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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Living the Christian Life

In Hebrews 11:37-40 there is a truth worthy of notice for any man that will teach the truth, according to God. There are two kinds of prophets and the world knows only one of them. The first is the one that God speaks to about future events for the benefit of the world to know what is going to happen and the second is a teacher/preacher of the Word of God, giving life application to what God has spoken. I, because God called me, fall into the second class, I'm a teacher!

From the year of my fifth Spiritual Birthday I have been resisted because I have taught from the scriptures, just as my LORD called me to do after my second Spiritual Birthday. The difference between my first three years of teaching and the following fourteen are a matter of the audience. Little People are thirsting for knowledge and as long as you can give them an answer by next week they will stick with you. Adults, on the other hand, have already formed ideologies and are very resistant to those ideologies being scripturally incorrect. Many of the people are preachers and teachers that have attended liberal colleges for their Religious Instruction and they are stuck in their religion.

The problem with being religious is that that is not what God has seeks after. God had a relationship with Adam, He even spent the evenings walking in the Garden with him. In the case of Abraham, I'd like to examine one instance. Before the Angel of God sent the other two angels with Him to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18) He sat down and had a meal with Abraham. During the meal He and Abraham had a conversation about the Son, Abraham thought he would never have. As the Angel of the LORD was leaving with His Messengers, Abraham pleaded with Him for the lives of the righteous in the twin cities. God had a relationship with Abraham also. All of the Prophets and some of the Kings, i.e. David, had relationships with God similar to the one with Moses and God.

The very first Christians were Jews. The Roman Government even considered Christianity to be a sect of Judaism, so do I. The first Christian believers were still Jews, they taught in the Synagogue. Today they are known in the Christian Communities as Completed or Messianic Jews. The reason God set the sons of Israel apart from the world was so that He could and would be revealed to the world and through Jesus, that is exactly what has happened.

Shocking News! Jesus was not and is not a Christian, He was and He is a Jew. Jesus is a son in the lineage of David and the Throne, in Jerusalem, belongs, eternally, to Him. (See the first chapter of Matthew.)

Are these people that have a relationship with Jesus perfect? I cannot speak for the rest but this one, Bill Taylor isn't. Do I and the other “Self Righteous” people, having this relationship have a special privilege? Most assuredly not! Any person on this planet has access to the same relationship with God.

Mat 6:9 "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Mat 6:10 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:11 'Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Mat 6:13 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]' (NASB)

The above passage has been used by God to illustrate to, me, what He wants from us. In verse 9 we find we have a purpose in this life. Our purpose, above and beyond anything else is to worship Him. Whether we call him God, LORD, YHWH or any of the other names that are His, we are to do so in a worshipful manor. The follower of God is never heard to exclaim, “Well, J***s C****t!” nor does God damn any thing when we have made a mistake or we are upset. We, of all the people in the world must never, and I repeat never, be heard misusing any name that represents our LORD.

In verse 10 we learn that we are to yearn for the Kingdom of God so much that from the moment we are saved, or as soon there after as is possible, we begin to live in the Kingdom Way. It is not impossible to live in the Kingdom of God before we go to Heaven and God/Jesus does not want us to wait until then to begin living for and in the Kingdom. The method for living this life is found (now stick with me) in the Bible and is further explained in the best commentary ever written, the New Testament. (Ask any Jewish man and he will point you straight to the Bible, a.k.a. the Old Testament. When we have read the entire Bible, as we know it today, we can begin to live the Kingdom Way and as we continue to study the scriptures we will continue to grow more like Jesus.

In verse eleven we see that Jesus is teaching us to depend on nothing but God. A few years back a Priest of another sect of Christianity asked me where to find the scripture that taught us that God helps those that help themselves. When I told him that the idea was very unbiblical he became very upset and I had to give him Psalm 46:10 to show him the truth. He, like many, had been taught to believe that the idea came from the Bible but God demands our complete trust in Him and that we stand still and know that He is God. The idea that God helps those that help themselves is a mix of tradition and scripture and is a heresy.

Verse twelve teaches us the same thing that Matthew 7:1-5 teaches us. While the world loves to jerk the first verse of chapter seven out of context to silence the Christian with, this verse and the following four are teaching us to judge in the same manor that we wish to be judged. If we cannot forgive others, neither will we be forgiven.

And finally, in verse thirteen we see that we must depend on God to keep Satan and his lackeys off of our backs. We are to do this because we have sold our very lives to God and have held nothing back. We have recognized that we and all the universe belong to God. The default is a position that no man should ever seek after for Hell is not a club that is desirable.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Compassionate Action

Compassionate Action

God Takes Notice

Exo 2:23 Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God.

This is a very good example of what is going on in America today. And now that I have your attention, the very first resource that the Christian or the Jew should seek out is God. That is almost never the case. We, like the ancient Jew, do our best to endure or to correct the problem ourselves. We do not have a count on the time that Israel was in bondage before they cried out as a nation but when Moses was born they had been slaves for a long time and Moses was eighty years old when he led them out of Egypt. I feel safe in believing they were slaves for better than one hundred years. God knew they would finally get around to calling on Him and He had Moses in the wilderness herding his father-in-law's sheep, training for his appointed mission.

Exo 2:24 So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Exo 2:25 God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.

Actually, God had never taken His eye off Israel and He knew before He ever created the world the exact moment that Israel would call out to Him for relief. I and others feel that it is important to apply some unnoted context here. Because of the known nature of God and the known exceptions of the rules about mankind it is certain that over possible hundreds of years of slavery that individual sons of Israel called out to God for mercy and it is certain that God responded to that persons case and granted mercy.

These two verses are speaking to the sons and daughters of Israel as a nation, as a group.

God Discloses Himself

Exo 3:1 Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

Exo 3:2 The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.

When God performs a miracle there is no question that it is anyone but God at work. Moses was a Sheep Herder and there was no other human there at the time. Today there are many claiming to be miracle workers and as time passes they have been and they will be exposed by the local and national news medias. i.e. If a man places his hand on the forehead of a person, has prearranged catchers behind the subject and shouts, “In the name of Jesus...” and pushes the subject back into the waiting arms of the catchers, I defy anyone to show me in scripture where this is Biblical.

These false healers and public miracle “workers” are making a sham of Christianity and do great harm to believer and lost man alike. Johnny Erickson Tada was told many times that the reason she could not be healed was because her faith was not strong enough and struggled for years to get a grip on the truth of scripture and allow God to work His plan for her life. And when these men are repeatedly exposed in the media as being charlatans it makes witnessing to the the lost man ever more difficult. Moses knew when he had met the angel of the LORD and so will the Christian when he or she meets God. There are none like God anywhere.

Exo 3:3 So Moses said, "I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up."

Like Moses, the day I was first touched by my LORD I wanted to see about this. The perfect will of God (2Peter 3:9) says that it s the will of God that none should perish but that all should be saved. (B. Taylor paraphrase.) If that is true then it follows that every man, woman and child is called of God and the problem is that unlike Moses, people ignore the call of God.

Exo 3:4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."

Exo 3:5 Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."

The very moment that we turn to God He begins to deal with us and to teach us His ways so that He can finish the work He began and that we submitted to.

Exo 3:6 He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

God is never slow to identify Himself, He wants us to know him. He want us to be intimately related to Him.

God Takes Action

Exo 3:7 The LORD said, "I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.

Exo 3:8 "So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.

Although we might doubt and stray, God never does. He had not forgotten His promise to Abraham and He always intends to keep His promises.

Exo 3:9 "Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.

Exo 3:10 "Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt."

Moses had already attempted to change the fate and lot of one of the Israelites, only to end up a hunted man hiding in the desert. And Moses, having been raised in Pharaoh's house, knew the mind set of the rulers of Egypt and knew this was an impossible task for a man and yet that was what he first concluded that God was asking. Moses still had next to no experience with the ways of God and God had not yet commissioned him to even write the Law yet. He was not sure that he should trust God, so moses, like Abraham, had faith and God used him because of his faith.

God Works Wonders

Exo 3:19 "But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion.

Exo 3:20 "So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go.

God also knew that this was to be a task that Moses, without His aid could never pull off.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Genesis 1-3

I am often, falsely, informed, that the admonition to neither add to nor to subtract from the scriptures applies only to the Revelation of John. The following is not an exhaustive list but it should be enough to get my point across. Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:5-6, Revelation 22:18-19 and Galatians 1:6-12. And you ask, 'What is this about?'

The title of this string says it all, these three chapters have been made into one of the silliest controversies of my life time. If you ever wish to see Satan rolling with laughter at his handy work, just watch the people naming the name of Christ make fools of themselves over this one fundamental issue.

First and forever we serve the only Omniscient, Omnipotent Eternal God and finite man can never know more than our Heavenly Father has revealed to us. To attempt to define God is to attempt to fit Him into a box, it can't be done. To attempt to define what we think He meant to say or to imply is the greatest exercise in futility known to mankind and yet that is exactly what finite men are attempting to do today when they go to scientific theory and attempt to reconcile the scriptures to scientific theory.

Many will indignantly reply that the age of the earth is a scientific fact but that is at the very best, not true. Science, true science is established by duplicating a theory in a lab and establishing it as fact. You cannot form a universe in a lab environment and then watch it grow for a few billion years so what is falsely taught as fact in our high schools and colleges is at best an unproven theory and as per the Bible a lie.

The big problem with the universe being created in six 24 hour days is that man cannot do that, I wonder why?Confused? It has forever been man's goal to prove that the universe just popped into existence and began to grow itself when a mystical, super compressed, single piece of matter exploded. Of course my questions are then, 'Who put the matter there?' and 'Where did it originate from?' followed by 'Who set the charges?' and 'What type of explosive material was used?' and 'What type of detonator was used?' followed with 'Who pushed the plunger, squeezed the firing mechanism or lit the match?' These questions have a cute ring to them but the truth is that if God lied (I assure you, He did not) then all of these questions are not cute, they need answers.

The next issue is credibility. I don't know about most folks but I know about myself and the people that I grew up with and the men I lived with and watched die in combat and I know the folks I have worked with since that time. The lot of them are cheaters on their wives, their and my wives have cheated on me, save the Christian I'm married to now, and in general they're not a trust-worthy lot. On the other hand there is God. He took the descendants of Abraham, the smallest ethnic group in the world, and made them His people and He has never failed them. They have repeatedly failed God and still He loves and cares for them.

As for me and my house, we trust and serve God.