Thursday, June 29, 2017

Life lessons learned from the death of Uzzah 510-2 - 10 - 5

Exodus 25:12-15, “12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. 13 And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. 15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it."
Wagons and oxen were given to the sons of according to their service with one exception, Numbers 7:9, “But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none: because the service of the sanctuary belonging unto them was that they should bear upon their shoulders.”
King David and Uzzah disrespected God’s command by mishandling the Ark. God dictated that the ark was to be carried via two poles so there would be no touching of the ark. However, 2 Samuel 6:3, “And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.”
Had the ark been carried as directed by God there would not have been the need to keep the ark from falling. The ox shook the cart and Uzzah attempted to steady the ark. 2 Samuel 6:7, “And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.” Uzzah not only had placed the ark on a cart, he touched it, both actions in direct disobedience to God's command.
2 Samuel 6:9” And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and said, How shall the ark of the Lord come to me?” So King David offloaded the ark to the “house of Obededom the Gittite” for three months.
Lesson learned, 1 Chronicles 15:2, “Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him forever.”
Earlier the Philistines learned that there is a price to be paid for disrespecting the ark of God. The Philistines had captured the ark, 1 Samuel 6:6, “And the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months.”
During those seven months, the ark was passed from one city to another during which time the anger of God was manifest. 
First “Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord.” And “there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.” Add to that, the people suffered with emerods.
Finally, the Philistines wanted to return the ark and included a trespass offering of “five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords.”
Life lessons learned from the death of Uzzah, take God at His Word and don’t attempt workarounds. Uzzah ignored God’s Word and tried an easier way of transporting the ark. He paid with his life.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Can an infinitely Holy God accomplish great and grand plans with such a sinful and besmirched people? 526-1 - 3 - 5

besmirch /bɪˈsmɚtʃ/ verb
besmirches; besmirched; besmirching
Learner's definition of BESMIRCH
[+ object] : to cause harm or damage to (the reputation of someone or something)
Example of usage: He has besmirched [=sullied] her reputation/name/honor by telling lies about her. he has caused people to have a low opinion of her.
"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever."
[Thomas Jefferson quotes]
President Jefferson’s quote certainly applies to the United States today. Eight years of depravity and besmirching the Word of God by the promotion of transgender bathrooms, selling baby parts and more. Prayerfully, the election of President Trump indicates that God has not washed His hands of America.
“The call of Abraham” was the beginning of the Jewish nation. God wanted His own people and established the “Abrahamic Covenant” with Abraham. God protected Israel when the people obeyed Him and scattered them when they didn't. The people would repent and God would provide them with a deliverer until the next time they again fell into sin. By continually falling into sin they besmirched God’s Holy Name.
Ezekiel 36 is very telling as God let the Israelites know, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name.” God would not put aside his covenant with Israel.
I can almost feel the frustration of God when dealing with Israel when they fall into sin. Isaiah 1:2-4, "2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward."
Then this: Isaiah 66:8, “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”
State of Israel proclaimed
"On May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaims the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. In an afternoon ceremony at the Tel Aviv Art Museum, Ben-Gurion pronounced the words “We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called Israel,” prompting applause and tears from the crowd gathered at the museum. Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first premier."
God accomplish His great and grand plans and brought forth the state of Israel in a day.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Satan is “The Accuser of the Brethren” 526-1 - 3 - 6

Satan is “The Accuser of the Brethren” trying to turn the followers of Jesus against each other and/ or to insert himself between Jesus and His people.
Job 1:6, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” The story of Job’s suffering starts in heaven when the sons of God appeared before God including Satan, known as the Accuser.
Does God boast? Perhaps a little as God pointed out to Satan “the uprightness of His servant Job.” The accuser Satan inferred that the only reason Job feared God was that He had been so good to him by putting a protective hedge around Job. Without this hedge, Satan insisted, Job would have cursed his God to His face.
Although Job continued to be an upright servant of God, his three “friends” also implied that he had sinned in some way. God restored all to Job but not before giving him a lesson in creation, Job 38:4, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.”
Revelation 12:10, “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”
Good news for those in Heaven but not for the inhibitors of the earth.
Revelation 12:12, “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhibiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
Satan, now on earth, pursuits the woman (Israel) after the man child (Jesus) is caught up onto God. This is the start of Jacob’s Troubles, suggestive of a mid-tribulation rapture?
Revelation 12:17, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
“Furious over this humiliation, he seeks to wreak vengeance on Jews who had remained in the land—Jews who show the reality of their faith by keeping the commandments of God and by bearing testimony to Jesus.”
[Believer’s Bible Commentary]
As for me, during the summer I live in a remote area in northeastern Arizona where my neighbors are not within hearing distance. There are times I feel a slight atmosphere of something not quite right. In case it is anything to do with Satan or his minions I speak works such as, “I repudiate anything that is not of God in the name of Jesus. I’m covered by the blood of Jesus so leave."
So much for Satan being The Accuser of the Brethren including me.

Responding to unbelievers 510-2 - 9 - 3

So just how should a believer respond to the sorrows and failures of his/her “enemies.” Tempting as it might be to gloat, not a Christ-like reaction. Far better to reflect on how I would react to similar sorrows and/ or failures. Empathy would be better as it would demonstrate a more Christian behavior and could possibly be used as a witnessing tool, “I remember when….”
That said, rather than enemies, I would like to address unbelievers and the sometimes-negative attitudes held by “Christians.”
For two years whenever I would see a very gentle soul who called himself Spirit I would quietly witness to him. He was wholly in the new age but I had hoped to bring him to faith in Christ Jesus. One day he came storming up to me telling me that a friend of mine had told him he was going to burn forever in hell due to his new age beliefs. Spirit asked me if I agreed that he was going to hell and I rather beat around the bush. After all, wasn’t/ isn’t that the traditional view of hell, Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT). As I didn’t disavow the view that Spirit was headed for ECT, no more conversations and no more opportunities to witness to him.
Three questions:
Q 1. Do we as Christians warn unbelievers that they are headed for ECT?
Q 2. Is the tradition view of ECT Biblical?
Q3. What is Conditional Immortality?
A1. I do not know the heart of an unbeliever, only God does.
A2. A quick search of the Internet for articles concerning ECT produced more than 350 thousand results. As an example:
“I take no special delight in writing this article. But hell is real and people are going there. So let’s look closely at what the Bible has to say about it as well as the on-going debate over whether hell is eternal conscious punishment.”
A3. Conditional Immortality, only believers are granted immortality with God, unbelievers face annihilation in Hell. Here a quick search of the Internet for articles concerning Conditional Immortality produced more than 250 thousand results.
The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment, Third Edition and Hell A final Word by Edward Fudge and just two books dealing with the subject.
Lots of interesting views are published on Facebook. I joined the main group
And also the regional far-west group
This year’s Rethinking Hell Conference will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, on July 15th. It would be wonderful if I had the time and money to both attend the conference and visit the Koinonia House River Lodge in New Zealand.
I gather that the leaning of KI is towards tradition view of ECT, however, I’m leaning towards CI.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish (G622), but have everlasting life.”
Perish, G622, from G575 (usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal) and G3639 (to destroy; a prolonged form); ruin, that is, death, punishment: - destruction.; to destroy fully), literally or figuratively: - destroy, die, lose, perish.

King David was popular with his people for many reasons 510-2 - 9 - 2

King David was popular with his people due to his early bravery, his servant’s attitude, his loyalty to King Saul and his many victories in battle.
As a lad, David had a servant’s humble attitude and didn't consider above himself being a shepherd. A thousand years later a humble Jesus would step out of His glory, Philippians 2:6-7, "6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:"
Early on David exhibited great bravery as he protected his herd of sheep from both a lion and a bear. While David was still a boy the Philistines gathered their armies to battle against King Saul and his army. The giant Goliath taunted King Saul with a one-on-one challenge against him. King Saul stayed with his men and the stalemate continues for an extended time. Then enter David.
David had been sent to carry food to his brothers and said this about Goliath’s challenge. 1 Samuel 17:26, “And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 1 Samuel 17:36, “Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.”
David met Goliath armed only with a sling and five stones and The Whole Armor of God. David was so confident in his victory through God, he was prepared to battle Goliath and Goliath’s four brothers who also were giants.
King Saul had lost the favor of God and was rather unbalanced and David often play his harp and sang to him to soothe him. As David became more popular with the people, King Saul was jealous of David and sought to kill him. Nevertheless, David was always loyal to King Saul as God’s anointed.
Later as King, David was an outstanding warrior with a very loyal following of his mighty men. David was in fellowship with God and as such enjoyed one victory after another. 
Sadly, King David had two major failings. The first being the sin of the flesh. In addition to the taking of many wives was his adultery with Bathsheba and arranging the murder of her husband. The second failing by King David committed the sin of pride by initiating a census.
David repented of his sins and was forgiven by God and was still a man after God’s heart. Nevertheless, there was a price to be paid. 70,000 died because of the census and David’s house was dysfunctional with incest and his sons rebelling against him.
Regardless of his shortcomings, King David is considered the greatest King of Israel until the reign of King Jesus.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Gentile calendar, The Times of the Gentiles and The Fullness of the Gentiles 526-1 - 2 - 1

"When Darius began his reign in 521 BC Times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24) had begun; Gentile calendar used.”
“Significant is the fact that a Jewish prophet dated his prophecy according to the reign of a Gentile monarch, rather than by Judean kings in the line of David. This was a vivid reminder to all of Zechariah’s hearers that “the times of the Gentiles” (Cf. Luke 21:24; Dan 2; 7) were in progress and that no descendant of David was sitting on the throne in Jerusalem (cf. Hosea 3:4-5).”
[Chuck Missler, The Prophets of the Post-Exile]
History is often dated relative to world leaders. The last of the kings of Judah had taken into exile, the last king that is until King Jesus returns to earth to reign.
"2. The fullness of the Gentiles (Rom_11:25) is the time of the Rapture, when Christ's Gentile bride will be completed and taken from the earth and when God will resume His dealings with Israel.
3. The times of the Gentiles (Luk_21:24) really began with the Babylonian captivity, 521 b.c., and will extend to the time when Gentile nations will no longer assert control over the city of Jerusalem."
"The fullness of the Gentiles must be distinguished from the times of the Gentiles (Luk_21:24). The fullness of the Gentiles coincides with the Rapture. The phrase “times of the Gentiles” refers to the entire period of Gentile domination over the Jews, beginning with the Babylonian captivity (2Ch_36:1-21) and ending with Christ's return to earth to reign."
[Believer's Bible Commentary]
Romans 11:25, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”
Although many Gentiles will come to faith during the Tribulation, the Tribulation is primarily devoted to Israel. Israel's blindness pronounced in Luke 13:35, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” is removed at the time of the Rapture, nevertheless not all Israel will come to faith in Jesus right away. Conversion will continue throughout the Tribulation with elect remnant will not be become completed Jews until King Jesus returns to earth

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, Fake News! 526-1 - 2 - 6

“Ten Lost Tribes,” of Israel, untrue! Asher, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon, and Zebulun were “Ten Lost Tribes” of legend.
Had any of the twelve tribes of Israel been lost it would likely have been the tribe of Benjamin. In the Book of Judges, the tribe of Benjamin is nearly wiped out in what was a very strange series of events. The tribe of Benjamin survived and great men such as the Apostle Paul and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were/ are from the tribe of Benjamin.
2 Chronicle 11:16, “And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers.” Representatives from the Northern Kingdom tribes relocated to the Southern Kingdom to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and those who preferred to worship pagan gods migrated to the Northern Kingdom.
Again in 2 Chronicles 15:9, “And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.” Again, the more spiritual of the Ten Tribes joined forces with Judah.
God sent the Southern Kingdom into exile, however, Ezekiel 39:28, “Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them anymore there.”
In researching a similar question a few years ago, I came across some very interesting information concerning Anglo-Israelism & British Israelism. Worth repeating again in my opinion.
Anglo-Israelism & British Israelism:
“The principal belief of Anglo/British Israelism is that the British (and by extension Americans, Canadians, Australians, and others) are the spiritual and literal descendants of the ancient Israelites.”
British Israel writers developed the belief that these "ten tribes" of the Northern Kingdom “were able to retain their identity and cohesiveness, became lost to history, and wandered far even to the British Isles.” In my opinion, things get rather convoluted with the stone (Stone of Scone) used in the coronation of King David being transported to the British Isles and being used for the coronation of British queens and kings.
The Anglo-Israelism belief was mostly discounted in the early 20th century, however, John Allen’s book “Judah's Scepter and Joseph's Birthright" spread the concept through the Adventist and other churches adding more fuel to the fire of the heresy of Replacement Theology.
God made unconditional covenants with His people. If God could lose 10 of His 12 Tribes would His unconditional covenants still hold? The theory of Ten Lost Tribes is promoted either due to ignorance or by those practicing a weak Hermeneutics. Of course, God did not lose any of His people but such a claim denigrates Israel and can morph into Replacement theology.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Unconditional covenants made by God with Israel 526-1 - 1 - 8

There are several unconditional covenants made by God with Israel of which the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants are only two. Israel was to be obedient to the commands of God and often failed. God never abandoned Israel, nevertheless, Israel lost God's blessings for periods of time.
The Abrahamic Covenant: Genesis 17:7-8, "7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 8 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." Through the false doctrine of Replacement Theology, the RCC is claiming that the unconditional covenants given to Israel are now for Christianity.
The Land Covenant: 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 Israelites would be strangers in a land not theirs, however, when they would come out of a period of enslavement they would be given an unconditional title to land as described in verse 18 through 21. This unilateral land covenant granted to Israel is being challenged by the UN.
The Davidic Covenant: Nathan the prophet told King David God’s unconditional covenant. 2 Samuel 7:12, “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.” 2 Samuel 7:16, “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.”
The Everlasting Covenant: God promised Isaac in Genesis 26:3-4, "Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." And yet many throughout the planet conspire to eradicate Israel.
Church Covenant: We believers have a new and unconditional covenant which is our justification by the shed blood of Jesus and his proclamation that “It is finished.” We believers are to look up as our redemption draws near.
What are the implications for us, as Christians today? 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.” There are voices “crying in the wilderness” that is present day America such as Messianic Rabbi Jonathon, however, few listen. Rather most are doing “what is right in their own minds.”
I have posted any number of times concerning God’s dropping of the hedge of protection that is been around the United States since its inception. We have been a longtime supporter of Israel though lukewarm at times. When we act against the interests of Israel we pay for it. The election of President Trump as POTUS will perhaps provide time for our country to return to God.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

History teaches that man learns nothing from history. —Hegel 526-1 - 1 - 3

History teaches that man learns nothing from history. 
To quote CM, "It is risky business to waste the lessons of previous generations."
What is it about Genesis 12:3 that many people/ countries don't get? There are the promoters of “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS). It seems that even President Trump has waived moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem for another six months. There is more talk of a road to peace by limiting settlements on land given to Israel by God and taken back in battle due to her neighbor’s aggression. And so many more sins against God through our treatment of His chosen people, either by commission or omission.
Shortly before the election of 2016 I answered the question, "How have/ are the leaders in America assisting Gentiles to divide the land of Israel." Beginning with a first cause, referring to Islam as a peaceful religion and referring to Israel as occupiers.
First a brief case for Israel belonging to God’s chosen people.
Genesis 17: 7, “And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant to be God unto thee and to thy seed after thee.”
As for Islam as a peaceful religion, read the day-to-day headlines.
The truth about the middle east, Israel Palestinian conflict in 5 minutes, by the Prager University.
Every world power that has controlled and/ or occupied the land of Israel has become a former world power, or has lost power, such as Rome and Britain. Now America is losing her position as a world power.
During 2011 President Obama took the position that Israel should return to the 1967 lines leaving Israel with nearly indefensible borders. Of course, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused spoiling Obama’s hope for the legacy of being a peace maker.
In speaking to a room full of influential world leaders in a closed-door meeting last year former Secretary of State John Kerry said “If there’s no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming an apartheid state.” Mr. Secretary, I strongly suggest that you read your Bible.
In his book "Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel" William Koenig lists disasters that have happened to America after harassing Israel into giving up land for peace. For example, during the Bush II administration Israel gave up the Gaza Strip and God gifted us with Hurricane Katrina. Israel was presented with closer enemy missile bases. John P. McTernan has also written a book dealing with our treatment of Israel in land for peace; “As America Has Done to Israel.”
Before Katrina there was “The Perfect Storm" of 1991. During the Madrid Peace Process, the elder President Bush was very clear that Israel was required to surrender parts of the covenant land for peace, oops, the storm affected President H. W. Bush home. There was far more destruction to follow and many times the United States seemed to have come under God’s judgment.
Here in the United States several presidents from both parties have bullied Israel into giving up land that not only did God say was their but they won it after being attacked. Every time I hear our politicians refer to any of Israel as “The Occupied Territory” I visualize God recording it as one more black mark against our country. Prayerfully President Trump will turn things around, a good start would be to move our embassy to Jerusalem. However, there is this:
The White House's plan for peace in the Middle East
"President Trump's plan: reduce building in Judea, Samaria, use Jordan and Gulf states to help with Israel's security."
Yes Mr. Hegel, “History teaches that man learns nothing from history.”

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Rich toward God or a ton of cabbage? 531-1 - 12 - 1

Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Luke 12: 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
The Parable of the Rich Fool; Jesus tells of a rich man who had such great "fruits and goods" that he had no room for them. His solution; Luke 12:18, "And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods." However, God had other plans; Luke 12:20, "But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"
“Then whose will those things be?” God asked. We might well ask ourselves the question, “If Christ should come today, whose would all my possessions be?” How much better to use them for God today than to let them fall into the devil's hands tomorrow! We can lay up treasure in heaven with them now, and thus be rich toward God. Or we can squander them on our flesh, and from the flesh reap corruption."
[Believer's Bible Commentary]
For the last 25 years or so I have accumulated too much stuff. I did rather well with real estate and turned my profit into inventory. I’m now owned by a ton of cabbage known as jewelry, hundreds of strands of beads and turquoise nuggets and more. Every time I travel from my winter home to my summer home and back I load boxes of stuff into my van. Some I pay to store year-round. I’m tied down weekends during the summer in my little shop rather than traveling around my beloved Arizona. I wholesale every chance I get but still too much stuff. That said, the last two years I’ve bought very little inventory and my bead board is getting thinned out.
Each summer I internalize this verse increasingly. Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” In my case is where my treasure is I’m held ransom. Too many years of investment in time and money…
Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify.
[Henry David Thoreau]
As for the ton of cabbage, an excerpt from THE ISLANDERS - A Sufi Legend told by Idries Shah
“I want to learn to swim.”
“Do you want to make a bargain about it?”
“No. I only have to take my ton of cabbage.”
“What cabbage?”
“The food which I will need on the other island.”
“There is better food there.”
“I don’t know what you mean. I cannot be sure. I must take my cabbage.”
“You cannot swim, for one thing, with a ton of cabbage.”
“Then I cannot go. You call it a load. I call it my essential nutrition.”
“Suppose, as an allegory, we say not ‘cabbage’ but ‘assumptions,’ or ‘destructive ideas’?” (in my case cabbage = inventory)
“I am going to take my cabbage to some instructor who understands my needs.”
Less is more! Less is to be rich towards God as more time is freed up just to be in His presence.

About that leaven 531-1 - 12 - 4

There are 29 references to leaven in the Bible in 20 verses, 18 in the Old Testament and 11 in the New Testament.
Exodus 12:15; 12:19; 13:7; 34:25
Leviticus 2:11; 6:17; 10:12; 23:17
Amos 4:5
Matthew 13:33; 16:6,11,12; 8:15
Luke 12:1; 13:21
1 Corinthians 5:6,7,8
Galatians 5:9 
First mention of leaven in the Bible, Exodus 12:15, “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.”
Matthew 13:33, “Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”
“We believe that in this parable the meal represents the food of God's people as it is found in the Bible. The leaven is evil doctrine. The woman is a false prophetess who teaches and beguiles (Revelation 2:20). Is it not significant that women have been the founders of several false cults? Forbidden by the Bible to teach in the church (1 Corinthians 14:34; 1Timothy 2:12), some have defiantly taken the place of doctrinal authorities and have adulterated the food of God's people with destructive heresies.”
[Believer’s Bible Commentary]
Jesus warned of the Hypocrisy of the Pharisees, Luke 12:1, “In the meantime, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” This warning was repeated in Matthew 16:6,11,12 and Mark 8:15. Today there are unbiblical teaching, discernment is very needed to separate the wheat from the chaff.
1 Corinthians 5:6-8, “6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Galatians 8:9, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”
The Nicolaitanes of the Temple accused Jesus of being demon possessed, as a result Jesus started to speak in parables. Two somewhat similar parables are found in Matthew 13 with different results; the tares among the wheat and the leaven. The tares and the wheat were left to grow together and at the harvest the tares were burnt and the wheat was saved. Here sin (tares) was mixed with good (wheat); however, the wheat was salvageable. In the case of the leaven, the whole loaf was leavened or puffed up. Leaven is synonymous with sin.
As I understand to God there no difference between little and big sins; sin is sin. Like leaven, a little sin puffs up the whole loaf/ individual. Like with the Passover Feast, leaven/ sin is to be cleaned from our being. Far easier said than done.

Unanswered prayers 531-1 - 11 - 7

How do I handle unanswered prayers, by trying to rest in the assurance that God knows what is prearranged for me from the foundation of time. Sounds good, nevertheless, I’ve been known to cry out from Isaiah 53:5, “…and with your stripes we are healed.”
I try to be like Paul, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” Sadly, I fall short of being a Paul.
When David was free of pursue by King Saul he returned to Ziglag and found that their city had been burned and plundered by the Amalekites. Worst his people talked of stoning him for the captivity of their wives, families, and goods. How did David react? 1 Samuel 30:6, “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” David went on to defeat the Amalekites. 
Even Jesus had at least one unanswered prayer, Matthew 26:39, “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
There are many examples of great men and women of the Bible handling unanswered prayer with grace. I pray for our fallen world; however, evil abounds. So I remember, Psalm 46:10-11, “10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”

What is my most important stewardship and how do I keep it a priority? 531-1 - 11 - 6

What is my most important stewardship and how do I keep it a priority? I try to have a heart for God as my most important stewardship. Through the prophet Ezekiel it is possible to see full measure God’s patience with sinful man. God is willing to give us a “new heart,” however, we are to be obedient and to walk in His way. If we fail, God will bring “recompense their way upon their (my) own heads.” Continuous effort is required to keep me walking with God. This morning I attended a water board meeting that reminded me of just how much in the flesh I still am.
Ezekiel, 11:19-21, “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: 20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD."
“Ezekiel follows Jeremiah in urging spiritual religion. It is definitely a heart religion that God wants. The heart is beyond repair. A new one will be provided. Formalism must be left behind. The spiritual emphasis will give them touch with Yahweh that will transform their thinking, their worship, their conduct and their loyalty. A new spirit will be their special gift from their God.”
[Believer’s Bible Commentary]
Even more from Ezekiel concerning a new heart. Whether it’s Israel thousands of years ago or present day, has anything really changed?
Ezekiel 18:31, “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”
Ezekiel 36:26, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
Thank you, God, for the promise of a new heart. Jesus had much to say about the heart through His disciples:
Matthew 15:18-20, “18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."
Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
Good advice from Paul on how to keep my stewardship of a heart for God a priority. Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Spiritual Gifts 531-1 - 10 - 8

What are spiritual gifts and what of today?
Paul had much to say about the gifts of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 12:7, "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” Paul names wisdom first, tongues last thankfully as winters I attend the local Assembly of God Church and have repeatedly failed the speaking in tongues test. Therefore, in accordance with the following I haven’t been baptized in the Holy Spirit.
"Though many non-Pentecostals teach a baptism in the Holy Spirit without speaking in tongues, the position of the Assemblies of God is clearly declared in Section 8 of its Statement of Fundamental Truths: "The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance (Acts 2:4)." The evidence always occurred (and still does today) at the time believers were baptized in the Spirit, not at some indeterminate future time."
But I digress. Here Paul lists the spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 8, “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10, To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:”
Are the gifts of the spirit active today? There are two extreme views. There is Cessationism, the doctrine that these gifts ceased with the passing of the original apostles. At the other end of the spectrum is the Charismatic Movement, a rather aberrant view of the work of the Holy Spirit. Other names would be Hyper-Pentecostal and Hyper-Charismatic.
The New Apostolic Reformation, NAR, includes many televangelists espousing non-Biblical views such being little god, holy laughter, angel guides, gold dust and more. Question, can any in the NAR fulfill the requirements in Acts 1:21-22 to be an Apostle? I think not!
“Acts 1:21, 22 Whoever was to be chosen had to fulfill two requirements:
1. He had to be one who had accompanied the disciples during the three years of Christ's public ministry—from His baptism by John to is Ascension.
2. He had to be able to bear responsible witness to the resurrection of the Lord.”
[Believer’s Bible Commentary]
There are many in the NAR who claim they are prophets and there are schools where you can learn to be a prophet, for a price.
“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”
[Charles Spurgeon]
Even Satan quotes Scripture. Those in the NAR and the Word of Faith Movement used just enough Scripture to give the impression they are sharing to the Word of God.
In Acts 2:17 Peter quoted Joel 2:28-29, "28. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29, And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit."
Peter used the words "in the last days" rather than "afterward" as did Joel. This makes it very clear that these gifts would last throughout the Church Age.
Spiritual gifts are active today, however, I would add discernment is of the utmost importance.

Can I lose my salvation? What is this thing call inheritance? 5311 - 10 - 4

Salvation is ours through grace, we have only to accept it. After salvation is inheritance earned by works.
“Hell was not made for men. It is in no sense parallel to heaven; It is ‘the darkness outside,’ the outer rim where being fades away into nonentity.”
[C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain]
Peter in speaking of Jesus, Act 4:11-12 “11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
“Salvation is ours by grace through faith (Eph. 2: 8-9). This means it is undeserved and not deserved. It is received and not earned. Because it is a gift, we must be content to trust God for it.
God will judge each person based on the light from God that person possessed. He will not judge people based on light they did not have and could not have obtained (John 3: 20-21). We have seen that Abraham was declared right with God through his trust-faith in God’s promise that he knew (Rom. 4: 19-22). Today, God normally encounters people in a saving way through the gospel. However, God is able to accomplish his plans by making stones cry out if he sees fit (Luke 19: 40).”
[Fudge, Edward William. Hell, A Final Word]
Paul often spoke about justification by faith, Galatians 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
Justification: Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Sanctification: 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."
“I have been saved, I am being saved, and I will be saved”
[Dr. Earl Rademacher]
Past Tense: Separation from the Penalty of Sin Justification
Present Tense: Separation from the Power of Sin Sanctification
Future Tense: Separation from the Presence of Sin Glorification
[CM’s summation of The Tenses of “Salvation]
The following is from DQs I answered in other courses.
“As past perfect means having been competed or passive voice where the subject receives the action (Justification) would imply that it is something that is done is for us (sinners). Justification declares the sinner righteous and assures the believer of his/her entrance into heaven.
I would compare the present tense or currently continuing to the middle voice where there is an interaction of sorts between us and the Holy Spirit, something that is in us (Sanctification) that makes us (sinners) seek righteousness.
As for Sanctification, we are a work in progress following justification by faith, thus requiring a pro-active involvement by the believer with the workings of the Holy Spirit in him/ her. While we believers are still in the presence of sin, it has less power over us. As long as we are in our present incarnation we will be exposed to sin, however, working in tandem with the Holy Spirit we should be able to overcome sin and proceed down the road to sanctification.”
Justification (salvation) is a gift through faith and sanctification (inheritance) involves doing good works.