October 2013 archives of www.christconnection.net down below
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2013
NOT A THING
Blessed are those who HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER righteousness, for THEY WILL BE FILLED (Matthew 5:6).
Righteousness is NOT a thing.
Religion exists because most people THINK that righteousness IS a thing.
Based on that erroneous perception, they think THEY CAN GET IT THEMSELVES just like they'd get ANY OTHER THING:
BY WORKING FOR IT.
BY EARNING IT.
Though "righteous" living.
But Righteousness is NOT A THING.
Righteousness is A PERSON.
That Person is Jesus Christ.
There are NONE righteous ANYWHERE apart from Him (Psalm 53:1; Mark 10:18).
He is the Personification of God's PERFECT Righteousness which ENDURES FOREVER (Psalm 111:3).
Those who THINK righteousness is "a thing" will NEVER BE righteous.
Those who THINK righteousness can be EARNED by WORKING FOR IT, WILL NEVER BE RIGHTEOUS.
Jesus said we are to HUNGER AND THIRST for RIGHTEOUSNESS (Him).
He NEVER SAID we are to WORK FOR righteousness.
Jesus is THE ONLY RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT EXISTS IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE.
Those who hunger and thirst for RIGHTEOUSNESS, hunger and thirst for Jesus.
Because they realize that He is THE ONLY righteousness there is (Romans 10:3-4; Philippians 3:9; 2 Peter 1:1).
They ARE ETERNALLY RIGHTEOUS because Jesus grants them HIS OWN, NEVER-ENDING Righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
It's His Righteous Presence IN US that makes us righteous in God's eyes.
Nothing else can or will.
That's why Jesus is THE ONLY WAY to the Father (John 14:6).
You can look for righteousness in EVERY PLACE religion has told you to look for it, and NEVER FIND it:
You'll never be righteous in God's eyes by being "Torah observant", by trying to keep the 10 Commandments, by observing the weekly Sabbath, by following dietary laws, by being circumcised, by tithing, by giving, by doing charitable works, or by following man-invented religion (Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 5:20; Titus 3:5).
...Because righteousness IS NOT a thing.
Jesus is righteousness.
Righteousness if FOUND ONLY in Him.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2013
You're NOT who YOU THINK you are.
Do you think the EXTERNAL, VISIBLE part of you is your true self?
If I thought that face staring back in the mirror each morning was "the real me", I'd given up a long time ago.
If I wasn't TOTALLY CONVINCED that we are partakers of God's Divine Nature (1 Peter 1:4), that my TRUE Self, which I'm predestined to manifest, is a facet of the immortal God's infinite Perfection...
If this TEMPORAL, VISIBLE BODY were all there was, it would hardly be worth getting up each morning. Life just wouldn't be worth living.
Your true Self (and mine) will manifest when we SEE JESUS "as He is" and are raptured (1 John 3:2).
And our TRUE Self is THE VERY IMAGE OF the immortal God, as it was in Genesis, when God first created us (Genesis 1:27).
We will even get TO RULE AND SUBDUE THE ENTIRE EARTH - after 6,000 seemingly "endless" earth years - as God commanded us in Genesis 1:28.
What we CAN SEE WITH THE NAKED EYE, or detect with our PHYSICAL senses, according to 2 Corinthians 4:18, IS TEMPORARY.
Consequently, it CANNOT BE our true Self.
What we CANNOT see or detect with the PHYSICAL SENSES is ETERNAL.
The Eternal One (Jesus) is OUR TRUE SELF.
Although He is INVISIBLE TO natural, human eyes, we are all individual reflections of Him, who is THE TOTALITY OF HIS Body (the Church), and then some.
So here are some questions we should all ponder:
If EVERYTHING WE SEE is TEMPORAL, WHY are we SO FOCUSED ON what we see?
If EVERYTHING VISIBLE to the natural human eye is TEMPORARY, if it's DESTINED TO VANISH ANYWAY...
WHY ON EARTH are we SO FOCUSED ON THAT TEMPORARY STUFF?
...TO THE NEGLECT, I might add, OF the "invisible" WHICH IS INSIDE OF US TODAY, TOMORROW, AND FOREVER?
Pause and CONTEMPLATE...
Why worry SO MUCH ABOUT how a person LOOKS on the OUTSIDE: how they dress, wear their hair, or whether they have a beard, or wear jewelry?
WHY are we SO OBSESSED WITH homosexuality?
Is it sin? Yes!
Is it ETERNAL? No.
If ANY gay, lesbian, bisexual, transvestite, or transgender individual RECEIVES Christ into his or her heart, THEY ARE ETERNALLY SAVED and THOSE VISIBLE, TEMPORARY, sinful OUTWARD TRAITS will VANISH and be swallowed up by God's OWN PERFECTION.
So, what are you so worked up about?
Instead of accusing and condemning, you should be telling them about Christ's UNCONDITIONAL LOVE (John 3:17; 6:37).
Instead of anti-gay marches, you should be emphasizing that Christ OFFERS Salvation FREELY, to ANYONE who WANTS IT (Revelation 22:17).
How come you don't have anti-adultery or anti-fornicating marches?
After all, these acts are labeled sin in both Old and New Testaments, AS MUCH AS homosexuality.
And, by the way, at least half the ministers who lead those protests and marches are hooked on porn themselves.
So, why don't they remove the PLANK from their own eye, BEFORE pointing the finger at ANOTHER sinner, for whom Jesus died AND whom He WANTS TO SAVE?
ALL OF US, I don't care WHO we are, fall short of God's glory.
ALL OF US have "PROBLEMS" and "challenges" of one sort or another WITH OUR VISIBLE, PHYSICAL self.
The Good News is this "self" is TEMPORARY.
This self (small "s") is ABOUT TO BE CONSUMED BY our true Self, WHO IS THE VERY IMAGE OF PERFECTION.
What we APPEAR to be (on the OUTSIDE) is about to give way to WHO WE REALLY ARE.
One of these days, when we fully awake from this nightmarish stupor, we will all realize HOW MISGUIDED our priorities were, and HOW DUMB we've been TO FOCUS SO MUCH on TEMPORARY, VISIBLE THINGS WHICH WILL SOON PASS AWAY, TO THE EXCLUSION OF INVISIBLE THINGS WHICH ARE FOREVER.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2013
There is loneliness and deep longing in each human heart that man tries in vain to fill:
For 6,000 years he has tried to fill it with EVERYTHING his corrupt imagination could invent - and then some - to no avail.
Some of those artificial FILLERS include power, greed, fame, wealth, sex, food, drink, drugs, alcohol, entertainment, intellectual achievements, material possessions -- and the greatest artificial FILLER ever invented by the rebellious human mind -- RELIGION.
Human desperation to fill such loneliness has taken them from the mundane to the extravagant to the ridiculous.
Hence, we have talentless "celebrities", shallow entertainment, overall moral bankruptcy and millions of dollars blown on sham weddings that last 72 hours.
NONE OF THESE has done the job. In fact, all of it has failed miserably.
Despite all the excess and indulging, people are as unfulfilled today as they've EVER BEEN.
WHY? Because your loneliness, your dissatisfaction and your fear are NOT CAUSED by lack of ANY of the above:
It's NOT lack of sex, alcohol, drugs, fame, power, success, or even lack of money that's causing that emptiness in your soul.
The REAL CAUSE is LACK OF Jesus.
The ONLY reason humans experience all that loneliness, dissatisfaction and fear is they are JESUS DEPRIVED.
NOTHING and NO ONE can fill the yearning in your heart, except Jesus Himself.
NOTHING this world offers can fulfill it.
NO ONE but Jesus can root out the fear.
Wouldn't it be tragic to reach the end of your journey on earth and realize that you've sought fulfillment in EVERYTHING except in the ONLY One who CAN fulfill you?
Wouldn't it be disastrous to have squandered all that time, energy and attention on stuff that has left you emptier, LONELIER and MORE ISOLATED than you ever were?
Wouldn't it be ironic to discover - after you've tried EVERYTHING ELSE -- that Jesus is WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED?
MONDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2013
Most Christians are obliviously ignorant of Church history.
Churches don't talk about it. It's one of many unpleasant things that religion has simply swept under the rug hoping that it will all be forgotten.
Problem is that when a Christian, especially a YOUNG Christian, is challenged or asked about such topics, they are caught completely unprepared.
I remember years ago when visiting Israel with a group from my Alma Mater (a major, fully accredited Christian university) that many happily bought "Crusaders' Crosses" as souvenirs, since they were CLUELESS as to what those crosses represent or the history behind them.
And these, mind you, WERE UNIVERSITY GRADUATES and undergraduates.
When someone asked me why I didn't get one, and I replied, "I don't care how good it looks, I want nothing to do with that abomination", they were SHOCKED and looked at me in utter disbelief.
They'd VAGUELY HEARD OF the Crusades, but didn't really know what they were about.
Shame on Christian churches and universities for HARDLY mentioning it...
Shame on most Christians for not knowing the history of the faith they profess and REPRESENT.
And shame on Jewish and Palestinian merchants FOR SELLING that ugly symbol of religious ignorance and hatred.
If they're just looking to make a buck (or a few shekels) there are a host of OTHER ITEMS they can sell.
I did purchase a SIMPLE (non-Crusaders) cross and a beautiful Star of David, which I still wear from time to time.
What was so terrible about the Crusades?
1. For starters, they MADE WAR during the Middle Ages, from the 11th through the 13th century, SUPPOSEDLY "in the Name of Christ", the Prince of Peace. Their mission was to wrest the Holy Land from Jews and Muslims. They were mostly unsuccessful.
2. The warriors were ignorant of Church history, too. They either didn't know or learned nothing from the first 300 years, in which the Christian faith PEACEABLY SWALLOWED UP the mighty Roman Empire through THE SHEER POWER OF GOD'S SPIRIT AND GOD'S WORD, WITHOUT so much as lifting a dinner knife.
3. They RUTHLESSLY BUTCHERED thousands of Jews and Muslims, in ways too horrible to describe.
4. Their RELIGIOUS CRIMES STILL RESONATE down the centuries, and have not been forgotten, nor will they be forgotten this side of eternity.
That's why demon-possessed Osama Bin Laden despectively referred to Americans as "Crusaders", in a deliberate attempt to incite EVEN MORE Islamic hatred toward the West.
5. They made it AT LEAST 50 TIMES HARDER to win anyone from another faith to Christ, particularly Jews or Muslims, since regrettably THAT, the infamous Inquisition, and the horrors of the supposedly "Christian" Third Reich, are THE SORT OF ACTIVITY they've come to associate with Christianity.
6. Crusader ignorance was only exceeded by their religious fervor. Some men were manipulated into enlisting in the Crusaders' army, in exchange for "indulgences" granting a "shorter stay" in a NONEXISTENT, INVENTED place called Purgatory.
7. Even some women were enlisted in the army, and there were CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 15 involved in a couple of them. Needless to say, VERY FEW ever made it back alive.
When atheists and others bring up the argument that all religion has brought is bloodshed they are, to a large extent, correct.
One must keep in mind, however, that the Christian FAITH is NOT religion. Religion, including all forms of Christianism, was invented BY MEN. The Christian faith was brought by Christ Himself, and is AN INTIMATE, DYNAMIC, EXCITING RELATIONSHIP with the Savior.
How, you may wonder, can ANYONE in his right mind read Jesus' words in the Gospels about turning the other cheek, FORGIVING OTHERS as we want God to forgive us, and LOVING OUR ENEMIES, and come up with the idea that He wants "holy war" in HIS NAME, and BARBARIC ONE, at that?
Frankly, religious despots were carrying out THEIR OWN WILL, NOT THE LORD'S. And they KNEW IT.
Why DO YOU THINK they FORBAD Bible reading? Why was God's Word locked away and KEPT FROM the masses?
Because if men ever read the Gospels, they'd KNOW THEY'D BEEN DECEIVED AND WOULD DESERT the army faster than you can say "amen".
They would never acquiesce to do the tyrant's bidding.
The poor suckers who embarked on those Crusades, for the most part, were mere pawns manipulated by the religious hierarchy.
Religious manipulation is nothing new. It still goes on in our time, mostly to extract money from God's people:
But at least most Christians no longer promote or engage in war.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2013
NOT MADE WITH HANDS
"Thus says the LORD, the HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, and THE EARTH IS MY FOOTSTOOL: WHERE IS THE HOUSE THAT YOU will BUILD TO ME?" (Isaiah 66:1)
"However, the Most High DOES NOT LIVE IN houses MADE BY HUMAN HANDS. As the prophet says" (Acts 7:38)
And WHAT has organized religion given God?
You guessed it: "HOUSES" made BY HUMAN HANDS!!!
Then, adding insult to injury, they ERRONEOUSLY call those houses "churches", when the Church has always been, and will ALWAYS BE, God's PEOPLE, NOT MAN-MADE buildings.
Jesus never told ANYONE to build Him some fancy building.
He never asked for a PHYSICAL, brick and mortar building. It's A SPIRITUAL EDIFICE that He's interested in!
Jesus said that He would build the Church HIMSELF! (Matthew 16:18)
Yet do you know that most Christian universities today teach that if you want to keep your congregation/audience interested, and you want to be effective at fund-raising, YOU GOTTA have a "building project".
Call it TV studio, production facility, auditorium, ministry headquarters, parsonage, university, city of faith, crystal cathedral, or whatever else you like, but the congregation wants to SEE some tangible evidence of what their $$$ bought, and WHAT BETTER WAY to impress them with how "successful" their spiritual leadership is, than TO SHOW THOSE IMPRESSIVE BUILDINGS?
Not to mention what OWNING THOSE BUILDINGS WILL DO FOR YOUR MINISTRY'S BOTTOM LINE, at least ON PAPER.
Never mind that most in the congregation suffer from spiritual malnutrition.
Never mind that most are Bible illiterates who don't even know WHERE THE VERY SPIRIT that makes them born-again children of God is located.
Never mind that they walk IN THEIR CARNAL MINDS 99.9% of the time.
Give them fancy buildings and then add a whole bunch of useless programs to keep them engaged, and you got it made!
Sadly, that sums up what most so-called "ministries" today are about:
All show, but no substance.
It's ALL ABOUT APPEARANCE.
Are you saying it's WRONG to congregate in those buildings?
And here's why: Jesus COMMANDED His disciples TO "GO INTO all the world".
Jesus never said "build buildings and EXPECT THE WORLD TO COME INTO YOU".
Yet, that is EXACTLY what has happened, THE CHURCH HAS FAILED TO reach the world, and THE WORLD HAS COME INTO the CHURCH, to the point that Christians and non-Christians are virtually indistinguishable!
Not to mention how those buildings have fostered sectarianism and HACKED the Body of Christ into so many pieces, it's fractured beyond recognition.
Why waste time in honest discussion about what the Bible REALLY SAYS on various issues?
If I DON'T LIKE what this "group" over here says, I won't seek the Truth in God's Word, nor will I seek revelation from the Holy Spirit, I'll just join that "OTHER GROUP" over there. They got a bigger and nicer building, anyway.
"If you build it they'll come" may work for sport stadiums.
It's been A TOTAL DISASTER for the Christian faith.
Look, I'm a realist. I know those buildings are here to stay, at least until Jesus comes.
And if you're happy congregating in one or more of them, knock yourself out.
What I'm saying is THAT'S NOT what Jesus wanted or wants.
He DOES NOT live in those "houses" MADE BY HUMAN HANDS, He wants to LIVE IN people's HEARTS.
Jesus ordered His disciples to SATURATE THE WORLD with His Good News. He never told them to barricade themselves FROM the world inside those fortresses.
THE WORLD WILL NEVER COME TO THOSE FORTRESSES YOU'VE BUILT TO HEAR ABOUT JESUS.
Face it, Church: instead of overcoming the world, THE WORLD HAS OVERCOME US.
It's ONLY BY GOD'S SHEER GRACE that hell's gates won't prevail against us.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2013
NO TRUST, NO SALVATION
"For BY GRACE ARE YOU SAVED THROUGH FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
"NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which WE have done, but according to his mercy HE SAVED US" (Titus 3:5).
NOT BY WORKS...
NOT BY WORKS...
NOT BY WORKS...
NOT BY WORKS...
NOT BY WORKS...
NOT BY WORKS...
NOT BY WORKS...
And yet, WHAT does every man or woman invented heretic denomination emphasize?
They DON'T CARE that God said, clear as crystal, that IT'S NOT BY WORKS.
Their denomination's INVENTOR decided that salvation is BY WORKS and, by golly, his brainwashed marionettes are going to place his or her word ABOVE God's.
They COULDN'T CARE LESS if their doctrine CONTRADICTS God:
"This is what WE believe".
They've made their choice.
And their choice, LEADS TO HELL.
Salvation, as we just read above, has always been, and WILL ALWAYS BE, by Grace through faith.
Faith means TRUST.
If you REALLY TRUST what Jesus did for you at Calvary, then you TRUST Him and His Work of Redemption to be SUFFICIENT TO SAVE YOU FOREVER AND EVER.
If you ADD anything, if you ADD your OWN WORKS, in order to "help" Jesus save you, YOU DON'T TRUST JESUS.
The ONLY REASON you ADD is because you feel that He and His sacred Blood are INSUFFICIENT.
Therefore, YOU'RE NOT SAVED.
There's NO WAY to get around these facts.
No matter HOW you try to spin it, THERE'S NO WAY TO GET AROUND THIS TRUTH.
In fact, if you have any doubts about whether your denomination is heretical or not...
If you have ANY doubts about whether your denomination is A CULT...
Submit it to the "works" test.
If they ADD WORKS to Jesus' Perfect work, they are A CULT.
No two ways about it.
If you REALLY TRUST JESUS, you don't need ANYONE BUT Jesus (1 John 5:12).
You don't need L. Ron Hubbard, you don't need Ellen White, you don't need Joseph Smith... you don't need Mary Baker Eddy, Charles Taze Russell, Brigham Young, William Campbell, or Herbert Armstrong.
Man's downfall in the Garden of Eden, came through LACK OF TRUST.
Therefore, receiving Jesus INTO ONE'S HEART and TRUSTING HIM is THE ONLY WAY TO BE SAVED.
Whom DO YOU trust?
Your denomination's parasitic founder -- OR the One who DIED to save you?
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2013
"NOT MANY OF YOU SHOULD PRESUME TO BE TEACHERS, my brothers, because you know that WE WHO TEACH WILL RECEIVE GREATER CONDEMNATION" (James 3:1).
PRESUMPTION is not only widespread, but OUT OF CONTROL. This is particularly true in the area of Bible prophecy.
To put it in politically incorrect terms (no offense to Native Americans): we have TOO MANY "Chiefs" and TOO FEW "Indians".
Because approximately 20% of Bible prophecy still lies in our future, prophecy presents the IDEAL turf for morons, speculators, opportunists and egomaniacs - or some combination thereof - to try their hand at prognosticating.
I deal with it EVERY DAY of my life:
Some TV show, website or video from someone who PRESUMES to know a lot about the Bible and Bible prophecy when, in fact, they know little or nothing.
Who presents AS BIBLICAL FACT, something the Bible DOES NOT EVEN SAY.
Or some liar bragging about an alleged vision, or "private rapture", where Jesus spoke to him and gave him (or her) THE "correct meaning" of certain prophetic passages, that he/she - and ONLY he/she -is privy to.
Well, don't you believe that Jesus can appear to a person or that they can have a private rapture?
What you'll NEVER get me to believe - even if you claim 50 raptures and A THOUSAND "special visitations" -- is that Jesus CONTRADICTS HIMSELF.
Likewise, some religious nincompoops who can't even keep their own confused thoughts and stories straight, WANT TO IMPOSE their mangled MANURE on us.
Some idiot with a "superiority complex", seeking to EXALT HIMSELF, who thinks it's his lofty mission in life to "lecture us" with their "infallible wisdom"; I got TWO WORDS for the puffed up creep:
And, for the record: THE ONLY ONE this ministry HAS EVER EXALTED, and WILL EVER EXALT, by the Grace of God, is Jesus.
Bible prophecy is SERIOUS - and CONSEQUENTIAL - ministry.
It's NOT for amateurs.
Jesus NEVER, EVER contradicts Himself.
He, THE WORD, both the Incarnate Word and the written Word, is FOREVER SETTLED IN HEAVEN (Psalm 119:89).
Those who add, subtract, or CHANGE His Word ARE LIARS (Proverbs 30:6).
The Greek word for "condemnation" used in James 3:1 (quoted above) is actually krima from which we get the English word "crime".
Those who present unscriptural SPECULATION as FACT, those who PRESUME to be experts when they know nothing, those who CONFUSE His sheep and IRRESPONSIBLY lead them ASTRAY, those who carelessly launch myths about what THEY THINK the Bible says, instead of WHAT IT REALLY SAYS, will be charged before God's court with A GREATER CRIME.
Teaching is a ministry office for which ONLY God can ordain (Ephesians 4:11).
TRUE Bible and/or Bible prophecy teachers are both CALLED and APPOINTED DIRECTLY BY God (1 Corinthians 12:28).
When they are, their ministry and their teaching speak for themselves.
While NONE OF US ARE INFALLIBLE, those who are called by God are right THE VAST MAJORITY OF the time.
There's NO SUCH THING as self-appointed teachers in the Body of Christ.
At least, no such thing WITH ANY SPIRITUAL VALIDITY...
I hate to burst some of your narcissistic, religious bubbles, but MINISTERIAL LEGITIMACY - at least in God's eyes - is not SOMETHING ONE BESTOWS UPON ONESELF, nor is it granted by MAN-INVENTED denominations, or so-called Bible Colleges.
And God's eyes ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT COUNT.
Every believer is called to share the Gospel of Salvation (Mark 16:15).
Any ministry beyond that requires the special calling, gifting and anointing of God.
If Jesus HASN'T called you CLEARLY, DIRECTLY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY into the ministry, especially the teaching ministry, SHUT UP.
And for God's sake, DON'T TEACH ANYTHING that is NOT FOUND IN the Bible.
Doing so is DECEPTIVE. It's also A CRIME.
Those who teach WITHOUT God's authority, lack ANY legitimacy:
Those who teach WITHOUT God's CALLING are religious quacks.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2013
THE GREAT GATHERING
"Now, brothers, concerning THE COMING OF our Lord Jesus Christ, and OUR GATHERING TOGETHER TO HIM, we ask you not to be quickly shaken in your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by... word, or by letter as from us, saying that the day of Christ had come. LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU IN ANY WAY. FOR IT WILL NOT COME, UNLESS THE DEPARTURE (Rapture) COMES FIRST"... (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3)
"And then the sign of the Son of Man WILL APPEAR IN THE SKY, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and THEY WILL SEE the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other" (Matthew 24:30-31).
Sukkot is called in Hebrew ha asiph the Feast of INGATHERING, because it's when the fruit of the land of Israel (the 7 species) was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem.
Although God's word STOPS JUST SHORT OF SAYING that the gathering of His people must happen on that Feast, the ENTIRE setting in Revelation chapter 7, and even in preceding chapters, is that of Yom Kippur - Sukkot.
Even the two verses quoted above, Joel 2:16, and MANY OTHER passages seem to indicate THAT SPECIFIC PERIOD OF TIME.
Does that mean we're stuck here for at least ANOTHER year (sigh)?
Gee, I hope not.
WHO will take part in the Great Gathering?
1. All the dead in Christ, including our loved ones who've gone to Jesus.
2. All Early Church martyrs
3. All LIVING believers.
4. All babies and children, living or dead.
5. Household pets and land animals.
WHERE are they gathered, before ascending to heaven?
On Mount Hermon, near the Israel-Lebanon-Syria border:
"Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, FROM THE TOP OF Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards" (S.S. 4:8).
(In case you're wondering, Amana and Shenir are both peaks on Mount Hermon).
"When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi (at the foot of Mount Hermon), he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
He said unto them, But whom do YOU SAY that I am?
And Simon Peter answered: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father who is in heaven.
And I say also unto you: That you are Peter, and UPON THIS ROCK (rocky Mount Hermon, although this statement has triple and even quadruple meaning) I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH; and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:13-18).
If you want to take part in the GREAT GATHERING of God's People you MUST INVITE Jesus into your heart and, like Peter, CONFESS HIM as the Messiah the Son of the Living God.
WHEN: One of these days, Church, one of these days...
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2013
SAINTS WILL APPEAR
"Jesus said unto her, I AM the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, THOUGH HE WERE DEAD, YET SHALL HE LIVE" (John 11:25).
I taught this marvelous Truth once or twice before and it went over everyone's head, with the exception of ONE precious sister whose mom had just gone to be with Jesus.
Let's give it another shot:
According to 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16, THE DEAD IN CHRIST RISE FIRST, BEFORE the Church is raptured:
Then, AFTER they've all risen, WE ARE all CAUGHT UP TOGETHER ALIVE to meet the Lord in the air.
If they RISE FIRST, that means they will be VISIBLE in their risen, immortal form to us BEFORE TAKE OFF.
Whether we'll see them for seconds, minutes, hours or days is not specified in Scripture.
BUT WE WILL SEE THEM.
Just like many saints appeared to people in Jerusalem in their resurrected form after Jesus' Resurrection and before His Ascension (Matthew 27:51-53).
No wonder Paul tells us to "comfort one another with these words" (1 Corinthians 4:18).
There wouldn't be much comfort if we were never to see them again.
Has a loved one recently gone to Jesus?
Or, maybe, many years ago and you STILL miss them and WANT TO SEE THEM?
How wonderful is that?
Please DON'T SAY OR THINK that you've "lost them".
YOU DIDN'T LOSE THEM.
You haven't "lost" anyone and neither has God.
They've simply been TRANSFERRED from THIS (temporal) dimension TO THE ETERNAL ONE.
You WILL see them again.
You will also see your beloved pets again.
Our Jesus is THE Resurrection and THE Life.
THERE'S NO DEATH IN HIM!!!
Want EVEN BETTER NEWS?
You will SEE THE RISEN JESUS BEFORE YOU SEE THEM.
There's NO BETTER NEWS than THAT.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013
SHOULD WOMEN BE SILENT?
Did Paul tell Christian women essentially to shut their big bazoos?
For starters, it's hard for me to believe that the same man who penned those immortal words "there is NEITHER Jew nor Greek... MALE OR FEMALE" (Galatians 3:28) would CONTRADICT HIMSELF in such blatant fashion.
Not to mention the same man who sent special greetings to Phoebe, A DEACONESS (Romans 16:1) to Junia (a FEMALE APOSTLE, Romans 16:7) to evangelist Priscilla (Romans 16:3) whom he also called his "fellow worker in Christ Jesus" thus elevating her to his own rank, and to TWO FEMALE EVANGELISTS Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2-3) saying that they "have labored side by side with me in the Gospel".
I find EVEN HARDER TO BELIEVE that the SAME God who said He is "NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS" (Romans 2:11), the SAME God who made man and woman EQUAL in the Garden of Eden, the SAME God who created BOTH in His Image, the SAME God who said "let THEM (male and female) HAVE DOMINION" (Genesis 1:27-28) would CONTRADICT HIMSELF (i.e., LIE) and say "You know what? I changed my mind: I am now a respecter of persons: I PREFER MEN OVER WOMEN".
The original New Testament was written in Aramaic or Greek IN THE FIRST century A.D.
Your English Bibles DID NOT EXIST UNTIL the 14th century A.D.
The first uniform translation into another language (Latin), known as the Vulgate, was done by Jerome and took place late in the 4th century A.D.
By then the organized religious hierarchy was entrenched at the Lateran Palace and were DICTATING doctrine according to THEIR WHIMS.
These are the same tyrants who SOLD Jesus (Salvation) or a shorter stay in an invented place called Purgatory for MONEY, as if God's Grace could be BOUGHT.
The same tyrants who BANNED Bible reading and determined that THEY were the ONLY ONES entitled to read God's Word and to INTERPRET IT.
By the time the 14th century came around and English translators like John Wycliffe took a crack at it, religious brainwashing had taken its toll.
I don't care how much whichever version of the Bible in English you use says it was translated from the "original manuscripts", translators are HUMAN. Need I say more?
HUMANS whose translations, intentionally or otherwise, are prone to reflect their own religious persuasions and/or bias; including 13 CENTURIES of RELIGIOUS DEBRIS and TRADITION for which, if they had the guts and moral integrity to challenge, they would be called into account and would have to "explain" under threat of "excommunication", torture and even GRUESOME DEATHS.
Fact: The FIRST to EVER proclaim the FULL Gospel (the Resurrection) of Christ were women (Matthew 28:10).
Fact: Women served Jesus along with men in various ministry offices for the first three centuries of the Church era (Acts 16:40, Philippians 4:2-3; Romans 16:1, 3, 7).
Fact: Women DIED AS MARTYRS along with men during those three centuries.
When Christianity became institutionalized in the fourth century, it turned into Christianism: that's when misogyny set in and translations were made to reflect the Church's OFFICIAL doctrine.
A perfect example is 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 says: "let your women keep silent in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also says the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husband at home: for it is a shame for a woman to speak in the congregation."
Look at the very next verse, 1st Corinthians 14:36: "WHAT? Did the Word of God come from you? Did it come to you (men) ALONE?
But that verse IS NEVER QUOTED. As if it wasn't IN the Bible.
This is a rhetorical question. Paul was referring to what Corinthians had written and after citing THEIR STATEMENT about women "keeping silent", he says: "What?" Are you speaking God's Word? Is that what God's word says? Did God ONLY speak TO YOU MEN?"
Thus, he clearly indicated that he DID NOT AGREE with the men who had written such nonsense, and that women are NOT to be silent in church.
Paul himself says a bit earlier in 1 Corinthians 11:5 "But EVERY WOMAN THAT PRAYS OR PROPHESIES with her head uncovered dishonors her head..." so, evidently, WOMEN WERE PRAYING AND PROPHESYING!
How can someone PROPHESY IN SILENCE?
That was INVENTED by religion, NOT BY GOD.
That statement clearly DEMONSTRATES that Paul APPROVED of women praying and prophesying.
It also PROVES that women were NOT "keeping silent" at all!
"Oh, you're just promoting women's lib".
No, I'm promoting JESUS LIB.
This has NOTHING TO DO with burning bras or aborting unborn babies.
It has EVERYTHING TO DO WITH SERVING JESUS.
Jesus came TO SET US FREE, not to foster bigotry.
If Jesus HAD NO PROBLEM telling Mary Magdalene to PREACH THE GOOD NEWS (Gospel) of His Resurrection, TO THE VERY 12 APOSTLES (Matthew 28:10), insecure religionists SHOULDN'T HAVE ANY PROBLEM EITHER.
Unless, of course, they think they're "HOLIER" THAN JESUS.
Dear sisters in Christ DON'T ALLOW ANYONE, least of all some insecure male religious wimp, prevent you from serving Jesus.
DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME SEEKING THE APPROVAL OF MORTAL MEN, when you already have the approval OF THE IMMORTAL GOD:
Acts 5:29: You must "obey God rather than men".
MONDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2013
WOMEN IN MINISTRY
"The eye CANNOT say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the Head (Jesus) cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that SEEM to be weaker are INDISPENSABLE (1 Corinthians 12:21-22).
I've always found it ironic that those who throw UNSCRIPTURAL roadblocks in front of women, and fight tooth and nail to keep them from ministry, have no trouble at all RECEIVING OFFERINGS from them!
Nor do they have any problem asking them to "tithe"!
Do you know that 70% of the FUNDING for various ministries COMES FROM WOMEN?
Religious tyrants FORBID WOMEN to be in the ministry, when all the while IT'S WOMEN WHO ARE SUPPORTING THEIR MINISTRY:
If that's not a hypocritical, self-serving, double-standard, I don't know what is!
If it wasn't for women, hypocritical male preachers, YOU would have NO MINISTRY!
You see, ladies... they have no problem TAKING YOUR MONEY, it's ONLY YOUR MINISTRY they object to. What a bunch of two-faced hypocrites!
By keeping women out of the ministry, by effectively "disqualifying" HALF of Christ's Body from spreading the Good News, not only is the Body of Christ shooting itself in the foot, but it's in direct violation of many Scriptures, including the anchor verse quoted above.
For TOO LONG, religious legalists have insisted that women be confined to singing and teaching Sunday school.
For TOO LONG they've told women "we have NO NEED of you". When, in fact, the Church DESPERATELY NEEDS women in ministry.
Women served in the Early Church ALONG WITH MEN in various ministry offices (Acts 16:40; Romans 16:1, 3, 7; Philippians 4:2,3; . Their ministry was effectively "OUTLAWED" in the 4th century A.D. when "Christianism" became institutionalized.
Had women been allowed to CONTINUE SERVING Jesus as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, from the 4th century forward, Lord knows how much of the world would be evangelized by now.
Had women been allowed to minister, perhaps God wouldn't need to send A SPECIAL ANGEL in the middle of the tribulation to preach the Gospel to people that MALE MINISTERS FAILED TO REACH (Revelation 14:6).
We all know that, when a woman KNOWS SOMETHING, especially something GOOD AND EXCITING, she simply CAN'T KEEP HER MOUTH SHUT...
Praise Jesus, that's A GREAT THING where the Gospel is concerned.
It takes both, male and female, to reproduce physically. Likewise, it takes male and female to reproduce SPIRITUALLY.
Bigotry against women ministers is A SAD COMMENTARY on HOW CARNAL, INSECURE and AFRAID the Church still is after 2,000 years of turbulent history.
Instead of validating ministry based on the undeniable CALLING OF GOD on a person's life, or the manifestation of His Spirit, we base it on whether that person has A PHYSICAL penis or vagina.
Then we wonder WHY His Church is so confused and DIVIDED.
The Spirit has NO GENDER!
WHAT, legalistic men, do you suggest we do with ALL THE SOULS women have won for Christ, DESPITE YOUR GODLESS INTERFERENCE?
What should we do with all the people women have DISCIPLED in the faith?
Should we give them back to Satan???
Should we "disqualify" them from being saved because they were brought into the Kingdom by women?
Christians need to GROW UP and stop interfering with others serving the Lord.
They also need to STOP negating God's decisions.
We don't get to CALL ANYONE into ministry, nor do we get to "disqualify" ANYONE.
That's His job, NOT YOURS.
Do you think, oh mortal, sinful man, that you're wiser than God?
Do you think your OPINIONS are BETTER than His DECISION, His Anointing and HIS CALLING?
The gifts and callings of God are IRREVOCABLE, no matter WHO possesses them! [Romans 11:29].
If God calls women to serve Him in various areas of ministry, WHO ARE YOU to oppose Him?
Men, stop being so insecure! Ministry ISN'T competition.
Women ministers aren't competing with you. They are CO-WORKERS in His Kingdom, who COMPLEMENT your own ministry and SERVE THE SAME LORD.
The harvest is plenteous. The laborers are few. We need more laborers.
Whether the laborer's spirit is housed in a male body, or a female body is IRRELEVANT.
STOP discriminating against women.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there's EQUALITY (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, THERE IS LIBERTY!
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2013
TRUSTING THE SPIRIT - PART TWO
"While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Spirit fell ON ALL THEM WHO HEARD THE WORD.
And THEY OF THE CIRCUMCISION (Jews) WHO BELIEVED WERE ASTONISHED... because that on the Gentiles ALSO WAS POURED OUT THE GIFT OF the Holy Spirit.
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, WHO HAVE RECEIVED the Holy Spirit JUST AS WE?" (Acts 10:44-47)
"Anyone WHO DOES NOT HAVE the Spirit of Christ DOES NOT BELONG TO Christ" (Romans 8:9).
Jesus came UNTO HIS OWN (the Jews) and His own (for the most part) RECEIVED HIM NOT.
However, for the first 14 years or so, after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, ALL BELIEVERS IN CHRIST were Jews.
...UNTIL that defining moment when Cornelius, a Roman centurion (gentile), saw an angel of God and sent for Peter.
As the verses above indicate Peter went with a bunch of believing Jews to Cornelius' house where he was assembled along with family, relatives and friends.
He preached the Good News of Jesus and, TO THE AMAZEMENT of Jews who had accompanied him, the same Holy Spirit that had come upon 120 Jews on the day of Pentecost 33 A.D., CAME UPON GENTILE BELIEVERS.
Gentiles who were UNCIRCUMCISED.
Gentiles who DID NOT EVEN KNOW there was such thing as the Law (Torah).
Gentiles who did not follow commandments, did NOT observe the 24-hour Sabbath, and did not eat kosher.
Thus, FOREVER PROVING that:
a) Salvation is by Grace through faith ONLY.
b) Jesus will save and live in ANYONE - Jew or Gentile - who will RECEIVE HIM.
c) That Salvation is found IN JESUS CHRIST ONLY, and not in anything or anyone else.
By the time the Jerusalem Council convened, several years later, there were still Jews INSISTING that circumcision and the law be CO-SAVIORS, along with Jesus.
Peter, James and the other apostles quickly put an end to the discussion and DECLARED SALVATION TO BE BY GRACE/FAITH ONLY (Acts 15:8-11).
What is truly astonishing is HOW LITTLE HAS CHANGED, and HOW LITTLE WE'VE LEARNED, in 2,000 years.
In the 21st century we have the same ridiculous, legalistic arguments raised that were THOROUGHLY DEBUNKED by Jesus' apostles, including Peter, His personally selected leader of the Church.
None of that, not even the fact it's recorded in God's inspired Word for all time, stopped FALSE APOSTLES and FALSE PROPHETS AND PROPHETESSES from emerging in the 19th and 20th centuries, CLAIMING TO KNOW MORE about Salvation than Jesus' original and TRUE apostles, and even more than Jesus Himself.
We still have religious fools deceiving and being deceived, INVENTING "co-saviors" to their own damnation, thus making Jesus' Blood INSUFFICIENT TO SAVE.
And, sadly, we still have Christians setting "limits" and "conditions" on God as to whom He can save:
Surely He COULDN'T HAVE saved those pagan, idol-worshiping Roman gentiles in the first century.
Surely He CAN'T save those Roman Catholics who have all those statues, rosaries, pictures of Mary, and crucifixes lying around today.
You need to go back to Genesis and read how father Abraham was a pagan, idol-worshiping gentile BEFORE God called him, saved him by faith only (Genesis 15:6), made an eternal covenant with him, and promised him a number of descendants SO GREAT THEY COULD NOT BE NUMBERED.
Those descendants are collectively called the Body of Christ or the Church.
He will not only save them, He will put His OWN HOLY SPIRIT, HIS OWN DIVINE GOD NATURE IN EACH OF THEM.
ANYONE, Jew, Gentile, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Hare Krishna, Mormon, Church of God, Church of Christ, Christian Science, Jehovah's Witness, Baha'i, Scientologist, New Ager, Adventist, Catholic, or even so-called "evangelical", CAN BE SAVED THIS VERY MOMENT by INVITING Jesus into his/her heart and RECEIVING Him as only Savior and God.
There are NO LIMITS, NO RESTRICTIONS, AND NO "CONDITIONS" as to whom Jesus can and will save.
The ONLY ONES He can't save are those who DON'T receive Him (John 1:12).
Repeat: THE ONLY ONES our precious Lord cannot save are those WHO WILL NOT RECEIVE HIM.
if YOU GENUINELY RECEIVE Him into your heart, there's NO WAY you can be lost.
The invitation in Revelation 22:17 COULDN'T BE any CLEARER:
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And LET HIM THAT HEARS SAY, COME. And let him THAT IS THIRSTY come. And WHOEVER WANTS let him take THE WATER OF LIFE FREELY, at NO CHARGE".
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2013
TRUSTING THE SPIRIT
Today's Christians have the BEST Message but are the worst representatives.
There's NO BETTER MESSAGE anywhere than the Good News of Jesus which offers FREE SALVATION and forgiveness of sin TO ALL who receive Him.
The Early Church excelled at Evangelism today's Church sucks at it.
Religion has taught us to put the cart before the horse.
ALL religion Is fear based.
Fear = insecurity.
Fear DOES NOT TRUST.
Hence, INSECURE religious people, even well-meaning ones, feel compelled to DO IT ALL THEMSELVES and leave nothing to God.
As if we could do a better job than God IN ANY ENDEAVOR.
Some evangelical Christian will express how much they enjoy our teaching, how much they've learned, etc.
BUT - they have a bone to pick.
That "bone" being the fact that this ministry IS CATHOLIC FRIENDLY.
After all, Martel, you very aggressively denounce cults like the Jehovah's Witnesses, Church of God, and Church of Christ.
Why don't I denounce Roman Catholicism and its "evils"?
As someone who grew up in a VERY TRADITIONAL Roman Catholic home, attended parochial school, taught Catechism, and is well acquainted with Church history, I understand where these people are coming from.
I have never shied away from the fact that Roman Catholic history is rife with evil, corruption, abuse of power, greed, lust, bloodshed, racism, anti-semitism, paganism and false doctrine. I've often written and taught about those shameful chapters in the Church's tortuous trajectory.
I've also been very vocal, on more than one occasion, about the horrendous pedophilia epidemic plaguing the Church.
If the RCC were DOCTRINALLY today where it was 600 years ago, you better believe it would be included in my list of cults and I would be as much anti-Catholic as I am anti-Church of God, or anti-Mormon.
However, the Church DID CHANGE its official doctrine in 1962, during the Second Vatican Council, commonly referred to as Vatican II.
Today's OFFICIAL Catholic doctrine contains enough fundamental BIBLICAL Christian Truth for people to be saved.
I personally know, and MINISTER TO, many Catholics who are born-again, many of whom follow this ministry.
Do I wish those changes would have come A LOT sooner? You bet.
But we can't re-write history.
As the saying goes: BETTER LATE than NEVER.
Here's where I differ with some of my evangelical brothers and sisters:
They want Catholics to know Jesus BUT (there's that BUT again) they are intent on doing so BY ATTACKING the Catholic religion, airing all its dirty laundry, bringing up every historic skeleton in its closet.
As a former Roman Catholic, I'm here to tell you THAT WILL NEVER WORK.
I'm so grateful that the three Baptist brothers, who taught me about the born-again experience and the need to have Jesus LIVING IN my heart, DID NOT TAKE THAT APPROACH.
If they had, chances are I WOULDN'T KNOW Christ and would be steeped in religion to this very day.
Evangelicals want Catholics to know Jesus BUT (there's that BUT again) FIRST they want them to FORSAKE CATHOLICISM, forsake Mary, forsake all the saints, forsake all religious paraphernalia like rosaries, candles, prayer cards, crucifixes, medals, etc.
That's the same as asking a drunkard to "come to Jesus", BUT ONLY AFTER he stops drinking.
THAT is putting the cart BEFORE the horse.
THAT will NEVER work.
Besides, no rosary, no candle, no crucifix, no medal, no religious paraphernalia, no prayer card, no statue, has the power to send a soul to hell. Neither does Mary, Joseph, Peter, saints, Popes, priests, guardian angels, traditions or ceremonies send them to hell.
The ONLY THING that sends people to hell is NOT RECEIVING CHRIST IN THEIR HEARTS.
I've often shared how my own mother came to faith in Jesus:
All I did was show her the need to receive Christ into her heart and have the born-again experience.
I then encouraged her to STUDY HIS WRITTEN WORD, ON HER OWN.
When we are born-again, Christ's Holy Spirit comes to LIVE IN our hearts.
Our job is to BRING Christ to people and people to Christ.
After they come to Christ we can teach them both by word and by example, but WE ARE NOT TO SHOVE DOCTRINE DOWN THEIR THROAT.
Such teaching DEPENDS LARGELY on the individual's DESIRE TO KNOW MORE.
And NOT EVERY INDIVIDUAL will respond the same way, or AT THE SAME SPEED.
Mom had the born-again experience. But it TOOK SEVERAL YEARS for the fruit of that experience to BECOME EVIDENT.
She continued to call herself Catholic. I never criticized her for it.
She continued having a picture of Mary in her bedroom. I never criticized her for it.
She did read the Bible on her own.
The Holy Spirit DID THE REST. Actually, He did it ALL.
He did the REST ALL BY HIMSELF, WITHOUT any "help" from me.
We NEED TO TRUST the Holy Spirit.
We need to bring people to EXPERIENCING Christ in their innermost beings.
They CAN RECEIVE CHRIST AS THEY ARE AND WHERE THEY ARE.
They DON'T NEED TO CHANGE ANYTHING.
Once they BELONG TO JESUS, it's His job, though His Holy Spirit, to bring about ANY CHANGES HE DESIRES IN THEIR LIVES.
All humans need Jesus: Whether you're Catholic, Evangelical, Methodist, Baptist, or Jehovah's Witness, YOU NEED JESUS.
You can never go wrong BY RECEIVING THE CHRIST YOU ALREADY BELIEVE IN INTO YOUR HEART.
Last but not least, some Evangelicals are more INTERESTED in CONDEMNING, than IN SAVING SOULS:
Are you MORE INTERESTED in dredging up what happened in the Middle Ages, than you are IN BRINGING CATHOLIC SOULS TO JESUS?
Are you MORE INTERESTED IN taking out ON TODAY'S Catholics what their ancestors' ancestors' ancestors' did SEVERAL CENTURIES AGO, than you are in SAVING them?
LIKE JESUS, we should NOT be INTERESTED in CONDEMNING BUT IN SAVING (John 3:17).
You'll NEVER bring a single soul to Christ by telling them what their grandparent's grandparents did wrong.
You will win them to Jesus if you PRESENT THE GOSPEL (not your religion, not your denomination, but THE GOSPEL) to them as you would TO ANY OTHER SINNER IN NEED OF SALVATION.
Just look what He did WITH THIS Catholic, glory to His Name!
Jesus saves, religion DOESN'T.
Jesus saves, NOTHING ELSE DOES.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2013
HI THERE, MARTHA!
"And Jesus answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, YOU ARE ANXIOUS AND TROUBLED ABOUT MANY THINGS:
But ONE THING IS NEEDFUL: and Mary has chosen that good part, WHICH SHALL NOT BE TAKEN AWAY FROM HER" (Luke 11:41-42).
We live in a world full of Marthas.
Like Lazarus' sister they are "troubled" about "MANY THINGS" except the ONE ESSENTIAL thing.
They worry about what they'll wear, eat, drink.
Worried about what others will think.
Worried about what to serve for dinner tonight
Worried about being perceived as a good hostess...
Worried about how others will judge their cooking.
Worried about the house being spotless (nothing wrong with having a clean and orderly home, but some take it to the extreme)...
Worried about what team will win the playoffs or the championship.
Worried about what your friends will say or think. Hint: If you have to worry, they're NOT REALLY your friends.
REAL friends love UNCONDITIONALLY. And, yes, they're extremely rare and even harder to find.
Worried about their reputation...
Worried about buying that car, or that suit, or that piece of jewelry...
Worried about outdoing someone else...
Worried about attracting someone not worth 10 seconds of your thought life, and simply not worth it...
Worried about competing with the neighbors...
Worried about popularity, fame and fortune...
Worried about children and family members...
Of course, children deserve our love, care, protection, and attention, so do other members of our family, but even they will one day be out of our lives.
And the ONLY HOPE of seeing them forever is for EACH OF THEM to KNOW Jesus.
Worried about staying on top...
Worried about impressing their boss, co-workers, or relatives...
Worried about their looks...
They are worried about and FOCUSED ON EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN, EXCEPT THE ONE THING THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY:
KNOWING JESUS IN YOUR INNERMOST BEING.
Why is Jesus THE MOST IMPORTANT Person?
Why is He THE ONLY ONE you should be TOTALLY FOCUSED ON?
Because He is ETERNAL.
Because your ETERNAL Life DEPENDS ENTIRELY ON HIM.
Because EVERYTHING ELSE - all those things that SEEM important now, and that you're "troubled" about, WILL SOONER OR LATER BE TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU.
You won't be taking any of it beyond this life, I guarantee.
So, what's the longest you can ever hope to "keep" ALL THAT STUFF?
...10, 20, 30, 50 years?
...And, then WHAT?
There's Jesus and there's STUFF.
Everything that's NOT Jesus is STUFF.
STUFF is here today and gone tomorrow.
It's only a matter of time: ALL STUFF WILL BE TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU.
But NO ONE, not sin, not hell, not Satan, no angels, no principalities, no powers, no demons, no government, no dictator, not life, not death, not that job you hate, not your in-laws, not your ex-husband or ex-wife, ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend - NOTHING and NO ONE - CAN EVER TAKE JESUS AWAY FROM YOU.
Why are you SO CONCERNED, Martha, about STUFF that can be gone before you even bat your eyes?
WHY worry about TEMPORARY JUNK?
Focus on the ONE THING, THE ONE PERSON, WHO IS WITH YOU RIGHT NOW, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER.
ONLY Jesus is worth our FULL, UNDIVIDED ATTENTION.
No one else is worth it.
Nothing else matters.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2013
HOW WE LOST OUR YOUTH
I'm not talking about those wrinkles or middle age spread showing up in the mirror.
I'm talking about how the Christian community lost young people.
And how it has turned THE FEW IT HASN'T LOST into uninfluential, INSECURE, ineffective spiritual weaklings who have NO CONVICTIONS, DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE THEY STAND on ANYTHING, are swept about by EVERY wind of doctrine that comes along, and which the world has in its pocket:
It's not their fault. It's the Church's fault.
The 20th/21st century Church has the dubious distinction of spawning a whole generation of spoiled crybabies, Bible illiterates, and spiritual anorexics.
I was channel surfing the other night and I heard this promo from "the world's largest" Kristian network:
(I'm paraphrasing): "If you don't want your kids to watch all the smut on secular entertainment shows, have them tune in to our ‘Christian' youth channel".
To be fair, it is true that the "Christian" youth channel presents wholesome programming with none of the raunch featured on secular shows.
But is that THE BEST we can do? More importantly, is that WHAT JESUS COMMANDED US TO DO?
NO and NO.
The percentage of young people in the first century had to be approximately the same as in our day.
There were children, teens and young adults then as there are now.
I don't read ANYTHING in the Bible or in Church history about having "youth groups", "youth pastors", "youth seminars", "youth concerts", "youth camps", "youth rallies", "YOUTH PROGRAMMING" or youth ANYTHING.
The YOUTH - with the possible exception of small children - GOT THE SAME MESSAGE AS THE ADULTS.
They heard THE TRUE Gospel. They heard the UNAPOLOGETIC Truth about Salvation, and why Jesus is THE ONLY WAY to the Father (John 14:6).
They got it CLEAR AND DIRECT: no religious B.S., no gimmicks, and no frills.
That's why THE YOUTH of the first century KNEW WHERE THEY STOOD SPIRITUALLY and STOOD FOR THEIR LORD, even when faced with martyrdom.
That's why the world of the first century was turned "upside down" with the Gospel.
That's why the Christian faith spread AS QUICKLY as it did, even in the face of constant threat and persecution.
That's why IT SWALLOWED UP the mightiest empire and military machine known to man: With the sheer power of its Message and UNWAVERING CONVICTION.
Aaaah, but the mid to late 20th century gave us the advent of Kristian TV, along with Kristian "celebrities", and the infamous political movement known as the "Christian right".
That's when Christianity changed from being A DYNAMIC WORLD CHANGING, LIFE TRANSFORMING FAITH, into a mediocre sub-culture.
That's when it went from being THE VERY FOUNDATION of one's life to a convenient, FOR-PROFIT BUSINESS ENTERPRISE.
That's when some "marketing genius" got the idea that the way to "reach" America's and, by extension, the world's youth, was to MIMIC THE WORLD.
Just give ‘em MTV without the sexually provocative content.
That's why today's youth, even after attending church services for years, HAVE NO SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION.
That's why they go to college TOTALLY UNPREPARED for the intellectual and moral challenges they are going face.
They're NOT EQUIPPED to handle such challenges because all they were given was some boring, third-rate, frothy entertainment with a couple of religious clichés interspersed.
That's HOW THE WORLD and its decadent culture EATS THEM UP ALIVE.
That's WHERE and WHY we lose them.
I don't hear Jesus ever telling His disciples: "let THE WORLD get INTO you".
What He did say is: "YOU GO INTO all the world and MAKE DISCIPLES" (Matthew 28:19).
Disciples are people who ARE SOLIDLY GROUNDED ON TRUTH.
Disciples are people WHO CAN STAND UP TO THE WORLD, AND TO CRITICS.
Disciples are capable of PROVIDING CLEAR, CONCISE, WISE, TRUTHFUL, AND POWERFUL ANSWERS to any challenge posed by unbelievers.
Disciples are "READY ALWAYS TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO EVERY MAN THAT ASKS YOU A REASON OF THE HOPE THAT IS IN YOU"... (1 Peter 3:15).
We HAVE FAILED TO MAKE DISCIPLES OF our children, teens and young adults, and we have failed MISERABLY.
You'll never overcome the world by playing THE WORLD'S GAME, and following their rules . You're not winning the world to Christ by offering them "alternative Kristian" programming.
What is really happening is that Christian youth who once-in-a-while watch "youth programs", then switch over to MTV and watch the Mileys, the Beyoncés, and the Ga-Ga's peddle their trash.
No wonder some 60% of professed "evangelicals" think Salvation is possible APART FROM Jesus.
No wonder 80% of Catholics feel the same way.
Read it, Kristian "leaders", and WEEP.
We were NOT SUPPOSED TO follow the world's example. We were supposed to be AN EXAMPLE TO the world.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013
Preterism is the belief that ALL Bible prophecy was fulfilled by 70 A.D.
That includes all prophecies about the Rapture, the tribulation, the Antichrist, the Second Coming of Christ, the Millennium, the White Throne Judgment, and the New Heavens and New earth.
While 70 A. D. WAS a significant prophetic year in which the Roman 10th legion under Titus' command destroyed Jerusalem, one has to be a blind fool to believe that Jesus RETURNED and ESTABLISHED HIS KINGDOM ON EARTH in or around 70 A.D.
Yet THAT IS PRECISELY what preterists believe.
Furthermore, preterism believes that this putrid hell hole in which we live is the New Earth promised in Revelation 21:1; that Hades/Sheol no longer exists, and that upon dying Christians immediately receive new resurrected, glorified bodies.
Apparently, they've never read 1 Corinthians 15:50-55 or 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 which plainly state WE SHALL NOT ALL DIE but will be TRANSFORMED into immortal beings in a moment and WITHOUT DYING.
Preterists also believe that Satan and his demons have no influence over Christians who live in this "new earth" today.
If they don't, then man is purely evil ON HIS OWN, and not due to Satan's deception in the Garden of Eden. How is that possible when man (male and female) WAS CREATED IN THE VERY IMAGE OF the Most High, MOST HOLY God?
Preterism is largely responsible for "replacement theology" which postulates that the Christian Church has replaced natural Israel, something which is NOT SUPPORTED by either the Old or New Testaments.
However, Preterism's most egregious and damning doctrine is the belief THAT SIN IS HERE TO STAY: That sin IS ETERNAL and cannot be remedied, thus making the Blood of Jesus INSUFFICIENT AND INCAPABLE OF removing sin FOREVER.
That FALSE DOCTRINE also VIOLATES at least half a dozen Scriptures that say Jesus has removed ALL SIN FOR ALL TIME (Psalm 103:12; John 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Hebrews 9:12,26; 10:14; 1 John 3:5).
Preterism is a DAMNABLE HERESY.
This heresy spawned in the 4th century by Eusebius and others, and deeply rooted in antisemitism, is based on selective passages in the New Testament that speak about Christ's "soon" return, TO THE EXCLUSION OF OTHER BIBLICAL PASSAGES THAN DEBUNK IT:
"The night is far spent, THE DAY IS AT HAND"
1 Corinthians 7:29:
"This I say, brethren, THE TIME IS SHORT"
1 Corinthians 10:11:
"They were written for our admonition, UPON WHOM THE ENDS OF THE WORLD ARE COME".
"The Lord IS NEAR".
"For yet A LITTLE WHILE, and he that shall come will come and WILL NOT DELAY".
1 Peter 4:7
"THE END OF ALL THINGS IS AT HAND"
"For THE COMING OF THE LORD IS NEAR"
1 John 2:18
"Little children, IT IS THE LAST HOUR; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which WE KNOW THAT IT IS THE LAST HOUR".
It's safe to say with regards to Jesus' return, that the apostles were not thinking in terms of the distant future, let alone 2,000 years later.
Clearly, when the New Testament was written in the first century A.D., they believed that the Rapture, end of the world, and the return of Christ were NEAR.
It's also clear that THEY DID NOT KNOW PRECISELY WHEN such events would take place.
Didn't they ask Jesus that SPECIFIC question before His Ascension?
And didn't Jesus answer (at the time) "it is not FOR YOU to know"? (Acts 1:6-7)
Had Jesus not told Daniel that such things were "sealed" and would ONLY be FULLY UNDERSTOOD - EVEN BY HIS OWN PROPHETS LIKE DANIEL HIMSELF - at the VERY TIME OF THE END? (Daniel 12:4, 9)
If these passages are to be construed to mean that 70 A.D. was THE FINAL FULFILLMENT of all Bible prophecy, I have a question for preterists:
Why, then, did the Apostle John write some 26 years LATER in 96 A.D.:
"Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: FOR THE TIME IS AT HAND" (Revelation 1:3).
"Then he told me, Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because THE TIME IS NEAR" (Revelation 22:10).
If John wrote in 96 A.D. that "the time" for the things written in the Book of Revelation (which covers the Church Age, the Rapture, the Antichrist, the Second Coming of Christ, the Millennium, the White Throne Judgment and the New Heavens & New Earth) was STILL "NEAR", THEN HOW CAN ANYONE BELIEVE that all these things were fulfilled by 70 A.D.?
"Oh well, maybe not by 70 A.D., but certainly they were fulfilled by the END OF the first century".
Really? So all the SPECIFIC PROPHECIES given in Revelation were fulfilled WITHIN 4 YEARS?
When DID AN INNUMERABLE MULTITUDE SHOW UP IN HEAVEN IN GLORIFIED BODIES? (Revelation 7:9-16).
And, in order to appear in heaven, WOULDN'T THEY HAVE HAD TO LEAVE THE EARTH FIRST?
When was ONE THIRD of the earth's surface burnt to a crisp? (Revelation 8:7)
When did ONE THIRD of the sea and, later, THE ENTIRE SEA, turn to blood? (Revelation 8:8; 16:3-4)
When have people EVER been required to receive a mark on the right hand or forehead in order to buy or sell? (Revelation 13:16-18).
Who was the Antichrist? Hint: It WASN'T Nero.
And when was there A STATUE OR IMAGE OF ANTICHRIST WHICH COULD SPEAK? (Revelation 13:14-15).
When did he mass armies at Armageddon to impede the RETURN OF Jesus? (Revelation 16:12-16)
When did Jesus cast him into the lake of fire? (Revelation 19:20)
When did Satan spend 1,000 in the abyss? (Revelation 20:1-3)
When did Jesus reign for a thousand years? (Revelation 20:4-9)
When did NEW JERUSALEM DESCEND FROM HEAVEN? (Revelation 21:2)
I could go on and on.
The ONLY way that preterists can make a REMOTELY "believable" case for their CULTIST HERESY is to ALLEGORIZE.
Of course, if we allegorize GOD'S WORD, then we turn God's Word into a joke, and can make the Bible say ANYTHING WE WANT.
But EVEN IF it's all to be understood as allegory, WHEN has the earth EVER been ANYWHERE NEAR an era of peace as described in Isaiah 2:2-4 or 11:6-9?
Even if we allegorize, it's still IMPOSSIBLE for any HONEST, Truth-seeking, Christ loving individual to buy into preterism's pack of lies.
I have a question for religion-filled, UNSAVED preterists:
Where, exactly, is the "Good News" (Gospel) in THEIR MESSAGE?
If ALL to which we look forward is "more of the same", WHAT HOPE is there for mankind?
If God is God, He simply CANNOT ALLOW this nightmarish, miserable "AS IS" earthly existence go on forever.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2013
If you've ever doubted the total depravity of modern society, just watch any of the frequent "awards" shows presented on TV.
Or, if you're like me and can't stand to watch, chances are you'll hear or read about them in the news the next day.
It seems like so-called "celebrities" will stop at nothing to outdo each other with the most outlandish outfits, the weirdest antics, or most debauched demeanor.
It's particularly sad to watch young performers who grew up in Christian homes, were raised in the Christian faith, and have become more worldly and raunchy than those who grew up without Jesus.
They've turned into pathetic, out-of-control train wrecks, and headline grabbing whores.
They'll stop at nothing, no matter how vulgar or immoral.
Is fame really worth such debasement?
Are money and celebrity worth succumbing to the very lowest human instincts?
If THAT'S THE ONLY WAY they can become famous and dominate the limelight, WHAT does that say about their LACK OF TALENT?
They've turned what used to be entertainment into a sordid competition to see who can come up with the most tasteless and disgusting acts:
Acts that the unprincipled, ratings-seeking entertainment media is only to eager to present again and again, to the public, which sadly includes many children and teens who view these dubious "celebrities" as "role models".
As influential as they are right now, THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT WILL RUN THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD (heaven help us) in just a few years UNLESS God intervenes soon in mankind's affairs.
These are people who NEVER KNEW Christ, hence have FORSAKEN the Christian principles they were taught as children, and who will all too eagerly welcome the Antichrist when he arrives on the scene.
Meanwhile, they've given new meaning to the word "spectacle" and, in the process, made A REAL SPECTACLE of themselves.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2013
THE FAITH TEST
In Genesis 22:1 we read that God TESTED Abraham.
God had promised Abraham he'd be the father of a GREAT MULTITUDE (Genesis 17:5).
And we find that "great multitude" that he promised Abraham, who would be SAVED BY FAITH ALONE as he was (Genesis 15:6), appearing suddenly in heaven before God's Throne 4,000 years later as the Raptured Church (Revelation 7:9).
He had promised Abraham that IN ISAAC his seed would be called (Genesis 21:12).
And yet, WHAT DID HE ASK ABRAHAM TO DO, AFTER making that promise?
You guessed it: He asked him to SACRIFICE Isaac (Genesis 22:2).
To the natural mind such request DIDN'T MAKE ANY SENSE.
If Isaac (not Ishmael) was to be Abraham's heir, if Abraham's lineage was to be counted through Isaac, HOW ON EARTH COULD GOD ASK HIM TO KILL HIM?
Was God (perish the thought) GOING BACK ON His Word?
Had He reneged on His promise?
Had Abraham trusted Him for naught?
And, WHY did God need to test him?
Didn't God know IN ADVANCE how Abraham would respond?
Didn't He know IN ADVANCE that Abraham would OBEY even if it meant SACRIFICING HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON?
Yes. And YES.
God KNEW in advance, glory to His Name. That's WHY He made an ETERNAL covenant with Abraham, whereby God would RECIPROCATE by offering HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON.
... That WHOEVER believes in Him shall NOT PERISH but have ETERNAL LIFE, since it is AN ETERNAL COVENANT (John 3:16).
That's WHY Jesus as "the Lamb" of God, offered in place of Isaac and of ALL THE REST OF Abraham's seed, would CONFIRM (STRENGTHEN) that eternal covenant by DYING ON THE CROSS and TAKING AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD (Daniel 9:27; John 1:29; 1 John 3:5).
Those who REALLY seek JESUS with all their hearts, who are COMMITTED TO Jesus WHOLEHEARTEDLY, will be tested in similar fashion, sooner or later.
God will ask something of you that will seem INCOMPREHENSIBLE.
It won't make ANY sense.
It will TOTALLY blow your mind.
Why? Because He TRUSTS YOU, as He trusted Abraham.
Because He knows IN ADVANCE how you will respond:
Because He wants to replace your natural mind, with His SUPERNATURAL Mind, the Mind of Christ.
Paul said it perfectly in 1 Corinthians 2:14:
"The natural man RECEIVES NOT the things of the Spirit of God".
They seem foolish. They make NO SENSE to the natural mind, for they must be SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED with the Mind of Christ.
Is God testing you?
Is He asking something of you that MAKES NO SENSE at all?
That your human mind can't handle?
Can you TRUST Him, EVEN WHEN (in the natural) it doesn't make any sense?
As with Abraham, it means that God is getting ready to do SOMETHING BIG in your life.
He's getting you to see things from His perspective and to THINK the way He does (Isaiah 55:9).
THAT'S WHY it makes "no sense" to your human mind.
According to James 1:12:
"Blessed are those WHO ENDURE WHEN THEY ARE TESTED. When they PASS THE TEST, they will receive THE CROWN OF LIFE that God has promised to those who love him".
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2013
CAUSE & EFFECT
Do the 4 years missing from our calendar affect the timing of Jesus' Second Coming, as per Daniel 9:25?
The answer is NO.
49 years or "seven sevens" from 1967 still end in 2017.
The purpose of removing those 4 years was to make it APPEAR as though Jesus didn't fulfill that prophecy in His First Coming, to make it appear as though it "didn't fit" Him.
It had nothing to do with His Second Coming because neither Jews nor most Christians, with the exception of those who've read this teaching on our website,are even aware that the Second Coming of Christ is also mentioned.
Could my teaching be wrong? Technically, yes, since I'm human and prone to mistakes.
But it's been on the website for the past three years with an open invitation FOR ANYONE to disprove it BIBLICALLY and (if I may borrow a boxing term) NO ONE HAS BEEN ABLE TO LAY A GLOVE ON IT.
You'd have one heck of a time convincing me that the 49 years from 449 B.C. to 400 B.C. were so important to God that He divided the 69 weeks into TWO sections ONLY FOR THEIR SAKE.
Besides, Jesus DIDN'T APPEAR in 400 B.C. as the statement "FROM the word to return and build Jerusalem TO Messiah Prince shall be 7 sevens" REQUIRES.
You'd have an even HARDER time convincing me that it's mere "coincidence" that, although Israel won the War of Independence in 1948the ONLY portion they "lost" JUST "HAPPENED TO BE" the Jewish Quarter.
Or that it was by "coincidence" that the Jordanian occupiers CHOSE to destroy most of it when they could have simply kicked the Jews out, looted their belongings, and settled into their expropriated homes and buildings.
Had they left the Quarter intact, chances are it would have never been rebuilt, as the prophecy requires.
And especially since the 70 weeks CANNOT - ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY CANNOT END WITHOUT - the Second Coming of Messiah Prince.
Hence, there's NO reasonable explanation other than they are divided into TWO sections because they point to the TWO (First & Second) Comings of Messiah Prince.
Well, what about the argument that the 49 years is how long it took Israelites to rebuild the city?
A. That's false. According to Nehemiah 13:6 it took twelve years to repair the wall and gates, rebuild and resettle the city, and establish a governing body.
B. Even if it had taken them that long Messiah Prince DID NOT appear IN 400 B.C. So, that's a mute point. And,
C. How on earth can the rebuilding of Jerusalem back then BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN the return of Messiah Prince to establish His Kingdom OVER THE WHOLE EARTH?
Well, could the SECOND "order" to "return and build" have happened AFTER 1967?
Two days after recapturing the Old City then Prime Minister Levi Eshkol toured the Quarter.
Within 4 days, they were demolishing the Moghrabi Quarter, so Jews would have direct access from the Quarter to the Western Wall.
Jews began to move back in, and the government immediately (June 19, 1967) issued eviction notices to the Arabs living there, and began clearing away the rubble and restoring basic living conditions.
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol's government, with the backing of the Knesset,extended Israeli law, jurisdiction, and administration to the eastern part of Jerusalem, including the Rova, on June 27, 1967.
By October 10, 1967 - Plans for the reconstruction of the former Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem had been presented to Mayor Teddy Kollek and to the Jerusalem Planning Board.
Plans do not get drawn by themselves. And they don't get drawn UNLESS SOMEONE AT THE TOP has ORDERED THEM DRAWN, or given "the word".
People can present all the lame arguments about officially expropriating the land in 1968, but there was never any doubt, after the Quarter was recovered in 1967 that Jews intended to "return and build".
But what about the United Nations?
WHAT about them?Does God give a hoot about what THEY think?
The WHOLE earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof (Psalm 24:1).
And God gave this land to Israel forever, whether ANYONE, including the UN, likes it or not (Genesis 15:18-21).
Period. End of Story.
Our God is CONSISTENT and the consummate Perfectionist.
He unequivocally gave TWO timelines in the Bible for His return, and they both BEGIN in June 1967 with the recovery of biblical Jerusalem(Daniel 8-25-27, Luke 21:24-27).
Christians MUST TRUST Jesus and His Word,even when IT DOESN'T APPEAR to be "happening".
The Second Coming is for Israel, not for the Church.
The Church will be in heaven.
When the Rapture-tribulation-Second Coming finally happen, ALL THE PIECES OF THE PROPHETIC PUZZLE WILL FIT TOGETHER PERFECTLY AND MAKE PERFECT SENSE.
Special THANK YOU to our dear Swiss-born brother Johnny who has singlehandedly undertaken the task of translating most of these messages into French, and also assisted with YouTube videos in that beautiful language:
Merci beaucoup et "bien fait", mon cher Johnny.
I know that it's an "endless" job that requires tremendous amounts of time, energy, detailed concentration, sacrifice and patience.
Not to mention "putting up with" yours truly... : )
I'm very grateful to Jesus for Johnny's UNSELFISH service and dedication to the Lord, for which he gets NOTHING material in return. I'm also honored to be serving our Lord alongside him.
If you speak French and want to check out his website go here: www.revelation2012.ch
And if you enjoy reading these teachings in your own native language, please take the time to drop Johnny a brief "thank you" note or express appreciation for how his ministry has blessed you.
Merci. A bientôt.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2013
THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT
Some 3,500 years ago, at Mount Sinai, God gave Moses the Torah comprised of 613 commandments.
Some commandments are greater than others.
Even teachers of the law (scribes) understood this: that's why they asked Jesus "teacher, which is THE GREATEST commandment in the law?" (Matthew 22:36).
Some teach that the 10 Commandments are the greatest because the tablets of stone on which they were engraved were placed inside the Ark of the Covenant, whereas the 5 books of Moses (the ENTIRE Torah or, as gentiles call it, the Pentateuch) was PLACED BESIDE THE ARK (Deuteronomy 31:24-26):
However, that's NOT what Jesus said or taught.
Contrary to what some teach today, the GREATEST COMMANDMENT, according to Jesus, is NOT one of the 10.
Repeat: THE GREATEST commandment IS NOT ONE OF the 10 Commandments.
Hence, THE GREATEST COMMANDMENTS WERE NOT THOSE INSIDE the Ark.
The Greatest Commandment, ACCORDING TO GOD - the GIVER OF the commandments - is to love Him with ALL our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37-38).
The SECOND GREATEST is similar: love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39).
Jesus said THAT ALL THE LAW AND ALL THE PROPHETS (THE ENTIRE Bible or Tanach) hung on those TWO commandments (Matthew 22:40).
WHY is loving God wholeheartedly THE GREATEST commandment of all?
Because God IS Love (1 John 4:16).
Because when we love, live, talk and act in His Love we are ONE WITH God.
We're talking about Jesus' DIVINE love here, NOT about natural human "love".
They are as different as day and night.
When we come to Jesus we become PARTAKERS OF His Divine Nature, which IS Divine Love (1 Peter 1:4).
When we walk in His Nature, brother and sister, it doesn't get any better or higher than that.
The great tragedy is that evangelical Christians MOVE HEAVEN AND EARTH to get others to receive that Divine Nature (become born-again), ONLY TO HAVE THEM IGNORE IT and PAY ZERO ATTENTION TO IT for the rest of their lives.
It makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER, but that's the sad reality that goes on even among Bible-toting evangelicals.
The 10 Commandments are NOT the fulfillment of the Law, BUT THE GOD NATURE OF DIVINE LOVE, IS (Romans 13:9-10).
Try to "keep" the 10 Commandments and you'll break all 10, and most, if not all 613.
Acquire God's Love Nature by receiving Love Himself, Jesus Christ, INTO YOUR HEART, and God will AUTOMATICALLY CREDIT YOU WITH FULFILLING not just the 10, but all 613 Torah commandments TO PERFECTION (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Glory to Jesus forever!
Praise Him for His marvelous Grace.
LOVING God is THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT BECAUSE ONLY LOVE FULFILLS GOD'S LAW.
It's THE GREATEST commandment because ONLY GOD (Love) can SATISFY God.
It's THE GREATEST BECAUSE the ONLY ONE that TOTALLY pleases God -- is God Himself.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013
THE RAPTURE & FEASTS
Must the rapture happen on a Feast?
I can think of at least FOUR passages of Scripture where God says that "the end" (Second Coming) must happen at an appointed time or Feast (lemoed) (Daniel 8:19; 11:27, 29, 35).
I haven't found ONE verse of Scripture that says the Rapture MUST happen on an appointed feast.
COULD IT happen on a Feast? Yes.
Would it MAKE SENSE if it did? Yes.
Does it HAVE TO happen on a feast? NO.
Many of our Messianic brothers are convinced that the Rapture must happen on Yom Teruah.
They say that the expression used by Jesus that "no one knows the day or the hour" is a Hebrew idiom for that two-day Feast.
I have to confess I'm somewhat skeptical:
If that were the case, since Jesus is Jewish, and doubtlessly well acquainted with Jewish idioms and with that Feast, wouldn't He HAVE KNOWN?
If it is a Hebrew idiom that refers to Yom Teruah why would Jesus say that NO ONE back in the first century, not Him, not the angels, knew?
Even IF it were a Hebrew idiom, Yom Teruah is not the only "uncertain day" in the Hebrew calendar, since EVERY ROSH CHODESH is also uncertain, given that per God's explicit instructions the new moon must be visible in Israel in order for that month to begin.
I have made A VERY STRONG biblical case, also strongly supported by Jewish custom and observance of certain Feasts, that what is described in Revelation 7:9-16, where the Church shows up suddenly in heaven as a great multitude in glorified bodies is a Yom Kippur - Sukkot celebration and, to be more specific, the 7th day of Sukkot which is known as Hoshana Rabba or The Great Salvation.
Taking that into consideration, it would make more sense if THE TRIBULATION BEGAN on Yom Teruah and the Church were hauled away shortly after (sometime between Yom Kippur and Sukkot).
Would it make A LOT of sense and dovetail PERFECTLY with Scripture if it happened on either of those Feasts of the Lord?
Does it ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO HAPPEN on Yom-Sukkot?
Although there are VERY STRONG INDICATIONS throughout the Bible that point to that specific period, I see no verse in Scripture that says it MUST.
Therefore, we must keep an open mind.
There's no "time" in the heavenly realm, so technically, from a heavenly perspective, God can celebrate Yom Kippur, Sukkot or any other Feast WHENEVER HE WANTS.
Remember that THE ONLY REASON for what seems to us like "He delays" His appearing is THAT HE WANTS EVERYONE TO BE SAVED (2 Peter 3:9).
Remember that EVERY MINUTE that goes by SOMEONE is getting saved SOMEWHERE in the world.
Would you want THAT INDIVIDUAL to go through the tribulation, or worse, BE LOST, so you could see Jesus 5 minutes sooner?
Right now it seems like He's taking "forever" to appear, but remember, Body of Christ, that we get to spend ETERNITY with Him.
And, by the way, ETERNITY IS NOT "future": ETERNITY is NOW.
Even though the COLLECTIVE Rapture hasn't happened NOTHING and NO ONE can prevent you FROM ENJOYING JESUS, AND HAVING DEEP SPIRITUAL INTIMACY WITH HIM RIGHT NOW.
Jesus said He'd show up at a time WHEN WE THINK NOT. And He was talking to His disciples (the 12) when He said that (Matthew 24:44; 25-1-13; Luke 12:40).
Jesus is coming for a Church UNITED IN SPIRIT, IN FAITH and in the KNOWLEDGE OF the Son of God (Ephesians 4:13):
A Church that is COLLECTIVELY of His own stature, so as not to be UNEQUALLY YOKED with an inferior, UNBELIEVING Bride (2 Corinthians 6:14):
A Church He can present to Himself without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27):
He's NOT COMING FOR a FAITHLESS Church swept to and fro by every wind of doctrine, that seeks EVERY DUMB "SIGN" IMAGINABLE, and LOOKS FOR EVERYTHING, except Jesus Himself.
Do you want the Rapture?
Then seek Jesus' FACE with ALL YOUR HEART.
DON'T seek ANYTHING ELSE.
Seeing Jesus IS the Rapture.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2013
As if there already isn't enough eschatological crap to fill the world's largest sewer polluting cyberspace, the latest fad is "correcting" the Hebrew calendar.
I did a recent series of messages DEMONSTRATING that the Hebrew calendar and, consequently, the Gregorian (Christian) calendar are both "missing" 4 years, which were excised ON PURPOSE by the first century religious establishment, in order to obscure Jesus' AMAZING fulfillment of Daniel 9:25-27.
But that's NOT what I'm talking about today.
The lunacy I'm about to expose posits that the Hebrew calendar is OFF by a month, and that the Feasts that just took place in September should really happen this month (in October).
Depending on which "expert" you listen to, the spring equinox must coincide with Rosh Chodesh Nisan (Nisan 1) or with Passover (Nisan 15).
Would be "experts" who favor this theory claim this "rule" was observed in ancient times from Adam to Noah, to Abraham, and even by the ancient pharaohs.
They also claim that it fulfills Genesis 1:14 which says the sun, moon and stars are to mark appointed times, seasons, days AND YEARS.
What NO EXPERT can do is provide any CREDIBLE, RELIABLE historic source for his claims that such system was used by the patriarchs, or by the pharaohs.
They are also UNABLE TO provide any SOLID, BIBLICAL EVIDENCE to back up their claims.
One of the "experts" TOTALLY CONTRADICTS HIMSELF, right on his own home page, by first saying Passover must coincide with the vernal equinox, then projecting next year's Passover to begin on the eve of April 13, 2014 which, by my count, is 24 DAYS (almost A WHOLE MONTH) AFTER the spring equinox which will be on March 20.
He shoots his own theory down, and DOESN'T EVEN REALIZE IT.
So much for CREDIBILITY...
The Hebrew calendar is NOT solely lunar, but luni-solar. Therefore, it TOTALLY SATISFIES Genesis 1:14.
God specifically told Israelites to base their months, and THE BEGINNING OF THE FIRST MONTH (hence, the beginning of the year) ON THE NEW MOON (Exodus 12:2, Numbers 10:10).
In ancient times, at least two reliable witnesses were to appear before the Sanhedrin and testify that the new moon had been sighted (Deuteronomy 19:15, Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 19b-20a).
Genesis 1:14 that calls FOR YEARS to also coincide with the sun is satisfied by ADDING A LEAP MONTH (Adar I) of 30 days 7 times during each 19-year cycle, thus adjusting the approximate 11-day per year difference between lunar and solar calendars.
Clearly, these "experts" have NO CLUE what they're talking about, AND HAVE NO BUSINESS "CORRECTING" ANYTHING or anyone but THEMSELVES.
But let's set all that aside for a moment and just use our God-given COMMON SENSE:
Israelites are an ANCIENT PEOPLE. They've been observing these commandments and traditions for a long, long time.
They have an Oral Law (Mishna) which is now written in which such things are discussed IN EXCRUCIATING DETAIL.
Don't you find it just a teensy weensy bit PRESUMPTUOUS, not to mention RIDICULOUS, that some 21st century IDIOT should claim that he - and HE ALONE - has stumbled upon the "right" calendar, AT LEAST 3,500 years AFTER the fact?
Give me a huge break!
And if the Jewish calendar was off by a month don't you think that God would have CORRECTED THEM in His Word?
He minces no words on all the other things they messed up.
Jews were using essentially the same calendar they use today when Jesus appeared: He died right smack on Passover, was buried on Unleavened Bread, rose on First Fruits and sent His Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
You can't say that they were using THE CORRECT reckoning of appointed times in the first century A.D. but NOT TODAY.
The present rabbinic calendar is usually a day or two "early" due to the fact they now use calculations, as opposed to ACTUAL SIGHTING of the new moon, as required in ancient times, and as Karaite Jews still do.
The Karaite calendar is CORRECT and TOTALLY BIBLICAL WITH REGARDS TO observing THE FEASTS.
Its only flaw is that the 4 years pertaining to Jesus' birth date are also missing.
As for certain "calendars" that heretics espouse, I wouldn't WASTE TWO SECONDS (pun intended) on ANY of them:
WHEN has Satan EVER told the Truth?
WHY would A CHRISTIAN seek answers FROM THE DEVIL?
And, make no mistake: those FALSE denominations ARE of the devil and LEAD MILLIONS OF HAPLESS SOULS TO HELL DAILY.
If they LIE TO US about the MOST ESSENTIAL TRUTH which is Salvation, WHY would we expect Truth from them ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE?
And WHY ON EARTH would God KEEP THIS INFORMATION from His Chosen People (Jews) and from HIS OWN CHILDREN (Church) and REVEAL IT TO SOME SCHMUCK that started A FALSE SECT 67 YEARS AGO?
Calendar schmalendar... I don't like the fact Jesus didn't take us Home in September ANY MORE THAN YOU DO.
But I'm not about to INVENT A NEW THEORY to "justify" why He didn't.
Nor am I about to embark on a frantic "internet search" to see what every nitwit in religious cyberspace "thinks" about it.
I will continue to TRUST Jesus, seek the Spirit's guidance, and search the Scriptures.
I know, and am CONFIDENT, that our Jesus DOES NOT LIE.
Hence, I will seek ANSWERS from Him, and NOT FROM EVERY LIAR THAT REARS UP HIS UGLY HEAD on the web.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2013
STOP THE INSANITY
"And THIS VOICE WHICH CAME FROM HEAVEN WE HEARD, when we were with him in the holy mount:
We have also A MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY; TO WHICH YOU DO WELL THAT YOU TAKE HEED, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, UNTIL the day dawn, and the day star arises in your heart".
WHERE does God's Word say we are to look for answers about Bible prophecy, including the Rapture?
In the Bible.
We have A WRITTEN WORD OF PROPHECY MORE SURE, than EVEN THE AUDIBLE VOICE OF God which Peter, John and James heard on the mount of transfiguration.
WHERE do God's people look for answers today?
EVERYWHERE BUT the Bible:
Imaginary comets hitting the earth, planetary alignments, nonexistent planets (Nibiru anyone?) the Zodiac, Nostradamus, pagan calendars, solar and lunar eclipses, dreams, false "visions" that someone claims to have had, invented calendars that lack biblical or historic validity, and that were "ONLY revealed" to ONE individual, supposed "Bible codes", secret societies, conspiracy theories, prophecy forums, aliens, demons, equinoxes and equiluxes.
"Hey, Joe, WHAT DATE IS THE ODDS-ON FAVORITE for the Rapture to happen"?
I'm only surprised they're not taking freakin' bets in Vegas.
CAN SOMEONE please tell me WHERE IN SCRIPTURE did Jesus command us to look for possible comets hitting the earth as a sign of the Rapture?
CAN SOMEONE please tell me WHERE IN SCRIPTURE did Jesus command us to seek others' OPINIONS as to when the Rapture might occur?
CAN SOMEONE please tell me WHERE IN SCRIPTURE did Jesus command us to even CONSIDER any of the above or, for that matter, ANYTHING BESIDES HIS WORD, to determine the approximate time of His return?
He told us to look IN THE BIBLE.
He gave us signs IN THE BIBLE.
He told us what would happen as Rapture time got near (Luke 21:24-25; Matthew 24:4-8) and we ARE SEEING THAT.
He also told us what would happen JUST PRIOR TO, or CONCURRENT with, our departure from earth (Matthew 24:29; Revelation 6:12-16): Haven't seen that yet.
He also gave additional details through His holy prophets of old:
About ONE THIRD of the Bible IS PROPHECY.
Yet NO ONE seems CARE.
Apparently, Jesus' words AREN'T ENOUGH for this WICKED and FAITHLESS GENERATION THAT SEEKS ALL SORTS OF UNBIBLICAL, IMAGINARY "SIGNS" (Matthew 16:4).
Instead of searching God's Word for new revelation, or something we may have missed, WE LOOK EVERYWHERE ELSE.
We need to come up WITH OUR OWN INSANE METHODS of prognosticating His arrival.
Stop the INSANITY!
If "the answer" is to be found anywhere it's in the Holy Spirit and the Bible.
I may never get it right, but I'll tell you one thing:
THE ONLY PLACE I look for Bible prophecy, the only place I look for the approximate time of the Rapture, IS THE BIBLE ITSELF.
Jesus told us to search the Scriptures, Jesus told us to watch, and Jesus told us to TRUST HIM (John 5:39; Mark 13:37; 16:16).
He NEVER TOLD us to INVENT new theories, or look ANYWHERE ELSE.
The TESTIMONY OF JESUS IS the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10).
The TESTIMONY OF MORONS isn't worth anything.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2013
Who is stronger, God or Satan?
You'd think the answer is so OBVIOUS, that I wouldn't even need to bring up the subject.
Please feel free to SKIP this message if you KNOW (are 100% certain of) the answer.
However, this is an issue which MUST be addressed.
I have been alarmed by the increasing number of supposed "Christians" who tell some AWFUL story of satanic oppression.
What they ALL have in common is they've delved into some form of the occult, they're now seized by PANIC, feel victimized and, even worse, THINK they're HELPLESS to do anything about it.
The symptoms and circumstances vary, and suffice it to say they're all bad and very troubling. I refuse to go into details for two reasons: 1] I'll quit the ministry before I say anything that even remotely glorifies Satan, and 2] It's all one BIG, BIG, HUGE LIE.
The human mind is where Satan has always done his COVERT, DECEPTIVE, DIRTY WORK. Simply stated, those experiencing oppression have GIVEN PLACE TO THE DEVIL and have been DECEIVED.
God explicitly told us "DON'T GIVE PLACE TO the devil" (Ephesians 4:27).
He didn't just say that for no good reason. God KNOWS what giving the evil one place can do to the human mind, and if you doubt it, read Genesis chapter 3.
Fear is a spiritual force.
These people have allowed their minds to be DECEIVED and FILLED WITH FEAR, which in turn gives Satan the ammunition he needs to carry out his attacks.
They often feel helpless and that there's NO SOLUTION, NOTHING they can do to be delivered.
No child of God has ANY business delving into ANY form of satanic ANYTHING... whether it's a religious cult, like Freemasonry or Scientology, a TV show about haunted houses, satanic movies or music, some sort of ritual, seance, or occult science like astrology, New Age, spiritism, channeling, a satanic website, pornography, or anything else.
If you've been involved in any way, shape or form with any of these, the first step to your DELIVERANCE is QUIT. NOW! COLD TURKEY!
You can't overcome FEAR, WHICH IS YOUR MAIN PROBLEM, when your mind or environment are filled with it.
Second, REPENT. Seek Jesus with all your heart, and ask His forgiveness. You'll get it.
Ask Him [again] to ENTER YOUR HEART AND FILL YOU WITH HIS SPIRIT.
Third, oppression ALWAYS begins in the mind. YOU MUST REPLACE THE EVIL THOUGHTS OF FEAR WITH THE WORD OF GOD, WHICH PRODUCES FAITH.
Saturate your mind with God's Word, especially the New Testament. If an evil thought crosses your mind, REJECT IT IMMEDIATELY and think about some portion of God's Word, or about Jesus on the cross, pouring out His Blood to CLEANSE YOU AND DELIVER YOU.
Last but not least, STAND AGAINST SATAN AND RESIST HIM!
God's Word PROMISES that if we submit to God, and resist Satan, he WILL FLEE [James 4:7].
IF YOU RESIST HIM IN CHRIST, SATAN WILL RUN.
Remember that "GREATER is He who is IN YOU that he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
The One IN YOU (if you're Christian) is GREATER THAN ANYONE OR ANYTHING.
If you get nothing else, please get this:
God is INFINITELY GREATER than Satan.
NEVER is a child of God helpless before Satan. NEVER! NEVER, EVER!
YOU have AUTHORITY OVER HIM!: KICK THE LOSER OUT!
It's time to turn the tables AND PUT THE FEAR OF GOD INTO that creep.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2013
DEATH AFTER LIFE
Um, excuse me, Martel, don't you mean "life after death"?
No. I mean DEATH AFTER life.
That's what atheists, agnostics and some skeptics claim to believe:
That when this TEMPORARY life is over, THAT'S THE END OF THE ROAD for them, and they merely CEASE TO EXIST:
That there's NO God, no heaven, no hell, NO AFTER LIFE.
They also pride themselves in believing ONLY what can be seen with LIMITED HUMAN VISION, and only what can be "scientifically proven".
Hence, if they CAN'T SEE IT, then "IT CAN'T BE" true.
There are HUGE problems with such faulty thinking.
For STARTERS there are MANY things that the human eye CANNOT DETECT, yet have been scientifically proven.
Your human eyes CAN'T SEE most molecules, yet they exist.
Your human eyes can't see thoughts, yet they exist.
Anything moving at the speed of light cannot be detected with natural human eyes.
Hence, if we increased the molecular speed of that chair or wall in front of you to the speed of light, it would disappear, although it would still be there AS MUCH AS IT WAS BEFORE, when you COULD see it.
Since Jesus (God) IS light, we cannot see Him with natural human eyes, but that doesn't mean He's not HERE or that He does not exist.
(I am told BY SOMEONE WHO HAS SEEN HIM that He is VERY VISIBLE to spiritual eyes and extremely brilliant and beautiful).
Therefore, to LIMIT "Truth" to what you can see with your LIMITED HUMAN EYES, what you can put in a lab test tube, or under a microscope, is RIDICULOUSLY circumscribed.
It gets EVEN WORSE, though.
Truth, by DEFINITION, MUST BE ETERNAL.
If something CEASES TO EXIST, at ANY point in "time", that means IT ISN'T TRUE.
The very fact it CEASED TO EXIST PROVES it wasn't true, but a mere ILLUSION.
Hence, Truth MUST BE ETERNAL. Truth NEVER CEASES to BE.
Therefore, if someone in this temporary life dies physically, and THAT is THE END of his/her/its existence, it would mean THEY WERE NOT TRUE, but mere illusions.
Furthermore, the THEORY ITSELF IS TOTAL FALLACY AND CANNOT BE TRUE, because Truth MUST be eternal.
There's NO WAY, therefore, that THIS TEMPORARY LIFE can be "the end".
In order for Truth to be TRUTH it CANNOT CEASE from Being, ever:
He/it MUST BE TRUE ALWAYS, NOW, 10 MINUTES FROM NOW, 100,000 YEARS FROM NOW, A QUADRILLION YEARS FROM NOW, AND FOREVER and EVER.
That, in turn, PROVES there MUST BE life AFTER physical death in some form or fashion.
Atheists' belief, therefore, is TOTALLY ILLOGICAL.
People can DENY their eternal existence all they want. They can DENY eternity all they want.
All they're doing is DENYING ultimate Truth, thus ENGAGING IN SELF-DECEPTION.
You can only deny Truth for so long.
It's only a matter of "time" before you HAVE TO face the Truth, like it or not.
It's only a matter of "time" before the Truth YOU CHOOSE TO DENY comes back to bite your behind.
Paul's words in Romans 1:22 come to mind:
"PROFESSING to be wise, THEY BECAME FOOLS".
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2013
THE SEAL OF GOD
"..if anyone DOES NOT HAVE the Spirit of Christ, THEY DO NOT BELONG TO Christ" (Romans 8:9).
"Now he who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God; Who has ALSO SEALED US, AND GIVEN THE GUARANTEE OF the SPIRIT IN OUR HEARTS"
(2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
"In whom you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession".. (Ephesians 1:13-14).
"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, BY WHOM YOU ARE SEALED UNTO THE DAY OF REDEMPTION" (Ephesians 4:30).
WHAT is the seal of God? The New Testament makes mention of His seal repeatedly.
Legalists would have us believe it's keeping the weekly Sabbath. You can't find that ANYWHERE in the New Testament or, for that matter, IN THE WHOLE BIBLE.
Others claim it's their man invented religion.
Jehovah's Witnesses would have us believe THEY ARE the 144,000 sealed Israelites mentioned in Revelation chapter 7, who are sealed on their foreheads, supposedly, with the name of "Jehovah".
There's one tiny problem with their teaching: this passage REQUIRES that the 144,000 be natural, Israelites... and they MUST BE 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes, then mentions the tribes of Israel BY NAME, one by one.
So, unless JW's can PROVE they come from the tribes of Judah, Ruben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulon, Joseph [Ephraim], or Benjamin... they're NOT IT.
Besides, God's Name ISN'T "Jehovah". It's Yahweh.
Next time some confused Jehovah's Witness comes to you with that ridiculous story, ask them which tribe of Israel they are from... then watch them backpedal...
The other story JW's have fabricated (they do live in their own little fantasy world, you know) concerns Revelation 22:4 where it says "and they shall see His Face, and His Name shall be in their foreheads".
The previous verse , clearly says that those who will have the Name of God on their foreheads, are His servants, in the new earth, who will have natural human bodies.
This is clearly referring to natural people, living in natural bodies, in the New Earth, since chapter 22:1 opens up with the promise of a new heaven and a new earth.
It couldn't possibly refer to born-again Christians, since we're God's children. His children will have supernatural, glorified bodies, just like Jesus (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1-5).
We don't need to have the Seal of God on our physical foreheads, since we have God Himself living in every particle of us. We have Him living in our hearts.
So, WHAT IS the seal of God?
The seal of God is the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30).
The INSTANT we receive Jesus as Savior and God His Spirit comes to live IN US and SEALS us unto the day of Redemption.
When we give our hearts to Jesus we become His cherished possession. He then sets His Royal Seal of ownership on our spirits.
His Holy Spirit IN OUR HEARTS is THE EVIDENCE that we belong to the King of kings. He is also the GUARANTEE of our redemption.
ANYONE who is NOT born again OF THE SPIRIT, IS NOT a child of God, and is NOT SAVED (John 3:5-7; Romans 8:9).
Salvation is INTERNAL, not EXTERNAL.
Nothing else, NO ONE ELSE BESIDES GOD'S SPIRIT IN US, guarantees our redemption, I don't care HOW MANY 24-hour Sabbaths you "keep".
If you haven't been born OF THE SPIRIT, if you haven't got God's Holy Spirit living in your heart, YOU'RE NOT SAVED, I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU HAVE ON YOUR FOREHEAD.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2013
SHADOWS AREN'T REAL
"Therefore, LET NO ONE JUDGE YOU because of what you eat or drink or about the observance of holy days, New Moon Festivals, or SABBATHS. THESE ARE A SHADOW OF things to come, BUT THE BODY (the REAL thing, that casts the shadow) is Christ" (Colossians 2:16-17).
Shadows ARE NEVER real.
No SHADOW is the REAL THING.
Your shadow is NOT you.
My shadow is NOT ME.
The shadow of a tree IS NOT the REAL tree.
Shadows are mere REFLECTIONS.
Shadows ALWAYS point to something or SOMEONE REAL AND BIGGER THAN THEMSELVES.
If the weekly, 24-hour Sabbath is called "a shadow" BY GOD, HOW can it be THE REAL SABBATH?
The 24-hour day is NO MORE THE REAL Sabbath than your shadow is REALLY you.
God says NO ONE is to judge us with regards to the 24-hour Sabbath.
NO ONE is to be judged based on a shadow, but ON SOLID, SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.
Furthermore, that passage tells us that THE BODY, the REAL SABBATH that causes the shadow, of which the 24-hour Sabbath is merely A TEMPORARY REPRESENTATION, IS JESUS.
Man, you can't say it ANY CLEARER THAN THAT.
Shadows ARE ALWAYS TEMPORARY.
There's NO SUCH THING AS a PERMANENT shadow.
Shadows, by definition, are DESTINED TO DISSIPATE AND ALTOGETHER DISAPPEAR.
Real things, ULTIMATE REALITY, IS ETERNAL.
Jesus is ETERNAL, the 24-hour Sabbath is TEMPORARY.
That's WHY it ONLY "LASTS" 24 HOURS.
How can something with a 24-hour duration BE ETERNAL?
How can something NOT ETERNAL be REAL?
Jesus is the true Sabbath. Saturday is NOT.
Saturday's just A PASSING SHADOW.
If you REALLY WANT TO "KEEP" the Sabbath, THEN WORSHIP JESUS AND SEEK HIM WITH ALL YOUR HEART and RECEIVE HIM INTO YOUR INNERMOST BEING.
Then REST (trust) in Him.
Cease from your OWN works and trust His Perfect Work of Redemption.
The 24-hour day DOESN'T give us ETERNAL REST, Jesus does (Matthew 11:28).
Anything else is A MERE SHADOW.
Shadows DON'T HELP ANYONE.
Shadows CAN'T SAVE. Jesus does.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2013
TEARING OF CLOTHES
Please note that "of" is written with ONE "f" and not two.
We're not talking about tearing OFF clothes, but about the biblical custom of TEARING one's own clothes.
Kriah or tearing a piece of one's clothing to show grief for the passing of a loved one is an ancient Hebrew tradition and is still practiced today during the Jewish shiva or funeral service, which can last up to 7 days.
Tearing one's own clothes was done as a sign of great sorrow and mourning, usually in reaction to some great calamity.
It was usually accompanied by wearing sackcloth, and putting ashes over one's own head.
Sackcloth is a coarse, black cloth made from goat's hair that was worn together with burnt wood ashes as a sign of mourning for personal and national disaster, or as a sign of repentance and at times of prayer for deliverance.
All these acts represented the mourner's grief and, depending on the situation, could also be signs of heartfelt repentance.
A few examples:
Job tore his clothes when Satan destroyed his family, his home, his health and all his possessions (Job 1:20).
Upon hearing about the death of Joseph, and seeing his blood-stained tunic, Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned his son for many days (Genesis 37:33-34)
David and his men tore off their clothes upon hearing about the deaths of Saul and his son Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:11-12).
When Mordecai heard of the Persian king's orders to annihilate all Jews, he tore off his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes and wept bitterly (Esther 4:1).
Tearing one's own clothes could also be an expression of GREAT ANGER.
Upon asking Jesus if He is the Messiah, and upon Jesus' reply "you have said it" Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest, went berserk, tore his clothes, and shouted "blasphemy"! (Matthew 26:65).
But no mourning or tearing of clothes in Israel's history will compare to that which will take place when they see the Messiah they've steadfastly rejected for 2,000 years APPEAR in POWER AND GREAT GLORY.
Joel saw that moment in spirit and this is what he wrote:
"Therefore also now, says the LORD, TURN TO ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
And TEAR YOUR HEARTS, AND NOT YOUR GARMENTS, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and OF GREAT KINDNESS, AND RELENTS FROM SENDING CALAMITY (Joel 2:12-13).
According to Joel 2:17 the Jewish priests, the ministers of the LORD, will weep between the third temple's porch and the altar, and will say:
"Spare your people, O LORD, and give not your heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: why should they say among the people, Where is their God? (Joel 2:17).
The name Israel means one who "contends (struggles) with God" (Genesis 35:10).
Israel has struggled with the very God who CHOSE THEM for the past 4,000 years.
God sent them the promised Messiah and they rejected Him.
"It CAN'T BE Him. He's NOT GOOD ENOUGH for us".
They want another "Messiah" and, by golly, they'll get him.
They want a third temple so they can offer sacrifices as in days of old, but all the animal blood in the world will not remove their sins.
Only Messiah's Blood will.
Wrestling with God is folly.
Stop fighting God, Israel.
When Messiah appears FOR THE SECOND TIME, they will finally realize how ungrateful, rebellious, and stiff-necked they've been.
The whole land will mourn from Megiddo, down to Jerusalem. (Zechariah 12:10-14)
Every garment in Israel will be torn, and there will be WAILING like they've never seen before.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2013
WHEN NOTHING MAKES SENSE
"I will lift up my eyes unto the hills from where comes my help. My help COMES FROM the Lord" (Psalm 121:1).
Ever gone through one of those patches where NOTHING that's going on around you makes any sense?
Logic and common sense dictate one thing, but life brings ANOTHER.
You plan ahead, check everything out, make the right decisions and take the right steps, and NOTHING turns out as you expected?
You try to get close to God but feel distant and don't even have the strength to seek Him?
What to do when you planned on drinking lemonade and life hands you a lemon?
Most of us would throw a fit. I know I have.
We'd throw our hands up in the air, and scream "God, WHAT THE HECK are you doing"? "What's going on? And "WHAT THE HECK HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS"?
I've both, been there and done that.
Go ahead and throw the tantrum if you need to, for therapeutic reasons, but...
Hang in there.
Trust Jesus. Remain faithful.
That's about ALL you can do:
Throw yourself HELPLESSLY into His loving hands AND TRUST HIM.
He knows what you DON'T. He sees what you CAN'T.
WHAT ELSE can you do?
WHO ELSE can you call on?
WHO ELSE HAS THE ANSWER AND SOLUTION to your questions and problems, except Jesus?
NO ONE ever faced more adversity than poor Job.
He was a godly man, yet he got a tormenting physical condition, lost his health, his wealth, all his possessions, his home, his children, most of his friends, and even his wife turned on him.
As if his misery wasn't already bad enough, the few friends who hung around POINTED AN ACCUSING FINGER at Job, tried to HEAP CONDEMNATION ON HIM, making HIM RESPONSIBLE for all the evil that had befallen him.
Worse, they did all the mudslinging very piously and in the name of Gaaaaawd.
With "friends" like that, who needs enemies, right?
Job soon realized that ALL he COULD do was trust God:
His faithful words still echo down the centuries to our generation:
"THOUGH HE SLAYS ME, YET WILL I TRUST IN HIM: but I will defend my own ways before him. He also will be MY SALVATION" (Job 13:15-16).
"God, EVEN IF YOU KILL ME, I'm not going anywhere: I'm sticking with you".
"You're NOT my problem. You're MY SOLUTION. You're MY SALVATION".
Job was FULLY RESTORED and got back TWICE what he had before (Job 42:10).
Dear sister or brother, you've come TOO FAR with Jesus, to give up on Him.
If you CAN'T TRUST the One who DIED the most painful, excruciating death for you, and poured out His most sacred Blood for your sake, WHO CAN YOU TRUST?
Show God and Satan THAT YOU MEAN BUSINESS, are TOTALLY committed to Jesus, and are in it FOR THE LONG HAUL, NO MATTER WHAT.
NO MATTER WHAT the circumstances may be...
Jesus is WORTH IT ALL:
Though He KILLS YOU, stay with Jesus.
His promise is that "he that ENDURES TO THE END WILL BE SAVED" (Matthew 10:22).
He who throws in the towel isn't promised ANYTHING.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2013
TO WHOM SHALL WE GO?
Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, TO WHOM SHALL WE GO? YOU HAVE THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE (John 6:68).
Are you disillusioned about life in general?
About religion IN PARTICULAR?
Have you had bad, hurtful experiences in Church or with Christians or Christian groups?
Are there LOTS OF THINGS in this transient world that seem unfair and don't make any sense?
Is it HARD to understand HOW OR WHY a loving God would allow certain awful things to take place?
A. Join the club.
B. TO WHOM SHALL YOU GO?
ALL forms of religion, including Christian denominations, were INVENTED by humans.
Jesus ISN'T religion.
Jesus is A PERSON.
And although He lives IN those who are born again (hard to believe by the way we act sometimes), we still do not manifest His Perfection yet, hence we will all fail you and disappoint you at some point.
Jesus is THE ONLY ONE who will never leave you nor forsake you, nor fail you, nor betray you... EVER.
He's THE ONLY ONE you can ALWAYS count on.
He's THE ONLY ONE who will never disappoint you or fail to meet your expectations.
He far exceeds the grandest, noblest longings of the human heart and mind.
He's THE ONLY ONE WHO IS ALWAYS ON YOUR SIDE.
He's THE ONLY ONE who CAN and WILL save you.
WHERE ELSE would you go?
To Confucius? He can't offer you ANYTHING. He's dead.
To Buddha? He's dead, too.
To Allah? He doesn't exist.
To Mohammed? He's dead and couldn't even save himself, let alone his followers.
To Hare Krishna? Please. All demons are doomed. They TREMBLE at the Presence of our Jesus.
Perhaps become atheist? Impractical.
You can deny the existence of God all you want, but the fact remains that He is eternal, having NO BEGINNING AND NO END.
And NOTHING you choose to "believe" or disbelieve will ever change that.
You can LIVE IN DENIAL, until He decides it's time for a REALITY CHECK, and you stand like a tiny ant before the INFINITE, ALL-POWERFUL Being.
So, TO WHOM SHALL YOU GO?
The decision is entirely yours, of course, but I submit that THE ONLY ONE who is ALIVE, and thus GUARANTEES YOU ETERNAL LIFE is Jesus.
THE ONLY ONE WHO LOVES YOU - totally and unconditionally - yes, REGARDLESS OF how lousy this temporary life has been for you, is Jesus.
The ONLY ETERNAL God is Jesus.
The ONLY ONE before Whom every knee shall bow is Jesus.
The ONLY ONE that every tongue will have to confess as Lord is Jesus.
The ONLY ONE whose Kingdom is ETERNAL is Jesus.
So, no matter how awful or miserable your temporary life here on earth has been you have two choices:
You can side with dead losers, and be MISERABLE FOR ETERNITY.
Or you can RECEIVE the Winner, INVITE HIM INTO YOUR HEART, have all those bad experiences and memories ERASED, all your sins FORGIVEN, and ENJOY A BRILLIANT WONDER-FILLED DESTINY FOR ALL ETERNITY.
Simon Peter had a big mouth which often got him in trouble, but even he realized that - even when he didn't like or fully comprehend some of Jesus' teachings -- THERE'S SIMPLY NOWHERE ELSE TO GO.
TO WHOM SHALL YOU GO?
There's ONLY ONE who gives -- AND WHO IS -- ETERNAL LIFE.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2013
In recent dialogue, I was shocked and horrified to learn that a certain "Christian" believes that congregating makes us righteous.
This person went on to say that if we DIDN'T congregate there was a high probability that we wouldn't be saved.
Furthermore, that if we failed to congregate there remains "no more sacrifice for sin".
This is just a tiny example of the HORRENDOUSLY FALSE doctrine that abounds in cyberspace.
You THINK you're communicating with a true brother or sister, and boom!
They come up with something like that.
Naturally, I couldn't keep quiet in the face of such falsehood and distortion of God's Word.
I'm NOT opposed to congregating.
I have congregated quite often, and still do from time to time with VARIOUS groups of believers.
Congregating, however, DOES NOT MAKE ANYONE RIGHTEOUS:
Repeat: Congregating DOES NOT make ANYONE righteous.
I don't care WHERE or WITH WHOM you congregate.
Walking into a religious building no more makes you righteous, than walking into a supermarket makes you a loaf of bread.
Congregating EVEN WITH Jesus Himself DIDN'T MAKE ANYONE righteous:
If it had, Pharisees and teachers of the law (scribes) would have repented of their gross hypocrisy and RECEIVED JESUS AS God, Savior and Messiah (Mark 7:1-2; John 7:25-32).
Congregating is CUSTOM, NOT COMMAND.
The Early Church's CUSTOM was to gather in individual homes, not in buildings. Why? Because they were being PERSECUTED and they needed to stay together and PRIVATELY help one another.
Prior to that, Jews in Babylonian captivity INVENTED THE LOCAL SYNAGOGUE and acquired the CUSTOM of congregating there for obvious reasons:
They were EXILES, in a strange land, and it's only natural that they would want to keep some sort of religious and cultural unity.
You can't find A SINGLE COMMAND, from Genesis to Revelation, that tells Jew or Gentile to CONGREGATE IN A BUILDING.
Closest thing to that idea are the pilgrimage Feasts (shalosh regalim) where Jews were required to MAKE PILGRIMAGE to Jerusalem three times a year.
And, yes, they would visit the temple, if the temple existed, but it was not primarily to congregate but to offer sacrifices for sin. It was AN ON-GOING THING during those Feasts, not from 10-12 on Sunday morning.
Hebrews 10:25 speaks of spiritual unity, NOT ABOUT CONGREGATING in a church building, since such buildings DIDN'T EXIST when that Epistle was written.
Repeat: Church buildings DID NOT EXIST when the Book of Hebrews was written.
Hence, NO ONE WAS CONGREGATING IN THEM.
If church buildings have proven anything, is that gathering there with other "Christians" DOES NOT PROMOTE SPIRITUAL UNITY.
If anything, they have fragmented the Church and diluted the Gospel almost beyond recognition.
Congregating should be VOLUNTARY, NOT COERCED.
The Bible doesn't even tell us HOW OFTEN to gather with other believers.
And THE SIN for which there remains "no more sacrifice" is doing spite to the Spirit of Grace and deeming Christ's Blood an unholy thing BY INSISTING that animal sacrifices are still needed and should continue EVEN AFTER the Lamb of God poured out His Most Sacred Blood AND REMOVED SIN FOREVER (Hebrews 10:14,29).
The entire 10th chapter of Hebrews juxtaposes the inefficacy of animal sacrifices against the ABSOLUTE, ONCE-FOR-ALL SUFFICIENCY of Christ's ETERNAL, SINLESS Sacrifice.
It's BLASPHEMY to even remotely compare gathering with a bunch of hypocritical, back-stabbing, religious wimps to the Holy Blood of Jesus.
We can "play church" all we want and GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS of "being Christian":
We can dress properly, act properly, hear sermons, read Scripture, sing hymns, kneel, pray, and even partake of bread & wine.
NONE OF THAT makes us righteous.
Jesus' Righteousness is THE ONLY RIGHTEOUSNESS in the universe (Isaiah 64:6; Mark 10:18).
Hence, ONLY Jesus IN our hearts MAKES US RIGHTEOUS.
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