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Political situations in the Bible?

I was reading these Scriptures in the Bible, and I came across these verses which I even shared in the Scripture reading in the Church.

1 Kings 16

Elah Reigns in Israel

In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha became king over Israel, and reigned two years in Tirzah. Now his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him as he was in Tirzah drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, steward of his house in Tirzah. 10 And Zimri went in and struck him and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place.

11 Then it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he was seated on his throne, that he killed all the household of Baasha; he did not leave him one male, neither of his relatives nor of his friends. 12 Thus Zimri destroyed all the household of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet, 13 for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, by which they had sinned and by which they had made Israel sin, in provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols.

14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

Zimri Reigns in Israel

15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri had reigned in Tirzah seven days. And the people were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines. 16 Now the people who were encamped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired and also has killed the king.” So all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. 17 Then Omri and all Israel with him went up from Gibbethon, and they besieged Tirzah. 18 And it happened, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned the king’s house down upon himself with fire, and died, 19 because of the sins which he had committed in doing evil in the sight of the Lord, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he had committed to make Israel sin.

20 Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and the treason he committed, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

Omri Reigns in Israel

21 Then the people of Israel were divided into two parts: half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king, and half followed Omri. 22 But the people who followed Omri prevailed over the people who followed Tibni the son of Ginath. So Tibni died and Omri reigned. 23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king over Israel, and reigned twelve years. Six years he reigned in Tirzah. 24 And he bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; then he built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, Samaria, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill. 25 Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all who were before him. 26 For he walked in all the ways of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin, provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols.

27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and the might that he showed, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

28 So Omri rested with his fathers and was buried in Samaria. Then Ahab his son reigned in his place.

Ahab Reigns in Israel

29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri became king over Israel; and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. 31 And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. 32 Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab made a wooden image.[a] Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. 34 In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation with Abiram his firstborn, and with his youngest son Segub he set up its gates, according to the word of the Lord, which He had spoken through Joshua the son of Nun.[b]

It just occured to me now that Ahab was the son of Omri.  We all know what happened to Ahab, and Jezebel.  The Bible is so rich with practical solutions and answers to everyday problems.  Whatever happens now has happened before in the Bible, which brings in Ecclesiastes again, “There is nothing new under the sun.”  So then Elijah was born and he was the one that delivered the people of Israel from Jezebel, if I’m not mistaken.  In the book of Revelation Jesus says to one of the Churches that they have allowed that woman Jezebel to come in and to persuade people to commit sexual immorality and eat food given to idols.

We also know that two witnesses will be given – one Elijah, and there is speculation if the other one is Moses, or Enoch, but I believe it is Enoch, since Moses already saw death.

This is something to chew on and dig deeper on.  Some people are so much focused on reading the New Testament, and while that’s good for the edification of the Church as well, some of the deepest stuff is found in the Old Testament, and 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Many times the Holy Spirit will bring a word in season, and just at the right time, we will see things, that are confirmed in the Spirit.  But like any good Christian knows it takes digging.  So let us take out our shovels, and do the laboring.  I believe this laboring is more important than laboring for money, which cannot satisfy.

The Old Testament had numerous numbers of Kings in them and what happened to them so sometimes all of our answers are in the Bible, but it takes someone just to help point it out.

The Political situations in Israel at the time when they were recorded in the Bible, were much worse than they are now in America. (well maybe only in America)  But back then they had kings being killed, and that’s how others would reign.  A King was in power until he died.  This case with Omri and Tibnih describes the factions that are going on.  Now I’m not going to say that one is better than the other.  But the nation of Israel was divided into two parts – half followed Omri and the other half followed Tibnih.  I don’t think at this point we have any Tibnih’s and even Tibnih died because he was not chosen.

But the blessed thing to know is that Jesus Christ is King over all Kings or Presidents or Prime Ministers, and if we obey Him, then we don’t have to really worry about what happens with these earthly kings because our citizenship is not of this world.
Another situation I would like to point out is that of Herod and Pilate.

Luke 23-

Jesus Faces Herod

When Pilate heard of Galilee,[b] he asked if the Man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. 11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.

Imagine that for all this time you have had two people, who were maybe in leadership or not,  and they despised each other, I mean really despised each other – it says they were enemies, but because of Jesus they became friends.

They both decided later that there was nothing wrong with Jesus, and they just chastised Him and let Him go (Thank You Lord for the chastisement of our peace was upon Him)

But here’s where the situation gets tricky –

Taking the Place of Barabbas

13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14 said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; 15 no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him;[c] and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. 16 I will therefore chastise Him and release Him17 (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).[d]

18 And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”19 who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.

20 Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. 21 But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

22 Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”

Let’s pause here, there was this leader who knew he was about to do the wrong thing, a thing he didn’t feel comfortable to do, and because of the insistence of the Crowd, if he decided not to be a people pleaser, and took a stand and just boldly said “I will  not do it, I will not allow this man to be crucified. – then maybe we would have had Pilate dying for Jesus.  But in God’s master plan it didn’t happen that way.  He knew that Jesus was going to die for all mankind and He was already slain in His father’s heart for the sins of mankind.

THE CROWD CAN BE WRONG!!!!

23 But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.[e] 24 So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. 25 And he released to them[f] the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

Sometimes we choose darkness and slippery slopes, instead of holding on the innocent virtues.  As a society we can see the decline.  We have as a crowd over and over again chosen the way of Barabbas (rebellion) instead of the way of Jesus.  Lord forgive us.  Thank You Lord for opening our eyes to see the Truth.

That’s why in the Bible says that many will be called, but few are chosen.  Because many in turn will choose the way of Barrabbas (rebellion), instead of the way of Jesus.  The Bible also says as was in the Days of Noah,

 

Then the Lord[b] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

So shall it be when the Son of Man comes.

He also says – will he really find faith here?

One aspect to that is that we are constantly bombarded with News and even prophecies, which provoke fear.  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, so let us all be like Noah and find the grace of God, which comes from a repentant heart, and seek out the wisdom of God.

 

 

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Jesus knows your name

Jesus Christ knows your name – He knows everything about you.  He died for you so that your soul can be saved.  He is the lover of your soul.  He loves you with his entire being.   He loves everything about you.  He knows your deepest darkest secrets and He came to save your life.   He’s alive and He wants to save you from your sins.

 

Do you want accept Jesus Christ in your life today?

Obedience to God is more important than Grace

Yes we know that Grace is part of Jesus’ nature, but Obedience is much more important.  I’ve already posted videos on The Call to Obey, and the Obedience to the Holy Spirit videos.  But as I am learning on the Christian walk, that your immediate initial reaction in most cases is probably the best.   God gives you many warnings, and you end up debating with God and get out of the hedges of protection.  Your angels may still be with you and this message is not to condemn.   There are many times I’ve written a blog posting or even done things in life without being obedient to the LORD, thinking that it wasn’t Him talking, it was me. Here’s what we learn about Obedience like a donkey.

12 And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”

13 So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go back to your land, for the Lord has refused to give me permission to go with you.”

14 And the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak, and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”

15 Then Balak again sent princes, more numerous and more honorable than they. 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me; 17 for I will certainly honor you greatly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Therefore please come, curse this people for me.’”

18 Then Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. 19 Now therefore, please, you also stay here tonight, that I may know what more the Lord will say to me.”

20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men come to call you, rise and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you—that you shall do.” 21 So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.

Balaam, the Donkey, and the Angel

22 Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 Now the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. 24 Then the Angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again. 26 Then the Angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff.

28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!”

30 So the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?”

And he said, “No.”

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. 32 And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me. 33 The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.”

34 And Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back.”

35 Then the Angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but only the word that I speak to you, that you shall speak.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

36 Now when Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, which is on the border at the Arnon, the boundary of the territory. 37 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not earnestly send to you, calling for you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?”

38 And Balaam said to Balak, “Look, I have come to you! Now, have I any power at all to say anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak.” 39 So Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kirjath Huzoth. 40 Then Balak offered oxen and sheep, and he sent some to Balaam and to the princes who were with him.

Many times God will tell you don’t go there, and then you go, or he’ll tell you don’t take that street, and then you take that street, and he’ll tell you don’t make that turn, and  if you don’t listen and obey your going to end up in more trouble than you realize – you’ll end up in a crash, and if you listened in the beginning then you wouldn’t have had to go through all that.  Obedience is the most important thing and for obedience it takes discernment.  People have been given wisdom as it says in James to make wise decisions, and one person’s disobedience can have consequences, so obedience is very important.

Grace is very very important and vital to the Christian faith, but obedience to the Lord is very important.  We are all learning to hear the Lord’s voice, but the Lord does give you warning, and when you make mistakes – All things work out together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, but you can’t just willfilly disobey the Lord and get away with it.  He will keep warning you and warning you until you wake up and if you don’t listen, then there’s nothing you can do except get hit unexpectedly with something you thought just came out of the blue, and it can cause damage that wouldn’t have been there if you didn’t disobey.

Disobedience can cause a domino effect.  Eve’s disobedience led to Adam’s disobedience, which led to the downfall of the whole society, and when you disobey, it’s not just hurting you, it’s hurting people way down the road that you cannot see and effecting people throughout generations.  If one person disobeys in one area then it hurts people way down the road that you cannot even think about.  You have been given blessings, but even those can be taken away from you if you don’t obey.  I’m sorry to say that but it’s the truth.

For example, you have a car, but then you go and like I said in the previous example you don’t listen to him, and then your car ends up in damage.  Yes your lives are spared and that’s what is important, but if you listen to the Lord at each and every time.  Obedience is not always doing what you don’t feel like doing, or in other words just because you have a natural inclination towards something doesn’t mean you have to go against it.  As you draw closer to the Lord your natural impulses will be more like His, but sometimes He’ll tell you things that will just boggle your mind, and it’s something you don’t want to do like giving something away.

Discernment is the key and prayer is very important.  Sometimes like it says in following the Cloud example, you go where the Holy Spirit tells you to go and you do what He tells you to do, and if He hasn’t told you then don’t do it, and just wait.  Go with whatever seems good to the nature of God.

Also we need to spend more time in prayer.  The more time we pray, and really set apart time favorably in the morning especially if you are going to go outside of the house .  Now this is not going to be something where you can decide hey, this is what I am going to do, but it is something that the Lord will lead you.  Jesus said to follow Him, and that means to obey Him.  That means following the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Yes you can pray for Grace, and God will do it for those who He loves, but when you have looked back and seen where you have not gone where God wants you to go, then you will come back with regret and remorse, which is really what repentance is all about, so that you can change your mind for the better.  So this is my own personal warning for you guys.  Yes Grace is important, but Obedience is more important because take a look at Achan and Ai, the whole town was punished for one man’s disobedience, and also Balaam and the donkey is another example.  Even the Apostles were obedient to the Holy Spirit, and that’s when they found Grace, when they truly repented turned around and followed after the Lord.  We are not all perfect, and it does take discipline and discernment to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, but learn to be obedient because even Jesus said I do nothing unless I see the Father doing it. Any time you think you should or shouldn’t be doing something then it’s the best time to listen and obey.

If this is a repeat for some of you then I apologize, but this needs to be ingrained into our spirits.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for keeping each of us alive today, and thank You for the grace and favor you have given us this far, forgive us Lord for when we have not been obedient to You.  Lord God, help us to trust in You even more Lord God.  We repent for everytime we have strayed away from Your will and Your plan and Your purpose, and from every prompting of the Holy Spirit.  Thank You for protecting us and thank You for guiding us.  Help us to see the good in our situation.  May You we learn how to listen to Your voice always. Forgive us for any rebelliousness.  I apply this post with the Blood of Jesus.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

Benefits of the Law to a society, Justification by Grace and Faith to a believer- Revised

I am going to do some teaching and I’m sorry if it makes your head hurt, but this I have to share because it has really been put on my heart.

Before I start off I am going to define what a Covenant is.

A Covenant is an agreement between God and another party which cannot be broken based on the conditions of the Covenant.

The Old Covenant, and this particular Covenant of Moses was made by God and Moses and it could not be broken.

The New Covenant is made between God and Himself – that’s why the Bible says that because He could not find anyone greater, He swore by Himself – Hebrews 6:13, and that is the Blood Covenant that He had with His Son.

I’m going to start off by saying that we are in no way bound by the Law or Torah, or the curses in it because Jesus paid the price for the curse and we are now under a New Covenant which is much better than the Old Covenant.  It is the Holy Spirit that leads us through the conscience with the law written upon our hearts, which is part of the New Covenant, a much better covenant and we are justified by grace and faith alone!!

Now the Law, which is not the same as the Old Covenant was not all bad either, and many people Christians and non-Christians alike still follow the law for whether consciously or unconsciously.  There were reasons for eating animals that chewed the cud, and with divided hoofs, and reasons for that were mostly sanitary and hygienic.  Most of the laws were guidelines for being sanitary and hygienic during those times because the society was not as developed with technology as we are now, so they had to find a way to take care of their lives and obey the laws.  For example, I want to ask a question to you – Take a typical 5 year old girl….would she want to eat a lizard?  Yet the lizard is considered unclean.  If you ask her she would say, “Yucky”.  If you asked a 9 year old girl she would probably say, “that’s disgusting.”  I’m trying to find the right age group to pose this scenario with, but in reality a typical girl would say no.  You have animal rights groups protecting the rights of the eagle, and other animals, and I am sure they include some of the animals mentioned in Leviticus 11.  Also there is a law that says if that if an insect has landed into your bowl you are to break it and not to use it.  Would you want to eat out of a bowl with a fly in it?  Probably not, so these laws are already ingrained in human nature and are by most cases common sense.  So that’s where it came from and the principles of how to live are there. So that shows the benefit of the law and maybe hints at the reason why it was there.  It was there to ingrain into the society the proper way to live, and whenever they strayed away from the Law there was destruction.

 

Now we are no longer bound under the Law anymore, we are under Grace, which is unmerited favor.  That means that you don’t have to do anything to earn the favor of God.

Here is the definition of the word charis for favor –

1) grace

a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2) good will, loving-kindness, favour

a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

3) what is due to grace

a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace

b) the token or proof of grace, benefit

1) a gift of grace

2) benefit, bounty

4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward”

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for charis (Strong’s 5485)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 27 Mar 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=G5485&t=NASB >

Paul brings in clarification between sin, law, and grace –

Romans 2:12-16

12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Same verses in the Easy to Read Version –

12 People who have the law and those who have never heard of the law are all the same when they sin. People who don’t have the law and are sinners will be lost. And, in the same way, those who have the law and are sinners will be judged by the law. 13Hearing the law does not make people right with God. They will be right before him only if they always do what the law says.

14 Those who are not Jews don’t have the law. But when they naturally do what the law commands without even knowing the law, then they are their own law. This is true even though they don’t have the written law. 15 They show that in their hearts they know what is right and wrong, the same as the law commands, and their consciences agree. Sometimes their thoughts tell them that they have done wrong, and this makes them guilty. And sometimes their thoughts tell them that they have done right, and this makes them not guilty.

16 All this will happen on the day when God will judge people’s secret thoughts through Jesus Christ. This is part of the Good News that I tell everyone.

Same verses in the Message Bible –

12-13If you sin without knowing what you’re doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what you’re doing, that’s a different story entirely. Merely hearing God’s law is a waste of your time if you don’t do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God.

14-16When outsiders who have never heard of God’s law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience. They show that God’s law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God’s yes and no, right and wrong. Their response to God’s yes and no will become public knowledge on the day God makes his final decision about every man and woman. The Message from God that I proclaim through Jesus Christ takes into account all these differences.

Before I go into this, I want to point out there are things that all people have in common regardless of whether they believe in Jesus.  For example, everyone has a spirit.  The believer’s spirit is subject to the Holy Spirit, and the unbeliever’s spirit is subject to the kingdom of darkness.  So even though Gentiles or Jews who are unbelievers, when they naturally obey the Law, they still have a conscience that proves them guilty or not guilty, and since they do not have Jesus they either write off their conscience as saying that, “I do not have to seem guilty for anything” or they say “I really feel bad for what I did because I know it was wrong.”  The believer has this hope that Jesus Christ will forgive them for their sins and cleanse their transgressions as far as the east is from the west, but the unbeliever does not have this hope because they do not have this hope.  The New Covenant replaced this overbearing burden of following the religious Laws that were becoming a burden, with replacing them with a Law of Love or Agape, and now under this new Law, it does not matter whether you break the Mosaic Law (but God still wants you to follow the ethical guidelines in the Law especially the Ten Commandments), as long as you act out of a unconditional self-sacrificing love that comes only through Jesus Christ, and with a desire to become more like Him.  Granted we are not all perfect, and still a work in progress, but the Lord is merciful and patient with us to make sure we develop the fruit of the Holy Spirit that He has put in as seeds, which will grow and bear fruit.  But if you are weighed down with feeling unclean, or burdened by all the Laws in Leviticus don’t be because God knows your heart, and He is testing you to see how much you will follow and obey Him.  Sometimes people, especially unbelievers, end up with a seared conscience when they have done something wrong so many times that they don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, and that really effects the society.

The thing that really helped me is knowing and having that vision that we are already in Heaven, those that sincerely and with a pure heart believe on the name of Jesus, and the life here on earth is just temporary, and like the Bible says, “but a vapor”.  We have to be eternity minded.  On the big scheme of things is it really going to matter whether you had a ham sandwich, or ate that piece of shrimp.  Probably not, but if you want to live and make the most out of the body you have been given here on earth then you should probably not eat that.

The Message has a pretty good explanation of what happens to a society after they don’t obey God, and are not motivated by a pure and sincere heart to believe Jesus of the Bible and love Jesus of the Bible and to do whatever He tells them to do, –

Ignoring God Leads to a Downward Spiral

18-23But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

24-25So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen [imagine hoarders buried alive- but in this sense made their lives a mess], smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!

26-27Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

28-32Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!

So now before I get a bucket of slime poured out over my head, I just want to say that this was a historical trend throughout civilizations, time and time again, what happened when people took their eyes off of God and did what was right in their own eyes.

Romans 2 again – The Message Bible –

God Is Kind, but Not Soft

1-2Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.

3-4You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

5-8You’re not getting by with anything. Every refusal and avoidance of God adds fuel to the fire. The day is coming when it’s going to blaze hot and high, God’s fiery and righteous judgment. Make no mistake: In the end you get what’s coming to you—Real Life for those who work on God’s side, but to those who insist on getting their own way and take the path of least resistance, Fire!

9-11If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended. But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up. Being a Jew won’t give you an automatic stamp of approval. God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up his own mind.

In the NASB – Romans 2 –

4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But [d]because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress [e]for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

2 Timothy 3:2-6 says:

2For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

3[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

4[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

5For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

6For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses.

 

Some people especially unbelievers think God is softhearted, and He is not going to take into consideration all the wickedness that is done, that He is not going to do anything about all the stuff going on right now – you see it, it’s on the news, but believe me, the day is coming when He will no longer overlook, but for those by perseverance {precondition believing on Jesus} in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, and eternal life.  But those that don’t do what is right are storing up for themselves a time of wrath.  Point being that if you’re an unbeliever seek God first through His Son Jesus Christ, and if you are a believer, then don’t Judge because the greatest law there is in this world, is the Law of Agape or love through His Son Jesus Christ.  This kind of love builds on relationships you have with people, and makes you want to help people out.  And you may see people who are not Christians that might seem to have more of this unconditional self-sacrificing love – it literally means affection, goodwill, love, and benevolence, or brotherly love or loving one’s neighbor, and since we are all created in the image of God, we all have potential for this kind of love, but for the potential to be maximized, the only way is through Jesus Christ.  Because despite being just a nice or good person you are not perfect and your sin still has to be redeemed and that is through the Blood of Jesus Christ.  The safer side for a Christian with a pure sincere heart is to be on the side of Grace, because Jesus is the Personification of Grace…and if you want God’s favor you will need Grace, but if you make mistakes and you honestly feel bad about it and you don’t want to do it, and if you have accepted Jesus then you have nothing to fear as long as you keep up with it, don’t give up and don’t lose faith!!!

The Truth makes you free

Recently, I’ve been swung back and forth like a pendulum between radical Law for Christians, and radical grace for Christians, so what I had to do is go back to the basics and read the Word of God for myself.  If the Word of God contradicts my opinions or what I have been taught, then I essentially have to go back to the Word of God and agree with what it says, and change my own mind, or repent for my opinions or beliefs that do not line up with God’s Word.

So here’s where I started this week –

2 Corinthians 3 –

The Spirit, Not the Letter

And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit;[a] for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Glory of the New Covenant

But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, whichglory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech— 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The context of this passage begins with Paul’s exhortation to the believers in Corinth in stating that they are the “proof through the Spirit” or epistle that is not written with ink, but is a testimony of what Christ has done through the efforts of Paul’s ministry.

Some people like to believe that we take “too seriously” Paul’s epistle’s, and not the four Gospel books.  But in reality all the books from Genesis to Revelation are inspired [to be breathed upon] by God.  If you discount all of Paul’s epistles, then you also discount the book of ACTS too, which spoke of the ministry of Paul.  Paul went to the Jews to preach the Gospel or Good News, not Bad News, but they were too bull headed to believe it, so then he ran back and said, ok, “if you won’t believe in Jesus, then I’ll go to the Gentiles, and maybe they’ll receive the news better.”  The Early Church discussed on what should be done on what rules and laws that the Gentile believers are supposed to follow and the settled on a few and those are mentioned in the book of ACTS.  I believe they are to stay away from idolatry, fornication, and eating animals that were strangled, or the blood of animals.  If I remember correctly that was pretty much it, and they did what was “good as it seemed to the Holy Spirit.”

So then in Galatians 3 I read the following –

Purpose of the Law

19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Galatians 1 says –

Only One Gospel

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Phillipians 3:

Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit,[a] rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Paul had all the “qualifications and requirements” to meet the Law, but he suffered a loss of all those things and his so called status symbol in the Jewish society, and he reached for something greater and when he found it he came to the conclusion that all of those things really didn’t matter.

So if the ministry of the death and condemnation is the Law, and the ministry of the Spirit and justification is by faith, then why still hold on to the Law, what benefit is the Law?  We have examined the Purpose of the Law, and that it is a teacher, but now the majority of the people getting saved are not Jews, so how do we distinguish?  The book of Romans goes through this quite a bit and I have studied on it, and I recommend that you do too as well as the book of Hebrews that goes quite into detail the depth of the study of the better covenant.

Then this statement from Jesus leaves us in a bit of a conundrum –

Christ Fulfills the Law

17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

There is another time that Jesus mentions “being great in the kingdom of Heaven” – 24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Also there is a mention of first and last where Jesus says that those who are “first will be last”, and “last will be first”.

I think the problem comes in is in the fact that our beloved Messianic Jewish Brothers and Sisters and the fellow Gentile Brothers and Sisters don’t seem to come eye to eye on the subject of the benefit of the Law and the Torah because the Messianic Jews have been taught all their life that the Torah is a Blessing, but in reality even the definition of the word, Torah means to “teach”, and that is how Paul used to define the purpose of the Law.  God is not the author of confusion.  Confusion comes from the enemy.

Matthew 23 –

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,[a] that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ [or Pastor, Pastor] But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher [or Pastor], the Christ,[b] and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

There is only One that is the Teacher, and that is Christ – what is the implication there, that Christ teaches you all that you need to learn taking the place of the Torah because the Torah teaches,  but Jesus is the Teacher.

From personal experience I’ve learned then when I listen to teachings about Christians or Gentile believers obeying the Law, and when I open up books like the Complete Jewish Bible, I don’t experience freedom, it actually seems like I’ll never measure up so that’s why I thank God for His Son who has given us freedom.  The Truth shall make you free, and if you sincerely believe in Jesus Christ, and follow the guidelines given the New Testament, then you are no longer under bondage and you are free.  You just need to be completely free and for that you really need Jesus to come in and teach you through the Holy Spirit.

I’d like to thank my fellow blogger mtsweat for his blog:  Resting in His Grace because it makes me realize that truly be able to rest is to know what Grace is all about.

This prayer is for me as well as for anyone else that might be struggling with this issue:

Dear Precious Heavenly Father,

We know that Your Word is Truth and in Your Word there is liberty.  We thank You that You are beyond our comprehension and that You have allowed as much as needed to understand You.  Thank You for revealing to us little by little who You are and what You are doing.  Help the believers to set the record straight so that Truth may abide in us and be made to dwell in our body, soul, and spirit, so that we are whole and undivided just like You are whole and undivided.  I thank You that You are revealing the Truth of God’s Word to all of your saints, and give us the eyes of understanding and ears to hear what You have to say Lord God, We Thank You.  You are not the Author of confusion, but you are the Author if wholeness, soundness, and You are abound in mercy.  Thank You dearly.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

The Jealousy of God

 

 

I know a lot of people cannot understand how God can be jealous, and what it means to be jealous.  The thing is that it is a different kind of jealousy than human jealousy.  It is above that standard.  This sermon based on the revelation of Exodus 34 and Song of Solomon 8 builds again on the foundations of the Justice of Christ, and the Treasures of Love posted on in the previous blog postings.  This sermon after watching it – it really shook me.  I did not know what to do with it or myself.  I knew that something needed to change, and I knew it was me.  It stirred up in my heart and continues to stir up this passion and zeal for God, but sometimes we get so caught up in our “idols” or “gods” that we lose sight of what is really important.  That is this love for God and this fire and zeal for the jealous God, and to hunger and thirst after Him, and to be holy like He is holy.  This speaker points out that God is Jealous and that He is also Grace.  I am hoping you are touched the same way, and maybe even to a greater extent than I am.

 

 

Noise Pollution, Sleep deprivation and Searching for peace among the storm

Here’s a Scripture verse compilation that really touched my heart these past few days:  “23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.”

Now when many people talk about this passage they talk about how Jesus said that we should not be fearful and have more faith to face the storms of this life.  What gets to me is that there was a hurricane, or tornado around Him, and He was able to sleep.  After days of not getting adequate sleep I find myself marveling at the characteristics of Jesus and the Holy Spirit that I would like to attain in my own life.  When I wake up I feel tired and not refreshed, but in hopes of a new day I begin my day, but on the weekends when I just want to relax and find some sleep to make up for many days of having my sleep interrupted I hear everything from the dogs barking, the helicopters and airplanes, the boom boxes of the car stereos, the motorcycles, and even when I put my earplugs on I hear the sound of my own heart beating.  What am I supposed to do then, tell God to make my heart stop beating so that I can have some sleep?  As you can tell I am a very very light sleeper.  I would say I have new parent syndrome, but I don’t think it was this bad when my little sister was born – I was still able to sleep.

We are often told that the Holy Spirit is a like a dove, and that it is so sensitive, that when you make the slightest movement it goes away, but what gets to me, after I heard from a television pastor making this revelation known, that Jesus who had the Holy Spirit in Him, was not moved from the peace of the Spirit by all the things like babies crying, foul odors, and all the situations and circumstances around that the Holy Spirit in Him, He was not moved.  That same Holy Spirit is in those which believe.  So if we have that same Spirit, then I can find a few reasons why people like me have not been able to sleep.

One of them is that in times when I chose not to sleep at the time I was supposed to and I slept later like past midnight to 2 or 3 am and didn’t think it was going to catch up with me, well I was wrong.  Lack of discipline in a certain area can lead to consequences later on.  Another thing is that when you are struggling with issues so seriously and deeply and maybe even worrying about whether or not you are going to get to heaven, or be cast out, then that worry is from the devil.  The Lord says we should not worry, but take everything in prayer and supplication and make our requests be made known to God and it says simply that those that believe will receive salvation.  I have looked at the commentaries for Luke 13:23, where the person asks will few be saved to Jesus, and the whole thing there was that don’t worry about whether few or many will be saved, just make sure you yourself will be saved because your own curiosity can hurt you.  Another thing is overstimulation.  This society in the modern age is full of overstimulation with all our gadgets, cellphones, computers, and other technologies, as well as things like coffee so we are “wired” all the time.  We thought this was a thing only for today’s college students, but it seems more and more people are getting wired like this instead of taking time to just “Be still and know” that He is God.  I have tried many times to “Be still and know” just to have some kind of rest and peace, but every body everywhere with all kind of electronics are making all kinds of noise.

It didn’t seem to be so bad before, but now even after 10pm to Midnight there is no quiet.  Psalm 23 says “He leads me by the still waters and by the quiet stream”.  This reminds me of a cartoon I used to watch on Animaniacs where Dot used to go around saying, “All I want is quiet, quiet, quiet, this I can’t deny it”  and then when it was quiet she said, “Why’s it so quiet?”  The world has seemed to have gotten louder and louder.

Recently I had a situation where I was praying for some healing for my ears which were experiencing hearing loss.  I know I appreciate all that I have, but when I want to go to sleep and I hear all these noises I find myself almost wishing I couldn’t hear and that is a very dangerous place to go.

I was reading a article that the Pope has been going through some exhaustion and feeling very tired for quite awhile, and I even though I am not Catholic, I can see that there is something going on here.  I’ve seen the people in Israel in the news and some of them seem like they haven’t been getting much sleep.  What we need here is the peace of the LORD.  We need the peace of knowing that no matter whatever our circumstances we can find rest in the LORD.  Part of the problem is that people have not been observing the LORD’s Sabbath.  Now I know it is debatable on exactly which day it is, but in any case there should be a day where everyone rests.  In the Old Testament, they couldn’t as much lift a pencil up on the Sabbath.  This time is not be used for mowing the lawn, or doing things that would not allow other people to rest.  Even the animals were supposed to rest during this time.  When Jesus came and was accused of doing things against the Sabbath it was because the Pharisees had taken it overboard, and they were trying to prevent Jesus from doing any good during that day.  These days we use the weekend to take care of household chores and things like that.

In the Jewish customs it used to be very different.  Men would go out 6 days a week and find food for their families and take care of the cattle.   The women would stay home and take care of the house and the children.   During the times of the Apostles they knew their main work was to spread the Gospel, but he still worked hard to be worthy of the food that was brought to him.

I don’t know if it is just me or not, but in these times people seem to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off and being very busy and even Christians don’t seem to enjoy the simple things because they are too warn out by being Martha’s and even the ones that want to be Mary’s can’t seem to be Mary’s because satan has tried to steal the love that Jesus has so freely given to give a sense of fear, guilt, and condemnation.

Matthew 11:28-30 says “28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Heavenly Father,

During these times of the hustle and bustle of everyday life and for all the people that worry about finding jobs and making an income and surviving during these hard times, help them find rest for those souls.  These weary bodies that are worn out by stress, or anxiety, or just things of everyday life that have gotten them bogged down, I ask You to let them be able to relax and enjoy life to the full until it overflows.  Let the people not worry no matter what goes on around them.  Let them not sense any unrestlessness, and let them have a wave of calmness wash over them just as Jesus did in the boat when all the storms of life were around Him.  For all the sirens that go off each day, heal the people, put off the fires, protect the victims and find justice for them.  We repent as a people for turning away from you and not obeying your Word and your commands to love each other and love ourselves.  We repent for not obeying Your Sabbathtime of Rest.  Help the people find rest in knowing that you have provided all their needs.  Forgive us all with Your abundant grace.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.