July 2012 archives of www.christconnection.net down below
TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2012
ANGELS AND DEMONS
A Christian TV superstar, who is now deceased, loved to use this cliché on his brainwashed audience:
"There are two angels for every demon".
While it may SOUND good, that statement is incorrect. The correct statement is "there are two of God's angels for every angel of Satan".
While I appreciate he was trying to convey that the deck is stacked in our favor, this would be true even if there were no good angels.
Even if Satan's angels WEREN'T outnumbered.
God is God. Quadrillions of bad angels aren't match for Him. Satan and his angels COMBINED are NO MATCH FOR HIM. Praise Him forever.
Angels and demons ARE DIFFERENT BEINGS.
When Satan's rebellion took place, ONE-THIRD OF THE ANGELS sided with Satan [Revelation 12:4].
When the Church is raptured Satan and his angels are cast down to the earth [Revelation 12:7-9].
As we GO UP, they COME DOWN.
They are judged and ultimately condemned to the lake of fire for all eternity [Matthew 25:41].
Angels are spirit beings. Angels -- whether they serve God or Satan -and as their very name indicates, are messengers. They OPERATE MAINLY IN THE ATMOSPHERE [Ephesians 6:12].
There's no record ANYWHERE of an angelic being, other than Satan himself, POSSESSING anyone.
Demons, on the other hand, are known to both possess and harass UNSAVED individuals.
Demons were rampant in Jesus' day [Matthew 8:33; Mark 1:32; Luke 8:36]. While their activity seems to have been severely curtailed after Calvary, don't kid yourself that there's zero demonic activity today.
Even though MOST of the so-called "UFO" activity being reported is hoax, I have no doubt that SOME of it is the result of demonic activity.
Demons ARE THE DISEMBODIED SPIRITS OF HUMANOID BEINGS that lived on the earth PRIOR TO humans.
God created the earth in Genesis 1:1 "in the beginning".
In Genesis 1:2 we find that the earth was without form, chaotic, empty, devastated, and covered in darkness.
NONE of that could have come from God.
He is NOT THE AUTHOR OF chaos or confusion [1 Corinthians 14:33].
He is Light. In Him is NO DARKNESS AT ALL [1 John 1:5].
The earth was also SUBMERGED IN WATER [Genesis 1:2].
These PHYSICAL earth beings, which resembled humans, but weren't, took part in the satanic rebellion as well.
Archeologists have discovered their skeletal remains in various places.
They are known to us today as Neanderthals.
God responded by sending the FIRST flood which destroyed them all.
Their spirits were sent to hell, which is in the center of the earth, and where most of them still are today.
Demons CANNOT POSSESS Christians, since we BELONG TO Jesus.
However, they can harass Christians, particularly when Christians open the door, or have opened the door to them in the past.
No Christian should EVER, under ANY circumstance, engage in tarot readings, witchcraft, séances, voodoo, contacting the dead, play with ouija boards, watch horror movies or porn, or engage in ANY sort of satanic activity, PERIOD.
All of the above can open the door to demonic activity.
Hallucinogenic drugs can do the same.
If Jesus lives in your heart, YOU HAVE AUTHORITY OVER EVERY fallen angel, including Satan, AND OVER EVERY DEMON [Luke 10:19; 1 John 4:4].
They KNOW who you are and MUST SUBMIT to the One (Jesus) living IN YOU [Acts 19:15; James 4:7].
Hence, if you want both deliverance from and AUTHORITY OVER demons, you need to have Jesus LIVING IN YOUR HEART.
Jesus comes to live in your heart WHEN YOU INVITE HIM.
If you DON'T have Jesus, INVITE HIM INTO YOUR HEART RIGHT NOW.
MONDAY, JULY 30, 2012
The Book of Revelation is the UNSEALING OF the Book of Daniel.
In Revelation chapter 5, the apostle John is treated to a vision of Heaven where God sits on His Throne holding A SEALED BOOK in His Right Hand (Revelation 5:1).
The ONLY Book in the entire Bible that is "sealed" is the Book of Daniel.
It was sealed, BY JESUS HIMSELF, UNTIL "the time of the end" (Daniel 12:4,9).
Hence, ONLY JESUS HIMSELF, only "the Lion of the tribe of Judah", is able to UNSEAL IT (Revelation 5:5).
The REST of Revelation (chapters 6-22) is the ACTUAL UNSEALING of Daniel, where the 7 seals are lifted, thus finally revealing "the Mystery of God".
That's why we find numerous quotations in Revelation taken DIRECTLY FROM Daniel.
In fact, the Book of Revelation reveals the UNFOLDING OF the FINAL 3½ years of the "70 weeks prophecy", as well as THE TIME GAP between the 69½ weeks -- which marked the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus -- and the END of the 70th week, which is marked by His Second Coming.
The salient historic events during that "time gap" include the First Coming of Christ and His Gospel going forth to triumph (Seal #1, White Horse), the fall of the Western part, then the rest of the Roman Empire (Seal #2, Red Horse), the feudal system with grain embargoes and price controls, accompanied by the spiritual Dark Ages where access to the Bible was restricted (Seal #3, Black Horse), and the Plague or Black Death (Seal #4, Yellow/Pale Horse), culminating with the reign of Antichrist and Jesus' Second Coming.
For preterists, who CLAIM the entire 70 weeks have had PAST fulfillment, that's IMPOSSIBLE because Jesus POINTEDLY TOLD Daniel that the final 3½ years thereof would take place at "the time of the end" and only after the power of the holy people (natural Israel) had been shattered (Daniel 12:7).
If the "time of the end" was 70 A.D. -- or sometime in the first century A.D. -- then HOW COME WE'RE STILL HERE? Duh.
AND HOW COME JESUS ISN'T REIGNING YET ON EARTH?
Indeed, the FIRST FIVE SEALS take us from the time of Jesus' first appearing "going forth conquering and TO CONQUER", TO THE PRESENT.
The 6th Seal is the Rapture.
The 7th seal is THE TRIBULATION.
That's why in Revelation chapter 10 we have a brief interlude where Jesus appears ONCE MORE to John -- just as He appeared 2,500 years ago to Daniel -- raises His right hand to heaven and SWEARS by Himself that there shall be "NO MORE DELAY", AND THAT THE FINAL 3½ YEARS ARE ABOUT TO UNFOLD (Revelation 10:1-3,5-7; Daniel 12:7).
As He says that, He's HOLDING THE BOOK OF DANIEL, NOW OPEN (FULLY UNSEALED) in His Right Hand (Revelation 10:2).
Clearly, then, there's an approximate 1,980-year TIME GAP between the FIRST HALF of the 70th week AND THE SECOND and FINAL half thereof.
Jesus is saying, in effect, that when the Book of Daniel is finally UNSEALED, WATCH OUT, ‘cause the FINAL 3½ years of this prophecy are about to unfold, and He's COMING BACK.
That means that the FINAL part of this great prophecy lies JUST AHEAD.
7 Seals of Revelation
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7
Black sun, Red moon
SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2012
STUPID, STUPID, STUPID
"Therefore LAYING ASIDE ALL malice, and ALL DECEPTION (LIES), and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, DESIRE THE PURE MILK OF THE WORD, that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:1-2)
You know, sometimes I just have to shake my head in disbelief at what goes on in Christendom.
We have a Bible, God's time-honored Word, which has transformed BILLIONS of lives.
We have the thoughts of the Most High revealed through His apostles and prophets.
We have His EXPRESS WILL WRITTEN ON PAPER.
We have our "future" FORETOLD by the very One who PRE-ARRANGED IT.
Yet we have a Church full of Bible ILLITERATES.
They can't even tell you what "Salvation" means.
They don't even know who is saved and who isn't.
They can't tell THE DIFFERENCE between the Old and New Testaments.
They don't know the difference between the spirit and the soul, or between an angel and a demon.
They COULDN'T PASS A BASIC BIBLE QUIZ IF THEIR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT.
Yet, instead of reading God's Word...
Instead of appreciating its timeless and priceless Wisdom...
Instead of WANTING TO KNOW WHAT GOD HIMSELF HAS TO SAY...
Instead of SPENDING TIME WITH JESUS, in intimate communion with Him, and meditating His Word...
They're reading the SO-CALLED "lost" books of the Bible.
Or they're reading the Book of Enoch.
Or they're reading some FANTASY invented by some modern "Christian" author.
Or they're running after the FALLIBLE OPINIONS of every religious nitwit who has nothing better to do than post rumors, speculation, lies and half truths on cyberspace.
I mean, give me a freakin' break!
YOU DON'T KNOW THE God-inspired BIBLE, YOU DON'T KNOW THE GOSPEL OF JOHN, YOU DON'T KNOW THE BOOK OF REVELATION, but you're reading Enoch?
You've never read the Book of Acts, but you're reading some alleged "lost" book, NOT inspired by God?
You can't quote ONE verse of Scripture (except, PERHAPS, John 3:16 thanks, in large part, to Tim Tebow) but you're watching some dumb video on YouTube?
What the hell are you doing reading the "lost" books, WHEN YOU HAVEN'T EVEN READ THE REAL ONES?
Why do you even CARE about what some lying mortal thinks, yet ARE TOTALLY UNINTERESTED IN WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY?
Aren't you even the slightest bit curious about what THE CREATOR thinks?
I mean, He could squash you like bug IN AN INSTANT, if He wanted to, AND YOU DON'T CARE WHAT PLEASES OR DISPLEASES HIM?
You DON'T CARE ABOUT experiencing His truly Divine Love, or His power?
HOW CAN YOU EVEN TELL if that piece of garbage you're reading or watching is true, or which portions may be true or false, WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW THE VERY STANDARD OF TRUTH?
When you IGNORE the very CRITERION by which Truth is judged and measured?
My God, don't your pastors teach you ANYTHING?
For the record, NOTHING'S "lost" from the Bible.
The Old Testament Canon was well established by the second century B.C.
The books of the New Testament were well known and RECOGNIZED by the Church at large by 100 A.D.
The "earliest" so-called "lost book" was written LATE in the second century A.D., some 100 AFTER the canonic books. Most of them appeared in the 3rd century after Christ.
They were NEVER RECOGNIZED by the Church.
And that was BEFORE the Council of Nicaea convened in 325 A.D. (4th century).
Nothing's been lost and God would be a puny God (perish the thought) if He was not able to preserve the purity and integrity of His written Word.
If you're a NEW Christian, like a newborn infant, you need the MILK OF THE WORD.
If you've been Christian many years, you need to be rooted and grounded in the Word so you can HELP AND INSTRUCT OTHERS, AND YOURSELF.
The Bible ISN'T Harry Potter.
It's not some INVENTED FANTASY.
It's ABSOLUTE, INERRANT TRUTH.
It's THE Word of THE ETERNAL GOD.
SATURDAY, JULY 28, 2012
Well, what d'ya know? Martel speaks Mandarin!
No, NOT REALLY. I wish...
This is one instance when EVEN THE GIFT OF TONGUES won't do.
(I've prayed in tongues many times IN PRIVATE, in both heavenly and foreign languages, but I've never heard myself say anything that EVEN REMOTELY SOUNDS like Mandarin).
But with the help of modern technology and LOTS OF HELP from a dear and DEDICATED brother in Christ, we can now potentially reach OVER A BILLION Mandarin speaking (or similar Chinese dialect speaking) people with the UNAMBIGUOUS message of the Gospel of Grace.
I can't even COMPREHEND that staggering figure!
Praise Jesus, praise Jesus, and praise Jesus!
The ONE thing I value more than Bible prophecy is Bible Salvation.
Much as I love the former, much as Jesus personally called me to teach it and dispel the many myths being circulated falsely in His Name, I am A SOUL WINNER, FIRST AND FOREMOST, and make no bones about it!
There's NOTHING in this world more thrilling that bringing even ONE soul that was headed for hell out of darkness and despair and into the Light of God's dear Son.
I'm greatly inspired and encouraged by the fact that Revelation 7:9 describes "A GREAT MULTITUDE, which no man could number, OF ALL NATIONS, AND TRIBES, AND PEOPLE, AND TONGUES" standing before the Throne of God, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.
Since China alone contains about ONE FIFTH of the entire world's population... you know that China must be WELL REPRESENTED IN that great multitude.
Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for dying on the cross for my - our sins! Thank you for your glorious Resurrection and Ascension. And THANK YOU, Lord that you promised to CATCH US UP into the heavenly dimension (VERY SOON) and then establish your Kingdom HERE ON EARTH.
Oh, Jesus, our Lord and God, your Kingdom Come!Your will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.
Your righteous rule is SO DESPERATELY needed on this sin-laden planet of ours!
I want to publicly thank our precious brother Jason Pitts, not only for volunteering to take this daunting and time-consuming task off my hands, but for SINGLEHANDEDLY doing the research to find not only a capable translator, but ONE WHO IS NATIVE to both languages, Chinese and English, to ensure THE BEST possible translation.
NOT TO MENTION that he also graciously AND ENTIRELY COVERED the expense involved in doing the translating.
On behalf of Jesus, myself, and the entire (and still growing) Body of Christ, THANK YOU, Jason.
As I told you directly, my brother, Jesus Himself is our reward.
He is EVERYTHING we could ever want, dream about, or hope for - and then some!
I just know that there's A SPECIAL PLACE in His Kingdom for someone who is as UNSELFISH and COMMITTED to our Lord as you. Amen.
If anyone wants to check out the FIRST Chinese video (hopefully, there will be more as Jesus guides and time permits), go here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogFEnd7yfWU
Well, there you have it, Christ Connection readers!
If you know anyone, in the U.S. or overseas who speaks Mandarin and needs to hear the Gospel, tell ‘em about it.
I rarely ask you to pray for anything, but if the Spirit impresses you to do so, will you pray that God will take this video where He wants and use it for His glory?
Watch out, Hu Jintao...
Brace yourself, Mao... Here comes Jesus!
FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2012
We live in a self-centered society where it's mostly "me, me, me".
Consequently, most people think of prayer as asking God to do something for them.
While the Bible does encourage us to take our needs in prayer to God, in faith, trusting Him and expecting they will be answered, there's more to prayer than just "gimme", "gimme", "gimme".
Prayer is simply communicating with God.
It's sharing with Him what's in your heart. It's casting your burdens on Him, asking Him for guidance. It's taking time to give Him the love, praise and worship He so richly deserves. It's taking time to enjoy and bask in the great love He has for you. It's also interceding for the needs of others.
How should you pray? There are people who treat God with great familiarity, and there are those who treat Him with extreme reverence.
Usually these people criticize one another's style of prayer.
In the Bible, as well as in my own personal experience, I find prayer involves BOTH. There are times when we come to God as a little child, in simple faith, just trusting our Daddy to guide us, bless us, or supply our needs. There are also times [specially in moments of worship] when we're filled with awe and reverence at His Greatness and power and Majesty.
Throughout the Bible you find BOTH styles of worship. There's no such thing as a "wrong way" of praying or worshiping God.
How often should you pray? As often as you want. Prayer should be frequent. Communicating with God is a great privilege, one we often take for granted. The apostle Paul instructed the church at Thessalonica to "Pray without ceasing".
You wouldn't take it for granted if you were given a private audience with, the President of the United States, or the Queen of England.
Christians have an open, standing invitation to come boldly before God's Throne, before the most powerful Being in the universe, before the One who has the answer TO EVERY problem and situation you face, and yet that invitation is often ignored.
How foolish is that on our part?
Prayer should always be Word-based. Asking God for something that's CONTRARY TO His Word is simply a waste of your time.
A great way to pray is find a portion of the Bible where it speaks about your specific desire or need, and pray those words to God. He loves it when we quote His own Word to Him!
Most prayer today comes from the soul [mind and emotions]. As I said before, there's no "wrong way" to pray. But there is a "best way" to pray and that is when prayer comes from your born again spirit.
Sadly, most Christians are as alienated from their reborn spirits, as they are from Saturn. That's because they haven't been taught where the spirit is, or how to develop it in Christ.
Your reborn spirit is located inside your stomach. You need to locate it, identify it, USE IT, develop it, LIVE IN IT, and PRAY FROM THERE.
When you pray in the spirit, be it for yourself, for others, or just to worship God, you're praying in perfect agreement with His Word, His Will, and His Holy Spirit who lives in you.
It's THE BEST way to pray. Do it this way, and you'll never want to quit. You'll never find prayer "boring" again, or see as a "task".
It will become interesting and exciting.
Yes, I said "EXCITING"!
Last, but not least, prayer is a "two-way" EXPERIENCE:
Talk to Jesus from your spirit, but ALSO LISTEN to His Spirit speak into yours.
You'll look forward to hearing what He has to say to your heart.
You'll TREASURE those precious moments of deep joy and intimacy with your Creator and Heavenly Father.
THURSDAY, JULY 26, 2012
WHERE DID YOU GET THAT ?
Hey, prophecy forum junkies, I got ONE question for you:
WHERE does your pretend "knowledge" COME FROM?
Does it come from roaming the web like some possessed maniac, looking for something novel to soothe your itching ears?
From reading EVERY "NEW" teaching and religious DIVINATION posted on cyberspace?
Every weird doctrine someone's capriciously dreamed up?
From the latest FEAR-FILLED FAD (comet, eclipse, planetary alignment, solar flare) circulating cyberspace?
From some nitwit on YouTube who's always spinning some new Doomsday scenario?
From common sense lacking "Christian celebrity" groupies?
From some ALLEGED "dream" or "vision" that someone CLAIMS to have had?
From navigating those "wisdom-filled" forums (NOT!) where every moron gets to share his two cents worth of NONSENSE?
Where you've been playing "Rapture guessing games" and concocting clever formulas to come up with THE RIGHT DATE for years and years... AND ARE NO CLOSER TO IT NOW THAN YOU WERE THEN?
(Gee, you should have WISED UP by now)...
Where NO ONE will remember the crap you said 10 minutes from now?
Where the fickle "geniuses" who participate are bored with their own lives and theories, therefore must KEEP INVENTING new ones?
Or, do you GET IT FROM THE WORD OF GOD?
If you did the latter, you WOULDN'T DO the former.
And vice versa:
It's BECAUSE you do the former, that YOU DON'T DO the latter.
That's why you DON'T know the Bible, DON'T know the Truth, and all you're good for is SPREADING UNBIBLICAL SPECULATION.
That's why many of you have NO CONVICTIONS, NO FOUNDATION and change your views more often than your underwear.
That's why ALL IT TAKES is the slightest puff of air TO KNOCK YOUR SPIRITUAL HOUSE of cards DOWN and BLOW IT UP INTO SMITHEREENS.
I know where I get my knowledge: From the Spirit of God and the Holy Word of God.
I don't base my beliefs or teaching on what's "trendy", OR ON WHAT OTHERS ON THE INTERNET ARE SAYING, but on the ETERNAL Word that NEVER CHANGES.
I DON'T base it on the self-exalting "wisdom" of MORTAL MEN, but on the Wisdom of the Immortal God.
That's WHY - to Jesus be all the glory - you find teaching on this website that YOU WON'T FIND ANYWHERE ELSE.
That's why some of you read our material, PLAGIARIZE IT, then try to pass it off as "your own".
I know where REAL KNOWLEDGE COMES FROM.
Do you ?
WEDNESDAY, JULY 25, 2012
KADURI: RAPTURE THIS MONTH
Did the late Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri predict that the Rapture would happen this year, in the month of Av?
He did if you believe the latest fad making the rounds in prophecy forums.
I first heard about this myth about a week ago, but this morning there were 9 emails in my Inbox about that same subject.
As of the time of this writing (Tuesday evening) we are up to 11 (in ONE day).
Just goes to show HOW QUICKLY CRAP spreads around the internet.
That is WHY I want to address this topic ASAP before it skyrockets.
For starters, I have to confess that I was DISMAYED to hear from people who have followed this ministry for a good while,who have heard me EXPOSE time and again, THE LIES and BASELESS SPECULATION those forums are teeming with and WHO, frankly, SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER, immediately JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON.
Funny thing, I can't find A SINGLE SCRIPTURE that says believers are to constantly EXCHANGE OPINIONS and SPECULATE as to when THEY THINK the Rapture will happen. NOT ONE.
Therefore, so-called "prophecy forums" -- which seem to be multiplying faster than rabbits - ARE UNSCRIPTURAL TO BEGIN WITH.
Jesus gave us certain signs that would signal birthpangs (Matthew 24:4-8).
We've seen, and ARE SEEING, those signs.
THE FIRST ONE, by the way, WAS RAMPANT DECEPTION IN HIS NAME (Matthew 24:4).
Sounds like those "Christian" forums to me...
He then gave us a second set of signs that would signal the impending Rapture-tribulation (Matthew 24:29). We haven't seen those.
Jesus told us to WATCH (Matthew 24:42). He NEVER TOLD US to SPECULATE.
The FIRST THING that jumped out at me when I went to the link that several people provided was the TOTAL ABSENCE of Scripture.
There ISN'T ONE Bible verse on which to base such claim, or on which Kaduri purportedly based such prediction. NOT ONE, ZERO.
The SECOND thing that jumped out at me is "WHY are we hearing about this NOW"?
The Rabbi died in 2006. The Rabbi's note, where he revealed the Name of Messiah, was made public on April 30, 2007. I have the original article on file.
If the Rabbi also predicted the month and year of Messiah's appearing, HOW COME WE DIDN'T HEAR ABOUT IT BACK THEN?
If he revealed it PRIOR TO HIS DEATH, WHY would this "revelation" only be disclosed 6½ YEARS LATER?
And why would a Haredi Jew (an alleged disciple of his) -- of all people -- share such information with Messianic Jews or Christians?
Doesn't make sense. The whole thing sounds fishy to me...
The THIRD thing is NO HARD EVIDENCE: There's NO note, copy of note, recording, signed declaration, or ANY SOLID PROOF that Kaduri ever made such statement.
Indeed, the "information" given in such forums is UNSUBSTANTIATED.
It's what someone HEARD that an alleged Kaduri disciple HEARD the Rabbi say, based on some alleged "vision" the Rabbi had.
That makes it HEARSAY, at best; MORONIC RUMOR and false prophecy, at worst.
In fact, I have a prediction of my own: I predict that, a month from now, after the month of Av has passed, THESE SAME MORONS will sweep Kaduri's alleged prediction under the rug -- like it never even happened -- and will be offering SOME NEW GUESS, or INVENTED theory they dreamed up, ON THOSE SAME STUPID FORUMS.
But let's -- for argument's sake -- give morons the benefit of the doubt and ASSUME that Kaduri did make such prediction. SO WHAT?
Was Kaduri some sort of demigod know-it-all?
Was he infallible?
Are we to take EVERYTHING he said as "Truth"?
Let's ALSO ASSUME - for argument's sake -- that we could PROVE - beyond any doubt - that he made such prediction.
Let's also ASSUME that the Vilna Gaon predicted that the Geula (Redemption) would happen this year. SO WHAT?
May I remind brainless "Christians" that both these men were traditional Jews, hence DID NOT BELIEVE IN THE CONCEPT OF THE RAPTURE?
HOW COULD THEY HAVE PREDICTED SOMETHING THEY DIDN’T EVEN BELIEVE IN?
To a Jew the Redemption (Geula) means the appearing of Messiah, NOT IN THE AIR, but HERE ON EARTH, to deliver Israel and establish His Universal Kingdom.
In other words, His Second Coming.
Question for dumb Christians: How can Israel's Redemption or Second Coming happen this year, WHEN NEITHER THE RAPTURE, NOR THE ENSUING TRIBULATION, NOR THE REIGN OF ANTICHRIST, HAVE EVEN BEGUN?
So much for that STUPID and FALSE RUMOR...
Last but not least, I couldn't help notice that the person who appears to be the main source for the rumor (he uses the name Steven King, which may or may not be his real name) is A LEGALIST.
Hence, he is probably an UNSAVED religious person.
I quote from his own post:
"To what can we compare our situation today? To a giant hall full of people, and in the middle of the room, a large screen is being lowered down which will divide the room into 2 parts. Everyone that is on the right will merit "all goodness", they will benefit and be happy, whereas those who remain on the left will suffer hardships".
NOBODY who goes in the Rapture will "merit" ANYTHING. Revelation 7:14 COULDN'T BE CLEARER: those who go in the Rapture were taken FOR ONE REASON ONLY:
"They have washed their robes and made them white IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB" -- period.
There's no mention of "merit" ANYWHERE.
We go BECAUSE we are the Body of Christ and JESUS IS WORTHY, NOT because WE are worthy.
That fact, in and of itself, should cause all kinds of "red flags" to POP UP for discerning Christians, not to mention for anyone having a nickel's worth of common sense.
Yes, I believe with all my heart -- BASED ON SCRIPTURE NOT RUMOR -- that the Rapture will happen THIS year. Could I be wrong? Of course.
Yes, I would love for it to happen THIS MONTH (Av in the Hebrew calendar, which ends on August 17, 2012). Heck, I'd love for it to happen TODAY!!!
Yes, technically Jesus COULD rapture us this month (He's God, He can do ANYTHING).
But let's not base our beliefs ON LOONEY RELIGIOUS GOSSIP, but ON THE SPIRIT OF GOD, AND THE WORD OF GOD.
TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2012
7 WEEKS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
The Spring Feasts in the Hebrew calendar have had enormous effect on the world itself as well as on the hearts and lives of millions of people.
One would be hard-pressed to imagine what our planet would be like WITHOUT the world-altering, life-altering events that took place within that pivotal period singled out by God.
The 7-week period between Passover and Pentecost gave us the birth of Israel as a nation, Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage, Moses, and the law, including the 10 Commandments.
It was also during that period that Israelites entered the Land of Promise for the first time.
That was the FIRST time around.
The SECOND time around that same period gave us the Crucifixion of Christ, His burial and Resurrection, the resurrection of thousands of Old Testament saints, Jesus' Ascension and the Holy Spirit's Presence in the hearts of believers in Jesus as the Messiah.
They produced ETERNAL REDEMPTION for those who receive Jesus into their hearts, and TRUST HIM completely for Salvation (Hebrews (:12; 10:14).
There's yet ANOTHER 7-week period that will likewise change the world and alter the lives of EVERYONE IN IT, for better or for worse.
Only this one isn't comprised of SEVEN 7-day weeks, but SEVEN 7-year weeks.
I'm talking about the 7 week (49 year period) mentioned in Daniel 9:25 which will lead to the Rapture and Second Coming of Messiah Prince.
We are in that 7 week period RIGHT NOW.
And we're VERY NEAR the end of it.
If you are not a believer in the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ, please BECOME ONE TODAY.
Invite Jesus to enter your heart.
Receive Him as your Lord, Savior and God.
And if you already KNOW the Jewish Messiah as your Lord, Savior and God, REJOICE.
Exciting and glorious days lie ahead.
MONDAY, JULY 23, 2012
IT SHALL BE SEEN
If you've ever been to Israel and seen THE PLACE where Jesus was crucified, not only will you marvel at the accuracy of God's Word, not only will your spirit be moved in a special way, you will be amazed at God's faithfulness.
This is even truer, if you realize what took place there, and how it was both foretold, and depicted in the Old Testament.
For those who haven't seen it, it's a rather ugly, peculiar, eerie looking hillside, just north of Jerusalem, across Damascus Square, with a rock formation that looks like a human skull, hence the name Golgotha meaning, in Aramaic, "THE PLACE of a skull".
The English word "Calvary", derived from the Latin calvario, means the same thing.
It was at that very spot that Abraham was ready to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice.
God specifically commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:2).
God also said He would show Abraham precisely WHERE (Genesis 22:3).
In Genesis 22:4, when Abraham heads for THE PLACE on Mount Moriah, it says he "saw THE PLACE afar off".
How did Abraham identify THE PLACE, FROM A DISTANCE?
Obviously, because THE PLACE had some unique, identifying feature: the skull formation.
What's even more remarkable is that Isaac, Abraham's ONLY SON and a type for Jesus, went without protest, as a lamb to the slaughter. He was a strong, young adult male. So he could have resisted. But he didn't.
Just like Jesus allowed Himself to be beaten and pierced, and "opened not His mouth" (Isaiah 53:7).
When you picture Isaac, walking BETWEEN TWO servants, toward that very spot, with the WOOD for the sacrifice laid across his shoulders, it's IMPOSSIBLE NOT to see Jesus,God's ONLY SON, nailed BETWEEN TWO thieves, with the cross's WOOD beam, laying across His shoulders.
Genesis 22:7, 8 tell how Isaac innocently asks his father, "I see the fire and the wood, but WHERE'S THE LAMB FOR A BURNT OFFERING"? And Abraham prophesies "My son, God will provide Himself a Lamb"...
Indeed, He did.
Abraham, also prophetically, named the place Yahweh jireh, meaning THAT AT THAT VERY PLACE "it (the sacrifice of God's Lamb) shall be seen".
Indeed, He was.
What Abraham had prophesied some 3,000 years prior, WAS VISUALLY FULFILLED at THE PLACE called Golgotha 2,000 years ago.
Thank God for prophecy; thank God of Abraham and Isaac. Thank God for Calvary, and THANK GOD FOR JESUS.
SUNDAY, JULY 22, 2012
THE WORLD is good at INVENTING ARTIFICIAL STUFF.
It has given us, among other things, artificial sweeteners, artificial butter, artificial eggs, artificial lemons, artificial meat, artificial "reality" shows which AREN'T, artificial "celebrities" (with NO talent), artificial friendship, artificial hair, artificial eyelashes, artificial limbs, and even "OTHER" artificial BODY PARTS.
We won't even get into those...
But the world's got NOTHING on religion.
EVERYTHING about religion IS artificial: artificial worship, artificial appearance, artificial songs, artificial preaching, artificial doctrine, artificial ceremonies, artificial piety, and even artificial demeanor.
Religion teaches us to "ACT" Kristian.
To say "the right things", dress "the right way", and PRETEND that we are ALWAYS these PERFECT creatures, who NEVER act ugly, NEVER get angry or frustrated, are NEVER bothered by anything, NEVER lose our temper, NEVER raise our voices, and NEVER say anything unpleasant.
It expects us to walk around with this TIMID, VACUOUS, STUPID GRIN on our faces, and PRETEND to be all sweet and "lovey dovey" NO MATTER WHAT goes on around us.
Otherwise, we get accused of being "unloving".
Of course, that's how we ACT IN FRONT OF OTHERS.
Naturally, when NO ONE IS LOOKING, we can let our hair down and be our "REAL" not-so-perfect selves.
That's WHY Jesus and religion NEVER GOT ALONG, HAVE NEVER GOTTEN ALONG, AND WILL NEVER GET ALONG…
Jesus BROKE ALL the religious rules; He barreled through all their artificial façades and MADE our relationship with God PERSONAL, INTIMATE, AND REAL.
And He didn't just do it once or twice. He did it CONSTANTLY.
That's ONE of the many things I love and appreciate about my Wonderful Lord, HOW GENUINE He is.
He went RIGHT TO THE CORE ISSUE, telling religious Nicodemus, "your problem IS NOT your appearance, or even your teaching, THE PROBLEM IS IN YOUR HEART: you MUST be born again" (John 3:3-5).
He cut right through the religious B.S. and hypocrisy of His day, telling the duplicitous Pharisees that WHILE THEY HAD AN APPEARANCE OF godliness, and LOOKED GOOD ON THE OUTSIDE, THEY WERE ROTTEN ON THE INSIDE (Matthew 23:27).
And He didn't beat around the bush, either. He told them DIRECTLY TO THEIR FACES.
Of course, you NEVER HEAR ANY OF THIS at your social club's (eh, "church") service.
Never mind that it's found IN THE BIBLE:
I KNOW FOR A FACT, you didn't hear it in THIS MORNING'S service.
Oh, that Christians would imitate Jesus, instead of abiding by the circumscribed "norms" religion has imposed on them, and brainwashed them with!
I got SEVEN words for ARTIFICIAL "Christians":
CUT THE CRAP and DROP THE ACT.
God ain't buying it.
This preacher ain't buying it.
And THE WORLD ain't buying it.
Why do you think UNBELIEVERS constantly accuse Christians of BEING HYPOCRITES?
Because THEY SEE RIGHT THROUGH YOUR PIOUS ACT:
They KNOW you're just as human as they.
They KNOW you speak and act just as ugly as they.
They KNOW you face - AND FALL INTO - the same temptations as they.
It takes one to know one.
They've "been there, done that"...
Hence, they KNOW A HYPOCRITE WHEN THEY SEE ONE.
Are you a NATURAL Christian, with Christ's own Nature on the inside (2 Peter 1:4), or an ARTIFICIAL Kristian?
Do you let others see the REAL you (Jesus), or do you put on THE "VIRTUOUS" MASK that religion expects from you?
I got news for religious people:
When you THINK no one is watching, GOD IS.
And He doesn't care much about your OUTWARD demeanor.
He doesn't give a hoot about how you LOOK on the outside.
He SEES and KNOWS the "real" you.
He SEES what's in YOUR HEART (1 Samuel 16:7).
You can PRETEND as long as you want.
You may fool some fellow pretenders and incompetent hirelings.
But you're NOT fooling Jesus.
SATURDAY, JULY 21, 2012
GOD AND SCIENCE
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking made recent headlines and sparked commotion in both the scientific and faith communities.
In his latest publication, The Grand Design he states that "God was not needed to create the Universe".
For those who may not be familiar with him or his work, Mr. Hawking is, by human standards, a gifted scientist who also wrote the best seller A Brief History of Time in 1988.
Mr. Hawking has a physical disability, is confined to a wheelchair, and is unable to speak except thru a voice synthesizer.
I enjoyed reading Brief History, and it's still part of my personal library.
In Brief History, Mr. Hawking did NOT dismiss the possibility that God had a hand in the creation of the world.
Back then, he wrote "If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we should know the mind of God."
Yet in his newest book he rejects Sir Isaac Newton's theory that the Universe did not spontaneously begin to form but was set in motion by God:
"Because THERE IS a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist."
Of course, Mr. Hawking can't explain WHERE gravity came from.
Nor can he EXPLAIN HOW gravity could cause the intricacies within each tiny cell, nor the wondrous design involved in the formation of the human eye.
For that matter, NO OTHER SCIENTIST, gifted MORTAL intellect, ATHEIST OR SKEPTIC can explain it either.
They just know it "exists". They just know that gravity IS.
By making that statement he is saying that the force we call gravity, whose origin is unknown, is IN FACT, God.
So, I would argue that his own premise PROVES that God, or some expression of God called "gravity", WAS NEEDED to create the universe.
Hence, God not only IS, but had a hand in creating it.
Gee, Stephen, I'm not even a scientist, just a humble servant of Jesus Christ.
But it only took me TWO MINUTES to blow a hole in your THEORY.
Maybe it's because I know Him who CREATED gravity.
The One who IS, from everlasting to everlasting.
Maybe it's because human reasoning, no matter how brilliant, is FLAWED to begin with.
Maybe it's because your FINITE mind CANNOT comprehend the INFINITE.
Maybe it's because your limited, transient intelligence CANNOT comprehend the ETERNAL.
I would have thought your own Brief History of Time would have taught you that.
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012
RUNNING FROM GOD
Long before anyone heard of the Jonas brothers, there was ANOTHER Jonas (or Jonah) who became famous for running FROM God.
Jonas [or Jonah] was a prophet whom God commanded to prophesy against Nineveh.
Jonas feared that the king of Nineveh wouldn't warm up to his prophecy so... he decided to run.
In a futile attempt to hide from God, he bought passage in a ship headed for Tarshish, in southern Spain, which was the farthest known destination at the time.
That's what I call going overboard...
Jonas was foolish enough to THINK God couldn't reach him there.
God, however, had other plans.
Eventually the other passengers got fed up with Jonas, dumped into the sea where a huge fish swallowed him.
The fish kept Running Jonah in its belly three days and nights, got bad indigestion, took some Pepto Bismol, and eventually vomited him back on Israel's shore [Matthew 12:40; Jonah 1:17; 2:10].
After that little experience, Jonas realized that trying to hide from God is useless. He finally obeyed God, prophesied against Nineveh, and everyone in Nineveh, from the king down, repented and turned to God.
Before that happy ending, while Jonas was still on the ship, a great, life-threatening storm arose.
Everyone on the ship began then to call on THEIR non-existent "gods".
I said all that to say this:
STOP RUNNING FROM GOD.
There's a "storm" coming, the likes of which no one's ever seen before.
Where will you hide? What "god" will you call on for deliverance? Allah? Krishnah? Buddha? Lao Tse? Some New Age "deity"? Joseph Smith? Herbert Armstrong? Charles Taze Russell? Mary Baker Eddy? Ellen White? The Pope? Your denomination?
NONE OF THEM will be able to deliver you on that day.
When the sun turns black, or the moon blood-red, there's ONLY ONE God you can call on who WILL deliver you [Joel 2:32].
His Name is Jesus Christ.
Of course, if you were really smart, you wouldn't wait till the storm begins.
If you were smart, you'd call on Him NOW.
THURSDAY, JULY 19, 2012
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS - PART TWO
"Was not Abraham our father JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
See how FAITH WORKED with his works, and BY WORKS WAS FAITH MADE PERFECT?
And THE SCRIPTURE was fulfilled WHICH SAYS, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
You see then how THAT BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, AND NOT BY FAITH ONLY" (James 2:21-24).
See that? James says justification is OBTAINED BY FAITH PLUS WORKS!
Whoa, whoa, whoa... Hold it, just a moment.
JAMES NEVER said that.
Repeat: JAMES NEVER said that.
There's AN EASY WAY to tell if what James APPEARS to be saying (in our English Bibles) is right, since he's quoting from the Old Testament:
IS IT TRUE - as James APPEARS to be saying in the above verses -- that Abraham was JUSTIFIED BY WORKS and declared righteous by God ONLY AFTER he offered Isaac?
NOT ACCORDING TO GENESIS!!!
James QUOTED Genesis 15:6 where it says "And he (Abraham) believed the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness".
Not only did God declare Abraham righteous WITHOUT ANY WORKS...
Not only did God declare Abraham righteous BEFORE he offered Isaac...
He did it BEFORE ISAAC WAS EVEN BORN!!! (Genesis 15:2-6).
That's right: Isaac HAD NOT EVEN BEEN BORN into this world when God declared Abraham righteous.
Matter of fact, his mother Sarah HAD NOT EVEN CONCEIVED Isaac in her womb yet (Genesis 17:17-18; 18:10-13).
THAT IS UNDISPUTED.
THAT is FACT, taken STRAIGHT FROM the Hebrew Torah.
Abraham, in fact, was CHILDLESS when he was declared righteous by God (Genesis 15:2).
The sacrifice of Isaac didn't take place until 7 Bible CHAPTERS LATER (Genesis 22:1-18), when Isaac was AN ADULT (scholars estimate his age to have been somewhere between 25-36*).
So, God had declared Abraham righteous AT LEAST 26 YEARS BEFORE he offered Isaac.
Hence, God declaring Abraham righteous HAD NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with ANY WORKS, nor did it have ANYTHING to do WITH HIS OFFERING ISAAC.
Did James LIE?
There are THREE distinct possibilities:
1. That James was INTENTIONALLY DISTORTING Scripture, that is, LYING.
2. That James DIDN'T KNOW THE TORAH, hence taught error.
Both of these would mean that his Book was NOT inspired by the Holy Spirit and thus MUST be REMOVED FROM the Bible. Or,
3. That James said something slightly different to what our English Bibles say, and THAT SOMETHING got (intentionally or unintentionally), "lost in translation".
Those are your ONLY choices: Either James was a liar, or James didn't know the Hebrew Torah thus misquoted it -- in which cases his Book DOESN'T BELONG IN the Bible -- or James DIDN'T QUITE SAY WHAT HE SAID the way it reads in our English Bibles. PICK ONE.
We know that James was the half brother of our Lord, and a leader in the early Church (Galatians 1:19).
If his Book is included in the canon of Scripture, it's because it was always considered Holy Spirit inspired by the Early Church.
We know from OTHER passages of Scripture that James KNEW his Torah (Acts 15:13-21; James 2:8-11).
And we know the Bible is the inerrant, Holy Spirit inspired Word of God.
So, that ONLY LEAVES possibility #3: that James said something in the original Greek, SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT TO what our English Bibles say.
Again, the earliest translations of the Bible into English took place 1,200 years AFTER the original New Testament was written.
They took place during a time when the Church was under HEAVY hierarchical OPPRESSION, ruled by greedy, power-hungry religious tyrants who exerted ABSOLUTE CONTROL over Church doctrine.
During a time when people were often declared heretics and BURNED ALIVE for contradicting Church doctrine.
In the MOST controversial verse, James 2:24, which in our English Bibles reads:
"You see then how THAT BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, AND NOT BY FAITH ONLY".
The Greek is IN THE GENITIVE CASE which CLEARLY DENOTES the righteousness (justification) a man ALREADY POSSESSES.
That makes perfect sense, since James was addressing BELIEVERS in Christ, who ALREADY POSSESSED justification (Jesus' own Righteousness) GIVEN TO THEM FREELY, WITHOUT ANY WORKS (2 Corinthians 5:21).
James himself had been justified BY FAITH ONLY.
James was merely saying that Abraham had DEMONSTRATED, by offering Isaac on the altar, the righteousness he ALREADY HAD.
Abraham BELIEVED (TRUSTED) God and God declared Abraham righteous based on his BELIEF, OR FAITH, ALONE.
Some 26 years later, Abraham STILL TRUSTED God to the point he was willing to sacrifice Isaac, the son he'd waited for HIS ENTIRE LIFE (100 years, to be exact).
Thus, Abraham DEMONSTRATED his faith (trust) in God, BY BEING WILLING TO OFFER HIS ONLY SON ON MOUNT MORIAH, simply because God ASKED HIM TO.
Isn't that EXACTLY WHAT I JUST PROVED ABOVE? That Abraham ALREADY POSSESSED righteousness, WITHOUT ANY WORKS, BEFORE Isaac was even BORN?
The MOST CORRECT rendering of James 2:24, therefore, would be:
"You see then how that by works A MAN DEMONSTRATES his righteousness (the righteousness HE ALREADY HAS), and NOT by faith only".
THAT is how that verse SHOULD read.
We KNOW FOR A FACT that James DID NOT teach faith "PLUS" WORKS or, for that matter, FAITH "PLUS" ANYTHING, since he spoke very clearly in Acts chapter 15:13-30 that Salvation is BY FAITH ONLY.
Had he taught "faith plus works" in the Book of James, he would have CONTRADICTED HIMSELF and, consequently, he would have LOST ALL CREDIBILITY among the apostles, and among the Church at large.
He would have been considered APOSTATE.
His letter, therefore, would have FALLEN ON DEAF EARS, WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN INCLUDED in the canon of Scripture, and would NOT EVEN BE KNOWN to us today as the Book or Epistle of James, in the New Testament.
THIS, therefore, is the ONLY viable explanation.
It also happens to be ACCURATE, and faithful to the original text.
THE POINT James was making in this whole passage is that FAITH IS INVISIBLE, hence ANYONE can CLAIM TO "have faith".
Thus, they WHO TRULY POSSESS FAITH (who are righteous BY FAITH ALONE) sooner or later will DEMONSTRATE their faith (the righteousness or justification they ALREADY POSSESS) through ACTIONS.
Hence, his statement in James 2:18, WHICH SUMS UP HIS ENTIRE TEACHING about works:
"SHOW ME YOUR FAITH without works (WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE, since faith is INVISIBLE), and I WILL SHOW (DEMONSTRATE TO) YOU MY FAITH BY (THROUGH) my works".
That's ALL James was saying.
YOU LOSE, legalists... yet again.
* Historian Josephus gives Isaac's age as 25, while rabbinic tradition says he was 36. Others suggest he was 33 because Isaac's life parallels the life of Christ.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2012
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS
"For as the body WITHOUT THE SPIRIT is dead, so faith without works is dead" (James 2:26).
This is heretics' FAVORITE verse in the entire Bible.
They CLING to this ONE verse in a DESPERATE and futile attempt to "prove" that Jesus' PERFECT FINISHED Work of Redemption ISN'T ENOUGH, and that we must ADD our OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS in the form of "works".
This shouldn't surprise us since EVERY heretic uses the Bible selectively.
That's a nice way of saying they use it HYPOCRITICALLY.
They take ONE ISOLATED verse that SEEMS (underline "SEEMS") to support their false doctrine, BLOW IT OUT OF PROPORTION, and IGNORE 50 OR MORE VERSES THAT SAY, CLEAR AS CRYSTAL, that Salvation has NOTHING - repeat, NOTHING - to do with works.
Notice what James DOESN'T SAY:
NOWHERE DOES HE SAY Christians are under the law.
NOWHERE does he say Christians are to live under the 10 Commandments.
NOWHERE does he say Christians are to observe the weekly Sabbath.
NOWHERE does he say we are to do "good deeds" in order to to "HELP" Jesus save us.
For starters, what is the Bible definition of a SAVED PERSON or Christian?
According to Romans 8:9:
"...those who DO NOT have the Spirit of Christ, are not Christ's".
Acts 15:8,9 says the same thing.
1 John 5:12 says the same thing.
The anchor verse above says very clearly "as the body WITHOUT THE SPIRIT is dead"...
Since EVERY BORN AGAIN (true) Christian HAS THE SPIRIT OF GOD in him or her, the above verse has NO APPLICATION WHATSOEVER to us.
And since FAITH is THE FRUIT OF the indwelling Holy Spirit IT'S IMPOSSIBLE - repeat - IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR OUR FAITH - THE FAITH THAT SAVES US -- TO EVER BE "DEAD", since it's PRODUCED BY the Spirit of Life (John 6:63-65; Galatians 5:22).
So much for THAT STUPID HERESY...
Matter of fact, James was writing to people THAT HE HIMSELF ACKNOWLEDGES WERE ALREADY SAVED (James 2:1).
But what about the "works" part? So glad you asked.
This verse - or, for that matter, THE ENTIRE BOOK OF JAMES - all 5 chapters - DOES NOT say anywhere that Salvation is by faith PLUS works. NOWHERE!!!
Let's look at "the other" controversial verses:
"What DOES IT PROFIT, my brethren, though a man SAYS he has faith, and has not works? Can faith save him?
(That's how it reads in most English translations of the Bible. HOWEVER, that IS NOT what the original Greek says).
Keep in mind that the original Greek CONTAINED NO PARAGRAPHS or PUNCTUATION MARKS. Those were placed there MUCH LATER at the discretion OF THE BIASED TRANSLATORS!
THE EARLIEST English translations of the Bible were made in the 14th century A.D. That's 1,200 years AFTER the New Testament was written.
By then, ORGANIZED RELIGION had influenced Christian theology, HENCE THE TRANSLATORS' MINDSET, as well as their rendering of certain passages, INCLUDING WHERE THEY SPLIT THE PARAGRAPHS and placed PUNCTUATION MARKS.
Such AWARENESS is KEY to proper understanding of the Bible, PARTICULARLY the New Testament.
Need I remind anyone that OFFICIAL CHURCH DOCTRINE in the 1300's was STEEPED IN DOCTRINAL ERROR?
That it was teaching, among other heresies, SALVATION THROUGH WORKS?
That it was SELLING INDULGENCES where sins could purportedly be "forgiven", or one's stay in "purgatory" shortened, in exchange FOR MONEY?
That it was ruled by GREEDY, MANIPULATIVE RELIGIOUS TYRANTS?
That it had swept the true AND ORIGINAL Gospel of Salvation through FAITH ALONE, BY GRACE ALONE, under the rug?
That Christian doctrine was TOTALLY CONTROLLED by Church hierarchy, since Bible reading was FORBIDDEN, except for the clergy?
Or that such DOCTRINAL ERRORS led to the Reformation TWO CENTURIES later?
Remove that stupid question mark and paragraph split after "can faith save him", and THIS is how the original Greek reads:
"What does it profit, my brethren, though a man SAYS he has faith, and has not works?
Can faith save him or her, a brother or sister who IS NAKED, AND DESTITUTE OF DAILY FOOD, and one of you SAY unto them, Depart in peace, BE WARMED AND FILLED; yet YOU GIVE THEM NOT THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE NEEDFUL TO THE BODY; what does it profit? Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone (James 2:15-17).
Clearly, James isn't talking about Salvation as in going to heaven, but about SAVING THE NEEDY BROTHERS AND SISTERS from FAMINE AND NAKEDNESS.
That this is the CORRECT meaning is a matter OF RECORD - both biblical and historic - since it's well documented that the Church in Jerusalem, of which James was Bishop, WAS IN DIRE NEED and suffering from both SEVERE FAMINE and persecution (Acts 24:17; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:19; 9:1-5, 12).
James was saying to believers in OTHER PARTS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (James 1:1) "if you DON'T HELP our needy brethren WITH ACTUAL FOOD, CLOTHES or money, your ALLEGED "FAITH" IS DEAD, and WORTHLESS BECAUSE it won't do them ANY GOOD to just TALK, since they'll starve to death".
Just as a dead body is USELESS and CAN'T HELP ANYONE, James was saying their alleged faith was "dead" or USELESS to help the needs of his Jerusalem congregation UNLESS they accompanied their professed faith WITH ACTIONS, like sending money, food and clothes.
The meaning COULDN'T BE CLEARER.
Boy, I hope some "word of faith" advocates are reading this!
Now comes my favorite part:
"Was not Abraham our father JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (James 2:21)
Boy, oh boy, are legalists in for a surprise...
YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS ONE!
Tune in tomorrow for Part Two.
TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
PAUL VS. JAMES
Liberal theologians are always trying to pit these two apostles against each other.
As usual, they rely on ONE passage of Scripture, TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT, to make their case:
"When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group".
See? Contrary to Paul, James believed in keeping the law.
NO, HE DIDN'T.
If that was the case, then James missed A GREAT OPPORTUNITY, when he wrote his universal epistle, TO SAY SO.
In fact, in James 2:9,10, he SAID THE VERY OPPOSITE: He said that EVEN IF we kept the entire law all our lives, and BROKE JUST ONE commandment, we'd become guilty of breaking THE WHOLE LAW.
He again SPOKE AGAINST law keeping in Acts 15:13-21.
However, anti-Paul heretics also claim that earlier in that same chapter (Galatians 2:4) where Paul speaks of "false brethren brought in unawares, who came in secretly to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage" shows that James didn't trust Paul and was sending spies to check out what Paul was doing and preaching.
Although the Bible DOESN'T SAY SO, let's assume, for the sake of argument, that the spies were sent by James.
James was Bishop of Jerusalem and considered a leader in the Early Church (Acts 15:13-21).
We also know that, prior to his conversion, Paul had vigorously persecuted the Church.
If you were James, and you heard that this guy who had persecuted Christians RUTHLESSLY and RELENTLESSLY had recently converted and was now preaching the Gospel, wouldn't you be just a bit suspicious, too?
Wouldn't you want to CHECK HIM OUT?
After all, how did he know the guy wasn't just PRETENDING, so he could find out where Christians lived and gathered and have them all arrested, or killed?
It's only natural that, AT FIRST, there would be some misgivings as to what Paul's true intentions were, and whether he'd REALLY received Jesus.
In fact, the Bible PLAINLY says it:
"At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him WERE ASTONISHED AND ASKED, ISN'T HE THE MAN WHO RAISED HAVOC in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And HASN'T HE COME HERE TO TAKE THEM AS PRISONERS TO THE CHIEF PRIESTS"? (Acts 9:20-21).
"I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. THEY ONLY HEARD THE REPORT: "THE MAN WHO FORMERLY PERSECUTED US IS NOW PREACHING THE FAITH HE ONCE TRIED TO DESTROY." And they praised God because of me (Galatians 1:23-24).
So, legalists are merely grasping at straws.
Galatians is the EARLIEST epistle that Paul wrote, around 48 A.D., and TWO WHOLE YEARS BEFORE the Jerusalem council, described in Acts chapter 15.
The fact is that James, along with all the apostles, became FULLY CONVINCED that Paul was legit and gave his seal of approval to Paul's ministry (Acts 15:13-29).
The fact is that James was one of the SIGNERS of the letter sent to the gentile churches, in Acts 15 which SPECIFICALLY TELLS GENTILE BELIEVERS that NO CIRCUMCISION, OR LAW KEEPING, or Sabbath keeping is necessary.
In fact, James is one of those who refers to him as "our beloved Paul" and sends TWO trusted brothers, to vouch for Paul's ministry (Acts 15:25-27).
In fact, a bit later, Paul returned the favor by taking up a collection for James and the church in Jerusalem, which James presided over, since they were experiencing SEVERE FAMINE (Acts 24:17; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:19; 9:1-5, 12).
The fact is Paul and James were ON THE SAME SIDE.
They served THE SAME LORD.
They taught THE SAME GOSPEL OF GRACE: NO WORKS, AND NO LAW.
MONDAY, JULY 16, 2012
HOPE FOR HERETICS
And IF BY GRACE, then IT IS NO MORE OF WORKS: otherwise GRACE IS NO MORE GRACE (Romans 11:6).
Can heretics come to TRUE FAITH in Jesus Christ?
Lest you think some of our teaching is for naught, I can't tell you how many FORMER heretics HAVE WRITTEN through the years confessing that they forsook the "faith PLUS WORKS" heresy in favor of the true and BIBLICAL "FAITH ONLY", "JESUS IS SUFFICIENT", and His Grace IS SUFFICIENT doctrine, which TRUSTS JESUS, and JESUS ALONE.
I'm certain that many more have done so and never bothered to notify us.
But as one of our readers in South Africa recently pointed out, such conversion is not limited to individuals: ENTIRE DENOMINATIONS have been won over by The Truth - Jesus be praised - and changed their tune and their teaching.
We know, for instance, that the Roman Catholic Church became reformed officially (after five centuries of struggling with the Scriptures) in 1962 during the Second Vatican Council, commonly referred to as Vatican II.
Is all Catholic doctrine biblically correct? No, but at least there's enough in their current doctrine (as in the BASIC tenets of the Christian faith) TO GET PEOPLE SAVED.
And, after all is said and done, THAT'S what ministry is all about.
As Danie pointed out in a recent email, the former Worldwide Church of God, founded by that infamous heretic and false prophet Herbert W. Armstrong has, indeed, FORSAKEN Armstrong's FALSE doctrine and turned Evangelical.
It is now called Grace Communion International or GCI (I like anything with the word "grace" in it) and its official website gives the following denominational history:
"In the early 1930s, Herbert Armstrong began a ministry that eventually became our denomination. He had many unusual doctrines. These he taught so enthusiastically that eventually more than 100,000 people attended weekly services. After he died in 1986, church leaders began to realize THAT MANY OF HIS DOCTRINES WERE NOT BIBLICAL. These doctrines WERE REJECTED, and the church is now in full agreement with the statement of faith of the National Association of Evangelicals. To reflect these doctrinal changes, in April 2009, the denomination changed its name to Grace Communion International. This name better reflects who we are and what we teach".
Needless to say, that's music to my hears.
Unfortunately, there are still many organizations which base their teaching on the ABOMINABLE Armstrong doctrine of "grace" PLUS WORKS, which is a contradiction in terms (Romans 11:6), thus making Jesus' PERFECT and FINISHED work of Redemption IMPOTENT, among them the so-called Restored Church of God, the so-called United Church of God, and the so-called Philadelphia Church of God.
Generally speaking, ANYTHING with "Church of God" in its name is heretical.
There are also MANY OTHER heretics who DO NOT follow Armstrong's PERVERTED doctrine, BUT HAVE AN EQUALLY ABERRANT, MORTAL-FABRICATED, ANTI-SCRIPTURAL, FALSE DOCTRINE of their own.
They are still hell-bent on trying to PRODUCE THEIR OWN righteousness through works, commandment keeping, Sabbath keeping, dietary laws, circumcision and OTHER DEAD WORKS.
They have not come to the realization that - NO MATTER HOW HARD WE TRY to "be righteous", the Scriptures (BOTH Old and New Testaments) tell us THERE ARE NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE (Psalm 53:1; Romans 3:10).
That's WHY Jesus had to come and DIE FOR OUR SINS, and make HIS PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS available to those who TRUST Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
There's NO RIGHTEOUSNESS ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE, EXCEPT God's.
THE ONLY WAY to be saved is to ACQUIRE GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS.
God CREDITS HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS TO US ONLY BY GRACE, THROUGH FAITH (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
We encourage all of them, both individually and collectively, to take their cue from the FORMER WWCG, now GCI, and REFORM.
C'mon, Jehovah's Witnesses! C'mon Mormons! C'mon Christian Science! C'mon UCG! C'mon UPCI! C'mon LEGALISTS!
To INDIVIDUALS trapped in such cults: you don't have to say so publicly, if you don't want to, but at least PRIVATELY, repent, and TRUST JESUS ALONE - and what He did - NOT what YOU DO, for Salvation.
Put JESUS and the Scriptures FIRST, and your man-invented denomination LAST.
I'm glad that Danie reminded me of this because I should give the FORMER WWCG, and current GCI, and its leaders, credit.
I know just HOW HARD it is for the flesh to renounce tradition and surrender to the Truth of God's Word and God's Spirit.
If personal experience, as well as years in the ministry, has taught me anything it is HOW DIFFICULT it is to HUMBLE OURSELVES BEFORE Jesus, swallow our RELIGIOUS PRIDE, and ADMIT WE WERE WRONG.
Thank God that His Spirit is still at work and bringing former heretics to Salvation.
Note: While we appreciate all who preach the Gospel and win souls, this ministry is NOT affiliated with, nor does it endorse ANY denomination.
SUNDAY, JULY 15, 2012
WHEN ADAM MET EVE
"And God said, Let us make man in our Image, after our likeness: and LET THEM HAVE DOMINION"... (Genesis 1:26).
The way this meeting is presented by organized religion - from theologians to preachers - is that God caused Adam to fall asleep, made a woman from his rib, to be his "little help meet", inferior and subordinate to him, and that when God presented her to Adam, he saw her "female" form, got all excited, and shouted "Whoa... man!!!" from which we get the word "woman".
I do have a sense of humor and, while the above version of events may seem clever, entertaining and somewhat funny, NOTHING COULD BE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
God DID NOT create a female; He simply extricated most of the FEMININE attributes of Adam into ANOTHER Adam, leaving the original Adam with predominantly masculine traits (Genesis 2:22, 23).
While both Hebrew words soul (nephesh) and spirit (ruwach) are feminine, God put most of Adam's SOUL (nephesh) into the feminine Adam, leaving mostly SPIRIT (ruwach) in the original (masculine) Adam.
God DID NOT create a subordinate; He created A JOINT RULER, with as much authority over the earth as original Adam.
When Adam looked at the feminine version of himself, he DID NOT see the typical, natural human shape we've come to associate with women, nor was he sexually aroused since, at the time, both Adams were glorified, IMMORTAL and ASEXUAL.
He saw ANOTHER glorified, immortal Light Being, like himself, created in the Image of God, like himself (Genesis 1:27), from the same Spirit Substance as himself, WITH EQUAL AUTHORITY, only predominantly FEMININE.
God, in fact, called BOTH OF THEM "Adam" (Genesis 5:2).
God never called Eve "Eve".
Adam named her Eve, ONLY AFTER they'd both fallen into sin (Genesis 3:20).
BEFORE sinning he called her "ishah", derived from "ish" (man), clearly showing he regarded her as HIS EQUAL (Genesis 2:23).
It was AFTER they both sinned that she BECAME his subordinate (Genesis 3:16).
It was AFTER they both sinned, that the SOUL separated from the spirit, the spirit sank from the human head to the gut (where it still is) and God's glory departed, that they became MORTAL and went from predominantly and respectively masculine and feminine, to NATURALLY and PHYSICALLY male and female.
It was ONLY AFTER they both sinned that they engaged in natural sexual activity and reproduced natural, MORTAL humans like themselves (Genesis 4:1; 5:5,8) as opposed to glorified Light Beings made of Spirit Substance, as their FORMER, pre-sin Selves.
Those are BIBLICAL FACTS.
That's what the Book of Genesis ACTUALLY SAYS.
So women's lib and all those who accuse God of being "anti-woman" - religious people included - as well as those who teach "male dominance" as a convenient excuse TO OPPRESS women (hello, Muslims) or to keep women OUT OF THE MINISTRY (hello, insecure Christian males), DON'T HAVE A CLUE what they're talking about.
It took the sin of BOTH Adams to bring down God's Creation.
It was FEMININE Adam's SOUL that was DECEIVED and sinned first, by eating the forbidden pomegranate.
Masculine Adam was NOT deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). He WILLINGLY AND KNOWINGLY SUBMITTED his spirit to the soul and also ate.
The result was A DOMINANT HUMAN SOUL (instead of the God-intended perfect balance of spirit-soul) which to this day overwhelms and supersedes the human spirit, and which plunged mankind and the entire Creation into chaos (Ezekiel 18:20).
Thus, it's THE HUMAN SOUL that needs to be saved.
That Salvation is found ONLY by receiving Last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, into our hearts as Lord, Savior and God, and by TRUSTING His PERFECT, FINISHED work of Redemption (that He paid for Adam's sin through His death, that He was buried, physically resurrected and ascended to heaven).
That's what the born-again experience is ALL about.
It's the RE-CONNECTION OF the spirit to the soul.
The FULL RESTORATION OF the human soul (second Adam) is the Church's Rapture.
When King David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said in Psalm 23:3 "he RESTORES MY SOUL", he WASN'T KIDDING, nor was he merely being poetic.
He TOTALLY MEANT IT.
Has Jesus saved your soul? If He hasn't, ASK HIM.
The soul MUST be saved BEFORE it can be FULLY RESTORED.
SATURDAY, JULY 14, 2012
WHO BUILDS THE TEMPLE?
The Scriptures are clear that there will be a third temple during the tribulation, and a MUCH LARGER fourth temple during the Millennium.
Human reason ASSUMES that Israel will build that third temple at some point in the near future.
But, what does THE BIBLE have to say about it?
The Scriptures in fact, DO NOT specifically say WHO will build that third temple.
Revelation 11:1-6 and Zechariah chapter 4 SEEM TO HINT that it will be built upon the appearing of the Two Witnesses, that they will supervise its rebuilding, as well as point out the correct location.
One would think that one reason they are given such supernatural powers is to safeguard the builders and the structure itself.
If we apply human logic, that is how it should happen.
But, again, the Bible doesn't actually say IN SO MANY WORDS.
Zechariah 6:12-13 say that THE BRANCH (Jesus) will build the temple of the Lord.
The question is: does that apply to the spiritual temple (Church) and the millennial temple ONLY, or TO ALL THREE?
Again, we're not told.
Well, surely you're not suggesting that God would SUPERNATURALLY make a third temple appear on Mount Moriah.
Actually, STRANGER THINGS happen during the tribulation.
For instance, Revelation 9:1-6 clearly says that hell (the pit) will be opened and thousands if not millions of demonic creatures will emerge and sting unsaved men for 5 months.
Revelation 11:7 and 17:8 both tell us Antichrist will emerge, ALIVE, from hell itself, through that open pit.
And Revelation 13:13-15 clearly describes an IMAGE of Antichrist which will SPEAK and cause those who don't worship it TO BE PUT TO DEATH.
The Rapture itself, which PRECEDES all these events, is pretty "out there" in terms of millions of people and animals being instantly transformed and translated into another (heavenly) dimension.
The signs that accompany the Rapture and signal THE START OF the tribulation, described in Revelation 6:12-16 are UNPRECEDENTED as well.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. We've never before seen - and our minds cannot even comprehend or imagine -- ONE THIRD of mankind dying, or the ENTIRE sea turning to blood, or no drinking water available anywhere (Revelation 9:18; 16:3-6).
In view of these SUPERNATURAL, divinely orchestrated events, we CANNOT entirely RULE OUT Divine intervention playing a role in the building or appearing of the third temple.
Several people have written suggesting the third temple will be A TENT or tabernacle.
However, the Greek word for tabernacle, skenoo, is NOT used in any of the temple passages.
The word used is always naon which CLEARLY describes a conventional, non-portable, stationery TEMPLE STRUCTURE WITH COLUMNS (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 11:1).
Remember that all the temple furnishings, garments and utensils have already been made.
Don't underestimate how quickly Jews can build something when they put their mind to it.
And NEVER underestimate what God can do.
FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
Every week we receive e-mails from people PUSHING their pet theories on the end-times.
The majority are not interested in Truth. What they actually WANT is to IMPOSE their belief, regardless of how misguided, or UNSCRIPTURAL it may be.
Some of it is HORRENDOUSLY unscriptural.
When I fail to "endorse" their ungodly teaching, and point out the BIBLICAL reasons for it, they get upset, and invariably resort to some sort of "name calling", or IMPERTINENT remark.
They're not even slightly interested in Truth, they're just upset because they found someone who knows more about the Bible in general, and prophecy in particular, than they do.
And because that "someone" has not only debunked their theory, but refused to rubber stamp THE LIE they WANT TO believe.
Even when I take the time to show them in black and white that's NOT what God said, they refuse to even CONSIDER it, because IT DOESN'T FIT THEIR AGENDA.
ADDING to God's Word, SUBTRACTING from His Word, or saying it says something that it DOESN'T SAY, all demonstrate GROSS DISRESPECT.
I have ZERO respect for those who DISRESPECT the Word of God.
And if they think -- even for a split second -- that I'm going to believe their fabricated fantasies over God's Word, they're DREAMING.
THEY'RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE.
God knows what's in their hearts, and I can see right thru them.
I've always welcomed SINCERE e-mails from those who SINCERELY want Truth, whatever THAT TRUTH may be, whether it's to our liking, or not.
I even welcome SINCERE, UNBIASED debate based on God's Word.
But prophecy expert wannabe's, who are ONLY looking to exalt their own egos, and exalt THEIR OWN WORD ABOVE GOD'S, don't even BOTHER writing.
They're only wasting their time.
They're NOT going to change God's Mind.
They're certainly NOT going to change mine.
THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2012
Statistics in the U.S. show that one of every two marriages ends in divorce.
The divorce rate is actually HIGHER among Evangelicals than among unbelievers.
This is true, despite the fact that the Bible clearly labels it sin.
Despite the fact that many congregations and denominations regard divorcees as "third-rate" Christians.
And despite the fact that there are still ministers and denominations who teach, erroneously, that THERE ARE NO BIBLICAL GROUNDS for divorce.
I've yet to hear ANY pastor, or preacher, teach the Truth about this subject.
Some pastors and ministers are much too quick to judge divorcees and heap condemnation on them, WITHOUT knowing what the Bible ACTUALLY SAYS, and WITHOUT telling the whole story.
Let's set the record straight:
1. The Bible does say divorce is sin [Matthew 19:6-9; Malachi 2:16].
2. The Bible does NOT say divorce is "the UNPARDONABLE" sin.
3. The Bible DOES GIVE grounds for divorce.
4. In the Old Testament men could divorce their wives FOR ANY reason [Matthew 19:3, 6; Deuteronomy 24:1-4].
5. In the Old Testament, wives had NO SAY on the matter. They could not, FOR ANY REASON, divorce their husbands, nor could they PREVENT the husband from divorcing them [Isaiah 54:6].
6. Not only was there A DOUBLE-STANDARD, but, to God's displeasure, certain men were taking advantage of it, and leaving their wives without just cause [Malachi 2:14]. Jesus referred to such men as "hardened of heart" (Matthew 19:8).
7. Civil laws in Western nations are DIFFERENT from the Law given to Moses and Israel.
8. In Western nations both women and men are allowed to petition for divorce.
Hence, ALL IT TAKES is ONE SPOUSE wanting to divorce.
I don't care how godly, faithful or spiritual the other spouse is. If ONE of the spouses wants to divorce, THERE ISN'T MUCH THE OTHER SPOUSE CAN DO ABOUT IT.
9. The New Testament grounds for divorce are INFIDELITY [Matthew 5:32], and UNBELIEF [1 Corinthians 7:15].
10. God may hate divorce, but even though He hates it, HE HIMSELF GOT DIVORCED because of Israel's UNBELIEF [Jeremiah 3:8; Isaiah 50:1].
Bet they never taught you that in seminary.
Unless ALL OF THE ABOVE is taken into consideration, we CANNOT fairly and objectively evaluate the issue.
While it's true that divorce is much too easy, and many people, Christians included, are much too quick to rush into it, without considering the serious consequences, ALL IT TAKES is ONE OF THE SPOUSES DECIDING THAT HE/SHE WANTS IT.
Ministers of Christ, STOP condemning divorcees or making them feel inferior.
If you are divorced, and have given your heart to Jesus, KNOW that YOU HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY AND THOROUGHLY FORGIVEN, whether it was totally your fault, partially your fault, or NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN.
You're free to love and serve the Lord, without ANY guilt or condemnation.
You're NOT a "third-rate" Christian. Jesus loves you UNCONDITIONALLY, and NOTHING of His is "third rate".
Everyone who BELONGS TO HIM is FIRST RATE... all the way.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2012
COMMUNION OF SAINTS
The Apostles' Creed, regularly recited in many Christian congregations, contains the lines:
"I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Universal Church, the COMMUNION OF SAINTS, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the everlasting life. Amen".
The COMMUNION OF SAINTS? WHAT communion?
The word "communion" means COMMON UNION.
How can we say we BELIEVE we're in COMMON UNION with other believers, when the Church is splintered into hundreds of denominations, and "sub" denominations, and "sub sub" denominations, and "sub, sub, sub" denominations....?
This credo, though not found as such in the Bible, is VERY SCRIPTURAL, and totally in agreement with the New Testament.
There are documents that trace it back to the 4th century A.D.
It appears to be a summation of Christian doctrine dating back to the apostles.
But if it's true and scriptural, then how come this "communion of saints" is NOT EVIDENT?
Actually, it's not evident in this time-bound earth realm. But it's VERY EVIDENT, AND VERY REAL [it's a DONE DEAL] in the ETERNAL REALM.
ALL BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS, regardless of label, ARE ONE IN SPIRIT.
We are ONE in Spirit with our Lord [1 Corinthians 6:17].
We are ONE in spirit with our born-again brothers and sisters [Ephesians 4:3-6].
This COMMUNION is ALREADY REALITY in the spirit realm.
You are ONE in spirit with your Christian brethren, whether you realize it or not, whether you acknowledge it or not, whether you believe it or not.
The ONLY THING that is presently keeping us "apart" is OUR MINDS.
Our minds, you see, HAVE NOT been born again... yet. But they will be.
Divisions in Christ's Body come from the natural mind, NOT from the spirit.
That means divisions are CARNAL [1 Corinthians 3:3].
Divisions among true believers are not real. They're temporary illusions.
The spirit realm does NOT have a Pentecostal section, a Presbyterian section, a Baptist section, or a Catholic section.
Whether we like it or not, Catholics aren't complete without Evangelicals, and vice versa.
You're NOT complete without me and, if you're a true believer, I'm certainly NOT complete without you.
When we're raptured, our minds will be renewed.
And after this transient age has passed away, we'll BE CONFRONTED WITH ETERNAL REALITY:
Separation is a lie.
WE'VE BEEN ONE WITH JESUS, AND WITH EACH OTHER, ALL ALONG.
TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2012
FIND NO FAULT
"Pilate said unto him, what is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and said unto them, I FIND NO FAULT AT ALL IN HIM (John 18:38)".
As the perfect, sinless Son of God, Divine Love Personified, stood before the Roman procurator, even that hardened, ruthless politician and military man COULDN'T FIND ANY FAULT AT ALL in Him.
Shortly thereafter that perfect, sinless Personification of Love would take ALL YOUR SINS AND MINE in His equally perfect human body, and forever NAIL THEM to the cross.
SIN DIED with Jesus on that fateful day (Romans 8:3; Colossians 2:14).
And, because it DIED, when we come to Jesus, when we receive Him into our hearts, when we TRUST His finished work of Redemption, God FINDS NO FAULT AT ALL IN US (2 Corinthians 5:19).
That's right. I don't care WHAT you've done, or are doing (2 Corinthians 5:17).
When we are IN Christ, our Lord's PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS is CREDITED TO US FREELY (2 Corinthians 5:21).
NO ONE can lay any charge against a born-again child of God (Romans 8:33).
There is now NO CONDEMNATION to them which are IN Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
That's why believers in Christ should be the FREEST, most FEARLESS people on the planet.
God is ON OUR SIDE.
He's NOT against us. He's FOR US.
And if God be FOR US, WHO can be against us? (Romans 8:31).
He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all--how will he not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32).
That's why you SHOULD RUN into Jesus' open, loving, forgiving, welcoming arms... RIGHT NOW.
Mortal, sinful men may find fault.
Religion may find fault.
But if you're in Christ GOD SAYS YOU'RE FAULTLESS.
God says you're as RIGHTEOUS as Jesus Himself.
And I got news for all the "accusers"...
God ALWAYS has the FINAL WORD.
MONDAY, JULY 9, 2012
WHAT GOD HAS CLEANSED
In Acts chapter 10, we have the account of a vision given to the apostle Peter, and his subsequent ministry to gentiles.
To view this in the proper context, we must remember Peter was a Jew. He'd been brought up in Judaism and had been a devout Jew all his life.
Even under Jesus' ministry, he had seen his Master do what no other human HAS EVER DONE - before or since: FULFILL THE LAW (TORAH) TO PERFECTION (Matthew 5:17).
Naturally, when a vision came where all kinds of "unclean" animals, that WERE FORBIDDEN TO EAT UNDER JEWISH LAW (TORAH), appeared in a sheet accompanied by a voice from heaven saying that Peter should "eat" them, he was horrified.
His words of protest are recorded for all time in Acts 10:14:
"Not so, Lord; for I HAVE NEVER EATEN ANYTHING that is common or unclean".
However, the Voice replied "DON'T CALL UNCLEAN WHAT GOD HAS CLEANSED" (Acts 10:15).
This was REPEATED THREE TIMES, until Peter finally "got it".
Long story short, Peter got up and accompanied some men from Joppa to Caesarea, preached the gospel to the "unclean", idol worshipping GENTILES in that city, who DID NOT FOLLOW, OR EVEN KNOW THE LAW (torah), and THEY GOT SAVED AND FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT JUST LIKE their believing Jewish brethren had experienced a short time earlier.
Did Peter, a devout Jew, COMMAND those Gentiles to follow the torah from that moment forward?
Did he COMMAND THEM - or even SUGGEST - that they observe the weekly Sabbath?
Did he COMMAND THEM to get circumcised?
Did he COMMAND THEM to observe the torah's dietary laws?
Why not? Because God had pointedly shown His apostle that THEY WERE ALREADY CLEANSED OF ALL SIN AND IMPURITY BY Jesus HIMSELF.
Otherwise, God's "Seal of Approval" and "GUARANTEE OF REDEMPTION", His very own Holy Spirit, WOULD NOT HAVE filled those Gentile believers (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:14).
And if they were ALREADY CLEANSED by Jesus' OWN BLOOD ON THE INSIDE, NO AMOUNT OF TORAH OBSERVING ON THE OUTSIDE could make them ANY CLEANER.
Oh, that religionists would READ AND HEED those blessed words!
WHAT GOD HIMSELF HAS CLEANSED, NO ONE - in heaven or earth - can call unclean.
If you see yourself as "unclean", "sinful", "outcast" or flat-out REJECTED BY religion, COME TO JESUS NOW.
YOU DON'T NEED RELIGION. ALL you need is Jesus.
Let Jesus CLEAN YOU UP WITH HIS OWN BLOOD AND DECLARE YOU RIGHTEOUS (1 John 1:7).
Let SINFUL, CARNAL men ACCUSE YOU all they want. If you have Jesus on your side, YOU ARE A WINNER... FOR ALL ETERNITY. Amen (Romans 8:31).
And your religious accusers are LOSERS, who imitate the loser, Satan, whom the Bible calls "THE ACCUSER OF the brethren" (Revelation 12:10).
When God cleanses someone, when He declares him, her, or them RIGHTEOUS, you can't get any HOLIER THAN THAT.
You can't get ANY MORE RIGHTEOUS THAN THAT.
And no religious leader, no supposed "minister of the Gospel", NOT EVEN JESUS' OWN APOSTLE -- PERSONALLY SELECTED by Jesus AND APPOINTED LEADER OF THE EARLY CHURCH -- could declare them "UNCLEAN".
If Peter COULDN'T call those people "unclean" because they didn't observe the weekly Sabbath...
If Peter COULDN'T call them "unclean" FOR NOT FOLLOWING THE TORAH...
If Peter himself regarded as SAVED BROTHERS all those who simply PUT THEIR FAITH in Jesus Christ and were thus DECLARED CLEANSED AND RIGHTEOUS by Jesus Himself...
If 2,000 years ago EVEN PETER COULDN'T call them "unclean"...
WHO THE HECK are these Johnny-come-lately HERETICS -- WHO'VE INVENTED SOME WARPED, LEGALISTIC version of Christianity in the past 200 years -- TO CALL ANYONE WHO DOESN'T FOLLOW THEIR FALSE DOCTRINE "UNSAVED"?
SUNDAY, JULY 8, 2012
On the evening of that FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK (Sunday), WHEN THE DISCIPLES WERE TOGETHER, with THE DOORS LOCKED FOR FEAR of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you! (John 20:19)"
Is there such thing as a "closet" Christian?
Being Christian in the first, second and third centuries A.D. WASN'T popular; at least not with the religious establishment or government authorities.
Belief in Jesus Christ as God, Messiah and only Redeemer of mankind could VERY EASILY cost someone their life.
It could mean having their families killed or sold into slavery.
It could mean having all their property confiscated.
It could mean being tortured to death, crucified or torn by wild beasts in Rome's infamous Coliseum.
Yet the BRAVE, committed Christians of that era DIDN'T HESITATE to pay the highest price rather than denounce their Lord, or their faith.
Sure, there were underground churches.
Sure, there was a measure of secrecy because persecution was relentless.
But, from that watershed day of Pentecost in 33 A.D.-- when the Church was Spirit-born -- forward, they DID NOT keep their faith a secret (Acts 2:1-4,14-38,41).
If they had, the Christian faith WOULD NOT have spread ALL OVER THE WORLD, like it did (Acts 17:6).
If they had, the Christian faith WOULD NOT have SWALLOWED UP the greatest military machine known to man PEACEABLY, in just three centuries. Glory to Jesus!
When push came to shove, those BOLD, HEROIC brothers and sisters - empowered by God's Holy Spirit -- STOOD UP for their Lord and refused to renounce Him, REGARDLESS of the cost, EVEN WHEN THEIR OWN LIVES WERE ON THE LINE.
Contrast that with today's "Christians" -- at least those in the Western Hemisphere -- who are TOO COWARDLY to share Jesus with others, for "FEAR" of being "unpopular"...
For FEAR of being labeled "intolerant".
For FEAR of being "rejected".
For FEAR of being ridiculed.
For FEAR of not being "cool".
For FEAR of not being able to answer their critics.
(If they spent a little time communing with Jesus in spirit, studying and meditating His Word, they WOULD HAVE answers, as the Scripture says they SHOULD, 1 Peter 3:15).
NO ONE'S THREATENING their LIVES, mind you.
NO ONE'S PERSECUTING THEM.
But THE VAST MAJORITY NEVER takes three minutes of their time to share Jesus with an unbeliever.
All they're good for is "preaching to the choir".
Let the world GO TO HELL, we don't need those "secular" TV stations! We now have "Christian" TV.
You know, where STUPID Christians supposedly "own" the network.
You PAID FOR IT, alright. But you DON'T OWN IT.
If you did, you'd be living like THE REAL OWNERS LIVE: in multi-millionaire mansions, wearing Armani and Rolexes, getting more plastic surgery than Joan Rivers, driving Bentleys, flying in private jets, taking extravagant vacations, being sued by members of your own family, and with an ever-present entourage, including several bodyguards, always hanging around.
Let Hollywood DISRESPECT Jesus and MOCK Him and the Christian faith, in worthless movie after worthless piece of trash, we now make our "own" "Christian" films to PREACH TO THE CHOIR.
Worse yet, we're TOO CHICKEN-SH*T to preach the Gospel CLEARLY AND OVERTLY (even to fellow believers!!!) - We now do it COVERTLY and SUBLIMINALLY (heaven help us, and may God have mercy on their DECEIVED AND GUTLESS religious souls).
We have so-called "Christian" entertainers WHO ARE SO WORLDLY that you can't even TELL THE DIFFERENCE between them and the Kardashians.
Let the world die and go to hell, why should I bother to participate in a SECULAR FORUM, WHICH UNBELIEVERS READ, and where I can SAFELY and ANONYMOUSLY share my faith?
TV stations, secular magazines, newspapers and entertaining websites - just to name a few -- have such forums, where 95% of readers are UNSAVED.
Dear God, you could MAKE A FULL TIME MINISTRY of just shining the Light of Gospel Truth in those!
Forget it! We even have OUR OWN INTERNET FORUMS where, instead of preaching to THE LOST WORLD, we DEVOTE OUR SORRY TIME AND LIVES TO IMPRESSING OTHER BELIEVING NITWITS WITH OUR PROPHETIC DIVINATION, "SAGE THEORIES" AND "HOW MUCH" WE THINK we know.
Funny thing, ATHEISTS have no qualms about sharing their views OPENLY with everyone. They DON'T CARE if it's "unpopular".
ABORTION ADVOCATES have no problems expressing their views PROUDLY and openly.
SATANISTS and OCCULTISTS have no problems.
PORNOGRAPHERS have no problems.
EVEN NEWS ANCHORS, who are constantly in the public eye, and risk some degree of public backlash, have NO PROBLEMS openly stating their sexual orientation.
Only "Christians" are TOO TIMID to share Jesus.
Only "Christians" are TOO SCARED to "COME OUT OF THE CLOSET" and PROUDLY AND OPENLY share Christ.
There's NO SUCH THING AS "a closet Christian".
There's NEVER BEEN such thing.
Thank God the Early Church WASN'T "in the closet" or you and I WOULDN'T BE SAVED.
You "SAY" you're Christian.
But TALK is CHEAP.
If you really are, don't tell the Church, TELL THE WORLD!!!
SATURDAY, JULY 7, 2012
While ALL RELIGION IS FALSE, this FALSE RELIGION has made recent headlines.
Two of its biggest "celebrity" followers, John Travolta and Tom Cruise, have been involved in scandals, the first accused of making unwanted advances and seeking sexual favors from several male masseuses who are suing him for harassment and, most recently, Cruise's wife filing for divorce, allegedly because she doesn't want her 6 year old daughter indoctrinated into this cult.
At least Katie Holmes, who was brought up Roman Catholic, has THE MEANS to hire the best lawyers and seek sole custody of their child.
Let this be a warning to those "Christians", that I often hear from, who CARELESSLY JUMP INTO marriage or a sexual relationship with people of other religions then, to make matters worse, HAVE CHILDREN WITH THEM.
When the relationship goes sour, which is A GIVEN, the children are often used as pawns between the two quarreling parents, to "get back" at each other.
This cult was founded a mere 60 years ago (1952) by its INVENTOR, the infamous SCIENCE FICTION WRITER, L. Ron Hubbard, who openly stated that the easiest way to avoid paying taxes in the U.S. is creating a new religion.
This cult is also popular with other celebrities and media personalities including Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley (Elvis, who was raised Pentecostal, must be turning over in his grave), and Fox News' Greta Van Susteren.
Some of its controversial practices include "auditing" where individuals are encouraged to consciously re-live painful experiences to rid themselves of their negativity, and putting some of its members under a strict regimen of exercise and vitamins, with small amounts of controlled food and frequent saunas, to supposedly "purify" one's system.
Their invented "deity" is called Xenu who, supposedly, brought BILLIONS of people to earth in a spaceship 75 million years ago.
He was a tyrant who stacked these people around volcanoes, inside which he allegedly detonated hydrogen bombs.
The thetans (souls) then clustered together (I kid you not) and stuck to the bodies of the living.
How those billions of people survived HYDROGEN BOMBS, no less, we're not told.
In fact, there's A WHOLE LOT which the cult DOES NOT EXPLAIN, and followers are just expected to ACCEPT BLINDLY as FACT.
Like all other cults, it's HIGHLY SECRETIVE.
Former members of the cult allege that THE BIGGER THE DONATION one makes to the Church of Scientology the more "privileged information" one is privy to.
Heck, I wouldn't want to hear any of that trash if they GAVE IT AWAY FOR FREE.
It's a nonsensical mixture of religious mysticism and science fiction which explains, at least in part, why it appeals to some in the entertainment world.
And if you believe any of that crap, YOU'RE UNBELIEVABLY STUPID, UTTERLY DECEIVED, AND HEADED STRAIGHT TO HELL.
Fact is, your soul became "separated" from God through sin.
"Xenu" and all the rest of THIS CRAP was INVENTED. By a SCIENCE FICTION WRITER... give me a break!
NO "Xenu" and no amount of "auditing", "purification" or "Scientology" will ever save your LOST SOUL.
The ONLY ONE who CAN and WILL save you is Jesus Christ.
Only the Blood of Jesus can cleanse you from sin.
If you were sold this pack of lies, isn't it time you forsook them, and CAME TO KNOW THE TRUTH?
Invite Jesus to enter your heart and life, RIGHT NOW.
He'll set you free FOREVER.
Best of all, Salvation is FREE.
It costs NOTHING, only your heart.
"If the Son SETS YOU FREE, YOU WILL BE FREE INDEED".
FRIDAY, JULY 6, 2012
Man invented religion maintains that faith in Christ ISN'T ENOUGH for salvation, that we MUST add works.
Such "works" invariably involve being member of their FALSE man-fabricated denomination, and following their FALSE, man-concocted precepts.
They OVERLOOK AT LEAST 50 New Testament verses that say, in every possible way, from every possible angle, that Salvation is BY GRACE ALONE, THROUGH FAITH ALONE, and DESPERATELY CLING to ONE New Testament verse to promote their lie:
"You believe that there is one God; you do well: the demons also believe, and tremble".
They claim, FALSELY, that this one verse PROVES that Salvation ISN'T by faith ALONE.
After all, demons believe but they are not saved.
First of all, that verse says that demons believe that there is ONE God.
It says NOTHING about demons believing in Jesus.
Repeat: it says NOTHING - not a word - about demons believing that Jesus Christ IS that One God.
Secondly, demons believe ONLY with their minds, IT SAYS NOTHING - not a word - about their hearts.
In fact, I'll take it A STEP FURTHER THAN JAMES: demons DON'T just "believe", demons KNOW - beyond any doubt -- that there is ONE God.
It says NOTHING about demons being BORN-AGAIN.
It says NOTHING about demons believing Jesus died for their sins.
It says NOTHING about demons receiving Jesus Christ INTO THEIR HEARTS as Lord, Savior and ONLY God (Romans 10:9).
It says NOTHING about demons TRUSTING Jesus and His PERFECT, FINISHED Work of Redemption for Salvation (Hebrews 9:12; 10:14).
So much for that LAME, RIDICULOUS argument...
ALL that verse says is that demons are MONOTHEISTS.
They KNOW there's ONE God.
That's ALL it says.
Demons believe that there is ONE God.
So do Muslims and non-Messianic Jews, and THEY are NOT SAVED.
Why? Because they DO NOT believe that that ONE God is Jesus.
Because they've never been BORN AGAIN OF His SPIRIT (John 3:3-5).
Because they've NEVER INVITED Jesus Christ into their hearts and received Him as their ONE AND ONLY Lord, Savior and God (John 1:12).
Because, consequently, they are NOT MADE PARTAKERS OF His Divine Nature (2 Peter 1:4).
Neither have demons.
That's why NONE OF THEM are saved.
They ALL have UNREGENERATE HEARTS.
Unregenerate hearts are DEGENERATE (UNSAVED) hearts.
The ONLY saved people are those whose hearts HAVE been regenerated (BORN AGAIN) by the Spirit of Christ, and thus are CONNECTED with Jesus Himself (Romans 8:9).
The New Testament COULDN'T BE CLEARER about HOW Salvation is attained:
"If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART that God has raised Him from the dead, YOU SHALL BE SAVED" (Romans 10:9).
Show me JUST ONE "BORN-AGAIN demon" and I'll become THE GREATEST ADVOCATE of "faith plus works" the world has ever seen.
Works HAVE NEVER SAVED A SINGLE SOUL.
Belief in ONE God HAS NEVER SAVED A SINGLE SOUL.
Trusting Jesus Christ, as that One God, to wash away our sins by His holiest and MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD (Revelation 7:14; 12:11) and receiving His Spirit into our hearts... HAS SAVED MILLIONS.
THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2012
UNLESS MY MIND APPROVES
There's NOTHING more arrogant than having the attitude that, UNLESS something makes complete sense to our finite, limited intellect, IT CANNOT BE TRUE.
Unfortunately, this attitude is PREVALENT is today's society.
It's prevalent in schools and universities.
Prevalent among so-called "scientists".
Prevalent among celebrities.
Prevalent among politicians.
Prevalent along the media elite.
It's even prevalent among certain theologians.
Last, but certainly not least, it's prevalent among Christians.
When we peel off all the layers, this attitude is born of fear.
We are so insecure, that we want to "control" God and LIMIT Him to what our FINITE minds can comprehend.
If He were limited by your puny and EXTREMELY LIMITED understanding - if He were limited to what our CORRUPT mind can comprehend -- He wouldn't be God at all, would He?
He'd BE no more God than your fallible perception.
Thank God He ISN'T limited by our SEVERELY RESTRICTED intellect.
I got news for all the truly ARROGANT individuals out there:
God IS God.
He can DO ANYTHING HE WANTS, WHENEVER HE WANTS, whether it "makes sense" to your challenged intelligence or not.
And, guess what? He DOESN'T even NEED YOUR APPROVAL.
I don't care who you are, or even if your I.Q. matches Einstein's, IT'S STILL LIMITED.
If you could increase your I.Q. by 1,000,000,000,000,000,000%, maybe, just maybe, you might begin to understand and THINK like God.
"As the heavens are high above the earth, so are His thoughts HIGHER than our thoughts, His Ways HIGHER than our ways" (Isaiah 55:9).
That's what MAKES HIM GOD.
He's God, you're mind ISN'T.
Your mind, no matter how gifted, even if you got 10 PhD's from MORTAL, intellectually restricted men, is NO MATCH FOR God's.
Making our diminutive, underdeveloped intellect THE ARBITER of what can or can't be is both, FOLLY and SUPREME ARROGANCE.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4, 2012
Why is America hardly mentioned in Bible prophecy?
Other than a passing mention in Ezekiel 38:13 and PERHAPS another in Isaiah 18, the greatest superpower in history is all but IGNORED.
Some have made desperate attempts to identify the U.S. as Mystery Babylon in Revelation chapters 17 and 18, but that won't wash. We are clearly told these chapters refer TO A CITY, not a nation. And Revelation 17:18 unequivocally identifies that city as Rome.
Likewise, others have tried to pin the "eagle wings" on a lion mentioned in Daniel chapter 7 to America, because of the bald eagle being our national emblem.
That's RIDICULOUS. In context, that prophecy is clearly referring to ANCIENT Babylon, which is no longer an empire, and which lies in ruins to this very day, as prophesied in Isaiah 14:23.
(Babylon's emblem was a winged lion, precisely as described in Daniel 7:4. See picture below).
Why this apparent omission? Is God INDIFFERENT to what happens to this great nation?
We can infer TWO THINGS from its lack of mention:
1. That during the tribulation the U.S. will no longer be a superpower.
2. That it won't play a prominent role during most of the tribulation, or during the reign of Antichrist.
Since we are VERY CLOSE to the tribulation judgments, and since America is already in decline, its downfall should happen fairly soon... and don't think for a minute that I enjoy saying this.
The only mitigating factor is that it will happen AFTER the Church has left the earth.
Revelation chapter 8 mentions nuclear war which destroys "one third of ships". That would HAVE TO include a large chunk of our Navy*. It also turns ONE THIRD of the sea into blood, and kills ONE THIRD OF sea creatures.
As a result, ONE THIRD of drinking water is also poisoned, causing death to those who drink it.
Then in Revelation 9:14-19, there's a large number of preprogrammed lethal missiles that go off from the Euphrates area, killing ONE THIRD of the remaining world population, which would mean the death of over ONE AND A HALF BILLION PEOPLE.
The U.S. will be significantly depopulated when the Rapture takes place. If ONE THIRD of the world's remaining population dies during the tribulation, THE MAJORITY of these deaths would HAVE TO occur in China and India, which combined have 40% of current world population consisting mostly of UNSAVED humans and, by then, may have as much as 60%.
The REASON the U.S. is hardly mentioned in prophecy is because human history began in the Middle East and spread thru the Mediterranean, and human history as we know it, will also END there.
The focus today is, indeed, on the Middle East:
Iran's nuclear ambitions, the on-going civil war in Syria, the so-called "Arab Spring" marked by multinational upheavals, Palestinian threats to declare unilateral statehood, and their ever present hatred for Israel.
So, the U.S., while NOT DESTROYED, will suffer great calamity and devastation in the EARLY part of the trumpet judgments.
Russia and China which, likewise, DO NOT figure prominently in the tribulation, will likely suffer a similar fate.
We know that the U.S. and China will obey God during the Millennium (Ezekiel 38:13; Isaiah 49:6-12).
We also know that Russia is destroyed at THE END thereof as it rebels and joins Satan, in the Gog and Magog war, which will be the LAST BATTLE OF ALL TIME, and Satan's final and futile attempt to topple the Kingdom of God (Ezekiel 39:4,11).
By God's Grace America WILL survive the tribulation... barely.
On this day when we celebrate our independence, let's thank God for our freedom, and enjoy it while we still can.
* U.S. Navy lists 473 active ships, Russia around 526 (estimate), and China 760 (estimate).
TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2012
ONE SNACK A WEEK
If your body laid on a couch all week long, never exercised or engaged in ANY ACTIVITY, skipped breakfast, lunch and dinner, hardly drank anything, and ATE NOTHING except ONE SNACK A WEEK, how do you think you'd feel?
Not great, I promise.
You'd be depleted of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and other nutrients. You'd be EMACIATED and sooner or later they'd have to rush you to the hospital and put you on life support.
Sadly, that's where most Christians' ARE SPIRITUALLY today.
Exercise? Ha! Most church people don't even know WHERE THEIR SPIRIT IS, let alone try to USE IT.
Most PASTORS teach the spirit and soul are the same thing. They MOST DEFINITELY ARE NOT (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12).
THEY DO NOT NOURISH their spirits with the Word of God, they don't spend TWO SECONDS meditating His Word, they never study their Bibles, except for reading a couple verses at the end of the week -- when they go to that social club they call "church" -- which they'll forget before they even hit the door.
So, we have a Body of believers that, but for the Grace of God, would be DEAD.
That is why you hear me, time and again, expose the "Christian entertainment" mentality that, sadly, prevails in Christendom.
That's why most LACK FOUNDATION. They spiritual house is built on LESS THAN SAND, ON RELIGIOUS FLUFF.
That's why you don't even need storms to knock it down, all you need is the slightest puff of air and it crumbles.
That's why they're TOSSED TO AND FRO by EVERY wind of doctrine.
They get their "gospel" from some stupid song on that Kristian entertainer's CD or from some slick preacher on Kristian TV who's all STYLE and NO SUBSTANCE.
The reason they welcome ANY NONSENSICAL, ANTI-BIBLICAL "all roads lead to heaven" theory that comes along, is they want to be "popular".
They don't want to serve a Savior that, to the world, sounds "intolerant". They want a God that is "cool" who will TOLERATE EVERYONE, FROM EVERY FALSE RELIGION MAN'S CORRUPT IMAGINATION CAN INVENT.
It's never been popular to tell others than UNLESS THEY RECEIVE CHRIST INTO THEIR HEARTS, THEY'RE GOING TO HELL.
But it happens to be THE TRUTH.
Some people think I exaggerate, but if you sat here day after day and read some of the mail, not only would you shed tears, you'd get so despondent that you'd throw your hands up in the air and ask God to please take you away from this corrupt, fickle, sin-laden world.
Jesus DIDN'T go to the cross and give us BORN AGAIN SPIRITS SO we'd IGNORE THEM, but so THAT WE'D USE THEM.
He didn't give us the Scriptures, which took untold sacrifice on the part of his apostles and prophets to write, and even the blood of His martyrs to get to us, SO WE'D HAVE THEM ON DISPLAY ON OUR COFFEE TABLE or, worse, forgotten on some old, dusty shelf.
So, when you get your scheduled religious snack next weekend, just remember:
Your spirit, like your body, NEEDS NOURISHMENT 7 days a week.
MONDAY, JULY 2, 2012
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty HAD A GREAT FALL
All the King's horses and all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again
As children we all heard and learned this nursery rhyme.
Although no one knows for sure where it originated, the two most persistent theories are that it refers to the fall of the Roman Empire, or that it was a veiled reference to Richard III, king of England, who fell in battle.
Whatever the case may be, it could just as well apply to THE FALL of mankind into sin and mortality, or to the Church's FALL into worldliness and doctrinal error, followed by fragmentation.
These unfortunate conditions remain to this very moment.
Sure enough, God has sent all His "horses and men" in the form of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, or some combination thereof, and they HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO put this spiritual Humpty Dumpty together again.
For every true apostle there seem to be DOZENS of fake ones.
For every true prophet, there have been hundreds of FALSE prophets.
For all the preaching, teaching, evangelizing, and all the communication means at our disposal, Humpty doesn't seem to be getting any closer to "being put together again".
If anything, he's more broken than EVER. There are more divisions within the true Church than at any time in its tortured history.
There's also MORE HERESY AND DECEPTION than ever before.
Thank God that at least the King's horses and men have brought spiritual Salvation to Humpty, but his SOUL is still deceived, and his members SCATTERED.
In that sense, all the King's horses and all the king's men HAVE FAILED.
So, is this human Humpty Dumpty A HOPELESS cause?
All the King's horses and men haven't put him together again, but I'll tell you WHO CAN:
The King Himself.
The same King, who created Humpty, KNOWS HOW to put Humpty together again.
And HE HAS!
From His vantage point it's A DONE DEAL.
"It" is FINISHED!
From an earthly perspective we still don't see the pieces of Humpty coming together, but we will.
By the King's AMAZING Spirit, and AMAZING Grace, WE WILL.
The King's Spirit BEGAN the process on the day of Pentecost some TWO MILLENNIA AGO.
And the King's Spirit WILL FINISH THE JOB and supernaturally bring all of Humpty's pieces together IN THIS GENERATION.
When the odds against the Jews building their second temple seemed hopeless and insurmountable, God sent this prophecy through Zechariah:
"This is the word of the LORD... NOT by might, nor by power, but BY MY SPIRIT, says the LORD of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6).
According to 1 Corinthians 3:17 we, who comprise the Body of Christ, ARE the temple of God:
Though His spiritual temple seems to be torn into a million pieces all it takes is ONE mighty wave of His Spirit to make all the pieces "fitly joined together and COMPACTED" (Ephesians 4:16), as He intended.
There's no such thing as "a hopeless cause" when the King Himself is IN CHARGE.
SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2012
Being in ministry involves having to listen to other people's problems.
Children got involved with the wrong people, one spouse cheated on the other, church people mistreated them or made them feel unwelcomed, lost their job, are estranged from some member of their family, someone betrayed them or took advantage of them, etc.
I wish I could say there's a magic formula that will prevent our feelings from getting hurt. There ISN'T.
As humans, our feelings will get hurt sooner or later, NO MATTER WHO WE ARE, WHERE WE LIVE, WHAT WE DO, OR HOW HARD WE TRY TO BE "IMMUNE".
It hurts until we realize that WHY SHOULD we CARE ABOUT THEIR OPINION. After all, it's not like they pay our bills, DO or SOLVE ANYTHING for us. So why should we let what they say or think bother us?
We're NOT responsible for what "they" think.
What "they" think is "THEIR" PROBLEM.
The ONLY opinion I really care about is God's. And SO SHOULD YOU.
His APPROVAL is the ONLY ONE we should seek.
And, in Christ, we already HAVE IT.
God's "seal of approval" (His Holy Spirit) is all we need (Ephesians 4:30).
Jesus is PERFECT. And He Himself was REJECTED, CRITICIZED, FALSELY ACCUSED and, ultimately, CRUCIFIED.
Being human, IMAGINE HOW HE FELT when those He came to save, those who CLAIMED TO believe in Him, those He suffered UNSPEAKABLY for, even His own COUNTRYMEN, REJECTED Him, mocked Him, despised Him and DEMANDED His Crucifixion.
It must have BROKEN His precious heart.
The pain He went through wasn't JUST PHYSICAL - excruciating as that was - nor was it JUST SPIRITUAL - as horrendous as it must have been to experience for the first time SEPARATION from the Father -- but His agony was EMOTIONAL as well.
That's why He SWEATED BLOOD, LITERALLY (Luke 22:44).
So, Jesus KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS what you've gone through or are going through.
We have a Savior who CAN BE touched with the feelings of our infirmities (Hebrews 4:15).
And the servant is not greater than His Lord (John 15:20).
If Jesus Himself, Perfection Personified, was criticized, so will we.
If He was FALSELY ACCUSED, so will we.
If He was rejected, forsaken, and betrayed, so will we.
Our Lord said "in the world YOU SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION. But be of good cheer: I have OVERCOME the world" (John 16:33).
Evil is overcome by GOOD (Romans 12:21).
The BEST way I know of overcoming hurt feelings is when those thoughts come to mind, and reopen new or old wounds, begin PRAISING Jesus. I GUARANTEE the thoughts and hurt WILL DISAPPEAR and won't linger.
We can't live "in the past". In the "past" we're TOTALLY INEFFECTIVE.
Re-living those hurtful actions, words or moments in your mind, time and again, won't help.
Don't dwell on the "past". Live IN THE PRESENT.
Jesus is ETERNAL PRESENT.
This earthly experience will soon be a DISTANT memory anyway, and eventually even those HURTFUL feelings and memories will TOTALLY vanish (Isaiah 65:17; Revelation 21:4).
What seems so "hurtful" in space-time TOTALLY LOSES ITS STING in the eternal realm which is where we're PREDESTINED to be.
Jesus knew all of us would experience emotional pain.
In His "Sermon on the Mount", He said:
"Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you, WHEN MEN SHALL REVILE YOU, and persecute you, and SAY ALL MANNER OF EVIL AGAINST YOU FALSELY, FOR MY SAKE.
REJOICE, and BE EXCEEDINGLY GLAD: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:10-12)
He also said:
"But I say unto you, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:44, 45).
No advice I could ever give could top that of THE LORD HIMSELF.
If you've been hurt by one or more people, praise Jesus, REJOICE IN HIM, and FOCUS ON Him, not on "them".
Seek Him with all your heart and STAY IN HIS PRESENCE (in the PRESENT), where there's NO PAIN.
In HIS PRESENCE (ETERNAL PRESENT) THERE IS FULLNESS OF JOY, PLEASURES AT HIS RIGHT HAND FOREVERMORE!!!
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