Monday, March 4, 2019

Passover Is Not Easter

Jews celebrate Passover also called Pesach from Hebrew it is a major, biblically derived Jewish holiday. The eight-day festival is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan. Passover is a commemoration of their liberation by God and freedom as a nation from Egyptian bondage under the leadership of Moses. It commemorates the story of liberation from that bondage as described in the Hebrew Bible, especially in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. It is important to note that at that time they were commanded to sacrifice a lamb and mark the doorposts of their dwellings with the blood of that sacrificial lamb so that they would be passed over by the angel of death which was about to slay the firstborn of every Egyptian. Passover was symbolic of something much greater yet to come when Almighty God would provide His own sacrificial lamb without blemish or spot as expiation for the sins of all of mankind.

Early Christians continued to celebrate Passover until it was decided that the resurrection of Christ historically fell on the Sunday after the beginning of Passover and that day would be more appropriate. The event eventually became known as Easter, which like so many of the Christian celebratory dates has been adulterated by the introduction of paganism into the Church. To set the record straight naming the celebration “Easter” goes back to the name of a pre-Christian pagan goddess in England, Eostre, who was celebrated at the beginning of spring. Reference to this comes from the writings of the "Venerable Bede," a British monk who lived in the late seventh and early eighth century. Bede wrote that the month in which Christians were celebrating the resurrection of Jesus had been called Eosturmonath in Old English, referring to a pagan goddess named Eostre. And even though Christians had been affirming the Christian meaning of the celebration, they continued to use the name of the goddess to designate the season. Bede was so influential that the name stuck, and hence Easter remains the name by which most of the nations in the Western world refer to the event. The coming of Christ the Messiah and his death and resurrection have been supplanted with Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny to denigrate and debase the greatest pivotal point in all of human history perpetrated through the secular humanistic machinations of the Deceiver, the Prince of Darkness.

When Man disobeyed and fell exposed and wanting in the Garden if Eden, Almighty God set His precedent requiring a blood sacrifice as He slew an animal that would constitute the first sacrifice for man to provide an immediate covering for the man and his wife. Their son Able later followed with the offering of a lamb from his flock and received approval from God.

In the following account of Abraham and Isaac God expands on meaning and scope of a blood sacrifice as the perfect representation of how His own son would carry the wooden cross up Calvary hill to be sacrificed for the sins of the world. Abraham's act was accorded to him as an act of righteousness.

After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Mori′ah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; and he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the ass; I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. (Genesis 22: 1-13)

Throughout the generations that would follow the Passover in Egypt Moses determined that the sacrifice of a lamb would be the only means of pleasing God. As the smoke of the offering rose up God would reckon it as righteousness and roll back the sins of Israel as He looked ahead in time and saw His own Son die on a cross. God's own final sacrifice offered once and for all time for the sins of mankind.

The Hebrew prophet Isaiah was given understanding of what would happen in generations to come and prophesied a direct reference to the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. (Isaiah 53)

Who has believed what we have heard and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin,he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand; he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

And again we are taken up on Calvary to the scene of the crucifixion, an account most likely written by King David. (Psalm 22: 1-18) 

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest. Yet thou art holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In thee our fathers trusted; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. To thee they cried, and were saved; in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed. But I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people. All who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they wag their heads; “He committed his cause to the Lord; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” Yet thou art he who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother’s breasts. Upon thee was I cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God. Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help. Many bulls encompass me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death. Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and feet, I can count all my bones, they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots.

Jesus said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of man will be delivered up to be crucified.” (Matthew 26:1-2) 

Jesus knew what was to befall him, predestined beforehand to be God's own sacrificial lamb, it was He alone who would meet the terms of the covenant with mankind. God said, "Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4)

 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.’” And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus was silent.  And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes, and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spat in his face, and struck him; and some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” (Matthew 26:57-68)

And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him; for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, la′ma sabach-tha′ni?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “This man is calling Eli′jah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Eli′jah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27: 35-54)

Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:19-21) 

Jesus Christ "Yeshua" is the Messiah and Passover Lamb who is asking you to open your heart to Him who will mark the doorposts of your heart, liberating you from the bondage of sin and death with the promise of eternal life in God's Promised Land.

So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5: 20-21)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The World Divided, A Vast Chasm Between Good And Evil

The nations of the world are in great turmoil as I write this. Leaders in various places are caving in to the will of godless mobs intent on the destruction of all that is good and right in various countries. Armies of filthy, murderous, demon worshipping invaders are forcing their way through the borders of peaceful countries, with nothing to offer but disease, rape, murder, misery and suffering for the citizens of those countries. The nations are marked by a great divide within leadership mostly attributable to envy as the root cause. The Left in opposition to the Right, those who have little hating those who have much.

Before going any farther, let us reiterate what we have been discussing in previous commentaries and let this be comforting. We don't know what the future holds for any one of us, but we know who holds the future, and though we have little or no control of our lives or of anything, we know God controls all things. The apostle Paul wrote the following good news to believers in God and in His Son Jesus Christ: "And you he made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. Among these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of body and mind, and so we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not because of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:1-9)

And what moved God to do this?  "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." (John 3: 16-17)

And who is Jesus Christ? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (1 John 1-5 &14)

Jesus is speaking about his followers when he said: "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:29-30)

The world we live in has not changed significantly from the ancient world at all, the "New Morality" is just the old immorality. The message throughout the bible is just as timely today as it was eons ago. The following speaks of how a number of angels stepped out of their assigned roles and are destined for eternal punishment as a result. Today we have men trying to become women and women who want to be men, people lusting for same sex relationships and sexual relationships with small children, just as in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Here Saint Jude speaks to the same conditions we are experiencing today:
"Now I desire to remind you, though you were once for all fully informed, that He who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day; just as Sodom and Gomor′rah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Yet in like manner these men in their dreams defile the flesh, reject authority, and revile the glorious ones. But these men revile whatever they do not understand, and by those things that they know by instinct as irrational animals do, they are destroyed. Woe to them! For they walk in the way of Cain, and abandon themselves for the sake of gain. They boldly carouse together, looking after themselves; waterless clouds, carried along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars for whom the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved for ever. These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own passions, loud-mouthed boasters, flattering people to gain advantage. (Jude 1:5-8, 10-13 &16)

[I intentionally left out part of verse 11 referring to Balaam and Korah, two old testament bad actors which would necessitate several chapters to discuss.] 

"But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; they said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who set up divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit." (Jude 1: 17-19)

Finally the apostle Paul pronounces a reviling judgment against the ungodliness of our time:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them. (Romans 1: 18-32)

The God hating evildoers of our time are murdering Christian believers by the hundreds of thousands as well as Jews throughout the world even as I write this, but be of good heart and stand strong in your faith in God and His Son Jesus "Yeshua" the Messiah.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written,
“For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

Monday, December 24, 2018

For God So Loved The World

Christmas is a time of hope and blessings, a celebration of life and salvation. The Scriptures teach us that children are a blessing from God. It has also been said that the birth of each new child is a sign that God has not yet given up on this world. That was never more true than the night two thousand years ago when the Son of Man was born in Bethlehem; born to bring the hope of salvation and the blessing of eternal life.

During a sermon in 1926, Reverend James Allan Francis summarized the profound impact of life of Jesus Christ:

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village as the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty and then for three years was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness.
He had no credentials but himself. He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of his divine manhood. While still a young man the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. Another betrayed him.
He was turned over to his enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon the cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth while he was dying, and that was his coat. When he was dead, he was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone and today he is the center of the human race and the leader of the column of progress.
I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that were ever built, and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon the earth as powerfully as has this one solitary life.
No one can predict the headlines in the weeks and months ahead, but we can rest assured that one day every head will bow and every knee will bend before the King of Kings.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Understanding The Mystery Of The Trinity

Most people become perplexed and confused when faced with the biblical concept of the one true God comprising three persons. The reason is that we have finite minds and live in a finite world where everything including our lives has a beginning and an end. We understand only what we experience and know about the natural world around us.

God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  (Genesis 1:26-27)

Consider if you will, for the sake of your own understanding, that the Creator of the universe as we know it, exists in an eternal parallel universe or another dimension outside the constraints of time where there is no yesterday no tomorrow, only an eternal present. We can know from the first chapter in Genesis that the Creator refers to himself as "US" indicating that more than one person is the co-creator of all things. We know that God the father, is the primary person of great magnificence and almighty power that emanates through the will of His Spirit. "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) 
He is also imbued with another persona, the Son. They have always co-existed in a dimension outside of time in an eternal universe. 

The thought that man is created in the image of God may seem overwhelming but it will be helpful in understanding the trinity. It has nothing to do with our appearance being at all anything like God, however it alludes to the fact that we are tripartite beings just as God is. We have a Spirit just as God the Father is Spirit, our spirit comes from God and gives us our innate God consciousness. We have a physical body just as God the son, and we have a soul or ego from which emanates our personality. Three distinct parts in one being that all work together.

God knew beforehand that man would fail Him (sin), He established the penalty of death for mankind's failure. In order for God to rescue His creation by offering Himself to pay the price for all the sins of mankind He would have to leave His eternal place and be born into this dimension governed by time, this is the motive and destiny of His Son, as the sacrifice and payment for the sins of man.
"In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Hebrews 1:1-3)

In human terms it is difficult to contemplate a virgin giving birth, and yet not difficult at all for God who spoke the entire universe and everything in it into existence from nothing willed through His Holy Spirit.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. (Luke 1:26-35)

Hopefully the foregoing will give us all new insights as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, Christ the Savior who is also known to many Jews as Yeshua the Messiah.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Antichrist

Ever since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ people down through the ages have wondered who this Antichrist might be. The following refers to the signs of the times and the end of the age: 

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. 
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24: 3-14)

Jesus made it clear to the apostles that there would be many antichrists. Here John says, "Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 
(1John 2:18-19) 

John is referring to false teachers preaching heresy that abound in every society but he also alludes to a specific person as Antichrist which has left believers open to a lot of curiosity and speculation as to who this individual might be and exactly when they will appear.

History has already shown us one type of the last days antichrist in the person of Antiochus Epiphanes, a Greek tyrant of the 2nd century B.C. He was a vicious enemy of the Jewish people, outlawing Judaism and desecrating the sacred temple with pig blood and setting up idols to be worshipped while considering himself Deus Ad Dominum.
However Jesus made the timing quite clear when he said, "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake." Jesus is referring to The Great Tribulation of the church and of all believers. Here it is referred to again to John on the Isle of Patmos where he was given a look at events that were yet to come.

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
(Revelation 6:9-11)

Recent news indicates that the murder of Christians and Jews has increased exponentially over the last few years with the advent of the "Arab 
Spring." The predominantly Islamic nations have been raging against those they refer to as "The People Of The Book," referring to those who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, specifically Jews and Christians. 

By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (1John 4:2-3) 

Rather than wonder who is the antichrist we need to consider what is the antichrist and recognize that these verses indicate antichrist is a spirit which is manifested in human beings who deny God and His Christ. The god of the Islamic world is a demonic entity of darkness, hatred, death, that disavows the One True God and His son Jesus Christ, whereas the God of Christians and Jews is a God of light, love and life. Here we have clearly identified the Antichrist of the last days that precede the second coming of Jesus Christ. We can conclude that antichrist is an attitude emanating from an evil spirit.

"After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever Amen." Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” and I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:9-14)

There are teachers who insist that believers won't suffer in spite of these scripture verses, and that they will be miraculously raptured out of the way, however this is inconsistent with bible history. One need only ask themselves if believers today are somehow special and more deserving of escaping the sufferings of early Christians who were sawn in two, burned at the stake, eaten by lions, crucified and murdered in droves as they have been down through the ages for their faith.

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers through the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us through His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world (Hebrews 1:1-2) 
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image" (Genesis 1:26)

Time to consider where you stand, with God or the Antichrist? Ask Jesus (Yeshua) who is Co-Creator of the universe with the father to come into your life as Lord and Savior.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Defining True Faith

Faith has always been a difficult concept for many to fully understand and they often assume that believing that God exists is sufficient, which is far from the truth! Believing is a start, and is foundational to what may become real true faith, but believing is only a mental assent to something that is. Belief in and of itself cannot be construed as faith. Belief in God calls for a response that begins within the heart beginning with trust. We must trust in the veracity of the existence of Almighty God and that He created the universe and everything in it and controls all things including our own existence and that without Him we would cease to exist.
The Holy Bible says that "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old received divine approval. By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear." (Hebrews 11:1-3)

We have belief in God and on that belief we have come to trust in Him, but are those two elements alone sufficient to be considered true faith? There is yet another requirement for true faith and God expects to see us moved to action and begin sharing our belief in Him and the blessings that have been bestowed on us with others. What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:14 & 26) 

One final element which is an absolute requirement and an act of faith is prayer, our communication with God who we cannot see, touch or feel. That act alone is proof to Almighty God that we know He exists and that we trust in Him for all things. "And without faith it is impossible to please Him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." We can conclude that there are four essential elements for true faith; Belief, Trust, Action and Prayer.

The faith of the entire Christian world is based in the following; "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:16-17) 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Envy And Murder, A Curse In Our Times

Let us revisit an event that happened eons ago and consider how relevant the story is today. 
Here it all began as fallout from the parent's original sin in the garden of Eden where Eve was beguiled by the voice of the tempter who had introduced her to feelings of envy.

Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. And to Adam God said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; (Genesis 3: 1-6 & 17)

This act of disobedience to God was the moment when envy was conceived on earth, as the tempter appealed to the woman through the lust of the eyes, (the fruit looked appealing), the lust of the flesh, (she could become like God), and the pride of life, (she felt compelled to have it). She took it and ate and gave some to Adam who was complicit and fully responsible as head of the human family, suddenly both knew good and evil and became self aware, exchanging an inherently good nature for one of sin and wrong choices, a trait to be passed on to every generation that followed.

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4: 1-7)

Some might think that God had treated Cain unfairly for not accepting his offering, a portion of the fruit from the ground which he had planted and nurtured. One must consider that God had cursed the ground for the sin of Adam and Eve, and that is what made Cain's offering unacceptable. Cain may have known better and could have traded some of his goods with his brother for a lamb to offer God, but he made the prideful decision to present what he had grown from the ground that God had cursed.

The reason Able's sacrifice of a lamb from his flock was acceptable is because, "the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them." (Genesis 3:21) It was extremely significant because the first blood sacrifice was made by God Himself on behalf of man as a covering for his nakedness. And it would be by the shedding of the blood of a lamb without blemish or spot that would be acceptable to God. When Able sacrificed a lamb from his flock it was pleasing in the sight of God who looked ahead in time when He Himself would offer His perfect and only begotten Son on a cruel Roman cross as a ransom and a covering for the sins of all mankind.

Cain was filled with envy toward his brother Able who was successful in pleasing God while he himself had been a failure, and his envy grew to malice until he became filled with rage. Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. (Genesis 4: 8)

All this occurred long ago but is repeated continuously throughout the world today. The Islamic world has always envied and hated Jews and Christians who are being murdered in great numbers even as I write. Those who are successful are universally always envied by those who have accomplished little and throughout Western Civilization those who adhere to godly principles of rule and law are generally more successful than those who don't. " A wise man’s heart inclines him toward the right, but a fool’s heart toward the left." (Ecclesiastes 10:2) In today's world God fearing people who live by the rule of law are envied and hated by the typically hedonistic self-absorbed people who shun all previously revered tradition. The rift between the Right and the Left has become a wide chasm whereby the enemies of God and of those who are His attempt to destroy all that is good, perfect and righteous. 

Understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. (2 Timothy 3: 2-4)
This is a call for those who wish to be approved by Almighty God to take a stand and ask Jesus into your hearts and lives, He is God's only approved covering for the sins and failures of life. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)