FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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THOUGHTS & COMMENTS

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1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith,

giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (1Tim 4:)


MAN vs GOD


By the devastation left in the wake of God's wrath on the Jews, and what will occur during the Tribulation, it would appear that God is the One who is in opposition to man. However over and over again we read where this devastation has followed rebellions on our part in effort to have our own selfish desires met.

Man does not understand God. But we should. We are like God. We know this because God said He fashioned us in His own image. Therefore if we take the time to understand ourself, we then will understand God.

For instance; God is a Father. This is a role He has taken on for Himself, and He has told us so often in His Word.

As a Father God demands He receive from us that which we earthly fathers want from our children. In this consideration we must be careful that we do not reverse the roles. We as fathers look upon God from the child's point of view. By doing so we misinterpret what God expects of us. And this is exactly what we do - try to understand God through an upside-down mirror.


A child exists in a world of need. And the younger the child, the more needy he is. As he grows and matures, the child becomes more capable of taking care of himself, bur he does not lose that desire to have his needs and desires met by others. Some children live their entire life, well into old age, still seeking and demanding that his parents and the world in general take care of him the way he expects them to. In fact, the reason many people marry is to trap someone into a position whereby they may be nursed by their captured mate.

I'm sure you know someone like the person I have just described. Perhaps there's someone in your family like this. Perhaps it's even you who is the needy one.


In the normal chain of events each of us finds a mate and begins a family. Under "normal" circumstances these needy youngsters suddenly find themselves on the other end of the support "stick." They are no longer supposed to be thinking of their own wants and needs, but instead are expected to dedicate their lives to providing for the wants and needs of others, such as their mate, their children, and their in-laws. And eventually, their elderly parents.

Some people take to this role-reversal fairly naturally. After the first two children are half-way grown they tend to figure out what they are doing wrong in the realm of child rearing, and life begins to run a little smoother for everyone.

There are others, however, who do not take so well to this role-reversal and continue to demand that everyone, including their children, cater to their wants and demands. These people tend to find life difficult, blaming everyone for their problems, and find people tend to shy away from them.


Most of us fit somewhere between these extremes, sometimes closer to one or the other, and at other times nearer the other than the one. But all of us find ourselves clinging to portions of the child's role and wanting to have our need's met.


God is giver. If He wasn't none of us would be here in the first place. As a giver, God expects those to whom He gives to appreciate what they have received. God also expects us to be thankful and sharing of the gift as well. He also expects us to make good use of the gift. You and I are the same in this way. If those to whom we give do otherwise than the above, we are peeved at best, and unlikely to give, gracefully, to that person again.


God, as a Father is the Boss. He is the Head of the Household. And as Head of the Household He demands respect, and He demands obedience. A family who does not respect or obey the Head of the House does not function well, or at all. As a father, we earthlings expect the same of our children. Should we not receive this obedience and respect, we are unlikely to want to continue supporting the family, and will be glad to have it resolved, whatever that might entail.

God is the Patriarch. He is the One who the entire family goes to for council and wisdom. As Patriarch God's Word is not to be questioned, but obeyed. We, as fathers in our own realm understand this principal. We do not want the child, who has no idea whatsoever what they are doing to back-talk or disobey our orders. We know there is a reason God said to respect your parents, and that those who don't will be stoned (Deut 21:20).


Sometimes, in fact very often, that which God tells us to do does not make sense, and so we try to alter what God has said to fit our understanding of how a particular thing ought to be done. As a father we know what is best for our children, and we know as well that although the child does not know why you have told them to do something a particular way, that once they have done so, they will then understand. But how often is it that the child does not follow your instructions, and thereby makes a mess of things?


PLACEBO


When testing an unknown and unproven product or substance, especially a medicine, doctors and scientists utilize what is called a "Placebo." A placebo is something that looks like the real thing, but is in fact nothing but sugar.

Mothers understand full well this principal having to make use of the placebo in raising children. When a baby, for instance, cries for her bottle, but the bottle is either not handy or not appropriate for the child because it is not feeding time, she gives the baby a "Pacifier." the baby is now content because she got what she wanted as far as she is concerned, but is in fact receiving no nourishment whatever.

As the child grows a bottle will no longer pacify her, she now requires a candy bar, or later a dress, or a telephone of her own, or a computer, and eventually a new car and a college education.

Pacifiers, thereby placebos, provide that which a person wants, but avoids that which they need. Using the above illustrations as a for instance; the baby did not need a bottle, she needed attention. The older child did not need a candy bar, or a computer, or a car, she needed discipline, and thereby a good spanking.


Doctors give a placebo to a patient who has a tendency to imagine illnesses. The patient, thinking they are taking the medicine that will cure their dreaded illness rests easy and speedily recovers.

This practice accomplishes several things in one fell swoop. The patient is "healed." The patient is no longer bothering the doctor. The doctor's bank account grows while having to do very little in order to fill it. And the doctor, having given away nothing, has a patient that believes he is generous having given that patient a bottle of expensive medicine.


Scientist make use of placebos when they test the effectiveness of a new medicine. In order to effectively test their product they take a rather large number of volunteers afflicted with the disease their product is intended to relieve and divides them into groups. One of the groups they give the medicine they are wanting to test. The other group is given the fake medicine, the placebo. After a period of time, sometimes years, the two groups are tested once again to see how they are improving.

If the test is successful, the first group will have been cured, or have at least made improvements. And, of course, the second group will have either seen no improvement or died because they were taking the placebo instead or the real medicine of another kind they would have been taking instead of the sugar pill they believed was real medicine.


Scientists are not the only ones who kill those they are supposedly curing. For instance, the doctor may well be making a patient feel comfortable in their pursuit of wellness, while their real illness intensifies. If the patient knew he or she was taking sugar instead of medicine, they would have checked with another doctor who might have found a disease working in them.

That parent who supplies the baby with a placebo might be pacifying a child who is in desperate need of nutrition or affection. And the teenager who is given everything they want instead of the discipline they need my well turn out to be a spoiled brat at best, and a criminal or politician at the worst.


During the time of the Old Testament and into the New, the Jews were dominated by what are called "Doctors of the Law." As in any other field, doctors of anything are educated in that field and are highly respected and their opinion sought. These Doctors of the Law, in the time of Jesus were called Scribes, and included Pharisees who were also expert in the Law. While Pharisees were very learned in the Torah, that is the Book of the Law, and dedicated themselves to living to the fullest what was prescribed in the Book; the Scribes spent heir days meticulously copying those very books. It is understandable that these two groups then would be the ones to go to if one wanted to know what the Book (Old Testament) says, or meant.

The common folk of the day (contrary to today) were not ignorant of the law themselves. Every Jew was expected from the time of birth to learn the Book and the Laws. As children, until about the age of twelve when they were "Bar mitzvahed," that is, became a responsible adult, they were to attend school, usually at the local Synagogue, where they learned to read the Torah and where it was read regularly. Then on the Sabbath they were to attend church. And during the week, when not in school or learning a career, usually from their father or an uncle, they were being taught by their mother the Ways of the Lord.

This nation, that is the US of A, did the same thing from its foundation. In order to make sure everyone was able to understand the Bible, the communities made sure two things were established if nothing else. Those two things were first a church, and second a school, which may have been held in the church building if nothing else had yet been provided.

The textbook that was used in the schools was the Bible, and the purpose of learning to read was the Bible. Things have changed just a tad from those early days, as can be seen by observing the effectiveness and the safety of our schools today in contrast to that of the past.


In the church of the Jews ("Church," in the Greek means "Called Out, Congregation, Assembly") the use of placebos were also used. However, instead of having no medicine in them, as does the medicine of today's doctors and scientists, they had too much "medicine." That is, these Doctors of the Law stuffed their bitter pill of the Law with so many man-made rules and regulations that their "Patients" (the people) were unable to move or function. Jesus called these binders "Traditions of the Elders."


The churches of today, in order to make sure they do not fall into the same condemnation as did the Scribes and the Pharisees have followed the example of the Doctors and the Scientists. They make sure that no Law enters the portals of their congregation, thereby assuring that Grace may abound. And like the placebo for the baby, and the candy bar for the youngster, and the car for the teenager; this pacifies the congregates while taking the pressure off the church and insuring steady attendance. But without the nourishment of the bottle, and the discipline of the rod, and the healing power of the True Word - the best that can be expected are weak and bratty kids, and the worst that can be expected are lost and destroyed souls.


FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS


"Hey, mister, can you tell me how to get to Paradise?"

"Shore can. Jus' go up a piece till you gets to a bright red barn, hang a right fo' 'bout a mile or so, till you sees a big oak tree next to a telyphone pole, lean left an' folly the gravel road til you runs up on a crossroads, don't go neither left nor right but shally on through fo' 'bout ten mile an' you'll run smack dab into' Paridise. Cain't miss it."

"Thanks mister."

"No problem a' tall. Have a fine day the two a' ya's."


"Well, there's the red barn that old farmer told us about. So I make a left here."

"Not a left, stupid, the man said to turn right."

"No he didn't. He said turn right at the oak tree."

"No, no. He said go straight through at the tree."

"I know what I'm doing. I'm going to make a left here."


"Now see what you've gone and done. We're dead ended out here in this desert and run out of gas. I told you we should of gone straight at the barn. Now what are we going to do?"


Following directions is difficult with the simplest of circumstances. Even with a road map I can get lost. And lost can be a terrible thing to be, especially in the Spiritual realm.

God has not intended us to be lost, He wants us to find our way. This is how He expressed it:


10Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? 11Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 12Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. 13When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. 14Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; 15If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. 16None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. 17Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. 18When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. 19But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. 20Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways. (Ezek 33:)


Did you note in the above Scripture how God made provision for the sinner to be cleansed of his sin? Did you note also that the righteousness of the righteous will not save him if he turns back to sin?


Although God wants us all to find Him, and to follow His ways, He has not made it so clear just where He is or how to be the righteous person we must be to stand in His presence. He does not want the self-seeking carnal person to live forever in the Paradise He has created for Himself and the pure of heart. (Mat 13:10-13; Isa 66:4)


God has given us a roadmap in which to follow in order to get to Him. But that roadmap is in code and scattered throughout His Word. Only the diligent and those determined to reach Him will be able to follow the map. However, even the most diligent and determined person can not follow the map without the perpetual assistance of the Guide that God has provided those who diligently seek Him (John Chapter 14):


9Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isa 28:)


You can't go left when the path takes a right turn. Did you notice what happens to those who do not follow God's directions? It doesn't matter how badly you wish to get to Paradise, or how diligently we seek it without the Guide He has provided. Besides, God is not looking for those who want to get to Paradise; He wants to share Paradise with those who wish with all their heart to be with Him.


The World tells us how to get that which we want. Jesus tells us what He will give to those who will surrender all they want, even their life, and follow Him:


25And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. (Luke 14:)


It could be said that God is not playing fair by hiding His instructions on how to reach Him in the Scriptures and in Parables (Mat 13:10-15). Isn't that what the Jews were saying in Ezek 33: above? However, if we realize that the Old Testament Scriptures were written to, and only to the Jews who were well acquainted with the Law and the Scriptures, the only way they could have the instructions hidden from them is to be "Willingly Ignorant" (2Pet 3:5).

And this is so today as well. Christians by the millions remain intentionally ignorant of the desires of God by misrepresenting the Bible, directing it toward pleasing themselves instead of learning to please God through the study of the Word.

The New Testament is not instructions to the World on how to reach the churches; it is instructions to those who call themselves Christians on how to reach God.

Christians should have just one direction - upward. And the only way to take that journey upward is by following the instructions of the One who knows the way, the Holy Spirit.


PASTORS


"My Pastor says it doesn't matter if you drink or smoke or what you do, that once you say the sinner's prayer and get baptized you go to heaven."

"My Pastor says the same thing, only he says you have to have the Holy Ghost too."

"Holy Ghost? What's that?"

"I don't know. It's something my Pastor says you get when you get baptized."

"I was baptized, so I guess I've got that ghost thing too."

"I guess so. My Pastor says were supposed to follow Jesus, too, if we want to go to heaven."

"Follow Jesus? How do you do that? He's dead, isn't He?"

"I think so, but my Pastor says He raised up from the dead and is in heaven right now waiting for us, if we follow Him."

"My Pastor says we're supposed to take Jesus with us, so I wear this cross everywhere I go. I wonder if that's the same thing as following Him?"

"I suppose so. I don't know of any other way. My Pastor says we're supposed to pray all the time too. Do you pray?"

"Oh, sure. I pray before I eat and at church, and sometimes even before I go to bed, if I think of it."

"I wish I was as dedicated as you are. I forget a lot. My Pastor says we should read the Bible every day too. I do that pretty regular, sometimes ten to fifteen minutes a day. I try to get in a chapter a day. Some of the chapters are short, so it doesn't take very much time out of my day. I get pretty busy some times. You know how it is."

"I sure do. I don't read as much as you do. You're a loyal servant. Maybe all that reading you do makes up for the times you don't pray."

"Yeah, maybe. You said 'servant,' what did you mean?"

"My Pastor says that all us Christians are servants to God. I don't know what it means, but the word sounds nice so I use it a lot."

"I don't know. My folks have a servant. I don't think I would like to be one of those. I know you said you don't read the Bible very much, but do you understand it when you read it?"

"Not very much. Some things I can understand a little bit like Jonah and the whale and David and Goliath. Most of it I kind of skip over because it gets boring and I don't know what it's saying anyway."

"I don't see how any one can understand any of that stuff. It might as well have been written in some kind of foreign language. Besides, my Pastor says that all that Old Testament stuff was for the Jews and doesn't have anything to do with us anyway."

"My Pastor says the same thing, only he also says that there's a whole bunch of New Testament stuff that we're not supposed to do either, like doing works and trying to be more than we already are. He says that God accepts us the way we are and that's just what we're supposed to do."

"My Pastor says the same thing. I read a book once that says like, I'm OK, You're OK," or something like that. There's a lot of books in the world like that, you know."

"I have a friend who's a Catholic. She has to be real careful what she does. She prays all the time and fiddles with beads and makes sure she confesses every little thing she does to her Pastor or whatever. They really have it rough."

"Maybe you should get her to come to your church and then she could get to heaven without having to do all that stuff."

"I tried, she just won't come. She shows me a bunch of places in the Bible where it says we're supposed to do a bunch of things like pray a lot, be extra good, and obey God and things like that. I think they use a different Bible than we do, because if all that stuff was in our Bible my Pastor would have told us."

"Yeah, mine too. It's a good thing our Pastor understands all those things and tells us what they mean. This being a Christian thing would be really hard if we didn't have him to tell us what we're supposed to do and what we're supposed to know."

"I know what you mean. My Pastor must be a real smart man and really in touch with God to know all those things about the Bible."

"Yes, God must be mighty proud of my Pastor and feel lucky He has such a fine man working for Him."


A QUESTION TO MINISTERS


I don't understand. A parent makes every effort he or she can to further the progress, strength and perfection of their child. The Military makes every effort to turn a youth into the finest soldier in the world. The schools, as a policy, work diligently to turn out the smartest and the most capable scholar they are able. This is the World system.

The Catholic church strives to produce an obedient servant appropriate for the service of God as they see it.

The "cults" work diligently to turn their followers into strong, hard working Christians in their own right.

But many of the Protestant churches take every opportunity to convince their carnal, Spiritual-infant members that they are full-fledged, ready-for-Heaven Saints waiting for Jesus to come pick them up in a cloud, regardless of how backslidden they have become. The churches who claim to possess and attest to God's Truth have watered down the Message until it contains so little nourishment that a maggot would starve to death on it. Yet these same Ministers of the Word consider themselves God's spokesmen, condemning all the other churches, including the other Protestant churches not in their circle of acceptance, of being "Mislead and doomed to hell."

If you are so dead set on taking the fast road to hell, that certainly is your own business. Who is to stop you. But why are you so set on taking as many trusting lambs with you as you are able?

When you read the Bible, don't you shudder when you read about what God has done to the Israelites who did far less to God's Word than you have?

When you read a passage of Scripture that states the terrible consequences for not diligently following Jesus, even to the death; don't you feel even a tiny bit of guilt when you look into the eyes of your lambs and say: "But Jesus didn't really mean that"?

When you condemn the cults who go door-to-door with their worn out pages of favorite proof verses, don't you get a twinge of conscience when you study your even fewer proof verses that totally contradict the mass of Scripture that proves you are wrong?

When you read in Revelation where Jesus condemns the churches for following the hedonistic lifestyle you preach, do you not recognize yourself? When He speaks of the lukewarm church, what do you think He is talking about? When He says that those who commit abominations and are liars will be thrown into a pit of fire, do you think He is making an exception for you and your church? When He says that only the Overcomers will sit with Him on His throne, and He describes Himself as an Overcomer, do you think He is going to consider those you preach to as Overcomers because they have gotten a little wet and said a few words?

When Jesus says the "Unprofitable Servant" will be cast out, do you truly believe that Jesus doesn't really mean "Servant"?

When Jesus says that five virgins will miss the boat, what do you think He meant? Do you think Jesus didn't really mean "virgins"?

When Jesus talks about the "Babylon" church, do you really believe He means all the churches except yours?

When you read what Jesus told the Scribes and the Pharisees who held their people down with their man-made doctrines and traditions, which were holding the people at a much higher level then you are, doesn't it effect you at all?

Doesn't it bother you when you tell your congregation that what they do is not important, contrary to what Jesus told the rich young ruler about giving up everything and following Him? Or how Jesus said that not only what we do will condemn us, but also what we think of doing? Or when Jesus told us that we must give up our family and everything else that's important to us, take up our cross and follow Him?

Do you think John didn't know what he was talking about when he spoke of loving God and our neighbor? Do you really think there is no work involved in love?

When Jesus said our Works will be judged, and according to our works God will either cast us out, or bring us into His fold; do you think he really didn't mean "Works"?

If the Apostate church, which is to be the end-time church is the church that is going back into the World, that is, making God of less importance and Man more important, then what would you say of your church and your preaching?


What are you thinking?


 

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