Friday, October 29, 2010

Faith a gift from God

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Heb 11:1

Many people claim to have faith, faith in something or someone, but what is faith from a biblical perspective? Can faith be proven or can it be seen? God's word says,  that the just shall live by faith and without faith it is impossible to please God.  Can a Christian prove his or her faith to an unbelieving world and how do we explain faith? Paul in writing to the church in Corinth writes: "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." 1Cr 2:14 

Jesus in speaking to Nicodemus who came to Him at night said: "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3 

Jesus is saying,  that without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a persons life, there is no way for them to know God or to see things from a spiritual heavenly view. Unbelievers are blind to the things pertaining to God and His kingdom,  they cannot see beyond the human realm which the Bible calls the flesh. They go by their instincts, feelings and emotion that are purely  from a human level and not a divine level. Most people live by what they can see touch or smell and they disregard faith as something childish or foolishness. Many Atheist are very outspoken these days about people of faith, especially the Christian faith. I like what Norman Geisler once said in his book: "I do not have enough faith to be an Atheist." What is this faith within the believer, is it something that can be learned or can be earned by some kind of practice or ritual? Where does this faith come from?  Christians walk by faith, a faith that was not earned or attained.  I believe that faith is a gift of God just as salvation is a free gift of God for those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Before anybody was a true believer and disciple of Christ, they walked in darkness just as everybody else. I came to Christ pretty late in life, at the age of 46 years. What took me so long, and why wasn't I a believer much earlier in my life? Certainly I had heard about Jesus, and that He died on the cross for my sins.  I heard about His resurrection from the dead and that He promised eternal life to those who would believe and follow Him. I'm pretty sure that most people know John 3:16.  It seems that knowing about Jesus and reading about Jesus is not enough. There are many people saying: "I think He was a good man and a great teacher."  They put Him in the same category as Buddha, Krishna and others.  And that is as far as most people will go,  they refuse to come any closer towards the truth of God that would set them free. Why is there such hostility towards Christ?  Why would people not receive Christ by faith and the forgiveness of their sins by repenting of their former ways?  God's promise is  forgiveness and eternal life. Could it be because there is no faith nor hope in them,  unless God draws them?  "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Eph 2:8  
How come that some received grace and some not? Did God predestined some to be saved and some not?  I do not believe that God has chosen some unto salvation and some to hell for eternity (although He knows in His foreknowledge who would come to Him and who not).  People have a free will to choose, and that those who reach out to God asking Him for forgiveness will be saved by His grace.  I can only go from my experience,  how I came to the Lord.  I can't speak for others, everybody has their own unique story.  I'm not going into a long winded story, but I had a severe alcohol problem, and my life was going downhill real fast.  I would go on binges days upon days drinking until I would be sick. I took me about a week to get better after these binges and a couple of weeks to get back to drinking resulting in another collapse. Well, long story short, one Sunday morning, May 14th 2006 to be precise, I hit rock bottom. I sat on my patio chair feeling pretty lousy and I remember as if it were today, I cried out to God saying, "please help me, I don't want to be like this anymore, please God help me I am sorry." From that moment on, my life completely changed, I was still feeling sick, but something happened, something I can't fully explain. God took the desire of drinking away and I have not had a drink or desire to have a drink one ever since. That day God changed me, He transformed my life. There used to be twelve packs of beer in my car and Ozzy on my radio. That all changed that day,  I went and bought a Bible. Not knowing anything about which translation to get, the first Bible I bought was a NASB version. I was reading everyday and because I didn't work at that time and spent all day and night reading God's word. Looking back, I know that the moment I cried out to God that He saved me from a life of destruction, and the transformation within me started. Did I have true faith at that early stage? To be honest I don't know, what I do know is that reading the word of God brought me closer and closer to Him. I had a change of mind which came through His word, His word ministered to me. Reading the Bible and studying it, showed me without a doubt that I was reading the truth and that God had a wonderful plan for my life.  Faith came by reading the word of God just as it say's it in the Bible. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Rom10:17

Today I have absolute faith in God. It is not a "blind faith" as many atheist like to call it. I know in my heart that God is the truth and that He is faithful. He keeps His promises, and one day I will see Him face to face. Can I prove faith to an unbeliever? Maybe not, but I believe that faith can be shown by the conduct and behaviors of  Christians in the world. Genuine faith brings forth good fruit.
Many will laugh at believers and mock them, but the genuine believers have a blessed hope of salvation and eternal life. They have the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, something the unbeliever searches for but will not find apart from God. Jesus explained why many will resist Him and fight tooth and nails against His Lordship: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. "For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." John 3:16-20

Many want to stay in darkness, they want to live a life with out being accountable to anyone, they love the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life.

Thank you Lord Jesus for seeking me and saving me, Maranatha Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Has the Church replaced Israel?

                                                      Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros

“The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians, to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands,” Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros, Greek Melkite archbishop of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Boston Mass., and president of the “Commission for the Message,” said at Saturday’s Vatican press conference. “We Christians cannot speak of the ‘promised land’ as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people. This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people – all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people."

I believe that the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church is gravely mistaken and have embraced the "replacement theology" and are in the process of abandoning Israel.  

Replacement theology also known as supersessionism  teaches that the Church has replaced the nation of  Israel regarding the plan, purpose, and promises of God. There is no biblical evidence that God has cast Israel aside, quite the opposite is true. God has made an everlasting covenant with Israel, in Genesis God made a covenant with Abraham: "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you." Gen 17:7 God said everlasting, not just for a certain time period. God promised Abraham that through his offspring all the nation shall be blessed i.e. the promised Messiah would come through the nation of Israel (Gen 3:17)  from the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God made another covenant through Abraham's son Isaac: Then God said: Then God said: "No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him." Gen 17:19  The word everlasting appears 100 times in the KJV/NKJV and if God says everlasting it means everlasting i.e. forever. The replacement theology has been around for a long time,  but is contradictory to what the Bible teaches. Israel and the Church are two different entities, God never made a covenant with the Church as He did with the nation of Israel. It is true and documented in the Bible that Israel disobeyed God many times, which caused them many afflictions, enslaved to Egypt for 400 years, captivity in Babylon for 70 years and much strives and wars with the neighboring nations. They rejected Jesus as their Messiah at His first coming, which resulted ultimately in the destruction of the temple in 70 AD by Titus and the fall of Jerusalem which caused them to exist as a nation, resulting them to be dispersed all over the world. Because of their rejection of Jesus/Yahshua as Messiah, the Gentile nations became heirs, with that God fulfilled the promise He made to Abraham, that, through him all nations will be blessed:  "For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,…" Eph 3:1-6
God wanted the nation of Israel to be a shinning light before the pagan nations, He chose them not because they were special people but because He loved them and keeps His promises: "The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; "but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. "Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; "and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face." Deu 7:7-10
Israel did not keep the commandments, and they even went in to idolatry, something the LORD hates, they failed miserably, despite all this, God has not cast them out or broken His covenant with them. Currently we are in what is called by many the Church age, which began at the time of Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the believers. (Acts 2)  God is using the Church to preach the gospel of salvation in Christ and Him alone. The Church was chosen by God for a specific time period i.e. Church age,  to preach the gospel and reach the lost, the church was grafted in. (Rom 11:17) The apostle Paul certainly did not believe that Israel was cast out by God, he wrote: "I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, "LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life"? But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." Rom 11:1-4

God has always preserve a Jewish remnant. One of the biggest evidence of God not breaking His covenant is manifested in the re-birth of the nation of Israel on May 14th 1948. After almost 2000 years of Israel not existing, God brought them back into the land as prophesied by the Prophet Ezekiel in chapter 36. The Jews are back in the land, as one nation/kingdom not two as it was before the dispersion, ( 2 southern tribes Judah and Benjamin and the 10 northern tribes) they speak one common which is Hebrew and the shekel is their currency. Today Israel is one of the most fruitful areas in the Middle East, they are the biggest vegetable and fruit exporters in the region. Israel is on the news daily and Jerusalem with the temple mount has been a sore point to many nations and has become the epicenter of the world. Israel is surrounded by many hostile Islamic nations, and one day the war of Gog and Magog will take place as described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. Most scholars believe that at the time of the rapture of the believers in Christ, the church age will end and will usher in a 7 year tribulation period on the earth spoken of in Daniel chapter 9. 70 weeks were determined for Israel, 69 weeks or 483 years or 173880 days have been fulfilled, from the commandment by King Artaxerxes in 445BC to rebuild the walls and Jerusalem and with Jesus riding into Jerusalem April 6 AD 32 as prophesied by Zechariah: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey." Zech 9:9 The Messiah was cut off as prophesied in Daniel 9 i.e  the crucifixion and finished work of Christ upon the cross.  This leaves a seven year/one week period which has not been fulfilled, commonly referred to as Jacobs troubles or the  seven years of great tribulation. It is in these seven years of tribulation that God will once again turn to Israel and they will recognize that Jesus is their promised Messiah, and they will embrace Him as such. The tribulation period will be a time of trouble like the world has never seen before or ever will again, God will pour out His wrath upon the unbelieving world and Christ will come again with all the believers, which is the second coming, this time He will come not as a lamb but as the Lion from the tribe of Judah. Christ will judge the nations, and the once who made it through the seven year tribulation period who did not take the mark of the beast will enter into the millennial reign of Christ here upon the earth. This is the separation of the sheep from the goats. 

"I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years." Rev 20:4-6

Many Jews will receive Christ as their Lord and Savior during the great tribulation, many Jews and Gentiles will have to die/martyred, but because they have not worshiped or bowed down to the Antichrist , they will be saved and enter into the kingdom of God and have everlasting life. God has not cast out the Jews, neither has He forgotten them, God keeps His promises, to us as Christians and to His chosen people; Israel. God has always preserved for Himself a remnant. 

The Roman Catholic Church is wrong regarding Israel and the Bishops are contradicting what the word of God clearly states.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Peace in the Middle East?

Why is it so difficult to archive peace in the Middle-East? Could it partly be because of wild donkey's like Ahmadinejad? He hates Israel and wants them to be wiped out from the face of the earth. He wishes nothing more than for the talks to fail. So much for a peaceful Islamic religion, there is nothing peaceful about radical Islam... and it's teachings, nor is the Koran a book of peace. Muhammad was a wild donkey, conquering by killing with the sword. Most people look at the world today from a human perspective or the human level, there is also a divine perspective a divine level. Most people would say, well it is just the way it is, but one day if we can make just a few changes, we can have worldwide peace. Nice dream. There is a spiritual war raging all around us, unseen with human natural eyes. There are Satanic forces that control certain areas in the world, Iran is one of them. In the book of Daniel, God gives us some indication's that there are in deed spiritual battles between the angels of heaven and the fallen demonic angels that once rebelled against God. Daniel prayed for help and guidance to understand the 70 weeks in the book of Jeremiah. He prayed for 3 weeks until Gabriel one of the Archangels finally came to him, saying that he was held up because of the prince of Persia, (Iran today) opposed him. The prince of Persia was not the physical human prince that was ruling Persia at that time, but the demonic force over Persia, and Gabriel went on to say that he had to go because the prince of Greece was coming. So, there is battle going on unseen to us a battle of good verse evil. Does evil exist? I'm sure of it and I think we all know that there are evil people in the world, Ahmadinejad is one of them, controlled by Satan and his demonic army. Israel is the center of the world and Jerusalem with the temple mount being the epicenter. Satan is doing his best to cause conflict after conflict trying to destroy the Jewish people, the temple mount is the most holiest place on earth, the temple of David build by Solomon was there and Jesus was crucified there on the very same spot where God had asked Abraham to offer up Issac. Jesus sacrificed His life there for us by spilling His blood as the acceptable offering, the unblemished lamb of God, just as God told Abraham, "I will provide a sacrifice". This is much more than just humans not getting along, it is spiritual war and Satan knows his time is running out, he has tried throughout history to destroy the Jewish people, Haman, Herod, and many others including Hitler, demonically controlled by Satan and his forces. Just as he tried a to wipe out the Jews, so is he coming after the true believers, the bride, he wants nothing more than for us the believers, to fail. He has penetrated the church from the beginning, infiltrating from the inside.
So if you read the newspapers watch the news and see all the stuff that is going on around the world today, think off it as a spiritual battle and we are right in the midst of it. Let us not look with human natural eyes but spiritual once, God has given us His Spirit and we see things for what they really are: a battle of of heavenly proportions. Let us put on the armor of God. 
"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:11-13

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death."



South Park on Comedy Central mock Jesus Christ in some of their episodes, no one hardly protested, the producers of South Park had planned to air a show depicting the Prophet Muhammad, after much outrage from the Muslim community, the producers of South Park and  Comedy Central gave into the pressure, editing the show and airing a censored version instead. Still the radical group "Revolution Muslim" threatened to kill the producers of South Park Matt Stone and Trey Parker. "Revolution Muslim" is a New York based radical Islamic organization. My question is: why do we as Americans do just about anything not to offend Muslims, but have no problems with either the Media or Anti-Christians mocking Jesus Christ and the Christian faith?  Are we a country that is living in fear? Are we afraid to stand up against these radicals and say enough is enough, in this country we have free speech? If you don't like it here go home. We don't need these kind of radical threatening people in our country. Americans are suppose to be free. Many have died for our freedom. Have they all died in vain? Are we just stand by as these radical groups try to undermine our society? What would our founding fathers say if they could speak out today?

"Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death." Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You reap what you sow

Just as any good parent would, so also our Father in Heaven has given His children guidelines on which to live by. Are these rules there to exercise power and control over His children, or are they there to prevent pain and hurt that can last a lifetime? God gave only one commandment to Adam and Eve in the garden, they were not to eat of that one tree that was in the midst of the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As responsible parents we teach our children not to cross the roadway because of the danger being hit by traffic. We set rules, don't touch, don't eat that, don't talk or go with strangers etc. The child may not fully understand why parents make those rules, but the parents know, mostly from their own experiences. Although these rules are in place, children will break them any chance they can get, just as Adam and Eve did in the garden. They knew not to eat the fruit of that one tree, but were deceived and tricked through the lie of the Serpent/Satan. God told Adam that the day they would eat of that fruit, they would die. Satan challenged the word of God and deceived Eve with a lie, saying, "has God really said?" and he went further, saying to her,  "you surely will not die". They believed the lie Satan told them and did what God had forbidden them to do, they ate of the tree. Did they die the moment they ate? No. Was Satan telling them the truth? No. When God said that they would die, He meant spiritual death. Because of their disobedience and not listening to God, they reaped the consequences of their disobedience i.e. spiritual death and eternal separation from God. Just as any parent would punish and discipline their child when they break the rules, God had to punish Adam and Eve for their disobedience. God knew the consequences to come if they would eat of the fruit, and as a loving Father He warned them. Through this one act, sin entered the world, resulting in them being cast out of the garden and being separated from God spiritually who once walked with Adam. As we all know, things got worse from their, the first recorded murder, Cain killing his brother Abel. Can you imagine how Adam and Eve must have felt when they realized the consequences their disobedience brought forth, seeing the blood of Abel shed by his brother? Adam and Eve reaped what they sowed. Parents have their best interest for the children, knowing that if they do disobey and break the rules, consequences will follow. Ever action has a reaction. We reap what we sow. Parents should teach children not to experiment  with drugs and alcohol and everything else society is offering to them. Today's world is driven by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life and many have fallen into the trap and have bought into the lie. I'm sure that many of us who read this know that to be true, early on in my life I drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes, did drugs, had sexual relations etc. We are taught by society that it is all in good fun, seeking pleasure and self fulfillment is what everybody else does. Looking back at my life today, I admit that some of things were very pleasurable, but with these pleasures also came consequences later on in my life, I was addicted to alcohol and drugs and because of sexual behaviors outside of marriage went from one relationship to another. Nothing ever really satisfied, and than there was always the next day, hangovers, another break up you name it. None of these pleasures that the world has to offer ever satisfy, people are searching for the next best high, but will never really find it. Our parents knew what would happen if we go a certain route, warning us but we chose not to heed the warnings of our parents and others. God knows the consequences sin can bring into our lives and warned us just as He warned Adam and Eve long ago in the garden.  But many did not listen, ignoring God, even denying God, going after the world following the deceiver and his lies. Today we see the devastation from disobedience in our society and many other places around the world. I think Paul puts it best when he wrote in Romans: "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." Romans 1:28-32

That sounds just like today's society, the result of not heeding God's word and trying to remove God and His wisdom from everyday life. We see the consequences thereof, "You reap what you sow."

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." Galatians 6:7, 8

God has given all of us a free will to choose, but certain choices that one makes in life will bring also consequences that may last a lifetime. It is never to late to turn from a life of the flesh and turn to God our heavenly Father. You may say, I am too far gone and God is so far from me. How far is God the Father from you? All it takes is to turn around and He is right there, with open arms and willing to forgive and love you. How can I know God loves you and me? Just look at the cross and you know God's love for us, He gave His only Son, that through Him we have forgiveness and eternal life.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Monday, October 18, 2010

Merkel says German multi-cultural society has failed

Looks like Germany is waking up to the fact that a multi-cultural society causes many problems. Here in America this would be labeled as "bigotry" by the liberals, I think Merkel makes a very good argument for: "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". You can read the complete article by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post.

The Saying: WHEN IN ROME, DO AS THE ROMANS DO. Who Said It: St. Ambrose When: 387 A.D. The Story behind It: When St. Augustine arrived in Milan, he observed that the Church did not fast on Saturday as did the Church at Rome. He consulted St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, who replied: "When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the Church where you are." The comment was changed to "When they are at Rome, they do there as they see done" by Robert Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy. Eventually it became "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Human Reasoning or God's Standard's?

The "Freedom of Religion Organization" is a outspoken Anti-theist group has been lobbying for a while now to have "In God we Trust" removed from our currency. They absolutely see no problem with: "in reason we trust", which would take away the faith in God and "religion" and instead they replace it with a humanistic secular world view. The believe is that "human reasoning" will set the world free from the oppression that "religion" places on today's society. Hawkins and other Anti-theist like him i.e. Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens love to proclaim boldly that God does not exist and that He is not needed. They claim religion has suppressed the freedom of the people and is hindering the progress of a new society that is freed from God and religious zealots. They believe that with reasoning and humanist thinking the world will be a better place one day, if they can only silence the "people of faith",  we can all live together in peace and harmony just as John Lennon envisioned it in his song "Imagine". What has human philosophy and reason done so far for society? We are living in a world of violence, murder rape, theft, you name it. Society is on a moral decline and if we continue the way progressives are dictating us to go, the moral decline of our nation and the world will grow worse. The progressive movement is not a step forward, but a step back into paganism and heathenism. Who will set's the moral standards, who will get to decide what is right and what is wrong? God has said: "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Isaiah 5:20
Do we set moral values from the viewpoint of man or from the viewpoint of God? God has given mankind moral values that cannot be denied and every human has those values written on their hearts, we intuitively know when we are doing something wrong, our conscience bearing witness to the fact. God has given us the 10 commandments, you shall not murder steal, lie, commit adultery, coveting your neighbors goods and so on. These are all good moral values and I believe that not many would disagree with them, but many do not want to obey them, or are trying to get around them with human philosophy. In their moral world God's views are obsolete, they agree that murdering somebody is wrong and needs to be punished, they would also agree that stealing and lying is wrong. Humanistic thinkers looks on the outside of man, God however looks inside at the heart of man, and it was Jesus that demonstrated to us how God looks at His perfect and moral standards. Jesus did not abolish the 10 commandments as many like to think, He took them and raised them up a notch, showing us that God does not look at the outside appearance of man but at the heart. Someone may say, "I have never murdered anyone" Jesus said: if you hate your brother, you have already committed murder in your heart. That person may not have murdered anybody physically, but he/she may have hated someone wishing them to be dead. In the eyes of God that is just like murdering someone, from the heart comes all evil thinking,  from the heart comes murder, theft, lies and covetousness. It is a heart issue. God declares in Jeremiah: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" Jer. 17:9.  God declares every human being guilty of sin, the word sin is not very much liked these days, but what the word sin really means is "missed the mark, or "fallen short" and God declares in His word that we have all missed the mark and all have fallen short of the glory of God. Therefore man will make all kinds of excuses for their actions, society is to blame, religion is to blame, George W. Bush is to blame. If we would just had more tolerance towards one another and would not be so narrow minded about things, the world would be a much better place to live in. Jesus said: "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Mat 7:13, 14.   In my humble opinion,  I rather go the narrow way, call me narrow minded or whatever but I believe that if we let go of God and His perfect standards and rather put our trust in humanity and human reasoning, we as all of today's society will face dire consequences. Every kingdom or empire that has lost their moral values has perished. They may desire to replace God's wisdom with a humanistic atheistic philosophy and deny God's existence, but one day the ultimate Judge will have the last word and no human excuse will hold up before the throne of God. Man's wisdom is foolishness before God. It is never too late to turn and embrace God, today is the day of salvation, and God is waiting patiently and He is longsuffering towards mankind, wanting nobody to perish.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11 

P.S. True Biblical Christianity is not a "religion, but a meaningful loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Freddy Winter 10/16/10

Monday, October 11, 2010

Legalizing Marijuana; a Christian viewpoint

Legalizing Marijuana; a Christian viewpoint

On Nov. 2nd voters in 4 states are casting their ballots, one hot button issue is the legalization of Marijuana. California is one of those states that is considering the legalization of the substance. I have been thinking about this issue for a while and weight out the pros and cons. From a pure human perspective, legalizing pot will take the criminal element out of possessing and consuming the now illegal drug. The jails are over crowded as it is, and many inmates are in jail because of either selling or possessing it. The cost of incarceration is overwhelming and with the budget short falls and other financial issues, I can see how some can make the argument of legalizing Marijuana from Tijuana (kidding), given the recent increase of violent deaths across the border in Mexico by the drug cartels. The smuggling of illegal drugs which include marijuana into the US from Mexico is on the rise due to a high demand here in the US. Many people risk their lives smuggling them into this country and face long jail sentences when caught, which crowds up the American court rooms. It is a burden on our court system. By the legalization of Marijuana most of these issues would disappear. The drug cartels would take a huge financial hit, diminishing their powers and Mexico may experience less violence because of it. Too many people have died because of the addiction to drugs and many more will die in the future, the appetite here in the US is great and as long as there is demand for them, the drugs will flow across the border. From the human perspective I can see some of the validity of the argument for the legalization of marijuana coming this November.

From a pure Christian view I can see the concerns many have, the Bible clearly teaches that using drugs in any form is a sin and leads into addiction or as the Bible calls it; bondage. People become slaves to their addictions and many of these drugs are mind altering and people do things that they normally would not consider doing. Addiction or bondage to substances like drugs and alcohol can be devastating to a persons life. The need to get "high" overshadows a person life and what was once considered an escape have become chains and dictates their lives. I can speak from experience, being a former alcoholic and occasional user of pot. Once addicted, life is all about getting it and looking for the next high. The drugs take control over a persons life and for most getting off them is a life long battle. The promise of feeling good, a better attitude in this world, has become a snare to people and their lives change to the worse and quite simply drugs no longer satisfy, the have become a slave master. Life on the human level does not satisfy, and people are searching for the next best thing but nothing will ever satisfy just as Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones has been singing for over 40 years: "I can get no satisfaction." The world with all it glamor and riches can never satisfy, there is always something missing and people go around in circles never finding "Nirvana". There is only one that can satisfy, that is God through His son Jesus Christ who truly transforms lives. So many people that were searching found true satisfaction in Jesus. Only He can give true peace through fellowship with Him. A Christian that has a true relationship with Christ is in need of nothing, Christ will provide all things, there is no need for mind altering substances such as drugs and alcohol. A sober mind is what God desires for the believer and to live in freedom and not in bondage to anything. The Bible teachers that the renewing of the mind will change a persons life, and that the viewpoint of the world will pass away and being renewed in the ways of God and His view of the world. People think that drugs offer an escape which is a lie, Jesus is the answer and He promised and said: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Mat 11:28-30

People look for freedom, do drugs or alcohol set anyone free? Freedom can be found in Christ and Him alone. "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." Jhn 8:36

I will vote this upcoming election and vote "No" on the proposition to legalize marijuana. I do not want to enable people and at the same time go against God's word. People have a choice and the free will to choose given by God, but they will also have to face the consequences thereof. People who make the choice of using drugs to find peace and satisfaction will not find it and I hope that they will see that there quest for satisfaction is "nothing new under the sun".

Freddy Winter 10/11/10

Answer Of Wisdom Part 1

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Officials: France burqa ban legal; law goes into effect immediately

The picture on you driver license came out quite nice. Yeah, but I wish I would have worn my light blue outfit, makes me look younger don't you think?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Westboro Baptist Curch insist on free speech. Is it?

The Supreme Court justice is questioning whether the Westboro Baptist Church has right under the first amendment to protest at military funerals. The Westboro church which is headed up by Fred Phelps has been doing this for years, it is a very small church which consists mostly of family members. Do they have or should they have the right to protest under the first amendment? Many say yes, the freedom of speech is protected under the constitution of the United States. Personally I believe that these protests against our fallen heros and homosexuals are nothing more than hate speech under the banner of Christianity. It is pure hate and to call them Christians who are supposedly doing the will God is incomprehensible. I am a Christian and follower of Jesus Christ, and nowhere in His teaching or anywhere in the Bible can I find God condoning these actions committed  by the Westboro Baptist Church. Yes, the Bible teaches that homosexuality is not natural and is an abomination in the eyes of God, but so are all other sexual behaviors outside of marriage, fornication, adultery, pornography etc. That does not give anyone the right to condemn people and telling them that God hates them. God does not hate them, he wants them to change their ways and turn to Christ for forgiveness and a new transformed life in Him. It is never too late to turn and call upon Him. The Bible clearly teaches that He does not want anybody to perish but to come to the truth and have everlasting life. Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save, He did not pick up signs and protest and condemn people to hell as these so called Christians do. He had compassion on the sinners, just read about the adulteress woman in the gospel of John chapter 8. Since these Westboro Baptists think that they have the right to free speech, I will use that same freedom and say that they are not Christians, they do not know the Lord Jesus and they are of the spirit of Antichrist. And God who will judge the world at the end of the age, will judge Fred Phelps and his family members of this cult even more severally because they have done these despicable things in the name of Jesus Christ. Shame on them for misrepresenting the Lord Jesus as a hater, the Bible teaches the opposite. Christians are to be a shinning light unto the unbelieving world so that the unbelieving world would be drawn to the love of God and repent from their deeds, we are suppose to do it in love not hate. In time justice will be done and I hope pray that the members of the Westboro Church would turn from their terrible errors and repent before it is too late for them and they receive what they preach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Freddy Winter Oct 6.10

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Parker/Spitzer on CNN

America, are you ready? Elliot Spitzer the adulterer is coming to CNN with his co-host Kathleen Parker. The former governor of New York City who had to resign because he was exposed of being with high priced prostitutes who charged $1000 per hour. I guess the liberals don't care about what people do anymore and it seems they are getting rewarded for their wicked behaviors and land a TV show. Here is my prediction: The Parker/Spitzer program will flop miserably due to lack of sincerity and lack of audience.

Twitter and Facebook Talk

Monday, October 4, 2010

Can man orchestrate his own salvation?

The Bible is very clear about that man cannot save himself. No one can reach God on his own merit or on their own goodness or righteousness. Salvation is a gift of God by His grace through faith. The context of Ezekiel 14 is that Israel had turned to idol worship and God was pronouncing judgment on them. They had become faithless, they did not trust and believe in the true and living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but rather chose to worship man made gods.

"Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness," says the Lord GOD. Eze 14:14

Even if these 3 OT heroes would earnestly pray as intercessors for the nation, even they could not stop the judgment of God against Israel.
The OT teaches that people were saved by faith which accounted to them as righteousness. Abraham was a man of faith who believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. The OT saints believed in the coming Messiah and the promises of God, they looked forward to the cross as we now look back at the finished work of Christ on the cross.

"And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness." Gen 15:6

"For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Rom 4:3

"just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Gal 3:6

"And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God." James 2:23

Religions have always tried to reach God, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhist and other religions believe that they can appease God by their works of their righteousness. No one can appease God on his own righteousness. The Bible teaches that there is none that is righteous in the eyes of God.

"As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one;" Rom 3:10

Mankind is separated from God because of sin, and God has given mankind only one way of being reconciled to Him through His son Jesus Christ who died for the sin of the world. Jesus by shedding His blood on the cross has paid the price for sin and everybody who believes by faith in Him and Hid finished work is forgiven and God does not remember their sins anymore. It is the righteousness of Jesus that is imputed onto the believers and thus the believer is saved, not of works or achieving righteousness before God.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Eph 2:8, 9

It is because of God's grace that we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. Grace is something we do not deserve, or earned, it is a gift of God because He loves us and He send His son to bring us into a right standing with Him.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Freddy Winter 10/4/10

Guard Your Heart

Purpose Not To Defile

Sunday, October 3, 2010

2,000+ year old Middle-Eastern desert religion relevant to our lives in America today? 

Christianity is not considered a philosophy, Christians believe and know that Jesus is the promised Messiah of the OT, the One that would come to be the Savior of the world through the shedding of His blood on the cross. God made this promise way back in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit and sin entered the world and sin brought forth death (separation from God). Satan the adversary tempted Eve by lying to her, God told them not to eat of a specific tree or else they would die. They chose not to obey God's word, gave into the temptation because Satan told Eve that they would not die, and thus the fall. They did not die physically but they died spiritually, they were separated from God and had to live with the consequences of their disobedience.  Their sin resulted in being cast out of the garden. Adam and Eve saw the results of their sin when one of their sons named cain murdered Abel. God had created everything perfect but because of Satan (a fallen angel) tempting Adam and Eve the first murder took place and things got worse after that. Sin was in the world and Satan was then and is now the ruler of this world because Adam and Eve forfeited the earth over to Satan. In the beginning was light but now Satan brought in darkness. The Bible which Christians believe is God's written word to mankind, and is really a book of redemption, from Genesis to Revelation the book outlines God's redemptive work, the promised Savior   to man as promised right after the fall. The Bible is historically accurate and we have in it the creation account, the fall, the flood in the days of Noah the multiplying of people and the origin of nations. The Bible tells us that Noah had three sons, Japheth, Ham and Shem. Japheth and Ham are the fathers of the African, Middle Eastern Northern  European and Asian nations, through the line of Shem came Abraham, Moses King David and Jesus. Jesus is the promised Messiah from back in Genesis. He came to the nation of Israel to reconcile them to God as promised (the OT speaks of the suffering Messiah) by going to the cross and shed His blood for the remission of their sins. The religious leadership rejected Him as the Messiah and because of that, God punished them by being dispersed throughout the world by the Romans in AD 70. As foretold in the OT the gospel (the good news) would come to all the Gentile nations, the early Church started in Jerusalem and later went out and it was in Antioch that they were first called Christians or Christ-like. From there the gospel went throughout the whole world. The gospel is really simple and it is as important today as it was yesterday and no other religion or philosophy can save us from our sins and the forgiveness of God by believing in Son Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross. The cross was the fulfillment from Genesis. Here is the gospel message in a very simple and easy way to understand:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 What could be more simpler?  Jesus purchased the earth back to him (that was forfeited by Adam) by paying a very costly price, His blood. Why is this still relevant 2000 years later? Because people are still sinners today and in need of forgiveness by God through His son. The meaning of the word sin is simply "to miss the mark" and knowing mankind and todays society we all have missed the mark. Many people say that they are "good people" in their eyes, but in the eyes of a Holy God all fall short of His glory for we all have sinned. Sin is death and God can not allow sin because He is Holy and just and cannot approve of sin and there is a punishment for sin: eternal separation from God i.e. Hell. The Bible teaches that we will die once and than judgement.

"And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation." Hebrews 9:27, 28

A believer in Jesus as their Lord and Savior will not be judged as the unbelievers and rejecters of Jesus and God's only way to salvation. As I said before, no other religion or philosophy, good behavior and good deeds will get a person into heaven and eternal life. There is only one way and Jesus said so Himself:

"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

So, I personally think that a "dessert religion" is very relevant today, knowing that there will be a judgment of God and knowing that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, no one can stand before God and defend themselves. The punishment for sin is eternal separation from God which is also called the lake a fire where the fire is never quenched. I am not sure how exactly that would be, but I sure do not want to be there. But thanks to God because of His love and mercy towards us has provided a way, Jesus Christ the righteous and by believing in faith, His righteousness is imputed onto the believer and God does not look upon their sins past present and future and has forgiven them of all their sins and there will be no eternal judgment but eternal life with Him. That's the good news and I hope that you have thought of your life and where you will be spending eternity. Jesus is real and He is alive and He will come again to take the believers home. The Bible says today is the day of salvation. Tomorrow may never come, should you die tomorrow, do you know where you will be going?  Jesus can give you that assurance be receiving Him as your Savior. He can forgive you of all your sins and you will be a new creation in Him. Don't just believe me, read the Bible start with the gospel of John and learn about Jesus who He is and how you can know Him personally.  May the Lord reveal His love to you.

Why did God punish Adam and Eve?

God punished Adam and Eve because of disobedience. They disobeyed His word and the consequence of that disobedience caused separation from God and spiritual death. In Genesis 1 God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth.

"Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Gen 1:28

God in the beginning created everything perfect and everything was good, He walked daily with Adam and there was a communion and fellowship in the garden. God in Genesis 2 told Adam: "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Gen 2:16, 17

God said this to Adam before Eve was created and in Genesis 3 we read how Satan deceived Eve by twisting and questioning the word of God:
"Now the serpent (Satan) was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; "but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die. Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Gen 3:1-5

Satan questioned and twisted the words of God given to Adam and he lied to Eve by saying that they will surely not die. After Eve gave of the fruit to Adam, they did not die physically but they died spiritually. Though this one act of disobedience sin entered the world and sin brought forth death i.e. spiritual death, a spiritual separation from God. Adam and Eve tried to cover their sin by clothing themselves with fig leaves, which God did not accept, He clothed them with animal skins which signified that God instituted animal sacrifices and that blood was required to atone for sin. Adam and Eve fell for the lie and believed Satan rather than God and thus they forfeited the dominion over the earth to Satan. The Bible calls Satan the ruler of this world. "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out." John 12:31 Because of their disobedience, Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden, and had to labor and experience hardship, and later in Genesis we read about the results of sin i.e. Cain killing Abel and mankind became separated and increasingly wicked, which ultimately resulted in the judgment of mankind by God causing the earth to be flooded with water.

The disobedience of Adam and Eve also illustrates that God created man with a free will to choose, He did not created them as robots, He wants a genuine relationship with man that comes from the heart and not a artificial mechanical relationship that has no meaning. God looks at the heart of man and not on the outside appearances as mankind does. God declares in Jeremiah: "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" Jer 17:9 Sin has caused mankind to be separated from God and God required blood to atone for their sins i.e. animal sacrifices. The blood of certain animals was the only way to cover the sins of the people in OT times. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul." Lev 17:11

Throughout the OT times people had to sacrifice animals until God gave His only son to shed His blood for mankind once and for all. Jesus was the perfect and unblemished sacrifice that was able to take away the sin of the world for all of those who would believe in Him through faith. Mankind cannot cover their sins on their own merit, we must come through Jesus who the only way to be reconciled to God the Father. "For as by one man's disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience (Jesus) many will be made righteous." Rom 5:19

God is a just and righteous God and thus He cannot let sin go unpunished, light cannot dwell with darkness. "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." Jhn 1:5

God provided a sacrifice as He had promised to Abraham when he was tested to offer up his only son Isaac on Mount Moriah which is the same place were Jesus 2000 years later would give His life for us on Calvary's cross.

"Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." Gen 22:2

"But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together." Gen 22: 7, 8

"And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided." Gen 22:14

This promise God kept and fulfilled in giving His only son for us on the same mouton that Abraham was asked to offer Isaac. Sin has separated us, but we can be reconciled, forgiven and be born again spiritually through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Jhn 3:16