About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.

Jesus’ Teaching Was with Authority

Matthew 7:28-29

 When Jesus had finished these words [His sermon], the multitudes were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount was not long. If you add up all the verses in chapters 5, 6, and 7, you won’t come up with more than three or four pages. And if you were preaching it, it won’t take more than about twenty minutes.

Yet His sermon had a profound effect on all the people. They were “amazed at His teaching.” Why? I’m sure they were captivated by what He said, but more, by how He said it. Verses 29 tells us that He taught them “as one having authority, and not as their scribes.”

And I think they were equally amazed that He was yet a young man, an ordinary person, and just a carpenter and not having the schooling as the scribes had. Yet He spoke so well, as if he were learned—even more than the scribes.

Here are four reasons why Jesus spoke as one having authority:

  • Whereas the scribes always quoted from many teachers, Jesus used no quotes. He spoke for Himself. All His teachings were original to Himself.
  • He spoke with confidence and certainty.
  • He had His own sayings. He made up His own stories—parables. And He often spoke about Himself.
  • He was always referring to Himself: “I am come,” “I am come to fulfill,” “I and my Father are one.”

Another observation is that while so many say that the sermon on the Mount is just moral and ethical teachings; if you look closely, you will see that it is full of doctrine: doctrine about Himself, about the rebirth, about the new life in Christ, and about the incarnation and more.

This is the end of my blog posts on the Sermon on the Mount.

The Trials and Tests of Our Faith

Matthew 7:24-27

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. 25 “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. 26 “And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. 27 “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.”

Here is a picture of two men, a wise man and a foolish man. The wise man had a true and good foundation. The foolish man had a foundation made of sand—it would not last.

In this illustration, the wise man is a Christian. His foundation is Christ. The foolish man is a non-Christian. His foundation is his own works and his own philosophy of life. But his foundation is not true and so it is unstable—as sand.

The rain and the floods and the wind represent the tests of our faith and what our life if built on. Notice that both the Christian and the non-Christian are tested.

The rain may represent things like illness, loss or disappointment. Floods may represent the world, or worldliness—“the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” And the wind may represent Satanic attacks, such as to hurl doubts and evil thoughts at us.

Now for the non-Christian, the main disaster for him will come at the judgment, when it is discovered that there is no foundation, that Christ is not his Lord. The Christian does have a lasting foundation, which is Jesus Christ. But the trials of life will nevertheless test his faith to see how he has built upon that foundation (look at 1Corinthisna 3:12-15). And our rewards at the end of our life will depend on it.

One of the most important things for a Christian to do is to see to it that he has a good devotional life, and also that it doesn’t become mechanical. We must remember in our quiet times with the Lord, to stop and meditate on what we read from the bible, and listen to what God is telling us. Then determine to obey Him and to be always asking for His help and guidance along the way. He is our anchor and firm foundation.

Why Our Military Equipment and Weapons Were Left Behind

Yes, why were our military high-powered weapons left for the Taliban? We could have prevented it. We could have planned and carried out a better result. Why didn’t we?

I want to tell you why. In my opinion, it is because the globalists who are planning the Great Reset (or “build back better”) are really in charge of Biden and America.

They planned for this to happen!

They wanted a Taliban take over.

They wanted them to take our tanks and planes and guns. Yes, I think they planned it all out, every detail.

Why?

Because their ideology is to reduce America. Their ultimate goal is that all nations will be equal in power and easily controlled—controlled by a world dictator.

So America, in their belief, needs to be significantly reduced in power—militarily and economically and in every way.

And this is why they have installed Joe Biden. They knew he would listen and obey their orders. And they knew he would be an ineffective leader and a blunderer.

And know also that they have ongoing plans for future puppets. And they will continue to mess with our voting system and our voting machines. They plan to allow only the votes that they want to be counted—just like California does it.

Yes, and they plan to disallow forests to be managed, so that America has more and more fires.

And they plan for less and less people to be free. They plan for more mask wearing and for more mandates.

Back to Afghanistan and the Taliban. They, the reset people, whoever they are, are making plans for more and more of the Taliban and Al Qaeda and even ISIS to terrorize the world. And they plan for those animals to come into our country and terrorize and kill us.

And, oh yes, they also plan for groups like BLM to influence our government and our laws, to make us more lawless and so to make us more immoral people, and fearful people, so to destroy us! Again, so that we would be knocked down a few notches and made controllable. That is their plan.

Why Prayer is Necessary: #9 – To Carry Out God’s Work

God is at work in heaven and on earth. He works in heaven through Christ who sits at His Father’s right hand, and He works on earth through the Holy Spirit in us. 

God’s work in heaven.  The work of Christ in heaven is His intercession, of which, according to L. Berkhof, the following elements are found: (1) the offering of Himself as the perfect sacrifice having been completed;  (2) the appearing of Himself now before God as a representative of his people (Hebrews 9:24);  (3) the perpetual presence of the completed sacrifice of Christ before God—being a constant reminder of His perfect atonement;  (4) Christ’s appearing before God now as our Justifier—and He is constantly reminding God that we are justified in Him;  (5) Christ’s appearing before God now as the sanctifier of our prayers and our services;  (6) Christ’s loving care for His people, helping them in their difficulties, trials and temptations (Hebrews 4:15); and finally (7) it is prayer for all believers: for all our spiritual needs, for protection against dangers and against the enemy who constantly threatens and accuses us, that our faith will not cease, and that we will be victorious in the end.4

The prayers and intercession of Christ is absolutely necessary, both for our help on this earth and for our completed salvation; for though His atoning work on earth has been completed, He now and forever must remind God of that former work and be our Representative and our Justifier.  This of course is no problem for Christ, because He is God—He is perfect and lives forever.  As Hebrews 7:24-25 states, He abides forever, holding His priesthood permanently.  Hence, also, he is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

God’s work on earth.  On the whole, God’s work is to get people to believe in Jesus so that they might live forever with Him; for as Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (Jn. 6:29). 

Now if we were to briefly describe the work of God on earth, we would start with the work of His Son Jesus Christ.  The work of Christ while on this earth was to die for our sins in order that He might bring us to God (1 Pet. 3:18).  That work has already been accomplished.  And so, having completed His work on earth, He returned to His Father in heaven.  And there, He is working as our advocate to complete our salvation through His intercession. 

But God sent another advocate to help us here on the earth—the Holy Spirit, who abides with us forever (Jn. 14:16).  He is the one who continues God’s work on this earth—that of helping people to believe in Jesus (John 16:8-9), guiding them into all truth (Jn. 16:13), and dispensing grace to them whenever they need it.  For He being the Spirit of Christ is full of grace and truth (Jn.1:14).

Now, one of the ways in which the Holy Spirit helps us is by interceding for us as we pray—since we do not know how to pray as we should.  He tells us what to pray for and how to pray for those things.  He shows us the will of God and how to pray according to His will (Rom. 8:27).  He also makes us believe how necessary it is for us to pray for certain things, and then urges us on in prevailing prayer.

Here are three elements of God’s work, in terms of prayer, that we should be involved in:

1. Prayer for workers.  Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Therefore beseech the lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38).

2. Prayer for Faith. When Jesus came into His own town, among His own people, the Bible says, “He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief” (Matt. 13:57-58).  We must conclude by this that the reverse is also true—that where there is faith many works of God will be done. 

In order for the works of God to be done in your town you must pray for faith.  In fact I suggest that you saturate your town with believing prayer. Then, as God begins to work, you will see the power of God become unleashed causing many to believe.     

3. Prayer for deliverance and victory.  Satan will do everything he can to discourage us.  Prayer is necessary for our deliverance and victory.  When Peter was arrested and put in prison, while he was held there to be mistreated and killed, the church of God was fervently praying for his deliverance.  And on that very night when prayers were made, an angel miraculously delivered him (Acts 12:6-17). 


4 L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand rapids, Michigan:  WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979), pp. 400-404.

Why Prayer is Necessary: #8 – For Obtaining the Power of the Holy Spirit

We know that the person of the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer (Romans 8:9); however, every believer does not seem to possess the power of the Spirit.  Some live every day just like pagans.  They don’t hear God speak to them; they don’t seem to have any spiritual strength; and they have very little power over temptation. 

The problem of course is that they have not allowed the Holy Spirit to be in complete control.  If we expect to live in the power of the Holy Spirit we must invite Him to dwell in every part of our life.  We must give Him the throne of our heart.  

There are a few terms in scripture that are descriptive of this concept of giving Him control.  In Galatians 5:16-25 there are three terms used: walk by the Spirit, led by the Spirit, and live by the Spirit.  From these verses Paul tells us, essentially, that if we live by the Spirit we must choose to walk by the spirit and be led by the Spirit.  Also in Ephesians 5:18 Paul states that we are to be filled with the Spirit.  Then in Romans 8:6 Paul indicates that we are to have our mind set on the Spirit

If we analyze these terms we may conclude that all of them mean basically the same thing—they are descriptive of our giving the Holy Spirit control, also of making Christ Lord.  And when we do that we will obtain the power of the Holy Spirit.  But the process of making Him our Lord can only be accomplished through prayer.

Our prayers should be not so much for getting power, but to ask Him to fill us and control us; then when He has control in us and is made Lord in us, the result will be that He will wield His power in us and through us.

How often do I have to pray for His filling?  I ask Him every day, and sometimes two or three times a day.  And the reason is that I continue to sin, and when I sin I exalt myself, and thus I continue throughout the day to have a need for humility and for His Lordship. 

And so it makes sense that we all must ask Him to refill us after every time we sin.    Ask as often as you sin.  When you sin, just say, Lord, I’ve sinned.  Will you please fill me again?

Now, when He fills us and gives us His power, what kind of power is it, and what should we expect will happen? 

According to Ephesians 1:19-20, it is a great and mighty power; it is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the right hand in the heavenly places! 

In Ephesians 3:16-20 we see that it is a power that will strengthen us in our inner man.  Note in this prayer of Paul’s the threefold results of this power:

…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, [1] That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; [2] that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpassed knowledge, and [3] that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Paul concludes in verse 20 by saying that according to this power of the Holy Spirit that works within us, He will do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. 

Yes, He will give us more power than we can imagine.  He gives us a mighty power to witness (Acts 1:8).  He gives us an enduring power to work and to serve in His kingdom.  He also gives us the power in the inner man to rest and reflect, and to draw strength from Him as Christ dwells in us and fills us with love and the fullness of God.  And it all comes to us through prayer. Prayer is the key that unlocks the door to this great storehouse of power.

Why Prayer is Necessary: #7 – To Obtain Freedom from Anxiety

Anxiety is a terrible thing.  It is a state of uneasiness and worry, of fearfulness and dread.  But prayer can make it all go away; when you pray God will help you to see that He is in control and that He loves you and cares for you.

When we are anxious, we think only of ourselves and of all the things we think we need.  Prayer, however, will take us to God and draw us away from ourselves so that we are more concerned for His kingdom and His righteousness. The practice of prayer will help us to see that life is more than food and clothing, and that we have no need to worry about those things—since God cares for us just as he cares for little birds and flowers (Matt. 6:25-29).          

If you are prone to anxiety, try to develop the habit of praying about everything.  And when you pray, instead of lingering in your anxiety, focus instead on God, honoring Him with thanksgiving and praise (Rom. 1:21).  As you pray with thanksgiving, taking all of your concerns to God, He will fill you with an incredible peace.  Here is the promise from Philippians 4:6-7:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.