Monday, October 31, 2016

Where God tend to “draw the line” and exercise His Divine Judgment 525 - 4 - 3

Where God tends to “draw the line” includes those activities spelled out in Proverbs 6:16-20, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:”
Because of pride Satan sought to rise above God. With lying tongue Satan lured Eve first through doubt and then by appealing to her pride by saying “you can become like God.” God certainly drew the line at the entrance to Eden. Genesis 3:24, “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
“A lying tongue,” one only needs to check the news. Isaiah 5:20, “Woe 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!” Our US lamestream media and many citizens do just that. Given our administration, a judgment?
“Hands that shed innocent blood,” there are hundreds of thousands of abortions performed each year, a number far greater I would suspect then the children sacrificed by pagans. Today, babies are sacrificed not on an altar of stone, rather on the altar of a woman’s convenience.
Wicked imaginations, preference for mischief, what passes for entertainment today is all too often vulgar, violent and without merit. Vampires, wolves, witches and more are often portrayed as heroes and our young people run into mischief. This can lead to the unpardonable sin, to profane the Holy Spirit. Matthew 12:31-32 “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” A truly frightening final judgment.
Many are sowing discord among the people (brethren) men against women, black against white, black against police and more. Abortion and the demand for gay marriage have caused discord in this country. Those with a biblical worldview are often considered out of step and intolerant. When the layers are peeled back often the discord is perpetrated by a few elitist puppet masters who are pulling the strings. Confusion, perhaps a judgment.
Too late by a few generations to “Keep thy father's commandment and forsake not the law of thy mother,” keeping of the 10 Commandments? God was thrown out of the schools in the 60s and now as a country we are reaping the ill effect of two generations raised mostly with a secular worldview. Anything goes, a judgment?
Drilling deeper, often through pride mankind rejects the Creator and worships the created. In Romans Chapter 1 we are told that through the creation we are without excuse. One of the judgments pronounced on man due to rejecting the creation is homosexuality. A coming Sodom and Gomorrah judgment?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sheep and the Goat judgment and the Great White Throne Judgment 525 - 3 - 1

Per CM, this judgment of the Gentiles described by Joel 3:1–17 is the very same judgment as that described in Matt 25:31–46, the judgment of the Sheep and the Goats.
In Joel 3:1-8 God will gather the Gentile nations to the Valley of Jehoshaphat and will judge them there for their treatment of the Jews. Tyre, Sidon, and Philistia plundered and enslaved God’s chosen people, in turn, they will themselves be enslaved.
Joel 3:9-16 is a call to the Gentile nations to prepare for war in the valley of decision. And then “the Lord will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.”
Years ago, I was involved in a few online chats room where I had many opportunities to defend the faith. Unbelievers twisted Matthew chapter 25 to be interpreted as Christians must support all, including the Gentiles. I pointed out that Jesus spoke of my brethren, the Jews. Further, that the judgment of the Sheep and the Goats will dealt with how one treated the Jews.
Matthew 25:40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Jesus was born a Jew, raised a Jew and after death was buried as a Jew. His brethren were and are the Jews!
The outcome of the Sheep and the Goats Judgment of the Gentiles who survived the Tribulation will be Matthew 25:33, “And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” The sheep enter the Kingdom and the goats, the everlasting fire.
The Judgment of the Great White Throne takes place after the Millennium and deals with the “wicked dead,” those not found written in the book of life. This judgment holds no hope for those who died rejecting the gift of justification provided by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross or for those judged as goats. Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
As for “how an unbeliever can escape both these judgments,” only by being a believer at the time of death or at the Rapture, to appear at the Judgment (Bema) Seat of Christ. This will be a time of judgment for what we did/ did not do during our life, what we did during our sanctification, how well did we hold fast/ endure to the end. This will determine what rewards and inheritances we received.
Those who passed believing in Christ, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”
The Raptured Church: 1 Thessalonians 4:17, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Monday, October 24, 2016

How have/ are the leaders in America assisting Gentiles to divide the land of Israel. 525 - 3 - 5

Where to begin! Possible first cause, referring to Islam as a peaceful religion and referring to Israel as occupiers.
First a brief case for Israel belonging to God’s chosen people.
Genesis 17: 7, “And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant to be God unto thee and to thy seed after thee.”
I Chronicles 16: 13-18, “O ye seed of Israel His servant, ye children of Jacob, His chosen ones. He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of His covenant; the word which He commanded to a thousand generations; Even of the covenant which He made with Abraham, and of His oath unto Isaac; And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance.”
Every world power that has controlled and/ or occupied the land of Israel has become a former world power, or has lost power, such as Rome and Britain. Now America is losing her position as a world power.
And it’s not just other countries that have harmed Israel, just in America there are the foxes in the hen house. In 2012 former Israel, Prime Minister Ehur Olmert supported Palestine U.N. bid to become an “observer-state.” Years earlier in his book written in 2006 Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel William Koenig asked, “What will happen to Ehud Olmert?  We have documented in great detail what has happened to previous U.S. Presidents, Israeli Prime Ministers, and Arab leaders who have attempted to divide the land of Israel. Only the God of Israel knows the future of Ehud Olmert and recent history says it won’t go well for him.” Actually, two years later Mr. Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison for bribery.
During 2011 President Obama took the position that Israel should return to the 1967 lines leaving Israel with nearly indefensible borders. Of course, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused spoiling Obama’s hope for the legacy of being a peace maker.
In speaking to a room full of influential world leaders in a closed-door meeting earlier this year Secretary of State John Kerry said “If there’s no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming an apartheid state.” [] Mr. Secretary, I strongly suggest that you read your Bible. In the above mentioned Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel William Koenig lists disasters that have happened to America after harassing Israel into giving up land for peace. For example, during the Bush II administration Israel gave up the Gaza Strip and God gifted us with Hurricane Katrina.   
I posted this a few days before the Presidential Election of 2012. “Obama victory would mean ‘difficulties’ for Israelis in Judea and Samaria, Knesset Speaker warns.”
“Obama’s diplomatic approach is well known from experience,” he said. “If the current [American] administration is elected a second time, then alongside the positive cooperation, the next [Israeli] government will have difficulties, both in terms of security and in terms of diplomacy, regarding everything involved in strengthening settlements.” []
In two weeks, there will be a president elected. Will the POTUS be another of Obama’s ilk or it be the candidate who supports Israel and says he’ll move our embassy to Jerusalem.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

There are wonderful attributes of the Lord listed in Joel 2:13 525 - 2 - 6

Joel 2:13, “And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”
“Even now, the LORD calls the people to repentance. It is not too late to return to Him. But it must be more than outward ritual. Their turning was to be with all their heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” [Believers Bible Commentary]
Here the God is looking for true repentance. Centuries later Jesus calls out the scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites in Matthew Chapter 23. To me one very relevant verse is Matthew 23:5, “But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,” Today churches, especially the Roman Catholic Church, place great value on ritual and impressive regalia. What this has to do with the simplicity of the gospel is beyond me. The church that Jesus and his disciples preached to was wherever they were. Rather than ritual, a change of heart is required!
But I digress, the attributes of the Lord given in Joel 2:13 includes gracious, merciful, slow to anger, great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
In my opinion, the Bible in Basic English is clearer with respect to “repenteth him of the evil.” Joel 2:13, “Let your hearts be broken, and not your clothing, and come back to the Lord your God: for he is full of grace and pity, slow to be angry and great in mercy, ready to be turned from his purpose of punishment.” 
Falling back on The King James Version with Strong’s Number:
Gracious: H2587, From H2603; gracious: - gracious. H2603, A primitive root to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow; causatively to implore (that is, move to favor by petition, merciful, have mercy, have pity.
Merciful: H7349, full of compassion, merciful.
Slow to anger: anger: Here the Apostolic Bible Polyglot with Strong’s Numbers is to me a better fit, From G3563; to exercise the mind (observe), that is, (figuratively) to comprehend, heed: - consider, perceive, think, think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): - repent.
Of great kindness: H2617, kindness, merciful, mercy, pity
Repenteth him of the evil: “ready to be turned from his purpose of punishment” [Bible in Basic English]
Joel 2:13, best summarized in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

God promises a restoration to Israel in the later days, what of America? 525 - 2 - 4

God promises a restoration to Israel in the later days.
Joel 2:25, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”
“Then the LORD will be zealous for His land and pity His people. He will send them grain, new wine, and oil to their satisfaction, in addition to removing their reproach from among the nations. The land will be restored to fertility and productiveness. Abundant rain will result in vats overflowing and threshing floors . . . full of wheat. The people will be restored and will never again be put to shame. All the years that the swarming locust had eaten would be restored as well.” [Believers Bible Commentary]
Not only a restoration, a rebirth of the Nation of Israel on May 14 1948. Isaiah 66:8, “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”
Joel 2:27, “And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.” Rather than “be ashamed” the ESV reads “And my people shall never again be put to shame.”  To me this suggests outside forces coming against Israel and failing, shades of Matthew 24:22?
I recall from Ezekiel Chapter 20 the sins of the Southern Kingdom were so great that it was too late, the call was not to repentance, rather to judgment. However, in Ezekiel 20:41 a regathering and restoration was again promised, “I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.”
Israel repented and was restored but what about the United States? We started out as a very God centered and blessed country. Although sometimes lukewarm, we have supported Israel and enjoyed God’s blessings. However, we have bullied Israel into giving up land for a peace that never seems to quite work out. Is God dropping His hedge of protection from around America? I think yes.
In addition to throwing Israel under the bus, we permit abortion on demand and there is a growing acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriage; the trifecta of things God hates.
Isaiah 5:20, “Woe 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!”
It has long been my prayer that it is not too late to salvage our country and escape God’s wrath. Just as Judah had passed the point of no return with God, I fear we in America have also done so. And as for the rest of the world, one has only to check the news. The difference is, Israel repented and was restored, as for America….

Followup. Wednesday's night debate should have been a eye-opener for anyone supporting Clinton. She confirmed her support for homosexuality as a civil right to be protected by the court and late-term abortion. 
Is the US pass the tipping point, if not pass it certainly on the edge with out arms flailing as we try to hold our balance. Now a breath from God.....

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Great Commission - Great Opposition 503 - 2

Great opposition, yes. I’ve been witnessing to another friend for three years but can’t seem to get past her contention that God is a bully and that I am a bigot because I am against same-sex marriage. No comment that love the sinner and hate the sin made any impression so I dropped it in deference to our long-term friendship. That said, I still subtly witness to her.

A few years ago I was visiting a good friend who was selling at a swap meet. There were no customers around so I did nothing to detract from his selling effort. Then his partner came over and told me to get out even though I haven’t said anything other than to complement him on how well their area was organized. Once more this individual told me to get out of his area so I left bemused. My friend didn’t stand up for me at the time but came over later and apologetic. However, seemed that it was my fault his friend attacked me because I talk about being a Christian. I pointed out that I haven’t said anything but my friend said you don’t have to it just shows. I thought to myself that wow I graduated and my light was recognized by evil.

The Road Runner tactic as spelled out in " I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist" by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek deals with how to identify and refute self-defeating statements. One example is when someone says "There are no absolutes" respond with "Are you absolutely sure?" A helpful tactic indeed.

Again what I want to learn from this course is how to be any effective Christian apologist.

Ron adds clarity to the subject of salvation by stating that man must understand the existence and character of God, the purpose and power of the Bible and the person oh Jesus Christ, most importantly, is Jesus Christ God? Then the zinger, "What is the nature of man?" His suggestion to ask "What is your understanding" will be helpful in future witnessing following a “decision tree” of yes or no questions.

The God of the mountain is also the God of the valley. I found the reference to David going into the valley armed with only his slingshot and five smooth stones to be inspiring. Of course by this time King Saul had lost his anointing by God to the young David. The comparison between David's Brothers mocking him and the criticism coming from other Christians was interesting. In my case, my brother used to denigrate me, "how do I know that is so." As I became more versed in Evidential Apologetics he no longer does.

Like Satan, Goliath was armed to the teeth both with weapons and defensive measures. And yet David's stone found just the right spot to knock Goliath down. To wonderfully add insult to injury to Satan's minion, David used Goliath's weapon to cut off his (Goliath's) head.

I’ve long since understood that it’s not my job to convict someone, rather I share the good news and let the Holy Spirit do the convicting. As to the question of why does God allow evil to exist, Dan’s answer because “God allows us to live” most assuredly will be a conversation starter.

Very helpful is remembering Dan’s comment “When we witness in the knowledge that the holy spirit is with us, we are indeed armed!”

The Great Commission - Our Responsibility 503 - 1

As an aside, reconciliation is also an accounting term…..

Jesus told the disciples that all authority has been given to him in heaven and earth and told them to go forth making disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things that Jesus commanded of them. Further, they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
It's my belief that my responsibility is to expose people to the good news and then let the Holy Spirit convict them.

In my opinion, among the most difficult to witness to are those who claim to be Christians while adhering two non-biblical Doctrine such as the Book of Mormon or the Christian Science monitor.

My goal is to become a better Christian apologist while avoiding becoming a Christian Chihuahua as described by J. Wallace in his article “How Not to Become a Christian Chihuahua.”

I witnessed just this several years ago when one friend told another friend he was going to go to hell because of his New Age beliefs. For two years I'd been trying to find common ground with my New Ager friend. Now he was totally turned off by the mere mention of Christianity due largely to my Christian friend, a Christian Chihuahua.

My presuppositions before starting this course was that so many born-again Christians really hang together rather than going out and exposing themselves to possible ridicule. As for me, I pretty much hide behind the Internet and use both Facebook and a block to witness.

According to Ron, the Evangelist is a preacher of the Gospel sharing the Good News. There is a great responsibility as we may be the only was an unbeliever will hear the Gospel.

When I was enrolled in Ezekiel Part 1 CM listed Four Cases of Blood Accountability, Ezekiel Chapter 3:
1. The habitual sinner who is not warned v.18
2. The sinner who is warned but does not repent v.19
3. The righteous man who apostatizes but is not warned v.20
4. The righteous man who is warned and remains righteous v.21

It is my responsibility to warn the sinner. Like Ezekiel we are held accountable by God to deliver God's message, however, we are not held accountable for its success or failure. Again, it is for the Holy Spirit to do the convicting. 

I am an ambassador for God and as such I will be judged by my behavior. I am very mindful that my missteps can be a stumbling block for both the unbeliever and the new believer. I’m an ambassador in a foreign land, I am in this world but not of. I am only passing through on my way to my eternal home.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The 2016 United States Presidential Election, a Call to Christians? 525 - 1 - 8

Rather than repenting our sins, we in the United States seem to compound them daily. Abortion is considered to be a woman’s right and homosexuality is being hyped as normal. Our economy is very shaky and unemployment remains high. There is much violence on our streets and in our homes. So it seems as with Israel of Joel’s day, we are under judgment by God.
Our country has suffered many natural disasters, likely as God drops his hedge of protection from around the United States. For too long our administration has been guilty of what I have many times referred to as the trifecta of actions God hates.
Not homosexuality itself but rather the general approval of it, as in Sodom and Gomorrah. Jude 1:7, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
In the US we are approaching 60 million babies killed in what should be the safest place in the world for them, the mother's womb, numbers likely far surpassing those offered to Baal. Jeremiah 19:5, “They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:”
And finally, the administration's undermining of Israel at every given opportunity and/ or manufactured opportunity.” Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
And "We the People" have allowed it to happen including my fellow Christians and myself, we who have failed in the Great Commission.
Matthew 28:18-20, “18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” 
As one who has been following our presidential election in the United States in my opinion we are at a crossroads where the difference between good and evil is so very apparent. Donald Trump is often referred to as a flawed candidate, however, is he a man for “Such a time as this?”
Trump not only is standing against the Democratic Party and their immoral candidate, he’s facing the elitists many of whom are promoting the one world order. Add to that the majority of the mainstream media who denigrate Trump for locker room trash talk. A flawed candidate, indeed. However flawed a number of leading religious leaders are encouraging voters to cast their ballot for Trump as the candidate who better reflects Christian values. It has been said that millions of Christians didn’t vote in the last election as Mitt Romney is a Mormon. So instead we got four more years on President Obama.
This chart posted on Facebook provides a good visual of the two major candidates and a third party candidate.
So what will it be? Which candidate is more likely to follow 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
As it was with Israel, are we standing on the precipice or are we being offered more years to bring more into the Kingdom?

The Day of the Lord is drawing near 525 - 1 - 3

Matthew 24:7-8, “7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.” 
Although world-wide rather than just the US, here are just a few recent links posted on the Rapture Ready website:
Satellite image of Matthew resembling a skull as the hurricane moved over western Haiti.
Posted by The Weather Channel.
Due to earthquake activity in the area of Yellowstone National Park and the rising of the caldera there has been increasing concern for the potential rupture of the dormant volcano. It is feared that this would start a chain reaction of volcanic eruptions throughout the planet.
Hurricane Matthew, interesting coincidence in the name, no longer is a hurricane but its effects are still being felt. Haiti was especially hard-hit with the results of hundreds of deaths and food shortages. Here in the United States nearly three dozen people were killed and towns are still underwater. There had been concern that hurricane Matthew would be impacted by hurricane Nicole, however, it appears that is not to be the case.
Not only are nations rising against nations but there is much turmoil with the nations. Countries are being invaded by Muslim refugees who are not being properly vetted. In some countries such as Germany referenced above, citizens are rising up and burning down mosque. As usual, Israel is being fired upon by her neighbors and at least one US ship was fired upon from rebel-held Yemen territory.
While now a natural disaster, that “Russian Government Orders 40 Million Citizens to Prepare for Nuclear War” has been reported on several websites. How imminent or factual I do not know, however, war brings death, famines and pestilences.
There was a recent earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME) which fortunately did no reported damage to electronics however the danger does exist. In fact, according to the Extreme Tech website “Earth was almost knocked back to the Stone Age on July 23, 2012.”
There are new pestilences such as the Zika virus which causes abnormally small heads resulting in undersized brains. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an increase in a mysterious polio-like illness, acute flaccid myelitis.
So many sign that we are nearing the return of the Lord.