Wretched Men

Posted: November 22, 2014 by William E. Males in Devotionals, Shared Thoughts, Wake Up!
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There was a time when I thought I was a Christian, meaning, a real follower of Christ. But like so many others, I was believing what so many religious teachers out there is teaching as the Christian’s dilemma, that we will always be stuck in those things we hate and many times unable to do those right things we want. How is that being “free indeed”

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed ;32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Romans 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  20) Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  21) I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

How do we reconcile the words of the Apostle Paul with the words of Jesus? Are we “wretched men” or are we “free indeed?” Like so many, I was told that sin was in me and evil was always going to present with me and therefore (like Paul himself admitted) I was always going to be sinning and unable to be the person I wanted to in Christ. I just needed to accept that as fact and quit being so hard on myself and accept that was who I was “in Christ” or I would never have any peace. To this day I continually meet believers who teach this and have wholly accepted it as sound doctrinal fact and consequently have absolutely no real motivation to be “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” That is scary, since without holiness no man shall see God on favorable terms.

Read the rest of this entry »

Giving way for the rise of the Son of Perdition

Posted: November 4, 2014 by William E. Males in Shared Thoughts

(A chapter from a book I hope to complete soon on America in Prophecy)

  2 Thessalonians 2:3 – Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.

The above verse is widely accepted and quoted by Christendom today as referencing an end-time antichrist figure. However, when researching old commentaries, even the widely trusted Matthew Henry Commentary, it is hard to find one who fail to relate this “man of sin… son of perdition” to the position of the papacy, or the succession of popes of Roman Catholicism. Some commentators, like the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary printed in 1871, recognize this verse as being ultimately being fully realized in an individual “whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” However, they too affiliate this individual with the papacy position, but believe there would be one Pope in the later days which would boldly oppose the Lord, His word and Jesus the Christ openly.

“Doubtless “the apostasy” of Romanism (the abstract) is one of the greatest instances of the working of the mystery of iniquity, and its blasphemous claims for the Pope (the concrete) are forerunners of the final concentration of blasphemy in the man of sin, who shall not merely, as the Pope, usurp God’s honor as vicegerent of God, but oppose God openly at last.”

If so many commentators have recognized 2 Thessalonians 2:3 speaking of “a falling away first” as being the rise of Roman Catholicism and the “man of sin… son of perdition” as the succession of popes, why then has that understanding been nearly completely abandoned by Christendom today? Or perhaps a better question would be what scriptural and historical justification did the commentators have for interpreting it that way? Perhaps part of the answer is obscured in Paul’s motive for not write openly about the subject here, but only alludes to it by directing his readers to remember that which he had taught them in person.

2 Thessalonians 2:5 – Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

Paul’s manner of writing here raises a question that I have never heard asked before; why wouldn’t Paul plainly write these things out again if his intention was to put forth a clear and coherent teaching on the apostasy which the Holy Spirit had revealed to him was going to take place? Especially when in his other epistles Paul’s normal pattern was both methodical and thorough while presenting the oracles of God to the saints, yet here he asks them “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” It is evident Paul felt it was wisdom to trust the Holy Spirit to help them recall these pertinent things, for he continues with “ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.” Hence it seems evident that the Apostle Paul under the unction of the Holy Spirit was writing with great carefulness and was unwilling to formally document that which he had communicated to them in person.

Furthermore, when one considers how this manner of leading their focus with a question greatly differs from Paul’s normal pattern of writing, it is hard not to conclude that Paul was deliberately being obscure here. For where else in any of his other epistles can it be found that Paul asks such a steering question? In all his epistles Paul only use the word “remember” seven times. Except for its usage here in 2 Thessalonians 2:5, everywhere else he uses it as to introduce an exhortation for the believers not to forget particular truths which are then clearly articulated within the exhortation. Similarly, Paul used the phrase “Know ye not” three times in the epistle of Romans, eight times in I Corinthians, and once again in II Corinthians: yet in all of these it is clear the questioning is rhetorical since he again immediately follows clearly articulating truths which are fundamental to the Christian faith.

In those days, delivering a letter was considerably more costly, laborious, and time consuming than writing one; especially compared to the ease of email correspondence nowadays. So it wouldn’t have been prudent for Paul to be so vague unless it was intentional, and so again, we must not fail to make noted that only in 2 Thessalonians 2:5 that Paul can be found imploring his readers to “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things” without his normal manner of investing the time to clearly define those “things.” Therefore, Paul had to believe there was more wisdom in his being vague and petitioning them to recall certain things, than there was wisdom in his establishing an official documented description of these things with Silvanus, Timothy and his name attached to it. His following comment concerning “when I was yet with you,” makes it obvious he was confident they would recall what he had taught them in this private teaching and “know what withholdeth.” For though Paul openly preached to the Jews and Gentiles alike that Jesus was the Christ, there were some things that he knew should only be taught to those who by their rebirth and salvation had a firm foundation of faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and therefore able to be entrusted with some “meat” from God’s word. Read the rest of this entry »

I know I have written several times on grace in the past, but we must be obedient to what we feel the Lord gives us to share. So, whoever you are, maybe this is just for you.

The follow list contains three things that God’s word not only fundamentally teaches about God’s grace, but biblical history affirms over and over again to be true as it records without partiality the triumphs and failures of those who believed in God.

  1. Grace is sufficient.
  2. Grace can be frustrated.
  3. Grace can be received in vain.

First, regarding grace’s sufficiency in the life of the believer, Paul was assure by God that His grace would be adequate to see him through whatever temptations he would endure or the trials and persecutions he must suffer for the cause of Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:9 – And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Paul learned his confidence was only to be in God’s grace, and that he could not depend on his own strength or power. For it was in his weakness where Paul found he was able to experience God’s fullness in a way he couldn’t in those areas where his own strength or wisdom were adequate, such as making and mending tents. But when it came to his salvation, doing the work of the ministry, fighting the fight, or running the race, Paul knew full well he could not do those things apart from the grace of God given unto him.

Furthermore, the fact that God had given such empowering grace unto Paul, he was fully aware he must take full advantage of it so as not to frustrate it, lest he fall short in the calling God had given unto him.

1 Corinthians 9:16 – For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

I often use the following example when speaking of God’s “sufficient” grace. Someone needs to get somewhere but they have no means to get there. They are at an impasse and do not know what they are going to do because they have to get there or the consequences will be severe if they fail to do so. Upon hearing of their plight I offer them the use of my car, to which they say, “Great, but I have no money for gas.” I tell them no worries, I will fill up the tank and that will be more than sufficient to get them there.

Being greatly relieved, they are now confident that they can safely make the trip because they have been given all they need for the journey, but while on their way they get to thinking they have more than enough time and there is “more than sufficient” gas, so they take the liberty to go sightseeing to other places along the way. Getting caught up in their new found liberty with my car and gas, they carelessly are driving around exhausting the gas. Soon they turn around towards their original destination and suddenly to their surprise the car abruptly stops out of gas!

Is this is not like the parable of the ten virgins Jesus gave us? Or the warning in Hebrews 4-

Hebrews 4:1 – Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Read the rest of this entry »

Hugs . . .

Posted: August 29, 2014 by William E. Males in Shared Thoughts, Wake Up!

??????????Are you a hug-giver or a hug-taker?

“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” Then Jesus took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.

What a wonderful passage showing the gentle love of our Savior as He received the little children with hugs and then blessed them. Surely it is evident Jesus was without a doubt a hug-giver. But does that automatically make the little children hug-takers? The answer is no of course, for most often they trustingly hug back echoing the affection they’re given.

Children need hugs, we all do. But why hugs? Perhaps it is the very first embrace in life, as a newborn baby naturally clings to its mother and she hugs the infant in a warm embrace that affirmably assures the child instinctively of the mother’s love and commitment.

Children run to their mother, father, grandmother and grandfather for hugs of comfort and assurance because they have already experienced the undying love and commitment that has selflessly been invested in them since birth. Nothing feels better than being hug from one who has consistently been there giving of themselves freely, investing their time, labor and love in you. There is hardly a greater pleasure than embracing a child, son, daughter, spouse, or parent, and to hug them and feel the flow of mutual love and gratitude for just being there . . .  over and over, again and again and again.

But if it was not for the consistency and proven dependability, hugs would be worthless. For what basis for comfort would there be in a hug when the passage of time doesn’t reinforce the reliability in one’s love and actions to those they hug? Perhaps a better question, why would they even want to hug? The sad answer lies in the fact that there are hug-givers and hug-takers. An embrace from hug-givers affirms what is already known to those they hug, it overflows with significance, conveying love and security to those they embrace.

Hug-takers however, are often people full of good intention but never quite seem to be able to be there when really needed. Their biggest distraction in life is themselves; always being driven, moment to moment by what is important to them. They almost always mean to be there for you, but can’t because other more important things usually come up: things that affirm to others that “you’re not the most important thing in my life right now.” Occasionally they take a moment out of their own time to deceive themselves into thinking they are giving affirmation of love and hug others, but in truth they are taking a hug from another, trying to find that comfort and assurance they only remember.

Sadly, hugs can be like slack sails with no real wind in them, just yesterday I was told by a friend how when someone they care for hugs them it is just empty, “there’s nothing there.” Hugs can never affirm what your history negates and all the good intentions in the world are worthless, unless you are paving a road to hell. Never forget, faith works by love and love is faithful. True love is said to never fail, but should it fail, it is quick to repent and make amends, shoring up what was breached in its moment of neglect.

But sadly, hug-takers are some of the most selfish people out there, hugging others only trying to convince themselves how much they really do care, while their own inactions cause the one being hugged to stand back in bewilderment. Don’t deceive yourselves, if the “love” you feel doesn’t benefit to others, it really isn’t love.

Some people just need to wake up and do the right thing and realize what truly is important to Jesus.

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Those in Lot’s fellowship…

Posted: August 25, 2014 by William E. Males in Shared Thoughts, Wake Up!
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Brothers and sisters, why do you think Abraham thought he could appeal to God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if there were fifty righteous men in the cities? Most people tend to think it was just “righteous Lot” who was living there vexing his soul among all those vulgarly wicked and profane sodomites. But do you really think Lot would live there alone if there were no other professing “believers” living there? When Ezekiel was sent to reprove Israel, God declared that, “As I live says the Lord Jehovah, Sodom your sister, she nor her daughters has not done as you have done, you and your daughters.” Surely you wouldn’t think that there were no professing believers in Ezekiel’s days? Why then do we tend to dismiss the idea there were other “believers” in Sodom?

No, there were religious people all over the land, many just like those in Ezekiel’s day who were boasting in their arrogance to be God’s chosen people, prophets and priests and faithful followers of Jehovah, the called out ones, or so they thought. They were as surprise as will be so many when they too cry out “Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name cast out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works?” Only to hear the Lord reply, “I never knew you! Depart from Me, you who live working lawlessness!”

No, righteous Lot was alone only in his righteousness, many were there claiming to be the believers in the living God. It was that reason Abraham asked God, “Perhaps there are fifty righteous within the city. Will You also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are in it?” and yet the longer Abraham thought about the “believers” dwelling in Sodom and the surrounding cities, he began to go lower and lower in asking God till he said “Oh do not let the LORD be angry, and I will speak only once more. Perhaps ten shall be found there?” And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.”

Seriously consider this, you who so confidently profess to be serving God, for out of Abraham’s appeal to God to spare the cities for fifty righteous, only one was led out. That was a speculated “fifty,” out of how many though that was professing faith? Abraham knew they were not all serving God, that many had deceived their own selves into thinking they were righteous, so fifty had to be a conservative number to start with. Then, knowing the holiness of God, Abraham began to whittle the numbers down till he reached ten, only a mere ten and God still said He would have spared the cities. And yet it was only righteous Lot who came out from among them, with his wife looking back perishing. Do you understand the math concerning this? Only 2% of Abraham’s original conservative number was saved.

1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

 How is it men don’t fear God?

To download article’s MP3 file:  1. Click on this link  2. Right click on page  3. Select “save as”

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And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)

This is the only “seven year” scriptural reference I know of that is used foundationally for the complete duration of the “seven year tribulation” with the perceived division being “in the midst of the week” when, according  to popular understanding of the doctrine, the antichrist does away with the animal sacrifices that were reinstated in a rebuilt temple.  There are however, many scriptural references to “seven years” -

  1. The two periods of seven years which Jacob labored for Rachael and was given Leah instead, then the next seven years for which he indeed received Rachael.
  2. The seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine with Joseph in Egypt.
  3. The seven years of famine under David and Samuel.
  4. The seven years of famine with Elisha.
  5. The seven years of burning weapons after the war with Gog and Magog, (which if there is a seven-year tribulation immediately before the return of Christ, this war needs to take place before it then.)

Since seven years divided by two equals three and a half years, it must be acknowledged that there are also several three and a half year periods in scriptures referred to as “time, times, and half of time,” or periods of 1260 days, 1290 days, and 1335 days. With all these segments of time recorded in scripture, it is not surprising there has always existed a curiosity as to what these times meant and when would they occur. However, it is astounding the extreme lengths some have labored to prove they know the dates of these times and when they will occur, when scripture clearly states the revelation for some of them are sealed until the end.

I am personally persuaded that to assume these three and a half year periods mentioned must be referencing to either the beginning or end of the tribulation period,  would be as imprudent as believing all the previously mentioned seven-year periods were the same. Clearly a simple reading of them all brings a quick dismissal of such nonsense. Therefore caution must be taken when asserting things from scriptures, for history shows it isn’t hard to earn the title of “false” teacher or prophet.

However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider such texts in light of history and prayerfully seek understanding through the Holy Spirit’s illumination. We must be students of God’s word, for perhaps the greatest reward of persistent prayer and seeking to prove all things, will be the avoidance of being carried away by the flood of false doctrines that the Holy Spirit warned would be promoted abundantly by demons through arrogant men thinking themselves to be something they are not.

True understanding is given by direct commandment of God who tries the hearts of men. It is never the product of clever men being able to calculate their way through hidden codes in scripture; Harold Camping’s date setting errors should be a sufficient warning to any aspiring date setter. But that doesn’t mean we cannot know the times in which we are living. Read the rest of this entry »

Black and White

Posted: August 22, 2014 by William E. Males in Shared Thoughts, Uncategorized
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Black and White.

There is a sharp and blaring contrast that divides the blackness of the deceitfulness of sin from the bright white of truth which alone serves as a sure foundation for virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, kindness, godliness, and charity, or the defining characteristics of true and living righteousness which comes through faith in, and faithfulness to, the living God. For faith without faithfulness is merely a personal deception.

When men fail to see the sharp and distinct line, which is unmistakable to the seeing, it is for one of two reasons. Either they are ignorant or they have allowed their own hearts for self-serving reasons to mingle the two together. Like it or not, only in Truth can men truly be free. But that becomes the defining point of when, where, and why evil in the hearts of men compel them to reject the truth of what freedom is, triggering in them a desperate need to redefine it into something it is not. Read the rest of this entry »

A message the Lord gave me to share in open assembly. 

Transcript-

In the beginning of your message, the Lord put this… brought this to my heart. Being a husband and being a father, loving my wife and kids, loving my friends, loving my pastor, this passage has always struck me, motivated me to prayer. Ummm,

(I’m reading from Ezekiel 14)

The word of the LORD came again to me, saying,

Son of man, when a land sins against Me by traitorous betraying, then I will stretch out My hand on it, and will break the staff of its bread, and will send famine on it, and will cut off man and beast from it.

And though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver only their own souls by their righteousness, says the Lord Jehovah.

If I cause destroying beasts to come through the land, and they spoil it so that it is deserted, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts,

though these three men were in its midst, as I live, says the Lord Jehovah, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters. They only shall be delivered, but the land shall be deserted.

Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it;

though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord Jehovah, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves.

Or if I send a plague into that land, and pour out My fury on it in blood, to cut off man and beast from it;

though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, says the Lord Jehovah, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter. They shall only deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

For so says the Lord Jehovah: How much more when I send My four evil judgments on Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the destroying beast, and the plague, to cut off man and beast from it.

Yet, behold, there shall be left a remnant in it that shall be brought out, sons and daughters. Behold, they shall come out to you, and you shall see their way and their doings. And you shall be comforted concerning the evil that I brought on Jerusalem, for all that I have brought on it.

A brother  asks – What passage was that?

William – Ezekiel 14:12 to the end.

God will provide our needs, you said that. You talked about tribulation; you talked about God’s faithfulness and God will provide for us when the time comes… But God is providing for us.  It is fooling… it is foolishness to think that we need to wait till the sword comes and that God’s going to provide. God is providing now.

People in the congregation say “Amen.”

William – Today… we are told in the book of Ephesians “that having done all to stand.” Are we doing all…to stand? Because it is coming. We… you… do all now to stand? We have… I’ve heard it, and, and, I hope I am saying it in the right spirit. You know, God’s put it on Albert’s heart to talk about preparing, and he has prepared. And there are other’s that I know that are preparing. Because God is providing now that preparation for what is coming. God sends His the prophets. God sends His word and says I will do nothing except I reveal it first through my servants the prophets.

And that is the time you receive what God is saying, and you take the time to prepare, first and foremost spiritually. And mentally to prepare you for what’s coming so that you’re not overwhelmed by sudden fear… but also in the practical. Because we have that little warning there, with the five foolish virgins that come to five wise ones and say, “Give us of yours, because our lamps are gone out.”   And they turn around saying to those who had opportunity, who had time to prepare spiritually, emotionally and practically, “Uh-uh, no, not so. Go and buy from them that sell lest we don’t have for ourselves.”

God is speaking to all His people, “Prepare, prepare, prepare, spirit, soul, and body.” To stand in righteousness, to give heed because the God of gods who is righteous and just and has given everything we need now to prepare. And we need to prepare first and foremost in righteousness and repent, and to be the redeemed of the Lord and to let Christ come forth. But faith without works… in that you’re not preparing beyond that to the body, to everybody.

We are the body of Christ, and we need to discern those that are the body of Christ. And we need to let charity move forth beyond words, beyond the walls of the church into true commitment to each other, to stir us up.

This is the word of God today (pointing up towards the pastor), and my prayer is that God’s people lay hold of it, and put actions to it.

 

Love and Honor

Posted: August 3, 2014 by William E. Males in Shared Thoughts
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Which is more important, to feel you are honoring the Lord, or for Him to feel He is being honored? Likewise, which is more important, for us to feel that we love the Lord, or for Him to know He is truly loved? Let’s take this one step further, by adding to our considerations what Jesus also said about faithfulness.

Luke 16:10, He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”

Now based upon Jesus’ words, if when we are being faithful in the least, that discipline will remain constant into our being faithful in greater things; it then seems obvious that the opposite would be true. No, I am not simply repeating what Jesus said, I am working this principle backwards, from the greater down to the least.  For if men are unfaithful in the greater things, then they are without a doubt being unfaithful in the least of things.

Therefore, if men are failing to honor God, they will surely be failing to respectfully honor men. Once again likewise, if they are failing to love God they will be miserably failing at loving other men. Now that doesn’t mean they are going to be aware of it, at least not be facing it head on in the mirror so to say. For we have a way of lying to ourselves, especially about love. Read the rest of this entry »

(Timely re-post) 

Matthew 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

A brother and I were praying for another when he quoted parts of these verses in his prayer. It got me to thinking about how these two verses are possibly the ones I hear taken out of context most when praying with others. Each verse seems to have their own catch phrases that tend to be quoted by young or untrained believers. Even believers who appear mature and seasoned are still only repeating without evaluating what they’ve heard from some preacher, trying to “claim” the promises of God. However, I need to ask, is that really Jesus’ intent here? Was He merely trying to teach us the formula of what and how things need to be done so we can then successfully claim His promises and get our prayers answered?

So, wen I hear people misused verse 19, it is actually quite troublesome to me, because they really believe that by getting me or another to stand in agreement with them that they’re more likely to have their prayer answered. This flawed understanding literally keeps these believers in a position of trying to perfect the way they do things so they can have faith for their prayers… rather than simply praying because of faith.

Sadly, I am absolutely certain there are many Christians out there who cannot even understand what I just said. Because they been taught things incorrectly, they are left believing “faith” is something they must somehow muster up to compel God to move on their behalf, or even to hear their prayers.

Read the rest of this entry »

“WOE to THOSE WHO CALL EVIL GOOD”

Posted: July 23, 2014 by William E. Males in Shared Thoughts

by Darren Smith

( Re-posted since host listed site was “Temporarily Suspended” )

I am sickened at the state of this country and truly sad that it’s at a point of no return. The tide has turned and those who seek justice and righteousness are no longer the majority. Now we are at the time to confess that we let America and what she stands for slowly slip away while we sought after comfort and prosperity and self-fulfillment.

Our land has become a place of greed and self-promotion, shallow and spiritless. I know as soon as I send this out many will say to “remove me from your list” or call me unpatriotic, but I’m beyond the point of restraint and holding back words because they are controversial and offensive. Political correctness means nothing to me and I will not be quiet any longer.

Isaiah 5 is a perfect picture of America today – a nation that lost its soul. We need to admit where we are and what we have become and quit walking in step with the false notion that we are a “just nation”. I want to start with the gay issue that dominates our media today. The very fact that you can’t say that being gay is against God’s Word is ridiculous, but now as a nation we call – in fact we promote homosexual activity – call it good. Woe unto a nation that calls evil good!

I don’t hate homosexuals at all. In fact we reach out to them with Christ, but I cannot condone their behavior and I will never call it good when God says it is wrong! Let’s move on down the list of indictments.

Abortion is considered birth control, not murder. Again – our nation calls it good for women to be able to choose whether to have a child or to kill it. The argument is that a woman should have a right to have control over her own body. But the very reason they use is faulty at the core. If a woman has a right to choose what she does with her own body then why does this nation’s laws have her arrested for being a prostitute? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying prostitution is not wrong, but if you are going to hold the position that a woman has the right to control her body, then be consistent with what you believe.

The sad truth is that abortion is a several billion dollar industry that has bought our leaders and they have spent billions spreading lies with their partners in the media to numb your minds. Abortion is murder, cut and dry, and its effect on devaluing human life cannot be reversed. I have met and prayed with scores of women that themselves were victims of abortion. I have never met one that was glad they chose to abort, yet as a nation we call abortion good. Woe unto a nation that calls evil good!

We still say that we are a chosen nation, even though we have the highest rates of drug use in the world, the highest alcohol abuse rates in the world, and the highest crime rates. Do you realize that you are more likely to be killed in Chicago and many other major cities than you are in a war zone?

What we are seeing is the breakdown of society playing out before our eyes. The cheapening of life and the increase of people with no compassion for others multiply at a mind blowing rate. Why? Because we call evil good and woe is befalling us as we speak. Yet we as a people are too busy seeking comfort and entertainment to open our eyes. We are far more concerned with sharing our opinion on Facebook, while we post selfies and try to make our life look interesting to others.

How did we ever come to a point where selfie could ever become a word – much less an action – we take pride in? Jesus tells us to be selfless and not to promote our self with things. People should find us interesting, if we belong to Christ, because of our love and our actions. We are at a point in our land where you can’t hold a conversation with a person because they can’t look at you for looking at their phone.

We celebrate bad behavior by making people famous and wealthy because we like to watch their bad behavior on TV to entertain ourselves in a righteous land. Could the Kardashions or Pdiddy or any others of the hosts be a role model? Would Jerry Springer or any of the other freakshows get any airplay?… Woe unto a nation that calls evil good!

We celebrate greed in our nation by our fascination with the wealthy. Would you trust Donald Trump with your kids? We give the greedy a prominent position in society because of what they have and because we are jealous and want or even think we deserve to have it too.

We have gone so far that we have modeled our churches after the world and the world’s business plan – the bigger, the better, the more comfortable, the more holy we are. But truth can’t be found in this model, nor can courage, just more entertainment. We even treat the rich better than others so we can gain from them. Jesus said in Luke that you cannot measure a man by the abundance of his possessions. But we still do.

As a nation, we try to tell the rest of the world how to act when we are a total mess ourselves. We even export our greed as well as our false doctrines to anyone who will listen. I will close with this last point. If God’s people would stand for truth and justice, no matter what the personal cost, we would make a difference. If men who say they are called to preach would preach truth instead of feel-good humanism and prosperity, a fire would ignite that could not be contained.

What has brought us to this point is conforming to the world instead of conforming to Christ. There is no difference in the modern church and the world. They are one in the same. The modern church just feels better about itself after hearing the motivational speech and the upbeat music a couple times a week. A real preacher – preaching and living the Gospel – will cause a stir every time he speaks, instead of not rocking the comfortable boat he is cruising in.

I really don’t care if you think I’m too radical or that I’m unpatriotic. I cannot yield to this false system any longer. I will not defend the actions of a nation and government that has turned its back on God, nor will I defend a church system that has done the same. I’m looking for people who feel the same way and are willing to stand, take action and live the Gospel. We can’t wait any longer to act but nothing good comes without a fight. We need to network together and make a difference.

 

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 In part 1, at the end I asked these questions, “So what does this all mean? And what “beginning” is the Holy Spirit referencing here? Plus, exactly how can the Word be both with God and yet be God? Long ago I looked at this verse and ponder these questions and more. Certainly, each written word of this verse is deliberate and true, but exactly how and why they are true was outside the grasp of my meager ability to comprehend.  Nonetheless, I accepted their immediate and obvious implications as accurate, believing them to be the words of God which still needed to be firmly embraced by faith, even if I didn’t understand them.

Today, it is with earnest appreciation that I’m persuaded His Holy Spirit has graciously allowed, as it were, the very fingertips of my understanding to ever so lightly touch the certainty of these words, permitting an ever so-slight awareness of the magnitude of their significance. Consequently, I have been persuaded these words of truth are saturated with profound implications and consequence, of which there is rich evidence to the strength of their authority everywhere,  waiting to be acknowledged by the earnest seeker of Truth.

However, before I get too far into this post, there is a distinction between knowledge and understanding which I believe would be beneficial to briefly discuss first. Certainly there are a variety of things we each may have considerable knowledge of and yet still not possess a comparable understanding about. For an example, we know a vacuum cleaner needs to be plugged in and the switch in the on position if it is going to function and get the job done; but exactly “why” is there power in the wall outlet and “how” it was generated, or “what” exactly is going on inside the vacuum cleaner are simply not necessary pieces of information required by the user in order to get the floor clean.

But yet, what an incredible difference an understanding of how and why something works makes in one’s life. It is like turning on a light in a dark and undiscovered place. Suddenly hidden things become clear and we gain the ability to see further, and even to correctly discern and anticipate possibilities when we begin to understand the concepts of “how” and “why.” Read the rest of this entry »

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The opening of Apostle John’s gospel account of Jesus’ deity is a profound verse that confronts the reader immediately with the testimony that the historical Jesus of Nazareth was there “In the beginning… with God,” and then with incredible simplicity and clarity of speech affirms His deity absolutely, proclaiming “the Word was God.”

“How?” people often ask, “Can Jesus be with God and be God?” Good question, but just because something is a mystery doesn’t negate its reality, the mystery only attests to a lack understanding. Now the Jehovah Witnesses solved this problem simply by reinterpreting the verse to agree with their own theological misunderstanding of Jesus’ true identity –

“In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”

That’s their erroneous solution, admit “the Word” was “with God” and then just state that “the Word” was just another (little “g”) god. They explain this with verse 2 being translated to say “This one was in the beginning with God.” Their answer is simply that there were two gods at the beginning, the Almighty God Jehovah and then the lesser created “mighty god” Jesus. However, if Jesus was created, then His beginning would have to be separate from “the beginning,” which doesn’t really set well with their interpretation of the following verse –

All things came into existence through him and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.”

Are there two beginnings? Would not a created lesser god with such a beginning be part of “all things” that “came into existence?”

Now, before I quickly lose some readers because they think I am writing this article about Jehovah Witnesses, I’m not. This article is about John 1:1 and how through it the Holy Spirit reveals volumes of truth about “the gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.” Therefore I hope many of you will continue to read this in its entirety. Read the rest of this entry »

A couple of years ago I had written an article about the unfaithful steward who wasted his master’s goods, I discussed the attitudes of the Pharisees that were there listening. Amazingly, instead of agreeing with Jesus that the steward’s behavior was sinful, they instead began to deride Jesus to publicly mock Him. The more I ponder this reactive attitude towards Christ the more I am amazed at how just how hard an arrogant and religious heart can be. Not only were they failing miserably at being faithful stewards of the oracles of God which they openly boasted to be the keepers and teachers of, they failed miserably in their living by them. Such is why all who will live godly for Jesus will not only be rejected, but likewise persecuted by today’s arrogant religious leaders.

Jesus said such men were “those who justified yourselves before men,” but warned all that God knows the hearts of all men. But what was it the Pharisees had been “justifying” themselves about? They were the prominent religious leaders of the day . . . that is up until the Light of the world appeared unto men exposing them for what they really were. They were covetous not only of worldly things, but also of the praise and admiration of men. No wonder Jesus spoke such sharp condemning words to them that what they “highly esteemed” was an abomination in the sight of God.

If you are an America Christian who is faring well and yet yearn for, or look for the praise and approval of men, then I strongly urge you to listen to Jesus words against these religious men  –

Luke 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. 25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

 In the Gospel of John it was recorded how many of the chief rulers actually believed on Jesus, but only two of which are mentioned in scripture and eventually came forward and stood for Jesus, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea. However, many of them would not openly confess Jesus because they feared the Jews, i.e., the Pharisees -

John 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:  43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Read the rest of this entry »

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
(Proverbs 4:7, 16:16) 


Friday night’s teaching at the Sanctuary – 02-15, 2013

Jesus the Man

(click link above to listen)

If the above message was interesting to you, then perhaps you’ll appreciate this one too,

Its all about the wedding…

(click link above to listen)

Revelation 19:6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

Capture

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Its all about the wedding…

(click link above to listen)

The above is a message I shared at a men’s fellowship regarding the wedding at Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed His first miracle beginning His ministry.