What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

How will you act in Perilous Times Jan Markell-Eric Barger



God the Refuge of His People.
For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song.

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.


There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.


Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Psalm 46


Monday, April 25, 2016

WHEN GOD CALLED MOSES: Lessons on Leadership from Exodus 3:1-22 and 4:1-17

Republished from Joel Rosenberg´s blog

Today, we think of Moses as a great hero of the faith, and the Passover story as his most dramatic accomplishment. That’s true. But let’s step back and see the man God called into His service.

To begin, please read Exodus 3:1-22 and 4:1-17 in full.
Then, let’s look at a series of excuses Moses made, telling the Lord why he couldn’t possibly respond to God’s divine call.

1.) Moses asked God, “Who Am I?”
Exodus 3:11 – “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”
Translation:
  • I am nothing.
  • I am no one special.
  • I have failed many times.
  • I’m not the right one to do this.
So, how did God answer Moses? Read here.

2.) Then Moses asked God, “What Shall I Say?”
Exodus 3:13 – “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”
Translation:
  • I don’t know what to say.
  • I don’t know God well enough to speak for Him.
  • I’m not the right one to do this.
So, how did God answer Moses? Read here.

3.) Then Moses asked God, “What if they won’t believe me?”
Exodus 4:1 – “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say?”
Translation:
  • No one is going to listen to me.
  • No one is going to believe me.
  • I’m not the right one to do this.
So, how did God answer Moses? Read here.

4.) Then Moses told God, “I’m not eloquent.”
Exodus 4:10 – “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
Translation:
  • I’m not a good public speaker.
  • I’m slow to form my words. (Note: it is widely believed that Moses stuttered.)
  • I get “tongue-tied.”
  • I’m not the right one to do this.
So, how did God answer Moses?

5.) Finally, Moses essentially told God, “No.”
Exodus 4:13 – “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.”
Translation:
  • I’ve heard everything you’ve told me, but it doesn’t persuade me.
  • I don’t know what to say.
  • I don’t know how to say it.
  • I can’t do this,
  • I won’t do this.
  • I’m not the right person.
  • Find someone else.
How did God respond? Read here.

In Exodus 4:14, we read: “Then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses…”
Still, the Lord showed tremendous grace and mercy to Moses. He provided Aaron, the older brother of Moses (by three years), to assist Moses in this vital mission. And despite Moses’ lack of faith — his sinful obsession with his own flaws and faults rather than trusting in the Lord’s love and power and greatness — the Lord redeemed him and used him in spite of himself to save the nation of Israel and bring them out of terror and tyranny and into freedom.

God’s Grace
Have you ever stopped to consider that all of Moses’ excuses were essentially true? He didn’t really know the Lord well. He didn’t know what to say? Pharaoh didn’t listen to him or believe him. And after forty years on the backside of the desert, tending sheep, thinking about his worst failure — murdering an Egyptian and having to flee for his life — perhaps it’s no wonder Moses was not eloquent, and perhaps even someone who stuttered.

But have you also ever stopped to consider that maybe all of Moses’ weaknesses and failures were precisely why the Lord chose him to be His servant and His spokesman? By choosing a weak and sinful and desperately self-conscious person, the Lord showed Himself great and powerful, loving and wise. This way the Lord — not Moses — could receive all the praise and glory and honor, because it wasn’t possible for Moses to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt on his own. He wasn’t capable. And he knew it.
What does the Bible say about the man that Moses eventually became?
  1. “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3)
  2. “Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, for all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and all his land, and for all the mighty power and for all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12)
  3. Moses was included in the “Faith Hall of Fame” in Hebrews chapter 11.
Questions For Us Today
I was deeply moved by these passages. They contain some tremendous lessons on leadership for all of us.
  1. What is God calling you to say?
  2. Where is God calling you to go?
  3. What excuses are you giving to the Lord?
  4. What promises has the Lord made in His Word to those who love Him and want to obey Him?
The Bible is clear: the Lord is calling you to serve Him and take His Word — the special message of the Scriptures — to people who need rescue and salvation, freedom and redemption. He is calling you and I to “go and make disciples of all nations” and to be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and even to the ends of the earth.” Will we be faithful to this high calling? Or will we give God a list of excuses why we’re the wrong people for the job?
May you study Moses carefully, and learn from the lessons he learned the hard way.

J.D. Farag Mid-East Prophecy Update April 24th 2016


Sunday, April 24, 2016

2016 04 24 John Haller Prophecy Update "Falling Apart/Falling into Place"


Resurrection Day - In gratitude to the Father and the Lord Jesus

Jesus is risen! Hallelujah. He has won the victory, He has triumphed over the grave and death couldn´t hold Him. Let us worship the King of all heaven and earth, and all will bow down and proclaim that Jesus-Christ is Lord and God.

Today we received a wonderful blessing from our Father in Heaven. A special baby boy, son of Gisèle Mondon and Heath Patrick was born today at 4:12 AM. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. The whole family is jubilant and our hearts are filled with joy and gratitude to our Maker, the source of all beauty and life, Jesus-Christ.


 
There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

 

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

 

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
 

The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
 

And rise
I will rise

 

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
"Worthy is the Lamb"

 

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
 

And rise I
I will rise
I will rise

Israel Overdue for Huge Earthquake Which Could Fulfill Prophecy of Messiah


Republished via servehiminthewaiting.com
“Who looketh on the earth, and it trembleth; He toucheth the mountains, and they smoke.” Psalms 104:32 (The Israel Bible™)
An end of days scenario has suddenly appeared in Japan and Ecuador as seven major earthquakes hit both coasts of the Pacific in 96 hours. Many seismologists are convinced this is only the beginning of a global phenomenon, but rabbis and people of faith recognize this as part of the Messianic process.

Over 500 people were killed on Saturday when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador. 1,700 people are still missing, over 4,000 are injured, and thousands more are wandering homeless.  A 7.3-magnitude quake hit Japan’s southern island last Thursday, while over 600 smaller tremors continued to shake the survivors. The death toll in Japan stands at 47 killed, more than 1,000 injured, 8 missing, and over 100,000 left homeless. 

Other less-deadly earthquakes were felt around the world. Many scientists are convinced this recent epidemic earthquakes is just a prelude to increased seismic activity around the globe in unprecedented magnitudes. University of Colorado seismologist Roger Bilham told the Express, “The current conditions might trigger at least four earthquakes greater than 8.0 in magnitude. And if they delay, the strain accumulated during the centuries provokes more catastrophic mega-earthquakes.”

Experts from  India’s Ministry of Home Affairs warned in January that yet another major quake, equal or larger than the last disaster, can be expected in the region.
Seismologists at Tokyo University estimate there is a 98 percent chance that in the next 30 years Japan will be hit by another major earthquake of catastrophic proportions. 2011’s 9.0-magnitude quake killed over 20,000 people, but its destructive effects didn’t end at mere earth-shifting. Japan’s Fukushima power plant was designed to withstand earthquakes, but a meltdown occurred when the ensuing tsunami washed away generators powering the emergency cooling, leaking large amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere.

This apocalyptic scenario could easily be repeated with devastating results in many developed countries, including the US. Nuclear power plants in California, New York, Washington State, and Arkansas are situated near major fault lines. Other plants in Maine, Pennsylvania, and Virginia have raised concern of their earthquake survivability with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission but were deemed within acceptable standards.
Especially at risk is the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in California, which is situated directly on the ocean, making it very vulnerable to tsunamis. It sits in an earthquake red zone, in close vicinity to four active fault lines, one lying only 2,000 feet away from the plant’s two nuclear reactors. S. David Freeman, a former general manager of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, called the nuclear plant “a disaster waiting to happen.”
In fact, tsunamis are far more devastating than the earthquakes that trigger them. In 2004, the Band Aceh earthquake, barely felt on land, created a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed about 250,000 people in Sumatra and Indonesia.

A recent study by seismologists at the University of California suggests that Southern California is at greater risk of tsunamis than previously thought. A 7.0-magnitude earthquake in the Ventura Basin Fault could generate a tsunami that would penetrate up to two kilometers inland in less than half an hour, devastating a heavily populated area.


Rabbi Yitzchak Batzri, a noted Kabbalist from Jerusalem, spoke to Breaking Israel News about how the wave of earthquakes fits into the Messianic process. There is no doubt that the earthquakes have a divine origin, he said.
“The potential of earthquakes is in the world from the first days of creation, but the power that brings it into existence is God’s will,” Rabbi Batzri said. 

That will is triggered by human action, he continued. “Our actions, in relation to God, affect his decision to enact the forces of nature, especially in things having to do with our rejecting sanctity.”
“King David wrote, ‘Who looketh on the earth, and it trembleth; He toucheth the mountains, and they smoke’ (Psalm 104:32) to describe what will happen in the End of Days before the final redemption. There will be an earthquake in Israel, but it will be beneficial, opening up the Temple Mount, bringing forth living waters, purifying the city to receive the Messiah.”
The rabbi’s understanding of the prophecy supported by the opinions of many scientists. Israel sits on the Syria-African rift, which runs along the Dead sea Valley. It passes through the area thought to be the sites of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the city of Jericho, which still stands today. The Biblical accounts of the destruction of the twin cities of evil, and the later account of the falling walls of Jericho, could very well be interpreted as divinely powered geologic catastrophes.

Such events are not uncommon in the region. Dr. Shmuel Marco, who has spent many years studying the timeline of earthquakes in the region, told the Jerusalem Post that a major earthquake could be expected in the near future. Major earthquakes were recorded in the Jordan Valley in the years 31 BCE, 363 CE, 749 CE and 1033 CE.
“So roughly,” said Marco, “we are talking about an interval of every 400 years. If we follow the patterns of nature, a major quake should be expected any time because almost a whole millennium has passed since the last strong earthquake.”

The rash of earthquakes has brought about one of those rare scenarios in which scientific theory and prophetic vision agree: earthquakes threaten our future. Man would be wise to prepare, spiritually and physically, for what lies ahead.

Read more at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/66402/global-wave-earthquakes-prelude-redemption/#f317pp1V7hX8ZOiz.99

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Passover Lamb - Washed in the Blood. .


Republished from omegaletter.com
In Defense of the Faith
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor

The Passover story is well known to Christians, primarily as a Jewish holiday. But the Jewish Passover is an integral part of the Christian story. Without Passover, there could be no salvation for the Gentiles. At Passover, Jews are asked to see the story as if each of them had been there that night in Egypt. Traditional foods are prepared in advance according to the Haggadah or story of the Exodus.

With the Haggadah as a guide, Passover has been and is celebrated in pretty much the same manner down through the ages and in every land and every nation.

Seder customs include drinking of four cups of wine, eating matza (unleavened bread) and partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate.

The four cups of wine are obligatory; representing four expressions of God's will: "I will bring out"; "I will deliver"; "I will take"; and, "I will Redeem".

It is also symbolic of the four world ages: this present world, the Messianic Age, the world at the resurrection, and the world to come. (See 2nd Peter 3:10-12)

The four expressions of God's will find an equal place within Christianity. "I will bring out" (Romans 8:29) "I will deliver" (Galatians 1:4) "I will take" (Romans 11:27) and, "I will Redeem" (Galatians 3:13)

Christians also know of four 'worlds' this one which we are 'in' but not 'of' the Messianic (Kingdom) Age, the general resurrection of the dead at the Great White Throne and the new heavens and the new earth.

At the Passover Seder, the youngest present asks the question: "Why is this night different from all other nights?" This is so important that if no children are present, the responsibility falls to the wife or other participants. If a man is alone at Seder, he is obligated to ask the question of himself.

The Passover involves the retelling of the ten plagues God sent upon Pharoh, including the last and most terrible, the sending of the Angel of Death.

God told the Jews to smear the blood of a lamb above the doorposts of their homes, which would cause the Angel of Death to 'pass over' those homes which were under Divine protection.

For centuries, the Jewish Passover concluded with the words, "Next year, in Jerusalem!" symbolizing the Jewish love for the City of God and their longing for the restoration of Temple sacrifice.

Washed In the Blood of the Lamb?

There is a traditional Christian hymn whose chorus goes like this: "Are you washed in the blood, / In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb? / Are your garments spotless? / Are they white as snow? / Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?"

We've not discussed what that really means in some time now, and there is no better time to discuss it than at Passover. Everything about our understanding of our salvation has its roots in the Jewish sacrificial lamb.

During the days of Temple worship, a family would offer a Passover lamb for sacrifice at the Temple as covering for the sins of that family. That ritual teaches us much about the love of our Heavenly Father and what the sacrifice of the Lamb of God really means.

Some weeks before Passover, the head of the household would cull out the most perfect lamb in his flock. To be acceptable, the lamb could not be purchased. It had to be raised by the family.

The lamb would be brought into the household as a pet. The kids would play with it, wash and groom it, grow attached to it, and even name it, making it a part of the family. It was a necessary element of the sacrifice that the family had to grow to love that particular lamb.

At the Temple, the head of the household would certify the lamb met all the conditions before accepting it as a sacrifice. The lamb would have a placard put around its neck identifying the sinner for whom it was about to die.

Here's where this gets hard. The head of the household, (to whom the lamb was a beloved pet) didn't get to just leave the lamb there and go home, like a person dropping off a sick pet at the vets to be euthanized. (Or even one who comforts the pet while the vet does it.)

It's YOUR sin. It's YOUR sacrifice. So YOU must do the deed.

The priest would carefully instruct you in the most humane way to conduct the sacrifice, but you had to do it. You would be taught how to gently squeeze off the lamb's jugular with thumb and forefinger until the lamb would pass out.

Open your mind! SEE this picture!

The lamb falls asleep against the sinner's breast like the beloved pet that it has become. Once the lamb was unconscious, the penitent, still holding the lamb's throat, would be instructed on how to insert the knife, nick the jugular and hold the lamb over the laver to catch its blood for the sacrifice.

As the blood flowed, it would flow OVER the penitent's hands and arms, staining him with the sacrificial blood.

The lamb's innocent little heart would continue to pump out the blood, which would continue to stain the head of the household until it had pumped its last and the little lamb was dead.

The priest would hold up the now-dead lamb before the Lord, read the name of the family as it appeared on the placard around its neck, and declare the lamb's 'sins' before the Lord.

“This lamb was sacrificed for the sins of the Kinsella family,” the priest might intone.

The family's beloved pet lamb was dead, its blood was sprinkled over the mercy seat of the Ark, and the sins of the family were covered for another year.

The lamb bore the placard naming the family of sinners. The sinners bore the stains of the blood of the lamb.

The Lamb of God

"I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:20-21)
In Judea in AD 33, Latin was the language of business, as English is today. But most people grew up speaking Greek, which was the lingua franca, or the common language of the empire, a holdover from the days of Alexander the Great.

The Septuagint, the Greek version of the Torah, was so translated because more Jews spoke Greek than Hebrew.

So there was Latin and Greek, and finally, the language of the Jews at the time, which was Aramaic.

It wasn't the Jews who drove the nails. It was the Romans. While the people cheered in Aramaic and Greek.

All present had to participate. Had they not, then there could have been no Crucifixion, no Resurrection, no redemption. It was for the SINS of all mankind -- all mankind was represented there.

"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)
Crucified For All

Above the Cross, Pilate order the following inscription in ALL THREE languages:

"This is Jesus. King of the Jews."
Jesus bore the name of the 'family' for which His blood was shed -- it was the Family of Man.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16)
God identified His Lamb Whom He loved, and inscribed the sin for which He died, as a substitutionary sacrifice for all mankind.

Remember, it couldn't be just any Lamb, but it had to be God's Lamb.

"Thou art My beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased."(Mark 1:11)
This was no humane kosher sacrifice, but a bloody, vicious, violent, painful, tortured and shameful execution at the hands of the very family the Lamb loved so deeply and Who asks only our trust in return.

When Caiphas objected, asking the inscription be changed to say, “This is Jesus, who CLAIMED to be King of the Jews,” Pilate rebuffed him, saying, “What I have written, I have written.”

For that was the charge against Him for which He was crucified. For the sins of the Jews as their King. For the sins of the Romans as their occupier. And for the sins of mankind as they stood by as spectators. And for you. And for me.

Jesus is their King, and ours. And God's Lamb.

Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?

Are YOU washed in the Blood of the Lamb?

Why is this day different than all other days?

Because it is the day that we learn just how much God loves us. How much He loves YOU.

At the Passover, God set in motion the sequence of events that would culminate twelve centuries later with the sacrifice of the Pascal Lamb for all mankind.

And for you. As if you were the only sinner who ever lived, the Lord Jesus Christ was sacrificed for YOUR sins.

That is the God Whom we serve. And that is the weight of our sin before Him.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
Amazing love! How can it be? That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me!

Maranatha!

On Earth Day Weather Channel Founder Slams United Nations Religion Of Climate Change

Reposted from nowtheendbegins.com 
As a skeptic of man-made global warming, I love our environment as much as anyone. I share the deepest commitment to protecting our planet for our children and grandchildren. However, I desperately want to get politics out of the climate change debate. The Paris climate agreement is all about empowering the U.N. and has nothing to do with the climate.
weather-channel-founder-john-coleman-slams-united-nations-religion-of-climate-change-nteb
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10 (KJV)


Article written by John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel
With the Obama administration set to commit the U.S. to the Paris climate agreement by signing our nation onto the document Friday, it is obvious that science has taken a back seat at the United Nations.
The environmentalists, bureaucrats and politicians who make up the U.N.’s climate change panel recruit scientists to research the climate issue. And they place only those who will produce the desired results. Money, politics and ideology have replaced science.

John Coleman (founder of The Weather Channel) Global Warming Scam:

  

U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres has called for a “centralized transformation” that is “going to make the life of everyone on the planet very different” to combat the alleged global warming threat. How many Americans are looking forward to the U.N. transforming their lives?

Another U.N. official has admitted that the U.N. seeks to “redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.” The former head of the U.N. climate panel also recently declared that global warming “is my religion.”

CNN Slammed by John Coleman over Climate Change Fraud:

When all the scare talk is pushed aside, it is the science that should be the basis for the debate. And the hard cold truth is that the basic theory has failed. Many notable scientists reject man-made global warming fears. And several of them, including a Nobel Prize winner, are in the new Climate Hustle movie. The film is an informative and even humorous new feature length movie that is the ultimate answer to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. It will be shown one day only in theaters nationwide on May 2.

As a skeptic of man-made global warming, I love our environment as much as anyone. I share the deepest commitment to protecting our planet for our children and grandchildren. However, I desperately want to get politics out of the climate change debate. The Paris climate agreement is all about empowering the U.N. and has nothing to do with the climate. 
source
Weather Channel founder John Coleman has spent more than 60 years as a meteorologist, including seven years as the original weathercaster on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

'Intolerant' Christianity In Defense of the Faith

Reposted from omegaletter.com
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor
 
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." (John 14:6) This particular verse has gotten Christianity into hot water with the world throughout the history of the Christian Church Age.
This verse gave the Romans their excuse for throwing Christians to the lions. It has served as the main reason for Christian persecution wherever it might be found.

This verse is the one that is behind the UN's hatred of Christianity, and is the main reason that in Canada, the Bible has been determined, under certain circumstances, to be 'hate literature'.

Jesus' claim that He is the only way is what upsets the world. To the world, Christianity is 'intolerant' because it teaches the only one way to salvation is through Jesus.

To a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., that means that they are excluded, since they don't worship Jesus as God.

Therefore, Christianity is an 'exclusive' religion, and people don't like to be excluded, even when they CHOOSE to be excluded.

It is absurd, really. Consider the premise for a moment. The 'hate speech' argument is based on Jesus not letting Muslims, Hindus, etc., et al, into His heaven just because they don't believe in Him.

So, from the secular perspective, if the 'mythical' Jesus won't let unbelievers into His 'mythical' Heaven, that is 'intolerance' and 'hateful'.

Leaving aside why Jesus would exclude unbelievers for a second, one has to wonder why somebody who doesn't believe in Jesus would want to go to His heaven in the first place?

Whether or not Christianity is intolerant depends on what the word 'tolerant' means. And in an age of propaganda, words are not very precise. Remember, in the name of 'pro-choice', it is a crime to offer a different choice that abortion within 100 feet of an abortion clinic.

'Militant' means any terrorist who isn't for the moment, targeting YOU. Or it means 'radical', as in 'militant feminist'.

So, 'militant' -- depending on political worldview -- can mean either a crazed terrorist murdering as many innocents as possible or, a group of angry women carrying signs.

"Tolerant" -- and its derivatives -- is a word like that.

From the perspective of Biblical Christianity, there is no more tolerant worldview than that of Christ. Christianity teaches the obvious truth that all men have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.

Even atheists recognize 'sin' -- even if they rename it. Were it not for sin, societies wouldn't need police protection. Nations wouldn't need armies. Religions would have no reason to exist and no 'hammer' with which to keep the faithful in line.

Sin exists. All religions offer a remedy. Some require you to go out and knock on doors and proselytize new members as a means of salvation from sin. Others, like Islam, might require you to go out and blow up a school bus as a means of salvation from sin.

Some require you to keep certain church laws and regulations in order to be saved from sin, while others require an outward act of penitence.

Even secular society has a remedy for sin. When a convicted criminal serves out his sentence for a crime, he is said to have 'paid his debt to society'. He can never be punished for that crime again under the law. There is nothing intolerant about the recognition for sin, or the existence of a sin debt.

Jesus offers all men the free gift of salvation for the asking. They need only accept the gift of Pardon offered and trust in His Shed Blood as full payment of their sin debt.

If they accept the gift, they are imputed with the Righteousness of Christ and have therefore paid their sin debt and are eligible for Heaven. Their 'debt to Heaven's society' is paid, and like the convict whose sentence is served, they can never be punished for that crime again.

If they reject the offer of Pardon, then they stand before the Righteous Judge with that debt unpaid. Nothing intolerant about that.

Jesus is Divinely fair in His judgement. His Pardon is based on the fact He has already paid for the crimes, and offers His payment on our behalf.

Nothing intolerant about that.

The Bible gives us a genuine basis to recognize hypocrisy and confront it for what it is. Because the Bible upholds the dignity of all persons as image-bearers of God, we have a basis for a genuinely diverse culture.

When faithful to the Scriptures, Christianity is epitome of tolerance.

As noted, it all depends on the meaning one assigns to the word 'tolerant'. When tolerance means that we are to accept all beliefs as equally true and valid, Christians must respectfully object.

The notion that truth is a social construct is what gives the world a reason to hate Christianity as 'intolerant' and 'hateful'.

To a Christian, truth matters. To the world, the truth is whatever they want to believe is true.

In the sense of 'Christian intolerance' the word 'tolerant' really means 'pluralist'. 'Pluralism' is a curious philosophy, in that it holds that a number of simultaneous and conflicting truths can exist at the same time with each separate truth remaining equally true.

Pluralism holds that distinct cultural beliefs are true for that culture--but not for cultures that operate out of a different "paradigm" (like Christianity.)

Pluralists say that truth is a "social construction." It is created through social consensus and tradition, not discovered in reality that exists independently of our beliefs. Truth is, therefore, subjective interpretation, rather than facts based in reality.

To the pluralist, all religions are equally valid and all religions lead to God. All gods are equally 'god', which is the logical equivalent to saying there is no God at all -- and then making a religious worldview out of it.

Therefore, defining 'tolerant' as the semantic equivalent to 'pluralist' means that Christianity is intolerant because it stands or falls on that central truth that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life, and that no man comes to the Father but by Him.

Under the Romans, Christianity was outlawed because it was 'hateful' and 'intolerant'.

Under revived Rome, the Apostle John says the Tribulation saints will be persecuted and put to death for refusing to accept his universal symbol of religious pluralism, what we call 'the Mark of the Beast.'

The Mark of the Beast isn't merely an economic system, although John says that without it, no man would be able to buy or sell.

John also says that it will become a universal, pluralistic religious system saying that, he will "cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." (Revelation 13:15)

Those who don't accept voluntary inclusion into the pluralistic religion of the false prophet because of their faith in Christ will be executed for their intolerance.

(As a side note, the 'Tribulation Saints' are those who are converted by the 144,000 Jewish evangelists sealed by the Holy Spirit (Revelation Chapter 7) and not the Church Age saints. During the Tribulation, power is given to the antichrist (and Satan) "to make war with the saints, and TO OVERCOME THEM," -- something not possible with Church Age believers Personally indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.)

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome THEM: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1st John 4:4)
This is part of the continuously unfolding tapestry of Bible prophecy for the last days. Religious pluralism, in some form, is the universal religion of the antichrist.

Christianity is not the only faith that makes claims of exclusivity. So does Islam. So does Judaism. Exclusivity is a fundamental of each faith.

All three are currently engaged in a global war aimed at wiping each other out. Whether or not they succeed, there is little doubt that 'fundamentalism' is rapidly becoming a dirty word in these last days.

The false prophet is depicted by John as having, "two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." The Lamb is symbolic of Christianity, whereas the dragon is another name for Satan.

Logically, the pluralist religion of the antichrist will be some counterfeit form of Christianity that includes all other faiths under a single religious umbrella. We are getting closer, but we aren't there yet.

The problem is, one cannot reconcile 'tolerance' with 'faith'. 'Tolerance' (religious pluralism) dictates that there are many truths.

The indwelt Church stands as an obstacle on the path to religious pluralism during the Church Age, until it is recalled at the Rapture.

The reason, in part, is because faith recognizes only one truth. One cannot have 'faith' in conflicting truths -- the Bible says, "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

Each of us goes to work each Monday because we have faith that our paychecks will be there Friday. Not just that we will be paid, but how much we will be paid.

If that paycheck was only there sometimes, and the amount reflected the whim of a different paymaster each week, who would keep showing up for work on Monday?

Our work is the 'substance' of things hoped for (our paycheck) and the fact we show up each Monday is the unseen evidence of our faith in payday. Do you follow?

One cannot be 'tolerant' of conflicting 'truths', any more than it would intolerant to refuse to go to work without faith in payday being the same 'truth' every week.

Faith and tolerance are polar opposites. That doesn't make Christianity intolerant of the world.

It makes the world intolerant of Christianity.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mysterious Company Builds Bomb-Proof Underground Shelters For The Elite

Reposted via servehiminthewaiting.com


And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath has come; and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:15-17
Mysterious company builds underground bomb-proof shelters for the elite as they evacuate en masse from populated areasSource: Thefreethoughtproject.com
The elite are buying expensive bomb-proof underground shelters en masse at the moment, fearing mass civil unrest might be coming to the world in the next few months.

What do They Know? Terrified Elite Building Luxury Bomb-Proof Underground Shelters

Rising income inequality, heightened racial tensions, record distrust in government, rampant corruption, a burgeoning police and surveillance state—it’s a tinderbox that could be ignited by the smallest spark. On top of that, the U.S. is undergoing a presidential election that is perhaps the biggest farce in politics ever witnessed. It is becoming obvious to all that the will of the Washington establishment, not the votes of the public, decides who runs the government. Those who benefit from the concentration of wealth and power—brought by a collusion of government and corporate titans such as Goldman Sachs—are worried that the awakening of the 99 percent might bring mass civil unrest. A company called Vivos is capitalizing on this anxiety by constructing luxury underground shelters for the “protection of high net worth individuals.”



Where will you go when pandemonium strikes?” asks a promotional video on the Vivos website. Riots, pandemics, economic collapse, increasingly deadly weather, international tensions and wars are all cited as reasons why their posh bug-out shelters should be considered.
The company has turned a former Cold War communications bunker in Indiana into their premier American facility.
“Built during the Cold War to withstand a 20 megaton blast, within just a few miles, this impervious underground complex accommodates up to 80 people, for a minimum of one year of fully autonomous survival, without needing to return to the surface,” the promo says.
Europa One, located in Germany “deep below a limestone mountain,” is billed as the world’s largest private shelter. Five-star amenities are available for “uncompromising protection of high net worth individuals” in units that sell for up to $3 million.
“When completed, this will be the largest of all Vivos underground shelter complexes in the world and a modern day Noah’s Ark.  Each family and their entourage will be provided a private 2,500 square foot floor area, capable of two-story living quarters, with a build-out potential of up to 5,000 square feet. With fit and finish comparable to a mega-yacht, each family will commission the build-out of their living quarters, to the standard they require. Private improvements will include all of the typical amenities enjoyed by the floating counterparts, including pools, theaters, gyms, a kitchen, bar, bedrooms and deluxe bathrooms. The possibilities are limited only by each member’s personal desire and requirements.”
The construction of these luxurious bunkers is one facet of a movement of the privileged to seal themselves from the seething masses during a civil uprising or environmental catastrophe. Government already has its own bunkers in and around Washington but also spread throughout the country.
“About 3,000 individuals with net assets of $1 million or more,” left Chicago in just the last year alone according to the Chicago Tribune.
Paris and Rome are also seeing a mass exodus of millionaires, while wealthy elites are also installing panic rooms in their big city apartments due to fears over potential civil unrest and skyrocketing crime.
The construction of “safe rooms” in New York City is a thriving business. One triplex owned by a Saudi prince has three safe rooms in the $48.5-million property. In another, the master bedroom is also the last place of retreat, sealed behind a 1,488-pound door.
New Zealand, rated as the third-safest country in the world, has emerged as a prime “bolthole” destination for those with millions to spare. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, global leaders had no qualms in voicing their concerns about the poor rising up against the elite.
Vivos’ luxury shelters are both a natural market response and a troubling indicator of the realities of our modern world. Central planners in the halls of government and the Federal Reserve cartel continue their wealth extraction and power concentration, even as awareness of the scheme grows exponentially.
The awakening does not have to result in violent, fearful unrest, but can instead be a peaceful uprising brought about by the power of information.


Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/know-terrified-elite-building-luxury-bomb-proof-underground-shelters/#1bpburOutiTG216x.99

The Grand Deception: How False Doctrine Is Key To The End Time Scenario – Jack Hibbs


Thursday, April 14, 2016

2016 04 10 John Haller Prophecy Update - End Time Fascism


Prophecy Alert! April 13th 2016 - ROAR

A Big Circle Or A Straight Path?

Republished from gracethrufaith.com
 
Q. I grew up thinking that God and his infinite wisdom had a set plan for every single person. That there were a skinny little path, a perfect will that no body could possibly get. Now I knew I wouldn’t get it to be perfect, but I figured that I needed to get as close to the “Right Path” as possible. It really brings a lot of fear in me when I start thinking that I’m on the wrong path for Gods will.

A friend said that our walk isn’t really a straight path, but more of a giant circle. We’re traveling in that circle in any direction and no matter what, we are still in Gods will. No matter what path we chose, even if it’s a horrible one, God will still have us end in the end where he intended us to be. Is this true?

I know Gods will cannot be thwarted, but we can refuse to do what he asks right? If so, then he isn’t all powerful right? I’m slightly confused.
A. If you’re talking about the world in general, your friend is wrong because according to 2 Peter 3:9 if everyone wound up right where God intended, then everyone would wind up saved, and that isn’t so. God is all powerful, but has given man the the ultimate authority to choose His own destiny. This is so man can freely choose whether or not to accept God’s love.

For believers it’s a little different. Our lives can be compared to the Prodigal Son, who against his father’s wishes took his inheritance and wasted it on a hedonistic lifestyle. As soon as he came to his senses and returned to the family, he was welcomed back as if nothing had happened. He may have left his father’s home and spent some time out of his will but never stopped being his father’s child.

So it is with a believer. I’m convinced that to some extent God withdraws His protective covering from believers who wander away so that we won’t prosper apart from Him. When we come to our senses and return we’re welcomed back as if nothing had happened. We may have left our father’s home and spent some time out of His will but we never stop being our father’s child.

Jesus promised us that He would never lose even one of those the Father had given Him (John 6:39) and Paul wrote in 2 Cor 1:21-22 that God Himself takes responsibility for our security when we become believers.

Special Report: The 'Defeated' Christian Jack Kinsella

Republished from omegaletter.com
Witnessing Tools
Thursday, June 26, 2003
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor
 
You’ve all seen him. The defeated Christian. The guy who tries and tries, but after being saved for thirty years, he still hasn’t quit smoking. Instead, he hides his cigarettes before coming to church and won’t get too close when shaking your hand for fear you’ll smell the smoke on him.
Or the Christian who you know is saved, but he just can't quite give up the bottle. Or the Christian who got saved, but doesn't go to church, because he just doesn’t think he fits in with the rest of the crowd?

Or won’t go because he thinks that everybody at church is a big hypocrite? That defeated Christian who knows that even though he is saved, it just didn't seem to ‘take' like it seemed to with everybody else, so he’d just as soon not be reminded of it all the time by being around those to whom it did.

Especially since, if he were to mention it, somebody would point out it was either because of some unconfessed sin, or maybe he just wasn't all that sincere when he first accepted Christ.

Why is it that some Christians get saved, and immediately become a new creature, where others get saved, and look remarkably like the old one?

Don’t tell me you don’t know somebody like that. Maybe you even ARE somebody like that. And it’s hard . . . so hard to keep trying and trying when it seems to come so easy to everybody else. It’s enough to make anybody give up.

I’m going to leave the usual beaten path, now, to address an issue that comes up fairly regularly in our forums. Those of you who have no besetting sin, no secret sin in your heart that only you and God (and the enemy) know of, go make yourself a nice cup of coffee. The rest isn’t for you.

Now, for the honest readers . . . Why does God deliver some people from booze, cigarettes, pot . . . fill in your besetting sin here _______?

The answer? I don’t know. Disappointed? Don’t be. Sometimes He just doesn’t. It doesn’t mean you aren’t a Christian. It doesn’t mean you aren’t saved. It doesn’t mean God has abandoned you. It only means you feel defeated. You still have that sin.

Now, how come you feel defeated? Is it your weakness? God's? Haven’t you been to Him with this? How come its still an issue in your life? You KNOW God is real, so . . what’s WRONG WITH YOU?

Nothing.

Welcome to the Church of the Walking Wounded. That’s why so many people find fellowship on the internet they don’t find in church. No guilt. Nobody can see you sneaking that cigarette or that beer.

You come looking for God, and looking for that forgiveness you keep hearing about, but never find in church.

Instead, you learn that if you smoke, (or whatever) you are defiling the temple of the Holy Spirit and you must give that up first to find fellowship. Except you have been trying for years and just can't quite make it.

You sit there in the pew, thinking about the cigarette you are going to have on the way home, and you feel ashamed, guilty. Why even go back to church? You hypocrite!

You are taught that God forgave you at the Cross, but now you are on your own. All these sins you now know about yourself are left for you to deal with on your own. Only NOW you know what they are.

So every time you sneak that cigarette, you feel guilty. “Fred got saved and within a week, he cut out smoking, he cut out drinking and he cut out cursing.”

(You think to yourself, “Sure. And for entertainment, Fred is now cutting out paper dolls in the Happy Home,” – but then there you go – you sinned again!)

Sin is the disease of the human race. No human being is exempt from it. The Apostle Paul, speaking of sin, said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

Creative hyperbole? Or do you believe every Word of God is true?

The Apostle Paul was, according to God's Word, chief among sinners. He must have had a difficult time being chief among sinners and chief among the Apostles, but that’s what the Bible says.

It must have bothered him, like it bothers you. (Those not getting coffee right now) Knowing what is right, but succumbing to temptation to do the wrong thing. Over and over.

This is a very difficult subject – I am approaching it with much fear and trepidation. There will immediately be those who will jump on me for preaching a license to sin. I am not.

Before you jump on me, read it again first, please. I am quoting the Apostle Paul, not my opinion.

Paul writes, “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” (Romans 7:14-15,17)

Maybe Paul isn’t speaking to you, but he is playing MY theme song. “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” (Romans 7:22,23)

Does this sound to you like a guy who was having an easy time of it? Why didn’t he just do what the pastor tells you? “Just take it to the Lord and He'll take care of it.”

Ever do that and then He didn’t? So you found some good reason why not, or instead just figured you weren’t worthy? Or maybe that He cared more about Fred the King of the Paper Dolls?

Paul wrote of, “a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” (2 Corinthians 12:7) Now, I’ve heard this verse exegeted many times.

To listen to the theories, Paul must have fallen into a thorn BUSH. I’ve heard Paul had a speech impediment, that it was his failing eyesight, that he was unattractive to look at, even one argument that he had halitosis!

What does the Bible say Paul’s thorn in the flesh was? Everybody looks for something specific to make sense of the verse. They are looking for some physical flaw that Paul thought would hamper his effectiveness for God. In so doing, they miss the forest for the trees.

The Apostle Paul, the ‘chief among sinners, specifically said that his thorn was a ‘messenger from Satan sent to ‘buffet' him. Paul’s thorn was his SIN which kept him from being 'exalted above all measure.' “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.” (2 Corinthians 12:8)

Stay with me here and see the picture. Here's poor Paul, knowing the task the Lord has set before him, knowing that he is ‘chief among sinners' and knowing his weakness for whatever that sin might have been.

So he takes it to Jesus, (just like you did) sincerely expecting Him to handle it for him, just like the pastor told you He would for you.

“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (v.9)

The Bible says that we are sold unto sin. That it is our natural state. That the most unnatural thing a man could do is NOT sin. You are saved, you believe, yet you wrestle with your besetting sins.

Every time you whip one down, a new one crops up that you have to deal with. It's a never-ending battle and you are losing. How can this be?

How can you be sincere, be sincerely saved, and still battle with sins that don’t seem to bother other Christians?

There is only one logical answer. It is so simple you are going to immediately say, “I knew that.” But you probably really didn’t.

Jesus did it all. Really. ALL. The most simple of principles, yet most preaching is based on the deception that He didn’t. Instead, most are taught in principle, that Jesus got the ball rolling at the Cross, but now that you are saved, whether or not you fail or succeed in beating back your sin nature is up to you.

Therefore, when constantly confronted with your sin and how bad it is, it is much easier to give up and not go face the weekly confrontation. You believe you are defeated.

Rather than being free, you are in bondage to your guilt. How many people do you know who went to the altar call on Sunday who weren’t guilt-ridden by Wednesday?

Salvation is either a gift of grace through faith or it is a product of faith plus good works.

Moses had faith and good works. So did Abraham. So did David. But without the Savior, they would be dead in their sins.

The bondage of sin to a Christian is the weight of the guilt of that sin that keeps him from seeking God's face. Jesus set us free from the bondage of sin. Is this a license to sin? As Paul said, “God forbid.”

“All things”, Paul said, “are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” (1 Corinthians 10:23) Interesting word, ‘expedient.' It means, “Appropriate to a purpose.”

The reality is, we are humans. Even after we become new creatures in Christ, we co inhabit the castle of flesh with the old man.

You will have your battles, but your defeat only comes when you give up. Following Paul’s lamentations about his struggle with the flesh and the duality of man, Paul writes, beginning with Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

This verse also tends to get spiritualized out of context. I’ve heard it argued that if you sin, then you are walking after the flesh, rather than after the Spirit.

I put it to you: Did you ever, since you were saved, commit a sin and not care, not feel any responsibility before God? Well, then, Who are you walking after? The irresponsible flesh? Or the living Spirit?

It isn’t sin that defeats the Christian.

It isn’t that you still haven’t quit smoking, or whatever else it might be that you think is defeating you. Sin is what humans do. Forgive is what God does.

It is GUILT that keeps you defeated, and keeps you from the Throne. It keeps you from telling people about Jesus. It keeps you beaten down.

It is incumbent upon a Christian to try and live a more Christ-like life, but the dichotomy is that the Bible says it is impossible.

Even those of you now scandalized and convinced I am preaching libertine Christianity KNOW that you still have a sin problem. Whether it's a big sin, a little sin, a habitual sin or an occasional sin, its still sin. Even as we sin, (and Scripture says we ALL do) we hate it, as Paul did. But we sin. As Paul did. Read Romans 7 again.

If we COULD live a sin-free life, then why was a Savior necessary? And what was Paul rambling on about when he talked about the 'good that he would' and so forth?

If there were a formula that involved accepting Christ and THEN living a sinless life, then why did He need to go to the Cross at all?

Why not just make the revised Ten Commandments read, 'Accept Christ and don't sin" and THEN you can go to heaven? The answer is obvious. Nobody would be there.

We are living in the last days. There is no time to bandage the walking wounded, the battle has been joined. Every soldier is desperately needed on the line.

A soldier on the line does his best, and that is all anyone can ask. Especially the One Who really KNOWS that you are doing the best you can.

And He not only understands, He made you to a specific purpose, which is why all things were lawful to Paul, but not all things were expedient.

What may appear as defeat to you from your vantage point in the action may actually be a tactical victory somewhere else up the line. Only our General knows, and He says, 'Trust Me'.

Take heart! Don't let the fact you are a sinner steal your victory. The only prerequisite for being a Christian is that you must be a sinner first. God has a plan for your life, and He has somebody for you to talk to.

That appointment is so important to God that He has arranged your whole life until now -- just so you would be available to keep it when that appointment comes due.

Will you be there to keep it? Or will you be licking your wounds in defeat off in a corner somewhere? We're running out of time, and the enemy's sole focus for your life is to keep you defeated and ineffective as the hours tick down to the Final Confrontation.

“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.” 2 Corinthians (12:9)

The rest of you can come back from the kitchen now.

Excerpted from the Omega Letter Daily Christian Intelligence Digest Vol: 21 Issue: 14

Sunday, April 10, 2016

What Does the Lord Want From Me Anyway?

What Does the Lord Want From Me Anyway?



How to live the Christian life.

Almost everyone has come up with their own answer to this question, usually a list containing some do’s and lots of don’ts. But amidst all the human opinions and the many admonitions in both old and new testaments to behave in certain ways and do certain things, is there a clear undisputed answer, a bottom line requirement?

So What’s the Bottom Line?

I think there is one. There’s a minimum standard without which any other behavior becomes at best irrelevant and at worst repulsive to the Lord. (see Isaiah 66:3)
Let’s take the Old Testament first. There are several places we could look, but to me the clearest is in Micah 6:8. “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Sounds simple, just three little things, but like most of the bible there’s more here than meets the eye.

What Do You Mean by That?

1. Act justly; make sure your own behavior is above reproach.
2. Love mercy; give thanks whenever you or someone else is spared the deserved punishment for sinning.
3. Walk humbly with your God; recognize that you often fail to act justly, and be grateful to a merciful God who doesn’t give you what you deserve.
Catch the priority? Still sound simple?

Up Close and Personal

Notice these are personal admonitions. Nowhere are we held responsible for another person’s obedience, only for our own. Nowhere are we called upon to judge whether another has met the standard. The Lord makes it clear that He will do that. We need only worry about ourselves.

Where’s the Evidence?

Trying to live this way is the primary evidence of our love for God. But so many today are much more focused on other people’s behavior than their own. Even the body of Christ seems amply populated by people whose hearts have grown cold. They think it’s their personal responsibility to identify every infraction of the rules (I thought that was Satan’s job). They self-righteously cry long and loud until these infractions are duly noted and fully punished. Like Jonah they actually get angry when some great sinner repents and thereby avoids the penalties, and when someone stumbles or falls they’re quick to question whether the person was ever saved in the first place. When someone confesses, their reaction is to wonder what other sins remain secret. This is neither acting justly nor loving mercy, and reveals a gross lack of humility. 0 for 3.

Justice is Served

In the New Testament the definitive passage is John 6:28-29. “Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.'” This question presented an unmatched opportunity for the Lord to list every additional bottom line requirement. And so He did, for there is only one. We can’t fulfill the first requirement of Micah 6:8 on our own so He came to do it for us. And again we’re not asked to determine whether another has met the requirement. We need only worry about ourselves.

What’s Concealed will be Revealed

Here’s another case where truths contained in the Old are explained in the New. The Old Testament ordinances were established to provide a channel for God’s mercy. By keeping them the people were spared the punishment they deserved for their sins. However, because the remedy provided by their substitutionary sacrifice was insufficient and temporary, the people could never do more than break even (get back to where they had been), and had to regularly repeat it just to stay even. The intention was for them to realize that they could never earn their way into God’s presence; that apart from His mercy they were doomed.

Mercy vs. Grace

In the New Testament God’s mercy was superceded by His grace; the temporary sacrifice being replaced by the Permanent One. Sacrificing Himself, He took care of everything, forward and back. And it was way more than sufficient. Now the people don’t just break even, but in one fell swoop are forever elevated to a position no one had ever dared dream of; heir to eternity.
In the Old, the best one could hope for was to not lose anything. In the New the least we can expect is unimaginable gain. That’s the difference between mercy and grace. One is not getting what you do deserve; the other is getting what you don’t.

Walking Humbly

As for humility, next time you see someone stumble or fall, or suffering great torment, recall your own sinfulness and instead of wagging your finger or tongue think, “There, but for the Grace of God, go I,” and give thanks.
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