April 2014 archives of www.christconnection.net down below
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 2014
NO RAPTURE IN 2014
I hate to be the bearer of disappointing news, but THIS ISN'T the year of the Rapture.
Barring some supernatural manipulation of time by God, the earliest we could expect the collective Rapture of the Church would be next year (2015).
And the Second Coming can't be expected any earlier than 2018.
I know that's not what most of you want to read: For what it's worth, I don't like it either.
But I'm not going to KNOWINGLY teach error, or get your hopes up KNOWING you'll be doubly disappointed when it DOESN'T happen.
Well, how can you say that when we got the better part of 2014 still ahead?
There's no way to get the 42 months the Antichrist must reign from the rest of 2014 to the last Feast of 2017 which is Tabernacles.
And we know from numerous Scriptures that the tribulation MUST end on a moed (major Feast of the Lord, Daniel 8:19; 11:35).
Well, couldn't the Second Coming happen in the spring of 2018 and the Rapture take place around the fall Feasts (Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot) this year?
There's no grape harvest and, consequently, no grape trampling in the spring.
Jesus repeatedly ties the end times to the harvest seasons in Israel, both in the Gospels and in the Book of Revelation (Matthew 13:30-39; Mark 4:29; Revelation 14:15-16).
The Second Coming takes place at or near the end of the grape harvest, which takes place from roughly July to September (Genesis 49:10-11; Isaiah 63:2-3; Joel 3:13; Revelation 14:19-20; 19:15).
There's A LOT MORE I have to say about these things, but since we got plenty of time...
I will address OTHER PERTINENT ISSUES as the Spirit leads, and when He leads.
But aren't you being a bit presumptuous? Doesn't Scripture say "NO ONE knows the day or hour"? (Mark 13:32)
Scripture says that in PRESENT tense. It says "no one KNOWS". It DOES NOT SAY "no one will EVER know".
No one KNEW 2,000 years ago, not the angels, NOT EVEN Jesus Himself as a human being, since He (as God) had sealed that knowledge UNTIL OUR TIME (Daniel 12:4,9).
When the Rapture happens EVERYONE - saved or unsaved - WILL KNOW the exact day and the exact hour that it happened.
So please get off your brainwashed eschatological high-horse. You're the same person who searches for "2014 Rapture", "Rapture 2014" or "Rapture this year" then turns around and plays the sanctimonious "NO ONE KNOWS the day" card.
NOTICE TO NITPICKERS: the title on this page and on our navigation menu will remain "2014 Rapture", even though I'm flat-out telling you it won't happen this year.
That's the term many people are searching for, and I'm not going to relinquish our NUMBER ONE RANKING (to Jesus be the glory!) for the sake of a few ignoramuses who just "don't get it".
Also, it may take a while for this information to appear in OTHER PARTS of the website. Please don't write us some impertinent email saying "you said this in the daily message, but it says "__" elsewhere on your website.
We minister to REAL people, with REAL needs in REAL time.
We will update those other pages AS SOON AS WE ARE HUMANLY ABLE.
But what about the "blood moons"?
I HAVEN'T seen any, have you?
What I saw recently was a NATURAL lunar eclipse, where the moon turned a coppery orange-y color that LOOKS NOTHING LIKE BLOOD.
That WASN'T a "blood red moon".
As already noted in our 2014 prophecy update (click on link ABOVE) these series of lunar eclipses may have ominous meaning for Israel.
They have nothing to do with the Rapture.
When the Rapture finally happens the moon will LITERALLY turn the color of blood, that deep, rich, crimson color.
When it does, you'll NOTICE the difference, a BIG difference.
I'll have more to say with regards to that as well, at the appropriate time.
Don't worry. He hasn't forgotten. He's coming.
Just a bit later than I thought.
Well, what if you're wrong and He takes us home this year?
I'll be THE HAPPIEST person standing before His Throne. Amen.
TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014
Is it ALWAYS WRONG to call someone else a fool?
According to most atheists and unbelievers Jesus said the answer is "yes".
According to JESUS Himself, the answer is "no".
Thank God for Jesus or Mr. T would go straight to hell...
It's bad enough that most Christians are biblical illiterates, but when AN UNBELIEVER MISQUOTES God's Word and tries to play "gotcha", it's more than I can take.
Such was the case with a Muslim who recently wrote a very aggressive and critical email, asking, among other things, if I'd ever read the Koran.
I told him that I'd read most of it. That it's nothing but cheap copycat plagiarism of the Hebrew Bible, Old and New Testaments, with a few self-serving "adjustments".
And that a supposed "deity" WHO CAN'T EVEN WRITE HIS OWN BOOK, but needs to plagiarize another, IS NO god at all.
He also questioned what happened to all those who lived before Jesus.
I've answered that question many times in these daily messages:
They went to Sheol, the abode of the dead, which was compartmentalized at that time into hell, a place of torment (for the unsaved), and the Bosom of Abraham, a place of peace and comfort, for those who died in the faith, UNTIL Jesus rose from the dead, liberated them, and took them up to heaven with Him (Luke 16:22-31; Matthew 27:50-53).
However, this guy wasn't really looking for answers, nor did he care about Truth.
Therefore, I replied that a better question was "what happened to all those who came BEFORE Muhammad, since Muhammad appeared almost 700 years AFTER Jesus?"
I also said that I answer directly to Jesus and NOT to a lost fool like him.
When he read the word fool he shot back that Jesus had said that "if you call ANOTHER MAN a fool, you're in danger of hell fire".
Is THAT what Jesus REALLY said?
Sadly, 99% of "Christians" would have been taken by this lost fool and thought he had quoted Scripture correctly.
This was my answer, word for word:
Matthew 5:22 DOES NOT SAY that "he who calls ANOTHER MAN fool" is in danger of hell fire, AS YOU FALSELY STATE.
"But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with HIS BROTHER without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to HIS BROTHER, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire".
Which part of "HIS BROTHER" DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND, FOOL?
Anyone who pushes Islam IS NOT MY BROTHER. Therefore, I have every right to call him (or in this case, YOU) a fool.
Furthermore, Jesus said that BEFORE He went to Golgotha and PAID FOR ALL SIN FOR ALL TIME (John 1:29; Hebrews 9:26; 10:14; 1 John 3:5).
He said that PRIOR TO THE NEW COVENANT, while the Torah (Law) was still in effect.
Obviously, that DOES NOT APPLY TO BORN-AGAIN BELIEVERS under the New Testament since the Apostle Paul says "oh, FOOLISH Galatians" in Galatians 3:1.
Therefore, your stupid, INSINCERE and self-serving "argument" is thoroughly refuted and rendered NULL AND VOID”.
Here's a perfect example of why it's SO IMPORTANT TO KNOW what the Bible ACTUALLY SAYS, and not what SOMEONE ELSE SAYS that "it says".
In fact, JESUS HIMSELF calls the Pharisees of His day "fools" in Matthew 23:17!
He used the VERY SAME WORD as in Matthew 5:22, moros (from which we get the English "moron").
And He didn't JUST call them "fools" (morons) but "BLIND morons"!
Was Jesus (perish the thought) "in danger of hell fire" for using that word?
Didn't Jesus PRACTICE what He preached?
Of course He did! He used it in reference to the Pharisees WHO WERE LOST, DID NOT BELIEVE IN HIM and, therefore, were NOT HIS SPIRITUAL BROTHERS.
They were as lost AS THAT LOST FOOL who tried to TWIST Scripture to further his ungodly agenda.
We shouldn't go around calling others "fool" unless it's warranted.
But is it ever O.K. to call others, especially unbelievers who attack Jesus, "fool"?
Jesus DID IT and Paul DID IT.
And UNLESS THESE LOST FOOLS repent and receive Jesus as God and Savior, all self-righteous religionists who think they're better than me and holier than Jesus because "they've NEVER!!!" called anyone fool, will perish along with their fake "righteousness".
MONDAY, APRIL 28, 2014
GOOD ENOUGH FOR JESUS
When Jesus was tempted by Satan, after 40 days and nights of fasting, He DID NOT SAY "I think", "I feel", "I believe", "I am of the opinion", "this is how I interpret Scripture", "Hillel said", "the Mishna (oral law) says", "I've experienced" or "Scripture contains much Truth" (as though it also contained ERROR).
IF ANYONE, on this earth or anywhere else, HAD A RIGHT to express His opinion, or His feelings, it would be Jesus, for various reasons:
1. He is God.
2. Consequently, He is Perfect.
3. He is the Truth.
4. He is sinless and infallible.
5. He is Divine Love, Truth and Righteousness Personified.
But EVEN JESUS did not egotistically say "I think" or "I've experienced", or "I believe" as though HIS OPINION was all that mattered.
Nor did He visit a public forum, where every ignoramus in town could express ANY STUPID IDEA THAT CROSSED his or her amoeba-size brain, and ask "what do you guys THINK I should tell Satan?"
As a human, He answered each and every challenge from the adversary with these words:
"It is written"...
"It is written"...
"It is written"...
And quoted Scripture, authoritatively and VERBATIM, after each "It is written".
Day after day I interact with many people, believers and unbelievers alike.
ALL I ever get is opinion, conjecture, feelings, hunches, experiences, theories, dreams, alleged visions, and hearsay.
The VERY FEW times that someone even MENTIONS Scripture, they either MISQUOTE IT and/or take it totally out of context.
I don't get on unbelievers' cases for it, after all, they're unsaved.
WITH THEM I have to rely on Spirit guidance, Spirit Wisdom, and human reason.
However, if you are a believer, I'm gonna get ALL OVER your case for NOT knowing what God says.
For believers there's simply NO EXCUSE.
How can we call God "our Father" when we DON'T KNOW WHAT He said or wants, or expects?
How can we claim to KNOW Jesus when we have NO IDEA what He said, thinks or likes?
So, let me get this straight:
You participate in all those moronic "Christian" forums to see what OTHER SINNERS THINK, but you are NOT the least bit INTERESTED IN what God says?
You DON'T CARE about what God/Jesus said,but you want us to care about WHAT YOU THINK?
Some who are reading this right now need MASSIVE reality check and complete attitude overhaul.
How do you know that what you see or hear is true UNLESS you measure it against God's Word, which is THE STANDARD OF absolute Truth?
I have NO RESPECT (ZERO!) for ANYONE who disrespects God's Word.
I have NO RESPECT (ZERO!) for ANYONE who MISREPRESENTS God by misquoting or misapplying His HOLY, INERRANT, TRUE and ETERNAL Word.
The Word of God is SPIRITUAL and even MATERIAL Substance and very much alive.
God SAID... and it WAS! (Genesis 1:3).
The WRITTEN Word, in its original form, is an Expression and Manifestation of God, just as much as Jesus the human, Incarnate, Living Word.
Jesus said "Man shall not live by bread alone, but BY EVERY WORD that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3).
If Jesus, the HOLY, PERFECT, SINLESS Son of God found it NECESSARY to meditate, study, MEMORIZE, and precisely QUOTE the Scriptures, HOW MUCH MORE should sinful mortals?
Unless, of course, you think you're SUPERIOR TO Jesus.
If you do, you're INSANE and belong in the booby hatch.
If the written Word is good enough for the Word Incarnate (Jesus), it should be GOOD ENOUGH FOR ALL OF US.
SUNDAY, APRIL 27, 2014
DEAD SEA SCROLLS
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 981 texts discovered between 1946 and 1956 at the Qumran caves, about a mile west of the Dead Sea.
Most of these texts are on display at the Shrine of the Book Museum in Jerusalem.
The texts are of great historical, religious, and linguistic significance because they include the earliest known surviving manuscripts of works included in the Hebrew Bible's canon, along with deuterocanonical and extra-biblical manuscripts which represent the diversity of religious thought in Judaism during the Second Temple era.
They are written mostly in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, mostly on parchment, although some are written on papyrus, and there's even a famous copper scroll.
Most scholars attribute them to the Essenes, a rather secluded, ascetic Jewish community that lived in the Dead Sea area during the Second Temple era.
According to Josephus, the Essenes were displeased with the religious establishment dominated by the High Priest, chief priests and Sanhedrin.
Some scholars believe that John the Baptist was a member of this sect.
Coins found on the site were minted anywhere from 135 BC to 73 A.D.
The manuscripts have been dated between 408 BC and 308 A.D.
Most remarkable, perhaps, is that they prove the integrity of the biblical text, meticulously preserved by dedicated scribes through the centuries:
Their Bible (Tanach, Old Testament) - dating as far back as the 5th century B.C. - reads exactly like yours and mine does today.
About 40% of the manuscripts are copies of books from the Hebrew Bible, 30% are deuterocanonical texts from the Second Temple Period like the Book of Enoch, and Jubilees, and the other 30% are documents that shed light on the rules and beliefs of that particular group within greater Judaism.
A mysterious figure known as the Teacher of Righteousness is mentioned often in the writings of the Essenes.
Some have speculated that this was a shrouded reference to Jesus. Others claim that it referred to His half-brother, James the Just.
The fact is NO ONE KNOWS for sure as the Teacher of Righteousness is not clearly identified.
There's also frequent mention of "the leader of the community", and evidence that they were familiar with New Testament Scripture.
They mention the "Son of God", a "suffering Messiah" who would be put to death (obviously a reference to Daniel 9:25-27), and one could certainly see a lot about Jesus in the writings, however, I'm not aware of any one manuscript that clearly identifies Jesus with either of the aforementioned two titles.
Their tremendous historical, religious and linguistic value aside, we DON'T NEED the Dead Sea Scrolls to make a case for Jesus being the Messiah.
Paul (Acts 17:2-3; 11-12), and even Jesus Himself (Luke 24:27), could do just fine, with the Old Testament.
SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2014
THE DEAD SEA
The Dead Sea in southern Israel is one of the world's most unique and interesting places.
Although it's called "sea" it's actually a mineral-rich lake.
So rich and dense, in fact, that you can neither swim nor sink. You can only float.
Its mineral composition consists mainly of sulfur and bromide ions, calcium chloride 14.4%, potassium chloride 4.4%, magnesium chloride 50.8% and sodium chloride (common salt).
The Dead Sea sits right next to the Negev desert and its climate and minerals are supposed to provide certain health benefits mostly to those who suffer from psoriasis and respiratory problems.
It's at the southeastern tip of the Dead Sea that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah once existed.
The main reason for its abundance of minerals is that God destroyed those cities by raining brimstone (sulfur), and perhaps other substances, from the heavens (Genesis 19:24-25).
It is THE LOWEST point on the earth (therefore the closest, at least geographically, to hell), some 1,400 feet below sea level.
It's approximately 10 times saltier than the ocean.
NOTHING LIVES in the Dead Sea, hence its name.
There are many caves surrounding the Dead Sea. The area was once a place of refuge for King David, as he fled Saul's jealousy and wrath (1 Samuel 24:1).
It's described in Genesis 14:10 as having many asphalt pits.
Another unusual feature of the Dead Sea is, indeed, its on-going discharge of asphalt (bitumen), usually in the form of small, black pebbles and of its world famous oily, black mud that tourists usually apply to their skin.
This sticky, highly viscous substance was used in biblical times (before cement was invented) to construct the infamous Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:3).
Ezekiel 47:1-12 states that, during the Millennium, the Gihon Spring within the fourth temple (symbolic of the Holy Spirit within each believer, John 7:38-39) will BECOME (once again) A RIVER that will run down the Kidron and Jordan Valley into the Dead Sea and heal its waters.
God's Word promises that, where nothing lives at the present time, there will be a huge multitude of fish.
Moreover on both sides of the now "dead" sea, there will be all sorts of fruit laden trees and lush greenery, with healing properties for all manner of disease, making it very much ALIVE, an oasis in the middle of the Negev, and a LIFE-GIVING HEALING CENTER during the millennial era.
Is your heart a dead sea?
...A lifeless, barren desert full of marshlands?
Do you feel like you're just floating around, but unable to swim and reach the shore?
Caught in many of this world's muddy, sinful quagmires?
Closer to hell than to Jesus who IS heaven?
There's a remedy for it:
Receive Jesus into your heart as God and Savior:
Invite Him to penetrate THE DEEPEST recesses of your being.
He will put His OWN HOLY Spirit within you.
Just like the Gihon will one day FLUSH OUT all the death-producing chemicals from the Dead Sea, so will God's Holy Spirit, THE RIVER OF LIFE, FLUSH OUT every sin and impurity from your heart.
He will give you a NEW heart.
He will give you ABUNDANT life.
His Living Water will totally satisfy your thirst (John 4:10-14) and make your dead heart COME TO LIFE...
FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014
FROM RIVER TO RIVER
"On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, FROM the river of Egypt (the Nile) TO the great river, the Euphrates - the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites" (Genesis 15:18-21).
God made a covenant with Abraham that to his descendants He would give certain territory in the Middle East.
He later CONFIRMED that covenant with Abraham's son Isaac, and with Abraham's grandson, Jacob a/k/a Israel (Genesis 17:19; 26:3-4; 35:9-12).
Ishmael was SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED (Genesis 17:19-21).
God was very specific about the boundaries of that territory.
It is MUCH LARGER THAN the present State of Israel.
So, it's rather ironic, rebellious, and ANTI-GOD when some out-of-control superpower wants to FORCE ISRAEL to cede EVEN MORE land to the so-called Palestinians, when God said they would have FAR MORE than they presently possess.
Eretz Israel, a/k/a the Promised Land, will cover the territory from the Euphrates on the northeast, to the Nile on the southwest.
It will include territory presently occupied by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and several other nations in the Middle East.
This is the territory that Israel will possess during the Millennium.
And I have a brief word of warning for Israel's neighbors:
THE Covenant between God, Abraham, and Abraham's Seed is ETERNAL (Genesis 17:7,19). (See map below)
That means it can NEVER be revoked.
It CANNOT be changed.
God gave His Word.
He SWORE by Himself, since there is NONE HIGHER (Genesis 22:16-18).
Therefore - LIKE IT OR NOT - Israel will have THAT ENTIRE TERRITORY.
And there's NOTHING they can do about it.
There won't be any terrorism during that peaceful period.
There won't be any suicide bombers.
No roadside bombs, no rocket launches, and NO JIHAD.
There won't be any mosques, and NO ONE will even REMEMBER that FALSE, INVENTED, non-existent "deity" named Allah.
That lying pedophile named Mohammed will long be forgotten.
So, those who WANT TO live in that land during the Millennium better do ONE THING:
Invite the Jewish Messiah into their hearts and RECEIVE Him, Jesus Christ, as ONLY Lord, Savior and God.
Those who DO, become part of the Commonwealth of Israel, and will get to live in the blessed Land of Promise (Ephesians 2:12).
Those who DON'T, will get NOTHING.
THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014
CONTENT WITH WHAT WE HAVE
"...I have learned, IN WHATEVER STATE I am, TO BE CONTENT.
I know... both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:11-13).
"Keep your lives FREE FROM THE LOVE OF MONEY and BE CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
"But godliness WITH CONTENTMENT is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out:
And HAVING FOOD AND CLOTHING, LET US BE CONTENT WITH THESE THINGS.
BUT THEY THAT WILL BE RICH FALL INTO TEMPTATION AND A SNARE, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which plunge men into destruction and perdition.
For THE LOVE OF MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL: which while some coveted after, they HAVE ERRED FROM THE FAITH, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1 Timothy 6:7-10).
One thing's for sure: You'll never hear these verses at "word of faith" convention...
But that sad reality aside, the sluggish economy has affected nearly everyone.
We often hear from brothers and sisters who have lost their jobs, and been forced to find other employment.
Their new jobs are not what they expected or dreamed of.
And they often express discontent. Some have rather unrealistic expectations, and have allowed religious thinking to cloud their judgment.
Unlike most preachers, who think they're entitled to financial support from their congregation, and to sell worthless crap to "raise funds" for whatever...I work for a living and to support our various ministries.
I know where you're coming from because I've been there.
So, let me offer a bit of perspective:
I know things are tough. We live in a VERY imperfect world filled with VERY imperfect people.
EVERY JOB - I don't care what it is - involves some degree of unpleasantness.
Whether it's to put up with a moody boss, angry customers, sick patients, a very demanding audience, impatient callers, or hang around worldly people.
VERY FEW individuals can say that they have their "dream job".
Truth be told, if most people didn't have to support themselves, they WOULDN'T WORK AT ALL.
There are, on the other hand, thousands of individuals who would love to have that job that you desperately want to shove.
Not to mention MILLIONS AROUND THE WORLD who WOULD GIVE ANYTHING to live how you live, have what you have, get the government benefits you get, and make the money you make.
That may shock some of you, but it's true.
I've said it many times: Americans are SPOILED.
We're spoiled where Jesus and His Word are concerned, and we're spoiled where the economy and worldly possessions are concerned.
We've lived on Easy Street way too long.
And that may be one of the reasons why God has allowed our economy (the "almighty dollar") that SAYS we trust God, -- WHEN WE REALLY TRUST IT-- to sputter.
If God has opened the door to some job where you have to deal with "the world" and the "ungodly", be THANKFUL for it.
Do you think people in the first century (when the New Testament was written) got to pick and choose where or for whom they worked?
Have you ever read Paul's epistles? There were many SLAVES at that time.
And Paul tells them to serve their worldly, sinful masters as they would serve Jesus (Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22-23).
Do you think that God's going to find you a job working for a PERFECT Christian with PERFECT customers, who has no faults, always speaks and acts pleasantly, prays three times a day, sings hallelujah, and will raise your salary every three months?
By the way, ask anyone who's ever worked for a "Christian" ministry, and you'll find out that it's no picnic.
There's the same pettiness, jealousy, competition, backstabbing, @ss kissing, favoritism, and FIRING as in any other BUSINESS.
If anything they tend to be MORE STRICT and DEMANDING, and MORE STINGY, that the unsaved.
Additionally, "Christian" BUSINESSES (uh, "ministries") practice nepotism, which most worldly businesses tend to frown on.
Being a member of "the family" gets you hired and promoted even when you're a total nincompoop.
Light is not needed where light already is. Light is MOST NEEDED where there's DARKNESS.
As long as you're not asked to do anything ILLEGAL (sell drugs, prostitution, steal, etc.) BE THANKFUL for your job.
Even if you work at a Vegas casino.
Even if you're a bouncer at a raunchy night club.
Don't do your job just "well enough to get a paycheck". Give a 100%. Go the extra mile. Excel at what you do.
DEMONSTRATE by your actions and performance that you're not there just to "get paid" but that you have your employer's best interest at heart - NO MATTER WHO that employer may be.
It's those who have this attitude, by the way, that usually GET raises and PROMOTIONS.
They become TOO VALUABLE to their employer, and they won't want to risk losing you to a better job offer elsewhere.
Best part is, it won't be long before you ACTUALLY START ENJOYING what you do, even if it's not what you originally wanted or would have chosen for yourself.
That's what happened to both Joseph and Daniel.
They were both sold or taken as slaves. They both worked for heathen masters. And they served them well, faithfully, and ably, and proved to be honest and trustworthy. They became indispensable to their bosses and both got promoted to Prime Minister of Egypt and Persia, respectively.
Their attitude was not "gimme, gimme, gimme", or "I'm only looking out for my own interests", but rather "how can I do a better job?" How can we better serve our customers? How can I make my boss's business more profitable?
And if you're surrounded BY SINNERS (who isn't?) BE DOUBLY GRATEFUL.
Think of it as a "mission field".
Think about all those individuals to whom you have the opportunity to witness.
And, when the right moment comes along, SHARE CHRIST WITH THEM.
Your employer doesn't pay you to evangelize, so do it ON YOUR OWN TIME, NOT THEIRS.
Let Jesus' Light shine through you in that dark place.
Be radiant, GENUINE, upbeat and SMILE.
Such attitude is hard for anyone, saved or unsaved, to resist.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2014
ALL THE WAY
Jesus is about to return. When He does, His Appearance will rapture us, and translate us in an instant, into the Spirit realm.
That realm is MORE REAL than the physical.
The visible, physical realm is only temporary. The invisible, spirit realm is eternal [2 Corinthians 4:18].
Therefore, EVERYTHING we presently see around us will dissolve. It will be no more.
The physical is about to give way to the eternal.
If we were in the spirit realm we would see each other, touch each other, communicate with each other, just like we do in the earthly realm. Actually, far better.
I'm addressing this message primarily to those who SAY they're Christian, but whose hearts and minds are far from the Lord.
Professing Christians who have a long list of priorities ahead of Jesus…
Who call themselves believers, but have no intimate, personal relationship with the Savior.
Who THINK they're Christian because their ancestors claimed to be.
Or because they DO good deeds, attend Sunday school, BELONG TO A PARTICULAR DENOMINATION, or participated in some religious ritual like first communion, confirmation, even water baptism.
ANY church ritual you participate in, where YOUR HEART isn't TOTALLY involved is an EMPTY, MEANINGLESS ritual.
Despite some or all of the above, you have never REALLY GIVEN YOUR HEART TO JESUS.
YOU HAVE NEVER MADE JESUS NUMBER ONE IN YOUR LIFE.
I'm talking about giving Him EVERYTHING: Your heart, your mind, your body, your possessions, your life, your dreams, your ambitions, your time, your talents.
I'm talking TOTAL, ALL-OUT, NO HOLDS BARRED, 100% COMMITMENT TO HIM.
Matthew 7:22 talks about a bunch of people who will say to Jesus "didn't we DO many wonderful WORKS in your name?
And He will answer "I NEVER KNEW YOU".
It’s NOT about “doing”, it’s about TRUSTING.
If you REALLY TRUST Jesus, you’ll hold NOTHING BACK from Him.
Do you KNOW Jesus? I don't mean His Name. Do you KNOW HIM as a Person, as your God, your Lord, and your spiritual Lover?
If you don't, I urge you to do.
The time for tepid Christianity is over.
If you call yourself Christian, then BE ONE: ALL THE TIME, ALL THE WAY.
TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014
WHAT WE SEE
This generation, unlike any other, has been blessed or cursed, depending on one's point of view, OR BOTH, with THE FIVE most powerful mediums of mass communication:
The printed page, movies, TV and radio, the internet, audio & video recordings.
Many individuals subconsciously ASSUME that if it's on TV, it's gotta be true.
NO, NO, NO...
That if it's on the internet (some website, blog or You Tube) it's gotta be true.
That if someone wrote a book, newspaper or magazine article about it, it's gotta be true...
Most literary works fall in the category of "FICTION", therefore they are UNTRUE.
That includes, unfortunately, at least 90% of "Christian" books written by "Christian" authors.
Same goes for anything recorded on DVD, CD, MP3, OR ANYTHING ELSE.
Time and again we are asked about something someone watched, heard, or read.
People often ask us to "explain it", which means THEY AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTED IT AS TRUTH.
When I tell them that there's NO EXPLANATION and that it's a bold-faced lie, and/or that it's DOCTRINAL ERROR (same thing), they seem surprised.
Freedom of speech means that ANYONE can say ANYTHING they want on TV, the internet, in print, or any other media, REGARDLESS of whether it's true or false.
If you doubt it, just look at some of the infomercials on TV.
How many people HAVE ACTUALLY LOST weight with that "new, guaranteed, never before seen" magical weight loss program?
How many people actually lost 8 INCHES from their waistline by using that exercise equipment?
HOW MANY actually look 15 years younger and saw "wrinkles disappear" with that magical "skin care formula"?
BE VERY SKEPTICAL about what you see, hear or read.
A few days ago I was half-watching a program on History Channel about the Bible, where a group of so-called "scholars" commented on certain passages.
One "scholar" accused Ruth of giving Boaz an erotic massage in order to convince him to marry her.
No proof. Just BIASED conjecture.
Another infamously commented that "if the apostle Paul had known how his writings would be interpreted, he would have been more careful".
Really? Does this individual possess some SUPERNATURAL INSIGHT into Paul's mind and nature to know what he "really meant", or would have said, in a given situation?
ON WHAT does she base the claim that Paul's writings have been "misunderstood"?
Again, NO PROOF. Not even a feeble attempt to substantiate the charge: JUST TOTALLY BIASED OPINION.
Of course, the thought that Paul wrote EXACTLY WHAT HE INTENDED TO WRITE didn't even cross this "scholar's" mind.
And, of course, Divine inspiration is NOT EVEN CONSIDERED, let alone MENTIONED in such forums.
For the record, A COUPLE of things that Paul wrote have been GROSSLY DISTORTED by religion, but NOT BECAUSE he misstated Truth, or wasn't clear about what he said.
He said what God and he intended to say.
I'm hearing this, and thinking "I wonder how many people, including Christians, are watching this trash and BELIEVING ALL OF IT just because they heard it from some "scholar" (I use the term VERY loosely) on TV.
ALL MEDIA, including religious media, is FILLED with deception (Matthew 24:4; 2 Timothy 3:1-8).
Brothers and sisters, THAT'S WHY GOD GAVE US HIS HOLY, INERRANT written Word, so we would use it AS THE STANDARD by which we judge what's true or false, what is godly or ungodly (Matthew 4:4).
Take EVERYTHING supposed "historians" and religious "experts" tell you with A HUGE grain of salt.
DON'T BELIEVE everything you see or hear "just because" it's on TV or radio, or the internet, or in a book OTHER THAN the Bible.
Or just because someone WHO PRETENDS TO KNOW says it is so.
Check it against God's written Word.
If it doesn't jibe with the Bible, REJECT IT.
MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2014
NO MATTER WHAT
Holy Week should be a time of reflection, deep soul searching, thanksgiving, and of RENEWING OUR COMMITMENT TO our God and Savior Jesus, the Anointed One (Messiah).
And, frankly, it should SET THE TONE FOR the rest of the year.
Whatever happens (or not)...
Even when we DON'T understand...
Even when what we see DOESN'T MAKE ANY sense...
Even when things should be a certain way but APPEAR TO BE another...
Even when our human emotions get in the way...
Even when we experience disappointment...
Even when we experience heartbreak...
By God's Grace, we CHOOSE TO follow Jesus, we choose to TRUST Him, NO MATTER WHAT.
Our Jesus is true.
Our Jesus IS FAITHFUL.
He will not fail us.
He is never too early or too late. He's always RIGHT ON TIME.
He will keep His Word, and HAS KEPT His Word, even when it meant dying on the cross and spending THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS in hell itself.
THAT was the "hard part".
He ROSE FROM THE DEAD PHYSICALLY and ASCENDED TO HEAVEN, to the Father.
Now comes the EASY PART.
The EASY PART is for THE RESURRECTED JESUS to split the sky in the middle, APPEAR in GLORY, and take us Home.
Hang on, Body of Christ.
I know "the wait" it's hard.
Like you, I get impatient, too.
If Jesus fulfilled "the hard part" of our Redemption in such magnificent fashion, the remaining part will be A CINCH.
His death, Resurrection and Ascension give us ABSOLUTE ASSURANCE of His REAPPEARING and of His RETURN.
Even if we had to wait (God forbid) another 100 years, or even ANOTHER THOUSAND YEARS, our Jesus is well worth the wait.
Jesus is our Creator. Jesus is our Savior. Jesus is our Destiny.
SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2014
RISEN IS THE REASON
"I AM the first and the last: I AM HE THAT LIVES, and was dead; and, behold, I AM ALIVE FOREVERMORE... and have the keys of hell and of death" (Revelation 1:17-18).
"..Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and THAT HE ROSE AGAIN THE THIRD DAY ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES: And that HE WAS SEEN of Cephas (Peter), THEN OF THE TWELVE: After that, HE WAS SEEN OF OVER FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE... After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also"... (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
"To whom also He showed Himself ALIVE AFTER HIS PASSION BY MANY INFALLIBLE PROOFS,being seen of them FORTY DAYS, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God: (Acts 1:3)
"Jesus said unto her, I AM THE RESURRECTION, and THE LIFE: he that believes in me, THOUGH HE WERE DEAD, YET SHALL HE LIVE: And whosoever lives and believes in me SHALL NEVER DIE. DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?" (John 11:25-26)
WHY do we believe in Jesus?
WHY do we believe He's THE ONLY Savior?
WHY do we believe in His Deity?
WHY do we believe He's about to APPEAR and Rapture His Church?
WHY do we believe HE WILL RETURN TO EARTH AND ESTABLISH HIS EARTHLY KINGDOM?
WHY do we love Him?
WHY do we KNOW HIM personally and intimately?
WHY SHOULD EVERYONE BREATHING RECEIVE HIM INTO HIS OR HER HEART AS GOD AND SAVIOR?
Because He IS RISEN!
Because OUR Jesus OVERCAME sin and death.
Because OUR Jesus DEFEATED and kicked the living daylights out of Satan.
Because OUR Jesus even took THE KEYS of death and hell AWAY from the creep.
Because OUR Jesus is ABUNDANT and ETERNAL LIFE.
Because OUR Jesus LOVES YOU!
He LOVES YOU... TOTALLY AND UNCONDITIONALLY.
He NOT ANGRY at you, no matter WHAT you may have done.
He will RECEIVE YOU WITH ARMS WIDE OPEN.
Because MY Jesus OFFERS YOU ETERNAL Salvation and HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS... FOR FREE!!!
Because at His Right Hand THERE ARE PLEASURES FOREVER MORE.
EVERYTHING this decaying world offers is TEMPORARY.
EVERY earthly, carnal "pleasure" is SHORT LIVED.
But MY JESUS offers us NEVER-ENDING ECSTASY.
EVERY FALSE, MAN-INVENTED religion is DEAD:
It's FOUNDERS (Buddha, Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Ellen G. White, L. Ron Hubbard, Mary Baker Eddy, William Campbell, Herbert W. Armstrong and Charles T. Russell) ARE AS DEAD ARE DOOR NAILS.
The MULTIPLE founders of Hinduism - so-called Vedas -- along with their multiple gods and goddesses (DEMONS), ARE DEAD and bound for the lake of fire.
Our Jesus IS ALIVE.
ALL INVENTED, IMAGINARY "deities" are remote, INVISIBLE and inaccessible.
Why? Because THEY DON'T EXIST.
That's WHY they CANNOT SHOW THEMSELVES.
Jesus, THE TRUE GOD, came in HUMAN FORM so that ALL COULD SEE HIM.
And Jesus will LIVE IN YOU. He will give you HIS VERY LIFE, if you receive Him INTO YOUR HEART RIGHT NOW.
All imaginary "deities" must be REGULARLY placated.
NONE OF THEM OFFERS a PERMANENT SOLUTION to the sin problem that has plagued mankind for SIX MILLENNIA OR LONGER.
ONLY JESUS DOES.
ONLY JESUS OFFERS FREE FORGIVENESS.
ONLY JESUS REMOVED ALL SIN FOR ALL TIME.
ONLY JESUS OFFERS A PERSONAL, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP.
ONLY JESUS DESTROYED SIN, AND TOOK AWAY SIN - ONCE AND FOR ALL! (John 1:29; Hebrews 9:26; 10:24; 1 John 3:5).
False deities DEMAND that YOU give your life FOR THEM.
ONLY JESUS LOVED YOU ENOUGH TO GIVE HIS LIFE FOR YOU.
WHAT, in heaven's name, are you doing drinking polluted water from religion's STAGNANT CISTERNS when you can drink PURE, CRYSTAL-CLEAR, ETERNALLY SATISFYING, LIVING WATER? (Revelation 22:1).
Go ahead, HAVE A DRINK.
It's "on the House".
WHY do we ADORE Jesus?
Because He is LOVELIER than human words can express.
Because He IS WORTHY OF our UNRESTRAINED, spontaneous and endless LOVE.
And BECAUSE HE IS ALIVE FOREVERMORE.
THE REASON we believe in Jesus is BECAUSE HE IS RISEN:
"I AM the Resurrection, and the Life: HE THAT BELIEVES IN ME, THOUGH HE WERE DEAD, YET SHALL HE LIVE: And WHOEVER LIVES AND BELIEVES IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE" (John 11:25-26).
NO ONE ELSE, in all the eons of time, has THUS SPOKEN.
NO ONE ELSE HAS EVER GIVEN SUCH AWESOME GUARANTEE.
You can settle for DEAD RELIGION, for a FAKE, MEDIOCRE, DEAD, "god" or "goddess" or you can KNOW, EXPERIENCE AND BECOME PART OF THE REAL, LIVING GOD.
WHY do we believe in Jesus?
Because He is THE LIFE. (John 14:6)
BECAUSE HE IS RISEN, and there's NO DEATH in Him.
Because "HE IS RISEN" IS "THE REASON" we believe in THE ONE AND ONLY SAVIOR.
WHO ELSE, IN ALL OF HISTORY, CAN SAY THE SAME?
SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 2014
HEAVEN WORE BLACK
1,981 years ago it was NOON in Jerusalem, and there, as all over the world, the sky suddenly turned dark.
It was Passover 33 A.D. when the Son of God, hanging from a wooden cross, mercilessly beaten and bleeding to death for the sins of mankind, finally shouted "it is FINISHED!", gave up His spirit, and commended it to the Father.
When He did, ALL NATURE DONNED SACKCLOTH as it mourned the death of its Creator:
The earth shook, the graves opened, saints arose, the rocks split, the veil of the temple was ripped from top to bottom and there was BLACKNESS in Jerusalem and all over the Middle East, FROM NOON TO 3 P.M., for THREE SOLID HOURS.
When the Son of God died, HEAVEN WORE BLACK.
It was the most mournful funeral in history.
Eusebius, describing the supernatural event, quoted Phlegon, another historian, of the second century A.D.:
"On THE WHOLE WORLD there pressed THE MOST FEARFUL DARKNESS. AT THE SIXTH HOUR (AT NOON) DAY TURNED INTO NIGHT so that THE STARS OF THE HEAVEN WERE SEEN and there was an earthquake. The rocks were rent by an earthquake... THIS DARKNESS WITHOUT REASON SEEMED LIKE an eclipse of the sun".
We know, however, that this was no natural eclipse, since it's impossible for a solar eclipse to occur during a full moon, and there's always a full moon at Passover.
Besides, the longest solar eclipses last about 7 minutes, this darkness lasted THREE HOURS, until 3 P.M.
That was then, this is now.
Since then, Jesus has taken the cross, the greatest symbol of humiliation and defeat, the VERY INSTRUMENT on which He was put to death, and transformed it into THE GREATEST SYMBOL OF VICTORY THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN.
The Cross has become "a PLUS SIGN", the ULTIMATE emblem of God's triumph over Satan and evil.
The most feared instrument of death has become THE GREATEST GIVER OF ETERNAL LIFE.
...Just like the God who WILLINGLY gave His Life on it, and then OVERCAME DEATH, by PHYSICALLY rising from the dead.
Our Jesus has the keys of hell and death and - glory to Him forever - He LIVES forevermore!
In less than 4 years, the Son of God will return, with power and great glory, prove to everyone He's ALIVE, and set up His eternal Kingdom on earth.
When He does, ALL Creation will rejoice.
The mountains and hills shall sing...
The trees will clap their hands...
The rivers will rejoice...
Earth and the animal kingdom will be renewed.
LIFE will reign supreme...
And heaven will dress in golden splendor, as God and His Creation are forever reunited.
SPECIAL COMMUNION SERVICE
Good evening (afternoon, or morning, depending on where you are). Welcome, Body of Christ...
Please join me in spirit, from the very depths of your heart and being, in worshiping and adoring our most precious God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Please have on hand some form of bread and wine (or grape juice), as we prepare to partake of Holy Communion.
Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we WELCOME YOU into our hearts and lives, and into this special time we have set apart, in obedience to your Spirit, for special communion with You and your Mystical Body worldwide.
We join our minds, hearts and spirits with your Spirit and with those of our sisters and brothers everywhere. We declare, by faith, that we are One with you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and with one another.
We come to you as One and worship you as One, in Jesus' Name and for His glory. Amen.
Heavenly Father, in Jesus' Name we humble ourselves before you. We come with contrite and humble hearts, IN TOTAL SURRENDER, acknowledging our helplessness and TOTAL dependence on you, acknowledging our many sins, faults, and shortcomings.
Lord we acknowledge our TOTAL inability to save ourselves by any means.
We admit that we have NO RIGHTEOUSNESS of our own, NONE. Zero.
We examine ourselves and, as we do, we ask forgiveness for our sins, inadequacies, and failure to be like you and manifest your Divine Love.
Lord, forgive our pride, competitiveness, carnality, and lust. Forgive our desire to criticize and put down others, including our brothers, our own spiritual family. Forgive our divisions, our carnal desire to exalt ourselves, and impose our preferences and opinions on others.
Forgive our rebellious desire to put anything, or anyone, including our own opinions above your holy Word, which is to say, ABOVE JESUS HIMSELF.
Wonderful, loving Father, I specifically ask your forgiveness for ____________ (name whatever INDIVIDUAL sins you wish to confess. Take your time).
Lord, we ask you to search our hearts, search the deepest recesses of our minds and hearts and every particle of our beings... If there be ANY WICKED WAY in us, if there be ANYTHING that displeases you, Lord, any part of us that is not you, from you, and of you, we humbly ask you to ERADICATE IT FROM US by the power of your Word and most Holy Spirit.
Thank you, Almighty God. Amen.
Lord, if there is anything you wish to say to your servant, if there's anything you want me to change (to the extent that I, by your Grace, am able to change), if there are any specific instructions or message you wish to give SPECIFICALLY TO ME... please do so now.
(LONG Pause) Focus on Jesus and LISTEN... with your spirit.
Father, forgive us for being hard of hearing. If I didn't "get it" now, please communicate it to me later, whenever you desire. I make myself available to you 24/7.
We worship you, Almighty One. We adore you in spirit and in truth. We exalt and praise your Holy Name. There is NO GOD besides you.
You are Supreme ruler of the universe, of everything that was, is or will be. From everlasting to everlasting YOU ARE GOD.
You alone are worthy of the highest praise. Let all the angels of God worship you, Lord Jesus.
Let heaven and earth and all of nature, and every being in every realm, bow his/her/its knees before you and confess that You, King Jesus, are King of kings and Lord of lords to the glory of God the Father.
Hallelujah to the King!
Glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit now and forever!
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, who is, AND IS TO COME... Heaven and earth are FILLED WITH YOUR GLORY.
Hosanna in the highest.
Save us, Jesus. Save me, Jesus*.
*(If you have never received the one and only Savior into your heart and life, or if you have but have become "estranged" from Him, and wish to rededicate your heart to Him, let's do so now):
Tell Him something like this (you can do it in your own words) from the VERY DEPTHS of your heart and being:
"Lord Jesus, MY Jesus, come into my heart now. I receive you as my only God and Savior. I totally surrender and offer ALL OF ME as a "living sacrifice" unto you.
Take me, Lord. I'm COMPLETELY yours.
THANK YOU FOR DYING FOR MY SINS, RISING FROM THE DEAD, and ascending to the Father.
Thank you that you removed ALL sin for ALL time.
Jesus, I TRUST YOU COMPLETELY. I receive your perfect righteousness, by faith, AS A GIFT. Thank you for THE GIFT of Salvation.
I could NEVER make it without you, Lord Jesus.
Please RENEW my heart and mind. Fill me with yourself and with your Spirit that I may manifest, along with all our brothers and sisters the measure of the stature of the FULLNESS of Christ.
According to the riches of your glory, STRENGTHEN me with might by the Spirit in the inner man. That Christ may live in my heart by faith.
Lord, make us SO ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN YOUR DIVINE LOVE, that we may understand, together with all the saints in every realm, what is the width and length and depth and height of your Love, which passes human understanding, THAT WE MIGHT BE FILLED WITH ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD.
Thank you, Jesus, for saving me completely and FOR ALL ETERNITY".
And now, let us partake of the Blood and Body of our Lord, not only outwardly (into our mouths), but INWARDLY (into the deepest parts of our being):
"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread:
24 And when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
Let us now partake of the bread.
Let us also "eat His flesh" IN SPIRIT, for He/it is REAL Spirit Substance.
Let us INGEST, by Spirit, Jesus' Divine Nature, His Divine Substance, now.
25 After the same manner He also took the cup, after He had eaten, saying:
This cup is the New Testament (New Covenant) in my Blood: do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
Let us now partake of the wine.
Let us also "drink His Blood" IN SPIRIT, let Him/it penetrate, permeate every cell and particle of your being and CLEANSE YOU, for He/it is REAL Spirit Substance and LIFE ETERNAL.
26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord's death UNTIL He comes" (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Lord we pray for every unsaved soul in every realm and ask, according to your Grace and Mercy which endures forever, that you will grant them repentance and faith, that they may know Jesus, experience Him personally in a New Birth from above, and be saved.
We ask it for your glory.
We pray for the poor and the sick, for widows and orphans, for the weak, bereaved and brokenhearted, and for our persecuted brothers and sisters in many parts of the world...that you will provide for their needs, protect them, heal them, guide them, strengthen them, let your Peace settle in their hearts and minds, and comfort them as only you are supernaturally able to do. Amen.
Give those who are persecuted for Your Name's sake the Grace and faith to stand for you Jesus, protect them, deliver them, help them. Amen.
We pray for unity in the Church that there may be ONE Spirit, ONE Lord, ONE Body, ONE Faith, ONE baptism, One God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in all.
I also ask ____ (if there's any special INDIVIDUAL request you may have, present it before the Lord now. No rush).
Thank you, gracious Lord.
Last but not least, we ask FOR THE APPEARING of our Lord and Savior Jesus, for the collective Rapture of believers, for YOUR ACTUAL, VISIBLE KINGDOM TO MANIFEST ON EARTH, AND FOR THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS, as you have promised.
Lord, look into our hearts, SEE HOW MUCH WE WANT YOU, HOW MUCH WE DESIRE PERFECT UNITY WITH YOU, and SATISFY OUR DEEP LONGING to be with you, and see you Face to face, without ANY barriers, real or imagined.
Come to me, Lord Jesus.
Come to us, PLEASE!
Please Jesus, come, do not tarry.
Please, please, please... We want to SEE YOU.
All members of your Body, and all of of Creation, groan in unison for your appearing and your return.
COME, Lord Jesus!
Abba, Father. We thank you, Almighty One, that you are FAITHFUL and TRUE.
Glory to you for all eternity. Amen and Amen.
Thank you for joining with us, dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
God's Grace and Peace be with you.
Have A JOYOUS Resurrection Day.
The regular "Word 4 Today" message will be posted, as usual, around midnight.
We will leave this "Communion Service" on for the next 24 hours. If you could not join us "live", you may still partake. There is no "time" or "distance" in the Spirit realm.
FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014
THE REAL CALVARY
It's hard to believe that in a city as tiny as first century Jerusalem, there are not one, not two, but THREE locations purported to be the "real" Calvary.
The best known of the three is situated inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher whose ownership, in and of itself, is in dispute among several denominations: Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and even some secular entities.
No offense to any of the aforementioned brethren but, as far as I'm concerned, THEY CAN HAVE IT.
There's the location known as Gordon's Calvary, just northwest of the Damascus Gate.
And a third candidate's been recently added on the Mount of Olives.
I get a bit miffed when I hear Christians state, in religiously correct fashion, that "we don't know for sure" what the correct location is.
We do if we study the Scriptures.
Obviously, regardless of the correct location, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is WHAT TOOK PLACE at Golgotha: Jesus died for our sins, and He rose from the dead three days and nights later.
However, Golgotha being THE MOST IMPORTANT PLACE ON EARTH, the place where man's eternal destiny was decided, the place WHERE GOD'S OWN BLOOD WAS SHED, it's hard to believe that our Lord would NOT give us clear indication of where He died.
Here's what we know from the Bible about the place of the crucifixion:
1. It was located "NEAR THE CITY" [John 19:20]
2. It was ADJACENT TO A GARDEN [John 19:41].
3. The adjacent GARDEN BELONGED TO A RICH MAN, Joseph of Arimathea [Matthew 27:57-60]
4. The garden contained a "NEW TOMB where no corpse had yet been placed" [Luke 23:53].
5. The tomb was cut [chiseled] OUT OF SOLID ROCK [Matthew 27:60].
6. The body of the deceased was placed ON THE RIGHT SIDE of the tomb [Mark 16:5, 6]
7. A very large stone was ROLLED in front of the entrance. In order to ROLL, it would have had to be ROUND [Matthew 27:60].
8. The sacrifice for sin HAD TO take place on Mount Moriah, as required under Jewish law [Deuteronomy 16:2].
9. The placed was called Golgotha, meaning "THE PLACE OF A SKULL" [John 19:17].
The Mount of Olives location hardly deserves mention.
There's ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in the Gospels that states Jesus was crucified and buried on the Mount of Olives. NOT A WORD.
The alleged tomb at this location would have been sealed with A SQUARE ROCK. Last time I checked, we cannot ROLL a SQUARE stone, or a SQUARE ANYTHING, in order to seal the tomb. THAT does not match Scripture.
There's NOTHING in the Gospels to indicate that Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with the cross, which would have been the case had it happened on the Mount of Olives.
The absurd claim for this location is ENTIRELY based on the fact the Bible says the "veil in the temple was rent" when Jesus died.
Proponents argue that there's no way anyone could have SEEN THE VEIL IN THE TEMPLE from either of the other TWO locations.
That claim is ludicrous. We're talking about the veil that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. NO ONE could have seen the entrance to the Holy of Holies FROM ANY OF THE THREE LOCATIONS.
Only the priests who served in the temple, and had direct access to the Holy Place would have seen it.
We can state CATEGORICALLY that Matthew, Mark and Luke, who give this detail about the VEIL in their respective Gospels, WERE NOT PRESENT at the Crucifixion (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45).
There's NO WAY, therefore, that THEY COULD HAVE SEEN ANYTHING in the temple from the Crucifixion site, since THEY WEREN'T at the Crucifixion site.
This undisputed fact THOROUGHLY DISCREDITS the Mount of Olives as possible place of the Crucifixion.
The only disciple present at the Crucifixion was John: and John says NOTHING about the veil of the temple.
The tearing of the veil therefore, was either obtained by being in or near the temple, or by direct revelation of the Holy Spirit, or both.
Since this happened during Passover which is one of the three Feasts where pilgrimage to Jerusalem is required, it's possible that Mark or Matthew went there and, FROM THE TEMPLE area saw both the veil rent and THE CRUCIFIED JESUS at a distance.
Which takes us to the Holy Sepulcher: It's hard to associate this place with Calvary for several reasons.
For one thing, the inside is so ornate that THE DECORATIONS COMPETE WITH any actual historic value the site may have.
There's NOTHING visible that one would associate with the Golgotha described in the Gospels.
Religious hierarchy and some archaeologists CLAIM it is built on a hill, and that under the hill there were A NUMBER OF rock-cut graves, dating to the first century, indicating it was a COMMON burial place.
If you've read the Gospels, several red flags should have gone up:
There's NOTHING in the Bible that says Jesus would be buried in a COMMON burial place. More than one Scripture clearly says He was buried in A RICH MAN'S GRAVE [Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:43]. Therefore, this location CONTRADICTS Scripture.
There's NOTHING IN THE GOSPELS that says the tomb was UNDERNEATH the place of crucifixion. It clearly says it was ADJACENT (next to) it.
There's NOTHING THERE that resembles A SKULL.
There's NO GARDEN, or any evidence of a garden nearby.
The Holy Sepulcher is NOT on Mount Moriah.
Frankly, ALL the Holy Sepulcher has going for it is RELIGIOUS TRADITION (Mark 7:13).
As for those who would say that Israeli archaeologists tend to support the Holy Sepulcher location... Give me a break!
Tourism is HUGE in Israel. It's approximately 8% of the nation's GDP and represents over $15 BILLION yearly in revenue for that tiny nation. Do you really expect GOVERNMENT LICENSED archaeologists to publicly admit to the world's 1.2 BILLION Catholics "hey, guys, the place you consider holiest AND VISIT IN DROVES each year IS FAKE?
Thank God for Gordon's Calvary, which IS THE REAL CALVARY, AND FITS THE BIBLE DESCRIPTION PERFECTLY, IN EACH AND EVERY DETAIL:
1. It's located "near the city", just outside the wall [John 19:20]
2. It's ADJACENT TO a garden [John 19:41].
3. The adjacent garden belonged to a rich man, as evidenced by the wine press near the tomb, and a HUGE underground cistern used to accumulate water during rainy seasons to use in case of drought [Matthew 27:57-60].
4. The TOMB was NEW, and no corpse had been placed there [Luke 23:53].
We know this because part of the tomb is clearly unfinished, and because the place where Jesus was laid had to be modified in a hurry and ENLARGED to accommodate Jesus' height.
5. This tomb is cut [chiseled] out of solid rock, and the chisel marks are still clearly visible [Matthew 27:60].
6. The body of the deceased was placed ON THE RIGHT SIDE of the tomb, just as Mark describes [Mark 16:5, 6].
7. It had a groove in front of the entrance where a large stone would have been ROLLED in order to seal it, just as Scripture indicates [Matthew 27:60].
8. This is the ONLY one of the three locations situated on Mount Moriah,the location REQUIRED by Torah, where SACRIFICE FOR SIN could be offered [Deuteronomy 16:2].
And we KNOW that Jesus came TO FULFILL "every jot and tittle of" the Torah (Matthew 5:17-18).
9. Jesus, being the Lamb of God, would have been taken from the nearby Antonia Fortress outside the city through the Sheep Gate. The Sheep Gate leads to Gordon's Calvary. It DOES NOT lead to the Mount of Olives, or to the so-called Holy Sepulcher.
10. 2,000 years later, despite erosion, there's still the unmistakable FORM OF A SKULL, on the hillside at Gordon's Calvary. It's easy to see why people referred to it as Golgotha, meaning "THE PLACE OF a skull" [John 19:17].
It's extremely disingenuous to say that, IN A TINY CITY OF ONE SQUARE KILOMETER (less than a square mile) in size, there could be a place that matched this biblical description TO PERFECTION, IN EVERY DETAIL, and yet that it is NOT the real Golgotha.
In order to believe the other two locations, we would have to COMPLETELY DISREGARD EVERYTHING God said about this unique place, and BLINDLY believe WHAT THEY SAY.
However, lest any doubt remain, the apostle John, the ONLY DISCIPLE THAT stood before Jesus at THE REAL Golgotha and SAW THE PLACE OF CRUCIFIXION WITH HIS OWN EYES, told us UNDISPUTEDLY what the correct location is:
Revelation 10:8: "Their bodies will lie ON THE SQUARE of the great city... WHERE ALSO THEIR LORD WAS CRUCIFIED".
John unmistakably says Jesus was crucified AT A CITY SQUARE or PLAZA (plateias in Greek).
There's NO SQUARE at the Mount of Olives location, and there's never been.
There's NO SQUARE at the Holy Sepulcher location, and there's never been.
Besides matching ALL the other requirements TO PERFECTION, Gordon's Calvary, or Golgotha "the place of the skull", is right IN FRONT OF Damascus Square, which dates back to the time of Christ.
Period. End of story. Case closed.
THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 2014
The Via Dolorosa, the Way or Sorrows, the Way of the Cross, is the route thru which Jesus carried His Cross, from the moment He was sentenced by Pilate at the Antonia Fortress to Golgotha, where He died.
Millions of pilgrims flock to Jerusalem at this time of year to walk the steps which Jesus is alleged to have walked.
This year, despite worldwide recession, a record number of tourists are expected for the Passover-Easter season.
I hate to burst some of my Christian brethren's religious bubble, but THAT is NOT the real Way of the Cross AT ALL.
Oh, I know. I've been to Jerusalem. I've walked the supposed "Via Dolorosa", where they even marked the "stations of the cross" which conveniently lead into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
You can see where Mary came to meet her son, although the Bible doesn't mention it.
You can see where Simon of Cyrene was forced to help carry the cross.
You can see where, SUPPOSEDLY, Veronica wipes Jesus' Face, and so on.
Only problem is, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, as I will prove in the following message, IS NOT the real place of Crucifixion.
Since it's NOT, then the so-called Via Dolorosa, which leads to the Holy Sepulcher, CANNOT be the true Way of the Cross either.
So, WHY doesn't anyone say anything?
Here's your answer, in three shades of green: $ $ $$ $ $ $ $ $$ $
TOURISM is HUGE business in Israel.
TOURISM to Israel is HUGE business in America, particularly for Christian ministries who regularly offer "Israel tours".
So, why bother with those pesky details?
Why disillusion those who are lining their pockets with cash?
They're PAYING to see a religious show and, by golly, they're gonna get one!
The FALSE Via Dolorosa which is a narrow alley dating back to the time of Hadrian (around 130 A.D.) is crammed on both sides, left and right, with myriad tourist shops selling every kind of trinket imaginable, and then some, ALL AT INFLATED PRICES.
Just goes to show that JESUS IS BIG BUSINESS not only in America but also in Israel and even for "Palestinians", since most of the shops are owned by Arabs.
Tourist prices are given, unequivocally, in "AMERICAN dollars".
I'm sure our Arab neighbors mean no disrespect to our brothers overseas, but they ALWAYS SPECIFY "American" dollars (as opposed to Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Hong Kong or Jamaican dollars).
Although the way the dollar -- and the world -- are headed these days, they may soon be asking for RUBLES.
It's totally unrealistic and hard to imagine that Romans would make Jesus, and whoever else they sentenced to crucifixion, zigzag all over the city as RELIGIOUS TRADITION would have us believe, thru the tortuous path falsely called Via Dolorosa (see illustration below).
Leave it to religion to complicate things which aren't complicated.
Jesus was sentenced at the Antonia fortress, at or very near the Ecce Homo arc. That much is true.
All the rest is BALONEY.
He would have been taken out thru THE SHEEP GATE.
After all, He IS the Lamb of God, who TOOK AWAY the sin of the world, and just followed the natural, uncomplicated route to the REAL Calvary.
Of course, God looks at THE HEARTS of those who go there with the sincere desire to worship Him and rehearse His suffering to redeem mankind. That goes without saying.
But does that mean WE KNOWINGLY HIDE Truth from His followers, JUST BECAUSE it's FINANCIALLY BENEFICIAL FOR US?
If Jesus was so displeased with the buyers and sellers at the temple, that He THREW THEM OUT, WHAT WOULD HE DO TODAY, with all the trafficking that goes on based of His SUFFERING?
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014
The traditional view in Christianity is that Jesus was crucified on a Friday and rose from the dead on Sunday.
This is based on the Gospels' statement that, when His body was taken down from the cross, the Sabbath was approaching. Hence, theologians reason, it must have been Friday [John 19:31].
A closer look at the Scriptures reveals something else.
When the Pharisees asked for a "sign", Jesus stated that the only sign given to that generation would be that of the prophet Jonas: as Jonas had remained three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so the Son of Man would remain THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the belly of the earth [Matthew 12:38-40].
I have read and heard all the convoluted theories about how "in Hebrew thinking" just PART OF a day is reckoned as a day.
I might buy that argument if Jesus had only said He would be "three days" in the belly of the earth.
However, Jesus was very specific in His statement: not simply three days, but THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS.
Had Jesus been placed in the tomb on Friday evening to Saturday evening, which is when He rose from the dead -- hold your horses, read the rest BEFORE you jump to conclusions - He would have been in the "belly of the earth" ONLY ONE night and ONE day.
Had He died on Friday and risen on Sunday, He would have been "in the belly of the earth" TWO DAYS AND TWO NIGHTS TOPS (Friday evening, Saturday morning) plus Saturday evening, Sunday morning).
There's NO WAY you can get three days and THREE NIGHTS from Friday to Saturday, or even from Friday to Sunday.
Therefore, either Jesus LIED (perish the thought) or we've been given wrong info.
So, WHEN did the crucifixion actually happen?
According to Daniel 9:27, Messiah Prince would CONFIRM the (Abrahamic) Covenant and put an end to sacrifices and offerings (korbanot) -- by dying for our sin as the ULTIMATE Sacrifice (Hebrews 10:14) -- "in the MIDDLE OF the week".
The MIDDLE OF the week is Wednesday!!!
That means the Crucifixion took place on Wednesday.
Jesus was nailed to the cross on Wednesday around 9 A.M. [the third hour, Mark 15:25].
There was darkness all over Jerusalem and the Middle East from noon [the 6th hour] to 3 P.M. [Mark 15:33; Matthew 27:45].
He died at 3 P.M. [the 9th hour], at the same time the lamb for the sin offering was slain in the temple.
His body was brought down from the cross, and buried in a nearby tomb, prior to 6 P.M. [the 12th hour].
Therefore, His body was in the tomb Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, one day and one night, Thursday evening and Friday morning, two days and two nights, and Friday evening and Saturday morning, 3 days and 3 nights.
His Resurrection, therefore, took place on Saturday evening [for Gentiles], and on Saturday/Sunday for Jews since the Jewish day begins around 6 P.M. (sunset).
Of course, the weekly Sabbath being the day of rest under the law, the Jewish women DIDN'T GO to the tomb on Saturday. Hence, they only discovered He'd risen EARLY SUNDAY MORNING.
It was in the early hours of Sunday morning that the women FOUND the tomb already empty. He had ALREADY RISEN [Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1-3].
This means Jesus died on Passover, Wednesday, Aviv (Nisan) 15 in the Hebrew calendar.
His Resurrection took place on the Hebrew Feast of First Fruits, Saturday Aviv 18 (1 Corinthians 15:23).
What about the statement in Luke 23:54 about "the Sabbath approaching"?
The Hebrew calendar contains two types of "Sabbaths", the regular weekly Sabbath [7th day of the week] and High Sabbaths. ANY OF THE SEVEN MAJOR FEASTS in the Hebrew calendar is considered a High Sabbath.
John 19:31 unequivocally tells us that that Sabbath day "was a High day", meaning not the regular weekly Sabbath, but one of the MAJOR feasts (Exodus 12:16, 17; Leviticus 23:4-8).
Which feast was it? Since we know Jesus died on Passover, the following day was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot) which is a High Sabbath.
This is highly symbolic, since leaven is understood in the Old Testament to represent sin. Jesus is "the Lamb of God" WHO TOOK AWAY the SIN of the world (John 1:29). Unleavened bread would signify, therefore, that our sin has been removed by the Jewish Messiah. Indeed it was.
Of course, most Christians will continue to keep the tradition of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. That's fine.
What's important is that we remember what Jesus DID in order to save us! In order TO SAVE YOU.
What's most important is that He died for our sins, He rose from the dead, and He ascended to heaven from where He will return.
And THE WORLD, since then, HAS NEVER BEEN THE SAME.
TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2014
THE SEVENTH YEAR
The Bible talks repeatedly about the Year of Release or shemitta.
From the time Jews entered the Promised Land after the Exodus, they were to cultivate their fields for six years.
On THE 7TH YEAR they were to allow the land to lie fallow, which meant NO PLOWING, SOWING, weeding, pruning, or harvesting (Exodus 23:10-11).
They were to TRUST God COMPLETELY every 7th year for their sustenance and eat whatever the land would produce "of itself".
All grain, fruit and produce was considered hefker (ownerless) which means that ANYONE, including wild animals, could eat of it (Leviticus 25:1-7).
The 7th year is also the year when Jews were to release (FREE) any of their Jewish brethren who had been sold as slaves, and cancel all debts except those of foreigners (Deuteronomy 15:1-6; Jeremiah 34:13-14; Nehemiah 10:31).
Even though it does not specifically use the term shemitta, the 70 Weeks Prophecy in Daniel chapter 9 clearly refers to the 7th year.
The exact wording shavua shavuim means "seven sevens", referring to these sabbatical 7-year cycles (490 years).
The "seventy weeks" are also tied to the 70 years in Babylonian captivity (Daniel 9:2) and the 70 years of Babylonian captivity, according to 2 Chronicles 36:21, are tied to the land Sabbaths or shemittas.
Just like Jews are in confusion as to when their REAL New Year begins, there's much confusion about the shemitta:
Some Jews (the majority) say the "shemitta year begins in the fall", in Tishri, others say it begins in Aviv.
Since it's related to the 70 weeks prophecy and, consequently, to Messiah's Second Coming and the Church's Rapture, which point of view should one believe?
The New Year on God's calendar has always been, and will always be, Aviv (Nisan) 1 (Exodus 12:1).
It's not that there's "another new year" in the fall. You can't find that ANYWHERE in Scripture.
But EACH SEVEN YEAR AGRICULTURAL CYCLE or shemitta begins in the fall, on or immediately after Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 31:10).
Because it's in the fall, particularly during the months of Heshvan and Kislev that PLANTING BEGINS.
This is confirmed in Leviticus 25:3-4:
"For six years you may PLANT YOUR FIELDS, prune your vineyards, and harvest your crops, but the seventh year is a Sabbath of Sabbaths for the land. It is God's Sabbath during which YOU MAY NOT PLANT YOUR FIELDS, nor prune your vineyards".
Notice that THE ORDER always begins with THE PLANTING.
Also notice that the 7th year is considered "a Sabbath of Sabbaths" and that the planting took place NOT AT THE BEGINNING OF the 7th year but "during" it.
While most gentiles think of the fall as "the end" of the year, autumn is THE HALFWAY POINT of the Hebrew year which begins in the spring.
Therefore, SHEMITTA CYCLES begin DURING EACH 7TH YEAR, AT MID-YEAR.
There's ONLY one New Year and it begins in Aviv.
What begins in the fall is NOT another "new year" but the 7-year shemitta cycle.
Let's see how this played out in Jesus' ministry:
John the Baptist appeared in 29 A.D. AT THE BEGINNING OF the Hebrew year or 69th "seven" or 69th shemitta, in the month of Aviv (spring), to prepare the way (Matthew 3:10, 12).
Jesus shows up 5 months later and is baptized (Matthew 3:13) on the last day of Av or on Rosh Chodesh Elul).
He then spends 40 days/nights in the desert (Matthew 4:1-2) during the season of teshuva (return) which would have ended on Yom Kippur.
He is then tempted by Satan.
After OVERCOMING Satan and temptation, he returns IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT (Luke 4:14) 5 days later, and BEGINS His public ministry IN THE FALL, on Tishri 15 (Tabernacles), on the 69th WEEK or 69th "SEVEN", RIGHT SMACK AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SHEMITTA CYCLE, EXACTLY as the 70 Weeks Prophecy foretold (Daniel 7:25).
He CONFIRMS the Abrahamic covenant for one (FINAL, 70th) week, which ends with His Second Coming (Daniel 9:27).
AFTER those 69 weeks from the order to return and build Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25-26), He dies on Passover, "in THE MIDDLE OF" the 70th week (THE FINAL SHEMITTA CYCLE), rises from the dead, and ascends to the Father, causing "sacrifice and oblation to cease" FOR THOSE Jews WHO TRUST Him (Daniel 9:26-27).
So, clearly the BEGINNING and END of the 7-year shemitta cycle is on Tishri 15 (Sukkot), and "THE MIDDLE OF" THE 7-year shemitta cycle is Aviv 15-19 Passover - Unleavened Bread.
Jesus fulfilled TO PERFECTION the 70 weeks prophecy, leaving only the FINAL "half week" (half shemitta) or 3½ years, still in our future.
MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2014
YOUR GREATEST ENEMY - PART TWO
The natural mind CANNOT PROCESS the concept of Grace.
The natural mind CANNOT COMPREHEND God's Goodness FREELY and UNCONDITIONALLY GIVEN to those who TRUST Him.
The natural mind WANTS CREDIT for "its own" righteousness, although it has ZERO.
It wants to "earn" heaven and salvation THROUGH WORKS.
Just like Satan wanted to "earn" God's Throne BY HIS own "merit", by his own WORK OF REBELLION (Isaiah 14:13-14).
Satan infected the natural human mind, back in Eden, with that false sense of self-merit. He deceived Eve's mind by making her THINK she could become God by HER WORK (eating the forbidden fruit).
She failed. All her WORK brought is pain, misery and death.
And all who, like Eve, THINK they can reach God (heaven) through THEIR WORKS, will end up AS LOST AS SHE BECAME (Galatians 2:16).
ALL RELIGION is INVENTED BY the DECEIVED natural mind.
All RELIGION, even Christian religion, insists on PERSONAL WORKS AND MERITS playing a role in our Salvation.
They CANNOT ACCEPT that Salvation IS A FREE GIFT by the sheer Goodness of God to those who ADMIT THEIR UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, their HELPLESSNESS, their TOTAL DEPENDENCE ON HIM, and
They CANNOT UNDERSTAND that God could be gracious to those who DO NOT deserve His Goodness and are INCAPABLE OF earning Salvation.
There are numerous pastors standing behind supposedly "evangelical" pulpits, even as we speak, WHO CANNOT MAKE UP THEIR MINDS ABOUT IT:
Out of one side of their mouth they tell you that "salvation is a free gift of God's Grace that we don't deserve and can't earn", then turn right around AND CONTRADICT THEMSELVES saying that, UNLESS YOU "TITHE" 10% OF YOUR INCOME God is angry at you (His own child) and will put "a curse" on you.
Some attach OTHER "CONDITIONS" to God's undeserved Goodness, such as bearing "fruit", such as "righteous living".
All who attach "CONDITIONS" to God's UNCONDITIONAL Grace are LIARS.
Can you imagine Queen Elizabeth II putting some sort of "curse" on Prince Charles FOR ANY REASON?
She's a sinful mortal, not particularly known for being warm or loving, and yet look at everything Charles has gotten away with! And he's still heir to the throne of England!
Can you imagine the Queen telling HER OWN SON "UNLESS you give me 10% of your income, I'll put a curse on you"?
"Unless you live and act IN A CERTAIN WAY I'll disown you?"
Yet THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT OUR HOLY, righteous Heavenly Father IS REGULARLY ACCUSED OF, not by non-Christians, BUT BY SUPPOSED CHRISTIANS!!!
Our wonderful, gracious FATHER WHOSE VERY NATURE IS DIVINE LOVE!
Unfortunately, the reason Christians SOMETIMES preach Grace is because it was TAUGHT TO THEM (theoretically) at some Christian university or Bible College, but HAVE NO DEEP PERSONAL CONVICTION about it.
They're NOT FULLY PERSUADED, as was Abraham, that God would DELIVER WHAT HE SAID, even if He had to raise Isaac from the dead!
Abraham didn't believe that because he saw himself "worthy" of anything, BUT BECAUSE HE SAW GOD AS BEING RIGHTEOUS, GRACIOUS, AND TRUE.
His faith ALONE was COUNTED to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6).
So was Noah's 670 years prior (Genesis 6:7-8).
So was Enoch's even before that.
Why do you think there are MILLIONS of insecure, confused, anemic Christians, who change their opinion about Jesus and Salvation as often as the weather?
Because they lack foundation:
Because their supposed "leaders", their supposed "shepherds", CAN'T DECIDE WHETHER Salvation is ALL GOD'S DOING, whether it's OUR doing, or AN IMPURE MIXTURE OF BOTH.
It's ALL God's doing.
It's ALWAYS BEEN God's doing ENTIRELY, and ALWAYS WILL BE.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
YOUR GREATEST ENEMY – PART ONE
“Oh, that’s an easy one... our greatest enemy is Satan”...
He’s your oldest and most persistent enemy, but not the greatest.
The greatest enemy sits inside you. It’s part of your being. IT PRETENDS TO BE ON YOUR SIDE, BUT ISN’T. It constantly betrays you. It works surreptitiously, which is to say “behind your back.” It’s frequently used by Satan TO KILL, STEAL AND DESTROY.
What is this enemy? It’s YOUR NATURAL MIND.
“That’s ridiculous! My mind? Why, I use my mind constantly. I couldn’t do my job, learn anything, drive, pay bills, feed myself, or even READ THIS MESSAGE, if it wasn’t for my mind”.
That’s what makes it so dangerous.
Not ALL of our natural mind is bad. Some portions of it are, indeed, absolutely necessary in order to live and get by in this temporal realm.
But there’s A PORTION of the human mind that’s been infected by Satan and sin, much like your computer’s “mind” (memory, hard disk) can be infected, and even DESTROYED by a virus.
We THINK our mind serves us, but IN FACT we SERVE IT.
WE DO EVERYTHING IT TELLS US TO DO, WE BELIEVE EVERYTHING IT SAYS.
Whatever SEEMS RIGHT to the human mind, seems right to us. Whatever it disapproves of, we end up disapproving. So, who’s really serving who?
When it tells us something is “impossible” we don’t even put up a fight, we swallow the lie hook, line and sinker.
The Spirit and the Word say “with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE” (Matthew 19:26).
So, clearly, one of them is lying. And we know it’s not God.
God made our mind to serve us. He didn’t make us to serve it. However, the NATURAL MIND is no longer in pristine condition, as it was when man was created. It’s been infected by A LYING CREEP named ha Satan, THE ADVERSARY.
It was THROUGH THE NATURAL MIND that he deceived Eve and got her, and later Adam, to sin.
Romans 8:7 tells us that THE NATURAL MIND is IN ENMITY WITH God. It’s God’s enemy. It’s also, therefore, OUR enemy.
That same verse also says that the NATURAL mind is NOT SUBJECT TO God’s Law, nor CAN IT BE.
Here’s ABSOLUTE SCRIPTURAL PROOF of the TOTAL FUTILITY of trying to achieve “our own” righteousness, our own salvation, through “good behavior”, “commandment keeping” or “Law-keeping”.
I don’t care HOW MUCH YOU MAY WANT TO keep God’s Law. I don’t care HOW GOOD your intentions may be. I don’t care HOW HARD you try: Your natural mind WILL BETRAY YOU and YOU WILL FAIL.
It CANNOT KEEP God’s Law. It’s UTTERLY INCAPABLE OF keeping it.
That’s why NO ONE, apart from Jesus, has EVER KEPT God’s Law. NO ONE!
Unfortunately, ALL RELIGIONS CHOOSE TO IGNORE this Truth which has been in the New Testament for the past 2,000 years.
They also CHOOSE TO ignore Jeremiah 17:5-7, Isaiah 64:6, and Psalms 53:1, which have been in the Bible EVEN LONGER (2,500 to 3,000 YEARS), and which say, essentially, the same thing.
That’s why those who THINK they can be saved, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, through Law keeping and commandment keeping, ARE LOST.
They haven’t got a prayer. They’ll NEVER MAKE IT.
The natural mind CANNOT KEEP God’s Law: It’s UTTERLY INCAPABLE OF keeping it. It serves Satan and is SOLD OUT TO Satan. It has served him since the Garden of Eden.
Satan's been using it for his nefarious purposes ever since.
The natural mind is SATAN’S UNDERCOVER SECRET AGENT.
It gives the FALSE IMPRESSION of being “on your side”, when in fact it’s ON SATAN’S SIDE.
There is no power but God’s. Jesus has ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and on earth.
The only power Satan has is THE ABILITY TO DECEIVE OUR NATURAL MINDS.
The only power he has is that which humans transfer to him THROUGH OUR DECEIVED MINDS.
That’s the power he will give his Antichrist: the collective MENTAL power of unsaved, Christ-hating humans, whose DECEIVED MINDS think it’s possible to overcome Jesus and prevent His Kingdom on earth.
They THINK they just need the right “champion” with the right “qualifications” to represent their “cause” and defeat Christ.
The NATURAL mind is hopeless, in terms of submitting to and obeying God.
The Good News is that, when we are raptured, it is REPLACED WITH THE MIND OF CHRIST.
SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2014
WORSHIPING THE DEAD
"Should THE LIVING seek guidance FROM THE DEAD"? (Isaiah 8:19)
MILLIONS of people WORSHIP THE DEAD every week, especially Saturday and Sunday.
Well... I've never heard such thing! Where did you get that absurd idea?
From communicating, FOR YEARS and YEARS, with many of you.
I don't just THINK this to be so: I KNOW IT to be so.
Millions of so-called "Christians" WILL WORSHIP THE DEAD today and tomorrow.
They PRETEND TO BE followers of Jesus, but WHAT THEY REALLY ARE IS:
1. Worshipers of Ellen G. White
2. Worshipers of Herbert W. Armstrong
3. Worshipers of Joseph Smith
4. Worshipers of Charles T. Russell
5. Worshipers of Mary Baker Eddy
6. Worshipers of William Campbell
7. Worshipers of Moses
Besides being religious, WHAT do ALL THESE INDIVIDUALS HAVE IN COMMON?
THEY'RE ALL DEAD.
They were all sinful, FALLIBLE MORTALS.
Your religion, therefore, was INVENTED by A DEAD PERSON.
Again: YOUR RELIGION was INVENTED BY a DEAD PERSON.
All you got is DEAD religion, invented by DEAD people':
You dress like DEAD PEOPLE said you should dress.
You act like DEAD PEOPLE said you should act.
You eat what DEAD PEOPLE said you should eat.
You talk like DEAD PEOPLE said you should talk.
You sing what DEAD PEOPLE told you to sing.
You read what DEAD PEOPLE told you to read.
You worship as DEAD PEOPLE told you to worship.
You even do it ON THE DAY that DEAD PEOPLE said you should do it.
And you BELIEVE, BLINDLY, everything those DEAD PEOPLE said you should believe.
When you worship DEAD RELIGION, INVENTED BY DEAD PEOPLE...
When you allow DEAD PEOPLE to CONTROL your life...
When you believe what DEAD PEOPLE believed...
When you WORSHIP THOSE DEAD PEOPLE...
GUESS WHERE YOU'LL END?
And not just DEAD ONCE, as in physical death, but TWICE DEAD:
TWICE DEAD and plucked up by the roots (Jude 1:12).
Because you have NO COMMUNION, NO INTIMATE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH Jesus, the Living God and Savior, WHO IS THE LIFE (John 14:6).
Because you've NEVER been BORN AGAIN of the Spirit which, ACCORDING TO THE LIVING JESUS, is ABSOLUTE MUST IN ORDER TO ENTER the Kingdom of God (John 3:5).
HOW can A DEAD PERSON SAVE YOU, when he or she COULDN'T EVEN SAVE HERSELF?
Precious soul for whom Jesus died and rose, STOP following DEAD PEOPLE.
STOP worshiping DEAD PEOPLE.
OBEY Jesus' order in Matthew 8:22:
"Let THE DEAD bury the DEAD.
FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014
JESUS DIDN'T INVENT IT
Jesus didn't invent your religion.
Jesus didn't invent ANY religion.
No religion has ever been founded by Him, not even the so-called "Christian" religion.
Jesus came to save us and RESTORE our RELATIONSHIP with Himself.
Religion is Satan's ingenious strategy to replace HEART RELATIONSHIP with Jesus, with an OUTWARD APPEARANCE of "serving God".
It's his clever attempt to substitute SPIRITUAL INTIMACY with performance and ceremony.
The Christian faith is NOT religion, but dynamic, on-going, DEEP spiritual interaction with Jesus Christ.
If you're settling for ANYTHING LESS you're selling Jesus (and yourself) short.
You're CHEATING Jesus and yourself of a unique, rich, marvelous experience.
But what about these religions:
Roman Catholic - invented 4th century A.D.
Lutheran - invented in 1521 A.D. due to excommunication of Martin Luther
Episcopalian invented 1534
Presbyterian invented 1541
Baptist invented 1609
Methodist invented 1791 by followers of John Wesley
Pentecostal invented 1901
Nazarene invented 1908
Church of Christ - invented in 1830 by Alexander Campbell. It's a cult.
Latter Day Saints [Mormons] - invented by Joseph Smith in 1830 (184 years ago): It's a HELLISH cult.
Disciples of Christ - invented by the Campbells [Alexander and Thomas] in 1849. It's a cult.
Seventh Day Adventists - invented by William Miller in the mid-19th century, and formally established in 1863 by Ellen White (151 years ago) . It's a cult.
Christian Science - invented by Mary Bakker Eddy in 1866. It's a cult.
Jehovah's Witnesses - invented 1870 by Charles Taze Russell. It's a cult that will lead its followers straight to hell (144 years ago).
As you can see, Satan was REALLY BUSY in the 19th century.
United Church of God - invented in 1940's by Herbert W. Armstrong. It's a cult.
The Christian faith, which is receiving Jesus into our hearts as our only Lord, Savior and God, enjoying a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Him from that moment forward, and TRUSTING His finished work of redemption [death, burial, resurrection, His shed blood] to forever save us, is what Jesus and His disciples introduced, taught and preached in the first century A.D.
EVERYTHING that man has invented after that has been corrupt, to one extent or another, since man himself is corrupt.
ALL religion is based on fear.
Fear is NOT of God. Fear repels God, and vice versa [2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18].
Serve Jesus, not religion.
TRUST Jesus, not religion.
NO RELIGION can save ANYONE.
No religion's ever died for you, or risen for you.
Religion is dead. Jesus is alive.
A DEAD THING, INVENTED BY DEAD PEOPLE, CAN'T SAVE YOU.
Only a LIVING PERSON can.
THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2014
Every time someone tries to get close to God, every time someone THINKS about giving his/her heart to Jesus, an evil creep called Satan will put thoughts like these in your mind:
"BUT you had an abortion".
"BUT you cheated on your wife".
"BUT you cheated on your husband".
"BUT you stole that thing".
"BUT you've blasphemed Jesus".
"BUT you've practiced homosexuality"
"BUT you've been a bad father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, friend, person".
"BUT you belong to ___________religion".
"BUT you did _________".
BUT... BUT... BUT...
Satan will come up with a long litany of "BUTS".
If you listen to Satan, you'll NEVER give your heart to Jesus.
That's EXACTLY what the slimy bastard wants.
Forget all his "buts" (one "t") and KICK HIM IN HIS BUTT (double "t").
Jesus LOVES YOU UNCONDITIONALLY.
He awaits you with OPEN ARMS, no matter who you are, where you've been, or what you've done.
In John 6:37 Jesus PROMISED:
We know Jesus is The Truth and that He CAN'T LIE.
He LOVES YOU NOW, He'll RECEIVE YOU now, forgive you, cleanse you, erase ALL YOURS SINS, and even FORGET that you ever committed them! (Hebrews 10:17)
Why would anyone listen to that liar named Satan, anyway?
STOP listening to the loser and listen to the Winner.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014
The entire Bible was written in a primarily agricultural setting.
The Feasts in God's calendar are tied to various harvests in the land of Israel.
The Feasts, and the harvests themselves, are tied to Bible prophecy, and reflect HOW IT WILL UNFOLD HERE ON EARTH, since it's THE EARTH that produces the harvest.
Since God's calendar begins and ends in the spring, THE EARLIEST HARVEST IS BARLEY which takes place around Passover.
THE LATEST HARVEST IS OLIVES, which takes place in late fall to winter.
Let's see how "seed time and harvest" are tied to the prophetic Word:
Spring: Barley Harvest - in the first month of Aviv (Nisan)
Represents Christ who rose from the dead on Aviv 18, during the First Fruits of Barley (1 Corinthians 15:23), the Old Testament saints who rose and ascended to heaven with Him (Matthew 27:51-53), probably the Church, and the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation chapters 7:1-8 and 14:1-4.
Spring to Summer: Wheat Harvest
Represents gentiles saved during the tribulation. Since ancient times, wheat is threshed using an instrument called tribulum, where it is ROUGHLY AND FORCIBLY SEPARATED FROM the chaff.
But their perseverance and endurance through the crushing tribulation will be well rewarded as THEY WILL BE SAVED AND RAPTURED BEFORE the (worst) bowl judgments and Armageddon (Matthew 24:13; Revelation 14:15-16; 15:2).
Summer to Fall: Grape Harvest
Represents rebellious, unrepentant mankind, who sides with and supports Antichrist to try to PREVENT Christ's Kingdom on earth AT ANY COST.
They are trampled by the returning Jesus in God's Wine Press, outside Jerusalem, and their blood flows like grape juice down the Kidron Valley for 180 miles and into the Red Sea (Revelation 14:18-20; 19:11-16).
Fall and After: Olives
Olives, which produce olive oil, and are harvested mostly after Sukkot (Tabernacles) represent the ANOINTED ONE (Messiah, Christ) and His Kingdom over ALL THE EARTH, headquartered in Jerusalem.
That 8-day Feast is called zeman simchateinu, "the season of OUR REJOICING".
One of the things I love about God's calendar, in addition to its beautiful and perfect symmetry, is that it begins (Barley) and ends (Olives) on a happy note.
The two "in between" harvests, wheat and grapes, may reflect severe suffering, hardship, and bloodshed, but they are followed by the harvest of olives, which represents the Messiah's Kingdom.
And Scripture tells us that "of His Kingdom there shall be NO END" (Luke 1:33).
I JUST LOVE happy endings, don't you?
TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
TITHES & NEW TESTAMENT
The more we study and meditate Scripture, the more we commune with the Spirit of the Living God, the more we realize WHAT A MANGLED MESS organized religion has made of the Christian faith.
And the more we see just how MANIPULATIVE and FEAR-FILLED organized religion has always been, and is.
Most Christians - like dumb sheep being fleeced and, in some cases, led to the slaughter - PAY 10% of their INCOMES to some local church or ministry and THINK they are being "good Christians" and that their actions "please God".
NOTHING could be farther from the Truth.
Do you know that tithing to your local church is TOTALLY UNSCRIPTURAL?
Do you know that BIBLICAL tithing has NEVER consisted of MONEY?
Do you know that tithing consisted ONLY of grain, produce and cattle? (Leviticus 27:30-32, Deuteronomy 12:17; 14:23).
Do you know that tithing was ONLY commanded to NATURAL Israel, and ONLY while the Temple was standing? (Nehemiah 13:5; Malachi 3:10).
Do you know that Jews, who were commanded by God to tithe, NO LONGER TITHE, SINCE THERE'S NO TEMPLE?
Do you know that NO CHRISTIAN has ever been required to tithe ANYTHING?
Do you know that ONLY LEVITES are authorized by God to receive tithes? (Numbers 18:26-28; 2nd Chronicles 31:5-10; Nehemiah 10:38; Hebrews 7:5).
Therefore, UNLESS your pastor is Hebrew, and from the tribe of Levi, he has NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to receive tithes. NONE. ZERO.
Do you know THAT NO CHRISTIAN MINISTER IS AUTHORIZED ANYWHERE, from Genesis to Revelation, TO RECEIVE TITHES?
I'm assuming the answer to all these questions by most Christians would be "no".
Because if they knew these things, they WOULDN'T TITHE.
The fact most Christians DON'T KNOW these things, proves TO WHAT EXTENT they've been brainwashed by Christianism.
Do you know that tithing was done ONLY UNDER THE LAW?
Do you know that, according to Galatians 3:10, 3:13-14; 5:3-4, if we try to justify ourselves BY THE LAW (by keeping PART of it, like tithing) we are obligated to keep THE ENTIRE LAW (all 613 commandments), we fall from Grace, and COME UNDER A CURSE?
Yet THAT'S PRECISELY what organized Christianism asks most followers to do!
Do you know that we have had this teaching about tithing on the website FOR A WHOLE DECADE AND NO ONE - NOT ONE!!! - of the many ministers who ask their congregations to tithe, and who freely admit they follow this ministry daily and even re-preach many of these messages, HAS EVER challenged it?
Because THEY KNOW it's true.
But yet, THEY KEEP DOING IT.
I'll tell you WHY they keep asking you to tithe:
FEAR (which is all religion ever produces) has such hold on their lives that they FEAR if they don't ask for tithes, they won't be able to pay for those fancy church buildings, those ostentatious monuments they've built to glorify their denomination and/or THEMSELVES.
Lord knows God receives VERY LITTLE GLORY, if any, from them.
Well, how do you suggest they pay for the mortgage, electricity, maintenance, etc., not to mention their own salaries?
The same way Jews do when they join the shul or synagogue: they are charged an annual fee.
They could also pass around the offering plate and receive VOLUNTARY OFFERINGS from those to whom they purportedly minister.
Or they could meet, AS DID THE EARLY CHURCH, in believers' homes and SAVE ALL THAT UNNECESSARY EXPENSE (Acts 8:3; Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2).
But the Gospels mention tithing...
Yes, when the Gospels were written the Second Temple was still standing, hence Jews still tithed cattle, grain and produce (Matthew 24:1-2).
There were NO Gentile CHRISTIANS around when the Gospels were written, only Jews (Matthew 15:24; 23:23).
And the Law was still in effect, since Christ had not yet died and risen.
But Hebrews chapter 7 mentions tithes...
Yes, and TO WHOM is this epistle addressed?
It's addressed TO JEWS, NOT to Gentile Christians.
When Paul wrote that epistle (around 64 A.D.) the Second Temple still existed, and Jews still tithed.
You won't find ANY mention of tithing in Acts, Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, or ANYWHERE ELSE in the New Testament.
Again: tithing was ONLY for Israelites and ONLY while there was A TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM.
Are you saying IT'S SIN to tithe?
What churches today call "tithing" IS TOTALLY UNBIBLICAL RELIGIOUS FABRICATION.
Fortunately, we ARE under Grace, and God looks at THE HEART.
Most Christians' HEARTS are in the right place when they "tithe".
They do it with good intentions, OUT OF IGNORANCE, because they've been effectively brainwashed by religion and God knows this, UNDERSTANDS, and FORGIVES.
That's NO EXCUSE, however, TO KEEP DOING IT.
MONDAY, APRIL 7, 2014
It happens much too frequently:
Some scared Christian wants help because he or she is "backslidden".
He or she fears "losing" their Salvation because of some sin(s).
These poor people DON'T HAVE A CLUE what they're talking about, but their "Christian" religion did not hesitate for one second to heap condemnation on their heads.
Religion MADE SURE they felt GUILT for the VERY SIN(S) THAT JESUS REMOVED, DESTROYED, ERASED, FORGOT AND CLEANSED 2,000 YEARS AGO (Psalms 103:12; Hebrews 9:26,10:17).
They even borrowed an ominous sounding biblical term AND MISAPPLIED IT to make their false doctrine seem more credible: "backsliding".
It's hard to associate any good thing with the coming tribulation, but one benefit it will bring to all mankind is that God will OBLITERATE religion - ALL religion, Christian and pagan - from the face of the earth (Daniel 11:36-37; 2 Thessalonians 2:4).
Not a moment too soon.
But isn't the term "backsliding" found in Scripture?
AND EVERY SINGLE TIME it refers to Israelites abandoning the worship of Yahweh in favor of worshiping THE IDOLS du jour like Baal or Ashtoreth.
NOT ONCE does it refer to "falling into old sins", OTHER THAN the sin of idolatry (Proverbs 1:32; Isaiah 57:5-13; Jeremiah 3:6-13; Hosea 11:2-7).
Backsliding refers EXCLUSIVELY to idolatry: To the worship of false "gods".
So, unless you were once a believer in Jesus, forsook Jesus, and are now worshiping Buddha, Krishna, Allah or some other FALSE "deity", YOU'RE NOT BACKSLIDDEN.
And if you did "forsake" Jesus, it's because YOU NEVER KNEW HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE.
You may have HEARD ABOUT Him and acquired some form of "Christian" religion, BUT YOU NEVER EXPERIENCED HIM PERSONALLY AND INTIMATELY IN YOUR INNERMOST BEING.
Those who REALLY know Him CANNOT forsake Him anymore than He can forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8; Hebrews 13:5).
So, the FIRST thing that I do with poor sinners who seek help for "backsliding" is GET THEM TO REPENT (change THEIR THINKING).
They're NOT backslidden at all:
They're either individuals who HAVE NEVER RECEIVED JESUS INTO THEIR HEARTS and NEED TO DO SO and have ALL THEIR SINS ERASED (some in this category ARE RELIGIOUS, some AREN'T).
Or, they know Jesus, ARE SAVED, and simply fell into sin because of human weakness, and because they're minds haven't been renewed. That's all.
In any case, GUILT won't help them at all. It will make matters WORSE, not better.
The ONLY REMEDY for sin is Jesus.
Make sure HE LIVES IN your heart (Ephesians 3:17).
If He does, ALL your sins (past, present, and future) are forgiven and HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN since 2,000 years ago in earth "time", and SINCE ETERNITY in God's reckoning.
GUILT doesn't make anyone LESS of a sinner, IT MAKES US SIN ALL THE MORE!
If you feel badly about sinning, CONFESS that/those sin(s), receive God's forgiveness AND STAND ON IT.
Then FORGIVE YOURSELF.
Confessing sin DOESN'T NOTIFY God about your sin(s). He knew about that/those sin(s) LONG BEFORE you committed it/them in space-time.
What it does is RELEASE OUR CONSCIENCE FROM THEM.
If the sin or sins involve harm to another person, either directly or indirectly -- and if it's possible -- without harming yourself in the process --apologize to him or her.
Tell them how sorry you are and ask THEIR FORGIVENESS.
MEDITATE ON GOD'S TOTAL FORGIVENESS UNTIL YOUR MIND BECOMES TOTALLY RENEWED and YOU BECOME FULLY CONVINCED AND GROUNDED ON THE MARVELOUS TRUTH that Jesus HAS REMOVED ALL SIN FOR ALL TIME (Psalm 103:12; John 1:29: Hebrews 9:26; 1 John 3:5).
As long as you carry guilt around, as long as your faith wavers every time you sin, as long as religion sells you the lie that you've fallen OUT OF FAVOR with God because you did WHATEVER, Satan will have you wrapped around his little finger and will toss you to and fro like a beach ball.
He'll manipulate you and get you into a vicious cycle where you sin even more, then feel even guiltier, then sin even more, then feel more guilt, and so on.
Jesus has FOREVER set us free FROM BONDAGE to sin, to Satan, to guilt, and TO HIS OWN LAW (John 8:36).
He who THE SON SETS FREE is FREE INDEED (John 8:36).
Shove ALL GUILT ASIDE and MEDITATE ON THAT.
SUNDAY, APRIL 6, 2014
WHY PRIESTS SHOULD MARRY
Did you know that prior to the 11th century A.D., Roman Catholic priests WERE ALLOWED to marry?
That's right: priest celibacy was not INVENTED until A WHOLE MILLENNIUM AFTER Jesus and His Apostles preached the Gospel.
Before that, priests had wives and children like normal males.
Priest celibacy has been a requirement to ordination for only the past 1,000 years.
In case you're wondering what made the RCC change its policy toward priests, here it is: GREED.
Upon the death of a priest, disputes arose as TO WHAT CHURCH PROPERTY under his control should be passed down to his wife and children.
At the Council of Pavia in 1018, the RCC declared priests' children SERFS OF THE CHURCH, unable to be ordained, and BARRING THEM FROM INHERITING THEIR FATHER'S INCOME connected to a church office or parish.
Being the offspring of a Catholic priest was, therefore, HIGHLY UNDESIRABLE since upon dad's death you'd be left WITH NOTHING: high and dry, WITH NO RIGHTS, and basically A SLAVE to the religion.
57 years later, in 1075, Pope Gregory VII issued a decree barring married priests from ministry.
Said decree was made OFFICIAL at the First Lateran Council in 1123.
Since then, the DISASTROUS RESULTS of such policy, not the least of which is the rampant pedophilia plaguing the Catholic Church, speak for themselves.
They would have been better off ALLOWING priests to marry, ALLOWING his wife and children to INHERIT some or most of his possessions, rather than RUINING THE LIVES OF Lord knows HOW MANY innocent children, then having to settle out of court for large, undisclosed, sums of money.
Current Catholic teaching sees celibacy as "a gift from God" that He bestows on those who are "called to the priesthood".
Romans 11:29 says VERY CLEARLY that "God's GIFTS and His calling are IRREVOCABLE".
The Catholic Church can teach, as it has taught for centuries, WHAT IT WANTS, but clearly ALL THOSE PEDOPHILE PRIESTS DIDN'T HAVE ANY GIFT FROM GOD, NOR WERE THEY CALLED by Him INTO THE PRIESTHOOD, OR ANY OTHER KIND OF MINISTRY.
Unless they want to call God A LIAR, it's clear that most priests DO NOT HAVE THE GIFT OR THE CALL.
The RCC's principal argument in defense of priest celibacy is that Jesus was unmarried.
True. But Jesus is THE Virgin-born, SINLESS, IMMORTAL Son of God.
Priests are SINFUL MORTALS like the rest of us.
Therefore, that pitiful argument IS INSTANTLY rendered NULL AND VOID.
Roman Catholicism CONTRADICTS ITSELF first by calling the Apostle Peter its "first Pope" - and we know from Scripture that Peter WAS MARRIED (Matthew 8:14; Mark 1:30; Luke 4:38)- then requiring all future Popes and clergy TO BE CELIBATE.
In 1 Timothy 2:2-5 the Apostle Paul, who wrote his epistle from Rome, very clearly states THE REQUIREMENTS FOR BISHOPS, DEACONS AND ALL IN THE MINISTRY:
"Now the bishop (overseer) is to be ABOVE REPROACH, FAITHFUL TO HIS WIFE, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. HE MUST MANAGE HIS OWN FAMILY WELL AND SEE THAT HIS CHILDREN OBEY HIM, and he must do so IN A MANNER WORTHY OF FULL RESPECT".
If anyone DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO MANAGE HIS OWN FAMILY, HOW CAN HE TAKE CARE OF GOD'S CHURCH?
It's hard to argue with Paul's logic, and even harder to argue WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.
It's NO COINCIDENCE that this impractical, UNFAIR and UNBIBLICAL doctrine of priest celibacy emerged during the period known as the Dark Ages, when the Bible was locked up in monasteries and available only to clergy.
Apparently, those in the clergy who WERE ABLE TO READ IT, only read the portions that served to increase the wealth and self-aggrandizement of the Roman Church.
Paul also prophesied that this would happen:
"Now the Spirit SPEAKS EXPRESSLY, THAT IN THE LATTER TIMES SOME SHALL DEPART FROM THE FAITH, listening TO SPIRITS OF ERROR AND DOCTRINES OF DEMONS; that IN HYPOCRISY they shall speak lies; having their conscience seared as with a hot iron; THEY SHALL FORBID TO MARRY"... (1 Timothy 4:1-3).
Priest celibacy is 100% UNBIBLICAL.
It has produced MANY VICTIMS and caused nothing but PAIN.
Surely allowing Catholic priests to marry wouldn't solve the pedophilia crisis completely, BUT IT WOULD GO A LONG WAY TOWARD PREVENTING IT.
There are many Roman Catholics who follow this ministry.
If I were you, I'd start circulating a petition, among your Catholics peers, to send to Pope Francis at the Vatican, asking him to consider MUCH NEEDED CHANGE in this area.
SATURDAY, APRIL 5, 2014
NOAH FOUND GRACE
"And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for I AM SORRY THAT I HAVE MADE THEM.
But Noah FOUND GRACE in the eyes of the LORD" (Genesis 6:7-8).
According to Scripture, Satan came ONE MAN short of thwarting God's plan of Redemption.
Had God's promise of redemption through the "seed of the woman" NOT been fulfilled:
A. All of us would have been doomed forever.
B. That would make God A LIAR (perish the thought), since He would have FAILED to fulfill His promise.
The creep fell short BY ONE HUMAN.
How and WHY did he fall short?
Noah FOUND GRACE in the eyes of the Lord.
This happened around 2,500 years B.C., approximately 1,100 YEARS BEFORE the Law was given.
Grace, therefore, PREDATES the Law by 1,100 YEARS.
That's A WHOLE MILLENNIUM, PLUS!
Noah found Grace 4,500 years ago.
Before Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, before Moses, even before Calvary, Noah found Grace.
Yet 4,500 years later, and 2,000 years after Jesus poured out His pure, sinless Blood for our sins, died, rose from the dead and ASCENDED TO HEAVEN, millions of supposed "Christians" haven't found Grace.
They REJECT Grace and replace it with COMMANDMENTS.
They REJECT Jesus' righteousness and try to replace it WITH "THEIR OWN".
(As if they HAD ANY).
They reject God's UNCONDITIONAL FAVOR and GOODNESS and try TO EARN THEIR WAY into heaven.
No one has EVER earned heaven and NO ONE EVER WILL.
No one MERITS heaven.
EVERYONE on earth MERITS hell.
There are NONE righteous, NOT EVEN ONE! (Romans 3:10)
But we haven't learned anything in 4,500 years.
Noah found grace and Noah PREACHED God's righteousness, FREELY CREDITED TO US BY grace, FOR 120 YEARS (Genesis 6:3; 2 Peter 2:5).
Do you know how many conversions he got, after preaching 120 years?
EVERYONE in that faithless and perverse generation COULD HAVE found grace, too.
Their lives, and the lives of all living creatures on the planet, COULD HAVE been spared.
They COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED BY GRACE even back then.
But THEY REJECTED God's awesome Grace.
Therefore, ALL THEY GOT was JUDGMENT.
When we REJECT the Grace of God and say IT'S INSUFFICIENT TO SAVE, ALL we can expect is JUDGMENT.
His Grace IS sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).
It's NO COINCIDENCE that Jesus compared the days JUST PRIOR TO His appearing to the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37).
Everyone reading this message can be saved and escape God's impending judgment on this world by receiving Jesus into his heart and TRUSTING His marvelous Grace.
Sadly, even many who call themselves "Christian" will STILL REJECT GRACE and suffer tribulation.
"BY FAITH Noah, when warned about things NOT YET SEEN, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.
BY HIS FAITH he condemned the world and became heir OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT IS BY FAITH" (Hebrews 11:7).
Salvation has ALWAYS BEEN and WILL ALWAYS BE by Grace ONLY, through FAITH only (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Salvation was BY GRACE ONLY, THROUGH FAITH ONLY, 1,100 years BEFORE the Law given at Sinai.
Those who try to REPLACE God's Grace with COMMANDMENTS, and His Righteousness with "THEIR OWN" can only be certain of one thing:
God's wrath and unrelenting JUDGMENT.
Those who DON'T live in God's Grace are in DIS-GRACE.
Those who are NOT SAVED by Grace,ARE NOT SAVED.
Noah found Grace 4,500 years ago.
Have YOU found Grace?
If you HAVEN'T, I urge you to TRUST Jesus and His Grace, right now.
FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
We've all heard the computer adage "GIGO" = GARBAGE in, GARBAGE out.
Well, I got one for Kristians: "KIKO"
KRAP in, KRAP out.
When you WATCH crap.
When you LISTEN TO crap.
When you READ crap.
When you BUY crap.
And SELL crap.
And, as a result, end up BELIEVING CRAP.
Guess WHAT comes out?
I'm pretty patient with new Christians, with people who are experiencing some personal crisis, and with HONEST seekers of Truth.
But with those who've been Christian 10, 20, 30 years and are STILL WALLOWING IN CRAP, I have VERY LITTLE PATIENCE.
You've been "Christian" for at least 15 or 20 years: GROW UP!
It's NOT ALL about you. It's ALL about Him!!!
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, and JESUS!
You've asked me the same question 50 different times in 50 different ways.
And I keep giving you THE SAME ANSWER:
The only "conditions" for Salvation are:
1. Being BORN AGAIN of the Spirit (John 3:5) by RECEIVING Christ into one's heart (innermost being).
2. TRUSTING Jesus, and WHAT HE DID to save us, COMPLETELY.
Salvation is A GIFT that we DO NOT DESERVE, and CANNOT EARN.
We COULD NOT EARN IT YESTERDAY, CANNOT EARN IT TODAY, nor can we EARN IT TOMORROW, NEXT WEEK, NEXT MONTH, OR in the next 20 years.
Since it is A GIFT, it CANNOT BE lost OR TAKEN AWAY (Romans 11:29).
You CAN'T BE SAVED one moment, and NOT SAVED the next.
Actions, good or bad, HAVE ZERO to do with Salvation.
You've "only" heard me say these things 50 MILLION TIMES...
WHICH PART of it DON'T YOU GET?
But my pastor teaches...
Hey, I'm not responsible for what your "pastor" says.
But some Kristian author or Kristian celebrity says...
I'm not responsible for what they say, teach or write. Furthermore, I DON'T CARE.
I only care about WHAT GOD SAYS.
And that's THE ONLY THING ABOUT WHICH YOU SHOULD CARE.
Nobody puts a gun to your head and FORCES you to watch, hear, read, buy OR BELIEVE that crap.
If you were MORE SELECTIVE as to what YOU CHOOSE to pay attention, or in what YOU CHOOSE to spend money and time, YOU WOULDN'T BE SO FREAKING CONFUSED.
But his book sold 25 million copies...
Really? Is THAT supposed to impress me?
J.K. Rowling sold over 400 MILLION copies of her Harry Potter series, and several of her books were turned into major Hollywood motion pictures. So, why don't you BLINDLY BELIEVE EVERYTHING SHE WROTE?
Why don't you put what SHE WROTE ABOVE what GOD WROTE, as some of you do with some of these jokers who call themselves "pastors"?
But he's got 10 theological degrees...
So did the Pharisees. Jesus had NONE.
But he's on TV...
So are Ellen DeGeneres, Jerry Springer, Kim Kardashian and Bozo the clown.
And THEY have LARGER audiences.
Paul said it very clearly in Galatians 1:8:
If ANYONE - ANYONE - even AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN - preaches ANOTHER GOSPEL than the true Gospel of FREE Salvation by Grace through faith, he, she, they or it IS ACCURSED.
Which part of "ACCURSED" (ANATHEMA) doesn't your little, confused Kristian brain GET?
If your "pastor" DOESN'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE that Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension made, YOU NEED TO FIND ANOTHER PASTOR.
If you've attended the same church for 5, 8 or 10 years and you don't know whether you're saved or not, or who is saved and who isn't, your pastor is not doing his job. Find another pastor who teaches the TRUE Gospel.
If that religious moron WHO SOLD 50 MILLION COPIES of that piece of crap he wrote, DOESN'T TEACH A CLEAR GOSPEL of Grace thru faith, and sets any other "conditions" for salvation, YOU NEED TO STOP SUPPORTING his ministry, and STOP BUYING AND READING his books.
And don't pass them on to a "friend", either. He or she will end up as confused as you: THROW ‘em IN THE TRASH, where they belong!
If your "spiritual leader" preaches FEAR instead of TRUST (faith), he's serving Satan, NOT Christ:
I don't care WHO HE (or she) IS, how many books he's written, how many copies they've sold, how many man-invented "scholarly degrees" he's got, how large his "church" is, how big those monuments he built for his own glory are, or how often he appears on Fox, CNN or Kristian TV.
I'm TIRED of dealing with religious crap.
Especially from long-time Christians who, by now, SHOULD KNOW BETTER.
THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2014
PANEL OF 8
This week Pope Francis named an 8-member commission to solve the "sex abuse problem" plaguing the RCC.
Half of the commission members are male, half female, including a former victim of child abuse by a priest.
Frankly, this commission is DECADES, if not CENTURIES, overdue.
This is a positive development and I give credit to Francis for having the courage to face, and DO SOMETHING about, this widespread problem that his predecessors seemed all too eager to sweep under the rug.
The big question is:
Can a Vatican-appointed commission bring about real change and be trusted to give a non-biased and honest report about the extent and severity of the abuse and offer REAL SOLUTIONS to prevent future offenses, that will be accepted by the Vatican?
It's much too soon of course to tell what, if anything, productive will come out of this, but at least it's a step in the right direction.
Because of the late hour in which we're living, it may also be too little, too late, but it certainly is better than nothing.
Whatever course of action the commission eventually recommends, let's hope it includes screening candidates to the priesthood for pedophile tendencies, PRIOR TO ordination.
Let's hope it has the courage to implement SEVERE DETERRENTS for offenders or would be offenders.
Let's hope it DOES NOT CONTINUE THE CURRENT HORRENDOUS policy of covering up abuse and transferring the offending priest to another parish so he can perpetrate the same evil on innocent, unsuspecting CHILD VICTIMS there, scarring and destroying still more lives in the process.
Let's pray that the Holy Spirit will work on the hearts and minds of the panel members, and the Pope, and gives them the wisdom and HONESTY to take DECISIVE ACTIONS to resolve this painful, evil, and life-destroying plague that is INEXCUSABLE, that has gone unchecked far too long, and that has NO PLACE AT ALL in the Body of Christ.
Of course, any resulting reforms won't change those lives that were ruined, and whose innocence was shattered, but at least they will have the small satisfaction of knowing that their coming forward protected and PREVENTED many unsuspecting children from suffering the same fate.
May our precious Lord bless and protect the children.
May He be gracious to us all.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
THE PURPOSE OF FASTING
Religion and the natural mind have perverted fasting.
The false assumption is that, if we fast, we will get God's attention, or cause Him to move on our behalf.
Most Christians, therefore, view fasting as self-imposed affliction, a form of penitence to gain God's favor.
That sort of thinking is for pagans, not for God's children.
It's PAGANS who attempt to appease or gain their "deity's" favor thru penance.
Christians know there's NOTHING they can do to earn God's favor, be it for salvation (the greatest of all blessings) or any other blessing.
God's favor is undeserved, unconditional. It's freely available for anyone who'll receive his Son Jesus Christ as Lord.
The main purpose for fasting is TO DEVELOP and STRENGTHEN YOUR SPIRIT.
Fasting is one of the most effective ways to develop the inner man (born-again spirit).
Your spirit is located inside your stomach-kidney area.
Therefore, the spirit and food are essentially competing for the same space.
The Spirit is breath (air). The more space we allow in our stomachs the better He manifests.
When we fast, the stomach is empty and the Spirit's Presence is easier to detect. It's also easier to "hear" the Spirit's Voice inside yourself.
It's very difficult to walk in the spirit constantly, like we're commanded to do, or to develop our reborn spiritual nature, when our stomach's STUFFED to capacity with food.
Even if we don't do a total fast, we should try to keep our stomachs at least partially empty in order to both, discern the spirit within us, and allow "room" for the Spirit of God to manifest.
Christians shouldn't "pig out" on food, drink or anything else they put in their bodies.
It's better that you eat or drink 6-10 small meals a day, than for you to have fewer meals and leave the table so full you can hardly walk.
Here are some Scriptures to back this up :
"For he shall be great in the sight of the lord, and shall drink neither wine or strong drink; and he shall be FILLED WITH the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb" (Luke 1:15).
"Be not drunk (filled) with wine (or food) wherein is excess; but (rather) BE FILLED WITH the Holy Spirit... singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:18-19)
Fasting is used to communicate more effectively with God who lives inside you. By staying in intimate communion with His Spirit, who is the source of all power, we develop our own spirit.
What about the Scripture about casting out evil spirits thru fasting and prayer?
In Mark 9:28-29 the disciples ask Jesus "why couldn't we cast the evil spirit out?" And He answers "this kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting".
They were dealing with a stubborn spirit. Jesus is telling them that, unless they are stronger in their own spirits than the evil spirit in question, he won't come out. He tells them the way to get that spiritual strength is thru fasting and prayer.
This is confirmed in Luke 11:20-24:
"But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the Kingdom of God is come upon you. When the strong man armed keeps his palace, his goods are in peace: but WHEN A STRONGER THAN HE SHALL COME UPON HIM, AND OVERCOME HIM, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils... when the unclean spirit goes out of a man..."
All Christians should fast. How often should you fast? That's between you and the Lord.
When you do, it should be AN ENJOYABLE, JOYOUS EXPERIENCE: keep the stomach empty, or at least half empty, and get in touch with your own spirit (in the stomach-kidney area), and with the Spirit of God who lives there, in the innermost recesses of your being.
How can any child of God NOT ENJOY God's Presence?
Whether you fast or not, I urge you to make getting in touch with your spirit your number one priority (Matthew 6:33).
The spirit is, after all, the most valuable and most important part of your being.
TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2014
THE REAL ROSH HASHANAH
The Feast of Yom Teruah commanded in Leviticus 23:24 (a/k/a the Feast of Trumpets) is NEVER CALLED Rosh Hashanah in the Bible.
In Leviticus 23:34, when God established this Feast, it's called Zikron Teruah (Day of Remembrance).
In Numbers 29:1 it is called Yom Teruah (Day of Shouting, or Day of Blowing the Shofar).
The term Rosh Hashanah meaning "head of the year" or "beginning of the year" is mentioned ONLY ONCE in the Bible in Ezekiel 40:1.
That ONE time that it's mentioned, Rosh Hashanah refers to the BEGINNING OF the month of Aviv (Nisan) in the spring, NOT to Tishri 1 in the fall.
Ezekiel 45:18 and 21 both confirm this by referring to Aviv (Nisan), the month Passover is celebrated, UNAMBIGUOUSLY as "the first month".
And God makes it CRYSTAL CLEAR in Exodus 12:2 that the calendar GIVEN BY Him to the Israelites BEGINS ON Rosh Chodesh Aviv (Nisan), NOT on Rosh Chodesh Tishri.
There is NO BIBLICAL reason whatsoever, therefore, to call Yom Teruah "Rosh Hashanah".
Again: There is NO BIBLICAL REASON WHATSOEVER to call Yom Teruah "Rosh Hashanah".
Those who call Yom Teruah "Rosh Hashanah" are DISOBEYING God, who clearly commanded, IN THE TORAH, that Aviv was to be THE BEGINNING OF the year (Exodus 12:2).
"But you don't understand: there are 4 different New Years in the rabbinic calendar".
Oh, I understand perfectly:
Of the 4 rabbinic "new years", THREE WERE INVENTED by rebellious Jews during Babylonian exile.
In the 5th century B.C. Jews returned from Babylon after 70 years of captivity for their persistent rebellion.
PRIOR TO the 5th century B.C.,NO ISRAELITE AND NO JEW EVER REFERRED TO Yom Teruah as "Rosh Hashanah".
Repeat: NO JEW ever called Yom Teruah "Rosh Hashanah" PRIOR TO the 5th century B.C.
Rebellious Jews can proclaim a "new year for trees" Tu B'shevat (Shevat 15), a "new year for tithing cattle" (Elul 1) and a "civil new year" (Tishri 1) until their DISOBEDIENT faces turn purple.
God DOESN'T ACKNOWLEDGE ANY OF THE THREE SINCE THEY WERE INVENTED BY SINFUL, DISOBEDIENT MORTALS.
NONE of the three ARE FOUND IN Scripture.
The ONLY "New Year" that God recognizes is THE ONE He Himself gave: Aviv 1.
Jews returned from Babylon (the city of CONFUSION) with those pagan, invented "new years" incorporated into their rabbinic calendar.
Just like they adopted the PAGAN Babylonian NAMES for the 12 months, including the 4th month which is named after Sumerian "god" Tammuz.
It just shows HOW CONFUSED and rebellious Jews were, and STILL ARE.
Are you saying that God's true calendar and the rabbinic calendar are NOT one and the same?
There are, of course, enough similarities between the two for Jews to recognize God's prophetic fulfillment of these Feasts, and His amazing faithfulness.
But His Calendar and theirs are NOT one and the same.
Therefore, if you really love God, want to obey God, and want to wish Jews or believers in the Jewish Messiah, God of Israel, and Eternal God, a "happy new year", do so on ITS TRUE DATE, Aviv 1.
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