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)