Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

“To The Ruin of the Hearers.” – 2 Timothy 2:14c

December 28, 2017

It is a tremendous privilege to share the Gospel of Christ; to share and explain Bible verses to those who may not have studied the Word of God diligently.  It is also an extreme responsibility for the Christian teacher to “get it right.”  How does a Christian achieve this?  I think that 2 Timothy 2 gives us much insight, and I will also share some applicable commentary from David Guzik at Blue Letter Bible.

2Ti 2:10
Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

2Ti 2:11
This is a faithful saying:

For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.

2Ti 2:12
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.

2Ti 2:13
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.

2Ti 2:14
Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.

David Guzik:

c. To the ruin of the hearers: This shows that it is a serious matter and there is much to lose. If we take the focus off the message of God, and put the focus on human opinions and endless debates, it will result in the ruin of the hearers.

i. The Bible says, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Yet if people do not hear the word of God, then ruin comes by hearing the opinions and speculations and entertainment of man.

Guzik stresses that we NOT focus on human opinions and endless debates.  Why?  Because it will result in the ruin of the hearers!  Why?  Because if all that people are subjected to is “the opinions and speculations and entertainment of man,” then they won’t hear the Word of God.

The crux of the matter is this:  we must be diligent, approved unto God so we are not ashamed; and in order to do this we must be “rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2Ti 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

In the very next verse, we are told to:

2Ti 2:16
But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

This, my dear readers, is why there are those who claim to be Christian, but they are far removed from Christ because they reject the teachings of the Bible and lead others to “more ungodliness” because they do not “shun profane and idle babblings.”

David Guzik:

2. (2Ti 2:15) Keep focused; pay attention to your own life and ministry.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

a. Be diligent: Paul often had to exhort Timothy to courage and action. Earlier in the chapter (2 Timothy 2:3-5), Paul encouraged him to hard work and endurance for the service of the Lord.

b. To present yourself approved to God: Timothy’s goal was not to present himself approved to people, but to God. He wasn’t to regard the job of being a pastor as a popularity contest but instead as a call to faithfulness to God.

c. To present yourself approved to God: Timothy wasn’t to worry so much about presenting other people approved to God (though there was a place for this in his pastoral ministry). His first concern had to be to present himself approved to God.

d. A worker who does not need to be ashamed: It is embarrassing to do a job poorly and then to have your work examined. The Bible warns us that the work of each Christian will be examined at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). Therefore we have another motivation to work diligently for the Lord, so we will not be ashamed when our work is examined.

i. “It is better explained as a workman who has no cause for shame when his work is being inspected.” (White)

e. Rightly dividing the word of truth: This was to be a focus of Timothy’s hard work. He was to work hard so he could rightly divide the word of God.

i. Timothy, as a faithful pastor, was to be rightly dividing God’s Word. That is, he had to know what it said and didn’t say, and how it was to be understood and how it was not to be understood. It wasn’t enough for Timothy to know some Bible stories and verses and sprinkle them through his sermons as illustrations. His teaching was to be a “right dividing” of the Word of God, correctly teaching his congregation.

ii. “Swords are meant to cut and hack, and wound, and kill with, and the word of truth is for pricking men in the heart and killing their sins. The word of God is not committed to God’s ministers to amuse men with its glitter, nor to charm them with the jewels in its hilt, but to conquer their souls for Jesus.” (Spurgeon)

iii. Rightly dividing has several ideas associated with the ancient term.

· Rightly handle the Word of God, as one would rightly handle a sword.
· Plow straight with the Word of God, properly presenting the essential doctrines.
· Properly dissect and arrange the Word of God, as a priest would dissect and arrange and animal for sacrifice.
· Allot to each their portion, as someone distributing food at a table.

f. Rightly dividing: This also means there is such a thing as wrongly dividing; not everyone cuts it straight. We must understand that Biblical truth is not just an issue left up to everyone’s interpretation. There is a right way and a wrong way to understand the Bible, and a pastor especially must work hard to master the right interpretation.

i. For example, many people love to say when the Bible is quoted, “Well, that’s just your interpretation.” Their idea is, “You interpret the Bible your way, I interpret it my way, and another person interprets it their way. We can never really know what it means, so don’t judge me with your Bible verse.”

ii. When someone tells me, “That’s just your interpretation,” I think in response: “It’s true that it is my interpretation, but it isn’t just my interpretation, it is the correct interpretation, and we need to pay attention to what the Bible says correctly interpreted.”

iii. This is an important point: The Bible does not mean just what anyone wants it to mean. There may be many people trying to twist the Scriptures to their own ends, but they are wrongly dividing the word of truth. We can’t just pick the interpretation that seems most comfortable to us, and claim it as true – it must be rightly dividing the word of truth, and it must be consistent with what the Bible says in the specific passage and with the entire message of the Scriptures.

iv. For example, a correct interpretation of Matthew 7:1 (Judge not, that you be not judged) is not the idea of “You have no right to judge my behavior or any one else’s behavior.” If this were the case, then Jesus repeatedly broke His own commandment, because He often told people their behavior was wrong in the sight of God. The correct understanding of Matthew 7:1 is easily seen by reading Matthew 7:2: For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you. Jesus was saying “Don’t judge anyone by a standard you are not willing to be judged by. God will hold you to the same standard you hold others to.” This clearly does not forbid judging someone else’s life, but it does prohibit doing it unfairly or hypocritically, or living with a judgmental attitude.

v. The point is clear: There is a right way and a wrong way to divide the Matthew 7:1, which is one verse in the word of truth. Every Christian, but pastors especially, must work hard to be rightly dividing the word of truth. Though perfection in understanding God’s word is impossible, and should never be assumed, we should still work hard at it.

3. (2Ti 2:16-18) The price of not keeping focus: The faith of some is overthrown.

But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

a. But shun profane and vain babblings: This refers to anything that takes the focus off of the gospel and God’s Word. These babblings are profane because they are unholy in contrast to the holiness of God’s Word. They are vain, because even though people like to hear them, they don’t have lasting value.

i. Man’s opinions, man’s teachings, man’s opinion polls, man’s stories, man’s programs, are all profane and vain babblings compared to the simple Word of God. When these things become the focus of the message from the pulpit, it will increase to more ungodliness.

b. Their message will spread like cancer: The message of profane and vain babblings may spread quickly and be popular. They are like a cancer that spreads fast and captures an audience.

i. Who in 2 Timothy 2:18 “Implies that Hymenaeus and Philetus were only the more conspicuous members of a class of false teachers.” (White)

c. Hymenaeus and Philetus: Hymenaeus is mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20 as a man whom Paul delivered to Satan that [he] may learn not to blaspheme. This is the only place where we hear of Philetus, and here Paul tells us of their error.

i. They were of this sort – that is, they had a message full of profane and vain babblings, and apparently the message was somewhat popular, because it spread quickly.

ii. They had strayed concerning the truth: Apparently, they started out correctly, and then strayed from that correct position.

iii. They were saying that the resurrection is already past: It seems they were teaching that we were already in God’s millennial kingdom, or that there was no resurrection to come – it had already occurred.

iv. They did overthrow the faith of some: Though the only false doctrine Paul mentioned regarding these two is that they taught that the resurrection is already past, the effect was to overthrow the faith of some. Undoubtedly, this was not their only error; and a fundamental error in such an area often leads to many more strange beliefs, until one has abandoned Jesus and His truth all together.

v. Many today accept and honor teachers who are way off in one area or another; and they justify it by saying, “I eat the meat and spit out the bones.” This kind of thinking will certainly overthrow the faith of some, because some will certainly choke to spiritual death on the bones you say you spit out.

vi. Notice Paul said, they overthrow the faith of some. We shouldn’t require that everyone be led astray by a teacher before we avoid them; even if some are having their faith overthrown, it is bad enough.

So, we can see clearly in this portion of Scripture how VERY IMPORTANT it is to “rightly divide God’s Word!”  Why?  Because:

[a]nd a fundamental error in such an area often leads to many more strange beliefs, until one has abandoned Jesus and His truth all together.

Hat tip:  David Guzik commentary at Blue Letter Bible.

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Stretch Out Your Hand

December 13, 2017

 

When a person refuses to discuss his or her grievances in person and/or refuses to hear the other side of an argument that has developed during a conflict that has arisen,  what can be done?

I don’t think that anything can be done until the person refusing to talk it out is willing to sit down and discuss the grievances that exist.  Silence is not a solution.  Staying angry, playing games of trite types of communication (e.g. emailing someone, getting a reply from that person, then not replying back for several days or weeks) isn’t helpful; it’s harmful.  Continuing to ignore the requests for conversation with the hope for conflict resolution with the people involved is not a solution.

Someone I know tried to re-establish communications with her son through her daughter-in-law.  Apparently, both of them have been ignoring her plea (as well as the pleas from her husband and their daughter, the son’s sister) for dialogue for five weeks now.  The mom thought that if she could touch the heart of her daughter-in-law, maybe her son would consider speaking with his mom again.  Here is what she wrote (with name changes as requested):

Dear Aurora,

Since Carey has blocked me (on text, email, phone calls and Facebook) I am appealing to you to encourage him to talk with us.  His request to avoid “unhealthy communication” and to not cross certain “boundaries” can easily be discussed and resolved, but not when communication of any kind is completely cut off.  In the spirit of the celebration of our dear Savior’s birth, it is my prayer and hope that you and Carey can forgive us and be willing to start healing.

I pray you will join me in claiming 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18.  When people intentionally or unintentionally hurt us, as Christians we are not to repay by hurting them back, but rather to “always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.”  Verse 5:18 says, “For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

God bless and hope to see you and Carey soon.

In Jesus,

Mom 

Unfortunately, the mom thinks that maybe her daughter-in-law also blocked her on email, phone, text, and Facebook; so that message didn’t make it through.

What can be done when there is no modicum for respect left for this mom, dad, and the rest of the family?

The term “anger” appears in the NKJV of the Bible 233 times in 228 verses.  In the New Testament we are told:

I think that one of the most interesting accounts regarding “anger” and one that can be a lesson for the “hardness of hearts” that can happen within family disputes, is in Mark 3:1-6. This portion of Scripture is about Jesus healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. Take special note of what the Pharisees did as a result of the healing.

Mar 3:1


And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand.

Mar 3:2
So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.

Mar 3:3
And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.”

Mar 3:4
Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent.

Mar 3:5
And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.[fn]

Mar 3:6
Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

The Pharisees hated Jesus, and despite the miracle that they had just witnessed, their anger towards God’s Son made their hearts so hardened that all they wanted to do was to plot how they might destroy Him!  See how easily anger can be turned into sin?

David Guzik’s commentary on this portion of Scripture gives us more insight.

Here is a relevant part of the commentary:

Quote:

a. A man was there who had a withered hand: “The man’s hand was withered, but God’s mercy had still preserved to him the use of his feet: he uses them to bring him to the public worship of God, and Jesus meets and heals him there. How true is the proverb – It is never so all with us, but it might be much worse!” (Clarke)

b. They watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath: The critics of Jesus expected Him to heal this man with the withered hand. By their expectation, they admitted that Jesus had the power of God to work miracles. Knowing this, they watched Him closely… so that they might accuse Him. They knew what Jesus could do, yet their knowledge didn’t draw them to Jesus. It was as if a man could fly, but the authorities wanted to know if he had a pilot’s license.

i. The religious leaders watched Jesus closely but with no heart of love for Him. They knew about Jesus, but they did not know Him.

ii. They also knew Jesus would do something when He saw this man in need. In this sense, these critics had more faith than many of us, because we sometimes doubt that Jesus wants to meet the needs of others.

c. Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill? In His question to the religious leaders, Jesus emphasized the truth about the Sabbath: there is never a wrong day to do something truly good.

i. According to their Sabbath traditions, if you cut your finger, you could stop the bleeding – but you could not put ointment on the cut. You could stop it from getting worse, but you weren’t allowed to make it better.

d. He had looked around them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts: This is one of the few places where Jesus is described as having anger, and He was angry at the hardness of men’s hearts.

i. Jesus was angry because this was a perfect opportunity for these critics of His to change their minds about Him and their traditions. But they refused to change their minds, and rejected Jesus instead. In this we can see that Jesus deliberately used this occasion to provoke a response. Jesus could have done this the next day. Jesus could have done it privately. But He chose to do it at this time and place.

e. Stretch out your hand: In this, Jesus commanded the man with the withered hand to do something impossible – to move his paralyzed hand. But as the man put forth effort, God did the rest. God never commands us without enabling us.

i. “This man might have reasoned thus: ‘Lord, my hand is withered; how then can I stretch it out? Make it whole first, and afterwards I will do as thou commandest.’ This may appear reasonable, but in his case it would have been foolishness. At the command of the Lord he made the effort, and in making it the cure was effected!” (Clarke)

f. The Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him: Jesus did nothing but a wonderful miracle. In response, two parties of former enemies (the Pharisees and the Herodians) agreed together in one cause: to destroy Jesus.

i. “The Herodians were not a religious party; they were a group of Jews who were sympathetic to King Herod and supported his rule.” (Wiersbe) /unquote

*******

So, how does this relate to the anger of the son towards his family for “unhealthy communications” and crossing “boundaries?”

In this way.  The son, just like the man with the withered hand, must make the first move to reap the rewards of healing.

Note, again:

e. Stretch out your hand: In this, Jesus commanded the man with the withered hand to do something impossible – to move his paralyzed hand. But as the man put forth effort, God did the rest. God never commands us without enabling us.

Choices: The undermining daughter-in-law dilemma

December 10, 2017

I wasn’t aware of how pervasive this problem is until I read the article linked below. It was very disheartening to read, “The dynamics of a family can be torn apart by selfish choices made by adult children.”

In the past, I thought that the Millennial adult children of Baby-Boomer parents often got “a bad rap” when it comes to discussions of their behavior towards their parents.  Many of these grown-up adult children are married and having children of their own.  Those adult children who have been brought up in a Christian home, generally still have much love, respect, and gratefulness for their now-aging parents; and all are enjoying the great relationships being developed between parents, grandparents and grandchildren.

However, when a son marries and is then taken in by the influence of say, an undermining daughter-in-law; it can cause huge damage, sorrow, and grief upon the parents that he once may have loved, respected and honored throughout his life. The situation can be especially egregious when this type of daughter-in-law claims to be a Christian.

Excerpt:

Author Anne Kathryn Killinger decided to share her grief with others as well as shed some light on the subject. She contacted numerous grandparents who lamented of similar problems. Killinger shares these stories in her new book, “A Son is a Son Till He Gets a Wife: How Toxic Daughters-in-law Destroy Families.”

Many daughters-in-law today are selfish, possessive and narcissistic, and will not rest until they have divorced their husbands from the parents who raised them. It’s a deceptively gradual process, and half the time, you don’t even realize it has happened until it’s too late. It starts with her taking all of the phone calls for the family, or the canceling of trips to visit family. Soon, phone calls go unreturned, and finally you realize that your son is no longer your son. He’s just some other woman’s husband.”

I read several of the reviews and comments about Killinger’s book.  About 9 were positive, with many readers of the comments indicating that the reviews were helpful.  One estranged mother wrote:

Did your loving son change once he found her? This book will help ease your pain by educating you that your son is the victim of mind control and that you are not alone in your suffering. This book is a start to helping you understand what is happening to your precious son.

There were also some very negative reviews and nasty comments directed at the author.

Each person’s experience is not the same.  Some people choose to remain suffering in silence.  Others, want to find ways to ease the pain.

I have not read the book, but since it was referenced in the article I wanted to let readers know that I can’t recommend it to everyone.  However, for the purposes of this post and those parents who have been blindsided by sudden estrangement and are so grieved and sad that their son will no longer talk with them or see them; perhaps that book might help them see that they are not alone.

Surprisingly, a therapist who was mentioned in the article suggests that, “this trend is another result of the pampered Baby Boomer generation.”

The author of the article says, “Perhaps.”

Yes.  It might depend upon individual upbringing and experiences.

I’m wondering if that therapist is making the claim that the Baby Boomer generation parents coddled their children too much and gave them everything that they needed if they had the means to do so?  Or, could it have been that they were given “their way” too often; even at the expense of allowing them to think that they are more superior than others?  Is that why she is blaming that today’s young people project a certain attitude of superiority, act impatient, are disdainful, and highly critical?

The article takes a look at “impatient tolerance.”

Some daughters-in-law “tolerate” their husband’s family and this impatient tolerance is apparent. It is uncomfortable to be in the presence of someone you feel is only tolerating you.

[Perhaps] power and control are what these controlling daughters-in-law desire, but why do the sons allow this to take place?

Good question!  Why do the sons allow this to take place?  There could be a myriad of reasons.  Perhaps the wife gave him an ultimatum like, “it’s either me or your parents.”  Perhaps the wife has parents of her own who have encouraged their daughter to get her husband to abandon his parents, simply because they don’t like them?  One of the worst examples that I have found about reasons why a son could be brain-washed into abandoning his parents is for so-called “religious” reasons.

A family and their daughter who hold to superior “feelings” that their religious beliefs are higher than the son’s family’s religious beliefs can use wretched “counseling” techniques in order to convince him to break his bond with his parents.  If they are a genuine Christian family, then why would they encourage their son-in-law to ignore God’s Commandment to “Honor thy father and thy mother?”

For example, note what this mom had to say in her response letter to her son who requested in an email not to be contacted by his parents anymore:

“What you wrote sounds like thoughts that came from someone else; someone with the intention to manipulate you under a false narrative and under the guise of convincing you that they are “counseling” you to realize that all the years spent with your parents have been detrimental for your life. This is what people in a disordered state of mind do in order to make someone like you think that your lifelong relationship with your parents and/or family members are totally bad and need to be completely discarded from their lives!  Reminds me of what a “quasi-religious organization using devious psychological techniques to gain and control adherents” would do!”

Someone who thinks of themselves as a “self-taught counselor” who twists Scripture from its truthful and genuine meaning and uses “devious psychological techniques” to control someone is guilty of being a false prophet.  Note what Jesus warns in this verse:

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 7:15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

The “quasi-religious organization” quote above is another way to describe a cult!

Let’s go back to the article and reveal a quote from Killinger’s book:

Killinger and her husband John, a minister, believe that over time, withholding daughters-in-law have implemented a form of mind control techniques on their husbands and their children. “The same techniques that apply to the manipulation of a person in a group or cult, according to all the authorities on mind control, apply to individuals with ‘battered person syndrome.'”

Wow!  “Battered person syndrome.”  Could it be that a person may not even recognize when he or she is being battered by someone; especially when it’s someone they love?   I think so.  I have an elderly relative who has chosen to quietly suffer within such a bad relationship for years by her single, angry, and manipulative son.  Yet, when evidence of such abuse is pointed out by others, this particular mom refuses to recognize it.  I’m so sad for her!  However, this has been her choice for many years and apparently, no one can talk her out of it.

Back to the topic.  Sadly, many of the parents of adult married children who have suffered from “withholding daughters-in-law who have implemented a form of mind control technique on their husbands” have also lost access to their grandchildren.

From the article:

“Wives of male children have the supreme power to withhold this access.

This is truly a grievous and very sad state of affairs.

From the article:

“Grandparents provide a balance in grandchildren’s lives that no one else can replicate.  Studies have shown that multi-generational contact between children and their grandparents provide a special unconditional love and nurturing which is healthy for children.”

So, what does God’s Word have to say about all of this?

David Guzik at Blue Letter Bible has a great commentary regarding the fifth commandment of God:

B. Six commandments regarding our conduct before God and man.

1. (Exo 20:12) The fifth commandment: Honor your father and your mother.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

a. Honor your father and your mother: This command is wise and good, because honor for parents is an essential building block for the stability and health of all society. If the younger generations are constantly at war with older generations, the foundations of society will be destroyed.

i. To honor one’s parents includes to prize them, to care for them, and to show respect or reverence to them. The command is given to children, but not for only while they are children. “This is not a popular doctrine in our modern world, where youth is worshipped, and old age dreaded or despised. The result is the folly by which men or women strive to remain eternally youthful, only to find it an impossible task.” (Cole)

ii. Jesus used the way the Pharisees interpreted this commandment as an example of how one might keep the law with a limited interpretation yet violate the spirit of the commandment (Matthew 15:3-6).

 

 

 

b. That your days may be long: In Ephesians 6:2 Paul repeated this command, emphasizing the promise stated here, that your days may be long upon the land. Rebellion is costly, and many have paid a high price personally for their rebellion against their parents.

i. “A good child lengtheneth his father’s days; therefore God promiseth to lengthen his.” (Trapp)

Hat tips to all links.

“The Woman Taken in Adultery” – Truth2Freedom’s Blog

November 28, 2017

Truth 2 Freedom’s blog has a great essay up today on The Woman Taken in Adultery.

I suggest going to the link above and reading the entire essay. Here is just a portion of what is written there:

Sin’s Horror

First, the story reveals sin’s horror. And, of course, I do not mean the sin of the woman. I mean the sin of the rulers. Adultery is sin, certainly. The woman was guilty of adultery. But compared to the sin of the men who were using her in an attempt to trap Jesus, her sin was minimal—a mote in her eye compared to the beams that were in their eyes (Matt. 7:1–5).

To understand precisely what these men were doing we must understand that not only was their approach to Jesus a trap; they actually had already been active in trapping the woman. In fact, it could hardly be otherwise, on the basis of their testimony and in light of the very exacting requirements of Jewish law in this and other capital cases. Under Jewish law, as it was practiced by the rabbis in the time of Christ and later, it was necessary to have multiple witnesses to the act of intercourse before the charge of adultery could be substantiated, and even this was to be under the most exacting of circumstances. Thus, as one scholar points out, “There is absolutely no question of [the witnesses] having seen the couple in a ‘compromising situation,’ for example, coming from a room in which they were alone, or even lying together on the same bed. The actual physical movements of the couple must have been capable of no other explanation, and the witnesses must have seen exactly the same acts at exactly the same time, in the presence of each other, so that their dispositions would be identical in every respect.”

Under these conditions the obtaining of evidence in adultery would be almost impossible were the situation itself not a setup. We are justified in supposing that the liaison had been arranged, perhaps by the very man who committed adultery with the woman. Was he a member of the Sanhedrin? Whatever the case, the arrangement must have involved the posting of witnesses in the room or at the keyhole.

We see the horror of the sin of these men in another way too. For the fact that only the woman was brought to Jesus reveals their dishonesty. If adultery could be proved only by the testimony of witnesses who had seen the couple in the very act of adultery and if this is what the rulers were claiming, as they were, where then was the man in the story? Why was he not brought with the woman? At the least, the rulers allowed the man to escape. At the worst, the man had been in on the plotting and had been granted immunity beforehand. How horrible! Yes, but it is only the old case of the double standard that exists still today. Men should take their stand with the women in such cases, confessing their share of the guilt, which is usually greater anyway. But they do not. The poor woman had to bear the shame alone.

God of Circumstances

The horror of sin is not the only subject these verses introduce, however. They also reveal the mastery by God of all circumstances.

I love that last sentence.  “They also reveal the mastery by God of all circumstances.”

My comment at the link:

Great essay on the encounter with the adulterous woman and how Jesus dealt with it. I learned several new things about this portion of Scripture, especially when you wrote:

Some suggest that this was a symbolic action, intended to remind the accusers of Jeremiah 17:13—“O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust.”

It makes me wonder whether or not any of the accusers in this encounter genuinely saw the need to repent of their sins.   Or, did they just drop the stones because they knew that they were guilty of sin in their lives. The feeling of guilt does not necessarily bring someone to the point where they see their individual need for repentance.

If they were not truly sorrowful for their sins, then what happened was that it probably made them even more bitter towards Jesus for having their sinful guilt pointed out by Him. The prophetic verse of Jeremiah 17:13 applies very well here.

Hat tip:  Truth2Freedom’s Blog

Outwit Infinite Wisdom and Countermine Providence Itself?

October 19, 2017

Kingsjester’s blog is one of my favorites because his posts are very informative and his analyses of what is truly going on in the “hearts of men” are spot on.

His latest post:

Soros Gives $18 Billion to His Open Society Institute to Fund Special Interest Groups Including “The Resistance” does not disappoint, and serves as a warning regarding the evil resistance that Soros continues to perpetuate against our Constitutional Republic.

One day, an unbeliever like Soros will die and realize:

When I returned from babysitting my sweet almost-2-years-old granddaughter yesterday evening, my husband asked me if I heard about the $18 billion dollar donation that the evil billionaire “donated” to his Open Society Institute.   I told him that I heard of it, but didn’t know the details yet.  Kingsjester’s blog gave me the needed details to share in this post.

My comment there:

Very good analysis and explanation of what Soros is all about and the evil that he is continually doing through wreaking havoc upon our nation; as well as the lies he is trying to perpetuate under the fake, dishonest, and anti-God guise of doing “good.”

After reading your essay, this verse came to mind:

Isa 5:20

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Soros and his evil minions are perfect examples of this! I truly pity those who have been so blinded by Satan that they think that this horrible man is doing “good.”

Here at my blog, I also want to share part of a commentary from Blue Letter Bible on that particular Bible verse written by Matthew Henry:

Note, Those that willfully persist in sin consider not the power of God’s anger.

  • 3. Who confound and overthrow the distinctions between moral good and evil, who call evil good and moral evil (v. 20), who not only live in the omission of that which is good, but condemn it, argue against it, and, because they will not practice it themselves, run it down in others, and fasten invidious epithets upon it-not only do that which is evil, but justify it, and applaud it, and recommend it to others as safe and good. Note,
    • (1.) Virtue and piety are good, for they are light and sweet, they are pleasant and right; but sin and wickedness are evil; they are darkness, all the fruit of ignorance and mistake, and will be bitterness in the latter end.
    • (2.) Those do a great deal of wrong to God, and religion, and conscience, to their own souls, and to the souls of others, who misrepresent these, and put false colours upon them-who call drunkenness good fellowship, and covetousness good husbandry, and, when they persecute the people of God, think they do him good service-and, on the other hand, who call seriousness ill-nature, and sober singularity ill-breeding, who say all manner of evil falsely concerning the ways of godliness, and do what they can to form in men’s minds prejudices against them, and this in defiance of evidence as plain and convincing as that of sense, by which we distinguish, beyond contradiction, between light and darkness, and between that which to the taste is sweet and that which is bitter.
  • 4. Who though they are guilty of such gross mistakes as these have a great opinion of their own judgments, and value themselves mightily upon their understanding (v. 21): They are wise in their own eyes; they think themselves able to disprove and baffle the reproofs and convictions of God’s word, and to evade and elude both the searches and the reaches of his judgments; they think they can outwit Infinite Wisdom and countermine Providence itself. Or it may be taken more generally: God resists the proud, those particularly who are conceited of their own wisdom and lean to their own understanding; such must become fools, that they may be truly wise, or else, at their end they shall appear to be fools before all the world.

 

Hat tip:  Kingsjester’s Blog, Blue Letter Bible, and graphics page links.

Wherever pride is found, it is always hateful to God.

September 21, 2017

Perhaps some readers here have heard of the latest “prophecy” claim being made regarding the Second Coming of Christ.  Some are  predicting it to happen on September 23, 2017.  Geoffrey Grider over at “Now The End Begins” blog explains quite well (via Scripture) why such a prediction is false and cannot possibly happen.

See: Now The End Begins: False Prophecy Alert Called ‘Great Sign’ That’s Happening on September 23rd is 100% Not True.

Excerpt:

In order for September 23rd to “usher in the Second Coming,” you would have to cram into the next five (now, two days) days the Rapture of the Church, the rise of Antichrist, the Mark of the Beast and all other events of the 3.5 years of the time of Jacob’s trouble, otherwise known as The Great Tribulation. Chances of all of that happening in the next 5 days (now, 2 days)? Absolutely zero.

I read on another website that a “Christian numerologist” joined the bandwagon making a similar “prediction.”

I can see why people are panicked due to all of the hurricanes happening in a row over the past few weeks which are causing much devastation.  We also have seen the earthquake that happened in Mexico.  However, Jesus told us that such events would only be the “birth pangs.”

Rom 8:22

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Reading the entire chapter of Romans 8 can help soothe our fears, especially the last two verses:

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It really helps to read, study, and know what the Bible teaches in order to not get caught up in false assumptions, false rhetoric, false pride, or false prophecy given by those who may just be in it for attention or to sell their books.

Habbakuk 2 speaks about the proud being rebuked and informs us:

Hab 2:3

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Hab 2:4

“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.

David Guzik’s commentary of this portion of Scripture is really good!

Here are a few excerpts that spoke of the time of Habbukuk, but also see if you agree with me that this speaks towards our world today!

b. For the vision is yet for an appointed time: Habakkuk spoke to an age beyond his own. The Babylonian conquest would not be evident in his own day, but in the future.

2. (Hab 2:4-8) God knows how to deal with the proud.

a. Behold the proud: Habakkuk wondered why Babylon – a nation even more sinful than Judah – would be used to bring judgment to Judah. In answering the prophet, God first assures him that He sees the proud, and knows that his soul is not upright in him.

i. Pride is everywhere and takes all manner of shapes.

– Here is the rich man, proud of what he has

– There is the poor man, proud of his “honor” in having less

– Here is the talented man, proud of what he can do

– There is the man of few talents, proud of his hard work

– Here is the religious man, proud of his religion

– There is the unbeliever, proud of his unbelief

– Here is the establishment man, proud of his place in society

– There is the counter-cultural man, proud of his “outcast” status

– Here is the learned man, proud of his intelligence and learning

– Here is the simple man, proud of his simplicity

Now, think about those who are involved in identity/racial/grievance crowd politics.  Can you see that pride is one of the main culprits that is being used to divide our nation, our people, and our government?

ii. “If there is a sin that is universal, it is this. Where is it not to be found? Hunt among the highest and loftiest in the world, and you shall find it there; and then go and search amongst the poorest and the most miserable, and you shall find it there. There may be as much pride inside a beggar’s rags as in a prince’s robe; and a harlot may be as proud as a model of chastity. Pride is a strange creature; it never objects to its lodgings. It will live comfortably enough in a palace, and it will live equally at its ease in a hovel. Is there any man in whose heart pride does not lurk?” (Spurgeon)

Guzik goes even further:

iv. “Wherever pride is found, it is always hateful to God.

The list of those utilizing “pride” (above) demonstrates how and why so many of the evils of our time are being perpetrated by those who adhere to such tactics;  and how it negatively affects us all!  Not only is pride “always hateful to God,” it is also hateful to man.

Why! pride is even hateful to men. Men cannot bear a proud man; and hence it is that a proud man, who has any sense left, often sees that it is so, and he therefore tries to affect manners of modesty. He will seem to be humble, when he really is not, if he has the suspicion that all about him will dislike him if they know him to be proud. But God cannot bear pride; it is a part of his daily business to put down the proud.” (Spurgeon)

So…what is the antidote to pride which is hateful to God and man?

b. But the just shall live by his faith: In contrast to the proud, there are the just. The principle of their life is faith, instead of pride that looks to self. True faith looks outside of self unto the LORD God, while pride always looks to self.

That last sentence deserves to be repeated:

True faith looks outside of self unto the LORD God, while pride always looks to self.

i. This brief statement from the prophet Habakkuk is one of the most important, and most quoted Old Testament statements in the New Testament. Paul used it to show that the just live by faith, not by law. Being under the law isn’t the way to be found just before God, only living by faith is.

ii. If you are declared just -that is, approved – before God, you have done it by a relationship of faith. If your life is all about living under the law, then God does not find you approved.

iii. In Hebrew, the important part of the verse has only three words: “the justified man,” “by his faith,” and “will live.” Every word in Habakkuk 2:4 is important, and the Lord quotes it three times in the New Testament just to bring out the fullness of the meaning

Romans 1:17 is the commentary on the justified man – “The just shall live by faith”

Hebrews 10:38 is the commentary on faith – “The just shall live by faith

Galatians 3:11 is the commentary on the Christian life – “The just shall live by faith”

The just shall live by faith!

Whenever someone makes a dated prediction about the end of the world, it will do readers good to recall what Jesus Christ said to his disciples (and, to all of us!):

Mat 24:3

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Mat 24:4

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.

Mat 24:5

“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Mat 24:6

“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all[fn] these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,[fn] and earthquakes in various places

Mat 24:8

“All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mat 24:9

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

Mat 24:10

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another

Mat 24:11

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

Mat 24:12

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

Mat 24:13

“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Mat 24:14

“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.

I suggest reading Matthew 24 in its entirety! The words of Jesus Christ are faithful and true and can be trusted!

Blue Letter Bible: Matthew 24

Hat tip: Blue Letter Bible and David Guzik Study Guide on Habbukuk 2

Faith Is Needed For What We Can’t See And Can’t Touch

August 26, 2017

People can choose to have faith in many things.  Most, of which, is faith in things that they can see and touch.   And, that’s OK!   I like to have faith that my family members love me and I like to do things and help with things going on in their lives that demonstrate to them that I love them as well!   We could all write many lists of people and things that we can choose to have faith in.

What about what it means to have faith in God and Jesus Christ?

The faith that is spoken of in Scripture is precisely defined and described by the prophets in the Old Testament, as well as the disciples, apostles, and writers of the New Testament.  Each were guided along by the Holy Spirit of God, because we are told that Scripture is God-breathed. This is why we can trust the Scriptures!

2Ti 3:16

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

2Ti 3:17
that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So, now that we have established why we can trust the Scriptures, what does the Bible reveal to us regarding having faith in Him?

Heb 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Jesus spoke to doubting Thomas and proclaimed:

Jhn 20:29

Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[fn] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

In the Old Testament, the Israelites were waiting for the coming Messiah. They did not live to see Him, however their hope for Him and belief that He would deliver them from their sin was enough at that time in history to save them.

Isa 30:18

Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

Jesus told us that ‘if we love Him, keep His commandments.” Belief in His sacrificial death on the cross saves us from the penalty for our sin. However, the sanctification process continues throughout a believer’s lifetime. That is why keeping His commandments shows our love for Jesus and what He did for us on the cross and the resurrection to life that is promised for all who believe in His Name.

Rev 22:14

Blessed are those who do His commandments,[fn] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

All of Hebrews 11 is a description of faith and gives examples through history of those who held onto the faith.

I especially like David Guzik’s commentary on Hebrews 11. He shows examples of faith to help the discouraged.

Here is just a portion:

A. Faith defined.

1. (Hbr 11:1) A definition of faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

a. Now faith is the substance: Just as our physical eyesight is the sense that gives us evidence of the material world, faith is the “sense” that gives us evidence of the invisible, spiritual world.

i. Faith has its reasons. The Bible doesn’t recommend a “blind leap” of faith. But the reasons can’t be measured in a laboratory; they have to be understood spiritually. “Faith extends beyond what we learn from our senses, and the author is saying that it has its reasons. Its tests are not those of the senses, which yield uncertainty.” (Morris)

ii. “Physical eyesight produces a conviction or evidence of visible things; faith is the organ which enables people to see the invisible order.” (Bruce)

b. Of things hoped for… of things not seen: If you have the substance before you or if you can see it, there is no use for faith. Faith is needed for what we can’t see and can’t touch.

i. Faith does not contradict reason, though it may go beyond reason. One may objectively prove the Bible is the most unique book ever published and has impacted society more than any other book. But only faith can prove that the Bible is the Word of God. Therefore, this is a belief beyond reason but not in contradiction to reason or against reason.

c. Faith is the substance… the evidence: Faith is not a bare belief or intellectual understanding. It is a willingness to trust in, to rely on, and to cling to.

People can refuse to have faith in Jesus Christ. That is their free will choice. However, there is a caveat regarding faith! It is revealed very well in Mr. Guzik’s paragraph below (that faith is of things hoped for…of things not seen).

b. Of things hoped for… of things not seen: If you have the substance before you or if you can see it, there is no use for faith.

Faith is needed for what we can’t see and can’t touch.

Eternal war, by definition, must never end. – Alinsky “Rules for Radicals”

August 20, 2017

In a previous post, my friend L shared the following comment:

We are repeating history right now. As it says in the Bible there is nothing new under the sun.

Both sides need to be denounced for the violence, evil, and ugliness that they are showing. We cannot excuse the Alt Right, Nazis, and as Conservatives we need to make it very clear that we in no way agree with them. In the same way Liberals, and those on the left need to denounce ANTIFA, and BLM. If you are an average American none of these groups should be at all representing you.

We cannot wipe out history, and make ourselves clean. We are destined to forget, and become that which we were if we try to do that. Should we put some things in a museum instead of the public square, absolutely?

The media on both sides is telling us to believe the worst about both Liberals, and Conservatives. The reality is that most of us are not in any way connected with any of the fringe elements in America, or if we are seeing clearly are rising up all over the world.

I would ask everyone to stand firm in the middle against all the divisive groups. Not with any, “Yeah, but what about….?” Just firmly against the Alt Right, Nazis, and likewise firmly against ANTIFA communists, and BLM.

We should not be silent, and we should not feed into any division. We need to show love, and peace to each other. Love is the antidote to this poison that is among us. The German people before WWII allowed the poison to fester, and never did find the antidote.

The Communists, and Nazis were clashing daily in Germany, but little to nothing was done. Most just thought it didn’t affect them, and eventually things would get back to normal. Let’s not end up like the German people who tried to ignore what was happening or chose sides. We need to be strong now, and not waver. We must be firmly against any hate, and division, and not cling to politics or a group mentality.

We are all God’s children. There is no difference. I will stand for Love not hate. What about you?

This was very well written by L!  Of course I (and, I’m sure, most readers here) WANT to stand for love and not hate!

What is the cure for hate?  I believe that there is only one cure- Jesus Christ!

However, Jesus did warn us in Matthew 10 that we would be sent out as sheep in the midst of wolves.

Mat 10:16

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

Read all of Matthew 10!  The Bible is an honest book and forewarns us about what we will face as Christians in “the midst of wolves.”  Scripture tells us how to handles situations as they come up.  Sometimes, we must “depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet” because not everyone will receive our Gospel message with joy.  In fact, many will hate us for it!

Mat 10:22

“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

These days, in order to be “wise as serpents” we must also be aware of what is REALLY going on in society today.  In this case, it is manufactured battle of the “white supremacist/neo-Nazi vs. Antifa” protests and riots!

In that previous post comment thread, I shared with L many links to blog posts that describe more of the truth behind the protests and riots; and just who is at fault for them. They were pre-planned! (see links within those previous comments.)

What is this REALLY ALL ABOUT?

I think that we are witnessing classic Cloward/Piven and Alinsky tactics at work with the absolute goal of dividing us and conquering We The People.

Please read this excerpt and then tell me what YOU think is the goal of these evil instigators!

Please continue to pray to God for our nation and people!

Jesus Christ is the answer! 

What is the question?

He is the answer to them all!

~ Christine

*******

Excerpt from Alinsky Rules for Radicals:

The organizer, he said, “must first rub raw the resentments of the people; fan the latent hostilities to the point of overt expression. He must search out controversy and issues, rather than avoid them, for unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act.”[40] The organizer’s function, he added, was “to agitate to the point of conflict”[41] and “to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a ‘dangerous enemy.’”[42] “The word ‘enemy,’” said Alinsky, “is sufficient to put the organizer on the side of the people”;[43] i.e., to convince members of the community that he is so eager to advocate on their behalf, that he has willingly opened himself up to condemnation and derision. But it is not enough for the organizer to be in solidarity with the people. He must also, said Alinsky, cultivate unity against a clearly identifiable enemy; he must specifically name this foe, and “singl[e] out”[44] precisely who is to blame for the “particular evil” that is the source of the people’s angst.[45] In other words, there must be a face associated with the people’s discontent. That face, Alinsky taught, “must be a personification, not something general and abstract like a corporation or City Hall.”[46] Rather, it should be an individual such as a CEO, a mayor, or a president.

Alinsky summarized it this way: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it…. [T]here is no point to tactics unless one has a target upon which to center the attacks.”[47]He held that the organizer’s task was to cultivate in people’s hearts a negative, visceral emotional response to the face of the enemy. “The organizer who forgets the significance of personal identification,” said Alinsky, “will attempt to answer all objections on the basis of logic and merit. With few exceptions this is a futile procedure.”[48]

Alinsky also advised organizers to focus their attention on a small number of selected, strategic targets. Spreading an organization’s passions too thinly was a recipe for certain failure, he warned.[49]

Alinsky advised the radical activist to avoid the temptation to concede that his opponent was not “100 per cent devil,” or that he possessed certain admirable qualities such as being “a good churchgoing man, generous to charity, and a good husband.” Such qualifying remarks, Alinsky said, “dilut[e] the impact of the attack” and amount to sheer “political idiocy.”[50]

Alinsky stressed the need for organizers to convince their followers that the chasm between the enemy and the members of the People’s Organization was vast and unbridgeable. “Before men can act,” he said, “an issue must be polarized. Men will act when they are convinced their cause is 100 percent on the side of the angels, and that the opposition are 100 percent on the side of the devil.”[51] Alinsky advised this course of action even though he well understood that the organizer “knows that when the time comes for negotiations it is really only a 10 percent difference.”[52] But in Alinsky’s brand of social warfare, the ends (in this case, the transfer of power) justify virtually whatever means are required (in this case, lying).[53]

Winning was all that mattered in Alinsky’s strategic calculus: “The morality of a means depends on whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.”[54] “The man of action … thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action,” Alinsky added. “He asks only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work.”[55] For Alinsky, all morality was relative: “The judgment of the ethics of means is dependent on the political position of those sitting in judgment.”[56]

Given that the enemy was to be portrayed as the very personification of evil, against whom any and all methods were fair game, Alinsky taught that an effective organizer should never give the appearance of being fully satisfied as a result of having resolved any particular conflict via compromise. Any compromise with the “devil” is, after all, by definition morally tainted and thus inadequate. Consequently, while the organizer may acknowledge that he is pleased by the compromise as a small step in the right direction, he must make it absolutely clear that there is still a long way to go, and that many grievances still remain unaddressed. The ultimate goal, said Alinsky, is not to arrive at compromise or peaceful coexistence, but rather to “crush the opposition,” bit by bit.[57] “A People’s Organization is dedicated to eternal war,” said Alinsky. “… A war is not an intellectual debate, and in the war against social evils there are no rules of fair play.… When you have war, it means that neither side can agree on anything…. In our war against the social menaces of mankind there can be no compromise. It is life or death.”[58]

Alinsky warned the organizer to be ever on guard against the possibility that the enemy might unexpectedly offer him “a constructive alternative” aimed at resolving the conflict. Said Alinsky, “You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying, ‘You’re right — we don’t know what to do about this issue. Now you tell us.’”[59] Such capitulation by the enemy would have the effect of diffusing the righteous indignation of the People’s Organization, whose very identity is inextricably woven into the fight for long-denied justice; i.e., whose struggle and identity are synonymous. If the perceived oppressor surrenders or extends a hand of friendship in an effort to end the conflict, the crusade of the People’s Organization is jeopardized. This cannot be permitted. Eternal war, by definition, must never end.

***end of quote***

Did you read that? “Eternal war, by definition, must never end.”

This is what we are up against! No wonder Alinsky’s book is dedicated to Lucifer…

[39] Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, p. 61.
[40] Ibid., pp. 116-117.
[41] Ibid., p. 117.
[42] Ibid., p. 100.
[43] Ibid.
[44] Ibid., p. 130.
[45] Ibid.
[46] Ibid., p. 133.
[47] Ibid., pp. 130-131.
[48] Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals, p. 125.
[49] Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, p. 151.
[50] Ibid., p. 134.
[51] Ibid., p. 78.
[52] Ibid.
[53] Ibid., p. 29.
[54] Ibid., p. 34.
[55] Ibid., p. 24.
[56] Ibid., p. 26.
[57] Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals, p. 150.
[58] Ibid., pp. 133-134.
[59] Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, p. 130.

[Note: For those interested, the entire post can be read at my former blog: Talkwisdom BlogSpot]

The Love of Many Will Wax Cold

August 6, 2017

Hello my blogging friends, it’s been a while since I’ve had the desire to post here.  Visiting family and the busyness of life can be a convenient excuse, but in my case it’s often true.

A situation occurred back east that left my daughter and I clearly disappointed.  Without going into much detail, let’s just say that no effort was made by certain family members to see us while we were there, primarily for the purpose of visiting my mom.  My daughter was really sad that they couldn’t even take an hour of their time to at least see her 20 month year old daughter.  At least we had a great visit with great-grandma (Grammy) who is 93 years young!

I tried to come up with reasons why this happened.  But being there for four days before that family’s vacation left no good excuse.

My dear cousin drove her 97-year-old mom from N.J. to VA and stayed in the same hotel with us for two days.  Each time these sisters (my mom and my cousin’s mom) get together, the hugs are long and the tears flow.  At their ages, they do not know whether or not they will both be here on this earth for their next reunion.  We all couldn’t help but tear up at the site of them hugging each other!  But in the next moment, they start their comments of slight ridicule…”I hate those black rimmed glasses,” or, “I don’t like your shoes!”  Too funny!

During the plane ride home I recall telling my daughter that, “we can’t make people want to spend time with us.”  It’s sad, but true.

During an email exchange with my best friend, she wrote that the same thing has happened to her when she goes back to N.Y. to visit her mom.  The rest of the family cannot be bothered to visit with her.  She wrote to me, “don’t take it personally, Chris.  People are just wrapped up in their own lives.”  I replied, “you’re right!”  It’s so true.  I mentioned that in our world today, texting, Facebook, Instagram and other social media often takes the place of physical get-togethers.  Sad, but true.

Since I’ve been back home for 11 days, the Bible verse, “the love of many will wax cold” has often come to mind.  Ever since the very contentious election of 2016, the hatred towards those who are even perceived as voting for President Trump is nothing like I’ve ever seen before in my life!

Today, I read an article from WorldNetDaily about Pastor Mark Blitz’s new book and documentary.


Signs in sky reveal America as ‘Covenant’ nation, says ‘Blood Moons’ discoverer
Mark Biltz: Coming solar eclipse may be warning, and ‘I would not mock’

Biltz also discussed the recent appearing of a double rainbow over the White House.

Never thought I’d quote Newsweek here, but the stark contrasts of opinions in the article does point out how “the love of many will wax cold.”

Excerpt:

Both the right and left interpreted the double rainbow as more than just a weather phenomenon but had vastly different takes. Trump fans suggested on Twitter that God sent the rainbow and was protecting the White House in the President’s absence, while Trump critics wrote that the weather was celebrating the fact that he was gone.

You can read the rest HERE.

The fact that the left wants to equate rainbow appearances in the sky with LGBT pride is in stark contrast with the original meaning in the Bible – which is God’s covenant with His people.

The fact is, the LGBT rainbow is missing a color from God’s rainbow.  The color that is missing from the homosexual rainbow flag is the color blue. It only has the indigo color – dark blue.

Here is the identity of the seven colors of God’s rainbow:

Always remember the name ROY G. BIV
Red, Orange, Yellow. Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet

Was the light color blue left out purposely by the LGBT activists?  From a website no longer available:

The light color blue indicates that there has to be that there are laws for people’s lives just as there are laws for the natural world: “Things are made to fall down, not up, and I’m doing as I was made to do.”

This law corresponds to the blue color in the rainbow. Blue is the purest color and the closest to white, which represents original knowledge and truth. Blue is the color of the sky, a cool, soothing color, and it signifies the fulfillment of kindness and love, their peaceful nature which brings us near to heaven.

 

It was in those paragraphs where I read him mention the same Bible verse that came to my mind after my trip back east:

 

Biltz agreed they were signs, but suggested the rainbows aren’t about a particular president, policies or a party. Instead, they are a symbol of God’s relationship with the larger nation.

“The rainbow speaks of God’s covenant that He won’t break His word,” Biltz told WND. “I believe God is telling us we are a covenant nation, which is why we will be held accountable if we break covenant. There is hope if we pray. And we should always be praying for the president whoever it may be.”

Ultimately, Biltz argued, America is entering a troubling time because of the collapse of the Christian faith in the United States and rising political and social divisions as the culture breaks down. Biltz suggests God is giving America a chance to turn back to Him. But this requires taking the signs of the times seriously.

“Americans have become too divisive and polarized,” mourned the pastor. “The atmosphere is corrosive and as the Bible says, ‘the love of many will wax cold.’ Interestingly, the Bible says when Lot spoke to his son-in-laws he was as one who mocked. We have become a nation of mockers.”

More from WND:

Path of solar eclipseThe discoverer of the “Blood Moons” phenomenon says God is sending a message to the church – and all people need to do to see it is look skyward.

The Boston Globe recently reported the path of the upcoming total solar eclipse which will cross the United States on August 21 will overwhelmingly move over counties won by Donald Trump in the recent presidential election.

The paper was mocked on social media for suggesting heavenly events have some connection to earthly politics.

But Pastor Mark Biltz, the man who discovered the “Blood Moons” phenomenon, argues people should be cautious before resorting to snark.

He points out Genesis 1:14, which says astronomical phenomena were partially intended “for signs.” And as Biltz believes the solar eclipse itself is a sign and a warning to the United States, he suggests there may also be meaning in the solar eclipse’s path.

“I would not mock those who do or do not believe there is significance in this eclipse’s path,” the pastor told WND. “The path of totality is showing where it is the darkest and the path of judgment unless there is repentance. At the same time, though, judgment always begins with God’s people first. This is a call for the church to repent and become more like Abraham rather than Lot and to intercede. The church needs to wake up and repent if we are to save this nation and not be mocking the unrighteous. We need a different tone in America.”

Biltz urges believers to look to their own conduct and seek to renew their own communities. He previously stated a total solar eclipse represents a specific warning to a specific nation or nations depending on its path. Therefore, the path of the eclipse could be a sign not just to the United States in general, but for mostly conservative residents of these areas in particular to spearhead a movement of repentance.

President Donald Trump, Biltz suggested, also has a role to play in this movement. And the pastor identified possible precursors in Scripture for Trump’s position.

“As the king of Nineveh led that nation to repentance, may our president do the same,” prayed Biltz. “Many are unaware that there was a total solar eclipse over Nineveh a month before Jonah showed up on the first of the month of Elul, known as the month of repentance before the fall High Holy days. Here we have a total solar eclipse at the first of Elul, the same time frame beginning the month of repentance. It is also the same day Moses ascended the mountain trying to make atonement for his nation.”

The timing of such events, suggested Biltz, is of deep significance, especially when viewed from the Jewish, or biblical, calendar. In his new book “God’s Day Timer,” Biltz suggests adopting the biblical calendar would provide deep insight for Christians seeking to understand the signs of the times.

“If the church would get on God’s calendar and understand ‘God’s Day-Timer’ they would see the prophetic significance of this time,” he claimed.

 

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The Bible story is more miraculous and astounding than you could have imagined. See the incredible proof of the unchanging nature of God – and the exciting clues to what awaits at the end of days in “God’s Day Timer” by Mark Biltz, available as a book or documentary now in the WND Superstore.

Of course, the upcoming solar eclipse isn’t the only heavenly marvel garnering attention. A double rainbow appeared above the White House on Thursday night, leading to leftists and conservatives arguing about what it all means. Sebastian Gorka, a member of the national security advisory staff, called the rainbows “beautiful signs.”

Biltz agreed they were signs, but suggested the rainbows aren’t about a particular president, policies or a party. Instead, they are a symbol of God’s relationship with the larger nation.

“The rainbow speaks of God’s covenant that He won’t break His word,” Biltz told WND. “I believe God is telling us we are a covenant nation, which is why we will be held accountable if we break covenant. There is hope if we pray. And we should always be praying for the president whoever it may be.”

Ultimately, Biltz argued, America is entering a troubling time because of the collapse of the Christian faith in the United States and rising political and social divisions as the culture breaks down. Biltz suggests God is giving America a chance to turn back to Him. But this requires taking the signs of the times seriously.

“Americans have become too divisive and polarized,” mourned the pastor. “The atmosphere is corrosive and as the Bible says, ‘the love of many will wax cold.’ Interestingly, the Bible says when Lot spoke to his son-in-laws he was as one who mocked. We have become a nation of mockers

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2017/08/signs-in-sky-reveal-america-as-covenant-nation-says-blood-moons-discover/#2Frk0yqtsY70X2TV.99

What Photos Can’t Show

July 6, 2017

 

One of the first photographs ever taken (1839) was of an American photographer taking a picture of himself–perhaps history’s first “selfie.”  Fast forward to today, there are tens of millions of selfies posted on social media sites around the world every year.  Many of the pictures record events and relationships.  But far too many are of individuals taking images of themselves alone–the “Look at me!” variety of selfie.

The problem with any picture, selfie or otherwise, is that it only records what is on the outside.  The camera has yet to be invented (and never will be) that can photograph the spiritual status of the heart, soul, or mind.  And that is the part of us God is most concerned about.  When Samuel was sent to anoint Israel’s new king, God told him not to anoint a man who looked like a king.  Instead, he was to anoint a man who had the heart of a king, a heart after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

Those viewing your photos can’t see your heart, but God can.  Make sure He finds in you a heart that is pursuing Him.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.  For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Dr. David Jeremiah, Turning Points Devotional, July 5, 2017

Quote:

A man’s heart is what he is.

~ R.B. Kuiper

This particular devotional really stood out to me when I first read it, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

As a Christian, I have instinctively known that much of the ills, sins, hatred, rebellion, and crimes of humans stem from a “heart” issue.  I’m talking about the spiritual state of humans as they go about their everyday lives.  Why are some humans prone to do such evil?  Why are others prone to sexually abuse?  Why are others prone to spew hatred?  Why are others prone to commit murder?

All of these terrible situations are ultimately derived from heart/spiritual problems.

Jer 17:9

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

Readers might be thinking, “no…not MY heart!  I’m good!  Well, most of the time.”  No one wants to admit the obvious!  Jeremiah 17:9 is truth, and we all must face that fact.

Fortunately, Jeremiah doesn’t end with verse 9.  In verse 10, the prophet explains:

Jer 17:10

I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

When a person is “after God’s own heart,” he/she is much less likely to do evil.  I’m not saying such people are perfect (for, no one is – “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”) however, when Jesus enters into a man or woman and indwells his or her heart through the power of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual strength that we had lacked here-to-fore becomes stronger with Christ “at the wheel” of our journey.  Such a process is called “sanctification” and it is a life-long journey.  We can never completely arrive as “sanctified” until we are at home in Heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Knowing that Jesus Christ took the punishment that every human being who has ever lived deserved; and that confessing and repenting of such sins and asking Jesus to indwell our hearts through the Holy Spirit saves us from spiritual death, why would anyone want to reject the Gospel message?

Jer 17:14

Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.

Hat tips:
Turning Points Devotional, July 5, 2017
Blue Letter Bible
Graphics links


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It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? 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