Friday, December 30, 2016

Who Really Owns the Land? 507 - 1 - 8

God owns everything including the land He gave to His chosen people!
In Genesis 15 God instructed Abram to construct an offering and then caused Abram to enter a deep sleep. God foretold of the time that the Israelite's would be strangers in a land not theirs. When they would come out of this time of enslavement they would be given an unconditional title to land as described in verses 18 through 21. This was a unilateral land covenant granted to Abram and his descendants.
Fast forward to the 20th Century. As result of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 a considerable amount of land was set aside for a Jewish Palestinian homeland. In 1923 the British took 75% of this land to form the Arab Palestinian Nation of Trans-Jordan. I remember studying world history in high school and hearing the expression that for centuries the sun never set on the British Empire. Perhaps it was their treatment of Israel as now the sun now sets on the British Empire.
On to the 21th Century. President Obama has taken 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. This only intensified the hatred that Obama has for Israel.
We may never know how thoroughly involved the Obama administration was in bringing United Nations Resolution 2334 to a vote. Originally it was to be proposed by Egypt but President-elect Trump personally and successfully intervened to keep it from coming up for a vote. However, four other countries on the Security Council, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, and Venezuela "snatched the resolution away from Egypt" and put it up for a vote Friday, December 23, and Obama attained his revenge on Israel.
"Defying extraordinary pressure from President-elect Donald J. Trump and furious lobbying by Israel, the Obama administration on Friday allowed the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction."
"UN Resolution 2334, which passed on December 23, says the settlement enterprise “has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law” and calls for a complete end to all construction in areas Israel captured after the 1967 Six Day War."
To add insult to injury, December 28 Secretary of State John Kerry bloviated for 70 minutes about his vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Kerry stated that Israel could either be Jewish or she could be a democracy but not both. You think?
My prayer is that after President-elect Trump becomes president he'll find some way to reverse UN resolution 2334, however unlikely.
Unfortunately, Obama still has three weeks to create a disaster for Israel. There is to be a 70 Nations Meeting January 15, 2017 to possibly “Part the Land of Israel!” What the world seems to be forgetting is that God protects the apple of His eye. Hopefully it is not too late to counter this nefarious plan of splitting Israel. God will not be mocked in his hand cannot will not be stayed forever.

Added later:

Just as Joshua had to lead his people into battle, today Israel has to battle to protect her tiny bit of land, a land much smaller than that given her by God.
“To ensure that there is no doubt about the land’s boundaries, Scripture also indicates the different groups of people that occupy it: "...the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” We know that these peoples lived in what is today Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, part of Asian Turkey, and of course all of Israel, including Gaza and the West Bank.”

Meditation and Prayer 507 - 1 - 6

The word meditation is found in the Psalms: 5:1, 19:14, 49:3, 104:34, 119:97 and a favorite, 119:99, "I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation."
Meditate is found 14 times throughout the Bible including Joshua 1:8, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, …..."
A few of the references to meditation made by CM includes:
Deuteronomy 32:46, “Set your hearts unto all the words…”
Proverbs 4:26, “Ponder…”
Haggai 1:7, “Consider…”
Luke 9:44, “sink down into your ears….”
To me meditation is a quiet time of reflection as I meditate on all that God has/ is doing. Prayer is more of a conversation. While I don’t hear an audible response, I often feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.
A great woman of God recently passed away, Caryl Matrisciana. Caryl warned of the more modern concept of meditation (revisited Eastern religion) through mantras, drugs, and music.
First a little background from her book, Out of India, “When I was twenty years old, my family returned from India, where I was born and lived for most of my life, to England, our homeland. It was during the turbulent sixties, and I was about to be introduced to a movement that didn’t even have a name yet. How could I have possibly known then that the strange and mystical religion I had been surrounded by in India would someday be at the heart of a spirituality that would influence millions around the world?”
Caryl writes of certain music, “The songs reflect the use of drugs and meditation and belief in Hinduism, UFOs, and astral projection. With the sound of sitars and hypnotic music, I was led to knowledge of the power of the mantra (the repetitious chanting of the names of Hindu deities, vibrations, and other mysterious code words).”
Further into her book, "My hunger for new emotional experiences led me more deeply into the introspection of Yoga and meditation. To my surprise, I began to realize I was experiencing the same thrills in Yoga as I attained on my drug-induced travels into altered states of awareness.
Finally, "From the hands of Jesus the Great Physician, however, is true healing, and the advice of Jesus the Wonderful Counselor surpasses any human technique or psychology."
Caryl adds this warning, "This consciousness, brought about through meditation, leads to certain philosophical and theological conclusions. First of all, it leads to the belief that God is everything, and everything is God. Second, due to the boundary-erasing sensations of this altered state of mind, an individual can reach only one political conclusion— that there is no community but global community.”
Yoga is mainstream and taught even in churches. A tool to be used to further the OWG agenda?
Caryl’s website lives on, Caryl has produced several very informative DVDs including her “Wide is the Gate” three volume series; Volume 1, The Emerging New Christianity, Volume 2, The Emerging New Christianity and Volume 3 The Emerging New Christianity.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Coming Destruction of Those Who Oppose Israel Including the United States? 525 - 12 - 8

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.”
Oops, President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry and the rest of Obama’s minions have ignored this declaration from God. They can’t say we were not warned.
Zephaniah 3:8, “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” 
The United States has long been blessed by God due in part to our blessing God’s chosen people, Israel. While we’ve usually stood with Israel our behavior has not always been exemplary. When it was obvious that the holocaust was on the horizon we did a little to allow Jews into this country. Then when we knew trains were bringing Jews into the death camps by the thousands we refused to divert our planes to destroy the railroads.
After 9/11 politicians started referring to Islam as a peaceful religion and referring to Israel as occupiers. President Obama has taken 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. This only intensified the hatred that Obama has for Israel.
President-elect Trump personally and successfully intervened to keep the measure, proposed by Egypt, from coming up for a vote on Thursday, as scheduled.
Trump was acting more presidential than the current POTUS, nevertheless, today Obama attained his revenge on Israel.
"Defying extraordinary pressure from President-elect Donald J. Trump and furious lobbying by Israel, the Obama administration on Friday allowed the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution that condemned Israeli settlement construction."
However, four other countries on the Security Council, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela "snatched the resolution away from Egypt" and put it up for a vote Friday afternoon.
New Zealand, no! In little more than the last 24 hours there have been more than a dozen "weak" earthquakes and two "moderate" earthquakes in New Zealand. During November, there were four "severe" earthquakes in New Zealand ranging from 6.0 to 7.8 in Magnitude. Just saying that God knows our hearts. Prayers for protection of Chuck Missler, Koinonia House NZ and those living in New Zealand.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Is Gibbons’ five reasons for the decline and fall of Rome a model for the downfall of the United States. 525 - 11 - 3

Five Reasons for the Decline and Fall of Rome:
Reason 1: The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home as the basis of society;
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), September 21, 1996, defined marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman, and allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under the laws of other states. Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” 
Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defined the word marriage to mean a legal union between one man and one woman. Section 3 was ruled unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor June 26, 2013. A complete departure from the command of God that marriage is between one man and one woman resulting in the denigrating of the family unit.
Reason 2: Higher and higher taxes; the spending of public money for free bread and circuses;
US Debt Clock, US National Debt is closing in on 20 trillion dollars, debt per citizen is greater than 61 thousand.
Reason 3: The mad craze for pleasure; sports and entertainments (ever more violent);
Sport figures are paid an inordinate amount of money while our first responders including our military face great danger and are paid a fraction of these million dollar salaries. We’re not quite in the days of Rome with his gladiators but cage fighting is popular.
Reason 4: The building of great armaments, even though the enemy was within;
 Unfortunately, our enemy is without as well as within. Cyber warfare has been added to the many weapons in the arsenal of countries. It would be wonderful if the money that goes towards defense could be spent to pay down our debt, however, not possible in this fallen world.
Reason 5: The decay of religion, fading into mere form, losing power to guide the people.
 Are we in the time of lukewarm Church in Laodicea?
The resent president election was a revelation to me; many have gone pass being lukewarm to being openly hostile to God. Here a Beatitude of Jesus is being mocked to try to make a very unbiblical political point.
Paul warned us that once we stray from Biblical truth we lose our moral compass.
2 Timothy 4:3-4, “3 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; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 
There are many movement such as The Faith Healing Movement that tickle itching ears via proponents including Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland. Last year I wrote about the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)
In summary, the “New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a dominionist movement which asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle. They place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the Bible, claiming that their revealed teachings and reported experiences (e.g. trips to heaven, face-to-face conversations with Jesus, visits by angels) cannot be proven by the ‘old’ Scripture.”

Monday, December 19, 2016

Biblical references for Christ’s return and rule on earth. 525 - 11 - 2

Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” After Satan bruises Jesus’ heel by masterminding the crucifixion, Jesus defeated Satan by His resurrection and will eventual rule on Earth, presently the realm of Satan.
Genesis 49:10, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” Scepter, H7626. to branch off; a scion, a stick ruling and more. Once the Sanhedrin lost the authority to pronounce capital punishment they were distraught not knowing that the scepter/Jesus/ future ruler had incarnated.
Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Many verses refer to the earth as “My footstool. Footstool, Strong’s G5286 includes “of thee, thine, something under the feet.”
Psalm 110:1, “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
Matthew 22:44, “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
Mark 12:36, “For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD (Jehovah) said to my Lord (Adoni), Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Here the claim is that The Messiah would be both Man and God. As David's Son, He would be human. As David's Lord, He would be divine.
Our Cornerstone is Jesus. H2106, in the sense of prominence.
Psalm 118:22, “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.”
Matthew 21:42, “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” And again in Matthew 12:10, Luke 20:17 and Act 4:11.
Ephesians 2:20, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;”
1 Peter 2:6, “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”
Jude 1:14, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,… To execute judgment upon all… 
Daniel 2:44, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.“ Jesus is the stone that was cut out without hands. He will destroy the four kingdoms of the molten image and rule over the whole earth forever.

Isaiah 61:1-2, “1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”
At His first incarnation, Jesus came as the suffering Messiah. However, He will return on the “day of vengeance” and claim his kingship.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What does God require of me? How am I to do it? 525 - 10 - 1

What does God require of me? Micah 6:8, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” A very tall order for a fallen human attempting to be a bondservant of Jesus. First and possibly foremost God requires that I recognize and declare my need for the redeeming grace provided by Jesus. To recognize that I cannot do what God requires of me by relying on myself. Recognition and declaration of this need is expressed in many wonderful praise and worship songs/hymns.
You Are My All In All Lyrics
"Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
Rising again I bless Your name
You are my all in all"
Yes, Jesus is my all in all and without His gift of grace I’m lost.
Jesus I need You Lyrics
"Jesus I need You
Every moment I need You
Hear now this grace bought heart sing out
Your praise forever"
Yes, I will sing out the praises of Jesus eternally.
Lord I need You Lyrics
"Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You"
Again, oh how I need the Lord in this lost and confused world.
Then the promise of Micah 7:19, “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
Here compassion is by implication to love, have compassion upon, love, shew mercy
Subdue can be to conquer, subjugate, bring into bondage, bring into subjection.
Cast is to throw out, down or away.
Depths can be a deep place of water.
When I declare that I’m broken and in need of the redeeming grace of Jesus God will show me compassion and my sins are cast away into a deep place of water; “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12.
To be a Paul and really internalize Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Covetousness Revisited 525 - 10 - 8

Although this started out as what God expected of our leaders it quickly morphed into a discourse on covetousness. From a DQ written shortly before the presidential election of 2016, “’From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Louis Blanc first used the expression in 1839, however, Karl Marx made the slogan popular. Bernie Sanders and his followers took this to heart with their demand for free college tuition rather than questioning the high cost of an education that often results in no employment or underemployment, free medical and more. As the iron lady of England once said, “Eventually you run out of other people’s money.”’ Not much has changed since the election of Donald Trump except for excuses and attacks by the left.
Years before taking this course I came to an understanding that many of the ills of society could be minimized by adherence to the commandment, Exodus 20:17, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.” In my opinion, God anticipated the many injustices would be done in the name of covetousness. He again repeated this commandment, Deuteronomy 5:21, “Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.”
Years ago, I hosted a chat room called ”The Politically Incorrect Club. Both there and in another chat room I argued that the progressive income tax structure had much to do with covetousness on the part of both many taxpayers and politicians seeking to secure votes, that the harder one worked to earn more income the more he or she was punished with higher taxes. Although there were many atheists in the chat rooms, some still had limited knowledge of Scripture. Matthew chapter 25 was often misapplied as most didn’t understand that Jesus was referring to the treatment of Israel rather than the more modern term, "The redistribution of wealth."
Was God looking down the corridor of time to the “Death Tax,” Eminent Domain and other ways of extorting land when he prompted Micah to write In Micah 2:2, “And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.” What of the theft of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite by Jezebel in 1 Kings 21, a prototype of things to come not only with the medieval Roman Catholic Church but with modern politicians?
With the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America I’m optimistic about the future of our country for the first time in years. Is Donald Trump our Cyrus? Time will tell, for now I think yes.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Why is Micah 6:8 is so often misunderstood 525 - 9 - 3

Micah 6:8, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
I’m not so sure that Micah 6:8 is misunderstood, rather it is rejected as too simple and eliminates man’s control through works.
 “Micah 6:6-8 What does the Most High seek in return for this? Not extravagant animal sacrifices! Certainly not human sacrifices! But justice, and mercy, and humility. Verse 8 describes what God requires; to obey this a person must have divine life. An unconverted person is totally incapable of producing this kind of righteousness.” [Believers Bible Commentary]
The gospel is so very simple. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “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:” Our salvation/ justification rests upon the substitutionary character of the death of Christ, 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.” Jesus was the propitiation for our sin, Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
I’m reminded of the serpent in the garden, “Did God really say that.” Can it be this simple? No requirement for burnt offerings, for works? Satan would have us believe that we take part in our own salvation. Not so, it is a gift which seems to go against man’s pride in doing it his way.
Grace justifies us not works, however, good works tend to follow. As we work out our sanctification, we are to do justly, to love mercy and to walk by God. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” As God’s creation, we are “that which has been made, a work, of the works of God as creator.” [Thayer]
“He - God hath already told you in his word, with what you ought to come before him. To do justly - To render to every one their due, superiors, equals, inferiors, to be equal to all, and oppress none, in body, goods or name; in all your dealings with men carry a chancery in your own beasts, and do according to equity. To love mercy - To be kind, merciful and compassionate to all, not using severity towards any. Walk humbly with thy God - Keep up a constant fellowship with God, by humble, holy faith.” [John Wesley Commentary]

How are “the way of Balaam;” “the error of Balaam” and “the doctrine of Balaam” are reflected in today’s culture? 525 - 9 - 5

Per CM there are three errors of Balaam:
• “Way of Balaam”: making religion his source of wealth.
• “Error of Balaam”: attempting to oppose God’s will and curse Israel
• “Doctrine of Balaam”: marriage with the world.
“Way of Balaam”:
2 Peter 2:15, “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” Very descriptive today’s mega-churches leaders. As an example, Joel Osteen’s net worth of 40 million. [] Joyce Meyers is a very entertaining motivational speaker, however, short on biblical truth. There are several others in the mega-churches who have gone the way of Balaam, an exception being David Jeremiah who stays with Biblical truth.
“Error of Balaam”:
Jude 1:11, “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” There are those who are redacting the Bible. An example is The Message by Eugene Peterson. Mr. Patterson changes Job 19:25, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:” (KJV) to “Still, I know that God lives—the One who gives me back my life—and eventually he’ll take his stand on earth.” Mr. Pearson has added to the verse and exchanged the concept of my Redeemer to a more imprecise God and the latter-day for eventually.
Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor at Saddleback Church has promoted Chrislam, something in my opinion that is an insult to both Christians and Jews. Pope Francis is courting the Eastern Orthodox Church trying to bring them under the umbrella of the Roman Catholic Church, can you say the coming one world religion? But I digress.
“Doctrine of Balaam”:
To the church at Pergamos, Revelation 2:14, “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”
Balak, king of the Moabites, feared the Israeli so he sent messengers to Balaam and asked him to curse Israeli. Balaam was a soothsayer, a “prophet for profit,” for hire. He agreed to use his ability contrary to God’s will.  God intervened. Numbers 22:12, "And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed."
At first Balaam refused to curse Israel but money is money so he eventually traveled to Moab. On the way, Balaam had a conversation with his donkey who saw an angel blocking their path. As it turns out whenever Balaam tried to curse Israel it came out as a blessing them in accordance with God’s word. Finally, he used the doctrine of Balaam, “to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel,” to cause them to be unfaithful to God so He would then “turn His hand against them.”
As an aside, God can use something meant for evil for good. Balaam was paid to curse Israel and instead blessed her with a Messianic prophecy. Numbers 23:17, “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.”

Friday, November 25, 2016

Micah 5:2 is one of the most important Messianic prophecies in the Bible 525 - 8 - 1

Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” In one verse, we are told where the Messiah would be born, that He is eternal and would rule.
“The child was born in Bethlehem, but the Son was from everlasting.” [Scofield Reference Notes]
Bethlehem, a city in Judah, means “house of bread, food” and was the birthplace of King David. It was little, insignificant, and in my opinion perfect for one coming as the suffering Messiah. Ephratah means “ash-heap: place of fruitfulness” and is another name for Bethlehem, avoiding any confusion as which Bethlehem was being referenced.
Among the many prophecies of the coming Messiah is Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
As is often the case, prophets describe one event while pointing further into the future, the later days. Isaiah 66:7-8, “7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. 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.”
I would summarize the above Isaiah passages as referring to the virgin birth, the coming Messiah, the birth of a man child and prophesied the birth of the State of Israel in one day. The following takes the prophecy to the time of the Second Coming.
“In verse 7 Israel brings forth a male child (the Messiah) before the time of her birth-pangs (the Great Tribulation). In verse 8 she brings forth sons after her time of travail. The first birth took place nearly two thousand years ago at Bethlehem. The second is the spiritual rebirth of Israel, which will occur after the Tribulation. Nothing will hinder God from accomplishing this purpose.” [Believer’s Bible Commentary]
Yesterday, Thanksgiving, I had dinner at my neighbors who are Reformed Seventh-day Adventist and believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is false. Today, a day late I find the following quotation in a commentary referencing the expression goings forth in Micah 5:2. “To Christians, who believe in the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the plural would express the continual generation or the Son from the Father from everlasting and to everlasting, never beginning and never ending; as the Council of Lateran says, "Without beginning ever and without end, the Father begetting, the Son being born (nascens), and the Holy Ghost proceeding." [The Pulpit Commentary]
Micah 5:2, such a short verse but with such depth.

Some insights about the significance of the gifts presented to Christ by the Magi 525 - 8 - 6

Matthew 2:11, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” Some of the commentaries I have read point out that the young child took precedence over his mother, “they saw the young child with Mary his mother.” As an aside and in my opinion, this is where the mother of Jesus should be, in a subordinate to her son, not having the near deity attributed to her by the Roman Catholic Church.
I grew up looking at Christmas cards with the baby Jesus in the manger, the Bethlehem Star overhead in the Magi presenting baby Jesus with gifts. Not exactly the real chronology of the events surrounding Christ's birth. Matthew 2:11 points out that the wise men saw Jesus in a house. Also, Herod ordered the execution all male children under two years old suggesting up to two years has passed since the birth of Jesus.
When the Wise Men presented Jesus with Gold and Frankincense it foretold of the role Jesus would fulfill as both King and priest. The myrrh was predictive of His death.
Joseph, often compared to Jesus, was given gold likely as a symbol of his authority. Genesis 41:42-43, “42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.”
Frankincense, the incense tree, that is, incense itself. Myrrh, a bitter gum, and costly perfume which exudes from a certain tree or shrub in Arabia and Ethiopia, or is obtained by incisions made in the bark: as an antiseptic, it was used for embalming. [Thayer]
“The treasures they brought spoke volumes. Gold is a symbol of deity and glory; it speaks of the shining perfection of His Divine Person. Frankincense is an ointment or perfume; it suggests the fragrance of the life of sinless perfection. Myrrh is a bitter herb; it presages the sufferings He would endure in bearing the sins of the world.” [Believer’s Bible Commentary]
In Matthew 26 we read when Jesus is in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper a woman broke open an alabaster container of oil and poured it on Jesus’ head. The oil was expensive perfume and when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, “To what purpose is this waste?” Matthew 26:8. Jesus replied, Matthew 26:12, “For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.”
“Christ interpreted her act, and gave it a solemn significance. By this effusion of the precious unguent site anticipated the embalming of the Lord’s body; she showed her reverence for that body which was to be given for the life of the world not many days hence. The full meaning of the mystery of which she was the instrument Mary did not comprehend, but what she had consciously done received a wonderful commendation from the Lord, which has no parallel in the Gospel history.” [The Pulpit Commentary]
God speaking through the prophet Isaiah of the of the later days said, “The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.”
Here Myrrh not included in the gifts, no longer relevant in the later days.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Biblical concept of “the remnant” is this important to me 525 - 7 - 2

An interesting article by Tucker Whitaker and Andy Coticchio that deals with both the Church and a remnant in Israel, “God Always Has and Ever Will Have a Faithful Remnant.” []
Luke 18:8, “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Good question today, however, those BAC alive when Jesus comes for His Church will be in the remnant raptured prior to the Tribulation. 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” So yes, the Biblical concept of “the remnant” is important to me as one who will avoid the Tribulation and Important to me as a supporter of Israel.
Throughout the Bible a remnant was saved. Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Long before Abraham and through Noah’s obedience to God, a remnant was saved to repopulate the earth.
God leaves hope that some will be spared. Zephaniah 2:7, “And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.” Ezekiel 6:8, “Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries.”
In Deuteronomy 2 God told the Israeli to pass through the land of the descendants of Esau but that He (God) would not give Israel the land. Deuteronomy 2:5, “Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession.? In Micah 2:12 God will gather the remnant of Israel and “put them together as the sheep of Bozrah."
So thousands of years in advance God made sure there would be a refuge for the remnant of Israel during the time of Jacob's troubles. During the tribulation, many Jews will come to accept Jesus as Messiah and many will be killed by the antichrist and his minions. A remnant will escape to Petra. At the Second Coming the remnant “shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10 The scales will drop from their eyes and they will be brought into the Kingdom.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Problems with an Amillennial eschatological viewpoint 525 - 7 - 1

“The amillennialist is bound to argue for a conditional covenant and a spiritualized fulfillment, so that the throne on which Christ is now seated at the right hand of the Father becomes the “throne” of the covenant, the household of faith becomes the “house” of the covenant, and the church becomes the “kingdom” of the covenant.” [Pentecost, J. Dwight. Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology]
First a few definitions:
Christian Eschatology is the study of what the Bible says is going to happen in the end times
Hermeneutics is the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts.
Premillennialism teaches that the Second coming will occur before a literal thousand-year reign of Christ from Jerusalem upon the earth thus fulfilling the Davidic Covenant. Hermeneutics here are a literal view of the Word of God.
Amillennialism is a rejection of the belief that Jesus will have a literal, thousand-year-long, physical reign on the earth, that Christ is now sitting on the throne of David and that this present church age is the kingdom over which Christ reigns.
Postmillennialism teaches that this world will become better eventually becoming “Christianized.” After this happens, Christ will return. Rather than becoming a “better” world, the world is chaotic with many of the Islam faith torturing and murdering Christians. There have been cases of actual crucifixion of the followers of Christ who would not renounce Him and swear allegiance to Allah.
Both Amillennialism and Postmillennialism are indicative of a weak Hermeneutics.
Many church leaders either willfully or through ignorance practice a weak Hermeneutics leading them to claim that the Everlasting Covenants 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 makes the claim that as Israel forfeited the promises/ covenants made to her by God and these passed to the Church which became “spiritual Israel.” The concept of replacement theology marginalizes Israel and the Jewish people making it easier for the world to turn its back on the Jews, most notably during the Holocaust.
As an aside, the movie “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” is about two eight-year-old boys who became friends though on opposite sides of a fence surrounding a concentration camp. In another KI class I suggested that these boys were ultimate victims of replacement theology.
For the Jew, Replacement Theology lead to the Holocaust. Today, anti-Semitism is very prevalent and the UN is hostile to Israel and sympathetic to the Palestinians. For the Christian, Replacement Theology indicates that God cannot be trusted to keep His word to Israel. Carrying this to its logical conclusion, can Christians expect Him to keep his word to us and honor our salvation?
As a further aside, the following is extracted from a post written shortly before the presidential election of 2012:
“Our current administration seems to be disengaging itself from Israel so come Election Day, the most pro-Israel candidates get my vote. As for the Judgment of Nations, “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:”’
Fast forward to 2016, President-elect Donald Trump is expected to be far more supportive of Israel so perhaps the United States has dodged the bullet of God’s wrath for now. I am praying that President-elect Trump will convince Congress to finally moved our embassy to Jerusalem. This was supposed to have been done some time ago but our country just seems to lack the courage. Hopefully this is the time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Defining a “false teacher” and discerning false teachings, very much needed today 525 - 6 - 1

Per the Apostle Peter, a false teacher is just that, one who teaches a false doctrine, who brings in damnable heresies. The unsurpassed way to discern false teachings is to study the Word and to “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11. CM reminds us to be like the Bereans, Acts 17:11, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
Jesus warned us again and again about false teachers:
Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
Mark 13:21-23, " And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christ’s and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things."
IMO, Jude’s letter was written for such a time as this and written to today’s “The Beloved.” As believers, we are part of the beloved whom Jude is pressuring to “Contend Earnestly for The Faith.” Jude was writing to counter the apostasy that was occurring within the infant church and the arrival of many false teachers. As it was nearly 2000 years ago so it is today with those espousing the New Age as well as adherence to numerous cults.
Not being one to mince words, Paul had this much to say about false teachers. Galatians 1:6-8, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
In the Book of Revelation Jesus speaks through the Apostle John to “The seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” Many BAC think we are firmly in the age of the church of Laodicea. “3:15-17 The church at Laodicea was neither cold nor hot. It was sickeningly lukewarm. The Lord would have preferred it to have been extreme in its indifference or its zeal. But no—it was lukewarm enough to deceive people into thinking that it was a church of God, and so disgustingly lukewarm about divine things as to nauseate the Most High. Furthermore, the church was characterized by pride, ignorance, self-sufficiency, and complacency.” [Believers Bible Commentary]
After the vitriolic anti-Christian rhetoric expressed in the resent POTUS election, there was concern we would return to the age of the Church of Smyrna that endured extreme persecution. Thankfully God stepped in as did many in the Christian community and, in my opinion, a man was raised up for such a time as this.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Is President Elect Donald Trump God’s Modern-day Cyrus? 525 - 6 - 8

Over a hundred years before King Cyrus matched into Babylon God dictated a letter to him through the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 44:28, “That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.”
Also, as prophesied, Cyrus’ military was unopposed, Isaiah 45:1, “Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;”
Unlike Cyrus, Trump met with great opposition, opposition from Liberals, from the current POTUS, a bias often lying media, old-time Democrat party hacks not above voter fraud, the Elicits both from without and within his own party and more. The more would certainly include Satan. The liberals and some conservatives were supporting Hillary Clinton even though she affirmed in the third debate that killing an unborn baby just prior to delivery was acceptable to her. That so many people could accept this horrendous crime is a great indicator of how far into the abyss this country has sunk.
Enter the evangelical Christians. Many leaders such as Franklin Graham reminded Christians that their failure to vote in 2012 for Mitt Romney because he was a Mormon likely cost him the election. Instead this bias was rewarded with the re-election of an advocate for Islam who often denigrates Israel and is working on the so-called two state solution. There was a tremendous groundswell of Christians not only in the United States but in Israel praying for Trump to be victorious. Prayer meetings were held often through the night before the election. Donald Trump is the President-elect; however, Obama still has two months to cause damage both to our country and to Israel.
We must be like modern-day children of Issachar, 1 Chronicles 12:32, “And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.”
Like Cyrus who had already conquered most of the known world, Trump is a very successful businessman and, in my opinion, didn’t need the presidency. Cyrus encouraged the Israelites to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. Rebuilding the temple didn’t go smoothly as a wall was needed. Israel was finally given permission to rebuild the wall leading to one of the greatest prophecies of all time. Daniel 9:25, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
The hand of God was involved in the selection of Cyrus to free the Israeli and help them to return to Israel. What is the likelihood that the hand of God was in the election of Donald Trump? Was the imperfect Donald Trump raised up for such time as this? I certainly think so.
For the last several years I’ve expected the wrath of God to fall on the United States as he apparently was lifting his hedge of protection. I see this election as a chance for us to once get it right and return to our core values. It will take some time but I’m optimistic and waiting to hear the words of Jesus, Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sadly the “six woes of Isaiah” in Chapter 5 apply to our country. 625 - 5 - 2

With thanks to CM for a simplified listing of the Six Woes found in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 5:
1. Materialism
2. Hedonism
3. Flaunting Sin
4. Denial of the Word of God
5. Relativism
6. Lack of Justice
Materialism: Later this month Black Friday will once again be observed. On Thursday Americans, will give thanks and less than 24 hours later thousand will be pushing and shoving each other in stores hoping to get stuff at huge discounts. In past years, there has been considerable damage done to stores and at least one death as people stampeded to be the first through the door. Many people in America feel they must have the latest and greatest whatever while many in Third World countries just want potable water, food and shelter.
Hedonism, “1. The pursuit of pleasure. 2. The ethical theory that pleasure is the highest good and proper aim of human life.” [] Hedonism harkens back to the expression eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you may die. It’s as if our country has lost its moral compass resulting in drug use, alcoholism and sexual perversion. Hedonism can result in boredom and the possibility of disease, plus a very undesirable eternal destination.
As for flaunting sin, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) community has hijacked God’s rainbow. Not to repeat myself, Obama co-opted God’s rainbow to light up the exterior of the While House after the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage. The LGBT community is having considerable success in getting their deviant lifestyle to be treated as normal. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed not just for the homosexuality of their citizens, also for the acceptance by the communities of the sin of homosexuality.
Denial of the Word of God. Atheists deny the word of God and work very hard to prove the God they don’t believe in doesn’t exist. While not directly denying the word of God, many claiming to be Christians do great harm from within the family by questioning the truth of the Bible. This prideful and arrogant denial had its start in the garden with the question, “Did God really say that?”
Relativism, "The doctrine that no ideas or beliefs are universally true but that all are, instead, “relative” — that is, their validity depends on the circumstances in which they are applied." [American Heritage Dictionary] With no belief in absolute truths one is free to do what is right in his/ her own eyes. This is very apparent in the current presidential election. One example, the Democratic candidate is a proponent of abortion including viable babies. Not only is she doing what is right in her eyes, millions share her “truth.” Proverbs 21:2, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.”
Lack of Justice: Corruption exists in the judicial area and with those creating and authorizing laws plus a POTUS who has a phone and a pen. Prayers that in a few days the electorate in this country will reject the Democratic candidate who seems to have no concern for justice and is supported by a corrupt Department of Justice. Will the election results be in accordance with Psalm 2:10-11, “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” Or Proverbs 28:15, “As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Covetousness is a form of idolatry 525 - 5 - 4

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Louis Blanc first used the expression in 1839, however, Karl Marx made the slogan popular. Bernie Sanders and his followers took this to heart with their demand for free college tuition rather than questioning the high cost of an education that often results in no employment or underemployment, free medical and more. As the iron lady of England once said, “Eventually you run out of other people’s money.” However, this does not keep those who covet from demanding more and more and protesting rather than praying to God for guidance.
Anything that we value above God is a form of idolatry. Here in America we’ve gone from the self-sufficiency of the greatest generation who defeated our enemies in World War II to a lackluster generation many of whom want an emotional safe place and covets what others have.
Exodus 20:17, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.”
It is my opinion that from covetousness comes the breaking of these additional commandments:
Exodus 20:13, “Thou shalt not kill.” Coveting a woman’s convenience over the life of an unborn baby.  
Exodus 20:14, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” As the expression goes, “The grass is always greener over the septic tank.”
Exodus 20:15, “Thou shalt not steal.” Crime is rampant and often justified because someone has more.
Exodus 20:16, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Currently, this has much to do with the allegations and counter allegations being made during the 2016 presidential election.
God reinforced the sin of coveting in Deuteronomy 5:21, “Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.”
Today Micah 2:2 is relevant, “And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.” As an aside, in a quotation from decades ago Ayn Rand is pretty much spot on today, “We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.” []
Fast forward to the time of the New Testament and Paul. Romans 13:9, “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” God hates covetousness.
As for me, I will be very relieved when our presidential elections over next week. If Donald Trump is elected perhaps he can overcome the harm done to our country by the followers of Saul Alinsky. Some suggest that Trump may be our Cyrus. If Hillary Clinton is elected, words fail me.
Whatever direction our country takes, God is in charge, Psalm 2:4, “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Question to ask ourselves, What does our culture condone today that God condemns? 525 - 4 - 4

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!”
Starting with the trifecta of homosexuality, abortion and throwing Israel under the bus:
Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Someone coined the appropriate expression, “Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.”
Last year the White House was illuminated in rainbow colors, co-opting God’s rainbow, in celebration of the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. Fortunately, the gay rainbow only contains six colors rather than the seven in God’s rainbow. Six is the number of man and a bolt of lightning didn’t strike the White House.
Although we serve an awesome God who is jealous of his creation, many are denying God as Creator. Paul tells us in Romans 1:20, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” A few verses later Paul shares the consequences/ judgment for a society that worships the created and not the Creator, homosexuality. It certainly seems that God’s judgment is being realized given our administration promoting the LGBT agenda of the acceptance of depraved lifestyles as normal.
Abortion has evolved from the first trimester to viable babies. Abortion early in pregnancy is wrong, however, aborting viable babies is murder. God hates “…hands that shed innocent blood,” Proverbs 6:17.
Last year, Planned Parenthood was caught on video selling aborted baby parts. In our upside-down world of good being called evil, threats were made against the producers of the videos rather than Planned Parenthood.
“A quick and Easy Guide to The Planned Parenthood Videos”
As for Israel, few seem to understand the truth of 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.” Obama is continuing the unwise effort of bullying Israel to divide the land given to them by God. Joel 3:2, “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Here plead is not a passive word, rather Strong’s H8199 which includes “by implication to vindicate or punish condemn, contend, defend, execute judgment.”  
In addition to the above trifecta I would paraphrase Judges 17:6, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Now that God, our King, has been kicked out of our culture, anything goes.
The world seems to be growing darker every day, however, I stand strong in the assurance that God is in control.