Thursday, February 26, 2015

If You Can’t Say Anything Good (or Nice) About Somebody, Then Don't Say Anything at All!

“If you can’t say anything good (or nice) about somebody, then don’t say anything at all!” --- An adage that came into existence a long time ago and is still frequently quoted in today’s world. Origin of the statement and who said it is unknown.

Recently I became involved in a discussion about a certain high profile personality. There were a number of responses from friends and family members. Somewhere along the way the above quote was made and the fact that for some this is a kind of “law” by which we should abide and seek to implement in everyday living. So, if we make statements about other persons, we need to make sure it is “good” – otherwise do not say anything!

Let’s take a closer look at this issue and attempt to determine whether this adage from a time long ago is really legitimate – does it hold up under scrutiny?

In the first place, God does not command such a thing as this. It cannot be Biblically supported. If God would have commanded this, then He would be a hypocrite of the first magnitude because He would have violated it due to saying things that are not at all “nice” about people! A couple of for instances are found in the following:

Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. [Jeremiah 3:2-3 (KJV)]

How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? [Jeremiah 5:7-9 (KJV)]

There are numerous other references found throughout the Scriptures where God makes statements to people in regard to things they are saying or doing and they are not nice things which He says! Just take a slow walk through the Old Testament prophets in the Scriptures and see for yourself.

In the second place there are numerous examples of where persons called by God said things that were not nice about or to others. Here are a few of very many that are revealed in the Scriptures:

Amos the prophet --- Listen to this message, you cows of Bashan who live on Mount Samaria. You women oppress the poor and abuse the needy. [Amos 4:1 (GW)]

John the Baptist --- Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham to our father:’ for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” [Matthew 3:5-9 (KJV)]

Paul --- Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, and said, “O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?” [Acts 13:9-10 (KJV)]

Peter --- Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. [Acts 2:22-24 (KJV)]

Jesus Christ --- Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. …….But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. [Matthew 23:1-4, 13-15 (KJV)]

In the third place Christians are specifically called to be salt and light according to Jesus in Matthew 5:13 ff. This does not mean that Christians are perfect. There will be the occasions where confession needs to be made because of failures. But at same time Jesus is stressing a solemn responsibility on part of those who claim Him as Savior and Lord. Salt is a seasoning agent that retards rottenness from setting in. My parents in my young years raised pigs for butchering in the fall. Hams were soaked in a salt brine and smoked in a smoke house. They needed no refrigeration due to the preserving power of the salt. It is not enough to see evil – responsibility is to address it, speak against it and take whatever action is possible to eradicate it!

Light reveals things. I never knew anyone who did housecleaning in the dark or washed their automobile in the dark. Light is needed to reveal where the dirt is and then take action to remove it! By the same token, Christians are light and as such, are to reveal where the dirt is – which simply means, that sometimes we may have to say some things that are not “nice!”

Isaiah was told, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” [Isaiah 58:1 (KJV)] I get the impression that the prophet would not be saying very many nice things! How about you?

In light of the fact that our republic presently finds itself in a state of spiritual and moral bankruptcy, could it be that God is calling us to do what He called Isaiah to do centuries ago?

Yes, many would agree with the old adage that “if you can’t say something good about others, then don’t say anything at all!” But it simply is not a valid philosophy to practice in spite of the fact that some sincerely try to practice it. As previously mentioned, the most critical thing is that it cannot be supported Biblically. Of course, if the Bible is ignored or if one believes it to be filled with error and contradictions, then one can believe anything and attempt to live in a world where God has no authority and humans define what is right and what is wrong. That, of course, is a very dangerous and deadly thing to do. Eternity will reveal it to be so!

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, “Thou shalt surely die;” and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. [Ezekiel 3:17-19 (KJV)]

Friday, January 9, 2015

Martyrdom Accomplished – Now Bring on the Virgins!

A common shared belief among those practicing the faith of Islam is that the greatest thing one can do is to sacrifice one’s life for Allah, the god of Islam. Great rewards lie in store for those who make such a sacrifice, including a number of virgins in paradise!

Big news on this date, January 9, 2015, is that the three persons responsible for what is described as a massacre in Paris, France are now dead. One was killed early on and the two brothers who eluded authorities for a while were finally cornered and then killed in a gun battle with police.

The media, as could be expected, are having a field day with this happening. They thrive on shootings and killings – you know, with an attitude that is translated, “We have to get our people on the scene with endless babble so we can outdo our competition, have higher ratings, and then make more money because we can charge higher advertising rates – after all, the name of the game is to make lots and lots of money!”

What about those who did the killing? While most will reject the idea because they want to hold on to a false assumption that Islam is a “religion of peace” the fact of the matter is that these individuals are among the most dedicated Muslims you will find anywhere in the world today!

Their holy book, the Quran, speaks much about Allah and devotion given to Allah. The Quran also stresses that only Islam is the true faith and to be strictly followed and practiced if one is to be a faithful Muslim. Christians and Jews are specifically identified as being infidels (unbelievers) and it is the goal of Islam to work toward a world where no infidels exist and Muslims are totally in control. Before that can happen, the world must be purged of all who are infidels and refuse to convert and become Muslim in faith.

The highest recognition is given to those who become “martyrs” in the cause of Islam. And there will be those in the world of Islam who will regard the three in the Paris massacre as having made the ultimate sacrifice and have gone to their rewards, including being given a number of virgins in the paradise that will be their eternal home!

An aside here – on 9/11 when four commercial aircraft were hijacked and later crashed intentionally, the Muslim who took over piloting the one that crashed near Shanksville PA was quoted in his last words as saying, “Allah is the greatest!”

But the media will give little or no attention to this issue whatsoever. It is much easier (and more comfortable) to label them as simply “terrorists” – it may cause too much difficulty to identify them as the very dedicated Muslims which they were.

There will be many who will sharply disagree with most of the foregoing statements about Islam, its dedicated followers and the ultimate goal of Islam.

It is rather easy to obtain a copy of the Quran free on the internet and download it for storage in one’s computer. Find out for yourself what the Quran teaches, and particularly how infidels are to be treated if they refuse to accept Islam and its god, Allah! I especially would like someone to explain to me what is the meaning of the command to not take Christians or Jews for friends.

Here in the states the claim can be made that Muslims and Christians live peacefully together in many places. They can be friends and close neighbors. There have been efforts to have sessions of conversation about faith, how all can “work together” to improve community, nation, etc.

However, many Muslims are similar to too many professing Christians and willing to compromise their faith. Each is a very radical faith claiming to be exclusive and allowing for no other religious expression in existence! Christians, if faithful to the teachings of their Bible and taking the exclusive claims and demands of Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, as being absolutely true, will not back down from the conviction that He indeed is the only way of forgiveness, salvation and the hope of an eternal Heaven! Further, we are under His command to confront the entire world with His claims and call – to the entire human race living in this world at any point in time!

Islam and Christianity are basically incompatible in their purest expressions. The main difference is that Christianity operates on the principle of God’s love, not forcing by threat or violence for anyone to become a Christian. Islam, on the other hand, is militant and at times very violent – the approach is, “Convert and become Muslim, or you die!” Recent beheadings taking place in some places in the world are undeniable proof of this fact!

“These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” [Spoken by Jesus in John 16:1-3 (KJV)}.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hypocrisy Par Excellence in Recent Protests!

Widespread protests took place all over the country in wake of grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in deaths of two black men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner! And as could be expected the mass media did everything but sponsor dances in the streets on these occasions.

There were protests that involved looting and burning on a large scale in Ferguson MO, and disruptions in many other places all over the country because of intense disagreement with decisions of grand juries in regard to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner involving police officers. In both cases no indictments were handed down.

Penn State University which is located not so many miles from where I live was one location where such protests took place as students at one point were laying all over the steps in front of Old Main on campus. One has to wonder whether they have equal concern for other very heavy baggage that the university is dealing with plus the chaotic state of the board of trustees at the present time!

Why the par excellence application regarding hypocrisy in the massive protests across the country? Because there is a far greater injustice being done during each week of the year that involves hundreds of individuals on a daily basis! Did you know that a large number unborn black children are victims of intentional homicide each week day? Even if they have their hands up, they are still deliberately murdered and the murder involves dismembering them in the process of killing them? Same thing happens to a number of Hispanic unborn children as well! And yes, unborn white children are victims also, but then these will likely be racist which is an alleged characteristic of the whites and so aborted unborn whites means less white racist persons around later on, right? After all, they are the only ones who display racist attitudes – never happens among the black or Hispanic communities, so it has been claimed!

Abortion numbers are not easy to come by. One source is the Guttmacher Institute which stated that there were 1.05 million abortions in the United States in 2011 as opposed to the peak of 1.6 million which took place in 1990. There is much ado about the rate of abortions decreasing a bit but part of the problem is that there is a growing use of drugs which will cause an abortion as opposed to surgical abortions and figures on this aspect are very unreliable due to failure to be exact in reporting. There is also the “do it yourself” kind apart from supervision of medical personnel and numbers here are simply unknown. Who knows? Only the Shadow and he’s not talking!

So, for those who vehemently protest the alleged injustice involving such persons as Brown and Garner, how much protesting have you done about the injustice involving the intentional homicides of unborn children last week? Again, remember many are black and Hispanic – and yes, quite a number are white also, if you dare to raise a bit of concern about them as well!

And no, there will not be a grand jury that will bring about any indictments concerning these atrocities! The killers wear white coats with their names and the initials, M.D., mistakenly following the stitched name on the left side of the coat near the heart, although it is questionable whether there is a real heart there to begin with!

And after the killing has taken place, they slither back into their luxury automobiles and return to their elaborate mansions or condos – party and play a bit – maybe sleep a bit – and then return to kill again the next day and make big bucks while doing so with no legal charges ever brought against them! An aside on this -- recently a female abortionist who is a few months pregnant felt her unborn kick her just at the moment she was tearing off the leg of the unborn she was in the process of aborting -- she was struck by the timing of the incident, but continued to complete the mutilation process, spreading the pieces of the murdered victim out on a table, making sure she had gotten "everything!" See what I mean when I said about a lack of a real heart earlier?

To you who are so loud and boisterous in your protest against two grand jury decisions because you say justice was not done, will you start your protest against injustice of a degree that your little minds and mine cannot begin to comprehend its full extent nor its ultimate consequences? Or will you continue to play the hypocrite par excellence?

Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. [2 Kings 21:16 (KJV)].

Friday, October 31, 2014

Benjamin Netanyahu a “chicken****” Prime Minister?

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. [Genesis 12:1-3 (KJV)].

A few days ago it was reported that a top official (no identification) in the Obama administration referred to Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chicken**** prime minister!” NOTE: the “****” are used in place of the vulgar term that was actually used!

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu became aware of this and did respond. However at this point in time there has been nothing to indicate any kind of an attempt to apologize and this character’s boss who happens to be the present resident of the White House in Washington DC has not done anything by way of dismissal, suspension, or even so much as a mild reprimand!

For the present administration as it moves further and further towards a hostile anti-Israeli position and a very cozy relationship with many Arab nations, it is going to be “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!” one of these days as Almighty God steps in and interrupts human history by the implementation and completion of His plan for the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!

Consider just a few of the dramatic changes which will take place concerning Israel and its world famous city, Jerusalem:

1. God’s intervention – conflict and then His rule established over all the earth --- Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague. The remnant shall turn to the Lord. And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. [Zechariah 14:1-17 (KJV)].

2. God’s personal return and establishing Jerusalem as a “city of truth” --- Again the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain. [Zechariah 8:1-3 (KJV)].

3. Peace, because now the Lord Jesus Christ is in charge and implements of war are recycled into implements for peaceful purposes --- The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. [Isaiah 2:1-4 (KJV)].

4. Radical change in attitude toward the Israelite people! --- Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time. [Isaiah 60:1-22 (KJV)].

At the present time hatred against Israel is increasing with very negative remarks made about the country, its people and its leaders. Ignorant people in the federal government of the United States have demonstrated this most recently!

The covenant which God established with Abraham is still in place though even within the ranks of professing Christianity one can find persons who deny this. I would rather be in the group that is blessed because I take the position of being in agreement with our Creator and His special plan for a people identified as Israelites than to be in disagreement and in that group which will be cursed – read again what God said and promised to Abraham!

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good. [Psalms 122:6-9 (KJV)].

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Call to Prayer out of Washington DC, Perhaps?

And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “Pray now unto Jehovah our God for us.” [Jeremiah 37:3 (American Standard Version)].

Things were not going well in the ancient Israelite kingdom of Judah around 600 BC. The Babylonian Empire was threatening to invade and conquer the kingdom just as it had been victorious over many other kingdoms in previous times. God over time had raised up prophets to call the nation and its leaders to repent of their many transgressions against Him, and in so doing avoid military defeat and destruction. But due to corrupt leadership, deceptive religious teaching, and a desire to do things “our way” the nation, its holy city, Jerusalem, and its magnificent temple were totally destroyed in 586 BC. Just prior to this disaster King Zedekiah asked for prayer, but it was too late!

Which brings us to a speculative question – is the day not far off when an appeal to pray will be issued from Washington DC? That appeal may come from the present resident of the White House, or leaders in the U.S. Congress or perhaps a blended combination of both!

Just about everyone in our republic has become aware that things are not going well for us at the present time.

The word “crisis” is being employed more and more in news releases and applied to certain happenings. We have the Ebola issue with persons infected within the borders of our nation. We have the ISIS issue and the question as to what extent these highly dedicated Muslims are within our boundaries and planning a series of attacks!

But for some time highly critical issues have been taking place with no real serious action taken to correct such abominable practices.

First, the ongoing practice of mutilating and murdering unborn children since January of 1973. Thousands are victims of intentional homicide each week – never forget, when you deliberately kill a person, it is a homicide! We are moving toward the number of 58 million victims since the Supreme Court made the very unwise and deadly decision that it is a “constitutional right” for a female to have her unborn child murdered!

Second, we have a pandemic condition of sexual immorality taking place which is encouraged by a lucrative pornography industry and the Hollywood and TV productions also giving assistance. Persons of all ages are pressured to adopt the philosophy that “Sex is fun with anyone (or more than one at same time) anywhere and at any time, day or night!” Sexually transmitted diseases are flourishing in spite of the campaigns stressing the need to have “safe sex!”

Third, we have accepted in growing numbers the abomination of same-sex marriage – sodomites can now legally marry each other in a large number of states and likewise lesbians can marry each other. Even churches, church leaders, and pastors are going along with this declaring it to be a good thing!

Fourth, we have become an idolatrous nation, setting up numerous idols, although it would be denied. But when less than half of our population can make it to a place of worship on a Sunday morning, it is a sign that we are in serious trouble, although from time to time the misleading erroneous statement is made that the United States is a Christian nation!

Fifth, the church (general term applied to all groups professing Christian faith) has become an institution of great confusion due to infiltration by those who deny the integrity and sole authority of the holy Scriptures. It is not that unusual to find pastors denying the miracles of the Bible, the Person and work of Jesus Christ – that is, His atonement for the sins of the entire human race, His victorious resurrection following crucifixion, and His promised return to this world for the purpose of controlling and ruling it! Further, as mentioned earlier, churches with pastors and people are capitulating to the demands of the sodomite/lesbian cartel. To resist is to guarantee that you will be labeled in the most negative terms possible – in fact, it is practically regarded to be criminal in not accepting sodomy and lesbianism as normal and that it is normal for such persons to marry!

Our nation has been experiencing increased calamities of various kinds. There has been an increase in violence erupting in many different places, from privacy of a home, to public places, and in schools and colleges. An unstable weather system is such that we never can be quite sure what a day will hold – many lives have been lost due to violent weather in some places.

With a national debt increasing like a cancer out of control it is guaranteed as well that we are going to experience trouble that is beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend. Government leaders at the federal level have not done a single thing to address this problem much less to take steps to pay off the debt!

Now, having said all the foregoing, again the question – in light of the increased pace of calamities taking place throughout our republic, will the appeal soon be issued for citizens to pray and call on God? And when it is issued, one thing for certain – no mention will be made about seeking mercy in a spirit of repentance – no desire to forsake our sins and abominations and set things right in relation to God – and this being done through His Son, Jesus Christ. In fact it is more than an outside possibility that the name of Jesus Christ will be intentionally avoided when such an appeal is made!

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. [2 Chronicles 7:14 (King James Version)].

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Be Effectively Involved in Middle East Affairs!

I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establishes, and till he makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. [Isaiah 62:6-7 (KJV)].

We hear something every day about things happening in that part of the world known as the Middle East. The present resident of the White House in Washington DC makes his comments on a regular basis about what our republic is doing and how it will be involved as conflicts seem to be ever expanding in different locations. Other nations are getting involved also in one way or another now that ISIS has moved to the forefront and is considered to be a threat to world stability!

As noted in comments in another place, world leaders have yet to realize they are dealing with the most dedicated Muslims you will find anywhere in the entire world! The United States and Israel are certainly priority targets as ISIS seeks to purge the world of infidels and usher in a “purified” world where Islam is in full control of all nations. That means complete eradication of all infidels—all who are not Muslim by way of a practicing religious faith or who refuse to convert and become Muslim when given the choice! The holy book of Islam, the Quran, specifically directs that Muslims not take Christians and Jews for friends. The reason is simple – Christians and Jews along with all other non-Muslims are identified to be infidels and pose a corrupting influence to the Muslim who wants to be faithful to Allah!

However, in spite of what ISIS and other groups of dedicated Muslims are doing, a dedicated Christian can exert influence on Middle East events that will have greater and longer lasting results than all the Muslims together will be able to accomplish!

God has revealed a lot of things about the future of Israel. The nation and its prominent city, Jerusalem, are in for dramatic changes. The original covenant God made with Abraham was far reaching in its scope and the end is not yet. The Old Testament prophets gave explicit details as to miraculous changes that would take place according to God’s time table for the Israelite people. Here are just a couple or so to show what a different world it will be at some point in the future:

The word which Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saw about Judah and Jerusalem. And it will come about in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord will be placed on the top of the mountains, and be lifted up over the hills; and all nations will come to it. And the peoples will say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob: and he will give us knowledge of his ways, and we will be guided by his word; for out of Zion the law will go out, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He will be the judge between the nations, and the peoples will be ruled by His decisions: and their swords will be turned into plough-blades, and their spears into vine-knives: no longer will the nations be turning their swords against one another, and the knowledge of war will be gone forever. [Isaiah 2:1-4 (Bible in Basic English)].

Again the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain. [Zechariah 8:1-3 (KJV)].

And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. Zech 14:8-11 (KJV)

These are but a few statements of the great changes in store for the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. They are more than enough to stir the emotions of those who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and who believe that God will fulfill all His promises regarding the Israelite people.

But there is a way by which we can be directly involved in the affairs taking place in the Middle East rather than sort of sit on the side lines, witness what takes place from day to day and shake our heads in dismay and say, “Something ought to be done about that situation!”

Consider this:

We are clearly instructed to pray for the peace of Jerusalem – how else can you interpret such a command as found in Psalm 122:6-9: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good.” [Psalms 122:6-9 (KJV)].

Second, we are to be persistent in “bothering” God about this matter until He takes the action necessary: “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem. They will never be silent day or night. Whoever calls on the Lord, do not give yourselves any rest, and do not give him any rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it an object of praise throughout the earth.” [Isaiah 62:6-7 (God’s Word)].

What is your response to God’s challenge to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and to keep insisting that He will make Jerusalem to be an object of praise all over the world? Yes, it is your golden opportunity to be directly involved in the affairs of the Middle East and not simply a frustrated observer!

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. [1 John 5:14-15 (KJV)].

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Playing the Devil’s Advocate for a Moment!

{Jesus continued,} “I have said these things to you so that you won't lose your faith. You will be thrown out of synagogues. Certainly, the time is coming when people who murder you will think that they are serving God.” [John 16:1-2 (God’s Word)]

They are referred to as “extremists” and “terrorists” with the references intended to separate them from the main body of those who practice the religion of Islam. In recent times the group known as ISIS has been labeled in such terms. They have killed quite a large number of non-Muslims and this includes Christians. They have beheaded individuals, and recorded these “executions” on video. Outrage has been continually expressed and world leaders scramble to put together a plan and muster military groups to combat what is perceived to be a threat to the peace and well-being of people in many different places in this troubled world.

But stop and think this through as well as doing some reading in the holy book of Islam known as the Quran. These persons so vilified and threatened by leaders such as the present resident of the White House in Washington DC are actually among the most dedicated Muslims you will find anywhere in the world! They are simply attempting to purge the world of infidels (a term used frequently in the Quran) and to usher in an age in which Islam dominates and controls the entire world! The laws as outlined in the Quran which are regarded as extremely harsh by non-Muslims will be the standard for all living persons. And of course, all living persons will either have converted and become Muslim or will be put to death as infidels. Infidels have no legitimate right to existence in a purified Muslim world! One command given in the Quran is that Muslims are not to take Christians or Jews for friends. The reason is simple – Christians and Jews are among the infidel crowd and they are a corrupting influence.

But there is a problem among Muslims just as there is a problem among Christians. There are Muslims who are willing to compromise their faith and do not have the degree of dedication that the ISIS bunch has. A Muslim “scholar” presented his interpretation of the statement about taking Christians and Jews for friends – he would be regarded as a “liberal” – actually a traitor to the faith! Just as in Christianity we are plagued with “scholars,” teachers, church leaders, and pastors who do not believe the Bible is actually truthful in what it says! This is seen especially in denials that Jesus Christ is God revealed in human form, and performed many miracles during His ministry here on earth. The worst is the denial that He is exclusively the only way of salvation and reconciliation to God! Further that He did not really come back from the dead 3 days later following His crucifixion!

A Christian truly dedicated to his/her Lord takes the position that Jesus is indeed the only way of forgiveness and salvation. Such a Christian becomes involved in efforts to see the world converted to Jesus Christ and envisions a world in the future as being ruled by Jesus Christ and His resurrected saints.

So also the dedicated Muslim sees a future world in which Islam is in control and all infidels have been eliminated or have been converted and are devoted now to serving Allah!

The means by which the “mission” is carried out stands in sharp contrast – as much difference as there is between the brightest day and the darkest night. Dedicated Muslims are given sanction to use violence to advance the cause. Christians, however, in following the New Testament are motivated by love and are never to resort to violence – if a person rejects the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that is their choice and nothing by way of retaliation is to be done to them. True, the history of Christianity is not without blemish – some horrible things were done in times past in the name of Christianity, but it cannot be supported by an honest and open-minded interpretation of the New Testament which stresses that love is one of the fruits of a loyal Christian!

Here in the United States in recent decades there has been the growing problem of compromise regarding various religious expressions. For a number, when it comes to religion, it is a bit like a popular buffet experience. You simply look at the table and select which “faith” appeals to you and that will be just fine. All religious “faiths” are on a level playing field and all have a legitimate claim to addressing issues such as life, human relationships, responsibility, accountability, final judgment (if such a thing exists), death and life beyond!

When it comes to Christianity and Islam, these two are totally incompatible if you take each of their holy books seriously. But if you take the view which a growing number are taking then you reject the radical parts and adopt the common approach of “in order to get along, then go along!”

If you want to see an example of true dedication then look at Muslims that make up a group known as ISIS! And here and there you may find a Christian also dedicated who says, “There is no way to Heaven except through Jesus Christ and in order to be a Christian with hope, you have to repent of your sins, forsake them, and receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life! And if a Muslim expects to get to Heaven, he/she will have to do the same thing!”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. [Acts 4:8-12 (King JamesVersion)]