May 2012 archives of www.christconnection.net down below
THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2012
WHAT THEY DIDN'T DO
ACTIONS won't send anyone to hell.
Huh? You heard me: ACTIONS won't send ANYONE to hell.
For all the years I've ministered the Word, others have preached it and taught it, for all the "Christian" media and "Christian" resources at our disposal, there is still a very large number of people who FEAR, that their ACTIONS will either earn heaven, or send them to hell.
They THINK that drinking a few beers, smoking, watching porn, using drugs, having illicit sex, and other such practices, will send them to hell.
There are even professing Christians who fear this.
That's how badly they've been deceived by religion.
Lest there be any misunderstanding, ALL OF THESE (except for drinking beer) ARE SIN.
These practices are sinful and have VERY SERIOUS consequences in THIS life.
That's why I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT Christians live and walk in the Spirit so they can live free of all forms of carnal bondage.
All I'm saying is that DOING these things, SINFUL AS THEY ARE, is NOT what sends someone to hell.
What sends people to hell ISN'T action, but INACTION.
It's hearing the Good News that Jesus died for your sins, poured out His Blood to cleanse you, PAID IN FULL THE PRICE OF YOUR REDEMPTION, rose from the dead, and NOT RECEIVING HIM INTO YOUR HEART.
Actions CANNOT get you into heaven. Nor can they send you to hell.
INACTION is what sends people there:
SITTING ON THE FENCE and NOT inviting Jesus into your heart, IS THE ONLY SIN that sends ANYONE TO HELL.
Jesus Himself said that ALL SINS will be forgiven to men (and women) EXCEPT THAT ONE SIN (Matthew 12:31,32).
Many will be shocked when they find themselves in hell and realize it wasn't anything THEY DID that got them there:
It was WHAT THEY DIDN'T DO.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2012
DON'T SETTLE FOR LESS
Most people take pride in their business savvy:
They know where to get the best deals on everything from food, to shoes, to automobile tires.
They love to brag about what a great deal they made when they bought their home, traded in their car, or signed up for that cruise.
Important as some of these TEMPORARY things may seem, they pale by comparison to the importance of ETERNITY.
People look under every nook and cranny to get the best deal possible on things that, in a few years or months, will be deemed inadequate, too small, too old, too uncomfortable, or altogether forgotten.
Yet they don't spend 10 SECONDS on getting the best deal possible for their eternal destiny.
Where ETERNITY is concerned they settle for ANYTHING.
Or they allow their parents, spouse, friends, ethnicity or culture to decide.
They settle for a fat, dead, ugly guy who only theorized about the afterlife and couldn't even save HIMSELF.
They settle for a series of endless and nebulous reincarnations that may - or may not - EVENTUALLY lead to a placid state where people lose their identity and become non-entities.
They settle for some imaginary New Age philosophy mired in uncertainty, wallowing in confusion, that can't save them, can't help them, and raises more questions than provide answers.
Or they settle for an inferior, intolerant, hate-filled, Ahmed-come-lately, who plagiarized the Old and New Testaments then mangled their brilliance in a selfish attempt to manipulate others, exploit their fears, and bring them under submission TO HIS DASTARDLY WISHES.
Not only is that UNWISE, it's completely ILLOGICAL.
You go through all that trouble to find the best deal on clothes that you'll wear a few times and then donate to Goodwill, and you WON'T invest ANY TIME searching for the best possibly destiny, where you'll get to spend ETERNITY?
What the hell's WRONG WITH YOU?
Fortunately, I've done the searching for all of us.
And I can tell you that where the afterlife is concerned - for that matter, where EVERYTHING ELSE is concerned - Jesus Christ wins HANDS DOWN!!!
No one else GUARANTEES your sins are forgiven.
No one else GUARANTEES a happy, fulfilling, and THRILLING afterlife.
No one else GUARANTEES Salvation.
No one else GUARANTEES ETERNITY WITH GOD.
No one else GUARANTEES a deep, wonderful relationship WITH God.
No one else IS God.
No one else GUARANTEES ETERNAL LIFE.
Most importantly, NO ONE ELSE IS ALIVE.
Everyone else is DEAD.
When it comes to your endless destiny the choice is ENTIRELY yours.
Don't you owe it to yourself to make THE BEST DEAL POSSIBLE?
Jesus wants to make a deal with you: His Life in exchange for your heart.
Do yourself a HUGE favor:
DON'T SETTLE FOR ANY LESS.
TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012
There was a point in Church history, during the appropriately named Dark Ages, where the Bible was locked up in monasteries, unavailable to the public, and could only be accessed by clergy.
Christianity had become a religious institution and only the religious hierarchy could decide the "correct" meaning of Scripture.
The Reformation brought about a predictable backlash against this form of tyranny.
We've all heard the law of physics that "for every action there's AN EQUAL and OPPOSITE reaction".
That law also applies to theology: the pendulum swung totally in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION.
After being denied access to God's Holy Word for centuries and being told arbitrarily -- often violating people's intelligence and conscience -- what God's Word (supposedly) meant, and what one HAD TO believe, Christians used their new freedom to "interpret" the Bible.
While not as damaging [or damnable] as restricted access to the Bible, this had negative consequences as well.
It resulted in the Body of Christ being DISMEMBERED into 230 major pieces, according to each piece's PRIVATE interpretation, plus myriad fragments, and aberrant cults.
2 Peter 1:20, 21 clearly states that NO prophecy of SCRIPTURE is of private interpretation.
So, how does one determine the correct meaning of Scripture?
We LET the Scriptures SPEAK TO US.
We allow God to speak to us through His Word.
He can speak to us in a number of OTHER WAYS, as well, but that's a different topic and a different message.
We NEVER ISOLATE ONE VERSE from the rest of the Bible. We compare EVERY Scripture that deals with a specific topic against all the others, in order to gain full understanding of what was intended.
We keep the Scriptures IN CONTEXT: Time, place, what happened before, during and after, and whom the message was being addressed to, ARE ALL CRITICAL.
Jesus said His Words are "Spirit and Life" [John 6:63].
Let the Holy Spirit, the One who inspired it, REVEAL what He intended.
Nowhere do the Scriptures indicate we are to read them and then OPINE as to what we THINK it means.
Therein lays the problem.
Don't "THINK" so much.
What we "THINK" it means is IRRELEVANT.
The ONLY THING that matters is WHAT HE MEANT.
MONDAY, MAY 28, 2012
THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME
In Daniel 9:27 there's a reference to a prince that shall come and "destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the temple".
Who is this mysterious "prince"?
If you listen to prophecy gurus they will tell you, time and again, it's the Antichrist.
There are only 5 problems with their ludicrous theory:
1. The Antichrist is NOWHERE mentioned in this verse.
2. The Antichrist, according to the Bible, will NOT destroy Jerusalem and the temple. Rather, he will occupy Jerusalem [Zechariah 14:2] and sit in the temple, passing himself off as God [2 Thessalonians 2:4]. Hence, there's NO WAY this "prince" can be the Antichrist.
3. This prophecy was already fulfilled, in precise detail, 2,000 years ago.
4. There's no "mystery" whatsoever as to the identity of this prince.
5. The fulfillment of this prophecy, exactly as foretold by the prophet Daniel, is HISTORIC FACT.
The prince in question is the Roman prince Titus, son of Caesar Vespasian, who destroyed Jerusalem and its temple in 70 A.D., EXACTLY as Daniel predicted.
Jerusalem and the first temple had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.
Daniel predicted that Jerusalem and the temple would be rebuilt, then ONCE AGAIN destroyed.
He predicted that, from the edict to rebuild Jerusalem to the Messiah, there would be 69 sabbatical "weeks" [483 years].
After the 483 years, in the middle of the FINAL week [3½ years later] Messiah would be killed (Daniel 9:27).
Then [after Messiah's death] this prince would come and destroy the city and the temple.
Everything happened, in exact sequence:
Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead in 33 A.D.
In 70 A.D. Jerusalem and the temple were totally destroyed, for the second time in history, this time by the Romans.
It even happened on the EXACT date on the Hebrew calendar on which the first temple and Jerusalem were destroyed, the 9th of Av.
According to historian Josephus, who was an eyewitness, both the city and the temple were so thoroughly and ruthlessly destroyed that, if he had not seen with his own eyes, that a city had once stood there, he wouldn't have believed it from the aftermath.
None of these things are in our future. They've ALREADY TAKEN PLACE IN OUR PAST.
All that remains of the "70 weeks" to be fulfilled is HALF A WEEK, which will be the future 3½ year reign of Antichrist. That's the ONLY part of this prophecy that still lies in our future.
So, why does the prophecy establishment insist this "prince" is the Antichrist?
Perhaps to bolster their even more ludicrous theory that the Antichrist will sign a "7-year peace treaty" with Israel and the Arabs.
It was our precious Lord Jesus Christ who [ALREADY] CONFIRMED THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT WITH HIS EQUALLY PRECIOUS BLOOD [Galatians 3:17].
There are only two ways you can TWIST Daniel's prophecy to make it "fit" the Antichrist.
One, by IGNORING Galatians 3:17, where it states, UNEQUIVOCALLY, it was the Christ who confirmed the covenant.
Two, by taking verse 27 totally out of context, which amounts to scriptural and intellectual dishonesty.
That's another way of saying, it's a blatant lie.
If the "prince" mentioned in this verse were the Antichrist, prophecy quacks would THEN be forced to make the case that Titus is the future Antichrist, and that he will make a peace covenant with the Jews, who hate and despise him to this very day.
Whichever way you look at it, it simply doesn't hold water.
This already happened. Antichrist won't make a peace treaty with anybody, since he's a man of war.
People will either submit to his rule willingly, or they'll be FORCED to do so.
Those who refuse, WILL BE KILLED.
There won't be ANY peace [false, real, or imagined] during the tribulation.
SUNDAY, MAY 27, 2012
ELIJAH AND WHO?
The question keeps coming up time and again "who are the Two Witnesses mentioned in Revelation chapter 11"?
There's little dispute about one of them being Elijah.
The Scriptures are clear that Elijah always precedes the appearing of Jesus (Malachi 4:5; Mark 9:11, 12).
There's great debate, however, about the SECOND Witness being either Enoch or Moses.
People either ask about it or write trying to convince us it's their "candidate of choice".
First of all, this is an issue on which we can "agree to disagree".
The identity of the Two Witnesses has NOTHING to do with anyone's Salvation and, frankly, in the grand scheme of biblical eschatology, it's relatively unimportant.
The Two Witnesses are WHO THEY ARE.
All the wishful thinking in the world is not going to change that.
I have stated, repeatedly, that they are Moses and Elijah, and will give you my VERY SCRIPTURAL reasons in a moment. However, if you disagree, that's fine.
I have taken Enoch into consideration. However, I simply can't find ANY scriptural evidence anywhere that points to him. I have found A LOT of scriptural evidence that points to Moses.
I don't buy the "appointed to die" argument, because 1 Corinthians 15:51 is clear that "we will NOT all die, but we will all be changed".
So, to say it's Enoch based on the "he never died" argument ALONE is kind of lame.
If the second Witness were Enoch based on the fact he never died but was translated, THEN EVERY BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN WHO GOES IN THE RAPTURE ALIVE, WOULD HAVE TO COME BACK AND DIE, like Enoch, in order to fulfill Hebrews 9:27.
What good, then, is it to be raptured when we have to come back to this fallen, sinful world and die anyway? That doesn't even make sense.
The Greek word used in Hebrews 9:27 is apokeitai meaning "to put away". It's been put away (reserved) for man to die once.
Dying may be THE NORM (what is usually reserved) for most humans, but nowhere is it stated that this is some INFLEXIBLE, INSURMOUNTABLE law.
2 Timothy 2:10 clearly states that Jesus "has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through His Gospel".
And according to 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 MILLIONS (hopefully, BILLIONS) of born-again Christians will be translated or caught up, just like Enoch, without dying, to Jesus be all the glory.
Now, let me tell you WHY I'm convinced it's Moses.
There's no record in the Scriptures that Enoch performed any miracles or supernatural wonders, as the Two Witnesses will perform. There's also no record that he ever appeared with Elijah or had any direct connection with Elijah.
Moses, on the other hand, DID BOTH.
He and Elijah were both prophets, both spent 40 days and nights on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:18; 1 Kings 19:8).
Both stand before the Lord (Zechariah 4:14; Exodus 33:11; 1 Kings 17:1).
Both appeared to Jesus TOGETHER at the mount of transfiguration, which was a preview of the Rapture (Matthew 17:1-4).
Both witnessed the FOUNDATION of the Church. It makes sense, therefore, that they should both witness its departure into the heavenly realm (Matthew 16:13-17; 17:1-4).
The wonders that the Two Witnesses will perform, according to Revelation 11:6 are PRECISELY the wonders attributed to Elijah, namely, shutting up the sky so it doesn't rain (1 Kings 17:1), and TO MOSES: turn the waters into blood, and smite the earth with every sort of plague (Exodus 7:14-20, chapters 7-11).
There's NO BIBLICAL RECORD ANYWHERE that Enoch ever did such things. Even in the extrabiblical Book of Enoch, there's no record he ever did such things.
In terms of Antichrist murdering them, what value would there be in his killing Enoch? Again, Enoch didn't do any wonders, or possess supernatural powers. Nor did he do anything for Israel.
Matter of fact, the nation of Israel DIDN'T EVEN EXIST in Enoch's day.
Moses, on the other hand, would be an extremely valuable foe to overcome because he did possess and will possess miraculous powers, because he was Israel's FIRST leader, because he led the Israelites out of Egypt and into freedom, and because he's widely regarded as the FOUNDER OF Judaism.
Keeping in mind that Satan and Antichrist's mission will be to persecute and exterminate the Jews during the tribulation (Revelation 12:13-17; 13:7, 10; Daniel 12:7) it makes ALL KINDS OF SENSE that the second witness be Moses, and that Antichrist would take special delight in overcoming him.
All that being said, if some of you still choose to believe the other Witness is Enoch, that's fine with me.
I'm not trying to impose my belief on you, please don't try to impose your belief on me.
Again, in the grand scheme of biblical eschatology, the identity of the Two Witnesses is not that important.
Besides, we'll find out WHO THEY REALLY ARE soon enough.
SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2012
YOUR FATHER'S PLEASURE
So often we hear from people who are wracked with guilt and uncertainty.
They FEAR that something they did in their past [divorce, remarriage, adultery, lying, stealing, immorality, substance abuse, or some other sin] will keep them from the Kingdom of God.
Some FEAR that some sin they're still committing will keep them from the Kingdom of God.
Others FEAR for some loved one who died, and they DON'T KNOW if he/she/they received Jesus into their hearts, or if they "did it right".
To all of the above, I want to quote Jesus' own words in Luke 12:32:
"Don't be afraid, little flock, for IT IS YOUR FATHER'S GOOD PLEASURE to give you the Kingdom".
Fact: God WANTS TO save you MORE than you want to be saved.
God's not sitting in heaven with a team of lawyers [heaven forbid!] looking over every statement you made, or the exact form of speech you used when you received Him, to disqualify you from Salvation on some "technicality".
God's not sitting in heaven with a giant magnifying glass looking for or nit picking everything in your "past" just so He can damn you.
If He wanted to damn you, He wouldn't have come to earth as Jesus, in human form, AND PAID THE PRICE FOR EVERY ONE OF THOSE SINS.
He ALREADY PAID FOR ALL your sins, past, present AND FUTURE.
There's no sin you've ever committed, are committing, or will commit THAT JESUS DIDN'T PAY FOR.
Therefore, NO SIN you commit, or will commit, can keep you from heaven.
The ONLY SIN that'll keep ANYONE from heaven is FAILING TO RECEIVE Jesus as Lord, Savior and God.
If you REJECT the ONLY ONE who PAID FOR your sins, then your sins ARE NOT PAID FOR, and you will be held accountable for them.
That's the bottom line.
Jesus thoroughly ENJOYS bringing each of us, who receive Him into our hearts, INTO His Eternal Kingdom.
Jesus DID NOT come to condemn, BUT TO SAVE (John 3:17).
FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012
It's NO COINCIDENCE that this European nation has been in the news A LOT lately.
In case you've been living under a rock, Greece has been experiencing a severe economic and leadership crisis.
The European Union has tried to bail them out of their economic woes with a plan that also called for austerity and which is predictably unpopular with its citizens.
Many of them have poured out into the streets in protest on several occasions.
The nation is drowning in debt and is now threatening to abandon the EU and the euro. If it does, it's likely to bring down other European economies facing similar challenges like those of Italy, Spain and Portugal.
It's also affecting the American economy and the stock market with most stocks plummeting due to the economic uncertainty.
Why Greece? And WHY at this time?
Because we're living at the VERY "time of the end".
Because Jesus predicted this era of birthpangs would be marked by "DISTRESS OF NATIONS WITH PERPLEXITY" (Luke 21:25).
The Greek word aporia means "NOT KNOWING which way to turn", seeing NO WAY OUT of their dilemma, which is PRECISELY what's happening.
Two days ago European leaders including Germany's Merkel and
France's new President Hollande met in Belgium to discuss Greece's problem, but no viable solution was offered.
As for the leadership crisis, it's not just in Greece and the rest of Europe, but ALL OVER the world.
This is ONE OF the things that MUST happen in order for Antichrist to rule.
The reason Greece figures so prominently in the news lately is that the Greek Antichrist is about to emerge from the bottomless pit, as foretold in Revelation 17:8.
He should emerge sometime near THE END OF 2012.
When he reappears, he will take control of his fractured nation, as he did 2,300 years ago, unite it, and set out to recover the core of his former empire.
That's why Daniel chapter 11 gives us a panoramic view of Alexander's Empire through the ages, it's rise, it's demise, it's division into four sections (Greece, Turkey, Syria and Egypt) which later evolved into two major dynasties, that of Ptolemy in Egypt (king of the south) and the Seleucids in Turkey/Syria (king of the north) (Daniel 11:2-4).
That's why verses 28-29 of that chapter tell us REPEATEDLY that Alexander will return.
Verses 30-38 clearly label him the Antichrist.
And that's why verses 40-44 of that chapter tell us that "at the time of the end" the king of the south (Egypt) will come against him as will the king of the north (Turkey/Syria).
Egypt, Turkey and Syria were important territories of his former empire and as soon as he regains a foothold on Greece, he will set out to re-conquer them.
Their resistance will be futile.
He will quickly get control of these nations as well as over Libya, and Iraq (Daniel 11:43).
Finally, history will repeat itself, when he demands once again that each of these subjugated territories provide men and arms for the conquest of Iran and for his siege against Israel, and more specifically, Jerusalem.
His 3½ year reign will begin when he breaks the power of Israel (Daniel 12:7).
Shortly thereafter, he will face off (yet again) against Persia (modern Iran, Daniel 8:19, 20).
Greece and Iran will both be seeking to establish world empires.
As was the case over two millennia ago, the Greeks will conquer the Persians, and Ahmadinejad's ambitious plans to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate will come crashing down.
Look for Greece to remain the focus of world attention.
Where Bible prophecy is concerned, for the next few years "Greece" is the word.
THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012
HELL, NO !
Contrary to conventional religious teaching, hell is A TEMPORARY PLACE, NOT a FINAL destination (Psalms 16:10; 2 Peter 2:4).
Most people confuse hell, which is temporary, with the lake of fire, which is eternal. Or use "hell" as a general term to refer to the destination of those who are spiritually lost. I've been guilty of it myself.
Everyone who is in hell right now CAN STILL (potentially) GET SAVED (Psalm 139:8; Matthew 12:32).
While they still CAN get saved, there's NO ASSURANCE that they will.
I realize this is a controversial subject. I certainly don't part fellowship with those who believe differently. I also recognize that it's HARD to break free from religious tradition. So, those who have "problems" with this doctrine, and can't receive it, it's O.K.
This is NON-ESSENTIAL, meaning that no one's Salvation hinges on their hell doctrine.
On the other hand, for those whose loved ones died WITHOUT CHRIST, while I cannot give assurances that they will be saved, there's STILL a ray of hope.
Hell is known by several names in the Bible:
1. Hell (Psalms 9:17; Luke 16:23)
2. The bottomless pit or "the pit" (Psalms 88:6; Proverbs 1:12).
3. The abyss (Jeremiah 48:28; Luke 8:31; Revelation 9:2).
4. The "nether parts of the earth" (or netherworld) (Ezekiel 31:14; 32:18).
Geographically speaking, hell is located BENEATH the surface of the earth, at its center, BELOW where we live (Numbers 16:33; Deuteronomy 32:22; Isaiah 14:9).
They way in and out of hell, geographically speaking, is thru the sea (Ezekiel 28:8).
The way INTO hell, spiritually speaking, is NOT RECEIVING Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior and God.
Failure to RECEIVE Jesus is THE ONLY sin, -- repeat: THE ONLY sin -- THAT WILL SEND ANYONE TO HELL.
The way OUT of hell, is to receive Jesus as Lord, Savior and God.
Those in hell can find Jesus, as evidenced by Psalm 139:8:
"If I ascend up into heaven, you are there: if I make my bed IN HELL, behold, YOU ARE THERE".
If God is EVEN IN HELL itself, then there is the POSSIBILITY to get saved since He IS Salvation (Psalm 27:1; 118:21).
Psalm 116:3, 4 say: "The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains OF HELL got hold on me... Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me"!
If salvation in hell were utterly impossible, then calling on the Name of the Lord, and asking for His Salvation from there would be FUTILE and totally UNCALLED FOR.
Proverbs 15:24: "The way of life is above to the wise THAT HE MAY DEPART FROM hell beneath".
While escaping the lake of fire is IMPOSSIBLE, clearly, it IS POSSIBLE to DEPART FROM "hell beneath".
Amos 9:2 is self-explanatory: "Though they go DOWN TO HELL, THERE SHALL MY HAND BRING THEM OUT".
Those in hell CAN STILL GET SAVED, regardless of what organized religion teaches, and DESPITE traditional Christian thinking.
That's why Jesus said "You have heard that it was said by them of old time, you shall not kill...
But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment... but whosoever shall say, you fool, SHALL BE IN DANGER OF HELL FIRE.
Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you; leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift...
Verily I say unto you, YOU SHALL BY NO MEANS COME OUT OF THERE, TILL you have paid the last penny (Matthew 5:21-26).
If COMING OUT OF hell fire were impossible, Jesus would have never uttered those words.
That's why Jesus ALSO said "And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man it shall be forgiven him but whosoever speaks against the Holy Spirit it SHALL NOT BE FORGIVEN him neither in this age NEITHER IN THE AGE TO COME (Matthew 12:32).
Jesus could have simply said "they'll NEVER be forgiven".
If salvation in "the age to come" (the Millennium) were impossible, then Jesus wouldn't have needed to clarify that those who commit that particular sin would not get forgiveness NOW OR THEN, and His statement would be TOTALLY UNCALLED FOR.
If people in hell COULDN'T get saved, Revelation 20:13-15 wouldn't say:
"The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades (hell) GAVE UP THE DEAD THAT WERE IN THEM, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades (HELL) were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
"Those, whose names were NOT found written in the Book of Life, were thrown into the lake of fire".
Such statement CLEARLY INDICATES that at the Great White Throne (Final) Judgment SOME dead people, who had gone to hell, WERE found in the Book of Life, and were NOT cast into the lake.
That, in turn, means that they got saved IN HELL ITSELF.
Those in hell will still have the OPPORTUNITY TO GET SAVED until the end of the Millennium. Those who, by then, have not repented and received Jesus as Lord, Savior and God, will be tossed into the lake of fire, ALONG WITH HELL ITSELF (Revelation 20:12-15).
The lake of fire IS eternal. No one's coming out of there, EVER (Matthew 25:41).
Salvation in hell is POSSIBLE, but NOT CERTAIN.
There is no guarantee of Salvation in hell.
There is no guarantee of ANYTHING in hell, except torment.
Why take chances in hell, when you CAN BE SURE?
Are you 100% SURE of your FINAL destination?
Salvation is ONLY guaranteed, 100%, to those who receive Christ NOW.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2012
SALVATION AFTER DEATH
Belief that hell is INESCAPABLE is NOT a requirement for Salvation.
Religious traditions are VERY HARD to part with. However, Hell and the Lake of Fire are TWO DIFFERENT PLACES. I wrote this message (and tomorrow's) about two and a half years ago for people who ask this question CONSTANTLY. They FOUND HOPE and some COMFORT in it.
I have carefully searched the Scriptures, and waited on the Holy Spirit to show me the correct answer. It's perfectly fine to disagree. I'm not looking for debate, since there are other pressing issues. However -- as has always been my policy -- if ANYONE can PROVE to me FROM THE BIBLE that it's wrong, I'll change it and PUBLICLY REPENT.
Please note I said FROM THE BIBLE, quoted IN CONTEXT. I've never been interested in personal opinions, and I'm not now.
If you're considering writing, please wait until you read ALL the evidence (today's and tomorrow's messages). Thank you.
Can people get saved AFTER they die?
This is a question that comes up, time and again. Someone has lost a loved one who never gave his or her heart to Jesus in THIS life and, naturally, they want to know if they will have a "second chance" in the afterlife.
I must confess that, until two years ago, I didn't know the answer.
Like most Christians, I had been taught that what happened to us after death was final and irreversible.
This is an issue that I, along with many of you, have struggled with... UNTIL God's Holy Spirit had mercy on me, and "opened up" what the Scriptures HAVE SAID ABOUT THAT SUBJECT ALL ALONG.
YES, THEY CAN.
There are some BIG "BUTS" [one "t"]:
1. Salvation is BY GRACE THRU FAITH. Always has been, always will be [Ephesians 2:8].
2. Those who died in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament OUTSIDE THE FAITH have gone to hell.
3. Hell [Hades] is a TEMPORARY place. Hell is NOT eternal.
4. Hell is a place of torment [Luke 16:23; Mark 9:44]. There's NOTHING good, or even "neutral" about hell.
5. Those in hell CAN STILL EXERCISE THEIR FREE WILL, repent and receive Jesus, cry out to Him, have their sins forgiven, AND BE SAVED [Psalms 139:8].
6. Hell exists now and will still exist during the Millennium.
7. Those who went there can repent and receive Jesus at any point before or during those 1,000 years.
8. At the END of the Millennium all who died outside the faith are raised from the dead and judged according to their works.
9. Those who are NOT found in the Book of Life, who HAVEN'T repented and received Jesus, are cast into the Lake of Fire along with hell itself [Revelation 20:12-15].
10. The Lake of Fire [Gehenna] IS ETERNAL.
11. There's no coming out of there... EVER [Matthew 25:41; Jude 7; Revelation 14:10,11].
12. Those who ARE found in the Book of Life, who somehow had a "change of heart" even while being in hell, will get to live in the new earth with Jesus forever, in perfect, immortal bodies, and in a perfect environment [Revelation 21:26,27].
That's why Jesus said in Matthew 12:31,32 that those who blasphemed against the Holy Spirit [the Spirit's witness or testimony as to who Jesus IS] WILL NEVER be forgiven, in this age OR THE NEXT, clearly referring to the Millennial Age.
Jesus' statement, ALONE, proves that FORGIVENESS for sin (hence Salvation) -- though NOT GUARANTEED -- WILL STILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE "WORLD TO COME" TO THOSE WHO REPENT AND RECEIVE HIM.
But what about Luke 16:26 where it says people couldn't cross over from hell to Paradise or vice versa?
That was BEFORE Jesus went to the cross and PAID FOR ALL SINS [past, present and future]. Glory to Him forever!
And what about Hebrews 9:27 where it says "it is appointed unto man TO DIE ONCE, and after this judgment"?
The original Greek text does NOT contain the definite article "the". So, it DOESN'T say "after this THE judgment", but rather "after this [after death] judgment".
The word for "judgment" is krisis MEANING "decision" or "judgment". It doesn't necessarily mean judgment as in "punishment". It can be a decision FOR or AGAINST.
When people die there is IMMEDIATE "judgment" or DECISION as to whether their souls go to heaven or hell.
What that verse DOESN'T say is "after death THE FINAL judgment".
The FINAL judgment for all who died without Christ takes place at the END of the Millennium [Revelation 20:12-15].
So -- while NOT PROBABLE -- it is possible for people to be saved, EVEN WHEN THEY'RE IN HELL ITSELF.
If they don't get saved NOW WHEN IT'S SO EASY, what makes us think they'll do it then? [2 Corinthians 6:2].
What makes you think the torments of hell will soften their heart as opposed to HARDEN IT?
There are NO GUARANTEES in hell.
The ONLY GUARANTEED WAY of ending up in heaven is receiving Jesus Christ into one's heart IN THE HERE AND NOW.
And WHY would anyone want to spend 1,000 years, 50 years, 10 years, 2 hours, or even 5 seconds, in TORMENT, when they can avoid hell altogether... when HEAVEN (Jesus) can be in them RIGHT NOW... is beyond my comprehension.
Therefore, YES, IT'S POSSIBLE. NOT CERTAIN, but possible.
But ANYONE who chooses to "take their chances" in hell, is THE BIGGEST FOOL who ever lived.
TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2012
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Here's a compendium of often asked questions:
1. What happens to CHILDREN WHO DIE?
They go to heaven (Matthew 19:14).
2. What happens to ABORTED CHILDREN?
They go to heaven like all other children.
3. Do children go in the Rapture?
Yes. All children, living or dead, will (Joel 2:16).
4. What is THE AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY?
NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE. It varies with each individual. That's why children should be told about Jesus as soon as they are able to understand (which can be as early as 4 or 5 years old) and led in a simple prayer to receive Jesus into their hearts.
5. What about THE MENTALLY DISABLED?
Those who are BORN that way, go to heaven when they die, and will go in the Rapture.
While I don't have a Scripture that says this in so many words, there are biblical principles on which to base this assumption:
A person BORN mentally disabled is really like a baby all his or her life. Their BODIES may grow and become "adult", but their mental faculties DO NOT.
Hence, the same principle of "becoming as a little child" applies to them (Matthew 18:3, 10; Mark 10:14,15).
Those who suffer some sort of illness or accident and LOSE their mental faculties are a different story.
They had the opportunity, AS ADULTS, to receive Jesus.
If they received Him, they're saved. If they didn't, they aren't.
What if they only lose A PORTION OF their mental faculties?
If they received Jesus, they're eternally saved.
If they haven't, talk to them about Jesus as you would to a little boy or girl, ask if they want to invite Him into their hearts, and lead them in a simple prayer.
Same goes for those who suffer from Alzheimers or dementia.
6. What about people who are IN A COMA?
While they cannot ANSWER YOU, they can HEAR YOU.
If they had not received Jesus prior to going into that state, give them a brief version of the Gospel, and tell them "if you want to make Jesus your Lord, pray this along with me, and mean it with all your heart", then lead them in a simple prayer.
While they CANNOT ANSWER, they can hear and follow along and mean it in their hearts and can STILL get saved.
DO NOT give up on them just because they're in that condition.
7. What about those in remote areas of the world, who have NEVER HEARD the Gospel, or even the Name of Jesus?
Every person on this earth has what we call "a conscience".
We look around and NATURE ITSELF shows there's a God.
The Bible says that those who seek God with ALL THEIR HEARTS -- no matter who they are, where they are, or where they live - WILL FIND HIM (Jeremiah 29:13).
Somehow, some way, He will make Himself known to them.
THERE'S NO EXCUSE, therefore, for NOT seeking Him (Romans 1:19,20).
Those who seek Him, will find Him and be saved (Matthew 7:7).
Those who don't, will go to hell.
8. Do all NON-Christians go to hell?
I know that's neither politically nor religiously correct, but it's the Truth.
That's what the Bible says.
The Scriptures couldn't be clearer about this:
"Neither is there salvation IN ANY OTHER: for there is NO OTHER NAME under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
ALL who die without Jesus go to hell.
9. Is hell a FINAL destination, with no hope of ever getting out?
Hell is a TEMPORARY place for the unsaved.
Those who go there, will have until THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM to repent and call on Jesus (Matthew 12:32).
If they do, they will eventually be saved.
If they don't, THEY'LL GO TO THE LAKE OF FIRE FOR ALL ETERNITY, along with Satan, his angels, the Antichrist and the False Prophet (Revelation 19:20; 20:10, 11-15).
10. Is the LAKE OF FIRE FINAL?
Yes. No one's getting out of there... EVER.
MONDAY, MAY 21, 2012
If you ask most orthodox Christians whether Jesus was human, they'll answer "yes". In fact, official doctrine is that He is 100% God and 100% human.
However, when you show those same orthodox Christians, IN THE SCRIPTURES, where Jesus spoke or acted AS A HUMAN, they either START MAKING UP EXCUSES for His behavior, or they altogether sweep His humanity under the rug.
IN THEORY, they'll tell you Jesus was TOTALLY human. IN PRACTICE, however, organized religion simply CANNOT HANDLE His humanity.
Religion LIKES the "meek and mild" version of Jesus that THEIR CORRUPT IMAGINATION HAS FABRICATED. They LIKE the Jesus who (supposedly) spoke in soft, meek, whispery tones.
The Scriptures, however, CONTRADICT THAT FALSE NOTION and say He spoke WITH AUTHORITY (Mark 1:22; 7:29; Luke 4:32).
So, it COULDN'T HAVE BEEN as soft and whispery as they'd have us believe.
THEY LIKE the Jesus that taught to love our neighbor and even our enemies. They LIKE the Jesus who taught to "turn the other cheek".
But THEY DISLIKE the Jesus who called the religious hypocrites of His day "white sepulchers" because they LOOKED clean ON THE OUTSIDE, but were full of DUPLICITY and UNCLEANNESS on the INSIDE (Matthew 23:27).
That Jesus makes them uncomfortable because He simply hits TOO CLOSE TO HOME. Selah.
THEY DISLIKE the Jesus who called the self-righteous, self-professed religious intelligentsia of His day "brood of vipers", "hypocrites" and "children of hell" (Matthew 23:33).
THEY DISLIKE the Jesus who told the Pharisees of His day that "publicans and prostitutes would enter God's Kingdom AHEAD OF them" (Matthew 21:31).
THEY DISLIKE the Jesus who made a whip out of ropes and threw the money changers from His temple, loosed their cattle, un-caged their doves, and overthrew their tables (John 2:14-16).
Makes you wonder what He'd do to TODAY'S MONEY CHANGERS.
THEY DISLIKE, and feel the need to "make excuses" for, the Jesus who called the Syro-Phoenician woman A DOG (Matthew 15:26; Mark 7:27).
Truth be told, THEY DON'T APPROVE OF THAT JESUS.
That's WHY they NEVER SPEAK ABOUT HIM.
Hence THEY DON'T APPROVE OF any Christian WHO DARES to present THAT SIDE of Jesus.
Well, I got news for the religious hypocrites OF OUR DAY:
THAT Jesus IS JUST AS REAL AS the "the other Jesus": He's just as real as the side of Him that they like to present.
And He is JUST AS SCRIPTURAL AS (actually, MORE SO) than the sanitized version of "Jesus" that modern Pharisees serve up in their broadcasts, religious gatherings, web pages, and discussion forums.
He is JUST AS MUCH the Personification of Divine Love when He says to love our neighbor as ourselves, as when He calls that gentile woman a dog.
He is just AS PERFECT AND SINLESS when He made the first statement as when He made the second.
He is AS MUCH GOD when He said one thing, as He WAS AND IS WHEN HE SAID THE OTHER.
Matter of fact, He pointedly said that THE WORDS HE SPOKE WERE NOT HIS, BUT THE FATHER'S (John 6:45-63; 8:26-28; 14:10, 24).
He didn't say or do ANYTHING unless He saw it or heard it FROM THE FATHER.
And Christians better DEAL WITH IT, because THAT'S THE JESUS YOU'RE ABOUT TO COME FACE TO FACE WITH.
He DOESN'T CARE which facets of Him you like and which you dislike.
He DOESN'T CARE which portions of Him you approve or disapprove.
THAT'S WHO HE IS.
Jesus is the ONLY SINLESS human who's ever lived.
When the Church fails to preach a human Jesus, they DO HIM A GREAT DISSERVICE.
They allow THE WORLD, by default, to present THEIR WARPED VERSION of Jesus' humanity -- which is usually that of a confused, self-doubting, sex obsessed religious nut -- on Broadway, TV or the so-called silver screen.
Enter Satan -- who knows an opportunity when he sees one -- to seize religion's inability to cope with Jesus' humanity, and capitalize on it by filtering it through his instruments, many of whom live in Hollywood, California or New York, New York.
STOP making excuses for Jesus, religious hypocrites.
STOP presenting the side of Him YOU "APPROVE OF".
Who the hell are you to JUDGE HIM, anyway?
He is God.
He is THE ABSOLUTE STANDARD OF PERFECTION in EVERYTHING He says or does.
You don't get to pick and choose the portions of Jesus you like and shun the ones you dislike.
Either ACCEPT ALL OF HIM, or REJECT ALL OF HIM.
To Him be glory for all eternity, worlds without end. Amen.
SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012
DON'T MESS WITH REVELATION
The Book of Revelation is unique in more ways than one:
It BEGINS with a blessing to those who read it, hear it, and keep WHAT IT TRULY SAYS (Revelation 1:3).
And it ENDS with an OMINOUS WARNING for those who MISREPRESENT ITS CONTENTS:
"For I testify TO EVERY MAN that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, IF ANY MAN SHALL ADD TO THESE THINGS, God SHALL ADD UNTO HIM THE PLAGUES that are written in this book:
And IF ANY MAN SHALL TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS of... this prophecy, God SHALL TAKE AWAY HIS PART OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18,19).
It's NO COINCIDENCE that God issued this DIRE WARNING in the closing chapter of the Book of Revelation.
NO OTHER BOOK in the Bible has been used, misused, abused and DISTORTED more than this priceless and orderly account of the time of the end.
Just this week, I've found myself STOPPING about 5 different individuals before they "got in deeper" into ADDING or SUBTRACTING.
Unless you think that God just throws words around and DOESN'T MEAN WHAT HE SAYS -- and if you think that, you need to REPENT and GET SAVED -- He gave this WARNING because, evidently, HE KNEW to what extent His Word of Prophecy would be MISCONSTRUED.
Since I'm usually on the receiving end, if I were to give every FALSE TEACHING that I've heard and read, every ADDITION or SUBTRACTION from this scriptural gem, it would take a book, LITERALLY.
However, let me offer SOME examples:
1. I can't begin to tell you HOW MANY people have CONFIDENTLY ASSERTED that "Revelation says" that Babylon the Great the Mother of Harlots is New York City, when REVELATION DOESN'T SAY THAT ANYWHERE.
I once dared a lady who made such false claim to PRODUCE ONE BIBLE VERSE that made such statement. Naturally, she COULDN'T.
In fact, THE BIBLE DOESN'T SAY THAT ANYWHERE...
Did she repent of her false teaching? No. She was ADAMANT about it.
These people are ADDING.
2. I can't begin to tell you in the past decade how many IDIOTS (sorry, but they ARE) have told me that "Revelation 17 says" that the 7th kingdom of Antichrist will be based in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Revelation DOESN'T SAY THAT and the words "Mecca", "Saudi Arabia", "Islam" and "Mohammed" ARE NOWHERE FOUND IN this Book.
Mohammed and Islam DIDN'T EVEN EXIST when this Book was written.
These IDIOTS are ADDING.
3. There are MANY who teach that there's NO MILLENNIUM, no 1,000 year Kingdom of God on earth, after Christ's Second Coming.
Revelation chapter 20, in fact, teaches THERE WILL BE.
Amillennialists are SUBTRACTING.
4. There are some who teach there's NO SUCH THING as the Rapture, the sudden translation of believers from earth into heaven, when in fact, Revelation 7:9-14 CLEARLY SHOWS THERE IS multitudinous Rapture.
These people are SUBTRACTING.
5. Some are now teaching that the Rapture will take place IN DIFFERENT STAGES, based on merit, and that most believers who aren't "worthy" to go in the early stages, will remain on earth during the tribulation.
An individual claiming "a private Rapture" and personal revelation given by Jesus in 2010, shared this false teaching with me several months ago.
It CONTRADICTS not only Revelation but MANY OTHER Scriptures.
Jesus would be a pathetic "Head" of the Church (perish the very thought) if He COULDN'T HOLD HIS OWN MYSTICAL BODY TOGETHER, and had to rapture a HACKED UP BODY, piece by piece, over a 4-year period.
This person is GROSSLY ADDING, flat-out LYING, and may have God mercy on his DECEIVED SOUL.
By the way, I am privileged to know someone WHO DID experience a personal Rapture FOR REAL. I've communicated with this amazing brother for the past 5 years. I'm talking frequent, extensive, intensely deep communication. He's shared some tremendous truths. NOT ONCE in those 5 years (glory to Jesus!) has he EVER contradicted the Scriptures, as this other person with his FAKE "personal rapture" REPEATEDLY HAS.
So, I don't care if he claims 50 RAPTURES, such FALSE teaching is NOT FOUND in the Book of Revelation, or ANYWHERE ELSE IN SCRIPTURE.
6. There are many who teach that Antichrist is NOT A MAN, but A KINGDOM, in direct contradiction of Revelation 13:18.
They ARE ADDING and SUBTRACTING.
7. One group in particular, INVENTED by a female religious charlatan 149 years ago, falsely teaches that the "mark of the beast" mentioned in Revelation 13:16-18, WON'T BE A LITERAL MARK in a person's right hand or forehead, as Revelation EXPLICITLY says, but rather, the mandatory worship of God on Sunday instead of Saturday.
Not only is this LUDICROUS, since God should be worshipped EVERY SINGLE DAY, but is A GROSS AND RIDICULOUS ADDITION to the apocalyptic text.
8. MANY, unfortunately, teach that Antichrist is ALREADY alive, living incognito in our midst, and that he will rule the world for 7 years.
This, despite the fact that Revelation CLEARLY STATES that HE IS DEAD and will emerge from the bottomless pit, RESURRECTED, and people will be astonished to see him RISEN FROM THE DEAD (Revelation 7:11; 17:8).
This, despite the fact that Revelation 13:5 is CRYSTAL CLEAR that he will ONLY rule for 42 months or 3½ years.
These people are BOTH, ADDING AND SUBTRACTING.
9. But one of the most egregious aberrations of this blessed Book is the infamous "7-year peace treaty" that is REGULARLY TAUGHT by self-proclaimed "prophecy experts".
NO SUCH THING is found ANYWHERE in Revelation or, for that matter, ANYWHERE IN THE BIBLE.
They are ADDING.
Furthermore, it's downright IMPOSSIBLE for the Antichrist to sign a 7-year ANYTHING with ANYONE, since he'll ONLY emerge from the pit and reappear on the earth for ABOUT 4 years.
When he does emerge, according to Revelation 13:1-4, the tribulation will be WELL UNDERWAY.
Well, wait a minute, Revelation may not say that in so many words, but the Book of Daniel does!
NO, IT DOESN'T.
The NIV and other mistranslations of the Hebrew in this passage notwithstanding, Daniel 9:27 DOES NOT SAY SUCH THING, HAS NEVER SAID SUCH THING, AND WILL NEVER SAY SUCH THING.
Daniel 9:27 is talking about Jesus CONFIRMING the (Abrahamic) covenant ONE WEEK (7 years), COMPRISED OF 3½ years of public ministry at the end of which HE DIED for the sins of mankind, ROSE AND ASCENDED. And an additional 3½ years (the reign of Antichrist) AT THE END OF WHICH Jesus RETURNS (Second Coming) to establish His Kingdom on earth, AGAIN CONFIRMING HIS ETERNAL COVENANT with Abraham and his seed.
Two 3½ year periods EQUAL ONE "WEEK" (or shmitah).
The ENTIRE 70-weeks prophecy has to do with the Messiah Prince.
It has NOTHING to do with the Antichrist: ZERO, ZILCH.
The Antichrist is NOT EVEN MENTIONED, directly or indirectly, in that passage.
Well, aren't they ADDING, then, to the Book of Daniel, instead of the Book of Revelation?
They're ADDING to BOTH.
And Scripture warns about ADDING to other portions of the Bible, as well:
"EVERY WORD OF God IS FLAWLESS; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. DO NOT ADD TO HIS WORDS, or he will rebuke you and PROVE YOU A LIAR" (Proverbs 30:5, 6).
Those who mess with God's Word ARE LIARS, pure and simple.
Those who mess with God's Word are messing with God Himself.
Those who ADD or SUBTRACT from the text in Revelation, are PLAYING WITH FIRE.
Those who have done so unintentionally or because of ignorance should repent, and receive His forgiveness.
Those who do so PRESUMPTUOUSLY, INTENTIONALLY, and with FOREKNOWLEDGE, simply because they want to ADVANCE their PET DOCTRINE, will answer TO GOD HIMSELF.
And He's already spelled out their fate.
SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2012
I don't know, in the natural, who you are reading this right now, but I know one thing about you:
You are PRECIOUS to Jesus.
Your soul is PRECIOUS to Him, so precious in fact...
Why else would He offer Himself as SACRIFICE in your stead?
Why else would He divest Himself of His glory and come to this sin-infested world?
Why else would He allow Himself to have his beard pulled out, to be punched, slapped, hit with a stick, mocked, crowned with thorns, spit upon and savagely flogged?
Why else would He go to the cross and die for you?
Why else would He spend THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS IN HELL ITSELF -- enduring hell's torment -- on your behalf?
When all the while He could have called upon LEGIONS of God's angels to deliver Him?
When He could have simply said: "to heck with these rebellious, ungrateful fools! Who needs them?"
Let THEM go to hell. Why should I - who've NEVER SINNED - suffer in their stead"?
But He DIDN'T.
He took YOUR sin, YOUR death and YOUR hell upon Himself, so you could be forever reconciled to God through Him.
Why else would Jesus promise to RETURN and take us Home?
He LOVES YOU, SO MUCH.
Jesus made you, and DESTINED you, FOR GREATNESS.
Yes, I'm talking ABOUT YOU.
The ONLY WAY you can fail is by NOT RECEIVING HIM into your heart.
I can't promise you that on this earth everything will always be pleasant. But this earth existence is TEMPORARY.
Those who are IN Christ OVERCOME this TEMPORARY world.
Your Destiny in Christ, which He preordained before the foundation of the world, is ETERNAL.
You can fulfill that wonderful Destiny which Jesus INTENDED for you, by INVITING Him to enter your heart RIGHT NOW, or you can forfeit all that Goodness by IGNORING Him.
Eternal EXCELLENCE is right within your reach by making Jesus your Lord.
Everything OUTSIDE OF Jesus is hopeless mediocrity.
FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2012
WHO IS GOG?
Israel's invaders during the Battle of Gog and Magog are clearly mentioned in Ezekiel chapter 38:3-6:
Magog, Mesech, Tubal (Russia), Persia (Iran), Cush (Iraq), Put (Libya), Gomer with all its bands (Germany and portions of Eastern Europe) and the House of Togarmah (Turkey).
These are all listed in the so-called Table of Nations in Genesis 10:2, 3 as being descendants of Japheth, Noah's youngest son.
Additionally, Josephus mentions the Magogites as being the Scythians who settled in the area north of the Black Sea, or what we know today as southwestern Russia.
The remaining question is who is this cryptic character mentioned in that chapter by the name of Gog?
If we believe our Kabalistic friends he's none other than former President George W. Bush, because his name contains the letters "G" "O" "G".
Of course, those same Kabbalistic practitioners also claim that former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is the Antichrist, or Armilus, purely because certain letters like "r", "m" and "l" are found in his name.
I have a one-word comment on both those theories: BALONEY!
Ezekiel 38:2 describes THE REAL Gog as "the chief prince" or "HEAD" (rosh) of Magog, Mesech and Tubal, which comprise modern Russia.
In 38:3 and 39:1 God flat-out says He is "AGAINST" (ANTI) Gog.
In 38:4, He tells Gog:
"I will BRING YOU BACK, put hooks into your jaws and BRING YOU OUT".
Out of where? Out of the pit, of course, where Satan has just spent the past 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3).
That's right: Gog is NONE OTHER THAN Satan.
God is saying that after sentencing him to 1,000 years in the bottomless pit, He will "put hooks into his jaws" and BRING SATAN BACK for "a little time" (Revelation 20:3) OUT OF THE PIT.
Satan will make one FINAL attempt to topple God's Kingdom by rousing these nations against Israel, and against Christ, who will be ruling in and from Jerusalem.
The word Gog in Sumerian means "darkness": An apt name for Satan if there ever was one.
It was Satan who covered the earth in darkness after his rebellion, as we read in Genesis 1:2, and made it formless and empty.
It's Satan who brought and brings spiritual darkness, and all manner of evil, into this world.
Moreover, Revelation 20:7-9 UNDISPUTEDLY TELLS US it's Satan who will incite these nations, when he's released from the pit, to coalesce and attack Israel.
After Gog (Satan) fails in his final bid to topple the Kingdom of God, he's sent FOREVER into the lake of fire.
God, in His great mercy, allows him 1,000 years in the pit to mull over his attitude. When he finally comes out, he's not only unrepentant, but more determined than ever to rebel against God.
If you ask me, the lake of fire is where the creep should have been all along.
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2012
GOG AND MAGOG
The battle of Gog and Magog is mentioned ONLY TWICE in the Bible: Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, and Revelation 20:7-10.
These are some of the most grossly misunderstood and erroneously taught passages in Scripture.
The three prevailing views in the prophecy establishment are:
1. That it's concurrent with the tribulation, because of the 7 years mentioned in Ezekiel 39:9.
2. That it takes place in the "middle of" the tribulation.
3. That it takes place at THE END OF the tribulation.
While I've heard A LOT OF "I believe" -- that's the ONE THING the prophecy establishment excels at: SPECULATION -- I've yet to hear a satisfactory explanation FOR ANY OF the three. In fact, ALL THREE VIEWS ARE WRONG.
This battle, as clearly stated in Revelation 20:7-10, takes place AT THE END OF the Millennium.
Those who claim there are TWO DIFFERENT battles of Gog and Magog, DON'T KNOW what they're talking about.
If they KNEW, they wouldn't SPECULATE.
Ezekiel 39:4-6, 11 clearly indicate that the multitude that invades Israel is utterly destroyed.
If they are COMPLETELY destroyed in the "first" Gog and Magog battle, how could they possibly STILL EXIST and INVADE ISRAEL AGAIN in the alleged "second" Gog and Magog battle?
The setting for both passages is the Millennium: Ezekiel 38:11 (God speaking) says that Gog will have an evil thought:
"And you shall say, I will go up to the land of UNWALLED VILLAGES; I will go to them that are AT REST, that DWELL SAFELY, all of them dwelling WITHOUT WALLS, and having NEITHER BARS NOR GATES".
This indicates AN ABSOLUTE DEGREE OF TOTAL SECURITY. Can anyone in their right mind EVEN REMOTELY apply such statement to the modern State of Israel?
When there are numerous walls and fences that they've erected to curtail terrorism?
Can anyone say they are "at rest" when they live under CONSTANT THREAT from Hezbollah in the North and Hamas in the South, not to mention Iran's stated desire to "wipe them off the map"?
When its citizens are often assaulted, stabbed, murdered, thrown rocks at, and when rockets are fired against them almost daily?
That description ALONE, would convince any logical person that this war COULDN'T POSSIBLY take place in our time.
The ONLY TIME when Israel will enjoy such complete security is DURING THE MILLENNIUM, when Jesus Himself, will rule from Jerusalem, and be THEIR ULTIMATE PROTECTION. Amen.
Ezekiel 38:4,15 clearly describe an army RIDING HORSES.
If this war took place in our time, wouldn't they use tanks, planes, ships, missiles, drones, helicopters, etc.?
Ezekiel 38:4, 5 and 39:9 are VERY EXPLICIT about THE TYPES OF WEAPONS the invaders will use: bucklers, shields, helmets, swords, bows, arrows, clubs and spears.
If this war took place in our time, WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD THE INVADERS USE SUCH PRIMITIVE WEAPONS?
Especially in light of the ENORMOUS, state of the art, military prowess that Russia presently possesses?
It makes NO SENSE whatsoever.
At the end of the Millennium, on the other hand, it makes TOTAL SENSE, since we know that during that wonderful era, with Jesus ruling the earth, "He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. NATION WILL NOT TAKE UP SWORD AGAINST NATION, NOR WILL THEY TRAIN FOR WAR ANYMORE" (Isaiah 2:4).
Clearly, all modern weapons will be recycled and disposed of during the Millennium. Hence, at the end thereof, since there are no more weapon factories in existence, and since Satan is given only "a little time" (Revelation 20:3), they HAVE TO resort to primitive weapons, built from scratch, as those explicitly described by Ezekiel.
As to those who would claim these weapons are "merely symbolic", if they were, the Holy Spirit would have simply said "swords" or "swords and spears" and NOT GIVEN SUCH VERY DETAILED description.
Furthermore, the participants are the same, the location of the battle is the same, and the outcome is the same.
Both accounts end with the TOTAL ANNIHILATION of the invaders.
Both accounts explicitly say that their demise is caused by FIRE COMING DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND DEVOURING THEM (Ezekiel 38:22; 39:6; Revelation 20:9).
Well, what about the "7 years" mentioned in Ezekiel 39:9, during which Israelites will burn their weapons?
The Millennium is sandwiched in between TWO 7-year periods: one just prior, which we are in RIGHT NOW, that consists of the birthpangs and tribulation, and another AT THE END THEREOF, during which this burning of weapons and the White Throne Judgment both take place (Revelation 20:11-15).
The VERY FACT that they can use such weapons FOR FUEL and can burn them without injuring themselves, SHOULD BE A TIP-OFF as to the type of weapons they'll use, and what prophetic era this all takes place in.
To say these are "two different battles" of Gog and Magog, that take place at different times, is simply ludicrous.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2012
WHY US ?
Are we the generation that will experience the Rapture and Second Coming of Jesus?
One unique characteristic of the Book of Revelation is that every generation has thought it applied to them.
Around the first millennium A.D. there was widespread expectation that Jesus would return.
Paul and John thought He would return in the first century.
How, then, can we be sure that WE ARE the generation that will witness most of its predictions? How can we be sure we are living at "the end of the age" which our Lord so eloquently described?
There are MANY reasons. They include:
1. There's a long, sustained tradition in both Judaism and Christianity that Jesus would return in the 6th Millennium after re-Creation. We're it.
This tradition is not without biblical basis, since the Lord re-created the earth in SIX days and 2 Peter 3:8 tells us with the Lord "a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day".
He also RESTED on the 7th day, which would correspond to the 7th Millennium, which will be that 1,000-year period of REST, restoration and world peace when Jesus will establish His Millennial Kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven.
2. It would be downright IMPOSSIBLE for some of the prophecies in Revelation, the Gospels, Zechariah and Daniel to be fulfilled UNLESS national Israel had been reborn, and UNLESS Jews controlled Jerusalem. Such things didn't exist for nearly 2,000 years, and didn't materialize ‘til 1948 and 1967, respectively.
3. Luke 21:24-36 unquestionably tells us that the generation that sees Jerusalem no longer trampled by gentiles "will NOT pass away" without Jesus coming in the clouds "with power and great glory".
Jerusalem was trampled, NON-STOP, by gentiles for 2,030 years. It hasn't been trampled since June 7, 1967.
Without a question, we ARE that generation.
4. Daniel 9:25 says there must be a 7-week [49-year period] FROM the word to return and build Old Testament Jerusalem to Messiah Prince. That happened, unequivocally, in 1967.
5. One of the conditions for our "gathering together unto Him", as per 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is the unveiling [revelation] of the Antichrist. That has happened. We can now PROVE his identity, undisputedly, with the Bible.
6. Daniel prophesied that at the time of the end "many would go to and fro and knowledge would be increased". What better description of cyberspace could there be? [Keep in mind that was written 2,500 years ago].
Computer technology makes it possible for us to go "to and fro" throughout the world at the click of a mouse.
7. The Book of Daniel also states that its prophecies WOULD REMAIN SEALED [not understood] UNTIL "the time of the end".
The fact we understand them today is PROOF POSITIVE that the Book is no longer sealed and, therefore, that prophesied "time of the end" is here.
We cannot limit the Word of God. There are certain aspects of it which apply to every generation.
However, Daniel, Revelation and other apocalyptic writings were addressed IN PARTICULAR to ONE generation, and that's us.
There's never been a generation that saw millions of people suddenly and simultaneously vanish, a resurrected Antichrist emerge from the bottomless pit, or people receiving a mark in their hands or foreheads in order to buy or sell, the Euphrates drying up, the death of ONE THIRD of mankind, the sea and all the water turn to blood, major cities in the world turning into rubble, or the Anti-Christ massing armies at Armageddon trying to PREVENT the return of the Christ.
That privilege or misfortune (depending on where we stand spiritually) has been reserved for THIS generation.
Which will it be for you?
TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2012
WHAT IF there was NO JESUS?
WHAT IF Jesus DIDN'T exist?
WHAT IF He'd never come to earth in human form?
WHAT IF He'd never died for your sins and mine?
WHAT IF He'd never risen?
WHAT IF He'd never RETURN?
WHO would there be TO SAVE YOU?
Mohammed? He can't even save himself.
Allah? There is NO Allah.
Buddha? THE BEST you can HOPE for with the fat one is a series of ENDLESS reincarnations and that, EVENTUALLY (best case scenario), you'll end up at "Nirvana".
There are NO GUARANTEES with Buddhism or any of other FALSE doctrine.
Besides, Buddha and Mohammed ARE BOTH DEAD.
WHY would you pin your hopes on A DEAD PERSON?
Someone who, clearly, CAN'T OVERCOME DEATH?
Someone who, clearly, WAS DEFEATED BY death?
The world tries DESPERATELY to find "excuses" for NOT receiving Jesus:
1. That He didn't even exist
Really? Tell that to Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and Suetonius, all reliable, reputable, CONTEMPORANEOUS historians who wrote about Him.
2. That He survived the crucifixion and went to India.
There is NO PROOF of that, ONLY baseless, wishful thinking, grasping at straws, CONJECTURE.
Besides, Jesus Himself told us He was ONLY sent to "the lost sheep of the House of Israel" (Matthew 15:24).
3. Our Muslim neighbors claim, that He wasn't even crucified and NEVER DIED for men's sins.
No kidding! So, Mohammed, a demonic pedophile who didn't even EXIST until 600 years AFTER Jesus lived, died and rose KNOWS MORE about Jesus than THE THOUSANDS who lived in Jerusalem in the first century A.D. and SAW Him die WITH THEIR OWN EYES?
And He knows more than contemporaneous and REPUTABLE first century historians, mentioned above, who wrote about Jesus' Crucifixion.
You can try, IN VAIN, to come up with ALL THE LUDICROUS "excuses" you like.
After all is said and done, the fact remains that Jesus was crucified 2,000 years ago in a VERY PUBLIC place where thousands of His fellow Jews AND OCCUPYING ROMANS SAW HIM die.
The fact remains that THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS LATER, His tomb was EMPTY, and NO ONE can adequately explain, TO THIS DAY, HOW HIS DEAD BODY SIMPLY "disappeared".
The fact remains that YOU'RE A SINNER (we ALL are) and you live in AN UGLY, UNJUST, SIN-INFESTED world.
You BETTER HOPE there's a Jesus!
You BETTER HOPE AND PRAY that He's REAL!
You BETTER HOPE AND PRAY that He died for your sins and rose physically!
And YOU BETTER RECEIVE HIM INTO YOUR HEART RIGHT NOW.
Because IF YOU DON'T, THE BEST you can hope for is that YOU'LL DIE and this MISERABLE, FRUSTRATING, SIN AND VIOLENCE RIDDLED world FILLED WITH SUFFERING, this ghastly, earthly EXISTENCE, is ALL you'll ever get to experience.
That's THE ONLY alternative.
YOU BETTER HOPE there's a Jesus, and that He's REAL and ALIVE, because He's THE ONLY ONE who GUARANTEES YOU A BLESSED, WONDER-FILLED, and ETERNAL AFTERLIFE.
MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012
I haven't thought about our fellow believers in terms of denomination for MANY, MANY years.
Occasionally, however, someone will check in and say "I'm still ___" (fill in the blank with "Catholic", "Baptist", "Pentecostal", "Episcopalian", "Lutheran", "Presbyterian", "Messianic", etc.
Like they expect me to be DISAPPOINTED that they're still members of that particular denomination...
UNLESS the denomination in question happens to be A CULT (which denies one or more of the FUNDAMENTALS of the Christian faith) NOTHING could be further from the truth.
Frankly, as long as YOU KNOW JESUS (have been BORN AGAIN) I COULDN'T CARE LESS WHAT group or denomination you belong to.
Matter of fact, I've been in the ministry for a good number of years and I CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER the last time I asked someone "WHAT DENOMINATION do you belong to"? Or even "WHAT CHURCH do you attend"?
The only reason I know that believers of MANY DIFFERENT groups and denominations follow this ministry is because they VOLUNTEER that info in their letters.
One reason I gave up denominational labels MANY, MANY years ago is because THE MOMENT you say "I belong to THIS group" you automatically ALIENATE all the others.
I feel VERY COMFORTABLE among Evangelicals, Catholics or Messianics.
I've worshipped OUR Jesus with ALL OF THEM.
Do I believe EVERY JOT AND TITTLE of their doctrine? NO. But WHAT DOES denomination, or even NON-FOUNDATIONAL doctrine, have to do with Salvation?
Salvation is Jesus Christ, PERIOD.
ALL born again believers BELONG IN the Body of Christ, which is His UNIVERSAL Church.
I DON'T CARE WHICH group or denomination they are members of.
Likewise, those who ARE NOT born again DO NOT BELONG in the Body of Christ (His Church) REGARDLESS of which denomination they are in.
You could be in a denomination that has PERFECT doctrine and BE LOST, simply because you've never given your heart to Jesus, and invited Him to enter.
On the other hand, you could be in a denomination with numerous NON-FUNDAMENTAL doctrinal flaws and BE SAVED SIMPLY BECAUSE you HAVE given your heart to Jesus, and EARNESTLY INVITED HIM to ENTER AND LIVE IN your heart.
Hence, our question should NOT be: "WHAT CHURCH do you attend"? or "WHAT DENOMINATION do you belong to"?, but rather:
"HAVE YOU INVITED JESUS INTO YOUR HEART"?
"HAVE YOU RECEIVED HIM as Lord, Savior and God"?
Those who are born again of the Spirit BELONG in the Body of Christ...regardless of "label"...
Furthermore, WE BELONG TO one another.
Yes, yes, I know...
That's a hard pill even for me to swallow IN THE NATURAL, because there are some members of His Body who THINK, SPEAK AND ACT in very ugly and CARNAL manner.
They are born-again but, sadly, they still WALK IN THE FLESH. And until Jesus appears and TOTALLY RENEWS our minds and transforms us into
manifested sons of God, there will be differences and dissent among us. That's just cold, hard reality.
However, after all is said and done, ALL BORN AGAINS BELONG TO JESUS AND TO EACH OTHER.
My FLESH (natural mind) may not ALWAYS LIKE that Truth, but in it MY SPIRIT REJOICES.
SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2012
"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the DEAD IN CHRIST shall RISE first. Then we which are alive and remain SHALL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
How many times have we read that verse of Scripture with our "religious glasses", or sat in the pew listening to a sermon that says that, when the Rapture happens, "the dead in Christ will GO UP first"?
No, no, no, NO.
That's NOT AT ALL what that Scripture says.
Remember what happened when Jesus rose from the dead?
Matthew 27:50-53 is an extremely important, yet seldom taught, passage in the Gospels:
"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and THE BODIES of many holy people who had died WERE RAISED TO LIFE. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and APPEARED TO many people".
That's EXACTLY what'll happen when our Lord reappears.
The dead in Christ RISE (from the dead) first...
Then (once THEY have risen from death to LIFE)... we who (already) are ALIVE shall be caught up TOGETHER WITH THEM to meet the Lord in the air...
That's why it says "we will not PRECEDE them"; nor will they precede us. We ALL go up TOGETHER.
This means we will see Jesus, FIRST AND FOREMOST, and we will see the former "dead in Christ" RISEN AND ALIVE, even if for just a few minutes or seconds, BEFORE we lift off.
Of course, we'll get to spend eternity with Him/them.
THE WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST MUST BE ALIVE before it [the Body] can be caught up into The Head, Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:20-23).
Jesus would never catch up a partially dead Body: There's NO DEATH in Him.
Therefore, His ENTIRE Body (Church) must be ALIVE prior to lift off.
Jesus would never catch up a DISMEMBERED BODY, EITHER.
He would not catch up arms and legs first, then the shoulders, then the torso. That doesn't even make sense.
When He rose, MANY (not all) Old Testament SAINTS ROSE, went into Jerusalem, APPEARED TO many, THEN ASCENDED with Him.
The other Old Testament saints, plus all the saints who have died in the past two thousand years will rise from the dead, AND APPEAR TO MANY, once again.
DO YOU REALIZE WHAT THAT MEANS?
All our loved ones who've died in the faith will RISE FROM THE DEAD!!!
THEY ARE ALL GOING TO RISE AND BECOME VISIBLE AND TANGIBLE BEFORE ALL OF US TOGETHER GO UP (ascend) into Him WHO IS OUR LIFE.
We will SEE THEM AGAIN just prior to our departure.
Isn't that what Jesus Himself taught in John 5:28?
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which ALL that are in the graves shall hear His Voice, and shall come forth"...
That's why the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven WITH A SHOUT.
He's CALLING THE DEAD FORTH from their graves!
Isn't that what He did with Lazarus?
Had He NOT preceded the command "come forth", with the name "Lazarus", ALL the faithful dead would have RISEN at that moment.
What a ruckus that would have been...
Man, if THIS doesn't make us burst forth in praises, then we're spiritually on life support. HalleluYah!
Praise Him who is THE LOVE OF OUR LIFE!
Praise Him who is THE Resurrection and THE Life!
Praise Him who LIVES forevermore!
Praise Him is who is now and forever THE HEAD of His Body.
No wonder first Corinthians 15:54 says that, when this happens, "death will be SWALLOWED UP in VICTORY".
What tremendous Truth.
What unspeakable joy.
SATURDAY, MAY 12, 2012
The LEGEND of Saint Christopher dates back to the 6th century A.D.
Just so we're all clear, this is A LEGEND. It is NOT Scripture. But all legends contain, and are based on, SOME factual truth.
The name "Christopher" means CHRIST CARRIER.
We know he was a Christian martyr who lived in the third century A.D. and was sentenced to death during the reign of Roman Emperor Dacian. That much is true.
The REST of the legend goes like this:
He was a VERY TALL Canaanite, measuring 7.5 feet, and with a fearsome face.
Imagine what the Miami Heat could do with a guy like that playing center...
While serving the king of Canaan, thoughts came that he should go and serve "THE GREATEST KING THERE WAS".
He went to the king who was reputed to be the greatest, but one day he saw the king cross himself at the mention of the devil.
Realizing that the king feared the devil, he went to look for the devil.
He came across a man who claimed to be the devil, so Christopher decided to serve him; but when he saw his new master avoid a wayside cross, HE FOUND OUT THAT THE DEVIL FEARED Christ.
He left him and asked different people where to find Christ.
He met a hermit who instructed him in the Christian faith. He received Jesus into his heart.
The newly BORN-AGAIN Christopher asked him how he could serve Christ.
The hermit suggested fasting and prayer, but Christopher couldn't see himself performing that service.
I guess giving up pizza and ice cream was hard even back then...
The hermit then suggested that because of his size and strength Christopher could serve Christ by assisting people to cross a dangerous river. The hermit promised that this service would be pleasing to Christ.
After Christopher had performed this service for some time, a little child asked him to take him across the river.
During the crossing, THE RIVER ROSE CONSIDERABLY and the child seemed as heavy as lead, so much that Christopher COULD HARDLY CARRY HIM and found himself in great difficulty.
When he finally reached the other side, he said to the child: "You have put me in the greatest danger. I don't think THE WHOLE WORLD could have been as heavy on my shoulders as you were."
The child replied: "You had on your shoulders NOT ONLY THE WHOLE WORLD but Him WHO MADE IT. I am Christ your King, whom you are serving by this work."
The child then vanished.
Christopher later visited the city of Lycia and there comforted the Christians who were being martyred.
He was brought before the local king when he refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods.
The king tried to win him by bribes and by sending two beautiful women to tempt him. Christopher converted the women to Christianity, as he had already converted thousands in the city.
The king ordered him to be killed. Various attempts failed, but finally Christopher was decapitated.
We'll never know for sure -- this side of heaven -- WHICH PORTIONS of the legend are factual and which AREN'T, but it's a beautiful story nonetheless.
The reason I'm sharing it with you today IS NOT so that you'll put a statue of him on your car's dashboard, or hang a Saint Christopher medal from your rear view mirror as a SUPERSTITIOUS AMULET.
Rather, because ALL BORN AGAIN believers are "Christophers".
We are ALL "Christ CARRIERS", since Jesus Himself LIVES IN each of us.
Please DO NOT ignore THE CHRIST IN YOU, AS IF you'd never been born again.
The world needs MANY "Christophers" to help them CROSS OVER from the power of darkness into the Kingdom of God's dear Son (Colossians 1:13).
You're THE ONLY Christ some people will ever meet.
Let Jesus speak, think, act, manifest, love, AND SHINE to you, IN you, and THROUGH you.
You can be a Christopher and help them cross the river into the Promised Land, or you can let them drown in the rising river of worldliness and decay.
FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012
"I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you John 14:16,17).
Why must each individual receive Jesus Christ into his/her heart as Lord, Savior and God?
Why can't we be saved ANY OTHER way?
Because NOTHING ELSE, and NO ONE ELSE, can put God's Spirit back inside you.
Sin originated with Satan, but it infected mankind in the Garden of Eden.
God and man were joined spiritually and enjoyed perfect communion.
Satan succeeded in SEPARATING the spirit of man from God's Holy Spirit.
He did that by deceiving the woman and getting her to act SEPARATE and INDEPENDENT FROM God.
Technically, she sinned when she ate the forbidden fruit. But sin itself was conceived in her THE MOMENT she SEPARATED HERSELF from the Spirit of God and DECIDED to act ON HER OWN.
When she SPLIT from God who IS Spirit, her own spirit instantly DIED.
God is THE LIFE. Hence, all who separate from Him are spiritually DEAD [John 14:6].
Consequently, all of us who are Adam and Eve's physical descendants, are born into this world SPIRITUALLY DEAD.
That's why the born-again experience is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY [John 3:3,5-7].
Because being born-again or born of the SPIRIT is the RE-UNION of our spirit with God's Spirit.
When we invite Jesus into our hearts, His Spirit enters and REJOINS His Spirit with ours. Our spirit then REVIVES. We become, once again, One Spirit with the Lord as it was before man [Adam and Eve] sinned [1 Corinthians 6:17].
That's why no religion or religious ritual can save you.
That's why no amount of 10 commandment keeping can save you.
That's why no amount of WEEKLY Sabbath keeping can save you.
That's why no amount of "good works" can save you.
Because NONE OF THESE can PUT GOD'S SPIRIT BACK INSIDE YOU OR RE-JOIN GOD'S SPIRIT WITH YOURS, SO YOUR SPIRIT CAN COME ALIVE [BE BORN] AGAIN.
That's why the New Testament refers to all of these as "DEAD works" [Hebrews 9:14].
That's why it takes A PERSONAL DECISION to RECEIVE Jesus, because it took A PERSONAL DECISION to SEPARATE from Him.
That's why THE ONLY WAY to be saved is to have God's Spirit ENTER AND LIVE PERMANENTLY in our spirits.
That's why THE ONLY ONE who can save us is the Spirit Giver.
THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2012
JUDGMENT OF NATIONS
The judgment of nations (gentiles) is one of the most neglected prophetic truths found in the Bible.
When Jesus returns [at His Second Coming], He will sit on His Throne and judge ALL gentiles based on their treatment of natural Israel.
This is clearly taught in Joel 3:1-17:
"In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather ALL NATIONS and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat [the Kidron valley, just East of Jerusalem].
There I WILL ENTER INTO JUDGMENT AGAINST THEM CONCERNING my inheritance, MY PEOPLE ISRAEL, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink...
Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.
Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; NEVER AGAIN WILL FOREIGNERS INVADE HER".
Jesus also spoke about this judgment:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.
All the NATIONS (gentiles) will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? ..."The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, WHATEVER YOU DID FOR ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE BROTHERS OF MINE, YOU DID FOR ME.'
Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me'.
They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did NOT do for one of the least of these, you did NOT do FOR ME" [Matthew 25:31-45].
Even now, nations are being judged based on their treatment of Israel.
But after the tribulation, there will be A SPECIAL JUDGMENT for gentiles still living here on earth based on how they treated natural Israelites DURING THAT HARROWING time.
This judgment, obviously, has nothing to do with the Church, since the Church will be in heaven.
Gentile nations have been forewarned by God Himself.
They better warm up to the idea of being good to Israel.
They better START being good to Israel NOW.
God's keeping score and NOTHING escapes His watchful eyes.
Help Israel any way possible.
There are AWFUL consequences for those who don't.
Those who do will be blessed and richly rewarded.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2012
WHO ELSE AGREES ?
Once in a while one of our new readers will ask "WHO ELSE believes as you do?" (Concerning Bible prophecy) or "WHO AGREES with your teaching?
Ordinarily I would regard such questions as being a tad impertinent; however, generally speaking, I cut these people some slack.
The reason being, I know EXACTLY where they're coming from.
Matter of fact, I asked those same questions of God many years ago when He first called me into the ministry.
I was SO NAIVE back then.
Hard to believe now, but there was a time, as a baby Christian, when I thought that most Christian ministers were genuine and WOULD NEVER do or teach ANYTHING contrary to God's Word on purpose.
I really thought Jesus and the Gospel were THE most important things to them, instead of ministerial self-preservation and opulent living.
I really thought they would TAKE THE TIME TO SEARCH the Scriptures for themselves, instead of taking the easy way out and copying what someone else taught A CENTURY AGO -- no questions asked -- just because it proved to be A BEST SELLER.
I really thought Jesus was NUMBER ONE in their lives and that they REALLY CARED -- first and foremost -- about LOST SOULS.
Actually, SOME DO.
Those who DO tend to be LESS VISIBLE than those who DON'T, and are DECIDEDLY in the minority.
So, when the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart, show me some of these things, then back them up SOLIDLY with the written Word, I COULDN'T BELIEVE these self-professed experts WEREN'T teaching them.
That was before I came to realize that Je$u$ is HUGE BU$INE$$ and that BILLIONS of dollars are spent by gullible Christians on religious junk NOT WORTH the paper, plastic or vinyl it's printed on.
That was when I naively thought, as many of you still do, that "being on television" makes the preacher "more spiritual", "more knowledgeable" or "closer to God" than the rest of us.
If that were remotely true, untalented airhead slut Kim K. -- who's ALL OVER TV -- would be "more spiritual" than any of us, heaven help us.
Suffice it to say that I now KNOW BETTER.
And if you stick around, you'll soon KNOW BETTER, too.
What these readers are REALLY asking, after seeing the biblical evidence I present, is "HOW COME I've NEVER HEARD this before when it's IN THE BIBLE"?
"HOW COME none of the prophecy experts teach it?"
Actually, you need to ask those questions of my esteemed colleagues.
I can't answer for them, only for myself.
And, for the record, NO, I don't run these teachings by that self-professed "walking Bible" named Jack Van Impe.
NO, it didn't even cross my mind to ask Hal Lindsey to write the foreword to my free book "Seed of Satan".
NO, I do not require Grant Jeffrey's or Tim La Haye's validation, since I have the Holy Spirit's.
And NO, I've never conducted a survey to see who "agrees" or "disagrees" with these teachings.
Frankly, I DON'T CARE.
The ONLY ONE I "run them by" is THE HOLY SPIRIT.
The ONLY ONE whose "agreement" I care about is my Lord's.
I would teach these things if EVERYONE in the prophecy establishment agreed, or if they ALL DISAGREED.
I would teach these things if I had ONE reader of if I had 50 MILLION.
I would teach these things IF NOT A SINGLE CHRISTIAN BELIEVED THEM.
Truth is Truth, REGARDLESS of who "agrees" or "disagrees" with Him/it.
Jesus DIDN'T personally call me to teach His Word of prophecy so I would jump, like everyone else, on the Schofield eschatological bandwagon, or so I would rubber stamp, then parrot, what they teach.
I wasn't called by Jesus to be A SELLER of His Word, but to FREELY share it.
I wasn't called by Jesus to promote prophetic fantasy, but prophetic Truth.
I wasn't called by my God to copy or follow ANYONE BUT Jesus.
Where the Gospel is concerned these men and I are all on the same team, glory to Jesus.
Where Bible prophecy is concerned, we're as far apart as East from West.
TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2012
JESUS WASN'T REPUBLICAN
Faith and politics are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS, and should NEVER be confused with one another.
While our beliefs may make us more sympathetic to one political party in particular, faith and politics should be KEPT SEPARATE.
Unfortunately, I see this very disturbing trend in the U.S. Church, to lump the two together, where they become indistinct, proving yet again how easily Christians fall into the devil's snare.
Being Republican, favoring lower taxes, less government, strong defense, traditional marriage, and even being pro-life, DOESN'T SAVE anyone.
Being BORN-AGAIN of the Spirit by receiving Jesus into your heart as Lord, Savior and God, is THE ONLY THING that saves.
Inviting Jesus to ENTER your heart and TRUSTING what He did to redeem us, WILL SAVE YOU, REGARDLESS of what political party you may or may not belong to, REGARDLESS of whom you vote for, or even if you're undecided.
Please DO NOT confuse one with the other.
Some of the aforementioned policies may be desirable, worthwhile and worthy of our support, but they, ALONE, DON'T MAKE ANYONE CHRISTIAN.
The fact Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck -- both members of the LDS or Mormon CULT -- share SOME of these political ideas with you, DOES NOT MAKE THEM CHRISTIAN anymore than having brakes and a steering wheel makes your Ford a Bentley.
Jesus is neither Democrat nor Republican. He's not Tea Party, Libertarian or Independent.
Such political parties DIDN'T EVEN EXIST when Jesus walked the earth and, if they had, He wouldn't have belonged to any.
There WERE publicans in Jesus' day (Jews who collected taxes for Rome), but NO Re-publicans.
In fact, what we know today as the United States of America had not even been discovered, and wouldn't be until 15 centuries later.
Which means Jesus wasn't American. He was and is Jewish.
Jesus is APOLITICAL. He's God, for heaven's sake!
He's SO FAR ABOVE this world's systems!
He's SO MUCH GREATER THAN all forms of human government. Actually, than all forms of human ANYTHING.
As the heavens are HIGHER than the earth, so are His thoughts HIGHER than our thoughts, and His ways HIGHER than our ways (Isaiah 55:9).
Please DO NOT confine Jesus to the spinning, backstabbing, compromising, wheeling and dealing, intrigue and worldliness of politics.
You do Him, and yourself, a great disfavor by bringing Him down to the earthly level.
MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012
THE SELLING OF MITT ROMNEY
As you probably heard, Mitt Romney is scheduled to deliver the commencement speech next Saturday at Liberty University in Virginia.
Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. recently announced that Romney will address Liberty graduates at the 2012 Commencement ceremony to be held Saturday, May 12, at Arthur L. Williams Stadium.
"We are delighted that Governor Romney will join us to celebrate Commencement with Liberty's 2012 graduates," Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. is quoted as saying.
"This will be a historic event for Liberty University reminiscent of the visit of Governor, and then presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan to Liberty's campus in 1980".
All I can say is both Ronald Reagan and his father, the late Dr. Jerry Fallwell, Sr., must be turning over in their graves.
I'm not even a big fan of Reagan, but Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan.
Nor am I a great admirer of Jerry Falwell Sr., founder and former Chancellor of Liberty University, who was often savaged by the secular media and who, frankly, brought a lot of the ridicule on himself.
When a Christian leader commands such political influence and media attention and THE BEST he can offer a lost world is to accuse the fictitious character of Tinky Winky in PBS's children's series Teletubbies of being "gay", you're really asking for it.
However, I knew brother Falwell, and will say in his defense that he was a staunch Christian fundamentalist, who would have denounced Mormonism for the cult that it is and would have never invited or allowed a member of that cult ANYWHERE NEAR his students, let alone GIVE THEIR COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS.
With their invitation and endorsement of Romney, his sons Jerry Jr. and Jonathan have evidently betrayed Jesus Christ, the Gospel, their own father, and negated the message Jerry Sr. worked so hard and faithfully to spread.
Unfortunately, and to be fair, they AREN'T THE ONLY "Evangelicals" to do so. Many so-called "Church leaders" are backing Romney hoping to trade their endorsement for political favors, should Romney become President.
Lord knows what "favors" have been traded between TBN and their now frequent Mormon "celebrity guest" Glenn Beck, behind their "partners" back.
Same goes for the likes of James Robison, former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed, and Tony Perkins of the so-called Family Research Council.
Liberty University students and alumni are RIGHTLY accusing the school of flagrant hypocrisy and OF VIOLATING ITS OWN TEACHINGS by asking a member of the Mormon cult to deliver its 2012 commencement address.
By last Friday morning, more than 700 comments had been posted on the school's Facebook page, the vast majority decidedly against Romney's speech and CORRECTLY POINTING OUT that the school had taught them Mormonism isn't part of the Christian faith.
And what was the university's response? They took down the Facebook page, giving some lame excuse about the student comments violating its policies.
"They actually asked what we thought, and then they erased it," said Janet Loeffler, a Unionville resident who is completing her first year studying accounting through Liberty's online program.
Loeffler said she objects to the platform the commencement address will give to Romney's Mormon religion.
"My objection is religious. It's not political," she said. "Liberty trained us that Mormonism is A CULT."
Amen, Janet: And kudos to all the students who are taking a stand for Christ and the Gospel.
I hope most, if not all of you, will get up and WALK OUT IN PROTEST of such travesty.
I WOULDN'T vote for Romney UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, if he were THE LAST presidential candidate on earth.
When THE STUDENTS have to tell the faculty of a "Christian" university to STAND BEHIND their teaching, you know it's a sad, sad day for the university and the Church.
Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. responded to protests with a letter to students saying that having the presumptive Republican nominee at commencement would "showcase the university his father founded", thereby outing himself as nothing more than a compromising publicity hound and political whore.
No true believer in Jesus Christ should want ANYTHING OF HIS "showcased" under those conditions.
Selling Jesus out is TOO HIGH A PRICE TO PAY for ANY kind of publicity.
SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2012
THE REASON YOU'RE BORED
The reason you're bored is you got RELIGION.
Religion IS boring.
It's nothing but fear-based, empty ceremony and man-invented rules about what NOT to do.
There's TOO MUCH religion in Christendom.
We have something today that first century Christians didn't have: RELIGION and "Christian" ENTERTAINMENT.
So-called "Christian" entertainment is one of Satan's cleverest ideas.
So-called "Christian" networks, and "Christian" artists, MOST "Christian" websites, forums and videos, are simply IN THE BOREDOM KILLING BUSINESS.
They're JUST LIKE ABC, NBC, CBS, and HBO.
They provide THIRD RATE "entertainment", only in a religious context.
There's VERY LITTLE "Jesus" if any in ANY of these.
They are Satan-invented SUBSTITUTES for a TRUE, intimate, EXCITING relationship with the Savior.
That's THE REASON the first century A.D. produced spiritual giants, and today we have spiritual pygmies.
That's THE REASON the first century Church produced STRONG, COMMITTED believers -- willing, if necessary, TO DIE for the Lord -- and today's Church is filled with ungrateful, pathetic and hypocritical anorexics, bloated with religious junk food, which constantly complain about silly stuff, but TOTALLY MISS the important.
Who do nothing, GIVE NOTHING, help NO ONE, yet think they are "entitled".
THE REASON you're bored is you don't have INTIMACY WITH Jesus.
Jesus doesn't want you to have religion. He wants you to HAVE HIM. He wants a DIRECT, PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with you.
Jesus is THE MOST EXCITING Being in the UNIVERSE, bar none.
There's NEVER A DULL MOMENT when we KNOW Him and serve Him.
If you're bored, you need to INVITE Jesus to enter your heart.
Once He enters, you need to CONNECT WITH HIM IN SPIRIT, deeply, intimately, frequently, and STAY CONNECTED.
If you're bored, I got FOUR words for you:
DUMP religion, GET JESUS.
SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2012
THE GREAT EXCHANGE
Have you sinned?
Have you made mistakes?
Have you MESSED UP your life?
To one extent or another, who HASN'T?
How'd you like to put ALL THAT MESS behind you and start ANEW?
How'd you like to get rid of sin FOREVER?
How'd you like for God Himself to DECLARE YOU righteous?
How'd you like to KNOW that God is ON YOUR SIDE?
Better yet, how'd you like for Almighty God to adopt you as His VERY OWN child?
Do you realize what it means to have God Himself as YOUR Father?
To be given His Name?
To be son or daughter of the King of Kings?
To have your slate wiped clean and EVERY SIN TOTALLY ERASED?
To be picked up from the gutter and become spiritual ROYALTY?
To have God Himself, the wisest, mightiest, Being in the universe LIVING IN you?
To be given His Mind?
To be brought up from the pit of despair and have PERFECT, UNCONDITIONAL, Divine LOVE INSIDE YOU AT ALL TIMES?
To be VICTORIOUS OVER every situation life throws in your path?
To be given the power to live A HOLY life?
He's not called the HOLY Spirit for nothing...
To be given THE GIFT of ETERNAL LIFE?
To be FOREVER (beginning right now) in His Presence, where there is FULLNESS OF JOY AND PLEASURES FOREVER MORE?
Then you need to take part in The Great Exchange:
Give Jesus your heart and He'll give you His Heart.
Give Jesus your sins and He'll give you His Righteousness.
Give Him your life and He'll give you His Life.
Give Him your mortality, He'll give His IMMORTALITY.
How about it?
You COULDN'T POSSIBLY find a better deal ANYWHERE.
You could SCOUR THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE and not find a greater honor.
Why DON'T YOU FINALLY get THE HAPPINESS you've always sought and wanted?
Why don't you INVITE Jesus to ENTER YOUR HEART, RIGHT NOW?
Why don't you RECEIVE Him as your Lord, Savior and God?
You COULDN'T POSSIBLY do yourself a BIGGER FAVOR.
FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2012
GRIEVING THE SPIRIT
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, THAT IT MAY MINISTER GRACE (not LAW) unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:29, 30).
If we're NOT in Grace we're in DIS-GRACE.
If we're NOT in Grace, God's Holy Spirit is grieved.
I don't mind answering question after question after question from baby Christians, those who have come to faith in Christ "recently", and by that I mean 5 years or less.
Every newborn needs the sincere "milk of the Word" so he or she can grow and develop into a strong believer (1 Peter 2:2).
Christians who've shared the faith for 10, 15, 20, 30 OR MORE years
may have questions, too, of course. But you'd expect them to have PROFOUND questions that reflect an intense, confident, and ever growing relationship with Christ.
They, as Paul points out in Hebrews 5:12, should by now be TEACHERS and have ADVANCED SPIRITUAL development and knowledge, instead of BEING STUCK (as most still are) in the elementary ABC's of the Christian faith.
Sadly, that is WHERE 80% of believers ARE.
Who's to blame? There's plenty of blame to go around:
1. ORGANIZED RELIGION: Man-made denominations, which present a "filtered" version of Jesus Christ and the Gospels, if they preach the Gospel at all.
2. SO-CALLED "CHURCH LEADERS": True leaders are called and APPOINTED BY GOD. There's NO SUCH THING as a SELF-APPOINTED or SELF-MADE leader in the Church.
Having a program on Kristian TV, and a large idolatrous audience who follows a MORTAL "leader" does NOT make ANYONE "a leader".
Generally speaking, although there are A FEW exceptions, IT JUST MAKES THEM BIGGER CROOKS THAN THE REST OF US...
3. Pastors who are more interested in promoting a social agenda of diluted Christianism focused on "success", "positive thinking" and "prosperity".
4. But, after all is said and done, NO ONE BEARS MORE BLAME than us.
It's been said that "congregations never rise above the spiritual level of their pastor". That is largely true, but WHY?
Because THE VAST MAJORITY of Christians are TOO DARNED LAZY to seek Jesus ON THEIR OWN, STUDY AND MEDITATE HIS WORD ON THEIR OWN, AND EXPERIENCE JESUS ON THEIR OWN.
The VAST MAJORITY have NO CONTACT at all with the Holy Spirit, nor do they ever consult Him or ask Him ANYTHING... let alone spend some QUIET TIME JUST LISTENING TO Him.
If they IGNORE the VERY ONE that Jesus sent to "lead us to ALL THE TRUTH and show us THINGS TO COME" (John 16:13) HOW IN THE WORLD can they know or taste the deep things and marvels of God?
Hence, they become TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON "the pastor" for what little they do know about Jesus and His written Word, and for the flimsy relationship they have with Jesus.
So, WHAT GRIEVES the Holy Spirit? Is it THE WAY we act or behave?
Is it our "failure" to observe the 10 Commandments or the torah?
That's not what I read in Ephesians 4:17-32. (It's too long to quote the entire passage here. You can read it for yourself).
What GRIEVES THE HOLY SPIRIT IS WHEN WE IGNORE HIS PRESENCE IN US.
The reason SO MANY SAVED people SPEAK AND ACT SO UGLY AND SO OUT OF STEP WITH Jesus is BECAUSE THEY PAY NO ATTENTION WHATSOEVER TO the Spirit of Christ they carry within.
They COMPLETELY DISREGARD and NEGLECT His Presence.
In fact, most of them DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE THEIR SPIRIT IS LOCATED.
Lord knows that subject is NOT discussed in 99.9% of congregations, let alone on Kristian TV or Christian books.
In fact - to Jesus be ALL THE GLORY - the ONLY MINISTRY I've ever heard explain where the spirit is located is this one.
The born-again human spirit, in which God's Holy Spirit LIVES, is INSIDE YOUR STOMACH.
This passage begins with "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that YOU NO LONGER WALK as other Gentiles walk, IN THE VANITY OF THEIR MIND" (Ephesians 4:17).
Having THE UNDERSTANDING (MIND) darkened, being alienated from the life of God THROUGH THE IGNORANCE THAT IS IN THEM, BECAUSE OF THE BLINDNESS OF THEIR HEART (Ephesians 4:18):
..."be renewed IN THE SPIRIT OF your mind;
And... PUT ON THE NEW MAN (or the BORN-AGAIN spiritual man inside your spirit) WHICH, AFTER GOD, IS CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS" (Ephesians 4:23, 24).
The ENTIRE PASSAGE speaks of WALKING IN THE SPIRIT, in the inner man, the inner Christ, instead of walking in our natural mind.
ONLY AFTER Paul says ALL OF THAT does he go into "put away lying, stealing", etc.
How do we "put away the old man and PUT ON the new"? By following "commandments"? By following "the law"?
NO. He JUST TOLD YOU HOW, by living in THE NEW MAN inside your spirit!!!
By PAYING ATTENTION to your born-again Spirit and allowing Him to gradually RENEW your presently unregenerate mind.
What about what he says about "corrupt communication"? Contrary to religious teaching, corrupt communication is NOT using words like "hell", or "damn" WHICH ARE FOUND IN Scripture.
If they're good enough for God, they should be good enough for us.
Corrupt communication is ANY COMMUNICATION that CONTRADICTS the INCORRUPTIBLE SEED, which is the Spirit-inspired, holy, infallible, written Word of God.
What GRIEVES the Holy Spirit is WHEN WE CONTRADICT His Word - either intentionally or through ignorance - and then add insult to injury by IGNORING HIM and living as though He doesn't even EXIST. Selah.
As though He DIDN'T LIVE inside of us.
As though we'd NEVER BEEN born again.
Sadly, that's the way 95% of Christians live, and that includes (EVEN SADDER) their ministers and self-proclaimed "leaders".
Well, what about Ephesians 5:10? Doesn't it say "find out what pleases the Lord"?
Yes. But let's not ISOLATE that verse from the rest of the text.
Why don't you read THE PREVIOUS VERSE (Ephesians 5:9) which says: "For THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT is in all goodness and righteousness and truth, proving what is acceptable (PLEASING) unto the Lord".
It's the FRUIT of the Spirit, the Manifestation of the INNER Jesus, that is pleasing to God.
Walking in the Spirit is THE ONLY THING THAT PLEASES GOD.
The Holy Spirit IS God.
As I said before, NOTHING AND NO ONE PLEASES HIM, BUT HIMSELF.
What DISPLEASES Him is when we DO NOT HAVE FAITH (trust) in His Holy Presence WITHIN US and would rather follow man-invented rules.
What DISPLEASES Him even more is when we ACT AS SLAVES wanting to STILL follow "commandments" (commandments are ORDERS and only SLAVES take ORDERS), when all the while we should LIVE and ACT as SONS led by our Father's OWN Spirit Nature.
Live like a FREE SON, and Son-like behavior will AUTOMATICALLY FOLLOW.
In conclusion: If you're SO CONCERNED ABOUT "grieving the Spirit"...
If you really DON'T WANT TO grieve the Spirit...
START PAYING ATTENTION TO Him.
THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2012
TRUSTING THE SPIRIT
There is NO RIGHTEOUSNESS ANYWHERE but God's.
You DON'T HAVE ANY. I DON'T HAVE ANY:
"They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there IS NO ONE WHO DOES GOOD" (Psalm 14:1; Psalm 53:1).
"Do not bring your servant into judgment, for NO ONE LIVING IS RIGHTEOUS BEFORE YOU" (Psalm 143:2).
If we CLAIM TO BE WITHOUT SIN, WE DECEIVE OURSELVES AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN US (1 John 1:8).
"But WE ARE ALL AS AN UNCLEAN THING, AND ALL OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE AS FILTHY RAGS" (Isaiah 64:6).
"There are NONE righteous, No, NOT ONE" (Romans 3:10).
Just in the past 30 days, I have done 11 MESSAGES covering this topic from different angles. Today's message is the 12th and, hopefully, THE LAST.
Why? Because I know it's a topic that DIVIDES Christians.
Because there are millions of well-meaning "good Christians" that ARE DECEIVED by this lie.
Because, to put it bluntly, those who DO NOT trust Jesus completely for Salvation ARE GOING TO HELL.
Yet, no matter what I say, or how I say it, or how biblically and/or logically I approach it, next thing that hits my eyes the following morning is some FEAR-FILLED LETTER FROM SOME FEAR-FILLED Christian DESPERATELY TRYING TO CLING to the law and the 10 Commandments.
I am pasting below the email that I sent very early this morning to one such Christian. I have changed his first name to "Jim" (which is NOT his real name). It reflects my total frustration.
Note to the religious establishment who watches everything I say like hawks: If you want a "perfect" preacher who hypocritically puts up a "perfect façade" -- like most of you -- you'll have to look elsewhere. I let my readers see THE REAL ME, warts and all.
THE ONLY REASON I'M SAVED is BECAUSE I received Jesus Christ into my heart and His Holy Spirit lives in me, PERIOD. I'm far from perfect; I don't act perfect, or talk perfect. I MUST HAVE BROKEN the law at least 5 million times. Not intentionally and I'm certainly not proud of breaking it, but BECAUSE I'M HUMAN and not afraid to ADMIT IT. Here's the email:
"I gotta tell you Jim, It's BAFFLING to me how I can SPILL MY GUTS OUT day after day after day preaching and teaching Salvation by grace FROM EVERY CONCEIVABLE ANGLE, and Christians HAVE SO MUCH FEAR, that they RESIST the Gospel of Grace and LOOK FOR ANY excuse to cling to the law and the 10 Commandments.
I have done MORE TEACHING on this ONE thing than ON ANY OTHER, including Bible prophecy. And religious people STILL DON'T' GET IT!!!
ONE sure-fire way TO BE LOST and END UP IN HELL is to trust law keeping and 10 Commandment keeping FOR SALVATION (Galatians 5:4).
This verse says that if you try to justify yourself by following the law (which INCLUDES the 10 Commandments) YOU FALL FROM GRACE (hence YOU ARE LOST, since Salvation is by GRACE ALONE) and Christ (perish the thought) has become OF NO EFFECT TO YOU.
I don't know HOW MUCH CLEARER Paul could make it, or I could make it.
I just did THREE CONSECUTIVE MESSAGES on that topic where I METHODICALLY explained the how and the why and, evidently, THE WHOLE THING JUST WENT OVER YOUR HEAD.
If the Law and the 10 Commandments is what it takes to be saved, then EVERY NATURAL ISRAELITE IS SAVED AND EVERY CHRISTIAN IS LOST.
In fact, if they are what it takes to be saved, Jesus suffered, died, and spent three days and nights IN HELL ITSELF, FOR NAUGHT.
There... Are you happy?
The law and the 10 Commandments, as I've repeated COUNTLESS times, have never saved A SINGLE soul -- Jew or Gentile -- AND NEVER WILL.
Galatians 2:16 BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW shall NO ONE be justified. Which part of "NO ONE shall be justified" DON'T YOU GET???
It's ONE THING to tell people HOW to be saved. It's another thing to tell people WHAT THEIR BEHAVIOR should be AFTER they're saved.
The letter to the Ephesians was written to the Church Paul founded at Ephesus.
These people were ALREADY saved (Ephesians 1:1).
However, they were FORMER gentiles. As gentiles, they had lived in adultery, fornication, idolatry, dishonesty, covetousness, etc.
Paul is merely telling them how they SHOULD behave as SAVED Christians.
NOWHERE does he tell them that they are to observe the law or the 10 Commandments.
NOWHERE does he tell them that if they FAIL TO behave that way they'll be lost.
RELIGION invented that LIE.
It's NOT found ANYWHERE in the Bible, Old or New Testaments.
If someone asks me "HOW can I be saved"? I'd tell them -- and I've told them thousands if not millions of times -- receive Jesus into your heart as Lord, Savior and God and TRUST WHAT HE DID, NOT what you do to make you righteous.
If a new Christian asks me HOW SHOULD I LIVE, OR HOW SHOULD I ACT after being saved? I'd tell them the same thing as Paul: forsake idols, be faithful to your spouse, don't steal, don't covet, don't lie, and don't fornicate.
Does ANY of this behavior SAVE anyone? NO.
Does NOT following this behavior DAMN anyone? NO.
Paul is simply teaching them the ideal way believers in Jesus Christ SHOULD behave.
Will ANY OF US perform TO THAT LEVEL of Righteousness ALL THE TIME? NO.
Thank God that Jesus paid for ALL our sins and has us covered.
Thank God He put His own Spirit (Nature) IN US. If we seek the inner Christ and remain in our new born-again nature, we will AUTOMATICALLY behave as Christians SHOULD.
However, since our MINDS have NOT been renewed (only our spirits), at some point we will INADVERTENTLY revert back to the natural mind and MISS THE MARK (sin).
You can't find A SINGLE VERSE in Ephesians that tells them "UNLESS you behave this way ALL THE TIME, you're lost or you've lost your salvation". NOT ONE!!!
In fact, the very Book you're reading, Ephesians 2:8, 9 is THE CLASSIC verse about Salvation. It says, verbatim:
"Because you are saved BY GRACE through FAITH, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES. It is THE GIFT of God. NOT OF WORKS lest anyone should boast".
Yet, you TOTALLY MISSED that verse and chose instead to focus on verses that tell ALREADY SAVED people what their ideal behavior should be like.
Seems to me that YOU'RE NOT PAYING too much attention to what you're reading.
Which part of NOT OF YOURSELVES, NOT OF YOURSELVES, NOT OF YOURSELVES, NOT OF YOURSELVES, don't you understand?
Which part of Salvation is THE GIFT OF GOD, THE GIFT OF GOD, THE GIFT OF GOD don't you understand?
When was the last time you WORKED FOR a gift?
How much did you work for that birthday GIFT or Christmas GIFT that uncle Harry gave you?
Which part of NOT OF WORKS, NOT OF WORKS, NOT OF WORKS, NOT OF WORKS, don't you understand?
You're mixing apples with oranges.
Christians SHOULD BE THE MOST secure people ON EARTH, yet they are THE MOST insecure.
Dear God, the UNSAVED live in LESS FEAR than most of you guys!!!
Sorry, man. I just CAN'T TAKE IT anymore".
Bottom line to all in Christendom:
We MUST receive Christ into our hearts as Lord, Savior and God.
We are to trust the Holy Spirit, who thereafter LIVES IN us, to PRODUCE Christ's Righteousness IN us.
THAT'S THE ONLY WAY TO BE SAVED.
Can't say it ANY CLEARER than THAT.
Try to "please" God with your OWN EFFORT and YOUR OWN ACTIONS (works) and you'll END UP IN HELL.
Try to keep the law or the 10 Commandments, and you're REJECTING His Spirit of Grace, and will END UP IN HELL.
Trust His Spirit to MANIFEST JESUS' RIGHTEOUSNESS IN YOU and you'll go to heaven.
If you end up in hell, it'll be ENTIRELY YOUR CHOICE.
Unless His Spirit determines otherwise, I'M DONE teaching on this subject.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2012
UNTIL CHRIST IS FORMED - Part Two
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ is formed in you"... (Galatians 4:19).
For whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the Image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).
The other misunderstood area is: O.K. Jesus paid for my sins. He procured my Salvation. But I should still keep the 10 Commandments IN ORDER TO "please God".
NO WAY. Here's why:
For starters, NOTHING pleases God but Himself.
Repeat: NOTHING and NO ONE pleases God but HIMSELF.
Secondly, there's A HUGE PROBLEM with that premise:
When we TRY TO "keep" the 10 Commandments, NOT ONLY DO WE FAIL, but WE SHUN THE Spirit of CHRIST, we DISMISS the Holy One who LIVES IN US, Christ Himself, in favor of some WRITTEN ordinance which we can't even keep.
We are PREFERRING the EXTERNAL commandments written in stone - which never saved A SINGLE SOUL - TO THE INNER Christ who is ALIVE IN US and who will save ANYONE who comes to Him in repentance and faith (TRUST).
That's what Paul meant when he, by the Spirit, observed that "the letter KILLS, the Spirit MAKES ALIVE" (2 Corinthians 3:6).
The reason Israel was given the law, including the 10 Commandments, is because THE NEW BIRTH was NOT ATTAINABLE in the Old Testament since Yeshua had NOT YET come, died, shed His Blood, risen, ascended and SENT HIS HOLY SPIRIT.
Hence, they needed something "written" to tell them what or what not to do.
In the New Testament, Jesus sent HIS VERY OWN SPIRIT AND PUT HIS VERY OWN DIVINE (God) Nature IN US!!! (2 Peter 1:4).
Glory to Him for ALL ETERNITY!
Hence, New Testament believers are NOT TO cling to the law or the 10 Commandments, or try to "observe" them, but rather, we are to SEEK DEEPER COMMUNION with the INNER CHRIST -- with God Himself -- who is THE ONLY ONE who CAN keep them and HAS kept them.
There's NO RIGHTEOUSNESS ANYWHERE but His OWN Righteousness.
As we seek that DEEPER and more INTIMATE communion with our Savior and Lord, He DEVELOPS His character in us, He Himself is FORMED IN us.
When He (Jesus) is FORMED IN US, we don't even have to THINK about keeping any "commandments" because HE IS THE PERFECT FULFILLMENT OF ANY COMMANDMENT EVER GIVEN (Romans 13:9; 1 John 4:16).
When Christ is FORMED IN US, by His Spirit, we don't need to "follow" ANY commandments, God's Commandments FOLLOW US.
As we seek deep, intimate communion with the INNER CHRIST, His PERFECTION MANIFESTS more and more IN US until, ultimately, Christ Himself is FULLY FORMED and manifested in each of us (Romans 8:29).
Hence those who still CLING TO the 10 Commandments ARE REJECTING THE INNER CHRIST:
There's NO TWO WAYS ABOUT IT.
They are IN ESSENCE saying: "I can do a better job of PLEASING God and PRODUCING MY OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, my OWN LAWFULNESS, THAN
Christ Himself WHO LIVES IN ME".
As Jesus Himself said, you CANNOT serve TWO masters:
We CANNOT live both under the law, and live under Grace.
We CANNOT live in both the FREEDOM of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17) and in BONDAGE to the law (Galatians 5:1).
Those who still CLING TO the 10 Commandments FALL FROM GRACE.
Christ, according to Galatians 5:4, becomes "of NO EFFECT" TO THEM.
If Jesus becomes of "no effect" to any of us, it means WE'RE NOT SAVED.
It's UTTERLY FOOLISH and COUNTERPRODUCTIVE to cling to Commandments that CANNOT SAVE, when we have THE TOTAL FULFILLMENT, the PERFECT OBEDIENCE OF, those Commandments - Salvation Himself -- LIVING INSIDE.
...When HE IS THE ONLY ONE who SAVES.
When He is THE ONLY ONE who PLEASES God.
Those who TRY TO keep the Ten Commandments will ALWAYS end up disappointed and frustrated, because THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO KEEP THEM no matter HOW MUCH, OR HOW HARD, THEY TRY.
James 2:9,10 say that EVEN IF we kept them all AND BREAK JUST ONE, we become GUILTY OF breaking the WHOLE LAW.
ALL IT TAKES to become "LAWLESS" is to break ONE of the 10 Commandments DURING your life.
By clinging stubbornly to the torah and the Ten Commandments, we HEAP JUDGMENT (CONDEMNATION) ON OURSELVES...
According to Galatians 3:10, we BRING A CURSE on ourselves...
Life in the Spirit is NOT a toilsome, worrisome "did I pass or did I fail?" "Did I keep that commandment or did I break it"?
But rather A PERMANENT STATE OF PEACEFUL, CONFIDENT AND JOYFUL ANTICIPATION of WHAT LAWFULNESS, what portion of His glorious, Righteous Self, Jesus will manifest in us EACH DAY.
TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2012
UNTIL CHRIST IS FORMED
"My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ is formed in you"... (Galatians 4:19).
After 2,000 years of Church history, there is SO MUCH confusion and misunderstanding about whether believers are to observe the 10 Commandments.
Those who preach the Gospel of Grace - and, for the record, THERE IS NO OTHER GOSPEL - are often accused of giving believers "license to sin".
NOTHING could be further from the Truth.
Have you EVER heard me promote sin?
Have I EVER encouraged idolatry, taking God's Name in vain, theft, murder, lying, adultery, fornication, or covetousness?
Those who want to CLING TO the 10 Commandments are, for the most part, MISINFORMED.
That's a nice way of saying that THEY'VE BEEN LIED TO.
Please hear this:
God's law is GOOD, PERFECT AND HOLY. There's NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER about THAT (Romans 7:12).
God's 10 Commandments are PERFECT and GOOD.
There's one "tiny" problem: WE ARE NOT.
Hence, the children of Israel tried for 1,500 years to "observe" or KEEP the law and the 10 Commandments.
NO ONE EVER kept the torah (law) or the 10 Commandments... UNTIL Jesus -- praise His Holy Name -- CAME ALONG.
That's WHY Israelites needed to OFFER ANIMAL SACRIFICES TWICE A DAY, EVENING AND MORNING, DAY AFTER DAY, AFTER DAY...
They had to CONTINUALLY shed INNOCENT blood in order to TEMPORARILY COVER their INABILITY TO keep the torah and the 10 Commandments.
Then Jesus came along and (praise Him FOREVER) FULFILLED His OWN Law to PERFECTION on our behalf (Matthew 5:17).
He was and is FOREVER SINLESS (Hebrews 4:15).
He is PERFECTION (Righteousness) Personified (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Since man in his natural condition is still UNABLE TO keep God's Law, including God's 10 Commandments, JESUS KEPT THEM FOR US!!!
When we receive THAT SAME JESUS into our hearts, He COMES TO LIVE IN US!
Hence, HIS PERFECT Righteousness, His PERFECT torah keeping, and His PERFECT 10 Commandment keeping, ARE FREELY CREDITED TO US (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Why? Because we now have GOD HIMSELF, Righteousness Personified, THE TOTAL, PERFECT FULFILLMENT of the torah LIVING IN us (Romans 10:4). Glory to Him forever and ever!
God no longer sees "you" or "me", or our natural imperfections, He SEES JESUS IN us in His supernatural, glorious PERFECTION.
The Church needs to AWAKEN TO the blessed reality of Christ LIVING IN US.
This isn't just some figure of speech. He REALLY AND LITERALLY LIVES IN those of us who have been BORN AGAIN by His Spirit (John 14:23).
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