IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Born Again Children of God – Pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2021/02/born-again-children-of-god.html
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”(1st John 3:1-3)
4 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:4, 15-16)
Of all the passages that Paul wrote, Romans chapter 8 remains one of my favorites. And the Apostle John confirms what Paul spoke of in this glorious chapter. The chapter is full of promises to the children of God. When I look at these particular passages, I become almost awe struck at its implications that speak of the plans that God has for each of His children. But let this passages sink in for a moment as you meditate on its deep meaning. “Heirs and joint-heirs with Christ” and we will be “like Christ” is what Paul and John under the Holy Spirit's direction wrote. What does this mean to the believer.?
I wrote about this very fact in times past about Church Age saints being adopted into the “family of God”. It's a most glorious promise to those who have accepted the payment for their sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Besides being our Lord and Savior, our King and our God, Jesus could also be given the title in relationship to other children of God, as our “Big Brother” as He is our “Kinsman Redeemer”.
I've heard that expression plenty of times, and I find it very hard to use the term “big Brother” , as I would never speak it to Him as such, since Jesus is God in the flesh, but in the family sense of what God our “Abba” Father has planned along with His Son from the very beginning of time, it is a family relationship that has been planned since before time even began.
Jesus became what Adam could not accomplish. He became the perfect man in His life upon this earth and the perfect sacrifice to cover the sins that each of us could not shed to join God the Father in a family unit. In His resurrection, the old body that Jesus dwelt upon this earth became a glorious body, a body of flesh and bone. Jesus was the second Adam from the portals of heaven, as our common ancestor Adam was the first born from the earth.
When describing the risen Lord, note that there is no mention of blood. Jesus was not alive as we are, in that the blood is the source of life providing oxygen to the cells of our body. But His life source was the Spirit of God, as ours will be. Note that in scripture, Jesus was able to perform actions that we are not able to perform, such as walk through walls, disappear while men looked upon Him, and rise into the clouds out of the apostles sight and many other actions that John said if they were all recorded, the books of the world could not hold them.
Jesus became our redeemer in every sense of the word. He became what we will become, a new creature that will follow the trail He blazed into glory. We will become the sons of God. We will be heirs of God's promises made to His Son, and by extension, to those of us who believe in the “One whom God hath sent.” (John 6:29b)
WHAT DOES HE MEAN HEIRS AND JOINT HEIRS?
Just think of what Paul is saying when he says we will be heirs and joint-heirs with our King, our God, and our Savior. What is an heir? In Jewish thinking, being an heir speaks to adoption into a family. An adoption would make the adopted one legally eligible for an equal share in the father's estate.
Now Jesus was intended to be the firstborn among many brethren as Paul wrote further in this chapter v. 29-32:
29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (many brothers and sisters) my emphasis.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:29-32)
This is beyond my comprehension, but within a finite mind that only grasp in part what Paul is saying that God will give us all things in an equal share all that belongs to our King Jesus. All the rights of a family member will be given in equal parts to each of those who have been called the “children of God”. When we speak of sons or children of God, that is not to say that we will be Gods ourselves, as some so erroneously believe of what Paul is speaking of here. No, we will be Kings and Priest to our God for all eternity. We will be given duties and responsibilities that any family that is headed by a family Patriarch, will work for the family in following the commands and the will of the Head of the Family. The Head of the family is God our Father, whom we call our Father “Abba”, and God Almighty. But I liken it to the phrase, we will be of the “God Kind”. We cannot begin to know in complete knowledge or begin to comprehend all that God has got planned for us.
9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”(1st Corinthians 2:9-12)
God, who is a loving God, a Father to all of His children will and has given good gifts to us this side of eternity in this life. But can you even imagine what God who is infinite, without limit, and the Creator of all things will bestow on those that love Him in the next life?
First in this life, we have been pardoned, our sin washed away by the blood of Jesus and given eternal life and future immortality.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
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:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.(Romans 8:1-4)
We have been separated, called out of this world to the glorious light of our Savior, who saved us and who loved us, before we even loved Him.
6 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”(Romans 5:6-9)
Second we have been given an earnest deposit of God's Holy Spirit that seals us as His possession. I liken it to a layaway plan at your local department store. The down payment has been made and the contract signed for purchase. Along the way, more payments are made for the final purchase price until the day of taking possession of the prize. Paul speaks of this in Ephesians:
13 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
There is a future reception of more of the fullness of God's Holy Spirit and a future redemption! The Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). The apostle is teaching us that redemption, like salvation, is a process that has begun but has not yet reached its conclusion. Salvation is irrevocable and God will finish what He has begun. Both of these processes began when we believed and accepted Jesus Christ, but they will not end until we receive God's Spirit in full measure and are glorified in His Kingdom. That will come when we are called either in the removal of God's Church before the Tribulation, or the tribulation saints resurrection and glorification at the end of the Tribulation. This is all part of the 1st resurrection, which Jesus was the beginning of.
WE AWAIT OUR REDEMPTION
But in the meantime, we must be about our Father's business. As Paul writes that we are not of the flesh, but of the Spirit, as we walk after the things of the Spirit and do mortify the deeds of the flesh:
7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”(Romans 8:7-11)
This almost sounds like an impossible task, as we are still mortal. I don't know about you, but I sin everyday, because of my flesh even if it's just a thought. Paul had the same problem when he lamented in Romans 7:
14 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
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.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:14-19)
But fear not brothers and sisters, Paul gives us the remedy for the sin that dwells in our flesh.
“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. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:24-25)
Each of us, who are the called of God battle the forces of evil. Sometimes, because of our mortal flesh, sin has it's way with us in our weakness. But if God's Holy Spirit rest in your spirit, then you, just as I am, are convicted of that sin, sometimes almost immediately. How do you get victory over sin? You put on the whole armor of God. Brethren, we do not war against flesh and blood, but against powers of spiritual darkness and the evil of this world.
10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Even with the armor upon us, and we fight the good fight as we use the weapons God has given us, we still fail, we stumble and fall...it's inevitable, my brethren, because we still have the curse upon us, called the flesh and this side of glory we will continue the need to repent. John the apostle wrote what we must do when we sin:
“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:6-9)
My brothers and sisters in Christ, and all who read this message, it is God's Holy Spirit that cleanses us daily. When we fail, we confess. We are not suddenly lost from God's grace, but sin causes loss of fellowship with God our Father. But with remorse and prayerful repentance that relationship is restored, as if the sin never happened. Oh, but some say, “How can God forgive me for I have sinned a great sin?”. I imagine that is what King David thought when his sin was revealed through Nathan the prophet and David repented of fornication with Bathsheba and indirectly murdering Uriah, her husband by placing him at the front of the battle. What did David do? David repented in anguish for His sin, and that was before God's Holy Spirit was given in it's fullness at Pentecost. David cried out :
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” (Psalms 51:1-13)
Even David, a man God called “a man after God's own heart” was subject to temptation and sin. King David humbled himself, and did not try to hide his sin from God, but confessed it and asked for forgiveness in tears and anguish. God honors a broken and contrite heart, when it is done in genuine guilt and repentance. And God said that our sin would be as far as the east is from the west, and would remember it no more.
Only Jesus and God's Holy Spirit can deliver us from the law of sin found in our flesh. Paul explains this even further in the chapter that I love, Romans 8:
33 “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:33-37)
WE NEED JESUS MORE THAN EVER, ESPECIALLY NOW
We have evil all around us, and in this day and age, it seems evil is growing exponentially. When I was a little kid, I remember that there were bad people in the world around me, and I was warned to not accept candy from strangers, but most people were basically honorable and moral people in the majority. I would have not fathomed at such an early age, to see what I am seeing after almost 70 years of life.
But OH, how the world has changed, and not for the better. How can the average person on this planet survive the evil that is becoming common place in this country and even more so in other countries around the world? No wonder the suicide rate is growing with people who have lost all hope. Or people who resort to crutches of alcohol, or dangerous drugs (either street drugs, or prescriptions) that rob them of the last shred of hope and security as they try and escape reality. Unfortunately, I see it all the time in the area of my ministry.
People are dying all around us and it seems we can't stop the destruction of people who are determined to bring on their own demise. But every now and then, one is saved from the fire. One person is reached that was thought beyond help. And what is the one thing, the one Person who brings them up out of despair? The answer is Jesus Christ. When a person finally sees that they are beyond hope, beyond fighting for themselves, and beyond anything on this earth used as a remedy. Not drugs, not alcohol, not bath salts, not promiscuity, and not main stream religion, because each fails the individual if its root is not anchored in Jesus Christ. When they hit rock bottom, the burden on their shoulder is weighing them down with their head hanging and the only place to look is up, we pray they see Jesus and someone is there to bring them to a saving knowledge of His mercy and grace. That person must cry out and seek safety from the only Source of that safety.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” (Psalms 40:1-3)
HAVE YOU FOUND MY ROCK, MY SAVIOR?
To my unsaved friend out there, I say this. Jesus is the only way in finding safety in this life, leading to the next life. You can search from around the world from Los Angeles to New York City, from the USA to the far reaches of the third world and back, but you will be as you were, EMPTY and unfilled. We each have a void in our spiritual lives that must be filled. As mentioned, some search for it in pleasures of this world, in illicit drugs and alcohol, but in the end, many will attempt suicide because they just cannot cope with what is going on in this world.
We all search for a way back to God or their definition of God. They search for peace and a place called Heaven. They put their trust in “religions” and spiritual enlightenment or many put their trust in themselves and don't think they need God. Oh, how wrong each of them are. That void in your heart, that void in your mind, and that void that is searching for what makes life worth living, is found in only one place, AT THE CROSS. (I call this our God Hole, that must be filled with Jesus Christ). That is where our Savior died, my Savior, your Savior if you would only choose Him and repent of your sins and turn to Him in all humility and repentance.
37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”(John 6:37-40)
Jesus further told us the truth, when He said in John chapter 14:
6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
And there is no one that can separate you from the love of Christ our Lord, when you profess faith and belief in His saving grace, in His blood and resurrection that began on Calvary's hill and fulfilled at His resurrection from the dead.
We are told by Paul the Apostle in closing the chapter that started this message, that no one can separate us from Jesus Christ after we are saved by grace.
38 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 8:38-39)
I invite you to call upon the Lord Jesus right now. Humble yourself and realize that you can't do it alone anymore. You and I are the same, we are sinners. Only difference that may be between us, is that I have asked forgiveness of Jesus of my sins and as a faithful and loving God, He has done just that. He can do the same for you if you humble yourself and believe these verses that sum up the whole of the Bible.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”(John 3:16-18)
8' But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:8-11)
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Believe these words of John 3 and Romans 10 in the void found in your heart and mind, and God will make you along with many others who have gone on before you...Sons of God and joint heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ...Praise God.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, proclaiming my Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. My God who came in the flesh and is coming again soon. If I can introduce you to my Savior and provide you with support from God's Word, then give me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit me for more biblical instruction in Christian living or the way back to God. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a friendly ear, drop me a line...God bless you all, TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Iran: The Mullah's Pursuit of Obtaining Nuclear Weapons - by Majid Rafizadeh - https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/17053/iran-pursuit-nuclear-weapons
In spite of the Iranian leaders' claim that their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, evidence reveals that the Iranian regime has long sought to acquire nuclear weapons.
A recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency pointed out that "Samples taken from two sites during inspections in the fall by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) contained traces of radioactive material".
This case was first brought to the world's attention in 2018 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano to inspect an "atomic warehouse" in Iran. Netanyahu pointed out in his speech to the UN General Assembly that the Iranian government had a "secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and material from Iran's secret nuclear weapons program." In addition, in 2018, two non-partisan organizations based in Washington, DC -- the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) -- released detailed reports about Iran's undeclared clandestine nuclear facilities, as well. Iran's leaders claimed that the warehouse, in a village, Turquz Abad, in the suburbs of Tehran, was simply a place where carpets were cleaned.
The IAEA at first did not take these reports of a secret Iranian atomic warehouse seriously. This should not be surprising: the IAEA has a long history of misreporting the Iranian regime's compliance with the deal and declining to follow up on credible reports about Iran's illicit nuclear activities. Generally, other state or non-state actors -- not the IAEA or the UN -- have been the first to reveal Iran's clandestine nuclear sites. Iran's secret nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak, for instance, were first disclosed by an opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran in 2001.
After a significant amount of pressure was imposed on the IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog, inspecting the suspected site that the Israeli Prime Minister referred to was implemented two years later, in the fall 2020. Even then, although Iran's leaders certainly had enough time to clean up the facility, the IAEA's inspectors nevertheless reported that traces of radioactive uranium had been detected by examining remaining samples.
It should also not come as surprise that the ruling mullahs of Iran are declining to answer the IAEA's questions.
It is also important to point out that one of the most basic requirements of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which Iran is a party, as well as one of the terms of the 2015 "nuclear deal," was that the Iranian regime is required to reveal its nuclear activities to the IAEA -- a condition with which it also failed to comply.
The detection of radioactive particles in Turquz Abad points to the high probability that Tehran has been undertaking work on nuclear weapons in secret. It also points to the high probability that Iran's ruling mullahs were most likely violating the nuclear deal since it was reached in 2015.
Despite this critical revelation, however, the Biden administration -- with the seeming prescient objections of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Biden's nominee for Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines -- still seems to be pushing for the return of the US to the nuclear deal.
Iran's nuclear deal has dangerous fundamental flaws, specifically the ability to enrich uranium in the first place -- as the preeminent US nuclear negotiator Ambassador John R. Bolton wrote a few years ago, without it, no bomb -- and the deal's notorious sunset clauses that remove restrictions on Iran's nuclear program after the deal soon expires. The deal, rather than preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, in fact paves the way for Tehran to become a legitimized nuclear state. The deal, furthermore, exempted Iran's military sites, such as Parchin which is reportedly where nuclear development and research is conducted, from the reach of the International Atomic Energy Agency's inspectors. The deal, which the Iranian regime understandably loves, also fails to refer to the ability of Iran's ballistic missile program to deliver nuclear warheads, a core pillar of its foreign policy and closely linked to the nuclear program. The nuclear deal also gives Iran's regime a global legitimacy that makes it even more difficult to hold its leaders accountable for any malign behavior, predatory aggression or terror activity.
The nuclear deal also allows the flow of billions of dollars into the treasury of Iran's leaders, thereby providing the revenues for their militia, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that they needed to escalate their military adventurism in the region. This includes financing, arming and supporting their terror and militia groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and the Gaza Strip, as well as South America. Finally, the nuclear deal increases Iran's meddling, interventions in the region and its funding of militia groups.
The Biden administration would do well for both American and international security to take the recent revelations about Iran's clandestine work on nuclear weapons more seriously -- especially to halt the regime from obtaining nuclear weapons before it is too late.
Knowledge of the Holy One Is Understanding - By Gene Lawley - https://www.raptureready.com/2021/02/12/knowledge-of-the-holy-one-is-understanding-by-gene-lawley/
This title comes from Proverbs 9:10, which reads, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” The importance of that proverb cannot be diminished by any effort of mankind. It is superior to man’s finite limitations. But what is the “fear of the Lord,” anyway?
It is both the reverence and the respect for God, the Creator, the Sovereign of the Universe, the One who has no beginning nor ending, the Alpha and the Omega, as Jesus claimed it. It is the reverence for this God of love, grace and mercy, and respect for this same God of justice and truth.
Knowing those two sides of God’s character is the foundation of our understanding of His relationship to His creation, and to mankind, in particular.
It faces off against fallen man’s wisdom. In logic, of which my thinking is mere nibbling on its edges, two basic approaches to the truth of any subject rests in the terms inductive thinking and deductive thinking. My understanding is that inductive thinking starts from the inside, so to speak, and looks outward to the results. But deductive thinking starts on the outside—with a preconceived theory or idea—and searches for truth to give it foundation. Thus, we can see how “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” From that, then, we can begin to understand how the latter part of that verse fits in: “And knowledge of the Holy One IS UNDERSTANDING!” (capitalized for emphasis.)
The greatest standoff between these two approaches to truth, no doubt, is Creation versus Evolution. Public schools in America, funded by government funds, have legal backing to teach the Science of Evolution, but not Creation. Evolutionists seem to be fixed on three targets that are claimed as support for the evolvement of the universe and its inhabitants:
· Billions of years that allow natural “development.”
· The discovered universe of planets and stars “way out there.”
· Mankind’s transition from animal to modern man.
But when one asks, openly or quietly within himself, “How did all these details, especially of the human body and its functions, come together with such obvious requirement of intelligence,” science has no meaningful answer.
Stephen Jay Gould, who found out the answer when he died in 2002, formulated a very impressive label for that situation when he described the issue as “Punctuated Equilibrium,” meaning, apparently, ‘We have no idea how the link, or gap, between animal and man was solved.’ Thus, as we must conclude, it takes a lot more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God.
Again, “Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
The contrast between the two approaches to the discovery of truth is very clear with Creation versus Evolution.
How, then, does this “inductive versus deductive” thinking show up in regard to understanding of the Scriptures? False doctrines arise from a person’s erroneous concept of God. It starts with a preconceived idea that has an incorrect understanding of Scripture, or has no Scriptural basis at all. When one verse is taken out of context, or without consideration of the whole counsel of God’s Word, it will wreak havoc on a claim of truth.
There are some basic principles we can learn from the attributes of God that give us immediate understanding. From Scripture we learn that:
· God cannot lie nor change His position on good and evil.
· He does not contradict Himself.
· He does not act unjustly toward mankind.
· He does not invade a person’s right of personal choice; thus, we do not become robots.
· He offers the GIFT OF SALVATION to mankind and does everything He can within His own stature of character that man will accept that gift of salvation with its promise of everlasting life.
· He hates evil and does not tempt man to sin. In order to accomplish His eternal plan for the ages, He allows evil to act out its own desires in a given direction of His choosing. When Satan is allowed to create evilness, God justly punishes those who conduct the evilness.
One of the great examples of this in modern times is the Nazi holocaust under the evilness of Adolph Hitler. In His foreknowledge, God had looked ahead with the promise of restoring the Jews to their own land with internationally recognized sovereignty—promised by the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. The Jews had been scattered among the nations from the destruction of Jerusalem and their temple in 70 A.D. Much like that in the time of Moses, when it came time for God to deliver the Hebrew people out of Egypt, He had to bring the people to a willingness to leave their embedded lives in foreign lands and head back to their own land. May 14, 1948, was the date of that accomplishment, and on May 9, 1945, after Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally.
Searching out all the details of God’s accomplishment by allowing that evil to occur is obviously too heavy on the heart to be pursued. The establishment of the sovereign state of Israel was the beginning of the last days of this age of grace, as the Scriptures seem to indicate.
The previous statements are not without Scriptural precedent, and following are some quotations that speak to those points listed above, and this, in itself, is testimony of God’s unchanging nature that the whole Bible is consistent with these revelations of His character:
Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
Hebrews 7:24 – “But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.”
Proverbs 8:13 – “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.”
Psalm 103:6 – “The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.”
Psalm 33:5-6 – “For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Revelation 3:10 – “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
Revelation 3:20 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
2 Timothy 2:13 – “If we believe not, yet He abides faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (KJV)
Psalm 53:1 – “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'”
There is another gem from the Book of Gems, the Holy Scriptures—yes, even two, that speak volumes to a heart that is longing for that personal, intimate walk with God:
2 Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
Hebrews 11:6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
It would take an eternity to search out all of the magnitude of the riches of God’s favor for those who love Him and seek Him. Let’s not turn away so soon, for we can see the Day approaching.
“Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Guard Against Deception - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
Deception is one of the most toxic problems to a Christian’s faith and their walk with the Lord. "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:1-6. It’s easy to be deceived if you haven’t kept up with Bible study. Seeking the wisdom of God is the only way to know God’s truth and not be deceived by the lies of Satan. There are many lies out there and it’s easy to be confused if you don’t have a solid foundation built upon the word of God. There are many people who profess to be Christians but are deceived in their teaching. Many cults call themselves Christian, but don’t teach Biblical truth. The only way to guard against deception is to study Scripture and earnestly pray for discernment.
Every Christian must first and foremost, honor God with their lives. That means turning away from the world. When it comes to a choice between the ways of the world and the way of the Lord, choose wisely. Only Scripture, studied in its entirety, will keep you from being deceived. “NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. We live in a time when it’s easy to turn on the TV or look on the internet and find many people who speak words that sound good but are in direct opposition to God’s word. God has never changed, and He never will change. Satan wants you to turn from God and he will befuddle you with half-truths and outright lies in his effort to draw you away from God. Satan is darkness, but Jesus is the Light of the World. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12. In order to understand the Light of God, study His word. Pray for wisdom and the Holy Spirit living in you will open God’s truth to your understanding. Whenever you listen to a Bible teacher, a preacher, or a commentator, look to Scripture in order to test their words.
When a person first comes to a saving knowledge of Christ, they cannot possibly have the wisdom that comes from God. A babe in Christ must be fed on the truth of Scripture. Then that person must change their life to fit God’s ways rather than changing God’s words to fit their lifestyles. All Christians must desire to please God. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” Psalm 111:10. God’s truth is found in Scripture, from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse in Revelation. Don’t skip reading the Old Testament because you think that only the New Testament matters to a Christian. In His first incarnation, Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament Law and many, many prophecies; He will fulfill all other prophecies very soon when He returns. All Scripture is God-breathed and we need to understand what’s written there and learn God’s truth. God’s standards are shown to us by the Law, which required works in order to please God. Jesus did fulfill the Law, and His blood was shed for the once for all sacrifice for our sin. All who believe in Him will find salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8. Because of that grace our sins are forgiven, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t desire to please God. Our way of living needs to conform to God’s truth rather than the ways of the world. Don’t be deceived by false prophets who speak satanic lies. God doesn’t want anyone to be deceived. "He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly." Proverbs 2:7. Wisdom is found in God’s word, while deceit is found in the ways of the world.
Wisdom comes from God. The question is, how do you get wisdom? First desire it and then ask God. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5. God doesn’t want anyone to be deceived by false teachers, but He won’t force His wisdom upon anyone. If you love Him, you should desire to know His ways. He will give you a foundation of knowledge of His word and you need to build your life on the ways of God. You can’t please God by living a double life…professing your love for Him while living a sinful life. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking that there are special circumstances in your life that make your sin OK with God. We must move away from sin and not try to justify our life-choices by using a double standard. Many people will try to deceive you, but you can’t please God by living contrary to His word.
We are living in the last days. That’s a fact, but it’s another area that you can easily be deceived about if you haven’t studied prophecy. The urgency of spreading God’s truth to the unsaved has never been stronger. Everyone must hear the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ before death, but as the last days of earth’s history are rapidly approaching, there’s a double urgency to spread the Gospel. The deception of false teachers is evidence that time is short. Jesus said deception will get stronger as time comes to an end. “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.” Luke 21:8. It’s up to you to be sure that you don’t fall for deception. There are many lies that are passed off as Christianity, such as Mormonism, but their teachings are in direct opposition to Scripture. One of the worst lies that Satan spews is that all paths lead to heaven. Search the Scriptures to see for yourself that faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross is the only way to salvation. Don’t be deceived and be sure you have answers to defend your faith.
The Apostle Paul had some wise words for a young pastor named Timothy. He urged Timothy to stand firm on the truth he had been taught and not be deceived by the evil people who tried to deceive believers even in those days. “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:13-15. Timothy had been taught Scripture since childhood and Paul urged him not to waiver from the truth of God’s word. If you’re tempted to follow a teacher who supports a “name it and claim it” theology, or “all roads lead to heaven” or “Jesus and Satan are brothers”, get away quick before you are deceived by their lies. Study Scripture and let God’s word be the lamp that lights your ways.
Don’t be deceived about the times in which we live. The end is coming quickly. Many people say that every generation thought they were the last, but these people haven’t studied prophecy and speak in ignorance. There are some end time lies that are very deceptive. Some would have you believe that Christians have replaced Israel. That’s a lie. God’s covenant with Abraham was forever, and an honest study of Daniel’s end times prophecy will teach you that those last days are about Israel returning to God and recognizing Jesus as their Messiah. Some would have you believe that God will have Christians go through the Tribulation or at least part of it. That’s a lie. You can study Revelation to see that Christians are not on earth during Daniel’s 70th week. We are called to Heaven at the beginning of Revelation chapter 4 and are in Heaven in chapters 4 and 5. Chapter 6 and the following chapters describe the seven years of the Great Tribulation, at the end of which the nation of Israel will call on Jesus as their Messiah. Some deceived teachers see the Tribulation Saints (those who come to faith in Jesus during those final 7 years) as a part of the Ekklesia. Those brave believers will have come to faith after the Rapture and will face death unless they deny Christ. Deception has always been strong, but there will come a time when God will have had enough of our rebellious nature and will send a strong delusion. “And for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12. We can see that people are ripe for deception today. I’ve often wondered how people will so easily be deceived, but as I’ve watched the deception during the last few years in American history, and the fiasco and deception in the last Presidential election, I can see that gullible people who have no firm foundation in Christ are easily swayed to believe anything that the satanically fueled proponents of liberal politics, media censorship, and the one world order say. Some of the deceived even call themselves Christians.
Be sure that you’re not one of those who believe lies and are deceived. Turn off the TV, put down the video games, get off the phone, and pick up your Bible. Study Scripture. The only way to guard against deception is to study, believe, and live God’s word.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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Daily Jot: Facts and common sense – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
A lot of obituaries are being carried about radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. They talk about his accomplishments. But Rush Limbaugh was extremely successful because of who he was. Decades ago, I briefly met Rush in New York. He was inquisitive, wanting to know about me. He was humble. We talked news and conservatism for the very short time we had together. From time to time over the years, we shared background information on a handful of stories. I don’t want to make this something that it was not, but each encounter was very to the point and useful, I hope for him as well as for me. Rush had a true gift of discernment that underscored his body of work. We all could learn from it, especially now.
Rush often said that he was, what, 99.8 percent accurate. People scoffed at this. But he was accurate. He was able to apply his common sense, his nose for news to the facts and see through the noise to get to the point. As much as Rush was espousing a conservative position, he was doing so with truth, employing the facts to back up his arguments. This is one of the reasons why the liberals hated him so much. Their arguments were based off of emotion without facts. Rush would sit back and give them the facts without emotion—well, ok, a little humor, but you get what I mean. Global warming, Russia, China, socialist healthcare, Hillary Clinton, Benghazi, Arab Spring—you name it, he argued with the facts.
Rush’s wife Kathryn said it best: “Rush will forever be the greatest of all time. Rush was an extraordinary man, a gentle giant — brilliant, quick witted, genuinely kind, extremely generous, passionate, courageous, and the hardest working person I know. Despite being one of the most recognized, powerful people in the world, Rush never let the success change his core or beliefs… He proudly fought and defended conservative values in a way that no one else can. Rush often stood up and took arrows on his own because he knew it was the right thing to do. Rush encouraged so many of us to think for ourselves, to learn and to lead. He often said it did not matter where you started or what you look like. As Americans, we all have endless opportunities like nowhere else in the world.” This precisely describes how I would describe what I knew of Rush.
Liberals would say that they “hated” Rush Limbaugh. My response was that “hate” was a very strong word. And I would ask if they ever listened to his show. “Absolutely NOT,” was most always the reply. They could say all these bad things about him, yet never have listed to what he had to say. His life exposed the ideological bigotry and political intolerance in which this nation is so immersed today. People don’t like the truth. And lazy people don’t like to discern the truth because it is the real meat of life. As Hebrews 5:14 says, “But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Facts and God-given common sense are tools of discernment. Rush Limbaugh was gifted with such, and may his example inspire it in the rest of us.
Daily Devotion: Your Most Important Decision - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. —2 Peter 3:9
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/your-most-important-decision/ - Listen
The most important decision that you’ll ever make is far more important than what career path you choose or whom you marry, as important as those decisions are.
No, the most important decision that you’ll ever make is what you will do with Jesus Christ who died on the cross for your sin. He paid for every wrong you’ve ever committed, and He rose from the dead. Now He stands at the door of your life and knocks. He says that if you’ll hear His voice and open the door, He will come in.
The question is, will you open the door? Or, will you pretend that you don’t see Him? To refuse to open the door when He’s clearly there knocking is a rejection. So you can either open the door and ask Christ to come in, or you can leave the door closed and effectively say to Him, “I don’t want You in my life.”
Is that what you want to do? Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me” (Matthew 12:30 NKJV). Your choice today is saying “yes” or “no” to Jesus. And here’s the result of your choice: Heaven or Hell.
Hell is real, and the last thing God wants is for anyone made in His image to spend eternity in this horrible place created for the devil and his angels. You will have to practically climb over Jesus to get there. But if you are determined, then God will allow you to pursue the course you want. And you’ll have no one to blame but yourself on that final day.
Instead, what God wants is for you to be forgiven. God wants you to go to Heaven. He wants a relationship with you, a friendship with you. And He wants it to start now.