Thursday, December 16, 2021

The Greatest Story Ever Told (Part II)

There was a prophetic message of a coming savior spoken of by God in ancient times after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.

The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3: 14-15)

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Meaning God is with us)

(Isaiah 7:14) 

Consider for a moment how the Creator of the universe who resides in heaven, a place outside of the dimension that governs time, emptied Himself of His magnificence and glory to be born into this world as a human being, Jesus Christ in the flesh, God and man. 

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 for ever; 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.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1: 26-38)

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

“Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and his name shall be called Emman′u-el”

(which means, God with us). 

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son; and he called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1: 18-25)

Micah one of the twelve minor prophets of old prophesied about the birthplace of Christ; ‘But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.’ (Micah 5:2)

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. 

(Luke 2: 1-20)

Monday, December 13, 2021

The Greatest Story Ever Told (Part I)

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed.

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. (Luke 1: 1-13)

There is nothing known of Theophilus other than he was a person of rank and title and a friend of Doctor Luke. We should also note that since both Elizabeth and Zechariah were both advanced in their years, it is not inconceivable that Zechariah had not prayed for a child in many years and yet the angel said, ‘Your prayers have been heard.’ It becomes clear that when we pray God does hear us and will answer those prayers according to His will and at the time of His choosing, we should have faith and never despair. 

Also when one prays fervently that God would heal someone who is suffering from what is normally a terminal condition and that person dies in spite of the prayers, often times disappointment, anger and even disbelief in the existence of God may follow, exactly the reaction the devil would want! What we must say is, ‘Not my will, but your will be done Lord God,’ and then realize that God did in fact answer our prayers and took the one we prayed for to Himself, healing them completely as we had asked and gave them a new and glorious eternal life. By faith we should understand that we will see them again in God’s timing.

And the Angel said to Zachariah; 

And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they wondered at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he made signs to them and remained dumb. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying, “Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.” (Luke 1: 14-25)

Zachariah was struck dumb until Elizabeth’s child was born because he disbelieved God’s spokesperson Gabriel, it should come as no surprise to us when we become incapacitated due to our failure in believing and doing God’s will. Even Christ Himself is subservient to the will of the Father when He says, ‘I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.’ 

(John 5: 30) 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Western Civilization Is In Decline Because The Christian Church Is In Decline

An excellent commentary written by Jim DeMint, former U.S. senator representing South Carolina

The American people are growing rightly skeptical of what they are told. For the past two years, they’ve faced an onslaught of lies and misinformation that has left them with little faith in our institutions — from Congress to the White House and even within the Christian church. A sermon I heard years ago should have opened my eyes to what would eventually become clear — we have seen the death of truth in America.

Several decades ago and with fewer gray hairs, my wife and I visited a church on Easter Sunday while on vacation. The sermon stunned me, but not for its incredible insights and biblical perspectives. The pastor, shortly after describing the miraculous and incredible resurrection of Jesus, concluded it didn’t matter if it was actually true — only that we believed it was true.

I thought that would be the one and only time I heard a pastor claim that believing in the death and resurrection of our Lord was not a fundamental principle of being a Christian, but I was wrong.

Many years later, Sen. Raphael Warnock from Georgia, also a pastor, tweeted, “The meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves.”

There it was again. The same trope that could not be more antithetical to Christianity. As Jesus’ disciple Paul, writing in (1 Corinthians 15: 17-19), said, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

The question: How could we have gotten so far from the fundamental truth of Christianity, that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was resurrected to join the Father in eternal life?

The answer: We’ve deluded ourselves into believing that truth is relative. That same delusion I should have seen cropping up in the Christian church has now made its way into the mainstream, leading to the death of truth in America. Today, we see it manifesting itself in our norms, education system, media, and politics.

Men identify as women and we accept that as truth. Does it matter that if we examined their chromosomes they would be biologically male? Not in today’s world. What has been true since the dawn of time is suddenly out the window.

It should come as no surprise that the very same people who would refuse to acknowledge the incontrovertible genetic evidence that said woman is a biological male will listen to whatever armchair experts believe about COVID-19 and deem it “science.” But if you so much as question the efficacy of mask mandates, lockdowns, non-Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccines, or — heaven forbid — the origins of the COVID-19 virus, you are dubbed “anti-science.”

Politicians misrepresent election integrity legislation and big corporations genuflect with boycotts of those states — justifying their actions with deliberate lies. No matter where one looks, Americans can’t trust what is being told to them is the truth. If you question the new leftist orthodoxy of “it’s all relative,” you face the wrath of “cancel culture.”

Truth is the core principle of Judeo-Christian values, which are the foundation of Western civilization. Judeo-Christian values are derived from the Bible. If you want to know the reason for the death of truth in America, look no further than the decline of Americans who choose to live their lives based on the values laid out in the Bible.

It is not simply America. All of Western civilization is in decline because the Christian church is in decline. The fall of the church is due to the fact that it has become unmoored from truth — following the culture instead of leading it.

While politicians and the courts have stripped America of its foundations, mainstream Christian denominations have been largely silent. The Bible is not even allowed in our schools, we’ve replaced the biblical creation story, Christians are arrested for trying to practice their faith, and biblical morality is considered hate speech.

Winston Churchill once said that America will do the right thing after it had tried everything else. We’ve tried everything else. The Christian church in America must muster up some courage — and repentance — and lead.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5: 13-14)

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Age of Arrogance and Deceit

The world at large is being lied to and continually deceived by politicians and leaders with malevolent self-serving intentions, securing a slice of the world’s international pie for their own selfish aggrandizement with no regard for the millions of people whom they were elected to serve. This is clearly contrary to the admonition given to believers in God by the Apostle Paul who said; “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another. (Galatians5: 13-15)

We are living in troubling times where evil forces are moving about the nations murdering many in the name of Islam and for other reasons by the insane who are demon possessed, they go unpunished by those in authority who call evil good and good evil. Be careful and walk circumspectly out of darkness and away from dangerous people and places.

But I say, 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: 13-26)

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13: 8-14)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. (Ephesians 6: 10-18)

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross. For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2: 5-11) 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Jeremiah Prophet Of God - Man Of Insight

 Jeremiah was born to a priestly family in Anathoth, not far from Jerusalem. He was called as a prophet in the thirteenth year of the reign of King Josiah, he had received God’s call at a young age and began preaching in spite of great personal trial and tribulation. For around forty years, Jeremiah spoke to the people of Judah as a prophet of God before it ultimately fell to Babylon and they were led away into captivity around 721 BC. His messages had not been well received, the people turned against him as he warned of the horrors that were to befall Judah. No one wants to hear bad news and the people refused to listen to him. 

After several years of preaching even Jeremiah’s family turned against him and considered him a disgrace and plotted to kill him. Over the years, he was whipped and put in stocks, attacked by a mob, threatened by King Zedekiah the son of Josiah, and ridiculed. Some of King Zedekiah’s princes had Jeremiah arrested, beaten, accused of treason, and thrown in jail (Jeremiah 37:1-15), from whence he was then thrown into a deep empty well (Jeremiah 38:1-6). He lived through the siege of Jerusalem along with the rest of the populace and was there when they were taken into captivity. Jeremiah lived alone and was never allowed to marry, his family had abandoned him.

This is one of the most striking prophetic statements made as God spoke His mind through the mouth of Jeremiah. Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the mind and try the heart, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17: 5-10)

The foregoing scripture indicates that there is nothing other than only good or evil, white or black with no shades of grey. There is no such thing as a white lie or a little fib. We must become conscious to the understanding that the motive behind our every thought, word and action is subject to the judgment of God as either good or evil. Jeremiah understood this and was compelled by God to speak out against the evils of his generation, and it cost him the loss of his friends, his family and his freedom as he was vilified, tortured and pummeled by those around him. 

The world we live in today is no different than it was in Jeremiah’s time and those like him who have drawn close to the Lord and who read the bible and abide in Him see the world more clearly through the prism of His word, and understand more fully all that is about to unfold. It is as if God gives us new eyes that see things clearer along with a clear sense of understanding. Jesus described this more clearly here; Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicode′mus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicode′mus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:1-8)

(“Born of water” was referring to a baptism of repentance)

The question is, do we have the nerve to address these things before others and risk being socially ostracized, and risk the loss of friends and family by speaking the truth in a world surrounded by liars and their nefarious lies? Jeremiah called for Israel to repent, to turn away from evil and do what is right. The difference between then and now is that after Jeremiah’s time Jesus appeared and paid the price for all of mankind’s evils. And God offers all who repent of their sin and acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord a place beside Him in eternity. Will we be comfortable to stand by and say nothing as friends, neighbors and even family are destined for perdition?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John3: 16)

Sunday, May 30, 2021

God’s Criteria Set In Stone

There are ten simple rules that human beings are required to obey perfectly to be approved by God and have fellowship with Him in the life to come. Known universally as The Ten Commandments, they were written on a stone tablet by God and given to Moses on Mount Sinai long ago.

I am the Lord, your God.The first commandment states that idolatry is not something that God 

will tolerate. This is the fundamental commandment which lays the groundwork for the rest.

You shall bring no false idols before me.The importance of only worshiping God is emphasized in the second commandment (building on the first), specifically saying that no false Gods should be worshiped.

Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.The third commandment further solidifies the importance of not taking one’s faith lightly by frivolous use of God’s name.

Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.This refers to the time of resting and prayerfulness which is observed symbolizing the seventh day of rest that God took after creating the world.

Honor your father and and mother. As you should honor God, so should you honor those who brought you into this world.

You shall not murder. Killing in self defense or in defense of another is not against the commandment.

You shall not commit adultery.The seventh commandment states that adulterous relationships go against God’s commands. This commandment specifically deals with the physical aspect of adultery.  

You shall not steal.The eighth commandment is all encompassing to mean that all types of theft is stealing and is a sin.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Fundamentally, the ninth commandment states that one should not lie. The commandment is specific, it is well understood that any kind of lying is considered a sin.

You shall not covet your neighbor's wife or your neighbor’s goods. The tenth commandment expands on the seventh commandment and forbids lusting after another’s spouse or their belongings. Even without a physical component, lust is a sin.

Humanly speaking, this is the means in which a person’s life is measured both by God and by themselves and it is here that we all see how we measure up and begin to understand the scope of our own personal failures. The bible states, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.” (Proverbs 16:2) 

Suppose for a moment that you are invited to a dinner held in your honor by a number of your friends.  A large table is set with the finest delicacies along with several delicious roasted chickens stuffed with seasoned rice. As you fill your plate you notice that some of the rice is moving and the scent emanating from the chicken on your plate is rather unpleasant. As you look up you notice that everyone is looking at you expectantly and smiling assuming that you are pleased with the fare. Absurd as this story is, it is analogous to the relationship between Almighty God and ourselves. In the end we cannot stand before an almighty, pure and perfect God and expect to be accepted as we offer up a life of good and virtuous acts interspersed with a few evil acts committed at various times past. The scriptures make it clear that we have to be flawless. “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” 

(Matthew 5:48)

The problem is an inherited flaw in all human beings that goes back to the creation of the world and is a family trait stemming from Adam and Eve, mankind’s first parents and their disobedience and fall from God’s grace in the Garden of Eden. Much later God made a covenant with mankind on Mount Sinai with Moses, written in stone and to this day is the basis of the civil laws of all nations. God said to Moses, “Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine.” (Exodus 19:5) So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” (Exodus 19: 7-8) Moses went back up on the mountain for another forty days and nights where he received further instructions and ordinances specifically for the Hebrew nation. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down; for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves; they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it. (Exodus 32: 7-8) This clearly illustrates how naturally corrupt mankind is .“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17: 9)

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. (James 2:10) And again, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10 & 23) 

When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it; for the iniquity which he has committed he shall die. (Ezekiel 18: 26)

There is good news though, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6: 23) “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) “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 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)

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

First you must understand that God has vowed to punish sin, but because He hates sin and loves us He offered up his own son to pay the price once and for all time for the sins of all mankind. To receive the gift of salvation and eternal life you have to repent, that is to turn away from all evil and prey to God with a contrite heart. 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. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” (Romans 10:9-11) 

However be aware that the converse to this is also true, meaning that one who refuses to believe and trust in Jesus will be put to shame, judged solely on the basis of their own self-righteousness and their failure under the ten commandments of God. 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

All Authority Comes From God

The root word is author and refers to one who creates and is the originator. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3)

The following written statement came from the Apostle Paul. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1)

Instituted refers to the establishing, introducing and initiating through investiture of someone in an office or position granting them authority.

However there is an exception to any requirement to honor this when that authority has been fraudulently assumed and usurped as an end means of subjugating the populace to the will of a world government that seeks domination by eradicating national borders and sovereignty to consolidate power. 

Recently a malevolent host of wickedness has effectively created unmitigated fear of death from a viral pandemic within the world populace, mandating international lockdowns, destroying businesses and collapsing economies. This event has served to separate people thus creating a division between those who yielded to becoming vaccinated against a 99% survivable virus and those who refused. One must note that there was a time before many had turned away from God that they would acknowledge Him with thanksgiving for their daily bread and His great providence in their lives, it was a means of showing their trust in God for all things. As mankind has moved away from God that trust has dissipated and has incrementally been given over to trust in the workings of men, without realizing the insidious nature of this gradual usurpation and transfer of trust in the creator to instead trusting in the created. Now no one can blame those who opted for the vaccination because fear is a big motivator and no one wants to become ill, suffer and possibly even die from a viral infection. However the desire and even the demand that everyone becomes vaccinated clearly illustrates trust in a fault ridden system and a clear shift away from the One who gives us the very breath of life itself. 

This shift in trust was clearly illustrated for us long ago in the following excerpt from the Garden of Eden. When the serpent asked the question, “Did God say?” He immediately created doubt in the woman’s mind and she shifted her trust from the word of God to the word of the created beast.

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.’” (Genesis 3: 1-3)

The fear of death which had constrained her to trust and obey God, next we see how the woman was deceived and her allegiance shifted from trust in God to trusting the word of a serpent demon.

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. (Genesis 3:4-6)

The next phase coming out of the national fear of a viral pandemic will entail a means of identifying those who have acquiesced and complied with the demand to be vaccinated thus permitting them to make purchases and move about unimpeded by the governing system as opposed to those who refuse. This calls for a sense of awareness and discernment as it may represent a precursor of yet an even greater shift in trust coming soon, and of a dire warning that was recorded long ago as an analogy.


“So that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let him who has understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, its number is six hundred and sixty-six.” 

(Revelation 13:17-18)

“And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name. Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:11-12)

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress.” 

(2 Timothy 3: 1) Given what is happening and the things to come, it is time to either ask God’s son Jesus into your life or reject Him and suffer the eternal consequences.

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)

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, April 5, 2021

An Inspiring Salvation Story - A Muslim Cries Out To Jesus

Forty-eight percent of Muslims in the United States of America believe that they are Muslim first, American second. Our purpose is to change this country, because they are infidel and what they are doing is not pleasing to Allah. We are the soldier of Allah who will make them do it.” Kamal Saleem was born in Lebanon to a devout Muslim family. As early as four years old, he remembers sitting at the kitchen table while his mother taught him about the Koran and his duty to Allah and Jihad.

“From my childhood, my mom said, ‘One day, you’ll be a martyr, my son. You will die for the sake of Allah and you will exalt Islam. If you kill a Jew, my son, your hand will light up before the throne of Allah and the host of heaven will celebrate what you have done.’”

Kamal was seven when his parents sent him to Muslim training camps to learn to use weapons and engage and kill the enemy.  The boys were also taught another, more subtle form of warfare.

“We were training for what’s called, ‘Culture Jihad,’ which is shifting cultures. Culture Jihad is unlike the sword, unlike the rifle. It is the Jihad that will come into your world.”

By his 20s, Kamal was chosen to wage Cultural Jihad on America.

“In Islam, liberty, freedom, monarchy, all these are idols and must be brought down. So the liberty that you have in United States of America is anti-Islam, so America must be changed. So I moved to the 'Bible Belt' specifically. The Bible Belt was the strongest of the strongest. That’s where the stout Christians are, and I want to take on the best of the best, because I considered myself as the sword of Islam. I thought, 'I’m anointed. I’m unique. I’m selected. I’m coming to a country and a culture to change it. I have the power of Allah with me.’"

In the early 1980s, Kamal entrenched himself in a small Midwestern town. He began targeting men from poorer neighborhoods to recruit them to the Muslim faith. But one afternoon his life would be in the hands of those he hated the most.

“I was going from one place to another to do recruitment and that day I had a car wreck. The car wreck was so severe, I ejected out of my car, landed on my neck and broke my neck in two places. This man came running to me and said, ‘Don’t worry. We’re going to take care of you, and everything’s going to be alright.’ The ambulance came and picked me up and now I go to the hospital. The orthopedic surgeon in the ER looked at my chart and said, ‘Son, we’re going to take care of you, and everything’s going to be alright.' The second day I wake up in the hospital, and the head of physical therapy came in, read my chart and said the same thing word for word, ‘We are going to take care of you.’”

At first, Kamal was frightened by their words, because these men were all Christians.

“You see, in terrorism, if they say [that], you better run.”

Surgeries to repair Kamal’s broken neck were successful, but recovery would take weeks. After being discharged from the hospital, he would need someone to care for him while he recuperated. Kamal had no one, so the orthopedic surgeon opened up his own home to this stranger.

“In his home, they put me in the choicest room with the most beautiful things. I became like part of their family. They didn’t see me any different. They have a basket that says, ‘For Kamal.’ They put in money to free my bills from the hospital.”

Kamal was overwhelmed with the outpouring of Christian love. As he recovered, he began to help out around the house with cooking and cleaning. “They have Jewish friend that came from Israel who they support, and now I’m hugging Israelis and I’m cooking for Jews. I’m thinking, ‘What has happened to me?’"

When Kamal was able take care of himself and return to his apartment, the doctor had another surprise for him.

“He says, ‘These are the keys to the house, and this is an extra key to your new car. We just want to bless you. You can come any time you want.’ So I go to my home. I go to my cold place that I haven’t been there in months. Dust is this thick. I just gotta settle this issue with my God to know if it’s real or not. So I walk inside, I shut door. I go right to the eastern window, fall on my knees, put my hands to the heavens and I cry out, ‘Allah, Allah my lord and my king. Why have you done such a thing to me? I’m okay with the car wreck. I’m ok with all this, but why did you put me among Christians? I’m confused. These Christians and Jews, they are good people. There’s nothing wrong with them. They don’t want to kill us. They’re not the same thing that I learned about. Allah. These people have relationship with their God. These people cry out to their God, and He answers them. I want to hear your voice. I want to hear you love me. If you’re real, speak to me. I want to hear your voice.' Guess what Allah said that day? Absolutely nothing.”

Kamal felt that because he questioned his faith, the honorable thing to do was to end his own life.

“So I went to reach out my gun, put it in the right place and clock out. I heard a voice. The voice knew me by name. It said, ‘Kamal! Kamal! Kamal! Why don’t you call on the Father of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob?’ Now I fell on my knees and put my hands to the heavens immediately as I heard the voice. I cried out with every fiber within me, ‘God, the Father Abraham, if You are real, would You speak to me? I want to know You.’ Well, God of Father Abraham came to the room. He filled the room with His glory. His name was Yahweh, the Lord is one. He has holes in His hands. He has holes in His feet. His name is Jesus. I said to Him, ‘Who are you, my Lord? Who are you?’ He said, ‘I am that I am.’ I said, ‘I’m a simple man with a simple mind. What is that supposed to mean?’ He said, ‘I am the Alpha. I am the Omega. I am the beginning. I am the end. I am everything that is in between. I have known you before I formed the foundation of the earth. I have loved you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Rise up! Rise up Kamal. Come. You are my warrior. You are not their warrior.’  I said to Him, ‘My Lord, I will live and die for you.’ He said, ‘Do not die for me. I died for you so that you may live.’”

That day, instead of taking his life, Kamal gave it to Jesus. He now has a new mission and travels the country challenging Muslims to question their allegiance to Allah.

“My heart’s desire is to reach out to my brothers and sisters, the 1.5 billion Muslims that are living out there. They have not tasted the freedom in God.”

It’s been over 20 years since Kamal left the Islamic faith, and even threats of violence and death cannot stop him from sharing his story.

“He is real. If you’ve never experienced God before in your life, if you never tasted God, if you think you’ve got nothing to lose… when you’re sitting in your home, whether you’re a Muslim or a non-Muslim or a non-Christian or whatever you are, call on the Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and say, ‘If You are real, speak to me. I want to hear Your voice.’”

Reprinted with thanks to CBN

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Creator Of The Universe

Suppose for a moment that you exist as an omnipotent being in a timeless spiritual dimension and you decided to create a unique universe. You begin by creating a vast host of androgynous beings we will call angels to do your bidding. However they are inextricably linked to your will and exist only to serve you. You create the earth, the sun, moon and stars and populate the earth with all manner of plants, animals and creeping things. Eventually one of the angels that you have gifted with great beauty and intelligence who you named Lucifer the Shining One, becomes filled with himself and decides that he wants to step out of his assigned role and make himself as great as you are and sit on your throne. He then proceeds to lead a rebellion along with all who are with him against you and the rest of your angels and he and the rebels are overcome and thrown down.

“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (Revelation 12: 7-9)


Finally you decide to create man in your own image, you want the company of beings that will have free will that you can talk to and have fellowship with and so you put him in a beautiful garden  and put him over all things on the earth. However there is evil in the universe, a spirit of disobedient willfulness emanating from the Shining One and his followers and so you decide to give the man and his female a test. You admonish him that although you have given him all things, there is one tree in the garden having fruit that they are forbidden to eat. 

Now the Shining One, also referred to as The Serpent, having been defeated and thrown down, is hell bent on corrupting everything you have created and he comes into the garden where he convinces the woman to eat some of the forbidden fruit. He tells her that it is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and that if she eats it she will become wise like the Lord. Thinking that it looks desirable and that it will make her wise, she begins to eat and gives some to the man who also eats. Suddenly they both realize that they are naked, having never consciously been aware of that before, but by eating the forbidden fruit they have suddenly become self-aware. They hide from you knowing that what they had done was an act of disobedience, their conscience has come alive and their eyes are now opened to understand the difference between good and evil. 

Knowing beforehand that this was going to happen you used the evil nature of the fallen Lucifer, also known as Satan the Devil, to tempt the couple knowing that they would fail the test so that they would know both good and evil. Like you and unlike your angelic beings they would henceforth have free will to make decisions on their own accord. This was entirely necessary if they were going to become real human beings whose company you will enjoy in the future, rather than have android-like servant minds much like the angels. This is of course an analogous parallel of the dawn of creation account written in the Books of Genesis Chapter 1 - 3 and Revelation Chapter 12 to enable you the reader to understand more fully the context of what happened at the dawn of time.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth! Thou whose glory above the heavens is chanted by the mouth of babes and infants,
thou hast founded a bulwark because of thy foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast established; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him? Yet thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor. Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the sea. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth!
(Psalm 8: 1-9)

There is a consequence that comes with man’s failure to obey God, it is called sin which is the failure and fall from perfection. When they listened to the voice of the Shining One in the Garden they not only disobeyed God’s warning but they capitulated and abdicated their kingship of the earth handing it all to Satan and they took on part of his nature. The first couple Adam and Eve were put out of the idyllic Garden of Eden to fend for themselves against the adversity of the world. The Lord killed an animal to provide skins as a covering for their nakedness, this was the first shedding of blood as a covenant between man and God requiring the shed blood of an innocent as a covering for man’s sin. Looking ahead in time God saw his only Son bruised, beaten and dying on the cross as the final atonement for the sins of all mankind and to ransom the world from the clutches of Satan.

God requires perfection for all who would approach Him and wish to spend eternity in fellowship with Him. “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
(Matthew 5:48) And He provided the way to accommodate us. “Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) 

If you wish to appropriate God’s forgiveness and the atonement afforded by the great sacrifice of His beloved Son Jesus the Messiah, you must come to Him in sorrow for your own miserable failures and with a contrite heart ask Jesus into your life as Savior and Lord. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) “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: 9-10)

Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Temptation Of Unforgivable Denial

 I had previously written about the pre-tribulation theory in order to clarify this matter for Christians who obsess over an erroneous doctrine that is a delusion in terms of the persecution and suffering endured by Christians throughout history. The teaching leaves present day Christians who believe it totally unprepared for any other scenario. It presents a mindset that sets believers up so that if persecution should become so intense that they are faced with a choice between life or death they will deny their affiliation with their church, with Christianity and ultimately with Christ. 

Jesus makes that point very clear in terms of how many Christians will react under extreme persecution. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold.” (Matthew 24: 9-12)

According to (Matthew 16: 15-17) Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” 

This is clearly how Christians become believers in Christ, the Spirit of God touches the heart and reveals Jesus as the Christ to each one. So we find it inconceivable that Peter, a man who knew Jesus personally and was a devoted follower, could deny even knowing him three times within just a few hours.

Peter declared to him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples. (Matthew 26: 33-35)

When Jesus was arrested his followers ran away. Peter followed at a distance and remained outside in the courtyard. The maid who kept the door said to Peter, “Are not you also one of this man’s disciples?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves; Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.  (John 18: 17-18)

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “Are not you also one of his disciples?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it; and at once the cock crowed. (John 18: 25-27)

Peter and the others denied ever knowing Jesus because they had succumbed to fear and were fearful for their own lives!

As we examine the doctrine taught in some Western Christian churches it becomes abundantly clear that Satan has wormed his way into church teachings and is deceiving many through the doctrine of pre-tribulation rapture. Jesus Himself has given us a clear understanding of how Satan appeals to man’s nature during a time of great stress and intense need by offering help in exchange for the denial of the providence of God and even His very existence.


Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” (Matthew 4: 5-6)

Here we are presented with rapidly approaching end time scenario by an angel; And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If any one worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also shall drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

Now let's suppose that the day comes when you hear the following words, "God won't let you down if you accept this implant, it ensures that you and your family will be safe and have food and shelter. You know that God is looking out for your welfare, don’t be like those other ignorant fools who are refusing this insignificant identifying mark lest you suffer extreme hardship.” This is just one example of many potential scenarios that one might be faced with that would strike fear into the  heart and leave only two choices, either stand firm in the face of losing everything, suffer total deprivation and certain death and in exchange receive the gift of eternal life with Christ, or opt to deny Christ and your fellow believers and live the years you have left on earth followed by an eternity in hell.