Submit to Governing Authorities

    Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 10:04 AM [General]

    When Jesus was presented before His accusers in His last trial before the Sanhedrin, before Pilate, and before Herod, He did not make any arguments.  When Paul stood before Agrippa and Felix he was very polite in his presentation.  The Roman empire could be very cruel and unforgiving, but Paul told the people to be subject to the governing authorities, because true authority was instituted by God.  Consider some teachings from Romans chapter 13 (from the ESV).

    Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

    5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.  6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.  7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

    When things aren’t right, liberals want to blame the conservatives and conservatives want to blame the liberals.  All in all we are to blame neither.  Adam sought to blame Eve and Eve sought to blame the serpent, but all in all, they would not have been in their predicament if they had only heeded God and not a serpent or each other.  People always want to play the blame game, but we are not to blame each other, or the government.  We are to look to our Creator to make all things submissive to Him, and He will act in the proper time.  If things get bad (and they are bad and will get worse), then we are to be patient and do as best we know how what the Lord wills, and leave the rest to Him.

    Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.  9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    Some people misinterpret Paul here when he says, “Owe no one anything …”  In times past humble, hard working Jews went into debt; humble, hard working Christians have gone into debt.  In saying, “Owe no one anything,” Paul is saying to keep your debts (as in taxes which he mentioned earlier) paid up as best as possible, yet consider the debt of love as never being fully paid.  We can never repay the debt of love we owe to Jesus for all He’s done, and will do for us.  We are to ever hold before us that debt of love as we strive to love the world as God so loved the world.  Loving the ‘world’ in this sense means loving the sinner, not the sin.  World is translated from various Hebrew and Greek terms, so there is ‘this world system’ which is ruled by Satan, but also ‘this world full of people’ who are in need of God’s love and mercy.  Why is this world ruled by Satan?  Remember, when God created mankind, God gave Adam and Eve dominion over all in this world.  Mankind turned the dominion of ‘this world’ over to Satan when they bow down and submit to Satan’s temptations to sin.  God did not take back what He had given.  He gave to Adam, then Adam, through eating of the forbidden fruit, gave to Satan.  Everyone since has sinned as there is none righteous, therefore everyone in falling to temptation leaves that dominion in Satan’s power.  But God will return and restore those who humbly come to Him through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Jesus, in His fleshly body, never submitted to Satan’s temptations, and Jesus died to pay the penalty for our falling to Satan’s temptations.  This allows Jesus to bring us to our Heavenly Father.

    Romans 13:11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep.  For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.  12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand.  So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

    Satan’s work is the work of darkness, but Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and the Light of this world.  The salvation that is nearer to us now is that appearing of our Savior to call us home.  We need to wrap ourselves in that ‘armor of light’ which is Christ showing us the way and stay alert for His coming.  Satan knows this and is fighting ever harder to weaken the children of the Light (Christians) and to deeper enslave the children of ‘this world’, the worldly system that Satan still rules.  Satan is (to us, not to the Lord) a formidable foe and that is why we must constantly look to the Light of His Word and strengthen our faith so that we do not slip into weakness.

    Some may fall, but they will not stay fallen, because our Lord is the Good Shepherd Who seeks out the sheep who have fallen.  He will not lose one of His flock.  That is why, once saved, always saved.  We will not lose that which He has given us, because even if we fall, He will search out His sheep who have fallen from their way.  But those who never knew Him have no hope.  That is why spreading our Savior’s message is so vital to those of ‘this world’, whom God so loves is important.  And if our debt of love is never paid, we should strive to show as much of that love as possible, because the time is short.

    People, be aware!  Things in this world are not as they appear.  Things are rough, and you need to know that things will get much more rough as the time draws near and Satan is lashing out in his fiercest anger.

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    Some on Law & Faith

    Monday, April 6, 2015, 2:52 PM [General]

    Previous posts could help in understanding this post, but I will try to explain my position as best as possible.  Remember, I ask no one to believe in me, but believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart, and search the Scriptures to see what you truly believe in your own soul (self).  I used to label which translation of the Scriptures that I would paste into my posts, but several posts ago I mentioned (just a reminder for now- some may not have read that post) that I think I will mostly be using the English Standard Version.  I love the King James Version, but there are some words that may be better understood from the original languages that I believe are better phrased in the ESV.  Language changes, and certain things that may be taken for granted in one language (or translation) may be better expressed as people’s understanding of the language changes.  Also, idioms (and all languages have idioms, figures of speech, and other expressions that are not meant to be a literal word meaning) change, so an expression that means something in one language may not mean the same if translated to another language.  When the KJV was translated (1611) the language changed so much in less than 200 hundred years that it had to be rewritten in 1789, which is the same version we use today.  Now it has been well over 200 years since that version, and the language has changed more.  Certain idioms that were used when the KJV was written may be better worded in idioms (that have the same meaning/connotation, of course) that are used today.  I will certainly try to remember to make note if I use a different version than the ESV.

    Romans 9:30 What shall we say, then?  That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.  32 Why?  Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.  They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."

    10:1 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them (for Israel/the Jews) is that they may be saved.  2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.  3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.  4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

    9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."

    Jesus said that God’s law would never change.  That is true, but there is still the issue that no man may be saved by that law.  That is why Jesus took the penalty that we should have expected upon Himself, so that we, through our Lord Jesus Christ, might be counted worthy to come to our Heavenly Father.  So, in a legal sense, we are worthy because we (through the blood of Jesus) have been declared worthy, but it is not a worthiness that we have earned or deserved.

    Romans 9:30 What shall we say then?  That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.  31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.  32 Wherefore?  Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.  For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  (KJV)

    We who are saved will never lose that salvation.  We are to strive to live a perfect life, as Jesus instructed, but we will not attain perfection in this earthly body.  Failing to keep the law does not result in loss of salvation, because it is not the law that saved us, but His grace.  Failing to observe the law will certainly result in a loss of our purpose in God’s good works that He prepared for us (Ephesians 2: 10).  Failing to observe God’s laws may certainly cause us to encounter God’s chastening and scourging (Hebrews 12: 6), and may even be turned over to Satan for the destruction of the body (1st Corinthians 5: 5), but this is a far cry from losing that eternal life that Christians have “sealed” by the Holy Spirit within us.  Remember, we have our mental (or spiritual) being and our earthly/fleshly body that do not always cooperate, as Paul taught in Romans 7.  We are to strive to have that law of Christ in our mind to overcome that law of sin in the flesh (Romans 7-8), but that does not mean that we are already in that state of eternal righteousness that comes with the new body that we will obtain when we meet our Lord in the air.  We will be given a new body that will not be subject to that sin that tears so ferociously at this earthly body.  The law did not save us, and that law will not destroy that salvation, because it is by His mercy that we are saved; and it is His mercy that will keep us.

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    Previous Post- Part 2

    Sunday, April 5, 2015, 4:48 PM [General]

    Suggested that read two posts on Romans chapter 7 in order, and post immediately prior to this for background.  Man, in the flesh, fell from his Creator’s expectations, and is no longer worthy of going to live for eternity with Him in Heaven, but doomed to eternal separation from Him in torments.  Man could never restore that relationship.  In spite of this, God (Yahweh, our Creator- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) loved man so much that He took the punishment of those who would earnestly seek Him out, believing in Him, upon Himself.  He, in the flesh of Jesus (Yahsuah) took upon Himself the penalty that we had brought on ourselves.  He came to us, showing His love, yet mankind despised Him, mistreated Him, and hung Him on a cross to take the punishment that was meant for us.  But He was more powerful than death, and rose again three days afterward.  All who come to Him, believing (having faith to trust in Him, and in that trust seek out His teachings and seek to live as He would have us) can be saved from our everlasting punishment and live forever in His kingdom.

    Romans 5:6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    1st Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.

    Jesus was in the flesh.  He went forty days in the wilderness without earthly food and then was tempted by Satan.  But if He was fully human, then how could He go forty days without food?  Could man today go forty days without earthly food?  Jesus said that if you had the faith of a grain of mustard seed, you could move a mountain.  I don’t know how much faith that is, but what if you had more faith than that.  Do you believe that with enough faith, you could go forty days without earthly food, and still thrive?  I believe that it wouldn’t take as much faith to do that as it would to move a mountain, but I don’t think my faith is that strong.  Jesus was fully human, but He had far more faith.

    1st John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

    Do you believe that Jesus Christ came from God, being in the beginning with God and being God (from John 1 pasted in my previous post), in the flesh, being fully in the flesh (that is being fully human), therefore, fully God and fully human?

    Hebrews 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

    I have faith, but my faith is so weak that I often feel like that man at the foot of the mountain who said, “Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.”  (Mark 9: 24)  So my prayer remains, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.  Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.”

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    How Many Parts Make a Whole?

    Sunday, April 5, 2015, 1:11 PM [General]

    Christians do not question the fullness of our Creator in Christ, or the fullness of His being fully in the flesh.  It is something beyond our earthly, human comprehension how He could be both fully our Creator and at the same time be fully in the flesh.  But when we look carefully at ourselves, then we can somewhat see a comparison.  We have a mind that thinks.  Not everything that we think is seen in our fleshly earthly bodies.  So we have a mind that thinks, and a body that does, but they may not always do what we think, or think what we do.  (Have you never done or said something without thinking?)  Then there is the Holy Spirit.  How are the three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One and the Same in Being?

    We look at a piece of rich chocolate cake.  Something inside us craves that cake.  We want it really bad.  Our stomach may tell us that we are full and have no more room.  Yet something inside us says we can make it fit.  At the same time, our reasoning mind tells us that it is not very healthy, it will make us fat, and that we are already so full that if we eat it, it will make us sick.  So, maybe we eat it anyway.  One person’s mind may not always be in agreement with what he should or shouldn’t do.  Then he may or may not do it.  But our physical, fleshly body must endure whatever decision we make.  So we have a physical body that sees the cake with the eyes, smells the cake with our nose, hands that may or may not pick up the fork, and a mouth that may or may not taste and eat that cake.  Yet we have a mind that tells us we should not, and at the same time we have another part of us that tells us we want it so badly.  So what part of us is really a real part of us, and what part of us could we do without?  In a manner of speaking, are we not many parts, but all our parts together make one whole.  So could not the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together make One Whole Creator?

    So this relates to my earlier two posts on Romans chapter 7, in that we have a mind that thinks what it thinks, but a fleshly body that may go contrary to sound reasoning that our mind may think.  This is, I believe, what Paul was referring to when he said, with the mind, I serve the law of Christ, but with the body the law of sin.  This can be a frustrating struggle.  We can overcome, but the struggle is ever present, and we sometimes fall.  Now this mystery of the mind not always ruling the body, if the mind is from Christ shows that we are, at the very least, like two people put together as one person.  At the same time, this is an analogy of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being One Creator, however, in Him is no imperfection that causes a struggle.  In Him all is One in agreement and perfection.

    There is much more to say about this, but in keeping the posts from being too lengthy, then it has to be broken into more than one post.  I always say, don’t believe what I teach, but search the Scriptures for yourself to see what is true.  I could just list the references so they could be looked up, but I try to copy and paste passages to make it easier, so I’ve pasted some passages below, and plan to include others in the next post.  It may be helpful if you read or had already read my two previous posts on Romans chapter 7.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 He was in the beginning with God.  3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.

    4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

    14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    Romans 8:3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

    1st Timothy 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

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    Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 7:27 PM [General]

    QUESTION????    Just curious- Has anyone heard or read a sermon or post on the following Bible verses from a rich mega-church preacher?  I never read or listen to them, but decided to check out some more on some of their web-sites to see if I could find anything about their teaching on the following verses, but came up empty.  A lot of web-sites have Bibles that you can study the whole Bible on-line, from many translations, including Greek and Hebrew, and Bible commentaries and dictionaries, but did not find them on the mega-rich church sites I tried.  The only Bible Studies I found on their sites were for sell.  There are sites that offer free Bible study programs you can download to your computer, but not that I could find from the several mega church sites I tried.  The verses below are from the KJV.

    Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

    Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

    John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord.  If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

    Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    2nd Corinthians 1:7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

    2nd Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

    2nd Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

    1st Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

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    Romans 7 & Sin Part 2

    Monday, March 30, 2015, 4:07 PM [General]

    This is part 2 of my previous post on Romans chapter 7.  If you have not read that, then I suggest you read it before you read this post.  Thanks.

    Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.  15 For I do not understand my own actions.  For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.  17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.  20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

    We know that we should always do ‘right/good’ but we often find within ourselves that we didn’t always do the right thing when we should have.  Also, sometimes we fall to that sneaky temptation that has us slipping up on something we shouldn’t do.  (Some people have argued that Paul was talking about a time before he was a Christian here.  This doesn’t make sense, because he doesn’t say that, and this was written quite a long time after he became a Christian.)

    Romans 7:21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.  22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

    (Notice “… I find it to be a law …”, present tense, not something from his past.)  Paul said in Ephesians chapter 6:

    Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

    The powers that we wrestle with are those that come from Satan and his demons.  We may wrestle with them in other people through prayer and sharing God’s Word, but we also wrestle with them within ourselves.  Satan tempted Jesus.  We may say, “We are Christians, so Satan has no power over us.”  That is misunderstood and is false.  Satan may still have victory (temporary victory in this world, not eternal victory) in many battles in our live.  That is why we must be vigilant and ever on guard against his sneaky wiles.  He will bring temptations at our weakest moments and catch us unawares.  This is why we must be vigilant and wrestle with spiritual wickedness.

    Something else that is very important to notice: Paul makes a sharp distinction between our ‘fleshly’ selves and our ‘spiritual’ selves.  Our flesh is a war with our spirit, because our spirits may be pure in God’s eyes, but our flesh keeps pulling us into this world.  We are children of God’s kingdom, but we have not yet arrived there.  We are told to separate ourselves from this world, but our flesh still struggles with the cares of this world.  This is why Paul told us in Romans 12: 2 not to be conformed to this world.  Romans 8 teaches that we can conquer sin, but that does not mean that it is not a daily, moment by moment struggle.  But though our flesh fall to sin, our spirit does not lose its salvation.  Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsemane that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  Paul said that we have that failing of the law in the flesh, though our spirit is with Christ.  In 1st Corinthians 5 was a man who became so wicked that the church was told to put him out.  Why?  Because he would damage the conscience of weak Christians in the church and the reputation of the church to those outside of the church.  But Paul added to the Corinthians that ‘he could be turned over to Satan, so Satan could destroy ‘his flesh’ that ‘his spirit’ could be saved (from that wicked fleshly body).  The last verses of Romans 7 give the glorious answer.

    Romans 7:24 Wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?  25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

    Being a Christian in this world can make a person feel ‘wretched’.  Remember, Jesus had said that if you love this life you will lose it, but if you hate this life, you will save your eternal life.  So, I think this ‘wretched’ feeling is part of hating this life.  But-----   WHO WILL DELIVER ME FROM THIS BODY OF DEATH?  THANKS BE TO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!  Still-  there is that postscript- “I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”  The law of sin brings death, and this mortal, earthly, fleshly body is doomed to destruction.  But we will be given transformed bodies when we meet Him in the air.

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    Romans 7 & Sin

    Monday, March 30, 2015, 3:18 PM [General]

    Sin in the Christian life can be a touchy subject, and I’m not sure one post would be long enough for my understanding of the Scriptures (which is meager) on this subject.  Scriptures from the English Standard Version.  The major portion of Scripture for this (these) post(s) will be Romans chapter 7.

    Romans 7:8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness.  For apart from the law, sin lies dead.  9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.  10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.  11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.

    12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.  13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me?  By no means!  It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.

    Sin is violation of God’s law.  With “no law” there would be no sin.  However, common sense tells everyone there must be law, otherwise, everyone would murder one another (speaking figuratively for some, but speaking for real for others).  People commit murder anyway, but we recognize this as sin (violation of a universal law that disregards our Creator’s will for our life).  If everyone lived in perfect love, no one would violate the law, because the law would prevent us from doing that which would bring harm to another, whether psychologically or physically.  The law of love with regard to our Creator is not as obvious to the earthly, worldly mind, because the earthly worldly mind has to first recognize that there is our Creator.  Recognizing our Creator, then we should love Him most of all, because without Him, there would be no us.

    The Bible teaches that there is no one who is perfectly righteous (living perfectly rightly) and no one who is perfectly (100%) good.  Even Christians fall from that perfect condition, at least from time to time.  As Jesus taught, to think/feel in one’s mind/heart/emotions anything contrary to perfect love is violation of that law of love.  Sometimes people naturally get angry.  There are many things in this world to be angry about.  Anger displays a certain lack of perfect love.  One serious question to consider, is that anger directed to something that is wrong, or is that anger directed to a person who did something wrong?  Someone who is perfect may have a right to get angry with someone.  Someone who is not perfect himself does not have that right (“Let the one among you without sin cast the first stone.” John 8:7).  If we need forgiveness for ourselves for our own lack of perfection, that is why we are taught by Jesus to be forgiving of those who do us wrong.

    Matthew 5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Jesus told us to be ‘perfect’, though the Scriptures (and if honesty is exercised, our own consciences tell us) we are not ‘perfect’.  Even Christians are not perfect, so why would Jesus tell us to be perfect?  It is only natural that He would tell us that, because He certainly wouldn’t tell us, “It’s okay, go ahead and sin.”  What else would He tell us?  Still, Christians are to ‘strive’ with all their heart to be perfect, and when they find imperfections within themselves, they are to confess them to the Lord and ask forgiveness, and strive to overcome them.  But if we are to expect to be forgiven for not being perfect, that is why it is so important for us to be forgiving of others who are not perfect.  Paul expresses in Romans chapter 7 some of the battle that Christians face.  (This is getting too long for one post- remember, Roman chapter 7 is the main passage, and I will try to pick up from here in the next post which is already started, but I saw it was too long.)

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    Some False Teaching I Came Across

    Sunday, March 29, 2015, 7:03 PM [General]

    I came across a post from someone following a “preacher”.  I do not feel that this “preacher” is preaching God’s Word.  I am posting this so you can judge for yourself.  People have to be very careful about FALSE teachings.  I left comments on that post because I think false teachings should be exposed, but then I realized that it was inappropriate to rant on someone else’s post, so I apologized and deleted the comments.  I am putting my comments below so you can decide what you believe to be false.  First- the words from the post in ###’s.

    ###   God Cannot Answer Your Prayers Until Your Pastor Changes His Teaches!!!

    Because 85% Of Your Life Depends On The Man That Is Preaching To You!!!   ###

    Next my comments:

    ###   God can answer prayers no matter what the preacher preaches.  God does not need the preachers to answer people's prayers.  When Paul preached in Berea, the people didn't take Paul's words for granted, but searched the Scriptures to see what was so.  People are not supposed (according to the Bible) just act on the words of the preacher, but search the Scriptures to see if it is true.  Even if a preacher preaches something not true, the people should search the Scriptures and gently correct the preacher.  If the preacher will not listen, then they need to find a new preacher.  If a preacher says that God cannot answer the prayers unless the preacher is preaching right (what is not right is what the preacher needs to change), then that is a lie, because God's answers depends on God's will, not on the preacher.  Satan is a liar and the father of lies (Jesus said this).  Lies come from Satan, and a preacher that says that God cannot answer prayers "until the preacher" does anything (changes his teachings, or whatever) then that is a lie.  I pray for the souls of the people who are being taught lies, because lies come from Satan.  I will pray for you.

    BTW- Quote from above- "Because 85% Of Your Life Depends On The Man That Is Preaching To You!!!"  If that much of anyone's life is depending on a man that is preaching, then that preacher needs to start telling people that their life needs to depend on their Savior, not on the preacher.  This is pride and arrogance to think that the preacher has that much power.  The preacher is to give all power and glory to our Creator/Savior/Holy Spirit.  Do not let you life depend on a preacher, but let your life depend on Jesus.  Study God's Word and teach it faithfully and truthfully and avoid lies and false teachings.   ###

    End of comments that I deleted from that post.  People, seriously, Christians are not to think that any part of their life depends on any man standing behind a pulpit.  A Christian’s life is to depend on his Creator/Savior/Holy Spirit (not trying to discuss the trinity or triune nature of God here is why I put it that way).  I saw one post that had a number (I forget how many) women who were pregnant by the same man- a “pastor” of their congregation who claimed that he was doing this according to the will of the Holy Spirit.  That certainly sounds like the kind of man that would preach that so much of a person’s life depends on a preacher.  That is the kind of man that wants people to follow “him” instead of the Lord, so that he can tell them what “he” wants to think the Lord is saying.  Beware of false teachers.  Search the Scriptures to see that your pastor/preacher is teaching truth and follow Jesus, not your preacher.

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    The End Times (Eschatology)

    Sunday, March 29, 2015, 5:57 AM [General]

    With all due respect to those who enjoy reading about the end times, I’m 62 and have studied Scriptures since I was a teen-ager.  I’ve studied several denominational interpretations of several various subjects wherein the denominations differ.  I’ve studied the different arguments for KJV versus other translations, versions, and paraphrases.  I’ve studied some Greek (though I don’t speak Greek); I’ve studied more Hebrew than Greek (but I don’t speak Hebrew).  I believe at least the major portion of the New Testament was written in Hebrew because of internal evidence including phraseology and many idioms, including perspectives that Hebrew is primarily from an Eastern perspective with abstract concepts rooted in concrete terms and Greek is primarily from a Western perspective with a more abstract vocabulary.

    I’ve studied Revelation from the millennialist, preterist, and historicist points of view; from the pre-millenial, post-millenial, and with the rapture- pre-trib, mid-trib, and post-trib rapture.  I’ve read Hal Lindsay’s Late Great Planet Earth, Salem Kirban’s Revelation Visualized, and others I don’t immediately recall.  I do not buy into a lot of the stuff from the series ‘Taken’.  Many believe in the pre-tribulation rapture, and I hope they’re right.  However, much of the interpretation in that rests in jumping around with the chronology of the verses from Jesus comments in the Gospels, Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Revelation.  One thing that I haven’t accounted for is that Paul (apparently by some Revelation) states that the raising of the dead will occur “at the last trump” (1st Corinthians 15: 52), and even Jesus mentioned the great trumpet sounding.  No one can say for sure, but the last ‘great’ trumpet which blows in the Bible is the seventh trumpet.  Remember there will be seven seals, and then the seven trumpets, and then the seven bowls (or vials).  Some say that each seal represents a trumpet and a bowl- the first seal will be broken with the first trumpet to mark the emptying of the first bowl, and successively the other seals/trumpets/bowls simultaneously in order thereafter.  I believe the reading suggests that they will be in order, first all seven seals in order, one following the next, then all seven trumpets in successive order, and then all seven bowls in successive order.  So could the rapture not be after the seven seals have been broken, then the seven trumpets have sounded, and how much of that tribulation will have passed by then?  So if the rapture doesn’t occur until after the seventh (last great trumpet as Paul says), then much of the tribulation period will have passed.  The New Testament teaches that the church (the Christians) will go through many and much tribulations.

    There is nothing in the Scripture that even indicates the Western Hemisphere will even be anything more than an empty wasteland during that time.  That’s not saying the US will not have a role in that period (I believe it will), but it cannot be shown by the Scriptures.  Everything in the Scriptures could be carried out by all the world in the Eastern Hemisphere.  The Western Hemisphere could be destroyed by God’s wrath even before the events in the book of Revelation take place.  There are theories that the Pope could be the Anti-Christ, or that an Arab wearing a blue turban will be the Anti-Christ, or many other ideas about who that may be.  (Remember, the Scriptures teach that the ‘anti-Christs’ were already in the early church before the end of the New Testament and I believe that number has grown significantly since, but there is still that ‘one great Anti-Christ that will rule the world with the Beast and False Prophet at the end.)

    In short, no one knows for certain how near that time is, but I believe that it is already commencing.  (The historical interpretations would indicate that it has already been taking place progressively down through time.  Though there is some element of ‘appearances of evidence’ that permits some truth to that, I don’t buy into that either.)  The bottom line is, I feel that it is futile to be too dogmatic about it, so that is why I don’t try to delineate it, or write too much about how it will take place.  The US may be destroyed before most of those events occur, or it may not, no one knows.  Some feel that the US represents the great Babylon spoken of in Revelation.  That could make sense with the wickedly loose morals across the land (probably especially from Hollywood and the entertainment industry) and with New York and its world trade that is carried on from its center and Wall Street.  Others have felt that it may be Japan and/or Hong Kong with their involvement in world trade.  Many have felt it will be the Vatican as the city built on the seven hills, which carries credibility, along with the mention of the scarlet colors of much of their wardrobe.  Now Dubai seems to be the symbol of world trade and it is geographically located near the ancient historical site of Babylon.  So there are many ‘theories’ (or ideas- I think it is presumptuous to even call them theories), but no one really knows, except the Father, and to whom the Father chooses to reveal it.

    But I don’t see how anyone could deny that the end as described in the Bible is very near.  And it seems a good possibility (without any real foundation) that for all anyone knows, the US could be nothing more than a chaotic wasteland at that time.  I believe the US will have a pivotal role in that end time scenario, but at the same time, it wouldn’t surprise me if the US were no longer a power at that time, and could be a third world country at that time, or could be little more than a waste-land at that time.

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    Part 2 on Prophecy

    Saturday, March 28, 2015, 10:56 AM [General]

    Still trying to remember exactly what I wanted to say yesterday from part one of the post on prophecy.  I wanted to bring some Old Testament examples in and to warn people about being aware of false prophets.  There have generally been more ‘false’ than ‘true’ prophets.  We need to be careful that anyone professing to be a prophet speaks the true word from our Creator.  How do we know if a prophet is true?  We have at least two ways of telling.  First, from our passage yesterday, Deuteronomy 18: 22, we see that anything that a prophet says that does not come true, then that word did not come from the Lord.  Secondly, if what a prophet says is not in keeping with every meaning of the Scriptures (not just one verse that may be taken out of context, or not compared correctly with teachings in the rest of the Scriptures).

    In the Old Testament Elijah stood against four hundred and fifty prophets of false gods.  They were destroyed.  Micaiah stood up to Ahab after four hundred false prophets told Ahab he would succeed in battle and Ahab fell.  True prophets were rejected, persecuted, and often even executed for their prophecies.  Jesus taught that following Him as Christians we could expect to be treated in this world as this world treated Him.  Being a true prophet is not being someone that can expect to be treated with praise and adoration.  To begin with, someone who is a true prophet would be very humble, and not seeking self attention or personal glory.  But one thing to be sure of, a true prophet can generally expect to be persecuted, and false prophets can certainly expect to meet judgment one day.

    Jer 2:8  The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?'  Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit.

    Jer 14:14 And the LORD said to me: "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name.  I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them.  They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.  15 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, 'Sword and famine shall not come upon this land': By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed.

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