Friday, December 27, 2013

List three “bridges” essential for revival.512 - 11 - 5

With thanks to J. Vernon McGee, “3 Bridges” needed for revival:

· Knowledge of the Word of God

· Scriptural Separation

· Faith in God

According to Mr. McGee, knowledge of the Word of God involves a real love and knowledge of the Word of God. Sadly I have concluded that today there is waning interest in love and seeking knowledge of the Word. I have referred people to “Learn the Bible in 24 Hours”, “How we got the Bible” and other commentaries by CM. I usually get is a blank stare and/ or the comment that the Bible was written by so many different man with their own views, etc. When I try to share Biblical truth especially with family members I can see an immediate veil descending. It’s like don’t confuse me with the facts, I just don’t care. And of course there’s always the heresy of “All roads lead to God.”

In preparing my answer to this discussion question I harken back to an earlier KI course, “The spiritual disciplines” featuring Joe Focht. There is so much to be gleaned from this work that I find myself returning to it again and again.
Our sure knowledge of the inerrancy of the word is confirmed by the master in Matthew 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

As for Scriptural Separation I agree with Mr. McGee that if I/ we want revival, the place to begin is with me/ us. The suggestion that I/ we get in a room by myself/ ourselves and draw a circle right around me/ us, and say, “ Lord, begin a revival, and let it start inside this circle. ”This suggestion reminds me of the “Peace Song” that starts out with “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Faith in God is something from within and not imposed from without by religious venues. This week’s lesson makes a reference to Habakkuk; “The Just shall Live by Faith.” With the number of Catholics in the family sometimes I feel like a voice crying in the wilderness that we are justified by the blood of Jesus. When Jesus was hanging from the cross and said “It is finished” it was indeed finished. I have the same problem with Mormon friends who, like the Catholics, are a works oriented religion. There is nothing that we can do to achieve justification on our own. We need the free gift of grace from Jesus. After justification we should try to emulate the behavior of Jesus as we work towards our sanctification. Some wonderful day in the future Jesus will come for his bride and then we will achieve glorification.

What does J. Vernon McGee mean when he states that “Preachers are a dime a dozen - teachers are what is needed for true revival"? 512 - 11 - 6

 Returning once again to the KI teaching “The Spiritual Disciplines” with Joe Focht, the fifth and last hour in the teaching deals with some of the more modern and nearly sacrilegious “new versions” of the Word. “The Message” is perhaps one of the worst offenders.

Mr. Focht also brings out the non-biblical teachings of many of the mega-church pastors such as Rick Warren and Joel Osteen. As Mr. McGee says, “Preachers are a dime a dozen and teachers are what is needed for true revival.” The “name it and claim it” prosperity advocates are gaining a far wider audience than the pastors who teach the true word of Jesus of “Pick up your cross and follow me.” Not only do most of today’s preachers neglect any mention of the cross, the very concept is being denigrated. As an example, the cross was called a vile doctrine by Brian McLaren.
With “The Emergent Church,” preachers are a dime a dozen and seem to have inherited their teachings from their father who CM likes to call “Mr. big mouth.”
For example, a Text Comparisons between the KJV and The Message is Revelation 3:13:

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. - KJV

"Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches." The Message

Although the emergent church is a fairly recent heresy, even in the first century there was some wandering from the true path of The Way. A few centuries later the church was married to the world and for at least another millennium the church gained great authority over the common man as well as the state. Even in the darkest days of the heresies of the Roman Catholic Church there was always a segment of believers who adhered to the truth. The Catholic Church was responsible for the torture and slaughter of hundreds of thousands of believers, some even before the time of the Reformation.

In this day of electronics, Bibles are readily available, often carried as I do on my iPhone. it seemed beyond any form of reason that people could be burned at the stake for possessing and reading a Bible not that many hundreds of years ago. Now the people that brought us the Inquisition are working very hard at reconciliation with all faiths including Islam. Not to get too political, however, the ultimate goal is for the Vatican is to have control of Jerusalem in my opinion. This will would be a prerequisite to a one world religion, an even greater apostasy.

As we in the United States drift further and further away from the Word, people in other countries under extreme persecution are turning to Jesus by the thousands. Hopefully that teaching is not what’s necessary to facilitate revival here.

Added later:

I’m usually greeted with a rolling of the eyes when I attempt to share the following quote: “The Word was written by 40 individuals, over 1600 years, in three Different languages; different backgrounds, different strata in their social structures and yet with a single commonality with all claiming to be inspired by One True Living God.”
The apostle Paul could always say it so succinctly. 2 Timothy 4:2-4, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

It seems that the time has come in many have turned their ears from the truth. Mass media has replaced quiet time when people would reflect and even read the Bible. I pray that it’s not too late for revival, however, I have an uncomfortable feeling that the clock is ticking, is ticking, is ticking... 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Are there any parallels in the rise and fall of ancient empires and our current predicament today? 512 - 10 - 6

It certainly appears that there are many parallels in the rise and fall of ancient empires and contemporary America. For so long we been considered the leader of the free world and the most powerful country in the world. The American electorate twice voted for a POTUS who seems determined to bring our once thriving country to its knees; a judgment from God for our falling away from Him and losing our moral compass? Add to that, many other countries have economies that are tanking while their leaders are rushing to arm themselves.

2Timothy 3:1-5, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

In reading Paul’s letter to Timothy one might think that he had been propelled forward in time 2000 years. Today there are code words for such things as covetous, income redistribution. The atheist blasphemers, not content to practice their own form of religion, are erecting billboards saying leave Christ out of Christmas. Without natural affection, code word, same-sex marriage. Today it seems that the despisers of those that are good paint good as bad and bad is good. And of course there is worship of the created rather than of the Creator. In the quest to possess material wealth and the latest toys many have become idolatrous. As for trucebreakers, there is our present mistreatment of Israel.

When attacked by the Assyrians, those in the northern kingdom boasted The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars” Isaiah 9:10. With thanks to Rabbi Jonathan Kane and his book "The Harbinger an Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America's Future." Rabbi Kane said that 9/11 was a shaking, however, rather than repenting, two of our leaders quoted Isaiah 9:10 and most in the country wanted to rebuild the towers taller and better.

The Roman Empire lasted for hundreds of years but became very depraved and felled. Some of the depravity included homosexualityand the slaughter of human beings. Their many gods and goddesses were an insult to our awesome God, little wonder that it fell. With our many gods and goddesses of the material world will it be any surprise when America finally falls.

In what ways is the Abrahamic Covenant being challenged today? 512 - 10 - 4

“And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:7-8).

With thanks to CM, The Abrahamic Covenant has seven “I will” statements by God:

1) And I will make of thee a great nation.
2) And I will bless thee
3) And make thy name great
4) And thou shalt be a blessing
5) And I will bless them that bless thee
6) And curse him that curseth thee
7) And in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

The first four “I will” statements apply to Israel and the “I will” 5-7 statements deal will those who bless or curse Israel. The United States has long been blessed by God due to our support of Israel, however, both republican and democratic POTUS have pushed Israel to give up land for peace; to agree to the establishment of a two state solution and to relinquish of part of Jerusalem to the Muslims.

Many church leaders have a rather weak Hermeneutics leading them to claim that the Everlasting Covenant God made with Israel has passed to the church though Replacement Theology:

1. Israel forfeited her promises when she rejected her Messiah
2. The promises to Abraham passed to the Church
3. All the Old Testament covenants were conditional

Replacement theology is a heresy as is demanding that Israel give up her God given land. Israel has little land today about 1/10 of 1% of the land mass of her neighbors. And yet Israel is under great pressure to give up land. Every time Israel gives up land rather than peace it brings the rocket launchers closer to their cities.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What is an apostate? How does one become one? Are you one? 532-1 - 10 - 2

With thanks to e-Sword:

From H7725; apostate, that is, idolatrous: - backsliding, frowardly, turn away [from margin].
From H7725; apostate, that is, heathenish or (actually) heathen: - backsliding.

In the Book of Revelation we read the letters to the seven churches dealing with the churches since and including the earliest church, the apostolic church also known as the Way. At this point in history we certainly are in the seven church age, the church of the Laodiceans. Jesus had little good to say about this apostate church. In Revelation chapter 3 we read:

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

As with the man blind from birth and chapter 9, here Jesus also is coming to/seeking people to bring into the kingdom. While an apostate often is referred to as being a backsliding Christian, perhaps it’s someone who calls himself/herself a Christian while not opening the door to Jesus.

Somehow timing always seems to be right on in my life; during fellowship last night pastor was summarizing reasons people don’t come to church and/ or stop coming to church. Gossip was cited as a major reason people stop coming to a attending church. He reminded us of what Paul said in Romans chapter 14:12-13, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.”

Given the propensity of the tele-evangelists with their “name it and claim it” message I can understand why many are turned off from religion. Also many of the complaints I hear leveled at the church have to do with the history of the atrocities of the Roman Catholic Church in the past and their obsession with raising money. The selling of masses for the dead and of indulgence to spring somebody from purgatory are beyond the pale. As a matter fact, the church I’m attending does not take up a collection, rather has a donation box at the back of the church. That said, everything we have really comes from God and is only right that we should return at least a percentage to his work. 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

As for the question am I an apostate; absolutely not.

Compare the Shepherd Psalms (22, 23, & 24). What does the Holy Spirit say to you about these? 532-1 - 10 - 4

Perhaps it was the Holy Spirit that woke me yesterday with an epiphany that the subject Psalms could be analogous of Jesus from the foundation of time through eternity.

Most would agree that Psalm 22 reads like it was dictated by Jesus from the very cross. Here Jesus is the suffering Messiah who stepped out of eternity to incarnate as a mere human being and to take on the sins of the world. He was and is both fully man and fully divine. It is through the suffering Messiah, also known as the Lamb of God, that we are justified. It is a gift of grace through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. All we have to do for our salvation is accept that gift. Strange as it seems, many people will not accept the free gift of justification.

Psalm 23 starts with “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” and ends with “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Jesus left so that the comforter could come. To me this is the shepherd that is taking us through the church age which is quickly drawing to a close. We who have been justified by the blood of the suffering Messiah now move on to the stage of being a follower and imitator of Christ as we continue our work in progress of moving towards sanctification.

Psalm 24 stats with “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Here we have the glorified Messiah. This brings to mind the coming Rapture. Could this be a preview of our manifestation of glorification as we pass into in the presence of our beloved Savior? The Psalm ends with “Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.” This Lord of glory is also the Lord mighty in battle. Could be reminiscent of the Second Coming of Christ when he will come as the conquering Messiah conquering with His two edge sword of the word.

Psalm 22: justification

Psalm 23: sanctification

Psalm 24: glorification

Added later:

I keep looking up because I know our redemption draws near. I like the kiss approach, keep it short and simple. That is just what Paul did in his explanation of the gospel:

1 Corinthians 15:2-4

King James Version (KJV)
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Of course when one really digs into the subject Psalms, there is so much more that can be gleaned from them than justification, sanctification and glorification. I find that very often my thinking is outside the box something that thankfully these KI classes seem to encourage.

What is your definition of idolatry? What are the danger areas in your life? 512 - 9 - 7

In its extreme, Idolatry is anything that I value more than God. However, to me a lesser form of idolatry is anything that gets in the way of keeping my mind centered on God. I tend to have an “all in” rather addictive personality. When I worked in the corporate world I was sometimes criticized as being too single-minded. If I had a job to do I got “err done” as Larry the cable Guy would say. I suspect that even when I was raising my children performing the job I was being paid for took precedence as I traveled more than occasionally on business.

When nearing job burnout I played on the fringes of the New Age. I acquired quartz crystals and other mineral specimens. While I never attributed the New Age hype to crystals, I still love them as God’s creation. So here I am years later with boxes of crystals that I am paying storage on.

After taking early retirement I morphed into a very creative phase of my life making some rather Celtic wall hangings. Given my addictive personality, I still have boxes of fur, leather, feathers and other supplies that I’m also paying storage for. Next I got into beads, making jewelry and buying and selling Native American jewelry. Fortunately the sterling silver findings and jewelry I bought years ago were good investments. As for the craft items, my friends and I are planning a yard sale next weekend and I hope to divest myself of a “ton of cabbage”; from an old Sufi legend. Having so much stuff in my life gets in the way of keeping my mind centered on God.

I probably should have mentioned my square dancing phase as well. I discovered square dancing while living in Southern California and in two years blew through club level, advance level and was dancing challenge level III. More of the addictive personality. I couldn’t be satisfied with the enjoyment that comes with club level square dancing, no I had to excel with the predictable resulting burnout. Most of my life I’ve been an extremely competitive person, code word for the sin of pride.

Perhaps it is my addictive personality that has me digging so deeply into the Word of God; if so an excellent addiction. One failing that I have to be aware of is pride. I’ll be in a Bible study and I’ll wonder why people seem so uninformed and/or not receptive to digging deeply into God’s Word. I realize that pride is rearing its ugly head again and I run the risk of making an idolatry out of studying the Word rather than internalizing it. It’s been said that the longest distance is the approximately 18 inches from the head to the heart. So I have to remind myself that while I’m studying to be a better Christian apologist, a relationship with the one who created the Word is far more important than intellectualizing.

What was the biggest miracle in this chapter? Why? 532-1 - 9 - 1

Jesus opened the eyes of a man who had been blind from birth. While this is a great miracle, the firm conviction and courage of the man who had been blind likely could only have happened to one who had such unique encounter with Jesus.
This man had been blind from birth and his livelihood was that of a beggar. We don’t know if the man was at all educated, however, he certainly held his own against the Pharisees.

John 9:30-33, “The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.”

This man, blind from birth, displayed the same courage, eloquence and conviction as Stephen when he, Stephen, spoke with great knowledge before the Sanhedrin, Acts 7. In all likelihood, the blind man did not want to be ejected from the temple. We understand that his parents were concerned about this from their comments. John 7:21-22, “But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.”

Even as Stephen was dying he forgave his accusers. Acts 7:59-60, “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Normally Jesus is referred to as sitting on the right-hand side of God. However in Acts we read that Jesus was standing rather than sitting. Acts 7:55, “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” What a wonderful recognition by Jesus of the martyrdom of Stephen.

We don’t know what happened to the man blind from birth but he was cast out of the temple. Later Jesus sought him out and the man believed. John 9:38, “And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.” The man may have lost his access to the temple but he gained not only his sight, he gained his very eternal life. Perhaps Jesus was also was again standing rather than sitting on the right hand of God when the blind man came into His presence.

Can 2 Chronicles 7:14 be applied to us today? If so, How? 512 -9 -2

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.”
Today while sorting through papers that years ago should have either been filed away or acted upon I came crossed a very relevant booklet. The booklet is titled "If My People... A 40-Day Prayer Guide for our Nation" by Jack Countrymen. The copyright date was 2008 and I'm ashamed to say I had done nothing with it in the ensuing years.

I am currently rectifying that shortcoming and the verse for Day One is 2 Chronicles 7:14.
As for the question "Can 2 Chronicles 7:14 be applied to us today?" in my opinion, most definitely it can be. As for the question of how; through prayer for our nation and and those in authority.

My tendency is to dwell on what I call the trifecta of sins in the United States that displease God. These are the national acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, the acceptance of the death of the millions of babies sacrificed on the altar of women's choice and the accelerating rate at which we are backing away from Israel.

While I try to look on the positive side and pray for our nation, I still have that uncomfortable feeling that we may have passed the tipping point with God and can expect his wrath to fall on us any time. Given the state of our economy and our being marginalized by the rest of the world, it would seem that God is dropping his hedge of protection from United States of America. That said, I still hold the hope that a natural national revival and return to the Christian roots of those who crossed the Atlantic Ocean looking for religious freedom would stay the hand of of a wrathful God.

As for me, for the next 40 days I will adhere to "If My People... A 40-Day Prayer Guide for our Nation." I will continue to pray both for our nation and for revival. Also I pray that it is not too late for God to forgive us and He “will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Did John write this Gospel before or after his experience at Patmos? Why do you think that? 532-1 - 9 -2

In my very strong opinion, John wrote this Gospel after his experience at Patmos.

Revelation 22:13, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Revelation 22:5, “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

John 1:1-4, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Would John have written the above with such a powerful conviction if he had not had the experienced of beholding the glory and the voice of the risen Jesus on the island of Patmos? When Paul met with the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus he was blinded for three days by the glory of the light surrounding Jesus. I cannot begin to imagine what it will be like to finally see the risen Jesus. As John later wrote in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

Monday, December 2, 2013

How can “toleration” lead to a nation’s downfall? 512 - 8 - 3

The 1950s in America was a time of recovery from World War II and involvement in the war with North Korea. There was a rush to suburbia by the more affluent city dwellers and perhaps the start/ acceleration of the deterioration of the inner-city. This was a time in which we started to address the problems of racial inequality. I can remember the heady days of the civil rights movement and the goose bumps I would get when hearing Martin Luther King’s speech ”I have a dream.”

It often seems in this country that we can’t find a happy medium, rather the pendulum swings violently the other way. The current president of the United States (POTUS) has a black father and a white mother. To criticize the POTUS as being incompetent or deliberately undermining the United States is to be a racist. It seems that most in the media avoid any real balanced reporting of the news. Black on black crime is a tremendous problem in this country and is mostly ignored by the media; ignored but with explosive potential. Also ignored is a discussion of taking personal responsibility rather than blaming others; those in Washington DC being a prime example.

It seems that today nearly everything is tolerated with the exception of Christianity and common decency. The destruction of 50 million or more unborn babies was done in the name of a woman’s right to choose. Those unborn babies were never offered a choice and were sacrificed on the altar of tolerance.

Homosexuality is being promoted as a natural lifestyle. Children are being indoctrinated at an early age and Christian business owners are told they have to provide services to the homosexual community. A reading of Romans Chapter 1 provides insight into why homosexuality is so prevalent throughout the planet.

Even some evangelical groups are promoting a two state solution and suggesting a division of Jerusalem. Recently our administration has been courting Iran and promoting a reduction in the sanctions against that country. We are leaving Israel out to dry. This is being supposedly being done in the name of tolerance and diversity. However, in my opinion it is the work of the devil and his minions.

IMO, tolerance today goes hand-in-hand with anything goes except:
  • Children playing cowboys and Indians
  • Prayer in school
  • Having a Bible and sharing the Word in some locations such as a public school
  • Marriage being between one man and one woman
In the name of tolerance we have lost our moral compass and are inviting the wrath of God.

Name two dimensionless constants of the universe and where they appear in the Bible. 512 - 8 - 3

There are two dimensionless Constants of the Universe: pi, π and Natural Logarithms, Loge that can be approximated by mathematical manipulation of Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1.
Geneses 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
The number of letters x the product of the letters/The number of words x the product of the words = 3.1416 x 1017 = π
John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The number of letters x the product of the letters/The number of words x the product of the words = 2.7183 x 1065 = e
In high school I was briefly introduced to the Special Theory of Relativity. The limiting factor in space travel was/ is thought to be the speed of light as all kinds of wild things happen as a hypothetical rocket ship would approach this limiting speed. Now I'm finding out that what I thought was an absolute constant has been decreasing over the years.
The constant pi is easy for me to grasp, however, the concept of natural logarithms always seemed to allude me even though I took a number of higher mathematics courses in college. I managed to get through them but I never fully understood the concept of natural logarithms.

So is the ratio of the diameter to the circumference of a circle always pi? I seem to recall from other KI classes that the three angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees only if the triangle is located on a plane. So will the circumference of a circle always be pi times the diameter? I would hypothesize that the ratio of pi to the circumference of the circle will only hold true if our frame of reference is also a plane surface. Just as the angles of a triangle that lies along the surface of the earth add up to more than 180 degrees, wouldn't the ratio of the diameter to the circumference of that circle be less than pi as the diameter would actually be an arc?

I remember how simple and logical plane geometry seemed in high school. When I took non-Euclidian geometry in college every theorem was thrown out the window, e.g. parallel lines meet at infinity. All of this is very interesting but in the final analysis it's all up to God. What is right in His mind is what is right with the universe.

Job 38:4-6, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof

What bondage(s) are you subject to? How are you handling them? 532-1 - 8 -7

I'm still somewhat in bondage to modern conveniences such as electricity, heat and certainly to electronic gizmos. I'm officially living off the power grid on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in southern Arizona. I had planned to rely on solar to supply my electrical needs. To this end I had purchased two new deep cycle coach batteries while I was still living on the power grid. Unfortunately, it seems that my RV was close enough to a lightning strike that my solar panel was badly damaged.

To keep all my little electronic gizmos going I have 100 W portable generator that feeds an independent sealed battery inside the RV. This plus an inverter keeps my computers charged. I also have a little 15 W solar panel which I used to recharge my NowBible/MP3 player each day.

I'm waiting to find out what kind of a settlement I'll get from my insurance company before replacing the solar panel. Also I plan to invest in a second panel as I hadn't taken into consideration how few hours of sunshine we actually get in the winter even in southern Arizona. With my dysfunctional solar panel it seems that I'm in bondage to gasoline to run my generator to charge my deep cycle coach batteries until I get the solar situation resolved.

So how do I handle the indifference of the solar company in getting back to my insurance company and the seemingly stalling by the insurance company itself? I drive through the Bureau of Land Management where some people are living in tents. Whether their lack is due to addiction problems or just plain misfortune, I realize how blessed I am by comparison as I place my reliance on God. The churches of Quartzsite help the homeless that flock here during the winter. There are places such as Isaiah 58 Project to get a hot meal and recycled clothing.

As an aside, the BLM is interesting as there are people living in RVs that cost a few hundred thousand dollars, others like myself in modest RVs as well as people living in tents.
Spending time last this summer on my off the power grid northeastern Arizona property and these last few weeks have been a real lesson on breaking the bondage to modern conveniences. Presently to save my batteries I use my furnace only with the generator running. A brick placed over a low burner with proper ventilation serves as an alternative heat source.

One of my BAC friends wrote on my Facebook wall that less is more. I couldn't agree more with him. Despite some annoyances and inconveniences, I am breaking the bondage of relying exclusively on material things. Once my solar situation is rectified I should no longer need to rely on the generator; rather on the free gift of the sun from the Son.

What did Jesus write on the ground? 532-1 - 8 - 2

The Pharisees dragged a woman "caught in adultery" before Jesus to entrap him. If Jesus declared that the Mosaic Law held He would be going against the dictates of Rome. If He said the Mosaic law should not be observed He would likely been accused of being of the devil.

The woman was accused of adultery but the man that she was accused of sinning with was not present. There was no mention of adherence to the requirement for two witnesses. In their eagerness to destroy Jesus, the Pharisees we're using a helpless woman who appeared had no one to defend her. However, there was Jesus, who saw through the pathetic attempt by the Pharisees to discredit him and their breaking of the law in soliciting His judgment.
As for what it Jesus wrote on the ground, it is unknown. John 8:7, “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

Jesus wrote twice and again it is unknown just what he did write. However it has been suggested that Jesus may have written the commandment dealing with adultery, the name of the specific adulterous man, the sins of those who were accusing her and more. The accusers seem to morph into those who were convicted of their own sins. It’s interesting it was the oldest who first dropped their stones and went away; perhaps their sins were of the greater duration? Soon the crowd dissipated.

John 8:9, “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” Jesus turned to the woman and said “Where are your accusers?” John 8:11, “She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."

So the woman caught in sin referred to Jesus as Lord and those learned of the temple sought to entrap and kill Jesus. Someday I’ll stand in judgment before Jesus myself and will be shamed by the reiteration of my many sins.

With regard to studying the Jewish culture in the Old Testament what are the advantages and dangers? 532-1 - 7 -4

The Old Testament serves as an example of how to live our lives. There are so many good lessons throughout the Old Testament that much is lost to those who cling only to the New Testament. CM often uses the expression “The Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed and the New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed.” The Book of Ruth is very short but what an awesome book it is. We learn what a kinsman Redeemer is and its application to our salvation through the gift of Jesus and his shed blood on the cross.

The brazen serpent seems like a strange method of healing people of snakebites, however, this is explained in the New Testament. John 3:14, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:”

Jesus was the burning brush, the pillar of a cloud and pillar of fire that guided the Israelites during their years of wandering, Exodus 13:21, And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:” Jesus provided the military might that brought down the walls of Jericho and so much more.

The feasts of Israel provide insight into the Jewish customs and how they relate to what was and what is to be. Jesus, the Lamb of God, was the fulfillment of the sacrificial lamb of the Passover in Exodus.

That said, some people get so involved in the Old Testament that they are like the Galatians who through the influence of the Judaizers started to revert to the Law. Galatians 3:1-2, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”

I belong to a winter Bible study held here in the desert and we get some very interesting attendees. Last year I met a Gentile couple who were skinny as a rail because they said they didn't have enough to eat on a regular basis. I understood that this was due to lack of employment which in turn was due to the fact that they refuse to work on the Jewish Sabbath. I saw them again a few days ago and the husband is now working at a local store. I don’t know if the husband is now willing to work on the Jewish Sabbath or if he is given the day off.