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A PERSPECTIVE ON DECEPTION

by Bill McPherson  (Published by Permission)

Below are a few words for curious and inquiring minds, the pith of which few have ever considered. You will read religious sounding words, but this is far from what you may expect. Try to read with an open mind, not attaching sentiment or emotion, rather with intellect and common sense.

It appears evident from the words of Jesus Christ himself that many people are deceived and worship Him in vain. How can this be and where are these “many”? One would think that “many” people could be identified – that they are ubiquitous.

Notice these words:

Matthew 24:5 “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” These are not people claiming themselves to be the Christ, but that Jesus is the Christ. Notice again in context Matthew 24:11 “and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

 

Jesus Christ also said it is possible to worship Him in vain and that “many” would be doing that. It sounds like these “many” are well intentioned people yet going about their worship incorrectly. Is it possible to incorrectly worship God?

Look at :

Matthew 15:8,9 “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”

 

Notice again in…

Mark 7:6,7 “He replied, Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 In vain (fruitlessly and without profit) do they worship Me, ordering and teaching [to be obeyed] as doctrines the commandments and precepts of men.”

 

Webster’s dictionary defines “deceive” as: “to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid.” Deceived people generally do not know they are deceived. Who would admit they willfully accept being deceived? Exploring the possibilities of this deception is quite fascinating and is set forth in the following.

Consider how many words and phrases, generally thought to be valid by the “Christian” world, cannot be found in the Bible – the source from which “Christians” base their beliefs, customs, traditions, etc. First, there are the myriad denominations: Church of Christ, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Quaker, Mormon, Presbyterian, Catholic, Pentecostal, Episcopal, etc., etc.

These are essentially inventions of men. Each of these denominations and countless others found their origin at some point in history, most of which during the past 500 years. Even the Roman Catholic organization wasn’t founded until over 300 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Given the often radical differences within these denominations, one would wonder how they all could represent the true organization mentioned in the scripture, for Jesus Christ did say He would build a Church (organization of people). One would have to have quite the imagination to reason that all these denominations represent God’s best effort. The point is that none of these organizations are mentioned in scripture; they are the inventions of men.

Other words and phrases not found in scripture are also universally accepted: trinity, rapture, lent, rosary, sacrament, purgatory, easter, christmas, palm sunday, mass, etc. Myriad professing Christians have deep emotions about these although there is no biblical reference for them. The origins of these false concepts are often founded in Pagan ritual. Indeed, the Sunday – first day of the week – observance has a pagan origin from the 3rd Century. Many people are deceived into what they’ve been taught by man rather than by God Himself. Evidence of this is easy to unearth.

According to Jesus Christ, many will have thought they were worshiping Him correctly:

Matthew 7:22,23 Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied through “your” name, and through “your” name cast out demons, and through “your” name done many works of power? 23 and then will I avow unto them, I never knew you. Depart from me, workers of lawlessness.

 

Have the “many” who are deceived been identified? Certainly, many people are involved in and believe in the litany of unscriptural “Christian” jargon, pagan rituals and traditions passed down through time. One could easily reverse this deception by researching the origins and searching the scriptures. Of course, this takes considerable effort and who would make a concerted effort to disprove what they so strongly believe? But, the fact is unless one tries to disprove a belief how can they have confidence what they believe is true?

One final point: One might ask, “how could all these denominations be wrong? After all millions, no billions, of professing Christians are associated with them. The Bible refers to Christians as being a “little flock” and few in number as clearly stated in the following. All this confusion could easily be cleared up by researching the validity of dearly held beliefs we’ve assumed since childhood.

Matthew 7: 13,14

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.


 

 

Our Hope and Promise

OUR HOPE AND PROMISE
by Robert Knarr

Sabbath greetings from Central Pennsylvania!  What a sad week it’s been. What terrible times seem to be on the horizon!   But what a great future, a great hope we  look forward to!

The Orlando shooting of the past week is another small glimpse of the trials and punishments that are coming on this world as we continue to march towards the end of the God-rejecting age of man….leading up to the amazing and glorious Kingdom promised by our merciful Father.

 

Hosea 4:1-6 ESV  Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land;  (2)  there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.  (3)  Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away.  (4)  Yet let no one contend, and let none accuse, for with you is my contention, O priest.  (5)  You shall stumble by day; the prophet also shall stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother.  (6)  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

2 Timothy 3:13 KJV  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Genesis 9:5-6 ESV  And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.  (6)  “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

Lamentations 2:5-6 ESV  The Lord has become like an enemy; he has swallowed up Israel; he has swallowed up all its palaces; he has laid in ruins its strongholds, and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.  (6)  He has laid waste his booth like a garden, laid in ruins his meeting place; the LORD has made Zion forget festival and Sabbath, and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.

Isaiah 10:20-22 ESV  In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.  (21)  A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.  (22)  For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.

2 Peter 3:1-18 ESV  This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,  (2)  that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles,  (3)  knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.  (4)  They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”  (5)  For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,  (6)  and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.  (7)  But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.  (8)  But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  (9)  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  (10)  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.  (11)  Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,  (12)  waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!  (13)  But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  (14)  Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.  (15)  And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,  (16)  as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.  (17)  You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the ERROR OF LAWLESS PEOPLE  and lose your own stability.  (18)  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Not pretty, what is happening now and will continue until HE returns to set things right.

Leviticus 26:13-39 ESV  I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.  (14)  “But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments,  (15)  if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant,  (16)  then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.  (17)  I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down before your enemies. Those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when none pursues you.  (18)  And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins,  (19)  and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.  (20)  And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit.  (21)  “Then if you walk contrary to me and will not listen to me, I will continue striking you, sevenfold for your sins.  (22)  And I will let loose the wild beasts against you, which shall bereave you of your children and destroy your livestock and make you few in number, so that your roads shall be deserted.  (23)  “And if by this discipline you are not turned to me but walk contrary to me,  (24)  then I also will walk contrary to you, and I myself will strike you sevenfold for your sins.  (25)  And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute vengeance for the covenant. And if you gather within your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.  (26)  When I break your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in a single oven and shall dole out your bread again by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.  (27)  “But if in spite of this you will not listen to me, but walk contrary to me,  (28)  then I will walk contrary to you in fury, and I myself will discipline you sevenfold for your sins.  (29)  You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters.  (30)  And I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and my soul will abhor you.  (31)  And I will lay your cities waste and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your pleasing aromas.  (32)  And I myself will devastate the land, so that your enemies who settle in it shall be appalled at it.  (33)  And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste.  (34)  “Then the land shall enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest, and enjoy its Sabbaths.  (35)  As long as it lies desolate it shall have rest, the rest that it did not have on your Sabbaths when you were dwelling in it.  (36)  And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight, and they shall flee as one flees from the sword, and they shall fall when none pursues.  (37)  They shall stumble over one another, as if to escape a sword, though none pursues. And you shall have no power to stand before your enemies.  (38)  And you shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.  (39)  And those of you who are left shall rot away in your enemies’ lands because of their iniquity, and also because of the iniquities of their fathers they shall rot away like them.

Think to yourself “I am a gentile, this was only for the JEWS”?  Think again.

Romans 11:13-33 ESV  Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry  (14)  in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.  (15)  For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?  (16)  If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.  (17)  But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,  (18)  do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.  (19)  Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”  (20)  That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.  (21)  For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.  (22)  Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.  (23)  And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.  (24)  For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.  (25)  Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  (26)  And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;  (27)  “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”  (28)  As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.  (29)  For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  (30)  For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience,  (31)  so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.  (32)  For God has consigned all to disobedience, THAT HE MAY HAVE MERCY ON ALL.  (33)  Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

Hmmm… Think hard about that!

2 Timothy 3:1-7 ESV  But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  (2)  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  (3)  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,  (4)  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  (5)  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.  (6)  For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,  (7)  always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV  (9)  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,  (10)  nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Hmm… Do we think we are too righteous to have been any of those things?

Job 13:7-12 GNB  Why are you lying? Do you think your lies will benefit God?  (8)  Are you trying to defend him? Are you going to argue his case in court?  (9)  If God looks at you closely, will he find anything good? Do you think you can fool God the way you fool others?  (10)  Even though your prejudice is hidden, he will reprimand you,  (11)  and his power will fill you with terror.  (12)  Your proverbs are as useless as ashes; your arguments are as weak as clay…

Now, we do have hope.

Job 16:19-22 GNB  There is someone in heaven to stand up for me and take my side.  (20)  My friends scorn me; my eyes pour out tears to God.  (21)  I want someone to plead with God for me, as one pleads for a friend.  (22)  My years are passing now, and I walk the road of no return.

1 Timothy 2:3-6 ESV  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,  (4)  who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,  (6)  who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

1 Timothy 2:1-6 GNB  First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people;  (2)  for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence toward God and with proper conduct.  (3)  This is good and it pleases God our Savior,  (4)  who wants everyone to be saved and to come to know the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and human beings together, the man Christ Jesus,  (6)  who gave himself to redeem  THE  WHOLE HUMAN RACE. That was the proof at the right time that God wants everyone to be saved…

The WHOLE human race!  Think about that.  How does that possibly fit the modern day theology of the wicked going to a place of eternal torment and the “righteous” going to heaven to play harps?  It doesn’t.

Job 14:1-15 ESV  “Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.  (2)  He comes out like a flower and withers; he flees like a shadow and continues not.  (3)  And do you open your eyes on such a one and bring me into judgment with you?  (4)  Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one.  (5)  Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,  (6)  look away from him and leave him alone, that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day.  (7)  “For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.  (8)  Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil,  (9)  yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.  (10)  But a man dies and is laid low; man breathes his last, and where is he?  (11)  As waters fail from a lake and a river wastes away and dries up,  (12)  so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep.  (13)  Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!  (14)  If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come.  (15)  You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands.

Ecclesiastes 9:4-12 ESV  (4)  But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.  (5)  For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.  (6)  Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.  (7)  Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.  (8)  Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.  (9)  Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.  (10)  Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.  (11)  Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.  (12)  For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

Again, there IS hope.

1 Corinthians 15:12-23 ESV  (12)  Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  (13)  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  (14)  And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.  (15)  We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.  (16)  For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.  (17)  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.  (18)  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  (19)  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.  (20)  But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  (21)  For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.  (22)  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.  (23)  But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

AT HIS COMING!  Not now, not everyday, on one specific day!

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ESV  (13)  But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.  (14)  For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.  (15)  For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  (16)  For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  (17)  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.  (18)  Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 KJV  (16)  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:…

Again, at a specific time, on a specific DAY, not every day, not today, not yesterday!    We have this HOPE.  This PROMISE.

Romans 8:18-25 ESV  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  (19)  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.  (20)  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope  (21)  that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  (22)  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  (23)  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  (24)  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?  (25)  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Hebrews 11:1-40 ESV  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  (2)  For by it the people of old received their commendation.  (3)  By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible… 35 KJV  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:…. (38)  of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  (39)  And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,  (40)  since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Revelation 20:4-6 KJV  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….    (6)  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.

Now note:

(5)  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

What purpose is there of a resurrection at the return of Jesus Christ if the dead are already living in heaven or hell?   Think about it.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 ESV  (16)  Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.


Robert Knarr is a Christian Author from Central Pennsylvania
Published by Permission

What Would This World Be Like Without Christmas?

WHAT WOULD THIS WORLD BE LIKE WITHOUT CHRISTMAS??

It’s December again, and the ‘Christmas Fervor” is beginning to grip the minds and hearts of those who claim Christ. They are beginning to get excited about the holiday and the opportunity to ‘worship Jesus’ on the 25th of the month. People are beginning to wish others a “Merry Christmas”, and “Happy Holidays”… Christmas ornaments… Trees, Wreaths, and all sorts of lighted and large, inflatable figures are being purchased or dragged out of storage, to be set up and turned on… the houses and properties will soon be lit up and the neighbors will be scrambling to catch-up and get their displays ready for the gawkers and lookiloo’s to admire and enjoy.

Then, of course, there is all the shopping that absolutely MUST be done! First of all, for the children! Because after all, Christmas is for, and all about, the Children. The Christian Faith demands that no child be forgotten at Christmas time… But, we must be careful to not let the shopping and decorations and the traditional music cause us to forget the ‘main reason’ for the Season.

What is the ‘main reason’ for the Season? JESUS CHRIST?

That’s what I’m told.. and, every year, there are some who say that there is a WAR on Christmas… Those who are concerned about this, are sure that the enemies of Christ are bound and determined to
“TAKE CHRIST OUT OF CHRISTMAS!”

To those believers, the Christmas Holiday is the Celebration of Christ’s Birth! An opportunity to ‘worship Jesus’, to honor Him on His birthday, AND, an opportunity to PREACH JESUS, because, (they say), others will be more willing to listen and hear the message at Christmas Time.

To them, HE is the REASON for the SEASON.

I recently had a discussion with one such Believer, and I got a better idea of just how sincere and dedicated someone can be.

Here are a few examples:

“Jesus is the only reason for Christmas”

“Jesus IS Christmas”

Those dedicated believers who keep the Holiday, can’t understand why anyone would not want to observe it…

“,,,If, in your heart, you can’t celebrate the Birth of Jesus, what is in your heart?”

‘(God, the Father)’, “…started Christmas, and gave the greatest Gift of all, Jesus.”

But Wait! DID God, The Father, really ‘start Christmas’??? Is He the one who thought it up, and set it all in motion? Do all the trees and lights and decorations honor the Son? Do all those “Christmas Customs” and all that “Christmas Music” really help us “WORSHIP JESUS” as He deserves and desires to be worshiped?

Surely, a sincere and dedicated CHRISTIAN would want to worship Him, both, in SPIRIT, and in TRUTH! Right?

Christmas has arrived once a year for all the years I’ve been alive… every year and then, every year again… over and over, Every Year!! What would the world be like, without Christmas???

What is the goal of Christmas?

From what I can tell,

The 1st goal of Christmas is to Worship Christ and Honor Him on His Birthday! To do ‘good deeds’ and share the LOVE.

The 2nd goal of Christmas, is to preach Christ and spread the ‘gospel message’ about Christ… (because more folks will listen at Christmas Time)

The 3rd goal is to celebrate and have a wonderful time with FAMILY and FRIENDS… to give each other GIFTS and make many, many more wonderful Holiday Memories… to grow and increase the NOSTALGIA and thereby to perpetuate the TRADITION forever….

How could God not be pleased? How could He not also ENJOY and APPRECIATE the efforts of so many Believers, to focus their WORSHIP on His Precious Son? How could He not also CELEBRATE and REJOICE with them as they continually, every year, STRIVE to Share the LOVE and DO GOOD WORKS – Setting an example for Generations to come??

Christmas time is a ‘good time of the year’ for those less fortunate… those who are financially embarrassed and can’t afford to provide a Tree and Lights and GIFTS for their kids and each other… and those who are even more worse off, those who, for what ever reason, don’t have a home… those who live on the street, well, Christmas Time is a good time for them, because millions of believers strive to help those folks by providing them with warm coats and food and shelter… and, millions of TOYS will be donated and collected by well-meaning individuals and groups, because it’s just isn’t right that any child not be able to enjoy and have, a ‘GOOD CHRISTMAS’!!

Another quote, “I will (celebrate Christmas) because of the ‘THANKFULNESS’ in my heart for all Jesus has done.”

“I don’t understand how anyone who knows Jesus, and all He has done, (would) not want to do EVERYTHING to show ‘THANKFULNESS’….”

“I celebrate Christmas so others can SEE my ‘THANKFULNESS’!”

The message seems to be, that if one doesn’t Celebrate Christmas, then, they are just NOT THANKFUL!!!

So, what about it? Are you ‘Thankful’? Do God, the Father and The Lord Jesus join in and celebrate with the millions who participate? Is “CHRISTMAS”, God’s idea and does He expect all Christians to be involved each year??

Is God REALLY seeking someone to worship Him? Is God “THANKFUL” for the worship?

Does God really care ‘HOW’ He is Worshiped, or is He simply glad and happy that anyone is even willing to give Him some worship?

Has He given up trying to get people to worship Him ‘HIS WAY’, and become willing to take whatever we humans are willing to give Him?

Most of the millions who keep and celebrate Christmas have a Bible and many of them carry it to Church every sunday… some even READ their Bibles and a few study it so they can take part in church services by preaching…

Surely they have already SEEN the Biblical passages that relate the beginning of the Christmas Holiday… the passages that show God issuing the directions necessary for His people to keep and observe it every year… Surely they have read and understand the passages that explain the REASONS for the various customs and decorations and how to use them properly… and surely they are THANKFUL enough to make sure they get the very best TREE they can find, and to preach these things to their Congregations, and children, every year so they will never forget how Christmas is God’s idea and how He and Jesus made it part of the plan for mankind… Surely….

What would this world be like, without Christmas?

I can’t wait to find out!

Ben
“… Thank God for The Coming World Tomorrow”!!!

Nothing Truthful About Christmas!

Nothing Truthful About Christmas!
NOVEMBER 1st – All Hallows
As often happens, I was having breakfast in the restaurant this morning, and over heard some men talking about the kids coming to their doors the night before… Trick or Treating, and asking for candy. Well, they were talking about how many kids had come to their doors, and how much they enjoyed giving out candy to the ‘little kids’, but also how little they enjoyed having the ‘big kids’ coming around… I guess it’s all about the little ones… anyway, one man was telling how this very young boy knocked and when he opened the door, he gave the child some candy, and the little boy looked up to him and said, “Thank you sir, and Merry Christmas!” They all had a good chuckle over that, and then, one of them said, “you know what? It won’t be long until Christmas!”… the other guy remarked, “Boy!!! Ain’t THAT the truth?”

Yes, I wanted to jump up and say, NO! It’s NOT!, but, I kept quiet…
Well, being as it was November 1st, then sure, it was the truth that the annual celebration of Christ’s Birth was soon to be celebrated, but, NO, that celebration has little, if anything to do with “The Truth”!!
I wanted to say, “No, there is nothing ‘truthful’ about Christmas!” it’s all ‘tradition’ and those traditions are all built on falsehood!
I know you’ve heard it all before, but it really helps me to write these things down and ponder them, to study the Bible and SEE the TRUTH about Christ’s Birth and so SEE the absence of the things that most ‘believers’ claim to recognize and celebrate at that time of year…
The Truth:
Christ was NOT born in a manger! Yes, I’ve heard that He was, but, the FACT is, He was born in a STABLE and ‘laid in a manger’…
The Truth:
The Wise men, were not there at the stable… they came much later and found Him in a “HOUSE”… He was no longer a ‘babe’, but a ‘young child’.. maybe as much as two years old….
The Truth:
He was given three gifts, but, NOT as ‘birthday’ presents… They were traditional gifts that were given to a KING!
The Truth:
Christ was born in Bethlehem, but NOT on ‘Christmas Eve’!
These facts and many other truths about the ‘christmas’ celebration, are well known to God’s People, and yet, they are NOT known, to the majority of this world! … Oh, yes, they have been shown to be what they are, Pagan Customs and symbols used by the heathen to worship their false gods, but, really, that doesn’t seem to bother anyone! They see it in Newspapers every year, they hear it on Radio and it’s ‘interesting’, but, nothing to be concerned about, they think!
The Book of Revelation tells us that the devil has DECEIVED the whole world.. but, even that revelation doesn’t seem to raise any concern… after all, the majority have been lead to believe that Jesus came here to ‘rescue’ us from the Law and the Old Covenant… they’ve been told that only cults still cling to and observe those burdensome things… While, they, on the other hand, are now FREE to worship God as they please… “Christian Freedom”, they call it!
So, every year, they get busy and DECORATE their homes and property with thousands of dollars worth of ‘Christmas Decorations’… TREES, LIGHTS, fake snow, and tons of other ornaments- plastic, inflatable snowmen, and reindeer…
Santa Claus is coming to town!

Then, as the radio and TV slowly begin to play more and more ‘christmas carols’, the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ begins to build… soon, it stirs up their desire to GIVE and SHARE the good things… the Good Gifts… the Charitable donations… They begin to get concerned for the ‘homeless’, they begin to collect coats and shoes and all sorts of items that they feel will both be a help, AND a witness, to the homeless.. They collect toys for all the poor, unfortunate little boys and girls, who, without these loving donations, just won’t have a Christmas!
…the Cakes and candy and all the sweets and sights and sounds that they grew up with… All that NOSTALGIA!!! ..they begin to rush around, searching for that ‘perfect gift’, and it’s often a long list of friends and family that they have to buy for!
Soon, the News is filled with stories of traffic jams and injuries to some shoppers who had to FIGHT to get a certain item… Hustle and bustle… all the things that seem to happen earlier and earlier every year… Christmas Sales, Christmas Parties… All part and parcel of their efforts to ‘Worship Christ’ on His Birthday!
But, the TRUTH is, that none of those things have anything to do with Christ!

The truth is, God the Father, and Christ, the Son, are NOT looking forward to that celebration! They are not ‘wanting it’, ‘expecting it’, or ‘desiring it’…
The Truth is, ALL THOSE things do not worship and honor the Son… they are all PAGAN to the core, and are the very things God Himself commanded His people NOT to do!

The Truth is… there is NOTHING TRUTHFUL ABOUT CHRISTMAS!
Yes, it won’t be long until Christmas! And, then, like a bubble popping, it will be over… Suddenly, all that ‘Christmas Spirit’ will dissipate. Then, the exhaustion, and depression will set in…. You’ll hear many saying, “Boy! I’m glad that’s over”!! …and lots of people will be asking you, “Did you have a good Christmas?”… and, you, the Christian, will have the opportunity to answer that question…

Who knows, maybe your answer will inspire someone to open their Bibles and check to SEE just how ‘truthful’ the Christmas Celebration really is…
God Bless…

FIRE and a Silly Question

FIRE!

When you hear the word, “FIRE”, what comes to mind? HEAT? SMOKE? BURNING?… ASHES?? Yeah, me too!

For instance…. How about Sodom and Gomorra? There is an example of what FIRE can do!! It isn’t still burning today, but, it lasted until the fuel was gone: It could not be put out! FIRE Burns!! Fire Consumes!!

Another example of FIRE that burns and consumes… 1 Kings 18:19-38
Elijah and the prophets of Baal… Two bullocks… one for the 450 prophets of baal… and one for the prophet of God… Baal’s men put the sacriifice on the alter ready to burn, but they put no FIRE under it… then,, they went from morning til noon, praying and crying out to Baal to burn and accept their sacrifice… Baal did not answer, and at noon, Elijah began to mock them and provoke them… “Cry Aloud”, he said, “maybe he’s asleep or busy” So they cried even louder and cut themseles… their false god did not respond…. After midday was past, they continued until about the time of the evening sacrifice…. no sound, no answer, no response! Then, Elijah told everyone to gather around… he took twelve stones and built and altar… dug a trench around it, fixed the wood and cut up the sacriifice… then, he had the people to fill four barrells of water and pour it all over the alter- he had them do it three times… TWELVE barrells of water!!! The sacrifice, the wood, the altar– They and the surrounding ground were drenched!!!! SOAKED!!! The trench was filled up with water!!

1Ki 18:36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
1Ki 18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
1Ki 18:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

That day, GOD used FIRE to show who HE WAS, and who His Servant was… this was FIRE that Burns and Consumes!!! Fire fell and burned up everything- the sacrifice, the wood, the STONES. and even the very DUST… then, it licked up the water in the trench!!

God used FIRE to demonstrate WHO HE WAS, and who His servant was…

To me, that shows the great power of God!

Fire burns and consumes!!!

I rarely stop to consider it beyond those features, but I learned a lot the other day when some friends were talking about FIRE… I asked a question about FIRE that got a really HOT response!

Have you ever said something that sounded silly? Maybe even ‘stupid’ on the surface? Well, I did! As I said, my friends were talking about FIRE and I just had to open my big mouth! One of the people was really upset!! They were ‘indignant’!! They got red-faced and their intelligence was offended!

I guess that’s what ‘silly’, stupid comments are good for! Anyway, I asked a question that wasn’t well received!! The person who got upset, and red-faced was on the verge of being FURIOUS! Without stopping to consider my question, he told me, point blank, just how STUPID and SILLY my question was!! I guess I deserved it… after all, these folks don’t know me very well, and they hardly have anything in common with me… I should have known better! …

Anyway, I guess you’re probably wondering what could be said about FIRE that would be so, ‘offensive’ and SILLY… Before I tell you what it was, let me say that the afore-mentioned conversation caused me to do some investigation… I found BIBLE EVIDENCE that there’s more to FIRE than most ever think about!!

I asked this question: “I wonder if fire could FREEZE”?

Now, that’s not an ‘exact’ quote, but it is the essence… See how silly that sounds? I admit it, it does sound silly on the surface! After all, FIRE burns!! FIRE consumes!!! This fella I mentioned, got really upset, and red-faced… he ‘cursed’ a few times and declared how SILLY and STUPID my comment was… Fire burns! Fire Consumes! Fire Destroys! …But, not ALWAYS!!! WAIT!!!… before you, also, judge me as totally messed up, please consider….

Consider what the Bible reveals about FIRE!!

In Exodus, Chapter Three, we find MOSES, out leading the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law… All of a sudden, God appeared to him, –in a BURNING BUSH!

EX. 3:2 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with FIRE and the bush was not consumed.

Ex. 3:3 – And moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

The sight of a burning bush grabbed Moses
attention and he turned aside to see it… Gotta admit, it WAS a great sight! Something we don’t see very often… at all!

It was a ‘great sight’ because Moses knew that FIRE BURNS!! Fire consumes!! We’ve all read this story before, but, did we stop to consider how SPECIAL this FIRE was???? The bush was on fire, but it was NOT CONSUMED!!

To me, that shows the great power of God!

Another Example….

In the book of Daniel, Chapter 3, it speaks of King Nebuchadnezzar building an idol in the desert and commanding that everyone fall down and worship it, when they hear the music play… and, that those who would NOT do so, should be thrown into the midst of a BURNING, FIREY Furnace!!

You know the story… Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego…. REFUSED!!

Dan 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
Dan 3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
Dan 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
Dan 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Now, I guess you could say the King was a ‘reasonable’ guy, and so he gave them a chance to reconsider… Paraphrased: “hey guys, is it true that you are not willing to do as I said? Now, look, if you will just fall down and worship the idol when you hear the music play, then you will do well… but, if not, then I’m gonna throw you into the FIRE”

Notice here, I’m not the only one to make a STUPID STATEMENT:
King Neb also had his moments!

“….and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”

Then, they told him point-blank… we will not do it, and IF you throw us into the fire, the God we serve is able to deliver us… and, even if He doesn’t, we still won’t worship your idol!

Notice what happened next: Like my friend who got upset, and red-faced, ….the King did too!!

King Nebuchadnezzar was ‘full of fury’, and the form of his visage was changed..” He was furious and red-faced and angry… he commanded the furnace to be heated (17 times?) hotter than normal, and that his ‘mighty men’ grab and tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego… to bind them hand and foot and throw them into the over-heated furnace!!

It was REALLY HOT!! It killed the men who threw them in!! Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown in… they fell down, BOUND, into that Firey Furnace!!! Then, something interesting occurred…

The King looked in and was ASTONIED!!!! He was ‘astonished’ to see FOUR people walking around in the FIRE and not being hurt!! Not sure how he knew what the Son of God looked like, but that is what it says…. Anyway,
He was astonished to see that!! He called them forth out of the furnace and they came out…

At this point please NOTICE: Something WAS burned when they fell into the furnace!!!! What was it?

They were thrown in BOUND, and THEIR BINDINGS were burned off, with no harm to their clothing, or them!

There was a big crowd there… Princes, Governors, Captains, as well as the King’s Counsellors… they all saw this miracle!! These three men who were faithful to God, were not burned by the Fire… their clothing was not burned, and “..no smell of fire passed on them”…

Fire Burns!! Fire Consumes!!… But, not always!!!!

One more example!

Acts, Chapter Two… New Kings James Version.

Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

Here again, is a FIRE that burns, but does not consume! This FIRE sat on the Apostles and their hair was not burned or even singed!!! The SOUND of that rushing, mighty wind, attracted the attention of those who were gathered about, and the FIRE captivated their focus!! What an awesome sight! Jews from all over, different languages, each one hearing the Apostles speak in their own language… SPEAKING WITH THEIR HEADS ON FIRE!!!!
What a tremendous witness! Yes, I know… FIRE burns!! FIRE consumes!!

But, Not Always!!!!!!!

Making that ‘silly, STUPID’ comment, led me to some interesting Bible Study that allowed me to consider FIRE in a different way!! It showed me that GOD truly is Almighty!! He truly is All powerful!!

To me, that shows the great power of God!

The Bible puts it this way:
MARK 10:27 “And Jesus looking on them said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: FOR WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.”

And, again in Mat. 19:26 “But Jesus beheld them and said unto them, With men, this is impossible: BUT WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLLE.”

No, I couldn’t find mention of “frozen Fire”, but what I did find was the assurannce that if God wanted to, He could FREEZE IT!!

God can do anything!!

I also learned to be careful what I say around certain people! :)

Ben
So… what do you get out of these verses?

Why Did Jesus Fold The Napkin?

Passover is coming soon, and I thought, perhaps, you might find this one interesting. *I did not write this, and frankly, I don’t remember where I found it, so, my apologies to the author*

Why Did Jesus Fold the Napkin?

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection?
I never noticed this….

The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.

The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly
folded, and was placed separate from the grave clothes.

Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, ‘They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!’

Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see.. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.

Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side.

Was that important? Absolutely!

Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it..

The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, ‘I’m done’.

But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because……….

The folded napkin meant, ‘I’m coming back!’

He is Coming Back!
—————————————————————————-
Your thoughts?

-Admin

Great Works In His Name

I am NOT a politician!! However, when I see a politician doing, or
attempting to do, something that is intended to worship or honor Christ,
its difficult not to notice!

Mike Huckabbe, former Arkansas Governor, has come up with an idea to do
just that. He recently announced that He was partnering with ALL IN .
ALL IN Founder, Michael Phillips, said, “We want to engage and mobilize the
people of God, to remind our country what authentic Christianity looks
like.”

The goal of Mr. Huckabee, and ALL IN, is to get Christians, nationwide, to
take part in a National Day of Service on Good Friday, 2015. Sounds like a
concerted effort to DO LOTS OF GOOD! And, doing good is definitely a ‘good
thing’.

This service effort is called, DO GOOD ON GOOD FRIDAY… and, if you are of a
mind to get involved, you can access their website,

http://www.livingwithpower.com/dogoodfriday  …

Mr. Huckabee is committed, and he is striving to stir up millions of others who are committed and willing to donate their time (and money) to also DO GOOD on Good Friday…

Yes, their website has a form where you can sign up and pledge to do an
act of service, as well as DONATE to the cause… As of this morning, Feb 7,
2015, they have ONE DOLLAR pledged…

Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Mr. Huckabee is eager to show his faith… Quoting James 2:18, He said..”I’ve
always been inspired by this Scripture,… when it comes to being people of
faith, we must be fully committed.” And, I’m sure he is.

Helping and doing good to others is a “GOOD THING”… Serving and giving
truly are pleasing to God.. But, I wonder… Examining the idea, and
considering the impact this effort might achieve, it seems like there
should be some sort of REWARD for those who get involved… no, not a
monetary reward, but, some sort of REWARD from God…

I mean, this is not just about ‘service’, right? It’s about
FAITH. Remember, Mr. Huckabee quoted James, 2:18, and then said…”…our
faith must be alive.. when it comes to being people of faith, we must be
fully committed…”

Mr. Huckabee wants to demonstrate his faith, and he
wants to get millions of others to demonstrate their faith as well… He
wants it to be such a huge demonstraton of faith that this whole country
will sit up and take notice… “..to remind our country what authentic
Christianity looks like…

Heb_11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he
is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

The above Scripture shows clearly that it takes FAITH to please God, and
please notice, HE is a REWARDER of them that diligently seek Him.. So,
shouldn’t there be a REWARD for people who do all these good things?? DO
GOOD FRIDAY is about demonstrating FAITH.. and surely, demonstrating our
Faith will please God. What do you suppose the REWARD will be?

Here is my greatest fear… Millions and millions of dedicated people,
getting involved and giving their all…being ALL IN, … doing millions of
acts of SERVICE to others… working, helping, giving… DOING IT ALL IN
CHRIST’S NAME… yet, in the end…. BEING LOST!

You see, this ‘good idea’, of giving and serving… doing acts of kindness
and helping others, isn’t a new idea… there have always been those who
believe that these things demonstrate “..what authentic Christianity looks
like

People who do these things BELIEVE that they are Christians, and they put
forth the effort to exercise THEIR FAITH by doing these Great Works in
Christ’s Name… These ARE ‘good things’… but, are they CHRISTIAN ACTS?….
are they actually serving Christ?

Yes, God said we would know them by their fruits!

Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew Chapter 7 speaks of that, but it also speaks of this:

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never
knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Wow! Here are people who believed they belonged to Christ… they believed
they were doing things that pleased Him… they believed that they were
headed for the Kingdom.. More than likely, they had spent more than just
one day a year, DOING GOOD….

They Preached and ‘prophesised’ in His name… they went about ‘telling that
old, old story’… sharing their Gospel Message, some even believed they had
the gift of healing… they ‘cast of devils’ in His Name… AND, in His Name,
(as Christians) they did many wonderful ‘works’! They expected to be with
Christ when He returns… but, Christ didn’t Know them!

More than that, no, WORSE than that, He said, “ I NEVER knew you”…

But WHY? What happened?? They had spent their lives serving and giving…
DOING MANY WONDERFUL WORKS… striving to “demonstrate what authentic
Christianity looks like”…. And, yet, for some reason, they were not His!

Rom_8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if
so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

These people, mentioned in Matt 7:22, were BELIEVERS!! They BELIEVED they
were His, and they wanted to be His, but they were not… For some reason
they did NOT have His Spirit… How could that be?

In the Book of Acts, Chapter 5, God gives us the answer:

Act_5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

A person can be totally convinced in their own mind, that they are
Christians… they can be totally committed and excited about serving, and
giving, and doing great works of service to others, and they can believe
with all their heart that doing these things is “what authentic
Christianity looks like”… yet still, be totally DECEIVED. If they reject
the RULE of God in their lives, they can’t have that HOLY SPIRIT that sets
them apart from this evil world! And, without that Spirit, they are none
of His!

If you aren’t willing to OBEY HIM, then He is NOT ‘your LORD’!

Rev_12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

That is the goal of the devil, after all, to DECEIVE everyone and to cause
everyone to be lost! He HAS accomplished that deception!! This whole
world lies in a sea of deception! It is inundated with lies and falsehoods…
covered and buried with the total opposite of the TRUTH. And, without the
Truth, no one can be set free!!

Good News!!!! God has determined to open the minds of a FEW… He is
working with a FEW now, to share the precious Truth and to have them SHARE
that Truth with others… That Truth involves His LORDSHIP and His Coming
Kingdom!! That is the Good News of the True Gospel… He is busy revealing
what True and ‘authentic’ Christianity looks like

If God is calling you, if you are willing to lay your preconceived
ideas aside and take the time to open and read you Bibles!! If you are
willing to SUBMIT to His Way and forsake your way… then, maybe you can
begin to actually SERVE and DO the GREAT WORKS that Please Him… maybe, you
can begin to fully demonstrate your FAITH…

But, what kind of FAITH should we have? If you’d like to begin to understand about the “FAITH THAT WAS ONCE DELIVERED”… we recommend this article from our Archives…

The Faith Which Was Once Delivered
http://7times.org/newsletter/faithdelivered.shtml

If the ALL IN effort succeeds, then many will benefit ‘physically’, and
that will be ‘a good thing’… But, will those who DO these GREAT WORKS… be saved????

Doing good works IS a ‘good thing’, but, it isn’t ‘everything’!

-Admin

but few are chosen…

I have an acquaintance who likes to text people on his phone, preaching Jesus and trying to share what he thinks is the Gospel message… He often speaks of leading others to Christ…

Today, he texted, “In Jesus’ hands we are put together in one accord, in unity, to bring praise to God, and show it in service to others…bring them to Jesus so they can be saved…”
I texted him back with, “No man can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him..”
**Joh_6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh_6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
He replied, “How or Who do you think He is gonna use to draw them? Me and You!”
I asked him, “Can He not do it without us?”
He replied, “Yes, He is God, He can do anything, but, He gives us the blessing of being used by God.”

I find myself at odds with this individual because I don’t believe that God is calling everyone now… only a very few, that the Bible calls “The Elect”….
So, How does God “CALL” those He wants to be in His Kingdom?

Does He expect US to go out and get them?

Can just anyone ‘come to Christ’??
After you think on that question for a while, please READ this Article from our Archives…

Seek Ye The Lord
http://7times.org/newsletter/seekthelord.shtml

So, what do you think?

-Admin

Born Sinners?

Saw this on the Web…

born sinner

Born Sinners?    How is that possible?

Someone once told me…

The soul along with the body is condemned from birth, without hope until we take Christ in our life.”

“Condemned from birth”?     Why?

I know that millions believe that ‘original sin’ is passed on down from father to child, because of what Adam did… But, I don’t believe that!   Why would ANYONE want to believe that???

The Bible says, (well, at least mine says) that ALL have sinned.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

To me, that is not the same thing as my father sinning and me being held accountable for it.  That, is just not fair!

NO!  God is fair! He is not that kind of a God!

Why does so much of what people are taught, and what they BELIEVE, make GOD LOOK SO BAD????

We each have a life to live and it’s hard enough to be held accountable for the mistakes WE make, let alone having to be accountable for all the sins of all our ancestors, all the way back to Adam!

I think that the ‘original sin’ doctrine is, ERROR!

What do you think?

-Admin

 

FAITH ON MY MIND

Well, Faith has been on my mind to day… and, since this is a BLOG, I guess I’m supposed to post about what has been on my mind..

I DO have Faith! Really, I do… but, not much. Not nearly as much as I’d like to have. I’ve heard that God knows best… and truly, it is probably ‘best’at this time, for me, that I don’t have a lot of Faith.

I mean, after all… Jesus told the Disciples that IF they had ‘faith as a grain of mustard seed’…that they could command a mountain to be cast into the sea… and it would happen!!

As I said, I DO have Faith! So do you! So does everyone!! God’s Word shows that He gave every man ‘ a measure of faith’… but, apparently, that measure is not as great as the grain of mustard seed! I’m guessing that if we humans had that kind of faith, lots of real estate would be somewhere off shore, with a huge Sunami on the way…

Do you want more Faith? Why? Have you ever asked yourself that question? WHY do I want more faith? What would you DO if you had the kind of Faith that Christ was speaking of? Faith is power!! Would you use it to help others? Or, are there things you would ‘destroy’ or alter?

I’ve heard that God has a plan for our Salvation… I really hope that increased Faith is a part of that plan… I have a feeling that with the world in the shape it’s in we are gonna need it!

Have you thought about FAITH lately? What do you think on FAITH?    I’d enjoy hearing from you…

-Admin