Friday, December 18, 2009
Steve Collins has a good article concerning the "Copenhagen Treaty" conference (concerning "global warming"), and the irony of the extremely cold weather they are having in Denmark HERE. John McTernan adds his thoughts on stated irony HERE.
Al Gore should be arrested for complete fraud - as well as those involved in "Climate Gate."
Perhaps, with the cutting down of so many trees in order to provide the paper for Al's stupid books, the true culprit to "Climate Change - ie. "Global Warming" is Al himself, as there would not be as many trees to absorb the CO2 in the atmosphere - let's hold HIM responsible!
THIS PIECE expresses the hypocrisy of the whole thing very well.
We need to stand up to these hypocritical, New World Order pushing liars.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
America, we have wearied the LORD because of:
1) Pride and Arrogance - America thinks it cannot fall. We believe that our system is the greatest system, and try to force it upon other Countries. We think that God is automatically on our side (when WE should be seeking to be on HIS side!). We believe in our own benevolence. America believes that just about everything it does is "just" and "righteous."
2) Rebellion - Against God's ways. From our Church leaders, to our Political leaders, to the people, to even our children! There is rebellion Against God's ways from the top down - the whole body of America is SICK with rebellion.
3) Tolerating and even celebrating false "teachers" and "prophets" - Our Country in run amok with false teachers and prophets, who are not only accepting, but also openly PROMOTING New Age and New Age practices such as meditative prayer, Yoga, etc., Homosexuality, Abortion, et al. We are getting further and further away from God's word as our standard, and promoting Humanism as the standard for living!
4) Perverting Justice - Our courts are rampant with wicked and perverse judges, who let off the guilty, and condemn the victim. We have Governors, and even Presidents that offer pardons to those guilty of heinous crimes. We have judges that rule from the bench by judicial fiat, creating unjust and wicked legislation from the bench. We no longer punish evildoers. We turn a blind eye to justice, rather than preserve justice with an unprejudiced eye.
5) Murder - in every form imaginable. The American holocaust, ABORTION, is an ABOMINATION before God. He will not remain silent forever because of this. It is a stench in His nostrils, and we tolerate this infanticide. To date: *50,766,279 abortions in America since 1973!!! That is FOUR TIMES the estimated number of those killed by Hitlers regime in Nazi Germany (6 million Jews, and 6-7 million other "undesirables").
*Number taken from National Right To Life fact sheet
In addition, murder in our cities and neighborhoods, continually - gang violence, civil violence, etc. We are a murderous Nation.
6) Divorce - From the CDC website:
- Number of marriages: 2,162,000
- Marriage rate: 7.1 per 1,000 total population
- Divorce rate: 3.5 per 1,000 population (44 reporting States and D.C.
7) Deceit - Our Country is rampant with deceit: From the President, to Wall Street, to the Churches, to small business, to the people. We are a LYING Nation! Our Politicians lie, and then accuse each other, back and forth, of lying! Business men lie and cheat each other, and the rest of us! The rest of us lie and cheat our spouses, family members, friends and neighbors.
8) Homosexuality - Open homosexuality, in EVERY form IMAGINABLE, has not only been tolerated, it is openly accepted as a "normal" form of human sexuality - a complete abomination before God! Even some our our CHURCHES are now not only accepting it, but actively PROMOTING it as a "gift" from God to some individuals. What a vile, disgusting LIE.
Pastor/Rabbi/Deacon/Minister/Reverend/Priest: if you are calling homosexuality "good" and even a "blessing" from God, you are lying, and denying the God you claim to serve! What a lie - What a DISGRACE to the gospel of Yeshua, who died - DIED - for ALL sin! He gave His LIFE to redeem ALL sinners, and you want to keep them IN their sin - and feel good about it!!! Shame on you!
9) National Blasphemy - From our pulpits - We have Pastors, Rabbi's and Clergymen who, while proclaiming with their mouth faith in God, DENY Him by denying His word.
God's name is used as a curse word millions of times DAILY in America.
God's name is used in vain and repetitious prayers that are more designed to glorify the one praying than God Himself.
Every vile and wicked thing is tolerated in peoples lives, while being told that God is not angry with them, that their sin is SEPARATING them from the One who LOVES them, and DIED for them!
God's name is invoked by our Political leaders in their prayers, and public addresses, while their lives and policies go against EVERYTHING that is right, just, and good.
10) Apathy - All of the above are tolerated continually, not only by non-Christians, but by the CHURCH! As long as it doesn't affect my daily life, I'm content to simply shake my head and "tsk, tsk." This is the attitude of MOST Americans. America has become fat, lazy, and content to wallow in it's mire.
In spite of all of the above, America CONTINUES to proclaim it's own "goodness" - and continues to "invoke" God's name, and blessing, while REFUSING to repent. Our many words to Him have become "wearisome."
America, "Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?" - Mal 2:17
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Recently, I found out about a man named Elliot Nesch, who did a rebuttal video to the Zeitgeist movie (to which I linked to just a couple of posts back). Elliot has also created a movie about the 911 events, and has ALSO linked them to Isaiah 9! The movie will tentatively be available in December of this year, but you can watch the trailer here.
For now, I want to link to the written article he has at his website, as it gives all the scripture references for the correlations that he proposes. I would ask you to please take the time to read it, because if there truly is merit to this (and the fact that several different teachers have come to the same basic conclusions does indeed give it merit - as in "two or more witnesses"), then it has DEEP implications, as well as warnings for America (and, of course, those living in it).
Please read, and let me know what you think. Is this message worth getting out to others?
Friday, November 13, 2009
I was reading Psalm 101 a while back, and I noticed a series of "I wills" in there as well, and I thought it interesting to contrast the two passages, since they both essentially contain 5 "I will" statements. They seem to be a contrast between "I will" statements of a righteous person, and those of the rebellious, self-loving God hater (sorry for the politically correct, watered down language ;) ). David made the first 5, Satan the second 5. Which list best reflects your heart?
The 5 "I wills" of the righteous...
1) I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, I will sing (I count these two as one, since they are the same thing)
2) I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me?
3) I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
4) I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; [it] shall not cleave to me.
5) A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know wickedness.
The 5 "I wills" of Lucifer/Satan...
1) You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven;
2) above the stars of God I will set my throne on high;
3) I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north;
4) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
5) I will make myself like the Most High.'
We all have a "will" - we were born with it. How will we exercise it? The choice is ours...
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I especially want to highlight and mention the most recent addition - David Barton's WallBuilders, which I have added under the "Teaching Websites" category. His ministry is invaluable because he shares documented evidence that America was INDEED a Christian Nation from it's founding! The nonsense that we are taught in our Public schools today, as well as in our Universities, and on programming on the History channel, et al, that we were a secular Country from our inception, and that ALL of the Constitution signers were basically "Deist's" and agnostics is simply FLAT OUT LIES (no other way to put it!).
So please take the time to check out the wonderful info. that David Barton shares in his ministry.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
If you have not seen the film - good. It has shipwrecked many peoples faith in the bible (though the issues that it refutes are, for the most part, Catholic tradition, and NOT actual, biblical facts). But if you HAVE seen it, Elliott Nesch of holybibleprophecy.org has made a movie to refute the claims of Zeitgeist. If you would like to see a film that addresses the "facts" raised in Zeitgeist, the go HERE.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
He makes some good points, and I think we need to let our Senators know that we absolutely oppose the ratification of the Copenhagen Treaty, should our Pres(cough, sputter, gag!)ident sign this unconstitutional treaty.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The "birthers" may actually have a case (you know, the ones that are crazy for trying to contest Obama's place of birth in the courts, and show that he is actually not eligible to be President of the USA, and have received much disdain from the "establish media") - just look at the headline and first sentence of the article.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
As I have been watching the things that are going on in the world, both within politics, and the "Church", I have noticed that things are shaping up to form the beginning outline of the coming One World Government, Religion, and Economy spoken of (primarily) by Daniel the Prophet, and the Apostle John in the book of Revelation.
I am beginning to think that the Religious system of the Beast will be not simply one religion becoming the dominant one, with everyone converting to it, but rather, all the major religions synthesizing together. In other words, Christians won't have to leave Christianity, they will simply be persuaded to align themselves together with Muslims, Buddhists, etc. for the common "good" of mankind.
Consider the following quote, one that I shared in my last post from the Tony Blair Faith Foundation website:
“Globalisation (sic) pushes people closer together. Religious faith motivates and influences billions of people in different ways. The ways in which these two great forces interract (sic) with each other and shape the world - for good and for ill - are complex. Our aim is to provide ways to understand more about religion’s relevance to the modern world, and to organise (sic) practical projects so that people of different faiths can work together to be a force for good across the globe. All our activities are designed to realise (sic) these core goals.” (Emphasis mine)
I am currently reading a book by Constance Cumbey titled "The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow" (which can be downloaded in PDF format for free here), first published in 1983. The book documents the increase in New Age infiltration into Government, and ecumenical efforts of the top leaders within various religious groups, including Evangelical Christianity! In her book, Constance begins by sharing the complete text of a full-page ad placed in various newspapers, sharing the message that the "Christ" (whom those that placed the ad called the "Maitreya") was about to appear on the world scene (this was in '82, and it is interesting to note that just a few months ago, it was reported that CNN was supposed to begin playing t.v. commercials proclaiming that "The Maitreya" was going to be revealed to the world very soon). The ad can also be downloaded at the above link. Here is a quote from the ad:
"What Is He [The Maitreya] Saying? 'My task will be to show you how to live together peacefully as brothers. This is simpler than you imagine, My friends, for it requires only the acceptance of sharing' " (emphasis mine).
Notice how the quote from the ad proclaiming the soon unveiling of the "Maitreya" (who is supposed to be a "Christ" or "Messiah" figure. Just listen to the following quote, also from the 1982 newspaper ad: "At the center of this "Spiritual Hierarchy" stands the World Teacher, LORD MAITREYA, known by Christians as the CHRIST. And as Christians await the Second Coming, so the Jews await the MESSIAH, the Buddhists the FIFTH BUDDHA, the Moslems the IMAM MAHDI, and the Hindus await KRISHNA. These are all names for the one individual. His presence in the world guarantees there will be no third World War.") is similar to the quote from Tony Blair's Faith Foundation website, the very foundation wherein Pastor Rick Warren sits on "The Religious Advisory Council." Is this how we are going to be incorporated into the coming "one world religion?" I contend that the one world religion already exists - we are only now beginning to see it being implemented. Buddhist leaders, Hindu leaders, Islamic leaders, Jewish Rabbi's, and Christian Evangelical leaders as well as Roman Catholic leaders are all playing their part in drawing multitudes from within the various "faith traditions" into this one world faith.
More on this to come later, as I begin to learn more about this insidious, demonic and deceptive movement. For now I want to implore you to get into your bible daily. Ask the LORD for wisdom and discernment (He promises it to those that seek Him for it). And do not simply follow supposed "Evangelical Christian leaders" blindly - test the spirits (1 John 4:1), yea, test ALL things (1 Thess. 5:21)!
Yeshua be with us, and Yeshua, come quickly - Maranatha!
Friday, October 23, 2009
“Globalisation (sic) pushes people closer together. Religious faith motivates and influences billions of people in different ways. The ways in which these two great forces interract (sic) with each other and shape the world - for good and for ill - are complex. Our aim is to provide ways to understand more about religion’s relevance to the modern world, and to organise (sic) practical projects so that people of different faiths can work together to be a force for good across the globe. All our activities are designed to realise these core goals.” (Emphasis mine)
Pastor Rick Warren, of Saddleback Church is on the "Religious Advisory Council" for this organization, as shown in this list from the website (where I've highlighted his name):
The Religious Advisory Council
Anantanand Rambachan, Professor and Chair of the Religion Department at St. Olaf College, Minnesota
The Reverend David Coffey, President of the Baptist World Alliance
Rabbi David Rosen, Chairman of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations
Dr Ismail Khudr AL-Shatti, Advisor in Diwan of HH the Prime Minister of Kuwait and former President of the Gulf Institute for Futures and Strategic Studies
Professor Jagtar Singh Grewal, former Chairman of the India Institute of Advanced Study and former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University
Roshi Joan Halifax, Abbot of the Upaya Zen Center
The Reverend Joel Edwards, Director of Micah Challenge International and former General Director of the Evangelical Alliance.
Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
Right Reverend Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Bishop of Kaduna
HE Dr Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina
The Reverend Dr Rick Warren, Founding and Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church and Founder of the P.E.A.C.E Coalition.
The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Richard Chartres, Lord Bishop of London
Here is a quote from Mr. Warren from the website:
"The vision and values of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation are desperately needed today when every major issue in our world is influenced for good or harm by faith factors. It would be foolish to ignore how religious conviction impacts personal and National identity, poverty and education, extremism and reconciliation, disease and development, peace and progress.”
Dr Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church and the P.E.A.C.E. Coalition
Just thought you might want to know where some of America's "top" "Christian" "leaders" are taking us (if you are inclined to follow them).
"My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away [on] the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace. All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers." -Jer. 50:6,7
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Chapter 4 of Genesis is the story (teaching) of Cain and Abel. If you are at all familiar with the story (who isn't?), then you are aware that Abel's offering was accepted by the LORD, but Cain's was not. There have been two primary reasons (interpretations) given for why this was so:
1) Abel offered "...of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof" (vs. 4) but Cain offered of "... the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD." (vs. 3) It is proposed that Abel's offering was accepted because it was of his flock, ie., it was an animal sacrifice, while Cain's was not.
2) Abel's offering was accepted because it was "of faith" while Cain's was not.
Of the two, I have to say that I disagree with the first interpretation for several reasons. First, the text never says that they were offering sacrifices for sin (which would require the blood of an animal). Second, They were simply making (what appears to be freewill) offerings, of which, both offerings from your flock or field were acceptable (cf. Lev. 2:1 for an example of a grain offering). Third, God basically told Cain that if he did "well" he would be accepted (cf. vs.7). He didn't tell Cain that his offering was not accepted because he offered the wrong thing! It appears that something was amiss in Cain's attitude, life...something. God offers Cain the opportunity to change something in his life that would make his offering "accepted" (again, cf. vs. 7). In addition, Hebrews 11:4 tells us that "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain...."
Most people consider "faith" to be synonymous with "belief." If someone says that they believe in God, they are thought of as someone who has "faith." It is apparent from the story of Cain and Abel that they both believed in God. They both made an offering unto Him... they both must have believed in Him. If mere belief were synonymous with faith (at least, true, biblical faith), then surely Cain's offering would have been accepted, right?
It is true that in the NT, we read passage after passage that speaks of "believing" in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is also true however, by Jesus' (Yeshua) own words, and the book of James (Jacob), and even Paul's writings that (actually, the whole NT for that matter!) that "belief", or "believing" in the biblical sense IS faith, but mere belief is not.
You may be wondering what the difference is. Really, the Bible tells us over and over again - unfortunately, I think the gospel message (and correspondingly, the biblical message) has been made into a simple "belief" system. What I mean is, Christianity today has largely taught (whether intentionally or unintentionally) that if you simply "believe" in Jesus, and say a prayer, and get baptized, you are "saved." They make it a one time event, and as long as the person doesn't transgress a short list of sins, they are a "Christian."
I wonder if Cain's family thought everything was o.k. with Cain? I wonder if they thought "how nice. He must really love the LORD. Look, he's bringing an offering to present before Him." Some commentators even teach that Eve (Chavah) believed that Cain was/would be the promised "seed" of Genesis 3:15.
James tells us in ch.2, vs. 19 that the "devils (demons) believe, and tremble." Would anyone argue that the Demons are "saved?" If we were to read James ch. 2, we would see that true "belief" (true, biblical faith) is to believe God, and obey His word. We don't obey His commandments in order to become saved (the point Paul was often trying to make). We believe God, and then live by faith. And biblical faith is faithfulness - faithfulness to walk with God and obey Him.
Yeshua said that if we "...continue in [His] word, then are [we His] disciples indeed..." (John 8:31). He also said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (cf. Jn. 14:15,21;15:10 et al).
Both Cain and Abel brought an offering (both offerings were acceptable by biblical standards) to the LORD. Yet one was accepted, the other rejected. We get further insight into this in 1 John 3:11,12 - "For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous."
What "works" of Cain's were evil? Was it the offering he presented? Certainly not. His lifestyle was one marked by "evil works" yet he feigned faith in the LORD by bringing an offering to present before Him along with his brother Abel.
True faith, in the biblical sense, is faithfulness, a continuance not only in ones belief in God (and more explicitly, faith in His Son Yeshua), but also a continuance in His word through obedience to it. To profess faith in God, and to even make "offerings" to Him (our money, time, etc.) while living a life seperate, and out of sync with His written word, is to fool oneself, and others.
Yeshua said that there would come the day when many would say to Him "Lord, Lord..." and yet He would reply to them "depart from me, you worker of lawlessness, I never knew you" (cf. Matt. 7:23; Luke 13:27).
Are you a Cain, or Abel?
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
View here to see what I mean.
Just a quick view of the speaker's bios will give you an idea of where this conference is coming from.
For those that are gutless, rebellious, confused, and hate the God of the Bible, this seems to be the conference for you.
For those that love God, and love TRUTH, no matter what, then I say stick with the Word of God, and STAND FIRMLY ON IT!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
1) Yom Kippur begins this Sunday evening (09-27-09) @ sundown and goes until sundown, Monday evening (09-28-09) . Alternatively, some are going by the actual New Moon sighting in Israel according to the Karaites, and therefore Yom Kippur according to that reckoning will begin Tuesday evening and go until Wednesday evening).
If you would like to learn more about Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), you can click this link to read an article written by a Messianic Jew (a Jewish man that believes that Yeshua/Jesus IS the Messiah).
2) I wanted to share a neat, lit'le ol' dittie, in the Torah (1st five books of the Bible - Genesis through Deuteronomy) that can only be seen in the original Hebrew - you won't see it in the English (or any other language for that matter).
If you recall, In Revelation 1:8,10, Yeshua says: "I am Alpha and Omega...." Many of us know that these are the 1st and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and it is taken to mean something akin to Yeshua being the whole of the Word of God (or in other words, every word of the Bible is about HIM). We would see it as Him saying that He was/is the "A and Z" (to put it into English). But we must remember that while Yeshua was on Earth, He would have spoken Hebrew - not Greek, Russian, Afrikaans, English, or any other language for that matter. I think there is every reason to believe that when Yeshua spoke to John on Patmos, He probably spoke Hebrew (the likelihood of John understanding Greek is slim, since he was born and raised in the land of Israel).
ANYWAYS...it doesn't really matter one way or the other. What I want to show is that, if we were to take Yeshua's statement "I am Alpha and Omega" and put it into Hebrew, He would say "I am Aleph and Tav", the first and last letters of the Hebrew Alphabet (or more accurately, the Aleph-Beth). Interestingly enough, the letters aleph and tav actually form a word in Hebrew - "et" (pronounced like "ate"). Now this is where it gets pretty cool...
(Oh I wish I could use Hebrew font on Blogger!!!!) The word "et" is found, in the original Hebrew of the Tanakh, hundreds of times. It has a purpose in Hebrew (of which I won't go into now for times' sake), but goes largely untranslated in our Bibles.
In Genesis 1:1 we read the following: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
These ten words (in the KJV) are translated from just seven words in Hebrew:
(in beginning) (created) (God) (not translated) (the heavens) (and) (the earth)
"B'reisheet bara elohim et ha'shamayim v'et ha'aretz".
If you will notice, we have the Hebrew word "et" twice in that verse.
In ancient Jewish teaching, the seven days of Creation represent seven thousand years of history (based upon Psalm 90:4 where a thousand years are likened to a day). Many Christians take this view as well (especially since Moses' sentiment is echoed by Peter in 2 Peter 3:8).
Notice that there are seven Hebrew words in Genesis 1:1. The seven words have been taken to represent seven thousand years of History as well in some teaching.
Now both Jews and Christians (though not ALL Jews, and not ALL Christians - but they don't count! ;-) ) teach that the world is to go through six thousand years of turmoil, culminating in the last one thousand years being ruled by the Messiah, a time of peace on Earth, no more wars, fighting, famine, etc.
So to bring into perspective, we are to have six thousand years, and then just before the last thousand years (the "Millennium"), the Messiah comes to usher in the Messianic era.
If this is true, and something the Bible teaches (and I, for one, believe that it IS!) then is it possible that we have a clue, found in the very first verse of the Bible?
Isaiah 46:10 says: "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." Young's literal translation states it as follows: "Declaring from the beginning the latter end...."
From this we get the concept that the end, i.e, latter days, are actually declared from (or "out of") the beginning. The word for "beginning" in Isaiah 46:10 is the Hebrew word "reisheet" - lit. 'beginning.' Do you remember the first verse of our Bibles, Gen. 1:1: "In the beginning" (Hebrew - "b'reisheet')?
Soooooo...Let's put this all together.
a) Yeshua says in the book of Revelation that He is the "Alpha and Omega" (in Heb. - the "Aleph and Tav")
b) The first verse of our Bible has the aleph/tav combo in it twice (untranslated in our English Bibles), found in the fourth and sixth positions.
c) The seven days of creation represent the seven thousand years of Earth history (as well as the seven words of Genesis 1:1).
d) Isaiah tells us that the entirety of Biblical (and world) history are declared "from" or "out of" the beginning (and you can't get any more "beginning" than "In the beginning..."!).
Now for the conclusion of the matter. I will see if I can lead you to the prophetic (yes, PROPHETIC) significance of this by asking a few questions so that when the answer dawns on you, it will be more exciting.
Of the seven words of Genesis 1:1, where do we find the "aleph/Tav" (if you were to number the words - ie. B'reisheet = 1, "bara" = 2, etc.)?
As Believers in Yeshua/Jesus not only as the Messiah and Savior of the world, but also the One of whom the ENTIRE Bible points to, how many times does He come to Earth?
If we take the seven Hebrew words, and ascribe one thousand years to each word (in other words, each word represents a millenia of time), in which millenia do we find the "Aleph/Tav"?
And lastly, by the placement of the Aleph/Tav in Genesis 1:1 - do we possibly have a prophetic declaration of God's Son, found in the very FIRST VERSE of the Bible?!? Did God, way in advance, tell us of the time(s) of the Messiah's coming(s)?
I hope that this is as interesting to you as it is me, because there are SO MANY MORE cool things in our Bibles embedded within the Hebrew that can teach, instruct, and even PREPARE us for the days in which we live.
Friday, September 18, 2009
"Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall present a food offering to the LORD."
"Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
1 Cor. 15:51-55
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
It is obvious that the text tells us that the Sabbath, etc. are clearly shadows - in other words, they were and are meant to teach/show us something about the Messiah, and His redemptive work in this world. However, unfortunately most of Christianity has taken this to mean that they are "merely"shadows (as the NASB puts it), and that they really have no true value to the Believer in Jesus, because HE is the reality. I completely agree that HE is the reality, the true object of our faith and affection. But I must wholeheartedly disagree that the Sabbath and Festivals have no real value to the believer any longer - in fact, I contend that of all people, those that have accepted that Yeshua (Jesus) is the promised Messiah and Savior promised in the Tenakh (Old Testament), the Believer in Him is the one that should see the GREATEST value in those things that are pictures of His redemptive work!
With that said, I would like to ask a simple question of those that believe that the Sabbath, Festivals, etc. are really not important, or something to be observed and paid attention to by believers in Yeshua the Messiah: If we do not need to observe the Sabbath, etc. because they are "mere shadows", and therefore not really important now that the Messiah has come the first time, then why is such pomp and circumstance given to things such as Christmas, Easter, The Lord's supper, baptism, etc.? Furthermore (and this is the crux of the question), if the Sabbath, New Moons, and Holy Festivals of the Tenakh were/are shadows of our Messiah and Savior, then what are Christmas, Easter, etc. shadows of? In other words, if our Messiah, and His redemptive "plan" is casting the shadows of Sabbath, etc., then what is casting the shadows of Christmas, etc.?
You see, Christians are focused on a whole HOST of "shadows" and don't even realize it. Is Christmas the reality of Messiah? Is Easter? Are they not "Festivals?" Again, I ask, If the Sabbath, and Festivals such as Passover, the Feast of Trumpets, The feast of Tabernacles, etc. are the biblically defined "shadows" of our Messiah, then who or what, pray tell, is casting the "shadows" of Christmas, Easter, etc. - things found absolutely nowhere in the bible?
Please, if you have not considered these things before, then do so now. I have no intention of judging anyone. My desire is to see ALL believers come into the "...measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). If you are celebrating ANY holiday with the intention that it is about Yeshua (Jesus), then you ARE observing a "shadow." Who's shadow are you really celebrating?
We are about to come into the fall feats given in the bible (spec. Lev. 23) - Yom Teruah (The Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanna), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles). Right now we are in the Hebrew Month of Elul, the Month preceding Tishrei, the Month of the Fall Festivals. Elul is the Month considered to be a time of inward reflection and repentance (Paul tells us to "examine" ourselves in 2 Cor. 13:5). Prepare yourself for your Bridegroom.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
About a week or so ago (I don't remember exactly now) on my way home from work, I flipped on the radio (it was around 4:15 p.m. or so) and caught the call in Bible answer program "To Everyone An Answer" - a program of CSN radio hosted by Pastor Mike Kestler. Mike was joined by Jim Tetlow, often the co-host of the radio program.
I just happened to catch the program just as a caller was asking the question of why Christians today worship on Sunday instead of Saturday (the Sabbath). This question has been asked many times on T.E.M.A., and is a subject of much debate, and has been for 2 millenia.
I don't expect to deal with this issue here and now in it's entirety because it is a huge issue with many, many points that need to be addressed. However...what I want to do is begin to address some of the biblical passages that get brought up to show why Christians don't "keep" the sabbath today.
Every time I hear this question get brought up, the "answer" is usually done in typical machine-gun style modern Christian polemic (oops, sorry, "apologetic") where 5-6 verses are thrown out there (without any regard to the CONTEXT of those verses), along with a slew of other various comments, grievances, etc., whether they pertain to the inquirers question or not (for ex. the issue of salvation is ALWAYS brought up, no matter whether the person asking made it an issue or not - ex. "we're not saved by keeping the Sabbath, or anything else...." This is almost always stated, when in fact the issue of salvation is rarely brought up in the matter).
I'd like to start with Colossians 2:16,17 which reads as follows:
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."
This is usually one of the "big guns" in the arsenal of the Christian Apologist in answering the Sabbath issue, the point being that we should not let anybody judge us for not keeping the Sabbath, or the other Holy days, or eating biblically "kosher" (ie. no pork, shellfish, etc.) because they are simply the shadows of the Messiah, and not the real thing, and so why waste our time focusing on the "shadow" when we can focus on the REAL?!
This is one of the passages that I hear quoted EVERY time I hear the Sabbath issue being discussed (like I said, it is one of the "big guns!").
But let's do a little probing and see if this gun has any bullets in it, or if it's just shooting blanks!
Mike Kestler has a saying he often shares on the program which goes something like this: "use the 20/20 rule - read 20 verses prior to the verse you are looking at, and 20 verses after, in order to get the context." I think that is a great idea; in fact, I believe it will shed a lot of light on the issue!
Because it would make this post much longer, I'm not going to paste the entire passage here (Col. ch. 2), but will highlight several verses prior to v.v 16,17 - and several verses that follow.
If you were to look at just about any N.T. commentary, you would learn that one of the major "issues" being addressed in Colossians was a heresy called "gnosticism" (which comes from the Greek word "gnosis" - "knowledge"). Gnosticism is still around today in various forms, and in a nutshell is the teaching that the physical is evil - only the spirit is redeemable and holy, and we must attain to higher levels of "knowledge" in order to grow closer to the "divine", and even grow in divinity ourselves. In the first century, there were certain characteristics that identified gnostic practice, and the most predominant was an ascetic lifestyle, one marked by long, arduous fasts, often accompanied by self abasement.
Paul, throughout the epistle to the Colossians, continually points out the contrast between The Godhead manifested in the flesh via Yeshua (cf. vs. 9), and the "fullness" of our faith and fellowship found in Him, as opposed to the "philosophy" and "vain deceit" found within "traditions of men" (cf. vs. 8). He continues by sharing the fullness of that which we have obtained through our faith in Him. First and foremost, we are complete in Him. There is no higher, secret, hidden "knowledge" so-called to be obtained through the "philosophy" and "vain deceit." ALL wisdom and knowledge is found in HIM!
Paul continues by sharing that we have been completely forgiven of our sins, and our "rap sheet" so-to-speak ("handwriting of ordinances" or, as the ESV states it, the "record of debt") has been "nailed to the cross." Our salvation is complete in Him, with no need to search the hidden heights of so-called "knowledge", accessible to a select few that find it via their extreme, physically abusive methods.
Basically, we have now come to the "trump card" verses that are used to show why we Christians don't keep the sabbath today. The only problem is, Paul's argument thus far has had NOTHING to do with God's commandments. He has not been speaking against God's word - he has been showing the contrast between the fullness of forgiveness, and our standing with and before God through Yeshua, who is the "fullness of the Godhead bodily", as opposed to the ascetic gnostic beliefs and practices that are obtained through the "traditions of men!"
Paul's statement in v.v. 16,17 are begun with the words "let no man therefore judge you...." In other words, in light of the fact that full and complete forgiveness of sins has been accomplished, and all of the fulness of wisdom and knowledge is found in Yeshua, the "fulness of the Godhead bodily", don't let these gnostic, ascetic people judge you. Judge you for what? Judge you, who are "complete in Him" for "meat" (ie. eating) and "drink" (drinking), or for keeping the sabbath, holy days (mo'edim), etc.
You see, the people being "judged" were not the ones NOT eating and drinking, and keeping the sabbath and holy days, it was the other way around. It was the gnostic people, who believed true wisdom and "knowledge" was obtained by punishing the flesh (which was "evil" in their view) via long fasting and denying of the flesh, that were judging the believers who "ate" and "drank", and kept the sabbath, etc.
Notice that in vs. 17 Paul says that these things are "shadows" of things "to come." At the time that Paul wrote this epistle, Yeshua had long since died, resurrected, and ascended to the right hand of the Father. Yet Paul does not say that the sabbath, and holy days were shadows of things that "had been", or worse yet, shadows of things that "were to come" as the N.I.V. puts it (completely changing the tense of the Greek, something that can be verified by ANYONE simply by looking at the Greek at say, Blue Letter Bible, etc.)!
The Tabernacle, the sabbath, the feast days, the Priesthood, etc. are ALL shadows; they always were, and always will be!
What is the point of a shadow? I mean, why does it even exist? Is a shadow just a happenstance phenomena created by the sun?
We know that God uses the physical (that which can be seen) to teach us, and help us to understand the spiritual (that which cannot be seen). For example, how many times did Yeshua use the picture of a farmer, seed, coins, candles, earth, plants, trees, etc. in His parables in order to teach us spiritual issues? I'd say EVERY time!
So, what can shadows teach us? For one thing, a shadow can show you the general outline, or shape of something, even if the true object is out of your view (the shadow is something "seen" giving you the impression of something that is "not seen").
Imagine that you are walking down the street and are coming up on an alley. Coming out from the alley you see the shadow of a tree. You probably would not think twice about it, but you would know there was a tree there. But what if, instead of a shadow of a tree, you saw a shadow, a figure of a person holding up a knife. Would that catch your attention? The shadow is showing you something that is coming.
Another thing that shadows can show us is time and whereabouts. Survival books can teach you how to figure out the time of day, and your general location (North, South, etc.) using shadows.
So, two things that shadows can show us are the general shape or form of something, and the time and station (place) of something.
The sabbath and holy days are shadows of things "to come...." Let that sink in. Ponder that one for a few.
Is Yeshua still to return? Have we gone through the Millennium yet? Have the new heavens and earth come yet? Has the complete ingathering of Israel happened? Is Yeshua ruling from the Davidic throne in Jerusalem right now? Do we see Israel inhabiting the full scope of the Abrahamic covenant borders that God promised to Him in Genesis? Etc., etc., etc.
There is still MUCH to be fulfilled. Therefore, there is still a need for "shadows", something God intended for His people, and STILL intends for His people. After all, He wants us to be people of "understanding...."
Paul is NOT telling the Colossian believers to not let people judge them for NOT keeping the sabbath, etc., he is telling them the exact opposite! Do not let others judge you FOR doing those things.
You might be wondering at this point how I justify this interpretation. It might become more clear as we continue to look at the verses following v.v. 16, 17.
In vs. 18 Paul tells them to not let anyone "beguile" them of their "reward" (the ESV translates the verse as follows: "Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind....") In contrast to the ones refusing to allow others to judge them (v.v. 16,17) are people who are "ascetic", they "worship angels", and they are "puffed up" by their "sensuous minds." Anyone who has even the slightest knowledge of the "O.T", and God's commandments, will instantly know that asceticism, angel worship, and "sensuality" are not found within His Torah (law)! His law is "holy", "pure", "undefiled", "perfect", etc.
Continuing on, in v.v. 20-23 Paul asks the Colossian believers, the ones in v.v 16,17 who are not to allow the others to "judge" them, that if they have died to the "rudiments of the world" through Messiah, why are they subjecting themselves to ordinances such as "Touch not; taste not; handle not...." Some, nay, many commentators have suggested that what Paul is referring to with "Touch not; taste not; handle not" is the dietary laws found in Lev. 23. This could not possibly be so, because the main issue Paul has been dealing with in ch. 2 is the gnostic heresies that are plaguing the Colossian Church. These are "ordinances" being placed upon them by the gnostic "teachers" - demanding an extremism because, after all, according to their teachings, the flesh is evil, therefore it must be denied/punished. Furthermore, Paul continues by saying, of these practices "which all are to perish with the using; after the commandments and doctrines of men." Notice what Paul calls these things - "commandments and doctrines of men." Are God's laws "commandments and doctrines of men!? I don't think so. Paul concludes the argument with this final clause: "Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh." The "touch not, taste not, handle not" teaching is being called "commandments and doctrines of men", "will worship", and "[neglect] of the body." All fit perfectly within the framework of the gnostic doctrines Paul had been speaking against, and are in contrast with the biblical commandments God Him self gave that point to Messiah, and are shadows of the things that are "to come."
To conclude, I have to say that Colossians 2:16,17 cannot be used to teach that Christians don't keep the sabbath today. To use these verses to bolster that idea is to completely take them out of context - the very thing we are continually reminded that we are not supposed to do. So, using Mike's "20/20" rule actually renders his use - and anyone else's for that matter - of these verses as isogesis, and especially poor hermeneutic.
I would like to add that this is not meant to be a personal attack on Mike Kestler, Jim Tetlow, or anyone else for that matter. I simply used the T.E.M.A. program as a catalyst to analyze one of the most commonly used passages to try to show why Christians do not worship on the sabbath today. I hope to cover some of the other passages that are used at another time, but for now, I hope I have provoked you to go study your bible! Be willing to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1 Thess. 5:21
Monday, July 27, 2009
Here are two links that will explain this fast day (which is referred to in the book of Zech. as the "fast of the fifth month).
Romans 12:15 tells us to "...weep with them that weep."
Sunday, July 19, 2009
My help cometh from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel doth neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper; the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall keep thee from all evil; He shall keep thy soul. The LORD shall guard thy going out and thy coming in, from this time forth and for ever."
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wake up Christians and Jews in America (and around the world for that matter)!!!
Get into the word of God DAILY! Obey what you read! Draw near to the LORD! Repent of your sin and filth! Nominal Christians - first wake up and recognize that you are living in "la la land" - get your head out of the sand (and the filth of pop American culture, ie. Babylon) and begin to HEAR and OBEY God's word!
Here is a link sharing how we are currently in an electronic war that is quite eye opening.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
An interesting and short article about the Georgia Guidestones, or "America's Stonehenge." It seems to me that we are actually moving in the direction of the "guidelines" listed (some call them the 10 commandments of the New Age).
I think Paul the Apostle referred to these times as "perilous." How true.
Friday, June 19, 2009
The "watchmen" are, in Hebrew, the "notzrim." 'Notzrim' is the modern Israeli word used for Christians! The "notzrim" are crying out from "mount Ephraim." Ephraim is in the "West Bank." Paul connects Gentile believers of Yeshua the Messiah to Ephraim in Romans 11:25 by quoting Genesis 48:19 (where Jacob/Israel adopts Joseph's two sons - Manasseh and Ephraim) in speaking of the Gentile believers grafted into Israel.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I thought that this article, titled "The Sound of Silence - The Antithesis of Freedom" was rather interesting - and plausible. If you don't think so, you need to become more informed with what is happening in technology. Even over-the-counter magazines like Discover are slowly revealing technologies that were "science fiction" 20-30 years ago.
Disclaimer: This is the only article I've read from the website I've linked to; I don't know their stance on anything else, and linking to this article is not an endorsement by me for the website, it's authors, or anything else connected. I only share this because I think that it is at least possible that what the author is sharing is the truth. Believers in The God of Israel, Yeshua, and the bible need not fear - but we do need to be prepared. Memorize the scriptures. Take up the full armor of God (Eph. 6). Put into practice that which you learn from the bible, especially the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23). And "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Rom. 12:21
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
The ACLU and other such like minded individuals have pushed and pushed, and have even made some headway. The day is coming when they push so hard that, rather than break the believers, they will simply spring forth into previously unreached areas, even coming full circle to see those that once persecuted join the ranks of the redeemed.
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out!"
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
“Lover or Prostitute?”
The Question that Changed My Life
By David Ryser
A number of years ago, I had the privilege of teaching at a school of ministry. My students were hungry for God, and I was constantly searching for ways to challenge them to fall more in love with Jesus and to become voices for revival in the Church.
I came across a quote attributed most often to Rev. Sam Pascoe.
It is a short version of the history of Christianity, and it goes like this:
Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise.
Some of the students were only 18 or 19 years old --and I wanted them to understand and appreciate the import of the last line, so I clarified it by adding, “An enterprise. That’s a business.”
After a few moments Martha, the youngest student in the class, raised her hand. I could not imagine what her question might be. I thought the little vignette was self-explanatory, and that I had performed it brilliantly. Nevertheless, I acknowledged Martha’s raised hand, “Yes, Martha.”
She asked such a simple question, “A business? But isn’t it supposed to be a body?” I could not envision where this line of questioning was going, and the only response I could think of was, “Yes.”
She continued, “But when a body becomes a business, isn’t that a prostitute?”
The room went dead silent. For several seconds no one moved or spoke. We were stunned, afraid to make a sound because the presence of God had flooded into the room, and we knew we were on holy ground. All I could think in those sacred moments was, “Wow, I wish I’d thought of that.” I didn’t dare express that thought aloud. God had taken over the class. Martha’s question changed my life.
For six months, I thought about her question at least once every day. “When a body becomes a business, isn’t that a prostitute?” There is only one answer to her question. The answer is “Yes.”
The North American Church, tragically, is heavily populated by people who do not love God. How can we love Him? We don’t even know Him;and I mean really know Him. What do I mean when I say “really know Him?”
Our understanding of knowing and knowledge stems from our western culture (which is based in ancient Greek philosophical thought). We believe we have knowledge (and, by extension, wisdom) when we have collected information. A collection of information is not the same thing as knowledge, especially in the culture of the Bible (which is an eastern culture).
In the eastern culture, all knowledge is experiential. In western/Greek culture, we argue from premise to conclusion without regard for experience--or so we think. An example might be helpful here.
We say we believe something (or someone) apart from personal experience. This definition of belief is not extended to our stockbroker, however. Allow me to explain.
Suppose my stockbroker phones me and says, “I have a hot tip on a stock that is going to triple in price within the next week. I want your permission to transfer $10,000 from your cash account and buy this stock.”
That’s a lot of money for me, so I ask, “Do you really believe this stock will triple in price, and so quickly?” He answers, I sure do.” I say, “That sounds great! How exciting! So how much of your own money have you invested in this stock?” He answers, “None.” Does my stockbroker believe? Truly believe? I don’t think so, and suddenly I don’t believe, either.
How can we be so discerning in the things of this world, especially when they involve money, and so indiscriminate when it comes to spiritual things? The fact is, we do not know or believe apart from experience.
The Bible was written to people who would not understand the concepts of knowledge, belief, and faith apart from experience. I suspect God thinks this way also. So I stand by my statement that most American Christians do not know God-- much less love Him.
The root of this condition originates in how we came to God.
Most of us came to Him because of what we were told He would do for us. We were promised that He would bless us in life and take us to heaven after death. We married Him for His money, and we don’t care if He lives or dies as long as we can get His stuff. We have made the Kingdom of God into a business, merchandising His anointing. This should not be. We are commanded to love God, and are called to be the Bride of Christ-- that’s pretty intimate stuff. We are supposed to be His lovers. How can we love someone we don’t even know? And even if we do know someone, is that a guarantee that we truly love them? Are we lovers or prostitutes?
I was pondering Martha’s question again one day, and considered the question, “What’s the difference between a lover and a prostitute?” Irealized that both do many of the same things, but a lover does what she does because she loves. A prostitute pretends to love, but only as long as you pay.
Then I asked the question, “What would happen if God stopped paying me?”
For the next several months, I allowed God to search me to uncover my motives for loving and serving Him. Was I really a true lover of God? What would happen if He stopped blessing me? What if He never did another thing for me? Would I still love Him?
Please understand, I believe in the promises and blessings of God. The issue here is not whether God blesses His children; the issue is the condition of my heart. Why do I serve Him? Are His blessings in my life the gifts of a loving Father, or are they a wage that I have earned or a bribe/payment to love Him? Do I love God without any conditions?
It took several months to work through these questions. Even now I wonder if my desire to love God is always matched by my attitude and behavior. I still catch myself being disappointed with God and angry that He has not met some perceived need in my life.
I suspect this is something which is never fully resolved, but I want more than anything else to be a true lover of God. So what is it going to be? Which are we, lover or prostitute?
There are no prostitutes in heaven, or in the Kingdom of God for that matter, but there are plenty of former prostitutes in both places. Take it from a recovering prostitute when I say there is no substitute for unconditional, intimate relationship with God. And I mean there is no palatable substitute available to us (take another look at Matthew 7:21-23 sometime). We must choose.
Dr. David Ryser Responses to this article are welcomed.
You may contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Edited by Ron McGatlin on 08/25/2008
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Maranatha - even so Adonai Yeshua, come quickly!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I believe I have said it before in the past, at around inauguration time, and I'll say it again (though I didn't come up with it - I have heard many Messianic teachers say this), that we need to be in the weekly Torah portions (consisting of a specific portion read each week from the first five books of Moses - the Torah portion - along with a portion from the Prophets - called the Haftarah - and for Messianic believers, a portion from the NT) because it is usually pertinent for the week/times. Remember, God's word is "...quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." - Heb. 4:12. In other words, it is always relevant.
Last weeks Torah portion was actually a double portion (two portions put together due to the way the yearly calender falls) - "Tazria", and "Metzora" which consisted of Lev. 12:1 - 15:33. Within the portion were the laws pertaining to infectious disease, leprosy, etc.
Last night we turned on the news only to see that there is an "epidemic" of "swine flu" in Mexico (to read about it, click on the picture above), and believed to have migrated to America, Canada, and possibly New Zealand and Europe, soon to possibly be labeled a "pandemic!" This news coming out on the same day that "Metzora" (meaning "leper" or "diseased") was being read all around the world.
It reminds me of Yeshua's words in Matt. 24:7 - "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." I believe we are truly seeing these things as He spoke two-thousand years ago. I also believe that God's word is going to be the only navigation that will direct our steps (as Yeshua said in vs. 25 - "Behold, I have told you before"). I cannot stress enough how important it is to be reading the Bible daily (and I mean daily!), memorizing it, praying, and seeking direction from the LORD. With so many voices speaking today, how are we to know which is His voice, and the voices of all of the imposter's (cf. Matthew 24:5,11,23,24), and those that speak from their own heart and thoughts (cf. Proverbs 28:26; Jeremiah 9:13,14; Jer. 18:12; Jer. 23:16, et al)? We need to be in His word so that we learn truth from error. And Listening to teachers on the radio does not count (not that it is bad, but rather, we need to read the bible ourselves as well as listen to bible teaching!).
Please take seriously the times that we are in. If you are not already, get into the word DAILY.
If you would like a to get a Torah portion reading schedule ( that includes NT readings) you can go here and print one off.
May you be directed by YHVH, in the faith of Yeshua, and "may you go out with joy and be led forth with peace." - Is. 55:12
Thursday, April 23, 2009
This Last Tuesday was Holocaust Remembrance (Memorial) Day. It was (and is) a time to reflect on what happened during WWII and, for me at least, to think about how the Christian Church (for the most part, with a few exceptions) were implicit in much of what happened simply by their silence. How could a whole Nation, which was considered, for the most part, to be a Christian Nation at the time, allow such barbarity to occur?
There is an ancient fortress in Israel. According to the Masada National Park, Masada was fortified approx. 2,200 years ago, later being enlarged and reinforced by Herod the Great (to learn more, you can read about it at the Jewish Virtual Library, and this article at the National Guard website, among others). In the years between 66 A.D. and 73 A.D., about a thousand Jews took refuge there from the Roman army. As the Romans besieged the city, the Jews defended themselves there, until finally they all committed mass suicide, rather than be taken alive by the Roman army. A common practice with IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) soldiers today is to go up to Masada and take an oath: "Masada shall not fall again."
I share the above to say that I believe that we (meaning everyone of course, but specifically Christians) need to take a similar stance: We will stand with Israel; we will not remain silent and allow what happened during WWII to happen again.
I'm sure many of the "good Christian folk" of that time thought that were were innocent because they didn't personally take physical action against their *Jewish neighbors (though any DID!). But their silence, and turning a blind eye made them just as culpable. If one witnesses a crime in the United States and keeps silent, he or she is counted as complicit in the crime as well.
Now is the time, while we still have some semblance of freedom, to speak up, and stand for truth. We must determine in our hearts now, how we might act and speak if we are put into a situation where we are confronted with a situation similar to WWII.
We must not remain silent.
To see and hear a great (and sobering) video by Messianic Praise and Worship artist Ted Pearce about the Holocaust, go here.
*It must be noted that Jewish people were not the only people that suffered under the Nazi regime - Political dissidents, Christians who spoke out, Captured Russian soldiers, Homosexuals, Gypsies, and others were also exterminated in Hitlers death camps. NO one deserves to be treated this way, and so ALL should be remembered during Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
For anyone even remotely familiar with the bible, and what it has to say, it is no secret that the bible uses many words that, quite simply, need to be defined for us - hence, when reading/studying the bible, one often uses a Webster's dictionary, a Strong's concordance, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera (sorry... accidentally slipped into "The King and I"), in order to try and better understand what we are reading. For example, what do the words "holy", "righteousness", "grace", "mercy", "love", "repent", et al mean? Unfortunately many today have not been taught how to study their bibles. We are told to read them daily (if we have a decent Pastor, the likes of which are becoming rarer day by day, though there are still some good ones left! ;). The art and practice of systematic, deep bible study is quickly going the way of the Dinosaur. This is not surprising if you know your bible, for we are told in it that:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it." Amos 8:11,12
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Tim. 4:3,4
This is in direct contradistinction to the command given to all disciples of Jesus Christ by Paul, an Apostle of the Lord:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Tim. 2:15
So, despite the fact that we (believers/followers of the Lord Jesus Christ) are commanded to study to show ourselves approved unto God, many are turning away their ear from the teaching of sound doctrine, and willingly submitting themselves to a famine of God's word (and what does one do during a famine? Become starved, emaciated, and pathetically malnourished). They chase false teachers like a dog chasing the chrome bumper of a moving car - case in point: the multitudes that follow Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, Jesse Duplantis, et al, and not only listen to their nonsense, but send them hard earned money by the shovel full (the Todd Bentley fiasco is another prime time example!).
So what does all of this have to do with the Bible's dictionary? Much indeed. You see, one cannot rightly determine what is "evil" and what is "good"; what is "darkness" and what is "light"; what is "bitter" and what is "sweet" (cf. Isaiah 5:20) if one does not even read their bible! And even if you are one of the ancient, "prudish" relics out there that takes down one of the 10 or so bibles that they own off of the shelf, dust off the cover and read it (Charles Spurgeon once said "There is dust enough on some of your bibles to write 'damnation' with your fingers" - ouch!), do you know how to study it? Do you know how to interpret a verse using the bible as the source of definition? Can I tell you that the bible is it's own best dictionary? Do you know how to find the "definitions"?
There exists a method of biblical interpretation that scholars call "hermeneutics." Hermeneutics are simply put, the "rules" of biblical interpretation. There are varying lists of hermeneutic principles, but some of the rules seem to transcend all of the various interpretive traditions. One of those "rules" concerns the defining of biblical terms/words. Basically speaking, words in the bible need to be defined by looking to examples of how the word is used throughout the bible, and taking into account phrases that may explain the word. One example is the word "love." There are many definitions and ideas in the world as to what love is. But the biblical definition is pretty clear:
"...And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." Ex. 20:6
"Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD." Lev. 19:17-18
"And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God." Lev. 19:33-34
"...And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes." Deut. 6:5-8
"But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. " 1 John 2:5
"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." 1 John 3:16-18
"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" 1 John 4:20
"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments." 1 John 5:2
These are just a small sampling of the many times that the bible uses the word "love" in conjunction with an action, actions, or attitudes. Therefore, the bible itself defines the word love for us.
Words like love, faith, grace, righteous, mercy, holy, etc. are concepts - ideas. They are simply words that, taken apart from any kind of action do us very little good. As in the verse above (1 John 3:16-18), we see that if we see another person in need, but turn a blind eye to it, we are not "loving" our neighbor, regardless of what we say.
Today we are living in a time when not only the world has decided to create their own definitions for things, people who claim to love Jesus, and believe in Him do as well. This should not be for the person who says that he is a follower of Jesus, the Son of God.
One of my most urgent messages to fellow Christians is that we need to be reading our bibles daily. But more than that, we must study our bibles. We need to allow it to explain itself to us.
We must take pains to not redefine the words of the scriptures to suit our ideas and doctrines. We must, if we truly love God and His word, to let the bible define itself for us, and then walk according to what it says. This is not always easy to do, for if we are truly willing to do this, we may find some of our previously held ideas overturned - something not easily swallowed! Are we willing to do this?
Let me simply end with a simple recommendation. If you are reading the bible, and come to a word that seems hard for you to put into practical terms, look for where that word is used in other places in the bible in which an action is associated with it. Our various concordances can indeed be helpful, but they often define one word with another word that is equally abstract - in other words, not very helpful! We need abstract words like love, grace, etc. coupled with a verb in order to truly begin to understand it. And this is exactly what the bible does.
If the two greatest commandments in the bible are to "love God, and love your neighbor as yourself" as is often quoted, the shouldn't we look throughout the bible, and find the verbs that accompany these commandments in order to rightly determine how to do so? As the Psalmist stated in Psalm 119:9 "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word." And again in Psalm 19:7-11 "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward."
Let the bible define itself - after all, it is it's own best dictionary!