 145:18]

If we want to live in this world and carry on in our sinful way that is our choice. But if we choose to follow Him then we need to look into the mirror and take an honest look at ourselves. He died we live, He speaks we listen, He loves we love in return and live our lives in the shadow of His wings. [Psalm 36:7] This is why the Holy Spirit was sent, to light the path ahead and to keep us on the straight and narrow path. [Proverbs 4:27] If we claim to be a follower of the One and True God who came and died for our sins, then surely we are to live a life in the shadow of the Cross directed by His Word and by direction of the Holy Spirit. [Psalm 119:105]

At the end of the day it is all about Him and our focus and praise should be directed towards the Lord God only. I listen to the preachers on TV and mostly what I hear is what the Lord has done for us. But surely those words of John F Kennedy should ring in our ears as; “Don’t ask what God can do for us but what we can do for God”. He did all He needed to do, He came He died in our place then rose from the dead to give new life, [Romans 5:6-8] now and forever more. We should be singing in the streets with song in our hearts and a spring in our feet. One day we will dance before the Lord so why not start now? He is the Saviour of the world, the One who instead of destroying us gave us life. [John 3:17] And with the anointing of the Holy Spirit we can not only see all He has done for us but we can all so live out the promise He gave just before He left the earth to return to where He came from, “I will be with you even to the end of the earth”. {Matthew 28:20]

If we love no more than we did before we were saved are we truly following, as the Lord requires of us? It is love that breaks down barriers. It is love that brings peace in all situations. It is love that gives us patience and self-control and it is love that the Holy Spirit brings to the Believer in a way they never thought possible. If we love the Lord then let us seek Him, if we want to serve Him then let us take on the things we need for the task, Like patience, self-control, joy, long suffering, kindness, goodness, peace and most of all love [Galatians 5:23] without which we are but an empty sounding gong. [1 Corinthians 13:1] If we love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, we need to show it in every situation as God is love [] and it is that love we should have in our hearts for all people.

Come Holy Spirit fall, afresh on me and create in me a clean heart, a heart of flesh not stone. [Ezekiel 36:26] This is why He came, to touch lives and give strength to the weak, peace to the broken hearted and to spread the love of God to all. [Luke 4:18]  Therefore let us go forth in His strength and spread the Love that passes all understanding so all can enjoy the presence of the Lord in their lives through the Power of the Holy Spirit.

 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when Youspeak and blameless when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, let the bones, which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Psalm 51:1-11

 

12. Apr, 2018

 

Blaze Spirit blaze set our hearts on fire. [Jeremiah 20:9] This is what the Holy Spirit did for the disciples and what He wants to do for us. He set their hearts ablaze to spread the Word to the world. He brought light where there was darkness [John 12:46] and life where there was only death. We long for things we want but what about the things we need? People want to be prophets, evangelists and Pastors but the Lord said to seek the things of God first and foremost and then these things will be given to us. [John 6:32-33] Ask people in the church what they want from God and the answer will most likely hinge around the gifts of the Spirit but what about the Fruit? Surely the fruit of the vine has to ripen before it can be eaten, before it is of any use to our bodies? The seed has to come from the ripe fruit before it can be planted to bring new life and continue the cycle of growth

As we count down to the coming of the celebration of Pentecost we need to search ourselves and ask ourselves do we have the mind of Messiah? [1 Corinthians 2:16] Are we walking in a way that is pleasing to the Lord and if not why not? [Deuteronomy 28:9] When the Lord called us to give up all the things we had, we never could have done that without the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us. [John 16:13] It was the Power of God that gave us the strength to do so. And it is this power the Lord gives for us to be what He requires of us. But before we can show God’s power to others we need the heart of the Lord, a new heart full of love and compassion and full of the Holy Spirit. [Psalm 51:10]  This I would suggest calls on the age-old question, what came first the gifts or the fruit of the Spirit? And what needs to come first?

When we arrived in Bethlehem all those years ago, we were very happy to move in the gifts of the Spirit, Pastor, Apostle, Evangelist and Teacher, but the Lord soon showed me something had to come first and of course as always He was right. What was required was love, patience, self-control etc. [Galatians 5:22-23] The people did not fully understand our words but they understood our actions and without the actions behind the words we are but an empty sounding gong. [1 Corinthians 13:1-2] Someone once said they paid ten thousand dollars on a business course and found out one most important thing and that was how important the customer was! If we have to pay that much money to find out how important people are then we need to find other work. It is the same in the Kingdom of God, if we don't know how important people are in God’s plan, then we need a mighty Pentecostal move on our lives to bring forth the fruit and a heart of flesh [Ezekiel 11:19] ready to receive the Fruit of the Spirit.

We need the Fruit in our lives, the fruit of God to flow through our veins, first working on our hearts and then on our minds. We need to walk as Yeshua did, in the will of the Father. The Father is love, the son is love and the Holy Spirit is love [2 Corinthians 6:6] and that love for our souls convicts us of all things, good and bad. [2 Corinthians 5:10] It is written in 1 Corinthians 13:13, that the greatest of these is love. Which as we know is a fruit of the Spirit, as is joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness and faithfulness, without these fruits how can we ever ripen into being the person the Lord wants us to be? Unless an acorn falls to the ground how can it ever grow into the mighty Oak Tree where the birds can nest and new life can start? Without humility and a pure heart, which come through the Fruits of the Spirit, how can we be true servants of the King of kings?

The day of Pentecost is not a day to pass with just an exclamation mark to show it is an important day in the Biblical calendar and nothing more. It is the day when the final act of God began, the day the power came upon the Believers [Acts 2:1:4] and the Believers were able to stand against all things even unto death. The Holy Spirit came to change society so all malice and self-ambition is gone and we work for the glory of the Kingdom of God. Our journey on this earth is not about our glory or position it’s about who God was, is and always will be, it’s all about Him, why else would He send the Holy Spirit to keep our minds firmly fixed on God Himself, the Great I Am, Elohim?

It is interesting to note that unlike the gifts of the Spirit where it says some will have one gift and others a different gift. With the fruits there is no such statement. they are all there for every person to come under the power and take on the fruits of the Spirit. Whereas the works of the flesh such as: out- bursts of wrath, envy, hatred, contentions and dissensions [Galatians 5:20] which all come from within. If we remove these from our spirit then we must replace them with something and that is where the fruit comes in. Many things in this world bring darkness and worry and even depression, whereas the fruit of the Lord brings happiness and light into all situations. [John 8:12]

It is by our fruits we are known, it is the fruits that get us through this life to win the prize at the end of the race. [2 Timothy 2:5] It is the fruit within our lives that plants seeds for the next generation to learn from and how to be people of God, Elohim. Like all seed it needs nurturing and we do this with the love of God. If we walk as He wants us to walk talk as He wants us to talk and act like He wants us to act then surely we are spreading the seed with the breath of the Holy Spirit. With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we can start to understand such statements as:

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. [Matthew 5:5-9]  Once understood the next thing is to act on these words within ourselves and this is why the Holy Spirit came, to enable us to live a life worthy of the pain and suffering that our Lord and Saviour went through on the Cross - for you and me.

As we prepare once more for the celebration of the Power from on high being sent, let us cry out, “Come Holy Spirit, come on our lives, our homes and our lands. Blaze Spirit blaze bring your fire upon one and al”. Bring your Mighty Power and convict us all so we can come and repent before the Lord.

Holy Spirit bring your love and understanding, the understanding of the Message of the Cross before it’s too late. Bring the Fathers glory upon this place and may there be light. [John 12:36] The Light of the world showing up the darkness and bring all into repentance before the awesome day of the Lord and remove the scales from our eyes to see clearly ahead;

 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; Acts 9:17-18

 

6. Apr, 2018

PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST

 As we continue through the week of the feast of unleavened bread it is time to reflect on our own lives, where we have been and where we are going. Yesterday we attended a funeral of a friend from our Fellowship. Going from the service to the cemetery, the people in the car in front of us threw some rubbish from the car. They had heard the Gospel spoken of how the Lord is just longing for us to accept Him for whom He is. How our brother John, who we were laying to rest, always spoke of the greatness of God Himself and how we can clean up our lives by just following the Lord. What He spoke of during his ministry, God's love and forgiveness, is not something to be cast aside like a piece of unwanted rubbish but something for all to treasure. [Psalm 19:1-10]

 We need to reflect on what we are doing with the very Word of God we hear spoken, whether it is within a church building, at a wedding, in the street or at a funeral. We all have to reflect on our actions before the awesome day of the coming of the Lord. [Zephaniah 1:7] It’s not up to anybody else to look in the mirror but ourselves and ask the question, “Am I a child of God?” If the answer is yes then we need to ask ourselves, what are we doing about it? Are we living up to the Word, are we living up to the crucifixion we have just finished celebrating, or was that just a celebration and now let's get on with life for another year. But what if we do not have another year? That is something we have to think about as the year continues. The Feast of unleavened bread is here to remind us that we are to live without sin [I Corinthians 5:8] and to prepare us for the next step, whether it be the coming of the Holy Spirit a fresh into our lives or whatever the Lord has in store for us.

 John, our friend who has now taken up residence in that room prepared for him by the Lord, [John 14:3] knew what lay ahead and was ready for it but are we? Yeshua the One with the body of purity and without leaven [Hebrew 4:15] died and rose again on the third day. [1 Corinthians 15:4] The very One who was God on earth; so the people who were sinners could not stand in His presence on earth. But what about in His state of Glory, can we stand within all His glory? When they approached Yeshua in the garden and they were told who He was, did they not fall to the ground? [John 18:6] Now there was power in His presence, a power that caused all to fall at His feet. We have been given the right to enter His Kingdom but this can only be by Him and Him alone. Acts 4:12] The Sceptre must be extended to all who wish to enter the Kingdom, [Esther 4:11] as the Sceptre will never leave the Lion of Judah [Genesis 49:10] is it this Sceptre that is extended to us?  Are we living with clean hands and pure hearts? [Psalm 24:3-4] Are we asking the Father to create in us a clean heart? [Psalm 51:1-10] Are we walking the life that reflects the Cross and the words, “Forgive them Father for they don't know what they do.” [Luke 23:34] Are we living up to these words of forgiveness?

 We have the Word to read and the Holy Spirit to convict us in all things. Yes, I know the Gospel of grace has taken over and taught that we can do whatever we like as we have been forgiven. But nowhere in scripture does it support this. Paul told people to repent and the Lord Himself told the Churches in the Book of Revelation to repent and that was all after the cross. So why would He have to say to repent? Because we are who we are, we are human and we do sin. [1 John 1:10] But the message is there for all to read and act upon, we need to walk, talk and act in the way God has laid down in His Word and to be the people we are meant to be. [1 John 5:2]

 This is what this time of unleavened bread is for, to start us along the path the Lord wants us to follow, [Psalm 119:105] His path, but over the next seven weeks we can prepare to celebrate the Helper, sent by the Lord. [John 15:26] The One who came to direct us in all things because as orphans we would soon lose our way but Yeshua said He would never leave us as orphans [John 14:18] because He knew what would happen if He did. An example of this is when Moses went up the mountain and left the people without a strong leader. They got tired of waiting and then fell into sin [Exodus 32:19] as we would without the direction of the Lord in our lives, hence the reason for the sending of the Holy Spirit.

 In all of this we need to realise just how much we are loved by our Heavenly Father. [1 John 4:16] He promised us salvation and He delivered on that promise nearly two thousand years ago. And now, here we are, walking the same path as the Lord’s Disciples and knowing the Lord is with us and directing our path. First there was Passover when we were saved by the Blood of the Lamb [Revelation 1:5] then first fruits a picture of our own presentation before the Lord [2 Timothy 2:15] and then the path we are to take and to live without sin. [Proverbs 4:27] This is the Gospel, the truth, our life and our way to one day take up our room in the Fathers house, or will it be given to someone else?

 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. “And he sent out His slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. “Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”’ “But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. “But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. “Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. ‘Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ “Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. Matthew 22:1-10

1. Apr, 2018

Today we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. We have celebrated Passover and as at the first Passover the people were rescued from their bondage by walking through their doorway and into their homes through the blood of the Passover Lamb. [Exodus 12:7] But today we have a new and living way [Hebrews 10:20] and that is by the blood of our Passover Lamb. [1 Corinthians 5:7] Then on the third day He arose to glory, [1 Corinthians 15:4] our first fruits from the dead. [1 Corinthians 15:20] The feast of first fruits, is a picture of the perfect One, the first fruits of the harvest are unmarked and without blemish. When Mary went to touch Him, Jesus said, “don't touch Me, as I have not yet presented myself to the Father.” [John 20:17] If she had been part of the burial group she would have been unclean and therefore made Him unclean. First Fruits is just that, unpolluted by the things of the world, as we are to be as we are also to be a type of First Fruits [James 1:18] unpolluted by the things of this world. We are to be holy as He is Holy. [Leviticus 11:44-45] The Cross was not the end as the Disciples thought at first, but it is just the beginning of a wonderful journey of discovery, discovery in knowing Him more and more each day of our lives.

On that first day of the week, when Jesus rose, the feast of First Fruits occurred and the start and direction of the journey we are on, a journey of unleavened bread, without sin. “For seven days you will eat bread without Leaven. This is my body given for you,” [1 Corinthians 11:24] The Lord was eating unleavened bread so therefore was saying He was without sin and the Perfect One and we are to do the same, “Go therefore and live the life I have demonstrated to you.” This is the direction the Lord has given us to place our feet on the narrow path. [Matthew 7:13-14]

The Feast of First Fruits is also the first day of counting the days until the coming of the Holy Spirit, [Leviticus 23:15-16] the One who will convict us all of sin. [John 16:13] The Feast of unleavened bread gives us the start we need to count down to that day. The cross was not the end but only the beginning of the new journey we are to follow. We are a type of first fruits set apart as Holy before the Lord as the Lord orders our steps. [Psalm 37:23] We have fifty days to prepare for the celebration of the coming of the power from on high and the first steps towards that event are pictured in walking without leavened bread, sin, in our lives.

 Blessed is the person who makes the Lord their trust, who does not look to the proud or to those who turn aside to false gods. Psalm 40:4

28. Mar, 2018

Who do you say I Am?

 Some say Yeshua was just a good man others say He was a Prophet but I believe at this time the question the Lord is asking is, “Who do you say I am?”  He can’t have just been a good man, as a good man does not tell lies. [Numbers 23:19] Because in Islam, they say He did not die on the cross as He got someone else to die in His place. Was He just a prophet? But would a prophet die such a death for the sins of the world or could they?  As there is no one who has never sinned [Romans 3:23] as it is written the sacrifice had to be perfect. [Exodus 12:5] And as there was only One who never sinned or could never be tempted into sinning and was examined over four days and finally declared sinless and declared not guilty [Luke 23:4] then He and only He could be the sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Who do you say I am? The question that was asked of the disciples [Mark 8:29] and has been asked of every generation since. It is the question that every generation must answer before they leave this earth for the next. Yeshua hung on the cross and as many looked up at the sinless one, some said “Crucify Him” [Luke 23:21] whereas others knew exactly who He was, the Son of the living God. [Mark 15:39]

Yeshua means salvation and Yeshuati, means ‘my salvation’ and this is who hung on the cross on that day some two thousand years ago, my salvation, something every one can declare if they would just stop for a moment and look up and see the tears of pain and the scars of forgiveness and the eyes of love that looked down from the cross as the Centurion did. A moment of ones time can change a life in an instant and give a change of heart to bring them into glory as a child of God. [John 1:12]

If we say He was just a good man then we can just walk on by as many do. Many men and women have made their mark in the world and then are gone and after a few generations are forgotten left to the history books. But if Yeshua is more than just a good man, one who does not lie and was from the beginning of time as He said He was, [John 8:58] Then I believe we should all be paying Him a little more attention than just for one hour on Sunday or whatever day we gather to proclaim Him as Lord. Yeshua was here on earth for such a short time but His life will never fade from history, He was before time and will be here long after time ends for this earth. [John 1:1]

If we say He was just a prophet then we place Him no higher than the many prophets of history that have come and gone. But there is another question that has to be asked, how many good men or prophets have changed the course of history like Yeshua has? Who other than Yeshua has changed and rescued lives for the better as He did and does today and will do until He returns? If we come to the conclusion that He was who He said He was, like countless people before us then the Lord is asking what are we going to do about it?  

 Who do you say I am? the question that should ring in the ears of everyone as we come to yet another Passover celebration. A question that should never go unanswered because our salvation depends on the answer we give. The answer Peter gave came from our Father Himself [Matthew 16:17] as it does for us. Nobody can say Lord without the knowledge of the Holy Spirit [John 14:17] and it is time once more for us all to say: You are the Messiah. But not just the Messiah but as they say in Hebrew, King Messiah, He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. [Revelation 19:16] He is the anointed one who existed before time began and will exist long after time ends for this earth and into the new heaven and the new earth. [Revelation 21:1]

“Who do you say I am?” This question has rung loud and clear down through the ages. And it is a question we all need to answer sooner rather than too late. At this time as Passover approaches we should be looking at the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world. This is the One who walked the earth and led the way, a new and living way. [Hebrews 10:20] This is the One who was born in the House of Bread, Bethlehem, [Matthew 2:1] where the Temple lambs for sacrifice were raised. It is where the Shepherds of the flock were told the Saviour of the World was born. [Luke 2:11]

In time all will pass away and all things will be made new. [Revelation 21:5] I was asked recently, why does there have to be a new earth, after all the Scriptures tell us this heaven and this earth will pass away. I believe the answer to this question is in 2 Chronicles 28:3. King David could not build the Temple as there was too much blood on his hands therefore too unclean to build a place for the Holy One to dwell. All the lands of the world are soaked with the blood of sinners as all have sinned and therefore the lands are unclean. There is only one without sin who is able to clean all things and that is Yeshua. So therefore this earth must go so that a spotless one covered only by the Blood of the Lamb of God can take its place to be in the presence of the Most Holy One.

Who do you say that I Am? He is the only sinless One, who sits at the right hand of the Father, [Hebrews 12:2] perfect in every way. At this time we need to be looking squarely into His face, the One who is our unleavened bread of life, “This is my body given for you”, [1 Corinthians 11:24] He is our first fruits, [1 Corinthians 15:20] He is our guide for our behaviour and our example of our presentation before the Father. He is the Lamb of God that they took and sacrificed on the cross but the cross was not the beginning, it was the exclamation mark within the salvation path and it is definitely not the end. We need to look at what led to the cross and in a word that was sin. At the time of Noah we know God nearly destroyed all of mankind but also promised never to do that again. [Genesis 9:11-15] So there was only one course the Lord could take, whereas He nearly destroyed all the people but now He set out to save all the people. And He did this with the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. [1 Peter 1:17-21]

 So if we are asked; who is this Yeshua we serve then we can say;

He is our Unleavened Bread                       [1Corinthians 5:8]

He is our First fruits.                                  [1 Corinthians 15:20]

He is the Rock of my Salvation.                  [1 Corinthians 10:4]

He is the Prince of peace.                         [Isaiah 9:6]

He is the maker of heaven and earth.          [Colossians 1:17]

He is our healer and life giver.                     [1 Timothy 6:3]

He is the Great I Am.                                [John 8:58]

He is friend and advocate to the Father.      [1 John 2:1]

He is the new and living way.                     [Hebrews 10:20]

He is the Light of the world.                        [John 8:12]

He is the narrow path.                               [Matthew 7:13]

He is the way, the truth and the life.            [John 14:6]

He is the living water.                                [John 4:12-13]

He is the Alpha and the Omega.                 [Revelation 1:8]

He is the Great Shepherd.                         [Hebrews 13:20]

He is the Almighty God.                            [Isaiah 9:6]

 I am sure you can add many more titles for our Lord, but in the mean time we must look up, for our salvation is near. We must keep The Saviour of the world firmly fixed in our minds eye at all times and in all places for He alone is the One who saves. [Acts 4:12]