What is Life?


1Cr 1:18What is Life?  That is a question, I have asked myself many times over the last few years.  Now that I’m a bit more advanced in age, this question becomes more frequent.  What is Life?  Why am I here?  What is the purpose of Life?

 

I have seen some of my friends pass on in the last few years and one begins to wonder, why and what happened to them? I remember those who have passed, when they were younger, full of life and energy, vibrant and driven. Some of my friends were taken by cancer or some other illness. Death is something most people don’t think about in the younger years.

 

In our youth some of us thought we are invincible and the thought of maybe one day ending up with something like cancer really never entered  the mind.  Who wants to think about death, or which way we may die? Death is so final. Everyone of us will have to face death one day,  sooner or later.  The statistics on death are pretty overwhelming, one out of one will die.  No exceptions made.

 

There are those, who believe, that when a person dies, they cease to exist. Those who believe that, are those who also believe, that mankind came to be by chance, by accident. Humans came to be as part of a long process, known as evolution. Some 4.6 billion years ago,  some cosmic event, aka the big bang, caused the universe and the earth to be formed. Every plant life and every living creature slowly started to evolve, into what we see today. All this happened through the process of natural selection, according to the theory of Darwin.

 

Personally, I can not buy into the theory of evolution.

To evolutionist, life came about by chance. They do not believe in creation, or that there is something after death. They believe, once a person dies, there is nothingness and nothing more. We simply cease to exist.

 

I believe that life is precious and that we were wonderfully made by a loving Creator. I believe in a God that created the universe and everything in it. We are no accident or just here by chance. We are here for a purpose and we were created for Him and by Him.

 

Atheist, state that there is no God. Atheist believe in themselves and mankind. They believe that all the problems in the world can be be fixed by man. They don’t need or want God. For them there is no higher authority, no deity, no one that will hold them accountable on the day they die. They don’t believe that there is a thing like heaven or hell,  judgment or eternal life.

 

A life without God, makes no sense to me. A life without a future or hope.

 

I believe that somehow, we all have eternity written on our hearts. No one, wants to grow old and eventually die, if given the choice. We long for life.

Am I to believe, that I am here for 70 to 80+ years and then nothing?

 

Was I just born, to live a life that is filled with trials and tribulations, a life of laughter and tears, a life of happiness and sadness, to one day just die?

 

I am no accident and you are no accident. You and I were created by a loving God. When God first created Adam and Eve, he created them as eternal beings. Death came about when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden. This one-act of disobedience resulted in death, a spiritual death, a disconnect from God. It also brought forth physical death, and from that day on, all of creation was and is subject to death and decay.

 

I believe in the afterlife. I know that when this physical body, that is the flesh, of mine dies, my spirit will live on. The Bible teaches, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”

 

That is the glorious hope that every believer in Jesus Christ has. Jesus defeated death on the cross and he has promised eternal life to all who believe in him by faith.

By believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior he has reconciled us to God the father through his death and resurrection. He closed the spiritual gap that existed between mankind and God.

Because of what Jesus did for us, we once again can have fellowship with God, as it was in the beginning before the fall.

 

Unfortunately, there are many who do not believe in Jesus and His finished work on the cross. They refuse to believe and to receive the free gift of life, that Jesus promised to all those who believe.

They rather buy into the theory of evolution, discarding creation and God. They are what the Bible calls, “the natural man” who live after the desires of the flesh, having no understanding of spiritual things.

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1Corinthians 2:14.

Of course I cannot prove that there is life after death and neither can they disprove it. I believe by faith, just as atheist or evolutionist believe by faith that there is no God.

Frankly, I do not have enough faith to be an Atheist or to believe in evolution.

 

What is life? That is the question that Atheist and those who do not believe in the promises of God should ask themselves. What happens after they die, will there be darkness or is it not possible that there is more?

What if all we believers in Jesus are right, when we talk about eternal life? What if we are right, about Jesus and what His death on the cross has accomplished for those who believe by faith?

Life is nothing but a fleeting moment and there will come a day when we will face death. As a believer, I do not fear death, because I have already received eternal life, because of my faith in Jesus.

 

What about you?  Do you believe that when you die, that you cease to exist?  If so, you better be right.  Believing that there is no afterlife, means to deny what Jesus said before He went to the cross.  Those who do not believe His words, make Him a liar.   Something to at least think about.  Here is what Jesus said:

 

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,    that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:14-21

 

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Patterns & Promises Prophecy Conference at Maranatha Chapel


 

Maranatha Chapel in San Diego, hosted the Patterns and Promises Prophecy Conference on May 16th and 17th.

Dr David Jeremiah, founder of Turning Point Radio and Television Ministries and senior Pastor 
of Shadow Mountain Community Church. Turning Point’s 30-minute radio program is heard on more 
than 2500 stations worldwide.

Tom Doyleauthor and Middle East director for e3 Partners, a global church planting ministry.

Mike MacIntosh, Pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship and Founder/President of Horizon 
International Ministries.

Anne Graham Lotzbest-selling and award-winning author, speaker, and daughter of Billy Graham.

Ray Bentley, Pastor of Maranatha Chapel and author of The Holy Land Key.

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Easter changes Everything


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Climate Change – Evolution and Abortions


Global-Climate-Change3There has been a lot of talk lately on the subject of climate change in the news media, newspapers and magazines. People are divided on the issue to say the least. Some are strong opponents on the claims of climate change ( formerly know as Global warming) made by those who support the claim. Many European nations and the US are pushing for changes to avoid, what they call a catastrophic future if nothing gets done. Opponents say that these claims are not factual and will cost billions without knowing if anything will change.

I’m not an expert on Climate change and I’m not writing on Evolution here in scientific details, but just a few thoughts that went through my mind about this hot button issue.

What if this supposedly, change in climate is nothing more than the next evolutionary step in the history of the earth? The secular world believes and promotes Charles Darwin’s view of evolution and it is being taught in schools around the world as factual. In the view of the evolutionist, the earth came into being by the big bang, some 4.3 billion years ago, by some particles colliding in space, giving birth to the universe and the earth that we now inhabit. If people believe the evolutionary teachings by Darwin, would it not be possible, that evolution is continuing today, and we are first hand eyewitnesses to it?

Are we in the unique position to see the earth going through another evolutionary step? Charles Darwin called it natural selection, the survival of the fittest. If this climate change is so horrific for the future of mankind, maybe mankind is moving towards extinction, giving way for a more superior species? The Dinosaurs and many other creatures have been extinct for millions of years, according to evolutionist. Other creatures have gone through dramatic changes, to become what they are today. Before we were humans, we were nothing more than apes and we evolved to humans as we are now, over the long process of evolution, if we believe certain scientist.

Thus man is nothing more than an animal, who was not created by an almighty Creator, but rather came into existence by accident . Yet, there seems to be a strong will to survive for mankind,  to go on living into infinity. Why is that? If we are nothing more than creatures, why not just let the evolutionary process take place and man will be replaced by who knows?

If the earth is heating up as they claim, even though, earth has been through climate change in history before, we may see some drastic changes in the near future. The food supply, coastal flooding and drastic changes in the weather patterns will be some of the consequences caused by climate change accordion to a new report by the UN, if we ignore it.

“There is still time to adapt to some of the coming changes and reduce heat-trapping emissions, so it’s not all bad, said study co-author Patricia Romero-Lankao of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado. “We have a closing window of opportunity,” she said. “We do have choices. We need to act now.”

The outcry to do something is great among the scientist and politicians to spring into action now before it is too late. Of course, this will come with a heavy price tag, for the tax payers, many changes will have to be made, if they want to combat this supposedly existing and threatening climate change.

I’m not sure if this “climate change” is man-made or just another cycle that the earth is going through. As I said in the beginning, I am not an expert on these things, but I do have a feeling that there is an agenda behind all of this. The Green movement has been around for a while now and Al Gore’s claims of Global warming, now called climate change, has survived.  If people believe in the theory of evolution, than people should not be surprised to see changes in the climate.

This is the Holy Grail for many liberals, environmentalist and others, who want to see drastic changes in Europe and the US, while other countries like China, India and keep polluting.

The liberals here in the US, are already calling out to punish polluters and those who deny climate change. Here is a quote from an article that I will link to at the end of this post:

“Man-made climate change happens. Man-made climate change kills a lot of people. It’s going to kill a lot more. We have laws on the books to punish anyone whose lies contribute to people’s deaths. It’s time to punish the climate-change liars.”

It amazes me somehow that so many scientist, politicians, environmentalist and liberals place so much value on a human life. Yet, they see nothing wrong with aborting the innocence daily in great numbers around the world. Just today, as I’m writing this, 2048 abortions took place just in the US alone. Since Roe vs Wade in 1973, over 56 million abortions took place in the US. Planned Parenthood aborted over 6.7 million unborn since 1970. This year, over 82.000 abortions were performed by Planned Parenthood. Worldwide, there have been over 1,3 billion abortions since 1980. Over 75.000 just today. Where is the outcry and the voice for these innocent unborn? Where are the politicians and liberals when it comes to the murder of billions because of mostly unwanted pregnancies?

Climate change, if it is a fact, may kill many people in the future, but Abortion is a fact and has and is killing human life each and every day. Who will speak up on this Holocaust?

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-change-already-impacting-food-supplies-says-un-report/

http://gawker.com/arrest-climate-change-deniers-1553719888

http://www.numberofabortions.com/

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The Son Of God Movie – Another Jesus, Another Gospel?


Mark-Burnett-Roma-DowneyAre you excited about what many call the “Epic Christian Movie” Son of God?

A lot of professing Christians are flocking to the theaters to watch this movie, produced by Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey.  Social Media, Magazines and the Web are filled with either articles or reviews about the film. Many Christian leaders hail this movie and many churches have jumped onto the bandwagon. If you are planning on watching this movie, or already have, I would urge you to view the movie with great discernment.

I’m not writing this to judge or condemn anybody who watches this movie. I just have some concerns about the movie and the producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. I have done some research after reading several articles about this couple, who claim to be Christians, but are in reality, full fletched “New Agers”

Roma Downey, a devout Roman Catholic, along with her husband, were heavily influenced in new age spirituality. Downey graduated from the University of Santa Monica, a private graduate school founded by New Age spiritual and self-help guru John-Roger.

Roma went even further into her new age Catholic spirituality by teaming up with acclaimed psychic John Edwards and co-produced a CD for children to be used for meditation and enlightenment, while Edwards introduced the teachings of contacting the dead (necromancy).

Even further in regards to Ms. Downey’s position regarding spiritualism and her Catholic religion, Roma advocates the eastern mysticism teachings of Eckhart Tolle, another spiritual giant in the field of new age teachings, not to mention the connections Tolle has with Oprah Winfrey.

It’s fascinating to see such a connection that someone has to the world of the occult and then try to present a so-called gospel message. Yet that’s exactly what Roma Downey and her husband are indeed doing, presenting another gospel, another Jesus. Roma has consistently stated in past and current interviews that she is on a spiritual journey, not that she’s been “born again”, but that she regularly seeks a greater understanding of the world and the universe thru different means, namely spiritualism through higher intellectualism called spiritual psychology, where the mind connects to the energies surrounding the individual to gain a higher understanding of themselves and the world they live in. This is occultism 101.
The above statements are just some excerpts, from articles found on the web. You can Google it for yourself. As I stated before, I’m just posting this so people use their God-given discernment, before watching the movie.
As in so many movies about the Bible or Jesus, produced by Hollywood, I came away disappointed because much of the biblical truth was twisted.

The Son Of God is no difference. Burnett and Downey already compromised by cutting out the scene with the Devil as seen in the production, “The Bible” on History Channel, because they didn’t want to offend anybody. People thought that the actor who portrayed Satan, looked too much like President Obama. In an interview, I heard Roma Downey say, “we don’t need Satan anyway, he spoils the story.  She rather focuses on Jesus.”  You can’t have the true gospel without the adversary against Christ and His church.

One other thing that stood out about the Jesus of this movie is that he tells His disciple “To change the World.”  That is not found in the Bible. Jesus did not come to change the world, He came to save the world.  I talked to quite a few people after the History Channel aired the mini series, The Bible. Everybody said, that some things were twisted and not biblical, but hey, other than that, a great movie. Another thing that stood out was, that some magazines call the Jesus of this movie, “sexy Jesus.” I think that is mockery and typical for Hollywood.

“Don’t you know, that a little leaven, leavens the whole lump?”
Well, enough said. Please judge for yourself, if watching the movie is edifying, or brings you closer to the Lord. I believe that this movie presents a different Jesus and a different gospel. Compromised and watered down,  not to offend anybody. Even-though the word of God is offensive, to those who refuse to believe and perish. The truth will set one free, not a watered down gospel, i.e. a compromised truth.

Here is a link that I have used to bring up some points. I didn’t plan on writing a long article, just to make people aware at least, in the hopes that people would check for themselves before seeing the movie and promote it in the church. Personally, I don’t like biblical stories produced in Hollywood. I don’t like to have an image of Jesus in my mind. Especially, not the “Surfer Dude” Jesus portrait in the Son of God movie.

Here is a recent movie review by Answers in Genesis: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2014/03/10/review-son-of-god?utm_source=aigsocial03102014sonofgod&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=facebooktwittergooglelinkedin
http://davemosher.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/touched-by-an-angel-roma-downeys-new-age-ish-little-angels-series-for-preschoolers-claims-to-be-christian/

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The Sin of Self-Righteousness


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Destination Unknown?


1Cr 1:18I received the sad news, that a friend of mine past away in Germany. From what I know, it was a heart related issue. I have lost several family members and friends in the past couple of years, and whenever I hear of someones death, several thought go through my mind about death, eternity and the destination of people.
The first thought that went through my mind, when I learned of his death was, did he believe in Jesus as his Lord and Savior? From what I know, he was not a believer the last time I saw him. Neither was I until 2006. Growing up in Germany is pretty much being secular. People in Germany have lost touch with God. That saddens me quite a bit, knowing what I know now. There is however a remnant and many think that Germany will see a revival.
The second thought that went through my mind, was, what happened to him, after his death?  What happened to his spirit after it left his physical body? Where did he go?
The word of God is pretty clear about what happens to people who are not saved by the blood of the lamb. They will be eternally separated from God. Something the Bible calls Hell. An eternity without the presence of God. That is not an easy thought, even as a believer in Jesus Christ.
Nobody wants to think that a friend or family member is in Hell, because they didn’t believe in Christ. But, that is what the word of God teaches, and I believe it. They have either rejected Christ or didn’t give any thought towards God. They lived a life without thanking God for all the blessings they received, even as unbelievers. The air that we breathe, the food and water and so many other things that sustain us throughout our lives. God created every one of us and we are wonderfully made.
As a believer, I believe in creation, in a God, Who created all things. I can’t adhere to the theory of evolution or people who believe that we are here by accident or natural selection. Darwin was wrong and people who follow his theory are misguided and deceived by his teachings. Darwin led many people astray from the belief in a Creator.
But, back to my friend.  What happened to him, now that his spirit passed on into the spiritual realm? What if he did not believe in God and the finished work of Jesus on the cross? If he was not a believer, will he spent eternity in Hell? As I stated before, that is not an easy thought. I don’t want to think of my friends or family member, who did not believe, being in Hell.
I think that’s where many people who are not believers i.e Christians, take issue with. The say, how can a loving God, send people to Hell. What kind of cruel God is that?
Are you telling me that everybody that does not believe in Jesus goes to Hell? What about the Muslims, Hindus and people of other faith, they all go to Hell. That’s crazy.
To be honest, I don’t know how Hell feels or looks like, but I know that I don’t want to end up there. Neither do I want anyone else to end up there. God Himself does not want people to go to Hell. That gives me comfort and hope, to know that God will do anything, for people to come to know Him.
I believe that God will reveal Himself to people facing death. They may not have worshiped Him all their lives, but I truly believe that God will somehow show His love, maybe even in a split second before death arrives. I can’t prove it, but somehow it makes sense to me, knowing that God does not want anybody to perish, but have everlasting life. I believe that God reveled Himself to my friend and to my father, who died in 2005 and was not a believer.
God is a loving God and He has sent His Son to reconcile us to Him. God does not want people to end up in Hell. God does not send people to Hell, they send themselves to Hell, because of their unbelief. They either rejected God, or they just did not want to believe in Him. That is a choice that everyone has to make. He does not force Himself on anyone, but He is long-suffering and patient. He wants all to come to the knowledge of truth and in to His marvelous light.
That is what sets Christianity apart from many other religions. We as Christians believe in the true and living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Who send His only begotten Son, to die and shed His blood for us on the cross. Jesus is our propitiation, the passover lamb. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He laid down His life for us, forgiving us of our sins and giving those who believe by faith, eternal life.
The message of the cross is foolishness to many. They believe that all roads lead to God and that they can work out their own salvation, either by good works or religious practices. That is what I like to call, a fig leaf religion. Just as Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leafs to cover their nakedness, to hide their sins. God, however did not approve of that man-made idea and covered them in animal skins, signifying the first sacrifice and that blood was needed to cover their disobedience in the Garden.
God made only one way to be reconciled with Him, and that is through His Son, Jesus the Messiah, Who is a stumbling block to many. Jesus is the only way to the Father and eternal life. Something that many reject and do not believe. They believe that there are many ways besides Jesus. It is not me saying this, it was Jesus Who said it. People can either believe what Jesus said, or reject it and call Him a liar. That is a choice. I would highly recommend to learn about Jesus and seek Him. Eternity apart from God, is a very long time.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” John 3:16-20.
I hope and pray, that if you are not a believer to at least read about Jesus and what He has done for you.  Start with the Gospel of John and read about Him, the only One that can truly save you and give you eternal life. Maranatha Lord Jesus.
http://media4lifeministries.com/2011/11/18/eternal-life/
http://media4lifeministries.com/2013/01/04/jesus-christ-our-propitiation/
http://media4lifeministries.com/2014/01/06/the-exclusive-club/
http://media4lifeministries.com/2013/07/29/i-am-the-way-the-truth-and-the-life/

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Signs and Seasons – Ray Bentley


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The Holy Land Key by Ray Bentley


 

My Pastor Ray Bentley talks briefly about his new book “The Holy Land Key” which will be released this month on February 18th. In the book he writes about prophecies and patterns, the Zodiac, the Sphinx, Signs in the Heavens and the Blood Moons which will appear in 2014/15.

What is the significance of these Blood Moons? The last time they  fell on a Feast Days (Passover and Tabernacles i.e Sukkot) was in 1967/68, the six days war. Before that in 1949/50 after the re-birth of the nation of Israel. How rare are these Blood Moons falling on the Feast Days? Pretty rare. Since the time of Jesus, it happened only 5 times in history and there will be no more Blood Moons that fall on the Feast Days for the rest of this century.

I’m not making any predictions, but I do believe that we should pay attention as believers. God said that He put the Moon, the Sun and Stars for signs and seasons in the Heavens. Seeing what is unfolding in the Middle East, especially the ongoing peace negotiations between the Palestinian authority and Israel. This could be the year that Israel will be divided as mentioned in the Bible.

“I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.” Joel 3:2

Did you notice? God said, “My Land” Israel belongs to the LORD.

I’m attaching a video about the Blood Moons, so that you can decide for yourself. There are many already talking about the Blood Moons and many are making either predictions about the Rapture on the Feast of Trumpets and judgements of God. As I said before, I’m not even touching that subject, but I believe that we are very close to see the return of the Lord of lords and King of kings. Maranatha Lord Jesus.

“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:18.

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.” Joel 2:31

Here is the short video with Mark Biltz:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi78PmRX46Y&list=PLFB95AF7EAE48A878&index=26

 

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Blood Moons 2014/15 with Mark Biltz and Ray Bentley


 

This Interview about the Blood Moons took place a few years ago at Maranatha Chapel. My Pastor Ray Bentley had Mark Biltz as a guest and he talked about the Blood Moons that are coming up in 2014/15. I will let the video speak for itself, but the upcoming Blood Moons that fall on the Feast days of the Lord,  will be the last ones for a hundred years.

As you will hear in the video, every-time these moons fell on the Feast Days, something big happened.

This 14/15 occurrence will be the eighth time since Jesus.  The number eight also stands for new beginnings.

I’m not making any predictions, but given the history of these blood moons, something may happen this year and in 2015. What exactly? Maybe a possible war in the Middle East?  A two state solution between Israel and Palestine, which may lead to war?  Some believe that the rapture may happen. To be honest, I don’t know and I do not want to go into date setting as many have in the past and were proven wrong.

I find it interesting however, that in a time like this, we have the last Blood Moons that fall on the Feast Days in my life time. We may be the generation that will see the return of the Lord.

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The Holy Land Key


The Holy Land KeyI just finished reading “The Key to the Holy Land” by Pastor Ray Bentley which will be released on February 18th 2014 through Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.

This book encompasses it all, his personal journey of faith, the deep friendships that have been formed because of his love for biblical prophecies and his love for the people of Israel,  Palestine,  the Middle East,  Africa and beyond.

Pastor Ray shares with the reader a unique insight into ancient prophecies, which includes the biblical meaning of the Signs in the Heavens i.e the Mazzaroth (Zodiac), the Riddle of the Sphinx, the Seven Feast-days of the Lord, the Seventy Weeks of Daniel and the significance of the Blood Moons in history and the upcoming once for 2014/15.

Besides the signs in the heavens and prophecies, Pastor Ray also touches on church history and the importance for the church to remember it’s Jewish roots, after all Jesus (Yeshua) was Jewish and the church originated  in Jerusalem on Pentecost. Many prophecies have a double or even multiple fulfillment’s and they are pictures of what God did in the past and is going to do in the very near future. The Feast – Days e.g were dress rehearsals.

Pastor Ray challenges the reader not to only study prophecy, but to live it. He is asking us to step into the story.

I highly recommend this book for those who like to go deeper in God’s word. Pastor Ray Bentley invites us all to fall in love with God’s word, to study it and share it with others.

We are truly living in biblical times and now is the time for the church to wake up and look up. This book I hope, will encourage the reader to study the Holy Scriptures and learn about the true meaning of the Feast Days and prophecy in general as they speak to us today.  Here is a video about the Blood Moons with Mark Biltz and Pastor Ray Bentley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi78PmRX46Y&feature=share&list=PLFB95AF7EAE48A878&index=25

Pre-order now at http://amazon.com/ and http://bn.com/

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1E0zBCojHc

Categories: Apologetics, Bible, Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Faith, Israel, Jesus Christ, Middle East | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

“The Exclusive Club”


iam_wayThere have been times, when I turned on the News on TV that they interviewed prominent Christian Pastors  about the Christian faith and what Christians believe. They ask some general questions and then there is the one direct question that the host will ask the Pastors:  “Do you really believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven?”

When I hear that question, I cringe. What answer will this Pastor give and will he tell the truth or trying to avoid a confrontation with the host and the audience?

Sadly, I must say that most of these prominent Pastors failed miserably and danced around the question. Why? Are they afraid to speak the truth, or are the afraid that some people might get offended by the truth?

Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by Me.”  John 14:6

This statement alone by Jesus would make Christianity very exclusive.  Jesus is plain and simply saying that there are no other ways to be reconciled with the Father but through Him. Was He lying when He made that statement?

Disciples and followers of Christ know this to be true, but there are of course many others that do not agree with that statement. There are for one those of a different faith that would not agree either. Than there are those who have no faith or “religion” at all and lastly those who call themselves Christians, who have become lukewarm and departed from the truth and follow the doctrine of men.

People of a different faith sometimes call Christianity the  “exclusive Club” and it is not surprising when they post the question: “What makes you think that you as Christians are the only once that have a relationship with God and we are not? We believe in a god, just not your God.

Was the Apostle Peter lying when he said: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Muslims claim that Allah is the true god and that all other people of faith are infidels. I have heard Jewish people say that they will automatically go to heaven just because of their Jewish faith.

Hindus worship over 3.3 million gods and Buddhist, which is really not a religion but more of  a philosophy,  believe that they can reach Nirvana if the follow certain steps and the teachings of Buddha. Buddhist also believe in re-incarnation. A do over if it didn’t work out as they had hoped in this lifetime.

What is the truth and who is right?  Christians are not the one that made the statement about the only way to heaven, it was Jesus.  So, those who have a problem with what Jesus said have to ask Him.  Jesus, Who is God (2nd person of the triune Godhead) is the only One that came to reconcile the world to God, by laying down His life on the cross so that those who believe by faith will find forgiveness,  salvation and eternal life. He was the Passover lamb, the promised Messiah.

“Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17

“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1John 2:2

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1John 4:10

All other religion are man-made and there is only One true and living God. Christians believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Creator of all things, Who created us  for His pleasure and to fellowship with Him just as Adam and Eve did before the fall. When sin entered the world, mankind was spiritually separated from God.

Jesus bridged that gap by going to the cross to die for our sins. It is through His blood that we can be reconciled with the father. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they tried to cover themselves with fig leafs to hide their nakedness. God clothed them in animal skins, signifying the first blood sacrifice. He did not accept a fig leaf religion i.e man made. Later at the time of Moses, God in the law required animal sacrifices for the sins of the people. The passover lamb which took place once a year was a picture of Jesus our propitiation. The blood of the animals could only cover the sins, the blood of Christ on the cross took away the sins once and for all. “

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

God gave His only begotten Son and He paid a very costly price by having Jesus hang on the cross to be the substitute, the propitiation for our sins. Through His blood we are healed because He did what we could not do for ourselves. God the Father looks at the believers through the blood of Christ and he does no longer see our sins, He sees Jesus, Who’s righteousness was imputed onto those who believe by faith, just as Abraham did when he believed God.

So when Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one will come to Father but by Me, I have absolutely no problem believing the words of Jesus.  He died for my sins and the sin of the world. Because of Him, we can come boldly before the throne of God and we have once again a relationship with God through faith and not of works.  All man-made religions are works based, man trying to reach God on their own merit i.e a Fig Leaf Religion. All other religions are trying to reach God, in pure Christianity, God is reaching down to man.

Not everybody will agree with what I wrote because they will argue that there are many other religions with good people who seek and love God, so why would you even think that only Christians know the real God and are the only once that go to heaven because of Jesus? My answer is that I believe Jesus and I believe that He died and rose for me so that I may have eternal life. No one else can claim that. No Muhammad, no Krishna, or any one else.

If you are of a different faith, you have to ask yourself this question: Does my god love me as a loving father or is my god angry at me because I can’t live up to his/her expectations?  Do I have assurance of my salvation? Are my sins forgiven? Can I be sure that I will go to heaven when I die? If you have any uncertainties, you may want to at least learn about Jesus. Jesus said, seek and you shall find. If you feel empty or a void in your heart, ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you. He loves you with all of His heart and He does not want you to perish. Many people will perish because they have either rejected the free gift of salvation or they do not want to come to the truth. People make their own choices because of the free will given to us by God. Many people have heard about Jesus, but are not willing to listen or surrender. Bad choice. The following verses are also the words of Jesus:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:16-21

By having a close and personal relationship with my Lord Jesus instead of religion, I am very pleased to be a member of the “Exclusive Club.”

Categories: Apologetics, Believe, Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Faith, Jesus Christ, John 3:16, Salvation, Spiritual, Truth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments
 
 

“Contemprovant”


Contemprovant-4I have been thinking about the “church” a lot in the last couple of month. Especially the “American Church.” Many of the main denominations have been lukewarm for quite some time it seems that some have completely departed from the faith.

They are far from what the early church was, who relied on the Holy Spirit.  Nothing was done without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

A friend of mine, posted a message just today having similar concerns about the church. Are we doing what we were asked to do? Are we helping those in need?  Feed the poor and take care of orphans and widows as Jesus commanded us?

Don’t misunderstand me, there are those who have a genuine heart to do the great commission and are doing a great job helping those in need.

I am speaking in general, the overall picture that I am getting is that some churches as I said before are lukewarm, watering down the gospel, trying not to offend anybody. They do not want to mention the word sin, let alone the blood of Christ.

They just want people to feel comfortable and cozy and enjoy little “sermonette’s.”

Others are trying to be more contemporary, putting on concerts with so-called Christian Bands that don’t look all that much different from Nirvana or the Foo Fighters.

There are so many activities going on around church, that one can loose track of which one to attend. It is sad to see the increase of activities and the rapid decline of teaching the word of truth.

I’m not singling out one particular church or churches, I see a movement within the American Churches that worries me a bit. There is for one a movement called “Religious Pluralism” or “Interfaith movement” which I wrote a few weeks ago about that is sweeping the churches, especially those who were already pretty much in agreement with the world and have  compromised the true gospel.

I see this movement to be more “Contemprovant” in many churches and it does worry me to a degree. We now need light shows and PA systems that Metallica would be happy to have when they go on tour. Whatever happened to the more simple things? A time of worship and praise, followed by a study from the word of God? Why does everything has to look like modern and up to date?

The early church didn’t have any of that and there was no need to have any of those modern things like light shows, gigantic speakers and worship bands that look just like secular bands with their designer clothing and tattoos (Christian tattoos of course).

There is an old saying that goes something like that: If the Holy Spirit would have been removed from the early church, the church would have ceased to exist. If the Holy Spirit would be removed from today’s churches, 90% of the activities would continue.

Those are just one of my personal thoughts and I’m not saying that I’m right and everybody else is wrong. I’m just voicing some concerns and I would truly appreciate your feedback from either side of this issue.

May the Lord richly bless you and may we not lose our focus on Jesus, as Peter did when he stepped out of the boat to walk on the water as Jesus did. He lost focus and he started to drown. May the church not drown because it has lost it’s focus on Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Here is a link to a Christian Parody video called “Contemprovant”.  I think you get the idea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giM04ESUiGw

Categories: Apologetics, Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Faith, Jesus Christ, Spiritual, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments
 
 

“I am the way, the truth and the life…


JesusHere is something that amazes me every time. I posted a statement that Jesus made in the Gospel of John on my Twitter.

I quoted John 14:6 which is in case you may not know right off-hand is, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one shall come to the Father but by me.”

As soon as I posted it, it was not Christians that responded, but Atheist. They were all over me, calling me a liar and other things.

When I posted it, I didn’t even have atheism on my mind. I posted it as an encouragement and as biblical truth.

The Atheist came out of the wood works ready to attack.

I engaged with them for a little while and was amazed as always with their talking points.

Makes one wonder what it is about Jesus and Christianity that sets them off. Another funny thing is that Atheist spend a whole lot of time arguing with people about something they believe does not exist. Books have been written, seminars and debates are held worldwide for something they do not believe in.

I believe that deep in their hearts, there is a stirring going on. A spiritual warfare. They already belong to the evil one without even realizing it.

It’s sad really, to deny God’s existence which they have no proof of. This denial of God and His existence is by faith and I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist.

Please pray for them, they are too blind to see or refuse to see. They refuse to come to the light which is Jesus.  Jesus Himself said so: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3 :19.

Jesus is the only way, not a way as many want to believe and teach. Even among Christians and some denominations, this statement of Jesus is being disputed. It’s a movement called “Religious Pluralism” Our God is not a Burger King, we can’t have it our way. God has provided us with only one way to be reconciled with Him and that is through Christ Jesus and His precious blood.

Categories: Apologetics, Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Faith, Jesus Christ, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments
 
 

Interfaith Dialog – Religious Pluralism = Nonsense


Symbol“Interfaith dialogue” is a pluralistic attempt to find common ground in the values and goals of various religions. Is this something evangelicals should pursue? – Focus on the Family

For some years now the Interfaith movement has gained strength around the world. The Roman Catholic Church has hosted many of these “Interfaith Dialog” meetings at the Vatican and elsewhere. Leaders from many religious backgrounds  had  meetings to  unite and find common ground, hosted by the Vatican and the Pope.

This movement is also known as Religious Pluralism. What exactly does that mean?

“Religious pluralism–understanding and accepting that there is more than one religion.
Interfaith movement–many religions work together on common goals such as social justice, antiwar and antipoverty movements.

“In today’s religious world, it is very important to be respectful of other people’s religions–wars can result if we are not respectful of other religions and cultures.”

USCCB-CM-Plenary-OCT2012--61One of the big players in this movement is Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed. (on the right) Who is he?

Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, Secretary General of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a national community leader, is chief executive officer of this Plainfield, IN – suburban Indianapolis – based national umbrella organization which has more than 300 affiliates all over the U.S. and Canada.

A naturalized American citizen, Dr. Syeed obtained his Ph.D. in Sociolinguistics from the Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana, in 1984.

Sounds pretty impressive doesn’t it?  This same Dr. Syeed also said the following:

“Our job is to change the constitution of America.” — Sayyid Syeed, Islamic Society of North America.

Change the Constitution?  Isn’t that something the radical left would like to do, better yet, throw out the Constitution?  Here is a little bit more about Dr. Syeed:

Dr. Syeed has been actively involved in fostering understanding among the world’s religions and has participated in interfaith dialogues at different levels in the U.S.A. and Canada. A frequent speaker at interfaith dialogues, he has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.In recognition of his contribution to inter-religious understanding and harmony, Dr. Syeed was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by the Graduate Theological Foundation, Donaldson, Indiana on May 4, 2001. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award for distinguished service in furthering the Islamic tradition in North America and for promoting inter-religious understanding and harmony from the Catholic Heritage Foundation, Louisville, Kentucky on November 18, 2001.On January 5, 2002, Mr. Frank O’Bannon, the Governor of Indiana, in his State of the State Address, recognized Dr. Syeed’s “work to educate Americans about the Muslim faith in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks, along with your life’s work to encourage tolerance and racial healing has marked you as a great leader in Indiana.”Dr. Syeed has been invited to speak on Muslim and Islamic issues on the national TV channels, NBC, CBS, CBN, ABC. He was interviewed on PBS on the McNeill-Lehrer Report and appeared on the “Today Show” and CNN’s “Crossfire” and on the national televisions of Turkey, Malaysia, Sudan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on matters related to Islam and Islam in America.

Here is the link to the CIFA website if you like to learn more: http://www.cifa.org/

The Roman Catholic Church has embraced the Interfaith movement.

Fr.-Giles1-127x170“It has been my pleasure to be part of the New Seminary since its founding in 1981. The New Seminary has helped me understand my own faith…my Catholicism better. I find it exciting to tell students and others, that my way is not the only way; it is one way. We believe in honoring all paths. So we ask our students to hold on to the traditions from which they come, but, be ready and willing to expand their horizons…to learn about other religions and faiths from around the world.” – Fr. Giles Spoonhour, Co-FounderReligious pluralism–understanding and accepting that there is more than one religion. 

One way? Have you not read your Bible Fr. Spoonhour? It is written: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” Jhn 14:6

In my opinion, this is a very dangerous movement towards a One World Religion that will lead many away from the true and living God, leading them to man-made gods and religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, and many other ism’s.

In light of what happened just in the last few month, the Libya attack, the Boston Marathon attack and the just recent butchering of a soldier in the streets of London by followers of Allah, makes me wonder. Should we as followers and believers in the Lord Jesus Christ support the Interfaith Movement? I think not.

Many Christians have already bought into this scheme and will be misled. The ultimate goal is to usher in this One World Religious system, the religion of Anti-christ who is to come. We are already moving towards a One World Government and a global currency.

Islam is a religion of Anti-christ and far away from being peaceful. Islam denies the Son. I believe that the Roman Catholic Church, some Christian churches and Islamist leaders are working towards the goal of uniting the world into a one world religion.

Here is a link to a very good website addressing the issue: http://www.gotquestions.org/religious-pluralism.html

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/5/interfaith-movement-gains-new-strength/?page=all

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/christian_worldview/why_is_a_christian_worldview_important/when_no_one_is_wrong.aspx

If anyone tries to tell you that Islam is a peaceful religions, look at some of these images and tell me that Islam is a Religion of Peace. Here is the link to an interesting article: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

boston-marathon-2Boston Marathon Victim

mosque-cleanup-lashkar-gahClean up at a Mosque after Suicide Bomber

round-up-gays-egyptGays being rounded up, violating Sharia Law

adultery-lowerAdulterer’s punishment. (wanna bet it’s a female?)

I thought this last pictures says it all: Islam-Judaism

In 2007 Islam and Judaism’s holiest holidays overlapped for 10 days.
Muslims racked up 397 dead bodies in 94 terror attacks across 10
countries during this time… while Jews worked on their 159th Nobel Prize.

pictures courtesy of: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/islam-a-problem/

Categories: Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Islam, Jihad, Middle East, Terrorism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments
 
 

The Humbleness of Jesus Christ


Jesus Washing Feet“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-3, 14.

Some of the most beautiful passages in all of the Bible. Jesus, second person of the triune Godhead became one of us. God became flesh and dwelled (tabernacled) among us. That is something to meditate on and to grasp. Jesus, even before the foundation of the world already knew that He would become one of us and to voluntarily lay down His life for mankind.

“He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1Peter 1:20, 21.

Jesus came despite the fact that He would be rejected by His people, He came into the world as prophesied long before by the prophets. He became the suffering servant spoken of in Isaiah 53. It blows my mind, thinking about Jesus becoming one of us, because God’s love for us is so big that He gave His only begotten Son. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

God in the flesh, who died for the sin of the world. He was full of grace mercy and love. He demonstrated the love of God on the cross at Calvary. His ministry lasted only about 3 1/2 years and He healed the many sick and forgave their sins. He showed love to everyone, without any partiality.

Although He is God, at that time He humbled Himself. Paul put it this way: Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Phl 2:5-8.

Jesus was in full obedience to the Father, fulfilling the plan of redemption for mankind. This humbleness is something to be behold and comprehend. Even the night before His death on the cross, Jesus was the servant. The disciple on many occasions, argued who would be the greatest among them. Jesus knew man’s heart and He gave the disciples an example that night, that they would never forget.

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” John 13:3-5.

It was custom in the middle eastern culture to wash the feet of guest before entering the home. It was regarded however one of the lowest task. Here Jesus who is God in the flesh, stoops down and washes the feet of the disciples. I think they must have felt pretty bad, considering that they argued so many times about who’s being the greatest. Jesus was giving an illustration and He explained it to the disciples after Peter wanted no part of the washing, acting like he was so much more humble than the other disciples over there.

“Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me. Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” John 13:8-15.

Jesus makes a point here, the believers in Him are already washed of their sins, being human however the believers will not be sinless in these earthly fleshly bodies. All of us who believe need our feet washed, the body is already clean but we walk in the filth of this world. If we do stumble or fall or step into some dirt, Jesus will wash our feet.

Oh, the humbleness of Jesus. I see many so-called servants of God today exalting themselves, the wear fancy religious outfits, giving themselves titles and have others bow down to them. The wear gold, purple robes and live a life of luxury, getting served and love to rule over the people. They are put in offices and exercising power over people. They drive around in a bullet proof car, allowing themselves to be worshiped. There are many that think very highly of themselves. That is not humble and a far cry from what Jesus demonstrated. Jesus my Lord and Savior who is God, humbled Himself. He left the glory of heaven to come down to this fallen world and to redeem man. He shed His blood for us, it is He who should be exalted and not these arrogant puffed up so-called religious leaders. Thank you Lord Jesus for your love and your mercy and grace. I bow my knees before you and thank for your sacrifice
and that by believing in you I will have eternal life and spend eternity with You.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,..” 1Peter 5:6.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mat 11:28-30.

Categories: Apologetics, Believe, Bible, Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Eschatology, Faith, Jesus Christ, John 3:16, Salvation, Spiritual, Truth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments
 
 

Living in Biblical Times


We are inching closer to a two state solution which would be disastrous for Israel. The day will come and looking at the Middle East especially the massacre by the Syrian regime on it’s own people without the UN really helping the people of Syria.

The world just looks on while according to the rebel forces over 40.000 people have been slaughtered.

I believe that we are coming very close to  Joel chapter 3 being fulfilled:

“For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem.”  Joel 3:1.

God did that in 1948,  when Israel was back in the land. Prophecy fulfilled.

“I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.”  Joel 3:2.

The first part will come after the division of the land, which will happen. Note, it says “they have also divided up my land.”

Israel will be divided, whether Israel likes it or not.

This  will happen in the very near future. Something will happen with Syria. There is one prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled. It is a prophecy in Isaiah 17.

“The burden against Damascus. “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap.” Isaiah 17:1.

Damascus is one of the oldest inhabited city in the world. Listening to the news and the advancement of the rebels towards Damascus could bring this prophecy into reality sooner as we may think. All it takes is one nuke.

The stage is set for a two state resolution, Syria is in a civil war and Iran is going rogue, sympathizing with the Syrian regime, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.

In Egypt, the Muslim brotherhood has taken over and President Mursi is trying to set himself up as a dictator. The US is almost powerless in the Middle East and has lost the confidence of some Muslim that want freedom and a democracy in the region. Maybe one of the reasons that we can’t find America mentioned in the Bible?

The Middle East is a powder keg that can go off big time at any time. Iran is getting closer to a nuclear weapon threatening to wipe Israel of the map. Ahmadinejad is reigning in chaos and is eagerly awaiting the 12th Imam.

We are truly living in biblical times and we see things that no other generation has seen. We see the globalization of the world, the US moving toward socialism and President Obama as a promoter of a global economy i.e a one world order with a worldwide currency.

Now is the time to watch. Everyday something is changing and I do believe that God is shaking up the world. The world is struck with perplexity and we hear of wars and rumors of war.

Jesus told us about all these things that will come to pass and there will be a person that will emerge to bring a peace plan to the Middle East. A 7 year peace plan that will according to the Bible fall apart in the middle after 3 1/2 years which will usher in the Great Tribulation.

I’m not making any prediction when this will happen, but looking at the way things are developing, it’s time to wake up and look up.

I think that we will see some things in the very near future that will drive the world into a tailspin. Are you ready?

The study of Eschatology is important, especially now that we are getting closer to many prophecies come to pass.

Ezekiel 38, 39. Daniel, Mark 13, Luke 21 and Matthew 25, some of Paul’s writing, the book of Joel, Zechariah and of course the book of Revelation. There are other that I didn’t mentioned, but God has given us His word. We should not be surprised or shocked as the world will be, because the Lord has given us all knowledge.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray for the Muslim world and pray that many people will come to the knowledge of the truth. God is working all things for good. He is on the throne and He is in control over all things.

Categories: Apologetics, Believe, Bible, Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Eschatology, Faith, Islam, Jesus Christ, Jihad, John 3:16, Libya, Muslim, Salvation, Spiritual, Terrorism, Truth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments
 
 

Of one Spirit and one Mind?


“For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” 1Cr 1:11-13.

Paul wrote this to the church in Corinth almost 2000 years ago. Even in the early days of the church, divisions and conflicts plagued the church in Corinth. Paul wrote this letter from Ephesus to correct and rebuke them. People had formed cliques and had their own leaders.  There was the “Paul Party,” who declared “We are following in the footsteps of the founder of the church, the apostle Paul. We’re the ones that are right with God!” There was the “Apollos Party,” who declared “We are following a man who is great in power and spiritual gifts, and impressive. We’re the ones really right with God!”  There was the “Peter Party,” who declared “We are following in the footsteps of the man who is first among all the apostles. Jesus gave him the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and he’s our man. We’re the ones really right with God!”  There was the “Jesus Party,” who declared “You all are so carnal, following after mere men. We are following in the footsteps of no one less than Jesus Himself. We’re the ones really right with God!”

Really not all that much different from today’s church. There are many denominations that claim that they are right with God and others are not because of what they believe or teach. They believe that the have the truth. There are so many denominations that it can get outright confusing for believers, let alone unbelievers.

Many unbelievers that watch the church are asking the question: “Which of all the different churches is the right one?  Shouldn’t you Christians all be the same? How come there are so many contentions and divisions amongst you?” I can see their point. There are the Roman Catholics, the Protestants, the Baptist, the Methodist, the Presbyterians and the list goes on. Which one holds the the truth? They all claim to be the right church, yet there are vast differences between them.

Than there are these Tel-evangelist who are fleecing the people of their money, selling their anointed holy oil or prayer cloth on TV like a shopping channel. Some teach the prosperity gospel, talking about sowing “your seed” so that God will bless you. Send in a seed of a thousand dollars and God will double it. God is not an ATM machine. Some of them want you to send them a love gift. These people are greedy and exploit people. They prey on the vulnerable and weak. They come in the name of God, but have alternative motives. Mostly to fill their own pockets and boast about their awesome ministry and how God has blessed them. No, you ripped off the people, that’s how you can afford to be on TV selling your anointed prayer cloth.

Jesus never taught a prosperity gospel. He never taught that we should be after riches in this lifetime. Seeing these TV preachers makes me not want be a identified as a Christian sometimes. They turn me off and admittedly they do make me angry.

What about so-called churches like the Westboro Baptist church that demonstrates at military funerals, condemning all homosexuals to hell and preach on the street corners that God caused 9/11. Is that anything like what Christ taught? Did Jesus come to condemn the people? Shame on these so-called Christians. They are not representing Jesus and they are far from Him. Is that how the church should act or look like to the outside world? Is that what a Christian church should look like?

What is the church? I know on thing for sure,  it is not a building,  a temple or denomination. The true church is the bride or the  body of Christ. Every true believer are individual stones that make up the temple of God, with Jesus being the cornerstone.

There are so many today just as in Paul’s days that follow a denomination, a certain preacher or liberal theologians. Many of the churches have compromised with the world, they are lukewarm and some are so far removed from the true faith that I could not even consider them as true followers of Jesus Christ. Many of those are seeker friendly churches, that do not address sin or talk about the blood. They want to be politically correct and don’t want to offend anybody. Was Jesus politically correct during His ministry? Jesus went right to the heart of a person, convicting them of their sins which led many to repentance. He did not hold back or softened the message.

The true Gospel is offensive and many churches are refusing to preach that message today. They care more about how many people attend their church, giving their tithe and offerings or making them feel comfortable. Let’s not talk about sin or hell.  Let’s rather focus on prosperity and how God will bless you if you do certain things. God loves you and blesses you and as long as you give us your money and stay at our church, He will continue to bless you.

I don’t even want to go into certain churches that are either sects or cults. They shall remain nameless at this time. So many of them are very legalistic in their teachings and some have total control over their congregation.  Some teach that the Sabbath and dietary laws need to be kept or  that water baptism is needed to be saved etc. Others teach that Sundays is the wrong day and that those who go to church on Sundays are worshiping Satan. Others deny the Trinity i.e the triune Godhead altogether, they teach that there are 3 gods or more. How much more confusing can it get? No wonder many unbelievers and especially atheist think of Christians as delusional and backwards.

Paul was very clear about being of one mind and one spirit:

“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1Cr 1:10.

“Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation,  and that from God.”Phl 1:28.

“Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.” Rom 12:16.

This is happening today, people follow a denomination or a leader. They listen and follow the teachings of those denominations and some put their trust in their salvation by being members of a certain church. Many people are very religious, but do not know the first thing about true faith or what the Bible teaches. Membership does not save anyone, a certain denomination does not save, neither does following a cult, sect or religious leader. Jesus Christ is the One that saves and a person that has received Jesus as Lord and Savior belongs to His church, the bride of Christ.

I for one rather follow Jesus rather than man. He is my guiding light, He is the way, the truth and the life. If I would rely on a church, pastor or priest for my salvation, I might be in trouble. Man is finite, corrupted and sometimes deceived. Unfortunately many have been deceived by certain church doctrines.

Jesus is the head of the church, it is He that we need to follow. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. He is God in the flesh. He humbled Himself to become one of us. Because of Him we can know the Father. Because of Him we are reconciled and justified before the Father. Because of Him we have eternal life. If we know Jesus, we know God. If we know Jesus,  we are One with God.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Col 1:15-18.

Just think about it, the Creator of all things, Who was and Who is and Who is to come, the great “I AM” loves you and me with an unconditional love. He lives in our hearts and we are secure in Him, if we abide in Him. He is our teacher and He is the One that sees us through every obstacle or challenge we might face. Don’t follow finite man with their egos or pride and often times wrong motives. Follow Jesus instead!

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Fig Leaf Religion


Once again I had someone argue with me on my Facebook page about salvation after reading my blog “Faith or Works?”  This person believes as does his church that works are required in order to be saved. He cited of course the passage in James chapter 2, which some believe contradicts Paul’s writing in Ephesians chapter 2.

Paul and James do not contradict one another. Paul writes about salvation from God’s perspective and James from a human perspective.

Saving faith in a person should be evident in their lives by the fruit they bear. As Jesus said, by their fruit shall you know them. A genuine believer that is saved by faith should bear good fruit for the kingdom.

It amazes me that there are so many people that cannot and will not receive the free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  They think that there must be something that they have to do to be saved. I guess some of of it is our human nature, but I have witnessed and seen numerous people spending years to argue that works need to be included. They argue that faith in God alone is not enough and that we have to do something more than just believe.

I don’t see how anyone can come up with a works based salvation message. I cannot find that anywhere in the pages of scripture.  It is all God’s work and nothing that we have done. God did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He send His only begotten Son.  (John 3:16)

We are all declared sinners before God, not one is righteous on their own. “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.” Rom 3:10, 11.

God has declared that ALL of mankind has fallen short of His perfect Holiness.  “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23.

It started in garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and they ate from the forbidden tree. That one act of disobedience caused sin to enter the world and the result was a spiritual separation from God. Adam and Eve who once were in perfect harmony with God found themselves separated and soon after witnessed what their disobedience had brought forth, the first recorded murder when Cain slew Abel.

I can only imagine what Adam and Eve must have felt on that day when they saw the outcome of their sin. The result of sin is death. They did not die physically, but they died spiritually. There was nothing that Adam and Eve could do to atone for their sin. They tried to cover up their disobedience with fig leafs, thinking that God would be ok with that. But it was not ok, God clothed them in animal skins, signifying that blood was required to atone for their sins. The blood of an innocent animal could only cover their sins but not take them away. Later when we come to the time of Moses, God instituted blood sacrifices as part of the law.

Just as Adam and Eve covered themselves in fig leafs, so are many people today have a fig leaf religion. They think that they can appease God on their own merit. They think that by their “good works” God will look at them as righteous before Him. That is a false hope, there is absolutely nothing that any of us can do to please God with our works. God provided one way and one way alone and we must receive that way.

The only way provided is through the precious blood of Christ. The shed blood of Christ on the cross was sufficient and acceptable for the Father. Jesus is our propitiation, the passover lamb. He that knew no sin became sin for us and died for us, so that we may live eternally with Him.

To all those who think and teach that faith in Jesus alone is not enough and that certain works are required to earn salvation are gravely mistaken. The law could not justify anyone and no one was or is able to keep the law perfectly. If any of us were able to keep the law, than Christ died in vain. People that want to live a life of bondage to the law are destined to fail. The law is perfect and breaking one of them means breaking all of God’s law.

“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Rom 3:20.

Paul wrote to the Galatians: “But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:22-26.

Yet there are those who insist that works are required, the write books about it, they preach from the pulpit and keep their congregation under legalism and bondage. Christ came to set us free from all of that. We are no longer under the law but under grace. The gospel i.e. the good news is so simple, but people have to make it complicated and the put heavy burden on others. This is not what Christ came for and it is not what God wants.

Jesus came to die on the cross for us. He left His place in Heaven to become one of us and to take our sins upon Him. He didn’t have to do that, but God so loves us that He send His Son Who willingly gave His life. That is something to rejoice in and to be thankful for. But what do so many denominations and churches do? They overlook or don’t understand the true meaning of God’s grace and teach others that the have to live by certain rules and regulation in order to be saved.

They have teachings that are not biblical and not be backed up by the scriptures. They twist and turn verses or built their whole theology around a couple of verses, failing to compare scriptures with scriptures. It is no wonder that non-believers sometimes mock Christianity. There are so many denominations and branches of churches out there, teaching different viewpoints and are convinced that the are the only “true church.” There is a lot of confusion out there among the various denominations.

No wonder that Christians look divided, rather than being of one mind. They follow the teachings of men rather than what the word of God teaches.

The only way someone can be saved in by believing in Jesus by faith. It is not Jesus plus, it is Him alone and only through Him and Hid finished work can we be justified before God. It is not our righteousness that God looks at but His righteousness that was imputed onto every true believer. Thank you God for Your mercy and for Your grace. Thank you Father for giving Your only begotten Son.

Thank you Jesus for setting us free from the bondage of law and that you have broken the wall of separation so that we may come boldly before the throne of God.Thank you for giving us Your perfect peace.

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Rom 5:1, 2. 

“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” Rom 3:21-28.

Categories: Apologetics, Believe, Bible, Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Eschatology, Faith, Jesus Christ, John 3:16, Salvation, Spiritual, Truth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments
 
 

“Jesus Wept”


“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) That is the shortest verse in the entire Bible, yet those two words are so profound and powerful. Why did Jesus weep? Might it be because Jesus seeing Martha and Mary in such a grief and anguish over the loss of their beloved brother Lazarus? Jesus already knew that He would raise Lazarus in just a few moments, but He still wept.

I believe that Jesus felt compassion, seeing the grief death causes to those who have lost a loved one. Death is not natural and came into the world because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Their sin caused first of all spiritual death i.e. eternal separation from God, and secondly physical death. When God made Adam and Eve, He made them perfect, they were sinless and in communion with him. They had a relationship that was close and intimate, and I believe that they would have lived forever in eternity with God, if it were not for that one-act of disobedience. Just think about it, one sin and they were banished from the garden. God gave them the world and they forfeited it to Satan by their disobedience and listening to the deceiver rather than God. Sin brought forth death and with it dire consequences, the first murder, Cain killing his brother Abel.

I can just imagine how Adam and Eve must have felt seeing the death of Abel by his brother as a result of their sin. And as we know things got worse from there, being separated from God, people lived after the flesh and the works of the flesh are evident even today: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like (Gal 5:19-21).

I believe that at the time of Jesus, people had lost hope and Jesus seeing this wept out of compassion for them. People were lost and felt helpless. Jesus came for that very reason, to reconcile mankind to God, to die for the sin of the world and overcome death so that those who believe will have eternal life with God. Jesus loved Martha and Mary and He raised Lazarus from the dead, not only for their benefit but for ours also.

Jesus demonstrated His power even over death. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25, 26.

We may all die physically, but the spirit of the believers will be with Jesus at the moment of death. Mankind is lost and it is by the mercy and grace of God, that He has sent His only begotten Son to die in our place. When Jesus saw the anguish and pain in the faces of Martha and Mary, He wept for a moment, but knowing full-well that He a few days later would lay down His life for them. Jesus loves us so much that He became sin for us and willingly went to the cross and faced the wrath of God which was reserved for us. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves, He paid the price and appeased and reconciled us to God the Father.

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:17-19.

That is glorious news in which we as believers can rejoice in. Believers in Jesus Christ are justified before God and the righteousness of Christ was imputed onto them. We as believers have nothing to fear, death can not hold us and Satan has no more power over our lives (unless we let him). Just as Jesus wept over the condition of man, so should we have the heart of God for our fellow-man, the once that are lost and without hope. Seeing the condition of the world should bring us to tears, weeping as Jesus did. It should make us wanting to share the gospel the good news about Jesus and the salvation through Him. Do we have the compassion Jesus had for the lost? Are we willing to share with our friends and neighbors about the coming judgment, or are we just plainly satisfied with our own salvation? I hope that we all have a heart for the lost and are eager to share the gospel of truth with them.

I hope that we all have the heart of God, the compassion, the mercy, the love that He demonstrated for us by going to the cross. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Categories: Apologetics, Believe, Bible, Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Eschatology, Faith, Jesus Christ, John 3:16, Salvation, Spiritual, Truth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments
 
 

The humbleness of Jesus


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-3, 14.

Some of the most beautiful passages in all of the Bible. Jesus, second person of the triune Godhead became one of us. God became flesh and dwelled (tabernacled) among us. That is something to meditate on and to grasp. Jesus, even before the foundation of the world already knew that He would become one of us and to voluntarily lay down His life for mankind.

“He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1Peter 1:20, 21.

Jesus came despite the fact that He would be rejected by His people, He came into the world as prophesied long before by the prophets. He became the suffering servant spoken of in Isaiah 53. It blows my mind, thinking about Jesus becoming one of us, because God’s love for us is so big that He gave His only begotten Son. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

God in the flesh, who died for the sin of the world. He was full of grace mercy and love. He demonstrated the love of God on the cross at Calvary. His ministry lasted only about 3 1/2 years and He healed the many sick and forgave their sins. He showed love to everyone, without any partiality.

Although He is God, at that time He humbled Himself. Paul put it this way: Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Phl 2:5-8.

Jesus was in full obedience to the Father, fulfilling the plan of redemption for mankind. This humbleness is something to be behold and comprehend. Even the night before His death on the cross, Jesus was the servant. The disciple on many occasions, argued who would be the greatest among them. Jesus knew man’s heart and He gave the disciples an example that night, that they would never forget.

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” John 13:3-5.

It was custom in the middle eastern culture to wash the feet of guest before entering the home. It was regarded however one of the lowest task. Here Jesus who is God in the flesh, stoops down and washes the feet of the disciples. I think they must have felt pretty bad, considering that they argued so many times about who’s being the greatest. Jesus was giving an illustration and He explained it to the disciples after Peter wanted no part of the washing, acting like he was so much more humble than the other disciples over there.

“Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me. Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” John 13:8-15.

Jesus makes a point here, the believers in Him are already washed of their sins, being human however the believers will not be sinless in these earthly fleshly bodies. All of us who believe need our feet washed, the body is already clean but we walk in the filth of this world. If we do stumble or fall or step into some dirt, Jesus will wash our feet.

Oh, the humbleness of Jesus. I see many so-called servants of God today exalting themselves, the wear fancy religious outfits, giving themselves titles and have others bow down to them. The wear gold, purple robes and live a life of luxury, getting served and love to rule over the people. They are put in offices and exercising power over people. They drive around in a bullet proof car, allowing themselves to be worshiped. There are many that think very highly of themselves. That is not humble and a far cry from what Jesus demonstrated. Jesus my Lord and Savior who is God, humbled Himself. He left the glory of heaven to come down to this fallen world and to redeem man. He shed His blood for us, it is He who should be exalted and not these arrogant puffed up so-called religious leaders. Thank you Lord Jesus for your love and your mercy and grace. I bow my knees before you and thank for your sacrifice
and that by believing in you I will have eternal life and spend eternity with You.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,..” 1Peter 5:6.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mat 11:28-30.

Categories: Apologetics, Believe, Bible, Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Eschatology, Faith, Jesus Christ, John 3:16, Salvation, Spiritual, Truth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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