Train wreck in U.S.-Israel relations: Senior Obama official calls Netanyahu vulgar name, signalling “red hot” hostility between two governments. Here’s the latest.

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

Train wreck in motion?

Train wreck in motion?

(Central Israel) — The United States of America is going to turn against the State of Israel.

I wish it weren’t true, but Bible prophecy indicates that “all the nations of the earth” will turn hostile towards Israel, her capital of Jerusalem, and the Jewish people in the “last days,” and that as a result God will judge “all the nations.”

Examples:

  • “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah.It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)
  • “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather…

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Joel Osteen: «Obama is a Christian, doing a good job»

Tim A.:

I do not often post things such as this, but as Christians today we need to be more and more aware of false teachers and false teaching.

Originally posted on News that matters:

Charismatic mega Church prosperity teacher Joel Osteen brands the US President as «A good Christian, who is doing a good job in a difficult time».

Joel Osteen and his wife

Joel Osteen and his wife

These questions came to mind while watching Joel Osteen and his lovely wife, Victoria, on CNN’s “Larry King Live” last week. King pointed out that many Americans are still confused about Obama’s religion and asked, «Does it matter?»

«Well, it matters to me,« said Osteen. «It matters to me that I know he loves the Lord, and I think it’s important that he has convictions from his faith. So to me, it matters when I’m making my personal decisions».

Mrs. Osteen weighed in, too: «It does. It matters to me. … I believe he is a Christian».

Source: http://www.worldnetdaily.com

My comment:

The Holy Spirit shall leads us into the truth, and all the truth. Joel Osteen is one of the leading global preachers of…

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Words From the Heart

“Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Jesus Christ (Matthew 15:17-20 KJV)

The things we easily speak is what is in our hearts. When it flows with confidence and ease – whether it be good, bad, nasty, vulgar – if it comes with ease that is what is in our hearts.

May my heart be filled with the Spirit of Christ, that I may freely and with ease speak of Him, His glory, His passion – the cross – and His coming again.

~T.A.

ELIJAH VERSUS THE FALSE PROPHETS

Originally posted on Jack Woodard's Blog:

elijahandfirefromheaven

1 KINGS 18:20-40
ELIJAH VERSUS THE FALSE PROPHETS

1. HE MUSTERED THEM [1 Kings 18:23-25]

Elijah didn’t play defense, he took the battle to the False Prophets.
You never win many battles by being on the defense all the time. A basketball team may play great defense, but they will never win a game if the don’t play offense and score some points.
We aren’t scoring many points against the wicked because we never take the battle to them and allow the Lord the opportunity to show Himself Mighty on behalf of His people.

2. HE MOCKED THEM [1 Kings 18:27]

Their life and ministry had been a mocking of the true God and Elijah returns the favor. False Prophets have too long been honored and accepted, it’s time those who mock our God be humbled in the eyes of God’s people for their evils.
Can you imagine the criticism…

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What did a Jewish Washington Post columnist write about the Christian #RallyForIsrael? It’s worth reading. @JRubinBlogger

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

At the US Capitol on Sunday, Gov. Mike Huckabee rallied Christians to support Israel in our joint fight against Iran, ISIS & Radical Islam.

At the US Capitol on Sunday, Gov. Mike Huckabee rallied Christians to support Israel in our joint fight against Iran, ISIS & Radical Islam.

Jennifer Rubin is an intriguing voice inside the Washington Post. She’s not simply a columnist, she’s also a conservative, and she’s Jewish. This week, she wrote a column about the “Rally For Israel” that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Sunday and was organized by Governor Mike Huckabee and Concerned Women For America’s Penny Nance. It’s a fascinating take — one worth reading in full, and sharing with others. For the full text, and a link, see below.

On a personal note, I was deeply grateful to the Governor and Penny for inviting me to speak at the event. Since we are now living in Israel as a family, I wasn’t able to attend in person. But I strongly supportedthe Rally and recorded a video for it. And…

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Theirs Is the Kingdom

Matthew 5:1-12 conclusion…

 

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12 (KJV).

These two have the tendency and practicality of standing together, so I will include them together. What is your position in relation to persecution? If you are a normal, red blooded American, then you probably don’t like it, won’t tolerate it, and would despise wherever it came from. Nobody likes persecution, and most people would seek means of staying away from it. There are however, reasons to stand your ground, and face the trials of persecution. The best reason of all is for the person of Jesus Christ. When you are living by faith in Christ you will suffer persecution; “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 (KJV).

Anyone who has heard of “The Voice of the Martyrs” knows that there are many cases of persecution going on in the world today. There are many instances of Christians suffering because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Many of them have turned from Islam to face angry parents, employers, city leaders, and supposed defenders of peace and placed on trial, rejected by their families, fired from their jobs, and treated ruthlessly by the police. Let me be clear that it is not only Islam which persecutes those who turn to Christ. It is also Hindus, and various other religions of men. Stand firm in the faith; stand firm.

The “Blessed(s)” in these two statements are not just toward anyone who stands firm in what they believe. The object of their belief is of utmost importance. If one is to receive these “Blessed”, then it will be because of their stand for “Righteousness” and that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Righteousness – simply put; means being right with God. No one – man, woman, boy or girl; and no matter what the color of their skin – is right with God except through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If you are being persecuted because of your faith in Jesus, then, be assured that there will be a day of reward in Heaven. You are in good company. They also persecuted the prophets. Jeremiah was thrown into a pit; he was beaten and mocked by his own people. It is said by tradition that it was Isaiah the prophet who is mentioned in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews as being “Sawn asunder”, and some say it was while he was stuffed into a hollowed out tree. When it comes to Jesus Christ; in Him alone you have reason to “Rejoice and be exceeding glad”, but also in knowing that you are in a great company of others who suffered for righteousness sake through Jesus.

After looking at these “Beatitudes” can you see that this is not a thing attainable by human desire? There is deffinitely fulfillment in the lives of those who live the life of the “Beatitudes”, but it is only possible by grace through faith in Jesus.

Hollywood tackles the End Times with “Left Behind” film. But is “The Rapture” a Biblical concept, or a fictional plot device?

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

LeftBehind-movie

This weekend, Hollywood tried to tackle one of the most intriguing and controversial topics in Biblical eschatology: “The Rapture.”

A new motion picture — Left Behind — starring Nicolas Cage and based on the best-selling novel series by Dr. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins was released on more than 1,700 screens nationwide. It depicts the sudden and cataclysmic disappearance of Christ-followers in the last days of human history.

I have not seen the film, and likely won’t for several months at least given my schedule here in Israel, so I cannot review or comment on it.

But I do want to discuss the concept upon which the novels and the film are based, and several related questions. Among them:

  • What exactly is “The Rapture”?
  • Is “The Rapture” a Biblical concept, or merely a fictional plot device?
  • What does the term mean?
  • What are the implications of “The Rapture”?

While the Bible does not indicate precisely when the Rapture…

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Yom Kippur: Where do we find atonement for our sins if we have no Temple?

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

A beautiful painting of a Jewish priest blowing the shofar (ram's horn) for Yom Kippur.

A beautiful painting of a Jewish priest blowing the shofar (ram’s horn) for Yom Kippur.

It is almost sundown here in Israel, and we are about to begin Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

In the Scriptures, the Israelites were commanded by the Lord to fast and pray and bring their sacrifices to the Temple in Jerusalem, and then to ask for the Lord’s forgiveness for all the sins they and their nation had committed that year.

Only the sacrifice of a perfect animal, done with a humble, repentant heart, and with faith in God’s mercy and grace, would bring about forgiveness of sins.

  • “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” (Leviticus 17:11)

This Hebrew Bible precept was later underscored in the New Testament.

  • “In fact…

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Children of God

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” Matthew 5:9 (KJV).

Many use this Beatitude to lavish praises on those who work for world peace, or peace from a certain war going on at that given time. Let’s think again of ‘Attitude’ – ‘the position of something in relation to something else’.

John MacArthur writes concerning this verse in THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY on Matthew Vol. I, pg. 211;

“The essential fact to comprehend is that the peace about which Jesus speaks is more than the absence of conflict and strife; it is the presence of righteousness”.

It seems that a very definite verse of Scripture could be Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.

Peace in the world would be a wonderful thing. Peace with God is an even greater thing. As long as men are at war with God; not believing Him or in Him; not believing His Word; not trusting in His truths; there will never be peace with God. No peace with God. No peace with men; and to complete a phrase I have seen; Know peace with God. Know peace with men.

“Men can stop fighting without righteousness, but they cannot live peaceably without righteousness” IBID.

Having peace with God makes one righteous. Some where, some time in days to come there will be peace on earth. That will be when Jesus Christ the King of all kings sets up His kingdom on earth.

How do we help people have peace with God? By taking the Word of truth to them. Preaching God’s love through the cross of Jesus Christ. Letting the Holy Spirit take the Word and convict of sin and convince them that Jesus is the Christ; the Son of God who died for our sins, was buried and He rose again, and ever lives to intercede for us.

Though it is the Spirit of God who uses us to lead a soul to peace with God we have this verse in Proverbs 11:30; “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise”. Those are the “Peacemakers” who shall be called ‘the children of God’. When your position with God is right; you will have peace with God, and you too will be a “Peacemaker”.

They Shall See God

The Be-Attitudes continuing…

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” Matthew 5:8 (KJV).

Purity is such a sweet word. When we think of purity we might think of fresh fallen snow; without any yellow spots, of course. We might even think of a new born baby boy or girl. When it comes to Christianity we should think especially of Jesus Christ, for He is the essence of purity. The word “Pure” according to the MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICTIONARY ‘Unmixed with any other matter: free from taint’ also, ‘Free from moral fault: innocent’. There was/is nothing about Jesus that is tainted. He is fully God and fully man, and free of any mix, and free of any taint; His life is free of any moral fault; He is innocent. He was innocent as He was condemned by men to die. As an innocent man He died for guilty men, that we might be made pure through His own blood.

The only way any other person can be pure of heart, ie., ‘holy’ is by the very holiness of Christ Himself. No one can see God without a pure heart [holiness], “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14 KJV). None can appear before God without a pure [holy] heart – “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” Psalm 24:3-4 (KJV).

There is a pure heart only by looking to Jesus. As you look to Jesus you see God.

They Shall Obtain Mercy

The Be-Attitudes continuing…

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” Matthew 5:7 (KJV).

When you are in the right position with “Mercy” it is most likely because you have obtained mercy. (See Matthew 6:14-15; and Luke 7:41-42). We live in a very competitive world. Many believe it is okay to exact revenge on someone who has bettered you. You could call that “Get-Even-Ism”.

That is not the way of mercy. That is not the way of God. In the Luke reference given it tells us, “There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?” (Luke 7:41-42). The answer given to this question was, “The one who was forgiven the most”. Mercy is what all of us have received, but very few practice it toward others.

To define Mercy, it has been defined this way. It is not receiving what we justly deserve – that is judgment. We have all received mercy from God, because He withholds the judgment in order that many might, at least have opportunity, to be saved.

The next time you are about to release a verbiage of criticism on someone over something that has offended you; take a look at yourself. Someone has been merciful to you in the past, and probably over this same thing that has set you off. The prophet Habakkuk prayed to the LORD, “…In wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2 KJV). It is the merciful who will obtain mercy. His kingdom way is mercy. What is the position of your attitude concerning mercy?

They Shall Be Filled

The Be-Attitudes continuing…

 

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” Matthew 5:6 (KJV).

Remember the definition of “Attitude” is ‘the position of something in relation to something else’. In this case the subject is righteousness. Righteousness most easily defined is; ‘being right with God’. That would involve many things including worship, our deportment, both with God and with others.

The kingdom child is hungry for God and His ways. Righteousness is the way of God, and it is the way of the child of God to hunger for it. His/Her desire is for Jesus Christ and nothing else.

The individual who is righteous, because of grace through faith in Jesus Christ, will have a specific hunger and thirst. That hunger will be to devour the truth of God through His Word, and His Word affecting the direction our lives take for serving the Lord. It seems that it would be accurate to say that when Jesus was being tempted by the devil in the wilderness He had righteousness on His mind. He was physically hungry and thirsty, but when He was tested to turn stones to bread; he was more attuned to being right with His Father rather than disobedience.

The “Blessed” ones who hunger and thirst for/after righteousness, are those who labor in diligent, earnest hearing of the Word of God and prayer. They feed daily at the table of the BREAD OF LIFE. They drink deeply of the One who is the Water of Life.

O, that we as the people of God grew in that hunger; never completely filled; but satisfied with Jesus, wanting more of Him, and His righteousness. The thirst never completely quenched; with longing to drink from the well of the Water from Heaven. Drink from the ‘river of water’ that flows from out of the throne of God Himself (Revelation 22:1).

This hunger and thirst comes only into the hearts of those who have joyously received the free gift of God’s grace. Ones who have seen Jesus as the divine Son of God. The Ones who have seen Jesus dying for the sins of mankind upon the cruel cross so many years ago. The ones who have witnessed the resurrection power of Jesus per a changed life. You have been clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. You will never be filled without that hunger and thirst, and finding satisfaction through Him alone.

They Shall Inherit the Earth

The Be-Attitudes continuing…

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” Matthew 5:5 (KJV).

Someone has defined ‘Meekness’ as “Strength/Power under control”. If there was ever a picture of meekness in men it came from Jesus Christ Himself. It is also said of Moses. ” (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)” Numbers 12:3 (KJV). Meekness can also be called ‘gentleness’. Meekness comes when we realize the greatness of God.

The meek are those who know and realize who they are in Christ, but do not seek to exploit their position, power or person above others. The meek are not quick to defend themselves, but will be quick in defending others, and standing for the righteousness, holiness, and justice of God.

The meek are those who will not complain about the rough spots in their lives, but are grateful, thankful, and trusting that they are in the care of God, and that all things are under His control. This attitude would be the position of the meek in relation to their world. The meek would see the positon of themselves as apposed to the thinking of the world.

The inheritance of the ‘Meek’ is the earth. This is mentioned in the Psalms; “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” Psalm 37:9-11 (KJV). Those who are always out for themselves; never defend the holy; never defend the helpless, but are always stepping on others to get their way – they will be “Cut off”; but the “Meek shall inherit the earth”. Notice that it says that of “…Those that wait upon the LORD..” as well.

Through Jesus Christ is there meekness, true meekness in the earth.

They Shall Be Comforted

The Beatitudes continuing…

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 (KJV).

Remembering that the MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICTIONARY definition for ‘attitude’ is ‘the position of something in relation to something else’ we can see this Beatitude as the attitude of sorrow for something that is not correct. Seeing ourselves in ‘the position of sin and against God’ should bring us to tears and sorrow. Seeing others in sin should cause us to mourn for them.

Because we sin, and when we realize our sinfulness, that should bring us to our knees. People of our day love laughter. They will pay really good money to go hear a comedian make them laugh. They will sit for hours watching situation comedies on television for the laughing. People will set around telling funny, though sometimes vulgar stories just for a laugh. Am I against laughter? Not at all. Are we supposed to spend all the time of our lives in mourning? I do not believe so. There is a time for everything, for everything a season (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). As a matter of fact the Bible even mentions laughter. Isaac; the son of Abraham and Sarah was named laughter – that is the meaning of the name Isaac. The writer of Proverbs said, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” Proverbs 17:22 (KJV).

For the most part; considering the condition of the hearts of people, and even professing Christians, we should be mourning the situation of our hearts and lives before God. Our lives and the lives of friends and loved ones. Laughter helps us feel better now, but still people are perishing, our lives grow colder, and more distant from God, and we laugh. While we mourn we pray for the perishing; we pray for our growth in grace; we pray for our friends and family. There is comfort for those who mourn.

There will be comfort when we see that lost loved one come to faith. There will be comfort when we can see our lives growing in grace. There will be comfort as we see family and friends blessed. There is an ultimate comfort for those who mourn. It will be when we are forever in the Kingdom of our King. O, such laughter and joy there will be. We can have it now as we see the lost redeemed; as we see brothers and sisters growing in Christ.

Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

The Be-Attitudes continuing…“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (v. 3)

 

These are characteristics and attitudes we should possess as disciples or followers of Jesus Christ the King. The first one is being “Poor in spirit”. This is opposite of being haughty, arrogant, and proud. Especially when we are considering the things of God. There is no room for pride before the throne of God. The one who is “Poor in spirit” realizes they are bankrupt before the God of all creation. We could not stand in His presence, except that He provides us a way.

Arrogance and pride before men is one thing, but to be arrogant and prideful before God is an eternal matter which will cause you to be cast into everlasting fire. When one is humble before God that will show in our dealings before men as well.

The definition of “Attitude” – ‘the position of something in relation to something else’ MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICTIONARY. In the case of these Beatitudes it seems this is the best of the definitions given. The position of your thinking in relation to God is of extreme importance. The way you think of yourself in position to God. If you do not see yourself as God does there will be no way you can walk along side of Him. When you do; you will inherit ‘the kingdom of heaven’.

The “Poor in spirit” are not poor toward God.  It has been said; and I believe wrongly so; “Good guys finish last.”  With God the “Poor in spirit” finish first.

Looking At The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-12 continuing…

We will be looking at each of the Beatitudes individually through the next few posts.

LOOKING AT THE BE-ATTITUDES

Matthew 5:1-12

When we begin looking at the Sermon on the Mount we see how Jesus expects His dedicated followers to live. There are far too many professing Christians that are saying and believing, “We are not required to obey the law any longer”, thus we have a bunch of reprobate professors of Christianity. There could not be anything further from the truth.

Where the law only told us the way, but did not provide aid in the way; Jesus came fulfilling the law and because of His Spirit living within also enables us to live the law in our lives. The law which once was only written in cold hard stones, and could not reach stone cold hearts, is now written in hearts of flesh.

Anyone professing today that they live by the Sermon On The Mount had better read it before they make such a bold announcement. It is far more binding, and has much more it requires than does the Ten Commandments. We will look at some of those things when we get to those areas.

In this lesson of the ‘BE-ATTITUDES’, using a little play on words; we find the attitudes the individuals who are in the Kingdom of Christ Jesus the King, are to have.

There are nine “Blessed(s)” given. The meaning of the word “Blessed” is ‘happy’. That is a “Beatitude”. Each “Blessed” is a reference to more than happiness – it has most certainly to do with spiritual joy. Happiness (as often defined or thought of) is determined by circumstances; events which take place in one’s life which can either add great excitement and temporary happiness, or great distress and sorrow. If it is an event which brings temporary happiness and excitement, it is only fleeting. Spiritual joy is an attitude attainable only by faith in Jesus – having a close personal relationship with Him. The happiness of which these Bible Blessings speak of is an enduring happiness, an inner joy, which is everlasting, and cannot be taken away.

Matthews Gospel tells us that it was the disciples whom Jesus taught. After having multitudes following Him He probably felt a need to get away. If not only for His disciples sake. This is the first major teaching of Jesus in this Gospel. It covers chapters five through seven. It could be called PRINCIPLES FOR KINGDOM LIVING. This was the King’s way of setting up His kingdom, and preparing the hearts of His people for what was to come. It was a different kingdom, than what the religious rulers had heard and taught. For some reason they missed the part of the “Suffering Servant” (Isaiah 52-53), dying by the hand of God, and taking away our transgressions. We see by these that there is happiness, fulfillment, and joy in the kingdom of our Lord and Savior.

The Angry Prophet

Originally posted on Broken Pieces:

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.  And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, ‘I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.  Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech Thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.”  Jonah 4:1-3 (KJV)

This prophet who despised the people to whom the LORD had sent him, did not want to see this people forgiven, but rather his desire was to see this mass of people destroyed.  The LORD was having mercy on Nineveh, when He saw their repentance.  Due to their sin Nineveh was destroyed about 100 years later.

Of all things…

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GOD Does Love the World

“In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, ‘The city of destruction.’ In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and He shall send them a Saviour, and a Great One, and He shall deliver them. And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. And the LORD shall smite Egypt: He shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and He shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them. In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, ‘Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance.’” Isaiah 19:18-25 (KJV)

These verses speak of a day coming when Egypt will be saved.  Salvation is of the LORD.  It comes from no one or any where else.  Of course the salvation this speaks of is soul salvation, eternal salvation, through the blood of the Lord Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary.

You will note too, that, the Assyrians will also come to faith in Christ Jesus.  Yes!  I know there is no mention of Jesus in the text, however, Jesus is seen throughout all the Old Testament in type, figure and in the Angel of the LORD.

Concerning the “Highway out of Egypt to Assyria” the MacArthur Study Bible note says,

19:23 a highway out of Egypt to Assyria. The two great warring nations of Isaiah’s time are to reach a lasting peace with each other during “that day” of Christ’s reign (27:13; cf.2:2-4).

Not only does Christ Jesus make a difference in one’s life today, but things will be far better when He returns and sets the world right.

Jesus is coming soon.  Be sure all is right with Him before He comes for His own.

 

Look To Your Maker

“At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.” Isaiah 17:7-8

It is the desire of the heart of God that the world know that He is the LORD God.  That sentiment is expressed all the way through the Scriptures.  He is holy, righteous, and just.  There is none like Him.

Too many people; even professing Christians; have erected idols: gods of their own making, and place more trust in an electronic device they can hold in their hands, sit on a entertainment center, drive down the road, or their bank account; even our own thoughts, than we place in God.

Thee is coming a day when you and I will look to our Maker, and have great respect and awe for Him, rather than treating Him as if He is a spare tire.

Let us begin today to look solely to Him as our defense, our defender, our shield, our provider, our only hope, and salvation.

God’s Purposes

“The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, ‘Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand…’”

“For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Isaiah 14:24, 27 (KJV)

Too many times we Christians think the world, and God’s purposes are all about ourselves.  Well, guess what.  They are not.  The purposes of God are for His own glory.

The prophet’s words, God’s words above declare to us that the thoughts that He has will come to pass.  His thoughts are found in His Word.  No man, woman, boy or girl; no thing on earth or beyond earth can stop the thoughts and word of God from coming to pass, just as he has said.

He asked, “Who shall disannul it?”  There is no answer given, because none is needed.  The answer is to be understood as “NONE”.  There is none who can void the Word of God.  Thee is none who can stop it from coming to pass.

As Christians our purpose is to glorify the Father with our lives.  Our words, our actions, and our faith should show forth the work of Christ Jesus.  Jesus’s work was to do the will of the Father, and glorify Him; and He did that by going all the way to the cross.

Are you glorifying God by living His purposes?

Judging Righteous Judgment

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.” Isaiah 11:1-4 (KJV)

There is a judgment coming on the earth, and upon the people of the earth.  No age, neither male nor female, no race, will be exempt from the judgment that is coming.

The judgment received by judges of today can be, and often are unjust, missed, or just plumb wrong.  Judges of men are sometimes bribed, or color their judgment to fit their beliefs; or even the perspective they have of the person being judged.

It is great, and wonderful to know that the Judge that is coming to judge us is a Just Judge, and will judge us in righteousness.  However, we must know that we are all guilty before Him unless we have been covered by His own blood.

You see, Jesus Christ will be that coming Judge.  He died for you and me on the cross.  He was buried – carrying away all our sin, shame, guilt, condemnation and death.  He also was raised bodily from the grave; and will one day – we pray soon – come again and gather His people unto Himself.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, His finished work on the cross, burial and resurrection, and you will have no need to fear His judgment.  He has pronounced all who believe in Him to be Righteous and Just.

Jesus is the Branch.  He will slay the wicked.

Seek GOD and His Word

“And when they shall say unto you, ‘Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter:’ should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:19-20 (KJV)

There is a whole lot of seeking going on.  People seeking for wealth, treasures, truth, life, liberty, happiness; just to name a few.

In the days of the prophet Isaiah they were seeking to know what tomorrow holds by way of wizards, sorcery, and/or mediums, channelers, and such as that.  May I say to you, if you happen to be one of those people; there is only One who knows tomorrow, and who knows and will give you the absolute Truth; and His name is Jesus the Christ.

The people of God; those who follow Jesus should never seek out those kinds of things.  Like the prophet says above, “Should not a people (and he is referring to God’s people) seek unto their God?”  Most definitely so.

There are many places to search for peace, happiness, justice, and love; but the only place you will find it to be lasting is in the arms of the Father God through His Son Jesus who died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose bodily from the grave, and will return one day.

Turn to the pages of God’s Word [The Holy Bible] to find out more about Him.

Before God Undone

“Then said I, ‘Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’ Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, ‘Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.’ Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, ‘Here am I; send me.’” Isaiah 6:5-8 (KJV)

When the LORD had revealed Himself to the prophet he was weak in the knees, and fell before the Almighty, realizing he was undone and unclean. 

When we meet God, through His Son Jesus Christ (which is the only way to meet God), we realize our uncleanness, our undoneness, our unholiness, and we fall on His grace, and into His grace.

The fire [live coal] of the Spirit and the Word do a work of cleansing in us, and we are made clean and made right for the presence of Holy God.

Our response to being cleansed by God is to hear His word and we realize there are people who do not know Him.  We hear God’s call and like Isaiah we will say, “Here am I; send me”.

Trust in the work of Jesus on the cross for you.  Call on His name believing Him.

What the Child of GOD Must Do with Evil in Their Lives

“Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah 1:16-20 (KJV)

It must by all means be put away.  The power of GOD to wash our sins away is described in the above verses.

Even the apostle Paul speaks of “Putting away”…

“But them that are without God judgeth.  Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” 1 Corinthians 5:13

“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.”

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”  Ephesians 4:25, 31-32 (KJV)

All evil begins in the heart of the individual (me and you).  That is the place to begin dealing with evil; in our own hearts, and minds.

When we truly know the LORD we will desire to grow in Him, in His likeness, and be holy; separate from the world, and unlike them in our desires, dress, love and speech.

“The mouth of the LORD has spoken it.”

 

 

Jihadist rampage: Hamas threatens to relaunch war. ISIS beheading children & Christians in Iraq. 170,000 killed in Syria.

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

Jihadists are on a rampage.

Jihadists are on a rampage.

UPDATED: (Denver, Colorado) — We are witnessing a jihadist rampage in the epicenter.

Hamas has fired 3,000-plus rockets at Israel and is now threatening to re-launch its war against Israel as early as Friday. ISIS is beheading children, raping women, and killing scores of Christians in Iraq. They are also warning Christians to convert or be massacred. At the same time, ISIS jihadists are crucifying Christians and others in Syria, and the bloody civil war in Syria has left 170,000 dead and created millions of refugees fleeing for safety.

Now here’s the latest headline:  Islamic State pulls down church crosses in northern Iraq as 200,000 flee — Islamic State, the jihadist group formerly known as Isis, have occupied churches in Iraq, removing crosses and destroying manuscripts, witnesses report, having overrun Kurdish troops forcing 200,000 to flee.” (London Telegraph)

The world is doing little…

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Words for Christian Living – Our Treasure

In January I posted a short article on this same topic.  I awoke this morning with this topic on my mind; and it has been just about everyday I live.  The topic of “Treasure”; in particular: what is my treasure.  It is something for which I am ashamed to mention.  First let us look at what Jesus said;

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21 (KJV)

Jesus knew we would have treasure; however those treasures are not to be earthly treasure; and that is the first thing we think of when we think “Treasure”.  Gold, silver, precious jewelry, houses, lands, boats, cars, and sometimes spouses and children.  Jesus does not tell us these things are bad.  They are, in fact, good to have; remembering from whom they have come.

My shame lays in the thought that I see in myself more affinity for speaking of things like a good movie, book, car, a football game; than I do of speaking of Christ Jesus.  That tells me that Jesus Christ is not my Treasure.  Why is it when the subject of those other things come up I can speak without fear; yet when the subject of God comes up I can get really quiet?

I have no excuse.  Jesus is the greatest treasure.  I am endeavoring today, by the power of the Holy Spirit to make Jesus Christ my Treasure.

Prolonged Days???

“Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before Him: but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days,which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.” Ecclesiastes 8:12-13 (KJV)

Some may consider it a sad thing for a preacher of God’s Word to say what I am about to say, but I am telling you how I have felt about the book of Ecclesiastes for many years.  I have found it troubling, troublesome, awkward, hard to understand, even confusing at times.  I have always understood that the final verses of it gives us its best understanding.

In the past few days Ecclesiastes has been a part of my daily reading.  I must say that the LORD has spoken to me more clearly through the words of Solomon in this past week, in Ecclesiastes than all the other times I have read it.

Solomon was considered to be the wisest of men in his time, in the days following; is still the wisest of men; except of course, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Looking at the verses above he sure had that right.

Those words are an encouragement to all who are righteous that just because evil men or women seem to prosper, and live long lives doing it does not mean they are blessed.  There are righteous people who are not prosperous, and who do not have prolonged days on the earth; however; they will live forever in the presence of holy GOD, and will dwell in His presence forever.

What makes a man or woman righteous?  Scripture tells us

“There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”  Romans 3:10-11

Righteousness is a gift of God come by God’s grace.  The righteous are those who “fear God”.  We are also told by Scripture…

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”  1 Corinthians 5:21

We are all sinners without hope, and God sent His only begotten Son [Jesus] to pay our sin debt.  Jesus Christ the Son of God and God the Son became our sin, took the wrath of God upon HImself – upon the cross of Calvary – suffering our shame, our guilt, our judgment, and put away our sin forever.  He was buried taking our sin away.  He bodily arose showing, declaring that death’s victory was no more.

Solomon was a very wise man.  Righteous people need not fear what lies ahead, or question why the evil men prosper.  Not all evil men or women prosper.  All prosper best when we come to Jesus Christ through His cross.

 

Too many Christians are dismissing all Palestinians as terrorists. This is unfair & unbiblical. Meet a true Palestinian moderate: Salam Fayyad.

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

aspen-friedmanFayyadNOTE: I originally posted this column on July 9th, but I am reposting it because I am hoping more Christians will read and consider it. I’m concerned that far too many Christians who love Israel and the Jewish people are dismissing all Palestinians as terrorists and radicals and extremists. This is unfair and unbiblical. Indeed, there are true moderates among the Palestinians we need to get to know and appreciate and hear their perspective on what is happening.

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As I watch the on-going current crisis, I am deeply concerned for Israeli civilians, especially those who live in the south. But my also heart breaks for the Palestinians, especially those who live in Gaza.

Both sides are suffering. Both sides are feeling pain. And as a follower of Jesus Christ, I want to find ways that Christians can bless and care for and show compassion to both sides.

At the same time I admit I find myself asking…

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“Son of Hamas” speaks out against the radical Islamic terror group of which he was once a top operative. Calls Hamas a “cancer” that “worships death.” Video of CNN interview. Audio of radio interview.

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

Mosab Hassan Yousef, interviewed on July 24th on CNN.

Mosab Hassan Yousef, interviewed on July 24th on CNN.

UPDATED: Mosab Hassan Yousef is the eldest son of one of the founders of Hamas, Sheik Hassan Yousef, the spiritual leader of the organization on the West Bank.

As a youth, Mosab was arrested by the Israelis for involvement in terrorism.

In prison, he came to realize the true evil of Hamas.

In time, he renounced Islam, chose to become a follower of Jesus, and became a double agent for the Israeli secret services (Shin Bet) working to thwart Hamas terror attacks.

Later, he emigrated to the United States where he wrote a best-selling book, “Son of Hamas,” warning about the dangerous of Hamas and telling his own journey out of Radical Islam.

Now, with Hamas engaged in a brutal, deadly war with Israel, Mosab — a remarkably courageous young man — is again speaking out against the radical Islamic terror group of which he used to…

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