Friday, May 20, 2016

Greed


Greed
In the last decade we have seen the rise of a class of people political who decry the greed of the rich. They are called “millennials;” they are simply the younger generation. They accuse the rich of it, of greed. They might have some righteousness in their accusations except for the fact that most of them are far richer than the truly poor of this world. Moreover, it does not take a rocket scientist to see that most who deride the greed of others are envious of the “fruits” of the greed that makes others rich. Envy, it is said, does not simply want what others have but wants that they should not have it! THAT is what provokes theft. The envious are willing to steal what is your rather than labor for their own. It remains to be seen if the socialism of the millennials and of Bernie Sanders will or will not morph into the tyranny of Joseph Stalin.

 
Full Definition of socialism:
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
--b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

 
The Australian Labor Party was the world's first elected socialist party when the party won the 1899 Queensland state election. Who knew? Karl Marx middle class Prussian, and Friedrich Engels son of an upper class Prussian merchant, developed a body of ideas which they called scientific socialism, more commonly called Marxism. It is man’s desire to acheive a utopia that spawned socialism and communism. It was Lenin who gets the credit for Communist Russia, the firts socialist state and nation. He served as head of government of the Russian Republic from 1917 to 1918, of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1918 to 1924, and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-party communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. Ideologically a Marxist, his political theories are known as Leninism. And would you believe it? Lenin was born to a wealthy middle-class family in Simbirsk, Russia). The poor do not have time to indulge in politics; they are busy seeking bread to eat.

 
Communism is alive and well funded today by some very rich people! It is satanically inspired. satan’s desire is to steal, kill, and destroy. Students of history the truth, that Communisms high but false ideals can never be acheived. The Soviet Union was the first Communist (Socialist) “republic.” The USSR stood for the Unted Soviet Socialist Republic. (I think Bernie Sanders is sincere but deceived, AS ARE THOSE CAPITALISTS who insist they be free to callously increase their wealth without regard to the needs of those whose labors they wish to exploit. The “free market” capitalist needs to admit the sales pitches of his marketers rely much on the fact of greed in the buyer to provoke their purchases.


It was famously said : “There is the right way, the wrong way and the Army way.” I would add, there is MY way and God’s way. God’s way IS THE RIGHT way!
 

God commanded the children of Israel:
 

You shall not covet your neighbor's house, your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's. [Luke 12:15; Col. 3:5.] (Exodus 20:17)
 

Why did He command this? Because they did not understand the danger of their corrupt human nature, that which produces ungovernable desires for things, even the things possessed by others, even by their neighbors. The Ten Commandments all were the first God written rules by which He showed the incompatibility of the human race with the God of heaven. Sin has disqualified all who sin from membership in God’s family and entrance into His presence. That men are greedy is very clear and powerful evidence that they are not compatible with God. The evidence of greed is found in the manner in which we acquire our money and possessions, and in our manner of use of them. These our manners and use of money and it’s power reveal the motives in the deepest part of our heart.


The young people today who accuse the rich of greed do not yet understand that their discontent arises out of the universal human desire to have the “good” things others possess without laboring for them. If they were content they would seek those good things by their own abilities. If they were wise and knowing they would add faith in God and prayers for His blessing!
 

The blessing of Jehovah--it maketh rich, And He addeth no grief with it. (Proverbs 10:22)
 

God IS NOT greedy. God gives us life in the flesh into the world AND He gives life by His blood and Spirit into the His Kingdom. For the one we depend on His power and providence, for the second we depend on His revelation and grace. And His revelation comes to us freely being seen in all the things He has made. We cannot earn the grace God GIVES us, or else it would not be a free gift. THE ONLY THING GOD OUR FATHER REALLY WANTS is that we know Him and Jesus and love them in Spirit and in Truth. God is Spirit and Jesus is the Truth. If we do know the Father it will be by the grace and Love He pours out revealed by Him to us WHICH GIFT we DO NOT REFUSE!
 

 

If it is true that the rich have gained their wealth by oppressing others we all need to be careful not to seek to possess wealth by the same means.


Better a little with righteousness than a huge income with injustice.  (Proverbs 16:8)

 
The discontented young need to beware they do not satisfy their own desire by illegal acquisitions. Peoples’ wars of independence arise and overthrow the unjust who oppress them; then they often become the oppressors of following generations. And those generations arise and overthrow them who have become unjust oppressors themselves. In the words of a song writer: “money makes the world go round,” but oh the woe for those who seek security in money, and greater woe to those who get rich by stealing and by murder.

 
Better to be poor and live an honest life than be crooked in one's ways, though rich.  (Proverbs 28:6

 

The Savior did  not say “blessed are the wealthy.” He said in fact:


"Yes. I tell you that it will be very hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Furthermore, I tell you that it is easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God." Matthew 19:23-24


We need to be careful to listen to God in this election season. The war of two worlds over the White House is a venue for satan’s deceits. If you want to fight that battle I won’t condemn you to hell. But I will question the wisdom of your enlistment. Jesus has conquered the death and the grave. His apostle writes that those, that we who trust and follow Him are “more than conquerors.” This victory is ours not by the accumulation of riches. Nor is it our by being able to rule the nation. We are more than conquerors because God who IS love has loved us, has revealed His Son to us and received us into His Kingdom because He willed and purposed from before the foundation of the world that it be so. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!
 

Donald Trump cannot save us. Nor can Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or any third party or other candidate. My intuition is that many even most Americans and not a few American Christians are very fearful that the nation will become a “third world” nation. Whoever presumed to divide the world into 3 parts? I think there is a division in the world between the rich and the poor. The scripture reflects on this. It says something of us that we are often ignorant of or complacent regarding the needs of the poor. This is an inequity God permits and does He not permit it to test our hearts? Surely if people were reasonable they would not go to war in the market place over money. This war for money (for power)  is the cause of great sorrow for many. Some are sorry for not having it, some will be sorry for what they did to acquire it. We have forgotten (or never known) the tenth commandment:


You shall not covet your neighbor's house, your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's. [Luke 12:15; Col. 3:5.] (Exodus 20:17)

I fear many who have heard do not really know what it means. The biblical word is Hebrew; it is חמד or châmad pronounced khaw-mad'. It means: to delight in: - beauty, greatly beloved, covet, delectable thing, ( X great) delight, desire, goodly, lust, (be) pleasant (thing), precious (thing).
 

When I was very young (perhaps 4 or 5) my uncle saved my sister’s life! How? By taking from my hands a large log of firewood with which I was about to strike her! He just happened by the grace of God to come into the room and discover this crime in progress! TY Jesus! I may not have killed her but I could have done great damage to her. What did she have that made me covet her elimination from my life? Was it simply my parents favor and attention? I don’t know, but I suspect it was just that.

In their children Abel and Cain we see covetousness. Sin overwhelmed all innocence in the second generation of the human family! In their offerings Abel’s was accepted and Cain was rejected. Cain was angry that God favored Abel. Although not clearly stated, was Cain not covetous of Abel’s offering as much as his acceptance? God came to Cain personally to help him through the difficulty but it appears that Cain rejected God’s help! If Cain had been inclined could he not have sought from God how to overcome the sin which was seeking to rule him? Instead it appears that Cain’s solution was to eliminate the “cause” of his discontent by murdering Abel! It is the first example of “sibling rivalry.

Why are we forbidden to delight in that which is another’s? We only need look to our young children fighting over a toy to see it. This wrong headed desire is rooted in every human being, it is a part of the corruption that infected the whole of humanity when satan deceived and provoked our first parents. Adam and Eve WERE innocent. But they were not wise. Wisdom is something that would come to them as a result of their loss of innocence. Having never known sin and war they were somewhat I THINK, overwhelmed by the fallen yet seductive adversary satan.


The world and human flesh have been corrupted by satan who corrupted himself by what means?... By coveting the throne of God! Satan is the first covetous being ever! It was not God who corrupted satan, he did it to himself. And having done so, he lost his place in God’s Heaven and Kingdom. Why did God allow him into Eden? THAT is a wonder to behold! And may be a question with no answer that satisfies us until we trust God as  being both GOOD and LOVE. We will not be able to approach God in trust until we admit that we as human beings are corrupt. All have sinned. Covetousness is the last of the Ten Commandments, and yet it exposes perhaps the deepest part of the human heart. Satan coveted to be God’s equal. He wanted all the power and glory that God rightly possesses. God ruled over the angelic host. satan rejected that rule and led a rebellion corrupting one third of all the angels. Then satan (wonderously by God’s permission) corrupted us!

It has been taught that the Christian has three enemies: the world, the flesh and satan. Certainly it is clear that corruption is real and has touched every part of this earth. The cause is sin and wages of sin are death. That which is corrupt dies! Only God and the high heaven He dwells in are free of corruption. We know of three heavens by the apostle Paul’s writing. If the third is the highest, there it is that God will not permit corruption to dwell. How then are we who are corrupted to enter heaven to live with God forever? It will have to be an act of God which accomplishes this. If it were possible for you or I  as human beings to do it by our  own power would we not have done so and also brought the whole of humanity out of corruption into God’s dwelling place? Only when we face these unpleasant but real truths about ourselves will we begin to see how satan has turned us away from God and against each other, even against our own selves. Suicide is the final act of self opposition. Some become enemies of their own being and murder themselves. The comic strip character Pogo said “We have found the enemy and he is us!” The perversity of our corruption is revealed by our penchant to be humored by the most grievous truths!

The desire for wealth and power will almost certainly rise up in the hearts of those who ignore or forget God. Why? Because with no KNOWLEDGE of God and HIS will we are left by ourselves with knowledge of ourselves, and knowingly or unknowingly with satan  as we journey through the world. Our self knowledge is corrupt, all our knowledge is corrupt and remains corrupt until we respond to God’s revelation and begin to learn His way. Jesus is God’s way.
 

HEAR THIS, all you peoples; give ear, all you inhabitants of the world, Both low and high, rich and poor together: My mouth shall speak wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be understanding. I will submit and consent to a parable or proverb; to the music of a lyre I will unfold my riddle (my problem). Why should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of those who would supplant me surrounds me on every side, Even of those who trust in and lean on their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches? None of them can by any means redeem [either himself or] his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him-- For the ransom of a life is too costly, and [the price one can pay] can never suffice-- So that he should live on forever and never see the pit (the grave) and corruption. For he sees that even wise men die; the [self-confident] fool and the stupid alike perish and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is that their houses will continue forever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands their own [apart from God] and after their own names. But man, with all his honor and pomp, does not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the fate of those who are foolishly confident, yet after them men approve their sayings. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol (the place of the dead); death shall be their shepherd. And the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their form and beauty shall be consumed, for Sheol shall be their dwelling. But God will redeem me from the power of Sheol (the place of the dead); for He will receive me. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Be not afraid when [an ungodly] one is made rich, when the wealth and glory of his house are increased; For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not descend after him. Though while he lives he counts himself happy and prosperous, and though a man gets praise when he does well [for himself], He will go to the generation of his fathers, who will nevermore see the light. A man who is held in honor and understands not is like the beasts that perish. To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. (Psalm 49:1-20) [Amplified Bible]


So if you haven't been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who is going to trust you with the real thing? (Luke 16:11)
 

Let us not mistake the gain of money for success. In the parable of the unjust steward we learn that human corruption causes theft by embezzlement. It also causes the bribe. Money is loved in such a way that almost everyone will use it for advantage and many will steal it from others! These sins are not going to cause us to be wealthy. Money is not to be loved. Money may however be used in such a way as to express love. Our gifts of money can bless others. They might also be a test of others. A pastor I know taught that our ability and WILLINGNESS to give money away to others reveals the condition of our heart in a very important way. See how the Lord teaches:


“Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal. Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal. For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also. 'The eye is the lamp of the body.' So if you have a 'good eye' [that is, if you are generous] your whole body will be full of light; but if you have an 'evil eye' [if you are stingy] your whole body will be full of darkness. If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can be slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can't be a slave to both God and money. "Therefore, I tell you, don't worry about your life — what you will eat or drink; or about your body — what you will wear. Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:19-25) [The Complete Jewish Bible]

Someone in the crowd said to him, "Rabbi, tell my brother to share with me the property we inherited." But Yeshua [Jesusanswered him, "My friend, who appointed me judge or arbitrator over you?" Then to the people he said, "Be careful to guard against all forms of greed, because even if someone is rich, his life does not consist in what he owns." And he gave them this illustration: "There was a man whose land was very productive. He debated with himself, 'What should I do? I haven't enough room for all my crops.' Then he said, 'This is what I will do: I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and I'll store all my wheat and other goods there. Then I'll say to myself, "You're a lucky man! You have a big supply of goods laid up that will last many years. Start taking it easy! Eat! Drink! Enjoy yourself!" ' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night you will die! And the things you prepared — whose will they be?' That's how it is with anyone who stores up wealth for himself without being rich toward God." To his talmidim [disciples] Yeshua [Jesus] said, "Because of this I tell you, don't worry about your life — what you will eat or drink; or about your body — what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.” (Luke 12:13-23) [The Complete Jewish Bible]
 

It is often said that it is the love of money that it the root of all (or most) evil. Yet there was a time when money did not exist. What existed before that? It was surely the love of abundance, of everything money would eventually represent and buy. Men love the power of money, the things it can buy, even the people they can control and oppress by having money and power.
 

Better to be humble among the poor than share the spoil with the proud.  (Proverbs 16:19)


The first mention of gold:

The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. (Genesis 2:11-12)


It is interesting that the gold (and not the bdellium) is called good. The rich ruler called Jesus “Good teacher.” Jesus said to him, "Why are you calling me good? No one is good except God! (Mar 10:18) What is so good about gold? Gold is not edible. At that time it was not useful and industrial or technical way. Was there enough of it to use as construction material? It might have made for a very strong fortress. Ultimately it was used as jewelry and as money. Silver is somewhat less durable and also became money. BOTH were used to make idols which were worshipped as false gods.

 
The second  mention of gold:

And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. (Genesis 13:2)

 
And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; (Genesis 24:22)
 

Here is first mention of coinage is in Genesis 24:22 where a gold earring is described by weight, the weight of a shekel which is apparently the coin of that time and place. Why is it that gold was measured and valued in this way? What happened that men began to weigh out gold (and silver) into equal measures of “shekels” and later dollars? It must be that in the purposes of God this came to be done. The corruption or the virtue of our hearts is revealed in different ways. The perverse inclination of men to acquire and possess things, money and use them to control other men is evident. Slavery is the buying and selling of men by men. Why was it done? Was it not so that men could exploit the value of human slaves (beings) in perverse ways, making them labor and taking the fruit of their labors for themselves. Can it be that God caused the universally corrupt nature of man expressed in perverse lust which to be revealed full blown by the invention of money? I think it may be so! Our use of money so often shows our capacity to do good or to do evil to others. God eventually sent His Son Jesus to do good to all men. What did we do to Him? Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, than sum being the price of a slave! For that sum the religious elites of Jesus one countrymen turned Him over to foreigners to be beaten, scourged, mocked and murdered. Jesus died so we might be forgiven the sins flowing out of our profoundly and deeply corrupted hearts. And that corruption expressed in the Lord’s violent sufferings after He was sold out by Judas for thirty silver coins, the price of a human slave! Not for nothing are we warned about covetousness, and commanded to do no harm to our neighbor.
 

Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one's fellowmen, meeting all its requirements]. The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet (have an evil desire), and any other commandment, are summed up in the single command, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. [Exod. 20:13-17; Lev. 19:18.] Love does no wrong to one's neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law. Romans 13:8-10


Better little with the fear of Adonai than great wealth coupled with worry.  (Proverbs 15:16)


Better a vegetable dinner with love than a stall-fattened ox with hate.  (Proverbs 15:17)


Better a little with righteousness than a huge income with injustice.  (Proverbs 16:8)


How much better than gold it is to gain wisdom! Yes, rather than money, choose to gain understanding.  (Proverbs 16:16)


Better to be humble among the poor than share the spoil with the proud.  (Proverbs 16:19)


Better a dry piece of bread with calm than a house full of food but also full of strife.  (Proverbs 17:1)


Better to be poor and live one's life uprightly than engage in crooked speech, for such a one is a fool.  (Proverbs 19:1)


A man's lust is his shame, and a poor man is better than a liar.  (Proverbs 19:22)


Better to be poor and live an honest life than be crooked in one's ways, though rich.  (Proverbs 28:6)
 

I [Wisdom] walk in the way of righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation), in the midst of the paths of justice, That I may cause those who love me to inherit [true] riches and that I may fill their treasuries. The Lord formed and brought me [Wisdom] forth at the beginning of His way, before His acts of old. I [Wisdom] was inaugurated and ordained from everlasting, from the beginning, before ever the earth existed. [John 1:1; I Cor. 1:24.] When there were no deeps, I was brought forth, when there were no fountains laden with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth, [Job 15:7, 8.] While as yet He had not made the land or the fields or the first of the dust of the earth. When He prepared the heavens, I [Wisdom] was there; when He drew a circle upon the face of the deep and stretched out the firmament over it, When He made firm the skies above, when He established the fountains of the deep, When He gave to the sea its limit and His decree that the waters should not transgress [across the boundaries set by] His command, when He appointed the foundations of the earth--[Job 38:10, 11; Ps. 104:6-9; Jer. 5:22.] Then I [Wisdom] was beside Him as a master and director of the work; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing before Him always, [Matt. 3:17; John 1:2, 18.] Rejoicing in His inhabited earth and delighting in the sons of men. [Ps. 16:3.] Now therefore listen to me, O you sons; for blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are those who keep my ways. [Ps. 119:1, 2; 128:1, 2; Luke 11:28.] Hear instruction and be wise, and do not refuse or neglect it. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me [Wisdom] finds life and draws forth and obtains favor from the Lord. But he who misses me or sins against me wrongs and injures himself; all who hate me love and court death.

(Proverbs 8:20-36) [Amplified Bible]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Inutility & REPAIR

 

What happens in the U.S.A., around the world and the United Nations we may, and we NEED to pray for, that it work together for GOOD for those who Love (Know) God and are called according to His purpose, that is for the church. Let us pray for those yet of the world that the church be revived and equipped to take in those to whom God’s chooses to reveal His Son Jesus.

 

inutility; figuratively transientness; morally depravity: - vanity.


My intuition is that U. S. American Christians will be revived. I have not always thought it possible. But I am almost sure the Lord said it is coming. I think it will be in response to the increase of perversity, violence, and tyranny in the nation. If we have a “liberal” president next year the persecutions will be enabled. If we have a “conservative” president next year the opposition to persecutions will be opposed by those who wish to continue persecutions.

 

It has been said that Americans are addicted to oil, to fuel for their vehicles. The rise and fall of oil prices seems to me to be tied in some way to our election cycle. I wonder how shadow governments, economics clubs and secret fraternities think and act to influence U. S. elections. I may sound paranoid and as a conspiracy theorist but we know that satan does exist to steal, kill and destroy whomever he can, and that Christians and Jews are at the top of his list. Those who do not know God in the Messiah Jesus are under the influence of satan and the deceit of satan which is sin. The rich and powerful whom many admire for their success are no more advantaged than the homeless. But to be sure they are more influential. It is believed by many that the United Nations is a satanically led institution. If satan can lead whore houses, can he not lead any human group not following Jesus?

 

Other crises in the economy, in diplomatic policy and military action, seem to be tied to them as well. It seems that oil prices drop in order to calm the middle class. Could it be that the 2007-8 housing bubble broke or was broken to provoke independents against the republicans? They seem to make policy decisions for getting out of war and troops home according to the need to win the votes of doves and independents.

 

Yet now we see the outgoing administration acting in ways that offend even liberal thinkers. The new mandates regarding public and private bathroom policy, the continued interference in private business practices and the persecutions of private and public expressions of Christian faith, all show satan’s hand and desire clearly. Will these troubles increase? I see nothing stopping them and only perhaps than a “conservative” administration may slow them down.

 

There is among some an awareness of how much of the visible church has become like the world. What seems to be forgotten is how much of the visible so-called church is truly apostate and has been for 100 years or more! Some believe the great apostasy (falling away) began in the 2nd century! When the family of Jesus, that is the Jews, became the subject of persecutions by those who called themselves but the name of the Jewish Messiah, I can see the case made. Today (and it is not a new matter) the deity of Jesus and the virginity of His mother at His conception are denied in some so-called churchs and it is impossible to think that apostasy is not in full bloom. Where practicing  homosexuals are “ordained” as pastors it is difficult to think that God in Christ is consulted for any other matter. My prayer is that those who do hear Jesus’ voice will hear and discern apostasy where ever they encounter it, especially in “the pulpit.”

 

No one should want to be harmed or persecuted out of a desire to be seen or pitied. But if we really are Christians, if we really are growing and maturing in Christlikeness we will be persecuted. If we simply want to be godly we will be persecuted. But I fear if we want persecutions to validate our faith we are missing the point. We should want to be faithful and mature simply to please God our Father. That simply desire is the summation of His purpose for us, that we love Him with ALL our heart, mind, soul and strength. If we do we will be led by Him to love our neighbor as ourselves and to love one another as He loves us. It is somewhat a surprise that love is the very “thing” that satan hates! Yet we will remember that “God IS love and that love IS OF God.” It has been said that if we are not experiencing some amount of persecution (opposition to) our faith we need to see if we are in the faith. But again we ought not to seek opposition to validate our person. Persecution validates the Person of Christ in our midst. There is a humility of the Lord which we need to be respond to persecution without making “show trials” for ourselves.

 

Jesus did NOT defend His life. It was Father’s will that He suffer and die. Jesus persecutions were all entirely unjust. I fear some of what we see as persecution is actually chastening from God to humble us. All have sinned and while we who believe can anticipate persecution for our faith in God we need to ask: “Am I suffering as a Christian or as a sinner?” I think when we are willing to suffer as Christians and UNWILLING to suffer as sinners we will have moved toward revival. It cost Father and Jesus what we should never really want for our sons and daughters that we should have what was stripped from us by the deceit of satan and sin. What was stripped from us? It was LIFE. READ GENESIS Chapters 1 and 2. What did it cost Jesus and Father? It was LIFE. Jesus laid down His life, for His friends and to take away the sin of the world. READ JOHN Chapters 1 and 3. Jesus came to us knowing the all that would happen to Him. Yet…

 

Jesus came to us being sent to us by Father! In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus sought that the Father might find some other way to accomplish His will. Jesus who was and is human and divine did not want to die on a cross. NO ONE wants to be harmed bodily (or should not) let alone be beaten, scourged, and crucified. No one wants to be mocked as a liar, a blasphemer and an imposter. Jesus finally said to Father: “nevertheless not My will but Thine be done.” !!! And we are the recipient of the saving grace of God for everlasting LIFE accomplished in Jesus suffering, death and resurrection. No power on eatrth, no governmental, no economic, no social, no cultural or familial institution can give us THAT: EVERLASTING LIFE. If it cost me everything I want to submit to God and willingly allow that His will be done with me for THAT. In truth is does cost everything.

 

A famous singer once sang: “freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose.”  That lyric has haunted me for around 50 years. What have I to lose? I will die someday, and even sooner than many! At 67 the body sends signals that death is really something that is going to happen. And in dying I can take nothing to the grave or beyond the grave. Naked I came from my mother’s womb. I possessed nothing as I came. Naked I will return to God. I can take nothing with me. Not even the flesh, blood and bone God knit over my spirit. The unhappy shock we all must face is that none of us possesses life. We live in bodies that will die. What ever time we spend in them is subject to the particulars of each of our unique journeys. And every human journey is subject to the grace of God.

 

Solomon wrote “Vanity, vanity all is vanity,” and described in very certain terms the Uncertainty of human life! The book Ecclesiastes is a tour de force expose of man’s weakness. Mankind is run amuck and unable to govern the earth justly. The sinner is exalted, the holy are demeaned and cast aside. Ecc 10:7  I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking like slaves on the earth. Yet God has not abandoned mankind as He justly might for the vanity man has embraced. Corruption and futility are other words for vanity, also inutility. When something we possess becomes inutil, that is: unusable, what do we do with it? We throw it away. Man, he or she, is born NAKED. The clothes we make and wear are not enough to adDRESS the problem of our nakedness. What we lack which makes us naked is LIFE everlasting. What stands in the way of our living forever? It is that we are corrupt, vain, and unusable in God’s Everlasting Kingdom. What makes us such? Sin makes us such.

 

Rom 3:23  for all did sin, and are come short of the glory of God--

 

But God proves Himself greater even than many imagine as the One who really is Good and really Loves us.

 

Rom 5:6-10  For while we were still helpless, at the right time, the Messiah died on behalf of ungodly people.  (7)  Now it is a rare event when someone gives up his life even for the sake of somebody righteous, although possibly for a truly good person one might have the courage to die.  (8)  But God demonstrates his own love for us in that the Messiah died on our behalf while we were still sinners.  (9)  Therefore, since we have now come to be considered righteous by means of his bloody sacrificial death, how much more will we be delivered through him from the anger of God's judgment!  (10)  For if we were reconciled with God through his Son's death when we were enemies, how much more will we be delivered by his life, now that we are reconciled!

 

Rom 6:23  For what one earns from sin is death; but eternal life is what one receives as a free gift from God, in union with the Messiah Jesus, our Lord.

 

Rom 8:19-21  The creation waits eagerly for the sons of God to be revealed;  (20)  for the creation was made subject to vanity — not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it. But it was given a reliable hope  (21)  that it too would be set free from its bondage to decay and would enjoy the freedom accompanying the glory that God's children will have.

 

It is a SHOCK perhaps, but God did allow all mankind to be touched by vanity (corruption, futility, frustration). satan is the one who God permitted to be in Eden and to deceive Eve whereby Adam also sinned and the creation as a whole was universally subjected to that corrupt one satan. All mankind has been touched by the deceit of sin. All mankind has succumbed to the power of that deceit, ALL have sinned, ALL have become corrupt. God would be just in throwing everyone away as we have all become unusable in the corruption of sin. IN FACT it needs to be said that as God is the CREATOR of all man and all other things He is certainly powerful enough to do whatever He wills! Men may be called gods even by the scriptures, but men are not powerful like God.

 

Is it our knowing God’s power and our own corruptions that has us confused? Is this why we doubt God’s goodness and even deny He exists? I am sure this is true. But to be more than a beast man must have a more than beastly connection to his/her maker. We are certainly more than cattle or even sheep. We are able to do things animals cannot. The problem is that the many great things we are able to do are all touched to a greater or lesser degree by our corruptions. Our sins cause us to die. Our sins cause animals and plants to die. But I as a sinner am apt so easily put the blame for evil on anyone but myself! I cannot be at fault, surely I am clean! But if I am clean, then why are you not? And why are all your kinfolk not? So we gravitate toward blaming God for all evil.

 

How strange it is that God Himself is accountable for His creation, for mankind and for the future of all things! God never sinned. But He planned for the sin of satan, and the sins of all mankind! Sadly His plans are not appreciated as being His prerogatives because WE FAIL TO KNOW Him. And yet God even overcomes this according to His divine prerogative by REVEALING Himself to man. He has done this in many ways: by creation, by personal revelation, by history, by law, by prophecy, by Jesus, by His Spirit. God MADE us to KNOW Him. To borrow the words of and old song: “to know Him is to love Him.” Knowing God is being INTIMATE with God. It is His desire for every man and woman and for the church to be one in His  KNOWLEDGE and intimate Love.

 

Jesus said: 

this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and (know) Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3

 

In the Amplified Bible:

And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.  John 17:3

 

The apostle Paul wrote:

 

…what is known about God is plain to them (mankind), since God has made it plain to them. For ever since the creation of the universe his invisible qualities — both his eternal power and his divine nature — have been clearly seen, because they can be understood from what he has made. Therefore, they have no excuse; because, although they know who God is, they do not glorify him as God or thank him. On the contrary, they have become futile in their thinking; and their undiscerning hearts have become darkened. Claiming to be wise, they have become fools! (Romans 1:19-22)

 

… that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], [Ps. 19: 1-4.] Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. AMPLIFIED BIBLE (Romans 1:19-22)

 

The creation is evidence that God exists. This evidence calls out to us that we should seek to know Him.

 

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. (Psa 19:1-6)

 

So too is the Law of God, and though man’s laws are corrupted, that they exist is evidence of man’s relationship to God as his/her Creator. Why has God, ALL mighty, ALL knowing and existing EVERYWHERE not banished evil from the earth? Could it be that if we would know Him we would do as He said do?


The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (Psa 19:11-14)

 

Why do we refuse our Creator? Why do we who acknowledge our Creator still sin on occasion?

 

Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psa 19:12-14)

 

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jer 17:9-10)

 

God does want us to be holy and He is holy and to be perfect (functionally and maturely) as He is perfect. He sent Jesus to live the life we should all have lived: a sinless human life in a corrupt world. It is absolutely amazing, awesome and astonishing that God in the crucified Messiah takes responsibility for subjecting all the creation including mankind to corruption! Jesus takes away the sin of the world! How you ask? By receiving in Himself the just wrath of God that was due to all mankind for all their sins!

 

It was once (and may be still in some places) that parents were accountable for damages their sons and daughters caused others. If a child breaks the neighbor’s window, it is just that their dad pay for it to be replaced. We are God’s children, He created Adam and Eve. Adam is called a son of God. See Luke 3:38. Sin has broken us. It has broken us apart from our divine fellowship with God. God is sinless and cannot receive sinners into His Kingdom. BUT….

 

God made [Jesus] this sinless man be a sin offering on our behalf, so that in union with him we might fully share in God's righteousness." (2Co 5:21)

 

For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness]. (2Co 5:21)

 

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Jesus crucifixion is God’s way of making a human family acceptable for everlasting life and fellowship in His Kingdom and Universe. Why did God have to do it this way? Why did mankind have to suffer corruption? Why was Eve deceived? Why were they tempted? Although made in God’s image and likeness for everlasting life, man also serves another of God’s mysterious purposes. Jesus revealed that mystery to Paul who wrote:

[And] that the mystery (secret) was made known to me and I was allowed to comprehend it by direct revelation, as I already briefly wrote you. When you read this you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ. [This mystery] was never disclosed to human beings in past generations as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles (consecrated messengers) and prophets by the [Holy] Spirit. [It is this:] that the Gentiles are now to be fellow heirs [with the Jews], members of the same body and joint partakers [sharing] in the same divine promise in Christ through [their acceptance of] the glad tidings (the Gospel). Of this [Gospel] I was made a minister according to the gift of God's free grace (undeserved favor) which was bestowed on me by the exercise (the working in all its effectiveness) of His power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints (God's consecrated people), this grace (favor, privilege) was granted and graciously entrusted: to proclaim to the Gentiles the unending (boundless, fathomless, incalculable, and exhaustless) riches of Christ [wealth which no human being could have searched out], Also to enlighten all men and make plain to them what is the plan [regarding the Gentiles and providing for the salvation of all men] of the mystery kept hidden through the ages and concealed until now in [the mind of] God Who created all things by Christ Jesus. [The purpose is] that through the church the complicated, many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly sphere. This is in accordance with the terms of the eternal and timeless purpose which He has realized and carried into effect in [the person of] Christ Jesus our Lord, In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear). (Eph 3:3-12)

 

I’m somewhat sure that this mystery of the gentiles was also for the Jews, but that the Jews had already entered into the mystery through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and finally Jesus. The gentiles are joined to the Messiah with the Jews already joined to Him. That is what a good part of the book of Romans describes. Through the Messiah the church of the Messiah is God’s final revelation of His “complicated, many-sided wisdom.”

 

God has revealed Himself so fully so that we might understand His complicated, many-sided wisdom” and respond to His gracious invitation to receive the free gift of grace, everlasting life in the Messiah by simply trusting God that He can give it to us… that He desires passionately that we receive that gift from Him. We must believe that He is and that He can reward our belief with everlasting Life. It seems that we can never really understand the mystery and receive the gift until we come to a sure knowledge that God exists and has made us for the very purpose that we become “objects” of His love forever, but that sin has made that impossible until we receive Jesus as our deliverance from the deceitful power of sin and receive His sacrificial blood and death which forgive and take away all our sin (and guilt and shame).

 

The strange, ironic, enigmatic, and BLOODY DEATH (and resurrection) of Jesus have become to me the most loving, kind and responsible thing God ever did! God permitted the whole creation to be corrupt, to become UNUSABLE to Him, yet He did that with a plan and sure expectation of redeeming it for all who would not refuse Him, but seek Him and find Him. The creation will be again USABLE in incorruptible purity by the power of Him who was and is, and is to come: the Incorruptible Messiah Jesus!!! How does one say Thank You for being included in this Divine Plan? It will take “forever and a day!”

 

What happens in the U.S.A., around the world and the United Nations we may, and we NEED to pray for, that it work together for GOOD for those who Love (Know) God and are called according to His purpose, that is for the church. Let us pray for those yet of the world that the church be revived and equipped to take in those to whom God’s chooses to reveal His Son Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Rudiments of Communion

John 3:16-21 The Message (MSG)16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. 19-21 “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” John 15:11-15 The Message (MSG)"I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father."

Luke 12:15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” ESV/ Luke 12:15  And he went on to say to them all, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.” GNT


   
Lexicon :: Strong's G2843 - koinōnikos
κοινωνικός
Transliteration
koinōnikos
Pronunciation
koi-nō-nē-ko's (Key)
Part of Speech
adjective
Root Word (Etymology)
Dictionary Aids
Vine's Expository Dictionary: View Entry
TDNT Reference: 3:809,447
KJV Translation Count — Total: 1x
The KJV translates Strongs G2843 in the following manner: willing to communicate (1x).
Outline of Biblical Usage
  1. social, sociable, ready and apt to form and maintain communion and fellowship
  2. inclined to make others sharers in one's possessions, inclined to impart, free in giving, liberal



One of the greatest difficulties in life is communication. If we who are Christians experience difficulty communicating with one another is it any surprise that we experience greater difficulties in communicating our faith to those in the world? The evangelist has one interest, communicating the gospel to those who do not know the Messiah. He (or she?) needs perhaps even greater linguistic acuity than a teacher for the sake of those whom he is sent to communicate the gospel of God in the Messiah. He will communicate with the lost. Do we think of communication as speech (and text, media) and as the exchange of ideas, facts, even data? But it is more than speech. The word itself arises out of a Greek word used in the New Covenant scriptures to define and declare the relationship between God and man, and even between the Holy Persons of the Triune God! Christian (Messianic) communication is the God to man spiritual relationship established by the grace of God in the Messiah (The Christ). 


But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 1 Corinthians 2:14-15




It ought to be very sobering to us that our Lord in making us spiritual in the Holy Spirit does enable us to receive the things of His Spirit by which we can judge all things. If this were not true we could not know what is right or wrong in God’s sight. Since it is true we do know Him and have access and communication (fellowship/partnership) into by and with His Spirit by whose help we can and ought to judge all things. If we judge anything according to another spirit that judgment will fail. Those not in communion with God in the Messiah and Spirit simply have faith in some other declaration and definition of what is right and what is wrong.




How important is it to know what is really right from what is really wrong? It is very important in rocket science and in the emergency room. The good news is that God the Father sent the Lord Jesus to us to teach us right from wrong. If anyone knows better than God right from wrong, that man could unseat God Himself! Frighteningly most all of us have tried to do that, and may try to do it again before we die. The sooner we submit our souls to They who made us in Their image, the better… and talk that over with God if you are not happy for my advice. But submitting to any other is among the most difficult decisions and habits facing men and women. Most of us will submit to a doctor when we break an arm. But all of us fail at times to properly submit to God who can save us and even heal us by His wisdom, power and direction. 




The exact opposite of submission is rebellion. Why do we not submit to God who is able to keep us safe in everlasting life? There is no good answer to that except that we do not know God. Why do we not know God? Why are we ignorant of God? We are born infants naturally with knowledge only by our five senses. At whatever point we begin to know God it is because He choose to make Himself know to us spiritually. And it is the Messiah Jesus whom God sent in flesh who we must know and trust for life, that is for everlasting life, and for any and every goodness and good thing. 


Acts 4:11-12  "This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders which has become the cornerstone.  There is salvation in no one else! For there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by whom we must be saved!"




From the above words of the Apostle Peter is communicated a bold reality. Communion with God MUST come through communion with Jesus the Messiah. To this communication we must submit or we will die and pass into a place and existence apart from God and life named hell and the second death. Take no joy in that reality which God has declared for those who refuse His Son Jesus the Lord who is the Lord of LIFE. There is no joy in refusing God’s Son. Sooner or later the absence of communication with God will prove to be joyless misery. From the reading I have done it is clear that two people groups more than most lead joyless lives: Homosexuals and Muslims. But there is another “people group” that is larger, and which includes homosexuals and muslims which are also joyless: those who do not have communion with God. They have no personal intimacy with God and do not know the joy of the Lord, and why? Because they do not know Him. If you do not KNOW Jesus, cry out to Him, for He is God the Son and delights to know those who weary of refusing His love and kindness. To know God will make submission to Him a joy! Why? Because God is good. God always knows and does what is right. God is love, and as love He loves us all in ways that are foreign to us UNTIL we bow before Him and admit we have not known Him. If we do not know Him, we do not know love, we do not know what is good and we do not even know right from wrong.




Everyone who seeks God in the Messiah Jesus with all their heart, mind, soul and strength will be found by Him and known by Him as He will reveal Himself to them, even and perhaps especially homosexuals and Muslims. God longs to be known by all and can show Himself writ large by healing those trapped in the most disgusting sins and rebellions.  




In Romans chapter one there is starting at verse 18 a description of the slippery slope of unbelief: verse (21)  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.




Unbelief starts simply when we forget God. Unbelief is known also as faithlessness and misplaced trust. It must have been that everything was good, that there was no indecency or disorder at all before Eve and Adam forgot God and forgot who they were. And now here we are thousands of years later and so many have not know God and others known and forgotten Him! Eve was the first to forget God. She was distracted and deceived by a fancy pants imposter dressed up as a long legged mac daddy (ladies man) snake we call satan. Her husband immediately forgot God when Eve brought the fruit to Him. It was as if satan led them to the edge of the very steep slippery slope and with a puff of his foul and perverse breath blew them out of communication with God. Do we lose our standing with God, our communion and communication (conversation) with God when we forget Him? Adam and Eve lost Eden, lost the abiding presence of God and lost their lives! Satan lost his long legs. Perhaps the first rule of knowing and remembering God is submitting to Him. We have to remember He is God, and we are not God, He made us and we did not make ourselves.  




Even a tyrant can create an appearance of success if enough people follow his/her lead. But the success of satan’s tyranny, which has in every age presented in various godless movements of ethnicities is exposed by the Eternal Word of God for what it is: evil, corrupt, and doomed for failure… as they say today “EPIC FAIL!”




Romans 1:18-32  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  (19)  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.  (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:  (21)  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  (22)  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  (23)  And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.  (24)  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:  (25)  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  (26)  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  (27)  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.  (28)  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  (29)  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  (30)  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  (31)  Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  (32)  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.




Today the homosexual (LGBT) people are being deceived being led by a doctrine and practice of illegal pleasure, a doctrine and practice which they want to promote even by law. They cannot reproduce their own kind and therefore must proselytize converts in order for the LGBT “movement” to continue. It would die out in a few generations if they did not convert new “believers.”




WHAT IS REGRETABLE is that many people and even some Christians are enslaved by corruptions less disgusting in men’s eyes but just as vile and pernicious by God’s judgment. I heard a talk show host last night say the following, that he could not understand why a man would want to kiss (have sex with) another man but HE COULD UNDERSTAND why a woman would want to kiss another woman. We say we are against “transgendered” men or boys in girl’s bath and shower rooms but in most states an 18 year old girl is permitted to strip naked on a stage before men in a “night” club. In my city half those night clubs open at two in the afternoon and the dancers are frequently prostitutes pimped by the club owners… I KNOW this FACT because I was once enslaved to them. It is the demand of heterosexual men for women which creates the vast majority of prostitution. Jesus was very concerned for the prostitutes, not so much for those buying their “services,” He exposed the hypocrisy of those who condemned the woman caught in adultery, and excoriated the false religious tradition (system) of hypocrisy that His own people had created.


We need to be careful to remember that God’s wrath is reserved “who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” that is for those who being deceived embrace the deceit of sin and thereby deceive and lead others into sin. They know “the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, (and) not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”




Not for nothing does God teach us that sin is deceitful, that is sin has the power to detach us mentally and spiritually from that which is good. We live in a war zone, and the enemy/adversary satan’s ammunition is sin empowered by deceit. BUT as the hymn writer writes; Jesus “breaks the power of cancelled (forgiven) sin.”




Today the Islamic people Muslims are deceived being led by a doctrine of submission to an criminal and false god. It is a false theocracy, government by a false religious belief. And Islam itself means submission. The only goal of the Islamic governors (Imams and Ayatollahs) is for the Muslim people to obey them and do exactly as they say. At the rate their various terrorist sects murder each other they seem also proselytize out of a need to replenish their ranks from the Muslim children.




WHAT IS REGRETTABLE is that Western Democracies now on the verge of collapse have also forgotten God and are sliding down the slippery slope into Sodom and Gomorrah. The sins of Sodom did include homosexuality. But that is the tail of the beast. What was the head?




Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. Ezekiel 16:49  (READ Ezekiel 16! And the Old Testament! Jesus said “Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete (them, the law AND THE PROPHETS.”)




We Christians need to understand things as God declares them. The sin (iniquity, lawlessness) of Sodom was also that of Judah and Jerusalem. Full blown Jesus confronted it centuries after Ezekiel prophesied saying: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” Matthew 23:14  We need to face some very uncomfortable facts in the western church and the sooner the better.




A very well known bible teacher said that success is a greater test of Christian character than failure. Wealth is more dangerous than being poor. Many express pride over the Christian success brought about by Christian scientists and inventors. More recently the many successes of the Jewish people are heralded. Yet we remember King Solomon as the richest man of his day as a man: “he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.” 1Kings 11:3 Somewhat as the Kingdom was taken away from Saul for his disobedience Israel was split in two after Solomon’s women caused him to worship their false gods. Can it be in my nation, the USA, that our success and wealth have precipitated through our weak flesh the forgetfulness that produces sexual corruption and more importantly the arrogance of the wealthy over the poor? There is no more needy people group than America’s homeless, but have we rich Christians addressed the problem adequately?




Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. Ezekiel 16:49 




  1. pride ~ arrogant
  2. fullness of bread ~ fat of body
  3. abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters ~ lazy
  4. neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy ~ callous to human need and suffering




Both the priest and the Levite passed by the man robbed, beaten and wounded on the way to Jericho. The Samaritan not only stopped, he attended to his wounds with medicine and bandages, put him in his car, took him to an inn, paid the innkeeper for the man’s lodging AND GUARANTEED PAYMENT for whatever other needs the man would be supplied!




Christians donate and pay millions of dollars in legal fees defending our right to have our religious monuments lettered in stone before the heathen. What is wrong with this picture? Let the unbelievers take them down. But meditate on the verses. Learn them. Live by them. Teach them to your children. And what then shall we donate and spend the millions on? And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions), so that when it fails, they [those you have favored] may receive and welcome you into the everlasting habitations (dwellings).” Luke 16:9  The parable of the unjust steward is essential to the understanding of life in the midst of the wealthy and the poor.




“Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal.  Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal.  For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.  ‘The eye is the lamp of the body.’ So if you have a ‘good eye’ [that is, if you are generous] your whole body will be full of light;  but if you have an ‘evil eye’ [if you are stingy] your whole body will be full of darkness. If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  No one can be slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can’t be a slave to both God and money. Matthew 6:19-24  (CJB)


Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded; nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 1Timothy 6:17-19 


This writer has MUCH REGRET that he did not understand then as he does now. Perhaps there is some place for defending stone tablets, but I don’t see it. I wonder how many people will be able to say: "I first believed after reading the ten commandments on the courthouse lawn." ????




Could the persecutions we experience in the USA be misunderstood?




Mark 10:17-31  And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running (rich ruler, Luk 18:18) and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what  shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?  (18)  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.  (19)  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother.  (20)  And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.  (21)  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.  (22)  And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.  (23)  And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!  (24)  And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!  (25)  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.  (26)  And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?  (27)  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.  (28)  Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.  (29)  And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,  (30)  But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.  (31)  But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.




At a bible study some years ago the woman leading said that selling all and giving to the poor was something for the rich young ruler but not for the disciples. She was wrong.




Luke 12:22-34  And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.  (23)  The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment (clothing).  (24)  Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?  (25)  And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?  (26)  If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?  (27)  Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  (28)  If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?  (29)  And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  (30)  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  (31)  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  (32)  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  (33)  Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.  (34)  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.




Sell that ye have …” Sell part of that ye have?




When I was a much younger believer I found this prayer:

Two things have I asked of Thee; deny me them not before I die:  Remove far from me falsehood and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with mine allotted bread;  Lest I be full, and deny, and say: 'Who is the LORD?' Or lest I be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God. Proverbs 30:7-9 




We live in perilous times. They are dangerous. Most major USA cities will have 100 to 300 or more people murdered this year. Most by some intent, some killed by bullets intended for others. Will we be afraid? I fear that may be so, but more I fear we will yet be found with:




  1. pride ~ arrogance
  2. fullness of bread ~ fat of body
  3. abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters ~ lazy
  4. neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy ~ callous to human need and suffering




And if so should we then wonder why sexual vice and violence of all kinds is increasing? In America? Perhaps we can do little to decrease it in the world. But in the church? But what does Jesus want of us? What would Jesus do? What did Jesus do? He died. He died and rose again, and ascended back to heaven from where He came… TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR US! Do you not know the promise of Jesus death and resurrection, the power and the security of your everlasting life? Nothing you can do will add to or take away from your security in the Messiah. If a stray OR INTENDED bullet ends your mortal life today you will by trusting His grace live forever with Him. PLEASE learn and do three things: to communicate with your God, to communicate with your brothers and sisters in the Messiah Jesus, and to communicate with your neighbor. Your neighbors may be rich, poor or middle class. They may be LGBT or Muslim. They may be heretics. But if they are without Jesus they are bleeding and dying on the Jericho road. Three things. This in my humble(?) opinion is the challenge of the Christian life.  To secure our own lives in this world is not one of them.




Matthew 6:33-34 "But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." ASV

Matthew 6:33-34 "Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." The Message
 


We who have Jesus as Lord are secure in Him, and He is our Everlasting Shield.




Gen 15:1  After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying: 'Fear not, Abram, I am thy shield, thy reward shall be exceeding great.'




2Sa 22:3  The God who is my rock, in Him I take refuge; my shield, and my horn of salvation, my high tower, and my refuge; my saviour, Thou savest me from violence.




2Sa 22:31  As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield unto all them that take refuge in Him.




2Sa 22:36  Thou hast also given me Thy shield of salvation; and Thy condescension hath made me great.  (Jewish Publication Society Bible)


2Sa 22:36  You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; and Your condescension and gentleness have made me great. (Amplified)


2Sa 22:36  You give me your shield, which is salvation; your answers make me great. (Complete Jewish Bible)


2Sa 22:36  And Thou givest to me the shield of Thy salvation, And Thy lowliness maketh me great. (Young’s Literal Translation)




Psa 33:20  Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.




Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.