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TAB Blog: Let There Be Light this Resurrection Day

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Happy Resurrection Day!

Today, in the Season of Passover, we celebrate Jesus’ bodily resurrection from the dead, the beginning of the New Creation, and the assurance of the believer’s future bodily resurrection! This is truly a day to rejoice in the breaking forth of The Light of the world!

In the beginning, God spoke into darkness and chaos, issuing His powerful command, “Let there be light!” (Gen. 1:3). In a similar way, in Jesus’ resurrection, God has again declared, “Let there be light!” In that moment there burst forth a tremendous eruption of light, as before the Risen One, the tomb was thrown open and Death itself was conquered. Since that first resurrection morning, God’s Light has continued to spread throughout the world, moving onward toward that perfect Day when, “the dead in Christ will rise” (1 Thess. 4:16). Beloved, we have a future and a hope!

Proverbs 4:18 tells us, “The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.” In a very real sense Jesus’ resurrection was “like the first gleam of dawn.” Now, His Light is continuing to shine “ever brighter” until that day when all chaos will have been transformed into cosmos – an orderly, harmonious, systematic universe!

As you study the Old Testament, you see that God’s Word (The Torah) was understood to be like light coming from God, intending to illuminate all humanity. Psalm 19 compares God’s Word to the sun (v4-6), rising to separate light from darkness, truth from error, and good from evil (v7-14). This is the reason The Torah is so deeply cherished by the Jewish People and should be by Christians as well. We recognize that the Word of God is present in a Person – Jesus! He is The Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14). He is the True Light that all humanity needs: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men!” (Jn. 1:4); “That was the true Light which, coming into the world, gives light to every man!” (Jn. 1:9).

Surely, in His resurrection from the dead, Jesus has emerged as The Light of the world. His radiance will never dim, and in fact, will shine “ever brighter” until all mankind witnesses the glory of God from one end of the earth to the other. What began as “the first gleam of dawn” will ultimately culminate in “the full light of day,” with the earth having been saturated with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD! (Hab. 2:14).

Let there be Light!

Bishop Robert Stearns

TAB Blog: Shining His Light

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Because of your generous, sacrificial giving, we are well on our way to achieving the goals of our “Let There Be Light” initiative. By God’s grace, we will also fulfill our individual roles of being shining lights of God’s love to our region, nation and the nations of the world. As a way of encouraging us toward this end, Jesus instructed His first disciples, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

I’m sure you would agree that it is impossible to exaggerate the depths of darkness that engulf our present world. Sadly, but as God surely foresaw, the sin of man runs rampant in the earth, bringing multiplied heartaches and heartbreaks to every home, family and life. No one stands outside the shadow that sin has brought upon God’s creation.

Yet, it is into this world that God sends us as His luminaries. We are sent to proclaim God’s light to a world engulfed in darkness. Believers in Jesus are not called to hide from this darkened culture or cower in our church buildings and shine our lights in each other’s eyes. Instead, Jesus commissioned us to, “go into all the world” (Mark 15:15-16), and commanded us to let our, “light so shine before men.”

Yes, we are to let our light shine, but the truth is, we have no light in and of ourselves. Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12), so think of it this way: He is the Son, and we are His moons! We know the moon has no light of its own. It is simply a piece of dead rock that reflects the light of the sun upon the earth. So too, as “God’s moons” His light is reflected through our lives upon a darkened world. You and I have only one light – the Lord Jesus Christ, and there is no darkness so thick that His powerful light cannot penetrate and prevail! In fact, the blacker the darkness, the brighter our light will shine.

The ultimate purpose in shining our light is not to bring attention to ourselves. Instead, our light, which Jesus describes as the good works we do, are to magnify the grace and power of God by pointing people to Him. This is our goal in advancing our “Let There Be Light” initiative; so, thank you for all you are doing to see this come to pass.

Shining forth,

Pastor Jim Ruddy

TAB Blog: Truth of God’s Salvation

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Thank you for your sacrificial investment in our “Let There Be Light” initiative. Together, we are becoming a shining light of revelation to our region, nation and the nations of the world.

In his Gospel, Matthew tells us, “And leaving Nazareth, Jesus came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” (Mt. 4:13-16)

The Tribes of Zebulon and Naphtali occupied the most northern lands allotted to the people of Israel when they conquered Canaan during the time of Joshua. Through the years, because of their distance from Jerusalem, they had a more difficult time maintaining their connection to the rest of the people and were exposed to a myriad of foreigners who passed through their borders. “The way of the sea” was the Roman Road that connected Damascus, Syria with Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast; a branch of which went along the west bank of Galilee through Bethsaida and Capernaum.

The lands of Zebulon and Naphtali were humbled in that they were the first to fall to the Assyria armies when they invaded Israel during Isaiah’s time. Many of the inhabitants were deported and intermingled / intermarried with those from pagan cultures; and by the time of Jesus, Galilee was geographically and politically cut off from Jerusalem and had a predominately Gentile population. In fact, the Galileans were regarded by Judeans as uncultured and irreligious, and there is plenty of evidence to show the strained relations that existed between the two provinces (See John 7:40-43, 52).

Yet, it is this region and this people that God chooses to visit with the dawning of the age of redemption through the coming of His Son. In despised Galilee; a place where the people lived in darkness, without the religious advantages of Jerusalem and Judah; far removed from the center-of-power of the Jewish-religious-machine; in the land where death’s shadow and darkness were most dense; the light of God’s King and God’s Kingdom began to break forth.

Today, we joyfully affirm that the Light of the World which dawned upon Galilee of the Gentiles has reached to us, and is now shining through us, illuminating the truth of God’s salvation for all who believe.

Let it shine!

Pastor Jim Ruddy

TAB Blog: The Face Of Jesus Christ

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Thank you for your generous commitment to our “Let there Be Light” initiative. We continue to believe the Lord for His abundant blessing as we walk together to Easter.

In Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle celebrates the freeing power of the Gospel he is privileged to declare. “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). What is Paul referring to here? He’s quoting from Genesis, Chapter 1, where there was darkness and chaos and confusion; and the Spirit of God brooding over the water like a mother hen ready to bring something to life. “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Gen. 1:3) – and Creation began to spring forth! Paul quotes Genesis 1 and says, “The God who spoke into the darkness of the original creation and called forth light…; that same God has spoken into the darkness of our hearts, by the light of who He really is, revealed in the face of Jesus Christ. And when He spoke that into our darkness, a New Creation sprang forth!”

What is this light that we have received? It’s the light of revelation! It’s the light of truth! It is the light that dispels all darkness and delusion; the light that erases the errors, the falsehoods, the half-truths and the untruths we had believed concerning the person of God and imparts to us illumination concerning the true knowledge of the LORD!

Where is this light of the knowledge of the glory of God found? It’s found “in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). “In the face…” is a Hebrew expression. “The face” is representative of all that a person is; the totality of their being. So, we meet God, the real God, “in the face,” – in the person – of Jesus Christ! It is in the unveiled face of Jesus Christ that we see the glory of God. The glory of God is all that He is! It is the fullness of His essence; the composite of His nature and attributes; the full representation, expression and manifestation of God!

Beloved, whatever faulted ideas we may have had about God are corrected when we meet God in the person of Jesus Christ. Whatever distorted images of God we had arrived at are corrected when we receive the light of revelation that shines through the face of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Let There Be Light!

Pastor Jim Ruddy

TAB Blog: Let There Be Light!

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Dear Tabernacle Family,

Many of us walked together during our “Journey Capital Stewardship Campaign” (May 2015 – May 2017) which helped raise the funding to address some pressing needs of our buildings and grounds. While we were able to complete a fair amount of improvement and upgrades, a major area that was left untouched was that of technological advancement. In order to address this most important focus, it is my joy to introduce our “Let There Be Light!” initiative.

This theme, “Let There Be Light!” addresses two critical areas in need of development. First, in a physical sense, there is a great need to enhance our Worship Center platform lighting. Improving this area, along with several other important advancements, will provide a more engaging experience for those who attend our services, as well as that of our ever-growing local, national and international online audience.

“Let There Be Light!” also speaks to the powerful revelation of God’s Word emanating from this House, going to the region, nation, and nations of the world. Through this initiative, the Reid Leadership Center will be fitted with the physical and technological upgrades enabling us to properly record teachings, seminars and equipping sessions that will be shared with others who hunger for the truths coming from this ministry.

Beginning today and continuing through Easter Sunday, April 21st, we invite you to partner financially with us in this important advancement. Join us in believing for gifts totaling $45,000 that will go a long way in providing these necessary upgrades. In order to achieve this goal, we are asking everyone who looks to The Tabernacle for ministry and inspiration, as members, adherents or friends, to make the “Let There Be Light!” initiative a matter of focused, sacrificial giving, over and above your regular tithes and offerings.

To assist us, beginning today, and continuing through Easter, our Project Offerings will be designated for our “Let There Be Light!” initiative. However, please know that you can give toward this advancement in any of our regular offerings or through any of our online giving portals. Simple choose the “Let There Be Light!” online giving option or write “Let There Be Light!” on your offering envelope.

Thank you in advance for your faithful response and partnership in this important initiative. We look forward to seeing these areas of ministry enhanced and the testimony of this Church advanced through the generous gifts of God’s people.

In the Light of His Love,

Bishop Robert Stearns