Food For Thought… or NOT!

Daniel 6: daniel praying(Daniel 10:1-3) In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeksI ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Over the past month I have been reading from the Prophecy of Daniel. While watching a YouTube video concerning Daniel 10 (the chapter I just read), an interesting question was asked by the presenter; a question which is the basis of this article. Before we get to the question, a little background is in order, concerning this passage.

The message Daniel is declaring that which he received from the Lord in Daniel 9, concerning Jeremiah’s prophecy of the 70 weeks (Jeremiah 25). With great detail, God revealed many terrible things to befall His people after they would return to their nation and capitol city. This prophecy is super relevant to our own understanding of the time before and up to Christ’s return.

After being given great understanding in this matter, we find Daniel very distraught. In fact, he was in mourning for three weeks, signified by him not eating his normal diet (this partial fast is the basis for the modern “Daniel fast”). One radical characteristic of his mourning, which indicated it’s serious nature, was he did not anoint himself either. This means, as the most important counselor of the king, Daniel did not present himself for work, but mourned in isolation.

As a result, this powerful man of faith, receives a visit from the Son of Man, in His pre-incarnate glory (The Holy Anointed Messiah). When you get an opportunity, compare Daniel’s experience (Daniel 10:4-17)  with that of John the Revelator in Revelation 1:5-17; you’ll find it a remarkable testimony of Christ’s ministry to faithful servant’s who live in absolute surrender to Him.

At a certain point in this encounter with of the Son of man, Daniel is told something, concerning the moment his mourning led him to shut out everything in the world, to seek the LORD.

Daniel 10:11-14 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.  Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”

Daniel was seeking the LORD, because although he had prosperity, wealth, favor and position, to him they were only platforms to glorify God. Whether he was famous and powerful meant nothing, because his people were in captivity for their sins. He knew they would go back to Israel, but he knew their national joy would once again turn to pain, at the times of the end (read Daniel 7-9 for further understanding). In verses 11-14 he is told, he will receive more revelation, but something else of interest to us now.

Daniel is told that from the first day he set his heart to understand, which would have been in chapter 9, the Divine messenger was sent to give him additional information, but right when he began to fast, there was a spiritual battle, coinciding with his intercession and fasting. Daniel, like Job, was part of a high stakes warfare, without knowing it. Can we be also and be equally ignorant of what is taking place?

This is where the question (from the YouTube video) comes to bear upon our discussion. The presenter asked… “I know it is impossible to thwart the will of God, but had Daniel quit on day 18, being tired and worn from seeking, what would have happened, or not happened?”

This question led me to think of possible outcomes: Could Daniel have missed this glorious vision and the revelation, The Lord having to wait until Daniel picked up seeking the Lord again? Would the Lord have needed to find someone else?

The point is we don’t know, because unlike Christians in modern America (most Christian’s in America), we give up or never begin to completely shut the world out and seek the Lord without interruption or intrusion for very long; if ever.

Daniel’s fast was not skin and bones starving, but it took discipline, and that can be a real problem for followers of Jesus in the land of the free. The desires of God’s heart, which are to be our own and in some cases, He makes our partnership necessary to their fulfillment. This is especially true when it relates to area’s we are to minister , for His will and glory.

Though this post is not primarily about fasting (its about the discipline and endurance  necessary live for God’s will in Christ), a lack of discipline in food often times impedes our dependence on God. A lack of self-control in this area can also hinder our relationship to God; as can a lack of obedience in being tethered to the electronic media of our lives (T.V., computer, wireless phone).

The presenter reminded me that the first break in relational harmony with God, came over temptation from food, in the Garden of Eden. Yet there are other examples where self-control, concerning food, produced good or bad results.

What of the rebellion, only a few days after Israel’s exodus from Egypt? In Exodus 17, Israel provoked God in rebellion, concerning their lack of food. What of Daniel and his three compatriots in Daniel 1, where they ate a diet according to the law, rather than the delicacies of Babylon (this was to their benefit). Take a look at some troubling passages concerning a lack of discipline in eating.

Philippians 3:18-20 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shamewho set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ

Titus 1:10-12 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.

The point here is not to bring shame upon folks who are overweight (most Americans are clinically speaking) or celebrate “in shape” narcissists because of their healthy bodies. What we need to understand is that the discipline it takes to seek the Lord, in order to be continuously filled with His Spirit and walk in bold faith (moving in the power of the Holy Spirit)–we must have the discipline and endurance of Daniel, which arose from a heart that would go to any length for the purpose of Gd’s will.

Look to Daniel again, who even put his responsibility to the king he served aside, to seek and serve the King of Heaven. Remember, it was this discipline which led him to pray when it was illegal; the penalty of which was being fed to lions. Yet Daniel, endured this and continued to seek the Lord. He was blessed with intimacy and revelation, which we still study today.

Friends, consider our times and understand, the world as we knew it is over. There will be more lock downs and law changes. (Check out Daniel 7:25 to understand the times we live in). Will we seek Him with disciplined perseverance, or give in to what is easier, more convenient, and less risky. We must be careful of obeying man, when they are blatantly in opposition to God’s call and commands.

We have just come through a season, where the church was tempted to disobey God’s clear commands, because of  spurious information growing more spurious by the day. Where will we be next year, like Daniel seeking the Lord in spiritual warfare and intercession, or hiding and seeking not to rock the boat. Consider Jesus’ illustration and outcome.

Luke 18:1-8 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Today God is calling His men and women to cease attempting cultural change, prepare for His return and with callous knees seek Him for power to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ–He is calling us to seek Him for the power to endure the times, troubles and persecution has come upon the body of Christ world-wide–doing this with prayer and fasting, as we learn to truly surrender all to Him.

May I ask, when Jesus comes for us, will He find faith in you? Will He find faith in me? will He find faith in us? We can answer yes, but only if we will persevere in prayer and enduring in faith, seeking His way forward through trouble of our times.

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Escape or Endure… To which are We Called?

And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who ...Hebrews 12:1-61 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. The Discipline of God 3For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,   Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;  6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”

While most reading this blog will have some familiarity with the first two verses of the above passage, verses three through six are likely less familiar; and for the most part misunderstood concerning their practical purpose in our lives of faith.

Consider the word “endured” used twice in relation to Jesus suffering on the cross. Remember only a 2 verses before, the writer challenged the Hebrews to live their Christian life, as a race run with “endurance”. This “endurance” is from the same word in the Greek; meaning our endurance is to be lived like His (in similar trials and troubles for His name sake).Why did the inspired writer do this? To contrast Jesus’ magnificent suffering with how weak and whiny the Hebrews faith had become.

I challenge you to read this passage through to verse 17 (on your own time). You will find the word of God directly attributes bitterness to how we endure suffering on behalf of Jesus Christ; suffering related to our faith. The point, when we have the wrong perspective of the circumstance we are in and how we ought to pray and walk in them, we often are disappointed and become disenfranchised in our faith. To find ourselves there is a short fall into bitterness and compromise.

Why am I writing about this? Because for the past few months among all the virus lock-downs, constitutional infringements, unnecessary murder of George Floyd, protests and now politically pushed riots, Christians (in America especially) have been anxious, fearful, confused and often clueless as to how to respond or even pray about our situation.

Let’s affirm, God’s word is profitable for correction, reproof and instruction in righteousness, that we may be profitable in our walk of faith (II Timothy 3:15-17). Let us also affirm that by the Holy Spirit, who is present with believers from regeneration, we partake of Christ’s divine nature and have all we need for life and godliness and have received precious promises (II Peter 1:2-4). Among those promises we are guaranteed to escape the second death and God’s wrath, which is poured out on the unrepentant in Christ’s second coming.

That is definitely a Hallelujah escape! AMEN! But alas let us understand we are not promised to escape the wrath of man or its instigator… Satan and his demonic minions. As a matter of fact as we barrel towards Jesus’ return, we are assured of some definite truths, I’d say prophetic guarantees from the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3:1-71 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

CAN YOU SAY CHECK! We are living in those times, but still further in the same chapter…

2 Timothy 3:12-13 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

CHECK #2! Yet further still…

Matthew 24:11-14 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Luke 21:12-19 You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. 13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. 14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 19 By your patience possess your souls.

CHECK #3!

We could go further still, with John 15:18-26, where Jesus declares the same, but it is sufficient to declare we are not only blessed to be saved but privileged to suffer for His name (Philippians 1:29). These scripture portions above and countless other New Testament passages reveal all Christians who live godly will suffer persecution and trouble, yet Christians in America continue to pray in ways which speak of escape rather than practicing endurance, for Christ’s sake.

Consider the Covid-19 virus. Did Christians not pray sincerely or hard enough for it to be eradicated? No! But we were not praying according to God’s will. Let us admit that the excess of wasted time with sports and entertainment all but came to a standstill. People in America could no longer hide in fantasy land to avoid dealing with death, it was and still is to a lesser degree everywhere. Many lost people became open due to a renewed or awakened fear of death.

Also the veil of unlimited provision was lifted immediately, as we could no longer take for granted what is needed would be available. And what of the church of Jesus Christ, whom found out how much we need to gather together through what amounted mostly to being shamed into staying home.

We must remember that this virus was either ordained by God or allowed for his purposes. Purposes which are still being worked out.  Without the quarantine of a nation of people free to do what they want when they want, the wide spread violence and anti-authoritative behavior would not have been possible. You may ask why? Simply because locking free people down causes anxiety–with all the media bashing about who was right and wrong, it created cynicism of authority (whether rightly or wrongly)–people became unfamiliar dealing with each other and the police.

The murder of George Floyd was a match on that gasoline. What could God’s purpose in that be? Realigning powers to fit His end times plan. Which does not include America as a Christian Utopia.

We must understand that Jesus did not die on the cross to redeem the Untied States of America, as a nation. He died on the cross to save individuals from every nation tribe and tongue. These redeemed with the blood of the Lamb of God, make up the Kingdom of God.

Herein we return to Jesus’ suffering on the cross and the admonition in Hebrews 12:2-6. We Christians in America must regard the suffering of the church since its birth, and understand since 1948 more Christians have been martyrs for the faith than in the prior 1900 plus years (hated by all nations). Our brethren have been led as sheep to the slaughter all day long, live in abject poverty and governmental fear; yet they don’t pray to be taken out, but to have faith to endure, until Christ comes for them. Their hope is not a return to the glory days of their nation, but Jesus coming for them in the clouds.

Please listen to what I am writing…

The bad things we see, will grow worse. There will be periods of release, where it will look to be getting better, but alas trouble will return with the heat multiplying. This will happen, until there will be one hated class of people in the United States, as is in almost every other nation… Followers of Jesus.

Now is the time to check ourselves, as we have not yet shed blood in our struggle against sin or the wicked. Let us remember Jesus endured the cross, yes for our redemption and the joy set before Him; Praise His Holy Name! But He also endured the cross as an example that we can endure for Him, with the joy set before us; which is absent from the body in death is present with the Lord or should we endure until the last trumpet, we will be raptured to see Him and be with Him forever.

Men and woman of God, our times are bringing the toppling of many things we held dear. Many of these things are good things, like laws,  statues, names of city’s, and national ideals, of which many died to protect. It is heart breaking, but their demise causes us to hold to the only dear thing which will not burn in the day of the Lord… our holy faith, given to us by Christ Himself. This is the one thing that no one can remove from us.

So as Christ endured, we must as well, as Jesus proclaimed to us all…

Luke 9:23-25 23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

Let us rejoice in escaping God’s wrath and the second death. Let us pray that we may endure any hardship coming, on his behalf, that we may shine as lights in this perverse generation (Philippians 2:124-16).

 

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What Jesus Death Accomplished Part I (Hebrews 2:9-18)

In Part one of this series we we discover Jesus tasting death for us, brought us instant access to God the Father in two powerful ways.

 

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Can Racism be Overcome?

In this Video message, we look at the only antidote to racism… well for that matter, any SIN… The CROSS of JESUS the MESSIAH.

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TRAVELING BEYOND THE INK AND PAGE Part II

All Scripture Is God Breathed – Growing As DisciplesGrowing As ...In Part I of this teaching (here is a link to the Part I), we looked at how the Lord will illuminate the scripture for us, beyond the mere ink and page upon which it is written. We found it is important to understand passages, especially from the Old Testament in their grammatical, historical, and cultural context.

Why is this understanding so important? Because often times, well-meaning Christians and flock-fleecing false teachers and false prophets (and there are a slew of them today), not only blow by practical considerations such as context, historicity, and even grammar, but force their special “anointed” understanding on a passage. When this takes place, everybody loses.

We began looking into Exodus 30:17-21, as a means to explore what happens when we are taken beyond the ink and page the word of God is written on.

Exodus 30:17-21 (NKJV) Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the LORD, they shall wash with water, lest they die. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them—to him and his descendants throughout their generations.”

To summarize what we already learned we understand the Bronze Laver was between the Tent of meeting (where they would meet with God in the Holiest Place to present the blood of the atonement upon the mercy seat (upon which the Presence of God would come to judge His people’s sin as covered) and outside the alter of burnt offering, where the rest of the offering was completely consumed.

We came to find out that the burnt offering pointed towards Christ, our completely consumed perfect sacrifice, and to us, as living sacrifices, wholly consumed for the call of Christ (Romans 12:1). If that is not beyond the ink and the page, there is still more.

While I read the passage, two questions came to mind. “Why the stipulation to wash, when going between the tabernacle of meeting and the alter? Why was it so important, that death would come should the priests not obey the command?

In the most primary sense, the priests, to whom this command directly applied, were to be in constant remembrance of three realities:

  1. The Holiness of God
  2. The necessity and holiness of the burnt offering and blood atonement
  3. Their own need to have lives that were clean before God, as they were ministering to the LORD of heaven and earth.

Let us remember that the priestly class had no land inheritance of all the tribes of Israel. This was because they were chosen by God to minister to Him on behalf of the people. He alone was their portion.

Deuteronomy 18:1-21 “The priests, the Levites—all the tribe of Levi—shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and His portion. 2 Therefore they shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the Lord is their inheritance, as He said to them.

From this passage we understand that the Levitical Priests were to be set apart for God (because of the LORD being their portion), in such a way, that even when not ministering they were sustained by His provision and presence. Their life was not their own.

Why? Because they were those who lived God’s redemption (by faith) through atonement and sacrifice, on behalf of the people. Their ministry required a different level of consecration.

It is for this reason the bronze laver was where it was located: between the two most important and sacred points of Jewish faith: the alter of sacrifice and the Holiest Place (in the Tabernacle of meeting). Hence the stipulation of washing, each time in and out; or death. But how unclean could they be from place to place, and was that really the point? Was God setting a type in place for those of us who would follow Christ, after He had completed His mission in the future?

The washing at the bronze laver was for the purpose of training them in the mind of sanctification (their need for cleansing from the blood of atonement), even when not ministering. This serious discipline was to enable them to realize sin intrusion into their lives at any time, brought risk to their relationship to God, as well as their physical life. Is it really any different for us?

This washing also tied them to the burnt offering they would sacrifice to the LORD. Let us recall that these animals needed to be clean, spotless, and blemish free. Even sacrificed inward parts were washed in a very specific way.

In like manner, the Levites were supposed to model an awareness of their need for cleansing. This desire would point toward the need of Messiah. To God Himself, the washing was no mere ritual, but an act of faith, without which their sin would not be covered, and death would come.

They were called to wash their hands and feet; a reminder that their walk of faith (feet) was to be clean as were their everyday practical life and work (hands), even outside their prescribed service.

Let us remember that the Levites are a direct foreshadowing of believers …

1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Revelation 1:5-6 To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

It is important to note that those who served in the Tent of Meeting and the alter of burnt offering, had a ministry that was time sensitive. Once their time was complete, others would continue the service. For those in Christ, our ministry for Him is all day every day. We are called to an even more intense washing from within, because the once for all Atonement has been made by Christ’s shed blood, by which He purchased us (Acts 20:28).

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJV) Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Therefore, our life is not our own, not even for a second of time (I Corinthians 6:18-19).

Christ’s Atonement in His own blood is so important, as not only for the forgiveness of sins, but also for our being able to be righteous, as we submit to the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:4-14). This reality makes us able to literally be a completely consumed sacrifice, or what the burnt offering pointed to:  1) First Christ’s perfect offering of Himself 2) our being living sacrifices.

In the words of a friend, this means we are consumed by the call of God; not just a call to minister, but a call to love and a call to be clean before Him in word and deed from the world, the flesh, and the devil—a call to be wholly set apart for His purpose and use at all times.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

Let me be clear. If the Levites were called to wash as a living testimony of the call of God on their lives, or die, how much more should we be taking the call to holiness and sanctification, as very serious.

Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

This washing is not a passive reception, but an active positioning, as we handle and obey His word and are cleansed by the Holy Spirit, in our submission. This takes love, obedience, and perseverance in faith (John 14:15) when we have a place of much spiritual dirt. May I say it is an all-day every day wonder in our walk.

Wow! Beyond the ink and page, we learn from Exodus 30:17-22, that God calls us to obey details. This obedience is not for salvation any more than the Levites call to obedience, but not to obey places them and us at existential risk.

The difference in obedience to the washing and renewing is that we have a full view of why. Christ’s complete once for all sacrifice and all it gained for us; but even more, His love which brought Him to the cross in the first place.

Do not bypass the dry ink on the page. Let the Holy Spirit take you in the depths and heights of His love and calling, as He leads you by the Holy Spirit.

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Supreme Court Decision Disaster

The video message below pertains to the Supreme Court decision handed down last Friday night; a decision that directly effects the free practice of the Christian faith given circumstances not defined by law, but the whims of state governments.  Please prayerfully consider its contents. At the bottom of this page is a link to an article concerning the Supreme Court decision in question.

U.S. Supreme Court sides with California in lawsuit challenging state’s COVID-19 restrictions on churches

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Walk in Truth, Not Waves of Guilt of Good Intention.

Image may contain: fireOnce more, the citizens of the United States and its law enforcement officers are berated for being party to systematic racial injustice, because of the heinous murder of a black man in police custody. This shaming is a travesty. Plain and simple.

Before I am accused of not caring, or worse, I will declare the obvious… four police officers killed or were complicit in the death of George Floyd, who was arrested for passing a counterfeit 20-dollar bill. The officer who deliver the death knee should be charged with 1st degree murder, in my opinion. The others with 2nd or 3rd degree murder, unless it can be proved their actions were premeditated. In that case they should all stand trial for 1st degree murder.

That being said, the ridiculous shaming of a nations citizens and its police forces, behind the guise of “Black Lives Matters”, is premeditated and a ruse for nefarious leaders (both white and black) to seize power and advance their radical political agenda. Please consider some facts.

“Black Lives Matter” declares it cares about black lives. Why do they not care about the Federal Security officer David Underwood, who was an African American community leader, shot and by “protesters” Friday night. Officer Underwood was targeted because he was in uniform and serving in his duty. Not much reporting about his black life mattering; or the other officers protecting protesters and business owners property (of all skin tones), who were shot, stabbed, beaten, hit with rocks, bottles and other means, in these riots.

“Black Lives Matters” declare they care about black lives, let me ask this simple question. Why are they not protesting the hundreds of thousands of precious black babies (living viable humans connived in God’s image), killed yearly for convenience, profit; and by the way for the purpose of eradicating the black community?

Simply doing a little research reveals that Planned Parenthood’s (the largest provider of abortions in the world) founder, Margret Sanger, was a despicable person (honored by the KKK) who’s plan was to clear America of less desirable population.

Yes, abortion, by Planned Parenthood is for the purpose of reducing the black population, by making sex about pleasure (wide distribution of contraception) and offering to kill the precious next generations of African Americans, for the sake of convenience and and profiteering.

If this sounds disgusting to you, it is, but “Black Lives Matter” never says anything about the systematic killing of precious black children. Nor do many white and BLACK politicians, who say nothing about the murdered black lives of precious babies, but also openly support and take money from the evil Planned Parenthood abortionist lobbyists.

Shifting gear slightly let us handle the claim of the disproportionate number of black men slain by police. Since 2017 to 2020, more whites have died in fatal police shootings than anyone racial category. The next numerous racial category is blacks, but white deaths exceed the black total in three of those years.

Admittedly, the numbers are disproportionate given that black men are only 6% of the U.S. population. Yet consider that the rate at which black men commit violent crimes (those which up the ante in police pursuit and tactics), approaches 50% yearly (higher than any other racial category, while their population is 6%). This should indicate, not a systemic race issue on the part of police, but a reality that black men are more likely to encounter police in violent arrest situations.

This does not explain away George Floyd’s death, which was nothing other than premeditated murder. Was his death racially motivated, I don’t think anyone can actually say, until hearing from the murderer himself. Should he declare it racially motivated, that still does not reveal anything systematic, but a shameless bigot and killer.

I realize some will assume wrongly I have no context for this discussion. but perhaps listening to a brother in Christ who is black will help you to understand. I encourage you when you are finished reading to watch David J. Harris Jr. at the bottom of this post. In his video, he boldly proclaims that even economic indicators on why black men commit more crime are largely invalid given his own life’s testimony.

The point to what I have written is to plead with Christians leaders to pray for personal discernment, before you jump on board with the zeitgeist of this age; which is to focus on made up incendiary events, in order to drive masses of people away from the truth. We don’t need more discussions or reconciliation events in shaming one portion of the populace into falsely accepting blame.

Here is the truth… RACISM Exists! Here is another truth… Racism will exist until Christ returns, in the hearts of those who do not know Him. Christ shed blood, in his death and empowered in His redeemed, by the resurrection is the only antidote to racism.

For those truly in Christ, racially motivated actions are deactivated, by the Holy Spirit as we live in the peace of god, rather than fear of what one can take or is blocking we have (This is true for Christians regardless of skin color). For us the middle wall of separation has been torn down, and there is not black or white or any other nationality or race, but a multitude of one race, purchased with His blood (Ephesians 2).

Therefore, rather than dialogue this to death, leaders ought to be out sharing the gospel, calling sinners to reality of what the cross communicates…

God is holy, our sin reveals we are not–the cross reveals the judgment our sin deserves (eternal death) and His free gift of grace for those who repent and follow him in faith. Until the racist, murderer, sexually immoral, profane or garden variety sinner, can be changed at heart level, there is no hope for them or the nations they live in (Sorry this is the Biblical narrative in the end times). They must experience godly sorrow, that their sin is against God alone.

This sorrow is the only thing that leads to real change, or what the Bible deems repentance, l which is not only a change in mind, but a commitment to change behavior, as the Holy Spirit empowers (II Corinthians 7:10).

Marching and kneeling may make us feel good, like we are doing something positive, but Jesus told His followers our purpose in the marching is not to change society of the better, by force of law or cultural waves of good intention (as nice as they may appear to be). Our marching orders are to “GO… and make disciples of Christ” (Matthew 28:18-20). This cannot happen until the sinner is brought into contact with truth of the cross of Christ. It is His power to raise the dead making them new creations, which ends racism and every other sin in hearts.

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BEYOND THE INK AND PAGE (part 1)

All Scripture Is God Breathed – Growing As DisciplesGrowing As ...There are times, as we prayerfully interact with the word of God, where we are taken beyond the ink an page it is written on. We are thankful that all scripture is given by inspiration of God (God-breathed) and is profitable doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (II Timothy 3:15-17).

We understand, in its simplest characterization, inspiration means holy men of God (set apart for God’s purpose alone), spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:20-21). In the original writings of the prophets, and apostles, His God breathed word is inerrant (meaning without error) and infallible (unable to lead one astray).

The word of God, in its infallibility, extends to us through painstakingly accurate manuscripts into reliable translations. As we affirm  is the word of God was penned by men writing as moved by His Holy Spirit (and under His direct superintendency; so His word must be understood as the Holy Spirit illuminates what we hear and read. This essentially is what our Lord Jesus declares is one of the varied characteristics of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to us.

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Or similarly in I Corinthians 2:14…

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Why is this understanding so important? Because often times, well-meaning Christians and flock-fleecing false teachers and false prophets (and there are a slew of them today), not only blow by practical considerations such as context, historicity and even grammar, but force, their special “anointed” understanding on a passage. When this takes place everybody loses.

Why am I rambling on about this? Because at times, especially dealing with Old Testament passages, we miss God’s intended purpose being bored, or insensitive to it’s place in comforting the saints or insensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading.

Let us understand God has a purpose to those who first receive His word, and a purpose of communicating something to those of us in the N.T. period. In this illumination, we see many Old Testament people, religious functions and events, as models or types of what is to come. For context sake, consider Noah and the ark. I Peter 3:18-22 reveals Noah’s ark as a type of Christ, something that points to what men must do to avoid God’s wrath forever: Forsake the world, get into the Ark, Christ is the only place of protection from God’s wrath.

When handled appropriately, as discussed above, we are called to a more intimate, intrusive, and practical need for our walk with Christ. In these moments, when the Holy Spirit is taking us beyond the dried ink upon the page, we truly see the height, width, and depth of His intention for us. These moments can be truly remarkable.

Consider Jesus’ teaching in Matthew five concerning murder, adultery, and how we treat our enemies. When dealing with murder, our Lord reveals undue anger and character assassination, to be as egregious as the physical act of killing. When dealing with adultery, we are given understanding that thinking about unlawful sex, in lust, is committing the act. Finally, we come to understand that God leaves no justification for hatred of enemies, but we are to treat them as neighbors loving them unselfishly in tangible ways.

Jesus taking His listeners beyond the ink and page (concerning the commandments), into the depth of His purpose for His commands. This is the deep dive, we need the Holy Spirit to navigate; Let’s admit to stay at the surface rather than connect with Him at the foundation, is to undermine His purpose in our redemption.

This is part of the problem with modern Christianity. Like the Titanic, we steam along and see the iceberg ahead, being complacent to have a modified moral behavior, we stare at the surface. Judging by what is seen, we believe we have time and room to take evasive measures, when necessary. Until… BAM!

We are sinking. We missed the largest volume of the iceberg below the surface. This became apparent to me this past week while reading in Exodus 30.

Admittedly, Exodus can be a challenging read for western Christians, beyond the first 22 chapters. In the first half we read the exciting account of YHWH delivering Israel from Egypt—the move through the wilderness—we read of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments and the golden calf. Then, a lot of stuff related to Jewish tabernacle religion and worship… SNORE!

It is true that dealing with O.T. passages concerning the finer points of Jewish religious procedure and decoration can be difficult. But it is God’s word, and therefore it is important we prayerfully experience the truth in the words and what lies above and beneath. Even in passages on Jewish religion, the LORD, working through types and shadows, is revealing powerful truth concerning His character—and powerful and profound truth about our relationship to Christ. Let us look at Exodus 30:17-22.

Exodus 30:17-21 (NKJV) Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the LORD, they shall wash with water, lest they die. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them—to him and his descendants throughout their generations.”

From our passage, it is important to understand some context. The alter was where the sacrificial animals would be offered as burnt offerings. This was an important aspect of atonement for sin, which was not only the shedding of the blood, but the sacrificial animal being completely consumed (being burned), in the service of God, for the purpose of atonement. The alter and what took place on it, prefigures our calling in Christ as individuals to be a “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to the Lord which is our responsible service” (Romans 12:1). A little later we will look into this calling.

The tabernacle of meeting was the structure where the priest would enter to encounter the presence of God and offer blood upon the mercy seat in the Holiest Place. Of course, the temple of meeting had other elements included, such as the golden lamp-stand burning with seven branches (a type representing the 7 fold character of the Holy Spirit, burning always, with continually flowing oil)—the table of the bread of His presence (man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word from the mouth of God)—the alter of incense (for the purpose of pointing to the time when with boldness we can appear before His throne to obtain mercy and grace in time of need)—and finally the veil and behind it the Ark of the Covenant, with the mercy seat on its top (where the blood of atonement was placed). Everyone of these elements reveals something about the Messiah to come.

While I read the passage, two questions came to mind. “Why the stipulation to wash, when going between the tabernacle of meeting and the alter? Why was it so important, that death would come should the priests not obey the command? The answer to that question will be handled in part two of this teaching in a few days.

Until then, let me encourage you to practice a new prayer and attitude before approaching the word of God.

“Abba Father, you know all things and I do not. Enable me to understand your word. I ask you for wisdom. Bless me to understand what I hear from your word, that I may walk in it by faith. Teach me understand the life and times of those who were first to hear your word, and illuminate the beauty of  hearing Your voice in what is written, that I may not impose my preconceived ideas upon your revelation. Bless me indeed to rejoice in the intimacy I can share with Christ, the Living Word, as He speaks when I experience the the word of God written on the page.

In Jesus name.

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Threat Against the Gathering of the Saints in Chicago!

PLEASE PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER: Below is a chilling report out of Chicago. What is being threatened happens regularly in China and other persecutive regimes world-wide. To think it is threatened in America to many is unthinkable.

The Corona virus as a plague, was ordained/allowed by God to humble and push the nation’s toward the final one world order, which precedes Christ’s return; and finally for the purpose of preparing us for world-wide persecution that we may endure till His return to gather us to Himself (II Chronicles 7:12-15; Revelation 11-19; Ephesians 5:13-18)

Let us pray for our brethren in Chicago to gather, to pray and to love their enemies when harassed, attacked or arrested (Matthew 5:43-48). Let us pray, the Lord would give a little more time, in mercy, to call the backslider back to Himself. Let us prepare, to endure (Matthew 24:13) that we may receive the crown of life (James 1:12), given to be to those who overcome the the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony and not seeking to save their own lives even if it means death (Revelation 12:11). To live is Christ to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). Below is the text of the article concerning the threats against the Church, from Chicago’s mayor.

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“BREAKING – RED ALERT: One day after President Trump declared Churches “essential,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is now threatening to “DESTROY WITHOUT PROCESS, OR JUDICIAL ACTION” Churches that hold services tomorrow!

In a letter delivered to Pastors today from her Department of Public Health, Mayor Heavy Hand warns the Churches:

“This Notice to Abate is being served upon you as the leader of your congregation. Given the heightened risk of spread of COVID19 in gatherings of 10 of more, you are hereby ordered to abate immediately. You are prohibited from having any in-person gatherings contrary to the Executive Order. You are required to cancel all gatherings contrary to the law. If you continue to host gatherings in violation of the Executive Order, the City of Chicago will take ALL NECESSARY MEASURES to abate the nuisance.” (all capital emphases supplied by me)

The letter ends with this chilling THREAT in the very last sentence:

“Any future gatherings conducted contrary to the Order will be considered a failure to abate and the City will take steps necessary to abate, INCLUDING SUMMARY ABATEMENT.”

In a case called City of Kankakee v. New York Cent. R. Co., 387 Ill. 109 (1944), the Illinois Supreme Court has defined “Summary Abatement” under common law as follows:

“Summary abatement would mean TO PUT DOWN OR DESTROY WITHOUT PROCESS. This means the inspector can, upon his own judgment, cause the alleged nuisance to stop on his own authority and effect A DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY AT HIS DISCRETION.”

Therefore, when Mayor Heavy Hand threatens that she will take “all necessary measures,” including “summary abatement,” she is threatening to take whatever action she wants, up to and including the destruction of the Churches, without any due process or judicial proceeding.

It is hard for me to believe I am writing these words in the Land of the Free. We have alerted the Department of Justice. And, we now have a clear reason to petition the Supreme Court of the United States immediately to intervene.

The Churches will NOT be intimidated. Services WILL proceed as scheduled tomorrow. They appreciate your prayers, and we do too.

 

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KEEP CALM! DO NOT FRET!

downloadBeloved of God in Christ, DO NOT FRET because of evil doers (Psalm 37:1-6).

Recently, a rising anguish is pressing the minds and hearts of many of the faithful, concerning the responses and potential responses to the Covid-19 corona virus. This anguish is not without merit, as we understand the times we live in and their relationship to soon return of our King the Lord Jesus Christ.

Although most of my readers believe in the rapture of the church (as do I), it is no longer enough to believe that the church will be raptured, on flowery beds of ease, before we suffer anything of significance. Awareness of the persecuted church, whom our God loves as much as us Christians in America, has demolished the false idea, that “we will not suffer”. Scripture itself declares suffering for the testimony of Christ, is not an option we choose, but a guarantee from the Master Himself, to Christians in any age.

John 15:18-21 (NKJV) “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

Even in the inspired word of God through Paul, we see this truth…

Philippians 1:29-30 (NKJV) For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.

2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV) Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

With this truth in view, it is more than understandable that Christians in America are beginning to consider the potential suffering we will face due to legislation and government orders associated with the corona virus. Let’s be honest, even in a pre-tribulation view of the rapture, we must agree that prior to His glorious in-gathering of the saints, there is persecution against the saints around the world.

Matthew 24:9-10 (NKJV) Then they will deliver you up to tribulation (means persecution) and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

Defining persecution does not mean only death for refusing to renouncing Christ, but also legal avenues of restricting the faith, with varying and increasing degrees of pressure. Consider sister Vera, who lives in a central Asian country and taught the Russian language at a state-run university. Vera was dismissed from her position for not recanting her faith in Christ, because they do not allow church members to teach. She now is trying to raise and provide for her children after being out of work for six months.

Persecution can take many uncomfortable and threatening forms. It is for this reason, I am writing, because contrary to what many Christian leaders have said, persecution has begun in America, with the corona virus response. Has it been terrible? No, not Yet! But the “not yet”, will most likely will become a “very soon the heat will be turned up”! This is a guarantee.

Rather than debate why, I desire this writing to be an encouragement to endure with joy for the sake of Christ, no matter what lies ahead.

One of the anguish producing decisions to being pushed through proper the congress is H.R. 6666.

In the first place, this bill does not allow the government to enter your home and force you to be tested or remove you if you refuse to be tested. I have read the bill and nothing in the language suggests this. The bill also does not say anything about vaccines, either voluntary or mandated. The bill does empower the Secretary of Health and human Services to award grants for eligible entities to become mobile testing sites, for the purpose of carrying out covid-19 tests in homes of participating residents.

For instance, this past week in Ohio letters were supposed to go out to 1200 randomly selected families as an invitation for antibody testing. Each letter contains a phone number to be called, in order to opt out of the random testing.

The bill itself, is seemingly innocuous, except for the seriously sinister numeric code it carries. Why all the hubbub?

Because the bill is seemingly innocuous and we have already seen state governments, with little or no constitutional authority destroy people’s lively hoods and restrict the free exercise of their religion. Let us therefore consider, for the sake of argument, mandatory vaccines will eventually be imposed. Does this rise to the level of the mark of the beast and if not, is it OK to get one?

In the first place, let me inform you that getting any vaccine is a risky proposition. No vaccine has ever eradicated any disease and with the vaccine there is risk of infection, because you are being injected with a dead virus.

Secondly, with all the flu vaccine being administered yearly, there are still hundreds of thousands of deaths from the flu, because vaccines are hit or miss.

Thirdly, it is important to remember that vaccines need to be synthesized and delivered in some formerly alive organism’s tissue. This is can be animal, but often is human.

Barbarically, with two vaccines administered to children, the dead virus is synthesized in the remains of an aborted children from 1960’s. These are the vaccines for chicken pox and hepatitis-A (VERIVAX and HAVRIX). If that is not disturbing enough, last week an bioethicist, in England, sounded the alarm that a possible corona virus close to being tested in England, had been synthesized in the remains of an aborted child from the 1970’s (As reported in the Christian Post; link below). (https://www.christianpost.com/news/bioethicists-warn-against-potential-covid-19-vaccines-using-cells-from-aborted-babies.html?fbclid=IwAR2HNliU05OHIRQfwwyw8-q2y42sCR0dIOajsci3xuEqWivMY0rg1gbi3Rg)

The point is, if you are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, you ought to prayerfully consider whether you ought to receive any vaccine; for your life is not your own you were bought with a price.

Considering the circumstances surrounding covid-19; is it plausible that the governments of the world would mandate their citizens to be vaccinated against their will? Could it be that the introduction of nano technology in said vaccine and introduction of a chip, tattoo or mark may be the mark of the beast?

Instead of answering those questions let us consider some biblical truths which apply in any age.

In the first place, remember that the spirit of Antichrist has been around long before our day.

1 John 4:1-3 (NKJV) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

With that in mind let us examine the passage referring to the mark of the beast I Revelation 13…

Revelation 13:14-18 (NKJV) And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

It is important to understand from the passage above the power of free will, given by God to man. Those who are killed, in the above passage, are those who would not bow to worship the beast. Meaning they had a choice. They could have sought to save their lives for a time and lost their soul or chose to lose their life for the sake of Christ and hence gain Christ and his kingdom.

The mark of the beast also comes with a choice. Whatever that mark is, (and I agree the technology exists and looks like it may be implemented in some way soon) a person may choose to receive it, in order to eat and gain provision; or refuse it for Christ’s sake and have no food and provision.

Now I did not use this passage to rain on anyone’s rapture parade. I have friends in Christ who run the gamut of pre-tribulational rapture, mid-tribulational and even pre-wrath rapture and all of them love the Lord and in my opinion with be with Jesus and me, when the roll is called up yonder. I do believe that the events of suffering against His church to come will change the “we will not suffer” crowd emphasis on escaping suffering and personal ease as a blessing. We must prepare for difficulty in order to endure.

Through out history, the church has come under unspeakable torture on Christ’s behalf. The great cloud of witnesses before us have been crucified, beheaded, drawn an quartered, disembowel, shot, speared, bow and arrowed, tortured, burned at the stake, broken on the rack, skinned alive, placed in solitary confinement for years, buried alive, been made to watch their family murdered in front of them, had to watch other Christians murdered in front of them, been starved to death, lost livelihood and had to trust God alone.

Do we Christians in America believe we are, in some way, more blessed or elite than they, for some reason clearly not articulated in God’s word? The answer is a thousand times no! We will have our day as well and as the spirit of Antichrist was in operation in the times of apostles (and before), there will be hindrance, restrictions, threats and yes loss associated with our choice to follow Christ.

Is it possible that an unconstitutional order of mandatory vaccine come to the citizenry of America, with the caveat, that should we refuse we will not be able to work or meet as the church is commanded, or obtain food or provision? You better believe it!

Always remember you will still have a choice and as bad as the choice may be (from a temporary standpoint), it is still His gift of choice to us. How do we decide, if it is not the mark of the beast?

Luke 9:23-25 (NKJV) Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

Trust that our God and Father will maintain our right to choose Christ over any Antichrist world system program. We choose Him and bear the consequence of that choice. The reward is more glorious and blessed than anything suffered in this life.

So, don’t fret and be careful not to freak over every YOU TUBE video. There is a lot of truth to be heard, but there are some half-truths that half-cock undiscerning Christians. When we shoot half-cocked, we only diminish our Savior’s glory.

Psalms 37:1-4, 8-10 (NKJV) ​ Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 

… Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more. But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

(If you have not seen my last video message from John 9 click here to watch Religious or Right! Which one are you?)

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