Month: May 2021

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) The Ascension of Jesus (Heath Rogers)
2) Another Look at Acts 20:7 (Bob Myhan)
3) “I will Guard My Ways, Lest I Sin With My Tongue” (Joe R. Price)
4) God’s Demonstrations (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
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The Ascension of Jesus

Heath Rogers

Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus took the eleven disciples to the Mount of Olives, blessed them, and was lifted out of their sight into the clouds of the air. Two angels appeared to them and announced that Jesus would come in the same manner as they had just seen him depart (Acts 1:9-11).

The ascension of Jesus is not discussed as much as His death, burial, and resurrection. However, this amazing event should not be overlooked or reduced to a footnote in the life and ministry of Jesus. It was very important.

1. It provided evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. The Jews were always asking Jesus for a sign that would prove His identity. The day after Jesus fed the 5,000, the people wanted Him to feed them again. They hinted at this by asking for a sign and speaking of Moses feeding the fathers with bread from heaven (John 6:30-31). Jesus identified Himself as the bread of God who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world (v. 33). The multitude had a difficult time understanding Jesus, and He further frustrated their understanding when He said, “What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where He was before?” (v. 62).

Our Lord’s ascension was one of many pieces of evidence that proved He was the Son of God. If He had failed to ascend back to “where He was before” He would have failed to complete His work and confirm His identity.

Jesus made several predictions about the things He would experience (Matt. 16:21). If any of these had failed to come to pass, Jesus would have been exposed as a false prophet (Deut. 18:18-22). The fact that He ascended into heaven is just as significant as the fact that he was rejected by the Jews, delivered to the Gentiles, put to death, and raised on the third day. Jesus was proven to be a true prophet of God.

2. It enabled Jesus to serve as our High Priest. The High Priest of Israel would enter the Holy of Holies (representing the presence of God) on behalf of the people once a year. It was there that he would make atonement for the sins of the people, but the fact that these sacrifices had to be repeated proved they did not fully remove sins.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He entered the presence of God to serve as our High Priest, making intercession on our behalf. “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb. 9:24). Jesus is a better High Priest because He has entered the actual presence of God with a better sacrifice – His own blood. This gives us confidence that our prayers are being heard and answered (Heb. 4:14-16).

3. It was necessary for Jesus to become King. When did Jesus actually become King? In Psalm 110:1-2, the Messiah was promised to be given a place at God’s right hand from which he would rule. Jesus sat down at the right hand of God when He ascended into Heaven (Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33-36). This is when Jesus began His reign as King.

The coronation of Jesus as King took place in heaven immediately after His ascension. Daniel received a vision of this wonderful event. “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).

Jesus is not going to return to earth to be made King to reign 1,000 years. He was made King when He ascended into Heaven. It was then that He was given dominion, glory, and an everlasting kingdom that will never be destroyed. Jesus is now reigning as King over His kingdom.

Conclusion: The ascension of Jesus is an important part of the gospel (1 Tim. 3:16). It was necessary to make Him a Prophet, Priest, and King. Because our Lord has ascended into heaven, where He is ministering to our needs and reigning as our King, we can have confidence that He will come back and receive us into His glory.

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, January 2021
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Another Look at Acts 20:7

Bob Myhan

When He instituted the Lord’s Supper, Jesus said, “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt 26:29, KJV).

The first occurrence of the word “drink” is in the aorist tense, which implies “I will not drink at all, not even one time.” The second occurrence of the word is in the present tense, implying a repeated drinking, rather than a one-time drinking.

The phrase “drink it new” means “drink it in a new way.” No longer having a physical body, Jesus does not physically drink the fruit of the vine but that He drinks it spiritually.

The phrase “until that day,” does not mean “until the kingdom age” for He identified the kingdom age by the phrase “in my Father’s kingdom.” Therefore, “until that day” refers to a particular, regular day, during the Kingdom age, on which He would drink of the “fruit of the vine” with His disciples. This implies an unstated frequency of drinking.

We know the day and frequency by the “account of action” in Acts 20:7. Thus, this example is a pattern to be followed. We are to “show the Lord’s death” by eating the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week because that is the day when He drinks the fruit of the vine “new” with us.

— Via The Susquehanna Sentinel, August 27, 2006
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“I Will Guard My Ways, Lest I Sin With My Tongue”

Joe R. Price

“I said, ‘I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me.’ I was mute with silence, I held my peace even from good; And my sorrow was stirred up. My heart was hot within me; While I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue…” (Psalm 39:1–3).

Measuring our words with heavenly wisdom guided by God’s truth will keep us from sinning with our tongues (James 3:1-18). The irreverent words and ungodly deeds of the wicked can influence us to speak rashly. Even Moses fell before this temptation when Israel strove against God: “They angered Him also at the waters of strife, So that it went ill with Moses on account of them; Because they rebelled against His Spirit, So that he spoke rashly with his lips” (Ps. 106:32-33). James said to be “slow to speak, slow to wrath” as a hedge against unrighteousness (James 1:19-20). Doing this does not mean we are unaffected when confronted by wicked people. Sorrow stirred within David, and his heart was enflamed as he meditated on the evil before him. Like Jeremiah, God’s truth burned within David, and he would speak (Jer. 20:9; Ps. 39:3). But he measured his response with prayerful words of praise and prayer (Ps. 39:3-13). Instead of being provoked to sin with your tongue when evil people press upon you, hold your peace until you can respond with words of truth and the meekness of wisdom that honors God and pursues peace (James 3:2, 8-13, 18; Heb. 12:14).

— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, May 2021
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God’s Demonstrations

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on this following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/God’s_Demonstrations.mp4

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News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Ginger Ann Montero is tentatively scheduled for a pacemaker June 4.

Rick Cuthbertson will be seeing a cancer specialist at Duke on June 3.

Deborah Medlock has 2 non-malignant nodules affecting her vocal cords.  She also has a slipped disc in her back that has been affecting her walking and causing pain.

Bennie Medlock, in addition to his back pain, also has cataracts that he is scheduled to soon see a doctor about. 

Also: Nell Teague (cancer), Danielle Bartlett (heart palpitations and swelling in legs), Ritt Rittenhouse (healing from a stroke and has a degenerative disc in his neck), Doyle Rittenhouse (neck, shoulder, and arm pain), and Joyce Rittenhouse (pain in knee).

Let us also continue to remember the family and friends of Jesse Welch who recently passed away.

Also our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation. 


evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This is for the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) You Have Become Dull of Hearing (Andy Sochor)
2) The Lord’s Day (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
3) News & Notes
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You Have Become Dull of Hearing

Andy Sochor

In making a point about the superiority of Christ’s priesthood over the priesthood of Aaron, the Hebrew writer cited the priesthood of Melchizedek. Since Jesus was “a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:10; cf. Psalm 110:4), His priesthood was superior. He would go on to explain why this proved the superiority of Jesus’ priesthood later in the epistle (Hebrews 7:1-10).

However, he paused the discussion about comparing the priesthoods because it was “hard to be uttered” (Hebrews 5:11), even though it was certainly not impossible. The problem was not that the facts were difficult. Instead, the problem was that these brethren were “dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11). As the Hebrew writer would explain, this problem affected more than just their understanding of Jesus’ priesthood – it had the potential of costing them their souls.

We need to understand what it means to be “dull of hearing,” what the result is of being in that condition, and how to fix it.

What It Means To Be Dull Of Hearing

First, let us consider what it does not mean when one is “dull of hearing.”

It Does Not Mean That One Is Unintelligent or Incapable of Understanding. The Hebrew brethren were capable of understanding this subject that was “hard to be uttered (explained)” (Hebrews 5:11). We know this because the Hebrew writer returned to it just two chapters later rather than waiting a few years and writing a second letter to them when they might have matured to the point in which they were ready to consider the issue.

It Does Not Mean That One Has Abandoned the Faith. The recipients of this letter were Christians (Hebrews 6:9-10) who had been described as “holy brethren” (Hebrews 3:1). Of course, there was a danger that “an evil heart of unbelief” could develop within them (Hebrews 3:12); but they had not yet reached that point of unfaithfulness.

It Does Not Mean That One is a New Christian Who Has Not Learned the Word of God Well Enough Yet. New Christians need the “milk of the word” (1 Peter 2:2; cf. Hebrews 5:13) – the fundamental teachings and principles of the gospel in order to lay a foundation for continued spiritual growth. This is perfectly normal. Yet enough time had passed for these Hebrew brethren to have matured (Hebrews 5:12). They simply had not grown as they should have.

Being dull of hearing indicates laziness. Thayer’s definition of this Greek word suggests the idea of sluggishness and indolence. One who is “dull of hearing” is not necessarily lazy in every area of life. One may be a very hard worker at his job or at home, but is still “dull of hearing” as the Hebrew writer described. This is a laziness about learning the word of God.

Learning the word of God requires diligence on our part. Paul told Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that neededth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). We can learn how to accurately handle the Bible by coming to a proper understanding of it if we are willing to put in the effort of studying the Scriptures. Many people in the world are hard-working at their jobs but lazy when it comes to the Bible. If we are not careful, we can become the same way – just like the Hebrew brethren.

The Result of Being In This Condition

In rebuking these brethren for being “dull of hearing,” the Hebrew writer explained why this was such a serious issue by showing the results of being in that condition.

One Who Is “Dull of Hearing” Cannot Discuss Difficult Bible Topics. The gospel message is simple enough that one can learn and obey it in the same hour of the night (Acts 16:31-34). However, there are also passages of Scripture that are “hard to understand” which one could “distort” to his “own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). Diligence is needed in order to accurately (or rightly) “divide the word of truth” contained in these difficult passages (2 Timothy 2:15). Yet when one is “dull of hearing,” there are certain passages that he will not be able to discuss and come to a proper understanding.

One Who Is “Dull of Hearing” Needs To Be Taught the Elementary Principles Again. The rebuke of these Hebrew brethren was that they needed someone to teach them elementary principles of the oracles of God again (Hebrews 5:12). These “elementary principles” are certainly important and necessary, but we need to make spiritual progress in our understanding of the word of God. Paul told Timothy to “give attention to the public reading of Scripture” and to “be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:13, 15). One who is “dull of hearing” never makes sufficient progress to move past the “elementary principles.”

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” is Incapable of Teaching Others. Everyone needs to be developing the ability to teach. The future health and effectiveness of local churches depends upon it (2 Timothy 2:2). A church cannot function without teachers (Ephesians 4:11-12). Therefore, the more members in a congregation who are “dull of hearing” and unable to teach, the weaker that local church is.

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Will Remain in a State of Spiritual Infancy. This state is natural and normal when one first obeys the gospel (1 Peter 2:2). However, staying in that state is a sign of spiritual sickness. One is spiritually healthy when he is “walking in truth” (3 John 2-3). One who is “dull of hearing” cannot properly walk in the truth because he is “not accustomed to the word” (Hebrews 5:13).

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Puts His Salvation in Jeopardy. Diligence is needed in order to realize our hope (Hebrews 6:11). The Hebrew writer said that Christians are not to be “slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12). The word translated sluggish is the same Greek word as the one used to describe being dull of hearing. If unchecked, this laziness toward the word of God will extend to the rest of our spiritual lives as well.

How To Fix The Problem

After identifying the problem and warning of the results of it, the Hebrew writer’s instructions also contain some things that can be done to correct the problem.

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Must First Recognize the Problem.  It is not possible to correct a problem if we do not know that it exists. This requires honest self-evaluation on our part. Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith: prove your own selves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). We have to be willing to look at ourselves critically to see if we are “dull of hearing.”

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Must Quit partaking of Only “Milk.” The Hebrew writer said, “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe” (Hebrews 5:13). The word “only” is key. We will always need reminders of what we have previously learned (2 Peter 1:12-13; 1 Timothy 4:6), but we cannot only pay attention to what we already think we know.

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Must Make a Habit of Studying the Bible.  The Hebrew writer said, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use (or by habit) have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). We have already seen that diligence is necessary in our study of the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15), but we must invest time as well. Paul wrote, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:16-17). Making wise use of our time will, among other things, lead us to understand God’s will that has been revealed in His word because we will be making time to study the Scriptures.

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Must “Go On to Perfection” (or “Press On to Maturity”). The need to “press on to maturity” is contrasted with the idea of “laying again a foundation” of the elementary principles (Hebrews 6:1). We must recognize that we are expected to grow (2 Peter 3:18; 1 Timothy 4:13, 15). We must develop the ability to teach and to study through and understand difficult passages.

One Who is “Dull of Hearing” Must Build Upon the Foundation of Elementary Principles. The Hebrew writer said that the “principles of the doctrine of Christ” were the “foundation” (Hebrews 6:1). We cannot abandon that foundation. Instead, we need to build upon it. We can do this by continuing to add to our faith (2 Peter 1:5-8) and perfecting our faith through works (James 2:22).

Conclusion

We cannot afford to be lazy with the Bible. We need to be diligent with it as with everything else. It is certainly true that Bible study can be challenging, but we need to apply ourselves to it so we can be pleasing to the Lord.

— Via Daily Exhortation, May 21, 2021
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The Lord’s Day

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on this following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/The_Lord’s_Day.mp4
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-3-

News & Notes

Ginger Ann Montero is tentatively scheduled for a pacemaker June 4.

Rick Cuthbertson will be seeing a cancer specialist at Duke on June 3.

Deborah Medlock has 2 non-malignant nodules affecting her vocal cords.  She also has a slipped disc in her back that has been affecting her walking and causing pain.

Bennie Medlock, in addition to his back pain, also has cataracts that he is scheduled to soon see a doctor about. 

Also: Nell Teague (cancer), Danielle Bartlett (heart palpitations and swelling in legs), Doyle Rittenhouse (neck, shoulder, and arm pain), Joyce Rittenhouse (pain in knee), Ritt Rittenhouse (healing from a stroke and has a degenerative disc in his neck which causes trouble).

Let us also continue to remember the family and friends of Jesse Welch who recently passed away.

Our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
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Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation.

 
evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
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Contents:

1) Lowly Service Brings Exaltation (Irvin Himmel)
2) A Great Cloud of Witnesses (Jon Quinn)
3) Being a Disciple of Jesus (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
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Lowly Service Brings Exaltation

Irvin Himmel

The mother of Zebedee’s children once came to Jesus with her sons, James and John. She had a request. When the Master asked, “What wilt thou?” her appeal was expressed in these words: “Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom.”

Privileged positions were desired. Cabinet posts were coveted. Clearly, there was a craving for elevation to stations of highest rank in the King’s court. Prestige and distinction were envisioned.

Not only did this woman misunderstand the nature of the Messiah’s kingdom, she also misjudged the measure of greatness. In his reply, Jesus said, “Ye know not what ye ask.” He further remarked, “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matt. 20:20-28).

Unlike political kingdoms, the government of the Messiah offers advancement through abasement, loftiness through lowliness, splendor through surrender, sublimity through servility, magnification through ministration, admiration through abnegation.

On another occasion, the disciples asked Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He set a little child in their midst, explaining, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:1-4).

The ambitious disciples were slow to learn that it is not where we sit but where we serve that counts.

As late as the night of the Lord’s betrayal, the disciples were engaged in strife over which of them should be accounted the greatest. Jesus reminded them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve” (Luke 22:24-27). Jesus enforced this lesson by his own example of lowly service.

Today, there are some in the church who look for places of honor. Like the scribes and Pharisees, they love the chief seats (Matt. 23:1-6). Their love of preeminence may not be as daring as that displayed by Diotrephes (3 John 9), but they long to be in the limelight. They prefer to be put on a pedestal. They have a passion for power.

Genuine greatness in God’s sight is measured by usefulness, not by sitting in a chief seat. Humility is a hallmark of true nobility. Whether one is an elder, a preacher, the author of a book, a teacher of the Bible, the editor of a journal, or a little known, low profile person, lowliness of mind will enhance his influence for good.

Honor in the kingdom of God is reserved for all who are willing to serve. The Lord does not call people to be “big shots.” He wants servants, not chieftains. Service is a mark of distinction, a badge of honor. The way up is down. The royal road to esteem and respect is the path of dutifully serving God and giving oneself in doing good.

So you desire to be the one who “calls the shots”? Forget it! Seek out someone who needs your help and do what you can for him. Do not seek to be first in rank; seek to be first in the field of service.

— Via Truth Magazine, August 2008

(https://www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume52/2008_08_Aug-Truth-Magazine.pdf)
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A Great Cloud of Witnesses

Jon Quinn

Living a life of faith calls for dedication. There is a cost to pay. Some doubt that it is worth it — but we believe it is.

1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).

In this text, we read that there is a “great cloud of witnesses” who all affirm that the goal is indeed worth running the race with endurance. We are also reminded that Jesus, the Savior, has already done so. When things got tough, He would think of the goal at the end. He would think of the salvation He would accomplish for us. He would pray, and keep going until victory. In this way He honored the Father and showed His great love for you and me.

The “great cloud of witnesses” referred to here are those men and women listed in the previous chapter — Hebrews 11. There we read that “by faith Abel offered”; “by faith Noah prepared”; “Abraham obeyed”; “Moses chose” and many others including Sarah, Gideon, David, Samuel and Rahab. Hebrews 11 has been called “the honor roll of faith.”

Notice something here: faith is not just passive intellectual acceptance of God. The faith that saves is the faith that obeys. This faith of Abraham and Sarah, of Noah and Moses, was active. It is something lived by; we live by faith. The Hebrew writer, speaking of Christ, says, “And having been made perfect (or complete), He became to all those that obey Him the source of eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9).

These witnesses speak to us through the centuries by their deeds as well as their words that they were looking for a city “whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). This city they looked for did not, and does not, exist in this realm. They believed the promise of God, and considered themselves “strangers and exiles on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).

Sometimes living in this world is difficult. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. These men and women of Hebrews 11, this great cloud of witnesses, affirm that it is so.

— Via Articles for March 2021 (Knollwood church of Christ)
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Being a Disciple of Jesus

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon with the above title, just click on this following link:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Disciple.mp4
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-4-

News & Notes

Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of Jesse Welch (Kathy Crosby’s father) who passed away last week, just a couple months short of his 96th birthday.  Though originally from McCrary, Georgia, he had lived most of his life here in Waycross. 

After having blood work done, Ginger Ann Montero was admitted to the hospital for observation, due to her kidneys not functioning properly.  She is now back home and on medication.

After 10 days in the hospital, Tate Walters was able to return home, doing much better.  His father writes that Tate “will have to have several follow up doctor visits and labs to continue monitoring his condition, to further understand what the initial trigger was, and to learn more about this rare disease.”

The sinus surgery for Rachel Gerbing, which was due to an infection that set in several months ago when she had covid-19, went very well. 

Joyce Rittenhouse is having much pain in her knee from a bad fall she had a few weeks ago.  And her brother is healing from hernia surgery.

Doyle Rittenhouse has been having a return of much pain in his neck, which he hopes is from the nerve endings that are still phasing out from their recent ablation.  He was told it would take some time.  He also has pain in his shoulder and arm, due to osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

Since his stroke a few weeks ago, Ritt Rittenhouse has been back in the hospital 3 times, due to losing feeling and balance.  For he also has a degenerative disc in his neck that sometimes pinches against a nerve and causes temporary paralysis, which will have to be dealt with after he heals more from the stroke.

Ritt’s wife Janet is healing well from the car accident she was in.

Danielle Bartlett has not yet heard the results of her recent testing for her heart palpitations and swollen legs.

Melotine Davis had not been feeling well, but is now (5/20/21) doing better. 

Also for continual prayer: Rick Cuthbertson (cancer), Nell Teague (cancer), and Bennie Medlock (back pain).

Deborah Medlock saw her doctor recently about a raspiness she has been having.

Our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively, and Shirley Davis.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation.

 
evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This is for the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
——————–

Contents:

1) The Joy of Being a Christian (Wayne Goff)
2) Where are the Good Samaritans? (Joe R. Price)
3) The Two Shortest Verses (Troy Nicholson)
4) Motherhood (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

The Joy of Being a Christian

Wayne Goff

The book of Acts records the consistent reaction of those who first obeyed the Gospel: JOY! What were they so happy about?

In the city of Samaria, Philip preached Christ to the people, and confirmed his message with miraculous signs, Acts 8:5-25: “And there was great joy in the city” (v. 8). Their rejoicing was over the fact that both sin and its diseases were defeated by the Name of Jesus.

In a deserted place, Philip also preached the Gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch of great authority, Acts 8:26-40. This devout man was reading Isaiah 53 on his own and wondering of whom God was speaking. Philip, by inspiration, sat down with him and explained that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled that prophecy. In doing so, he preached baptism for the remission of sins. The eunuch, upon confessing “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (v. 37), was baptized “and he went on his way rejoicing” (vv. 38-39). He rejoiced over having been forgiven of his sins. He rejoiced over leaving the domain of Satan and being translated into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:13)!

In Antioch, Pisidia, Paul preached Jesus to both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 13:14-52), and encouraged certain believers “to continue in the grace of God” (v. 43). When the Gentiles understood that they were included in the scope of the Gospel, then “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” (v. 48). The word continued to be spread throughout the region, “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (v. 52).

When Paul and Barnabas reported the salvation of the Gentiles on their way back to Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-4), the brethren had “great joy” (v. 3) in hearing it!

The Philippian jailer, at the edge of death and eternal damnation, heard the Gospel from the lips of Paul and Silas, Acts 6:9-40. He went from near certain physical death to absolute spiritual life in the span of a few hours! Naturally, “…he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household” (v. 34). If you were in his shoes, wouldn’t you be rejoicing?!

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”  (Jim Elliot).

— Via Roanridge Reader,  Volume 36, Issue 17, Page 1, April 25, 2021
——————–

-2-

Where are the Good Samaritans?

Joe R. Price

A man who stopped a fight between another man and a woman died on the New York City sidewalk after being stabbed. At least seven people passed by. Some stopped to look, and one even lifted the 31-year-old man’s body momentarily before walking away. He was motionless for nearly an hour before emergency help arrived, but by then it was too late; he was dead. (AP: “Homeless good Samaritan left to die on NYC street,” FoxNews.com)

One cannot hear of this tragedy without remembering the parable of the good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37). Have we forgotten how to be a neighbor? Have we forgotten how to love our neighbor as ourselves? Would we have walked by, or would we have been a neighbor to the fallen? (Lk 10:36)

1) Loving our neighbor requires compassion (Luke 10:33). Pity ought to drive us to show mercy when we see others distressed. The Samaritan saw the wounded man in need and acted out of compassion. Even a cup of cold water given in mercy does not go unnoticed by the Lord (Matt 10:42).

2) Loving our neighbor requires contact (Luke 10:34-35). Love means getting involved, and some simply will not do it. Maybe it is due to fear, maybe due to inconvenience, maybe due to selfishness. But, love requires involvement (1 Jno 3:17-18). Like the Samaritan, we will get involved when we love our neighbor as ourselves.

3) Loving our neighbor requires cost (Luke 10:35). Loving our neighbor as ourselves requires making sacrifices. Whether it is their time, our energy or our money – love gives without thought of return. Do we walk by because it costs too much to stop and be a neighbor?

— Via The Spirit’s Sword, Vol. 13, Num. 13, May 2, 2010
——————–

-3-

The Two Shortest Verses

Troy Nicholson

There are two very short verses in the New Testament.  Each one can rightly be called the shortest verse in the Bible.

The shortest verse in the original Greek language is 1 Thessalonians 5:16, translated to read, “Rejoice always.”  The shortest verse in the English language is John 11:35, which reads, “Jesus wept.”

Each of these verses deals with an emotional reaction.  The first deals with the feeling of joy, while the second deals with sorrow.  We all experience times of both rejoicing and weeping.  The Bible says that there is a time for each of these emotions (Eccl 3:4).

Our rejoicing should be for things above.  We can rejoice in persecution and temptation because they help prepare us for a reward in Heaven (Matt 5:12; Acts 5:14; James 1:2-4).  Jesus says to “rejoice because your names are written in Heaven” (Mark 10:20).  Rejoicing takes place when sinners repent and make their lives right with God (Luke 15; Acts 8:39).  We always have reason to “rejoice in the Lord” (Phil 3:1; 4:4, 10).

Our weeping should be over what is against things above.  On several occasions we see weeping at the death of someone (John 11:35), with death entering the world because of sin (Gen 2:16-17).  Peter “wept bitterly” when he denied the Lord (Matt 26:75).  Jesus wept over the unrepentant condition of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41).

As children of God, we are to share with one another in times of joy and sorrow.  We are to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom 12:15).  “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor 12:26).

There is so much involved in two very short verses!

— Via Articles from the Lakeview church of Christ, Hendersonville, Tennessee,  September 6, 2015
——————–

-4-

Motherhood

To hear the video sermon on Motherhood, just click on the following link while on the Internet: 

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Motherhood.mp4
——————–

Psalm 119:9-11

“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You” (NASB).
——————–

-5-

News & Notes

After having blood work done, Ginger Ann Montero was admitted to the hospital for observation, due to her kidneys not functioning properly.  They will likely be remedied with a change in her medication.

After 10 days in the hospital, Tate Walters was able to return home, doing much better.  His father writes that Tate “will have to have several follow up doctor visits and labs to continue monitoring his condition, to further understand what the initial trigger was, and to learn more about this rare disease.”

 The sinus surgery for Rachel Gerbing, which was due to an infection that set in several months ago when she had covid-19, went very well.  Drain tubes will be removed Monday, and in the meanwhile she continues on pain and nausea medications and bed rest.

Joyce Rittenhouse is having much pain in her knee from a bad fall she had a few weeks ago.  And her brother is healing from hernia surgery he had Thursday morning.

Doyle Rittenhouse has been having a return of much pain in his neck, which he hopes is from the nerve endings still in the process of dying from their recent ablation.  He was told it would take some time.  He also has pain in his shoulder and arm, due to osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

It was a stroke that Ritt Rittenhouse had a few weeks ago.  Since then, he has been back in the hospital 3 times, due to losing feeling and balance.  For he also has a degenerative disc in his neck that sometimes pinches against a nerve and causes temporary paralysis, which will have to be dealt with after he heals more from the stroke.

Ritt’s wife Janet is healing up well from the car accident she was in.

Danielle Bartlett has not yet heard the results of her recent testing for her heart palpitations and swollen legs.

For the pain in his back, Bennie Medlock will be seeing a specialist May 18.

Also for continual prayer: Rick Cuthbertson (cancer) and Nell Teague (cancer).

Our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively and Shirley Davis.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation.

 
evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This link is for the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)

The Gospel Observer

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
 ——————–

Contents:

1) Why I Pray (Warren Berkley)
2) “Thanks, I Needed That” (Mike Johnson)
3) Determining Right and Wrong (Dennis Abernathy)
4) Sanctified (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
5) News & Notes
——————–

-1-

Why I Pray

Warren Berkley

I pray because I believe God listens. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).

I pray because God has told me that He cares and is able to help. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7; see also Luke 12:6-7; Hebrews 4:16).

I pray because I lack wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).

I pray because my Savior said I ought to pray. “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).

I pray because I’m thankful for all the good things God has given. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6; see also Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

 I pray because I need pardon. “My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1; see also Acts 8:22; Psalm 51:1-9).

 I pray because I adore and love my Father. “In this manner, therefore, pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name’” (Matthew 6:9).

 I pray because I’ve read so many accounts of people who prayed to God with great results. “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (James 5:17-18). “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).

I pray because of Paul’s exhortation. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

I pray because I believe God has the ability to grant even more than I’m able to think and ask. “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height; to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:14-21).

— Via Search For Truth, Volume XIII, Number 24, January 10, 2020
——————–

-2-

“Thanks, I Needed That”

Mike Johnson

“It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools. For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity” (Ecc. 7:5-6).

In this verse, the writer contrasts the “rebuke of the wise” and the “song of fools.” The song by the fool refers to light-hearted words — any words which are of no value. Flattery could be a primary application. The song of fools is compared in the verses to a “crackling of thorns under a pot.” A fire with thorns as its fuel will quickly flame up but only last for a short time. Like the song of fools, it is of little value.

This teaching goes against the inclinations of most people. Most of us would probably prefer the song of a fool than a rebuke from someone. When associated with flattery, the song of fools is like candy for our ears; rebuke from the wise can be like a slap in the face.

Christians have a responsibility, with humility and love, to rebuke and admonish others (James 5:19, Gal. 6:1, 1 Tim. 4:1-4). We need reproof from time to time, and we should receive it with the right attitude.  We must examine ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5) and make corrections when wrong (James 1:22-25). Admonishment can save our souls from spiritual death — it can keep us from Hell! We should appreciate the efforts of those who are sincerely trying to help us. Proverbs 27:5 points out, “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.”

People who come to talk to us about our shortcomings are risking the possibility of negative responses as so many tend to take offense. Recognizing this risk, Paul once asked the Galatians (Gal. 5:16), “Have I, therefore, become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” Paul was willing to risk becoming an enemy to tell these people what they needed to hear.

Which is best, the song of fools or the rebuke of a wise person? The songs of fools do not challenge us. These songs may make us feel better initially, where the rebuke of a wise person may make us feel bad at first, but it is better in the long run. Proverbs 28:23 says, “He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward Than he who flatters with the tongue.” Indeed, the rebuke of the wise is the better of the two.

— Via Seeking Things Above, Volume 1, Number 12, March 2021
——————–

-3-

Determining Right and Wrong

Dennis Abernathy

When determining the rightness or wrongness of a question or practice in religion, how do you make your determination? Do you make your determination by the popularity of it? Must we “feel the pulse” of the church? Must we poll preachers, commentators, and scholars? Do you determine the rightness or wrongness of what the preacher preaches by the acceptability by the audience? If the majority of the church dislikes a course of work, or a decision made by its leadership, do you conclude that the work is not good, and that they are poor and disqualified leaders?

Friends, do you see the fallacy in such a course? The Word of God is lost sight of! It ceases to be the standard we must follow! The truth is, neither the majority nor the minority determines a thing to be right or wrong, but God’s Word does! We do not determine a thing to be right or wrong by the popularity of it.

There were less than ten righteous people found in the city of Sodom (Genesis 18:20-33). There were only eight righteous people in the world when the flood came (Genesis 7:13; 1 Peter 3:20). There were only two Israelites, Joshua and Caleb, of the twelve spies sent to spy out the land, permitted to enter the land of Canaan (Genesis 14:30, 38). Therefore, when someone ridicules you because you aligned with the minority, don’t be alarmed.

Don’t determine to go along with the majority because everyone is doing it, until you are sure you know what it is that everyone is doing! Don’t determine a thing right or wrong, until first, you have searched the Scriptures and found out whether the thing is so (Acts 17:11). William Jennings Bryant once said: “Never be afraid to stand with the minority which is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority; always be afraid to stand with the majority which is wrong, for the majority which is wrong will one day be the minority.” Think on these things.

— Via Daily Exhortation, April 28, 2021
——————–

-4-

Sanctified

Tom Edwards

For the video sermon on “Sanctified,” just click on the following link while connected to the Internet:

https://thomastedwards.com/wordpress/Sanctified.mp4
——————–

-5-

News & Notes

Folks to be praying for:

Tate Walters
(8 years old) was admitted to the hospital several days ago. He is being treated for three possible causes: Kawasaki Disease, MIS-C Disease, and tick-borne infection. Yesterday was a good day for him — and with a big smile while having breakfast. Some of his symptoms have already been eliminated, and his vitals are normal. So he is improving, but can still use our prayers for a speedy and complete recovery.   

Bennie Medlock
is feeling only somewhat better from the pain in his back, but will be seeing a specialist on the 18th of this month for it.

Danielle Bartlett will be having tests run Thursday to determine the reason for her heart palpitations and swollen legs she has had.

Though the recent shots did bring some back-pain relief to Ronnie Davis, yet he still does have some trouble with it. 

The ablation in killing some nerves in the back of Doyle Rittenhouse’s neck went well, and he will be aware of more of the results as time goes on. 

Also for prayer: Ginger Ann Montero, Ritt Rittenhouse (stroke-like symptoms), Janet Rittenhouse (broken sternum, sprained ankles, severe bruises), Rick Cuthbertson (cancer), and Nell Teague (cancer).

Our shut-ins: A.J. & Pat Joyner, Jim Lively and Shirley Davis.
 ——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).

2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501

We are currently meeting for only our Sunday 10 a.m. worship service each week, due to the coronavirus situation.

 
evangelist/editor: 
Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990)

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