Saturday, May 30, 2009
"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8
The Lord inspired Peter to use the analogy of a roaring, prowling lion as our adversary. What does it mean when a lion roars? How does a lion prowl?
Prowling means to "rove furtively or with predatory intent." Satan as the prince of this world and the Prince of the powers of the air around the earth has been given this domain as his territory. A lion protects his territory and he prowls it ceaselessly. Lions hunt in cooperative groups. Synonyms for prowl are: lurk, roam, rove, scavenge, skulk, slink, sneak, stalk, steal. These are not activities one conducts in the light of day and indeed, the lion prowls at night. When it is said that someone is 'on the prowl' it is always with bad intent.
One of the male lion's pride duties are to patrol and mark their territory by roaring. The roar carries up to 5 miles! The roar is an indication to all who hear him that he is lord and master to all he surveys. They most often roar at night; again, indicating the lion does his work under cover of darkness and roars to put fear into the hearts of all who hear.
Knowing all this, one would think that the Christian would be even more vigilant in his duties than the lion is in his. Are we equally or more vigorous in protecting our territory? Do we prowl the hedges and highways, seeking the lost, bringing them in? Do we hunt the lost in cooperative groups? Roar and shout the name of Jesus to all who would hear it for miles around?
When we find doctrinal error and falsity, do we roar like Paul did in Acts 13:10? "and said, "You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?" When we see hypocrites and false teachers do we roar like John the Baptist in Matthew 3:7? "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"
No. We have sunk into the morass of political correctness and now we are too timid to roar. We have accepted a mish-mash of doctrine instead of pure food.
There is a time to be gentle and fatherly, to sweetly share the Good News. But this is a war, and there are times we must fight, claim territory, and not shirk from the adversary. Too many of us have become lukewarm, simply through apathy or temerity, giving territory to the lion. Do you not believe this? Weren't Harvard, Princeton, Yale originally Christian universities? Didn't our schools once begin daily with prayer? Only a few years ago wasn't the homosexual lifestyle condemned? But now is it not celebrated, openly lived, and even taught in schools?
Lukewarm, comfy, giving ground daily ... yet the lion continues to prowl. And roar. In the arena of homosexual rights we find this:
Lesbian Melissa Etheridge wrote: in response to the failure of gay marriage vote in California:
"We will not rest until we have the full rights of any other citizen. It is that simple, no fearful vote will ever stop us, ..."
Alan down in Florida wrote as Obama appointed gays to head his transition team:
"Never be complacent. Never be patient. There are people a thousand times more powerful working to destroy all the rights of the gay community. Push, push, push. Speak out. Be heard. Never ever stop fighting and never expect that someone else is actually ever going to fight for your rights."
"Hear me - you self righteous liers [sic] and idiots - we have overcome the slanders, name calling, loss of jobs, beatings, imprisonments, and murders of our people at the hands of the likes of you and we will NEVER ever stop fighting for our Civil Rights. The right to live in peace and love - we will never stop... I am 1 of the 18,000... who is in a legal same sex marriage and I will never ever relinquish my marriage to you or anyone else - ever -"
The battle is won. We need not fear this lion, for he is a defeated adversary. Too many Christians have forgotten that and in their forgetting they have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to those dragged away by the jaws of the enemy. Jesus knew that we would be lukewarm at the time of the end, neither cold nor hot. He says, "For when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith upon the earth?" He knows that at the time of the end there will be few who have the kind of faith that persists despite physical evidence. (Luke 18:8)
What we need to be saying is: "we will never ever stop fighting for the Lord! We have overcome the slanders, name calling, loss of jobs, beatings, imprisonments, and murders of our people at the hands of the likes of the lion, we have a right to share His peace and love."
What we need to be saying is "Never be complacent. Never be patient. There are enemies a thousand times more powerful working to destroy all the rights of the Christian community. Push, push, push. Speak out. Be heard. Never ever stop fighting and never expect that someone else is actually ever going to fight for the Gospel."
What we need to be saying is "We will not rest until we have fully shared the Gospel to the ends of the earth. It is that simple, no fearful enemy will ever stop us, ..."
The story of the Lion and the Christian is coming to its final chapters. Jesus Himself will write the epilogue. You are a Christian. Do you roar?
Friday, May 29, 2009
Part 2 here
Back to deception in the end times and the UFO’s. Please take note of an interesting turn of phrase in Luke 21:24-25:
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;” “Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
The phrase does not say ‘the things happening to men on the earth,’ it says the ‘things coming upon the earth.’ Coming from where? Other dimensions, and they are demonic, certainly not here to help us.
Leading UFO Researchers Confirm Christian ViewIt seems likely to that demons are using the phenomenon called UFOs to deceive us and prepare us to embrace an occultic, 'New Age' type of faith, or “Interfaith” as it is increasingly called these days. We know that a global faith will be on earth at the end, deceiving millions, because we know there will be a False Prophet whose job it will be to proclaim that false religion. (Rev 13)
“Astronomer J. Alan Hynek and the late French physicist Jacques Vallee are perhaps the most respected UFO researchers in the world. Both are agnostics. No one can consider them Christians with a theological ax to grind. Both men have made what I consider to be very bold statements that clearly undergird the Christian position that spiritual entities are behind UFO phenomena. For example, Hynek said that UFOs cause physical effects "in the same way that a poltergeist can produce very real physical effects." Vallee said "The UFO phenomenon represents evidence for other dimensions beyond spacetime . . . It is a spiritual system that acts on humans and uses humans."”
Are already being programmed to accept “higher beings” some of whom may “be here to help us”? Today’s news:
Russian Scientist: UFO Crashed Into Meteorite to Save Earth
[people will believe an ‘alien’ saved the earth but do not believe God created it?]
Did a UFO deliberately crash into a meteor to save Earth 100 years ago? That's what one Russian scientist is claiming. Dr. Yuri Labvin, president of the Tunguska Spatial Phenomenon Foundation, insists that an alien spacecraft sacrificed itself to prevent a gigantic meteor from slamming into the planet above Siberia on June 30, 1908.
Alien found in Lahore Pakistan (translated by babelfish)And for good measure a few more:
"A 4 inch human like alien found alive during the digging of an Old house Lahore , Who was moving around and later caught and later injured by little kids. He was moving and jumping until caught by locals and then killed by people trying to capture that in bottle, news spread rapidly across the town and a lot of people gathered to witness that tiny creature, his skin is quickly getting burned up as temperature is around 40-45 Degree Celsius in Lahore these days, many people are pressing authorities for medical checkup to know the facts."
Himalayas: Australian Tourist witnesses UFO at close range
Actor stunned over cube UFO over Muswell Hill
Dozens report seeing UFOs over Merseyside
Thailand: Hovering UFO seen by numerous witnesses
All of the above UFO stories were posted in the last 2 to 3 days. Every day, new UFO stories arise. Be prepared for more, lots more! The point of this article is to remind us all of a few key points:
--satan is the father of lies
--we are promised deceit, signs, lying wonders in the end times
--the very elect will be deceived if it’s possible
--there is credible and substantial information showing UFOs are real
--many people are coming to the scientific, spiritual, and personal conclusion that the UFOs are Nephilim and their appearance is a precursor to all of the above
DO NOT BE DECEIVED. Spread the word. And the most important thing to share: the only safe haven for deception in the end times is your position in Jesus. Are you saved? No? Go here to learn how to be saved. Yes? Great! It doesn’t end there though. Are you a strong Christian who knows the Word of God? Stay on the narrow path. Stay in the light. Do not be deceived.
These days, there are increasing “sightings” of UFOs, or unidentified flying objects everywhere. People individually or in groups are seeing them, crowds are seeing them, people are reporting them, videotaping them, remarking on them at barbecues, seeing them at the Presidential Inauguration…it seems de rigueur for people to suddenly have a UFO story to share or a video to show. So what are the facts? Do UFOs exist?
Yes they exist. If you sort through all the garbage sightings and hoaxes, of which there are thousands, we are still left with a substantial group of flying things that are unidentified.
Confirmable facts include
· UFOs are physical
· UFOs have been tracked on radar, sometimes multiple radars at the same time
· They leave tangible traces on the ground such as radiation or burning
· They show up on cameras and video
Yet, being physical, they defy physical laws:
· They have been observed traveling 6000/mph yet produce no sonic boom
· They have made right angle turns while traveling at 16000mph
· They materialize and dematerialize
· They show up on photographs but sometimes they don’t. They show up on radar but sometimes they don’t.
In other words, while being physical, they behave in ways that show they cannot possibly be physical. They exhibit physical properties but violate all physical laws. How can this be?
They are hyperdimensional.
They are not inter-galactic. They do not come from other galaxies. They come from other dimensions. Chuck Missler made a statement on his multi-part video exploring these issues, (which I HIGHLY recommend!) that in studying Genesis it can be learned that there are 10 dimensions. In 1984 quantum physicists developed string theory and string theory holds that the universe has…you guessed it….ten dimensions.
Side note--Interestingly, the driving force behind string theory is that scientist intuitively think that there has to be an overarching unification behind all the universe and seek what holds it together. They formed string theory and the ten dimensions but are still searching for the cohesion. (Hint hint, it’s GOD. Duh!)
It was not until 1984 when scientists came up with “superstring theory” that the ancient-times rabbi/scholar Maimonides’s ten-dimensional proposal was corroborated. Maimonides studied Genesis and saw the ten dimensions. It seems there are ten dimensions, the three we are familiar with plus we have an inkling of the fourth, time.
Back to deception in the end times and the UFO’s. Please take note of an interesting turn of phrase in Luke 21:25-26:
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;” ... “Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
The phrase does not say ‘the things happening to men on the earth,’ it says the ‘things coming upon the earth.’ Coming from where? Other dimensions? If so they would be demonic, and certainly not here to help us.
Part 3 Saturday
Thursday, May 28, 2009
In that discourse (NIV, KJV) Jesus uses the word “deceive” four times, including His opening right off the bat. In the NASB the word is “mislead,” used four times. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians in describing the rapture and the times of the end, also urges them not to be deceived. (2 Thess 2:3) “Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed”
Paul also mentioned deception upon deception in his 2nd letter to Timothy 3:13 “But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
Deception again: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:13).
Why all this focus on deception? Because the unsaved are already deceived, and the increasingly lukewarm Christians can possibly be deceived. Remember, Lucifer was the top angel, a directly created being, made by God. We are not directly created. Lucifer hates humans and has spent the last 6 millennia developing ways to thwart God’s plans. Are we smarter than God’s top angel? NO! Has satan had 6000 years to study us and develop stratagems to deceive us? YES. Does satan and his minions have the power to do lying signs and wonders? YES. (2Thess 2:9)
In the time of the end, people will be deceived by their very eyes unless they are firmly rooted in GOD’S WORD. The unsaved are easily deceived, but by no means are Christians exempt from satan’s attempts to deceive us, either (Mt 24:24). We have been warned to stay in the faith, stay with our eyes on Jesus, and to stay true in His Word. The only safety is our position in Christ, forgiven and under His hand.
Part 2 Friday
Monday, May 25, 2009
What does this mean, "knowledge shall increase"? Some scholars take it to mean we will have increased knowledge of the prophecies, since that part of the verse immediately precedes the phrase. And that is certainly happening as well. It seems that God is revealing understanding of His prophetic promises at an increasing rate.
It also could simply mean that one of the end times signs is that humanity will know more, seek more knowledge, and have more access to it than any other time preceding the end. Therefore, I made an examination: DO we know more? HAS knowledge increased? The answer is yes.
"In the nineteenth century, it took about fifty years to double the world's knowledge. Today, the base of knowledge doubles in less than a year."
That is an extremely interesting, and perhaps prophetic, statement.
This University Professor said: "We're all striving to keep up with the quantum leaps being made in all areas of knowledge. It's estimated that medical knowledge, for example, doubles every seven years, and scientific knowledge doubles every twenty years. The total written knowledge in the world is said to have doubled between 1450 and 1750, and then to have doubled again between 1750 and 1900. Between 1900 and 1950, human knowledge doubled once more, and then again from 1950 to 1975. Now, it is believed to double every 900 days. By the year 2020, global knowledge is predicted to double every 72 days!"
It seems that knowledge is increasing, but is wisdom increasing alongside? Discernment? No, not in my opinion. Not when Harvard's Hasty Pudding Club devolved over the last 230 years from a club initiated "to cultivate the social affections and cherish the feelings of friendship and patriotism" to what it is today, a no-holds barred anarchist spectacle of a burlesque. Not when we have to create an entire awards category named "The Darwin Awards" to highlight man's stupidity in the face of all this increased knowledge. With all this increased knowledge, we have gotten stupider.
We can launch men and women into space, land on other planets in search of knowledge, only to deny the God who made the universe. In the face of technology capable of delving into the universe's very depths, we use it instead to attempt to gain satisfaction from soulless gadgets. In the face of knowledge that would astound Socrates and Aristotle, we instead use it instead to perfect brain-dulling drugs, drink, tobacco, and fast food.
When God asked Solomon what gift God could give him, Solomon did not ask for knowledge. He asked for wisdom. In the face of all the richest blessings of knowledge this humanity has ever possessed, we have forgotten to ask for the key gift: wisdom in how to use it. Knowledge has surely increased. Yet we are not smarter, because we have left God out of the equation.
Peter reminded the disciples to "add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." Peter outlines knowledge as a link in the progression from the beginning of faith, but by the time of the end, the progression has been vitiated.
In the forgetting to ask for these Godly additions to our knowledge, we have become barren and unfruitful. God knew that knowledge would increase, but it is not knowledge of Him that would be increasing. Colossians 1:10- "so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" but in the case of knowledge without God, the knowledge we gain profits a man but instead he has forfeited his own soul.
Service. It's becoming a rare word these days as the selfishness of man rises. We are told that increasingly, man will be conceited and selfish and brutal and arrogant and disobedient ... which makes selfless service all the more a standout. Thank you troops, for serving. I'm humbly grateful to you from the bottom of my heart. Without your service and sacrifices, I could not write on this blog about the things that the Lord impresses me to write about. I have the freedom to do that thanks to all those who fought for those freedoms.
Shifting the focus from military service, to another kind of service, "For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more." 1 Corinthians 9:19
We go to war to win wars. Winning is the point in military service. There is also another battle ongoing, at all times and in all places. The spiritual battle Paul speaks of in Ephesians. We win that battle also by serving. As we serve Him, as we serve fellow man, we win more. More souls, glorifying His name. Military victories are temporary but winning souls is eternal.
Today as we watch parades and thank servicemen and women, I urge the Christian to do a heart-check. Have we become arrogant? Conceited? Do we take pride in our service to Him? Are we so involved with programs of service we have left Jesus out of the heart of it? Do we still have the attitude of a servant? Like Jesus did?
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:3-8
And some soul in heaven, someday, will thank you for your service.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Thus, rather than an apeman-like missing link that some media sources have irresponsibly implied, the real story is quite underwhelming and should in no way faze creationists. Let’s first review the facts:
- The well-preserved fossil (95 percent complete, including fossilized fur and more) is about the size of a raccoon and includes a long tail. It resembles the skeleton of a lemur (a small, tailed, tree-climbing primate). In no way does the fossil (see the picture, right) resemble a human skeleton.
- The fossil was found in two parts by amateur fossil hunters in 1983. It eventually made its way through fossil dealers to the research team.
- Ida has opposable thumbs, which the ABC News article states are “similar to humans’ and unlike those found on other modern mammals” (i.e., implying that opposable thumbs are evidence of evolution). Yet lemurs today have opposable thumbs (like all primates). Likewise, Ida has nails, as do other primates. And the talus bone is described as “the same shape as in humans,” despite the fact that there are other differences in the ankle structure.3
- Unlike today’s lemurs (as far as scientists know), Ida lacks the “grooming claw” and a “toothcomb” (a fused row of teeth) In fact, its teeth are more similar to a monkey’s. These are minor differences easily explained by variation within a kind.
The principles that inform creationists about Ida are some of the same that allow creationists to interpret fossil after fossil hailed as “transitional forms”:
- Nothing about this fossil suggests it is anything other than an extinct, lemur-like creature. Its appearance is far from chimpanzee, let alone “apeman” or human.
- A fossil can never show evolution. Fossils are unchanging records of dead organisms. Evolution is an alleged process of change in live organisms. Fossils show “evolution” only if one presupposes evolution, then uses that presupposed belief to interpret the fossil.
- Similarities can never show evolution. If two organisms have similar structures, the only thing it proves is that the two have similar structures. One must presuppose evolution to say that the similarities are due to evolution rather than design. Furthermore, when it comes to “transitional forms,” the slightest similarities often receive great attention while major differences are ignored.
- The remarkable preservation is a hallmark of rapid burial. Team member Jørn Hurum of the University of Oslo said, “This fossil is so complete. Everything’s there. It’s unheard of in the primate record at all. You have to get to human burial to see something that’s this complete.” Even the contents of Ida’s stomach were preserved. While the researchers believe Ida sunk to the bottom of a lake and was buried, this preservation is more consistent with a catastrophic flood.4 Yet Ida was found with “hundreds of well-preserved specimens.”5
- If evolution were true, there would be real transitional forms. Instead, the best “missing links” evolutionists can come up with are strikingly similar to organisms we see today, usually with the exception of minor, controversial, and inferred anatomical differences.
- Evolutionists only open up about the lack of fossil missing links once a new one is found. Sky News reports, “Researchers say proof of this transitional species finally confirms Charles Darwin's theory of evolution,” while Attenborough commented that the missing link “is no longer missing.” So are they admitting the evidence was missing until now (supposedly)?
"[B]ecause the fossil is similar to a modern lemur (a small, tailed, tree-climbing primate), it’s unlikely that creationists need any interpretation of the “missing link” other than that it was a small, tailed, probably tree-climbing, and now extinct primate—from a kind created on Day 6 of Creation Week."
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I feel that too little attention is paid to that scripture as a gateway to His feet, and I'm eternally grateful for a Christian whom was knowledgeable and prepared to respond to me on these issues and level.
I have been reading the buildup to this potential missing link with interest. Today when the news came out I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to respond, and being a writer, I wrote.
The buzz has been building in both the scientific and the secular worlds for about a month now, and it has reached fever pitch. The commercials on the History Channel have been cryptic but constant: “After May 25 everything will change,” it says. “This will be a global event,’ it says. Speculation that scientists have discovered the ‘missing link’ in evolutionary science have run rampant.
Today it was announced that indeed that indeed, an ancient fossil scientists say represents the missing link has been found. One article states, ‘It took 200 years but the search for a direct connection between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom was presented to the world today at a special news conference in New York.’
I admit, I am not the best Christian at apologetics when asked about universal astrophysics in defending the 6-day creation statement in Genesis; nor am I fluent enough in evolutionary biology to defend creationism and God’s direct hand in making humans. One way I and others relied on an answer is to state the obvious: Darwin’s theory is only a theory. It has never been proven.
That answer will no longer suffice. The secular world is looking for the nails to pound in the coffin into which they have put Christianity. At every turn, they say Christianity is dead, or the bible is bunk. The latest news about an alleged missing link is yet another piece of ammunition for atheists to use. This news will undoubtedly create a quandary also for many agnostics who are leaning toward Christianity, and also perhaps for some Christians who believe the idea that God allowed His creation to unfold over eons of time.
We are told there will be scoffers and mockers in the days of the end. People will abandon the faith. We are told that when Jesus returns will He even find faith upon the earth? We are told that Christians will be persecuted. We are told that there will be a false prophet promoting a one-world religion. Brethren, you are not seeing the death of Christianity, but its glorious transformation into its final Self as represented by the Living King Jesus and His Redeemed and Raptured Bride However, until we get there, we have a job to do: defend the faith.
I want to be clear about my stance. I believe the bible literally. I believe God made man in His image, not apes. I believe He created the world in 6 days. I believe everything in the bible as it is presented: demons, hell, angels, sin, salvation, Jesus/God/Spirit as Trinity. I do not believe in evolution.
Brethren, we may be called to defend or explain this news of Missing Link Ida to unbelievers. We may be asked how “science” (which most secular people believe is infallible) squares with the notion of an invisible God moving His hand and speaking the world into existence. The idea of Ida the Missing Link will have powerful pull. How will you answer?
We must prepare. We cannot be lukewarm Christians. We should be prepared to say exactly how and why we believe as we do. Many of us spend a great deal of time raising our families and working for our supply, and being busy and productive for the Lord. We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about why we believe as we do, other than to simply say: “The bible is true because I believe it is true.” Normally that is a good enough answer when we say it because we believe it to the core. But even better, is to be credible and coherent on the subject. I’m not suggesting we become experts in natural history nor get a degree in evolutionary biology. But if we read up one or two of the flaws in evolution theory, have at the ready one or two reasons why the bible believed literally is not delusional, we can become more credible.
We owe Jesus our all, including a coherent defense of the faith in the face of the rising tide of skepticism. I recommend several sites to look for a simple answer and good rebuttals to evolution: including a fresh article rebutting the missing link hype from Answers In Genesis, the natural history apologetics ministry. GotQuestions.org also has several articles synopsizing flaws in Darwin’s theory. Here is one.
Five years ago, I was an agnostic adult. I was at a point when I was seeking meaning in something bigger than me, yet I was also curious about the world as explained through science. I was trying to reconcile what I had been taught in science class with what I saw around me through His invisible attributes, as stated in Romans 1:20.
I asked a Christian I knew how she could believe in the young earth in the face of all this (seemingly) solid science. She responded coherently and passionately with a plausible explanation of why she believed in the young earth of God as opposed to the old earth as presented in the secular fossil record. Her passionate and believable response was enough to keep the door in my heart open to Jesus, and soon after being impressed with her reply, I accepted Jesus as Savior.
It makes a difference if we can articulate our faith. And we all come to knowledge of our sins and the need for Jesus in different ways. My path was through seeing His attributes through His creation, His eternal power and divine nature on earth. Jude urges us to “earnestly contend for the faith.” One way is to be ready to respond to a person the Holy Spirit puts in your path, one who is curious about fossils and young earth and missing links. I pray you will be ready with a reply that very well could be eternal for that soul…and He will be glorified.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
"For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch."
Before the decree takes effect--The day passes like the chaff--Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD'S anger comes upon you.
"You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the LORD, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.
Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17
His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
(Left, threshing floor)
After reaping, the grain or crop is gathered and prepared for processing. In Jesus times, the main grains were wheat, which made better bread but required good soil and water, two items lacking in the desert; and barley. Barley was used for bread by less wealthy people, because it would grow in harsh conditions with more ease. (John 6:9:"There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?") Grain reaping was completed either by pulling it up by the roots, or cutting it with a type of sickle. The grain when cut was generally put up in sheaves (Gen. 37:7; Lev. 23:10-15; Ruth 2:7, 15; Job 24:10; Jer. 9:22; Micah 4:12), which were afterwards gathered to the threshing-floor or stored in barns (Matt. 6:26).
Next comes threshing. Circular floors were prepared on hilltops, where there was more wind. A threshing floor is a specially flattened surface made either of rock or beaten earth where a farmer would thresh the grain harvest by spreading the sheaves on the threshing-floor and causing oxen and cattle to walk repeatedly over them (Deut. 25:4; Isa. 28:28) using a moreg, a threshing roller or sledge (2 Sam. 24:22; 1 Chr. 21:23; Isa. 3:15). However the a sledge sometimes damaged the grain. Next, winnowing. After the grain was threshed, it was winnowed by being thrown up against the wind (Jer. 4:11), and afterwards tossed with wooden scoops (Isa. 30:24). The shovel and the fan for winnowing are mentioned in Ps. 35:5, Job 21:18, Isa. 17:13. The refuse of straw and chaff was burned (Isa. 5:24). Freed from impurities, the grain was then stored in granaries till used (Deut. 28:8; Prov. 3:10; Matt. 6:26; 13:30; Luke 12:18).
Are you wheat, good men who will be gathered from the barns to His bosom? Or are you chaff, which will be left behind and burned with unquenchable fire? Do not wait for the very end to find out. Pray to Jesus today and ask to be forgiven of your sins, and He will do so. Ask Him to be the Lord of your life, and He will be so. Then when the time of judgment comes, you will know with certainty where you stand in the winnowing.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
A publication from the American Psychological Association includes an admission that there is no "gay" gene, according to a doctor who has written about the issue on the website of National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality. NARTH deleted their original statement published since the late 1990's: "There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality" and instead have revised it to state the following, according to A. Dean Byrd, the past president of NARTH:
"There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles. ..."
Byrd goes on to say: "Although there is no mention of the research that influenced this new position statement, it is clear that efforts to 'prove' that homosexuality is simply a biological fait accompli have failed," Byrd wrote. "The activist researchers themselves have reluctantly reached that conclusion. There is no gay gene. There is no simple biological pathway to homosexuality."
What does this mean, in an end times context? The bible says (which means God says) homosexuality is a sin. (Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). Romans 1:26-27) The bible also says that its prevalence would be so entrenched in society in the end of days that Jesus refers to them as an end times sign as the Days of Lot (when rampant homosexuality on the streets put every person walking alone in peril) Despite decades of experts attempting to normalize this behavior, including saying that its proclivity is genetic (hereby suspending the choice aspect), it is not normal and it is a choice.
Therefore, it is a choice to sin. And sinful choices - all of them - will be judged harshly by Jesus when He returns. (Romans 2)
It is good news also for the repentant gay person: they no longer need to feel that they are locked into a biological certainty. Anyone who is privately wondering about their homosexual orientation and its deplorable and empty lifestyle, can simply (and always) turn to the One who gives peace that passes all understanding. They can know they simply need to make a different choice, the best choice. They can pray for forgiveness and strength through the Holy Spirit to overcome this sin, and dwell forever in purity and joy with Him who made it all possible.
But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him. (Psalm 37:39,40)
Monday, May 11, 2009
Turkey has agreed to hold military exercises with Syria. This is significant because never before has an important NATO power staged a joint exercise with any Arab army. It also illustrates a re-alignment the bible said would come: that Turkey will be in the alliance of Gog-Magog nations to come against Israel in Ezekiel's Gog-Magog war (chaps. 37-38).
Now, it is reported that Turkey to break with NATO on Iran. "A report issued by the Washington Institute says Turkey has moved steadily away from its NATO allies and toward Iran, Russia and Syria."
Lord, have mercy!
Other prophecy around Israel is hurtling to fruition. At once, the world is coming against her, (Zech 14:2) she is about to be left alone without a friend in the world (Zech 12:1-3), a new peace treaty (covenant?) is in the works (Dan 9:27, Is 28:18), and she is being pressured to divide her land (Joel 3:1-2).
The seemingly once unshakeable alliance the US had with Israel is weakening by the day. As Todd Strandberg wrote: "The disintegration of the alliance between the U.S. and Israel is a key factor in prophecy." These next articles show the United States' movement away from Israel and pressure against Israel. God will curse those that curse Israel...(Gen 12:3)...so beware of the times we are in!
Pope calls for Palestinian state
Pope Benedict XVI has called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, immediately plunging into Middle East politics upon his arrival in Israel.
Blair: New Mideast peace plan unveiled in weeks
The Obama administration and international negotiators are drafting a new strategy for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and expect to unveil it within six weeks, international Mideast envoy Tony Blair said. "We're about to get a new framework," Blair said late Tuesday. ... The Obama administration has promised to work for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. It has portrayed a two-state solution as the only way to solve the Mideast conflict and defined it as a U.S. national interest.
Obama let a 40-year old secret out of the bag at a news conference. Accident? Coincidence? I do not believe so. And now the Iranians have an edge.
Obama official: Israel should sign non-nuke pact
The Washington Times reported that a push to get Israel to sign the NPT would jeopardize a 40-year-old secret agreement between the United States and the Jewish state to never acknowledge publicly Israel's nuclear arsenal. The Times describes documents released in recent years that acknowledge an accord, forged at a summit between U.S. President Richard Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, although there is no explicit record of the accord. But a memo from then-national security adviser Henry Kissinger to Nixon, according to the newspaper, notes the existence of Israeli missiles topped with nuclear warheads and then states that "what we really want at a minimum may be just to keep Israeli possession from becoming an established international fact."
Iran urges world action on Israeli nukes
Iran says Israel's undeclared arsenal of approximately 200 atomic warheads is the only obstacle in the way of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.
Israel to Be Left Alone in World?
How Obama's America might threaten Israel
Obama is changing the rules of Mideast pressure
Even a few short years ago it seemed impossible, unlikely, and unwarranted that the US would be moving away from Israel. And the speed with which other countries are coming against her, pressuring her to give up land is amazing. The Lord knows when we will be raptured and He knows when these things shall come to pass and He knows when the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled. Praise His name, He gave us clues and times and seasons and things to look for and when we see them, He said, "Look up, for your Redemption draweth nigh!"
Thursday, May 7, 2009
1 Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us
"But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.
2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith
Prophecy is being fulfilled at a dizzying rate. “When we see these things, look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28; “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, until all these things be accomplished Mark 13:30.”
Christianity has run a relay race since the moment that the Holy Spirit descended upon the first ones in the upper room. They fanned out in the courtyards, the city, and then the world, bringing the Good News to all who would hear. Many were persecuted and were killed for their faith, but they were diligent in the relay to ensure their careful obedience to the Spirit so that there would be a baton to hand to the next generation.
The second wave, no longer witnesses to the earthly Glory of Jesus, walked and preached and shared the Good News in their homes and churches and on the streets. They ran their race, fought the good fight, and they handed the baton to the next generation to carry on, even as they expired their last as the lions roared in the rings or were stoned like dogs by rabid crowds. And so it went, through the decades and the millennia.
The race was run through the early years until Christianity was adopted by Constantine in 312. It ran through the bloody, plague years of the Dark Ages, brothers and sisters killed as they insisted on their right to carry a personal bible or to relate the Gospel themselves and not through a priest. The relay was run through the Renaissance years when art and music began to shift to Godly representations instead of pagan ones. The baton was handed to the missionaries of the 1700 and 1800s, who went to the four corners of the earth, proclaiming and sharing. The baton was handed to the next, the Greatest Generation we are told, who lived Godly lives and won wars and shared the Good News in joy. Finally, through all the eons and years and travails, we, perhaps the last generation, now have the baton. We are running our race now.
Each generation lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangled them, and they ran with endurance the race that was set before them. They were obedient to the Spirit who gave them strength to hold the baton with steadfastness and in so doing kept the flame of faith alive.
We can see the finish line. I am sure the Saints are cheering us from their heavenly sidelines. Will we faint before we cross it? Will we stop sharing the Good News, preferring tickled ears? Will we be diligent enough to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God in the face of hatred and persecution we know is coming? Will we stumble?
Let it not be so! We must finish the course with faith, working till the last. We must not drop the baton. We must finish the course, the Christian race that our forefathers and mothers ran. We are part of the same body and in the same race. Race on, brothers and sisters! Hold fast to the baton of faith, carrying it joyfully as we cross the line and then kneel at His feet forever! Jesus waits to greet us as He proclaims the course finished and to say “Well done good and faithful servants!” For when Jesus calls us home through the Rapture, in joy and solemnity, we can hand the baton back to Him closing the circle from the first Saints who shared the faith.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
According to an article in The Christian Post this week, sectarian violence has been on the rise as Christian-Muslim relations have been strained by conversions to Christianity and government opposition to recognizing the conversions. Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 80 million people are Coptic Christians. Egypt has the largest Christian population in the Middle East.
Tensions have been rising for Egypt's Christians. "Christian Arabs have increasingly complained of being marginalized in the Middle East, with large numbers leaving over the decades. Now it appears that pressure on these communities is spiking, whether in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan or the West Bank. In each, Christians speak of specific national behavior that has made them feel less welcome."
Then the "swine flu" (H1N1 Influenza A) hit. Egyptian officials made the immediate decision to kill all pigs in the nation, a decision directly affecting Christian farmers, and a decision that the WHO condemned. The Egypt Daily has an article in which commenters reacting to the article allege "One aspect of the debate which has emerged surrounds alleged sectarian motivations behind the cull: the vast majority of Egypt’s pig farmers are Christian." A blogger in response to the article wrote:
“Remember when the bird flu hit Egypt and the MB parliamentarians were all responsible and sober and carried out public health outreach and information to calm the hysteria about eating chicken?” ... “Turns out they are quite willing to let their religious prejudices trump their scientific judgment when the flu carriers are pigs.”
Egypt to slaughter 300,000 pigs
Egyptian authorities have begun slaughtering 300,000 pigs as a precaution against swine flu, officials said. The World Health Organization has criticized the move, saying there is no evidence pigs are transmitting swine flu to humans, the British network reported.
UN says Egypt pig cull real mistake
The United Nations has called Egypt's move to cull 400,000 pigs as a precaution against swine flu "a real mistake". ... No pigs in the country have been found with the new strain of H1N1 virus of the so-called swine flu and the World Health Organisation (WHO) says the disease cannot be caught from eating pork that is properly prepared.
Egyptian Christians riot after swine flu cull
Egyptian leaders ordered the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of pigs today to help protect against swine flu, prompting angry protests from the poor Christian farmers who feed their animals with a country's food scraps.
The Arab world's most populous nation has been been badly hit by the H5N1 bird flu virus in recent years and the move to cull up to 400,000 pigs - seen by Muslims as unclean animals - was designed to calm fears of an impending pandemic. But it left Egypt's large Coptic Christian minority up in arms, especially the slum-dwelling "Zebaleen" rubbish collectors who rely on the hogs for their livelihood.
Egypt's pig cull not a swine flu measure
The vast majority of Egyptians are Muslims and don't eat pork for religious reasons. However, about 10 per cent of Egyptians are Coptic Christians, and so are most of the pig farmers, many of whom live in Cairo slums inhabited mostly by Christian garbage collectors. The pigs feed on the garbage.
Egypt presses ahead with pig cull
Pig-farming and consumption is limited to Egypt's Christian minority, estimated at 10% of the population. The pigs will now be moved to specially prepared slaughterhouses, and armed police are on standby to prevent farmers from hiding or smuggling livestock.
The Health Ministry says the government will take advantage of the swine flu outbreak, despite the absence so far of cases in Egypt. It intends to restructure pig farming so that in future animals are not reared on rubbish tips but on proper farms.
Family vendettas between Coptic Christians and Muslims are common...but, Jesus knew that at the time of the end Christians would be persecuted, betrayed, and killed.
Matthew 10:21-22 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.