Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Why Does God Tolerate Evil - By Pastor Mike Taylor -
21 "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools," (Romans 1:21)
13" Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)
Have you ever heard someone say to you in light of a terrible tragedy, "Why would God allow such evil to exist in the world?" Many who turn away from God and disavow Him, as they cannot understand how there can be evil in the world, and a Holy God that co-exists or allows such evil. Many disbelieve in God, as they cannot understand how this can be, so they theorize "There is no God." I spoke of a fellow that I called, Mr. Frosty, some of you will remember him, that believes there is no God, as there is so much pain and suffering in the world. Why is this man an atheist? They try to get their mind around a word that identifies this problem for them, and the word is "Theodicy". What is theodicy? According to the dictionary the meaning is thus:
"Theodicy from Greek theos - "god" + dike - "justice") is a theological and philosophical study which attempts to prove possible God's intrinsic or foundational nature of omnibenevolence (all-loving), omniscience (all-knowing), and omnipotence (all-powerful). The fundamental dilemma of theodicy is the problem of evil: its continuing existence and God's apparent inability or unwillingness to eradicate it." (Wikipedia)
They do not understand when they say, "why does God allow, if there be a God, evil in this world?" and another "why does God not make men that do not sin, if He's so powerful?". Do they not understand that He has made such a creature. They are called cows and horses. Do you want to be a cow or a horse? Of course not, we are men and women, and God gave us one thing that we are endowed by our Creator, LIBERTY also called "free will choice". You will find this concept in an unlikely place which defines what we enjoy and adhere to. It is found in the pledge of allegiance.
"I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America:
and to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, Under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all" The two are intertwined and cannot be separated.
IN THE BEGINNING
In the beginning, God made man with free will. He was made with a free moral character to choose either to follow God, the Creator, or the god of this world. In a nutshell, he was free to choose between good or evil. But on the heels of what men choose in liberty, there is enacted righteous justice. Men believe erroneously of a god of their imagination, not the clearly defined God of the Bible. They do not understand the distinction of a God of judgment, a God of justice, nor a God of consuming fire that is a direct result of that liberty.
25 "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:35-29)
LIBERTY TO DO EVIL
Let us go back and examine several groups of people who by their own free will did evil and reaped judgment for their actions. I will try and show the error of their ways and how it applies to us, even today.
In the time of the Moses and before, the Hebrew people became a great nation. Fear fell upon the heart of Pharaoh and the leaders of Egypt to deal with a growing problem. They were fearful that the Hebrew nation would become so large that Egypt would be overrun by them and eventually the Egyptians could be defeated in battle by their alignment with an invading army. You'll find this story in Exodus chapter 1, but let's look at a few defining verses:
1:15 "And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:1:16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live." (Exodus 1:15-16)
But the midwives feared God and did not do as the Pharaoh had ruled, but saved them alive. Then in verse 22, Pharaoh decreed this:
1:22 "And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive."(Exodus 1:22)
What the Egyptians did was to cast every male child that was born, or some believe that it included any of an age under two, to be cast into the Nile for the crocodiles. Why was this allowed to happen? Our God is a God of imparting liberty. If man is not allowed to do evil in the name of liberty, then he is not free at all, but judgment was coming and it started with the first plague given to Moses against the Egyptians.
7:20 "So Moses and Aaron did even as the LORD had commanded. And he lifted up the staff and struck the water that flowed in the Nile, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, and all the water that flowed in the Nile turned to blood.
7:21 The fish that lived in the Nile died, and the Nile became foul, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. And the blood flowed through all the land of Egypt."(Exodus 7:20-21)
This was the beginning of judgment upon a people who had killed innocent babies who were thrown to the crocodiles and God gave them blood to drink, and it was a sign of judgment upon this evil. God gave the Egyptians ample time to repent of their sins and turn from their ways, but Pharaoh's heart was hardened, as justice was being done, and judgment had already been decided against Egypt for their evil in God's eyes. During the final plague against Egypt, a messenger from God, a death angel, came into the streets of Egypt and killed all first born male children that were not protected by the blood of a lamb upon the post and lintels of their doors, a sign of the coming Messiah.
Exodus chapter 11:11:4 "Moses said, "Thus says the LORD, 'About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt,11:5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who works behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well.11:6 'Moreover, there shall come forth a great cry in all the land of Egypt, such as no one has ever heard before and such as shall never shall come again."(Exodus 11:4-6)
Then in Chapter 12 of Exodus, the death angel came, as God told Moses, but the children of Israel were saved, because of the blood, a sign of salvation:
12:12 'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments-- I Proclaim myself the LORD.12:13 'The blood shall serve as a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt." (the blood was a foreshadow of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ).(Exodus 12:12-13)
You ask, why didn't God just whisk these Hebrew people out of the land of Egypt, instead of killing all the Egyptian first born? The answer is justice. Judgment had been passed on Egypt for the crimes against their fellow man and the murders of the innocent.
Because of their free will, God allowed them to have liberty, to do good, or to do evil, but in His righteous judgment, He enacted justice.
JUDGMENT AGAINST ISRAEL
This is a story that I cannot fathom, but it happened. After all the acts of God and His righteousness, the people of Israel became ensnared with the evil of this world, and by having liberty, did evil in the sight of a Holy God. But judgment came, as Jeremiah prophecies to them, and it came to pass. You may find this sad state of affairs in Jeremiah chapter 19. Jeremiah had been instructed by God in a two way conversation to bring the elders and the priest down to the Valley of Ben-Hinnom. This was a place of 24 hour fires burning refuse, and dead bodies. It was like their city dump. There Jeremiah prophesied what God was about do to them for their evil:
19:4 "Because they have forsaken Me and have made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods, that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent (babies and children).
19:5 and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind;
19:6 therefore, behold, days will come," declares the LORD, "when this place will no longer have the name Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but rather the valley of Slaughter.
19:7 "I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I will give over their carcasses as food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth.
19:8 "I will also make this city a desolation and an object of hissing; everyone who passes by it will feel astonished and hiss because of all its disasters.
19:9 "I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh in the siege and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life will distress them."'
19:10 "Then you will break the jar in the sight of the men who accompany you
19:11 and say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Just so will I break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter's vessel, which no one cannot again repair; and they will bury in Topheth because they can find no other place for burial.
19:12 " I will treat this place and its inhabitants like this," declares the LORD, "so as to make this city like Topheth.
19:13 "The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will become defiled like the place Topheth, because of all the houses on whose rooftops they burned sacrifices to all the heavenly host and poured out drink offerings to other gods."(Jeremiah 19:4-13)
I spoke of this in past sermons that Israel erected pagan idols and Asheroth poles, even in the very Temple of God and had taken on the practices of Baal worshipers around them by killing their sons and daughters on pagan altars and deluded themselves that this was an acceptable way of giving Jehovah praise and worship. God had given them liberty to do this evil, but being a God of long-suffering and allowing men free will, there came a time when judgment and justice was enacted on this evil among a nation that was designed to be an example to all other nations around them, or a nation of priest, a holy nation. How far did they fall from their glorious intent of Almighty God? They fell to the pit and their eventual destruction as a nation.
FLASH FORWARD TO MODERN TIMES
In our history of "modern" times, we have experienced men who have killed other men in war and desire for conquest. I think on WWII, and Hitler's delusional desire to cleanse the earth of inferior races of men and produce an Aryan race of super men. This was dealt with by the allied nations to the total destruction of Germany and the Third Reich. Why? Because of justice. Because of six million Jewish people, not to mention millions of what was deemed inferior examples of the human race, slaughtered by an evil tyrant. God allowed this maniac to exist and to cause untold suffering, but in the end, that liberty to do evil, was met with righteous judgment, and Hitler and his armies were destroyed utterly.
SODOM AND GOMMORRAH DESTROYED
Another example is the sin of homosexuality that pervaded these two cities and adjoining populations in the plains of the Middle East. God had proclaimed this abomination evil in His site, but these people decided to follow their own lustful ways and rebel against God and His judgments.
22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you" (Leviticus 18:22-24)
That was during the Old Testament times and the coming of Israel out of Egypt, but Paul the Apostle spoke to us in our modern times that this evil is not changed in God's site:
24 "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."(Romans 1:24-32)
What did God do to Sodom and Gommarrah for their evil before Him. He enacted judgment as the cities were evil beyond our belief.
24" Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;
25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground." (Genesis 19:24-25)
If God does not bring total destruction on those who practice this evil and the other havens worldwide, then God will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah, but God does NOT change and judgment will be enacted and it will be total.
JUDGMENT IS COMING
There is coming a day, that may not be too far off, where evil men will do even more evil to good people. There has been, recent history, of many instances of atrocities, more than what was mentioned above, coming against good people by evil men who were given the liberty to do this evil. The coming period I speak of is known as the Tribulation, which flows into the Great Tribulation. Each combined to be a total of 7 years. In Revelation we see a picture of evil that has slain many Christians from time innumerable.
Revelation chapter 6:
6:9 "When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had become slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
6:10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, " How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
6:11 And each of them received a white robe; and they learned that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who would suffer martyrdom even as they had been, would come to completion also."(Revelation 6:9-11)
There have been good men and women down through the ages, (I recall the Spanish Inquisition and the Dark Ages of Catholic dominance and religious cleansing of all who would not bow before the Pope in Rome), that have died because of their faith and judgment has been withheld for their crimes. John speaks of a time when more people will be killed for the profession of the Name of Jesus Christ. As the verses and chapters progress, seal after seal is broken, Trumpet after trumpet is blown, and bowl judgment upon bowl of judgment is poured out on this earth in preparation for the coming Kingdom of God.
AN ABOMINATION CLOSE TO HOME
One thing I wish you to ponder, does the blood of people slain only apply to Christians who were slain? Is not the destruction of many innocents, as was done in the preceding examples describe what is going on right now in our own land of the free? There is a wholesale destruction of whole class of people, the unborn. Is the USA ripe for judgment and divine justice? I believe we are on the cusp if right now. You read about the plight of whole groups of people who die in martyrdom in other lands around the globe, but are we not doing the exact same thing that Jeremiah prophesied to the land of Israel, or Moses to the land of Egypt? Have we not spilled the blood of the innocent who had no right to choose? Are we not giving a free pass to those who give creedence to a class of people who defile themselves with one another and want legislation to protect their right to do evil in the site of God. The homosexual agenda is growing rapidly in America. Today is "cool" to be gay, but not far in the past, it was hid in the closest as an evil against mankind, but no more. They push for legislation to give them preferred treatment for their abomination...God is "allowing" this evil to exist for a time, but justice is forthcoming on both evils of abortion and homosexuality and they will NOT escape those that do not repent before it is too late, and judgment will fall on each like a 100# hammer on top of their heads.
It's enough to make a person rise up to take vengeance. I understand the emotions of people who wish to stamp out abortion clinics with blowing it up or taking a swipe at a blatant homosexual who is in your face crying "it's the sweet one". (Oh how I hate that Diet Dr. Pepper commercial), but is it our place to enact vengeance. My bible says it is not.
"Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath `of God': for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord".(Romans 12:19)
And wrath is what is coming as spoken of in Romans:
1:18 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"(Romans 1:18-20)
Again, a warning in Revelation :
6:15 "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"(Revelation 6:15-17)
Never underestimate the coming judgment. It is blossoming in all its unspeakable horror all around us, and it will only get worse. We see the terror of Christians in the middle east, who are be-headed by Muslim fanatics, or women stoned for men's insane description of belief in their Koran to do so. Men killing other men, and we wonder if the Tribulation is here already?.
Is it? No, but this is just a warm up of what is coming, as it will be world wide, not just a local atrocity in the Middle East, but coming to every continent on this earth. But that is at the hands of men. This coming time period we call Tribulation, is not to be compared with the evil committed by men. No, this coming time period is justice and righteous indignation of the wrath of God that will make everything else concerning the death of men, pale in comparison.
I have spoke of this in times past, but if you take the scriptures spoken of in Revelation and the amount of death of whole populations of the earth combined, of the approximately 7 billion people on this earth right now, close to 75% of them will be destroyed in God's wrath...that is estimating 5-6 billion people killed by God's coming wrath. And who can blame God for doing so? God has been patient for 6000 years for man to rule himself and turn to God and follow His commandments. He even sent His only Begotten Son as a substitute for the penalty that we all deserve, and that is death. But the world, at large has rejected His salvation found in His only Son. God's patience appears to be running out, as the signs and symptoms of a coming Tribulation is growing louder and louder, and the pangs of earth's redemption from sin through excising rebellion from this earth, much as a surgeon uses a scalpel to remove dead and decaying flesh, is fast approaching.
6:7 " Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."(Galatians 6:7-8)
All who have committed evil in the sight of God will meet sure and righteous justice. Christians, make yourself ready to meet thy God:
Psalms 50:1 "The Mighty One, God, the LORD, has spoken, And summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.50:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth.50:3 May our God come and not keep silence; Fire devours before Him, And it is very tempestuous around Him.50:4 He summons the heavens above, And the earth, to judge His people:50:5 "Gather My godly ones to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."(Psalms 50:1-5)
To me, this speaks of the coming judgment of God on this earth, and God gathering His children to being taken out of the way in what is popularly called the "rapture" the bible calls in Greek, the HARPAZO or the snatching away, by force of those who are found in Christ.
It speaks of sacrifice. Have you made a sacrifice to God? He is not speaking of animal sacrifice of bulls and goats that foreshadowed the perfect sacrifice that was nailed to a Roman cross almost 2000 years ago. That sacrifice was the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus the Messiah. If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, been baptized, and follow His example, then you have made the perfect Sacrifice before God. You that have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of your life, you have been covered with the blood, which God imparts righteousness to you, because of Him. We wait for the adoption process to be completed. We have the down payment of God's Holy Spirit residing with our spirit, but we wait for the adoption, to be born of the Spirit.
How do we know this? Romans chapter 8:
8:16 " The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:8:17 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.8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."(Romans 8:16-23)
EACH OF US HAVE LIBERTY TO CHOOSE
You and I were given liberty to choose the god of this world, or cast it off and believe in the only Begotten Son of God, who takes away the sins of the world. You who have believed and exercised your faith that to you, it became so simple, so easy that you cannot understand why not all of the world doesn't see it.....very simple reason, liberty.
1st Corinthians chapter 1:
1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."(1st Corinthians 1:18-25)
WHICH "GOD" DO YOU FOLLOW...THE TRUTH OR THE FALSE?
You who read these warning, and examples of the coming wrath of Almighty God, where do you stand? You, like all of us, have been given liberty to choose. Will you stand for good or evil, life or death? To choose this life and all it's trappings of sinful pleasure, is to choose death, but to give your heart and soul to the Creator of your soul and spirit, by believing on the only Begotten Son of God, is to choose life. It is a free will decision. God will not beat you about the head into submission and He will not wait forever. He wants you to fall in love with Him and follow Him out of your own free will choice, not out of coercion, but because you see Him as He is, Almighty God and you long to be with Him and return to Him that gave you life, and He will grant you life eternal!
2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.(Ephesians 2:8-9)
And again, Paul tell us about what our Lord did for you and I in Romans :
.5:6 "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."(Romans 5:6-11)
Take that God given liberty, your free will choice and make that commitment to follow Him, Jesus Christ, wherever He may lead you. Do it today, as to stand before Almighty God without being clothed in the righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ at judgment day will convict you to receive His righteous wrath.
16 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)
It is so simple, that a small boy of 10 years old did out of the knowledge that I needed Jesus..that boy was me. God made it very simple, as it is done by faith, through the Grace of God...but you have to humble yourself and come to God in true repentance and ask Jesus to be Lord of your life..In child-like faith....and you know what, He will do just that...He is but a prayer of faith away...
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.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."(Romans 10:8-13)
SPEAK IT, believe it, embrace it, and internalize it within yourself and ask God, our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit to come into your life, and thou shalt be saved....God will remove you from the coming wrath of God that is going to fall on every square inch of this planet for 7 horrific years...and "THEY WILL NOT ESCAPE"
2 "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation." (1ST Thessalonians 5:2-8)
Call upon Jesus, our Lord and Savior and He will deliver you from the evil to come....So come Lord Jesus.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, wishing God's love and salvation through the shed blood of His Son come into your life. If you have a need, a prayer request, need counseling in Biblical Christian living email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit me online for more biblical lessons from the Word of God at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , God bless you, till we meet at Jesus feet.
The Iranian Government's 40 Years of Hatred Towards America - by Majid Rafizadeh -
The argument that the US must take an apologetic stance towards the theocratic establishment of Iran is being repeatedly made without the evidence of any effectiveness to back it up.
Former President Barack Obama created this policy, and insisted that it would be successful. Even as Iran flaunted its disregard for the American government, as well as human life, President Obama would continually apologize to the Iranian leaders. He made it sound as if America was to blame for initiating the hatred that the Iranian government projects toward the United States.
But let us get the historical facts straight. Hatred and deep antagonism towards the US, Israel and the Jews are indispensable pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran. When the ruling mullahs came to power in 1979, it was not the US that started the hatred by criticizing or opposing the ruling clerics. In fact, former President Jimmy Carter welcomed the Islamic Republic and viewed Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a good religious holy man. According to recently declassified documents, the Carter administration even paved the way for Khomeini to return to Iran.
Such amicable behavior and support from the US, however, did not change Tehran's policies. The Islamic Republic still publicly declared its revolutionary ideals, which, from the outset, included standing against Israel and the US.
It was Iran, not the US, that breached international law by carrying out the 1979 US Embassy takeover in Tehran. Iran detained and humiliated 52 Americans and did not release these hostages for 444 days, the longest hostage-taking in modern history.
This was the beginning of the journey of hatred. It was also Iran, not the US, that immediately began using its proxies, such as Hezbollah, to commit terrorism and incite antagonism towards America.
Hezbollah has been accused of terrorist attacks, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut, in which 241 U.S. Marines were killed; the 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing in Beirut; the 1984 United States Embassy annex bombing in Beirut; as well as the 9/11 attacks in the United States, for which federal courts ordered Iran to pay $7.5 billion to the families of the victims of the horrific attack. Hezbollah and Iran were also reportedly behind the 1992 attack on Israel's Embassy in Buenos Aires during which 29 people were killed, as well as bombing the USS Cole.
It was the Iranian government that provided aid to Al Qaeda to carry out terrorist attacks against the US. A New York court found that "The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran ("Iran") has a long history of providing material aid and support to terrorist organizations including al Qaeda, which have claimed responsibility for the August 7, 1998 embassy bombings."
The New York federal court added that "Iran had been the preeminent state sponsor of terrorism against the United States and its interests for decades. Throughout the 1990s - at least - Iran regarded al Qaeda as a useful tool to destabilize U.S. interests. As discussed in detail below, the government of Iran aided, abetted and conspired with Hezbollah, Osama Bin Laden, and al Qaeda to launch large-scale bombing attacks against the United States by utilizing the sophisticated delivery mechanism of powerful suicide truck bombs."
While former President Barack Obama was busy apologizing to, and appeasing Iran, the Islamic Republic continued its terror against the US by carrying out unneighborly acts such as detaining 10 U.S. Navy sailors, humiliating them, and releasing a video of the episode. The list goes on.
The US has nothing to apologize for. Why should the US appease the Iranian leaders? Should the mullahs be appeased for killing thousands of Americans? For continually taking Americans as hostages? For being the leading executioner of children in the world? For ranking the first in the world per capita when it comes to executing people? For being the world's top state sponsor of terrorism? For making every possible effort to damage US national security and scuttle US foreign policy objectives?
The Iranian government's hatred towards the US often seems the most important reason for its existence. As long as the ruling mullahs remain in power, the Islamic Republic will continue its acts of terror and deep antagonism against Americans, their Sunni neighbors, the lands they try to control -- such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, parts of Gaza and Venezuela, Lebanon -- and the West.
Supernatural: Good and Evil
- Nathele Graham - email@example.com
Many Christians tend to see things with an "either or" mindset. Either something is good or it's bad. The distinction between good and bad is usually dictated by a particular denomination. Too often denominational teachings aren't as Biblical as they should be. God's word is the authority and it hasn't changed. Every Christian needs to look at all things through the lens of Scripture and act in a Biblical way. For instance, Scripture says not to judge. On the other hand it also says we are to discern. There's a fine line between discernment and judgment, and God gave us Scripture to use as a guide for our own actions and to discern the actions of others. We cannot expect people who haven't accepted Christ to act according to Scripture, and we cannot allow them to be members of a congregation. Unfortunately there's a lot of un-Scriptural ways entering into many congregations because Christians are so afraid of judging that they forget to discern. Even people who claim to be Christians embrace sin and must turn away from it or leave the congregation. Satan is trying hard to destroy the Christian faith.
Jesus related a series of parables regarding the Kingdom of God and one warns of satanic forces entering congregations. "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way." Matthew 13:24-25. Jesus gives the interpretation of this parable. The One who sows the good seed is the Son of man (Jesus), the field is the world, the good seeds are the "children of the kingdom", and the tares are the children of the wicked one (see Matthew 13:37-43). This "infiltration" by the enemy is growing as God's truth is being ignored by Christians. As Christians sleep, Satan grows strong. We can't control the tares of the world, but we need to control ourselves and what is allowed into our congregations. Only Scripture will help you discern the difference between good and evil so as not to allow the tares to take over. If a non-believer wants to become a part of a Christian fellowship, they must first accept Christ and turn from their wicked ways. The battle is real, but it's a supernatural war we're in.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines supernatural as "1) relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe. Especially of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil. 2) (a) departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature (b) attributed to an invisible agent (such as a ghost or spirit). Scripture tells us to stay away from certain things, such as drug use and witchcraft, because both allow demonic, supernatural forces to influence our lives. There are many other things which need to be avoided in order to serve the Lord. "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lascivousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21. This is a short list of satanic practices which are the tares infiltrating Christian congregations. If you look up these words in a good concordance you'll see that many of these practices (such as homosexuality and other sexual sin) have a stronghold in Christian congregations. The word "witchcraft" is from the Greek word "pharmakeia" which is using or administering drugs, poisoning, and magical arts. Be very careful when taking drugs that alter your mind and behavior...prescription or non-prescription. When a person comes to Christ there must be an attitude change as well as a heart change. Jesus forgives all sin, but there can be no forgiveness without repentance.
We need to be extremely cautious about the supernatural. There's both good and evil in the supernatural world. Many Christians are so afraid of embracing the evil supernatural that we forget that God is supernatural. There are good spirits of God and evil spirits of Satan. We need to discern the difference. Most Christians just group all supernatural activity together and don't allow the Holy Spirit to work through us. By denying the supernatural power of God we allow evil to grow stronger. Do we really believe what we read in Scripture? God has done many supernatural things throughout history but do we believe it? For instance, during the Exodus from Egypt God showed His supernatural protection over and over to the Israelites, but they kept disbelieving. If the plagues weren't enough to convince them that God was working supernaturally to benefit them, the parting of the Red Sea should have convinced them that Almighty God was helping them supernaturally. "And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: but lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea." Exodus 14:15-16. Many people have tried to give a natural explanation for this, but there is none. This was a supernatural act of God. Not only did He part the sea so the Israelites could pass through, He didn't force them to walk through a muddy, swampy bog. They walked on dry ground. The Israelites passed through safely, but when the Egyptian army entered they were all drown. That's the supernatural hand of God at work. There are many more incidences just as miraculous as this. Water gushed from a rock, manna fell from heaven, a pillar of cloud led them by day and a pillar of fire by night, and so on. Instead of embracing the supernatural protection of God they kept yearning to return to the supernatural demonic evil found in Egypyt. Their disbelief stopped them from entering the Promised Land. God's supernatural power is as real today as it was back then and we still deny His power.
Scripture reveals many, many supernatural events that God made happen, such as Balaam's donkey speaking to him, Elijah and his showdown with the prophets of Baal, Daniel in the den of lions, and so many more that I can't list them all. God's supernatural powers are also clearly seen in the New Testament. Beginning with the Virgin Birth we see God's power working through the Holy Spirit. Examples of the power of the Holy Spirit are seen when Jesus miraculously healed people and cast out demons, He walked on water, the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost, the Apostles healed people, and so on. After His resurrection, Jesus supernaturally entered a locked room where His disciples were hiding. "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." John 20:19. Jesus, who had been crucified and buried, entered a locked room. That's supernatural. If the disciples hadn't accepted the fact that Jesus was supernaturally there with them, they never would have been filled with the Holy Spirit nor established the Christian faith. They did great things because they understood that they served a supernatural Saviour and weren't afraid to allow Him to work through them. Many people today claim that the power given by the Holy Spirit stopped with the Apostles. That's a lie which Satan has spread so that Christians will deny the power we have through Christ.
Make no mistake. Satan and his demons are real and a powerful supernatural force. Christians need to resist him and fight against the evil he spews. "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." Ephesians 6:12. The entities mentioned here are evil satanic beings. Why don't Christians believe God's word? This fight, or wrestling, is with us every day, and if you're not fighting against it then you might ask yourself "Which side am I on?" Everyday there are news stories about one evil manifestation or another. Have you heard of Slender Man? He's supposedly just an internet story made up to scare people. This "story" prompted two young girls to stab a friend multiple times and leave her for dead in order to go to Slender Man. He's a demonic force and has caused many crimes. Parents must be vigilant in what music their children listen to (so much is about demons), what movies they watch (so many have demonic storylines), what video games they play (yep, more demon infiltration), and what they look at on the internet (much content is demonic and aimed at children). Demon possession is real. Jesus cast out many demons but today medical "experts" just say it's a mental disorder and dispense drugs to stop the bad behavior. Drugs open a portal in which demons can enter. Have you allowed your hyperactive child to take drugs to calm him? Ouija Boards are becoming popular, but they're demonic and can lead to much evil. Christians must stand upon God's word and eschew all forms of evil. "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." Ephesians 6:13. Spiritual weapons from God are required to fight the supernatural enemy.
Christians have protection. We have the Lord. The problem is we deny His power because we believe all supernatural is evil. Scripture encourages us to test spirits to see if they are of God. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1. Someone may claim to be of God but in reality are working for Satan. Be cautious and pray. Many false teachings are entering our congregations and they are being accepted by wishy-washy Christians who deny God's greater power. "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:13-14. Demonic evil can look very good if you don't stay close to God and test the spirits by using prayer and Scripture.
Too often Christians divide life into categories - one category is what we do on Sunday and one category is what happens the rest of the week. We live with one foot in the world and that opens the way to being duped by satanic evil. How do we avoid supernatural evil? By closely following the Supernatural God of all creation. "Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot Special Edition-Alabama bans abortion - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The neo-communists are experiencing apoplexy (a sudden and often fatal fit resulting from blood vessels bursting in the brain) over Alabama's Republican governor Kay Ivey signing into law the virtual ban of abortion in the state. All abortions are banned with one exception-a serious risk to the woman's health-and doctors performing banned abortions could go to prison for life. CNN Chief Legal Analyst and New Yorker Staff Writer Jeffrey Toobin lamented that the ban will be upheld by the Supreme Court and "every woman in Alabama who gets pregnant is going to be forced to give birth soon. And that's going to be true in Alabama, and it's going to be true in Missouri, and it's going to be true probably in Georgia."
Leftist presidential candidate Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) wasted no time in misrepresenting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., saying, "This is an assault on human rights. This is an assault on basic fundamental ideal that you can control your own body. We know from Alabama's jail by Martin Luther King, he said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. This is that case." Yes King said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. He also said, "The Negro cannot win if he is willing to sacrifice the futures of his children for immediate personal comfort and safety." King's niece, Dr. Alveda King has repeatedly maintained that "the abortion agenda is in direct conflict with the teachings of Dr. King."
What is more unjust than ripping a pre-born baby apart in the womb? It was during the debate in the Alabama statehouse that Democratic Representative John Rogers, a Black man, said, "I'm not about to tell a woman what to do with her body. She has the right to make the decision herself. Some kids are unwanted-so we kill them now or kill them later. You bring them in the world unwanted and unloved, you send them to the electric chair. You kill them now, you kill them later--but the bottom line is that I think we shouldn't be making this decision." This is the exact thinking of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, a white woman who supported Adolph Hitler and advocated eugenics as a solution to ridding the planet of Black people.
Republicans and Christians are being labeled misogynists and Nazis for supporting the pro-life agenda and, especially, the Alabama abortion law. Some Hollywood types are saying that they will become abstinent in protest-which in reality underscores the oft-denied and mocked fact that many use abortion as a means of birth control. They are fighting for the right to kill their babies, even while many admit that abortion is not for them. They claim abortion is a right. But our Declaration of Independence cites that every citizen has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Without life, one cannot experience liberty and pursuit of happiness. As Deuteronomy 30:19 commands, "Choose life that you and your seed might live." Alabama has made its choice loud and clear--for life.
Daily Jot: What to do Part 3 - Bill Wilson -
In What to do parts 1 and 2 we discussed ways to prepare yourself to take action in changing the condition of our nation. Self-examination, relationship with Christ, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, educating yourself, preparing for battle, not becoming offended, and prayer are all steps in getting ready to take action. I can already hear many people saying, "Bill, we have done all that, get to the point." I must say that after being in the arena, first in journalism, then in politics, then business and now ministry, there is no substitute for preparation. You have got to know who you are, what you are trying to accomplish, and who is leading you otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure. Now let's look at practical ways to act.
In Ephesians 6:20, the Apostle Paul prays, "that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." This nation has been on a spiritual and moral decline for decades. It is not going to be fixed over night. We are going to have to do the painstaking task of heart to heart combat-changing hearts by our words and deeds. When we hear injustice, we need to speak about it and point it out-not in an offensive way because that would be just like those committing the injustice-in ways that are factual, in love and in truth. This needs to start in your family and expand out like the ripple a rock makes when you throw it in a pond. Look for opportunities to bring common sense to others that may make them think about the idiocy they are promoting.
Another way is to organize and take part in civil disobedience. In October 2013, the World War II vets were so frustrated with the occupant of the Oval Office shutting down the Memorials that they stormed them. With a little help from some politicians and younger vets, they went in their walkers and wheel chairs and on foot and took down the barriers. They toured the memorials and then took the barriers over to the White House where they left them in front of officers dressed in riot gear. This is an example of what we need in this country. We need people who will go to the streets and start opposing the unconstitutional and disrespectful acts of the usurpers. They felt they had nothing to lose.
Until Americans feel they have nothing to lose except the freedom the government is taking away, we probably will not see an end to this tyranny. The price of freedom is great. Doing what we are commanded by the Holy Scriptures, making disciples, standing on the righteousness of Christ, overcoming evil with good are all things we can do to change things for the better. Don't be political, be practical. Don't be symbolic, be sensible. Don't be emotional, be experiential. And having done all, stand. Trouble is, we are a long ways from having done all. In looking at what can be done politically to change the nation, there is a model that we can follow that is working today. Next Jot. Stay tuned for What to do Part 4.
FROM THE HEART
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