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Kingdom of Heaven (ACAD: John 1)

The Word Became Flesh

[aka God’s Thoughts for Humanity Manifested]

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

The Testimony of John the Baptist

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

The Lamb of God

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed ). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter ).

Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

New Revised Standard Version: John 1:1-51 –

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A Chapter a Day: 1 John 5

1 John 5ESV

Overcoming the World

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Testimony Concerning the Son of God

This is he who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

That You May Know

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God[a] will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.


  1. 1 John 5:16 Greek he
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Film Review: SON OF GOD

Son of GAn update is written below the film review.

The movie opens with the lofty words,

“In the beginning, He was always there in our struggle for the promise land,”

and amazingly beautiful imagery. Honestly, I was hooked from the first few seconds and looking forward to watching and hearing the story unfold. Soon, however, I was thrown by the choppy feel of the scene transitions and the increasing sense that the movie was more of a reading of select passages than a reenactment of a very important period of the Christian life story. I knew going in that the scenes with satan had been deleted. According to the media, there had been backlash about the actor playing satan resembling President Barack Obama. Indeed, The Hollywood Reporter quotes Roma Downey, co-producer of the film with husband Mark Burnett as saying, “For our movie, Son of God, I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time.” That’s all well in good in theory, but the devil plays a huge role in every believers life. Especially early on. And he played a significant role in Jesus’s testing in the flesh. What good does it do us (Believers) to see a representation of Jesus strolling through the desert and chatting on mountainsides with His friends? It was a pretty film but nothing in the Bible tells me that Jesus had a pretty and unencumbered life. I left this film thinking,

That’s why we have weak believers. People think we have a weak savior. They don’t think our Jesus did anything extraordinary.

Two main arguments Jesus Believers encounter are (1) Jesus was just a man, no one special; and (2) satan doesn’t exist. Basically, there is no ultimate good and no ultimate evil. And of course that leads to a larger argument about the existence of God. If we accept forms of Christian story-telling that omits significant elements of the story our belief is based on, then we risk weakening our belief in our Foundation.

A few days after seeing the film, I commented on a thread discussing it on Facebook. Rather than rewriting what I shared on Facebook, I’ve simply pasted my comments below.  The question was: “What do you think of the film and the controversy surrounding The Son of God?

March 8, 2014

LaShawnda Jones commented on a status.


I actually didn’t care for it. I have an issue with ppl trying to water down the gospel to make it comfortable for non believers or naysayers. The movie felt like a mashup of scripture readings linked together to tell a story. It should’ve just been the story. Most unfortunate is that they cut scenes of satan out, which could be why it felt choppier in spaces. They cut him supposedly bc ppl complained the actor looked too much like Obama. Seriously? So you attempt to tell the story of Jesus with no adversary? It made for a very flat story. It made Jesus look like He was just coasting thru the desert making friends. It’s been in my blog queue to post about this week, think this comment will get me going.

**Finally posted!  🙂 ** Someone asked a question about my above comment and I responded:

March 8, 2014

LaShawnda Jones commented on a status.


Nope, V——, it is certainly no Passion of the Christ. I will say, I saw Passion before I became a practicing Christian. I claimed to believe in Jesus at the time, but the thought of Jesus really had no substance for me until I saw that movie. Why? Because suddenly I could visualize a scourging, I could visualize what the lashes did to his body. Even the crown of thorns blew me away because, in my reading it was still just a crown. How can a crown hurt? Yes, Passion was violent and it was overwhelming for me watch but it didn’t run me away from the faith, it helped me to understand who I am believing in a bit more. The world is violent and the world treated Jesus violently. Glossing over that is a deep injustice to everyone struggling with their faith and everyone we are trying to reach to teach about Jesus – and most especially a deep injustice to the telling of how Jesus accomplished His assignment.



Interesting read: 8 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Passion of the Christ

Referenced link:



On April 19, 2014, I watched about half of the ten-part The Bible series. It’s an amazing production. When I got to the last three episodes of the series, I immediately thought: What a disservice they did with the movie, Son of God, by cutting out so many scenes from The Bible series. I understand that they wouldn’t want to release a four hour movie to the theaters, but there is so much meat, beauty and truth in the interactions of The Bible series. As noted above, I completely felt the choppiness of the cuts and edits to make the movie feature film length.

If you have not seen Son of God and you are interested, I suggest you skip it and go straight to The Bible series episodes the film was cut from. As you can imagine, the series provides a much fuller story and flavor.

As a further balance, I share this link which discusses the non-Christian beliefs of the makers of the film and series. To that I say, whatever you watch and in all things, use caution and discernment.



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Jesus is the Son of God.

 21I do not write to you because you do not know the truth  but because you do know the truth. And you know that no lie comes from the truth.

22 Who is the liar? It is the person who does not accept Jesus as the Christ [Messiah, Anointed One]. This is the enemy of Christ: the person who does not accept the Father and His Son. 23 Whoever does not accept the Son does not have the Father. But whoever confesses the Son has the Father, too.

24 Be sure you continue to follow the teaching you heard from the beginning. If you continue to follow what you heard from the beginning, you will stay in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what the Son promised to us—life forever.

26 I am writing this letter about those people who are trying to lead you the wrong way. 27 Christ gave you a special gift that is still in you, so you do not need any other teacher. His gift teaches you about everything, and it is true, not false. So continue to live in Christ, as His gift taught you. (1 John 2: 21-26)

I had a conversation Christmas night that was still reverberating in my mind the next morning.

The person was telling me that all religions that put god at the top are essentially seeking the same thing. The believers of these religions all believe in the same god. He went on to say that he is partial to Islam because it’s the religion that makes the most sense to him. He appreciates Jesus as a prophet. He acknowledges that Jesus came and did what He was supposed to do – as He was instructed to do by God. Then he went on to say that Jesus is no more special than any other prophet. No more special than Moses or Noah. All the prophets had a job they had to do, he said, and then continued, “My niece is running around saying today is God’s birthday… this is what I don’t get about Christians – how they can believe Jesus is God and that God was born.”

We both said at that point with equal smugness, “God doesn’t have a birthday.”

The last thing I wanted to do was have a debate about Jesus on Christmas. I’m not a Jesus scholar. I’m a Jesus believer. And as a believer, there are some things that I accept simply because they are, not because I can make sense of it.

One thing I intuit for sure, because of my belief and faith, is that God IS – He has always existed and always will exist. He is the creator of all things – seen, unseen, spiritual, material, emotional, physical, and psychological.

What the Bible teaches me is that Jesus Christ is the eternal Word of God. The Word of God existed at the beginning and the Word was with God. God created everything through the Word and the Word gave life to everything that was created. (John 1:1-5)

The person claiming Jesus wasn’t special beyond being a prophet didn’t allow me much space to speak. You know how those “conversations” go, where people are intent on speaking their mind, but aren’t interested in hearing anything on yours. So I had to interrupt him as he was going down the line of prophets and their assignments, “There is a hierarchy to the prophets,” I said. “Yes, they all had their own responsibilities, but Jesus is the only one called the Son of God. That makes Him more than just a prophet.”

“Is that right?”

“Yes. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the one and only Son of God and it is only through Him that we can be adopted as sons and daughters of God.”

“Listen, LaShawnda, there’s no need to argue with someone who’s already admitted a belief in God.”

I was a bit bemused by the way he shut me down. But then I realized that most of the conversation was him saying what he wanted to say – I didn’t have the space to argue. As I write this, I realize that I said exactly what needed to be said.

10  He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.  (John 1:10-14, 16-18)