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Showing posts from November, 2021

Let Him Slay Me

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“Though He slays me yet will I trust in him, and I will maintain my ways before him”   –   Job 13:15 .  We had all heard the question - “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Why despite their faithfulness and supplications do some saints become ill and die from horrible diseases? Why do so many believers not experience the presence of God, see visions or angels? And why are millions of Christians not prospering financially? - [ Photo by Madhu Shesharam on Unsplash ].

No Middle Ground

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In  Revelation , humanity is divided into two camps. First, the men who “ tabernacle in heaven .” Second, the “ inhabitants of the earth .” The descriptions are  NOT  geographical and reflect the allegiance of either group. The first consists of those who “ follow the Lamb ,” the latter, of all who render homage to the “ beast .” There is no third option - [ Photo by  Rod Long  on Unsplash ].

Destiny and Purpose

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Our “destiny” is to take up the Cross of Christ, deny ourselves, and follow HIM wherever he goes .  As a young man, I found life disturbing. Having developed an early interest in history, the more I read, the more inexplicable reality became. Human society, past and present, was characterized by inequality, injustice, corruption, and warfare. If existence meant a life of struggle followed by death, what was the point of it all? - [ Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash ].

Mistaken Prophets?

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"In the last days, mockers will come with mockery, saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming?’.”  Over the last year, we have witnessed significant failures by the “leaders” of the “Prophetic Movement,” and the last failure was so spectacular that many “prophets and apostles” found it necessary to issue public “apologies.” Unfortunately, this has not stopped them from repackaging themselves as they continue to “prophesy” in the name of the Lord - [ Photo by Thomas Bonometti on Unspla ].

Hidden Mysteries Revealed

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God’s previously hidden mysteries are now revealed in Jesus, and especially so in his death and resurrection .  The Bible speaks of the “ mysteries ” of God, His ways that are hidden from human wisdom and defy our expectations. In his teachings, Jesus declared that not everyone can understand the “ mysteries of the kingdom .” It is God who reveals the deep and obscure things to whomever He pleases. And in His Son, He has done so for all who have “ eyes that can see ” - [ John 3 Photo by  Benjamin Elliott  on Unsplash ]

Undeniable Evidence

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“The Spirit expressly says that in later seasons some will revolt from the faith, giving heed unto seducing spirits and teachings of demons”   –   1 Timothy 4:1 .  I cannot presume to know why allows certain things to occur within His church, though recent events suggest possible explanations. He cares for His people, and even when He judges them, it is to correct and save them. Unfortunately, at this time, all too often the worst elements seem to rise to the top - [ Photo by Tim Wilson on Unsplash ].

Shepherd of the Nations

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Jesus is the promised ruler from the line of David, the Shepherd of ALL nations   –   Revelation 12:5 .  The “ son ” born from the woman  is the Messiah destined to “ shepherd the nations .” Following his enthronement, heaven declared: “ Now is come the kingdom of God and the authority of His Christ .” His defeat of Satan  meant the commencement of his reign over the “ nations ” from the messianic throne - [ Photo by joseph d'mello on Unsplash ].

Stargazers and Monthly Prognosticators

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Why are so many church leaders seeking to divine God’s will and the future by using astrology and calendrical calculations ?  Where in the New Testament do I find Jesus or Paul teaching us how to divine “spiritual” insights or even the future from Hebrew year numbers or month names? And increasingly, Christians are seeking omens in perfectly natural events, including lunar and solar eclipses, the appearance of a comet, and even in unusual cloud formations - [ Lunar cycles - Unsplash.com ].

Did Jesus Triumph?

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Did Jesus triumph and begin his messianic reign at his death and resurrection, or is he waiting for some future event to do so ?  Did Jesus triumph over his enemies on Calvary? Did he conquer his enemies and begin his reign following his resurrection from the dead? Most of us would answer, “Well, of course, he did!” Yet certain common interpretations, if taken at face value, intentionally or not, deny that he did, that his reign will not commence until his return in glory - [ Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash ].

Tale of Two Cities

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An underlying theme in Revelation is the contrast and conflict between two “cities,” New Jerusalem and Babylon .  The  Book of Revelation  often uses several terms and images to portray the same reality. For example, the people of God are called the “ servants of God ,” the “ saints ,” and the “ brethren .” Churches are pictured as “ lampstands ,” priests, and the “ two witnesses .” And the overarching cosmic conflict is presented by contrasting two very different “ cities .” - [ Photo by David Barajas on Unsplash ].

Signs and Wonders or Golgotha?

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The cross of Christ will conquer the world, not super-powers, political might, or “signs and wonders” .  Since 1989, I have been hearing how God is “about” to pour out an unprecedented “revival,” one characterized by great “signs and wonders,” the likes of which even Jesus and the apostles never witnessed, miraculous displays that will awe billions of men and women into accepting the gospel. Well, one can only hope! - [ Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash ].

Who is the Light of the World?

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Contrary to the claims of politicians and some church leaders, Jesus is the “light of the world,” not any nation or political ideology .  Politicians invoke “god” to validate their agendas and status, and the most popular religion is employed to do so. Just as today’s officeholders pay lip service to “Judeo-Christian values,” so the emperors of Rome appealed to their traditional gods for divine approval. Patriotism and religious faith become synonymous, and lack of nationalistic fervor becomes heresy - [ Photo by  Benjamin Davies  on Unsplash ].

Prophetic House of Cards

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The history of the failed prophetic expectations by Dispensationalism is causing many to grasp at prophetic straws .  The long history of failed predictions and projections by Dispensationalism has left many of its leading proponents holding an empty bag. Lately, several Christian media outlets featured a claim that a couple of foxes observed running across the Temple Mount is a prophetic sign that the Temple is about to be rebuilt, which little more than grasping at straws - [ House of Cards - Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash ].

True Power and Wisdom

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God’s Power and Wisdom are revealed in Christ Crucified, not in mighty signs and wonders, and certainly not in political power .  Often, I hear claims by church leaders that a mighty revival is about to unfold, one characterized by “signs and wonders,” an irresistible move of God that will shake the world as the miraculous awes billions of individuals to repent and accept the gospel. Let us hope so! Nevertheless, I wonder if it will take something more than displays of supernatural power - [ Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash ].

Prosperity for All?

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The legacy of the “Prosperity Gospel” is the corruption of the gospel of Jesus Christ and increasingly, apostasy .  When I became a Christian, the so-called “Prosperity Gospel” was new and restricted to the fringes of the Charismatic Movement. When I heard about it, I concluded: “ This will never last. Who would believe such an obvious scam? ” So much for my prophetic abilities! This deception now dominates and even defines today’s “Charismatic Movement.” - [ Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash ].

Some Politicians Get a Pass

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Why do church leaders excuse lying, adultery, and other serious sins when committed by their political friends and allies?   Early in my Christian walk, I was taught to strive for holiness in every area of life. Sin must not be tolerated in thought, word, or deed. “ Do not evil that good may come !”  As a disciple of Jesus, I was to live “separate” from the fallen world, not physically, but spiritually and morally. His follower must not be “ unequally yoked ” with sinners - [ Photo by tommao wang on Unsplash ].

To Whom Homage?

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Satan offered Jesus unlimited political power to achieve his messianic mission if only he accepted him as his overlord.  Satan tempted Jesus by offering him political power over “ all the kingdoms of the world ,” but he refused the offer. Instead of power and grandeur, he submitted to the way of the ‘ Suffering Servant .’ Arguably, the most startling detail of the encounter is that he did not dispute the Devil’s claim to have jurisdiction over the political systems of the world - [ Photo by  Nemanja Peric  on Unsplash ].

Has Bible Prophecy Failed?

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After decades of failed prophetic expectations, it is time for believers to reexamine many popular ideas about the “last days.”  Fifty years ago, I was influenced greatly by the bestseller, ‘ The Late Great Planet Earth .’ In it, I read how last day prophecies were being fulfilled before my eyes. All the “signs” pointed to me as a member of the “last generation” that would live before the return of Jesus. The Antichrist, Armageddon, and the Millennium were all just around the corner - [ Dead End - Photo by  Mike Erskine  on Unsplash ].

One New Man

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By his death, Jesus formed one covenant community - “one new Man” - based on faith in him, not ethnicity  –  Ephesians 2:11-22 .  Paul was adamant. Now, “ in Christ Jesus ,” no longer can there be “ Jew or Gentile .” He has “ broken down   the middle wall of partition ” that once separated Jew from Gentile, “ that he   might reconcile them both in one body for God through the cross .” Having voided the “ law of the commands in ordinances ” that separated them, he is “ creating in himself  one new man ” - [ Photo by redcharlie on Unsplash ].

Three Woes

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An eagle "flying in mid-heaven" announces the last three trumpets, the "three woes"  –   Revelation 8:13 .  The first four trumpets have sounded. Next, an “ eagle flying in mid-heaven ” announces the final three but calls them “ woes .” Unlike the first four, the plagues unleashed by the last three trumpets afflict the “ inhabitants of the earth ” themselves, whereas the first four damaged the infrastructure on which human society depends – agriculture, commerce, freshwater supplies, and light - [ Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash ].

First Martyr

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Under the guidance of the Spirit, and in fulfillment of Scripture, Stephen gave eloquent and effective testimony to the leaders of Israel .  Early on, the church experienced conflicts between its Greek and Aramaic-speaking members over the care of widows. In response, the apostles instructed the community to select from among its members seven men “ full of the Spirit and wisdom ” to take charge of the matter, including a man named Stephen, who was “ full of faith and the Spirit .” - [ Photo by  Emily Campbell  on Unsplash ].

Afflicted Disciples

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The godly disciple who faithfully bears witness to the gospel of Jesus will endure “tribulation” and persecution for his sake .  Our human tendency is to avoid trouble and conflict. Understandably, we prefer our daily lives to be characterized by peace, acceptance, and prosperity, a life devoid of difficulty, affliction, and certainly persecution. And the New Testament does promise believers peace now and everlasting life later. Yet it also exhorts us to expect and prepare for afflictions in this life - [ Storm Coming - Photo by  Kyle Head  on  Unsplash ].