The Three Trees of Passover — palm, fig tree, and the Cross March 30, 2021
The 8-day feast and celebration named the Passover commemorated Jewish freedom from slavery under the pharaoh of Egypt. The Bible again and again reminded generations of the awesome parting of the waters of Red Sea—a highway miracle by the hand of the LORD. The earthly parents of Jesus always made the journey to Jerusalem. Matthew 21 recorded the most unusual and dramatic in the last few days of Jesus.
This true story can be measured by three trees; a palm, a fig tree, and a cross. A huge multitude followed from Galilee and kept growing larger all the way to the Mount of Olives facing King David’s holy city Jerusalem. Jesus stared at its magnificent temple weeping knowing it would be destroyed. He mounted an unbroken borrowed donkey and rode over the green carpet of palm branches what is called “the Triumph Entry.” Those following Him were quickly joined by a 2nd multitude to singing, “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!!” All the city was disturbed, asking who is this?? The Galileans shouted back, “This is Jesus the prophet from Nazareth!
Jesus dismounted abruptly and strode into the temple complex where merchants were gouging worshippers out of their money. He overturned every one of their tables and chairs. Jesus shouted as they scurried away, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves!!”
Before temple officials could stop Him, Jesus began healing hundreds of lame and blind people. Besides that, a large group of children sang out loudly, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” Angered, chief priests and scribes demanded Jesus to stop the children, “Do you hear what these are saying!?” Jesus stared at them, then answered with heaven’s authority, “YES.” Jesus’ answer silenced them, “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” They slipped away in fear.
Jesus and His disciples awoke the next day and headed back to the city. Being hungry, He noticed a fig tree. No figs… Jesus commanded the fig tree to wither away and die. What for? My opinion is that this is a parable charging the religious establishment with corruption. (Jeremiah 8:12-13 – they were withered religious sinners who did not know how to blush for their sins. 24:1-3,8; 5:30-31).
What was the 3rd tree? The apostle Peter saw Jesus crucified, “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness. By whose stripes you were healed.” (1st Peter 2:24). Almost the world of Rome, every one of the hypocrites in the temple, and His fellow Jews did not receive Him (John 1:11).
Many blasphemed the weakened, dying Savior. Despite such cruelty, Jesus was still ready to forgive 4 soldiers who hung Him on the tree, a centurion, and a criminal. He is one and only Savior who “endured the cross” for me, for you. Won’t you believe in Jesus?
Pastor Ed Anderson
The Fear of God Is the Fear That Ends All Fears March 16, 2021
The last web observation ended with hope, “I plan to encourage those who suffer fear.”
The Greek philosopher Aristotle is said to say, “Men are swayed more by fear than by reverence.” He may have said that when enemies marched to battle Greece. His gods and goddesses were not dependable—how can something non-existent come to rescue something existent?
The famous French general Napoleon Bonaparte figured that “Men are moved by two levers: fear and self-interest.” True? False? If his soldiers had bad fear, the battle will be lost if they high-tail it out of there. If his soldiers were self-interested, their battalion would scatter, lose power, and lose the battle.
Genuine love will protect and assist others. Fear looks at himself; self-interest. Genuine love grows more and more. Fear will tend to do evil or give no help.
Genuine love enables one to be busy today. Fear is afraid of tomorrow and gets very afraid and trembles.
Where does genuine love from? I know. My father. In World War II those Japanese bombers attacked the US army. Captain Anderson bravely calculated how to point a “box” in the sky through which those planes were to fly. Anti-aircraft guns had to aim to that “box” to force explosions in the sky to upset enemy bombers so bad that they would miss American troops. He and his crew saved many lives. Devoted patriots, regardless of color, forgot about fear and fought gallantly.
Where did my father get such courage? From the LORD almighty. When a teen, my father believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. He knew God would take care of him. Even if he died on the battlefield, his soul would be in Heaven. He wins!
Here is your answer: “There is no fear in love; perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1st John 4:18. True! Do you calculate that God is love? My father and mother, and us seven children of our family, all have saving faith in our Almighty God. Christ will take good care of those who follow Him. We know. Whether good times or bad times, we have come through by God’s hand.
Here is how: “For whoever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome is the world—our faith (in Jesus). Who is He who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1st John 5:4-5. Will you?
Pastor Ed Anderson
The good FEAR and the bad of FEAR March 4, 2021
The U.S. News & World Report ran a true story of a wonderful school teacher. In the classroom she came across as a competent and calm. Her family took a summer vacation to beautiful Colorado. The famous Pikes Peak (a ‘fourteener”), sounded like a good place to visit. Her husband and their two teenage daughters were exhilarated by the panoramic sight. They walked casually in the gift shop and parking. Then it hit. Her calm erupted into a hyperventilating, crying, and trembling teacher refusing to get out of the back seat of the rental car. Acrophobia! A paralyzing, irrational fear. This was bad.
Others, whose names you may know, were afraid: cats scared Napoleon, Queen Elizabeth I was afraid of roses; in 2004 Donald Trump had chirophobia; Sigmund Freud, the psychoanalyst suffered from agoraphobia (fear of crowds). This is not so bad.
Many have some good fear. I know a pastor sealing tar leaks around the church steeple. Coming from the top of a 2 story ladder his ears recognized a young voice, “Can’t do it Daddy. Can’t do it Daddy”. The pastor answered: “Hold on, I’m coming, I’m coming”. He moved across the roof carefully to the rescue praying for his 4-year-old son. Daniel was grasping the top rung of the ladder. The father held a scraper in his right hand and his young boy’s wrist by his left hand. Job done We descended down safely. Both father and son experienced good fears: be careful, be positive, be safe.
Ann Landers revealed that the number #1 issue from her readers was FEAR. It has been figured that Americans spend millions of dollars for medicines to overcome fears and headaches and anxieties and....you name it. There are a google of phobias. That is a poor way to live. I will show you how to reduce, or even overcome a phobia...
In the beginning of humanity, our Creator sat down to marvel at all His creatures. Adam and Eve were happy. What did they have that we do not have? The Garden of Eden. All of the animal kingdom was at peace. A lamb could be cozy and at peace next to a hungry tiger. Those early years everything was truly a paradise!
Napoleon Bonaparte declared that, “Men are moved by 2 levers only: fear and self-interest.” The latter broke the Paradise. They saw the beautiful, but forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil. Eve was fascinated. Silently a new figure approached her. She never saw such a more attractive, multi-colored serpent as this creature. Its voice was warm and enticing. Satan deceived her. Her self-interest enticed Eve, so she stepped forward and picked a choice-looking fruit with KGE’s flavor. Adam was nearby in the orchard. What was she eating? She shared it with him. God had warned them never to eat any fruit from that deadly tree. Adam and Eve were the first to ever experience FEAR.
King David was a wise man who understood passions good and bad (Psalm 27).
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid? .... Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.” Next week I plan to encourage those who suffer fear.
Pastor Ed Anderson
Pastor Ed’s Recommendations for Loneliness January 28, 2021
Experts in human emotions have compiled a list of 288 fears. They examined them all and narrowed 288 to the 6 most common fears. Here’s the list: fear of poverty, criticism, illness, loneliness, old age, and death. Loneliness might be solitary feelings that come and go. Loneliness can erupt in a real panic. Conversely, a soul may just take loneliness as it is and win an emotional victory. Loneliness can be overcome best with an “Anchor” of the soul.
That soul was Job [pronounce his name jobe]. He had it all—a good wife, mother of 7 boys and 3 daughters, and had a huge farm loaded with 17,000 livestock. Job and his wife heard from his hired hands that all his livestock was stolen. He was richer than anyone in the Middle East about 4,000 years ago. His sons and daughters were ages about 10 to 30. Suddenly, while his children were celebrating a birthday, an awful tornado crusted totally. All 10 died. Falling to his knees with tears flowing, Job prayed, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Besides such horrific losses, Satan infected his body with running sores, scabs, tropic fevers, blackened skin, and almost 40% weight loss. For months his wife and 3 friends could hardly recognize him. At first, the 3 sat in silent loneliness. Job wished he had never been born. As it often goes, their unwanted advice was extremely painful, unkind, and had false accusations making his suffering worse. His wife suffered depression. Some help!?
Job had an Anchor who helped him to survive loneliness. His Anchor described this man as “blameless, upright, and feared [with reverence] God and shunned evil.” If you think that he was an angel for those dreary months, sorry. Job was human. He confessed this: “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth like gold, my foot has held fast to His steps, I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my food.” Job 23:10-12
In the end, God the Anchor blessed Job (healed 100%) and his wife by granting double and more than they had before. If you and I trust in God, we can have victory over loneliness. The LORD can be our Anchor!
Loneliness in the 19th century, yes. “It can be an affliction more harrowing than homelessness, hunger, or disease,” wrote Maggie Fergusson in The Economist’s1843 magazine.
Loneliness in the 21st century: the British government was/is seeking a person to become an “Official of Loneliness.” Believe this or not! What has brought this to an issue and problem? Britain’s idea will not work.
America’s motto: “In God We Trust”— a majority in our country does not.
Leaving God out our lives, we have no ANCHOR.
THE PROBLEM can be lessened when we repent of our sins, believe Jesus Christ as our Savior and Friend. Read the Bible, the Acts of the Apostles 3:19-20 for the cure.
Pastor Ed Anderson
Hopelessness January 12, 2021
Several years ago my father met Bob in a local coffee shop in Wisconsin. Jokes, laughter, and coffee brought them together. One morning Everett, my father, invited him to our house on a Tuesday evening. Surrounding a table in the basement were a few other men with opened Books that had changed lives.
Bob’s religion had little to do with that Book. The men were filled with questions and answers from the Book. Verses like this caught his attention: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1st John 1:9. God’s Book drew Bob to confess to the Lord his sinfulness and sins. He repented and put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died in his place. The more he read the Bible the more his life became worth living. Several years later he was asked to be the leader of a group passing out Bibles everywhere. Only Jesus knows how many were drawn to the Book – Holy Bibles. But then, cancer.
Yes, that word—cancer-- frightens people hearing it from a doctor. Bob was not frightened. During his journey with that deadly enemy he had this answer for his family and friends: “You’ve got to play with the deck with which you are dealt.” To Bob death was not hopeless. When cancer took his body, His soul ascended to heaven where he rejoiced with the angels at his arrival.
My father and mother loved Bob and his wife. At Bob’s funeral, my mother hugged his wife. Mom and Dad went to bed. Without warning, Mom did not wake up in the morning. Her soul ascended into heaven meeting her personal Savior. This was not hopelessness. The Book says, “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.” and “We are confident, yes, well pleased to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2nd Corinthians 5:6,8.
Do you know about sorrowing Job? His 7 sons and 3 daughters died when a huge tornado flattened the house. “Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head (his culture did this to express grief). The comforting words of the Book rang true: Job had faith in the Lord: “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” The Book of Job 1:20. This family will be re-united in heaven.
Fear always initiates this hopelessness. Hopelessness can bring waves of deep depression.
A genuine Christian can sing, “This world is not my home, I’m just a’pass’en through, ...”
Faith (f.a.i.t.h) in the Almighty means = Forsaking All I Trust Him. So, fasten your faith in Jesus. You need not be a prison of hopelessness. Jesus has the key. Luke 17:5 tells us that “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’” He did! He can do it for you.
Pastor Ed Anderson