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    Predestination & Eternal Security

    Sunday, December 21, 2014, 2:16 PM [General]

    Some thoughts from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in the KJV, chapter 1, verses 3- 14.

    Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

    7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

    13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

    In the King James English, one very long sentence may be written as a few shorter sentences today to make one paragraph.  In verses 3- 6 is one long sentence paragraph.  What does it mean that He chose us before the foundation of the world?  Before He created, He already planned and knew that He would create us to serve His purpose.  Even so, He didn’t create us as robots.  We are to seek His will and purpose for our lives.  He knew beforehand that we would seek to find our own way, rather than His.  That is why He knew that we would need redemption (salvation) from that position of choosing our own way rather than His way- which is a way of pure love and peace.

    Ultimately, those who are chosen are those who search for Him and His Way (through Jesus) with their whole hearts.  Are there those who have never heard of Jesus?  I believe this is why He said in Jeremiah 29: 13 that those who searched for Him (their Creator) with their whole hearts would find Him.  We are saved through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, yet, I do not believe that you necessarily have to know Jesus, Yashua, Immanuel, or any other specific name in whatever language to recognize that we need deliverance from this worldly state and to cry to our Creator, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner” (from Luke 8: 13).

    Then we come to this term ‘predestinated’ in the King James Version.  Some people believe that the meaning of that term from the Greek ‘proorizo’ is that there is no real free choice, but everything that happens is already planned and that plan cannot be changed.  By no means do I believe that.  God’s plan, will, intention, or predestination is that we should live perfectly in His pure love and peace.  We, as human beings with free choice, deviated (thwarted or corrupted) God’s plan by not living as He intended us so to do.  The prefix ‘pre-‘ in predestinated means ‘before’ and God had planned (or destined) before that we should live in love and peace with Him, each other, and all creation.  Yet He knew beforehand that we would stray from His will.  This is why He ‘predestinated’ (foreordained, planned beforehand) that He would send His Only Begotten Son to redeem us.

    For us to go against the plans of such a Holy and Awesome Creator meant that some serious redemption was required.  This was why Jesus died on the cross for our redemption.  Even so, it was mankind (me included) that was responsible for nailing Jesus to that cross.  He died for us.  To say that we were chosen (or predestinated) to be saved does not mean that when we are born, God says, “I’ll save this one and that one, and not that one or the other.”  It means that the chosen ones are those who decide to search for Him with all their hearts, and accept Him.  Salvation is open for anyone and everyone who chooses to search for Him and accept Him.

    In the last sentence-paragraph of this passage is another wonderful promise.  We are SEALED by the Holy Spirit of God.  This being sealed by Him is the promise (KJV- earnest) of our inheritance.  This is one of the foundations of the term ‘eternal security’ (once saved always saved; or you could never, ever lose your salvation).  If we are sealed by such a powerful Creator, then that seal could never be broken.  We have an inheritance in glory that can never be taken away, nor could we ever lose it.  Though we are to strive to live perfectly, we still fall.  If we develop a habit of falling, our Creator will chasten and scourge us to cause us to get back up and guide us back into His path (Hebrews 12: 6- 13).  Even if someone should fall to the point that they don’t get back up, God provided (1st Corinthians chapter 5) that person’s earthly body may be given up to Satan for destruction that his eternal soul may be saved by the power of the same Creator Whose Spirit sealed that one.

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    Purpose and Reason

    Saturday, December 20, 2014, 11:48 AM [General]

    Purpose!  People look for purpose and reason.  Why are we here?  Some say we evolved, but others created.  If there is any purpose or reason, would it not be from the Creator?  But to find such a purpose, one must search for that purpose or reason from the One Who created.  Could there be any purpose except that for which we were created?

    To search for such a purpose or reason, one must search for that Creator, because only through Him could the purpose or reason be found.  To search means to have faith that He is there and that He will reveal His purpose and reason in His Own way and His Own time.  One who finds such purpose or reason must have faith, and in that faith one will find that the only way to serve such purpose or reason would be through love.  Would any create without a love for that creation?  Would anyone create without desiring that such a creation find that love?

    Yet people have become lovers of themselves rather than lovers of the Creator, without Whom there would be no purpose or reason.  People wish to have “faith” in their own ability to solve their own situations and find their own reasons, yet they build up their own pride and neglect their Creator.

    Our Creator has revealed His Presence and His desire that we should live in love of Him and of one another, as no one would create without desiring that such creation would be loved.  Would anyone wish to create something to be hated or wish that creation to hate the creator or that which the creator created?  So our Creator created us with that desire to love us and for us to love Him and to love one another as His creation.

    Yet we choose to be lovers of our own selves.  We seek to take pride in what we can learn and do without the need for our Creator or others.  This is why His wrath is on us.  This is why we need a Savior.

    Those who find Him through that faith that He is and that He will respond to those who search for Him may find that love that He wishes us to have.  Many see that love as His law in a legal sense that we are to obey because it is so written.  Those who truly find Him find that such a written law only works on the external show of ourselves as though we were only actors, acting out our lives on a stage.  Those who truly find Him find that this “law of love” is not so much a matter of “that which is written” but that love that is found in the hearts of those who find Him.

    Such a love is not so easy because it stands against the common conception in this world that drives people in their self-love to think they can find and apply their own ways and their own sense of “self-worth” without any need of a creator.  In this self-seeking world people want to supply their own answers and their own conceited purpose and reason.  This is why there is malice and wars, because everyone wants everyone else to be what they want them to be, and not find their true selves as the true Creator intended.

    This is why our Creator came to us as Jesus to teach us the true purpose and reason- that true law of love for Him and one another that can only be found written in the hearts of those who search for Him through faith.  Though He came to show us His love, in our own vanity and self-love we abused Him and nailed Him to a cross.

    Faith is the way to find that love, and that love can only be found through Him Who created us, and He alone can be our purpose and reason.  Any who search for their own purpose and reason without finding the true Creator has only found their own vanity.  Only the One Who created can know and reveal the purpose and reason for His creation.

    It is because we seek to find our own purpose and reason that we so wish to hear what our own ears wish to hear.  This is why we are so easily led away by false teachers; they tell us what we wish to hear.  Would we prefer to give money to people who would tell us the truth, if we did not wish to listen to the truth?  Would we not prefer to give money to people who tell us what we wish to hear?  This is why people who tell the truth will seldom get rich, because we do not always wish to hear the truth.  This is also why people who tell us what we wish to hear will so easily get rich.  This is why there are so many false teachers.

    People seek to please themselves with their own fantasies.  This is why people turn to the entertainment industry with sports and fantasies.  In this they live vicariously through those we see as strong in sports or battle; or in movies and TV shows where people find happiness in vicariously finding their own hearts desires rather than searching for that desire that the Creator intended.  Rather than depending on a Creator to provide that which is necessary, people are greedy and search for all their desires and wishes through their own power of gaining.  This leads to the greed that strives to accumulate even if it involves cheating, stealing, or gambling to depend on some ‘magical hand of fate’ or ‘karma’ to obtain their fortune.

    Only through faith and that pure love for our Creator and others can real purpose and reason be found.  Jesus told us that to strive to follow Him in that true purpose and reason would not be easy.  He said that we were to count the cost of living for Him and that we were to give our total being to Him.  As our Creator, couldn’t He demand that what He created belongs to Him?  He told us that if we followed Him that we could expect this world to treat us as it treated Him.  Would we dare to live expecting to be abused as He was and that the world would seek to destroy us as it sought to destroy Him?  Yet in faith we can know that though this earthly body should be destroyed, there exists that reality of who we are, and that we will live eternally with Him.  In faith we know that this earthly body is not the reality that we are to serve but only a shadow of what is to be revealed.

    Through faith I know that this world is destined to be destroyed in my Creator’s wrath.  The nations of this world seek to “serve” other nations in order to manipulate others to achieve selfish ends.  Serve is in quotation marks because they are not really serving, but pretending by alliance to be of service while they are truly only seeking their own ends by manipulation.  Many people of this world look for their answers in politicians, rather than to depend on our Creator for the true answers.  Many people depend on military might to protect them from their own perceived ‘evils’ of this world without realizing that we ourselves are evil in our own pursuits for our own desires and our own vanities.  The only true protection can come from our Creator, Who alone can deliver us from our own vanities.

    This world is covered with vanities, wars, violence, and pestilence; and my Creator’s wrath is soon to be poured out on this planet with His Own prepared pestilences, swords, burning fires, and destruction.  He alone can deliver the ones He chooses.  These earthly, fleshly bodies will not survive, but will be subjected to many sufferings and torments.  These earthly, fleshly bodies will be destroyed; then will come that judgment where our Creator will offer a pure judgment on the reality of our eternal souls.  We all stand guilty of violating His way of pure love.  Our only deliverance can be in searching for His mercy and loving kindness.  In this search by faith we can know Him and have His love planted in our hearts.  That is the pure law that cannot be fully described in earthly writings.  Those who have truly found Him through that faith can enjoy eternal life in His kingdom.  Those who do not will only find eternal torments in knowing eternal separation from Him and His pure love.

    This is why the psalmist cried, the New Testament echoes, and the Christian understands the prayer- “Oh, death, where is thy sting?  Oh, grave, where is thy victory?”  This life is only a temporary shadow of the realities that are eternal.  Only by choosing to seek our true Creator can we expect to find Him and His mercy and a life with Him for eternity.  Eternity without Him would be a tormented soul forever.

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    Been Absent

    Saturday, December 20, 2014, 11:30 AM [General]

    To any concerned- sorry I have been out of touch for a while.  Due to circumstances I lost my home and car and now live with a relative and unfortunately my income is all going to debts till my private matters can be cleared up.  I have been without internet for some time, but now I’m back, but may not have as much time as before to answer messages and post.  There have been far too many updates and messages from different places for me to hope to begin to answer all and catch up.  When I got email back- there were over 17000 emails to download and delete, not to mention more coming in while I was deleting.

    I have not neglected my Bible study at all, but have not had a lot of opportunity to prepare posts from my Bible study.  Have one ready in a bit, and will begin working on others, but they may be slow in coming.  I wish to remind all, especially in certain Christian groups I post in, that my thoughts are my own.  I do not wish anyone to believe something simply because I say it.  Each person must search for his/her Creator in each one’s own way.  Simply agreeing with me does not mean you have met your Maker, and in disagreeing with me does not mean you have not found Him.  I am so far from perfect that my own ideas about my Creator are not perfect, as my mind is far too small to comprehend our Creator’s greatness, magnificence, and the depth of His love and mercy.

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    Coming Judgment

    Friday, June 13, 2014, 11:44 AM [General]

    Sorry- I haven't been able to get here as much as I would like.

    Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (KJV)

    Both words- ‘wickedness’ and ‘evil’- above are translated from the same Hebrew רעה  רע  rah, or rawaw'.  It can mean any type of bad, evil, wicked.

    Genesis 6:11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.  13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. (KJV)

    The word ‘corrupt’ in the passage above is from the Hebrew- שׁחת shawkhath'.  It’s meaning is more like to ‘decay, ruin, destroy’.  This same Hebrew word used as ‘corrupt’ above is also used as ‘destroy’ in the same passage above.

    The word ‘violence’ in the above passage is from the Hebrew - חמס  châmâs and can mean according to how it’s used ‘violence’, ‘unjust gain’, ‘damage’, ‘false’, ‘injustice’ ‘oppressor’, ‘unrighteous’.

    Psalm 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.  5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.  6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.  7 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright. (KJV)

    In the Genesis passages above, the Lord was beholding the wickedness of humans on the face of the earth and was determined to destroy all but Noah who found grace in His eyes.  This chapter tells of God’s observing the wickedness and telling Noah to build the ark because there was going to be a flood to destroy all that was on the earth except those saved in the ark.

    The Bible shows God to be constantly watching over His creation, and as He sees the wickedness, He will bring judgment in His time.  But there would come a time when the wickedness would again reach the point that all but His chosen ones would be destroyed, and then all would be brought before His judgment throne.

    The word translated ‘hateth’ in Psalm 11: 5 above could also be translated as ‘enemy’ or ‘foe’.  Remember Jesus said that we are to love our enemies.  And the Bible teaches that God loves sinners (those who are wicked) enough that He sent His Only Begotten Son to die for our sins.  So when the Bible says ‘hate’, it doesn’t necessarily mean ‘hate’ in the sense that we may use it as an hostile loathing emotion.  It often indicates that something is rejected (hated) compared to something that is accepted (loved).  Even so, rejection from God our Creator means separation from Him to a place of eternal torments.

    But the punishments for wickedness may well begin on this earth.  The flood came on this earth to the wicked at that time.  The Jews suffered many times for straying from God during the judges, and were eventually carried into captivity because they continued in disobedience.  Though it doesn’t always work this way.  Many wicked have prospered and continue to prosper without any sense of judgment in this life.  Christians are told to expect the world to treat us as it treated Jesus, and He was spit on, beaten, and crucified.  Christians are told to expect tribulations, and if one didn’t seem to experience tribulations, then one could certainly question his Christianity (though you don’t hear much preaching on that because preachers may not make much money preaching that).  (See: Acts 5: 41; Romans 8: 17- 18; 2nd Corinthians 1: 5, 7; Philippians 1: 29; 2nd Timothy 2: 12 & 3: 12; 1st Peter 2: 21)  Though we may see many who do not know the Lord that seem to have great health, jobs, enjoyment of life, the Scriptures teach that those who do not know the Lord will be eternally separated from Him, and apart from Him, there is no other place but torment.

    But all Christians are to experience the suffering of afflictions or tribulations.  Sometimes the suffering is because we are not perfect, and if we fall into our imperfection, we must remember that God, our Heavenly Father, chastens and scourges, all who come to Him.  It is not a pleasant thing to suffer for sins, and should discourage any from it- but this is for those who come to the Father (those who believe and are saved).  Christians are to expect suffering for the cause of Christ.  This is different from suffering because of sin.  It’s true purpose may only be revealed when we reach our Heavenly home.  But if you see someone who says they are Christian, but they indicate that they have never had to truly experience suffering, affliction, or tribulation, and their life seems to always be so great, be suspicious, because this is not what the Scriptures teach we are to expect in this life.  If you see someone who seems so involved with the earthly material enjoyment of life, be suspicious.  Jesus said that we were to hate this life, but love our abundant life that we would have beyond the earthly, material experience of this world.  To have the abundant life in this world does not mean abundance with earthly materialism.

    But there will be a judgment that will come swiftly upon the whole earth.  Beware-  We see wickedness all around as in the days of Noah.  We are to love sinners, but hate sin.  To love them does not mean we are to support them or their position.  We are to love our enemies, but it does not mean we are to give them guns to shoot us with.  But people better open their eyes and realize that the violence is becoming full throughout all countries and wickedness is proliferating throughout the earth, and sudden judgment is due at any time.  The signs are there that God is beginning His earthly warnings of coming woes.

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    Some Thoughts

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 12:26 PM [General]

    A major employer in a nearby city had 230 job openings.  They had 6,000 applicants for those openings.  Do the math= 6,000- 230= 5,770 of those applicants were left looking for jobs.  Now the city may have had other places, but this being a major employer, and the size of the city didn’t leave nearly enough places for employment as were seeking.  So the population is increasing so much faster than the number of jobs available.  So many people are without work.  Many people are being left jobless, homeless, and hungry.

    Rich preachers, and those who follow them tell people to trust the Lord and He will take care of you.  How does the Lord take care of people?  By using the hearts of His children to follow His law of love and reach out to those in need.  Yet many of these people who listen to these rich preachers already have jobs.  Some are getting by and thankful for that; others are fairly well off and praising God for their material prosperity.  Yet how many are truly learning God’s law of love and reaching out to those in need?  Indeed, many are simply saying that if they would follow the Lord, they wouldn’t have to worry.  Who is showing them how God’s law of love works.

    Jesus said, “Woe unto those who are rich; they have their rewards.”  Yet people would rather listen to rich preachers than to listen to what Jesus said about the rich.  Why?  As the Bible says, people with itchy ears (they want to hear what they want to hear) will find teachers who tell them what they want to hear.  They listen to rich preachers because the rich preachers tell them what they want to hear.  Who listens to preachers who tell them what they don’t want to hear?  The Bible teaches that there would be those who would seek to use the Gospel of Christ for earthly gain.  So how do these rich preachers get rich without seeking for earthly gain?

    Jesus taught that we were not to seek our rewards for serving Him in this life, but to store up our rewards for the eternal life.  Jesus taught that if we followed Him, we could expect this world to treat us as it treated Him.  How did this world treat Him?  Jesus said there would be false teachers leading people away from the truth.  Who would want to listen to a preacher who said that if you became a Christian, you may be spit upon (as Jesus was), or beaten (as Jesus was), or hung on a cross (as Jesus was)?  Who would want to listen to a preacher who said that if you follow Jesus you may be thrown into a dungeon, or thrown into an arena with lions, or hung on a cross, or burned on a stake, as many Christians throughout history have had happen?  But this is how Jesus said that it could happen.  Who wants to hear what Jesus said, when these rich preachers can tell people what they want to hear?

    Jesus said there would be many who would stand before the judgment throne and tell the Lord how many good works they did, but He would tell them to depart from Him, because He never knew them.  Why did they believe they knew Jesus?  Because they listened to false teachers.  All through the Scriptures there is talk about those who follow false teachings.  The Bible teaches that it is wrong to use God’s Word for the purpose of seeking earthly, worldly, material wealth.  True preachers have never been known to have a history of becoming mega-rich by preaching God’s Word.  People don’t generally expect to get rich by teaching the truth.  False teachers get mega-rich pan-handling God’s precious Word.  We need to put a stop to supporting these false teachers.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    My Personal Prayer

    Sunday, June 1, 2014, 11:01 AM [General]

    The LORD God does not begin any works that He does not intend to finish.  The LORD God does not make promises He does not intend to keep.  The LORD God does not leave His children alone in the midst of their trials and tribulations.

     

    Dear LORD, I am so far from perfect.  LORD have mercy on me a sinner.  LORD, my faith is so far from what it should be.  LORD, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.  LORD God, please help my loved ones and myself to open our ears to hear Your Word; our eyes to see what You would have us to see; and our hearts to know Your will and what you would have us to know and do.

     

    Dear LORD, You see that I am in dire straits.  My budget is gone and I am in deep debt.  LORD, please search my heart and make it in keeping with Thy will.  LORD, help me and those I love in our hour of deepest need.  In Jesus name, Amen.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Some Thoughts on Faith

    Monday, May 26, 2014, 10:38 PM [General]

    Do you know what faith means?  Faith doesn’t necessarily mean that you “know” something will happen because you “believe” it will happen.  Faith means that you keep on going even if you don’t have a clue how it will happen, even though you may have doubts and fears.  True- doubts and fears sound like contrary terms to the meaning of faith.  Remember, the Lord knows we are human, we are not perfect.  Perfect love removes fear.  God’s love is perfect- and His love for us can remove our fears.  But in our own imperfections (meaning that our love, which is His law, is so far from perfect) then we fall prey to doubts and fears.  Doubts and fears do not mean that we do not have faith, or that we don’t have God’s law of love in our hearts; it means that our faith is weak and that our love is not yet perfect.  In doubts and fears we may often not see a way and think something is impossible.  Even so, faith means that even when we think that something may be impossible, we never forget that with God, all things are possible.  We may not see how it could possibly be, but we know that God can make it possible, even if it seems ‘impossible’ to us.

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    Some Thoughts

    Saturday, May 24, 2014, 9:25 PM [General]

    John 15:19 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. (KJV)

     

    Romans 8:17 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. (KJV)

     

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

     

    Jesus said that we are to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.  Many people say that God asks for 10%, but that is not what Jesus said.  We are God’s creation and we belong to Him.  There are those who are His children because we come to Him and He accepts us, and there are those who never come to Him who never become His children.  All in all, we are all His property because He created all.  What are we to give Him?  Ten percent?  No!  We belong to Him, and we are to give Him our all.  We are to give and give and even if we gave everything, we have never given anything that didn’t already belong to Him to begin with.  So those who believe that if you give 10% and He will fill your life with earthly, material blessings, you better remember that Satan is the ruler of this world, and Satan may allow you many material rewards just to keep you from coming to the truth.  Christians have been thrown into the arena with gladiators and lions; they have been thrown into dungeons, hung on crosses, burned at the stake, and I’m not sure what all else.  Rich people may love to say that they are blessed by God, and I cannot say that some may not be, but we need to never forget that earthly blessings are not necessarily a sign of God’s blessings.  The Bible clearly teaches that Christians should not expect to be treated well by this world.

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    Flocks and Shepherds

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 12:11 PM [General]

    Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.  13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. (KJV)

    The Lord does not take delight that the wicked die, because the Lord does not wish for them to spend eternity in the tortures of being separated from His love and exposed to the torments of those who have been banished from His realm.  For the wicked to leave their wickedness does not mean that anyone suddenly becomes ‘perfect’ or completely righteous.  It means that they recognize that they are far from what God desires and seeks to live as He would have them to live.  How would God have us to live?  He wishes us to live according to His law of love.  All of His law is built on love.  None of us love perfectly.  But we are to strive to live and have the Holy Spirit plant His law of love within us.  A plant has to be seeded and nourished.  Once that love is within, we must cultivate it and nurture it for it to grow into what God would have us to be.  Verse 13 above tells us that even those who are striving to be righteous are not to trust in their own righteousness.  Our own “righteousness” would never be enough, because we are so far from perfect.  It is His righteousness that He plants within us who believe in Him that we are to nourish and trust in His righteousness within us, rather than our own.

    Ezekiel 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?  3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.  4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.  5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. (KJV)

    People are considered (Biblically speaking) as a flock.  The flock of this world contains sheep (those who turn to the Lord) and goats (those who never come to know the Lord).  One day the sheep will be separated from the goats.  The shepherds are those who are to tend to the flock, to care for them and see to the well-being of the flock.  They are to minister to the goats and sheep alike.  There are many kinds of shepherds.  They are kings, prime ministers, presidents, law makers, judges, etc.  They are also the shepherds of the sheep (God’s people)- the pastors, preachers, evangelists, deacons, prophets, Bible teachers, etc.  There are many shepherds both in government and in the church (or sometimes the ‘so-called church’) who are not shepherding as they should.  Rather than tending the flock, they are feeding themselves from the flock without doing as they should for the flock.  The Lord will deal with them all in His Own time and in His Own way.  Pray for your shepherds, both governmental and religious.  The Lord does not delight in the death of the wicked shepherds, but they are bringing an even greater condemnation on themselves because of their position.

    Ezekiel 34:10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.  11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.  12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. (KJV)

    There will be a day when the sheep who are being fed upon by the wicked shepherds will be delivered.  Stand fast in prayer and faith.

    Ezekiel 34:16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. (KJV)

    The Lord said through Ezekiel that He would see those who have become lost (even the sheep may be wayward and stray).  Jesus said that He came to seek and to save the lost sheep.  Those who have been broken and sick will be cared for when He delivers us into His eternal kingdom.  Those who have broken and made sick the sheep, those who have become fat and strong, yet neglecting to reach out and tend to those who were in distress, will be fed with judgment at His appointed day.

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    Some Reflections from Some Prophets

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 9:58 PM [General]

    Jeremiah 5:26 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? (KJV)

    Have you known of injustices where those in power seem to give favor to the rich and powerful and the cause of the needy is swept aside to push the needy out of the way to make more room for the others?  Does it sometimes seem that the ones in control seem to trap those in need so as to block them together and leave them without hope?  But those who put their hope in the Lord will be vindicated, and those in power will be brought down.  It may not seem so in this world, but those who hope in the Lord look to an eternal rest.

    Jeremiah 16:10 12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me: (KJV)

    We are all prone to walk in the way of our own hearts.  There is not one of us who is purely right in his thinking.  We love to glory in our own interpretations of this world, these religions, and even in Biblical teachings we do err.  Yet those who recognize this can listen for the Lord to hearken unto Him.  We may not be perfect in our understanding, but we can strive to find and do what is truly right and put our trust in Him to make everything right in His Own time.

    Ezekiel 16:48 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.  49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. (KJV)

    People may speak of “the abundant life” yet there are different kinds of abundance.  There is the abundance of the material things of this world, but then there is the abundance of knowing God’s grace and loving-kindness.  Abundance in this world’s sense of abundance leads to vanity, pride, self seeking, and idleness that spawns a lack of concern for others.  “I have what I need, so if others don’t have what they need, it must be their own fault.”  This was what destroyed Sodom, as is stated in the Ezekiel passage above.  A world full of people with “abundant lives” may be headed for destruction because they fail to understand the double-edged sword of abundance with regards to this world’s material rewards, and the abundance of rewards for those whose hope is in the Lord.

    Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (KJV)

    Those who come to the Lord in trust and put their hope in Him may not be perfect, but (perhaps slowly) surely the Lord is infusing His will into their hearts.  It is not that we can seek to make ourselves perfect by adopting some law code, but that in our hearing what He has for us to hear and seeing what He shows us and allowing our hearts to be open to His will, He will put it in us.  We do not put it into ourselves, but we allow Him through His Spirit to mold us into what He would have us to be.  We cannot do it ourselves; we must allow Him to do it through us.  We may feel anger, and then in reflection recognize that what we become angry about is only a transient worldly matter.  We may be tempted and even fall to sin, but afterwards that sense within will bring us to recognize our need for His mercy and forgiveness.

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