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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Proving The Bible Is The Word Of God

Proving The Bible Is The Word Of God

Reblogged from gracethrufaith.com/selah/the-bibles-authority

Table of contents for Proving Their Existence

  1. Proving the Existence of God
  2. Proving the Existence of Jesus
  3. Proving The Bible Is The Word Of God
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

American blood to help Islamists in Syria?

Pat Buchanan warns against getting involved in another Mideast conflict

“The worst mistake of my presidency,” said Ronald Reagan of his decision to put Marines into the middle of Lebanon’s civil war, where 241 died in a suicide bombing of their barracks. 

And if Barack Obama plunges into Syria’s civil war, it could consume his presidency, even as Iraq consumed the presidency of George W. Bush.

Why would Obama even consider this?
Because he blundered badly. Foolishly, he put his credibility on the line by warning that any Syrian use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” and be a “game changer” with “enormous consequences.” 

Not only was this ultimatum unwise, Obama had no authority to issue it. If Syria does not threaten or attack us, Obama would need congressional authorization before he could constitutionally engage in acts of war against Syria. When did he ever receive such authorization? 

Moreover, there is no proof Syrian President Bashar Assad ever ordered the use of chemical weapons.

U.S. intelligence agencies maintain that small amounts of the deadly toxin sarin gas were likely used. But if it did happen, we do not know who ordered it.
Syrians officials deny that they ever used chemicals. And before we dismiss Damascus’ denials, recall that an innocent man in Tupelo, Miss., was lately charged with mailing deadly ricin to Sen. Roger Wicker and President Obama. This weekend, we learned he may have been framed. 

It is well within the capacity of Assad’s enemies to use or fake the use of poison gas to suck us into fighting their war.
Even if elements of Assad’s army did use sarin, we ought not plunge in. And, fortunately, that seems to be Obama’s thinking. 

Order Pat Buchanan’s brilliant and prescient books at WND’s Superstore.

Why stay out? Because it is not our war. There is no vital U.S. interest in who rules Syria. Hafez Assad and Bashar have ruled Syria for 40 years. How has that ever threatened us?
Moreover, U.S. intervention would signal to Assad that the end is near, making his use of every weapon in his arsenal, including chemical weapons, more – not less – likely. 

U.S. intervention would also make us de facto allies of Assad’s principal enemies, the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Nusra Front, Syria’s al-Qaida. As the New York Times reported Sunday, “Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.”
Do we really wish to expend American blood and treasure to bring about a victory of Islamists and jihadists in Syria? 

If Assad’s chemical weapons threaten any nation, it is Israel. But Israel knows where they are stored and has an air force superior to our own in the Med. Israeli troops on the Golan are as close to Damascus as Dulles Airport is to Washington, D.C. Yet Israel has not attacked Syria’s chemical weapons. 

Why not? Israel is well aware that Syria’s air defense system is, as the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, “one of the most advanced and concentrated barriers on the planet.”
And if Israel does not feel sufficiently threatened by Syria’s chemical weapons to go after them, why should we, 4,000 miles away? 

Then there is Turkey, with three times Syria’s population, NATO’s second-largest army and a 600-mile border. Why is ridding the Middle East of Assad our assignment and not Ankara’s?
Surely the heirs of the Ottomans have a larger stake here.
And if we get into this war, how do we get out? 

For the war is metastasizing. Hezbollah is sending in fighters to help the Alawite Shia. Other Lebanese are assisting the Sunni rebels. The war could spread into Iraq, where the latest clashes between Sunni and Shia are pulling the country apart. Young Muslims are coming in from Europe.

Iran and Russia are aiding Damascus. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are aiding the Islamists. The United States, Jordan and Turkey are aiding the secularists. Syria could come apart, and a sectarian and ethnic war of all against all erupt across the region.
Do we really want the U.S. military in the middle of this? 

Because his “red line” appears to have been crossed, Obama is being told he must attack Syria to maintain his credibility with Iran and North Korea.
Nonsense. To attack Syria would compound Obama’s folly in drawing the red line. Better to have egg on Obama’s face than for America to be dragged into another unnecessary war. 

Obama would not be alone in having his bluff called. George Bush proclaimed that no “axis of evil” nation would be allowed to acquire the “world’s worst weapons.” North Korea now has those weapons. 

Congressional war hawks, led by Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, are cawing for air strikes and no-fly zones, which would mean dead and captured Americans and many more dead Syrians. 

Time for Congress to either authorize Obama to lead us into a new Middle East war, or direct him, in the absence of an attack upon us, to keep America out of what is Syria’s civil war. 

Before we slide into another war, let the country be consulted first.

Surprise Israeli military drill on Syrian, Lebanese borders. Reservists mobilized

Surprise Israeli military drill on Syrian, Lebanese borders. Reservists mobilized
Reblogged from www.debka.com  DEBKAfile Special Report April 30, 2013, 4:01 PM (GMT+02:00) 
Israel's Golan border with Syria
Israel's Golan border with Syria
Israel’s armed forces launched a snap division-scale drill along the full length of the Syrian and Lebanese borders Tuesday, April 30, with call-up orders for thousands of reservists, debkafile’s military sources report. 
The exercise will last up to week’s end. 
It was taken into account that the unannounced exercise would send military tensions shooting up on the volatile Israeli, Jordanian, Syrian and Lebanese borders. Moscow, Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah headquarters would assume that Israel is massing troops in advance of US military intervention in Syria.
Its timing is also connected to the speech Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah is scheduled to deliver Tuesday night in case he announces military steps against Israel.Our Washington sources report that President Barack Obama is poised for a momentous decision on whether to pursue military action against Syrian military targets, including Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons facilities. 
These appear to be his three primary options:
1. An American aerial bombardment of the Syrian military bases and facilities which are the mainstay which keep Bashar Assad in power;

2.  A missile strike on his chemical weapons from the sea and from ground bases in Europe and the Middle East;

3.  The deployment of 20,000 American troops to the Jordanian-Syrian frontier.
Alternatively, Obama may choose to combine elements of all three options and activate them simultaneously.
The surprise Israeli military exercise and concentration of reserve units along the borders of Syria and Lebanon place the IDF including its air and naval branches on the ready for a role in a potential American military operation against Syria.
The Israeli military also stands prepared to repel possible reprisals by Iran, Syria or Hizballah against US, Jordanian or Israeli troops.

Monday, April 29, 2013

How churches fake God´s work!

The Coming Blood Moons

Reblogged from gracethrufaith.com/selah
This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley

I first wrote about the so-called blood moons five years ago. (For reasons I’ll explain below, total lunar eclipses are called blood moons.) At the time a video series on the subject was being heavily marketed as revealing the date of the second coming. By now most people no longer believe that, but the series is still popular and since we’re getting closer to the time of their arrival I’ve been getting questions about the blood moons again. So here’s an update.

As many of us already know there are some remarkable celestial events coming in 2014 and 2015. There are two sets of lunar and solar eclipses that will take place on or near Jewish Feast dates. There will be lunar eclipses on April 15 and October 8 in 2014 and on April 4 and September 28 in 2015. What makes them remarkable is that in both these years the spring eclipses will come on Passover and the fall ones will come on the Feast of Tabernacles.

When four consecutive lunar eclipses are all total eclipses the series is called a tetrad. While there will be 6 other tetrads during the 21st Century those in 2014 and 2015 are the only ones that will all come on Feast dates. We should note that of the 2014-15 lunar eclipses only the last one (Sept. 28, 2015) will be visible from Israel, and then only partially.

But there’s more. In 2015 there will also be two solar eclipses, and again one will come in the spring and the other in the fall. The spring solar eclipse will take place on the first day of Israel’s religious year (Nisan 1) fourteen days before Passover, and the one in the fall will come on the first day of the civil year (Tishri 1) six months later, which is Rosh Hashanah, or the Feast of Trumpets.

Does This Happen Often?

Counting the ones in 2014-15 there will have only been 13 tetrads in the last 500 years and of those only 2 have previously come at the time of Jewish feasts. One was in 1949-50 and the other one was in 1967-68. A tetrad being a series of four, that means we’re talking about eight total lunar eclipses. Of those eight only the one in April 1950 was fully visible from Israel, four others were partially visible and the rest were not visible at all. (Since these are being touted as signs to Israel, you might wonder why they weren’t all visible there.)

The tetrad in 1949-50 began a year after Israel’s re-birth as a nation on May 14, 1948. The one in 1967-68 began in April, about six weeks before the 6 day war that ended in the reunification of Jerusalem. The proximity of these occurrences to watershed dates in Israel’s modern history leads some to believe that the tetrads coming in 2014-15 will be similarly important to Israel.

Personally I’m not as impressed with this as some others are. Biblical history tells us God’s signs are clear and specific. The Bethlehem star is a case in point. If you’ve ever tried to follow a star without the benefit of modern equipment, you know the fact that the Magi were able to follow it to Jerusalem from hundreds of miles away is impressive in itself, but then it led them from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, a distance of only 5 miles. According to Matthew 2:9-11 the star led them right to the house where the Lord’s family was staying. Could it be God?

Contrast that with the tetrads in 1949-50. They weren’t specific to the event they were supposed to be heralding. God’s chosen people officially became a nation again after a 1900 year absence on May 14,1948 but the first eclipse in the tetrad didn’t appear until a year later. Signs from Heaven are supposed to tell us that things are about to happen, not that things already have happened. Proponents of this theory had to search through the records to find an event related to Israel’s history that would coincide with the date of the eclipse. They chose the conversion of Israel’s provisional government to a permanent one. Did God wait until then to provide a sign because He was uncertain as to whether Israel would make it? And did anyone on Earth recognize these events as signs from heaven at the time? You could forgive Israel for not noticing. For the most part the eclipses were not even visible there.

To prophecy students, the rebirth of Israel was a long awaited sign that the end times had begun, and everyone of them noticed it. This is the sign God was sending us at that time, not a series of eclipses that arrived a year after the fact, and were only visible to some.
At least the first half of the 1967-68 tetrad bracketed the six day war that led to the reunification of Jerusalem, but again no one noticed it for 40 years. That’s probably because neither of the 1967 eclipses was visible at all in Israel, and of the 1968 eclipses only the one in April was visible and then only partly so. Three out of the four could not be seen at all by the people for whom the sign was supposedly intended.

Some say the tetrads of 1949-50 and 1967-68 happened during two important wars in Israel, the war for independence and the six day war. They use this as support for predicting another important war for Israel in 2014-15. This at least sounds plausible, even though the war of independence ended a month before the first of the 1949 eclipses occurred, and none of Israel’s other important wars happened during a series of eclipses. But there are three wars prophesied for Israel that have yet to happen, any of which could theoretically take place between the spring of 2014 and the fall of 2015. Of course I’m referring to those prophesied in Isaiah 17, Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39.

Is That Biblical?

But let’s look at what, if anything, the Bible says about this. The underlying support for the eclipse hypothesis is Genesis 1:14 where the King James translation reads,
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years;
To make the passage read more easily in English, the translators inserted the word “and” in several places in this verse. According to the interlinear Bible, a more literal reading of verse 14 would go like this.
Let there be lights in the expanse of the heaven to separate the day from the night. Let them be for signs; seasons, days, and years.

Inserting the additional articles makes the King James version look like the lights are for signs as well as to mark the seasons, days and years. But I think the interlinear is closer to the original intent of Genesis 1:14. The NIV translation agrees. It reads,
Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years.

All this to say it’s not clear that Genesis 1:14 says one of the functions of the lights in the sky is to serve as signs of important events. This has to be read into the passage. Most likely it simply says that observing the Sun and Moon enable man to keep track of time.
Second, the phrase “moon turned to blood” comes from Joel 2:31 which says this will happen before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Peter quoted this verse in Acts 2:20. In Rev. 6:12 we find another appearance of the “blood moon” phrase. These three are the only such verses in the Bible and they all agree that a “blood moon” will appear sometime before the beginning of the Great Tribulation. But all three of these references also mention the Sun going dark at the same time.

Most of us know that the Moon doesn’t produce any light of its own. Light from the Moon originates on the Sun and is reflected to Earth. You can’t have a lunar eclipse if the Sun is not producing any light, as is the case in Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, and Rev. 6:12.
Some explain this as being a case of a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse happening at the same time. But that’s impossible, too. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon. As the light from the Sun bends around the Earth and passes through it’s atmosphere on the way to the Moon it takes on a reddish hue. During a total eclipse this will make the Moon appear to be dark orange in color, causing it to be called a blood moon.

But a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth. As the eclipse progresses the Moon will look like a black ball crossing the Sun. In a total solar eclipse all the Sun’s light will be blocked and both the Sun and the Moon will appear to have turned black.

Matt. 24:29, which speaks of the end of the Great Tribulation, says the Sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. This event is also mentioned in Mark 13:24-25. (In Luke 21:25 it’s referred to as signs in the sun, moon and stars.) It’s what a total eclipse of the Sun looks like, although in this case I believe something much more permanent will be happening. I don’t think the Sun will ever come back, but will be replaced by the New Jerusalem.
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it (Rev. 21:23-24).

Also, from any given location a lunar eclipse can only happen at night and a solar eclipse can only happen during the day. For these reasons you can’t have a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse at the same time.

How Many Blood Moons Are There?

The Bible only mentions one blood moon, not a series. Nor does it mention a blood moon in connection with any event in world history except the one that will come in advance of the Great Tribulation. All this means the celestial event spoken of in Joel 2:31 and repeated in Acts 2:20 and Rev. 6:12 is unlikely to be an eclipse of either the Sun or the Moon.  Clearly the appearance of a blood moon before the beginning of the Great Tribulation is intended to be a unique and unmistakable sign.

What’s Your Point?

In conclusion we can say that the mention of the sun and moon as signs in Genesis 1:14 probably refers only to keeping track of time. We can also say that the past tetrads do not meet the test of a Biblical sign as exemplified by the star of Bethlehem or the blood moon of Rev. 6:12. Further, tetrads are never mentioned in the Bible at all and therefore can’t be Biblically linked to any significant event in Israel’s history or future. And finally, the blood moon that will signal the coming Great Tribulation is a single sighting, not a tetrad, and most likely isn’t due to an eclipse at all because the Sun will be dark and it’s impossible for solar and lunar eclipses to happen simultaneously.

Therefore, although there’s a high probability that something of prophetic significance will happen in or to Israel between the spring of 2014 and the fall of 2015, I don’t think the tetrads that will occur during that period can be viewed as a sign from God that this will be the case.

Amos 3:7 says, Surely the sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets. It’s still true that if you want to know everything the Lord has revealed about coming events, the best place to look is in the Bible.  Natural occurrences can never substitute for the word of the prophets. Selah 04-27-13

Mid-East Prophecy Update - April 28th, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

How Do I Deal With This? Biblical Q and As

 Reblogged from gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher

Q.  I have recently posted to a Christian forum a study I did to learn more about and better understand the End-Time events.  I was accused of error and of spreading false doctrine even though I backed up everything with many Scriptural references.  I guess my questions are how do I deal with this, both on a personal level and in the public forum?

A.  The short answer is “you don’t”.  People like this hold to their beliefs for emotional reasons and are not persuaded by reason or logic. Personally I don’t like forums or debates because confrontation usually results in both sides becoming more convinced of their original position, and the truth often gets lost in the process. 

The best approach is to be certain of your own views, offer them with Scriptural support and let them stand on their own.  Reasonable people will follow Paul’s advice and search the Scriptures to see if you’re correct (Acts 17:11). As for the rest, in Matt. 10:14 Jesus said just shake the dust off your feet and move on.

From Facebook Question of the Day
Q. In many of your articles you speak of a "Christian World View." I would like to know what you think that view consists of. I feel that it is looking at what is happening in the world news and relating it to Bible prophecy, and living in anticipation of what Jesus said would happen in the end times in which we are living. Am I close?

A. The Christian world view holds that although the Church is in the world we are not of the world. Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). That means we know we don't belong here, so we don't try to fit in. Paul told us not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind as we seek to discover God's will for our life (Romans 12:1-2).

If we hold a Christian World view, our thoughts and actions will be focused on Heaven, where we do belong, and on making sure we're always ready to go there. We will long for the Lord's return because we know that He's coming to take us there (John 14:2-3).

In the meantime, we will love the things that God loves, hate the things He hates, and try to show by the way we live what an incredible blessing it is to be in a relationship with the Lord.

Indonesia Papua Korupun Kimyal- Bibles translation arrive.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Close confidante of Netanyahu warns “it’s now or never” for military strike on Iran: Analysis.

Reblogged from: flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2013 at 9:02 pm
Tzachi Hanegbi (right) has been a long-time friend and confidante of Netanyahu.
Tzachi Hanegbi (right) has been a long-time friend and confidante of Netanyahu.

Tzachi Hanegbi — a close, trusted, long-time personal friend and confidante of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – made remarks on Tuesday at a security conference in Tel Aviv that did not make news in the U.S. But they should have.
Hanegbi explained that the time for sanctions and diplomacy and covert options to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat is over, and the time for Israel to use its military option has come.

“It’s now or never,” said Hanegbi, ”and the option of never does not exist.”
Hanegbi formerly served as the Minister of Intelligence and as Justice Minister in previous governments. He is currently a Member of Knesset (Likud).
“Israel has to act according to its own imperatives,” he said.

Given how close Hanegbi and Netanyahu are — and given how sensitive the current moment is – it is difficult to believe Hanegbi spoke without knowing the Prime Minister’s mind, and without having his blessing to make such ominous remarks.

I, for one, am praying for peace. I don’t want to see another war in the Middle East. I’m asking the Lord to bring down the regime in Tehran, and sabotage their nuclear weapons projects, and keep Tehran from going to far. But even as I pray for peace, I know Israel is preparing for war.

Consider other indicators that an Israeli first strike may be increasingly close at hand:
  • At the same conference, Israeli Major Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, a former head of IDF Military Intelligence, said that “for all intents and purposes, Iran has crossed Israel’s red line…in the summer, Iran will be a month or two away from deciding about a bomb.”
  • Netanyahu and his inner circle are watching how Iran has been accelerating its building of uranium centrifuges, expanding its nuclear facilities, and possibly building secret new facilities.
  • President Obama is doing nothing after the Assad regime in Syria crossed the Obama “red line” by using chemical weapons against the rebels, killing and wounding many. Are they concluding the White House is serious about dealing with Iran if and when Tehran crosses the “red line”? Hardly.
  • Netanyahu and his inner circle are watching how President Obama is doing nothing to stop North Korea from building — and testing — nuclear warheads and the ballistic missiles to deliver them. Are they concluding the White House is serious about preventing nuclear proliferation? Again, hardly.
  • Netanyahu are his inner circle are watching how President Obama has pulled U.S. military assets out of the Persian Gulf region, claiming budget cutbacks.
  • All this suggests the Netanyahu team believes it is all alone to deal with the Iran problem.
Now, let me be clear: I don’t know if war will happen or not. I hope not. I pray not. But I want to be honest and keep you up-to-date on the latest developments.

The Joshua Fund and I are going forward full steam ahead with our plans for our “Prayer & Vision Tour” in Israel this summer (June 25 to July 7) and the 2013 Epicenter Conference on July 5th in Jerusalem. We have nearly 200 people signed up for the trip — mostly evangelical Christians — are we are grateful for their trust and eager to take them into the Holy Land to pray, study God’s Word, meet Israelis and Palestinians, learn about TJF’s humanitarian relief work, and even participate in humanitarian relief projects. 

If we need to cancel the trip because war breaks out or is clearly imminent, we will do so — and our guests will receive 100% of their money back. But we won’t be swayed by rumors of war, and we’re impressed with this group that’s signed up because they don’t seemed to be swayed by the rumors either. They know we won’t knowingly take them into harm’s way. But they also know that this is the right time for Christians to stand with Israel and show our love and support by going there and praying for the peace of Jerusalem, as we are commanded in Psalm 122:6. There’s still some room on the trip if you’d like to join us. Click here for more details.

In the meantime, let’s keep praying for peace from wherever we are on the globe. Let’s keep a close eye on the developments in the region. And let’s keep preparing for war, should it break out [see video of how The Joshua Fund is making war preparations].

I’ll be in speaking and ministering in Europe for the next two weeks. While I’m there, I’ll do my best to post blogs and Tweet on a regular basis, as possible. Thanks, and God bless.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Question Of The Day. Gracethrufaith

Reblogged from Facebook.

Q. I Thes. 5:4 alludes to believers not being surprised by the coming Day of the Lord. I've always thought that it means that we will not be caught off guard because we are prepared, we have Christ. Is there more?

A. Yes there is. In fact I don't agree that "having Christ" fulfills the spirit of Paul's statement in 1 Thes. 5:4. Remember, The context of 1 Thes. 5:1-11 is the Day of the Lord. The people Paul was writing to were already saved.

Lots of people "have Christ" but don't have a clue about what's coming because they've never learned what the Bible says about the End Times. They are like the people Jesus criticized at His first coming.

“When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times." (Matt. 16:2-3).

They also won't know about the crowns they could have won during their life as a Christian because they were never taught about them. The same goes for the Lord's admonition to store up treasure in Heaven rather than on Earth (Matt. 6:19-21). Having been so focused on having a good life here, they will have made no preparation for the life to come.

Many of them will enter eternity with little or nothing to show for themselves. Paul said they will still be saved, but only "as one escaping the flames" (1 Cor 3:10-15). Their cries of “No one ever told us” will not help, because even though their teachers will be judged for this failure (James 3:1) it will be too late for anyone to go back and try again.

If any of this applies to you, rejoice in your excitement about the nearness of the Lord's coming. In doing so, you're earning the Crown of Righteousness. But don't forget to thank Him for also giving you the time to try for some other crowns as well. For more detail on how to win your crowns go Here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Forgiven and free!

Reblogged from: servehiminthewaiting.wordpress.com

On the wings of the morning He quietly comes
Lighting nearby, patiently waiting
Dis-ordered thoughts begin to wander
Soon upon waking, toward tasks ahead
Spirit is tethered, grounded by gravity.
For life itself is very grave
Every struggle becomes a link
In the chain, growing heavy
And still He waits.   I know He is near
And then He speaks: “Why do you carry these?”
So as not to leave them littered along the way
How long have you carried them?
My, I couldn’t say.  Some of them are so old I feel they’ve always been there.
What good are they?
Good? What do you mean?
Why did you not lay them down?
I thought I was meant to keep them.
But why would you think that?
Well, they bear my name
Are you certain?
Last I checked!
Checked lately?
Well, no, but I count them pretty often
What on Earth for?
A habit by now, I suppose. Keeps me humble.
You know!  Grounded!
Oh, I get it, restrained, repressed?
Yeah, something like that, I guess.  I mean, it feels like that sometimes.
Why would you want that?
I don’t want to be.  I just have been for just about as far back  as I can remember.
As far back as you can remember, or as far back as you dare to remember?
What’s the difference?
The difference is, I created you for more than this. You knew that once upon a time!
Yes, I know.  “Someday” I’ll be free from this sin nature and…
No, even now! Cast thy burden upon Me, and I shall sustain you.
Yeah.  I read that.
I don”t deserve for You to carry my load
That’s true!

Look at Me! Do you see anyone here who condemns you?
I condemn me!
I see.
Do you know what the word “deem” means?
To reckon something as being so?
That is pretty close, but more succinctly, it means “to judge”.
Do you know what redeemed means?
I guess that would mean “to judge again”?
You were deemed guilty but once you repented and asked for salvation, you were re-deemed to be “not guilty”.  Do you know that being “not guilty” is not the equivalent of being innocent?  “Not guilty” merely means that no punishment will be accounted to you for the crime.  As I said to Job, “I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.  Wilt thou also dis-annul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?” I have declared you “not guilty”, yet you persist in self-condemnation. Who is right, Me or you?
You are, Lord
Where is your Bible?
Right here.
Open it to John 8:36 and read to Me what it says.
If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, then ye shall be free indeed. I know, Lord, but…
I don’t see a but in that verse.
Ok.  What about everything else?
What else?
Our life seems like an endless series of “unfortunate events”, trials, setbacks, obstacles, whatever you want to call them!  It feels so relentless.  What are we doing wrong?
These “other things” you speak of, the trials, who has told you that they come due to something you are doing wrong? These things are so, that My works might be displayed in you. (John 9:3)  In my winnowing I separate wheat from chaff, using the wind of adversity to blow off the chaff, which is just an impurity, and retaining in you that which is good. On the other hand, Satan desires to sift you! (Luke 22:31)  Sifting is agitating in a way that shakes out all that is good, so that the only thing that remains is the bad.  He doesn’t touch your life without my permission.  What he means for evil, I use for your good.
I have prayed for you.  Right now, chaff fills the air, the shaking and the tossing feel turbulent, but trust Me.  I will complete the good work which I have begun in you.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Israel, The Church, And The Hebrew Roots Movement

This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley
Reblogged from  gracethrufaith.com/selah

I have always been a strong advocate of the idea that there is much to be learned about our Christian faith by studying the Old Testament, and especially the  commandments and traditions surrounding the Feasts of Israel.  Having served for a time as the leader of a Messianic congregation where we observed these feasts in their prescribed manner, I saw how dramatically they reveal the Messiah.  In my opinion, Christians who don’t understand or appreciate the Hebrew origins of our faith lack the perspective this knowledge brings us.

Sadly, many in what’s now being called the Hebrew Roots movement seem to be going to extremes with this. It’s like they’re trying to become the polar opposite of Replacement Theology. (Most of you know that Replacement Theology claims the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan due to Israel’s rejection of the Messiah). Where Replacement Theology claims the only place for Israel is as part of the Church, some in the Hebrew Roots movement assert that the only place for the Church is as part of Israel.

While Hebrew Roots appears to teach that because of the Lord’s death, obedience to the Law is a privilege and not a requirement, a number of its teachers seem to be going well beyond that. They claim that in fact Torah observance is a requirement for all believers. Some have also abandoned the Greek based New Testament in favor of translations from Aramaic texts, due to alleged errors in the Greek based texts. They say those who call the Lord by His English name (Jesus) are actually worshiping a pagan god, which according to them makes traditional Christianity a pagan religion. They want us to believe that the only acceptable name for the Son of God is Yeshua (His name in Hebrew), and the only acceptable way to worship Him is by obeying the Torah and observing the Feasts of Israel.

(One of the favorite tactics used by people on both ends of the spectrum who can’t find support for their beliefs in the Bible is to say it wasn’t translated correctly. And yet the best scholars of each generation have poured over the ancient manuscripts to give us the most accurate translations possible. There are about 5600 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament in existence, and cross checking has shown their consistency to be over 99%.  In other words all these ancient Greek manuscripts essentially say the same thing. For additional support there are 19,000 early manuscripts in other languages. This exceeds the manuscript base for any other ancient book by a very wide margin.

Most reasonable people would agree that for all practical purposes our New Testament is an accurate rendering of these early manuscripts.  Therefore the only conclusions we can draw are that either 1) all these scholars have somehow committed identical mistakes in their translation efforts, or 2) they’ve all participated in a massive conspiracy to mislead us that has spanned 2,000 years, or 3) the people who say the Bible is translated incorrectly because it doesn’t support their position are wrong.)
But even more importantly, neither Replacement Theology nor Hebrew Roots seems to recognize that Israel and the Church are uniquely different and that both have roles in the fulfillment of end times prophecies that are mutually exclusive.

Give Us Some Examples

In the Old Testament, God promised Israel that He would return one day to dwell among them in their land on Earth forever (Ezekiel 43:1-7).  In the New Testament, Jesus promised the Church that He would come back and take us off the Earth to be with Him in His Father’s House (John 14:1-3).  Both these promises will come true, so Israel and the Church will fulfill their prophetic destinies in different locations.

The purpose of the rapture of the Church is to remove us from the time and place of the end times judgments that will take place on Earth (1 Thes. 1:10, 1 Thes. 5:9, Rev. 3:10).

The purpose of the end times judgments is to completely destroy all the nations to which Israel has been scattered (Jeremiah 30:4-11) and to purify Israel in preparation for the coming Kingdom (Zechariah 13:8-9).

The Millennium For Israel

The primary purpose of this Kingdom (known to the church as the Millennial Kingdom) is to give Israel its long promised Kingdom Age, although the entire millennial world will benefit from it. After the Lord returns, Earth will be restored to the condition it was in when Adam was created (Matt. 19:28, Acts 3:21). This will include restoring peace between man and the animals, bringing back Earth’s original garden-like environment with its world wide sub-tropical climate, eliminating foul weather, killer storms, earthquakes and extremes of heat and cold.

Israel will be the preeminent nation on Earth during the Kingdom Age, and surviving tribulation believers and their descendants from all nations will come to Jerusalem to learn the ways of the Lord. He will settle their disputes, making war between nations a thing of the past.

The promised land will blossom as never before. The desert and wastelands will be transformed into a garden paradise so lush and beautiful that people will know its been transformed by the Lord himself. Everlasting joy will crown their heads while sorrow and sighing will flee away.

The wealth of neighboring nations will pour into Israel. Camels will be brought from Midian. Gold and incense from Sheba will adorn the Lord’s Temple in Israel. Flocks from Kedar and Nebaoith will be received as offerings on His altar there. (Midian and Sheba were descendants of Abraham and Keturah, the wife he took after Sarah died. Kedar and Nebaioth were sons of Ishmael. Their descendants are all part of the Middle Eastern Islamic nations of today.) The ships of Tarshish (Great Britain) will bring gold and silver from afar. Any nation that refuses to serve Israel will be utterly ruined by divine decree.

Although death will still occur among natural humans, the span of man’s life will begin increasing again to approach those of the Genesis patriarchs. Sickness and disease, those by-products of sin, will be greatly reduced. It appears the population of Earth will be sustained by their return to an agrarian economy, but with all the obstacles Adam faced gone as the curse of Genesis 3 will finally be lifted. The land will become so rich and productive that one season’s crop will barely be harvested before it’s time to plant the next one. Every man will easily produce enough for his family’s use, and enjoy doing it. None will labor unproductively, or for the benefit of others. Children will grow up without fear and adults will grow old in peace (A summary of Isaiah 2:1-5, 4:2-6, 35, 41:18-20, 60:10-22, 65:17-25, Amos 9:13-15, Micah 4:1-8, Zech 8:4-5).

The Millennium For The Church

Meanwhile, life will be far different in the home of the Redeemed Church.  Although the Kings of the Earth will bring us their splendor, no unbeliever can ever set foot in the place, nor even a believer in his natural state. Our mansions in the sky will be built of the purest gold as will the streets that run before them, their foundations made from precious stones. There will be no Temple in the New Jerusalem because the Lamb of God will dwell there and is our Temple. The energy source that will light and warm us is the Glory of God, and our radiance will in turn provide light for the nations of Earth. (Rev.21:9-27)

Other than calling us Kings and Priests, the Bible doesn’t mention any kind of work for us. Our glorified bodies will have been released from their dimensional bonds, allowing us to appear and disappear at will, traveling back and forth through time at the speed of thought as we plumb the limitless delights of God’s Universe (1 John 3:2). No detail will be overlooked where our comfort and happiness are concerned. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Rev. 21:4), only the endless joys of exploration and discovery. As it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)

Our eternal home is not on Earth, but it’s not at the Throne of God either. Coming down out of the heavens but never landing on Earth, our home could be called a low orbit satellite in today’s terminology. 1400 miles high, wide and deep, it wouldn’t fit in Israel, let alone Jerusalem. If we did touch down on Earth we’d need a space equivalent to the area from Maine to Florida to the Midwest in the US, or all of Western Europe from Sweden to Italy. The New Jerusalem will be over 4000 times as tall as the world’s tallest building. Being nearly 2/3rds the size of the Moon, it simply won’t fit anywhere on Earth.

One God, Two Destinies

So the destiny of Israel has its place outside of the Church and the destiny of the Church has its place outside of Israel. The two are not the same and were never intended to be seen as such. The only thing these two groups will have in common is their belief that Jesus (Yeshua) died for their sins and rose again on the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

But just as gentiles who converted to Judaism in Old Testament times became part of Israel, Jews who convert to Christianity in New Testament times become part of the Church. No matter what our background happens to be, conversion to Christianity makes us a new creation, neither Jew nor Gentile, part of an entirely new race of mankind.

Paul explained it this way. His (God’s) purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace,  and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility (Ephes. 2:15-16)

Calling it a mystery previously unknown on Earth. He said, This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus (Ephes. 3:6).

In the beginning there was one classification of mankind. But in calling Abraham, God created a new classification. From then on there were two, Gentiles and Jews, and they are forever different. It remained that way until the cross, when as Paul explained, a third classification was brought into existence. Taking some from among the Gentiles and some from among the Jews, but making them different from either, God created a new classification called the Church. No matter what their former status was, from Pentecost until the Rapture everyone who comes to faith in the Lord becomes part of the Church and will inherit the Church’s destiny.

Those who choose to express their gratitude for the free gift of salvation through living by the Torah are free to do so. In the same way, those who choose to express their gratitude by striving toward the victorious Christian life described in the New Testament are free to do so. But anyone who teaches that either form of expression is required to achieve or maintain their salvation has run afoul of clear Biblical instruction to the contrary.

Paul was a great Jewish theologian who, because of the revelations he received, had a better perspective on this than anyone before or since. He admonished us to go beyond “mere” salvation to battle for victory over the flesh (1 Cor. 9:24-27). But in some of the clearest statements in the New Testament he said,
No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin (Romans 3:20).

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day (Colossians 2:16).

I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? (Galatians 3:2-3).

There’s Nothing New Under The Sun

This disagreement over the proper response to God’s gift of salvation is not new. In the earliest days of the Church there were those among the Jewish believers who insisted that the only path to salvation for Gentiles was to first put themselves under the laws and practices of Judaism. The council of Jerusalem put that idea to naught and authorized Gentiles to be received directly into Christianity. Still the “Judaizers” followed Paul from city to city trying to undo what he had done. Later, Gentiles who called themselves Christian forced whole communities of Jews to convert to Christianity upon pain of death. Both of these efforts were thought by their proponents to be pleasing to God, but in the end we can see that neither was.

That’s because when God looks into our future it’s not Jews and Gentiles He sees.  It’s Israel and the Church.  Each has its unique origin and each has its unique destiny. Whether it’s called Replacement Theology or Hebrew Roots, or anything in between, the idea of making either one a part of the other is man made and cannot be supported in Scripture. Selah 04-20-13


Written and posted by Jean-Louis.

Going astray spiritually is as easy as not paying attention to the road sign on a freeway interchange, letting oneself get distracted and taking the wrong exit. I know from first hand experience because I did it and took a trip in the wrong direction that lasted 14 years.
We should be careful who we let write on the tablets of our hearts.

The Lord Jesus himself in the parable of the sower told his disciples: He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 13: 9).
Then in Marc 4:24, talking about His light in us, Jesus warned his disciples: CONSIDER CAREFULLY WHAT you hear (Mk.4:24).

In Matthew´s parable, Jesus also talks about the fourth person who receives the seed, hearing and understanding. This is HOW TO HEAR with the understanding that comes from God and his word:

  My son, if you accept my words
    and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
    and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
  from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:1-6.

In Luke 8:18,  again talking about the light, Jesus calls his disciples to "consider carefully HOW YOU LISTEN". Then, he adds something that should cause us to look at our hearts and let us be examined by the searchlight of the Spirit in those words: "whoever doesn´t have, EVEN WHAT HE THINKS HE HAS will be taken away from him.

Could Jesus be talking about the light that one  thinks he has, maybe because somebody misled us into believing that they had the light and that if we followed them and their teachings then we would partake of their special spiritual knowledge and revelations. Their light and teachings would spread throughout the world and bring the rule of the Kingdom of God through great revivals and theocratic government? Great boasts are being made these days! Who wouldn´t want to be part of such spiritual effort. Conquering the world for Christ! 

Remember there is one who is the enemy of our souls who disguises himself as an angel of light. 

Here is what John 1: 6-9 says about Jesus and John the Baptist who was to bear witness to Jesus-Christ and whose ministry of preaching repentance and announcing the first coming of Christ our Lord and Savior.     
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 

If Jesus is the true light, then there is a false counterfeit light.

Have we been deceived or allowed ourselves to be deceived ? Is it possible that we live in denial even when the truth and the reality of when the false seeds, that have been sown, and the false lights have been allowed to grow within the church for more than a century are now bearing a rotten fruit and caused spiritual blindness but for everybody who has eyes to see and ears to hear? 

The Book has already been written. The Bible is the Word of God our only authority to judge everything we hear, see and experience, our reference. The Holy Spirit who breathed the words written by the writers of the Bible and who now indwells us believers will never contradict himself. 

In John 16:1 Jesus warned his disciples: "All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. "

All this refers back to the teaching about the Holy Spirit in chapter 15 who is introduced to us as " the Counselor" who is to be with us forever, the Spirit of Truth. 

Later on, in John 18:37, Jesus acknowledging that he was King made this remarkable statement:" In fact for this reason I was born and for this I came into the world: to TESTIFY TO THE TRUTH. 
Everyone who is on the side of the truth listens to me." 

Well, Pilate was not interested in knowing what love is? He asked what is truth" in verse 38. 

Jesus could have talked about love in these terms further condemning Pilate: my Father loves me because I lay down my life .. of my own accord. This command I received from my Father. John 10:17-18.

Everybody talks about God is love and then come the lies of not including the whole counsel of God as we are commanded to do.

Truth and love go together to provide balance in our walk with Jesus and when we proclaim the Good News.

Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. Psalm 40:11 KJV
Instead, speaking the truth in love... Ephesians 4:15

Other examples of the essential balance found in God´s word: 
John 1:17 the law was given through, grace and truth came through Jesus-Christ.

The Lord Jesus himself who is our Savior, perfect Love in his essence and nature, the Way, the Truth, the Life is described in these terms in John 1:14: And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Now this balance applied to worship:
“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” NIV John 4:21-24

Truth is paramount and essential in these days of great delusion, deception and spiritual drought and death from thirst for the truth of the Word of  God. We simply cannot preach only love and grace at the detriment of truth because we want to be more gracious, compassionate, more generous, more merciful than he is. We have to represent Him faithfully as he has identified and revealed Himself to us throughout the pages of the Book He has given us. We have to speak the whole truth.

How easy and convenient to rob the words of Jesus of their power and lessen the impact on the heart! 

How many times have we heard the statement" you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free"? Free from omitting the parts that we don´t like and keeping the ones that tickle our ears and send our heart palpitating, our head banging, our feet jumping and our bodies gyrating? ! No way!

Jesus was talking about keeping his teaching, thereby showing that they were true disciples, then the rest of the verse follows. 

A half truth is a lie in this case because it is used by people who misquote and distort the Word of God. I have even heard this verse used by New Agers, Western hindu cultists. Combined with this other verse in 2 Timothy 3:16:
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" and the perfect trap is set to deceive the person who is not born again or rooted, established and a regular reader of the Word with Holy Spirit discernment. Of course in quoting the Scripture out of context, they make a case for unqualified worship and service to any deity and any scripture since the verse mentions "God" and "All scripture", to them meaning Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim or any in the smorgasbord of religions we are free to choose. 

In Amos 8: the Sovereign Lord declares: "the days are coming when I will send a famine through the land (Israel although I believe it applies to any individual and nation)....a famine OF HEARING THE WORDS OF THE LORD.   

If it is fireworks, supernatural manifestations, counterfeit signs and wonders, that you are looking for, searching the world over for the latest falling of gold dust, diamonds, fire moves of the spirit, kundalini Hindu yoga power impartation from an apostle or prophet practiced in some charismatic churches, then all you have to do is take your eyes of Jesus and the Bible and you will sure to find what you want.

But remember there is a price to pay at the end and also in this life. 

Is it not enough for us to be in the process of being made conformed to the image of Christ?

Here are the words of warning from Paul to the Corinthians:

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. 2 Cor 11:3,4.

Finally, here is a scripture from Isaiah 50:10-11. that encapsulates what I have been writing. 

These are the words of the instructed, obedient servant our Lord Jesus-Christ through the lips and the pen of the prophet: a clear contrast between 2 groups, those who fear the Lord, obey His word, trust in His name and rely on Him and the other group who trust and walk in their own false lights, their own "strange fires" so to speak and the ones who spark movements for other people to follow. 

 Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
    who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
    and rely on their God.
11 But now, all you who light fires
    and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
    and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
    You will lie down in torment.
Isaiah 50:10-11 (New International Version)

If I were in these peoples´s shoes, I would pay attention to the warning and tremble at those words. Fortunately, in his mercy, the Lord has provided the way of repentance and restoration even to the worst sinner among us (Psalm 51) and Isaiah 66 which reads:

Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. KJV

Who is writing on the book of your life?


To learn more about false teachings in the church, click Here
For a personal testimony and prayer: click Here  and Here
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