Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Marriage So Sacred, Yet Defiled by This World - by pastor Mike Taylor - http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2018/08/marriage-so-sacred-yet-defiled-by-this.html
"For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Ephesians 5:31-32)
In keeping with the line of the "mysteries" that Paul revealed to us within his epistles, Paul showed us many revelations that were not revealed previously in any other passage of your bible. They were "hidden" from view and were not explained, until Paul was taught by the King of kings, Jesus Christ our Lord. Remember in past messages, Paul was taken into the Arabian desert for about 3 years and was given instructions and teaching of the meaning of passages found in your bible that no man had understood up until it was revealed to the Apostle Paul. This chapter is but another clarification of what a man united to a woman in Holy Matrimony means to Almighty God and why that this union is most sacred. And for that reason, this nation and the world is in grave danger.
In chapter 5 of the book of Ephesians, Paul makes an astounding comparison that in reading this chapter, I had not previously understood myself what Paul was trying to explain:
" Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7, Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8, For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9, (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) (Ephesians 5:6-9)
Thus Paul began to reveal the "mystery" that is found in the uniting of two people, one man to one woman in marriage. Paul begins to explain in detail further into this chapter found in Ephesians:
"Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
11, And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
12, For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret." (Ephesians 5:10-12)
Paul begins to go into detail of things that are done in darkness and to stay away from, but come into the light.
14, "Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." (Ephesians 5:14)
The point of the chapter is to explain sacred meaning of the institution of marriage and what God expects of those who belong to Him...
22, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord
23, For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24, Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25, Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26, That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word," (Ephesians 5:22-26)
In a casual reading of this passage, you would think that Paul is speaking of the relationship between a man and a woman solely, but is that all Paul is trying to convey? Paul speaks of a "mystery" that is hidden from view and has not been understood previously. While pondering this and hearing a message by a dear brother in our church, I came to fully understand what Paul was driving at. Let us turn now to the Old Testament when God brought the institution of marriage into being.
"So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh;
22, and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
23, Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
24, Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."(Genesis 2:22-24)
One thing is curious here if you think about it. Is not God able to make woman as He made man? Of course He can. Can God not take the dirt of the ground and make another human and breath the breath of life into her? Also, why did God have Adam fall into a "deep sleep" to take one of his ribs to make Eve? Isn't God able to do this without needing Adam to fall into a deep sleep? But think of what a "deep sleep" symbolizes in scripture. Death is often referred to as "sleep"...or sleeping in the dust as explained elsewhere in scripture.
Notice that God took a rib out of his side. Not from his foot or from his hand, or any other bone in his body...they were made to be one flesh..."flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bone". God brought Eve unto the "first Adam" and they became ONE. God didn't want Eve to be walked upon, or become head over her husband by taking a bone out of his head, but took it from his side. They were to be equal, but two people who became one flesh to walking together with God side by side. What, if anything is God trying to reveal to us here?, What is Paul revealing that is explained in Ephesians? Let us fast forward in time when Jesus was on the cross, some four thousand years into the future from the 1st Adam being given a "bride" to be by his side.
INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE REPLAYED AT THE CROSS
"But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
34, But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
35, And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe."(John 19:33-35)
The Second Adam, Jesus Christ our Lord hung on a cross and died a horrible death, but to prove that He was actually dead, a Roman soldier took a spear and pierced His side. In His death, "His sleep" God took out of His side below His ribs, a coming bride. By the death of our Lord and the piercing of His side, the redemption of His bride that had been lost at the Garden of Eden, was sealed. Fifty day later from the time of His resurrection, the Church would be born at Pentecost and Jesus was to be betrothed to His bride.
"And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3, And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4, And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."(Acts 2:2-4)
Thus the bride of Christ was born...the Church of the Living God. Almighty God has been adding to His body for now nigh, 2000 years and has not taken her, as of yet, to be His bride, unlike when Eve was given to Adam and proclaimed her "flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bone".
Paul proclaimed in this fifth chapter of Ephesians what God has been doing the whole time in forming His bride, from the flesh of His flesh and from the bone of His bone,
27, "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28, So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29, For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30, For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32, This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."(Ephesian 5:27-32)
Do you see the parallel comparison of the Bride of Adam the First, and the Bride of the last Adam the Son of God, the second Adam that gave His life for a bride holy and unblemished by the sins of this world? It is why the institution of marriage is so sacred and holy in the eyes of God, as it symbolizes Christ, the head of the Church, or husband of the Church, and His body, the bride of Christ of one man, one woman, as created by God found in the 2nd chapter of Genesis.
Any other variation conceived by mortal man, God calls an ABOMINATION before Him, as it mocks His creative plan for the spotless bride that is betrothed to His Son, Jesus Christ. And God has prepared a bride for His Son, and when we see Him, we will be like He is..
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3, And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (1ST John 3:2-3)
LGBT MOVEMENT AN ABOMINATION BEFORE GOD
Satan relishes the ability to deceive mortal man, as he knows that man without God is prone to sins of the flesh and the pride of life. His sole purpose is to distort and twist God's Word to make man an unclean thing in God's sight.
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16, For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world,
17, And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (1st John 2:15-17)
Jeremiah wrote under Holy Spirit direction what Satan is counting on:
9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10, 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.
11, As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool."(Jeremiah17:9-11)
AS IT WERE IN THE DAYS OF NOAH
There was another time, that what is happening in our generation, happened even then, and what did God do to them? Jesus proclaimed in Matthew chapter 24 what our generation would look like:
37, But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
38, For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
39, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."(Matthew 24:37-39)
This was a time of unmentionable evil that God regretted even making mankind, as their hearts were given to evil continuously. God destroyed the earth with water and wiped the earth clean of mankind that He had made, all except for 8 souls that found favor in God's eyes.
As then, God condemns sins of the flesh, and for that matter any sin that goes against His written Laws of human conduct toward God and mankind. God hates sin, as it cannot be in God's heaven. But the one sin that He calls an abomination must stink in His nostrils like no other.
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."(Leviticus 18:22)
Why? Because it is a mockery of what God intended for one man, one woman. It is a perversion, and a sin so great, that God will not allow those who commit such evil into the Kingdom of God coming. But abomination is just a word, until you look at the deep meaning of what God is saying here...From Wikipedia, this definition and explanation is given:
Abomination (from Latin abominare, "to deprecate as an ill omen") is an English term used to translate the Biblical Hebrew terms shiqquwts ("shiqqûts") and sheqets. An abomination in English is that which is exceptionally loathsome, hateful, sinful, wicked, or vile.
Paul addresses the subject in Romans and cannot be more clear that God hates such sin with a everlasting hate and will not allow those who partake of this vice into His presence.
"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: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,23,And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.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;"(Romans 1:20-28)
Here God condemns homosexuality, being gay, Lesbian, bisexual, or transgender as an abomination unto His Holy Name. God tells those who partake of this evil what their end will be:
" Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (which includes all LGBT transgressors of God's natural order) brackets my emphasis.)10,Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."(1st Corinthians 6:9-10)
This is not a new occurrence, as man in his ability to do wicked deeds, sins against his own flesh by being joined to the same gender as himself/herself and defiles themselves with what God has defined as gross sin. It has occurred all through the history of evil men, as even the Old Testament, not just the New Testament gives cases that God brought judgment and swift retribution for their crime against a Holy God and His laws.
In each of the three instances in the Old Testament where homosexuality is shown in society, destruction immediately follows. The city of Sodom gave its name to this vile practice and has served as the preeminent example of God's displeasure (Genesis 18:20-21; 19:1-29). Two lesser-known cases also show that a rise in homosexuality signals a quick decline and fall. Such was the case of the tribe of Benjamin that was nearly destroyed because of homosexuality found in Judges 19-21. And in 1st Kings in the reign of Rehoboam of Judah, the Bible records, "And there were also perverted persons in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel" (I Kings 14:24). "Perverted persons" is a translation of the Hebrew qedeshim, meaning "those practicing sodomy and prostitution in religious rituals". The next verses reveal the result of their sin: Pharaoh Shishak of Egypt marched against Judah and conquered Jerusalem, carrying away all the treasures of the Temple and the royal house (verses 25-26).
History also records the debauchery of the Roman Empire and it's citizens using roman baths to commit heinous acts of homosexuality and the moral conduct of the empire contributed to their eventual downfall.
Those who commit such acts, God says He will not allow them into His presence and they will be separated from Him for all eternity, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Some call it HELL, or the Lake of Fire.
Some will say that we must be tolerant. We must love others as ourselves, just as the idiot in chief tried to use the "Golden Rule" as his support for allowing all things gay into this culture. In the last 50 years, the LGBT community has made steady inroads into this nation, and with the election of this past POTUS, (I won't use his name, as it is loathsome to me) has promoted all things gay and even made an executive order that June of each year, is LGBT pride month. This for a minority community that has had the same rights that every American has always had, but they want special treatment.
Not only is homosexuality out of the closet in America, it is entirely out in the open and militantly demanding its recognition and acceptance. With political power far exceeding their numbers, homosexuals now feel greatly empowered with that openly supportive President in the White House. Whoever thinks this nation is still many years from collapse needs to think again.
Even the DOMA act (Defense of Marriage Act) was abandoned because the "idiot in chief" would not support it. Then the Supreme Court in all their arrogance went against God and gave legitimacy to the "union" (sic) of same sex individuals that must be recognized in every state. That POTUS...let me rephrase that, he was YOUR POTUS, as he is not mine, has promoted all things gay and been at the forefront of blurring the lines between the sexes by letting transgender men or women use whatever public bathroom that fits their emotional stance at the present time. Of course, one cannot prevent perverts and pedophiles from taking advantage of this and preying on your daughter, young son or wife while behind closed doors.
The LGBT adherents have taken the sacred institution of marriage and common decency and thrown it to the ground and stomped all over it...and the present government allows it, endorses it, and promotes it and for that, God will surely judge, if it has not already begun against this nation for the evil that we have done in the name of "political correctness". Not only is this nation condemning itself to eventual destruction, but every man, woman, and yes, even children that partake in this sin, or any sin of the flesh and does not turn away from their evil conduct by seeking forgiveness from Almighty God, dooms themselves to an everlasting judgment from God, into outer darkness, where "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched". (Mark 9:44)
You who practice such evil, do you see yourselves in this message? I pray it puts a burr under your saddle and God's Holy Spirit convicts you, until you can't be still but must confess your sins before a Holy God and beg forgiveness and cleansing from One Person who can take away the sins of the flesh you have committed, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
You that have turn a blind eye, and taken the stance of live and let live and ignore what is happening all around you, or until you face it squarely when your wife or daughter is defiled, what will you do? You can't do it alone my friend. No one can do it alone. The forces of evil are building exponentially as we approach the end of days....we were warned in God's Word:
"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."(Ephesian 6:12)
This world is quickly coming to an end. The climax of the rule of mankind is closing in on the last 7 years of his governance in which he has done a thoroughly terrible job, according to what is righteous and good in the sight of God. Soon the coming time known as Jacob's troubles will be upon the earth. It may come sooner than anyone of us, Christian or otherwise, even thinks or imagines. My spirit bears witness with the Spirit of God, that this will not go on much longer.
We who are alive and fighting this battle against the rulers of the darkness of this world, must take on the whole armor of God, if we are even able to stand against the onslaught that has come and only will get exponentially worse.
"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.
14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"(Ephesians 6:13-18)
Think you can stand by yourself? Think again. You don't have the power or the strength to stand against the wiles of the devil. Satan will have you for lunch and you will likely succumb to the darkness that will overtake this world. I have preached till I'm nearly blue in the face as Tribulation is coming and the time grows short where a woman/man can be found in Jesus Christ and be removed from the coming wrath of God. Make no mistake, friend, wrath is coming and if you think it's bad now, you haven't seen anything yet, and frankly, you don't want to...
This ABOMINATION that is the LGBT "movement" is only the tip of the iceberg that will bring the wrath of God, much like it did in Noah's day when men were constantly doing evil. God has designed the coming tribulation for two things and I've said this time and time again. First is the complete annihilation of ALL rebellion on this earth. Second is the coming acceptance of Israel of their Messiah that they rejected 2000 years ago. God has warned through Jesus Christ while on earth:
"For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.
20And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days."(Mark 13:19-20)
Do you get the gravity of that statement by our Lord? No flesh will be saved, if the events were allowed to play to it's conclusion. Only those who accepted their Messiah, will be supernaturally protected and go into the Millennium as mortal men and women. Everyone else, "those that dwell upon the earth" will die horrible deaths by whatever means known to man either natural or supernatural.
God has said in His Word:
"For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many."(Isaiah 66:15-16)
To further give you the gravity of the coming wrath of God, Zephaniah wrote in 1:17- 18:
""And I will bring distress on men, so that they shall walk as the blind because they have sinned against the LORD. And their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as dung.
18, Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole earth shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy, for He shall make even a full end, yea, a terrible end of all who dwell upon the earth."(Zephaniah 1:17-18)
But to those who call upon the name of the Lord, God has promised:
"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ," (1st Thessalonians 5:9)
"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 10:12-13)
"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". ( John 3:16)
How do you believe? Believe that Jesus died for your sins and mine, that God the Father raised Him on the 3rd day according to the scriptures, and stands at the right hand of God, as His only Son...the Son of God....repent of your sins that He has already paid for by faith believing, and thou shalt be saved!...The End of the Age is at Hand.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying you find my Lord Jesus before the coming Tribulation begins. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at email@example.com , or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
What Will Happen After the Palestinians Reject Trump's Peace Plan? - By Ariel Ben Solomon -
Amid speculation that U.S. President Donald Trump could soon release his Middle East peace plan, the word in political, academic and Jewish organizational circles is that it's almost certain to not go anywhere and surely be rejected by the Palestinian leadership.
The reasons for the expected Palestinian uncompromising opposition to any deal with Israel have been repeated ad infinitum elsewhere, but suffice it to say that religiously, culturally and politically, Palestinians are in no way ready to accept a deal.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas does not want to go down in history as a traitor to his people and be the one to give legitimacy to Israel.
So the question remains: What will happen after the Palestinians reject Trump's plan ?
Could it be that Trump expects a Palestinian rejection and then move to bypass them by giving Israel a free hand? At the same time, it seems unlikely that Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt would go along with a plan deemed by many to favor Israel.
Trump was reportedly planning to unveil his "deal of the century" during his Sept. 25 address to the U.N. General Assembly, but National Security Advisor John Bolton pushed back, saying "there is no decision on a timetable for when the full details of the plan will be announced," according to the Associated Press.
However, Trump is expanding his peace-plan staff in anticipation for the rollout, CBS News reported on Wednesday.
At a rally in West Virginia on Tuesday, Trump said Jerusalem is off the table after having relocated the U.S. embassy there, but signaled that Israel would have to pay a price for the move in return.
'Not a central regional concern'
Asaf Romirowsky, executive director of the nonprofit Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and co-author of Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief, tells JNS that every administration feels that it must attempt to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"When the Palestinians reject the plan, Trump can then say he tried. The Palestinians have already created the narrative that Trump is not an honest broker," says Romirowsky, who is also a fellow at the Middle East Forum think tank.
Romirowsky sees the violence launched from Gaza against Israel as interwoven with the peace process talk by the U.S. administration and is meant to create a media image of Israel as the aggressor--bombing with fighter jets--with the Palestinians using mostly kites and balloons, however destructive they have turned out to be.
"The interesting thing is there are good ties between Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states," he says, "and this highlights the fact that the Palestinian issue is not the central regional concern. Iran is."
Asked about what the fallout could be if the Palestinians reject the expected U.S. peace plan, Romirowsky responded that more violence against Israel from Gaza and even from the Hezbollah terrorist group in the north could be expected. He predicts a possible outbreak of full-fledged war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in the next few months.
A war with Israel would change the media narrative by seeking to show the Arabs as victims and Israel as the aggressor, he adds.
The same is true regarding the multiple rejections by the Palestinians for a state, continues Romirowsky, pointing out that "the Palestinians have shown again and again that they don't want a deal, and prefer to play the role of victim."
Palestinians and Arabs consider American offer biased
Ronen Yitzhak, head of the Middle East Studies department at Israel's Western Galilee College, tells JNS that Trump's plan includes items the Palestinians would never agree to. In addition, he speculates that if no major Arab states--Saudi Arabia or Jordan, in particular--support the plan, the world will side with the Palestinians.
"The Trump plan was meant to go around the Palestinians, and get the agreement of the Saudis and Jordanians, but now they don't agree either," says Yitzhak.
He adds that the delaying in the release of Trump's plan could very well be because of the failure to gain Arab support.
Ido Zelkovitz, head of the Middle East Studies program at Yezreel Valley College and a policy fellow at Mitvim think tank, comments that the Trump peace plan has no way of being accepted within the Palestinian political sphere.
"Mahmoud Abbas considers the American offer as biased, and internal political issues are more important to both the Fatah and Hamas leadership than a regional peace process," states Zelkovitz, who is also a senior research fellow at the Ezri Center for Iran & Persian Gulf Studies at the University of Haifa.
Noting that the environment is not ripe for a deal right now, Zelkovitz says that "the Trump plan or any other plan doesn't have any chance to create an impact on the ground."
We Have Work to do While There's Still Light - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Salvation is a gift from God and no matter how many good works you do they won't save you. We try to fit God into human ways rather than changing ourselves to conform to His ways. That means that we think we can be good enough to make it to Heaven, or we do good deeds in order to work our way there. That's not the way salvation works. When we finally understand that salvation is a free gift from God that we can't earn by works we tend to stop trying to avoid sin as well as stopping the good deeds. We can't earn salvation, but that doesn't mean we should stop working for God. Jesus is our example of what our attitude should be. "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." John 9:4. Jesus never stopped His mission to spread the Good News and He never missed an opportunity to help someone in need. He's the example that every Christian needs to follow.
It's always a good idea to look at the context of a particular Scripture in order to gain a better understanding of the meaning. In the Gospel of John chapter 9 we read of a blind man who was healed by Jesus, but looking back into chapter 8 tells what had happened before this healing. A woman was caught in adultery and brought to Jesus for Him to condemn her. Instead of condemnation He forgave her, but it was her accusers who were convicted of their own sins. This led to a confrontation with the Pharisees as to who Jesus really was, and in that conversation Jesus made it clear that He was God in the flesh. This caused the Pharisees to pick up stones to stone Him for blasphemy. "...but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by." John 8:59. Jesus certainly wasn't committing blasphemy by declaring He was God, because He is God. It wasn't time yet for Him to die for our sins, so He hid Himself and just went right through them and they didn't see Him. Were the Pharisees blinded to Him, or did He use some other means to get through His accusers? Whatever means He used He and the disciples were unharmed.
Jesus left the Temple where the confrontation had taken place and that's where they encountered a blind man. "And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from birth." John 9:1. Sin must have been fresh on the minds of the disciples, having just watched Jesus forgive the adulterous woman but convicting her accusers of their own sin, and the ensuing confrontation must have left an impression. When they saw this man who was in need they only thought of placing blame. "And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? John 9:2.The question they put to Jesus wasn't about how they could help the man, but whose fault it was that he was blind. This was an intellectual question, not one from the heart. We are all a part of this fallen world and sin is part of our nature, but if a parent sins that doesn't mean their child will be born blind. There are some sins that a parent can commit that will affect the health of their children; many babies today are born addicted to drugs because of the mother's addiction. That wasn't the case with this man. His blindness had nothing to do with his parents actions. The question regarding the parents sinning was somewhat understandable, but they also questioned if it had been the man's own sin that caused the blindness. He had been blind from birth, so it isn't logical that he could have committed a sin that would have caused a birth defect. There was a belief held by some that a baby could sin prior to birth. The example of this is the battle between Jacob and Esau in their mother's womb. It's true that a baby is born with a sin nature, but he cannot choose to sin until he's aware of what sin really is. This man had a birth defect and he had learned to live with it.
After just coming from a confrontation with the Pharisees it would have been understandable by human terms if Jesus would have still been fuming over that incident, but Jesus didn't rebuke them for their question. Instead He demonstrated His love. "Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." John 9:3. That's something we all need to remember. Life can become hard sometimes, but whatever challenges we face, whether health problems, financial problems, or any other trouble in life, God can use these things to His glory if we allow it. His timing is perfect and when we least expect it, God will work all things for good. It's easy to get discouraged when troubles come our way, but it could be that if you hold on just a little bit longer the works of God will be manifest in your life. Like us, this blind man was just trying to make it through each day in spite of his blindness. When he woke up that morning he had no idea of the blessing that he would soon receive, and that's true for us also.
Nothing could distract Jesus from the work He had to do while He walked among men. He often had confrontations with the religious men, but He always shared the Good News that the Light had come into the world with anyone in need. His work was never done. As Christians, our attitude should be the same as that of Jesus, because His work continues through us. "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." John 9:4-5. What is the work that must be done? Are we to find blind people and heal them? Basically, yes. Worldly people live in darkness of sin and death because they are blind to the Light of Jesus. Our mission in life is to share the Gospel with those who walk in darkness. Every Christian has a testimony that can be shared with someone who is blind to God's Truth. Jesus said that He's the light as long as He's in the world. Satan thought he won at the cross when Jesus was crucified, but as always he was wrong. That Light wasn't removed when Jesus was crucified because His light shines through those of us who follow Him.
When we think of light we usually we think in human terms. We think of sunlight, moonlight, and starlight, but there was light before they were created. At first there was darkness permeating everything. Before any other act of creation God allowed light. "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Genesis 1:3. Those were the first words of creation. Notice that the sun, moon, and stars weren't yet created, but there was light. Plants were created on the third day, but the sun, moon, and stars weren't created until the fourth day. The animals and Adam were created after that. The light that was in the beginning was the same light that will illuminate the New Jerusalem after the sun, moon, and stars are gone. That Light is from Jesus. Darkness in this world comes from Satan, but the Light of the world is Jesus Christ. His Light is eternal. "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12. Don't stumble around in the dark. Turn away from the darkness of sin and despair and turn to the Light of Jesus.
Christians need to choose to let His light shine through us. We are no longer blind to His truth and must come away from the darkness of sin. We know that the only way to eternal life is through faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Our sins are forgiven, but if we don't turn from the darkness of sin we hide His light. "The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness." Luke 11:34-35. If we continually pursue activities that are sinful we can change the light in us from the light of God to the light of darkness. That seems to be a oxymoron, but Satan's darkness will shine through our actions and words as surely as the light of Jesus will shine through in love. "If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light." Luke 11:36. Walk in His light and dispel the darkness of Satan. Don't give the Devil a toehold in your life because that will begin to obscure the light of God.
As long as we're in the world we're the lamps that His light shines through. A day is coming very soon when that Light will be taken away. When the Rapture happens, all Christians will immediately be taken to Heaven. When we stand before His throne we will finally see His pure light and glory...our faith will be sight. Until then we must keep on working. Not working to gain salvation, but working to share the Light with those in darkness. "No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light." Luke 11:33. Don't hide the light within you, but let it shine as a beacon to the lost world around you. The Holy Spirit will continue His work during Daniel's 70th week, but the darkness will be devastating and if you don't share the Gospel now your grandmother, husband, children, or friends will be left in the darkness of Satan's evil works.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16. Like the blind man outside the Temple, we are all blind from birth. Blind to the Light of the world. Only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ can lift that blindness. We have work to do while there's still Light.
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: Straight from the Horse's Mouth - Bill Wilson -
Monday, I wrote about the whining journalists and called it "Beating a dead horse or the drum of truth." Tuesday, a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, Jason L. Riley, agreed with my position in his Op/Ed, writing: "...the political press has decided that its job isn't merely to inform the public but also to take down the current White House, even if such efforts cost journalism what little credibility it has left. Last Thursday, hundreds of newspapers nationwide simultaneously published editorials attacking Mr. Trump in the guise of promoting a free press. Journalists who don't like what the president has said about the press might want to start behaving like objective reporters instead of liberal political activists."
Riley pointed out jobs and the economy as examples that Trump is not doing such a bad job. Riley said, "Take the economy, which is faring better under Mr. Trump by many measures than it has in a generation or longer. Each week throughout this summer has brought almost nothing but economic sunshine. The pace of factory hiring has more than doubled since last year. A July survey from the National Federation of Independent Business notes that optimism among small-business owners, who employ nearly half the nation's private-sector workforce, is at levels not seen since 1983. Wages are also increasing, which was reflected in a Commerce Department report last week that showed retail sales-on groceries, restaurants and clothing-far exceeding economic forecasts and surging at double the rate of inflation.
"The best feature of this economic growth is its inclusiveness....Older workers, women, minorities, seniors and the less-educated all are faring better in the labor force today than they did under [sic the previous] President. The jobless rate for Americans age 16 to 24 hit a 50-year low this summer. In May, the black unemployment rate dipped to 5.9%, the lowest number on record at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. People who had stopped looking for work are sending out resumes. More people are quitting jobs because they are confident that a better one awaits. Employers are increasing perks and benefits in an effort to attract new hires and keep the ones they already have. There were 6.7 million job openings last quarter, a 17-year high."
Riley concludes: "When the media reports this good news, the stories too often resemble a Democratic National Committee press release. The main objective is to assure you that Mr. Trump's tax cuts and regulatory reform had nothing to do with it, that his predecessor deserves the real credit or that it was all just inevitable. Hogwash." And there you have it from one of the horse's mouths-a member of the mainstream media telling the truth. I knew there had to be at least one out there. This is almost an admission that there is a coup attempt taking place. Riley calls them the political press...it's perhaps just the mainstream media. As Ephesians 5:6 warns: "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."
Daily Jot: Conspiracy 2 - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
President Trump is now being criticized for his admission that anything he says will be twisted and used against him. In an interview with Reuters, Trump said he is faced with a perjury trap. Reuters reported that "The president expressed fears that investigators could compare his statements with that of others who have testified in the probe, such as former FBI Director James Comey, and that any discrepancies could be used against him." He said, "So if I say something and he (Comey) says something, and it's my word against his, and he's best friends with Mueller, so Mueller might say: 'Well, I believe Comey,' and even if I'm telling the truth, that makes me a liar. That's no good."
Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight of 18 charges connected to financial fraud. Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges associated with tax evasion, illegal contributions to campaigns, and paying off women with whom Trump had sexual relations. The Mueller Special Counsel levied these charges and "pressured," which in today's terms means legally blackmailed, these men into admitting guilt or not even presenting a defense. None of the charges are remotely related to the Russians conspiring with Trump to influence the US Presidential election. None. But this is the way of the world these days.
America spent eight years of the previous administration selectively enforcing laws; harassing conservative non-profits; doing under the table business deals with Russia; sending Iran billions of dollars in cash that bolstered its nuclear program and expanded its terrorist operations; voting scandals; sending taxpayer dollars to terrorists; and the list goes on and on. Yet, there were no investigations, Special Counsels or convictions. The only investigation is the current one, spawned from the Clinton Campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the previous Administration paying for a false dossier on Trump and using it to get the secret FISA Court to allow the administration to spy on Trump and his campaign.
There is plenty of bad stuff going around in government. We are in a period of great disruption. The information being reported all has a slant of bias to it. All the indictments and guilty findings are not related to the Mueller Russian probe, but they add up to one thing: Everyone doing illegal things is related to Donald Trump in some way. That, in the public's eye, makes Trump also guilty-even without evidence against him. I do not know if Trump is guilty of illegal business dealings. I know as sure as I'm writing this, Russia did not change the election outcome. But as Romans 16:18 warns, "good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." The coup-makers are using this noise to suit their own passion and to turn people away from the truth to pursue myths. Seek truth and be no deterred by the deceivers and evildoers.
Daily Devotion: "Hallowed Be Your Name" - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
So He said to them, "When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name." -Luke 11:2
Jesus taught His disciples to pray, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name" (Luke 11:2 NKJV). Hallowed be Your name. . . . This means, "Honored is Your name" or "Set apart is Your name." It's acknowledging the greatness of God. It's to say, "Lord, I want to set You apart in my life and character. I want to live a life that honors You."
Periodically we need to look at our interests, our ambitions, and our pursuits and then ask ourselves, "Is this for the glory of God? Can I write 'Hallowed be His name' over this?" Can you write it over your career? Can you write it over your close circle of friends? How about the TV programs you watch, the movies you see, or the music you listen to? Can you write 'Hallowed be His name" over those?
As you're getting ready to go to church, could you ask the Lord to bless you? Of course. If you go out to eat afterward, could you ask the Lord to bless the food that you're about to have? Sure. You can do that too. When you go to work, can you ask the Lord to bless you as you work? Absolutely.
But how about this: Can you ask the Lord to bless you as you go out and party, get drunk, and have sex with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Of course not. Can you ask the Lord to bless you as you rip someone off and lie? No, you can't.
If you can't ask the Lord to bless what you're doing, then don't do it. You should be able to ask the blessing of God on what you're about to do. And if you can't say, "Hallowed be His name" over it, then don't engage in it.
FROM THE HEART
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