Why Jesus Had To Die To Save US…Ten Commandments pt 14

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (I Peter 3:18)

We have had a very basic look at the Law of God, the Ten Commandments. God has given us his Law, and it is holy, Just and Good.

But we have all failed to keep it in perfection. The law is beautiful as an instruction, and as a Revelation of God. It is also a look at what we were actually created to be like. The Law revealed on Sinai is in accordance with who we were actually created to be, had we not fallen away.

God created us to Hold to Him as our only center, and to be accepting of Him as He is, and to fear and worship him in Spirit and in Truth. He created us to love each other, and to be monogamous and happy in marriage, to respect each other’s property, to tell the truth, and to be content with the lot he has assigned to us.

We are all conflicted and bound, to the extent that we vary from any of these attributes.

But there is not one person among all of us, who have kept the Law of God. We have all broken it, and have “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

The Law, to us sinners is more of a measuring rod, than a guide. It shows us our sins and our sin. We haven’t loved God, nor have we loved our neighbor anywhere near as much as we have loved ourselves. We are not Righteous, and the Law, properly understood, reveals that to us.

By the standard of God and his Holy Law, we have to die. We have to perish, to use the biblical term, which means, we have to be ruined, forever. We must die Physically and we must experience the second death, which is Spiritual, and lasts forever, because we are transgressors of God’s law. We have brought disorder and rebellion into God’s world.

These are the demands of God’s Holy Law, which is a reflection of his Righteousness. In this way the broken law and offended Righteousness must be satisfied. God loves his Righteousness, as the eleventh Psalm tells us,

Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright. ( Psalm 11:6-7)

However, God also loves humanity, whom He created to bear his image. God fully knows of every sin we have ever committed, every act of defiance, rebellion, arrogance, prejudice, every murder, every adulterous thought or deed, every theft, all of the tears of pain, bitterness and disappointment meted out to others by our sins, and God hates every bit of it with every fiber of his Holy being.

Sin is a profound evil, it is the evil of all evils. Sin is worse than suffering, for it is the cause of all suffering, it is worse than hell itself. It would be better to suffer than to sin. God hates Sin!

A true understanding of the Ten Commandments must yield one conclusion about ourselves ; We are sinners. We are worthy of only judgment and wrath from the Holy God.

My first exposure to the Bible, was reading the Sermon On The Mount. Jesus hit me very hard with the sixth and seventh commandment, where I came to the realization, that outward obedience was not enough, the Ten Commandments are spiritual. Hatred and Lust are murder and adultery in the sight of God.

I could see the danger I was in, should I die in my sins! I could slip into Hell, and then be summonsed for judgment, where my thoughts, deeds and even the secrets of my heart would be examined.

It was at that point in my life, that I was shown the cross of Jesus in a whole new light. As a Catholic, I was familiar with the cross, I remember gazing at the great Crucifix in our church, week after week, wondering what it was all about?

I knew that the figure hanging there in humiliation, between heaven and earth, with the look of piteous love, and the very crown of thorns, somehow loved me, and was dying for me. But what did it all mean? Was I to suffer too to somehow please him? Was I to feel guilt or pity over it? I just didn’t know.

But years later, at a certain place in my life I was very despondent about my sins and the sure feeling that I would go to hell when I died. My sins were way over my head and they were drowning me. I tried to go to a church, and answered many “altar calls’ to try to shake the guilt, but to no avail.

One dark day I was in my apartment reading scripture, but not even knowing what I was reading. (Have you ever been so depressed, and so distracted, you didn’t know what you were reading?) I actually realized that I was reading the same sentence in scripture over and over again, and had a clear thought come into my head, “Look at what you are reading and understand it!”( I am sure that it was the Holy Spirit).

The sentence I was reading and re reading in my distraction was

“He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be the Righteousness of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

In a flash I saw it.

I saw that Substitution is the plan of God for our salvation.

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4)

God sent his Son, made of a woman, under the Law. Jesus, the original lawgiver, humbled himself and put himself as a human being under the Law, and perfectly fulfilled it. Then at the prime of his Life, he made himself an offering to God, an died in our place on the cross, bearing the penalty for our sins, and answering the demands of the broken Law and the offended Righteousness of God.

This is the way a Righteous God could forgive a deep sinner like myself, without sweeping sin under the carpet.

We know that God has accepted his sacrifice, because on the third day, when his friends came down to finish embalming Him, the tomb was empty, for God had raised Jesus from the dead.

I offer this series to you in the hopes that you will see your sinfulness, and turn while there is time to the Father, in the name of Jesus.

In the simplicity of a little prayer, I bowed, in faith in my substitute and prayed something like this,

“Lord God, , I see it now, Jesus died in my place and took my judgment on himself. Thank you for the gift of your SON. I believe in my heart that you, Lord have raised him from the dead and I ask you to forgive me of my sins, and let Jesus be my LORD. Take over my life, and give me the gift of eternal life, in Jesus name, Amen. “

If you prayed that prayer and want help, contact me, I have some teachings and books I want to give for your faith.

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The Day That Will Come As a Snare… Rapture pt 3

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. ( Luke 21:34-36)

The subject of the Rapture is really about escape.

The Scripture polarizes humanity into two different groups, “Those who dwell on the face of the earth”, and “Those who escape…. .

The “earth dwellers” is a technical designation, especially in the book of Revelation, (3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10 2xs; 13:8, 12, 14 2xs; 14:6; 17:8), describing the unsaved, all of those who persistently reject God, and whose entire hope is fixed on the advancements and developments among the “Kings of the earth”, of this world, (i.e. Making the World a better place).

Those who dwell on the face of the earth, refer to those whose entire horizon, is this life. They do not have a vision that goes beyond this world, the wisdom they operate in is the conventional wisdom of the world, they live for the here and the now, and seek their joy, and happiness in this life only.

By contrast, the Redeemed are a pilgrim people. We know this world is not our home. We look for another country, a city whose builder and maker is God. We are constantly being detached from this world, and look for the Savior to rescue us out of it.

Jesus tells us that those who “dwell on the face of the earth” are being lured into a snare . A snare is a trap, usually set for birds or rabbits, which involves a hidden cord or wire on the ground, camouflaged, but set to be pulled and to trap the prey when it steps into the noose, and usually suspends the prey on a branch by the feet.

The Immorality which this world has been given over to, especially over my lifetime, in which pornography has been legalized, Abortion becomes commonplace , and marriage has been badly damaged and marred as an institution, is one aspect of the snare that is being set. So many men and women have been trapped and snared by pornography of various kinds.

It is very hard for a Government to control self governed people, who have the power to say “no” to their passions and lusts. This is one reason why all of the old societal restraints which once reflected Biblical morality, have been dismantled. Liberalized divorce and obscenity laws have a political aspect, they make people much more passive and mallable, especially men.

As the unacceptable becomes acceptable, and more and more ‘tolerance’ is demanded of us, it seems obvious to those who read the Bible seriously that our society is being herded into a snare which has been set.

Financially also, as credit has become incredibly easy to obtain, and personal debt normalized in ever increasing amounts, a financial component to the snare is being prepared. We are on the verge of a financial collapse, and the great reset is almost upon us, in which the malaise which the whole world has fallen into, will set the table for the introduction of the new digitalized currency, also known as “the Mark of the Beast”.

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. ( Revelation 13: 16-18)

It has only been recently that humanity has even had the power and technology to do what John is describing here. China’s ‘social credit system” was the dry run for this insidious trap for humanity.

Western Technological giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, have lined up to help the World’s largest Communist country utterly imprison more than a billion people. They haven’t hesitated in the slightest to help install a system on a people which utterly controls every aspect of an individual’s life under the brutal totalitarian State. They gave them the technology to cut off people who displease the State out of every financial transaction!

The lure is efficiency. People will clamor for the order and “normalcy” which will seem to be restored by the New Beast System.

The people will crave security also, for which they will be willing to surrender privacy, by totally accounting themselves to the State in all transaction. It will all seemingly be worth it, for it would cut off at the knees Identity theft, Cartels, and much other criminal activity.

Immigration of unruly, and even uncivilized peoples in the millions into orderly and civilized societies is part of the plan. People are afraid, they want order an ‘normalcy’ , since they feel like strangers in their own homelands. They will clamor for a solution.

The trap is a lure to participate in such a system, which will cause us to commit the final and irreversible act of apostasy, and in God’s sight it will amount to worship of a beastly system which has set itself up as the rival to the God of the Bible.

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. ( Revelation 14:9-11)

We have all seen the massive spectacle of the complete and voluntary shutting down of all entertainment, Sports, restaurants and virtually 95 percent of all public events here in America, and the rest of the World. It is all voluntary! Carefully crafted and heightened fear campaigns have done this to us.

As our leaders drive the bus, (which was our vibrant economy) over the cliff, incredibly there are virtually no protests and little or no public debate.

This would have been unthinkable even ten years ago. So also would Transgender Story Hour, and the host of other bizarre new forms of public expression we see almost daily.

Behold the power of skillful social engineering! Orwellian terms such as “social distancing” enter into the public discourse as if they had been in use for decades. The skillful use of fear, and of social conditioning have been deployed in a way that would have made Goebbels blush. Manipulation and control of millions and millions of unwitting people has almost been achieved!

The Snare is set.

On one level, the Kings of the earth and their rulers, are setting a snare for the earth, humanly speaking. These ‘ruling elites’ despise the Freedoms and the elevation of a middle class that came about as a result of the influence of the Bible on society. They are ‘herding’ people in the direction of their Brave New World, a godless Utopia, a Technocracy, which will seek to control even the number of people on the earth, in defiance of God who said “be Fruitful and Multiply”.

On a deeper level, Satan is preparing a Snare for humanity. He would herd the masses of people into the Mark of the Beast, something which will amount to the final act of Apostasy, and will be far more than an Act of economic efficiency. God sees it as an Act of worship. The New Economic system coming is a trap to get the people of the World to worship Satan. It will all seem so reasonable and useful, but it is a snare.

Finally God himself has set this snare. He is going to give the multitudes of people who “dwell on this earth” what they think they want, seeing they reject Him. “I will choose their delusions, saith the LORD”. His Agent, (AntiChrist) is already in the wings, waiting to come out of the Shadows and take his brief place on the World Stage, and to the Worldly minded, He will be an irresistible figure.

But there is another group of people, that will be delivered from the Judgment coming upon “those who dwell on the face of the Earth”. The true church are not “earth dwellers”, we used to be, but are not anymore. We have been captured by a heavenly vision, and have a different destiny, i.e. the Rapture.

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. ( Revelation 3:10)

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: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.( I Thessalonians 4:16-17)

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Why Do I Teach Law? …Ten Commandments pt 13

Why would I, a Christian preacher, take the time to expound on the Ten Commandments, when we live in a new dispensation, the New Testament ? This is a valid and fair question that more than one have raised since I started this series. The following is an example of this kind of query, from a forum I frequently post on, (Free Republic).

… nowhere under the New Covenant of grace are we told our ministry is the condemnation and death of the law. That is the work of the world, the flesh, and the devil who do a very good job – they don’t need our help. Satan for instance is called the Accuser of the Brethren and the condemnation of the law is his weapon…We are to minister forgiveness by Christ and the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness which is ours freely by faith (not works).

Why if we are no longer under law but under Grace, should anyone be interested in the Ten Commandments? Am I merely preaching ‘condemnation and death’ by doing so? I think this is an excellent question which deserves an answer .

First of all we must ask, did Jesus and the Apostles ever preach any of the Ten Commandments? Did they ever employ any of the laws of God in order to bring people under conviction of sin? Or was their preaching entirely centered around grace and forgiveness?

Mark’s gospel is a good place to start, for here Jesus is approached by one who just came out and asked him how to be saved,

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. ( Mark 10:17-20)

Jesus immediately referred the young man to the Law, specially, the second table of the Law. Why? Why not preach Grace and the cross and substitution right there on the spot?

I believe Jesus answered the young man the way he did, because our Savior knows what the Law is for.

The Law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul…” ( Psalm 19:7)

Even though the man sensed his need for salvation, and asked none less than Jesus, how to be saved, Jesus first wanted to show him the depths of his own sin, and alienation from God. The Law of God is indispensable for that task.

Jesus did not preach grace and love to Him, He pointed the young man to the Law of God.

But the young man had a very high sense of his own righteousness,

And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. ( Mark 10:21)

What Jesus did next is much misunderstood, but very instructive.

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.( Mark 10: 22)

Jesus was not telling the young man how to be saved, when He challenged him to sell all he had, and to give to the poor and to follow him. That is not the plan of salvation at all.

What Jesus was doing was testing the young man’s claim to have kept all of the Law from his youth, by challenging him on the First Commandment! It was if He was saying, “You have perfectly kept all of the commandments of God? Prove it right now, by selling everything and come and follow me…” .

The Law is important to puncture inflated ideas about our own supposed ‘goodness’, and to show us that ‘There is none good but God’. In that way it literally becomes “Our school master to bring us to Christ”.

When the Apostle Paul had a chance to come out of his cell and to preach to Felix,

He didn’t take the opportunity to preach Grace exclusively, Felix was a hardened sinner who needed to be broken before he could ever consider the grace of God,

And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. ( Acts 24:24-25)

Again, when the Apostle Paul was given the opportunity to preach on Mars Hill, He preached the Creation, the First and Second Commandment, and the Judgment to come.

All of the Apostles preached the Law of God, condemning adultery, murder, blasphemy, indeed the whole spectrum of the ten commandments save one. (We do not see them preaching Sabbath observance).

So too have the Evangelical preachers of the Past,

Martin Luther – “The first duty of the gospel preacher is to declare God’s law and show the nature of sin, because it will act as a schoolmaster and bring him to everlasting life which is in Jesus Christ.”

John Wesley – “Before I preach love, mercy and grace, I must preach sin, law and judgment.”

Wesley advised a friend, “Preach 90 percent law and 10 percent grace.”

Charles Spurgeon – “They will never accept grace until they tremble before a just and holy law.”

John Wycliffe – “The highest service to which a man may attain on earth is to preach the law of God.”

D.L. Moody – “God, being a perfect God, had to give a perfect law, and the law was given not to save men, but to measure them.”

( Acknowledgment to Sermon Index.com)

Neither Jesus, nor the Apostles nor the Evangelical preachers I have named, ever advocated preaching Law without Grace, nor would I. But they all strongly advocated the fervant preaching of the Law, and what they called the “threatenings ” of the Word of God, to prepare the way for the Gospel.

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THOU SHALT NOT COVET… Ten Commandments pt 12

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.( Exodus 20:17)

In this commandment God asserts his authority over our inward life; our thoughts, desires, and imaginations. We are not to set our desire upon anything at all that God has not given to us. We are not to cultivate an independent inner life, all is to be under submission to the LORD.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. ( Psalm 19: 14)

This commandment teaches us that one of the most important aspects of a person’s life is what he desires. What a man desires is what he will always go for, He will be led by his desires, be they good or evil. There is no curse as great as deeply wanting, and craving what God has not given you.

The thing is to want the right things, and especially to realize that only God and his will can make us happy in the truest sense.

This is the commandment that ‘slew’ Saul of Tarsus. He testified of himself that he was able to externally observe all of the other commands, (at least in his own esteem), but when Saul came to the Tenth, He realized that there was no way he would or could keep it in truth. Coveting is an internal sin, it is the heart of man, anyone honest with themselves, has to admit that they have often set their desire on what God has not given them.

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. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.( Romans 7:7-9)

Others cannot see the heart, but God sees through us all clearly.

Covetousness, or Lust, (in the New Testament) arises from the heart. “Out of the heart arise evil desires…” Jesus teaches us in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.

A helpful understanding of the original wording in the Hebrew Text , is that a better rendering of the Word ‘covet” would be to say to “Set Your desire upon…”, You shall not set your desire upon your neighbor’s wife, ox, etc”. This brings in the will, and involves responsibility for the inner life.

We are told in both Old and New Testaments that sin is a conception , which involves several stages.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.( James 1:13-15)

Covetousness, which is a form of idolatry, always involves a moral choice. Covetousness doesn’t ‘happen to you’, as if you were passively walking along and were blind sided by it. All sin originates in covetousness, thoughts or images which are entertained, and even cultivated, within the heart.

Definitely Satan and even the World appeal to the covetousness within us, but we make the decision in our hearts to “set our desires” upon the forbidden things.

Perhaps this is what the Psalmist is revealing to us in the 36th Psalm, which has the Psalmist personifying Transgression, and saying it speaks to the wicked in their hearts, saying… (basically telling the wicked it is alright to dwell in wickedness because God doesn’t see. This “self Talk” occurs subtly in the hearts of all sinners, encouraging them that God is too far away and remote to fear, and to go ahead and set their desires on that which is evil.

Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.( Psalm 36:1)

Because sin is first an inner conception, Jesus urges us to “Pluck out the eye” and “cut off the hand and foot ” before it comes to full term and fruition. Mortify it at the Lust stage, put lust to death, get out of your life anything that feeds it, pluck out the eye, and kill it before it comes to pass.

It is very possible to have a heart full of covetousness, but to never go so far as to carry out those evil desires. What happens to a person fills himself with the desire to do evil things but has enough sense never to carry that desire out?

Lust is a fire, it burns and consumes the personality. The one who loves money is affected by that lust even f he doesn’t have any of it! The man who hates, may never carry it out, but the hatred within will flow out of his heart and even his eyes.

Lust is a seething corruption. Just because a man doesn’t actually commit adultery in deed for various reasons, it doesn’t follow that his ‘pornographic thoughts’ don’t hurt anyone. Lust destroys the capacity of man and woman to live together, or for the young man to properly relate to women. This is a severe handicap . Lust is coarsening, and oozes out of a person, even if they cannot ever fully carry it out.Peter warned of those whose “eyes are full of adultery, that cannot cease from sin…” and Jude warned of the harsh speech pouring out of the mouths of the last rebels.

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.(Jude 14-16)

Covetousness distorts the soul, and deforms the personality. It spawns the twins Envy and Jealousy in people, embittering and frustrating them without the chance of satisfaction.

How miserable it must be to hate anyone for what they have, or to wish to take their place and have it instead of them! It surely is a foretaste of the mental and spiritual miseries of hell itself. Hell is a lot of terrifying things, but perhaps most terrifying, is unending desire, even craving, without ever having a chance of satisfaction. Imagine envying someone for ever!

Many of these commandments can be understood on a higher level by inverting them. If we are not supposed to commit adultery, what are we supposed to do? Honor marriage! If we are not supposed to hate or murder our neighbor, what should we do? Love Him and seek his good.

What would be the opposite of Covetousness? Hebrews 13 is helpful here,

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.( Hebrews 13:5)

The opposite of covetousness would be to be completely content with what God has given you. It is to will to be genuinely happy for any honors, privileges or gifts God has given those around you. This is a decision, based upon gratitude towards God, and true faith that He is good.

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The Sin of False Witness… Ten Commandments pt 11

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)

The primary understanding of this commandment, is a prohibition of perjury, testifying against a neighbor falsely before a Judge. However, as in the rest of the commandments, the stated prohibition is only chief of a whole category of Sins.

Our God is a God of Truth and commands us to Love truth, and to speak the Truth in Love. God doesn’t lie, neither should his holy people.

Exodus 23 expands on this commandment:

Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause…. Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.( Exodus 23:1-3, 7-8)

First of all, false witness is giving a false report about a person. Saying something about another that isn’t true, or perhaps holding out information about them, that is true, in order to put that person in a bad light. It can be done by innuendo, inflection, body language, ommission, in order to give an impression that is less than favorable of another.

False witness is often done in concert with others. In a court of law, or in the media, in family disputes or general arguments, people take sides, and are tempted to ‘pile on’ the person out of favor, to add their ‘two bits’ to the general testimony. I have seen people bear false witness against leaders, pastors, even whole churches, to the point of rounding up other discontented people to bolster their arguments and complaints.

This is called “putting thine hand with the wicked“, and it is very (fallen) human thing to do in conflict with others. We want to justify our actions or our rejection of a person, so it is tempting to be ready to hear the evil reports of others. This is a serious sin, and in fact, as we will see, it is literally the Devil’s work.

I have found this to be especially true of those whom God has placed ‘above’ us. Parents, ministers, bosses and employers, supervisors… these are the ones God has placed above us in some areas. People often get to a point where they just want to see them bought down. They are ‘open’ to evil reports of them.

There are enough valid complaints which could be made about anyone, without piling on dubious innuendos, since we are all fallen sinners.

Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil … What is this fallen, perverse psychology of us sinners, that the Word of God perfectly describes? God knows the hearts of men, and that there is a “crowd Psychology” at play in some situations, wherein, once a person comes under criticism, whether just or unjust, there is a temptation for others around to be swept into the strife, and as I stated earlier, to “pile on”, to someone once respected and reverenced, like a parent, or a Pastor or high official.

False witness is contagious and can have a certain twisted deliciousness to it. Fallen man would “Bring down the High and mighty”. What is the Media but an orgy of false witness?

“… neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment” Some are more eloquent than others, and by a few slight turns of phrasing, can completely destroy the name and esteem of a person in the minds of those who once respected him. We must give the Devil his due, this is his business and He is not only good at it, but inspires many to be just as good.

They can completely twist other’s judgment, that is their skill.

Our society has been completely torn asunder by the constant and skillful use of false witness. There are many who have biases which are unfair and unfounded, just based on what they have been taught. Some have a bias toward the rich and powerful, and that is bad, an some have biases towards the poor, which is just as bad.

Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause… This is what we call “Social Justice”, but it is an illusion and a form of false witness. Demagogues would divide the world up into identity groups, and harvest their resentments and fears. Simplistic teachings which can be distilled down to “Rich people are bad and Poor people are good”, or they do the same with racial categories.

This is false and dehumanizing. God deals with us as individuals, and will judge us accordingly, not as ‘groups’.

False witness has been born in the teaching of history and of Western civilization, the founding Fathers, and a whole host of great men and women of the past. It is very easy to wrest a person out of his own historical context, and write about him using our modern standards of Judgement.

Thus very small and unaccomplished people can ‘bring down’ great people like George Washington, Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln” , by bearing false witness against them.

False witness is one of the distinguishing marks of our age.

Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.

God says have nothing to do with false witness. Do not partake of the slaying of the innocent and righteous. I have seen completely innocent and righteous people falsely represented, and cut down on many levels, some of them even destroyed by false witness. I have seen churches torn asunder, families separated, by the malicious tongues of careless people.

God warns us that he won’t justify those involved.

Why do some join in after it has started? It has to do with the next verse in Exodus ….

And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

When people think there is something to be gained by playing up to others, they often join in the sin of false witness. Why did the same people who praised Jesus on Palm Sunday, call for him to be crucified within a week?

Not all bribes come in the form of money; some people sell out others for affection, being part of an “in group” or just attention.

When a report about another person comes to you, it represents a special type of temptation. Particularly if it is a person you have ever had a problem with, or just don’t like. How do we respond to an evil report? It determines whether you will overcome or be overcome by this Satanic sin.

Satan bore false witness against God, and that brought about the whole human race. He told Adam and Eve that God was withholding something he knew would be good and fulfilling from them. They actually believed the report, and every bitter and remorseful tear ever shed since, has come about because of that lie.

Satan is called “The accuser of the bretheren” who accuses us before God and to each other, day and night. False witness is what Satan is and does. His demons are called “Lying Spirits” and he himself is the “Father of Lies” and “the murderer from the beginning”. There is a definite connection between false witness and murder.

Jesus calls himself “The Faithful Witness”. We all need the truth; about God and about each other, about heaven, hell and about ourselves.

You can always count on Jesus to give you Truth and Reality. He alone is the completely the faithful witness to us, the sure guide to the afterlife, this life and on how to get to heaven.

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Corona, Rodney Howard Browne, and Jeremiah

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded. But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: ( Proverbs 1:20-25)

Wisdom is always crying out in the streets, and particularly through current events which are widely known. There is often a huge hand writing on the wall for our generation. The problem is interpretation, What is God saying through events?

Today we awoke to news that a certain mega Pastor, Rodney Howard Browne was arrested for holding an “unlawful Assembly”, bussing in hundreds to an already crowded church service, in defiance of the Governor’s ‘social distance’ decree.

Browne was already in the news for a few other things recently and over the years. The South African immigrant to America had proclaimed that “Quarentine is for Pansies” and that his church would remain open “until the Rapture!”.

Around the time of the inauguration of the President , Browne was among a handful of Pastors and Spiritual leaders allowed to gather around in the Oval office and lay hands on and pray for the President. Browne is a ministry colleague of Paula White, President Trump’s ‘spiritual advisor’.

On the one hand, I understand the indignation at the decrees shutting down churches across the nation, as ‘nonessential’, especially when in many places Planned Parenthood, continues to function.

There will be many that lionize Howard Browne, for standng up to the State, or as a champion of freedom of religion.

But on the other hand, there really is a dangerous plague, and personally I give the Governor of Iowa the benefit of the doubt in this, and pray fervently that as soon as the physical danger is passed, we can meet again as a whole flock. After all, the Word for church , ‘Ecclesia’ means an Assembly. We are not to forsake the Assembly of ourselves, this is the LORD’s command.

I have struggled with this myself, and been in much prayer about it.

I believe God has given me an insight into how we are to look at this;

Do you remember the Prophet Jeremiah? When the pagan Babylonians surrounded Jerusalem, He was given a rather unpatriotic message. He was told to tell Jerusalem to go out and submit to the Babylonians, even though it would be humiliating to them as proud Jews, because God was in the Babylonian invasion. Jeremiah 27 is an example of this preaching.

As usual there were hundreds of false prophets like Hannaniah, who prophesied resistance, victory, and triumph. Jeremiah was hated for his “cowardly message” which amounted to submitting to the harsh discipline of God and not resisting.

When Rodney Howard Browne proclaimed that Quarentine was for Pansies, I thought of Jeremiah immediately. There is nothing Spiritual about the bravado of mockery of the manhood of people who ae trying to be prudent. Browne and his accomplice, Kenneth Copeland, who prophesied that CV 19 would be vanquished by the end of March, are just like the false prophet Hannaniah, who “…Make God’s people Trust in a Lie”, (Jeremiah 28) and eventually discredit the cause of Christ.

I hope you understand these people have an errant theology. They believe that God has given them the power to become “little gods” through the New Birth, and to be able to decree and command reality to submit to them, it is called “The Word Of Faith” heresy. Copeland once told an audience that had he known what Jesus knew, He (Copeland) could have gone to the cross also! They are classic gnostics and heretics.

I hate not having full Assemblies, I admit that. I do not put absolute trust in the Government either. But God has allowed many limitations to come upon us; no Sports, no restaurants, no entertainments, (Not as many), and in my view, worse of all, No easy gatherings of Christians, in the tens and hundreds or even thousands. This is one of the beautiful and joyous things about being an American!

But all of that has been suspended. The Word of God is not bound, of course.

Do you believe it has been allowed as a discipline of God? Or is this just the Devil? OR could it be a combination of the two?

Like Judah, in the time of Jeremiah, we proud Americans don’t believe we could ever be curtailed in anything, much less worship. What if these restrictions are the discipline of a loving Father, that we must submit to? Would fighting them be fighting God? Privileges have been stripped, without debate, discussion, or due process, liberties have been suspended indefinitely and that galls all of us.

The Constitution is a wonderful document, but it is not the Word of God.

Could this be a time ordained for repentance? Soul searching and seeking God?

Be careful of modern Hannaniah’s appealing to our pride and vainglory but pretending it is faith.

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Episynagogue (The Gathering On High) … The Rapture pt 2

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

( 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2)

The apostle Paul is trying to comfort a new church, which had received supposed correspondence from Paul, saying that they were already experiencing the “Day of Christ”. It all seemed plausible to them, because they had endured an intense persecution from the very beginning of the church’s existence.

Paul appeals to the coming of Jesus, and “Our gathering together unto him”, in telling them not to be so shaken by this “fake news”.

The expression, “Our gathering together unto Him” is an interesting word in the Greek text, “Episunagogue”. You may recognize within it the word Synagogue, which is a gathering. The prefix “Epi” means “Above”. The Apostle Paul is referring to the Rapture here.

It struck me, in answering to an inquiry by a friend, the question, “What is the Rapture”?, that this is a perfect answer. The Rapture is an appointed gathering above, for the Saints of God.

Before He went to the cross, Jesus spoke to the 12 disciples, (and to us) …

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. ( John 14:1-3)

In this world we shall all have much tribulation. All that will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But Jesus doesn’t want his “little flock” to be troubled by this.

Our Lord was making a similar promise to the young Jewish groom of the first century would make to a prospective bride. The Father had already been spoken to the preparations had to be made, a place had to be prepared for the Bride to come to live, and then, when all things were ready, the groom would come to receive the Bride unto himself and take her to the wedding feast and her new home.

Jesus is the original groom. The Father sent him here to gain a bride for himself among all of sinful humanity. The Preparation which had to be made, was the work of the cross. When Jesus said, I go to prepare a place for you”, he was speaking of going to the cross, to die as a satisfaction for our sins.

… I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also…”

What remains is that Jesus must come again, to take us unto Himself. This is the rapture, the gathering in the sky, the Harpazo, the snatching away, to be with him, as I Thessalonians 4 tells us, “… So shall we ever be with the LORD…”.

Not everyone wants to be with the LORD. there are many who “love this present World” too much to ever want to leave it. The Ironic thing is that we will all leave it anyway. Through physical death billions have come into this world and gone, out of the World, and even if they lived a ripe old age, their whole life was but a vapor.

Many have found out too late that this world is but a probation for the next world. It is the next world that counts, forever. Daniel the Prophet is very eloquent here,

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:2-3)

Some wake up to everlasting life … Others to everlasting shame and contempt …

But there are also some who will not die, they will go up in the Rapture at the time of the Second Coming of the LORD.

Get yourself ready it won’t be long now …

More to come …

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