A daily Christian thought from:
ACP, The Church for the American Christian who is a Patriot
Pro-Christ, Pro-Life, Pro-Constitution.
34 Duck Pond Road
Harrison, Maine, USA
Pastor Rev. Robert Celeste ACP/MCAC
Associate Pastor Mr. Steve Burzlaff, Elizebeth, Kentucky
Special Guest Pastor Rev. Jim Marstaller, Pastor of The CornerStone Gospel Church in Naples, Maine
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests.
The word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias(Isaiah) the prophet, saying, THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT. EVERY VALLEY SHALL BE FILLED, AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL SHALL BE BROUGHT LOW; AND THE CROOKED SHALL BE MADE STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH WAYS SHALL BE MADE SMOOTH; AND ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD (Isaiah 40:3-5).
Then said he, to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, 'We have Abraham to our father': for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."
And the people asked him, saying, "What shall we do then?" John answereth and saith unto them, "He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise."
Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, "Master, what shall we do?" And he said unto them, "Exact no more than that which is appointed you."
And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, "And what shall we do?" And he said unto them, "Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages." (Luke 3:1-14 ACP/KJV)
Today, Memorial Day, is a day we easily can focus on two distinct groups of men and women. Warriors and those who send them off to war, politicians. When the politicians came to John and asked him what they should do to avoid eternal damnation, John told them "Exact no more than that which is appointed you." You do not need to be a mathematical genius to know that like every thing else to do with the Word of God and His word, this bit of sage advice by John has also been ignored by the majority in the body politic.
But, what about the warrior? And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, "And what shall we do?" And he said unto them, "Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages."
There are two distinct groups within the Warrior class here in the USA, there is the US Military and the men and women who make up the various State Militias.
Last week a man who served in both died, his name was Forrest Roland Maguire, Mac to his friends. Mac was just 61 years old, he and I had been close friends since the age of 10. Our friendship, like so many, developed out of conflict. Our back yards abutted one another and we, as ten year olds, had taken it upon ourselves to assure that neither he nor I would step over that invisible boundary line, we defended our line with bow and arrow. It is amazing, in hindsight, that we didn't seriously wound one another or worse yet end up with one of us dead.
As time went on we learned to talk to one another and later to decided it was better to be fishing in the shade than stand in the sun firing arrows at one and other, resulting in having our moms beat our tails for trying to kill one another. Fishing brings folks together. For as we fished we talked, and as we talked we became friends, and that friendship grew and grew over the next fifty plus years. Last Wednesday night at 9:30 cancer did to Mac what I and many and enemy over his 26 years of active duty in the US Army and ten plus years in Maine State Militia had tried and failed to do, for cancer took Macs life.
In 1965 when I failed the eye exam to fly helicopters, Mac was there. In 1982 when I ran for the Senate, Mac took leave and was there. In 1983 when Cec and I got married, Mac took time again, this time he used his vast photo skills to record our marriage and the feast afterwards with hundreds upon hundreds of photos. In 1992 Mac stood tall between me and the Clinton agents, In 1993 when my youngest son, Andrew, died, Mac called and was, as usual, there. From 1989 till just last year, Mac was my principal proof reader, he proof read Article Ten, Sound Off, ACP the newspaper and then from 1997 on ACP, the church for the American Christian patriot, ChristianPatriot.com.
Throughout our lives, Mac and I have been there for one another. This coming Friday, they will lie his remains in the ground in Sante Fe, New Mexico with full Military honors and I won't be there. Not being there when the lay his bones in the cold hard ground will bother me a bit, but knowing that throughout our lives we were there for one another makes up for it.
Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:60 ACP/KJV)
Back in 1996 Mac and I had a long conversation via phone and e-mail and even the snail mail. That conversation focused on a centurion some 1,965 years ago by the name of Cornelius. Mac and I talked about his life and what he had done, than we talked about the things I had done, then we talked about the life and deeds of a Roman Centurion. We quickly came to the conclusion that while neither he nor I had been chore boys, we certainly were not in the league with a Centurion or for that fact any of the Roman Legionaries of the time of Christ.
Acts Chapter Ten
1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, 2 a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 He saw in a vision, evidently about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, "Cornelius". 4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, lord?" And he said unto him, "Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: 6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do."
7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; 8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12 Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14 But Peter said, "Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean."
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. 17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate, 18 and called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. 20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, "Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?" 22 And they said, "Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee."
23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends. 25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshiped him. 26 But Peter took him up, saying, "Stand up; I myself also am a man."
27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together. 28 And he said unto them, "Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?"
30 And Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 and said, 'Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.' 33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God."
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him. 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (He is Lord of all:) 37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.
39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed Him openly; 41 not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead.
42 And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins."
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?"
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. (Acts 10: ACP/KJV)
The title Centurion is used a few times in the New Testament, by really studying each instance and how it is used and to whom if may refer to, you can easily see that this Centurion, Cornelius, may easily have been the Centurion discussed in the following verses:
And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him, saying, "Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented."
And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. But, the centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, 'Go,' and he goeth; and to another, 'Come,' and he cometh; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he doeth it."
When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. (Matthew 8:5-13 ACP/KJV)
Luke goes into a bit more detail about this Centurion in chapter seven.
Now when Jesus had ended all His sayings in the audience of the people, He entered into Capernaum. And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto Him the elders of the Jews, beseeching Him that He would come and heal his servant.
And when they came to Jesus, they besought Him instantly, saying, "That he (the Centurion) was worthy for whom He should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue."
Then Jesus went with them. And when He was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying unto Him, "Lord, trouble not Thyself: for I am not worthy that Thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto Thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, 'Go', and he goeth; and to another, 'Come', and he cometh; and to my servant, 'Do this', and he doeth it."
When Jesus heard these things, He marvelled at him, and turned Himself about, and said unto the people that followed Him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. (Luke 7:1-9 ACP/KJV)
Now, as you may have noticed, the account recorded by Luke and Matthew are much alike, but, Luke makes mention that this Centurion was a good friend of the Jews, perhaps even having converted secretly to Judaism. Later the title Centurion is used again. This time as the Centurion who had overseen the torture and crucifixion of the Lord, Christ Jesus.
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, "Truly this was the Son of God." (Matthew 27:54 ACP/KJV)
And when the centurion, which stood over against Him, saw that He so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, "Truly this Man was the Son of God." (Mark 15:39 ACP/KJV)
So, you see, the very Centurion whose servant Jesus healed, who oversaw the torture and crucifixion of Jesus, may very well have been one and the same Cornelius the Centurion who became a Born Again Washed in the Blood of the Lamb Christian in Acts chapter ten.
While Mac and I discussed this possibility, we came to realize that if a Roman Centurion could be forgiven and become a Born Again Washed in the Blood of the Lamb Christian, anyone could, even us.
I remember Mac's next words, he said, "What do I have to do?" He knew without being told that being born a Roman Catholic, being baptized a Roman Catholic was worth nothing towards Salvation, we both knew that purgatory is a myth conjured up by those who seek to make money at the price of mens souls.
I said to him, "Mac, Jesus has made Salvation very easy, He has made it so that the worlds strongest man can get it, but so can the guy lying in bed with four inches of his spine blown out who can't even blink, never mind move his arms or legs. He has made it so that a guy with four PhD's could get it but so could the guy who at forty five who is still playing with blocks on his dad and moms floor.
Jesus has said that to be Saved all one must do is be Born Again. This is done by simply going into a room, all by yourself, kneeling down if you can other wise sitting or laying quietly and call out to Jesus telling Him that you acknowledge that He is the Son of God, one with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Admitting that you are a lousy sinner unworthy of being part of His family and well deserving of eternal damnation in the lake of fire. Telling Him that you are sick and tired of making mistake after mistake and that you want Him to take control of your life. That you want Him to be your Lord and Master, that you want Him to forgive you for all the things you have done wrong in your life and to let you have another chance."
I went on to remind him that unlike us, God knows if you are just saying words or are serious and if you are serious when you go to Him with that prayer, He will forgive you and you will be, from then on out, a Born Again Washed in the Blood of The Lamb Christian, a member of the family of Christ, Saved and assured of eternal peace in paradise with Him in heaven."
Did Mac do that? Yes, I think he did. Over the next 7 years Mac proofed no less than 1,400 thoughts, each of those thoughts has about one chapter of Scripture on average, some more, some much more and a few with less than a chapter. He not only read the Scripture, but the commentary as well, I would have to say that over that seven year period Mac read more Scripture than 95% of the pastors, priest and rabbis in the country.
Mac's son Howard tells me that when possible Mac was reading his bible right up until the end. The cancer and the drugs prevented Mac from proof reading over the last year, as many of you have noticed, for I am not very good at proofing my own writings.
In closing, there are three things I would like to ask you to do.
First, pray for the salvation of Mac's family and friends.
Second, pray that the Lord will raise up a new proof reader of me.
And third, download and listen to this song, a song about honorable warriors. Lay me down in the cold, cold ground, where afore many men have gone, lay me down in the cold, cold ground.
... When they come I'll stand my ground... take away my fear, sweat and blood hide my vail of tears,... say a prayer for me,... and remember me...
Never more will I see the sun... lay me down in the cold, cold ground...
Lay me down in the cold, cold ground, where afore many men have gone, lay me down in the cold, cold ground.
... When they come I'll stand my ground... take away my fear, sweat and blood hide my vail of tears,... say a prayer for me,... and remember me...
Lord, I do thank you for the 51 years you gave me with Mac, and how I pray his sons and friends will be even more loyal to You than Mac was to me, for Lord, as You know, I have left some instances out instances when Mac was there, and are best left to the knowledge of You and me. Thank You Jesus, amen.
PLease pray for Danny Calhoun, Mac Maguire, Theresa Gilpatrick, Seth Winslow, George Robert and this ministry and all involved with it.
Never ever forget this: There aint no purgatory!
Lord Jesus, please give women a love for their babies, from the moment of conception on, let them love them I pray Thee. Amen.
The Lord bless you all and may He heal Mel's eyes and Myra's ears. May He be with Colby as he has now arrived at Paris Island and strted boot camp, A Christian babe amongst many a wolf. Amen.
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May the Lord understand the importance of Mac, Cecily, Steve, and Rev. Jim Marstaller to this ministry. Lord I need them both healthy and able to continue to hold up their ends. Lord this cancer of Mac's is starting to get in the way, this ministry needs him whole, just a thought Lord, is all it will take, just a thought on Your part.
There is a young man, a veteran who suffers from some kind of chemical weapon exposure, in a Veterans hospital in Colorado, he is young, and he is Saved, yet his wife just abandoned him. Please pray for him, Lord, help him and deal with her and those who hurt him, we ask this of the Father in Your name Lord Jesus, amen.
The Lord our God, Christ Jesus, be with and bless you all, amen.
The difference between a true preacher and a false preacher comes down to this. The true preacher uses God's word to convict of sin, the false preacher twist God's word to justify sin. The Lord our God, Christ Jesus be with you always, amen.
The Lord our God, Christ Jesus, be with you all and please keep your pastor and me in your prayers. Amen. My prayer daily is "Lord please bless those tenfold who bless me."
Pray for the President, pray for Attorney General John Ashcroft, pray for me, pray for all those who open their mouths or take pen in hand in an effort to sway public opinion.
The Lord God of the Universe, Messiah Y'shua be with you all, amen.
It is better to be a horse fly in the stables of the Lord Jesus than the CEO of hell.
All Scripture quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the ACP/authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greenish color are of satan. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by 2 Timothy 3:16.
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