Filed under: Politics
John 12:23-26 NKJV But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. (24) Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. (25) He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (26) If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
Jesus has now entered the last week of his life, and is talking about his death. He also is talking about those who will come after him and that they who claim the name will follow his teaching. Leaving the world behind, dying to the things of this finite world, the kingdom of Satan, and instead living for and in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Today, we are a little more than 2000 years after the death and resurrection, we have been taught that Jesus will return, but that has not happened, and many of us have begun to move away from the faith because our friends and neighbors seem to have more fun and better stuff. We who are called by the name of Christian are in many ways no longer living the life of Christ, but rather the life of Satan. How many of you who are reading this missive pray daily? How many of you give God the glory for the things in your life? How many of you actually believe that God hears? How many of you believe that there is a heaven and a hell? How many still believe that Christ died and rose again and will return one day?
2Ch 7:14 NKJV if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
God spoke these words roughly 600 years before Christ, since the book of Chronicles was written about 600 BC. These words are directed not at the nation but at the people who call upon the name of God, that is the people who were called Israel/Judah then, and Christian today. Jesus taught many things, not the least of which was that the word of God was and is the word of God.
In that word we find many things that God calls sin, and then that God hates.
Pro 6:16-19 NKJV These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: (17) A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, (18) A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, (19) A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.
Notice that lying is mentioned twice, that is why it is 7 things that are an abomination to God. Can you be a false witness and yet not be a liar? Yes, if you talk to 6 people who saw a crime or an accident, you will get 6 versions of that incident. We all see things from different perspectives, but when Jesus was brought up before the Sanhedrin, there were false witnesses. These were paid to bring witness of his crimes before the religious court. That was a deliberate fabrication and therefore a “witness who speaks lies”.
Also notice that sin is what these are, God hates sin, and sin is something that has been set out by God in the law. There are all kinds of sins, but they are all crimes against God, that includes sexual sins, murder, worship of false gods, stealing and even coveting (jealousy or envy).
When God created the universe, he set various laws in place, these laws include gravity, bodily functions, thermodynamics, all of these things were set in motion from the beginning. All things work because of the laws that God set in motion at the beginning, even time and space are governed by the laws of God not of man. Yet we have decided that we can change what God has designed to work into something else. We have cloned animals, we have tinkered with genetics. We now make plants that are resistant to disease. We even change men into women and vice-versa, yet, we cannot change DNA, we can only change the physical appearance. Science can make a man look like a woman, but his DNA cannot be changed, he is not a she in reality. The man is still a man in his basic reality, the same is of course true for a woman who has been made to look like a man.
We have decided that we don’t need God any longer, we are able to change what God has made to suit ourselves. God said that sexual sins were sin, yet we have said that this is not true. We accept adultery as just another victimless thing something that our sexual needs have driven us to. We accept homosexual sex as just another type of sexual love again because it doesn’t hurt anyone else and it is an alternative to other forms of sexual love. We have even accepted sex without benefit of marriage as normal, and of course since it is OK, we also allow for abortion because it is really a womans right to choose.
We forget that God said, you shall not murder (kill) that is in Exodus 20:13. Jesus himself said this: Mat 5:21-22 NKJV “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ (22) But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Of course we also see in the verses from Proverbs: verse 17 hands that shed innocent blood.
We have decided however that it is OK to murder the unborn, yet that too is a crime against God. We have decided that science is to be believed, that God is irrelevant or doesn’t even exist. In other words we move God out of the way and we become our own god, making our own decisions based on our own moral compass.
Our churches have become apostate, they themselves no longer believe that Jesus was God but rather just a poor misguided teacher who got himself in trouble and died for no good reason. He was a good teacher and a moral man, but that is all. There was no resurrection, that was a lie fabricated by the disciples. Of course it becomes a little difficult to explain why these men and women would die for a lie, but our apostate pastors, bishops, and church leaders don’t worry about that little problem, they teach what they want to teach and of course they pick and choose what part of the scripture is truth and which part is not. There is even a church where they teach that God has now become a woman, he had a sex change operation. Of course I wonder where and when that occurred, also, what Doctor did the surgery.
So, today we are headed toward a future devoid of Christ, we are looking into eternity as if it doesn’t exist. We are working at extending our finite lives for as long as we can, yet, we seem to be dying anyway. Our bodies break down and we die and there is nothing science can do to stop that. Science still cannot answer the ultimate questions, Darwin and evolution still have holes in them big enough to drive a very large truck through. Do you believe that the intricate reality of your body came from an accident or slime? That is what Darwin taught and what many believe, I rather prefer God’s version. In the beginning, God.
Intelligent design makes much more sense to me than a lucky roll of the dice. By the way, if there was a big bang, something from nothing, who lit the match? If it really was God and not “the big bang” then what happens when you die? If you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you go to hell. You can be all sorts of nice guy or woman, but if you are not called by the name Christ, you will spend eternity in hell. It is only by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that you will gain entrance into heaven.
John 14:6 NKJV Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Today is the day of salvation, you are not guaranteed tomorrow. Choose which is to be your eternal home. Heaven or hell, there is no alternative.
Filed under: Politics
Just two weeks ago, ISIS was able to destroy a Russian passenger plane, killing more than 220 people with the help of a sympathizer working at the Egyptian airport and now this revelation about our own airport security. A review of screening and security procedures inside the TSA has revealed
This tells a lot about our security, and that the Obama administration wanting to admit thousands of Syrian refugees is more of the same bunk. They claim that they will be able to vet these people but this is more like the truth. They can’t even vet people working in the secure areas of our airports, how are they going to vet thousands of people coming out of Syria? Look no further than Paris and you will have the answer.
Mat 13:24-30 (NKJV) Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ ”
After Jesus finishes his teaching to the crowds, he and the disciples go inside the house where Jesus explains the parable to them privately. This is an interesting parable many have thought this to be about the church, and to some extent it is about those who profess Jesus and those who claim to be followers of Jesus but are not. We are however, talking about the world not the church per se.
The good seeds are the ones who are truly of the kingdom, those who believe that Jesus is Lord of all, that he is God, and King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We believe that Jesus will return to bring his people to the kingdom and to redeem those in Israel who are willing to come to him as the truth messiah of prophecy.
We have been sown as seeds in the world to bring the gospel message to people that they too might come to know Jesus as the Christ, God in the flesh, come as savior and redeemer. The tares or weeds in the field are those who are the minions of Satan they are the counterfeit that Satan has sent or, sown in the field to cause disruption and to give a false message of God. Jesus tells the disciples that these are to be in the world alongside those who are truly bringing the message of the gospel. They will be the false prophets, the false witnesses and are intertwined with the truth. In a wheat field, where tares are also sown the roots are actually intertwined and so if you pull the weeds you may also pull the wheat.
Jesus then says that the farmer (God) says to allow the weeds and the wheat to grow together until the time of the harvest, then the reapers will be instructed to harvest the tares (weeds) and throw them into the fire, then bring in the wheat to the barn.
Let us not read into this what is not there. Jesus is not referring to the church, it is not yet formed and will not be for another few years, so to refer to it now would not be productive.
The reapers are those found in Revelation 14:14-20, they will be the ones who harvest the weeds and the wheat at the end of the age. It will be when the Lord returns and the tribulation period begins that people will be raised to heaven and others to hell. Those of us who know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, will enter the Kingdom of our Father in Heaven (God). Those who have not become members of the Kingdom, by confessing their sin, recognizing Jesus as Lord, and asking forgiveness and bowing the knee to Jesus as Lord will end in the fires of Hell.
The parable also does not justify having ungodly people as members of the church, remember this parable speaks of the world not the church. If you read Matthew 18 you will see that the church is to discipline those who are members and yet living in sin. Also 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 says the church is to put out of the fellowship all those who are guilty of certain forms of wickedness.
What this parable teaches is that there is genuine and counterfeit in the world, and this will be so until the end of the age. It behooves those who are truly followers of Jesus to teach that which we have learned from our Lord, that some may be saved. Not all will acknowledge the Kingship of Christ, and they will find themselves in the fires of hell, but those who do know Christ as Lord, have a job to do. We are the witnesses who must tell the truth of the gospel. Sin gets you a one way ticket to the lake of fire, where as Jesus says there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Personally, I wish all would be saved, all would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and work toward their day in the kingdom along with the rest of us. Know this, if you know someone who needs to be introduced to Jesus, and you are a believer in the Lordship of Jesus Christ, your job is to introduce them to Jesus. What they do with that introduction is up to them. God says through the prophet Jeremiah, that we are watchmen on the wall.
If we do not warn those who need to be warned, their blood is on us, but if we warn them and they ignore it, it is their own problem. So brothers and sisters speak up. There are going to be difficult times coming but know that Christ has said that he is with us always, in all situations. He knows what it is to be rejected and to suffer for the truth, he gave his all for us can we do less for him? It is difficult, but not impossible, if you know Jesus as your brother, your savior and your Lord, speak up, that others may know him as well.
Remember, Jesus himself was ridiculed and despised, finally crucified and yet he suffered that punishment just for you and me so that we would be saved from sin and death. He has commanded us to go into all the world, preaching and teaching and making disciples and teaching them all that he has commanded us, that all might have the opportunity for salvation.
Mat 24:4-14 NKJV And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. (5) For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. (6) And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (7) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (8) All these are the beginning of sorrows. (9) “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (10) And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. (11) Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. (12) And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. (13) But he who endures to the end shall be saved. (14) And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
In light of the happenings around the world today, I thought it appropriate to look at what the Bible says about what is happening in the Middle East. The gospel passage talks about how we who follow Christ as Christians can expect to be treated as we move forward into the future. Our nation is not specifically mentioned in scripture, however, we are made up of people descended from Noah and his sons, so we are a part of the greater scheme of Biblical prophecy. Our nation like the others in this time is becoming more and more immoral, and apostate. We claim to be Christian, but act as the rest of the world acts. More and more we see lawlessness in our cities and towns, just as we see in Europe and other countries. We also see many churches turning from the good news of salvation to the teachings of the world, there is no god, or there are myriad gods. Even the Pope, the Emperor of the Roman Empire today, has said the we and the Jews and Muslims all worship the same god.
Shamefully we do worship the prince of this world in many places and in many churches. Saddleback Church in California even had an Imam come and bring the Easter message. Other churches of mainline denominations have also walked away from the truth of God’s word to the lies of the prince of this world.
In what we refer to as the Old Testament in the book of Ezekiel, the 38th and 39th Chapters there is an interesting prophecy, it is known as the Gog/Magog war. This is a war that is to be fought between Israel and many nations including the people of Magog who are ruled by one known as the Gog in the prophecy. The nations listed as being involved are: Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. Along with: Persia, Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer and Togarmah. These names of course don’t mean much to those who have grown up not learning the history of the world, nor the geography of the world. So, these are the nations that are being spoken of in this passage.
Rosh, modern-day Russia; Magog – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan; Meshech – Turkey this includes Tubal Gomer Beth-Togarmah; Persia – Iran; Cush – Ethiopia and Sudan; Put – Libya. These are the children and grandchildren of the sons of Shem, Ham and Japheth.
Shem: is the father of the Semitic people, this includes Jews, Arabs, Babylonians, Assyrians, Arameans and Phoenicians. Note that historically the people in this list have been enemies of the Jews for thousands of years.
Ham: is the father of Ethiopians, Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, as well as people of Africa and perhaps Oriental people as well.
Japheth: is the father of the Medes, Greeks, the Caucasian people of Europe and of Northern Asia.
This list is found in Genesis 10 if you want to look it up.
The reason this is important is that this war will include Russia and most of the Muslim nations of today. We find that these nations are fighting amongst themselves and that the USA has gotten itself entangled in this internecine warfare. The truth is that because of political machinations that have occurred there has been a vacuum of leadership in this part of the world and tumult has resulted. The problems have opened up things that should not have happened but have.
We Americans are now in a very bad position as far as this entire area of the world, and we have turned our backs on our ally Israel in favor of some of the more militant nations, who are also anti-Jewish and anti-American. This has now opened up the very real possibility of the Gog/Magog war becoming a reality in our lifetime.
It is entirely possible that we will find ourselves moving in the direction of being a part of the horde that forms this great army that will move against Israel, because our nation is made up of members of all these people as well as Jewish people. It behooves us as Christian people to read the Old Testament as well as the new, simply because both together, give a bigger picture of God and His activity in our world and with those who are called by His name. Make no mistake, if you say you are a Christian, you are called by His name, for Jesus Christ is God.
There is also the truth that Jesus taught about what is coming for you and I who say we are followers of Jesus Christ. Remember what Jesus said about the time when there will be all the problems to be faced:
Matthew 24:8-10 (8) All these are the beginning of sorrows. (9) “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (10) And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”
In an article written on September 30th the following item was reported: “It should come as no surprise that Christians will encounter opposition to their Biblical beliefs at the workplace. What might surprise them is that expressing those beliefs both at work and at home (such as social media) could cost them their job.
The latest victim of workplace firing to lose his case is Urologist Dr. Paul Church who was relieved from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston earlier this year and was just recently denied a chance to appeal his case. Church’s offense was warning of the health risks of homosexual behavior and questioned the judgment of a hospital promoting such unhealthy behavior.
Church was told by hospital superiors that his views about homosexuality were “discrimination” and “harassment” and that the Bible verses he used to define homosexuality were equally “offensive”.”
A doctor is fired for trying to point out simple truth, and of course was not allowed to appeal the firing because he talked about something that the administration has found to be discrimination. His offense was that of trying to do his job as a doctor. There are other cases as well, and it is very much true that trying to live your Christian beliefs and lifestyle can get you fired from your job. The most famous of these is: Or you could just give money to support a cause that is not in support of Homosexuality such as Brendan Eich did when he contributed $1,000 to Proposition 8 in California. Proposition 8 was a ballot initiative to write into California law that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman.
Brendan Eich was one of the co-founders of Mozilla, which is well-known for the popular Firefox browser. Eich had been with the company since its founding but this didn’t stop the board from forcing him out of his position as CEO due to this discovery…a “crime” he committed six years prior in 2008 as a private citizen. Ironically, President Obama was also stating his support for marriage defined the same way at this point in time.
Nowhere in the outcry against Eich was it ever stated that he tried to proselytize others into believing as he did. He was not accused of any discriminatory practices against homosexuals. In fact, Mozilla has a “same-sex partners” provisions written into their insurance policies, and Eich even stated that he would enforce these provisions, even though he didn’t believe in them.
This however was not enough to satisfy those on their politically correct witch hunt and Mitchell Baker, the chairman of the board, stated after the dismissal that people had a right to be angry at Eich’s appointment as CEO.
Increasingly we who are Christians will be forced into positions that demand we give up our belief in God, and support those things that God has stated in the scriptures are sin. It is of course always the given free will that God has endowed us with that we must exercise. So the decision that we are to make is to choose God or the World. As Joshua put it when the people of Israel were about to enter the land of Canaan, we are to choose life or death. Heaven or Hell, that is why Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A fought so hard against the government intrusion into their beliefs. It is why a group of nuns are still fighting the government over being forced to accept birth control and abortion in their health care. The world will continue to push against the Word of God and those who have chosen to follow Christ instead of the World order.
War is coming, and it is not going to be pretty either. Once it begins there will be even greater loss of life in the Middle East than has already happened. War is also coming to our towns and cities, because of the enemies of God wanting to change our world into one that follows Satan instead of God. Each of us will have to choose which one to follow, which one will we give our complete loyalty and trust to?
Will we who call ourselves Christians continue to follow Christ? Remember that he died on the cross at Calvary for each of us, he loved us before we even knew we needed a savior.
Mat 24:32-33 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! “ As we move into the next few months and years, watch carefully, that is the lesson of the fig tree. When you see things happening you know that it is coming closer. We know that when it begins to be cooler in the daytime, it is coming on fall, when the days get shorter, Christmas and winter are coming. Well now we see what is happening in the middle east, we see that there are many little wars all over the world, there are earthquakes, and volcanoes exploding all across the globe.
For October 2nd there were 37 Earthquakes of 2.5 or greater, worldwide. For the week ending October 2nd there were 97 Earthquakes of 4.5 or greater, worldwide. Volcanic activity in the last few days is also worldwide Guatemala activity is spewing ash into the sky and up to 5 km long lava flow. Tokara Islands near Japan has an eruption with the glow from the volcanic activity seen from a neighboring island. 27 Sep Bougainville Island near Papua New Guinea Volcanic Ash plume up to 7,000 ft in the air. Mauna Loa in Hawaii shows much activity with a very large lava lake and runs from the crest down the sides, 10/2 photo. Mt Etna in Italy, with lava flow and steam on 10/2 photo. These are just a few of the volcanoes active today around the world.
The scriptures also speak of these things as well as famine and sickness of various types, this too has been seen and will be seen again. From Ebola, to Bird Flu and other infectious diseases. All of these are signs of the times, we need to be ready.
God has said that he will be with us, that the Holy Spirit will give us the ability to speak to our friends and neighbors, and that is to be our duty toward our neighbors and families, that they may be saved from the wrath to come. In that time of tribulation millions will die and go into eternity either to heaven or to hell. It is our job to try to get as many as possible to at least hear the good news of salvation, to know that God is willing that none should perish. That does not mean that if you are a nice person you will automatically enter heaven.
Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” We cannot save anyone, but we can introduce them to the one who saves, who brings them into the presence of God. Many will deny, will say no, but some will accept the invitation will join us on our journey to eternal life in the presence of almighty God.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I do know that I would like to hear the words “Well done thou good and faithful servant” when I stand before God and receive the sure knowledge that I did what I could to bring others with me into the full embrace of the family of God.
What would you like to hear?
We began this journey with the words of Jesus to his disciples as recorded in the gospel of Matthew and verse 20 in Matthew 28 says: “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” That means to know and understand what it is that we are to do as we live our lives today, the church was to teach all those things that Jesus had given them to teach so that those who would come later would know what it was what our God wanted from us in the way of Holy Living.
This of course includes those things that came in the Law that God gave to His people, part of that law was the holiness code and I thought it might be helpful to us if we knew what that was and how it affects all the world today. The Jewish people were originally tasked by God to spread the word of God to all people, it did not happen, but that is another story for another blog. For now we know that God’s plan was for Jesus the Christ to come and live a sinless life under the code that he established, and then to die and be raised from the dead to pay for our sins and to seal the covenant of eternal life in the presence of God. This also requires that those who wish to live eternally in the presence of God believe that Jesus was the once for all sacrifice that was required to meet the penalty of death for sin.
So let us begin with Leviticus 18:4 and 5 where God says: Lev 18:4-5 NKJV “You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your God. (5) You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.”
Beginning with verse 6 we find law regarding sexual mores, basically it talks about having relations with near relatives, in other words incest, and that it is forbidden. This section ends with verse 18.
Lev 18:6-8 NKJV ‘None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the LORD. (7) The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She is your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness. (8) The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s nakedness.’
Lev 18:17 ‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, nor shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness. They are near of kin to her. It is wickedness.
Lev 18:18 Nor shall you take a woman as a rival to her sister, to uncover her nakedness while the other is alive.’
The term “uncover” means to have sexual relations with the person. These are all sins of incest God had started by pointing out that these sins were what the people had learned in Egypt and would see in the land He was going to bring them to, what we refer to today as Israel. Note that verse 6 speaks of having sex with you father or you mother, in all the other verses it speaks of women who are your blood relatives, or in-laws. Also you might notice in the last two verses that if you are married to a woman, you may not have sex with her daughter, nor shall you have sex with her sister. God covered all the bases with this sexual perversion stuff as we will see in the next section.
In verse 19 God says, when a woman is in her time of bleeding, what we now call a period, which is a natural thing, you are not to have sex with her. Then there is the idea of adultery, in verse 20 God says you are not to lie carnally with your neighbors wife.
Our God set up a way of life for us, and it is expected that we will live according to what our God has set up as the laws of the universe, (natural law), and of course in this world in which we live it seems we fully care not for natural law, but rather we do what we want because it gives us pleasure.
Today we glorify abortion as a woman’s choice, unwanted babies are to be thrown away, aborted as if they were just an infection that was being removed to return the mother to health. Lev 18:21 “And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.” Molech was the god of the Ammonites, and parents were to come to the city of Hinnom there the idol/statue of Molech had an opening in the back and a fire would be kindled there. The parents would then place their first born baby on the arms of the statue, and they were not allowed to show any emotion as the baby died from the extreme heat. A drum was beat so that the cries of the child were not heard. Next is one of the things that many people are unwilling to obey, and yet it is honestly in the law that God has given to us that we may live lives free from sin.
Lev 18:22-24 NKJV You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (23) Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. (24) ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you.’
As much as those who find themselves with these tendencies and therefor hate those who point out that it is sinful to live out this sexual lifestyle, it is God’s word that speaks of it as being a sexual sin. It is no more of a sin that having an affair with a neighbor, or stealing money from someone or any of the other sins that we humans are so fond of pursuing, the bad thing that I see is that it is a sin and therefore is wrong in the sight of our God and leads to eternal life in the darkness of hell.
Admittedly we Church folks can get our indignation in an uproar over this sin, but it seems we don’t have a problem with adultery, or stealing from our company when we need some paper for a project we are involved in, or any of a dozen other sins that we commit daily. We talk about victimless acts, we think no one gets hurt but of course there are many victims of these sins, your wife or husband when you commit adultery, your wife or husband when you decide you are homosexual and leave your spouse to live with your partner, you think your spouse doesn’t get hurt? If you are a heterosexual person and have an affair, do you think you are not hurting anyone? What happens when it is found out? Your spouse and the spouse of the other person, or the families of both of you are hurt by your infidelity. There is no such thing as a victimless act, every action has ripples that affect those around it.
Try throwing a rock into a pond and watch the ripple effect, or like an earthquake under the sea, when it happens then there is a movement of water, sometimes catastrophic called a Tsunami. Sin is like that, whatever you do that is against God’s law has an affect on others and on yourself as well. If nothing else, you need to know that when you go against God, you are an enemy of God, that will cause ramifications into eternity. God does not consign you to hell, you do so by disobeying the natural law that God has proclaimed. I know, I was once an enemy of God myself, and until I came to understand that I was an enemy of God I thought everything was just fine. Hey, I thought I was having a good time, even when hung over the next morning, even when I couldn’t remember what had happened the night before.
When I finally realized what I was doing to myself and those around me, when I realized that my life was heading for disaster. When I heard the gospel and knew that I was a sinner and came to Christ for forgiveness and became a follower of Jesus, then I was saved and my life changed. I certainly will not claim to any sort of perfection, but I do try to live as Christ has for me to live and I know that when all is said and done, I will end up in eternity in heaven and not in hell.
I do hope you will read these chapters, as they give a map to a way to live as Christ would have you live. These are not difficult as they are natural law, law set in motion by God at the creation of the universe. We have decided that we know better than God, but I have to say, I have not heard of any scientist making something out of nothing. I know they have figured out how to clone an animal but all the work they have done on gene therapy and stem cells have created problems and with stem cells, the healing has come not from infant cells but from adult cells.
Chapter 19 speaks about rules for everyday living again starting off with I am the Lord.
Lev 19:1-3 NKJV And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, (2) “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. (3) ‘Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and keep My Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
Now I know that it is not always easy to revere our parents, many of us have grown up with parents who abused us mostly in verbal, or physical punishments that left scars on our bodies. Interesting though is the truth that it was also that way in the time of Moses and the time of Jesus and down through the ages to today. Though it is difficult, we must love our parents just as we must love our neighbor, in that way they may realize that they too need Jesus as savior and Lord. We must, as Christians, know that God has a plan and even though we don’t understand it, or even know what it might be, God does, and things will work to good for those who love the Lord.
Verse 19:4 says “Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the LORD your God.” The second of the 10 commandments says the same thing. In this world of ours, we have many idols, political persons, movie stars, musical persons, baseball, football and of course, money, power, looks, pornography, and the many gods of this world. We are told that we are not to have anything in our lives that comes between us and God. In the history of the people of Israel we find that they too had many gods and that they abandoned the worship of I AM to worship the local gods. When they became a people who worshiped the local gods, they also left the path of God, and became apostate, God then allowed them to be taken off into captivity. This happened to Israel many times over centuries, finally the Romans sacked Jerusalem and sent them into the rest of the world, for almost 2000 years. Yet they are today a secular nation and soon again there will be war over the land, the hatred for the people called Israel is beginning to cause great strife in many places in today’s world. God is still working to save his people from their sins.
We too, have been mightily blessed in this land by God, and we are now an apostate nation, we claim to be Christian, but we do not live as Christian people. We too follow the gods of this world, beauty, fame, fortune, power as well as perversions and sorry to say, legal murder of innocent lives, almost 60 million since Roe v Wade. God said that his people were not to sacrifice the children to Molech, yet they did that, and today we do it to the idol of “choice”.
Verse 11 of Leviticus 19 says: “You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.” The eighth commandment of the 10 commandments says that you shall not steal as well. The ninth commandment says: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” However, our government steals from us, by taxing our earnings, and our commerce. They take from working people supposedly to give to the poor, yet the poor continue in poverty and the ones who get the money are the government. The richest area in the nation today is the area around Washington D. C., please note it is not D. C. itself, for the people who are the rich, the politicians, the lobbyists and contractors don’t live in D. C. but rather in the counties in Virginia and Maryland. Congresspersons and Senators make exorbitant amounts of money that we the taxpayers are taxed to maintain their lifestyle. The money goes to these people not to the poor.
Our President lied to us, dealt falsely with us in order to pass his ordinances and laws to take even more money from us to give to the lobbyists, to corporations who support him and the rest of the political class. I remember when people did not need a pile of contracts to buy a car, I watched my father in the 1950’s buy a car, on a simple handshake with the dealer. When the car was ready for pickup he paid for it and again shook hands with the dealer and left with the car. Today it takes half a day to get approved for credit, then fill out the paperwork and sign all the copies that have to be signed, then wait while the dealer processes it all. The reason is lawyers have taught us we cannot be trusted to tell the truth. So many of us no longer do tell the truth. Yet we call ourselves Christian.
How often have you picked up a box of paper clips from your place of employment and taken them home, or maybe some staples, or paper for your printer at home. Your excuse being, my employer won’t even know its gone, they have plenty of it anyway. That too is stealing, and lying, and dealing falsely. Yet we call ourselves Christian.
You see, God wants us to live by his rules. We Christian people have decided to live by our own rules, and have become Christian in name only. Like politicians we say one thing and mean another, trust is no longer a way of life, rather we lie, cheat and steal, it has become a way of life in this country. We pervert the law, of man and of God, so that we can live as we please. We have decided that we really don’t need God, we can make our own decisions and live our lives as we choose. In the process we have cheapened life itself, we are content to let others work, while many of us just sit around and enjoy our food stamps and welfare checks. Thinking the government will take care of us, when in reality it is the working class the laborer and the business owner that is paying the government, and the government then says they are helping the poor. Lies all around, theft all around. We used to be proud to work, and to do a good job at whatever we did, no longer true.
We are an apostate nation, and God will not continue to bless us, like the Israelite of old, we too are cruising for a bruising. We have already experienced a black eye, when the enemies of God and man took down the World Trade Center. When will America wake up and return to God? I think it is not going to happen until we are defeated by our own pride and by an enemy that our government won’t even acknowledge.
This is a sermon that I had delivered and thought it appropriate to what is going in today in our nation and in the world. We do seem to be blind to the truth and in many cases we don’t really want to see or hear the truth. Mar 10:46-52 NKJV Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. (47) And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (48) Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (49) So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” (50) And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. (51) So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” (52) Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Here we find Jesus and a great crowd of people passing through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem. The crowds were there because they wanted to know what wisdom Jesus would impart today, and so they followed as He and His disciples walked through the city. There is a blind man sitting on the side of the road, he is named in this gospel account, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus. He is on the road because travelers go by and he is able to ask for charity or alms, and probably does fairly well at this place.
Bartimaeus asks those around him, who is this that is causing such a stir? They tell him Jesus of Nazareth. When he heard that it was Jesus, he knew that he had a chance to be healed of blindness, for this was the Christ, not just any prophet, but Jesus. He begins to shout but the words he says are not words normally used when Jesus is walking by.
As he was told that it was Jesus of Nazareth, because the crowds didn’t want to have any trouble so he was not Son of David, he was just Jesus of Nazareth. A simple Rabbi, maybe even a prophet, but that was all. Bartimaeus, however knew instinctively, his spirit spoke to him, and he begins to call out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The folks in the crowd are not happy with all this commotion, and they begin to tell this beggar to shut up, be quiet. It is remarkable that the religious leaders, could not admit that this man from Nazareth could possibly be the Messiah, yet here is a blind man, addressing Jesus as the Son of David, one of the titles of the Messiah.
Jesus, has healed many in the 3 years that he walked about, preaching of the Kingdom of God, bringing the good news to those who would hear it, and even to those who rejected it. One time he healed a blind man by spitting on his eyes and then wiping the spit away with his fingers, another time he made mud and placed it on the blind mans eyes. Of course he also healed people of leprosy, sometimes doing the unthinkable and actually touching the one with the disease, other times he said go and tell the priest and make the sacrifice that is required. 10 men left and were healed on the way, 1 came back to praise God and thank him.
So here we have Bartimaeus, yelling for mercy from the one man he knew could give him his sight. Why would this man call upon Jesus as the Son of David so he might receive mercy? Perhaps because he had heard Isa 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. He knew that this was his one and only chance to be able to see. He knew in his soul that this was truly the Christ that was to come, and was here.
Have you ever had one of those experiences, one where you knew you had come into the presence of God? In 1988, I went on a retreat, a 3 day retreat called the walk to Emmaus. It was patterned after Cursillo which had begun in Spain under auspices of the Roman Catholic Church. It was a wonderful experience you spent time learning about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You took communion at least once each day, and you experienced prayer as you had never experienced it before. It was a time of deep communion with God, a time of personal and communal prayer and learning. It was also a time of healing, not so much physical healing but rather of deep soul healing. In that time I knew I had come into the presence of God, and my life was never to be the same again.
Bartimaeus knew that this was his one chance to be able to receive that which he lacked, his physical sight, and so he cried out, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. Jesus stops and says, bring him to me. The crowd then tells him, Rise, he is calling you. Bartimaeus throws off his outer garment, and then with the help of those around him, comes to Jesus. The Apostle Paul speaks of putting off the old man and putting on the new. Eph 4:22-24 NKJV that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, (23) and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, (24) and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
So Bartimaeus rids himself of the old that was holding him back, so he might receive the new that will let him move into newness of life.
This is a good lesson for us to learn as well, for we humans like to hold on to the old things that we know, we are afraid of taking a new way, of leaving our comfort zone for the new ways of living that Christ calls us to. I continue to read stories about people who have made the decision to follow Christ, and have been arrested and held in jail. There is the story of an evangelist who was singing christian music at a train station, he was arrested for disturbing the peace.
Then there is the story about an evangelist who was preaching in a park, and a woman in the crowd began telling him she was offended by his speech, and she then exposed her breasts and the police arrested him for inciting to riot. The woman was allowed to go free. These incidents did not happen in some foreign country, they happened right here in the USA. These Christians were practicing their right to speak and yet were arrested and thrown in jail. One man was holding a Bible study in his home and the city arrested him because he was breaking a zoning ordinance that said he could not hold Bible Study in his home because it was a commercial enterprise, in a residential area. That city happens to be Phoenix AZ, and the law they refer to, is the International Code, which they have adopted as law in their city. Please note that Del Rio Texas, has also adopted this code. It is not U. S. Law, it is International Law and it is being used to usurp our Constitutional right to free speech and the right of assembly.
Of course I can also understand why that would make some people a bit concerned about accepting Jesus and the way of life that this entails. It means ridding ourselves of our old way of living and becoming more Christlike in all we do. It also says we need to present Christ to others.
That can get you in trouble. Yet many of our fellow Christians, in this country and across the globe are today experiencing persecution, and some actual hatred. Not because they have done something wrong, but because they have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, and have given over their lives to Him, that they might live eternally in the Kingdom of God. The time is coming when things will become much tougher in this country as well as others, Christians will not be able to speak out openly as we have in the past.
Bartimaeus, also made the choice to follow Christ, and was one more witness to the crucifixion. Some of the same people who were trying to get him to stop calling out to Jesus, would in just a few short weeks be calling for Jesus to be killed by crucifixion. I wonder how many in that crowd ran away, and how many stayed to watch the death of Jesus. That is what it means though, when one decides to follow Jesus, you must be willing to give yourself completely to Him, that you may become truly free and truly fully human.
Blind Bartimaeus, who saw with Spiritual Eyes, the truth of his own salvation both from blindness and from the lies of this world to the truth of the Kingdom. So he called out to Jesus for healing and received that healing of both soul and body. He saw clearly with his spirit, and now with his physical eyes. Reminds me of the spiritual song, “Open My Eyes Lord, I want to see Jesus.” If you have decided to follow Jesus, have you also given up the worldly things that hold you, the things of the world which keep you bound to sin and sadness? If so I invite you to turn your entire being over Jesus the Christ, that you might have your spiritual eyes opened to the beauty of the Kingdom of God. Walk with Christ today and every day.
Lost and Found
In the gospel of Luke the 15th Chapter we read stories about Lost and Found and how there is a rejoicing over that which was lost and is now found.
The first three verses in this chapter of Luke’s gospel we are told that Tax Collectors and the sinners drew close to Jesus so as to hear him speak. The religious leaders, Pharisees and Saducees were very displeased by Jesus allowing these people to come near to hear: Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” So Jesus tells them some stories to make things clear to those who did not understand the truth of God’s word.
Luk 15:4-6 NKJV “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? (5) And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (6) And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
It makes good sense if you are a shepherd and one of the sheep gets lost, you would go and find that sheep to bring it back to the fold. The next story also makes sense, since even today silver is a commodity which is worth holding onto.
Luk 15:8-9 NKJV “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? (9) And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’
I hear all kinds of advertisements for people to run out and buy silver right now, it will gain in value soon.
This next story is one of my favorite stories because it reminds me of myself in many ways. Perhaps you can see yourself in this story which we know as the story of the Prodigal Son.
Luk 15:11-24 NKJV Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. (12) And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. (13) And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. (14) But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. (15) Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. (16) And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. (17) “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! (18) I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, (19) and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ‘ (20) “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (21) And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ (22) “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. (23) And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; (24) for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
After each of these parables Jesus adds the fact of a celebration that what was lost is now found, “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” So the religious leaders hear this lesson but, like the older son in the parable of the son who returns to the home of his father, they too cannot bring themselves to realize that they are in the presence of God, and need to repent of their own sin and join in the celebration.
Here is the rest of the story of the prodigal returns: Luk 15:25-32 NKJV “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. (26) So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. (27) And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ (28) “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. (29) So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. (30) But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ (31) “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. (32) It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ” I always wonder, how did the older brother know about the harlots? Christians seem to know about these things too, yet like the older son, seem to forget that all sins are able to be forgiven by the Lord God.
As Christians, we believe that God created all that is, including man. The story is that man and woman were placed in the garden of Eden to care for it and to live in it and enjoy the fruits and vegetables that the garden produced as they cared for it. There was only one thing that they were not allowed to eat, that was the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When they did eat of that fruit, they disobeyed God, in other words they sinned. Up until that time they were perfect creatures, once they sinned God could no longer allow them to stay in the garden for their sin would pollute the garden, just as sin has polluted our world. I hear so many people talking about the greatest problem in our world being global climate change, and that it is caused by man. This is not the greatest threat to our existence, the greatest threat is sin, immorality and its attendant ills. That is the greatest threat, because it means we are living in opposition to God.
Since we were made in God’s image, God has been calling us to return to Him, that we might be cleansed of our sin and become again part of the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom that has been and will be forever. It was torn by Adam and Eve and Jesus was the only one who could return it to reality. He came to find and return to the fold, all the lost sheep who are living in sin.
One other truth, we see a lot of people who push one or another sin as being what is wrong with the world. The truth is, all that we do that is against the word of God, is sin. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Note please that he does not say, this or that sin but rather sin by itself. That means that anything that is against the word of God, from coveting (wanting what is your neighbors), we call it keeping up with the Jones’, to worshiping idols such as money, fame, people, (you shall have no other gods before me). That is why there are 10 Commandments, actually Jesus added one more, “love your neighbor as yourself.”
These three parables or stories above talk about bringing back those who are lost in sin, and that when one is returned to his or her status as a child of God, there is great rejoicing in heaven. A soul has been saved from eternity in the fire of hell. Note that it is not that anyone is forced to come to saving knowledge, but that a person voluntarily comes to that place where they realize that Jesus Christ is really God and they need that saving grace that only He can supply.
So, know that theft of a paper clip from your place of employment, causes the same punishment as adultery or murder. The choice is always yours, the prodigal son did not have to return, he could have learned and grown into a better worker getting better pay and taking care of his physical needs, but he still would have been divorced from his father. We too can pursue the things of this world, but we are still divorced from our Father in heaven and the riches that can be ours when we are part of the family of God once again.
How about you? Do you know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life, or are you still convinced that you are able to take care of yourself and will have everything you want in this life. Satan will be more than willing to let you believe that this is all there is and when it is over there is nothing else, but what if that is the lie, and an eternity awaits all of us. We can spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven, or in the outer darkness, the fire of hell divorced from God. Are you willing to take that chance?