Sunday, March 28, 2010

Will we as Christian's go through the Great Tribulation?

In all the years of my studies of the Bible, I feel this question is one of the most sought after of Christian’s today. I also feel that the church as a whole is in denial about this subject of the Great Tribulation, hereby referred to as GT in this writing. There are quite a few references to the GT by the OT prophets and of course, the Revelation of John. The Revelation of the Apostle John is an open book of the coming apocalypse that the LORD Jesus commented on frequently. The Gospel of Matthew chapter 24 and 25 is most interesting to me because it reveals and discloses mysteries that the Apostle John did not expound upon. All the prophetic writing welcomes each other in unison and appreciation of the other. In short, the GT was revealed to us as orchestrated by God’s own Holy Spirit. As for the answer to the proposed question, the answer is no, but, there is substantial scriptural evidence that Christian’s will go into the beginning or the first three years of the GT and will know the Beast of Revelation. The appearing of the Beast is the bench mark of the beginning of the GT lasting seven years.

I was taught from the outset that Christian’s would be ‘caught up’ in‘Rapture’ before the Beast of Revelation shows up and we would not witness the horror to come as God’s chosen. Over the years of my study of the Bible on my own, I have been amazed to discover this teaching is quite an error of most preachers and evangelists today. I want you to know up front that not all preachers hold this view because I have run across a few that teach the truth. It comes down to picking and choosing by the leadership of the Holy Spirit, after the fact of listening to them over time. I am not a date setter nor do I believe that we can know for sure when Christ Jesus is coming back, but, Christ did tell His Disciples to watch and pray. We will be able to discern the times and seasons.

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 25:13

For me, I believe the most intriguing place to start in the Scripture is Revelation chapter 20 and verses 4-6. It seems to cut to the chase about just who is going to see and be affected by the Beast and the difficulties he imposes on the very Elect of God.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

Do you see with me what the Apostle John has stated? Verse 4 states, “…and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” When I read this over and over for myself, I was amazed to discover and realized that the “Rapture of the Church” had not yet happened when the Beast arrived on the scene. If you will notice with me in the Scripture, the Bible clearly states that the first resurrection took place after the fact of the disclosure of the Beast, his mark, and his rage poured out upon those who would not take his mark, somewhere along the three or three and a half year mark. Let’s read it again. In verse 4 it states;

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The second sentence of verse 5 states; “…This is the first resurrection.”

Wow! What a discovery! This isn’t the only Scripture that gives us a clue to the timing of the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ for the Church. You only have to look at what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church of Thessalonica.

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he (Holy Spirit) who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” 2Thessalonians 2:1-7

This Scripture has a truck load of clues in itself. First, look with me at the statement of Paul in verse 3. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…” Just what does Paul mean when he says there will be a falling away first? This implies that many professing Christians today will be deceived by the false prophets and teachers of our day. I have never witnessed a time where so call Christians live such a loose and sinful life in front of others. The licentiousness of so called Christians today is appalling. One great example is to look at the Mardi-Gras in New Orleans each year and where one witnesses that Christianity is suffering blight by wickedness and lewdness in the name of the Church. Let’s face the truth; the Church is losing its influence and power every day that goes by. One good bench mark is by watching the laws of the land being changed or done away with each passing year. It most definitely shows we are in the last days of the Laodicean Church age mentioned in Revelation chapter 3.

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold(wisdom)tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:14-19

Secondly, Paul says in last part of verse 3; “…and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…” Who is Paul talking about? The Beast himself, yes a man that is coming at us embodying all the power of Satan. This ‘man of sin’ is going to stalk anyone who does not take his mark to buy, sell, or trade.
“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” Revelation 13:7

We might be asking right now, but why would God let this happen to His people? There are many reasons I can think of and there is one verse that sticks out in my mind.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46

Little do we realize that right now, God is culturing His ‘Pearl of Great Price’, i.e., the Elect of God, the Church. Many people, especially of the church, have a real problem with pain and suffering. Let me ask you, do you really think that God would exempt any of us from pain and suffering when He sent His only Son to die for you and me at Calvary?

“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” 2Cointhians 1:5

“And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.” 2Corinthians 1:6

“And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.” 2Corinthians 1:7

I have always understood that our God is just, righteous, and most holy. He is fair as fair can be when it comes to the treatment of His much chosen Elect. All we have to do is look around in the Scripture and see for ourselves that if one of God’s Elect suffers anything in this life, many others will suffer also. God is NO respecter of persons!

“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons…” Acts 10:34
So, we can attest that we are just waiting and watching to see when the Beast of the Revelation will appear on the scene and start taking action with all those who resist his mark and his decrees of lawlessness across the world. As I see it, the true believers in Christ Jesus will go through a time of refinement by being tested of their faith no matter how little or much. I can look back in the annals of history and see for myself the anguish, pain, and suffering of the afflicted believers who brought us the written Word of God. Many died as martyrs to propagate the Gospel of Christ and His written Word. Why should we be any different? We must think very highly of ourselves to think that this cannot happen to us in our day. The naked truth about the whole matter is that Christians today have become so enamored with the world that they have the mindset that if they act and look like the world, they won’t be bothered by the world. Well, that way of thinking isn’t going to float with God.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2Corinthians 6:14-18

The Scripture states that those who endure to the end will have joy and everlasting life. We will be tried and tested as going through the refiner’s fire only to be proven by fire. God tests everything by fire.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” Romans 3:3-4

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:7-8

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Is there really life after death?

Just how many of us really believe in life after death or eternal life? Well, to be a child of God that concept is a must for anyone to go to Heaven, the ultimate eternal goal of almost everyone. Not everyone believes in eternal life but some entertain the idea of reincarnation. To be Born- Again means the individual believes in the saving, keeping, and cleansing power of the blood of Christ which also guarantees eternal life. Little do people really know it is God that calls us to Him and not the other way around? For the unsaved, skeptics, and atheists, this is just a pipe dream and a fantasy of sorts with a religious backdrop. You know, the kind of stuff Hollywood looks for to demonize Christians. Searching for truth? We have to go back to the Bible for the truth. The Bible is the only source of truth to be had on this sin ridden planet.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1Peter 2:9-10

The Scripture gives the Born-Again, the Elect of God, a promise of an afterlife with Christ in their eternal presence. Because Jesus lives, we shall have life and life more abundantly. The Holy Trinity is eternal and so are we His people. The Word of God even gives us a clue to what we will be doing after Christ comes back and establishes His Kingdom on earth. We have all heard of the Kingdom of Heaven and this is where it culminates into tangible reality. The mystery is that the Kingdom of Heaven resides in our hearts as a child of God and is already here in spirit. The Bible is full of clues as to what the Kingdom of Heaven is and how it operates. I have always been intrigued as to how the Kingdom of God operates and its economy.

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6

The Kingdom of God, as I have discovered thru research and study of the Bible, is somewhat the opposite of life here on earth. To get an understanding of this concept we have to look no further than the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew, even though most all the Old Testament Prophets wrote about Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. Here we get the ground work of rules and the Law of Christ, or laws of the land, so to speak. In this teaching of the Beatitudes, Christ is trying to convey the different aspects of the Kingdom. Christ is trying to get us to see there will be a need for change and is giving all of us the sneak preview of what is coming at us in the future. In fact, the Holy Spirit of God is constantly making changes in my life as to acclimate to His new Kingdom. All of us who claim Christ Jesus as LORD and Saviour are a work in progress that culminates at His Second Coming. It is going to take some getting used to after we leave this old world for a little while at the ‘Rapture of the Church’. In short, Christ along with us, comes back to defeat the enemies of Israel at Armageddon, and reclaim the ancient City of Jerusalem and His nation of Israel for a thousand years with Christ, as the Prince on David’s throne in Jerusalem. By the way, the name Jeru-salem actually means ‘pursuit of peace’. This vision might be a little fuzzy for some to see and understand, but don’t worry any, Christ will make sure His Elect get there and we all get a copy of the program.

I have always been intrigued as to just what my role will be in the Kingdom of God. Another Scripture clue is given in Revelation chapters 1 verse 5&6 and Revelation chapter 5 and verses 9&10.

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Rev. 1:5-6

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10

So we get another clue here that there are some of us who will discharge the duties of a king and others, priests of Christ’s appointment. Let’s don’t get our hopes up just yet. Little do we know just what qualifies a child of God for these duties? This where it gets tricky for a lot of us, because the Scripture plainly states:

“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19

In this Scripture we get another clue as to what qualifies the individual, obedience to Christ here in this life. Not very many pass that test.

And then there is the clincher of all times, our works here on earth.

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13

Yes, we read it right; our works performed here on earth determines our new found status in the Kingdom of God. We know from the previous Scripture of 1 Peter 2:9 that “we are a chosen priesthood”, so for the most part, we will assume we will perform the roll of priests in the presence of Christ on earth. But who then is qualified to rule for Christ in the Kingdom? We will be surprised to know it probably will not be any preacher, or TV Evangelists, or anybody that is famous or notable in this life. We can get a clue to how God chooses His man or woman for special duty from the Bible.

We can glean the answers to a lot of questions of how God operates from a simple prayer from an obscure woman named Hanna. Hanna and her husband was almost desperate to bear a child and begged God to allow her to have a baby. Well in time and according to the will of God, her prayer was answered and as a token of appreciation and adoration of God, Hanna gave the child back to God in His service of priest of the Temple. Hanna, in her humble wisdom of God discloses the wonders and operations of God and His Kingdom. This sincere woman held more truths about God than many men of God I know of today.

“And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed. 1Samuel 2:1-10

So we can see through Hanna’s prayer what it is that motivates God to choose from amongst His people to anoint to positions of grace and responsibility and answer to God alone. In this next verse we can recognize those newly appointed kings and those martyrs who overcame the beast reigning with the LORD forever in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4

We have to keep in mind for our sakes and our futures sake, that what we do and say here on earth really counts for something and our actions here will have weight on the appointment for duty in the Kingdom. We have at our disposal all the necessary tools and equipment to prepare us for the future with Christ. His name is the Holy Spirit. But, the secret to success with Christ is to be obedient here and now and we accomplish that by His power and His Spirit. If we seek fame or fortune, wealth and riches, here and now, don’t expect to make it big in the Kingdom of God. God is looking for men and women who count themselves as dung and humble themselves in His presence, continually. They have no name in this life and are obscure to the world. The Apostle John discovered for himself and told the secret of success with Christ and His Kingdom.

“He (Christ) must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

My prayer for you is that LORD Jesus will bless you as you grow in grace for the Kingdom of God and all His glory.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

No Fear of God?

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7

I have heard many Christian’s proclaim that they don’t really fear God because they know that God is a God of love and mercy. I guess what they say is because of their spiritual understanding of God and attribute their attitude to their limited knowledge of God. It is a misunderstanding on our part that God actually desires each of us to fear Him and love him at the same time. The correct understanding of the term of fear is important and is most often overlooked. This is accounted for the misunderstanding of the different cultures, both East and West.

When I was a little boy, I grew up in the love of my parents because they nurtured me and took great pains to see me grow up into adulthood with the proper attitude and demeanor. No doubt there were times I spread my little wings to test the waters, so to speak, just to find out that my parents had authority and above all, power over me. This power was demonstrated when I got out of line in front of them. Usually, it was because I didn’t get my way about something or, just for the sake of pride and arrogance. I praise God today that I didn’t come from an abusive home like so many of us my age did.

In Biblical terms, fear means reverence of or a reverential fear of God. This term doesn’t imply a cowering; face covering, vertical posture, in His presence as most would like to think. It simply means, we have an understanding of who God really is and this can only be acquired by reading of the many Old Testament writings handed down to us. In this respect, this is why the Old Testament is so important to us. In the writings we gain knowledge about God and soon discover His many wonderful attributes. He can be anything He wants to be depending on how we approach Him. It really depends on us and our attitude about Him.

For instance, if I so choose to approach Him out of arrogance and pride such as demonstrated by cursing and taking His name in vain, or totally ignore His presence every day, one would expect God to reprimand me severely and bring instant judgment upon me. But just because God doesn’t act upon my arrogance immediately, one would get the feeling that he or she is in control of their lives and continues to produce this insubordination. Then as time passes by and the event that caused the insubordination is forgotten, Almighty God decides to move against the individual and judgment is administered with great bewilderment. We might ask ourselves, why did God do that to me? Or why has God turned against me? The truth is, God always sees us in any light and fashion. We cannot hide from His all knowing presence. Thus, sometimes our reaping is delayed to the most opportune time as to increase our understanding of God and His infinite wisdom. We don’t understand God; let’s admit it now and forever. His ways are so much higher than our ways He is almost untouchable as is portrayed in the Old Testament. If He seems untouchable, there is a very good reason for His action, despite our misunderstanding on His part.

“For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.” Psalms 10:3-7

Then there is the opposite side of the coin to where God administers problems, setbacks, and sometimes outright misery upon His children. This scenario presents a real problem for a lot of people. It has caused many a person to turn their back on God and walk right out of His presence forever, or so they imagine. The entire Book of Job reveals a lot of this and how Job dealt with His maker and vice versa. Little do we know, God wants a personal relationship with each of us and thus the many different approaches and events that take place in our lives? Forgive me if it seems I’m trying to explain away the reality of pain, heartache, and most often misery. But it is only because I have experienced these things for myself. It is a fact that bad things happen to good people and in the case of Job, a righteous man of God. But why, we ask? Why does God resort to such drastic measures when all he had to do was just let us know what He wanted from us in the first place?

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28

Well, for a fact, Almighty God tried that a long time ago back in the Garden of Eden. If there were ever a couple of people who really had it made, it was definitely Adam and Eve. We all know the story and how they fell from GRACE only to be subject to LAW. This is our entire story in a nutshell. We have all been born with the fallen nature of Adam and Eve and under the LAW when we enter this world and that is the reason God approaches us the way He does. The problem is that we have this preconceived idea that we are innocent and haven’t done anything wrong against God. But little do we know and understand that just being born in this world we are automatically an enemy of God much to our ignorance of this situation. In short, we have to be taught that we are against God, our very maker, at the outset of our lives. Therefore, we learn to fear God first. That is the Law of God.

“Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?” Job 1:9

There is HOPE and there is a remedy for all this anguish. The remedy is Christ Jesus at Calvary. God sent His Son Jesus to rescue each of us out from under the LAW by giving Himself a ransom for us all. King David expresses his gratitude towards God and His mercy while looking towards Calvary by writing this Psalm.

“Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” Psalms 2:11-12

“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.” Psalms 25:14

That covenant is Jesus and His saving grace that we all are in need of. There are many, many verses in the Bible that substantiate the fact that we must fear God in our lives for our sake and for the sake of others. Yes, for others also. Our belief of fear and trust in the living Jehovah God is transpired to everyone who comes in contact with us. This is so important to understand that many lives and souls depend on just how much we fear and believe God is who He says He is. If we don’t believe, if we don’t fear, how can we expect others to believe what we have in our possession? Our perception of God is very important and will have eternal repercussions upon our lives.

“Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.”
Psalms 34:11

“Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:5

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Does Free-will really exist? Conclusion

King Josiah no doubt had his task cut out before him because of the past wickedness of his father’s (kings and leaders of the nation). But during Josiah’s reign the entire nation of Israel experienced a revival unprecedented in their history.

“And there was no Passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” 2Ch 35:18

We would think that God would be pleased with all that Josiah did and performed magnificently for Jehovah God. God did promote a time of blessing and prosperity and the people came back to God, but there was some unfinished business that God had to take care of. Little do we know about the Law of Sowing and Reaping, or The Law of Cause and Effect but, it was an established law that is conveniently overlooked every day we live.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:7-10

Who is it that keeps score on our past, present, and future? Is it Allah? Is it Buddha? No, it is our very creator, Jehovah God. And just because a person doesn’t believe this law doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Nobody wants to keep the score on every human being because they don’t pertain to us on someone on the other side of the world, I for one wouldn’t. We just brush it aside and say, I don’t need some else’s problems, I have enough of my own. But, guess what, Jehovah God does. Little do we know that what others do, no matter their geographical location, has some effect on you and I. We are all interlocked together on this globe and we feel the effects of others from the past and present which in turn has grave effects on our future. For example, just look at our judicial system alone. Many of those laws where integrated and adapted from antiquity from Grecian law, Roman law, and Germania law. In short, what the past ages produced is being projected into our lives as we live each day. Whether we like it or not is irrelevant, there are consequences for our actions and we will affect somebody somewhere along the way, it guaranteed by the Word of God.

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2

This one of the reasons we need to study the Word of God because we can learn from the mistakes of others. There are great Biblical truths to be discovered when we read the Bible and it does have an effect on our lives in this day.

Back to the subject of Josiah, I feel that most of his motivation was to right the wrongs of the past. But just how would one go about setting things right? Sacrificing a million lambs should suffice, shouldn’t it? It is well recorded that he spent every waking hour re-establishing the worship system for Jehovah God that was well neglected by his father’s. This should work shouldn’t it? Let us reason for a moment.

As I mentioned before, Josiah’s father’s committed horrible, abominable, hideous, sins of Idolatry, infanticide, and sexual perversion with no remorse or regret. It sounds a little like today, doesn’t it? Who do we think God will hold accountable for those actions. Well, the individual of course, we might say. But God goes further with this reasoning, much further than we realize and are comfortable with. God also will look to the congregation, or nation of which collectively took part in the debauchery. In short, everyone involved partook of the same sin cup without doing anything about it. It is sin by association and sin by omission.

Josiah and his generation partook of some very good times and walked in the light of God, but God in His infinite wisdom soon decided it was time to take Josiah out of the way to pave the way of justice and righteousness of the land itself. We have forgotten about the little ones, the innocents, the babies, sacrificed to pagan gods. God hears there screams and cries of anguish coming up from their horrendous deaths. The land itself was reeking of the blood of innocents and God was going to do something about it and is going to do something about it.

“Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah: Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.”
2Ch 34:24-25

Yes, the day of God’s judgment and restitution was nigh. And to bring it on, God had to remove his righteous man to do it. We don’t see or much less understand God’s time table or the big picture of all eternity past and present, but God sees all and knows all and therefore acts accordingly to the very laws He established so very long ago, long before you and I arrived to see the damage already done.

“After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.” 2Ch 35:20

“And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations. Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to that which was written in the law of the LORD, And his deeds, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.” 2Ch 35:25-27

Can we learn something about this? Can we see the impact Josiah had on his people and the land itself? Can we see that there are repercussions for our actions or our apathy and complacency? Can we see that despite what we think or believe, we will reap what we sow whether our actions are good or bad? Can our president and leaders invoke God's wrath upon our nation? Is there really such a thing as Free-will, or is it the God given privilege of making the right choices? It is for each of us to decide and be ready to live by it, in light of being judged by it, one day soon.

“Free-will carried many a soul to Hell, but never a soul to Heaven” Charles Spurgeon

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Does Free-will really exist? Part 2

For the next point I would like to mention that despite all the efforts and good works that Josiah performed, there was still the problem of past sins committed by their fathers or past kings.

For instance there was King Ahaz and his poor performance record.

“Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father: For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.” 2Ch 28:1-4

And there was Manasseh and his poor performance record.

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem: But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.” 2Ch 33:1-3, 6

And there was King Amon and the record of his poor performance.

“Amon was two and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned two years in Jerusalem. But he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as did Manasseh his father: for Amon sacrificed unto all the carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them; And humbled not himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more. And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house. But the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.” 2Ch 33:21-25

There are numerous more that sinned against Jehovah God and there those who did it right in the sight of the LORD. It is all recorded and in many places throughout the Scriptures. My point to all this is to bring out the choices that all of these men were presented with. Did they really act upon Free-will or were they motivated by Satan and his demons to perform these atrocious acts of child sacrifice and Idol worship?

I feel at this time we tend to get the terms a little confused and don’t realize what we say and what we really mean by it. For instance, I had a young lady to remark to me she didn’t believe that we did not have and exercise a free will and rejected any idea that we respond to the whims and wishes of the supernatural spirit world. Of course, with no success, I tried to explain to her that, yes, we have and are presented with a plethora of choices all the daylong but, just who is it that is presenting the choices?

The long and short of it is that we are maneuvered all day, every day by forces unbeknownst to us most of the time. There are those who do recognized and expound upon the fact that there are demonic spirit forces driving us to perform their desires for us, such as the accepted witches of our day and those who are spiritually wise by the way of wisdom from God. Some spirits are very powerful and some, not so powerful as to give us a choices in the matter. Any way we look at it, if it appeases the flesh, we will perform magnificently for the demonic spirit world, but on the other hand, if we are to perform for the Holy God of the universe, performance requires His power to perform those things He desires of each of us. Whether we accept it or not, the truth is, we are at war over our very souls, every day we live. God’s power and Holy Angel’s battle over us every day and Satan has proved to be a most worthy opponent in this battle.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:12-13

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Does Free-will really exist?

I have been studying in the book of II Chronicle’s chapters 34 and 35 of lately and have discovered some most astounding Bible truths. This is the recording of the installation of a new king named Josiah. King Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign and reined for thirty-one years. I was quite amazed when it dawned on me that this lad and his life was recorded for posterities’ sake so you and I could go back to it and glean the truths of Scripture. It wasn’t enough to say that just his most noble deeds were recorded while he was alive, but goes even deeper and further to record the integrity in which he carried out his deeds. It speaks volumes about an individual when the details are carefully integrated throughout the writings for example verse 2 which states:

“And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.” 2Ch 34:2

It is concise no doubt, but for the Word of God to have on record the moral stamina, integrity, and internal fortitude portrayed on just a few short sentences is most amazing. This scripture is examining Josiah’s entire life span in one sentence, astounding! I often wonder how it will be recorded of my life when I have passed off the earth. Could someone examine my life and record it in one sentence? Well, all I know is that God will have all the records on hand when I stand in front of Him at the Bema Seat of Judgment. My turn will most certainly come one day.

I feel that King Josiah was highly motivated to perform the right thing at all times, but where did this motivation come from? Verse 3 and 19 gives us a clue.

“For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.” 2Ch 34:3

“And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes.” 2Ch 34:19

You might be thinking by now, but Josiah sought God and therefore was motivated to do the right thing in his life. It just might seem that way but we have to compare precept upon precept to get to the truth. The fact is that no one seeks the LORD without first having been sought by God. There is ample Scripture to prove this point and this amazing verse adds it all up.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” Romans 3:10-11

So we can see clearly that it really wasn’t Josiah seeking after God but highly motivated by God to seek Him.

My firm belief is that the idea of Free-will and the omniscient, omnipresent, sovereign Jehovah God cannot co-exist.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Arguing With the LORD

Today was not a fun day for my wife. It turned out to be her turn for jury duty. She asked me to get her up this morning when I got up around 5:00 am. Needless to say, she was not a happy camper. I didn’t know it until later, but she had been up all night with some kind of stomach bug and didn’t get in bed till around 3:00 this morning. I got up, got dressed and had my coffee with my morning devotions and prayed real hard for Sue because I knew she was going to be one ill puppy this day. As it turned out, I saw her in the bathroom light and it didn’t look good. She had already started gripping and complaining about how to get out of jury duty somehow some way. There just had to be a way.

I really felt sorry for her knowing how bad she really felt but, down deep in my heart I knew that if the LORD didn’t want her to go, He would have made a way for her to avoid it altogether. This wasn’t the case. As it came closer to time to leave, I gave her a big hug and a kiss and said that there was a definite reason for the LORD wanting her to be there in that courtroom today. I could hear her dropping things in the bathroom and slamming drawers in the bedroom. It was going to be a rough day.

I went on to work and wanted to call and check on her but I knew she would have her cell phone turned off, so I just prayed for her all day. A little after lunch time I got the call I was looking for. She was just amazed at the way the LORD had orchestrated her day and come to find out when it came time to either swear in or by affirmation, she was the only one in the court room to affirm to tell the truth and avoid swearing on the Holy Bible. As soon as she stood up, others in the room soon followed her lead and started popping up all over that court room. When she told me all about it, it brought tears to my eyes and I praised the LORD for an opportunity for Sue to stand up for her LORD.

During the day at the court house she was still feeling poorly, but you know the LORD walked with her all day long and introduced her to new Christians who very soon became her new friends. Sue told me she even had an opportunity to do some grief counseling with one of her new acquaintances that was struggling with having to put her mother in a rest home just to watch her pass away soon. The guilt was tremendous on that lady and Sue had just the right words straight from the LORD. God is so good to us and even when we feel bad and gripe and complain, the LORD knows just what will be the right medicine we need. He always knows what’s best for His child.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Starting Challenging Things

I received an email from my friend and Sister in the LORD, Debbie, suggesting that I begin blogging with the subject of starting new things and the challenges it presents. Such as, this new blog I started today.

I have been wrestling with this idea for quite some time now and had tried to keep up with the flow of things on Face Book. That didn’t work for me and I got discouraged from posting on it. But today was different. I found myself tugged on by the LORD to start this blogging on my terms and not someone else’s.
When I want to or have the heart felt need to start something new, I have to remember that it pays to start off small and grow with it, no matter what the ‘it’ may be. I am reminded that I was not born hardwired for anything but will have the daily challenge of learning and adapting to change. WOW, we don’t like change do we?

I remember that time in my new Christian life that I didn’t know very much about the LORD, the church, or anything about my responsibilities of being a child of God. I was just a babe in Christ and soon learned I needed help with this new challenge. I was instructed by the guidance and love of other Christian’s to read my Bible as often as I could, pray to the LORD, and be sure to attend church somewhere close by. I soon realized that was very good advice and it sure worked for me. God loves us all and His desire is to see His children grow up naturally and healthy under His all knowing and all seeing watchful eye. We might not ever be masters at what we do, but we sure have a better understanding of the subject as we grow older day after day.

Separation of Church and State

On the question of how do I feel about the separation of the church and state from my Brother Keith, I will respond in this manner.

I never have quite held a favorable opinion of a state run church and that is one of the things I love about America. In recorded history, many countries have used the church, and the operative word here is “used”, to acquire control of the people within those countries. Personally, I believe this way of doing things leads the church into headlong corruption and government tampering with spiritual matters. Such as, is it right for a Christian to bear arms against his fellow man? The state would have the church to say yes, it the rightful duty of every citizen including Christian’s to bear arms against his fellow man as it did in the case of Henry the Eighth of England and every other European country on the planet.

On the other hand, our LORD, stated in the Bible, “... Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.” (Matthew 22:21)

So, I feel that everyone owes to the state that which is required of him or her, but not on a volunteer basis. We have to remember, we are the children of the LORD and we are here to propagate the Kingdom of God and not the government and its belief system. We as Christians in America get all too caught up in patriotism to be of any good for the cause of Christ and His Gospel. You will find out that you cannot serve two masters, for you will love one and hate the other. I have always felt that if a Christian tried to straddle the fence on the state and church, they would soon weary of the tedium of balance. The truth is, there is no balance between the state and the church and there never will be. Sooner than later, one will over ride the other and a compromise will ensue. It is a hard lesson to learn that God doesn’t care a thing about compromise, in fact, He abhors it. This is the lesson most Christians will fail with God in their walk with the LORD.
What is your opinion?

Personal Testimony

Well, I have received two emails from friends who are happy that I have begun a new work, blogging. My good friend and Brother in Christ known as Tom, has asked me to share a little of my testimony to start things off.

Most all my friends know that I was born and raised in Carteret County, Morehead City to be exact. In 1964, I was introduced to the Gospel of Christ by a visiting preacher. That summer in July, my parents and I were visiting a little country church in the small southern town of Newport, NC. I was saved that night as a result of the truth of God’s Word. The truth was, I learned for the very first time that I was sinner and on my way to a devil’s hell. I was just 10 years old. I was thinking, now I am just ten and what could I have done that would be so bad to qualify me to go to hell? When the preacher read the Scripture, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”, something happened to my hearing and my heart at the same time. I felt I was having a heart attack. I had never felt like this before and later on found out that it was the working of God’s Holy Spirit dealing with me sitting in that church pew. Before the night was over in that revival meeting, I thought I was going to burst if I didn’t get to the altar and talk to God. It was God wanting to talk to me, I found out. He sought me out and revealed to me the wretched condition my heart was in and I wasn’t even aware of it. I gladly received the LORD into my life and my life has been an adventure all these years. It was the best move I had or ever will have made in all my life. I never knew why or how much God really loved me until I surrendered my all to him as a little boy. He is the LORD of my life and I am so happy to be His child and a member of the family of Jehovah God.

How did you come to know the LORD? I would love to read about it. Please share it with me so we can be a blessing to all that come to this site.

To begin with:

Hello everyone, my name is Albert. I would like to introduce myself before I get started on a subject. I would like to state that I am a born-again Christian because you will understand better just where I am coming from in my remarks and posts. That classification has today taken on a different meaning than it used to. By that I mean that we who are born-again have been stereo typed into feigns, crazies, and witch hunters of sorts. I want people to hear and see for themselves that everyone who claims to be born-again are not always on the same page. I mean, everyone of us have different points of view, backgrounds, and beliefs, but still claim to be born-again. I feel that all that I am asking is for people to get to know me before they stereotype me and become my judge over my life. I feel that I have an open mind of sorts because I enjoy conversation and understanding of what has become truth in my life and in the lives of others. Truth to you could very well mean something entirely different to you than it does to me. We will have to explore that idea on down the road.

I want you to know that personally I have come to the final conclusion to all my questions and answers, so far, based on the Bible. I consider it to be the final authority because it is God's Holy Word that I can find comfort and answers to life's most difficult questions. The Bible has proven over and over to be my source of truth because of the outcomes of events that have changed my life forever. I have to admit, I haven't found all that I am looking for yet and thus the reason for this blog. I need input and I need fellowship from others who are willing to open up and venture out in search of truth. I understand that there are those that do not adhere to the Bible, but to other sources such as the Koran, the Book of Mormon and etc. For me that is OK for now because I know if God really wants you, He has the ability and power to overcome any obstacle in the way. He knows His Elect and will remove anything that gets in the way to move them towards Him.

Just for the record, I want you to know that I study continuously in all areas of thought, sometimes, because of curiosity, but for that most part, because I know of someone that is consumed, hurting, or just floundering in life. I have had to study subjects that turn my stomach just so I could gain knowledge of what that individual is associating with. Sometimes, it isn't pretty, but sometimes it can be very rewarding.

I am extending an open invitation to join me and converse with me with what ever is on your mind. I will prayerfully try to do my best with whatever is presented. I want you to know that no matter what is bothering me and you, God has the answers and we will seek the truth of the matter.

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