Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin


mene

“Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Awake!’ To silent stone, Arise! It shall teach!’ Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, Yet in it there is no breath at all. “But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Hab 2:19, 20.

Cast away your Idols, don’t live after the things of the world, seek the Kingdom. God will topple every idol that man has made for himself. God is shaking the nations. It’s time to awake and seek what is real and everlasting.

The handwriting is on the wall for the world. The world is blind and will be struck with perplexity.

Those who have spiritual eyes understand the times and season. God’s message to the world:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Mat 6:19-21.

The Election and the Sovereignty of God


http://www.vimeo.com/53101277

Pastor Brian Brodersen, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and his thoughts on this past election.

A Love Story


Many of us I’m sure, are familiar with the story of Ruth in the Bible. This story I believe as many others do, is a message to the Church today. There is an application in the story that God wants us to hear and understand. Before I come to the application, I will summarize the story.

There was a man named Elimelech who had a wife named Naomi and two sons. They left the promised land because a famine had come upon it. They did not seek the Lord, as many did in the times of the Judges, but they went out of the land and settled in Moab. As time passed by, Elimilech died and Naomi was left with her two sons Mahlon and Chilion.

These two sons married Moabite women, named Orpah and Ruth. After some time both of their husbands died. Naomi was heartbroken about the loss of her sons. She lost her faith and joy and decided to return to the promised land.

So the three went out towards Israel, the promised land. But when they came to a bend in the road, Naomi told her two daughters in law to stay in the land of Moab and their gods. She said, I have no more sons to give you, return to your homes. Orpah turned around and went back to her land and her gods, but Ruth clung to Naomi.

She was not going home and she was determined to go with her Mother in law into the land of Israel, to the hometown of Naomi which was Bethlehem, Ephrathah in Judea. So she petitioned Naomi and said some of the most beautiful words written in the Bible.

“Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.” When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.” Ruth 1:16-18.

Ruth had fallen in love with Naomi and the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. Both of them set their eyes towards the promised land and went on their way to Bethlehem.

One day Ruth was gleaning the fields and she met Boaz who was very kind to her because he had already learned about her and how she was a good daughter in law to Naomi who was a relative of Boaz. As Ruth was coming home, Naomi was amazed at how much Ruth had gleaned. She asked her which field she was gleaning in and she told her that it was the field of Boaz.Naomi was beside herself and thanked the God of Israel who had shown favor on her.

Long story, short, Naomi became the match maker and Boaz married Ruth. They had a child together who’s name was Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of the future King of Israel, David.

What can we as the church learn from this story? How is it relevant for us as believers who believe in the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob? What is the application for us today?

In the ancient Jewish culture the names of people had meanings. The name Elimilech means “God is King” and Naomi means “pleasant.” Ruth means “friend or friendly” in the Hebrew and Orpah means “to turn the back of the neck.”

That is what Orpah did, she turned her back of the neck towards Naomi and went back to Moab and her gods. Not so with Ruth, she embraced the Jewish people and the true and living God of Israel and God blessed her beyond her wildest imagination. She became the great-grandmother of King David. From the line of King David came Jesus the promised Messiah i.e Yashuah which means “salvation.”

Just as Orpah turned her back on Israel, so today many of the churches have turned their backs on Israel. They teach a replacement theology and that all the blessings and promises that God gave to Israel are now belonging to the church. At a time that Israel needs us most, many have turned their backs.

But there are some within the body of Christ that want to bless and support Israel. The Land of Israel is God’s land. It belongs to Him and no one else. It is the Land where He gave His only begotten Son and it is the Land where Jesus will return to rule as King from Jerusalem. It is the Land where God will reveal His Son to the Jewish people.

Just as Ruth loved the Jewish people, so we as the church need to love and support them. We need to pray for them and help them to return to the land given to them so long ago by God through a promise to Abraham.

God is fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant today and all the unconditional blessings that come with this covenant. He wants to bring back His people to the covenant of faith, not of the law. The law was given to Israel 430 years after Abraham because they had left the faith and went after other gods and everybody did what was right in their own eyes.

The law was a Tudor, showing people that they can never live up to the righteousness and Holiness of God. Now that God has brought them back into the land, in unbelief as prophesied in Ezekiel 36 and 37, He will one day open their eyes and they will see Yashua. The will believe, just as Abraham believed and it was accounted to him as righteousness.

We as true biblical believers are not sons of Moses and the law, we are the sons and daughters of Abraham by the grace of God through faith.

We need to bless Israel and the people of Israel and worship the LORD in spirit and truth. Israel is not out of the picture and God has not cast them aside. Israel is the apple of His eye. We as the church have a role to play in these last days. If we want to be blessed by God, we need to stand with His chosen people.

Ruth chose to go with Naomi to the land and she loved the God of Israel and He blessed her there. This is what God wanted all along, the Jew and the Gentiles coming together as one, which was and is part of the unconditional covenant with Abraham in Genesis chapter 15.

“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”Genesis 12:3.

“…just as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.” Galatians 3:6-9.

https://media4lifeministries.com/2011/11/17/has-the-church-replaced-israel/

Thank You Jesus…


“I woke up this morning with a wine glass in my hand. Whose wine, what wine, where the hell did I dine?”  (Peter Frampton)

That was me six years ago on May the 14th 2006, the day of my spiritual re-birth, the day I was born again. I am so grateful to the Lord Jesus that He has changed me and transformed my life on that day. (My testimony and follow up post can be found here.)

Six years without any desire of drinking or partying and all the other things that come with a lifestyle of destruction. I truly hit rock bottom on that day and it was Jesus that came to the rescue. I have never looked back and I never ever want to go back to Egypt, living a life of bondage and addictions.

Am I perfect? By no means, I am what I am, but I’m not who I used to be. In these past six years I had so many awesome experiences and the Lord changed my life completely. I have gifts that I never knew I had. I made so many new friends and met some wonderful people that are truly a blessing in my life.

Thank you Jesus for saving me from a life that was without purpose and fulfillment. Thank You for your kindness, your mercy and grace. Thank you for your forgiveness and most of all, thank you for dying in my place. I don’t have all the answers, but one thing I know for sure, Jesus is alive and He is real and His blood cleanses us from all sin. He forgave me and transformed my life. I know that He can change anybody’s life, if a person is willing to let Him. He is very gentle and does not force Himself on anyone, but He is right there with open arms, ready to heal and forgive.

If you are feeling empty and lost, may I be a witness to you and tell you that if you want to find true happiness and peace, turn to Jesus. He changed my life, the moment I asked Him to come into my life. The world is full of empty promises and lies. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. The world with it’s desires it’s pleasures will sting you in the end like a viper.

Living in the world is a life seeking after the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life. I have lived after those things, but even-though the appeared to be pleasurable for a season, in the end everything was in vain and nothing ever truly satisfied. Quite the opposite, pleasures turned into pain and grief, disappointment anger and jealousy.

Today I look back at my life and I know it was all vanity and grasping for the wind. It was a life of illusion, deceit and full of emptiness. I look at some people that are still living in the lifestyle I once adhered to and I see the destruction, the pain and grief so many endure because of it. Jesus is life and He does not deceive anyone. Thank you Jesus for giving me life eternal. I am truly thankful for what You have done for me.

I pray that if someone reads this finding themselves in a similar situation as I was in that they would seek you Lord and call upon your name, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

“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.” Matthew 11:28-30.

Dark Days are coming…


The issue of same sex marriage has ignited all over the media in the last couple of days after Vice President Biden spoke about his support for same sex marriage on ABC news this past weekend. I believe it was another one of those “Biden moments” where he spoke  his mind on national television without considering the consequences his statement would cause the White House.

The media was all over this statement Biden made and naturally the question arose, if the Vice President believes in same sex marriage,  does the President of the United States have the same views on this issue?   I believe that this statement of Biden led the White House to react regarding same sex marriage, prompting President Obama to come out and say what he truly believed all along.

Obama said that he has “evolved” and that he now believes that same sex couple should have the right to get married. He said, after speaking to his friends and listening to his neighbors, that his views have changed from 2008. What neighbors? If your address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, you don’t have any neighbors. In 2008 Senator Obama said,  that he as a “Christian” believes strongly that marriage should be between a man and a woman. He made this statement on live TV during an interview with Rick Warren, an evangelical pastor, when running for the White House.

President Obama obviously flip flopped on this issue as he has many times previously. I think after his latest interview people clearly know what his views are. He has “evolved.”  I believe that we will hear the word “evolve” a lot in the next few month before the upcoming presidential election.

The LGBT community came out praising the President and declared a sort of victory. Some called it a glorious day  for gays and lesbians, now that the President of the United States is on their side. Of course, the liberal news outlets were all in favor of what Obama declared before the nation. CNN and MNBC were almost in a cheerful mood, calling it a “historic day” and a victory for the LGBT community. I don’t want to get too political on this, but I do see some dark days ahead for people that disagree with what many liberals and the President and Vice President believe regarding same sex marriage.

This is not an issue whether conservative or more traditional oriented people like gays and lesbians or not. It is also not about if I like gays and lesbians or not. This is an issue regarding the institution of marriage. Historically marriage was always defined between one man and one woman. As a Christian I believe that marriage was instituted by God and defined in His word between two people, a man and a woman.

Marriage is regarded as sacred in the eyes of God. Many will make the argument that the divorce rate between straight people is very high and that the children are suffering because of it. That is true, the divorce rate is up in the past few decades and the divorce rate within the church is as high as the divorce rate in the secular world. People are right when they point to those statistics. I do not condone those who take marriage lightly and do not live up to the vowels made at the altar.

Divorce is something that God does not like and Jesus addressed this and reaffirmed it. The Bible gives two examples when a divorce is permissible, in case of adultery, or abuse and abandonment. I’m getting a bit sidetracked here. Why do I believe that dark days will be ahead of us? I believe that if this current administration will be re-elected this coming November, dark days will be ahead for people that are conservative and have a different perspective on issues like same sex marriage.

People who are against same sex marriage will be labeled as bigots by the gay community, which is already happening. People that do not have the same mindset as liberals i.e the progressives, are coming under attack. Why is it that people who do not agree with the liberal viewpoint on same sex marriage, are automatically labeled bigots and homophobes?

Just a few days ago, I encountered some people in front of a department store asking me if I am for gay rights. I told the person, that I didn’t know that gay people had no rights. He said, the right to get married. I said to him that I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. His response was that I was obviously not for gay rights. I said to him, that not what I said, I have nothing against gay people, but when it comes to the issue of same sex marriage, I do not agree with it. He started to label me as a bigot and a conservative right wing tea bagger. To be honest, I don’t even know what a tea bagger is. (I drink coffee).

This incident showed me that liberals will label people right away without hesitation. If one does not agree with their view on same sex marriage they are labeled a bigot.  I believe that in the coming month the issue of same sex marriage and other so called civil rights will be more and more prominent in the liberal media and in our streets and neighborhoods.

True Bible believing Christians will be mocked and labeled by the media and liberals alike as bigots and backward people that are not part of the “Evolution” that is taking place in America and the rest of the world. I also believe that once the liberals are getting more of their agendas pushed through with the support of a liberal government, that all cards are off the table. Who is to say what’s right or wrong anymore? Once same sex marriage is widely accepted, the pedophiles are gonna come out demanding their civil right to have sex with children. They can make the argument that they should have rights too. Where will it end?

There is a case before the courts right now, where a brother and sister want to get married. Wonder if that would be a problem with liberals? I see a great moral decline in this country and I don’t think we have seen the end of it.

Once people give up the moral code and ethics, that are in my belief God given values, society will be on the decline and ultimately fall. Christians and Conservatives that are believers in the moral and ethic code will see persecution from the liberals within society and I believe that especially Christians will be the main target of attacks from the left. “Dark days are coming”….be prepared!

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20, 21.

Father Abraham


So many times I have heard pastors and others say, read your Bible daily, make sure you go to church often. I know people who get up very early in the morning to do their devotionals or have certain routines in their daily walk.  Before you misunderstand me, I agree that we as believers should be in the word and study it. I also believe that we need to be in fellowship with one another to sharpen and encourage each other. Prov 27:17.

The reason I’m writing this is because I was thinking about Father Abraham.

The Bible teaches that we as believers in Jesus Christ are sons and daughters of Abraham. “Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.” Gal 3:7.

That made me think, most of us have more than one Bible, we read and study it and we go to church. We have home fellowships and study groups, conferences, conventions etc. We are on the social networks sharing our faith with others and so on. These are all good things and we should and need to share our faith with others that may not yet know the Lord. On the other hand there are many that claim to be Christians that go to church on Sundays, listen to the sermon, give an offering and think they’ve done their duty.

Is that’s what it takes to be a Christian?  What about Abraham whose name was Abram when he was called by God to leave his country of Ur and to go to a place God would show him?  Abram was a gentile i.e non-Jewish when he was called and through him and his son Isaac the nation of Israel came into existence.  Abraham was before the law that came 430 years later through Moses. Abraham did not have the law, the Bible, a church to attend or any of the things that we enjoy today. Yet God declared Abraham justified and righteous.

What was is that made Abraham righteous before God? Was it his works or a weekly routine?  Did Abraham do any of those things that get emphasize in the churches today and people feel obligated to do them, thinking that otherwise they are not alright before God?

There are many that feel condemned if they don’t read the Bible for a few days or miss church a few times. Is that what God requires of the believers? I don’t think so.

Now again, don’t get me wrong, as believers we should know the scripture and they should be on the heart of every true believer just as King David said: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11.

As I mentioned before, Abraham did not have the scriptures as we know them today. He did not know the written law, but God declared him righteous. Abraham was declared righteous because he of his faith and he believed God and His word. “And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Gen 15:6.

Abraham believed God and His promises. It was faith and faith alone and not his works that gave Abraham a righteous position before God. “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.” Rom 4:2.

Just as the Galatians did in the days of the apostle Paul, so many people today  think that they are justified because of their works. That is contrary to what the word of God teaches.

“This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Gal 3:2, 3.

Believers in Christ Jesus are justified and declared righteous before God because of their faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross through His blood. He has done it all for us and there is nothing that anyone can do to improve on that by works. It is by faith alone. Believers are saved by His grace through faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Eph 2:, 9.

Just as Father Abraham believed God, so must we come to Him by faith. The law, works, the physical church or certain denominations cannot save a person, neither can a pastor or anybody else. It is by believing in Jesus Christ that saves a person.

The thief on the cross had a change of mind/repentance in the last moments of his life, no works to speak of, yet Jesus told him that he would be in Paradise with Him. It was faith that saved the thief. And so it is with every believer, we can read the Bible over and over again, attend church 5 times a week, but the only thing that truly saves is faith.

Please don’t stop reading and studying your Bible or stop going to church, that’s not what I am trying to say. I have met so many people in person and online that think that they are obligated to do certain things in order to be alright with God. The only way to be alright before God is to believe.

“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.

Darkness


I am facing a bit of a challenge in my life right now. For the last few weeks my wife and I have taken in our 19-year-old grandson. He is currently unemployed and is just now finishing his high school diploma. In the last couple of years he’s been living with relatives, bouncing around with no real priorities or direction in his life. His mom and step-dad told him that he could no longer live with them if he doesn’t change his ways. They have three young children together and fear that he would set a bad example if he lives in their home. Needless to say he was not willing to make changes.

He became rebellious as many teenagers his age do, it’s all about them, they know it all, not heeding the advise given by their parents. He is not going to church, does not read his Bible and is more interested in smoking weed and hanging out with his friend who like to do the same. He listens to rap music all day long which contains a lot of bad language which has a bad influence on many young people lives today. I talked to him about smoking wheat and that it is not cool or hip and that the music he listens to is degrading and full of darkness. I talk but he doesn’t listen, it goes into one ear and out the other.

Just this week I was telling him that he is bringing darkness into my home and that I do not like it. His typical response, “what do you mean?” I said to him, I once lived in darkness until I came to the light which is Jesus, Who took all that darkness that surrounded me away. Now I’m feeling the presence of darkness in the house. I told him that if he surrounds himself with darkness, he allows for that darkness to enter his mind. Once it has entered, it will take control and make it’s home there.

If we allow the darkness to come in, it will reflect on what kind of person we are or what kind of person we have become. There is so much darkness already in the world that has invaded many people’s mind and they are controlled by the darkness. They may not realize it but they are under the control of the evil one. Everyone that lives in the darkness is not serving God Who is Light. “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” 1John 1:5, 6.

Jesus talked about that in the gospel of Matthew: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Mat 6:22-24.

I think that this is a good reminder for all of us who serve the Lord and want to be His disciples. Are we letting any kind of darkness come into our homes and minds? Are we watching the same programs on TV as the world? Maybe some of us have become complacent and have compromised in some ways. I have sometimes experienced some compromise in my own walk, thinking, that movie has a few bad words, but hey I can handle that. The media and Hollywood has become so dark these days that I believe it has a bad influence on many people’s lives, young and old. Am I allowed as a Christian to watch movies and shows? Yes, but do I want to pollute my mind with shows that are nor edifying and are in reality worthless and a waste of time?

I was once living in the world and I was of the world with all it’s lust and desires. Now that I know Jesus I am not of this world any longer. I am living in this world, but I am not of this world, I don’t have to participate in the things of the world. Jesus has set the believers free from all that bondage. We are free in Christ. Now that I am free why would I go back to Egypt, and a live a life of bondage again?

“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” John 17:16, 17.

Jesus came into my life and showed me the truth, I am no longer believe in the lies of this world. Satan is the prince of this world, he is nothing but darkness, full of lies and deceit. Btw, Ozzy Osbourne is not the prince of darkness, but that prince of darkness does exist and his name is Satan or the Devil, the accuser and the murderer. Everyone that does not want to come to the Light lives in darkness and serves him, willingly or unwillingly.

I’m not sure how this will all play out yet with my grandson, but I trust in the Lord that He will guide me and give me directions. I don’t want to come over as to condemning, but at the same time I can not condone his behavior. I’m sure that many parents have faced or currently experiencing a similar situation with their teen daughter or son. Unfortunately, I can not force him to read his Bible or to go to church. I cannot force God on him. How could I, God does not force Himself on anyone. It is a choice that every person has to make. At this moment my grandson has turned from the Lord, but I know that the Lord still loves him.

I pray that one day he will realize that he lives a life of illusions and that this world has nothing to offer that satisfies. This is also a time of testing for me, can I be a good example to him and show him that he is loved? Can I show the love that Jesus has for the sinners and the backsliders? It is not easy to witness someone going the wrong direction towards a steep cliff, especially a family member. I told my grandson that he is at this moment not on the narrow road but on the broad road that leads to destruction. I have been on that road and it is not an easy one to travel.

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”John 8:12.

The Integrity of Job


So often, when I have a conversation with unbelievers and skeptics they will bring up the book of Job.  Their argument is, why did God single out Job and bragged about him to Satan?  Job did all the right things and loved the Lord, yet He allowed Satan to take everything that Job had, his family, servants and possessions.

Why would God do that to someone who loves Him. Isn’t He suppose to be a loving God?  At first glance I admit, it might look that way, here is a guy just going on about his day thinking about his sons and daughters when tragedy strikes him out of nowhere.  In one day he looses it all,  his sons and daughters and his livelihood. Everything that he worked and lived for, up in smoke. Job had no clue what was going on and why this came upon him. He did not have the benefit that we have when we read the story in the Bible.

The first two chapters give us a unique look behind the scenes, a look into the spiritual world unseen from the human eye. “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Job 1:6, 7. Satan was most likely prowling the earth as a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour.

“Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”Job 1:8. Poor Job, he had no idea that God and Satan had a conversation about him. It almost seems like God may have been bragging a little bit about Job. Satan seized the moment:  “Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. “Does Job fear God for nothing? “But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” Job 1:9-11.

It is interesting to hear Satan say that God had a hedge i.e a protection around Job, he was blessed by God in all he did. I believe that believers in Jesus Christ have a hedge around them just as Job did. Satan in his arrogance challenged God by stating, hey if you take everything away that he has, he will not love you and curse You to Your face. Satan thought that Job or for that matter any other believers only love God when He blesses them, but turn from Him when tragedy or tribulations arise. God in His sovereign will gave Satan the permission to hit Job with afflictions.

“And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.” Job 1:12.

That was the moment when Jobs world would be turned upside down. We read that Job lost his seven sons and three daughters in one day as well as all of his livestock. What a terrible day in the life of poor Job. Yet in all this tragedy, he did not curse God. As a matter of fact, he praised God.

“Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Job 1:20-22.

I don’t think that was what Satan intended, he was hoping that Job would blame God and turn from God. The opposite happened, although deeply grieved, he did not forsake or denounce the Lord. I can only imagine that Satan was a bit furious.  Some time later Satan appeared before God again and we have the same conversation in chapter two of Job.

“And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” Job 2:2, 3.

We need to read this verse very carefully, God allowed it because Satan incited Him and God allowed Satan to destroy everything that Job had. I believe what we can glean from this is, that without God’s permission, Satan can’t do a thing to harm believers. This second time around Satan wanted even more.

“So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. “But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.” Job 2:6.   It was Satan’s  desire to physically harm Job in hope that he would curse God.

Again, God only allowed Satan to strike Job, but not to kill him.  “So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” Job 2:7. Here is Job, covered in painful boils and now even his wife asked him to curse God. “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:8.

In ancient times, people thought that the person that was punished so severally must have done some kind of sin to deserve something like that.  This time even his wife wanted him to curse God and die. But Job just answered: “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Job 2:9.

Even now Job does not curse or blame God for his sufferings. Now I don’t know how I would have reacted if I were to be in the shoes of Job. As the story goes on, three of his friends come to comfort him, but as it turns out they were no comfort at all. They either blamed Job for everything that happened to him, because they thought that he must have sin in his life and lost favor with God. In the end however it turns out that these three wise men  weren’t all that wise. At the end God intervenes and rebukes his friends. What happened to good old Job? God restored everything to Job and more, He restored everything ten fold.

I think we as believers can learn a lot from the story of Job. We do have a hedge around us that protects us from many things of the world. At the same time, we are not immune from pain and suffering. Many Christians are going through various hardships, from persecutions and tribulations to financial issues to many other tragedies in their life’s.  We are not exempt, but ultimately, God is in control of all things and nothing happens without a purpose and His permission. Sometimes God uses sufferings and tribulations for His divine purpose and to work in people’s life’s. I may not understand why sometimes, but God knows and nothing is done without a reason and a purpose.

Even the Apostle Peter was subject to Satan on more than one occasion.  “And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.” Lk 22:31.

Peter had to go to some trials, He denied the Lord three times and he had hardships and was imprisoned and crucified upside down in Rome, just as the Lord told him when He was still with them. So were many of the other disciples. All of the Apostles except John died a martyrs death. The Apostle Paul experienced many afflictions, beatings, imprisonment and ultimately death by beheading.  This is what Paul thought about sufferings in his lifetime:  “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”Rom 8:18.  

Paul looked at the eternal not the temporal. In this life, Christians who follow the Lord will face opposition, trials and tribulations. The Lord told us so. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

We as Christians have an enemy that is relentless, the world, the flesh and Satan. I believe that most of our afflictions are not caused by Satan but by our own flesh. The flesh is warring against the Spirit. Many people want to blame Satan for everything that is going on in their life’s, but I think many times it’s just the flesh and the world. Of course we should never underestimate Satan, he is called the prince of this world and if Christians are living in the world as if the world were their home, then they are subject to Satan. The Bible speaks of Satan as the accuser of the brethren, he accuses us day and night before God.  (Rev 12:10)

Sufferings and pains are not easy, but they do strengthen a believers faith and draws them closer to the Lord. That’s what happened to Job, Peter and Paul as well as many others throughout history. In the end everything turned out well for Job and Satan was proven wrong.

That’s what Satan wishes to happen to the believers today. He wants us to curse God as soon as some kind of trial, sufferings or pain come our way. Most of us may never face the kind of tragedy Job was confronted with, although there are many that have had tragedies of various degrees in their lives. The question becomes , if any one of us who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior gets confronted with tribulations and trials similar to Job’s, will we keep the faith and integrity that Job demonstrated?

I hope and pray that none of us will ever face something like Job, but if we do I hope that we will stand tall and firmly rooted in the Lord. There is a spiritual warfare raging. Satan knows that he only but a short time left. We need to fight the good fight and stand against every fiery dart that the enemy may throw at us.

No matter what happen in this life, the destination of the believer is to be with the Lord. God will never leave us nor forsake us as long as we abide in Him, no matter what may come our way.  Satan is already defeated and he will try anything to distract or harass the believers. We need to stand on the promises of God. We as believers are secured in Christ and nothing can take that away.  The book of Ephesians is all about our position in Christ through the Holy Spirit.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Rom 8:38, 39. 

We are secure in Christ and we are not of this world. The world can’t touch us, unless we allow the cares of this world to dominate our lives.  As long as we abide in Christ to live after the spirit rather than the flesh and we resist the Devil and his temptations and lies, we can overcome every obstacle and tragedy that we may face. All things here on the earth are temporal and will fade with time, our destination as believers is eternity. We need to set our eyes on the eternal and look up, our redemption draws close. Maranatha Lord Jesus. 

Where does God dwell?


I was sitting at home on my patio this morning and enjoyed my first cup of  java.  I love that first cup in the morning.  I looked up at the trees and there were a bunch of birds singing, which made me think about God. His beautiful creation which  is revealed through the animal kingdom, the universe, nature and man. I see how wonderfully and marvelously He created everything.  The birds were singing a song early in the morning and I wondered, are they praising God, thanking Him for life and the provisions He gives them daily? 

I live close to the Pacific Ocean and I can see wonderful sunsets and the waves with surfers riding them just about everyday. It’s just so beautiful to look at the blue water and the dolphins showing up from time to time,  pelicans flying by and just enjoying in general what God has blessed me with. We live on this blue planet called earth and considering how big the universe is and how far away the other solar systems are, made me think of the awesomeness of God. He spoke everything into existence, mind-blowing in itself. I don’t think we even can ever really comprehend how big the universe is and how small we really are.

Contemplating on all of that makes one wonder, where does God dwell or tabernacle? The scriptures tell us that God created all things and that He is outside of His creation. Time as we know it does not exist for God. He is eternal and always was and will be. He can see the end from the beginning, another mind blower. Where does He dwell? He created the space to put the universe in and made this planet we call home for us to dwell on. So, I’m sitting there pondering all those things and do I have an answer? No, I don’t. Is the heavenly realm another dimension another unseen parallel world, or maybe God has the whole universe in a glass bowl next to His throne?  What if the universe is so small that God holds it in the palm of His hand? Does the universe end somewhere and where did the space come from for the universe with all its galaxies to fit in?

I can not buy in to the theory that all we see was by accident about 4.3 billion years ago. Something so organized and beautiful as the universe can not just come out of an explosion. That is like taking a stick of dynamite and throwing it into a printing factory and out of the explosion come the Declaration of Independence.  Everything is just perfect and right for us here on earth to live on. God placed the earth in our solar system in such a way that there are no obstructions to look out into space. I think He did that on purpose: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” Psalm 19:1.

As I said, I don’t know where God dwells and how that might look but I can’t wait to be there one day. That He promised us. “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2, 3.

Today so many scientist still trying to figure out the universe and come up with all kinds of explanations of how it came into being and how we evolved from some kind of fish. Nothing but theories and no concrete and absolute answers. We made it to the moon and now we are trying to reach Mars. What are we gonna do on Mars? Open up a Walmart? Even if we would have people reaching mars and live on mars, that is nothing compared to how big this universe is and places that we will never reach. Now the scientist at Cern are trying to find the “God particle” at the Hadron collider in Geneva Switzerland. 

Here is a small quote from their website: “The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a gigantic scientific instrument near Geneva, where it spans the border between Switzerland and France about 100m underground. It is a particle accelerator used by physicists to study the smallest known particles – the fundamental building blocks of all things. It will revolutionize our understanding, from the minuscule world deep within atoms to the vastness of the Universe.”

It will revolutionize our understanding? I don’t think that we will ever understand the awesomeness of God. He said, “Let there be light” and it was. Finite man with finite minds trying to explain how the universe came into existence. I rather believe God’s word, “Light be.” 

Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?” Job 38:3-5.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8, 9.

Where do You dwell oh LORD?

The coming war of Gog and Magog?


Looking at the headlines today about the unrest in the Middle East makes one wonder, what’s next?  It all started with Tunisia when one man set himself on fire. That set off a wave of protest throughout the Arab world what the media calls the Arab spring. Sudan became two countries, the North and the South with a border along the Nuba mountains. There are reports that came out just recently that a Bible college and 4 churches that are set up by Samaritan Purse have been bombed by radicals Islamist in South Sudan. Sudan is an ongoing battle to this day.

Next came Egypt and the removal of Mubarak after long and heavy fighting of the people against the regime. No one is really certain what the new government will finally look like. Egypt has been a long-standing ally of the US and had a peaceful existence with Israel, which seems to fade fast.

And who can forget Libya and Qaddafi’s regime? He and his son vowed a long and bloody battle. Many people died until Qaddafi was captured and killed by his own people. Now the Syrian regime is in the news and has killed at least 5000 protesters since the unrest by the people started.  Just recently the UN failed to come to a resolution to oust Assad, even though the people of Syria are crying out to the world for help. Russia and China are the two countries that are opposed to the ousting of Assad.

The UN has been ineffective many time and is in my opinion irrelevant. They are headquartered in New York City. It might be a good idea to vacate the building and set up shop somewhere in the Middle East. At least it would be much easier traveling for Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez who hate the US anyways. And now Iran again is threatening with the annihilation of the state of Israel. Just recently the supreme leader came out with a statement why it is religiously justifiable to wipe out Israel.  http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/ayatollah-kill-all-jews-annihilate-israel/ 

Israel is under tremendous pressure and it seems that the world has abandoned Israel. A nuclear Iran with a rogue regime like Ahmadinejad would be world-changing. Israel cannot allow for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon that would be aimed at them. Just today the Israeli Ambassador to the US declared that Israel will act unilateral if necessary. There are many speculations floating around if and when Israel will attack Iran. Many believe that it could come as early as this spring. Although sanctions have been imposed by the UN and the US, they have not deterred the Iranian regime from developing a nuclear weapon.

The Bible has prophesied many of these things and I believe we are at the verge of an all out war of biblical proportions. Could this be the Gog and Magog war spoken off in Ezekiel 38 and 39? I don’t know, I don’t want to make any predictions, but we are seeing some events unfolding as we have never seen them before. I have a strong sense that by this summer, we will see some events happen that could possibly cause an all out war in the Middle East. The escalation of Iran vs Israel could be the trigger for biblical prophecy to unfold right in front of our eyes. Iran wants to create chaos, in the Shiite religious belief, chaos will usher in the 12th imam or the Mahdi. It is Islams version of the Messiah, which is the Antichrist in Christianity.

What exactly will happen in the near future is uncertain, but I believe we have never been closer to the escalation of Gog and Magog. Many Bible scholars believe that Magog is Russia and as many of you know the former Soviet Union has changed dramatically over the last years. Many of the southern states are Islamic and are at the north of Israel with other Islamic countries virtually surrounding Israel. I have spoken to some Jewish scholars and some believe that China is part of Magog as well. That of course is a possibility, China sides with Russia on many decisions made at the UN. One thing is for sure, Israel has many enemies that surround her.

Coming back to Syria for a moment, there is a prophecy about Syria in the book of Isaiah that declares Damascus will be a heap of ashes. “The burden against Damascus. “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap.” Isaiah 17:1.  That has not happened yet, Damascus is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Seeing what’s happening in Syria, maybe that prophecy is not too far off? Whatever happens in the near future, we need to look at the Middle East, especially Israel. Israel is the center of the world,  Jerusalem is the center of Israel and the temple mount i.e Mount Moriah is the Epicenter.

It is also time for us Christians to stand with Israel, our current administration has thrown Israel under the bus and Israel will once again face the threats virtually alone. But on thing is for sure, Israel is the apple of God’s eye and God will not allow anybody to wipe them off the map. His promises to Abraham, Issac and Jacob will be fulfilled and the predictions about Gog and Magog will be fulfilled. God is in control and He will preserve and protect His chosen people. Let us all pray for the people of Israel that face a constant threat of annihilation from her enemies. If this escalation will result in the war of Gog and Magog or maybe a precursor, who knows. The stage is set. We are in the final act.

“For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”Psalm 83:2-4.

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