The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Emails filled with Santa Claus and reindeer serve to remind me that far too many have forgotten the true meaning of this Holy Season and care little about the greatest gift ever given to mankind.

I am saddened to receive emails asking me to watch a video with Steve Martin singing the Atheist Hymnal, “sad but funny” was the comment. Tears fill my eyes when receiving an email depicting how an email from Mary to Joseph might have read, with the comment, "I loved this." These I will not open, these I will not read, these I will not share with others.

Don’t share with me your enjoyment of the Harry Potter movies with comments: “who thinks satan wears glasses - hahaha” Don’t tell me you went to see Avatar or the latest Narnia movie and saw no harm. Don’t tell me you were so blessed as you read The Shack and that you love the Twilight movies.

My heart is grieved by all that I see and hear. Tell me, how do these songs, these movies and books glorify our Beloved L-RD and Saviour? Tell me, how do these things bring the lost among us, even within our own families, closer to the Truth of Jesus Christ? How does Santa Claus bring us to our knees in gratitude to the One Who has given us life? How does it give us courage to share our Great Salvation with others?

The Word of G-D speaks clearly:

“What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." 2 Corinthians 6:16-17

Hidden deep within each email is the word - NO, I will not follow Your Word, I will not walk that narrow path - NO, I have chosen the way of the world. Just as in the days of Jeremiah the voice of the watchman is ignored, His people stand in arrogant defiance:

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.’ Jeremiah 6

Look around, see all that is happening. Santa Claus. Atheist Hymnals and Twilight movies will not equip you to stand up for HIM when you are called to do so.

“To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to Me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the L-RD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it. I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. No one repents of his wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues his own course like a horse charging into battle. Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the L-RD. The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” Jeremiah 8

Thursday, December 16, 2010

For several years I listened expectantly for the trumpet to sound, calling believers home. I listened with excitement to messages of deliverance from the wrath coming upon the earth. With a smile on my face, I embraced those encouraging words admonishing each of us to look up and not out, teaching them to my children. Joy and laughter filled the halls of churches as thoughts of escaping the judgments to come danced across our minds, filling our hearts with the assurance that all was well with our soul.

Several years passed and I rocked on until one night I was radically changed after an encounter with the True and Living God. I matured in my faith, took my Bible and began to read, to study. As the Word commands:

“Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

As I read books by Robert VanKampen, Marv Rosenthal and Michael Pfeil along with studying my Bible, nagging thoughts crept in. My smile became a thoughtful gaze, and I was left to wondered:

“What If?”

What if the PreTrib belief were correct? What Harm?

We had waited with expectant hearts the appearing of our LORD. Standing joyfully on His promises to deliver us from the wrath to come.

What if the PreTrib belief were correct? What Harm?

We as a family, with joy and laughter, had discussed what heaven would be like and spent hours attending prophecy conferences with feel good messages, amid shouts of Maranatha, sharing our excitement with like minded believers.

BUT nagging thoughts refused to go away.

What if the PreTrib belief were wrong? What Harm?

We have spent much time waiting expectantly to be saved from the wrath to come but NO time preparing our hearts and our minds to stand for Him in the fiery furnace of affliction. We have spent little time on our knees weeping before the LORD over the lost within our own families, nor have we cried out to our Father to save, deliver and heal a lost and dying world. We have swallowed and followed but spent no time becoming rooted and grounded in His Word.

What if the PreTrib belief were wrong? What Harm?

We have not examined our own hearts before God, but have chosen instead to embrace easy belief-ism. We have not looked at our own sins nor cried out to God in broken repentance. We have forgotten to look up to a Holy God who said:

“I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44

There will indeed be a rapture - but whether it is today, tomorrow or a thousand years from now, our LORD has said “occupy until I come."

“…when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8

Saturday, December 11, 2010

No Longer A Baby ~

But a King.!.

I do not think anyone can ever know the preciousness of the blood of Christ, until he has embraced a full sight and sense of his own sin, his own uncleanness and his total depravity. Is there any such thing as truly coming to the cross of Christ until first of all we have seen what our sin really deserves?

A little light into that dark cellar, a little light into that hole within the soul, a little light cast into that infernal den of our humanity, and we soon discern what sin is, and, seeing it, we soon discover that there is no hope of being washed from it except by a sacrifice far greater than what we ourselves could render. Then, and only then does the atonement of Christ become fair and lustrous in our eyes, and we can rejoice with joy unspeakable in that boundless love which led the Saviour to give Himself a ransom for us, "the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God."

May the Lord teach us, thundering at us, if need be, what sin means. May He teach it to us so that the lesson shall be burned into our souls, so that we shall never forget it!

May we all be burden-carriers until we grow weary. May each of us labor after eternal life until our strength fails, and we rejoice - resting in Him who has finished the work, and Who has promised to be all we will ever need when we believe in Him, trusting in Him with our whole heart and with our entire being cry out to Him:

'nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling.'

Hebrews 9:13-14 "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctified to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

Monday, December 6, 2010

"This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD." Jeremiah 23:16

"Then the LORD said to me, "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divination's, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds." Jeremiah 14:14

As I surfed the Internet, viewing photos of the fires in Israel I wondered to myself ~

Where were the prophetic voices that claim to hear from God? Where were the voices that should have warned of what was coming upon His Land and His Chosen People? Where were those who would warn of the devastation to come?

For me, they were noticeably silent - made me wonder - perhaps they do not speak for God after all.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Many churches claim to love truth but what they really love is man-centered Christianity that helps them obtain success. Success in their marriage, finances, family, careers. Building bigger and bigger congregations while fostering a positive attitude that produces health and a successful personal life without the pain of dying to self, picking up the Cross of Christ, sharing the gospel with a lost and dying world or being persecuted for standing for The Truth of the Word of God.

II Timothy 4:3 tells us that many Christians will only want to hear what makes them feel good and appeals to their flesh:

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears."

Warning the church, family or friends of emerging dangerous, unbiblical trends, false teachers, a false gospel, unbiblical theology is never popular nor is it easy. Yet, we are not called to please the world, we are called to please our Lord. We are expected to act as Bereans - checking out all we hear with The Truth, The Word of God, but if we do not know the Word...

Exposing error has become negative in the eyes of many today. Many consider it to be judgmental - even cruel to expose in public what has been spoken in public. Yet, Jesus Himself told us we would see those who would claim to be shepherds, pastors, [evangelist, prophets and apostles] that really have little or no concern for the sheep but care more for their own pocketbooks and positions, twisting the Word of God to benefit self.

Paul, writing in I Corinthians 4:9-13 while in prison:

"For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored. To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the off scouring of all things until now."

Notice the last examples: condemned to death, weak, poor, hungry, beaten and homeless. Its obvious we don’t see those who claim these positions today living in such a manner. The messages proclaimed by most of today's profiteers who live in mansions, travel in private jets, live like royalty, practice necromancy and cheat on their income tax and their wives is G-D wants you wealthy, lacking in nothing, trials and tribulations are from the devil, and if you are sick it is because you lack faith, so just name it and claim it.

In John 10:11-13 we read:

"I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and not concerned about the sheep."

One reason why God would allow false teachers among us may be to test those who call themselves 'Christian" - will they be faithful in their Biblical mandate to expose false teachers and thus protect the sheep from the spiritual poison of wolves in sheep's clothing, will they be faithful to study to show themselves approved, a watchman who need not be ashamed or will they choose instead to swallow and follow those who teach and preach the gospel they find most appealing.

Ephesians 5:11 makes it clear we are to expose false teachers:

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."

Jude 3:1-4 commands all believers to contend for the faith that is under attack from false teachers:

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ".

The Truth is never negative to those who seek to serve it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Berit Kjos writes:

Obama didn't lie when he promised CHANGE.

He just didn't define the Change. Nor did he explain the basis for his HOPE.

Today, with a bit more hindsight, the fog is lifting and we see the immediate future much more clearly. Both words imply a shift away from the foundational truths and values of America. As Communist nations have determined, man's hope must rest in a useful worldly vision, not in the disturbing distraction of the Biblical God or other-worldly heaven.

Today, HOPE and CHANGE point to a New World Order -- a virtual utopia where the masses would eventually enjoy peace, pluralism, parity and the promise of universal welfare. Both slogans serve as bait to draw the masses into a web of deception.

As in Orwell's Animal Farm, today's spreading tentacles of Marxian/ Socialism imply two classes of people: the equally poor masses and their wealthy "more equal" rulers. While the latter reign in luxury, the equally poor, the new "middle class" often struggle to feed their families.

An article in the Russian Pravda titled "American Capitalism gone with a Whimper" spreads a somber view of this nation. Unlike its old Soviet-era namesake, this new Pravda may actually be telling the truth. It reminds us that the current transformation of America, which has now become all too visible, actually began long ago:

"...the American descent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple.... The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was.... Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.'

"First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture.... Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas than the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their 'right' to choke down a McDonalds burger... than for the rights given in the Constitution.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches... were for the most part little more than Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more than happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the 'winning' side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another....

The final collapse came through the election of Barack Hussein Obama. His spending and money printing has been record setting, not just in America but around the world. America at best will soon resemble the Wiemar Republic; at worst Zimbabwe....

And proud American will go down into slavery without a fight, beating their chest and proclaiming to the world "we are free."

and the world snickers."

" ...when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them... when your heart is lifted up and you forget the Lord your God. ... you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’... Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods... you shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God." Deuteronomy 8:12-14, 17, 19-20

Sunday, November 14, 2010

God and truth are inseparable. Francis Schaeffer calls this true truth the unchanged and unchanging expression of who God is: it is not our own personal and arbitrary interpretation of reality."

We can become angered by it, we can ignore it or bend it, but that will not change what it is.

"The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63

To those who would doubt, He said: "If you do not believe that I AM He, you will die in your sins." John 8:24

Defending truth takes courage, commitment and a relentless determination to contend earnestly for the faith. Our LORD demands nothing less from His children. But, be aware ~

"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you. 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My Name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me." John 15:18-21

Thursday, November 11, 2010

If one is interested in Christianity in any sort of serious way, it is not because it is easy, or trendy, or popular. Life is hard, and on man' scale many appear good, but being a 'true' follower of Jesus is the hardest thing you will ever do.

"Take care brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day as long as it is still Today so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance until the end. Today, if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts..." Hebrews 3:12-15

We are living in perilous times, surrounded by false religions, false doctrines and false teachers. The world we inhabit is harsh, cruel, narcissistic, image based and a people pleasing phony - but God.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"And Jesus said to them: 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Mark 1:17

Cheap grace is a deadly enemy of the Church.

Grace without a price; grace without a cost. We suppose the account has been paid in advance and, because it has, everything can be had for nothing. The "Christian" today lives like the rest of the world, modeling himself on the world' standards - rebelling against the free and boundless grace of God, enjoying the consolations of grace without repenting of sin, departing from sin and allowing sin to depart from him.

Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, grace without His Word.

Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has, it is the pearl of great price, the kingly rule of Christ in our lives. The call of Jesus Christ to come - at which the disciple leaves all and follows Him.

Costly grace cost God the life of His Son, it will cost a man his life as well, yet it is grace that will return true life to that same man; condemning sin, justifying the sinner. Costly grace confronts us as a gracious call to follow Him. It comes as a word of forgiveness to the broken spirit and contrite heart, compelling a man to submit to the yoke and come.

[The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer]

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house, and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell and great was it's fall." Matthew 7:24-28

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

If we are interested in Christianity in any sort of serious way, it is not because it is easy or trendy or popular. It is because we recognize our sinful nature, desire to change and recognize that we are powerless to do so apart from Jesus. It is His power, His love and His life alone that will set us free.

"Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I AM gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Look on each and every sin committed as the one that nailed our Saviour to the tree. Then you will see sin as it truly is.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him..." Romans 6:8

We are saved to rise up, not to sit down. Salvation is not the end, salvation is only the beginning - the beginning of our journey through a land that is not our own - a land foreign to the people of God.

Salvation is Jesus' gift to us [lest any man should boast] - our service, our life of commitment is our gift back to Him.

Many never allow salvation to grow, keeping it locked away for fear. Fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of.... far too many hang on tightly to the familiar, fearing the uncertainty - forgetting our LORD assuredly spoke that He would never leave us or forsake us.

Salvation opens the door to a new life - a life in Christ, a door opening to light, hope, guidance, encouragement. Perhaps not your best life now [but throughout eternity] for our LORD told us to pick up our cross and follow Him?

Many are called; but few are chosen. Many receive the call to "Come" but few are willing to walk the narrow road Jesus walked - choosing instead to remain with the crowd, calling themselves 'Christians' while continuing to enjoy the pleasures of this foreign land.

Examine yourself fellow traveler - examine yourself.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Warm feelings or human conformity to a set of precepts is not Biblical Christianity. The essence of Christianity is not about religion at all, but about the Person of Christ. Religion is a dead, man-made ideology but at the heart of Christianity is something else entirely.

God Himself - Alive - Forevermore.!!. Clothed in Christ - we are sheltered in truth, through Him - we see things as they really are.

Complacency reigns where life is easy. We live what we believe - the rest is only religious talk.

"I believe if I live my life as well as I can, I will be rewarded. For me, sin is being out of alignment with my values. A great role model for me, someone who combined everything I wanted to do in my life, one who never slipped into tolerance or dogma was Gandhi." - Barack Hussein Obama.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness....Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!" Isaiah 5:20-21

Stephanie Meyer's popular Twilight series is cashing in to be sure. Her four books which have sold over 17 million copies, and two movies thus far, are setting new records. To those of us who object, they will tell you that the theme of vampirism is just folklore. They aren't in the Bible. Relax.

So the recent Christianity Today review of this phenomenon titles their article, "There's Power in the Blood."

In the article, University of Richmond English professor Elisabeth Rose Gruner notes that both Christianity and vampirism equate blood with life. She states, "Humans instinctively understand that blood is life-giving. But the blood-drinking aspect of vampirism is a 'ghastly parody of Christianity.' While the Christian believer attains eternal life by accepting the blood freely shed on his or her behalf, the vampire achieves immortality by sucking the life out of another.

"So, in spite of what should be obvious, one Christian publishing house after another is turning away solid manuscripts for corrupted ones on this demented topic.

What an example of Isaiah 5:20 with evil being called good and good evil. Vampire fascination makes a mockery of the pure, atoning nature of Christ's blood.

Allen Arnold of Thomas Nelson Publishers states:

"Since the story of Christianity is one of redemption, Christian fiction should depict that redemption regardless of the subject matter. Rather than flee from a genre (like vampirism), we prefer to dive in and try to redeem it through a wholly original take."

Translation - Let's follow the money trail.

Never in my lifetime have we had to contend for the faith 24/7. What was once blatantly evil is suddenly ok. Spiritual applications can be made from worldly scenarios. Up is down, down is up, right is wrong, wrong is right, and we're all drinking tea with the Mad Hatter!

This sounds like what might happen in the last days.

“An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?" Jeremiah 5:30-31

Are you listening for the sound of the trumpet?

Friday, January 1, 2010

It is popular today to live a trivial lifestyle and have a trivial worldview. If you want to maintain a trivial worldview, avoid difficulties, and entertain yourself ~You can. Turn on a sitcom, play a video game. You can go to an arts and crafts fair, play pool or frequent the bars.

You don't have to take life seriously.

If you avoid trying to expose false belief systems for what they are, it's called "tolerance" and "respect" and "sin".

Taking the path of least resistance has never been so popular or so easy.

But ~ as we begin the new year, I pray each of us will, as King David, fall on our face before G-D in recognition of the sins that have so easily beset each of us. NOT the sins of America, not the sins of our spouse or our children, but "our" own, personal sins and like King David cry in anguished sobs:

"I acknowledge my transgressions [ sins], my sins are ever before me. Against You and You only have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight... create in me a clean heart, O G-D, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take your Holy Spirit from me... " Psalm 51

Examine yourselves, see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If by your lifestyle choices you cannot tell that Jesus the Christ is in you, neither can anyone else. [2 Cornithians 13:5]... and you have failed the test.