Minister's blog

by Terry Cooper


a word from terry

about encouraging evil

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

I’ve noticed an interesting spiritual phenomena recently...the idea that the church should play a neutral role in society. We get very uncomfortable when people call us haters and narrow minded. I’ve noticed that many church people don’t want to openly talk about the absolute truths of the Holy Scriptures for fear that it might offend unbelievers. Can the church be neutral? Is it even possible for a Holy Spirit follower of Jesus to be neutral? Think about that question for a moment? Let’s ask Jesus on this one?


Matthew 12:30 (NLT)

30 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.


The spiritual war between heaven and hell has no neutral! We are with Christ or we are against Christ. We are opposing evil, or we are encouraging evil. Yes, the idea of neutrality actually encourages evil. There is no neutral. God gave this charge to the Prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament before He brought judgment upon the Israel and Judah. The prophets in Judah also had the idea they could be spiritually neutral, and God compared them to the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah.


Jeremiah 23:13-14 (NLT)

13 “I saw that the prophets of Samaria were terribly evil, for they prophesied in the name of Baal and led my people of Israel into sin.

14 But now I see that the prophets of Jerusalem are even worse! They commit adultery and love dishonesty. They encourage those who are doing evil so that no one turns away from their sins. These prophets are as wicked as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah once were.”


There is no neutrality in this spiritual war. To go along with evil is to encourage others to go along with evil as well. To be silent regarding evil is not neutral or loving...it is the same as encouraging others to join in the evil.


Jesus said the church was called to be the light of the world...we would stand in direct opposition to the evil darkness. There is no neutrality in our light of the world calling. The church is called to be the city on a hill that sends its light into the darkness....there is no neutrality in this city on the hill.


Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)

14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.

15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.

16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.


Notice the charge of God through Jeremiah one more time...They encourage those who are doing evil so that no one turns away from their sins. These prophets are as wicked as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah once were.” Do we really need to clarify the wicked sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, really? If the church hides its light and truth under a basket...the people in the dark will never come to repentance and praise our heavenly Father. If the church dims down the truth and light of the city on the hill, so that the darkness doesn’t complain...they will never come to repentance and praise of our heavenly Father. It is that Light and Truth that separates us from the dark world. The Light and the Truth is Jesus Christ and He is not neutral.


There is no neutral in this spiritual war. Neutrality is a lie of Satan. Jesus is the Truth and He tells the truth about the lie of spiritual neutrality.


Luke 11:23 (NIV)

23 "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.


Everyone must choose sides in this spiritual war. We will all belong to someone on the last day...everyone chooses. There is a great gulf separating these two sides and no one is neutral. You will belong to the one you stand with and no one will stand neutral on the last day.


John 8:47 (NLT)

47 Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.”


Today, I challenge the church to take your stand on the Word of God and don’t let go. We must call evil what it is...sin against the holiness of God. First, we must confess and repent of any evil/sin in our lives. Each of us must be in the pursuit of holiness day by day. Then and only then can we shine the Light and Truth onto the darkness around us.


If we treat sin as meaningless, we are actually encouraging evil. Yes, there will be opposition and maybe persecution, but God has promised that anyone who endures and stands “with Him” till the end will be saved. No one will be neutral on that last day.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

a word from terry

about tolerance

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Something in the news caught my attentions this past week. One of my favorite NFL quarterbacks, Drew Brees, was being attacked for associating himself with the Christian organization, Focus on the Family. My wife and I both feel like James Dobson and Focus on the Family helped us raise our three children. We have been blessed by Dr. Dobson and his wonderful organization for many years. I knew that Drew Brees was a confessing Christian and I knew that Focus on the Family was a Christian organization...so how could this association possibly be controversial? I started reading the details and soon began to understand the real issue. The issue of “tolerance”.


Focus on the Family is a Bible based Christian organization and because they are Bible based, they submit to the authority of Scripture as the very Word of God. Drew Brees joined with Focus on the Family to promote an upcoming nation-wide event called “Bring your Bible to School Day”. Think about that for a moment...Bring your Bible to school day. Is that the controversy? No, that was not the attack issue. The attack issue was Drew Brees’ association with Focus on the Family. Why? Because Focus on the Family has taken a Biblical position against gay marriage and homosexuality as sinful in the eyes of God. This Biblical position has brought the outrage of the LBGTQ community against Focus on the Family and to anyone who would dare associate themselves with them.


Drew Brees’ promotional video for “Bring your Bible to School Day” never mentions a single LBGTQ issue. So why attack Drew Brees? Drew Brees was attacked because of his association with a group that believes the Bible to be the literal the Word of God and takes its stand based on that Word. There are millions of Americans that believe the Bible to be the literal Word of God. I’m one of those who believes the Bible to be the very Word of God. I’m one of those who lives, as much as possible, in submission to the authority of the Holy Scriptures as the standard of absolute truth and authority. Does that mean people can’t associate with me? What is tolerance anyway? Is tolerance directional (only flows one way)?


Now for the real issue of tolerance. Tolerance...the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.


Tolerance does not mean you accept the other person’s opinion as truth. Tolerance simply means you will agree to disagree peacefully on a certain issue. Is tolerance directional? Tolerance doesn’t mean you have to go along with another person’s opinion, just that you will respect that person and their opinion and try to live in peace...even if we disagree on the issue of truth. Christians believe Scripture (the Bible) to be the revelation of God’s truth...for example:


1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV)

9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders

10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.


What about Biblical tolerance? Is our society reaching a point where it will no longer tolerate the Bible and anyone who dares to accept it as truth? The Bible says that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God. The Bible then lists these unrighteous acts as sexual sin (fornication), idol worshipping, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, slanderers and cheaters/swindlers...none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-12). The Bible also teaches us that all confessing Christians should repent of these sins (all of them) and turn to God and seek forgiveness through the blood of Christ, our Lord. We are then commanded to go and spread the Truth, even if people don’t accept the it...we must share it.


Christians don’t force their beliefs on others, we share the truth of the Scriptures in love and with respect. We then allow others to believe as they choose to believe...tolerance. Either way, we tolerate their choice. Each person is free to choose to accept the truth of the Bible or to reject it. We leave the rest to God.


1 Peter 3:13-17 (NIV)

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?

14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened."

15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

17 It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.


Let’s say that millions of Christian young people actually take their Bibles to school on that given day and let’s say they actually open it up and read it out loud at school that day. What will happen if they open up their Bible to 1 Corinthians 6:9-12? What will happen to tolerance that day? Should people no longer associate themselves with that school? What is this new tolerance anyway? How much longer will this society tolerate the Bible and those who accept it as truth?


Is this issue really about Drew Brees? Is this issue really about Focus on the Family? Or is this issue really with the Bible and Biblical Tolerance? I’ve concluded the latter. If Focus on the Family would stop using the Bible, it would be OK for Drew Brees to associate himself with them. Well, wait a minute...that would do away with the whole “Bring your Bible to School Day” wouldn’t it?


Let’s face it, the day of the Lord’s return must be getting near. Jesus warned us that anyone who stands on the authority of the Word of God will face great opposition and even persecution. There will be no Biblical tolerance, only hatred. But I close today with these Words from Jesus Christ, the One who was and is and is to come. His Words are True and Trustworthy!


Luke 9:23-26 (NIV)

23 Then he [Jesus} said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

A Word from terry

about spiritual growth

tuesday, September 2, 2019

I’ve noticed that all creation reveals a common thread...If you’re not growing, you’re dying. When things stop growing, they begin to decay and eventually die. We’ve seen this in the Ash trees in our area. The Ash trees are dying by drying out, because the borers (insect) cut off the vessels that carry moisture out to the branches. The trees look alive, for a while, but they are all slowly dying.


People are the same. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. I’ve read that our skin cells (epidermis) rejuvenate and replace themselves every two to four weeks. Our hair (natural fuzz) has a lifespan of 6 years for women and 3 years for men. This regeneration/growth of the human body might slow as we grow older, but this growth process doesn’t stop until we die.


This is also true for our spiritual life. If we’re not growing, we’re dying. Let’s begin with the truth...We are all dying until we are born again in Christ. We may look alive, just like an Ash tree with green leaves that has been infected by an insect, but decay has started, and death is coming.


1 Corinthians 15:22 (NLT)

22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.


New Life...Jesus calls it living water, life water. The Ash Bore cuts off the water of the tree and it slowly begins to die. Sin does the same thing, except we are born with this condition, yes everyone that is from Adam is born with this sickness that leads to certain death. The Gospel reveals that everyone who belongs to Christ is given a new life... “living water” will flow from Christ into our lives.


John 7:37-39 (NLT)

37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!

38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”

39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)


The Holy Spirit is living water. The Holy Spirit is Christ in us! We will die without this living water. Why? Because you cannot grow...you have been severed, cut off, from the source of life itself. And if you cannot grow, you will die. We must be born again by the water and Spirit or we will certainly die.


John 3:5-6 (NLT)

5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.


Now, to my main point...when should a Christian stop growing? What happens when a believer stops growing? What happens to a person who receives the Word of Truth, but never grows beyond that moment? I don’t have to guess; Jesus reveals the answer Himself.


Luke 8:14 (NLT)

14 The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.


Jesus describes a people group that receives the Word of Truth, but the message/Word of God is crowded out by the desires of this world...they never grow to maturity. The seed is never allowed to mature and produce fruit. The seed is God’s Word and we must grow in the knowledge and understanding of that Word. Jesus describes the life that grows/matures (next verse), the life that grows in the born-again power and authority of the Holy Spirit.


Luke 8:15 (NLT)

15 And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.


The seed is the Word and the Word is perfect. We are called to grow in maturity of the Word. That seed, when allowed to mature will produce a great harvest for our Lord. We must devote ourselves to spiritual growth. If we’re not growing, we’re dying.


NCC is starting our fall semester of Roots tomorrow night at 6:30. We will offer 12 weeks of multiple Bible study choices to help people grow in the knowledge of God’s perfect Word. I invite each of you to come and grow with us. Put down deep “Roots”. You can join a large group study of 1st and 2nd Timothy in the NCC Worship Center or one of the small groups meeting throughout the NCC campus on Wednesday nights. You can click on this link for more details and to register for a class.


https://www.ninevahchristian.org/connect/wednesday-night-studies


Remember, if you’re not growing, you’re dying.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

a word from terry about

the road with no more

off-ramps

monday, August 26, 2019

Have you ever driven a car through Kansas or one of those sparsely populated states out west? Those states post signs on their highways that tell you how far it is to the next exit, so that you don’t run out of gas waiting for the exit that never arrives.


I use that highway scene to describe a Word from our Lord in the Revelation. There is a passage in the final chapter of Revelation that has always concerned me. I find it to be a somewhat mysterious and troubling message. I briefly mentioned it in my message yesterday and today I would like to take it a little deeper. I call it the road with no more off ramps.


The angel has just told the Apostle John to NOT seal up these words, because the time is near. Then comes this mysterious, troubling word:


Revelation 22:11 (NIV)

11 Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy."


That verse looks like a description of a road with no more off-ramps. Some are traveling toward God and others are traveling away from God. This verse describes a time when things are seemingly locked into place and people will continue in the direction that they had previously chosen, without any further chance of turning around...taking an exit.


Is there a point of no return? Is there a time when it’s too late to turn around, too late to exit the path that had previously been chosen? How late is too late?


Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven will have very early risers, 9:00 AM people, noon people, 3:00 PM people and even 5:00 PM people. This describes people who join the work of God’s Kingdom at different stages of their life.


Matthew 20:1-7 (NLT)

1 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard.

2 He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work.

3 “At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing.

4 So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day.

5 So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.

6 “At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’

7 “They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’ “The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’


Some came to work in the vineyard early, and some quite late, but is it ever too late to go to work in the vineyard? Notice what happens at the end of that workday in Jesus’ story.


Matthew 20:8-15 (NLT)

8 “That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first.

9 When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage.

10 When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage.

11 When they received their pay, they protested to the owner,

12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’

13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage?

14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you.

15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’


Let’s assume that 6:00 PM was quitting time in Jesus’ kingdom story. The workers who worked one hour received the same paycheck as those who worked all day. The late comers were welcomed and well paid, even though they were late.


But that’s not my real question today. Is it ever too late? Is there a place on the road with no more off ramps? Is there a point on life’s road where it’s no longer possible to turn around and change directions regarding the kingdom?


The Apostle Paul describes a road with no more exits...no more chance to change course, turn around and face God. This road describes God’s abandonment and this road has no more off-ramps.


Romans 1:21-25 (NLT)

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.

22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.

23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.

25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.


I freely admit that I don’t know where this point of no return (abandonment) is, but God does. I don’t know when a person passes that last exit as they walk away from God, but God does. But I can tell you what I do know...Today is the day of salvation. Today, there is still time to turn around (repent) and face God. Stop walking away from Him and turn around and face Him. As of today, that off-ramp is still there. As of today, the ability to turn around and face God and believe Him is in your windshield, not your rearview mirror. God has posted this sign (see below Scripture) on our highway of life and I advise everyone, I beg everyone to read it carefully today.


2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NLT)

1 As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.

2 For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.


Be very careful to not pass that last exit...the last chance to turn around and face God. Don’t run out of gas, waiting for the exit that never arrives.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

a word from terry

about the assembly

tuesday, august 13, 2019

Statistically speaking, the average American church goer attends services less than 50% of the time. That percentage has been steadily declining, and one might wonder why? At the same time, I keep hearing people tell me that they don’t really need to attend church services (the assembly of believers) because they are fully able to worship at home or on the lake or wherever. That brings up my question for today. Is the assembly of believers important? Does God look at the assembly differently than the lone worshipper?


What does the Bible say about the assembly of believers? Do we need to get together? Do we need each other? Can the body of Christ, the Church, operate just as well independently as it can as a group?


Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)

25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.


The Hebrew writer specifically tells the church to NOT neglect the assembly of believers. Do you know why? Do you know the context and the application of that one verse? That verse comes from Hebrews chapter 10 where the writer is describing how hard it will be to remain in Christ in the last days. People are going to need the encouragement and strength of fellow believers as we get closer and closer to the return of Christ. I want you to read the context and application of this particular verse that warns believers about skipping out on the assembly.


Hebrews 10:23-24 (NLT)

23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.


Do you think you can do verses 23-24 better alone or in a group? It’s really hard to motivate one another when there isn’t anyone around you, except you. The assembly has a way of taking a person’s attention off of self and onto others. One person in the assembly may be doing well, while the other person in the assembly is struggling to hang on. This is one of the important purposes of the assembly...to encourage and strengthen each other.


That first century church was struggling to hang onto their faith in the midst of great suffering. They needed each other! We too are going to need each other more and more as we see the day of our Lord’s return approaching. Notice the context again...same chapter:


Hebrews 10:32-34 (NLT)

32 Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering.

33 Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things.

34 You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.


This is my point...you may not necessarily need anyone in the assembly right now, but one day you will. The assembly is important for many reasons. It gives us a chance to join in one voice and lift the praises of our Lord. There is power in corporate worship. The Holy Spirit operates in power when the Body of Christ assembles. The people are strengthened and encouraged when the church comes together to worship, study the Scriptures and pray. Don’t wait until you’re desperate for the assembly to attend the assembly. You need the assembly now, even if you don’t realize it now. And you will need the assembly more and more as we see The Day approaching.


And by the way, if you really don’t want to be around other believers, you’re going to hate heaven!


Hebrews 12:22-24 (NLT)

22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering.

23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect.

24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen



Terry Cooper

a word from terry about

the raised-up people

Most Christians think of the resurrection as a “last day” event, and it is an event that is coming on “last day”. Jesus’s conversation with Martha, the sister of Lazarus also reveals that last day event.


John 11:23-24 (NIV) 

23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."


Martha knew about the rising of the last day, but she didn’t fully understand the life of “The raised-up people”. Yes, there will be a last day rising when God will give eternal and immortal flesh to those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ.


1 Corinthians 15:50-54 (NIV)

50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--

52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."


The last trumpet on the last day will bring a rising/resurrection into immortal and eternal flesh. This rising into eternal flesh will happen to the dead in Christ (those believers who have gone to the grave) and the alive in Christ (those who are still alive at His coming). I look forward to that last day rising, but there is another part to this story. What do we do while we wait for that last day rising?


The Word of God proclaims that all the redeemed of Christ have become a “Raised-Up People”. Do you know what that means? Yes, we will be a raised-up people on the last day, but what about until then? What about before that day? What about now?


The wonderful secret is this...you have already been raised with Christ when you were born again. You’re just waiting for the eternal body that will be given on the last day. Yes, you have already been “raised with Christ”. You already have eternal life living inside you, the Holy Spirit. You’re just waiting for the new body that God will put you in. The Apostle Paul tells us that we who have been redeemed by Christ are a “RAISED-UP PEOPLE”. This is not just a future event, but a present reality.


Colossians 3:1-4 (NIV)

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.


Notice what these “raised-up people” do. They don’t live their lives with their focus only on this world, but their focus, purpose and meaning are on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.


Rejoice today, you “raised up people”. You have already been raised with Christ. Don’t let the temporary things of this life take your mind off the eternal things that are yours through Christ our Lord.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

A word from terry

about my shepherd

I memorized the 23rd Psalm as a child, but I never realized the revealing and personal power of this Psalm until I was an adult. This Psalm was written by King David and it reveals an eternal spiritual truth that has application for all believers. David begins this Psalm with, “The Lord is my shepherd”. He doesn’t say the Lord is “a shepherd or the shepherd”. He is MY Shepherd. David isn’t writing this beautiful Psalm about someone else’s shepherd. This psalm is personal, and this psalm reveals the blessings of the Lord for His sheep. David’s wonderful Psalm reveals what happens when the Lord becomes MY Shepherd. Do you see it? When you become a follower of Christ, everything in this Psalm now has personal application.


1. I am a sheep that no longer experiences want or insufficiency.

2. I am a sheep that lives daily inside a green and fertile pasture.

3. I am a sheep that dwells near and drinks from still, clean waters.

4. I am a sheep with a quiet, peaceful and restored soul.

5. I am a sheep that walks on the right path because I follow a Righteous Shepherd.

6. I am a sheep that does not fear or panic in the valley of the shadows of uncertainty, even unto death.

7. I am a sheep that fears no evil person or power because my Shepherd is always near.

8. I am a sheep that rests quietly at the peace filled table of sufficiency even when there are enemies all around me.

9. I am a sheep that has been chosen and anointed...and my cup/life overflows with gladness.


King David reveals 9 personal blessings that belong to the sheep when the Shepherd becomes MY Shepherd. But there is one more word that seals the promise of the Good Shepherd to His faithful sheep. The word is “surely”. I love the ending of the 23rd Psalm...it begins with surely.


The proclamation at the beginning of the Psalm (The Lord is my shepherd) unlocks the promise of the ending of the Psalm (Surely goodness and mercy will follow me...). When this Psalm becomes personal, this Psalm becomes powerful!


Psalm 23:1-6 (NIV)

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.


Today, I stand with King David and proclaim, by faith, this statement. THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD! Jesus is mine and because He is mine, I can proclaim every blessing of Jesus Christ, as mine as well. These blessings are not based on our circumstances or environment, but on the promises of God.


Surely, goodness, mercy and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. This blessing is not just for the life to come, but all days, as we await the last one. Go ahead, try to top that one!


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

a word from terry

about "too Late"

I’m often discouraged and frustrated by the lack of spiritual urgency in our culture. Yes, even in the church. Most normal people see the deterioration of all biblical morality and yet there is still a lack of urgency regarding spiritual matters. Even the godless entertainment industry is portraying horrifying apocalyptic views regarding our current world, but still there is no spiritual urgency. I get the feeling that people have this idea that there will always be time to turn around and come back to God. Will there always be time to turn around? Is it ever too late to repent and turn to God? The Bible warns that “today” is the day of salvation. Now is the appropriate time to deal with our relationship with God, not later.


The Apostle Paul must have felt the same sense of frustration in the first century. Notice his urgent warning about this topic to the church at Corinth.


2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NLT)

1 As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. 2 For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.


The right time to deal with God and sin and life and death is right now, today. Salvation should be our first priority, not our last cry. What is it that makes people think that I can deal with this salvation issue later? The clock is always ticking, and our time is always running out...so why wait? Our sins are an urgent issue before our Holy God. Our salvation is an urgent issue of life and death, heaven and hell. Yes, there is a time in which it will be too late to turn around.


Romans 13:11-12 (NLT)

11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.


The very last chapter of the Book of Revelations seems to give one last warning about being too late. Many see it (verse 11) as a mysterious verse, but I think it is simply a warning that each of us will face a time when it is too late to change course. I ask you to read these Revelation verses below and carefully consider your position before God. Are your sins forgiven? Have you been born again, born of the water and the Spirit? Have you made peace with God through the life changing power of Christ? Does the Holy Spirit reign in power and authority in your life today, right now?


Revelation 22:10-11 (NLT)

10 Then he instructed me, “Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book, for the time is near.

11 Let the one who is doing harm continue to do harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy.”


There is a time when those who do harm will pass the point of no return. It will be too late to turn around. There is a time when the vile will be unable to turn around and face God to receive forgiveness of their sins. It will be too late.


But notice the other position. There is also a time when the righteous and the holy will be sealed and finalized at the point of no return. This Revelation Scripture describes two groups of people heading in two opposite directions. One group is walking away from God because they have chosen to turn their back on God and the Truth, which is Christ. The other group is walking toward God, facing Him and the Truth, living under the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. Both groups will one day experience a point of no return. A place in which it is too late to alter their eternal destination.


I pray that all of us would live our lives with this sense of urgency and purpose. First, we must make peace with God through the blood of Christ. Secondly, we must be the light of the world that Jesus talks about...a light that warns those walking into the darkness, to turn around before it is “too late”.


And by the way, the next verse in Revelation records these words from our Lord Jesus:


Revelation 22:12-13 (NLT)

12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

 

A word from terry

about imitators

There is an old saying that, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Imitation is flattering because it says that you want to be like the one you imitate. That brings me to today’s word. The Apostle Paul gives clear instruction to the Church at Ephesus and the Church of today. This instruction is for our well being and safety. This instruction is clear and concise, but this instruction will also cause many to become uncomfortable and perhaps angry.


Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)

1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.

2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.


It is quite reasonable that children will want to imitate their father. The true children of God will also take up this practice of imitating their Heavenly Father. We can see the attributes of God the Father by knowing the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the Son. We imitate God by walking as Jesus walked and living under the authority and teachings of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.


Remember, this is the practice of the true children of God...to imitate their Heavenly Father. But, what about those who have never accepted Christ as Lord and Savior? What about those who have never become children of God, through Christ? Who will they imitate...who will be their pattern and the recipient of their great flattery?


The answer to that question would seem harsh, had it not come from Jesus himself. Jesus reveals the other option to imitators...another one that can be flattered by becoming imitators of his ways:


John 8:38-41 (NLT)

38 I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.”

39 “Our father is Abraham!” they declared. “No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example.

40 Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing.

41 No, you are imitating your real father.” They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.”


I want you to notice the incredible difference between these two sets of “imitators” from Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 5 and Jesus’ teaching in John 8. The imitators in these two scenes have two different fathers. Paul describes those who imitate God by living and walking as Jesus did. These imitators walk in the Truth of God’s Word. But Jesus describes another group of people that imitate a different father...by rejecting the Truth. But notice something here. These imitators believe they’re imitating and following the real God...they don’t know the real truth or the real Father. So, Jesus takes it even further...


John 8:42-45 (NLT)

42 Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me.

43 Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me!

44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me!


Jesus makes it clear that loving God the Father would naturally bring a person into a life that “imitates” the Son. That life is based on Truth and not lies. Satan is a liar and those who imitate Satan do what Satan does...reject the Truth. In this act of defying the Truth...they become imitators of a different father...Satan.


Let me give you one specific example from Paul’s same teaching in Ephesians by putting it all in context. This teaching explains one of the ingredients of our modern-day culture war that is tearing many churches apart. Who will we imitate? What truth will we follow and what is the source of that truth...God or Satan?


Ephesians 5:1-14 (NLT)

1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.

2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.

4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.

7 Don’t participate in the things these people do.

8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!

9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.

11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.

12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.

13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them,

14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”


My final word is this...be very careful which father you imitate for only One of them is Truth.


John 14:6-7 (NLT)

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

a word from terry about

independence day

This Thursday our nation will celebrate our 243rd birthday, the day we declared our national independence. I’ve always been a patriot, even when I was a kid, I felt a respect for flag and country. By the time I got to high school the Vietnam War was in full swing and our nation was torn by whether or not it was a war worth fighting. Even in the midst of the rebellious Vietnam era I decided to join the US Army within two weeks of graduating high school. I volunteered for the draft that was still in full swing back in 1974. I never went to Vietnam, but I was called to work a huge Vietnamese refugee camp after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Today I still fly a flag on the front of my house and my love of country has never wavered.


Today, I give thanks for being an American. 62 years ago, I woke up in America. I didn’t plan my original arrival date or arrival destination, but I’m sure glad God did. God has blessed this nation beyond measure, and I stop and give Him thanks for the prosperity and blessings of the life I have lived as an American. But I must admit something at the same time...my heart is longing for a better country. As great as America has been, I long for a better country. Is that possible?


Yes, that’s possible and yes, that’s ok for an American to say that out loud. There is a better country waiting for us. We are currently citizens of what I believe to be the greatest country in human history, but I also believe there is a better country coming soon.


This is the hope of all of God’s children. From the time of Abraham until today...we have all lived with gratitude and thankfulness for the land that were born into but wait with anticipation for the glory land that is coming. It’s a Promised Land. Hebrews chapter eleven is known as the faith chapter and it lists the names of all the heroes of the faith that have gone before us. Chapter 11 describes the way my heart feels on this 4th of July week.


Hebrews 11:13-16 (NIV)

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.

14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.

15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.

16 Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.


This is my encouragement to all of you today. I suggest that you stop and thank God that you were born in America and/or that God has allowed you to live in this wonderful country. I encourage you to watch or listen to this song by Matt Maher that describes the wonder of waking up in America.


But then, after you thank God for the blessed country that we now live in... thank Him for the new country that will soon be ours through Jesus Christ out Lord. If you think this was grand...you ain’t seen nothing yet! Click the link below to watch the video


https://youtu.be/A_GCmtAUg0w



Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen


Terry Cooper

a word from terry

about the end

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

What would you do if you had only a few weeks to live? The modern world would tell us that we should empty out our bucket list by doing anything and everything we ever wanted to do before we stopped breathing. But, is that how God looks at The End of our life on earth? Does God give us any counsel regarding how to live our lives in the countdown to The End? The Apostle Peter gives us such counsel. People have been reading and living under Peter’s end of days counsel for some 2000 years now. I want you to notice the great contrast between this God-given instruction and the emptying out your bucket list ideology.


1 Peter 4:7-8 (NIV)

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.


Self-controlled and prayerful vs. doing everything you ever wanted to do to please yourself. Do you see the opposing end of days thinking? God’s advice is to control your “self” and pray. The world’s advice is to let go of anything that would keep you from experiencing self-pleasure. Why is there such a difference between these two world views?


The world’s view and way of life leads one to believe that death is The End. God’s way of life leads us to believe that death is not The End. The gap between these two opposing world views is the Resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection changed everything, especially the way we view The End.


What if physical death is not The End? What if there is another world on the other side of death’s door? What if every person faces God on the other side? What if there really is a heaven and there really is a hell? What if every person will have to give an account of what they have done with that which they have received from God, when we get to the other side?


I’m not suggesting that we live a life that rejects all fun, pleasure and bucket lists, not at all. I am suggesting that we live each day prayerfully, clear minded and self-controlled with the understanding that The End of life as we know it will come, and we will all face God. King Solomon put it this way:


Ecclesiastes 11:9 (NLT)

9 Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.


The End of your life and The End of this world is not The End. Heaven’s Coming for those who call upon the name of the Lord. Jesus is coming for those who have called upon His Name. The End for believers is actually just the beginning of the beginning. Don’t waste your life trying to figure out how this counsel applies to others, just apply it to yourself and follow this standard... Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. We can each think carefully, soberly and with clear minds about this final truth today:


Romans 14:10-12 (NLT)

10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

11 For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.’”

12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

a word from terry

about getting even

It happens when we are small children. It happens even before we understand why it’s happening. We develop a sense of internal justice that wants to make things even or equal. As a child we look to our parents and say, “Make him give me that toy”. We want our parents to mediate and get things back to even, back to the right place. It comes from an internal sense of justice. As we grow older, we begin to rely on ourselves to get even, to make things right by inserting our own sense of justice.


Eventually, we come to a point of conflict regarding this internal sense of justice. At some point we realize that there is an authority greater than ourselves, greater than our parents and even greater than human governments. At some point we realize that there is a God in heaven that has His own sense of justice. This is when the conflict occurs. What happens when God’s sense of justice and getting even doesn’t line up with ours?


Let there be no doubt that God is the God of justice. He always makes things right in the end. He always gets even, and He is always right. Yes, there is a right and yes there is a wrong and yes God will always make things right in the end. So, what do we do with wrong in the meantime? How do we respond to wrong while we wait for God to make things right and even? God’s Word gives us clear instruction on this question.


Romans 12:17-19 (NLT)

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.

18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.


This does not mean that Christians should never correct a wrong or we never confront evil. It clearly means that more wrong won’t make things right. More darkness never makes thing lighter. Yes, the Church has been called to be the Light of the World. Yes, we must confront evil with the truth. Yes, we confront the darkness with the light, but we never confront evil with more evil. Our response to evil should never be based on our own internal sense of justice. We must leave the final judgment to God. We must not seek revenge or plan to get even. That is not our calling. We seek to live at peace with everyone, even those who despise us and our Lord.


Let’s be honest. Our personal sense of justice is not always trustworthy because we don’t always know the truth about everything. God knows the truth about everything and everyone and because He knows and is The Truth, His justice and judgment cannot be mocked or refuted.


Galatians 6:7-10 (NLT)

7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.


My challenge to the church is this...do not grow weary or tired of doing the right thing before God and our neighbors. God sees all! God will make things even on the last day and His justice is perfect. In the meantime, as much as possible, live at peace with everyone. Walk in the light of Truth and leave the getting even to God. You’ll find peace and rest in knowing that God’s justice will be perfect on the last day.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

 

a word from terry

about the bread

Today, I would like to talk about “The Bread”. God told Moses and Aaron that there must be bread before Him at all times...the Bread of Presence. These 12 loaves of bread would be set out on a special table, just outside the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle of God’s Presence. Notice God’s very specific instructions about The Bread of Presence:


Leviticus 24:5-9 (NLT)

5 “You must bake twelve loaves of bread from choice flour, using four quarts of flour for each loaf.

6 Place the bread before the LORD on the pure gold table, and arrange the loaves in two rows, with six loaves in each row.

7 Put some pure frankincense near each row to serve as a representative offering, a special gift presented to the LORD.

8 Every Sabbath day this bread must be laid out before the LORD. The bread is to be received from the people of Israel as a requirement of the eternal covenant.

9 The loaves of bread will belong to Aaron and his descendants, who must eat them in a sacred place, for they are most holy. It is the permanent right of the priests to claim this portion of the special gifts presented to the LORD.”


Why 12 loaves...one loaf for each of the 12 Tribes of Israel. The priest would make this bread each week on behalf of the 12 tribes. They would bring in 12 fresh loaves every Sabbath day to replace the 12 loaves that were then available for the priests to eat.


This is my question for today. Wouldn’t the bread be stale after being displayed before the Lord for 7 days? God required the bread to be eaten by the priests after it was removed from the table in the Holy Place. But was it still good to eat?


This is why it’s called The Bread of Presence. The Bread of Presence didn’t get stale. In fact, the bread was still warm, like it was fresh from the oven when the priests removed it on the seventh day. How is that possible? It’s as if “time stands still” in The Presence of God. Our God is eternal, and He is not subject to time and space like we are. His Presence defies time and The Bread of Presence also defied time. The Bread was not for God to eat, even though He required The Bread to be kept in His Presence for seven days. The Bread was for the priest to eat. Why?


The Bread was part of God’s covenant with His holy people. The Presence of God was going to provide spiritual and physical food, sustaining the life of the people chosen by God. The Bread of Presence represented this covenant promise of God.


Exodus 25:30 (NLT)

30 Place the Bread of the Presence on the table to remain before me at all times.


God’s told them to keep this Bread of Presence before Him continually....at all times. Do you see Jesus yet? This Tabernacle event was established some 1500 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but it is revealing Jesus as “The Bread of Life-The Bread of Presence” The Bread that never gets cold or stale.


John 6:47-51 (NLT)

47 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life.

48 Yes, I am the bread of life!

49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died.

50 Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die.

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”


The Tabernacle Bread of Presence never got cold or stale. It defied time. Then, Jesus comes and announces that anyone who believes that He is The Bread of Life will have eternal life, a life that defies time. You won’t have to be in the family line of Aaron to eat this new bread. All the Believers in Jesus will be allowed to enter this Holy Place of God’s Presence (or The Presence enters us) to find a forever life. Jesus then tells the people that The Bread of Life is His Flesh. We must eat The Bread of Presence, like the priests of old ate it. Can you see it yet? The Apostle Peter reveals (through the Holy Spirit) that Christians become priest in God’s kingdom. Priests that are able to eat The Bread of Presence, The Bread of Life.


1 Peter 2:5 (NLT)

5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.


I want you to think about this the next time you take communion. By the mercy of God, we, the priests of God are eating the Bread of Presence. It does not grow cold and it does not get stale. It defies time because it represents our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Bread of Presence, Bread of Life...Jesus Christ is our life and there is no life, no resurrection without Him.


John 6:53-58 (NLT)

53 So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you.

54 But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day.

55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

56 Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.

57 I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me.

58 I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”


Through Christ, God has given us these precious promises. Jesus is our spiritual and physical bread of life. Make sure you have eaten this Bread before the last day comes. Rejoice today in this great gift of salvation!


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen.



Terry Cooper

a word from terry

about "I AM"

Who do you think you are? That question is usually not a nice one. It usually comes from a person who thinks you’re pretending to be someone you’re not. That is the question asked of Jesus by the religious leaders of his day, after Jesus proclaims His power over death.


John 8:52-53 (NLT)

52 The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’

53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”


The people asked Jesus two questions. First, are you greater than Abraham? Secondly, who do you think you are? You need to understand that Abraham lived about 2000 years before Christ and everyone knew that Abraham died a physical death 2000 years before. The Jewish people revered Abraham, but they didn’t really know how to take Jesus and His claims of power over death itself. How will Jesus answer their two questions? Will they believe His answer? By the way, I absolutely love Jesus’ answer:


John 8:54-56 (NLT)

54 Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’

55 but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him.

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.”


I call that a straight up answer. No political correctness, no dancing around the issue...a straight up answer from Jesus. Jesus is merely answering their question...who do you think you are? Jesus is revealing His true identity to them. He is the Son of God. He was before Abraham and He was with Abraham 2000 years before. Jesus even says that Abraham looked forward with joy to Jesus’ future coming into this world of men. Will they accept Jesus’ answer to their question? Have you?


John 8:57 (NLT)

57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?”


There you go...that’s why they still don’t get it. They don’t believe the words of Jesus to be Truth. Jesus’ answer was not vague our unclear. It was very clear, but they rejected it. Jesus will respond to their unbelief with one of the most powerful sentences in the Scripture (my opinion only).


John 8:58 (NLT)

58 Jesus answered, I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!”


Two little words and just three letters in the English language. I AM! The answer to every question that will ever be asked on earth can be answered in two words, three letters. I AM! Do you believe Jesus is “I AM”? How could a 33-year-old man claim that He’s seen and talked to a man that died 2000 years before? The answer is two words and three letters, “I AM”. It’s hard to argue with “I AM”. I would suggest that you not argue with “I AM”, but believe Him.


And by the way, if you’re struggling with Jesus’ title of “I AM”, I bet you’re really struggling with Immanuel.


Matthew 1:22-23 (NLT)

22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen.


Terry Cooper

a word from terry

about hearing aids

Did you know the Bible talks about hearing loss and hearing aids? Yes, I’m talking about a physical hearing loss that leads to a sickness of the soul that left untreated leads to certain death. Jesus talks about this hearing loss that leads to death.


Matthew 13:9 (NLT)

Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”


Doesn’t everyone have ears to hear, or are some people just hard of hearing...suffering from severe and dangerous hearing loss? Is this auditory sickness because people don’t listen or because they don’t understand, or both? Jesus links this hearing loss announcement to the question of why you speak in parables/stories.


Matthew 13:10-13 (NLT)

10 His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”

11 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not.

12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.

13 That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.


Some will listen and understand the Words of God, but some will refuse to listen and because they don’t listen, they will not understand the Words of God. This particular hearing loss leads to death. Yes, I said it correctly. This particular hearing loss described by Jesus leads to certain death, eternal death. Jesus then quotes the prophet Isaiah regarding this deadly hearing loss.


Matthew 13:14-15 (NLT)

14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says, ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend.

15 For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’


Hearing, receiving and understanding the Word of God brings the healing of Christ...the cure of death itself. It’s called faith! But some people refuse to listen, refuse to hear this message of truth and salvation. So, what is the role of a Christian believer in this age of severe and deadly hearing loss? What is the role of those who have been given ears that hear from our loving Father? We have been called to be the “hearing aids” for those who have suffered this deadly hearing loss. We are to amplify this Word of God that has set us free from sin and death. And by the way, this calling to be a hearing aid to the spiritually deaf is a blessing, not a curse.


Matthew 13:16-17 (NLT)

16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.

17 I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.


Our ears have heard the good news of Jesus Christ. Our hearing has opened our hearts to God’s promise of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Our hearing brought us saving faith and now we must tell others this good news. We must amplify that which we have received to those who do not yet have ears to hear.


Romans 10:14-18 (NLT)

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

16 But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “LORD, who has believed our message?”

17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

18 But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have: “The message has gone throughout the earth, and the words to all the world.”


Today, I praise God for the men that were my hearing aids when I was younger. Those men amplified that which they had received from our Lord. I praise God for those who taught and lived the Word of God even when I was in rebellion and very hard of hearing. Now, I praise God for this wonderful calling to become the hearing aid of those who do not even know that they are deaf and dying without Christ. Yes, some will never hear, but I don’t know which ones will and which one’s won’t listen. So, I will offer to be a hearing aid (to amplify the Word of Truth) for anyone and everyone who will listen to what the Spirit is saying in these last days.


Revelation 2:11 (NLT)

11 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

a word from terry about

the blinding darkness

I read a story recently about Louis Tomososki who, at the age of 16 decided he could view the 1962 solar eclipse without any special glasses. Louis closed his left eye and used his right eye to look upon the solar eclipse for 20 seconds. That 20 seconds of intense light burned a hole in his retina. Louis is 73 years old now and has lived most of his life with blinding darkness in his right eye because of the light of the sun. Most of us can understand the dangers of looking into the intense light, but do you understand the danger of being blinded by the darkness? Is that possible? Can people be blinded by darkness?


The Apostle John speaks of such a blindness and this blindness is even more dangerous that being blinded by the light of the sun. This blindness has the potential to last forever, even into eternity. Forever blinding darkness.


1 John 2:9-11 (NLT2)

9 If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness.

10 Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble.

11 But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.


This blinding darkness is called hate. This hate comes out of the darkness of Satan and overexposure to this darkness can cause permanent blindness. Yes, even forever blindness. There is only one cure from this hate filled blinding darkness...the Light of God’s Word. The Light reveals the darkness for what it truly is. The Light is the antidote to the blinding darkness.


2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NLT2)

3 If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing.

4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.


Let there be no doubt...Satan’s message is hate. Hate God and hate people. Hate, hate, hate! There is no love in the darkness, but there is only love in the Light. There is no God in the darkness and there is no Satan in the Light.


1 John 1:5-7 (NLT2)

5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.


There is a blinding darkness called hate. The is no fellowship in this blinding darkness, only hate. There is a cure for this blinding darkness. It’s called Light and Light has a name...JESUS!


John 9:4-5 (NLT2)

4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. 5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”


The night is coming. The darkness is coming. Do it quickly, while you have a chance...look into the Light and you will see. Look into this Light and you will love, not hate. Look into this Light and you will live and never die. Turn from the blinding darkness so that you might see clearly...forever!


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

a word from terry

about surrender

Can surrender be a good thing? I know it doesn’t usually feel like a good thing. There is a story in the Old Testament Book of Jeremiah that reveals a surrender that leads to life. God had announced His coming judgment upon the city of Jerusalem because of their idolatry and shedding of innocent blood. God, who is rich in mercy and grace then offers a way for the people to survive the coming judgment. The judgment is coming, that part is unstoppable, but God offers a way to save their lives in the midst the coming judgment. The way to survive was “surrender”. God reveals this message to the Prophet Jeremiah and tells him to tell all the people...


Jeremiah 21:8-10 (NLT2)

8 “Tell all the people, ‘This is what the LORD says: Take your choice of life or death!

9 Everyone who stays in Jerusalem will die from war, famine, or disease, but those who go out and surrender to the Babylonians will live. Their reward will be life!

10 For I have decided to bring disaster and not good upon this city, says the LORD. It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, and he will reduce it to ashes.’


Surrender and live! Would that make any sense to the people of Jerusalem that lived behind the fortified walls of the city? Jerusalem seemed so safe, so secure. But God’s Word had spoken. God’s Word was clear. You must surrender or you will certainly die. You must obey the Word of God or you will surely die in the coming judgment.


Does any of this sound familiar? Does any of this have application for us today? Many people are living today like everything is secure and safe, no danger at all, even though God has warned all of us about the day of judgment that is going to come upon the whole world. Our current security and wealth is an illusion. It cannot save us from God’s coming judgment any more than the fortified walls of Jerusalem could save Israel from Babylon. God has warned all of us in this present time about a coming judgment.


James 5:1-3 (NLT2)

1 Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. 2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags.

3 Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment.


Jesus even gave this specific warning to the “church” in Laodicea:


Revelation 3:17 (NLT2)

17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.


Today, there is only one way to survive the coming judgment of God. SURRENDER! The reward for surrender will be life. God doesn’t want us to surrender to the king of Babylon, that was only a shadow of the coming events of our time. God wants us to surrender to another King named Jesus Christ. Surrender to Him and live.


Mark 8:34-35 (NLT2)

34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.

35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it


God told Jeremiah...if you stay behind your walled fortress you will die in the coming judgment. But God’s grace and mercy gave the people of Israel a choice...you can come out, surrender and live. Today, our walled fortress is the life of self that lives to save our self. If we stay behind these fortified walls of “self” we will surely die in the coming judgment. But if we come out “and deny our self” and bow our lives before this King Jesus, we will live. God is rich in mercy and grace and it is His great desire that everyone would hear the Word of God and choose life by way of surrender.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen


Terry Cooper

 

a word from terry

about more than enough

There is an interesting parallel between the Levite priests of the Old Testament and the New Testament Church. When Joshua led the 12 tribes of Israel into the Promised Land each tribe was given an allotment of land as an inheritance. The land was a gift from God, a promise of God. Every tribe received an allotment of land except one, the Levites (the priests).


Deuteronomy 18:1-2 (NLT)

1 “Remember that the Levitical priests—that is, the whole of the tribe of Levi—will receive no allotment of land among the other tribes in Israel. Instead, the priests and Levites will eat from the special gifts given to the LORD, for that is their share.

2 They will have no land of their own among the Israelites. The LORD himself is their special possession, just as he promised them.


The priests under the Old Testament didn’t get land as an inheritance. Their reward or inheritance was God’s portion, God’s provision. Do you think they were upset by that announcement or did they celebrate it? Do you know who holds the role of priests in the New Testament? The Church!


1 Peter 2:4-5 (NLT)

4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.


1 Peter 2:8-9 (NLT)

8 And, “He [Jesus] is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. 9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.


The Levites stood as priests between God and the people in the Old Testament and now the Church stands as royal/holy priests under the authority of our High Priest Jesus in our present world. God uses the priesthood to reveal His glory by showing others the goodness of God in the Old Testament and in the New Testament Church.


This is my question today. Is this gift of God to His royal priests “enough” to satisfy you. How much is enough? I am NOT saying that Christians shouldn’t buy or own land and I’m not trying to propose some legal condition here. I’m asking a question. How much is enough for you to be satisfied? The eleven tribes received lands, towns and villages, but the Levites got God. God specifically said, “I will be your inheritance”. Would that be enough for you?


Numbers 18:20-24 (NLT)

20 And the LORD said to Aaron, “You priests will receive no allotment of land or share of property among the people of Israel. I am your share and your allotment.


Do you think the Levites felt left out? Should they be angry, jealous or did they receive the most favorable inheritance of God? They were assigned the closest positions to the presence of God. Wouldn’t that be more valuable than land?

What is your allotment, your inheritance today? What are the promises that God has made to his chosen priests in the church age?


1 Peter 1:3-5 (NLT)

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,

4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.

5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.


Maybe we won’t be the richest people here one earth and maybe we won’t own the most land or property, but God has promised each of us a rich inheritance. He has promised us “HIMSELF”. The Holy Spirit is Christ in me! This is the essence of our priestly allotment. The presence of the Holy Spirit inside our human heart is as close as we can get while we wait for the physical return of our King Jesus.


Ephesians 1:12-14 (NLT)

12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. 13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.

14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.


Today, I encourage each of you to celebrate this great salvation and these wonderful promises of God guaranteed by the presence of the Holy Spirit. I can assure you of this...He is now and forever will be more than enough!


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

a word from terry

about easter

This Sunday, churches around the world will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Let’s face it, this is big news. When was the last time you saw someone come out of the grave or sit up in a coffin? Trust me, you would remember it.


Can anything be bigger than this? A man that has the power to overcome death and the grave. But there is also another perspective to this supernatural power over death.


Matthew 28:5-7 (NLT2)

5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.

7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”


The angel made the announcement, the announcement that would change everything...forever. He is not here...He has risen from the dead. The angel said it twice...He has risen from the dead.


So, I have a question for everyone to think about during this Passion Week leading up to Easter Sunday. Actually, it’s two questions?


1. What if Jesus doesn’t rise from the dead?

2. What if you and I don’t rise from the dead?


The angelic announcement is that “He did”, but what if “He didn’t”? What if we don’t? Do you want the logical, common sense answer? Are you sure? If Jesus doesn’t rise from the dead, then we won’t...we will all remain in the place of the dead. Do you know about that place...the place of the dead?


Some call the place of the dead Sheol, Hades, the place of torment. Jesus talks about this place of the dead. Notice that Jesus asks the people of Capernaum if they think they are going to heaven. In other words, Jesus asked them...do you think you’re going to rise from the dead to be honored in heaven?


Matthew 11:23-24 (NLT2)

23 “And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead. For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today. 24 I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you.”


Jesus spent much of his time preaching in and around Capernaum, but He announced that many in that town is not going to experience the resurrection. No, they will remain in, go down to the place of the dead.


This is my point today...the resurrection is the only way out of the place of the dead and Jesus is the only way to experience this resurrection! If there is no resurrection from the dead, then you remain in the place of the dead. Do you know about this place of the dead? Jesus makes it clear that God will not be in the place of the dead.


Matthew 22:31-32 (NLT2)

31 “But now, as to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead—haven’t you ever read about this in the Scriptures? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said,

32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So he is the God of the living, not the dead.”


Do you understand why the Sunday morning angelic announcement is so big? Jesus was not there. The grave was empty. The place of the dead was empty. Jesus had just made a way for you and I to escape the place of the dead. Jesus’ resurrection from the grave, the place of the dead, became our resurrection from the place of the dead. That is...if you truly believe this stuff! Do you know the place of the dead is a place of great suffering and torment, not unconsciousness?


I know this might be an unusual Scripture reading for Passion Week, but I encourage each of you to carefully read this explanation of the two destinations of all mankind, recorded in Luke 16. I encourage you to read it carefully and consider the value of being raised from the dead!


Luke 16:19-31 (NLT2)

19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury.

20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores.

21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.

22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried,

23 and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.

24 “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’

25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish.

26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’

27 “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home.

28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’

29 “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’

30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’

31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even if someone rises from the dead.’”


Will you listen to the One that has risen from the dead? Have you heard from Him? Do you believe His testimony about the place of the dead and the place of the living now available through His death, burial and resurrection?


That Sunday morning angelic message said that resurrected Jesus had gone ahead of them into Galilee. Today, resurrected Jesus has gone ahead of us into Heaven, the place of the living. But if you refuse His invitation to follow him you will remain forever in the place of the dead. The resurrection is our only way out! Now, do you understand how big the resurrection is?


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

a word from terry about

the spirit without limit

Today, I would like to talk about the application of the Holy Spirit. Does the Holy Spirit have limits? Does that depend upon the person that the Holy Spirit lives inside? Was it different in the Old Testament vs. the New Testament? The Bible tells us the Holy Spirit came upon David in power when he was just a young boy, maybe 10-15 years of age. Did that Spirit have limits? Did David have limits? Could David do anything he wanted, whenever he wanted?


1 Samuel 16:13 (NLT)

13 So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.


Even though David received the Spirit at a very young age he didn’t become King of Israel until he was 30 years old. Did the Spirit of the Lord have limits? Did David have limits? The New Testament gives us another example of the Spirit coming in power, but this time it was in the womb of a Jewish woman named Elizabeth. God sent the angel Gabriel to deliver the news that the Holy Spirit was coming to a person (John the Baptist) still in their mother’s womb.


Luke 1:13-15 (NLT)

13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.

14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,

15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth.


Did the Spirit inside John the Baptist have limits? Did John have limits? Could John do anything He wanted, whenever he wanted?


John the Baptist was born of a supernatural birth with a supernatural gift of the Spirit. He grew up and lived under the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. John was born about six months before Jesus. The Spirit of God inside John the Baptist was preparing a way for the coming Messiah-Jesus. John grew up and Jesus grew up. John was the one who baptized Jesus in the Jordan River and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus that day.


Was there any difference between the Spirit that came to David, John and Jesus? Did the Spirit have limits? Did these men have limits? Could all or some of these men do anything they wanted, anytime they wanted? If so, what were they and why? John the Baptist begins to reveal the differences and yes there are big differences.


John 3:31-33 (NLT)

31 “He [Jesus] has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.

32 He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them!

33 Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true.


Jesus is from heaven and David, John and were not. Jesus testifies firsthand about what He has seen and heard from the Father and David, John cannot. Jesus was sent to earth by God the Father and they were not. And then John reveals something uniquely amazing about Jesus, especially coming from a man that had the Holy Spirit even before he was born...


John 3:34 (NLT)

34 For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.


God gave David the Spirit, but not without limit. God gave John the Spirit, but not without limit...did you see it? The Spirit without limit is God without limit? God has not limits! David is not God in the flesh. John is not God in the flesh. Jesus is God in the flesh and God is Spirit. The limitless fullness of God was in Jesus...NO LIMITS.


Colossians 1:19 (NLT)

19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,


John 4:24 (NLT)

24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”


David could not do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. David had limits. John could not do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. John had limits. Jesus has the Spirit without limit...no limit to what He can do.


John 3:35-36 (NLT)

35 The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands.

36 And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”


Everything means everything and believing in Him is eternal life and not believing in Him means eternal angry judgment and death. Now, for the big question today. What do you think happens to us when Jesus, the One that has the Spirit without limit, comes to lives inside of us? Jesus reveals the answer to that very big question.


John 14:15-21 (NLT)

15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.

17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.

19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live.

20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”


I have the Holy Spirit living inside me right now, but I do not have the Spirit without limit. I cannot do whatever I want, whenever I want. I have limits. The One that lives in me is the Spirit without limit. He alone is God and I am not God. The Spirit without limit is the unlimited power of God and the Father has given that power and authority over to the Son-Jesus!


There is an unlimited power living inside the followers of Jesus. We are not the unlimited power. The One living inside us is the unlimited power because He is the Spirit without limit...God without limit.


I encourage you today to recognize the unlimited power of Christ that dwells inside those who truly believe in Him. Today, like the Apostle Paul we freely acknowledge our weaknesses and our human limitations. But we also acknowledge the unlimited power of Christ that lives in our hearts. It is in our weakness that He reveals His limitless power!


2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT)

8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away [my weakness].

9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen


Terry Cooper

A word from terry about

green leaves

I was privileged to grow up in a Christian home. My mom and dad always took us to Sunday church services (morning and night). We attended Sunday School and VBS. It was our way of life. Our Sunday School class also had a tradition of taking roll and asking each person how many chapters they had read from the Bible that week. I didn’t want to say “zero”, so I would often read a short chapter just before church on Sunday. One of my favorite “last minute” chapters was Psalms chapter one. I read it so many times that I accidently memorized it (LOL). As a child I had no way of knowing how important that chapter would become, later in life. That chapter revealed to me the incredible value of “GREEN LEAVES”.


Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)

1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.


These green leaves don’t wither! Do you know how powerful that truth is? These green leaves don’t wither and Psalms chapter one taught me how to keep my leaves green. Green leaves bring God’s blessings and green leaves are God’s blessings and I know the secret of the green leaves. Do you?

  • Do not walk in the counsel of the wicked...don’t listen to godless people, those who have rejected the Law/Word of the Lord, when they try to tell you about green leaves.
  • Do not stand next to sinners who are proud of their sins and pretend that their leaves will never turn brown and die.
  • Do not sit down with mockers that make fun of the revealed truth of the green leaves.

Did you notice the sequence? The blessing of the green leaves belongs to those who DO NOT fall into the dried-up brown leaf trap. Did you see it? Walk, stand and sit. Do you see the progression now? The brown leaf trap usually begins when we walk up to wicked counselors. They are all around us. It’s hard to avoid this first step...called “walk”. But don’t stand next to them and don’t sit down with them...Keep walking! Why? Because they have brown leaves and fruitless lives. Brown leaf people are going to fall from the tree of life and be blown away. Brown leaf people will not stand on the day of judgment.


Psalm 1:4-6 (NIV)

4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.


Do you understand the incredible value of forever green leaves? They only come from a tree planted by streams of water. Do you delight in the Law/Word of God? Do you meditate on it day and night? Do you want green leaves? Finally, what does this wonderful Word of God reveal about the tree of life and the river of the water of life that produce these green leaves? They flow only from the throne of God and of the Lamb.


Revelation 22:1-5 (NIV)

1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.

4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.


Forever is a long time to be anywhere. Thank God today for green leaves!


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper

 

A word from terry about seven days

Seven days...that’s the length of one week. Seven days...that’s the number of days in God’s created order. Seven Days. The entire world operates on a seven-day week. Do you know the origin of the seven-day week? The Bible, specifically Genesis. When the unbelieving world lives and operates under a seven-day week...they are actually acknowledging God’s created order revealed in Genesis. I did a search of “seven days” in the NIV translation Bible and found that phrase 90 different times in 86 different sections of the Bible. For example, the phrase “six days” only appears 19 times in the Bible. God created everything in six days and the seventh day was the finish line. God rested on the seventh day. I don’t think God rested because He was tired. I think God rested because He was finished. The seventh day marked completion or fullness.


Genesis 2:1-3 (NIV)

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.


It was all very good. It was all complete and it was all perfect. You could call it “seven days” of perfect wonder! Seven days! It all began with seven days. Then something happens, not immediately, but progressively. It happens between Genesis chapter 2 and Genesis chapter 7, but this time it’s not perfect wonder. This time it’s perfectly horrifying. God gives this Word to Noah.


Genesis 7:4 (NIV)

4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."


Perfect wonder has turned into perfect horror. I suppose God could have given Noah any type of countdown He wanted to. I suppose God could have given mankind any number of days to the apocalypse, but God chose seven days.


He gave them seven days. Wait a minute! That’s what He gave us in the beginning...seven days. The first “seven” were filled with wonder and awe, but these seven days of Noah were filled with fear and dread. The Book of Genesis doesn’t really reveal much about Noah’s attempt to get his neighbors to join him in the ark during those seven days. Genesis does reveal this about Noah:


Genesis 7:5 (NIV)

5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.


Did Noah run out and give everyone one last warning? It doesn’t say, does it? It does say that 8 people were on that boat when the seven days came to an end. Eight people, that’s not very many, is it? The Apostle Peter calls Noah a “Preacher of Righteousness”, but I don’t see very many converts. There were still just eight people. No new converts, just his family.


2 Peter 2:5 (NIV)

5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;


How overwhelming would it be for God to say...You have seven days till my judgment comes? Seven days. That’s not very long to warn people. Seven days for Noah, a preacher of righteousness to get the Word out. Seven days before the wrath and judgment of God was coming to the whole earth.


My heart is overwhelmed by this Genesis scene. In seven days, everyone on the outside will be swept away. I feel pretty certain that Noah warned them, but they refused to listen. Jesus told us that it would be the same when He returns. There will be preachers of righteousness, but people will refuse to listen. There will be warnings, but unbelievers will laugh and mock the coming judgment.


Luke 17:26-27 (NIV)

26 "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.

27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.


It was too late when the rain began to fall. The ark door was closed. I’ve always imagined people gathered all around the ark when the rain began, knocking and screaming for Noah to open the door and let them come inside. But Noah wasn’t the one that closed the door of the ark, God did.


Genesis 7:16 (NIV)

16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.


It will be too late when the Son of Man appears...that door will close suddenly, in a flash in the twinkling of an eye. In one millisecond the chance to escape the coming judgment will be lost. It will be too late.


Luke 13:23-25 (NLT)

23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He replied,

24 “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. 25 When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’


I really don’t have any idea how many days we have left, but my heart tells me that time is running short. The church has been called of God to become the preachers of righteousness in these last days. God determined the countdown of days in the time of Noah and He will do it again when Jesus returns. God opens the door and God decides when the door is to be closed.


Revelation 3:7-11 (NIV)

7 "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.

8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.

10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.


Jesus praised the Church at Philadelphia because they kept His Word and refused to deny His Name. May our Lord find us doing the same when He returns. And by the way, the closing door of God’s judgment will be an opening door into God’s glory for all who have believed and called upon the name of the Lord Jesus! On that day, believers will rise to meet the Lord in the air, and they will be with Him forever.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen


Terry Cooper

a word from terry about

upside-down

Paradox...a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true. That’s Webster’s dictionary definition, but my definition is “something that looks upside down but might be right side up”.


Do you believe in the fall of man, an event that made Adam upside down with God? Do you believe Adam was right side up with God, right with God in the beginning? Do you believe sin makes us all upside down with God? So, let me make the question more personable. How do you see the world right now...right side up or upside down? Maybe even more important, how does the Bible describe the world we live in?


The Bible clearly defines the fall of man and the cause of that fall. The Bible also tells us that everything was right side up in the beginning, before the fall. On the sixth day everything was right side up...everything was very good.


Genesis 1:31 (NLT) 
31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.


Then something happened. I’m not sure how long after the sixth day, but something happened. Something happened that turned everything upside down. It was big then and it is big now. That something was SIN and sin turned everything...upside down.


Genesis 3:1-3 (NLT) 
1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” 
2  “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 
3  “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”


The woman had encountered the one that was upside down with God...the Serpent or Satan. I suppose he was the only upside-down thing on earth that day, but he entered the garden of God’s perfect creation carrying the one thing that could turn it all upside-down...sin.


She listened and she ate. She gave it to Adam, and he ate. In that very moment, they began to see the world very differently...seeing themselves and the world that they had been given from a new perspective.


Genesis 3:7 (NLT) 
7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.


Sin had just turned everything upside down. That which was right with God had just become upside-down with God. Peace and fellowship with God were lost and death came to take its place. Sin had turned our world upside-down.


And then, there was a Second Adam, a second chance to make things “very good”. The Apostle Paul calls him the “last Adam” and the last chance of all mankind to be right side up with God. God had not forsaken His creation after all. He was going to send His only Son to turn this upside-down world...right side up. The name of the Second Adam is Jesus. This is big! God has made a way for the whole world to be made right with Him again.


1 Corinthians 15:21-23 (NLT) 
21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 
22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 
23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.


I have said all that, so that I may say this today. Many Christians today are struggling with the current condition of our society and I fully understand that struggle. It seems like everything is spiraling out of control, but you must realize this is the natural condition of a fallen world. What we’re witnessing is completely normal in a fallen upside-down world. Up has become down and down has become up. Good has become evil and evil has become good. It’s all upside-down.


Isaiah 5:20 (NLT) 
20 What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.


There is a day coming, maybe very soon, when God is going to turn the world upside down again. But this time it will all be right side up with Him. Isaiah says there is a great sorrow waiting for those who are on the wrong side when Jesus comes to turn everything over on the last day.


Luke 13:30 (NIV) 
Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last."


Christianity will always look upside-down to the world. Think about it! Christianity is upside down to all those who refuse to believe and accept the One that came to turn the world upside down. Why? Because, in Christ we rise when we bow down. We lose our life in order to save it. We surrender so that we might find victory. We are strongest when we are the weakest. We are most wealthy when we realize we possess nothing. We gladly die so that we might live.


Romans 3:22-26 (NLT) 
22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. 
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 
24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 
25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 
26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,


Terry Cooper   

A Word from terry about 6:66

There is a scene in the Gospel of John that I have always found to be compelling. Jesus tells the crowds that He is from heaven and He has come down from God the Father. Then Jesus tells them that his blood and his flesh are essential to their lives, now and into eternity.

John 6:38-42 (NIV) 
38  For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 
39  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 
40  For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." 
41  At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 
42  They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"

Jesus is revealing the way to God the Father. Jesus is revealing the way to eternal life. Jesus is revealing that He is the only way...his blood and his flesh are the way to make peace with God.

John 6:48-51 (NIV) 
48  I am the bread of life. 
49  Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 
50  But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 
51  I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world
."

This was a difficult message then and it’s a difficult message today. Jesus is declaring that He is the bread of life and there is no other bread that can sustain our lives...only Him. The next verse tells the terrible truth of mankind. Who will believe Jesus’ message?

John 6:52 (NIV) 
52  Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

There you go...Jesus has spoken the truth about the way to God and the people argued over it. Now, bear in mind that Jesus already had many followers at this time, but now the message of Christ has become singular and quite exclusive. Is Jesus the only bread of life...the only way to God? Is the body and the blood of Christ, the coming cross, the only way?

What happens next is the reason for today’s writing. It is recorded in John 6:66. I don’t want to make too much about the 6:66 thing and I’m not trying to connect this verse specifically to the mark of the beast in Revelation, but it is quite curious, nonetheless.

John 6:66 (NIV) 
66  From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

Those people followed Jesus until he said He was the only way, the bread of life, his body/blood were essential to life itself. Many turned their backs on Jesus that day and walked away from the truth. I find this scene to be terribly sad. Jesus then turns to the twelve disciples and asks them a question.

John 6:67 (NIV) 
67  "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.

Do you see the power of Jesus’ question? A large group of people have just walked away from the truth about the only way into eternal life in the presence of God. And now, Jesus looks at these chosen twelve. That look and His question makes my heart pause. How will they answer? Will they walk away from Jesus too? Will they also reject the truth? Peter’s response to Jesus’ question is one of the most powerful questions/statements I have ever experienced in my own lifetime.

John 6:68-69 (NIV) 
68  Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 
69  We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."

There you go! If you choose to leave Jesus...where will you go? If you choose to reject the words of Jesus...where will you go? Who else has the message of eternal life? Who else promises the resurrection of the dead? Who else came down from heaven? Who else offers their body and their blood as the cure for death itself? Who else?

I look at John 6:66 as one of the saddest verses in the Bible. But I see John 6:68-69 as the promise of God, the truth of God for all those who realize that there is no one else.

Acts 4:12 (NIV) 
12  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen

Terry Cooper


A Word from terry about that barefoot first step


Moses was truly an incredible man. God used his life to change the world. There is even a marble representation of Moses in the House Chamber of the US Capital building today. That’s pretty incredible considering the fact that he lived and died more than 3000 years before our nation was founded. Moses experienced God in ways most of us cannot comprehend. The Bible says that Moses had almost face to face conversations with God.


Exodus 33:11 (NIV) 
11 The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.


The reason I say “almost” face to face is this next Scripture:


Exodus 33:18-23 (NIV) 
18 Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." 19 And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." 
21 Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."


Moses spoke with God like they were close friends. God allowed Moses to stand in a place that very few men have ever known. We even see Moses (some 1500 years later) talking with Jesus in the Transfiguration.


Matthew 17:1-3 (NIV) 
1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.


Moses was still talking with God...as a friend...some 1500 years after his death. And by the way, this time Moses was in the Promised Land.  God used this man to change the world and we still honor and respect the name of Moses today. But do you know how Moses’ incredible journey of friendship with God began? It began with a barefoot first step into the light.


Exodus 3:4-6 (NIV) 
4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." 5  "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." 6 Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.


A barefoot first step into the light of God...that’s how Moses’ incredible life journey began. One barefoot step into the light filled plan of God. God was and is holy. The ground around God’s glorious presence was and is holy. God’s assignment to Moses was holy. God was calling Moses into a life that would be lived in the continual pursuit of holiness, but first, he must take off his shoes.


I don’t feel very “ready” or “prepared” when my shoes are off. I feel rather vulnerable when I’m barefoot. Barefoot (in this case) is a sign of holy ground and bare feet are also a sign of our emptiness before God and without God. You wouldn’t take off your shoes if you were going to run away. You would only take off your shoes if you were going to stay and listen. Moses was terrified and even hid his face from God. But Moses removed his shoes to listen. He bared his feet before God to listen. Moses said, “Here I am”. Moses took a barefoot first step into the light of God’s perfect will. Moses’ incredible life story began with bare feet and fear...fear that prevented him from even looking at God, but that’s not where his incredible life journey ended. The barefoot man that began with too much fear to even look upon God was transformed into a man whose greatest desire was see God’s glory. Who would have guessed that walking barefoot could bring so much joy?  Is there an option? Can a person truly hide from this great light, or run from the light of God’s presence? Is that even possible?


Hebrews 4:13-14 (NIV) 
13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.


This barefoot scene is where Moses’ life truly began...a barefoot first step into the light of God’s presence...to truly walk with God. This is where our life truly begins as well. Like a barefoot child awakened by the Father’s voice, we must say, “Here I am”. Moses didn’t call God...God called Moses. We must acknowledge that nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.


So, here we are today, some 3000-years after the time of Moses. The gospel of Jesus Christ is our Holy Ground covenant call of God. God is calling us to come exposed, barefoot and trembling into the light of this Holy High Priest named Jesus Christ to receive life and gain entry into the very presence of God. It is our barefoot first step of faith that brings us into God’s presence where we too can say, “Here I am”...and then, like Moses, receive our place in His kingdom. Who could have guessed that walking barefoot could bring so much joy?


Hebrews 12:28-29 (NIV) 
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our "God is a consuming fire."


Maranatha (Come Soon Lord)

Hosanna (Save us)

Hallelujah (Begin to Reign)

Amen (Make it so)

 

Terry Cooper   


A Word from Terry about Spirits and Ghosts

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

I must admit that my first experience with a ghost was “Casper, the friendly ghost” on television. I grew up watching this friendly cartoon spirit fly around and go through walls. He was a delightful, amusing and funny little ghost. If you were going to encounter a ghost, Casper was a good one. I’m afraid that many people have never grown up and left their “Cartoon Casper” world.


The Apostle Paul was given the honor of personally seeing and hearing the risen Christ. He was also taken to the third heaven where he saw things that he wasn’t even allowed to discuss with mankind. These revelations from the Lord gave Paul a unique perspective of the eternal realm, our future. This is how Paul describes the future of the followers of Jesus:


2 Corinthians 5:1-2 (NLT)

1 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.

2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.


For we know...do you know? Paul describes our current human body as a tent that covers our soul, our spirit-person. We are not the skin on the outside. We are the person on the inside of the tent covering. Paul then announces a future time when we will have a house in heaven, and we will receive a new eternal body...made by God. Do you think this new body will be a “Casper” body or a body of flesh, similar to the one we have now, but immortal? The next verse answers this question about our eternal body:


2 Corinthians 5:3-4 (NLT2)

3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.

4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.


You will NOT be a spirit without a body. You will NOT be a “Casper”. You will be you, but better. God is going to place your soul inside a new tent, but this new tent is eternal. This new tent is flesh, but this new flesh is not subject to sickness, decay or death. God has promised this new body to all who will receive Jesus Christ by faith. God has given us the Holy Spirt as a deposit and a guarantee that our new body will await us at the resurrection on the last day.


2 Corinthians 5:5 (NLT2)

5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.


Faith is believing the promises of God’s Word. Faith is being sure, certain and confident that God will keep His promise on this issue. Are you confident? Are you sure? This is our challenge from God. We must hold onto these promises of God and never give up.


2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (NLT2)

6 So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord.

7 For we live by believing and not by seeing.

8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.

9 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.

10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.


I admit that things in our present world look like they are spiraling out of control. But God’s promises still stand for those who will walk by faith and not by sight. God is going to keep His promises. It will happen in a moment, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye. It will happen at the resurrection! And yes, there will be some who will never see the grave (we will not all die), but they will still receive their new bodies.


1 Corinthians 15:51-55 (NLT2)

51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed!

52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.

53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.

55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”


This is our very great reward. This is the promise of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit is our current guarantee.


Maranatha (come soon Lord)

Hosanna (Save us)

Hallelujah (Begin to reign)

Amen (Make it so)


Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about Sorrow

Have you ever thought about sorrow as a good thing? I must confess that I don’t really like sorrow and I don’t like being sorry. Do you remember how difficult it was when you told your children to say, “I’m sorry”? Sorrow is usually associated with pain and nobody wants pain. But what if I told you that there was a type of sorrow that bears wonderful, eternal results?


2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT)
10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.


There is a good sorrow. There is a sorrow that leads us into fellowship with God. I realize this goes against our very nature, but it’s true. There is a sorrow that is powerful enough to make us change course, change directions. There is a sorrow that leads to repentance and repentance is a change in our eternal direction. This godly sorrow makes us turn around and face God, by acknowledging that we have been walking with our back to Him.  This turning is usually quite painful, but it always ends in joy. Repentance never leaves us in sorrow but failing to repent will lead to the ultimate and eternal sorrow of death.

Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth produced “godly sorrow” and look at the result of this godly sorrow:


2 Corinthians 7:11-13 (NLT)
11 Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.


Our parents told us to say we were sorry. This was their effort to make us realize that sorrow was the first step to making things right with the one that had been wronged. Nobody wants to be sorry and no one wants to experience sorrow, but sorrow is necessary to make things right with the offended one.

We have all offended God. It’s called sin and we’ve all sinned against God. Godly sorrow leads to repentance and leaves no regrets. Failing to find this godly sorrow...called repentance...leads to an eternity of regret because it forfeits our only chance to make things right with God.


Romans 6:20-23 (NLT)
20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right.
21 And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.


I remember Henry Blakaby saying that he believed “repentance” was one of the most beautiful words in the Bible. I agree with Henry! But some would say, if it’s so beautiful, then why is it so painful to repent? Repentance is against our nature. Saying we’re wrong or saying “I’m sorry” is against our very nature.

Our nature has been infected and affected by sin and it is godly sorrow that leads to repentance that brings forgiveness of sins...making us right with God.


Rejoice today in godly sorrow. It leads to repentance and leaves behind a life of regret.

No one will ever regret the sorrow that made them right with God.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper


A Word from Terry about The Scroll


Have you ever thought of your life an unfolding story, like a scroll? A Scroll is unrolled as you read it, like turning pages of your life one day at a time. Each of us are a part of God’s story. We have been written into God’s incredible story. This story of God began in Genesis one, the scroll was opened, and time began.


Genesis 1:1 (NIV)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.


This is the beginning of God’s story on planet earth. The scroll of God and the Word of God announced a beginning. The scroll unrolls a little farther and we find Adam and Eve. The scroll unrolls a little farther and we find Cain and Abel. The scroll of God’s story has been unrolling for a long time now.


Billions of people have joined Adam in this story of God over the past 6000 years. All of those people had a beginning, a day when their names appeared on God’s scroll, God’s story. It was in the year 1956 that my life appeared in God’s story. I’m not referring to my birthday. I’m referring to the day that I was conceived in my mother’s womb. The scroll of God unrolled that day and my name was there.


Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.


My life, my story found its place on planet earth, inside my mother’s womb in 1956, but God was writing me into His story even before the foundations of the earth. I was in God’s story from the beginning. Yes, I had a beginning, a first day, but the Holy God who formed me in my mother’s womb has never had a first day and He will never have a last day.


Revelation 4:8 (NIV)
Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."


The Eternal One, the Ancient of Days is writing this story. The scroll belongs to Him and Him alone. He is the One that is unrolling this scroll of time. Each day the scroll rolls a little farther and more names are added to God’s story. But, where does this story end? Does this scroll of God have an ending? God revealed a time to the Prophet Isaiah that this scroll would find its last day and the scroll would be rolled up.


Isaiah 34:4 (NIV)
4 All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.


The sky, the heavens above our earth will one day be rolled up like a scroll. Why? Because we won’t need them anymore. Not just the sky, but the earth will change as well.


Revelation 6:14 (NIV)
14 The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.


The scroll that was opened with God’s Word in Genesis one...will soon come to an end. The first day will come to a last day. Now, I must tell you that this event of the last day has already taken place for billions of people who were born and have died on this earth from the time of Adam until today. But God’s Word proclaims that there will be a generation that will be alive and breathing air on the last day, the day the scroll is rolled up.


So, what will we call the day after the last day? The author, Jonathan Cahn calls it the “Eighth Day”, the day that never ends. I call it eternity. It’s the day after the scroll is rolled up. The day after the end of time. The day after the last day. This day is coming for everyone. This day has already come for billions of people and this day is coming for each of us. The day after our last day. It’s called eternity.


This is where the truth is so important. The One that made the first day has also announced the events of last day. The One that created time and space has also announced eternity. God has announced a time when everything will be made new. There will be a new scroll, but this scroll will not have an end. It is an eternal scroll of God’s eternal story. Believers in Christ have been written into that eternal story. Their names are on that eternal scroll referred to as the Book of Life. That’s why believers don’t fear that last day. We don’t fear death or the day that the sky will be rolled up like a scroll because we know our story will continue with God into the new heaven and the new earth.


Revelation 21:1-5 (NIV)
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
5 He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."


You don’t want to miss this 8th day, the day that never ends. God doesn’t want anyone to miss this 8th day called eternity. God has made a way for our story to remain a part of His story on the 8th day and it is the story of great love.


John 3:16 (NIV)
16  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


To miss this coming 8th day called eternity is to miss everything...it is to perish, to be lost forever. Today, I encourage each of you to believe and receive the promises of God through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And because of this great love of God, through Jesus, our story will never end.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about America and the Jews

Monday, February 4, 2019

Someone sent me an email this past week asking why there has been so much hatred of the Jewish people throughout human history? It’s a great question and the answer to that question reveals many spiritual mysteries. I would like to approach one of those mysteries today.


Yes, the Jews have been persecuted throughout their entire history. It began with their slavery in Egypt, but God sent Moses to set them free. Many years later, Israel’s northern and southern kingdoms fell to the Assyrians and the Babylonians. But then God raised up a Persian King named Cyrus and King Cyrus issued a decree that the Jews were all free to return home and rebuild Jerusalem. In 70 AD (after the time of Jesus) it happened again. The Romans expelled all the Jews from Jerusalem and the Roman Emperor Nero burned down the Jewish Temple there. The few Jews that survived were scattered all over the earth, but they were not assimilated into the cultures of the world. This is truly a miracle of God. They kept their Jewishness, even after being scattered from their homeland for many generations. It is the next “big event” in Jewish history that brings me to today’s topic.


Let’s fast forward to the 15th century. Many Jews had migrated to Spain over many years. But Spain, like Rome before them, decided to expel the Jews from their land. It is believed that Spain had the largest population of Jews living in the world at that time, but their Monarchs decided that the Jews must leave their land. The Spanish Monarch’s gave the Jews until August 2nd, 1492 to leave Spain or they would be executed. Do you see the mystery yet? Do you want to know what happened the day after the Spanish deadline? Three ships left Spain in search of a new land. Three Spanish ships led by Christopher Columbus left Spain on August 3rd, 1492. Do you see the mystery now? When Spain was closed its door to the Jewish people, God was opening the door of a new land...America.


It happened again in WW2. Jewish hatred returned to center stage. Adolph Hitler slaughtered six million Jews and the Jewish survivors once again were scattered all over the world. Since WW2, America has become the largest population of Jewish people outside their homeland of Israel.


After WW2, it was our President Truman that stood with the Jewish people as they declared their independence in 1948. Truman declared US support of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state just minutes after their announcement from Tel Aviv. There were less than 700,000 Jews living inside Israel in 1948 and now there are approx. 7 million living there. Israel has now passed the United States in Jewish population. Can you see the mystery yet?


Do you see the mystery now? In November 1953, just a few months after leaving office Truman was being introduced at a Jewish Seminary in New York... "This is the man who helped create the State of Israel." Truman retorted, "What do you mean, 'helped to create'? I am Cyrus. I am Cyrus." Do you see the mystery now?


Do you see it? Can you see God’s providence and protection? I’ll give you one more. On December 6, 2017 President Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. President Trump told the world that the United States was going to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. No US president had ever been willing to so such a thing in fear of how the world would respond. Shortly after this embassy move to Jerusalem the people of Israel issued a commemorative coin with President Trump standing next to the Persian King Cyrus. The commemorative coin is a half shekel, the same amount that was required for anyone to enter the Jewish Temple in the Old Testament. I know it sounds crazy, but you can’t make this stuff up!


I read recently that the United States is going to submit an Israel/Palestinian Peace plan shortly after the upcoming Israeli elections that are scheduled for April 9th. I am quite curious about this upcoming peace plan which deals with the boundaries of Israel and the division of the Holy City of Jerusalem.


So, back to the original question...why do so many people hate the Jews? I suppose it all goes back to the original encounter between Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, and God. God made an eternal covenant with Abraham that day and it is no mystery that God keeps His covenants!


Genesis 12:1-3 (NIV)
1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
2  "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
3  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

And now for the best news of all today...are you ready for it? This covenant blessing of God is ours by faith in Jesus Christ! By faith in Jesus Christ we too have become the blessed children of Abraham.


Galatians 3:6-9 (NIV)
6 Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
7 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.
8 The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you."
9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen


Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about the Two Gifts

Monday, January 28, 2019

I grew up in a church that studied and preached the New Testament. About the only thing we got from the Old Testament was Bible Stories. I don’t say that in a bad way, but I was never taught how the Old Testament revealed the mysteries of Jesus. I suppose it was God’s providence and the work of the Holy Spirit that years ago, took me on a three-year journey of personal study through the Old Testament. I began to see Jesus in every story, every event. With that said, I would like to share an Old Testament mystery with you today. 


It happens in the time of the Prophet Jeremiah. The Nation of Israel and Judah have both been destroyed. The Jerusalem Temple had been torn down by the Babylonians and the Jewish survivors had been taken as slaves to Babylon. All seemed lost. The Temple which housed the very presence of God on the earth was in ashes and the people who worshipped that God were slaves in a foreign land. All seemed lost.


It is in this setting that God delivers a message to the Jewish slaves living in Babylon. The message from God was given to the Prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah was told to deliver this message to the Jewish captives.


Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


Two gifts delivered by God to the Jewish slaves living in Babylon. Did you see them? HOPE and FUTURE. Both would require a time of waiting! This announcement from Jeremiah was huge. Do you know why? Because it looked like Israel had neither (hope or a future). But God announced His plans for them, and God’s plans are unstoppable and sure. God even gave them a term, a time that they would have to wait for these two gifts and return to Jerusalem.


Jeremiah 29:10-14 (NIV)

10 This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile." 


Now, I’ve got to tell you that 70 years sounds like a long time if you’re a slave in a foreign land. Do you see the Old Testament mystery yet? What if you were already 70-years old when Jeremiah comes with this announcement from God...you will die in Babylon. Does that take away the two gifts from God? Can 70 years take away these two gifts from God (Hope and Future)? Do you see the mystery yet?


Let’s fast forward to our current time, the time of the church. The Bible teaches us that all believers in Christ are actually aliens/strangers living in a foreign land. The Bible teaches us that we are trapped inside our own sin nature, making us slaves to sin. Slaves in a foreign land! Then the Word comes from God! A Word that reveals a HOPE and a FUTURE and a time of waiting. And then, the Word becomes flesh and moves into our fallen world (our Babylon). Two gifts of God, given to the blood bought children of God, trapped in the bondage of mortal human flesh and living in a foreign land.


Jesus came to set us free from our mortal flesh, that which has been infected by sin and death. Jesus came to take us home, back to the place of His abiding presence. But there would be a time of waiting...waiting on our hope and waiting on our future.


Today, we have the benefit of world history...we can see God’s faithfulness in keeping His promised two gifts (HOPE and FUTURE). The Jewish people did live 70 years in Babylon and when the 70 years was completed God raised up a Persian King that would set them free and send them back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of God, even paying for their expenses.


And if that were not enough, today Jews from all over the earth are moving back to Israel. Can you see the mystery? In 1948, the year the nation of Israel was reborn there were around 600,000 Jews living in Israel. But now, some 70 years later there are close to 7 million Jews living there. Do you see the mystery yet...plans to prosper and not harm...plans to give you a hope and a future?


God knows that we need these two gifts...HOPE and a FUTURE. Israel needed them then and we need them now. The Word of God announced these promises through Jeremiah and the Word of God has announced them to all Christians today. God has a plan for us. He is going to one day prosper us beyond anything we can now imagine. He has been planning this even before the foundations of the earth. But there is a time of waiting.


So, how now shall we live...while we wait for our blessed hope and future? Do you know what God told captive Israel to do while they waited? Settle down where you are and live your life to the glory of God. Have children, plant crops and wait for your hope and future. They are sure and certain.


Jeremiah 29:4-6 (NIV)

4 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 "Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.


Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1). Sure and certain faith is saving faith. This kind of faith believes in the promises of God through the Word of God and this faith in Jesus Christ makes us recipients of these two marvelous gifts...HOPE and a FUTURE. But there is a time of waiting.


John 14:1-4 (NIV)

1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going."


Yes, it’s been more than seventy years since Jesus said those hope-filled words about the future. Many believers have died during these past 2000 years and many believers wait in hope of their promised future with God today. May this Word encourage each of you today, as we wait for our blessed hope and future.


1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (NLT)

9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about the Lion and the Lamb

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Can you imagine any two creatures being more different than a lion and a lamb? In our fallen-world food chain, we see the lion at the top and the lamb at the bottom. We see the lion as dominating and powerful and the lamb as weak and vulnerable. And yet, Jesus is described as both. How is this possible?


John the Baptist declares Jesus to be the Lamb of God that will take away the sins of the world.


John 1:29 (NLT)

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!


Lambs were used in the temple sacrifice and John’s reference is to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross some 3 years before the event takes place. But what about the lion? The reference of the lion first comes from Jacob (aka Israel) when he pronounces a prophetic blessing upon his son Judah before he dies.


Genesis 49:9-10 (NLT)

9 Judah, my son, is a young lion that has finished eating its prey. Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? 10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor.


John’s reference to a lamb was a prophetic announcement of a coming sacrifice, but Jacob’s blessing upon his son Judah was an announcement of an all-powerful King (a scepter, a ruler’s staff). Jesus was born from that tribe of Judah and He is the fulfillment of Jacob’s prophetic blessing. King David was the prophetic preview, but King Jesus is its ultimate fulfillment. There is some 2000 years between Jacob’s prophetic blessing of “The Lion” and John’s prophetic announcement of “The Lamb”.


The people who lived between the time of Jacob and the time of John lived between the Lion and the Lamb. For 2000 years they lived between the prophecy of the Lion and the Lamb. But what about us today? It’s now been some 2000 years since the Lamb was sacrificed on the cross. 2000 years since the Lamb of God took away the sins of the world. But, what about us today?


We now live between the Lamb and the Lion (reverse order). The Apostle John sees them both in The Revelation but understand this. The next time we see Jesus...He will be the Lion from the Tribe of Judah! I encourage you to read God’s revelation to John carefully.


Revelation 5:2-10 (NLT)

2 And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it. 4 Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. 5 But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.” 6 Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the seven-fold Spirit of God that is sent out into every part of the earth. 7 He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. 8 And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth.”


Jesus is both, the Lion and the Lamb, but understand this spiritual truth today. Our next encounter with Him will not be as a Lamb, but a Lion, the all-powerful King! We are today living between the Lamb and the Lion. Make way for His coming Kingdom!


Revelation 17:14 (NLT)

14 Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him.”


Make way for your King!


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about The Garden

monday, january 14, 2019

I recently read a devotion from Jonathan Cahn that I would like to use as the basis of my topic today. Do you know what God’s first act toward man was, after his creation? It was to take him somewhere...God took Adam into the Garden.


Genesis 2:15 (NIV)

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

God took the first man, Adam, and placed him in the Garden of Eden, a place of life, fruitfulness and blessing. And do you know what day God did that? God took Adam to the Garden on the sixth day.


Do you know what else happened, years later, on the sixth day? Jesus (the last Adam) was crucified on the sixth day. Do you know what happened after Jesus died on the sixth day? Men took God’s Son and placed him in a garden...a garden tomb.


John 19:41-42 (NIV)

41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.


They took the body of Jesus down from the cross on the sixth day and placed his corpse in a garden tomb on the sixth day. God took man into the garden on the sixth day and man took God into the garden on the sixth day.


A garden is a place of life, but a tomb is a place of death. God brought man into a place of life and man brought God into a place of death. The Garden of Eden was a place of blessing, but the garden tomb was a place of sorrow. The Garden of Eden was the place of God’s creation. The Garden Tomb was a place of man’s creation. God brought man into a place of blessings and man brought God into the place of man’s curse.


Why the parallel? Do you see the mystery? God allowed Himself to be brought to the place of our curse (the tomb) to give us the power to leave that place (the resurrection), that He might once more bring us to a place of life, and to a life of blessing.


John 10:17-18 (NIV)

17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."


The first garden (Eden) had the Tree of Life, but access to that tree was lost when the rebellion began. The Garden Tomb of Christ has opened a way to enter a new garden. Do you know what’s in that new garden...Tree of Life! It must be a wonderful garden.


Revelation 2:7 (NIV)

7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.


Sounds like a Garden Paradise to me!

Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about The Altar

wednesday, January 9, 2019


Everything begins with the altar. Think about that statement for a moment. God has established an order by which we might approach Him and it begins with an altar. Let’s go back to the original Tabernacle (Tent of Meetings) in the time of Moses and the wilderness. The Tabernacle was the place where man could meet with God and that event began with the altar. There was a curtain that surrounded the Tabernacle and the first thing inside that curtain/doorway was the altar. Everything began with the altar.


The altar was a place of sacrifice, a price must be paid before one could move past the altar toward the presence of God. The altar is where the “offering” would be brought. The altar is where the “sacrifice” would be made. The offering on the altar would allow the person to approach the holy presence of God. There was no way around the altar. An appropriate offering was required to approach the glory of God that was behind the veil.


Leviticus 16:11-14 (NLT)
11  “Aaron will present his own bull as a sin offering to purify himself and his family, making them right with the LORD. After he has slaughtered the bull as a sin offering, 12 he will fill an incense burner with burning coals from the altar that stands before the LORD. Then he will take two handfuls of fragrant powdered incense and will carry the burner and the incense behind the inner curtain. 13 There in the LORD’s presence he will put the incense on the burning coals so that a cloud of incense will rise over the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. If he follows these instructions, he will not die. 14 Then he must take some of the blood of the bull, dip his finger in it, and sprinkle it on the east side of the atonement cover. He must sprinkle blood seven times with his finger in front of the atonement cover.


It all began with the altar. The journey toward the holy presence of God began with the altar. Without the altar, without the sacrificial offering on that altar...Aaron would die. Do you see the mystery? Do you see the Old Testament shadow that was revealed by Jesus?


The cross of Christ was the altar of sacrifice that allows mankind to approach God. Everything begins with the altar and everything will be decided by that same altar. The Tabernacle was only a shadow. The reality was Christ’s death on the cross. By faith, we receive the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross as our way to the holiness of God’s presence. Jesus told us to follow Him through the curtain, into the very presence of God.


John 14:6 (NLT)
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

The cross of Christ was the altar of our salvation. If we try to approach God without this altar (the cross) we will surely die. When Jesus died on the cross the veil that surrounded the presence of God was torn from top to bottom, signifying that the altar sacrifice was acceptable to the Father. Notice what happened after the altar sacrifice was accepted by God and the veil was torn.


Matthew 27:50-53 (NLT)
50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.


Another shadow, another preview of future events...the resurrection of the dead followed the altar of God’s sacrifice.


John 5:24-29 (NLT)
24  “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. 25  “And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. 26 The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son. 27 And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man. 28 Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, 29 and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment.


So, how do we approach this altar of Christ, the cross of Christ? We come with our offering. We come with our sacrifice. Do you know what sacrifice is acceptable on this altar? First, I’ll give you an Old Testament answer and then a New Testament one (both are of equal value).


Isaiah 66:1-4 (NLT)
1 This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as that? Could you build me such a resting place? 2 My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the LORD, have spoken! “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word. 3  But those who choose their own ways— delighting in their detestable sins— will not have their offerings accepted. When such people sacrifice a bull, it is no more acceptable than a human sacrifice. When they sacrifice a lamb, it’s as though they had sacrificed a dog! When they bring an offering of grain, they might as well offer the blood of a pig. When they burn frankincense, it’s as if they had blessed an idol. 4 I will send them great trouble— all the things they feared. For when I called, they did not answer. When I spoke, they did not listen. They deliberately sinned before my very eyes and chose to do what they know I despise.”


The cross was the final altar, the ultimate sacrifice, the open door into God’s holy presence. God doesn’t want the blood of bulls or goats today. He wants our hearts, our devotion, our love and for that we must place our lives on this altar and die to ourselves.


Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.


Everything begins with the altar. You will never experience real life until you experience this altar. This altar looks expensive from the outside, but not to those who have encountered the wonder, peace and freedom beyond that altar.


Matthew 16:24-26 (NLT)
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?


And what about after that...after we come to this altar of Christ’s sacrifice. That’s the best news of all...you don’t have to wait for this one.


Hebrews 10:19-22 (NLT)
19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

 

Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

 

A Word from Terry about Hidden Treasure

wednesday, January 2, 2019

It is obvious that Jesus loved to communicate through parables. Parables are spiritual mysteries that are wrapped in physical packages. For example, Jesus tells the parable of the sower. That parable is not about farming, but about how God plans to sow/preach/teach the Word to the world. One of my all-time favorite parables of Jesus is also one of the shortest and most revealing.


Matthew 13:44 (NLT)

44 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.


Can you see the mystery inside this parable? Let me ask you a question...how much did the hidden treasure in the field cost the man? You might read this parable and say it cost him everything, but you would be wrong. Why-How?

It did cost the man all that he had, yes. But the value of the hidden treasure was priceless. It was greater than the wealth of the man. The man in Jesus’ story paid all that he had to buy the field, but the hidden treasure was free. The man sold everything he had to buy the field, not the treasure. Do you see the mystery?


Jesus uses this parable to reveal the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven. Heaven is the hidden treasure in the field. Heaven is priceless and outside our reach, but the way to the Kingdom of Heaven is not. The field is expensive, but the field is reachable...you can obtain possession of this field of hidden treasure. Let me give you another story of Jesus to help explain this mystery. Before you read this next story of Jesus, let me remind you...the man Jesus is talking to is very religious and very wealthy...


Luke 18:18-30 (NLT)

18 Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good. 20 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’” 21 The man replied, “I’ve carefully obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” 22 When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 But when the man heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. 24 When Jesus saw this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” 26 Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?” 27 He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.” 28 Peter said, “We’ve left our homes to follow you.” 29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, 30 will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.”


Do you see the mystery now? The rich man in this story didn’t see the value of the hidden treasure. He wasn’t willing to do what the man in Jesus’ parable would do...sell all that he had to buy the field. No one can buy this treasure called the Kingdom of Heaven, but you can take possession of the field that it has been hidden in. In fact, Jesus came to reveal the mystery of the hidden treasure.


Sometimes it seems like the highly educated and wealthy people have a harder time understanding these mysteries than poor and simple people. Did you ever wonder why this is true? Jesus’ disciples asked him the same question...


Matthew 13:10-13 (NLT)

10 His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” 11 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.


Luke 10:21 (NLT)

21 At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way."


The hidden treasure is ETERNAL LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. We can’t buy this treasure, because its priceless. But you can take possession of the field of hidden treasure by faith in Jesus Christ. How? Are you sure you want the answer?


Matthew 16:24-26 (NLT)

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?


Jesus is the hidden treasure and Jesus is the field...Jesus is everything! For Him, we must lose our life, we must lose our self. When we bow our life, surrender our life to Jesus through faith...we take possession of this field of hidden treasure. Or maybe I should say...He takes possession of us. Our surrender to Jesus doesn’t purchase heaven. No heaven is priceless...way beyond our reach. We bow to the One who purchased heaven for us with His own blood...Jesus Christ.


Have you found this hidden treasure? It is not hidden to those who have found it. Is anything worth more than your soul?


Happy New Year!

Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about the Wilderness

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The older I get, the more I see life as a “wilderness journey” on the way to the Promised Land. Some days in the wilderness are better than others, but its still a wilderness. Even on the best of days in my little world, somebody is dying or experiencing suffering in the midst of this wilderness. Acknowledging this truth about the wilderness and the coming Promised Land works well for me. It keeps me focused on the goal and prevents me from getting discouraged by the sometimes-difficult journey.


Let me explain how I came to this worldview. God planned and painted a shadowy picture of this wilderness reality in the Old Testament with the family of Jacob. Jacob (aka Israel) was actually living in the Promised Land when a famine broke out in the land. God had planned all this in advance and had placed Jacob’s son, Joseph, in Egypt to establish a preview to the future of all mankind. Egypt had food during the famine, but that food supply eventually led to bondage and slavery. Four hundred years of bondage and then God sent a deliverer, named Moses. God was going to use Moses to set the people free and lead them across the wilderness into the Promised Land. Why didn’t God just leave Jacob in the Promised Land in the first place? Why the famine? Why the temporary re-location of the entire family of Jacob to the land of Egypt?


Genesis 46:26-27 (NIV)

26 All those who went to Egypt with Jacob--those who were his direct descendants, not counting his sons' wives--numbered sixty-six persons. 27 With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob's family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.


God was painting a picture of the future reality of all mankind. There are three scenes in this picture: BONDAGE, WILDERNESS and PROMISED LAND. This is where the story get’s interesting. The deliverer named Moses came to set ALL of ISRAEL free, but did they all become free? No! Why not, and does this have application for us today? The Apostle Paul reveals this three-phase reality in his letter to the Gentile Church in Corinth.


1 Corinthians 10:1-4 (NIV)

1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.


Moses came to get all of them. All of them were baptized into Moses (cloud and sea). All of them ate the bread of heaven (manna). All of them drank from the supernatural water supply of God in the desert. But did you notice something amazing in verse 4? The spiritual rock that supplied living water in the wilderness was Jesus, some 1500 years before He was born in Bethlehem. How is that possible? Can you see God’s painting...His picture of our present reality of BONDAGE, WILDERNESS and PROMISED LAND?


Egypt is a picture or shadow of sin and the slavery/bondage of sin (it satisfies our needs and desires for a while). Moses is a picture or shadow of our Deliverer, who is Jesus Christ. Jesus was the One leading Moses through the wilderness. The ultimate reality is Jesus...the One who came to set everyone free from the bondage of sin, but there is more to this freedom than getting out of Egypt...there is still a wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land. Did everyone in Moses’ time make it to the Promised Land? No!


1 Corinthians 10:5-12 (NIV)

5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did--and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test the Lord, as some of them did--and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did--and were killed by the destroying angel. 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!


Verse five is not very encouraging is it? “Most of them” didn’t make it. They got out of Egypt but died in the wilderness. How? Why? They did it the same way people are doing it today. Paul wrote that letter to the church as a warning...a warning to us today.


First, they refused to trust God and pursue the holiness of God while they were in the wilderness. How? They grumbled about their wilderness circumstances. They returned to pagan idolatry and sexual immorality. By doing so, they turned their back on God...they wanted to GO BACK TO EGYPT.


Secondly, they refused to take possession (by faith) of that which God has Promised...why do you think it was called the Promised Land? Even after crossing the wilderness and standing on the edge of the Jordan River...looking into the land of milk and honey...they wouldn’t take possession of this wonderful gift of God. At that moment, all they had to do was believe God’s Word...have faith that God would do what He said He would do.


Deuteronomy 6:10-12 (NIV)

10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you--a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant--then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.


Now it’s our turn...Our Moses has come...Our Deliverer’s name is Jesus. He has set us free from Egypt’s sin and death and has promised each of us a land that flows with milk and honey. A land with a flourishing holy city that we did not build. Houses prepared in advance, vineyards and living water beyond measure, but there is one problem. We must survive the wilderness to take possession of our Promised Land.


Why this word today? Two reasons...First, I’m watching people turn around, yes church people, and return to Egypt...back to the bondage of sin (sexual immorality and idolatry). Secondly, some are losing their faith, their hope because of their wilderness circumstances. They’ve taken their eyes off the prize that awaits us on the other side of the Jordan.


I encourage all of you today to hold onto the promises of God found in the Word of God. Don’t look back with lust for Egypt. Those who return to Egypt (life of sin) will die in Egypt. Keep your eyes fixed on the Promised Land and this difficult wilderness journey will soon be behind us.


Hebrews 10:35-39 (NIV)

35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. 38 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about the Treasure of Greatest Value

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas is one week from today. The gifts will all be given, received and the trash cans will be filled with wrapping paper and cardboard. I’ve been told, since my youth that all this gift giving stuff is to be like the Wise Men from the east, the Maji. Somehow, I doubt that’s what it looks like to God these days.


Those Wise Men brought gifts and treasure to the newborn King of the Jews. They followed a sign in the heavens, a star that led them to Bethlehem. There has been much speculation about these wise men and how they received this revelation of a newborn king. I would assume that they were from Persia and I would also assume that these wise men were descendants of the wise men who sat in the presence of the prophet Daniel some 500 years before the birth of Christ. Was it Daniel that revealed the coming King of the Jews while he was living in Persia? Daniel prophesied about the future King and Kingdom of Christ when he revealed the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter two:


Daniel 2:44-45 (NLT)

44 “During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. 45 That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.”


Daniel opened a great gift in front of King Nebuchadnezzar that day. Daniel was announcing the coming Messiah, the King of the Jews...some 500 years before Mary and Joseph ever took their first breath. God had given this treasure to Daniel and Daniel gave it to the people of Babylon. Daniel was a Jewish slave when this treasure was opened that first time in Babylon. A Jewish slave had delivered the wonderful gift of knowing the future to the kingdoms of men. A Jewish slave standing before the most powerful man in the world at that time, King Nebuchadnezzar. And how would the King of Babylon respond to this treasure, this revelation of God, through Daniel?


Daniel 2:46-48 (NLT)

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar threw himself down before Daniel and worshiped him, and he commanded his people to offer sacrifices and burn sweet incense before him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is the greatest of gods, the LORD over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.” 48 Then the king appointed Daniel to a high position and gave him many valuable gifts. He made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon, as well as chief over all his wise men.


The Jewish slave just got a promotion. Daniel gave the gift of knowing the future and the King falls down and worships the slave. Do you see this treasure that takes slaves from the bottom to the top? Do you see this treasure that makes kings fall down and worship? Now, they’re bringing gifts to Daniel.


It is my guess that this is the origin of the wise men from the east that brought their treasure to Jesus in Bethlehem. The secret was out, and the treasure of greatest value had been revealed. The King of the Jews was coming. Notice what the Wise Men said when they arrived in Jerusalem to stand before King Herod:


Matthew 2:1-2 (NLT)

1 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”


They knew about the King. They knew about the One that was coming, the Rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands. They knew, and because they knew...they came to worship. Someone (maybe Daniel) had given these men a treasure. A treasure that had been passed down from generation to generation. A people who were looking for the coming King of the Jews.


So, what does this have to do with us today? This is our story too! Someone has given us a treasure, passed down from generation to generation. We know the future. We know about the coming King of the Jews. We know about His first coming and we also know about His second coming. We have been given a great treasure.


We were, in many ways, like Daniel. We were all slaves, slaves to sin and death under the authority of this fallen world. But then, something wonderful happened to us...we were given a great treasure from heaven. We were told the truth about the coming of a King. We were even given a chance to know this King personally. This great treasure from heaven was coming to live in our temple, our heart.


2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT)

7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.


We are all human, like fragile-breakable jars of clay/dirt. Fragile because we are mortal, but something wonderful has happened in the heavens. There is a light in the heavens...shining into our hearts. The light has revealed the truth, the same truth prophesied by Daniel. There is a King coming to the kingdoms of men. The light of the world has come to the dark kingdoms of men. This is the message of Christmas and this is the treasure of greatest value.


Daniel’s prophesy is not yet fully complete, only partially. Yes, Jesus is the King of the Jews and yes, He was born in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. But this story is not over, not yet! One day He will come as the King of all kings and crush the feet of iron and clay (representing all the kingdoms of men) and set up a kingdom that will never end. Daniels interpretation of that dream is true, and its meaning is certain.


Matthew 16:27 (NLT)

27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds.


So, what do we do with this great treasure from heaven that abides in our hearts today? We do what he wise men from the east did...we keep watch. The Maji of old kept watch...they looked for the signs and followed the light of heaven until they found their King.


Matthew 24:42-44 (NLT)

42 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43 Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. 44 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.


Merry Christmas...and yes, wise men still worship HIM.

Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about Kentucky

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’ve heard that Mark Twain once said that he wanted to be in Kentucky when the end of time came because Kentucky is always 20 years behind the rest of the nation. I think that’s funny, even if he didn’t say it. Is Kentucky behind the times? Are we out of date, when compared to the rest of the nation? I hear so much these days about the struggling and even declining church in America and we are left to wonder about the future of the American Church overall. Jesus told us that the gates of hell would not prevail or overcome His Church. So, is it appropriate for us to worry about it?


Matthew 16:18 (NIV)

18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.


Jesus said it was His church, not ours. He is the head, not us. It is by His power that the church will overcome the gates of hell, not ours. Yes, there is trouble in the American Church. Many are struggling with their very foundations, the Bible itself. But today, I choose to focus on the promises of God that teach us that the true Church of Jesus Christ cannot fail, because it operates under the supernatural power of Jesus Christ.


I feel fortunate to live in Anderson County, Kentucky. Some think we’re 20 years behind the times on many of the social issues of our day, but sometimes it’s more profitable to be behind than up front. I suppose that would depend on what’s in front of you. Jesus told us that the end will bring about a great reversal. I want you to notice the context of Jesus’ announcement of the coming great reversal:


Mark 10:28-31 (NIV)

28 Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!" 29 "I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first."


The first are going to be last and the last are going to first. Those who had lived unto themselves and this world will become last and those who lived unto Christ and for His Gospel will suddenly be first. The great reversal.


Someone told me recently that Anderson County has more than 70 churches to meet the needs of its 22,000 residents. 70 churches sound like a lot until you divide it by 22,000 people. I grew up here in Anderson County and I know many of the pastors and preachers from those more than 70 churches. Overall, I have found them to be reliable men of God, that are exactly at the right place at exactly the right time in human history.


Today, rather than complaining about the troubles all around us...I choose to be thankful for the faithful churches in Anderson County. I am honored to stand with those faithful Anderson County churches that still believe that we’re in exactly the right place at exactly the right time, even if many in the culture say we are far behind.


    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe the Bible is the very Word of God.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe the Bible is our only physical source of absolute truth.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe that there was a flood in the time of Noah when God brought judgment upon the earth.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe God is the only source of life and He sustains our present life by the power of His Word.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe that we were not born unto ourselves, we do not now live unto ourselves and we will not die unto ourselves...all three were, and are, of God.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe the truth that there is a heaven for the redeemed and a hell for the lost.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe the Holy Spirit ultimately reveals the Truth through the Word of God, not the culture.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe that preaching and living the gospel message of Christ is the most loving thing we can ever do for someone.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe that sin is still sin, and we admit freely that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe that the truthful acknowledgment of our sin and the opportunity to repent of that sin is the grace of God...a very wonderful-powerful gift.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe that God doesn’t want anyone to perish, but that everyone should come to life saving repentance.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe that things might get tough for the church in these last days as we stand upon the Word of God and refuse to go along with the culture.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe that surrendering the Bible would be equal to surrendering our faith in Jesus as our Savior and King.

    I gladly stand with the more than 70 Anderson County churches today that still believe that those who stand firm till the end, stand firm on the Word until the end, will be saved.


Revelation 3:10-11 (NIV)

10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.


Yes, I want to be in Kentucky when the end comes, surrounded by those faithful Christians that will never surrender their faith in God. They will not deny the Name of Jesus or His Holy Word.


Revelation 3:7-8 (NIV)

7 "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about Another Power

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

I was reading recently from Romans chapter 7 and noticed a unique phrase in the NLT translation. The phrase was “another power”.


Romans 7:23 (NLT)

23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.


The Greek word actually translates “a different or another law”. Either way, the meaning of this verse is the same...there is a powerful force at work in our world, the powerful law of sin and death. This “powerful law” is “another power” and it is at war with the mind of the believer and with God himself.


Do you recognize this other power? Do you acknowledge this different law? A power and a law that stands in direct opposition to the power and law of God. This other power that the Apostle Paul refers to wants to make us slaves to sin...leading us to certain death, by taking us away from God. Yes, there is “another power” at work in our world today.

This power is within us. It is inside us. It lives within our very nature...wanting to enslave us. That’s why Paul writes this in the very next verse:


Romans 7:24 (NLT)

24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?


There is “another power” at work in the world today. A great power that can enslave even the strongest of men. That’s why Paul asks the question...Who will free me from this life that is dominated by the power of sin and death? Is there a way to break this dark power and find the light of true freedom?


First, we must acknowledge the war for truth that rages in our minds and then allow the truth to identify this dark power that would make us slaves to sin and death...it is Satan.


Secondly, we must find the truth that reveals a power that is greater than the power of Satan. A power that can set people free from sin and death, breaking the chains that would have enslaved them.


The Apostle Paul was an amazing man, but he willingly admitted that he was not powerful enough to overcome the sin that was at war within his own mind. Paul acknowledged his miserable condition. He was chained by sin and death...chained by “another power”.


Is there a power greater than Satan? Jesus himself asked that question in the Gospel of Mark:


Mark 3:27 (NLT)

27 Let me [Jesus] illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.


Do you think you have enough power within yourself to enter Satan’s house (this present world) and tie him up? Jesus calls Satan a strong man, acknowledging his power. But Jesus also acknowledges “ANOTHER POWER”, a “DIVINE POWER” greater than Satan. Jesus tells us that He has the power to bind Satan, to tie him up and plunder his goods. How? How does Jesus tie up Satan? How does Jesus plunder Satan’s house and how can that set us free?


Paul acknowledged his weakness, the war that raged in his mind, yes! But Paul also acknowledged his strength, a strength that comes from “ANOTHER POWER”, a power beyond himself. The Power of the Holy Spirit! The Power of Christ living inside the heart of a believer.


Romans 8:9-11 (NLT)

9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.


If you are a child of God...You have the strong man Jesus living inside you. Jesus has entered the strong man Satan’s world and is plundering his goods as we speak. Jesus is redeeming people from the bondage of sin and death, taking back that which was stolen by the deceptive dark power of Satan.


How can we find this divine power? By faith! By receiving the truth, by faith. This truth is not just a set of rules or ideology. This Truth has a name. This Truth is a person, the person of Jesus Christ. By faith, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and the Strong Man Jesus moves inside our lives. He reigns in our hearts as King and in that role, He is able to plunder Satan’s and tie him up. James describes it this way:


James 4:7-10 (NLT)

7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. 


Come close to God today and receive this life changing freedom and power of Christ. Today, I pray that we will all be strong enough to overcome the power of sin and death. But I also pray that we are strong enough to overcome something else...I pray that we might be the generation that experiences this power as well.


Luke 21:36 (NLT)

36 Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” JESUS CHRIST


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from terry about the beginning and the end

Tuesday, november 27, 2018

Do you believe in a beginning, specifically this beginning? 


Genesis 1:1 (NIV)

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.


Do you believe there was a worldwide flood, a judgment of God that brought an end to all life on earth, except those on the ark of Noah?


Genesis 6:13 (NIV)

13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.


You could describe these two Genesis events as the beginning and the end. God created everything and then God brought judgment upon everything when it began to rain. Do you believe in the beginning and the end?


There is a specific reason for my question today. I’ve found that more and more Christians are struggling with these two scenes from Genesis. More and more churches are ignoring the Genesis account of creation and the Genesis account of the flood...the beginning and the end.


Did you know that the Apostle Peter wrote about this happening in the last days? Peter prophesied that people would specifically scoff and mock these two Genesis events (creation and the flood). Did you know that?


2 Peter 3:3-7 (NIV)

3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.


The last day’s scoffers will mock or deny four specific events that are all related to the beginning and the end.

  1.     They will say...Where is the return of Christ that was promised?
  2.     They will deliberately forget or overlook the fact that God’s Word created the heavens and the earth in the beginning.
  3.     They will deliberately forget or overlook the fact that God judged the world with a worldwide flood in the time of Noah.
  4.     They will deliberately deny that this present heaven and earth are going to receive a future judgment of fire by denying the judgment of water in Noah’s day.

Do you believe in the beginning and the end? Do you scoff at the Genesis account of creation? Do you scoff God’s judgment in the day of Noah when only 8 people were saved? Does it matter as long as we believe in Jesus? There is a great danger in becoming a last day’s scoffer! Why, because Jesus quotes the beginning and the end and Jesus is the beginning and the end. Jesus quotes and validates the very events that the scoffers refute.


Matthew 24:35-39 (NIV)

35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.


Do you believe Jesus? Jesus clearly announces that this present heaven and earth are going to pass away (vs 35). It will happen like it did in the days of Noah. It will be a normal day and people will be doing normal things and suddenly...God’s judgment will come. They were swept away in the time of Noah and many will be swept away in the future judgment of God. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.


So, what should we do about this beginning and the end. My first piece of advice is “Don’t be a last day’s scoffer”. Stand on the truth of God’s Word... Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.


Secondly...no one knows the day or the hour that Jesus will return, but God’s Word tells us to keep watch as though it could happen at any moment. But there is one more part that I want to close with regarding the beginning and the end.

God is not late, and Jesus is not slow in coming...or keeping His promise to come back to earth. The same prophesy of Peter that announces the scoffers also announces the mercy and patience of God.


2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.


God doesn’t want anyone to perish. He wants to save us. We are living in the time of God’s patience, between the beginning and the end. We are living in God’s “wait a minute moment of love”...giving time for the gospel to be preached so that people will believe and turn to God in repentance. But know this truth...do not ignore this truth:


2 Peter 3:10-12 (NIV)

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.


And one more thing...just in case your struggling with the authority of Scriptures. Jesus is the Word and the Word is Jesus. When Jesus returns in glory His title will be “The Word of God”. The final chapter in Revelation makes the beginning and the end quite clear to all who will stop scoffing and believe.


Revelation 22:12-13 (NIV)

12 "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about Thanksgiving

Monday, November 19, 2018

Many Americans associate the Thanksgiving holiday with turkey and football. I will admit that I like both turkey and football, but that will not be my emphasis this Thursday. I usually like to take this time to reflect upon my past...so, I will do that today. 


My Thanksgiving childhood memories always go back to my grandparent’s house. Arthur and Alice Cooper’s house was the place to be for the holidays. The table was full of wonderful food and the house was full of wonderful people. I don’t remember any quarrels there (even though I’m sure there were some). I can only remember laughter, joy and family. Yes, we had to eat on the steps or on that little card table in the back room, but we didn’t care.


I can only remember missing two Thanksgiving’s there. I was away in the Army, and I can tell you that Thanksgiving wasn’t the same without grandma’s house. After my time away in the military, I came home to resume our Thanksgiving traditions. Even as an adult and even after I married, those Thanksgivings at grandma’s house were wonderful to me.


Time marches on and years go by. My grandfather died, and grandma continued the Thanksgiving tradition the best she could and then she died. Their house has since sold, and strangers live there now. Is this the point in my story that your sorry you’ve read this far? Then you don’t know my story!


We are believers! I come from a long line of believers! We believe in Jesus Christ. We believe in the resurrection of the dead into eternal life. Let me be more specific. I believe that my grandparents’ souls were taken into Paradise the moment they died. Carried by angels into the very presence of God. I also believe that one day Jesus will return to receive His bride, the church. On that day the buried bodies of my grandparents will rise from their earthy graves. Jesus is going to bring back with Him those believers who have died (their souls) and their souls will enter into their risen/recreated/immortal fleshly bodies that they will live in for all eternity.


1 Thessalonians 4:14-16 (NLT)

14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. 15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.


That in itself would be glorious enough, but there is a “next verse” for those who are still alive when that trumpet blows. The next verse describes how we who are still alive will also enter into this glorious resurrection as Jesus transforms our mortal bodies into eternal/immortal flesh as we rise, joining my grandparents to meet the Lord in the clouds.


1 Thessalonians 4:17 (NLT)

17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.


Together with them...Thanksgiving with them, forever Thanksgiving with them! This is my Thanksgiving. Is it yours? It can be and will be for those who truly believe in Jesus Christ. There is one more verse for today...another next verse.


1 Thessalonians 4:18 (NLT)

18 So encourage each other with these words.


Did it work? Are you encouraged by these words? These Words are from God and He always keeps His Word. Together with them...I can’t wait! One day it will happen. It will happen suddenly, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, everything will change...forever. The old will pass away and God will make everything new. This is my Thanksgiving. This is my expectancy, and this is my future. Together with them! 


Happy Thanksgiving!

Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about the Gentile Leper

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Book of Leviticus describes the way of God to make a man with leprosy clean so that he might join the assembly of God. Leprosy makes a person “unclean” and that person was refused entry into the assembly until he could be made clean through obedience to the Law of God, given through Moses.


Leviticus 14:1-7 (NASB)

1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing. Now he shall be brought to the priest, 3 and the priest shall go out to the outside of the camp. Thus the priest shall look, and if the infection of leprosy has been healed in the leper, 4 then the priest shall give orders to take two live clean birds and cedar wood and a scarlet string and hyssop for the one who is to be cleansed. 5 "The priest shall also give orders to slay the one bird in an earthenware vessel over running water. 6 "As for the live bird, he shall take it together with the cedar wood and the scarlet string and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the live bird in the blood of the bird that was slain over the running water. 7 "He shall then sprinkle seven times the one who is to be cleansed from the leprosy and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the live bird go free over the open field.


This was the only way for a leper to be made clean. This was the only way for a leper to come into the camp, into the assembly of God’s people. Do you see the shadow? Not yet?


The priest would sacrifice the first bird over running water. He would then dip the second bird into the water and the blood. The water and the blood of the first bird would cleanse and purify the second bird. The priest would then take that blood and water and sprinkle it seven times over the man with leprosy...making him ceremonially clean so that he might enter the assembly of God. Life for life. Blood for blood. Now, do you see the shadow? Not yet?


Some 600 years later...two men will appear in the Holy Scriptures...Elisha and Naaman. Elisha is a Jewish prophet and Naaman is a Syrian military commander who has leprosy. The Gentile leper called Naaman is going to have an encounter with the Jewish prophet Elisha. Naaman has heard that Elisha has the power to heal his leprosy...so Naaman travels to see if it is true.


2 Kings 5:9-10 (NLT)

9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.


Do you see the shadow yet? Seven time in running water. Not yet? Naaman was reluctant at first, even angry, but finally agreed to follow the prophet’s instructions upon the urging of his own people.


2 Kings 5:13-14 (NLT)

13 But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” 14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child’s, and he was healed!


Do you see the shadow yet? Not yet? I’ll give you one more chance. Jesus comes on the scene some 900 years after Elisha. At the age of 30, He is baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River (hint-hint) and returns to His hometown of Nazareth. He goes to the Jewish synagogue, opens up the Isaiah Scripture and tells the people that He is the fulfillment to Isaiah’s prophesy of the coming Messiah. Then He says this to the Jews that were assembled that day:


Luke 4:27 (NLT)

27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian [a Gentile].”


That’s my last clue! Do you see the shadow of the two birds? Do you see the shadow of the running water and the seven times? Do you see the way for an unclean person to be made clean so that they might join the assembly of God?

Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the running water of the Jordan River, the same river that Naaman was cleansed in. John the Baptist was from the priestly family of Aaron. Jesus’ baptism was a symbol of his coming death and burial. Jesus is not a bird, but it wasn’t birds that needed to be cleansed...it was all mankind, and yes even Gentiles like Naaman. Blood for blood, life for life.


We are all spiritual lepers, unable to enter the presence of God because we are unclean. God has made a way for us to be cleansed, purified, made holy and He revealed it through the shadows of the Law, Elisha, Naaman and the people at that synagogue in Nazareth. All of these shadows reveal the way to be made clean and join the assembly of God.


Hebrews 10:1-7 (NLT2)

1 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. 3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer. 6 You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin. 7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God— as is written about me in the Scriptures.’”


The blood and the water...they testify of the cleansing power of Jesus Christ. The blood and the water reveal the Son of God, our Messiah, our King.


1 John 5:6-8 (NLT)

6 And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony. 7 So we have these three witnesses— 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree.


Rejoice today that we have been made clean by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord. By faith, we will enter the assembly of God. The shadow has been overshadowed by His glory and now we know the Truth.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about The Election

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Today is election day in America and many people are anxious about the outcome. Should Christians be anxious about this election. I believe all Christians should vote and we should vote with the wisdom provided by the Holy Spirit. Then what? What if the outcome brings trouble and even more division to our land? What if the outcome brings more godlessness or persecution to the church. These are questions that I hear, and I would like to address them today. 


First, let me begin with the Book of Daniel. That book reveals the truth that God has already seen all the kingdoms of men. Yes, all of them. God reveals this truth to Daniel and then announces His absolute sovereignty over all earthly kingdoms.


Daniel 4:17 (NIV)

17 "'The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.'


This announcement of the sovereignty of God over the kingdoms of men is made 4 times in the Book of Daniel. The Apostle Paul confirms God’s sovereignty over human governments in the New Testament as well.


Romans 13:1-2 (NIV)

1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.


Yes, we have a voice, and yes, we should exercise that voice by voting. But know this...God is still sovereign, and God already knows the outcome before the votes are counted. Nothing will happen today outside the control of our Heavenly Father. Nothing will happen that surprises Him.


That brings me to the more important question of today. Do you realize that our lives will cast an eternal ballot with far greater consequences than anything that will happen in America today? Do you realize that? Jesus tells us about this eternal ballot regarding a King that will be cast by all mankind. Remember, Jesus is telling this story...


Luke 19:12-14 (NIV)

12 He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.' 14 "But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.'


They didn’t want this man of noble birth (Jesus) to be their king. But He became a King anyway. They couldn’t stop it...He became a King anyway. They voted against Him, but He became the King anyway because God the Father is sovereign over all kingdoms. Then what?


The King (Jesus) gave everyone in the kingdom a gift. They were all free to do whatever they chose to do with that gift, but the gift came with a promise that one day the King would come and begin to reign in absolute power and authority.


Some of the people saw the King for who He was and cast their ballots with Him and His kingdom. Others refused to see the King for who He was and cast their ballots against Him. But everyone cast their ballots. Everyone was free to vote yes or no for this King.


After a long time, the King returns to the kingdom of men to set up His eternal kingdom. The day of inauguration came. And yes, it did matter how they voted. Everyone had voted yes or no for this King.


The people who supported the King and cast their ballots for Him were given great rewards in the eternal kingdom. But the people who refused to cast their ballot with this King lost everything and were cast out of the eternal kingdom.


Luke 19:26-27 (NIV)

26 "He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me.'"


There is an election campaign taking place today that is far greater than the one that is taking place in voting booths around America. This election is worldwide, and it is an election with eternal consequences. Who will be your King?


Yes, Christians should vote today in America and No, Christians should not be anxious about the outcome because we have already cast our ballot for the King of kings. That ballot has secured our place in the eternal Kingdom of Christ.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about Doubt

Monday, October 29, 2018

Have you ever had moments of doubt regarding your faith in Jesus and the promise of the resurrection of the dead? Have you ever had moments of doubt regarding the authority and accuracy of the Bible? Is doubt a sin? Do real believers have times of doubt? I want to address these questions today.


Yes, we all have moments of doubt and yes, we all have to deal with this issue from time to time. Doubt is NOT unbelief! Doubt is a time of pause and question. Unbelief is the final outcome of a person’s heart regarding truth. Moments of doubt are natural, yes even to a believer. So, what is the danger of doubt? Doubt left untreated can result in “unbelief” and unbelief is fatal.


2 Thessalonians 2:10 (NLT)

10 He [Satan] will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them.


I think the best example of this struggle is written in the final days of John the Baptist. Jesus proclaimed that of all men born of women, none were greater than John the Baptist. Did you know John had doubts about Jesus being the One? This is the same John that was born of a supernatural birth and this is the same John that was filled with the Holy Spirit while in his mother’s womb. This is the same John that baptized Jesus and saw the Spirit descend and heard the voice of God speak. But John also had a moment of doubt.


John’s moment came while he was suffering in Herod’s prison cell. The Bible records his moment of doubt.


Matthew 11:2-3 (NIV)

2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"


What? How could John ask such a question? Prison will do that to a person. Hardship will do that to a person...make you question and doubt that which you previously held to be truth. John had lived his entire life with the presence of the Holy Spirit and yet he still finds himself in the midst of doubt while he suffers in prison.


John’s followers were faithful to his request and they went to ask Jesus the question, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus could have answered that question in many ways, but He chose to answer it like this:


Matthew 11:4-5 (NIV)

4 Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.


It’s called the TRUTH and it cures doubt 100% of the time. Jesus told Johns disciples to remind him of the truth. The blind can see because of Jesus. The lame can walk because of Jesus. The lepers are cured because of Jesus. The deaf can hear because of Jesus. The dead are raised because of Jesus. The Good News is being preached because of Jesus. All this is because of Jesus! Do you know any other man that can do all that? No, and neither did John the Baptist.


Today, I want to encourage you to hold onto the truth because it always cures our doubts. Today, I want to encourage you to hold fast and hold tight to the Word of God, the Bible. It records the truth about Jesus that can overcome our times of suffering and hardship. Yes, even a stay in prison for speaking about that truth.


John was a great man of God, but John was still a man. Herod’s prison had caused him to doubt that which he once held to be true. The truth was the cure then and the truth is the cure today and the Bible is God’s revealed Truth.

Finally, Jesus appeared to two men on the Emmaus Road after His resurrection. These men were also filled with doubt because they thought the cross was the end. It was in the midst of their doubt that Jesus suddenly appears to them with this Word...


Luke 24:37-39 (NIV)

37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."


The cross of Christ is real, and our sins have been forgiven through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Jesus experienced a bodily resurrection from the dead and through faith we will also experience a bodily resurrection into His eternal kingdom one day. These are truths and they still have power over our moments of doubt.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

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A Word from Terry about True Freedom

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

It’s been several years now, but I used to do an annual revival service at the Woodford County Jail. That jail is not just a short-term facility, but there are people there that have incarcerated for many years. I will never forget this one guy that I met there. We would often stop the service and ask if anyone wanted to share a testimony. On that particular night, this man stood up and gave a testimony that I have never forgotten. It began with this, “I praise God tonight that I’m in prison”. I was a bit stunned by his statement until he continued and explained. 


The young man went on to explain that it was in prison that he had heard the gospel of Christ, and that he would have never heard about Jesus where he came from. He said, “There was no Jesus in my family or in my circle of friends.” This young man had come to understand “True Freedom”. True Freedom is not based on circumstances or environment, but on our eternal position before God. This man realized that all these prison years would be worth it...because it was in prison that he heard the Good News of Jesus Christ. I remember telling him that I believed he was freer than many people on the outside that night.


This Good News is good news wherever and however you hear it, yes, even in prison. Yes, even in terrible circumstances. Why? Because the gospel tells us how to remove the ultimate chain of sin and death. These chains are larger than any prison cell. Removing these chains (sin and death) is True Freedom and this freedom is the only way to make peace with God.


Romans 6:7-11 (NLT)

7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.


I doubt I will ever meet that Woodford County prisoner again in this lifetime, but I hope to meet him again one day in the eternal kingdom of Christ. Today, I encourage each of you to think about the True Freedom we have received through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. There is an incredible peace that comes with this True Freedom. Peace with God and peace within our own heart. Paul writes about this incredible peace that comes after we experience True Freedom. Think about this...Paul wrote these words from prison...


Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about the Sudden Veil

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar...it is the Day of Atonement. Yom Kippur is a shadow or a preview of Judgment Day when each of us will face the glory of God that is behind the veil. On Judgment Day, all will be sealed and final. Yom Kippur reveals the urgent need to deal with sin before we confront the veil, the very presence of God.


All sin is rebellion against God and sin will not be allowed beyond the veil. Sin will not, and cannot enter the holy presence of God. Sin must be dealt with before we approach the veil. Those who have not dealt with sin through the atonement sacrifice (thus the name-Day of Atonement) will forever be separated from God in a place called hell. If a person rejects God’s atonement, that person has chosen to not go beyond the veil...forever.


The Bible tells us that Jesus is our Day of Atonement, our atoning sacrifice for sin. He is our payment for sin and He is the only way for any of us to proceed beyond the veil into the Holy presence of God. But there is another part of this story that must be told. The time to deal with sin is urgent. The time to deal with this atonement of Christ is today. The Old Testament Jewish High priest was required to secure the blood of the lamb (an animal sacrifice) before he approached the veil. He could only enter the Holy Place of God’s presence after he had secured the blood of the lamb. This was the only way to pass through the veil. This is still true today. We must secure the blood of the lamb before we approach the veil.


The veil is sudden! This is the other part of the story...the Sudden Veil. No one knows when they will be called to God’s judgment. No one knows when they will be required to approach the veil. We don’t know when we will breath our final breath and we also don’t know when the trumpet will sound to call the church through the veil. But we do know that both are coming. The Apostle Paul describes it as “a flash” or “in the twinkling of an eye” ...the Sudden Veil.


1 Corinthians 15:50-52 (NIV)

50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed- 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 


Jesus told us to not let that day of the Sudden Veil catch us unaware, like a trap. That day is coming upon everyone living on the earth.


Luke 21:34-36 (NLT)

34 “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, 35 like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. 36 Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”


We must have the Blood of the Lamb with us before we approach the Sudden Veil. There will be no more chances after we approach the veil. Jesus is our atoning sacrifice and Jesus is the only way to pass through this veil. In fact, the veil was torn as Jesus shed His blood on the cross.


Finally, do you know what Jewish holiday follows Yom Kippur? The Feast of Tabernacles! The Feast of Tabernacles is for those who successfully encountered the Sudden Veil. The Feast of Tabernacles represents our eternal home in heaven, beyond the veil. We will tabernacle with God (to dwell with, live with). All of this awaits us beyond the Sudden Veil.


Revelation 21:3 (NLT)

3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.  


St. Augustine said, “The last day is hidden that every day may be regarded”.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about the Rebellion

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Apostle Paul was given a unique and special look into the future of all mankind, including the last days. God revealed mysteries to Paul that had been previously hidden.


Ephesians 3:3-5 (NLT)

3 As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. 4 As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. 5 God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.


One of these mysteries revealed by God was regarding the apostasy or rebellion that would occur in the last days, revealing the antichrist (man of lawlessness) and bringing the return of Christ to this earth. The NASB version of the Bible uses the word “apostasy” and the NIV/NLT translations use the word “rebellion”. The word means, “to depart from one’s stand or state of standing”. By the way, its difficult to depart from something that you’ve never stood upon...which means this rebellion will come from within the church.


2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (NLT)

1 Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him. 2 Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. 3 Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion [APOSTASY] against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. 4 He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.


Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica is clearly talking about events that will lead up to the return of Christ in the final days of man...when everything will change. Paul, under special revelation from the Lord, said that day (the coming of the Lord) would not come until there was a rebellion (apostasy). Paul also revealed this same topic in his letter to Timothy.


1 Timothy 4:1-2 (NLT)

1 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.


These people will abandon and turn away from true faith and follow demons. So, what are these people rebelling against? What are these people departing from that will bring the antichrist and the return of Jesus Christ in the last days? God revealed the last days apostasy/rebellion to Paul, but what are they actually rebelling against? What are these people turning their backs on, falling away from? Do you know? Do you think it’s important to know?

I’ve always found it interesting and powerful that the Old and New Testaments begin in the same way. Do you know what the key words are? “GOD SAID...THE WORD”.


Genesis 1:3-5 (NLT)

3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.


John 1:1-5 (NLT)

1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.


The Word (God said) is the beginning of the Old Testament/Covenant and The Word is the beginning of the New Testament/Covenant. The Word actually became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ and moved from heaven to earth. The Word says that Jesus will return one day and His name on that day will be “The Word of God” (Revelation 19:13). So, what do you suppose the rebellion will rebel against in the last days of man? The Word...God said!

Paul told Timothy that they would turn away from the true faith in the last days...setting the world stage for the man of lawlessness to be revealed and take control. Is it possible to have true faith without the Word of God? The Bible says that true faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).


I am watching this rebellion take place in our generation. I’m watching church after church rebel against the authority of Scripture, turning away from the Word, the Truth. Every week I read a new story about another church that has rejected the authority of Scripture and turned to the deceptive teaching of demons. These are churches that have previously stood upon the authority of Scripture, but now they stand in the midst of the apostasy, the rebellion.


So, what do we do? Is there any hope? God gave this special revelation to Paul and Paul has revealed it to the world. It’s unstoppable! Right? It’s going to happen in the last days! Right? Yes, it’s going to happen and yes, the final days rebellion is unstoppable, but you don’t have to be a part of the rebellion. You can be a part of the resistance and stand upon the Word of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Take this personal Word from Jesus as your encouragement today:


Matthew 24:9-14 (NLT)

9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.


We MUST NOT rebel against the Word of God/God says. We MUST be those who endure to the end. We MUST be a people of THE WORD and by doing so...we refuse to join the apostasy of these last days. Yes, we will face opposition. This is a spiritual war, and this is a battle for life and death that finds its origin in the heavenly realms. This battle will have eternal consequences. Our only offensive weapon in this battle is a Sword. But this Sword is very powerful. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God...put it on and stand your ground church!


Ephesians 6:14-17 (NLT)

14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about the Priest King

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

I was reading today from Jonathan Cahn’s book “The Book of Mysteries” when I came across something that I would like to share and expand upon. Most of you are aware that Jesus is from the lineage of King David and the angel Gabriel told Mary that Jesus was going to sit on David’s throne one day and reign over the house of Jacob/Israel forever. Jesus is indeed the King of all kings. But there is another part to Jesus that many still do not understand. Jesus is also a High Priest. This is where Jonathan Cahn helps put it into a modern perspective. 


The people of Israel operated under the authority of both, the King and the Priest, but their roles were kept separate. No man was allowed to wear both crowns (king and priest). Do you know why? The true King of Israel was not a man, but God. So, the reigning King of Israel (example King David) operated under the ordained authority of Israel’s true King-God. On the other hand, Israel also had a High Priest who also operated under the ordained authority of God. The true King of Israel...God, was the Judge and the Jewish High Priest was something of a defense attorney standing before the Judge. The High Priest would offer sacrifices or offerings to cover the sin and guilt of the people (standing between the people and the Judge. But the two offices were kept separate.


Then God did something amazing. He announced it through the prophet Zechariah. God was going to combine these the two roles into one person....Jesus! Jesus was coming to be the King and the High Priest, ordained and appointed by the authority of God the Father.


Zechariah 6:12-13 (NLT)

12 Tell him, ‘This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Here is the man called the Branch. He will branch out from where he is and build the Temple of the LORD. 13 Yes, he will build the Temple of the LORD. Then he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne, and there will be perfect harmony between his two roles.’

The Judge (the King) and the Defense Attorney (High Priest) were going to become the same person. The person that has the power and authority to sentence and judge us has now become the person who will defend us. How incredible is this scene?


Let me put it this way...we have all sinned and broken God’s laws. We are all guilty and we will all one day stand before the King, our Judge. God knew that we would not survive this righteous judgment, so He appointed a High Priest to come to our defense. What do you think will happen when our Judge and the Defense attorney become the same person? Paul describes the outcome of this divine merger of roles.


Romans 8:31-34 (NLT)

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.


This is almost too wonderful to comprehend. God is for us! He proved it by sending His only Begotten Son to become our Defense Attorney (High Priest). Who will accuse us on the last day if our Judge and Defense Attorney are the same person...the One and Only Jesus?


Big Question and Summary...How do we receive this wonderful, blessed gift of God? We receive it by faith and only by faith. We must truly believe that Jesus is indeed who He says He is. He is the King and the Priest. Saving faith is when Jesus becomes MY King and MY Priest. When He becomes mine, then I become His! The Holy Spirit makes us as one (brothers with the same Father). And it is the power of the Holy Spirit that sets us free from the power of sin and death. Therefore we no longer live in fear and dread regarding our last day.


Romans 8:1-4 (NLT)

1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.


Our Priestly King has set us free from the power of sin that leads to death. We are free from condemnation, free from the eternal judgment of hell. I can’t imagine a “good news” that is bigger than this good news.


Celebrate and share this wonderful gift of God through Jesus Christ the Son.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about Firstfruits

Tuesday, September 26, 2018

God has commanded everything that has the breath of life to be fruitful, to bear fruit while they live on the earth. God told the animals to be fruitful and multiply in Genesis one and God told Noah to be fruitful and multiply in Genesis nine (after the flood). But something was added to this “fruitful life” in the time of Moses. The command of God became a command of “FIRSTFRUITS” by bringing the first of their harvest before the Lord. Later in the time of King Hezekiah we read this: 


2 Chronicles 31:5 (NIV)

5 As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything.


In the time of Moses, God was opening the eyes of Israel to something beyond fruitfulness to something called “firstfruits”. This transformed the fruitful command of God from something physical to something spiritual. The giving of the firstfruits would require a change in one’s heart, not just a physical act of multiplication. And then something BIG happens! Jesus comes to the earth as God places His Holy Seed in the womb of a woman. This Holy Seed was going to bring forth the ultimate firstfruits of God. The seed of God-the Son of God would spend some 33 years on the earth and then die on a Roman cross. That seed, the body of Christ (God in the flesh) was planted in the ground outside Jerusalem’s gates. Do you know what day that seed rose from the dead? One the Jewish Feast of Firstfruits! Can you imagine what this means?


This physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is also a spiritual revelation of God regarding firstfruits. Do you see it yet? The Apostle Paul reveals this spiritual mystery...


1 Corinthians 15:20 (NIV)

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.


Jesus was the first to rise from the dead, but He was not going to be the last. He was the firstfruits of those who follow Him into the resurrection. Jesus ascended into heaven to take his rightful place at God’s right hand, but the Holy Spirit now reigns in the hearts of those born again believers who remain on this earth. And do you know what the fruit of the Holy Spirit is?


Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


Maybe you can see the fruit or result of the Holy Spirit, but what does that have to do with firstfruits? You and I have been born again through faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit then brings these holy fruits into our lives and guess what happens next.


Next is the firstfruits. Do you see it yet? You and I have been called to become fruitful, to bear the fruits of God where they have never been born. We do this by taking the firstfruits that we have received from the Holy Spirit to a person/place where they have never been born yet...into the heart of an unbeliever. For example, one of the fruits of the Spirit is peace, but a person can never know the true peace until they know about the firstfruits of the resurrection. When we proclaim the Gospel of Christ we are bearing fruits that can become firstfruits in the hearts of an unbeliever. Believers have already received the firstfruits of the resurrection (which is Christ in me) but now we bear that fruitfulness to others as firstfruits because they do not yet have them.


This is the purpose of the Gospel. The church has been called to bear fruit, the firstfruits for the kingdom of Christ. We do this by releasing the light of the gospel in to the darkness of this present world. The Light becomes the Firstfruits of God harvest as it spreads and multiplies in the hearts of unbelievers. Remember, there was a time that someone released the firstfruits into our lives.


Ephesians 5:8-14 (NIV)

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."


Rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you. How will they rise from the dead without the Light that reveals the firstfruits of the resurrection? And how will they rise unless someone takes the fruit of the Spirit to that place where it has not yet been planted?


Our calling of God is to be fruitful and multiply...where there is no fruit, no love, no joy, no peace, no patience, no kindness, no goodness, no faithfulness and no self-control...What do we do? We show up with the Light of the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit and bear Jesus’ firstfruits.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen.

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about Ronald Reagan’s Letter

Monday, September 17, 2018

My “word” today will be different than usual. A very personal, hand-written letter from President Ronald Reagan to his dying father-in-law was uncovered recently and published. I was moved by the letter and referred to it in my NCC message yesterday. I thought it would be good to share the entire letter with you today. This letter was written on August 7, 1982...about 1.5 years after he became President of the United States. It was written to President Reagan’s dying and atheist father-in law, Dr. Loyal. The letter itself is self-explanatory:


Aug. 7 [1982]

Dear Loyal,

I hope you’ll forgive me for this, but I’ve been wanting to write you ever since we talked on the phone. I am aware of the strain you are under and believe with all my heart there is help for that.


First I want to tell you of a personal experience I’ve kept to myself for a long time. During my first year as Governor you’ll recall the situation I found in Calif. was almost as bad as the one in Wash. today. It seemed as if the problems were endless and insolvable.


Then I found myself with an ulcer. In all those years at Warner Bros., no one had been able to give me an ulcer and I felt ashamed as if it were a sign of weakness on my part. John Sharpe had me on Malox and I lived with a constant pain that ranged from discomfort to extremely sharp attacks.


This went on for months. I had a bottle of Maalox in my desk, my briefcase and of course at home. Then one morning I got up, went into the bathroom, reached for the bottle as always and some thing happened. I knew I didn’t need it. I had gone to bed with the usual pain the night before but I knew that morning I was healed. The Malox went back on the shelf.


That morning when I arrived at the office Helene brought me my mail. The first letter I opened was from a lady — a stranger — in the Southern part of the state. She had written to tell me she was one of a group who met every day to pray for me. Believe it or not, the second letter was from a man, again a stranger, in the other end of the state telling me he was part of a group that met weekly to pray for me.


Within the hour a young fellow from the legal staff came into my office on some routine matter. On the way out he paused in the door and said: “Gov. I think maybe you’d like to know — some of us on the staff come in early every morning and get together to pray for you.”


Coincidence? I don’t think so. A couple of weeks later Nancy and I went down to L.A. and had our annual checkup. John Sharpe, a little puzzled, told me I no longer had an ulcer but added there was no indication I’d ever had one. Word of honor — I never told him about that particular day in Sacramento.


There is a line in the bible — “Where ever two or more are gathered in my name there will I be also.”


Loyal I know of your feeling — your doubt but could I just impose on you a little longer? Some seven hundred years before the birth of Christ the ancient Jewish prophets predicted the coming of a Messiah. They said he would be born in a lowly place, would proclaim himself the Son of God and would be put to death for saying that.


All in all there were a total of one hundred and twenty three specific prophesy’s about his life all of which came true. Crucifixion was unknown in those times, yet it was foretold that he would be nailed to a cross of wood. And one of the predictions was that he would be born of a Virgin.


Now I know that is probably the hardest for you as a Dr. to accept. The only answer that can be given is — a miracle. But Loyal I don’t find that as great a miracle as the actual history of his life. Either he was who he said he was or he was the greatest faker & charlatan who ever lived. But would a liar & faker suffer the death he did when all he had to do to save himself was admit he’d been lying?


The miracle is that a young man of 30 yrs. without credentials as a scholar or priest began preaching on street corners. He owned nothing but the clothes on his back & he didn’t travel beyond a circle less than one hundred miles across. He did this for only 3 years and then was executed as a common criminal.


But for two thousand years he has … had more impact on the world than all the teachers, scientists, emperors, generals and admirals who ever lived, all put together.


The apostle John said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who so ever believed in him would not perish but have everlasting life.”


We have been promised that all we have to do is ask God in Jesus name to help when we have done all we can — when we’ve come to the end of our strength and abilities and we’ll have that help. We only have to trust and have faith in his infinite goodness and mercy.


Loyal, you and Edith have known a great love — more than many have been permitted to know. That love will not end with the end of this life. We’ve been promised this is only a part of life and that a greater life, a greater glory awaits us. It awaits you together one day and all that is required is that you believe and tell God you put yourself in his hands.


Love

Ronnie


I have no idea if President Reagan’s father-in-law ever received Christ as his Savior before he died. What I do know is this...President Reagan didn’t want his father-in-law to die without Christ, so he used his personal testimony to try to convince his father-in law to believe in Jesus as Messiah/Christ. All who have come to Christ by faith, like President Reagan have a personal testimony to share with those who do not yet believe in Jesus. It is not in our power to make them believe it, but it is in our power (through the Holy Spirit) to share our testimony with those who are dying without Christ as Savior and Lord.


Revelation 12:11 (NLT)

11 And they have defeated him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

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A Word from Terry about The Feast of Trumpets

Monday, September 10, 2018

Today, the Jews around the world will celebrate the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah. Today is the first day of the Jewish New Year 5779 (5779 years since God created the earth). It is customary for Jews to confess their sins and repent of those sins before God...before the New Year begins so they can begin the new year with a clean heart toward God.


I was watching a video recently of one of those Jewish gatherings at Jerusalem’s Western Wall where thousands and thousands of Jews were confessing and repenting of their sins (before Rosh Hashanah). I was moved by the scene of so many people crying out to God and I’ve attached a link to a 45 second video from this past week’s event in Jerusalem.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSLz0O_pVmA


Ten days after today’s Feast of Trumpets comes the highest of all Jewish Holy days...the Day of Atonement...or Yom Kippur. In the time of Moses the High Priest would enter the Most Holy Place of God’s presence and offer a blood sacrifice to atone for the sins of the people of Israel. The ten days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement are called the Days of Awe. It is the time of spiritual preparation...when the people return to God through repentance. Repentance is the physical and spiritual act of returning to God.


Isaiah 30:15 (NLT)

15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.


These are the Days of Awe because they will determine your position with God in relation to the Day of Atonement. Those who have confessed and repented of their sins will find peace with God on the Day of Atonement, but those who refuse to repent...will find His divine judgment instead of divine forgiveness and peace.


Jeremiah 3:21-22 (NLT)

21 Voices are heard high on the windswept mountains, the weeping and pleading of Israel’s people. For they have chosen crooked paths and have forgotten the LORD their God. 22 “My wayward children,” says the LORD, “come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.” “Yes, we’re coming,” the people reply, “for you are the LORD our God.


Most of the Jews in that Western Wall scene last week are still waiting for their Messiah. God is regathering them into the land of Israel from the four corners of the earth, but most of them still don’t believe in Jesus as Messiah. We believe the Jewish Messiah has already come and is coming again. We believe Jesus was the Messiah/Christ and that He was and is our Day of Atonement. In fact, Jesus was the fulfillment of all the spring feasts/festivals of Israel that were revealed by God to Moses.


  1.     Jesus was crucified and died on the Jewish feast of Passover
  2.     Jesus was buried on the Jewish feast of Unleavened Bread
  3.     Jesus rose from the dead on the Jewish feast of First Fruits
  4.     Jesus came to the earth in the form and person of the Holy Spirit on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost

These are the four spring feasts of Israel and they are followed by three fall feasts that begin today with the Feast of Trumpets. Will God use His Son, in some way, to fulfill these fall feasts? How will Jesus fulfill the next three Jewish feasts/festivals?

  1.     The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashana)
  2.     The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
  3.     The Feast of Tabernacles (Succot)

Nobody knows for sure, but I believe He will fulfill these remaining three feasts/festivals in some way. So, what does this all mean to the church in these last days? We should confess our sins before God and repent by turning or returning to Him. We don’t have to travel to the Western Wall of Jerusalem to do this. By God’s grace, we can do this anytime through repentance and faith in the name of Jesus Christ.


We live in the Days of Awe and we await the last trumpet and that final Day of Atonement when Jesus will come and tabernacle with each of us who have received His atoning blood sacrifice through faith.


Today, I join with the Jewish people around the world to celebrate the Feast of Trumpets. I am NOT waiting for the first coming of the Jewish Messiah. I am waiting for his second coming, and I am waiting for the sound of a trumpet.


1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 (NLT)

15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about the Straight Path

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I have prayed a specific prayer over my children since they were babies. I overheard my oldest son, Chad, praying that same specific prayer recently. The prayer was, “Make their path straight”. I prayed that prayer because the straight path is not a natural path. It’s always been interesting to me that people lost in the woods or wilderness will almost always end up walking in circles. I know it seems crazy, but its true. Even though the lost person feels like they are walking straight, they are inevitably leaning to one side or the other as they walk, making their path crooked. Maybe that person has one leg slightly shorter than the other, or the muscles in one leg are stronger than the other one, but they do not naturally walk a straight path.


Our journey through life can be compared to a wilderness journey and I want the straight path toward the Promised Land on the other side of this wilderness. We have all learned that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, a straight path, but this straight path is un-natural for man. The crooked path is natural, but it is the path of the lost and those who have not yet set their sights on the Promised Land.


There is an Old Testament Psalm of King David where he asks God to teach him how to walk this straight path...lead me on this straight path, knowing that it will bring him safety.


Psalm 27:11 (NIV)

11 Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.


The New Testament writer of Hebrews makes a similar statement.


Hebrews 12:12-13 (NLT2)

12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.


The straight path is my prayer for my children and grandchildren, even today. It is also the prayer for my own life. I don’t want my life to walk around in a circle, going nowhere. I want my life to be focused and filled with meaning every day. This is the straight path. If it is un-natural for us humans to walk a straight path, then how? We apply the supernatural, through the Spirit of Christ.


While our natural walking tendency is circular, God can give us eyes that can correct our physical imbalance and keep us centered. That is if our eyes remain focused on the destination. Those lost in the wilderness will walk a straight path out of that wilderness by keeping their eyes focused on a fixed object at their destination. This is our hope as well.


Colossians 3:1-4 (NLT2)

1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.


I encourage each of you today to take a new grip with your tired hands, strengthen your weak knees and set your sights on the realities of Heaven, our Promised Land. The power of the straight path is within your reach, but this only applies to those who have been raised to a new life in Christ because this straight path is supernatural.


Today, I encourage each of you to pray this prayer, “Make our path straight” and then fix your sights on the realities of heaven. Fix your eyes on the supernatural truth that our Redeemer and Lord Jesus sits at the right hand of God in heaven...waiting for the day that He will receive each of us straight path travelers into that Promised Land.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about Two Resurrections

Monday, August 13, 2018

You’ve heard it said, “Born once, die twice...Born twice, die once”. That saying is based on the fact that a born-again believer in Christ has two birthdays. The first birthday was their natural birth and their second birthday was the day they were born again (by water and by the Spirit). The Scripture promises that the born again will not experience the second death and they might even escape physical death altogether, if they are still alive when the Lord returns for His Church.


Revelation 20:6 (NIV)

6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.


The second death is the judgment of God upon those who have not been born again through faith in Jesus Christ. This second death judgment is hell and it is the place of the forever lost. This second death has no power over those who have part in the first resurrection. That must mean there are two resurrections, like there are two birthdays.


The born again promise of God is connected to the baptism of water and the Spirit in John chapter three and baptism is connected to dying to self and being buried (in water) with Christ.


John 3:5 (NIV)

5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.


Romans 6:3-7 (NIV)

3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.


The Bible says we are born again when we die to our self (spiritually speaking) and are buried with Christ in baptism...so our first resurrection (coming out of the water after being buried in baptism) is directly connected to our second birthday (born again in Christ). Is anyone confused yet?


The second death (judgment of hell) has no power over those who have experienced the first resurrection (those who have been born again). This also applies to the rapture of the church and those who will be resurrected from their graves (Christians who have already died) when Jesus returns for the church.


My Main Point today is very Good News...you don’t have to die twice, and you might not even have to die once. How great is this Good News! Jesus came and suffered our death and our judgment so that we could escape the second death called hell. Jesus rose from the dead and became the first of a great harvest (first fruits) of those who will follow Him into the resurrection of the dead.


1 Corinthians 15:20 (NIV)

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.


Do you believe this? It’s only good news if you believe it!


John 11:25-26 (NIV)

25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"


Never die...this is a reference to the second death. Well, do you believe this? Born again believers who have gone before us are guaranteed two resurrections. The first was the day they were born again by dying with Christ in baptism. The second will occur when the trumpet sounds at Jesus’ return for His bride, the church. The second resurrection belongs to those who have physically and spiritually died in Christ. But what about the believers who have been born again and are still alive when Jesus returns?


1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NIV)

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.


We will rise to meet the Lord in the air...without ever tasting physical death. We will rise that day because we have already experienced the first resurrection on our second birthday. Praise God for His wonderful gift of mercy and grace.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about Gideon and Faith

Monday, July 30, 2018

Gideon is listed in the Book of Hebrews hall of fame as a man of great faith. But that is not how Gideon’s story begins. Gideon’s faith journey began in the midst of fear and dread. The Midianites had invaded the land of Israel and Gideon was living in fear. Then something happened...God came to Gideon and God called Gideon to be something that he was not and something he would never be...unless God performs a miracle in Gideon’s life. God actually announces his miracle in Gideon in advance, while Gideon was still living in fear.


Judges 6:11-12 (NIV)

11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."


Gideon was not a mighty warrior...Gideon was hiding and afraid. God didn’t announce what Gideon was, but what Gideon was going to become...a mighty warrior. It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen. Gideon became what God had announced...a mighty warrior.


Gideon didn’t see it at first. All he could see was his terrible circumstances, his personal fear and weakness in light of these invading Midianites. Even though God had already proclaimed it...Gideon had not yet received God’s promise.


Judges 6:15 (NIV)

15 "But Lord," Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."


Gideon missed it at first and most of us do the same. The promise of God had already been made. The promise of what we would become was decided by God, in advance. God even announced how it would happen.


Judges 6:16 (NIV)

16 The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together."


We’ll do it together. Gideon wasn’t capable of becoming a mighty warrior on his own, but God was going to go with him. God was going to work through Gideon to accomplish his plan to free Israel from the invading Midianites.


There must have been a time in Gideon’s life when he finally got it...God is with me! This knowledge is called faith and faith is powerful. God is still calling Gideon’s today. God is still making promises today. His Word reveals the power of faith today.


John 14:15-18 (NIV)

15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.


And what is this command of Jesus...walk by faith. Walk under the authority and power of Christ. Allow Him to work His mighty power in your life, as He did through Gideon so many years ago.


God did not call Gideon a mighty warrior AFTER he defeated the Midianites, but before. God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity, but a spirit of power...not after we overcome, but before. It’s called faith and without faith it is impossible to please God.


Walk by faith church. Walk in confidence in the calling and presence of God in your life church. Walk in victory church, because it has already been guaranteed by Jesus himself.


Revelation 21:6-7 (NIV)

6 He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

A Word from Terry about a Stone in Jerusalem

Monday, July 23, 2018

I just finished a week of camp with 68 middle school kids. Our camp theme was “Out of the Darkness” and I used this Scripture from 1st Peter to teach the theme.


1 Peter 2:6 (NLT)

6 As the Scriptures say, “I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”


I would begin each camp teaching session by saying something like this...2000 years ago God placed a wonderful Stone in Jerusalem. The purpose of that Stone was to get you “Out of the Darkness”. We spent the entire week putting all the pieces of this “Sacred Jerusalem Stone” and “Out of the Darkness” together. As usual, I ended up learning more than I ended up teaching.


This is what I learned...God placed a Stone, a precious Cornerstone in Jerusalem some 2000 years ago...His name is Jesus. Some people have and will see the priceless value of this Jerusalem Stone and build their lives upon Him and His Word. Others have and will look at this Stone and reject it as insignificant and unable for life building. This is the story of all mankind. What will we do with that Stone that God placed in Jerusalem?


1 Peter 2:7-8 (NLT)

7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” 8 And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.


This Jerusalem Stone has tripped (caused them to stumble) a lot of people and this Jerusalem Stone has been the foundation or cornerstone for many people. How does it trip some and become the life foundation of others...there is only One Jerusalem Stone! Did you notice the reason for the tripping and stumbling? It’s real important to see what’s tripping so many people so that you will not stumble and fall because of this Jerusalem Stone. They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.


God’s Word is a Rock and people have and are stumbling over it. It’s a choice. You can stand on this Rock, this Word or you can trip over it. The Rock doesn’t move. The Word doesn’t change. There are many that want the Rock to move out of the way...clear the path. There are many that want to change the Word...so that it stops tripping people. But there is one problem with this idea. The Rock was placed there by God to call you “Out of the Darkness”. If a person rejects the Jerusalem Stone and the Word of God...they will remain in the darkness...forever. Peter describes believers as those who have accepted this Jerusalem Stone and build their lives on the Light of the Word.


1 Peter 2:9 (NLT)

9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.


But there was one more part to this camp story and it didn’t even come to me until I was speaking at our Wednesday night campfire session. Suddenly my mind was taken back to a future prophesy of Daniel. Daniel prophesied about a time when the Jerusalem Stone is going to return to this present earth and cover the whole earth.


Daniel 2:34-35 (NLT)

34 As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. 35 The whole statue [kingdoms of men] was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.


Two thousand years ago, God placed a marvelous Cornerstone in Jerusalem. That Jerusalem Stone (Jesus) was the Lamb of God that came to take away the sins of the world. After His resurrection, Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father...waiting for the day that Daniel’s prophesy will be fulfilled. Let there be no doubt...this day is coming!


Daniel 2:44-45 (NLT)

44 “During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. 45 That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.”


The truth is this...by God’s grace we can stand upon this Stone in Jerusalem and come “Out of the Darkness”. Or, you can reject the grace of God and be disgraced on the last day. We receive God’s grace by trusting in His Word and building our life on this wonderful Stone in Jerusalem. Do you trust Him?


1 Peter 2:6 (NLT)

6 As the Scriptures say, “I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper

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A Word from Terry about The Seed

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

There is an amazing and revealing scene of Jesus in John chapter 12 where Jesus predicts His death and compares it to a seed being placed in the ground.


John 12:23-24 (NLT)

23 Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.


Jesus compares His death on the cross and His burial in the earth to the planting of a seed that produces much fruit, but only after it is planted and dies. The time for “glory” was connected to the time of “planting the seed so that the seed would die”.


This is where it gets interesting. A physical seed is placed in the ground, but it must die before it can become something that can bear fruit, in this case, wheat. Why was Jesus comparing the time of His glory to the death and subsequent transformation of a seed? There cannot be a “resurrection” into a new life until there is a “death” of the old life. The original must die first. The resurrection is the fruit of the seed that is placed in the ground to die. The many new kernels and the plentiful harvest of new lives is based on the spiritual concept of The Seed. The Seed must die.

Notice that Jesus says the seed remains alone unless it is placed in the ground to die. Remains alone...this is the story of man without God. This is the story of all mankind before God placed the holy and divine seed of His Only Son in the earth....remains alone! But something happened at the death, burial and resurrection of this Holy Seed of God. A great and plentiful harvest has followed this planting of God. Jesus makes it clear. We don’t have to guess what comes next. What is our part in this seed planting salvation of God? It’s the next verse in John chapter 12...


John 12:25-26 (NLT)

25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.26 Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.


Do you see it? To love your life in this world is to refuse to drop your seed in the ground to die...to follow in the way of Christ. The nature of our seeds (natural man) is to remain alone and to remain separate from God. It is unnatural for a man to put his seed in the ground and die to himself...it is against his very nature. It is unnatural for any man to die to this world. But the seed of man must die or there can be no resurrection. The resurrection is the fruit of the seed’s death and you’re going to want to partake of that fruit one day. That’s why Jesus told Nicodemus this...


John 3:3 (NLT)

3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”


The seed must die...it was true for Jesus and it is true for Jesus’ followers. The fruit of Jesus’ death was the resurrection and it will be the same for anyone who will die to themselves and die to this world so that they can be born again from a new seed...the seed of Christ. And what is this seed of Christ. The seed of Christ is the joining together of God and man, so that man will not “remain alone”.


Maranatha, Hosanna, Hallelujah and Amen,

Terry Cooper