December 2015 archives of www.christconnection.net down below
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2015
WILL THE HOLY SPIRIT BE REMOVED ?
The standard teaching in prophecy circles is that the Holy Spirit is holding back the Antichrist, and that, when the Church is raptured, the Holy Spirit will be REMOVED from the earth thus allowing him to manifest.
That's what you get for listening to those who constantly say "I believe", instead of "God's Word says".
The Bible SAYS NO SUCH THING.
If the Spirit were removed, NO ONE would get saved during the tribulation. We know that MANY will come to faith in Christ during the reign of Antichrist (Revelation 14:15-16; 15:2; 20:4).
HOW ON EARTH do you "remove" the Holy Spirit?
Last time I checked the Holy Spirit was/is God. God is OMNIPRESENT.
You CAN'T remove GOD from ANY place.
King David told us in Psalms 139:7- 8 that even if he were to make his bed IN HELL, the Spirit of God is STILL THERE.
Do you think the Holy Spirit was ABSENT from the earth until Pentecost 34 A.D.?
Of course not! He was around. He's ALWAYS been around (Genesis 1:2).
What happened on Pentecost 34 A.D. is He came to LIVE INSIDE those who received Jesus as their Lord, as Jesus had promised (John 16:13).
That STILL HAPPENS TODAY whenever a person is born-again.
The "he" that MUST be "taken out of the way" BEFORE Antichrist can show up is THE BODY OF CHRIST:
"Let no one deceive you in any way, for it (in context, the Day of the Lord or tribulation) will not be UNLESS THE DEPARTURE COMES FIRST, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction" (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
The Church at Thessalonica was troubled that the Day of the Lord (tribulation) was about to begin (2 Thessalonians 2:2).
Paul said TWO THINGS needed to happen PRIOR:
1. The Departure (Rapture) had to happen. The Greek word apostasia means "DEPARTURE".
2. The identity of Antichrist had to be revealed (in context,to believers, since he was writing TO THE CHURCH at Thessalonica).
The Antichrist is revealed to believers BEFORE THEY DEPART. The Antichrist is revealed TO THE WORLD (unbelievers) when he emerges, resurrected, from the bottomless pit, about 3½ years PRIOR TO the Second Coming of Christ (Revelation 11:7; 17:8).
Paul was saying that as long as the Church is AROUND, and the identity of the Antichrist hasn't been revealed to the Church, the Day of the Lord (tribulation) CANNOT COME.
The BIBLICAL identity of Antichrist has ALREADY been revealed to the Church, ALL OVER THE WORLD : www.christconnection.net/id7.html
Therefore, THE ONLY THING hindering the Antichrist's appearance (2 Thessalonians 2:6) is the Body of Christ (Church) still being present on earth.
He cannot manifest in, or to the world, UNTIL AFTER The Departure of the Church takes place.
We see this clearly in Revelation 12:1-12 where the Church appears IN HEAVEN, GLORIFIED (clothed with the sun) as the Body of Christ is CAUGHT UP to God and His Throne.
Then Archangel Michael gets to kick Satan and his angels out of heaven FOR GOOD (Revelation 12:8-9).
Then Satan is cast down to the earth, he stands on the seashore,and is allowed to bring up Antichrist from the abyss (Revelation 11:7; 13:1; 17:8).
I am mindful that the King James and other versions render 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as "a falling away". However,in the original Greek NOTHING is "falling away" from nowhere. The words ho apostasia literally mean "THE Departure".
The word apostasia is derived from another Greek word, aphistemi, which means to DEPART, LEAVE OR WITHDRAW ONESELF.
But doesn't it mean to depart FROM THE FAITH?
NO, it means ONLY "TO DEPART".
In order for it to mean "to depart FROM THE FAITH", the text MUST SPECIFY that THE DEPARTURE is from the faith, as is the case in 1 Timothy 4:1. Otherwise, it ONLY MEANS "DEPARTURE".
That's why 2 Thessalonians 2, verse 6 tells Christians "NOW YOU KNOW what restrains him" (Antichrist) ...He had just told them WHAT: the Departure of Christians.
It's The Body of Christ that MUST BE removed (DEPART), and be "taken out of the way" before the Antichrist can appear.
ONLY AFTER we disappear, does Antichrist appear.
That's EXACTLY the correct meaning of this portion of scripture.
Simply put, YOU CAN'T "remove God" or "take GOD out of the way"... EVER.
The Holy Spirit is PRESENT everywhere, ALL THE TIME: tribulation or no tribulation, Antichrist or no Antichrist.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2015
About once a month, I force myself to watch one or two of the leading prophecy "experts" just to see what they're up to.
Never ceases to amaze me HOW LITTLE they know, HOW MUCH UNSCRIPTURAL GARBAGE THEY TEACH as though it were FACT, and how they offer nothing new, just THE SAME OLD GARBAGE HASHED AND REHASHED.
The ONLY "new" FABLES they've INVENTED in the last four decades are conspiracy theories, Islamic world rule (in your dreams, Bubba !) and the Antichrist being the NON-EXISTENT Mahdi of Islamic deception.
HOW MANY TIMES, and FROM HOW MANY DIFFERENT "EXPERTS", must we hear the same BORING (and FALSE) stuff?
The last time I watched one such "expert", he said the words "I believe" 35 TIMES IN A SPAN OF THREE MINUTES.
Hey, I had to do something to keep myself from dying of boredom, so I actually COUNTED.
WHY SHOULD WE CARE what "he" believes? Does HIS BELIEVING A LIE make it true? Of course not!
I could "believe" that I created the Himalayas, THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE.
Hey, prophecy "expert": You're a fallen, sinful, fallible, MORTAL: UNLESS you want to claim infallibility, keep YOUR OPINIONS to yourself.
DON'T TELL US WHAT "YOU" believe: Just tell us what God (the Bible) ACTUALLY, AND FACTUALLY SAYS!!!
We should believe NOTHING concerning so-called "Bible prophecy" UNLESS it's 100%, totally and unequivocally, taught in the Bible and SOLIDLY SUPPORTED BY SCRIPTURE.
There's NOTHING in the Bible that states the Antichrist is the Rider on the white horse in Revelation chapter 6.
There's NOTHING in the Bible about the Antichrist being alive.
There's NOTHING that says he's Muslim.
There's NOTHING in the Bible about a 7-year reign of Antichrist.
There's NOTHING in the Bible about a 7-year "peace treaty": talk about PURE FABRICATION!
There's NOTHING in the Bible about the false prophet being linked to the harlot (Mystery Babylon) in Revelation chapter 17.
There's NOTHING about a "cashless society".
There's NOTHING about the war of Gog and Magog taking place in our time.
I could go on and on, but I've made my point.
All of these are RELIGIOUS FANTASIES spun by man's DEPRAVED imagination.
This is what God has to say about FLAWED HUMAN OPINION:
Let God BE TRUE, and EVERY MAN a liar (Romans 4:3).
So much for the "I believes".
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2015
ARE THOSE PROPHETS ?
Can ANYONE CHOOSE to become a prophet?
Are the office of prophet or the gift of prophecy TEACHABLE VOCATIONS that can be learned through training?
Can they be ACQUIRED by participating in some man-invented curriculum?
Can some UBER-ANOINTED "man of God" TURN YOU into a prophet by laying hands on you?
One of the dubious practices popularized by the Pentecostal movement is inviting a so called "prophet" or "prophetess" to a service and having them prophesy TO EVERY INDIVIDUAL THERE.
WHERE in Scripture do we find THAT?
In the Bible, REAL prophets were sent BY GOD to prophesy to NATIONS and/or to KINGS (the LEADERS OF those nations/kingdoms), NOT to the average Joe walking down the street, or sitting on a pew.
There are NO INDIVIDUAL prophecies given in Scripture.
In 1 Kings 17 the prophet Elijah is sent to the widow as Zarephath. However, he didn't PROPHESY anything to her, but rather was fed by the widow and performed a couple miracles for her.
In 2 Kings chapter 4 Elisha does something similar for another widow after Elijah has gone up to heaven.
And in that same chapter he announces that he had performed a miracle in gratitude for this woman's frequent hospitality and thus her barrenness had ended and she would have a son.
In the New Testament we have the gift of prophecy mentioned in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14.
In 1 Corinthians 14:3-5, 12 it plainly states that this gift is used to strengthen and edify THE CHURCH AT LARGE, NOT individuals.
Nowhere does it say that those who have that gift go around prophesying to each person, one by one.
THAT, to put it bluntly, IS A BUNCH OF UNBIBLICAL RELIGIOUS CRAP.
NO TRUE PROPHET of God ever went around PROMOTING himself or herself or his/her "gift", as these jokers do.
They all EXALTED God/Jesus, NOT THEMSELVES.
99% of the so-called "prophets" and "prophetesses" in Christendom today are nothing but opportunistic, SELF-EXALTING CHARLATANS who PRETEND to prophesy SO THAT SILLY Christians will be IMPRESSED and DONATE MONEY TO THEM.
Just look at the way THEY LIVE: private airplanes, luxury cars, entourages, body guards, Rolexes, mansions...
Where in Scripture do you find Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha, John the Baptist, the Apostle John, Paul, OR ANY TRUE prophet of God LIVING LIKE THAT?
Another unbiblical gimmick they have invented is the so-called "school of the prophets", as if the OFFICE of a prophet, or THE GIFT of prophecy, both of which COME DIRECTLY FROM GOD, at HIS SOVEREIGN CHOOSING, could be TAUGHT and learned by simple training.
Of course, if one wants to "become" a "prophet" one MUST PAY tuition.
They claim to "prophesy" by looking at people's faces, clothes or personal property, just like a psychic would use his highly developed observational skills to read people's minds.
This practice DOES NOT COME FROM the Spirit of God: it is A SHAM, and borders on the occult.
Furthermore, IT DEVALUES THE REAL office of prophet, and the TRUE gift of prophecy that come from the Spirit of God, turning both into nothing but cheap carnival acts.
This deceptive scheme was concocted by twisting certain passages in 1 Samuel and 2 Kings 4:38 where, in certain old English versions of the King James Bible it mentions a "school of the prophets".
The word "school", however, IS NOT FOUND IN THE ORIGINAL TEXT.
It was translated "school" in some VERY OLD King James Bibles. However, it DIDN'T REFER TO A LEARNING CENTER, but rather TO A GROUP, like "a school of fish" meaning a GROUP of fish.
There's NOTHING in Scripture that says these men became prophets BY ATTENDING SOME SCHOOL for HUMAN TRAINING.
The "sons of the prophets" were simply a BAND or GUILD of prophets that hung out together during that period.
To say that the office of prophet or the gift of prophecy can be TAUGHT and LEARNED, that people can prophesy in the Name of Jesus AT WILL and ON CUE, is LUDICROUS.
ARE THERE ANY true prophets of God today?
The answer is "YES", but they are VERY, VERY, VERY RARE and VERY, VERY, VERY HARD TO FIND.
And THE REAL ONES still follow the BIBLICAL pattern, not some INVENTED "prophesy on a whim" or "prophesy to each person" model.
That's why JESUS HIMSELF WARNED US of HOW WIDESPREAD religious deception would be PRIOR TO His appearing:
He said "DON'T LET ANYONE DECEIVE YOU", no matter how "Christian" they may claim to be.
For MANY would come IN HIS NAME (saying that Jesus is the Christ and supposedly prophesying in the His Name) and WOULD DECEIVE MANY (Matthew 24:4).
Jesus also issued A DIRECT and OMINOUS WARNING to all self-appointed "prophets" and "prophetesses" of this final generation:
MANY would say to Him ON THAT DAY "Lord, Lord, DIDN'T WE PROPHESY in your Name"...?
And He will reply:"I NEVER KNEW you" (Matthew 7:22-23).
Translation: you're NOT a true prophet, you're NOT EVEN BORN-AGAIN, and you're LOST and headed for hell.
If I were you,I would think it over AT LEAST 150 times BEFORE declaring yourself "a prophet of God".
It's God Himself who does THE CHOOSING, THE CALLING, and the ENABLING.
ALL ELSE is COUNTERFEIT.
I'd hate for you to be among those to whom Jesus will say:
"DEPART FROM ME, you workers of iniquity".
MONDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2015
TAKE IT BY FORCE
"And from the days of John the Baptist until now THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN SUFFERS VIOLENCE, AND THE VIOLENT TAKE IT BY FORCE" (Matthew 11:12)
This passage from Matthew IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT passages in the Bible to understand:
ALL the English translations that I've seen are INACCURATE and AWFUL.
WHAT THE HECK was Jesus talking about?
Was Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who taught TO LOVE EVEN OUR ENEMIES, CONTRADICTING Himself and ADVOCATING violence?
Perish the very IDEA.
There's NOTHING about "violence" in that verse.
The Greek words translated "violence" and "violent" actually mean "FORCE".
Keeping in mind THE LIMITATIONS OF fractured human language, the MOST ACCURATE translation into English IS:
"Since the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven HAS BEEN FORCEFULLY ADVANCING and the forceful SNATCH IT UP (the King and His Kingdom) FOR THEMSELVES".
Adam was supposed to establish God's Kingdom on earth (Genesis 1:27-28). The establishment of God's Kingdom came to an abrupt halt, when Adam (male and female) fell into sin.
Since John the Baptist the Kingdom of Heaven HAS BEEN FORCEFULLY ADVANCING.
Compare to Revelation 6:2 where King Jesus goes forth on a white horse "CONQUERING (ADVANCING His Kingdom) and to CONQUER" (COME OFF VICTORIOUS)"...
THE FIRST PORTION of Matthew 11:12 alludes to Micah 2:13:
"The one WHO BREAKS (FORCES) OPEN THE WAY (in context, TO THE SHEEP) WILL GO UP BEFORE THEM; they will BREAK THROUGH THE GATE (Jesus) and go out.
Their King will pass through before them, the Lord AT THEIR HEAD."
An old midrashic teaching is THE KEY to understanding the FIRST PORTION of the verse.
Rabbinic interpretation - which in this particular instance IS CORRECT - says that the ONE WHO BREAKS OPEN THE BREACH (to FORCEFULLY ADVANCE God's Kingdom) is Elijah and the King is the Messiah.
Elijah came first in the person of John the Baptist to (FORCEFULLY) BREAK OPEN the breach for the sheep to GO OUT INTO the GREEN PASTURES in God's Kingdom.
And the King who GOES BEFORE US ADVANCING His Kingdom AS THE HEAD of His collective Body is Messiah Jesus.
Now, let's examine the SECOND PART of the verse:
"and the forceful SNATCH UP (the Kingdom) FOR THEMSELVES".
Can you guess what the Greek word for "snatch" (or "take by force") is ?
It's THE SAME WORD used in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 that says we shall be "CAUGHT UP" (raptured) to "meet the Lord in the air".
We HAVE TO "RAPTURE" Jesus AND HIS KINGDOM INTO US BEFORE HE RAPTURES US INTO HIMSELF!
Again: We HAVE TO "RAPTURE" Jesus AND HIS KINGDOM INTO US BEFORE HE RAPTURES US INTO HIMSELF!
What a beautiful picture of both initial Salvation (the born again EXPERIENCE) and FULL SALVATION, which takes place when WE SEE JESUS AS HE IS, are transformed INTO IMMORTAL BEINGS and CAUGHT UP (raptured) into Jesus.
We MUST forcefully (energetically) SNATCH Jesus INTO US (receive Him and PULL HIM INTO OUR INNERMOST BEING)... THAT'S what makes us "born again".
That's what Paul meant by "TAKE HOLD OF eternal Life" (1 Timothy 6:12)
We must "rapture" Jesus INTO US, BEFORE He raptures us INTO HIMSELF!!!
Man, if THAT doesn't excite you...
Have you raptured Jesus?
Have you SNATCHED JESUS FOR YOURSELF, INTO YOUR HEART?
He IS heaven, you know...
Heaven's more than just a PLACE.
Heaven IS A PERSON.
Those who "go to heaven" are those who HAVE HEAVEN in their hearts.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2015
THEY JUST DON'T GET IT
During this past week, I had opportunity to watch some of the Jesus programs offered on secular TV, including the Discovery and History channels.
I may dislike a lot of what they say, but can't stand the alternative which is to watch the boring, rote, artificial, over-acted fare served on "Christian" TV.
They presented Jesus as everything from "just another" miracle worker, to a social reformer, distressed over His own poverty, and that of His people, to a politically minded rebel who dared challenge the military and religious establishments of His time.
They just DON'T GET IT.
I had to chuckle when they compared Jesus to a guy NO ONE'S EVER HEARD OF named "Honi the circle drawer".
Honi's ONLY "claim to fame" is that he supposedly drew a circle on the earth and told God that he would stand in that circle until He sent rain. The rain, supposedly, came shortly after.
The story is found in the Talmud, which may or may not be true. There's also a brief mention in Josephus, where he's called by the name Onias.
Even if it was true, and even if the rain DID COME SUPERNATURALLY from God (as opposed to from nature), one has to be TOTALLY DISHONEST and RIDICULOUSLY PREJUDICED to even THINK OF comparing THAT to Jesus' many miracles, which included:
- Casting out demons, which had NEVER been done before (Matthew 12:28; Mark 1:27,39).
- Turning water into wine (John 4:46).
- Healing the sick, and the crippled (Matthew 10:8; Mark 5:25; Luke 17:11-17)).
- Restoring sight to the blind (Matthew 9:29-30; John 9:25-26,32).
- Multiplying food (Luke 9:13-17).
- Walking on water (Mark 6:49).
- Raising the dead, including Himself (Matthew 28:6; Mark 5:40-42; Luke 7:13-15; John 11:39-44).
Jesus performed -- and STILL DOES! -- MANY GREAT miracles, but He is not a mere "miracle worker".
Unless you want to throw Salvation into the mix, His primary mission on earth WAS NOT to simply "perform miracles" - even as great as they were and are.
Of course Jesus disliked that the multitudes were poor, overtaxed and oppressed by the Romans.
But He didn't come primarily to improve their finances.
(Pssht... Promise you won't tell the "prosperity preachers")...
In fact, He told His disciples "the poor YOU HAVE ALWAYS with you" (Mark 14:7).
Of course Jesus DIDN'T LIKE the ruthless Roman military machine, or their pagan religion and customs.
But He didn't come to topple the Roman Empire.
Although He DID CONQUER IT 290 years after His Resurrection without armies, swords or spears. Praise His Name forevermore!
Of course, He TOTALLY DISAPPROVED of the Jewish religious hierarchy and practices, as He boldly proclaimed, calling them "hypocrites" and a few other "choice" adjectives to their faces (Matthew chapter 23), but He didn't come to establish YET ANOTHER religion.
JESUS CAME TO DIE (Matthew 12:40; John 15:13; Philippians 2:9-11).
That was the MAIN objective of His earthly mission.
And it's THAT GREATEST of objectives that all these CONFUSED and ill-informed, so-called "historians", "archaeologists" and "theologians" TOTALLY MISS:
He came to die, not for Himself, but FOR OTHERS (Daniel 9:26).
He came to GIVE HIS LIFE a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
He came TO SEEK AND TO SAVE those who were lost (Luke 19:10).
He came TO PAY IN FULL the penalty and price that God's Divine Justice demanded for ALL our sins (2 Corinthians 5:19,21).
That price was paid - to the last denarius - with His own sinless, pure, and Divine Blood.
He paid a debt He DID NOT OWE, because we owed a debt we COULD NOT pay.
He came to REMOVE ALL SIN -- FOR ALL TIME (Psalm 103:12; 1 John 3:5)
He came TO SAVE US because WE COULDN'T save ourselves.
Not then, not now.
He came to save us because NO ONE ELSE COULD (Acts 4:12).
In so doing, He DEMONSTRATED the INCOMPARABLE Love of God toward His Creation, a Love NEVER BEFORE SEEN, a Love INCOMPREHENSIBLE to the human mind:
THE GREATEST LOVE anywhere (John 15:13).
Until these "learned scholars" FACE THAT reality, they'll keep making fools of themselves by presenting A FALSE JESUS, of their own making, spun by their depraved imaginations.
Either Jesus is the one and only God and Savior, who CHANGED THE WORLD -- IS ABOUT TO CHANGE IT AGAIN -- LIVES FOREVER, and is still transforming lives each day... or He's just a nice historic anachronism.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2015
WHY SATAN HATES CHRISTMAS
"And I will put enmity between you (Satan) AND THE WOMAN, and between your seed and HER SEED: HE SHALL BRUISE YOUR HEAD, and you shall bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15).
For 4,000 YEARS Satan carried out his diabolical agenda on this earth, with the protoevangelium HANGING OVER HIS HEAD.
The wicked creep KNEW that, at some point, THE One who is THE SEED OF the woman would appear and CRUSH HIS UGLY, EVIL HEAD.
And he DID HIS SATANIC WORST to PREVENT it from happening:
1) In Genesis chapter 6 we read how he used the former "sons of God" who turned in the nephilim to contaminate the whole human race so that NO HUMAN would be qualified or able to give birth to the Messiah (Genesis 6:1-7).
He got WITHIN ONE FAMILY of achieving his goal.
Thank God that Noah "found grace" in the eyes of God. Thank God that, by grace, He kept Noah perfect "in his generations" (Genesis 6:8-9).
2) 700 YEARS LATER, Satan tried to kill off Jacob (Israel) and his children through famine, since he knew the Messiah would come from them.
Thank God, that He raised Joseph to save them and the Egyptians from famine (Genesis chapters 41-46).
3) 400 YEARS LATER, Satan used the Egyptians to kill all the Israelite MALE BOYS that were born (Exodus 1:16, 22; 2:1-10).
God miraculously spared Moses, from the tribe of Levi, and thus led all Israel out of Egyptian bondage (Exodus chapter 12).
The tribe of Judah thus continued to multiply during the Exodus and in the Promised Land, which we know today as Israel.
4) Satan then incited the 10 northern tribes of Israel into rebellion and idolatry, until they were taken captives by the Assyrians in 721 B.C. (2 Kings 15:29; 17:3-6; 18:11-12; I Chronicles 5:26)
Their whereabouts are KNOWN ONLY TO God, to this very day.
Thank God, that in His great faithfulness, He spared the tribes of Judah and Benjamin "for David's and Jerusalem's sake" (1 Kings 11:32).
5) Satan THEN WENT AFTER THE TWO REMAINING TRIBES, also inciting them into gross rebellion and idolatry. In 586 B.C. (135 YEARS LATER) they were ALSO taken captive, this time by the Babylonians.
God, in His great faithfulness, PROMISED THEY'D RETURN FROM CAPTIVITY IN 70 YEARS (Jeremiah 25:11-12).
As always, God KEPT HIS WORD (Ezra chapters 1-2).
6) Then Satan went after the exiles who returned from captivity 70 years later (516 B.C.) and resettled in Israel. During captivity, in a futile attempt to taint Messiah's ancestry, and impede His Birth, he made sure that Jews mingled in intermarriage with pagan wives (Ezra 9:1-2).
God raised a priest named Ezra, who then FORCED the Jews to separate and send back their pagan wives (Ezra 10:1-4).
7) But the old serpent didn't give up that easily... This time he raised an evil Greek king named Antiochus Epiphanes (God Manifest) to oppress and try to exterminate the Jews in 167 B.C., 350 years later (2 Maccabees 5:11-14).
God raised the Maccabees, Judas "the Hammer" in particular, to deliver Israel in 164 B.C., 3 years later (2 Maccabees, chapter 10).
This brings us to around 1 B.C. - 0 A.D. the time when Jesus was born.
This time the garden snake filled psychotic Herod with SO MUCH FEAR that a helpless, INNOCENT, SINLESS, NEWBORN BABY boy would replace him as king, that wicked Herod decided to murder all male children in Bethlehem that were two years old and under (Matthew 2:16-18).
The Messiah was born DESPITE Satan's and Herod's perverse machinations.
Some 33 years later that baby boy had become a man, and DIED THE MOST GRUESOME AND CRUELEST of deaths for your sins and mine.
Jesus ROSE FROM THE DEAD, appeared to OVER 500 hundred EYEWITNESSES -- who SAW HIM ALIVE -- and ascended to heaven (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).
By then, it was too late: Satan HAD FAILED: The prophesied SEED OF THE WOMAN had CRUSHED Satan's head, as God has promised.
The world REJOICED and has never been the same.
THAT IS WHY Satan HATES Christmas and tries his worst, to this very day, to discourage and / or dampen its celebration.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2015
THE MOST FAMOUS BIRTHDAY
"For TO YOU is born this day... THE Savior: who is Christ THE Lord" (Luke 2:11).
"You shall call his name JESUS: for HE SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS" (Matthew 1:21).
Jesus' birthday is the most famous and widely celebrated birthday in the world, as well it should be.
NO ONE KNOWS WHEN Buddha, Confucius, or Lao Tzu were born.
NO ONE KNOWS WHEN "Krishna" was "born".
NO ONE KNOWS WHEN Muhammad was born.
AND, FRANKLY, NO ONE CARES...
NO ONE EVEN KNOWS WHEN Moses was born...
NO ONE CELEBRATES THEIR birthdays.
But EVERYONE - Jew, gentile, atheist, agnostic, pagan, or somewhere in between - KNOWS December 25th is THE DAY on which we remember and celebrate Jesus' Birthday.
And if we look at Scripture closely we find that He was actually born on Tishri 15, during the Feast of Sukkot (John 1:14); circumcised 8 days later on Shemini Atzeret (Luke 2:21): And that GENTILES (the wise men from the East) found Him on Hanukkah, December 25 (Matthew 2:1-12).
Is there a more beautiful, heartwarming story than the birth of our Savior?
The Bible offers two different accounts, one from the Wise Men's perspective, found in the gospel of Matthew; another, from Mary's perspective found in the gospel of Luke.
Luke 2:13-14 tells of an angel appearing in the sky, surrounded by a multitude of the armies of heaven praising God and saying "GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH: Peace and good will toward men".
They were praising God for the fact He was no longer ONLY "up there" in the highest, alienated from His Creation, HE WAS NOW ALSO ON EARTH in tangible, VISIBLE, human form.
He had become Emmanuel: God WITH US (Matthew 1:23).
He would walk and live among us.
Imagine Almighty God MANIFESTING AS one of us!!!
That God Almighty would voluntarily PUT OFF His glory, and manifest in human form in this sinful, fallen, miserable, undeserving world, and identify with sinful mankind, is awesome enough.
But the most precious part of the story is that sin PREVENTED US from going up to Him, so HE CAME DOWN TO US.
Christmas is the expression of God's AWESOME, MAJESTIC, ETERNAL, NEVER-FAILING LOVE toward us.
It's a testament to His Goodness, Grace and Faithfulness.
He DIDN'T come for righteous people. There WERE NONE (Psalm 53:1).
He came TO and FOR sinners.
He came to "seek and TO SAVE" those who are lost (Luke 19:10).
Christmas is not just for "holy" people. It's not just for religious people. Christmas is FOR SINNERS!
If you're a sinner, CHRISTMAS IS FOR YOU.
The main reason Jesus came was to CLEANSE OUR SINS, and FOREVER REMOVE THEM from us (1 John 3:5).
He came to ERASE your sins (John 1:29; Hebrews 9:26).
Christmas is about God's UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and RESOLUTE WILLINGNESS TO SINK TO OUR LOW LEVEL - SUFFER IMMENSELY in prison, on the cross, and then IN HELL ITSELF - so He could restore us (YOU) to His Highest.
If you want ETERNAL Life, if you want to have ALL your sins ERASED FOREVER, click here.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2015
ONE SOLITARY LIFE
This poem was written by the late Dr. James Allan Francis (1864-1928). I love to read it, especially at Christmas. To this day, I can't do it without getting all "choked up". I've done some very minor editing, and would like to share "my version" with you.
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in still another village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty.
Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a house.
He didn't go to college.
He never visited a big city.
He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born.
He never had a TV show.
He never made any movies.
He didn't own great buildings.
He never had a private airplane.
He never amassed great wealth.
He NEVER asked for money.
He did NONE OF THE THINGS one usually associates with greatness.
He had NO CREDENTIALS BUT Himself.
He was ONLY THIRTY THREE when the tide of public opinion turned against Him.
His friends ran away.
He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was NAILED TO A CROSS between two thieves.
While He was dying, His executioners gambled for His clothing, the only property He had on earth.
When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed tomb.
TWENTY ONE CENTURIES HAVE COME AND GONE, and today He is THE CENTRAL FIGURE of the human race, and the Leader of mankind's progress.
All the armies that ever marched,
All the navies that ever sailed,
All the parliaments that ever sat,
All the kings that ever reigned put together...
...Have NOT AFFECTED THE LIFE OF MAN ON THIS EARTH -- let alone FOR ALL ETERNITY -- as much as THAT One Solitary Life.
Glory to the King of kings and Lord of lords! Hallelujah to the Eternal God!
Praise You, Lord Jesus! We adore you.
Thank You, and Happy Birthday!
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2015
CHRISTMAS IN THE MILLENNIUM
EVERYONE will celebrate Christmas in the Millennium.
We probably won't celebrate the Birth of our Savior on December 25. We might not even call it "Christmas".
But the ACTUAL BIRTH DATE of Jesus, which is the Feast of Sukkot, is the ONE Feast that ALL NATIONS will be required to celebrate during that Utopian Era.
I can now state UNEQUIVOCALLY that Sukkot is also the Feast during which Jesus' Second Coming will take place. (Deuteronomy 31:10; Daniel 9:24-27)
He came for the FIRST time on Sukkot (John 1:14), and He will RETURN on that same blessed Feast
Zechariah 14:16-19 says that all gentile tribulation survivors will be REQUIRED to come to Jerusalem year after year to celebrate Sukkot.
Matter of fact, we may celebrate Jesus' Birthday not once, but TWICE a year:
Once on the date He was actually born, Sukkot, and once on the day that GENTILES FOUND Him which was December 25th.
If I have anything to say about it, we'll celebrate BOTH.
But even if we don't have the ornaments, the Nativity scenes, or the Christmas trees, IT WILL STILL BE CHRISTMAS IN OUR HEARTS.
Because the Savior of the world LIVES THERE!
Because, GOD IS WITH US! (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)
EVERYONE reading this message needs to RECEIVE Christ Jesus into his/her heart as only God, Savior and Lord.
You can't fully experience the joy of CHRIST-mas WITHOUT the Christ (Messiah) in your heart.
It's great to celebrate Christmas ON THE OUTSIDE.
It's BEST to HAVE CHRIST-mas ON THE INSIDE.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2015
WHAT would Christmas be WITHOUT Christ?
These Holy Days are ALL about the Birth of the Savior and Messiah.
Yet the world thinks it can celebrate Christmas WITHOUT the VERY REASON for its celebration.
The HYPOCRITICAL world LOVES THE MONEY it makes from Christmas shoppers buying gifts that we exchange as reminders of THE PRICELESS GIFT that God gave us that first Christmas.
To that end, it has invented "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday", but it WANTS NOTHING to do with Jesus.
Then it turns right around and complains about Christmas becoming "too commercialized".
They have already managed to "X OUT" the name of Christ, by writing "Xmas".
Even then, God gets the last laugh, since the "X" is in the shape of A CROSS.
Political correctness has even substituted the traditional greeting "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays"... whatever THAT means.
The spineless twits WON'T even say "Christmas" FOR FEAR of "offending" NON-Christians, but has no problems whatsoever saying "Happy Hanukkah" or Ramadan.
I DON'T SHOP AT PLACES that find it "offensive" to say "Merry Christmas".
I'm offended WHEN THEY DON'T say it.
If the ACLU had its way there would be NO MENTION of Jesus' birth anywhere, and NO PUBLIC DISPLAYS of anything associated with Christmas or the birth of God Incarnate.
If Hollywood had its way Jesus would be replaced BY FICTIONAL CHARACTERS such as Santa Claus, Frosty, Rudolph, Scrooge and the Grinch.
...And if Washington had its way... (you're smart enough, fill in the blank).
I got news for those who find the mention of the Name "Jesus" or "Christ" offensive.
I got news for ALL those who HATE CHRIST and, consequently, HATE Christmas:
THEY'RE GOING TO GET THEIR WISH.
One of these days they're going to get their heart's desire: A Christmas WITHOUT Christ.
It will also be a CHILDLESS Christmas, since they rejected even the Christ Child.
Jesus will have raptured His children, young and old, leaving all Christ haters behind.
The day will come, sooner than they think, when they'll MISS the Christmas trees, the decorations, the gifts, the food, the carols, NOT TO MENTION THE JOY.
They'll WISH they COULD say "Merry Christmas", but WON'T BE ABLE TO say it.
It won't just be considered "politically INCORRECT", IT WILL BE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.
Who knows? It may even happen NEXT Christmas.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2015
THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Just like there are those who hate Christmas and would do away with anything associated with this holiday, including the worship of Jesus, there are those who hate the Christmas tree, Christmas ornaments and wreaths.
They CLAIM the origins of the tree and wreaths are pagan and attribute it to the Druids.
Druids were a priestly class that existed in Britain, Ireland, Gaul and other parts of Western Europe from around 500 to 200 B.C. and practiced human sacrifice.
We're living some 2,200 PLUS years AFTER they ceased to exist. If you, however, consider yourself Druid, and want to worship Saturn, and dedicate tree branches to him, that's your problem. You need to repent and give your heart to Jesus.
Sadly, there are Christians who have been influenced by ignorant naysayers, looking for some "biblical" excuse to shun the Christmas tree, and try their best to make the rest of us feel guilty for having one.
Some quote Jeremiah 10:2-6, TOTALLY OUT OF CONTEXT, as "justification" for not having a Christmas tree.
They never read Jeremiah. They HAVE NO CLUE what Jeremiah prophesied. However, they found a passage in his Book that SEEMS to support their aversion for Christmas trees. Hence they HYPOCRITICALLY quote Jeremiah.
Problem is, when Jeremiah wrote his Book there were no Christmas trees and NO CHRISTIANS, since Jesus had not even been born.
No one even KNEW what Christmas was, since Jesus was born some 600 years AFTER Jeremiah wrote his prophecy.
Jeremiah wasn't referring to Christmas trees, but to IDOLS MADE OF WOOD CUT FROM TREES.
In fact, Habakkuk 2:19 and Revelation 9:20 say THE VERY SAME THING -- in reference to IDOLS made of wood -- that Jeremiah said in that passage.
Jesus was JEWISH.
Christmas trees AREN'T pagan. They are JEWISH.
JESUS' REAL BIRTHDAY is Tishri 15, which is the Hebrew Feast of Sukkot, a/k/a Tabernacles (John 1:14).
God COMMANDED... repeat: GOD COMMANDED the children of Israel TO CUT TREE BRANCHES from palm, myrtle, willow or citron trees (commonly known in Israel as lulav & etrog) ON SUKKOT and dwell in temporary huts made out of those tree branches (Leviticus 23:40).
Jews have been doing it, IN OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S COMMANDMENT, since at least 1,200 B.C., LONG BEFORE Jesus was even born, and LONG BEFORE there were any Druids.
And, following God's EXPLICIT ORDERS, they continue doing it to this very day.
If you've ever seen a Sukka (hut) and Jewish decorations used during Sukkot, you will notice they are strikingly similar to what Christians call Nativity Scenes:
Tree branches are reminiscent of our Christmas trees. They are used for decorative purposes and often shaped into decorative wreaths.
Jews also use RED POMEGRANATES as decorations of which our tree ornaments -- originally red and round in the shape and color of pomegranates-- are mere copies. (1 Kings 7:18-20, 42; Song of Solomon 4:13; 6:11;7:12).
(See Sukkot symbols below).
The idea that the Christmas tree's origins are pagan is BOGUS. It's a bunch of malarkey invented by religionists, intent on making everyone miserable, including themselves.
Unlike ignorant Christians, Jews know their Torah. Try going to Jerusalem and telling Jews that decorating huts with tree branches during Sukkot is "a pagan custom".
After they're through laughing at your ignorance, chances are they'll run you out of town, claiming YOU'RE THE ONE WHO'S PAGAN.
As the Christian faith grew and spread AMONG GENTILES, the Jewish symbols of Sukkot were gradually ADAPTED by gentile communities to the celebration of our Lord's Nativity: the sukka became the "stable" or Nativity Scene, the Sukkot tree branches became the Christmas tree, and Christmas wreaths.
Christians have used these JEWISH symbols, COMMANDED BY GOD, since at least the 6th century A.D. to celebrate the Birth of the Savior.
The Christmas tree also REMINDS US of the tree on which Jesus, as a grown man, would be crucified (hung), to atone for our sins (Galatians 3:13).
Last but not least, it also signifies that by dying on that tree and rising from the dead, Jesus became the Tree of Life to all who receive Him (Genesis 3:22; Revelation 2:7; 22:2).
This business about the Christmas tree being "pagan" is a baseless bunch of baloney!
Like everything else that religion and religionists INVENT, it's FEAR-BASED.
Fear DOESN'T come from God (1 John 4:18).
Fear COMES FROM Satan (2 Timothy 1:7).
Celebrate the Savior's Birth and DON'T ALLOW ANYONE to heap unbelief, fear and condemnation on your celebration.
Jesus didn't come to condemn, but TO SAVE (John 3:17).
And THAT is worth CELEBRATING.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2015
THE PERFECT GIFT
Having trouble finding the right gift for that special someone?
Tired of all the hustle and bustle, jammed parking lots, standing in line, being elbowed by other shoppers, and charging your credit cards to the max?
I know a gift you can give EVERYONE on your list.
This gift fits all shapes and sizes.
It's useful to thin people, fat people, and those somewhere in between.
It's appropriate for ALL ages, and will be appreciated by ALL ethnicities.
Unlike other gifts that break, get lost or simply wear out, this gift LASTS FOREVER.
It doesn't break, doesn't fade, doesn't stop working, and CAN NEVER BE LOST.
Best of all, this gift COSTS NO MONEY.
The ONLY "PRICE" ONE CAN "PAY" for this Gift is ONE'S OWN HEART.
I'm talking about THE PERFECT GIFT:
The Gift of Love.
The Gift of Peace on earth.
The Gift God gave each of us on that first Christmas:
I'm talking about Jesus, the one and only Savior of the world.
Jesus, THE ONLY ONE who can -- AND WILL -- bring lasting peace to this war-torn, terrorist infested planet.
God gave us THE PERFECT GIFT in that Baby born in Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago.
When you give THE GIFT OF JESUS, YOU ARE ACTING JUST LIKE GOD.
I know you're busy with all the gifts, preparations and decorations, but THAT IS WORTH PAUSING and MEDITATING.
Jesus is the PERFECT gift for EVERYONE, and the gift WE SHOULD BE GIVING everyone this Christmas.
Don't disappoint or cheat those who are expecting material gifts from you of their presents.
But Christmas is the ideal time to share this Perfect Gift with family, friends, neighbors, and the whole world.
Warning: the Gift of Jesus MAY be REJECTED. But once received, He CANNOT be returned.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2015
THE VIRGIN BIRTH: DOES IT MATTER ?
"Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, THE VIRGIN SHALL CONCEIVE, and bear A SON, and shall call His Name Immanuel" (meaning "GOD WITH US" (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).
"And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary: for YOU HAVE FOUND FAVOR with God. And, behold, YOU SHALL CONCEIVE IN YOUR WOMB, and bring forth A SON, and shall call His Name JESUS.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David:
And He shall reign over the house of Jacob (Israel) FOREVER; AND OF HIS KINGDOM THERE SHALL BE NO END.
Then Mary said to the angel, HOW SHALL THIS BE, SEEING I KNOW NOT A MAN?
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also THAT HOLY THING WHICH SHALL BE BORN OF YOU shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:30-35).
Without a doubt, the most controversial aspect of the Nativity is the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ.
This doctrine is ESSENTIAL TO the Christian faith.
Does it really matter that Jesus was born of a virgin?
Yes, it matters IMMENSELY.
Must I REALLY believe He was virgin born?
YES, YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST.
WHY is the Virgin Birth of Christ SO IMPORTANT?
The reason it's SUPREMELY IMPORTANT is this:
The sin nature was transmitted by Adam to EVERY HUMAN WHO'S EVER BEEN NATURALLY BORN, through the blood (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22).
The LIFE OF the flesh IS IN THE BLOOD (Leviticus 17:11).
Babies get their blood from their fathers. That's why, until DNA came along, blood tests were used to determine the paternity of a baby.
Had Jesus been born OF A HUMAN FATHER, had He been CONCEIVED though NATURAL means, He (perish the thought) would have INHERITED THE SIN NATURE, through the human father's blood, just like the rest of us.
His blood would have been TAINTED with sin, and He would have been AUTOMATICALLY DISQUALIFIED from being THE SIN OFFERING that would REMOVE MAN'S SIN ONCE AND FOR ALL (Hebrews 7:26; 1 John 3:5).
Thus, He COULDN'T HAVE redeemed us.
That's WHY He HAD TO BE virgin born.
It is THE BLOOD that MAKES ATONEMENT FOR the soul (Leviticus 17:11).
According to God's law: "WITHOUT the shedding of blood, THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS for sins" (Hebrews 9:22).
It took the PURE, SINLESS, MOST PRECIOUS, DIVINE Blood of God Himself to MAKE ATONEMENT FOR man's sin, and redeem mankind and the rest of fallen Creation.
It took that HOLY, PERFECT, UNTAINTED Blood to WASH AWAY OUR SIN and remove it from us FOREVER (Hebrews 9:12, 26). Glory to Him forevermore!
THAT is WHY the Virgin Birth of Christ was, and IS, ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
There would be NO REDEMPTION without it.
That's WHY the Virgin Birth was prophesied FROM THE MOMENT mankind (Eve and Adam) fell into sin (Genesis 3:15).
Jesus, therefore, got His PHYSICAL body from Mary (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14-17), but His Blood came directly from, and was the Blood of, God the Father (John 1:13).
He was and IS, therefore, as human as any of us, yet WITHOUT SIN (2 Corinthians 5:21).
He was and IS, therefore, 100% human and 100% God.
ONLY the Blood of God could ATONE AND CLEANSE your sins and mine.
ONLY the Blood of God Himself could REMOVE ALL SIN - FOR ALL TIME - Praise His Name forever!
For those who argue that the Hebrew word in Isaiah 7:14 is ha alma, which can mean "the virgin" or simply "the young woman", 70 Hebrew scholars translated it into the Greek Septuagint as "ho parthenos" which ONLY MEANS "THE VIRGIN". If you want to argue with God and 70 Hebrew scholars, be my guest.
And since this was "A SIGN" given by God (as we read above), it would have to be something QUITE UNUSUAL LIKE the virgin birth.
Thousands of "young women" gave birth to babies then and now. Where would be "the sign" if a "young woman" gave birth to a baby by natural means?
As for critics who classify the Virgin Birth as "impossibility", I have a question:
Even THE SMARTEST "man of science" on this earth possesses ONLY AN INFINITESIMAL FRACTION OF 1% of TOTAL knowledge.
Yet with their SEVERELY LIMITED knowledge, they have been able to come up with VARIOUS methods of artificial insemination.
These various methods make it possible for women to conceive and give birth WITHOUT HAVING ANY sexual relations with a man.
They, thus, make it possible for babies to be VIRGIN-BORN.
So, let me get this straight:
Are you saying that SINFUL, FALLEN MORTALS, with VERY limited knowledge, can fertilize the female egg WITHOUT the woman engaging in sexual intercourse, BUT THAT ALMIGHTY GOD who possesses TOTAL KNOWLEDGE, who fashioned the entire human anatomy, INCLUDING DNA and THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM, CAN'T DO IT?
I rest my case.
As Gabriel put it: "With God, NOTHING is impossible" (Luke 1:37).
Jesus WAS virgin born.
If He WASN'T, EVERYONE is doomed.
If He WASN'T, YOU'RE NOT SAVED.
He became THE OFFERING for sin - removing sin once and for all - because He was virgin born, and BEGOTTEN BY the Father through His Most Holy Spirit.
It's as simple - and DIVINE - AS THAT.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2015
Scripture requires that Messiah MUST be from the tribe of Judah, and be a descendant of King David (2 Samuel 7:16; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5). It also requires that he be descended from King Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:9-10; 28:5)
Despite Daniel 9:24-27, which explicitly states that Messiah would APPEAR AND DIE PRIOR TO the second temple's destruction, traditional Judaism believes that Messiah IS YET TO APPEAR FOR THE FIRST TIME.
Hypothetically speaking, if Messiah's appearance is STRICTLY A FUTURE EVENT, that never before happened, it presents TWO HUGE PROBLEMS for traditional Judaism:
1. Birth records proving one's ancestry were kept for centuries in the second temple.
That is, until wicked Herod came along, destroyed those records, and then forged his own family tree in order to establish his alleged "descent" from King David.
Whatever survived Herod's Machiavellian scheme was destroyed in 70 A.D. when the Romans decimated and burned the Second Temple, razing Jerusalem to the ground.
Therefore, WHOEVER the purported "future" Messiah may be, he's gonna have one hell of a time proving his ancestry.
2. But EVEN IF he could prove descent from David's lineage -- which in itself is a HUGE "if" -- THERE'S AN EVEN BIGGER PROBLEM:
The problem is that God PUT A CURSE ON PART OF David's lineage and promised that NO ONE from THAT PART of David's family would EVER AGAIN sit on his throne, thus making it NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO QUALIFY as "potential Messiah":
"Thus says the LORD, Write (record) this man down as childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: FOR NO MAN OF HIS DESCENDANTS SHALL PROSPER, OR SIT UPON THE THRONE OF David, or RULE ANY MORE in Judah" (Jeremiah 22:30).
God uttered those words against Jehoiakim, king of Judah and his son, with almost an identical name, Jehoiachin, --also called Coniah (elsewhere in Jeremiah), and Jeconiah in the New Testament (Matthew 1:11-12).
Therefore, that particular part of David's and Solomon's lineage CANNOT produce the Messiah.
Indeed,the LAST King of Judah was Zedekiah, who was Jeconiah's uncle (2 Kings 24:17-25:7).
This brought David's royal line - from which Messiah MUST come - TO AN ABRUPT END in the 6th century B.C.
Judah's ROYAL LINEAGE from David and Solomon, is therefore CURSED, came to a COMPLETE halt, and NO FUTURE KING or Messiah can come from it EVER AGAIN.
Scripture tell us, on the one hand, that Messiah MUST descend from both David and Solomon, and yet Scripture (in APPARENT contradiction) also tells us that Messiah CANNOT descend from David through Solomon because that part of the royal lineage goes through Jeconiah and the aforementioned curse.
Well, WHO then CAN BE the Messiah?
Answer: JESUS of Nazareth, and NO ONE else.
That's why the Brit Hadasha (New Testament) gives TWO different genealogies for the TRUE Messiah.
The first genealogy is found in the first chapter of Matthew's Gospel. It shows Jesus' ancestry from Abraham to King David and King Solomon, through Jeconiah (the cursed guy) and through Jesus' STEPFATHER Joseph.
Thus, Jesus would be LEGALLY descended from David's royal dynasty, but "the curse" would not apply to Him, since Joseph ISN'T his natural father.
That is also PART OF THE REASON why Jesus' Virgin Birth is SUPREMELY important and ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. We'll give the other reasons in another message.
The second genealogy is given in the Gospel of Luke 3:23-38:
Luke's genealogy shows Jesus' lineage all the way back to Adam, son of God, and to God the Father Himself.
The genealogy in Luke is through Jesus' natural mother, Mary:
Romans 1:3 plainly states that Jesus was a descendant of David "according TO THE FLESH" (see also Psalm 132:11). Jesus got his "flesh" (physical body) from Mary.
Hence Scripture gives us Jesus' LEGAL genealogy through Joseph, and His PHYSICAL genealogy through Mary.
From Abraham to David, Luke's genealogy is essentially the same as Matthew's.
However,from David to the first century A.D. it's RADICALLY different.
Jesus' Davidic lineage through Mary does not come through King Solomon (Jeconiah's ancestor), but from David's son Nathan (1 Chronicles 3:5; Luke 3:31-32), thus TOTALLY CIRCUMVENTING the curse placed on Jeconiah and his descendants, while STILL tracing his lineage back to King David.
Thus, God could keep His promise that NO PHYSICAL DESCENDANT of Jeconiah would ever sit on David's Throne, and yet He could also RESTORE David's royal line, from which the Messiah HAD TO come.
Talk about SHEER GENIUS!
Jesus, therefore, is David's LEGAL descendant from BOTH his stepfather (giving Him LEGAL right to David's Throne) and through His mother, making Him a DIRECT PHYSICAL descendant of David.
Jesus' miraculous virgin birth was PRECISELY what was needed to reestablish the royal line of David, which had suddenly ended on Jeconiah's curse.
Is God amazing, or what?
Didn't God call His Son "the seed OF THE WOMAN" in Genesis 3:15?
Since women have no "seed" (semen to impregnate) THAT clearly POINTS TO His VIRGIN birth, also prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14).
Moreover, Zechariah 12:10-14, written 400 plus years BEFORE Jesus was born, and before the Gospels were written, specifically mentions the families of Nathan (the son of David), and Shimei (a Levite priest), BOTH OF WHOM are ancestors of Jesus through Mary (Luke 1:5-7, 36-40, 3:26, 31), WEEPING in Jerusalem for the Messiah, the One whom they "pierced".
They will weep and lament for Messiah Jesus as they did for King Josiah (Lamentations chapter 5) when he was wounded in battle against Pharaoh Necho and died at Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chronicles 35:20-25).
Traditional Jews, therefore, have AT LEAST FOUR INSURMOUNTABLE PROBLEMS when it comes to their "future" Messiah:
1. They CANNOT prove he's descendant of David, since birth and ancestral records, kept in the second temple, were destroyed. They had no photocopiers or Cloud storage in those days.
2. Daniel 9:25-27 SPECIFICALLY STATES that Messiah MUST APPEAR BEFORE the second temple's destruction.
3. Messiah must be descendant of David and Solomon, BUT He CANNOT, according to the Tanach, descend from their descendant Jeconiah.
4. David's royal line is NON-EXISTENT today, and Messiah must RESTORE IT - AND YET COMPLY WITH ALL THE BIBLICAL PRONOUNCEMENTS STATED ABOVE.
Jewish friends, in light of these BIBLICAL REQUIREMENTS, RECORDED IN YOUR Tanach: WHOEVER your "future" candidate for Messiah may be...
If he can PROVE he's 100% BIBLICALLY qualified, YOU CAN HAVE HIM.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2015
WHAT ABOUT MARY ?
Charismatic Catholics love Mary, honor Mary, regard her as a capable and influential intercessor, but DO NOT WORSHIP HER.
Traditional Catholics do indeed pray to Mary and worship Mary.
I was raised Roman Catholic. I know whereof I speak.
We often talked more about Mary, and prayed more to Mary, THAN TO GOD HIMSELF.
We used to pray the Rosary at our home EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. How many "Hail Marys" are there? And how many "Our Fathers"? I rest my case.
The Bible is clear that ONLY GOD merits our worship (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; 1 Samuel 7:3; Daniel 3:28; Luke 4:8; 1 Corinthians 10:14; Galatians 5:20; Revelation 19:10).
Every Christian, Catholic or non-Catholic, owes Mary an ETERNAL debt of gratitude. She was the human vessel God used to bring His Son into the world.
She deserves our love, respect, honor and gratitude, BUT NOT OUR WORSHIP.
We love Mary. We don't ADORE Mary.
Mary's NOT the center of our lives, or focus of our devotion, JESUS IS.
Mary didn't die on the cross for you.
Mary didn't shed her blood for you, and even it she had, it was SINFUL blood. It would have NEVER ATONED for your sins.
Mary didn't go to hell in your stead.
Mary didn't rise from the dead.
Mary CAN'T SAVE ANYONE, INCLUDING HERSELF.
Mary herself needed Jesus in order to be saved (Luke 1:47; Acts 1:14; 2:1-5).
There's ONLY ONE Redeemer and ONE Mediator between God and man: His Name is Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5).
Jesus is THE ONLY SAVIOR (Titus 1:4).
Even Peter himself, who is regarded by Catholics as the "first Pope", and thus INFALLIBLE in matters of the faith, said that there is NO OTHER NAME, besides Jesus, whereby we can be saved (Acts 4:12).
The apostles and early Church NEVER prayed to Mary, never worshiped Mary, never asked Mary to intercede, and NEVER taught others to do so.
There ISN'T A SINGLE verse in the entire Bible that says we should.
There are, on the other hand, NUMEROUS PLACES IN THE BIBLE, as I've just demonstrated, where it says that ONLY JESUS is to be worshiped.
Having said all that, does praying to Mary, lighting her a candle, praying the Rosary, asking her to intercede, having paintings, medals or statues of her, believing in her Immaculate Conception, or "perpetual virginity" send anyone to hell?
The answer is NO.
As FUTILE AND MISGUIDED as all these rituals are,there's ONLY ONE SIN that SENDS ANYONE TO HELL:
That sin is rejection of Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:32).
If Jesus LIVES in your heart by His Spirit, you're saved, NO MATTER HOW ERRONEOUS YOUR THEOLOGY MAY BE.
If, on the other hand, THE HOLY SPIRIT ISN'T LIVING IN YOUR HEART, you can have perfect theology, and be lost.
That's why, Jesus, NOT MARY, NOT ANYONE ELSE, MUST BE NUMBER ONE IN OUR HEARTS, and THE CENTER of our lives.
As we remember the people and events connected to the Birth of our Savior, let's love Mary and Joseph. Let's appreciate their invaluable contributions and unique roles in God's plan of Redemption - but WORSHIP belongs TO JESUS ALONE.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2015
There's much talk and debate about Mary and her role in Jesus' life and ministry, but we hear SO LITTLE ABOUT Joseph.
Joseph's contribution to the birth, well being, and upbringing of the Savior goes mostly unnoticed and unappreciated.
We associate him mostly with Nativity scenes where he is usually portrayed gazing at the Christ child in the manger, and holding a lantern.
Matter of fact, I got a nice figure of him standing in my living room's Nativity hut right now.
There are certain "details" given about Joseph in extra-biblical literature, NONE OF THEM REMOTELY believable.
The only place IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE where you'll find INFALLIBILITY is in the LIVING Word of God.
The Incarnate Word (Jesus) is ALIVE and INFALLIBLE and so is the written Word.
Here's what we know about Joseph from the INFALLIBLE, written Word of God:
He was from the lineage of King David (Matthew 1:6-16, 20; Luke 2:4).
He had initial misgivings about Mary's pregnancy, and had determined to divorce her in secret (Matthew 1:19).
It took God's intervention in a dream to persuade him that Jesus had been conceived of the Holy Spirit, and to "take Mary into his house" as wife (Matthew 1:20).
He lived in Nazareth. Because of a census,he took the pregnant Mary to Bethlehem, his ancestors' hometown, where Jesus was born (Luke 2:1-7).
At God's prompting, he fled with Mary and Jesus into Egypt until the death of Herod (Matthew 2:13-15).
After Herod's death he took Mary and Jesus back to Nazareth where they settled down (Matthew 2:19-23).
He was clearly a godly, righteous man (Matthew 1:19).
He was spiritual enough that God could communicate with him in dreams, whenever necessary (Matthew 1:20; 2:13; 2:19-20, 22).
He was VERY OBEDIENT and, thankfully, followed God's instructions immediately and without question (Matthew 1:24; 2:14; 2:21).
He was a carpenter (Matthew 13:55).
He raised Jesus as his own son (Luke 2:33, 48; 4:22).
We know that, as Jesus "grew in wisdom and stature" and "in favor with God and men", He WAS OBEDIENT TO both Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:51).
Joseph didn't have sex with Mary UNTIL AFTER Jesus was born (Matthew 1:25).
God's Word is clear that, AFTER the birth of Jesus he and Mary DID HAVE sexual relations.
While I don't part fellowship with anyone over THIS SILLY ISSUE, to say or teach otherwise is disingenuous at best, and CONTRADICTING GOD (and thus, LYING) at worst.
After Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary had four sons and at least two daughters.
Their sons' names, given in the Gospels, were James, Joseph, Simon and Judas (Matthew 13:55-56; Mark 6:3; Galatians 1:19).
In Acts 1:14 we find those brothers with Mary and other disciples in the Upper Room in communion with each other and in prayer.
That means that they were ALL saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, and that they believed in Jesus as Messiah ONLY AFTER His Resurrection (John 7:5).
We don't know what happened to those sons or daughters afterwards, except for James who eventually became Bishop of Jerusalem, and wrote the New Testament's Epistle of James, and for Judas who wrote the very brief New Testament's Book of Jude (Jude 1:1).
We know that at least two of them, James and Jude, were preachers of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 9:5).
As for the theory that Joseph's "other children" were from a previous marriage, I DON'T BUY IT FOR ONE MILLISECOND.
If they were, they would have been OLDER THAN Mary or, at the VERY least, her own age.
Had they been the same age as Mary or older, THEY WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN hanging around with her all the time, or looking for Jesus, as we see them repeatedly in the Gospels and Book of Acts (Matthew 12:46; Mark 3:31; John 2:12; 7:3-5; Acts 1:14).
They would have been MUCH OLDER than Jesus and TOTALLY INDEPENDENT.
Why on earth would they ALWAYS hang out with a woman who, purportedly, WASN'T EVEN THEIR OWN MOTHER?
There MAY BE is some truth to the traditional view that he was much older than Mary. Perhaps 15, 20 or even 30 years older.
However, I don't believe for a moment the ABSURD and FALSE theory that when they married Joseph was 90 years of age.
No way, José!
(For the linguistically challenged, José in Spanish means "Joseph").
We know Joseph was still alive when Jesus was twelve years old and they made pilgrimage to Jerusalem on Passover, as required in the Torah (Luke 2:41-49).
We know that, by the time Jesus began His public ministry at 30 years of age, Joseph was no longer alive.
How do we know?
Not only because he is no longer mentioned in the Gospels.
Not only because the other children, even the males, are going around with, and DEPENDENT ON, Mary.
...But also because, as Jesus died on the cross, He ENTRUSTED THE CARE OF Mary to the apostle John (John 19:26-27).
Had Joseph been alive, there would have been NO NEED WHATSOEVER to do so.
In the Book of Acts, after Jesus' Resurrection and Ascension, we find Mary and Jesus' brothers among the 120 who were filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost but, again, ZERO MENTION of Joseph.
So, clearly, he died somewhere between Jesus' 13th and 29th birthday.
Exactly when he died, where or how, we are not told.
EVERY BELIEVER in Jesus Christ owes Joseph a BIG debt of gratitude for his godliness, his humble and unquestioning obedience to God, his restraint in not copulating with Mary until AFTER Jesus was born (Matthew 1:24-25), and his loving protection of Jesus as a baby and as a young boy.
I don't know too many men who either today - or 2,000 years ago - would have taken Jesus under their wing, loved Him, nurtured Him, trained Him, protected Him, given Him their name, or raised Him as their own son, KNOWING FULL WELL that He WASN'T their natural child.
Joseph did ALL OF THE ABOVE.
For all those reasons, Jesus' loyal and devoted stepfather deserves great respect, love AND APPRECIATION.
In choosing Joseph as Jesus' earthly father, God (His REAL Father) EVIDENTLY MADE THE PERFECT choice.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2015
MARY & JOSEPH
I have SOME tolerance for well intentioned so-called "white lies".
I have ZERO tolerance for RELIGIOUS lies.
I can understand someone telling a "white lie" in order NOT to hurt someone else's feelings.
But religious lies are TOLD, SUPPOSEDLY, "IN THE NAME OF GOD" and have serious, often ETERNAL consequences.
This takes us TO THE TIRED, OLD ARGUMENT that Jesus entrusting His mother Mary to John, as He hung from the cross, "proves" that He had NO NATURAL brothers who could care for Mary.
When Jesus went TO THE CROSS, ALL his brothers and sisters, who ALWAYS accompanied Mary, ABANDONED Him (Mathew 12:46; 13:55-56; Mark 13:55; John 2:12; Acts 1:14).
The ONLY ONES who DIDN'T abandon Him were His mother, his beloved disciple, and A FEW OTHER WOMEN, as the Gospels plainly state.
Jesus' siblings were doubtlessly well acquainted with Roman ruthlessness and were obviously SCARED of being IN ANY WAY associated with Jesus.
His brothers DID NOT believe that He was the Messiah (John 7:5).
Therefore, they feared that their own fate would be WHAT THEY EXPECTED HIS FATE TO BE: DEATH and DEFEAT at the hands of the Roman authorities.
In order to put forth THE ABSURD CLAIM that Joseph and Mary HAD NO CHILDREN and never even had sexual intercourse, one would have to take them TOTALLY OUT OF their Jewish culture:
TAKING A STORY COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTEXT -- in order to make a case - PROVES the individuals and/or institution in question ARE LYING.
We know that Joseph died shortly after Jesus' 13th birthday, since he completely disappears from the Gospel narratives.
Had Joseph died childless, according to Jewish Law (Torah) his widow Mary would have had to marry one of Joseph's brothers OR CLOSE RELATIVES -- and BEAR CHILDREN BY HIM -- who'd carry the name of Joseph and pass it down to posterity, in order to "keep his name alive" in Israel.
This is called the "Levirate marriage" (Genesis 38:8; Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Matthew 22:23-28).
We find it in Deuteronomy chapter 25, again in Ruth 4:5, and the Sadducees HIT JESUS with this portion of the Torah in Matthew 22:23-28, Mark 12:19 and Luke 20:28-33.
"But this doesn't apply to Mary, since Jesus was adopted by Joseph"...
Jesus has NO PHYSICAL descendants (Isaiah 53:8).
Therefore He would not, and DID NOT, pass Joseph's name down to any descendants.
God KNEW THIS. Mary knew it, and so did Joseph.
Consequently, we have THREE possible outcomes:
1.Mary BROKE GOD'S LAW by NOT bearing Joseph any children that could pass his name down to posterity.
This would make Mary A SINNER, and OBLITERATES the MYTH of her own "Immaculate Conception".
(The Immaculate Conception is the FALSE doctrine THAT MARY HERSELF was conceived WITHOUT ORIGINAL SIN. It is NOT to be confused with the Virgin Birth of the Savior, which is TRUE and BIBLICAL).
2. Mary bore children to Joseph AFTER she gave birth to Jesus as 12 different Scriptures, and TWO REPUTABLE HISTORIANS (Josephus and Eusebius) confirm (Matthew 1:18, 24-25; 2:46; 13:55-56; Marks 6:3, 13:55; Luke 2:6; John 2:12; 7:2-10; Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5; Galatians 1:19).
This outcome DESTROYS the myth of her "perpetual virginity".
3. God BROKE HIS OWN LAW by exempting Mary from observing His Law. This makes God A LIAR.
If some who practice Christianism WANT TO WORSHIP MARY -- that is their God-given right.
They SHOULD AT LEAST HAVE the moral integrity TO SAY SO:
"We WANT TO WORSHIP MARY as A GODDESS, DESPITE the biblical evidence that proves she was a mortal sinner"
...And STOP INVENTING LIES to "justify" THEIR IDOLATRY.
Scripture and secular history are BOTH CRYSTAL CLEAR that Jesus HAD NATURAL brothers and sisters.
And NO AMOUNT OF RELIGIOUS REVISIONISM -- and NO TV anchor trying to rewrite history, when he should be reporting the news -- CAN CHANGE THAT.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2015
MIGHTY GOD, PRINCE OF PEACE
"For UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN, UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN: AND THE GOVERNMENT SHALL BE UPON HIS SHOULDER: AND HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. OF THE INCREASE OF HIS GOVERNMENT AND PEACE THERE SHALL BE NO END, Upon the throne of David, and upon HIS KINGDOM, to order it, and to establish it WITH JUSTICE AND WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM THIS TIME FORTH EVEN FOREVER..." (Isaiah 9:6-7)
For two millennia, Christians have seen A CLEAR depiction of Jesus the Messiah in this passage.
However, traditional Judaism - which rejects Jesus -- DOES NOT.
They claim that we have "misunderstood" this passage, and that it refers to Hezekiah, former king of the Kingdom of Judah.
They base THEIR DISHONEST CLAIMS on three lame arguments:
1. The name Hezekiah which means "strength of Yahweh"
2. That there's no record (or so they say) in the New Testament that Jesus was called "wonderful", "counselor", "everlasting Father" or "prince of peace".
3. That Jesus (they say) has no kingdom on earth.
While it is true that the name Hezekiah means "strength of Yahweh" -- and while Hezekiah was a godly and benevolent king who tried his best to eradicate idolatry -- Hezekiah does not REMOTELY fit the description given in Isaiah.
Hezekiah comes from two Hebrew words: chazak meaning "strong" and Yah which stands for Yahweh.
However, the words used in Isaiah 9:6 are the ENTIRELY DIFFERENT words el gibbor meaning, "MIGHTY God".
Had the Holy Spirit intended this for Hezekiah, He is perfectly capable of inspiring the words chazak Yahor Ḥizkiyya,instead of el gibbor.
NO ONE has EVER called Hezekiah "el gibbor" or "Mighty God". BILLIONS have called Jesus by that title, and are still doing it today.
So much for that chunk of religious hypocrisy...
Our Jewish friends are also guilty of applying a DECEITFUL, SELF-SERVING double-standard:
If they posit that Jesus was never called "Wonderful", "Counselor", "everlasting Father" or "Prince of Peace", then THE SAME criterion SHOULD BE APPLIED TO HEZEKIAH: WHEN was Hezekiah EVER called by those titles in the Old Testament, or ANYWHERE ELSE?
Jesus, on the other hand,IS CALLED "Wonderful":
"But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the WONDERFUL things He did and the children shouting in the temple courts, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they were very displeased".
"The man answered and said unto them: Why, THIS IS A WONDERFUL THING, that YOU DON'T KNOW FROM WHERE HE IS, AND YET HE HAS OPENED MY EYES."
"But The Counselor, The Holy Spirit-Whom the Father Will Send Him IN MY NAME--WILL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS and remind you OF EVERYTHING I HAVE TOLD YOU."
1 John 2:1:
"My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, WE HAVE A COUNSELOR ADVOCATE with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous".
Jesus is called by this title TOO MANY TIMES to include in this message, for A FULL LIST go here:
"Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also THAT GOD WAS HIS FATHER, MAKING HIMSELF EQUAL WITH God."
"Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long a time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? HE THAT HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER; and how say you then, Show us the Father?"
John 10:30: "I and the Father ARE ONE"
1 John 5:7
For there are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and THESE THREE ARE ONE.
PRINCE OF PEACE:
(Jesus speaking) "BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS: for they shall be called the children of God".
(Jesus speaking) "PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU; MY PEACE I GIVE YOU. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid".
"For HE IS OUR PEACE, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us...
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; to make in himself of two one new man, SO MAKING PEACE...
And came and PREACHED PEACE to you who were afar off, and to them that were near."
As we just demonstrated, traditional Jews are DEAD WRONG: Jesus IS, IN FACT CALLED BY every one of the titles prophesied by Isaiah.
THERE CAN BE NO PRINCE OF PEACE BESIDE JESUS because, unlike conventional earthly kingdoms, which come into being through military conquest, His Kingdom has been expanding and growing, FOR 2,000 YEARS - PEACEFULLY -- WITHOUT spears, swords, armies or violence - and IS STILL GROWING!
Glory to JESUS forever!
Since the first century Jesus HAS BEEN CALLED BY EVERY ONE OF THOSE TITLES, NOT THOUSANDS BUT MILLIONS -- perhaps even BILLIONS -- OF TIMES.
Note: DO NOT confuse His Kingdom with MAN-INVENTED, "Christian" RELIGION.
His Kingdom is SPIRITUAL and, therefore, TRANSCENDS all things spawned by mortals, including RELIGION.
EVERYONE, except for a few Jewish religionists, has forgotten Hezekiah and don't even know who he was OR THAT HE EVEN EXISTED.
On the other hand, THE ENTIRE WORLD KNOWS about JESUS, and uses a calendar based on HIS BIRTH.
Furthermore, Jewish hypocrites conveniently fail to note that Matthew 4:16, IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, EXPRESSLY QUOTES ISAIAH CHAPTER 9 in reference to Jesus:
"And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the seacoast, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali:
THAT IT MIGHT BE FULFILLED WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY Isaiah the prophet, saying,
‘The land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people who sat in darkness saw great light..
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:13-17; Isaiah 9:1-2)).
Therefore, the Jewish premise that this passage has never been applied to Jesus is wrong -- as we've just proven beyond question -- and the assumptions on which their objections are based are BLATANTLY FALSE.
As for Jesus NOT having a kingdom, I would argue that anytime someone has over TWO BILLION ADORING subjects, encompassing EVERY NATION ON EARTH, and willing to serve and obey Him, often at the cost of THEIR OWN LIVES, He has a Kingdom.
However, there's more:
IN CONTEXT, Isaiah 9:2 says that THE GREAT LIGHT OF this "child born", of this "Son given", called "Mighty God" would "shine in Galilee".
WHEN did Hezekiah's light shine in Galilee?
In fact, it was DURING Hezekiah's reign over Judah that THE 10 NORTHERN TRIBES, including the territory of Galilee, WERE TAKEN CAPTIVE by the Assyrians.
They remain "lost" to this very day.
There's NO WAY in heaven, hell or earth, that this could be Hezekiah.
WHEN did Hezekiah's kingdom, meet the requirement of Isaiah 9, verse 7:
"OF THE INCREASE OF HIS GOVERNMENT AND PEACE THERE SHALL BE NO END?"
WHEN was Hezekiah's kingdom established "FROM THIS TIME FORTH EVEN FOREVER" (Isaiah 9:7)?
Hezekiah's kingdom, IN FACT, ENDED in the 7th century B.C.
He has ZERO kingdom and ZERO subjects today.
HOW can his kingdom be "forever", when it ENDED in 687 B.C.?
Jesus' Kingdom, on the other hand, has lasted for 2,000 years and IS STILL GOING STRONG, ONLY TO GET STRONGER, UNTIL IT COVERS THE WHOLE EARTH, THE UNIVERSE, AND BEYOND.
JESUS - AND ONLY JESUS - meets EVERY requirement in Isaiah 9 and PERFECTLY fits its description.
Hezekiah DOES NOT.
Jesus preached the Kingdom of God. That Kingdom has been growing ever since in the hearts and minds of believers, and is about to overtake this earth.
His Kingdom HAS NO END (Luke 1:33).
The baby born in Bethlehem IS THE ONE AND ONLY Mighty God and Prince of Peace.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2015
I've never been a fan of Donald Trump.
I could never stand to watch Celebrity Apprentice where all these quasi-celebrities had to basically fawn, genuflect, and kiss his and his daughter's behind in order to ingratiate themselves and NOT be "fired".
We even made a YouTube video, a few years ago, where I made fun of his hair.
I don't appreciate that his oldest daughter "converted" to Judaism.
I say "converted" in quotation marks because those who "convert" WERE NEVER real Christians to begin with.
They may have had RELIGION, but THEY NEVER KNEW Jesus.
ANYONE who FORSAKES JESUS for a mortal man or woman is THE BIGGEST FOOL on the face of the earth.
However, should Jesus tarry, I do like Donald as a presidential candidate.
Say what you will about the man, but AT LEAST he is an EXPERT AND ASTUTE NEGOTIATOR and PROVEN LEADER, with a track record of SUCCESSFULLY GETTING THINGS DONE.
And he HAS THE NAME, THE WEALTH - AND THE GUTS - to shun the Washington establishment's and media's political correctness, and TELL IT LIKE IT IS.
That is PRECISELY what's driving the two aforementioned groups - and some "movie stars" whose fleeting fame has gone to their heads - UP THE WALL:
Here's a guy they CAN'T INTIMIDATE or CONTROL.
And he is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT about closing the border, and about BANNING Muslims (at least temporarily) from entering the United States.
The media has pummeled him all week and labeled him racist.
He is NOT a racist. He is a REALIST.
Let's face it: it's NOT Buddhists, or Hindus, or Jews, or atheists or agnostics, or New Agers or Scientologists that threaten our security:
That's right... M-U-S-L-I-M-S!!!
For all these reasons, I like Trump BETTER than all the feckless establishment candidates, who ANNOUNCE they are running, but DO NOT OFFER ANY concrete ideas or clear vision on solving the MYRIAD threats and obstacles facing this nation.
These self-righteous, GUTLESS, beholden to their donors, media puppets, were quick to pounce on Trump this week when he suggested a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S.
But WHERE ARE THEIR IDEAS on how to enhance security and PREVENT further terrorist attacks?
WHERE IS YOUR IDEA, Jeb? Or yours, Marco Rubio? John Kasich? Carly Fiorina? Ben Carson? Chris Christie?
The reason all these guys hate Trump is because he's having the courage to address KEY ISSUES that all these cowards are only too happy to sweep under the rug.
I harbor no illusions that Trump -- or any other candidate for political office -- will fix everything or have all the answers...
However, Trump CAN'T POSSIBLY BE WORSE THAN Hillary.
Nor CAN HE POSSIBLY BE WORSE THAN WHAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW.
But the INCREDIBLY STUPID Republican establishment DOESN'T GET the mood -- of THEIR OWN PARTY!!!
They DON'T WANT Trump because he's not A CONVENTIONAL Republican.
We've all seen THE INCOMPETENCE of the Republican establishment who have given Obama Carte Blanche to do ANYTHING HE WANTS.
We might as well have elected DEMOCRATS!!!
Trump makes them nervous because he DOESN'T play "by their rules".
All of which puts them in a bind:
Despite poll after poll, month after month, that shows Trump on top, they DON'T WANT TO nominate him.
On the other hand, if they DON'T nominate him, they run the risk of splitting the party, offending his supporters who'd probably STAY HOME in protest and NOT VOTE, or of The Donald running as an independent.
Any of these WOULD ENSURE a Hillary presidency.
The other problem for the Republican establishment is THEY CAN'T OFFER A CANDIDATE that can REMOTELY compete with Trump.
Jeb's sinking faster than a submarine. The rest lack the ideas, vitality, and personal charisma.
You'd think that nominating John McCain and Mitt Romney - both of whom LOST TO Obama - would have taught them a thing or two.
But if Republicans have proven anything in recent years is that THEY KNOW HOW TO SNATCH DEFEAT OUT OF THE JAWS OF VICTORY.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2015
There IS a solution to America's manifold problems.
There IS a solution to this world's tangled mess.
The Solution IS JESUS.
But wait... let me elaborate...
The Solution is JESUS IN US.
The ONLY WAY to solve this world's UNSOLVABLE problems is TO ATTACK THE CAUSE.
To GO AFTER the VERY ROOT of the problems.
The CAUSE OF ALL PROBLEMS is Satan.
Jesus has ALREADY eternally defeated Satan.
However, Scripture tells us that, AFTER defeating Satan, and removing all sin, Jesus is sitting AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER - WAITING FOR HIS ENEMIES to be made His footstool (Hebrews 10:12-13).
The Father will make his enemies, including His chief enemy Satan, His footstool.
And God the Father will do it through THE BODY OF Christ.
That's right: He will do it THROUGH YOU AND ME.
The Solution is to EVICT Satan from the heavenly realm.
This is PRECISELY what happens when the Church is raptured.
Satan and his angels have been OCCUPYING the heavenly position that originally belonged to Adam, Eve and their spiritual offspring (the benei Elohim, or "sons of God".
THE MOMENT we are caught up to our rightful place BEFORE GOD'S THRONE, Michael the Archangel gets to KICK SATAN AND HIS ANGELS OUT OF HEAVEN - FOREVER.
When we GO UP, THEY COME DOWN (Revelation 12:5-9).
And they WILL NEVER AGAIN have access to heaven (Revelation 12:8, 10-12).
When Satan is locked up in the abyss for A THOUSAND YEARS, the earth will enjoy its Sabbath of rest and an unprecedented period of peace, prosperity and GOODNESS.
And GUESS WHO WILL BE RULING THE EARTH?
God's original intent, when He placed man in Eden was for man (masculine and feminine) to be "fruitful, multiply AND FILL THE EARTH AND SUBDUE IT" (Genesis 1:28).
God never changes (Malachi 3:6). And His intended purpose for the human race - those who are IN Last Adam - REMAINS THE SAME (Revelation 5:10; 12:5).
In order to RULE the earth and subdue it, we will have to become WHO WE REALLY ARE, instead of WHO WE THINK we are.
Lord willing, I'll be doing a lot of teaching on this as soon as the Christmas-New Year's holidays are over.
Brace yourselves... Because we're NOT leaving this world in defeat... BUT IN VICTORY.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2015
CANCEL THE CRUISE
I'm so fed up with all the "Christian" conferences and cruises about "taking America back".
They've been holding those lame events for the past 45 years, and NOT ONLY HAVE WE NOT TAKEN ANYTHING BACK, WE'RE MUCH WORSE OFF THAN BEFORE.
Saying that they've been A DISMAL FAILURE would be a gross understatement.
Do yourself a favor and CANCEL THE CRUISE.
That ship (no pun intended) HAS SAILED.
NO ONE'S taking ANYTHING back... UNTIL Jesus TAKES IT ALL BACK.
Give Satan a small opening and he'll take everything.
And we've given him A HUGE OPENING.
In order to "take our country back" we'd have to TOTALLY - and I mean TOTALLY- overhaul our religious and education systems.
It's UTTERLY UNREALISTIC to think we can accomplish either by natural means.
THE INSTANT someone challenges either SATANIC stronghold, he, she or they will be savaged in the media and by the religious establishment.
Are you calling our religious systems satanic?
YOU BET I am!
RELIGION IS SATAN'S MOST CLEVER and EFFECTIVE TOOL:
he gets to SPREAD FEAR and BLUNT THE IMPACT of the true Christian Message -- all SUPPOSEDLY "in the Name of Christ".
By spreading fear, THE DOOR IS OPENED for him to kill, steal, destroy and wreak havoc on Christians, and everyone else worldwide (John 10:10).
By neutralizing the Gospel, he deceives millions into following "Christian" cults that lead STRAIGHT TO HELL, and those who become TRUE Christians -- despite his web of deceit -- he keeps spiritually underdeveloped, emaciated and WEAK.
That is why, despite the 45 million (give or take) Christians in our nation, WE DO NOTHING, ACCOMPLISH NOTHING, AND ARE LOSING GROUND BY THE SECOND.
Well Martel, are you saying, then, that IT'S HOPELESS?
In the natural THERE IS NO SOLUTION.
Thank God, we're NOT natural but SUPERNATURAL.
Don't miss THE SOLUTION in the next message.
Hint: IT'S NOT to pray 24/7.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2015
BABYLONIAN SELL-OUT - PART TWO
If you're looking for Kristian entertainment, go ahead and spend your $12 or $20 bucks on what this religious joker has written.
If you're looking for TRUTH, ditch his stupid book -- which NO ONE WILL REMEMBER in three months -- and get into the Bible.
Better yet, get into the Bible, and GIVE THE $12 or $20 TO SOME POOR FAMILY who can make good use of it, NOT TO SOME RICH, COMPROMISING BOOK SELLER WHO ONLY SEEKS TO GET RICHER -- AT YOUR EXPENSE.
What's happening in our nation DIDN'T just happen overnight. It's been in the works for a looooooooooong time.
"The Shepherds" (and I DON'T mean the ones in Nativity scenes) SOLD THEMSELVES OUT, THEN SOLD JESUS OUT, THEN SOLD US OUT -- TO THE BABYLONIAN SYSTEM LONG AGO.
They FELL INTO IDOLATRY and began worshiping the god of Mammon in the middle of the 20th century.
They became attention whores and TV harlots peddling their wares TO ANYONE DUMB ENOUGH TO FALL FOR IT.
They substituted RELIGION for the Bible, and SENSATIONALIST THEATRICS for the GENUINE EXPERIENCE of JESUS and His Holy Spirit.
They began erecting MONUMENTS -- TO THEMSELVES.
Jesus NEVER TOLD THEM to build those fancy buildings.
They also SOLD OUT TO THE WORLD BY MIMICKING THE WORLD.
They decided that the "way to reach young people" was to INVENT "contemporary Kristian music" and have Kristian entertainers mimic the world's entertainers.
By doing that, they WERE THROWING IN THE TOWEL and SAYING, IN EFFECT, that what the world OFFERS YOUNG PEOPLE is SUPERIOR and MORE DESIRABLE, and that the Christian faith CAN'T EVEN COMPETE.
That's WHERE WE LOST OUR YOUTH.
WHY should they SETTLE for THIRD RATE, COPYCAT "contemporary" Kristian music, WHEN THEY CAN HEAR THE REAL THING DIRECTLY FROM THE WORLD?
Do you think I'm exaggerating, or just making this up?
Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Brad Pitt, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and sisters, and Justin Bieber - and that's just off the top of my head - were all raised in PURPORTEDLY "Christian" homes.
Miley attended Sunday school and religious services every Sunday: and look WHAT A raunchy, debauched TRAIN WRECK she's turned out to be.
Just look at HOW EXTREMELY WORLDLY they ALL are.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE between any of them and someone WHO'S NEVER EVEN HEARD OF Christ?
Some of them make UNSAVED entertainers seem tame.
The Early Church DIDN'T HAVE "youth groups" OR "contemporary Kristian" music.
They won young people to Christ -- and KEPT THEM -- by preaching the INCOMPARABLE Gospel of Grace and free Salvation through Jesus, the GENUINE, PERSONAL EXPERIENCE of Christ IN THEM, and teaching His UNRIVALED, ETERNAL Word.
The rest of the youth - whatever we didn't lose to worldly entertainers - WE LOST IN schools and UNIVERSITIES.
We sent our kids to college WITHOUT ANY biblical foundation, any SOLID CONVICTIONS, and thus TOTALLY UNEQUIPPED TO FACE and FEND OFF the enemy's lies like evolution, liberalism, SOCIALISM, existentialism, atheism, agnosticism, hedonism, and other "isms".
Instead of vying for positions in REGULAR universities where they could INFLUENCE THE WORLD, Christian educators took refuge in "Christian" universities and seminaries - thus GIVING FREE REIN TO THE AFOREMENTIONED GROUPS TO HIJACK our education system.
They, in fact, OWN IT - from elementary to middle school, through high school, and ALL THE WAY TO colleges and universities.
Christians GAVE THAT TO THE WORLD and, SURE ENOUGH, THE WORLD TOOK IT.
They GAVE IT AWAY by RETREATING into the convenience and comfort of their own "Christian" institutions, AND LOST ALL OF IT.
It's in the education system where they are able TO BRAINWASH our youth, who lack THE SCRIPTURAL CONVICTION - OR INFORMED ARGUMENTS - to stand up for Christ and REFUTE those poor deceived souls.
7 UNINTERRUPTED DECADES of this, and look at where it's gotten us...
BEFORE someone sends a silly email: I am NOT opposed to Christian schools and universities: What I OPPOSE is Christians ABANDONING the secular schools and universities to teach EXCLUSIVELY at Christian ones.
Jesus' Great Commission was to "GO INTO ALL THE WORLD and preach the Gospel" (Mark 16:15).
He never said TO FORSAKE THE WORLD .
He never said TO RETREAT FROM the world.
He never said TO VACATE THE WORLD and LET SATAN HAVE IT.
Last time I checked "ALL the world" means ALL of it, INCLUDING SECULAR schools and universities, which we were to INVADE and OVERTAKE for His glory.
A few of us, WHO STUDY TRUE BIBLE PROPHECY - DIRECTLY FROM THE BIBLE, and not "filtered" through some BOOK SELLER who poses as an "expert" -- realize of course that this is INEVITABLE, and JUST THE BEGINNING of GOD'S JUDGMENT on our rebellious and UNGRATEFUL nation.
We also realize – from the Bible -- that these ARE THE END TIMES, and that Scripture PROPHESIED that ALL THESE THINGS WOULD HAPPEN (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Jesus plainly told even the Philadelphia Church - which He REMOVES and keeps from "the hour of tribulation"- that they had LITTLE strength (Revelation 3:8, 10).
"Little strength" means that we are WEAK and INEFFECTIVE, which is EXACTLY where His Church is today.
As far as OUR LORD is concerned, the ONLY "positive" thing we got going, is ACTUALLY A NEGATIVE:
We have NOT denied His Name.
Hardly sounds like a ringing endorsement.
We also know, from Scripture, that major world powers, including the United States, MUST be SIGNIFICANTLY DOWNGRADED in order for Antichrist to emerge from the abyss and TAKE CONTROL of whatever is left of the world (Revelation 13:5,7-8).
Frankly, I'm only surprised THAT IT'S TAKEN THIS LONG to legalize gay marriage.
DOES any of this EXCUSE THE SHEPHERDS for lying, compromising the Gospel, or TRAFFICKING in prophecy and other religious themes for these 70 years?
They may be saved, and therefore under no condemnation, but God will somehow, someway HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR INFIDELITY.
Because it's ONE THING for God NOT to count sins that we commit as ordinary sinners and which are "common to man" (2 Corinthians 5:19).
It's ANOTHER THING for those IN MINISTRY - which is HUGE responsibility and NOT to be taken lightly - TO SELL OUT CHRIST, His Message, and HIS BODY, to THE BABYLONIAN HARLOT FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY.
Like the Jews from 586 to 516 B.C. we've been TAKEN CAPTIVE THESE 70 YEARS.
By God's Grace, at the end of 70 years, Jews returned from THEIR Babylonian captivity.
By God's Grace, may we also "RETURN"from OURS.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2015
By God's Grace, we will get back to Christmas theme messages in a couple days.
But I got a few things that are weighing heavily on my heart and, frankly, need to get off my chest.
Please bear with me.
As I channel surfed recently I came across a guest on a daily "Christian" show who was talking about Daniel and Babylon.
Naturally, it got my attention.
As I listened TO HIS SALES PITCH for the latest piece of crap he's written, it was all I could do to keep from puking.
First of all, this guy touts himself as a "prophecy expert", and I can tell you, BASED ON THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD and the Spirit of God, that he knows as much about Bible prophecy as any other BOOK SELLER:
Same old, tired baloney about an Antichrist being "alive" somewhere.
When the Bible has taught for 3,000 years that this guy is DEAD and rises from the abyss (Isaiah 14:18-19; Revelation 7:11; 17:8).
Of course, he couldn't tell you WHO the Antichrist is -- IF HIS LIFE depended on it.
Same old, boring "7-year peace treaty", "new world order", "cashless society", "one world religion" idiocy, WHEN NONE OF THE ABOVE is found in Scripture.
But what REALLY got my goat was this guy presenting himself as some sort of "hero" of the faith, COMPARING HIMSELF TO THE PROPHET DANIEL and how Daniel did not attack Babylon, or opposed Babylon, but merely stood for what he believed.
And that, despite the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, the recent acts of terror, and general moral decay in our society, they'd have to say about him WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT DANIEL "that he stood for what he believed and prayed to his God" REGARDLESS of what was going on around him.
This while the kiss-@ss host was fawning all over him and praising his work OF FICTION.
Neither, of course, TOOK ANY PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for our nation's deterioration, which is a REFLECTION OF THE ANEMIC SPIRITUAL CONDITION OF THE CHURCH.
This brother at least preaches the Gospel of Grace, and I wish him well.
I DO. REALLY...
I just wished he stopped all the phony baloney and TOLD THE TRUTH.
He's comparing APPLES TO ORANGES.
Daniel was A CAPTIVE in Babylon.
His fellow Jews ALSO were CAPTIVES, which SOUNDS better than what they REALLY WERE: "SLAVES".
They WEREN'T FREE to come and go, and speak or act, as they wished.
They had NO WEAPONS, WITH WHICH TO RESIST the Babylonian system, either conventional or legal.
They COULDN'T VOTE.
And Daniel KNEW - beyond ANY doubt - that they were in captivity BY GOD'S SOVEREIGN DECREE because of their stubborn rebellion and idolatry, as he PLAINLY STATED (Daniel 9:5-7).
He knew this from Jeremiah's prophecy, which he had carefully studied, and from HIS OWN, UNIQUE SPIRITUAL CONNECTION WITH God (Jeremiah 25:2-14; Daniel chapter 9:2-3).
How dare this jackass EVEN REMOTELY compare Daniel's predicament to the Church in America?
We're NOT captives.
We're FREE CITIZENS of the greatest nation on earth.
We are approximately 45 million strong.
We HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE.
We have BOTH, the right to bear CONVENTIONAL weapons, and ALL KINDS OF LEGAL RESOURCES.
And yet I DIDN'T HEAR ANY so-called "Christian leader" STAND UP AGAINST legalizing gay marriage.
I DIDN'T HEAR ONE word of protest from the "evangelical" religious establishment, UNTIL AFTER it was a "done deal", DID YOU?
All I "heard" was DEAFENING SILENCE.
It's NO SURPRISE that they LACK THE INTEGRITY and MORAL AUTHORITY to stand against the Babylonian world system, since they THREW THEMSELVES INTO THAT SYSTEM WITH GUSTO, by FOCUSING ON material things, and TALKING ABOUT NOTHING BUT MONEY.
So please, Mr. Bookseller, spare us the sanctimonious, "STAND UP FOR MY CONVICTIONS" bullsh*t.
THE CHURCH in America SOLD OUT TO THE BABYLONIAN SYSTEM LONG AGO.
And the sell-out DID NOT BEGIN with the sheep but WITH THE SHEPHERDS.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2015
THE CHRISTMAS STAR
One of the most wonderful and controversial aspects of the Christmas story is the Star which led the Wise Men to Bethlehem.
Let me remind critics, who claim this type of travel is "unheard of", that celestial navigation has been used for THOUSANDS OF YEARS by sailors, fishermen and others.
In Matthew's Gospel, we read that the Wise Men from the East were led to the Christ child by a star.
The Greek word for "wise men" used in Matthew is magoi. The Magoi were a group of high-ranking politicians and sages from the Parthian Dynasty in Persia (modern day Iran: Yes, THAT Iran).
The Jewish prophet Daniel had been Prime Minister of the Persian Empire (Daniel 6:3,28; 8:27).
The State Religion in Persia, at the time of the Messiah's birth, was Zoroastrianism.
Zoroaster had been a disciple of Daniel, and had even included some of Daniel's prophecies and teachings in his "sacred" book Zen Avesta.
Thus, the Magoi were undoubtedly familiar with Daniel's prophecy, recorded in Daniel 9:24-26, that the Messiah King would be born and appear in Israel, as a grown man, 483 years after a certain decree, authorizing the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
They also knew, FROM THEIR OWN HISTORY, that such decree had been issued by their own Persian king Artaxerxes Longanimus in the 20th year of his reign, which would be 449 B.C.
Knowing Messiah would offer Himself in sacrifice for the sins of mankind AS AN ADULT, they could pretty well calculate the approximate window of time in which His birth would take place as being sometime between 6 B.C. and "0" A.D.
I put "year zero" in quotes because, obviously, THERE IS NO SUCH THING. And yet, the Gregorian Christian calendar DOES contain a "year zero" in its reckoning of "time".
The Magoi also knew that, even prior to Daniel, another prophet from neighboring Mesopotamia, named Balaam, had prophesied the coming of a special Star that would herald the birth of the Jewish King (Numbers 24:17).
Since around 6 B.C. they would have been on the lookout FOR A SPECIAL STAR TO APPEAR, announcing the birth of the King of Kings.
That SPECIAL STAR was none other than the Magen David (Star of David) -- SEE ILLUSTRATION BELOW -- which consists of two inverted triangles, one pointing downward, symbolizing God Incarnate coming down to earth as Immanuel, "God with us", the other triangle pointing upward, symbolizing that Messiah would bring man back up to God (Revelation 22:16).
It was a well established fact that the Messiah, King of the Jews, would be born from the Davidic Dynasty (1 Kings 2:45; 9:5; Isaiah 9:6,7; Luke 1:32). Daniel, no doubt, would have passed this information down to his disciples in both the Babylonian and Persian court, including Zoroaster.
Clearly, the Magoi knew EXACTLY what the King of Israel's STAR was supposed to look like. Hence, Matthew's Gospel clearly states they saw HIS STAR "in the East" (Matthew 2:2).
They would have "seen His Star" (shaped like a hexagram or two inverted triangles) and set out for Israel, following the King planet Jupiter's lead toward Judea. Jupiter actually WENT BEFORE THEM toward Bethlehem, just as the biblical account says (Matthew 2:9).
Some 7-8 weeks later, Jupiter would have stood 65 degrees above the southern horizon, in the Meridian just south of Jerusalem, and RIGHT OVER Bethlehem.
At that point, on December 25th 0 A.D., during the Jewish Festival of Hanukkah, Jupiter would have reached its farthest point westward, so it actually "STOOD OVER" where the child was, JUST AS MATTHEW 2:9-10 SAYS,
By then Mary and Joseph had moved from the sukka (tabernacle or hut) where Jesus was born, to a house (Matthew 2:11).
Jesus had been born on the feast of Tabernacles, the Magoi had seen His Star announcing His Birth, followed it toward Bethlehem, and found Him on Hanukkah, 70 days later, in a house with Mary and Joseph.
They worshiped Him, and offered Him gifts befitting a King.
The GENTILE Magoi found the King of the JEWS, the Light of the World, during the Jewish Festival of Lights, on Hanukkah, December 25, 0 A.D.
That is ONE OF the reasons GENTILES celebrate Jesus' birth on December 25.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2015
Scripture tells us that Jesus was born on Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles (John 1:14)
Jesus was Jewish, and the entire Bible both, Old and New Testaments, WAS WRITTEN BY JEWS.
The very Jewish John says that "the Word BECAME flesh and (literally) TABERNACLED among us" (John 1:14).
This begs the question: if He was born on Sukkot, and Mary's pregnancy lasted approximately 9 months, WHEN did Gabriel's Annunciation take place?
If we count 9 Hebrew months backward from Tishri 15 (Sukkot), we find that the Annunciation would have taken place, sometime during the 8-day Feast of Hanukkah.
This is significant for several reasons:
1. Hanukkah is referred to by Josephus, and known as, the Festival of Light (Antiquities, Book 12 Chapter 7, para. 7)
How appropriate, then, that the miraculous Birth of THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD would be announced during that special time (John 8:12).
2. According to Jewish tradition, it was during Hanukkah,that the sacred oil (Exodus 27:20) that lit the temple lamp (menorah) miraculously lasted 8 days.
The oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit and THE ANOINTING of God.
It's therefore extremely meaningful that the Birth of Jesus, the Anointed One (Messiah), be announced during this Feast (Luke 4:18-20).
3. Historically, Hanukkah (Kislev 25) is when God's temple was recovered from Antiochus Epiphanes, THE ENEMY OF GOD, and of the Jews, and purified.
How significant that the Birth of the Redeemer, who'd REDEEM (GET BACK) God's Temple from the enemy , and PURIFY IT FOREVER WITH HIS BLOOD, would be announced during Hanukkah.
4. Hanukkah means "Dedication", because the temple was RE-DEDICATED TO God.
The historically accurate Book of 2 Maccabees specifically tells us that Hanukkah-- which is NOT one of the moedim (Feasts of the Lord) established in Leviticus 23 -- was celebrated in REMEMBRANCE OF Sukkot which also lasts 8 days (2 Maccabees 10:5-7).
Because of the war to liberate Jerusalem and the temple, Jews had not been able to celebrate Sukkot that year. Therefore, they celebrated Hanukkah instead.
Therefore, Gabriel's Announcement of the Messiah's Birth DURING Hanukkah would signal that the Messiah's Birth -- who'd PURIFY God's human Temple and REDEDICATE IT TO Himself -- would ACTUALLY take place on Sukkot.
How beautifully accurate is the Word of God!
Glory to Jesus!
How BLESSED are we to have THIS INEXHAUSTIBLE TREASURE available to us!
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2015
The question "what does Christmas mean to you?" has become an unfortunate religious cliché.
What it means to you, me, or anyone else is IRRELEVANT.
The REAL question is "WHAT DOES CHRISTMAS MEAN?"
WHAT does Christmas ACTUALLY mean?
Oh, that's easy: It means the Birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.
Yes. It certainly means THAT.
But there's more to it than the birth of a cute baby boy.
Christmas means more than angels, and shepherds, and wise men.
It means more than Mary and Joseph and the now infamous inn.
It means more than Christmas carols, eggnog and mistletoe.
It's more than Nativity scenes, Christmas trees, getting together with family and loved ones, and exchanging gifts.
What Christmas REALLY means is that God GAVE EVERYTHING for you.
He couldn't find anything or anyone GREATER THAN Himself, and so He gave Himself TOTALLY to you.
Christmas means that God gave ALL for you.
ALL OF GOD was in that cute baby born on that beautiful, starry night.
ALL OF GOD was still in that young man who grew up in Nazareth and worked in a carpenter shop.
ALL OF GOD was in Jesus, the 33-year old man WHO DIED ON THAT AWFUL CROSS, and spilled His sacred, PURE, SINLESS Blood for your sins and mine.
ALL OF GOD was in Jesus when He spent THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS IN HELL ITSELF - THE VERY HELL that you and I should have suffered for our rebellion.
ALL OF GOD was in Jesus WHEN HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD TRIUMPHANT OVER Satan, SIN AND DEATH.
ALL OF GOD was still in Jesus 40 days later when He ASCENDED TO HEAVEN and sat at the Right Hand of the Father.
AND ALL OF GOD IS STILL IN JESUS TODAY, WHEN YOU INVITE HIM INTO YOUR HEART AND RECEIVE HIM AS YOUR SAVIOR, LORD AND GOD (Colossians 2:9).
When that happens,it MEANS that ALL OF GOD LIVES IN YOU!!!
How ANYONE on this rotten planet CAN REFUSE THE GIFT OF GOD HIMSELF - the ONLY ONE who can make the earth RIGHT AGAIN - is beyond my comprehension.
Jesus wants ALL OF YOU.
Jesus wants you to HAVE ALL OF HIM!!!
He wants to give you THE GREATEST Christmas gift of all - Himself!
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2015
MAKE IT SPECIAL
I love EVERYTHING about Christmas. Everything!
Love the sights, sounds, the smells, and the holiday cheer.
Love the decorations, trees, lights, carols...
The ornaments, wreaths, bells, sleighs, Nativity scenes...
The gift giving, the pictures, the Christmas cards, the food, the cookies, the gingerbread houses, the fruitcake (believe it or not), getting together with family and friends, and even love the shopping...
Religious kill joys can send all the dumb messages calling it "pagan"...
They can invent all the FALSE theories about the origin of Christmas trees and wreaths...
They can say that's not really the day on which Jesus was born (I agree)...
They can complain all they want about it being too "commercialized"...
I DON'T CARE.
I'm going to CELEBRATE IT, by God's Grace, REGARDLESS of what ANYONE says or thinks.
It's NEVER WRONG to celebrate Jesus.
He should be celebrated and worshiped EVERY SINGLE DAY on the calendar, WITHOUT EXCEPTION (Psalm 113:2-3; 115:18).
"Sing unto the LORD, bless His Name; proclaim His Salvation DAY AFTER DAY." (Psalm 96:2)
"EVERY DAY will I praise you; and I will honor your Name FOREVER AND EVER" (Psalm 145:2).
I don't read anywhere that we should make an exception on December 25.
If UNSAVED religious legalists have nothing better to do than attack this holiday and call it pagan, that's THEIR PROBLEM.
If they can get GOD to CHANGE HIS WORD and say it's "pagan" to celebrate and worship Him on December 25th -- or ANY OTHER DAY -- I'll consider it.
Since God NEVER CHANGES, and His Word NEVER CHANGES, good luck with that (Psalm 119:89; Malachi 3:6).
What is truly sad is that there are THOUSANDS of our brothers and sisters in places like Iraq, Syria, and North Korea, who WOULD LIKE TO celebrate Christmas, and CAN'T because they're being horrifically oppressed, persecuted and butchered.
It will be A GRIM Christmas for many of them.
Jesus PREDICTED that this would happen in the closing moments of this age (Revelation 6:9-11).
And yet, these self-centered religious losers don't care, don't even say a prayer for them, don't share the incomparable Gospel of Grace with anyone, nor bring any souls to Salvation - HOWEVER, THEY INVEST THE TIME AND EFFORT to attack the celebration of our Savior's birth.
May God forgive their blindness, pettiness and stupidity.
There's one thing about Christmas that I love more than ALL THE REST COMBINED:
...Celebrating Jesus. Adoring Jesus.
...Remembering the wondrous Birth of our God and Savior.
...Reading and re-living the beautiful Story of that first Christmas.
And ALL THE NAYSAYERS IN THE WORLD can't take that away from me.
Nor can they remove THE JOY of knowing that God - the Creator and Sustainer of the universe - LOVED His Creation SO MUCH (LOVED ME - and YOU so much) that He came in human form, as a tiny babe, to right the many wrongs we've done on this earth.
Praise His Name forever!
This may well be THE LAST Christmas we get to celebrate on this earth, at least for a while...
I want to encourage you to MAKE IT EXTRA SPECIAL.
Do it all: from the decorating to the baking, to the cooking, to the shopping, to the time shared with loved ones, to the gift-giving, FOR HIS GLORY.
And take some time to sip some eggnog or warm apple cider, sit on your favorite chair, appreciate our Savior, the ETERNAL LIFE we have in Him, and THANK GOD for the freedom and many blessings that are still ours.
Take time to ENJOY JESUS as never before.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2015
Whenever a heretic's back is against the wall, when every one of their unbiblical arguments has been thoroughly and BIBLICALLY refuted, they resort to fear.
They will say, in very dramatic fashion, that "we will all have to appear before Christ SOMEDAY".
Some of us LOOK FORWARD with great joy and anticipation to seeing Jesus.
We WANT Him to APPEAR TO US, and we want to appear before Him.
But their statement is NOT filled with such joy or excited anticipation.
What they mean is:
"You will answer to Jesus for NOT keeping the 24-hour Sabbath, or for NOT observing the 10 Commandments, or for NOT doing this or that".
My reply is usually "Amen".
For Jesus takes no delight in our idolizing A SHADOW.
And that is ALL the 24-hour Sabbath has EVER been (Colossians 2:16-17).
Besides, JESUS HIMSELF BROKE the 24-hour Sabbath -- REPEATEDLY!!! (John 5:18).
And sons DO NOT follow "commandments" (another word for "commandment" is "ORDER").
Sons have their Father's OWN NATURE on the INSIDE. Therefore BY NATURE, we love Jesus above all, and we trust Him, and His TOTAL fulfillment of His own Law on our behalf (Matthew 5:17-18).
This only PROVES that they "observe" - or at least CLAIM TO observe -- such things OUT OF FEAR.
NOT out of Love (1 John 4:16).
And God IS Love.
And His Love CASTS OUT ALL fear (1 John 4:18).
They FEAR that if they DON'T "comply" with certain religious "rules", God WON'T LOVE THEM.
That PROVES they DON'T KNOW God, nor have His Nature.
They FEAR that UNLESS they "do" certain things, Jesus WILL CONDEMN THEM.
In other words, that if He has ANY love, it's CONDITIONAL on their "performance".
WHERE is THE FAITH in THAT? NOWHERE.
This attitude is quite natural, since ALL religion, as I've told countless times, is BASED ON fear.
But it PROVES that they have NO FAITH.
It PROVES that they DON'T TRUST JESUS.
They have NO CONFIDENCE in what He did to save us. And, yes, they will appear before Him "someday" and ANSWER FOR IT.
ALL HERETICS ARE UNCERTAIN of Salvation.
For we are saved BY FAITH ONLY, which they don't have (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
NOBODY has EVER been saved BY FEAR.
Repeat: NO ONE has EVER been saved BY FEAR.
They HOPE that by "doing" certain things and "not doing" others, they will - SOMEDAY - earn enough good will points from God that He will ALLOW them into heaven.
They HOPE that - SOMEDAY - they "will be saved".
Problem is, there is NO "SOMEDAY" regarding Salvation.
Salvation is ALWAYS NOW.
As in RIGHT now.
You can't get saved "someday".
If you have to wait until SOMEDAY to know - for sure - whether you're saved or not...
You AREN'T saved.
Glory to Jesus, THAT is worth repeating:
If you have to wait until "SOMEDAY" to find out - for sure - whether you're saved or not...
Then, you AREN'T saved.
If you don't HAVE SALVATION NOW, then YOU DON'T HAVE Salvation.
Because Salvation - as Scripture tells us again and again - is ETERNAL.
Since it is ETERNAL, it's got to INCLUDE the PRESENT and BE PRESENT - not "later" - reality.
Actually, when we "get saved" on this earth, what's really happening is that the Salvation that WE'VE ALWAYS HAD -- IN and FOR ETERNITY -- is manifesting in space/time.
And that's the difference between the so-called "Christian" religion, and THE TRUE Christian Faith.
Faith gives us TOTAL ASSURANCE.
Religion fosters UNCERTAINTY.
Faith TRUSTS God's Grace (Goodness we do not deserve).
Religion DOESN'T TRUST JESUS. It only trusts itself.
Faith SAVES. Fear doesn't.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2015
WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO'VE NEVER HEARD ABOUT JESUS ? FINAL PART
"For THERE IS ONE God, and ALSO ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the man Christ Jesus..." (1 Timothy 2:4)
Those who fail to receive Christ go to hell: hell is a place or torment beneath the earth.
Hell is compartmentalized into three major sections: general hell, the abyss and Tartarus.
There are also DIFFERENT DEGREES OF TORMENT within each compartment.
That there are degrees of punishment in hell is obvious by the following Scriptures:
"Then He began to reproach the cities in which most of His miracles were done, BECAUSE THEY DID NOT REPENT. "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. "Nevertheless I say to you, IT SHALL BE MORE TOLERABLE for Tyre and Sidon IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, THAN FOR YOU . . . I say to you that IT SHALL BE MORE TOLERABLE for the land of Sodom IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT, THAN FOR YOU." (Matthew 11:20-22).
"And that slave WHO KNEW HIS MASTER'S WILL and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, SHALL RECEIVE MANY LASHES, BUT THE ONE WHO DID NOT KNOW IT, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, WILL RECEIVE BUT FEW. And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more." (Luke 12:47-48)
"How MUCH SEVERER PUNISHMENT do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?" (Hebrews 10:29)
Therefore, while there are three major compartments in hell, there are VARIOUS DEGREES of torment even within EACH OF those compartments:
A warning to those "Christians" who TRUST THEIR OWN LAW KEEPING (INSTEAD OF TRUSTING JESUS) to save them:
"For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many AS HAVE SINNED IN THE LAW SHALL BE JUDGED BY THE LAW" (Romans 2:12).
According to James 2:8-10 ALL IT TAKES IS TO BREAK ONE commandment, and you become guilty of breaking ALL 613 commandments (the WHOLE law).
According to James 3:1 those who teach, OR PRETEND TO TEACH, about God and the Bible are held to a higher standard: "... not many of you should become teachers. You know that those WHO TEACH WILL BE JUDGED MORE SEVERELY."
Likewise, Jesus warned the Scribes (teachers OF THE LAW) and Pharisees OF HIS DAY, who "devoured widows' houses" with their religious pretense, that they would "receive GREATER damnation" (Luke 20:47).
There's NO CONDEMNATION FOR THE SAVED (BORN AGAIN), who TOTALLY TRUST JESUS, and God IS NOT CHARGING THEM FOR ANY sin they commit (Romans 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:19). Praise His Name!
THE UNSAVED -- including UNSAVED "Christians" -- are judged ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS (Revelation 20:13).
They'll be judged according to THE VERY WORKS they TRUSTED TO GET THEM TO HEAVEN.
This means that the degree of suffering in hell WILL BE PROPORTIONATE TO their deeds on earth.
HOW MANY DEGREES of suffering are there? AS MANY AS THERE ARE PEOPLE.
How do we know?
They'll be judged "according to their works". And NO TWO PEOPLE on earth have done EXACTLY THE SAME WORKS, in exact fashion, or the exact number of times, or with the same INTENT.
Obviously, Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Ladin and Jihadi John will suffer in MUCH GREATER degree than some average Joe who lived a RELATIVELY "good" life, and simply went to hell for NOT receiving Christ.
The sinners who never heard the Gospel will go to hell: yet their torment will be LESS INTENSE than that of those WHO HAVE HEARD the Gospel AND REFUSED TO receive Christ.
While they can still, potentially, receive Christ and be saved in hell itself, there's no guarantee that they will.
And, in order to be saved in hell, THEY'LL STILL HAVE TO receive Christ into their hearts as God and Savior.
Why ANYONE would want to find themselves IN TORMENT -- and then try to get saved -- is beyond my understanding, when they can be SAVED NOW, FOR FREE, and AVOID the torment.
God is ON RECORD that He wants "ALL MEN TO BE SAVED and to come to the knowledge of the Truth" (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
That is WHY He GAVE HIS LIFE ON THE CROSS to purchase FREEDOM from hell - FOR EVERYONE
Consequently, here are the choices:
1) Get saved NOW by receiving Christ into your heart NOW.
2) Get saved LATER, when you find yourself in the torment of hell, BY STILL RECEIVING Christ in your heart.
3) Never receive Christ and get tossed into the ETERNAL lake of fire, from which there is NO ESCAPE, at the end of the Millennium.
"The choice" is yours.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2015
WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO'VE NEVER HEARD ABOUT JESUS ? PART TWO
"Well, I don't believe in hell"
Well HELL EXISTS, whether you believe it or not.
God's Word tells us that hell is IN THE CENTER OF EARTH, right beneath our feet (Isaiah 14:9; Ezekiel 28:8; 31:16).
Although God doesn't need anyone to vouch for His veracity, human science has PROVEN that there's a place of INTENSE HEAT in the center of the earth.
We get a small taste of hell's fiery furnace when a volcano erupts spewing off hot lava from the earth's core.
The Bible also describes at least THREE DIFFERENT COMPARTMENTS in hell: hell itself, the abyss (bottomless pit) and Tartarus (Proverbs 15:24; Luke 8:31; 2 Peter 2:4).
Human science has ALSO confirmed this by showing that the earth's interior has a mantle which is hot, an outer core, which is hotter, and and inner core which is HOTTEST.
The Bible told us 3,500 YEARS AGO what human science has ONLY RECENTLY discovered.
After the Millennium ends, that hell in the center of the earth - and everyone still in it - those who have NOT been written in the Book of Life - will be tossed into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15).
The earth itself and the heavens will be replaced by new heavens and a new earth (Revelation 21:1).
"But if God is love, HOW can a LOVING God send anyone there?"
God doesn't send people to hell. THEY CHOOSE TO GO TO HELL by NOT RECEIVING Christ.
Those who DO NOT receive God's GIFT of Salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ, WILL MOST ASSUREDLY GO TO HELL.
Jesus Himself SPENT THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS in hell (Matthew 12:40; Ephesians 4:8-9).
That LOVING God allowed His HOLY, SINLESS Son to go to hell... and you don't think He'll LET YOU go there?
God Himself WENT TO HELL FOR YOU, in the Person of Jesus (Romans 10:7).
He WENT THERE and TOOK YOUR HELL and mine, so you and I WOULDN'T HAVE TO GO THERE.
However, if we DO NOT receive Jesus into our hearts as God and Savior, YOU'VE REJECTED THE ONLY Way to the Father, and THE ONLY WAY OUT OF hell.
If you DON'T go to the Father, guess WHERE you'll go?
Even those who've NEVER heard of Jesus are WITHOUT EXCUSE(Romans 1:20).
The heavens, the earth, and the entire Creation, PROVE that THERE IS A Creator (Psalms 19:1).
Since THERE IS a God, and THEY KNOW IT from all the wonders in and around them, then WHY, in heaven's name, DID THEY NOT SEEK HIM?
God PROMISES that ANYONE WHO SEEKS HIM - with ALL their heart - WILL FIND HIM (Deuteronomy 4:29; Jeremiah 29:13).
If they seek Him with ALL their heart, He will move heaven and earth to get the Good News of Jesus to them, NO MATTER WHERE they are.
If they haven't found Him, it's because they have NOT sought Him.
Therefore, God is NOT unfair in allowing ANYONE to go to hell.
Those who go there, do so BY CHOICE.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2015
WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO'VE NEVER HEARD ABOUT JESUS ?
The SIMPLE answer is: they go to hell.
THE DETAILED ANSWER will probably surprise you.
Most people, including most Christians, are woefully ignorant about what hell is and isn't.
Also, about HOW LONG hell lasts.
Hell (Sheol in Hebrew, Hades in Greek) refers to A WHOLE AREA BENEATH THE EARTH.
Hell is the UNDERWORLD (Numbers 16:31-33; Ezekiel 31:14; 32:18).
It is a place of punishment and torment for those who have died physically WITHOUT Christ.
It is a place where souls feel totally alienated from God.
However, they can still CALL ON God.
The Bible teaches that there are DIFFERENT COMPARTMENTS in hell, as well as DIFFERENT DEGREES of torment.
The Bible also teaches THAT SALVATION IS STILL POSSIBLE IN HELL.
Again: Salvation IS STILL POSSIBLE in hell (Psalm 139:8; Matthew 12:32).
Where Salvation is IMPOSSIBLE is in the lake of fire.
However, NO ONE has been sent to the lake of fire -- YET.
Consequently, EVERYONE, including THOSE IN HELL, still has the chance TO BE SAVED.
Hell is NOT forever, the lake of fire IS forever.
The FIRST TWO INDIVIDUALS to be cast into the lake of fire will be the Antichrist (Alexander the Great) and the False Prophet (Judas Iscariot).
This happens AT THE END OF the tribulation (Revelation 19:20).
Everyone else who PERSISTS IN REJECTING Christ, including Satan, will be cast there (into the lake of fire or Gehenna) AT THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM (Revelation 20:10, 11-15).
Everyone else who PERSISTS IN REJECTING Christ, including Satan, gets thrown into the lake AT LEAST 1,000-1,010 years from now.
Therefore, except for the Antichrist and the False Prophet, EVERYONE in hell right now has UNTIL THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM to repent, give their hearts to Jesus, and become born-again.
If they become born-again, while in hell, they WILL BE WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE and they will get to populate the New Earth (Revelation 20:15; 21:1).
If they're NOT born-again by the END OF THE MILLENNIUM (some 1,010 +- years from now) - THEN they'll be tossed into the lake of fire which is FINAL and IRREVERSIBLE (Revelation 20:15).
We will discuss whether God is fair to send anyone to hell, and also degrees of punishment as well as hell's different compartments, in the next message.
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