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Empowered to Servanthood
July 13, 2016, 6:27 pm
Filed under: Culture, God, Politics | Tags: , ,

John 14:16-21 NKJV And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— (17) the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (18) I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. (19) “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. (20) At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. (21) He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” it is the Spirit who gives us words to say, gives us the ability to discern the truth about what is going on in the world, we have that which God has given us through His Spirit, to stand for the truth of Christ. Paraclete, the Greek is Paracletos, it means a comforter, an advocate, an intercessor. In other words, one who walks with you. There they were, Jesus had gone back to His throne, Jesus God in the flesh, was now back in His rightful place in Heaven. His disciples, were left on earth to fend for themselves, at least that is what we might think. However, looking at the verses in John 14, we see that Jesus had promised them one who would be with them forever. The Holy Spirit, the third PERSON of the Trinity, is a person just as Jesus was and is a person, just as God is a person.

We find in the book of Acts the appearance of the Holy Spirit in the 2nd Chapter of Acts we read this: Act 2:1-4 NKJV When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. (3) Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. (4) And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. The Spirit is God and so God now is with His people and is a part of all that happens in our lives. men and women who were his loyal followers, the Spirit appears as tongues like fire, which settle on each of them, then they begin to speak in other languages, so that all in Jerusalem that day could hear and understand.

So, what has this to do with us today? Everything! We are to be the witnesses to Christ in the world, we who claim to follow Christ, are the ones who can discern what is going on in our world and it is our task to tell the world about their need for redemption. If we do not speak, the blood of the lost in hell will be upon those who do not sound the alarm. Eze 33:2-6 NKJV “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, (3) when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, (4) then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. (5) He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. (6) But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ You and I have the truth and the Spirit with us, we are able to see and understand what is happening, we must speak.

In our Sunday morning Bible Study we are studying the book of Daniel and in the 9th chapter of that book is a chilling prophecy. It deals with centuries of time, and yet it deals with us today.

Dan 9:23-27 NKJV At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision: (24) “Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. (25) “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. (26) “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. (27) Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”

Daniel had realized that it had been prophesied by Jeremiah that 70 years were to pass while the people were in captivity in Babylon, he realized that the 70 years were almost accomplished and he began to pray for deliverance, and as he prayed Gabriel showed up to give him the information he needed.

In the delivery of the information we read of a time span of 70 weeks, those are not in reality weeks, but rather weeks of years, each day is a year of time. The time for the 7 weeks was when the people would be allowed to return and build the city and the temple. The first period of 7 weeks began with Artaxerxes in 445 BC. That is found in Nehemiah 2:1-8, and it took 49 years to build the city and the temple. Of course that was a mere shadow of the glory of the temple of Solomon, but they had a place to worship and make offering to the Lord again.

Then 62 weeks until the time of Messiah and his death on the Cross at Calvary. 434 years would go by and Jesus would have been teaching for 3 years, then enter Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey and be declared King of the Jews. Just 5 days after that he would be arrested and then crucified. Next will come a time of the Gentiles, that is you and I and we will be the witnesses to the glory of the Kingdom and of the salvation offered by the spilling of the Blood of Christ. During this time the people of Rome, in the person of the various emperors will have completely destroyed the city and Temple one more time, Jews will be exiled into the world and only a remnant will remain. Jerusalem will be rebuilt but not with a temple, that will remain a ruin except for one wall that is known as the wailing wall where Jewish people come to pray. Now of course prophecy about the return of the people to their homeland has been fulfilled. That is for another time, but suffice it to say that the return was prophesied and fulfilled in 1947.

However we are still waiting for the coming of the 70th week of Daniel. We can see that there is much turmoil in our world, there is much hatred of Jews and in some parts of the world Christians.

We can see also that only a few of our Christian leaders are speaking out trying to change the direction of our nation, many though are the voices of those who want to sell the feel good gospel. Jesus said: Mat 24:23-25 NKJV “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. (24) For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (25) See, I have told you beforehand.

We also see that many will be led the way they want to be led, they have itching ears, wanting to hear what they want to hear. 2Ti 4:3-4 NKJV For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; (4) and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

Just turn on any of those TV preachers and you will hear the lies. Not only that but there are many denominations today that teach false doctrine, even those who teach that fornication, homosexuality and other forms of sexual sin is OK and sanctioned by God, because they say, God is love. These are just alternative ways of living our lives. Jesus also taught that: Mat 24:6-9 NKJV 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.

There are many wars being fought today, and there are many Christians being killed and tortured across our world. In this country we are still free to worship as we will, but there is coming a time when that will not be so. Already we see that our government is trying to remove any mention of God or Jesus from the public square. In many cities the government says that they want to open with prayer, the name of Jesus may not be used in the prayer, and of course they also invite Imams to pray so as not to offend any Muslims. Have you noticed that it is also just fine that Christians are castigated, are told that they cannot hold meetings in public places, but Muslims can close down a street so that the Mosque which is not able to hold them can practice their prayers at the appointed times.

It used to be that you had to have your face shown on your state ID, driver license or state ID card. However in some states today that is no longer the case. If a woman wears a Burqa which hides everything except her eyes, she may have that as her picture on her State ID. How do you identify someone whose face is covered? There are even some cities were certain areas are off limits to non-Muslim persons. Even the police cannot enter without an OK from the local sharia court.

We are the witnesses, we are the ones that God has given the task of standing for the truth, for the gospel. We have the Holy Spirit, we are the watchmen on the wall, and we are to warn our fellow countrymen of what we know is coming. We need to offer the salvation that comes only through Jesus Christ.

 

We are empowered to servanthood, empowered to speak out and help our neighbors and friends to see the truth. Only Jesus Christ can bring you to heaven, only Jesus Christ is the way to God, he and he alone is the way, the truth and the life. The spirit of God will give us the words, we need only ask, a moment of silent prayer when you encounter a situation will suffice. Jesus said that if you ask anything in his name, it will be granted. Of course that pre-supposes that you are one who is a true follower of Christ. Joh 16:23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.”

We are the ones who must speak against injustice and hatred, we must stand for the truth even in the face of persecution. If we do not stand, then those who are caught up in sin, will die in their sin, and we will be the ones who are guilty. We cannot lose our salvation, but we will hear condemnation not praise from our Lord and Savior. We are the ones who should be introducing others to Jesus Christ, if we do our part he will do his, that some might be saved. If we do our part then we will hear, well done good and faithful servant.

 

 

 

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Who Can Stand?
April 19, 2016, 11:06 am
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , , ,

In the face of so many things going on in our world, including major Earthquakes, Flooding, Wars, and immorality run rampant. Also of course the craziness of the political season here in the USA. I preached the following sermon this past Sunday, some may find this to be a difficult sermon to hear, but I believe we as Christians need to figure out if we are willing to stand for Jesus Christ or not.

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God Formed
February 18, 2016, 10:21 am
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , , ,

I watched an interview a couple of days back, an interview with a 62 year old man, who was dressed as a child. Not just any child but a 6 year old girl. He had grown up, married, had kids and grandkids, and then suddenly he realized that he was a 6 year old girl trapped in his body. So he abandoned his family, and was adopted by a couple, who actually treat him as a 6 year old girl, they buy his clothing, little girls clothing, in his size of course. He spends his day playing with little girl stuff dolls and all, and not being concerned with the things of the world.
This is the new thing in our world, it is now OK to self identify as whatever you wish to be. Boys now can self identify as girls and get to use the girls locker room at school in some places in our nation. There are others who self identify as animals, dogs, cats, even bigger animals, whatever they like.
Another interesting new thing is self marriage, there have been a number of self marriages where the person marries themselves, making vows to themselves, and even going on honeymoons with themselves. Of course these are not legal weddings, no state actually has issued a marriage license to Jane and Jane or John and John, but these folks have actually had weddings performed by family or friends as if they were actually getting married. One woman actually had her entire wedding, with 10 bridesmaids, her sister performed the ceremony, and she then went on a cruise with herself as her honeymoon.
To think we used to worry about polygamy, and here we have sologamy. What happens if you decide you don’t like you? How do you split the assets of your marriage? How do you divorce?

In scripture we find something a bit more like truth, a bit more real, for those who wish to self identify, and for those who wish to actually mutilate their bodies so that they look like what they say they are. Listen to the words of both Jeremiah the prophet and David the King.
Jer 1:1-10 NKJV The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, (2) to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. (3) It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month. (4) Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: (5) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (6) Then said I: “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” (7) But the LORD said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. (8) Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the LORD. (9) Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. (10) See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.”
Psa 139:13-16 NKJV For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. (14) I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. (15) My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.
In Psalm 139 we are introduced to the knowledge of David, that he was from before birth, known to God. He talks about how the body was knit together in his mothers womb, that from conception all that David was to become was already written. Jeremiah learns from God that before he was born, God had already ordained him as a prophet. Just as David was a king before he was born, so Jeremiah was a prophet.
People in this world have abandoned the truth and adopted the lie. They have decided for themselves what they are, many mutilate themselves to change their physical appearance so that they look like what they say they are. Men into women and women into men. Spending thousands of dollars, enduring quite a bit of pain all so they can change into what they have self identified as. There is of course a problem that our society no longer wants to deal with. DNA, it says you are a male or a female at birth, that does not change, no matter what you do, you cannot change the truth. Of course those who used to try to help people recover their true identity now try to help them with their self identity, and say it is not an aberration, it is their real self.
Of course we now have to remove God from the equation, we cannot allow this God thing to get in the way of what we want to be, what we know we really are. We have our “alternative” life style, and we know that God is but another way of controlling our lives, so we kill God in our souls, and instead become our own god.
Yet how can we ignore God, how can we become our own god? We have to also ignore the wonder of our universe, the wonder of our own planet and our very existence. Our bodies are wonderfully made, everything works together in beautiful symmetry. Think about this, and tell me that you can make this for yourself:
The woman produces an egg the man produces the fertilizing sperm, when they meet together in the womb, a human being is formed. At the moment of conception it is a baby boy or girl, all that this child will be is programmed right into its DNA, God knows every cell in that body, and long before it is born God has seen where it will go and what it will do with all that God has given it as gifts and graces. Of course the man or woman can reject what God has set in motion and live life as he or she sees fit. But the human being that this person is, cannot be changed, it cannot become whatever animal, it chooses. It cannot become a woman when it is already programmed as a man. No matter how hard we try we cannot change the inner reality of who and what we are, that has been ordained from the moment of conception.
Can science create life from nothing? Can science actually tell you how it all works? Think about this, when you are born your body is already functioning and as it grows it also learns how to function better. As you grow your body grows with you. Here is what God programmed into your DNA when you were conceived: 60 trillion cells, 100 thousand miles of nerve fiber, 60 thousand miles of vessels carrying blood around the body, 250 bones, to say nothing of joints, ligaments and muscles. How about that heart that pumps that blood through those vessels. How about that brain, that thing in your skull that solves problems that performs functions constantly all day and night.
How about those lungs that breathe in and out, that feed our bodies with much needed oxygen to keep our blood flowing. How about those fingers and toes, fingers that grasp and hold, toes that help us to walk upright. Do you really think that it all comes from a cosmic accident?
If the big bang theory is correct, who lit the match? Who made the explosive powders that were set off when who lit the match? How does something come from NOTHING? Science cannot make even dirt from thin air, and while we are at it, there was nothing, not even air before the universe was formed. Can science make dirt from NOTHING? So how can we dare to think that we know better than the creator of this universe in which we live?
The first verse in the scripture says it all! “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Next of course is the fact that all living beings on land and sea, were created by God. Men were men and women were women and each knew who and what they were, yet today, that has changed, today men and women think they can change places. Yet a man who changes into a woman, cannot produce an egg, no tubes, no womb, a woman who becomes a man cannot produce sperm, no prostate, no equipment. It is all just decoration, just a fake. We are now making chaos out of order, we are now ignoring the natural so we can celebrate the unnatural.
Today we say we can self identify as whatever we think we are, white people try to say they are black. Men say they are women and women say they are men. People claim to be Native American, whose DNA says that is a falsehood. People are even holding weddings to marry themselves, others are claiming they are animals in human bodies, or children not adults.
Science says this is normal. It is not an aberration, it is not a mental imbalance, even when a boy says he is really a girl so he needs to use the girls locker room at school, and the girls restroom as well. Have you heard any girls saying they are really boys and they want to use the boys restroom and locker room at school?
Our world is chaotic, our world is turning topsy turvy. We used to know who and what we were and are, but today so many of our people no longer are willing to live in reality and so are making their own fantasy world. Now we also see that our young people no longer believe in God. Can you blame them? The people who should be living godly lives, no longer do so. We the so-called adults, no longer act like adults, we want to be children, so we become our own children’s friends so we can hang out together, text each other, live vicariously on Facebook and other social networks. We celebrate the aberrant in our society as normal, and morality continues to become less important than our own lusts.
God is not a lover of Chaos, in Genesis we read this: Gen 1:2 “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” It was chaotic, and God made all that we see around us, and then he made humankind, to cultivate, to control and to care for all that he created: Gen 1:26 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”” God set in motion our lives, and gave us dominion over the earth and all that inhabits it, but not over each other. We are to live and work together to subdue the earth, to make it a good place to live in for ourselves and the animals, birds, fish, even snakes.
Yet, we mess it up, we have not cared for the earth, oh we claim to care, we hear about global warming, but the things we are doing has not changed one thing on the earth. Yes we did clean up our waterways, we stopped dumping sewage into our lakes and rivers, and that was a good thing. We try to clean up the atmosphere, because we claim there is an imbalance and it is causing the earth to get hotter, however, that is not true. Volcanoes put out more pollutants in a year than we can produce in 10 years. Temperatures have not risen in over 10 years. Yes we have a drought here in Texas, and another in California, but these are natural happenings, exacerbated by our own foolishness of trying to improve on God’s work. We also have witnessed excessive snowstorms in the north and east. I grew up in New York City, we used to make snow forts in the winter time and have snow ball fights across the street with the kids on the other side.
We have wars that are devastating whole countries, causing massive calamities, including crop failures and famine. It has nothing to do with global warming, it has to do with our inability to get along with our neighbor, much of it today has to do with oil in the middle east, and people wanting power, and of course those who believe they must exterminate anyone who is not exactly like themselves. Yes I refer here to Muslim Extremists, Jihadi’s if you will. We have returned our world to CHAOS. God is not pleased, our nation has become immoral like the rest of the world, and God is not pleased. One more thing that God has said: 2Ch 7:13-14 NKJV When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, (14) 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.
We are God’s people if we call on His name, and the name of Jesus, and we are a sinful people. First and foremost, we who say we are Christian, Christ people, must recognize that we are sinners, for we have denied God, we have stopped believing in His sovereignty, and instead we pick and choose what parts we will believe and throw out the rest. We have caused this chaos, because we have stopped working for God and working instead for ourselves and our lust.
WE first must humble ourselves, admit our sin, ask forgiveness with a broken and contrite heart, and when God forgives us our sin, we must work for that Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. We must stand against the sin of a world steeped in lust, greed and hatred. We must stand FOR the Kingdom of God and for Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Savior. It is not too late, but we must be willing to pay the price for our Lord, he paid the price for us when he gave his life on the cross at Calvary.
Will you stand for Christ, or are you not willing to stand for the Kingdom? Your choice!

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Day of Vengeance to come
January 29, 2016, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Culture, God, Politics | Tags: , , ,

As a young man I joined the Army at 17 years of age, in 1963 I went through Basic training and then advanced training. I was sent to a place called Dreux in the Normandy area of France. I was there when JFK was assassinated, we thought it was WW 3, we spent a week guarding the perimeter of the base, scared to death that the Soviet army would be coming. Of course that did not happen, but we were really scared. I can imagine that the Jews who had come with Ezra to rebuild the temple felt like that too. They had begun to rebuild the walls as well, and the people in the area around them began to make trouble for them.

Their fear made them stop working on the walls, they also began to assimilate into the people groupings around them, inter-marriage became something that they thought would lessen the animosity against them. They forgot that God had expressly forbidden that type of exercise, they were not to marry outside of their own people. They were not to worship anything other than Yahweh, God, and yet idol worship was beginning to infiltrate their society. The Levites who were the priests left the city and began to work their own farms because the people were not paying their tithes to the temple.

Nehemiah was called by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and in the 2nd chapter we see how forceful he is in getting the people to do just that. In the reading today we see that the people were gathering together and they are ready to hear the word of God read. Ezra read from the book of the Law, but he read in Hebrew, the people no longer spoke Hebrew they had taken up Aramaic in its place. This was the language of the people around them and it was the common language of the day, they could not understand what Ezra was reading. So there were a number of Levites who were explaining in Aramaic what it was that was read, and what it was that Ezra was telling them.
Just an aside here, the reading was from morning until noon and the people stood to hear the words of God. They also worshiped with uplifted hands, then with their heads bowed and looking down at the ground.

As the people heard the word of God, they began to weep, realizing that they were doing wrong in the sight of God. Then they were told that this was to be a feast day to the Lord, that they were to celebrate, but note that their celebration was not only for themselves. They were to make sure that any who had need were to receive a portion from those who had plenty. Our reading ends with the words, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

In Psalm 19 we read about God, that the heavens declare His glory, the heavens is that great expanse that we can see at night. Thousands of stars, thousands of galaxies which we can’t see with just our eyes, but with a telescope we can begin to see it all. Some one once said that if it cost a penny to travel 1000 miles, it would cost $2.38 to travel to the moon, $930 to the sun, and $260 million to travel to the nearest star. The light we see from the Andromeda galaxy shows us where that galaxy was 2 million years ago, that is how long it takes the light from that galaxy to reach us. God created all of that expanse, so yes it does declare His glory.

David ends the psalm with words of praise to God and instruction for God’s people. “Psa 19:7-11 NKJV The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; (8) The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; (9) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (10) More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (11) Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.”

Now we come to Luke 4:14-21. All that has gone before in that which we call The Old Testament, leads up to what we find in the Newer Testament. Jesus has been preaching and teaching in Galilee, and he finally arrives in Nazareth, where he grew to manhood and he goes to the Synagogue on the Sabbath Day, that is Saturday, and he stood up to read. Reading from the scroll of Isaiah “Isa 61:1-2 NKJV “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,”

Let us understand what Jesus is saying here, it is important for us to see that this which he has read is known as the Ministry of the Messiah and when Jesus says “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” He was in the clearest possible manner proclaiming that He was the Messiah of Israel. So what exactly was this mission, this ministry? He came to deal with the great problems of mankind throughout all of history.
Poverty: To preach the gospel to the poor.
Sorrow: To heal the brokenhearted.
Bondage: To proclaim liberty to the captives.
Suffering: Recovery of sight to the Blind.
Oppression: To set at liberty those who are oppressed.

He came to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

The dawning of a new era for this world and its hurting multitudes, he presents himself as the answer to all the ills of the world. No matter what you may think of the ills of the world, Jesus is the answer to them all. It is also significant that he stopped reading with the words “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” the rest of that verse is: “and the day of the vengeance of our God.” The purpose of the first coming of Christ was to proclaim the good news the acceptable year of the Lord. We are living in the present age of grace, we are still able to come before the throne of grace and receive salvation because Jesus came the first time. He came to die and to rise from death into newness of life, so that you and I could see that there was and is a newness of life for us.

The second part of that verse is not yet here, and so we have time to become children of God, it is still the acceptable year of the Lord, but the day is coming when that will end, and then comes the day of the vengeance of our God. None of us knows when that Day of Vengeance will come, but, if we truly believe that Jesus is who he said he is, then it will come! What does this mean for you and I in the time of acceptance? It means we have a job to do, it means that we are to stand in the gap against the forces of darkness, and proclaim that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, that sin leads to death, and Christ leads to life.

How can we stand, how can we come against the forces of darkness? We stand in the power of God, we have been promised the Holy Spirit and the gifts of ability to do the work that God has called each of us into. In 1 Corinthians 12 the apostle Paul speaks of the gifts of the Spirit. 1Co 12:27-30 NKJV Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (28) And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. (29) Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? (30) Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

In the time of Nehemiah and Ezra, individuals would receive the Holy Spirit to help them do the tasks they needed to do, so we see these men and many prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah, working to bring the the people of God to understand that they were moving in wrong directions and needed to work for God not against God. We see the miraculous building of the walls under Nehemiah, and the preaching of the prophets as they struggled with the sins of the people. In today’s reading in the book of Nehemiah, we see that the people are grief stricken by the reading and teaching of the scriptures by Ezra and the Levites.

In the time of Jesus the Spirit still only came upon men as needed and left after the job was done. Today, and since the first Pentecost after the resurrection, the Spirit inhabits each of us as we become believers, children of God. The Spirit helps us and guides us into all righteousness, and away from that which is sinful. Helping to mold and shape us into all that God has for us to be, and giving us the power to work against the forces of evil in the world.

Many people think that we need to kill the people who are the army of ISIS, and I suppose that some of them will have to die in battle, but Jesus himself teaches that we are to pray for our enemies. Pray that they may come to see their wrong and change their ways, and come to Jesus as Savior and Lord. We are also to pray for those who lead our nation, whatever they may be doing and no matter whether we agree or disagree with them, we are to pray for them and ask the Lord to guide and help them to see the right.

I hear a lot of folks talking about how we have to elect the right people to congress and to the state government, yet we have been doing that for many years. Has anything gotten better? The truth is, if we are not involved in the Father’s business, by being in prayer, by standing against immorality of all kinds, by using the resources that God has provided to help the poor, to bring healing to the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind and to set at liberty those who are oppressed. If we are not working to bring people into the kingdom, then we are against God, that is not a good place to be.

We live in a nation that is rushing headlong into hell, can we stand and work to stop that train? If we will not then our nation is doomed to continue on a path that leads to destruction, Jesus said we are to make disciples, have you talked to anyone lately about Jesus? Our purpose is to be the light of the world because we serve the risen Savior of mankind and our lives are to be a reflection of that light. Just as Luke, Paul, Nehemiah, Ezra, Isaiah, Jeremiah and a host of others through all of time have shown the light of God in their own lives and have had an affect on those around them, we too are to shine.
We too are to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, until the time comes when there is no more acceptance, only the day of vengeance of the Lord comes upon this world. We who have come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who have the Holy Spirit of God indwelling us, need to be standing for right, shining the light of Christ into the darkness of this world.

If there is anything in our own lives that goes against the word of God, we need to rid ourselves of that sin, asking God to cleanse us of all unrighteousness, and help us to be warriors for the kingdom. We who profess Jesus as Lord and Savior, should want to share the joy of our salvation with others, so that they too might become as we are, sinners saved by the grace of God. As we look at the stealing, rape, murder and just plain hatred toward one another, we need to first pray, and then act in accordance with the will of God, as it is plainly written in the scriptures.

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All that I have Commanded You – 9
January 15, 2016, 5:14 pm
Filed under: Church Stuff, God | Tags: , , ,

John 15:18-23 NKJV “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. (19) If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (20) Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (21) But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. (22) If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. (23) He who hates Me hates My Father also.

This series would not be complete without a truth that Jesus taught his disciples. That truth is that just because you have become a Christian person does not mean that all things will come to you and you will live a good life, with all that you need to be fulfilled in your person. I know that the scriptures say that all things work to good for those who love the Lord and that is true, but, this teaching in the gospel of John is also truth. You only have to look to the middle east to see that Christians are being persecuted for their faith by the radical Muslim group ISIS. However they are not the only ones who persecute Christians.

Looking at the United States, we find that there is much trouble for Christians here at home, we are told that we must support homosexual marriage, that we must agree with abortion on demand, and allow for other sexual sins as being just another type of life style. This includes man with boys as well as adultery, and the change in morality that says that a person in power can have sex with an employee and it is acceptable. Teachers with students or a President with an intern.
Of course none of this can hold a candle to the darkness that is engulfing the rest of the world. In Europe, we see Christians and Jews being told that they cannot say anything wrong about Muslims, we see the Muslim attacks in Paris, and London, Brussels and Germany on New Years Eve, as hundreds of women were assaulted by Muslim men. Some were raped, some were groped, and the governments in the towns where these things happened hid the truth from the public.

Then there is the middle east where the city of Mosul, which had a Christian presence from the very beginning, around 100 CE, and there are now no more Christians in that city. They either escaped, or were murdered by the adherents of Islam under ISIS. They were told to convert to Islam, leave or die, there is no other choice.

On December 14, 2015 Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote an article in National Review titled “See and Name the Genocide” In the article she quotes from Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus who testified before congress in regard to Iraqi and Syrian Christian refugees from ISIS. He said: “Fear of being slaughtered or enslaved for their faith prevents them from returning home.” “Like the Jews in Nazi Germany, these Christians are escaping genocide. They are being specifically targeted because they put their faith in Jesus Christ.”

Returning to our own nation, I have to make note of the fact that the Obama administration has accepted Muslim refugees, but has sent Christian refugees back to their home countries, to face the terror of extermination. In that context you can say that Christians are no longer welcome in the United States either.

In the past year we have witnessed horrific killings in Islamic held territories. Christian men have been burned to death, had their heads cut off, been drowned and of course shot to death. In Egypt, during the time when the Muslim Brotherhood was in charge, we witnessed actual crucifixions of Christians in the middle of Cairo. All of this violence has been practiced against a people of who try to live by loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.

We are told that the suicide bombers of Islamic radical groups, are martyrs of their faith, true martyrdom however comes when you are confronted with the threat of death unless you convert to Islam. If you refuse to give up your faith in Christ, your throat is cut. Yet thousands have refused to give up Jesus Christ for Allah or Muhammad.

So, Jesus said that persecution would come to those who followed his way and it is for sure coming to pass in this day and time. Here in America, we are told we may not pray in the name of Jesus if we are going to be chaplains. The prayers in the Chaplains book for the American Legion do not use the name of Jesus, on military bases there are now sacred groves for the use of pagans and witches. There is even a movement afoot now to have atheist chaplains, a bit of an oxymoron in my book, but there it is. There have been children expelled from school, not for using curse words, for acting badly, but for wearing a Christian tee shirt, or refusing to remove a cross.

Prayer of course is strictly banned in many schools across the country, and there are schools where they make the children wear Muslim garb and recite the pillars of Islam, and pray to Allah. If they were forced to pray to Jesus it would bring cries of outrage, but to Allah not so much. We will have to go a bit further to see true persecution, that will come though it is only a matter of time.

Jesus also taught the disciples this:
Mat 5:10-12 NKJV Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (11) “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. (12) Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Persecution is coming to our nation, whether we realize it or not, we who follow Jesus Christ, are out of step with our society. We believe that there is a moral code to be followed, that sin leads to hell for all eternity, and that following Jesus leads to eternal life in heaven. There are real penalties associated with sinful living, hell being the end result. Will we Christians live abundant lives? Depends on what you know about abundance, for me, it is a resounding YES! Not because I will be rich or famous, but I will come face to face with my savior and Lord one day. I know that my Lord walks with me through all the stuff that life throws at me. I have a wife who loves me, brothers and sisters (in the Lord) who I love and who love me as well, because Jesus loved us all enough to die for us, to pay our price for our sins. He also sealed the deal when he rose from the dead to show us that we too would one day rise with him into eternity.

I have an abundance of love in my life and that gives me all the riches I could possibly want in this life. I know that my redeemer lives, and that my future is secure in Jesus Christ, fully Man and fully God.

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A Dying Nation
August 10, 2015, 8:07 am
Filed under: Culture, Politics | Tags: , , , ,

Over the last 70 years I have watched our nation change from a country that offered everyone a chance to realize their dream, to a balkanized chaotic place where government becomes the parent. You no longer have to work hard, the Federal government welfare programs will take care of your needs. If you do want to get ahead the government will loan you the money to go to college, where you will not learn how to live and work, but rather how to become a socialist and live off the dwindling working class.

I was born in 1945, I grew up in a nation that was becoming truly integrated, it took a few years and a brilliant man named Martin Luther King Jr. to actually move us to the place where the Declaration of Independence statement that all men are created equal, became a reality. It happened and since then we have moved in positive directions most of the time, but lately, say the last 20 – 25 years, we have begun to move away from a moral society, to a society that looks more like George Orwell’s 1984.

I have to make note here that this has been happening since the so-called sexual revolution of the late 1960’s, that is when drugs and sex became more popular than law and morality. It also has led us to today, where “medical” marijuana, rap music and other forms of gratuitous forms of radicalism have become the norm. Note that this mention of marijuana as a form of radicalism is intentional. It has been shown in scientific experiments that marijuana is at least as harmful as cigarettes, and alcohol, and yet politically it has become advantageous to approve of its use, it does dumb down the population and they vote for more relaxing of moral standards.

The United States was formed as a Republic, not as a democracy. It was deliberately formed by the founders to keep the Federal (central) government contained. It was to be a country where all the power was held in the hands of the people, not governments. A careful reading of our founding documents, tells us that power not given to the Federal government, belongs to the States and / or to the people. The founders of the nation also realized that in order for this to work, it required a moral and educated people. It was quite successful over the first 200 years of existence, but it has, over the last quarter century fallen apart. Morality is no more, it is interesting that we now are even doing away with gender type labels on products, because we now allow people to choose their own gender.

Of course in the process we have had to remove certain items from our culture. Bibles can no longer be openly carried in schools, you may not write a book report on the Bible or on any work which can be considered Christian. The 10 Commandments have been removed from courtrooms, and public facilities, because they are offensive to some of our population. There is even a movement to remove crosses from federal cemeteries. Having children dress in Muslim clothing, and act as Muslims is considered correct, but to wear a T-shirt to school that talks of Jesus is grounds for expulsion. Freedom of speech, is now governed by fiat, certain forms of speech are no longer acceptable as they are offensive to some members of society, God of course is one of those words that are increasingly not allowed in public.

Of course, I still wonder when speech became destruction of property. It seems that if you want to burn, walk on, or otherwise destroy the American Flag, or bibles or other items it is also free speech.
Of course free speech now includes pornography, destructive speech disguised as music, where the N word is acceptable, where women are denigrated and referred to as whores, where cops are denigrated as pigs and other terms. This is probably the greatest immoral trash to be foisted on the American public of any of the now acceptable immorality that flows freely within our society.

The other side of this coin is the banning of certain terms of speech because they are offensive, and certain organizations because they are not following the PC rules. I note that many of our Higher learning establishments are beginning to ban people from speaking, because it hurts the sensibilities of the latest liberal/socialist/fascist crowd on campus. Most times it is conservatives who are banned. This kind of nonsense allows communists to speak at graduation ceremonies but not conservative Americans. I am ashamed at those who banned Condoleezza Rice from speaking because they held her to be offensive.

Since when is a College or University, concerned about offensive views? I thought these institutions were all about free exchange of ideas. Of course these days, the only ideas that are acceptable are those espoused by socialist professors, and by hate mongers such as the so-called “Reverend” Al Sharpton.

One of the reasons for removal of the 10 Commandments from public view, is so the abortion industry can continue murdering babies, and as we have lately seen, selling the body parts to so called research institutions. The 6th Commandment is “you shall not murder.” I know that many of you know it as “thou shalt not kill.” but the truth is the underlying hebrew is “ratsach” and its meaning is somewhat more graphic than kill, it means to “dash in pieces”. Isn’t that what the abortionists do?

How about the next one, “you shall not commit adultery” that one sure trips up a mess of folks, especially in places like Hollywood, that is one place where immorality runs rampant. They even like to flaunt their vulgarity, women who are accomplished actresses showing as much of their bodies as they can, parading down the red carpet offering themselves to whoever can pay the price. Singers, with truly beautiful voices wearing next to nothing so they can be more popular, exhibiting their bodies as objects, rather than their voice and their talent as gifts to the world.

Our nation is rapidly heading into the scrap heap of history, as one more example of destruction from within. It is a shame, but we have thrown out our country so we can become like all other nations, we have not learned from history what happens when you give up your morals, for popularity. Where your god becomes fame, money and yourself, and the true God the one who has blessed this nation for over 250 years is thrown out like trash. Those who we look to as the founders of this nation came here for reasons of freedom. Freedom to worship, freedom to work and increase in wealth by their own knowledge and ethics. Whatever you may like to think about this nation, our founders formed us as men who knew God, those who tell you different have an agenda to destroy the basis of our nation. We were formed under the learning of these men, learning that included the Bible, the law of God and both Hebrew and Christian mores. They knew this verse from the Psalms:
Psa 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance. (NKJV) We forget these things to our own peril. Wake up America, before there is no more America.



Life – all life matters
August 3, 2015, 1:36 pm
Filed under: Culture, God | Tags: , , ,

I hear people talking about how “black lives matter”, that is true, but so are those who skin tone is yellow, or white or whatever color. You see, when you say, lives matter, no matter the color, I have to ask you: Why do you murder your babies? If life matters then abortion is wrong, you see, you are trying to say that lives matter except when the interfere with your own life. That doesn’t make sense, especially since you are punishing that baby for your own actions, or for the action of someone else. They baby is innocent, yet you are stealing its life, to please yourself, or to punish the rapist or the family member who abused you. The baby did nothing to you, it did not ask to be in your womb, yet its life doesn’t matter, you can punish that baby, because you can’t punish your abuser, or won’t admit that you made a mistake, and give that baby a chance at life. Please stop claiming that life matters is you are pro-“choice” which of course means pro abortion, or as I like to think of it, pro murder.

As a Christian I believe that all people are important to God. Their sin is what keeps them away from God. God has said, do not kill, the better translation is do not murder. God has made people in His image, male and female are in the image of God. Yet society wants to change this perfection of God into sinful activity. God made men and women to fit together, for procreation as well as for intimacy in marriage.

I grew up in a much different world, I was born in 1945, 70 years ago, I served my country during the Vietnam war, and I gave 12 years total of my life to my country. Yet now I wonder if it was worth it. I grew up in an integrated neighborhood, I remember Dr. Martin Luther King and his peaceful demonstrations against the discrimination that existed. I remember when the Republicans passed the Civil Rights act, not the Democrats, yet I note that Black citizens give their votes to the Democrats. I don’t know why, but I know it is true. Of course today it pretty much doesn’t matter as the Party of the Elephant has become Democrat lite, both parties seem to be for bigger government, more intrusion into our lives, more spending on boondoggle projects. 18.5 Trillion in debt and counting. Yes the deficit has gone down, but 500 billion gets added to the debt each year. You see the deficit, is only the difference between what is received in taxes and what is spent by politicians.

Yes I seem to be all over the place, but the reality is, that the government is not making things better. The Federal Government is making things worse, by keep our borders unprotected, by forcing companies to go out of business, by changing the rules every year. Obama is issuing an order that will in effect destroy the coal industry, that means thousands out of work so he can take care of the billionaires who fund democratic election campaigns. All for a lie about global warming. I grew up as I said during the 50’s through the 70’s. I remember then that it was fear of another Ice Age. Of course back then we had lots of snow in the winter. These climate people were wrong then and they are wrong now.

Folks if lives matter, and they do, why have we changed course over the last 30-40 years. Yes there were those who hated this or that group, in other words racists, but today, it seems we have forgotten all the progress that was made in this nation. I still remember when Jackie Robinson came to the big leagues, there were many in the south and some in the north too, who did not want him in the big leagues. Today we celebrate all athletes, except those who mistreat other people, but hey I love to watch football, I am so glad to see that today we have more than one black coach in the league, we have more than one black quarterback also. Business, companies have black leadership in them all over the country, it is a good thing. Not only that, but, this mantra of the Democrats that women are not treated equally in business. Please, give me a break, there are women CEO’s, Chair of the Board of Directors and other high positions in many of the businesses in our nation.

Lives matter, ALL lives matter because we all need one another if this country of ours is to prosper and grow. We also need to look again at what has happened as we have thrown God out of our schools, and public places just so we could satisfy a small minority of people. Our nation has become more and more lawless, we now have greater immorality than ever before, and we allow things that the great empires of the past would never allow. We have done away with morality, and replaced it with hatred, road rage, abortion, sexual immorality of all kinds pornography and worst of all, Child pornography. We actually allow people to speak of allowing for incestuous marriage, brother and sister marriage, men and boys, and other types of sexual immorality that just 30 years ago was unthinkable and criminal. That says to me that lives matter only as long as they do not interfere with our immorality.

Understand this, because of all this, God is not blessing our nation, until and unless we repent of our sin and turn from the horror of our national obsession with narcissism, turn to God again as a nation, God abhors sin in all its forms. God cannot bless a country that will not bless God. Soon and very soon destruction of our way of life will become a reality, and we too will be swept into the dustbin of history as we deserve.

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