Friday, April 20, 2018

Trust History, NOT Hysteria


With all due respect to the Offices of our Elected, Appointed, and Hired Officials in all levels of Local, State and Federal Government, within these United States of America, I present these facts for your honest consideration:

1.     Despite more than 100 years of adding anti-gun laws (ref: NY State Sullivan Act), hundreds and thousands of anti-gun laws, on the books of our Nation, have not stopped the sin-nature of people from attacking and killing each other with anything at hand, including bare hands.

2.     FBI data has shown that, for every act of gun related violence there are three times as many violent crimes (against persons) that are committed without any firearm.

3.     IF one studies violence around the world and the USA, our nation does NOT have the highest per capita gun violence rate, and is far from it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pELwCqz2JfE.

4.     IF one reads the thorough research done for Lott’s book, “More Guns, Less Crime”, one discovers that, in locales where there is a higher proportion of unrestricted ownership of firearms, by law-abiding citizens, including weapons of the owners’ choice, there are correspondingly lower violent crime rates against persons.

5.     Over 100 years of accumulated anti-gun laws do NOT call for the passage of more anti-gun laws: guns are NOT the problem; our sin nature is the problem. Law exposes guilt and wrong motivations, but, as the Bible has proven for eons, while Law exposes and condemns sin, Law doesn’t stop sin, nor does Law change people's sin nature. Only repentance toward God can do the latter.

6.     Ignorance of God's Word, ignorance of human nature, ignorance of history, and ignorance of responsible research, coupled with fear, moral corruption, and political convenience, are the biggest drivers of the anti-gun fever in the USA, and abroad. When looking at the history of the rise and fall of dictators, history clearly shows that power-hungry people seldom want their subjects to keep and bear arms for responsible self-defense based on one's spiritual and personal conscience.

7.     The historical rise and fall of cultures and persons of power show that there is no police force or army, in this world, big enough to stop people’s sin and violence against each other. Just take an honest look at all the butchery that takes place around the world, with and without guns, no matter how many despotic anti-firearm regulations are dictated or enacted.

8.    Honest historical research shows that laws do not stop people from sinning violently against each other, whether with or without firearms. High density, U.S. locales with THE MOST stringent anti-gun laws (e.g. Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., including other U.S. locales with highly restrictive anti-gun laws) alternatingly bear the title of highest per capita anti-personnel gun violence (despite all the stringent anti-gun laws in those communities). Similar violence, and worse, is true in other anti-gun countries, because law-abiding citizens are NOT ‘allowed’ to own guns, much less defend themselves with firearms. Yet, gun murders proliferate widely in those restrictive environments. Why? Because, when law abiding citizens are not allowed to own the means to attempt to defend themselves, only the outlaws have weapons. That means that everyone in that environment is a potential target and victim, EXCEPT for the criminals who illegally own weapons.

9.     Only a strong internalized personal spiritual or moral "compass" can stop people from attacking and killing each other. Without that internal "compass" our sin nature will usually choose what is pleasing, satisfying, or fulfilling our sinful fantasies, and there are not enough police or prison cells to lock up and guard everyone who is a sinner by nature... because we are all sinners. Therefore, in recognition of the inability of Law to stop people from killing each other, as our Constitution recognizes, I most strenuously urge you to carefully weigh all existing and upcoming legislation, including weapons related proposals, and that you throw out everything that goes against God's Word and against our U.S. Constitution.

10.  In spite of public, political, personal, or media hype, fear, ignorance, or paranoia, ONLY a person's motives and usage of any given weapon are the REAL issue. There is no firearms problem, because we cannot rationally blame inanimate objects. It is NOT a problem of who has made a weapon or what kind of weapon was made. There is no rational reason to infringe on invention or legitimate commerce among law-abiding citizens or businesses so long as our Constitution and Bill of Rights have not been violated. Responsible invention, labor, and commerce are appropriate human conduct, whether the product be ice cream, automobiles, printing presses, the internet, or firearms (just as Colt, Winchester, Ruger, Ford, Baskin-Robbins, and many other inventors started their businesses). It is neither responsible nor sane to blame inanimate objects instead of holding end users and their motives accountable and responsible for their sinful and criminal actions. People need to stop blaming objects for sin, instead of holding abusers responsible for their personal choices and actions. Sadly, those who blame objects for human sin wallow in their hypocrisy because they do not demonstrate an equally hostile attitude or behavior toward all inanimate things that people use to inflict suffering and death upon each other. IF those who blame inanimate objects for human sin were to turn from their hypocrisy and make themselves credible, then the rest of us should see them level equally zealous blame and a horrific cry for bans and the cutting off the use of all the hands, automobiles, and computers that have been used in millions of injuries and deaths (and ID thefts) that have occurred as the result of people abusing their hands, automobiles, and computers. Why do such hypocrites insist on holding firearms responsible, but never cry for computers or phones to be held responsible? It is the sinner and her/his choice of action that must be held accountable, not the object in her/his hand.

11.  We cannot rationally blame the style of any weapon, any more than we can blame the weapon itself for the actions of the person wielding it. So-called "bump stocks" are the hot topic with anti-gunners these days, but all a user need do is adjust one's hand hold to effect the same kind of result. Just because shooters do not need any special gizmo on their gun to get a "bump stock" effect, shall we mandate to cut off every citizens’ thumbs in fear of what they might do with those thumbs? That way we could easily tell who wasn't going to be a "bump stock" threat to us and we could all go back to our sinful pleasures and blindness, covering our own comfortable sins and excusing the sins of those we didn't want to offend. The lies and false hopes of the anti-gun crowd deny our need for a deeper moral and spiritual self-examination and definitely a HUGE amount of repentance before God and His Christ.

12.  Our State and Federal Constitutions guarantee the rights of law-abiding citizens to possess and carry arms, as we responsibly choose (as the U.S. Supreme Court's Dred Scott Decision cited, even though that SCOTUS decision violated that man’s other human rights).

Thank you for your time and consideration.

"Ever Learning, and Never Able to Come to the Knowledge of the Truth"

2 Timothy 3:1-7

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Dear friend,
No one can religiously satisfy God for us, nor can we satisfy Him ourselves. But, God has already made "the way of escape": each and every one of us must personally acknowledge and repent of our sin, personally receive God's Christ, and personally be born again of the Spirit of Christ by faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ, lest we force ourselves to neglect the only salvation that God offers to humanity, lest we personally neglect God's Way and thereby, by default, personally choose to perish eternally. Please choose God's way in His Christ. Don't choose damnation. He gives us no other options, now, and for eternity.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Amazing Acts of God's Holy Spirit

According to the Bible, most of the world has no clue about who God really is and how God really works (especially note verse 14 in that link). In that assessment, God includes some very religious people and folks from all walks of life.

By contrast, if you want to see, scripturally, how amazingly God works in and through the lives of those who have accepted God's Christ (or shall yet choose Him), may I suggest reading Acts 7:1 through Acts 9:31, where you'll see the trial, confession, and stoning of Stephen, and the persecution of biblical Christians by the zealous Saul, who witnessed Stephen's testimony and death. Later, Saul would be called by the risen Christ to repent and serve Jesus in truth, in repentance and faith becoming Paul, an apostle, instead of continuing to live in religious error and missing God's goal for Saul/Paul's life.

The above passages lead to two huge questions that the world, the devil, and our own flesh want us to avoid facing:
2) How can I be assured of God's only plan of salvation?

IF we really want and seek God's truth, God's Holy Spirit can and will guide us to accept God's truth in God's biblical answers, for those always lead us to the eternal choice of whether we are willing to accept and receive the living Christ of God and His salvation.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Passover-Easter Plea: God's Love Overcomes Sin, BUT, Only By Blood

I wish each of you the best that God has to offer. This is a beautiful world that God has given us to temporarily enjoy, yet, as almost any news broadcast shows from around the world, our lives are troubled greatly by human sin. But, despite all the awful things that people do to one another, we have much for which to be thankful, so, may all praise and glory be unto God for all His provision to us, through His Messiah, His Christ.

This is the Passover-Easter season (over 3,500 years old), steeped in rich history, prophecy, and great fulfillments. A thorough reading of history and the Bible shows us that, above all, from the first sin of Adam and Eve to the sufferings, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has provided a trail of blood dealing with human sin. That bloody trail cannot be discounted unless one deliberately or ignorantly fights against the evidence that God has provided, and one turns one's back on that evidence. The trail of blood initially covered the sins of those who believed God's promises. But, in the blood of Jesus Christ, the sins of everyone in the world is washed away IF and only IF we personally and deliberately repent of our sin and then receive God's Christ/Messiah as our Savior by faith. John the baptist said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

By and since the shedding of the blood of God's Christ (God's perfect sacrifice for sin), there is no more payment or blood that can be offered to pay for anyone's sin, for to sacrifice anything else for sin, or to try to sacrifice Christ again, insults the one pure and holy offering that Jesus already made in His own sinless blood.

We live our temporal lives, like the changing seasons, but, this earthly life isn’t forever. For what, then, are we really preparing? What are we doing with our fleeting time, since this earthly life must end one day? Are we pleasing God or just ourselves? The answer lies within the riches of God's Holy Bible, if we will but humble ourselves before God, asking His Holy Spirit to teach us, from His Bible, what we need to know to get saved and live in Him, with Him, and for Him, now and forever.

I offer this as a spiritual exploration, for I am but a sinner saved (March 15, 1984) by faith alone in God’s mercy in Christ, as you already may be, or surely can be, according to His exclusive promises in His Word (the Bible). IF you profess to know Him as Savior, please accept this as an invitation to godly self-examination and restoration unto God, and that we might have peace with all who choose Christ according to His Word. May this truly be a time of holy remembrance, repentance, and joyous salvation, as God desires.

I, also, urgently, write this to those who reject Christ or His Bible, for they have declared their intent before God, effectively pretending themselves to be their own god or judge. Also, I, pleadingly, write this to those who cling to religion or religiosity, whose formalisms (in their departure from the Bible) have led them into error, as they think that they have already attained some optional formula to placate God’s requirements for dealing with their sin. These latter have said, “I’m all set.”, effectively blindly transforming their religion into their god and themselves to be their own eternal judge.

Many souls among us, in this world, also name the name of Jesus Christ and God with zeal or distant yearning. Therefore, I write this for the encouragement and edification of all who would read this, with the intent that each one might trust, believe, learn, and grow in faith, believing on and trusting in the only living Christ of God, as God proclaims in the Bible. I offer this to those who wonder about and seek God’s salvation. I offer this to those who have yet to choose Jesus, alone, as well as to those who claim Him according to the Bible and freely confess Him as Savior, without apology or fear before mankind, seeking to live in Him daily, in all fullness of His Holy Spirit and in accord with His Word.

Those who already accept and trust God’s Word, also know that the lost souls of this world have no part in Christ Jesus nor in His salvation, until they deliberately and personally turn to Him in repentance and faith, as Jesus said…, even as God requires of us.

I bless God Almighty and His Creator, Christ Jesus, that this Spring season is slowly coming upon us: a time that most of us rejoice in the passing of winter’s clutch (goodbye, snow removal); a time of anticipation of new life springing up (whether we enjoy getting our fingers in the dirt as farmers or gardeners, or not).

At this season, some, among us, celebrate by communing in the remembrance of the pure life, atoning blood, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We celebrate that He chose to endure our punishment for sin, instead forcing us to bear it in the lake of fire forever for ourselves, as we deserve. In His eternal love, Christ Jesus did that to set us free from the bonds of sin, to enable us to serve Him in truth. May God help us to not forget that He came to set us free, and that He did NOT come to preach, establish, or teach the practice of religion, or religiosity, but rather that believers should walk by faith with Him, testing all things by the Bible.

God wants us to flee away from sin and to choose Him, flee to Him for salvation and a new life; to be born again in repentance (from sin) and faith in Jesus, in order to love, serve, and abide in Him. Fundamental to repentance is the idea that God wants us to agree with Him about what sin is. And, He says that those who fail to agree with God and His Word about the nature of sin, deny themselves the gift of His salvation because theyhave sought to deny or hide their own sin. God wants us to turn away from sin and the world (repentance) to live His way in Christ, not according to our own definition of righteousness.

If we are Christians (by biblical definition), and not just calling ourselves that for religious reasons, we need to celebrate the living Christ of Passover and Easter, by open and unashamed discussion of who He is and what He has accomplished for us, with mutual appreciation of His perfect selflessness, and holy joy in His resurrection. It is time for us to make Jesus known as THE focus of this season, and for our conversations to be fruitful before God. So make these days, and every day, days of holy remembrance and godly action. Otherwise, how can God truly be honored or smile on us if we treat the name and sacrifice of His only begotten son as a by-word instead of as "the main event", especially on a day when we say we gather in His name to celebrate His power and victory over death? God alone knows each of our hearts and our motives. Therefore, may God help us to put aside our flesh and to think on Christ fully and tenderly, even as these days of remembrance demand of us. IF we find the exploration of God’s Word and our dependence on Him to be burdensome, let us be wary of our natural inclinations.

The world offers all sorts of distractions that cater to our flesh, as it tries to keep our eyes, hearts, and minds off of what God wants for our lives. I, too, am guilty of chasing earthly appetites and distractions. Each of those, I must freely confess to Christ, my Creator, the Almighty, seeking His Spirit's help that I may be less worldly and more focused on my Savior, Christ Jesus. We can boldly plead with God for mercy about such things (IF we really repent), because, Jesus came to set us all free from sin and the world; free to choose God and God’s ways.

In His holy love for us, Christ paid a terrible price during the beatings and crucifixion of Him, to accomplish God’s only plan of salvation for us. He did that, because, as sinners by nature, we are incapable of saving ourselves, AND because only Jesus' sinless blood could satisfy God's wrath against sin, forever. Because of that salvation that Christ offers us, we do not have to live like the world lives, in sin. IF we have truly believed on Christ and scripturally received His gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, then we are eternally secure, in Him alone. Yet, when we drop our guard and force ourselves to succumb to earthly temptations, we still need to repent of our new sins, but, His salvation sustains us.

In God’s call to each of us, He wants us to learn what the self-sacrificing (agape) love of Christ really is, according to His Word, not by worldly standards or definitions, and surely not by feelings, for God tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?”). God loves us in Truth, as unconditionally offered in His plan of salvation, because He made us in His image. But, though that agape love gained for us God's salvation, let us not be ignorant or forget that He hates our sin, for it was our very sin that provoked Jesus to volunteer to die to save us from our own sin nature.

All the cruelty and murder that was heaped on Jesus was to all the shedding of His holy blood because of and to specifically pay for my sin and yours, and He bore every one of our sins on the Cross. Even though we had not yet been born, He knew all of our sin that was to come, and yet shall be, in our lives. He knew that we could not save ourselves from our own sin. His sacrifice for us is not something of which any Christian should be ashamed. Nor should we be ashamed of our desperate need to depend on Christ for His perfect, and only, salvation.

What, but earthly, fleshly sin, motivates us to haul out the ‘easter bunny’ false god, so that we don’t insist on teaching our children that the only reason for this Holy Day is that the Messiah, the Christ of God, Jesus, died for our own sin? Surely, God's love and our godly love, both, demand (Ezekiel 33) that we warn others (including our children) of His truth about sin and idolatry. In this Holy Day of remembering the sufferings and death of our Savior, we should rejoice in His resurrection AND be soberly, lovingly fearful of insulting the sacrifice of our risen Savior, because He, alone, gave His own life on our behalf. Our children need to know the whole living truth that God sets before us, lest they die in their sins, thinking that Passover-Easter is 'just some religious thing', or for their entertainment or personal gain. God has set all real Christians, adult or child, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings, as watchmen to proclaim God's Word, faith, and His biblical ordinances. If we fail to do as He says in Ezekiel 33, the blood of those in the lake of fire is on our hands.

God did not send us, Christians, into the world in pajamas to pursue our own appetites at our own leisure, but He sends us out in full battle gear, even as He promises to be our rear guard to watch our backs. Therefore, we need to challenge ourselves to remember that God says that He doesn’t accept anyone or anything else interceding for our sin, and that He demands that we address our sin, personally, with Him.

Furthermore, God defines idols and false gods as anything that we allow to lead us away from worshipping and obeying Him. Though I openly reject the idolatrous pagan mockeries of Christ, that are called Easter bunnies and Santa Claus, yet, that doesn’t necessarily make me a ‘good Christian’. For, whenever I fail my Savior by lusting after or indulging in anything that causes me to neglect my Christian duty to God (according to His Word and Holy Spirit), then I make myself into an idolater, worshipping that which I have allowed to distract me from God’s Word and His ways. My idolatry breaks my fellowship with God and is not good for me, nor for those around me. Therefore, in this Christian war within ourselves, between our flesh and spirit, whatever idols or false gods I make or entertain, I need to repent, to be at peace with my Savior, the one true God.

In contrast to God’s view, our flesh and the world love the pursuit of sinful things. Who can't see or understand that? Our own flesh and the world love sin so much that they hate it when someone exposes our sin, or theirs, or our, respective, philosophical or religious hypocrisies. Because we are sinners by nature, and in our daily actions, we prove ourselves to be hypocrites, to one degree or other, but we still need to accept God’s challenge that we need an attitude and behavior turnaround, especially IF we call ourselves “Christian”. God says that there is an eternal gap between what God loves and what the world loves. (This Bible link may shock some, but this is truly a holy beacon to us all. May we test ourselves by it.)

From the beginning of humanity, God has challenged people to prove whether the kind of love we choose is bringing us closer to God or closer to the world, for God’s love will lead us to cherish, honor, and obey Christ more, leading us away from sin and the world’s influences. However, even the most earnest worldly love will lead us to follow, protect, and engage in more worldly and fleshly things. Jesus said, “…where you treasure is, there will your heart be also.” If my spirit, heart, and mind are not filled with the things that God says that He wants in my life, then I shall be filled with the things of the flesh and the world.

No matter how seemingly innocent the person, activity, or trinket, if that thing, person, or event leads me away from God’s Christ, away from honoring God, away from God’s Word and His ways, then I shall have sinned by my actions, feelings, or attitudes, having allowed myself, even forced myself, to be distracted away from the goal that God set for me in Jesus Christ. Let us not forget that we have been warned about putting stumblingblocks in the paths of others, especially misleading or abusing children. God wants children to be taught about Him, His Word, and His Christ, not about things that would become excuses for children to push God away.

I speak boldly about these things because God is adamant about them. I’ve been called names by some, reviled by others, and even threatened, because I insist on clinging to God’s Word and His ways. I rejoice in such anger and mockery, etc., knowing that Jesus bore far worse, and that He took it all to His cross, including all my own selfish, spiteful sins. As our world deteriorates morally and spiritually, there may be far more severe tests for Christians until Christ catches away His church body. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Real (biblical) Christianity is not a religion, nor a sect, nor a denomination, but life itself, in Jesus Christ. 

Christ and God’s Word assure us that, for all who will choose to live godly (and I know that I fall way short), there are many times that we shall be attacked for our insistent adherence to our scriptural faith, as we strive to obey Jesus and warn others of the judgment to come. Therefore, I caution all Christians to take heed, as the apostle, Peter, warns Christians: there are worldly people who say it is strange when Christians try to live as Jesus commanded us to do. Peter cautions that the world will even speak evil of Christians who don’t follow the world’s acts and teachings. Even Jesus said that He sends His followers out into the world as “lambs among wolves”.

God has made one eternal peace offering for all of us. There is no other way. IF we choose to accept and abide in it, then we have eternal life. It is secure in God’s hands, but let us not abuse God’s good will toward us. Our redemption is not a call to pick and choose our favorite sin of the week or the year. God’s redemption is not about religion, not about learning to be religious, not about arguments, not about feelings or “being nice”, not about ‘getting along’ while ignoring sin, and surely, not about secular or humanistic philosophies or preferences. Jesus Himself said those things are an abomination to God.

Please bear with my impertinence, as I ask that you read and carefully weigh God’s call to all of us, even as the angel announced at the birth of God’s Christ:

Luke 2:8-20
8  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16  And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17  And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18  And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19  But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

God’s salvation is available to everyone, but, only on His terms. God’s salvation cannot be bought, sold, earned, or lost. Any willing soul can accept God’s terms and receive God’s gift in Christ. If there are any who would doubt or reject God’s assertions, I encourage and even challenge them to humble themselves to read the Bible from cover to cover asking God to reveal His truth to them. What would that cost, but relinquishing a little pride?

I had to learn salvation's precious lesson the hard way, through many 'hard knocks', until I, finally, humbled myself to read the Bible for myself. Only then was I able to see my sin nature exposed, as I read Exodus, and saw my own rebellious selfishness exposed for the sin that it is. Thank God that I repented and received God’s Christ.

For those who reject that challenge, I urge you to, at least, read the Bible’s books of John and Romans, that the essence and vitality of God’s eternal peace offering might catch your attention and pique your spiritual thirst and hunger, that you might allow Jesus Christ to put away your sin forever, as He has promised in response to your repentance. Digest this Passover-Easter message and challenge and you will have truly partaken of the eternal meal and message in which God wants us to share and live with Him and one another. For, the Word of God, His salvation, and His working through believers, are truly godly meat, drink, and nourishment indeed.

In Jesus’ love,
Craig

Sunday, March 25, 2018

There Is Only One Way To God's Salvation

God created humanity, Adam, saying, "Let us make man in our image." Then Eve was made from Adam. In their free will that God had given them to choose Him and His ways, yet, they chose to sin, afterward, in guilt, hiding themselves, ignorantly thinking that God wouldn't notice... just as people do today. Guilty self-delusion is nothing new to humanity. Adam and Eve hiding and covering themselves with leaves were the first acts of religion... NOT what God wanted, nor what He had ordained. From that first human sin, people have been trying to figure out almost any way to get rid of, deny, or cover their sin, EXCEPT by doing things God's way. If we do not deal with our sin God's Way (as shown to us from cover to cover in the Bible), even our most sincere and urgent religious efforts stink to God, like a nasty litter box, in which the cat scratches and scratches but is unable to hide or mask the waste and odor left behind. Read the Bible for yourself and you'll see that truth.


Right after Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God's command to not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God made a blood sacrifice and clothed Adam and Eve in the skin of that animal. God then told them that He was going to raise up one Savior for all human generations, that we could have confidence in trusting God for all things, including our eternal salvation. That theme runs throughout the whole Bible, because God has always wanted us to walk with Him and desires a personal relationship with each of us.


Even as Old Testament people were blasted for failing to do things God's way, in the New Testament Gospels, Jesus says that very few people try to enter at the Gate that God has provided. Jesus sharply says that anyone who tries to get in by any other way is a thief and a robber. By Christ's own words, it is plain that most people are only paying lip service to God and His plan of salvation, as the bulk of humanity tries to work out their own religious angles and gimmicks, fooling themselves and others, as they try to fool God. The bottom line is that most people fail to really trust, love, and obey the promised Messiah, Christ Jesus.


The hitch for human beings, and the main cause of our failure to trust God and His Christ, is that we love our sin and the world so much that we do not wish to part with either: we do not want to repent of our sin and accept God's Way (Christ Jesus) and His ways. Please note God's carefully worded comments, through Peter, to the religious leaders, as Peter spoke, by the Holy Spirit, about their jealously instigated the execution of Jesus Christ. Also, listen to the very words of Jesus, as He instructed those around Him as He walked this world.


Acts 4:11-12
11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.


John 14:5-7
5  Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6  Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.


I beg of you to heed God's Word, the Bible. Examine yourself according to His promises, for those never change.


Please don't end up like the man who threw away eternal life.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Healing of Crippled Man Sparks Religious Indignation

John 5:1-47
1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
18
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
41 I receive not honour from men.
42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
46 For
had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?



God's way of salvation, by, in, and through His Messiah, Jesus, is the only plan that God accepts for our redemption.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

False Religions Do Not Want Truth of John 3:16

It's December 26, 2017, the day after Christmas (here in the USA). It's a beautiful, semi-sunny Winter day, as I looked up from my computer and out the study window. I was rereading and meditating on John Chapter 3, about Christ and Nicodemus, this morning. I decided to blog my thoughts on what I'd just reread, and as I was about halfway into writing this blog post, the doorbell rang. I discovered the usual pair of Watchtower Society cult followers (so-called "Jehovah's Witnesses") at my door, with more waiting in the car.


As we spoke, they claimed to accept Jesus Christ as some sort of demi-god who did a lot of creating but who wasn't equal with God. In practice what they're really saying that they have at least two levels of gods, since their doctrine and words deny that Jesus is wholly and equally part of the person of God Almighty, our Creator, the everlasting Father. So, are their claims correct, or not? Either the Bible supports that Christ, Immanuel, Jesus is God or it will fail to support that idea. Let's skim through a few things that the Bible says about Jesus and about us.


Anyone who has read much of the Old Testament portion of the Bible knows that the host of heaven is made up of all sorts of creatures. Yet, in Genesis 1:26, God very specifically says, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...." That statement begs the question of, "With all the differently described creatures throughout the Old Testament, who, then, could God possibly and reasonable been speaking with, who from eternity past and into eternity future, looked like and participated in conversation with God in planning all things, including the creation of humanity, and in deciding to make humanity in God's very own image?


John 1:1-51 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2  The same was in the beginning with God.
3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.    
5  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.


Notice carefully that there is only one Word and only one God mentioned in this passage. The word "God", in English is always understood (by reasonable people) to mean that there is only one God that that is to whom this refers, the One True and Only God. Notice, also, that the passage says that the Word is the Creator who made all things, and therefore the Word could not have been a created being, for all things made were made by the Word.


Who then is "the Word"? Comparing that passage with the rest of the Bible, even that cult admits that the Word is Christ Jesus. But, they do strange mental antics with the passage as a whole. Yet, any honest reader of that passage will admit that it literally says exactly what it literally says. But, whether one accepts God's literal message is another matter, which is precisely where the cults and non-believers step away from God's message, and they deny that Christ Jesus is God. But, let's continue, and not get bogged down, for we must proceed beyond head knowledge or agreement, alone, and move on to the question of, in what or in whom one places one's faith.


John 3:1-21
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5  Jesus answered,
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7  
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9  Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10  Jesus answered and said unto him,
Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.



God has challenged us to put all our faith in Him, His Christ, and His plan of salvation. As Jesus points out in John 3, IF we fail to do so on His terms, then, He has informed and forewarned us, simply and honestly, that it is our own love of sin that separates us from repenting and receiving His plan of salvation in His Christ/Messiah.


John 14:1-11
 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.    
4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5  Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6  
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8  Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9  Jesus saith unto him,
Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.



God makes it abundantly clear that there is no other way to get to Him or to receive His salvation, and that this salvation is and always was the same for all people, to "whosoever will" accept and receive what God offers to us.


Isaiah 9:6-7
6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.



As my pastor pointed out, recently, the above prophetic passage in Isaiah shows the WHOLE nature of Jesus Christ, from eternity past to eternity future, including Messiah's birth, life, eventual governmental rule over all the world, and His everlasting role as "The mighty God". So, is there more than one god competing for supremacy?... or, is there is only One True God, as the Bible claims? The Bible is very clear that there is only One True God, whose physical embodiment is Jesus Christ, AND that He is from eternity past and to eternity future, always the same Word, Creator, mighty God, and everlasting Father, wholly pure, righteous; the Lamb of God and Creator in One.


Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.


I had to ask the visitors at my door what they were 'selling' and to identify their cult. Once they told me their Watchtower/JW purpose for being there, I did not let them in (as we're warned in 2 John 1:10), for their doctrine is anti-Christ, but, I spoke to them outside. They tried to get me to discuss any fears I might have of worldly troubles and play me through what they assumed would be my ignorance of God's Word. They wanted to talk about almost anything other than the Godhood of Jesus Christ, but, I stuck to God's Word and the Deity of Jesus. I kept rehearsing for them what the Bible says in the above passages, until we parted company. See, the real problem of the cults is that they do not and will not accept that Jesus Christ is the One True God, "The Mighty God, the everlasting Father", even as the Bible, literally, says He is.


Instead of accepting the God-hood of Jesus, the cult followers kept sidetracking, allegorizing, and minimizing every Bible reference wherein God's Word equates Jesus Christ with God (such as John 1). Their denials do, however, destroy the fact that the Bible is filled with great and wonderful promises about God's Messiah and God being One God.


Though that cult claims that Jesus Christ is both a created being (which is contrary to John 1) and a savior, yet, throughout the Bible, God clearly condemns any human attempt to establish anything or anyone in any sort of pantheon of gods or as another savior. God is One, just as the compilation of all of an egg's parts are required in order for us to say that we are holding a complete egg.


Another way of looking at the unity and simplicity of God, including His Christ and His Holy Spirit, is to consider who we are as individuals. We are the individuals that occupy the body in which we live. To our parents, we are children. To our children, we are parents. To our employers, we are employees. To our friends, we are friends. To our neighbors, we are neighbors. To those from whom we buy stuff, we are customers. To those to whom we might sell things, we are vendors. To our pets or livestock, we are owners and masters. We known, personally, for having all sorts of attributes and abilities, in a host of roles in our lives. HOWEVER, we are still the same individual person, both because of and despite all of those things about us and no matter what people call us. We are, yet, the same individual person, even if there are secret things about us that no one knows or things about us which no one wishes to admit.


Thinking about the egg and our own individuality, and comparing those things against the way that God describes Himself, we are left to conclude, that, even with the amazing variety of things said about God, He is still, co-equally, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While different jobs and relationships are performed by His different aspects or personalities, yet, in and through those three equal components, all of His nature and all of His attributes are manifested to give us the whole picture of God.


In a slight aside, that is, yet, related to the deity of Christ, that cult is notorious for saying that God's Holy Spirit is NOT a person of the Godhead, but some ephemeral electricity-like motivating force. However, Jesus called His Holy Spirit "he" and "him" numerous times in John 14:15-17, and elsewhere:



John 14:15-17
15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.    




Most of people neglect to read God's Word, to accept it, or to follow and obey it. Jesus made the following points to illustrate how few people would choose Him and His salvation:


Matthew 7:12-29 (KJV) 12  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15 
 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 
 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28  And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29  For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.



As always, God gave us the options and the free will. Will YOU choose  God's Simple Plan of Salvation