Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Parable of the Sower 529-1 - 9 - 1

In Matthew Chapter 12 we learn that the Temple leaders committed the unpardonable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit by attributing Jesus’ miracles to Satan. Matthew 12:24, “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.”
After this, Jesus spoke in parables. A parable according to Strong’s H4912 is “in some original sense of superiority in mental action; properly a pithy maxim, usually of a metaphorical nature; hence a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse): - byword, like, parable, proverb.”
The disciples asked Jesus why he spoke in parables. Jesus clarified the difference between the unbelieving crowd and the believing disciples. While the unbelievers would not be permitted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, Jesus would explain the parables to his disciples.
Psalm 78:2, “I will open my mouth in a parable (H4912): I will utter dark sayings (H2430) of old:”
H2420, properly to tie a knot, that is, (figuratively) to propound a riddle: - put forth.; a puzzle; hence a trick, conundrum, sententious maxim: - dark saying (sentence, speech), hard question, proverb, riddle.
Ezekiel 20:49, “Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?” This was a prophecy against Judah, that it would be destroyed by fire, a type of the coming Babylon invasion. Hundreds of years later, Jesus foretold of the destruction of the Temple. When Jesus said destroy this Temple and I will rebuild it in three days He was referring to the crucifixion and resurrection. A parable not understood even by His disciples
My favorite parable is The Parable of the Sower, good insight as we witness to others.
Matthew 13:4, “And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:” This is the “The hard beaten path, where no plough had broken up the ground.” Seemingly no chance as there is no interest or any understanding.
Matthew 13:5-5, “5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6, And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.” Here there is a thin layer of earth and mostly stones. This would allow for little ploughing an no place for the root to spread.
Matthew 13:7, “And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:” Perhaps the earth was somewhat broken up but was not cleared of brambles and thorns.
Matthew 13:8, “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.” Here the earth is deep and well ploughed so the roots (Word) could take hold.  The thorns (Flesh) were removed so the roots were not choked off.
CM provided a very pithy summary of the Four Soils:
• Wayside without understanding; birds steal the seed away.
• Stony places without root; fail under pressure.
• Among thorns; too entangled in the cares of this world.
• Good ground; hearing and understanding: bear much fruit.
This is my favorite parable as it provides insights into witnessing. I’ve been witnessing to a good friend for several years. Usually my words fall by the wayside. A few times I seen to plough up a little but no real progress. Sadly, she is an example of “The only barrier to truth is the presumption that you already have it.” Still I pray that someday I can pierce that barrier.

Matthew 12:45 529-1 - 8 - 6

Matthew 12:43-44, “43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44, “Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.” 
While it seems that Jesus was speaking to His generation, is He contrasting it with Israel? Is it a summary of the past, present, and future of unbelieving Israel in parable form?
The man is a type the Jewish nation returning from the Babylon captivity, cured of his/ Israel’s idolatry. In the book of Ezra, we read of the temple being finished and dedicated. Ezra 6:19, "And the children of the captivity kept the Passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month." There had been Israelite's who had married foreign (strange wives). In the past, foreign wives were a portal to idolatry, so they were “put aside” in obedience to God.
In the many attempts to rebuild the temple, there were attack made as the walls had been destroyed. Nehemiah was allowed to return to Jerusalem and organize the rebuilding Jerusalem's walls.
From the end of the captivity to the present, the Jewish people have not been idol-worshipers, rather like a house that is empty, swept, and put in order. Sadly, when the Messiah presented himself He was rejected. Although many still hold to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Israel has become increasingly secular.
Matthew 12:45, “Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”
Does “last state” refer to the end days, when an apostate nation/ world will worship the Antichrist? The tribulation follows the end of the church age and is a period in which God works to bring Israel to faith. The nation (house) of Israel will be filled with idolatry and unspeakable evil. Although unbelieving Israel will suffer the judgments of the Great Tribulation, a remnant of Israel will take refuge in Petra during the second half of the tribulation.
Just a sample of the Tribulation during which there will demonic locusts with a king whose named Abaddon.
Revelation 9:2-3, “2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.”
Revelation 9:7-10 provides a horrific image of these demonic locusts. They had hair like women's, lion-like teeth, armor-like iron breastplates, making them impossible to destroy. They will have tails like scorpions, the sting of which will cause five months of unrelieved suffering and death will be impossible.
Lesson learned from Matthew 12:43-45, clear your house of unclean spirits and keep your house (Israel and/ or the individual) free of unclean spirits by the acceptance and protective covering of Jesus.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

John the Baptist, messenger to “prepare the way.” 529-1 - 7 - 8

The last book in the Old Testament is Malachi which ends with a curse, Malachi 4:5-6, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
There were 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testament, years in which God did not speak to the Jewish people. Silent years but years of fulfillment of prophecy.
Daniel 2:1-13 tells of King Nebuchadnezzar having a dream. In Daniel 2:31-35 Daniel recounts the king’s dream, that the king had seen a huge image, the image's head was of fine gold, (Babylon), its chest and arms of silver (Medo-Persia). its belly and thighs of bronze (Greece), its legs of iron (Rome), its feet partly of iron and partly of clay (the final empire). Then “a stone . . . cut out without hands destroyed the image and became a great mountain, filling the whole earth.” The stone is/ will be Jesus.
Daniel 7:2-3, “Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.” The first, the lion represents Babylon. Next the bear representing Medo-Persia. third leopard is a type of Greece. The fourth beast, powerful and “destructive, dreadful, exceedingly strong, with huge iron teeth” would be Rome.
Although Malachi was the final book of the Old Testament, John the Baptist ended the period of the Old Testament.
“In Chronicles chapter 24 we are told how the priestly and Levitical divisions were formed. There were twenty-four households or divisions of priests (vv. 1-19) and twenty-four divisions of Levites (vv. 20-31). Each division was assigned a schedule on a rotating basis to minister in the temple, thus giving everyone the opportunity of serving approximately two weeks each year. Zacharias (Luke 1:5) belonged to the eighth course, the course of Abijah (v. 10).”
[Believer’s Bible Commentary]
An angel of the Lord appeared to Zacharias, Luke 1:13, “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” John would be the prophet of the Most High, the forerunner of Jesus and was tasked with preparing the way for His coming. This was in fulfillment of Malachi's prediction of a messenger to “prepare the way.”
The approximate time of the birth of Jesus can be calculated from the time that King David organize the 24 courses of priests until the temple duty of Zacharias and his visitation by the Archangel Gabriel.
When Mary visited her cousin, the six-month-old fetus being carried by Elizabeth jumped for joy within the womb. Jesus was born most likely sometime in September which makes sense, Luke 2:8, “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Would shepherds be watching their flock by night during winter?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Isaiah Chapter 5 and America today 543 - 3 - 4

Although what Isaiah wrote in chapter 5 through the inspiration of God originally concerned Israel, it has application to America.
Isaiah 5:1-2. “Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: 2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. “
Historically it's as if America had its own original sins, slavery not only of Africans, also the poor who were in bondage and the cruel treatment of the original occupants of the land. In many cases instead of the good harvest God was expecting, the people were disobedience, rebellion, and practiced idolatry.
In Isaiah 5:5 God said what he would take down His hedge of protection from around His vineyard and command the clouds that no rain would fall. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 shattered America’s complacency. Parts of the country have had extreme droughts and in other parts of the country, there's been massive flooding and mudslides.
Isaiah 5-7, God was expecting fair judgment but instead found oppression rather than righteousness. The balance of the chapter deals with “Woe to the Wicked. CM provided a simplified listing of the six woes mentioned in Isaiah 5:
1. Materialism
2. Hedonism
3. Flaunting Sin
4. Denial of the Word of God
5. Relativism
6. Lack of Justice
Black Friday has long been an example of materialism. This has been upstaged by the riots and looting due to covetousness.
Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure as the highest good and proper aim of human life. Drugs, drunkenness, sexual deviance and more in the name of “Doing my thing.” Millions of unborn babies have been sacrificed on the altar of convenience.
As for flaunting sin, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) community has hijacked God’s rainbow. They are demanding that their deviant lifestyle to be treated as normal. Sadly, the mainstream church is becoming more acceptance of the LGBT agenda rather than following Scripture.
Denial of the Word of God, Atheists work very hard to prove that the God they don’t believe in doesn’t indeed exist. While not directly denying the word of God, many claiming to be Christians do even greater harm through false teachings. Prideful and arrogant had its start in the garden with the question, “Did God really say that?”
Relativism is the doctrine that no ideas or beliefs are universally true but that all are relative, there are no absolute truths, only what is right in his/ her own eyes.
Lack of Justice due not just only to corruption in the judicial area but with those authoring laws. We are slowly learning the extent of the damage done by the last administration and the existence of a deeper shadow government, minions of the one world government agenda.
God speaking through Isaiah summed it up; Isaiah 5:20, “Woe (H1945) unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Woe, H1945, an interjection meaning alas! It is used in lamenting a person's death, It is used in prophetic announcements of judgment or threats.
[The Complete Word Study Dictionary]

Dr. Stephen Hawking, an eternity loss through works alone? 543 - 3 - 8

I think I was in the eighth grade when I discovered Albert Einstein. Among his very insightful quotes are:
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
A few years later in high school I read a book with the title “123 relativity.” I have searched for the book and cannot find any mention of it on the Internet. After 50 plus years, I may have the title wrong. What I do remember is that the special theory of relativity was rather straight forward, the general theory of relativity was more difficult to comprehend, and time is the fourth dimension.
In a least one of his teachings CM compared the four dimensions to Ephesians 3:18. In context, Ephesians 3:17-19, “17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
I believe the expression “To know the mind of God” was coined by Sir Isaac Newton but another fruitless Internet search didn't confirm this. That said, did Einstein get a glimmer of the mind of God?
At the time of his death Einstein was still working on his The Unified Field Theory in which he was attempting to prove that electromagnetism and gravity were different manifestations of a single fundamental field.
With the optimism of a youth I thought someday I would finish his work and solve the unified field theory. Later I found that college level math and physics were far more complicated than in high school. Any thoughts of finishing Einstein's work evaporated in the reality of my limited intellect, limited intellect but still appreciative of great minds.
Now more than half a century later, the passing of another great mind, Stephen Hawking. Decades ago the unified field theory had been replaced by M-theory’. A theory Stephen Hawking hoped would fully explain the universe. I read that to understand the basic idea of M-theory, rather than describing the universe based on point like particles, it could be describe it in terms of tiny oscillating strings (tubes of energy). I’m way out of my league.
Stephen Hawking had a long history in theoretical physics pushing the envelope of knowledge as well as teaching and inspiriting generations of physicists. Although very severely handicapped, Dr. Hopkins never let this impede his work. Work, sadly that says it all.
Stephen Hawking says universe not created by God
"In the new work, The Grand Design, Professor Stephen Hawking argues that the Big Bang, rather than occurring following the intervention of a divine being, was inevitable due to the law of gravity.
In his 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, Hawking had seemed to accept the role of God in the creation of the universe. But in the new text, co-written with American physicist Leonard Mlodinow, he said new theories showed a creator is "not necessary"."
I was grieved by Stephen Hawking's atheism not only for him but because I had hope to someday meet both him and Albert Einstein, two brilliant men that I greatly admire. My prayer is that before his last breath, Stephen Hawking cried out to Jesus. Where Stephen Hawking spends eternity is up to God and I pray that he is merciful, and that Stephen Hawkins inherited the glorious body that was his only for the acknowledgement of the creator of the universe, the universe that he so admired. Ephesians 3:19, “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

Saturday, March 10, 2018

God gave America a mulligan

Although there have been judgments in the form of birth pains in America (Matthew 13:7-8), in my opinion, God has given America a mulligan before final judgment.
America has committed a trifecta of sins:
1. Abortion.
2. Acceptance of homosexuality/ Same sex marriage.
3. Throwing Israel under the bus.
In ancient times babies were placed on the red-hot arms of the pagan god Molek. Horrific as this was in the last several decades millions of babies have been destroyed on the altar of convenience. Unborn babies have been dismembered and ripped from their mother’s womb and their parts sold by Planned Parenthood.
Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed not because of the high incidence of homosexuality, rather by the acceptance of it. The LGBT agenda in this country is a minority but very powerful and when pastors quote the Bible they are often accused of hate speech. Christians and pastors let this happen by being fearful of being politically incorrect.
The last several presidents have kicked the can down the street concerning moving our embassy to Jerusalem. Not only that, there has been much bloviating about a two-state solution going back to the 1967 border that would leave Israel nearly defenseless.
God gave us a mulligan with the presidential election of 2016.  I believe that President Trump was voted into office due in large part to the Intercessory Prayers of Christians. In the presidential election of 2012 many Christians would not vote for Mitt Romney because he was a Mormon resulting in the re-election of Obama, lesson learned.
Pray warriors such as Mary Colbert organized prayer groups to pray for the election of presidential candidate Donald Trump. Mary Colbert did more than pray. She organized the blowing of the shofar at nine o’clock in the morning of Election Day, November 8, 2016 by people all over the nation. When the clock struck nine, “the blast was heard all over the airwaves.”
The election of Donald Trump as POTUS has ushered in an administration supportive of Israel. First the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and now the move of our embassy to Jerusalem scheduled to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the state of Israel, May 18.
Several states are beginning to take steps to limit abortion on demand. President Trump has declared that he is more supportive of pastors and Christians speaking the truth. The left has pulled out all stops in their opposition to President Trump. The lines are being drawn.
Again, and in my opinion, we have been granted a Mulligan from a final judgment of America. However, Matthew 12:43-45 warns of getting rid of an unclean spirit, sweeping the house clean but then allowing other unclean spirits back in. We swept the White House clean of the past president and vice president and dodged the bullet of Hillary Clinton. However, we must not let the spirits indicative of the Obama's and Clinton's back into the White House. Plus, there is a lot more cleaning necessary in Congress and throughout the country.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Christians and demonic possession 529-1 - 6 - 6

As an aside, I compare demonic possession to being abducted by what are called aliens and who are, in my opinion, demons from another dimension. There's a theory, one I believe, that Christians can only be abducted if they give consent.
I took a survey in two Bible studies that I attend asking the straight forward question, “Do you think a Christian can be demon possessed? A simple yes or no question about being possessed. Nevertheless, two men stated that there is a difference between being obsessed and possessed. Yes, of course, there is a difference; to be obsessed is to be preoccupied and to be possessed is to be controlled. For a minute I thought we were going to get into a discussion of how many angels can dance on head of a pin. Finally, there was 100% agreement that Christian cannot be possessed unless they invite demons into their life.
A Ouija board can be a gateway by which a demon will possess a person. The late Jane Roberts was using a Ouija board when an entity jumped on it named Seth. Ms. Roberts wrote many best-selling books purchased by many. She wrote entertaining fiction, however, I found that the books she channeled from Seth to be unintelligible.
Mary Magdalene met Jesus, Mark 16:9, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils (G1140).” After that Mary Magdalene became a follower of Jesus and never again was there any mention of her having demons.
James 2:19, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils (G1140) also believe, and tremble”
G1140, a demon or super natural spirit (of a bad nature): - devil.; a daemonic being; by extension a deity: - devil, god.
As an aside, even demons believe in the existence of God and fear their eventual punishment/ destination. Matthew 8:29, “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” The demons asked, “If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.” The demons entered the swine they “ran violently down a steep place into the sea and perished in the waters.” The swine could not be possessed without permission from Jesus. Just as demons cannot possess Christians unless invited in.
Mark 3:28-29, “28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:”
Here Temple leaders committed the unpardonable sin by accusing Jesus of casting out demons by demonic power when it was through the power of the Holy Spirit. They not only rejected Jesus, they referred to the Holy Spirit as a demon. Little sins and not so little sins and all kinds of sins can be forgiven but not the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, this is an eternal sin.
Christians do not become possessed by demons unless they first invite them in. Ouija boards are one of the tools used by demonic forces to enter someone's life. The best cure is prevention. Do not allow the occult into your homes thereby exposing your unbelieving family members to demonic entities.