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How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed ? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard ? and how shall they hear without a preacher ? – Romans 10:14


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. – Romans 1:16


 

Good Words from John Malone’s Funeral - Comments (0)

Printer Friendly Category: My Life
Author: Jerod Santo
Date: 21st March, 2021 @ 07:27:18 PM

This special episode of the Enjoy The Bible podcast includes the eulogy and gospel message given at John Malone’s memorial service on Saturday March 6th, 2021.

John J. (Joseph) Malone, Sr.: March 15, 1951 – March 1, 2021 - Comments (1)

Printer Friendly Category: My Life
Author: Jerod Santo
Date: 5th March, 2021 @ 01:42:13 PM

John was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on March 15, 1951. He went home to be with the Lord on March 1st, 2021 at age 69, in his home surrounded by family and friends, almost too many to count. There were tears and laughter, goodbyes, the singing of hymns throughout the night, hugs, and comfort. It’s the way he wanted it.

Soon after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone at the age of 24, John knew that God had called him to the ministry. He spent the rest of his life preaching and teaching the Word of God. He could be found downtown on street corners in Omaha, in his local church, overseas in Kenya and other places, and on radio programs and podcasts.

John met his wife, Karen, in Canton, Ohio in 1984 and they were married the next year. He accepted her four children as his own and they soon moved back to his hometown of Omaha where he had several successful business endeavors. In their later years, John and Karen were able to enjoy travelling to many parts of the world together.

With Karen helping, John structured his life, work and home around the ministry of the Word of God and his family. He worked to share the Gospel and bring the truth and power of the Word of God to many throughout his life. John’s love of family extended to his church family. Virtually every weekend his home was open to not only his grandchildren and family, but brothers and sisters in Christ, who were all welcome to enjoy food and fellowship together.

Preceded in death by his beloved wife Karen, parents Edward J. and Josephine, and brother Steven. He is survived by brother Edward J. (Elaine) II, sister Mary Jo (Thomas) Hines, children Stephanie (Bob) Miszuk, Kevin (Katie) Mercer, Jeff (Melanie) Malone, Melanie (Dan) Backens, 39 grandchildren, and 6 (soon to be 8) great grandchildren.

John believed that the work of the ministry was more important than any title, and wanted his epitaph to simply be JABSBG – Just a Brother, Saved by Grace.

Memorial service will be Saturday at 2pm at Nebraska Christian College 12550 S 114th St, Papillion, NE followed by graveside service at Voss Mohr Cemetery near 138th and Harrison. Friends and family are invited back to Nebraska Christian College to enjoy food, fellowship and memories together after the service.

“A Mystery.” - Comments (3)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles
Author: John Malone
Date: 14th March, 2018 @ 08:39:53 AM

There are many mysteries in Scripture. Just remember that a “mystery” is a secret, and a disclosed secret at that.

Look at one of them, from Matthew 13, the key chapter to the key book of the New Testament, where seven mysteries line up.

Matthew 13:44
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”

This secret is 5th in a sequence of seven, the purpose of this writing is not the systematic teaching of these seven that each disclose a secret in the unfolding of the kingdom of the heavens.

(For that full treatment, see the free audio messages.

But here we have:
– a hidden treasure,
– a field
– a man who finds & hides the treasure
– who, for joy, sells ALL
who buys THE FIELD.

When we think of a treasure hidden in a field, for which a man buys the field, paying a precious price, our minds may well run to the instance of the death of Sarah, and the dealings around that death by Abraham.

The transaction we are looking at is the purchase by Abraham of a chosen field, owned by Ephron of Zohar of the children of Heth, in which was the cave of Machpelah.

This transaction covers the entire chapter 23 of Genesis, and is well worth reading.

Yet it isn’t until chapter 49 of Genesis, well beyond Abraham’s own death, that the significance of that purchase is known, in the words of Joseph, Abraham’s great grandson, the favorite son of Jacob:

Genesis 49:29-32
“And he (Jacob) charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,

In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying place.

There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.

The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.”

Especially look at v. 31 which described who is buried in that cave:
I-saac
S-arah
R-ebekah
A-braham
L-eah
And lastly, Israel himself, whose name was formed by the acrostic.

The name of Israel himself hidden in that cave, as it were, a treasure – Israel – hidden in the field, which, as the previous (2nd) parable clearly taught, is the world.

This makes Abraham a type of Jesus Christ in his purchase, as Jesus Christ is the man Who “sold all he had” at the cross, and purchased the field – the world – in order to secure for himself his special treasure, Israel.

By the way, not that nation over there today, formed and abiding in unbelief. When Jesus Christ hides his treasure, it remains hidden.

Herein, we learn one of the secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, and it is concerning Israel.

Today, the Israel of God is a remnant “according to the election of grace (Romans 11:5),” hidden in the )field) world so that it will survive.

Today is yet the day of grace where God commands all men everywhere – Jew and Gentile alike – to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

My Wife Karen - Comments (4)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles,My Life
Author: John Malone
Date: 11th February, 2018 @ 06:55:19 PM

Ephesians 5:25
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it “

As a Christian in a local church, I suppose one can take for granted the love Christ has for his assembly, continually giving His wonderful blessings.

Such love is above and beyond His and our Father’s love for the world.

In Jesus Christ, you find One Who always loves you better.

And it is a blessed man who finds a woman who always loves you more, always loves you better. Karen always loved me better, and no one ever loved me as much.

I could speak of my love for her. It is measured by my broken heart today. I am loving the thoughts I have of her as I write this.

But she always loved me better. And if you were close enough to her, you discovered she loved you better, too.

Karen was a spring of life and happiness. Though she could no longer bear, she still gave herself to continual motherhood, becoming a grandmother before age 40, and still nurturing her children and many, many grandchildren to her final hours.

Karen was a person who constantly thought of others, and who moved my mind to follow along in her giving ways. She arranged herself for the benefit of others. This is the very definition of kindness.

Karen was kind to a fault. She even provided food for squirrels & rabbits & birds. And cats.

But her lap was always open to the many children who carry her traits.

Karen never wanted things. Except for the kids and their kids. She believed we were a wasteful society. Therefore, she was going to privately non-conform. When it came to things for us, I was the one pulling her into any spending.

Karen did some things you probably don’t know about.

She was the first Nebraska “Home School Grandma,” graduating from homeschool our oldest granddaughter, mom being a homeschool graduate.

Karen also founded the Warrior sports program. She never wanted that credit, but I wanted it for her. You see, that is how she was, so modest.

I took Karen out of that program, and other such life endeavors, because I needed her in our Africa adventures.

Without ever wanting it, Karen enjoyed a life of true adventure, always inside the faith. She visited China, spending weeks in fabulous places, in 1991.

She enjoyed a spectacular visit to the UAE, hosted especially by an oil sheik and the Regional Chef of the Intercontinental Hotels.

Karen sparkled in such settings. So pretty!

In Kenya, East Africa, Karen and I found especially romantic places, together with some difficult and hard work.

But we always took time to revisit a special and simple place called the Kentmere Club, just as we – with me pulling her – visited the fabulous Mount Kenya Safari Club, the ‘Ol Pejeta Ranch, Sweetwater Tented Camp, and even a tent on sticks in the midst of the waters of Lake Naivasha, amongst hundreds of hippos. We rode an ATV together through the Masai Mara, and saw each of the Big Five game animals.

Karen’s favorite adventure times were riding: once on a horse in the midst of so many animals, including elephants, and another time she rode a camel.

My wife Karen was an exciting woman, I can certify, and she thrilled me to my bones. The thoughts of these amazing rendezvous we arranged in our lives are both keeping me from and making me cry.

I realize the Scriptures teach is to “judge not.” And to “judge nothing before the time.”

But please allow me to reflect.

Because I have written about a few things out of an entire life, and even then only a slight reference.

Karen’s life was marked by much sorrow. She just took it so well that she wouldn’t let it bother anyone else. She actually called me to cheer me up in 2007 when she discovered she had the cancer that finally killed her.

She suffered in very many ways often at the hands of physicians.

This was part of the way of the cross in Karen’s life. That way that we don’t like to talk about.

She didn’t talk about it either. “I’m not a whiner,” she would say. On her death bed, she saw me in tears. “Don’t be a wimp,” she said, “You have to hold everything together.”

Because the glue of our amazing family was leaving us.

So my assessment is not what matters, the Lord will judge us all at the judgment seat of Christ, and that’s where I’ll see and be with Karen, and most likely some of you.

But in my assessment, Karen’s was a triumphant life, one well-lived because she loved us so well.

Good night, lover.

What’s Wrong with this Picture? - Comments (1)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles
Author: John Malone
Date: 5th October, 2015 @ 02:42:26 AM

empty tomb

At first look, nothing wrong, it’s attractive.

It’s pretty. Perhaps inspiring.
Certainly it is intended to bring one’s thought to the empty tomb of Jesus Christ, and therefore to remind one of His resurrection out from the dead, by which he was declared to be the {Son of God with power.|Rom 1:4}

The problem with the picture is its inconsistency with the Scriptural account of Jesus empty tomb as presented to Peter and John, described in the Gospel  of John.

In John 19:40, we read, “Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

We need to inspect the phrase “wound it in linen.” We should understand the process for the burial was to take strips of linen, dip them in the mixture of myrrh and aloes customarily used for burial by the Jews, and then wind the limbs and torso of the dead.

There was a cocoon shell encasing the dead body.

In the case of Jesus’ burial, the compound of myrrh and aloes {weighed about 100 pounds |Jo 19:39}. The linen, becomes very heavy when soaked in the “spices” used for the burial.

In the account of the entrance of Peter and John to the empty tomb of Jesus, the supposed picture of which is above, they saw nothing like it.

Here is the compelling account (John 20:3-8)

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

John, referring to himself in third person, says in verse 8 that what he saw caused him to believe. The translation here – “linen clothes lying” – obscures what he saw.  That translation probably causes the artist of the picture above to get this wrong.What the speedier of the two apostles – not necessarily younger – saw first was the grave clothes as they were. That is, he saw them in the cocoon shape, yet empty, and the soudarion (napkin) that was previously draped over the windings folded neatly in a separate place.

The evidence John saw was persuasive. Jesus had passed through the shell of the grave clothes, unlike Lazarus, who came from his tomb yet bound in them, the {soudarion binding his face.|Jo 11:44}

Unlike Lazarus – raised by Jesus – no one needed to cut him loose from the clothes or the face wrap.

Here was powerful enough evidence for two of the “pillar” apostles to believe in Jesus’ bodily resurrection.

Social Oppression, Truth Suppression At Applebee’s. - Comments (1)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles
Author: John Malone
Date: 14th August, 2015 @ 11:57:27 PM

Romans 1:18
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness;

So, Village Inn closed down temporarily, and I suggested Applebee’s for after the Wednesday night Bible study. No free pie, but half-priced appetizers.

Two of my grandsons and their friend – ever the hungry teenagers – decided to go, too.

While we are chomping down cheeseburger sliders and boneless wings, the boys are ordering three full appetizers each across the restaurant.

There were two men in their mid-twenties – let’s call them Matt and Chris – seated at the table adjacent to my grandsons, and their friend. Let’s call him Jay.

Matt and Chris, speaking loudly enough to be easily overheard, were discussing what the boys thought were unsavory things. Jay decided to engage them about their comments.

One thing led to another, and Jay sat down to talk to Matt and Chris, mainly Chris. Jay took up the subject of the free gift of God of eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Interestingly and importantly, he did not take up the subject of homosexual sin, a practice which both Matt and Chris had been discussing openly.

Chris became quite interested in his discussion with Jay, while Matt apparently listened with his back turned: at one point Matt said, “If God is coming back soon, I’m in trouble.” The waitress for both tables apparently took a hostile interest in the polite conversation between the two that was taking place. She found ways to “hang around” the tables. At one point, she asked the older fellows, Chris and Matt, if they were being bothered. They did not say they wee, probably to her chagrin.

At one point, Chris said to Jay, “You have a lot of courage speaking up as you are. Most people wouldn’t do it. I respect you for that.” Later, the waitress would claim that Chris had tears in his eyes. There is a later to this story.

The Manager at Applebee’s – let’s call him Manager Chris – came over to Jay and asked him to quit speaking to the other fellows. Jay asked him why, and told him no one had any complaint. Despite being a teenager, and Manager Chris being somewhere in his mid to late thirties, Jay said he felt he held authority in the exchange.

At that point, Chris and Matt decided to leave without dessert.

I learned of this incident later, when the boys cam to our table across the way, told us about it briefly, and went their way. The details I have described above I got later.

I only knew that the boys had been asked by Manager Chris to stop their discussion when I went to take the matter up with him in person. He came out, we shook hands, and when I began to ask him why he felt compelled to break up a conversation between two will customers, he said that Matt had come to him complaining that they were being bothered. I have reason today to doubt that ever happened. In fact, after reflecting on the vents I’v yet to describe, I’m pretty sure the “complaint” came from the waitress the boys generously tipped!

I conclude this today, because, as I was discussing why Manager Chris decided to do what he did, two waitresses decide to hover around our conversation, just as one of them decided to hover around the one jay was having.

And she just couldn’t keep her mouth shut. “This is just gender discrimination!” she said angrily. I said, “Gender discrimination? How is that possible? They were all men?” Then she said something that, I guess, I am supposed to think about. “Two of those guys were homosexuals,” she said. So, apparently, to this generation of “Millennial,” there has become a proliferation of “genders.” No more can one treat a homosexual as a man, I suppose no longer can one treat a lesbian as a woman.

I answered her that she needed to believe on Jesus Christ. Somewhat to my surprise, as she nearly ran away, she threw back at me, “I do.” This could be, for no one is as much trouble as an apostate. No one.

And apparently, no longer can a manager at a chain restaurant regulate the rude conduct of his employees, but CAN regulate the polite conduct of his patrons.

I asked Chris if the subject matter of the conversation entered into his decision to break it up. He wouldn’t answer. He had such an obviously bad conscience, he almost couldn’t answer. I did tell him he would be judged by God Almighty for what he had done, and that i was pretty sure he knew that.

It was this very same employee, the waitress, who, while I was discussing this matter with Manager Chris, told her associate in the hearing of another patron, one of my friends, that “no matter what their attitude is, they (me and my table) need to get their #&%@ing %$#es out of here.”

I came back in to tell Manager Chris about this remark, and as I left, fielded insulting remarks from other employees.

I at once pity and am envious of what faces today’s youngest generation of Christians. On the one hand, they are facing persecution on every side, even as patrons in a restaurant.

On the other hand, there is this:

1st Peter 4:13-14
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

Facts of the Crucifixion: More than Three Crosses. - Comments (5)

Printer Friendly Category: Articles
Author: John Malone
Date: 25th December, 2014 @ 11:14:48 PM

sunset - 3 crosses FiveCrossesGraphic

Lately I have been seeing a lot of traditional pictures of three crosses in a row at sunset, the middle one elevated.

Pictures almost invariably mislead Christian believers, and the one with three crosses presumably at Mount Calvary just do not reconcile with Bible accounts.

You might think most people would say, “What difference does it make?” In fact, however, that is not my experience. When I suggest to folks that, according to the Bible account, there seems to need to be at least five crosses, they challenge me to explain with facts, and then – not surprisingly – completely reject the argument.

That’s what happened to me when I wrote a lengthy explanation of Facebook, and subsequently got kicked out of the forum for writing it, losing all my writing. That is one of the cruel aspects of FaceBook, so, by request, I am rewriting it here in this account, where angry readers cannot delete it.

I find, for this discussion, that a good place to start is in John’s gospel, where we are arrested by the dramatic action recorded in:

John 19:31-37
31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true:and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

While it is not the main point of this passage (the piercing of he Lord’s side a necessary element of Christ’s second coming, among other truths), we can see that the Roman soldiers broke the legs of one, then another, and then CAME TO JESUS. Immediately, one would think they were walking down a row, and not skipping past Jesus, and then coming back to Him, which, if there were only three crosses, they would have to do, He being in the middle.

So, let’s look at the other accounts, and see how this “lines up.” We have references in the synoptic gospels to those crucified with him, being described as thieves, and malefactors, at least to each. If these are only two each, and if it turns out that the thief is the malefactor, then and only then do we come to three crosses. Otherwise, we will come to more, and John 19:32-33 will also make better sense to us.

Matthew’s Account.

{Matthew 27:26-54|Mat 27:26-54} encompasses that gospel’s account of Jesus’ crucifixion from the time Barabbas is released in His stead, to the time of His death and the events that immediately followed causing a centurion to believe that He is the Son of God. My subject here, however, does not call for the exegesis of the whole passage, instead drawing attention to:

The Crucifixion and Location of the Thieves.

Matt 27:38“Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.” THEN means after He refused the vinegar and gall, after He was placed on the cross, after they parted His garments, and after they placed the signification “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews” accusation above His head. It was THEN that two THIEVES were crucified on either side of him. Right-hand side, left-hand side.

The Behavior of the Thieves.

As passers-by took up the mockeries of their religious leaders, hurling scornful and hostile epithets, engaging in the mockery and disgrace intended upon Him by His enemies, we read verse 44:

44 “The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.”

So, it is the thieves – both of them (1+1) – who hurled insults at Him. Did one of these change his mind on his cross, and articulate the more salutary opinion of Him, thereby becoming the all-so-remembered “thief on the cross?”

Mark’s Account.

The portion of the gospel of Mark covering this same action as Matthew 27 adds some precision to our already elucidated facts. The {passage is Mark  15:20-39: Mar 15:20-39}.

We see the time frame covered is the 3rd hour to the 6th hour, followed by three hours of darkness until the ninth hour. Those six hours thereby cover the time from 9.a.m. to 3 p.m. Israel time. Before the sixth hour, as the last recorded event, is the crucifixion of the thieves:

27 “And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.”

We then learn, as they hang from no earlier than some time after 9 am., and no later than noon, passers-by threw their epithets, and, just as Matthew records:

32 “… And they that were crucified with him reviled him.”

Luke’s Account.

{Luke’s account|Lu 23:32-45} gives us our information about the MALEFACTORS, and the resins why we know they are not the same as the thieves. First off, a thief is a malefactor, but a malefactor is not necessarily a thief. A generally malevolent person – a malefactor – can be other than a thief. He can be a brigand, or one who assaults, or any number of things that are not thievery, but are seriously wicked.

Here’s our introduction to them:

Luke 23:32“And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.”

The Crucifixion of the Malefactors.

These appear to us sooner in the dramatic action than the thieves. Sure, they COULD still be the same, but one must notice this difference. A different name – malefactor – and a different entrance into the account. They are being led to Golgotha with him. There’s more.

33: “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.”

They are also left and right. But pairs of crosses could be added left and right ad infinitum, and this language would stay the same. This is not proof of our case that there at least five crosses at Calvary, but neither does this language say otherwise.

It is further down in the account that His accusation of being King of the Jews is referenced:

38: “And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, this is the King of the Jews.”

After that superscription was hung, the thieves were crucified, left and right. An outer pair to the malefactor inner-pair.

Some may say, “You are assuming Luke is a consecutive account.” I am. It is {Luke’s gospel itself|Lu 1:1-4}that demands that we understand we are always reading consecutively. The Bible is written to inform us, not to mislead us.

And, this account now makes overall sense to us.

The Behavior of the Malefactors.

39: “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds:but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

I’m tempted to correct much error instead of my subject here, especially as to what the Lord actually said to this MALEFACTOR, but my central point is that this interaction is with the “malefactor on the cross, not the thief.” This colloquy among the three who were crucified at the same time may have been in the hearing of the thieves, may not have been, but was with someone that was not them.

So, if we were to picture Calvary (Golgotha) from afar at that time, we should see at least five crosses. Most of the pictures you see – especially those of the Lord Himself – are wrong.

Faith is not sight, faith is in God’s Word, and from God’s Word. And grace is through faith.

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