June 2011 archives of www.christconnection.net down below
THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2011
SHOULD WE FOCUS ON SIN ?
"Christ Jesus came into the world TO SAVE SINNERS; of whom I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:15).
"Therefore He is able TO SAVE COMPLETELY those who come to God through Him, because He ALWAYS LIVES to intercede for them" (Hebrews 7:25).
There's this school of thought in Christianity that THINKS it's their life's mission to "call sin SIN", as if a SINFUL world didn't know what the heck it was.
They are the ONES that picket abortion clinics with SIGNS that say "abortion is murder" (hang with me here for a minute, please), that constantly bash sinners, that constantly point an ACCUSING finger at homosexuals, and even crash homosexual funerals rejoicing that that person "has gone to hell".
I don't know what kind of "Christianity" that is, but it's not found in the New Testament.
The New Testament is ALL about REDEMPTION FROM sin (John 3:17).
My Jesus DIDN'T GO AROUND CONDEMNING SINNERS, as some Christians do today, thinking that's their lofty mission in life.
He went around OFFERING FORGIVENESS to ALL who'd receive Him (John 3:16).
And THAT'S what Christians, at least REAL Christians, should be preaching today.
Jesus' Message HASN'T CHANGED. It's THE SAME today as it was then.
He is THE SAME yesterday, today and FOREVER (Hebrews 13:8).
It's the "Christian" RELIGION, unfortunately, that has PERVERTED His Message.
The ONLY SINNERS that Jesus EVER denounced were the RELIGIOUS LEADERS of His day, who thought they were "better" and "more righteous" than everyone else.
They thought THEIR RELIGION and their WORKS could save them.
They trusted THEIR OWN righteousness, instead of His.
For the record, THERE'S NO RIGHTEOUSNESS BUT JESUS' (Isaiah 64:6).
For the record, "works" DON'T WORK... where Salvation is concerned.
Jesus, in fact, told these self-righteous religious leaders POINT BLANK that "prostitutes and sinners WOULD ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD AHEAD OF THEM" (Matthew 21:31).
Do you REALLY think that a sinner DOESN'T KNOW what he/she is?
Do you REALLY think that by condemning them and telling them HOW EVIL and SINFUL they are you're going to get them to stop sinning, let alone WIN THEM TO Christ?
No. What A SINNER -- ANY SINNER -- needs to hear is that THEIR SINS ARE FORGIVEN.
That's there's a God who loved them SO MUCH that He came in human form and ALREADY PAID FOR ALL-- and I mean ALL -- their sins (2 Corinthians 5:19).
That ALL they need to do IN ORDER TO BE CLEANSED of sin forever, is to RECEIVE THAT WONDERFUL God-Savior into their hearts and TRUST (have full confidence in) His unconditional love for them, His atoning death and Resurrection (John 1:12; Romans 10:9).
Those who want to go back to the Old Testament, where the law demanded "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", and want to display those hateful SIGNS can do so. That is their right under the law.
However, they should keep in mind that they, too, will be judged by the same standard they apply to others (Matthew 7:1; James 2:10).
Furthermore, those who live under the Old Testament AREN'T SAVED!!!
Is abortion the killing of a human being? You bet!
Is homosexuality sin? YES!
Are they UNFORGIVABLE SINS? NO!!!
SIN ISN'T what Christians should be focused on.
We should focus on Jesus, THE ONE AND ONLY REMOVER OF SIN.
...The ONLY ONE who PAID FOR, and TOOK AWAY, the sins of the world (John 1:29).
That's WHAT He DIED FOR. That's what He LIVES FOR.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2011
In Matthew chapter 24 Jesus told us PRECISELY WHEN the 7-year period would BEGIN and when the tribulation would END.
"You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but THE END is NOT YET.
Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are THE BEGINNING OF birth pangs".
So, He clearly stated that THE BEGINNING OF birth pangs is characterized by....
1) Wars and rumors of wars.
2) Nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom
(In context, He'd be referring to the nations known in His day, and not to modern nations. So "wars" and "rumors of war" and "nation against nation" would have to refer to Middle Eastern nations, or nations bordering the Mediterranean, since that was THE WORLD the people of that era knew. This would EXCLUDE the American continent, which wasn't discovered ‘til 1492, as well as large parts of Asia, Africa and Northeastern Europe).
4) Earthquakes in various places.
He indicated that ALL OF THESE happening SIMULTANEOUSLY would signal THE BEGINNING of the birthpangs.
Famine, unfortunately, has been around "forever"...
But no one can deny that in the past 18 months there's been A SHARP increase in the number of STRONG, DEVASTATING EARTHQUAKES and VIOLENTLY ERUPTING VOLCANOES. The Greek word used in this passage, seismos, would cover BOTH.
Wars and "rumors of" war in that part of the world have been ongoing for the past decade with the invasion of Afghanistan, of Iraq, and with Iran's ever growing nuclear agenda.
But what REALLY began this whole period is the "nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom" taking place in the Middle East.
It all began with Tunisia in December 2010, and spread into Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Oman, Sudan, Iran and Iraq.
Even as I write, and although the protests are somewhat different in nature, there's turmoil going on in the streets of Athens.
This is UNPRECEDENTED in human history. NO such multinational "chain reaction" has EVER happened before.
And it's happening, right before our eyes, JUST AS JESUS PREDICTED.
Naysayers may argue that famine, war, rumors or war and quakes have been around,to a greater or lesser extent, for a long time.
BUT WHAT THEY ABSOLUTELY CANNOT SAY is that the multinational upheaval taking place in the Middle East has happened before. This event is WITHOUT PRECEDENT and UNIQUE to our time.
What's even more amazing is Jesus' pinpoint accuracy (praise His Name):
"Nation against nation" (as in revolution, a nation at war against itself) and "kingdom against kingdom" since some of them, like Jordan and Bahrain, ARE KINGDOMS.
That's PRECISELY what's taking place.
The so-called "Arab Spring", actually began IN THE FALL OF 2010.
It began, to be exact, on December 17, 2010 when twenty six year-old Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in utter despair and protest of the way he was treated by local authorities, thus lighting the fuse that ended his life and ignited the current unrest sweeping the Middle East.
So, as per Jesus' OWN WORDS -- according to HIS VERY OWN AND VERY ACCURATE DESCRIPTION -- the BIRTHPANGS HAVE BEGUN.
In Matthew 24:9-13 He gave additional details of what would happen once the tribulation was underway.
Then in verse 14, He told us WHEN THE TRIBULATION would end :
"And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then THE END (of the tribulation) will come".
In Revelation 14:6,7 we read about a special angel (messenger) flying thru heaven PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF GOD'S KINGDOM TO EVERYONE ON EARTH.
The "END" of the tribulation takes place shortly thereafter when Alexander masses his armies at Armageddon in a futile attempt to PREVENT the return of Jesus and the establishment of His Kingdom on earth (Revelation 16:16).
AFTER the tribulation ends, there's a 75-day (30 + 45 day) transition period, mentioned in Daniel 12:11-12 that leads to the Millennium, which starts on or about 12/13/2017.
So, there's a 7-YEAR PERIOD FROM THE BEGINNING OF BIRTH PANGS TO THE BEGINNING OF THE MILENNIUM.
While the Church CLEARLY won't be here for the tribulation judgments,IT WILL BE HERE DURING THE BIRTHPANGS.
Consequently, the Church will still be here during PART (the start) OF THE aforementioned 7-year period.
Matter of fact, that's where we are RIGHT NOW.
TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2011
In view of the fact WE'RE STILL HERE, I have entertained the possibility that the period involving the Rapture-Tribulation-Second Coming might be less than 7-years in duration.
I can now say it IS less than 7 years. However, THERE IS STILL a 7-year period that runs from the beginning of the Birthpangs to the Millennium, as I'll demonstrate in a moment.
So, again, and to clarify: the period covering the Rapture, tribulation and Second Coming is LESS THAN 7 years.
However, THERE IS a 7-year period, which BEGINS with the birth pangs and ENDS WITH the start of the Millennium.
The more I checked and re-checked the Scriptures, meditated on these things, and sought the Spirit's Wisdom, it just didn't make ANY sense for there NOT to be a 7-year period involved somehow.
As I've shared with you previously, Bible prophecy is ALL about 7's.
Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy consists of 70 sevens, 7 sevens, 62 sevens, and HALF a seven.
The Book of Revelation contains no fewer than 19 sets of "sevens", which I've detailed in a previous message.
God even placed a 7-year period AT THE END OF the Millennium (Ezekiel 39:9).
Therefore, while there's no Scripture that says in so many words "there will be a 7-year period BEFORE the Millennium", it JUST DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE for it NOT TO be there.
If God is ANYTHING He is CONSISTENT. And He is the Supreme Perfectionist.
God SPECIFICALLY told Daniel in chapter 12, verses 4 and 9 that such things would NOT be FULLY understood UNTIL "the time of the end".
So, the CLOSER we get to "the end", THE MORE we'll understand, and the CLEARER we will see the picture.
Therefore, and assuming that Jesus tarries a little longer, I EXPECT to KNOW MORE about eschatology A MONTH FROM NOW, and even more 3 months from now, than I do presently.
I no longer see the 7-year period PRECEDING Christ's Second Coming, but PRECEDING the Millennium. That's an important distinction.
So, the Millennium is sandwiched in between TWO 7-year periods.
Assuming as per Daniel 9:25 that the Second Coming will take place in the fall of 2017 and as per Daniel 12:11, 12 that the Millennium begins some 75 days thereafter, on Hanukkah 2017, that would mean that the 7-year period began in December, 2010.
It DID NOT, however, begin with the Rapture, as I had anticipated.
It began with the BIRTHPANGS.
The Rapture, according to Revelation 12:1-5, takes place AT THE END OF the birth pangs and, according to Revelation 7:9, BEFORE the tribulation JUDGMENTS (of the 7 trumpets) begin.
So, the Rapture takes place SOMETIME during that 7-year span, IN THE EARLY PART thereof.
The tribulation JUDGMENTS BEGIN shortly AFTER the birth pangs end and the Church has departed (Revelation 8:1, 2).
The Church remains on earth for the duration of the birth pangs.
It is NOT however, on earth, when the tribulation judgments are poured out.
The million dollar question then becomes "HOW LONG is the duration of the birth pangs?
The Scriptures DON'T tell us.
Hence, NO ONE KNOWS "the day" of our Departure.
What we DO KNOW is that if the birth pangs HAVE ALREADY BEGUN, it can't be too far off.
In the natural, birth pangs DON'T LAST TOO LONG.
They may "seem to" last "forever", but they don't.
However, it varies with EACH woman.
How long will they last for THIS "woman"? (Revelation 12:1)
Don't know, but they've been going on for 6 months already.
I'll further explain the birth pangs in tomorrow's message.
MONDAY, JUNE 27, 2011
One prophetic passage that is often misunderstood is Matthew 24:22:
"And EXCEPT THOSE DAYS SHOULD BE SHORTENED, no flesh would be saved: but FOR THE ELECT'S SAKE those days shall be shortened".
People constantly ask if that means the length of the tribulation will be shortened.
They also ask if this might be the reason WHY the Rapture hasn't happened.
The answer to both questions is "NO".
By "shortening" the days, Jesus did NOT mean that they'd be FEWER IN NUMBER.
He meant the days themselves would be "shorter" in the sense that DAYLIGHT will be curtailed.
This happens in Revelation 8:12 shortly after the tribulation judgments begin, when the 4th trumpet is blown:
"The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark; A THIRD OF THE DAY WAS WITHOUT LIGHT, and also a third of the night.
That's what Jesus meant. So, instead of the usual "12 hours" of daylight, it will be reduced to only about 8 hours.
Obviously, that'll give the Antichrist and his forces less opportunity to pursue and kill God's people.
Hence, Jesus' comment that UNLESS the days (daylight) were shortened "no flesh would survive".
We know the number of days for the reign of Antichrist is pretty much FIXED at 3½ years, or 42 months, or 1,260 days (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5).
So, there's NO WAY Jesus could have meant that those days would be "shortened" IN NUMBER.
Likewise, eschatology is ALL ABOUT 7's.
Both, the events in Daniel's 70 weeks and in the Book of Revelation, are all based on 7's.
There's a 7-year period FOLLOWING the Millennium.
Therefore, God being the Great Perfectionist that He is, there must also be a 7-year period PRECEDING the Millennium.
Matter of fact, if my understanding of Scripture is correct, and although the tribulation JUDGMENTS have not yet begun, WE ARE in that 7-year period RIGHT NOW.
I will further explain in another message soon, so please don't bombard me with emails asking me to "give more details" about this. I will do so, in due time.
So, the tribulation lasts less than 7 years, and the reign of Antichrist lasts 3½ years.
That number is FIXED, and unchangeable.
God's NOT shortening THE NUMBER of days. He's shortening THE LENGTH of days, or the hours of daylight.
That's what it means.
He thinks of EVERYTHING, down to the smallest details... doesn't He?
Jesus be eternally praised.
The other part of that verse that raises questions is "who are THE ELECT mentioned there"?
"Elect" means the same as "CHOSEN". The verse could just as easily and correctly be translated "but for the Chosen's sake those days shall be shortened". Therefore, they are God's Chosen People, the natural Israelites.
The Church will be safely in heaven, but most Jews and many natural Israelites, will still be on earth.
For THEIR SAKE, God will shorten the hours of daylight, thus ensuring their survival as a people, and their resettlement in the Holy Land, as God promised, during the Millennium.
SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011
"For the time will come when they WILL NOT ENDURE sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. They will REJECT THE TRUTH and chase after myths(2 Timothy 4:3, 4)".
No more accurate depiction of modern Christianity could be given.
The Holy Spirit, thru the apostle Paul, spoke of the condition of the Church today ("the time will come") and NAILED IT.
In a day when kristian CHURCHES seek "SHARED FAITH" with the satanic religion of Islam which WORSHIPS A FALSE "god" and damns untold millions to the flames and torment of hell...
WHAT, IN HEAVEN'S NAME, do we SHARE with IDOLATERS?
...A day when RELIGIOUS APPEASEMENT is sought by READING THE KORAN in those "churches",when the congregation is SPIRITUALLY STARVED for lack of knowledge of THE BIBLE...
When we have supposed Christians practicing yoga, astrology, transcendental meditation, and even dabbling in the occult...
When we have prophecy gurus teaching "Islamic eschatology", to Christians who DON'T KNOW BIBLICAL eschatology...
When legalism and Judaizing have reached EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS, teaching a jumbled "gospel" of Jesus PLUS WORKS, when the Scriptures classify those who do as "ACCURSED" (Galatians 1:8)...
Saying they "CAN'T ENDURE sound doctrine" is putting it mildly.
Jesus also warned that religious deception, IN HIS NAME, would be the hallmark of these "LAST DAYS" (Matthew 24:4).
We see how tremendously accurate God's Word is, and we do well in heeding Jesus' Words about these end times:
"He THAT ENDURES ‘TIL THE END shall be saved" (Matthew 24:13).
Are you ENDURING sound doctrine, or RUNNING AFTER MYTHS?
FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 2011
There's a new trend in Christianity that is rather disturbing.
In a cowardly attempt to satisfy the anti-Christian, anti-Christ media which takes delight in branding us intolerant, there are supposed "ministers of the Gospel" willing to compromise its very message in favor of dialogue and "interfaith conferences".
They're AFRAID to say that Salvation is found ONLY in Jesus Christ.
They're AFRAID to state before the biased, judgmental, self-righteous, INTOLERANT media elite that THERE'S NO SALVATION APART FROM Jesus [Acts 4:12].
One BIG reason for this cowardly compromise is that they want to be on the media's good side, so they'll be well received next time they embark on their worthless book tour.
Intolerant? Christians aren't the ones blowing themselves up JUST SO they can indiscriminately murder people of other faiths.
Christians aren't the ones who DISOWN their families, or carry out "honor killings" of family members who dare forsake such religious abominations in favor of the Truth.
Jesus and His disciples NEVER compromised the pure message of the Gospel that Salvation is thru Him and Him ALONE.
This, despite the fact their VERY LIVES were at stake.
Those brave men and women in the early Church were willing to DIE, Jesus Himself was willing to GO TO THE CROSS, and these gutless wimps aren't even willing to sacrifice social acceptance and a few bucks?
Give me a HUGE break!
If you love people of "other religions" enough to MINGLE with them, you should also love them enough to TELL THEM THE TRUTH.
FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011
AFTER THE RAPTURE- Part Two
In yesterday's message we covered what'll happen in the FIRST part of the tribulation. What happens, then, in THE SECOND part?
The Antichrist emerges from the bottomless pit, resurrected from the dead (Revelation 13:1; 17:8).
The unbelieving world is mesmerized by this great figure from the past who, like Jesus Himself, APPEARS resurrected and immortal. Like the Savior, he also exhibits supernatural powers.
Since they hate Jesus, they think this is their guy, the king capable of challenging, overthrowing and preventing the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ on earth. The Bible calls it "strong delusion" (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
Israel will be aggressively and ruthlessly persecuted, Jerusalem will be attacked and conquered, and Jews will have to flee into the desert for safety (Revelation 12:6).
The false prophet also rises from the dead, in support of Antichrist (Revelation 13:11, 12). He promotes Antichrist's "deity", and forces EVERYONE to worship Satan and Antichrist, under penalty of death.
The false prophet will deceive millions with the supernatural wonders he'll perform (Revelation 13:13,14).
He will control the economy and forbid buying or selling for anyone who doesn't receive Antichrist's mark, his name, or the number of his name in his right hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16,17).
Those who receive Antichrist's mark will doom themselves to spend eternity in torment (Revelation 14:9-11).
Those who refuse the mark will, for the most part, be beheaded (Revelation 20:4).
If they, somehow, manage to escape, they will have a very hard time surviving, since they won't be able to purchase food, beverages, or any of life's necessities.
Rome will be nuked out of the planet (Revelation 17:16-18).
The followers of Antichrist will be covered in painful blisters and sores. The entire sea [that's ¾ of our planet] will turn into coagulated blood. All marine creatures die. One can only imagine the horrible stench and contamination.
All rivers, lakes, and water reservoirs will turn to blood. There will be nothing to drink, EXCEPT BLOOD.
The ozone layer will be completely gone, and men will be scorched with third-degree sunburn. The pain will be so grievous, they will bite and chew their tongues (Revelation chapter 16).
Do you think NOW, perhaps, they turn to God? Nope. They blaspheme Him.
Finally, the situation becomes so intolerable, that Antichrist gathers the nations at Armageddon to engage in war against (ANTI) Christ.
The war is over before it even starts.
Jesus instantly kills the armies of Antichrist. Antichrist himself and the false prophet are captured and thrown alive into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:11-20).
Their father Satan is captured, chained and imprisoned in the bottomless pit, where he will do time, 1,000 years, to be exact (Revelation 20:1-3).
Jesus will set up His Eternal Kingdom on earth (Revelation 20:4).
The Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ is, therefore, INEVITABLE.
Whether you like or not, Jesus will reign forever.
From eternity to eternity HE IS GOD.
The only question remaining is: WHERE WILL YOU BE when He reigns? In the lake of fire's eternal torment with Satan and the Antichrist? ... or ruling and reigning with Jesus forever and ever?
It's ENTIRELY up to you.
THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2011
AFTER THE RAPTURE
Ever wonder what it will be like on earth AFTER Christians are raptured?
The tribulation is described, in chronological order, in chapters 8-19 of the Book of Revelation, with some parenthetical details in chapters 10-12.
What will it be like, for those who remain on earth?
For starters, they'll get the shock of their lives, when they see the Jesus they've consistently rejected, coming in the clouds with power and great glory.
Lindsay Lohan, who recently renounced Jesus [not that she ever KNEW HIM] to please her former lesbian lover, will suddenly realize just how stupid she is.
They'll be equally shocked when, suddenly, the earth and the atmosphere quake violently, daylight wanes as the sun becomes black, the moon turns into a blood ball, the earth's geography and topography are rearranged, and billions of people, children, babies and animals instantaneously disappear.
Brad and Angelina will be looking for their babies, natural or adopted, and they'll be gone.
The tribulation judgments begin when the 7th seal is opened, and the first 6 trumpets are blown.
These will cause all the grass, plus the third part of trees and crops to be burnt up. Buying a head of lettuce is something we take for granted today. When these judgments take place, it won't be easy to find lettuce. If you do find it, the price will be sky high.
Animals will all be gone, so you won't be able to eat chicken, beef or pork, either. So, you unsaved Atkins dieters better start planning now...
Better yet, you can receive Jesus into your hearts as Lord, and you'll be safely in heaven with Him when these terrible events unfold.
There's nuclear war in which the third part of ships is destroyed. The third part of the sea turns to blood, while the third part of rivers, lakes and water reservoirs becomes so contaminated that drinking it causes death.
The third part of sea creatures dies. Daylight, moonlight and starlight are also reduced by one-third, making this a dark, dark world... in more ways than one.
Millions of scorpion-like demonic creatures come out of the abyss to sting and torment humans for 5 months. It will be so painful that men will want to die, and try in vain to commit suicide, but they'll stay alive. God won't allow them to take "the easy way out".
A large number of lethal missiles, carrying chemical and biological payload, is unleashed from the Euphrates region and kills the third part of mankind.
There are roughly 7 billion people on earth right now. Assuming that, by God's grace, 2 billion of us depart in the Rapture, there would be 5 billion left. We're talking about death on an unprecedented scale, OVER A BILLION AND A HALF people sickened or poisoned to death.
And, what we've covered so far is just the first and "mildest" part of the tribulation.
The thing that absolutely staggers me is that chapter 9:20,21 tell us that, even in the horrible aftermath of these unparalleled events, peoples' hearts are so hardened that they REFUSE TO REPENT, AND TURN TO THE ONE, TRUE GOD.
Want to know what happens in the second part of the tribulation?
Come back tomorrow, for Part Two
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2011
ADVICE FOR SINNERS
If you're one of those "perfect" people who never sins, or CLAIMS never to sin, go read one of those "other" websites.
We're not after "perfect" people; sinners is what we're ALL about.
What should be the mindset of a FORMER sinner, who's been saved by grace, and who doesn't WANT TO sin?
The more YOU "TRY" in your own strength NOT TO sin, the more you will. The BIGGER the temptations will become, and the HARDER they'll be to resist.
The WORST thing we can do is "TRY NOT TO" sin. The BEST thing we can do is flow with the Spirit. TRUST Jesus. Follow Jesus.
We DO NOT, therefore, live under law or commandments "don't do this" and "don't do that". That just makes us WANT TO sin ALL THE MORE (Romans 7:7, 8).
We are to live in the Spirit of Christ within us (Galatians 5:16, 25).
Christians should stay focused on His Spirit. TRUSTING Jesus, TRUSTING that His Blood has us covered. That NO MATTER WHAT we do ON THE OUTSIDE, NO ONE CAN TAKE HIS SPIRIT from our INSIDE.
It's His Spirit (His own Nature) in us that makes us saved (Romans 8:9; 2 Peter 1:4).
One reason the 10 commandments don't work is that, when we try to live under them, we FEAR the consequences of breaking them.
Fear is NOT of God (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18).
The underlying reason for anyone wanting to live under "commandments" is FEAR. Fear is of Satan. FEAR MEANS you DON'T TRUST.
The more you FEAR SIN AND ITS CONSEQUENCES, THE MORE YOU WILL SIN.
Repeat: The more you FEAR SIN AND ITS CONSEQUENCES, THE MORE YOU WILL SIN.
Fear of sinning WILL MAKE US sin. It makes us SLAVES TO sin.
CONFIDENCE (TRUST) THAT JESUS' BLOOD IS SUFFICIENT TO FOREVER SAVE US, and wash away ALL our sins no matter what we do, is what KEEPS US FROM SINNING.
That's what makes sin LOSE ITS GRIP on us.
Does that mean we'll never sin again? No.
We live in a sin riddled world, where temptations come at us constantly and from all directions.
It means you will gradually sin less and less.
It means that sin, slowly but surely, will become A LOT LESS ALLURING.
It means you will SELDOM sin.
This takes practice and persistence. It's a way of life. The more we practice this Way of Life, the less vulnerable to sin we become.
So, if any sin has a grip on your life, relax. Give it over to Jesus. Place it in His loving Hands, and TRUST HIM that He has FOREVER taken care of sin for you.
Trust Him that ALL your sins (past, present and "future") are ALL washed away.
That should be the mindset of every true believer.
There will come a day when we will NO LONGER SIN AT ALL, when God's glory will once again crown his human offspring, purifying our minds forever.
Until that day comes, ALL God requires of us is UNSWERVING TRUST.
Commandments are ORDERS.
ONLY SLAVES follow orders.
Sons don't follow orders. They KNOW what's theirs BY BIRTHRIGHT.
TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2011
AM I REALLY SAVED ?
No matter how often or how clearly I explain it, I keep hearing from brothers and sisters who are beset by some sin that they seem incapable of shaking.
Because they've been unable to forsake some sin, they believe they've "lost" their Salvation.
The situation isn't helped by the fact that there are many denominations that teach THE LIE that, unless you abstain from sin AFTER Salvation, either you were never really saved or, if you were, you'll LOSE Salvation.
The internet is also CRAMMED FULL of websites and videos spreading this lie.
For whatever reason, Christians seem eager to embrace condemnation and shun Grace.
Salvation is A GIFT from beginning to end (Ephesians 2:8,9).
You and I HAVE NEVER DESERVED SALVATION.
Your behavior, good or bad, HAD NOTHING TO DO with getting THIS GIFT.
ALL it took on your part WAS RECEIVING HIM (IT).
God, in His infinite Mercy, CHOSE to give us this MAGNIFICENT GIFT, which WE DIDN'T deserve.
So, WHY would He require us to be "deserving" of it, after FREELY GIVING IT TO US?
And what kind of a loving, merciful God would He be, if He gave us THIS WONDERFUL GIFT and then TOOK IT AWAY?
Would YOU do that to your son or daughter ?
If your son or daughter sinned, WOULD YOU DISOWN THEM? Would he/she STOP BEING your child?
No matter how often or how badly our children behave, WE LOVE THEM UNCONDITIONALLY.
No matter WHAT they do, THEY'RE STILL OUR CHILDREN.
If you being a sinner, can show them such mercy, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, THE PERSONIFICATION OF LOVE, will do ANY LESS? (Luke 11:13).
Are you HOLIER than God?
Are you MORE MERCIFUL than He?
We didn't deserve THE GIFT when He gave it. We WON'T DESERVE IT AFTERWARDS, either.
THE VERY FACT that you are concerned about SINNING, and WISH YOU COULD forsake sin, IS CLEAR INDICATION THAT YOU ARE SAVED.
If you WEREN'T, your conscience wouldn't bother you. You wouldn't give a "you-know-what" about sinning.
While no true Christian WANTS TO sin, or SEEKS sin, even AFTER receiving Christ we fall because "our spirit is willing, BUT our flesh is weak".
Our spirit was born again when we received Jesus.
Unfortunately, OUR MIND WASN'T.
It's our unregenerate mind that causes us to sin, sooner or later, no matter HOW MUCH we want to quit sinning.
That's where FAITH (TRUST) in Jesus and His Word comes in : "...that WHOSOEVER believes on Him SHALL NOT PERISH but have ETERNAL Life" (John 3:16).
I don't read ANY requirement there that you have to live a PERFECT, sinless life to be saved, DO YOU?
ALL that is required is that YOU BELIEVE (TRUST) Jesus and WHAT He ALREADY DID ON YOUR BEHALF.
"He that believes and is baptized (by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:12) SHALL BE SAVED; he that BELIEVES NOT shall be damned" (Mark 16:16).
Again, the ONLY requirement for salvation is BELIEF. No WORKS.
"By one Sacrifice He has PERFECTED FOREVER those who are sanctified (made holy)" (Hebrews 9:12).
He has obtained, by His own BLOOD, ETERNAL REDEMPTION for us (Hebrews 10:14).
Can't say it any clearer than that.
2 Corinthians 5:19 : "God was IN Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, NOT COUNTING men's sins against them".
If God's NOT COUNTING your sins, brother/sister, you got it made.
If God is ON YOUR SIDE, WHO can be against you? (Romans 8:31).
ALL God's EVER wanted from humans is THEIR TRUST. If you have received Jesus into your heart, YOU CAN TRUST 100% IN His Salvation:
"To ALL that received Him gave He power to BECOME SONS OF God" (John 1:12).
Thank God it DOESN'T say "to ALL that received Him and NEVER SINNED AGAIN".
You can TRUST Jesus, and His Word, or you can listen to Satan's accusing LIES and LIVE IN TORMENT.
Either way, if you received Christ into your heart, YOU'RE SAVED:
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them ETERNAL life, and THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH; NO ONE can SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, who has given them to me, IS GREATER THAN ALL; NO ONE can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one" (John 10:26-30).
Bottom line is: You can be an obedient son, or a disobedient son, but YOU CANNOT UN-SON YOURSELF.
If you get NOTHING ELSE, please get this:
Salvation is NEVER dependent ON HOW WE ACT OUTSIDE, but ON WHO LIVES INSIDE.
1 John 5:12: "He that HAS the Son HAS LIFE. He who has not the Son of God does not have life".
It's AS SIMPLE as THAT.
MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011
According to a new Barna study, ONE out of four "born again" Christians holds a Universalist view where Salvation is concerned.
Universalism is the belief that ALL human beings will eventually be saved after death.
Twenty-five percent of "born-again" Christians said that ALL PEOPLE will eventually be saved or accepted by God.
Really? I suppose, then, that Jesus went to the Cross just "for the fun of it".
Likewise, 26 percent said a person's religion does not matter because "ALL FAITHS teach the same lessons".
And 40 percent - ALMOST HALF - of "born agains" said they believe that Christians and Muslims (horror of horrors) "worship the same God".
This is simply APPALLING. We're not talking about some fringe group, or heretical sect, we're talking about SUPPOSED "born again" Christians.
These are people who, purportedly, have received Christ into their hearts and been born again, which means THEY HAVE God's own Spirit LIVING IN them.
Listen, I'm keenly aware of what goes on in the world.
I know the media's done one heck of a "snow job" bombarding us relentlessly with the lie that "all spirituality is good" and that all it takes to get to heaven is being "a good person", however their corrupt mind chooses to define "good".
But that, by no means, exonerates MINISTERIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
In fact, it speaks VOLUMES about the feeble and muddled message coming from behind pulpits, about the folly of accommodating tactics, about the failure of organized religion (a/k/a "denominations") and of TELEVANGELISM AT LARGE.
The Church needs TO SPEAK with a BOLD, CLEAR, DIRECT, unambiguous, and NON-CONFORMING voice.
My God, our spiritual forefathers DIDN'T have TV, they didn't have internet... DIDN'T HAVE CD's, DVD's or audio cassettes.... Didn't have modern facilities to record... Didn't have airplanes or even automobiles...Didn't have Bibles... Didn't even know what a printing press was!!!
And LOOK WHAT THEY DID!!!
Evangelized the WHOLE world known in the first century; turned it UPSIDE DOWN with the TRUE Gospel.
It took a mere 300 years for their message, His Message, to SWALLOW UP the cruelest and most intimidating Empire, the greatest military machine known to man.
The early church didn't preach a confusing mixture of grace plus works. It taught, flat-out that YOUR WORKS have NOTHING to do with Salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
That it's HIS Work, not yours, that'll get you to heaven (Titus 3:5).
They DIDN'T try to be politically or religiously correct by "accommodating" THE AMBITIONS OF first century politicians, or by trying to find "common ground" with FALSE RELIGIONS (i.e., SATAN WORSHIPPERS).
They told it like it is, even if it meant LOSING THEIR LIVES.
Many thousands of our precious brothers and sisters paid the ultimate price FOR NOT BEING WILLING TO COMPROMISE, for not giving an inch, where Jesus and the Christian faith are concerned.
HOW DARE some of today's spineless, wimpy, self-proclaimed "church leaders" hold conferences on "finding common ground" with Muslims???
There is NONE!
HOW DARE they say that Christians and Muslims "worship the same God"?
Newsflash: allah DOESN'T EVEN EXIST!!!
I quote from 2 Corinthians 6:14-17:
"DO NOT BE yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?
What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
What agreement is there between the temple of God AND IDOLS?
For we are the temple of the living God: As God has said: "I will live with them and walk with them...
Therefore COME OUT OF FROM THEM and BE SEPARATE, says the Lord".
There's NOTHING WRONG WITH being SEPARATE.
There's NOTHING WRONG WITH being DIFFERENT.
Modern pastors and ministers WILL HANG THEIR HEADS IN SHAME when they appear before their Lord, and their accomplishments, OR LACK THEREOF, are pitted against THOSE OF THE EARLY CHURCH.
Ministers of Christ, and Christians in general: STOP BEING COWARDS, and STAND UNASHAMEDLY FOR YOUR LORD!!!
SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2011
This is my favorite subject in the entire world.
Why is it important to know Bible prophecy?
For one thing, we're living it.
Right now there are a whole bunch of events happening in the world around us that were predicted in God's Word.
I've often discussed these events with you. Many are also posted and discussed elsewhere on this website.
So, one reason we should all be familiar with biblical prophecy is to be informed as to what is happening right now, what it means, and what lies ahead.
In His grace and infinite mercy, our loving heavenly Father gave us a "heads up", he gave us "Advance Notice" of what will happen and how this world system, as we now know it, is going to end.
The other point that makes this topic so fascinating is, of all the "sacred books", the Bible is THE ONLY ONE which has a proven track record of precise prophetic fulfillment.
While other "Sacred books" contain prophecy, none of their "prophecies" has come to pass. . . Nor will they ever.
Why? Because those "Other books" aren't sacred at all!They are lies invented by the father of lies, Satan, in an attempt to confuse, deceive and damn their followers to an everlasting existence in the lake of fire, in outer darkness, and separated from God, who is The Life.
Because only the one true God, Yahweh Adonai, knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Only our Lord Jesus Christ is both the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Therefore, only He can reveal our "future" (Revelation 1:8; 22:13).
There were 37 major prophecies fulfilled in our Savior Jesus Christ alone. Prophecies about Him were fulfilled in excruciating detail: from His virgin birth, to the city of His birth, His flight to Egypt, His growing up in Nazareth, His teaching in parables, His miracles, His Wisdom, to His very death and Resurrection.
The Book of Daniel even predicted, over 500 years prior, where and when he would die for the sins of the world... down to the exact year [Daniel (9:24-27].
Daniel knew just how precise and reliable biblical prophecy was and is.
During his exile in Persia, when he wanted to know how much longer it would be before the Jews could return to Jerusalem, he consulted the writings of the prophet Jeremiah [Daniel 9:2]. The same Book of Jeremiah you and I have in our Bibles.
God had prophesied thru Jeremiah the period of exile would last 70 years. It happened exactly as His Word predicted [Jeremiah 25:11].
Did you know that approximately 80% of all prophecies in the Bible have already happened, exactly as foretold?
That's OVER 2,000 PROPHECIES FULFILLED IN PAINSTAKING DETAIL!!!
We can be certain, therefore, that the remaining 20% will also be fulfilled in exact detail.
The apostle Peter reminds us "We have a more sure Word of Prophecy" [2nd Peter 1:19].
More sure than what? In context, Peter says that God's prophecies in the Bible are so true, so accurate, so completely reliable,that they are even MORE SURE THAN THE AUDIBLE Voice of God which he [Peter] heard at the Mount of Transfiguration, along with James and John [Matthew 17:1-7].
You can't be much more emphatic than that.
That's why, my friend, my brother, my sister, it's so important to know what that "MORE SURE Word of prophecy" really says. Not what some prophecy guru or theologian thinks it says, but what God really, actually said.
God and His Word are One (John 1:1). If OUR FATHER said it, it's so sure, you can "take it to the bank".
It's as sure as God Himself!
SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2011
DO GOOD PEOPLE GO TO HEAVEN?
SAVED people do.
There are lots of bad people in hell.
There are lots of "good" people in hell.
People who trusted that if their "good" works outweighed or outnumbered their bad works they'd make it to heaven... DIDN'T.
Those who think they'll make it to heaven by being a "nice", "caring", "spiritual" person... WON'T.
Sorry. But NO AMOUNT OF WORKS WILL GET ANYONE INTO HEAVEN... or hell.
What sends people, "good" or bad, into hell is THEIR NATURE.
We've all inherited a fallen nature, a disconnected from God nature, from our forefathers.
The ONLY WAY to make it to heaven is to acquire a NEW Nature.
The ONLY WAY to make it to heaven is to acquire God's OWN Nature.
The ONLY WAY to make it to heaven is to CONNECT WITH Jesus (God) and be BORN AGAIN.
The way we connect with Jesus is we invite Him into our hearts. We RECEIVE HIM as our only Lord, Savior and God.
We TRUST not what we do, but WHAT HE DID.
We don't trust OUR WORKS, but HIS WORK.
When we TRUST Him, He puts His Own Divine Nature in us (2 Peter 1:4).
When we TRUST Him, He COMES TO LIVE IN US!!!
We TRUST that His death, Blood and Resurrection FOREVER paid for our sins... ALL our sins ("past", present and "future"), and we REMAIN STEADFAST in that TRUST.
That's what "having faith" is ALL about.
That's what Salvation is ALL about.
"Good" people won't go to heaven.
People who RECEIVE Jesus, intimately KNOW Jesus, and TRUST Jesus... WILL.
Who'll make it to heaven?
Those who BELONG TO Jesus.
Those IN WHOM Jesus LIVES.
FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2011
BY THEIR FRUITS
In Matthew 7:15, Jesus warned His followers "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves".
"You shall know them by their fruits".
What kind of fruit does your favorite minister or ministry produce?
Are people really being saved?
Are they really being healed?
Are they being taught the true Word of God?
Are they growing in the knowledge of God's Word?
Are they, and their audience, becoming more and more intimate with God?
Is everything they talk about superficial, or is there depth in their teaching?
Are the people under the ministry yielding fruit themselves?
Is the fruit of the Spirit [love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance]evident in both the leaders and their followers?
Are the poor and disadvantaged really being helped, OR DO THEY JUST SHOW A FEW "TOKEN" POOR FOR MARKETING PURPOSES?
Or is that ministry focused, almost exclusively on finances?
Is money ALL they talk about?
Is that ministry "selling" God's favor in exchange for $$$ ?
Are they manipulating God's Holy Word, and misusing it to put fear, rather than faith, in your hearts?
Do they pervert God's Word for filthy lucre?
Do they promote Jesus Christ Himself, or do they promote greed?
Are the ministers focused on self-promotion, self-aggrandizement, and fund-raising, or do they exalt Jesus?
A pastor's main job is to protect and feed the sheep. Is the minister feeding and protecting His sheep, or is he feeding himself off them?
Jesus warned that there would be false prophets among the true ministers of the Gospel.
He also told us HOW to tell the real from the fake:
"BY THEIR FRUITS".
THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011
Have you ever walked into a place, a building, home, apartment or shop where you just sense something unsettling or evil? Where the atmosphere seems to be charged with spiritual darkness?
If you have, it isn't just your imagination.
What you sensed is very real.
I've even detected this as I've arrived in certain countries, cities, or even certain parts of town.
There are also specific types of music, songs, paintings, and other artistic expressions that are infused with spiritual turbulence.
Since this is spiritual in nature, it's invisible to physical eyes. The Bible talks about such spiritual forces in Ephesians 6:12:
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm".
Ephesians 2:2 refers to Satan as "the prince of the power of the air".
The Greek word aeros, meaning "air", also refers to the lower layers of the atmosphere.
The Good News is we can CHANGE THE ATMOSPHERE.
Many Christians either thru sin, attitude, or ignorance, have allowed dark spiritual forces to build strongholds over their lives, and don't even know it.
It's easier to detect strongholds in other people's lives. Strongholds in our own lives, however, are much harder to detect because, over time, we become ACCUSTOMED to them.
I'm not suggesting that EVERY bad THING that's happened in your life is the result of a spiritual stronghold. We have brought a lot of it upon ourselves.
Facing facts and taking personal responsibility is an essential step in overcoming WHATEVER we're facing.
We're also influenced, to some extent, by politics, the economy, and other people's actions. So, DON'T GO LOOKING FOR STRONGHOLDS.
However, if every time you take a step forward it seems that, despite your best efforts, you get pushed three steps back, and this situation persists, you definitely ARE dealing with a stronghold.
If there seems to be NO LOGICAL explanation for what you're going thru, chances are you are dealing with a stronghold.
Every Christian should conduct a regular atmospheric cleansing over his or her life. Parents should do this over their homes and families at least once a month [2 Corinthians 10:5].
We do this in Jesus' Name and Authority, and by His cleansing Blood.
It's no coincidence that Ephesians 1:21 tells us that our Lord is "FAR ABOVE all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, AND [ABOVE] EVERY NAME THAT IS NAMED, not only in THIS world, but also in that which is to come".
Jesus will DESTROY EVERY stronghold in your life.
When we welcome His Holy Spirit into our lives and invite Him to saturate the atmosphere around us with His Presence, we can experience a bit of heaven on this crazy, messed up earth.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2011
"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Joel 2:28-31).
Joel gives the same signs as Isaiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that will precede the appearance of our Lord: the sun turns dark and the moon red as blood.
However, there's a portion of this passage that we read and re-read, quote and re-quote, yet seems to go over our heads.
At least I know it went over mine, until just recently.
"I will show wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood and FIRE and BILLOWS OF SMOKE".
What on earth could Joel be referring to?
What could be considered a "wonder" that affects both the earth and the sky, and produces fire and billows of smoke?
Volcanic activity has SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED in recent months. We've had numerous eruptions all over the world.
Many times in recent months air travel has been suspended because of volcanic smoke and ash interfering with visibility.
Right now we have TWO volcanoes spewing TONS OF ASH, one in Chile and one in Eritrea, in northeastern Africa.
The one in Chile has affected flights as far away as Australia and New Zealand. It has sent a plume of ash and smoke almost clear around the world.
The one in Eritrea has spread as far as portions of Israel.
Of course, Jesus predicted that INCREASED seismic activity would signal the end of the age (Matthew 24:7).
When we think in terms of "seismic", earthquakes usually come to mind. However, volcanoes are also the result of underground displacement and friction of the earth's tectonic plates.
What about the part of the verse that mentions blood?
The Hebrew word for "blood" is "adam" which can mean "blood" but also "red earth". Keeping in mind that Joel penned his prophecy some 2,800 years ago, sounds like a pretty good description of lava to me.
If Joel's order is correct (actually, it's the Holy Spirit's order, revealed through Joel), the sequence is:
Outpouring of the Spirit
Great Volcanic activity
The sun becoming dark and the moon red as blood
We know from the Scriptures what happens after that...
All the signs are here; and they're becoming STRONGER and more frequent.
We've certainly had more than our share of "billows of smoke" in recent months.
Let's believe and hope the rest of the prophecy is fulfilled in God's PERFECT order.
TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2011
DEPART FROM THE FAITH?
We wrap up this series with two verses that can be explained in a few words.
The first is found in 1 Timothy 4:1,2 where it reads:
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will depart from the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron".
The word for "depart" is apostasontai in Greek which means "TO LEAD AWAY FROM".
So, in the latter days SOME will LEAD AWAY FROM the faith".
This ISN'T talking about someone who is a true believer, and leaves the faith. This is talking about someone WHO IS NOT A TRUE BELIEVER, HAS NEVER BEEN A TRUE BELIEVER, BUT PRETENDS TO BE "Christian" and LEADS OTHERS AWAY FROM the true Faith in Jesus.
This is also made ABUNDANTLY CLEAR in verse two (above) which calls these deceivers "hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron", clearly indicating their alleged "Christian faith" ISN'T GENUINE.
There are THOUSANDS of pastors, theologians and denominations today which call themselves "Christian" and ARE NOT. They are leading people to hell, and AWAY FROM personal relationship with Jesus, just as Paul predicted.
"They" are those who teach that EVERYONE, irrespective of receiving Jesus or not, is a "child of God", and that we're "all brothers". "They" are those who preach salvation thru works and NOT thru a personal, intimate relationship with the Savior.
The second Scripture is 2 Peter 2:1-22. For the sake of space, I'm editing and quoting ONLY the pertinent portions that heretics love to bring out:
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even DENYING THE LORD THAT BOUGHT THEM, and bring on themselves swift destruction".
Peter is speaking about FALSE PROPHETS, who PRETEND to be Christians, BUT ARE NOT. They have never been born again. They've never had a change of nature.
That's why he points out in verse 12 that they are "as NATURAL (unregenerate) beasts".
Besides calling them "FALSE PROPHETS" in verse 1, plus a number of other "choice" names throughout the chapter, Peter clearly shows that these individuals were PRETENDERS, and NEVER SAVED, since they"DENY the Lord that bought them".
If they DENY JESUS, there's NO WAY they could have been saved!
Romans 10:9 says very pointedly "if you shall CONFESS (not DENY) with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART that God raised Him from the dead, YOU WILL BE SAVED".
If they were DENYING THE LORD, there's NO WAY they could have been saved, IS THERE?
What about verses 20-22 which state:
"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it is happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire" (2 Peter 2:20-22).
WHY does a dog eat his own vomit? WHY does a pig wallow in mud? BECAUSE THAT'S THEIR NATURE.
Nobody TRAINS THEM to do such things. It comes to them NATURALLY. By comparing these people to them, HE'S CLEARLY SAYING THEY'VE NEVER HAD A CHANGE OF NATURE. They've NEVER been born again.
It would have been BETTER FOR THEM NOT TO KNOW THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (the Gospel). But now that THEY KNOW that Jesus is THE WAY, that He and ONLY He paid for our sins, THEY DENY HIM.
They only PRETENDED to follow Him for a while. THEY NEVER HAD A SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM TO BEGIN WITH.
They never received Him. They NEVER HAD A CHANGE OF HEART (nature), thru the born-again experience.
It would have been BETTER for them NOT TO hear the Gospel, or know its message, than knowing it and understanding it full well, PRETEND to receive Jesus, and then deny Him.
That's what Peter is talking about.
They KNOW HOW to get saved. They CHOSE NOT TO. They CHOSE to DENY the Savior.
That's why they've "gone back", because they were NEVER REALLY HIS TO BEGIN WITH.
Period. End of story.
To sum up: there is NO SCRIPTURE in the New Testament that teaches salvation by works, salvation by torah keeping, salvation by 10 Commandment keeping, salvation by Sabbath keeping, salvation by belonging to a denomination, or ANYTHING remotely close.
The New Testament, from Acts to Revelation, teaches Salvation by Grace ONLY (IT'S A GIFT, which NOBODY deserves), thru TRUST (faith) only, WITHOUT ANY works of ANY kind.
That's what Jesus Himself taught in John 3:16 and in Mark 16:16.
His death and Resurrection made ALL THE DIFFERENCE in the world.
His Holy Spirit and Divine Nature in us FOREVER seal His children unto Salvation.
Thank you, Jesus. THANK YOU !
MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2011
CAN'T CRUCIFY HIM AGAIN
"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to keep bringing them back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public shame (Hebrews 6:4-6).
This passage ISN'T talking about sinning after receiving Christ. It's talking ABOUT ONE SIN in particular, which is for a Jewish person to receive Christ, then forsake Christ in favor of their old religion.
This is the second passage in the Book of Hebrews that heretics twist to their own ruin.
Isn't it odd that both these verses (today's and the one we dealt with yesterday, Hebrews 10-26-29) are found in Hebrews, the epistle written ESPECIALLY FOR Jews?
Had Paul intended this to be a warning for gentile believers who sin after receiving Christ, he COULD HAVE said it in Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus or Philemon.
So, he could have stuck this in ANY of the 14 books (Acts plus 13 epistles) he wrote to gentiles. Instead, he put them in the ONE epistle dedicated to Hebrews.
Clearly, then, Paul's not even ADDRESSING Christians.
He was talking to Jews, so WHY anyone would try to apply this to gentile believers beats me.
As explained in yesterday's message, some Jews who had turned to Christ and acknowledged Him as Messiah, had a difficult time breaking away from their religious traditions, rituals, observance of the law, and accompanying regulations.
They had trouble grasping the concept that, once we receive Christ, WE CEASE FROM OUR OWN WORKS and ENTER INTO HIS REST.
We don't even try to be justified thru our OWN works, but we REST TRUSTING CONFIDENTLY in HIS WORK, in Him who PAID IN FULL, ONCE AND FOR ALL, the incomprehensible PRICE of our Redemption.
That's what FAITH is.
Paul is simply telling his fellow Israelites that ONCE they receive Christ, and receive His Spirit, they CANNOT FALL AWAY OR FALL BACK into those practices. If they do, they're forsaking Christ.
And if they (hypothetically speaking) were to forsake Jesus and GO BACK TO THE LAW, they cannot be re-born again, because if they RECEIVE CHRIST, then reject Christ's ONCE AND FOR ALL Sacrifice, then try to repent and come back, THEY'RE CRUCIFYING HIM AGAIN, and subjecting Him to public shame, by regarding His ONE-TIME ONLY DEATH as insufficient for Salvation.
Remember Jews had lived under the tradition of CONTINUOUS, NON-STOP sacrifices.
Paul's simply saying "this is IT, guys. THIS Sacrifice IS ETERNAL. He died ONCE, He took care of EVERYTHING regarding your Salvation FOR ETERNITY, and He's NOT GOING TO DIE EVER AGAIN".
Paul is speaking,hypothetically, as to what would happen if they received the Gift, rejected it in favor of their dead religion, and then tried to receive it again.
We know this is hypothetical from verses 9-12 in that same chapter:
"Even though we speak like this, dear friends, WE ARE CONFIDENT OF BETTER THINGS IN YOUR CASE - things that accompany salvation... We want each of you to show this same diligence TO THE VERY END, in order to make your hope sure.
We do not want you to become lazy, but to IMITATE THOSE WHO THROUGH FAITH AND PERSEVERANCE(not thru works) inherit the promises".
The Book of Hebrews is devoted in its entirety to show Israelites the STARK CONTRAST between Jesus and Moses, between justification by the law, and by Christ's Perfect, ETERNALLY SUFFICIENT Sacrifice.
Hebrews chapter 1 focuses on the Deity of Jesus. How is the the express Image of God, the brightness of His Glory. He's much greater than the angels. And that it's Jesus who sustains all things by His Word.
Hebrews chapter 2 focuses on God becoming human in order to redeem mankind.
Hebrews 3 presents Him as being greater than Moses. It also warns Jews against UNBELIEF.
Unbelief, they are reminded, is what prevented their unbelieving forefathers, and Moses Himself, from entering the Promised Land (an earthly shadow of the heavenly realm, Hebrews 3:19).
Hebrews 4 focuses on God's people entering into His Rest. It points out that His Rest is not the weekly Sabbath, or even entering the EARTHLY Promised Land. His REST is where we CEASE FROM ALL OUR WORKS (there's no such thing as Salvation thru works) and REST (TRUST, have faith in) Jesus' Perfect Work of Redemption on our behalf (Hebrews 4:6-10).
Hebrews 5 introduces Jesus as our High Priest, who offered the Sacrifice of Himself to the Father as ETERNAL payment for our sins.
Then in chapter 6, where our anchor verse is found, he explains that once they receive Jesus, and His Spirit comes to live in them, they can't trust ANYONE OR ANYTHING else for Salvation.
Bottom line: Salvation is FREE.
Salvation CANNOT be earned or deserved.
Salvation is A GIFT, from beginning to end.
It's ALL been done FOR YOU.
There's NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING, for you to do.
The ONLY role you play in Salvation is CHOOSING: you can receive THE GIFT, or you can REJECT it.
SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2011
"For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden underfoot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite to the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29).
These verses in Hebrews say that if we sin willfully after receiving Christ, we're hopelessly lost forever, right?
NOTHING could be further from the Truth.
This is one of two passages in the Book of Hebrews that have served as stumbling blocks to misinformed Christians who don't know the Word of God.
Consequently, they've become pet verses for legalists to heap condemnation on those who refuse to submit to their religious agenda.
Before we analyze the Scripture in question, let's just go by human logic, just good, old common sense. If anyone who sins willfully after receiving Christ is lost forever, NO ONE -- and I mean NO ONE -- would be saved. I wouldn't be saved. In fact, Heaven would be EMPTY.
This is a classic example of taking ONE passage of Scripture OUT OF CONTEXT, ISOLATING IT from its setting, and from the rest of the Bible, and jumping to AN ERRONEUS conclusion.
We NEVER isolate a verse from the rest of the Bible. Never!
We ALWAYS compare Scripture with Scripture.
If a particular Scripture seems to CONTRADICT numerous OTHER Scriptures, then SOMETHING'S WRONG and a "red flag" should immediately go up.
Let's see how that ERRONEOUS "interpretation" stacks up against OTHER Scriptures:
1 John 1:8-9 (John is speaking to Christians):
"If we (Christians) claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth (Jesus) is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and CLEANSE US from ALL unrighteousness".
John is saying THE VERY OPPOSITE. He's telling Christians (those who've ALREADY received Christ) that if they say they have no sin, they're lying. So, either God's Word contradicts Himself, or someone has grossly misinterpreted the passage in Hebrews.
Let's see how it stacks up against Ephesians 2:8.9:
"Because you are saved BY GRACE thru FAITH (trust) and that NOT OF YOURSELVES. It (Salvation) is THE GIFT OF God; NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast".
One more Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:19:
"For God was in Christ RECONCILING THE WORLD TO HIMSELF. NOT COUNTING MENS SINS AGAINST THEM".
If God is NOT COUNTING our sins against us, HOW can it possibly mean that if we sin after becoming Christians we're forever lost?
Both can't be true. It's gotta be ONE or THE OTHER.
You've heard me say it A MILLION TIMES: CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT.
When you remove a verse from its chronological, historic or cultural setting, you can MAKE IT say almost anything.
Paul WAS NOT addressing gentile believers. As the TITLE of the Book of HEBREWS indicates, he was talking to Jews.
Gentiles had been worshipping pagan gods and goddesses until they came to Christ. They had no major problem in receiving the message of God's Grace thru Jesus Christ, which requires NO WORKS.
Jews, on the other hand, worshiped the One true God, BUT THEY HAD LIVED 1,500 years under the law given at Mount Sinai.
That law required works, and animal sacrifices for sin. Those sacrifices HAD TO BE OFFERED, TWICE A DAY, EVERY SINGLE DAY... DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY... YEAR AFTER YEAR, AFTER YEAR...
The ENTIRE Book of Hebrews draws a contrast between law and Grace, between the Old Testament and the New.
Beginning in chapter 8, Paul talks about how the Jewish High Priest had to offer those never-ending animal sacrifices for men's sins.
A bit farther, in chapter 9, he draws a contrast between those never-ending animal sacrifices and Jesus' PERFECT, ONCE AND FOR ALL SACRIFICE for our sins.
Matter of fact, chapter 9:12 says about Jesus: "He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place ONCE AND FOR ALL by HIS OWN Blood, having obtained ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR US".
"ETERNAL" MEANS NEVER ENDING. So, if Jesus has OBTAINED ETERNAL, NEVER-ENDING REDEMPTION FOR US WHO RECEIVE HIM AND TRUST HIM, HOW CAN IT POSSIBLY SAY IN THE NEXT CHAPTER, THAT IF WE SIN AFTER RECEIVING HIM, WE'RE ETERNALLY LOST???
Do you see how such interpretation doesn't make ANY sense? Do you see how it CONTRADICTS one Scripture after another?
Next chapter, Hebrews 10:1,2 says:
"The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming-not the realities themselves. For this reason IT (THE LAW) CAN NEVER, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, MAKE PERFECT those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins".
Verse 10 of that chapter says: "we HAVE BEEN MADE HOLY (PERFECT) through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL".
If the Sacrifice of Jesus made us HOLY AND PERFECT, ONCE AND FOR ALL, how can it say a few verses later that if we sin after RECEIVING Him, we're lost?
The disputed verses in that chapter (26-28) say:
"if we SIN WILLFULLY after that we (Hebrews) have received the knowledge of the truth...
IN CONTEXT, WHAT "WILLFUL SIN" is Paul referring to?
Obviously the sin of CLAIMING TO HAVE RECEIVED JESUS AND TRUSTED HIM for Salvation, yet INSISTING THAT, DESPITE WHAT JESUS DID FOR US, DESPITE HIS ETERNAL SACRIFICE WHICH FOREVER MADE US PERFECT, WE STILL HAVE TO LIVE UNDER THE LAW AND OFFER ANIMAL SACRIFICES.
Some Jewish believers were having trouble forsaking their religious traditions and weaning themselves from the law, and accompanying rituals.
Paul was simply saying: You CAN'T have it both ways. If Jesus' Blood, death and Resurrection FOREVER made us perfect, WE DON'T NEED THE LAW, OR ANYTHING ELSE.
If we INSIST (WILLFULLY) on keeping the law and offering animal sacrifices, AFTER supposedly coming to faith in Christ, we're SAYING that Jesus' work of redemption ISN'T enough. Hence, we're NOT trusting Jesus for Salvation. Hence we're NOT saved.
Those who prefer the law OVER Jesus, as these verses say, have:
A) TRODDEN the Son of God underfoot
B) Counted the Blood of the (New) covenant, Jesus' OWN BLOOD, wherewith that person WAS SANCTIFIED an unholy thing, and
C) Done SPITE to the Spirit of Grace (the Holy Spirit).
That's WHY they're irretrievably lost. Because if they (Jews) KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY say that Jesus' Sacrifice ISN'T SUFFICIENT, that they still need the law and animal sacrifices, that these MUST BE ADDED to Jesus' perfect, ETERNAL Sacrifice, then they're LOST, because there's NO OTHER SACRIFICE TODAY that GOD WILL ACCEPT FOR SIN, AFTER THE PERFECT, ALL SUFFICIENT SACRIFICE OF HIS PERFECT SON.
That's what that verse is saying. That's what it has said for the past 2,000 years.
It has NOTHING to do with Christians committing sins after receiving Christ, since it's not even addressed to Christians.
It has to do with Jewish believers who STILL wanted to cling to the law, the ritual sacrifices, the 10 Commandments or the Sabbath.
Paul's simply saying if they do that, they are REJECTING Jesus' PERFECT Sacrifice and they CANNOT be saved, since there's NO OTHER SACRIFICE FOR SIN that God will accept.
Salvation is ALL about placing our TRUST, totally and completely, ON JESUS ALONE.
Those who have misunderstood that verse should repent, welcome Jesus and His Holy Spirit into their hearts,ALTHOUGH they've NEVER LEFT, AND THANK HIM for HIS PERFECT, ETERNAL ASSURANCE of Salvation.
They've lived in unnecessary torment, thinking they're lost, when in FACT they are saved, AND HAVE BEEN SAVED ALL THE TIME.
Those who have in earnest received Jesus into their hearts ARE ETERNALLY SAVED, I don't care WHAT sins they've committed.
I DON'T CARE WHETHER they sinned before, during or AFTER Salvation.
They're victims of SCRIPTURAL IGNORANCE: Nothing more, nothing less.
SATURDAY, JUNE 11, 2011
When you take a heretic to task about DROPPING law keeping and commandment keeping AFTER Calvary, AFTER the Resurrection, and AFTER receiving Jesus and being INDWELT by His Holy Spirit,the FIRST thing they throw in your face is James 2:17 "faith without works is dead".
James, in fact, DOES NOTHING to support their false doctrine.
You can read the Book of James from beginning to end (it's only 5 chapters): NOT ONCE does it say that believers in Jesus Christ are to keep the law, the 10 Commandments, or the Sabbath. NOT ONCE.
Therefore, law pushers don't have a scriptural leg to stand on.
Matter of fact,James says THE VERY OPPOSITE.
In THAT SAME CHAPTER, James talks about how FUTILE it is to try to keep the law or the 10 Commandments, saying that even if (hypothetically speaking) we kept the law to perfection (all 613 commandments),if we EVER break even ONE, we become guilty of breaking the WHOLE LAW (James 2:10, 11).
How, then, could he make THAT statement in verses 10 and 11, and6 verses later, in verse 17,CONTRADICT HIMSELF by saying WORKS are necessary?
Something's wrong. It doesn't add up.
Moreover, IN THAT SAME CHAPTER (James 2:8) James says that THE ONLY COMMANDMENT for a born-again person is LOVE, which he refers to as "the royal law", since Love IS the LAW of God's Kingdom, as God Himself IS LOVE.
So, James teaches THE SAME THING that Peter taught (1 Peter 4:8).
James teaches THE SAME THING that John taught (1 John 4:20, 21).
James teaches THE SAME THING Paul taught (Romans 13:9).
What, then, did James mean with the controversial statement that "faith without works is dead"? Was he contradicting the apostles? Was he contradicting HIMSELF? No way.
He was simply saying that faith will save you and DO YOU a world of good, but it WON'T DO your brother ANY good, UNLESS it's accompanied by ACTION.
You can be saved, you can have ALL THE FAITH in the world, and SAY to a brother or sister (listen up, namers-and-claimers) "be well, be fed, be clothed", BUT IF YOU DON'T ACTUALLY GIVE THEM FOOD,your faith won't do THEM any good.
He was merely saying that we need to PUT OUR ACTIONS where our mouths are.
In other words, don't just talk the talk, BUT WALK THE WALK.
He DIDN'T say our salvation HINGED on any of this. He was merely saying WE'RE INEFFECTIVE if ALL we do IS TALK.
But wait, what about verse 14 where he says "What does it PROFIT MY BROTHERS if a man SAYS he has faith, and has no works? Can faith save him"?
The problem with this passage is THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION. When it's read it in the original Greek, the meaning becomes quite clear.
The original Greek text did NOT contain CHAPTER AND VERSE NUMBERS. It also DID NOT contain paragraphs OR PUNCTUATION MARKS. All of this was added CENTURIES LATER at the sole judgment of the translators.
Translators are HUMAN. No matter how much they try to be OBJECTIVE, their theological persuasion and mindset sooner or later affects the rendering and where they place punctuation marks.
Such is the case with this passage. Remember the earliest English translations were done in the 14th century; some 1,300 years AFTER James penned this book. By then, organized religion had DONE A NUMBER ON Christian theology.
The usual rendering of this passage is: "What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can faith save him"?
Watch what happens when we remove that question mark and place it a bit farther in the text, where it belongs:
"What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him/her, a brother or sister, if he/she is WITHOUT clothes and FOOD"?
He's NOT talking about the spiritual Salvation of the person who has faith. He's talking about the PHYSICAL SALVATION of the HUNGRY PERSON!
The verses that follow confirm this: "If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but DOES NOTHING ABOUT HIS PHYSICAL NEEDS, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:14-17).
IN CONTEXT, James was talking about NEEDY Christians (James 2:15).
We know from both history and the Bible that James was Bishop of Jerusalem, and that Christians in Jerusalem were being persecuted by both Roman and Jewish authorities. They were IN DIRE NEED, and experiencing SEVERE FAMINE.
So severe, in fact, that Paul was TAKING DONATIONS for them from the more affluent believers in Galatia and Corinth (Acts 24:17; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:19; 9:1-5, 12).
He's NOT talking about BEING SAVED SPIRITUALLY since he's addressing fellow Christians WHO ALREADY ARE SAVED (James 2:1). He's talking about SAVING THEIR BRETHREN FROM PHYSICAL DEATH:
Your faith ALONE WON'T SAVE YOUR POOR BROTHER FROM DYING OF HUNGER.
If you want to SAVE YOUR BROTHER from starvation, it takes more than just praying and speaking the word of faith to him: You NEED TO FEED HIM!!!
After all, where's THE LOVE, if you see a brother in need and DON'T offer him/her some food? (1 John 3:17).
That's ALL James was saying.
He was addressing fellow (SAVED) Christians.
He DOESN'T say ANYWHERE, "If you don't feed ‘em, YOU'LL LOSE your salvation".
Therefore, when he asks "Will faith SAVE HIM/HER?" he's not talking about believers' spiritual salvation. He's talking about SAVING the POOR CHRISTIANS in Jerusalem from PHYSICALLY DYING OF FAMINE!!!
He's saying "don't just TELL US you have faith. If you do, SHOW US YOUR FAITH by helping us WITH FOOD, money and clothing, which is what we DESPERATELY NEED" (James 2:18).
"Unless you do, YOUR FAITH ALONE won't save a brother who's starving to death".
James NEVER said works are necessary for SPIRITUAL salvation. NEVER!!!
He COULDN'T HAVE, since he stated point-blank that we DO NOT rely on law keeping or 10 Commandment keeping, since we'll break one of them sooner or later, and when we do, THE WHOLE LAW COMES CRASHING DOWN ON US.
Religion's SATANIC THEORY that Paul and James were ANTAGONISTIC toward each other, and toward each others' doctrine, IS A LIE from Satan, the father of lies.
In fact,this same James commends Paul and SPECIFICALLY writes gentile believers in Acts 15: 5-29 that THEY DO NOT NEED TO circumcise, keep the law, the 10 commandments, or the Sabbath.
Indeed, he calls those who were teaching that lie, and trying to cling to the law, "trouble makers" (Acts 15:24).
James taught Salvation by the Grace ONLY, thru FAITH ONLY, NOT THRU WORKS, just as much as Peter, John or Paul.
That's A FACT.
James NEVER taught law keeping or commandment keeping.
Heretics, who take James OUT OF CONTEXT, are looking for A PRETEXT:
A PRETEXT to justify their FALSE, ungodly doctrine.
A PRETEXT that doesn't hold water with God, with this minister, or with ANY true Christian.
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
I "LOST IT"
One of the saddest issues I've encountered in ministry is the number of people who THINK they've "lost" their Salvation.
At some point, they gave their lives to the Lord, were genuinely saved, then came across some verse of Scripture -- and if they didn't find it on their own, Satan and religion were all to eager to lead them there -- and they mistook the verse to mean that if they sinned AFTER being saved, they'd lose Salvation.
They became disheartened that they simply couldn't "measure up" and CONVINCED that they had transgressed beyond what the Blood of Jesus can cleanse, and that they are hopelessly lost.
After all, there are DOZENS of kristian denominations that FALSELY teach a CORRUPT "gospel" of Jesus PLUS our own PERFORMANCE.
They say, in essence, that WHAT JESUS DID ISN'T ENOUGH to save us.
Hence, we must ADD our own performance, our own WORKS, our own "obedience". Otherwise, we're lost.
Examples of such are Mormons (LDS), so-called United Church of God (UCG), so called "Church of Christ", 7th Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, all Armstrongnists, all Campbellists (Disciples of Christ), Christadelphians, certain portions of Catholicism, certain branches of Pentecostalism (United Pentecostal Church (UPC), Oneness), and all sabbatarians.
The Truth is that Jesus' PERFECT Sacrifice lacks NOTHING and IS SUFFICIENT to FOREVER put us in right standing with God.
The Truth is that those who preach a false, CORRUPT "gospel" of Jesus PLUS works are lost, and leading MILLIONS to hell.
So, Lord willing, and should He tarry, we're embarking on a short series of messages which will take these LIARS' favorite Bible texts, the same ones they twist to their own destruction, and SEE WHAT THEY REALLY SAY, as opposed to what their false denomination CLAIMS they say.
If you're a "former Christian" who've given up on your faith because you sinned and were TOLD THE LIE that you're irretrievably lost, please don't miss these messages.
The Truth, as He always does, will set you FREE.
You will be restored to intimacy with the Lord; you'll recover the joy of your Salvation. You'll find out, from the Scriptures, that Jesus and His Holy Spirit HAVE NEVER LEFT YOU!
You'll discover that you are STILL, now and forever SAVED by God's Grace, through Jesus' PERFECT Sacrifice.
If you're a believer who KNOWS you're saved, these messages will give you some SERIOUS spiritual ammunition to refute and rebuff heretics.
As many of you know, at christconnection.net we "take no prisoners". Nor do we pretend that certain controversial verses of Scripture "don't exist" and sweep them under the rug.
Fair warning to heretics: you better duck for cover.
Buckle your seat belts, brothers and sisters; you're in for one heck of a ride.
THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2011
DON'T BOTHER US WITH FACTS
It's SO HARD to find honest people.
I'm not saying there aren't any. I'm saying they're HARD to find.
After years in the ministry and dealing with the public in one way or another, I find most people DON'T LIKE the Truth.
They're NOT HONEST with God, their friends, their families, or even with THEMSELVES.
They believe WHAT THEY WANT TO believe, whether it's true or not.
They resent it when someone debunks their religious fantasies.
They have NOTHING to defend such fantasies with, NOTHING to topple your teaching with, but they express their anger, and have the temerity to expect you to believe something JUST BECAUSE THEY say it.
They delude themselves into thinking I will take their fallible, baseless word over and above GOD'S.
I could tell you story after story after story where someone tries to manipulate this ministry, AS IF they could tell us WHAT to teach:
"Don't preach Salvation, just teach prophecy", "don't teach prophecy, just preach Salvation", as if this were some sort of spiritual restaurant where you can ORDER WITHOUT PAYING.
"Teach prophecy THIS way", "Teach Salvation THIS way".
If I listened to every nitwit who's told me I should teach something because they "had a dream", or because they asked God and "He said..." (DIDN'T!!!)...
Or because they got some revelation thru astrology, or because some unsaved religious guru or prophecy guru teaches it, I'd be the most confused person on the planet.
Furthermore, I'd have no ministry.
I've gotten more appreciation from UNSAVED or worldly individuals than from alleged "Christians".
Someone shares a need, you minister to them, spend your time, energy and knowledge addressing their needs, pray for them, stay up ‘til all hours of the morning helping them, until they get their breakthrough. They don't even say "thank you".
Those same people are THE FIRST, not the second, not the third, TO TURN AGAINST YOU and point an ACCUSING FINGER at the slightest opportunity.
Someone asks a question, and you give them an honest, thorough, truthful, practical, informed, tactful answer and they don't like it. I guess they wanted A LIE that would tickle their stupid ears.
Jealousy and immaturity run rampant.
Plagiarism runs rampant. I can't tell you how many times some of my readers have reported people using these teachings VERBATIM, passing them off as "their own", and taking FULL CREDIT for it. You'd think at least they'd give God the glory.
But they don't fool God, or me. They're only fooling themselves and few dumb kristians.
This ministry doesn't "copy" anyone, except Jesus.
This ministry doesn't listen to ANYONE BUT Jesus.
This ministry teaches WHAT THE Holy Word of God says, and what the HOLY SPIRIT puts in my heart, PERIOD.
Whether anyone likes or not, appreciates it or not, is IRRELEVANT. We're not running for political office, nor conducting a popularity contest.
But judging by our readership, our rankings, and OUR RESULTS - and especially considering the fact we've NEVER taken a dime from ANYONE - I'd say we're doing pretty darned good.
To Jesus be ALL the glory now AND FOREVER.
Don't ask us ANYTHING UNLESS you expect a TRUTHFUL answer.
Those who hunger and thirst for Truth can stick with us.
Those who only want their ears tickled, can go elsewhere.
Good riddance and sayonara !
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8, 2011
7 IN PROPHECY
In the Bible, different numbers represent different things :
1: Represents God.
2: Division (from God).
3: The Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
4: Represents the earth (Zechariah 6:5; Acts 10:11; Revelation 7:1; 20:8).
5: Represents grace (Genesis 17:5; Leviticus 26:8; 1 Corinthians 14:19).
6: Is the "number of man" (Genesis 1: 26-31; Revelation 13:18).
8: (7 + 1) is the number of new beginnings.
But 7 Is the number of PERFECTION, COMPLETION, and REST.
No other number figures as prominently in the Bible, or in Bible prophecy, as the number 7.
For starters, the MAJOR Timeline given for BOTH the First and Second Comings our our Lord is ALL based on 7's:
70 sevens ("weeks") (Daniel 9:24).
7 sevens (Daniel 9:25)
62 sevens (Daniel 9:26)
½ seven (Daniel 9:27)
Then, of course, there's the Book of Revelation, which gives us a largely chronological order of end time events, including:
7 letters (Revelation 1:4; 2:1; 3:22)
7 churches (Revelation 1:4, 11)
7 spirits (Revelation 1:4; 3:1; 4:5),
7 candlesticks (Revelation 1:13, 20)
7 stars (Revelation 1:16, 20)
7 church angels (Revelation 1:20)
7 seals (Revelation 5:1,5)
7 horns (Revelation 5:6)
7 eyes (Revelation 5:6)
7 angels with trumpets (Revelation 8:2, 6)
7 trumpets (Revelation 8:2, 6)
7 thunders (Revelation 10:3)
7 heads (Revelation 12:3; 13:1; 17:3)
7 crowns (Revelation 12:3)
7 angels with plagues (Revelation 15:1)
7 last plagues (Revelation 15:1)
7 vials (Revelation 15:7)
7 hills (Revelation 17:9), and
7 kings (Revelation 17:10)
If the number 7 is SO PREDOMINANT in prophecy, if the Second Coming itself happens AT THE END OF 70 "sevens", shouldn't it also be PRECEDED BY a SEVEN?
The more you analyze it, the more CONVINCED one becomes that there MUST BE a 7-year period that precedes the Kingdom of God on earth.
God even stuck a 7-year period AFTER the Millennium, for Pete's sake! (Ezekiel 39:9).
If God even put 7 years AFTER the Millennium, being the PERFECTIONIST that He is, it makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER that there would NOT be a 7-year period PRECEDING the Millennium, as well.
Perhaps THERE IS.
TUESDAY, JUNE 7, 2011
We are asked about UFO's on a regular basis. Do I believe they exist? Does the Bible mention UFO's?
Since UFO refers, technically, to ANY unidentified flying object, I would have to answer "YES" and "YES".
Does that mean that some little gray guy with huge eyes is going to show up in some sort of spacecraft? NO.
Some allege that in his "wheel within a wheel" narrative Ezekiel was describing a UFO. However, that's false, since he DOES identify it as a vision of "the glory of God" (Ezekiel 1:1-28).
(For a VISUAL depiction of what Ezekiel described, see picture below).
Tabloids, the internet and even cable TV are FULL OF "government cover up" theories.
Hopefully, everyone reading this knows that most of what's written on tabloids is to be taken with a HUGE grain of salt.
UFO's are tabloid staples for one reason only: THEY SELL COPIES.
We also can't assume that EVERYTHING on TV or the internet is true. There's a lot of bias, CONJECTURE and sensationalism in both.
TV is all about ratings. The evening news USED TO adhere to certain journalistic ethics. In recent years those have been tossed out the window in favor of Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber's latest escapades.
The much ballyhooed Roswell incident took place in 1951.
That was 60 years ago.
With all the fierce media competition, investigative journalism, hackers, modern technology, and fanatics desperately trying to find "proof", we SHOULD HAVE gotten something SOLID by now. We don't.
The best they've been able to come up with are unclear photos, or film which, like the recent "UFO over the Temple Mount" have proven, time and again, to be hoaxes.
Bottom line is: they KNOW there are people out there who WANT TO believe this, and who'll tune in to these shows, and buy books, DVD's, souvenirs, or whatever on this topic.
It's BIG BUSINESS.
What about the nephilim ["fallen ones"] mentioned in the Bible? They were NOT extraterrestrial beings. Nothing in the Bible says they were.
THERE'S ALSO NOTHING IN THE BIBLE THAT SAYS SUCH BEINGS, mentioned in Genesis chapter 6, WILL RETURN TO PLANET EARTH IN A SPACESHIP SOMEDAY, OR THAT THE ANTICHRIST WILL COME FROM THEM.
I know it SELLS, I know kristian nitwits gulp it down hook, line and sinker, but it's NOT supported by God's Word or by any credible scientific evidence.
I've done entire messages explaining who the B'nei Elohim, who later became the nephillim, really were.
Are there "extra-terrestrials"? Yes. But they're not little grey men with huge eyes.
They're called "angels". There are "good" angels (God's) and "bad" angels (Satan's).
There are also pre-Adamic terrestrial beings, whose disembodied spirits roamed around the earth in Jesus' time, and He cast them out of people. They're called demons.
Their activity has decreased considerably since Calvary and the Resurrection.
My personal belief is that 90% of all UFO and extraterrestrial sightings are hoaxes. The remaining 10% are either supernatural (angelic or demonic in nature) or some advanced technological discovery not yet disclosed to the general public.
No born-again Christian's EVER been "abducted" or bothered by such. Those who claim such experiences are invariably UNSAVED.
Christians should not be either concerned with, or focused on, UFO's.
There's ONLY ONE who deserves our FULL, UNDIVIDED ATTENTION, and His Name is Jesus.
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2011
I can almost hear some smart alecky person laughing and saying "they HAD to be spiritual, 'cause there are no PHYSICAL virgins left".
One question that kept coming up, in one way or another, during the "May 21" mayhem was what was required to go in the Rapture.
For the most part, it wasn't UNBELIEVERS that asked, but Christians... SCARED Christians.
The PARABLE of the 10 virgins, given in Matthew chapter 25, is called that for a reason. Parables are never intended to be taken LITERALLY, BUT METAPHORICALLY.
If going in the Rapture required PHYSICAL virginity, only about 50 people would make it.
What keeps the foolish virgins in the parable from entering the marriage feast is NOT their sexual impurity, SINCE THEY WERE VIRGINS, but their LACK OF OIL.
They didn't have the Spirit of Christ, because they'd never RECEIVED Christ, hence THEY DIDN'T KNOW Christ, nor did He KNOW them (Matthew 25:12).
Christ means "the Anointed One", as in ANOINTED WITH OIL (1 Samuel 16:13).
Romans 8:9 makes it ABUNDANTLY CLEAR that those who DO NOT have the Spirit of Christ (the Holy Spirit) in their hearts, ARE NOT Christ's.
Those who DON'T have the Spirit of the ANOINTED (with OIL) One, don't know Christ and He does not know them.
Hence, those who DO NOT have the Holy Spirit inside ARE NOT SAVED.
ALL that is needed to enter the "marriage feast", ALL that is needed to be raptured, is to HAVE the Spirit of Christ, the Anointed (with OIL) One ON THE INSIDE.
We receive the Holy Spirit when we receive Jesus into our hearts as Lord, Savior and God. That's also WHEN and HOW we are born-again (John 1:12; John 3:3-5; 1 Peter 1:23).
I advise EVERYONE, "Christian" or non-Christian, who wants to be saved, and raptured, TO STOP TRYING to "be righteous" or to procure or produce YOUR OWN righteousness.
We got NONE. ZERO. ZIP (Isaiah 64:6; Psalm 53:3).
Outward behavior DOESN'T make anyone righteous.
Jesus' righteousness is THE ONLY RIGHTEOUSNESS THERE IS.
His PERFECT Righteousness is THE ONLY RIGHTEOUSNESS that will satisfy a Holy, PERFECT God.
His PERFECT Righteousness is THE ONLY RIGHTEOUSNESS WE NEED.
So, unless we acquire HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, unless His OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS IS CREDITED TO US, we don't have a chance of making it into the marriage feast (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The way we acquire His righteousness is by RECEIVING Jesus into our hearts as Lord, Savior and God.
That's why Salvation is purely BY GRACE THRU TRUST (faith).
It's NOT based on what WE DO, but on WHAT HE DID (Ephesians 2:8,9; 2 Corinthians 5:19).
That's why He died, poured out His precious Blood, and rose from the dead. He did it in order to GIVE those who RECEIVE HIM His perfect Righteousness.
Am I telling you to go out and sin ON PURPOSE? No.
What I AM telling you that you'll never make the Rapture based on YOUR OWN acts of righteousness.
You'll make it ONLY IF YOU receive Jesus, and TRUST (have faith in) WHAT HE ALREADY DID ON YOUR BEHALF.
That's ALL it takes.
That's HOW we become SPIRITUAL "virgins".
SUNDAY, JUNE 5, 2011
HOW LONG, LORD ?
As many of you know from previous teaching, we are living between the 5th and 6th seal of the Book of Revelation.
The 6th seal is the Rapture.
Under the 5th seal, we see many martyrs' souls under God's altar in heaven crying out to God "HOW LONG, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?(Revelation 6:10).
I know from the emails we receive that MANY of you are asking THAT SAME QUESTION.
Unlike tepid Laodiceans which pervade Christendom, you have INTENSE DESIRE to be ushered into God's Presence, see our Lord Jesus, and leave this ugly, miserable world behind.
I want to assure you that God is not indifferent to your heartfelt wish, or to your pleas.
He hears all of it, and He will answer in due course.
To the martyrs clamoring for justice, God's reply is to:
..."wait a little longer, until THE NUMBER OF their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been completed" (Revelation 6:11).
The 6th seal is opened and the Rapture takes place in the next verse, Revelation 6:12.
Tribulation judgments begin when the 7th seal is opened (Revelation 8:2).
So, clearly ONE thing that's been holding up the Rapture is that the number of Christian martyrs, like those who already died and whose souls are in heaven, MUST BE FULFILLED.
What that exact number is, we're not told.
But the point is this: Persecution of Christians has increased dramatically in recent years and, particularly, in recent months.
As we previously reported, Christians in Iraq weren't even able to celebrate Christmas last December, due to fear of Muslim retaliation.
In Egypt, we've seen increased attacks on churches, and on Coptic Christians who, although 21 million strong, are still a minority compared to the huge and expanding Muslim population.
It would take volumes to talk about other places like Nigeria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Burma, Viet Nam, Indonesia, and China where being Christian automatically makes you a target of either religious fanatics, oppressive regimes, or both.
I laugh when I hear American Christians whine about being "persecuted".
Shut up! Just because someone told a joke on TV ridiculing Christians, or labeled us "intolerant", that's not persecution.
Frankly, a lot of Christians bring this on themselves, and DESERVE IT.
In America, we don't even KNOW what persecution is.
Unless your life is SERIOUSLY IN DANGER because of your faith, don't talk to me about "persecution", please.
THOUSANDS of our brothers and sisters throughout the world are dying as MARTYRS for their faith.
While we pray for them, cover them with the Blood of Jesus, and pray for God's protection, as they give their lives for the Lord the tally in heaven is increasing.
God said that He would judge this sin laden world, once the predetermined number of Christian martyrs is completed.
And our martyrs DO NOT strap a bomb to their chest so they can blow themselves up into smithereens, and everyone else they can kill in the process.
Our martyrs DO NOT die out of HATRED for their fellow man, but out of LOVE for them and for their Savior.
Our martyrs don't die because of some EVIL ACT of terror they committed.
They die simply for being Christians: Nothing more, and nothing less.
Every one of our precious, brave brothers and sisters who die for Jesus' sake bring us a step closer to ultimate Redemption.
So, to the enemies of Christ, to those who would murder Christians, just because they ARE believers in the One true God, Jesus Christ, we serve notice:
Every Christian you kill brings us a step closer to Jesus, and brings you SEVERAL STEPS CLOSER TO His judgment.
God knows WHO you are. He knows WHERE you are.
Unless you repent, and receive His Messiah Jesus into your heart, His tribulation will come upon you suddenly and unexpectedly, and you will not escape.
SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 2011
Religion and cyberspace are riddled with LAW PUSHERS and self-righteous Judaizers.
Judaizing has reached epidemic proportions.
They love to quote THE FIRST PART of Matthew 5:17 where Jesus says.
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets"...
But conveniently leave out THE LAST PORTION OF THAT SAME VERSE where Jesus ALSO SAYS "I came not to abolish them BUT TO FULFILL them".
Religion and religionists have never gotten over the fact that THE LAW'S BEEN FULFILLED.
If it's been fulfilled, then IT NO LONGER CONCERNS US.
If Jesus CAME TO FULFILL the law, THEN HE DID.
Unless, of course, you think His Divine Mission FAILED.
If you think He failed, YOU'RE NOT SAVED, and you're NOT Christian.
God gave the children of Israel His Law. His Law is just and good (Romans 7:12). Problem was, THEY COULDN'T KEEP IT.
That's WHY Jesus HAD TO come AND FULFILL THE LAW FOR US.
As God in human form, JESUS FULFILLED HIS OWN LAW.
He FULFILLED IT, down to every last jot and tittle (Matthew 5:18).
He fulfilled His own law, to perfection, ON OUR BEHALF.
Jesus IS THE FULFILLMENT OF HIS OWN LAW.
Hence, those who receive Jesus into their hearts and TRUST His PERFECT, NOT LACKING, COMPLETE WORK OF REDEMPTION, are FREELY CREDITED WITH Jesus' PERFECT Righteousness, His PERFECT keeping of God's law.
Those who have THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW personified (Jesus) LIVING IN THEM, DON'T NEED TO FOLLOW THE LAW.
ALL they need is to TRUST Him.
When they receive Him, He (who is both the Law GIVER and Law KEEPER) gives them A NEW PERFECT, LAW KEEPING NATURE, which He puts inside them when they're born again.
From that moment, He (the Law) is written in their hearts. He and they are INSEPARABLE.
If Righteousness Himself, if the PERFECT Fulfillment of the Law, LIVES IN US, His PERFECT LIFE in us makes us FOREVER Righteous.
Praise His unspeakable Perfection!
His perfect Righteousness, His perfect Law keeping, is FREELY credited to us! Is there better news in the whole world than that?
That's why His Message is called the Gospel, meaning "GOOD NEWS"!
That's why God's not angry with anyone: His human manifestation (Jesus) TOOK CARE OF KEEPING THE LAW FOR US, once and for all.
Paul put it so beautifully in 2 Corinthians 5:19 "for God was IN Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, NOT COUNTING MEN'S SINS AGAINST THEM".
That's WHY we CANNOT both receive Jesus and, at the same time, TRY TO KEEP THE LAW.
It's ONE or THE OTHER.
When we ADD to His Perfect Law keeping in our stead, WE'RE NEGATING WHAT HE DID.
We're saying it's INSUFFICIENT.
We're saying His perfect Life, His perfect Law keeping, His atoning death, Blood, and Resurrection AREN'T ENOUGH.
ADDING EQUALS REJECTING.
Repeat: ADDING = REJECTING.
When we ADD to Jesus' PERFECT, COMPLETE WORK of Redemption, we're REJECTING Him/it.
We're saying "O.K. YOU DID ALL THAT FOR ME, but IT'S NOT ENOUGH.
Even after receiving Jesus, who is the FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW, I still have to procure my own righteousness thru MY OWN law keeping, 10 Commandment keeping, Sabbath keeping, or combination thereof.
Truth is, YOU HAVE NO RIGHTEOUSNESS (Isaiah 64:6).
I don't care HOW MUCH or HOW HARD you try to keep God's law, YOU'LL FAIL.
You haven't got a snowball's chance in hell of keeping it.
In fact, THE MOMENT you TRY to keep it, YOU BREAK IT!!!
Even James conceded that if we kept the whole law to perfection, and break JUST ONE commandment, we become GUILTY OF breaking THE WHOLE LAW (James 2:10).
For 1,500 years the children of Israel tried UNSUCCESSFULLY to keep God's Law.
How do I know they NEVER KEPT IT? Had they KEPT IT, they wouldn't have needed ALL THOSE animal sacrifices TWICE A DAY, day after day, after day, after day... year after year, after year.
Had they KEPT IT, Jesus WOULDN'T HAVE HAD to DIE FOR OUR SINS (Galatians 3:21).
Forget the law (torah) and its 613 commandments. They couldn't even keep THE 10 Commandments !
NO FALLEN HUMAN with an inherent SINFUL nature can keep ‘em.
If Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel (and these were godly men, totally committed to serving their God) COULDN'T keep ‘em, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT YOU CAN?
There's NO RIGHTEOUSNESS in us. NONE. ZERO (Psalm 53:3).
There's NO RIGHTEOUSNESS in us... UNTIL we RECEIVE Him who IS Righteousness Personified.
Get over it, Judaizers! Get over it, Armstrongnists! Get over it, Campbellists! Get over it, Adventists! Get over it, Church of Christ! Get over it, UCG! Get over it, JW's!
STOP TRYING to "help" procure righteousness.
You HAVE NONE.
There's NO RIGHTEOUSNESS but God's.
There's NO RIGHTEOUSNESS but Jesus'.
The Law's been FULFILLED by Him who GAVE IT.
ALL we need is His Righteousness.
He's the ONLY Righteousness you, me, or anyone else, WILL EVER have.
His righteousness, the Scriptures tell us, ENDURES FOREVER (Psalm 111:3; 112:3, 9).
His Righteousness is PERFECT. It lacks NOTHING.
Bye, bye Law.
FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011
KNEES AND TONGUES
One thing I love about the Bible is that it gives such absolute, blessed assurance on how everything will ultimately turn out.
When you know the final score ahead of time, while the game's still being played, you have a huge advantage over those who don't have a clue how it's all going to end.
That's also the reason I so love the prophetic Word. God's sure word of prophecy is MORE SURE than even God's audible voice (2 Peter 1:19)... and that's saying a lot. You can bank on it. You can stake your very life on it. It's that sure.
So, let me serve notice on Satan and all his instruments... and he's got a few out there... even some who pretend to be "Christian"... Wolves in sheep's clothing... LET ME SHED SOME LIGHT ON THEIR DELUDED MINDS... AND TELL THEM HOW IT'S ALL GOING TO END.
You see, Satan has fallen for his own lie that, somehow, someway, he'll do something or other and win the game.
NO WAY! NOT A CHANCE!
HE ALREADY LOST.
GOD'S THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA. THE BEGINNING AND THE END. HE ALREADY PRE-ESTABLISHED THE END FROM THE BEGINNING.
So, WE KNOW HOW IT'S GOING TO END:
EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER.
EVERYONE will BOW TO JESUS. NO ONE is exempt.
Those who have INVITED Him into their hearts, and are saved, will bow and confess Him as Lord JOYFULLY, GRATEFULLY, willingly and LOVINGLY.
Those who DID NOT receive Him will HAVE TO BOW before Him, like it or not.
EVERYONE FITS INTO ONE OF THOSE TWO GROUPS.
Which group are you in ?
FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 2011
DESOLATIONS OF JERUSALEM
In Daniel 9:2, just prior to the amazing 70 weeks prophecy, Daniel is checking out God's prophecy given to Jeremiah concerning Jerusalem, and concludes that the "DESOLATIONS of Jerusalem would be completed, [they would END], in 70 years".
The Hebrew word for "desolations" is lecharevovt, which is unequivocally plural, meaning, MORE THAN ONE desolation.
Evidently, this wasn't referring ONLY to the ONE desolation Jerusalem was under at that time.
Although it included the desolation caused by the Babylonians when they destroyed the Holy City, the prophecy refers to ALL the desolations of Jerusalem, present or future.
As always, God is true to His Word.
Jerusalem became desolate in 586 BC, when Babylonians destroyed it and its temple.
Just as God had promised, Jews were eventually allowed to return from exile and rebuild their temple.
The Second Temple was completed in the year 516 BC, 70 years later.
The first Jewish revolt began in 66 AD.
The revolt was crushed and Jerusalem was destroyed again, this time by the Romans, in 70 AD.
Once again, it became desolate.
There was a Second Jewish Revolt in 135 AD.
Hadrian rebuilt it, right after the Second Jewish Revolt, as a pagan city named Aelia Capitolina.
The building of Aelia was finished by 140 A.D., 70 years after its desolation in 70 AD.
But its desolations DID NOT end there.
In 1948 prophetic Jerusalem, which is the Jewish Quarter was destroyed yet again this time by the Jordanians.
Jews were expelled and it remained in desolation until its reconstruction began in 1969.
There still remain 3½ years of desolation for Jerusalem during the rule of Antichrist.
Why is this significant?
Because if its last desolation took place in 1948, that means its FINAL RESTORATION, according to the prophecies of Jeremiah, Zechariah and Daniel, MUST take place 70 YEARS later.
70 Hebrew years of 360 days from 1948 take us to 2017, when the Second Coming of our Lord will take place, THUS ENDING FOREVER the "desolations" of Jerusalem.
Deuteronomy 19:15 and 2 Corinthians 13:1 come to mind:
"By the testimony of two or three witnesses shall EVERY MATTER be established."
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 2011
"By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion...
For there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"
HOW can we sing the songs of the Lord WHILE IN A FOREIGN LAND?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget [its skill].
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy" (Psalm 137:1-6).
This Scripture shows how Israel's national identity, as well as Jewishness itself, it inextricably linked to Jerusalem.
The conquering Babylonians had just attacked and destroyed Jerusalem. They had taken many of its citizens captive. They were demanding they sang HAPPY songs.
Even in the midst of heartbreak, defeat and despair, what was THE FIRST THING that came out of their captives' mouths?"If I forget thee, o Jerusalem"...
Some translations render the passage "let my right hand forget its skill". Others, like the KJV, say "let my right hand forget its cunning".
Actually, the original Hebrew doesn't mention any skill or any cunning. The original Hebrew says "if I forget you, Oh Jerusalem, let me forget my right hand", meaning that which is CLOSEST to me, and what I rely on most (since most individuals are right handed).
It was 44 years ago today that Jerusalem was recaptured by Israelites.
2,600 years after that Psalm was written they HADN'T FORGOTTEN.
In fact, the word "Jerusalem" is mentioned throughout the Bible 767 times.
That's not even counting the times it's referred to by some other name such as "Zion", "Salem", or "Ariel".
By way of comparison, do you know how many times this SO CURRENTLY DISPUTED piece of real estate is mentioned in the Koran?
That's right. You can read the Koran from cover to cover and NOT ONCE find any mention of "Al Kuds" (as Jerusalem is called in Arabic).
Jerusalem was chosen by King David as the capital of Israel, over 3,000 years ago.
The Bible tells us over and over that Jerusalem is the city in which God chose to "put His Name" (Psalm 132:13; Daniel 9:18,19; Zechariah 3:2; 1 Kings 11:32; 2 Kings 23:27; 2 Chronicles 6:6,34; 12:13; Ezra 6:12; Nehemiah 1:9).
God's temples were built there (1 Kings 8:43-48).
It's known as the "city of the Great King" (Psalm 48:2; Matthew 5:35).
Paul refers to it in Galatians 4:26 as "the mother of us all" (who know Christ).
It's in Jerusalem that Jesus will set up His Millennial Kingdom (Psalm 2:6).
It's FROM Jerusalem that Jesus and His saints will rule the world.
But Jerusalem is more than the PHYSICAL city that bears its name. Jerusalem is A HEAVENLY CITY(Hebrews 12:22).
How appropriate, then, that EARTHLY Jerusalem should have been liberated ON THE VERY DAY (Iyyar 28) that our precious Lord ASCENDED TO HEAVENLY Jerusalem.
There's a HEAVENLY DIMENSION TO Jerusalem.
Every born again believer, regardless of what citizenship he or she may bear in this temporary world, is A CITIZEN OF heavenly Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is our SPIRITUAL Home.
Every child of God who visits Jerusalem may leave it physically, but CAN NEVER LEAVE it spiritually. It's embedded in our hearts.
I've NEVER left Jerusalem, and Jerusalem has NEVER left me.
It seems, in light of recent events, that much of America has forgotten Jerusalem.
Our political leadership definitely has. Some of our religious leadership has.
They might as well forget their right hand.
I've never forgotten Jerusalem.
Have you ?
Visit our website (in english) : http://www.christconnection.net/
Visitez notre site internet (en français) : https://www.revelation2012.ch/
Visite nuestra página internet (en español) : http://www.coneccionconcristo.com/