November 2013 archives of www.christconnection.net down below
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2013
Everyone's afraid of the number 666.
Since it's mentioned in the 13th chapter of Revelation as the number of Antichrist, everyone regards it as evil, to the point people often refuse street addresses, phone numbers, license plates and even credit cards which bear this ominous number.
For decades, religious minds have tried to guess the identity of the Antichrist by adding up the numerical value of the letters that form an individual's name. For instance, they erroneously named Nero as the Antichrist because the letters in "Caesar Nero" in Latin add up to 666.
They got the same result by adding the numerical value in Latin of the alleged words etched on the Papal crown, and on Prince Charles's coat of arms.
Of course, there is more than one language in which letters also have numerical value.
John, who penned the Book of Revelation, was a Jew, who doubtlessly spoke Aramaic, wrote in Greek, and lived under the Roman Empire, whose official language was Latin. You see the problem...
In the 80's some prophecy "experts" thought then-President Ronald Wilson Reagan was the Antichrist because there were 6 letters in each of his names [first, middle and last].
There's even a website with all the famous people whose names, in one way or another, add up to 666.
If you ask me, some people just have too much time on their hands...
Firstly: If you have to guess, you don't know.
When you KNOW, you DON'T HAVE TO guess.
And if you DON'T KNOW, you have no business spreading rumors about "this guy" or "that guy" being the Antichrist, let alone writing books about it and TEACHING IT AS FACT.
The reason so-called "prophecy experts" have failed miserably in identifying Antichrist is because of their spiritual immaturity: They act, speak and write as though God were playing some sort of guessing game with us to see if, by any chance, we "guess right".
Truth be told, we don't need to guess, since the Bible tells us explicitly who Antichrist is.
Secondly, the Bible never said we are to learn, let alone guess, the Antichrist's identity based on this number alone. The number ALONE DOESN'T TELL US WHO THE ANTICHRIST is.
The number is merely ONE of many identifying signs given in Scripture. The REAL Antichrist must fulfill ALL those signs.
The other reason for prophecy gurus' repeated failures is that they take a single identifier, such as 666, run with it, ignore all the other clues, and fabricate all sorts of unscriptural, speculative lies, to make you believe they know what they're talking about when, in reality, THEY HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE.
The Antichrist must match the description given in the Bible IN ITS ENTIRETY: NOT 90%, NOT 99%, BUT 100%.
Thirdly, the Bible never said 666 is the numerical value of LETTERS in the Antichrist's name. THAT WAS INVENTED BY THE CLUELESS, IMMATURE PROPHECY ESTABLISHMENT.
Here's yet another example of how these pretenders fabricate unscriptural lies, then end up believing their own lies AS THOUGH they were in the Bible.
And fourthly, 666 or the "mark of the beast" is NOT worshiping God on Sunday instead of Saturday, nor does it refer to any mandatory "Sunday law". That is pure Ellen White fabrication. God should be worshiped EVERY SINGLE DAY (Psalm 113:3), those who receive the mark will worship Satan and Antichrist, not God (Revelation 13:4), and there is ZERO mention in the Bible about such idiocy.
So, what does 666 stand for? Revelation 13:18 tells us VERY CLEARLY THAT "it is the number of man".
Six is the number of man because man (Adam) was created on day 6 [Genesis 1:26,31].
The number 666 is NOT the numerical value of LETTERS in a man's name.
It simply represents the number of times this man [The Man of Sin] has appeared, or will appear, on the earth.
This guy already appeared once , then twice  and will make his third final and appearance as a human , the infamous Antichrist, at the beginning of the tribulation, shortly after the Church is raptured. That is what "666" stands for.
Forget Latin, Hebrew and Greek. Forget about adding up letters in a name. 666 is merely telling us that this MAN, who's already lived twice in the past, [under different names, but indwelt by the same spirit of Antichrist] will appear on earth for a third and final time to establish Satan's kingdom on earth.
He will be resurrected from the dead [Revelation 17:8] and everyone whose name ISN'T written in the Lamb's Book of Life will go gaga over his resurrection.
He first appeared in human form as Nimrod, king of the Assyrian empire. He then appeared as Alexander the Great, king of the Greek empire.
He will appear for the third and final time as the resurrected Alexander, who will begin his reign on earth 42 months prior to Jesus' Second Coming (Revelation 13:5).
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2013
THE TRIUMPHANT MESSIAH
Thanking, adoring and praising Jesus for all the blessings He bestows on us daily, especially our Salvation which is A GIFT, 100% certain, and ETERNAL. Hallelujah! Glory to Him from everlasting to everlasting!
Somewhat related to today's message: Although the news in recent days pertaining to the Middle East in general, and Israel and Iran in particular, have not been encouraging, these things must take place.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 came to mind: "When they say, "Peace and security," then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains come on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape".
Some people have a hard time believing that most individuals left on earth during the tribulation will KNOWINGLY AND INTENTIONALLY oppose Jesus and try to topple His rule.
This is something we never hear in conventional prophetic teaching. However, it's been in your Bibles for the past 2,000-3,000 years.
Revelation 13:4 plainly states that, during those fateful 3½ years, humans will OPENLY WORSHIP SATAN.
It also says they will be mesmerized by the risen Antichrist, the greatest warrior and military genius in history, and defiantly ask "WHO is like the beast? WHO is able to MAKE WAR against him"?
The Antichrist will be the manifestation of their evil hearts' desires: someone with supernatural powers, with the reputation, strategic credentials and track record to make a "convincing case" for defeating Christ.
Revelation 16:14-16 and 19:19 plainly say that they will gather at Armageddon FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF OPPOSING the Second Coming of Christ.
There's A LOT of hostility toward Christ and Christians ALREADY among unbelievers.
Last but not least, PSALM 2 is must-read for every student of prophecy:
"Why do THE HEATHEN (nations, gentiles) RAGE, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 THE KINGS OF THE EARTH SET THEMSELVES, AND THE RULERS TAKE COUNSEL TOGETHER, AGAINST the LORD, and AGAINST his anointed (Messiah), saying,
3 LET US BREAK THEIR BANDS ASUNDER, and cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them IN HIS WRATH, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8 Ask of me, and I SHALL GIVE THEE THE HEATHEN FOR THINE INHERITANCE, AND THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE EARTH FOR THY POSSESSION.
9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled ...
Blessed are ALL THEY that PUT THEIR TRUST IN Him".
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2013
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain SHALL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
"THE TEMPLE WAS PURIFIED on the twenty-fifth of Kislev (Hanukkah). The joyful celebration lasted for eight days. It was like Sukkot, for they recalled how only a short time before they had kept the festival while living like animals in the mountains, they observed the joyful celebration, which lasted for eight days. And so THEY CARRIED LULAVIM (palm fronds) AND ETROGIM and they chanted hymns to God, who had so triumphantly led them to the purification of the Temple" (2 Maccabees 10:5-7).
"Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights in Whom there is no variableness or even shadow of turning" (James 1:17)
Hanukkah is called "the Festival of Lights" and is closely associated with Sukkot, as we read above.
On the day before Hanukkah, the prophet Haggai received this message from the Lord:
"And now... consider FROM THIS DAY ONWARD, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the LORD:
...Consider now from this day and onward, FROM THE 24th DAY OF THE NINTH MONTH (Kislev 25, Hanukkah), even FROM THE DAY THAT THE FOUNDATION of the LORD'S temple was laid, consider it.
...from this day will I bless you.
And AGAIN the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the 24th day of the month, saying...
I WILL SHAKE THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH (precisely what happens when Jesus opens the 6th seal, Revelation 6:12)
And I will OVERTHROW THE THRONE OF KINGDOMS, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the gentiles...IN THAT DAY, says the LORD of hosts, will I take you, O Zerubbabel, my servant...and will make you as a signet ring: for I have chosen you, says the LORD of hosts" (Haggai 2:15-23).
It was during the Feast of Hanukkah, in the 10th chapter of John's Gospel, that Jesus talked about the catching away of His Church [John 10:22]:
([I've edited out certain portions of the chapter for the sake of space and continuity).
1 "Truly, truly, I say to you, He that enters not BY THE DOOR into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that enters in BY THE DOOR is THE SHEPHERD of the sheep.
3 To him the porter opens; and THE SHEEP HEAR HIS VOICE: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
4 And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for THEY KNOW HIS VOICE...
7 Then said Jesus to them again, Truly, truly, I say to you, I AM THE DOOR of the sheep...
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and THEY SHALL HEAR MY VOICE; AND THERE SHALL BE ONE FOLD, AND ONE SHEPHERD...
22 And it was at Jerusalem THE FEAST OF THE DEDICATION [Hanukkah], and it was winter.
23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch...
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I GIVE TO THEM ETERNAL LIFE; and THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH, neither shall any man PLUCK THEM OUT of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able TO PLUCK THEM OUT of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one.
The reasons we know He's referring to the Rapture are:
1)"THE OPEN DOOR" (that no man can shut) [Revelation 3:8; 4:1] is mentioned repeatedly.
2) The sheep "HEAR HIS VOICE" - is stated over and over. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 "for the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven WITH A SHOUT [voice], with the voice of the Archangel and the Trump of God"...
3) OTHER SHEEP: [verse 16] "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd".
This could only be "the Church", since it didn't exist yet when Jesus spoke that parable.
4) ONE FOLD - "There shall be ONE FOLD" can only refer to when we are ALL gathered together unto Him (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).
When ALL the dead IN CHRIST rise first, then we are caught up TOGETHER WITH THEM to meet the Lord.
Lord knows, we're NOT "one fold" yet, even as we speak.
5) Verse 28 "they shall NEVER perish" can only refer to those who NEVER DIE because they're changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye from mortal to immortal [1 Corinthians 15:50-55].
6) Verses 28 and 29 where He says TWICE that "no man can PLUCK THEM out of my hand".
The Greek word for "PLUCK THEM" IS HARPAZO. Harpazo means "to snatch, or seize suddenly".
Interestingly, HARPAZO is THE EXACT SAME WORD used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (the anchor verse quoted above) "then WE WHO ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN SHALL BE CAUGHT UP [harpazo] in the clouds to meet the Lord"...
So, He's saying that once He "harpazoes" us, no one else can "harpazo" us.
7. Curiously, the first person to EVER be "raptured", in all of history, was Enoch [Genesis 5:24].
Enoch, is Hanokh in Hebrew.
It means "DEDICATED" AND COMES from the same Hebrew root as "Hanukkah", the feast of DEDICATION.
8. The feast of Hanukkah celebrates the CLEANSING AND DEDICATION of the TEMPLE which had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes. That's EXACTLY what happens to the human temple at the Rapture.
The human temple is cleansed, the mind renewed and DEDICATED ENTIRELY to God, as it was before they (Adam) sinned.
It's that renewed mind, filled with God's Manifest Presence (Shekinah) that will cause our transformation from mortal to immortal.
9. Hanukkah ALSO commemorates the re-lighting of the menorah, the 7-branch CANDLESTICK in the temple.
And WHAT WAS THE VERY FIRST SYMBOL THAT JESUS SHOWED John WHEN he WROTE REVELATION?
The 7-branch menorah. And He said it symbolized THE CHURCH:
"And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the middle of the seven candlesticks (menorah) one like to the Son of man"... [Revelation 1:12-13].
"The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and THE SEVEN CANDLESTICKS (MENORAH) WHICH YOU SAW ARE THE SEVEN CHURCHES" (Revelation 1:20).
Seven, of course, is the number of COMPLETION.
10. Hebrew tradition is that there was not enough oil to keep the menorah lit when the Second Temple was re-dedicated and that the oil miraculously lasted 8 days.
What did Jesus say in the parable of the 10 virgins? (Matthew 25:1-12) That ONLY THOSE WHO HAD OIL IN THEIR LAMPS got to go into the marriage feast.
So, the parallels between this Feast and the catching away of the Church are truly amazing.
Do you HAVE OIL? Have you received Jesus, the ANOINTED ONE, the Giver of Oil, into your heart?
If you haven't, DON'T WAIT ANOTHER SECOND.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2013
"Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, ‘WHAT IS HIS NAME?' Then what shall I tell them?"
God said to Moses, "I AM that I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you. "
God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob-has sent me to you.'
"THIS IS MY NAME FOREVER, THE NAME YOU SHALL CALL ME FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION" (Exodus 3:13-15).
Everything in this vast universe can be summed up in those two words.
...Which are/is the Name of God.
Because He is, you and I are.
Because He is, everyone else is.
Because He is, everything else is.
Nothing is, has ever been, or will ever be, apart from Him.
All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made (John 1:2).
He is THE ONLY Way to Himself (John 14:6)
He is THE (ultimate) TRUTH.
He is THE Life.
He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last (Revelation 1:17; 21:6).
He is the Resurrection and THE LIFE (John 11:25).
He is ALIVE FOREVERMORE.
He is the ONLY righteousness that exists anywhere (Mark 10:18).
He is THE ONLY Savior, beside Whom there is no other (Titus 1:4; 2:13).
He is Holy, Holy, Holy... (Revelation 4:18)
In the Hebrew Bible, the Tetragrammaton (YHWH ) occurs 6,828 times.
He is the only Name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2013
THE CHURCH : TRUE AND FALSE
All the debate that goes on in Christendom about who's right and who's wrong, about which is the "true church" and which isn't, is about to come to a clear and abrupt end.
In Revelation 7:8-16 we find the TRUE Church appearing suddenly in heaven before God's Throne in glorified bodies.
The FALSE "church" will remain on earth and endure the horrors of the tribulation and the reign of Antichrist (Revelation 17:1-6).
The TRUE Church is comprised of ALL spiritually born-again believers, regardless of denomination or lack thereof (1 Corinthians 12:13).
The FALSE church is comprised of ALL OTHER so-called "Christians".
The gates of hell DO NOT prevail against God's TRUE Church, as she enters the heavenly dimension in victory by the blood of the Lamb, the word of her testimony and not loving her life unto the death (Revelation 12:11).
The gates of hell DO PREVAIL against the false, prostituted church destroying her through Divine judgments and, ultimately, through the Antichrist and his 10 kings (Revelation 17:16-17).
The true Church is transformed, made immortal, and taken to heaven ALIVE (1 Corinthians 15:50-55).
The false church goes nowhere, remains in mortal bodies, and either dies during the tribulation, or near the end thereof, when Mystery Babylon, the mother of all harlots and false "Christians" is destroyed (Revelation 9:18; 12:17; 17:16-17).
The TRUE Church will live forever (Daniel 7:27).
The prostituted church will be destroyed forever (Revelation 18:21).
The true Church rejoices and praises Jesus when it appears before His Throne (Revelation 7:9-12).
All of heaven rejoices when the Whore is destroyed and "hallelujahs" God THREE TIMES over its destruction (Revelation 19:1-4).
There's no religion in heaven, and there are no denominations in heaven.
If there were, heaven would be hell.
Heaven is all about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, and (lest we forget) JESUS!
The debate will end forever.
Man and man-invented religion can only fool others and himself for so long.
God will express Himself very clearly as to who's for real and who isn't, who really belongs to Him and who doesn't.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2013
"For the vision is yet for AN APPOINTED TIME, but AT THE END IT SHALL SPEAK, AND NOT LIE: though it tarries, WAIT FOR IT; IT WILL SURELY COME, it will not delay.
Behold, his whose soul is proud is not upright in him: but THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY HIS FAITH (Habakkuk 2:3-4).
Faith means TRUST.
The "just", those who have been made righteous by Jesus with His own Righteousness, have been waiting... and waiting... and waiting...
For His Promise to take us home before hell breaks loose on this earth.
I know the wait seems "endless", but God did preordain a "time" when His Promise would be fulfilled.
The vision is for AN APPOINTED "TIME" and it will NOT LIE.
It will happen.
The saints who have shed their mortal bodies are crying out "how long"?
The souls of the martyrs below God's altar in heaven, have been crying out "HOW LONG"? (Revelation 6:10)
The Spirit and the Bride are saying "Come"! (Revelation 22:17)
Come, Lord Jesus!
The Lord is not deaf.
He hears the prayers of the just (Psalm 34:15; Proverbs 15:29; 1 Peter 3:12).
And He will answer.
I know it seems like we've waited for "an eternity", but I assure you we won't be waiting forever.
The reason He placed us in the realm of "time" is because this awful earthly experience is NOT eternal:
It had a beginning.
It has AN END (Revelation 21:6).
The END WILL BE at an appointed time (Daniel 8:19).
NOTHING AND NO ONE CAN CHANGE THAT because God said it and prearranged every detail within a specific amount of "time".
He established THE END since THE BEGINNING (Isaiah 46:10).
"Time" is not eternal.
And "time" is about to expire.
Our stay on earth will go down to the wire.
God will leave us here until THE LAST POSSIBLE MOMENT to allow every bit of "time" possible, within the parameters of His Divine Script, for souls to come into His Kingdom.
The DELAY is for the sake of souls' Salvation.
No other reason (2 Peter 3:8).
Yes, there will be some who will cry out at the very last moment and "make it" by the skin of their teeth (Joel 2:32).
But God knows everything including the name of that "last" individual that He treasures, who will give his or her heart to Jesus WILLINGLY, not because of FEAR of the awesome signs that will happen, but out of love.
The vision is FOR AN APPOINTED TIME.
Although it HAS tarried, WAIT FOR IT.
It's coming. HE is coming.
Meanwhile, the just (true believers, "us") live each day on this planet, as we always have:
By faith...TRUSTING in God's infinite Grace.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2013
DON'T CALL HIM ALMIGHTY
Is Jesus SUFFICIENT to save?
That is THE QUESTION that determines if an individual is saved, or isn't.
That is the question that EVERY TRUE BELIEVER in Jesus Christ MUST ANSWER IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.
If you answer in the negative, YOU'RE NOT SAVED.
If Jesus IS sufficient, then NOTHING BUT Jesus is needed in order to be saved.
Jesus ALONE is MORE THAN ENOUGH to save us for ALL ETERNITY - no matter what we've done -- and Salvation, to those who put their trust (faith) in Him, is A DONE DEAL (Hebrews 10:14).
Salvation is 100% CERTAIN (Hebrews 7:25).
If you ADD other "things" to Jesus and what He did, like your own "obedience", or your own works, Salvation is NOT certain.
If you ADD other "things" in order to complement Jesus, in order to "help" Him save you, then you're saying He is NOT sufficient, WHICH MEANS YOU'RE NOT SAVED.
There is NO WAY of getting around this Truth.
If God can't save you, all by Himself, WITHOUT needing ANYTHING ELSE, He's not Almighty, hence He's not God.
If God IS God, if He truly is Almighty, He can save whomever He wants, THROUGH ANY MEANS He wants.
Otherwise, He's not God.
If He really is God He doesn't need your "help" in order to save you.
All He needs is YOUR TRUST.
He doesn't need Law (Torah), He doesn't need 10 Commandments, He doesn't need "good works", He doesn't need weekly Sabbath, He doesn't need circumcision, He doesn't need religion, He doesn't care what you eat, and He doesn't care how you look.
That is why, right after giving Moses the Law, and right after the Israelites made themselves an idol in the shape of a golden calf a mere 40 days after HEARING God's Voice, He tells Moses "I will have mercy ON WHOM I WILL HAVE MERCY, and I will have compassion ON WHOM I WILL HAVE COMPASSION" (Exodus 33:19).
If you want a definition of God's Grace, besides "goodness toward someone who DOESN'T DESERVE IT", that verse explains it.
He will save WHOM He WILL SAVE (Titus 3:5).
You can add man-invented "conditions" until your confused religious face turns Siberian blue, but God is still God.
If He is, He can and will save WHOEVER He wants, under WHATEVER conditions He wants.
And the ONLY "condition" He chose is TRUST (faith) (Ephesians 2:8-9).
If you BELIEVE Jesus is sufficient, then you TRUST Him (have faith in Him).
Hence you are saved.
If you DON'T believe Jesus ALONE is sufficient to save, then YOU DO NOT TRUST JESUS, YOU HAVE NO FAITH IN Jesus, and you're lost.
It's as simple as THAT.
Stop playing religious games.
You're not fooling anyone but yourself:
Either trust Jesus completely - and nothing / no one else for Salvation - or admit that you DON'T trust Him.
If God is God He can save BY FAITH ONLY.
If He can't, He's not God:
If you think He can't, then admit that you DON'T really believe in Him and...
STOP calling Him "Almighty".
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2013
WHY FAITH ?
Have you ever wondered WHY salvation is by faith and faith alone? Why God wants us NOT TO trust our own works, but rather to trust His work?
Cause it was lack of faith (lack of TRUST) that caused man to sin in the beginning.
Whatsoever is NOT of faith is sin [Romans 14:23].
The reason Eve sinned and lost the earth is because she didn't trust God.
Had she trusted God, when the serpent approached her, she would have said "How dare you accuse my Father, you slimy creep? I trust Him completely. Shut up."
Instead, Eve like many today... even like many professing Christians, trusted her own works.
She wanted the knowledge of good and evil and, by golly, she was going to get it herself.
Her "work" caused the downfall of the entire planet... the demise of the whole human race.
Her "work" brought nothing but death, corruption and condemnation.
In the end, she found out, much to her dismay, that HER OWN WORKS got her away from God, and that far from making her "like God", as Satan had promised, it made her TOTALLY CONTRARY TO Him.
After the fall, she realized her only hope was to trust God's mercy completely.
TRUSTING Him was THE ONLY WAY to restore her immortality.
She HAD TO trust the very God she'd brushed aside in favor of "the father of lies".
It's amazing how little mankind has changed in 6,000 years, how we haven't learned much from our forefathers' mistakes, and how spiritually dense we've become.
Like Eve, the Church must not trust her own works, but rather His complete, finished, perfect "work" at Golgotha.
As Jesus plainly said, He -- and HE ALONE -- is THE ONLY WAY back to the Father (John 14:6).
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2013
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR
"Love your neighbor as yourself" is a commandment given in both the Old and New Testaments (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39).
Jesus Himself said that the two greatest commandments are to Love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-39).
Let's be honest: NO ONE on earth loves his/her neighbor as they love his/her self. NO ONE!
That's a fact.
I don't care WHO they are, I don't care HOW RELIGIOUS they are, I don't care WHAT RELIGION they belong to, or how "good" they THINK they are...
Although I would like to, and have the willingness to do so, I DON'T LOVE MY NEIGHBOR AS MYSELF.
We may do INDEPENDENT ACTS which demonstrate such love, from time to time, but we cannot MAINTAIN that level of love all the time.
Until believers are raptured and our minds are totally renewed with the Mind of Christ - with the Mind of Love Himself - we won't be able to fully obey that commandment.
Thank God for the Blood of Jesus!
A big part of "loving neighbor as self" involves that other marvelous saying of Jesus "do unto others AS YOU WOULD HAVE OTHERS do unto you" (Matthew 7:12).
Would you like it if someone said or did THAT to you? Then DON'T say it or do it TO THEM.
Another big part of loving our neighbor involves TELLING THE TRUTH.
Would you like others TO LIE TO YOU about SALVATION?
Then DON'T LIE TO THEM about Salvation.
The moment a heretic's back is against the wall and he has no answers, the first thing they do is accuse you of "not loving".
Love and Truth are inseparable (John 14:6; 1 John 4:16).
If you love someone with Divine (agape) Love you'll do your best to convey the Truth about Salvation to that individual.
Being loving does not mean being timid, or speaking in a hush-hush "don't offend anyone" whispery voice.
No one has EVER loved like Jesus.
No one was EVER bolder than Jesus.
...Especially with the religious establishment (hypocrites) of His day (Matthew chapter 23).
We can PRETEND to be all "lovey dovey". Religion has done a bang up job of teaching its brainwashed followers how to FAKE love.
But Divine Love CANNOT BE expressed APART FROM Jesus.
He MUST live in our hearts, since only He can produce it.
Love does no harm to His neighbor (Romans 13:9-10).
Love does not lie. Love tells the Truth.
And Love tells others how to be saved.
If you're tangled in some heresy that says Jesus is INSUFFICIENT to save, or that Jesus IS NOT God, which is dragging you straight to hell, Divine Love will tell you so BOLDLY and CLEARLY.
Because Jesus IS Love, Love points everyone TO JESUS (to Himself).
Love tells others ABOUT JESUS being the only Salvation and the only Righteousness that ever was or is.
There is NO SUBSTITUTE FOR Divine Love.
The 10 Commandments are NO SUBSTITUTE, in fact, they DON'T EVEN COME CLOSE.
Love is THE ONLY fulfillment of God's law that exists.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2013
THEY ATE WITH GOD
"Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:
And THEY SAW THE God of Israel: and there was under His feet as...a paved work of a sapphire stone and as... the very heaven in its clearness.
And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not His hand: THEY ALSO SAW God, and did eat and drink" (Exodus 24:9-11).
Exodus 24 is one of those Bible chapters that seem to escape everyone's notice.
I can't recall ever hearing anyone preach about it, or even TALK about it.
And yet, it's hard to comprehend how these magnificent verses could escape anyone.
Not just Moses, but Israel's 70 elders, plus Aaron the high priest and his two sons (74 people in total) SAW THE GOD of Israel and ATE WITH HIM!
While only Moses got to approach God directly and speak to Him Face to face, the other 73 Israelites got to see the Lord at a distance.
After they saw God, ate and drank, they all came down and Moses alone went back up to receive the tablets of the Law (verses 15-17).
He stayed up there 40 days and nights (Exodus 14:18).
I realize that the Israelites were not born-again. Hence, they walked in their natural minds. However, how can SEEING God, even at some distance, NOT MAKE A LASTING IMPACT?
For the life of me, I cannot comprehend how, after seeing the magnificent display of God's glory and power, THE PARTING OF THE RED SEA, hearing the trumpet sound louder and louder, the thunder the lightning, the Shekinah glory cloud covering the mount, then having the earth shattering experience of SEEING God with their own natural eyes, it ONLY TOOK THEM 40 DAYS to FORGET ALL ABOUT HIM and build themselves AN IDOL.
Eight chapters later, in Exodus 32 we read about the Golden Calf tragedy.
We already know that Aaron told a blatant lie and said the gold "had taken the shape of a calf ALL BY ITSELF", but where the heck were those 70 ELDERS? Where were Nadab and Abihu, Aaron's two priestly sons?
It's scary to even think of having such mediocre "leaders".
73 people and NOT ONE OF THEM could take a stand for the Almighty?
Am I missing something here? I mean HOW can people see God one day and forget Him FOUR QUADRILLION YEARS LATER, let alone A MONTH LATER?
How could they prefer TO LIE TO THEMSELVES and worship a chunk of gold made from their own jewelry by mortal hands OVER THE LIVING God?
I know idolatry still goes on today, I know many people worship images, animals, money, and their man-invented denominations turning them into "deities", but most people today have NOT SEEN the God of Israel.
Anyone who TRULY BELIEVES IN HIM does not practice idolatry in any way, shape or form.
ANYONE who TRULY believes in Jesus, PREFERS HIM and PLACES HIM WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY above EVERYONE and EVERYTHING else. Amen.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
INTERVIEW WITH PAUL
If the Apostle Paul could answer some of the issues that divide Christendom today, what would he say?
All quotations, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the King James 2000 Version of the Bible.
Brother Paul, it's an honor to have you with us. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Let's get right down to specifics:
1. What is the message of the Gospel, in a nutshell?
"God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, NO LONGER COUNTING PEOPLE'S SINS AGAINST THEM" (2 Corinthians 5:19, New Living Translation).
2. How can Christ NOT count our sins?
"Now ONCE, in the end of the age, He has appeared TO PUT AWAY SIN BY the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26).
3. But if I sin, how can I be made righteous?
"For He has made Him, who knew no sin, TO BE SIN FOR US: that WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
4. Do GOOD WORKS and good behavior play ANY ROLE at all in Salvation?
"NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
"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).
5. What about those who insist that we still have to keep the Law in order to be saved?
"Christ IS THE END OF THE LAW for righteousness TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVES" (Romans 10:4).
6. O.K. but WHAT IF WE CHOOSE TO receive Christ, be born again, and STILL LIVE under the Law?
"And if by grace, then IT CANNOT BE BASED ON WORKS; if it were, GRACE WOULD NO LONGER BE GRACE (Romans 11:6, NIV).
7. But there are entire denominations that say WE MUST keep the law in order to be saved, what do you say to them?
"Christ has become OF NO EFFECT to you, whoever you are that are justified by the law; YOU HAVE FALLEN FROM GRACE. (Galatians 5:4)
"By the works of the law NO FLESH SHALL BE JUSTIFIED IN HIS SIGHT" (Romans 3:20)
KNOWING that a man is NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW, BUT BY THE FAITH OF Jesus Christ...for by the works of the law SHALL NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED" (Galatians 2:16)
"Let God be true, and EVERY MAN a liar" (Romans 3:4).
8. Some legalistic groups call you a "false apostle", how do you answer your critics?
"Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the descendants of Abraham? So am I.
Are they ministers of Christ? ...I AM MORE; in labors more abundant, in stripes beyond measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths often.
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes less one.
Three times was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, three times I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
In journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness:
Besides those things that are outside, that which comes upon me daily: the care of all the churches" (2 Corinthians 11:22-28).
"...no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light. It is no great thing therefore if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
9. Are you saying, then, that Jesus Christ DID EVERYTHING THAT IS NECESSARY to save us, LEAVING NOTHING for us to do?
"By one Sacrifice He HAS MADE PERFECT FOREVER those who are sanctified (Hebrews 10:14).
10. Wow, I'd never heard ANYTHING like THAT before! No wonder you have such passion for the Gospel...
"I count ALL THINGS but loss for the Excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ" (Philippians 3:8)
11. WHAT, EXACTLY, TAKES PLACE when an individual gives his or her heart to Jesus?
"If any man be in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATION: old things are passed away; behold ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
12. In closing what would you say to all viewers, listeners and readers out there?
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART that God raised Him from the dead, YOU WILL BE SAVED (Romans 10:9).
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2013
If you thought U.S.-Israel relations had improved since President Obama's wobbly administration began, think again.
In a recently published book, an Obama insider quotes the President, while running for his first term, referring to the Israeli Prime Minister as "a pain in the @ss".
That's just the tip of the iceberg.
The State Department's diplomacy machine has somehow managed to orchestrate a string of failures, first under Hillary and, more recently, under Secretary of State John Kerry.
First there was the ouster of reliable, peace-keeping, long-time ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, when the U.S. virtually pulled the rug from under him and asked for his resignation, followed by the U.S. embarrassing endorsement of the newly "democratically elected, by the people" government of radical Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi...
Followed by the Egyptian military having to take matters into their own hands, remove Morsi, and correct American clumsiness in that strategic country.
Then there was the Syria fiasco where the President spoke forcefully against murderous Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people, including many children, and verified by the U.N.
The world, including most of the Islamic world, applauded.
At least until Secretary of State Kerry opened his big, stupid mouth and Vladimir Putin got to hear about it.
Putin immediately seized the opportunity, called Kerry's bluff, and outmaneuvered him and his boss at the White House, whereby Assad would suffer no consequences for his barbarism, would be able to remain in power and continue killing civilians to his evil heart's content, in exchange for "destroying" his chemical stockpile.
In the process, Putin was tagged as "world's most influential leader" by Forbes magazine.
President Obama, in case you're wondering, came in second.
Even long-time U.S. ally Saudi Arabia got so upset at the potpourri of American blunders vis a vis Syria and Iran, that it refused a seat at the U.N. Security Council in protest.
I won't even go into the Benghazi mess which cost the lives of several Americans, including our Ambassador, nor about missed opportunities in Iran and elsewhere.
The latest feat by the Obama-Kerry tag team is to PRACTICALLY FORCE Israel TO RELEASE a whole slew of murdering Palestinian terrorists, with Jewish blood on their hands, and "negotiate", in exchange for NOTHING.
Followed by their ALL TOO EAGER attempt to reach a "diplomatic solution" with Iran about their nuclear ambitions, where again they are being conned and outmaneuvered by both Rouhani and Putin.
Who would have thought that President Hollande of France would be the one voice of sanity to REJECT the deal, and require certain STRICT conditions be met BEFORE giving in to Iranian demands?
We know from the Bible, of course, that it'll be the Antichrist who, paradoxically, puts an end to Iranian ambitions and dreams of world domination, once and for all (Daniel 8:19-21).
But everyone in Israel has hit the ceiling with this U.S. initiated, proposed deal with Iran.
According to Kuwaiti news sources, President Barack Obama HAS REFUSED TO ANSWER phone calls from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "more than once".
In yet ANOTHER deliberate snub, (what does he care, he already won reelection, right?) Netanyahu's calls ARE BEING FORWARDED to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
You see, Mr. Obama only CREATES problems.
When it comes to ANSWERING for his mistakes, he's extremely adept at passing the buck.
The stark differences between the two countries about the handling of a nuclear Iran threaten the traditional U.S.-Israel alliance:
Israel is now forced to contemplate the very real possibility that it may have to act ALL ALONE and take matters into its own hands.
It seems that, in the process, the U.S. and Israel are both getting "Kerryed" away.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2013
DON'T GET PREGNANT !
Single moms are one of the fastest growing demographics in modern society.
In 99% of cases, it's a LOSE-LOSE proposition all around.
Oh, I know it's become "popular" for certain dubious "celebrities" to have children out of wedlock.
However, they have MULTI-MILLIONS of dollars, which most of you DON'T, and live in a fantasy world anyways.
They can afford nannies and babysitters.
It's one thing to come home and find your baby or babies, clean, bathed, dressed, fed, and just pick them up, play with them for half an hour, and brag about how cute they are.
REALITY for most single mothers is quite DIFFERENT:
Single moms don't have husbands, so they either HAVE TO work and earn a living, or live off the government.
If you have to earn a living it means you must leave your child/children WITH SOMEONE ELSE.
Unless that "someone else" is someone like a loving grandma whom you thoroughly trust, I'd be EXTREMELY CAREFUL who you leave your children with.
No need to mention the horror stories of child abuse and neglect that are often reported in the news, plus THE MILLIONS that go UNREPORTED.
Yes, babies ARE CUTE. But they have to be fed FREQUENTLY, often in the middle of the night.
They pee and poop and their diapers need changing. They have to be bathed.
And sometimes THEY CRY at the most inopportune times.
And they need the love, attention, PROTECTION and nurturing of not one, but TWO LOVING parents.
Babies TAKE UP LOTS OF TIME, and COST LOTS OF MONEY: not just in food, but clothing and shoes, which they quickly outgrow, medical attention, education, etc.
Oh, I know there are some wonderful moms out there who somehow managed to do all of the above successfully and ON THEIR OWN.
Those who HAVE DONE IT deserve BIG GOLD MEDALS.
But it takes a real WONDER-WOMAN to pull it off.
The vast majority CAN'T.
It's bad enough you're screwing around with someone you're not married to. Don't compound the problem by getting pregnant.
Once you bring a baby into this world, IT'S FOR KEEPS: you CANNOT send him or her BACK.
That child deserves lots of love and attention, a good home, and at least a chance at some kind of future.
Abortion isn't an option either: At least NOT FOR CHRISTIANS.
Yes, yes, Jesus WILL forgive you and cleanse you from ALL SIN (1 John 1:7).
THAT'S NOT the point: Humans are created in the Image of God. Destroying human life IS SIN.
Getting pregnant carelessly and then GETTING RID OF THAT HELPLESS baby YOU CREATED, LIKE IT'S SOME PIECE OF UNWANTED TRASH is NOT acceptable behavior FOR ANYONE, let alone someone who CLAIMS TO "believe in Jesus".
Jesus was once a baby Himself.
Would you have wanted Mary to ABORT HIM?
Young women often think that getting pregnant is a way of "trapping" the guy they're sleeping with and getting him to marry them.
Dream on, baby girl...
Most guys are ALLERGIC to commitment, let alone making it legal.
Even IF he's willing to marry you, he may be a jerk and, consequently, A LOUSY FATHER.
Besides, that's A STUPID and counterproductive way to land a husband.
It doesn't speak very highly about you or your own self-esteem.
Do you want him to marry you BECAUSE HE LOVES YOU, and you are right for each other, or because he feels "obligated"?
Heck, it's even bad for our already struggling economy.
UNLESS you HAVE A GOOD HUSBAND, who is likely to make a GOOD father, UNLESS he's gainfully employed (and by that I mean he's got a well-paid, STEADY job), and you BOTH WANT TO have a baby:
DON'T BE STUPID. Don't make babies irresponsibly which will cramp your style, and change your life FOREVER, usually for the worse.
If you're going to screw around, at least USE PROTECTION:
Be VERY CAREFUL.
Don't become ANOTHER sad statistic.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2013
JUST ANOTHER RELIGION
The Christian Message is UNLIKE ANY OTHER.
The Gospel or Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ, through the sheer Grace of God, by simply TRUSTING what Jesus did to save us, HAS NO EQUAL (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
No other message is REMOTELY comparable.
No religion can offer what THE TRUE Christian faith offers:
ABSOLUTE GUARANTEE of ETERNAL Salvation (Hebrews 10:14; John 3:16).
And yet there are millions of so called "Christians" who are UNHAPPY with the Gospel.
They and their religious leaders feel that the Gospel ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH.
Therefore, they MADE REVISIONS, all of them resulting in some form of religious legalism.
By making Jesus ALONE, by Grace ALONE, through FAITH (trust) ALONE INSUFFICIENT to save, they turn Christianity into "just another religion".
By offering UNCERTAINTY of Salvation instead of FULL ASSURANCE, they make the INCOMPARABLE message of Christianity COMPARABLE TO any world class religion.
IF we CANNOT be certain of Salvation, IF Jesus ISN'T sufficient to save, IF His death and Resurrection DIDN'T get the job done, IF He cannot guarantee NEVER ENDING Salvation, IF we must ADD our own "righteousness" to what He did, HOW EXACTLY IS THAT DIFFERENT from traditional Judaism, Islam, or Buddhism?
The differences are MINIMAL.
Just different characters serving up the same basic teaching.
If Jesus NEEDS "OUR HELP" in order to save us, what kind of "Savior" does that make Him?
A pathetic, second-rate one, AT BEST.
Why would a traditional Jew, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist feel compelled to abandon their false religion and turn to Christ, when THEY ALREADY HAVE SOMETHING VERY SIMILAR?
Since Satan CAN'T COMPETE with the true Gospel, he was forced to come up with a clever and different strategy:
MUDDLE its message.
Deceive "Christians" into thinking God needs "their help" in order to save them.
Make Christ's perfect, complete Work of Redemption on the cross INSUFFICIENT by ADDING WORKS, and thus ROB Christianity of its clear, and infinite SUPERIORITY (John 10:10).
When we preach such FALSE "gospel", THEN Satan CAN compete and offer lost souls in need of Salvation, a veritable buffet of SIMILAR religious "alternatives":
Buddhism, TM, New Age, Hinduism, Islam, Mormonism, and other "isms".
Just goes to show what a devious, cunning liar Satan is.
And HOW DUMB some "Christians" are.
Have you bought into THE SATANIC LIE that Jesus ALONE is INSUFFICIENT TO SAVE?
Has the devil tricked you into thinking there's ANY righteousness APART FROM Jesus Himself?
You need to repent, receive Christ into your heart and TRUST HIM COMPLETELY.
Otherwise you might as well become Muslim or Buddhist :
You're JUST AS LOST AS THEY.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2013
Jesus is the Pearl of great price.
He compared the Kingdom of heaven to treasure hid in a field [Matthew 13:44].
He went on to say that, when a person discovers such treasure, he or she sells all they possess, and buys that field.
In other words the Kingdom of heaven - INSIDE YOU where Jesus lives and is King -- is worth EVERYTHING you've got:
Your heart, your life, your possessions, your money (just don't give it to some lying televangelist), your cars, your home, your relationships, your favorite whatever, you time, your energy, your dedication, your devotion, your FULL and UNDIVIDED attention.
In Matthew 12:35 He explains that such treasure is HIDDEN IN OUR HEARTS. It's from that treasure that we bring forth [manifest] good things.
It's from the heart that Jesus comes forth and manifests in and thru us.
One way to discover your treasure is to listen to yourself.
"Out of the ABUNDANCE of your heart, your mouth speaks" [Matthew 12:34].
Who, or what, are you constantly speaking of? Who or what is constantly on your lips, to the point you just can't shut up about?
That's your treasure.
Last, but not least, Jesus said that where your treasure is, there will YOUR HEART be also [Matthew 6:21].
To sum up: Your heart is on your treasure, and your treasure is in your heart: and whoever or whatever's in your heart, will INEVITABLY come out your mouth.
I've got my Pearl. I've found my Treasure.
Have you found yours?
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2013
THE GATES OF HELL
"I shall go TO THE GATES OF HELL: I am deprived of the residue of my years. I said, I SHALL NOT SEE JAH, even JAH, IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING; I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world (Isaiah 38:10-11).
"And I say also unto you, that you are Peter, and UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH; and THE GATES OF HELL (Hades) SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT" (Matthew 16:18)
How could Jesus promise that the gates of hell (Sheol, Hades) would NOT PREVAIL AGAINST His Church?
How could Jesus speak with so much CERTAINTY and give such ABSOLUTE GUARANTEE?
Is it because He built His Church on Peter?
Not to take anything away from Peter, but the answer is "NO".
Since Adam and Eve hell's gates had prevailed for generation after generation.
In fact, Satan relished keeping both the saved and the unsaved as prisoners in Sheol (Isaiah 14:17).
Zechariah 9:11-12 refers to those who awaited God's redemption in Sheol as "prisoners of hope".
Because they HOPED that someday Messiah would appear and SET THEM FREE.
Indeed, that's exactly what Jesus did during the three days and nights that He spent in Sheol (John 8:36).
1 Peter 3:19 tell us that during that time Jesus preached to the spirits in prison.
Ephesians 4:8 tells us He freed those who had died in the faith and "took captivity captive".
Matthew 27:52-53 tells us that "the graves were opened; and MANY BODIES OF THE SAINTS THAT SLEPT AROSE, and CAME OUT OF THE GRAVES AFTER HIS RESURRECTION, and went into the holy city, and APPEARED TO MANY".
Hell's gates HAD PREVAILED against God's people up to the time of His Resurrection.
But because our Jesus rose triumphantly from the dead, THEY CAN'T PREVAIL ANYMORE against those who are IN Him.
The reason Jesus could give SUCH COMPLETE ASSURANCE is because He would build His Church ON HIMSELF.
Because He overcame BOTH Sheol (hell) and death... by RISING from the dead, and from hell itself, ALIVE...
Because he defeated Satan, inflicted a mortal wound to his ugly head, and took the keys of death and hell AWAY FROM THE SLIMY BASTARD.
It's because Jesus is ALIVE FOREVERMORE and NOW HAS the keys of hell and death (Revelation 1:18).
And when He opens NOBODY shuts.
When He shuts NOBODY opens (Revelation 3:7).
I don't know about you, but I'm so glad I belong to Jesus.
I'm so glad that He is ON MY SIDE (Romans 8:31).
I'm SO GRATEFUL to have this MARVELOUS, IRONCLAD guarantee given by God Himself that hell's gates can't prevail against me.
Jesus is ON YOUR SIDE.
He WANTS TO DELIVER YOU from Satan, death and hell.
But He won't FORCE Himself on anyone.
Jesus promises that He won't reject ANYONE who chooses Him (John 6:37).
Each person must make THAT CHOICE himself or herself.
If you want to give your heart to Jesus, if you want to choose Jesus as your God and Savior, and have His ABSOLUTE GUARANTEE THAT HELL'S GATES WON'T PREVAIL AGAINST YOU, click on the link below.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2013
JUDGMENT OF NATIONS
The judgment of nations (gentiles) is one of the most neglected prophetic truths found in the Bible.
When Jesus returns [at His Second Coming], He will sit on His Throne and judge ALL gentiles based on their treatment of natural Israel.
This is clearly taught in Joel 3:1-17:
"In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather ALL NATIONS and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat [the Kidron valley, just East of Jerusalem].
There I WILL ENTER INTO JUDGMENT AGAINST THEM CONCERNING my inheritance, MY PEOPLE ISRAEL, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink...
Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.
Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; NEVER AGAIN WILL FOREIGNERS INVADE HER".
Jesus also spoke about this judgment:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.
All the NATIONS (gentiles) will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? ..."The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, WHATEVER YOU DID FOR ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE BROTHERS OF MINE, YOU DID FOR ME.'
Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me'.
They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did NOT do for one of the least of these, you did NOT do FOR ME" [Matthew 25:31-45].
Even now, nations are being judged based on their treatment of Israel.
But after the tribulation, there will be A SPECIAL JUDGMENT for gentiles still living here on earth based on how they treated natural Israelites DURING THAT AWFUL time.
This judgment, obviously, has nothing to do with the Church, since the Church will be in heaven.
Gentile nations have been forewarned by God Himself.
They better warm up to the idea of being good to Israel.
They better START being good to Israel NOW.
God's keeping score and NOTHING escapes His watchful eyes.
Help Israel any way possible.
There are AWFUL consequences for those who don't.
Those who do will be blessed and richly rewarded.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2013
HAS GOD FORSAKEN ISRAEL?
You would think that in 2,000 years God's Church would have learned a few things, one of them being the roots of their faith.
Many have, and we praise Jesus for it.
However, I encounter antisemitism more often that most people imagine.
The teaching among certain "Christians" is that when Jesus cursed the fig tree in Matthew 21:19, He was cursing Israel and totally disowning them.
Such teaching is utterly false.
It's also totally UNBIBLICAL.
I recently challenged one such "Christian" to produce ONE VERSE from the Bible that calls Israel "the fig tree".
He couldn't. There isn't one.
That is nothing but UNFOUNDED, SELF-SERVING, BIASED interpretation.
Moreover, I pointed out that Jesus was talking to a LITERAL FIG TREE which the Gospels tells us dried up from the roots.
He then tried to justify his antisemitism by quoting from Matthew chapter 23.
When I told him that Jesus' diatribe in that chapter was only directed at the RELIGIOUS LEADERS, and NOT the people, of course, he had no answer.
However, he would not give up his false assertion that Jesus had repudiated Israel.
Even after I quoted Jeremiah 31:37:
"ONLY IF THE HEAVENS ABOVE CAN BE MEASURED and the foundations of the earth below be searched out WILL I REJECT ALL THE DESCENDANTS OF Israel because of all they have done."
Even after I quoted Ezekiel 37:19-36 that promises to reunite the 12 tribes, bring them back to Israel, under an everlasting covenant, and that David will once again be their king...
Even after I quoted Romans 11:25 that says once the fullness of the gentiles has come into God's Kingdom, then ALL ISRAEL will be saved.
If God has repudiated them, how could He make such promises?
Three things we can all learn from this are:
1) People will believe WHAT THEY WANT, no matter how much you destroy their arguments, no matter how much you PROVE THEM wrong.
You can lead a horse to water...
2) Dead religion (Christianism) places its own agenda, prejudices and pet peeves ABOVE God's Word.
3) Religion BLINDS PEOPLE to the Truth.
Not only does it blind them to FACTUAL truth, but to Jesus who is ULTIMATE Truth.
I'm not one of those Christians who go to the OTHER EXTREME and hallow EVERYTHING "Hebraic" as sacrosanct.
After all, Jews did, for the most part, reject Jesus.
However, anyone stupid enough to CUT HIMSELF from his own roots is, as Jude put it, "twice dead and PLUCKED UP BY THE ROOTS" (Jude 1:12).
God has NOT forsaken Israel. God will NEVER forsake Israel.
All arrogant Christians should read Romans chapter 11, and pay special attention to Paul's sobering words in Romans 11:18:
"You do not support the root, but the root supports you".
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2013
Is it EVER wrong to rely on the Holy Spirit for proper understanding of the Scriptures?
Should Christians get God's Word ONLY filtered through a group of superiorly gifted scholars?
Should freedom of thought be banned within the Church?
Should Christians blindly accept and follow the DICTATES of some DICTATORIAL leader, or opportunistic religious bureaucracy?
Is it O.K. to have multiple opinions and disagreements with regards to issues non-essential to Salvation?
No, no, no, no, and YES.
It is NEVER WRONG to rely on the Holy Spirit for proper understanding of Scripture (Romans 8:14; 1 John 2:27).
The Holy Spirit inspired the written Word. Who better to provide or clarify its intended meaning than ITS AUTHOR?
While some correctly point to the fact that the Christian faith has become fragmented into myriad denominations -- not a single one of them created by Christ - that is NOT the Spirit's fault.
Human DISHONESTY and CARNALITY are the main culprits (1 Corinthians 3:3).
The Spirit of God CANNOT be blamed for it: it's OUR fault.
Jesus does call certain individuals into ministry and gives them special gifts and anointing (Ephesians 4:8-13). However, EVERY BELIEVER should seek Truth and Wisdom in God's written word ON HIS OWN (John 5:39).
Even those whom Jesus calls ARE NOT INFALLIBLE.
Therefore, no matter how gifted they are, we are to submit EVERYTHING they teach to the final authority of Scripture.
While no true believer in Christ SHOULD EVER ABUSE freedom of thought or freedom of expression, nor use it recklessly to foster division or heresy, humans have the God-given freedom to THINK whatever they want, EVEN WHEN such thoughts lead to rejection of God.
If God gave humans free will, WHO ARE WE to ban it?
Last but not least, as long as we agree on the 7 FOUNDATIONAL TENETS OF the Christian faith, it's okay to have HONEST (underscore THAT word) disagreements ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE.
Paul says that no matter how gifted we are, we only know "in part" (1 Corinthians 13:9).
If the man who became the greatest evangelist and missionary in history, who was caught up (raptured) to the third heaven, and who gave his life for Jesus SAYS THAT, it means that we will never agree ON EVERYTHING this side of eternity.
The Church needs to GROW UP and accept these facts.
Luther should have NEVER been excommunicated for presenting his ideas, most of which were CORRECT.
And many of his doctrines pertained to Salvation, which is why he could NOT BACK DOWN, and I, for one, praise God that he DIDN'T.
Jesus commanded His disciples to go into the entire world and preach the Gospel (GOOD NEWS) of Salvation through Him alone, by Grace alone, through faith alone (Mark 16:15).
The rest will be straightened out at the Rapture, when our minds are renewed (1 Corinthians 13:10).
Jesus called us to have unity of SPIRIT and FAITH (Ephesians 4:3, 13) not unity of OPINION.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2013
THE WORST EXCUSE EVER
Picture this: The Children of Israel had just celebrated the first Passover, been delivered from Egyptian bondage, and camped at the foot of Mount Sinai.
Their leader Moses had gone up to the top of the Mount to meet the Lord and receive His law and commandments.
When he returns a mere 40 days and nights later, he finds Israelites worshiping a golden calf and committing all sorts of immorality.
These, mind you, were the same Israelites who had THREE MONTHS earlier been miraculously delivered from Egyptian bondage by God, thru a number of plagues that afflicted ONLY the Egyptians, culminating in the killing of all the Egyptian firstborn, while Hebrews were unscathed.
They had seen the Red Sea open and form a land bridge over to Canaan, and then seen the entire Egyptian army perish in the sea when they tried to pursue.
Moses, naturally, turned to his brother Aaron, God's chosen High Priest, for an explanation: "What did this people do to you, that you have brought so great a sin on them"? (Exodus 32:21).
Aaron's answer should go down in history as THE MOTHER OF all lousy excuses:
"I said to them, whoever has any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it to me: then I cast it into the fire and THIS CALF CAME OUT" (Exodus 32:24).
To hear Aaron's version of events, the Israelites gave him their gold, he put it in the fire to melt it down, and THE GOLD SHAPED ITSELF INTO A CALF.
Israel's High Priest WAS LYING.
In fact, Exodus 32:1-6 tells us WHAT REALLY HAPPENED:
"When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, Come, MAKE US GODS who will go before us. For this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him".
Aaron answered them, "Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me".
So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him AND MADE IT INTO AN IDOL CAST IN THE SHAPE OF A CALF, FASHIONING IT WITH A TOOL.
Then they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt'.
When Aaron saw this, HE BUILT AN ALTAR IN FRONT OF THE CALF AND ANNOUNCED "˜Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord":
And by "The Lord" he didn't mean Yahweh, he meant the "god" or golden calf he'd just fashioned.
Aaron not only made the golden calf ON PURPOSE, KNOWING EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS DOING, but he also built an altar for it, and declared the next day a holiday to honor their new "god".
As High Priest Aaron could have stood his ground, and SHOULD HAVE, spoken up and said "wait a minute, our God is Yahweh, we've seen His miracles, and we won't worship anyone but Him".
Instead, WITHOUT ANY PROTESTATION, he immediately gave in to their demands, asked for gold, and INTENTIONALLY MADE THE IMAGE OF A CALF.
When he heard the people proclaiming the calf as "god", AGAIN without any objection he facilitated its worship by immediately building AN ALTAR IN FRONT OF IT, so they could worship and offer sacrifices.
To top it all off, he then established an "official holiday" to honor the calf HIS OWN HANDS HAD MADE.
Not only was Aaron A LIAR, he. needless to say, WASN'T MUCH OF A LEADER.
Moses got so angry that he had the calf melted, then ground into powder, then put it in the water, and made the children of Israel drink it (Exodus 32:19,20).
Moses delayed ONLY 40 days and nights in returning to the camp. Jesus, on the other hand, has delayed almost 2,000 years.
What idols have you built? Who or what is the GOLDEN CALF that you worship?
During Jesus' PHYSICAL absence, the "high priests" of Christendom, like Aaron, have built MANY idols:
From actual statues and images, to denominational idols, human idols, doctrinal idols, preaching idols, even eschatological idols...
Like Aaron, THEY'VE ASKED PEOPLE FOR THEIR "GOLD" UNDER FALSE PRETENSES, to satisfy THE IDOL OF GREED which they worship.
When Moses returned, he made Israelites drink their idol's dust.
When Jesus returns, EVERY IDOL SHEPHERD will BITE the dust.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013
Which of the THOUSANDS of "Christian" religious organizations did Jesus establish?
Surely, ONE of them must be the "true Church" Christ founded.
The answer may surprise some of you:
Jesus established a SPIRITUAL Church based on being SPIRITUALLY CONNECTED TO Him.
He commissioned His disciples to preach the Good News (Gospel) of FREE SALVATION to ANYONE who WANTS IT (Revelation 22:17).
Jesus NEVER established buildings, hierarchies, religious garments, rules and regulations.
Never established church choirs, youth groups, revivals, Sunday school or Sunday school quarterlies.
His ONLY commandments were TO LOVE:
1. God with all our hearts and minds.
2. Our neighbor.
3. Each other.
Love is THE ROYAL, UNIVERSAL LAW OF HIS KINGDOM.
It is truly astonishing to see HOW that simple SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY that He founded has evolved and DEGENERATED during the past 2,000 years:
But my denomination (religious organization) is THE ONLY ONE that preaches the truth. We're the ONLY ONES who truly follow Christ.
NO. You're not.
What you are, if you believe that, is a modern Pharisee.
Pharisees thought THE VERY SAME THINGS you think today, back in the first century.
Jesus told them flat-out that they WOULD NOT ESCAPE the condemnation of Gehenna (Matthew 23:33).
The Church that Jesus Christ founded IS NOT A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION.
It is A SPIRITUAL Body (assembly) comprised of ALL BELIEVERS who have MADE A SPIRITUAL CONNECTION WITH THE LIVING CHRIST AND HAVE BEEN SPIRITUALLY REGENERATED OR BORN-AGAIN.
Jesus told Nicodemus, a distinguished member of the Sanhedrin, a circumcised Jew who "observed" the law, the 10 commandments and the 24-hour Sabbath:
"UNLESS a man is BORN AGAIN... of the Spirit, he CANNOT ENTER the Kingdom of God".
You can't say it ANY CLEARER, or MORE DIRECTLY, than THAT.
NO SPIRITUAL REBIRTH = NO SALVATION.
I don't care WHICH religious organization you belong to.
Entrance into God's Kingdom takes place INSIDE, IN OUR INNERMOST BEING, not by joining some segregated, "better than everyone else" religious club.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2013
"But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: The dog HAS TURNED TO HIS OWN VOMIT AGAIN; and THE SOW THAT WAS WASHED TO HER WALLOWING IN THE MIRE" (2 Peter 2:22).
A good while back I heard from a sister in Christ whose sad testimony is that her mother could not break free of certain sins in her life.
Instead of getting spiritual help and support from her pastor, she got condemnation.
Instead of reassuring her of Jesus' Grace and UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, and of the fact that He ALREADY PAID FOR EVERY SIN EVER COMMITTED, he told her she would NOT be saved.
He used THIS VERSE to CONDEMN that precious soul, for whom Jesus died.
Long story short: her mom fell into a deep depression and ended up taking her own life.
As tragic as that heartbreaking story is, what is EVEN MORE TRAGIC and, frankly, INEXCUSABLE, is that such condemnation did not come from the pastor of a heretical, legalistic denomination or cult, but from a supposedly "evangelical" pastor.
There is NO EXCUSE for someone THAT IGNORANT, SPIRITUALLY BLIND, and out of touch with Jesus, to minister in ANY capacity.
"Jesus DID NOT COME TO CONDEMN, BUT TO SAVE" (John 3:17).
"ALL SIN WILL BE FORGIVEN HUMANS, except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 12:32)
"There is NOW NO CONDEMNATION for those who are IN Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).
"God was in Christ RECONCILING THE WORLD UNTO HIMSELF, NOT COUNTING MEN'S SINS AGAINST THEM" (2 Corinthians 5:19).
"The Blood of Christ continuously cleanses us FROM ALL SIN" (1 John 1:7).
"NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, BUT ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY He HAS SAVED US (Titus 3:5).
I could go on and on...
This is why I have repeatedly warned about taking a verse like this one OUT OF CONTEXT, isolating it from the rest of the Bible, and misleading ourselves and others based on WHAT WE THINK it says, as opposed to what IT ACTUALLY SAYS.
If what it SEEMS TO say CONTRADICTS OTHER SCRIPTURES, then something is wrong WITH OUR UNDERSTANDING.
We need to pause, take our time, calmly analyze what it says, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His INTENDED MEANING, INSTEAD OF JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS and using Scripture TO CARRY OUT SATAN'S AGENDA, and NOT God's.
And, make no mistake: SATAN USES THE BIBLE OFTEN, whenever it serves his evil purpose.
He QUOTED Scripture to Jesus, right TO HIS FACE!!! (Matthew 4:6).
Jesus is NOT the accuser. Jesus came TO SAVE us (John 3:16).
Satan is THE ONLY ACCUSER OF the brethren (Revelation 12:10).
That pastor, knowingly or ignorantly, WAS USED OF SATAN, AND SERVED SATAN, NOT JESUS.
So, WHAT was Peter referring to in the above verse?
WHY does a dog return to his own vomit?
WHY does a pig return to the mire?
WHY does a scorpion STING?
Because THAT'S their NATURE!
The ONLY WAY to keep a dog from barking or pig from wallowing in the mud is TO CHANGE THEIR NATURE.
Peter was NOT CONDEMNING these individuals for sinning. He was indicating that they'd NEVER HAD a change of nature ON THE INSIDE: They'd NEVER BEEN BORN-AGAIN.
That's why in verse 12 he compares them to "irrational beasts" that only "follow their INSTINCTS".
ANYONE can CLAIM to have "received Christ" and "be Christian".
Unless you've given yourself earnestly and WHOLEHEARTEDLY to Jesus, which in turn will bring A DEFINITE CHANGE in your inner nature, YOU'RE NOT born again.
It may take a while to notice THAT INNER CHANGE, but if it has happened, it will manifest sooner or later.
In my own Salvation, it took about three months before I suddenly realized that "something" inside me HAD CHANGED.
ALL born-again individuals sin from time to time because, as Jesus pointed out: our "spirit IS WILLING", but our flesh is WEAK.
But NO BORN AGAIN PERSON DELIBERATELY SEEKS SINNING, much less ENJOYS SINNING CONSTANTLY.
It's one thing to give in to temptation at given moment because of human weakness.
But if you can sin CONTINUOUSLY and RECKLESSLY and your conscience doesn't bother you a bit, YOU'RE NOT SAVED.
It's as simple as that.
Peter was NOT SAYING that if you're vulnerable to committing SOME particular sin(s) you'll be lost.
Peter was saying that NO BORN AGAIN PERSON SINS CONSTANTLY, RECKLESSLY, and WITHOUT REMORSE.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2013
LET THE CHILDREN
Every time we talk about the Rapture being near, there's always concern about what happens to children.
There's this damnable heresy floating around that says that ONLY children of BELIEVERS are saved or go in the Rapture.
They get their ERRONEOUS belief from a warped understanding of 1 Corinthians 7:14:
"For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy".
The Greek word for "sanctified" is hagiazo WHICH MEANS to "set apart".
While it's true that saved individuals are called hagios (saints), all it means is that they are SET APART unto God.
That's what the word means. So, anything or anyone that's SET APART is, technically, "hagios".
Paul was saying that an unbeliever is SET APART by the believing spouse, and so are children SET APART by the influence of one or two believing parents.
SET APART from what? From the world, since they would have the influence of one or more born-again, godly parents.
That's ALL he was saying.
Notice what the verse DOESN'T SAY: It DOESN'T SAY that the "unbelieving husband IS SAVED thru the believing wife" or vice versa.
Nor does it say that children are SAVED BY having believing parents.
Wives CANNOT save their husbands. Husbands CANNOT save their wives. Neither can parents SAVE their children. Salvation is AN INDIVIDUAL choice.
Those who are too young to make that choice ARE SAVED BY THE GRACE OF GOD, since "it's not His Will that ANY should perish, but that ALL will come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
The FALSE TEACHING that 1 Corinthians 7:14 speaks of SALVATION is FLAT OUT DEBUNKED by Ezekiel 18:20:
"The son SHALL NOT bear the iniquity of the father; neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him".
Now, let's see what Jesus had to say about children's Salvation:
"But Jesus said, SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN, and forbid them not, to come unto me: FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN".
"Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God AS A LITTLE CHILD, he SHALL NOT ENTER therein".
"Take heed that ye despise not one OF THESE LITTLE ONES; for I say unto you, That IN HEAVEN their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven".
"And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, AND BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN, YOU SHALL NOT ENTER INTO the kingdom of heaven".
"And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name RECEIVES ME: and whosoever shall receive me receive him that sent me".
"And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David they were sore displeased, And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out OF THE MOUTH OF BABES AND SUCKLINGS YOU HAVE PERFECTED PRAISE?
Jesus DID NOT, at any time, say "unless you become AS LITTLE CHILDREN OF BELIEVING PARENTS you shall not enter the Kingdom of God".
So, either Jesus WAS LYING (perish the VERY THOUGHT!), OR THESE ARE JUST MISGUIDED RELIGIOUS FOOLS WHO UNDERESTIMATE THE GRACE OF GOD.
He's NOT WILLING THAT ANY should perish, but that ALL will come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17).
Joel 2:16 clearly shows that CHILDREN and babies will go in the Rapture:
"Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, GATHER THE CHILDREN, AND THOSE THAT SUCK THE BREASTS: let the Bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the Bride out of her closet".
O.K., "little children", now you know THE TRUTH, straight from THE TRUTH HIMSELF.
Be at peace and don't listen to unbelieving morons.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2013
There is no middle ground where Roman Emperor Constantine is concerned.
Some factions in Christendom proclaim him a "saint" while he gets severe criticism from most evangelicals.
He is often blamed for what would eventually become the Roman Catholic Church.
Since professing Christians can't even agree on how to baptize, let alone on HOW TO BE SAVED... It's a safe bet that consensus will never be reached on this issue, either. At least, this side of heaven...
We know Constantine was the 57th emperor of the Roman Empire who ruled from 306-337 A.D.
We know the Empire had gone through years of civil war and unrest.
We know he was pagan and worshiper of Sol Invictus (the "invincible sun"), and that he had A MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE prior to the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, in which he defeated Maxentius and put an end to civil strife:
He looked heavenward and saw the cross SUPERIMPOSED ON THE SUN (which was the symbol of the deity he worshiped), while hearing the words in hoc signo vince: "in this symbol conquer".
The vision was followed by a dream, the night before the aforementioned Battle, where he was instructed to put the cross, which had by then become a Christian symbol, on his soldiers' shields.
He did, defeated Maxentius, returned to Rome in victory, and the rest is His-Story.
In 313 A.D. he signed the Edict of Milan granting tolerance to all religions, including the theretofore horribly persecuted Christian faith, also decreeing the return of all confiscated church property.
In 325 A.D. he convened the ecumenical Council of Nicea which sought to establish ecclesiastical unity throughout the empire.
Constantine was doubtlessly a shrewd politician who saw orthodoxy as a means of bringing peace and stability to the war-torn empire.
To that extent, it is true that he laid the framework for what would eventually become the Roman Catholic Church.
However, unless he had supernatural knowledge of the future I DON'T SEE HOW, IN HIS WILDEST IMAGINATION, Constantine could have foreseen, much less known, in 325 A.D., THE KIND OF INTOLERANT, VICIOUS, TYRANNICAL, GREEDY RELIGIOUS MONSTER into which such structure would degenerate, especially during the Middle Ages.
Let's not overlook the fact that the known "world" at the time was MUCH SMALLER consisting mostly of the Roman Empire itself (Europe, Middle East, and northern part of Africa).
Much of the Far East and the African continent was UNKNOWN and the American continent would not be discovered until roughly 1,200 years later.
Population throughout the Empire is estimated to have been somewhere between 35-39 million.
The world's population today is around 7 billion of which Roman Catholics represent about 1.2 billion.
Whichever side of the issue you favor, here's what should not be lost on ANY worshiper of Christ:
Whether Constantine's conversion was real or simply politically expedient, the fact is that the Christian faith had grown so much and spread so far within the mightiest empire known -- IN SPITE OF relentless persecution, often resulting in martyrdom -- that it was NO LONGER good political policy to persecute or marginalize Christians, but rather to fully integrate them into Roman society.
The mightiest Empire known to man had been SWALLOWED UP, PEACEFULLY, by the Christian Message, WITHOUT war, violence OR WEAPONS, by the sheer power of God's Spirit and God's Word.
Glory to His Name!
In 300 years, the risen Jesus HAD OVERCOME not only death itself, but the very Empire that crucified Him.
NOVEMBER 5, 2013
DESTROYED BY FIRE
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which THE HEAVENS SHALL PASS AWAY WITH A GREAT NOISE, AND THE ELEMENTS, BURNING, SHALL BE DISSOLVED, AND THE EARTH AND THE WORKS THAT ARE IN IT SHALL BE BURNED UP.
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,WAITING FOR AND DESIRING EARNESTLY FOR THE COMING OF the day of God, in which THE HEAVENS BEING ON FIRE SHALL BE DISSOLVED, AND THE ELEMENTS SHALL MELT WITH FERVENT HEAT? (2 Peter 3:10-12).
This portion of 2 Peter Chapter 3 is often associated with the Second Coming of Jesus but actually it speaks about the same things mentioned in Revelation 6:14 and 8:7 that happen around the time of the Rapture.
The Rapture takes place sometime between Revelation 6:12 and 7:9 under the 6th seal.
That's when the Church appears suddenly in heaven, seemingly out of nowhere, in glorified bodies.
In Revelation 6:14 John describes THE SKY "being ROLLED UP like a scroll".
Peter describes the same event saying that "THE HEAVENS SHALL PASS AWAY WITH A GREAT NOISE"
He also says they will be "dissolved by fire".
In Revelation 8:7, after the Church is in heaven, as the 7th seal is opened and the first trumpet sounds, John describes A THIRD OF THE EARTH, trees and grass being BURNED UP.
Peter describes the same thing by saying that "THE EARTH AND THE WORKS THAT ARE IN IT SHALL BE BURNED UP, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat".
Anyway you look at it ONE-THIRD of the earth's surface, and all the works on it (buildings, homes, cars, roads, bridges, airports, planes, etc.) and one-third of vegetation will be instantly incinerated.
That's a huge chunk of the earth.
We are not told which specific part(s) of the earth will be burned. We do know that the Middle East and the nations around the Mediterranean will be spared, since they are the main setting for the tribulation and reign of Antichrist.
We also know that the U.S.A. will survive the tribulation in some form or fashion, albeit barely and by the Grace of God, probably the Eastern part where the 13 colonies were originally established (Ezekiel 38:13).
Russia and China, will also survive at least in part (Isaiah 49:12; Ezekiel 38:1-8).
Russia, however, will be destroyed during the Millennium (Ezekiel 39:11).
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2013
We live in a world where things CONSTANTLY CHANGE:
The economy can be up one day and down the next.
The weather can be warm one day and cold the next.
Governments change, politicians change, entertainers change, family and friends change, employers change, jobs change, technology changes, athletes change, our bodies change, feelings change, relationships change, and OPINIONS have been known to change more often than our underwear.
In the midst of the constant barrage of change, it's nice to know there's something that NEVER changes:
God's Holy Word.
You can read that Bible today and it will say THE VERY SAME thing it said yesterday, a month ago, a year ago,30 years ago, and 3,500 years ago.
Its principles are timeless.
Its Wisdom unparalleled.
Its Truth ETERNAL.
They apply from generation to generation.
They yield the same results today that they did centuries ago.
They are as true today as they are from everlasting to everlasting.
They reveal the Mind of God.
They express His unending Love.
God's Word doesn't change because ETERNAL Truth, by definition, CANNOT change.
It doesn't change because God NEVER CHANGES (Malachi 3:6).
Jesus, who is both God and the Word Incarnate, is THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER (Hebrews 13:8).
In an ever-changing world, it's nice and comforting to know that Jesus (God's Holy Word) NEVER CHANGES.
He loves us when we're up, when we're down, when we're happy or depressed, when we behave and when we misbehave, when we're in a good mood or a bad one, when we're rich and when we're poor, when we're young and when we're old.
Are you WEARY of so much CHANGE?
Come to the One who NEVER,EVER changes.
The One you can ALWAYS COUNT on.
The One who NEVER leaves you nor forsakes you...
The One whose love for you is SO GREAT that He was willing TO DIE for your sake...
Come to Jesus,now.
Take refuge in His loving arms.
After all the changes are ended, He'll STILL BE THE SAME.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2013
DOES COMMUNION SAVE?
Yes and NO.
If by communion we mean EXPERIENCING JESUS INTIMATELY, in the deepest areas of our being, the answer is "YES!"
If by communion we mean THE ACT of partaking of the bread and wine, the answer is NO.
Someone recently told me that partaking of the PHYSICAL elements of bread and wine saves us.
As someone brought up in Roman Catholicism, I can testify that did my First Communion, I partook of the bread and wine COUNTLESS times thereafter, and I was NOT SAVED UNTIL, by the Grace of God, I INVITED JESUS INTO my heart, gave my heart and my entire self TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY to Him, and experienced the NEW BIRTH from above.
Despite the MANY TIMES I had partaken of the host, I DID NOT experience the New Birth or SPIRITUAL REGENERATION ON THE INSIDE, UNTIL I gave my heart TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY to my precious, wonderful Lord.
Praise His Name forever!
And Jesus clearly said that UNLESS an individual is BORN AGAIN, he or she CANNOT see NOR ENTER the Kingdom of God (John 3:3-5).
Hence, NO NEW BIRTH = NO SALVATION.
I also heard a Catholic priest say that when evangelicals ask him if he has a personal relationship with Christ, he replies that he "just took communion" (meaning the bread and wine) and that "HOW MUCH MORE PERSONAL CAN YOU GET WITH JESUS THAN PARTAKING OF HIS BODY AND BLOOD"?
That SOUNDS good, at first. However, UNLESS SUCH PARTAKING is DONE IN SPIRIT (from the depths of our being) it won't get you ANY intimacy with Jesus, NOR regenerate you and SAVE YOU.
EVERY BELIEVER, regardless of denomination, should partake of the bread and wine regularly, as commanded by Jesus, in REMEMBRANCE OF Him who gave His body and blood to redeem us (Luke 22:19).
The bread and wine are OUTWARD REPRESENTATIONS of what SHOULD take place INWARDLY: partaking IN SPIRIT of the flesh and blood of Jesus, which are REAL Spirit substance (John 6:53-63).
Evidently, Jesus was not talking about cannibalism when He spoke of "eating His flesh and drinking His blood".
By SPIRIT, we RECEIVE JESUS into us, we eat His flesh and DRINK His Blood, both of which are SPIRIT SUBSTANCE.
THAT Holy Communion DOES SAVE.
If THAT SPIRITUAL COMMUNION DOESN'T happen, you can eat refined flour and drink wine ‘til you gain 100 pounds, YOU'RE NOT SAVED.
Salvation takes place in OUR HEARTS NOT in OUR MOUTHS.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2013
God’s Word commands us to live in the spirit and walk in the spirit (Galatians 5:25).
HOW can we do ANYTHING “in the Spirit” when we HAVE NO IDEA WHERE the spirit is?
Our born again spirit is THE MOST VALUABLE and MOST IMPORTANT part of our being.
Yet it is the part we pay THE LEAST attention to: Most Christians pay ZERO attention to it.
Your spirit is where Jesus LIVES through His Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9).
Here’s the great tragedy: Evangelicals move heaven and earth, hold evangelistic meetings, knock on doors, and even send missionaries overseas to GET PEOPLE BORN AGAIN…
…To make INDIVIDUAL SPIRITS COME ALIVE by experiencing Jesus in the deepest part of their inner being, and make that PERMANENT SPIRITUAL CONNECTION WITH Jesus.
…ONLY to have it INSTANTLY FORGOTTEN and covered up with TRUCKLOADS OF RELIGIOUS JUNK.
It makes NO SENSE at all.
It’s AS IF the born-again experience HAD NEVER HAPPENED!!!
But that’s the way it’s MISHANDLED by well-meaning, but clueless and inefficient Christian ministers.
Once we experience Christ INSIDE, we are TO STAY in Him and LIVE IN HIM (Romans 8:1-2).
We are to TREASURE Him and ENJOY His Presence WITHIN us (Matthew 6:21; Colossians 2:3).
It is COUNTERPRODUCTIVE to experience Christ INSIDE OF US ONCE and then IMMEDIATELY forget about Him and BURY Him under a pile of religious trash.
THAT’S WHY the Body of Christ keeps looking for Christ “OUT THERE” hundreds of thousands of light years AWAY, instead of looking for Him “IN HERE”, WITHIN their own selves, as CLOSE as THEIR OWN BREATH.
That’s why they keep looking for OUTWARD SIGNS of the Rapture.
The Rapture will take place WITHIN each of us (Luke 17:21).
Jesus, who is ALREADY IN us, will appear to us, FROM THE INSIDE, NOT FROM THE OUTSIDE.
Make no mistake: The Rapture is A SPIRITUAL EVENT.
It affects our bodies only because, by Spirit, we are translated into A HIGHER DIMENSION which is the dimension of SPIRIT.
Hence, our physical self VANISHES from this lower realm called earth.
Do you REALLY WANT the Rapture?
Then stop whining about how long it’s taken Jesus to take us home.
STOP looking for OUTWARD signs like comets, eclipses, secret societies and microchip implants.
AND LOOK FOR JESUS with ALL YOUR HEART, WITHIN YOU.
MATERIAL consciousness won’t get us anywhere.
The Rapture happens when we become SPIRIT CONSCIOUS.
Jesus is ONE SPIRIT with those of us who KNOW HIM (1 Corinthians 6:17).
The Rapture is THE MANIFESTATION in us OF the INNER CHRIST.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2013
FAMILY & FRIENDS
"And when the Sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From WHERE HAS THIS MAN THESE THINGS? And WHAT WISDOM IS THIS WHICH IS GIVEN UNTO HIM, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
ISN'T THIS THE CARPENTER, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Judas, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they TOOK OFFENSE AT HIM.
But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and AMONG HIS OWN KIN, AND IN HIS OWN HOUSE" (Mark 6:2-4).
It is often easier to bring a complete stranger to faith in Jesus than our own family and friends.
Even Jesus had to deal with this issue: His own brothers didn't believe in Him, until they saw Him risen from the dead (John 7:5).
Even then, we only know for certain that James and Jude came to faith.
Scripture doesn't tell us whether his sisters and his brothers Joses and Simon ever came to faith, although it's hard to imagine that they wouldn't.
Why is it that those we want to reach the most usually respond THE LESS?
There is something to the saying that "familiarity breeds contempt".
It's hard for those who've known us since childhood, watched us grow up, and seen our human vulnerabilities to value our testimony.
It would take something pretty drastic, like the Resurrection, to convince them.
There's not much any of us can do about it.
But here's what YOU CAN do:
You can plant the seeds of God's Word into their spirits and minds.
I said PLANT seeds.
When we plant seeds they don't sprout overnight.
It TAKES TIME: Sometimes a few days, sometimes a couple weeks, and sometimes (at least where spiritual seeds are concerned) it takes YEARS.
Share Jesus with them and explain that He offers FREE Salvation to ANYONE who WANTS IT.
Explain that they need to invite Him to enter their innermost beings, and receive Him as God and Savior.
Unless, by some miracle, they indicate they're ready to receive Him, LEAVE IT THERE. Let the Holy Spirit DO THE REST.
DO NOT shove Jesus down their throats.
Encourage them to search the Scriptures ON THEIR OWN.
God's Word NEVER returns void.
It WILL PROSPER in that where unto He sends it.
Jesus said we plant the seeds and they grow "we know not how" (Mark 4:27).
In my own life, glory to Jesus, I've seen every member of my immediate family, and nearly every one of my relatives (except for a couple of holdouts) come to Christ.
Did it happen right away? No.
In some cases it took a couple of years, in others as many as 10 or more.
But, eventually, God's Word that was planted SPROUTED and yielded fruit unto eternal life.
Witnessing to one's own kin takes a great deal of patience and TRUST.
Trust Jesus to save them, even when it seems like for every step forward they've taken two steps backward.
Remember, YOU'RE NOT their savior, or their judge. Jesus is.
Don't give up, and don't give up HOPE.
Do your part, as explained above, then put them in His most capable Hands and TRUST HIM to take it from there and MAKE IT HAPPEN.
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