Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Is Eternal Security Biblical? - Pastor Mike Taylor -
8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:8-10)
We have been having a discussion on a forum, and some get very belligerant over the issue of OSAS (ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED). It's a doctrine that causes some very strong opinions when you address the question, "Are we saved for all eternity and is "eternal security" a license to sin?" Let me address those questions separately in this message.
When I say "strong opinions" as men/women are mortal and the human nature of mankind is to want to be right. To challenge a long embraced doctrinal belief, even with scripture, is to threaten the intellectual part of a person and many people who resort to being antagonistic just can't handle being told they are wrong.
I had one lady on the forum make the following statement :
"So my line of thought is....
If you're Catholic and don't believe in eternal security (because you think it's a license to sin), yet you believe that you must go to purgatory for the purification of sin, then how is that eternal security?...
Why is it that those who believe in eternal security are looked down on because we know that we sin (as the Catholics do), but we believe that since salvation is given and not earned, we can't lose it ? "
And then you have the alternate belief of a religion who bases their salvation on a work based platform and denounce those who follow what scripture says and hold onto a legalistic viewpoint that they must obey their church. Thus they speak that their church is the final authority and not the Bible. We must raise the question proposed:
""What about someone who professes to be a Christian and accepts they are a sinner, and admits Jesus died for their sins -- yet they continue to live an unrepentant sinful life?" That's a good question. So what's the answer? Let us first define what the belief of "eternal security" actually is.
Taking the definition from a purely secular definition found on Wikipedia, the definition is pretty straight forward:
"Perseverance of the saints (also referred to as eternal security as well as the similar but distinct doctrine known as "Once Saved, Always Saved") is a teaching that asserts that once persons are truly "born of God" or "regenerated" by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, nothing in heaven or earth "shall be able to separate (them) from the love of God" (Romans 8:39) resulting in a reversal of the converted condition."
So since those of the "mother church" Roman Catholicism, and Evangelical Christianity both can't be right, we must turn to the final authority and what is found in your Bible...Now RCC will argue traditions and the writings of the "apostolic fathers", but when tradition contradicts the Bible, then the Bible takes precedence. But you must interpret the clear meaning of scripture through the Holy Spirit, as the doctrines of salvation are spiritually discerned.
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.
19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21For 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." (1st Corinthians 1:18-21)
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.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1st Corinthians 2:12-14)
We all know someone that went to church, accepted Jesus, then fell away and right back into the life they were living before they got saved. They still talk about Jesus and use Christian buzzwords when around other Christians, but that is about the only visible extent of their conversion. That's question is on both sides of this doctrine of eternal security, Catholic as well as Evangelical.
Those who profess Jesus Christ, but still continue in sins of the flesh..some more, some less. They don't continue to gather at your local church, they may continue to smoke, they may have loose lips and say profanity either out of anger, or just habit, but claim to believe, or other various sins that are of this world...Are they really saved? Taking the arguments of those on the afore mentioned forums, the transformation of an angry, worldly person over a long, painful period didn't just happen...it didn't change them from their old habits into the glorious image of our Lord and Savior at the point of conversion. It take a long period of willing sacrifice and the question of salvation is not of works, but the question is, if there are no works after salvation, was the salvation real or imagined?
Can someone believe themselves to be saved and heaven-bound without demonstrating any kind of relationship with Christ? Quoting the forum post directly, can a person "just claim knowledge of the saving grace of God, but never put it into practice?" I have to sympathize with the person who posed the question, as living a Christian life in this world, is not easy because the transition and the transformation process from one extreme (a lost sinner) to the other (a changed life) is a painful process that some Christians prefer not to take the trip.
But is the process of transformation, evident by works, a requirement of salvation? For that is the question in the final analysis. That is the question each of us ask. Can we be saved and continue to sin? Paul spoke of this in Romans chp. 7:
19" For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."(Romans 7:19-25)
Although any of who truly believe, struggle in this life to be free of sin, but being a mortal still and not yet changed into what Jesus Christ is when He comes for His bride at the Rapture, we continue to sin. Not as much maybe, as we did before conversion, but we still mess up...some more than others....But God has a way of getting our attention when we stray too far. I call it the "Woodshed experience with Almighty God"....God will chastise us in varying degrees, from mild to severe. It may be a rebuke, it may be effects on your finances, or family relationships, or your place of employment, and to the extreme, your health, even to the point of death.
I have seen every aspect of what I speak of, and have known people who got "saved" but had a tough time ending their sins of the flesh. I have seen people to the point of death, and those whose demise was instantaneous due to accident or long suffering through illness. God has a way of getting your attention, and some of them none of us would want to experience. Each of us, who call upon the Name of the Lord, if we ever stray, we know that God sees and will NOT loose one that Jesus has bought with His own blood.
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 6:39-40)
Trust me when I say, none of us want to be disciplined by Almighty God. Better to confess your sin in true repentance, as you will no doubt make an error some time in your Christian life, and the Holy Spirit will convict those who are His, and we must repent and ask forgiveness.
JESUS EXPLAINS THE DIFFERENCE IN OSAS
I want to explore a parable that Jesus told to those who condemned Him for eating with tax collectors who were the most hated of the Jewish society, as they were viewed as traitors by working for the Roman authorities.
We all know the story of the Prodigal Son, but to quickly summarize, Jesus spoke of a man with two sons. One demanded his inheritance and went off and lived a riotous, sinful life. The other son stayed home and worked for his father on the family farm. Ultimately, the younger son found himself in the pig pen competing with the pigs for the corn husk (the most foul unclean destiny for any observant Jew could imagine). Meanwhile, the elder son, (the more serious one) put his love for his father into action by working in the fields, obeying his father's commands, and served him faithfully.
The comparison is stark and deliberate and Jesus used the parable to make a point to those who questioned Him, and it sounds like some of the questions proposed on this forum by certain members. I don't believe the similarity is accidental. On one hand, we have an unrepentant, lustful, disobedient son squandering his inheritance on sinful living, shaming his father everywhere he goes. He cares about nothing but himself and wastes all that his father gave him.
On the other, we find the obedient, hardworking and honorable son, working at his father's business, because he loves his father. He isn't working at his father's business to earn his inheritance. He already has that by virtue of his sonship. He is working that hard out of love.
So when the disobedient, lustful son shows up and is received as an equal to the obedient son, the obedient son says, "How can this be?"
"And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf." (Luke 15:29-30)
So how is it that the one son who had left his father and the elder son who honored his father, and this sinful son who has just now returned and given a joyful welcome, are by any means equal?
ON first glance, the elder son has a legitimate point, but still the lesson is even though the elder son was obedient, he didn't do it for his inheritance, since it was his by being his father's son, but the younger son didn't loose his being his father's son by squandering away his inheritance either.
So from this parable that Jesus spoke in answer to those who made a difference between classes of people in the Jewish society, can we make the same comparison of those who claim to be Christian and have accepted Jesus as Personal Savior and ask the question ""Can a person be a son of God without putting their faith into practice?" would appear to be, yes. I am reminded of what Paul wrote at the end of Romans chapter 8 and it begs a closer examination of this doctrine:
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?
33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34Who 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.
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39Nor 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 8:33-39)
Nothing can separate us from the love of God...NOTHING...not even ourselves. Jesus said that He will loose none who He has chosen AS quoted above in John chp. 6....Jesus will LOOSE none. He has given a deposit of His Holy Spirit that guarantees our glorification because of His resurrection, so shall we be resurrected or changed in the twinkling of eye, at the rapture.
There are no shades of gray when it comes to salvation. Either one is a child of God, or one is not. It is an issue of "relationship" not behavior. One does not work his way into a family relationship. It is not earned, it is given as a gift. Nothing we can do will earn us salvation. Our works will not impart righteousness to our account. For Isaiah wrote :
6 "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
7And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities." (Isaiah 64:6-7)
One need not be in fellowship to still be part of that family. I know of many father and sons, or even daughters who have no fellowship to speak of, but that does NOT make them unrelated. They are still father and son/daughter. That does not change.
Which brings us to the next, and most obvious question. How does one enter into a family relationship with God?
"And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? " And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." (Acts 16:30-31)
"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." (Romans 10:9)
"I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins." (John 8:24)
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.: (1 John 1:9)
"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. (Romans 8:15)
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." (Galatians 4:6)
("Abba" is the Hebrew equivalent to "Daddy" -- and that is how the Lord pictures the relationship between the Father and a Christian.)
Remember the time when you were first saved? I do very clearly. For each of us, there is the period of time before we were saved, and then the moments when we made that confession and belief in Jesus Christ as Savior, followed by all the time we have left on this earth. We are to repent of our sins at this moment of conversion, as that is the beginning of our conversion from what we were, into what we have now become...a child of God.
But do works save us? Not as some religions believe, but works are a by-product of those truly "born again" at the moment of accepting Jesus as personal Savior and strive to become more like Jesus. James said it well in his epistle:
17 "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"(James 2:17-20)
Christian works of ministry is a by-product of following after our Lord and Savior doing what He has commanded. Works will not save anyone, as Jesus is the only way back to the Father in heaven.
"6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." (John 6:6-7)
Works will create treasures in heaven, that when we stand before Jesus Christ at the Bema Judgement seat, He will reward those things done in His Name and for His glory.
EACH OF US MUST REPENT TO BE SAVED
The English Bible translates repent from the Greek word metanoeo, which means, "to change one's mind" -- in this case, about one's sin. So an "unrepentant Christian" is an oxymoron. If one is a Christian, one has already changed one's mind about one's sin.
The moments that come afterwards cannot undo the moment that has already occurred. Hang with me here as I prove the point by following what God said, not what man believes is true from following their church's traditions.
There are some important points to understand when we look at the story of the prodigal son mentioned earlier in this message.
1) He is still his father's son, no matter what has happened.
The father assures the obedient son that all that the father has belongs to him.
28 "And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." Luke 15:28-32)
2. The prodigal son gets nothing but a warm greeting and a place to call home. The elder son's inheritance is fully intact. The obedient son lived a sheltered life, protected by the father and never suffered the indignities, pain, hunger, shame and guilt that racked the prodigal's life. The obedient son will always be in charge. The prodigal is grateful to have a bed.
3. We get another picture of the difference between the obedient son and the prodigal son in Paul's letter to the Corinthians describing such a scene in heaven before the judgment seat of Christ.
11" For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1st Corinthians 3:11-15)
This is a picture of the obedient son standing in front of his Savior and being confused why another who is there at all, because they didn't live like a Christian. (a prodigal son Christian) The obedient son receives the rewards for those things done in his body for the Father here on earth and those done for the Name of His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He is rewarded for his struggles here on earth, for proclaiming the witness of Jesus Christ and being good stewards of the talents given to him and doing his Father's business.
Then comes the prodigal son...you know that Christian we are all judged here on earth as not deserving any kind of reward, or even a place in heaven.
Note that he is also standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ. Not because of his obedience, but because of his status as a son. That status was extended to him, the moment he accepted Jesus as personal Savior. At the moment of salvation, he changed his mind about sin and accepted the free pardon extended to him. He asked Jesus into his heart, he was washed clean of all of his sins, past, present AND future. He was adopted into the family of God and was saved.
Now he stands before Jesus being judged for his rewards, or "inheritance" ...just as the prodigal son was judged as a son, but received nothing but a place to call home and a warm bed. His status as a son, has not changed, but he didn't do much for God in the life he lived. He may have been embarrassed to witness...he may have been a wall flower who didn't have much confidence and didn't rely on the strength God gives to those who ask. But he is still family. Note the last verse of the passage quoted in 1st Corinthians 3.
"If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1 Corinthians 3:15)
Note that he suffered loss....loss of rewards. But he himself will be saved, as THROUGH the fire. We don't know what heaven will be like, but those who just "get by" will not be given the responsibilities of a son to rule over God's Kingdom here on earth, and into eternity.
23 "His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:23)
42 "And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
43Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
44Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath." (Luke 12:42-44)
ETERNAL SECURITY MISUNDERSTOOD
Eternal security is NOT a license to sin, because your sin will find you out, sometimes even behind a "Divine Woodshed" and you don't want to be whooped as God can whip you. . If it be a habitual sin, it will kill your body. It will kill your witness for Jesus Christ and will kill your effectiveness for Christ. It may lead to disease, or it may lead to premature death. It will eliminate rewards handed out during Jesus Christ Bema Seat judgment.
Sin has consequences in this life, and it has consequences in the next life...In the next life, there will be Kings and princes allowed to rule, and there will be subjects and servants. There will be mansions, some greater than others....which suggest that some will end up with just an apartment and a place to call home. But being tried by fire and coming through the fire, as the scripture says "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." means he is allowed to live. Why? Because he is a son, and has Jesus found in his heart when he received the deposit of His Holy Spirit at conversion and repented of his past sins. We are saved by grace. Grace is defined receiving something you did not earn. Mercy is defined as something you earned but did not receive, which is death.
Being saved means literally being saved from "the second death" and not being cast out into outer darkness where Jesus described it several times, "where the worm dieth not, or the fire quenched". The rest is determined by your obedience and did you follow the commands of our Lord God? Did you conform to the image of His Son, or did you just get by?
THE WAR BETWEEN THE SPIRIT AND THE FLESH
But if you follow the scriptures, you realize that no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to be perfect. You will still sin...maybe not to the level that you practiced before salvation, but in God's eyes, sin is sin....and Paul lamented in Romans chapter 7 of this very fact which we quoted above about the war between the spirit and the flesh.
But moving on into chapter 8, Paul gives us even more truth of our inability to totally quit sinning in that we strive to follow the Spirit and subject our flesh to God's law though imperfectly.
1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Roman 8:1-2)
Not that we are free from the law of sin and death....its penalty, YES, but not from sin entirely...it's humanly impossible, because we are still mortal.
But those who strive to keep themselves from sin, are like the obedient son..Obedient Christians aren't wasting their time being good when they could be out partying. They are laying up for themselves treasures in heaven, like contributions to a heavenly 401k.
19 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)
You don't need a 401K to retire here on earth, but if you don't have one, you'll regret it...so it is with eternity..if you don't lay up treasure in heaven and receive nothing but a place to call home at the Bema Judgment seat. As a Christian, you don't have to have works to get to heaven, but in the future, you will regret it...for all eternity.
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)
If you truly believed the point of the whole bible mentioned above and are truly "born again" with the Spirit of God living within your spirit, then let us act like Jesus is Lord of our life, and submit to His Holy Will. It will cause you to sing "Hallelujah" when Jesus speaks you name and says the one thing I want to hear above all else that was mentioned above, but I want to emphasize it here::
21 "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:21)
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying you find savings Grace and God's mercy..if you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , , , God bless you all, TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Burning of Red Heifer Takes Place in Preparation for Third Temple - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
This is the ritual law that Hashem has commanded: Instruct B'nei Yisrael to bring you a red cow without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which no yoke has been laid. Numbers 19:2 (The Israel Bible™)
A major step was made towards reinstating the Temple service: after an intensive study into the practical details, an actual heifer, albeit not a red one, was burned in precisely the manner that will enable the Jewish people to be purified.
The Most Enigmatic Commandment
Chapter 19 of the Book of Numbers gives an in-depth description of the mitzvah (Torah commandment) of the burning of the red heifer and subsequent mixing with water for the purpose of sprinkling on the Jews as a means of ritual purification from contact with a dead body. Despite the Biblical description, the mitzvah of the red heifer is considered the most enigmatic of all the Biblical commandments. The red heifer is essential to the restoration of the Temple service.
The return of the mitzvah of the red heifer is described by the Prophet Ezekiel as a stage in the final redemption.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your fetishes. Ezekiel 36:25
The red heifer is not a sacrifice per se so it is burned in an area outside of the Temple, on the Mount of Olives. According to Jewish tradition, there have been nine red heifers since the mitzvah was given at Mount Sinai and the tenth red heifer will be used in the era of the Messiah. The last red heifer was prepared by the high priest Ishmael Ben Piavi around 60 CE and its ashes sufficed for the next three hundred years.
Science Meets the Bible
Last Wednesday, Professor Zohar Amar, a Professor in the Department of Land of Israel Studies at Bar-Ilan University, reported at a Temple Institute Conference on his studies into the practical details of reinstating the mitzvah (Torah commandment) of the red heifer. Professor Amar has been involved in various areas of research that link Torah and science. His approach is to harness contemporary research techniques to scholarship in Jewish Studies.
"The burning of the red heifer is a biblical commandment which was performed until the end of the Second Temple period," Professor Amar told the conference. "This is a rare ceremony that took place once in several generations, and the ashes were used to prepare sanctified water that granted ritual purification. Historical sources indicate that the practice of purification using the ashes of the red heifer continued until the beginning of the fourth century CE."
"The details of burning the heifer and the method of preparing the ashes appear extensively in sources from the Mishnaic periods; heretofore, the subject has only been studied theoretically," Prof Amar said, explaining that he conducted his research in cooperation with the Temple Institute. "A simulated experiment of burning a red heifer was conducted to investigate several research questions, such as: How much wood was required to burn a red heifer completely to ashes and how much ash actually remained after the burning?. How is it possible that ashes from immolating one heifer, as it appears in the sources, can supply ritual purposes for many years?"
"One of the models that were used to build the experimental program was the rite of cremation which is conducted to this day in India and Nepal," Prof. Amar explained. "The design of the entire experiment took many months, and the implementation itself was carried out far from the eye of the public and the media. Only after analyzing the results did it become possible to publish it. In the course of the experiment, all of the specifications mentioned in the sources were reconstructed, beginning with the excavation of a 'winepress; a rectangular pit, in which the pyre was built of dried wood of the pine, oak, and fig trees."
"For the purpose of the experiment, a mature sick heifer was selected of the Baladi breed which was prevalent in ancient Israel," Prof. Amar said, emphasizing that the heifer used in the experiment was not red. "The process of burning lasted some nine hours, and the heifer's ashes together with the wood used to burn it yielded several tens of kilograms of ashes. It emerges that the amount of ash needed to prepare the ritual water was a minute amount sprinkled over the water. Based on the amount of ash obtained, the investigator proposed a theoretical model to calculate how many instances of sprinkling the water this amount could actually yield. This is a groundbreaking study of historical significance because there has been no investigation into the practical implementation of the laws of the red heifer since the destruction of the Temple."
The experiment was designed to check the amount of ash produced, and whether it would be enough to purify every Israelite living today.
Empirical Knowledge: Weights and Measures
According to Prof. Amar's research, the average amount of ash produced from Jerusalem pine is approximately 5.2 percent of the weight of the wood, 6.7 percent for almond trees, 8.5 percent for sycamore, 8.4 percent for cypress, and 5.4 percent for walnut. Prof. Amar confirmed the Mishna (oral law) which stated that the wood with the best qualities for burning the red heifer came from the fig trees which were common in the Temple era.
"The wood is fibrous and ignites easily," Professor Amar explained. "It then burns the other wood in the pyre. The ashe produced is quite fine and requires little sifting after burning."
Prof. Amar emphasized the importance of the wood.
"A continuous and intense fire is required since the red heifer must be completely consumed, bones and all," he said. "In this respect, it is similar to the cremation customs in Nepal and India which have been conducted for thousands of years, even until today."
His research concluded that in order to burn a heifer weighing one hundred kilograms (220 pounds), one-half ton of wood is required. The incineration is carried out in an open space and the fire reaches temperatures of 800-1000 degrees Celsius. At the end of the process, very little organic material remains and even the bones turn to powder. In the end, about 2-4 kilograms of ash remains from the body of the heifer, or about 5.3 percent of the original body.
According to Professor Amar, a half-ton heifer would require 5.2 tons of wood, or five kilograms wood for every kilogram of flesh.
Building the Pyre: Burning a Heifer
There are still several elements that must be verified before the actual ritual can be performed. The Temple Institute is still investigating the precise location where the red heifer is burned. For the purposes of the experiment, a trough was carved into the bedrock, 4.2 meters in length, two meters wide, and 90 centimeters deep. The pyre was constructed in the manner described in the oral torah as a "tower with windows".
For the trial burning, Prof. Amar used logs with a diameter of approximately 20 centimeters. The manner in which the logs were stacked allowed for the flames to entirely encompass the logs while also allowing for air to enter. The upper logs were approximately 1.9 meters long. The actual tower was built using pine, as per the oral Torah. The interior was filled with three layers: on the bottom were twigs and pine needles to facilitate the initial ignition. On them were place dried relatively thick fig trunks. Upon them were placed trunks of oak trees that burn intensely for an extended period of time.
A cow weighing 270 kilograms was used for the experiment and was ritually slaughtered adjacent to the prepared pyre. The blood required for the ritual was collected in the hand of a Kohen. The cow was lifted onto the pyre by 12 men using a jury-rigged litter.
The experiment was carried according to the strictest details of the ritual with the head of the cow towards the south and her legs facing west. When the experiment began, the fire spread quickly and within one hour, the belly of the cow collapsed. At this point, Cedarwood, hyssop, and scarlet-dyed wool were added to the pyre, as per the Biblical instructions.
After two hours, the fire reached a temperature of 940 degrees. The fire burned for nine hours but several days passed before the ashes had cooled sufficiently to allow them to be collected.
In addition to the heifer, 1.4 tons of wood were used in the experiment. This produced a total of 66 kilograms of ash, or about four percent of the original matter. Prof. Amar estimated that the ashes from the actual animal represented 11 kilograms of the total ash.
Billions of Jews Can Be Purified
The next stage of the experiment was to determine how many people could be purified by this quantity of ash. For the purification ritual, a tiny pinch of ash is sprinkled over barrels of spring water. Pro. Amar determined that in order to facilitate this process, tools should be used to grind the ash into a fine powder.
For a barrel containing 250 liters of water with an opening of 60 centimeters, Prof Amar determined that .2-.3 grams of ash would suffice. This works out to about one gram of ash per thousand liters of water.
Ritual purification requires only one drop to be sprinkled on each person or object. For the purposes of the experiment, Prof. Amar used bunches of three branches of common hyssop dipped into one centimeter of water. He then sprinkled the water into a container ten times. Using this method, he determined that one sprinkling required one-tenth of one millimeter of water.
On this basis, Professor Amar determined that 66 kilograms (145.5 lbs) of ash would be sufficient for at least 660 billion sprinklings.
He also noted that it is permitted to add wood. Each addition of one ton of wood would permit an additional 250 billion sprinklings.
"Even if we assume that some that a portion of the water will be wasted or not fully utilized, or if a portion of the ash is lost, in any case, the ashes from one red heifer will be sufficient for purifying a huge number of people," Prof. Amar concluded. "This clarifies how the ashes from one cow were sufficient to purify several generations of Israel even after the Temple itself was desecrated."
"For the people who strived with all their might in this project, it is not unreasonable that within a few years, this forgotten process of purification will be completely renewed," Prof. Amar concluded.
One Step Closer but Still in God's Hands
Rabbi Azariah Ariel has been charged with overseeing the search for a red heifer by the Temple Institute.
"In order for us to perform this mitzvah, we need a kosher red heifer to be born," Rabbi Ariel told Breaking Israel News. "This is in the hands of God. We know that this is rare but we don't even have the statistics to guess at how rare this actually is in nature. Even the ranchers we interviewed have no idea how rare this is."
"I could receive a phone call later today that a red heifer was born or it may be several years," Rabbi Ariel said. "We simply do not know and it is entirely in God's hands."
"We still do not have a certifiable red heifer," Rabbi Ariel said. "We are currently checking out two calves of the Angus breed that are five months old. For them to be considered heifers, as the Bible describes, they must be two years and one day old. There can be no blemish, no holes in the ear. If two hairs are not red, the heifer is unfit. There are Halachic issues with them right now since a few hairs may not be the correct shade of red, though this may be rectified as they get older."
"This project certainly taught us a great deal," Rabbi Ariel said. "This was the result of years of research into the written material. There will surely be more trial runs before we are ready for the ritual. But this certainly brought us closer to actualizing the return of the mitzvah."
"But from our side, the requirement to perform the ritual was established at Mount Sinai," Rabbi Ariel said. "Mitzvoth are not optional and we do not wait for them to float down from heaven. As Jews, we must do what we can to perform what God commanded."
Operation 10/40 - By Pete Garcia - https://rev310.com/2019/08/operation-10-40
Having spent three and a half years of my adult life embedded in the Middle East "sharing our culture" with the Iraqis, Afghanis, Jordanians, and Saudis, I feel like I can speak firsthand about our foreign policy experiment with a high degree of clarity that a lot of our pundits and politicians seem to not grasp.
Keep in mind now, this is neither chastisement nor a condemnation, but rather an honest observation about what we are doing (or not doing) in that particular area of the world to make the world a better place.
I read an article during my 2008 Afghanistan tour that profoundly changed my opinion about our chances for success over there. The article was written by a retired four-star Marine General, who for the life of me, I can't remember, nor had any success in finding the article. But the gist of it was if we really want to affect meaningful change in Afghanistan, we would need to commit hundreds of thousands of troops, over a 30-40 year window. In other words, it would take a whole generation to die off before the new generation could make things turn around for the better. From a completely secular standpoint, he might be on to something.
But, it made a lot of sense to me, considering I had studied the history of Afghanistan long before I ever went over there. Alexander the Great, the Mongols, the British, and the Russians all failed to affect change, although they were the superior powers in their respective days. In fact, the only thing that was able to sweep in there and really make a difference (for the worse, unfortunately) was the spread of Islam. The other day, I was reading a Cal Thomas article called 'Leave Afghanistan Now' and at the bottom of the article, was a single comment that just blew me away. It's what I've always known to be the truth, but have never been able to say as succinctly or as eloquently in my innumerable conversations about it, as this person has.
"So then, the predictions that historians made at the beginning of this conflict have been proven right. Afghan has never been held long by any superpower. The armies of Alexander, the massacres of the Mongols, the might of Britain and the technology of the Soviet Union have all failed to hold the country. They are a fiercely independent people, valuing individual freedom above security. The only conquest that was successful was a religious one, of Islam. It is Christianity, not Western culture, which is the answer to the chaos of Afghanistan. The biggest tactical mistake that the US army may have made was to burn a shipment of Afghan Bibles." (Phos)
Is it just me, or is that so blindingly spot on, that it should be taught in our War College as Doctrine? Think about it...all these mighty powers have come and gone in this rugged nation of proud tribal clans, and to date, not been able to do what the cult of Islam has done? We here in the West (and that is a collective 'We'), seem to think that Afghanistan has always been Islamic, or are we willingly ignoring the historical fact of how Islam spread? It sure wasn't spread by going door to door and handing out pamphlets. It was spread by the Sword of Allah, and from the middle of the Seventh century on, it's been marching east and west taking millions into a system of brutal bondage the likes the world has never seen.
But in Afghanistan, there were primitive and rugged tribal groups, who only quit fighting each other when an outsider came in, in which they joined forces and turned on the outsiders. Adding a brutal, repressive system like Islam on top of an already primitive culture, and you have gasoline on dry kindling. Is it any wonder why there is no negotiating with them? Is there any wondering why they riot and kill each other at a whim, because of a supposed offense at a book (Koran) most of them can't even read? We, westerners, think that by holding "Shura's" and drinking tea with them will build some kind of rapport, but we're only fooling ourselves because they know better. They'll only negotiate on what benefits them, not the other way around.
Luis Bush, a Christian Strategist Activist, was the first to coin the phrase, the 10/40 window. Basically, it's the eastern region of the world that falls in between the 10-40 degrees north of the equator. Looking at the map, one almost immediately recognizes this as the single greatest area outside the influence of Christianity. It is home to Islam, Hinduism, Shinto's, Buddhism, Confucianism, and many other non-Christian belief systems. It is also wracked with war, disease, and poverty far greater than anywhere else on the planet. So why is that?
Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince. Daniel 10:20-21
In reading this, one can infer that within the Angelic realms, there are hierarchical structures that we are only given small glimpses of. And what two nations sit right in the middle of this 10/40 window? Persia and Ancient Babylon. It is my understanding, that Angels, whether fallen or not, do not inhabit time like you and I do, and should be understood that they (these princes of Persia and Greece) are still alive and well on planet earth. It certainly explains a lot when you understand that demonic strongholds still exist, and still sway nations and leaders like Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini, and the Kim's in North Korea.
If you look at the big picture, Christianity began to spread from Jerusalem outward. Five centuries before the thought Islam came into little Mohammed's mind; Syria, Egypt, and Turkey were predominantly Christian nations. Modern-day Yemen was at one time, a Jewish Himyarite kingdom while most of Europe was still tromping around in the mud in Barbarian clans.
Islam, founded by an illiterate son of a trader, traveled with his familial clan on trade routes and picked up bits and pieces from different belief systems along the way. That is why there are biblical characters in Islam. That's why there is the idea of 72 virgins from Zoroastrianism (Persian) beliefs in Islam. That's why there is heavy Arab pagan symbolism (crescent moon) in Islam. Islam is a conglomerate of all the different belief systems with a sword. There is no peace with Islam, and it doesn't matter how good we train their armies or what politician we put in power there, you can't negotiate with demonic theology. But if you want a full in-depth debriefing on the last 1400 years of Islam, go here.
So, we liberated the Iraqis, we got rid of Saddam and his two thug sons and got the purple fingers of victory elections. The Iraqis, predictably, elected along religious and ethnic lines, and now have a fractured and dysfunctional government accusing each other of aiding the insurgency and the Iranians. Muqtada al Sadr's forces are backed by the Iranians vying for power against the Sunnis, both of which are trying to get a piece of the Kurdish oil money. I wonder if that was what President Bush meant by "spreading democracy?"
The one thing we could have done to really affect change there, in either place, we shunned because of our own political correctness. How did the United States and later Europe come to have stable, open, and democratic societies? How democratic was Europe under the: Barbarians, Kings, and the Roman Catholic Church? How democratic were the Russians under the Czars and Bolsheviks?
We (collective we) are so sheepish when it comes to doing what needs to be done. We'll do everything BUT the right thing, hoping against hope that fate will somehow blow us some good fortune. They say..." we can't go imposing our values on them!" WHY NOT? Those unfortunate Afghans centuries ago, who under pain of death, were converted to Islam would probably think otherwise.
How can we claim to liberate peoples from dictators, yet leave them oppressed under such an OBVIOUS system that advocates raping children, keeping women uneducated and buried under the head to toe burqas, and prevents anyone from ever leaving that religion or face stoning or beheading? We get rid of one bad guy, and ten more pop up in his place. What does that tell you? It tells me, that unless you change their thinking about life and death, there will never be enough young American men and women to send over there that will make one bit of difference the millisecond we leave.
If you want to win and spread democracy in this area of the world known as 10/40, you better come armed with something stronger than cruise missile, because the mightiest armies in the world cannot fight against spiritual strongholds, no matter how powerful our guns might be.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:10-13
The Enemy Won't Win - Nathele Graham -
We all have times when it seems the Lord is far from us. Troubles begin to pile up and we look around us at people who have no love for God but who seem to prosper. When I'm in a less-than-Christian state of mind I can really resent that fact. In those times I feel as if I'm on my own...that God has forgotten me. That erroneous frame of mind doesn't last long, and I ask Jesus to forgive me. Then I turn my focus to the blessings God gives. This sort of attitude isn't new, nor is it unique to the times in which we live. "[[To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David.]] How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?" Psalm 13:1. Even King David had the same feelings. We can learn so much from David. He honestly opened his heart before the Lord. It's not a bad thing to tell God what bothers you, He already knows. When you recognize what it is that's coming between you and your walk with the Lord, then He can help you through it. Tell Him what's on your heart, then listen to His reply.
When we get into one of those moods, we need to be careful where we take counsel. God is never far from us. When we're offended by others we can be blinded by our own feelings. My hurt, my anger, my bad attitude all get in the way of allowing God's love to flow through me. At those times we tend to turn to other people who may have the same resentment towards others. "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD." Jeremiah 17:5. Notice that this verse tells us that it isn't God who has departed, but it's man's heart that has turned away from God. When seeking counsel from another person, be sure that he or she is a Christian who honors God. Satan can use friends to pull us away from God. Trust Scripture to lead you into a closer walk with God. "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is." Jeremiah 17:7. Likewise, don't trust your own heart in times when you're questioning God and feeling alone. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." Jeremiah 17:9-10. When you're in a bad state of mind that keeps you separate from God, take a look at your own life and see what's causing you to feel separated from God. It could be that the resentment you feel towards someone, even towards an enemy, may be the thing that's causing your trouble. David realized that he was looking to his own logic rather than drawing close to God. "How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?" Psalm 13:2. Instead of having a pity party or taking counsel from fallible humans, search Scripture and pray for the counsel of the infallible God of all creation. It's easy to get distracted from God's ways when we begin following our own counsel.
David faced many enemies in many forms during his lifetime. In his younger days when protecting his sheep, he fought with a lion and a bear. These fights prepared him to fearlessly face the giant Goliath and prevail. Then David faced a new enemy, which was the government lead by King Saul. The king loved to listen to the soothing sound of David's music, but would suddenly turn on David and try to kill him. David became king after Saul's death and the look of his enemies changed. He faced enemy armies and also the lust of his flesh. Even though the situation changed, the same evil influence was at work. That evil has always been working against mankind, from the Garden of Eden to today's wickedness. Satan is the enemy of all people and can come between us and God. We cannot fight Satan on our own, but we fall prey to him when we stray from God. David knew that God could never be close to him if he didn't seek God's will. The enemy could only prevail if David turned away from God and this truth changed David's outlook. "Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation." Psalm 13:3-5. Instead of seeking revenge, David began seeking God.
The enemy can manifest in many forms. As we watch the political circus we see the enemy at work, and it's a very similar situation that the Northern Kingdom of Israel faced when Ahab and Jezebel were in power. Those two were very liberal in their beliefs, especially Jezebel, and were evil to the core. They embraced child sacrifice and worshipped pagan idols. America, and indeed the entire world, has been in the grips of the same liberal satanic ways for many years. It's the same liberal lunacy that embraces abortion, homosexuality, and other ungodly ideas. and it's important to understand who the real enemy is. Satan is the enemy of all mankind and is behind the evil in the world. From that irritating person at work to the world leaders who spew evil, it's Satan who's behind the evil as he seeks the destruction of all humanity. Christians must look to Scripture and be led by the Holy Spirit in order to fight the evil. It's a spiritual battle and it rages in the unseen realms but manifests in the hearts of men. "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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 6:11-12. Many Christians read those words and agree, but don't truly understand that the battle is real. The battle is spiritual. If we don't stand firm on our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we will lose the battle in which we are thrown. Don't get me wrong. Satan has already lost the war. He lost at the cross, but there are still battles raging. Unless Christians start taking God's word seriously the darkness of Satan's evil will grow stronger. Brothers and sisters, you must put on your spiritual armor and not allow the influence of Satan's evil to take you down. Jesus Christ paid the price of your salvation when He shed His blood on the cross. The same spiritual battle happens in America, Great Britain, France, Iran, Greece, China...it knows no national boundaries. Wherever you live remember that you're just passing through this life. You had no choice as to where you were born, but you do have a choice as to where you will spend eternity. Unless you ask Jesus to forgive your sin and accept Him as your Saviour you'll spend eternity in the lake of fire with Satan and all who oppose God.
Allow Christ to rule in your heart. When you begin to look at people from God's prescriptive you begin to change your own perspective. The Ahabs and Jezebels who are all around us become human beings who desperately need to bow their hearts before Jesus Christ before they step into eternity. Satan's influence is strong against Christians, but we can either give in and be crushed by his evil, or we can resist. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." James 4:7-8. If you allow Satan to rule in your heart you'll feel far from God. Don't dwell on what the enemy has done to you, but dwell upon what God has done for you. No matter what hard knocks may come your way, as a Christians you can always rejoice in our salvation. When Christ rules your life, you'll see the people around you in a different light...not the light of darkness, but through the Light of the world and the love of Jesus. The person who causes you trouble is a sinner in need of salvation through Jesus. Politicians who promote wickedness need Jesus' love rather than to continue along the path of destruction. Hollywood idols who have "sold their souls" to Satan in order to gain fame and riches can be saved from an eternity in Hell. We are all in the battle and every Christian must fight. One of our strongest weapons is prayer. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" Ephesians 6:18. Pray for fellow Christians. Let God strengthen your spirit and make you fit for battle. Part of fighting the battle is knowing the enemy and knowing how to fight. When someone causes you trouble, look at them as someone who needs to meet Jesus. As you look around your neighborhood or nation, you'll see many people who are corrupt and controlled by Satan. They all need prayer. Even the worst sinner can find salvation in Jesus. Pay for the lost souls.
God made salvation simple for us. He stepped into His creation and showed us His love. He healed the blind and lame, he cast out demons, and He forgave sinners. For these "crimes" He was accused of blasphemy and arrested. He was mocked and horridly beaten before being forced to carry His cross to be crucified. As He hung on the cross looking at His enemies, what did He say? "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his garment, and cast lots." Luke 23:34. Jesus had pity for His enemies even though they went right on with their sin. Shouldn't we, as His followers, have the same outlook. People offend us and cause all kinds of trouble, but if we see people in the same way as God sees them then our perspective changes. We can pray for them and our desire should be that they'll come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
As Christians we have much to pray about. Our hearts should be broken over the fallen world in which we live, but we also have much to rejoice over. "I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me." Psalm 13:6. The Lord greatly blessed David, and He continues His blessing on Christians. Sing to the Lord, Christians. Rejoice in your salvation. The enemy will try to take your joy away, but he won't win if you keep Christ in your heart.
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: Fauxcahantus speaking with evil tongue - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), also known as Fauxcahantus for lying about being of Native American descent among other things, has gone on the race warpath against President Donald Trump. Breitbart reports that Warren claimed Trump wants citizens to blame people of color for all their failures in life, and by the way, Michael Brown was "murdered" by police officers in Ferguson, MO, in 2014. At her campaign stop in New Hampshire, she was asked what she would do as president to unify the country and she basically dodged the question and went on to incite racial tension by attributing a race-motivated blame game to Trump.
Breitbart quotes Warren's response to how she would unify the country: "Look, Trump has a message. He says if there's something that's bad in your life, something that's not working for you - you're not making much money, you can't cover your expenses, you're worried about your kids - blame them. Blame people who aren't the same color as you. Blame people who don't sound like you. Blame people who weren't born where you were born. Blame people who don't worship like you. Blame them. And that is his message. That is it, at heart. And he thinks if he can stir up people against people, keep people fighting each other enough, then nobody will notice who's actually picking their pockets. And that the folks at the top are just getting richer and richer and richer, just scraping more and more of the wealth for themselves."
Warren also saying Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, MO, five years ago, appears to be nothing short of using a false narrative to stir up racial issues. After robbing a store, Brown physically assaulted a police officer and during the struggle reached for the officer's gun.Brown was shot six times--twice in the head and four times in the arm. None of the bullets were from behind, as "eyewitness" reports suggested that the policeman shot Brown in the back as he tried to surrender. The Grand Jury ruled that Officer Darren Wilson did not shoot unarmed attacker Mike Brown in cold blood, but in self-defense. Warren, and the other Democratic Party presidential candidates are twisting facts, lying, and promoting false narratives to incite division while blaming Trump for dividing the country.
Political commentator and author Bill O'Reilly tweeted earlier this week, "Mr. Trump's statements against illegal immigration, Muslim terrorism, and the economic failure of some third world countries are being used to create a racial theory, but theories are not facts and are often wrong...While researching my upcoming book "The United States of Trump," we could not find one example of the President discussing skin color in a pejorative way or promoting Caucasian dominance." O'Reilly was then ridiculed in the twittersphere for his poor research. One of the Ten Commandments addresses accusation: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." Proverbs 25:18 says such a person is a "maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow." In Hebrew, it's called "Lashon hara," or evil tongue. Pay it no mind.
Daily Devotion: When the Battle Lines Were Drawn - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.-Genesis 3:15
Anti-Semitism, the hatred of Jewish people, is devilish and goes back a long way. After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, God said to Satan, "I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel" (Genesis 3:15 NLT).
Game on. The battle lines were being drawn, and the Devil knew that a deliverer, a Messiah, would arrive on the scene. He also knew he would come through the Jewish people.
In Exodus we see the Pharaoh giving the decree to put to death all the Jewish baby boys. But courageous Hebrew midwives refused to follow his decree and saved those baby boys. One of those boys was placed in a little basket with some pitch around it to keep it afloat, and it was sent cruising down the Nile River. That little baby boy came to be known as Moses, and he delivered the Jewish people from the bondage of Pharaoh.
Then you come to the book of Esther, and the Devil is at it again with a plot to destroy the Jewish people. But God intervened.
Maybe you're at a point in life where you're saying, "I don't feel like God is with me at all. I feel as though I'm all alone." If you are not a Christian, God is with you in a broad sense, because God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. But there's a difference between God being with you and God being in you.
That's really what being a Christian is. It's having Christ living inside of you. God wants to be a part of your life. It may seem as though He isn't paying attention to you, but actually He is.
FROM THE HEART
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