Archive for the ‘Shared Thoughts’ Category

Are you looking to improve your walking with God?

Here is an old book called “Walking with God” well worth reading. It was written Richard Baxter and first published in 1825. I had ordered this book since I was familiar with Richard Baxter’s work, having read “The Reformed Pastor,” a book which in my opinion is a must read for every man who has taken to himself the position of a “pastor,” or aspiring to be a leader or watchman in the church.

1Timothy 3:1 – This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

However, when I got my copy of “Walking with God,” the print was very small and poor, making it difficult to read. So, I determinedly searched, found, and downloaded the book in order to have ease of reading. Naturally, the book, due to its era of being written utilized words and scriptural references in archaic formats, which I have no issue with. But wanting to make the book available to others which might be burden down by such, I slightly edited these aspects so as to provide family members, friends, and other readers a more contemporary format. Don’t worry, the book is in common domain.

Examples of editing: knocketh/knocks;  obeyeth/obeys;  shalt/shall;  seeketh/seeks;  saith/said/says; etc., etc.

Again, I lightly edited the book solely for added ease of reading and studying and can assure you that Richard Baxter’s original message and intent remains spiritually unchanged, solid, and intact. I know this book will greatly benefit, convict, instruct, challenge, and generally will just greatly bless anyone truly desiring more “meat” in their spiritual diet.

You should be able to download the PDF to your own device for further convenience.

WALKING WITH GOD

Format for your iPhone or other smart phones.

WALKING WITH GOD for Phone

Enjoy!

A short sermon I preached from about 5 years ago…

 
“If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.” (1 Corinthians 16:22)

Whom shall God teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breast. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. (Isaiah 28:9, 10)

 

In order for anyone to understand anything, they must first be made aware of some basic principles. In math, for instance, one could not very well understand multiplication without first understanding addition.

True understanding can only come from knowledge founded upon God’s precepts. Therefore, this post is an effort to present those precepts that are necessary to know in order to understand the role of male and female, and “why” God created us such.

God created humanity to be both male and female so they could “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.” In Titus chapter 2 there are many examples for this are given, husbands and wives, masters and servants, young to elders. We especially can even see it in children honoring/obeying their parents according to the commandment with the promise of a long life and how as God’s children if we honor/obey Him through our faith then we too have the promise of eternal life.

To begin, we must first acknowledge how it was the male who was first created in the image of God with a position on the earth similar to God in the heaven. Even nowadays, when in a right relationship with God, a man will faithfully represent God in all his dealings, both in his own household and with his neighbor.

Since true love and commitment must be of one’s free will, God designed humanity with the ability to choose to be either His glory or His shame in the earth. When a man (male) humbles himself and chooses to submit to the precepts of God, he becomes the glory of God in the earth. His life will then both affirm and reflect both the righteous judgments and attributes of God.

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That’s what God’s word tells us.  But many today aren’t “fleeing” from it, rather they are for all intents and purposes running madly to it. For some insane reason people are literally racing to expose and open themselves up to everything and anything sexual, as if somehow it is going to be the answer to their loneliness or boredom or their oppressive sense of rejection and insignificance. It has become so maddening that even some so called friends frequently engage in sexual immorality and openly make and accept challenges to do the most profane things with as many partners to see who can outperform the other. This is not only madness; this is as close as a society can get to mass suicide. Yes, you read it right, mass suicide.

Perhaps it is because people are just so willfully ignorant of God’s word or so insecure having grown up in such a self-centered generation where almost everyone seems infatuated with seeking their own gratification at the expense of whoever and/or whatever. The thought of it almost no longer shocks some people that there are those who are literally drugging their supposed “dates” and then raping them and then allowing others to rape them as well. These human beasts are literally doing this openly amongst their select group of perverted friends in a celebratory fashion. Packs of humanity who outwardly look like everyone else while actively preying sexually on others, and we’re not even off the subject of “straight sex!” All the while there are others in more acceptable positions that have established themselves as “respectable” in the community who are so slavishly engrossed in their own sexual decadence that they cannot but run to every opportunity of fornication regardless the risk to their families and careers . . . all for a moment of unbridled indulgence that promises only to send their world crashing to the ground all around them while the whole world sees and continues to be none the wiser. Do you really think these people started off this enslaved and wicked?

If this is touching you then please listen, God’s word tells us as plainly as it can, “Can a man carry fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk upon hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished.” Man cannot indulge in sexual sins and not do serious harm to his own self, physically (STD’s), emotionally and spiritually.

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Jesus Christ the man

Posted: April 29, 2017 in Shared Thoughts

Christ in you, the hope of glory.

It’s that time of year again when beleivers celebrate the Lord’s resurrection and the events ocurring there about. One of the techings that seems connected with the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is how “he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” However, many believers miss what Peter was actually referring to in that verse, and that my firends is the topic of this post. But first, let’s start this topic off with looking at a few verses concerning God’s prophets and the Spirit of Christ for some context and supportive references –

II Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

I Peter 1:10 – Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

“Holy men of God” were “the prophets” through which “God spoke” as they “were moved by the Holy Ghost,” and they were only speaking that which “the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.”

Such is why the Apostle Paul made his statement to the Galatians that, as a minister of the Gospel, he was crucified with Christ and thus Christ lives in and through him. But Paul doesn’t stop with applying this principle only to himself, for later he stresses how this principle applies to all who are Christ’s. For if we are truly “in Christ Jesus,” it is only because His Spirit lives in us; and if we are ever to truly be ministering life through the Gospel, it is because Christ is ministering it through us.

Galatians 2:20 – I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 5:24 – And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

For this reason, Paul testified to both the Thessalonians and the Corinthians that what he preached unto them was not merely the word of a man, but rather the very word of God. For Paul testifies what he had spoken was through the leading of the Spirit of Christ that dwelt within him.

I Thessalonians 2:13 – For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

II Corinthians 13:3 – Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. 4 For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Below another passage further establishes this truth that it was Jesus Christ himself, who by His Spirit, was ministering through the prophets of old. Unfortunately, this passage has also been greatly misunderstood by many throughout the centuries. Sadly, this confusion has given way for many erroneous teachings to creep into the church about Jesus, His death, and the completeness of the work of the cross.

I Peter 3:18 – For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which [Spirit] also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

The “popular” understanding of this verse is that after Jesus died, He then went to hell and preached to the spirits/souls that were in prisoned there; and some believe and assert/teach that of those in hell that “believed” what Jesus preached unto them were then set free. Added to these interpretations are other assertions such as Jesus had to die spiritually, taste hell itself, and be born again in order to defeat the devil on his ground, all this so that Jesus could take back from the devil the keys of death and hell. All of which are false.

Many believers raised in traditional churches assume these beliefs to be credible because they lack an understanding of the scriptures and the Nicene or Apostles’ Creed they may have been compelled to memorize. For when it states that Jesus was “crucified, buried, descended into hell and rose again the third day,” they assume it means Jesus literally went to hell, the place prepared for the angels that had sinned. However, this reference to the death, burial, and resurrection which is a true tenet of the Christian faith actually refers to Jesus’ body being crucified, prepared for burial, and placed in the grave for three days after which He resurrected.

Psalms 16:10 – For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

This psalm is speaking about the physical body of Jesus not being left in the grave to decay, or “see corruption.” It is not speaking about Jesus going, either physically or spiritually, into the hell which was prepared for the devil and his fallen angels. The word here translated “hell” in English is the Hebrew word “sheol” which was used sixty-five times in the Old Testament; thirty-three times implying the “grave” and thus correctly translated.

Adding to the confusion is how many people falsely believe that Hell is the headquarters of Lucifer, when actually it is a prison God made for the fallen angels and those who would imitate their lawlessness. The fallen angels and demons are terrified of hell. For when Jesus cast out demons out of the possessed Gadarenes man, they were terrified of hell and fearfully inquired if He had come to torment them before their time by sending them there.

Matthew 8:29 – And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Except for those fallen angels which were long ago cast down for their particular sins and are already bound in chains of darkness in Tartarus, the remaining principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world are still loose and share the sentiments of demons having a fear for the torment of hell, for they know this prison was created for them.

II Peter 2:4 – …God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.

Since Jesus created all things it would be foolish to assume He needed to go to hell in order to get the keys of death and hell, for He has always possessed them.

Psalms 68:20 – He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.

Revelation 1:18 – I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

One only needs to listen carefully to what Jesus is saying to correctly discern what He is not saying. For many have become so affixed by popular theology that they can only read the Holy Scriptures in the light of the theology they were taught: rather than proving their theology by the light of the scriptures.  For in Revelation 1:18, Jesus clearly says “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.” That is because once again to “confirm the covenant” He tells us that it is He who has “the keys of hell [meaning the grave] and death.”  After His death, Jesus ripped the veil of the Temple in two and “the graves were opened.” However, it was not until after His resurrection that “many bodies of the saints… came out of the graves… and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

Matthew 27:50 – Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Ezekiel 37:12 – Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put My spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

While there are conflicting opinions on just who those saints were that “came out of the graves… and went into the holy city and appeared unto many,” I do not believe that these were the old patriarchal saints. The scripture plainly states that “many bodies of the saints which slept arose,” making it evident that not all of “the saints which slept arose.” Thus, I am persuaded these were probably saints who had recently died; for the patriarchal saints would not have been known by their appearance as there were no photos of them whereby the townspeople would have readily recognized them. Rather these were saints who like Lazarus were brought back to life in their mortal bodies. Incontestably, Jesus was the “firstfruits from the dead,” which means that all those who have died in faith are still awaiting the fulfillment of the covenant to be resurrected with their own glorified, immortal bodies at His return.

Hebrews 11:39 – And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

So let’s look afresh once more at that greatly misunderstood passage in I Peter and see if we cannot properly discern the apostle’s meaning.

I Peter 3:18 – For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

First it is clear how Jesus suffered and “was put to death in the flesh,” but was then “quicken by the Spirit.” That phrase means His body was not resurrected by the power of that earthen vessel of humanity, rather by the Spirit of Christ that dwelt within. Paul had stated virtually the same thing in his Epistle to the Romans, which again can also be viewed as “confirming the covenant.”

Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Next, take notice in I Peter 3:18 how Peter states “by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison.”  What Peter is saying is that it was by the Spirit that Jesus once went and preached to the spirits in prison and not in His bodily form. This reveals that it was not Jesus the “Son of man” which went somewhere and preached, but rather the Spirit of Christ.”

Also, unless we pay careful attention to just whose “spirits” these are that are “in prison,” then like so many others have we too will run the risk of jumping to all sorts of erroneous conclusions; which is completely unnecessary since Peter clearly states who they are. These are the spirits of those “which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”

Therefore, these spirits are not all the lost souls of humanity which died from the time of Adam to Christ; rather these are only the spirits of those who were alive during those the days “while the ark was a preparing.” This is an excellent example of how we must be careful not to apply content beyond what is written to the scriptures. So why then does it say it was Christ who preached to those souls which were alive in those last days of Noah while the ark was being built? Perhaps it will help to review what Peter said earlier in the context of this very epistle.

I Peter 1:10 – Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Not only was Noah a preacher of righteousness, he doubtlessly was one of these prophets Peter was referring to who preached by “the Spirit of Christ which was in” him. Thus it was Noah who preached unto them “which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah,” but the people rejected what the Spirit of Christ had preached to them through the Prophet Noah and therefore they perished; their bodies decayed and returned into the earth but their “spirits” are now “in prison.”

No, Peter wasn’t saying after Jesus died that He went to hell to preach, for anyone entering into hell and offering any hope to those spirits would immediately find everyone grasping at any possibility of escape. Rather, Peter was affirming the omnipotence of Christ, that though He was a man who suffered and died in the flesh, He was much more, He was a quickening Spirit in Noah through which He warned the world that then was to flee the wrath to come, of which only the few righteous were spared while the disobedient perished.

Thus, we have a sound scriptural account of Jesus preaching before Israel was a nation or there was a Holy City of Jerusalem and Temple, even before the time of His own incarnation. Why then would we fail to believe that the Spirit of Christ will again be there in like power and authority via the Two Witnesses at the next coming end of the world which is now cresting our own horizon?

II Peter 3:5 – For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

These Two Witnesses will know exactly who they are; and by “the Spirit of Christ which is in them” they will testify in the last days how they are going be martyred and how they too, just like Jesus, will be raised from the dead. Though their ministry and testimony of Jesus the Christ will absolutely infuriate the world and most of the Jewish people, a remnant of the Jews will nonetheless believe and having been pierced in their hearts and convicted by the Sword of Truth will be watching there slain bodies and witness their resurrection from the dead. This remnant are those who will give glory unto God after their resurrection once again confirms the covenant of God, perhaps for the very last time before the whole world.

Revelation 11:7 – And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

The only way these Jews, or any one, can give glory unto God is to honor the Son, even as they would honor the Father. Thus, this remnant gives glory unto the Son as their Redeemer, Christ the Lord. The fulfillment of this will be the prophesied in-grafting of the Jews back into the vine, resulting in the completion of the angel Gabriel’s prophecy to Daniel by ushering in the fulfillment of the covenant, the resurrection of the dead.

Romans 11:15 – For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

It’s time to be looking up, for our redemption draws near…

 

(Sadly, many are completely ignorant of the extent of the various rebellions and sins of the fallen angels, including their taking daughters of men for wives and their offspring, the nephilim; a subject far too vast to cover here. I would simply recommend two books on the subject which are available online in PDF format for those interested. The first would be “The Fallen Angels and the Heroes of Mythology” by Rev. John Fleming, A.B., published in 1879. The second would be “Earth’s Earliest Ages” by G.H. Pember, published 1889.)

Part 2 of 2  of my series on hell 

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

God’s word is more glorious than even the wonder of birth; for in it He has given us some incredible insights into His own heart’s desire. His word is not merely a bunch of rules and laws made to regulate every aspect of men’s behavior and to oppress their freedom in life. No, God’s word is actually the only true wellspring of life, in addition to the only effectual means for guarding what He gives unto His people. Some may immediately feel compelled to challenge that statement, but I am not speaking about the bible you have on your shelf, I am speaking of that which came by unction of God’s Holy Spirit unto His prophets and apostles, that which is spirit and not merely “letter.”

The bibles we have are but books made of paper and ink, filled with letters that cannot do anything of their own, there is no power in them anymore than a flashlight has the ability to illuminate without batteries being in it. It is only a means, a tool whereby the supremacy of God’s spoken word which is ultimately spirit can be revealed unto us . . . that is if and when our heart is in the right condition.

Through God’s holy word comes first the revelation of His supremacy and preeminence, that “God is,” meaning there is in fact a God to whom all men are accountable. Secondly it teaches us how He has created all things in a state of “good.” God created the realms for life to flourish, the sea, the air and the land and then brought forth all manner of life and gave them not just the command to be “fruitful and multiply,” no much more than that, God gave forth the blessing of life.

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My Greatest Prayer…

Posted: August 8, 2016 in Shared Thoughts

My greatest prayer is that all the members of my family would come to a personal revelation of not only God’s great love for the world, but for each of them individually. That even if it was only them, God would have still sent His son and Jesus would have given Himself for them with no less resolve then He did for the whole world.

So while alone watching last night a display of God’s majesty in a lightning storm off in the distant sky I begin to think of that GREAT love wherewith He has loved me and faithfully continues to reveal Himself to me. As I sat alone in the dark I began to think on those two words, “Great Love,” and as I did with each letter in the word “great” I began to how they define that love God desires to share with those who would only stop and listen to Him.

For the letter “G” it was obvious that God’s love is most evident in that He “gave” His Son, but also in that He gave us life, and the ability to learn and love. With that I thanked God that He gave me a wife where I might grasp the both the joys and sorrows of love, in having become one with my wife in so many ways that I only feel fulfilled as a man with we’re side by side and the sorrow of having to be apart, be it circumstantial or because of a disagreement that needs to be worked through and resolved.

I also love the fact that God designed us male and female and that the celebration of our love results in the growth of our family and that God has blessed us with our four sons. Each of them unique and special, stirring with in my heart a special pride and joy in each of them, which helps me to realize how God is able to appreciate all of us as well as delight in everyone who comes to Him in faith in a personal and intimate way.

With the letter “R” there were many aspects of His love that came to mind. The first is that while I was dead in my trespasses and sins He still “reached” out for me and like a loving shepherd He lifted me out of a pit of despair and set my feet back on solid ground. After making so many mistakes and having endless regrets, He was faithful to “repair” so many things and relationships that I was sure had been hopelessly damaged, likewise He gently began to “restore” my soul by showing me the things in my heart that were so contrary to Him and life, so that I could see the destructive attitudes of my heart and the deceitfulness of my old desires.

It was only then that I could cry out in agreement with His judgments which enabled me to yield myself wholly to Him at which point He mercifully began to change my heart into one that truly hungered and thirst for His will to be done in my life. But of course there have been countless times I have failed Him and have wept before in anger at myself, only to have Him “renew” me with His presence afresh as He “replaced” my sorrow with gladness time after time.

With the letter “E” comes the revelation, or “enlightenment” that God’s in His love has given me. So many things were so beyond my comprehension that I couldn’t even have asked the proper question to get the answers He has given me to so many problems in my life. He truly knows my needs before I do and in His love has given me “everything” I need. In those trying times of temptations and hardship, God has often “enabled” me to endure such trials patiently, teaching me that I can trust Him always to see me through to where He desires to lead me.

With the letter “A” my first thought was how He has “always” loved me and been there calling me unto Himself. Yet in my old pride of life I stubbornly went my own way struggling to get by and often had to do without even the basics at times struggling to make ends meet. But having come to a personal realization of His great love for me I have learned that He truly does desire to give me “abundant” life, but that it is wisely hidden within Him and His great love. Sadly, so many cannot see what I now see with crystal clarity, that if God has given me His Son, He will also freely give all things that pertain to life and godliness.

Last, but no least, the letter “T.” I have learned God’s love always comes through for His children perfectly on “time.” That so many times I was impatiently wondering where God was in a situation in my life, and just when I was about out of hope and confidence, He was there right on time meeting the situation with precision in both time and substance leaving me ashamed I had been so weak in my faith. But through it all He “taught” me that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I’ve learned His ears hears my cries and in His great love for me He even saves my tears, for even they are precious to Him: especially when they are tears of sorrow shared by His own heart for those who do not know Him as I do.

However, what would probably be greatest thing about God’s great love for me, He constantly works in His grace to “transform” me into the very image of His only begotten Son. To me it is absolutely inconceivable, yet God in His great love for me has allowed me a few precious moments of seeing how Christ is being formed in me; and I am confident what He has begun in me, He will complete.

So, I will again say, my greatest prayer is that each member of my family is that they too will come to their own personal revelation of God’s great love. I earnestly pray that a thousand years from now we will all be standing together worshipping our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Oh God, I pray Lord Jesus, let the circle be unbroken…

The Church In Sodom

Posted: May 24, 2016 in Shared Thoughts

church in sodom

Brothers and sisters, why do you think Abraham thought he could appeal to God, asking Him to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if there were just even 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.” Do you think that there were no professing believers in Ezekiel’s days?

No, there were religious people all over the land, boasting in their arrogance and claiming to be God’s chosen people, prophets and priests and faithful followers of Jehovah. They were the called out ones, or so they thought. Those Jews in Ezekiel’s days were both shocked and surprise when judgment fell upon them, just as many of today’s professing Christians will be 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!”

Likewise, righteous Lot was alone only in his righteousness, but there were many living in Sodom and Gomorrah claiming to be his fellow-believers in the living God. Therefore, 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 true believer 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 with his two daughters 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. How can it be that so many Christians are failing to discern this and fear God?

My Testimony

Posted: May 16, 2016 in Shared Thoughts

As a child I was raised a Lutheran, and I can clearly remember one day when the Sunday school teacher was obviously feeling a little evangelistic. Up to then we would mostly spend our time coloring, doing flannel board lessons about bible characters, or just spend the time out on the playground while our parents were in Church. But on this one particular day she shared with us kids that if we had Jesus in our hearts then we would get to go to heaven, but if not, well… we would go to hell.

Now that was some pretty powerful news for kids between 6-8 years old. So I raised my hand and asked her, “How do we know Jesus is real?” After all, none of us had ever seen Him hanging around the church and all I had ever seen were drawings or paintings of Him. Now my question really threw her threw a loop, for after looking at me for a bit she honestly replied, “I don’t know, I guess we just better believe in case He is,” Well, that was it for me. If she didn’t have an answer for that one, why would I ask any more questions?

 However, that night in bed I remembered what she said and my thoughts went to a painting my grandmother had of Jesus standing outside an arched door knocking to come in. As I lay there I knew what she said was true even if she hadn’t been able to answer my question. Her crude little Gospel message was still sharp enough to pierce into my little heart. I was scared, and so I began to cry being frustrated that she wasn’t able to answer my question. For had she given me an answer, I certainly would have asked the one that was agonizing me that night, “How do I get Jesus into my heart?”

So as I lay on my back in bed I began to repeatedly turn a knob to an imaginary door on my chest and pretended I was opening a door over and over while crying, “Jesus, please come into my heart…” I wish I could say from that point on I have faithfully served the Lord, but that’s not the case. For though I believed in the Lord, there was still no one in my life that could effectively speak the things of God into my life. Oh I believed Jesus was real, but He quickly became only Sunday-go-to-church real. With no real mentor or example to teach me how to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,” I eventually found church was no longer able to capture my attention. Church soon became nothing more than another meeting place that parents took their kids to.

As far as school goes, it was never a real attention grabber for me. The only thing that made any sense to me was math, but oh how I hated English, History, and Science. I just felt it all was completely irrelevant to my life. The worst thing they ever did to me was put me in sight of a window. For the life of me, there was no way I could focus in school knowing the whole world was going on outside.

Add to that, being a teenager in the sixties it was real easy for me to get caught up in the music and drugs and before long I was staying out all night. There was no vision in my life other than living the moment and doing drugs. I had good parents who loved me and disciplined me, but even though I loved them I just couldn’t keep their rules anymore. So after 9th grade I quit school and ended up running away from home when I was fifteen with a pregnant girlfriend. We eventually got caught across the state and had to go home, but it didn’t take long before I was back on the street. I assure you, a fifteen year old on the streets makes a lot of compromises to get by and crime becomes the norm.

Eventually I moved into some guy’s back yard toolshed with a couple other guys, each of us paying five dollars a week. Late one night we were all getting high on a construction site in the neighborhood with some other potheads when two of them began to brag about how great and powerful Satan was. I admit I was a bit taken back by them at first. But being stoned and thinking about my own destitute situation in life, I asked them very seriously, “Ok, if Satan is so powerful, then what can he do for me?” To my surprise they looked at me and got extremely upset and started cursing at me and just left. I wasn’t sure what really happened, I just thought they were extremely weird. But over the years I’ve concluded somehow they were given the message “No, leave this one alone.”

Eventually I ended up in a non-denominational house church that started what they called a “Discipleship Program.” I moved in with the pastor and a couple other men and started my discipleship. After years of involvement I was made a deacon, then an elder, and eventually even an assistant pastor. It was in that church that I met a very special woman and we got married. The church eventually started a school and a Christian dinner theater, but things in general didn’t progress very well. Sadly, some of the leaders didn’t really walk the Christian walk and soon alcohol, sex and sin was the hidden norm everywhere. Being consumed by the guilt of my own sins, one Sunday when my turn came to preach I decided to share my last message from the passage below.

Galatians 6:1 – Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

The focus of my message was simple, are you fellow leaders even spiritual enough to recognize when a man is overtaken in a fault? Or have you too already yielded to all your temptations. It was my last cry of desperation as I made plans to leave the church. My wife and I moved 300 miles away and within a year I was fallen again headlong into immorality, drug use and alcohol. I found out firsthand what a really big jerk my wife’s first husband was… even though to this day she has only been married once.

A couple of years later, and over a thousand miles away from home, separated and all alone on a blood moon eclipse night, I was so drugged out and intoxicated that my body was having alarming signs threatening me that that night might well be my very last. I cried out again to God, “Lord, all I wanted was to be a man of God. I believe in You, but I don’t believe in anything I was taught anymore. Why can’t I be an overcomer? Why can’t I do the right thing? Lord I just want to go home and start over.” I woke up the next day resolved to do just that, but I had so many things I needed to get right before I could. I tried my best to mend local relationships and wrongs committed and then sold everything I owned but my clothes and van and headed back home.

Once home I was trying hard to do the right thing and was graciously reunited with my wife. One Sunday we were with some other Christian friends as we all decided to visit a new Church started by a popular Miami Beach performer who supposedly became a Christian. Having been through so much sin myself, who was I to throw stones or to judge? So I went and listened to him preach as he hit on all the points that makes sinners want a happier and better life. He gave an invitation saying he knew there were many needing deliverance, and if you’ve been struggling with sin then come up and he was going to pray for you. Having struggled all my life with sin I went up.

There we were all lined up in front from left to right and he started praying. As he walked down the line he was laying hands on the people and they were all falling backwards. So I said to the Lord, “Here I am. No games anymore. If this is You Lord I want it all.” I figured God was big enough to knock me down like everyone else, so I kept my eyes open and waited my turn. When this man reached me he closed his eyes and laid his hand on my head, but nothing happened. I think he was more surprised than me. Suddenly while I am looking into his eyes he angrily says,” You’re not going to resist me you foul spirit!” And then he stepped into me and literally shoved my head backwards causing me to lose my balance.  I immediately stood up, shook my head in disbelief and went back to my seat. As I walked back to my seat I felt the Lord impressed upon me, “I am your Deliverer, do not look to man.”

I did however have the wisdom to understand God wasn’t telling me to ignore other believers or the gifts He had given them for His glory, but at that point in time He wanted me to seek Him and Him alone. It was there I made a decision to put everything I ever thought about Jesus Christ and Christianity upon God’s altar and to start proving all things afresh in the light of the scriptures. What I discovered shouldn’t surprise anyone, for we all heard it for years; the truth will set you free. For men’s problems are never the truth; it is always their unwillingness to fully surrender to the terms of the Truth.

I wish I could say from that point on everything was better, but the reality for me was like it is for all of us; whether we like it or not there is a war going on and until Jesus Christ returns we are all caught in the middle of it. The adversary has never been content to leave me alone, however he now knows that I know he has truly lost this war and his time is short. Nevertheless, he constantly does what he can out of hatred to God to oppose me, or tries to nudge me a little to the left or right, and when that isn’t working he tries to flatter me. He does anything and everything he can to try and get my eyes off Jesus Christ even for just a moment. Perhaps the closest he ever came to destroying me was using God’s own people as a source of discouragement to me, and with a root of bitterness springing up in me I almost threw in the towel and gave up, but my Jesus didn’t. He saved me.

For the record, I have been a pastor, worked for years volunteering by holding meetings at men’s shelters and Sunday night services at a rehab that was a volunteer/mandatory alternative to jail or prison. I even opened a Christian Coffee shop for a couple of years. Through it all, the heart of my preaching was never that men can escape hell and go to heaven, rather that through Jesus Christ all men can be what God always intended them to be, a reflection of His glory made fit for the Kingdom of God. For God made us in His image with the desire that we all be His glory in the earth and by the cross, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we can be.

II Peter 1:2 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Honestly, while life has never been easy, it has often been very good. But we have all met those who have had it worse than us. So like I often say, “Life’s not fair, live it none the less.” When people ask what I do for a living every so often I still reply, “I work with wood.” Being a tradesman who has always worked with his hands, I eventually became a building contractor. But while I was fairly proficient at the design and fabrication side of the construction business and ended up doing some pretty high end work, the logistical side never ceased to be a grievance to me with all the red tape and regulations. All that stuff just exasperated a guy who simply loved doing a good job for a fair price. My reputation was built on service and quality, and I thank the Lord for the good work ethic that He worked in me. More than once I have sacrificed profit and put money back into the job to assure the customer’s satisfaction. I’ve learned the Lord honors the man that keeps his word, even to his own loss or hurt.

Psalm 15:4 – In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but He honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

Thanks to the economy, I am currently a home inspector in the insurance industry. But I must admit at times feeling as if I am a bit outside the calling God had for me… perhaps like a Levite would, who having no earthly inheritance may have felt when they were forced to wander the land looking for a place to provide for their family due to the neglect and poverty God’s house suffered at times. Perhaps that’s part of the consequences of my sins in this life.

Still, without a doubt one of my greatest pleasures is reasoning the things of God with reasonable people. So please don’t assume the things I share are intended to be dogmatic statements that I am right and everyone else is wrong. Rather I openly share my thoughts simply because I believe them to be true and willingly submit them to the scrutiny of other believers. I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate those who love me enough to tell me, “Brother, you’re wrong.” But not only tell me I am wrong, but will patiently labor with me while respecting my integrity and convictions till they can show me just where and how I was wrong. Lord knows how much I need such men and women of God in my life, we all do.

 Romans 14:4 – Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. 10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

All that said, for the record I did manage to get my GED, so I guess that’s the height of my academic credentials as a Christian author. Perhaps that really means I am still just a carpenter, a guy who occasionally works with wood and still loves to read his bible. But I would like to make one last point about myself, while I agree we will all disagree sometimes and somewhere, I refuse to “agree to disagree” as if that’s somehow a noble thing for believers in Christ. I can acknowledge when we disagree, but not “agree to disagree.” Simply because if we disagree, it can only be because one of us is wrong, or worse, we both are. How can that “agreeable” with any professing Christian? Rather we must all learn to respect the integrity of each other’s convictions and humbly labor together to understand each other if we are going to make any true headway towards coming to a unity of faith and a knowledge of the Truth. Remember, even at our best, we all only know in part. That’s why we have each other and need charity…

Ephesians 4:11 – And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Therefore, until we all meet each other on the other side, live for Jesus Christ the resurrected King of kings!

Trips to the Tomb

I know it;s an old post, but since it is Easter this coming Sunday I figured it would be a good repost it once more for those who may have missed it. I hope it blesses you.

For centuries there has been much confusion when people try to reason the different accounts of Jesus’ resurrection as recorded by the apostles. The fact that they all seem to have a different story to tell does not help. Perhaps, a good way to consider their seemingly different reports is to view them like transparent overlays, similar to the one’s we have seen in books showing the skeleton, then the nerves and blood vessels, organs, muscular and finally the skin and hair.

The Gospels, similarly, are each reporting different events which had taken place around a major singular occurrence, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The fact is that these different events are recorded in God’s word and are therefore true. Perhaps the answer to the confusion is to consider that there were multiple trips made to the tomb.

The best way to determine the possible order of these trips to the tomb is to consider the different details that have been given about the time of day and light of the sun. Was the sun going down or coming up? These questions are actually quite easy to answer. However, we must remember that the Sabbath, like all the other biblical days, began and ended with sundown, see Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 and Lev. 23:32.

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Three times in Revelation it is stressed how the nations of the world have become guilty before God for having become drunken by indulging in the wine of the harlot’s fornication.

Revelation 14:6 – And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that Great City, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Revelation 17:1 – And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Revelation 18:1 – And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

In the first verse, Revelation 14:8, it states Babylon “made [potizo] all nations drink [potizo] of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” A quick reading of that would almost make it sound as if Babylon was forcing the other nations to drink this wine. However, when examining the Greek word, it doesn’t support the idea of a forced consumption, but simply that of offering or making available. The word “potizo” by the Strong’s Greek Interlinear, simply means to furnish drink or to irrigate. It is further illustrated with “give (make) to drink, feed, water.” The implication of “give make to drink” is in the sense of irrigation, so as to “make” it possible for the land to drink the water. “Potizo” is from a derivative of “pino” which occurs only as an alternate in certain tenses and means to imbibe, swallow, guzzle, gulp, and absorb (literally or figuratively): or simply “drink.”

Having done a study on the Greek word “potizo,” I found that it is used twenty-three times in only fifteen verses in the New Testament and has been translated the following ways:

2 times: give/gave…drink
6 times: give/gave
7 times: drink
1 time:   watering (an animal)
3 times: watereth (a crop)
1 time: fed (milk)
1 time: have been
1 time: made to drink
1 time: made

In none of those verses has the idea been implied “to force” intoxicating drink upon anyone. As a matter of fact, potizo’s very first usage in scripture recorded in Matthew’s Gospel was by Jesus.

Matthew 10:42 – And whosoever shall give to drink [potizo] unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

The verse where it was translated “fed”-

I Corinthians 3:2 – I have fed [potizo] you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

The verse where it was translated “watereth” –

I Corinthians 3:6 – I have planted, Apollos watered [potizo] but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth [potizo] but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth [potizo] are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

The verse where it was translated “have been” and “made to drink” is also in I Corinthians.

I Corinthians 12:13 – For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been [potizo] all made to drink [potizo] into one Spirit.

Again, in none of the verses above or any of the verses can the notion of forcing drink upon anyone or thing be justified. The idea is simply that of offering, making available, or supplying by means of irrigation.

Therefore, when it says in Revelation 14:8 that “Babylon is fallen… because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,” it is because she was “providing or irrigating” the nations, “watering” them as it were with the “wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Babylon wasn’t forcing the nations to drink, rather the fruit [outcome] of her fornication [sins] was causing the wine [temptations] thereof to spillover to all the other nations, who freely received and drank of them. For that reason, they too are deserving of the wrath that God will pour out in His indignation upon Babylon.

This accusation in Revelation, that all the nations became drunk because of the wine of Babylon, actually goes back to a prophecy in Isaiah.

Jeremiah 51:7 – Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.

Once “a golden cup in the LORD’s hand,” Babylon was used by God to chastise Israel for her sins in order to bring forth the peaceable fruit of righteousness in her. God even gave unto Babylon one of His greatest prophets to help guide it by allowing Daniel to go into captivity. For Daniel’s righteous presence served as an effectual light in Babylon, as God used Daniel repeatedly to warn Nebuchadnezzar of things to come, and even to address the king’s pride; something that would have cost any other man his life.

However, after many years Nebuchadnezzar grew older and his son Belshazzar ascended to the throne. It did not take long before Daniel’s proven importance became overlooked and neglected. That is till one night in drunken arrogance, Belshazzar “brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.” The boldness of his sin made it evident that Belshazzar had not only abandoned the wisdom of his father mentioned just a few verses earlier; he trampled it underfoot by celebrating his own egotism to the thorough frustration of God’s longsuffering and patience.

Even though Babylon had once been “a golden cup in the LORD’S hand,” when Belshazzar its king so grievously sinned by treating what was holy as profane, he foolishly poured out any residue of God’s mercy and filled up his own cup with the wine of the wrath of his fornication to worthless idols of other gods.

Daniel 5:1 – Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. 2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. 3 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. 4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

Thus when the fullness of time that God foretold through Jeremiah had concluded and His grace towards Babylon now frustrated, God was going to force Babylon to drink the cup of His fury for their sins of arrogance and their forgetting His words given them through the Prophet Daniel.

Jeremiah 25:12 – And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. 13 And I will bring upon that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations. 14 For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands. 15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto Me; Take the wine cup of this fury at My hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. 16 And THEY SHALL DRINK, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.

 As it was with the fall of Babylon, that “great city” and capital of the Chaldeans, so shall it be with the fall of The Eight Beast and Mystery, Babylon the Great. For their leaders have given way to drunken arrogance and have completely abandon both the wisdom and the fear of God of their founding fathers; trampling it underfoot while celebrating their egoistic narcissism to the absolute frustration of God’s longsuffering and patience. For today in America, whatever was once considered holy is now treated with disdain as profane.

For America was once a nation of which it could be said stood as a light for the whole world, boasting on its currency that was once valued above all others that “In God We Trust.” The Ten Commandments once being boldly displayed in public buildings; engraved on walls and monuments of stone to constantly remind us of both their eternal immutability and the stability they gave to all who acknowledged them. Likewise, pledges of loyalty to uphold the integrity of the nation’s many offices of government were once publicly affirmed with true reverence on the foundation upon which she was built; as a nation recognizing the responsibilities of men to their Creator. A concept that was later summarized as “One nation, under God” and added to the Pledge of Allegiance  in a response to the threat of godless communism in 1954.

But now, just as it says concerning Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, who holds a “golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication,” so too America been providing this same maddening wine and irrigating all the nations with/by the excess of her iniquities. That’s because too many Americans, be they government leaders or just common citizens, have carelessly forgotten what was committed to their charge. Therefore, they are either spiritually dead or dying, being lukewarm in their faith and love for God and therefore derelict in their obligations… all the while quoting how they’re still “saved by grace.” Therefore, America’s churches will be held accountable for having received God’s grace in vain, and for yielding to those who have now successfully changed the godly’s “Freedom of Religion” into the wicked’s freedom from religion. Having risen to power, these apostates will now tirelessly wage war to purge all traces of God and His word from the public eye.

Sadly, the most popular “churches” in America are now acually the perpetuating source of her curses instead of the procurers of her blessings. Huge mega-churches, mere religious-corporations, are growing like malignant tumors all across America; literally racking in the money while they instruct their congregants how to be happy by living their new “Purpose Driven” lives in dedicated service to the church and community.

What happened to real men of God living holy lives and teaching others the fear of the Lord, and how to love God and effectually apply His word to the glory of God? Or instructing people how to pray and wait on the Lord; so as to hear His voice and be led and empowered by His Holy Spirit?

But no, instead it is the blind are leading the blind as these so-called “Christian leaders” are making their fortunes promoting their own concocted self-help methods to “Become a Better You,” and promising those eagerly waiting in line to buy their next book that they too can have “Your Best Life Now.”

If the likes of Joel Osteen is openly being called “America’s Pastor,” how can they or their followers avoid the ditch that is set before them? Have they not read what Jesus said to such leaders whose eyes are no longer on His Kingdom, but their own? Probably not, for they are forsaking His righteousness for the riches and popularity of this world…

Matthew 15:14 – Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Matthew 23:13 – But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

We’re here at the edge of the ditch folks. The judgment of America will doubtless begin (if it hasn’t already) with a judgment getting ready to be poured out upon the churches; for judgment must begin in the house of the Lord. As accountable stewards, they have not been faithful; as watchmen, they have not warned the people there was an enemy creeping in among them unaware. Christians really do need to wake up and face the facts: it is because the churches have fallen that America has fallen. They have compromised and settled for institutionalism over intimacy with God; programs instead of walking by the Spirit. They have become worthless salt, good for nothing; not even fit to throw upon a heap of manure.

Matthew 5:13 – Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Luke 14:34 – Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

God will reward ALL these vain so-called “believers” with a “greater damnation” who “knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will.” Therefore, they are no longer “fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill.” Such is why judgment will be rewarded unto her in double portion.

Revelation 18:6 – Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. 7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow [or wars on my land].

The godly standard has been removed, therefore Americans today can’t see how far removed they are from the original pilgrim settlers’ Puritan work ethic, morality and desire to sincerely promote and live by the gospel before a lost and dying world. Just how deep America has fallen into iniquity is probably best attested to by what is now asserted to be her largest two exports, both being trash. One of these exports is America’s literal refuse and recyclable debris, and the other is our moral garbage, i.e. pornography whereby America’s sins have overflowed her borders and have caused the “kings of the earth [to] have committed fornication with her.” Now they too will drink of the wrath of God; though America will have “the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.”

Here’s a few other translations of Revelation 18:3 that I found to be “revealing.”

…because all the nations have drunk of the wine of the fury of her fornication; and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have been enriched through the might of her luxury. (Darby’s Translation)

For all nations, having drunk the wine of the frenzy of her fornication, are fallen; And the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, And the merchants of the earth have grown rich by the power of her wantonness.” (Montgomery’s New Testament)

…for she has caused all the nations to drink of the wine of her raging whoredom; and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her, and the merchants of the earth have been enriched by the abundance of her luxuries. (Living Oracles New Testament)

For, after drinking the maddening wine of her licentiousness, all the nations have fallen; while all the kings of the earth have had licentious intercourse with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich through the excess of her luxury. (Twentieth Century New Testament)

Sadly, America has so deteriorated it has become the habitation of embezzlers and purloiners with people on both sides, employees and employers, greedily trying to take advantage of each other.  Most people now feel they deserved to be paid simply because they have to wake up and go to work and cannot go off wherever and just do whatever they want whenever they want… and now here we sit buried under trillions and trillions of dollars in debt. And what do the leaders do? They’re still borrowing and spending with no end in sight. In America they have forgotten God’s law of the harvest, that if a man will not labor, plow and plant his seeds, he simply will not have a field from which to reap a harvest.

Jeremiah 5:25 – Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you. 26 For among My people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. 27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. 28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. 29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

 Forgive me if I sound like I’m just ranting… but oh how I truly do agonize over these things and wish they were not so…

Back on February 23rd Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before the Knesset and purportedly, in some eyes, was supportive of homosexuality on “LGBT Day.” I must humbly admit that such was my original thought too upon hearing about his address.

Even Jonathan Kahn tweeted about this, though without making any comment. His tweet was nothing more than just an open acknowledgement of the Jerusalem Post’s article about it. Understandably so too, for this has been troubling me since it happened and I must admit that I’ve been looking and waiting for someone somewhere like Jonathan Kahn to speak about this and share their prayerful insight. Yet for almost two weeks it has been eerily silent out there. I find that peculiar since we all know that Netanyahu has been quite an impressive statesman who boldly confronted the nations of the world at the UN regarding their hypocrisy towards Israel and for their constant blaming them for the lack of peace in the Middle East.

So how does this happen? Was Benjamin Netanyahu suddenly bowing to political pressure regarding the LGBT? (more…)

That’s what God’s word tells us.  But many today aren’t “fleeing” from it, rather they for all intents and purposes are running madly to it and embracing all sorts of sexual perversion. Nowadays, for some insane reason people are literally racing to expose and open themselves up to anything and everything sexual, as if somehow it is going to be the answer to their loneliness or boredom or their oppressive sense of rejection and insignificance. It has become so maddening that even so-called “friends” now frequently engage in sexual immorality and openly make and accept challenges to do the most profane things with as many partners to see who can outperform the other. This is not only madness; this is as close as a society can get to mass suicide. Yes, you read it right, mass suicide.

Perhaps it is because people are just so willfully ignorant of God’s word, or maybe so insecure after having grown up in such a self-centered generation. It seems almost everyone is infatuated with seeking their own gratification regardless the expense of whoever and/or whatever. The thought of it almost no longer shocks some people that there are those who are literally drugging their supposed “dates” and raping them and then allowing others to rape them as well. These human beasts are literally doing this openly among their select group of perverted friends in a celebratory fashion. Packs of humanity who outwardly look like everyone else yet actively prey sexually upon others, and we’re not even off the subject of “straight sex!” All the while there are others in more acceptable positions that have established themselves as “respectable” in the community that are literally so slavishly engrossed in their own sexual decadence that they cannot stop themselves from running into every opportunity of fornication, regardless the risk to their families and careers. All for a brief moment of unbridled indulgence that promises nothing more than to send their world crashing to the ground all around them while the whole world sees and continues to be none the wiser. Do you really think these people started off this enslaved and wicked?

If this is touching you then please listen, God’s word tells us as plainly as it can, “Can a man carry fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk upon hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished.” Man cannot indulge in sexual sins and not do serious harm to his own self, physically (STD’s), emotionally and spiritually.

(more…)

Many people interpret the above as referring to a coming world leader many modern eschatology teachers are calling the Antichrist. To be straight forward and upfront in this post I want to let everyone know that I do not subscribe to that interpretation. After years of examining and re-examining these texts I have come to the persuasion that the adversary has attempted to high-jacked these verse to his own glory when they are in truth a testimony to the Lamb of God who alone worthy to receive glory and honor and power.

Revelation 4:11 – Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Revelation 5:12 – Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

If this “He” above in Daniel 9:27 is indeed referencing Jesus Christ, then this part of the verse is certainly the most advantageous to understand. Therefore, I will begin with the following three questions.

  1. What “covenant” was the Lord Jesus confirming?
  2. How did He confirm it; by word, deed, or both?
  3. If this seventieth week designated for “confirming the covenant” was divided by Jesus’ death which caused the previously Mosaic obligation of sacrifices and oblations to cease, then what about the remaining three and a half years? For from His baptism to His death, Jesus’ earthly ministry lasted only three and a half years?

Even if it is only a possibility that Jesus is this “He” in Daniel 9:27, then these are legitimate questions that need to be asked if we are honest in our search of the Truth. Plus, if Jesus is indeed this “He” then there will be biblical answers to all these questions that would require your prayerful consideration.

So let’s look at first question again, what is the “covenant” that Jesus was confirming? Answer, it is that promise of certainty of which righteous Job wrote the following. (more…)