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 Signs of the time and the Word of God


The signs of the time, society heading into the wrong direction. It was not President Obama who chose this picture, but once again the liberal media portrays him as a Saint. I let the Word of God speak for itself.

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrew 4:12, 13.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.” Romans 1:18, 19.

“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:24-32.

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21.

“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.

Repentance before Salvation?


I had some very interesting discussions after writing two relating articles about faith verses works.  Is a person saved by faith alone or does he or she have to do something to earn their salvation?

I believe that the scriptures are very clear that people are saved by grace through faith and not of works. “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 2:8,9.

Now to me it can’t get any clearer than that. Paul wrote this so that no one can boast about what they did in order for God to save them from wrath.

One person was bringing up repentance, he wrote that repentance is part of salvation, which means that the repenting person is actively involved in the salvation process. Is that really so, do people have to repent before they are considered saved? Repentance means a change of mind/heart. I believe that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, He is in the world to convict people of their sin. Some receive it and some will reject the truth. My pastor once gave a nice analogy about repentance.

When the Babylonians invaded the land of Israel, they took captives and transported them to Babylon which was in what is  now modern-day Iraq. The Babylonians not only took the people, they burned down their homes to the ground, so that there was nothing for them to come back to. That is what believers should do, burn down their homes, spiritually speaking.

The question is, does repentance come before salvation and can we consider repentance as work?  I believe that repentance must come first. There are several verses that would back up that believe. Jesus spoke of repentance many times in the gospels. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”Mark 1:15.  Jesus confirmed that a person must repent, which means the acknowledgment that they have missed the mark and are sinners in need of forgiveness.

Luke wrote: “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38.  At first glance that sounds like that a person needs to repent before receiving the Holy Spirit, i.e to be “born again.”

Peter was talking to the Jews that had rejected Jesus as their Messiah. It was the day of Pentecost. Many believed that day, about 3000 souls were saved. The crowd listened to Peter as he preached that  Jesus is the promised Messiah and many had a change of mind (repentance). They believed the words of Peter and realized that Jesus was the Messiah that the patriarchs and prophets spoke about. That change of heart was a genuine repentance which resulted of the Holy Spirit indwelling them.

Question, was that change of mind the works of man or was it the Holy Spirit that convicted the crowd?  It is interesting, because in the very next verse, Peter said this: “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:39. “As many as the Lord will call.”

Sounds like it is God’s work. He is the initiator and He is the One that saves. Did these 3000 people do any kind of works or did they simply believed God through the message preached by Peter? Where did the faith that they all  had come from? Did they earn it or do something that triggered faith in them? I believe that is was the work of the Holy Spirit that convicted the people and brought about a change of heart. They heard and believed the truth.

Paul said in the book of Ephesians, Faith is a gift of God. It is all God’s sovereign work and I believe there is nothing anyone can do to either earn salvation or work for their salvation. People are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. No one can please God by their works. Abraham had no works, yet God declared Abraham as righteous. “And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Gen 15:6.

Abraham was justified because of his faith which was given to him by God. Hebrews chapter 11 is known as the Faith chapter or hall of faith. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham are on that list. Did Abraham do any work in order to be declared righteous? Was it works or his faith that made him righteous before God. It was faith in God and His promises that gave Abraham a righteous standing before God. Abraham had nothing to boast about, it was all God’s action and all the glory belongs to Him.

The Bible is very clear about that our works cannot please God. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Heb 11:6.

“Diligently seek Him.” I believe that God works differently in the life of every person. Some may hear the gospel preached at a crusade or at a church or maybe from a person that witnessed to them. They hear the message and believe and at that moment the Holy Spirit comes into them, making His abode. They heard and believed, changed their minds and received the gift of salvation. It was the Holy Spirit that worked in them and brought the conviction of their sins. God drew them and they repented.

I can only speak about my own experience that I had on that day when I received the Lord.  I did not go to a church or crusade. Nobody witnessed to me. I hit rock bottom about 6 years ago from alcohol abuse and I sat on my patio all by myself, feeling miserable. I remember it so vividly, I cried out, “God if you exist, please help me. I do not want to be like this any longer. This is not me!”

From that moment on my life changed. Something happened that was so amazing. I believe that a genuine repentance happened that day that came from the heart. I did not say, “I repent. I repent.” I do believe that God saw my heart that morning and that it was a genuine admittance that I was wrong and I was in need of a Savior.  God began a good work in me from that day on, I never had a desire of drinking again. I firmly believe that the Lord took that desire from me completely. I ask the Lord to forgive me for all the things I had done.  I was forgiven and born again that day and fell in love with Jesus my Lord and Savior.

To be honest, I didn’t know much about repentance, sin or anything else that the Bible teaches. I didn’t know about justification, sanctification, let alone the grace and mercy of God. All I know is that the Lord came into my life that day and I never have looked back. How was I saved? By my works?  I certainly had no works to boast about. I can’t say that I was an atheist or agnostic. I believed that there was a God, but I never paid any attention to Him or knew much about Him.

On that day something happened and I know that the Holy Spirit came into my life and changed me. Where did this faith come from? Not from me, I had no faith before, it was a gift of God. I believe that God knew that this day of my surrender would come long before I was even born. I lived a life seeking my own pleasures for 46 years  and when I hit rock bottom, He was there. God is always there, all a person needs to do is to make a U-turn and there He is.

On that day I was justified because I believed God, just as Abraham did so many years before me.  Justification is instant and cannot be changed or improved on. Sanctification is a life long process in which the Holy Spirit works in the lives of  every believer to conform them more and more into the image of Christ. That I agree requires participation of the believer, the willingness to surrender all to Him. That is the sanctification process, the Holy Spirit working in the life of a believer.

Sanctification can be painful at times, the Holy Spirit is pointing out what needs to be purged and done away with in our lives. Sometimes we may put up a fight to surrender it all, but one thing is for sure,  the Holy Spirit is patient and longsuffering, but He will never let us get away with what is not right in the sight of God for long.  He will sanctify us. Sanctification is a process, the Holy Spirit teaches us and shows us what needs to be purged out of our lives. This is the continuous work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the sanctification of every believer.

We need to see things from a spiritual level rather than from the human level. God gave us spiritual understanding and the mind of Christ. God wants us the be holy as He is Holy. He will complete that work.  “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;…” Phl 1:6. Again,  not our work but His work. He began the good work and He will finish it.

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Phl 2:12, 13. 

I know that some may not agree with what I’m writing and I am not being dogmatic about this whole issue. I do believe however that it is not us but God that has done it all for us. We have nothing to boast about, not about our own goodness or how wonderful we might think we are and how we deserved to be saved by God. It is by His grace and because He loved us. He loved us so much that He became flesh to become one of us and to die and shed His blood on the cross. That is unconditional love and what could I compare that with? Before I say I did this and I did that, I look at the cross and say;  Jesus did that. The thief on the cross?  No works and nothing to boast about, yet he was saved by the Lord.  The thief had a change of mind that was genuine and from the heart. That in my opinion is what it is all about, the heart. People in the world have a heart problem with a God shaped hole, a void that only God can fill. The Holy Spirit calls people to repent, some will hear His voice and some will not.

“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.

Fig Leaf Religion


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good without God?


Atheist or Anti-theist are pushing their agenda with the ultimate goal to remove God from the government, schools and public life. Atheist believe that without religion, society would be better off and the world would be more peaceful.

Religion in their view is outdated and obsolete. They argue that we have made many advances in science, the medical field and we possess a higher knowledge than our forefathers did. They believe that all the answers can be found in science and human wisdom. They believe that with human reasoning and science they can fix most of the problems facing modern society and the world today.

One of their arguments is, “if we could just get rid of these religious people the world would be a better place.” They have billboards and signs on buses that read: “There is probably no God” and “you can be good without God.” Atheist and Anti-theist have become increasingly outspoken over the last few decades and the liberal media outlets have given them a platform to do so. Although Atheist are a minority in this country and the world , people like Atheist Bill Maher have their own shows on cable TV.

Just recently, Bill Maher ridiculed Tim Tebow again and again because of Tim’s faith in Jesus Christ. He mocked him because he prays on the field and speaks openly about Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. I have not heard Maher and others attacking Muslims, Buddhist and Hindus in the media as they attack Christians and Christianity. Are they afraid to speak out about Islam? Are we dealing with hypocrites that attack one faith only, Christianity?  Political correctness has taken over this country and made it almost impossible to say anything in the media or in public about other faith groups like the Muslim faith for example. The liberal media is very quick to report on people who speak out against Islam and the Islamic Sharia law.

People that voice their concerns about radical Islam and it’s teachings are called by the media, Islamophobic. The liberal media seems to have no problem with Christian bashing on TV. Shows like Maher’s mock Jesus Christ and His followers, ridiculing them because of their faith. Would this country be better off without God? I don’t think so. We are already witnessing a vast moral decline in society. If we remove the God of the Bible completely from public life, this country and the world would be in chaos. The moral values that we once had would be forgotten and everybody would do what’s right in their own eyes. The US constitution is based on biblical principles, the ethic and moral law that we all enjoy can be found in the pages of the Bible.

The founding fathers, although not all of them were believers wrote the constitution with the ten commandments and the laws of the Torah as a guide. Many want to deny this today, trying to change the history of this country by adding things that are not true. Go to Washington DC and look at the US Supreme Court House. On the Western facade, you find the words “Equal Justice Under Law” and on Eastern facade,  “Justice the Guardian of Liberty.” The Eastern facade has Moses holding the two tablets with the 10 commandments as the law giver. Our moral and ethical values come from the 10 commandments given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.

The  judiciary laws are based on biblical principles. If we take God and the Bible out of the equation, how would this world look? Who would set the moral standards, who would decide what is right and what is wrong? What is right for somebody may not be right for somebody else.

If we solely base morality on human reason alone instead of God, how would this world look?  There are already plenty of people in society today that think there is nothing wrong with killing or raping someone.  Nothing wrong with stealing from others.  If we build a society based on human reasoning and human understanding without God or the ten commandments,  society as we know would cease to exist.

The reason that we are still live in a somewhat civil society is because of believing Christians that stand for conservative principles. I’m not saying that every non believer or liberal person is bad, but in general a liberal mindset has no boundaries. It’s a view of compromise, tolerance towards those with the same mind, but the most intolerant people against those in opposition.  Atheist and liberals look at issues as grey, rather than black or white. That is a dangerous view to have because it is clouded and uncertain. Jesus said, “Let you yes be yes and your no be no, everything else is of the evil one.”  Religions have been around since the beginning,  all religions have one thing in common, a set of moral and ethic rules to live by.  These different religions have much in common when it comes to moral and ethical values. Who gave mankind moral values? People intrinsically know when they did something wrong. They know that certain behaviors are wrong. How do they know?

Is it because God has given mankind moral standards that are instilled in every human being?  I heard a story of missionaries that went into the deepest jungle in South America and reached a people who were totally isolated from the world. They had a custom of revenge killing. After month and month of ministering to the tribal people and telling them about Jesus and salvation and forgiveness through Him, the chief told them a story. A family member was killed by a rival tribe and as it was their custom, he sought out the person and killed him in return. Justice was served in their belief. The missionary spoke in length with the chief and ask him how he felt killing someone. The chief answered that he knew it was wrong,  but he did it anyways and felt terrible afterwards.  God gave us all a conscience. Instinctively we know what’s right or wrong.  God’s law is written on our hearts,  some just ignore and refuse God’s law and have hardened their hearts.

So, my fellow Atheist, you may deny God and His existence. You may want to shout from the roof tops, “I can be good without God.” The fact is His laws are written on your heart. If you want to get rid of God from society, the society will collapse sooner or later. There are some Godless societies, North Korea would be one. Maybe that would be a good model for us to learn from? Instead of worshiping God, people worship the supreme leader.

“Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants.” Patrick Henry.

“It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.” Benjamin Franklin.

“Bad men cannot make good citizens. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience are incompatible with freedom.” Patrick Henry.

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.” Thomas Jefferson.

“The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free Constitutions of Government.” Noah Webster.

“It is written….”


il_fullxfull.262556887Have you ever felt like you are not worthy or deserving of God’s love?  Is the enemy whispering in you ears sayings like, “look at you, you messed up again” or “for sure, God does not love you after this one.”  Do you feel condemned and live a life of uncertainty?  He loves me, He loves me not. He loves me, He loves me not? 

That is exactly what the enemy namely Satan wants for the believers in Christ Jesus; a live of condemnation and fear.  Satan is the accuser and he accuses us all day and night before the throne of God.  That is what he does best.  He is a liar and a murderer.  Are we as finite human beings perfect?  If we could be perfect on our own, Jesus died in vain.  As believers we do stumble from time to time, we do things that are not pleasing to God.  Does that mean that we have lost favor with God?  We have three enemies, Satan,  the world and the flesh. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,  against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Eph 6:12.

These three are powerful enemies.  Satan tempted Jesus three times in the wilderness.  Satan tempted Jesus with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life.  We face those same temptations today.  Things have not changed much from 2000 years ago, the enemy is still the same.  His tactics and maneuvers are the same.  We are in a spiritual battle,  just as Jesus was.  Jesus did not give in to those temptations presented by the deceiver. He answered all three temptations with, “It is written.”   Jesus was quoting the scriptures from the book of Deuteronomy

He answered with the word of God, which is sharper than a two-edged sword.  The word of God is powerful and living and we as believers can overcome every temptation the enemy throws at us.  We can be confident because of the word of God.  Here are some scriptures that can give us the confidence and strength we need to overcome all things. “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. ” But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom 5:8. 

That would be on to throw back against Satan if he makes you doubt God’s love for you.  If we stumble or commit a sin ( nobody is sinless) we have this scripture to stand on: “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.”  1John 1:9, 10. 

Satan was defeated at the cross, everything that he does is only because God allows it for His divine purposes.  Jesus came to set us free from condemnation and to give us eternal life.  Satan tries to hinder us from fully realizing this freedom. So many Christians live a life of self-condemnation and a feeling of worthlessness. They fear God because in my opinion they have never really understood the true grace of God.

There is a very good book written by Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa entitled “Why Grace changes everything.”  He once lived as many of us a life of condemnation and had a legalistic relationship with God.  This book and the understanding of the true Grace of God can change a person’s relationship with the Lord.  A life of love, forgiveness and freedom that can only be found in Christ.  He came to set us free, not back into bondage.  “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10. 

Who is the thief?  It is Satan, the world and the flesh.  Satan condemns, the legalistic people put you under bondage and the flesh wants to bring you back to Egypt.  We as Christians can all enjoy a live of freedom through the power of the Holy Spirit, if we just step out of His way and let Him do His work. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27.  We can relax in Christ, He is the author and finisher of our faith. God wants us all to walk in victory over Satan our accuser. 

One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 118.  Victory without fear, trusting in the Lord and Him alone. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. “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 14:1-3. 

The Lord promised us to come back and that we will spend eternity with Him.  That is a comforting thought and our hope, to be with the Lord forever.  In the meantime we need to stay strong and run the race to finish it.  Satan may throw some stumbling blocks our way, but we will overcome, we are free.  If Satan ever whispers in your ears, “God does not love you”,  tell him, “It is written” and point him to the cross: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.  

We are the once that will spend eternity with Him because He loves us.  Satan’s fate doesn’t look all that great to me.  “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:10.

A 2000 + year old desert religion; still relevant for us today?


Christianity cannot be considered a philosophy as some have you believe. Christians believe and know that Jesus is the promised Messiah of the OT. He is the One that would come to be the Savior of the world through the shedding of His blood on the cross.

God made this promise way back in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit and sin entered the world. Sin brought forth spiritual death (separation from God). Satan the adversary tempted Eve by lying to her.  God had told them not to eat of a specific tree or else they would die. They chose not to obey God’s word and gave into the temptation of Satan.  He told Eve that they would not die if they ate of the fruit, contradicting God’s word.

What was that fruit? Nobody really knows, I ‘m sure it was not an apple. Because of this the fall occurred.  Did they die after eating the fruit? No, they did not die physically but they died spiritually. Satan did lie to them. Jesus said in the gospel of John: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” John 8:44.

There is no truth in Satan at all. He lied to Adam and Eve and he is lying to the world. He has deceived many over all those centuries and they died spiritually spending time separated from God for eternity. One of his biggest lie is that he does not exist and that God does not exist. Many haven fallen into that trap, including me for many years. They either don’t think much about God or flat-out deny Him. They serve Satan and don’t even know it. Bob Dylan once wrote in one of his songs, “you gotta serve someone”. 

The unrepentant world serves Satan and his agenda, willingly or unwillingly. The disobedience of Adam and Eve which caused sin to enter in to the once perfect world resulted in them being cast out of the garden. Adam and Eve saw the consequences of their disobedience, when one of their son Cain murdering Abel. God had created everything perfect but Lucifer a high ranked Cherubim had a pride issue and rebelled against God  (Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28). By tempting Adam and Eve,  the first recorded murder took place and things got worse after that. Sin was in the world and Satan was then and is now the ruler of this world because Adam and Eve forfeited the earth over to Satan. In the beginning was light but now Satan brought in darkness. The Bible which Christians believe is God’s written word to mankind, and is really a book of redemption. From Genesis to Revelation the book outlines God’s redemptive work, the promised Savior   to mankind as promised shortly after the fall. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15.

This is the first messianic prophecy found in the Bible.  The Bible is historically accurate and we have the creation account, the fall, the flood in the days of Noah and the multiplying of people and the origin of nations. The Bible tells us that Noah had three sons, Japheth, Ham and Shem. Japheth and Ham are the fathers of the African, Middle Eastern,  Northern  European and Asian nations. Through the line of Shem came Abraham, Moses,  King David and Jesus.  Jesus is the promised Messiah from back in Genesis. He came to the nation of Israel to reconcile them to God as promised. The OT speaks of the suffering Messiah in Isaiah 53. Jesus was that suffering servant who came and was despised and hated by own. He shed his blood on the cross for the remission of sins. The religious leadership rejected Him as the Messiah and because of that, God punished them by dispersing them throughout the world by the Romans in AD 70. 

As foretold in the OT the gospel i.e. the good news,  would come to all the Gentile nations because of Israels rejection. The Gentiles were grafted into the olive tree. The early Church started in Jerusalem and later went out and it was in Antioch that they were first called Christians or Christ-like. From there the gospel went throughout the whole world. The gospel is really simple and it is as important today as it was yesterday and no other religion or philosophy can save us from our sins. Forgiveness and salvation is only through Jesus Christ and His redemptive and finished work on the cross. The cross was the fulfillment from Genesis. Here is the gospel message in a very simple and easy way to understand:

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.  What could be more simpler?  Jesus purchased back the title-deed to the earth that was forfeited by Adam. God paid a very high price for it, the blood of His Son.  Jesus was the the lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. He was the unblemished passover lamb. The blood of the animals could only cover the sins of ancient Israel. The blood of Jesus the lamb takes away sins and God will not remember them anymore. They are forgotten as far as the east is from the west. Why is this “desert religion” still relevant 2000 years later? Because people are still sinners today and in need of forgiveness by God through His Son. The meaning of the word sin is simply “to miss the mark” and all of us have missed the mark. Many people say that they are “good people” and compassionate etc.  In the eyes of a Holy God however we all fall short of His glory. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 Sin is death and God can not allow sin in His presence because He is Holy and just and cannot approve of sin. There is a punishment for sin: eternal separation from God i.e. Hell. The Bible teaches that we all will die once and then judgement.

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” Hebrews 9:27, 28

A believer in Jesus as their Lord and Savior will not be judged as the unbelievers and those who reject Jesus and God’s plan of salvation. No religion or philosophy, good behavior and good deeds will get a person into heaven and eternal life. There is only one way and Jesus said so Himself:

“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

Personally I think that this “desert religion” is very relevant today. Considering that there will be a judgment of God and realizing that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. No one can stand before God and defend themselves on that day. The punishment for sin is eternal separation from God which is also called the lake a fire where the fire is never quenched. I am not sure how exactly that looks like, but I’m sure I don’t want to be there. Thanks to God because of His love and mercy towards us, He has provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him.  Jesus Christ the righteous and by believing in Him by faith, His righteousness is imputed onto every believer. It is His righteousness God the Father looks at, not our righteousness which does not exist. All sins past,  present and future are forgiven and there will be no eternal judgment but eternal life with Him. That’s the good news and I hope that you have thought of your life and where you will be spending eternity. Jesus is real and He is alive and He will come again to take the believers home. The Bible says today is the day of your salvation. Tomorrow may never come. Should you die tomorrow, do you know where you will be going? 

Jesus can give you that assurance by receiving Him as your Lord and Savior. He can forgive you of all your sins and you will be a new creation in Him. Don’t just believe me, read the Bible. Start with the gospel of John and learn about Jesus who He is and how you can know Him personally. Learn about Him, seek Him with all your heart and you will find Him.  May the Lord Jesus Christ reveal His love to you.

Sojourners


As I was driving on the freeway looking at all that traffic, the noise and the chaos, I thought to myself, man this is unreal. There are cars everywhere, in front of me, behind me and on both sides.

The freeways in San Diego can get pretty crazy at times, not as bad as Los Angeles but bad enough. Some people drive so fast that they zip in and out of lanes, passing cars at over 90 mph. Everybody seems to be in such a hurry all the time. Just looking at all this craziness made me think of times when things were different.

I grew up in a small town in Germany and things were pretty slow there. When I moved to San Diego in the early 80’s although San Diego was a larger city, there was still a more relaxed a more peaceful atmosphere. Things have changed quite a bit in the last 30 years. Sometimes I wonder, why?  Why are people so stressed out, so unhappy?  Are they still chasing the American dream or are they so stressed out and unhappy just to make ends meat?

Whatever it is, it gets me frustrated and I have to admit that sometimes I get angry about the busyness around me. It’s easy to get caught up in this world from time to time. Seeing this craziness everyday around San Diego, made me think of Father Abraham. Here is a man who lived about 4000 years ago in the land which is now known as Israel. I’m sure that in his time the world wasn’t as stressful or filled with so many distractions as we see them today, but even Abraham had to deal with many things. Like for example the pagan nations and hostile enemies that came after him and his descendants.

He lived in a world that was fallen and extremely hostile towards the people of the true and living God.  It made me think of Hebrews chapter 11, the Hall of Faith. It talks about several people who were before us like Abel,  Enoch, Noah and Abraham. They all walked by faith and believing that the were just sojourners on this earth. “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Heb 11:3. 

They all believed in a creator, and an eternal future by faith. “By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;  for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Heb 11 :9, 10. 

Abraham and his descendants lived as a “sojourner” in the land God had promised him, never owning any of it except the plots that he purchased for  him and Sarah. He “dwelled”, the Greek word is paroikos. In today’s terms he would have been like a “Resident Alien” living in the land but without permanent residency. I need to remember that when I get frustrated about the world with its busyness, hectic and stress. I am only a sojourner passing through this temporary world. This world is full of many different things, violence, hate and wars to name a few. It is not always easy as a believer to live in this fallen world with all its problems.

But we can overcome this world,  Jesus even told us that it will not be easy: “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.  While we sojourning here, we will face many challenges and trials in our life’s.  The world around us is getting crazier by the minute and people are desperate and struck with complexities. For many there seems to be no hope,  the economy, geopolitical events and no certain future for them or the children. Those of us who speak out about God and His plan of salvation are getting mocked and ridiculed because of our faith in Him. They seek peace but can’t find it. They seek satisfaction, but nothing satisfies.

Real peace and satisfaction can only come through knowing Jesus Christ. He gives the believers comfort,  a hope and a future that is eternal. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27.  The world will always be in conflict with the believers. The world has nothing to offer, all things will fade over time. We as believers are not of this world. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:19.

Jesus left us with a promise and a great hope, a hope that the world does not give: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. “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. 

In the meantime we live in this world and Satan is on our tails day and night, trying to entice us and get our focus of the Lord.  Abide in Him and we are kept by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” John 17:15-17.

God’s word is the truth, Jesus is the way the truth and the life. If we abide in Him, we will see Him face to face one day and our joy will be complete. All things will be forgotten. Thank you Jesus for your finished work on the cross. Thank you for dying in my pace. Maranatha Lord Jesus.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jhn 3:16.

The Lord Jesus Christ; God, Creator and Savior


This is a video I made some time ago. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….

“Revival”


 I hear many pastors and believers say: “Pray for a mighty revival.”  I am all for revival, but the revival needs to start with the church first and foremost.

There are many issues within the body of Christ that are conveniently swept under the carpet by many of today’s churches. The divorce rate within the church is greater than outside the church. Immorality is overlooked and sin is not addressed because “we don’t want to offend anybody”.  In many ways the church has compromised with the world.

A lot of churches lack good stewardship. We have so many church programs, activities and festivities, etc.  Many of us are running around looking busy doing the Lord’s work… are we?  Are we

really doing the Lord’s work? There are outreaches, altar calls and crusades which are good in itself and needed, but I have to ask myself the question, what are the motives?

Many times I hear about big numbers of people coming forward to receive Christ on some major outreach events.  “Thousands of people accepted the Lord over the weekend and they are going to heaven.” Really, how do we know?   Perhaps some just come forward because of emotions and atmosphere of the rock concert like environment. Thousands of people raising their hands to praise the Lord.

Personally I wish and pray that everyone that has come forward at any church or event, received Jesus as Lord and Savior.  In reality, only God knows the heart. Many of our churches have missions and missionaries that go all over the world bringing the gospel to people. I love missions and many good things have been accomplished and many have come to know the Lord.  We establish churches around the world, reaching out via the internet and radio. Awesome, love it! 

What about right here at home, in our home church? Are the pastors and others reaching out to their own congregation and see the problems of many? Many people are sick with cancer and other diseases. Some are in financial problems, had their homes foreclosed, lost their jobs and are in desperate need for help. Some person that sits next to you in the seat at church, may be spending the night in their car because they are out of a job and lost their home.

I’m not downing the church, I think overall we as the church do a good job. The reason I was thinking about this in the first place, is because of a comment I received on one of my videos. This following  comment made me think about all the hoopla in the church and the failure to serve our next door neighbor.  I believe, this church failed horribly and was a poor witness to a person in need.

Here is the comment: “I agree there is a Heaven and Hell. I believe Jesus said it best when he spoke of The Great Commission. I actually had lost my parents to cancer just recently, and went to the church, I was told the pastor was too busy, and the associate pastor was gone. I then called up my Buddhist friend who told me, “I think Jesus wants to use in a special way.” His compassion, and understanding helped me more than any MAN has ever done in a VERY difficult time in my life.”

This is a sad situation when you have a supposed shepherd of the flock being too busy with activities instead of ministering to a person in need of help and comfort. I think we all need to step back sometimes, (that includes me). We all need to test and examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith as Paul wrote. Are we reflecting the love of Jesus with our lives and deeds to others?  Like so many like to say: “What would Jesus do?” What do you think Jesus would have done with this person that came to the church seeking for comfort?

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” 2Cr 13:5

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1Peter 4:17.

Knowledge puffs up and there are many that claim knowledge of the scriptures, prophesies and eschatology. Some quote scriptures all day long condemning and judging others.  What good does all that knowledge do, if there is no love? What good does all the knowledge of scripture do, if there is no wisdom? Paul said that the greatest gift of all is love.  Love for our neighbors,  just as Jesus has commanded us. Jesus would not have turned this person away saying, “I’m sorry, but I AM to busy right now, come back later”.

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12

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