My brother’s blood cries from the ground

Back in the 1970s I met a poor Indian woman who lived in the woods; she had never been allowed to go to school so when God spoke to her we knew it was true because she could not read the Bible.  She frequently would quote scriptures she had neither heard nor read and her experience in churches was limited.

She told us a story of when she was three years old.  She knew she was the second child in the family and that her older brother had been born and cried continuously, but he died. She told her mother repeatedly that she could hear a baby crying down by the creek which bordered on the far end of the property.  This went on for several years.

Later as an adult she learned her father had killed the baby boy and dumped his body in the creek. Genesis 4:10 tells of God hearing the blood of the slain Abel crying from the ground.

Genesis 4:8-10 New International Version (NIV) 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[a] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

10 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.

My Indian friend had no knowledge of the scripture, but she certainly could hear her brother’s cries.  That is why we can say the “little children” are in the Kingdom of Heaven. They have access to truth from the other side of the grave.

Matthew 19:14
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

God gives you the desires of your heart? There’s a catch.

Psalm 37:4 says God will give you the desires of your heart and many people have flown away on this one, wishing for fame, fortune, good looks, and who knows what else – a Nobel prize maybe. But that is not the business God is into. He says elsewhere….. The heart of man is evil above all things and desperately wicked! Jeremiah 17:9 Certainly God is not willing to give an evil heart its desires.

So let’s go back to God’s processes. He said He wants first to take out your stony heart and put in a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 11:19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

Now after you have a new heart that can serve God He will give you some new desires to go with it. I wanted more than anything to be a missionary. I ended up in the Far East at a duty station that meant very little to me – I could see nothing much happening. Then God gave me the desire to go to mainland China.

It is a long story how that happened but that desire in my heart never went away. On the contrary, years pass and finally I was able to teach there. I would go back in a New York minute if the door were opened! My heart’s desire has not gone away. But God is the boss you know, so He sets the schedule.

God knows you better than you know yourself. All the transitory things of this world do not compare to the riches God can give you if your change your heart and follow Him. Once you let Him change your heart, new desires from Him will follow – so expect that to happen!

The Bible came in handy in a high school class

Years ago I was a substitute teacher in a local high school when I was just out of college with no experience with teens. They can be a drag. This school system had just integrated black and white schools and there was a lot of tension. During one class a girl complained that a boy had stolen her pencil. It did not appear she had another one. Then I remembered this story from the Bible:

16 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
19 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.” 22 The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.” But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.

23 The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’” 24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”

26 The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”

27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.” 28 When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

So I took the pencil and threatened to snap it into two pieces, telling them each could have half. The girl protested – Oh let him keep it, she said. Then I handed the whole pencil to her saying “I see it is yours,” and walked away.

The true owner of anything will not want to see it destroyed for any reason. The Bible is full of great ideas for explaining human behavior and helping you make decisions as this story did for me.

Why the US Embassy in Jerusalem is Important

If the United Nations decided one day to designate the USA the “New States of Canada, Mexico and America” we Americans would be disgusted. If these same nations decided that New York, not Washington D.C., was according to them the nation’s capital we would be hopping mad. But that is what has happened to Israel.

The Jews settled in the territory known alternately as Palestine and Israel in about 1,500 B.C.E., approximately 3,500 years ago.  They lost control of that land in 70 A.D. when Roman troops destroyed their capital city and the area became a nomadic land for generations. Israel’s ancient capital has always been Jerusalem.

In the 20th century the Balfour Declaration obligated the European nations to recognize the need for Jews to be safe in their own land. In May 1948 Jews and their homeland were restored as a consequence of World War 2 and the mass killing of Jews in Germany.

The territory never has been Palestinian; Palestine is what a group of former Jordanians tried to call this territory, now a political activist group which designated Tel Aviv as the capital.

The same reasoning is behind the decision to end US support of UNESCO.  No matter how much good it might do or can do refusal to include Israel means it is essentially unfair and funding should not continue until euqality is restored.

Returning the embassy to the City of David restores the original capital.  It is both historically and politically the right thing to do.

God supports Nationalism

The history of Man is one war after another, for land, for slaves (workers), for treasure under the earth, for ships others have made, or simply for bragging rights. Today we see Israel struggling against many millions of Muslims surrounding her tiny nation ready to gobble it up if they only could, but they won’t and they can’t.

If you read the Bible – and God jolly well believes what He wrote – you learn that the nations, their boundaries, their peoples and their languages are all pre-programmed by God. Israel is confident because she knows her nation was designed by God and He will protect it. They have to do the fighting of course, but they know God will guard his people.

Would that China knew this. Here is the verse of scripture.

Acts 17:26 From one man [Adam] he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.

China stole Tibet many years ago. It does not belong to them and the Tibetans are still mad about it. China fully believes she can take areas over without penalty, also Vietnam and Inner Mongolia. There has never been a real peace in those areas where China has her paws. Why should there be? If you are bucking God’s plans, do not be surprised to find out YOU are the one in trouble.

Japan tried to take sizable portions of China and did not get away with it. Japan was in China a long time and caused a great deal of trouble but in the end, she was gone and returned to her natural homeland. Right now Japan is looking to Mongolia for more land. Mistake!

Do not tamper with other people’s borders. America is finished with adding states. She has protectorates, tiny areas that fear neighbors will try to invade, but 50 is the number for Freedom and 50 states is a good stopping place.

Why Gun Ownership is a Religious Issue

My Chinese friend, reacting to the Law Vegas shooting, wanted to know why Americans do not outlaw guns at least in public places.

Dear Mark,

American law is based on two things – (1) Judeo Christian moral law and (2) 300 years of violence in Europe which demonstrated to the new American colonists that they didn’t want any part of European turmoil.

The result is the Declaration of Independence which puts the individual above all, and the people over the state or the government. Most people do not know this but after the Constitution was written many of the 13 individual colonies refused to sign it; they wanted the rights of the individual spelled out.

Our Constitution tells the government what it CANNOT do because we believe all rights come from God, not human beings. I have few fears about my neighbors; I have many fears about nameless, faceless government hirelings with too much money, power and weapons. This is one of the main reasons Trump won – and why he will be reelected.  He is protecting the nation.

First, The State cannot tell anyone what religion to follow.  This came about because Europe had religious wars for at least 300 years.  England was as messy as any of these.  So freedom of religion is in the First Amendment. The State cannot impose a religion or encourage one either. We even have religious people (Islam) in the USA whose purpose is to destroy our nation but they are free to attend that religion if they choose.  Fortunately for us it is a small group. If they actually disobey the law we have the power to control them by law.

The first amendment is first for a reason.  It is the most important.  It also mandates freedom of the speech and press.  That means anyone can print anything or say anything they want.  If they can get someone to pay for it- that is their business.  The amendment does not require the press to tell the truth which is a problem right now as our television especially tells only what they want us to hear, but large numbers of the population know this. I cannot kill the president but I am free to stand in the town square and tell everyone what an idiot he is.  No one needs to listen either!

The New York Times for the past 60 years has not been honest and it has cost them in readership.  Five years ago they had to fire 127 people.  The public has the right to decide what they will tolerate.  But all voices can be heard. You just don’t need to listen if you don’t want to.  If you don’t like it, don’t buy the paper!

The first amendment also says that the government cannot stop peaceful assembly which is why Americans have so many organizations and clubs – groups to raise money for sick friends, or groups looking for business, turkey shoots to raise money for a charity in Africa, or for freeing prisoners in Yemen, and on and on.  The teachers have groups, (English teachers, science teachers, swimming teachers, you name it) local and national, the teamsters, the carpenters, the various unions, ball teams and bridge and card players with their organizations.  By the literal millions. I am an active member of two groups myself.  Most people have 4 or more.

Americans have a right to private property; they can guard that property with a gun rightfully registered, and they have the right to shoot anyone who violates their land.  WE are required to post our land – that is have a written waring that the property is guarded and violators beware. They have full rights over the disposal of that land when they die.  One of the main reasons Americans are so prosperous is that families have land and businesses for generations.

The second amendment is the right for me to own a gun.  I passed the test for gun ownership but I do not have enough money to buy a firearm – yet.  (I am a good shot.) The 2nd amendment is perhaps more important than all the rest.  If the government gets too big for its britches and wants to control me and my family, I have a way to defend myself.

If the Chinese in Nanjing in 1937 had guns, what would have happened to the Japanese?  Well I rather doubt they would have slaughtered so many people. In fact the history of the world would be entirely different if the Chinese had enough guns to defend themselves against the Japanese.

When Japan was deciding how to attack America in the 1940’s they had a saying, Don’t attack the Americans on their own soil. “They have a gun behind every blade of grass.” True.  We actually have more guns than citizens, legally.  Our population is 330,000,000 and I was told that there are probably 3 guns for every person in my county of 60,000.  I am glad we have that kind of protection.

If anyone from the government comes on my property he must have a warrant signed by a judge, and most judges are elected.  So if a judge gets too high and mighty we can take him down.  The same for the police (city peace officers) or sheriffs (county officials.)  We have no national police force.  Police chiefs are elected as are sheriffs.

Governments run by humans tend to become more and more dictatorial as they mature.  Our forefathers did not trust un-checked authority!  Neither do I. After English kings slaughtered each other and their families to gain power from 1500 to 1750 American colonists said NO to kings forever.

There is to be no ruler selected by genetics.  We do have families who are active in politics, but that is to be expected.  Families have gifts and they can be involved in generations of activities, good managers, good politicians, good writers, but there is no law which requires us to honor any one family in governmental life.

Another requirement for a peaceful nation is a secret ballot.  Every single county or city in this nation has a different way to count their ballots; sometimes electronically, sometimes paper ballots.  All the machines which are purchased locally are different.  There is no way for any government or individual to corrupt the votes of the entire nation, which is why all this nonsense about Russian interference is foolishness.

Any American has the right to leave this country any time they wish – but you need a passport to get back in.

In conclusion, the gun is my protection against a dictator who would take over the government and reduce me to poverty, eliminate my right to public worship  and make me a slave to his system.

Now as for people who shoot up groups and individuals – we need stronger laws about crazy people but there is no law which can control a gun – guns are inanimate objects.

I hope this explains why we have guns in America and why we so badly need them.

When will the End of Time come?

If we follow the typology of numbers as given in the Bible the world system will end after 7,000 years, since 7 is the end of one stage or cycle and the number 8 indicates the number of beginning something new, as when God said the 7th day was a day of rest.

We are safe counting one thousand years as a single day: 2 Peter 3: 8 “Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

God will eventually fold up the universe and store it away, as it says in Hebrews 1:10-12, from The Message.

“You, Master, started it all, laid earth’s foundations,
then crafted the stars in the sky.
Earth and sky will wear out, but not you;
they become threadbare like an old coat;
You’ll fold them up like a worn-out cloak,
and lay them away on the shelf.”

Souls remain forever, either in heaven or hell, your choice. But who decides the numbers? The Jews do; they are more interested in timing, and they have been given a natural kingdom. The Christians have been given a spiritual kingdom. There is no truth whatsoever to “replacement theology.” Christians do not replace Jews, they are parallel to them. Jews have a natural kingdom (Israel) and a natural temple in Jerusalem. They have natural talents and gifts. Christians have a spiritual kingdom, the Kingdom of heaven, they get spiritual gifts, and their temple is inside them in which lives the Holy Spirit.

The Jews say this (2011) is the year 5771. If we subtract 5771 from 7,000 we get a balance of 1229. From this will also subtract the 1,000 years reign of peace for us when Satan and his nasty crew are locked up.

Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.

After 1,000 years Satan and his hordes are loosed and the ones living then on earth have a chance to decide on heaven and hell for themselves. After that, it is all over.

This leaves us today, 2017, 235 years. However, God promised that He would shorten the days on earth as a blessing to the “elect.”

Matthew 24:22 “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”

Jesus was asked by his disciples when the end of the age would come. Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

{Most of the signs listed in this chapter are already in our faces! Here is the whole passage, and many of these horrifying events have not yet taken place.}

Matt 24 1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple.

2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? truly I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (Ye in the Bible means “you all” plural.)

7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. {This is a key verse regarding the end. All peoples must have access to the word so they can make a decision. God will NOT be held accountable for the loss of any soul.} Do any of us know when every human being has had access to The Truth? No. but I do know there are Inuit Eskimos being baptized in the Name of Christ. (That must be an icy scene.) Yes God will reach everyone!

15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso reads, let him understand:)

16Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that are nursing in those days!

20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:

21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

25 Behold, I have told you before.

26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

27 For as the lightning come out of the east, and shins even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

36 But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark,

39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man comes.

45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing.

47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming;

49 And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

50The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

51And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Back in the 1980’s FAME was a popular musical and they sang, “I’m going live forever.” And they were right. You will live forever, but where?

Jesus Died on Thursday

It may seem like splitting hairs, and perhaps no one cares or needs to care, but picky scholars want everything to fit together like parts in a machine.  We are told that Jesus was in the tomb 3 full days and 3 full nights to fulfill the prophecy of Jonah.

Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

If Jesus died on Friday He spent only 2 ½ days in the grave. We need account for the additional one-half day.

Jesus Himself made a point of citing the Jonah relevance in this passage.

 Matthew 12:40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

If Jesus was crucified on Thursday and died at 3 p.m. on that day we can account for a complete 72 hours.

First, modern readers must realize that the official day for Jews did not begin at midnight but at sunset.  This came from Genesis where God said the day began at evening and ended at 6 p.m.  The entire world clock system is based on day first and then night so one must adjust his thinking.

Genesis 1:5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Second, Roman Law specifically said that Jewish citizens could not be prosecuted on their high holy days or on the “day of preparation” which is always a Friday. This preparation day was an opportunity for the Jew to cleanse his home and person so that he was clean enough to celebrate.

Jewish law also stated that one would not be clean enough to celebrate a Sabbath (Saturday worship) or the Passover if an individual had been near a dead body. Nor could someone go near a tomb without becoming unclean.

If Jesus was tried by both Jewish and Roman law, crucified and died on Friday this would have been a violation of the law of Caesar Augustus.  Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews Book 16, Chapter 6 gives the passage of the Roman law which applies here.  If local Jewish believers had been required to conduct the crucifixion and move Jesus to his grave on Friday that would have given the workers only a few minutes to prepare for the Sabbath not a full day of preparation.

Meanwhile Roman soldiers were an army of occupation. Soldiers would not be charged with handling any dead bodies; they would delegate that to local citizens.  And after all there were three bodies to dispose of not just Jesus.

Romans were able to conquer and dominate many nations because they did not change local custom or break local religious rules.  They were not popular conquerors but they were tolerated because they were sensitive to indigenous people’s way of daily life and custom. In addition the Romans thought the whole Jewish religious thing was nonsense so they were not anticipating anything to come of either the Jewish laws or the prophecies of Jesus.

Because the Hebrew laws were so specific, Roman managers knew that the Jews would do things by the book so they did not need to post a guard at the tomb until Sunday morning.  If, as was predicted, Jesus’ disciples would move his body, they would not do it until the holy days were past.

Modern church dramas often show the tomb guarded for the entire three days but this is not correct.  If that were so then when the Mary came to the tomb and found the stone rolled away the guards would have stopped her.

One of the major proofs that Jesus was raised from the dead is the fact that for over 2,000 years no one has been able to produce a body of Jesus.  That Sunday morning an entire cohort of Roman soldiers could find only two badly damaged corpses in all of Jerusalem.

How do you work out your salvation? Sins(s) vs. Sin

“Philippians 2:12 work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

Evangelicals make a big deal out of saying you can’t be saved by good works –BUT salvation from sins is only the 1st stop in a walk of a lifetime. In fact, too many people think they are through after accepting Christ. Not so. There is much work to do to change the inner personality which leans always towards sin.

The Old Testament illustration of this is the brass laver in the tabernacle. After you slaughter your spotless lamb, i.e. Jesus, you walk up to the brass wash basin (laver) filled with water, i.e. the Word Of God, you look at your self and see – whoopps – I have inner flaws.

At this point you are not supposed to be looking at the goodness or sins of other people. 1 Corinthians 11: 28 –examine yourselves. 2 Corinthians 10:12 warns –not to compare yourself with someone else. God has a picture of the real you.

The real you is visible in the water of the word, that is the Bible. Look there. Ephesians 5:26 Jesus wants to …sanctify and cleanse … with the washing of water by the word.

The main difference between the brass altar and the brass laver is the difference between “sins” and “sin.” Sin(s) are taken care of on the cross, the altar. Sin – singular- is a process of gradual change as we look into the word of God because it involves not conscious wrong acts, but a pattern of our inner personality, i.e. a propensity to sin which does not go away with salvation.

Many Christians fail to see this difference and “get saved” time after time, living lives of frustration. Without being negative and ending up n depression, ask God what is wrong with you.  (The world will tell you anything and everything is wrong with you.) He knows best and can give you the cure as well.

How to Explain Death to a Child

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

I cannot claim the genius which produced this illustration but it is perfect and it works – with all ages. If you can, find a toy truck and a toy automobile to demonstrate.

Son (or daughter) do you remember how when we go on a road trip we often have to pass big trucks that are going slower than we are? Do you remember how, when we passed on the side away from the sun that a giant shadow fell on our car? But we did not fear then because we could see the road ahead. Very soon we were back in the sunlight.

Well that is what death is like. It is only a shadow. And passing from here to there is simple and uncomplicated. God is on the other side waiting for us.

Of course we don’t want you going there any day soon. That is also God’s choice. Almost no one in this world chooses or knows the date of his death.

But that is why we live in faith, and with faith. If we have accepted Jesus and know He is our savior. He is waiting on the other side.