Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GOD REVEALED THE NAME OF JESUS TO ISRAEL

In the book of Zechariah, God plainly states the coming Messiah's name. Early in the book, God speaks to the high priest Joshua (Yeshua in Hebrew) and tells him that in the future He will bring the Branch and the Branch will establish a holy kingdom in Israel and remove all sin and iniquity from the people. It is evident to Joshua and students of the Old testament that God is referring to the Messiah (Christ in Greek) when speaking of the Branch. Later in the book, God commands a crown be made for the head of Joshua and that he represented the Branch and that one day Joshua (Yeshua in Hebrew - Jesus in Greek) would rule over the house of Israel and sit on the throne as priest and king. Joshua the high priest never wore the crown on a throne, the crown was commanded to be kept in the temple as a testimony of what would be in the future. God declared, prior to the building of the second temple that one day, the Messiah would come, would sit in the temple on a throne in the position of Priest and King and His name would be Joshua (Yeshua in Hebrew and Jesus in Greek) God could not have made His plan of salvation any more plain, from Genesis 3:15 through to the book of Revelation.

Monday, November 25, 2013

THE AFTERMATH OF A VERY BAD DEAL - DID WE ABANDON OUR ALLIES?

    In my last blog, I wrote about the very bad deal that was made with Iran concerning it's nuclear weapons program.  Today, the reaction from America's friends in the Middle East would suggest that they feel betrayed and abandoned.  Never before has the United States made such a deal with a nation so blatantly hostile to American values and freedom.  Iran is run by a fanatical Islamic regime that would put the entire world under Sharia law if given the chance.  Human rights atrocities in Iran are normal practice and women are relegated to property status.  Everyone of America's allies in the region opposed this deal yet America, seeming to work against it's own interests, has allowed Iran to gain access to billions of dollars.

      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scolded President Obama during a private call Sunday, telling him that if he wished to remain the most powerful man in the world he had better change American policy towards Iran.  Israel will send a lobby group to the U. S. in order to convince the Federal government that it needs to dismantle Iran's nuclear enrichment program.  Israel has also stated that it will do what needs to be done to prohibit Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, including a unilateral military strike.

  Saudi Arabia feels that the U. S. deceived them by purposely not briefing them in the developments and possible outcome of the deal.  Saudi government has declared it will now follow an independent foreign policy.  While refusing to admit to an open relationship with Israel, Saudi Arabia has agreed to lend support to an Israeli military strike against Iran.

   Even more disturbing about this deal is the loophole that was created that allows Iran to do work off site and then bring the completed components to the reactor site and install them.  Iran has become financially able to accomplish it's wish to gain preeminence in the region through nuclear strength.  The Ayatollah's response leaves no room for doubt about what Iran's true intentions are, he declared victory over the United States through the nuclear agreement passed in Geneva.

    Iran has been nothing but hostile towards America and the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the American people.  The fanatics that have taken over the Iranian government have expressed it's desire to destroy America in the name of Islam.  Iran sent soldiers into Iraq to kill American soldiers.  The fact that there is no obvious benefit to the United States to enact such a deal, which leads one to wonder what not so obvious benefit has Western leaders so anxious to empower a rogue nation.      

Sunday, November 24, 2013

THE DAY THE WORLD MADE A PACT WITH THE DEVIL

DID IRAN'S NUKE PROGRAM JUST GET AN UNINTENDED GREEN LIGHT?


Today, the world made a deal with a proven devil, Iran.  Iran now has access to billions of dollars that they can squirrel away for nefarious uses in the future and in return, Iran has to be good for 6 months.  Today, Iran and a coalition of deceived nations, (some not so deceived, as time will tell) agreed to lift sanctions on Iran and allow Iran access to about 7 billion dollars of frozen funds.  In exchange, Iran agreed to halt production on some of it's nuclear program that could lead to bomb making, allow daily inspections, and to not build any more centrifuges ... for 6 months.  If Iran misbehaves, the sanctions go right back into place.

   The reason this is a "very bad deal" as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, is the fact that Iran has, at the very least, set it's nuclear program back 6 months and now has access to billions of needed dollars, the lack of which was the true hindrance to completing a nuclear weapons program.  Once Iran has secured the needed funds to build a bomb all deals will be off.  This is a huge financial win for Iran, a very minuscule win for the West, and a very dangerous development for Israel's security and Saudi Arabia's financial future. Iran gains immediate access to about 7 billion dollars and has the ability to generate major revenue for at least 6 months.  Should Iran reach it's financial goals, whatever that figure may be, they will abandon their end of the treaty and have all the funding needed to develop a nuclear weapons program.

    The big losers will be Israel and Saudi Arabia.  Israel, the only democratic nation in the region, has been ignored during these talks by the United States, once it's biggest ally.  The United States seems to have thumbed it's nose at Israel throughout the entire negotiation process and in the final agreement.  Israel has repeatedly voiced concerns over the consequences to the stability of the Middle East caused by this deal.  Iran was almost a breaking point financially, even the U. S. congress wanted to increase sanctions, not ease them.  Iran comes out stronger and more able to exert it's military might in the region. Not a very good option for a nation who has expressly stated that it's desire is to push it's neighbor, Israel, into the sea.  Iran refers to America as the great Satan and has vowed to destroy us as well.  This deal is tantamount to Superman giving Kryptonite to Lex Luther, expecting Lex Luther to not  use it against him.

     The other big potential loser int he region is Saudi Arabia and the OPEC nations.  Once Iran has access to a nuclear bomb, Saudi Arabia believes it will be threatened concerning oil production.  Iran wants to be the top nation in the world.  Once Iran achieves nuclear weapons it will be in a position to control oil production and sales in the region, quickly propelling itself to Super Power status.  As America, the last Super Power nation, continues it's downward slide economically, militarily and socially, Iran will emerge as the one nation able to dictate to all other nations - the express goal of it's maniacally extremist Islamic leadership.  Saudi Arabia and Israel have become unlikely allies in this misadventure due to both nations having a vested interest in Iran remaining nuclear weapon free.  (see my blogs Will America Sell It's Soul... and Will America Sell It's Soul - Update)

     The United States remains divided on this issue, Congress desires to tighten sanctions while the Administration chose to go push for the current treaty.  What does the United States and Western nations gain from this deal?  That remains to be seen, as there is no clear advantage to be gained whatsoever.  Without financial resources Iran was not able to complete it's nuclear weapon program and posed no threat to the West.  Now, Iran will have plenty of money to do what it pleases which is ultimately detrimental to the whole world.  Russia has been helping Iran with it's nuclear program all along and is surly celebrating this wonderful victory for it's number one ally in the Middle East.  Russia has proven to be a much better friend to Iran than the United States has to Israel.

     Israel has vowed to attack Iran before it gains nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia has agreed to help.  Will this lead to a preemptive strike against Israel by Russia and Iran?  The Bible predicts such an attack.  Amazingly, America, today, has helped the enemies of Israel.  God promises to curse any country that curses Israel.  This deal, I believe, hurtles the world toward Armageddon.  The nations are allied as the Bible predicted, America will fade from world prominence as the Bible suggests and a world leader will be called upon to fix the mess in Middle East with a far reaching peace treaty as the Bible has also predicted in both the Old Testament and the New.  The world leader who signs such a treaty will be the Man of Sin the Bible describes and will one day be indwelt by Satan himself, as he rules the world.

   All of this is good news for the Church as it means our time on earth is short, but even in the excitement of our immanent redemption, our concern for Israel and the lost souls of the world should preclude any rejoicing.  While we are enjoying the presence of God in heaven, the world will be plunged into absolute chaos and destruction due to God's wrath.  People we know and love will be terribly impacted.  We need to step up our evangelism efforts as time is growing short and the souls of those we love depend upon it.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A PLACE TO SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY ONLINE

Here is a cool site I discovered that allows people to share their testimony for Christ and find encouragement by reading testimonies of others.  Check it out!

http://www.news4christ.com/

Sunday, November 17, 2013

SOCIAL MEDIA HERETIC - POPE FRANCIS

 The The Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court that decides on matters concerning the forgiveness of sins, has issued a statement declaring indulgences for following the Pope on Twitter and other social media.  Indulgences are basically used to shorten the time a person is stuck in purgatory.  Purgatory is a Roman Catholic invention originally designed to raise money.  

Indulgences led, in part, to the Reformation and Martin Luther's abdication from the so called Holy See.  The Vatican claims that the Pope is the Apostolic Succession of Peter.  Peter preached the Gospel pure and simple.  When asked what must be done to gain salvation, Peter responded, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."  Nowhere did Peter speak about purgatory, indulgences, or any other heretical teaching coming our of the Vatican lately. (for more info check out my other posts on Francis)  

The message of the cross is simple, faith in Christ alone.  Apparently, this pope thinks himself a rock star and is more worried about being "relevant and cool" than theologically accurate.  I have stated in the past that I believe this pope is the false prophet of Revelation and nonsense like a call to follow him on social media to receive blessing from God only serves to support this belief.  Francis seems to be high on fame and not very concerned about Biblical truth.  The role of pope has great opportunity to preach the simplicity of the Gospel and lead multitudes to Christ. Instead, Francis has chosen to play the devil's fool touting conscience as the path to God and giving atheism an equal footing with faith.  

The Bible clearly states that friendship with the world is enmity with God.  Pope Francis has traded the truth of God for friendship with the enemies of God.  This can only lead to one place... heresy and damnation.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

WILL AMERICA SELL IT'S SOUL FOR A NUKE DEAL? - UPDATE- WILL AMERICA DIVORCE ITSELF FROM GOD?

A while back, I posted about a potential deal being hammered out between America and Iran concerning Iran's nuclear program and the lifting of economic sanctions.  Today, Israel and Saudi Arabia have announced an unlikely alliance.  Both countries realize the threat a nuclear empowered Iran means to the region and have planned a tentative partnership, should Israel deem a military strike necessary. Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow Israel to utilize it's air space for a strike on Iranian Nuclear facilities and has agreed to give tactical and rescue support if needed.  

France killed the initial deal that would have given Iran economic relief in exchange for empty promises to not enrich uranium to weapons grade and limited international oversight. Such a deal would benefit Iran greatly but cost Iran nothing in terms of ending it's uranium enrichment program.  Talks will continue this week as the U. S. attempts to broker a deal that would benefit Iran but give little or no protection to Iran's neighbors Israel and Saudi Arabia, should Iran decide to escalate it's nuclear weapons program.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will travel to Moscow and meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week as Russia has become Iran's biggest supporter both economically and in it's nuclear program.  Should talks fail and Iran is allowed to gain economic relief without any tangible reduction of it's nuclear program, Israel will most likely exercise a military option.  Sadly, America will not be able to support or defend Israel if the U. S. backs the very deal that leads to a military strike.  

Should the United States make this deal with Iran, the U. S. will, for the first time in Israel's history, become allied against God's chosen people.  This will not bode well for the United States and will quite probably be the catalyst that causes God to withdraw His favor and protection from our country.  One nation under God will complete it's divorce from God, a divorce that has been escalating for years in our culture, media and now our politics. 

Just as Israel was a representative theocracy, we are a representative republic.  When Israel's leaders rejected Christ it lead to the destruction of Israel in 70 AD.  Should our leadership reject God by siding with Israel's enemies, America will share the same fate Israel did.  Israel was reborn in 1948 because God made specific promises concerning Israel's role in future events.  God has made no such promises to America.  If you love this country, pray that it's leaders do not reject God by abandoning Israel.  Iran is a nation whose leadership is in opposition to God, should we align ourselves with Iran, we too will be a nation in opposition to God.

PRE-TRIBULATION RESEARCH CENTER


                                          ???

I found a very interesting site with great content concerning End Time Prophecy.  The Pre-Trib Research Center, started by Tim LaHaye, of Left Behind fame, has put together a website that supports the Pre-Tribulational view of Eschatology.  The site can be accessed here:

http://pre-trib.org/

The Pre-tribulational view is the most logical view of eschatological events.  If you were a fan of the Left Behind series, you can learn Biblical truth from one of he co-authors at the above link.  Check it out and see if you don't get excited about the up coming events that will fulfill Bible prophecy, events that I believe will be happening in the very near future.

Blessings!

Friday, November 15, 2013

MICAH 6:8 THE KEY TO A CHRIST CENTERED LIFE

One of my favorite verses is Micah 6:8 which states: "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" This verse, to me, sums up all of the law.  This encompasses how we are to treat others and relate to God.  This sums up the Golden Rule.

Trying to live according to these words in this society is increasingly difficult. Those who promote sin seem to be winning the culture war, high profile religious leaders seem to be promoting humanistic theology, and the basic family unit is slowly becoming extinct.  How do we, who hold to Biblical values and relate to a society that is hostile to God and His people?  What does this verse tell us?

He has told us what is good:  God has revealed to us in His word what is good. How can we know what is good if we are not studying the Word.  Many churches have gotten away from teaching the Bible in exchange for a feel good message.  Ministers like the current Pope are more interested in making people feel good than confronting sin and leading them to the cross for salvation.  Preachers of self esteem like Robert Shuller have paved the way for heretics like Joel Osteen to pollute the world with a pseudo Gospel that is more interested in making "well balanced" people than winning souls for Christ.  How do believers get duped by these purveyors of psycho-babble?  They do not read the Word.  God has told us what is good. Read the Word.

I find it interesting that the passage says that God requires of us.  The Bible is not a collection of suggestions for a good life, the Bible is essential information instructing us in the only way to be right with God.  This not simply what God likes, but what God requires of us.  As believers, we had better be interested in what God requires of us, if it is important enough for Him to put it in writing for us, we had probably better listen.  Faith in Christ is essential in enabling us to accomplish this command because the Bible clearly states that without faith, it is impossible to please God.

To do Justice: This has to do with how we conduct our lives.  This means following the rules.  This means doing what is right always.  Often it is easy to cut corners, to lie or cheat a little to make life easier.  Having an "end justifies the means" mentality is contrary to God's method. If we have to break the rules to accomplish a good goal, we defeat the purpose of the good goal.  To do justice is to live a life above reproach and above suspicion.

To love kindness:  This has every thing to do with how we treat others.  Other Bible versions use the term mercy in place of kindness.  To show mercy and kindness to others is to reveal the love of God to people in the midst of their sin.   It means providing for them even when we do not feel they deserve provision.  It also means caring about them enough to encourage them to live right before God.  Not attacking and condemning sinful behavior but revealing God's truth gently and lovingly, leaving room for the Holy Spirit to convict their hearts. Pointing fingers and accusing will drive people away but a kind word or generous act reveals God's nature and will draw people to Him. When we condemn others, we are acting contrary to God's nature.

To walk humbly with our God:  This has everything to do with how we relate to God in our own personal spiritual life.  God desires our heart, mind and strength.  God gives us certain tasks to perform and abilities to perform them.  Walking humbly with God does not mean walking around with our heads down thinking how lowly we are, it means knowing who we are in Christ and living within those parameters.  Knowing who we are in Christ is essential to walking with God. This is accomplished through fellowship with God in prayer and worship.

God wants us to have full and productive lives.  God has provided all we need to do this through His Word and Holy Spirit.  Through the Word we find His heart and through His Spirit we find His power.  Faith in Christ unlocks both the Word and Spirit in our lives, the Word becomes alive as we are indwelt by the Spirit. We are indwelt by the Spirit when we place our faith in Christ.

God is not interested in man's psychological nonsense and self esteem, He is interested in a heart surrendered to Him through faith.  When we are able to discover His plan and purpose for our lives we will be fulfilled far beyond any notions of the self esteem movement which claims value for no inherent reason.  Knowing that the creator of the universe became a man and died for me because I rebelled against Him and had no hope of self renewal gives me value far beyond any notions of self worth.  I have worth to God.

He has shown you O man what is good. Are you willing to find out what is good and then do it?

Friday, November 8, 2013

WILL AMERICA SELL IT'S SOUL FOR A NUKE DEAL WITH IRAN?

Today, Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with Iranian officials in Geneva for a possibel deal in which Iran will allow limited oversight of it's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions by the international community.  What this means in real terms is that Iran destroys no centrifuges, Iran has very limited inspections of it's nuclear sites and agrees to not enrich it's uranium to a weapons grade.  What Iran gets is the lifting of economic sanctions allowing it to generate the all the money it needs to complete a nuclear weapons program.

  Iran is governed, ultimately, by the Ayatollah.  The Ayatollah is an extreme Islamacist, whom many of his own countrymen despise, and who is bent on the same goals as Osama Bin Laden.  The puppet president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, is also a Muslim cleric sharing  the ideology of the Ayatollah.  Rhohani is also a diplomat and knows how the international game is played, making it easy for him to play the peace maker. The government of Iran has proven itself to be untrustworthy for decades and any deal made by the U S should require heavy restrictions, oversight and the dismantling of centrifuges.  None of these things are even on the table.

Historically, Iran has been the enemy of the U S since the seizing of power by the Ayatollah, yet the current administration thinks that phone calls conversations can overcome years of hate and distrust.  The first act of the new regime in Iran, after the removal of the Shaw, was to take American diplomats hostage.  Iran has threatened to drive our number one ally in the region, Israel, into the sea, Iran  has referred to America as the Great Satan, Iran has threatened America with an EMP, and Iran said last week it was committed to the destruction of the United States.

   Any deal with Iran that does not directly eliminate it's ability to develop weapons of mass destruction will be the biggest diplomatic mistake in U S history.  Iran has proven to be untrustworthy and hostile to Western ideology. Iran has proven to be a direct enemy of the state of Israel and has made blatant, unveiled threats toward America.  To trust Iran is tantamount to Charlie Brown expecting Lucy to hold the football in place while he tries to kick it.

As everything that happens in the Mid East seems to have end time ramifications, we can use this meeting to gauge how close we may be to the return of Christ.  If indeed, Iran gets what it wants from this deal, it will create more instability in the region allowing for the events prescribed in scripture to unfold.  The war of Ezekiel 38 seems to be the next big event in scripture to be fulfilled and conditions for this event seem to be falling into place. The other big event is the rapture of the church which may or may not take place before the Gog Magog War of Ezekiel.  I believe the Gog Magog war will take place first and lead to a peace treaty with Anti-Christ which will usher in the Great Tribulation of Revelation and Daniel.

This meeting holds great significance both politically and spiritually.  Now more than ever we need to be in prayer for he peace of Jerusalem as the Bible commands us.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

GIVING WHAT GOD GAVE US TO GIVE

In Acts 3, we see Peter and the other apostles approaching the temple. On their way up, they encounter a crippled beggar.  Obviously, the Apostles were not well off, they had given up their livelihood to follow Jesus, so they had no real wealth.  In fact, Peter stated, "Silver and gold we do not have, but what we do have we give to you, get up and walk."  God gave Peter a specific ability for the express purpose of evangelism. The result was the man got up, began leaping around and most importantly, praising God.

God has gifted each one of us with talents and abilities that He expects us to use for His glory and to reach others for Christ.  Like the parable of the talents, God gives us each a measure of resource, that we may be busy doing His work.  We will know that we are working according to God's plan when it is He who is praised and worshiped and not ourselves.


So many utilize God given talent in order to bring benefit to themselves, God commands us to be about His work.  "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."  When we are busy doing God's will,, He will provide all the resources we need.

What has God given you, what talent, ability, treasure, or free time have you been blessed with?  The Apostle said, "what I do have I give..."  and we should say the same thing.

Friday, November 1, 2013

CHOOSING A BIBLE

When choosing a Bible, it is very important to know about the translation used in presenting the Word in English. There are myriad Bible versions to choose from, but unfortunately, many suffer from poor translation from the original language. Some corrupt the original text, and some, in an effort to be relevant to today's vernacular, butcher the intent of the original writers. The most popular versions being the King James, the New King James, the New International Version (NIV), the New American Standard (NASV), the Eglish Standard Version (ESV), the Living Bible, the Living Translation and the Message. These seem to be the most popular English versions available. 

Obviously the King James is the most widely known and accepted, in fact, if you are dealing with Jehovah's Witnesses, they will accept the King James even though they have their own translation which denies the Deity of Christ. The King James is the old stand by but it is very difficult to understand as it is written in a version of English that is 400 years old. The New King James is far more readable and holds to the original translation of the original. I do not own one, but, I hold it in high regard, especially as one of my mentors, Dr. Gary Cohen, was on the translation committee. 

The NASV is a great translation especially in regards to the translation of the Greek to English. The only problem with the NASV is it is a little difficult to understand as the English is can be a bit stiff. 

The NIV is not so much of a word for word translation but a thought by though translation. It is very readable and quite accurate as it had older manuscripts to work from than previous translations. The draw back for me with the NIV is that I still need to keep a King James around when studying in order to look up specific words in original language. 

The ESV is currently my Bible of choice. It is well translated, using even older texts than the NIV and written in readable English. The translation is strong and the English is understandable in today's vernacular. 

The Living Bible is a paraphrase and I find it is too loose with it's interpretation of the Bible. It may be useful for small children but not a best choice for older believers. 

The Living Translation is written in the same simplicity as the Living Bible but is a translation rather than a paraphrase. A little better than the Living Bible but again, loses some of it's power in an attempt to simplify. This would be a good companion to a more scholarly version to help with difficult passages, but not good for a regular diet.

 Finally, the Message. I would not recommend this version to anyone as it waters down key doctrines and seems to lend itself more to an emerging church frame of theology. I did quite a bit of research before purchasing my current Bible a couple of years ago and settled on the ESV but I would recommend any of the Bibles in this posting except the Living Bible and Translation and the Message

Choosing a Bible version is an extremely personal choice and should be taken with great care.