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    Nahum, Nineveh & God's Judgment

    Sunday, January 25, 2015, 3:22 PM [General]

    This post regarding Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, follows my last post regarding the same city of Nineveh.  Jonah had preached God’s destruction of Nineveh if that wicked city didn’t turn to the right ways of God.  Nineveh turned to God and found God’s mercy; they weren’t destroyed.  Assyria (represented by their capital Nineveh) did not stay turned to God, as here Nahum decries the injustices of Nineveh towards Israel in carrying out God’s judgment on Israel for Israel’s wickedness.  Assyria did suffer God’s punishment when they were conquered by Babylon.  It was not because Assyria carried Israel into captivity that they were punished, because that was God’s will.  What they were punished for was their own wickedness in their own lands and the excessive cruelty with which they conquered Israel.  History and archaeology show that Assyria was exceptionally cruel in their conduct of war.

    In the passage below, the discussion of the horsemen, sword, and spear speak of the might and fierceness of their military.  Do many of us today depend on the authority of our military?  When one is on God’s side, no military is necessary.  God Himself will fight for His children.  Often in the eyes of this world, it may appear that Christians are losing, but in the final judgment, all will see God’s final victory for those who follow Him.  Those who have chosen to follow their own military, or their own ways, or the ways of this world will know the destruction of eternal torments.

    The passage also speaks of Assyria’s whoredoms.  This term has a dual meaning.  Yes, it refers to licentious promiscuity, but it also refers to worshipping of other ‘gods’.  This may be easier to understand by considering the term ‘adultery’ in the Scriptures.  Adultery occurs when someone married to one gives himself/herself to another partner.  God sees His people as related to Him as a husband is to a wife.  When one is in a relationship with his Creator, then for him to worship another ‘god’ is the same as committing adultery towards his Creator.

    The passage also refers to witchcraft.  Some people say there are good witches and bad witches.  Don’t be fooled.  Witchcraft is wicked; there is no ‘good’ witchcraft.  Our Creator expects us to depend on Him.  Depending on witchcraft is contrary to depending on Him and is tantamount to worshipping false gods.  So in this sense, witchcraft is form of the ‘whoredoms’ spoken of against Assyria.

    Nahum 3:1 Woe to the bloody city!  It is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not; 2 The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots.  3 The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses: 4 Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well favoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.

    5 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.  6 And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazing stock.  (KJV)

    Nahum 3:15 There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts.  16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and flieth away.  17 Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.  18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.  19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?  (KJV)

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    Jonah & God's Mercy & Judgment

    Sunday, January 25, 2015, 2:00 PM [General]

    I meant to do a post the other day on the book of Jonah, but did not get around to it, and it slipped my mind.  Today I was reading Nahum, and this was written to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, to whom Jonah was sent and I wanted to do a post from this book as well.  So for now- Jonah, then I will do one on Nahum.

    Many of you know that the Lord called Jonah to preach to the city of Nineveh.  Jonah did not want to and tried to run away, but God stopped him and sent him back.  God know the end from the beginning.  He knew what Jonah would do, and He knew how He was going to respond.  Jonah was on a ship when he was running from God and a violent storm came up.  The people who worked on the ship were not of Jewish, but recognized that this storm was so not normal that they saw the hand of our Creator in its being.  They believed in many ‘gods’, but when Jonah told of the true Creator whom he served, they feared the true God and complied with Jonah’s directions.

    God knew beforehand that the Israelites would not keep His law and would be punished by Assyria.  God knew that eventually He would bring Assyria (including Nineveh) to judgment, but that time had not yet come to be.  Jonah preached in Nineveh and the whole nation repented (recognized their guilt and turned around from their ways).  God spared them and Jonah was displeased to see his nation’s (Israel) enemies (Assyria) spared God’s wrath.  God showed Jonah that despite Assyria’s power, in many ways they were like children who hadn’t learned the difference between their right and left hands with regards to understanding our Creator’s intentions.

    The Jews typically saw themselves as above other nations in that God showed His mercy to them.  They didn’t seem to understand that God had intended for them to teach the world God’s law and demonstrate how to live by God’s law.  He also wanted the Jews and the whole world to understand that no one perfectly kept that law and was all guilty of failing our Creator’s will.  They didn’t seem to understand that God wanted to share with the whole world God’s mercy.  This method of this mercy through the birth and death of His Own Son, Jesus, was prophesied though not comprehended by the Jews.

    Jesus taught this part of their misconception when He told the people that even though many in Israel were going through famine, the prophet Elijah didn’t go to them, but to a widow woman in Zarephath, Sidon (a foreign nation to the Israelites).  He also pointed out that when there were plenty of lepers in Israel, none were healed by Elisha except the foreigner Namaan from Syria.  Namaan was a high leader of an army that was an enemy of Israel.  Here, Jonah is sent to preach God’s message to show mercy to this enemy of Israel, which would later conquer Israel and take them into captivity and exile.  How marvelous the mercies of such a loving God, yet mankind still chooses to go their own way, rather than seek His ways which are so loving and merciful.

    Assyria finally fell to their own judgment and was conquered and felt God’s wrath.  Do the nations today seek to go their own way, or to seek the way our Creator intended?  People better beware, because God’s wrath and judgment is soon to be seen in all the nations of the earth.

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    Bible on God's Law

    Friday, January 23, 2015, 12:24 PM [General]

    Galatians 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?  10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.  11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

    21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

    Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  (KJV)

    One cannot overemphasize that not being under the law (or as expressed elsewhere in the New Testament ‘free from the law’) does not mean living without law (lawlessness).  It means we are under the higher calling of God’s law of love.  Living ‘under the law’ means striving to make one’s self right with God by keeping His written law, which time and again history has shown that man is not capable of making himself perfectly right with God by that law.

    Mark 12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

    29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  There is none other commandment greater than these.

    32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

    34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.  And no man after that durst ask him any question.  (KJV)

    The written law called for sacrifices to be made to stand for the punishment mankind was due for violations of the law (sins).  The scribe in the story above acknowledged that even the Jewish teachings taught that loving God was worth more than anything man could do to try to cover over (or atone) for his sins (violations).  Loving God would certainly involve loving others because that demonstrates loving what God had created.  But loving anything God created more than the creator is violating the law that we should not put anything before our Creator.

    Seeking to find some universal energy source from some trees, other plants, animals, or other people is putting others before God.  If you seek strength, energy, prosperity, guidance, or even revenge from witchcraft, Feng Shui, or any other mystical practice, then you are not searching for our Creator.  The Bible teaches that we are not to go to His creation to worship, but to Him.  If you need strength, energy, prosperity, guidance, or even to vent over any injury (physical or psychological), then you need to turn to your Creator, not some mystical powers found in His creation.  A lot of religions have a lot of nice teachings about love and peace, but so does the Bible.  But the Bible teaches differently from many religions, and many religions teach differently from the Bible.  So if you believe in anything that teaches a different way from God’s way expressed in the Bible, then you do not believe the Bible, because the Bible teaches that there is no other way.

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    Faith Heals- Seek the Lord

    Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 12:54 PM [General]

    Mark 10:46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.  47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.  48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

    49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called.  And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.  50  And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.  51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?  The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.  52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.  And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.  (KJV)

    This blind man was healed because he had faith in Jesus.  We’ve all been told how faith can work miracles.  One thing here I want to call your attention to- the way the man that was no longer blind followed.  Jesus told him to go his way (verse 52) but instead of going his way, he followed Jesus in Jesus’ way.  Blind people go their own way.  Once people know Jesus, they should see to follow Jesus’ way.

    Amos 5:4 For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:

    6 Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.

    11 Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.  12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.

    Amo 5:14  Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.  (KJV)

    Jesus warned His people in the Old Testament, and that warning is still valid today.  Seek the Lord and follow His way (living in righteousness by His law of love).  Seek good and not evil (this one does if one has that love in his heart).  The people the Lord was warning through the prophet Amos were not living as the Lord would have them to live.  They were oppressing the poor and were already reaping part of their reward in that they were not profiting from their ways (verse 11 above).  They were going to be more severely punished if they did not change their ways.  History has shown that they did not change, and they were carried into captivity.

    People need to pay attention.  The Lord knows how we live.  Do we seek to serve Him by living rightly with one another and helping those in need?  We are not looking at the simple idea of being carried into captivity (which, still may be an option).  What we are looking at more than being carried into captivity (though a possibility) is the greater condemnation of being carried into eternal damnation.  People need to seek the Lord while He may be found (Romans 13: 11; 2nd Corinthians 6: 2; 1st John 2: 18).

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    about Hillsong

    Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 5:33 PM [General]

    ?Hillsong?  ?Church?  ?Anti-Christ?  ?Satanic?

    There is one popular ‘group’ or whatever called Hillsong.  When I first heard about them, I thought it was some church choir that went around performing around the world.  They sounded good and I liked them.  Recently, I saw a video that showed me that they were a new movement in the “church” category.  The video contained clips promoting them including words from Joel Osteen (whom I do not support as I see him (emphasize- personal belief and opinion) as a sensationalist charlatan and false teacher).  Now I remind anyone reading this that my opinions are my own.  I do not encourage anyone to believe what I say because I say it.  Search the Scriptures and see for yourself what things are true.  I’m human and make mistakes, but I try to be very careful with regards to the Words of the Bible which I believe to be TRUTH.

    Just yesterday I saw a video that showed some clips from them that disturbed me greatly.  A preacher (church leader, whatever that group calls them) was speaking to a large congregation (assembly, conglomerate, whatever).  He turned to the 6th chapter of the Gospel According to Matthew and said his message was to be from there.  (I did not write what he said word for word, so will not use quotation marks, but what he said is really engraved in my mind.)  He said that he was not going to read it, but that he was going to paraphrase it.  I am not against paraphrasing.  I do it myself a lot, and believe most people do, perhaps even without realizing it.  I essentially means you are saying the same thing, but in a different way.  This man did not paraphrase at all- he rewrote the Biblical passage.  There is a big difference between paraphrasing and completely changing the meaning of what was said.

    The Sermon on the Mount is found from the 5th to the 7th chapters of Matthew, so this man’s message was supposed to be from near the middle of The Sermon on the Mount.  Shortly after he began, I realized he was referring to what we commonly call the Lord’s Prayer.  I could understand that for a crowd (congregation, conglomerate, whatever) of mostly young people, some may not understand the full implications of “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.”  A good paraphrase may make ‘hallowed be thy name’ into ‘may Your name be kept holy, honored, and revered’.  This man said (remember, he’s supposed to be paraphrasing) more like ‘Lord, reveal Yourself to us’.  Now there is nothing wrong with beginning a prayer with asking the Lord to reveal Himself to us.  Though He is revealed in His Word (our Holy Bible), and through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  But that is not paraphrasing the beginning of the Lord’s prayer- it is rewriting it; that is taking out the words that were there and putting in new words.  You do not teach the Bible (or any other book that I know of) by taking words out of it and adding words to it; and you sure don’t mess around with words that Jesus spoke.  Satan knows the words of the Bible, and tried to use them to tempt Jesus (Matthew chapter 4, just before the Sermon on the Mount).  Satan knows how to use people to make others who are not so familiar with the Scriptures think they are using the Bible, when in fact they are using words contrived by man.  But it gets even more shocking in the next paragraph.

    He went on to say (in paraphrasing the Lord’s prayer), “As above, so below.”  It took a minute for me to realize what he was trying to say.  This phrase is known in Satanic and witchcraft practice.  It is used to refer to a notion that what is on earth is a reflection of what is in Heaven.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  What this man claimed to be paraphrasing is, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”  Mankind was created in God’s image (a so-called reflection), but man fell from that image in disobedience to God.  It is God’s will for mankind to be restored to His image, which was made possible by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, but still, the Scriptures teach that only a few will find and accept that way.  (Broad is the way to destruction, but narrow the way to that abundant life God wants us to find- if you know the Scriptures, you know what I’m referring to).  When Jesus said, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven,” what He was saying was that it was God’s will that mankind find God’s will and live it so that His will could be on earth.  This man literally changed the entire intent of Jesus meaning in that prayer including a phrase known in mystic circles (as above, so below).

    Another portion of the video had someone who was claimed to be the founder of Hillsong from Australia who made some curious remarks.  He said that Christianity was a fight and he wanted to be on the fore-front of that fight.  That’s okay, as we are to fight the spirit of evil in the world.  When questioned about preaching about sin, he said that was something not for the pulpit, but for in private consultation.  Now if one is going to be in the fore-front fighting sin, then one shouldn’t be holding back from proclaiming from the pulpit that sin is sin, and we all need to be saved by God’s mercy, and the fight is the struggle to overcome that sin.  Now I don’t believe in calling individuals from the pulpit to discuss sins, and that is often best left between the individual and his Creator, unless that person seeks questions or advice in private consultation.  But you still need to call people’s attention to the fact of sin, what sin is, and how to deal with it from the pulpit.  He went on to say that he believed that each person had his own path to walk.  Well, to a certain extent, there is truth in that, except someone preaching God’s Word needs to make certain that this is part of the reason for man’s separation from God.  Each person wants to walk his own path, without regard for the path our Creator intended for him to walk.  He should have emphasized that our own paths need to be the paths chosen for us by our Creator and our paths should be in harmony with the paths of all others on that same journey to the home our Creator has for those of us who come to know Him.

    I encourage each person to search the Scriptures, do your own research, and make up your own minds; but as for me, I will believe in the Scriptures for what they say, and not change them to mean what I might prefer to hear.

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    Some from Hosea

    Monday, January 19, 2015, 1:15 PM [General]

    Hosea 13:9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.  10 I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities?  and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?  11 I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.  (KJV)

    Israel had asked for a king in the days of Samuel.  God had told them in Deuteronomy that they would ask for a king, but that He Himself was to be their king.  Our Creator should be the King of Kings for all mankind, because He created all.  He had told us through Jewish law that He was to be the King and we were not to put our trust in earthly rulers.  The Jewish people failed in presenting that law to the world as they should have.  His law is built on His love and we were to seek Him to find that true source of Love for Him and one another.  So we cannot hold the Jewish people ‘responsible’ for mankind’s failure to find that law of love, because mankind should have found it in their hearts.  Yet mankind willfully seeks his own desires and his own ways, rather than his Creator’s will.  The Jewish people failed, and all mankind failed, and in no way is it our Creator’s fault.

    1st Samuel 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.  6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us.  And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.  7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.  8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.  (KJV)

    People today look to earthly leaders (kings, prime ministers, presidents, etc.).  We cannot blame any ruler for the conditions in this world, nor can we say that if we had different leaders, the world would be better.  People may be proud of their political affiliations, but the Bible warns against this.  God’s wrath is coming because mankind thinks mankind can solve his own problems simply by having the right ‘leaders’, and ‘doctors’, and ‘scientists’, and ‘teachers’, and etc.  God wants mankind to turn to Him, his Creator.  He gave the Jewish people a king in His anger (Hosea 13: 11 above) and He will take away all earthly leaders in His wrath.  People need to turn to God, because His wrath is very near.

    I will copy and paste one paragraph from an earlier post I made here- people need to stop and think-

    “There was a time when someone may go around preaching, “Repent, for the end is near.” Many people laughed at them and mocked them as religious fanatics. Have you noticed that now-a-days there are many, many people claiming that the end is near, and not just those classified as religious fanatics. There are economists who are claiming that the world is on the verge of collapse (in other words, “The end is near.”) because the economic situation around the world is falling in on itself. There are scientists who are saying the end is near because of fossil fuels and climate change demonstrated in unusual weather storms. There are scientists who are very concerned that the end is near because of stresses in tectonic plates that will result in earthquakes capable of destroying much of life as we know it and volcanoes that could destroy much of life as we know it. There are astronomers who are examining how close we may be to asteroids capable of destroying life as we know it. There are social scientists who are concerned about the development of wars between races, and/or income classes (haves and have-nots), and religions, not to mention wars between nations. For lack of knowledge, people will pay more attention to the “intellectuals” (or the elite, or illuminati, or gurus) than they would pay to “religious fanatics”. People want mankind to seek a solution to mankind’s problems without needing a knowledge of our Creator. So for lack of knowledge, people will be doomed to destruction.”

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    Lack of Knowledge

    Sunday, January 18, 2015, 3:11 PM [General]

    Do you study the Bible or just read it?  When you read/study the Bible, do you look for the truth, or do you prefer to enjoy the verses you like, but overlook anything that sounds threatening to what you want to hear?

    Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.  2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.  3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.  4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.  5 Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.

    6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

    Yes, Hosea was talking to Israel.  Just to Israel, or doesn’t the same rule apply to all nations.  Remember, nations have risen to power, then destroyed because of sin.  Israel was told to take the land of Canaan because the fullness of their sin had come.  As Israel fell deeper into their sin, they were allowed to be taken into captivity.  Israel was chosen to receive God’s Word, but they were to teach the world that God’s Word applies to the whole world.  Yet the land became full of swearing, lying, killing, stealing, and adultery.  People will be destroyed for a lack of knowledge of Who their Creator is and coming to Him for salvation.  People will be destroyed because they reject their Creator.  But even beyond earthly destruction, those who sleep in the dust (as the Bible clearly teaches) will rise again to face a judgment that will either show them redeemed by God’s grace, or utterly rejected from God’s Presence to an eternity of torments.

    Is not the entire earth full of lies, murders, thefts, and adultery?  Many people blame their politicians, much like Adam blamed Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Like infidels, they think if they can get the “right” politicians with a “strong” military we can win the victory and deliver ourselves.  The Lord disdains those who trust in political strategies or military might.  Only the Lord can fully redeem and deliver to salvation.

    There was a time when someone may go around preaching, “Repent, for the end is near.”  Many people laughed at them and mocked them as religious fanatics.  Have you noticed that now-a-days there are many, many people claiming that the end is near, and not just those classified as religious fanatics.  There are economists who are claiming that the world is on the verge of collapse (in other words, “The end is near.”) because the economic situation around the world is falling in on itself.  There are scientists who are saying the end is near because of fossil fuels and climate change demonstrated in unusual weather storms.  There are scientists who are very concerned that the end is near because of stresses in tectonic plates that will result in earthquakes capable of destroying much of life as we know it and volcanoes that could destroy much of life as we know it.  There are astronomers who are examining how close we may be to asteroids capable of destroying life as we know it.  There are social scientists who are concerned about the development of wars between races, and/or income classes (haves and have-nots), and religions, not to mention wars between nations.  For lack of knowledge, people will pay more attention to the “intellectuals” (or the elite, or illuminati, or gurus) than they would pay to “religious fanatics”.  People want mankind to seek a solution to mankind’s problems without needing a knowledge of our Creator.  So for lack of knowledge, people will be doomed to destruction.

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    The Victory Is Won- but the Battle Continues

    Sunday, January 18, 2015, 2:22 PM [General]

    Psalm 44:5 Through Thee will we push down our enemies: through Thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
    6 For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.
    7 But Thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.
    8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever.  Selah.

    Psalm 44:22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.  (KJV)

    Early on this (verse 5) this Psalm extols Yahweh by exclaiming that through Him will they tread down the enemy.  Without Him, all else is vain.  Trusting in bow and sword would mean we could trust in human military might, but the Psalmist trusts in the Lord.  All should consider whether we trust in our military, or in our Lord.  Those who trust in the military will eventually fall.  Those who believe we (the servants of the Lord) will eventually triumph without any need for the military, we are the ones who will eventually tread down the enemy.

    Notice that in just a few verses later in the same Psalm (verse 22), the Psalmist who was praising the Lord for the victory stated that for the present time, we are being killed all day long; we are seen to be nothing more than mere sheep that are waiting to be slaughtered.  Does this sound opposite the praise for victory just a few verses earlier?  Actually, remember a few verses earlier the Psalmist spoke of something not yet seen (“Through Thee WILL we (future tense) … through Thy name WILL we (future tense)…”)  He wasn’t speaking of a battle that was finished.  Even so, he goes on to say, “Thou HAST saved (past tense) us …”  The Psalmist recognized that the battle was already won by the Lord, even though he was still fighting his own personal battle with the enemy.  We can say with faith that the Lord has won the war; but in our earthly bodies, we should not forget that we are still in the battle.  That is why Paul instructed us to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6).  Paul stresses that we are not to let down our guard and to continue in prayer, Bible study, and good works.

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    LIARS (or What Is Truth?)

    Friday, January 16, 2015, 7:46 PM [General]

    LIARS!!!  I think everyone knows at least someone that is considered a liar.  Anyone who tells an untruth tells a lie.  So anyone who tells an untruth is a liar.  Has anyone never at some time said something believing they were telling the truth, but later discovered they were either misinformed, or miss-remembered, or the words didn’t come out quite the way they were meant?  Then if an untruth was told, then it was a lie.  However we all make a distinction between a known, intended lie and a mistake, but an untruth is still an untruth.  The point is, I’m not perfect.  I may say what I sincerely believe to be true, but I cannot guarantee that at some time, an imperfection in my understanding could lead to something not quite true, but if it is ‘not quite true’, then it is still an untruth, and a lie.  But don’t we all tend to believe in who we believe in, and could we not all be guilty (even if to a very minute degree) to the same thing?  The Lord is more than aware of our imperfections, but He wants us to acknowledge our imperfections and realize our need for His mercy.  He also wants us to sincerely search for the truth.

    I remember as a child a saying that is true, but many people may say it without realizing the full implications.  The saying was, “God said it in His Word; I believe it in my heart; that settles it for all eternity.”  I believe in my heart that saying to be true, but do people really stop and consider what all it really means?  If one says that he believes in God’s Word, is he implying that he knows what all God’s Word (in the Bible) says?  I will not say that I understand all of it, but I strive to study and ask the Lord to reveal to me what He feels I need to understand.  Yet it would seem to me that if someone claims they believe God’s Word, then they should have a desire to study it so they will know what it is they are claiming to believe.  If someone asks you what you believe, and you answer that you believe in God’s Word, then what would your answer be if they asked you what is God’s Word?  If God had a Word, then do you know that Word?  Do you really know what it is that you believe?  Would you just quote John 3: 16 and think that would be enough?  But then if they say, the Bible has a lot more than that, so that is only part of His Word.  How much of God’s Word can you tell them you believe in?  Can you explain just what it is you believe and why?

    Paul said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  So if you tell them you believe in that, then what would you say if they said that they believe in Jesus, but the rest in their house doesn’t?  Think about it a little and you can understand that Paul was telling the Philippian jailer that if he believed and if those in his house believed?  So if you said that you believe in Jesus, then would that not imply that you believe in all that He said and taught?  But if you believe in “all” that He said and taught, then do you know what all He said and taught?  This is often the beginning of false teachings and false teacher.  They may take a few verses from Jesus’ Words, and a few other verses from the rest of the Bible and say things that sound sweet to the ears.  They “seem” to know what they are talking about, and make sweet words to people who are looking to hear sweet words.  (Let’s face it, don’t we all like to hear sweet words?)  Yet they neglect so many teachings that put the words they use in a different connotation than they really were.  They may teach part of the “truth” but let people infer in their own minds that this is all they need to know.

    If you say you believe in Jesus, then you must believe in His teachings.  Wouldn’t it sound sort of dumb to tell someone that you didn’t believe in a certain person’s teachings, but you still believed in that person?  So if you truly believe in Jesus, then can you explain His teachings that you must believe in to believe in Him?  Even considering that no one’s understanding may be perfect, but do you at least study and ask the Lord for understanding?  Something to think about.

    1st John 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  (KJV)

    1st John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.  (KJV)

    1st John 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.  (KJV)

    Remember, if something is not entirely true, then it is not really true.

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    Peace for Jerusalem

    Thursday, January 15, 2015, 7:58 PM [General]

    PSALM 122:6  PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM: THEY SHALL PROSPER THAT LOVE THEE.  (KJV)

     

    Yes- we should pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  Does that mean we should pray that they prosper in every endeavor?  The Lord will guarantee their place.  What we should pray for is that they find their true peace in their Messiah.  He has come and they have yet to acknowledge and accept Him.

    In history they succeeded when they did as the Lord led; and failed when they went out on their own without seeking God’s guidance.  Because of idolatry and trusting in their own rights, they were led into captivity to Assyria and Babylon.

    When they trust in themselves and in their own cunning and their own military, then they can only go so far.  The Bible teaches that some trust in chariots and horses, but those who follow the Lord will trust in Him.  When it comes to Israel being established, the Lord will see to that, but first He wants them to come to see their dire and entire need to be for Him.  So they will succeed to a point, and when it comes to that point, a treaty will be made with the one who will break his treaty and seek to destroy them.  That is taught in prophecy.  So they have not arrived yet, and when they make that fateful peace pact with this world’s ruler, then they will be brought to that dire need when they will truly realize that only through their Creator can they find safety.

    Praying for the peace of Jerusalem means praying that as many of them as possible come to know their Messiah before that troubled time when their peace pact with the ruler of this world fails.

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