Tuesday, January 31, 2017

bolide and meteor and the long day of Joshua 507 - 6 - 4

A bolide is an extremely bright meteor, especially one that explodes in the atmosphere. In astronomy, it refers to a fireball approximately as bright as the full moon, and it is generally considered a synonym of a fireball. In geology a bolide is a very large impactor.
Perhaps the greatest mind today is Professor Stephen Hawking. In his 1988 book, A Brief History of Time he seemed to accept that God had a "role" in the creation of the universe. He has since denied God as Creator. In his book published in 2010, 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." The question I would ask Professor Hawking, who created the law of gravity?
Professor Hawking used Newton’s First Law to discredit the long day of Joshua. "The Bible tells the story of Joshua praying for the sun and moon to stop in their trajectories so he would have extra daylight to finish fighting the Amorites in Canaan. According to the book of Joshua, the sun stood still for about a day. Today we know that that would have meant that the earth stopped rotating. If the earth stopped, according to Newton’s laws anything not tied down would have remained in motion at the earth’s original speed (1,100 miles per hour at the equator)— a high price to pay for a delayed sunset.
[Hawking, Stephen; Mlodinow, Leonard. The Grand Design]
Newton's First Law states that an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force. It may be seen as a statement about inertia, that objects will remain in their state of motion unless a force acts to change the motion.
In addition to asking Professor Hawking who created gravity I would point out there were other factors to be considered in the long day of Joshua. Did the earth stand still or just slow down? If a bolide that explodes in the atmosphere is a very large impactor as is a meteor when striking the earth. Both would cause interruptions to the smooth rotation of the earth. Perhaps the bolide fragments and meteor(s) crashed into the earth in an angle opposite to the rotation of the earth. This could have the effect of slowing the earths rotation. The earth, distorted by the bolide and/ or meteor(s) would resist a smooth rotation. Objects on the earth’s surface would have both gravitational and frictions forces at work that could counter inertia as the planet slowed down.  
That said, the God who created the Universe could certainly slow down the earth’s rotation resulting in the long day of Joshua. I have faith in God unlike than the arrogance of Professor Hawking and the science community. 

Greek model of prophecy differs from the Hebrew model 509 - 2 - 6

Hermeneutics, the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts. Quoting CM:
“The Greek Model is Prophecy = Prediction results in Fulfillment
The Hebrew Model is Prophecy = Pattern”
CM quotes Hosea 12:10, “I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.” Often it is as if the prophets could see down the corridors of time to modern day America. Of course, they were guided by God who knows the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end.
The reaction by God through the prophet Isaiah is a prototype for all who are disobedient to God. Isaiah 9:10, "The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars."
An unrepentant, prideful and arrogance Israel says they will rebuild more gloriously than ever. But the Lord promises that the Assyrians will again defeat them.
When taking “I 604 Intro to Analytical Thinking” I wrote a Sorites inspired by Jonathan Cahn’s book, “The Harbinger: The ancient mystery that holds the secret of America's Future.” Is it an oxymoron to combine analytical thinking with the Hebrew model that prophecy is pattern? I think not.
A Sorites is a series of Syllogisms telescoped into an argument here. Isaiah 9:10 is a warning to the Southern Kingdom and, by extension, America.
The prophets are ignored by an Israel who does not have ears to hear
An Israel without ears to hear is defeated by the Assyrians
An Israel defeated by the Assyrians is a defiance Israel
A defiance Israel says we will rebuild
A rebuilt Israel is defeated by the Assyrians
A defeated Israel will never again be a nation.
America began as a very God centered and blessed country. In past decades, we have turned away from God. Eight year of Obama and his minions have put this turning away on steroids. We have a new president who will hopefully turn our country around.
God has commandments we are to live by
The Commandments a we are to live by are ignored by a defiance America
A defiance America watches as her towers fall
The fallen towers inspire the defiant America
The inspired and defiant America has inspirited and defiant leaders
The inspirited and defiant leaders vow we will rebuild America
A rebuild America experiences an economic collapse in 2008
An economic collapse in 2008 results in major political changes
Major political changes give power to a very liberal administration
A liberal administration encourages a dependent, immoral society
A dependent, immoral society votes for four more years of the same liberal agenda
After four more years of the same liberal agenda a new and politically incorrect president is voted in
A new and politically incorrect president is, well to be determined.

True randomness does not exist in our God created Universe 509 - 2 - 1

The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system always increases over time, or remains constant in ideal cases where the system is in a steady state or undergoing a reversible process. The increase in entropy accounts for the irreversibility of natural processes, and the asymmetry between future and past.
"Entropy comes from a principle of thermodynamics dealing with energy. It usually refers to the idea that everything in the universe eventually moves from order to disorder, and entropy is the measurement of that change."
Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
During the first six days of creation the Second Law of thermodynamics didn’t apply, rather a reversal of entropy.
“True randomness does not exist in classical physics, where randomness is necessarily a result of forces that may be unknown but exist. The quantum world, however, is intrinsically truly random. This is difficult to prove, as it is not readily distinguishable from noise and other uncontrollable factors.”
Rather than going down the very interesting rabbit hole of Quantum Physics I’ll follow classical physics, that true randomness does not exist.
In his 1988 book, A Brief History of Time Professor Stephen Hawking seemed to accept that God had a "role" in the creation of the universe. He to longer credits God as Creator. In his 2010 book, 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." Now who created the law of gravity?
Other views include the late astrophysicist and atheist Fred Hoyle who admitted. "A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics. as well as chemistry and biology. and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about In nature." And British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and best-selling author Paul Davies was quoted as saying, “It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe… The impression of design is overwhelming.”
In their book “The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery”, Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards point out that our little blue planet is:
• Uniquely positioned for life
• Uniquely positioned to discover:
– Positioned in the galaxy
– Positioned for total eclipses
– Positioned within the visible spectrum…etc.
• Implies teleology: A purposeful design
True randomness does not exist! We have a Creator God who assures order in the Universe.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

What are land tides? What would a near pass-by with Mars likely do? 507 - 6 - 2

Land tides, also called Earth tides, are very small deformations or movements in the Earth's lithosphere (surface) caused by the gravitational fields of the sun and moon as the Earth rotates within their fields.
Mars has an equatorial diameter of 6,787 km compared to Earth's 12,756 km (km=.62 miles). Mars has slightly more than 10% of the mass and nearly 40% the gravity of earth.
By comparison, the Moon has approximately 1/4 Earth's diameter, 1/50 Earth's volume, and 1/80 Earth's mass.
Every two years, the Earth passes Mars as they orbit around the Sun, which causes it to appear like it is slowing down and moving in reverse in the sky (aka. “retrograde motion”). Credit: NASA
When Earth and Mars reach their closest point, this is known as opposition. Per universetoday.com “The last known closest approach was back in 2003, when Earth and Mars were only 56 million km (or 33.9 million miles) apart. And this was the closest they’d been in 50,000 years.” As for the moon, the Orbital distance is 238,855 miles (384,400 km), the Circumference is 6,784 miles (10,917 km) and Orbital period is 27.32 days.
That same year CM wrote a very informative article, Mysteries of Mars: Mars Getting Closer to Earth
 “Why did so many of the early cultures worship the Planet Mars? They were terrified of this strange planet. It was called the "God of War." Why? (The term "martial arts" is still in our working vocabulary.) And there are other mysteries that seem to be associated with this strange planet.”
The Long Day of Joshua
“The recent insights from celestial mechanics, including orbital resonance, may shed new light on the famous Biblical Battle of Beth-Horon (Joshua Chapter 10) and suggest the possibility that the Planet Mars may have been a fearsome participant. Implications on ancient calendars and other events are also addressed.”
[Signs in the Heavens commentary by CM]
Given the 1 to 8 ratios of the moon to Mars I would expect that a very near past would nearly turn the earth upside down with earthquakes, possible polar shift, ripping off parts on the earth and more. However, and in my opinion, this was a one time phenomenon planned eons before by God to provide for the long day of Joshua. However, during the “Time of Jacob….” 
As an aside, the doomsday drums have been beating for years. An interesting scenario was presented by the History Channel last year. “There are twice as many rogue planets as stars in the galaxy. So what might happen if a ringed planet the size of Neptune were on a collision course with Earth? Within a period of just four hours, as people flee in panic, the gravity from the rogue planet would tear apart the Moon, stir up supersonic winds, trigger every earthquake fault and volcano, and finally pull the Earth to pieces.”
[10 Ways the Earth will End, History Channel]
Currently there is near hysteria by some due to what they expect will be a close encounter with planet X.
“The Nibiru cataclysm is a supposed disastrous encounter between the Earth and a large planetary object (either a collision or a near-miss) which certain groups believe will take place in the early 21st century. Believers in this doomsday event usually refer to this object as Planet X or Nibiru. The idea that a planet-sized object will collide with or closely pass by Earth in the near future is not supported by any scientific evidence and has been rejected by astronomers and planetary scientists as pseudoscience and an Internet hoax.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The taking of oaths, serious both by man and by God 507 - 5 - 3

The word oath appears 59 times in the KJV of the Bible, 45 times in the Old Testament and 14 times in the New Testament. Many of the oaths were from God and others from people.
God made several oaths to Abraham and his descendants. A few include:
God promised Isaac in Genesis 26:3-4, "Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."
Deuteronomy 7:8, “But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”
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.”
Then there are warnings about making and keeping oath:
Ecclesiastes 8:2, “I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God.”
James warns us in 5:12, “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” Taking an oath and not honoring it can lead condemnation. I no longer say, “I swear that…”
To his great shame, Peter lied, Matthew 26:72, “And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man” fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy “That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.”
God takes the keeping of his oath very seriously and has made several unconditional covenants with Israel. If God doesn’t keep his oaths to Israel we Gentiles are indeed lost. Thankfully, Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
We should be very careful when making an oath or when making a vow as in the case of Jephthah, a Gileadite. He made a tragic vow and both he and his daughter paid the price.
Judge 11:30-31, "30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, 31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”
Vowed, H5087. While not an oath it is a promise (positively, to do or give something to God): - (make a) vow.
Unfortunate, Judge 11:34 "And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter."
I can nearly feel the pain of both Jephthah and his daughter in reading Judges 11:36-40. His daughter asked "let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows." At the end of two months "she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man."

Parallel betweet the Gibeonites and Rahab 507 - 5 - 6

Hebrews 11:31, “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.”
 11:31 We do not know when the harlot Rahab became a worshiper of Jehovah, but it is clear that she did. She abandoned the false religion of Canaan to become a Jewish proselyte. Her faith received a rigorous test when the spies came to her home. Would she be loyal to her country and her fellow countrymen, or would she be true to the Lord? She decided to stand on the Lord's side, even if it meant betraying her country. By giving friendly welcome to the spies, she and her family were spared, while her disobedient neighbors perished.
[Believer’s Bible Commentary]
There are several parallels between the Gibeonites and Rahab.
Both were natives of Canaan:
Joshua 2:1, “And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.
Joshua 9:6, “And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us.”
Both feared the Israeli and knew that God had/ was giving the land to Israel:
Joshua 2:9, “And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.”
Joshua 9:3, “And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,” Had Joshua known that the Gibeonites were neighbors he would have destroyed them. So, they cleverly disguised themselves as being from some distance.
Both used deceit, Rahab to protect her family, Jos 2:14, "And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.” 
The Gibeonites used deceit to save their people. Joshua 9:11, “Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us.”
The following is an excerpt from an Online article by Tyler Kenney
Good News in the Gibeonite Deception
“The parallels between the story of Rahab and the story of the Gibeonites seem more than just coincidental. The author of Joshua appears to be demonstrating on more than one occasion—and thereby reaffirming—that God indeed intends to bless all the families of the earth through Israel, as unwitting as Israel may be, according to his promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:3).
That is glorious. Even in the Old Testament, God had a heart for and was saving Gentiles, even if, in the mystery of his providence, it was through the disobedience and failures of his people Israel (cf. Romans 11:30-32).”

Friday, January 20, 2017

Ruth is in the genealogy of Christ 50 - 1 - 6

2 Samuel 7:11-13, “Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee a house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee…  and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” Through this Unconditional Covenant (Davidic) the Messiah would come from the house of David.
King David’s lineage is encrypted in the Hebrew text of Genesis 38—in 49-letter intervals, Ruth, Obed, Jesse, and David. Ruth is in the genealogy of Jesus.
Ruth 1:1, “Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.” Ruth 1:4, “And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.”
After the death of her husband, Ruth returned to Bethlehem with Naomi. As a Moabite, Ruth was an outsider. Deuteronomy 23:3, “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD forever:”
However, there was an exception, “The Hebrew words for “Moabite” and Ammonite” are masculine. Women become a part of whatever tribe or clan they marry into. This is why Ruth became an Israeli when she married Boaz; and this is exactly why a male Moabite, even a God-fearer, could not become an Israeli citizen.”
[Johnson, Ken. Ancient Book of Gad the Seer: Referenced in 1 Chronicles 29:29 and alluded to in 1 Corinthians 12:12 and Galatians 4:26]
The Book of Ruth is a very short book and sometimes dismissed as a rather simple story of Ruth’s devotion to Naomi and the love story between Ruth and Boaz and their Levirate Marriage. However, the book is so much more! The Book is prophetic of Jesus as the Kinsman-Redeemer and the Church as the Gentile Bride. As Boaz redeemed Ruth as his bride and Naomi her land, Jesus has redeemed the Church and He will redeem Israel.
As a Kinsman-Redeemer Boaz had to be a kinsman, able and willing to perform, and must assume all the obligations. As our Kinsman-Redeemer Jesus is our kinsman if we have a personal relationship with him. Jesus was willing to endure torture and an excreting death on the cross for His Church. As wholly man and wholly God Jesus was qualified to be our propitiation, to assume all the obligations.

Is famine was a judgment of God? Does God send famine on today’s world as judgment against sinners? 509 - 1 - 2

Famine often is God's judgment for sin. 2 Samual 24 tells of King David ordering a numbering of the people, a counting not ordered by God. Not a good idea as King David was told he would be punished and given three choices. Seven years of famine, three months of fleeing before his enemies while they pursue him or three days of past elements. King David selected pestilence resulting in the death of 70,000 men. While not a famine, lesson learned.
King Zedekiah went against the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah not to resist King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon thereby incurring God’s judgment. 2 Kings 25:3, “And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.” As an aside, King Zedekiah attempted escape but was captured along with his two young sons. Nebuchadnezzar ordered the children to be killed in front of their father and then King Zedekiah was blinded and carried off to Babylon. Remarkably, this fulfilled a prophecy that King Zedekiah would not see Babylon but would die in Babylon.
Ruth 1:1- 2, “As the book opens we meet a Jewish family which left Bethlehem (house of bread) of Judah (praise) because of famine, and settled in the land of Moab, southeast of the Dead Sea. The parents were Elimelech (my God is King) and Naomi (my pleasant one). The sons were Mahlon (sickly) and Chilion (pining). It would have been better to stay in the land and trust God than to emigrate to Moab. Ephrata (root of Ephrathites), the ancient name of Bethlehem, means fruitfulness.” [Believer’s Bible Commentary]
The book of Ruth is set in the time of the judges, a time of moral decline, a time when everybody did what was right in their own eyes. Little surprise that the land was experiencing a severe famine, God's judgment for disobedience.
Fast forward thousands of years and the world is experiencing/ has experienced severe drought and with drought comes famine. Africa is just one example.
The world’s next crisis: drought and famine in the Horn of Africa
"Most quote a figure of 10 million Ethiopians requiring food aid. This is the number provided by the Ethiopian government, but looks wide of the mark."
There is a drought monitoring site on the Internet, U.S. Drought Monitor News.
Excerpt from 12/1/16. “By November 29, exceptional drought (D4) covered nearly one-third (33 percent) of Alabama and Georgia, along with 14 percent of Tennessee, 6 percent of South Carolina, 4 percent of North Carolina, and 3 percent of Mississippi.  Extreme drought (D3) or worse blanketed 97 percent of Alabama, 71 percent of Mississippi, 62 percent of Georgia, and 60 percent of Tennessee…..
The Fall of Babylon, a final judgment? The United States has been suggested as being the Babylon of Revelation. Revelation 18:8, “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”

How does God reveal his wrath against sin? 507 - 4 - 5

King David may have been a man after God’s own heart, however he sinned and was punished. King David arranged a murder so he could marry the pregnant Bathsheba. Not only did their child conceived through adultery die, God passed a judgment on the house of David. 2 Samual 12:10, “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.”
2 Samual 24 tells of King David ordering a numbering of the people, a counting due to the pride of King David. King David was told he would be punished and given three choices. Seven years of famine, three months of fleeing before his enemies while they pursue him or three days of pestilence. King David selected pestilence resulting in the death of 70,000 men.
So, are there little sins, not so little sins and what is the unforgivable sin?
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. This had the effect of calling the Holy Spirit 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.
Not only did the Temple leaders blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, they brought about the crucifixion of Jesus. Matthew 24:2, “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Jesus left the temple, reminiscent of the hesitation of the Shekinah glory as it departed the temple in Ezekiel’s time. 38 years after the departure of Jesus from the temple His prophecy was fulfilled.
1 Corinthians 3:16. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” and 1 Corinthians 6:19, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” Homosexuality is a sin of commission against this temple and has resulted in Aids and the propensity to be a victim of violent crime.
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah as punishment for the sin of homosexuality and its acceptance by the townspeople. A warning for America and the LGBT agenda?
As an aside, “The Bible defines sin as the breaking, or transgression, of God's law (1 John 3:4). It is also described as disobedience or rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7), as well as independence from God. The original translation means "to miss the mark" of God's holy standard of righteousness.
Hamartiology is the branch of theology that deals with the study of sin. It investigates how sin originated, how it affects the human race, the different types and degrees of sin, and the results of sin.”

Sunday, January 15, 2017

How was Israel to handle spoil? 507 - 4 - 6

In Joshua Chapter 5 Jesus, as captain of the host of the LORD, appeared to Joshua and outlined how Jericho was to be conquered. Although there would be effort on the part of the Israelis in marching around Jericho for seven days, the victory was due to God’s intervention. Therefore, no private taking of spoil, Joshua 19, “But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord: they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.”
However, unbeknownst to Joshua, one of the Israelis had taken spoil. Because of this disobedience, the Israelis were defeated when they attacked Ai. Joshua 7:1, “But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.”
It was determined that Achan of the tribe of Judah had taken booty, Joshua 7:20-21, “20, And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: 21, When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.”
“When I saw . . . I coveted . . . and took" is how The Believer's Bible Commentary summarizes verse 21 and relates it to James 1:14-15, “14, But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15, Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” The eye is said to be the portal through which Satan tempts fallen man, in this case silver and gold.
As an appeasement to God for this disobedience Achan he and his family were stoned and burned. Now back in God’s graces, Joshua and his men again attacked Ai and were successful. As the Israelis were instrumental in this victory, they were allowed to keep “only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves.”
As an aside, I’m reminded of the difference between justification and sanctification. Ephesians 2:8-9, “8, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9, Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Here the victory over Jericho was a gift from God with no risk to the Israeli. Just as the Israeli fought the enemy at Ai, we work through our sanctification.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

God has fought battles for me 507 - 3 - 6

Perhaps battle is too strong a word for what God has done for me throughout my life. I grew up in Michigan, the third of three children. We lived in a big old frame house that was very expensive to heat. We have plenty of blankets upstairs but no heat from the old coal burning furnace. Winter mornings the three of us kids would race downstairs and the first one down would to get to sit on the register in the living room and warm up.
As the runt of the litter, I rarely was the first one to get to the cozy register. One morning I was victorious and was soaking up the warmth in my flannel nightie. This was years before flame resistant materials were common. I heard an audible voice behind me telling me to get up. Normally I would’ve argued but this time I immediately stood up a distance from the register.
There must a buildup of coal dust collecting in the vent to the register because a flame shot out about 3 feet. The flame lasted a very short time but I remember it distinctly. I told my mom about it but she didn’t seem to believe me. I remember years later that there was a dark discoloration inside the grading of the register. Eventually mom had the furnace converted to gas. All these decades later I can see in my mind’s eye myself as a very young child turning around and seeing the flame. So, was this the devil trying to destroy a child of God before I was old enough to oppose him?
I nearly drowned in a running creek when I was about five. I was very calm as I flowed downstream on my back under the surface of the water. I remember looking up through the clear water running over me and seeing the sun. My sister and a friend of grabbed me and dragged me over to a log, tree root or something in the river. No longer calm It seemed like I could see myself hanging on and screaming. Later my sister told me that they grabbed me as I floated by. A God thing? Most definitely.
At the age of six I came down with paralytic polio but survived to live a normal life thanks to wonderful medical treatment as well as a very encouraging mother. Six months in a convalescent hospital with Sister Kenny Treatment followed by nightly exercises with my mom. God had me in the right place at the right time.
Battles with Satan that I was too young to realize what they were? I don’t know but here I am decades later an ambassador for Christ.

Spiritual circumcision of the heart vs.circumcision of the flesh 507 - 3 - 3

Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
“The heart - There is nothing so false and deceitful as the heart of man; deceitful in its apprehensions of things, in the hopes and promises which it nourishes, in the assurances that it gives us; unsearchable by others, deceitful with reference to ourselves, and abominably wicked, so that neither can a man know his own heart, nor can any other know that of his neighbour's.” [John Wesley Notes on the Bible]
Colossians 2:11, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:” 
“By whom also ye have been circumcised - Ye have received the spiritual blessings typified of old by circumcision. With a circumcision not performed with hands - By an inward, spiritual operation. In putting off, not a little skin, but the whole body of the sins of the flesh - All the sins of your evil nature. By the circumcision of Christ - By that spiritual circumcision which Christ works in your heart.” [John Wesley Notes on the Bible]
More than four years ago, I wrote that Paul had introduced me to the concept of the “Israel of God.” Paul classifies physical Israel as including all Jews. However, spiritual Israel includes those Jews who are believers. In this respect circumcision or non-circumstance has no real relevancy. When speaking of “the circumcised” it was a mindset, an equivalency to those who live by the Mosaic laws rather than the removal of a little piece of skin. Those known as “the circumcised” were adding works to grace and/ or being trapped in legalese.
Paul also spoke of circumcision either of the heart (spiritual) or of the flesh (outwardly). Romans 2:27-29 “And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Circumcision of the flesh sounds like it was being done out of pride rather than devotion.
As for the question, has my heart been circumcised, I humbly think yes though faith in Jesus. Paul tells us in Colossians 3:11 “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” And 2 Corinthians 5:!7 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Add to that, Galatians 5:6 “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Debauchery in the US, You Think? 525 - 13 - 6

Debauchery, Excessive indulgence in sex, alcohol, or drugs.
"Lewdness—unrestrained indulgence, primarily in sexual immorality.
Lusts—gratification of unlawful appetites of any kind, but probably referring especially to sexual sins.
Drunkenness—giving oneself over to the control of intoxicating beverages with the resulting weakening of will power to resist temptation. There is a close link between drunkenness and immorality.
Revelries—riotous parties and late-night merrymaking.
Drinking parties—drinking bouts which lead to debauchery and brawls.
Abominable idolatries—the worship of idols, with all the immorality that is associated with such worship."
[Believer's Bible Commentary]
So how to be an overcomer? Good advice from Paul, Romans 13:13, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.” This walk can be a lonely walk as it goes against the descent into immorality in this country.
Peter is specific as to what we would be if not for our relationship with Jesus. 1 Peter 4:3-5, “3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5  Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.”
But I digress, back to examples of debauchery in the United States.
The recent presidential election was an example of good versus evil, with good being called bad and bad being all good. There is no confusion as to where the left stood on questions such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Our POTUS promoted transgender bathrooms and showers. In a debate the Democratic candidate confirmed her belief that abortion is acceptable up to the time of delivery.
Some RINO tried to undermined their own presidential candidate to maintain the status quo. The lust for power is itself very powerful.
The Roman Catholic Church has had a rash of pedophilia in the clergy. Instead of correcting the problem, priests were moved to different locations. Less seems to be said about pedophilia in the RCC lately so perhaps the situation has improved or possibly gone underground.
Female entertainers are often scantily clothed as they lip-synch their hit songs often having licentious lyrics. And these are the role model that many little girls wish to emulate.
Greed is prevalent in some industries exemplified recently by Mylan Company whose owner raised the price for the lifesaving EpiPen to $600.00, later reduced after bad press.
The present administration plays to the sin of covetousness by promoting income redistribution. Obamacare, code for income redistribution.
Perhaps one of the most outrageous things that happen in recent years was when God’s rainbow was perverted into the symbol for the LGBT agenda. When same-sex marriage passed in the Supreme Court rainbow colors were projected onto our White House.
And on it goes. If it turns out that President-elect Trump is our Cyrus perhaps our country can still turn around and get back into God’s grace. I pray that this is the case.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Governments love crises. 525 - 13 - 3

If the government can gin-up enough interest in a crisis, also known as a false flag, it takes the steeples’ eyes off the ball so to speak. Then nefarious executive orders and such can be passed with little notoriety. The government has been helped by our left-leaning lame-stream media, the possible exception being FoxNews
Last year the administration seemed to have lost their common sense and started promoting transgender bathrooms and showers. While people were upset at the thought of the girls’ showers being invaded by boys, focus on the day-to-day activities by the administration fell by the wayside.
Being a computer nerd, I decided to surf the Internet trying to find the actual transgender law. Thankfully my computer’s security stopped my searches as more than one of the sites was flagged as unsafe, interesting.
 Our administration practically put a bull’s-eye on the back of our police. While our president was criticizing the police for what he called white police on black crimes, little was said about the black on black crime prevalent in Chicago, Illinois.
It seems to me that our country has been at a high level of crisis ever since it appeared that President-elect Donald Trump was going to win the Republican nomination. Mr. Trump not only had to overcome the Democratic Party and the current administration, his own party lined up against him. Every word by presidential candidate Donald Trump was examined and spun by the lame-stream media, the administration and the RINOs.
The other very flawed candidate, Hillary Clinton, was protected by the same lame-stream media who seem to have no interest in thousands of deleted emails, finally released through WikiLeaks.
Now the current POTUS and his heir apparent had a genuine crisis on their hands, one not of their liking. So, you demonize the messenger rather than examining the message, or in this case the emails. The administration went in full crisis mode accusing Russia of having leaked the emails. Again, the content of the emails was somehow pushed aside. Ms. Clinton’s loss in the election was blamed on the leaked emails rather than on her very questionable character.
The Russians did it has been made into such a crisis that there currently are hearings being held with national security, etc. Most agree that Russia tried to insert herself in our presidential election but that this probably didn’t affect the results. Like our POTUS didn’t insert himself into the last election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Thankfully President-elect Trump will soon be President Trump.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Is lying ever permitted? 507 - 2 - 2

Honest people are not supposed to lie. For Christians and Jews, the prohibition is one of the 10 Commandments. Nevertheless and in my opinion, there are times when it is very justified. This most certainly was true in the case of the Righteous Among the Nations, individuals who kept Jews alive though the horror of the Holocaust/
The people of Israel call those who aided Jews during World War II Righteous Among the Nations. They are recognized by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem. “These people risked their lives or their liberty and position to help Jews during the Holocaust; some suffered death as a result. As of 1 January 2016, Yad Vashem recognized 26,120 Righteous Among the Nations from 51 countries.”
Irena Sendlerowa saved 2,500 ghetto children and was nominated for the Nobel peace prize.
Oskar Schindler profiled in the movie Schindler’s List keep nearly a thousand Jews from the gas chamber. Per the plot of the movie, Schindler used great deception with the Nazis to save his Jewish workers. He had a munitions plant and was supposedly using Jewish slave labor to produce weapons of war.  Schindler kept his group together including the children. Schindler made sure that what was produced was defective and instead bought the munitions he supplied the Nazis from other sources.
The Jewish Inscription on Schindler’s ring given to him by the Jews at Brunnlitz reads, "He who saves a single soul, saves the world entire"
Oskar Schindler died on 9 October 1974 in Hildesheim, Germany. He was buried in the Catholic Churchyard on Mount Zion, Jerusalem.
Corrie ten Boom and her family hid many Jews in Holland. Eventually her family was arrested and sent to concentration camps. Corrie survived the camps and at the age 53, began “a world-wide ministry which took her into more than 60 countries in the next 33 years! She testified to God’s love and encouraged all she met with the message that Jesus is Victor."
Marion Pritchard Saved 150 children By Pretending To Be A Single Mom During WWII
These are just a few examples of the Righteous Among the Nations who practiced deceit and saved the lives of thousands of Jews.
As an aside, does Islam permit Muslims to lie?
Muslim scholars teach that Muslims should generally be truthful to each other, unless the purpose of lying is to "smooth over differences."
“There are several forms of lying to non-believers that are permitted under certain circumstances, the best-known being taqiyya. These circumstances are typically those that advance the cause of Islam - in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them.”
Quran (16:106) - Establishes that there are circumstances that can "compel" a Muslim to tell a lie.
So in Islam lying in the furtherance of the Islam is acceptable. Perhaps the biggest lie is by those not of the Islamic faith who claim that Islam is a religion of peace.

Am I like the Dead Sea or the Sea of Galilee? Am I only receiving God’s Word or are am I passing it on? 507 - 2 - 5

Short video that explains the difference between Sea of Galilee and dead sea which comes from one river Jordan. The sea of Galilee receives water at one end and gives out water at the other end. Although the Dead Sea also receives water, it has no outlet so that it keeps it all within itself.
Asphaltum, Jew's pitch, is a smooth, hard, brittle, black or brown substance found is in a soft or liquid state on the surface of the Dead Sea. Formerly, it was used for embalming dead bodies. Today’s church?
I’ve often criticized Christians for staying within their own little group and/ or church reinforcing each other rather than putting on the full armor of God and going out into the war zone of the general population. The Holy Spirit is poured on to the church members but too often it stays there. As ambassadors for Christ we should be more like the sea of Galilee. What is poured into us by the Holy Spirit we should let flow out.
Matthew 4:18, “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.” Here Jesus was walking by the living sea, Sea of Galilee, and called to the brothers Peter and Andrew to be fishers of men.  As ambassadors for Christ are we also to be fishers of men.
John 6:1, “After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.” Here Jesus feed 5000 men and their families from five barley loaves, and two small fishes.
The Sea of Galilee was also known as the Sea of Tiberias, because the city of Tiberias was located on its western bank. This city, the capital of the province of Galilee, was named after the Roman Emperor Tiberius. [Believers Bible Commentary]
I receive God’s Word and work to pass it on both directly and indirectly. One indirect way is that I’ve long supported the Voice of the Martyrs and their efforts to spread the gospel throughout the world. On a personal level, I’m very proactive on the Internet with Facebook and a blog. President-elect Trump is causing much mental anguish within the lame stream media through his use of twitter. Although I have a twitter account I have not made much use of, time to become proactive here as well.