to this man will I look, even to him that is
poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. 3He
that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb,
as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he
offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an
idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth
in their abominations. 4I
also will choose
their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I
called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did
evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. (Isa
QUESTION TO MINISTERS
if you are wrong? I don't meant by this that I am right; I just mean:
what if you
are perhaps thousands of doctrines out there, and there has
to be a huge number of them that are wrong. What do you
think God is going to say to those Ministers of His
Gospel who have led His
would you feel if you were one of those who, in your
judgment, is teaching the wrong doctrine?
much of the doctrine you
teach is based on
information that has been handed to you, either by your church, or by
your education? Remember the Pharisees and the Scribes? Very
knowledgeable and in their own mind, very sincere.
a consideration I thought I would pass on to you. As for myself, I am
thankful I wasn't "called" to be a minister - just a guy who is
searching for the Truth.
don't know if you pay much attention to the lead-in verses at the top
of the page. I try to pick those that apply to at least one of the
subjects written about on that page. I believe this one warrants
have used this Scripture often, and have read it often - but I have
it before. I was reading it completely wrong.
I was reading into it what I thought
it was going to say rather than what it says. That's a danger I have,
and I suspect most everyone else has as well.
thought the verse was saying we should avoid
doing that which is described; but this time I saw: "but to this man
will I look,"
indicating that God wants
people to be this way.
this gave me a twinge of self-satisfaction. I thought of how I feel
guilty if I swat a fly, or a spider, or a mosquito that is coming for
my blood. To me life is very precious regardless of what form it is in.
I thought of those who are hunters, or butchers, or others who make it
a practice to kill innocent creatures. This is not
a condemnation of hunters or farmers or anything of the sort. God gave
us animals as food and has had perhaps millions of them killed in
sacrifice to Him; even His own Son. My purpose is not to look at the
act itself, but rather, as pointed out above, the sensitivity
to the act, which will be made clear a bit later.
told the Israelites all the things they were to do and not to do in
order to stay in the land that God had given them. Much of what they
were to do was far
different from what the
Scripture above says God wants from His people. For instance, God told
the Israelites to go into a country and wipe out every living creature,
then burn the cities these natives lived in and had built.
God said He wanted these 'Special People" who He was teaching how to be
what He wanted them to be to kill their own children if the child was
disobedient; to stone someone who appeared to be a false prophet or
worshiped differently than they were instructed; and to stone anyone
who even picked up sticks on the Sabbath; and a multitude of other
"crimes." Then I thought of this day and age. If we were to follow
God's rules today there would be no one left alive and this world would
be an empty wasteland inhabited by Mother Nature and the wild animals.
of like the Garden of Eden before Man was placed in it with his ego and
very large part of the Sacrificial System God instituted for the
Hebrews was the sensitivity to Sin, and to the consequences
is to be looked upon as a terrible insult to God that causes Him much
pain. When we wrong one another or fail to do that which we know to do,
it is not a sin against ourself or against someone else - it is against
God. For example, the prodigal Son, when he returned home did not
confess having sinned against his father, but against Heaven
(Luke 15:21). And when David had one of his loyal soldiers murdered in
cold blood in order to conceal having had sex with that soldier's wife,
he did not admit to sinning against Bathsheba, or Uriah who he had
killed - but against God
has to mean
something to us. It has to hurt,
and hurt badly,
like our sin hurts God, or it
means nothing at all. David lost his son that Bathsheba was to bear,
Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son of promise which
accounted faith to him; Noah sacrificed his life and social respect in
order to follow God's command to build a boat; Jesus suffered the cross
sins; and the Apostles sacrificed their
lives and their social standing in order to follow Jesus.
has to hurt. Sacrifice is not just giving up your morning cup of
coffee, or cigarettes, or even trying to live a sinless life of good
works. Sacrifice has to hurt.
the Jews (you) sacrificed your lamb at Passover (the day Jesus was
Sacrificed) it was to be a young lamb, perfect and lovely. It was to
have lived with you and to have been your favorite family pet. It was
to be as much a part of your family as any of your most precious loved
that lamb was sacrificed you were to look it in the eyes, and then slit
its throat. You were to feel the pain and the suffering of that lamb as
if it were your own self you were sacrificing - because that lamb was
taking the place of you. You
were the one who has to die for your sin.
each time you sinned , even if it was the sin of becoming angry, or
telling a little lie, or picking up sticks on the Sabbath - you were to
this is still true today. But we are no longer taught
that this is so. The Bible
teaches this, but not
the churches. Paul expresses it in this manner:
impossible for those who were once
enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made
partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And
the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6If
they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance;
seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh,
and put him
to an open shame. (Heb 6:) (also Heb
fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?
for the end of those things is
now being made free
from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness,
and the end everlasting life. 23For
of sin is
death; but the gift of God is
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6:)
after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching
the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15And
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye,
and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:)
I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into
great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23And
I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know
that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto
every one of you according to your works (Rev 2:)
counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be
rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that
the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with
eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19As
many as I
love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Rev 3:)
no longer have to sacrifice a lamb or any other such animal when we
sin. We have it much easier than the Jews did, but we are not off the
hook. Under the New Covenant we are instructed (actually commanded)
to repent of that sin, and to confess it
to one another
(James 5:16). Confession shows that we are actually acknowledging our
sin and recognizing it for what it is. And in so doing we are also
saying we recognize that our sin, no matter how small (disobedience is
disobedience - ask any soldier) hurts God and causes Him to turn His
face from us (Micah 3:4; Deut 31:17).
according to Hebrew 6 we are also causing, in effect, our Lamb to be
killed once again - which for the Christian is Jesus. Our sin indicates
that we are despising (belittling, considering as nothing) the
Sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. Could a truly "Born-Again"
Christian do such a thing without deep regrets and heart-felt remorse
are taught that all sin is forgiven; past, present and future. And this
may be true. But if we can dismiss sin, no matter how small, as
of little consequence - we have no concept of what forgiveness is, and
so therefore are not forgiven ourselves by the Father or by Jesus (Mark
11:26; Mat 18:21-35).
Bible speaks of two baptisms. The first is the baptism of John which is
the water baptism that demonstrates the burial of this sinful, carnal
flesh into Jesus' Sacrificial death.
second baptism is of fire which is the baptism into life through the
planting of the Holy Spirit into Jesus' Resurrection and newness of
of people throughout the ages have followed Jesus half way to Paradise,
becoming drowned in the water of John's baptism. They believe, and are
taught, that when they come out of the water that they have fulfilled
all that is required in order to be accepted into Heaven. Many of these
have not only been led astray by their church's teaching, but were
baptized when infants and had no way of even realizing there was more
that needed to be done.
along with the fact that infant baptism is a highly questionable act in
itself, there are two important functions that cannot possibly be
performed by that infant (or even a small child who is under the age of
"accountability" for that matter). Here's what the Bible has to say
those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of
saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom
of heaven is at hand. 3For
this is he that was
spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the
wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4And
the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle
about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5Then
went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round
about Jordan, 6And
were baptized of him in
Jordan, confessing their sins. (John 3:)
that was John. What did Jesus have to say about baptism?
that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of
heaven is at hand. (Mat 4:)
were the first words (that we know of) that Jesus spoke after His own
baptism and His temptation in the wilderness.
therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and
baptized more disciples than John, 2(Though
Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3He
left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. (John 4:)
it seems Jesus also agreed with baptism, the same as John. And what was
it John said?
saying, Repent ye: (And) 6And
were baptized of him
in Jordan, confessing their sins. (John 3:)
we see that part of the baptismal process is to repent - how much
repenting can a baby do? Another aspect of baptism is
confession, something that many Protestant churches shy away
(Mat 3:6; James
5:16; 1John 1:9). Again, how much confessing can a newborn do?
even if all these requirements have been fulfilled, there is yet a
baptism by fire that is not taught. This baptism has been portrayed
many times in the New Testament, but because we never see flames of
fire leaping from anyone's head, we assume the practice is no longer
is a big mistake.
flames of fire represented the Holy Spirit falling on new converts
(many who had not been baptized in water as far as we know). This
baptism by fire is the baptism Jesus taught that raises a person into
new life, and is the instrument by which new converts are birthed
into the Family of God, and by which God leads us and instructs us. The
Holy Spirit is also the One who changes our heart and thereby forms us
into the image of Christ, without which we are unsuitable to be in the
presence of God. (Acts 8:14-16; 11:14-16; 19:1-5; Mat 3:11-12)
assume you have been baptized into death - have you been baptized into
more on this subject, see "Baptismal
Thoughts and Comments 12.
see many reasons given by many people over many years why the Bible
can't be true. Reasons range from the miraculous, like the miracles of
Moses and of Jesus, to the absurdly tiny reasons such as one writer
saying there were two people present at a particular performance and
another saying there was only one.
little things don't add up to a hill of beans, nor do they change the
meaning of Scripture one iota. And the big things like Creation and
miracles are self-evident. The fact that we are here - you reading and
me writing, is evidence of creation - unless you believe in the Big
Bang theory which takes a great deal more faith in Creation and
miracles than does the Biblical concept. And for evidence that there is
a God controlling events in the world, the mere fact that we have not
blown ourselves to smitherines or destroyed the environment long ago is
evidence enough. We certainly have been trying
do just that.
there are a lot better
reasons to explain away
the Bible than verses not lining up, and miracles; But I have yet to
see or hear anyone even mention
instance: How does anyone know what God, the devil and Adam and Eve
said in the garden? When Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted, how
does the writer of the Gospels know that Jesus was led into the
wilderness by the Holy Spirit? How does he know what the devil and
Jesus said? Of course it could be reckoned that Jesus told
the writer, but I can't imagine Him doing that.
are numerous times the Bible speaks of a person's (even God's) unspoken
intentions and reasonings. How does the writer know
these things? The Old Testament tells us that Abraham was called when
he was in Haran, Paul tells us he was called out of Ur first. Where did
he get such information?
intentions, thoughts, and feelings written as if they were fact. John,
Paul, Ezekiel, Isaiah, David and many others having the presumption to
tell us what God has or will
say far in the
future. These things to me cause the Bible to be unbelievable.
hear and read preachers and commentators try to explain how Mark could
have known certain facts since he wasn't on the scene. I hear them try
to explain some of these things by saying that it was probably Mark who
was the young man who ran away when Jesus was arrested.
isn't a shred of evidence that it was Mark, or anyone else. But the
fact that this was a very difficult and supposedly secretive last
moment Jesus was having with His Father and His eleven disciples, it is
highly unlikely that some obscure, previously unhinted at person was
there in any
capacity. And even if he was,
that wouldn't explain all the other
wrote about that he couldn't have known.
preachers like to explain this away by saying he is the same Mark who
was with Peter, thereby learning it all from him. But maybe it was the
John Mark who was with Paul - but how would even Paul
maybe this Mark was one of a thousand other
many Marks do you
besides, what does it matter?
is the kind of reasoning that disturbs me. The kind of senseless and
useless information tossed into sermons to try and explain
things that need no explaining.
wrote the Bible? Some say it was man under the inspiration of God. Some
say it was man writing from his own personal experience. And yet
these same critics will take a word and twist a sense of tense out of
it (perfect tense, past present participle tense, etc) in order to try
and prove the Bible didn't mean to say what it says.
wrote the Bible. He wrote it through man's hands, but every verse,
every word, every "Jot and Tittle" was not just inspired, but dictated
by God. If this were not so, then Jesus wouldn't have said every jot
and tittle was not to be changed (Ex 25:9; Heb 8:5; Mat 13:14; Dan
get so tired of highly acclaimed preachers and commentators trying to
explain the Bible with made-up stories that nullify what the Bible says.
either wrote the Bible - every little facet of it with reckoning far
beyond our or the writer's understanding; or God didn't
write it. And if God didn't
write the Bible, then
it's every man for himself as to what anyone wants the Bible to say.
And along with this, every Worldly view, every cult view and every
non-Christian religion view carries just as much weight as any Preacher
about you? Is the Bible just an inspired book that can be altered and
manipulated, sometimes written by people who didn't know what they are
talking about and has to be corrected by your Pastor? Or, is the Bible
you read written by God, our Creator, Who knows just what He is doing,
and says just what He intended us to hear?
have just this to say. If God didn't
Bible jot by tittle, then there is no way any of us here on earth can
decide just what parts have been left out or needs to be corrected -
like so many of the "cults" have done. And if the Bible is up for
altering, then we may just as well write out of it any reference to the
crucifixion, the Resurrection, or our Salvation.
if we are not
willing to endanger our salvation
by tampering with the Word of God, then for crying out loud - stick to
the Word, believe the Word; and ask the Holy Spirit to instruct you as
you study the Word as Jesus told
you to do!!!
you ever shot an arrow at a target, or tried to make a hole in golf? If
you have, then you will understand just what I am going to say.
make a punt, you are sure the ball is heading straight for the hole.
There is no reason why you can't be positive that the hole is yours.
the ball slightly touches a blade of grass, and is deflected just
enough to cause the ball to miss the hole.
shoot an arrow, and you know you're going to have a bull's-eye. But
there is a little puff of wind, and your arrow misses the target all
the slightest deflection, especially at the beginning of a journey,
causes an even greater miss at the end of a journey.
are confronted with two roads in the sierra desert. At the point they
come together they are side by side, almost undistinguishable and
appearing to go the same direction. But one road leads to an oasis
nearby, and the other takes you a thousand miles into bleak desert with
no resources nor end in sight.
slight miss can lead to a loss of a game, or in the last scenario, loss
choices are important. Even the small choices we make as a child will
influence, not only our life, but perhaps our eternity as well.
golf and archery things like a blade of grass and puffs of air are hard
to avoid. But avoid them you will if at all possible in the future.
roads in the desert have other
dangers that make
decisions difficult to make. Besides there being thrust at you a
multitude of road maps, all promising success yet pointing in different
directions; there are many "Guides" willing and anxious to point the
way for you. These guides and maps (books, videos and such) may be
willing to provide their services for free; or they may try to weasel a
fee for their services. And very often they will present themselves
attractively and speak with sugar coated words - much like the harlots
in the back streets of the big city or the "coyotes" who lead trusting
Mexicans into the desert and abandon them.
the chances are these self-appointed guides will be no more use to you
than the confusing road maps you hold in your hand, as they have either
never been on the correct road themselves, or if they have, they have
not followed the road to completion.
does no good to start on a road and not follow it to completion. Even
road followed to the end is more likely
to afford success than the right
uncompleted. Like a target hit, but off center compared to an arrow
that falls short of the target altogether.
we attempt to shoot an arrow at a target and miss, or putt for a hole
and miss, we call this: "Missing the Mark."
another word that the Bible uses for this very same failure;
is forced. You are either all the way a Jew, or you are not a Jew at
all. This is
the way God established the Jews, and though there is no longer any
means by which the Jews may perform their duties, they still retain
is a forced religion. Although some in the West try, there really is no
way to be a Muslim and not
fulfill all that the
Koran requires of you.
is a forced religion. In any church to which a Christian belongs there
are rules and doctrines that must be followed in order to become and
remain a member of that church. Of course those rules and doctrines are
as numerous and as varied as the sands of the sea, but they are none
the less applied to whoever chooses to enter that church door.
(Worldliness) is a forced religion. The rules are few, and in fact they
boil down to just one. To be of the World you may be Muslim, or Hindu,
and often even a Jew. In fact you can do and believe anything you like
- except Christ Jesus.
does not force Himself on us (except His Elect, His Chosen), but rather
like a coarse rope He dangles His Salvation before each of us. It is
not an attractive rope, nor one that is easily grasped; but still it is
the only path whereby Salvation may be acquired.
churches, on the other hand, present the Gospel on a silver platter
filled with all kinds of goodies and promises that attract many, but
leave one empty and lost at the end of the meal.
who seek the Broad Way filled with promises and pleasure and
self-fulfilment will find many doors open to them with enticing
gestures much like harlots in a red light district.
seeking God with a heart of Love will have to turn away from the bright
lights of the broad way into an overgrown, thistle covered path called
Calvary, where they will find the One who exemplified Love for God, as
God has shown His Love for those who diligently seek Him.
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
life. (John 3:)
the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If
ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept
my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11These
things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that
your joy might be full. 12This
commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13Greater
love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his
are my friends, if ye do
whatsoever I command you. 15Henceforth
you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but
I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my
Father I have made known unto you. 16Ye
not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should
go and bring forth fruit, and that
should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name,
he may give it you. 17These
things I command you, that ye love one another.
ye in at the strait gate: for wide is
and broad is
the way, that leadeth to
destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because
the gate, and narrow is
the way, which leadeth unto life, and
few there be that
find it. (Mat 7:)
have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5And
ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto
children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor
faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6For
whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and
scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7If
ye endure chastening,
with you as with sons; for
what son is he whom the
father chasteneth not? 8But
if ye be without
chastisement, whereof all
then are ye bastards, and
not sons. 9Furthermore
we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us,
and we gave them
reverence: shall we not much
rather be in subjection
unto the Father of spirits, and
they verily for a
few days chastened us
after their own pleasure;
but he for our
profit, that we
might be partakers of his
no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:
nevertheless afterward it
yieldeth the peaceable fruit of
righteousness unto them
which are exercised thereby. 12Wherefore
lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13And
make straight paths for your feet, lest
that which is
lame be turned out of the way;
but let it rather be
peace with all men, and holiness,
without which no man shall see the Lord: 15Looking
diligently lest any
man fail of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you,
and thereby many be defiled; 16Lest
any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold
his birthright. 17For
how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was
rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it
carefully with tears. (Heb 12:)
a nearby town there stands two churches side-by-side. These two
churches are very attractive and picturesque, with bell towers, white
slat walls and covered porch decks. Either one of these churches would
have been an ideal subject for Norman Rockwell, who, I have no doubt,
if he saw them he would have included them in one of his paintings.
being throwbacks to bygone days, these two churches were so close
together that children can toss a ball back and forth from their
windows - and probably have done just that at one time or another.
the beginning of this story I said these two churches were in a small
town. That is not quite so. In fact the two churches stand along side a
two-lane highway with nothing around them but farmland and maybe a
house or two. My guess is that it would have been difficult to fill one
single room in either one of the churches if all the residents within
ten miles were to attend all at one time.
there they stand, bright and clean - and so identical that anyone
passing by must take a second or a third look to make sure they aren't
you might ask, why would anyone want to build a large church alongside
a stretch of country highway in the first place? And to build two
identical churches? Is there a reason
for such an
a "reason." Just like there are reasons
for wars and massacres and "Holy Wars." Whether or not they are good
reasons depends on if you are talking to the winning or the losing side.
for our two churches, I only have bits and pieces of information, but
from these I will speculate.
long time ago, perhaps farther back than any of the members of either
church can remember, there was only one church. And like most churches,
the congregation was in fellowship and harmony with one another.
came along someone with an idea how the church could be "improved."
That improvement may have been a change of songbooks, or perhaps it had
to do with rearranging the pews, or maybe it was, as is so often the
case, a slight variation in the doctrine that was being set forth.
Perhaps that new doctrine came from the lips of a new Pastor, or an
influential (perhaps wealthy) Elder.
may have been the seed, the result was controversy. Controversy leads
to conflict. And conflict leads to hurt egos.
like a worm that has been cut into two parts, each becoming a worm
identical to the original, the church split. But, unlike the worm who
is satisfied with being a live worm, each of the churches are now at
odds with one another, and each think they
absolutely right, and the other is destined for hell.
occurring in human nature long before science had even conceived of the
you know of any churches like the ones described above? Have you ever
met someone from a church that has split who says that the faction they
decided to stay with was in error? Or that the other faction was not in
deep, dark doctrinal error?
about divorced couples? Have you met very many people from split homes
that wasn't in the right, and their ex "lover" wasn't a villain?
we separate ourselves from someone or something that we have been
attached to, we build walls of defense around ourselves in order to
retain our self-esteem. And the weaker our ego, the higher and the
thicker the walls. And the extremely
even goes so far as to place razor wire and gun turrets on the top of
their walls in order to keep everyone off their weak points.
the past, when killing one's opponent was "allowed," (which is still
the case in many other countries) if someone disagreed with the
establishment, they were burned at the stake as a heretic, or beheaded
as an infidel. Of course, those who agreed
the one who was beheaded or burned did not regard that person as a
heretic. No, they called him a "Martyr."
there ever be one church as there was in the beginning?
when Jesus comes.
not before then? Because if you look closely at the Bible and history,
the only time there was one church with all members in full agreement
was when Jesus was the only member.
been at least a year since I bought and read a newspaper. I see little
sense in spending my 50¢ on something that tells me little of
what I want to hear or that edifies me not in the least. But lately, as
I pass by a recycle bin, I have been feeling guilty that I am not
contributing my part to the ecology movements.
this case, however, the reason for my spending my hard earned nickel
(pardon me while I laugh) was a headline that caught my eye. It was
about Americans not being the tallest in the world any more. The
article says that in the past Americans were up to two and a half
inches taller than their European counterparts. This, so the article
says (quoting scientists on the subject) was an indication that we were
richer, healthier and happier and more educated than the rest of the
you already know how I feel about scientists and their "expert"
findings. This article just adds fuel to my ever-burning fire. To me
scientists and politicians are just the "Avant-Garde" of the World
to this article our losing Height Status in the world is an indication
that we are also losing economical and social standing in the world as
well. Interesting. Height indicates happiness, intelligence, status and
mental health. I wonder what the White house thinks about that?
I continue through the newspaper I see articles interspersed with one
another about huge arson-set forest fires; earthquakes in diverse
places; pestilences (mostly toxic mosquitoes, birds and cows at this
point) and tremendous floods and hailstones the size of golf balls.
the political side I see school bus bombings; more soldiers killed
overseas; terrorist attacks; wars and rumors of wars; a call for tax
increases; another park closing for lack of funds; overcrowded and
understaffed and underfinanced prisons; reduction of police and rescue
personnel and facilities for the same reason; political tempers flare
over Iraq; the National Debt ever inflating; a call for more Billions
to finance the wars we have started and are trying to start; prices
going up; productivity going down; national confidence decreasing; and
the list goes on.
here's an interesting note. It appears there was an earthquake in
Japan. That isn't so unusual. But this one, a very large
one, hit near a nuclear plant and not only killed and injured many
people, but polluted the ocean as well. Haven't I heard about other
such events with nuclear plants? Love Canal or something like that? And
the ones I recall were called "accidents" rather than a natural
catastrophe. Ah Progress.
exciting and interesting stuff I'm sure, but nothing new. In fact I had
to check the date on the newspaper to make sure it wasn't the one I
read a year ago - or even one I read five
were a couple articles that I found a little different, or at least
expressed a little differently than I had heard before.
is about the Catholic church. No, it's not more priests being sued, or
more churches filing for bankruptcy. At least not this
time. It was about a statement the new Pope made stating that the only
way to avoid hell is to be a Catholic.
appears the Protestant churches are upset about this statement.
can see why.
all know that it's not the Catholic
going to Heaven and all the other churches are going to hell. No,
indeed. It's the Protestant
churches that are
going to Heaven and all the others are going to hell.
least that's the way I
always heard it. Of course
I must include a stipulation along with such a statement. We all know
that not all
Protestant churches are going to
Heaven. Of course
not. Only the Protestant church you
attend is going to Heaven and all the
others are going to hell.
article I find missing on the religious side of the news is about all
the hundreds of Christians that are being assaulted and killed
throughout the world. If a non
killed it is broadcast to its fullest, but it appears as if our
government and the media have taken on the viewpoint of the slave
owners in the Old South and the Indian hunters of early America -
Christians are a non entity, therefore not worth the trouble to protect
or even acknowledge.
that is to be expected. After all, Christians are not to live for this
world, but for the next. And in the next world, don't you know, those
politicians and news reporters will find their niche of existence a
little tight, if I read the Bible correctly.
a bit more on the political scene. It appears that public support for
the war is fading, while political support for escalating the war is
I think that is what I read in the paper six years ago right after we
were told that we were going to waltz into Iraq with thunderous
applause and free the natives. Of course that was thousands of lives
ago, and billions of dollars past; And at a time when this nation had a
fairly good standing and some respect in the world.
I forgot, we're shrinking
as a people. I wonder
if our shrinking has anything to do with stunted growth caused by
cigarettes? Or maybe our shrinking economy has something to do with the
huge tax that was placed on cigarettes with the intent of stopping
people from smoking, thereby stunting their growth and causing the
decline of moral and public health.
of cigarettes and drinking and drugs (I know that wasn't the subject,
but I had to get this in somehow),
I see how
there are over 9 million illegal drug users and 10 million heavy
drinkers in the American work force (that means their problem is severe
enough to require intervention). That's interesting. I remember how
drug education was begun years ago in order to prevent
just such an
occurrence. And that brings to mind sex education that had the intended
intent to stop teen pregnancy. At the time these programs were
initiated drug use was relatively rare (at least in the grade schools)
and so was sex out of wedlock (at least in the grade schools). Now we
have abortion on demand, and sex is flaunted on the screen in our
living rooms, and marriage is becoming a thing of the
with same-sex couples. It's to the grade schools drug users and pushers
go to find the cheapest drugs and the best porn shows (sex education).
And the grade schools are more dangerous places to be than dark alleys
what with guns in school and school shootings.
on the political scene, I see that welfare is on its way out, and the
government can no longer afford to support both the war and the many
elderly who paid into their Medicare and Social Security Benefits, so
the poor and the elderly, along with the Christians, are becoming a
nonentity in the eyes of the government and must fend for themselves.
speaking of war (I did
hint at it), I see that we
are again at odds with not only with all the Middle East, China and
Korea - but again with Russia. It appears that in order to protect that
which does not need to be protected, we are again placing ourselves in
your weapons and your boots, men, the Cold War is back on!"
a minute! Isn't all our radios, boots,
uniforms and the like now made overseas? We don't make
anything any more. In fact, almost all our fuel to propel our missiles
and trucks and armament comes from the very nations we have aligned against
us. And, incidently, our huge national debt - who
is it we owe all that money?
you see something wrong with this picture?
feel like I am in a time capsule, the front end zooming into the
future, and the hind end zooming to the past. And in the middle of it
all, I see the pilot frantically putting on two parachutes - his, and
don't think I will read the newspaper again for another year - if there
WE THERE YET?"
Hon, but just about."
he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded
him? I trow not. 10So
likewise ye, when ye
shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are
unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed
are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5Blessed
are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6Blessed
are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall
be filled. 7Blessed
are the merciful: for they
shall obtain mercy. 8Blessed
are the pure in
heart: for they shall see God. 9Blessed
peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10Blessed
are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is
the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed
are ye, when
men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of
evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice,
and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so
persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Mat 5:)
your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be
healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17Elias
was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly
that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of
three years and six months. 18And
again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
if any of you do err from the
truth, and one convert him; 20Let
that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall
save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:)
leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto
perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead
works, and of faith toward God, 2Of
doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of
the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3And
will we do, if God permit. 4For
impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the
heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And
have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6If
they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they
crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open
the earth which drinketh in the
rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by
whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8But
that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto
cursing; whose end is to be burned. (Heb 6:)
shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even
hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves
ill in their doings. (Micah 3:)
the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers;
and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the
strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will
forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. 17Then
my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake
them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured,
and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in
that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not
among us? 18And
I will surely hide my face in
that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they
are turned unto other gods. (Deut 31:)
when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your
Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26But
if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven
forgive your trespasses. (Mark 11:)
came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against
me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22Jesus
saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until
seventy times seven. 23Therefore
is the kingdom
of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his
when he had begun to reckon,
one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25But
forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and
his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26The
servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have
patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27Then
the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and
forgave him the debt. 28But
the same servant
went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an
hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat,
saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29And
fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have
patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30And
he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the
when his fellowservants saw what was
done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that
was done. 32Then
his lord, after that he had
called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all
that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33Shouldest
not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had
pity on thee? 34And
his lord was wroth, and
delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due
unto him. 35So
likewise shall my heavenly
Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one
his brother their trespasses. (Mat 18:)
if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the
truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But
a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which
shall devour the adversaries. 28He
despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29Of
how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who
hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of
the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath
done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30For
know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will
recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
is a fearful thing to fall into the
hands of the living God. (Heb 10:)
the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle
about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5Then
went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round
about Jordan, 6And
were baptized of him in
Jordan, confessing their sins. (Mat 3:)
your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be
healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not
in us. 9If
we confess our sins, he is faithful
and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
we say that we have not
sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1John 1:)
when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had
received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15Who,
when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the
Holy Ghost: 16(For
as yet he was fallen upon
none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17Then
laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.(Acts
shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. 15And
as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the
remembered I the word of the
Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall
be baptized with the Holy Ghost. (Acts 11:)
it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed
through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain
said unto them, Have ye received
the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not
so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3And
he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto
John's baptism. 4Then
said Paul, John verily
baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that
they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on
Christ Jesus. 5When
they heard this, they were
baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6And
when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them;
and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7And
all the men were about twelve. (Acts 19:)
indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after
me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall
baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12Whose
fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather
his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with
unquenchable fire. (Mat 3:)
whom coming, as unto a living
stone, disallowed indeed of
men, but chosen of God, and
also, as lively stones, are
built up a spiritual house,
an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God
by Jesus Christ. 6Wherefore
also it is
contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone,
elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7Unto
you therefore which believe he
is precious: but
unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders
disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8And
a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even
which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were
chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar
people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called
you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10Which
in time past were
not a people, but are
now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have
obtained mercy. 11Dearly
beloved, I beseech you
as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war
against the soul; 12Having
honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as
evildoers, they may by your
good works, which
they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1Pet 2:)