Jesus and the woman at the well


There is a beautiful story in the Bible, that many of us are very familiar with. It is the story about Jesus meeting the woman at the well. This woman was a Samaritan. Jews had no dealings with Samaritans, in fact, they were hated by the Jews, probably even more than the Gentiles.

The rabbi’s would travel around Samaria to go north, although the distance would have been much shorter by traveling through Samaria. They went out of their way not to go through Samaria, because of their extreme dislike of the Samaritans.

Not so with Jesus, He came up from Judea, traveling towards Galilee which is north of Jerusalem. Jesus did not choose the longer route in order to avoid contact with the Samaritans. In fact, He had a divine appointment with that woman at the well. “But He needed to go through Samaria.” John 4:4. 

Jesus knew exactly what He was doing, this divine appointment was foreordained and was God’s plan. Jesus arrived at the well around noon time i.e the sixth hour shortly before the woman would come to the well to draw water. It is interesting that the woman was all by herself, normally the women would come early in the morning to draw the water. Some believe that the woman came in the later part of the day because she was somewhat of an outcast in her village. As we learn later on in the story, she had several husbands and she was living with a man that she was not married to.

Why did Jesus go out of His way to meet this particular woman? Even she was baffled that a Jew would talk to her.

“Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? “Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:9-14.

At first the woman did not understand that Jesus was talking about spiritual things to her. At this point she had no idea that she was talking to the Messiah, the true and living God in the flesh. This woman had no idea that this encounter with Jesus would change her whole life and the life of many more Samaritans that came to faith because Jesus went out of His way to meet the women at the well.

What can we as believers learn from this story today? The religious leaders of Jesus’ days would go out of their way no to come in contact with the sinners and avoid them at all cost. What about us? Are we willing to go out of our way to meet sinners, those who do not yet know Jesus? Or are we more comfortable living in a Christian bubble, no contact with those outside the church? I wonder how many divine appointments we may have missed. Jesus went out of His way many times, in fact He sought out the sinners and even dinned with them. He cared about those who were lost.

Should we not have the same heart as Jesus did, telling people about Jesus and the promises of God that can change many peoples lives? Our testimony as believers and the love of God can change the heart of many, if we are willing to go out of our ways and to meet people like the woman at the well. Because of Jesus’ testimony about Himself to the woman at the well, many people of that city believed in Him and were saved. Salvation had come to them because Jesus was willing to go out of His way.

I pray that we have the same urgency and compassion that Jesus had. What the world needs is Jesus. The world needs to know about Jesus, not religion but the forgiveness, salvation and eternal life that God promised to all those that believe by faith. A loving relationship with the living God. Let us be the messengers of light to a lost people and a hopeless world.

“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” that is, the word of faith which we preach: that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:8, 9, 13-15, 17. 

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.

Hell is for real


Many have raised the question and discussed the existence of a literal place called Hell. Is Hell for real? I believe that it is, in fact Jesus Himself spoke more about the literal existence of Hell than anybody else in the Bible. Another word for Hell is the lake of fire mentioned four times in the book of Revelation. What is that place and where is it?  

 I don’t think that anyone really knows for sure. 

There are some that believe that hell is in the center of the earth, while others believe that it may be far out in the universe i.e. the outer darkness Jesus spoke off. “And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Mat 25:30. This phrase was used by the Lord  three times in the gospel of Matthew. 

The word Hell appears 32 times in all of the Bible. In the Hebrew the word hell is Sheol. According to the concordance the word Sheol can mean:  underworld, grave, hell, pit. The OT designation for the abode of the dead or: 1) place of no return 2) without praise of God.  3) wicked sent there for punishment.  4) righteous not abandoned to it.  5) of the place of exile.  6) of extreme degradation in sin.

In the New Testament which was written in the Greek the word Hell/Sheol is translated as Gehenna. Here is what the concordance list as to what it means: 1) Hell is the place of the future punishment call “Gehenna” or “Gehenna of fire”. This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.

The Apostle Peter in his second epistle uses the word tartaroo to describe Hell. Concordance: 1) the name of the subterranean region, doleful and dark, regarded by the ancient Greeks as the abode of the wicked dead, where they suffer punishment for their evil deeds; it answers to Gehenna of the Jews. 2) to thrust down to Tartarus, to hold captive in Tartarus.

I believe that Peter used this word because he was writing to a Greek audience and they knew what he meant by the word Tartaroo.

There are many even within Christendom that either flat-out deny the existence of Hell or fail to speak about from the pulpit. Just as many deny the existence of Satan i.e. the Devil. Universalism teaches that there is no Hell and that eventually everybody will be saved. Then there are those that would say, if God is so loving, why does He sent people to Hell? 

First of all, God does not send people to Hell, they send themselves there by rejecting His free gift of salvation which is through His Son Christ Jesus. He did not come into the world to send people to Hell, He came to set people free from sin and the white throne judgment of God that all of those who reject Jesus will have to face one day.

“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.

Many people know John 3:16, but many forget to read the other verses to get the full context of what Jesus was saying.  God loves us and he demonstrated His love by giving His only begotten Son, but many do not want to believe, do not care or simply reject Him. All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God (Rom 3:23).  All of us have broken God’s divine laws and we deserve punishment.

God by His Mercy and Grace has provided a way to avoid that judgment and that is through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Those who believe by faith will be saved and inherit eternal life. Those who reject will have a different destiny; Hell or eternal separation from God.

Some may say that God does not exist, therefore Hell does not exist. Can they really be sure? Can they be sure hat there is nothing after death?  I may not be able to proof the existence of God or Hell to an unbeliever or someone who rejects God completely, but I know that I know that God is for real, heaven is for real and unfortunately Hell is for real.

God does not want anybody to end up in Hell and I believe that He makes every effort to save people from that place. He does this through His word and the witness of others that share the gospel. People have to really harden their hearts before God let’s them go, just as Pharaoh did. It is not God that hardens the hearts of people. God gave Pharaoh many chances to listen to Him, but Pharaoh hardened his heart each time and rejected,  until God finally let him go.

I hope that there are many out there that have a soft heart that hear the call and the voice of God. This world as we know it is coming to an end. I don’t know the day or the hour, we are on God’s prophetic time clock. Looking at the world today, it’s a few seconds before midnight.

I’m no expert on Hell either, neither do I want to be, I never wanna see or be at that place wherever it may be. I hope that if you are an unbeliever and read this, not to laugh it off, but to at least think about what Jesus said and what He did. Jesus did for us what we could not do ourselves. He died for you and me, taking our deserved punishment so that we can spend eternity with Him. Eternity is a long time and there are only two destinations; Heaven or Hell. Which one will you choose?

“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.

 

Sinless Christians?


I have had several people tell me over the years that they are sinless and sin no more. Their argument is that born again believers are a new creation and thus they cannot sin and they have overcome sin through the power of the Holy Spirit. They quote 1 John 3 which says that a believer can no longer sin.

“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” 1John 3:9.

Sounds pretty convincing and convicting doesn’t it? Is John saying that a believer cannot sin and if he or she does they are of the Devil?

Let’s go back a few verses: “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.” 1John 3:3-6.

They following contains a few exerts from commentary by John Stott and David Guzik. I ‘m gonna put some closing thoughts at the end.

Sin is lawlessness: John defines sin at its most basic root. It is a disregard for the law of God, which is inherently a disregard for God Himself.

We often fail in the battle against sin because we won’t call it for what it is: lawlessness, an offense against the Great Law Maker, God. Instead, we say things like “If I’ve done anything wrong . . .” or “Mistakes were made . . .” and so forth. Call it for what it is: sin and lawlessness. “The first step towards holy living is to recognize the true nature and wickedness of sin.” (Stott)

You know that He was manifested to take away our sins: John here defined the mission of Jesus Christ at its most basic root – to take away our sins. The angel Gabriel promised Joseph regarding the ministry of Jesus: “you shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sin.” Luke 1:21

Jesus takes away our sin in the sense of taking the penalty of our sin. This is immediately accomplished when one comes by faith to Jesus.

Jesus takes away our sin in the sense of taking the power of sin away. This is an ongoing work in the lives of those who walk after Jesus.

Jesus takes away our sin in the sense of taking the presence of sin away. This is a work that will be completed when we pass into eternity and are glorified with Jesus.

He was manifested to take away our sins: This is the work of Jesus in our life. It is a work we must respond to, but it is His work in us.

We cannot take away the penalty of our own sin. It is impossible to cleanse ourselves in this way. We must instead receive the work of Jesus in taking away our sin.

We cannot take away the power of sin in our lives. This is His work in us, and we respond to that work. Someone who comes to Jesus does not have to clean themselves up first, but they must be willing to have Him take away their sin.

We cannot take away the presence of sin in our lives. This is His work in us, ultimately accomplished when we will be glorified with Him.

In Him there is no sin: Jesus had no sin to take away; therefore He could take away our sin, taking it upon Himself.

Abiding in sin or abiding in God.

Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.

Whoever abides in Him does not sin: Since sin is lawlessness, a disregard for God ( 1 John 3:4) and since Jesus came to take away our sins (1 John 3:5), and since in Jesus there is no sin, then to abide in Him means to not sin.

It is very important to understand what the Bible means – and when it does not mean – when it says does not sin. According to the verb tense John uses, does not sin means does not live a life style of habitual sin. John has already told us in 1 John 1:8. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. In 1 John 1:8, the grammar indicates John is speaking about occasional acts of sin. The grammar of 1 John 1:6 indicates that John is speaking of a settled, continued lifestyle of sin. John is not teaching here the possibility of sinless perfection.

“The present tense in the Greek verb implied habit, continuity, unbroken sequence” (Stott); the NIV has the right idea when it translates these verbs with phrases such as keeps on sinning, continues to sin, and he cannot go on sinning.

Whoever abides in Him does not sin: John’s message is plain and consistent with the rest of the Scriptures. It tells us that a life style of habitual sin is inconsistent with a life of abiding in Jesus Christ. A true Christian can only be temporarily in a life style of sin.

Paul’s teaching in Romans 6 is a great example of this principle. He shows us that when a person comes to Jesus, when their sins are forgiven and God’s grace is extended to them, they are radically changed – the old man is dead, and the new man lives. So it is utterly incompatible for a new creation in Christ to be comfortable in habitual sin; such a place can only be temporary for the Christian.

In some ways, the question is not “do you sin or not?” We all sin. The question is, “How do you react when you sin? Do you give into the pattern of sin, and let it dominate your lifestyle? Or do you humbly confess your sin, and do battle against it with the power Jesus can give?”

This is why it is so grieving to see Christians make excuses for their sin, and not humbly confess them. Unless the sin is dealt with squarely, it will contribute to a pattern of sin that may soon become their lifestyle – perhaps a secret lifestyle, but a lifestyle nonetheless.

What is important is that we never sign a “peace treaty” with sin. We never wink at its presence or excuse it by saying, “Everybody has their own sinful areas, and this is mine. Jesus understands.” This completely goes against everything we are in Jesus, and the work He has done in our life.

Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him: To live a lifestyle of habitual sin is to demonstrate that you have not seen Him (in a present sense of the ultimate “seeing Him mentioned in 1 John 3:2), and that you have not known Him. There are some people so great and so wonderful that seeing them or knowing them will change your life forever. Jesus is that kind of person. (David Guzik)

So, if some claim that they are sinless, are they deceiving themselves? I strongly believe so. As long as we live on this earth in our earthly bodies we cannot and will not be perfect. They only sinless and perfect One is our Lord Jesus Christ. If people could be perfect and sinless on their own, than Christ did in vain. Why do we pray the Lord’s prayer where it says “forgive us our trespasses?” Why did Jesus in His letters to the seven churches ask them to repent? What about the passage in Revelation?

“Then “I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” Rev 12:10.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” 1 John 1:8-10.

 

American Christianity


I hear about Christians getting slaughtered in Sudan or persecuted and killed in the Middle East by radical Islamist just about everyday. There is a pastor in Iran,  Youcef Nadarkhani that has been sentenced to death because he is a believer in Jesus Christ. The Iranian regime, governed by Sharia law gave him a chance to recant his confession in Christ which he did not. This man is a true believer that even though he was threatened with hanging he will not denounce his faith in Jesus. The Iranian regime has also declared that their goal is to wipe out Israel from the map and Ahmadinejad denies that the Holocaust ever happened. I was watching the O’Reilly factor yesterday and the son of Oliver Stone whose name is Sean Stone converted to Islam and is pretty much a defender of Iran and it’s regime. 

Newsweek has a bloody picture of Jesus on its front page with the title “War on Christianity.”  There is an all out war against Christians around the world.  This war is real, in Sudan the Arab radical Islamist from the north slaughter the black Christians in the Nuba mountains which is the border between Northern and Southern Sudan. They kill men, women and children with machetes, burning down churches by the churches. These brothers and sisters in Christ endure heavy persecution and many are facing death by the sword. Christians are hated by radical Muslims and there is no tolerance towards people of a different faith.

Everyday I read the articles and reports about what’s going on and it saddens me to hear and see these gruesome reports that come out of Africa and the Middle East. The Syrian government is killing its own people, Iran will soon have a nuclear weapon to attack Israel and the war against Christianity is becoming a reality. Can we as believers here in the west, especially here in the US even imagine what these brothers and sister have to endure and face everyday? The White House and the President who supposedly is the most powerful men in the world has been silent for the most part on many of these atrocities. Just yesterday Franklin Graham was on Pierce Morgan’s show talking about the crisis in Sudan and how the radical have once again started to bomb the churches in the Nuba mountains.

He also addressed the dire situation the Iranian pastor is facing and that he could be hanged within days. Graham said that the President hasn’t called anybody to the White House for a prayer meeting or to put pressure on the Iranian regime to free Youcef Nadarkhani, instead the President apologized to the Afghans because our military accidentally burned some Qur’an”s.  He did that on the same day when two American service men were killed because of the incident. What is wrong with that picture? Mr. President, stop bowing down to the Saudis and stop your political correctness when dealing with countries like Iran. We don’t have to apologize to the radical and the radical regimes, they attacked us. They should apologize to us for killing our brave service men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq. Christians didn’t fly the planes into the World Trade towers, radical Muslims did.

These are the same fanatic radicals that want to wipe Israel off the map, destroy America and the West. If any Muslims says that Islam is a peaceful religion, I doubt that very much and if the so-called peaceful Muslims are silent about what’s going on with the radicals of Islam, than they have become irrelevant.

Thinking about that, made me wonder, what are we as Christians suppose to do about this? Let me say first that I am not talking about every believer here in the US, I’m just broadly generalizing and please don’t take it personally if you read this. There are many good and strong believers that care and go out of their way to help those in need.  In general however, most of American Christians go to church on Sunday’s and think they have done their duty. They sit in a nice comfortable pew and listen to either a sermon or a Bible study in an air-conditioned facility, coffee and donuts afterwards, a little fellowship and off they go. Is that all or should we be more in tune about what’s going around the world to our brothers and sisters in the faith? There are a lot of activities and events, special concerts and many programs throughout the week. That in itself is not a bad thing, but are we that voice in the world for those who have no voice and are desperately crying out for help? Do we genuinely care about people who are persecuted and killed because they believe in Christ?

I hope that many of us are. I have to admit that we live pretty comfortable lives here in the US, which may change one day. Are we ready for that day? Or will we unlike the Iranian pastor turn away from Jesus because of persecution? We are living in days where prophecies are being fulfilled just about everyday, yet many of the churches or denominations have no clue about Bible prophecy or what some of these current events mean to us as believers. We are living in the very last days and I believe that the Lord will come soon for His bride. Will He find us sleeping as the five foolish virgins or awake and on alert as the five wise once? Israel is God’s time piece and we need to look at Israel because everything relating to the end times is centered in Israel, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount or the epicenter.

I wish I could go over to Iran and talk to Ahmadinejad and ask him to let  Youcef Nadarkhani go, or to be in Sudan standing with our brothers and sisters. Sometimes I feel like James and John who asked the Lord if they should call for fire to rain from heaven and make an end to all of this. There are many good Christian organization already over there. There is Far Reaching Ministries  led by Wes Bentley that trains chaplains  for any kind of situation that may occur.  Many of them know that they may never come home again. They are risking their lives every single day for the furthering of the kingdom and they are willing to give their lives and reach people with the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

I don’t have all the answers, but there is one thing that we as believers can do. Praying without ceasing. The prayers of the saints avails much. We can be a voice if we want to and not let the opposition silence us as some would love to do. The Lord Himself said: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Mat 5:13.

If we are silent we will loose the good fight and we will be trampled under foot. Political correctness is killing this country and the liberal agenda is anti Christian. Just as the liberals are uniting for their causes, we as believers can unite and speak up and fight the good fight. We can be that voice crying in the wilderness….unless we let the enemy silence us.

Personally, I would like to finish the race as Paul did: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2Ti 4:7.

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.

What’s in a name?


I came a cross a video on YT where a Jewish believer made the case that Christians use the wrong name for God and Jesus. First let me say that God is a title not His name. People of course use the word God very frequently and there are other religions that have gods. The name of the God of the Bible is revealed as YHWH or the “I AM.”

The person in the video made the point that  YHWH is His name and Christians should call Him YHWH instead of God. The name Jesus in our English translation is derived  from the Greek word Iēsous. That is the name the NT writers used in their epistles and the gospels in the Greek Septuagint. Most of us Christians that speak English use the name Jesus. The same is true in German and Spanish,  just with a different pronunciation. I do believe that most believers know that Jesus’ name in the Hebrew is Yehoshua or Yeshua, which means God or YHWH is our salvation.

What about calling Him Jesus rather than by His Jewish name? The point made in the video was this: if someone goes to France and meets a person named Pierre, which in English would be Peter and calls him Peter instead of Pierre and that person says stop calling me Peter my name is Pierre.

Would he not get offended if the other person keeps on calling him Peter? I’m not sure what to make of this, is it wrong to call our Lord and Savior Jesus? Many people who are not believers think that Jesus Christ is His first and last name. Christ is also a title i.e Messiah. What is your opinion? Is it a legalistic way of looking at a name or does the man have a point and we should call “Jesus” by His Jewish name? I think it would be difficult to change something that has been going on for centuries.

On a personal note, my given birth name is Freddy and sometimes people call me Fredrick or Fred. I can handle Fred but don’t like Fredrick, that is not my name. Would Jesus feel the same way? Would He say my name is not Jesus it is Yehoshua or Yeshua? I don’t really know, but I do like the name Yeshua. Should we call YHWH by His title (God) or by His name?  Well, I’m not getting legalistic about it. It’s not any issue essential for salvation. I believe that “God” or “Jesus” know Who we mean when we say Jesus or God. I welcome your input and feedback on this.

Freedom From Religion


Media 4 Life Ministries is pleased to endorse and support the Freedom From Religion Foundation:   http://ffrf.org

I am a believer and disciple of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, also referred to as a Christian.  I believe that the Freedom from Religion Foundation and myself have a common goal; to free people from religion. Jesus was against religion and the religious zealots of His days. A true follower of Christ is set free from a bondage to religion. He came to set us free from requirements and ordinances . Religion separates people from God. Religion is man trying to reach God on their own merit.

The Freedom from Religion foundation is a non-profit organization and has the nations largest association of free thinkers consisting of Atheist, Agnostics and skeptics. They have about 17000 members and was founded in 1978. Their motto: “Freedom Depends Upon Free Thinkers.”

I wanna thank the Freedom From Religion Foundation in supporting  the message of Jesus Christ and His 2 billion plus followers by declaring freedom from religion on billboards,  buses and in various media outlets.

Thank you for bringing His message of freedom from religion to the world.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32.
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36.

What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.” Phl 1:18.

The 10 Commandments


I was led to write this article after some comments I received about my post “Good without God?” Arguments were made that we can have moral values without God and that many people who are Atheist, agnostics or other can do good things to better society. I don’t disagree with those statements. People can do good deeds or have compassion and love others.  Morals, on what are we suppose to gauge moral values? If we gauge moral standards  and values on human philosophy and thinking, who determines the moral code for  society to live by?  One persons moral values may not be another persons moral values.  One persons morals  may be immoral to another. Who would set the standards for a moral society?  Who would get to decide what is moral and what is not?

I believe that God Who gave the 10 commandments to Moses on mount Sinai has given mankind a set of  moral values and laws which to live by. These 10 commandments are the foundation on which to build a society. God chose Israel to be a nation,  to live by those commandment and to be a witness to other nations that had no moral values and did what was right in their eyes. It’s too much to get into it now, but they did some deplorable things, e.g human sacrifices, killing, raping and worshiping man-made idols. In those days those things were standard for most nations, which we would call barbaric today. These things are still happening somewhere in the world, there are still barbaric practices that go on. Just look at Rwanda and the genocide there. Absolute evil without a moral conciseness. Rwanda is not the only place in our times, let’s look at Serbia and the genocide that happened there not too long ago. Parts of Africa and the Middle East with no regards of other people’s life’s and beliefs. They kill and rape because a people group has a different faith then them. They behead people or burn them to death. Is that moral? Maybe those who brutally murder and rape think that it is within their moral standards. Many of us would not agree that those things are moral, but there are others in the world that see no problem with those things according to their moral code and ethics. 

I believe that most people know at least some of the 10 commandments, believers or unbelievers. All around the world people know to one degree or another about the 10 commandments. As I stated in my previous article, the law of God is written on the hearts of man. People intrinsically know right from wrong, but many choose to ignore their heart.

Let’s take a quick look at the 10 commandments.  (Short version)  The 10 commandment can be found in Exodus 20.

1.  “You shall have no other gods before Me..  (people invented many false gods).

2.  “You shall not make for yourself a carved image…  (idols).

3.  “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain..  (broken everyday).

4.  “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy..  (a day of rest for the people).

5.  “Honor your father and your mother..  ( on the decline in today’s society).

6.  “You shall not murder..  (no words needed).

7.  “You shall not commit adultery..  (get’s broken).

8.  “You shall not steal..  (same as above).

9.  “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor…  (gets broken).

10. “You shall not covet..  (people desire many of the things others have).

The first 4 commandments are directed towards God. We should honor Him and reverence Him as our Father and creator. We should not make idols and worship something that does not exist. Some people say that they don’t worship anything. If you don’t worship God, you worship something.  Yourself, riches and material things, sports etc. God’s name gets used in vain everyday. Jesus has become a swear word, in the movies and society. The sabbath law for the Christian is a subject for another time.

The last 6 commandments are directed towards human relations and how we should live with one another. I firmly believe that if we would all follow those, we would not have the problems in society as we see them today.

These are the moral standards and code we as humans should live by. All of them however get broken every day and today we have thousands of laws in the books because people disobey the commandments given by God. Now, many will say that they have never murdered anyone or committed adultery or have lied etc. The religious leadership in the days of Jesus told Him that. They believed that they kept the law perfectly. Jesus didn’t think so and He actually put the 10 commandments a notch higher. People thought that they kept the laws, because physically they never murdered anybody or cheated on their wife’s. They may have kept the law outwardly, Jesus however showed them that is was and is a matter of the heart.

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment….”

If someone hates another person, they have already committed murder in their heart.

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery” “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

A person may not had sexual relation with another, but lusting after someone is the same as committing adultery.

These passage can be found in Matthew chapter 5.  Jesus clearly shows that God looks at the heart and not the outside. If we gauge our moral laws on human understanding and reasoning instead of God’s, where would we be? We as humans cannot know the heart of our fellow-man, even our own heart is unknowable and wicked. God judges the heart of man and here is what God said about the heart of man:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:1o, 11.

God will judge according to His law and He will look at the heart. There will be a day of judgment for everybody, whether some believe it or not. Everybody will face death one day, no exceptions and stand before God.

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment..” Hebrews 9:27.

Jesus narrowed those 10 commandment down to two: Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. “This is the first and great commandment. “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40.   If we  were to follow those two, we would fulfill the law to love God and not murder, steal, lie etc.

If we talk about moral values and ethics set by man or God,  I rather follow the moral code set by God and not of man and human wisdom and understanding.  A society that distance itself from God and His standards will ultimately fail. There is no other foundation that can be laid but God’s. If a society turns from God, wants to remove God from its life is a society doomed, sooner or later.

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”Matthew 7:24-27.

Can we really know God?


There are many religions in the world and all of them have some kind of a god. Muslims worship Allah for example and Hindus have  330 million different gods. Can anybody really know 330 million gods?

Muslims say that they know Allah and that he is the true god, yet they have no personal relationship with Allah. A Muslim can never be sure if Allah is pleased with them. Muslims have no assurance of Allah’s love for  them. They weight out their good and bad deeds and hope that the goods deeds will outweigh their bad deeds.  They hope that Allah will be merciful to them. They also have no assurance to make it to heaven i.e paradise. All religions are either based on a works based or man centered relationship with their god(s). That is what religion is,  man trying in vain to reach God on their own merit.

How about Christianity?  Can a Christian truly know God?  When I talk about God, I am referring to the God of the Bible,  the Creator of all things.  The only true and living God.  In all reality, there is only one true God, all others are man-made and do not exist. I know that will offend many religions and religious people, but it is the simple truth. There is only One true and living God and it doesn’t matter how many different gods people worship. Ultimately they will all face the true God, at the day of judgment.

Many people believe that it is impossible to know God. They say that God is incomprehensible, which He is. How can one know Almighty God that spoke the universe  into existence, simply by His Word?  It is way beyond our finite minds. When God spoke, His word traveled in the speed of light which is about 186.000 miles per second.  Awesome, incredible and incomprehensible.  God in the OT was know by Abraham as YHWH and to Moses God revealed Himself as the “I AM that I AM” in the burning bush.  God revealed Himself and His awesome powers through various ways to the OT Saints. Adam and Eve before the fall,  walked with God in the cool of the evening.  How can somebody walk with God Who is Spirit?  Moses wanted to see God and ask Him to show His Glory. “And Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory.” But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” Ex33:18, 20.

God did show Moses some of His Glory, by passing by,  covering the eyes of Moses and Moses saw the back or afterglow of God.  The result of that was that the face of Moses was glowing when he came down from the mountain. The children of Israel saw the presence of God as a flame of fire at night and a cloud during the day after the Exodus from Egypt.  God is so Holy that we as fallen human beings could not stand in His presence and live.

How than can Christians claim to know God personally and have a loving relationship with Him?  A Christian knows God because of Jesus Christ. He has revealed God to them.  Jesus, the second person of the triune Godhead became flesh and dwelled among us (John 1:14).  Jesus is the exact image of God, His character, nature and all attributes. “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.” Col 1:15-17.

In the OT times God  appeared to man as the Angel of the LORD. He appeared and spoke to Abraham in Genesis 18. Whenever God appeared to men in human form, it was through the person of Jesus i.e.the  pre-incarnate Christ.

He was the Angel of the LORD that spoke to Haggar after leaving Abraham with Ishmael. The Angel of the LORD  appeared to Moses in the burning bush (Ex 3:2). The Angel of the LORD appeared before Balaam riding his donkey in Numbers 22. He appeared to Gideon (Jdg 6). Manoah, Elijah and many others throughout the OT.

Whenever God communicated with men in human form, it was the person of Jesus. In the gospel of John in chapter 8 the Pharisees once again attack Jesus accusing Him of having a demon.  Jesus is making one of the most profound statements to them: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Jhn 8: 56-58.   Jesus took the very name that the Angel of the Lord revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush. “I AM.”   The Jews understood perfectly well that He said that He is God. That’s the reason they picked up stones to kill Him. Jesus is the great  “I AM”  or the becoming One.

Christians can know God the Father because Jesus declared Him and we know God because we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Jesus left heaven to dwell with man, He humbled Himself and became one of us. He willfully came to the earth dwelled among us and gave His life on the cross. He came to die for  those that would believe  in Him through faith.  Believers in Christ Jesus are forgiven of their sins. The scriptures are very clear, only God can forgive sins. “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”  Mark 2:7. They were right, only God can forgive sins and Jesus told the paralytic that his sins were forgiven. They called Jesus a blasphemer.  What they failed to see is that Jesus is God. The Apostle John makes it very clear who Jesus is:  “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.” John 1:1-3.

Christians believe in the trinity or the triune nature of  God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Co-equal, Co-existent, Co-eternal. One God in three distinct Persons but of One Essence.  (please see my article on the trinity).

Jesus showed us God. If we know and learn from Jesus we can know God and have a meaningful and personal relationship with Him by abiding in Christ.   “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. “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 11:27-30.

As true biblical Christians we can boldly claim to know God, because we know and believe in Jesus who is like the Father and He has shown us the Father. One of His own disciples was asking Jesus: “Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Philip wanted to see God, not realizing that God was in their midst. Jesus said: “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” John 14: 9,10.

As Christians we can have assurance of forgiveness and eternal life because of our Lord and Savior. We can also come boldly before the throne of God because Jesus opened the way to the Father, He opened the veil to the Holy of Holiest.

The answer to the question in the beginning is a big YES. True believers in Jesus can know God, His Character, attributes, His kindness, His love, mercy and grace towards those who receive the Son. There is only one way to know God and there is only one way to God.

“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.