Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Seven Steps of Leaving Egypt. (part one)

1.    Worship God but stay in Egypt-   Exodus 8:24 
 Religion does not turn a lot of people on.  Doesn't this seem strange?  Even though many accept that there is a God of creation, they are not convinced that there is a hell; that people who do not make a commitment to Jesus Christ are destined to suffer some punishment as the worst of sinners; that God expects and demands loyalty; that good works accompany true faith. 
 Most people in this country take the pursuit of happiness very seriously.  It is an inalienable right.  Most of us spend a lifetime pursuing happiness.  Unfortunately, many people fail in their quest because they do not know and understand God.  They have never left Egypt. 
 Apathy monopolizes Christians as well as the non-Christian dimensions of our society.  Why is it so difficult to interest people in spiritual matters?  First, they are caught up in a condemned association.  Many people have experienced painful failures trying to find fulfillment and security in material possessions and physical pleasures.  Spiritual concepts and words do not easily capture the attention of these souls.  They have never experienced the joy of really knowing God.  They are still in Egypt. 
 One of the primary reasons given by the disillusioned and "turned off to religion" folks is that people who claim to be spirit-filled, born again, Bible-believing people, are just as unfulfilled as they are, and they are right. 
 Many folks are bound by guilt and going to church is just a walk through the performance, they never experience the new joyful relationship God intended for His children. The root of apathy among Christians stems from their initial relationship with God.  Did this relationship come about by some spiritual evolution?  Did it come from being born a Christian?  Or did it come from conviction of sin, confession of sin, and a full commitment to God? 
The Bible from Genesis to Revelation teaches a substitutional and vicarious atonement for the sin of man.  This is the only sane, logical, and scriptural doctrine of all those that are taught to man to help him in his fallen state.  The atonement of Jesus Christ should be understood as both legal and practical.   The reason and necessity for the atonement are evident when we know the love of God, His relationship to the human race, the fall of man, and his need for redemption.  The atonement is a necessity because of these truths.  We should understand the atonement as being not only necessary if a man is to be restored to original fellowship with the Creator, but that it was not an afterthought on the part of God because man fell.  It is the most wonderful pre-planned, necessary, just, authoritative, and legal work of God in all history.  The entire subject is a judicial one, and all the terms used in Scripture to express it are legalistic, such as an advocate, an intercessor, a mediator, a judge, a judgment, condemnation, pardon, justification, redemption, adoption, intercession, restitution, conciliation, law, sin, penalty, justice, and etc. 
In the fall of man, Satan appears as more than a kidnapper or slave-master holding his slaves for ransom or redemption, but he has assumed pseudo-sovereignty over a man on the principle of the consent of a responsible agent.  He governs men only by the consent of man.  His government is only by consent of the governed.  This kind of government is the only kind that God Himself recognizes or could reasonably establish with laws of rewards and penalties.  This is the only kind that could possibly be carried on with a free moral agent.  Satan became the usurper of man's dominion and assumed the position of "Prince of this world" and "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, Jn. 12:31; 1Jn. 3:8-9; Matt 13:38  The natural fallen man is bound to sin, and Satan by consent of the will is clear from the fact that when a man becomes old enough to be accountable for their personal acts they can continue in sin or freely choose to renounce sin and Satan and turn to God.  Jn 3:15; Rom 6:16-23; 2Cor 4:2-6.   They are willing subjects of sin and Satan and are free to become subjects of God and can willfully abandon the devil at any time.  But they do not because these individuals have never been freed from the power of Egypt and Pharaoh. 
If men could once and for all learn that they can of their own consent be made free from sin, and the works of the devil, that they can by their own consent refuse to be subjects of Satan and his governed; that they can turn from sin and become righteous through Christ; that they can reject and refuse defeat in their lives in any endeavor, they would reject all demon powers and doctrines; they would accept God and the truth and be made free and kept free by the power of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 
 All sinners can be transformed by faith in the atonement.  The divine life with all its love, nature, and ideals give them victory over, and freedom from the old sinful traits that are contrary to the will of God.  This is not salvation by self-effort or personal works, birth, or education.  It is a new divine life imparted by the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning work.  It is a spiritual life imparted to the inner man by the Spirit.  Mere natural cultured virtues are never Christian graces and powers, for that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Jn 3:1-8; Rom 8:1-16; Gal 5:16-26.  No human development, education, or human effort will ever transform human life from life after the flesh to live after the Spirit.  Conversion is never evolutionary but the making of a new creature by the divine supernatural act.   
 If all Christians could come to see this simple and biblical truth, it would solve many problems and answer many questions concerning God's dealing with the saved and unsaved.  It would settle many differences between those who accept Scriptural authority and those who fail to see its importance. 
 From Salvation, an individual knows the joys and fulfillment of life.  The Christian's pursuit of happiness is finding and doing the will of God.  The Christian is not caught up in being a prisoner of hope, with lost dreams, an unfulfilled life, defeated, depressed, and discouraged.  But instead there is a victory in knowing that our sins have been forgiven, we have been washed in the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ God's only son.  We know in whom we have believed and are persuaded that he can keep that which we have committed unto Him against that day.  We know and understand that God loves us and that He gave His only Son for our salvation. 
2.    You can go, you don't have to stay--just don't go too far.  8:28 
 Maintaining positive beliefs is essential to your effectiveness as a Christian.  That's why it's crucial to hold on to these beliefs in the face of challenges.  And make no mistake about:  Your beliefs will be challenged.  Yet while we are trying to interpret our Christian faith into the language of today, we need to remember that there is one thing worse than failure to practice what we profess, and that is to water down our professions to match our practice.  This watering down comes only when we perceive that what God has asked us to live cannot be lived because we are looking only at our human abilities and not as what God has promised to do for us.  We feel if we maintain certain respectability, then we are doing our best.  We know that we can leave Egypt, but we can also stay.  It is our choice. 
If we are to take our rightful place in God's more excellent work, then we must realize that there is more required of us than just respectability.  The foundation of Christianity is laid deeper than just maintaining an absolute minimum morality.  The old law of "thou shalt not" is superseded by the command of Jesus to "be ye perfect."
 No one who endeavors to live this life in sincerity, integrity, and purity will find it easy.  But you will find it morally stable.  Your personal loyalty to Christ will always be stronger when you are anchored to Him.  It is through this allegiance that power for life is received. This power for life enables us to make the right choices.  The ordinary individual does not understand the meaning of moral stability.  The average individual is far more likely to think of greatness and power, and the ability to control the lives of others more important than the power of a stable moral life.
 These individuals are discontent with life because they see no chance to realize this dream of power and wealth.   On a global scale when these individuals are seeking wealth and power, what do they get?  They get war, followed by economic failure.  I would think that a quick review of history would explain this cycle.  But on a personal scale, the same takes place there are small personality wars followed by failure of friendships.  The belief of how things should be, and the belief of how things are, creates frustration in our lives 
Whenever you believe what should be conflicts with what is, you're going to end up feeling frustrated.  That's what frustration is a gap between expectation and reality.
 When you are in line at the supermarket, in a hurry to get home, there always seems to be someone who must argue about coupons or some other silly thing, and you feel frustrated.  
Any time you believe that things must be different for you to reach your goals, you are going to feel frustrated, trapped, disempowered. The truth is, all your "shoulds' probably are 100 percent correct.  The reality is that many aspects of the church aren't the way they should be.  No one can fault you for feeling frustrated.  The question is what you are going to do about it.  Remain frustrated and accept dissatisfaction?  Or choose to be different?  Are you going to make a choice to stay in Egypt or are you getting out? 
 The choices we make about the challenges we face shape our spiritual lives.  You may stay with the shoulds and remain frustrated.  Or you may look at things the way they really are and seek solutions that move you toward fulfillment of your spiritual growth.  You can look at your spiritual life and see the hopelessness you are in and remain in the confines of Egypt and die.  Or you can choose to pack your bags and get out.  You must take responsibility for your spiritual life. 
Think of responsibility as a response-ability.  You can choose your response to the challenges.  If you take a position that you should not have to deal with the issues hindering your spiritual growth, you become a victim.  You choose to make yourself a victim.  You end up frustrated, bitter, burned out.  You give up.  You decide to remain in Egypt. But if you choose to respond realistically to the challenges you can find a way to have victory over them and preserve your spiritual life and keep you focused on the mission of helping get other out of Egypt this is winning souls for Christ. 
When you believe that the church is here to help meet the needs of this community, you will want to find ways to rise above the challenges.  The hardest problem you will face is in recognizing that you do indeed have a choice.  It is your choice.  It is your challenge.  It is your spiritual life that you must deal with. 
If you choose to change the direction this church has been going in for several years of never resolving issues; you can revitalize your spiritual life as well as help our church become the spiritual center that it should be.     You have made a conscious choice, which is a start in making a difference.  Don't allow your life to be made up of shoulds.  Don't have the regrets of having not ever left Egypt. 
3.    You can leave, but your families must stay.     10:10 
There is nothing sadder than seeing a family divided in their spiritual life.  Too many people have listened to Pharaoh and left their families behind.  First, this is not scriptural.  God did not plan to separate the family.  In the Book of Acts, we find that when salvation came to an individual, it came to the entire family.   
Satan knows that if he has the family back in Egypt, there will never be a strong commitment to God.  The spirit and emotions are divided between God and family.  It is all a matter of who you belong to. There are many people today who would say, "It is important to find out what belongs to you and make sure as you can that there's plenty of it."  Wiser souls would say, "It is more important to find out what you belong to.  What claims you, commands you, fulfills you and masters you." 
One of the most devastating diseases is loneliness.  It is basically a problem of belonging.  There is a significant difference between being alone and lonely.  An individual can be in a crowd and be lonely.  It has to do with being unrelated.  There is no meaningful connection with other people or with God.  Here stands an individual who is as lonely as a graveyard. 
 Paul states, "Brothers you are called to belong to Jesus Christ..."  Belonging to Jesus Christ is an aspect of relatedness, belonging to God's highest and the world's best---Jesus Christ.   What does it mean to belong to Jesus Christ?  In the sixth chapter of Romans Paul writes about our spiritual freedom in Jesus Christ.  This is not a freedom to do as I please it is a freedom from the control of sin. "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."    I become a servant of God through Jesus Christ.  "But now being made free from sin and become servants to God, ye have your fruits unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."   No individual is without a master.  "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servant ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness."
 The question is who my master is?  If it is not Jesus, then it is Satan.  Satan enslaves us to the bondage of sin while Christ emancipates us.  "Who the Son sets free is free indeed."  I have noticed that the farther a man get from Christ, the less of a man he becomes.  Sin entangles us.  It is a powerful entity that does not stop until we are dead physically.  Yet, the closer a man gets to Christ the more of a man he becomes.  His convictions are based on the fundamental principles of God's Word.  His character is molded in fashion after Jesus Christ.  His life is dedicated to completing the will of God.  There is a spiritual oneness and not a self-awareness-- he becomes a whole man. 
The life of Jesus exemplifies mastery and liberty.  He was the Master of the storm.  When flattered that the people want him to become king, he remained humble.  When his popularity was high and his followers many, he did not forget his purpose in coming, he continued loyal to his Father.  When his life could have been filled with bitterness, he extended forgiveness. 
The life of Jesus shows Him as the Master of circumstances.  He did not despise material values and physical comforts; he did not allow them to become his master.  Regardless of the circumstances whether it was paying taxes, fishing all night, feeding the multitude, healing the sick, raising the dead, or finding a place to sleep, Jesus was the Master of the circumstance.  Most men will struggle to make themselves independent with wealth.  Jesus Christ made himself independent of wealth. 
Was the life of Christ without challenge and difficulty?  Listen as he says, " Father if it is possible to let this cup pass..." This took courage and confidence to face "...nevertheless not my will, but thine be done."  He says to us in the world you will have tribulation be of good cheer I have overcome the world.  James Stewart, the Scottish preacher, said: "Why do you linger amid the shadows of the prison-house when Christ has opened wide the door?" 
To belong to Jesus Christ, we must be more than believers in the forgiveness of sin we must accept it as a gift from God.  When I receive the gift, I become part of a community in whose membership we find true fellowship.  We now are in the company of saints.  Saints are not people who have been dead for a long time, they are not old and feeble, quiet and unbothersome people.  Saints are people who belong to God. 
We must be part of a community bound together in a fellowship that allows for our: spiritual gifts to develop, for spiritual growth, for spiritual fulfilling, for a sense of accomplishment.  Being apart from people is, but the achievement needed to remain whole. 
 All too often though, we want to start where we should be ending.  The Wright Brother's did not begin at Kitty Hawk.  They started by studying seagulls.  Einstein didn't start with the theory of relativity.  He started with multiplication tables.  Henry Ford didn't start with the Model T.  He began by repairing bicycles.  And Wendell Phillips. . . Who is Wendell Phillips?  He was called the Prophet of Liberty.  Twenty-five years before the Emancipation Proclamation this Boston aristocrat broke with tradition and friends to oppose slavery.  He became known as the golden trumpet.  Did he start when challenged by a speech of Lincoln?  No.  He began by speaking up for one Boston mulatto who was about to be hanged for saying, Slavery was an insult to God and human dignity."  In 1884 Phillips died not hated but honored. 
Why such a change?  Phillips heard Lyman Beecher preach on the Lordship of Christ.  He was so moved that he went home and prayed.  O God, I belong to Thee; take what Thine own is, I ask this that whatever a thing be wrong it may have no power or temptation over me.  Whenever an item is right, it may take no courage to do it.  O God I belong to thee. 
We are not called to be happy.  We are called to belong---happiness follows.  We are not called to service.  We are called to belong---service will follow.  We are not called to be.  We are called to belong--- following.  Belonging to Christ, we belong to His people.  We belong to the family.  We can open our hearts, let our hair down, share our problems, feed our faith, and encourage one another.  We now belong to a cause whose mission gives fulfillment in life. 
Young people, our tempted to be excited, energetic, enthusiastic about fads, superficial interest, and small loyalties.  I challenge you today to be passionate, energetic, and earnest in the most significant cause in the universe and show your willingness to start by belonging to Jesus Christ.  Do you belong if not you can?  Keep your family together. 
 Dad, have you let your wife walk a lonely road because you would rather stay in Egypt where is take no courage to live.  Are you afraid to head towards the Wilderness where you will find a new life, an exciting journey, and challenges?  Are you content to take your family to church while you stay at home?  Keep your family together.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Synagogue of Satan’s War on Your Soul

ISIS claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday bombings at St. Anthony’s and other Christian churches and hotels in Sri Lanka which claimed 321 lives with over 500 injured. While the mainstream media is telling us  that this is retaliation for the March attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand which left 49 dead, the truth is that the same Satanic group is responsible for both atrocities.

The Luciferian Synagogue of Satan who lords over the world’s people and resources as the god of this world now own all major political factions and continue to concentrate their hold over all the world.

The New Zealand mosque attacks were followed by a mysterious fire at the 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last week. While the mainstream media focused on events in Paris, at the same time a fire broke out at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. If you believe this was coincidental, I have some overpriced ocean front property in Indiana that may interest you.

To those who believe I am just a conspiracy nut and see Muslims out to destroy Christians and Jew here are a few things, you need to ponder.

On February 19th, ISIS attacked a Russian Orthodox church in Dagestan, killing five women. . This coincided with the Synagogue of Satan ratcheting up their anti-Russian propaganda, which has as much to do with the upsurge of the Russian Orthodox Church as it does with Putin’s Syria line in the sand. While Westerners are being told to hate religion, Russians have become more religious.

On March 30, 2019, a California man arrested in Tulsa, OK is accused of mailing more than 40 threatening letters across the country to a list of recipients that includes a Baptist pastor in Dallas.  Darnell Ray Owens, 32, of Sacramento, faces a seven-count indictment that was handed down by a federal grand jury.  Owens wrote, “I will assassinate your pastor in the name of Allah. “I will burn down Christian churches … this is a threat,” he wrote in a letter to the 13,000-member First Baptist Church in Dallas, according to federal authorities. Dr. Robert Jeffress leads the congregation.

On April 18th, New Jersey a man was caught carrying arson materials into New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

There is a war that is taking place right now between the Islamic World and the political Zionist.  This war will not end until both Islam, and the Zionist are destroyed.  Twenty years ago, this was just a threat from the Muslim leadership to destroy Israel.  Today, with the war in Syria, the push to invade Iran and Israel moving into the Golan Heights has opened the door to a major war.

The prophet Isaiah says Damascus will disappear, become a heap of ruins, and see its power and influence end forever (Isaiah 17:1-3).  Nearly two million people currently live in Damascus. It paints a bleak picture. Damascus will be a heap of ruins. Few, if any, buildings will remain. The once great city will be devoid of all human life and will become home to all manner of wildlife in the absence of humans to chase them away. Worst of all, Isaiah describes a more significant regional conflict and a coalition of nations aligned against Israel.

Isaiah 17 describes more than the destruction of Damascus. It also says the cities of Aroer (located on the northern bank of the Arnon River just east of the Dead Sea) will be deserted (Isaiah 17:2). It doesn't say they'll be destroyed like Damascus. Instead, it says they'll be deserted. Perhaps these cities will be destroyed, but maybe they're deserted because the people flee out of fear.

Besides, many of the fortified cities in northern Israel will be destroyed (Isaiah 17:3). Aram, a region of Syria just southeast of Damascus, will share the same fate of these northern Israeli cities - destruction (Isaiah 17:3).   And to make matters worse, the nation of Israel will face an imminent invasion.

Because at this moment, Israel's enemies will see an opportunity to invade (Isaiah 17:12-14). Their goal? The same goal they've preached for years now - the annihilation of Israel. Isaiah says Israel will live in terror as enemy invaders approach. But by morning, all the invaders are dead (Isaiah 17:14).

This invasion described in Isaiah 17 closely resembles the war outlined in Psalm 83. In this conflict, Israel's enemies plot to wipe her out as a nation (Psalm 83:4). The following nations and their modern geographical equivalents are the same ones named in Psalm 83:
1.    Edomites = Jordan / Parts of the West Bank
2.    Ishmaelites = The Arab people
3.    Moabites = Jordan / Parts of the West Bank
4.    Hagrites = Jordan / The Arab people
5.    Gebalites = Lebanon
6.    Ammonites = Jordan
7.    Amalekites = Southern Israel / Gaza
8.    Philistia = Gaza
9.    Tyre = Lebanon
10.    Assyria = Syria / Parts of Turkey and Iraq
11.    The Descendants of Lot = Jordan
These invaders join forces to destroy the very memory of Israel's existence. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that both Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 describe invaders who seek to "plunder and destroy" Israel (Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83:3-5, 12).

The conflict that is coming will create such a social calamity that people will rise up to defend themselves against the terrorist and will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, will turn on Christians who they will blame for the conflict.
The Synagogue of Satan hates God despises humanity and seeks only to establish the kingdom of Lucifer.  So where is the United States in all this?

  I personally believe that the reason the U.S. is not mentioned in end time prophecy is that we will suddenly cease to be a world power and will play no significant role in end time events.

The destruction of American power is most likely to occur due to an economic catastrophe that will result from our out of control debt situation. Our god is the dollar, and the Lord is going to destroy that god when the weight of our debt collapses our economy.  We are so close to collapse now that it seems impossible for our nation to survive.

So, what does this all mean to us today?  It means that time is running out.  If you have not made your choice to serve the LORD, you may find yourself among those who are His enemy.  This is not good.  The plans of the Synagogue of Satan are already in motion.  Satan is making his final move to bring about the destruction of God’s plan for humanity.  The power of evil is spreading across this planet, and every life is being touched by its destructive hand.  The only hope you have in this life is in Jesus Christ.  He has paid the price for your salvation and offers it as a gift to you.  Protect your soul and that of your loved ones by turning your life over to Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Anti-Christian Politics In American Elections

Once again, the US presidential race has started with attacks on the evangelical believers.  Indiana South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg's comment, "It's something that really frustrates me because the hypocrisy is unbelievable.  Here you have somebody who not only acts in a way that is not consistent with anything that I hear in scripture in church."  He was speaking of VP Mike Pence and evangelical voters.
I would have ignored what Buttigieg had to say had he not included evangelicals in his comments.  I will not sit silently by and be criticized by someone who does not accept what the Bible declares as sin.  I have no hatred in my heart for those who commit sin.  I have no delight in pointing out to people the various sins that separate them from God.  No matter what sin you commit there is forgiveness.  The LORD does not want us to gain approval for our sin but rather find forgiveness and turn from our sinful ways. 
Buttigieg is trying to get the approval of his gay lifestyle.  He said, "If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, above my pay grade.  And that is the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. That if you a problem with who I am, your problems is not with me--your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."
That is like saying, If me being a pedophile was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, above my pay grade. Then blame the Creator for who you are.  I am not sure about the Christian faith Buttigieg claims to have is real.  He attends an Episcopal church—and his comments criticizing President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and the “hypocrisy” of the administration’s evangelical supporters does not speak well for his understanding of scripture.
How does Mr. Buttigieg understand these scriptures?
Leviticus 18:22 ESV You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
Leviticus 20:13 ESV If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Romans 1:26-27 ESV For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature, and the men likewise gave up natural relationships with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Jude 1:7 ESV Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
1 Timothy 1:10 ESV The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,
Mark 10:6-9 ESV But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
There was a reason the LORD gave commandments regarding sexual activity.  The god of this world Satan would use every means at his disposal to destroy mankind.  Satan incorporated into false religion the destruction of humanity by using the desire the LORD placed within man and women to be united as one.
The gods of virtually all civilizations engaged in sexual relations. In the Near East, the Babylonian god Ishtar seduced a man, Gilgamesh, the Babylonian hero. In Egyptian religion, the god Osiris had sexual relations with his sister, the goddess Isis, and she conceived the god Horus. In Canaan, El, the chief god, had sex with Asherah. In Hindu belief, the god Krishna was sexually active, having had many wives and pursuing Radha; the god Samba, son of Krishna, seduced mortal women and men. In Greek beliefs, Zeus married Hera, chased women, abducted the beautiful young male, Ganymede.  Poseidon married Amphitrite, pursued Demeter, and raped Tantalus. In Rome, the gods sexually sought both men and women.
Given the sexual activity of the gods, it is not surprising that the religions themselves were abounding with all forms of sexual activity. In the ancient Near East and elsewhere, virgins were deflowered by priests before engaging in relations with their husbands, and sacred or ritual prostitution was almost universal. Male and female prostitutes, serving temporarily or permanently and performing heterosexual, homosexual and other forms of sexual activities, dispense their favors in behalf of the temple. In ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Canaan, annual ceremonial intercourse took place between the king and a priestess. Women prostitutes had sex with male worshippers in the sanctuaries and temples of ancient Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Cyprus, Corinth, Carthage, Sicily, Egypt, Libya, West Africa, and ancient and modern India.
In ancient Israel itself, there were repeated attempts to re-introduce temple prostitution, resulting in repeated Jewish wars against cultic sex. The Bible records that the Judean king Asa “put away the qdeshim [temple male prostitutes] out of the land”; that his successor, Jehosaphat put away out of the land … the remnant of the qdeshim that remained in the days of his father Asa”; and that later, King Josiah, in his religious reforms, “broke down the houses of the qdeshim.”
The LORD GOD CREATOR placed controls on sexual activity. It could no longer dominate religion and social life. It was to be sanctified—which in Hebrew means “separated”—from the world and placed in the home, in the bed of husband and wife. The LORD's commands restricting sexual behavior was one of the essential elements that enabled society to progress. The commandments were to regulate the sexual life of the followers of the LORD started when He declared war on the sexual practices of the world that would destroy mankind.
Anyone who takes the Bible’s views on homosexuality seriously is not obligated to prove that they are not fundamentalists or literalists, let alone bigots. On the other hand, those who claim homosexuality is compatible with their belief bear the burden of proof to reconcile this view with the Bible. Given the explicit nature of the biblical attitude toward homosexuality, however, such a compromise is not possible. All that is possible is to declare: “I am aware that the Bible condemns homosexuality, and I consider the Bible wrong.” That would be an intellectually honest approach. But this approach leads to another problem. If one chooses which of the Bible’s moral commands to take seriously (and the Bible states its prohibition of homosexuality not only as a law but as a value—” it is an abomination”), of what moral use is the Bible?  If you cannot accept all the teachings of the LORD's commandments, then you do not accept the LORD.  Jesus said, “If, you love me you will keep my commandments."
Advocates of the religious acceptance of homosexuality say the Bible is morally advanced in some areas, it is morally regressive in others. Its condemnation of homosexuality is one example.   Far from being immoral, however, the Bible’s prohibition of homosexuality was a significant part of its liberation (1) of the human being from the bonds of unrestrained sexuality and (2) of women from being peripheral to men’s lives.
The Bible lists homosexuality together with child sacrifice among the “abominations” practiced by the peoples living in the land about to be conquered by the Israelites. The two are certainly not morally equitable, but they both characterized a morally primitive world that LORD set out to destroy. They both characterized a way of life opposite to the one that the Creator demanded of Israel. Finally, the Bible adds a unique threat to Israel if they engage in homosexuality and the other offenses of the Canaanites: “You will be vomited out of the land” just as the non-Jews who practice these things were vomited out of the land. This threat “suggests that the offenses were considered serious indeed.”
Christianity cannot make peace with homosexuality because homosexuality denies many of Christianity’s most fundamental principles. It denies life, it contradicts God’s expressed desire that men and women cohabit, and it rejects the root structure that the LORD wishes for all mankind, the family.  The LORD has given us a choice “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse, and you shall choose life.” Christianity affirms whatever enhances life, and it opposes or separates whatever represents death.  So, as a Christian, our concern is with life.
What is amazing about the discussion of homosexuality is that gay men are not seen as the enemy of women.  Homosexuality has an adverse effect on women.  Where is the outcry from women?  In societies where men sought out men for love and sex, women were relegated to society’s periphery. For example, ancient Greece, which elevated homosexuality to an ideal, was characterized by “a misogynistic attitude,” in Norman Sussman’s words. Homosexuality in ancient Greece, he writes, “was closely linked to an idealized concept of the man as the focus of intellectual and physical activities… The woman was serving but two roles. As a wife, she ran the home. As a courtesan, she satisfied male sexual desires.”
In medieval France, when men stressed male-male love, it “implied a corresponding lack of interest in women.  The women of Arab society, where male homosexuality has been widespread, remain in a notably low state in the modern world. This may be a coincidence, but common sense suggests a linkage. So, too, in traditional Chinese culture, the low state of women has been linked to widespread homosexuality. As a French physician reported from China in the nineteenth century, “Chinese women were such docile, homebound dullards that the men, like those of ancient Greece, sought courtesans and boys.”
So, Mr. Pete Buttigieg, I trust your understanding of government is better than your understanding of scripture.  Your theological views on homosexuality are not compatible with historical Christianity or with the scriptures.  Historically any nation that has accepted a sexual lifestyle that is contrary to Biblical teachings has suffered judgment at the hand of God.  It is men like you, Mr. Buttigieg that has brought moral decay to our Nation.  It is my prayer that your political career will end, not because you are a homosexual but because you do not honor God.  You have changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served your own self interests.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Reply to Dr Grant Hodges

Let me first say that I am not the prophecy expert on this subject, however, I have spent many hours researching the accepted teaching of the Rapture as taught by many evangelicals.  I was taught the Rapture, the Great Tribulation, the rebuilding of the temple, the importance of the Red Heifer in the sacrifices, and all the other teaching on the Second Coming.
What I have found, and it satisfies what I believe is something different than I was taught to believe.  If I am wrong, I don’t believe the LORD will send me to hell for having it wrong.  If I am right, then there are going to be many Christians whose faith will be shaken.
So here goes the short version.
In the 16th century, a new view of Bible prophecy was devised by a Jesuit priest to stop the Reformers from teaching that the Catholic Church was probably the whore of Babylon of Revelation 17:3-6 and the pope the antichrist. (A view still taught by many evangelicals) In 1591AD, the Jesuit Ribera invented a futurist view. He claimed that Revelation would not be fulfilled until the end of the Christian Era.
Ribera taught:
 a rebuilt Babylon, the actual city
a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and an end-time Antichrist.
Ribera is the father of the prophetic views taught by many major denominations today. But Ribera is only part of the story. In 1731, a Spanish family was living in Chili named the de Lacunzas, who had a boy named Manuel. After fifteen years at home, young  Manuel decided to become a Catholic priest, so he boarded a ship to Spain. Thirty-six years later (when the Jesuits were expelled from that country because of their brutality) the now Father Manuel de Lacunza y Diaz had to move to Imola, Italy, where he remained for the rest of his life. In Imola, de Lacunza claimed to be a converted Jew named Rabbi Juan Jushafat Ben-Ezra. Under that alias, he wrote a 900-page book titled *The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty. In it, Lacunza theorized that the Church would be taken to be with the Lord some 45 days before Jesus final return to Earth.
During that 45 days (while the Church was in heaven), God was supposedly going to pour out His wrath upon the wicked remaining on Earth. It was from this Chilean Jesuit, a.k.a. a Jewish Rabbi theorized the earliest mini-trib, pre-trib-rapture view on record.  De Lacunza died in Imola in 1801, and that should have been the end of it. But after his death, Lacunzas views were taught in Spain. In 1812 his book was published in Spanish. Fourteen years later, it was translated into English by a radical cultist named Edward Irving. Lacunzas views could have died there, too, for most in England saw Irving as a heretic. About the same time, an  Irvingite evangelist named Robert Norton met a little Scottish girl named Margaret Macdonald who supposedly had a vision of the church being secretly raptured. Norton was so charmed by the idea that he preached her vision all over England
 (Though not so well known, an 18th century American pastor, Morgan Edwards, may have published a pre-trib rapture paper slightly earlier than de Lacunza.)
Now enters Darby.
John Darby, the founder of the Plymouth Brethren, became interested in this new doctrine, so he attended several Irvingite meetings. In his letters, Darby states that he had come to an understanding of this new truth and made no secret of the fact that he had been influenced by de Lacunzas writings. Darby, however, wasn't satisfied with the rather simplistic Lacunza-Irving 45-day tribulation idea, so he devised a more elaborate scheme. Darby thought the last week of Daniels 70 weeks (Dan 9:24-27) was still unfulfilled so he theorized that the 70th week might actually be a future seven-year-tribulation that would take place at the end of the Christian Era. To make his idea fit world history, he also invented a 2000 year gap between Daniels 69th and 70th weeks. It was all guesswork theology, but there you have it, the true origin of the seven-year-tribulation and pre-trib rapture doctrines! Upon that dubious foundation, Darby and his associates then added a few of Jesuit Ribera's wrinkles:
1.  That a Jewish temple would be rebuilt and animal sacrifices reestablished.
2.  That Antichrist would appear and rule the world for seven years.
3.  That after 3‰ years of good rule, this supposed Antichrist would turn against the Jews, stop the sacrifices, and start the battle of Armageddon.
All based upon Darbys imaginary 2000 year gap theory and the seven-year-tribulation he conjured up from Daniels 70th week. If Darby hadn't visited the United States, his seven-year idea could have died right then, too. After all, there weren't many Darbyites around. But while visiting the United States, Darby met C. I. Scofield. C. I. was so taken by the Ribera-Lacunza-Macdonald-Darby ideas that he decided to include them in the annotated Bible he was working on. Sound Bible scholars of the day like A. J. Gordon, Charles R. Erdman, and W.G. Moorhead tried to dissuade him. Three members of the Scofield's revision committee even resigned because of his unswerving support for the view.
 Dr. Harry Ironside of Moody Bible Institute, himself an ardent supporter of the Ribera-Lacunza-Macdonald-Darby-Scofield eschatological scheme, admitted in his Mysteries of God, p.50: . . . until brought to the fore through the writings of . . . Mr. J. N. Darby, the doctrine taught by Dr. Scofield [i.e., the Seven-Year Tribulation theory] is scarcely to be found in a single book throughout a period of 1600 years. If any doubt this statement, let them search, as the writer has in measure done, the remarks of the so-called Fathers, both pre- and post-Nicene, the theological treatises of the scholastic divines . . . the literature of the Reformation . . . The Puritans. He will find the mystery conspicuous by its absence.
The futurist view, contrived by the Jesuit priest Ribera in 1591AD, was the foundation for Lacunzas tribulation musings. Ribera theorized a future antichrist, a rebuilt Babylon and a Jewish temple in Jerusalem at the end of this age. The Praeterist view, conceived by the Jesuit priest Alcaqzar in 1614AD, claimed just the opposite - that the book of Revelation was fulfilled by the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD. Both views were in opposition to the linear historical view that until then had been the generally accepted position of the true church. Those two innovative Jesuit positions succeeded in excluding fifteen centuries of unsavory Roman Church history from the scrutiny the Bible prophecies.
I believe at the Last Trump the dead in Christ will be raised from their graves and caught up to meet the coming LORD and that those who are alive and remain will be transformed at His coming and meet the LORD in the air.  There is only one coming of the LORD.  No stages, no continual resurrection, only one coming at the Last Trump.
As long as this discussion remains intelligent I will answer what I can.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Don't Forget Syria

While our attention has been placed of MAGA hats, and young white boy "confronting" a man of questionable character, and the government shut down it is easy to forget the number of Christians who are still being persecuted by Muslims in Syria.

On several occasions, I have voiced my feelings about the US government involvement in Syria.  I was pleased to hear that President Trump was pulling out of Syria.  The regime change policy of the past administration has not worked to the advantage of the citizens of the countries we have invaded. 

On July 2. 2013, I wrote an open letter to the Christians in Syria here is an excerpt from that letter:

I am ashamed of my country’s leaders and the total disregard they have for the human rights of Christians around the world.  In over 40 nations Christians are being persecuted because of their faith.  Men, women, and children are imprisoned, driven from their homes and murdered.  These people are not criminals but Christians--who for their faith in Jesus Christ are made to suffer unjustly.  What makes this worse is that the American government gives aid and support to many of these nations without protecting the human rights of Christians-- your country is one of those made to suffer.
Why is American fighting Christians in Syria? Because America has turned against God, God no longer blesses America.  What has happened to America is found in Paul’s letter to the Romans, “... .although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
The world has turned Topsy-turvy, I am ashamed that lawmakers in Russia are concerned about Christians in Syria and American lawmakers are supporting the jihadist.  Russian lawmakers have been working with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on a report aimed to bring an end to the violence in Syria.  They say, “We, parliamentarians, are very concerned about the development of the crisis in Syria, which is turning into an ethnic and religious conflict. Crimes against representatives of religious minorities have recently become frequent in Syria, and that poses a threat to Christian minorities not only in Syria but also in the Middle-East in general.” I trust their efforts will come quickly to end the war on Christians in Syria.

For years the American Christian has viewed themselves as the supporter of the Christian faith around the world.  We took pride in the fact we were a Christian nation founded upon the principles based on God’s Word.  All of that changed when the US government got into the regime changing business.  There was a total disregard for Christians living in the countries we invaded. 

When the US government got involved in Syria, there were Christians who thought America would give help from the invading rebels.  These Christians believed the US had the power to stop the conflict –if they wanted to.  Back in 2013 Syrian Christians were desperate to convince the US and its allies to stop supporting the rebel forces that were killing Christians.  Our government was so intent on replacing the Syrian government that they increased their support of the rebels that was killing Christians daily. 

The pray of the Syrian Christian was answered not from the “Great Defender of the Faith” America, but a nation the MSM, our government leaders, and religious leaders have despised—Russian.  Russian air power turned the tide, and Syrian government-aligned troops drove the rebels from the area.

Russian intervention on behalf of the Syrian Christians has pricked the conscience of many American evangelicals.  The prophecy experts were at a loss as to how to explain Russia was becoming a defender of the faith and America the persecutor of the righteous.  Russia was to be the end-time boogie man and America the great Deliverer.  Outside of the American MSM, the news that Russian troops are bringing peace to the region is difficult for American Christians to digest.

It is hard for American Christians to accept Putin as a supporter of Christians, yet it was the support of evangelicals that helped to give him the election to be Russia’s president.  Both Evangelicals and Orthodox support Russia’s efforts to protect Christians in the Middle East.  Many Christians outside of America don’t understand the actions and statements being made by American politicians who claim to be Christian.  The Syrian Christians know if it had not been for the intervention of Russia the Syrian Christians would not survive.

What is so confusing to the Russian Christians is the evil intent of the US government toward both Syria and Russia.  Many Russian Christians view the US as their enemy while many American Christian sees Russian as the enemy.  It is not hard to understand the confusion.  While Russia is trying to stop the spread of Islam to keep it from spilling over into their country the US government is supporting the Muslim terrorist and allowing them in the US.

American Christians who are a strong supporter of Israel cannot view Russian as a “defender of the faith” because that will not fit their worldview on prophecy.  For years the American Christian has been taught that Russia will invade Israel before the return of the LORD.  If Russia is viewed as a supporter of Christians, it shatters years of prophetic teaching of the end-times.

Can you imagine the power Christians would have all over the world if they only united in the cause of Christ and not the politics of those who wish to bring about destruction and world domination?
My prayers and support are for the Christians who are paying the ultimate price for their beliefs.  May the LORD protect you and may you find peace and May God forgive America for her crimes against the followers of Jesus Christ in Syria.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Will The American Pull Out Of Syria Aid In The Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy?

Again, I am not a prophet nor am I making a prophecy.  I am only asking the question considering proposed policies of the United States government. 
Syria has never been a threat to the United States.  It has been a means of getting back at Iran.  The whole Syrian conflict has been a cover to destroy Iran’s political power in the region.
For over thirty years the Islamic Republic of Iran has been an enemy of the US government.  Iran has been the thorn in the side of US policies in the Middle East.  Americans have been led to believe that Iran is the greatest threat to American security.  The facts are Iran has never been an actual threat to the United States.  It has no desire to make the US territory, has never conducted a terrorist operation aimed at the American homeland, and if they were to gain nuclear weapons, they have no delivery system to threaten the US.  The economy of Iran is weak, and they will never become a challenger to the US.
So, why is the US government so involved in the Middle East?  The danger from Syria and Iran has never been towards the US but towards Israel.   For years there has been a consensus in Israel that Iran cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. From left to right across the political spectrum, a great many Israelis see a threat to their very survival from a nuclear Iran. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, “Israel will not tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of people who say openly, explicitly and publicly that they want to wipe Israel off the map.” In his first speech to the Knesset after being sworn in as prime minister, Binyamin (“Bibi”) Netanyahu said, “We cannot afford to take lightly megalomaniac tyrants who threaten to annihilate us.” Other Israeli leaders fear that Israel’s strategic room for maneuver in the region would be constrained by an Iranian nuclear deterrent. The success of Iranian-backed terrorist groups, Hizballah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank, in the last few years has only added to Israel’s concern.
The Israeli leadership is concerned that if Iran gains nuclear weapons, they will attack Israel and the international community will do nothing.  Israel, however, is not sitting back waiting for the first strike from Iran.  They have been planning for a military operation to prevent Iran from ever gaining nuclear weapons.  It should be noted that Israel has the nuclear weapons needed to stop Iran in its tracks and will no doubt use that option if they feel it is required. So, there is a considerable reason to believe that under the right (or wrong) set of circumstances, Israel would launch an attack—principally airstrikes, but possibly backed by special forces operations—to destroy Iran’s nuclear program.  This could create either an opportunity for or a threat to American interests about Iran and the broader Middle East. It could constitute a chance, and thus a possible policy option if the United States would like to see Iran’s nuclear program destroyed but prefers not to do it. It could be a threat if the United States believes that an Israeli attack would destabilize the region and would not advance (or would harm) American interests concerning Iran. 
For years I have heard Zionist Christians who have expressed the hope that Israel would strike Iran— that Jerusalem would have the “guts” to do what Washington does not. Other Americans regard the prospect with horror, believing that an Israeli attack would bring about Armageddon.
Since the US government would like to appear to have clean hands encouraging or even assisting Israel in conducting the strike would deflect away from the US international criticism and place it on Israel.  With the increase in anti-Semitism around the world, Israel would be blamed and condemned by the world.
By pulling out of Syria and bringing our troops home from the Middle-East the US government is opening the door for both Israel and Turkey to get involved in Syria and Iran.  Turkey is ready to move on Syria, along with Israel.
Syria is the first step to an air strike on Iran.  Israel would not need to secure regional support for such an operation.  They could move very fast to implement an attack.  There are, however, some problems if this happens.
Israel cannot avoid flying through someone’s airspace.  The most direct route from Israel to Iran’s Natanz facility is roughly 1,750 kilometers across Jordan and Iraq. As the occupying power in Iraq, the United States is responsible for defending Iraqi airspace. The alternatives via Turkish airspace (over 2,200 kilometers) or Saudi airspace (over 2,400 kilometers) would also put the attack force into the skies of US. Allies equipped with American-supplied air defenses and fighter aircraft. In the case of turkey, an Israeli overflight would be further complicated by the fact that Turkey is a NATO ally that the United States has a commitment to defend, and it hosts a large, joint Turkish-American airbase along the most likely route of attack.
 For political and military reasons, Israel’s need to overfly Turkish, Iraqi-Jordanian, or Saudi airspace creates two problems. First, an Israeli strike must achieve surprise so that Israeli planes are not intercepted by the air defenses and fighters of those countries. Second, in part based on reason number one, the Israelis would get basically one shot at Iran. On the first pass, they likely would surprise any of those countries and be able to reach Iran and return before the Turks, Saudis, or Jordanians could activate their air defenses; but a second wave would meet alerted air defenses, creating military and political problems that Israel would likely find insurmountable. An initial Israeli attack across Iraqi territory would severely complicate the US military presence there; a repeat performance would likely compromise it all together. So, after the first round of strikes, Israel would have nothing but its small fleet of ballistic missiles and submarine-launched cruise missiles for follow-on attacks, and because the ballistic missiles are such valuable assets, Jerusalem would not likely squander them on anything but the highest value Iranian targets. 
 If for whatever reason Israel carries out missions against Syria and Iran will they then face Turkey who will no doubt have gained control over a large portion of Syria?  Turkey is no friend of Israel and with Syria and Iran weakened will Turkey become the uniting force to bring about the desired Islamic Caliphate that will unite the Muslim countries against Israel?
These are just a few thoughts that should be considered about what is taking place in the Middle-East today.  I do support President Trump in getting out of the Middle-East.  Regardless of what Turkey and Israel do or the outcome of their actions, we are moving closer to the final judgment God will bring on the wicked.  It is important that as Christians we warn others to be prepared for the coming of the LORD as we see the day approaching.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Courage to Speak The Truth

Moral courage involves the willingness to speak out and do that which is right in the face of forces that would lead a person to act in some other way.  For one to have moral courage they must first have the courage to stand for the core values of the Christian doctrine.  Many Christians have an aversion to speaking about their faith, much less standing up for what they believe.  Moral courage is essentially an act that reflects one’s character.

Moral courage comes from moral wisdom.  The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD.  The fear of the LORD is foundational to true understanding.  All other types of learning are worthless unless built upon a knowledge of the LORD Himself. 

Solomon understood the importance of building the right foundation when he wrote Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  A wise person fears/reverences/obeys the LORD; a fool despises God’s instruction and cannot be told what to do.  The wise person has a foundation on which to build the moral wisdom to have the moral courage to do what is right.

The connection between the fear of God and wisdom means we cannot possess wisdom if we recreate God in our image. Too often people want to “tame” God into a non-threatening nobody. But, if we redefine the LORD as a god that makes us feel comfortable, a permissive “buddy” who exists to bless us and give us what we want, we will not fear Him in the way He deserves to be feared. The Lord God Almighty is far greater than that, and the fear of the Lord begins when we see Him in His majesty and glory.

The amount of moral courage we have is directly related to our certainty.  When we lack certainty in what we believe is shows in our communication skills. It takes moral courage to stand for what is right without compromise. The individual with the greatest amount of certainty is better equipped to deal with hostility, defensiveness and a variety of tactics used by our adversaries to prevent us from acting in a morally courageous manner.  This is what made the Apostle Paul such a force for the Gospel.  He said to Timothy, “God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline.  Be not ashamed therefore of the testimony of our Lord,.. : but suffer hardship with the gospel according to the power of God; who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus… For which cause, I suffer also these things: yet I am not ashamed; for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he can guard that which I have committed unto him against that day.