Saturday, November 25, 2017

What End Times Really Means

We often hear that we are living in the end times, what that really refers to is not the end of the world, but the end of mankind’s control over his own affairs. In this computer age of instant cyber communications comes a great increase in knowledge until now we have the development of what’s known as artificial intelligence or A.I. where computerized robots are now able to process and use information many times faster than the human mind. It appears to be innocuous and a good idea, however in reality it is inherently evil. The brilliant inventor Elon Musk claims that A.I. is opening the door to the devil as do many others. The greatest affront and insult to God will be when this artificially intelligent created antithesis to humankind begins to assume control over the affairs of man.

The individuals who are developing and refining these A.I. Bots have no regard for God even doubting His existence, they are secular humanists who are creating a god after their own likeness.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none that does good. (Psalm 53:1)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. (1 John 2:15-16)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9: 10)

Fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the desire for excess materialism and living a self-absorbed hedonistic lifestyle and serve the Lord. And if you are unwilling to serve the Lord choosing this day to serve the god of this world, then know that living a self-centered life filled with vain dissipation is a road that ends in eternal darkness and misery. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, the God of Creation and eternal light.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Shema Yisrael - Hear O Israel

Often times when entering the home of a Jewish family one can see an interesting
memento tacked to the right door jamb when entering the house. This is called a Mezuzah literally meaning “doorpost.” It contains a small parchment scroll upon which the Hebrew words of the Shema are handwritten by a scribe. Mezuzah scrolls are rolled up and affixed inside the mezuzah to the doorposts of Jewish homes, designating the home as Jewish and reminding those who live there of their connection to God and of their heritage.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
“And when the Lord your God brings you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you, with great and goodly cities, which you did not build, and houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, and cisterns hewn out, which you did not hew, and vineyards and olive trees, which you did not plant, and when you eat and are full, then take heed lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve him, and swear by his name. You shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples who are round about you; for the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 6: 4 -15)

The Shema Yisrael meaning “Hear O Israel” are the first two words of a section of the Torah that is the centerpiece of Jewish morning and evening prayers. This is a reminder of how God delivered the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage and servitude having marked the doorposts of their dwellings with the blood of a sacrificial lamb and brought them into the Promised Land. It speaks of God’s expectations for them and how they are to revere Him and behave toward their fellow human beings. There should be nothing strange about this to Christians and Messianic Jews who have been delivered from the eternal penalty of sin and death, having the doorposts of their hearts marked with the blood of God’s own Lamb by faith in Yeshua “Jesus”.

One of the scribes asked Jesus “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12: 28-31)

In light of Jesus’s response to the scribe we then must realize by nature of who He is that there is a greater and more eternal meaning to the Shema as we read the words in Deuteronomy. God delivered the Hebrews from physical bondage and led them to a new land which was but a foreshadowing of an even greater spiritual deliverance and a new future life in an eternal place not built by human hands. This is the promise to Jews who continue to put their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to Christians having been grafted into the tree of life by the shed blood of the Lord and in their continued trust in Him. 

The times we live in are becoming continually more stressful for both Jews and Christians because we share fellowship in the same great Promise. And because of that there exists enmity between believers and the God hating world around us as there is a great division in progress. Therefore it is not at all unreasonable to have a mezuzah or some similar meaningful piece of scripture adorning the doorpost of one’s house, one that declares; “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Ten Horns Seven Heads And A Harlot

Certain events in the bible are written in a manner that may be hard to assimilate. It is often helpful to ask God in a prayerful manner to reveal those things which are hidden and difficult to understand. One of the keys to the events recorded in the Book of Revelation is first understanding that it is written in layer-upon-layer like a painting, with each overlay there are other elements added that complete the picture. It can also be seen like a cut diamond on which there are many facets, all of which are part of the same stone. In the previous commentary entitled “The Dragon And The Beast,” a picture begins to emerge which hasn’t been evident until the advent of recent world events presenting additional facets of an unfolding mystery.

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems upon its horns and a blasphemous name upon its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed the beast with wonder. Men worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” (Revelation 13: 1-4)

The beast rising out of the sea refers to the United Nations, a world organization much greater in size and scope than the previous ruling empires that historically had dominion over the known world, described as a leopard with a mouth like a lion’s and feet like a bear, they are biblical references to ancient Babylon, Media-Persia and Greece. The United Nations (1) is asserting authority over the entire world including all nations and seas. The ten horns (2) represent ten geographic world regions assigned by the UN. The seven heads (3) represent the seven advanced manufacturing and economic leaders of the world known as G-7 which is France, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada. (4) Russia was added in 1997 as an eighth member but was suspended on March 2014 following the annexation of Crimea and the organization reverted back to being the G-7. One of the heads seeming to have a mortal wound was Germany, (5) and was healed nationally when the Berlin wall came down in November 9,1989. The Dragon as previously noted is Satan’s emissary in Rome, he is blasphemously referred to as (6) “The Holy Father and His Holiness,” titles belonging only to God. He has condemned the believer’s personal relationships with Jesus thus constituting a patent denial of Christ and magnified himself altering the traditional role of Pope while operating outside the will of God. He invited Muslims to read the Satan inspired verses from the Quran and pray to a false god at the Vatican and is condoning abortion, the murder of millions, (7) he is exhibiting all the identifying marks of Antichrist. He continues to extol the virtues of the United Nations as the world’s singular governing authority and is in the process of surrendering his own authority to the UN while positioning millions of his faithful followers under its direct authority, the Pope positioning himself as the UN’s de facto religious leader.

Revelation chapter 17 and 18 adds yet a more layers to the same picture, more facets on the diamond. We won’t venture to unravel it all, other than to examine the following verses: 

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who is seated upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth’s abominations.” (Revelation 17: 1-5)

Some Protestants insist that the harlot is a reference to the Catholic Church but that is far too simple an explanation, and stems from misplaced resentment and a limited sense of the entire picture. The harlot seated on many waters is indicative of an entity riding high above the other nations, in total control economically and militarily. She is sitting on a scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns (United Nations and G-7). The woman is described as being arrayed in purple, bedecked with gold, jewels and pearls signifying great wealth. Bear with me, but this brings to mind the description of a song about a great nation (8) cloaked in purple mountains majesty above fruited plains with golden waves of grain, the picture of a wealthy and prosperous nation. 

On her forehead the name of mystery, “Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth’s abominations.” This name conjures up the great ziggurat known as the Tower of Babel which was an early attempt by men to raise a tower reaching the heavens thinking there was no end of the things they could achieve. Lucifer had once  magnified himself above God when he said, ’I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14: 13-14) It had been an affront to God, and recognizing that attitude He destroyed the tower and scattered mankind, confusing their language leaving them speaking in many different tongues. 

Later in time when the Babylonian Empire had subdued the known world, King Nebuchadnezzar who reigned (634-562) built a fabulous city whereupon he also magnified himself above God and immediately was rendered insane as recorded in the Book of Daniel, and again in the annals of ancient history. (9 & 10) Babylon fell to the Persian King Cyrus the Great in 539 BC. These are just the forerunners of the advent of a new and even greater world system made in the image of Babylon where men of all nations, tribes and tongues have reconvened, united and speaking the same universal language, having unlimited aspirations of controlling the world and eventually even the stars.

“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to perdition; and the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will marvel to behold the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.” (Revelation 17:8)

To understand this we must take into account that the Tower of Babylon and later the Babylonian Empire once existed, (it was) and no longer exists and (is not) , but (is to come) and has again resurfaced in essence as the United Nations, espousing the same willful hubris as before.

The following passages lead one to believe that the nation that has controlled the fortunes and destiny of other nations, condoning all manner of licentiousness, moral corruption and decay, including the murder of untold millions of children in their mother’s wombs, and whose majority have turned their faces away from God, has most likely come under judgment. The destruction of the World Trade center is significant of what may come.

And he said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the harlot is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the harlot; they will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and giving over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman that you saw is the great city which has dominion over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17: 15-18)



Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Dragon And The Beast

There are millions of Catholics the world over who are devout Christians and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, this goes without saying and is indisputable. So let me say at the outset that this is not an attack on Catholics who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. We know that many are vexed and disappointed by the continual revelation of pedophilia and other sinful behavior by the clergy when they should be examples of a higher standard, but there are even more serious issues that require our attention, understanding and prayerful consideration. 

Not long ago in 2014, Pope Francis shocked Catholics around the world by holding an Islamic prayer and Quran recital in the Vatican. For the first time in Vatican history, the Pope allowed for the reading of Islamic prayers and Quran readings from the Catholic facility. The readings and prayers came as Pope Francis met with former Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Vatican. His decision to declare the Bible and the Quran the same and allow Islamic prayer in the Vatican directly contradicts Biblical teaching. The Pope’s attempt to absorb a heathen religion, the most anti-Christian, Jew hating, murderous, Satanic religion on the face of the earth is a direct affront to God, His Son Jesus Christ, and faithful Christians around the world.

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel, not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.
Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-10)

Francis should not be, and is not a legitimate servant of Christ as he seeks the favor of men which is contrary to his calling as he seeks to subjugate a worldwide congregation under the control of the United Nations. His Catholic credentials are doubtful as is his Christianity.

“Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore 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 it might be plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.” (1John 2:18-25)

Breaking with centuries of Christian tradition, Pope Francis recently told a crowd of 33,000 Catholics in Rome, “Having a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ is dangerous and very harmful and must be avoided at all costs.” This is a patent denial of Christ that raises fears that Francis assumption of the Papal leadership from Pope Benedict XVI was an unprecedented move which may be part of a sinister agenda, it now appears that the Catholic Church is  sanctioning the worship of another god under the guise of liberal tolerance, a direct contradiction of God’s word.

Jesus said,“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7) “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)

“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”Matthew 10:32-33)

In a speech, which took place on June 25, 2017 Pope Francis stated, “The United States of America has a distorted vision of the world as he called for a one world government and political authority. He argued that the creation of a one world government is necessary to combat major world issues and that the UN must be granted full governmental control “for the good of humanity.” The globalization movement is the process of transitioning the nations of the world into a global government. World religious leaders, led by the Vatican are playing their part in this great deception and proclaiming the need for a New World Order with global financial control. The climate change and global warming hoax ascribed to by Pope Francis is the elite’s preferred method of an attempt to shepherd humanity closer to unified totalitarian rule. The Jesuit Pope is a key player in the plan to usher in a New World Order, determined to mislead his flock while catering to the global cabal.

The Book of Revelation is written allegorically and is frightening and difficult to understand by the casual reader, we won’t get into it although chapter 13 talks about the Dragon and the Beast in reference to the last days preceding the second coming of Christ. Suffice it to say that these two entities referred to are relevant to these times and events. The Dragon has always been a descriptive name for Satan and extends to his activities in whatever form he wishes to take, even in the personification of a mortal man. The Dragon referred to in chapter 13 has great authority and is highly revered by multitudes around the world. There is now a final world system referred to biblically as “The Beast,” it is a composite of all of the great world systems that went before it. The Dragon then will be worshipped by his followers when he gives over all of his authority to the Beast, this is what is now happening!

Keep in mind that salvation does not come as a result of a membership in any organization, and one’s membership in any specific church or denomination is not God’s criteria for mankind, on the contrary. God’s criteria is and always has been a personal and abiding relationship with Christ. 

“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 did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17) 

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12) 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Destructive Nature Of Envy

Several years ago when I was an aspiring young businessman I experienced a rather vivid dream. There was a man who approached me wearing an expensive three piece Armani suit and equally expensive shoes. Although I was unable to see his face, he appeared almost radiant, the epitome of success. He said, “All of this and more can be yours if you will bow down and worship me!” This was a wake up call to me warning of the evil power of envy.

Envy is the desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable attribute belonging to someone else coupled with jealousy and covetousness. Envy led to the original sin and fall of mankind and was the tool used to create a sense of discontent in the hearts of the original couple. The Lord had given them free access to everything in the Garden of Eden to be used by them as they wished, however there was a single tree in the midst of the Garden which they were forbidden to partake of.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Genesis 2:15-17)

Pay close attention to these verses because it is the universal tool by which Satan tempts and creates discontent, covetousness, jealously, envy and finally an ungrateful heart that motivates human beings to willful unrighteousness. The bible refers to him as “The Serpent” in the original text he was referred to as a “Shining Being”. 

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.” 
(Genesis 3:1-5)

The Tempter insinuated that the Lord had lied, misleading them to believe that something terrible would befall them as a ruse to keep them from having the same great knowledge that the Lord himself possessed and keeping them in a subservient role when the Tempter said that they could become like God.

Satan had thrown them the bait, creating in their hearts a desire for something that wasn’t theirs to have, they fell for it and he set the hook and suddenly they felt naked because they knew they had been deceived.

In Genesis 3:6-7 we get a clear picture of how Satan uses envy in the process of causing man to succumb to his will. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, (The lust of the eyes) and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, (The lust of the flesh) she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. (The pride of life) Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.

Finally in Genesis 3:8-24 we see the results of man's infidelity to the Lord and failure to heed His word. What had originally been a life of eternal bliss became a life of hardship and eventual death, the worst part of which was separation from their previous friendship and their relationship with God.

Envy once again raised it’s ugly head between two brothers recorded in Genesis 4:1-16. Able was a shepherd, he offered a lamb as a burnt offering to the Lord, while Cain his brother burnt an offering from the crops he had grown in the field. The Lord showed His pleasure at Able’s offering, but counted Cain’s offering as unsuitable. Thus Cain grew envious of the favor shown toward his brother, his envy grew to discontent and led to an ungrateful heart which turned to anger, hatred and malevolence as he then murdered his brother. 

In today’s world it is interesting to understand how an entire nation fell under the sway and spell of a very charming and smooth talking deceiver whose dark past is largely a mystery. His initial lie was put forth to create a sense of discontentment by offering an already wealthy and successful nation “Hope and Change.” It was an insinuation that there was something missing, something wrong that required change thus creating a sense of deep discontentment and ungratefulness in the hearts of many. Then pointing to the difference between those in one group who were generally successful, hard working, believers in God and His righteousness, who trusted in God’s provision. He then appealed to others who had turned from God, those who hate His righteousness and had turned to trusting in the government for their provision, setting them against the others using envy as his tool of choice. Then as both sides were locked in enmity and strife he commenced with his willful deconstruction of a great nation.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Depression, Happiness And Joy

The world populace has reached a point in which life for many has become much more complex and frustrating, and in some places much more dangerous than it was fifty years ago, where tens of millions suffer depression devoid of any sense of joy and happiness in their daily lives.

According to the American Psychiatric Association depression is defined as a major depressive disorder, a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how one feels, the way one thinks and how one acts. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. According to Mayo Clinic, depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how one feels, thinks and behaves and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. According to the American Psychiatric Association depression can be treated through a course of intensive counseling and the administration of psychotropic medications which are mood altering drugs. This approach is an effort to instruct the patient in how to get along with their demons coupled with what would formerly be considered witchcraft, and is comparable to putting bandages on a cancerous lesion while the cause of the problem remains undiagnosed and improperly treated via a temporary catharsis.

The opposite of depression is Joy, Happiness, Peace, Hope, Contentment, Comfort,and Cheerfulness. The world’s definition of Joy according to Merriam-Webster is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires, the expression or exhibition of such emotions as delight, gaiety, felicity and bliss. A source or cause of delight. It becomes immediately clear even to the uneducated that the lack of these attributes is evidence of depression, however the actual cause is not being addressed because it is outside the limited purview of psychiatric and pharmaceutical communities. 

The problem of depression is spiritual, an area of understanding that is uniformly denied by the psychiatric community and directly related to the following causes; Failure to acknowledge the existence of God, or turning away from God, outright hatred of God, hatred of God’s Chosen, hatred of His Church, and refusing to acknowledge God’s own Son Jesus Christ. This is the ultimate cause of depression when one usurps the rightful role of the Creator thus enthroning themselves at the center of their own universe becoming their own god and master of their own destiny. The net result being a sense of growing internal delusion and of loss and foreboding, a life that eventually becomes devoid of any sense of personal future or reason for being. In essence that individual brings on their own spiritual death due to willful separation from God.

There is an otherworldly cure for depression and a resurgence of joy, happiness and well-being.

First by identifying causation: Here is the understanding of the basic reason and root cause of depression which leads to all the discontent, rioting, civil disobedience and misbehavior from various groups throughout the world today. This includes the delusion sweeping Europe leading to it’s destruction and eventual dissolution by invading Islamic hoards. 
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good. (Psalm 14:1)
“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: 1-4)

The prescription: We are advised to “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:12-14) 
What does this mean that the way is hard? It refers to removing Self from the center of the egocentric universe and giving God and His son Jesus that central place while denying Self the control over your own life while submitting to the will of God.
And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 
(Luke 9:23-26)
Walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another. (Galatians 5:15-26)
The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 John 5:10-12)

The Cure: “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. (Romans 10: 8-10)

Then Finally: “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.” (James 1:2-8)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Center Of Existence

Imagine if you will that you are all there is, an omni-present and all powerful being, the very center of existence itself in a realm devoid of any matter. Time doesn’t exist because you are eternal with no beginning and no end. You then decide to create matter and speak it into existence. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” and from there you continue to create all that there is in the universe up to this very moment. You create both spiritual beings, Angels and material beings, Man. (Genesis ch. 1)

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. (Genesis 2: 1 - 4)

You create the man and a woman and set them in a garden to care for it and you allow them to eat anything other than “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” saying, “you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Genesis 2:17)

Meanwhile there is a rebellion in the spiritual realm which you allow and fully intend to use to fulfill your plans for mankind, which up to this point is drone-like and single minded, only conscious of you and of your goodness. So you cast the rebellious angel and his followers out of your heavens and into the material realm where they will work at ruining your creation. Here is where we have the temptation in the garden and mankind disobeys you and harkens to the voice of the tempter, thus taking on a part of the fallen angel’s personality and suddenly becoming aware of self and of both good and evil. You kill an animal and give the skins to the man and woman to cover their nakedness before sending them out of the garden, this is the first blood sacrifice to provide a covering for man’s failure and shame, and a covenant between you and man signifying that your acceptance of him and his progeny will only be through the shedding of blood. (Genesis ch. 3)

This is exactly what you intended to have happen because if you were ever going to have meaningful fellowship with mankind, they would have to be like you knowing both good and evil and have free will to make the right choice. However having free will and making the right choice is the heart of the problem because you have allowed the tempter to always remain close at hand and continually test the will of man. You allow the fallen angels to mingle with men until later when you destroy them in a flood saving only a righteous remnant through Noah. This you have done intentionally to show the remnant how desperate mankind’s situation is in the face of your own perfection. (Genesis ch .6 & 7)

Many generations after the flood you meet Moses on Mt. Sinai where you give him the law, ten commandments to pass on to mankind through the Israelites, a kind of yardstick by which they can become more fully aware of their innate inability to make the right decisions and do evil in spite of their desire to be righteous. Along with that you give Moses a series of rituals that must be followed by his people including the sacrifice of a perfect lamb devoid of any spot or blemish, on the basis of that act you will roll their sins back each year. This is significant of the plan that you have had from the beginning to ransom mankind in the future from the evil clutches of the tempter forever. Each year when the high priest sacrifices the blood of the lamb and sprinkles it on the temple mercy seat as you have required in the ordinance, you look ahead in mankind’s time and you see Jesus, your own lamb without blemish on the cross at Calvary and you consider their temple sacrifice an act of righteousness. 

Because you are holy and perfect, you cannot tolerate that which is unholy and imperfect, and so although you love your creation you hate their sin and have vowed to destroy it. You enter into the material world by means of a virgin, impregnating her through the spirit of your will. Thus you come into the world as your own son as the perfect means of salvaging mankind by providing yourself as the final sacrifice for the sins of the world according to scripture. 

“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.” (Isaiah 53:10)
(It was the will of the Father to bruise and put Himself in the form as His Son to grief for our sake.)

“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 did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 )

I hope this brief and unintentionally irreverent look into the mindset of God as I understand it is helpful to whoever follows this blog, and that connects the Old and the New Testaments together in a way to make it more meaningful and easier to understand the greatness of God and His will for you.

Monday, May 29, 2017

How Would You Answer, What Would You Say?

When that time comes and you sense that inner voice that says, “This night your soul will be required of you,” suddenly you find that you are standing before Almighty God, and He says to you, “Why should I let you into my heaven?” What would you say? How would you answer?

First you might consider this before dismissing these very pressing questions; 
The fool says in his heart, there is no God (Ps 14:1 & 53:1)

Knowing in your heart that you are no fool you might respond by saying, “I have been a good person and tried to keep your commandments and have not broken any civil laws that I know of, I have paid my taxes, have given to the needy and have done right by my community. I have always been loyal and loving to my spouse, have loved and cared well for my children!” 

These attributes are commendable but an individual’s own righteousness is insufficient and falls short of the criteria set by the Creator. Even the most casual student of the bible must eventually realize that the ten commandments which God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai was but a yardstick whereby mankind can measure their own failures before a righteous and perfect God. The following verses bring into focus and clarify the problem we are facing.

“All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.” (Proverbs 16:2)
(Speaking of God) “You who art of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on wrong.” (Habakkuk 1:13)
(Speaking to us) “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) 
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” (James 2:10) 
The Apostle Paul points out;“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

The Lord is a loving and merciful Creator, but He is just and righteous and has vowed to punish sin. The word “Sin” simply refers to falling short, a failure to meet absolute perfection.

Some might say, “I am a member of a certain church, synagog or denomination, I tithe a portion of my income and support good works. But this is not the criteria that God has set before us. We have to understand that there is no way that mankind can reach up or elevate themselves to a standing that would be acceptable to God. Suppose that you made your best friend a three egg omelet but one of the eggs was bad, when you served it to him would it be acceptable? So it is with our lives, we cannot serve up the good things to God that we have done long with the bad, because it fouls that which is good and is unacceptable just as the bad egg ruined the omelet.
God had different plan and it was very simple as it says here; “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 did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)

This has been God’s plan even before the foundation of the world, that mankind would know both good and evil even as He does, but those He would save would choose good over evil. The prophet Isaiah spoke of it long before the advent of Christ when he said; “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.” (Isaiah 53: 1-6)

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 )

But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, (Acts 3: 18-20)

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. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Faith is more than just hearing and giving mental assent, faith requires action as a response, here is an excellent example of faith; During the winter of 1858, the 34-year-old French acrobat named Jean Fran├žois Gravelet, better known as Monsieur Charles Blondin, traveled to Niagara Falls hoping to become the first person to make the crossing on a tightrope. He drew an enormous crowd and he said, “Do you believe that I can make the 1300 foot crossing over the falls on this tightrope?” The crowd roared saying, “Yes you can we believe in you!” Then Blondin said, “Do you think I can do the crossing with a man on my back?” The crowd responded once again saying, “Yes, we know you can do it!” Then Blondin said, who will trust me enough to get on my back for the crossing?” The remainder of the story is a perfect example of faith and how it works between the Savior and those who trust in his salvation. Blondin successfully made the crossing, appearing on the Canadian end of the rope with his manager Harry Colcord clinging to his back. Blondin gave Mr. Colcord the following instructions: “Look up, Harry, you are no longer Colcord, you are Blondin. Until I clear this place you become a part of me, mind, body, and soul. If I sway, you sway with me. Do not attempt to do any balancing yourself, trust me lest you fall to your death.” 

Today is the day of your salvation if you by faith will acknowledge and trust in Him, repent of your shortcomings and ask Jesus to come into your heart.

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.”   
(1 Thessalonians 5:9-10) 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Persecution By Antichrist

Down through the ages Christians have wondered, who will be the dreaded Antichrist? The question should be not who, but what is the Antichrist?  In a previous commentary posted 11/15/2015 entitled "Satanic Religion" we discussed the attributes of Islam, a death cult belief system consuming adherents with envy and hatred of Jews and Christians. In a later posting on 11/5/2015 entitled "Daniel's Prophecies And ISIS" we looked at ISIS and it's activities in the Mid-East close to the Israeli border and how it appears to be the second half of a bible prophecy in the works. And again on 1/23/2016 in a commentary entitled "Western Civilization Under Siege" we note how the gates of hell have been opened on Europe and the West as hundreds of thousands of angry displaced Moslems have been unleashed and are flooding across the European continent, many of whom are Jihadist terrorists intent on supplanting Western Civilization by the establishment of a world dominating Islamic Caliphate committed to the obliteration of Judaism and Christianity from the face of the earth.

We are thankful for permission to post this film which is not intended as an endorsement of Joshuastone-whatis by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Please watch it with an open mind and heart.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Coming Great Day Of The Lord

As had been prophesied, there has been a world-wide falling away from faith in God by many Jews and nominal Christians alike, we have reached the point in time referred to by the Prophet Isaiah where there are many who call that which is evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness. We have entered an era much like in the days of Lot who was a righteous man sorely vexed by the abominable licentiousness of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Even today the thoughts of many men’s hearts seem to be bent on doing things that are inherently evil just as was recorded in the days of Noah before the flood. As we note the disturbingly sinful attitudes that surround us and the murder of close to 90,000 Christians each year by ISIS and other Islamic forces we cannot help but realize that we are approaching of the close of the age. This time had been prophesied long ago beginning with the breakup and scattering of the nation of Israel into a world wide diaspora beginning in 70 AD. After almost 2000 years on May 14, 1948 Jews reconvened in their former land and Israel once again became a nation according to God’s plan as prophesied by Ezekiel. 

Therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God: Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, the ravines and the valleys, the desolate wastes and the deserted cities, which have become a prey and derision to the rest of the nations round about; therefore thus says the Lord God: I speak in my hot jealousy against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, who gave my land to themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and utter contempt, that they might possess it and plunder it. Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I speak in my jealous wrath, because you have suffered the reproach of the nations; therefore thus says the Lord God: I swear that the nations that are round about you shall themselves suffer reproach. “But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Israel; for they will soon come home. For behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown; and I will multiply men upon you, the whole house of Israel, all of it; the cities shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt; and I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 36:4 - 11) 

The nation of Israel, the apple of God’s eye, is currently becoming surrounded by the forces of many nations intent on her destruction while the United Nations conspires against the Israelis with continual anti-semitic slurs, issuing crippling economic sanctions, even calling for it’s breakup and questioning Israel’s right to exist. Moscow is reconstituting power and control over it’s Islamic neighbors who are bent on the murder of Jews and Christians, the stage is now set for an astounding event.

The word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus says the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: “Lo, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of reeling to all the peoples round about; it will be against Judah also in the siege against Jerusalem. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it shall grievously hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will come together against it. (Zechariah 12: 1-3)
Behold, a day of the Lord is coming, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in the midst of you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the East; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward. And the valley of my mountains shall be stopped up, for the valley of the mountains shall touch the side of it; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Us′iah king of Judah. Then the Lord your God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there shall be neither cold nor frost. And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the Lord), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter. And the Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one. (Zechariah 14:1-9)

Long after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, John a follower of Jesus had been banished to the Greek isle of Patmos by the Roman Emperor Domitian for proclaiming the gospel, here on Patmos is where he was swept up into a vision by the spirit of the risen Christ and given details of future events leading up to the victorious return of Jesus the risen Christ, here is his account:
“I John, your brother, who share with you in Jesus the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”(Revelation 1:9)

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself. He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, followed him on white horses. From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to smite the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords.”(Revelation 19:1-11)

The following two passages from Zechariah and Ezekiel were written in the 5th and 6th century BC. These two prophets could hardly have known what it was they were envisioning in terms of the power unleashed against the invading hordes at the time they prophesied, however in modern day context it gives  sobering credence to the probability that nuclear weapons may be in use during this event when it finally comes to pass.

And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will smite all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh shall rot while they are still on their feet, their eyes shall rot in their sockets, and their tongues shall rot in their mouths. And on that day a great panic from the Lord shall fall on them, so that each will lay hold on the hand of his fellow, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other. (Zechariah 14:12-13)
“On that day I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the Valley of the Travelers east of the sea; it will block the travelers, for there Gog and all his multitude will be buried; it will be called the Valley of Hamon-gog. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. All the people of the land will bury them; and it will redound to their honor on the day that I show my glory, says the Lord God. They will set apart men to pass through the land continually and bury those remaining upon the face of the land, so as to cleanse it; at the end of seven months they will make their search. And when these pass through the land and any one sees a man’s bone, then he shall set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon-gog. Thus shall they cleanse the land. (Ezekiel 39:11-16)

“And the Lord will give victory to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be exalted over that of Judah. On that day the Lord will put a shield about the inhabitants of Jerusalem so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord, at their head. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first-born. (Zechariah 12:7-10)
“On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.” (Zechariah 13:1)

At that time a special dispensation will be given to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem even though they had turned away from Jesus and refused to acknowledge him as their Messiah. This had been God’s plan from the beginning so that the entire world would have an opportunity to respond to God’s offer of forgiveness and eternal life. At that time Israel’s dispensation will not be afforded to the rest of humanity because that opportunity will have already passed. In light of that knowledge then consider that now is time to ask Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior before it’s too late. Now is the time for your salvation, you may never have another chance!