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WORDPRESS (or who knows) HAS TRASHED THIS SITE

I don’t know why, or how and editing of graphics is impossible. It is not a money thing. You can still do a topical search however. Post content was not violated.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Back in 2000 I preached at a Methodist church. The scripture for that Sunday was this:

Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.

I feel sure the congregation was confused as I never discussed the scripture until the last minute when I said, “Peace will come to Jerusalem when the Prince of Peace comes to Jerusalem.”

Now more than ever my sermon could be called a prophecy. Never has the peace of Jerusalem seemed more endangered. Some modern prophets believe Jesus (Yeshua) will be accepted by the Jewish people in the next few years.  Of course that is not all Jewish people just as not all Christians believe the same thing.  

Israel is in a constant state of war, 40 years of war. https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-edit-the-other-cold-war-20191104-w46sjswy5jeophunlttyzt3plu-story.html

Places where children congregate, like schools and hospitals, have bomb shelters and people have jackets to protect themselves.

We are told to pray, “Come Lord  Jesus,” Revelation 22:20  [ I Am Coming Quickly ] He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Prophets do not agree on when Jesus will return but all agree it will be in this century. I have no predictions but I do hope I will still be here when it happens.

Why Your Prayers May Not Be Answered

While there are dozens of Biblical reasons for your prayers hitting the ceiling and apparently going no where, there are a few at the top of the list.

Do you have standing with God?

This is a legal term. If you take a case to court, the judges will first determine if you have the right to bring a suit. They call this “standing,” meaning that you have a right to state your cause in court based upon your stake in the outcome.

Here is an example. Years ago I told my husband that I didn’t want third child. We had two girls and my first child was such a handful I did not see how I could possibly take on another. My husband, without telling me, prayed for a son and a year later here comes a baby boy.

My husband had standing before God to ask for a son. First, we were legally married. Second, the husband is the head of the home and can ask for anything that will enhance the home and our combined lives. Because God regards us as one flesh, the husbands’ prayers for his wife are actually stronger than anyone else’s.

I could pay you have a son, and there would be no harm in that, but I have no standing before God because we are not related in any way. However, if you ask me to pray that you have a son, that gives me standing before God to interceded for you. Better still, if you are a woman you ask God yourself. But you could only make that request if you are legally married because God honors those laws of man which do not conflict with His laws.

No “standing” for something antithetical to God’s word

I am not permitted to pray that you have an abortion, because the murder of babies, either inside or outside of the womb is strictly forbidden for every human being regardless of background, religion, or national identify. God promised to destroy the entire nation of the Canaanites, the worshipers of Molech the abortion god, 3,500 years ago and He still means business today. God has a long memory.

Doctors have greater standing to pray for patients. Some believers will only seek out medical personnel who pray for their patients. A legally elected leader of a nation who prays for his people publicly or privately has great benefit. Collections of the prayers of American presidents can be found in books. But other elected leaders also have standing to pray for their citizens. God has honored elected officials calls for days of fasting and prayers for the nation when we were under great threat of harm.

Whose prayers are heard?

Psalm 102:17 God will turn to the prayer of the impoverished; he won’t despise their prayers. Economic stress is one of the chief ways God gets your attention. It is good to know He is listening.

God asks us to pray about evil activity. Psalm 141:5 Instead, let the righteous discipline me; let the faithful correct me! Let my head never reject that kind of fine oil, because my prayers are always against the deeds of the wicked.

Notice that we are not to pray for the destruction of the person; God will handle that in due time. We ask that the deeds of the wicked be judged. Next time you see a pedophile being sentenced to prison you can say the deeds have been judged. Jesus warned his disciples about praying down judgment on individuals. The deeds, not the individuals, are to be judged.

Luke 9: 51 As the time approached when Jesus was to be taken up into heaven, he determined to go to Jerusalem. 52 He sent messengers on ahead of him. Along the way, they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival, 53 but the Samaritan villagers refused to welcome him because he was determined to go to Jerusalem. 5When the disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to consume them?” 55 But Jesus turned and spoke sternly to them, 56 and they went on to another village. Calling down fire refers to judgment prayers.

Whose prayers are ignored?

The wicked have no standing. Psalm 141:5 Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.

Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. This scripture points out that no donation to the church or other work of God can compensate for your sin. Repentance and forgiveness alone wipes the slate clean.

The Lord’s prayer brings this principle out. You ask for forgiveness first before asking for any blessing either on yourself or others. In Matthew 6 we find the prayer:

“Pray, then, in this way:

Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

11 ‘Give us this day [e]our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from [f]evil[g][For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]

Then Jesus adds this postscript, emphasizing that forgiveness puts us in right standing before God and verifies our prayers.

1For if you forgive [h]others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive [i]others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

Proverbs 15:29 The Lord is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. This scripture emphasizes that you must already know of a sin that you have committed or are now committing. David prayed, “Cleanse me of secret faults.”

We really do not know the truth about ourselves. But God is gracious and lets us know little by little. You will find that the most mature Christians are those who have a good sense of their own lack, while at the same time having the greatest faith in what God can do. And that is the final secret for prayers – faith in what God can do.

Religion is Not Faith

The Epoch Times tells us Americans are going to church less but are more religious. https://www.theepochtimes.com/americans-and-the-world-are-becoming-more-not-less-religious_3003424.html

Public identification of a faith

The article points to attending religious services and the fact that now four out of five people identify with one of the world’s great faiths. But religion is not faith. Religion is a process of addressing religious concepts. When you tell your mother you are brushing your teeth each day “religiously” she knows you mean that you are faithful to do what she required when you were seven years old. And hopefully you also have faith that with consistent brushing you will forestall any dental emergency or surgery.

But that the faith that is presented by any one religious system may or may not be inside your inner most being, and something for which you are willing to die should that be required. Faith is measured by its being tested, not by its being followed in some kind of public acknowledgement.

Faith is inside; religious is outside

And that is what it should be after all. Faith is the substance (which no one really sees) of something already hoped for, and that hope as well is not visible to outside viewers.

Abraham is the father of the faithful. He is not the father of the Faith. God fathered the faith, The faithful are those who are full inside with faith and have proven themselves faithful over the fullness of time. Faith is not a one time thing.

Religions change. Faith does not.

Faith is always tested. Religions have tests too, but since they are run by men, that is human beings in authority, they change with the season. Faith does not change because it is based on the word of gd and He said, “I am the lord. I change not.” People who change Christian doctrine to suit themselves need to re-read that sentence. You can change the word of God at your peril.

Secular adaptations of the faith are failing

The article also notes that the secularization of some churches who lose members in the process. Or perhaps they attract new members who want their sins endorsed. No matter. The Bible says in the last days there will be a division and people will take sides. We see that everywhere across the planet.

What it Means “to Honor Your Father and Mother”

To some ethnic groups the idea of reverence and submission to one’s elders is basic to society. In China elders even have the right to demand a child marry, and often to whomever they chose. Parents also expect the new couple to take care of the son’s father and mother in their old age, but not the mother’s family. This has led to the abortion of girls. To counter this the Chinese communist bureaucracy allows those couples who have a girl initially to conceive a boy for a second child to guarantee them a pension.

Other societies are equally demanding; Hispanic groups still exert some influence on family choice. I saw many a foreign-born mother taking over where she did not have God’s lawful authority. God’s command to Adam and Eve was the man is to leave father and mother and cleave to the wife to create a new home. (Genesis 2:24) The parents’ authority is over. Having parents select a mate all seems so old-fashioned to Americans who have actually taken personal choice to wild extremes, and the number of divorces should reflect that quickly.

Chinese anchor babies

This accounts for some immigrants to the USA immigrating to allow personal choices quite outside of employment or political freedom. Many Chinese mothers live in San Francisco hotels to have a baby in America to permit the child to claim American citizenship.

The ancient Hebrew Bible, known the world over as God’s word to mankind, gave 10 commandments. The fifth of these was to “honor one’s father and mother.”

One Commandment has a promise

But God doesn’t leave it there. He says there is a promise attached saying “In order that your days (not the parent’s days) may be long in the land I have given you.” Hebrews, like most tribes of people, prefer to stay in their own land rather than be relegated to a nation that may not appreciate them.  Notice that your parents are not guaranteed a long life – you are.  Notice that a long life is not guaranteed in a foreign land, only Israel.  No wonder thousands have returned to that homeland since 1948.

Honor is not love

That leaves us to examine the tricky word “honor.” To Americans it tends to mean respect, even deference, maybe also obedience. And on this word many fail to take heed. Bad parents abound, living in addictions, violence, crime, giving out unreasonable punishment, and unable to control their emotions or tempers. And you will hear children from these homes tell you that honor when defined as respect or even love is something they cannot provide.

But the word honor is not respect, not deference, not love or like, and if it involves drinking or drugs, not obedience either. At this point we need to understand why God chose the word “honor.”

Honor’s old-time meaning referred to money or care. We hear it occasionally in the word “honorarium” to indicate a fee paid to a distinguished speaker, or to the person who wins a major award such as the Nobel Prize.

Honor means financial support. The children are to care for their parents in their old age. This promise also generates long life for them as well. It does not mean the sexually abused child must love; perhaps that might come from the in working of the Holy Spirit. But the child can take care, or see that others take care of an aged parent.

Children have an obligation to accept people as they are, and that includes parents. But this is not an acceptance or rejection for performance. The parents’ performance is not the issue. The issue is God’s blessing for you.

If your parent has failed in life, you do not need to approve. If that parent tried to kill you or make life a terror for you, lied about you or threw you out into the cold to make your own way, you are not expected to have warm feelings about them. You are only expected to see that they are not wards of the State.

Perhaps God in His mercy can help you actually love them, but that is not honor, it is not in the law, and it is not expected. That kind of acceptance is part of your growth, not theirs.

#honor #honour #10commendments #finances

What I Wish I’d Known at 30

Everyone eventually acts on principle – principles they may not really recognize in themselves, and often to their own hurt. I have a job no one else has. I sit like an eagle in a high perch and watch the human race.  I see patterns of behavior.

Learn how to think

People on the whole do not know how to think.  They know what they know and how to do what they do but when an emotional turmoil comes, the buggy comes off the rails. One student thought she looked better in pink rather than green and called that thinking. That is an opinion. Opinions may or may not be thought out.

What is out there includes slander, libel, accusations, polls, statistics, bias, emotions, mind control, deception, lies, delusion, bias, unverified information, cultural norms, conspiracy theories, and sales pitches. All demanding we think about them! Learning what your mind must trash is an urgent need.

And  people who hire and fire are unaware of these incipient problems in personnel, nor do they see it in themselves. When the minister runs off with the piano player they are shocked.  They should not be. It is a pattern of dealing with some other problem, not the one they believe it to be.

What principle do we work under

A man recently widowed told my son “Women come out of the woodwork when they know you are single.” Both men and women may think that their problems can be solved by something that does not solve problems. In the case of men, sex, and in the case of women, having a male around, is the answer to their problem. It is not.

No relationship no matter how positive solved any problem. Quite the contrary. Any new relationship in your life, good or bad, complicates things for you. Another solution is drugs or drink. Again, the cure creates a new disease more damaging than the original.

The search for the “new”

Another principle people cling to is the notion that they need a new (1) job (2) President (3) house or location (4) hobby (5) church or religion (drug or medicine) and I could extend this. I’ve know people who believe their problems are caused by Hispanics, or blacks or white people. I’ve worked with people who think the system they work in is flawed, that the debt level of the nation is the problem, that the water supply is contaminated or that there is a conspiracy to ruin the nation, the state, everything.

Please know that there are conspiracies everywhere at every time. The Catholic church wanted to kill Martin Luther but friends helped him escape. Many of England’s kings thought someone was trying to kill them. That went on for several hundred years and was true. No, the papacy is not your enemy. It is called life.

People get snookered by lies, by promises, by bad checks, by slander and libel. The Bible calls this “the daily evil.”

Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Life is not an end in itself

Life is the process of preparing for living eternally some place else. Years ago there was a popular song which intoned, “I’m going to live forever.” The lyrics were from “Fame,” a Broadway musical.

You will live forever

Of course you will live forever. It is built into the life you are now living. But where? In China, atheism is the state religion and required if you are a member of the Communist Party.

I was surprised to learn that Chairman Mao, the man who brought communism to China, believed in an afterlife. He bragged about going to a Chinese heaven with Karl Marx and other prominent communist leaders. He talked openly about the Christian heaven for Americans and white people.

When I asked small children what was God’s name they told me immediately, Shang Di, which means the person “Above all,” no different from our American definition.

The belief in an afterlife dominates human kind. But just where will that be? Those are decisions you make here. Blessed is the man who learns that early on.

How did communism become a religion?

Godfather, Saul Alinsky

Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was an American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing, a process of replacing representative democracy with a communist dictatorship.

His book Rules for Radicals. contain ways to create a state of total control:

There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.

Communists control 8 areas of living

1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people

2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.

3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

4) Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)

6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.

7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.

8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

How communism is a religion?

This community organizer seeks to remove from individuals all those areas of decision-making and life skills which are, for the Christians, the responsibility and blessings of God Himself.

  • how we teach our young,
  • how we relate in peace and harmony with others,
  • how we live together with others under a government,
  • how we spend out money and how we make our money,
  • how we select and pay doctors and medical care
  • to whom do we owe honor and allegiance
  • how we solve problems

Every aspect of life becomes the communists’ goal, and this is what they have now in Venezuela, North Korea, China (although the system is cracking and coming down), Yemen, North Sudan, some parts of Europe, and the Scandinavian states which embrace socialism, or Communism-Lite.

Control systems calcify

American schools and politics are increasingly infected with all of the above goals of the control freaks. But who benefits? Not the people, only the control freaks at the top of the pile.

Fear dominates people in power too long

Why do these nations fail? The fatal flaw is lack of dynamism, that is the ability to change. Systems of control become increasingly rigid and dominated by fewer and fewer leaders who fear loss of their power and add layer upon layer of regulation. The populace is stifled and eventually it comes crashing down, whether in North Korea or California.

To study government, look at what is missing

While the control systems are colorful, varied and diverse, the religions which support them are not complex. Religion boils down to who is in control – is it God or man? And that explains why communism is a religion.

In 1969, Hillary Rodham wrote a 92-page senior thesis for Wellesley College about community organizer Saul Alinsky

God’s Ace in the Hole

For my foreign readers, an “ace in the hole” is a hidden advantage or resource kept in reserve until needed. The word comes from the game of poker where the Ace of Spades is the highest valued card in the deck.  acespadesin hole

God requires Man to enter heaven based on the law – that is, he must acknowledge his belief in God by faith and through repentance (changing his mind about himself and his condition) and confession of Jesus as Lord he now has access to what evangelists call saved.  But as you might suspect, there are many who seem to slip into heaven by some back door.

God is Himself not under a Law

God is not under Law.  While He has promised to make good on all His word, He also has some private caveats of His own.

God keeps as His prerogative the choice of whom He will bless. The most well-known of these are the Beatitudes in Matthew which list the many ways God blesses.

Jesus  said:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, (this refers to those who know they need spiritual infilling)
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, (the meek means those people who do not exert their will on God)
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
This is God’s ace in the hole.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

God also has special blessings for orphans and widows.

Special blessings  allow God to by pass His laws

In actual fact many of these blessings, plus others throughout the Bible allow God to step in. The Jews realize that God saves some gentiles and refers to them as “righteous Gentiles” i.e. those whom God has approved but who have lived outside His formal law.

A person who ministers mercy to others is one  special category. A passage where this applies can be found in Acts 10 where Cornelius, a man who honored the Jewish God but who was not biologically a Jew, was visited by Peter who brought the baptism in the Holy Spirit to Cornelius and his entire household.

The Baptism is the New Testament sign of being under the covenant of Grace. That is, they were taken into the family of God despite their birth status and they received all that God had for them based on this man’s righteous acts.

BUT, what if Cornelius and his household had lived 100 years previously?

There would be no Peter to take the message, and no crucifixion of Jesus to open up the New Testament and His Church.  Nevertheless, on the basis of mercy God would have accepted Cornelius and his house.  This is why I, as a missionary, did not tell people their relatives were in hell.  I don’t know the mind of God on the subject, and the living, not the dead, are my responsibility in any event.

Why ministers say, “May God have mercy on his soul.”

At the end of many a funeral service the minister intones, “May God have mercy on his soul.”  This is the minister’s way of pulling up this ace.  If this person has not been living right, and the minister may even be a stranger to the dearly departed, he asks God to consider mercy and maybe God will.

But, if you are not walking right, don’t count on it.

Exodus 33:19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

So it all boils down to His will.

See also this post. If God sends no one to hell…

#salvation #blessings

New View of the Rapture and “Left Behind”

This makes sense to me.

If Jesus went to all that trouble to die on the cross for the human race and the earth as well, why would He leave it in enemy hands? and take the believers to heaven when it is easier to take the wicked and leave His earth to His people?

What if we have the Rapture theory backwards?

Thank you Dr. Craig @Reasonable Faith.com.

Here uis some up-to-date information about the last days. Click below.

https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/lori-arnold/anne-graham-lotz-trump-removing-troops-from-syria-could-lead-to-last-of-the-last-days.html?utm_source=ChristianHeadlines%20Daily&utm_campaign=Trending%20Now%20-%20ChristianHeadlines.com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=2983441&bcid=29556b454073904ab905ed94a68ae63a&recip=548412021%20

#rapture #church

Before You Buy that Thanksgiving Turkey

<ga.js>This happened when I was living in China.  I was in the mood to cook something at home.  I’d tried some local  mutton and no amount of cooking could turn what I had purchased into anything easier to eat than my American shoes.  Into the trash it went.halal-meat

Then I headed to a little meat shop around the corner, quite unaware that it was Muslim owned.  Little did I know that Muslims are not allowed to sell meat to “infidels” which, according to their religious system, I definitely am. After I saw him in his get up, I was glad to know why I was rejected and I left relieved.

It is against the New Testament rules to eat meat dedicated to a foreign god, in this case Allah.  The vast majority of Christians pay no attention to what they buy for meals, believing that the Department of Agriculture has things nailed down in terms of inspection.

However, we have never had to worry about our food being offered as a sacrifice to Allah until now.  Alas, the Butterball people have been allowing an Islamic priest to say prayers over our favorite turkeys when they are slaughtered, a clear violation of this passage.

This passage from Corinthians  is long but if we as Christians join in with idol worship, we can ruin our public testimony, even though we have no belief that our behavior  is wrong.  Let Paul explain it.  The Message version is very clear.

1 Corinthians 8:3-13 

1-3 The question keeps coming up regarding meat that has been offered up to an idol: Should you attend meals where such meat is served, or not? We sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know to answer these kinds of questions—but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds. We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows it all.

4-6 Some people say, quite rightly, that idols have no actual existence, that there’s nothing to them, that there is no God other than our one God, that no matter how many of these so-called gods are named and worshiped they still don’t add up to anything but a tall story. They say—again, quite rightly—that there is only one God the Father, that everything comes from him, and that he wants us to live for him. Also, they say that there is only one Master—Jesus the Messiah—and that everything is for his sake, including us. Yes. It’s true.

In strict logic, then, nothing happened to the meat when it was offered up to an idol. It’s just like any other meat. I know that, and you know that. But knowing isn’t everything. If it becomes everything, some people end up as know-it-alls who treat others as know-nothings. Real knowledge isn’t that insensitive.

We need to be sensitive to the fact that we’re not all at the same level of understanding in this. Some of you have spent your entire lives eating “idol meat,” and are sure that there’s something bad in the meat that then becomes something bad inside of you. An imagination and conscience shaped under those conditions isn’t going to change overnight.

8-9 But fortunately God doesn’t grade us on our diet. We’re neither commended when we clean our plate nor reprimanded when we just can’t stomach it. But God does care when you use your freedom carelessly in a way that leads a fellow believer still vulnerable to those old associations to be thrown off track.

10 For instance, say you flaunt your freedom by going to a banquet thrown in honor of idols, where the main course is meat sacrificed to idols. Isn’t there great danger if someone still struggling over this issue, someone who looks up to you as knowledgeable and mature, sees you go into that banquet? The danger is that he will become terribly confused—maybe even to the point of getting mixed up himself in what his conscience tells him is wrong.

Studying other religions

In addition, there is the issue to studying other religions.  We are told not to do it.  The same principles apply here too.  Someone who is not able to be discretionary about what he puts in his mind may become confused.  People with little spiritual foundation can easily get off track with occult information that they are not ready to absorb.  You are free to read those books but why would you if there is nothing there but religious junk food?

11-13 Christ gave up his life for that person. Wouldn’t you at least be willing to give up going to dinner for him—because, as you say, it doesn’t really make any difference? But it does make a difference if you hurt your friend terribly, risking his eternal ruin! When you hurt your friend, you hurt Christ. A free meal here and there isn’t worth it at the cost of even one of these “weak ones.” So, never go to these idol-tainted meals if there’s any chance it will trip up one of your brothers or sisters.”

What you are free to do and what you should be doing publicly are two different things. And you can apply this to some concerts and  musical events, plays and other creative venues that glorify evil in some measure.

Now back to turkeys. To me personally this is no big deal because I don’t like turkey and I never buy it for myself. But my children do.

But Paul does show how our public behavior can be a stumbling block.  Muslims need to know that Christianity does not accept any Muslim doctrine, and since many of them will be moving to the USA our public stance is going to be much more important.

If you think this is nutty, you can read more online about it at How do you like your Butterball turkey?

#Allah #Muslimfoodlaws #Butterball

The Five Worldviews

Political philosophy is based on assumptions about the nature of man. I mean here “Man” as generic not as gender/male.

The Western Worldview

Western governments assumed that man is an imperfect being and that he arrives on the planet flawed, and will live out his life doing both good and evil according to his education, genes, and environment. Judeo-Christian theology follows this assumption and Western governments worked on this premise ever since.

Kings, that is power brokers, took over because that is what power does, but after England (and Europe) went through centuries of wretched leaders and their cavortings, the Americans said no more, and devised a government based on this same assumption that man was not only flawed but that he required a government that recognized the flaws in all men and balanced out their lust and ambitions in planning governance, hence the US Constitution.

The Eastern Worldview

Eastern Man believes that humans are born into a system with a set position in the social order. Up until the Communist revolution in China, baby girls were not given names unless they were born into the aristocracy. Common folk named their girls Sister 1, Sister 2, etc. Communist egalitarianism stopped that. Women were now equal. (Aristocratic girls always were equal.) And everyone was part of a social class where they were stuck forever.

Chairman Mao didn’t do a lot of good but that change was smart. He also required a common language instead of the mishmash of dialects, a change which helped China to enter the wider world. Communism in China broke up the rigidity of this social order.

The Communist Worldview

The third political philosophy and view of man was given voice by Karl Marx who regarded everyone as having no spiritual dimension, but only an economic motive for being alive and staying alive. Philosophically this was founded on the Darwinian doctrine of original creation by evolution, a doctrine which is dying a death with the extensive advances in science. Evolution has only been verified as being inside creation not outside of it after 150 years plus.

But at the time it supported the idea that humans had no life after death and were only interested in the comforts of the flesh. And Europe, always being in a state of flux, sopped it up as well as many other nations where rigid leadership kept them in poverty and want. Communism eliminates at least philosophically any moral code which sounds like fun for a while, but eventually anarchy takes over and the dissolution of a society.

So communism was temporarily successful in many areas but because it failed to recognize the spiritual natural of man, has continued to decay as a choice. The visible collapse of communism in Hong Kong, China is a good example. It does not work for the modern world.

The Islamic Worldview

The Middle Eastern nations believe in the evil nature of man but Islam, which has its roots in Judaism, adds to that the doctrine that Islam will take over the entire world. You can see that this theology is not going to work for the balance of the planet. Most nations will fight off any takeover if they have the firepower.

Worldviews in Isolation

Some isolated societies were not touched by these assumptions. The Quechua Indians thought everyone was evil and going to eat them. Groups like this can’t last. They become destroyed by their own fear. Eskimo tribes lived isolated lives in great harmony, but these exceptions were always small.

There are your choices. You’ll notice it is all based on a belief about the nature of man. As long as these worldviews are in conflict we cannot and will not have international peace and harmony. Nations and individuals act and react based on what they believe in their heart of hearts.

The Bible says simply, “The heart of man is evil above all things and desperately wicked.” And this situation is the cause of wars and conflict from the lowest to the highest level of society.

The lesson we can learn from this is to identify our assumptions because the future of our own lives and that of our fellows will be determined by the one we choose.

#worldviews #Islam #communism #democracy #politicalphilosophy

How to Understand the Bible

One scripture does not make a theology

The number one is not a sum; it’s a lone number. Twelve is also a number.  Neither number is a sum.

But 1 and 1 = 2, and 10 and 2 = 12, hence a sum. Simple huh?

Here’s the key. The Bible itself says that the “sum of thy worth is truth.” This is found in the most accurate translation of the Bible, the New American Standard.

Psalm 119:160
The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.

In order for you to get a sum you will need two separate scriptures, and preferably three. When you have two or more scriptures working together you have a theology.

For example, the Bible says that Jesus came to save the whole world, which indeed He did. But that is not a sum. If you believe that alone you might walk away thinking Jesus saves everyone on planet earth.

You also need to know that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. That is called a conditional phrase. It adds a condition which man must meet before he is saved. So the sum of that is that everyone on the planet can be saved if he/she believes and you now have a tenet of theology. It’s a start. Put many tenets together and you get a creed.

Conditions apply to understanding

In fact virtually everything in the Bible has a condition attached to it. And that condition is faith. We must accept what God says by faith and then act upon that faith. Once we do, God confirms His word to us.

John 7:17 If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.

Believe first then see the results

Here is an example of conditional scriptures. “If you continue in my word you are my disciples indeed and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

I can’t tell you how many people tell me – you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Notice they substituted “set” for “make.”  “Set” indicates an event; “make” denotes a process.

Do not substitute your own word

But never mind. The real problem is they forgot the conditional part -IF.

Now you can start reading the whole Bible and not just parts, the parts you like. Watch the exact words exactly. Don’t patch in your own ideas and before long you’ll know what you are talking about.

Here is an example of taking one passage and ignoring another passage on the same point.  The Amish have separated themselves deliberately from the rest of the world. They refuse to use many modern conveniences; their dress and modes of transportation are different from the Americans, that they refer to as “English.”

Here is the passage they site:

Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,

This part of the verse the Amish obey. but the rest of the verse is:

so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

And this last half of the verse they ignore.  Obeying God may mean to be an airline pilot, a translator for the United Nations, or a beautician in Hollywood.  The call of God and obedience take precedence over any calls to making personal and corporate holiness more worthy than obedience.

Here is where many of us stumble. Not just the Amish. It is very easy to make things and rules more important than the inner man. God, after all, looks on the heart not on the outside. A heart can be pure, while on the outside a person works for a garbage collection agency. God does not want us focusing on externals. We will do that anyway!

Holiness is the missing element in the majority of Christian living where anything goes. That is not the heart God wants.

Obedience is to the whole word of God, not just the passage we like. If you ever wondered what God’s will is, there it is.

#mandarin #chinese #allemand #espagnol #cantonese #francais

PS “Cleanliness is next to godliness” is not in the Bible and neither is “God helps those who help themselves.” I’ll bet some mother thought that one up.

When Jesus advised “Mind Your Own Business”

The Message is a Bible translation known for its street language.  It is not a paraphrase partly because Eugene Peterson is such an accomplished scholar.

Here is where Jesus called out Peter for questioning Jesus about His relationship to another person.

John 21:20-21 Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved [called John] following right behind. When Peter noticed him, he asked Jesus, “Master, what’s going to happen to him?”

22-23 Jesus said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You—follow me.” That is how the rumor got out among the brothers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that is not what Jesus said. He simply said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you?”

This scripture is a clear call for us to spend less time on what God is doing with and to other leaders. My blog has been going on now for nine years and one of the major concerns of my readers has been “false prophets and false teachers in the church.” You’ll notice that I never identified anyone by name. That is not what God wants.

God wants us to know His word so well that we can spot fraud ourselves.

He does not want us to make lists of false teachers and their teaching. The FBI trains agents in how to spot counterfeit bills, not by showing them the phonies, but by only handling the right stuff. When they pick up a bad bill instantly their fingers recognize the fraud by the texture and feel of the paper itself.

Studying false religions is a waste of time

The Word makes a point of saying do not study the religion of unbelievers. Furthermore one is not even to speak the name of false gods, and considering the prevalence of the word Allah on TV shows this today would be nearly impossible!

Exodus 23:13 “And in all that I have said to you, be circumspect and make no mention of the name of other gods, nor let it be heard from your mouth.

Old Testament rules of morality apply to all

We are to honor the laws of the Old Testament while always remembering that keeping them is not a work to guarantee our salvation. We are only saved by faith in the Messiah. But the good advice of the Old Testament still applies to our daily affairs. Salvation is a process of always being open to the correction and leading of God.

A few weeks ago I saw my Congressman in his office. I went there with one purpose. A week later I see that it was God’s mission not mine and something quite different from my goals was on His Agenda. More and more I see myself being moved around the board to get stuff done while I am blissfully ignorant. (Maybe he thinks I’d mess it up if I knew more. I’ve been known to do that.)

Who can you expose

It is acceptable to identify someone who has wronged you personally; that is part of your testimony, and if he or she has not made things right or asked for forgiveness you are free to criticize openly.

Here is the Biblical example for that principle from Paul the Apostle:

2 Timothy 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.

However, the fact that you can do so that does mean you should do it. God is the one who is supposed to be governing your life, not the rules however clear they may be. Jesus saved His most acidic criticism for those people in the faith, the synagogue, and the church.

For those outside the faith He had nothing but love and acceptance. Perhaps He found that those with a little learning became dangerous things?

In doing some 10 hours of research recently I was annoyed and surprised to see how many educated people spend untold internet pages on lambasting someone else. Besides being unscriptural, it is also damnable to them.

The Old Testament warns not to criticize a servant to his master.

Proverbs 30:10 Do not malign a servant to his master, Lest he curse you, and you be found guilty.

God is watching people who take shots at others. And in more cases than I care to mention, the critics did not know their arguments against another were simply not true.

One man on TV recently made an error, but he seemed to be such a nice person I wrote him a letter and quoted the Bible passage he had messed up. I didn’t call him a false prophet which others might.  Examine yourself thoroughly before you venture into the sea of negativism; you do not know where God has led someone else and why.

God hates legalistic critics

These are the ones who shine a light on the faults of other ministers.  This is wrong as it puts men in charge of other people, and even an historical nincompoop knows that men cannot manage other humans very well. God’s purpose for the planet is His running things, that is why it is called the Kingdom of God.

#fasleprophets #falseteachers #error #falseministers

God’s Harvest

Acts 2:47 And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

It’s Autumn Festival Time in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Like a chorus girl Nature puts on her loudest clothes, as though warning us that she will be back someday. The locals sell crafts they made all summer, apple pies, and jellies and the mushrooms a retired guy collects from the woods. It’s the in gathering.

God promises His own Harvest

But what about the harvest of God? My Bible tells me that there are hundreds of souls being saved and that God is doing this daily, even though I do not see them or know where they are. Where are they?

I have a disabled friend who shops in the cheapest markets – his income doesn’t cover much in the way of food. He offers to pray for others. He does this everywhere he goes. Even his chiropractor gives him free time because he prays for all his patients when he is there.

The fact that we do not see it doesn’t mean God isn’t doing it, and that His people are not active. According to statistics, people are becoming more religious. https://www.theepochtimes.com/americans-and-the-world-are-becoming-more-not-less-religious_3003424.html

And persecution is on the rise too. https://www.theepochtimes.com/religious-persecution-a-global-crisis-needing-urgent-action-us-ambassador-says_3004405.html

Individuals become change agents

But where the interest in God is high, there also is the opportunity for you personally to act. A simple invitation is all you need – not a full blown sales pitch. You will be surprised at your results, sometimes months or even years later.

#evangelism

For Atheists

You say God does not exist? Whoopie! I’ve decided taxes don’t exist. I hate paying taxes. If they don’t exist I don’t have to pay!

We’ve only just begun. DNA – that does not exist. Male-female, that does not exist. Old age (I get to live forever) does not exist. Who knows where this can go.

The Difference between Being Born Again & Being Saved

This is the single sentence indicating what is required to be saved, that is to find that you are accepted into that group of human beings who will have a place in heaven. It does not indicate anything more than that although you find ministers add a great deal to it.

It has two conditional elements. Nothing God does with man is without conditions except one – that all men are NOT saved just by being born into this fallen world. That is the condition in which we find ourselves. People who do not like this condition must be born some place else, a situation we have not as yet identified.

Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and <if> in your heart you have faith that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

For the observer in this situation there is a separate condition which helps you recognize the validity of the salvation, because, after all, people can say anything easily, even glibly, and not be sincere. For that we have this verse:

1 John 4:2 This is how you know if a spirit comes from God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come as a human is from God.

A person should be able to say this: “I believe that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh.” I have tested this verse and it works. The person I asked to repeat this was not able to repeat it no matter how hard she tried. No matter, in fact, how hard I tried to get her to say it. She could not, indicating to me that she was not saved.

We have no right to tell people they are saved if they are not.

And we also have no right to tell people they are born again when they are not. For this to happen something quite different must occur.

John 3:There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a Jewish leader. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could do these miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.

Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born anew, it’s not possible to see God’s kingdom.”

Nicodemus asked, “How is it possible for an adult to be born? It’s impossible to enter the mother’s womb for a second time and be born, isn’t it?”

Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don’t be surprised that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ God’s Spirit blows wherever it wishes. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It’s the same with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The Kingdom is visualized in the spiritual eye

The result of bring born again is the ability to “see the kingdom.” Clearly this means to see with a spiritual eye. There is no external physical evidence of the kingdom of God. We must believe this by faith. And as we develop our spiritual senses, we come into more and more kingdom knowledge. Many people never see the kingdom. Of course they will after they die because the heavenly kingdom is indeed where Jesus is King.

But the Kingdom we talk about here on earth is internal. This passage describes heaven, but it also describes a place on this earth where people live in a risen state, because they have found that God is the same here as he is there, and they walk in newness of life. Galatians 3:

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

I know many black people who are simply not aware of being black. They are just children of God. They are at home in their own skin. They see themselves as spiritual beings doing God’s work and living out the plans God gave them. That is what it means to be a Kingdom person.

Non-kingdom people do not recognize Kingdom people. Non-kingdom people have qualifications – they look at a person as female, or of a different culture, or uneducated, or gifted, comparing themselves to others. Here is an example of what happens when a Kingdom woman and a Saved man have a confrontation.

Beth Meyer was scolded by John MacArthur who said she should not teach. John is a church person. Church members live under the rules of the natural world with employees, buildings, mortgages, leadership committees, and sometimes stratified liturgies. Those who work together in the natural world require rules.

Kingdom people do not. Kingdom people may have communion on Tuesday night in an Italian restaurant and it makes no difference. Kingdom people are not locked into the natural trappings of religion.

John MacArthur is part of the Church, that group of leaders who take the saved human beings which God supplies to them to teach and guide them into better living patterns. Kingdom people get their orders from the Holy Spirit not other humans.

https://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/john-macarthur-says-beth-moore-should-go-home.html

You can easily see how this confusion can lead to misunderstandings. A woman may marry a man who says he is a born again Christian but after a few years he starts running around with other women. She tearfully wants to know what happened.

“He said he was a Christian,” she moans, and indeed he was saved, just not born again, because the born again person is faithful to the moral law. And that is only one test of many.

How does this mix-up happen? The main reason is that we are all sloppy thinkers. The Bible is well-written and God had 4,000 years to clear up any typos or other problems in it. But we slide over verses, adding information and assumptions to them that are simply not there.

When we want to know truth we must go back to the book.

The Difference between Being Born Again & Being Saved

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