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Does the Book of Romans Approve the Observance of Halloween?

Oh yeah! Halloween is coming! ! Just a few more days and all your pent up, ‘trick or treat’ emotions, can be expressed in so many evil ways!!! Just think, everything you did, last year, to ‘spook’ your neighbor’s kids… it can be done SOOOO much better this year!!!! Yes! Each year gets better!!! Better make up, better costumes! Better and better special effects(for those who can afford them)!!

Uhh.. just kidding! I do not look forward to this customary night of witches and goblins!! But, millions do, and they really get into it!! Even many churches get involved, and they either ‘celebrate it’ or they ‘denounce it’ with all sorts of efforts to provide alternate activities for their children( and the adults)..

Some of the churches and individuals who ‘celebrate’ it, believe that God is A-ok with their participation!! They believe that, somehow, God’s Word even supports and ‘condones’ the observance of Halloween!

Recently, I had a nice, old lady tell me that the Book of Romans talks about and approves of Halloween!! Wow!! I wasn’t expecting that! Sooo… does the Book of Romans approve of ‘Christians’ observing, keeping, or somehow participating in Halloween?? Let’s check it out!

Romans Chapter 14…
Verse 17 -For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

This is the first verse the nice lady gave me, and, well… it doesn’t SAY anything about Halloween!! So, I read it to her, “See here? Nothing about Halloween”….

For some reason, this verse sounds more like it’s speaking of ‘eating and drinking’… and, I guess people DO eat and drink on Halloween… I’m sure they do a heap of drinking, but that doesn’t make this verse about Halloween.

So, She gave me the next verse… verse 18

From the KJV: Rom. 14:18 -For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

I explained to her that I’d seen this verse several times and couldn’t see any mention of Halloween or it’s customs.. ??? And, by the way, How could keeping the pagan customs of Halloween, be ‘serving Christ’?? She ignored my question, and gave me another verse!

From the KJV: Rom 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

I read the verse… and said to her…”Believe it or not, I always strive to edify others, and I always strive to ‘follow after the things which make for peace'”… But, really, I said, .. telling someone about the origins of the Halloween customs, and telling them what God thinks of those customs, and telling them about whether or not God wants, expects, or desires those customs, is something I must do. The Bible says, that the TRUTH will set you free! And, truly, thousands of others have been set free from the practices and customs and symbols of Halloween.. I hope a few others will benefit from the truth on these things. If one finds these things upsetting, I can understand that too. It IS upsetting to find out that what one has done all their life, is wrong, and not productive in the active worship of the creator God. It usually takes some time to get used to the idea.”

She didn’t seem very impressed with that, and continued with another verse!

From the KJV: Rom 14:20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

I really wanted to discuss this with the nice lady, but, CLEARLY, these verses ALL appear to have something to do with EATING and DRINKING… but nothing to do with Halloween.. I’m absolutely CERTAIN that Halloween has nothing to do with the “work of God”.
I tried to tell her that, and asked, “What does all this about eating have to do with observing Halloween??”

Hmm… it was sort of like, being in a foreign country, asking for directions in a language totally unknown to either person!! Wow!

She said, Look at verse 21: It is better NOT to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else.(or have Halloween)if…. that will ’cause your brother to fall’

She supplied the part about (or have Halloween)…

From the KJV: Rom 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

Oddly enough, all this conversation was in a peaceful setting and we smiled a lot…

Responding to her, I said, “I’ll try not to eat meat or drink wine in front of you…will that help?”… She smiled again. I said, “you know.. As far as observing Halloween goes, well… NOT KEEPING it will certainly not ’cause [my] brother to fall’… my brother KNOWS the truth about these pagan holidays and he doesn’t observe them either. He, like me, stays as far as possible AWAY from them… Look, I know you like Halloween, I know you desire to take part in the celebration… but, please THINK ABOUT IT!!!.. God does not like it, He does not desire it and He does not desire for HIS PEOPLE to be involved in it, in any way! He hates those customs. Now, truly, if you don’t like these statements, I do understand. But, please, don’t take them personally… they are not offered as any kind of insult, but rather…as the truth they are.
By the way, Telling someone the truth, will never make them WEAK.”

I think she secretly was insulted a bit, and basically wanted me to stop preaching about this holiday and simply ‘keep it to myself’! She offered another verse with that in mind.

From the KJV: Rom 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

She wanted me to take my ‘faith’.. my beliefs about this pagan holiday, and ‘have it to myself‘… She didn’t really enjoy hearing about how evil it really was… her conscience was struggling, I guess. But, we kept talking for a while!!

I explained, that I do have faith. I have faith that the Bible is true, and that IF I read and follow it, instead of following some man, or some group of men, that I will, with God’s help, be on the right track. I try very hard to share the truths I’ve learned about Halloween, and as I said, sometimes, the truth is a little hard to take, especially if it cuts into, or shines an unfavorable light on, the things we love to do. I guess being a Christian isn’t as easy as many would like it to be. 🙁

Friends, I know that millions love Halloween. Next to X-mas, and Easter, it’s probably the biggest ‘money maker’ of the year! And, I dare say, that most, if not all observers of Halloween, do not and will not be ‘condemning themselves’ as they party and celebrate.

So, then, I asked her about Jesus! WWJD? Yeah, what about Jesus? What would He do? If He was here now, I asked her, do you suppose that He would be keeping and observing Halloween? “trick or treating”?? What type of demon or evil spirit do you suppose that He would dress up as ??? hmm… Just something to think about!

She blinked, and shrugged and didn’t appear to really want to think about it!

She just gave me another verse, hoping that I would see what she ‘saw’ in these verses from the book of Romans!

From the KJV: Rom 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

I wonder if she thought it couldn’t be a sin, if she ‘had faith’ that it was all right?

Once again, I tried to explain, that this verse, like all the others, is NOT speaking of Halloween. But, I did ask her, “IS Halloween ‘of faith’??” Really? Whose faith? I wonder…

It was time for a point-blank, direct question!!!!!! I said, “are you, or do you claim to be, a Christian?? If so, why do you keep Halloween?”

She Said nothing, and that was the end of that! 🙁

As I said, she was a nice lady and I appreciated the opportunity to discuss these things, it was an interesting conversation. But, if people are looking for some validation or support for the observance of Halloween in these verses, or any others in the Word of God, they are totally ‘out of luck’!!

Many tell me that the TRUTH is important to them, but is it really? The truth is, Halloween is a celebration of death, and destruction. A celebration of the END of life… It is not something that God or Jesus find harmless, and not something that they want their people involved with! But, alas, people(including nice old ladies).. WILL do what they want to do. At least, for now!

That ‘nice old lady’ is dead and gone now, but, one of these days, I look forward to continuing this conversation! 🙂


The ‘Complete Story’

Some say, that each human is born with a ‘conscience’.

Some say that this ‘conscience’ tells us that stealing, lying, killing and adultry are wrong.

In other words, we are born ‘knowing those things’! !
(I, personally, believe that we are born with a blank slate and that we are taught those things as we live and grow… Parents, teachers, preachers, all contribute to this programming of the conscience)

However, there are ‘wrong things’ that we do not automatically ‘know’ are wrong.

We are not ‘born knowing’ that breaking the Sabbath is wrong… or, that Coveting the belongings of others it wrong….

We are not ‘born knowing’ that it is wrong to use the Name of the God who made us as a curse word, or an expression of disgust.

The Law of God is the ‘complete story‘… that ‘complete story’ is what Adam and Eve rejected in the Garden… they were convinced that it was A-OK to go ahead and ‘decide for themselves’, what was ‘right and wrong’… they chose to take that priviledge to themselves and to forgo getting the ‘complete story‘ by being obedient to God’s Command and having opportunity to take from that Tree of Life!!

Those Two Trees… they DID represent something!!

They represented the Right Way of Life, as opposed to the Wrong Way of Life!!

They represented God’s definition of ‘Right and Wrong’ as opposed to the serpent’s LIMITED DEFINITION….

Trying to live one’s life by a limited defintion of Right and Wrong is the WAY of Death… Believing, and Obeying the True God, and keeping His Commandments, are THE WAY to Life Eternal.

Most of us grow up living our lives with that ‘limited definition’ written on our Conscience!! Those are ‘good things’!! Yes, but they are not the whole, complete story!! They are not the ‘programming’ that we need to allow our conscience to serve us correctly.

Most people will tell you that they ‘know right from wrong’! Most of them will tell you that they have always known it, from birth!

Rom_7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.”

Obviously, the Apostle Paul was not ‘born knowing right from wrong’!! That is, not with the whole, complete story, written on his heart(conscience).

We humans are born into this world, and for the most part, grow up with that ‘limited definition’ of Right and Wrong… that limited definition of SIN written on our ‘Conscience’… and the firm belief that all we have to do is LISTEN to that ‘still, small voice’ and it will guide us to do right!

Friends, a ‘Limited Definition’ is FAULTY DEFINITION!! Following a faulty definition, (even though the limited info is TRUE) will NOT result in LIFE Everlasting!

If we want to Live Forever, we need three things: THE WAY of life that includes having the True, Full, defintion of SIN, so we can know and know that we know, RIGHT FROM WRONG!

We need THE TRUTH!! … Lies and partial definitions will only lead to DEATH!

We need THE LIFE of a begotten Child of God that will allow us the full and unfettered CONTACT with the True God of the Universe… That Great and powerful Holy Spirit residing in our minds, leading and guiding us to have that fully, and correctly programmed, Conscience we need to be able to LIVE that LIFE in a way that is truly PLEASING to God and His Holy Son!!

WE NEED JESUS!! He is The Way, The Truth and The Life!


A Tale of Two Laws

A Tale of Two Laws

Once upon a time… a friend wrote to me… he said,
“I was “under the Law” when I was a rebellious sinner, but when I turned around, repented, and asked Jesus the Christ into my heart and my life, I was no longer “under the Law” for condemnation. I was, and am, in a sense, “on top of the Law”, in that I acknowledged that there was no way that I could have my sins forgiven by keeping rules. The great good news that all you need to understand is, that:
” Christ is the end of the law… FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!!!!!!!
to every one who believes.”
That’s a Ten Four, good buddy – Romans 10:4

But, now that I am no longer “under the Law”, I delightfully and graciously desire to be obedient to my calling and love the commandments, as did our dear Saviour.

It is my great privilege and pleasure, since I am “free from the Law” to share this good news with whoever will listen.(or read)

“There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:1″

Looking at my friend’s statement, I have to ask, “which LAW is he referring to?” Which LAW do most people think of when someone asks, “Are you under the LAW?” Do they think of the Ten Commandments?? Is that the LAW they have in their minds when they state categorically that they are NOT under the LAW? I mean, hey! Just how BAD is that LAW?? Is it evil or satanic? Does it cause all who are ‘under it’ to be SLAVES??? What gives?

Roman 8:1 .. offers much encouragement!

Quote: Rom. 8:1
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Awesome! Now, no condemnation! Think about it! Before
they were ‘in Christ Jesus’, there was condemnation. They were
considered sinners and they were condemned. But, as the verse says, “now”, there is no condemnation. Awesome!

But, I have a few questions…
Who? Who is it that truly has “no condemnation”.. now?
And, why? What makes that lack of condemnation possible?

So.. Who? and Why?
I think that part of the answer is in the last part of that verse… “..them.. who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Does that make any sense to you? It does to me… I feel that the
information that is needed to understand these verses is available to
those who really want it… those who seek it. I see part of
the answer in this verse.. That is the “who”… Those who are
striving… those who are walking after the Spirit, and not after the
flesh… for them, there is now, no condemnation.

NOTE: (One cannot ‘walk after the Spirit’ unless they have the Spirit)

Please understand! Without Christ and the indwelling of God’s Holy
Spirit, no one can even begin to walk in the Spirit! Without the sacrifice of Christ, no one can access that help and comfort to do a thing like ‘not walking after the flesh”! No one!  It takes the power of God to even begin to utilize the FAITH that is necessary to walk the path that pleases God!

I could type until my fingers wear down to nubs and still not be able
to express the Glory of God necessary to achieve even a
beginning at this sort of life! Alas, ALL have sinned and ‘come
short’ of that Glory! It is only through the sacrifice of Christ and
His GRACE that any are able to begin that journey! But, I

Quote: Rom. 8:2
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Wow! Here we have a verse that speaks of two separate laws.

Could there be any law that is beneficial to a modern-day Christian?
What about the two different ‘laws’ that are mentioned in the above
verse? Surely, the latter… the ‘law of sin and death’ isn’t
beneficial in any way! Surely! But, what of the other law?? Is that
law something that a Christian would want in their life?

What is this ‘law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’? Is it good
or bad? Does anyone have a good, clear, easy to grasp and understand definition of that ‘law’? Or, is that phraseology just a Bible writer’s way of saying we have to live by GRACE?

Here’s what I think….
I think it would be easier to discuss the other ‘law’ first.

What is the ‘law of sin and death’?

Did you know? There really is a ‘law of sin and death’! It is just as
active and reliable as the law of gravity. It is with us all. It is
with me and it is with you! You probably haven’t heard too much said about this ‘law’ in your church services. I don’t think it is
preached very much. But, it is a law that every Christian should be
aware of and concerned about.

If you don’t know what ‘law’ this could be, then with the help of
God, let’s turn in our Bibles and locate the scriptures that speak of
this law and even define it for us. You can turn in your Bible and
read it for yourself. I recommend that you use the KJV translation
to get the full effect. And, please… just believe your Bible! Don’t let the well meaning arguments of others keep you from understanding!

Tell you what… Let’s take the WHOLE CHAPTER of Romans 7 and
see what is revealed about these TWO LAWS…

Turn with me now…. Romans Chapter 7, verse 1 —
1 ¶ Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

Look! This verse says that the law “hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth” … man and ‘mankind’ interchangeable… men and women are under the dominion of the law, as long as they live! That’s what it says, but will you believe it?

Then, there is an example given that will illustrate that dominion…
:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Here is an example of the relationship between us and the law… as long as you live, the law has dominion over you! As Ripley would say… “Believe it or Not!”… but, that is not the point… The point is, that in order to be ‘free from the law’, one has to die! But, like
that little song says, “..nobody wants to die..”… But, there IS a
way… In reference to the example given.. There is a way to ‘become dead unto the law’ without physically dying… Here’s how that works!

4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Dead to the law by the body of Christ!

Now, don’t get carried away with the same old assumptions! Yes, we CAN be ‘dead to the law’ by the body of Christ, but let us understand what that means!

Christ died for us. We, in turn, must die as well… this ‘death’ is pictured by Baptism! When we are baptized, we are ‘buried with Him and raised to a new life’. We become ‘dead to the law’! In symbol, we died, were buried, and are(symbolically) raised from the dead to bring forth fruit unto God.

Notice please that there is a ‘marriage’ mentioned in the above
scripture… Who? Us? Married to another? What can this mean?
In human marriage, when two people are married and one dies, the
marriage is dissolved! The surviving member of that marriage is ‘free from the law’ as relates to the other, the deceased.

The marriage is over and the survivor is then FREE to marry someone else without breaking the law! Obviously, verse 4 is speaking of US, as being free to marry another… free to marry Jesus and become the ‘bride’ of Christ! Perhaps this understanding should give us pause to wonder… THINK ABOUT THIS : who was it we were married to BEFORE we ‘died’ in that watery grave?

5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

Now wait a minute! I know what you are thinking! You are thinking,
“See!! There it is!! “..the motions of sins, which were by the law”.
Yes, many sincere preachers and teachers have seen this verse as condemning the law of God.

Some who believe that law is bad, have pointed to it as proof that we can’t keep the law and that to do so would actually be sin…
.. Somehow, denying the GRACE of God.  But, wait!!!!! What law are we investigating?? God’s law? or the ‘law of sin and death’?
Surely you don’t think they are one in the same! ?

There is a law of sin and death and it is with us all.
It operates in all our lives, all the time, whether we are Christians
or not… THAT is the ‘law’ being spoken of in that verse! Let’s read
that verse again!

“For when we were in the flesh…” – We are still in the
flesh…physically speaking… and, spiritually speaking..
unless we have been BURIED WITH HIM in baptism! Think about
this!!! What law brings forth fruit unto death?? By what ‘law’ are the
‘motions of sin’? Of course!! It is the ‘law of sin and death’! Not,
the law of Almighty God! How clear it could be, IF God will open our eyes to this simple truth! It’s the ‘law of sin and death’ that
produces the ‘motions of sin’! Not God’s Holy, Just and Good law!

When we repent of our sins and are baptized, we are buried with Christ and raised to a new life… we are a new person, free to marry another! We are delivered from the law…(remember which law we are delivered from…).. it is not God’s law! That law has dominion over us as long as we live.

6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead
wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

No, not delivered from the obligation to keep the law(of God), because it has dominion over us as long as we live… but, delivered from the sentence of death that was over us before we repented and were baptized. We are raised clean and pure in the sight of God. We are a new person. We are no longer bound by the guilt of breaking God’s law. And, before your thoughts drift off target again and you start thinking the same old scenario you always think, read the next verse!!

7 ¶ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Read that again! UNDERSTAND!!! The law(of God) is not sin! It is not a sin to keep the law of God, it is a sin to break the law! The writer explains that he would not have known what sin WAS if it had not been for the law explaining it to him! Sin is the transgression of the law that says “Thou shalt not covet” – That is the ‘good law’ – that is not the ‘law of sin and death’. Let’s keep that in mind as we discover what that bad law is…

8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

It’s true… if there were no law,(the law of God that DEFINES SIN)-
there would be no sin! Do you believe that? I hope so, because it’s
the truth! Without the law, sin is dead! If there were no law to
break, there would be no such thing as sin! Tell me… does sin still
exist? Is there such a thing? You know there is… don’t you? Many
preachers and teachers see these verses as depicting the law of God as the evil thing that New Testament Christians are to shun… but, it
should become obvious that is not what these verses are saying.

It should become obvious that TWO different LAWS are being spoken of.

9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the
commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

He’s speaking of his realization of what sin is… When the
commandment came, and he understood what it was to covet, then he knew what sin was, and it became exceedingly sinful! He realized
that he was, as they say, ‘dead in his sins’.

10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

Let’s understand what this means. He is realizing that he has broken the commandment.. The commandment was intended to be his guide of right from wrong… It was ‘ordained to life’- if he had obeyed that commandment, he would have lived… but, he broke it and was counted as a transgressor… the death penalty was then upon him… He was no longer ‘under Grace’! -Please take your time and contemplate this carefully…

11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

Those who think the law is bad and not to be obeyed… think about
this! Read it carefully… Was it the law(of God) that deceived him??
No!, it says “For sin…deceived me…” and by that deception, slew
him! He became guilty of sin, and the wages of sin is death! The
‘occasion’ he is speaking of is his ‘breaking’ of the commandment.

12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Verse 12 is very clear… hard to misunderstand… (other verses are a
little vague and those are the ones that satan prefers modern-day
Christians to read and dwell upon…) but, verse 12 is true and clear
as a bell. Do you believe it? I hope so! The law(of God) is good!
Verse 13 points out that this ‘good law’ was not made death unto him!!  It’s that ‘other law’ that is the culprit!!!

14 ¶ For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

God’s law is a spiritual law!! That ‘other law’ works in the carnal,
fleshly mind, bringing it into captivity!

15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Have you ever wondered what the writer is talking about?? I’m sure you have read these verses many times… what can he mean?? It almost sounds like there is something that causes him to do wrong. Think!!    When YOU do wrong, what is the cause?

16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

Have you ever ‘done that which you would not’? Then, you too, have
consented unto the law(of God) that is is good!

17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Can this possibly apply to a Christian? How can sin dwell in a
Christian?? Well, let’s see… WHO was saying this?? Was he a ‘Christian’?  Well, at least it says, it is ‘no more I that do it’… And, if it is no more you that do it, then, there is now, no condemnation! But, the SIN is still there, in you (and me). Do you believe it?

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Ahh,, the good ole flesh!! We’ve all got it! And, in our flesh there
dwells no good thing! We are able to ‘will to do good’, but, without
the Spirit of God, we can not find the means to perform that
good! Not to the extent Christ spoke of on the Mt.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I
would not, that I do.

I don’t know… you may feel that this doesn’t apply to you, but, the
Bible tells me that ALL have sinned… so, I feel confident that all
of us are included… What is he really trying to tell us??? What is
it that makes it so HARD to do good?

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it,
but sin that dwelleth in me.

Sin that dwelleth in me“!!… Even though he was a Christian,
there was still SIN in him and it kept right on dragging him down…
it kept right on pursuing him and trying to conquer him… but, it was
no longer him that did it… (He had died in the waters of baptism)…
He had been raised a New Creature.. to live in newness of life!
So what was it that made it so hard to do right??? You guessed it!!!
That LAW of Sin and death!

So, then, after he had considered his situation, he found that there was something that was responsible for this struggle…

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good,
evil is present with me.

This ‘law’ he refers to in verse 21 is not God’s LAW, it is another
law… when ever he, or we would ‘do good’, evil is present! It was present with him, and it is present with US!!

That baptism… that symbolic exercise that Christians go through… it symbolizes the DEATH of the OLD MAN!!! …. BUT, the old man does not really die! It merely symbolizes that death! It is the NEW CREATURE that is begotten in us and begins to grow that is free from that law of sin and death! “…it is no more I that do it…” YES!!!
It is the OLD MAN who still lives according to that other law… the law of sin and death! Are you beginning to understand????

Yes! Satan is always there, seeking to tempt and destroy
us!! He hates good!! He hates righteousness!!! Satan and his demons are EVIL! And, any time that anyone is determined to do good, satan or his minions will be there, trying with all their might to discourage and derail our efforts to obey! That old man is STILL accessible to satan!! The devil still rules in the heart of the old man! That old man STILL DESIRES TO SIN! And, in spite of our conversion, sometimes he STILL DOES!! He still does the things that our New Creature ‘would not’!!! That old man, the ‘outward man’.. is still in tune with the evil… still fleshly!

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

The ‘inward man’… that New Creature!!

How different is the writer’s attitude toward the Law of God… Today, most Christians have been misled to believe that it’s the Law of God that is bad, heavy and burdensome. The writer of these verses tries to express his feelings about God’s Law, and to show the difference between it and that other ‘law’- the law of sin and death.

He delighted in the law of God… do you? God’s law(His Ten
Commandments) are HOLY, JUST and GOOD!!! Doing them is doing GOOD!! Obeying them is being RIGHTEOUS! Psa. 119:172

But, there is another ‘law’… the ‘law of sin and death’.
The writer goes on to explain what that other ‘law’ is and how it
works to oppose the good he would do…

23 But I see another law in my members,(the law of sin
and death) warring against the law of my mind,(God’s Holy,Just and Good Law) and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

The ‘body of this death’ is the human body, “the flesh”! With all it’s
weaknesses, it’s pulls and urges and it’s susceptibility to the
temptations of evil. As long as we are in this body, we are subject
to temptation and sin! Because of satan’s constant bombardment and constant attacks against us -because he is always there to try to
derail any good we would do, God’s Word calls it a ‘law’… While we
are in this body, we cannot fully inherit the Kingdom! We must be
delivered from this body! We must be changed! We must become spirit beings LIKE GOD IS, in order to be totally free from this ‘body’ and the ‘law of sin and death’.

That ‘law of sin and death’ is a very good reason that “flesh and
blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God” We must be delivered!! But HOW? and by WHOM?

Who shall deliver us from that??

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God is the only one who can deliver us, through that sacrifice of Christ!!! With the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and the GRACE of God to sustain our FAITH, we CAN be delivered from the law! (The law of sin and death!)

25 So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Yes! It is possible to ‘serve the law of God’ with your mind..(IF you
have begun to see and understand that the law of God is not the evil,
heavy burdensome thing it has been described as..).. it IS possible…

…but, while we are in the flesh…while we are still FLESH & BLOOD, we will always have that ‘law of sin and death’ warring in our members! We will always have it there, dragging us down and tempting us to sin. And, even though there is now no condemnation, who would want to live like that for all eternity?? We must be free from that law! We must be totally free from the flesh!

And, because Christ gave His life… WE CAN BE FREE!!!

There they are… two different laws… I pray that you will study and
pray about these two laws and ask God to show you clearly just how
different they really are…

For those who seek to walk after the Holy law of God, to obey it… to
them, there is now no condemnation. The sacrifice of Christ is
applied to them and IF and when they stumble, they can call out to God for His forgiveness! When God looks at a person who is walking in the Spirit, striving to overcome and repenting of his sins, all God sees is the righteousness of His Son.

I wonder who he sees when He looks at one who is ‘walking in the flesh’?

Quote: Rom. 8:3
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Please understand! The law of God is not WEAK. It is Holy, Just, and Good! But, the flesh is WEAK… you’ve heard the old saying, the
spirit is willing, but, the flesh is weak. The flesh is weak and
cannot, of and by itself, follow, observe and obey the law… Not the way Christ described it when He magnified the law in His sermon on the Mt. …the very best of intentions won’t get the job done, because satan is always there, striving to deceive and undermine all human efforts. It is a law! It is the law of sin and death!

When ever anyone would be of a mind to do good, evil will be present with them!  In this life, that is as much a ‘law’ as the law of gravity!! Satan desires that we ignore and transgress the law of God! He wants us to be under the penalty of the law.

But, the simple fact is, God desires just the opposite of what satan
desires. He desires that we be righteous! Jesus was righteous and the Father was ‘well pleased’ in Him. Why should we want to be anything else? Do we not also desire that the Father be ‘well pleased’ in us?

The whole point is, God wants us to do right,(be righteous) and, the
righteousness He desires to be in us, IS NOT SELF    RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!  No!! The righteousness He desires to be in us, is the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read it!

Quote: Rom8:4
4 That the righteousness of the law might be
fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after
the Spirit.

That’s what it means to “walk after the Spirit”!! That’s what it means
to NOT walk after the flesh! The flesh is weak!! The Law(of God) is
strong! The Law(of God) is Holy, Just and Good! The only way we can be pleasing to God is for us to exercise our Faith and seek to obey His Holy, Just and Good Law! That is NOT WORKS!! That is doing righteousness!!

For those who will do this, those who will reject the flesh and seek
after the Spirit… those who will seek God and His Righteousness,
for them, there is “now, no condemnation”.

That other law, the ‘law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’, should be a little easier to understand now…

I know and realize that some of these things will be hard to take, but for those who will struggle and strive to grasp and understand this information, there will be great blessings!

May God bless your understanding of the difference in these two ‘laws’, and how it is, that for some, there is now no condemnation.



“Who, What, Why, When, Where? These are five questions kids learn in grade school or when first learning a language. It covers the basics and helps you understand the situation and context….”
– From the Article, 7 KEY QUESTIONS, on Consultants Mind Website

The above excerpt only mentions FIVE of the 7 Key Questions, because the other two, HOW? AND HOW MUCH? didn’t seem to fit in with a Post that deals with the Bible.

Anyway, wanna thank Bob Cronin for inspiring this post! 🙂 Bob was communicating with another individual, in another thread, and after they had made a statement, he asked, “WHY?”

For some reason, that stuck with me, and I started to ponder it… That question is one of the most important questions to ask, if one is seeking ‘understanding’… and, God DID tell us to ‘get understanding’!! Right?

Pro_4:5 Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Pro_4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.

“WHY?” What a great Question!! … can be asked about anything!!!

A few months ago, I got into a (lighthearted) conversation with an acquaintance.. he made a statement about God, and I asked him “WHY?”… he proceeded to try to tell me why his statement was accurate… when he finished, I asked him, “WHY?”… he blinked, and then attempted to give me ‘more information’ to back up what he had already said, and then, I asked him, “WHY?”…. I could tell he was getting a bit frustrated with me, and I didn’t want to offend him, so, I told him to relax, that he had done a very good job of explaining, and that with his patient endurance, I had gained a LOT MORE INFORMATION, than I would have, if I had stopped enquiring with the first statement!

In his replies to me, he had been given the opportunity to tell me ‘why’ he had said what he said, AND the opportunity to examine that statement (in his own mind) to make sure it made sense… In doing so, he had a chance to analyze WHY HE Believed what he believed…. a good step toward ‘proving all things’!!

Isn’t that what WE are supposed to do? Prove All Things!!

1Th_5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Doing that isn’t just opening the Bible to see what it says, but, we also have to ponder and meditate on those things, and dig down deep to get the answers, (as much as God will give us) to the Five Questions: Who, What, Where, When, and, Why….

That way, we GAIN more knowledge, AND MORE UNDERSTANDING of that knowledge!

If you were a miner, out on the hillside, digging for GOLD, wouldn’t you try your best to get as much GOLD as you could?

Pro_16:16 How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

Friends, there’s Gold in them, thar hills!

The FIVE QUESTIONS are powerful SHOVELS and PICKS that can help you dig it out!!

May God bless your righteous curiosity, and your continuing efforts to prove all things!


A Time Machine

A Time Machine! NOT a good idea!

If it were possible… if you could have a TIME MACHINE…
Just think of all the ‘good’ you could do!

…All the lives you could SAVE!

6,000,000 Jews come to mind….

Just think, if you had a TIME MACHINE, you could go back and ELIMINATE HITLER before He destroyed all those people!!!!

That would, of course, SAVE many times more than just 6,000,000 Jews, it would be saving Millions more of their descendants as well.

Just think, if you had a TIME MACHINE, you could go back and WARN the American people not to be in the TWIN TOWERS!!!!! Thousands more would be saved!!

On the surface, it probably sounds like a good idea, but, is it?

You’ve all heard the story of the man who was floating along in a FLOOD, praying for God to SAVE him… a boat came by and tried to get him to climb in, and he said, “No, God will save me”…. So, He kept on praying and later, another boat came near and tried to pull him in, but, he refused, saying “No, God will save me”… Later, a RESCUE Helicopter swooped down and tried to get him to hang on to rope and he would not, crying all the louder, “No, God will save me”…. as I said, you know the story, the man finally DROWN and (according to the Story) he arrived in heaven and went straight up to God and asked Him,, ‘God, I prayed and prayed and prayed… why did you not save me?’
God’s reply, “I sent you two boats and a helicopter…”

This man wanted to be rescued!! He wanted to be saved…
With your TIME MACHINE, you could have saved him!

Who else would you rescue??

That same night, after Christ and His disciples had partaken of the PASSOVER, and had eaten of that bread, and drunk that wine…. after Christ had washed their feet…. Jesus went out into the Garden, to pray.

Luk 22:39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him.
Luk 22:41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,
Luk 22:42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Luk 22:43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
Luk 22:44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

The Lord was in agony! He was not yet arrested, not yet abused, not yet CRUCIFIED… and yet, He was in agony! He was praying for the Father to ‘take this cup away’…. He was praying for the Father to SAVE Him from the coming hours of torture and abuse… to RESCUE Him from the horrible beating He was about to endure… from the shameful horrendous, DEATH the He was facing!

Would you??? If you had a TIME MACHINE, would you go back and RESCUE Jesus?? Just think, a small team with automatic weapons… it would be EASY to overcome that crowd… it would be EASY to defeat even a squad of Roman Soldiers if need be… Would you go back and STOP the abuse…. Stop the beatings…. STOP the CRUCIFIXION???? Would you RESCUE Jesus and take Him and His disciples to a SAFE location??

Just think, RESCUING this ONE JEW, would be more significant than rescuing those millions later!!!

Would You?

Pro_14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

I’ll tell you now, it might look like an opportunity to DO GOOD, but, having a TIME MACHINE would NOT be a good idea!!!

Because, as we all know from watching hundreds of movies on Time Travel, you can’t CHANGE the PAST, without out CHANGING the FUTURE!

For the plan of God to succeed, Jesus had to DIE… This UNIQUE EVENT, at this particular time in history, HAD to happen!!!

If you and your TIME MACHINE had intervened and prevented that DEATH, then there would be NO SACRIFICE for SIN! There would be NO SAVIOUR, and NO OPPORTUNITY for Eternal Life!!!

I’m glad we don’t have TIME MACHINES… They are NOT a good idea!!

Thoughts For The Day

Subject: Thoughts For The Day

Isa 63:11  Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying: “Where is He who brought them up out of the sea With the shepherd of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them,

God has memories and sometimes, like us, He ‘remembers’… He remembers the ‘good times’ and the ‘bad times’… He remembers our ‘love and loyalty’ for Him, and He remembers when we fail to love Him and be loyal.  He remembers all these things, and yet, He says that when the Kingdom comes, all things will be new…

Rev_21:5  Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

Heb_8:12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb_10:17  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Rev_21:4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

God is in love with Israel! He loves her and wants to marry her! That does comfort me as well.
He thinks about her and cares for her and is highly concerned about her welfare!
He intends to make her His Bride, and provide for, love and cherish her for all eternity!
Will God ‘forget the past’?  Will He cleanse even His own mind of all the evil that has occurred and separated us from Him?  Will He forget all His own memories of these things and start fresh with His new bride and newly born family? Or will He only cleanse and remove these things from our minds?

The Self

The Self…

Amazing what Truths The Verses of Your Bible Contain!

Deuteronomy 8:1-3 (KJV)

“All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that
ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware
unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God
led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee,
to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or
no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna,
which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee
know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out
of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”

Let’s examine these verses and see what He was talking about.

From the context, it should be clear that He was speaking of ALL the
Commandments… not just a few!

“All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do,…”

Friends, ALL means ‘ALL’! But WHY? Why ‘observe’ them? Why ‘do’ them? Why KEEP
‘ALL’ these Commandments??

So..”..that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the
LORD sware unto your fathers.”

Obviously, ‘ALL of the Commandments’ is an issue with God!! It is HIS LAW, and
HE knows that those who DO and KEEP those commandments, will be happy! They will
have better lives and healthy children! They will be SAFE in their own land,
with God’s Protection! They will participate in God’s deliverance of the
PROMISES He made to our fathers!

God wanted them to THINK, and to REMEMBER! He wanted them to remember all the
marvelous things He did and all the ways He instructed, and all the ways HE
LOVED and CARED for them, those forty, long years! He wanted them to remember
those things and to APPRECIATE them, and to WANT them! He wanted them to humble
themselves and desire HIS WAY, over and above their way! Reading and meditating
on these things, gives US the opportunity to also THINK and REMEMBER all the
ways He has loved and cared for US! It gives US the opportunity to APPRECIATE
these things and to honor and praise HIM! As we do these things, it gives HIM
the opportunity to see what is in OUR HEARTS, and whether WE will keep His
Commandments or not!

“…And thou shalt remember all ‘the way’ which the LORD thy God led thee these
forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what
was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”

The Way

‘The Way’ is the thing! There are several ‘ways’ that mankind can go.. making up
their own mind, they can go off in all directions… But God has ‘His Way’ and
THAT is THE WAY that He wants His Children to go! He wants to be the TEACHER and
the LEADER! He wants to RULE in the hearts of His Children and for them to be
submissive and yielded to HIM! But modern, nominal Christians, for the most
part, are a rebellious bunch! They want ‘their way’! They want to be in charge!!
Just like the Children of Israel, they are in need of ‘humbling’!

God led the children of Israel in the wilderness… He LED them, TAUGHT them,
and WORKED WITH them, to “humble them”. He was striving to show them how much
they needed Him and that THEY were not ‘self-sufficient’!! Even though they were
SLAVES to the Egyptians, they still had hearts that were full of PRIDE!

God wanted to humble them, and PROVE THEM… He wanted to give them His Law, and
find out if they were willing to KEEP IT! He wanted ‘to know what was in (their)
heart, whether they would KEEP his commandments, or no.’

Many sincere people today, ‘SAY’ that there was no way that the people could
keep God’s Law! They claim that the only reason God gave the Law, was TO PROVE
mass confusion that envelopes our planet today!!

The TRUTH of Scripture shows that God was testing and PROVING them to SEE IF
they WOULD keep it! That means, of course, that the keeping of it was NOT
‘impossible’ as most professing Christians claim today!

God LED them, and He FED them!

Deuteronomy 8:1-3 (KJV) “…And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger,
and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know;
that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every
word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”

Today, the masses of sincere “Christians” are LED and FED by their pastors and
teachers… they are led, to reject God’s Truth, and His LAW! They are FED with
traditions and interpretations that hide or obfuscate the truth that God wants
to give them! Today, they don’t KNOW that they are to live by EVERY WORD of God,
but, instead, they have been led to believe the lie that THEY can decide for
themselves how they should live, and that God is happy with that. Well, He is
the LORD! He changes NOT! He said so!

Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.


Deuteronomy 8:1-3 shows clearly that God desires for His people to KEEP ALL OF
HIS COMMANDMENTS!! ALL TEN! But today, many will reject ALL TEN, that they might
later, bring back NINE of them and by that, DEFINE SIN for themselves!!

Or, they will quote these verses:

Mat 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting
him, and saying, Mat 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Mat 22:38 This is the first
and great commandment. Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thyself. Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law
and the prophets.,

….not seeing, or acknowledging that this is a SUMMATION of the TEN
Commandments, the first four showing us HOW to “Love God” and the last six
showing us HOW to “Love our neighbor”! Without ‘The Ten’, quoting this
‘summation’ is merely another attempt to find justification for doing it their
own way, instead of God’s Way!

Today’s Christian has been taught to REJECT the keeping of the Sabbath Day, and
to replace it with the ‘day of the sun’… and to believe that God is ‘good with
that’.. ??

These verses show that God intends for man to LIVE by His word(s) and NOT by
their own words, or ideas! Those who teach and preach that Christ came to ‘free
us from the law’, are wrong!

These verses also show something else! They SHOW YOU AND I what is in OUR HEART!
They show us what God wants, and they give us the opportunity to see what WE
WANT, and to compare the two!!

Are our desires the same as God’s??

Do we desire to be, and do, as God Commands, or are we on a different path?

Sometimes, it’s good to evaluate the ‘self’…..


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

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